I have never been to Cuba but always dream about going. I am fascinated by the country and in awe of the stance that Castro took against the US government... Not to mention that I have always had an interest in communist countries and wanted to learn more about how they function...Here are some photos and descriptions about Cuba. I hope you learn something!
The Arab Spring, changes in U.S. policy, and economic reforms at home are driving a tourist rush that is giving communist-run Cuba one of its best seasons ever. With Cuba having just completed its best year for tourism—2.7 million visitors in 2011—it's likely to see even more travellers this year based on current bookings. Not surprisingly, this influx of vacationers is stretching the Caribbean island nation's ability to accommodate demand.
Still, the first group of Americans to tour Cuba under new, more liberal U.S. travel regulations has been greeted by hugs, handshakes, and a welcoming Cuban government, according to a trip organizer. Despite this warm reception, Cuban-American members of the U.S. Congress have proposed legislation to roll back the regulations. We'll see how much long the more relaxed travel will last.
So, before the forces of market tyranny strike, keep clicking for a virtual vacation through Cuban tourism, tradition, and politics.
Havana Cruising Tourists take a ride in a 1955 Desoto convertible in Havana, August 17, 2011.
Gay Havana Men pose with a gay pride flag during the opening of the gay and lesbian community's summer beach season on the outskirts of Havana, June 14, 2008.
Much has changed in Cuba since the 1960s, when homosexuals were sent to work camps, and the 1970s, when gay men and women were denied certain jobs because they were classified as "ideological deviants."
In some of the latest changes since President Raul Castro took office, Cuban doctors are allowed to perform sex change operations, and parliament is studying proposals to legalize same-sex unions.
You Can't Write Scuba Without Cuba A scuba diver removes his equipment as he prepares to exit La Cueva de los Peces (Cave of the Fish) along the coast of Playa Giron, near the Bay of Pigs, 100 miles southeast of Havana, January 24, 2012.
Revolutionary Winds Soldiers perform during a fireworks show celebrating the 49th anniversary of Fidel Castro's 1959 entrance into Havana, January 8, 2008.
Photo: Enrique De La Osa/Reuters
One Citizen One Vote For One Candidate Schoolchildren stand next to ballot boxes waiting for voters at a polling station in Havana on October 21, 2007. Cuban officials said the massive turnout showed support for Cuba's communist state and rejection of U.S. pressure to open up to multiparty democracy as Cuba's leader Fidel Castro faded from the political stage.
Flowers In The Sea Schoolchildren leave after throwing flowers into the sea in honor of rebel hero Camilo Cienfuegos from Havana's seafront boulevard "Malecon," October 28, 2011.
Cienfuegos was a commander of Fidel Castro's rebel army but died less than a year after its victory. His plane disappeared over the ocean on October 28, 1959, enroute from Havana to Camaguey. The plane and his body were never found. Every year on October 28, Cubans toss flowers into the sea in his honor.
Fumigation Nation People walk among clouds of insecticide in the wake of a fumigating truck in Havana. Cuban authorities rely on fumigation campaigns to prevent dengue fever.
Photo: Jorge Silva/Reuters
Doing The Books A woman reads a book while standing next to a chair that displays her sanitary products for sale, Havana, March 29, 2007.
Cuba's Fidel Castro had just published his first editorial since surgery had necessitaed him to pass the Cuban government to his brother, Raul Castro. In that day's edition of the Communist Party newspaper, Granma, Fidel signed his name to a scathing article on U.S. biofuel plans.
Photo: Enrique De La Osa/Reuters
Almost Gone, But Not Forgotten A man walks past a graffiti that reads "Long Live Fidel" in Santiago de Cuba.
On January 1, 2009, Cuba celebrated the 50th anniversary of the revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power.
Castro's socialist government has remained one of the most controversial in history. The U.S. is holding fast to its condemnation of socialism, while some South Americans praise the Cuban system. Whatever your opinions on the island nation's economic and crowd-control policies, if you've ever wanted to visit Cuba, now is the time. Traveling restrictions have uncertain futures. That cigar aficionado trip of a lifetime could be now or never.