Earlier this year, the Obama Administration finally announced plans to lift some government-imposed restrictions on travel to Cuba for several categories of U.S. citizens, including college students, journalists, and religious organizations.

Just last week, the U.S. Customs and Border Protections gave the Oakland International Airport authorization to offer nonstop charter passenger service to Cuba as early as December. This recent decision will make it easier for Global Exchange to offer direct flights to Havana for our Cuba Reality Tours delegations from the West Coast.

However, with all this good news, the reality of traveling to Cuba could be at serious risk. Tomorrow, the House Appropriations Committee is meeting first thing in the morning, and Cuba may come up. According to our friends at the Latin American Working Group,

Opponents of exchange with Cuba will likely offer amendments to the financial services appropriations bill that will reverse the changes the President has made during his term in office – which has allowed travel by Cuban-American families, students and professors, religious groups, academics, musicians.

We can’t let this happen.

If your representative is a member of the Appropriations Committee, ask your representative to vote against ANY amendment that tightens travel restrictions. Send them an e-mail now.

Send a message to your representative today and help retain the progress that has been made in easing travel to Cuba.

Oakland International Airport charter flights could take off just in time for our Cuba New Years Delegations! Register for one of our Cuba delegations today, and you will qualify to receive a $150 discount. Just mention this blog post.

Together we can work to promote the normalization of U.S./Cuba relations through people-to-people ties with Cuba.

Below is a letter addressed to supporters of the initiative to end the travel ban on Cuba, drafted by the Latin America Working Group (LAWG) Cuba Team.

But first, if you’re wondering where things stand with the Cuba Travel Ban, check out Pamela Montanaro’s blog post ‘Help Re-Claim Freedom to Travel to Cuba.


Dear Supporter,

Freedom to travel’s moment has arrived! Wednesday, June 30, the House Agriculture Committee will vote on H.R. 4645, the “Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act”, championed by Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson.

What happens Wednesday will determine if this landmark legislation–which restores U.S. citizens’ right to travel to Cuba, creates jobs here at home, and puts food on Cubans’ tables–sees the light of day on the House floor this summer or dies in committee.

Until the legislation makes it out of the Ag Committee (only a day longer), that’s where our focus must be; but we’ll be contacting you again shortly to ask for your help in getting this bill passed in the full House and on to the Senate. We anticipate that to happen after the July 4 recess.

The LAWG Cuba Team will be on the Hill (in 1300 Longworth) Wednesday at 2pm EST to see history happen in person. You can tune in through the Ag Committee’s website and follow our Twitter feed since we will be live-tweeting the event.

Wednesday is a big day for U.S. citizens, the Cuban people, and the future of relations between the United States and Cuba. We’ll be in touch soon.

Mavis, Paulo, and Travis
The LAWG Cuba Team


Here are 3 ways to stay informed and get involved in the efforts to end the Cuba travel ban:

  1. Sign up to receive future letters like the one above. Join the LAWG Email List.
  2. Visit Global Exchange’s Freedom to travel to Cuba page. There you’ll find updates, resources, and suggested action steps you can take.
  3. Sign up for Global Exchange’s Cuba News Email List:  (check “Cuba News” on the list)