On Friday, January 25th the Obama Administration’s new travel regulations were published in the Federal Registry, effective immediately and apparently with no comment period. Guidelines are still being drafted by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and that is where the details of the new regulations will become clear. OFAC says that the guidelines will be released “soon.”
As we said a few weeks ago, the President’s directive is a step in the right direction and we encourage everyone to thank him for this positive step and ask him to continue pursuing ways to improve our relations with Cuba.
Groups from around the country have lauded the new travel regulations. To name just a few, human rights organizations, religious groups, and the Cuban-American community have all made statements supporting the President’s directive.
Unfortunately, opponents of improving relations between the United States and Cuba have slammed the administration for these changes. There has been less public opposition than we may have expected . . . . perhaps they are getting the message that their “cause” is weak and that history is on our side? We need to continue telling the White House that they did the right thing for Cuban citizens (Cuban opposition leaders support the President’s directive) as well as for U.S. citizens (see the Jersey Journal’s poll says that 87% of its readers support the new regs) . It is still to be determined just how these new regulations will be interpreted and implemented, but with the overwhelmingly positive feedback from the media let’s hope that they are imposed in a just and timely fashion. And we hope that all of you will read them carefully to see where you qualify to travel to Cuba – and then submit your applications for a license! The more, the merrier!