Cuba Document Archive | Travel and Remittances


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Migration Policy Reform: Cuba Gets Started, U.S. Should Follow

by Phillip Peters (Lexington Institute, December 2012)

After the Cuban government’s overhaul of major travel restrictions to foreign nations, Peters encourages the United States to reexamine its own immigration policies that appear to favor migrants from Cuba. Because the previously isolated government has promised to make it easier for its citizens to leave, the author claims that the U.S. should adjust its policy towards Cuba for fiscal, economic, and security reasons.

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Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances

by Mark Sullivan (Congressional Research Service, November 2012)

This Congressional Research Service report details past legislative efforts to lessen travel restrictions from the United States to Cuba, and focuses on the response to President Obama’s decision to ease restrictions in 2009 and again in 2011.

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U.S.-Cuba Academic and Science-Based Exchanges

by Stephen Johnson (Center for Strategic and International Studies, August 2012)

Johnson calls for an open exchange of academic information with Cuba to promote advances in several areas of study. Although Cuba is a closed society, the authors point out that past relationships between the United States and other restricted nations such as North Korea and Iran proved to be mutually beneficial. Based on historic relations with Cuba, the author believes that an open educational dialogue would catalyze advances for both U.S. and Cuban scholars.

Link to the full text via CSIS

Cuba: What You Need to Know about U.S. Sanctions Against Cuba

(Office of Foreign Assets Control, Department of the Treasury; January 2012)

The Office of Foreign Assets Control details the regulations and sanctions against Cuba and provides information about what can and cannot be done to legally access the closed nation. It includes regulations about travel, remittances, and imports and exports.

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Comprehensive Guidelines for License Applications to Engage in Travel-Related Transactions Involving Cuba

(Office of Foreign Assets Control, U.S. Department of the Treasury, April 2011)

These guidelines inform those under the jurisdiction of U.S. law of the various licenses available to travel legally to Cuba, as well as regulations on importing/exporting merchandise.

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Reaching Out to the Cuban People

(The White House, January 2011)

In 2011 President Obama eased travel restrictions with Cuba to increase contact between Cuban civil society and those living in the United States. The President asks to continue the embargo, while allowing charter flights for purposeful travel from the United States to Cuba.

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Memorandum: Amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations

Letter to the Committee on Foreign Affairs 

(National Security Network, September 2010)

Signed by several retired military generals, this letter calls for legislative action to end the Cuban embargo. Claiming that the embargo restricts American movement and only strengthens the Castro regime, the authors argue that thawing U.S.-Cuban relations would promote democracy, national security, and economic growth.

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Letter from Cuban Citizens to the United States Congress

Cuban Civil Society (Intramuros blog, May 2010)

Cuban citizens sent the letter below to Congress, encouraging them to remove the travel ban. The letter reminds the Congress members that there are many non-profit organizations, constituencies, and human rights councils concerned with Cuban isolationism. By easing travel restrictions, the signatories of this letter hope to promote development and to curtail governmental repression.

Link to the full text via Intramuros

Chairman Berman’s Opening Statement at Hearing, ‘Is it Time to Lift the Ban on Travel to Cuba?'

(Chairman Berman's Opening Statement, November 2009)

Before the United States’ House of Representatives, Chairman Berman demonstrates Congressional desire to lessen travel restrictions to Cuba for the benefit of citizens from both countries. While agreeing that a trade embargo should remain in place, Berman urges greater contact with Cubans to advance each nations’ economy and culture while also protecting Cuban citizens from potential human rights violations.

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Fact Sheet: Reaching Out to the Cuban People

(The White House, April 2009)

President Obama’s plan to modernize and globalize Cuba by removing travel restrictions and limits on remittances while adding telecommunications technology and an improved diplomatic relationship with their leaders is detailed here. This fact sheet also lists advisories and changes to policy regarding travel to Cuba. 

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Promoting Democracy and Human Rights in Cuba

(The White House, April 2009)

The White House releases Obama's plan to promote contact between the United States and Cuba through the removal of travel restrictions and limitations on remittances.

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Letter on Easing the Travel Ban to Cuba 

(Congress of the United States, February 2009)

Several members of the House of Representatives to then-Secretaries of State and of the Treasury, describe the Congressional support President Obama gained when he announced plans to lessen travel restrictions to Cuba. The signers of the letter indicate their agreement with travel for educational, religious, and cultural experience and make suggestions to facilitate an easier process for American citizens.

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Vacation Over: Implications for the Caribbean of Opening U.S.-Cuba Tourism

by Rafael Romeu (International Monetary Fund Working Paper, July 2008)

Rafael Romeu considers the ramifications of opening Cuba to tourism. He claims that U.S. tourism to Cuba would threaten other Caribbean nations’ that are economically dependent on U.S. travelers.

Link to the full text via IMF

Retreat from Reason

(Latin American Working Group, September 2006)

This position paper from the Latin American Working Group criticizes the George W. Bush administration’s stringent policies towards Cuba and Cuban-American immigrants. Despite harsh restrictions, the authors point to academic relationships between scholars of the two nations as a sign of cooperation and the promise of an eventual restored relationship.

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Economic Benefits to the United States from Lifting the Ban on Travel to Cuba

by Ed Sanders and Patrick Long (Cuba Policy Foundation, 2002)

Sanders and Long explore the potential economic benefits to the United States that would result from easing trade and travel restrictions with Cuba. Considering three different scenarios, the report gives both conservative and high estimates about the probability of mutual economic growth.

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Cuban-American Cuba Visits: Public Policy, Private Practices

by Susan Eckstein and Lorena Barberia (January 2001)-email

Survey results from first- and second-generation Cuban immigrants to the U.S. indicate a generation gap concerning visitation, aid, and government relations between the United States and Cuba. According to the researchers’ findings, first-generation immigrants are much more likely to oppose an open relationship with Cuba for moral and political reasons. In contrast, their children have fewer moral qualms about traveling to Cuba and are more likely to support a normalized relationship.

Link to full text via Diáspora y Desarrollo

Chronology of Cuba Travel Licensing Program

(Office of Foreign Affairs Control, Department of Treasury, 2000)

This timeline traces the evolution of trade restrictions with Cuba from the Kennedy Administration through 2000.

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