THE BLOG

Mr. President, May I Also Travel to Cuba?

I want to make absolutely clear that I'm totally delighted for my Cuban-American brothers and sisters who can now, thanks to President Obama's announcement, travel to Cuba without restriction. The Bush Administration restrictions were gratuitously mean and caused real hardship for Cuban-American families. Most Americans agree with me - 79%, according to a recent poll from WorldPublicOpinion.org.

But without taking anything away from that, I just want to say: Mr. President, I like to travel, too. I have a passport and everything. I am not a Cuban-American. But I am an American. May I also travel to Cuba?

According to the same WorldPublicOpinion.org poll, 70% of Americans think all of us should be allowed to travel to Cuba.

Don't you want to be one of the first American tourists to go to Cuba? I mean, you want to get there before it's ruined by all the other American tourists.

This week President Obama is heading to a summit of Latin American leaders in Trinidad and Tobago. Latin American leaders are expected to press President Obama to end the U.S. embargo on Cuba and normalize relations.

The United States will soon be the only country in the Western Hemisphere that does not have normal diplomatic relations with Cuba. According to WorldPublicOpinion.org, 69% of Americans favor re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba, including 57% of Republicans.

I'm sure you all saw the cool Cuban doctors in Michael Moore's movie Sicko. I'm thinking, if the insurance industry succeeds in blocking a public health insurance option for all Americans, maybe we could get public health care in Cuba. It might be cheaper to hop on a plane, get some public health care in Cuba, stay at a fancy capitalist hotel, and soak up some rays on a nice Cuban beach, than to go see your local doctor, if the insurance companies have their way. Let's introduce some real competition.

Avaaz.org is taking a sailboat to the summit. Wouldn't you like to be in a sailboat off the coast of Cuba right now? It could be you, if President Obama hears your voice.