Florida Hoping Trump’s Business Side Shines Through Regarding Cuba

Florida could be a big loser if The President-elect drops deal with Cuba

According to The Telegraph, one of the U.K’s top newspapers reports that in 2016 Cuban tourism income overall rose by $1.2 billion. In the first six months of this year, 136,913 Americans visited Cuba, up 180% from the same period in 2015, according to Cuba’s National Office of Statistics and Information.

Florida is the gateway to Cuba and its 11 million people. The last thing they want is to see the newly minted relationship stopped because of politics.

It should be noted that the U.S. embargo against Cuba has hurt the island nation but not stopped it from being a player on the world stage. Since the fall of the former Soviet Union in the late 1980’s Europe and even Canada has been doing business with Cuba.

The Netherlands and Canada are Cuba’s primary trading partners, and Canadian and European tourists have been regular visitors since the early 1990s. In nearly every poll taken since the U.S. has explored slowly the process, the vast majority of American’s think it is time to do business with Cuba.

The Florida Sun-Sentinel, in a recent article on the new Cuba-U.S. relationship made this statement on the issue. “South Florida business leaders are expressing cautious optimism that Donald Trump’s election will further bolster the healthy economy they’ve enjoyed since recovering from the Great Recession.”

On Saturday after the death of Fidel Castro was announced USA Today was reporting that a powerful coalition of U.S. companies is preparing to appeal to President-elect Donald Trump’s business instincts and drop his vow to reverse one of President Obama’s signature achievements: renewed relations with Cuba.

Florida and Cuba

The list includes most major airlines, which have started regularly scheduled commercial flights to Cuba, and Miami based Carnival Corp., which is already running a regular Cuba cruise. It will include Starwood Hotels and Resorts, which is operating three Cuban hotels, and Airbnb, which is being used by more than 8,000 Cubans to rent their rooms to travelers

For the moment Canadians are the largest group of foreigners visiting Cuba, Americans are now in third position, after Cuban living overseas. This is a significant change from previous years when Germans, Britons, Italians and the French were placed higher than visitors from the U.S.

There are tech giants like Google and Cisco, trying to develop Cuba’s bare-bones telecommunications infrastructure, cellphone giants offering roaming services and banks starting to offer U.S.-issued credit and debit card services.

President-elect Donald Trump, is a businessman and the chances of jobs that can be developed through travel, construction and agriculture. All of the aforementioned three have supported the actions taken by President Barack Obama in 2014, to begin to explore normal relations with Cuba. 

The process working with has begun and travel to Cuba has been a big hit since August when the commercial first flight since 1960 left Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. It is beginning to be a boom for Florida.

According to Jet Blue they will continue to offer nonstop routes from New York, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando to Cuban destinations. Until told otherwise they will continue to offer flights between the United States to Cuba fort their customers.

Meanwhile, on October 13th, Southwest Airlines, begin selling $59 one-way tickets for daily flights from Tampa International Airport to Havana’s José Martí International Airport.

The first flight is sold out and it remains on schedule to take off Monday, Dec. 12. It will be the first commercial flight in more than five decades between the two cities.

“It is exciting to connect people to the things in their lives that are important to them, and this is important to Tampa,” said Adam Decaire, managing director of network planning for Southwest Airlines.

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Under current U.S. law, American citizens are banned from visiting Cuba for tourism. The trip must fall under one of 12 categories, including educational, professional or family visits.

This month more flights between the U.S. and Cuba, will expand offering to 36 routes covering 11 U.S. cities and 10 Cuban destinations. By adding over 280 weekly flights on scheduled carriers between the U.S. and Cuba, which were recently approved by the Department of Transportation, according to the online flight booking service CheapAir.com

CheapAir.com customers can now book flights between the U.S. and Cuba on eight major airlines: JetBlue, American Airlines, United, Delta, Alaska, Spirit, Frontier, and Silver Airways. CheapAir.com is also now selling a Miami-Havana flight on Public Charters, operated by Havana Air.

CheapAir.com visitors can book direct or connecting flights to Cuba from virtually any U.S. city. Direct flights leave Tampa, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami airports in Florida.

Other cities where flights to Cuba originate are Charlotte, Newark, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and Minneapolis will also offer direct flights soon.

But given that Tampa’s Cuban American population is the third largest in the United States, Southwest executives do not feel the restrictions will limit the market.

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Next week sees a ramping up of flights between the US and Cuba. Until now, American-owned airlines have focused on cities outside Havana.

This morning President-elect Donald Trump has been clear that he will not roll back the entire package of things was put together by President Barack Obama.

Meanwhile, President-elect Trump’s Chief of Staff Reince Priebus was on Fox News Sunday. President-elect Trump, has not ruled out keeping the development of relationship going but on a new deal crafted by Trump.

Here is Priebus told Chris Wallace today about President-elect Trump and Cuba.

I think President-elect Trump has been pretty clear that, you know, there is nothing wrong with talking to people.  He’s been willing to talk to anybody, but we’ve got to have a better deal.  We’re not going to have a unilateral deal coming from Cuba back to the United States without some changes in their government.  Repression, open markets, freedom of religion, political prisoners — these things need to change in order to have open and free relationships, and that’s what President-elect Trump believes, and that’s where he’s going to head.  Talking is fine, but action is something that will be required under President Trump.

WALLACE:  So, let me make sure I have this clear, because he’s calling basically for a revolution in Cuba, full political freedom, full religious freedom, releasing all the political prisoners.  If he doesn’t get that, he is going to reverse President Obama’s executive orders?

PRIEBUS:  No, I didn’t say that, Chris.  I said that those were — that’s the suffering that’s happening now in Cuba.

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But I do believe that in order for any sort of deal to take place, President-elect Trump is going to be looking for some movement in the right direction in order to have any sort of deal with Cuba.  I mean, it can’t just be nothing and then you get total and complete cooperation from the United States.  There has to be something, and what that something is, Chris, is yet to be determined.  But I can assure you that he’s going to require some movement or some schedule of movement in order to then schedule some kind of relationship with Cuba.

But without knowing what those things are, there’s nothing really more to talk about other than there isn’t going to be a one-way relationship from the United States to Cuba without some action from the Castro administration.

WALLACE:  But just to pin this down, if he doesn’t get whatever it is that he wants, would he reverse President Obama’s opening to Cuba?

PRIEBUS:  Absolutely.  I mean, he’s already said that that would be the case.  I mean — and what that deal is, is yet to be determined, but there is going to have to be some movement from Cuba in order to have a relationship with the United States.  And I think the president-elect has been very clear about that and I’m just restating that position.

Some quotes used in this story came from the ASSOCIATED PRESS and FOX NEWS. 

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Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.