September 12, 2012

La Habana Vieja, Cuba. February, 2012

Whenever I mention to someone that I’ve recently been to Cuba, most times their eyes light up and they say, “Oh, I really want to go.” Well...go. Granted it’s not easy. Or cheap. At the moment, even with the slight loosening of US travel restrictions to the Pearl of the Antilles, the State Department still only allows Americans to travel if they meet very strict requirements (cultural groups, doctors, religious leaders, etc.) Of course, not everyone goes there legally. In fact, hundreds of thousands of our fellow Americans travel to Cuba each year through Canada, Mexico and other stopovers. Cuban officials don’t stamp your passport, I’m told, only the visa, which they then keep as you leave the country. (I travelled legally with the Center for Cuban Studies in NYC.) Meanwhile, for those yanquis still jonesing for a Cuban sojourn, let me recommend Tom Miller’s excellent Trading with the Enemy. It’s the closest account I’ve found to match my own experiences there.

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