Pro­tec­tor of Cuba’s coral reefs

Re “Is this an­other Cold War with Cuba?” Ed­i­to­rial, June 19

Los Angeles Times - - OPIN­ION -

Pres­i­dent Trump’s de­ci­sion to once again bar Amer­i­can tourists from trav­el­ing to Cuba and ban busi­ness trans­ac­tions with firms con­nected to Cuba’s mil­i­tary and se­cu­rity ser­vices is bad news for en­tre­pre­neur­ial Cubans and U.S. busi­nesses — but it is good news for the en­vi­ron­ment in Cuba.

Un­der the pres­i­den­cies of Fidel Cas­tro and then his brother Raul, nearly onequar­ter of the land in Cuba has been placed un­der some form of en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion. As a con­se­quence, Cuba has the health­i­est reefs in the Caribbean and amaz­ing en­demic wildlife. A visit to Cuba of­fers spec­tac­u­lar bird­ing and botan­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ences through or­ga­ni­za­tions with per­mits from the Cuban gov­ern­ment.

I can­not wait to visit Bara­coa and the Ale­jan­dro de Hum­boldt Na­tional Park in Fe­bru­ary. I want to ex­pe­ri­ence them be­fore Chi­nese busi­nesses in­evitably step in to drain coastal wet­lands and build big re­sorts. Gov­ern­ment pro­tec­tions for the en­vi­ron­ment seem to melt away in the face of po­ten­tially big fi­nan­cial gains.

Frances Klein Los Feliz

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