June 28, 2011
Dear Friends of the World Trade Center Tampa Bay and WTCA;
We are very concerned about the potential impact of the new Cuba proposed regulations may have upon the the U.S. and specifically the Tampa Bay Area. The World Trade Center Tampa Bay (WTCTB) has worked long and hard to achieve more reasonable regulations regarding Cuba. The potential reversal of the more progressive regulations will not serve the U.S. or this community well. Please consider taking whatever action that will bring these measures under control and make any regulation sensitive to the needs of the Tampa Bay Area which has the second largest Cuban American population in the U.S. The punishment being vented upon the Cuban people only increases the anxiety and
hardship here. It does little to enhance the position of anyone in the U.S. and has little positive affect for the U.S. in Cuba.
At a time when the WTCTB is actively engaging Tampa Bay businesses and other
institutions to seek relationships in, education, medicine, trade and commerce; this measure if passed will only ingrain misunderstandings and ill
will. Tampa is on the threshold of “breaking out” and cannot afford a
setback like this. If further amendments or modifications can correct this ill conceived direction, we would appreciate your support and assistance in this regard.
As you know landing rights for air travel to and from the Tampa Bay Area to Cuba is still pending. Even with approval from the U.S. to provide that
service from Tampa International Airport the Cuban government controls its air space and subsequently the right to provide airline service to their country. The prospect of new more restrictive regulations does not bode well for any of us and is counter productive to concerted efforts by
Representative Castor and President Obama. We urge you to personally review
these changes and do whatever you can to assist in this regard.
Those that are so inclined please consider engaging your own U.S. Senate,
U.S. House of Representatives, State and local elected officials and encourage them to have these unreasonable and overly restrictive measures removed. You may also consider requesting them to support and adopt rational regulations regarding Cuba. The Tampa Bay Area is on the verge of becoming a central point of embarkation for the second largest Cuban-American population in the U.S. These overly restrictive measures would only serve a very narrow and counter productive purpose. Your support for the removal of these new regulations would be appreciated.
Stephen A. Michelini
World Trade Center Tampa Bay, Managing Director
Official Actions as recorded by the House Appropriations Committee
Diaz-Balart (R-FL) The amendment tightens regulations on family travel and remittances to Cuba, returning these policies to those that were in place during the Bush Administration. These changes to travel restrictions
include: requiring specific licenses for family travel, tightening the
definition of “family,” and limiting travel to every three years for a time
period of 14 days. The amendment would also limit family remittances to
immediate family members, and limit the total to $300 for every quarter of
the year. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
Please consider engaging in your own measures, adopting resolutions and
writing your representatives to encourage the removal of these restrictiv
Sent on behalf of Mr. Stephen Michelini
World Trade Center Tampa Bay
Phone 813-864-3000 | Fax (813) 864-3100