The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) is calling on President-elect Obama to permit Americans to travel to Cuba. According to a statement issued Tuesday afternoon by ASTA, “…ASTA believes that Americans would best be served by an elimination of current restrictions on travel to Cuba.”
During the 2008 presidential election campaign, the President-elect indicated that he supports changes to U.S. policy toward Cuba, including a suspension of restrictions on family remittances, visits and humanitarian care packages from Cuban Americans. In a letter dated December 4, 2008, ASTA and a host of organizations from across the business community formally requested that the incoming Obama administration make immediate changes to U.S. policy toward Cuba, including a removal of the travel ban.
"ASTA has long supported the principle that Americans ought to be allowed to travel across the globe without restriction," said Chris Russo, ASTA's president and chair. "While the U.S. government plays a legitimate and valuable role in exercising travel advisories to provide up-to-date information concerning the conditions in foreign countries, to use travel freedom as an instrument of foreign policy manipulation ultimately does harm to the very citizens it purports to protect.”