Hey, You With The 25 Smartphones! Cuba Gets Tough With Tourists Bringing Goods To Island
HAVANA (AP) — Lugging duffel bags crammed with soap, socks, toys and toiletries, travelers arriving in Cuba on Monday carried loads of hard-to-obtain consumer goods but complained that new government restrictions on their imports would leave their families wanting.
Passengers on the day’s first flights from Miami grumbled about higher duty fees and limits on the amount of products they could bring to Cuban relatives frustrated with the high prices and scarcity of quality products. At Havana’s international airport, there appeared to be fewer bicycles, 40-inch televisions or other bulky household items that normally made the baggage carousels look like the inventory line of a Target or Wal-Mart.
“There are barely any bags on the floor inside,” said Arnaldo Roa, a 45-year-old Miami handyman on a trip to see relatives. While he had a bag stuffed with toys and clothes for his daughter, he said he wasn’t able to bring his usual extra bags filled with gifts for other family members.
“I’m upset,” he said. “Some relatives are going to get upset because normally I bring them things.”