Letter: Lift Cuba's sanctions

December 11, 2013 

On Nov. 27, the Cuban government announced it was shutting down consular services "until further notice" because it was unable to find a bank willing to handle its business. Plainly, U.S. people, if permitted to travel, have no way to obtain a Cuban visa. It should come as no surprise that U.S. citizens would be eventually affected by U.S. government hypocrisy toward Cuba.

Government sanctions against Cuba travel and outdated regulations that penalize family visitation for Cubans here and abroad are violations of human rights. The United States has a commitment under the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic Relations and Consular Services to ensure banking services to foreign missions and consulates. Every country in the world has recognized that normalizing relations with Cuba is perfectly necessary. For example, Cuba has medical treatments for diabetic foot ulcer and Meningitis B vaccine prohibited for sale to the U.S. market.

People-to-people programs and family reunification require passports and visas to satisfy migratory agreements. The Obama administration has a duty to find solutions, not cover up a failed policy of 55 years. Tell your representative that the entire embargo of Cuba should be lifted. U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings is in the phone book.

RICHARD GRASSL, Pasco

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