Relaxation of Cuba Travel Ban Under Fire

Saturday, 23 Apr 2011 01:20 PM

By Martin Gould

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New Obama administration rules loosening the ban on travel to Cuba have been attacked by one of the communist nation’s strongest Cuba, Travel Ban, David Riveracritics in Congress.

Rep. David Rivera, R-Fla., said the move is part of an effort to “reward the terrorist Castro dictatorship with unilateral concessions.”

In particular Rivera said the move was bad at a time when American Alan Gross is serving a 15-year jail sentence in the Caribbean island nation for distributing communications equipment to Cuban Jewish groups.

“It seems President Obama is more interested in furthering the economic interests of the Castro regime, than he is in protecting Americans being held hostage by foreign governments,” said Rivera.

The new moves, announced by the US Treasury Department on Thursday, allow American groups to apply to organize trips to Cuba, reports the Los Angeles Times. Such trips were suspended by President George W. Bush.

Most individual trips to Cuba will remain illegal.

The moves to loosen the ban come less than a week after decisions made at the Sixth Communist Party Congress in Havana to recommend that Cubans be allowed to buy and sell property.

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