There is something instantly nostalgic and mysterious about a country that remains just as it was over fifty years ago. Pre-revolution and Fidel’s communist takeover, Cuba was a hotspot for American tourists; Hemingway and Sinatra, to name just a couple. They gambled in the casinos, danced the Havana nightclubs, tanned on the white sand beaches, and drank mojitos and daiquiris until the sun came up.
Then came the U.S. trade embargo and a complete halt in time.
Imagine a cinemagraph of Cuba taken in the 1950s where the cityscape stands still and only the people move forward. That is Cuba in 2012. Taxis are Thunderbirds and Studebakers, retro hotel signs still advertise cool air conditioning and color television, and only the name of the defunct Woolworth’s building has changed.
Here is a glimpse at old and new Cuba through wistful eyes:
Now that Fidel Castro’s son and predecessor is loosening regulations and “Viva La Revolución” could soon be, well, Revolución de los Muertos, the question remains; will you be able to plan a trip before modernization and open trade routes steal all nostalgia? Sigh, I just thank my lucky stars I checked off the canals of Venice or I’d be 0 for 2 in sites/sights that may disappear altogether.
Anyone here want to brave a Mexican hop to Cuba with a wad of cash and a bikini? Email me! (I’m serious)
— Che Guevara, October 1962