Dear Cuba Policy Advocates:
We have had a surprise victory! Last night the House of Representatives
voted 221-194 to ban funding of the Commerce Department’s section of the new Bush Administration Cuba regulations. The regulations under this department are:
Limit the amount of baggage that licensed travelers can carry to Cuba to 44 pounds of luggage (thus limiting humanitarian items that can be brought to relatives or people in need).
Limit the types of items that Cuban-Americans can send in gift parcels to their relatives. The regulations prohibit the sending of gift parcels that contain clothing, personal hygiene items, seeds, fishing equipment, soap-making equipment, and veterinary medicines and supplies. Also, the sending of gift parcels has been limited to once per month per household, instead of once per month per individual. And parcels can go only to “immediate family.”
This amendment, which was sponsored by Flake (R-AZ), Davis (D-FL),
Emerson (R-MO), and Delahunt (D-MA), if it remains in the final bill, would
prohibit the Department of Commerce from enforcing these regulations.
Representatives from the Cuba Working Group and others are committed to
rolling back all the new restrictions. This was the first opportunity that
they have had.