Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Blog: U.S.-Cuba people-to-people partnership

Yesterday, John McAuliff launched a new and very informative blog, U.S.-Cuba people-to-people partnership, covering the nuances of the Obama administration's new opening in people-to-people travel between the U.S. and Cuba.

I recommend that Cuba-watchers follow it - especially over the next few weeks as OFAC (the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control) translates Obama's executive order into actual law.

In a post yesterday at The Havana Note, McAuliff asks a good question:

Will OFAC function as a traffic cop or an enabler of travel?

Other important nuances and "devil-in-the-details" questions are laid out here.

McAuliff is the tireless executive director of the Fund for Reconciliation and Development, an organization that advocates for the normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba (growing out of a similar push to normalize relations with Vietnam).  There's not a lecture, concert, open forum, or conference concerning Cuba in the past 5 years where I haven't run into him promoting freedom of travel and an end to the embargo.

It seems his efforts (and those of others) are bearing some hard-earned fruit despite the tough political environment.

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