By Tessa Berenson
January 29, 2015

A bipartisan group of eight senators will introduce legislation Thursday to lift all travel restrictions between the U.S. and Cuba.

The Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act, led by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), is co-sponsored by an equal number of Senate Democrats and Republicans, and would end onerous constraints on Americans wishing to travel to the Caribbean island.

It is the first move by Congress towards ending the embargo since Obama’s December announcement that he would begin normalizing relations with Cuba.

The bill, which is seen by supporters as an intermediate step to lifting the full embargo, is co-sponsored by Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island), Tom Udall (D-New Mexico), Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and Dick Durbin (D-Illinois).

The United States held face-to-face talks with Cuba last week to discuss how best to normalize relations. On Thursday, Cuban President Raul Castro added new demands to restore diplomatic relations, including the U.S. returning Guantanamo Bay.

 

Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.berenson@time.com.

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