December 1, 2002
I was actually just a little bit nervous about going to Cuba. Its not every day that you get the chance to enter a socialist country, much less one that the United States has kept under an embargo since the sixties. However, my nervousness was completely unwarranted. Cuba was impresionante.
After a short hours flight from Cancún, Mexico (on a Russian jet no less!), we arrived on a completely different world. It was almost like someone had enchanted the city in the 1960s.
Everything had this wonderful classic feel, especially the cars; according to our guide Alex, most of the buildings in Havana were built in the 1920s and 30s, with the most recent construction occurring during the 1980s.
Instead of commercial ads, there were government propaganda signs proclaiming such things as The people are the revolution; however, it was refreshing, albeit unusual, to be able to enjoy the city for what it is without being assaulted by various ads to buy certain things.
The people were quite friendly and willing to answer any questions that we might have had about living in a socialist country. The one thing that nearly everyone said when we told them we were from the States was that the problems that exist between the States and Cuba are not problems between people; rather they are problems between governments.