Cuba sits about 90 miles off the coast of Florida. With such close proximity, the island would be a great place to go for a holiday, if it was not for the lack of diplomacy of the US Government.
A holiday in Cuba, for most Americans, is difficult. The US Government’s Treasury Department has laws that make it illegal to spend money in Cuba. So, per say, one can visit Cuba, but cannot spend money there.
This policy is in place for Cuba, yet comparable travel to the largest communist country in the world, China, is relatively easy.
Why the difference in policy between the two countries?
Both are dictatorships, both violate human rights and both are communist regimes.
Here’s the difference that many people do not know – in China, foreign companies pay their workers directly. The government does not play a “middle man” role.
In Cuba, foreign companies rent workers through Fidel Castro. He’s paid 100% of the agreed upon rent of the worker.
He, in turn, pays 5% of that rent to the workers. So, as a dictator, he benefits greatly when foreign firms invest in the country. The average worker still lives under his harsh rule and Castro limits the benefits of foreign investment.
Though the island has great music, great beaches and a population that would love to enjoy some of the freedoms that come with a “semi-open” market, it will not happen until Fidel Castro, or his brother Rafael, change their dictatorial policies.
In spite of these arcane rules by the Cuban Government, the US is changing it’s policies towards travel in Cuba.
President Obama’s recent directives about Cuba include:
1) Lift all restrictions on transactions between Cuban families in the US and Cuba.
2) Allow telecommunication companies to enter into agreements with the Cuban Government.
3) Add certain items for export to Cuba considered to be humanitarian .
Though most countries of the world have better diplomatic relations in Cuba, the US is slowly turning the corner on changing its policies about investments and travel to the island.
For the traveler from the US that had a burning desire to see Cuba, there are ways to get around the US restrictions on traveling to the island.
One can go to Canada, Britain or many of the Caribbean Islands and get a direct flight to the country of Cuba.
Make sure you bring enough cash for your stay Cuba. You would not want to raise red flags in the US by having to get money while in Cuba.
Is Cuba worth a visit?
They have unique music that is world-renowned.
Serene and tranquil beaches have not been invaded by large hotels and restaurants – they are still unspoiled.
Cuba has UNESCO World Heritage sites with stunning colonial architecture located throughout the country.
El Nicho Park, in the province of Cienfuegos, offers abundant fauna and many waterfalls
As an adventurer, getting to see the unspoiled sites of Cuba before “westernization”, the enticing allure of a Cuban vacation can be had despite the US restrictions.
Enter Cuba through Canada, many of the Caribbean Islands or through Great Britain and you may never hear a “discouraging word” from the US Government.