Party over (for now, at least) for South Florida Cuba charter company

No more party hats, maracas, balloons, or cakes for South Florida’s Airline Brokers Co., a business partner of the Castro dictatorship that offered Americans charter airline service to the communist island. Without much notice or explanation (or so they say), the Cuban regime cut off the charter company and its lucrative business dealings. But that is the risk one takes when engaging in business with an international crime syndicate like the Castro Mafia in Havana.

Via the Sun Sentinel:

No party for last charter from Lauderdale to Cuba
Employees of Airline Brokers and JetBlue have their photo taken before the last charter flight out of Fort Lauderdale to Cuba. Airline Brokers uses JetBlue aircraft for their service. Havana has suspended the license for Airline Brokers Co., the only charter company flying from Fort Lauderdale to the island. (Mike Stocker, Sun Sentinel / November 23, 2012)

Gone were the festive straw hats, balloons, cake and maracas shakers that last year celebrated the first scheduled charter flight from Fort Lauderdale to Cuba in decades.

Passengers checking in for Saturday’s final scheduled charter to Havana found a somber mood and uncertainties about when they might ever fly again to Cuba from Broward County.

“When I got here to the airport, I thought, ‘How great to fly from Fort Lauderdale. There’s no crowd. How comfortable,'” said Alina Pombo, 48, who was heading to Havana to visit family and friends. “Then, I learned it was the last flight. And I was told I can’t come back next Saturday the way I planned.”

Cuba mid-week suddenly suspended the landing rights for two South Florida companies that arrange charters to the island: Airline Brokers Co. and C&T Charters, effective Tuesday. That halts Airline Broker’s three flights a week from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International, trips by both from Miami International and C&T service from New York’s JFK.

Hundreds of passengers must be rescheduled to charter companies still authorized to land in Cuba. Most remaining charters fly from Miami.

Continue reading HERE.


33 thoughts on “Party over (for now, at least) for South Florida Cuba charter company”

  1. Jeff Flake told me that Castro could not allow anyone to travel there who wanted to because he doesn’t have the infrastructure, water, etc. for all of those tourists. Is there possibly some truth to what he says?

  2. Honey, I have doubts about what Flake said.

    Given that Cuba apparently gets millions of tourists each year from Canada and Europe etc., I doubt that those extra several hundred per week were refused due to infrastructure concerns.

    Besides, from the article it sounds as though they are going anyway through another charter.

  3. Honey,

    Jeff Flake says a lot of things to defend his indefensible position. Most, however, are not true. Cuba currently receives over 2-million tourists a year. There are only so many hotel rooms on the island — or any other destination in the world — and I doubt Cuba is currently operating at max capacity. Flake’s argument is as disingenuous as Flake is himself. Castro would love to have his hotel rooms (and I do mean his, as in personally belonging to Castro and his crime family) booked 100% all year round, and the Cuban regime sees the lifting of the embargo as a way to achieve that. Flake simply wants to take the focus off of the fact he has been compromised by the Castro regime by throwing up a red herring as a distraction.

  4. By the way, Honey, Flake’s argument almost ranks as high on the ludicrous scale as Alarcon’s argument a few years back that Cubans could not be allowed to travel freely because there would be a giant traffic jam in the sky and airplanes would start crashing into each other.

  5. Honey,

    Please tell Jeff Flake from this Cuban-American Ronald Reagan/Marco Rubio Republican.

    He (and his crooked pro-doing business with Castro views) can kiss my Cuban-American butt, that simple.

    Honestly, we don’t need Republicans like him. With friends like him WE DON’T need enemies. As far as I’m concerned he’s another Castro tyranny enabler, PERIOD!

    I hope he gets his butt kicked out of office in 2012 (or later) if possible, he’ll be one Republican I won’t miss. I cannot stand his pro-business with Castro views and could care less whether he is a Republican.

    Please feel free to forward my views to him, that’s how much I cannot stand him and this pro-Castro boot licking ass…

    I hope I’m crystal clear in my views…

  6. He is well aware of the views of the babaluers, believe me. I give him what for every time I see him. He smiles in resignation because he know whenever he sees me he is going to get a bawling out. He is one of those free traders and you can’t get through to him. In all other ways he is one of the good guys. Others I talk to do not agree with him. They understand better than he. He is not pro Castro. He tries to meet with dissidents whenever he has gone to Cuba. He hates communism and hates the Castros and believes this is the way to undo them and nothing I have ever been able to say to him has changed his mind. He doesn’t seem like a bad guy. He lets me rant at him at length. But it has so far been to no avail.

  7. Thanks Honey,

    But what you post about him shows duplicity on his part and I cannot be part of any of it.

    Trust me, he may tell you he’s not pro-Castro, but his actions are the complete opposite and like Alberto posted his actions are 100% indefensible.

    I hope you understand and I hope a Democrat unseat his ass, anyway it’ll be no different.

  8. Flake’s Cuba fixation is VERY fishy. It simply makes no sense without a hidden motive. The fact he presumes to know or get the situation better than Cubans themselves means he’s at best a clueless fool, and I expect it’s not that innocent. Absolutely do NOT trust him.

  9. It is not a Cuban fixation. It is a free trade fixation. I am the one who does your bidding when I assail him about his Cuba ideas. He, wrongly I think, believes that opening trade has good outcomes. I told him to read Sharansky. I suspect he did not. Some people are obsessed about free trade. I used to be but Sharansky changed my mind.
    I never wanted free trade with Cuba, anyway.

  10. Mercy, he is sounding worse.
    Yes, he has been to Cuba several times as I recall. I didn’t know about this one, though.
    Well, perhaps I have too trusting a heart. He is very tolerant of my swipes at him. He smiles and never takes offense. You would have been proud of me for my efforts and audaciousness. If indeed he is a swine, then I am not angry with myself that I so often gave him a hard time.

  11. Honey,

    We have always been proud of how you stand up for the cause of a free Cuba. Flake talks a good game on other conservative issues, but I truly believe he is a man with little to no integrity. And when you have no integrity, it is hard for anyone to take you seriously.

  12. Honey,

    I’m not the best writer at this blog, but please let me state the following:

    I THANK YOU you SO MUCH for your efforts and support in our cause because WE ALL at Babalu know that you are a very Dear and SUPPPORTIVE FRIEND, thought I ditto Alberto’s comments.

    Trust me dear, this has nothing to do with you and all to do with Jeff Flake and the game he’s playing. He may be playing you on this one, thought.

    I know, let me rephrase that, I am CERTAIN that you are 100 PERCENT ONE OF US and that we can count on you on this battle to the end.

    But please remember that Jeff Flake is a politician after all and he may be tolerant of your swipes toward him for obvious reasons. That reason may be that he does not want you to see what his Castro supportive agenda real views are and want to shrug you off to avoid the nuisance of your actions.

    The issue here is Jeff Flake and his pro-Castro engagement game; I cannot trust him as far as I can piss.

  13. Freedom, your writing is just fine. It is honest and heartfelt. Remember you were one of the people I wanted to meet when I first joined up here.
    As for Flake, he may have his agenda and it may be something as simple as bringing jobs to his state. And you may be correct not to trust him. What do I know? All I did was try to persuade him that he is wrong. I didn’t succeed.
    But then I didn’t succeed in convincing any of my liberal friends not to vote for Obama, either. I ought to throw in the towel. In fact I am doing just that in a way. I am not going to argue with anyone for a long time. My work is done on that score. Damn, I wish I could have had more sway. Alas……

  14. What is a Republican Arizona congressman doing on multiple trips to Cuba? There are no doubt Hispanics in his constituency, but the vast majority of them are neither Cuban nor interested in Cuba. So what gives? Why is Flake so persistently involved in the Cuba issue? Why does his name keep coming up related to Cuba policy? Shouldn’t he be focusing all that energy on the immigration problem, like, from Mexico, which obviously concerns Arizona in a big way? The Cuba business does NOT add up. Unless, of course, there’s more to this than meets the eye, and I definitely suspect there is.

  15. Why doesn’t someone as an ambassador from babalu, ask Jeff Flake these questions? He knows about you because I always tell him. So say because one of us keeps bugging you about this, may we get your official answer to some of our doubts? Perhaps he will be willing to be interviewed, if you would like that.

  16. Hi Honey … would you mind if I ask how it is that you run into Flake so often? Is he a member of your local church or something like that?

  17. If Honey found my question offensive in some way, I apologize. I’m hard pressed why you think that question would be a trolling comment. I rarely see my elected officials except _maybe_ once an election cycle, if I am lucky (or unlucky as the case may be). I merely wondered how it is she encounters him so often. I’m surprised to hear that Flake knits, but it’s all good.

    FWIW, you’ll note that I was the first person in this thread to criticize Flake’s dumbass comments.

    • Right. Sure. I smell troll. You are in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, yes? The coincidental home of an erstwhile (and not missed) commenter here at Babalu. I don’t believe in coincidences…

  18. I still don’t see how anything I wrote here (or in any other thread for that matter) could seriously be considered trolling.

    Babalu has so much to aim for
    So much to try for
    Don’t blow it all with paranoia
    Paranoia, the Destroyer

    (Paraphrased from The Kinks.)

  19. I think it was just George trying to be protective. I see Flake at conservative meetings and get a chance to speak to him for a few minutes.

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