Date: Sep 10, 2019
Authors: Antonio Saadipour Sellés, Mavis Anderson
Congress is finally back in session after their August recess. You know what that means. Now is the time to make your voice heard on our right to travel to Cuba!
It’s no secret that since Trump has been in office, the White House has completely undermined decades-long efforts to re-establish diplomatic ties with Cuba through aggressive rhetoric and rollbacks, unnecessary travel restrictions, and harsh sanctions. These measures have failed for over 50 years to affect any real change, hurting only ordinary Cubans caught in the middle of this policy mess.
But hope is not lost. There’s new energy around travel legislation in both the Senate and the House. The potential for progress is real.
What’s Going On?
On July 29, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced the Freedom for Americans to Travel to Cuba Act of 2019 (S. 2303). The bill, which has 46 Democratic and Republican co-sponsors, would allow Americans to travel to Cuba “in the same way that they can travel to every other country in the world except North Korea, to which President Trump banned travel by executive order.”
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA-2) and Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN-6) introduced an identical bill in the House – H.R. 3960 with 19 additional bipartisan co-sponsors. “It’s time for us to listen to the majority of Americans, Cuban-Americans, and Cubans who do not support the travel ban, and get rid of it once and for all,” said Rep. McGovern.
We were on the brink of ushering in a new era of progressive Cuba policies, even ending the travel ban and trade embargo once and for all. That progress has been threatened. We cannot leave positive changes up to chance. We must act quickly and decisively. In other words, Congress needs to hear yourvoice.
We need you to make three quick and easy phone calls: one to each of the offices of your two senators and one to the office of your representative. <<Find them here.>>
Here’s a sample script:
“My name is _____, and I am a constituent from _____. I urge Representative ________ to co-sponsor H.R. 3960./I urge Senator ________ to co-sponsor S. 2303. An overwhelming majority of Americans favor unrestricted travel to Cuba. This administration’s attempts to reverse advances made in engagement with Cuba, a country that poses no threat to our national security, are unwarranted. Cuba is progressing; and right now, we can help best by allowing U.S. citizens to travel there freely.”
Calls are the most effective way of getting your senators’ and representative’s attention, so we can’t stress enough how important it is for you to pick up a phone right now to voice your emphatic support for this new legislation.
What we need now is the committed outreach of Cuba activists around the country in contacting their senators and representatives to get them on board. If yours are already on the legislation (check out the co-sponsor lists at the links above), it still helps to call their office to thank them and to ask them to be active in promoting the travel bill. Make sure they are on the right side of history!
We’re counting on you!
Antonio and Mavis