Cuba a mystery to many Americans

  • Friday, June 29, 2012 5:45pm
  • Life

In January 2011, President Barack Obama lifted additional restrictions on allowing Americans to legally travel to Cuba. The eased restrictions allow for educational, cultural and religious groups to acquire “people-to-people” licenses for Cuban travel with the intention of encouraging greater contact between Americans and Cubans.

This is the second time the Obama administration has allowed more access to Cuba; in April 2009, Obama permitted unlimited travel to and from Cuba by Cuban-Americans visiting family members.

However, travel to Cuba has been illegal to the majority of Americans for more than 50 years; as a result, many Americans do not have a great knowledge of Cuban sites and highlights. With this in mind, members of VirtualTourist.com noted a few destinations and cultural excursions unique to Cuba.

One amazing aspect of Havana, the capital city of Cuba, is the Spanish colonial architecture throughout the UNESCO World Heritage Site of La Habana Vieja (Old Havana).

Trinidad, located in Central Cuba, is also known for its amazingly well-preserved architecture and cobblestone streets, and the downtown of Cienfuegos was given UNESCO World Heritage Site distinction for its neoclassical buildings.

Literary fans can visit some of Ernest Hemingway’s old haunts, including La Floridita and Finca Vigia, his former estate outside Havana. Military buffs can tour Havana’s great fortalezas, or fortresses, along the canal, and many members noted there are lovely beaches on the Playas del Este and around the city of Varadero.

Unfortunately, trade embargos prohibit Americans from bringing back many of Cuba’s specialty items, like cigars and rum, but the pictures of ’50s classic cars and faded colonial architecture are souvenirs in themselves.

&Copy; 2012 VirtualTourist.com, Distributed by Tribune Media Services Inc.

More in Life

Co-owner Jason Parzyk carries two growlers to fill as he serves up beer at Lake Stevens Brewing Co. The first brewery in the city is celebrating one-year anniversary this weekend. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Beer of the Week: Lake Stevens Brewing Co.’s Sour Imperial

The beer has a depth and a complex flavor profile that goes beyond just another barrel-aged stout.

Legendary bluesman Curtis Salgado to play Arlington show

The Northwest blues-soul-funk-R&B living legend performs with Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons Nov. 18.

This year’s Snohomish Blues Invasion has an all-star lineup

Proceeds send the CD Woodbury Trio and the Benton-Townsend Duo to the International Blues Challenge.

Schack holiday show features Northwest watercolor artists

The free exhibit also will have three-dimensional works, such as jewelry, glass, ceramic and wood.

‘Three Billboards’ rooted in Frances McDormand’s rigid role

The actress of “Fargo” fame gives an Oscar-worthy performance in this black comedy on human nature.

‘The Hate U Give’ shows the burden of being black in America

Angie Thomas’ story of a teen girl covers the challenging experience of African Americans.

A merry Christmas concert with Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith

The Christian music stars will perform at Xfinity Arena with Jordan Smith of “The Voice” on Nov. 18.

Great Plant Pick: Thuja occidentalis ‘Degroot’s Spire’

What: An exceptional selection of the eastern arborvitae, Thuja occidentalis “Degroot’s Spire”… Continue reading

Garden clubs in Snohomish, Island counties

Alderwood Garden Club: Cedar Valley Grange Hall, 20526 52nd Ave. W., Lynnwood;… Continue reading

Most Read