Cuban Exiles Weigh in on the Travel Debate

To go or not to go, that's the question on many Cuban-American minds

With growing speculation that President Obama may ease travel restrictions to Cuba at next week's Summit of the America's, Miami's Cuban exile community is weighing in.

"We have to do something," Cuban American National Foundation President Francisco "Pepe" Hernandez told the Sun-Sentinel yesterday. "If not, I'm going to die old, without seeing change in Cuba."

The foundation, the most powerful Cuban exile group in the United States, sent a 14-page report to the Obama administration calling for an easing of restrictions, which include allowing cash to be sent to dissident groups and unlimited travel to the island for Cuban-Americans.

The report comes just weeks after Congress eased travel restrictions to Cuba for exiles and their families, and after the Black Congressional Caucus met with Raul and Fidel Castro.

Some exiles aren't keen on the idea of better Cuban relations.

"How can you help a murderous, corrupt government?" asked Manuel Camacho, president of the Cuban American Club of West Broward.

And other exiles simply aren't getting their hopes up.

"We've been living with that hope for a long time now," said musician Manuel Guerrero in Little Havana. "Why should things be different this time? It's still Cuba and the United States. What's been resolved?"

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