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realclearworld

Cuba’s military feeling pinch of reduced U.S. tourist flights to Cuba

The heads of Cuba's travel sector who control all tourism to the island.

In an article published yesterday by the Miami Herald reporting on the recent cancellations of scheduled charter flights to Cuba from the U.S., a couple of interesting details regarding the Cuban military and the Obama administration's "people-to-people" Cuba policy emerge. First, the obvious becomes even more obvious that the Cuban military, run exclusively by the Castro crime family, completely controls all tourism to the island and is the recipient of all revenue generated by said tourism. And second, it turns out that visiting the human zoo that is Cuba, where impoverished, repressed, and enslaved natives are forced to sing and dance for pennies a day as they serve well-to-do foreign tourists is not as popular a vacation alternative for Americans as was envisioned.

So who is feeling the effects of less American tourists to Cuba? It is not the island's dissidents who are supposed to be the benefactors of Obama's failed Cuba policy but Cuba's military dictatorship that has set itself up as the master of the island and all its inhabitants.

Flights to Cuba cut back for lack of demand

Not enough passengers to fill airplanes, but March is better.

A weekly flight between Los Angeles and Havana made its last trip Wednesday, the latest victim of a sharp reduction in U.S.-Cuba charter flights that industry officials blame on vastly overblown predictions of a boom in demand.

Cuba Travel Services of Long Beach, run by Michael Zuccato, announced that it had cancelled its once-a-week, non-stop flight after the chartered United jetliner returned Wednesday to LAX because of a lack of passengers.

Last month, Miami-based ABC Charters and XAEL Charters announced they would cancel two Tampa-to-Cuba flights. ABC shut down its weekly flight to Holguin as of Feb. 28, while XAEL will end its one flight to Havana per week on Feb. 14.

About 45 charter flights per week from the United States to Cuba are now programmed for the month of March, according to knowledgeable charter industry officials, compared to nearly 60 in September. Those flights are well booked, they added.

“There was the exaggerated image of a great explosion in American passengers. But the point now is that there are not enough passengers to maintain all those flights to Cuba,” said Pedro González Munné, a Miami businessman who monitors travel to the island.

[...]

Cuba’s state-owned Havanatour Celimar tourism agency, controlled by military officers relatively new to the tourism industry, also leaned on the charter companies to add new flights, said the industry officials. They asked for anonymity out of fear of retaliation.

Havanatour may have really believed that lots more U.S. visitors would be arriving, one of the officials noted. But there were also rumors that some of the U.S. firms bribed Cuban officials to obtain permissions for the extra flights.

You can read the entire article HERE.

 

3 comments to Cuba’s military feeling pinch of reduced U.S. tourist flights to Cuba