¿Que bolá Cuba? Just touched down here, looking forward to meeting and hearing directly from the Cuban people.
This is a tweet by US President Obama when Air Force One touched down in Havana, Cuba, on a rainy day today. This is the final end of the Cold War and considered a historic day for Cuba and the United States of America.
It’s also a historic day of business opportunities on both sides and specifically for the travel and tourism industry. With president Obama on Air Force one are CEO’s of Marriott Hotels, that just received a green light to invest in Cuba. US airlines applied for hundreds of airline routes expecting for Cuba to become the top Caribbean vacation destinations for Americans. However competition is not sleeping. Two contracts to built hotels for US future visitors in Cuba was given to China already.
This visit is not only historic but it means big money – may be.
President Obamas executive orders to eliminate restrictions to do business in Cuba may be short term in case a Republican president will be elected. Big business hopes now may turn into a disaster with a Republican Government not ready for free enterprise with the Caribbean island nation.
Just hours earlier Cuban authorities arrested more than 50 dissidents who were marching to demand improved human rights.
Members of the group, known as the Ladies in White, are used to the routine. They march each Sunday after mass at a church in a suburb of Havana called Miramar and usually get arrested and detained for hours or days.
But some in the group thought that Cuban authorities would back off on this Sunday out of respect for Obama’s visit. Berta Soler, one of the founding members of the group who has been marching since 2003, said while walking to the church Sunday morning that maybe they would be allowed to protest without getting arrested.
The last visit of a US president was in 1928 Calvin Coolidge made in 1928. His visit to Cuba — the last one by an American president — was nonetheless a festival of drunken debauchery, inebriated idiocy, salacious smuggling and even unnatural acts with Key lime pies. The full story didn’t emerge for 30 years, when a reporter finally spilled the beans on a tale with “elements of pageantry, drama, comedy and farce; of ponderous dignity and unseemly revelry; of silk-hatted diplomacy with a dash of dipsomania.”
Joined by his family, Obama will stroll the streets of Old Havana and meet with Castro in his presidential offices — images unimaginable just a few years ago. He will sit in the stands with baseball-crazed Cubans for a historic game between their beloved national team and Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays.
Obama also will meet with political dissidents. Their experiences in the one-party state help explain why some Cuban-Americans see Obama’s outreach as a disgraceful embrace of a government whose practices and values betray much of what America stands for. Increasingly, though, that’s becoming a minority view among Cuban-Americans, as well as the broader US population.
White House officials are mindful that Obama cannot appear to gloss over deep and persistent differences. Even as the president works toward better ties, his statements alongside Castro and dissidents will be scrutinized for signs of how aggressively he is pushing the Havana government to fulfill promises of reform.