have always maintained that if
it is freedom we want for the people of Cuba, we ought to exercise
more of it ourselves."
With those words, Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) gave himself and his
colleagues in the House a deserved pat on the back for passing a
measure that would effectively lift the government's long-standing
restrictions on U.S. citizen travel to Cuba.
Though it is only a one-sentence amendment to a Treasury Department
funding bill, the Flake amendment could help change the world by
allowing U.S. citizens to travel freely to Cuba for business, for
pleasure, to visit friends and relatives or for any of the reasons
people can and must travel.
We said it before and we say it again: Travel does no harm. And
in the context of our country's antiquated policy toward Cuba, it
can do a great deal of good.
We are not optimistic that the U.S. Senate, much less the
current occupant of the White House, will see things our way. The
Senate killed a similar measure last year, and the Bush family
needs no more enemies in Florida than it already has. Still, hats
off to the House of Representatives for keeping the issue
• • •
Amtrak: Yes again
And speaking of antiquated policies, it is time for the U.S.
government to abandon the quaint notion that Amtrak can, or should
even try to, operate at a profit.
It is true that Amtrak was established as a "for-profit
corporation," but that was 30 years ago and this is now. Instead of
orchestrating another debate about when, if ever, Amtrak will be
self-sustaining, the government should be supporting high-speed
rail service -- period. We need it in the Northeast, and we need it
in every other place where trains can get people off of our crowded
highways and runways -- period.