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A Bittersweet "Victory" for Easing Cuban Embargo - Food Sales, Si! Travel, No!, 10/6

Cuban American Alliance Education Fund

The Cuban American Alliance Education Fund is a national non profit coalition of Cuban American organizations that works for family reunification and educates the public at large on issues related to hardships caused by current US-Cuba relations. CAAEF is a vehicle for the development of mutually beneficial engagements which promote understanding and human compassion.

A Bittersweet "Victory" for Easing Cuban Embargo - Food Sales, Si! Travel, No!, 10/6

PRESS RELEASE - For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Delvis Fernández Levy Tel. (202) 543-6780
A Bittersweet "Victory" for Easing Cuban Embargo
- Food Sales, Si! Travel, No!

October 6, 2000 - Washington, D.C. At the end of a long and hard fought battle, members of the House and Senate Agricultural Appropriations committee gave in to pressures brought by the republican leadership under representatives DeLay of Texas and Diaz-Balart of Miami. The committee approved food sales from the U.S. to Cuba under very restrictive conditions: Cuba cannot export to the US, trade financing must be arranged through third countries, and travel restrictions are codified into law so the president cannot change them. 

Cuban Americans continue to be the group most affected by the travel restrictions. They are limited to one visit every 12 months to deal with a "close family emergency." And Americans in general are also threatened with fines and jail term if they challenge the travel restrictions. "Over 100,000 Cuban Americans traveled to Cuba last year, many of them senior citizens required to travel long distances to be with their loved ones." said Enrique Conill, CAAEF Advisory Council Director who visited his birth place in 1996 and then returned in 1999 after being absent for over 30 years. "Despite intimidations and threats of fines and jail, families are willing to take the risk."

CAAEF Board member Anamaria Goicoechea added, "Restrictions on family travel violate our human rights and our basic constitutional rights, they must be tested in court."


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