September 03,2003

Sen. Baucus and Rep. Flake to Hold Press Roundtable on U.S.-Cuba Relations

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) On Thursday, September 4, Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.) andRepresentative Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) will speak to the press regarding their efforts to lift the Cubatravel ban and help bring democracy to the region.

In April, bipartisan legislation was introduced in both the Senate and House that wouldallow all Americans to travel freely to Cuba. The House is expected to vote Thursday on anamendment that would effectively lift the travel ban.

"For over 40 years, Americans have been prevented from traveling to Cuba, and for over40 years, Castro hasn't moved an inch closer to democracy," Flake said. "If we are serious aboutundermining Castro and bringing democracy to that island, why not let Americans travel therewith that message?"

Prior to the Press Roundtable, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee will be holding ahearing at 10 a.m. in 215 Dirksen Senate Office Building to examine U.S.-Cuba relations."The political situation in Cuba shows no signs of improving," Finance CommitteeRanking Member Baucus said. "In fact, the situation is deteriorating as Castro continues tocommit human rights violations and limit free speech. It's time for a change and it's past time forCongress to pass legislation lifting the travel ban and allowing engagement between our twocountries."

In addition, Baucus will be part of a Congressional Delegation traveling to Cuba onSeptember 12 to meet with dissidents, with Cuban President Fidel Castro, and with communityand agriculture leaders.

Event: Press Roundtable focusing on joint House-Senate legislation to lift the Cuba travel banand Congressional trip to Cuba.

Date: Thursday, September 4, 2003 2:30 p.m.
Location: 511 Hart Senate Office Building
Participants: Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Ranking Member of Senate Finance Committee
and Representative Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)