From our Annals of Unethical Behavior Bureau with assistance from our Hall of Infamy Bureau
Well, it looks as if Mr. Olin, CEO of Cuba Candela tours (see previous post) is not the only weasel who thinks he has found loopholes that enable him to stay in the apartheid slumming and misery voyeurism business.
Our second weasel of the day is David Lee, CEO of Cultural Cuba, who claims that his tours qualify for all three exemptions to the new travel rules under the categories of “Support for the Cuban People,” “Humanitarian,” and “Religious Purposes.”
He also claims that his clients will experience the “authentic” Cuba and come away with “real insight into the culture and people of Cuba.”
Yeah? How so, Mr. Lee? Will they get to live as Cubans do rather than be encased in an apartheid bubble? Will your clients have to stand in line for food? Will they have to wait for substandard medical care at a people’s clinic? Will they visit prisons? Will they meet with dissidents? Will they get to stay in crumbling buildings that are about to collapse and share the space with ten other families? Will they run the risk of being arrested for asking the wrong question or saying the wrong thing? And so on…. you know… the REAL AUTHENTIC Cuba…
Cultural Cuba, a niche destination management company specializing in private tours to Cuba, has announced that it continues to legally operate “business as usual,” despite the U.S. Treasury Department’s new restrictions imposed on cruises and People to People travel to the Caribbean island.
David Lee, Cultural Cuba founder and owner, explains, “While the recent reports may confuse tourists, travel agents, and even some media, I want to assure U.S. citizens interested in experiencing Cuba in an authentic way that they may continue to do so legally through Cultural Cuba.”
Cultural Cuba provides private custom travel under the authorized OFAC categories of “Support for the Cuban People,” “Humanitarian,” and “Religious Purposes.” These curated trips provide clients with insider access to authentic Cuba while directly supporting hundreds of Cubans including artists, musicians, dancers, school children, and small business owners, most of whom completely rely on the funds generated by Cultural Cuba’s private tours. The new June restrictions affect companies that organize large group tours, cruises, and independent travelers who check the ‘People to People’ box for travel, but do not actually travel with a licensed tour operator.
Lee elaborates, “Our itineraries are curated in strict accordance with the Office of Foreign Asset Control guidelines, but are customized to our travelers’ specific interests and preferred travel pacing. We continue our enriching, enjoyable, and compliant Cultural Cuba tours as usual, providing real insight into the culture and people of Cuba, while taking care of all the logistics for U.S. citizens touring in a foreign country with travel regulations.”
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