The hearing has arrived.
Thursday, November 19th, the full House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing on the freedom to travel to Cuba. Official announcement here. Chairman Howard Berman titled the hearing, “Is it Time to Lift the Ban on Travel to Cuba?”
This hearing will be an opportunity to hear public debate on the issue and get some representatives on record in support. More witnesses should be announced soon, and we can expect some notable figures in the Cuba policy world to testify. Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, as the ranking Republican, and one of the most vocal opponents of engaging Cuba, will also be able to invite a witness. On the committee are some very dedicated lawmakers seeking a new approach to Cuba, including, Barbara Lee (D-CA) and the two congressmen who introduced a bill to repeal travel restrictions, Bill Delahunt (D-MA) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ). You can expect some fireworks. We wonder if it might be broadcast on C-span . . . we’ll let you know.
As for our answer to the hearing title’s question – just look at the numbers:
Americans at large who support travel for ALL – 67%
Cuban Americans who support travel for ALL – 59%
Congressional representatives who support travel for ALL – 179
Senators who support travel for ALL – 34
UN member nations that support travel for ALL – 187
Yes, Mr. Berman, it’s past time.