ATRIP-USA*Engage Statement on Extension of General License for Cuba Travel

Friday, 25 June 2004
 Washington, DC - "We are pleased with the limited reprieve extending to July 31 the general license for Cuban Americans traveling in Cuba. The license extension was necessary to ensure that Cuban Americans could legally travel back to the United States, and will certainly be welcomed by thousands of Cuban Americans.

"The Administration clearly recognized that the hastily developed and poorly implemented amended regulations had angered many Cuban Americans and Members of Congress, as well as placed an immense burden on charter operators providing legal travel to Cuba.

"However, since OFAC has not yet issued policies and procedures for specific licensing for eligible Cuban Americans to travel under the new regulations, charter service operators will still be forced to send empty planes to Cuba-at tremendous expense-to ferry passengers back to the United States after June 30."

The ATRIP-USA*Engage Alliance is formed by the National Foreign Trade Council, USA*Engage and the Association for Travel-Related Industry Professionals (ATRIP):

The National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org) is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves 300 member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.

USA*ENGAGE is a coalition of more than 670 small and large businesses, agriculture groups and trade associations working to seek alternatives to the proliferation of unilateral U.S. foreign policy sanctions and to promote the benefits of U.S. engagement abroad. For more information on USA*ENGAGE and the harmful effects of unilateral trade sanctions, visit the USA*ENGAGE web site at www.usaengage.org.

The Association of Travel-Related Industry Professionals (ATRIP) is the nation's leading voice representing the interests of the travel industry and traveling public on issues related to open travel. ATRIP, comprising a broad spectrum of travel industry professionals-from travel agents to charter companies, airlines to tour operators-advocates for beneficial economic policies for the travel and tourism industry and the elimination of unnecessary or unduly burdensome restrictions on travel. www.atripusa.org.

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