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This isn’t much, but it’s progress:

The Obama administration is planning to expand opportunities for Americans to travel to Cuba, the latest step aimed at encouraging more contact between people in both countries, while leaving intact the decades-old embargo against the island’s Communist government, according to Congressional and administration officials. [They] said it was meant to loosen restrictions on academic, religious and cultural groups that were adopted under President George W. Bush, and return to the “people to people” policies followed under President Bill Clinton.

Policy analysts said the intended changes would mark a significant shift in Cuba policy. In early 2009, President Obama lifted restrictions on travel and remittances only for Americans with relatives on the island. Congressional aides cautioned that some administration officials still saw the proposals as too politically volatile to announce until after the coming midterm elections, and they said revisions could still be made.

I’m opposed to the Cuba embargo because I think it’s foolish policy. But I’m really, really opposed to travel restrictions to Cuba. If the Cuban government wants to keep us out of Cuba, that’s one thing. Cuba is a dictatorship, after all. But the United States isn’t, and my government has no right to restrict where I go. Period. The travel embargo is a policy that fits the old Soviet Union better than it does the United States. America is a free country and American citizens should be allowed to travel anywhere they want.

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And we won't beat around the bush: Our fundraising drive to finish our current budget on June 30 and start our new fiscal year on July 1 is lagging behind where we need it to be.

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If you're new to Mother Jones or aren't yet sold on supporting our nonprofit reporting, please take a moment to read Monika Bauerlein's post about our priorities after these chaotic several years, and why this relatively quiet moment is also an urgent one for our democracy and Mother Jones’ bottom line—and if you find it compelling, please join us.

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