Cuba travel restrictions: Is the time ripe for further liberalization?

Excerpt from Huffington Post

Dec 10, 2012 1:38 am

Skift Take

Will we finally see a real easing of restrictions on travel to Cuba? Attitudes are changing, but it will still be rough going.

— Dennis Schaal

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Cuban men in Little Havana. Recent trends show support for totally isolating the island may be cracking among Cuban Americans. Photo by State Library and Florida Archives Flickr

The door for travel to Cuba cracked open during President Barack Obama’s first term.

Cuban-Americans can now visit family on the island as often as they like. Americans can travel legally as part of an academic or religious trip.

Perhaps it’s for this reason that Obama’s standing with the Cuban-American community in Florida stayed largely steady on Election Day, even though the modest openings with Cuba have riled some of South Florida’s more conservative exiles. Exit polling showed that 49 percent of Cuban-Americans voted for the Democrat, roughly the same percentage as four years ago.

At the same time, Florida voters sent to the House a Cuban-American Democrat from Miami who supports Obama’s expansion of travel and remittances to Cuba while still favoring the 50-year-old embargo that limits American trade with the communist country. Joe Garcia defeated Republican Rep. David Rivera, who was implicated in a campaign finance scandal and had supported a traditional, isolationist stance toward Cuba.

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