Friday, July 2, 2010

Listen Up My Canadian Friends: Book Your Cuban Vacation Now Because Those Beaches Are Going to Get Crowded and Prices Are Going to Rise

That's because  it looks like the United States is FINALLY going to ditch its misguided, decades-long ban on travel to Cuba. Yesterday, the House of Representatives Agricultural Committee voted to allow the sale of commodities there as well as remove the restrictions on Americans wanting to tan with a great cigar in their hand. The measure passed 25 to 20, reflecting the general consensus in the United States that citizens of an open democracy should have the right to travel where they wish.(In most polls, over 80% of Americans are in favor of repealing the travel ban).

Yes, this is just a first step, but its a significant one and pundits are predicting that it won't be too long before the ban is history. (The measure will now have to go to a vote in the House and then the Senate). During the Bush Administration, similar steps were taken in the House and Senate, but a threat of a veto by President Bush derailed the attempt. Obama stated very openly during his campaign that he was against the ban. I'd be very surprised, no shocked, were he to veto this.

So ice that Rum and Coke, Cuba as this New York City gringa wants to come visit!

(Photo: Playa Ancon, Cuba by Neil J./Creative Commons)


  1. Yes, that would be a very welcome step.
    Cuba is much more than beaches - both commendable and not (old american car running on russian engines ; other economic system ; other culture ; but also jinteras ...).

    Now, what will get very interesting would be to see how the Cuban regime will respond.
    The argument which consists on blaming their economic misteps on the embargo will weaken.

    Also, while they have been welcoming those US citizens coming against the US government's will, will they change their stance once the travel ban is lifted???

    While it seems unlikely that Cuba would replicate it, it is worthy to recall that when the US lifted the travel ban to North Korea in 1995, North Korea responded by creating a travel ban on its own - forbidding US citizens from travelling there - that ban has been in place ever since (although it has been generally been lifted 2 weeks/year).

  2. Interesting comment Olivier. Though I'm guessing that Cuba wouldn't impose a ban of its own. They have too much to gain.