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HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Politics

Let Americans Visit Cuba - Letter to the Editor

Posted July 31, 2003 by publisher in Cuba Politics.
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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.

Member Comments

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On July 26, 2004, Kent Cooper wrote:

I am a loyal American.  At the same time I believe that the trade embargo is going way to far in hurting both Cuba’ and American’ that seek to travel to the beautiful island.  There needs to be dramatic changes on both the American policy and Cuban policy.  Both of our peoples could be increasing our way of life if we could bridge the political gaps.  Power to the people, not the politicians.

Sincerely,
Kent Cooper
Lic. Real Estate Broker

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On September 30, 2007, Felicia Estrada wrote:

I was born in Cuba but at the age of 9 years came to U.S. with my parents. I still have family in Cuba that I would like to visit, especially my grandmother. There are so many things that I have to do to even travel there again, wish there was a better way. It would be nice if the U.S/Cuba would lift the embargo.