An association of Cuban women entrepreneurs requested a face-to-face meeting with Republican Senator Marco Rubio to explain to him the impact on the private sector of the rollback in relations with the United States.
Rubio, a Cuban-American politician who supports the commercial embargo and a policy of “no contact” with the island, has advised President Trump about the road to follow with Cuba and received with satisfaction the rollback in relations after the efforts in favor of rapprochement during the Barack Obama administration.
“We are greatly concerned about the current situation and we would like to share our personal story and our observations from Cuba,” points out a letter sent last month to Rubio, senator for Florida.
Women have benefitted from the reforms undertaken under President Raúl Castro to do business which, according to them, took off to the extent that more Americans visited Cuba since 2015 thanks to the climate of bilateral detente.
The women entrepreneurs maintain that now their businesses are declining, which is why they would like Rubio, who was born in the United States, to visit Cuba for the first time and witness the impact being caused by Washington’s policy.
“We want to invite him or a part of his team to come and learn about Cuba, the Cubans or about our businesses,” said Niuris Higuera, the owner of Havana’s Atelier Restaurant.
The women added that Rubio’s office had not responded to their repeated written and verbal requests to program a meeting. Neither did his office respond to Reuters’ requests for comments.
Julia de la Rosa, who manages a house that includes the rental of 10 rooms with breakfast, said that the rentals decreased 20 percent in October and that she expected a new decline to the extent that the new regulations about commerce and trips comes into effect this month.
The new measures restrict Americans’ individual trips to the island and prohibit them from doing business with some 180 enterprises managed by the Cuban military.
“We are not asking for anything. Simply that we not be deprived of the opportunity to continue working,” De la Rosa affirmed.
Reuters / OnCuba