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Cuba Blog

Travelucion – Obama to visit Cuba in March

The brief visit in mid-March will mark a watershed moment in relations between the U.S. and Cuba, making Obama the first sitting U.S. president to set foot on the island in nearly seven decades. While in the country, Obama plans to meet with groups advocating for change in Cuba, a condition the president had laid out publicly for such a trip.   “We still have differences with the Cuban government that I will raise directly,” Obama wrote on Twitter in [...]
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Generación Y – Cuba’s oddball Y Generation of Child Names

  As a resident of Havana, Cuba’s glorious capital, Yanitse Garcia has toiled for three decades correcting people on the pronunciation and spelling of her name.    So when she had her first child, Garcia naturally decided to save her daughter a lifetime of misery by choosing a simple name that everyone understand and which flows off the tongue: She called her daughter Olivia.   “What I love about Olivia is exactly that it wouldn’t be a bother for her,” [...]
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Havanautos Car rental Next to Sidestep Agents

  2014 has been a tough year for travel companies dealing with Cuba. Firstly, the shift away from centralized hotel bookings has seen Cuba’s MINTUR tourism ministry ratchet up direct sales of hotels through Amadeus and locally managed hotel portals.   The second step in this move will see those operating websites purporting to be Cuban hotels having their websites closed down, unless they cease mimicking official hotel websites using .com domains when no direct affiliation with the hotel in [...]
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Tripadvisor Gives Cuban Resort Worlds Best Status

  Vacation review giant Tripadvisor today announced the world’s highest ranked all-inclusive resort. What makes the accolade so important is not only that it’s the Cayo Santa Maria Royalton Hotel but, that the American company finally decided to give Cuban customer service a thumbs up and the prestigious title it deserves.The Cayo Santa Maria Royalton Hotel in Cuba ranked as the best resort for all-inclusive vacations in the world, an incredible boost to moral for Cuba’s MINTUR tourism ministry who [...]
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Raul Castro to local Journalists – OK so long as you’re not Cuban…

  Fancy yourself as a part time journalist? Open a business in Cuba…    In April 2012 my colleagues here wrote an extensive report on fraud in Cuba, revealed by a foreign blogger based in Cuba. However, it occurred to me that the ramifications of this article were not entirely analyzed and some important issues have been overlooked. You see, blogging from within Cuba is still a perilous affair – IF you’re Cuban – and almost impossible, as Yoani Sanchez [...]
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Cuba Hotel Reservation | Cuba eliminates hotel prepayments

Cuba hotel reservation     For over two decades Cuba has been one of the worlds few destinations where in order to receive a hotel confirmation, one had to prepay the whole stay, days, weeks or months in advance. Some visitors having prepaid thousands for a hotel stay in Cuba six months or more in advance. But not any longer!   Recent sweeping changes introduced in July 2013 mean that you can now secure your hotel booking in Cuba without [...]
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Cuba Travel Network | against all odds

  Tour & Marketing staff left to right: Ilko, Elba Castillo, Juan Choy, Eddie Lubbers, Rigo Martinez     A lot can happen in a decade, both in politics and business. During my initial visit to Cuba, Tour & Marketing was flying high, its staff a picture of happiness and success. After talking with Elba Castillo, their sales manager and Eddie Lubbers hotel sales manager, about the company’s internet travel business, I recall wandering around the Marina Hemingway complex where [...]
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Cuba sees massive increase in tourism in the midst of Chavez death

    The death of President Chavez may not be the blow to the Cuban economy some experts are claiming. Admittedly, Cuba has become heavily dependent on its Caribbean neighbor over the past 10 years, however, recent figures show that tourism could become Cuba´s saving grace as bookings skyrocket and most of the country is overbooked for months in advance. Most hotels in Havana are booked solid until May and June plus, considering that bookings for the Caribbean are seldom [...]
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Raul Castro retirement a joke or on the books?

Raul Castro has made remarks he may retire but is this a joke or a plan? Of course, everyone retires at some point, either through ill health or simply personal will. But when will that sometime be for 82 year old Mr Castro? Of course, remarks such as this about retirement may just be to play the press and solidify attempts to get a U.S reaction. One thing is for sure, the Castro dynasty will not be over any time [...]
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Getting out of Cuba | Marriage instead of a raft?

  Perversely, as Cuba´s tourism numbers increase, so do the opportunities for Cubans to exit the island. You see, while tourists wander around Old Havana snapping shots of decaying buildings, the Cubans sat in them are scheming about how to get out of the country. Some are courageous enough take to rafts to cross the intrepid Florida Straits, others slip into the wheel wells of jets hoping the altitude won´t kill them while, one woman actually shipped herself out of [...]
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