POSTED: 12:48 pm EDT May 22, 2008
MIAMI -- Two people in Miami are joining in a lawsuit against the Bush administration over its restrictions on family travel to Cuba.
The American Civil Liberties Union is helping with the suit.
It's a real-life drama, not a soap opera. And it's also a real-life heartache for Martin Baltizar who may not, under U.S. law, visit his 85-year-old mother in Cuba until 2010. Baltizar's mother has leukemia.
It's the same situation for Beth Boone and her 3-year-old son who met his grandmother last November.
"It was a visit filled with joy and love and now we can't go back for three more years," Boone told Local 10's Glenna Milberg.
Baltizar and Boone have now joined a lawsuit filed by Cuban-Americans in Vermont last march challenging the Bush administration's Cuban family travel policies.
Since 2004, the more restrictive rules limit visits to once every three years to immediate family only. There are no exceptions in cases of illness or death.
The ACLU calls the law not only cruel, but unconstitutional and insists it does little to further the cause of democracy in Cuba.
"The conflict with Cuba is not a blank check to violate international human rights and to try to break up families. The United States should not be in the business of breaking up families," said the ACLU's Howard Simon.