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senate Bill S. 299

Should Americans Get to Travel to Cuba?

Argument in favor

The Cold War is over. The President has already endorsed rekindling the U.S./Cuba relationship, and easing antiquated restrictions on travel will strengthen diplomacy efforts on both sides.

Mrs. r.'s Opinion
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11/03/2015
We visit China don't we? One is as bad as the other.
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AndrewGVN's Opinion
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11/04/2015
We must end all negative associations with Cuba to maintain a positive relationship with the neighboring country.
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Jake's Opinion
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12/08/2015
Saying we shouldn't go because it's communist is really moronic. We go to China, Russia, Vietnam, and Laos don't we? The original Castro is out of power and we've disrupted enough lives with these sanctions already.
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Argument opposed

Cuba is still a repressive dictatorship and allowing Americans to travel there only lends legitimacy to the Cuban regime. Easing the travel ban could give the Castro family a chance to reassert themselves.

operaman's Opinion
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11/05/2015
Nope, Nope. The US citizen need not support or finance a communist nation. The average Cuban citizen has been fighting and floundering for decades. Venezuela is being flushed in SoAmerica as a failed country who supported Cuba with oil and drug trafficking placing a hardship on the Cuban economy.
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BTSundra's Opinion
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11/19/2015
The United States does not need to support a communist economy.
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Seeya's Opinion
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11/03/2015
Ask Bill Diblasio how he honeymooned there...
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Foreign Relations
    IntroducedJanuary 29th, 2015

What is Senate Bill S. 299?

This bill would allow U.S. citizens and legal residents to travel to or from Cuba. It would end the longstanding travel ban on U.S. citizens going to or from Cuba to prevents U.S. money from being spent in Cuba.

This would include travel-related transactions like baggage fees, living expenses, travel arrangements, voyage-related fees, and normal banking transactions. Transporting items other than personal baggage would still be prohibited under this legislation.

All of these changes to existing law could be challenged under presidential authority during a state of war between the U.S. and Cuba. They can also be changed in the event of imminent danger to the public health and safety of U.S. travelers. 

Impact

U.S. citizens who would like to travel to Cuba, U.S. travel agencies, Cuban commerce, federal agencies involved in foreign travel, U.S./Cuba diplomatic relations, and Cuban-Americans.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 299

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

Of Note: Following the Cuban Revolution and the establishment of Fidel Castro's communist regime in Cuba, U.S./Cuba relations have been tense. In 1960, two years after Castro’s revolution succeeded, the U.S. banned all exports into Cuba aside from food and medicine. The failed Bay of Pigs operation and the Cuban Missile Crisis over the next two years exacerbated the tensions, which led to the enactment of a ban on all imports from Cuba.

The U.S. never explicitly banned travel to and from Cuba as part of its embargo — but it did create rules making it essentially impossible to travel into Cuba without violating them. The Obama administration had previously eased regulations on Cuban-Americans traveling to-and-from Cuba. The travel restrictions did not, however, prevent U.S. citizens from traveling to another country and going to Cuba from there. About 98,000 Americans did just that in 2012 despite technically being in violation of the law.

Many have argued that Cuba’s record on human rights and its status as a totalitarian dictatorship should keep the U.S. from easing restrictions. Others believe Cuba should only be let off the hook in exchange for democratic elections, releasing political prisoners, among other conditions. According to Freedom House’s index of Freedom in the World, globally Cuba has some of the worst political rights.


In-Depth: This bill was introduced with bipartisan support: 29 Democrats, five Republicans, and two Independents (Sen. Angus King (I-ME) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)) have signed on as cosponsors in the Senate.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), the lead sponsor of this legislation, said that the current policy of prohibiting travel to Cuba "hasn't worked" in undermining the Castro regime.

Flake and a group of six other Republican Senators that included Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) wrote a letter to President Obama expressing their support for efforts legislation aimed at easing restrictions that have prevented Cuba's private sector from growing.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Rinaldo Wurglitsch)

AKA

Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2015

Official Title

A bill to allow travel between the United States and Cuba.

    We visit China don't we? One is as bad as the other.
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    We must end all negative associations with Cuba to maintain a positive relationship with the neighboring country.
    Like (4)
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    Saying we shouldn't go because it's communist is really moronic. We go to China, Russia, Vietnam, and Laos don't we? The original Castro is out of power and we've disrupted enough lives with these sanctions already.
    Like (3)
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    It is our constitutional right to do so unless there is a threat to our security. Hardly there is a threat coming out of Cuba. in contrary, people love us there and in return we could help them start thinking independently and break from the tight grip the government has on their lives. Exposure to western culture and values works. Remember the fall of the iron curtain.
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    Nope, Nope. The US citizen need not support or finance a communist nation. The average Cuban citizen has been fighting and floundering for decades. Venezuela is being flushed in SoAmerica as a failed country who supported Cuba with oil and drug trafficking placing a hardship on the Cuban economy.
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    The United States does not need to support a communist economy.
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    It's kind of a double standard if we're allowed to visit China or Vietnam with whom we've had hot relations in the past and not Cuba which is also a communist nation like the others; the only aggression we had with Cuba was the bay of of pigs which is nothing in comparison to the Vietnam and Korean War. Incase you didn't know we were fighting the Chinese along with the North Koreans during the Korean War.
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    Ask Bill Diblasio how he honeymooned there...
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    Not all work is "equal", some people are far more productive, and client relations. They may have the same title but not bring the company the same revenues.
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    Freedom
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    Americans are tired of zero progress. Let's try something different for a change.
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    I can go wherever the fuck I want.
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    People to people contacts will do more to push Cuban leadership into more democratic positions than keeping the door shut on them.
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    Travel will strengthen the economy but who cares I think if I want to go to Cuba I should be able to go to Cuba the Cold War is over, Castro doesn't even know where he is at, or what his name is now. We should be able to go to Cuba
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    Get over it. Our argument with Cuba has gone on too long.
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    Allow our people to visit or emigrate. Let everyone compare the two cultures
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    While I believe that the Castro regime is oppressive and contrary with Americans values... Americans should have complete freedom to travel wherever they want.
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    Cubans risk drowning and shark death to escape, only a fool would want to go there.
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    Cuban oppressive government against innocent people is still in full force! We should not prop up that evil government with our American dollars! Free the innocent people first!
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    Cuba is no longer a threat. If their industry is thriving, it will benefit us in return.
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