Cuba tourism gone mad!
Hola, It is Jamaica Urban Legend here with another article on Cuba !! Recently, American tourists have been arriving in Cuba, but can Cuba handle it?
Call it Yanqui chic, Cuban style. On the crumbling streets of Havana, the Stars and Stripes adorn the T-shirts of passersby and flutter from car dashboards and the auto-rickshaws known as bicitaxis.
But for new arrivals driving into the city, there is a reminder of a very different side of U.S.-Cuban relations. At a junction just outside Revolution Square, amid the sloganeering billboards of revolutionary heroes Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, one message stands out. “Embargo: the longest genocide in history.” On August 31, after more than half a century’s break, the first scheduled flight from the U.S. landed in Santa Clara, Cuba—JetBlue Flight 387 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. But the schizophrenic, love-hate relationship between the two neighbors is still hard to escape.
Tourist Sophia Compton from Chicago looks for souvenirs at a market in Santa Clara, Cuba, on September 1. “The best tourist there is, is the American tourist,” said 25-year-old Liban Bermudez as he sold Compton a pair of handmade leather sandals from his stand off Santa Claras main plaza. “They e the ones that buy the most
The much-vaunted restoration of the commercial air link—the latest rapprochement between the old foes—has had a halfhearted start. Havana airport does not yet have the computer equipment, luggage carousels or trained staff to handle an influx of flights or passengers from North America. Nor do Cuba’s Communist chiefs want to appear too cravenly open to tourist dollars. So the first flights from the U.S. to Cuba were authorized for Santa Clara—the scene of a decisive victory for the rebels in December 1958—and other provincial hubs.
Nobody, however, has any doubt that the Americans are coming. Barack and Michelle Obama led the way with an official visit this year, the first time a sitting U.S. president has visited the island since 1928. Madonna celebrated her 58th birthday in Cuba last month with a stay at the Saratoga, one of Havana’s handful of five-star hotels (and, for the time being, one of the best in the city, with comfortable mattresses and almost-power showers). On the big night, her entourage had dinner at La Guarida, the country’s first and best-known paladar, or private restaurant, in a mansion where the glamour comes faded.
Faded glamour is, of course, one reason tourists come to Havana. Poverty and a post-revolution determination to focus on the rural poor set the city’s architecture in aspic, then left it to decay in the tropical heat and humidity. But it was not abandoned, and visitors now meander through one of the Caribbean’s best-preserved colonial settlements, a living relic of narrow streets, stuccoed mansions and tiled courtyards. Among a certain kind of traveler, the motto has been “get to Cuba before it changes.” That has, incongruously, fueled a surge in visitor numbers, putting a considerable strain on the state tourist industry.
Author: Ricardo – Jamaica