Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Questions for Presidential Candidates
To Hillary Clinton:
Why do you support President Bush's post 2004 policy on travel rather than that of the Clinton Administration?
[Bush post 2004--Cuban Americans limited to one trip every three years, virtually no licenses for non-tourist purposeful travel;
Clinton-- annual plus flexibility for emergency visits by Cuban Americans; liberal licensing for short term student programs and for professional, religious, cultural and people to people exchanges]
To John Edwards and Barrack Obama:
I applaud your support for unrestricted Cuban American family reunions, but have noticed you do not address the kind of travel by other Americans that was permitted by the Clinton Administration. As President would you also immediately authorize a general license for non-tourist purposeful travel sponsored by not-for-profit organizations (short term student programs; cultural, professional and people-to-people exchanges)?
To Representatives Kucinich and Paul:
I applaud your support for the end of travel restrictions and the embargo of Cuba if you become President. What will you do in the coming session of Congress to at least return us to the travel policies of Presidents Clinton and even of President Bush prior to the 2004 election?
Broader questions for any candidate:
Is travel one of the Constitutional rights that needs to be redeemed from politics and fear-mongering?
If you are campaigning as an agent of change, shouldn't you be addressing the need to change an outdated and unproductive US foreign policy which is opposed by two-thirds of Americans and virtually every other country in the world?
How can the goal of restoring US international standing be achieved when our hostile policy towards Cuba is strongly opposed by the rest of the Western Hemisphere and virtually every other country in the world?
Which is more important, the desire of two-thirds of Americans to have normal relations and travel with Cuba or the views of a hard line minority of exiles in Florida?
Would your approach to Cuba continue the regime change strategy of the Bush Administration or treat Cuba like Vietnam, China, Saudi Arabia, Libya and other countries with which the US has normal but critical diplomatic and trade relations?
Or, if you can't ask a question, print out and distribute the Voter Pledge on Cuba at the event, and present a copy to the candidate signed by you or a group.