Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Vamos a Cuba? Un paso adelante

While its just a first step, today's successful committee vote to allow all US citizens the right to travel freely to Cuba is a long-delayed and hard-won step in the right direction.

While our policy has long been misdirected only at punishing the Cuban regime, the goal of US policy should be to help the Cuban people become the agents of their own futures. Cubans need more oxygen and exposure to the outside world, not less.

And while more Yumas on Cuba's streets, bars, living rooms, and, yes, beaches, will not bring "freedom and democracy" to the island, it will send a clear signal that the main cause of the country's many problems are to be found within its borders, not with the hated Yanqui Tio Sam in Washington or Miami.

June 30, 2010

Dear Friends:

This afternoon the House Agriculture Committee voted 25-20 to report the "Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act" (H.R. 4645) to the floor with a favorable recommendation!

Passage today was an important first step toward bringing the bill to a vote on the House floor.

The bipartisan bill, crafted by Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN) along with Rep. Jerry Moran (R-KS), enjoys broad support from a coalition of more than 130 organizations including business (U.S. Chamber and National Foreign Trade Council), agriculture (National Farmers Union and American Farm Bureau Federation), foreign policy think tanks (Council on Foreign Relations, Cato Institute, Brookings Institution), defenders of human rights (The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, AFL-CIO, Human Rights Watch), and many others.

"This bill, which will put more American food on Cuba's tables, and put more American visitors on Cuba's streets, will be good for our economy and provide needed support for the Cuban people," said Sarah Stephens, executive director of the Center for Democracy in the Americas. "The U.S. needs a new Cuba policy, and the Peterson-Moran bill is a decisive change in the right direction."

Congratulations and thank you to advocates of opening Cuba travel for all, Cuba Central followers and everyone else who helped get this bill through the committee. With your help, we'll start pushing for a vote on the floor now!

- The Cuba Central Team
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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