[HCCN] Fwd: Would you like to go to Cuba?...support HR 4645.

Judith Robbins JUDY at ROBBINSandROBBINS.com
Tue Mar 2 16:14:11 EST 2010

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Steve Burke <sburke at midcoast.com>
> To: Midcoast P&J Statewide list - Let Cuba Live list:
> Friends....Please take a moment and give Reps Pingree and Michaud a  
> call and ask them to cosponsor HR 4645.
> They've both been pretty good in supporting legislation that would,  
> somewhat ease the US blockade of Cuba. Thank them for their support  
> in the past and ask them to add their names to the current Cuba bill.
> There's an excellent update on this legislation from the Latin  
> America Working Group pasted on below.
> Chellie Pingree is 774-5019 in Portland and 1-888-862-6500 elsewhere.
> Mike Michaud is 942-6935 in Bangor and 782-5330 in Lewiston.
> Or use the links in the email below.
> Gracias!...Steve Burke and The Let Cuba Live Committee of Maine -  
> letcubalive.org
>> Latin American Working Group
>> * End the Travel Ban on Cuba*
>> Dear Supporter,
>> Today in Washington, Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin  
>> Peterson (D-MN), Congressman Jerry Moran (R-KS), and at least 31  
>> of their House colleagues introduced *new legislation (HR 4645 )  
>> [http://lawg.nonprofitsoapbox.com/storage/lawg/documents/Cuba/ 
>> peterson%20moran%20bill%20text.pdf ] that would put the United  
>> States and Cuba firmly on a path towards engagement by (finally)  
>> restoring U.S. citizens' right to travel to Cuba and facilitating  
>> needed U.S. agricultural sales to the island that were initially  
>> approved by Congress in 2000.*
>> ACT NOW: *Call your House representative today and ask her/him to  
>> co-sponsor HR 4645, the bipartisan Peterson-Moran bill on opening  
>> travel and enhancing ag sales to Cuba.* You can reach members'  
>> offices through the *Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.*
>> If you prefer sending an email, that's fine, too. *Click here*  
>> [ http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/625/p/dia/action/public/? 
>> action_KEY=2314 ] to send your congressperson your message!
>> Click *here * [ http://lawg.nonprofitsoapbox.com/storage/lawg/ 
>> documents/Cuba/peterson%20moran%20bill%20text.pdf ] to see the  
>> bill's text. Click *here* [ http://www.lawg.org/index.php? 
>> option=com_content&task=view&id=615&Itemid=78 ] to learn if your  
>> House representative is an original co-sponsor; if so, please call  
>> to thank her/him. Click *here* [http://lawg.nonprofitsoapbox.com/ 
>> storage/lawg/documents/Cuba/h.r.%204645%20peterson%20press% 
>> 20release.pdf ] to see the Agriculture Committee's press release  
>> on the bill.
>> SUPPORT FOR TRAVEL: After years of working with you to organize  
>> and educate the U.S. public, *allowing U.S. citizens' travel to  
>> Cuba is now favored by a majority of U.S. citizens and 67 percent  
>> of Cuban Americans [ http://www.bendixenandassociates.com/ 
>> Cuba_Flash_Poll_Executive_Summary.html ].* And the ripple effect  
>> created by our efforts in Miami, Washington, and beyond is finally  
>> changing attitudes in Congress: the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act  
>> (HR 874, introduced by Congressmen Delahunt and Flake; and S 428,  
>> introduced by Senators Dorgan and Enzi), legislation similar to  
>> the new Peterson-Moran bill, has won the backing of *177* House  
>> members and *38* senators.
>> As you know, we need 218 votes in the House and a supermajority of  
>> 60 in the Senate. It appears that we have gone about as far as we  
>> can go in gathering cosponsors for these two original travel  
>> bills. We need something to attract a new constituency, activate  
>> educational work on Capitol Hill, re-focus the Congress, create  
>> more momentum, and push us over the top.
>> That's where the Peterson-Moran bill comes in. A lot of work on  
>> Capitol Hill by the agriculture and commodity communities is  
>> making a big difference. Additional members are paying attention,  
>> and several new cosponsors have already been attracted to this new  
>> bill. Joining travel and ag together in the same legislation will,  
>> we anticipate, give us the boost that we need to get the job done.
>> *Click here* [ http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/625/p/dia/ 
>> action/public/?action_KEY=2314 ] to send your congressperson your  
>> message.
>> NEW OPPORTUNITY: While we should celebrate what we've already  
>> achieved, *our work isn't finished until this senseless, Cold War- 
>> era policy that infringes upon our right to freely exchange with  
>> Cuba--as we are allowed to do with the rest of the world--is  
>> defeated.* The Peterson-Moran bill gives us the best chance of  
>> doing that this year, but--because this is U.S.-Cuba policy we're  
>> talking about--we cannot rest assured of its smooth passage by  
>> Congress. We need to help it along with constituent activism.
>> *So, again, we're asking you to contact your House member today,  
>> via email [ http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/625/p/dia/action/ 
>> public/?action_KEY=2314 ]or the Capitol Switchboard **at (202)  
>> 224-3121**. If members know they have their constituents' backing,  
>> they're more likely to get off the sidelines and co-sponsor  
>> Peterson-Moran.* We have heard this directly and repeatedly from  
>> members and staff as we make the rounds of the Hill. And it's so  
>> important that members agree to co-sponsor the bill so that we can  
>> show House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) that we have the support to  
>> pass this bill. If we do that, Peterson-Moran could be out the  
>> door of the House and on its way to action in the Senate.
>> Remember, this is our best chance to end the travel ban once-and- 
>> for-all in 2010. *Click here* [ http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/ 
>> o/625/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=2314 ] to send your  
>> congressperson your message!
>> You might be wondering why we're asking you to call your  
>> congressperson about a bill that facilitates U.S. agricultural  
>> sales to the island, in addition to opening up travel. To begin  
>> with, the ag-related provisions in Peterson-Moran simply clarify  
>> legislation opening sales to Cuba that Congress approved ten years  
>> ago. So the bill's agriculture piece is already a done deal; it  
>> just needs to be "fixed" because of tampering that the Bush  
>> Administration did in their eight years in office.
>> MORE DETAILS: The ag language in the Peterson-Moran bill does two  
>> things:
>> (1) allows banks in Cuba to wire payments for ag purchases  
>> directly to the U.S. bank of the producer, rather than making the  
>> payment through a third country, which adds time and cost;
>> (2) restores the traditional definition of "cash in advance,"  
>> which transfers title of the product (after payment is received)  
>> once the shipment has arrived in the Havana port, rather than  
>> while still in a U.S. port, which leaves the commodity vulnerable  
>> to being confiscated.
>> While this bill is not what we had originally envisioned, the  
>> economic and political moment means that Congress is focused on  
>> creating jobs. *The Peterson-Moran bill will achieve our goal of  
>> ending the travel ban on Cuba, but it will also create jobs here  
>> at home in the agricultural, travel, hospitality, dairy, and other  
>> industries that have been hard hit by the recession.*
>> Drop us a line and let us know what you hear from your members.  
>> You can reach us at manderson at lawg.org or (202) 546-7010.
>> Thanks for all of your help! *Your non-stop energy and enthusiasm  
>> to pass travel for ALL in this Congress encourages and sustains us  
>> here in Washington, DC.* If we keep it up, we have a good chance  
>> of getting the job done this year.
>> Sincerely,
>> Mavis, Paulo, Travis, and Emily
>> The LAWG Cuba Team
>> *www.lawg.org*
>> *"Are you no longer interested in receiving these updates? If so,  
>> *click here* [ http://hq-salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/625/ 
>> unsubscribe.jsp ] to unsubscribe instantly or reply to this email  
>> with unsubscribe in the title."
>> Latin America Working Group
>> 424 C Street NE, Washington, DC 20002 Phone: (202) 546-7010 Email:  
>> lawg at lawg.org [ lawg at lawg.org ]
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