The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) fully supports the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act, bipartisan legislation introduced Jan. 29 that would fully repeal restrictions on travel by American citizens and legal residents to Cuba.
“ASTA has long believed that Americans ought to be allowed to travel across the globe without restriction, allowing them to act as ambassadors of freedom and American values abroad,” said Zane Kerby, ASTA president and CEO. “While the Administration’s recent actions on Cuba were a step in the right direction, it is Congress that needs to step up to the plate on travel freedom. We are seeing that leadership now from Senators Flake, Leahy and their bipartisan coalition, and we will do everything in our power to get this bill across the finish line.”
In December, President Obama announced an agreement between the US and Cuban governments to ease long-standing restrictions on trade and other interactions between the two countries, including those preventing American citizens from travelling to Cuba. On Jan. 15, the U.S. Treasury Department issued regulations reflecting the new policy under which travel service providers may arrange travel to Cuba for US citizens without the need for a government license – but only if the travel conforms with restrictions in current law. General tourism remains prohibited under the Cuba embargo enshrined in US law.
The bill introduced Jan. 29, the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act, would repeal all provisions relating to US residents’ travel to Cuba in their entirety, saying simply that, “the President may not prohibit or otherwise regulate, directly or indirectly, travel to or from Cuba by United States citizens or legal residents.”
ASTA has long supported a full repeal of the travel ban to Cuba.