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Press Releases
Press Release from Cubalinda.com Inter-Active Travel

October 29, 2001

Contact: Ileana Carreno, tel. 7-553980

For Immediate Release

Philip Agee, the Director of Cubalinda.com, the only independent U.S.-owned travel agency based in Havana, today issued a call to people in the United States, Canada and Western Europe to take a break from anxiety and tension and come to Cuba, one of the safest countries in the world.

Now is the perfect time, he said, because of Cuba's very high safety level, Havana's charm, the fabulous beaches, the ideal weather this time of year, and the warmth and sympathy of the Cuban people.

At www.cubalinda.com Agee's agency has just published special crisis-relief and get-away relax packages designed especially for families. A three night, four day Havana-only package ranges from $150 to $280 US per person. For a week's visit to Havana or for a week's visit combining Havana and beaches at Varadero or Cayo Largo del Sur, the cost ranges from $300 to $800 US per person. Special discounts for children are available.

To reduce fear of flying Agee recommends flights to Havana on non-U.S. carriers: Iberia, British Airways and Air France for Europeans. Americans can fly via Cancun with Mexicana airlines and Aerocaribe, and via Montego Bay with Air Jamaica. Pre-paid tickets to Havana from those cities and from Nassau on Cubana can be arranged by Cubalinda with ticket and tourist card pick-up at airports in those cities.

Agee emphasized that Americans with valid passports can visit Cuba on his program without a license issued by the U.S. Treasury Department, i.e, in defiance of the ban on spending money in Cuba. Those who wish to do so should know that the National Lawyers Guild and the Center for Constitutional Rights, both based in New York City, have jointly established a national referral network of lawyers called the "Wall of Lawyers" to assist travelers to Cuba who are contacted by Treasury as a result of travel to Cuba. Should they receive a "pre-penalty notice" (PPN) from Treasury with a fine, they must respond within 30 days of the PPN's date, exercising their right to request an administrative hearing. The Guild's suggested form letters for response to any Treasury letters alleging unlicensed expenditures for travel to Cuba are at www.cubalinda.com. If the record of the past five years is any guide, after a hearing is requested Treasury will then file away the case because no appeals hearings have been held, nor have any judges been appointed to hold such hearings. Through the date of this posting, October 29, 2001, the legal processing of all such cases has stopped at that stage, and therefore no fines have been imposed when the request for hearing was made on time.

23 February 2000
First U.S. Business in Cuba/Project of Philip Agee, Author of Inside the Company: CIA Diary/A Virtual Travel Agency Using Electronic Commerce on the Internet.

Begin Text: This week in Havana the first U.S.-owned enterprise to open for business in Cuba since the establishment of the U.S. trade embargo nearly forty years ago began operations. It is a travel agency called Cubalinda.com Inter-Active Travel. Its founder is Philip Agee, the well-known former officer of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) whose books and other writings criticizing covert operations have been published worldwide.

The ambitious operation has been no less than three years in planning and execution, and it is based in a Havana office that has the highest technologies in computing and informatics.It consists of a global and inter-active catalog of the entire Cuban offer for tourists and other visitors, presented to the 130,000,000 Internet users through a World Wide website at www.cubalinda.com. Agee's project does not begin with tourist poles as is conventional, but with the activities that a foreigner can enjoy in Cuba. This approach is based on the belief that travelers who prefer individualized and specialized tourism already know what they want to do on a vacation. Users select an activity, and Cubalinda.com, with maps, texts and images conducts them to the practice of that activity throughout the length and breadth of Cuba.

The current opening offer of the site is limited to activities such as beach resorts, snorkeling, scuba diving, game fishing, golf and tennis, but eventually the site will offer a total of 21 different activities including cross-country cycling, spelunking, horseback trekking, medical treatments, educational courses, cultural events and nature walks.

The website is designed so that a user anywhere in the world can make all reservations on-line: flights, activities, hotels, travel insurance, transportation in Cuba and excursions, thus creating a personal Travel Pak. With a simple click of the mouse the Travel Pak is sent to Cubalinda.com for confirmations and costs. Later the user pays the invoice on-line with his or her credit card using a high security payments gateway, and confirmation of payment appears in the same user's Travel Pak.

In order to develop Cubalinda.com Agee has gathered together an extraordinary team of professionals in computing, design, commerce, research, marketing and administration. The number on his team has already reached a dozen, and they are from several countries in addition to Cuba.

For more information contact: Armando Tabío Aranda, tel. 553980 (Havana) email: info@cubalinda.com

 
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