Cuba Business

Silares Terminales del Caribe forced out of Cuba - Property to be nationalized

Posted August 15, 2005 by publisher in Cuba Business.

Associated Press

The Cuban government ended a contract with the company administering the island’s cruise terminals following remarks by President Fidel Castro that cruise ships exploit small Caribbean countries and were no longer welcome in Cuba.

A Council of State resolution signed Aug. 2 and published in last week’s Official Gazette ended a seven-year relationship with the Italian company Silares Terminales del Caribe, which operated here as a mixed-enterprise business with the island’s CUBANCO S.A.

Silares will no longer administer docking operations, and ownership of all equipment and infrastructure will revert back to the state, the resolution said.

The resolution didn’t say whether cruise ships would be able to come to Cuba in the future under different arrangements. The tourism ministry was contacted by The Associated Press but made no comment.

Silares officials also did not respond to requests for an interview.

In a May speech, Castro said fellow Caribbean states were informed that Cuba would not be accepting more cruise ships, as tourists coming in on them “leave their trash ... for a few miserable cents.”

Cuba earlier promoted cruise ships as part of a steadily growing tourism industry that brought more than 2 million visitors to the island last year, making it a major source of foreign exchange revenue. The island received about 45,000 cruise visitors in 2002 and 60,000 in 2003, according to Silares.

The contract with Silares dates back to October 1998. The group worked with 14 cruise ship lines primarily from France, Great Britain and Germany.

Member Comments

On August 15, 2005, publisher wrote:

I think something must have been left out of this story. Do I understand that NO cruise ships will be coming into Cuba?

Unfortunately it is this kind of business practice that keeps Cuba from getting many foreign investors. First they have to agree to a 50/50 joint venture, use all Cuban labor, lease all land AND go to sleep every night wondering if a state resolution will be passed taking all assets and kicking them out of the country.

On November 06, 2008, marke wrote:

Good for Fidel!!! ... the cruise ships totally rip off the local commnities they visit!! ... go to any south east alaskan town on cruise ship itineries and you will see the endless line of crap gift shops which have squeexed the local shops and services out of business and are usually owned by the cruse ship companies themselves…. and then on top of that there is the shore excursion rip off .... tour companies with cruise shiop contracts typically have to pay back over 40% of the sales price to the cruise ship as a sales commsion!!!

On November 06, 2008, manfredz wrote:

ironically, here on the Canadian east coast, there have been news features when some cruise ships were skipping some some maritime ports because of the high cost of fuel, how much money would then not be flowing into the local economy.

On November 07, 2008, marke wrote:

...I think it is exactly the point of the previous blogger (marke)....Cruise Ship Co. hardly contribute to the local economy….the do not employ locals, duty free shops inside the ship, so that the tourist ever need to buy anything in town and when they do is in stores named Caribean Royal Diamond, Princess Jewlery, etc. I wonder who own those? The Cruise ship even offers free internet access while on the dock, squeezing the little internet cafe out of business…so tell me what local economy do they contribute again? Obviously, I’,m talking for my little town of Ketchikan, AK and I admit know nothing about the type of agreement the canadians in the east coast have with such cruise ships. Wouldn’t surprise me if you draw better contract agreement with them….but if they are doing in Cuba what they are doing in SE Alaska I must agree with the guy who said “Good for Fidel!!”