Trump's Cuba travel restrictions could spell disaster for the thousands of thriving tourism businesses in Havana
Nidialys Acosta never dreamed the business she started with her husband Julio Alvarez six years ago would be as successful as it has become.
It boasts a fleet of classic American cars ferrying US visitors around Havana, employing dozens of workers as drivers and mechanics, and providing them all with a solid income and a bright future.
But now she worries it all could come crashing down if as the US President Trump cancels a deal to easing travel restrictions between the two countries, made by his predecessor Barack Obama.
Acosta fears that will curtail travel to Cuba by American citizens, the mainstay of her business.
“We are a growing business, we want to get ahead, we have families who depend on us, on our work and if we are unable to keep it up, if we fail then we are responsible to them (families) and our friends for that, for our whole society.”
Nostalgicar started in 2011 when Acosta and her husband Julio Alvarez parked their two restored 1956 Buicks outside the iconic Hotel Nacional on Havana’s seaside Malecon boulevard, hoping to entice visiting Americans to take a ride down memory lane for $30 per hour.
David Allan was visiting from Baltimore;
“I know there is a lot of desire on the part of Americans to come and see what was prohibited, you know it was like the forbidden fruit. So now that it is a little more open there is a lot of desire for people to come and see the vintage vehicles.”
Que Bola!!!.. Acere… I love you Cuba and your beautiful…. CARS!!! pic.twitter.com/lqaAipLIcE
— Jeremias DeLechero (@gringocurious) August 4, 2017
Now Nostalgicar has a fleet of 22 restored classic American cars, providing rides to famous Americans like Madonna, the Kardashians, Jay-Z and Beyonce, as well as former US first lady Michele Obama and her daughters. US visitors pack the cars daily, providing a comfortable living for dozens of Cuban workers.