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Cuban Americans protest the new travel restrictions

Miami, FL--(HISPANIC PR WIRE)--The Cuban American Commission for Family Rights, a broad-based coalition of Cuban Americans from across the country, denounces the new governmental restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba as cruel, detrimental to family bonds, and contrary to universal human rights principles and American concepts of freedom and family values.

The new restrictions, which go into effect today, reduce the frequency of family visits permitted from one a year to once every three years and bans visits to such family members as aunts, uncles and cousins. Also, for the first time, those traveling to Cuba to visit family will be required to obtain a specific license from the U.S. Treasury Department and, if permitted to travel, will only be allowed to spend $50 a day. The new rules also prohibit sending remittances to anyone except close relatives and severely limit the types of donations Cuban Americans can take to their loved ones in the island.

"The new measures are inhumane and un-American," said Silvia Wilhelm, a member of the Commission and its Executive Director. "We find it particularly ironic that in the name of freedom for Cuba the freedom of Cuban Americans to travel and to maintain normal family relations are being trampled. During this election year, our plans are to use every legal option available, from legal protests to registering eligible voters in every state, in order that our voices are heard."

"These new measures also fly in the face of the desires of the American people, who, according to all polls, support free travel to Cuba," said Alvaro Fernandez, President of the newly formed Commission. "Surveys consistently show that the vast majority of Cuban Americans support family travel. This is a policy that panders to a minority of Cuban Americans and is nothing more than election-year politics."

The Commission points out that the new regulations also contradict the sentiment of the majority of the U.S. Congress, which has voted four times in a row to lift travel restrictions to Cuba. "We are committed to working with Congress to once and for all return freedom of travel to all Americans," commented Nayfe Faillace, a member of the Commission.

The Commission calls on President Bush, the U.S. Congress and the American people to tear down this shameful wall that separates Cuban families and violates every principle of freedom for which this country stands.

The Cuban American Commission for Family Rights is a broad coalition of Cuban Americans established this past May to denounce the new government restrictions on travel and remittances. Their mission is "to preserve the integrity of the Cuban Family and work to defeat those who want to divide it."

Source: Hispanic PR Wire

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