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Should Americans be permitted to visit Cuba? Should freeborn U.S.  citizens be allowed to make the same touristic decisions respecting Cuba as they are presently able to make with respect to communist China or communist Vietnam?
 
I believe that most of us would answer Yes to those quetions. When President Obama recently announced a major liberalizing of rules for visiting Cuba, there was no widespread opposition to this change in policy. Except for very small communities of Cuban emigres in Miami, there was generally agreement that the former fifty-year-policy of forbidding touristic contact with Cuba was a total failure, that it had accomplished nothing but was instead a major factor in strengthening the current Cuban regime. 
 
And based on this change in policy, major American companies immediately began making plans for widespread American tourism to Cuba.  Carnival began operating cruises there, American Airlines, JetBlue and others immediately began operating flights there. AirBnB created and then announced and marketed a plan for sjupplying accommodations for Americans in Cuban homes and apartments.  American hotel chains began negotiating for projects in Cuba. To all of this, there was no major opposition but rather a general consensus that the time had come for permitting American tourism to Cuba.
 
All that is perhaps a change in policy that is currently under attack from the President-Elect. Although Mr. Trump did not mention a change in Cuban policy in his several-point announcement of actions to be taken during the first 100 days of his administration, he several times did mention a change in Cuban policy in the course of rallies and other public statements. He rather clearly said that permission to visit Cuba would not be extended unless and until the current Cuban regime made changes in its policies allowing free speech and elections. Although a similar policy maintained by the United States over the past fifty years has proven utterly ineffective, and although no such policy exists concerning American visits to other communist regimes (China, Vietnam, many other authoritarian countries), he made the fairly clear statement that he would cut back on our right to visit Cuba. 
 
It should be noted that such a change in policy does not require action by Congress. President Obama liberalized the former travel embargo simply through Presidential action. And thus it appears that President-Elect Trump could suddently withdraw our right as free citizens to go wherever we wanted during peacetimes, without requiring permission from either the President or the Congress.
 
I hope this does not happen. I happen to believe that during peace times, we as American citizens have the constitutional right to travel wherever we wish. I hold that our President has no more right to restrict our rights to travel than he would have the right to stop us from reading a book or a newspaper. I happen to believe that we have the right to travel, to reach, through our own experience and observations abroad, our own conclusions as to our country's foreign policies, among other viewpoints. 
 
Travel, in peacetime, is a constitutional right that all of us possess.
 
And with specific regard to Cuba, I believe that widespread American travel to that country would ultimately do more to affect its regime than a reversion to the former fifty-year embargo against travel to Cuba. I have traveled twice to Cuba, and have witnessed how that country is already heavily visited by Canadians, the French, Germans, Spaniards and other nationalities—seen in great numbers on the streets of Havana and elsewhere—and I have also concluded that our travel embargo against Cuba is strongly resented by most Cubans and made an item of anger against the United States.And with specific regard to Cuba, I believe that widespread American travel to that country would ultimately do more to affect its regime than a reversion to the former fifty-year embargo against travel to Cuba. I have traveled twice to Cuba, and have witnessed how that country is already heavily visited by Canadians, the French, Germans, Spaniards and other nationalities—seen in great numbers on the streets of Havana and elsewhere—and I have also concluded that our travel embargo against Cuba is strongly resented by most Cubans and made an item of anger against the United States.