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Cuban Regime Declares the Ciego de Ávila Keys as “Preferential Tourism Territory”

Cuba, Cayo Coco, territorio de uso turístico

MIAMI, United States. – The Cuban regime’s Council of Ministers declared the keys on the northern coast of Ciego de Ávila as “preferential tourism territory,” a category that includes other sites, such as Playa Larga, Soroa and Antilla.

The government of the island based its decision on Agreement 9428 of 2022, published in the official gazette –Gaceta Oficial- number 109 dated November 4th, 2022, which in itself stems from Law-Decree 331, Zones with Special Regulations (Sobre las Zonas con Regulaciones Especiales).

The disposition declares Cayo Guillermo and Cayo Coco – two of the keys that have the most hotel facilities – and Antón Chico, Antón Grande, Romano and Paredón Grande keys.

Going forward, “only housing associated with golf course and building development, motels for workers, and housing for foreign specialists who are working in tourism activity, will be allowed” in that zone.

In addition, building of “temporary camps” for construction workers and “Security and Interior Order units” will be permitted.

“Activities like diving, nautical and guided services can only be conducted by the specialized and duly-authorized entities that are charged with complying with international regulations,” according to the agreement of the Council of Ministers.

“Access to this Zone is limited to only tourism activities that hold a previous reservation or authorization from the local government; and to Zone workers and authorized personnel,” the agreement adds.

This way, access to the area is restricted for Cuban nationals.

According to the Council of Ministers, the goal of a restricted area is “to develop tourism activities related to enjoying the sun, the beaches, nautical services and nature.”

In addition to establishing controls over areas intended for tourism development, in recent years, the island’s regime has applied restrictions to areas in Old Havana and Centro Habana for reasons of “security”.

In July of this year, the Cuban government also declared Playa Larga, in Ciénaga de Zapata, Matanzas, as a “preferential tourism territory”.

For Playa Larga, the pertinent agreement published in the Gaceta Oficial specifies that “the area called Playa Larga is declared a preferential tourism zone with special regulations, of the economic-development kind.”

The document, signed by the Council of Ministers, establishes that management of the territory falls under the aegis of the local people’s assembly –Gobierno Provincial del Poder Popular de Matanzas- and that the state would have priority for the construction of new hotels.

In the meantime, residents of the area, which is approximately one square mile long, were restricted from building additional housing.

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