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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:35 PM
Original message
House panel votes to lift Cuba travel ban

House panel votes to lift Cuba travel ban
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5guFSG...

WASHINGTON A House committee voted Wednesday to lift the ban on American travel to Cuba, the latest in a string of attempts to ease restrictions on the island.

The House Agriculture Committee voted 25-20 to allow travel to Cuba and make it easier to sell U.S. agricultural exports there. Farm-state members of Congress have long supported expanding opportunities to sell food to the island.

Similar measures have died in the House or Senate in recent years as opponents have argued that lifting the ban could prop up Cuba's government. The country has recently been weakened by the global economic crisis, a sustained drop in revenues from tourism and natural resources and by three hurricanes that caused billions of dollars in damage two summers ago.

"Lifting the travel ban would inject millions of dollars into the Cuban government at a time when the Castro regime is on the ropes," said Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., a member of the panel who voted against the measure.

The House Foreign Relations Committee may also consider the legislation before it moves to the House floor. The chairman of that committee, Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., praised the bill and said the travel restrictions have only hurt U.S. citizens.

A State Department spokesman would not say if the Obama administration will support the legislation.

"Congress' addition to the robust discussion on the future of Cuba is healthy and an example of the democratic process that we would like to see in Cuba," said department spokesman Mark Toner.

President Barack Obama has relaxed restrictions on family travel to Cuba but has said he will not support lifting general sanctions until the Cuban government improves human rights and political freedoms.

Cuba's government did not respond to a request for comment.





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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
1. Quick, Mika. Post this in LBN. It's a BIGGIE.
Edited on Wed Jun-30-10 08:50 PM by Judi Lynn
Thanks for being the one who broke it, it's only fitting!
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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. I agree, the sweater is getting close to unraveling! yay! nt
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
2. I wonder what this means.
Thanks, Mika. I hope it means movement.
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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 12:00 AM
Response to Original message
3. Good news, it's a start, Martinez vowed to fillibuster
It's getting close though!!!!
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 08:52 AM
Response to Original message
5. I'm still willing to bet dollars to donuts it will be killed.
Edited on Thu Jul-01-10 08:53 AM by Mika
All of the committees can vote for ending the sanctions or for de-funding sanctions enforcement, but, you watch (as Judi and I have for over a decade now), it will simply be written out of markup reconciliation. It will be disappeared.

No one can override the campaign cash cow both the pro and anti sanction positions represent in America's kleptocracy. It is how America functions.

I refuse to hold my breath anymore in hope of this standoff ending in any way that actually benefits the Cuban people, or the American people.






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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. I know. I just want to enjoy yesterday's small victory
and the stress it causes to the miami mafia when they think of losing their cash cow.


I think they are 13 votes short in the house. Still it's a lot better than before, why? Because corporations want to make $ selling agricrap to Cuba. It was a good strategy to tie travel to the agricultural interests.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 09:29 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Both bodies have passed bills ending sanctions several times..
But yet, disappeared during markup. There is no representation of the will of the majority of Americans, as well as Cuban expats, a majority of whom want sanctions to end.







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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-02-10 05:24 AM
Response to Original message
8. Woo Hooo (I hope): Senators see votes to lift U.S. travel ban on Cuba
Senators see votes to lift U.S. travel ban on Cuba
Thu Jul 1, 5:25 pm ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) Two

U.S. senators voiced confidence on Thursday that were enough votes in the Senate to lift a decades-old U.S. ban on travel to Cuba, despite a threat by one opponent to try to block the measure.

"The nearly 50-year embargo and travel ban restricting Americans' right to travel to Cuba has been a failure," Senator Byron Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat, said in a joint statement with Senator Mike Enzi, a Wyoming Republican.

The House of Representatives Agriculture Committee voted 25-20 on Wednesday in favor of lifting the travel ban and easing food sales to the Communist-led island.

Supporters hope for a vote in the House after lawmakers return this month from next week's July 4th holiday recess.

Dorgan and Enzi said they planned to push their own bill to lift the travel ban in the short amount of time left on this year's legislative calendar.

Lawmakers will be gone for most of August and could work only a few weeks in September and October in order to return home to campaign for November elections.

"Decades of the same policy will get you the same result. We're hopefully about to change that and open up a new world for the people of Cuba," Enzi said.

More:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100701/pl_nm/us_usa_cuba_t...

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-02-10 05:41 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Oh, HEY! Senate Cuba travel ban ban Senator Enzi is a REPUBLICAN, f'r crissakes!
I just remembered that!



Hot damn, it's Michael Enzi, of Wyoming!

His Wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Enzi

Well, well, well, Senator Bob Menendez! How d'ya like them apples? We don't need y'r damned vote. Elian sends his love!



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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-02-10 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Is that really Elian?! The Republicans aren't all dumb, they like that nice nearby market
my only concern is that Cuba will get the usual inferior goods and pesticides dumped on it.. but luckily they know how to deal with crapola from tio sam.
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Braulio Donating Member (860 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-02-10 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. That's Chinese goods you refer to
Most inferior goods and pesticides are dumped by the Chinese, who have been killing their own people in large numbers as they migrate from communism into savage capitalism. Eventually, they'll learn to tame these newly found capitalist streak of theirs, and will become tame capitalists like the Europeans. But it'll take a long time. Talking about inferior goods, what does Cuba make other than cigars? if we sell them stuff, what are they going to use to pay for it? Venezuela's cash?
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-02-10 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. No, he was the closest-to-Elian kid I could find sticking out his tongue in google images!
I've heard about the crap they get from the U.S., as in once I read an article concerning the super awful cheapie stores in Miami where people bought stuff to take to their relatives, friends in Cuba years ago, which did an enormous business.

A Canadian woman who used to post at CNN's old US/Cuba policy message board wrote once that when she was shopping outdoors in Cuba she bumped into a woman operating a small stand there, and in talking with her learned she actually lives in Miami, and makes trips back and forth to Cuba, using a 3rd country to haul in all kinds of cheap crap and sells it in her booth there to local customers. She was actually operating a small business in Cuba, and living in Miami.

This really knocked the Canadian poster for a loop, really made an impression upon her, as she never would have guessed this kind of thing could happen. Very strange, isn't it?

Anyway, she said the merchandise was pure crap, a true rip-off in every sense, and wildly overpriced.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-02-10 05:30 AM
Response to Original message
9. Hey, "dissidents," decry THIS!
Dissidents decry US bill to end Cuba travel ban
By WILL WEISSERT (AP) Jun 17, 2010

HAVANA Five days after his release for health reasons, a former Cuban political prisoner added his name to a letter signed by nearly 500 opposition activists decrying proposed legislation that would lift the U.S. travel ban to their country.

The letter, e-mailed to foreign reporters in Havana on Thursday, took the opposite approach of a statement last week supporting the same bill and signed by 74 dissidents, many with international notoriety including Cuba's top blogger Yoani Sanchez, and Elizardo Sanchez, who is not related to Yoani but heads the island's top human rights group.

The bill in question was introduced Feb. 23 by Rep. Collin Peterson, a Minnesota Democrat, and would bar the president from prohibiting travel to Cuba or blocking transactions required to make such trips.

More:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100701/pl_nm/us_usa_cuba_t...

As they must see by now, their opinion means everything to normal Americans who've been helplessly paying their salaries!
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-06-10 02:17 PM
Response to Original message
14.  US government inching towards allowing Cuban travel
US government inching towards allowing Cuban travel
05 July, 2010

The US House Agriculture committee approved a bill that is winding its way to the full House to end the US travel ban on Cuba. The close vote was 25 to 20.

The Agriculture Committees close vote appears to portend rough days ahead for the bill, even though proponents of liberalizing US exchange with Cuba thought this was the best opportunityin years to chip away at the US embargo on Cuba, said the AP.

While Cuba may have receded from its privileged place among US foreign-policy preoccupations in recent years, anything related to the island dictatorship can still be counted on to raise emotions in Congress.

Any bill raises the issue of Senate filibusters.

Senator Robert Menendez, the son of Cuban immigrants, accuses the travel industry of happily enriching the Castro regime, simply because Cuba offers white sand beaches 90 miles from our coast.

US farmers are already allowed to sell to Cuba, but only via transactions in which Cuba pays in advance and through a third-country bank. The legislation would scuttle those requirements.

Pro-trade and free-travel advocates have pushed for lifting the farm-trade and travel embargoes before, but it may be an issue whose time has come, US-Cuba analysts say.

Thats partly because Cuba doesnt raise the emotional fervor it once did. Another reason is that the Cuban-American lobby is no longer monolithic, with younger Cuban-Americans especially willing to consider something other than the isolationist doctrine of their elders.

More:
http://www.travelmole.com/stories/1143092.php?mpnlog=1

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-07-10 05:43 AM
Response to Original message
15. Congress reviewing Cuban sanctions, may lift travel ban
Congress reviewing Cuban sanctions, may lift travel ban
By Howard Schneider
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mojitos at Varadero Beach . . . fishing in the waters Hemingway immortalized . . . dinner and a show at the Tropicana: A long list of currently forbidden pleasures will become legal for Americans under pending legislation that would lift central provisions of the United States' half-century embargo of Cuba.

The bill is being pushed by business and agriculture groups that have long argued that the Cold War-era sanctions against Cuba should be lifted, but it is opposed by an influential anti-communist lobby, which is against Cuba's ruling Castro family.

But at a time when the Obama administration is fighting to boost U.S. exports, supporters of the bill argue that they have their best chance yet to reopen a country famous for its white sand and hand-rolled cigars, featured in American pop culture from "I Love Lucy" to the "Godfather" films.

The sanctions have been in place since 1959, when communist leader Fidel Castro took over the country and nationalized the holdings of U.S. investors, and they became entrenched in U.S. foreign policy three years later, when Castro tried to import Soviet nuclear weapons.

More:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
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