This morning President Obama announced that the United States and Cuba will begin to normalize the diplomatic and economic relationships between the two countries after the 54 year long embargo, under eleven U.S. Presidents. This is very positive news for both countries and also for Cross Cultural Journeys Foundation.
In 1998 Cross Cultural Journeys Foundation received its first government issued license to legally take American citizens to Cuba in order to engage in meaningful interactions with the Cuban people. Since then, we have been seeking to help bring today’s announcement to fruition with our people to people citizen diplomacy trips.
The Executive branch of the American government cannot alone bring about the myriad changes President Obama has proposed today, and now congress must pass several laws, including the repeal of the Helms-Burton Act of 1996. If you feel today’s announcement is an important step forward, now is the time to make your voice heard in the halls of Congress.
It is significant to note that today’s announcement excluded opening up tourist travel to Cuba. American citizens will still be limited to traveling on a government issued license, such as Cross Cultural Journeys Foundation’s people to people license.
During our trip, Cuba: Past, Present and Future last month, CCJF travelers explored the question, “What is the future of tourism in Cuba?” It was concluded that Cuba’s tourist infrastructure is inadequate at this time to support a massive onslaught of U.S. tourism, and travel to Cuba will and can only be opened up gradually as the tourist infrastructure is improved.
If today’s news piques your interest and you would like to be engaged in history in the making, we encourage you to call today and join our next Cuba: Past, Present and Future trip from February 5-17, 2015. Click here for day-to-day itinerary and pricing.
Here’s to continuing progress in normalizing relations…
With hope for the future,
The Team at Cross Cultural Journeys
Click play above to watch the President’s historical announcement.
Click here to view the White House’s official foreign policy webpage on American-Cuban relations.