Fred Burks - Cuba Travel Ban Case #001
Los Angeles Times Story on Fred Burks' Cuba Travel Ban Case - www.WantToKnow.info/latimescuba1
Jan. 15, 2004
Welcome to the first update on my Cuba travel ban case. First, I want to thank all of you for your support in this. I have been deeply impressed and inspired by the many wonderful offers of help and support I've received from journalists and other concerned people and groups around the country, and especially from the Los Angeles Times.
As most of you know, my case is among the first batch of about 100 cases to be processed. Somehow I ended up first on the list with case number 03T001 (2003/Treasury/001). Until just two months ago, I was not interested in spending much time on this matter and was very hopeful that Congress would eventually remove any support enforcing this ban. As you likely know, both the Senate and House by large majorities did vote with identical language to do just this in October, only to have the travel ban provisions unethically stripped from the larger bill by two ranking members of the Conference Committee.
As a result of this and of the fact that I was given case #1, I decided just this December to dedicate myself to challenging this travel ban. Since then, I have spent many long hours researching this matter and communicating with many knowledgeable and supportive individuals and groups around the country. In order to keep you all informed of the status of my case, I will summarize the important points here.
On Dec. 30th, the attorney for the government, Brian Wissman, filed a Motion for Summary Judgment requesting that Judge Robert Barton find me guilty on the grounds that I have admitted to spending money in Cuba. This would prevent my case from going to a hearing and force me to pay a $7,590 penalty. My dedicated lawyer, Daniel Press, and I have until the end of January to respond to this motion. Mr. Press thinks it is very likely the judge will rule against me. If this happens, the only possibility of which I am aware is to appeal the ruling.
In the meantime, my case has received plenty of media coverage which thus far has been very sympathetic. Six major newspaper articles, evening news coverage on the local ABC, NBC, and Fox affiliates, and two radio interviews have helped to spread the news. I welcome any additional media coverage, as I have nothing to hide. I believe the publicity can only help. The fact that over the past eight years I've worked as an Indonesian language interpreter for Bush, Clinton, Cheney, Gore, Powell, Albright, and others has been helpful in attracting media attention.
If any of you want to help by contacting local and national media for interviews, we can spread the news even further. You can use two information-packed documents posted on a website I manage to draw media interest. The first, Cuba Travel Ban Facts, is a powerful one-page document listing key facts on the Cuba travel ban which show that it is both unreasonable and illegal. For each fact, I provide the source and one or more respectable Internet links so that anyone can verify these facts. If any of you have additional facts which should be included, please email me. The second document, Interpreting Stories, is a one-page summary of some interesting experiences I've had interpreting. I invite anyone with time and interest to contact the media and use these documents to promote interviews for me and other knowledgeable individuals.
For any who are interested, I've also written a two-page timeline of my case. Just email me and ask for it. Feel free to ask any other questions you might have as well. I'm very open about all of this.
Some of you, like me, may have wondered why I ended up with case #1. It is strange considering that there are hundreds of people with Cuba travel ban cases who traveled to Cuba both before and after my trip in December of 1999. It's even more strange that my girlfriend, who went to Cuba with me, did not receive an Order to Institute Proceedings until two months after I did, when all previous notices and letters over the past four years were sent separately to each of us within a few days of each other.
It is entirely possible that I am being targeted because I manage a popular website which exposes major government cover-ups at www.WantToKnow.info. I invite you to take a look at this eye-opening website which is the result of the collective efforts of an international research team made up of professors, PhDs, doctors, and an Emmy award winner. I guarantee that you will learn some important information that you were not aware of. This website is a reflection of my deep commitment to personal and global transformation through love and empowerment.
Again, I want to thank you all for your wonderful offers of help and support. I am particularly thankful to attorney Daniel Press, who has agreed to represent me pro bono in this case. Attorneys Art Heitzer, Tom Miller, and Edward Elder have also been extremely helpful. The Wall of Lawyers and the networks of Cuba committees around the country are just awesome! I welcome any ideas and suggestions that any of you might have. Together, we are creating important, empowering change in this country and in the world. Take care.
With gratitude and very best wishes,
Fred Burks - Cuba Travel Ban Case #001
P.S. For those of you in Northern California, I'll be on KGO talk radio (810 on the AM dial) this Monday Jan. 19th at 8 PM. Also, for those with the time and interest to read the newspaper articles written on my case, the best two articles were in the Los Angeles Times (thanks Eric!):
As this requires registration, you can see the same article at https://www.WantToKnow.info/latimescuba1
Jan 8 editorial: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-ed-cuba8jan08,1,4915205.story
See the same article at https://www.WantToKnow.info/040108latimescubaeditorial
The first article from Associated Press (thanks Jeannine!) was published in dozens of newspapers around the world:
Also available at https://www.WantToKnow.info/031226postcubafrederickburks
The two Oakland Tribune articles (thanks Laura!) were also excellent. As they require payment, here a links to the articles free of charge. The editorial is the best!
Thanks again for your interest and have a great day!
Explore these empowering websites coordinated by the nonprofit PEERS network:
www.momentoflove.org - Every person in the world has a heart
www.WantToKnow.info - Revealing major cover-ups & working together for a better world
www.inspiringcommunity.org - Building a Global Community for All
www.weboflove.org - Strengthening the Web of Love that interconnects us all
Educational websites promoting transformation through education and inspiration