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Ready, Set, Go to Havana - But New Regulations Make That More Difficult to Do

The Trump Administration changed the regulations covering travel to Cuba. Travel is still legal though considerably more restrictive. 

Most dramatically, no U.S. citizen may engage in commercial transactions with Cuban military entities. Since all hotels and restaurants are government-owned, the only stays legally allowed are in private homes available for rent. 

Known as casa particular, these homes, like Air B&B, can be spartan or comfortable but they are far less available than rooms in hotels.  

With this change, the U.S. seeks to put a strangle-hold on the Cuban economy. The situation is similar to what it was during the height of the Cold War, which was when I first visited. 

If you find a way to visit Havana and I hope you do, here is my article about why you should want to go and tips to help you while you are there.
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Over almost twenty years, I visited Havana three times, accompanying my wife along with a d…

After Fidel Castro, What Next for the Relationship Between Cuba and the United States? Whatever Happens, Travel to Cuba and Have an Amazing Adventure

A year ago we visited Cuba to attend the Havana Film Festival, the first time since 1999 when the country was celebrating the Millennium. 

A lot had changed since 1999. We were able to fly directly to Havana, without a stop-over in Mexico. We asked to have our passports stamped at Cuban Immigration instead of asking them not to do that. The old city had been refurbished, with construction indicating more improvements to come. Hotels were being built. The restaurant scene was as thriving as those in Brooklyn and Downtown Los Angeles. The music was as wonderful as before, with bands playing in neighborhood bars and radios on window sills serenading people passing by. 

There was much to enjoy. But also Havana's decay was more evident than in 1999. The old city and prosperous suburbs were bustling. Walk a dozen blocks away from the tourist areas and the streets and buildings in the heart of the city were more crumbling than sixteen years before. Only the colorful street art that took ad…