New York Times's editorial board requests the lift of the Cuba travel ban

Posted: 23-Jun-15 09:29

The New York Times' editorial board recently wrote and published a letter in which they urge Congress to lift the travel ban that currently forbids ordinary Americans from travelling to Cuba as tourists. The bill which has been in action since 1960, is long overdue, the New York Times Editorial said, and the most natural step the U.S. could take in re-establishing relations with Cuba to allow a freer flow of exchange between people on both parts, with this being far more likely to lead to reforms in the island than restrictive travel sanctions and trade bans.

New York Times's editorial board requests the lift of the Cuba travel ban

A letter recently published online by the New York Time’s editorial board calls on Congress to put an end to the Cuba travel ban and allow American citizens to travel freely to the island in a step they consider crucial for the further development of the re-establishment of ties between the two countries.

The letter illustrates how outdated and out-of-touch American legislation is on Cuba and how the current travel ban and trade sanctions do nothing but hinder the processes that would bring about real reform on the island.

The document explains in detail how the travel ban on Cuba (highlighting the fact that Cuba represents American citizens’ only travel prohibition in the world) never really made sense, as throughout its more than 50 years of enforcement it hasn’t achieved any of its goals of bringing about governmental changes and instead has only managedto isolate Cuba and its citizens from the world, with the average hard-working Cuban citizen being affected the most.

NY Times’ editorial board also argues that further opposition and resistance to change these retrograde laws would irremediably hurt the efforts of American diplomats already working in a challenging environment as they seek to fully re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba.

They also add that;

"The House version of the Foreign aid bill foolishly bars the use of funds to help Cuba’s growing private sector.

"Sanctions that remain in place limit banking transactions, making it enormously hard for Cubans to do business with the international community."

The letter further expresses the willingness and eagerness of many American firms to build business ties in Cuba, a step that would positively affect U.S. economy. Examples of these companies are Google and Airbnb, who already have taken footsteps to enter the Cuban market, providing ordinary Cubans with opportunities and information that weren’t previously available to them.

It backs up this by stating that opinion polls show that nowadays a great majority of Americans and Cubans on the island would favour further engagement.


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