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In an open letter to Bush, more than two hundred artists and scholars from the United States asked their president to end the travel ban that prevents U.S. citizens from visiting Cuba and allow Cuban artists and scholars to visit the United States.

The signatories said in the letter, dated November 19 that they were writing not only as representatives of the U.S cultural sphere, but also as American citizens, reported Prensa Latina news agencies.

The artists expressed their disagreement with of Bush administration's continuing hostility towards Cuba and with all the federal policies that "keep us divided from our Cuban counterparts."

The letter, posted at, said the time has come to move towards cultural exchange, and constructive relations with Cuba.

More than two hundred actors, musicians, lawyers, filmmakers have signed the letter. The list includes Harry Belafonte, Ry Cooder, Peter Coyote, Danny Glover, Sean Penn, Jose Pertierra and Alice Walker.

"In denying us the possibility of engaging in such exchanges and relationships, we are being denied our fundamental rights as guaranteed by the 1st, 5th and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution."

At the beginning, the letter makes reference to Cuban National Ballet director, Alicia Alonso's message dated October 26, in defense of dialogue and exchange between the Cuban and the American people.

Alonso is a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, she has toured extensively in the United States, and her work is widely admired by the American art community.


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