What is Illegal for Americans in Cuba:
It is illegal for Americans to travel to Cuba without the permission of the United States federal government. It is also illegal for Americans to engage in any kind of commercial activity with Cuba. Even buying a Cuban cigar is strictly against the law.
What is Legal for Americans in Cuba:
Thanks to the Military Commissions Act, it is now legal for Americans working for their government to kidnap people off the streets and fly them against their will to Cuba, where they can be imprisoned and tortured for the rest of their life without any trial or right to file a writ of habeas corpus. It is also legal for Americans in Cuba to put their prisoners on trial in a kangaroo court that violates the most basic legal rights recognized by civilized nations.
Congressman Charles Rangel has introduced a bill to legalize private travel between the United States and Cuba. Right wingers say that the legalization of private travel of American citizens to Cuba is completely unacceptable. On the other hand, the same right wingers say that it is perfectly acceptable to allow Americans to transport, imprison, and torture people in Cuba.
We progressives recognize the insanity inherent to this double standard. Right wingers think it makes perfect sense. That’s as good a reason as I can possibly think of to work to elect a progressive President in 2008.