Florida & Cuba in the News

Florida's Champions

Office of Rep. Kathy Castor: U.S. Rep. Castor Meets with Cuban President, Stresses Importance of Continued Dialogue and Engagement

“I shared the desire of Tampa families and businesses for greater opportunities in education, trade, health care, agriculture and more. The Cuban government has sent mixed messages and not followed through on some shared business plans during the most significant transition of power that occurred over the past couple of years. Cuba’s new leader has the opportunity to usher in a number of positive changes on the island and we encouraged him to focus on improving the everyday lives of Cubans including increased access to the internet and support for the Cuban private sector.”

Tampa Bay Times: Florida Aquarium Continues Coral Restoration Research in Cuba

Scott Graves and Mike Terrell, director of husbandry at the aquarium, were in Cuba at the end of May to expand an underwater coral nursery off the island’s westernmost point, the coast of the Guanahacabibes Peninsula. It was the fifth time the aquarium sent a delegation to Cuba.

Adventure Sports Network: 3 Kayakers Paddle From Cuba to Florida to Promote Open Borders

On May 29, 2017, the Andy Cochrane, Luke Walker and Wyatt Roscoe landed their kayaks on Stock Island in Key West 27 hours, 12 minutes and 30 seconds after leaving Havana. It is the first documented “unsupported” single kayak crossing from Havana to Key West

Miami Herald: Meet the New Rick Scott, Cuba Guru (Not!)

Term-limited Florida Gov. Rick Scott has found a new hobby horse: Cuba. First, there was the post-presidential election, post-Fidel death letter to Raúl Castro in December asking the Cuban leader to “allow a new era of freedom and opportunity for Cuba” or continue “down a path of poverty.”

Palm Beach Post: Ports deserve state support in dealing with Cuba

Port of Palm Beach officials see an opportunity in normalizing relations with the communist island of Cuba. As well they should. The port is in an advantageous position geographically. It has a deep and rich history of trade with the island, pre-Fidel Castro. 

Miami Herald: Frozen chicken, Chocolate bars: it might surprise you what Florida ports send to Cuba

Humanitarian shipments, frozen chicken parts, chocolate bars, empty beer kegs from the U.S. Naval Station at Guantánamo Bay, medicine, even a traveling Bible exhibit. 

LA Times: Obama's Cuba decision follows change in attitudes in Florida

For decades, the U.S. embargo on Cuba has been as much about domestic as foreign policy. In the end, a generational shift in the politics of one key state opened the way for the Obama administration to change half a century of efforts to isolate the island. 

Sun Sentinel: US Airlines Propose Cuba Flights from South Florida

Three airlines are proposing daily flights from Fort Lauderdale to Cuba, and one wants to add West Palm Beach as well. Three more want to serve Cuba with daily flights from Miami. 

South Florida Business Journal: What the Latest Rules on Cuba Mean for South Florida

U.S. officials have peeled back more restrictions to Cuba, giving Florida’s huge Cuban-American population more options to visit the island country. New rules announced Tuesday say that U.S. travelers can go to Cuba for “people-to-people educational travel” rather than being required to go in tour groups. 

Miami Herald: Cuban fishermen call on more collaboration with U.S. to preserve marine life

Subsistence fishermen at the Cojimar port outside of Havana, Cuba, say they have seen a serious decline in marine populations. They blame overfishing by foreign ships, pollution and warming waters, and call on the United States and Cuba to ramp up their collaboration restore balance in the 90 miles of sea separating the former adversaries.

Tampa Bay Times: Florida aquarium plays roles in historic Cuba talks this week

The Florida Aquarium made history in August when it partnered with the National Aquarium in Havana on coral reef research — the first-ever collaboration between marine centers from two countries that had quarreled for five decades. 

AP: Florida bank issues first U.S. credit card for use in Cuba

A small Florida bank will issue the first U.S. credit card intended for use in Cuba and make it easier for Americans to travel and work on an island largely cut off from the U.S. financial system, the bank announced Tuesday. 

Tampa Bay Times: Keep pushing for Tampa flights

The commercial flights that begin this fall between the United States and Cuba mark the continuing turnaround in relations with an important southern neighbor. 

Fox News Latino: Cuban environmental delegation visits Florida coral reefs, sees U.S. effort at restoration

As Cuba prepares for a spike in tourism, a group of the island nation’s scientists and government officials got a firsthand look at how the United States has been able to restore its sensitive underwater ecosystem. 

St. Augustine Record: Cuban port official invites Gov. Scott to visit island nation

Following Gov. Rick Scott’s threat to cut state money for any port that signs an agreement with Cuba, a top Cuban port official meeting at the Port of Palm Beach Friday invited the governor to visit Cuba.

Panama City News Herald: A lonely port in a twitter storm

As The News Service of Florida reported Wednesday, Scott took to Twitter to trade-shame Port Everglades, just after the Atlantic seaport welcomed a cargo ship containing charcoal from Cuba.

Sun Sentinel: Gov. Rick Scott's tweets hurt Florida's ports

What a disappointing trump card Gov. Rick Scott played this week when he took a page from President Donald Trump's playbook and unleashed a series of tweets threatening to defund any Florida seaport that develops any kind of relationship with Cuba. 

The New York Times: Why the Cuba Issue No Longer Cuts Against Democrats in Florida

The importance of small demographic groups is often overstated by political commentators. The Cuban-American vote is an exception. 

The Maritime Executive: Port Tampa Bay looks to Cuba for cruise business

Port Tampa Bay is known as a port of origin for cruise ships and is interested in attracting business from the nascent Cuba cruise and ferry market. Port Tampa Bay has high hopes that it can win a portion of the planned traffic, just as it has won its share of the Caribbean cruise line departures. 

The Christian Science Monitor: Why a U.S. mayor plans to raft from Cuba to Florida

The mayor of DeBary, Fla., is preparing to travel from Cuba to Key West on a homemade raft next month. Mayor Clint Johnson says he plans to fly to Cuba with his wife and build a raft out of basic supplies before rowing back to the United States by himself. 

The Tampa Tribune: Cuba poised to slash landing fees as commercial flights near

Cuba’s international landing fee in Havana’s José Martí International Airport is $4.89 per metric ton of aircraft. Charter flights typically use a 162-seat Boeing 737-800 with a maximum take-off weight of 79 metric tons — for a landing fee of about $390. 

CBS Miami: American Airlines now selling tickets for flights to Cuba

Tickets have gone on sale at American Airlines for flights to five Cuban cities beginning this fall. The air carrier, which has a major hub at Miami International Airport, expects to begin service from Miami to both Cienfuegos and Holguin on on Wednesday, September 7th.

Orlando Sentinel: U.S. Department of Transportation awards first commercial service to Cuba

U.S. Department of Transportation leaders announced Friday six domestic airlines approved for service as part of the historic agreement between the U.S. and Cuban leaders. 

  Representative Kathy Castor (D-FL-14)   Co-Sponsors    H.R. 351 Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act  and  H.R. 525 Cuba Agricultural Exports Act

Representative Kathy Castor (D-FL-14)

Co-Sponsors H.R. 351 Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act and H.R. 525 Cuba Agricultural Exports Act

  Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)   Cosponsor of  S 1287 Freedom for Americans to Travel to Cuba Act

Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)

Cosponsor of S 1287 Freedom for Americans to Travel to Cuba Act