Americans by a two to one margin want the US to normalize its relationship with Cuba according to Associated Press, Gallup and CNN polls. Cuban Americans by 49 percent to 45 percent favor ending restrictions on visits both by their own community and by all US citizens to Cuba. It is time for the Congress to restore our fundamental right to travel by passing HR 654 submitted by Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY) with the bipartisan co-sponsorship of Representatives Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Bill Delahunt (D-MA), Chairs of the House Cuba Working Group, and, more than 60 other House members; as well as comparable legislation that will be proposed in the Senate. Beneficiaries will include Cuban-American families separated by inhumane restrictions; counterparts barred from collaboration such as religious and humanitarian aid groups, college and high school students, business people, farmers, educators, scholars, university alumni, elder hostel, museums, cultural exchanges, people-to-people and sister cities programs, world affairs councils, civic associations, sports teams, environmentalists, architects, historic preservationists, scientists, lawyers, physicians, and artists; as well as Americans simply wishing to learn about a new country and establish friendships with its people. Opening the door to uncensored travel is the only way our nation can understand the changing reality of Cuba today, and it will help us steer a constructive course toward positive relations with our island neighbor.
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