VIDEO: Sanford Picked for Cuba Delegation

U.S. Representative Mark Sanford (R-SC 1st District) will be among a handful of republicans traveling to Cuba with President Barack Obama.

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) — U.S. Representative Mark Sanford (R-SC 1st District) will be among a handful of republicans traveling to Cuba with President Barack Obama.

The former South Carolina governor has worked in the past to lift the travel ban between the U.S. and Cuba.
The majority of those on the trip will be democrats. The delegation leaves on Sunday and returns Tuesday.

Sanford addressed the upcoming trip on his Facebook page:

“I think being asked to join represents important recognition of our office’s work to change law and to allow Americans the right to travel as they see fit, not as our federal government decides for us. Rights have to be protected because, as the Founding Fathers well knew, the normal course of things was for government to gain ground and for liberty to yield. Such has been the case with Cuba.
You or I can travel to any country in the globe without federal government sanction, save one, Cuba. Literally, you could go to North Korea, Iran, Iraq…or any other country around the world without federal prohibition. Consequently, when there is no longer a national security reason to prohibit American travel, I think that travel should be open as a right within the “bundle of rights” that go with American freedom. That’s why I have pushed over the years for a change in policy, and in fact even wrote an op-ed on the subject for The Post and Courier back in 1997. In short, liberty is a stool held up by many legs and movement without government control is one of them.
Holding this view in no way endorses the Cuban regime any more than our current travel policy endorses a whole host of bad governments around the world. It’s about American’s freedom and embracing engagement rather than isolation as a way of changing other governments. It was Ronald Reagan who encouraged young people to backpack through Eastern Europe in the hopes that person-to-person diplomacy could be part of bringing down the Iron Curtain. Truth is our laws have been driven by domestic presidential politics and the Florida vote…and after 50 years of this not working to bring change, maybe we should try something else that might.
I have introduced legislation to end the travel ban both times I’ve been in Congress. Most recently, Congressman Jim McGovern and I introduced the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act, which simply lifts the travel ban to Cuba.
This will be historic as it represents the first time a sitting President has gone to the island in the last 90 years. Accordingly, I will further update you on my observations when I return.”

The Associated Press reports Sanford has traveled to Cuba twice on trips organized by private organizations and nonprofits. This will be his first since the general ban on travel to Cuba was lifted.

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