To: Jack Lew, Secretary of the Treasury, John Kerry, Secretary of State, President Donald Trump, The United States House of Representatives, and The United States Senate
Open Cuba Now
The Obama Administration should remove bureaucratic obstacles for travel to Cuba by all Americans, granting general licenses for non-tourist purposes. Every travel agent and tour operator must be allowed to book authorized flights, programs and accommodations.
Why is this important?
We appreciate that President Obama has opened the door part way for travel to Cuba.
His remarks in Miami in November suggest he is preparing to take the next step:
“we have to be creative. And we have to be thoughtful. And we have to continue to update our policies”
Ten days later Secretary of State Kerry, speaking to the Inter-American Dialog at the hall of the Organization of American States, added specificity:
“We are committed to this human interchange, and in the United States we believe that our people are actually our best ambassadors. They are ambassadors of our ideals, of our values, of our beliefs.”
One year ago Cuba gave greater freedom of travel to it citizens than Americans possess when it abolished rules requiring government authorization to come to the US.
The President has the power by granting general licenses to enable non-tourist purposeful travel (with no application required) for every organization, travel agent and tour operator, as well as for individual Americans who cannot afford or do not like group tours or who wish to make additional trips independently for professional or personal reasons.
This is the same freedom he has already given to Cuban Americans, universities and religious organizations. By extending it to the rest of us, President Obama will embrace the convictions of two-thirds of Americans, including a majority of Cuban Americans, and liberate US policy from control by a diminishing minority.
[for further background: http://thehavananote.com/2013/12/maximizing_potential_travel ]