Banned in Cuba

As a patriotic, taxpaying American, I for one, am proud to see that George W. Bush is defending our shores against one of the more important terrorist threats to the American people: Cuban cigars.

It almost brings tears to my old red-white-and-blue eyes to see our president stand like a rock, using the full powers and majesty of his office to protect you and me from the unnerving possibility of incoming Cuban tobacco. To prevent a cigar invasion, our brave leader has boldly issued a presidential directive to stop American citizens from traveling to the Cuban island, which, as we know, is such a formidable threat to our national security. Words are inadequate to express the depths of my feelings toward George W for taking away your and my freedom to travel

It seems that tens of thousand of Americans have been taking people-to-people tours to Cuba to see for themselves the pluses and minuses of that country under Castro. Many have returned impressed, not only with the beauty of the island and the people, but with Cuba's healthcare and educational systems.

However, this independent judgment doesn't fit with Bush's official doctrine of demonizing Castro and economically punishing the Cuban people, and it also infuriates Bush's wealthy supporters in Florida's Cuban-exile community. So, as of January 1, we Americans are banned from seeing Cuba for ourselves.

Bush's crackdown on free travel has been building for months, as federal agents have harassed legitimate travelers to Cuba by among these things, ransacking their luggage. But 45,000 baggage searches turned up only 600 violations -- most of them for bringing cigars and rum back to the U.S. Harassment hasn't stopped intrepid Americans -- so now Bush simply dictates that we can't go there.

Doesn't he have any real terrorists to fight? To battle Bush's ban, call Global Exchange: 415-575-5543.

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