Tampa resident says Cuba is changing - WNCT

Tampa resident says Cuba is changing

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Cuba photo collection-Photo courtesy of Frank Reno Cuba photo collection-Photo courtesy of Frank Reno
Cuba photo collection-Photo courtesy of Frank Reno Cuba photo collection-Photo courtesy of Frank Reno
Cuba photo collection-Photo courtesy of Frank Reno Cuba photo collection-Photo courtesy of Frank Reno
Cuba photo collection-Photo courtesy of Frank Reno Cuba photo collection-Photo courtesy of Frank Reno

Rapper Jay-Z has already penned a song about his recent trip to Cuba.  Jay-Z and his wife Beyonce celebrated their fifth anniversary in Cuba, with a license from the U.S. Government.

However, the trip came with criticism.  Republican U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, said it sent the wrong message for the couple to go.

Democratic Congresswoman Rep. Kathy Castor was in Cuba at the same time as the celebrity couple and came back with a different message.  Castor said, "The United States of American should normalize relations and begin a constructive dialog with the island nation."

The celebrities and Congresswoman Kathy Castor were not the only Americans in Cuba that week.

Tampa Bay area resident Frank Reno was also in Cuba at the same time. 

Reno runs a business called Cuba Executive Travel and takes small groups on four day, five night trips leaving directly from Tampa International Airport on a People to People license.

Reno says, "The folks down there love Americans, they love the American culture and they are smart enough distinguish between politics and people."

Reno also says he believes that the travel and trade restrictions should be lifted with Cuba, "For fifty years, they've been using the U.S. Embargo as a scapegoat for all the failure and all the ills of their system.  Well, why not remove that excuse."

Reno also believes lifting the travel and trade restrictions will create economic opportunity in Tampa, " I think it would give us some great opportunity, create jobs and reestablish some bonds. Inevitably there is going to be some significant change and I think we should be positioning ourselves for that now.", says Reno.

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