Posted June 25, 2009 by Nicki Krawczyk
Fifty years ago, the United States got fed up with a little country known as Cuba and instituted a travel ban. Now, our government has loosened the travel restriction on Cuba for Cuban Americans who want to visit their families. The next question is, of course, how’s about a little Cuba for the rest of us?
A relatively new website has sprung up called OpenCuba.org which purports to be “Connecting Americans and Cubans Through the Freedom to Travel.” Interestingly, though, you won’t find an “About Us” link to tell you more about this organization. Instead, you’ll find a posting at the very beginning of the blog section about how this is basically an initiative on behalf of Orbitz to open up travel to Cuba. Which is cool, I guess, for them to do some outreach work…but if it works, it should also certainly boost travel bookings to Cuba. Hmm…conveeeenient.
Anyway, a point this site brings up is that “Today, Americans are free to travel anywhere in the world except Cuba.” Which is true. There are some places you might not want to visit like, say, Siberia in deep winter or, really, anywhere that’s infested with locusts. But you’re free to. The Cuba travel ban was created as kind of a human embargo (we don’t like you, we withhold our big American travel bucks) but embargos don’t tend to have a great track record:
“We don’t like how you rule! We will stop sending food and aid to your people! Oh, part of why we don’t like how you rule is because you’re not very good to your people in the first place. Darn. Good point.”
Now, in a pretty-much-post-Fidel Cuba, the political climate has mellowed some, and an influx of good old American travel bucks might have a positive effect on government behavior. Not having a direct line to El Jefe’s office (or, now, El Hermano of El Jefe), I don’t know for sure. However, I’m guessing—and apparently Orbitz is, too—that there would be plenty of Americans who’d be more than happy to schedule a few weekend getaways to Havana and drop a bundle on Cuban cigars.
Readers, what do you think? Are you interested in putting Cuba on your “Must Visit” list?
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