Daily Briefing – April 9, 2018

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Carnival Adds 20 Cuba Cruises from Tampa: With demand among U.S. citizens growing for cruises to Cuba, Carnival Cruise Line has announced that an additional 20 voyages will be added to their iteneraries in 2019. The cruises are for the Carnival Paradise. All will leave from Port Tampa Bay on Saturdays, and add Havana to stops in Key West and Cozumel. (Tampa Bay Reporter)

Fewer Americans Traveling to Cuba: Despite few changes in the actual regulations regarding travel to Cuba, the number of Americans traveling to the island may drop 25 to 30 percent this year, say industry experts. The reason they site is one of perception: Americans are being swayed by the Trump Administration’s anti-Cuba rhetoric, including warnings against the danger of sonic attacks. The result has produced the opposite of Trump’s declared intention of putting more money in the hands of Cuba’s private sector, which has suffered from the loss of American spending. Last year 619,000 Americans traveled to Cuba. (USA Today)

U.S. Embassy Staff Down to 10: A new roster report on the State Department ‘s website shows that only 10 personnel remain in the U.S. embassy in Havana. Most of the jobs that remain have to do with functions of maintenance and security. While Chargé d’affairs Philip S. Goldberg remains on location, there are no political, economic, cultural or public affairs officers on staff. The staff is now smaller than it was when the post was operated as an Interests Section before diplomatic relations were restored by the Obama administration in 2015. (Miami Herald)

Cuba Launches New Drug Feasibility Software: Cuba’s state Information Technology Company has created new intelligence and surveillance software to test the feasibility of new drugs and biopharmaceutical trends, according to a Cadena Agramonte report. The new software tool, known at VIE, facilitates the search for information in public sources and converts that data into risk analysis for the creation and sale of new drugs. VIE has already been used to create profiles of corporate competitors and partners, as well as new suppliers, for the introduction of new products in several global markets. (Devdiscourse)

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