Thursday, April 27, 2006

Lawmakers would ban public universities from Cuba trips

Posted on Wed, Apr. 26, 2006

Lawmakers would ban public universities from Cuba trips

TALLAHASSEE - State-run colleges and universities would be banned from
sponsoring trips to Cuba, under bills that will be debated today in both
chambers of the Legislature.

State Rep. David Rivera, a Miami Republican, filed the legislation soon
after the January arrests of Florida International University professor
Carlos M. Alvarez and his wife, Elsa, an FIU counselor. The couple was
accused of being unregistered agents for Cuba.

Rivera is confident the bill will pass the House.

''It is important because I don't believe Florida's taxpayers support
the use of taxpayer money funding trips to terrorist nations --
particularly when America is fighting a war on terror,'' he said.

Its Senate counterpart, filed by state Sen. Mike Haridopolos, a
Melbourne Republican, will also be taken up today.

Under the plan, colleges and universities would be barred from using
state funds, private donations and grants to ''implement, organize,
direct, coordinate, or administer activities related to or involving
travel to a terrorist state.'' The countries that fall under that
category, as designated by the State Department, are: Cuba, Iran, Libya,
North Korea, Sudan and Syria.

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