U.S. Policies Cloud Cuban Solar Conference

April 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Scientists, engineers, and renewable energy advocates from around the world are converging in Guantanamo, Cuba for an international renewable energy conference. Twelve US citizens were planning to travel on a Global Exchange delegation led by Solar Energy International (SEI) staff member Laurie Stone to attend this conference organized by Cubasolar. Global Exchange (GX) is a non-profit organization which has sponsored legal, licensed delegations to the last five Cubasolar conferences. According to SEI, one week before the conference, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), an agency within the US Treasury Department, told GX they are prohibited from sending a delegation to the conference. This latest blow to Americans legally traveling to Cuba is a part of a growing trend to halt communication between the US and Cuba, said Stone. According to Rachel Bruhnke, coordinator of GX’s Eco-Cuba Exchange program, “At a time when the need for fossil fuel resources are so obviously fueling war, to restrict our access to discuss alternatives is unconscionable.”
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