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HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Politics

Bush’s restrictions on Cuban American family visits to Cuba lifted

Posted September 22, 2004 by publisher in Cuba Politics.
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Latin American Working Group | [url=http://www.lawg.org]http://www.lawg.org[/url]

Dear Cuba Policy Advocates:

We’ve won again! In spite of election year arm-twisting, 39 House
Republicans broke with their president and voted to end restrictions on
family visits by Cuban Americans. The amendment, offered by Representative Jim Davis (D-FL), passed by a margin of 225-174 after a lively debate.

The Boston Globe called the vote “a rebuke against President Bush,” and “a slap at Bush as he battles to keep his historic domination of the Cuban-American vote in Florida.” We couldn’t agree more.

As to be expected, the amendment drew an angry response from Florida
Republican Representative Lincoln Diaz-Balart, a Cuban American who
represents southern Florida. The proposal, he said, was “soaked in
arrogance,” backed by people who think they “know better than the
members who represent the overwhelming majority of Cuban Americans in this Congress.” But Representative Jeff Flake (R-AZ), a leader in efforts to
end the travel ban for all Americans, said giving families a choice about
visiting their relatives was “not arrogance. That is simply embracing
freedom.”

And the votes on Cuba policy on this bill aren’t done yet. This morning,
several other amendments regarding the embargo will come up for debate
and vote. They are:

1) Ending restrictions on educational travel, offered by Reps. Lee
(D-CA), Rangel (D-NY), and Tubbs-Jones (D-OH)

2) Ending restrictions on financing agricultural sales, offered by
Rep.Waters (D-CA)

3) Ending the full embargo, offered by Rep. Rangel

If you have time to make a call this morning, please do so, and urge
members to support all three of these valuable initiatives.

We’ll keep you updated on what happens with themóor if you have web
access, you can watch for your self on C-Span on television or online at
[url=http://www.cspan.org]http://www.cspan.org[/url] .  THE DEBATE IS STARTING RIGHT NOW!

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