U.S.-Cuba policy: Time for reform, easing restrictions
Sun Sentinel, November 9, 2008
In his victory speech in
Five days before Obama spoke, national leaders at the Ibero-American Summit in
The week before, the UN General Assembly for the 17th time insisted with a virtually unanimous voice of 185-3 that the
All our friends and allies in the Caribbean, the Western Hemisphere, Europe and
It is not enough for the president-elect to take the humanitarian step of unrestricted visits and remittances by Cuban Americans.
If he wants to restore
Obama cannot end the embargo without Congress. But he can unlock the logjam in both countries by using his legal authority to restore in a non-discriminatory fashion the constitutional right to travel to every American who wants to make "non-tourist" visits.
By regulatory fiat, the Office of Foreign Assets Control in the Treasury Department can restore and expand by general license the kind of journeys that took place before 2004 by world affairs councils, museums, Elderhostel, Semester at Sea, religious and humanitarian groups, sports teams, musicians, artists, professional and business associations, students, alumni, people-to-people exchanges and serious individuals.
Most such trips were blocked by the Bush administration, ostensibly because they provided funds to
The cost of U.S. self-isolation was confirmed when Washington's role model for responsible hemispheric leadership, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, announced in Havana last week that Raúl Castro will travel to Brazil in December "to participate in the first meeting of Latin American and Caribbean nations, without interference from any other power."
John McAuliff is executive director, Fund for Reconciliation and Development, www.ffrd.org