74 Cuban Democracy Activists Support Passage of Peterson Bill to Lift Travel Ban


This post, which originally appeared at The Havana Note, is a guest note by Tom Garofalo, a consultant for the New America Foundation/U.S.-Cuba Policy Initiative.
Seventy four of Cuba’s best known advocates of democracy released a letter today to “the Honorable Members of the United States Congress” expressing their full and unequivocal support for the Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act (H.R. 4645).
The signatories, including Guillermo Fari


12 comments on “74 Cuban Democracy Activists Support Passage of Peterson Bill to Lift Travel Ban

  1. Don Bacon says:

    from the web:
    Welcome to the office of the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service in Havana. Our mandate is to promote Canada’s trade and economic interests in Cuba, and as such, to support the efforts of Canadian companies who have selected Cuba as a target market for their products, services or technologies.
    Canada is number one in tourism in Cuba, with 400,000 Canadians visiting Cuba. Canada is number two in investment in Cuba, and annual trade with Cuba is $500 million dollars (2007).
    Cuba Travel USA provides travel services and information for people considering travel to Cuba. We offer hotel and flight information as well as reservations. Furthermore, we can tell you about activities available to you while in Cuba including Scuba diving, snorkeling hiking, fishing, golf, dancing, tours, etc. Learn about what to expect while in Cuba and get a more realistic version of Cuba/US relations than is typically portrayed in the US media. Nassau to Havana, Cancun to Havana and Grand Cayman to Havana flights


  2. samuelburke says:

    For forty frickin years the longstanding stance (embargo, total
    war) against Cuba has yielded nothing of substance to the
    United States. If at one point we hoped that, that policy would
    work, those days of hope are over, and whats left is a recognition
    that the embargo has been a failure.
    Congr. Connie Mack like most neocons of his stature just do not
    recognize that policy has to work to be successful, otherwise it is
    a waste of time and taxpayer money.
    this same policy has yielded nothing, thus it should be deemed
    worthless, and like all worthless things it ought to be discarded
    in favor of a friendlier posture that would create economic ties
    between Cuba and the United States, like it has occurred
    between the United States and China just to use a positive
    change or be changed.
    “Congr. Mack:


  3. David says:

    Not that high a percentage, Calvin, and a bigger problem is intellects that are victims of ideologies rather than fact-driven reason. There are fundamental beliefs that are a common bond for all of humanity. And then there are ideologies.
    I would say that the percentage who are intellectual lightweights would come to about 10%, and I would say about 1/3 are serious thinkers driven by the fact-based world. I would say that the 1/3 who otherwise might have potential are bounded by the electoral dynamics of the states they represent. I would have to go senator-by-senator, but neither being a lightweight nor corruption are our real problem. Ideology and lockstep political machines are, and the Republican Party is far and away the worse offender. That Lincoln Chaffee had to leave the Republican Party makes that point in bold type.
    That Charlie Crist was driven out of the Republican Party in Florida underscores it, but that was good because now, as an independent, Crist can do the right thing and veto the idiot bills the Florida Republican legislature is passing. He really has been liberated from the Republican machine, and it is all good.
    I do realize the various motivations that drive political figures, but ultimately they must be judged for the decisions they make. Ideologues are constrained by ideology from doing the right thing for the common body politic except when ideology accidentally lines up with what is right.
    Belief in essential goods that are common to all of us is not ideology. For example, tree huggers believe we should preserve ecosphere earth. That is not ideology, because that is a good for all humankind. Blind faith in the private sector to do the right thing is ideology, and it most certainly does not serve the common good. Cutting down the rainforests in the name of the economy is a perverse kind of economic ideology that does not serve the well being of the planet or its inhabitants.
    Rational persons who value comprehensive bodies of fact and subject them to reason come to a very straightforward conclusion: humankind cannot afford to lose the rainforests. The argument has no effect on business ideologues. We “need” cheap beef and cheap soybeans, and the folk who burn them down or cut them down “need the economic input.”
    We also must “support Israel no matter what.” Rational people see pretty clearly, based on facts, that what is occurring is unsustainable, and the common human values to which the vast majority of humans subscribe are that something must be just and our children are much better off when there is peace.
    There is a common non-ideological thread that supports the non-aggressor defending itself from the aggressor. There is also a common non-ideological thread that rejects brutality, environmental destruction, and an absence of essential human decency in any business’s or nation’s activities. Interesting how easily people can be manuevered into either not seeing that those common values are being violated or else can even be convinced to suspend those values for the exigencies of the moment.
    Perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps the actual common thread is me and mine. Reagan and company did, after all, enshrine greed as a good, and BP paying its shareholders before the people along the Gulf whose lives it has destroyed is its “moral” obligation to its shareholders.


  4. David says:

    I wanted to throw up when Connie Mack defeated Buddy MacKay for the US Senate. Connie Mack is an intellectual lightweight, no match for Jesse Ventura, who might be offbeat, but he has mental horsepower. Not sure about how cohesive it is or whether he supports any goofy notions, but I’m not at all surprised Connie Mack got schooled.


  5. Don Bacon says:

    Houston, we have a problem.
    Activists: “Those who oppose H.R. 4645 argue that lifting these restrictions would be a concession to the Cuban regime and a source of foreign income that could be used to repress the Cuban people.. . .It is true that these funds could also be used to support and even worsen repression.”
    Congr. Mack:


  6. samuelburke says:

    connie mack looked ridiculous in this exchange.
    thanks for posting Cee.


  7. Cee says:

    I enjoyed this exchange between Jesse Ventura and Connnie Mack.


  8. Don Bacon says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe that no other politician ever served as Secretary of State except Edmund Muskie, and he wasn’t long in the position.
    So now we have a politician who has been parked in State to sideline her politically. She’s occupied herself with denouncing half the world’s nations while waiting for another chance at the big one in case Obama slips and falls.
    Which means there won’t be any diplomatic progress anywhere, including Cuba, in the department where the motto is: Diplomacy in Action. Not only isn’t Clinton qualified in statecraft but diplomacy goes against her political instincts and it might prejudice her political future.
    We’ve just witnessed the diplomatic failure over Iran. Why would Cuba be different?


  9. YY says:

    Hearing Hillary’s recent hypocritical “denouncing” of the Honduras coup, and her advice about progressive taxation in the Americas, does not give a great deal of reassurance that this minute change at the top will be able to push back the intransigence of the established attitude towards Latin America. They really need to clean house before going visiting.


  10. David says:

    A reminder of how moronic US policy toward Cuba has been for most of my adult life, but as with the problem with US Middle East policies, domestic political dynamics, not common sense, dictate what can and cannot be done. But here, too, I think the winds are finally shifting. About effing time.


  11. Cato the Censor says:

    Nothing will happen as long as Fidel Castro lives. There’s no point in even thinking about any real change in Cuban-American relations until this happens. Obama is as timid on this issue as he is with everything else.


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