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Cuba - Travel Back In Time

A Place Like No Other

Cuba is a really unique place. You don't have to be there long before you notice the 1950s American cars, and even buildings that look like they haven't changed since that time. However, you may not know why.

A Quick History

Back in the early 20th Century, Cuba was thriving and a good friend to America. Many Americans would holiday in Cuba, and many business ventures started expanding as the cultural reach of the USA spread. During the first half of the 20th century, Cuba was used as a test track for many American car manufacturers, meaning that cars were often available in Cuba before being available for sale in the US.

That was all until The 1959 Cuban Revolution. Fidel Castro was in power and Cuba became an enemy of the USA whom was concerned with the Communist ideals there, especially during the Cold War.

After that, an embargo meant it was illegal, and therefore near impossible to import anything from the USA. Therefore everyday people had to maintain there existing cars instead of buying new ones. This continued for years, until the point at which Cuba unintentionally became a time capsule for American vehicles.

Today's Cuba

If you go today, you'll see that Cuba has now ties to China, most noticeable in the massive road improvements and many Chinese-produced buses and vehicles that are becoming more prevalent. In around 2015, Cuba and America also started to thaw out their relations, meaning that people can in fact now import new cars from the States. Having said that, many keep their old cars running where possible, as it's now become a major tourist attraction, with most of the old vehicles turned into taxis for foreign visitors.

Travel Back In Time

The country is not just a time capsule because of its cars, but the whole city feels like it's in the past, in the best way possible. You don't often see people taking selfies everywhere, there's few high tech arcades or sports bars with many TVs, instead the country has old fashioned bars where you can easily strike up a conversation with a local, there are flamenco shows and people just enjoying the nature.

Visit Before It's Too Late

Cuba, like everywhere though, is changing. The western influence is spreading fast, along with money from China creating modern buildings, so if you want to really experience the old Cuba, and travel in time, I recommend visiting very soon.

Written by Wayne Covell on 30/12/2021

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