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TTC Special: Possible Trump measures would harm Cuban privates

TTC Special: Possible Trump measures would harm Cuban privates

Photo: gajus / 123RF

By F. Martin 

Havana.- A private Cuban businessman A Cuban under contract with the US firm Airbnb considered that any measure of Donald Trump that affects the trips of Americans to the island could be catastrophic to thousands of self-employed people like him dedicated to housing rents.

“We are ordinary citizens who benefit with our prices and services Americans, who make the majority of clients” said to TTC Carlos de los Cuetos Cubas, who has a contract with the company since 2016.

De los Cuetos, 59, explained that the “thaw” launched by the presidents of Cuba, Raul Castro and the United States, Barack Obama in December 2014 favored a private sector on the island with the improvement of bilateral ties between the two nations. “There are currently tens of thousands of Americans coming to my country annually,” he said. “No one benefits the world with conflicts like we have had with Washington for many decades,” he warning.

Statistics published by Airbn reflect that the company paid in the last two years a total of 40 million dollars to local landlords. De los Cuetos, who has been a “cuentapropista” since 2011 when he began renting a room in his home in Santos Suárez neighborhood, west of the city, added that this type of relationship “is excellent for the private sector in the Island dedicated to rent rooms an houses”.

“I cannot deny that many private individuals like me are worried about the consequences of a possible return to the cold war because of Trump’s measures against Cuba, Mr. De los Cuetos said. He estimated that Airbn is a company that gives “visibility” via Internet to this type of business all around the world. “After starting my cooperation with Airbnb I managed to get 10 to 15 nights booked every month” he said.

Local press reported last week that private accommodations in Cuba have increased their services thanks to Airbnb, a company specializes internationally in tourist accommodation in private homes. According to statistics the entity based in California, has already sent to this country more than 560 thousand visitors, since establishing the service on the island on April 2, 2015.

Airbnb “sent more visitors to the Caribbean nation last year than any other of its hosted in the United States in its first year of operation (2008-2009) .The level of monthly visitors to Cuba in 2017, managed by the firm, exceeds 70.000.

The report said that this Caribbean nation is for the Californian firm the fastest growing market in the world, based on the existence of 22,000 accommodations linked to Airbnb services in 70 Cuban cities and towns. Havana is at the top, with 3,000 clients more than in Austin, Houston, San Francisco, Boston, San Diego and Chicago.