Cuba has received their first U.S. cruise ship in the last 38 years as the two countries relax their tense relationship.
Carnival’s Adonia landed at Havana Bay with 700 passengers at 9:30AM Eastern time. It will also make stops at Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba.
The ship included Cuban passengers who escaped the Communist regime under Fidel Castro.
“I’m just thinking of that day when we left (Cuba) and shaking like a leaf,” said passenger Ana Garcia.
She left the island 48 years ago.
“I’m blessed to be here today and hoping for a better tomorrow for Cuba and my Cuban brothers and sisters,” she continued.
— ABC News (@ABC) May 2, 2016
However, Cuban passengers almost forced Carnival to cancel the cruise. The regime implemented a law that did not allow Cuban nationals to return to the island by sea. Therefore, at first, Carnival did not want to sell tickets to Cuban nationals. The company received massive backlash, including two lawsuits.
Carnival changed its mind and told passengers they “would delay the Adonia’s first trip, if necessary, until Cuba changed its policy.” The Communist Party newspaper Granma announced that the regime will not apply the law to those who arrive on cruise liners.
1st US cruise ship docks in Cuba. Good luck, communism. pic.twitter.com/DWxp9wHjN8
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) May 2, 2016
— Reuters (@Reuters) May 2, 2016
“Regularly scheduled cruises are the third leg of the land, sea and air efforts by the Obama Administration to cement its policy changes, the goal is to make the initiatives big and loud so that they are harder to dislodge,” explained John Kavulich, president of the US-Cuba Trade and Economic Council.
The first US cruise ship to travel to Cuba in half a century docked in Havana on Monday pic.twitter.com/fOM86cdCtZ
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) May 2, 2016
Carnival will sail the Adonia “every other week from Miami to Cuba.”
But while people think this will help the Cuban people under the horrific regime, the statistics show it will only benefit the Castros. Kavulich admitted “that the cruise companies pay the government $500,00 per cruise, while passengers spend about $100 person in each city they visit.”
[Featured Image from this tweet]DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.