Going Where No Man Has Gone Before. Kinda. Part I: Cuba

Globalization has allowed for cheaper goods, faster travel and better ease of access. The world is much smaller than it was 20 years ago. And it’s good to take advantage of this. In the wise words of Drake, you only live once. So get out of your comfort zone! Seize the day!

What’s the best way to do this?

Vacation in the Axis of Evil, obviously.

Thus begins, a three part series on different silly and allegedly terror filled countries that are begging for your American dollars. Now, you’re not going to see the trifecta. As Iraq is basically in a state of open warfare, trave\"cubal is understandably unadvisable. Instead, try heading over to another mythic American enemy: Cuba!

In 1961, under pressure from the Bay of Pigs fiasco and other geopolitical factors, President Kennedy signed a trade embargo with Cuba. This was the spark that set Cuban-American relations ablaze for the next fifty odd years. It wasn’t until Fidel Castro stepped down and President Obama took over that things were able to thaw out enough to establish some sort of dialogue. As of April 14, 2015, the Obama administration announced that Cuba would be taken off of the “Terror Sponsor” list. Soon after, Secretary Kerry announced that the US would reopen their embassy in Havana.

To visit, your visa needs to fall under one of 12 categories for generally licensed travel. The most popular for American tourists will be the “People to People” category. All this means is that you’ll be on an educational trip, interacting with local culture and folks. If you see a Cuban concert, you should plop right in this category just fine.

In order to avoid any headaches, release yourself to the Cuban experience. In other words, unplug and have someone else deal with it. Travel agents can arrange flights from Miami and Tampa. There’s rumors of a New York to Havana direct flight. According to the New York Times, “Some tour operators are already block-booking [hotel] rooms through 2016.” Wifi is notoriously spotty. You’ll see such nostalgic items as old school Mercedes and paper maps. Get away from your phone and take it all in.

American protest singer Phil Ochs sang in the Ballad of William Worthy, “The only way to Cuba is with the CIA.”

Eh. Go without them. You’ll do just fine.

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