By Gerson Eleonora – Writer for Skempi.com, History Buff and an Aficionado of all things Caribbean
Well, you saw the title so let me just jump right in here: With Fidel Castro’s passing last November Cuba experienced a resurgence in news presence for a minute. Hate him or love him, you can’t deny that Castro put that island nation on the map. I mean, no disrespect to Ernesto Lecuona, Chano Pozo and the other world famous Cuban artists from the first half of the 20th century but, albeit in a polarizing manner, Fidel Castro took Cuba’s brand name on the global stage to a ubiquitous realm.
It was this strange mystique that had always pulled me to our somewhat taciturn Caribbean cousin to the north.
By Cherise Rambhadjan, blogger at CurlyGirly.
My husband, Shyam, and I went to Cuba on our honeymoon in 2011 and it was an amazing experience. Given that Cuba has recently become more accessible than ever, it’s a fine time to document our trip. Cuba is a massive island with a lot to experience. Since the country has been frozen in time from the 1960s, it’s easy to imagine just how beautiful it was back in the day. The old buildings (often dilapidated) and the old cars offer a certain charm that helps to make Cuba magical. Given that it is a communist country, the censorship and the feeling of big brother watching you was very real for us during our stay. One of our taxi drivers looked over his shoulder and spoke in hushed tones when he spoke about his desire to leave Cuba-although it was just the three of us in the car. The movies we watched were edited and there was no available Wi-Fi anywhere. There was a lot of poverty, which in turn, makes people hustlers. By the end of our trip, we were tired of people trying to hustle us into buying something – cigars especially. I’m sure a lot has changed since 2011 but it was eye-opening. All things considered, we had a great time.