Economic woes, hurricane fallout…then gas increases

On May 29th we reported that gas prices in Cuba were set to rise that same weekend. For some reason the increase was held back until September the 14th but was more than expected. It would appear that the bare essentials of food items are also leaping up in price while a lack of basic items is further fueling the mad rush and queues seen towards the end of the soviet era in large cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg (Leningrad for you pre soviet boomers). The darker side of this may be the effects of IKE and Gustav on the tourism infrastructure and the lack of information emitting from the tourism bosses. We´ve seen hundreds of emails from people booked for a vacation in Cuba in the coming months asking whether there booked and paid hotel is “ok”. Almost certainly, a list of affected hotels and a time frame for them to be up and running again would be of relief for some travelers if mass cancellations are not to be expected. It’s one of those times when logic prevails over national secrecy and could help to alleviate some of the doubts surrounding future vacations or the “we´ll visit Cuba next year instead” crowd. Hopefully the international community will continue to bring aid to Cuba while the US cargo planes fly over Cuban airspace to Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Those US pilots probably look down in cold amazement as they travel to islands with similar chaos while leapfrogging the closest on the way…Food for thought, in more ways than one…

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