It's All About Business

Friday, July 15, 2011
Wasn't Cuban-American travel (and the Obama Administration's other regulations) supposed to be a humanitarian measure?

Obviously not
-- it's all about business.

(Prepare to feel disgusted).

From Tampa Bay Business Journal:

Cuba amendment produces caution

A congressman's move to derail President Obama's changes that allow more travel to Cuba and more remittances to the island's citizens is causing concern but has not squelched business opportunities [...]

Dana Reed, owner of ASC International USA, recently received authorization from the U.S. Department of Treasury to offer charter flights to Cuba. Despite the amendment [to reverse on Obama's travel regulations], he plans to continue his low-key efforts to partner with a Tampa travel service provider seeking landing rights from Cuba and is in the process of establishing parcel service to the island.

"We'll see what happens," Reed said. "Everyone is angling for business because there are lots of opportunities. There is money to be made."

The World Trade Center of Tampa Bay has not changed its plans for a fall trip to the island but intends to monitor Congressional action on the amendment and other Cuba issues. Steve Michelini, managing director of the franchise, said he had been told the Diaz-Balart amendment would not succeed.

It is however, "a big aggravation" for those interested in doing business with Cuba, Michelini said.

"It affects the timetable for the Cuban government to approve travel from cities other than Miami," he said. "It doesn't help any of us, and it doesn't make a lot of sense. It is distressing. We have some high-level business executives who want to travel with us, and we don't want to put them in a bad position."

The area's business community has the "critical mass and desire" to establish ties with Cuba and needs to keep track of issues and actions that could reverse gains made in the ability to do that, Michelini said.

"You've got to take this seriously," he said. "It's our nest egg someone is trying to mess with."