We've consistently expressed concern over the disproportionate (and therefore, detrimental) impact that unlimited remittances to Cuba would have on the island's Afro-Cuban population (see #11 here).
So what impact has tourism travel had?
According to an article earlier this year in the L.A. Times,
"The remittances whites sent to families on the island have widened the income gap between Cuba's blacks and whites, said Mark Sawyer, a UCLA political science professor and Cuba expert who signed the document. So has a preference for hiring whites in a tourist industry that has become more important with the collapse of the government-regulated economy, he said."
(Note to Professor Sawyer: Cuba's tourism industry is not only government-regulated, it's government owned and controlled. Thus, so are its hiring and labor practices.)
Meanwhile, the Castro regime continues to view tourism as its economic lifeline, particularly if U.S. tourism were authorized.
As the Canadian travel website OntheGlobe.com described:
"Over the past two decades along with its foreign development partners the island has ploughed away with the expansion of a network of all-inclusive resorts in Havana, Varadero, the island's northern cays, around the eastern city of Holguin and the southern resort island of Cayo Largo.
For example, take the lush tropical setting of Cayo Santa Maria. This pristine cay at the western end of the Archipelago de Sabana-Camaguey is the idyllic setting of the new frontier of Cuban tourism. Tied to the island by a man-made causeway this is where you find Melia Las Dunas, one of several five-star hideaways set amidst pristine azure-blue beaches."
Unfortunately, for Cubans of all races, it's a tragically different world on the other side of Castro's "man-made causeway."
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