Tampa Port Could Serve Cuban Trade, Tourism

A member of the Tampa Port Authority wants the city to prepare for the future.

One Tampa Port Authority Board member would like to see the region ready for possible trade and tourism with Cuba in the future. Do you agree?
One Tampa Port Authority Board member would like to see the region ready for possible trade and tourism with Cuba in the future. Do you agree?

Undeveloped land at Port Tampa Bay may one day serve Cuban commerce and tourism if a proposal being floated holds water.

Tampa Port Authority Board member Patrick Allman would like to see the Channelside Master Plan include room for a ferry that might run passengers and cargo between Tampa and Cuba. The land is available near the cruise ship terminals, and the political situation is slowly changing, he told The Tampa Tribune.

“We’re thinking ahead to future opportunities,” Allman told the Tribune. “We are apolitical, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to say this situation will change in the future.”

The authority plans an open house for its Channelside Master Plan June 24 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Tampa Bay History Center, 801 Old Water St. The informal meeting will enable residents to review Port Tampa Bay’s plans for the future and give them a chance to provide input.

The 50th anniversary of America’s embargo on Cuba was marked in 2012, according to the New York Times, but there has been a softening in recent times. Tampa International Airport received a green light for flights to the island country and the Tampa Chamber of Commerce spearheaded a trip there for businesspeople and then-Mayor Dick Greco in 2002. 

With Cuba’s leaders aging, the time is now to plan for a warming of relations, Allman says. (Check out The Tribune’s full story here.)

For more information on the upcoming open house, visit the port authority's website.

What do you think about the embargo? Is it time to leave it behind? Tell us by commenting below!

elizabeth gordon June 20, 2014 at 12:09 PM
It is time. Canada and many other nations travel and do business with Cuba. The embargo has done little good through these 30 years. I am excited about seeing the ships come in with goods like when I was a child. Perhaps musicians and singers would come again and invigorate Ybor, and West Tampa.
Magnus Thunderson June 21, 2014 at 01:42 PM
Elisabeth it been going on for 50 not 30 years and it be a total failure as it not stopped anything including American car parts as they were shipped to Cuba threw Antigua island middleman. so all it really hurt were the people


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