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Thursday, June 17, 2004

Cuba Travel Restrictions

CNN has a story about the dumb regulations further restricting travel to Cuba:

The tough new rules allow Cuban-Americans to visit immediate relatives on the island only once every three years, instead of once per year. Visits can last no longer than 14 days, according to the published regulations.

U.S. citizens who are not Cuban-Americans are banned from visiting the island, just 90 miles (150 km) from Florida, with a few exceptions like journalists and legislators.

The regulations ban travelers from bringing back any Cuban merchandise and receiving any gifts of goods or services from the Cuban government, Cuban nationals or citizens of third countries. Travelers previously had been allowed to bring back up to $100 worth of Cuban products for personal consumption.

And authorized visitors can now take only $300 in cash to Cuba, down from $3,000.

The rules also limit to 44 pounds (27.5 kilograms) the amount of baggage travelers can carry to the island and reduce the daily spending limit from $167 to $50.

Educational visits to Cuba were also curtailed.

It is very difficult for me to see how restricting Americans' freedom of movement and travel furthers the cause of freedom in Cuba or in America.

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