Articles Posted in Featured Posts

Raul-Castro-300x200Cuban President Raul Castro dismissed President Donald Trump’s harder line on relations with Havana to Cuba’s National Assembly on Friday, calling it a setback.

“Any strategy that seeks to destroy the revolution either through coercion or pressure or through more subtle methods will fail,” said Castro.

This was the first time he has commented on Trump’s June announcement of a rollback of some of the changes established by former President Barack Obama.

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Norwegian-Sky-300x225The wave of tourism brought by the 700 Americans who arrived in Havana by sea in May 2016 is showing no signs of abating more than one year later, even with the new restrictions placed on American travelers to the island by President Donald Trump.

Adonia’s historic voyage from Port Miami to Cuba was the first of its kind in almost 40 years. It marked a big step in the normalization process between Cold War enemies that was started by former President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro on December 17, 2014. The embargo imposed by Congress almost 60 years ago is still in place, but the Obama administration relaxed the rules to allow Americans to visit the island if the trip falls under one of 12 categories of travel.

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Norwegian-Sun-300x225Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced Monday that it will send a second ship to Cuba as of May 2018. The cruise operator plans to expand its lineup of Cuba voyages with new sailings out of Port Canaveral, Florida.

NCL started trips to Cuba in May 2017 with the 1,936-passenger Norwegian Sky, which offers an all-inclusive four-day itinerary from the Port of Miami. The second ship, Norwegian Sun, will sail from Port Canaveral and offer the same four-day itinerary with unlimited free drinks. Both ships will spend one night in Havana.

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cuban flagA Cuban state-owned news agency announced on July 3 that the government plans to bring back the so-called love motels, known as “posadas” in Spanish, to give cash-strapped couples more affordable options for privacy.

According to the announcement published in the Trabajadores, the official publication of the Central Worker’s Party (CTC), the Provincial Housing Company of Havana is planning to reopen the once-popular love motels.

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Cuban-Flag-300x199The European Parliament has approved a cooperation pact between the EU and Cuba despite concerns about the island nation’s human rights violations.

On July 5, European lawmakers in Strasbourg, France approved the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement, which is seen as a riposte to U.S. President Donald Trump’s tough stance against Cuba.

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US-agricultural-representatives-300x194Agriculture officials in Alabama have lobbied to turn Cuba into a market for the state’s poultry products for years, but President Donald Trump’s recent policy change with the island jeopardizes that opening.

Alabama Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan said exports to Cuba, which receives millions of tons of poultry every month from the state, could be impacted by the president’s restrictive policy change.

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cubavisit-300x202Travel companies that organize trips to Cuba for American travelers have reportedly been receiving a lot of questions about President Donald Trump’s new Cuba policy and how the elimination of “people to people” tours to the island and the ban on dealings with military-controlled businesses will affect their travels.

“They say they have been interested in traveling to Cuba and they want to book right now,” Tom Popper, president of InsightCuba, told the Miami Herald. His company organizes tours and plans itineraries for groups traveling to Cuba.

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Kempinski-Hotel-Havana-300x169The Obama administration’s lifting of travel sanctions to Cuba made the city come abuzz with new life. From that initial stirring comes the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana, the first five-star hotel the city has welcomed in a long while. The new luxury hotel had its soft opening on May 22 and an official opening on June 7; it hopes to cater to the new visitors and business people swarming to Cuba.

Developers renovated the Manzana de Gómez building, located in historic Old Havana, to create the luxury hotel. The Manzana de Gómez building was erected in the early 1900s. While it initially housed the first European-style shopping arcade in Cuba, it soon grew to include offices, theaters, and even a school. Once travel opened up between the U.S. and Cuba last year, the distinctive white building became the home of high-end shops like L’Occitane and Lacoste. Continue reading

Airline-300x200In the wake of new restrictions on travel to Cuba from the Trump administration, American travel seems headed in two different directions. A new cruise from Tampa to Cuba took off on Thursday, while Southwest Airlines announced that it would discontinue two of its three routes to Cuba.

The Carnival Paradise, which is headed for Havana, Cuba for a four-day excursion, will be the last individual certified tour available because of the new travel restrictions. Any cruises from now on will need to be certified group tours, which will ensure that Americans visiting Cuba are doing so for educational purposes and not for regular tourism.

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Cruise-Ship-300x183U.S. business owners with dealings in Cuba were relieved after President Donald Trump outlined his new Cuba policy last week because it might not have a big impact on their ventures. Some have reportedly paused all business with the island until they see how Trump’s changes will be implemented and what new regulations they will require.

Lawyers who help corporations navigate the regulations and laws imposed by the embargo have been going through every detail of the memorandum Trump signed on June 16 as well as a White House fact sheet and the answers to some frequently-asked questions issued by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to get a feel of the new policy. That is all the lawyers have to go on until the new rules are written. Trump mandated that the writing process begin by next month.

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