Video: Bipartisan Senators Introduce Freedom To Travel To Cuba Act

New Legislation Will Lift Embargo Travel Between United States And Cuba

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)Jeff Flake (R-AZ)Patrick Leahy (D-VT)Jerry Moran (R-KS),Tom Udall (D-NM)John Boozman (R-AR)Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Mike Enzi (R-WY) today introduced theFreedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2015. The bill will end restrictions in laws enacted in 1996 and 2000 on travel by American citizens and legal residents to Cuba—restrictions that do not exist for travel by Americans to any other country in the world.  The bill will also end restrictions on transactions related to travel, such as banking transactions.

“Reopening travel relations with Cuba is about more than just restoring the freedom to travel there for all Americans—it’s about opening Cuba to new ideas, new values, and improved human rights that our 50 year old policy of isolation could not achieve,” said Durbin. “While we must be realistic about the prospects for Congressional action to fully lift the embargo on Cuba, when a single senator can scuttle it, the American people are ready for this change and my colleagues and I are committed to getting it done.  


Since 2009, Cuban-Americans have been able to travel to Cuba without restriction, but there is broad bipartisan, bicameral support for extending that right to all Americans.  Recognizing the need for change, the Administration last month announced, among other initiatives, a series of regulatory reforms related to Cuba.  While that announcement included some loosening of the restrictions on travel and trade, only Congress can end the restrictions. 

U.S. Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Mark Sanford (R-SC) plan to introduce a companion bill in the House next week.


Senators Durbin, Flake, Leahy, and Boozman held a press conference today to discuss the introduction of the bill. Video of today’s press conference in its entirety is available here.

Video of Durbin’s remarks at today’s press conference will be available shortly here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks at today’s press conference is available here.