Seventy-four Cuban opposition activists – consisting of Cuba’s best-known blogger and a hunger striker who has attracted worldwide attention – signed a letter Thursday applauding proposed legislation that would life the U.S. travel ban to their country.
Addressed to the U.S. Congress, the declaration supports a bill to allow Americans to visit Cuba liberally and boost U.S. food exports to the island.
“We share the opinion that the isolation of the people of Cuba benefits the most inflexible interests of its government, while any opening serves to inform and empower the Cuban people and helps to further strengthen our civil society,” the letter stated.
The letter was released by the Center for Democracy in the Americas, a group based in Washington that advocates freer travel and trade with the island. Although travel to Cuba is technically not illegal, U.S. law bars most Americans from spending money there.
Few can visit the island and those who can are usually given special permission from the U.S. government and include Cuban-Americans, journalists, and politicians.
The letter cheers a proposal introduced on February 23rd by Representative Collin Peterson, a Minnesota Democrat that would prohibit the president from barring travel to Cuba or banning transactions required to make such trips.
Furthermore, it would put a stop to the White House's blocking of direct transfers between U.S. and Cuban banks, making it easier for Cuba’s government to pay for U.S. exports.
Source: Associated Press