On Wednesday my social media feeds lit up like a Christmas tree in the happy prospect of travel, soon, to Cuba.
Why, we might ask, does Cuba so capture our imaginations? Is it the forbidden fruit of isolation and prohibition? A glimpse into the amber-preserved past of Rat Pack decadence? A peek into a system that purportedly privileges the welfare of people over the welfare of profits? Or maybe it is just the prospect of a new vacation target in the nearby Caribbean with a lower pricetag than any other island in the region.
Whatever draws you to Cuba, President Obama has dangled that delicious prospect in front of all us. As someone who regularly visits the island for research, let me help prepare you for inevitable disappointment.
1. Despite the Change, You Still Probably Can’t Go.
“With the changes I'm announcing today, it will be easier for Americans to travel to Cuba...”
Your first disappointment will come from the fact that regular tourism, in the official eyes of the U.S. Treasury (which oversees and authorizes U.S. travel to Cuba) is not in the works. At present, U.S. citizens need one of twelve licenses from the Treasury Department (in the...