What comes to mind when you think of Cuba??? For me it’s a hot mix of rum cake, Fidel Castro, bright coloured heritage buildings from the 1950’s and old men in pinstripe suits with cigars.
Image: Idealista.com, 2016
Recent news of the Obama movement to liberate or merely ease trade between Cuba and America has definitely loosened some strings between not just Cuba and America but also Cuba and the world. The agreements between Obama and the Cuban government will allow quicker export and import from both countries and on a better note for tourists, loosen the restrictions on transport of Rum and Cigars, in and out of the borders. For the people of the United states this agreement mean’s more quality Rum and quality cigars for Cuba this is the beginning of the normalization of it’s communist country, a chance to rebuild an economy and grow infrastructure and in the mean time make Cuba a friendlier place for global tourism.
Here is a quick segment giving a little more detail than my rushed summary on what Obama’s policy with Castro means for Cuba;
‘‘Under the new policy , the United States government expands and promotes authorized engagements with Cuba to advance cooperation on areas of mutual interest, and increase travel to, commerce with, and the free flow of information to Cuba. The objective of the new policy is to help the Cuban people to achieve a better future for themselves…’’ (2016, Barack Obama, Presidential-Policy-Directive-on-Cuba).
A better economy as a result will allow better transport, trade and business interest from abroad, encouraging more tourism for Cuba in the future, from not only it’s neighbourhood US citizens, but people from all over the world. Even though as an Australian I could still hop on a plane from New York to Cuba, I would still be cautioning that this is not the place for the faint-hearted. Even though Havana nights are what you might have in mind, what you will find is a poverty stricken country with corrupt systems and little resources for you to utilise when in need. Cuba is by far a colourful, vivid melting pot of culture, food and history, but regardless we would advise some serious planning and precautions whilst preparing and travelling there. In Cuba you will find limited Wi-Fi access and there are only one or two credit card providers that you can use to access your money. Not to mention that there is no Australian embassy, but rest assured there is help from our Canadian friends, more information is to follow. So I’ve only mentioned some of the technical aspects, getting around will be another thing with English not being a main language spoken in this Salsa proud country of the Caribbean.
For more information on travel to Cuba have a look at the smart traveller site, a definite must before buying your ticket.
Sincerely your friend on the mainland,