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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:51 AM
Original message
US congressmen in rare Cuba trip
Ten US congressmen are travelling to Cuba in what is thought to be the largest such delegation to visit since Fidel Castro took power in 1959.

Members of the bipartisan group favour the easing of US sanctions on Cuba.

It has not been confirmed whether they are to meet the acting Cuban leader, Raul Castro, who has recently expressed an interest in improving ties.

---

The US delegation will spend three days in Cuba, during which time members are due to meet several high-ranking Cuban officials.

BBC
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:56 AM
Response to Original message
1. no names in the article...
anyone know who these 10 are?
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. 10 repubs and 1Dem(Delahunt)
Delahunt heads to Cuba for talks
By KAREN JEFFREY
STAFF WRITER
U.S. Rep. William Delahunt will be among a group of 10 Republican and Democratic congressmen traveling to Cuba tomorrow in what they hope will become the first step in normalizing relations.





''It's time to engage in discussion about issues that separate Cuba and the U.S.,'' said Delahunt, D-Mass., a strong critic of the Bush administration's policies toward the island nation.

Delahunt said the 10-member delegation is expected to return Sunday after meeting with Cuba's legislative and economic leaders. It will be the largest contingent of U.S. officials to visit Cuba in recent memory.

http://www.capecodonline.com/cctimes/delahuntheads14.ht...
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saracat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. 6 Dems and 4 repugs!
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 06:11 AM
Response to Reply #11
17. oops, my bad
The 10-member delegation comprises Democrats Hilda Solis, Bill Delahunt, James McGovern, Jane Harman, Gregory Meeks and Lincoln Davis and Republicans Jeff Flake, Jo Ann Emerson, Mike Conaway and Jerry Moran, US officials said.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20061216/ts_alt_afp/cubausp...
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PuraVidaDreamin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 06:31 AM
Response to Reply #17
24. Wouldn't it be nice if McGovern could get Delahunt to sign on HR4232
We keep telling Delahunt they control the purse strings.
And he just keeps refusing to understand this!

December 29 Die-in in Mr.D's office!
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PsN2Wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:59 AM
Response to Original message
2. But Cuba has bad communists
unlike the good communists we currently embrace in China and VietNam.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. ooohhh -- i'm scairt. that castro fella
is mighty, mighty close to god-blessed murica.
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brentspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:13 AM
Response to Original message
5. The U.S. needs to restore trade with Cuba, Castro's atrocities notwithstanding
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lpbk2713 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:15 AM
Response to Original message
6. The Capitalist Brigade is getting its foot in the door


waiting for Fidel to kick off at any moment.


Normalizing relations with Cuba ''presents multiple opportunities for us. There are an abundance of economic opportunities for Americans in Cuba, including for businesspeople and farmers, Delahunt said.




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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 07:52 AM
Response to Reply #6
18. Only on Cuba's terms.
Cuba does have a fully functional government ya know.

Just because the wingnuts constantly mewl 'Castro this' and 'Castro that' doesn't make it so.

Cuba's government has been seeking normalized relations for 47 years, and when that does eventually happen it will be on terms agreed to by Cuba's government and people.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
7. I found an article which says 6 Democrats, 6 Republicans:Congress Members Head to Cuba
Congress Members Head to Cuba
With Fidel Castro Ailing, Some Say There May Be Chance for Thaw in Relations
By MARC FRANK


HAVANA, Dec. 14, 2006 The largest U.S. congressional delegation to visit Cuba since President Fidel Castro came to power in 1959 travels to Havana on Friday for a firsthand look at the Communist nation.

Reps. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and William Delahunt, D-Mass., are leading the ten-member delegation of house members six Democrats and four Republicans that has scheduled meetings with top Cuban leaders and may see acting President Ral Castro before returning home on Sunday.
(snip)

The 20-member Cuba Working Group believes engagement, not sanctions, will work better in dealing with Cuba, especially in the post-Castro era, and that the Democrats' victory in the midterm congressional elections provides an opportunity to overcome the Bush administration's opposition to engaging Havana.

The bipartisan coalition plans to introduce legislation in 2007 that would loosen restrictions on Cuban-Americans traveling to Cuba and helping their families, and perhaps addressing other issues.

The group will also meet with U.S. and European diplomats, Cardinal Jaime Ortega, the president of the Central Bank, and officials in charge of importing U.S. agricultural products under an amendment to the U.S. trade embargo as well as oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico.
(snip/...)

http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=2726680&pa...
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saracat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. 6 Dems 4 Gop. Right in article!
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:14 PM
Response to Original message
8. After years of setbacks, embargo opponents see glimmer of hope
Posted on Thu, Dec. 14, 2006
After years of setbacks, embargo opponents see glimmer of hope
By Pablo Bachelet

McClatchy Newspapers
(MCT)

WASHINGTON - The Democrats' capture of Congress and Cuban leader Fidel Castro's illness have dramatically altered the battle lines over Cuba policy and given new hope to opponents of U.S. sanctions.

"There's a re-energizing of the base of people who want to work to change this policy," said Mavis Anderson of Butterfield, Minn., the head of the Cuba program for the Latin America Working Group, a left-leaning advocacy organization based in Washington. "Outside of Congress, certainly people are excited that there may be some new openings. Inside the Congress, I think that will come."
(snip)

On top of that perfect-storm scenario, a report last month by the watchdog Government Accountability Office questioned the efficiency of U.S. democracy programs to support dissidents on the island, giving more fuel to foes who argue that a change in policy is overdue.

"If you're a hard-liner on policy toward Cuba, things are not looking very good for you," said Tomas Bilbao, the executive director of the Cuba Study Group, a centrist nonpartisan organization in Miami and Washington that promotes new ideas on Cuba policy.
(snip)

"People are talking about Cuba again," said Sarah Stephens, the director of the Freedom to Travel Campaign, an organization that seeks to overturn the travel ban against U.S. citizens. She said the group had confirmed meetings with Cuban National Assembly President Ricardo Alarcon and Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque, and that it might meet with Cuba's interim leader, Raul Castro.
(snip/...)

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/politic...
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
9. UPI:U.S. lawmakers heading to Cuba
U.S. lawmakers heading to Cuba

HAVANA, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- A group of 10 U.S. congressmen who favor easing the embargo on Cuba is scheduled to visit the communist island, the BBC reported Friday.

The bipartisan group of lawmakers will reportedly meet with senior Cuban officials though it is unclear whether they will talk with interim Cuban leader Raul Castro.

Raul Castro, who recently said he was interested in improving U.S.-Cuban relations, assumed authority from his brother Fidel Castro this year when the 80-year-old Cuban president underwent gastro-intestinal surgery.

The BBC said the delegation of six Democrats and four Republicans were to arrive on Cuba Friday and would spend three days on the island.
(snip/)

http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/view.php?StoryID=20061215-...
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pfitz59 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:35 PM
Response to Original message
10. Winter break...tropical breezes....
Fact-finding my ass! They're gonna party!
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:27 PM
Response to Original message
13. Mother Jones commentary: After Castro: Who Wants a Piece of Cuba?
After Castro: Who Wants a Piece of Cuba?

Washington Dispatch: It's not just the exiles that have their sights on Havana. As Fidel Castro nears death, a look at past and future American policy towards the island nation he has ruled for fifty years.

By James Ridgeway
December 15, 2006

With Fidel Castro at death's door, Miami is frothing at the mouth. The authorities are bracing for the worst, anticipating that the leader's death could send an armada of row boats into the seas between Miami and Cuba as some exiles rush home to reclaim lost businesses and properties while others aim to foment a guerrilla war against the weakened regime. "The message we want to send is, 'Do not throw yourself to the waters,'" Amos Rojas Jr., the South Florida regional director of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said yesterday. "'Be patient, the trip is very dangerous.'"

What happens in Cuba when Castro dies is in no way predictable. The nation's economy is closely tied into an economic coalition with Venezuela and China. In addition to Cuba's important supplies of nickel, used in the manufacture of various types of specialty steels, there are solid signs of an oil field off the island's north coast. If so, energy independence could be in sight. (In fact, the Caribbean is becoming something of an energy trove. Trinidad is the center of a major gas field which currently is providing gas for LNG shipments to the east coast of the U.S. where the demand for gas is steadily increasing.)
(snip)

A State Department analysis in April 1960 said that since "the majority of Cubans support Castro, the only foreseeable means of alienating internal support is through disenchantment and disaffection based on economic dissatisfaction and hardship." To weaken the economic life of Cuba there was a need to take a "positive position which would call forth a line of action while as adroit and inconspicuous as possible makes the greatest inroads in denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government."

The policy didn't work. After 46 years of ceaseless machinations to kill or topple Castro, the U.S. has gotten nowhere. In 2004, the Bush administration's Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba put out a report that insisted the Castro government was about to collapse, after which a U.S. transition team could effect an occupation and remake the place in the democratic image of the U.S. just like in Iraq.
(snip/...)

http://www.motherjones.com/washington_dispatch/2006/12/...

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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Wayne Smith comments on the failed embargo...
From the article:

...A State Department analysis in April 1960 said that since "the majority of Cubans support Castro, the only foreseeable means of alienating internal support is through disenchantment and disaffection based on economic dissatisfaction and hardship." To weaken the economic life of Cuba there was a need to take a "positive position which would call forth a line of action while as adroit and inconspicuous as possible makes the greatest inroads in denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government."

The policy didn't work. After 46 years of ceaseless machinations to kill or topple Castro, the U.S. has gotten nowhere. In 2004, the Bush administration's Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba put out a report that insisted the Castro government was about to collapse, after which a U.S. transition team could effect an occupation and remake the place in the democratic image of the U.S. just like in Iraq.

However, as Wayne Smith, a former U.S. diplomat who served in Cuba and who has extensive knowledge of U.S.-Cuban relations, noted, instead of collapsing, the Cuban economy "has shown strong signs of reinvigoration. Even the CIA gives it a growth rate of 8 percent."


CIP's Wayne Smith and Eloy Guitierrez Menoyo, former political prisoner in Cuba and head of "Cambio Cubano"
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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:45 PM
Response to Original message
15. Pics and names of MOC in Cuba....

US congressman Jeff Flake (R) walks next to Demitra Pappas, spokesperson of the US interests in Cuba, at a hotel in Havana. The largest group of US legislators to visit communist-ruled Cuba arrived in Havana for meetings with top Cuban officials, days after Raul Castro extended an olive branch to the United States.(AFP)


US congressmen William Delahunt (D) and Jeff Flake walk through a hotel in Havana. The largest group of US legislators to visit communist-ruled Cuba arrived in Havana for meetings with top Cuban officials, days after Raul Castro extended an olive branch to the United States.(AFP)


Congresswoman Hilda Solis arrives at the Feminist Majority Foundation's Inaugural Global Women's Rights Awards April 2005 in Beverly Hills, California. Solis is part of the largest US legislative group to visit communist-ruled Cuba, which was due in Havana for meetings with top Cuban officials Friday less than two weeks after Raul Castro extended an olive branch to the United States.(AFP/Getty Images/File/Michael Buckner)


Democrat U.S. congressman Lincoln Davis (R) and Democrat U.S. congressman Gregory Meeks arrive with fellow U.S. legislators for a meeting with Pedro Alvarez, head of Cuba's food import agency Alimport, in Havana December 15, 2006. Davis and Meeks are members of a delegation of ten Republican and Democrat representatives for a three day visit to Cuba. The legislators are leading advocates of easing sanctions against Cuba in the U.S. Congress. REUTERS/Claudia Daut (CUBA)


Republican U.S. congressman Mike Conaway (L) walks with Republican U.S. congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson as they arrive for a meeting with fellow U.S. legislators and head of Cuba's food import agency Alimport Pedro Alvarez in Havana December 15, 2006. Conaway and Emerson are members of a delegation of 10 Republican and Democratic representatives for a three day visit to Cuba. The legislators are leading advocates of easing sanctions against Cuba in the U.S. Congress. REUTERS/Claudia Daut (CUBA)


U.S. Congresswomen Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo, right, and Jane Harman, D-Cal, center, walk along an unidentified man at the National Hotel in Havana, Friday, Dec.15, 2006. A delegation of American lawmakers arrived to Cuba Friday, following leadership shifts on the island and in the U.S. Congress that open new possibilities for change in U.S. policies. (AP Photo/ Javier Galeano)


Democratic U.S. congressman Jim McGovern (R) and other U.S. legislators arrive at a hotel in Havana December 15, 2006. McGovern is a member of a delegation of 10 Republican and Democratic representatives for a three day visit to Cuba. The legislators are leading advocates of easing sanctions against Cuba in the U.S. Congress. REUTERS/Claudia Daut (CUBA)




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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #15
19. These photos are excellent. It's a historical event when that many
U.S. Gummint people all arrive there at the same time, in good faith (I hope). I think the Democrats are operating in good faith, of course. They've been coming and going to Havana for years, now, as well as a few Republicans.

The stormy day heightens the sense of drama, doesn't it?

Figures Bush's Interests Section operative is walking with Flake. I would hope Flake is bright enough after years of working on breaking the travel ban, to know when he is being coerced, and manipulated to support Bush's Miami-directed Cuba policy.

I'm really glad Hilda Solis has decided to join this group. The Democrats won't be obligated to wait for a Bush administration translator's version, with her help. The caption under her photo says they are all showing up less than two weeks after Raul Castro "extended an olive branch." Very cool.

Good luck to them all. Can't wait to hear their report.

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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Group photo of delegation in Havana and more...
Photo of delegation with Foreign Minister Perez-Roque, a very bright man who just 34 when appointed foreign minister in 1999. Perez Roque previously spent seven years overseeing Castro's personal schedule, becoming intimately familiar with the leader's thinking. A short, stocky man with a ready grin, Perez Roque kept a cool head and grabbed the microphone to calm tens of thousands of Cubans in 2001 when Castro fainted briefly during a speech.


Cuba's Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque, third right, poses for a photo with U.S lawmakers before their meeting in Havana, Saturday, Dec.16, 2006. A delegation of American lawmakers arrived to Cuba Friday, following leadership shifts on the island and in the U.S. Congress that open new possibilities for change in U.S. policies. (AP Photo/ Javier Galeano)

<clips>

...The 10-member delegation comprises Democrats Hilda Solis, Bill Delahunt, James McGovern, Jane Harman, Gregory Meeks and Lincoln Davis and Republicans Jeff Flake, Jo Ann Emerson, Mike Conaway and Jerry Moran, US officials said.

The lawmakers were due to meet with Cuban assembly speaker Ricardo Alarcon, also the top Cuban official for US affairs; Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque; central bank president Francisco Soberon; and Minister of Basic Industry and Communist Party official Yadira Garcia, Cuban sources said.

Authorities did not rule out a meeting with interim leader Raul Castro or Vice President Carlos Lage, organizers of the visit said privately.

"I believe this is the largest delegation of US members of Congress to come to Cuba," Flake said on arrival to the Hotel Nacional in Havana.

"We hope to be able to meet with official and others, and hopefully a large new era" in the US relationship with Cuba, he said.

The Arizona Republican said there was "a significant majority in the US Congress that wish to engage in dialogue."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20061216/ts_alt_afp/cubausp...


{i]U.S. Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo, center, and Congressman William Delahunt, D-Mass, left, talk to Cuba's Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque before their meeting in Havana, Saturday, Dec.16, 2006. A delegation of American lawmakers arrived to Cuba Friday, following leadership shifts on the island and in the U.S. Congress that open new possibilities for change in U.S. policies. (AP Photo/ Javier Galeano)



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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:34 PM
Response to Original message
16. Congress Trip to Cuba: A Salute to Congressman Jeff Flake (R-AZ) , Delahunt (D-MA)
and their eight colleagues.

From COHA:

<clips>

The Bush administration has let it be known that the President would use his first veto since taking office to block any move to normalize relations with Havana. For Bush, the subject is non-negotiable, not because of Cuban intractability, but because of its financial and political ties to Miamis Cubans. But, now the ten-member bipartisan delegation of the House is currently in Cuba beating a different drum. Increasingly, due to Cubas growing economic and political ties with a score of countries, such as Venezuela, China and Russia, in addition to a widening acceptance of Havanas credentials throughout Latin America, the White House must today deal with the possibility of becoming isolated from the rest of the world, rather than Havana. Since the Bush administration faces a steady attrition of its world backers from its Cuba policy, save for its Miami boosters, it would be more prudent of them to look towards its Iraqi diplomacy and become more open to tolerating comprehensive settlements within a regional context, rather than the usually far more problematic task of staging bilateral talks.

Just as the Middle Eastern difficulties are often far too complex to be diffused by one-on-one talks, the same might be even more true when it comes to Cuba, and thus may invite the tragedy of failed negotiations. But, a comparison between these two regions of the world should remind us that Washingtons problems with its hemispheric neighbors transcend the bad blood that it possesses towards Cuba. Many other aspects of its policy are being challenged by other Latin American nations, based on issues such as trade, drug-trafficking, terrorism, interventionism, debt management and immigration issues.

These problems spring from contaminated U.S.-Latin American relations that were at their near low point ever since the end of World War II. This was brought about by two streams of development. The first was an ongoing trend of neglect and abusive behavior sanctioned by Washington due to its preoccupation of the prolonged Iraqi conflict. Another factor was the U.S. demand for nations in the region to join the Coalition of the Willing to participate in the war against the Taliban and Iraqi insurgents. Because of these factors, a number of nations in the Western Hemisphere were able to slip out of Washingtons embrace in favor of their new, non-traditional and pluralized relationships with nations throughout the world, some of which already share strained ties with the Bush administration.

As opportunities for Latin America to assert its autonomy from the U.S. expand, including the strengthening of links to new trading partners, Washington repeatedly enforces pressure tactics and purportedly has been conducting acts of intervention in almost every part of the hemisphere. The origins of this policy of harassment and threats were laid down by the Bush administrations first head of its State Department Bureau for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Otto Reich, whose aggressive, if not offensive style, eventually induced the White House to replace him with another hard-right Miami approved ideologue, Roger Noriega.


http://www.coha.org/2006/12/15/congress-trip-to-cuba-a-... /

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 10:56 AM
Response to Original message
20. Experts predict Cuba detente
Posted on Sat, Dec. 16, 2006
Experts predict Cuba detente
Congressional power shift might open U.S. relations with island; opponents say not yet
BRIAN NEILL
Herald Staff Writer

~snip~
Those like Kirby Jones, president of the U.S.-Cuba Trade Association and Alamar Associates, a company that facilitates trade between U.S. businesses and Cuba, said the time has come to lift tourism and trade embargoes against the country. He believes the right players are in place to make that happen.

Jones said his association ranked incoming committee leaders in the Senate and House according to their past voting records and openness to lifting the Cuba embargo.

The majority of those incoming members would be in favor of lifting sanctions, Jones believes. If such a measure were attached to a broader bill, he believes the initiative could sidestep a veto by President Bush.

"I think there are a number of constituencies, which have been cut out of travel to Cuba, who are interested in measures to open up travel," Jones said. "I think we're going to see a number of efforts both in the House and the Senate.

"You're going to see members proposing changes. I think you're going to see hearings for the first time. I am more optimistic than I have been before."
(snip)

"I think that as long as Mel Martinez is in the United States Senate and George W. Bush is in the White House, it is completely impossible to make any changes on Cuba policy or pass any legislation that would lift the embargo," Rivera said. "I cannot imagine with these gentlemen in the U.S. Senate that any efforts to lift the sanctions would be successful. Remember, the senators still have power of filibuster. Even if a bill ever reached the floor, I would imagine Mel Martinez would filibuster it to death."
(snip/...)

http://www.bradenton.com/mld/bradenton/16251958.htm



Rep. David Rivera!


Rep. Rivera is one of South Florida's great minds. :eyes: He has a plan to discourage Cuban "exiles" from going back to Cuba on trips:
This week, Rivera proposed a bill for the 2005 legislative session that would penalize Floridians who travel to Cuba legally by stripping them of food stamps, state health insurance and housing assistance.
(snip)
http://www.sptimes.com/2004/08/27/Decision2004/Bush_s_C...
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 02:51 AM
Response to Original message
22. U.S. congressional team visits Cuba
U.S. congressional team visits Cuba

Critics of 40-year economic embargo against island head bipartisan group

By Doreen Hemlock
Havana Bureau

December 16, 2006

HAVANA As Fidel Castro lies gravely ill, the largest U.S. congressional delegation to visit communist-led Cuba arrived Friday for three days of talks with government leaders, foreign diplomats and others, in what some hope could be a first step toward normalizing relations with the island nation.

Leading the 10-member, bipartisan delegation are Reps. William Delahunt, D-Mass., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who have criticized the four-decade economic embargo against Cuba.

"We sense this is an important time, and we hope to be able to meet with officials here and others and hopefully launch a new era in U.S.-Cuba relations," Flake said Friday afternoon, as the group arrived at the elegant Hotel Nacional.
(snip)

When the new Congress convenes in January, the group is expected to push for legislation to end the Bush administration's two-year-old restrictions on Cuban-Americans traveling to the island and sending money and packages back to their loved ones.

Similar legislation found majority support in both the House and Senate in recent years only to be pulled from compromise legislation at the insistence of House Republican leaders, notably former Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas. DeLay, who adamantly backed the sanctions, is long gone from Congress. And the anti-Castro lobby has fragmented, weakened in part by shifting factions among the Cuban-American community in South Florida.

The next speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has opposed past efforts to tighten the embargo. And U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., a longtime proponent of easing travel restrictions, is expected to become chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.
(snip/...)

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/caribbean/sfl-ac...
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 02:55 AM
Response to Original message
23. Delegation 'makes nice' with Cuba
Delegation 'makes nice' with Cuba
BY J. JIONI PALMER
NEWSDAY WASHINGTON BUREAU

December 17, 2006

HAVANA -- International diplomacy is the art of mixing tact with patience, and both are in abundant supply as a 10-member delegation of U.S. lawmakers concluded its second day of meetings in this balmy seaside city.

Beginning with breakfast at 8 o'clock with a group of European ambassadors stationed here and concluding almost 12 hours later with a strategy session back at the hotel, the lawmakers are learning firsthand that establishing a rapport with Cuba requires painstaking delicacy.

"Diplomacy can be testing and testy," said Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Far Rockaway), a member of the House International Relations Committee. " Raul Castro said recently that Cuba is ready to negotiate, and I think we need to take advantage of that. This is a relationship where both sides have needs that can be met."
(snip/...)

http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/world/ny-wocuba...
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. Cuba has always been ready to negotiate!
Edited on Sun Dec-17-06 11:42 AM by Mika
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Far Rockaway), a member of the House International Relations Committee. " Raul Castro said recently that Cuba is ready to negotiate, and I think we need to take advantage of that. This is a relationship where both sides have needs that can be met."


Amazing spin! :mad: Cuba has always been ready to negotiate with the US. It has been the US government that has steadfastly refused to do so. The above remark seems to imply that Cuba has somehow changed its position to a pro negotiation position, when, in fact, it has always been pro negotiation.

As usual.. anti Cuba spin - even in the good news stories.
Here's to hoping that the US gov is ready to negotiate some normalizing of relations w/Cuba. :toast:

But with Bush still dictating I don't expect much.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. Mika, they've just got to keep that lie in place, don't they?
If they don't paste it into every article they publish, some more active minds might start wondering why such an enormous country has hated a tiny island for over 45 years so much it has conducted invasions, and covert ops against it, while isolating it with an extraterritorial embargo, and forbidding Americans to travel there.

If the Democratic Congress can get the travel ban removed, however, there will be enough non-propaganda pushers to visit the place that the truth's going to get out in a BIG way, and that's probably what scares the anti-Cuba politicians more than anything.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-18-06 02:12 AM
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27. Kick!
:kick: :kick: :kick:
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