Can Cuba Come Out and Play?

Posted June 25, 2009 by Nicki Krawczyk

Cuba 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?

(Photo: worldonaplate.org)

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Reader Comments

I have friends from Cuba, and always wanted to visit their homeland. The American embargo hasn't worked and it is cruel to punish innocent people for a dictatorship, when so many could benefit from our modern medical and technological advancements.

Posted on July 04, 2009 at 07:57 PM by D

After liiving in Mexico now for almost a year,seeing how the lifestyle here is portrayed in the US so unfavorably, we decieded to check out Cuba. The comment about we, the US, does not like this or that, after all these years isn't it time to revisit the reason for the embargo,open a door to better understanding and perhaps the the newer generation is a little wiser and open to having peace with us, or us with them ? Cuba is on our Bucket List, a must in our life time.
Stu & Shirley

Posted on April 27, 2010 at 06:14 AM by S. Levine

It saddens me when I read how great this place is and I watch the news and see how the Cuban people are treated ,the lack of human rights the fact that the so called El Jefe's brother is still a dictator and a commiunist.

Posted on April 27, 2010 at 05:40 PM by Barbara

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