Thursday, September 18, 2008

Follow up letter to Delahunt hearing

September 18, 2008

The Honorable William Delahunt

The Honorable Jeff Flake

The Honorable Jo Ann Emerson

The Honorable Ray LaHood

The Honorable Ron Paul

The Honorable Donald Payne

Dear Esteemed Members of the House of Representatives

I wish to thank you for your comments and testimony on behalf of ending restrictions on travel by Americans to Cuba at this morning’s hearing.

Because of the urgency of sending additional assistance to Cubans facing great hardship, I hope a means may be found to bring this issue to the floor of the House and Senate before the recess, perhaps in the form of a concurrent resolution urging that the President direct OFAC to establish until the end of his Administration a temporary general license for humanitarian travel, remittances and assistance by all Americans and IRS recognized not-for-profit organizations.

Hopefully bipartisan adoption will influence the President to reconsider his policy. His action and a recorded vote will be noted by some Americans casting ballots on November 4th.

The following letter to the President, the Speaker and the Majority Leader of the Senate has in the last week been signed by a diverse group of more than 800 Americans, including many of Cuban origin, several of whom have attached moving personal comments.

“Because of the devastation suffered by Cuba from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, and the history of conflict and suspicion between our countries, creative means must be found to enable the traditional compassion of Americans to express itself in assistance to the Cuban people in a timely fashion.

We urge an immediate 90 day suspension by Presidential order, or by legislation, of Treasury and Commerce Department restrictions and licensing requirements for humanitarian travel and remittances by all Americans and assistance from not-for-profit organizations granted tax-exempt status by the IRS.”

Signers list at

The fastest and least politicized way for Americans to provide assistance to Cubans is to give all of us the freedom to go there and/or to use Western Union, with no intermediary institution receiving political or financial benefit, be it Cuban or American.


John McAuliff

Executive Director

No comments: