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Friday, 29 March 2013

New campaign urges easing of US travel regs

Remember in 2011 President Obama was convinced to issue an executive order that liberalized the United States’ Cuba travel regulations?

This action expanded general licenses for US academic and religious travel and re-instated specific licenses for people-to-people travel.  

Well, the folks at the Washington-based latin America Working Group want to push the envelope even further this time and try to push President Obama into granting general licenses for ALL purposeful categories of travel, doing away with the laborious license application process through the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

Such a move would eliminate the majority of the bureaucratic red tape that prevents licensable travel to Cuba from actually happening. Representative Sam Farr (D-CA 20th) is leading this charge by circulating a “Dear Colleague” letter to members of the House of Representatives, asking them to join him in signing a letter to the President asking just that.

If you are a US citizen reading this blog:

Contact your House Representative TODAY to encourage her/him to sign on to Rep. Farr’s letter that supports granting general licenses for all of the current categories of travel to Cuba.

The next logical step that President Obama could take is (as the letter says) “[exercise his] executive authority to allow all current categories of permissible travel, including people-to-people, to be carried out under the general license.”

You can do YOUR part by clicking here to send a message to your member of Congress, asking her/him to sign Rep. Farr’s letter to the President. 

Now is the time! A year from now will be too late, as the country will already be in “election” mode and members of Congress will be thinking about what they can and can’t do to get re-elected. Sad, but true. It won’t happen without you. Your voice is important to your member’s vote and her/his priorities.

Contact Congress now and make this a priority.

Click here to read a copy of the "Dear Colleague" and the letter to President Obama. It is crucial that we act now to move forward with U.S.-Cuba policy before the opportunity is lost.

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