House keeps Cuban travel rules in place

Associated Press
Published July 1, 2005

WASHINGTON - The House voted Thursday against permitting Cuban-Americans to visit their families in Cuba more frequently and for retaining a trade embargo that has been in place since 1960.

The 211-208 vote reversed a trend in Congress in recent years toward relaxing some travel sanctions on Cuba. A similar vote last year - to permit Cubans who have claimed asylum in the United States to visit the island more frequently than every three years - produced a 225-174 tally to ease travel rules.

Earlier in June, the House voted 216-210 against relaxing rules on the shipment of gift parcels to Cuba. Last year the House had voted to ease rules on such parcels, which U.S. relatives often use to ship toiletries and staples to Cuba.

President Bush and GOP leaders in the House and Senate support economic sanctions against the Castro regime, and Bush has said he would veto any effort to weaken the embargo.