An open letter to the Minister of Tourism of Cuba, from stakeholders in Cuba’s tourism sector

July 22, 2021
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Dear Minister,

We, the undersigned, are involved with promoting our beloved Cuba to the world. In doing so, we treasure its people, its culture, its history and the island’s natural beauty. Together we have brought more than 1 million visitors from 100+ countries to Cuba.

Each of us has suffered the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic in our personal and professional lives. As we travel down the road of recovery we face many challenges, and in addressing these challenges we are securing the future of our industry.

The images of violence coming out of Cuba last week stand in stark contrast with the images that the tourism sector usually promotes of Cuba. In front of landmark sites and in remote villages, people have been arbitrarily detained and their voices silenced by a government who, directly or indirectly, is also a business partner.

Whilst in the past many of us have struggled with the laws and regulations that denied Cuban and American tourists certain rights (ie Cubans not allowed to stay at hotels, Americans not allowed to visit Cuba), we feel we must now send a clear public message, as other sectors and personalities have done.

As stakeholders in Cuba’s tourism sector we must come together and respect one another based on values which apply to both visitors and local citizens alike.

That’s why we say:

YAMIL LAGE / AFP

NO!

To violence
To arbitrary arrests and detentions
To US Embargo
To lies and disinformation

Daniel Sessler / Unsplash

SÍ!

To dialogue
To freedom of expression
To unrestricted access to the internet
To the truth
To unrestricted travel when Covid-19 conditions allow, including US travellers

Signed by:

  • Eddie Lubbers
    Cuba Travel Network, The Netherlands
  • Karel Pérez Alejo
    Okori Digital, The Netherlands
  • Monica Kemmere
    The Netherlands
  • Michael Sykes
    Cuba Cultural Travel, USA
  • AJ Leon
    Misfit, United Kingdom
  • Paula Vink
    The Netherlands
  • Matthew Curlewis
    The Netherlands
  • Milan Derolland
    The Netherlands
  • Rainer Klee
    AERTiCKET GmbH, Germany
  • IJede van der Kooij
    Cuba Travel Network, Curacao
  • José Luis Herrera
    Thruads, USA
  • Reinder Hartholt
    The Netherlands
  • Georges Druon
    France
  • Victoria Rubio Sanchez
    The Netherlands
  • Jan Tua
    The Netherlands
  • Marije Oosterhek
    The Netherlands

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