Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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Restrictions on travel to Cuba have been a key and often contentious component in U.S. efforts to isolate Cubas communist government for much of the past 40 years. Under the Bush Administration, restrictions on travel and on private remittances to Cuba were tightened. In March 2003, the Administration eliminated travel for people-to-people educational exchanges unrelated to academic course work. In June 2004, the Bush Administration further restricted family and educational travel, eliminated the category of fully-hosted travel, and restricted remittances so that they could only be sent to the remitters immediate family. Initially there was mixed reaction to the Bush Administrations June 2004 tightening of Cuba travel and remittance restrictions, but opposition to the policy grew, especially within the Cuban American community regarding the restrictions on family travel and remittances. From 2000-2004, one or both houses of Congress approved amendments to appropriations bills that would have eased restrictions on travel, but these provisions ultimately were stripped out of final enacted measures. The Bush Administration regularly threatened to veto legislation if it contained provisions weakening Cuba sanctions. During the 2008 electoral campaign, President Obama pledged to lift restrictions on family travel to Cuba as well as restrictions on Cuban Americans sending remittances to Cuba. A number of observers expect that the Administration will fulfill President Obamas campaign pledge before the upcoming fifth Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago scheduled for April 17-19, 2009. The 111th Congress, however, already has taken action to ease some restrictions on travel to Cuba by including two provisions in the FY2009 omnibus appropriations measure P.L. 111-8, signed into law on March 11, 2009.
- Government and Political Science
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