Saturday, January 15, 2011

Obama Eases Travel Restriction For Charters To Cuba

In a unilateral move not requiring Congressional approval, President Barack Obama eased travel restrictions for students and church groups who want to visit Cuba.

The President also opened many more airports for charter flights to the island nation, so long as they have a proper customs and immigration station.
Previously, only New York, Los Angeles and Miami qualified for charter flights to Cuba.

Not everyone in the Cuban-American community was happy with the President's announcement.

"Loosening these regulations will not help foster a pro-democracy environment in Cuba. These changes will not aid in ushering in respect for human rights. And they certainly will not help the Cuban people free themselves from the tyranny that engulfs them," said U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "These changes undermine U.S. foreign policy and security objectives and will bring economic benefits to the Cuban regime."

A one-time Cuban refugee, Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen is married to former U.S. Attorney Dexter Lehtinen. She has called for the assassination of Fidel Castro many times, including by appearing in a British film, “638 Ways To Kill Castro.”

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