Cuban President Meets with U.S. Travel Companies, Artists
Down the stretch of his historic visit to the United States, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel met Friday morning with a prominent number of travel entrepreneurs and businesspeople in New York City, including representatives from major cruise lines, airlines, travel agencies, tour operators and hotel companies.
President Diaz-Canel gave a rundown of Cuba’s ongoing travel developments and its potentials to deal with a massive inflow of American tourists were the decades-long U.S. embargo lifted once and for all.
“Several Cuban experts have done research studies related to the number of U.S. tourists that could visit Cuba. Those studies indicate that Cuba could receive somewhere between 2 and 5 million American visitors every year,” Mr. Diaz-Canel said.
For his part, Thomas Donahue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a staunch advocate for normal business relations between Washington and Havana, thanked President Diaz-Canel for taking the time to meet them.
“Mr. President, we’ll also look for other opportunities for you to come back and visit us again. Certainly for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will be a pleasure to have you back. Based on the need to discuss issues of common interests, I think there’ll be chances for us to meet either here in New York or in Washington,” said Mr. Donahue.
On Friday afternoon, the Cuban President huddled with celebrated world figures of America’s arts and culture at the historic Dakota Building in New York City, on an invitation by famous actor Robert De Niro and movie producer Jane Rosenthal.
“Good neighbors do not build walls. Culture should be used to build bridges,” said actor Robert De Niro when he received Mr. Diaz-Canel.
The Cuban president, for his part, noted that he was very grateful to De Niro and added that he came with a message of peace aimed at advancing ties between the two countries.
During the meeting, President Diaz-Canel invited the participants to take the best of U.S. culture to Cuba, to show their productions and help strengthen the bonds between the two peoples over political and ideological differences.
Actress Katie Holmes, as well as Alex and Carol Rosenberg, founders and organizers of the Havana Film Festival in New York, were also in attendance.