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Tourism

… , according to Cuban officials. Tourism helped propel the Cuban economy to 1 … slightly positive results, Cabrisas said. Cuban officials have estimated economic expansion … would prohibit Americans traveling to Cuba in the people-to-people category from … Continue reading
Cuba’s historic cities, vibrant culture and sandy beaches were the star performers of the economy in the first half of the year, pulling in 23.2 percent more visitors than the … Click to Continue » Continue reading
… have been held in Little Havana, West Coconut Grove and Historic … Continue reading
… June 4, after costs in Havana “significantly exceeded our initial assumptions … flight to Cuba by June 1: “The costs of serving Havana continue … the Cuban people,” and journalistic activities. “You can’t go to Cuba … support American travelers provide for Cuban entrepreneurs in the tourism sector … Continue reading
14ymedio, Miriam Celaya, Havana, 16 July 2017 — The walls full of photographs of old city landscapes and a whole host of famous artists from the Cuban Republic, record album covers from the same period, and old advertising posters from the 40’s and 50’s. In a central space, an old off-duty Victrola captures the prominence … Continue reading "Havana, Nostalgia Capital" Continue reading
… 934-room beach resort in Varadero, Cuba, STR said. Tourism is the … Continue reading
… 934-room beach resort in Varadero, Cuba, STR said. Tourism is the … Continue reading
… against Cuba, partially rolling back the ‘Cuban thaw’ initiated under Obama. Cuba is … , and Maduro regularly travels to Cuba when tensions rise in his … tourists going to Cuba, over concerns that the Cuban tourism industry benefits the country’s military and not the CubanContinue reading
… for a skater,” Williams said. Havana Affair Williams with several of … “foster a constructive environment for Cuban youth that will have a … went away disappointed,” Williams said. Havana skaters watch as one of … long-standing prohibition on tourism to Cuba. There are 12 permitted reasons … Continue reading
… Bahamas should be concerned about Cuba opening up to visitors from … a flight from Toronto to Cuba and Toronto to Nassau was … be worried about Cuba. Anybody who tells you when Cuba opened up … Continue reading
Juan Juan Almeida, 12 June 2107 — With a decade’s worth of fledgling but stalled attempts at reforming Cuba’s economic system, a convulsive situation in Venezuela that could have repercussions in Havana and less than eight months to go before the end of his term as president of the Council of State and Council of … Continue reading "3D Film, Raul Castro’s New Hobby / Juan Juan Almeida" Continue reading
CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS, July 17, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ -- The fourth annual Nevis Mango & Food Festival exceeded all expectations according to the Nevis Tourism Authority and virtually everyone who attended the exciting roster of events. “We … Continue reading
… Manuel Marrero announced recently that Cuba’s tourist arrivals from the … life with whispers of investment, Cuba is seeking development to accommodate … Minister Obie Wilchcombe shrugged off Cuba's growing success, newly-appointed … ; the CBOB report states. For Cuba, "other markets also showed … Continue reading
Average Wages Rise but Nobody in Cuba Lives on Their Salary

14ymedio, Mario Penton and Luz Escobar, Miami and Havana, 14 July 2017 —
Ileana Sánchez is anxiously rummaging through her tattered wallet,
looking for some bills to buy a toy slate for her seven-year-old
granddaughter who dreams of becoming a teacher. She has had to save for
months to get the 20 CUC (Cuban convertible pesos, roughly $20 US) that
the gift costs, since her monthly salary as a state inspector is only
315 CUP (Cuban pesos), about 12 dollars.

At the end of June, the National Bureau of Statistics and Information
(ONEI) reported that the average salary at national level reached 740
CUP per month, slightly more than 29 CUC. However, the increase in the
average salary does not represent a real improvement in the living
conditions of the worker, who continues to be able to access many goods
and services only through remittances sent from family abroad, savings
and withdrawals.

"I do not know who makes that much money, nor what they base these
figures on, because not even with the wages my husband earns working in
food service for 240 CUP a month, along with my wages, do we get that
much," says Sanchez.

The ONEI explains that the average monthly salary is "the average amount
of direct wages earned by a worker in a month." The calculation excludes
earning in CUC. However, the average salary is inflated by the increases
in "strategic" sectors, such as has happened in healthcare, where the
pay has been more than doubled, while in other areas of the economy
wages have remained practically unchanged for over a decade.

"If you buy food you can not buy clothes, if you buy clothes you can not
eat, we live every day thinking about how to come up with ways survive,"
she says in anguish.

Most Cubans do not support themselves on what they earn in jobs working
for the state, which employs 80% of the country's workforce.

President Raúl Castro himself acknowledged that wages "do not satisfy
all the needs of the worker and his family" and, in one of his most
critical speeches about the national reality in 2013, he said that "a
part of society" had become accustomed to stealing from the state.

Sanchez, on the other hand, justifies the thefts and believes that the
"those who live better" are those who have access to dollars or those
who receive remittances. "Anyone who doesn't have a family member abroad
or is a leader, is out of luck," she says.

According to the economist Carmelo Mesa-Lago, when speaking of an
increase in the average wage, a distinction must be made between the
nominal wage, that is, the amount of money people receive, and the real
wage, adjusted for inflation.

A recent study published by the academic shows that although the nominal
wage has grown steadily in recent years, the real wage of a Cuban is 63%
lower than it was in 1989, when Cuba was subsidized by the Soviet Union
and the government had various social protection programs. At present,
the entire month's salary of a worker is only enough to buy 10.3 whole
chickens or 7.6 tanks of liquefied gas.

Among retirees and pensioners, the situation is worse. The elderly can
barely buy 16% of what a pension benefit would buy before the most
difficult years of the so-called Special Period – the years of economic
crisis after the fall of the Soviet Union – according to Mesa-Lago.

Or by another measure, spending an entire month's salary a worker can
only afford 19 hours of internet connection in the Wi-Fi zones enabled
by the state telecommunications monopoly, Etecsa, or 84.5 minutes of
local calls through cell phones.

To buy a two-room apartment in a building built in 1936 in the central
and coveted Havana neighborhood of Vedado a worker would need to save
their entire salary for 98 years, while a Soviet-made Lada car from the
time of Brezhnev would cost the equivalent of 52 years of work.

However, the island's real estate market has grown in recent years at
the hands of private sector workers who accumulate hard currency, or by
investments made by the Cuban diaspora. In remittances alone, more than
three billion dollars arrives in Cuba every year.

According to Ileana Sánchez, before this panorama many people look for
work in the areas related to state food services or administration where
they can steal from the state, or jobs that provide contact with
international tourists such as in the hotels.

Other coveted jobs in the private sphere are the paladares – private
restaurants – and renting rooms and homes to tourists where you can get
tips. The "search" (as the theft is called) has become a more powerful
incentive to accept a job than the salary itself.

Although, according to the document published by the ONEI, workers in
the tourism and defense sector earn 556 and 510 pesos on average, many
of them receive as a bonus a certain amount of CUC monthly that is not
reflected in the statistics, and they also have access to more expensive
food and electrical appliances than does the rest of the population.

Among the best paid jobs in CUP, in order of income, are those in the
sugar industry, with 1,246 CUP on a monthly basis, and in agriculture
with 1,218. Among the worst paid jobs according to the ONEI are those
working in education, with 533 CUP, and in culture with 511.

For Miguel Roque, 48, a native of Guantánamo, low wages in the eastern
part of the country are driving migration to other provinces. He has
lived for 12 years in the Nuclear City, just a few kilometers from
Juraguá, in the province of Cienfuegos, where the Soviet Union began to
build a nuclear plant that was never finished.

"The East is another world. If you work here, imagine yourself there. A
place stopped in time," he explains. Roque works as a bricklayer in
Cienfuegos although he aspires to emigrate to Havana in the coming
months, where "work abounds and more things can be achieved."

The provinces where average wages are highest, according to the ONEI,
are Ciego de Avila (816 CUP), Villa Clara (808 CUP) and Matanzas (806
CUP), while the lowest paid are Guantanamo (633 CUP) and Isla de la
Juventud (655 CUP).

"Salary increases in the east of the country are not enough to fill the
gaps with the eastern and central provinces," explains Cuban sociologist
Elaine Acosta, who believes that cuts in the social services budgets are
aggravating the inequalities that result from the wage differences.

"It is no coincidence that the eastern provinces have the lowest figures
on the Human Development Index," he asserts.

Source: Average Wages Rise but Nobody in Cuba Lives on Their Salary –
Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/average-wages-rise-but-nobody-in-cuba-lives-on-their-salary/ Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton and Luz Escobar, Miami and Havana, 14 July 2017 — Ileana Sánchez is anxiously rummaging through her tattered wallet, looking for some bills to buy a toy slate for her seven-year-old granddaughter who dreams of becoming a teacher. She has had to save for months to get the 20 CUC (Cuban convertible pesos, … Continue reading "Average Wages Rise but Nobody in Cuba Lives on Their Salary" Continue reading
The Cuban Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR) has … routings between the US and Havana in the new spirit of … ‘cooperation’. And now in 2017, Cuba's tourist destinations have … Ministry of Tourism (Mintur) of Cuba, José Daniel Alonso, projected on … Continue reading
Cuba's Raul Castro dismisses harsher US tone under Trump
- Castro's comments to Cuba's National Assembly were his first on
Trump's June announcement of a partial rollback of the Cuba-U.S. detente
- He also rejected any "lessons" on human rights from the U.S., saying
his country "has a lot to be proud about" on the issue
The Associated Press

Cuban President Raul Castro denounced President Donald Trump's tougher
line on relations with Havana on Friday, calling it a setback but
promising to continue working to normalize ties between the former Cold
War rivals.

Castro's comments to Cuba's National Assembly were his first on Trump's
June announcement of a partial rollback of the Cuba-U.S. detente
achieved by then-President Barack Obama. They contained echoes of the
harsh rhetoric of the past.

"Any strategy that seeks to destroy the revolution either through
coercion or pressure or through more subtle methods will fail," Cuba's
president told legislators.

He also rejected any "lessons" on human rights from the U.S., saying his
country "has a lot to be proud about" on the issue.

Surrounded by Cuban-American exiles and Cuban dissidents in Miami, Trump
announced last month that the U.S. would impose new limits on U.S.
travelers to the island and ban any payments to the military-linked
conglomerate that controls much of the island's tourism industry. He
said the U.S. would consider lifting those and other restrictions only
after Cuba returned fugitives and made a series of other internal
changes including freeing political prisoners, allowing freedom of
assembly and holding free elections.

Trump's policy retained elements of Obama's reforms but tightened
restrictions on travel and employed harsh rhetoric on human rights.

On Friday in Washington, the Trump administration said it was suspending
for another six months a provision of the U.S. embargo on Cuba.

The State Department said it told Congress that it will keep suspending
a provision of the Helms-Burton Act that deals with property seized from
Americans. The provision lets Americans use U.S. courts to sue
non-American companies that operate and deal with property confiscated
after Fidel Castro's revolution.

Speaking to the National Assembly, Castro called the Trump
administration's policies a "setback," though he reiterated his
government's position that it would work to normalize relations with
Washington.

Earlier in the legislative session, Economy Minister Ricardo Cabrisas
announced that Cuba's economy is growing again after a dip last year.

Cabrisas said the economy grew around 1 percent in the first half of
2017. That puts GDP growth on track to hit 2 percent for the year.

The government said the economy shrank last year by 1 percent amid
falling support from troubled Venezuela. That was the first decrease
reported in two decades. Cabrisas said that instability in the supply of
Venezuelan oil weighs on the country but tourism, construction,
transportation and communications were growing.

Foreign media did not have access to the National Assembly session.

Source: Cuba's Raul Castro dismisses harsher US tone under Trump -
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/15/cubas-raul-castro-dismisses-harsher-us-tone-under-trump.html Continue reading
Cuba says GDP recovers, up about 1 percent so far in 2017
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
HAVANA — Jul 14, 2017, 5:59 PM ET

The Cuban government said Friday that the economy is growing again
following a decline last year that was the first drop reported in two
decades.

Economy Minister Ricardo Cabrisas said at the opening session of the
National Assembly that Cuba's GDP grew just over 1 percent in the first
six months of 2017 and is on track to hit an estimated 2 percent for the
full year.

The rebound came despite the economic crisis in Venezuela, which
provides oil and other support to the island. The government said Cuba's
economy shrank last year by 1 percent amid falling help from Venezuela,
which is struggling with triple-digit inflation and widespread shortages
of food and other basic goods. The decrease was the first reported by
Cuba in years.

Cuban media quoted Cabrisas as telling the assembly that instability in
the supply of Venezuelan oil weighs on the country's economy but
tourism, construction, transportation and communications are all growing.

Foreign media were not allowed to attend the session, which was presided
over by President Raul Castro.

Some growth in tourism is due to the normalization of relations with the
U.S. that was started by President Barack Obama and is now threatened
under President Donald Trump.

Source: Cuba says GDP recovers, up about 1 percent so far in 2017 - ABC
News -
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/cuba-gdp-recovers-percent-2017-48647002 Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba (ACN) -- Cuban minister of tourism Manuel Marrero … source market of tourists for Cuba, is recovering its numbers, which … new airlines opened routes to Cuba, such as one from Turkey … . If the trend continues, the Cuban ministry of tourism expects that … Continue reading
Cuban Government Fires Off One Lie After Another / Iván García

Ivan Garcia, 3 July 2017 — The fan stopped turning around 3:30 in the
morning, when in the middle of a heat wave, a black out forced Ricardo,
his wife and their two children to sleep on a mat on the balcony of
their apartment in the Lawton neighborhood, a thirty minute drive from
central Havana.

Several areas were left dark and lit only by candles and lanterns,
dozens of neighbors complained with rude words and sharp criticisms of
of the poor performance of state electricity and water companies.

The blackout lasted for seven hours. "I couldn't iron my children's
school uniforms and they are in the midst of final exams. I sent them to
school in street clothes. Nor could my husband and I go to work. When I
the light came on, after ten in the morning, we lay in bed for a while.
The situation is already so bad no one can stand it. It's one problem
after another. The water crisis, which is still affecting us, public
transportation is the worst, food prices don't stop rising and now this
black out in the middle of this terrible heat," says Zoraida, Ricardo's
wife.

Almost a month after a break in one of the main pipes that brings
potable water to Havana, and then an intense information campaign on the
part of the office press, filled with justifications and an exaggerated
optimism, where radio, TV and newspapers report the hours there will be
water in each neighborhood, after the repairs, completed two weeks ago,
and with the promise that service would gradually return to normal in
the different zones of the capital, they are still suffering the affects
and the media doesn't offer any explanations.

"Some 200,000 people are still affected and are receiving water every
three days. By Thursday, June 22, it was expected to regularize the
service, but some problems have arisen," said an official of Aguas de La
Habana in the municipality Diez de Octubre, the most populated of the
capital's districts.

The affected Havanans don't stop complaining. "In my house, the tank
that we have on the roof does not have the capacity for the water to
last three days. Although we try to save it, in the bathroom, kitchen
and laundry, the water that we are able to collect is spent in two
days. The government comes up with one lie after another. First it was
reported that the break was a matter of a week, at most two. And we're
going on for a month now. Instead of responding with so much noise to
Trump's measures, they should focus on improving the living conditions
of Cubans," complains Mario, a resident of Luyanó, a working-class
neighborhood in the south of the city.

Rumors about the resurgence of the perennial economic crisis that Cubans
are experiencing, spread throughout the city. "I have it on good
authority, from a friend of my brother who is in the party, I know that
by summer the government is going to make new cuts in companies' fuel
consumption, and they will close unproductive factories and industries
until further notice. The scarcity is noticeable. The state farm
markets are empty and the shortages in the hard currency stores are
obvious. It is said that in the upcoming session of the National
Assembly of People's Power, on July 14, they are going to announce new
measures of cuts. Thing looks ugly," says Miriam, housewife, at the
entrance to a bodega in Cerro municipality.

Diario Las Américas could not verify those comments and rumors.

A banking official who prefers anonymity believes that the country's
financial situation is "quite delicate." He says, "There is not enough
currency liquidity. Even payments of the various debts contracted with
foreign companies are not being made. Tourism, which contributes about
$3 billion in revenue, devours almost 60 percent of that revenue in the
purchase of inputs. Remittances are the lifeline, but with shortages in
foreign exchange stores and high prices, many people are spending their
convertible pesos on the black market or in the parallel trade of the
'mules' that bring products from abroad. A large part of that money is
not being returned to the state coffers, as people involved in these
activities either save it or use it as an investment in their business."

To minimize reality, the olive-green autocracy uses anti-imperialist
discourse and condemnations of Donald Trump's new policy of restrictions
as a smokescreen.

"That narrative has always worked. But people on the street know that
this discourse is exhausted. They can't justify all the national
wreckage and the poor performance of the public services with the
economic blockade of the United States nor with the recent aggressive
policy of Trump. Cubans are at their limit with everything. It is not
advisable to think that Cubans will always be silent. Situations such as
blackouts and cuts in the water supply make people angry and their
reactions could be unpredictable," warns a sociologist.

With finances in the red, an economic recession that threatens to turn
into a crisis of incalculable consequences, and grandiose development
plans that sound like science fiction to ordinary Cubans, the
authorities are facing a dangerous precipice.

Six decades of selling illusions and with unfulfilled promises are
already coming to an end. And it could be less than happy.

Source: Cuban Government Fires Off One Lie After Another / Iván García –
Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/cuban-government-fires-off-one-lie-after-another-ivn-garca/ Continue reading
Drugs Play Increasing Role in the Battle for Cuban Teenagers' Leisure Time

14ymedio, Marcelo Hernandez, Havana, 7 July 2017 — He dries his sweat
and takes a drink of water from a bottle he carries in his backpack. "In
my time the young people spent the holidays in front of the television,"
says Ignacio, the father of two teenagers. As he moves along crowded
Avenida 10 de Octubre, in Havana, he looks for video games for sale. "So
that they stay at home, because in the streets there are more and more
drugs."

Ignacio's concern is shared by thousands of parents all over the Island.
The country where, decades ago, the government controlled how many
cigarettes an individual smoked, has given way to a more complex
reality. Authorities warn of increased drug use among young people and
call on families to be alert.

In recent years the official press has also begun to address the issue,
albeit with some hesitancy and clarifying that this problem is not as
serious as it is in the capitalist countries. However, there is no
neighborhood in the Cuban capital where a wide variety of preparations,
pills and powders for "flying" are not bought and sold.

Hannibal, 17, prefers to change his name to detail his relationship with
narcotics. He began using at age 12 and what, at the beginning, was a
game, later became an obsession. "I stopped going to school, I was only
interested in getting high," he relates to 14ymedio.

Over the last five years, Hannibal has been using and swearing off
drugs. A week ago he broke his longest stretch without using drugs. "I
was clean more than 80 days, but they invited me to a disco and I fell
back into it," he confesses.

His family life took a turn when, in mid-2015, his parents decided to
take the route to the United States through Central America and he was
left alone with his grandmother. In a short time, his consumption
doubled. "I had at least two overdoses, but only once did they take me
to the hospital."

Hannibal's friends did not want the doctors to report the case to the
police and feared they "would all end up prisoners," says the young man
who, at 17, weighs no more than 110 pounds and whose hands shake all the
time. "I lost interest in food and went for months almost without taking
a bath." He sold all the appliances in the house one by one to pay for
drugs.

"One day I sold the bathroom mirror over the sink because I needed money
and because I could not look at the face of how emaciated I was," he
says. At that moment he decided to seek help.

The young man went through the Provincial Center for Teen Withdrawal in
Havana, an institution that since 2005 has been serving patients who
have started taking drugs since very young ages. "I met others there
like me and I promised to stop killing myself with all this, but in the
street life is something else," he says.

On weekends the wall of the Malecon becomes a massive meeting point, an
open air brothel and display point for countless illegal substances. "I
just have to go there and I always find something." With the increase in
tourism "the supply has diversified and there is a lot of marijuana,"
although he says he prefers "faster and less adulterated" pills.

Synthetic drugs reign among the young and have become the currency with
which foreigners pay for sexual favors, either in tablets or "dust,"
says Hannibal. Although he says he has never sold his body to feed his
addiction, he does know many who have. "Who's going to pay for all these
bones?" he asks wryly.

A confidential phone line helps those looking for information on the
subject, although mistrust affects its reach. "Hello, you have contacted
103, Confidential Antidrug Line, we will soon help you," says a
voice. Claudia, 39, prefers to hang on. She has a daughter of 14 who has
become "aggressive, she spends long hours in a stupor and sometimes she
cannot get out of bed."

Data published by the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Unit
report that last year 14,412 calls were received on the confidential
line, most of them in Havana, Pinar del Rio, Camagüey, Ciego de Ávila
and Las Tunas.

Claudia fears the worst about what her daughter does when she leaves the
house but does not want to "get her in trouble" by contacting a
specialist. She has thought of another kind of solution. "I spoke with a
cousin who lives in Quemado de Güines, in Villa Clara, about my daughter
spending some time there." The mother believes that "being in the
countryside, outside of Havana and away from her friends" will help her,
although no place in the national territory seems to be safe.

The entry of drugs into the country has been increasing in recent
years. For all of 2016, the General Customs of the Republic (AGR)
confiscated 67 pounds of drugs, however between January and May of this
year the amount seized has already reached 72 pounds, according to data
offered by Moraima Rodríguez Nuviola, AGR deputy director.

Ships are the main route of entry, especially of marijuana. Although the
latter is also sowed on private farms where the owners risk ending up in
jail with their land confiscated.

Drug trafficking is punished in the Cuban penal code with sanctions of
four to ten years, if it is considered small scale, but if it is large
amounts the sentence can reach 20 years. The size of the volume is
determined in practice, it is not fixed in the law. International
trafficking carries up to 30 years in prison and is aggravated if minors
are involved. Consumption is also seriously punished, with fines of up
to 10,000 pesos or deprivation of liberty of between six months and
eight years.

Despite the severity of the national legislation "consumption begins
very early," according to a psychiatrist who preferred anonymity. "In
Cuba initiation into these types of substances increasingly occurs at
younger ages." The specialist, who has treated about 100 patients, finds
that "marijuana, psychotropic drugs and some medications used as drugs
are displacing alcohol among adolescents."

Hannibal is determined to try. "I want to leave this garbage, go back to
study, redo my life and get married," he says. In the pocket of his
jeans he carries a small envelope with ten pills. "These are the last, I
promise."

Source: Drugs Play Increasing Role in the Battle for Cuban Teenagers'
Leisure Time – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/drugs-play-increasing-role-in-the-battle-for-cuban-teenagers-leisure-time/ Continue reading
Eight Things You Need to Know about President Trump's New Cuba Policy
07/13/2017 09:20 am ET
William M. LeoGrande
Professor of Government at American University

President Donald J. Trump signs the National Security Presidential
Memorandum on Strengthening the Policy of the United States Toward Cuba,
Miami, June 16, 2017

On June 16, 2017, President Donald Trump announced his new Cuba policy
in a speech in Miami, declaring that he was "canceling" President Barack
Obama's opening to Havana. Here are eight things you need to know about
what Trump did—and didn't –do.

(1) National Security Presidential Memorandum on Cuba (NSPM)

During President Trump's appearance in Miami, he signed a new National
Security Presidential Memorandum on Cuba which formalized elements of
his new policy and replaced President Obama's Presidential Directive on
Cuba signed in October 2016. Obama's directive laid out the rationale
for a policy of engagement with Cuba and directed executive branch
agencies to work toward its implementation. Rescinding it has no
immediate practical effect, but signals that President Trump is no
longer interested in a policy of normalization—something that was also
clear from the confrontational tone of his Miami speech.

(2) Travel Opportunities

One of the main policy changes President Trump announced was tightening
restricts on travel to Cuba and stepping up enforcement to be sure that
travelers are going for a legally approved purpose. There are 12
categories of legal travel to Cuba, but the most popular one for
non-Cuban Americans is "people-to-people" educational travel, offered by
cruise ships and travel providers like National Geographic and Classic
Journeys. President Obama legalized individual people-to-people trips,
which meant travelers could go on their own and pursue a personalized
itinerary. President Trump canceled that. Now, to go on a
people-to-people trip, you'll have to go in an organized group led by a
licensed traveler provider, and follow a set itinerary. But you can
still bring back rum and cigars.

(3) Transactions Benefiting the Cuban Military

The other major policy change President Trump announced was a ban on any
direct transactions with entities that would benefit the Cuban military
disproportionately. The terms "direct" and "disproportionate" haven't
been defined yet. That will happen when the Treasury Department issues
the implementing regulations. This could get complicated, because a lot
of enterprises in the tourism sector, including hotels, restaurants,
tourist taxis, rental cars, and retail stores are controlled by the
Cuban armed forces ministry. The State Department will produce a list of
prohibited enterprises, which should clarify who you can do business
with in Cuba and who you can't. The good news: ports, airports, and
telecommunications are exempt from the new regulations, so cruise ships,
airlines, and Google are all safe. Existing contracts are exempt, too.

(4) Remittances

At first glance, Trump's National Security Presidential Memorandum
(NSPM) seems to say that remittances will be unaffected, but another
section of the NSPM expands the definition of "prohibited government
officials" of Cuba from a few dozen people to hundreds of thousands.
That's important because under existing regulations, Americans cannot
send remittances to any Cuban who is a prohibited person. We'll just
have to wait and see how the Treasury Department sorts that out when it
writes the regulations.

(5) Diplomatic Relations

Despite a very tough speech in Miami that denounced the Cuban
government, President Trump did not break diplomatic relations with
Havana. The United States and Cuba restored diplomatic relations on July
20, 2015. President Obama nominated career foreign service officer
Jeffrey DeLaurentis, who was already serving in Havana as chief of the
U.S. embassy, as ambassador, but he was never confirmed by the Senate.
President Trump has not named an ambassador, but in his Miami speech, he
indicated that he intended to keep the embassy open. So if you're
traveling to Cuba or doing business there, the embassy will still
provide consular services as needed.

(6) Terrorism List

President Trump has not put Cuba back on the State Department's list of
countries that support international terrorism. Cuba was on that list
until 2015, when the U.S. intelligence community concluded that it met
the conditions for being removed and President Obama removed it. Since
then, U.S. and Cuban law enforcement officials have been cooperating on
counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics, and cyber crime. President Trump's
NSPM mentions law enforcement as an area where engagement with Cuba
serves U.S. national interest.

(7) Immigration Policy

President Trump is not restoring the wet foot/dry foot immigration
policy that gave Cubans arriving in the United States a fast track to
permanent residence and citizenship that no other immigrants enjoyed.
President Obama ended wet foot/dry foot just before leaving office and
President-elect Trump did not object at the time. Cuban immigrants are
now treated no differently than immigrants from other countries. In his
Miami speech, President Trump specifically said that he would not be
changing that policy.

(8) Bilateral Accords

Between December 17, 2014, When President Obama announced the
normalization of relations with Cuba, and the time he left office two
years later, Cuba and the United States signed almost two dozen
bilateral agreements on issues of mutual interest ranging from
environmental protection to commercial air service. global health, and
law enforcement. President Trump has not abrogated any of those
agreements, and his NSPM lists many of the fields in which agreements
have been signed as fields in which the United States will continue to
engage with Cuba because it is in the national interest.

Source: Eight Things You Need to Know about President Trump's New Cuba
Policy | HuffPost -
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/eight-things-you-need-to-know-about-president-trumps_us_59677038e4b07b5e1d96ed8f Continue reading
… the Havana International Fair – the largest annual multi-sector trade fair in Cuba … are also on the agenda. Cuba’s tourism development plan is … 67,000 to 103,000. Cuba’s thawing relationship with the … levels last year. For 2016, Cuba welcomed four million tourists, up … Continue reading
Ivan Garcia, 3 July 2017 — The fan stopped turning around 3:30 in the morning, when in the middle of a heat wave, a black out forced Ricardo, his wife and their two children to sleep on a mat on the balcony of their apartment in the Lawton neighborhood, a thirty minute drive from central … Continue reading "Cuban Government Fires Off One Lie After Another / Iván García" Continue reading
14ymedio, Marcelo Hernandez, Havana, 7 July 2017 — He dries his sweat and takes a drink of water from a bottle he carries in his backpack. “In my time the young people spent the holidays in front of the television,” says Ignacio, the father of two teenagers. As he moves along crowded Avenida 10 de Octubre, in … Continue reading "Drugs Play Increasing Role in the Battle for Cuban Teenagers’ Leisure Time" Continue reading
Tourism Boom Chokes Havana's Airport

14ymedio, Zunilda Mata, Havana, 4 July 2017 — The passengers leave the
plane and make their way around the buckets catching the leaks from the
roof. They still have a long wait in at baggage claim and have to suffer
under the air conditioning that hardly alleviates the heat. The José
Martí International Airport in Havana is stumbling through
the tourist boom that has brought a volume of passengers its services
and infrastructure find difficult to serve.

The main air terminal in the country received 3.3 million passengers in
the first half of this year, a figure that increased by 27.4% compared
to the same period of the previous year. However, travelers' experiences
are far from satisfactory.

There are few places to eat and the lack is supplies is a problem. "We
only have these two cafeterias up here," says one of the
employees. "Today we did not get any beer and there is no water, we are
only selling coffee in addition to bread with ham and cheese," she told
several customers on Monday.

There is an unfinished wing on the exterior that will be filled with
places to eat. "The financing of this infrastructure was linked to the
construction company Odebrecht and everything was paralyzed by the
corruption scandal in Brazil," says a source from the Ministry of
Construction who preferred to remain anonymous.

"We hope it will be open before the end of the year as an alternative
for travelers and their friends," the official said. "But the building
is one thing and the supply of food and beverages is another; the latter
is the responsibility Cuban Airports and Aeronautical Services Company
(ECASA)."

We can't do magic. If there is no beer in the country, where are we
going to get it from?" an ECASA employee asks rhetorically, speaking to
this newspaper by phone from the central office. "We have tried to meet
the demand with imported products, but the tourists want to drink a
Cuban beer at the airport," she says.

Hope arrived for the terminal employees when it was announced last
August that French companies Bouygues and Paris Airports had won a
concession to expand and manage the terminal.

"They haven't pounded a single nail here," protests the saleswoman at a
handicrafts stand on the middle floor. Industry sources say that no
feasibility studies have yet been done to start the works. "The French
planners have not even arrived to evaluate the terminal," says a senior
Transport Ministry official adding that the project is waiting for
support from the new French president.

One floor down crowd those waiting for the travelers who arrive in the
country. "This shows a lack of respect," says Manuel Delgado, 58, who
complains that "there is no place to sit, the heat is unbearable and the
cafeteria has no water" while waiting for the Air France flight
returning his daughter, who has been living in Paris.

The bathrooms earn the worst of the opinions of those who wait. "They
smell bad and although the service is free, the employees are asking for
money, in a somewhat disguised way, but they ask for it," says Yesenia,
who came from Matanzas to meet a brother returning from Mexico.

In the women's restroom a female worker holds the roll of paper for
drying hands. "It's not mandatory, but they look askance at you if you
do not give them something," says Yesenia. One of the female employees
asked the customers to exchange for 25 centavo coins in Cuban pesos
(CUP) "for a convertible peso." Finally, a European-looking tourist agrees.

A few meters from the bathroom, located on the third floor, a young man
tries to catch the wifi signal to surf the internet, a service only
offered in the area after immigration and security controls. For every
hour of navigation one must pay 1.50 in Cuban convertible pesos (CUC)
but there is nowhere in the airport "today where they are selling
recharge cards for the Nauta service," he says frustrated.

There are also no hotels nearby for passengers in transit to other
provinces. For two years the Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR) has planned to
build five-star accommodation in the immediate vicinity of the airport,
but the project has not yet materialized. The private sector, however,
has taken the lead from the state and more and more private houses are
renting to tourists in the vicinity of the area.

The problems of infrastructure and services do not end after approaching
the exit doors from the flights. "I was traveling in first class and
they gave me an invitation for the VIP area," says José Mario, a Cuban
who each month takes the Copa Airlines route to Panama working as a "mule."

Numerous trips allow you to accumulate points that you can take
advantage of, from time to time, to travel in more comfort. But the VIP
area has not met their expectations. "They told me I had to wait for
other customers to finish eating, because there were not enough dishes,"
he remembers with annoyance after his failed attempt serve himself some
nuts and cheese from the available buffet.

Jose Mario admits, at least, that the taxi service has improved. More
than a year ago a fixed rate was established from the airport to
different points of the city. "Before the driver decided the price, but
now I know that I must pay 25 CUC from here to my house, not a peso more."

The experience on arrival, on the other hand, does not get much
praise. It varies according to the schedule, the flight and the amount
of luggage. "Sometimes I have spent less than an hour waiting for my
bags, but other times I have spent up to four in front of the luggage
belt," complains the traveler.

Employees agree that the waiting time after the landing fluctuates. "At
night, when large flights arrive from Europe, such as Iberia, Air France
or Aeroflot everything slows down," says one of the doctors waiting for
the national passengers to fill out an epidemiological form.

The pilots themselves have had to explain to the passengers about
departure delays because of not having "enough vehicles to bring the
luggage to the plane".

Added to this is the strict customs control over luggage, whose
thoroughness is not only designed to prevent crime but to control the
bringing of technological devices into the country (such as DVDs,
NanoSations, hard disks or laptops) or large quantities of commonly used
products. The most "meticulously" checked flights are those from the US,
Mexico, Panama, Haiti, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and other regular
routes for the "mules."

In the area before passing through immigration, employees are wandering
around with posters bearing the names of some travelers. Some approach
families with children or newcomers who look like Cubans living
abroad. "For 40 dollars I can pass you without problems from customs,"
whispers a worker to a couple with two children.

For a certain fee employees can avoid passing through the search or
paying for excess imported luggage, a relief for many Cubans living
abroad and arriving loaded with gifts. For each kilo of luggage that
exceeds the limit of 50 kilos, there is a fee that must be paid in CUC,
and the fees also depend on the type of objects transported. For
residents on the island is also very advantageous, since they can only
pay in CUP for their first annual importing of goods.

Jose Mario often resorts to this illegal service. "What I am going to
do?" he justifies himself. "I pay to get myself out of this airport as
soon as possible, because it's unbearable between the heat and the bad
conditions."

Source: Tourism Boom Chokes Havana's Airport – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/tourism-boom-chokes-havanas-airport/ Continue reading
… keeping its twice-daily flights to Havana from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood and Tampa … an additional daily run between Havana and Fort Lauderdale.) In a … ’s rich market. Simply put, Cuban government regulations and cumbersome processes … red tape – Cuba’s No. 1 national resource. Ultimately, Cuba will make … Continue reading
Anatomy of a fake fact Continue reading
… will drop flights to two Cuban destinations, citing its struggles to … , Cuba, will end Sept. 4. It will continue to fly to Havana … of the warmer ties with Cuba that were initiated by the … .S. prohibition on tourism to Cuba for Americans. Published at 2 … Continue reading
Cuba expects tourism growth despite Trump's crackdown on U.S travel
World16 hours ago (Jun 28, 2017 08:20PM ET)

HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuba earned more than $3 billion from tourism in 2016
and expects to better that this year despite President Donald Trump's
tightening of restrictions on U.S. travel to the Caribbean island, a
government official said on Wednesday.
"In 2016, revenue reached more than $3 billion in all activity linked to
tourism in the country," Jose Alonso, the Tourism Ministry's business
director, told state-run media.
"We think that, given the growth the country is seeing at the moment, we
will beat that figure this year," Alonso said.
Tourism revenue totaled $2.6 billion in 2015.
The number of foreign visitors to Cuba was up 22 percent in the first
half of 2017 compared with the same period last year, according to
Alonso, who said that put it on track to reach its target for a record
4.2 million visits this year.
Tourism has been one of the few bright spots recently in Cuba's economy,
as it struggles with a decline in exports and subsidized oil shipments
from its key ally Venezuela.
A surge in American visitors has helped boost the sector since the 2014
U.S.-Cuban detente under the Obama administration and its easing of U.S.
travel restrictions, even as a longtime ban on tourism remained in effect.
But Trump earlier this month ordered a renewed tightening of travel
restrictions, saying he was canceling former President Barack Obama's
"terrible and misguided deal" with Havana.
Many details of the policy change are still unknown. But independent
travel to Cuba from the United States, by solo travelers and families,
will likely be much more restricted.
Alonso said he was confident "an important number of Americans" would
still be able to visit the island. But an announcement by Southwest
Airlines Co (LUV.N) on Wednesday that it was reducing its number of
flights to Cuba cast shadow over his upbeat comments.
"There is not a clear path to sustainability serving these markets,
particularly with the continuing prohibition in U.S. law on tourism to
Cuba for American citizens," Southwest said in a statement.
Southwest joined other U.S. airlines that have cut flights to Cuba over
past months or pulled out of the market altogether.

Source: Cuba expects tourism growth despite Trump's crackdown on U.S
travel By Reuters -
https://www.investing.com/news/world-news/cuba-expects-tourism-growth-despite-trump%27s-crackdown-on-u.s-travel-500353 Continue reading
Southwest drops two routes to Cuba; Havana flights to stay
Ben Mutzabaugh , USA TODAY Published 8:46 a.m. ET June 29, 2017

Southwest Airlines will ax two of its three routes to Cuba, becoming the
latest U.S. carrier to trim flights to the nation amid disappointing
demand.

Southwest said flights to Varadero and Santa Clara will be discontinued
so that the airline can "concentrate its future service to Cuba in
Havana." Southwest will keep its existing service to Havana from both
Fort Lauderdale and Tampa.

Varadero and Santa Clara flights will end Sept. 4, with Southwest
pointing to lingering travel restrictions that affect Americans
traveling to Cuba.

"Our decision to discontinue the other Cuba flights comes after an
in-depth analysis of our performance over several months which confirmed
that there is not a clear path to sustainability serving these markets,
particularly with the continuing prohibition in U.S. law on tourism to
Cuba for American citizens," Steve Goldberg, Southwest's senior vice
president of ground operations, said in a statement.

With that, Southwest joins a growing list of U.S. airlines that have cut
back Cuba service since regular passenger flights to the country resumed
in November for the first time more than 50 years.

American and JetBlue each have reduced their capacity to Cuba. Neither
dropped any routes, but American is now flying fewer flights while
JetBlue has mixed in smaller planes to its schedules.

Two smaller airlines have pulled out of Cuba altogether. Frontier
dropped its Miami-Havana route in June, ending its only route to Cuba.
And small carrier Silver Airways, which once had plans for nine Cuba
routes, stopped flying to the country this spring.

When Cuba opened up to U.S. airlines last year, routes and capacity to
the island were capped and carriers had to apply for the rights to serve
the Cuba's international airports. Nearly all of the big U.S. airlines
rushed in with requests to fly to the island – especially on routes to
Havana.

Against that enthusiasm, however, some industry executives openly
wondered whether demand would live up to the hype.

Without regular airline service to the island in five decades, there was
little data available to carriers in trying to assess potential demand
for flights to new destinations. And unlike other foreign markets, Cuba
remains a unique and highly regulated place for U.S. airlines to do
business.

Indeed, some of the new routes haven't panned out as expected.

As for Southwest, it has asked the U.S. Department of Transportation for
the rights to add more flights to Havana on its existing route from Fort
Lauderdale. But it will face competition from rivals who also are
seeking to pick up Havana rights dropped by other airlines.

Southwest says it will offer refunds to customers with reservations for
flights to Varadero and Santa Clara beyond Sept. 4.

Source: Southwest drops two routes to Cuba; Havana flights to stay -
https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/todayinthesky/2017/06/29/southwest-drops-two-routes-cuba-havana-flights-stay/438218001/ Continue reading
… isn't very surprising. Havana is Cuba's capital, largest … U.S. to Cuba want to go to Havana, particularly because U.S. regulations still prohibit pure tourism in Cuba … other carriers' routes to Cuban secondary cities will become profitable … Continue reading
HAVANA Cuba earned more than $3 billion … and misguided deal" with Havana. Many details of the policy … unknown. But independent travel to Cuba from the United States, by … .S. law on tourism to Cuba for American citizens," Southwest … Continue reading
… will drop flights to two Cuban destinations, citing its struggles to … , Cuba, will end Sept. 4. It will continue to fly to Havana … of the warmer ties with Cuba that were initiated by the … .S. prohibition on tourism to Cuba for Americans. Continue reading
… . carriers in reducing flights to Cuba, saying laws that restrict Americans … previously trimmed their service to Cuba, while Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines … . 4, and continue flying to Havana twice daily from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood … decision to discontinue the other Cuba flights comes after an in-depth … Continue reading
… will drop flights to two Cuban destinations, citing its struggles to … , Cuba, will end Sept. 4. It will continue to fly to Havana … of the warmer ties with Cuba that were initiated by the … .S. prohibition on tourism to Cuba for Americans. ___ Online: https … Continue reading
Southwest Becomes Latest Airline to Reduce Flights to Cuba
By Mary Schlangenstein
June 28, 2017, 5:53 PM GMT+2

U.S. restrictions on travel continue to weigh on demand
American trimmed service while Frontier, Spirit pulled out

Southwest Airlines Co. will join other U.S. carriers in reducing flights
to Cuba, saying laws that restrict Americans from traveling there for
tourism are constraining demand.

Southwest becomes the latest airline to accept that the industry, with
little way to judge demand beforehand, was too optimistic when U.S.
regulators allowed passenger routes to the island nation last year for
the first time in decades. President Donald Trump added to the woes
earlier this month by announcing restrictions that may stall U.S.
business on the island. The new limits don't affect airline operations
to Cuba but may affect demand.

American Airlines Group Inc. and JetBlue Airways Corp. previously
trimmed their service to Cuba, while Spirit Airlines Inc., Frontier
Airlines Holdings Inc. and Silver Airways Corp. pulled out completely.

Southwest will drop service to Varadero and Santa Clara on Sept. 4, and
continue flying to Havana twice daily from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood and
Tampa airports in Florida, the carrier said in a statement Wednesday.

"Our decision to discontinue the other Cuba flights comes after an
in-depth analysis of our performance over several months which confirmed
that there is not a clear path to sustainability serving these markets,
particularly with the continuing prohibition in U.S. law on tourism to
Cuba for American citizens," Steve Goldberg, senior vice president of
ground operations, said in the statement.

Southwest Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly previously had said he
would give the Cuba markets a year before deciding on continuing
service. The Dallas-based carrier began flights to Varadero in November
and to Santa Clara in December.

The airline is contacting customers holding travel reservations for
those cities on Sept. 5 and beyond to offer refunds.

Southwest is seeking U.S. approval for a third daily Havana-Fort
Lauderdale flight from among those given up by airlines that have left
the island. American, Delta Air Lines Inc., United Continental Holdings
Inc. and JetBlue also are trying to secure those routes.

Source: Southwest Becomes Latest Airline to Reduce Flights to Cuba -
Bloomberg -
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-28/southwest-becomes-latest-airline-to-reduce-flights-to-cuba Continue reading
… flights to two destinations in Cuba amid challenges to attract passengers … announced a tougher line toward Cuba, reversing some of the warmer … Obama administration. Southwest will continue Havana flights. The carrier offers nonstops … .S. prohibition on tourism to Cuba for Americans. Online: https:… Continue reading
… and Tampa to the Cuban capital of Havana. Southwest’s decision is … to Cuba, while Frontier Airlines and Silver Airways ended their Cuba flights altogether. “Our decision to discontinue the other Cuba flights … .S. law on tourism to Cuba for American citizens,” Southwest’s … Continue reading
Rebeca Monzo, Havana, 16 June 2017 — Cuba is a distant planet. It has nothing to do with the rest of the world, because nothing functions there as in the majority of civilized countries. This “planet” is ruled by the whims of its ancient rulers who have spent almost 59 years doing whatever they please. … Continue reading "Planet Nothing" Continue reading
… by many Cuban Americans today. Tourism has been soaring in Cuba since … Cubans who work in the hotels, shops, clubs, and restaurants. In Havana … plan their own Cuba trips for “meaningful interaction” with Cuban citizens. It … economic engagement with Cuba, it will be with the Cuban people.” The … Continue reading
14ymedio, Zunilda Mata, Viñales, 27 June 2018 — At the entrance to Calle Obispo a guide explains to her customers the restoration works in the historical center of Havana. A few yards away, the line to exchange currency is full of foreigners and in the corner bar one hears English, French and German. Tourism is shaping the … Continue reading "The Dark Side Of Tourism in Cuba" Continue reading
Why liberals should support Trump — not Obama — on Cuba policy
BY MIKE GONZALEZ, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR - 06/27/17 11:00 AM EDT 54

Was President Obama's opening to the Castro government motivated by a
real belief that it would help Cubans, or was it a vanity project from
the start? We will never know for sure, but we do know it violated his
Inaugural promise that he would shake the hands of tyrants only if they
first unclenched their fists.

Raul Castro has never relaxed his grip on the island he and his brother
have ruled for nearly 60 years. In fact, after Obama announced the
re-establishment of relations with in December 2014, he tightened it.
Since then, Cuban dissidents have paid a heavy price in repression,
arrests and beatings.

According to the Cuban Commission on Human Rights and Reconciliation,
politically motivated arbitrary arrests rose rapidly after the opening,
culminating in 9,940 last year—a six-year high. In December alone, 14
dissidents were beaten by government officials, according to the
Havana-based Commission, whose numbers are reported by Amnesty
International.

President Obama argued that, by "normalizing" relations with Cuba, the
regime would be inspired to grant fundamental freedoms to its people.
Yet Obama asked for, and of course received, nothing in return from the
Cuban authorities.

President Trump put some of that right yesterday when he announced that
he would reverse some of the Obama changes and reinstate some
prohibitions on trade with military-controlled entities and persons on
the communist-ruled island.

Trump's changes don't go far enough. Still, his critics should resist
the urge to lash out at him.

Once upon a time, American liberals knew that legitimizing dictators
never ended well for those who dared speak their minds. That insight led
them to denounce Washington's support for dictators and call out the
moral hollowness in FDR's fatuous line that Anastasio Somoza Sr. may
have been an S.O.B., "but he's our S.O.B."

They should not be surprised today that the Washington establishment's
rush to embrace the Castro regime in pursuit increased trade would only
further entrench the family's hold on power. The Obama changes, which
facilitated American trade and transfer of convertible currency to the
military and the Castro family, only made easier the prospect of their
continued rule.

In other words, if you denounced the Somozas, Augusto Pinochet and
Ferdinand Marcos, and you want to be considered consistent, you should
support the changes Trump announced in Miami.

Those changes are, in fact, narrowly tailored to restrict the
aggrandizement of the regime's military. And they didn't come easy.

Two factions waged a tremendous struggle to win President Trump's heart
and mind on the issue. On one side were a phalanx of congressional
offices that sought to curb the Cuban military's access to convertible
currency. Opposing them were career officials burrowed inside the
Treasury and the State Departments, who wanted President Obama's
legacy—the "historic opening" to the Castros—to be left untouched.

Nor was Cuba an idle bystander in the debate. According to Marc Caputo
at Politico, the regime launched a last-minute bid to stave off the
changes, enlisting Colombia's help in lobbying Trump. The government of
President Juan Manuel Santos reportedly threatened to pull out of a
U.S.-led summit on security in Latin America.

Sen. Marco Rubio, (R-Fla.), told the White House to tell Colombia that
if it withdrew from the summit, it could kiss the $450 million "Peace
Colombia" aid package goodbye. And that was that.

In the end, the Trump Cuba change closely mirrored the 2015 Cuban
Military Transparency Act introduced by Rubio in the Senate and by Devin
Nunes, (R– Calif.), in the House. The bill prohibits U.S. persons and
companies "from engaging in financial transactions with or transfers of
funds to" the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba, the
Ministry of the Interior, any of their subdivisions and companies and
other entities owned by them.

In other words, it aims directly at Cuba's largest company, the Grupo
Gaesa holding company (Grupo de Administracion Empresarial, Sociedad
Anonima). Founded by Raul Castro in the 1990s, Gaesa is run by the
military, more specifically, by Gen. Luis Alberto Rodriguez
Lopez-Callejas—who also happens to be Castro's son-in-law. It represents
an estimated 80 percent of the island nation's economy.

Its affiliate, Gaviota, SA., owns the tourism industry. If you eat ropa
vieja at a restaurant, sip a mojito in bar, play golf in a resort, or
sleep in a hotel—you are paying Gaviota. Same with renting a taxi or
renting a car. Thanks to Trump's changes, that cash flow will now be
interrupted.

Or Raul Castro can unclench his fist and allow real Cubans to own and
run these places, and we really have President Obama's dream, expressed
on a January 14, 2011 speech, of increasing "people-to-people contact;
support civil society in Cuba; enhance the free flow of information to,
from, and among the Cuban people; and help promote their independence
form the Cuban authorities."

Shouldn't liberals support this?

Mike Gonzalez (@Gundisalvus) is a senior fellow in the Kathryn and
Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy
Studies at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views
of The Hill.

Source: Why liberals should support Trump — not Obama — on Cuba policy |
TheHill -
http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/international-affairs/339637-why-liberals-should-support-trump-not-obama-on-cuba Continue reading
Caribbean hotel association criticizes Cuba rollback
By Gay Nagle Myers / June 27, 2017

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) joined the chorus of
industry critics denouncing Trump's Cuba policy, saying that the
re-imposed restrictions could stall or reverse the progress made in
recent years.
The Trump administration has banned individual people-to-people travel
to Cuba, only allowing such visits with licensed groups.
"If restrictions are indeed reimposed, CHTA expects adverse effects for
U.S. businesses -- not only for import-export companies but also for the
U.S.-based travel businesses that have made considerable investments in
Cuba since normalization began -- and lost opportunities for those U.S.
companies considering doing business there," CHTA said in a statement.
CHTA pointed to the growth of the hospitality industry in Cuba, which
has outpaced the rest of the region. "Major global hotel chains from
outside the U.S. have been investing in Cuba and today manage tens of
thousands of rooms. As latecomers, U.S. firms already are at a
competitive disadvantage in Cuba."
CHTA continues to support the ending of the embargo and urged that new
regulations continue to encourage small and medium enterprise
opportunities, both Cuban and U.S.-sourced.

Source: Caribbean hotel association criticizes Cuba rollback: Travel
Weekly -
http://www.travelweekly.com/Caribbean-Travel/Caribbean-hotel-association-criticizes-Cuba-rollback Continue reading
… on a window in Old Havana, Cuba. Credit Tomas Munita for The … policy toward Cuba, which ended privileged status for undocumented Cuban migrants who … for Cuban state tourism and other agencies associated with the Cuban military … with Cuba. The core of the president’s speech asks Cuban leaders … Continue reading