Daily Archives: April 5, 2007

Young Cuban-Americans Softening Embargo Stance

In a recent study done by FIU with assistance from the Brookings Institute, it has been found that over half of Cuban-Americans favored unrestricted travel to Cuba. The poll still finds 57% in favor of the embargo, but the number has declined drastically, particularly among the younger Cuban-American population.

This isn’t surprising. The younger Cuban-American population has a convoluted view of the way Cuba was before 1959, how the revolution happened, and where the island country stands now. All the younger Cuban-American generation knows is that their parents and older relatives lost their properties, businesses, and freedoms to a communist dictator long ago. They know Castro is tantamount to Lucifer and that Cuba’s formerly prosperous society has been corroded by years of mismanagement and economic exploitation. The remnants of the past glory are safely guarded by the exiles’ moral community. This is the exile community’s standpoint.

I, as a young Cuban-American, long to visit the Caribbean island and see what it’s really like to feel Cuba’s gentle breezes and the warmth of its clear aquamarine waters. I’d like to witness the festive congas with the clanking sounds of kitchen utensils hitting pots and pans and Chinese flutes blaring. I’d like to stare up at the tropical mountains and admire the architecture and history of its cities. I would like to explore my family’s roots, which originate to the 1500’s and are traced to Jose Marti’s late wife (Carmen Zayas-Bazan) and son (Jose Marti Zayas-Bazan). I don’t care about the politics. The iron curtain that bisects the Florida Straits and the embargo that strengthens it have hindered my ability to fulfill any of these dreams, and I relish in knowing that over half of those surveyed agree that some changes, at least with travel restrictions, should be made.

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IDEAS Revenue Mngmt. Application Boosts Hotel Profitability

Miami Beach’s hotel market is in such high demand that many hoteliers are opting to use IDEAS revenue management software in order to maximize their earnings. IDEAS claims that currently their biggest surge in use is coming from the burgeoning South Beach market, which is enjoying, on average, higher rates than NYC hotels. The intelligent application allows hoteliers to evaluate group packaging, have more competitive pricing, and manage multiple and properties.

Currently, the Sagamore, Richmond, and Strand Hotels in South Beach are using IDEAS. Elsewhere in Miami at the Trump International Sonesta Hotel, Coconut Grove Sonesta, and Mandarin Oriental, among others.

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Miami’s Economy Growing at a Record Rate

According to an article featured on Azobuild.com (A to Z of Building), Miami’s economy is the thirteenth largest in the U.S. (including states) and has outpaced Chicago and positioned itself behind Beijing in office market growth. Miami’s $7.2 billion trade surplus is the second largest in the U.S. The data was compiled via the U.S. Census Bureau. According to the same source, the Greater Miami area out performed New York and London in terms of investment growth. Miami has already surpassed the Big Apple in new construction activity and currently leads the U.S.

Wikipedia has an article on Manhattanization, which references Miami’s version of it as a great example of the urban phenomenon. Wikipedia, humorously enough, also has an article on the emerging Biscayne Wall.

According to the Beacon Council, 46% of all trade with Central America goes through Miami’s Customs District along with 30% of all Caribbean trade and 20.6% of all the trade with South America. As far as total U.S. exports go, Miami dispatches 49% of all trade to Central America, 42% to the Caribbean, and 38% to South America. Brazil tops the list of Miami’s trading partners with almost $5 billion in yearly trade. According to Florida FTAA, Miami is home to over 500 multi-national headquarters, about half of which specifically target Latin America.

The continued progress of Miami will bode well with domestic and international investors down the line and help sustain what is being considered “over-development” by some. The Magic City continues on its world-class track.

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