An article published on The New York Times (NYT) blog, says that trips of U.S. citizens to Cuba are on the rise in spite of Washington’s sanctions against Havana.
While traveling to Cuba as a tourist continues to be technically illegal for U.S. citizens, measures eased by the government of (Barack) Obama now allow for a greater variety of the so-called “people-to-people” cultural exchanges, points out NYT editorialist Ernesto Londoño, who last week arrived in Havana on a working trip, the Prensa Latina news agency reported on Tuesday.
Thanks to these programs -continues the journalist- over 90,000 U.S. citizens traveled legally to Cuba in 2012 and 2013, more than double the amount of those registered in 2008, when regulations were stricter.
However, the text refers that U.S. sanctions against Cuba –corresponding to an economic and financial blockade imposed for over half a century now- have maintained traveling costs at extraordinarily high levels, partly due to the fact that U.S. companies can’t employ people on the island directly.
The NYT editorialist also points out that according to the terms of “people-to-people” exchanges, travelers should follow detailed itineraries, which excludes personal adventures and reduces the possibility of exploring the “flourishing scene” of private sector businesses.