Key Facts on Cuba Travel Ban
1. It's not illegal to go to Cuba. Below facts on National Lawyers Guild Fact Sheet ("cancel" in password box)
· 1958 - Kent v Dulles - Freedom to Travel established as Fifth Amendment guarantee.
· 1967 - Supreme Court ruled government can not prohibit Americans from traveling to any given country. Justice William.O.Douglas: "Freedom of movement is the very essence of our free society. Once the right to travel is curtailed, all other rights suffer. "Before then, "blacklist" in back of passport. Carter years, citizens were free to travel to Cuba. Reagan administration reestablished currency controls in 1982.
· 1984 - 5-4 Supreme Court decision ruled that foreign policy concerns of executive branch could override our Fifth Amendment right to travel.
2. Currency controls are based on Trading With the Enemy Act, can only be implemented in times of war and national emergency. US Dept. of Treasury, Wayne Smith (Former Chief of US Interests Section in Cuba, Senior Associate at Center for International Policy, Professor, Johns Hopkins University)
3. Penalties against unauthorized travel to Cuba in effect since the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992. Los Angeles Times Yet federal judges not assigned until Oct. 2003. Regulations on travel ban fines only established same month, Oct 2003. Kennedy imposed trade sanctions in 1963. AP/Washington Post
4. 150,000 to 200,000 Americans travel to Cuba each year. Between 20 – 50,000 travel illegally. World Press Review Philadelphia Enquirer/Common Dreams, Dallas Morning News/National Lawyers Guild Many are waved through customs even after writing Cuba on customs form. (We have witnesses to prove this)
5. Oct 2003 - both Senate and House voted with large majorities to eliminate funding for enforcement of the travel ban (59-36, 227-188), but later stripped this language from larger bill in Conference Committee. Nov 2003 - U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved bill S. 950, to lift the Cuba travel ban entirely, by a vote of 13-5. Senate Finance Committee, AP/Washington Post
6. Nov. 4, 2003, 12th straight year UN General Assembly passed resolution calling for end to Cuba trade embargo. Vote 179-3. Only US, Israel, Marshall Islands opposed. Reuters/Global Policy Forum, National Center for Policy Analysis
7. In 10 months after Congress enacted Trade Sanctions and Export Reform Act of 2000, which allows cash sales of agricultural commodities, Cuba purchased almost $200 million in US agricultural products. Cuba imports approximately $1 billion annually from US Allies National Center for Policy Analysis
8. US allows Cuban Americans to send at least $1 billion annually to Cuban relatives – top revenue source for Cuba! Yet travel ban is to stop money going to Cuba. Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor
9. The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is charged with enforcing sanctions against foreign countries, terrorist networks, international narcotics traffickers, and those involved in weapons of mass destruction. Under new Administration guidelines, OFAC dedicates nearly a sixth of its employees to enforcing failed sanctions against Cuba. (10% of budget) Senate Finance Committee
10. Why am I case #1? My case is #03T001 (2003/Treasury/001). Why didn't my girlfriend who traveled with me get same treatment? What about hundreds of cases before and after mine? Could it be because I manage website www.WantToKnow.info, which exposes major government cover-ups?
I lived in communist China 1983 – 85. Why no sanctions there, or in North Korea or Syria for that matter?