If we're serious about strengthening civil society and helping Cuba's budding private small business sector continue to grow, it's time for the White House to stop forcing "people-to-people" travel to be hindered by third-party brokers.
Since President Barack Obama announced in December 2014 that the United States plans to restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba, avid travelers have been preparing to visit the small Caribbean nation. But it's not as easy as you might think.
Now is the time to go to Cuba because change is exciting. The Cuban Food Revolution is well underway and visiting them now will give a few lucky people an insider's view of the past, present and future of this fascinating country.
For decades it's been Americans' forbidden fruit, a place where only devil-may-care travelers would slip past international borders, taking care not to have their passport stamped. But times are changing, as I'm sure everyone has heard by now.
As travel restrictions lift and embargoes soften, AD's Mitchell Owens heads to Havana, where the mojitos are sweet, the architecture is astounding, and society is embracing a new era.
Americans rushing to see Havana under the eased travel restrictions are finding rooms few and far between this season. Havana's high-end hotels are said to be booked solid for months. And it's not likely to get much better.
On a recent CODEPINK trip to Cuba with a 150-person delegation, we found the island crawling with Americans taking advantage of the relaxation of U.S. travel restrictions and the historic thawing of U.S.-Cuban relations.
I don't pretend to be an expert on Cuba but I have a patchwork knowledge--the equivalent of snapshots assembled from twenty-some trips, the first in 1...
With relaxed restrictions for American travelers to Cuba making headlines, our Deal Experts are champing at the bit to visit this Caribbean nation that's so close to the U.S., but has been out of reach for so long.
At breakfast this morning in the hotel, the laden buffet stretches around the perimeter of the open, airy room: salad, fruits, vegetables, three kinds of sausage plus bacon, roast pork, prosciutto, chorizo and a whole tray of slices cold cuts and another of assorted cheese.
Today we are going to check into the Melia Cohiba, part of a Spanish chain of hotels I love in both Bali and Madrid.
Despite the beckoning beauty of the scene, we are completely alone except for a vacationing German couple who kindly take a group photo of us. Wandering up the beach a few yards, I find sandwashed glass, coral fossils, and tiny orange shells. It is clear that beachcombers are rare here.
Since President Barack Obama announced that the U.S. would ease diplomatic relations with Cuba, the number of people looking to travel to the largest country in the Caribbean has steeply risen. There are still a lot of unanswered questions about how the recent decision will affect Americans traveling in Cuba, but there are reasons to be optimistic.
A 15-minute cab ride takes you just outside of Havana to this idyllic beach that attracts locals and tourists alike. Flag down one of the roaming vendors for a refreshing rum-coconut water combo sipped right out of the coconut.
After lunch, we walk the cobblestone streets of this colonial town, stopping into local shops and art galleries.
The parking lot is a mix of cars from the 1930s all the way up to modern day -- American Chevys sit cheek-by-jowl with small Russian box cars; most vehicles look like they've seen better days.