MIAMI – The Cuban-American community in Florida will stage a protest on Tuesday before the offices of Carnival Cruise Line because Cuban authorities will not allow them to travel to the communist island on board cruise ships that will sail there regularly starting on May 1.
The Democracy Movement convened the demonstration to call attention to the “discrimination” the prohibition by Havana represents, the group’s leader, Ramon Saul Sanchez, told EFE on Monday.
The controversy erupted on the weekend after a reporter with the daily El Nuevo Herald tried to buy a ticket on the first of the cruise liners scheduled to sail to Cuba and was told by the firm that they would not accept her as a passenger because Cuban law prohibits her from traveling to the island.
The journalist wrote an article denouncing the situation and since then the complaints have multiplied.
Sanchez told EFE that on Sunday he met with a top Carnival official to express his outrage over the fact that the company is agreeing to the discriminatory practice.
According to the exile group’s leader, the official said that the firm does not agree with the prohibition either and has lobbied the island’s authorities not to apply the law to cruise lines, so far without results.
Under the slogan “Carnival Stop Nationality Apartheid,” the Democracy Movement is not only preparing the Tuesday demonstration but has also organized a flotilla to protest the matter by sea on May 1, when the Carnival vessel Adonia sets sail for Cuba.