WAYNE S. SMITH
In her July 13 Outlook piece, “A Crackdown Worthy of Castro,” Alicia C. Shepard described the clumsy and dysfunctional efforts of the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to enforce laws prohibiting Americans from traveling to Cuba. She didn’t point out that these controls violate the spirit of the 1967 Supreme Court ruling that government cannot ban Americans from traveling to a given country. The rules against travel to Cuba are an infringement of what should be an unquestioned right.
She also failed to note how counterproductive these controls are in terms of the U.S. objective of a free Cuba. How can Washington urge the Cuban government to give its people full freedom to travel—i.e., to depart and return to their country without hindrance—while it prohibits most Americans from traveling to Cuba?
As Elizardo Sanchez, Cuba’s leading human rights activist, has often said: “The more American citizens in the streets of Cuban cities, the better for the cause of a more open society.”
The writer is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy.