The CRIMSON has consistently opposed the State Department's ban on travel to Cuba as an unfortunate abridgement of the fundamental legal right to travel freely. Regrettably, the suggestion--repeated frequently in the U.S. press--that to oppose the ban is subversive has often obscured the real issue from the American public.
The trip to Cuba planned by three Harvard students, however, should provide a clearer test of the right to travel. First, the political beliefs of these students can by no means be considered un-American. Second, rather than openly flouting the ban, the students applied for validated passports through the proper legal channels.
By applying for passports the undergraduates have also opened for the State Department a dignified line of retreat from an awkward position. Other groups are planning to visit Cuba without asking government permission in the near future. Granting valid passports to the Harvard undergraduates would at least demonstrate that students with a legitimate interest in Cuba will be allowed to go.
Hopefully this would be only a first step toward a policy of allowing all students to visit the island. In any case, this request by three impeccably qualified Americans to be granted passports for Cuba should be granted.