Monday, September 22, 2008

Last week's hearing

The post about last week’s Congressional hearing set off a long thread of comments among readers that are doing just fine defending their respective points of view. I’ll add just a few things.

It was a very thorough hearing, lasting six hours with about two hours of interruptions for votes in the House. It’s beyond dispute that all points of view were aired thoroughly, and at length. The hearing was about the Administration’s Cuba family sanctions – but the entire discussion was in the context of the suffering caused by the hurricanes, and what the United States should do.

In response to a reader’s question: Yes, Ninoska Perez was definitely there. Her statement, along with almost all the other witnesses’ statements, is here.

Unless I missed something, I don’t think anyone used the Secretary of Commerce’s ridiculous argument that people in Cuba have no use for cash. There was plenty of debate about remittances and family assistance, from all angles. The chairman, Rep. Delahunt, has now introduced a bill to suspend the family sanctions (visits, remittances, gift parcels) for six months; his bill does not include the additional provision (included in Senator Dodd’s legislation) to allow a six-month period where Cuba could buy goods that can be used in home repair.

From my point of view, I would love to see the family sanctions suspended or repealed, but I see no possibility that the President will do that, and only a slim chance that Congress will do so in the final week of its session, as it prepares to debate a trillion-dollar program to address the financial crisis.


Anonymous said...

I agree. I don't see Bush agreeing to it and Congress is way to busy with the huge bail out.

Anonymous said...

Sad day. We need to visit nuestra familia,....! babalu won't let us.

Tyranny in cuba (and USA) reign on.

family trumps politics. Those against family restrictions have NO family in Cuba (most probably don't even speak proper spanish).

I would love to see survey break down for this.

leftside said...

The US can give as much money as they'd like to Cuba - through international aid agencies. All the rest is posturing.