A deserted Old Havana, empty restaurants and bored-to-death drivers of old cars in the Parque Central are some of the images that accompany the testimonies of Cuban private workers in a video posted on Facebook.
Cuban-American professor Carlos Lazo filmed and published the video on his social networks to show the negative effect for Cuban private workers of the U.S. government’s restrictions on travel to Cuba.
During short two-day trip for family reasons, Lazo decided to seek the testimony of the people he saw passing fundamentally through Old Havana.
“I was in places where I had visited before and they were full of people and now I saw that many of those tourist places were empty,” Lazo told OnCuba.
“People talked about how since the suspension of the cruise ships the situation with the self-employed is serious, because it represented an end to their income and that has no solution in the short term,” he added.
In the video there are sellers of handicrafts, taxi drivers, drivers of vintage cars, restaurant private workers, and they all express their sorrow at the situation in which they are after the suspension of travel on cruise ships.
“It’s a very controversial issue, because everyone always asks who these measures really affect, and that’s why I decided to ask the people themselves, people who work in restaurants, who rent taxis,” said Lazo.
One of the drivers of vintage cars said that they could spend up to 15 or 16 hours without doing anything, but “we still have to pay taxes and the license.”
Meanwhile, a craftswoman said she didn’t know how these measures could affect the government but she did know how they affected her business.
The summer months are considered the “low season” for international tourism to the island, which has been drastically affected by the Trump administration’s recent measures.
Recently, the Cuban authorities announced a tourism forecast for the island of 4.3 million, a figure much lower than the 5 million visitors predicted at the beginning of the year.