Cubans Fret New Trump Policy Will Dampen Tourism Boom.Edi Coba says he is not sure his new rooftop bar in the heart of Old Havana that buzzes at night with hip, tattooed young Americans will survive if U.S. President Donald Trump tightens restrictions on travel to Communist-run Cuba.The bar, which serves cocktails with a view over the capital while DJs spin electronic sets, was created in part to cater to a tourist boom in the wake of the U.S.-Cuban detente. Now, some two thirds of its clientele are Americans."My friends and I have invested a lot in the possibility of the American public coming, so yes I'm worried," said Coba, 27, echoing the view of many Cubans working in the relatively lucrative tourism sector."This bar is quite progressive. It has a modern style and we generally have a lot of Americans."Trump is expected to announce a new Cuba policy on Friday likely to tighten some rules on travel and trade, rolling back parts of former President Barack Obama's opening toward the island, U.S. officials and people familiar with the matter have told Reuters.Cuban state news outlets have barely covered such reports but they have trickled through via illegal satellite television and conversations with relatives abroad. Earlier on Tuesday, state-run Radio Reloj declared: "Here, we are all serene.""From Eisenhower to Trump, there has never been a North American government looking at Havana with friendship," the broadcaster said. "For this reason, neither announcements nor new measures will rob us our sleep."Many Cubans who have not felt much impact from the detente on their daily lives agree, and feel resigned. After all, the damaging U.S. trade embargo remains in place and they are struggling to get by as the economy wrestles with falling exports and a decline in oil shipments from key ally Venezuela.But for those in the tourism industry, that has benefited tangibly from a threefold increase in U.S. visitors in the past two years, it is a different story.Americans now make up some 7 percent of total visits - 15 percent including Cuban Americans - and a much larger proportion in Havana given many of Cuba's tourists are Canadians on package trips who head directly to the beach resorts."Some 85 percent of our clients are Americans and they are the ones who consume most and pay the best," said Yuri Barroso, doing promotion for a restaurant on Plaza Vieja, a square surrounded by elegantly restored colonial buildings.Barroso said that if the number of U.S. tourists were to fall again, it would cause "pain for many Cubans" who like him worked in the tourism sector and support their family.The United States still officially prohibits its citizens from visiting Cuba as tourists.
TagsCubans Fret New Trump Policy Dampen Tourism Boom Edi Coba new rooftop heart of Old Havana President Donald Trump tightens restrictions travel Communist-run