Castro is the Problem, Not American Policies

Thursday, November 19, 2009
Rep. Bilirakis: Castro is the Problem, Not American Policies

WASHINGTON – During a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Thursday, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) issued the following statement in strong opposition to lifting the United States travel ban to Cuba:

"The idea that increased travel would have a real impact on openness in Cuba is misguided. Castro is the problem, not American policies. We should not be in the business of perpetuating the Castro regime's propaganda apparatus that blames the U.S. for the island's suffering.

"Lifting travel restrictions would directly provide tourist dollars to the Marxist regime in order to fund its tools of oppression.  There is no free market in Cuba; just a giant money-laundering machine for a tyrant bent on maintaining Soviet-era policies that otherwise met their demise with the fall of the Berlin Wall twenty years ago.

"We must maintain travel restrictions to prevent the regime from using tourist dollars to further oppress the Cuban people."