In March 2014, WOLA staff traveled to Cuba with several former Members of Congress—David Bonior (D-MI), Tom Downey (D-NY), and Mike Oxley (R-OH)—to research economic and political issues on the island. After a long day of meetings and discussions, the group had the opportunity to play a pickup game of baseball with students and staff at the National Sports Institute in Havana. In this video, Rep. Bonior shares his experience finding common ground with the Cuban people through baseball and emphasizes the need for more interaction between Americans and Cubans.
There are several concrete steps that the Obama administration could take to promote contact between U.S. citizens and the Cuban people:
- Creating a general license for purposeful travel to Cuba, thus eliminating the bureaucratic red tape that prohibits many would-be travelers from visiting the island;
- Removing Cuba from the State Department’s list of State Sponsors of Terrorism, a designation that foreign policy experts agree is anachronistic and counterproductive;
- Letting U.S. citizens and businesses engage in trade with the emerging private and cooperative sector in Cuba.