Not only do Cuban-Americans and Cuban exiles in South Florida look forward to the changes in policy toward Cuba announced by US President Donald Trump on Friday in Miami: many companies, not just small ones, have crossed fingers .
A new “glaciation” in Cuban-American relations would negatively affect the accounts of cruise ships, airlines, hotel chains, technology groups, so-called “collaborative economy” platforms and small businesses of all types that have benefited from Thawing started at the end of 2014.
Not to mention the workers of these companies in Cuba or the Cuban self-employed to whom clients arrive on the ships or the planes that arrive to the island from the United States.
Unlike the supporters of the “tough hand” with Cuba and the advocates of openness, which have reaffirmed their political positions these days, on the economic side there is a significant and cautious silence, with a few exceptions.
The Airbnb platform, which connects homeowners with people looking for tourist accommodations and who have earned their Cuban users some $ 40 million since April 2015, has no qualms about expressing their concerns.
“We have spoken with Democrats and Republicans (Congress) and we hope that any change will support person-to-person diplomacy and Cuban citizens and their families who have empowered themselves with the opportunity to make money and share their space, culture and community with Travelers from around the world, “Nick Papas, an Airbnb spokesman, told Efe in a written statement.
From the Corporate Communications department of the cruise company Royal Caribbean told Efe that regarding the announcement Friday have no “better information” than the one that circulates and for the moment have “nothing to comment.”
According to the US-Cuba Trade and Economic Council, Norwegian, Carnival and Royal Caribbean cruise companies will enter more than $ 422 million between 2017 and 2019 with their trips to the island.
Among the many conjectures about the ads that Trump will make in Miami is that of banning the business of US companies with companies owned or controlled by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba or the security corps.
If confirmed, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, a subsidiary of the Marriott International group, would be in trouble, since since 2016 it has an agreement to manage hotels with the Cuban Gaviota, which is controlled by the Armed Forces.
There have also been reports that the president, who during the campaign assured the Cuban exiles in Miami that if he arrived at the White House was going to reverse the policy towards Cuba, will restrict the trips that Cuban-Americans can make to the island and the Amounts they can send to help their families.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said this week that “the general approach is to allow trade and trade with Cuba to continue as long as possible, because we see the good side, we see the benefits for the Cuban people.”
Announcing today that he will be with Trump in Miami, Senator Marco Rubio, who according to various media has collaborated with the Government in the development of the new policy, said today that the changes will be “strategic and selective.”
“The objective is very simple: we want to empower and reinforce the Cuban people without strengthening the Cuban military, who control a significant percentage of the economy,” he said in a live chat on Facebook.
Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, Cuban as Rubio, said in an exclusive interview with Martí Noticias that it will be “a serious change, a real change in US policy.”
“We are going to see a policy that emphasizes Human Rights, which emphasizes the rights of the Cuban people, and obviously also the national security of the United States,” he said.
“The regime (of Raul Castro) already knows this and will feel it in a much more direct way soon,” he added.