The Florida Roundup: Carnival’s Cuba Controversy, Broward Health, Modified Mosquitoes

By Gina Jordan

The Florida Roundup looks at Carnival’s Cuba controversy, management trouble at Broward Health, and modified mosquitoes in the Keys.

Cruise giant Carnival faces a lawsuit and protests over its plans to sail from Miami to Cuba starting May 1st – and its willingness to follow Cuban law by not allowing Cuban-born Americans to cruise.

Carnival’s cruise brand Fathom got the okay by Cuban authorities last month to start cruising from Miami. The controversy came when it was learned Cuban-born Americans can’t legally arrive in Cuba by sea (taking a plane is okay), so Carnival won’t sell them tickets.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez was born in Cuba, and he thinks Carnival is violating a county ordinance banning discrimination based on national origin.  

People that were born in Cuba that are American citizens like I am cannot purchase a ticket from Carnival for a cruise (to Cuba), and that’s discrimination,” Gimenez told reporters. He wouldn’t say that he would block Carnival from using the county-run PortMiami for its Cuba cruise, but he’s looking into whether he can take action based on Miami-Dade’s human rights code.

Lawyer Tucker Ronzetti represents the two people who filed a lawsuit against Carnival when they were denied tickets. “A company like Carnival, a company like Fathom, cannot look to another nation and say because they’re willing to discriminate, we’ll be willing to discriminate.”

Carnival issued a statement saying it’s abiding by the Cuban law while working with Cuban officials in hopes of changing the policy.

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