Saturday, August 31, 2013

Port Manatee Cuba travel plans

Port Manatee Cuba travel plans
Posted on August 30, 2013
by Bobeth Yates

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. - How would you like to take a trip to
Cuba...legally? It is possible from several ports across the state,
and now Port Manatee may soon be adding the service.
When many people think of Cuba, the first thought that comes to mind is
Ricky Ricardo playing "Babalu". That image dates back to the 40's but
for most people in the United States, getting a more updated vision of
the country has not been possible. That's because of U.S. imposed travel
"The embargo against Cuba from many years ago is still in place and it
really hasn't changed much so that basically blocked everything to do
with Cuba including travel," said Steve Briggs the owner of VIP World
But, Port Manatee officials are exploring the option of adding a cruise
or ferry service that would travel from Port Manatee to Cuba.
And many we spoke with say they are open to the idea. "I would go in a
heartbeat we've been wanting to go to Cuba forever," said Sarasota
resident Kim Soto.
Still other are a little skeptical.
"Is it legal? Well I might check it out," added Doug Trottier.
While the details of Port Manatee's travel plan have not been released
yet. Briggs says traveling to the country is becoming more common now
that the United States is loosening some of its restrictions on the country.
"If anybody said they wanted to go to Cuba the answer was just no, but
that's been changing no," said Briggs
But for Port Manatee or any agency wanting to move forward with Cuba
travel plans they must first get permission from the U.S. government and
prove that the trip meets certain criteria. That includes not spending
any money in the county. And, that's just the beginning.
"There's a number of tour companies who are now be able to sell trips to
Cuba but they have to sell them as a people to people exchange program.
Like some type of cultural exchange or art exchange," added Briggs.
Port Manatee Official were not available for comment. But we do know
they are not the only port in the state who has attempted similar travel

Source: "Port Manatee Cuba travel plans - Sarasota News |
and ABC 7: Manatee Newsroom" -

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