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Cuba Standard Business Familiarization Tour 

A People to People Educational Exchange 

In partnership with Cuba Cultural Travel

Monday November 2 thru Friday November 6

Itinerary Subject to Change

For more information, call (941) 702-8614, or email To download information about prices and a registration form, click here: Registration Form – Cuba Standard


Day 1 Sunday November 1

Participants will fly independently to Miami and overnight at Crowne Plaza Miami, 950 NW LeJeune Road, Miami, Florida 33126. Ph. (305) 929-0116. Contracted group rate available.


Day 2 Monday November 2

10:15 am Meet at Miami AirportABC Charter flight #AA9440, operated by American Airlines. Check- in is located in Concourse D.  Enter through Door 1 and check-in at the AA counter.

ABC Charters has the following luggage policy: All additional luggage fees must be paid in cash at the time of check-in. One carry-on and one personal item at no charge*.  1st checked bag; $20.00. Each additionalchecked bag; $20.00.  70 lbs max weight per bag. 44 lbs allowed free; $2.00 per pound over (including carry-on). No luggage fees apply on your return to Miami.  *Please be aware that in the event of a full flight into Havana you may be required to check your carry-on luggage for an additional $20.00 fee.

12:30 pm Depart for Havana. Flight time is 1 hour.

1:30 pm Arrive in Havana. Clear immigration and customs and baggage, a process that takes about an hour and a half.

2:45 pm Lunch at the famous El Aljíbe. Cuban food at its best; the roasted chicken soaked in orange      garlic sauce is a favorite, located in the Havana neighborhood of Miramar, home to many embassies and residences of foreign diplomats.

4:00 pm Check-in to Hotel Parque Central. This five star hotel is considered the finest hotel in Havana and perfectly located in the central part of Havana.

Hotel Parque Central *****

Neptuno, esquina Prado y Zulueta   Havana, Cuba    Tel. 53 7 860 6627

All rooms include a safe deposit box free of charge.

5:30 pm Cuba in Transition: The Rule of Law as part of Cuban Reforms. 

Lecture by Rafael M. Hernández.  Rafael is a lawyer, historian, author, and editor of Temas, a Cuban quarterly in the field of social sciences and humanities. Temas is considered the leading intellectual publication in Cuba and an important source of independent thought. He has taught as a visiting professor at Harvard, Columbia, the University of Texas, the University of Puerto Rico; CIDE and ITAM in Mexico, and served as visiting scholar at the Wilson Center (Washington DC) and other US and Latin American academic institutions. He has published widely on Cuban and U.S. policies, inter-American relations, international security, migration, and Cuban culture, civil society, and politics Rafael co-authored “The History of Havana” and has recently returned to Cuba after role as adjunct professor at Columbia University. This meeting will take place in a hotel conference room.

8:00 pm Dinner at La Guarida. A private home-based paladar made famous in the film Strawberries for Chocolate.

Evening entertainment options will be provided.


Day 3 Tuesday November 3  

7:00 -10:00 am Complimentary breakfast served in lobby level of hotel.

9:00 -10:30 Lecture by journalist Marc Frank. The longest serving foreign correspondent in Cuba, Frank writes for Reuters, the Financial Times and The Economist, and is an authority on the Cuban economy. Frank will offer insight into important economic, political and social issues on the island and share colorful stories about being a reporter in Cuba.  This meeting will take place in a hotel conference room.

10:45 – 12:00 Foreign investment in Cuba. 

Lecturer: Cuban attorney Osvaldo Miranda Diaz. Osvaldo works primarily in the area of commercial law as legal advisor to foreign companies and investors. He is also a litigator who has defended numerous foreign individuals and companies in the Cuban court system as well as international arbitration. Earlier in his career, Osvaldo was the youngest Cuban magistrate to preside over a commercial court. He will discuss the new Cuban investment law, the fundamental requirements for doing business in Cuba, procedural process for gaining government approval and forming state partnerships, legal protections for foreign business, the Cuban banking system, hiring Cuban workers, Cuban income tax considerations. The final half hour will be dedicated to questions and answers. This meeting will take place in a hotel conference room.

12:15 pm Walking tour of UNESCO World Heritage site of Havana Vieja. Our Cuban tour guide will

explain the history of the city as we view prominent buildings and plazas that played a prominent role in the development of Havana as one of the most important cities in the New World.  Please make sure to wear comfortable shoes!

1:15 pm Lunch at Paladar Los Mercaderes.  This impeccably restored mansion is a welcome retreat

from the bustling streets of the old city. Enjoy delightful tapas and a selection of seasonal specialties. The affable host Yamil entertains with his charming anecdotes as do the house musicians.

Continue walking tour of Havana Vieja.

Guided tour of Escuela de Taller, a teaching facility dedicated to the restoration of Havana Vieja.  This project is preserving the architectural history and cultural heritage of the city by teaching builders, woodworkers, metal workers the skills needed to restore and preserve the authenticity of important buildings. Our guide will be technical specialist Juan Jésus Gesen Musa, who will take us on a tour of the facility and introduce us to students.

4:00 pm Lecture by Prof. Carlos Alzugaray – Former Cuban Ambassador to the European Union and

former Director of the Institute of Foreign Relations.

Topic: Professor Alzugaray will give a lecture on the history of Cuban-American relations and explain the current political considerations that are playing a role in the ongoing discussions between the two countries. This meeting will take place in a hotel conference room.

7:00 pm The Music of Alberto Faya. Band leader Professor Alberto Faya has been working as a musician, professor and researcher within the Cuban musical world since 1973. He has won national awards in music and musicology. He will be joined by several young musicians who will treat us to a lively journey through the history of Cuban music.

8:15 pm Dinner at the stylish Paladar Río Mar located at La Puntilla in Miramar. Enjoy views of the bay and gentle ocean breezes from the terrace. The food is upscale and contemporary with European influence. This restaurant received Trip Advisor’s 2014 Certificate of Excellence due to the excellent food & service.


Day 4 Wednesday November 4 

9:00 am Tour of Mariel Special Development Zone  (pending confirmation).

12:00 pm Lunch at La Xana located inside the Centro Asturiano.

1:00 pm Meeting with a spokesman of the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Investment  (pending confirmation).

Tour of Modern Architecture in Western Havana.  Few people realize the important place Havana holds as a treasure trove of 20th Century architecture. Our tour will highlight some of the best examples to be found in this incredibly diverse area of the city where some of its most fascinating buildings were built using different architectural styles.  We will visit the iconic Hotel Nacional, Hotel Riviera and the Lopez Serrano Building.

Visit the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA). One of the few major architectural projects completed in Cuba in the early 1960s, this remarkable post-revolution campus is the premier school in Cuba for students studying music, visual arts and performing arts.  Castro commissioned Cuban architect Ricardo Porro and two Italian architects, Vittorio Garatti and Roberto Gottardi for this tuition-free, educational institute built on a former golf club. “Cuba will count as having the most beautiful academy of arts in the world.” – Fidel Castro (1961)

Our guide will be Architect Universo Francisco Garcia Lorenzo. Since 1988, Mr. Garcia has been important architect and restoration designer throughout Cuba.  As the director of such high profile restoration projects as the Hotel Nacional, Tarara Beach Resort and more recently the National Art Schools Complex, Mr. Garcia has played an important role in designing or restoring many iconic Havana landmarks. His wide ranging talents include landscape design, interior design, acoustical engineering, conservation and historic preservation.

4:00 pm Lecture:  The Hospitality Industry in Cuba 

Speaker:  Eddie Lubbers  CEO Cuba Travel Network (CTN) 

Considered the pioneer of online booking in Cuba, Dutch entrepreneur Eddie Lubbers has created a highly successful and respected business catering to foreigners wishing to visit Cuba. Founded in 2002, Cuba Travel Network handled 74,000 customers in 2014, consisting mainly of individual travelers booking itineraries through CTN. His extensive knowledge of the hotel and tourist market in Cuba is unmatched.  Additionally, as an employer of some 50 Cubans throughout the island, Eddie has a seasoned perspective on the challenges and benefits of the Cuban labor market.  This meeting will take place in a hotel conference room.

7:30 pm Dinner at VIP Habana.


Day 5 Thursday November 5 

9:00 am Lecture by Juan Alejandro Triana, a faculty member of the Department of Economics at 

the Instituto Politechnico Jose Echevarria (ISPJAE). His research and publications have focused on micro-financing in Cuba and Cuba-U.S. economic relations. Juan will explain the changing government policies regarding privately owned businesses, the changing public perception about making money and the growing interest in entrepreneurism.   Other topics will include a short history of Cuban economic model over the last 50 years.  This meeting will take place in a hotel conference room.

10:30-11:30 am Visit the Museum of Cuban Art. We will be greeted by art historian Aylet Ojeda. The museum is dedicated exclusively to Cuban Art from the earliest days of colonialism to the latest generation of Cuban artists.

Lunch on your own.

2:30 pm Lecture by Havana-based Canadian attorney Gregory Biniowsky.

Gregory is a Canadian lawyer and political scientist who has lived in Cuba for more than 20 years, and has a diverse background involving a multitude of for-profit and nonprofit endeavors, including teaching at the University of Havana, doing consulting work for foreign companies exploring or setting up ventures in Cuba, and working as a consultant for the Canadian Embassy in Havana and the United Nations in Havana.  Gregory presently works for the Canadian based international law firm Gowlings Lafleur Henderson LLP, focusing on offering strategic advice, business intelligence, and venture options to prospective investors and companies, from around the world, who looking at the Cuban market.

Gregory is also the founding partner of Havanada Consulting Inc., which is a non-profit consulting firm, specializing on giving advice to philanthropists, charitable foundations, and development NGOs who want to undertake or fund non-profit projects in Cuba. Gregory will share his personal insights into Cuban society, the evolving political landscape and the fast changing business and investment environment.

This lecture will take place at Nazdarovie, a new Cuban-Soviet inspired restaurant on the Malécon. In late 2014 Gregory and his Cuban wife, Attorney Danelys Coz, opened Nazdarovie as a personal ‘oeuvre de coeur’ & as a way to pay homage to the Soviet women who settled and established families in Cuba. They have created a space of nostalgia and memories for the thousands of Cubans who spent ‘the best years of their youth’ studying at universities in the USSR – a nostalgia which transcends politics and ideology.

Dinner   Farewell Dinner at San Cristobal. About a 10-minute walk from Parque Central, this cozy paladar has a reputation of excellence in both atmosphere and local cuisine. The food is refined and balanced (enjoy dishes like gazpacho, tender lobster, crème carmel) and the nostalgic atmosphere is unforgettable, adorned in a unique style of art nouveau.


Day 6 Friday November 6 

9:30 am Lecture: Cuba Standard columnist Domingo Amuchastegui, Cuba Standard Editor 

Johannes Werner, and Fernando Donayre, Cuba investment expert. Meet the team of the only independent information service exclusively dedicated to the Cuban economy and business in Cuba.

12:00 pm Check out of the hotel and depart for the airport.

2:45 pm Flight departs Havana for Miami on ABC Charter Flight #AA9451, operated by American Airlines. Flight duration is 1 hour.

3:45 pm Arrive in Miami. Clear customs and connect with flights home.

* Tips may be given to your Cuban guide and driver at this time. The recommended tip is 5-7CUC per day, per passenger for your guide and 3-5CUC per day, per passenger for your driver.






* Please Note:  This is a “Working” Itinerary. There may be some changes, additions and/or subtractions to the Final Itinerary. All venues and artist’s studios are subject to final confirmations. Be assured that any changes made will be done to enhance the total program, and to promote a smooth operation of the tour.

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