November 19th, 2009
11:11 AM ET
4 years ago

U.S. lawmaker calls for lifting of Cuba travel ban

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The U.S. government has no right to restrict Americans from traveling to Cuba, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said Thursday.

"It is the only country in the world where our people are not allowed to go," said Rep. Howard Berman, D-California, at the start of a hearing on whether it is time to lift the travel ban.

"Let's face it. By any objective measure, the nearly 50-year-old travel ban simply hasn't worked," Berman said, referring to the Communist nation's refusal to embrace democracy.


Filed under: Cuba
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. T'SAH from Virginia

    Wow – 50 years!! Martin Luther King's fight for justice is 40 years old.... Since then, we elected an African American President!!! Cubans have been here since almost the beginning of time. And it's true – who are we to ban visits to other countries/????

    I would love to visit Cuba – it's a beautiful country and it does not mean I will come back a communist!!

    November 19, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  2. gary davis Harbor Oregon proud american

    good idea CASTRO IS AS GOOD AS DEAD let the people come and go just like BERLIN time to change the guard and meet the people of CUBA .. :) its always been the government not the people . and its sad to see a tinny country have to live under a sick perverted bastard for so many years . its as bad as most of the ISLAMIC countries . male dominance over women . they treat lower than an animal . and the world allows it . makes me sick . any man that has to have pure power over another human . probably has a very small male organ. it compinsates for the lack of being a strong controlling bottom feeder.
    maybe some day women will revolt and take back there freedom. and this country does business with these many nations . ( SAUDI ,IRAN ,IRAQ,AND the list goes on and on..

    gary davis
    harbor oregon :)
    proud of our president and the administration

    November 19, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  3. gary davis Harbor Oregon proud american

    actually the ban on CUBA is stupid . should we put a ban on CHINA ?
    about AS STUPID . NORTH KOREA is about the same . they don't have human rights either . so why not embrace NORTH KOREA and let the people know more about western culture . it will feed on freedom and the people will change the dictatorship themselves :)
    IRAN also

    November 19, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  4. Bob in Pa

    How about we cut a deal, let the cubans take the Gitmo detainees off our hands and deal with them according to their laws. We will then lift trade and travel bans.

    November 19, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  5. S Callahan

    This country has been laid low through poverty and oppression but has risen in artistic nature through their time...I look forward to the beautiful art., dance, and music coming from Cuba...it truly show s the resilence of the soul despite all the outward garbage laid on one.

    November 19, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  6. C from middle GA

    New century, new plan. Drop the ban.

    November 19, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  7. Just Me

    This travel ban should be lifted. At this point it is ridiculous. For God's sakes, American's can travel to Russia, and Iran, and if correct North Korea (not that many go), so why not Cuba?

    The bottom line for me is that the best way to demonstrate or export democracy is to see it in the flesh with the freedom to travel. If it were not for the South Floridian Cuban community who quite often used their political power to sway Florida to ones party favor over the other during Presidential elections, Americans would have been travelling to Cuba a long time ago.

    The embargo has not work; the travel ban has not work. Cuba still exist after all these years. Even the fall of the former Soviet Union has not toppled it. It's time to come up with another strategy. Doing the same thing over and over again amounts to insanity.

    November 19, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  8. Proud Member..Party of No

    Obama's socialist agenda marches on!

    November 19, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  9. Sniffit

    He's right. It hasn't worked one bit. Lots of things we have done and keep doing haven't worked one bit...like a private health insurance industry not subject to antitrust laws or following a deregulatory trickle-down economic model for free market capitalism. The problem is, there's a large segment of this country that does not care what the facts, empirical evidence and best experts say about anything whatsoever. They think life can be lived in an ideological bubble, and that if they believe their ideology fanatically enough, shout it in everyone's face loud enough and repeat it often enough, the laws of time and space will bend to their will and reality will somehow be forced to become what they so fervently wish it to be.

    November 19, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  10. EZ

    I agree, life the ban and let's move forward for God's sake. This is so old news.

    November 19, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  11. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    Might as well, after the dumb-a-crats get done, we'll be just as socialist and corrupt as the Castro regime.

    November 19, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  12. Jamie

    Its insane we haven't done this ALREADY!

    November 19, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  13. Kevin

    Please don't open up Cuba to the Americans. It's the only place the rest of the world can vacation without being surrounded by Americans strutting around like they own the place, complaining about the lack of McDonald's restaurants and that not enough people speak "American".

    November 19, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  14. George W Bush = Worst President Ever

    Cuba might be the perfect country for wingnuts to live in. No worry about individual rights, no constitutional guarantees for all citizens, no government services to pay for.

    November 19, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  15. Bill from GA

    Our policy towards Cuba (trade, travel and all) demonstrates the smallmindedness of the USA . Beginning with Kennedy, through Republicans and Democrats, we have shown total lack of vision and intelligence, and awsomely petty behavior. Let's open all trade and travel with Cuba, and then work toward better relations with the rest of the southern part of our Hemisphere.

    November 19, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  16. B

    It is about time don’t you think?
    We have to dump the Cold War mentality some time, how about NOW..

    Lets move forward, not backwards as we did with the Moron for eight long years!

    November 19, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  17. Sista in Seattle

    And if the ban is lifted and we have a ridiculous influx of cubans coming here, and Americans going there and getting robbed, killed, and kidnapped, then I hope you have a plan to deal with that – idiot!

    November 19, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  18. Handher A

    It is time for this restriction to come to an end. If cuban americans can travel to the island so should American as we are a nation of equal rights to everyone.

    November 19, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  19. RB

    What a great society we live in...one can go train with a terrorist group in the heart of an anti-american Muslim country, but I can't go sit on a beach in Cuba and have a cocktail. As Corky would say, "Brilliant!"

    November 19, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  20. PREDICTA

    The time has come to end the travel ban on Cuba. It has done nothing to achieve it's original objectives and only serves to hurt the cuban people. I traveled to Havana in 2002 before Bush tightened the travel restrictions, which Clinton had loosened. It's a lovely island with a rich history. Tourism grows, despite the embargo. Many Canadians, Brits, Aussies and Germans vacation in Cuba.

    November 19, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  21. RAG

    The bans and embargos against the nation of Cuba have been a national embarassment to America for nearly 50 years.

    All it has accomplished is to help secure Fidel Castro in power (like Ho Chi Minh, another nationalist liberator that we turned into a communist by supporting a criminally repressive regime for the sake of big business). It has impoverished and indeed killed the very people we profess to be attempting to help. Lastly it has hurt American business (after all, if they were intelligent, they would be artists, scientists or engineers ... not business men!).

    Anyone supporting the continued American repression of the Cuban people is either ignorant, evil or insane.

    November 19, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  22. Who put the twit in twitter? Sarah!

    I want to go there while it is still illegal. Through Canada. More fun that way. Slip 'em a couple of bucks and they won't stamp your passport.

    November 19, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  23. Get Smart

    If countries don't want democracy it's not up to our stupid government to try and change them. Let their people decide when and where they desire our intervention. By all means we should be allowed to travel to Cuba. If there were any mistakes made here by losing Cuba to Castro and crowd it was the Democrats who caused it. Get rid of them no so we can have a country of freedom of religion, in God we Trust, and freedom of speech without the darn press trying to twist our words.

    November 19, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  24. Alex

    Nah, let's give it a few more decades. Our super secret plan to assassinate Castro with the ravages of time is working perfectly. And when he dies, yea verily will rainbows of democracy spread across the land, and the people will rejoice. Utter foolishness.

    November 19, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  25. A. Smith, Oregon

    It has long been overdue when all American citizens can travel safely to and from Cuba.

    It's an atrocity of the Republican Party that they have continuously blocked all American travel to Cuba. While citizens from both Mexico and Canada are free to travel and enjoy what Cuba has to offer.

    It's time to stop the Republican Party hypocrisy, and open Cuba for all Americans to visit and travel.

    November 19, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
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