Cuba’s opening up to U.S. not without continued obstacles
While Miami Beach commissioners have voted against the establishment of a Cuban consulate in Miami Beach, there’s a new chapter opening in a cruise controversy and a policy that some are calling discriminatory.
In a vote of four to three, Miami Beach commissioners voted against being open to having a Cuban consulate on the beach. “It sends a very clear message about where this community stands in the struggle between freedom and slavery,” said Dr. Orlando Gutierrez-Boronat of the Cuban Democratic Directorate.
This comes the day after a federal lawsuit was filed on behalf of two people who said they were refused a ticket to ride on Carnival’s Cuba-bound ship the Adonia. “A company like Fathom, cannot look to another nation and say, ‘Because they are willing to discriminate, we’ll be willing to discriminate,'” said attorney Tucker Ronzetti.
7News received a statement from one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Francisco Marty, which read, “I was born in Cuba and haven’t been back in 58 years. I’m a Carnival Platinum Club member and unable to fly for health reasons. I wanted to go back to see my native country and share its culture with a surprise trip with my children, but Carnival will not allow my Cuban-born daughter and me to go on its ship.”
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez also dug into the matter. In a memo, he asked the Miami-Dade County attorney to investigate. “I find it offensive that I, as a citizen of the United States, although born in Cuba, cannot buy a ticket,” Gimenez said.
Many people are looking for a clear message from the Carnival Corporation in response to protests and the aforementioned lawsuit. “We are hoping that Carnival will do the right, legal and moral thing and end the policy of discrimination,” Ronzetti said.
Roger Frizzell, the Chief Communications Officer of the Carnival Corporation released a statement Wednesday afternoon, which read in part, “This is not a decision by our Fathom brand but rather a Cuba decision. Any such lawsuit on this issue is without merit or substance. We will continue to pursue a change in the regulation.”
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