Cuban entrepreneurs concerned about Trump’s new policy

Cuban entrepreneurs expressed their concern over the possible impact of the policy announced by Donald Trump last Friday in Miami.

“Eighty-five percent of the tourism [in my restaurant] is from the United States, that is to say, for me this is devastating,” Niuris Higueras, owner of the Atelier paladar, affirmed to EFE.

In her opinion, strengthening the blockade will bring a “shortage of products, of alternatives and of clients”: she does not see the support Trump has insisted he gives to Cuban entrepreneurs.

The president aims to ban commerce with companies controlled by the Cuban army and eliminate individual trips by U.S. citizens to Cuba, changes approved by the Obama administration.

“Cuba is one country” and a measure like this one “somehow affects everybody,” explained Higueras referring to Trump’s intention of preventing business with Cuban state entities, among them several hotel groups.

“It’s not that we work separately, the idea is that we have to work together to economically advance. How do you control one thing and the other? It depends on controlling the level of tourism and if you affect the level of tourism you affect all of us,” she insisted in her statements to EFE.

This Cuban entrepreneur invited Trump’s advisers defining the U.S. policy toward Cuba to “not place on the table things and situations in such a cold way, but rather to seek a warmer way of negotiating as the Obama administration did.”

Marta, who rents rooms in her Old Havana home, fears that “the visits by U.S. citizens will decrease and with it the health of her business,” which greatly depends on “young people who come to get to know the Cuba that was forbidden,” she said to EFE.

In the case of the leaders of the Clandestina project and design shop, Spaniard Leire Fernández and Cuban Idania del Río, they thanked U.S. actress Jamie Lee Curtis for her support and those who like she “are betting on ties between both peoples.” The popular actress wrote a message to the president on her Facebook page.

For others like Esteban Vega, who works with the vintage cars known as “almendrones,” the president’s statements will not affect the country because “if the Americans don’t come, the Costa Ricans, the Mexicans will come…. The United States is not the world,” he affirmed to EFE.

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