Dear Cuba Supporters,
We need your help this week!
On January 14, President Obama announced that some restrictions would be lifted on Cuba travel1 for certain sectors of US citizens: college students and travelers sponsored by a religious organization will be able to travel to Cuba more freely. Freelance journalists can also apply for a license.
In addition, it appears that non profit organizations like Global Exchange will again be able to apply for a license to organize "people to people" Cuba Reality Tours, as we did for 15 years, prior to the onerous restrictions imposed by the Bush Administration in 2003.
We applaud the Obama Administration for taking this democratic step!
But as with many things, the devil is in the details. At this time, staff from the Departments of State and Treasury are writing up the "guidelines" for these new categories of legal travel, determining which regulations will be interpreted liberally, allowing more US citizens to travel freely to Cuba, and which will be interpreted in a more rigid way, denying or obstructing the right to travel for US citizens.
The best way to ensure that the guidelines reflect a more liberal Cuba travel policy, especially for the "people to people" license, is for you, our Global Exchange members and supporters, to contact your Congressional delegation and ask them to contact the appropriate staff at the State and Treasury Departments and convey the wishes of their constituents to travel freely to Cuba.
Telephoning your Representative and Senators can be especially effective!
U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121
Thank you for all your help to push to lift the travel restrictions to Cuba. We will keep you informed of our progress on the Global Exchange People-to-People blog.
Global Exchange Cuba Team
1Change in U.S. Cuba Travel Policy Offers New Opportunities for Citizen Education, Diplomacy, Global Exchange. January 20, 2011.