No Feathers, Please, We're Conducting Policy


This news is two weeks old, but it still sucks ass. The U.S. government, as part of its ongoing fantasy that the best way to topple dictator-for-life Fidel Castro is by curtailing Americans' freedom, sent out a series of threatening letters to certain licensed religious organizations—which were previously exempt from the ban on travel to Cuba—saying that from now on they could only shuttle 25 people to the island every three months, or else face heavy fines.

Worse, the government is specifically targeting practitioners of Santeria.

The 25-person-per-quarter limit doesn't apply to what the government calls "established churches," such as the Roman Catholic Church. These organizations get licenses that don't limit the number of travelers to Cuba.

What was that line again, about "shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"? Or that other one—wait, it's the same one!—about "the right of the people peacebly to assemble"? I guess freedom's just another word for Don't Fuck With Our Totally Successful Cuba Policy.

In a last twist of predictable irony, the Miami Herald reports that American travel to the island has

boomed since July, when the Bush administration reduced the number of times Cubans can visit their families on the island from once a year to once every three years.

My take on the immoral, illiberal, and counter-productive travel ban here.