Regarding the June 5 news article “U.S. prohibits group travel by Americans to Cuba”:
It is ironic and hypocritical that President Trump has clamped down on travel to Cuba considering that members of his company previously tried to drum up business in violation of the law and when conditions were considerably worse. It is equally hypocritical of the Cuban emigres in this country to support an embargo when they have traveled to visit family and brought in goods and material aid, as well as kept the island economically afloat through (legal) remittances.
In 25 years of organizing legal groups to visit the island for religious and humanitarian reasons, I have seen the changes that opening up could bring. When Barack Obama was president, at least 30 percent of the economy was privatized, especially the tourist sector, which immeasurably improved the well-being of Cubans. They were (and are still) able to travel and have a passport if they have the means; they can also have small private businesses, work in the private sector and for foreign companies, have access to the Internet, own cellphones that can call abroad and enjoy an improving quality of nutrition with available open private food markets. They continue to have free education, free medical care and cheap housing. Mr. Obama understood that embargoes and boycotts do nothing to improve relations and that opening Cuba was speeding a transition to a more open society.
Peter Dunner, Bethesda