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Posted October 30, 2003 by publisher in US Embargo

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Havana Journal publisher comment: Views of the LAWG and actions suggested below are not necessarily the views or recommendations of the Havana Journal.

Latin America Working Group

Dear Cuba Policy Advocates:

Congratulations again on the victory in the Senate last week. As you
probably could tell, the timing of this action in the Senate caught
everyone in Washington off guard, including staffers from some of the offices supporting the amendment.  But they were ready, and the opposition was not!

In order to push this victory forward to the President’s desk, we have
several actions that are very important for you to take to help make
this happen. 

The Transportation-Treasury Appropriations bill, with the Cuba travel
amendment, is going into conference committee (to reconcile the House
and Senate versions of the bill) in the next few days.  The Cuba amendment will face stiff opposition from the Republican leadership.  Based on quotes in the media over the last week, these leaders are gearing up to delete the Cuba travel provision in conference and keep it from arriving at the President’s desk.  The conference committee should obey congressional rules and follow the will of the majorities in the Senate and House who have voted to lift the travel ban.

We must continue the pressure on them to make sure the Cuban amendment
is
not removed.  It’s a subversion of democracy to strip out parts of
bills
behind closed doors; more importantly, if the amendments are identical,
which the Cuba travel provisions are, pulling out the amendments is
against
the rules!  Please take time in the next few days to take the following
actions:

ACTION:  Contact the members of the conference committee to let them
know
that the American people expect the Cuba travel provisions to survive
the
conference committee process.  The Democrats on the committee must feel
pressure to stand up to the Republicans and fight for these amendments.
Meanwhile, the Republicans need to know that the American people are
watching this conference and will raise a MAJOR fuss if they act
undemocratically.  To see the members of the conference committee and a
suggested message go to

http://www.lawg.org/pages/new%20pages/countries/Cuba/travel_calls_conf.htm
. (If the link doesn’t work, cut and paste into your browser.)  If your
member
of Congress isn’t on this list, please solicit any friends or family
who
live in these districts/states to contact Congress.

 

ACTION:  Call, email, or fax the senators who voted for the travel
amendment, but haven’t yet co-sponsored the bill (S 950) that would end
all
travel restrictions for good.  The Senate Cuba Working Group has
specifically asked for this action from us.  The more co-sponsors this
bill
has in the next few days, the better chances are that the conference
committee will respect the votes in favor of travel.  To see which
senators
fit this category and a sample email or fax, go to
http://www.lawg.org/pages/new%20pages/countries/Cuba/travel_calls.htm
(If
the link doesn’t work, cut and paste into your browser.)  Again, if
your
senator isn’t on the list, please forward this message on to family and
friends who live in these states.

 

ACTION:  If you only have a moment, by using CubaCentral.com’s action
center
you can send a message to our most important allies working on this
bill,
Representatives John Olver and David Obey. We do encourage you to take
further action by contacting the conference committee members and
encouraging senators to co-sponsor S-950. CubaCentral.com writes: “We
need
your help RIGHT NOW to ensure that Tom DeLay and his cronies aren’t
allowed
to once again thwart the will of the Congress behind closed doors! 
Please
go to http://action.ciponline.org/action/ and take actions on Cuba
travel
right now.”  It CubaCentral’s action is not yet posted, please check
back a
little later.

 

Thanks for taking these actions. We’ll be back in touch as things move
along
here in Washington. This is an exciting time for Cuba travel; it’s the
closest we’ve come to ending the restrictions yet. Let’s take it all
the way
to the President’s desk.

 

Sincerely,

 

Mavis Anderson

Philip Schmidt

Latin America Working Group

[url=http://www.lawg.org]http://www.lawg.org[/url]

 

P.S.  Support our efforts to forge a new US policy towards Cuba by
contributing to the Latin America Working Group! Only with your help
can we
keep providing the resources and information to build a better foreign
policy.  Give online at
http://www.lawg.org/pages/new%20pages/Misc/Donations.htm (if the link
doesn’t work, please cut and paste into your browser), or send a
donation to
LAWG, 110 Maryland Ave. NE, Box 15, Washington, DC 20002 (for a
tax-deductible donation, give to the LAWG Education Fund). Thanks!

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