http://havanajournal.com/politics/entry/update-on-hr-4645-us-food-sales-and-legal-travel-to-cuba-bill-629/

HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Politics

Update on HR 4645 - US food sales and legal travel to Cuba bill

Posted June 29, 2010 by publisher in Cuba Politics.
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Rob Sequin | Havana Journal

HR 4645 is the agriculture/travel to Cuba bill in the House that has 62 cosponsors, some that had not supported the popular HR 874 (The companion bill in the Senate is S 1089).

On the Wednesday June 30 at 2pm (assuming the death of Sen. Byrd does not affect schedules), the House Agriculture Committee will mark-up the bill that ends all travel restrictions and simplifies agricultural sales.

John McAuliff of the Fund for Reconciliation and Development writes to his email subscribers this note:

“This week may be the last best opportunity for change in US policy on travel to Cuba.

In Cuba positive developments between the Catholic Church and government, a pro-travel letter from dissidents, and humanitarian gestures on prisoners have created a favorable atmosphere for movement in Washington.

However, the window of opportunity is closing.  If the Republicans win control of the House in the mid-term elections in November, the crucial Foreign Affairs Committee will be led by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, an adamant enemy of travel.

The most urgent task is to reach out to members of the Agriculture Committee.  Then, if they send the bill to the floor, each of us must contact our Representative to reinforce or modify his or her position, anticipating a vote in July.

At the same time the President should be pressed to finally use the authority he already has.”

Your House Representative

If your Rep is listed below, please give him/her a call and ask them to support this Bill.

($ = donations for 2010 election by the pro embargo US-Cuba Democracy PAC)

Essential and possible:  Cuellar D-TX-28 ($1000), Halvorson D-IL-11 ($1000), Kratovil D-MD-01 ($2000), Murphy, Scott D-NY-20 ($2000).

Harder but important: Kissell D-NC-08 ($2000), Roe R-TN-01 ($0), Schauer D-MI-07 ($3000), Smith, Adrian R-NE-03 ($2000), Rogers, Michael R-AL-03 ($0), Fortenberry R-NE-01 ($0), Marshall D-GA-08 ($2000)

Representatives who have received money from south Florida ought to be as willing to hear opinions from pro-travel outsiders.  Even better is finding a friend, family member or colleague who lives in the District and will advocate on your behalf.  (This needs to happen on Tuesday for greatest impact.)

During mark-up, an effort will be made to remove or constrain the travel provisions. If the bill is approved by Committee, it is likely to come to the House floor between the July and August recesses (July 12 - August 8).

Visit the Latin America Working Group End the Travel Ban page to find your Congressperson and to get a sample letter.

Also, be sure to read

premium content

Anya Landau French Why Lift the Travel Ban to Cuba? This is a Free Country, That’s Why.

Member Comments

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On June 29, 2010, publisher wrote:

The Havana Journal supports the efforts of the Fund for Reconciliation and Development and Latin America Working Group.

This is our best chance to lift travel restrictions on Americans. Just as Ms. Landau French’s article says, lift the travel ban because the US is a free country and not because it may or may not have some effect on Cuba.

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On June 29, 2010, publisher wrote:

Check this House web page to watch the Agriculture Committee hearing on H.R. 4645, the Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act.

Wednesday, June 30th - 2:00 p.m.
1300 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC

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On June 29, 2010, publisher wrote:

Game on people!

In this article from The Hill, apparently the US Chamber of Commerce, National Foreign Trade Council and USA*Engage have all sent letters of support to the House Ag committee members while the 50 year old failed “Plan A” Embargo supporters send them money to buy their votes against Americans’ freedom to travel.

You want to exercise your freedom to travel rights? Let your Representative know that you support HR 4645.

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On June 30, 2010, publisher wrote:

Rep Rooney is a real idiot!

Child prostitution? Really?

AGAIN, this bill has NOTHING to do with regime change in Cuba. It’s about Americans’ freedom of travel.

Then he says he has a letter from 494 dissidents that support the travel ban? Anyone know about that letter? What about Yoani and all the others who wrote a letter in support of HR 4645?

Idiots.

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On June 30, 2010, publisher wrote:

After MANY stupid remarks by politicians who are paid stooges for right wing Cuban exile organizations, HR 4645 passed out of committee.

It is being recommended to the house with a favorable review with recommendation for passage.

Now we wait to hear from Speaker Pelosi as to it movement for a vote.

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On June 30, 2010, nacho wrote:

Dear Publisher, so is this good news? Thanks for the update!!

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On June 30, 2010, publisher wrote:

Indeed!

No restrictions on our freedom to travel is always good news.

I’m sick of hearing that this won’t affect regime change. Where in the bill does it say it is supposed to?

And, since this policy has been the failed “Plan A” for 50 years, why can’t this be Plan B… flood the island with freedom loving Americans? That will drive Castro crazy and he can’t lock us all up for trying to help dissidents.

The people against this bill are against this bill for their own selfish reasons… in one way or another they get money from the Embargo.

They wake up every morning thanking Fidel for his longevity so they can continue to get money from USAID and other organizations.

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On June 30, 2010, publisher wrote:

email from John McAuliff:

By a vote of 25 to 20 the trade and travel bill was reported favorably by the Agriculture Committee to the House.  As near as I could tell, the decision was bipartisan on both sides.  Six Democrats opposed; four Republicans favored.

All votes except the last were procedural.  The language regarding travel was treated by the chair as out of the jurisdiction of the Ag Committee and not subject to removal or amendment.  The travel section, he held, was in the jurisdiction of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

However, under the House rules, only one committee needs to act on the bill before it goes to the floor.

Accordingly the contest now becomes national and every member of the House needs to be contacted in multiple ways before the end of the Independence Day District Work Period.  Most Representatives will be available locally between July 3 and 11.

Congratulations to Chairman Peterson, cosponsor Moran and our colleagues in Washington who worked so hard over the past year to bring us to this next stage.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

John McAuliff
Executive Director
Fund for Reconciliation and Development
145 Palisade Street, Suite 401
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522

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On June 30, 2010, nacho wrote:

Thank you publisher and thank you John McAuliff. This a great development indeed!

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On June 30, 2010, theportagekid wrote:

Here, Here! I agree with posting #4 It is to do with Americans’ freedom to travel where they want in the world, somewhat like the Eastern Bloc once the wall came down. although in the US the dismantling of their walls will take a lot longer. Problem is that it still has a long way to go before passing, and, remember the lobbyists have lots of $$ to water it down or change the bill completely (I can use the Health Care Bill as a stark example)  Quite frankly, I’ll be astonished if it passes as is, or at least in some form so that Americans can go there to see for themselves what Cuba has become; good or bad. They can decide not their so-called “representatives in Washington”.
the portagekid

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On July 01, 2010, edward wrote:

Hi

I have to say that I totally support the right of people to travel, and especially Americans right to travel to Cuba. Yes, Cuba will benefit from the increases in tourism and trade, I also feel that a greater influx of foreign tourists into Cuba together with a loosening of trade restrictions,  may speed up change in Cuba.

I have to be honest, I’m one of those people who always viewed the Cuban story with a mixture of misty eyed romanticism and mystery. Having visited three times and married a Cuban, I now understand that in today’s world there is no place for attitudes of the past, especially the basic denial of people’s freedom and rights. I sincerely hope that the people of Cuba realise their rights and win freedom from the shackles of the past, and that America looks on this as a start of a process to affect real change in cuba.

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On July 01, 2010, publisher wrote:

The Cuban Triangle and the Havana Note weigh in with thoughts and comments about the bill.

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On July 01, 2010, theportagekid wrote:

A wise philosopher once said that if you want to change the world, or Cuba, for that matter, you have to at first, change yourself. America has it’s work cut out for it. I just wish it would start looking inward.
portagekid

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On July 01, 2010, almacuba wrote:

I am a Cuban and lived in Cuba for 40 years, just came to Canada two years ago. I know that the only way we Cubans can be free is given to the world the freedom to see for themselfs what that beautiful country and its people has become in too many years of opressions and restrictions. Restriction is not the way to solve a freedom issue. Don’t you agree?
Congratulations, and I hope will be accepted by Cuban goverment too

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On July 01, 2010, Larry Daley wrote:

And thus

the U.S.

will reward

tyranny and murder

child prostitution, and corruption

the beating and jailing of innocents

this is idiotic.

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On July 01, 2010, publisher wrote:

No… just giving us Americans our freedom.

Child prostitution? Really? You really believe that?

And that last time you were in Cuba?

Beating and jailing innocents… I’ll give you that one.

Why not let the Americans invade Cuba and see for themselves. Trust me, Americans want freedom everywhere. Let us experience Cuba for ourselves.

How can we know how bad it is in Cuba if we can’t see it for ourselves?

This bill is not about affecting change in Cuba so let’s not make it out to be that.

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On July 01, 2010, almacuba wrote:

Come on!!!! Larry Daley,

There is no prostitution, murder every single minute, corruption, beating and everything else every where in the world including USA??????
The Cuban goverment is living out of the restrictions to their own people in Cuba and outside. Meanwhile the same Cuban goverment is having money off relationships and agreements with organizations and goverments all over the world,  including USA and everyone is making money but the cubans (de a pie). So, what is idiotic is just believing that we know everything even if we don’t know what we are talking about .

You should pay close attention to what is hapenning in the world the Cuban’s issue is so old and these restriction never worked in favor of freedom for cuban instead is going against americans freedom

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On July 01, 2010, theportagekid wrote:

To L. Daley
Non so blind as those who WILL NOT see!! Look at your own country with child prostitution, murder of innocent people, drug nation,bribery of literally all the members of congress by big business lobbyists, more prostitution with porn videos, slandering and belittling anyone who disagrees with American “Democracy (really a duocracy 2 parties and only 2 parties that jump back and forth “running” the country,) poverty greater than almost all other countries except the poorest, and finally,illegal invasions and occupations of sovereign countries for fun and $$, thereby murdering their own people (G.I.s)
Open your eyes Larry, if only for your own sake.
portagekid

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On July 01, 2010, Larry Daley wrote:

Please note:

“Yet, Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN) repeated yesterday—ad naseum—that the Agriculture Committee didn’t have jurisdiction over the travel portion of this bill (H.R. 4645).”

http://babalublog.com/author/hfontova/

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On July 01, 2010, publisher wrote:

Because the stooges of the PAC money from the right wingnuts made motions and amendments ad nauseum.

Really, you hard lines are so blind that you can’t see any reality. None.

Same goes for the far left too, I will say that.

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On July 01, 2010, Larry Daley wrote:

Perhaps that should be “hard liners” not “hard lines”

for input from other “hard lines”

please see among numerous others:

http://babalublog.com/2010/07/not-so-fast-on-your-gloating-over-passage-of-cuba-travel-capitol-hill-cubans-caution-the-new-york-times-and-fidel-castro/

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On July 01, 2010, theportagekid wrote:

re posting #21, As I said, if it passes at all, I’ll be astounded
portagekid

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On July 04, 2010, pipefitter wrote:

It is a reality, and it is good news but as we have seen before, money is power and we may get our hopes up only to have them dashed by the opositions power and influence.

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On July 04, 2010, theportagekid wrote:

As I said earlier, I’d be astounded.
Well, it got through committee to be put to the house with other bills. If you go to the site below (US Gov. site)

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-4645&tab=related

and scroll down to subject terms, then click on Cuba and see other bills pending about Cuba. you begin to see how this well-intentioned bill to allow Americans to go where they want (in so many words) and trade with Cuba more normally, will take years to get through if at all as it is written now. Check out HR 2687 and H, Con Res 132 and HR 2005 to name a few.

Call me a cynic if you want, but don’t hold your breath waiting for this bill to be signed by Obama or the next President (It’ll take that long to get to him). I wouldn’t be booking hotel rooms on my American Bank Credit Card either yet. 

portagekid

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On July 05, 2010, publisher wrote:

“we may get our hopes up only to have them dashed by the opositions power and influence”

Right. Fidel or Raul don’t want the Embargo to be lifted so they will probably do something outrageous to sabotage the Bill in some way.

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On July 05, 2010, almacuba wrote:

They will, there is no doubt about it,
They played war to play victims and at the end they are taking advantage of the embargo and everything that comes with it,
So a way to, just not be part of the game, is let americans be free and have their rights to go to Cuba and The Cuban goverment deal with what ever they need to do to stop them from travelling. They will have no more excuses at least for this issue

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On July 05, 2010, theportagekid wrote:

I thought this debate was about Americans ability to be permitted by THEIR Gov
to travel and trade with Cuba. Cuban government has been calling for it for years, but, you political hacks have to get your angle in, so when it doesn’t pass, you can blame the Cuban Government. How Lame can you get!?
portagekid

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On July 05, 2010, pipefitter wrote:

Pub, It seems that at times you have the ability to loose your sence of reason to try to put a negative spin on even something you want to see happen. If you really look at it objectivly, the Castros have no real reason or power to deep six an American bill allowing U.S. citizens their just right to travel to Cuba or anywhere (like us Canadians) as many times as they wish, that is in U.S. hands . It can only bring more money into Cuba and inprove relations between Cuba and the U.S. despite the possible contamination of the Cuban environment by some spring break kids from the U.S. I think it can be nothing less than a good thing.

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On July 05, 2010, theportagekid wrote:

To pipefitter

Here! Here! Could you imagine Veradero or Santiago de Cuba inundated with thousands of American kids with Dad’s credit card, freaking out themselves and everybody else on the beaches because of their “right of passage” experience, like Florida. Is the money worth it?
portagekid

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On July 07, 2010, pipefitter wrote:

Yeh Portage, maybee there are some draw backs for Cuba, they would have to build more jails to hold all those kids for throwing tv’s from the hotel windows and smashing bottles of rum in the hotel corridores etc.

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On July 08, 2010, theportagekid wrote:

Doubful on building new jails, as the Cuban Gov. will release about 1/3 of her political prisoners any day now. Interesting, actually. These “political prisoners” will probably be in Miami long before Floridians and Americans in general ever get a chance to visit the country, legally, that is. If there is any group opposed to the freedom of travel of Americans, and the passing of that bill I would look at the The Corporation,and members like Luis Posada Carriles, that resides in Florida. This freedom of movement and trade will surely impact on their ability to coerce and cajole the senators and others on their payroll. That will be a positive result of the passing, should it ever get to the Congress.

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On July 08, 2010, Larry Daley wrote:

The political prisoners will be sent into forced exile

and their families will be held as hostages for their good behavior in Cuba

This is merely a release valve to save the Castros’ regime

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On July 08, 2010, theportagekid wrote:

Save from what or who? Ya, and they’ll put all their families in the cells emptied by these people! If they want to stay they can, but probably won’t. Can’t become individually wealthy in a Socialist Society, That requires looking after each other, something very distasteful to these types of “individualists” Of course notwithstanding the possibility that some “family members” don’t agree with their political prisoner relatives..but that will go unmentioned and unnoticed, won’t it!

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On July 08, 2010, publisher wrote:

Okay, enough about the concept of travel to Cuba and the Embargo, let’s stay focused on HR 4645.

Congressman Howard L. Berman (D-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement praising passage of H.R.4645, Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act, in today’s House Agriculture Committee markup:

“As an original cosponsor of this legislation I have long believed that the nearly fifty year old travel ban to Cuba simply has not worked to help the Cuban people in any way. It has not hurt the Castros as it was intended to do, but it has hurt U.S. citizens. It is, in effect, a statement by the U.S. government to its own citizens that they cannot be trusted to decide where they can travel. Letting U.S. citizens travel to Cuba is not a gift to the Castros – it is in the interest of our own citizens. It’s time to trust our own people and restore their right to travel.”

END

If this bill goes to committee the idiot Congresswoman from Florida who is a ranking member will certainly gear up her propaganda machine and try to kill the bill.

Let’s hope Congressman Berman has the same testicular fortitude that his fellow Congressman Peterson had in his committee to move the bill through.

Note to Congressman Berman, listen to the majority. Simple as that… listen to the majority not the vocal minority.

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On July 08, 2010, theportagekid wrote:

I’ll give Berman his due, as well as Peterson, for their fortitude in trying to get this bill moving on to the next level of gov. It is a sign, perhaps, of the awakening of some that “helping” their own is far more fruitful than continually trying to “help” other Sovereign nations find their way to a more peaceful world.

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On July 13, 2010, publisher wrote:

Interesting write up from Granma and the Players in HR 4645

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On July 13, 2010, Larry Daley wrote:

How can one do business in Cuba

where carrying excess garlic is a crime


http://babalublog.com/2010/07/the-stasi-legacy-is-alive-and-well-in-havana/

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On July 13, 2010, theportagekid wrote:

Just a note to #37 posting: Perhaps he isn’t aware of the illegal EMBARGO on Cuba by the “Democratic” Empire of the United States. Strange though, as it has been on for DECADES. Of course when you get your information from the blogsite he mentioned one becomes aware of the reasons for his shortcomings
portagekid

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On July 13, 2010, Larry Daley wrote:

tell me about the garlic

not some mythical “Empire of the United States”

Oh yes you might give regards to Fabian Escalante

one of Castro agi-prop people

who appears to be the inspiration for your comments

after all his grandfather fought under orders from my Great Grandfather.

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On July 13, 2010, Larry Daley wrote:

By the way the URL

for Babalu blog

(the site referred to above)

is quite appropriately

http://babalublog.com/

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On July 13, 2010, Larry Daley wrote:

Another site that is helpful


for balanced discussion on this topic

is

http://www.capitolhillcubans.com/

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On July 14, 2010, publisher wrote:

Babalu blog and capitol hill cubans? Really?

There is no one further right who get paid to restrict my rights to travel to Cuba.

They will be fighting HR 4645 but this time no one is listening.

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On July 14, 2010, Larry Daley wrote:

Of course your rights are important

but then so are the rights of the perhaps 11 million

Cubans on the Island.

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On July 14, 2010, theportagekid wrote:

During the Second World War, Britain and Canada as well as the “Empire” had rationing. They had to do this to make sure everybody was fed etc. Cuba has been at war since ‘61, survived and is surviving it. Only one protagonist in this war. As for Escalente, he told the US who killed Kennedy, didn’t he.Some enemy!?
Check Granma http://www.granma.cu/ingles/international-i/9-julio-mafiosi.html
and read up on the Miami cell. Granma, you say? Well, they name names that can be verified. This should “balance” viewpoints, if you are not blinded by the light
portagekid

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On July 14, 2010, theportagekid wrote:

Re posting #43. What does the rights of Cubans have to do with the right of Americans to travel to Cuba, trade with Cuba? Will Cubans rights be somehow screwed because Americans are finally allowed to make their own assessment?
Hmmm.. I think not Read the figures on potential business and $$ and jobs that will occur in America, should the bill pass. Of course that information is on the site I mentioned above, so LD will probably not check it out. But, it is reality. Still, the Miami Gang will probably kill this bill, I hope they don’t, but $$ talks and we know how much certain spokespeople for the right love lobbyist money.
Portagekid

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On July 14, 2010, Larry Daley wrote:

I was in Liverpool, England and Rhosneigr, Anglesey, Wales during WWII.  Everybody was allowed, they were encouraged, to grow vegetables, fish and collect lobsters.  This is not so in Cuba. I remember going with my Dad, to try to catch lobsters with long poles with hooks on the ends.

(here is a plug for my book of memories in progress “Love and War in Cuba”)


BTW This is a strange parallel since the U.S. sells to Cuba for cash a considerable amount of food and medicine.  Britain at that time had to feed about 50 million people, on an island with one crop season and a size only about twice that of Cuba.  Cuba is a tropical island with two or three crop seasons per year (Britain measures 90,504 square mile, Cuba 44164 square miles).  The present population of Cuba is about 11 million.

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On July 14, 2010, theportagekid wrote:

My english family who spent years in London during and after the Bitz were certainly encouraged to grow their own vegetables and keep livestock. They were NOT however, allowed to sell these products on the BLACK MARKET, which is what these people were doing. In a society that is fighting a war, be it military or economic, trying to enrich yourself on the backs of your fellow citizen is and should be punished severely And, finally, thanks to America and Britain no-one will be catching Lobsters in the Gulf of Mexico anymore, but getting their oil cheap.
It will be and is floating to America’s shores.  Ahhh Capitalism, isn’t it great!!!
Portagekid

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On July 14, 2010, Yeyo wrote:

If things in Cuba are so great why all this Castro lovers do not move there and leave us with the miseries of the Capitalism?

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On July 14, 2010, Larry Daley wrote:

A couple of points

1.  It is very possible that Fabian Escalante knows who killed President Kennedy, especially since he was reported to be in Dallas that fatal day.  The unknown is whether the person he suggested did (reported to be Francisco Rodriguez Tamayo, El Mejicano, a rebel captain who defected to the U.S. soon after Castro took over) is the person who actually did it.  My vote is on Lee Harvey Oswald but the jury is still out since all the files are not yet released.

2. The Ban on Lobsters and Beef for Cubans is a long standing prohibition by the Castro government.

3.  For the Cuban government, with rare exceptions, the Cuban “Black Market” is any private enterprise.  In war-time Britain despite the presence of Clement Atlee, in Churchill’s unity Cabinet private enterprise was allowed in Britain.

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On July 14, 2010, publisher wrote:

stay on topic regarding updates on HR 4645.

All other posts will be deleted.

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On August 13, 2010, publisher wrote:

National Foreign Trade Council, the National Tour Association, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Center for Democracy in the Americas and the Washington Office on Latin America send a letter to President Obama urging him to ease travel restrictions.

With HR 4645 in the House, the pressure is on the Embargo.

Don’t be surprised to see Fidel try to sabotage it. Of course the old Cuban American exiles and paid off US House reps will try to kill any momentum too but this time might be different.

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On August 13, 2010, Larry Daley wrote:

Ok does this mean the Castros will pay their bills

I doubt it

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On August 13, 2010, publisher wrote:

No but they have to pay cash for all US purchases so it’s a great deal for the farmers.

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On August 13, 2010, Larry Daley wrote:

The Castros learned from the father

(in Raul’s case his stepfather):

‘Never pay what you can get away with

not paying’

and ‘pay your workers as little as possible,

and get back as much of their pay as you can’

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On August 13, 2010, theportagekid wrote:

You guys..pub. and ld are “pathetic” Let’s get the blame focused on Fidel etc. now, in case the miami mafia and their paid lackeys in the congress accomplish this goal, and then jump all over the other guy. “Standard Autocratic Policy”
This “tenet” has been used for centuries!...and it doesn’t work anymore!
As for LD; Raul, Ramon & Fidel and his four sisters were all born of the same mother, the housemaid for Angel Castro, the father; not step-father. And the father of them all ( Angel) came from Spain and was a capitalist. Certainly this had a tremendous influence on the boys. They saw first hand the inequities and self serving rewards of that form of society. Perhaps you should read up on it.
Like I have said all along, I will be stunned if it passes, But, with all the other “GOOD NEWS” that is occurring elsewhere for America, ie. Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel and Palestine, Iran, Venezuela, etc. etc. etc., maybe the
“Obama administration ” will let it get through just to give the american public SOMETHING to be happy about. Hell, they can’t even swim in the Gulf anymore
portagekid

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On August 14, 2010, Larry Daley wrote:

Theportagekid

That is the official version

a number of others exist outside of Cuba ...

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On August 16, 2010, gallofino wrote:

This bill will pass because it benefits the lofty agricultural lobby in the US.  Now, if we look at what this type of thing does to small, struggling economies, it becomes clear that Cuba has pulled back substantially on US food imports but not only because of financial issues.  If you look at what happened in Jamaica with its World Bank funding, sheds light on the nasty reality.  If Cuba were to come to the table looking for “aid” from them or the IMF, one of the first conditions will be a prohibition on agricultural subsidies.  If you look at what happened to Jamaica in the wake of this deal, aside from 29.5 percent interest, it effectiviely destroyed the small, local farmer.  Indeed, milk producers took to emptying out thousands of gallons of milk onto the streets in protest against the import of powdered milk from the US.

Cuba has already become to a large degree dependent on the import of US (subsidized) agricultural goods.  Who here tinks this is a good, sustainable thing for Cuba?  What Cuba is doing now is likely one of the most pivotal moves it can make in its eventual transition to a viable economy is not allowing food imports at the cost of its local market. 

Without “aid” they have already bacome dangerously dependent.  Undoing the done is very difficult and they have taken steps to encourage the farmers to produce.  There exist issues of trust, seed, fertilizer, equipment and logistical support, but the steps are important and if anything way overdue.

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On September 14, 2010, publisher wrote:

Appears as though there won’t be a vote on 4645 until after the mid-term elections on November 2 according to Reuters article.

With time running short on the congressional calendar, the best chance of passing a bill this year that lifts the U.S. ban on travel to Cuba and removes hurdles on food sales to the island is after the November 2 congressional elections, a top U.S. lawmaker said on Tuesday.

“I think this would be a candidate for a ‘lame duck’ session,” House of Representatives Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson said and that if the House doesn’t vote on the measure, it dies at the end of this year’s session and lawmakers would have to start over from scratch in the new Congress.

Apparently Speaker Pelosi “strongly supports” this bill. “We just need a couple of people and this thing is off to the races and we’re done,” Peterson said, predicting that it would clear the House and then also the Senate.