Transport in Cuba
We run various sites in defense of human rights and need support in paying for servers. Thank you.
Calendario
January 2016
M T W T F S S
« Dec   Feb »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
Categorías
Archivos

Miami-Dade mayor plays down idea of Cuba ferry plans

Miami-Dade mayor plays down idea of Cuba ferry plans

“We don’t do business with countries” Carlos Gimenez says
Critic on Miami-Dade commission: “Nothing has happened in Cuba to
warrant a change”
BY DOUGLAS HANKS
dhanks@miamiherald.com

A day after talk of a possible ferry service to Cuba from PortMiami
roiled local politics, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez held a press
conference and played down the idea of his administration pursuing a
commercial link with the island nation.

“We don’t do business with countries. We just do business with
carriers,” Gimenez said at the start of the conference, a day after the
Miami Herald reported the port was pursuing a terminal for ferries
traveling between Miami and Cuba. “Where the ferry services decided to
go in order to make money, etc., well, that’s up to the ferry service as
long as it’s legal.”

His comments followed those of his port chief, Juan Kuryla, discussing
plans for a new ferry terminal on the heels of operators approaching
Miami-Dade about berths for runs between Miami and Cuba.

Kuryla told the Herald Wednedsay that following President Obama’s Dec.
17, 2014, announcement of a new diplomatic opening with Havana “we have
started getting a lot of requests for potential sites for a ferry
service to Cuba…. These are all major, worldwide ferry operators that
have approached the port, asking for a location to launch a service here
from Miami to Havana.”

“We didn’t go out looking for this business,” Kuryla said. “It has come
to us. We need to be prepared [for] when the situation is here, when the
business is ready to launch.”

WE DON’T DO BUSINESS WITH COUNTRIES. WE JUST DO BUSINESS WITH CARRIERS.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez

Though the port’s official master plan for development called for
putting offices and hotels on the facility’s southwest corner, Kuryla
said port staff was now exploring a dredge to create a ferry terminal
there. “I asked staff to put together a plan and really look at whether
or not this could be a viable ferry berth,” he said. “It really is
looking like it could.”

“Once trade is fully open with Cuba, I wouldn’t be surprised if we have
daily ferries to Cuba. It might be two or three different operators
leaving from PortMiami,” he added. “We have a tremendous geographic
advantage for this service.”

On Thursday, Kuryla said the ferry terminal now being explored at
PortMiami should not be viewed as one for vessels bound for Cuba. “We
haven’t pursued any business in Cuba,” he said. Asked if he had met with
companies interested in running ferries from PortMiami to Cuba, Kuryla
declined to answer.

Miami has long been the stronghold for preserving Cuba’s outlaw status
in U.S. law and diplomacy, so the notion of Miami-Dade embracing a new
commercial route to Cuba caught some elected leaders by surprise.

“I don’t understand what the urgency is right now for the county,” said
County Commissioner Esteban “Steve” Bovo, the son of a Bay of Pigs
veteran and a hard-line Cuba critic on the 13-member commission. “I have
a little bit of anxiety dealing with this issue when nothing has
happened in Cuba to warrant a change.”

Word of a potential ferry terminal at PortMiami for Cuba-bound vessels
surfaced in recent meetings Gimenez had with Miami officials on the
future of the southwest corner. Xavier Suarez, a county commissioner,
said he attended a meeting with Gimenez and Ken Russell, Miami’s newest
commissioner, on the site. He said Kuryla described the land “as an
ideal place for the possibility of a ferry to Cuba.”

I HAVE A LITTLE BIT OF ANXIETY DEALING WITH THIS ISSUE WHEN NOTHING HAS
HAPPENED IN CUBA TO WARRANT A CHANGE.
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Esteban “Steve” Bovo

Last year, Washington granted the first ferry licenses allowing vessels
to travel to Cuba, though operators are mostly waiting for Havana to
give the go-ahead. South Florida is expected to be the industry’s base,
given its proximity to the island nation.

In his press conference, Gimenez said Miami-Dade’s port and airport
already are active in commerce with Cuba. “We know the cruise industry
is already going to start service to Cuba from PortMiami later this
year,” he said. “We also know there are about 14,000 passengers that go
from Miami International Airport to Cuba every week.”

Should Miami-Dade build a new ferry terminal, he said, local officials
wouldn’t have a say in where the boats could or couldn’t go. “That
legality is decided by [the] federal government,” he said. “Not by
Miami-Dade County.”

Source: Miami-Dade mayor plays down idea of Cuba ferry plans | Miami
Herald –
www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article53601980.html

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *