Monday, March 30, 2009

Will Obama change travel regulations?

The Washington Post previews a Tuesday press conference where Senate sponsors of a bill to end U.S. travel restrictions will make their case. The bigger news may be in the fourth paragraph:

Although the decision is not yet final, Obama is expected to further loosen remaining travel restrictions for all Americans by the time he goes to the April 17-19 Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago, senior administration officials said. Such restrictions were first imposed in 1961 and have been progressively tightened since then. Removing all sanctions requires congressional action, but one senior official said that Treasury has wide leeway to ease the licensing requirements that limit travel.


Anonymous said...

the Post article is interesting in exposing the desperation of the Cuban-American politicians. Menendez is the worst, and shows just how bi-partisan the ridiculous American policies towards cuba have been.
most revealing was the comment that ending restrictions would 'defuse' the tensions with the Cuban population, and that's key to fostering political change.
After 50 fricking years these morons are still talking that way? unbelievable. here is the root of US policy revealed (as the state dept admitted in the early 60s) The embargo et al is designed simply to harm the cuban people, to make their lives so miserable that they will rise up and overthrow their government. And of course once that happens he and his lot will swoop in and re-impose american influence in cuba. Imperial interference at its worst. Menendez should be thrown out of his party and go join the hard rightwingnuts. and of course he will never acknowledge that it is exactly that attitude the Cuban government uses to justify its hardline policies towards criticism and opposition. Menendez should be ashamed to call himself Cuban when he so blithely continues to support policies that do nothing but harm his countrymen, while he is safe and sound in the US. he is gusano personified.
hopefully tuesday's press conference will move the process of ending the travel restrictions one step further, and the sooner Menendez and his lot are tossed into the trash can of history (ironic isn't it) the better.

Anonymous said...

Menendez is full of lies, lies lies.

He says things without evidence.

The dude has never even been to Cuba. He is a disgrace to my nationality. He is not pro-cuban people, that's what I most object to...

All of my real cuban friends, young and old, living in Cuba would not agree with 80 percent of what Menendez says. He lies, they want change, but realize a blowhard liar when they see one.
I mean look at Yoani, she despises the embargo and argues it has hurt cuba's chance for freedom.

Anonymous said...

He promised unrestricted travel for families. That's what I expect.

Anonymous said...

the embargo's stated intent is to hurt the cuban people so much that they will rise up against their government; its result is the Cuban government consistently uses the embargo, and all other American aggressive policies, to justify their repression on grounds of national security. the Cuban-Americans want the embargo in place with the hope the current regime will be destroyed, not reformed, and that will provide them the opportunity to influence and possibly even direct a post-castro government, with them of course in the position of powerbrokers. How much they care about the suffering of the Cuban people -- nada.

leftside said...

Wow. I guess there is something to that Key West Obama rumor. Now my wife will let us go back to Cuba. Can't wait. Unless someone like Menendez gets in the way.

It will be significant if the White House decides to make the change rather than wait for the legislative Bill - which clearly has the votes as well. If Obama decides to pre-empt the move I think it says that the Administration felt the pressure from the region's political leaders in recent months had to be responded to in a pretty serious way. They also did not want the issue to dominate the Summit headlines, as Phil pointed out.

The move may just be big enough to get the Cubans to realize the ball has finally moved a few feet towards their side of the court. Still, if anyone in the State Department is expecting Cuba to change their Constitution, they better not hold their breath.

Anonymous said...

why would cuba agree to negotiate their constitution as the US demands? could you imagine the US agreeing to negotiate their constitution based on demands from another country? (there's a little insight into power politics in relations to the third world) the hypocrisy, the irony seems so obvious, to all except those who want to continue to support American policies towards Cuba. too bad, such a waste.