4 REASONS YOU MUST VISIT CUBA NOW BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!
Visiting Cuba should be top of your bucket list right now and here are 4 reasons why! It is a country that is under going massive changes at the moment due to many reasons. Anything could happen and in the next 10 years Cuba could be completely different to how it is now!
The US embargo on Cuba has been a massive part of Cuban history, it has shaped the country and made it how it is today. The embargo was implemented in 1962 by John F Kennedy. It essentially cut all US ties with Cuba, there would be no American travel unless you had business in Cuba and the US would not trade at all with any countries who were trading with Cuba. This meant that Cuba had to produce everything for themselves, the only country they had connections with was the Soviet Union. You can read more about the embargo here.
This resulted in Cuban people repairing their cars instead of buying new cars like people would in the UK for example. Their roads are still full of classic cars which make the iconic photos you see today. They also used their sugar cane and tobacco farms to produce Cuban rum and cigars. These products normally would be sold all around the world like French champagne and Belgian beers however the embargo stopped Cuba from exporting them to other countries! In short the embargo kept Cuba in a little bubble separate from the rest of the world. This makes it such an interesting place to travel to! It's like you have gone back in time.
However, in 2014 Barack Obama decided he would lift the embargo and let Cuba trade normally with the US and other countries. But this didn't actually happen as it didn't pass congress. But the embargo was eased, so now there are more western brands making it into Cuba. Such as things like Coca Cola and Fanta even if they are ridiculously expensive...
All of this means that soon Cuba may not have the same "stuck in time" feel and will start to become similar to a lot of other countries. I imagine it would lose a lot of its magic if this was to happen. Which means you have to go and experience it NOW.
It is becoming much easier to enter even for people from the US with less visas being needed and less lying about what you are doing over there. When I went in June 2017 I only needed one visa for a 21 day stay in Cuba. I honestly expected it to be a lot harder to enter. Now there are more direct flights as well with american airlines making almost 20 flights a day from Miami to Havana. Before Americans had to catch 2 or 3 different flights to get to Cuba, what a drag that must have been. It's amazing that it is becoming so much easier to travel to Cuba.
Tourism is one of the most profitable industries in Cuba which means that the Cuban government will try to promote tourism as much as they can in order to make more revenue. Tourism has been so successful in Cuba because of the unique travel opportunities it has and the introduction of the CUC (Cuban Convertible Peso). I can only see Cuban tourism continuing to increase in years to come as the Cuban government promote tourism and Cuba becomes much easier to travel to.
However, if you travel to Cuba now, you will find there aren't a huge amount of tourists and it still feels raw to an extent. But it will lose that rawness once the tourists start to all flock in!
However, the world we live in today is forever changing and unpredictable, you never know what will happen in the next couple of years. At the moment this is emphasised because Donald Trump has said that he intends to fully re-implement the embargo and make it harder for people to travel to Cuba and trade with Cuba again. This would make it very hard to travel there and experience the wonders that this country has to offer. At the moment he hasn't done anything to make this happen. But it is very likely he could in the future! Take action and go before he does!
Thank you for reading my blog on Cuba, I hope you got some good tips and feel motivated to go out and explore. If you have any questions please comment them below.
I would like to say after the recent hurricane Irma that my heart goes out to all of the Cubans and people in the Caribbean effected. I hope they can all rebuild and get back to life as normal soon :(