Unreal: Historic new Cuban cruise offered for ALMOST all Americans

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Carnival Cruise Lines is promising a historic cruise to Cuba: Cuban-Americans need not apply.

Carnival Corporation’s Fathom Travel invites travelers to “make history” by booking the seven-day cruise to three Cuban cities. “Be among the first U.S. travelers to sail to Cuba in over 50 years,” the website proclaims.

But the cruises, which begin May 1, are not open to Cuban-born travelers, regardless of U.S. citizenship, the Miami Herald reported Thursday. There is no indication on the company’s website that there are any travel restrictions for Cuban-Americans, as it declares they are the “first cruise ship company to be granted U.S. approval for round-trip travel between the U.S. and multiple destinations in Cuba.”

Fathom further notes that the cities in the cruise itinerary are “authorized under current people-to-people travel guidelines as set forth by the U.S. government.”

The Herald’s Fabiola Santiago reportedly had her booking cancelled once she revealed she was born in Cuba. The Fathom booking agent read a statement, Santiago wrote, when explaining the cancellation:

“Current Cuban law prohibits Cuban-born individuals from entering Cuba via ship or other sea vessel, regardless of U.S. citizenship status. For that reason, at the present time, Fathom cannot accommodate Cuban-born individuals.”

Santiago asked if the company “would have been willing to take cruise ships to South Africa during the apartheid era and not carry black people because that was the law.”

The Herald writer noted:

“The itinerary promises a seven-day cruise with stops and off-shore excursions in Havana, Cienfuegos, and Santiago de Cuba, plus all the bells and whistles of cruising. Only difference is that ‘cultural immersion’ and designated ‘people-to-people’ activities are mandatory, allegedly by U.S. Treasury design. I say allegedly because Cuba’s official travel office imposes or approves itineraries. They decide with whom travelers ‘engage.’ Propaganda-peddling at its best.”

While social media users may have disagreed on whether boycotting Carnival was an effective response, many seemed to know where to place the blame.

Santiago, who came to the U.S. in 1969 in one of the historic Freedom Flights from Cuba, concluded in the Herald: “Forty-seven years in this country, 36 as a U.S. citizen, a voter — and I cannot sail on an American cruise ship because Cuba says so.”

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Frieda Powers

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