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 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, Distributed by Tribune Media Services Inc.

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