Bush talks tourism with Cuba

| 13/03/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman headline news, Cayman tourism(CNS): The Cayman Islands Government has begun discussions with Cuba regarding partnership possibilities for twin destination tourism. According to a statement released by the premier’s office, McKeeva Bush led a delegation last week to the neighbouring island to engage in exploratory talks with the Cuban government and the Spanish hotel chain Sol Melia. Bush stated that he had begun pursuing the idea of multi-destination packages with Cuba when he last served as Leader of Government Business but he said “nothing was done after 2005” and the opportunity was lost.

Bush, in his role as Minister of Tourism, and the CIG delegation met with the Cuban minister of tourism, Manuel Marrero Cruz, and executives of Sol Melia. The talks are, according to officials, the first step in attracting more European and Canadian visitors to Cayman and a new hotel brand for the Islands – in particular Cayman Brac. The talks also included potential cruise tourism originating from Cuba.  

The aim of the partnership is to promote a two-destination travel package whereby tourists can visit Cuba and the Cayman Islands. The Bahamas, Costa Rica, Mexicoand Jamaica are among those countries that already have a multi-destination partnership with Cuba, allowing them to tap into the two million tourists arriving in Cuba annually.  

Bush said that he had made previous efforts to establish a tourism partnership with Cuba between 2001 and 2005 when he says he met with Cuban officials to try and get an agreement. “After May 2005, nothing was done and these Islands lost a tremendous opportunity to partner with Cuba for multi-destination tourism. I am praying that this attempt at an agreement, even at this late stage, will be successful,” the premier stated.

Given Cayman’s proximity to Cuba, Bush added, it provided an excellent opportunity to diversify the tourism market and lessen the islands’ dependence on the current market.

"A tourism partnership with Cuba gives us the ability to significantly increase our share of the European market which might otherwise be difficult for Cayman to achieve,” he said. 

Of the 2.5 million tourists that arrived in Cuba during 2009, 60 percent originated from Europe and 30 percent from Canada.  European tourists are known for taking longer vacations than American tourists, making them ideal multi-destination prospects.  

Sol Melia operates 313 hotels in 27 countries on four continents. Its hotels are rated 3, 4 and 5 stars. It is the largest resort hotel chain in the world, a leading brand in the region and well established in Cuba. The delegation met with Francisco Camps, president of Sol Melia Cuba Operation, Gabriel Garcia, director commercial Sol Melia Cuba and Martin Aragones, Sol Melia Cuba and Canada. The executives expressed an interest in pursuing development opportunities in the Cayman Islands with an eye on Cayman Brac, according to the release.

The statement reported that Cayman Airways will be the carrier which currently serves the Grand Cayman-Havana route three days per week. Government said that a multi-destination partnership would offer increased traffic for Cayman Airways and a way for European tourists to arrive in Cayman in greater numbers without extending the runway at Owen Roberts International Airport.  Cuba has reportedly asked Cayman to evaluate the possibility of expanding Cayman Airways services to other Cuban destinations, in particular Santiago de Cuba.  

The islands is also in negotiations with European cruise operators to position vessels in Havana with plans to place Grand Cayman on cruise itineraries out of Havana. The premier discussed the opportunities for Cayman’s cruise businesses should cruise ships from Cuba call at George Town.

According to the statement, a joint Cayman Airways – Department of Tourism office will be opened in Havana to serve air and cruise visitors which would enhance the Cayman Islands’ brand recognition amongst the Canadian and European markets that it aims to develop for multi-destination and cruise tourism.  

Chief Officer Carson Ebanks, Deputy Chief Officer Dalton Watler, Cayman Airways airports manager Ivan Forbes, Manny Gonzales of the Department of Tourism, businessman and CITA representative Harry Lalli and Pirates Week deputy director Bernie Bush all took part in the trip. Officials have also stated that a second meeting is planned for the near future.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Is good that you mentionen the Coco taxis in Cuba and all the problems that you think that Cuba has,but with all their problems and hunger and all that you mentioned they have,they have an excuse to ride a bike all over town to try and earn a few dollars,but what kind of ugly excuse does Cayman have to allow that kind of bici taxi ride all over town ,like we are some kind of third world country;It’s confusing you think for a moment of the cuban transport and then more confusing ,the drivers are from honk kong,it makes any one wonder where they really are.Send the drivers and the bicitaxis them to Cuba and make bussiness with them over there,maybe they would guarantie you a ride when you go to Cuba next time to see how they live and what they ride.

    In another important note,nothing more far from the truth that all spanish speaking are as you describe SO Bad.The Cubans in Miami helped build a place and called it home and spoke Spanish to survive;Thanks to them,spanish is still alive and recogniced as one of the most important languages in the world,if not all NON SPEAKING ENGLISH peoples every where in earth would notstand a change;They gave English speaking peoples a chance to work with them and for them when they started their bussiness in Miami after leaving Cuba leaving every thing behind,they created their own jobs and bussines and like other many they protected their peoples and made sure every one would unterstand spanish for them to get a job,even the non speaking spanish bussiness man, made sure he spoke spanish too,it is Miami and that is the second house of the spanish speaking peoples,built and populated by most Cubans mostly good and like else where many bad,that is WHY IS called LITLE HAVANA.

    About all that you say about the bad ones here,Inmigration has made their choises,giving priority to the bad the ugly and the uglies over the good ones to stay ot to visit Cayman.Example:1994 two boaths full of refugies reached owr Coast,One full of mayority of non educated,not very likelly to find them in Cuba,but most never worked and where mostly the kind of peoples that you describe,but only the minority,Cubans are very good at heart and hard working man and woman,still this boat where full of the minority,the bad;Guess what???The bast mayority of them got to stay,for what???maybe they still doing the same thing they just to do back in Cuba,only diference they do it now in Cayman, only a few good ones from that boat where good worth keeping,they are really good people that have proved what the really cubans are about.Now what about the peoples in the other boat,that boat was full of DOCTORS,INGENIERS,YOU NAME IT,all profesionals,guess what they where all sent back.Why not keep them,they where the representation of the real Cuban population.

    Bussiness with Cuba can not hurt any more than what the crime hurts,maybe Caymanians would get to see more of the reality in CUba and their peoples and in times when the police needs to get some trainning maybe take them to Cuba to see how the delincuents are treated and how the police is respected;Not every thing that they do or say is good and yes you may find some cheating ,you find it every where,but the guns are in the rigth hands and EDUCATION ,HEALTH .CULTURE AND SPORTS COMES FIRTS,priority giving to their peoples.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think there are more important issues here to deal with at this time.  Why are we dealing with a communist Island anyway? Boy…I can see the USA taking a second look at us now and to think we had such a good relationship with them. Why not continue to invest with Panama, start up the Nicaragua connections and the Eastern Caribbean,  Why Cuba?  Remember Jamaica’s connection with Cuba and their rejection by others.  Is this what you want for us here? MacKeeva we need to concentrate on Cayman products first and I mean ‘Caymanian’ products and we need to Market it.  We need to sell Boatswaine, as it serves no purpose and we need to create a Heritage Market and combine it with a local fruit market somewhere in George Town.  This will however mean we have to fund the farmers and the local arts.  Build our products first before we start marketing us with others. We need to be able to say this is unique Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      What’s wrong with us dealing with communist Cuba? Don’t the great America deal with communist China? you think Obama is goin to drop a bomb on us for dealing with Cuba?wake up and get with it,the world is more connected now than before(one world),great job mr premier,the Cubans are our brothers no less than the Jamaicans,Americans or Kenyans……

  3. Anonymous says:

    You know what I am a young Caymanian with two kids and I wake up each and every morning and as I take my kids to School the first thing I do is turn my radio on in the car to Rooster 101.9FM and I also come on CNS just to keep up with what is going on in our Community. But I must be honest here I am so sick and tired actually disgusted with the amount of negativity coming from our people and expats alike. I don’t believe in the party system and I sat for many years without voting and then last year the UDP campaign was about bringing on "CHANGE" now we have gotten change, it may not be for the better, but change came about, now all you can hear is UDP this and PPM that……….it’s just disgusting and our kids listen to this and then we wonder how they can grow up to be bitter and angry citizens of our beautiful Islands. You know what it’s not the crime or the economy that is tearing this these Isanlds apart it’s YOU the people with your negativity, bitterness and hatrated towards each other……..you ALL have forgotten the ways to live " Love one another as God has loved and is still loving US ALL….. why is that so hard to do. Our families are being slit up by this whole party system and yet we continue to set bad examples for our young ones the future leaders of our Islands. Do you all honestly think that our kids are not sponging all this up in their heads, then you think again. How are we to have our future leaders to be any different from the ones we have today when all we are breathing and polluting the air with is pure bad examples of the blame game, oh I did not do it, he did….comemy Caymanian people, wake up and stop being so narrow minded. I voted this year and yes for change (UDP) and I don’t have a solution for them, and I refuse to bash them. But I gave them 4 years tohelp make a difference with my vote. Rome was not built in a day, so why are we expecting so much of the UDP members to make such a difference in 10 months of taking office. Come on people be fare, be reasonable and be realistic with this, it will take time for us to come clear of this whole economic crisis we are ALL in this together not just the ones who voted for UDP, but this also applies to the PPM voters, can’t you all see we are all in this together and together we should come together and think of a positive solution. It is time for UNITY and not segregation, lets all put our heads together and give POSITIVE feed back and input to help resolve this economic situation, not make matters worse by blaming our Government.

    I don’t agree on everything that is being done, but since I personally don’t have the answers, I will not judge those in power for trying. I am sure and I also have confidence in Mr. Bush to make the best and right decission for our Country, I do beleive that he has our Islands at heart and will not do anything to make things worse, but rather is trying to find ways to help our economy and our people survive this ride of rough times….please just give the UDP their earned 4 years and see what they do unless you have a better solution then STOP with the bashing we are all Caymanians in this and we are all hurting…….

    I will continue to pray for our people and our beautiful Islands that we may come out of this crisis soon and please remember that God answers prayers, so take it all to him in prayer……We claim to be an Islands of Christian beliefs and upbringings, but one would never know when they read many of the post on CNS that this is the case.

    May the love of God be with you ALL……




    • Anonymous says:

      That was possibly the worst post that I have ever read.

      You say one thing, and then you contradict yourself with the next thing.


  4. Uncivil Servant says:

    Anyone who was unfortunate enough to still be at the CISCA meeting last week when the Deputy Chief Officer mentioned in this article began his incoherent rambling might deduce that it may not be the best idea for him to be included in Official Delegations for any level of negotiations. Then again, we do consistently send Mac and Ellio so I suppose those oversaes must already have a good idea of the levels of intellect coming their way.

  5. Priorities? says:

    Perhaps our glorious leader should focus on more important pressing issues. As important as tourism is – no one is going to come here if there’s a real fear of being Shot, Mugged, raped etc etc.

    I think right now there are only two things Mr Bush needs to concern himself with – the dire economic situation this country is in and the epic levels of crime!

    and please please stop saying you are going to do something and then less than a week later retract the statement.

    you may not win votes, you may piss some people off – but honestly, do whats right for this country and stop worrying about how you and the party look. you have had some great ideas and now are backing down!!!!!

    Action Please not flimsy statements



  6. Anonymous says:

    When Cuban boats arrived, desperate, hungry, seasick and frightened for their very lives… they were turned away without food and water. I wonder how secure the Cubanpublic will feel about this new proposal…… Ah but wait! The "Cuban Tourist" is a totally different market of human beings………

    • Twyla Vargas says:

      Frightened or their lives!!!   You would not want to know the background of who are those tired hungry seasick boat people.    Everything good fe eat naw good fe talk..

  7. Anonymous says:

    Cuba puts Grand Cayman to shame in the tourism stakes! they have decent public transport, culture, beautiful scenery and beautiful people! You can have so much fun in Cuba and things are reasonably priced.

    Why would someone then want to comehere to be ripped off by rude taxi drivers charged extortianate prices for food and drinks and see dead green iguanas, roosters and chickens all over the highways ?




    • Twyla Vargas says:

      08:02  I can agee with most of what you said, except your final paragraph.

      Taxi drivers and CoCo Taxi prices  are high, and when we compare quality of food, and sanatitaion, and ivironmental surroundings of food service;  Caymn is of a much higher standard.   If you have visited or lived there you can honestly agree with what I am saying; If you can afford it to pay 200 dollars a day for  hotel room  and visit expensive nght clubs, you will think wow!! this is life.   That is only a fraction of a fraction what is Cuba.  What you pay for is what you get.   However different strokes for different folkes.  

      You will get ripped off in Cuba if you dont stand your ground.   If you are a visitor, which they know, and you ae not familiar with the runnings of Cuba, they will double their price on you, after looking you over ad making an assesment.

      Why you do not see dead green iguanas, roosters and chickens all over the highways is because they need them for food.   In four years I have not seen a chicken or an iguana anywhere in Cuba, except in the supermarket.    A live chicken would be running for his life on the streets of Cuba.

  8. Choo Choo says:

    Next stop Venezuela to talk oil refineries with Chavez, then off to Korea to chat about uranium enrichment with Kim Jong. Quick stop in Tehran on the way back to discuss world relations with Mahmoud.

  9. Play Fish Tea For Me says:

    Their time would be better spent making up a list of the 25% of civil servants who should be sacked.  But Mac is does not have the guts (pardon the pun) to make that type of unnecessary decision.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The story of the drowning man grabbing at the straw is so apparent here.

    Do our Premier really believe that Cuba will be interested in forwarding their Tourist to us?

    Wake up man and stop the nit picking. Their are so many urgent problems that need attention like our crime rate etc.

    Spend ten percent of the time being wasted chasing the wild goose on some of our problems and then I could appreciate you more.

    Stop wasting money we dont have on the wild goose chasing spree.

    If you want to sip Havana Club, just buy a bottle locally, or do it taste different when the Cuban Bartender mixes it?

  11. Anonymous says:

    A word of Caution, tourism talks with Cuba, nice try but be careful very careful these people are not fools, they are trained in the art of diplomacy and have an excellent knowledge of history.  I just hope our leaders do not go into this with great expectations before they do I would suggest that they read the "Cuban American War" and reflect upon what happend with the the Mariel Boat Lift.  Cubans will use any opportunity to their greatest advantage.

    Our government should engage in talks with Cuba about education and medical services those two areas might be more beneficial to us than tourism talks.  Who will share the goose that lays the golden eggs? 

    To keep it a little light hearted "A know na Cuba". There was a  little saying in Cuba a while back "Cuba Solamente Cubano" I wonder what this means?


    • Anonymous says:

      Even though American go to Cuba through Cayman and Canada, technically Americans aren’t suppose to travel to Cuba.  I am sure the US would love to hear this one!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Well since we are on the topic of trade with Cuba… How is this idea and please I would appreciate feedback.

    Well since Northward Prison is a laugh and probably the #1 Incarceration resort in the world.  Lets try this out…..

    1.  People convicted of crimes which receives sentences of 2+ years should be sent to serve their sentence in a Cuban prison.  I am sure Cuba would love the income and I am sure as hell positive it would cost less than the $50,000+ we spend PER INMATE PER YEAR.  You have good citizens who do not even make that in 2 years worth of hard work.  I am guessing it would cost under $18K. 

    2. Inmates and remand prisoners would be freed up for roomat Northward and put proper programs in place to assist in rehabilitating them.


    3. Give special travel rates with Cayman Airways for Cuban Flights. This would stimulate income for the airline.  And trust me you are not going to get cell phones in those jails and sneaking drugs and weapons on Cayman Airways definately aint gonna happen.

    What you all think?

  13. Anonymous says:

    It seem that our Leader will speak to anyone but the elected members of the opposition.

    • Good idea says:

      When the elected leaders of the opposition include Kurt "spend spend spend" Tibbetts and Moses "but the Brac’s economy depends upon unnecessary civil service jobs" Kirkconnell then not talking to them seems a great idea.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree, talking just for show means absolutely nothing and wastes time. I have not heard one good solution out of the PPM since they have been elected other than not joining th e "rabble rousers" with Chuckie.

        Tehy didn’t have any solutions while they were in power and now they are asking the new government to sit down with them becasue they know the way forward. Totally amazing!!

        I say what the PPM needs to do other than having a bunch of political meetings and inciting people to march is to sit down collectively and try to come up with some good solutions (I’m not alking about  borrowing and spreading our debt out for our children and grandchildren to pay) and offer these on the floor of the house. to simply run around bashing the government when you yourself have no clue what do do is in my mind, wrong.


        PPM get some balls! I am so sick of of what they have done to CNS. At one time I used to enjoy reading the articles but it seems that it doesn’t matter what happens good or bad in this country, the first twist straight out of the "sore loser" party’s mouth is to blame McKeeva and the government. Give them some credit at least they are turning over every stone unlike Kurt and Alden and the rest of those  "rabble rousers" (perfect name for them by the way who sat flat on their ass and did nothing even when they had to have known that the country was sliding into recession. Oh sure they are those who will jump up now and point out the roads, the schools, the admin building..To those I say, you have to walk before you leap. they spent all of our hard earned money and know we have sit here to languish and suffer for their inaptitude and complete arrogonce, many of us without jobs or money to properly feed our children and the only thing the PPM can say is don’t blame it on us, it is a worldwide recession…Bull crap. you messed up and by doing so you ruined eveything good in life for us.

        I don’t agree with everything McKeeva does or say but at least I know he is trying..I challenge the PPM to earn their salaries and try to do the same thing.


        • Anonymous says:

          Talk about the kettle calling the pot black. It is disgraceful what the udp & it’s supporters have done on CNS & to Cayman in general. Why do udp feel they can criticize the PPM but the PPM cannot criticizethe udp? You udp wimps should be able to take what you dish out, but we know you are not capable! You had better stay off CNS because you got plenty more to take. With the way the udp & Mr. Bush is destroying this country there is going to be plenty more talk on CNS, so you udp wimps better stay away. Learn to take what you give, & do not act like cry babies. Grow up kids.

        • A Concerned Caymanian says:

          See this link below and it looks like the premier took their suggestion!



        • anony says:

          Now we see more clearly where we’re headed. I saw th is coming.

          Creating another Cuba in the West Indies

          Dictator Big Mac

          The controll-minded Cubans that will get status from Big Mac will feel obligated to keep him in power because they are afraid of dictators like Castro.

          Does that mean that at a certain time of the day, everything stops to hear Big Mac give his speech? That’s what Castro demands of the people of Cuba..

          This reminds me too much of Dictatorship and socialism.

          This may look like a move for tourism in our eyes. What if it is a real subtle, crafty and cunning  move for Big Mac to get acquainted with Castro in Training to maintain his power in office ? We’ll never get him out of there.

          Be Careful I smell a rat! Castro will teach Big Mac any  dictatorship tricks he does not already know to stay in power. We object to his proposal.

          Or we’ll live to regret it.  Chuickie its time to march. This is good reason and don’t be so weak as to let any PPm member talk you out of it this time around.

      • Anonymous says:

        And why do you think it is right for Mckeeva "travel travel travel spend spend spend" Bush to not talk with Kurt "spend spend spend" Tibbetts? Don’t you think that is very childish & harmful to our country? But I do not expect any better from someone whom I believe cares more about himself & well being that the Cayman Islands & the Cayman people.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Damn there musta been some backsliding over there on that trip……dem girls really pretty !!!!

    So when is the next trip Mac ?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Some of these PPM people posting here make me sick.  All they do is complain about everything the government does.  As long as it is Mac doing it, they will complain.  Why don’t they complain to the PPM leaders about how they left the country in shambles?  If you don’t have a solution, then shut up for goodness sake!  Do you think business is just going to come here because we have the best scenery, no crime, plenty of jobs and job security, etc?  I think not as we don’t have any of that anymore.  If you don’t go and get the business it will surely not come to you.  It’s just these closed minded people that always get in the way of everything.  They don’t help but always try to hinder.  Geez!

    • Anonymous says:

      Peoples Propaganda Machine – No they never traveled. Never wasted any money.  The never pushed for the new constitution that provided SUVs, drivers and cooks for the position of Premier. Always produced accounts. Increased revenue. Reduced costs. Put more money in the pockets of people. Provided low income housing. Raised the education standards.I tell you, if they ran the country the way they ran people out of the country, I would have been impressed.  I still think they are some good men in that party, but their followers are so dedicated those good men have no reason to perform to any standards and /or have any accountability. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Give me a break. The the PPM is made up of nothing but hard working, honest, and true Caymanians.They would never stoop to political voting on this website.



        • Anonymous says:

          might i remind unna that you are not only arguing with a supporter of this group or a supporter of that group but with caymanians….funny how if i see you in a club or restaurant or roadside we all caymanians but once the party idea pops up we enemies? 

          party system is simply inefficient and only service to divide…waht’s the famous saying divide and conquer? stop being political sheep and be caymanians.

          ps. notice how many time caymanian was used and neither party name was used….lets start a trend and hold caymanians up who can think for themselves and then we’ll get somewhere…

          cayman is not jus for udp supporters we all up in ye together so get over it….u kno u really don’t care at the end of the day so why on blogs…if you don’t like somethign present a viable solution otherwise…

        • Anon says:

          definitely no such thing as a honest politician…just throwing that out their

        • Anonymous says:

          Hardworking? Yea, I guess that is why Kurt spends his time fishing and at the North Side watering holes while earning a six figure salary when he should be working to fix the mess he and his bozos created.  They should march to apologize everyday through the middle of town, especially that Chuckie and Alden.

    • BORN FREE says:

      Why are some people so hypocritical? Have the UDP forgotten how often they complained during the PPM adminstration? The UDP complained about everything the PPM government did, so for Anon 19:00 to make a comment that the "PPM people posting here make me sick. All they do is complain about everything the government does" is beyond belief!! WHAT??? Excuse me Anon 19:00, is your memory that short? There has NEVER been an opposition so disgusting as the UDP were when they were the opposition. McKeeva Bush & the UDP complained about everything & criticized everything the PPM government did. So do not get on here talking about the "PPM complaing"! Do not do it. If you & the UDP cannot handle the heat in the kitchen then get out. I do not have to log on to CNS to hear complaints because the whole of Cayman is complaining & the vast majority (90%) is upset with the UDP!

  16. Anonymous says:

    this just strikes me as more hot air and waffle…. when are the real issues going to tackled by this gov?

    what is happening with the port, the medical facility, the dump, public finances, crime fighting, immigration, foreign investment…….etc

    we had had 4 years of ppm who sleepwalked us into bankruptcy and now we have udp who spend more time flip-flopping on issues rather taking decisive action

  17. Anonymous says:

    Well he’s been on his fact finding missions and hopefully we can get some more tourist. Getting crime under control as we’re starting to develop a bad rep.Let’s give Mac a chance to enjoy his 9 month honeymoon before Chuckster starts shouting for a march against him and PPM. Mac, I trust that this Cuba propasal does result in something positive as the Heart Centre seems to have lost a beat.

    We do need to try to tap in to European tourist yet I believe redeveloping the airport is badly needed and get HSBC to fund it as they do for Miami and London. We can offer direct non stop flights from various European destinations such as Manchester, Glasgow, Rome, Paris and Berlin to name a few. Also look at Canada and the US West Coast as new routes, Vancouver, Dallas and LA could be great options oh and don’t forget Mac and his crew and lots of Cayman residents like Denver for skiing and Vegas for some good ol fun. Diversify our brand and try to attract South American tourist as Barbados has started to do with Gol Airline with routes to Sao Paolo and Buenos Aires.

    Start putting tourism studies in school and get a hotel school here to service the Caribbean ensure that Caymanians can get good paying jobs and want to work in the hospitality sector. Also lets have an Interantional Cultural Festival and try to get Caymanians and expats to appreciate each other cultures this will attract tourist. With love, peace and blessings.

    • Anonymous says:


      Isn’t Cuba a communist country? Isn’t Cuba ruled by a dictator?


      Isn’t Cuba now one of our biggest tourism rivals in this area? How can Cuba help us? They want what we want! They are fighting to get what we are struggling to keep! How is Cuba gonna help us?


      • Anonymous says:

        My goodness, so any individual that has any dealings with Cuba is actually a communist dictator in the making? Well that’s an interesting thought. Nice to know McCarthyism is alive and well in the Cayman Islands! A post-communist Cuba will without doubt present tremendous opportunities for Cayman in terms of tourism, and it is entirely proper that we plan for a means of benefiting from this reality. This will involve actually visiting the place, yes. Let’s think beyond personalities. Leave the birds to Hitchcock, move on to "If you can’t beat them ….."

    • Anonymous says:

      It is good to see Bernie Bush finally coming out of the udp closet & publicly showing where his loyalty lies. It is a coward who does not acknowledge where his/her loyalty is, & finally it looks like he is stepping up to replace the captain. TRUE COLORS!

      • Anonymous says:

        yes, too true. That is why Bernie will never be elected down here (West Bay) because we just do not know where he stands! 3 strikes & your’e out! But who knows, maybe he’ll do a "Ms. Mary" & get in thru the back door after decades of failure! 

    • Cayman Rose says:

      It is said "birds of a feather, flock together", well this is a good case in point!

    • The Travelling Wilburys says:

      Manchester, Rome, Paris, Berlin, Dallas, Denver, Barbados, Sao Paolo, Buenos Aires??  For crying out loud don’t give them any more ideas!!!  Or we’ll never see them again.


      No, I think what happened here is they wanted to reward themselves after all that hard work campaigning telling us how desperate tings were and it was someone else’s fault.   And it didn’t matter if there was any money to do it!   Because it isn’t their money.  And it had to take place in a hurry.  Before the UK stepped in and put a halt to it.  Make hay while the sun sets.

      But we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.  Where are the results of the European, Arabian, and Far East junkets?  That should be apparent. Soon?  Hopefully before the bills come in.  I forgot…..there is no accounting.  And we won’t find out until the next campaign or not at all.

      It’s their fault!!! The PPM/UDP!!!

      We pay them to do this you know.  We just have to stop being selfish and contribute more and don’t ask questions.

      Because with accounts not being made public for years we pay them to trade places.

      It’s their fault!!!  Not us!!!….the other ones!!!

      Do we get this yet??


  18. au revoir says:

    Big Mac yet again pissing into the wind hoping something will come of it.  Leadership you can trust!  Not that the PPM is any better; don’t kid yourself.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I do believe that before Mr. Bush can push tourism here, he first needs to get rid of the crime!!!!!  Only then we will be able to attract tourists to the islands.  As it is,  who will want to come here now.  He needs to put the horse before the cart!!!  

  20. Anonymous says:

    Of course he picks Cuba, him and Castro have so much in common.

    Don’t forget the trip to Jamaica.  forgot what that was for.Some concert he went to.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I actually like Mac. Well mostly. But I wonder how many days he has been on island, as opposed to off since the elections? Anyone know? I think its important because Cayman is at the point where we must first need meet the needs of our existing customers (which we are losing) prior to seeking new ones. Happy customers are the best advertising one can have. Moreover, one should always try to "touch up" one’s house prior to putting it on the market. This is especially true when Immigration doesn’t see eye to eye with Mac’s policies.

    On the flip side. It was an absolute pleasure to listen to Mr. Rolston Angling on the radio yesterday. Cayman may have a statesman yet.

    CNS: We have made an FOI request as to the number of days McKeeva Bush has spent on island since the elections are we are awaiting a response.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree.  Mr. Anglin is already a statesman.  He should, at least have been the Deputy Premier.  The one we have, apparently travels to the Sister Islands, where she has a home, but stays in a hotel along with her security officer.  All these personal security officers either present the appearance that our Government Officials are afraid for their lives.  What happens to the rest of us, who cannot even have proper lighting in our neighbourhoods. I guess, as the voters in the Cayman Islands, we do not really count, do we?

  22. Anonymous says:

    "Bush stated that he had begun pursuing the idea of multi destination packages with Cuba when he last served as Leader of Government Business but he said “nothing was done after 2005”.."

    Well he’s not very creative in trying to quit blaming PPM for anythinggggg.

  23. Peter Schmid says:

    Today Cuba is indeed in a different position tourism wise when compared to 2005, back then they might have needed us, while now the shoe is on the other foot.

    That is not to say that mutually beneficial business arrangements cannot still be found, multi-destination tourism is only one of them. I believe that there are opportunities that have arisen as a result of the relaxation of tensions between Cuba and the US, it is not necessarily a given that any commerce with Cuba would immediately raise the ire of the US administration.

    Clearly Cuba will be most interested in arrangements that have tangible benefits for them, in that regard I do believe that certain Cayman business entities, in particular Cayman Airways, would have something to offer. In my assessment  what makes an arrangement with Cayman Airways attractive to Cuba, is that we are small and could never dominate a Cuban partner, but we do have expertise that could bring value to them.

    Further and on a related tangent, it is my opinion that with the decline of Air Jamaica, the northwest Caribbean (including Cuba) is now suffering a degree of a vacuum of regionally controlled and operated air transport. If we look at the Geography of what is about to become reality, it is as follows: There are basically just 2 passenger-Jet transport operations left in the Caribbean, (not including Bahamasair and Cubana) Caribbean airlines (successor to BWIA) operated from Port of Spain Trinidad, the most south-eastern Island of the Caribbean and Cayman Airways at the northwestern end of the chain.

    For the past 30 years it has been recognized that in the absence of regionally controlled operations being able to work together to collectively plan and implement comprehensive and seemless air transport for the entire region, foreign carriers would control the bulk of the market and thereby have a significant influence on the tourism product  of the region and the cost thereof. This has now happened; lean and mean from the battles for traffic in the North-american market, carriers like US Airways, Delta, Continental, American, Jet Blue, Spirit, Air Canada, West Jet and others have invaded the region in force and now control the majority of traffic. Cayman Airways, Caribbean Airlines and Liat are now serving as backstop against exorbitant pricing, in particular for residents of the region.

    Having said all the above, it is my contention that one of the few opportunities that Cayman Airways has available to increase revenue, is to provide transport were the US carriers can’t go, which, for now, is Cuba! Opportunities such as Providenciales and Roatan have already been missed, will we dither until the remaining regional opportunities have also expired?


    • peter milburn says:

      I agree totally with Peter Schmid on this and would hope that something will come out of these talks.I just wish that our Premier would stop the blame game and simply get on with it.This is our big stumbling block with getting anything done.I blame both parties in this so gentlemen GET ON WITH THE JOB AT HAND!!!!!!!!!

      • Lachlan MacTavish says:

         Not much focus and the shot gun approach to problems. Concentrate on Cayman stay over tourism. Get it back on the map and provide CAL flights to Cuba. Multiple destination tourism …maybe well after business at home is addressed.

    • Dennis Smith says:

      Thanks Peter, well done, we need more posts like this.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Olympics were held in Canada. They forgot Miss Universe in the Bahamas.

  25. Common Sense 101 says:

    As competitors, why would Cuba be interested in encouraging or facilitating their tourists to also visit Cayman as part of their vacation to Cuba? This business theory assumes that:

    1. Tourists to Cuba will be willing to increase their vacation expense to hop over to the Cayman Islands for a few days.

    2. This arrangement will be mutually beneficial to Cuba i.e. somehow tourists withholding spending all of their vacation money while in Cuba so that they can also visit Grand Cayman or Cayman Brac will be good for Cuba.

    I appreciate the fact that the government is trying to find ways to help our economy.  However,  I have my doubts that this arrangement can be achieved unless it is heavily in favor of Cuba and an absolute drain on Cayman Airways and by default our govt coffers.

    Finally, I fear that this is going to be yet another example of government funds squandered, hauling this delegation back and forth for these meetings which will amount to nothing beneficial for our islands.


    • Anonymous says:

      While I do think your comment has some valid points, I’m not so sure your conclusion is entirely accurate. European tourists do vacation longer than North American tourists and prefer to visit more countries on their trips.  Longer Caribbean cruises and multi-destination stayover vacations are therefore quite popular and packages that make this easy could increase tourism to all countries involved, i.e. they would attract visitors who would not otherwise travel to that country, not just increase the time and money spent by those who would travel anyway.

      So why do Europeans vacation differently than Americans over here in the Western Hemisphere? This is mostly my opinion, but if Europeans are crossing the ocean it makes sense to see multiple countries and stay a while longer. The same goes for North/Central/South Americans and Caribbean residents going East. Plus, they’re probably used to being able to visit multiple culturally/geographically/linguistically/ethnically distinct countries quite easily from within continental Europe. Americans have shorter flights and cheaper tickets to Cayman and less vacation time on average (vacation benefits and working hours in Europe tend to be better than in the US) so this type of tourism doesn’t suit them as well.

      In sum, I think there is a definite market for multi-destination European stayover tourism in the Caribbean. However, I have no idea what the demand would be for a Cuba/Cayman package and you raise somevalid points of why Cuba would willingly give up part of a market that they have dominated and which Cayman has been attempting to break into for years. Any agreements should be properly scrutinised to ensure that the benefits outweigh the costs for Cayman, but I don’t think this is impossible to do.

  26. Anonymous says:

    If you can’t be em’ join em!

  27. The emergency exits are located says:

    Premier and entourage visit Europe.

    Premier and entourage visit the Far East.

    Premier and entourage visit the Olympics.

    Premier and entourage visit London.

    Premier and entourage visit Cuba.


    I know it must be fun.  But we aren’t going to balance the budget with frequent flyer points.

    • Anonymous says:

      True! You forgot Canada.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well I guess he should just sit here on his butt and do nothing like the PPM did..

      You have got to spend money to make money and you can’t sit at home at hope that somebody is going to come knocking on your door with a bag of free money..Never happened for the PPM and it won’t happen for the UDP if they just sitt around waiting too.

      The government comes from a very weak place of where the PPM left the country. It is going to take a lot of rebuilding and yes trips elsewhere to market us and get us back on the right foot.

      PPM’s  are still suffering from there "sore loser" mentality. At least Mckeeva is try to stir the pot the PPM just stood there and watched it burn up and did nothing!

      McKeeva, no matter what you do you will be critized by the same people over and over again. Believe me if you were sitting here doing nothing they would be complaining about that too.


      • Anonymous says:

        The hole PPM left will be small when compared to the crater that Mac and the UDP will leave us in when his tour is over.  His galovanting with friends is costing quite a bit of money while the deficit grows bigger under his command each day.  It is clear he has no obvious logical strategy and any lame duck excuse he come up with to justify his travels is so pathetic it’s unbelievable.  When he has no excuse, he blames it on the PPM.  You seem to need glasses and a new memory.  Look at failed projects, like the Turtle Farm, that UDP gave us during their previous tour in office and the temporary classrooms when the second floor collapsed at one school and a tender pier that is unworkable more often than not instead of doing berthing facilities from then and some prefab homes that were like a night at a brothel – over and done before the occupants even realised it.At least the PPM built infrastructure that we so badly needed. When will UDP get it that it wasn’t the PPM, but the recession that caused the problem.  It’s the same recession that just embarrassed Ken Ken & UDP with their prediction of a $5 million surplus to a $72 million deficit.  And while everyone is cutting, Mac is galovanting on fly by night trips.  No pay back has resulted from them and the crater is getting bigger each day.  A badger would have problems digging as fast as the UDP.  If you ask what is their tourism strategy for this recession, they have no answer.  If you ask them what the market research on customer preferences is showing for vacations during the recession, they have no answer.  Mac, the tourists don’t come from Cuba; they go there.  They go there from Europe and Canada because it is cheaper.  Cusban labor is cheaper.  The vacation package is cheaper.  It’s a recession – don’t you get it? 

    • Anonymous says:

      very true, & in the "Far East" package came many stops in many countries, including Dubai where the entourage stayed in luxurious $4000 per night hotels. Do not forget India where he & his entourage & friends visited to check out a "personal business venture." Why should our government pay for the premier & entourage to visit India (FIRST CLASS) for a friend’s personal business venture (hospital)? Why should we pay for the government entourage to go to India to promote someones business? It is craziness! It is unfair on the Cayman people! And oh, by the way, Cayman is bankrupt (according to the premier). It sure looks like it! HaHa!

  28. Great idea says:

    I can imagine the advertising:

    "Come to Cuba to for culture, history, beautiful scenery and great beaches, then come to Cayman for, err, erm, well, just come to Cayman"

    • Twyla Vargas says:

      Cuba has culture, history, and scenery,  that will shock those who has not visited there as yet.   None like it n the world.

      They too have their share of crime.   It is just that you dont hear about it.   Even if you are visiting there you will not see it on their televisions, or hear it announced on he radio.   If you are living in the area where a crime takes place,  you will hear it by word of mouth, just like how Cayman was 50 years ago.   Not now, if you spit on the side walk, next day it is on the TV or RADIO.

      Cuba wants everybody,s money, dont be fooled, and they are smarter than me and you.   They treat tourist very good,better than their own people.   No hassle.  They are communist, and have their rules and regulations, but everyone wants a little regalo.

      Tourist Come to Cayman for peace and tranquility, although that is slowly slipping away.   What a shame.   Cuba is about 30 to 50 years behind us, but creeping slowly forward.    I doubt that Revolutionary government will give up what they have.    Because they can easily have their cake and eat it too.   The attraction in Cuba  for Canadians, Italians, other Europeans, is mostly the same.   They have money to pay for what they are looking for.   The Govenment does not allow the vsitor or Resident,  to invest,  You are not allowed to have an account,  buy a home,  bus,car, boat  or donkey.    So then you ask yourself, the question, what can I get from Cuba?.   You are no alowed to stay with friends without  having a special visa.   You must stay in an apartment or hotel.   Immigration will come to your rented apartment and check inside, whether you like it or not.  A half decent aparment is between 620 and 750 per month, that is CUC, which is equal to CI dollars.   The only way I see Cayman benefiting from Cuba is by sending sick people there for diagnostic clinic. Cheaper than USA..    Still there is no up to date facilities or medication, trust me.  Prison, yes,  Criminals would cry for Cayman.

       If you love art, culture, scenery and beatiful women, it is in Cuba.      Cubans know how to fishing very well,  They can take a fry and catch a kingfish. I do hope you are reading betwen the lines and understand what I am saying .   I cannot see them buying milk when they go the cow. 

      • Fact is . . . says:

        I have read the lines, read between the lines, read ever second line, tried everything.  And nothing you have written seems to make any sense.

  29. Joe Average says:

    I wanted to go to Cuba and explore tourism opportunities!!!  Why does it always have to be someone from Government?!  I am available immediately for any type of travel!! I’ve had all my shots!!  I’ve got luggage and a camera!!  I could check out the beaches, resorts, nightclubs, and girls and return and give an in depth report of my findings.  Well, almost all of my findings.  These guys don’t know what a tourist looks for.  It takes a keen eye to examine all of the attractions.  Then I want to go to Fatu Hiva.  We’re both islands.  And I’ll see what’s going on with there with the beaches and snorkelling and nightclubs.  etc.

    Then I want to go to…..


  30. Anonymous says:

    Way to go Big Mac. We are in a desperate financial bind and you are spending excessive amounts of money by  touring the world,near and far, with your entourage planting seeds that may or may not bear fruit.

    If you really want long-term benefits then pay attention to what is happening at home with the economy, crime, education etc.

  31. Twyla Vargas says:

    This is great, we have much to gain and much to offer by connecting our tourism with Cuba.   We can also loose our heads too if we get carried away.  We can learn alot by visiting, but dont fool ourselves, because these people are very intelligent,  and is very much informed as to what is going on in the outside world although they are not a part of it, they know…. and they have it.

    No one should let their guard down when visiting Cuba, Respect them for what they believe in.   Do not try to change them with gifts and money.  The 50 years old and under crave for things of the outside world, 50 years and above Love The Castros.  Dont let anyone fool you into thinking that you are going to a cheap destination, no.  The tourist dollar ………One CUC is equal to one CI.  Please dont take USD it aint worth anything there.   GBP or ECU yes.