Did anyone actually believe the bluff by Cuba’s apartheid dictatorship and their “Cuba Experts” here in the U.S. that the totalitarian regime was going to turn off the cash spigot that pours millions of dollars into their Swiss bank accounts every year to protest American policy towards the island? If anyone did, then they really don’t know much about the Castro mafia and its affinity for cash.
Cuba resumes processing all consular affairs
Cuba’s diplomatic mission in Washington has resumed all consular services, including the issuance of visas, clearing away a roadblock that had threatened to severely disrupt the summer high-travel season, according to Miami travel agents.
A mission announcement Monday said that it had resumed renewing Cuban passports but made no mention of other services such as the issuance of new passports or the entry visas required of all Cuban and Cuban-American visitors.
Miami travel agents summoned to a meeting Wednesday at the mission said Cuban diplomats told them that they are now processing all consular matters — in essence, totally normalizing the process except for requiring that payments be made in cash.
The mission, known as an Interests Section because Cuba and the United States do not have full diplomatic relations, suspended all consular services on Feb. 14 after M&T Bank of Buffalo, New York, shut down the accounts the mission used to deposit the consular fees it collected.
The travel agents said they will likely have to fly employees to Washington to hand-deliver the cash for the consular services, which might increase costs and prices and hit some of the smaller companies especially hard.
“Maybe we will find a better way of paying later, but for now that’s all we can think of,” said one Cuba travel industry official who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the issue.
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