CUBA…15 Years Later

Since making my first trip to Cuba in May 2000 and now 30 visits later, people often ask if Cuba has changed.  For many years, I couldn’t say that Cuba was markedly changing but the view is now clear that Cuba is changing within.  On the outside, the old autos are in even better condition and used increasingly serving visitors as taxis.  The four main plazas in Old Havana are almost completely restored and the pre-Revolution swank of Obispo Street shows in the return of chic clothing stores.  Well appointed “Paladares” (private restaurants) are opening daily with trained employees they steal from long standing government restaurants.  These window dressing changes point to a positive Cuban energy and hope that is driving Cuba’s recent moves to private enterprise.  Meanwhile, the enthusiastic street response to recent changes in U.S. and Cuban diplomatic relations further highlights the historical affinity between our two countries.[...]CONTINUE READING