High-ranking agents of Cuban intelligence were given visas to enter the U.S. and traveled to New York to attend a travel fair. Naturally, the agents describe themselves as “business executives” working in Cuba’s travel industry.
However, conspicuously but not surprisingly missing from this Cuba Standard report on the arrival of the intelligence agents is the fact that the entire “travel industry” in Cuba is wholly owned and run by the Castro military:
Cuban executives attend New York travel fair
The top executives for Cuba’s three inbound tour operators spoke at the New York Times Travel Show March 2-4.
According to John McAuliff, executive director of the Fund for Reconciliation and Development, the U.S. State Department granted the Cuban officials visas in just three weeks, less than half the usual processing time.
“When I met with the head of the U.S. Interests Section, John Caulfield, he expressed skepticism,” McAuliff wrote in a message to supporters. “Whether it was his backing, and/or a policy shift in Washington, the consular office stayed open after normal hours on a Friday, and … [the Cuban officials] were on [a] non-stop flight to New York the next morning, arriving within minutes of the scheduled panel.”
Participants in the panel on the “Outlook for travel to Cuba” included Eloy Govea of Havanatur, Luis Sotolongo for Viajes San Cristobal, and an executive for Amistur, as well as Marti Aragones of Hoteles Sol Meliá, John Cabanas of C&T Charters, Bob Guild of Marazul Charters, Sandra Levinson of the Center for Cuban Studies, and Adam Sichta of Insight Cuba.