Despite softening in Cuban-American relations, policies remain tepid and hurdles impede eager investors who seek to crack the new market. Still, many remain optimistic as President Barack Obama sets out for the island in less than a week.
"It's the old prodigal son coming home; I'll be on that bridge, I might even be driving that ship myself," kidded a hopeful Frank Del Rio, who thinks relations will continue easing. The Cuban-born Norwegian Cruise Lines CEO, is one of the many businessmen who look to bring business to Havana; but, despite diplomatic efforts from the U.S., the Cuban embargo remains in place, an onerous issue for American companies.
In this line, news emerged Thursday that the U.S. government removed Cuban ports from its security list.
"Sooner or later the embargo has got to go for the tourism industry in Cuba to really flourish," Del Rio told "Power Lunch." "Even with all the changes that executive orders have, its travel that's allowed — not tourism, and there's a big distinction."