Viva la Classic Cuba

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:

Cuba Car

(traveladventures.org)

Pre-communism Cuba

(cnbc.com)

Cuba Beach 1950s

1950’s. (by Gordon Parks for Life magazine: Life Archives)

Cuba Car Park 1950s

(cnbc.com)

Cuba Woolworth's

Old Woolworth’s in Cuba (cnbc.com)

Vintage Cuba Pool

1946. (Life Archives)

Vintage Cuba

(mountainpassiknow.blogspot.com)

Hemingway and Castro

Ernest Hemingway and Fidel Castro (luxist.com)

Hemingway Cuba

Hemingway celebrating his Nobel Prize (luxist.com)

Cuban Beach

(Andrii Kizilov from Fotolia.com)

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)

Besos.

“Our revolution is endangering all American possessions in Latin America. We are telling these countries to make their own revolution.”

— Che Guevara, October 1962

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Comments

  1. Well captured! Thanks for the Hemmingway pics!!

    • Thanks so much! Those photos are my favorites! Especially the one with Hemingway surrounded by all of the beautiful Cuban girls :)

  2. I totally would go to Cuba! Great entry!

    • Yeah! Let’s go!! Apparently a large portion of their tourism comes from vacationing Canadians…I’ll just pretend I’m a Vancouver-ite as well. You’ll have to teach me the dialect ;)

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