Why tourism is no longer promoted (in Cuba)

Posted on January 17, 2008 

Why tourism is no longer promoted (in Cuba)

I decided after my last trip two years ago that I wouldn’t be going to Cuba again in the near future. It was just too depressing — nothing works, everything is falling apart, and the agony of the Cuban people and their day-to-day living are hard to tolerate on a constant basis. That and Fidel Castro’s new anti-tourism efforts, such as charging people 20 percent of the money they bring into Cuba, made that decision easy.

So why did I go back in December? I have some very dear friends in Havana whom I missed. That and the fact that once Cuba gets under your skin, there is always a pull to go back. This time, unfortunately, despite things rather than because of them.

Do you want to know the truth about the Cuban medical system? It’s abysmal, unless of course you are a foreigner seeking treatment in Cuba (or Michael Moore). People are desperate for medications. Doctors refuse to see them without being bribed. If you want an ambulance, you better be prepared to bribe the drivers.

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