US to lift Cuba travel ban

| 01/04/2009

(AP):  It’s time for Congress to end restrictions that for more than half a century have prevented most Americans from visiting Cuba, a bipartisan group of senators said Tuesday. The lawmakers, at a news conference where they were joined by trade and human rights groups, also made clear that their proposal to allow travel should be a first step toward breaking down economic and trade barriers between the two countries. The travel embargo, said Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., is a "failed policy that has failed for 50 years."

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  1. Anonymous says:

    VIVA CUBA???? are you serious??? i’ve been to cuba (3) times and yes i loved it but it offers a different product, like every island in the caribbean!! i dislike when people say cayman is now doomed? why??? it’s just another destination. Panama is open and also costa rica and they both are beautiful countries, i dont see cayman being affected by them. also, yes people may flock there but after a while this dies down, as there is still injustice and restructuring issues in cuba and isn’t cuba the place where people risk having their luggages stolen??? this has happened on many occasions…

    "yes go to cuba, you get cigars, salsa, beaches, espresso, culture, architecture you’ll have so much fun that we’ll even take your bags at the airport for good for ya!!"


  2. Twyla M Vargas says:


    Whom ever you are, It is the most sensible comment I have read under this topic.   You know what disturbs me, is those person who butter their bread on our soil every day, yet they critize Cayman.  It is called UNGRATEFUL.  and SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMIES.  However, Cuba is not going to pay you in CUC Cuban dollars, and you will all run right back here looking a job.

  3. whodatis says:

    !! Viva Cuba !!

    Don’t you people get it?!

    The appeal of Cuba as a tourist destination is not primarily based upon its "value for money", or "attractions", or art, culture and architecture!!

    It is on the mere fact that Americans have been BANNED from going there for decades!

    Do you realize that the average 30-40 year old Americans were mere kids at best at the time of the actual rift of the 2 nations, furthermore, the vast majority of them have never agreed with the USA’s political stance against Cuba.

    Too many of you appeaar to be way over the hill or perhaps harbour a viewpoint that most definitely is.

    MANY Americans in the 40 and under age bracket adore and respect Cuba / Castro for standing up for what he believed in and for kicking the A** of the CIA as they attempted time and again to carry out the despicable acts as they did in other Latin American countries such as Nicaragua, Argentina, El Salvador etc.!!

    The world is awake folks, and the false front of morality that the imperial USA displays is crumbling or has altogether fallen to pieces.

    What happened in Venezuela with Chavez’s so called "resignation" – another USA supported attack on democracy in a foreign land – has struck into the hearts and minds of Americans and many other young people all over the world.

    Let me put it this way…over the years I’ve seen far more young people wearing a "Castro" or a "Che" t-shirt than I have seen wearing a "George Bush" or "Queen Elizabeth" t-shirt – this speaks volumes in my book!

    Wake up people – and quit trying to rationalize your arguments with application of the same old calculations…this is an entirely different ballgame!

    Viva Cuba!!


  4. Anonymous says:

    I bet it will now become necissary 4 us 2 b respectful of others again like we were raised 2 do & did up until of late (@ least those of us that will b left 2 do so after the exidos of inported workers & paper caymanians that will proberly occur) & not jus take everything 4 granted as we have been & have allowed others 2 come in2 or country & pratice the lack of respect of others as well such is near common place in there respective Country’s…… thats a fact espically  when it can b seen 1st hand if u have ever traveled 2 North America, Canada & Europe….

  5. Marek says:

    Hogwash. Everybody needs to take a deep breath and relax. First of all the Americans who want to visit Cuba is very limited. They can (but don’t) go to Haiti, or the Dominican Republic, most don’t go to Costa Rica or Panama… you know why… because they don’t speak English…

    I don’t like reading this stuff when people rag on Cayman with the mindset that any other destination means instant doom for us.

    I just recently had some very well traveled friends come to visit and after a week said, everybody was so friendly, the water so perfect… they said they’d never seen so many good places to eat for such a small island… and they went on and on about how this was the nicest place they had ever been.

    Cayman is "US" not a photo opportunity.  I’ve been to Havana, they don’t have any beaches. It’s a big, dull city… spread out over a lot of territory. The airport is a ‘very’ long drive and the hotels at best are not very good.

    If and when Cuba opens up to the cruise ship industry it’ll just be another stop… like so many others.

    I do however agree that downtown does need a little more to offer our visitors… so lets work on making sure that we make the necessary changes to ensure that Cayman remains the nicest stop any of those visitors see’s on thier vacation.



  6. Al Pacino says:

    Not good for Cayman!!

  7. Twyla M Vargas says:


    I have spent 5 months in Cuba last year, 3 months in the year before  and 1 mont this year.  I am an artisan and have enjoyed learning much more than I knew by spending time in Cuba.  My interest is mainly the arts, collecting antiques and artifacts.   If you love art you will love Cuba.

    For me and you the money CUC is equal to CI. one on one.  You have to use that money as a visitor or tourist.   The other peso which can only be used by Cuban nationals is only benefit to them.  However if you can give them a 20 dollars CUC which is a 20 dollar CI equal they  can have food to eat for a month.  Not you, unless you live with them in their home.  To live with them in their home as a friend can be very uncomfortable in many ways.  First you need to have a different visa, where you pay 40.00 a month.  If you are used to living a different life you will not be happy.  Renting a room is the same as here, only paying 600.00 dollars a month here will get you a private kitchen bath and bedroom, where by renting in Cuba you pay 600.00 or 700.00 per month and only get bathroom and bedroom.  You have to eat out or they cook for you for a different charge.

    Like I said, Cuba is good for those persons who have certain interest.  Otherwise you pay just like you pay in Cayman.  Dont be fooled and let anyone tell you that Cuba is cheap.   Maybe for the Cuban people, but definately not for me and you, unless you have alot of money  and nothing to spend it on.

    I am a culture lover, so I would be one of those persons who would really find Cuba interesting.  It is the place that time forgot.   Ooops!!!!! Where I live in Cuba is 600 miles from Havana, it takes me a day to get there.   Havana city is so cultural beautiful but life with the people is just like USA or EU.   I choose the country side hundreds of miles away.  I love that my only means of travel is by horse drawn carriage and Bici-Taxi.

    If Cuba opens up it will be just like the rest of the world.  Crime is slowly creeping in now because of outside influence.  You definately cannot walk about in the night alone, man or woman.  You will get robbed of your shoes, clothes, jewellery, money or bicycle.    A friend of mine which I had taken some nice name brand clothes and shoes for, decided one night to go out with his friends at a party.  Obviously to show them off.  Anyway he apparently gotten drunk and had to walk to his home after the late night party.    Next morning he was found in the park with only his underpants on.  No shoes no clothes no cap no money.

    If you are looking for a wild time I say Cuba is the place.  If you are looking for art  and culture, Cuba is the place.   If you are looking for long time peace and tranquility Cayman is the Place.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Great pic! I know that lady. I dated her one weekend in Havana. God, she was special. Very talented.

    God bless, Cuba!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Cayman tourism sector needs to note and prepare. 

  10. Anonymous says:

    Not good news for Cayman Airways who is making good business with people travelling from the U.S. to Cuba. They fly from Cayman Airways Miami to Cayman to Cuba.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Obviously the end of the restrictions for US citizens visiting Cuba is going to have a big impact on the tourist numbers visiting the Cayman Islands. Hopefully this will serve as a warning that the tourist attractions are too few, too expensive and very limited.

    Any tourists visiting Georgetown would, I believe, be dissappointed by the fact that apart from jewellry stores there is very little to see. We have nothing original or distinctive. The town centre is like a smaller Nassau (bahamas) or Cozumel (Mexico), two other cruise ship stops which are going to lose out. The hotels are overpriced, even when they are half empty. There are some great restaurants on the island but I hear tourists all the time moaning about how they cannot afford to go out every day. The other tourist attractions like Boatswains beach are a complete rip off, not worth 60-70 bucks to look round there. I felt a bit hard done by after spending $10 on a residents rate.

    I think the ministry of tourism needs to pull their finger out and start working on plans to make Cayman a more attractive tourist attraction that can be competitive when the number of overall potential visitors is lower because of the financial climate. They need to breathe some fresh air into the tourism industry and give people more reasons to come here rather than Cuba.

    This should have been done years ago in the same way the finance ministry should have sorted out the tax treaties with other countries years ago, rather than a week before the G20. Maybe we wouldn’t be right in the target sights of Obama and crew now if they had acted sooner.

    My parents are coming over from the UK shortly and I know they’ll love the island but that they won’t love the prices of the tourist attractions. I think next year they won’t be able to afford it so we’l end up meeting in Cuba or somewhere.

  12. whodatis says:

    Wow…ok – bye bye Cayman?!

    First the G20 is committed to shut down our financial industry – and now our most important customer base in our tourism industry now has a far more attractive option! (Yes it is – let us not kid ourselves.)

    However, Chuckie and Shomari continue their tired old rhetoric of "the opening up of Cuba will do nothing but boost our tourism figures!!"

    Get outta here with that foolishness!

    I as a Caymanian can guarantee anyone here that FAR more Americans would jump at a chance to visit the (cheaper), historical, majestic, mysterious and now legendary Cuba than our islands – simply because the value of us as a destination is continually threatened by grand hotels, restaurants and development.

    We continue to charge our visitors more for less of what they had before – peace, natural beauty and authentic Caymanian culture and infrastructure.

    Our tourism industry BOOMED at a time when we had NONE of what we had today – yet we continue to develop even more. Absolutely ridiculous.

    Sorry to say, but in this respect, if the worst case scenario was to happen – we absolutely deserve it!