Cuba Grants Turkish Firm 15-year Cruise Port Deal

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Turkey-based Global Ports Holding has won a 15-year contract with Cuba’s Aries Transport to operate the Havana cruise port. The agreement commences June 21, with built-in incentives based on passenger growth. GPH will also work with its Cuban partners to design new cruise terminals at the port, which it will market and manage. The port currently has two cruise berths that last year welcomed 328,000 passengers, up 156 percent from 2016. (Seatrade Cruise News)

After 737 Crash, Some Cuba-Americans Say U.S. Should Lease Cuba Planes and Parts: Cuban aviation authorities are still investigating the causes of last week’s Boeing 737 crash that killed 111 people. The jetliner was 39 years old, and was leased from a Mexican company, thanks in part to the U.S. embargo that makes it difficult for Cuba to lease, own or maintain modern, U.S.-manufactured aircraft. Elena Freyre, head of the Foundation for Normalization of U.S.-Cuba Relations, is advocating for a humanitarian exception to the embargo that would allow Cubana airlines to lease planes from the U.S. (WLRN)

Cuba’s New President Breaks from Past with Public Appearances: Whereas Fidel Castro constantly made public appearances, his brother and immediate past president Raúl operated from behind the scenes. Just one month in office, President Miguel Diáz-Canel is reversing that management style. With a whirlwind of public appearances, he is inspecting facilities that affect daily life, from cafeterias to health clinics, promising to improve things like trash pickup and public transportation. Most recently he was the public face of the government response to last week’s plane crash outside of Havana. (ABC News)

Rubio and Diaz-Balart Call for Investigation of Raul Castro: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) have called for an investigation into whether former Cuban President Raúl Castro should be indicted for murder in the 1996 downing of two Brothers to the Rescue planes. Three Cuban-American U.S. citizens and one permanent resident in the planes died. Rubio and Diaz-Balart claim the planes were in international airspace to help rescue Cuba rafters. The Cuban government says the planes were in Cuban airspace dropping leaflets advocating the overthrow of the government. Cuban officials repeatedly asked the U.S. to stop the flights, which they did not. (Miami Herald)

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