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Veto Cry for Cuba Travel Restrictions

June 11th, 2008 by flanews

It could soon be more difficult and expensive to travel to Cuba. Lawmakers passed a bill requiring stricter regulations and cost on travel agencies that book trips to Cuba. As Whitney Ray tells us, some say if the Governor signs the bill it will be harder to reunite families.

Hear it Here: Legislation Could Make Travel to Cuba More Difficult, Expensive

Holding signs and shouting veto, more than a hundred Cuban-Americans stormed the state Capitol to ask the Governor to say no to stricter travel regulations to Cuba. The legislation requires travel agencies licensed to book flights to Cuba to post a 250,000 dollar bond. Travel agents say many companies couldnt get bonded.

The way it is spelled out in the bill are so risky that a bond company would not do it, said Armando Garcia the president of Marazul, a Miami Charter Company.

Travel agencies that get bonded may have to increase rates. Mechanic Juan Marino said he couldnt afford to pay more.

The fare to go to Cuba is going to be higher. Its going to be more difficult. Were going to have to be forced to go to third country, said Marino.

Some Travelers say, if getting to Cuba from Florida gets too difficult theyll just hop a plan to another Caribbean country and go from there. Opponents of the legislation say if people stopped flying to Cuba from Miami then the state economy would suffer.

Theyre not going to stay in our hotels. Theyre not going to eat at our restaurants and theyre not going to spend their money in Florida, said Tessie Aral, the President of ABC Charters.

Others say it would just be harder for them to get medication to their relatives who cant buy it in Cuba.

They would die because they dont have the medication in Cuba, said Isabel Rodriguez who has relative who live in Cuba.

About a hundred companies in Florida are federally licensed to sell trips to Cuba. Representative David Rivera pushed the legislation through the chambers. Rivera says stricter regulations on travel agencies would help protect consumers taking trips to Cuba and other terrorist nations.

Posted in Legislature, State News, Transportation | 2 Comments »

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