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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-01-06 11:41 AM
Original message
US Presbyterians call an end to Cuba travel restrictions
US Presbyterians call an end to Cuba travel restrictions -01/05/06

The moderator of the Presbyterian Church USA, Rick Ufford-Chase, who recently travelled to Cuba, has called for an end to the travel restrictions which, he says, isolate Christians from one another and maintain unnecessary tensions.

As the Bush administration continues to tighten the US trade embargo on the Cuba, students, academics, Cuban-Americans and religious groups are finding their travel increasingly restricted.

"We are asking the government of the United States to make more available licenses for religious leaders, because we think that it's more important than ever to be building strong relationships between these two churches," Ufford-Chase said recently during a six-day visit to the Caribbean island.

The State and Treasury departments have stopped issuing travel licenses to Cuba for church agencies and organizations engaging in mission work. The government is now issuing licenses that substantially restrict religious travel for denominations, while providing greater access to individual congregations.
(snip/...)

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/content/news_syndication/arti...
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CottonBear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-01-06 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
1. Is Presbyterian Church USA the liberal group?
Edited on Mon May-01-06 11:47 AM by CottonBear
There is also Presbyterian Church of America (PCA). I was raised Presbyterian but before the big split. I no longer attend so I've not kept up.
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-01-06 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Yes, PCUSA is the more liberal group
PCA is the conservative bunch.. i.e. no female ministers nor church officers.

I'm still PCUSA but have strayed recently. I'm looking for a less traditional church.
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CottonBear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-01-06 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. Thanks! I've been going to the local UU now and then.
I like UUs.

When I was a Presbyterian kid, there was never any political talk or social lectures (re: abortion & gays) from the pulpit. I didn't even know what gay was nor did I know about abortion (or birth control since my parents never talked to me about it) until I got to college.

I could never go to an intolerant church like PCA.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-01-06 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Dunno! I didn't hear there has been a split in the Presby. Church. n/t
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MountainLaurel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-01-06 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. Pretty much every major denom in the U.S.
Split during the Civil War over the issues of slavery and race.
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dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-01-06 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
4. I didn't realise
you could travel there under any circumstances at all unless they were going to bang you up it Gitmo for posting a message on DU.

Quite farcical really - Cuba is a very popular destination for UK tourists. I guess that's where they get a lot of their US$s from - UK and other Europeans on holiday. The place is far safer and far nicer than Cancun Mexico from I hear.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-01-06 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. That's the same report I've seen from DU'ers who traveled there
before the Bush last round of greater restrictions.

They have also stressed they felt completely safe there, anywhere on the island, and seem uniformly to love the place and the people.

I've heard Cuba travelers say they don't look forward to seeing the restrictions lifted, and Cuba's being overrun by crowds of Americans. They express a dread that they could really screw it up.
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Acadia Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-01-06 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
7. I thought they were liberal. They got up the ire of the evangelical
fundamentalists by trying to aid the Palestinians. They seem to support liberal causes. No church is entirely as liberal as we liberals would like except for UU or Unity, perhaps.
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-01-06 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
8. Does that include free travel for Cubans to the US?
Something about reciprocity that I find compelling.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-01-06 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Bush's administration denies most travel visa applications, as we've
read in the papers, some recently being posted in LBN. Cubans who used to travel to the U.S. regularly have learned they are being denied complete access to the places where they've been invited to appear, to attend, to speak, from union workers to scientists, doctors, educators.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-02-06 09:15 AM
Response to Original message
11. Meanwhile US gov steps up restrictions..
Edited on Tue May-02-06 09:18 AM by Mika
From last Saturday's Miami Herald..

Feds lay down the law on Cuba to travel agents
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/breaking_news...
In the midst of a widespread federal crackdown on illegal travel to Cuba, the U.S. Treasury Department met Friday in Miami with agencies that specialize in travel to Cuba to go over the rules they must follow to keep their licenses.

Since January, Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control has been auditing travel agencies and religious organizations that specialize in travel to Cuba. In the past few months, four of those agencies have had Cuba travel licenses suspended. Six religious organizations have also had their licenses suspended. The Foreign Assets Control office would not provide the names of the religious organizations.

At least one popular Cuba travel agency, ABC Charters, has seen travel to Cuba cut in half in the last few weeks, said ABC Vice President Maria Aral.

-

Earlier this week, a group of Cuban Americans united to denounce U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba.

The group, named Emergency Network of Cuban American Scholars and Artists for Change in U.S.Cuba Policy, or ENCASA, declared its commitment to fight the U.S. embargo of Cuba and the travel restrictions.


ENCASA's bold attack on U.S. policy comes just weeks before the Bush administration's Cuba commission will recommend ways to President Bush to help speed up a democratic transition on the island. The last time the Cuba commission issued a report, in 2004, the president heeded its advice and ordered sanctions to be tightened.


---

Also, this from Saturday's Miami Herald..




U.S. RULES FOR CUBA TRAVEL
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/local/1446067...
Cuban Americans and Cuban exiles can visit immediate family once every three years.

Aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins do not qualify as family.

Educational programs in Cuba for American students must run at least 10 weeks.

Banned: Travel hosted by Cuba that allowed Americans to travel by way of a third country so long as they did not spend money on the island.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-02-06 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. No act too low or too petty if it means Bush can use it to wield some
power over helpless victems' lives.

The first article you posted indicates Bush's agents are in Miami pouring over remittances the Cuban "exiles" have sent their loved ones in Cuba.

That's just dirty.

Thanks for the information, Mika. It's great learning there are Cuban "exiles" who don't support this Bush Cuba policy.
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