Lift the Travel Ban to Cuba

With the dawn of a new administration in the United States, the time to lift the travel ban to Cuba has come. The nearly 50 year trade embargo’s time has past and the United States Government needs to ease the restrictions on Americans who wish or do travel to the island nation only 90 miles from Florida. The passing of the failed Bush Administration and the impending closing of the utterly ridiculous Guantanamo Bay prison camp is a start but we need more. Hundreds of thousands of Americans, both illegally and legally travel to the island every year. They risk civil penalties and fines upon return to the United States if they sneak into the country illegally and if they seek permission from the US Government then they risk being told no. This to me is ridiculous. It is ridiculous that you may face fines if we, as American citizens-the freedom capital of the world travel to a place that’s 90 miles from the United States. It is unfair, un-American and the threat from Cuba is not what it used to be. The Bay of Pigs was nearly 50 years ago and the Soviet Union is no longer together. The time has come for President Obama to allow Americans to travel freely to this island that time forgot.

I am not a Cuban American but if I was, I would only be able to travel to Cuba once every three years to visit family that may be residing on the island. American airlines offers flights from Miami to Havana for $600, which is out of the price range of many Cuban-Americans that wish to travel there and it’s a little expensive for a 45 minute flight. You constantly hear stories about how people of Cuban descent have children whom have never met their grandparents who still live on the island. This is ridiculous to me.

As the story goes, if you want to enter Cuba without dealing with bureaucracy of the US Government, you generally enter through Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, Caymans or Venezuela. This is not the most attractive option and at the same time you will be worried that you may be fined upon your return to the States. Again, it’s hard for me to fathom the my government does not allow for us to travel freely.

The argument that we would be supporting a Totalitarian Regime seems ridiculous at this point. Cuba is a very poor place and Fidel Castro is no longer President. His brother who is also in his late 70’s is more open to talks with the US and should be approached by our government. The notion of supporting a regime like Cuba seems a bit trite as well considering all the other regimes that we have funded and supported throughout the years such as Saddam Hussein in Iraq and certainly Bin Laden in Afghanistan-look where that has got us.

I hate red tape and I hate restrictions on my freedom. The time has come to lift the travel ban for American citizens to Cuba. If change has come to America then I hope it comes to our full freedoms as well. We are capable of making our own decisions about where we travel and if nothing else, Cuban Americans should be able to travel to see their families when they want to without being hassled or shaken down by the airlines.

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  1. I hate the goverment for the restrictions as well. I hope Obama does reverse this injustice toward the American people.

  2. Agreed. To make matters worse, just yesterday, a Federal Appeals Court upheld a decision by the Miami-Dade School board to remove a children’s book entitled “Vamos a Cuba” from the public schools libraries’ circulation. So, not only can those grandchildren not visit their grandparents, but they can’t even read about their own heritage. Apparently the Board felt that the book did not “depict reality.” Or at least, the reality they would like portrayed.

  3. Henry Gomez says

    Yeah, why let a little thing like human rights get in the way of a GREAT VACATION?

    Cuba esclava!

  4. Why is it only Cuba? Human rights are a global issue and the Government of the United States has the right to sanctions in the form of aide, etc. but not to tell citizens where they can and cannot go. There are so many places out there where human rights have been an issue forever and way worse than Cuba yet we are still able to make our own decisions and decide if we would like to visit or not.

    I’m not an advocate of the Cuban Government, Communism or their policies or record on human rights, I’m simply an advocate of people being able to make their own decisions about where they go and how often, especially to see their families.

  5. Simply put, the only current communitst threat is North Korea(officially known as the Democratic People\’s Republic of Korea), and the ban against Cuba should have ended no later than the early 90s due to the fact that once the USSR was gone, Cuba had no means of outside support. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba essentially became ineffective.

  6. Havana Tours says

    Very informative post. Havana is a widest city of Caribbean. In our daily boring life this is a idyllic destination for tourist. Caribbean warm waters create fantastic atmosphere. In North American Mafia gambling is a very famous, this land have many diffrent flavours. Havana has diverse cultural activities like salsa, mambo, Havana club rum, mural paintings. Havana lacks generated spectacular Paris or the amazing location of Rio de Janeiro. Real beauty of this land is streets of the neighborhood Centro Havana or Vedado.

  7. Upon entering Cuba I was “shocked” to see the Cuban customs agents wearing black fishnets and spiked high heels. The tourists were immediatelly ripped off at the currency exchange, and it was genral knowledge that there is different currency for the locals. The male hotel staff was just waiting for ANY single female traveller to latch onto to depart the country via marriage. Many you local women have their “occupations” chosen by the lonely male tourists. There is generally an armed police officer at the beach where motorized boats are offered. Key West is 90 miles away.
    The local people were the nicest and happiest of all the people I have encountered on my many many travels.They had nothing, but they would give us everything. I felt safer in Cuba than i did in Jamaica or St Lucia and yes I travelled with my Rolex and came back with it.
    The restriction on travel is like a mosquito at sunset time. A nuissance to be slapped.
    Anyway its probably going to get lifted once the US gets a Latino for Presidente; and thats going to be relatively soon in my opinion.

  8. Great comment Lee. I could not agree more. I spent three weeks traveling through Cuba, and met many Cubans. They are very friendly people who are the ones who are hurt in the end by the embargo. And I can’t imagine how the U.S. can seriously consider Cuba a threat any more.

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