A Very Good Move: Obama to Lift Some Cuban-American Travel Restrictions

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By Mike Griffith, Staff Writer

President Obama deserves high praise for being willing to do what should have been done years ago: Lift the travel and monetary restrictions on Cuban-Americans who have relatives in Cuba.  Last week the White House indicated that the President will soon lift these longstanding restrictions, so that Cuban-Americans can visit their relatives in Cuba as often as they wish and can send them unlimited amounts of money.

This is both the right thing to do and the smart thing to do.  It will improve our relations with Cuba and her people, it will bring families closer together, and it will provide needed humanitarian assistance to a good number of Cuban citizens, many of whom live in poverty that most Americans can’t fathom.

     

From an article in the Wall Street Journal:

President Barack Obama plans to lift longstanding U.S. restrictions on Cuba, a senior administration official said, allowing Cuban-Americans to visit families there as often as they like and to send them unlimited funds.

The gesture, which could herald more openness with the Castro regime, will fulfill a campaign promise and follows more modest action in Congress this year to loosen travel rules.

The president has authority to loosen the restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba on his own. The new rules will affect an estimated 1.5 million Americans who have family members in Cuba. Other Americans are allowed to travel to Cuba but only if they qualify through certain cultural, educational and other programs.

President Obama doesn’t intend to call for lifting of the trade embargo against Cuba, which would require congressional action, nor is any specific diplomatic outreach contemplated, the official said.

Personally, I think it’s time to end this silly, counter-productive embargo against Cuba.  I hope President Obama decides to push for ending the embargo.  If he does, I, for one, will be writing my Congressman and Senators urging them to support him in this effort.

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