New Hope for Legal Travel to Cuba?

Travel Blog  •  Jim Benning  •  12.04.06 | 9:22 AM ET

imageIn our just-published interview with Pico Iyer, the author cites Cuba as his favorite place to visit, describing it as “the most complicated place I have ever been, the happiest, the saddest, the most idealistic, the most cynical, the most confounding.” The vast majority of Americans can’t visit Cuba thanks to the decades-old embargo, of course, but there appears to be a growing chorus of people calling for an easing of the travel ban, and not just because Fidel Castro missed his 80th birthday bash, prompting fresh speculation that his dictatorial days are numbered.

Perhaps most surprisingly, nearly two dozen Cuban exile groups are among them. According to a story in the Kansas City Star, they’ve banded together for the cause and will be releasing a report today.

What’s more, opponents of the ban believe the new Democratic-controlled Congress just might be receptive to the idea,  according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Predicted the president of the Miami-based Cuban Committee for Democracy: “I think we will see some legislation come forward but not as much as we would like.”

Raul Castro’s surprising call for open talks with U.S. officials over the weekend can’t hurt.

Could the stars be aligning for some kind of movement on easing the ban? We can only hope so, for America’s sake, and Cuba’s.

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