Friday, December 14, 2012

Huh! What?

Havana Ferry Partners?

Why not just take the Key West-Havana Tunnel.
Bill and I talked about Cuba yesterday.  Both of us hold the dream of traveling there during our lifetimes, so we often talk about when geopolitics and Miami-Cubanism finally allow it.

I watch Cuba through the internet, mainly.  Here are some of the sources I use:

Havana Times:

  • The Havana Times "is a digital publication for discussion and analysis concerning Cuban life. It is formed from the wide-ranging viewpoints of its columnists and contributors, as well as from readers’ comments, which are also diverse."  It publishes in both Spanish and English.  There is also a Facebook Page.
  • The New York Times and Miami Herald are both sources of news in English on significant events on the Isla de Cuba, along with AP, Reuters, and the like.  No doubt there are good, maybe even better, sources of coverage; I nearly failed Spanish in high school so I can't monitor them.
  • "The Cuba Study Group is a non-profit, non-partisan organization, comprised of business and community leaders of Cuban descent who share a common interest and vision of a free and democratic Cuba."  I just began by reading their Facebook Page, and have looked at the associated web site.  The quoted sentence suggests that it is written from outside of Cuba, and that its point-of-view is likely to be 'revolutionary', in the sense of being in favor of less authoritarian rule by the current regime.
  • CubaVision   "Cubavision International (CubavisiĆ³n Internacional) is an internationally broadcast Spanish-language channel run byCuba's national broadcaster, Cuban Television. The channel offers the world a variety of programming, the production of which is entirely Cuban. Among the programming highlights are soap operas, music programs, documentaries on flora and fauna, history of the country and various information and opinion. Again, I have a language barrier, but it's intersting to watch, especially for the music.
Here are a few questions:

1.     What forms of transportation will be available between Key West and Cuba?  What will they cost?  How long will it take?  (Ferries, flights, private charters, et al.)

2.     Cuba already receives three million tourist visits a year, from just about anyone anywhere, but restricted and regulated (and expensive) for many American citizens.  Follow the money.

3.     The Cuban government appears to be loosening things for its own citizens.  But, is there already an acceptable infrastructure for tourism?  Are there lower cost opportunities for those who don't need the ambience of beach front resorts, inoculated against too much contact between Cubans and Americans?  We hear that there's a thriving guest house industry and inexpensive services for traveling about the country.  Is that so?  

4.     What will be the impacts on Key West if free travel to Cuba will be like travel to anywhere else in the Caribbean?  What if Cuba is ready to take on cruise ships?  How will that change Key West?