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HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Politics

Shame in the Congress - opinion

Posted November 15, 2003 by publisher in Cuba Politics.
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By John Bomar/Independent

Recent actions within the back rooms of congress to strip away the Cuban travel ban is a shameful example of the manipulation of house and senate rules for personal political gain. In so doing the Senate/House Conference Committee disregarded the collective will of both chambers, and the great majority of American citizens. It was to mimic the very tactics of the ruling party in Cuba today. And that is the great irony.

Two wrongs do not right make.

Such partisan maneuvering for the sake of hoped-for political gain represents the worst in a republic, and flies in the face of democratic ideals. Thinking Americans cherish and value the liberties and freedoms they enjoy. We have gone to war and died for them.

The Cuban travel ban no longer has any legitimacy, except in political terms. The arguments for its continuance are stale and have been discounted now by forty years of failed effect. The whole world has repeatedly, for the last twelve years, condemned our Cuban policies, while we have turned a blind eye. Unilateral embargo has proven a failed policy for change in Cuba, and many argue it has only entrenched the communists and “El Jefe” Castro. By our own admission Cuba is no longer a threat to the U.S. or our allies. The travel ban, a left over vestige of the paranoia of the cold war, no longer has any justification in terms of its original impetus.

We are first and foremost citizens of the world. As such we should not be made criminal for travel to “politically incorrect” destinations, no matter the stated rationale. It is oppression and tyranny that fear the full exercise of freedom. “By their fruits you shall know them.” And the whole history of the Cuban travel ban is one of clever manipulation of U.S. law to skirt the constitutional right to travel, as declared by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Eisenhower years.

The greatest sadness is that more are Americans are not outraged by this usurption and abuse of power by the federal government. Liberties are usually lost one small bite at a time.

So, to those members of congress who actively participated in this “political tactic” ; manipulation of congressional rules to their own supposed ends, history will say “shame on you.”

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