Time To See Names & Addresses Of Hotels And Apartment Buildings In Havana
Travelers, Tour Operators, Travel Agents, Airlines & Cruise Lines Need To Know
Given the Travel Warning issued by the United States Department of State on 29 September 2017 was designed to proactively protect individuals subject to United States jurisdiction- by 1) encouraging them not to visit the Republic of Cuba and 2) if visiting the Republic of Cuba appreciating the potentiality of attacks, there is validity for the United States Department of State to immediately publish the locations of all known attacks- residences, hotels, etc.
The United States Department of State defines a Travel Warning:
"We issue a Travel Warning when we want you to consider very carefully whether you should go to a country at all. Examples of reasons for issuing a Travel Warning might include unstable government, civil war, ongoing intense crime or violence, or frequent terrorist attacks. We want you to know the risks of traveling to these places and to strongly consider not going to them at all. Travel Warnings remain in place until the situation changes; some have been in effect for years."
One hotel has been officially identified as a location of an attack(s): NH Capri in Havana, which is managed by Madrid, Spain-based NH Hotel Group and owned by Republic of Cuba government-operated Grupo Caribe.
Another property, Hotel Nacional de Cuba in Havana, managed by Grupo Caribe, has been unofficially reported as a location of an attack(s).
Both NH Capri and Hotel Nacional de Cuba are owned by Grupo Caribe.
If one or both have been confirmed as locations of attacks, why has the United States Department of State not immediately prohibited individuals subject to United States jurisdiction from residing at the properties? Protection from an unknown. That would seem prudent given the definition of a Travel Warning and the Republic of Cuba-related statements from the United States Department of State.
In addition, attacks have been confirmed at the residences in Havana of employees of the United States Embassy. These residences (generally apartments within buildings), primarily located in the Vedado and Miramar districts, are owned by the government of the Republic of Cuba and rented to the government of the United States.
While the United States Department of State may posit that the addresses of the residences are not consequential and distract from the issue, and perhaps violate privacy, there is an argument that the publication of the information supplants any concerns due to the importance (urgency) for travelers to the Republic of Cuba. It’s reasonable to believe that the United States Department of State will not continue to use the specific residences. If the information is not published, there is less foundation for the Travel Warning.
Republic of Cuba nationals are hospitable, and often invite visitors to their residences. With the proliferation of residences within the portfolio of San Francisco, California-based Airbnb, the availability of addresses where there have been reported attacks would assist travelers with proactively determining where they visit while within the Republic of Cuba.
Soon, the United States Department of State will issue a list of locations within the Republic of Cuba that are owned/controlled by the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) of the Republic of Cuba. These locations will be prohibited for use by individuals subject to United States jurisdiction.
If important enough for the United States Department of State to publish a list of hotels and restaurants to avoid due to their ownership, then a list of hotels and residence addresses to avoid due to potential health issues would seem far more significant.
With the United States Department of State confirming that they do not know the source(s) of the attacks or the tools used to create the attacks, there is a possibility that travelers could unknowingly encounter the active or residual source(s) or tools of an attack.
Given the denial of responsibility by the government of the Republic of Cuba, unlikely would the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX) of the Republic of Cuba object to the release of the addresses.
Absent full disclosure, the issuance of the Travel Warning unnecessarily maintains a suspect political component which, if left unaddressed, may negatively, with potentially fatal results, have travelers be circumspect of a Travel Warning issued by the United States Department of State for any country.
The United States Department of State has reported twenty-one (21) individuals subject to United States jurisdiction who are employees (or spouses) of the United States Embassy in Havana, Republic of Cuba, having been impacted by attacks. The government of Canada has also reported an attack.
According to the United States Department of State: "These employees have suffered significant injuries as a consequence of these attacks. Affected individuals have exhibited a range of physical symptoms, including ear complaints, hearing loss, dizziness, tinnitus, balance problems, visual complaints, headache, fatigue, cognitive issues, and difficulty sleeping."
There are always moments for both the government of the United States and the government of the Republic of Cuba to be transparent; this is one of those moments.