State Dept. encourages travel to Cuba hours after latest crackdown

How deep is that Obama Cuba pile?

Via the Washington Examiner:

State Dept. encourages travel to Cuba hours after latest crackdown

By PETE KASPEROWICZ

The State Department on Monday was encouraging people to learn more about how they can travel to Cuba under the Obama administration’s relaxed travel rules, less than a day after the Cuban government arrested about 90 political activists.

Despite the latest crackdown in Cuba, the State Department was set to host a Spanish-language Twitter chat Monday afternoon to answer questions about how people can travel to Cuba under the administration’s relaxed travel rules.

The invitation is likely to lead to further complaints that the Obama administration is working hard to court Cuba by making significant concessions to the island, and failing to insist on better treatment in Cuba for those opposed to the Castro regime.
Less than 24 hours ago, AFP reported that Cuban security forces threw dozens of activists in jail, including about 50 people who were marching with the Ladies in White dissident group.

Several protestors seemed to blame Obama for Cuba’s ongoing crackdown against dissident groups. Many held up Obama masks, and one protestor said Obama’s concessions to the Cuban government have only made it worse for political protestors.

“The Cuban government has grown even bolder,” said Angel Moya told AFP just before he was arrested. “That’s why we have this mask on. Because it’s his fault,” Moya said, referring to Obama.

Republicans and even some Democrats have said Obama’s concessions to Cuba made no sense because they weren’t conditioned on better treatment for political dissidents. But the Obama administration has insisted that it made the most sense to ease some of the travel rules for Cuba, and hope that those moves lead to reforms in Cuba.
State’s tweet on Monday seemed to confirm that at least for now, the Obama administration hasn’t changed its mind.

Travel to Cuba is restricted by U.S. law, but the president has some authority to ease or tighten those rules as he sees fit.

Under current law, there are 12 authorized categories of travel to Cuba, including family visits, journalism, and travel related to humanitarian efforts. For years, many of those categories required a “specific” license, but Obama last month said travel could now be done under a general license, which essentially means trips to Cuba don’t have to be pre-approved by the government.

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