Ron Paul: Why Can’t We All Travel To Cuba?




by Ron Paul

Earlier this month, entertainers Jay-Z and Beyoncé were given a license by the US government to travel to Cuba. Because it is not otherwise legal for Americans to travel to Cuba, this trip was only permitted as a “cultural exchange” by the US Treasury Department. Many suspect that the permission was granted at least partly due to the fame, wealth, and political connections of the couple.

Some Members of Congress who continue to support the failed Cuba embargo, demanded that the Administration explain why these two celebrities were allowed to visit Cuba. The trip looked suspiciously like tourism, they argued in a letter to the White House, and American tourism is still not allowed in Cuba. They were photographed eating at the best restaurants, dancing, and meeting with average Cubans, which these Members of Congress frowned on.

Perhaps it is true that this couple used their celebrity status and ties to the White House to secure permission to travel, but the real question is, why can’t the rest of us go?

The Obama administration has lifted some of the most onerous restrictions on travel to Cuba imposed under the previous Bush administration, but for the average American, travel to the island is still difficult if not impossible.

However, even those who are permitted to go to Cuba are not allowed to simply engage in tourist activities — to spend their money as they wish or relax on a beach.
The US government demands that the few Americans it allows to travel to Cuba only engage in what it deems “purposeful travel,” to “support civil society in Cuba; enhance the free flow of information to, from, and among the Cuban people; and help promote their independence from Cuban authorities.” They must prove that they maintain a full-time schedule of educational activities, according to Treasury guidelines for “people-to-people” travel.

Leave it to the federal government to make the prospect of visiting that sunny Caribbean island sound so miserable.

The reason the US so severely restricts and scripts the activities of the few Americans allowed to travel to Cuba is that it believes travel must promote the goal of taking “important steps in reaching the widely shared goal of a Cuba that respects the basic rights of all its citizens.”

Although I have no illusions about the Cuban government – or any government for that matter — it is ironic that the US chose to locate a prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba because the indefinite detention and torture that took place there would have been illegal on US soil. Further, the US government continues to hold more than 100 prisoners there indefinitely even though they have not been found guilty of a crime and in fact dozens are “cleared for release” but not allowed to leave.

Does the administration really believe that the rest of the world is not annoyed by its “do as we say, not as we do” attitude?

We are told by supporters of the Cuba embargo and travel ban that we must take such measures to fight the communists in charge of that country. Americans must be prohibited from traveling to Cuba, they argue, because tourist dollars would only be used to prop up the unelected Castro regime. Ironically, our restrictive travel policies toward Cuba actually mirror the travel policies of the communist countries past and present. Under communist rule in the former Soviet Union and elsewhere it was only the well-connected elites who were allowed to travel overseas – people like Jay-Z and Beyoncé. The average citizen was not permitted the right.

Although the current administration’s slight loosening of the restrictions is a small step in the right direction, it makes no sense to continue this nearly half-century old failed policy. Freedom to travel is a fundamental right. Restricting this fundamental right in the name of human rights is foolish and hypocritical.

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24 Comments:

  1. We, anyone, should be free to travel wherever they wish on this planet and beyond.

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  2. "the state has a monopoly on law"

    The government writes the laws, not you Anarchist.

    You have no power over anything other than yourself. Elected representatives write the laws and debate the proper use of collective force.

    You can take your goon squads to the grave with you Anarchist. DON'T EVER TRY AND PICK UP A GUN. You'll just get hurt because you never understood why you don't get to write law.

    YOU HAVE NO COUNTRY!

    Don't try and "opt out" you pathetic freeloader. Just GET OUT!

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  3. all of these things are done by the state, not by individuals acting independently. The state has goon squads, tax collectors, bureaucrats, and baton swinging blue coats. the state has a monopoly on law, the friends of the state covet power and fear justice. Anarchists steal what they have? This is done by the state. You fear anarchy because it is a system where you cannot enforce your will onto others.
    watch?v=STzPMj_k6qM&list=UUKKKYE55BVswHgKihx5YXew&index=14

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  4. Thanks Ron.

    Kudos on being the first person to correctly pronounce beyonce.

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  5. "In Anarchy your property rights are the most important aspect of the philosophy"

    "philosophy" ROFL.

    What joke. Who's going to enforce your property rights? Do you think you're going to write law Anarchist? What makes you think I give a damn about your laws or your goon squads?

    Anarchists covet power and fear justice. In Anarchy, I won't give a damn what you think is yours, because as far as I care you're just some Anarchist who stole what you have. That's why you wanted Anarchy.

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  6. But I heard the US government was giving away free trips to Cuba.

    You get to stay in some beautiful bay, don't have to worry about the stress of planning a solid checkout date, and you get to do something called "waterboarding", (must be what you Americans called Boogieboarding or something), but it sounds like such fun.

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  7. Ha, "Be-yonse", I love that.

    You're generation gap is showing Mr. Paw-yule.

    But I guess it's been a while since you dropped a nickel into a Wurlitzer and don't have the time to follow the latest records on the hit parade, so you can be forgiven.

    I think it would be funny if we all just called her Beyonse from now on. At least until everyone has freedom to travel to Cuba.

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  8. huh? government borders are different than property borders, unless your ok with the government owning your house, in which case, you aren't capable of keeping them out. In anarchy, your property rights are the most important aspect of the philosophy.

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  9. 3: 57 "Freedom to travel is a fundamental right. Restricting this fundamental right in the name of human rights is foolish and hypocritical."

    Oh really? The freedom to travel where? What if I say you aren't allowed in my house?

    Ron Paul wants a world without borders doesn't he? Too bad that's an unjust desire, just like wanting to break into my house is an unjust desire.

    His Anarchist tendencies are leaking out. I wish this guy would just start being honest with people.

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  10. I love the States. And yeah I wish all Americans could visit my country. It's a great place, colonial, old cars, quite amusing really.

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  11. Oh cool .. How you like the States ? See I want to be able to check out places like Cuba one day just check the culture and things.. I guess now I will have to find a good reason too. I want to check out Cuba then check out some places in South America.

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  12. Yeah I agree. And no I'm a Cuban "born and raised" residing in the States.

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  13. Yeah I agree. And no I'm a Cuban "born and raised" residing in the States.

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  14. BE ONC jaja

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  15. Well if you live in America then to me you are an American first but with Cuban roots but I get what you saying man. I just see everyone that lives here as an American first. I meant Cubans that live in Cuba right now. I just think we are all citizens here so why can't we all let each other live their own life just as long as it doesn't hurt us. If you wanted to take a trip to Iraq for some weird reason I don't think I have the right to tell you no and it's none of my business.

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  16. Well if you live in America then to me you are an American first but with Cuban roots but I get what you saying man. I just see everyone that lives here as an American first. I meant Cubans that live in Cuba right now. I just think we are all citizens here so why can't we all let each other live their own life just as long as it doesn't hurt us. If you wanted to take a trip to Iraq for some weird reason I don't think I have the right to tell you no and it's none of my business.

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  17. Im Cuban and I agree that traveling to Cuba should be allowed to everyone that wants to go. Cuban embargo is against human rights.

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  18. What happens in other countries is not our business and If you live in America our culture is based on freedom.. Let Cubans handle Cuba and Americans worry about America . I wish some how we could make rule when it comes to citizenship that to be an American citizen you are not allowed to lobby or approach the American government about any other county until you have proved that you have helped homeless American citizens in some way for at least a year.

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  19. RON PAUL REAL AMERICAN!!! Rubio and those other two US REPS maybe an American but is starting to show their UNAMERICAN WAYS. RON PAUL thank you sir.

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  20. Fuck Ron Paul. Please stop posting his straight talks or I will unsubscribe. For the ignorant...here are the reasons. His advocation for "hard money" in the form of gold and silver is only for the purpose for enriching his stock portfolio, he allowed his son WITHOUT COMMENT REBUTTAL OR CONDEMNATION to endorse Mitt Romney and he is currently suing RONPAUL.COM in the UN to gain control over it versus paying the requested fee FUCK RON PAUL. Google Bill Still and Money Masters and get back to basics

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