There has been a lot of press surrounding Cuba recently. In 2016, Obama moved to cement his administration’s historic opening with Cuba by issuing a directive that has lasted beyond his presidency, setting forth a new United States policy to lift the Cold War trade embargo and end a half-century of Cuban policies shrouded in secrecy.
The action formalized a shift towards improved Cuban-American relations that our former president unveiled nearly two years ago with the announcement that he and President Raúl Castro of Cuba had agreed to repair their countries’ relationship. This relationship had been severed for decades. Back in 1960, the United States imposed a trade embargo against Cuba. The Blockade was created after Cuba usurped American-owned oil refineries.
As part of this embargo, travel to Cuba by Americans has been illegal for over half a century. Or more technically, it’s illegal for U.S. citizens to have transactions (spend money or receive gifts) in Cuba under most circumstances. Though sanctions have been put in place to make Cuban-American relations more amicable, this rule is still in place. Subsequently, individual americans cannot travel to Cuba- you have to be part of a tour, such as the ones offered by Israel Tour. Israel Tour offers several selections- tours with Rabbi Joshua Gruenberg, Rabbi Ari Sunshine, Reabbi Jordan Goldson and Rabbi Bernstain. We also offer a cruise to Cuba! Anyways, now is the time to go, as Trump’s policies may inhibit future Cuban vacation goals. Currently, travel to Cuba still remains open to all Americans despite Trump’s crackdown on June 16, 2017. In this post, we explore some of the country’s greatest attractions.
No wonder it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site- Habana Vieja or Old Havana is a well-preserved slice of Cuban history, reminiscent of 100 to 200 years ago. Major areas of interest in Old Havana include: the Plaza de la Catedral, home to the Cuban Baroque Catedral de San Cristobal; the legendary restaurant and Hemingway hangout, Bodeguita del Medio; and the military fortress, Castillo de la Real Fuerza. The focal point of the area is Plaza Vieja, which boasts impressive sights such as the beautiful 18th-century Casa del Conde Jaruco with stained glass windows and the nearby camera obscura, from which visitors can witness fantastic views.
Trinidad is a town in central Cuba, known for its colonial old town and cobblestone streets, reminiscent of the 17th through 19th centuries in which the area prospered from both the slave and sugar trades. Its neo-baroque main square, Plaza Mayor, is surrounded by picturesque architecture, including such buildings as Museo Romántico, in the restored Palacio Brunet mansion and Museo de Arquitectura Colonial. Visiting this city is a must for anyone in Cuba. You can walk cobblestone streets, listen to live music in the plaza, hop into a horse-drawn carriage, cool off with fresh sugarcane juice, chat with locals, or visit informative and interesting colonial museums.