Exposing the Cuba of today

Posted: 01-Mar-16 09:53

While many Americans may have one perception of Cuba, an Omaha newspaper is hoping to shed some light on what the Cuba of today looks like. In a multi-part series of articles, a writer for The World Herald shares his observations of "The New Cuba", taking readers along on the journey of visiting locals to discuss what's happening with politics, education, business and tourism.

Exposing the Cuba of today

To understand what Cuba is like today, author Matthew Hansen maintains you cannot depend on common views held over the past half-century. Instead, Hansen says you need to go beyond the tourist hotels and beyond the old, fading political remnants of past murals and billboards.

The author explored Cuba, as printed in an eight-day series of stories by The World Herald. Titled “The New Cuba”, Hansen sought to show what the country is like in 2016, a perspective the newspaper claims has been clouded by a long-standing embargo and travel restrictions.

Hansen maintains to find “new Cuba” you need to visit crowded streets near places like the University of Havana, or to enter the homes of residents. It is here, Hansen says, that you will discover and learn things about the country that you could never learn in school or by listening to politicians speak.

The author gave the example of a man he named “The Hustler” who once made money off the black-market and now legally operates a jewellery kiosk and a popular print shop. According to The Hustler, writes Hansen, there is a new Cuba on the horizon.

“Call it capitalism, call it socialism, and call it whatever you want! It doesn’t matter! Things are changing.”

The author says Americans have continued to view Cuba the same for decades. While some of that is realistic, he says, there remains much more to see and make note of, like the swarm of tourists now headed to Havana. In his mind, the real question is what a changing Cuba will look like in the future.

Along with an increase of travellers, the author also points out a casa particular that has recently doubled its overnight rates, along with an increase of luxury electronics coming into Cuba, like smartphones. As well, Hansen points out, there are the once rusty old cars owned by locals that are now being repainted and used as flashy private taxis for American visitors.

As well, the article makes mention of restoration projects in Old Havana, comparing the new buildings to buildings on other blocks that are literally falling down. According to Cuban architect and urban planner Miguel Coyula, on a daily basis about three apartment buildings in Havana collapse. As told to Hansen by Coyula, when it comes to these buildings

“If we don’t change them, they will collapse. If we don’t change, we will collapse too.”

As some citizens of Cuba debate change for the future, the author reflects upon the addition of new things in Cuba, like an independent online magazine. He also references citizens on social media and points out that some university-educated Cubans are now, in his examples, making more money in the tourist industry than they were in their previous professional careers.

Overall, though, the article points out that Cuba will continue to change in the future. Hansen believes this is possible as long as people like “The Hustler” continue to change it.


Popular Holidays in cuba

OUR EXCLUSIVE DEALS AND LATEST OFFERS

Best Value

From £599 per person
villa pinares de mayari

Villa Pinares De Mayari

4.0 stars

Beautifully perched on the panoramic Mensura Hill, surrounded by striking greenery, this blessed and secluded natural...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation
From £629 per person
villa mirador de mayabe

Villa Mirador De Mayabe

2.0 stars

This enchanting villa hotel is surrounded by exuberant tropical plants and is perfectly located in a high point towering...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation
From £679 per person
sercotel club cayo guillermo

Sercotel Club Cayo Guillermo

3.0 stars

The perfect haven for lovers of nature in its purest state, the Villa Cojimar hotel sits in an idyllic location amidst...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation
From £679 per person
club amigo atlantico guardalavaca

Club Amigo Atlantico Guardalavaca

3.0 stars

Get away to one of Cuba's best kept secrets for a dream holiday at Club Amigo Atlantico. Guardalavaca is known to host...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation
From £679 per person
tryp cayo coco

Tryp Cayo Coco

4.0 stars

The perfect beach holiday awaits you the all-inclusive Tryp Cayo Coco hotel, where non-stop entertainment and utmost...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation
From £699 per person
memories holguin

Memories Holguin

4.0 stars

Enjoy a perfect beach setting while you unwind in the historic sands of the all-inclusive Memories Holguin. A short...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation

More deals


Explore cuba your way

Tailor made cuba holidays

For those who prefer to travel at their own pace or to explore places not included in the brochure itineraries, we have years of experience at organising tailor-made holidays.

Create the perfect trip with the help of our specialists

Our expert tour consultants will be pleased to suggest ideas to complement your own and to organise the most appropiate programme to suit your interests, time and budget.

Call 0207 644 1600
to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.

If you would like a member of our team to contact you back, please click here Contact us