HAVE A CIGAR: Congress To Life Cuban Travel Ban

fidel_castro_MAD_1.jpgLOS ANGELES TIMES: A bipartisan group of senators predicted Tuesday that Congress was ready to pass legislation to allow all Americans to travel to Cuba. Removing the travel ban would produce a burst of tourism, create thousands of jobs and generate as much as $1.6 billion in business a year, an independent research group said. A Senate news conference Tuesday and one in the House set for Thursday reflect new attempts to lift the travel ban, a key part of the U.S. trade embargo imposed after Fidel Castro took power in Havana in 1959. The broader trade embargo would remain in place. Sponsors said the bill would free Americans to travel to the one place in the world they can’t go and encourage Cubans to push for democratic reforms by exposing them to new people and information. “Punishing the American people in our effort to somehow deal a blow to the Castro government has not made any sense at all,” said Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.). “At long last, this policy, which has been in place for 50 years and has not worked, will finally be removed.” MORE

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