, 12 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
The Trump travel restrictions are not just dumb. They are embarrassment. It will hurt a lot of Americans, and a lot of good people in #Cuba. There is absolutely no denying that.
This Adm. has reinstituted the Cold War restrictions on the right of every American citizen to travel to #Cuba, even though an overwhelming majority of Americans opposes such restrictions.
Cruise ships will stop sailing. Educational and cultural exchanges will shut down. Sports teams will stay home. School trips will end. Trade missions will end. American farmers and companies will be shut out.
What kind of government thinks it has a right to tell its citizens where they can travel, and where they can spend their own money? Ironically, not the Cuban govt, despite its repressive policies. Cubans can travel here if we grant them a visa. Not Russia. Not Iran.
In fact, Americans can travel anywhere without restriction, except to North Korea. And now #Cuba, whose people could not be more welcoming to Americans.
After 50 yrs of trying and failing, they continue to believe that one way to do that is by preventing Americans from traveling to Cuba and spending their own money there.
Of all the paternalistic, anachronistic, hypocritical policies that is beneath the world’s oldest democracy. We tried it for 50 yrs. It failed. In fact it backfired.
You know who is going to be hurt? The people who most deserve our help. The Cuban families who own small businesses. Who rent out rooms in their apartments. Who own their own taxis and restaurants. Artisans and musicians.
Of course we disagree with the Cuban government. We strongly disagree. We disagree with many governments. But does that give the Treasury Department the right to tell Americans they can’t travel there?
What if the Treasury Department imposed such restrictions on travel by Members of Congress? There is not a single senator who would accept that. What hypocrisy.
Freedom to travel is a right. It is fundamental. It is part of who we are as Americans. Are we willing to stand by and let the right to travel of private Americans be trampled this way?
I will have more to say about this self-defeatist policy when I introduce the “Freedom for Americans to Travel to #Cuba Act.”

Read my Senate Floor Speech here: leahy.senate.gov/press/address-…
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