The US House of Representatives passed bill that will intensify sanctions on Cuba
New York, July 12, 2016. The Anti-Cuba lobby in the United States House of Representatives recently brought to naught an amendment that would allow Americans to freely travel to Cuba and, in addition, managed to approve the imposition of new sanctions on Cuba in the draft Fiscal Year 2017 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill.
This bill provides for the funding of numerous governmental agencies and services while subtly presenting various prohibitions out of which some are related to traveling to Cuba.
The House of Representatives indicates in the draft document its wish to include additional sanctions against Cuba such as the following:
- Prohibition to travel to Cuba for certain educational exchanges such as the so-called people-to-people,
- Prohibition of import of property confiscated by the Cuban Government,
- Prohibition of any financial transactions involving the Cuban military,
- Prohibition of the use of funds to approve licenses with respect to a mark, trade name or commercial name that was confiscated by the Cuban Government without express consent of the United States.
These proposals remained in the draft document that was voted upon Thursday July 7, while two amendments for the elimination of restrictions on agricultural exports and travel to Cuba were removed. On this occasion, the political balance weighed in favor of the anti-Cuba lobby in the US House of Representatives.
Last month, as part of a debate on its draft financial services bill, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed an amendment introduced by Democratic Senators Patrick Leahy and Jerry Moran, proposing to put an end to restrictions on travel to Cuba. The amendment was approved by voice vote without opposition.
Last year, Senators Patrick Leahy (Democratic candidate from Vermont) and Jeff Flake (Democratic candidate from Arizona) also introduced the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act in order to lift all travel restrictions to Cuba for Americans, which has already gained the support of 51 senators despite the fact that it has not been introduced for a vote.
Cuba is the only country in the world prohibited by the United States as a tourist destination. Only a limited amount of American citizens is authorized to travel to Cuba under very specific licenses.