New US – Cuba ties: How will it affect the Dominican republic?
Santo Domingo.- The result of the sweeping change in United States policy toward Cuba will likely affect Dominican Republic in sensitive economic areas such as tourism, as local industry leaders have for years cautioned that a Washington-Havana thaw would surely siphon off the number of visitors to the Caribbean’s biggest economy.
News of the announcement broke Wednesday and cites months-long negotiation to secure Havana’s release of Alan Gross in exchange for three of the “Cuban 5” being held in the U.S. on espionage charges.
The sweeping overhaul of US policy reportedly includes, among others a lifting of the embargo imposed since 1961, remittances and a lifting of travel restriction of US citizens to Cuba.
And it’s precisely the latter that concerns tourism players, since the country’s market share of US tourists will surely mean fewer American visitors to Dominican Republic.
Spy versus spy
Gross, reportedly already aboard a plane headed to the US, had spent more than five years in prison on a15-year sentence, convicted of spying through the installation of equipment to ease Web access for the country’s Jewish community.
He has been released reportedly on Cold War era type spy swap which required mediation by international leaders, presumably headed by Pope Francis.
White House statement:
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release December 17, 2014
FACT SHEET: Charting a New Course on Cuba
Today, the United States is taking historic steps to chart a new course in our relations with Cuba and to further engage and empower the Cuban people. We are separated by 90 miles of water, but brought together through the relationships between the two million Cubans and Americans of Cuban descent that live in the United States, and the 11 million Cubans who share similar hopes for a more positive future for Cuba.
Read more on this topic: Cuba: Threat or opportunity for the DR
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