Wow! With all the media play about travel to Cuba this past week, you'd think that the restrictions had been lifted. Well, not quite...
Only 90 miles separate Key West and Havana, but the Florida Straits remains the widest moat in the world. President Obama's announcement last week that Cuban-Americans would be permitted to visit their families in Cuba freely whenever they want marginally narrowed the distance. But not enough.
This welcome move was a long overdue humanitarian gesture. Common decency required it. But what about the rest of us? Why is it that a Cuban-American is allowed to visit Cuba, but other U.S. citizens and residents cannot? What happened to the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing all citizens equal equal benefit of all laws and proceedings?
Existing travel restrictions are also un-American in other ways too. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the constitutional right of all U.S. citizens to unrestricted freedom of travel. That's why Uncle Sam uses the archaic Trading With the Enemy Act (promulgated in 1917) to prevent financial transactions with Cuba. The result is a de facto travel ban. To what end?
These are themes I addressed this past week during a whirlwind of media interviews and appearances, including CNN. See my www.christopherbaker.com  website to tune in and/or read some of the posts, including my story for the Miami Herald  and my op-ed piece in Canada's National Post 
Meanwhile, folks living in southern California should plan on attending my PowerPoint slide show and talk about Cuba at Distant Lands , Pasadena, April 29, 2009.