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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Castor to Obama: Lift Bush Cuba restrictions



U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, wants the incoming Obama adminsitration to reverse the Bush administration's tough restrictions on family travel and remittances to Cuba.

Under an executive order signed by President Bush, Cuban-Americans are permitted to travel to Cuba to visit close relatives only once every three years. They also may send relatives no more than $300 a year.

"The current restrictions ... bring hardship to the people of Cuba and their family members here in America, many of whom live in my home state of Florida and are my neighbors here in Tampa Bay," Castor wrote Obama in a letter dated today. "The restrictions have proven ineffective in altering the political situation and interfere with fundamental family relations and human rights."

She wrote that relatives in the United States have a hard time visiting sick or dying relatives in Cuba because of "bureaucratic red tape." While the brutal Castro regime should be punished, she wrote, "we cannot allow our policies to bring more hardship to those we intend to help."


[Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 3:09pm]


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