Been hearing a lot about travel to Cuba lately? Though the current buzz is mostly about a plan geared toward Cuban-Americans, plenty of other Americans are keeping an interested ear out for news on further restriction changes.
The current proposed change would allow the 1.5 million Americans with family members in Cuba to visit as often as they like and send relatives more money, according to the Wall Street Journal. This possibility of eased restrictions has a lot of people looking towards a time when all Americans can travel to currently off-limits Cuba. (To clarify, it’s not travel that is totally banned, but you need a license to travel and spend money there legally, and the U.S. only grants licenses to a small number of people.)
All of this is not to say there aren’t those who want to keep the current policies. The lack of a democracy, human rights violations, and the general antipathy towards the Castro regime are among the reasons cited for keeping restrictions in place. But many supporters of a relaxed policy argue that isolationism has been ineffective and suggest developing a more open relationship could influence change. Already this year, there has been a bill introduced in Congress to allow Americans to travel to Cuba.
A more expansive easing of travel restrictions is clearly on a lot of people’s minds. Back in January, SmarterTravel’s Ed Perkins imagined how the initial phases of American tourism in Cuba might play out, suggesting that cruise lines might add ports-of-call to itineraries and existing beach destinations could meet the increase in visitors. He also pointed out something that’s not talked about much: Cuba is no tourism backwater. In fact, he says, popular destinations like Havana and Varadero “have seen extensive hotel development by European—especially Spanish—and Canadian hotel chains.”
What do you think? Do you support lifting the travel ban? Would you visit? Do you find the prospect thrilling or does it make you angry? Where would you visit first? We want to post as many of your comments as possible, so please abide by the comments guidelines when sharing your thoughts below.