Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Corporate Lobbying

An on-line travel company sent me this. Interesting campaign for them to take up.

At . . . [company name] we believe passionately in the power of travel to transform lives. And we believe that people should have the freedom to travel wherever they choose.

Americans today have the right to travel to any country in the world except Cuba. Three weeks ago, we launched www.OpenCuba.org, a campaign that gives people a way to petition U.S. leaders to end the 50-year Cuba travel ban and give all Americans the freedom to travel to Cuba.

With Congress considering the bipartisan Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act, the opportunity to end the 50-year ban hangs in the balance.

Discussions - 4 Comments

Orbitz might try this instead:

"At our company, we believe passionately in the power of freedom to transform lives for the better. And we believe that travelers should find freedom wherever they choose to travel.

"Americans today have the right to travel to any country in the world except Cuba. Three weeks ago, we launched www.OpenAndFreeCuba.org, a campaign that gives people a way to petition Cuba’s dictators to end their 50 years of totalitarian repression so that Americans can travel to Cuba without the sense of endorsing tyranny, and petitions U.S. leaders to ban U.S. travel to all nations where freedom is not guaranteed to citizens and visitors alike."

The least Orbitz can do is petition for freedom and democracy in Cuba. The "freedom of travel" argument is a distraction. Give the Cubans any freedom first.

I just like the idea of Open Cuba. Can we endorse a Freedom to Travel from Cuba Act? I mean, since we are all believing in the power of travel to transform lives. Can that be any more true than in the freedom of Cubans to travel, especially to America, if they choose?

The pattern in the rest of the former communist world was the other way around--first trade and travel, then freedom. Even China, which is still a highly repressive society in many ways, is much freer than it was before relations with the United States were normalized. I see no evidence that the U.S. embargo has done a thing to advance liberty in Cuba so far; continuing the same policy and expecting different results is the very definition of crazy.

I could go either way on the embargo, but Orbitz shouldn't pretend freedom of travel is more important than the other freedoms. It's just the one freedom involving Cuba that will make Orbitz money.

The embargo has had one good effect. It has let governments of the Western Hemisphere know they have to provide at last the basic freedoms if they expect cooperation from the United States. With that incentive, since the United States became the world's lone superpower in 1991, every American nation but one has held free elections. And in Cuba, the people simply are waiting for two old men to die.

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