Americans flock to Cuba for its culture and arts

Posted: 20-Feb-16 11:46

Cuba has been inundated by American visitors since President Obama relaxed travel restrictions for U.S residents. Most of the travellers are visiting the Caribbean island for cultural and arts purposes, keen to reconnect with the communist country that has been off-limits for more than five decades.

Americans flock to Cuba for its culture and arts

Cuba is experiencing an invasion of travellers from the U.S, following steps to ease travel restrictions by President Obama.

In 2011, Obama announced that travellers from the U.S would be able to visit Cuba for cultural, academic, religious, educational and professional purposes, and since then, Americans have been flocking to the island.

Most of the travellers are visiting for cultural and arts purposes, keen to reconnect with the communist island that has been off-limits for more than 50 years.

Last year, the U.S and Cuba resumed diplomatic relations and embassies opened last summer in Havana and Washington. Many of the American visitors work in the entertainment and technology industry and scouting for places to film and searching for new artists.

It could take years for the trade embargo to be formally lifted, and the increase in travellers is rising at a rate faster than the change in laws and improved infrastructure on the island.

Sara Alonso Gomez, an independent curator who specialises in contemporary art from Latin and Caribbean nations, explained to Caribbean News Digital:

"Culture always moves faster than the government; laws only change because the changes are already happening in real life or need to be."

Universal Pictures is hoping to get US and Cuban government approval to film scenes from the next Fast and Furious film in Cuba, Cubans who working in the entertainment industry claim that the Rolling Stones are looking to bring a concert to Havana.

Ross Breitenbach, a Los Angeles producer, recently visited Cuba and has returned with new ideas for shows. Mr Breitenbach explained:

"I'm frantically trying to put together a bunch of pitches. The buildings are wonderfully weathered - we would pay thousands of dollars to get that effect on a set for a scripted show here."

In 1961, the United States cut off diplomatic relations with Cuba following Fidel Castro's revolution. The years that followed saw an economic embargo imposed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The United States and Cuba have agreed to restore regularly scheduled, commercial flights between the countries, and flights could resume in the next couple of months.

At present, general tourism and holidays to Cuba are still restricted, but U.S travellers can travel to the island through people to people programmes and trips in 12 very wide categories organised by tour operators and charter companies in the U.S.

Cuba is a communist island nation in the Caribbean that is rich in political history, and home to some of the world's most magnificent natural landscapes including pristine white sand beaches, azure lagoons, and the world's second largest barrier reef.


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