Since last December, when officials from Cuba and the United States announced that the two countries, locked in a Cold War stand-off for 54 years, would seek to normalise relations, the tourist industry has been admonishing us to travel to Cuba ‘before it changes’.
Despite Cuba’s listless youth being well-versed in American culture - be it the latest fashions, pop songs or movies - on the surface Cuba remains stuck in a time warp. For tourists, the museum piece aspect of Cuba is a big part of the appeal. Thus visitors to Havana can go for a ride in a Cadillac, take in the neo-classical architecture (along with the smoke from a good cigar) and sip a mojito at Ernest Hemingway’s old drinking spot.
But hurry, the tourist brochures scream, the Yankees will soon be coming to spoil it all!
As a strategy to boost Cuba’s bourgeoning tourist industry, this ploy appears to be working.