TTC Service.- Cuba and the United States restored diplomatic relations by opening embassies in Washington and Havana on July 20th, a historic moment that should boost American tourism to the island and bilateral trade in a process that will be long but probably inevitable.
Diplomatic relations officially resumed at the stroke of midnight and the Cuban banner was hoisted in Washington a few hours later, in a move toward burying decades of enmity between the Cold War foes seeking to normalize relations.
At about 4:00 am (0800 GMT) the Cuban banner took its place among a row of flags from around the world adorning the State Department’s imposing marble entrance in the US capital.
The US interests section in Havana was also upgraded to a full embassy, but with little fanfare as diplomats there await the arrival of John Kerry, who is due to officially hoist the American Stars and Stripes over the building in the coming weeks.
The vast majority of experts say that surely the economic sectors most favored by the new relations between the two countries, will be tourism and trade, especially when it lifted the embargo applied by Washington on Cuba for half a century.
According to the American press the Cuban government is ready for receiving more tourists from America and looking forward to their tourism dollars. They’re re-habbing old buildings and fixing the streets. But, that process is taking a long time because the blockade makes it hard to get building supplies into the country.
the CNN immediately recommended Americans tourist in seven aspects to consider if they go on holiday to Cuba. The first recommendation was the need for U.S. citizens of the approval from the Treasury Department to spend money in Cuba. Since the end of the Eisenhower administration, most business transactions with Cuba are banned and punishable with hefty fines or even jail time. Cuba remains the only country in the world off-limits to U.S. tourists.
The second CNN warning was that Americans are still not allowed to visit Cuba for the purposes of tourism. Travelers should be able to show their visit helped the Cuban people or had an educational component to it.
The TV network recommended also other tips about the lack of internet in Cuba, how to find a good hotel and how to buy good cigars.
Experts believe that improving relations between Cuba and the United States have sparked a sharp rise in tourism to the island. More than 2 million people have taken a trip there so far this year. Some 1.7 million people visited between January and May, which was a 15 percent increase on the same period last year.
The vast majority of visitors are people arriving from Canada – although many of the passengers from there are actually Americans keen to visit Cuba before the major changes set to come. American visitors often enter Cuba via countries with connecting flights, including Panama, Mexico and, of course, Canada.