What: All Issues : War & Peace : H.R. 2989. Fiscal 2004 Transportation-Treasury Appropriations/Vote to Prevent the Enforcement of a Travel Ban to Cuba. (2003 house Roll Call 483)
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H.R. 2989. Fiscal 2004 Transportation-Treasury Appropriations/Vote to Prevent the Enforcement of a Travel Ban to Cuba.
house Roll Call 483     Sep 09, 2003
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

For the past 43 years, U.S. law has forbidden Americans from traveling to Cuba. In recent years, however, support for the travel ban has waned. During debate on the 2004 Transportation and Treasury appropriations bill, Congressman Flake (R-AZ) proposed an amendment to revoke funding for any enforcement activities of the U.S. government aimed at preventing or prosecuting Americans for traveling to Cuba. (In effect, then, Flake's amendment would open Cuba to American tourists.) Progressives voted in support of Flake's measure because, in their view, the travel ban was a needless restriction on personal liberty and an ineffective means of undermining the Castro regime. The travel ban and economic embargo on Cuba, they pointed out, have failed to topple Castro's regime. A better way to democratize the communist country, Progressives argued, was to allow Americans to travel to Cuba, converse with Cubans, and thereby spread democratic ideals within Cuba. Conservatives objected to Flake's proposal; in their view, the best way to undermine the Castro regime is to maintain an economic and travel embargo on that country. On a vote of 227-188, the Flake amendment was adopted and enforcement of the travel ban to Cuba was eliminated from the House version of the 2004 Transportation and Treasury appropriations bill. (While Flake's amendment has passed the House several times in recent years, each time it has been dropped in conference committee on account of a threatened veto by President Bush, a supporter of the travel ban.)

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