The Hotel Nacional is a few blocks from the Capri. It has been a favorite hotel for American tourists visiting the island illegally. If Barack Obama lifts travel restrictions, I'm sure the place would be flooded with Americans.
We're always hearing that U.S. trade sanctions against Cuba cost the Caribbean nation billions of dollars every year. Well, writer Margot Pepper says they hurt the United States, too. She projects that the sanctions will cost the U.S. $3.6 billion in lost sales in 2009, according to this article.
I don't know about all that, but I know jobs are scarce where I live in north Florida and unemployment is around 10 percent. So we could use the jobs. And God knows Cuba needs a boost. Its claimed unemployment rate was 1.9 percent in 2007, according to Cuban government figures. I don't know how they come up with that number. It looks like pure fantasy to me. But what's certain is that ordinary Cubans are having a tough time.
Hotel Capri, linked to the American mafia in the 1950s, has been closed since around 2004 and has been undergoing a $15 million renovation. Actor George Raft ran the hotel for the mob until Fidel Castro took power.