Category: Travel Opinion

Did Trump Change How Americans Travel to Cuba?

Did Trump Change How Americans Travel to Cuba?

(Updated August 8, 2017, 12:30 p.m. PDT)

On Friday, June 16, 2017, Donald Trump made a major policy announcement that could markedly affect the ability of Americans to visit Cuba or do business there.

(Bryan Ledgard Flickr Photo)

Initially, Trump appeared set to totally scrap the steps President Obama took to discard over a half-century of failed “isolationist” policy toward Cuba and engage the Cuban people and government in a new era of mutually beneficial relations.

The Website, The Hill, said that the Trump administration had considered severing diplomatic ties to Cuba entirely, but backed away from such a drastic move in favor of a partial reverse of Obama’s policies since it would “be ‘less likely to elicit pushback’ from the business community and regional partners.”

NPR reported that two-thirds of Cuban Americans living in South Florida and that some members of Congress, including at least one Republican, were not in favor of Trump’s announced policy.

And in this Associated Press story, the Cuban government said that Trump’s new policy “would not achieve [its] objective of weakening the [Cuban] government.”

But what will Trump’s policy, if implemented, actually do and what effect will it have on both Cubans and Americans?

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Travel “Rip-Offs” Or “Fair Deals”?

Travel “Rip-Offs” Or “Fair Deals”?

Q: Is “less” ever “more” when it comes to travel expenses?

A: Sometimes, and you aren’t going to be happy when it happens to you.

“You need to let us have your car for at least three days” the owner of the auto repair shop that I’ve used for years told me.

(Blue Mountain Local Studies Flickr Photo)

Aside from the repair bill estimate, which wasn’t good news, being without a car for that length of time meant I’d be under “house arrest” for half a week or more.

So to prevent myself from contracting “cabin fever” I arranged to rent a car for five days.

And that’s when I got good news: I’d get the discounted weekly rate from the car rental company even though I wouldn’t have the car for seven consecutive days.

Then came more good news: The shop finished the work on my car in a day and a half, so I walked two blocks to a bus stop, rode to the local transit hub, changed buses, and picked up my car at mid-afternoon.

But I got not unexpected bad news when I returned the rental car less than 48 hours after I had drove off in it: I wasn’t entitled to that weekly rate ($35/day) because I brought the car back too soon. So I had to pay the daily rate of $70! The good news is that I did end up paying $20 or so less than if I had used the car for the full five days as I had originally requested.

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