A bill introduced in both the House and Senate has broad congressional backing and – for the first time – the crucial support of the politically powerful Cuban-American community.
TIME has the story.
I have always wanted to visit Cuba. I’ve thought for a long time now that our embargo and travel ban were counter-productive.
But our Cuba policy has always been held hostage by the anti-Castro refugees in Florida’s community of Cuban exiles. Understandably, since in Florida they are a powerful voting block that every presidential contender tries to court – Florida being worth so many electoral votes. They’ve made the argument that any loosening of our restrictions would just aid a dictator who jails his detractors. But hasn’t that angle been tried for decades now?
An ailing Castro is handing over power to his brother Raul, who is apparently a strong proponent of the status quo. Time for a new approach. I think the Cuban-American community is coming around to that view. Let’s kill ’em (the communist regime) with kindness and capitalism.
Cuba is just 70 miles from Florida. It could be – should be – the jewel of the Caribbean, flush with American tourism and economic ties. Democracy, and a Major League Baseball team in Havana can’t be far behind. It will happen in time. First steps are what is needed now, and the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act is a first step. I hope it passes.