Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Legislative Initiatives [Updated February 24, 2003] [open pdf - 73KB]
"Restrictions on travel to Cuba have been a key and often contentious component in U.S. efforts to isolate the communist government of Fidel Castro for much of the past 40 years. Over time, there have been numerous changes to the restrictions, and for 5 years, from 1977 until 1982, there were no restrictions on travel to Cuba. This report surveys changes to the travel restrictions dating back to the 1960s, summarizes major arguments for and against lifting such restrictions, and tracks legislative initiatives to ease restrictions on travel to Cuba. Major arguments made for lifting the Cuba travel ban are it hinders efforts to influence conditions in Cuba and may be aiding Castro by helping restrict the flow of information; it abridges the rights of ordinary Americans; and Americans can travel to other countries with communist or authoritarian governments. Major arguments in opposition to lifting the Cuba travel ban are American tourist travel would support Castro's rule by providing his government with millions of dollars in tourist receipts; there are legal provisions allowing travel to Cuba for humanitarian purposes that are used by thousands of Americans each year; and the President should be free to restrict travel for foreign policy reasons."
CRS Report for Congress, RL31139
United States. Department of State, Foreign Press Centers, Bureau of Public Affairs: http://www.fpc.state.gov/