After more than fifty years of a travel ban intended to isolate Cuba, a first step has been made to lift the ban and ease food sales to the island.
The House of Representatives Agriculture Committee voted 25-20 to move the topic into discussion this fall in both the House and Senate. Supporters believe lifting the travel ban will promote positive change on the island and provide more jobs for Cubans and Americans. Opponents believe this is not the time to bail out a brutal dictatorship and aid American big corporate interests. Recently President Obama has allowed greater telecommunication links and unlimited family travel into Cuba. The Cuban government however, has failed to reciprocate these privileges to its own citizens . Congress in 2000 exempted farm sales from the long-standing embargo as long as Havana paid in cash in advance.