Proposal of the Seattle/Cuba Friendship Committee

Les Schaffer godzilla at
Fri Oct 27 09:03:09 MDT 2000

[bounced from unsubbed "Tom Warner" <twwarner at> ]

Proposal from the Seattle-Cuba Friendship Committee

 A Call for National Action for American's Right to
 Travel to Cuba

 We, the Seattle-Cuba Friendship Committee, believe
 that it is imperative to focus national efforts to
 fight for the right to travel to Cuba, freely, without
 having to ask permission. It is a violation of our
 constitutional rights to limit the ability of citizens
 of the United States to travel to Cuba. We have the
 right to observe for ourselves the lives of Cuban
 citizens and the function of the Cuban government.
 With the recent approval of the Agricultural
 Appropriations Bill and the adjoining Nethercutt
 Amendment, the right to travel has been further
 restricted. Now the previously existing travel
 restrictions have been written into federal law and
 only an act of congress can alter these restrictions.

 After the saga of Elian Gonzales and the popularity of
 Cuban music, Americans are more curious than ever
 about Cubans and Cuban life. However, many Americans
 are not educated about the travel restrictions and
 many misconceptions are still common. Once educated
 about these laws, most are strongly opposed to these
 violations of our rights. Cuban solidarity groups
 have an opportunity to facilitate the expression of
 Americans who wish to learn about Cuba firsthand.
 This is a national issue and should be a national

 We would like to suggest a discussion among the
 American groups in solidarity with Cuba present at the
 world solidarity conference about what the most
 effective direction for action should be. Since the
 Pastors for Peace have been most consistently active
 and direct with their outstanding efforts to confront
 the travel ban, any national action should be
 co-ordinated with their efforts. For example, we can
 have nationwide marches, sit ins, teach ins, or other
 demonstrations at the time of the border crossing of a
 caravan to Cuba. We can also think about using a
 creative approach to attract media attention. For
 example we can co-ordinate a single day where in
 several major cities, demonstrators visit the airport
 and demand the right to purchase tickets to travel to
 Cuba. This kind of event can call lots of attention,
 particularly if it is organized near the time of the
 holidays where the airports will be full. Phone trees
 and email networks can also be organized to spread
 information and also conduct urgent action. The most
 important idea is that we work together nationally,
 focus our efforts, and let our government hear the
 will of the American people who wish to travel
 unhindered to Cuba.
Resolution drafted by Christine Rousseau of the Seattle/Cuba Friendship
Adopted by general meeting to be used as a discussion piece in the World
Solidarity Conference in the coming weeks of November, 2000.


Thomas W. Warner (secretary Seattle/Cuba Friendship Committee)
8923 2nd Ave. N.E.
Seattle, WA, 98115

(206) 523-1720

twwarner at

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