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Posted November 06, 2003 by publisher in US Embargo

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

[NOTE:  The conference committee of the Transportation-Treasury
Appropriations bill, where the Cuba travel amendment to end enforcement
of
the travel ban, is still in play.  Continued action is needed; please
see
our previous messages.  The fight is not over and far from won.  We’ll
keep
you informed.]

Now on to the Congratulations!  You just helped the Senate supporters
of
engagement with Cuba achieve another victory.  Today in the Senate
Foreign
Relations Committee, senators on this committee passed S 950, the
free-standing bill that would change the law and allow legal travel to
Cuba,
by a vote of 13-5.  In spite of several efforts to amend the bill or to
substitute a bill that would condition travel, our Senate allies held
firm
and passed the bill out of committee.  This means that the full bill, S
950,
will likely come to the floor of the Senate for a vote in 2004.  An
identical bill exists in the House, but the likelihood of it coming out
of
committee for a vote on the House floor is almost non-existent.
Nevertheless, this is another strong message from the Senate that it
favors
opening travel to Cuba.  The senators who supported this bill in
committee
should be thanked and congratulated.  Here’s how the vote went:

Yeas:

Lugar (R-IN)

Hagel (R-NE)

Chafee (R-RI)

Enzi (R-WY)

Voinovich (R-OH)

Sununu (R-NH)

Biden (D-DE)

Sarbanes (D-MD)

Dodd (D-CT)

Kerry (voted by proxy) (D-MA)

Feingold (D-WI)

Boxer (D-CA)

Rockefeller (D-WV)

Nays:

Allen (R-VA)

Alexander (R-TN)

Coleman (R-MN)

Nelson, Bill (D-FL)

Corzine (D-NJ)

 

Absent:

Brownback (R-KS)

 

Senators defeated several amendments (proposed by Nelson and Allen) and
one
substitute bill (offered by Coleman).  The substitute bill by Coleman
would
have conditioned travel on Cuba’s release of all 75 dissidents
imprisoned in
April.

 

Also passed were:

An amendment requiring the Secretary of State to report back to the
Foreign
Relations Committee on the status of terrorist financing in Cuba. 
Passed
18-0.

 

A Sense of the Senate offered by Enzi and Dodd calling on the
Government of
Cuba to release the dissidents, make political and economic reforms,
allow
the International Committee of the Red Cross access to Cuban prisons,
honor
the UN human rights commissioner’s request for a visit; free all
political
prisoners.  The Sense of the Senate is non-binding and won’t impact the
travel bill’s content.  It passed 18-0.  This measure allowed senators
who
may have voted for human rights conditions to vote for the original
bill
without making the human rights language binding.  It was a very smart
move
by Senators Enzi and Dodd.

 

Senator Lugar, especially, deserves your thanks.  He allowed this bill
to be
considered in the Foreign Relations Committee, of which he is chair,
and he
voted in favor of the travel bill.  This is very significant.  We
believe
that he has listened to those of you who are his constituents.  Thank
you
for your good work.  Please pass your thanks along to Senator Lugar.

 

Sincerely,

 

Mavis Anderson

Philip Schmidt

LAWG

[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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