Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Canada and Cuba

Before the revolution that brought Castro to power in 1959, the U.S. accounted for 85% of all tourists into Cuba--and for two-thirds of all trade with the island nation.

Today the majority of tourists are from Canada, which also dominates the hotel industry in Cuba. Too bad so sad about the American embargo. Good for us though which is why Harper will NOT change policy on Canada Cuba relations.

Air Canada currently runs 10 flights a week to Cuba, including to the island of Cayo Coco and the resort town of Varadero. During Cuba's busy winter season, Air Canada ups that to 28 weekly flights, including daily service from Toronto to Havana.

"Cuba has always been a favored destination for Canadians seeking the sun," said spokesman John Reber. Canada is Cuba's largest travel market, followed Italy and France.

In the late 1990s, some Canadian tour operators steered customers to Cuba instead of South Florida as new resorts opened on the island, Grossman said. She said the trend was short-lived but that Cuba remains a significant worry. Cuba's tourism industry could emerge as major competitor

Oh yeah and Cuba has discovered oil and gas thanks to Canadians.

Meanwhile Cuba "is exploring in its half of the 90-mile-wide Straits of Florida within the internationally recognized boundary as well as in deep-water areas of the Gulf of Mexico,” the Washington Times reports.

Two Canadian companies are presently pumping more than 19,000 barrels of crude oil each day from fields in the straits about 90 miles from Key West, and a Spanish company has announced an oil strike in deep-water areas of the same region, according to the National Ocean Industries Association.Cuba Drills for Oil 60 Miles Off US Coast

Trudeaus policy of friendly relations with Cuba have resulted in improved conditions for the Cuban people due to limited market reforms created in Post-Soviet Cuba.

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