“The US embargo on Cuba is a 50-year failure, and lifting the ban on travel is a good first step toward a more rational policy.” -Myron Brilliant, US Chamber of Commerce
I have always wanted to travel to Cuba. A few years ago my Aunt, Uncle and cousins took advantage of a program that allowed them to vacation there, open only for a short period of time. It was an incredible vacation, they said there was always music playing in the streets, the people were friendly and quaint and the country has not become over run by tourists. It’s a strange paradox, when I travel I am usually disgusted by the presence of other tourists and find them to be quite obnoxious. Thus for that reason, Cuba really attracts me. I also love Cuban food. La ropa vieja y platanos son deliciosos. However Americans are currently only permitted to travel to Cuba under very specific circumstances. If you are going for an academic conference, studying there for at least 3 months…. there are a couple other but none of them fall under the “leisure and interest” category. Since 1962 we have had a trade embargo with Cuba, at which time travel restrictions were also enforced that have prevented us to travel there. Recently there have been changes to allow Cuban Americans more opportunities to travel there with the purpose of visiting family but as I am not Â Cuban those changes haven’t helped me.
However, yesterday senators Byron Dorgan (South Dakota-D) and Mike Enzi (Wyoming-R) introduced a bill that would allow Americans to travel to Cuba for leisure, appropriately called the “Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act”. 20 other senators are co-sponsoring the bill and Â the house has 121 cosponsors. Hopefully we’ll see some change!