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U.S. Senators reintroduce freedom to travel to Cuba act

Two U.S. lawmakers, Jeff Flake (Republican) and Patric Leahy (Democrat), lead the bipartisan group of 54 senators who reintroduced the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act in the Senate.


26 de mayo de 2017 - Taken from Prensa Latina

Two U.S. lawmakers, Jeff Flake (Republican) and Patric Leahy (Democrat), lead the bipartisan group of 54 senators who reintroduced the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act in the Senate.

A press release from the coalition Engage Cuba noted that the act would eliminate the current restriction banning U.S. citizens from traveling to Cuba as tourists.

In addition, in light of the expected revision of the Cuba policy by the Donald Trump Administration, that legislation would totally and permanently deregulate U.S. citizens' travels to Cuba, the text added.

The two senators said in a communiqué that the bipartisan legislation would end the restrictions imposed by the 1996 and 2000 acts banning U.S. citizens and legal residents in that country from to the Caribbean island.

Such limitations, they say, do not exist for U.S. citizens' travels to other countries.

In the communiqué, Leahy, from Vermont, noted that the draft bill would also end the legal restrictions on travels, including banking prohibitions.

He pointed out that a bipartisan majority in the Senate agrees that the federal Government should not tell U.S. citizens where to go, especially if it is a small country 90 miles south of the state of Florida.

The ban is not justified in our national security or economic interests, he added.

At the same time, he admitted that although the draft bill would not lift the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by Washington on Cuba for more than 50 years, it would at least return U.S. citizens their right to freedom to travel.

As Engage Cuba recalled, U.S. citizens can visit Cuba under 12 categories, including authorized individuals or educational stays, as a result of which the demand for travels to Cuba has skyrocketed over the past two years.

However, Cuba is still the only country in the world where the U.S. government bans its citizens from traveling as tourists, he stressed.

Thursday's decision is a major step for the draft bill, previously introduced in Congress by eight sponsored, and supported now by 54 senators.

According to the coalition, which promotes the lifting of the U.S. blockade of Cuba, 81 percent of U.S. people favor travels to Cuba.

In addition to the overwhelming majority of the population, travel agencies, more than 100 agricultural organizations, the National Association of Manufacturers and experts in national security support the increase in travels to Cuba, the coalition said.


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