One of the stories I’ve tried to follow through most of my career is Cuba. My dad came to the U.S. just two weeks before the Cuban Missile Crisis. So, I’m drawn to just about any story on the island. With so much attention on the financial crisis these days, it may have slipped past a good number of Americans that U.S. policy toward Cuba may be changing right before our eyes.
A key bi-partisan group of U.S. Senators is pushing a bill in Congress that would lift the ban on travel to Cuba. Travel agents in Miami, who specialize in trips to Cuba, are already laying the groundwork for what would be a flood of mojito-thirsty Americans.
But before you pack your bags, the “Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act” still faces stiff opposition from Cuban-Americans in Congress. And the President has yet to say what he thinks of the idea. Vice President Joe Biden recently said in Chile that U.S. policy on Cuba is in transition.
One interesting sidebar to note: America’s 47 year old embargo on the island is still in place. So if the travel ban is lifted, Cuba expert Dan Erikson cautions, Americans may have to settle on driving in Chinese buses and staying in Spanish owned hotels. In other words, there would be no Marriotts or Hiltons to speak of.