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Posted May 25, 2006 by publisher in Cuba Human Rights

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By Mark Hollis | Sun Sentinel

Gov. Jeb Bush indicated Tuesday he will sign a bill that would forbid professors and students from visiting Cuba and other nations accused of supporting terrorism.

Bush’s backing of the legislation, sponsored by state Rep. David Rivera, a Miami Republican who represents a portion of Broward County, would make Florida one of the most restrictive states for travel by scholars.

The bill bans faculty and students at public universities and community colleges from using ``state or non-state funds’’ to travel to any country deemed a sponsor of terrorists. Five countries would be considered off-limits: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria.

The bill does not specify penalties for violators.

The proposal, which easily cleared both chambers of the Florida Legislature earlier this month, has been sharply criticized by academics as an infringement on their rights that would impede important research, especially in Cuba. These critics said it would impede advancement in a wide variety of studies, including agriculture and public health..

Damian Fernandez, director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University, warned that the proposal will undermine efforts to recruit scholars who study in Florida and abroad. Wayne S. Smith, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy in Washington, D.C., said the legislation would block potentially valuable research for Florida, and that there is little political justification for such a ban.

Bush downplayed the criticism, saying he thinks public and private money should not “go to countries that are our enemies.” He also said he is skeptical that much legitimate research is conducted during travel to those countries.

Rivera has said the recent case of a Florida International University professor being indicted on espionage charges involving travel to Cuba, all supposedly paid for by private funds, demonstrates the importance of the travel ban.

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  1. Follow up post #1 added on May 25, 2006 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    More unconstitutional restrictions on American freedom by a Bush.

    Govenor Bush is dumbing down Florida when he should be preparing Florida for a post-Castro Cuba.

    I guess he is not going to run for President since this is a pretty stupid move that no one outside of Florida would support.



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  2. Follow up post #2 added on May 26, 2006 by Bernie

    Who said we had constitutional freedom???
    I would like to know exactly what freedoms, I do have.
    This bull about democracy, freedom, terrorism is getting
    to be old hat news. It’s the same old same old stories
    coming out of these politicans.  But the full moon clown
    voters will continue to vote for these jerks.


  3. Follow up post #3 added on May 29, 2006 by Ralph

    It would be old,but it is a flashy manner to say that Freedom is a codswallop,the statement is a crap instead.


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