Summary: S.950 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (11/11/2003)

Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2003 - Prohibits the President from regulating or prohibiting travel to or from Cuba by U.S. citizens or legal residents, or any of the transactions ordinarily incident to such travel relating to: (1) accompanied personal baggage; (2) payment of living expenses and the acquisition of personal-use goods or services; (3) travel arrangements; (4) nonscheduled air, sea, or land voyage transactions, (such provision does not permit the carriage of articles other than accompanied baggage into Cuba or the United States); and (5) normal banking transactions.

States that such provision does not: (1) restrict presidential authority in time of war or armed hostilities between the United States and Cuba, or of imminent danger to the public health or the physical safety of U.S. travelers; and (2) authorize U.S. importation of personal consumption goods acquired in Cuba.

Sets forth findings respecting human rights violations in Cuba, including harassment of peaceful dissidents such as Oscar Elias Biscet, and noting the human rights work of Oswaldo Paya.

Expresses the sense of the Senate that the Government of Cuba will never be welcomed into the community of democratic nations unless that government: (1) undertakes significant political and economic reforms called for by reporters of the Varela project; (2) allows the International Committee of the Red Cross unrestricted access to all Cuban prisons and places of detention; (3) honors the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights request to allow his special representative to visit Cuba to assess the human rights situation; and (4) frees all political prisoners.

Expresses the sense of the Senate that: (1) the Organization of American States Inter-American Commission on Human Rights should continue reporting on the human rights situation in Cuba and should request a visit in order to review and report on such situation; (2) the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and his personal representative should pursue implementation of the 2002 Resolution regarding human rights in Cuba; (3) the European Union, to build upon the European Parliament's recognition of Cuban dissidents, should request to visit Cuba in order to review and report on the human rights situation; (4) representatives from the International Committee of the Red Cross should seek immediate access to all Cuban prisons and report on incarceration conditions; and (5) human rights organizations should issue statements of solidarity with the Cuban human rights activists, political dissidents, prisoners of conscience, independent journalists, and other Cubans demanding their release and seeking to secure their internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Expresses the sense of the Senate that the Department of State should monitor financial transactions to and from Cuba to ensure that terrorist financing is not occurring.

Directs the Secretary of State to report every 180 days on any actions taken by Cuba to provide or facilitate financial support for terrorism.