Speaker Pelosi Sets Priorities

Friday, November 20, 2009
According to the AFP:

Pelosi douses hopes for quick end to Cuba travel ban

WASHINGTON — US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that congressional efforts to end the US ban on travel to Cuba would take a back seat to overhauling US health care and fostering job creation.

"I've always been a supporter of lifting the travel ban to Cuba. Right now we're consumed with job creation, health investments and health care, and I don't know when that would be coming to the floor," she told reporters.

Pelosi's comments came as a key House of Representatives committee held a hearing aimed at building support for legislation to scrap the restrictions.

While we disagree with the Speaker's position on this issue, we commend her for the priorities she has set.

At a time of such great economic challenges facing our nation
, unilaterally lifting the ban on tourist travel to Cuba -- whereby U.S. consumers can vacation in Cuba, but not vice-versa -- would cost thousands of U.S. tourism and service sector jobs.

Yet, even more importantly, it would strengthen the repressive machinery of the Castro regime in Cuba, undermining the courageous efforts of the island's voices of dissent.

As a result, the sole beneficiaries of tourism-travel sanctions would be the Castro regime and some well connected plutocrats in the U.S. and Cuba.

The Speaker's decision stands in the best interest of both the American and Cuban people.