Cuban yacht charter on the up

As western media outlets mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John Kennedy, one of his communist targets: Cuban leader Raul Castro has launched a programme to develop yacht charter!

Castro has signed a decree that will allow yachts from outside the country to stay in local marinas for five years, IBI Magazine reports.

“Recreational boats on pleasure cruises will be able to remain in the national territory for up to five years,” the regulation states. Individual marinas will be able to extend the period.

The decree was backed by the ministries of Tourism as well as Finance and Prices. The legislation also established a definition for “marinas”, with rules for planning, development and preservation.

The decree also allows boat owners coming to the island to send information ahead to the Tourism Ministry about vessel type, crew and passengers, to expedite access.

The measure is part of a broader initiative to diversify tourism in Cuba, which is currently the second-highest economic activity for the Caribbean island. The government said it plans to create a National Nautical Commission, which will coordinate policies relating to nautical tourism.