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Cuba says it's ready to receive US tourists

Cuba says it’s ready to receive US tourists
Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cuban Vice President Carlos Lage said that the island’s society is ready to receive tourists from the United States in the event that Washington liberalizes tourist travel there, banned up to now by its 46-year-old embargo against the communist-ruled nation.

“Our tourism and our people are ready. It’s barbaric to prohibit a citizen from visiting his family,” the Cuban leader said Friday in a statement quoted by the state news agency Prensa Latina. Lage pointed out that while U.S. President-Elect Barack Obama has mentioned “enabling Cubans residing in the United States to travel, he has said nothing about the right of U.S. citizens that is included in the Constitution.”

“Among the things that it (the Constitution) talks about, and it doesn’t say much because it isn’t very long, is the right to travel, but that is violated by the embargo of the United States against Cuba,” he said. The Cuban vice president said that “he (Obama) has talked about travel for Cuban citizens living in the United States and the sending of remittances.” “That’s the situation that existed before” the administration of the current president, George W. Bush, he said.

Last week ex-President Fidel Castro said in one of his regular articles of reflections that Cuba can speak with Barack Obama wherever he wants, although without “carrots” or “sticks.” The island’s current president, his brother Raul Castro, has also told the U.S. on three occasions of Cuba’s readiness to hold talks “without conditions” to resolve bilateral differences. The most recent occasion was in an interview granted last October to movie actor and director Sean Penn.

Lage also said that tourism is a sector that requires “renewed efforts” because of its importance to the nation’s development and predicted that this year the announced estimate of 2.3 million visitors will be achieved, despite the devastation of three hurricanes. “We’ll have to see how it (tourism) goes next year. Up to now it is positive with high occupancy,” he said, although he recalled that there is a crisis in the world economy and “we don’t know what repercussions it might have.”

Tourism to Cuba has grown this year by 10.7 percent over 2007 and, according to official estimates, brings the nation’s gross annual revenues to more than $2 billion and, directly or indirectly, employs some 300,000 people.

If this does happen, soon you will just turn around any corner in Havana or elsewhere and there will be a MacDonald’s, K.C. Taco Bell and many more fast food chains to totally spoil the culture of the cities with their architecture and fine food. Now that would be disgusting to me anyways

Tourist dollars, yes: American franchises, maybe not.

Here goes the neighborhood.

I hear ya, however, maybe the CUC exchange rate will go down. I’m sure some of you agree that we’re getting fleeced every time we exchange money.

“… maybe the CUC exchange rate will go down…”

Or, to be more precise, the USD/CAD exchange rate. That’s what kills the Loonie in Cuba…

what kills the loonie in Cuba
is the CUC being linked to the yankee dollar.
If they lost the CUC and stuck with their
Cuban peso, then it would be much better


Perhaps that’s what they’ll do if they lose too many tourist dollars.

I think the opposite will happen… the CUP will be gone eventually and CUC will be used for everything… time will tell…

NOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooo :-X

Just because the Americans may be able to come it does not mean that Cuba is going to become American. There are a lot of Canadians and I do not see a Timothy’s anywhere. It still is Cuba and Cuban rules

They are not dumbies They have survived with out the States for 50 years - 45 embargo. They are not going to say come take us over.

On a selfish note I do not like travelling where there are a lot of Americans (or Gremans) - as I find in bulk, on vacation they can be a little pushy and the "please & thank you’s " are heard a bit less. And I worry about the great deals we are getting now may be fewer (laws of supply & demand)

I’m with you on this one Canuks. One of the reasons we keep going back to Cuba is the lack of Americans. Nothing agains any single american, but with large numbers, the manners are fewer and further in between. While I’m sure there are other locations to visit where there are not an overwhelming amount of americans, but those likely cannot be had for the price of vacationing in Cuba.

Few Americans = safe, clean, friendly

   I love it when Canadians get on this forum and bash 330 million people with one stroke of their brush.   You might want to avoid Disney World, Las Vegas and New York City I hear there are a lot of American's there.

I agree daveb, they might as well stay home, in their own perfect world, yea right, I’ve seen some ignorant tourists from all over including Canada, so nobodies perfect

It was obnoxious drunk fellow Canadians I was embarassed for last year in Cuba. I certainly wouldn’t want others to see us all this way!

[quote=@daveb] I love it when Canadians get on this forum and bash 330 million people with one stroke of their brush. You might want to avoid Disney World, Las Vegas and New York City I hear there are a lot of American’s there.[/quote]Not into bashing Americans or any other group…after all, like many Canadians I have relatives there…but I sure do want to avoid Disney World, Las Vegas & New York City (been there once, in the '50’s, no desire to go back!) Best place in the States IMHO is Arizona…but it’s getting overcrowded (not to mention the issues with water) And I do hope Cuba doesn’t become “Americanized”. I prefer to enjoy the Cuban culture, not a transplanted one. :smiley:

The possibility of Americans being allowed to travel to Cuba has me worried more about the supply and demand aspect of things… Do you think the deals would be as good? Would last minute booking timings need to be re-evaluated? Instead of 1 month ahead, would I finally have to commit to a decision 6 months prior to leaving? I can commit, getting my spouse to agree is another matter altogether! He comes around to my way of seeing things about 6-8 weeks before we can go. As long as he comes around, all is good!

I dont think it is the American people themselves that others object to but the Americanization of the country. I have noticed it in the DR, where you find Pizza Hut and Burger King in the cities. I personally feel that Cuba will lose its appeal once all the American fast food chains and other companies start doing business there.

Well seeing pizza hut or KFC or a Timmies in Cuba is not smething I would look forward to , most of Cuba’s charm is it’s culture and it’s people, all that being said , the only consistent thing in life is change :wink: I guess we will all have to adapt and learn to share with the Americans ;D