Monday, May 26, 2008

Unparalleled Generosity

The Bush administration, we're told, is generously allowing Americans to send cellphones to their relatives in Cuba. What an extraordinary step forward for human rights. Now, how about to allowing those same Cuban-Americans to come and go freely to their own homeland? That's right. Cuban-born Americans have restrictions on their ability to travel to their place of birth - a clear human rights violation. And the rest of us Americans aren't really supposed to go there at all . (Technically, we're not supposed to spend American dollars there. Same difference.) Arguably, the government's restrictions on our travel to Cuba are not only impractical and ineffectual, they're un-Constitutional. In fact, if you ever traveled to Cuba and paid a fine for doing so, you should have insisted on holding onto your money: Our Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control has apparently never insisted on anyone paying the fine for fear that if they were taken to court over the matter, the travel restrictions would be deemed un-Constitutional. So, traveling to Cuba may be illegal, but it's also an excellent opportunity for legitimate civil disobedience.

Were the Bush government to make some changes to those restrictions, then I'd be impressed.

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