No, I'm Not Going to the World Cup

Saturday, June 22, 2013
Great awareness campaign.

In addition to the $30 billion being spent by the Brazilian government on the World Cup (more than the last three World Cups added together), we'd also point out the billions of dollars the Brazilian government hands over to the Castro dictatorship and the Cuban military's business partners, Odebrecht (Brazil's Halliburton).

(Click here to see why we oppose Odebrecht.)

The Brazilian people deserve better.

Watch the video below:

Young Cuban Democracy Leader to be Posthumously Honored

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED)’s 2013 Democracy Award will highlight the important role that youth are playing in advancing democracy in the world today.  In this, its 30th anniversary year, NED will honor three outstanding young people who are working in extraordinarily challenging environments to create a democratic future in their respective countries.  The Endowment will also make a posthumous award to a fourth young democrat whose life was cut short in the midst of his struggle.

NED will present its award to activists from Pakistan, Russia, Zimbabwe and Cuba at a July 17th Capitol Hill ceremony in the Caucus Room of the Cannon House Office Building.

The Cuban honoree is:

Harold Cepero, (1980-2012)

Cepero was the leader of the youth wing of Cuba’s Christian Liberation Movement (MCL), the group that organized the Varela project -- a citizen petition movement that called for a popular referendum to establish the foundation for a democratic system in Cuba. With more than 25,000 Cubans publicly signing the petition, the Varela Project became one of the most creative challenges to the country’s totalitarian rulers. On July 22, 2012, Cepero was killed in a suspicious car crash along with Cuba’s most prominent democratic activist and founder of the MCL, Oswaldo Payá.

Rosa María Payá Acevedo, another young leader of the MCL and the daughter of Oswaldo Payá, will accept the award on behalf of Cepero and the Christian Liberation Movement.

A Closer Look at Raul's Real Estate Scam

Friday, June 21, 2013
This weekend, The Financial Times takes a closer look at the Castro dictatorship's real estate "reforms" and market.

The title and by-line say it all:

Cuba, home of the world’s oddest property market

The country is finally allowing its people to buy and sell homes but property lawyers and agents are still illegal

Read the whole article here.

Note some interesting excerpts:

On the process.

If we do agree a price, Rafael will advise me not to buy the penthouse in the normal way. Instead, to avoid tax, I should pay him a nominal amount locally, say 20 per cent, and “deposit the rest in an account in Spain, please”. I must not talk about the true price because, under new laws, anyone caught lying about the price of property goes to prison. Also, I must not reveal the name of the lawyer who does the paperwork because working as a private property lawyer is illegal.

Undercover estate agents? A legal system that is illegal? Jail for lying about house prices – which everyone the world over does? Welcome to the oddest property market in the world. Welcome to Cuba.

On Castro's desperate economic state.

Raúl Castro’s move is the latest – and boldest – step in a slow economic liberalisation programme designed to generate economic growth. Cuba desperately needs new sources of revenue. It is only kept afloat thanks to cheap oil, and other subsidies worth $5bn a year from its ideological ally, Venezuela. The subsidy deal was agreed by Fidel Castro and former Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez, who died in March. If Venezuela’s new president, Nicolás Maduro, renegotiates the agreement – and many analysts say that, with Venezuela’s economy slumping, he has no choice – Cuba will grind to a halt.

On the domestic scam.

"I must not talk about the true price because anyone caught lying about the price of property goes to prison."

The tree-lined Prado is polka-dotted with estate agents, their listings written in longhand in school exercise books. Their commission? A whopping 5 per cent – if, that is, the buyer pays up. With estate agency not on the approved list of private businesses Cubans can now set up, buyers know agents have no recourse to law, so many simply refuse to pay. “I’m lucky if I get commission for one deal in five,” says one agent.

On scamming foreigners.

Other overseas investors get around the restrictions by giving money to a Cuban friend, or more often, girlfriend, to buy a property – although, when the deal is completed, some swiftly discover that their girlfriend is no longer their girlfriend. “I took a risk and it failed,” sighs one Dutch-born investor, whose $400,000 “home” in the fashionable Kholy western suburbs is now home to his former girlfriend and her extended family who cannot believe their luck – and his naivety.

Tax is troublesome, too. Both sellers and buyers must pay 4 per cent but most disguise the value of deals to reduce the liability.

On a British firm's (Esencia) new golf resort venture.

“Slog” hardly does justice to the tortuous process he has had to undergo to get this far, and which has cost him $3m on feasibility studies. He began negotiations in 2006 and each year the government has said it will approve the venture. But each year then becomes next year. Manuel Marrero, Cuba’s minister of tourism, says the deal has finally been approved in cabinet but Macdonald still does not have the formal sign-off he craves.

On the risk.

Investing in Cuba is only for the most steely-nerved. Not only is there the vexed question of potential claims on properties from exiled Cubans, the Cuban government has a long, ignominious history of first encouraging and then choking off economic liberalisation. It relaxed restrictions on home sales 15 years ago, only to reverse the policy a few years later.

Quote of the Month

We have a message for the American left, especially the African American left. There are forgotten Cubans, invisible Cubans, many of them Afro-Cubans, many of them not. They do not live in the utopia that some Americans still imagine. They live in Cuba.
-- Manuel Cuesta Morua, Afro-Cuban dissident and social democrat leader, The Washington Post, 6/18/13

Is State Listening to Obama?

Let's hope U.S. President Barack Obama's remarks in Berlin this week filter down through the State Department's bureaucracy, which seems more intent lately on appeasing the Castro dictatorship than on supporting Cubans fighting for their freedom.

Excerpt from President Obama's remarks:

Peace with justice means extending a hand to those who reach for freedom, wherever they live. Different peoples and cultures will follow their own path, but we must reject the lie that those who live in distant places don’t yearn for freedom and self-determination just like we do; that they don’t somehow yearn for dignity and rule of law just like we do. We cannot dictate the pace of change in places like the Arab world, but we must reject the excuse that we can do nothing to support it.

We cannot shrink from our role of advancing the values we believe in — whether it’s supporting Afghans as they take responsibility for their future, or working for an Israeli-Palestinian peace — or engaging as we’ve done in Burma to help create space for brave people to emerge from decades of dictatorship. In this century, these are the citizens who long to join the free world. They are who you were. They deserve our support, for they too, in their own way, are citizens of Berlin. And we have to help them every day.

A "Blind Spot" on Cuba?

Thursday, June 20, 2013
By Jay Nordlinger in National Review:

In my experience, Democrats don’t like it when you point out that some of their ranks are baldly, and despicably, pro-Castro. When you point out certain facts, they get flustered.

How about this? Two Democratic congressmen hosted a reception for Castro activists supporting the regime’s spies imprisoned in the United States.

Look, I didn’t force them to host that reception. Rush Limbaugh didn’t. The National Security Agency didn’t. They just did.

Oddly, the two congressmen were not Charlie Rangel and José Serrano — two of the Castros’ best friends in the American political establishment. Their friends are many, sorry to say.

A number of years ago, Representative Eliot Engel, the New York Democrat, told me that his party had a “blind spot” on Cuba. We all have blind spots, of course. But ignorance of a totalitarian dictatorship 90 miles from our shores? That’s a sorry blind spot to have.

And ignorance is not the worst thing: Support — full and knowing and unblinking support — of that dictatorship is.

Punk Breeds Freedom

Check out the cover for the new documentary on the pro-democracy punk scene in Burma, Yangon Calling:

And the latest video from Cuban dissident hip-hop artists El Primario and Julito, in collaboration with the punk rock group, Porno Para Ricardo:

Castro Tries to Coerce U.S. Again

The postal talks between the U.S. and Cuba took place this week.

As anticipated, these talks were senseless from the get-go, as the U.S. has authorized mail to Cuba since 1992.

It's the Castro regime that prohibits U.S. mail from entering Cuba.

The State Department should have simply stated that if the Castro regime was interested in mail being sent directly to Cuba, it should just allow it do so.

But instead, State was seduced by Josefina Vidal's latest siren call.

So what were the results of the "postal talks"?

The Castro regime put out a statement today that U.S mail will not be allowed to enter Cuba unless the U.S. lifts sanctions.

(Predictable) Coercion 101.

From AFP:

Cuba Wednesday described its dialogue with the United States on resuming postal service "fruitful" but warned there would likely be little progress if the US embargo on Cuba stays in place.

"The Cuban delegation welcomed the celebration of these talks and described as fruitful the exchange held between the officials of the postal administrations of Cuba and the United States," a statement released by the Cuban Interests Section in Washington said.

Cuba said however that progress toward "stable, quality and safe postal service" was unlikely "as long as the obstacles resulting from the blockade policy imposed by the United States Government against Cuba are not removed."

Castro Gives Canadian Business Partner 9-Year Prison Sentence

Sarkis Yacoubian, owner of Canada's Tri-Star Caribbean, was one of the Castro brother's closest business partners.

For years, while he greased Castro's wheels, no one spoke of corruption.

Then, when the Castro regime suffered a major hard currency crisis in 2009, it froze Yacoubian's funds in Cuban banks.

Instead of paying him back, they have now accused him of corruption and will serve a 9-year prison sentence.

It's cheaper that way.

And so much for the Canadian government's "direct interest" in this case and the Ambassador sitting-in at the sham trial.

Decades of turning a blind-eye to Castro's brutality and repression didn't earn them much.

From The Toronto Star:

For almost two years as he sat in a Havana prison awaiting trial on corruption charges, North York businessman Sarkis Yacoubian held out hope that by collaborating with the Cuban authorities and fingering a wide web of foreign and domestic corporate intrigue, he would get some leniency.

“They are going to bring down my sentence, provided that I go along with them,” he had told the Star in a series of exclusive jailhouse phone interviews.

But that didn’t happen.

Three weeks after he was put on trial in late May, Yacoubian finally got word he has been sentenced to nine years in jail.

“We were shocked,” said Krikor Yacoubian, Sarkis’ brother in Toronto. “We were anticipating less with the collaboration, but they did not budge much.”

State: Cuba Remains Major Child Sex and Forced Labor Violator

Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Today, the U.S. State Department released its 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report ("Report").

Cuba received the lowest ranking (Tier 3), as a country that does not comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.

According to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, which mandates this Report, countries ranked in Tier 3 may not receive funding for participation by officials or employees of such governments in educational and cultural exchange programs.

In light of the Administration's continued focus on educational and cultural exchanges with Castro's Cuba, the question remains:

Will the Obama Administration adhere to these sanctions, or will it (once again) give the Castro regime a waiver?

According to the Report:

Cuba is a source country for adults and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Child prostitution and child sex tourism reportedly occur within Cuba. Cuban citizens have been forced into prostitution outside of Cuba. There have been allegations of coerced labor, particularly with Cuban work missions abroad. Some Cubans working abroad have stated that postings are voluntary and well paid; however, others have claimed that Cuban authorities have withheld their passports and restricted their movements. The scope of trafficking involving Cuban citizens is particularly difficult to gauge because of the closed nature of the government and sparse non-governmental or independent reporting.

The Government of Cuba does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. The government did not respond to requests for data on prosecutions of sex trafficking and forced labor or on trafficking-specific victim protection and prevention efforts that occurred during the reporting period. Governments that do not provide such data, consistent with the capacity of governments to obtain such data, are presumed by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act not to have made significant efforts to address human trafficking. The Government of Cuba has taken steps to share information about its general approach to protection for children and youth, and showed willingness to cooperate with another government on a child sex tourism investigation during the reporting period.

Fact vs. Marketing Cuba Travel

How do you reconcile these two articles?

Simple: The first is a free advertisement (marketing) under the guise of a news story, while the latter is a fact based news story.

From Sun-Sentinel:

Jay-Z and Beyoncé tour stokes desire to visit Cuba

Jay-Z and Beyoncé's controversial trip to Cuba four weeks ago has stoked public interest in traveling to the forbidden island, prompting more Americans to seek similar "people-to-people" culture tours.

Insight Cuba, the first and largest of the Cuba tour groups, estimates that public inquiries and bookings have grown by 10 percent to 15 percent since Jay-Z and Beyoncé's tour in early April.

From The Miami Herald:

Cuba cites drop in U.S., European arrivals as tourism sags

Cuba’s tourism arrivals shrank by nearly 5 percent in April compared to the same month last year, largely because of significant drops in visitors from the United States and southern Europe, according to official reports.

The most significant drop was in the “other” category, which ONE uses to lump together arrivals from the United States and all other countries with less than 2,000 or so tourists. That fell from 63,248 in April of last year to 54,771 this April — 13.4 percent.

Cuba: Reform or Regression?

By Elizabeth Hoffman of The Bush Institute's Freedom Collection:

The Cuban regime made headlines earlier this year when it announced that it would overhaul the decades-old migratory law, which has restricted the ability of Cuban citizens to travel abroad. Observers watched anxiously, hoping that this would be the beginning of significant democratic change on the island that has been under the tight grip of the Castro brothers for the past half century.

Among those granted permission to travel abroad was Rosa Maria Paya, the daughter of the late opposition leader, Oswaldo Paya. Rosa Maria embarked on a whirlwind tour of the United States and Europe, and she did not pull any punches. She spoke frankly to the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Organization of American States, and officials in Washington, DC, regarding the highly suspicious circumstances surrounding her father’s death. Rosa Maria and her family have demanded an independent investigation into the role of the Cuban government in Oswaldo’s controversial death in 2012. Dissident Regis Iglesias Ramirez, a confidant of Oswaldo Paya, remembers his friend on the Freedom Collection (see below).

Despite widespread speculation that she might attempt to seek asylum while abroad, Rosa Maria returned to Cuba. The world collectively breathed a sigh of relief when she arrived home without incident. International attention quickly faded. Meanwhile, the regime waited in the wings, preparing to make its move.

State security agents quietly began setting up camp outside the family home of Rosa Maria. A post on the government’s official blog ominously warned that any “false accusations” about her father’s death would result in arrest and imprisonment. Amid these threats, it is unsurprising that on June 10 The Miami Herald reported that the Paya family arrived in South Florida and plans to settle in Miami.

It appears that in allowing Cubans greater freedoms abroad, the regime has stepped up repression at home. One step forward, two steps back.

Today on "From Washington al Mundo"

In My Humble Opinion, Pt. 45

From The Miami Herald:

There have been signs on two fronts this week that the Obama administration is willing to work toward warmer relations with Cuba that have been all but frozen since Havana jailed a U.S. government subcontractor in 2009.

Two days of talks between U.S. and Cuban officials on resuming direct mail to Cuba — a service that has been cut off for five decades — began Tuesday in Washington, and, perhaps more significantly, sources said that U.S. and Cuban officials plan to resume migration talks in July [...]

Florida Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said the mail talks aren’t in the interest of the United States. She also predicted the migration talks would go nowhere.

“There is no reason to have this talk because the ones not complying with the mail accords from years ago are the Castro thugs," she said in a statement. “The regime is once again manipulating the U.S. administration in this game because it wants us to lift the embargo and make further concessions. Meanwhile, a U.S. citizen languishes unjustly in a Cuban prison and brave freedom Cuban activists are risking their lives while on hunger strikes to protest the island tyranny.”

Mauricio Claver-Carone, director of the pro-embargo U.S. Cuba Democracy Political Action Committee, concurred. “We look forward to the day the Obama administration stops rewarding the Castro regime for taking an American hostage and for its dramatic increase in repression.”

Castro Knocks Off Assad's "Reform" Website

Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Dictators have no originality.

According to Cuba Standard:

The Cuban government approved the creation of a Website that publishes political outlines, laws and regulations of its economic reforms, Vice President Marino Murillo announced at a conference of accountants and economists in Havana, according to Prensa Latina.

This website is a knock-off of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad's online compilation, "Comprehensive Reform Decision and Decrees."

Let's not forget that for years Assad was praised by the Western media as a great "reformer."

Saddest part is that Assad's "reforms" make Raul's look like child's play.

With "reformers" like these...

From the U.S. State Department

An interesting exchange during today's State Department Daily Press Briefing with Spokesperson Jen Psaki:

QUESTION: All right. And then if there’s nothing else on North Korea, I just want to nail down the postal talks with Cuba.

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Do you expect anything out of this round or is this really not – is this just – in other words, if these two days of talks are a success, there won’t be direct mail service immediately, I presume, but maybe I’m wrong, so could you --

MS. PSAKI: That’s a good question on the timeline. Just to give you a little bit of history here, the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992 states that, quote, “The United States Postal Service shall take such actions as are necessary to provide direct mail service to and from Cuba.” So this is – as you mentioned, on June 18th and 19th – well, you didn’t mention the dates, but so everybody knows, representatives from the Department of State and the United States Postal Service will meet with representatives from the Government of Cuba for a technical discussion on reestablishing direct transportation of mail. The reason we’re doing this is because it’s, of course, good for the Cuban people. This is something we feel is good for us. But it’s not meant to be a signal of anything or indicate a change in policy.

QUESTION: Are those talks here or in --

MS. PSAKI: In terms of the exact location, I’m not sure if they’re at the Department of State or if they’re just somewhere else in the --

QUESTION: Are those talks exclusively on the mail service?

MS. PSAKI: That is with the United States Postal Service. That’s their purview.

QUESTION: But I’m saying is it mainly about the – is there anything going to come up about Mr. Gross?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t want to predict. There are issues that are, of course, raised on both sides. As you know, this is an issue that has been raised at the highest levels from the United States, but given these are talks with the Postal Service, I would expect that will be the focus.

QUESTION: Just one more. I mean, is the U.S. Postal Service in any kind of position to make any kind of deals or agreements with Cuba? I mean, this is an organization that is essentially going broke, and I’m just curious. Is --

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think that’s combining two different things, in my opinion. This has been – we have had – I read off the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992.


MS. PSAKI: So they’re simply allowing mail to travel, which is – I would assume provides them with more revenue, with more stamps used.

QUESTION: Considering that – well, all right, exactly. So in other words, this could actually help the Postal Union’s budget if they are able to --

MS. PSAKI: I don’t want to go too far on it, but – I don’t want to go too far, Matt, but it’s more people using their services.

QUESTION: Jen, a clarification on that too. What is the genesis of this? I mean, how did these talks actually come about? Who asked for them?

MS. PSAKI: Well, this is something that the U.S. has felt would be a positive step for the Cuban people. We felt it was in our interests. In terms of who specifically asked for it, I don’t have that level of detail, but it’s just something that we felt it was – it would be positive moving forward.

QUESTION: But basically, the U.S. asked for it?

MS. PSAKI: I would have to check on that for you, but it’s something, again, that we are very supportive of and we are, of course, helping direct here.

QUESTION: Isn’t it a continuation of the talks from 2009 that were on the same subject?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I don’t know if I’d call it a continuation because it’s been a number of years, but yes, it’s on the same subject, and we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to move things forward.

Raul's Sugar Flop (Scam)

Monday, June 17, 2013
Remember this Reuters story from 2011?

"Cuba is closing its once powerful Sugar Ministry in favor of a state holding company charged with pulling the sector out of a long decline, official media announced on Thursday.

President Raul Castro was quoted as stating the ministry would be replaced by holding company."

What they didn't tell you is that Cuba's Sugar Ministry was already under the control of Castro's military and headed up by General Ulises Rosales del Toro.

The Ministry became a military-owned company named Grupo Empresarial de la Agroindustria Azucarera (Azcuba).

This "reform" was simply a name change.

So it shouldn't have come as a surprise this week, when the Castro regime announced that Azcuba's sugar production fell 11% short of its forecast.

"Organization" and "efficiency" problems were cited as the main reasons.

Can't imagine why.

On U.S.-Cuba Direct Mail Talks

This morning, a State Department official leaked to the Associated Press that the U.S. will be holding bilateral talks with the Cuban dictatorship on direct mail between both nations.

The fact that these talks were leaked to the media prior to appropriately briefing Congress raises questions regarding the good faith and intention of these talks.

Direct mail to Cuba was authorized by Congress under the 1992 Cuba Democracy Act. Since that time, there have been multiple direct talks with the Castro regime on this issue, to no avail.

The Castro regime has repeatedly sought to coerce the U.S. into bilateral talks, but has yet to allow direct mail from the U.S. to enter Cuba. If they were serious about this issue, they would have permitted direct U.S. mail to enter Cuba long ago.

As history has proven, this latest ruse remains an unmerited attempt by the Castro regime to bring the U.S. to the negotiating table, in order to extract unilateral concessions.

This has also proven to be the case regarding the arbitrary imprisonment of American development worker Alan Gross, which the Castro regime has admitted is being held hostage in an attempt to coerce the U.S. to free four Cuban spies convicted by federal courts.

The timing is also curious as two Cuban political prisoners and a democracy activist are currently in a critical state pursuant to hunger strikes protesting their unjust imprisonment and conditions.

The State Department should remain weary of such manipulations and distractions by the Castro regime.

Two U.S. Reps. Host Reception in Support of Cuban Spies

A couple of weeks ago, a group of (literally) pro-Castro activists (mostly foreigners) held a forum and march in Washington, D.C. in support of five (now four) Cuban spies imprisoned in the U.S.

It's always fascinating to watch pro-Castro activists use democracy to support a dictatorship.

Donning their Che berets and "Viva la Revolucion!" signs, they marched in front of The White House and held various speaking engagements, including one (of course) at the Cuban Interests Section, where they held a teleconference with Rene Gonzalez, one the five spies who completed his prison term and was returned to Cuba (thus, now four remaining).

An item that was curiously on their agenda was a "Reception at Capitol Hill hosted by a U.S. Congressman."

However, no details were included.


Was this U.S. Congressman too embarrassed to be hosting an event in favor of Cuban spies convicted in U.S. federal court for, among other things, conspiracy to commit murder and infiltrating U.S. military facilities?

Never missing a propaganda opportunity, the Castro regime's state media revealed that the Congressional hosts were U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) and U.S. Rep. Yvette Clark (D-NY) -- below is a picture of them at the event.

Apparently, there was even a video of the entire event also, but it has since been removed.

How come?

Are U.S. Reps. Rush and Clarke too embarrassed to be seen and heard praising the Cuban dictatorship and its spies?

Maybe not -- but they should be.

Great Point on Child-Sex Predators in Cuba

Sunday, June 16, 2013
By renowned Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez:

Recently the Canadian James McTurk was convicted in Toronto for several sexual offenses against children in Cuba, including some as young as three. The story has not been published in the national media, but the predator was in our country 31 times between 2009 and 2012. It’s not credible that immigration authorities so skilled in detecting whether Cubans can enter their own country, and customs officials trained to find a laptop or a mobile phone in luggage, didn’t realize that something was wrong with that man. It is also sad that, given this is one of the evils that afflict our society, a group of alarmed parents is not even allowed to form a group of citizens to denounce pedophiles and to support solidarity for the victims of these criminals. 

Meet Political Prisoner(s) Osvaldo Rodriguez Acosta & His Son

Cuban democracy activist Osvaldo Rodriguez Acosta is the head of the Patriotic Alliance Movement ("Movimiento Alianza Patriótica").

In September 2012, the Castro regime's secret police stormed into his home and arrested him, along with his wife and son.

In April 2013, Rodriguez Acosta was handed a 9-year prison sentence.

Meanwhile, his son, Osvaldo Rodriguez Castillo, was handed a 7-year prison sentence and his wife, Juana Castillo, a 5-year sentence of non-confined correctional work.

Rodriguez Acosta is on the 37th day of a hunger strike, which he began on May 10th, at the notorious prison facility of Combinado del Este.

He is currently confined at a prison hospital in poor physical condition.

Below are pictures of Osvaldo Rodriguez, father and son, pursuant to attacks by the Cuban authorities.

Cuba Tourism Continues Decline

From Cuba Standard:

Continuing a slide that began early this year, visitor numbers in April were 3.9 percent below those of April 2012, mainly due to weakness in European source markets, and a drop of visitors from the United States.

Close to 274,000 visitors arrived at the island in April, down from 288,000 in 2012, according to statistics released by the Oficina Nacional de Estadísticas (ONE).

The total for the year through the end of April was 1.222 million, down 1.4 percent.

Visitors from Canada, Cuba’s main tourism source market, rose 1.3 percent in April, and visitors from the United Kingdom (+8.1%), Germany (+11.8%), and Chile (+38.6%) increased considerably. However, the number of visitors from “other” countries, the second largest category which includes the United States, was down a hefty 13.4 percent in April. The number of visitors from France (-6.8%), Spain (-39.5%) and Italy (-7.2%) continued to decline.

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