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Governor Richardson Holds Meeting with Travel Sector on Cuba Travel

October 12, 2009


Madeline Vied                                                                       FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                            
October 12, 2009

Governor Richardson Holds Meeting with Travel Sector on Cuba Travel

LEXINGTON, Ky. – New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson met October 9 with travel sector leaders on the issue of opening travel to Cuba for Americans. He spoke on his recent trip to Cuba and shared insight into improving U.S. esteem through the Americas. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson addresses a Washington audience Friday about his recent trip to Cuba while urging support for the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act.  Joining him is Nelson Cunningham, President of the New Democratic Network, host of the event.

Attendees of the meeting included Neil Amrine and Steve Richer, National Tour Association; Brian Hoyt, Orbitz; John McAuliff, executive director, Fund for Reconciliation and Development; Victor Parra, president and CEO, United Motorcoach Association; Art Sackler, executive director, Interactive Travel Services Association; Benita Lubic, Transeair Travel; and Aubrey King, travel consultant to several national associations.

"Governor Richardson visited Cuba in August," said Richer. "He met with this group of travel leaders to be a part of the travel sector team working to see that the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act is enacted and signed into law within the next six months. His excellent insight into Western Hemisphere issues and ways to reach long-term goals concerning Cuba are valuable in this effort."

After a vigorous exchange with the travel sector group, Governor Richardson, a former United Nations ambassador, energy secretary, congressman and 2008 Presidential candidate, spoke to a larger group on hemispheric issues. His main focus was Cuba, suggesting that President Obama should restore travel regulations that were in place through 2004, which would allow more sports, cultural, and other travel. He stressed the need for Congress to pass the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act, citing the movement of travelers to and from Cuba which would benefit U. S. residents, the travel sector, and other businesses that could participate in the permissible trade of goods and commodities with Cuba.

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