- October 23 - The Center for International Policy's Freedom to Travel Campaign issued the following statement in response to the vote in the United States Senate to lift the ban on legal travel by Americans to Cuba:
"The Senate has voted for the first time to lift the ban on travel by Americans to Cuba, and that vote is a powerful message to President Bush: 'Stop holding Americans hostage as means of punishing Cuba,'" said Sarah Stephens, director of CIP's Freedom to Travel campaign. "This policy is flawed, failed, and it hasn't worked for decades. We believe that Americans have a constitutional right to travel to Cuba, and that contact and commerce between our people is in both nations' interests. Travel to Cuba would create jobs and profits here in the United States, and unleash the best ambassadors we have for building understanding between our two countries."
"Coming just days after the President's speech endorsing an enforcement of the travel ban to Cuba, this is a clear vote of no confidence," added associate Anya Landau. "While the President insists on diverting resources from the Treasury and Homeland Security Departments to track and harass citizens whose only crime is exercising their basic right to travel, the House and Senate have resoundingly rejected this misappropriation of taxpayer dollars."
"We thank the Senate for its leadership and courage, and we urge all Senators and Representatives to send this amendment to President Bush's desk."
The Freedom to Travel Campaign is a project of the Center for International Policy. The Center for International Policy ( http://www.ciponline.org ), founded in 1975, promotes a U.S. foreign policy based on international cooperation, demilitarization and respect for basic human rights.