Dan Burton Flip-Flops on Cuba Travel Ban?


jesse helms.jpg
(Former Senator Jesse Helms was the partner of Dan Burton on Helms-Burton Law)
Perhaps it was too good to be true. Congressman Dan Burton — co-author of the Helms-Burton Law imposing extraterritorial sanctions law towards Cuba — seems to have reversed himself — or is at least seen to be flip-flopping this way and that — on relaxing the Cuba travel ban.
Burton told Cuban-American Iraq War veteran Carlos Lazo and Sarah Stephens, Executive Director of the Center for Democracy in the Americas, that he was supporting the Delahunt-LaHood bill removing travel restrictions for Cuban-Americans wishing to travel to Cuba.
I saw this as progress in the right direction — even though I believe that U.S. laws that discriminate among classes of Americans based on ethnic descent are probably unconstitutional. Such a law permitting travel restrictions to be lifted for Cuban-Americans while not all Americans seems to be discriminatory and would unfairly limit my human right to travel as compared to Cuban-Americans.
But that said, Congressman Burton did communicate his intention to support Congressman Delahunt’s and LaHood’s legislation.
What also accompanied Sarah Stephens’ press release yesterday was that Congressman Burton “had communicated” his position to both Congressmen Bill Delahunt (D-MA) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ), the latter a proponent of lifting the travel ban to Cuba without restrictions.
So, has anyone called Congressmen Flake and Delahunt to see if Dan Burton did what he said he did?
— Steve Clemons


3 comments on “Dan Burton Flip-Flops on Cuba Travel Ban?

  1. rapier says:

    Implicit in Helms-Burton is the requirement that all pre revolution land titles and deeds remain in force.
    This means that as the regeim collapses Cuban Americans, who probably hold title to 80% of Cuban land and property, will own Cuba.
    If Bush and the GOP were still in charge you can bet they would push this front and center. In any case any move to abandon those claim, which is an aboslute necessity if there is to be a peacefull and just reconcilliation there, will require the end of Helms Burton.
    Apparantly post Elian the Cuban community here has moderated significantly and it might be possible to change this law and get a consensus on this issue. We can only hope. It isn’t difficult to imagine the radical right stirring this up and causing terrible trouble.


  2. Matthew says:

    I guess the rule is we starve foreigners unless they have vocal American relatives. That’s called “humanitarian relief.”


  3. Wilson46201 says:

    Several years ago our progressive Congresslady Julia Carson from Indianapolis visited Cuba – the delegation met with Fidel Castro. He was astonished that Ms. Carson was from Indiana, the same state as Danny Burton. She had to explain not all Hoosiers supported Burton’s backward politics…


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