Omnipotent Tourism and Orbitz

Mauricio Claver-Carone on Orbitz and Omnipotent Tourism:

The Corporate Beneficiaries of Travel to Cuba

The Miami Herald
June, 16th, 2009

If the United States lifted all restrictions on tourist travel to Cuba, what corporations would net the biggest gains? Two: Orbitz Worldwide of Chicago, Ill., and GAESA, S.A. of Havana.

Orbitz, the Internet travel agency, is ratcheting up its campaign to lift U.S. travel sanctions against Cuba. It has announced an on-line petition addressed to Congress and the Obama Administration, and to seduce signatories from the 14-million monthly visitors to its website, it is offering $100 coupons good for travel to Cuba if restrictions are lifted.

What’s in it for Orbitz? Obviously there is an anticipated financial windfall from tourists booking vacations. Less obvious but more important, there are the good graces of the Castro brothers, who run Cuba. Their goodwill could make Orbitz the sole provider of travel services between the United States and Cuba, a monopoly worth millions.

Monopolies are not new to the Castros. Havanatur, a commercial entity of Cuba’s Ministry of the Interior, has exclusive rights to arrange foreign travel and already contracts with a small cartel of agents in South Florida to arrange flights for Cuban Americans allowed to travel to the island. Obligingly the cartel allows the Castro regime to vet the travelers to exclude human-rights advocates and its outspoken critics.



3 thoughts on “Omnipotent Tourism and Orbitz

  1. $$$$$$$$$$$$
    The castro goons darmmmmm the United States but love our money. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

  2. And liberals denounced Batista’s Somoza’s, Trujillo’s, Ferdinand Marcos’, Suharto’s, etc. regimes as despicable “crony capitalism.”


    The Castros and their capitalist cronies leave all the above gasping in the dust as nickel and dime chumps.


  3. They are not the only ones getting ready to do business in Cuba. Starwood, who inherited the ITT Cuban Claim, has spent 1/2 million on attorney fees to DLA Piper, to lobby on their behalf on matters concerning Cuba and the embargo. You can go to to see what I am talking about.

    They already received $22 million from an Italian Telephone Company deal back in 1997. The Italian Telephone Company wanted to use the old Cuban Telephone Company’s equipment and with the blessing or our state department, the Italian Telephone Company was exempted from the Helms Burton Sanctions for paying Starwood.

    Also, Starwood was able to get another claim certified in 2005 for $55 million, for land and a radio station that they claimed they did not know about. I still don’t understand how a radio station operated with employees showing up daily. How is it that they were able to do this for so many years?

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