Today the Cuba Study Group released a white paper titled: “Lifting Restrictions on Travel and Remittances to Cuba: A Case for Unilateral Action,” calling on the U.S. government to lift all restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba for all Americans.
“The Cuba Study Group recommends that the United States unilaterally lift all restrictions limiting the ability of U.S. persons (citizens and residents) to travel to Cuba, and authorize all U.S. persons to freely and without limitations send remittances to individuals on the island, with sensible exceptions. We believe such steps are not only consistent with the values of the United States, but will also allow U.S. nationals to help the long suffering people of Cuba and strengthen the internal pro-democracy movement,” reads the document.
The call is a first of its kind for a leading Cuban exile organization in that it recognizes the rights of all Americans, not just Americans of Cuban origin, to travel and send remittances to the island. The documents argues that these restrictions not only violate fundamental American rights and family values and are inconsistent with U.S. policies everywhere else in the world, but also that the benefits of U.S. travel, such as enhanced flows of information, national reconciliation, the potential for strengthening civil society, and the ability to more easily and effectively assist the pro-democracy movement on the island, far outweigh any collateral benefits to the regime.
“It is time to put politics aside and to inject ethical considerations into a debate where they have been absent for such a long time. Current restrictions on travel and remittances are inconsistent with U.S. values and objectives of assisting civil society, breaking the information embargo and encouraging national reconciliation. It is time the U.S. government listened to the brave democracy advocates and civil society leaders inside Cuba who have called for a change in these policies,” stated Tomas BIlbao, the Group’s executive director.
The Cuba Study Group (CubaStudyGroup.org) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization, comprised of Cuban business and community leaders who share a common interest and vision of a free and democratic Cuba.
Our mission is to facilitate in Cuba peaceful change leading to democracy, a free and open society, respect for human rights and the rule of law, a market-based economy, and the reunification of the Cuban nation.
Read the Lifting Restrictions on Travel and Remittances to Cuba: A Case for Unilateral Action white paper.