Washington, DC – Congressman Howard L. Berman (D-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement praising passage of H.R.4645, Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act, in today’s House Agriculture Committee markup:

“As an original cosponsor of this legislation I have long believed that the nearly fifty year old travel ban to Cuba simply has not worked to help the Cuban people in any way. It has not hurt the Castros as it was intended to do, but it has hurt U.S. citizens. It is, in effect, a statement by the U.S. government to its own citizens that they cannot be trusted to decide where they can travel. Letting U.S. citizens travel to Cuba is not a gift to the Castros – it is in the interest of our own citizens. It’s time to trust our own people and restore their right to travel.”