When President Barack Obama first eased travel restrictions to Cuba, it first drove airline companies and cruise lines to beef up their travel schedule to the Communist Island because of the high demand.
The travel surge to Cuba quickly died down, with only a few American airline carriers offering limited flights to Havana.
The novelty ended, but cruise ships kept Havana as a port of call on their respective Caribbean travel schedules.
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But under President Donald Trump, the cruising business to Cuba has been sunk.
The Trump administrations recent decision to ban cruises to Cuba was predicated on the Cuban government’s continued role in destabilizing the Western Hemisphere, and supporting anti-Democratic and lawless countries like Nicolas Maduro’s Venezuela, and Daniel Ortega’s Nicaragua.
Outside of the progressive faction of the Democratic Party in the U.S. Congress, who have shown support and solidarity to the likes of Nicolas Maduro, liberal and mainstream Democrats, as well as Republicans, all support Trump’s cruise ban.
Two of the loudest voices of U.S. opposition to Cuba and Venezuela have been Sens. Marco Rubio (R) and Rick Scott (R).
Sen. Scott recently penned a letter to the editors of the Miami Herald, where the outlined his for-President Trump’s ban on Cuba, and called out President’s Obama’s “appeasement policies” with the island nation, and Sen. Patrick Leahy’s (D) and Rep. Charlie Crist (D) questionable and recent trips to Cuba.
Scott added that tourism money going to Cuba would directly help fund the 20,000 Cuban operatives that are currently helping Nicolas Maduro oppress his people, and keep him in power.
U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy and I agree on only one thing when it comes to Cuba: The Cuban people want better lives. But he mistakenly believes that propping up the brutal Castro regime, which continues to be the most powerful force supporting Nicolas Maduro’s genocide in Venezuela, is somehow Cuba’s path to freedom.
I have the utmost respect for Sen. Leahy. He and I have worked together on some issues, including the recently passed disaster relief bill for Florida and Puerto Rico. But it is shocking that he and others like Congressman Charlie Crist — who recently traveled to Cuba — fail to understand that money spent in Cuba goes directly to Caracas to pay for more than 20,000 Cuban operatives to protect and keep Maduro in power. It is also shocking that they fail to see how the appeasement policies under President Obama did nothing to increase freedom for the Cuban people.
President Trump is right to correct course and take every action possible to cut off ties with Cuba. Limiting the flow of money is critical to freeing Venezuela and protecting the national security of the United States. To make this fight about politics is wrong. What is happening in Venezuela is the furthest thing from politics. This is about men, women and children who are starving at the hands of a dictator.
This is also about our country’s national security. We cannot allow Venezuela to become a Syria in our hemisphere. And that’s exactly what will happen if we let the Maduro regime fester. We will be allowing Russia, China, Iran and Hezbollah to gain a foothold in our hemisphere to cause havoc and threaten the security and all the countries in the region.
The cruise industry quickly pivoted and is now cruising past Cuba and going straight to the Cayman Islands.