In late September, the State Department issued a travel warning advising Americans not to travel to Cuba because they could become victims of mysterious attacks such as those suffered by 24 diplomats and their families while they were stationed in Havana. . . . In January, the State Department changed the wording and currently recommends “reconsidering” traveling to Cuba. However, officials stressed that the situation on the island had not changed, nor their message to American travelers. The list of possible symptoms remained unchanged in the new travel advisory. (Nora Gómez Torres, "19 American travelers to Cuba report symptoms similar to those suffered by diplomats,"supra).
But in the past six months, the Cuba travel industry has been hit by a triple whammy of adverse events: U.S warnings and advisories against traveling to Cuba stemming from mysterious health episodes affecting diplomats, a Category 5 hurricane that battered tourism facilities, and confusing statements and restrictions from the Trump administration on travel to the island. (Mimi Whitefield, "American visitors aren’t flying in droves to Cuba now. Tour operators: Please come back," The Miami Herald, Jan. 30, 2018).
Cuban tourism officials also joined the Havana media day, distributing guidebooks and promotional materials with the slogan “la vives, la amas” (you live it, you love it), and took American journalists on a tour of Old Havana and Central Havana. (Ibid.).
Just a few years ago, the hundreds gathered for the event overseen by Cuban President Raul Castro would have been in a celebratory mood, but the brief ceremony at daybreak in Havana’s colonial district was a sober affair. . . . Throughout Sunday’s event, Castro and other officials sat stone-faced. “I was hoping for a party, but since I arrived yesterday, we have all been commiserating over the situation,” said a banker who donated to the $2.5 million project and asked for anonymity. . . . A handful of U.S. politicians and many more businessmen and representatives from the arts and Cuban-American community attended the event, which marked the 165th anniversary of Marti’s birth. Joseph Mizzi, chairman of the museum’s board of trustees, said the statue symbolized the friendship between the people of both countries. A letter was read from New York Mayor Bill de Blasio stating his city was proud of its friendship with Cuba. Marc Frank, Trump casts pall on inauguration of U.S. statue of Marti in Cuba, supra.).