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The Harmon OFAC Letter, 10/16/02

Tom Warner memo, 12/7/02

Paul Davidson reply to Tom Warner, on OFAC's attempt to shut down conferences in Cuba, 12/14/02

How to respond to OFAC harassement of
US Cuba Sister Cities members
, 11/8/02

David H. Harmon Work Samples

US to Cuba Travel News

Links

The US Treasury - 
Office of Foreign Assets Control:
Assault on US Freedoms, 2002

David H. Harmon, Chief of the Enforcement Division at OFAC (Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, charged with policing the Cuba embargo) wrote a harrassing letter (Page 1 and Page 2) on October 16th, 2002  to Seattle activist Tom Warner and a number of others in order to question their involvement in promoting the US Cuba Sister Cities 2002 conference. Warner had posted information on this conference in Cuba and they threatened to fine him for it, saying that it was against OFAC regulations. See our Cuba Conference page for other examples of this "crime."  Harmon, who is shirking his alleged job of denying resources to real terrorists, such as Al Qaeda, is willfully ignoring the Berman Amendment which specifically grants a general license for informational products from Cuba.

See also Paul Davidson reply to Tom Warner, on OFAC's attempt to shut down conferences in Cuba, 12/14/02, for an interesting analysis of this episode.

The real issue here appears to be the Bush Administration's desire to shut down as much as possible the people to people contacts that the US allowed under Clinton.

Articles on OFAC Harassment around

U.S. threatens to fine man who posted Cuba news  12/24/02 Seattle Post Intelligencer: Nothing in here about the attack on freedom of association and right to travel - "Warner has hired a lawyer to argue that the demand for information violates his constitutional rights of free speech and due process. He and several supporters in the civil liberties community held a press conference yesterday to publicize his plight. "All he did was post information on the Internet and they threatened him with fines," said Neil Fox of the Seattle chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. "This is a serious escalation of the assault on civil liberties in this country. It's outrageous."

U.S. threatens to fine man who posted Cuba news  12/24/02 Seattle Post Intelligencer 

Tom Warner Here!  12/20/02 Seattle Cuba: "I may have the dubious honor of being the first person who has been attacked by the Bush administration for using the internet to oppose the policies of the government." Actually, observers remark that what is at stake here is not so much freedom of expression as freedom of association and right to travel, as OFAC is not objecting to Warner posting but more to his alleged organizing work for a conference in Cuba.

Embargo in Cyberspace  12/18/02 Seattle Weekly: "Tom Warner did Castro when Castro wasn't cool. The 77-year-old Seattle activist and World War II vet says he was radicalized "to the ways of imperialism" while sailing to Africa and the Middle East as a merchant seaman after the war." By focusing on an admitted communist, the media avoids the larger issue of Bush's attempts to eliminate people to people contact through such forums as the US Cuba Sister Cities Association.

U.S. may tighten Cuba travel  12/15/02 Miami Herald: from the pen of a Miami Mafia spokesperson - "Under the proposal, which officials describe as one of many ideas being discussed by the administration's policy planners, only Cubans with U.S. citizenship would be allowed to travel to Cuba… However, a U.S. congressman said Saturday in Havana that support is growing for an end to the travel ban and that the law could be changed within two years."

Congress needs help on OFAC License Refusals  12/9/02 US Cuba Sister Cities Association: "As part of their work on Cuba policy, members of the Cuba Working Group in the House of Representatives are keeping an eye on the Cuba licensing activity of the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control. In that connection they have asked me to help them by gathering information on actual licensing decisions that have been made by OFAC. So I am contacting a wide number of people, and I encourage you to pass this note on to others."

OFAC Harasses US Cuba Sister Cities members over April Conference  10/23/02 USCSCA: "We are getting scattered reports that OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) is sending letters of "Requirement to Furnish Information" pertaining to our sister city gathering in Cuba. People who did not participate in any way are getting these (scary and lengthy) letters as well as several sister city delegates."

Right to Travel to Cuba  7/1/02 AAAS 

Washington triples fines for traveling to Cuba  2/26/02 Granma: "What even ‘El Nuevo Herald,’ voice of Miami’s Cuban American National Foundation, called an avalanche of U.S. visitors to the island, has provoked an hysterical but impotent campaign to prevent it… In his speech to the subcommittee during the hearing, Senator Dorgan explained that the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Department of Treasury (OFAC) focuses on, among other things, the pursuit of worldwide financing for terrorism. The government proposes increasing the budget by $2 million USD in 2003, he added, and the reason for the hearing is to evaluate what has been happening with respect to the use of the OFAC funds for the persecution of U.S. citizens who travel to Cuba."

Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) to Hold Hearings on Right To Travel  1/12/02 USCSCA: Senator Byron Dorgan (ND) has agreed to hold hearing on OFAC's mismanagement of travel licenses and on the right to travel. Links and petition on this site.

Tom Warner memo, 12/7/02

From: Tom Warner <warner@scn.org>
Subject:
I Have Been Accused of Using the Internet to Advocate Travel to Cuba
Date sent: Sat, 7 Dec 2002 18:21:45 -0800 (PST)

Tom Warner here! I may have the dubious honor of being the first person who has been attacked by the Bush administration for using the internet to oppose the policies of the government. - I have been known to do that from time to time, and the internet has been a huge liberating factor in freeing the public from the confines of the commercial media - news print - TV - radio - etc. Now for the first time demonstrations of heretofore unprecedented size can happen within weeks of a reactionary development.

What I have been accused of is using the internet and the web site of the Seattle/Cuba Friendship Committee to "organize and promote" a trip to Cuba without a license. I regularly do publicize trips to Cuba, both licensed and unlicensed. I have had to engage attorneys on my behalf to represent me in this matter.

I am concerned that this assault on the freedom of speech and expression - especially through the internet - be stanched before it chills peoples free expression and their ability to respond to objectionable behavior by the government or other powers in authority. I am attaching jpg. images of the letter that they sent to me and the "evidence" that they are using from our web site. Failure on my part to respond in a timely manner to these accusations can result in a penalty of thousands of dollars.

As a first step in fighting against this undemocratic act by the Treasury Department, I would like to call a press conference and I would like to have you and the staff of your magazine present. The press will be more attentive if there are concerned citizens such as yourself present.

Could you attend such a press conference? Could you write up an article about this assault on civil liberties and the internet and computer usage?

If you know of others in the progressive community or who have strong feelings for an unfettered internet, have them contact me, please.

In solidarity,

Thomas W. Warner (Secretary Seattle/Cuba Friendship Committee)
8923 2nd Ave. N.E.
Seattle, WA, 98115
(206) 523-1720

warner@scn.org
http://www.seattlecuba.org

Paul Davidson reply to Tom Warner, on OFAC's attempt to shut down conferences in Cuba, 12/14/02

From: p.davidson@btinternet.com (Paul Davidson) To: warner@scn.org (Tom Warner)

Dear Tom:

Thank you for the invite to your press conference. Unfortunately it will be too far for me to attend. Here are my thoughts on the issues involved.

1) There is an increasing and escalating attack on civil rights in the US (and world-wide)
2) There are moves to restrict and spy on Internet use world-wide
3) Policing agencies feel confident enough to come out of the closet on what they have been doing for decades illegally
4) They like to create precedent through action, and judge the response

All the above is true and concern over these issues has already created an awareness and an audience. The "progressive community" and its interest in "unfettered Internet" is one you have mentioned.

However, it seems to me from reading your solicitor's letter that this OFAC action does not specifically attack Internet users. It is in fact an attack on anyone who passes on or advertises information relating to acts involving unlicensed travel to Cuba, whereby persons reading that material might (it is suggested) be encouraged to travel unlicensed to Cuba. Let us assume that OFAC could have sent the same letter to anyone distributing hardcopy advertising on a conference in Cuba. There is nothing specific to Internet use here, with regard to the thrust of the attack, which is an attack on promoting travel to Cuba.

Two things are pertinent here.

1) The Treasury Department did not get this information by intercepting email traffic. They have systems to do this and they do it. But this information was gathered from a public place, a Website.

2) Your lawyers have correctly pointed out that any politically pointed gathering, sorting, storing and disseminating of information is an act regulated by law and s/he correctly questions whether they have been engaged in a legal procedure here. But this again is not Internet specific. If they search through my garbage cans they better have a warrant. If their agents attend my political meeting, they better have a warrant or suchlike.

3) The issue of the 1st and 5th amendments on computer surveillance may be a problem for them but I doubt it. Your lawyer is simply presenting them with an additional issue to respond to and has clearly included this in the last point of the last sentence in the last paragraph of the main body or argument of the text, before the final demands.

This analysis suggests to me that this is not fundamentally an attack on Internet use but is more obviously, just what it states itself to be, an attack on your right to communicate information, in any way whatsoever, with regard to promoting travel to Cuba. And, incredibly, they assert that merely by advertising a conference, you are promoting travel without a license.

'Incredibly', for three reasons. 1) It is up to travelers to apply for a license, not those who advertise a conference, to promote licensing, 2) you are clearly not offering to arrange travel or act as an agency for travel in any way and 3) traveling to Cuba without a license is not illegal, so why are they chasing you at all for promoting a perfectly legal conference which US citizens have a legal right to attend?

But what sort of an attack is this really?

Are they setting a precedent here? Well, thousands of Cuba travelers have actually been fined. Tens of thousands have had letters and hundreds of thousands are aware that they could receive letters. This seems to be the first time someone has received an OFAC letter for "passing along information." But I feel this is as much provocation as it is intimidation, in the sense that they will not move to fine you (especially after your lawyer's excellent letter to them) and it seems to me that they cannot really believe in what they are doing, in the sense that it will create a new precedent for them.

By attacking in this form they are provoking a 'false fight' to see how easy it is for us to get riled up and indignant on the form (Internet use) rather than the content (freedom to travel). Meanwhile they get on with the job of closing down travel!!

But how to answer the issue of free speech?

On free speech itself the wider audience would be found, not on the issue of Internet surveillance but on the issue of the legal right to pass on information, which this OFAC letter 'appears' to attack. But if this is a real attack they will have to carry it forwards. If they do not, then it will have proved to be a provocation.

But it would not be a political response to simply focus on this one issue. When your enemy makes a mistake by launching an attack they cannot sustain in the public eye, the time is to mount a very public counter attack. To simply deal with the 'right of free speech' would be defensive.

The way forward should be to challenge the US government's Treasury Department by acting on those rights of free speech as vigorously and openly as possible to do exactly what they are attacking you/us for, the promotion of travel to Cuba! In fact, this attack on the right to travel has been delivered in a way to intimidate the right to free speech. It needs to be answered by asserting one's right to free speech on exactly the issue they attacked upon, travel to Cuba.

A public event could therefore be organized TO PROMOTE A CONFERENCE IN CUBA and to promote a delegation from Seattle to that conference, for example the next USCSCA conference in April.

In other words this would be a real challenge for OFAC. Would they actually try to prosecute anyone for organizing a public meeting to promote a conference in Cuba. And if not, then this more clearly reveals the absurdity of their letter to you. Also, by organizing some such public event as a counter attack and counter challenge, you could have a panel of all those who have received the OFAC letters. You could tell the tale of the Florida granny fined $8,000 for cycling in Cuba and all the other horror stories.

And then if they back off we will have gained some useful ground and created quite a stir. It will then be easier to organize travel, not harder.

How will focusing on the Internet issue make organizing travel to Cuba easier? What then would be the goal of that effort? Especially considering OFAC is only shadow-boxing on the issue, and making us think they have more power then they actually have. It credits their 'power' too much to take them on at there own puny level. Especially if in so doing we miss the opportunity to go on the offensive. And maybe that is their plan, to misdirect our energies!! The aim would be NOT to respond defensively to this provocation (I defend my right to free speech on the Internet) but to USE the attack to go on the offensive - publicly -- to attack OFAC on the broadest question which 80% of the US public agree with you on, the right of freedom to travel. And from that platform to actually and concretely to promote travel, which your lawyer rightly asserts is your constitutional right to do. And to do so as an upfront travel-challenge as an upfront answer to the OFAC provocation.

To react defensively on the side-issue that OFAC presents you with would give them the impression that you/we are easily panicked. And then this encourages them to play us along like puppets on strings. And while we are busy fighting for Internet rights, they are busy closing down travel, an issue on which they would otherwise face public opposition!!

And if one did concentrate on the Internet issue, what would a 'win' look like? What would one expect to actually get out of it? How would one draw up a balance sheet? What would prevent them from doing the same in future? Any victory would undoubtedly be phyric if they never had intent to pursue a prosecution or inflict a fine in the first place. So we need a sober assessment and have no doubt they are making their assessment of us 24/7.

It would be easy for us to stir up lots of heat on the left and "progressive community" with this "unfettered Internet" issue but that potential should not distract us. The progressive left always orient to heat, even where the heat is not from any real battle but is simply that radiating from any dung heap they happen across. In my opinion, the real battle here is the closing down of travel. I do not think they can sustain this attack on you, especially if you play it right by taking the offensive to them. But they just love to see us get riled up on side issues, it simply encourages them to launch new provocation's of the same type.

Many regards

Paul Davidson

David H. Harmon Work Samplestop

Warning Letter 
from The Department of the Treasury and Voices in the Wilderness' Response
iraqpeaceteam.org/pages/treasury_letter.html

The following letter was faxed to Voices In the Wilderness on January 22, 1996 by the Office of Foreign Assets, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Washington, DC:

Dear Ms. Kelly:

The U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) administers and enforces a comprehensive economic sanctions program and trade embargo against the government of Iraq ("GOI") as promulgated in the Iraqi Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F..R. Part 575 (the "Regulations"), under authority of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq. ("IEEPA"), and the United Nations Participation Act, 22 U.S.C., 287c. The Regulations prohibit U.S. persons from engaging in virtually all direct or indirect commercial, financial or trade transactions with Iraq, unless authorized by OFAC.

This Office has learned that you and other members of Voices in the Wilderness recently announced your intention to collect medical relief supplies for the people of Iraq at various locations in the United States and to personally transport the supplies to Iraq.

Section 575.205 of the Regulations prohibits the exportation or reexportation of goods, technology, or services to Iraq, except as specifically provided in the Regulations. Pursuant to section 575.521 of the Regulations, specific licenses may be issued by OFAC on a case-by-case basis to authorize the exportation to Iraq of donated medical supplies intended strictly for medical purposes in accord- ance with United Nations Security Council Resolutions 661 and 666 and other applicable Security Council resolutions. OFAC has issued many licenses authorizing exportation to Iraq of food, medicine, medical supplies and other humanitarian aid items.

Section 575.207 prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in any transaction relating to travel by any U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien to Iraq or to activities within Iraq, with the following exceptions: * those transactions necessary to effect the departure of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident ???alien from Iraq; * transactions relating to travel and activities for the conduct of official business of the U.S. ???Government or the United Nations and * transactions relating to journalistic activity by persons regularly employed in such capacity by ???a newsgathering organization.

All other travel related transactions to and within Iraq by U.S. persons, to include the payment of one's own travel or living expenses to or within Iraq, are prohibited unless specifically licensed by OFAC.

OFAC has no record that your organization has requested a specific license to export medical supplies to Iraq and to travel to Iraq to supervise the delivery of such supplies.

Accordingly, you and members of Voices in the Wilderness are hereby Warned to refrain from engaging in any unauthorized transactions related to the exportation of medical supplies and travel to Iraq. Criminal penalties for violating the Regulations range up to 12 years in prison and $1 million in fines. Civil penalties of up to $250,000 per violation may be imposed administratively by OFAC.

Should you wish to apply for a specific license, you may do so in writing at the following address:

U.S. Department of the Treasury
Office of Foreign Assets Control
Attn: Licensing Division
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. (Annex)
Washington, D.C. 20220

If you have any questions concerning this letter, you may call me at (202) 622-2430.

Sincerely,
David H. Harmon Acting Supervisor, Enforcement Division Office of Foreign Assets Control

500,000 Iraqi Children Have Died: "Oh My God!"
http://www.casi.org.uk/discuss/1998/msg00196.html

Date: Sun, 3 May 1998 08:40:17 -0700 (PDT) 
From: Kathy Kelly <kkelly@igc.apc.org
Dear Friends, 

Below is an article that Bert Sacks, of Seattle, WA, recently wrote. Bert traveled with the November '96 delegation and returned to Iraq again in November '97. Please feel free to use any or all of it for education, outreach and publication. 

The International Action Center has managed to pull together visas, flights, press packets and 80 very determined people to travel, May 6, as the Iraq Sanctions Challenge. Lets hope this concerted effort, led by Bishop Tom Gumbleton and former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, can dent US public awareness - bringing home to cities and towns across the US reports and images of what's happened to Iraqis under 7 1/2 years of siege. 

It may be that the US state department was very keen to swiftly organize the Americares humanitarian shipment which flew into Iraq last week with 32 tons of medicines--a shipment like that helps offset reports of civilian suffering with an impression that the US is doing its best to alleviate misery. The message of Americares -- nonpolitical concern for the suffering in Iraq coupled with support for continued sanctions -- misses the boat. We feel sure the answer continues to be, "End the sanctions," yet who would deny the overwhelming need for every oz. of the medicine Americares took in. I'll leave today for Amman, along with three of International Action Center's workers, to assist with advance work for the Iraq Sanctions Challenge delegation. Brad Simpson, Soyun Kim and Mike Bremer will 'hold the fort' here in Chicago--please do let them know if you have any ideas, questions or suggestions for us. And please forgive me if you've written lately and haven't gotten a response. Hope to catch up in late May. 

Sincerely, 
Kathy Kelly 
for Voices in the Wilderness 

500,000 Iraqi Children Have Died: "Oh My God!" 
by Bert Sacks Seattle, WA 
206-548-9566 
(Bert is a civil engineer who has traveled to Iraq two times, with Voices in the Wilderness, most recently in November, 1997). 

I recently returned from several weeks traveling on the East Coast, speaking to people about what I had seen in Iraq in 1996 and 1997. I would call up the State Department or Thomas Friedman's office in Washington, DC, or PBS's Frontline office in Boston, and start trying, with a secretary, to "talk my way in." Fairly soon on I would ask that secretary the question: By the way, do you know how many children have died in Iraq since the start of sanctions? None of the secretaries knew the answer. I would tell them 500,000 Iraqi children have died from sanctions. The spontaneous reaction I got several times, and the one I most hoped for, was "Oh, my God!" If I heard "Oh, my God," or something similar, then I knew the person would be sympathetic. Most people are startled to hear that 500,000 pre-school children --- and a million civilians --- have died in Iraq. People aren't surprised that in Cambodia or Rwanda a million civilians have died. But in Iraq mostly we've been told that civilians are "suffering hardships." When people hear the number of Iraqi deaths for the first time, no one has every said to me: It can't be, because I follow the news and would know of it. People recognize immediately that what has been going on is a major news misrepresentation. 

The New York Times of March 22, 1991, a few weeks after the end of the Gulf War, presents this misrepresentation just as it was about to start. The lead story, "U.N. Survey Calls Iraq's War Damage Near-Apocalyptic," covers the first report on Iraq after the war. That UN report concludes: "It is unmistakable that the Iraqi people may soon face a famine [and epidemics] if massive aid life-supporting needs are not rapidly met. Time is short." The same story presents the U.S. administration view that "by making life uncomfortable for the Iraqi people it [sanctions] would eventually encourage them to remove President Saddam Hussein from power." 

In the years since then, the U.S. view (using famine and epidemic while calling it "making life uncomfortable") has deeply biased Western opinion and reporting. Initially, there was important news coverage of the famine and epidemics that were predicted. PBS' Frontline did an hour-long program, "The War We Left Behind," in which Pentagon war strategist Colonel John Warden explains that we bombed the electrical plants (and water works) of Iraq to create "long-term leverage." The program then showed the results: no clean water, sewage in the streets, and many, many children dying from epidemics of water borne diseases. But by the time the first scientific study appeared in The New England Journal of Medicine (9/24/92), despite a reported "excess" of 46,900 Iraqi children's deaths in the first eight months of 1991, the story was no longer "news." By 1996, Frontline's four-hour program on the fifth anniversary of the war made no mention of deaths from sanctions at all. 

After 1991, the misrepresentation hinted at in the New York Times story had pretty much taken hold. Sanctions, which UN data indicate cause 50,000 to 100,000 Iraqi children's deaths every year, are regularly described in our media as causing "suffering" or "hardships." The reason behind this misrepresentation is clear. For years we said we've been using sanctions to try to overthrow Saddam Hussein or to force him to reveal his weapons programs. In both cases, we openly admit we are using sanctions to coerce the Iraqi people or the Iraqi government. If we initiated and now maintain sanctions (with our UN veto), how can anyone believe we don't have responsibility for their consequences? 

Yet some influential people say just this. A. M. Rosenthal's opinion piece in The Seattle P-I (12/9/97) begins: "For seven years Saddam Hussein has murdered Iraqi children, thousands." Can Mr. Rosenthal not know that 100,000's of Iraqi children have died? He wrote there have never been sanctions on medicines. I have a letter from Mr. David Harmon of the U.S. Treasury Department warning the group I travel with of 12-year jail penalties and a $1 million fine for bringing the most basic medicines to Iraq. Mr. Rosenthal implies (and President Bush repeatedly said) that we don't intend harm to the Iraqi people. I have asked State Department spokesperson Andrew Steinfeld why --- if we intend no harm --- we support ANY limit on the sale of oil in the "oil for food" deal. All purchases are completely controlled by the UN. Current limits have left 960,000 Iraqi children chronically malnourished (UNICEF, 11/26/97). He had no answer! It is sad to conclude that we withhold food, medicine, and safe water from civilians to coerce Iraq. Whatever we say about the morality of the Iraqi government, how does that make OUR policy moral? Or practical? 

What can be done? UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's trip to Iraq and the world's wonderful response to his diplomatic success gives us a direction. The Chicago Tribune ran a front-page story (3/16/98) which contains the advice "lift the sanctions because the punishment cannot go on" and "deal with Hussein as UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has done." When the world so supported Kofi Annan's success, everyone knew that forcing our will with military strikes would be unacceptable. The world's opposition to our "tough" policy towards Iraq should give us cause to rethink. But if we don't rethink with honesty, we'll be lost. This means not calling a million deaths in Cambodia or Rwanda "murder," but in Iraq "hardships." This means not falsifying our own intentions. This means remembering that 20 million people live in Iraq, not just one. This means not demonizing our "enemy" when it suits us, and ignoring the same behavior when that suits us. Without honesty we are lost. We are very lost in our foreign policy towards the people of Iraq. 

Voices in the Wilderness 
A Campaign to End the US/UN Economic Sanctions Against the People of Iraq
1460 West Carmen Ave. Chicago, IL 60640 
ph:773-784-8065; f: 773-784-8837 
email: kkelly@igc.apc.org


Stamp's rollout runs into legal trouble, 2/16/00, The Oregoniantop
Hamon in his role as thought police.

Law dashes a dealer's plans to make a splash this weekend in Portland with the sale of a North Korean issue

"The theory behind this is that they don't want a great gush of money to go to North Korea and fund (North Korean President) Kim Jong Il," he said. "That's just ridiculous. . . . I don't think they'd sell $10,000 a year over here."

Dianda's plan began to unravel in late January when he said he received a letter from David H. Harmon, chief of the enforcement division of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, within the U.S. Treasury Department. Harmon demanded complete details of Dianda's sales and of his suppliers of North Korean stamps.

Harmon's office is responsible for implementing and enforcing economic and trade sanctions against some foreign countries. He told Dianda that criminal penalties for violating regulations range to 10 years in prison and $1 million in corporate fines.

Harassment of Cuba Study Tour, 11/96top

Treasury Dept. Harasses College for Cuba Study Tour

Professor Tom Reeves of Roxbury Community College in Boston, MA and the College itself have received harassing letters from the US Treasury Department about a field study tour to Cuba in March 1996 sponsored by the RCC Caribbean Focus Program of which Professor Reeves is facilitator.

The Caribbean Focus program, founded in 1986, regularly holds accredited courses on Caribbean topics including field study to Caribbean countries such as Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica. In 1995 the program held the first Cuban Reality course, followed in March 1996 by the Cuban Reality Study Tour. Application was made to the US Treasury Department for permits for a total of 17 participants in the tour. Permits were approved for one RCC professor and five full-time RCC and Tufts University students but not for "non-traditional" part-time students.

The Treasury letter to Reeves stated in part "...[W]e have reason to believe that a number of unauthorized individuals participated in the Field Study...All persons located in the United States...are subject to the prohibitions of [Federal regulation of travel to Cuba]...Criminal penalties for violation of the regulation rang up to 10 years in prison and $1 million in corporate and $250,000 in individual fines...and civil penalties of
$50,000...[I]t is hereby required that you provide this Office, under oath, with complete details in writing concerning the participants in the Field Study including the name and current addresses of all individuals who participated in the Field Study in Cuba."

Professor Reeves refused to comply under protection of the first and fifth amendments to the US Constitution. He insists that "regulation of academic travel to Cuba violates the rights of US citizens to travel abroad, to seek information concerning public issues, and to exchange information with people in other countries."

In a serious violation of academic freedom, the acting dean at the college has ordered him to accede to Treasury Department demands. Reeves is resisting this demand and is represented by the Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.

Faculty, students, and the general public are urged to write letters condemning this act of intimidation and supporting the right of travel and academic exchange. Write to David Harmon, Chief, Enforcement Division, U.S. Treasury Department, Washington, D.C. 20220 (Fax: 202-622-1657) Send copies to Dean Paul Willenbrock, President Grace Carolyn Brown, and the Caribbean Focus Program at Roxbury Community College, 1234 Columbus Avenue, Boston, MA 02120.


Links

US Treasury - Office of Foreign Assets Control - the den of evil.

OFAC harasses USCSCA members over conference, 10/23/02

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