WASHINGTON - March 22 - Congressman Dan Burton (R-IN) has decided to support legislation that will permit Cuban-Americans to travel Cuba to visit family members, The Center for Democracy in the Americas reported today.
Burton made the commitment to Sgt. Carlos Lazo, a Cuban-American and veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom who won a Bronze Star for his valor at the Battle of Fallujah, and to Sarah Stephens, executive director of The Center for Democracy in the Americas, at a meeting at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
He reaffirmed his decision to support the legislation in a meeting with Sgt. Lazo and Ms. Stephens at his office today. Burton has also communicated his position to Congressman Bill Delahunt (D-MA), author of "The Cuban-American Family Rights Restoration Act” and Congressman Jeff Flake (R-AZ) an advocate of unrestricted travel.
“The Congressman has been a consistent advocate for the cause of bringing democracy to Cuba and to the Cuban government,” Sgt. Lazo said. “With Congressman Burton’s strong support of the Delahunt legislation, we can take the huge step of promoting people-to-people contact between Cuban-Americans visitors to Cuba and people on the island, which will help promote the cause of democracy in Cuba.”
“When the author of the Helms-Burton law lends his support to opening up Cuba to travel,” Sarah Stephens said, “it opens up political space for members on both sides of the aisle to support changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba. We strongly believe that free and unrestricted travel for all American should be the norm, but we are also pleased to see progress on the issue of family unification to help bring together Cuban-American families with their kin on the island.”
Sarah Stephens is the executive director of the Center for Democracy in the Americas (CDA) whose Freedom to Travel campaign advocates unrestricted travel to Cuba. CDA recently released: “In the National Interest: The Top Ten Reasons for Changing U.S. Policy Toward Cuba” . Information about Sgt. Carlos Lazo can be found at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sarah-stephens/no-way-to-treat-a-soldier_b_2817.html.