[Blackstudies-l] Trump’s policy reversal will ‘devastate’ Cuba

Maria Lima lima at geneseo.edu
Sat Jun 17 02:46:16 EDT 2017

ivetteromero posted: " Market Watch reports that travel experts say that
Donald Trump’s policy reversal to the policy changes made by the Obama
administration will “devastate” businesses in Cuba: The changes will make
it more difficult for people to travel from the U.S. to C"
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<http://repeatingislands.com/author/ivetteromero/> Trump’s policy reversal
will ‘devastate’ Cuba
ivetteromero <http://repeatingislands.com/author/ivetteromero/>

*[image: cuba12_20161212164443_ZH]*

*Market Watch
reports that travel experts say that Donald Trump’s policy reversal to the
policy changes made by the Obama administration will “devastate” businesses
in Cuba:*

The changes will make it more difficult for people to travel from the U.S.
to Cuba and bar Americans from doing business with institutions owned by
military services there. “The previous administration’s easing of
restrictions on travel and trade does not help the Cuban people — they only
enrich the Cuban regime,” Trump said in a speech
<http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/16/politics/trump-cuba-policy/index.html> Friday
announcing the policy.

Under former president Barack Obama’s regulations, Americans could travel
to the country under 12 approved categories, including religious
activities, humanitarian projects, “support for the Cuban people,” and
journalistic activities. It is not yet clear how exactly the rules will
affect tourism, as Trump alluded to a “travel ban” in his speech Friday,
but the official White House statement
it will allow non-academic travel for groups.

The U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control, which implements these policies,
has also not yet announced how it will respond to the changes. However,
travel groups are already speaking out against them.

“Additional prohibitions and oversight on travel will only confuse
Americans and dissuade them from visiting Cuba, causing significant
economic hardship to Cuban entrepreneurs and average Cuban families, as
well as Americans working in the hospitality sector,” a spokesman from
educational exchange program company Cuba Educational Travel said.

As of 2014, before Cuba opened further to Americans, tourism contributed to
10% of the country’s gross domestic product. In 2016, the country saw
34% increase in visits from Cuban Americans and other U.S. travelers. James
Williams, president of Engage Cuba, a bipartisan nonprofit dedicated to
ending trade restrictions with Cuba, said these changes will be
“devastating” for the private sector in the country, which relies heavily
on tourism.

“We love the rhetoric of wanting to help the Cuban people, but
unfortunately the practical reality and impact of this will be the
opposite,” he said. “It takes money out of the pocket of Cubans in the
private sector and puts it in the hands of the Cuban regime.”

Williams said he’s been fielding frantic calls from locals who put their
savings into travel businesses after interest in tourism to the country
spiked in recent years. Travel website Kayak declared the country its
hottest destination after it saw a 173% increase in Cuba searches in April
2017 compared with April 2016. Airbnb says the country is its
fastest-growing market in history, with more than 8,000 listings available
there despite limited internet access.

Hotels and restaurants to be hit the hardest by these changes, said Andrew
Sheivachman, senior writer at travel industry news website Skift. Airlines
that initially rushed to schedule flights to Cuba when restrictions were
eased in 2014 may have to cut back on or eliminate these routes completely,
he added.

However, some companies were already seeing underwhelming demand for
flights, with empty seats on planes flying to the country, and an
additional decrease could be the final step toward dropping out, he said.
Many Americans found that the country’s dining and lodging options were not
up to their standards
and the country was quickly overwhelmed
the influx of visitors.

“What this is doing is adding uncertainty surrounding trips to Cuba,” he
said. “Uncertainty is never good in the travel industry. Are you going to
want to go to a place that isn’t developed to begin with, and now is more
limited on where you can eat, attractions you can see, and where you can
stay? These are things that can have a chilling effect on travel.”

For original report, see http://www.marketwatch.com/
*ivetteromero <http://repeatingislands.com/author/ivetteromero/>* | June
16, 2017 at 11:45 pm | Tags: Cuba
<http://repeatingislands.com/tag/cuba/>, Cuban
economy <http://repeatingislands.com/tag/cuban-economy/>, Donald Trump
<http://repeatingislands.com/tag/donald-trump/> | Categories: Travel
<http://repeatingislands.com/category/travel/> | URL: http://wp.me/psnTa-vTe

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