On Wednesday, a congressional committee may vote on a bill that would allow all Americans to travel to Cuba.

There have been over 35 communist transitions. In every one of them, we engaged and helped bring about the gradual changes that eventually brought the Iron Curtain down. Conversely, a policy of isolation, as we apply to Cuba, has no precedent of success anywhere in bringing about the fall of a totalitarian system.

Fidel Castro's strategy has been clear since the very beginning: that the revolution, and the Cuban nation, are one and the same, indistinguishable and indivisible. For nearly 50 years, we have been reinforcing that strategy through our policy and actions. Obsessed with the Castro brothers, we've forgotten the people.

No wonder the vast majority of Cuban dissidents on the island, the virtual who's who of Cuba's opposition, have asked for free travel. These range from Yoani Sanchez, Cuba's famous independent blogger, to Guillermo Fariñas, whose recent hunger strike forced Cuba to release political prisoners.

American taxpayers have spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to break the Cuban government's information embargo. Yet, we refuse to send our best carriers of information — our own people and our rich and diverse civil society. Why keep them at bay?

Travel opponents will repeat arguments of the past: Europeans have traveled to Cuba for years and have failed to bring about change. Ironically, they fail to explain how keeping Americans away has equally failed to do so.

They miss that there is no silver bullet. Change is never brought from the outside. Only the Cuban people can cause change. While we cannot cause change in Cuba, we can certainly help create a more enabling environment for change to occur.

Cuba is now implementing the early steps of meaningful reforms. More is needed, but this is the time to step in and facilitate a climate of change — best accomplished by increasing the rewards of change, diminishing its cost, and helping, engaging and empowering the Cuban people.

The best-known human rights organizations argue for the end of the travel ban. With their vast experience promoting human rights across the globe, they know that their work is greatly facilitated with ease of travel. In the end, Congress will have an opportunity to side with the Cuban people, in their quest for freedom and change. Will they help the Cuban people, or will they succumb to politics as usual?



News Center

Date Title
9/30/10 When Life Imitates a Charlie Chaplin Movie... You Know You're in Cuba
Yoani Sanchez, Huffington Post
9/30/10 Cuba ready to drill for oil deeper than BP
Lesley Clark and Sarah Kennedy, Miami Herald
9/29/10 A helping U.S. hand to Cuba’s market reform?
Susan Ekstein, Reuters
9/29/10 The Threat of a Label: "Dissident"
Yoani Sanchez, Huffington Post
9/29/10 Castro recycles '60 speech
Washington Times
9/29/10 Castro address tens of thousands for over an hour
Will Weissert, AP
9/29/10 Tropical depression soaks Cuba, heads for Florida
Will Weissert, AP
9/28/10 US lawmakers puts off action on Cuba travel ban
AFP
9/28/10 Current Record
9/27/10 El Dorado and the Left of the 21st Century
Yoani Sanchez, Huffington Post
9/27/10 "Permission Denied": The Cuban Regime Is Afraid To Let Me Travel
Yoani Sanchez, Huffington Post
9/24/10 Blockade vs. Embargo: Reason Hijacked
Ernesto Morales Licea, Pequeño Hermano
9/24/10 Cuba Details New Policies on Budding Entrepreneurs
Elisabeth Malkin, New York Times
9/24/10 Freed dissidents who stay in Cuba may be put under parole
Juan Tamayo, Miami Herald
9/24/10 House panel to move forward on easing Cuba policy
Reuters
9/23/10 Hunger striker who sewed lips shut hospitalized
Juan Tamayo, El Nuevo Herald
9/23/10 Cuba offers 19 ways Obama can loosen US embargo
Andrea Rodriguez, AP
9/22/10 Lawyer in line to head Martí stations
Juan Tamayo, Miami Herald
9/22/10 Near Cuba, Wary Kin Wait for Proof of a New Path
Damien Cave, New York Times
9/21/10 Brazil offers Cuba help to develop small businesses
BBC
9/21/10 New weapon against regime: Immediacy
Yoani Sanchez, Miami Herald
9/21/10 Towards a mixed economy
The Economist
9/21/10 Why Reconciliation Succeeded With Vietnam, but Is Failing With Cuba
John McAuliff, Huffington Post
9/20/10 Changes in Cuba Challenge Obama's Will to Respond and Change Course
Sarah Stephens, Huffington Post
9/20/10 Cuban Teachers Desert An Increasingly Despised Profession
Yoani Sanchez, Huffington Post
9/20/10 Layoffs in Cuba
Editorial Opinion, Washington Post
9/20/10 Cuban minister sacked amid policy changes
Isabel Sanchez, AFP
9/19/10 Cuba's Castro learns what most of us already knew
George Will, Washington Post
9/19/10 Cuba's tailspin into the `free' market
Editorial Opinion, Miami Herald
9/19/10 British firms could be first foreigners to buy land in Cuba since revolution
Elena Moya, Guardian
9/19/10 Cuba Resets the Revolution
Marc Lacey, New York Times
9/18/10 We must stanch Cuba's coming crisis
Edward Schumacher-Matos, Washington Post
9/17/10 Oil slicks don't respect political boundaries. Neither should cleanups
Editorial Opinion, Houston Chronicle
9/17/10 No word on easing travel
Lesley Clark and Juan Tamayo, Miami Herald
9/17/10 A sea of pink slips on a red isle
Editorial, Financial Times
9/17/10 The Naked King
Reinaldo Escobar, Huffington Post
9/17/10 We must stanch Cuba's coming crisis
Edward Schumacher-Matos
9/17/10 Senate confirms Tampa native to oversee Voice of America, Radio Marti
Alex Leary, St. Pete Times
9/17/10 Cuba offers 19 ways Obama can loosen US embargo
Andrea Rodriguez, Miami Herald
9/16/10 Lift the hurdles for travel to Cuba
Doug Jaraczewski, Chicago Tribune
9/16/10 Expert: Cuba in first phase of de-Fidelization
Carol Rosenberg and Frances Robles, Miami Herald
9/15/10 The 'de-Fidelization' of Cuba has begun
Carol Rosenberg, Miami Herald
9/15/10 Cuba says U.S. embargo has toughened under Obama
Nelson Acosta, Reuters
9/15/10 Capitalizing on Cuba
Editorial Opinion, Los Angeles Times
9/15/10 The Evil Master
Yoani Sanchez, Huffington Post
9/15/10 Is Cuba giving up on socialism?
Lorne Gunter, National Post
9/15/10 Cubans worry amid threat of massive job cuts
Rigoberto Diaz, AFP
9/15/10 Document charts Cuba's path to economic reform
Paul Haven and Andrea Rodriguez, AP
9/15/10 Cuba's economic overhaul would require new approach, experts say
Juan Tamayo, El Nuevo Herald
9/15/10 Cuba's Big Layoffs: What to Do with the Unemployed?
Tim Padgett, Time
9/15/10 U.S. post-election vote seen best chance for Cuba bill
Doug Palmer, Reuters
9/14/10 Cuba's leaders lay out details for layoffs
Andrea Rodriguez, AP
9/14/10 To Cuba's failures
Carlos Alberto Montaner, Miami Herald
9/14/10 Cuba’s Public-Sector Layoffs Signal Major Shift
Elisabeth Malkin, New York Times
9/13/10 Cuba to lay off 500,000 in 6 months, allow private jobs
CNN
9/11/10 U.S. and Cuba discuss alliance to save sharks
Jeff Franks, Reuters
9/10/10 Castro `Amused' at How Remark on Cuban Economic Model Was Interpreted
Blake Schmidt, Bloomberg News
9/10/10 Video shows armed Cuban police breaking up student protest
Juan Tamayo, El Nuevo Herald
9/10/10 Good news and bad news on the Castro front
Al Kamen, Washington Post
9/9/10 Castro Comment on Cuba Model Not Working May Signal More Economic Opening
Charlie Devereux and Bob Willis, Bloomberg
9/9/10 Again, Yoani
Reinaldo Escobar, Desde Aqui
9/9/10 Fidel Castro: Cuba's economic model is broken
Jim Wuss and Luisa Yanez, Miami Herald
9/9/10 Iranians unaware Castro has taken up their cause
Paul Haven and Nasser Karimi, Miami Herald
9/9/10 Case of detained American hampers U.S. effort to ease Cuba ties
Bob Drogin, Los Angeles Times
9/8/10 Fidel: 'Cuban Model Doesn't Even Work For Us Anymore'
Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic
9/8/10 Report: Castro blasts Ahmadinejad as anti-Semitic
Will Weissert, Miami Herald
9/7/10 Cuban blogger is press freedom hero
AFP, The Guardian
9/4/10 Twenty Years
Claudia Cadelo, Octavo Cerco
9/4/10 Cuba drilling poses spill issue
Monica Hatcher, Houston Chronicle
9/3/10 Fidel Castro, Internet junkie
Editorial, Los Angeles Times
9/3/10 Scourge of the Castros: Cuba's Ladies Courageous
Thor Halvorssen, Huggington Post
9/3/10 Cuba: No lifeline to a dying regime
Stephen Johnson, Foreign Policy
9/3/10 Obama Renews Cuba Embargo for Another Year
Anya Landau French, Huffington Post
9/3/10 Urban Paranoias
Caludia Cadelo, Octavo Cerco
9/3/10 Small signal, big meaning? Castro in military duds
Paul Haven, Miami Herald
9/3/10 U.S. denies `Cuban Five' prisoner swap
Juan Tamayo, Miami Herald
9/2/10 Despite embargo, Cuba a haven for pirated U.S. goods
Esteban Israel, Reuters
9/2/10 Cubans See Their Ration Cards Get Thinner and Thinner
Anett Rios, Latin American Herald Tribune
9/2/10 Cuban offshore oil plans gain momentum
CNN
9/2/10 No travel to 'terrorist' countries for Florida state universities: court
Warren Richey, Christian Science Monitor
9/1/10 Time to press on with our plan in Havana
Christopher Sabatini, Financial Times
9/1/10 Cuban migrants held for ransom in Mexico rescued, government says
CNN
9/1/10 Has the time come for travel to Cuba?
Bill McGee, USA Today
9/1/10 Cuban court to consider suit against Ministry of Justice
Juan Tamayo, Miami Herald
9/1/10 New photos show Fidel Castro with US journalist
Will Weissert, Miami Herald