Bipartisan Senate group introduces bill to end Cuba travel ban

havana-live-cuba-carHAVANA, 29 January  (AP)  A bipartisan group of senators has introduced legislation to end travel restrictions on Americans seeking to visit Cuba, saying it would help foster change in the island nation.

Current law generally bans travel to Cuba, although there are numerous exceptions.  Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake said similar legislation to end the ban has cleared the Senate in the past.
“It’s time to allow Americans to travel freely to Cuba,” he said. The bill faces obstacles in the House and Senate. In addition to Flake, Republican Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas and Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Patrick Leahy of Vermont attended a news conference Thursday to unveil the measure.

President Barack Obama has announced plans to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than 50 years. Travel restrictions have already eased somewhat, allowing for Americans with official reasons to travel to the country to do so without applying for a government license. A trade embargo remains in effect and can only be reversed by congressional action.