Seeds: Earlier this week, the first U.S. cruise ship was permitted to travel from Miami to Cuba in over 50 years. The Adonia, a cruise ship owned by the company Carnival brought its 700 passengers to the port in Havana, Cuba under blue skies. Even though President Obama announced that the United States would endeavor to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba, restrictions on traveling and trading were still in place. Discussions about traveling and trading were existent for a while, however, further action was delayed because of Cuba's stipulations about how Cubans were allowed to travel to and from the country.
Core: In other words, the Cuban government only permitted Cubans to travel by plane, but not by sea. This ban extended to Cubans who live in America too. Because of this ban, Cuban-Americans were refused the right to purchase tickets on the Carnival cruise ship. After several protests and threats of legal action, Carnival decided to postpone the cruise to Cuba until after the Cuban government changed its policy. Finally, just over a week ago, the Cuban government lifted the ban and allowed Cuban-Americans to enter by sea.
Skin: While most are excited about this new chapter in Cuban-American relations, some don’t entirely support it. In fact, some protested the cruise from boats in the Miami port, but ultimately didn’t get in the way of the cruise ship leaving. Many are hoping both countries can put the politics of the Cold War behind them and move forward into a brighter future.
Leaves: This marks not only a great feat for Cuban-American diplomatic relations, but also a great feat for Cuban-Americans. This trip marks the first time that a Cuban-American was legally allowed to enter or leave Cuba by sea. Furthermore, reports show that tourist numbers are reaching a new high in Cuba and it seems as if they will only get higher, as the Adonia is planning to sail from Miami to Cuba every other week.
Food for Thought: What do you think about the potential restoration of Cuban-American relations? How do you feel about Cuba letting Cuban-Americans enter and leave by sea? Do you think Cuba tourism numbers will continue to rise?