CUBA NEWS NOVEMBER 22, 2020
CUBA NEWS WEEK OF NOVEMBER 22, 2020
Cuba’s main airport in Havana, Jose Marti International, reopened to regularly scheduled flights on Sunday, November 15, 2020. The airport had been closed for over seven months because of the Coronavirus. Foreign travelers arriving in Cuba must pay a $30 health surcharge to cover the cost of a mandatory COVID-19 test, with results due within forty-eight hours.
Western Union will cease all money transfer transactions from the U.S. to Cuba on November 22, 2020. In October, the Trump administration gave Western Union notice that it had thirty days to find a financial institution in Cuba that wasn’t linked to the Cuban military to process its money transfers. The Cuban government stated that it will not allow any other institution on the island to process Western Union transfers, so all such transfers will stop next week. The measure is a blow to the hundreds of thousands of Cubans who survive on the island because of the transfers. The Cuban government had recently opened dollar only grocery stores. It will be interesting to see how Cubans will be able to buy food in stores that only accept payments in dollars, when dollars aren’t available.
The Cuban government claims to have been assembling Russian An-2 single engine bi-planes on the island for several years. In May, the Cuban press stated that assembly of more An-2's would begin in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 1940's vintage planes will supposedly lift the Cuban economy above the malaise that has afflicted it since 1959. As of this week none of the assembled planes have been seen.