Tags: congress | cuba | ban | travel

Congress Debates Lifting Cuba Travel Ban

Thursday, 19 November 2009 10:07 AM

WASHINGTON - Proponents of lifting the U.S. ban on travel to Cuba will make their case Thursday before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The hearing comes as proponents of greater engagement with Cuba say they've got their best shot at success in years. The panel's chair, Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., has already endorsed lifting the ban, calling it a throwback to the ``chilliest periods of the Cold War.''

In a Miami Herald opinion piece, Berman suggested that contact between Cubans and ``ordinary Americans'' could ``help break Havana's chokehold on information about the outside world.''

The list of witnesses reflects Berman's interest: Those testifying in support of lifting the ban include retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, the former U.S. drug czar and commander of the U.S. Southern Command; Miriam Leiva, a founding member of the Cuban opposition group Ladies in White; Ignacio Sosa, a board member of Friends of Caritas Cubana, a Massachusetts nonprofit; and Phil Peters, a Cuba analyst at the Lexington Institute in Arlington, Va.

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Thursday, 19 November 2009 10:07 AM
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