Everyone loves a day at the beach. The tropical sun beating on your chest. The waves lapping at your feet. The taste of a fine rum, and the smell of an expensive cigar. Sounds lie the ultimate travel destination, right? Well, for some people, it is.
Over the past several years, more and more travelers have been enjoying the amazing beaches, history, and cultural richness of the nation of Cuba. Located a mere 90 miles from the United States, this island paradise seemingly has everything the modern tourist wants in a Caribbean vacation destination. Everything, that is, except the blessing of the United States government.
Since the Kennedy administration, travel to the island nation has been heavily restricted. The United States embargo restricts trade, mail service, and more between the two countries. Recently, the Obama administration has instituted a new, legal way for Americans to share some of the cultural richness of our communist neighbors to the South.
An article in the Sept. 15 edition of the New Your Times, “Cuba Opens Up, Group by Group,” has sparked debate, as well as an increased interest into this largely untapped tourist destination.
"As The Times highlighted, several American tour companies are exploiting President Obama’s “people-to-people” program to take American tourists to Cuba," stated Senator Marco Rubio (R), FL. "Unfortunately, while going in-depth to detail the art, cigar-making and Latin dancing Americans might enjoy while visiting Cuba on one of these trips, The Times failed to make any mention of the ongoing human rights abuses being committed by the Cuban regime or how the regime benefits financially from American tourism."
As most fans of Caribbean cruises will tell you, exploring a new island paradise is an amazingly rewarding adventure not only for the visitor, but also for the local residents. Perhaps this program will not only enable US citizens to see a new place, but will speed the process of democratic reform that has been slowly gaining ground on the island. We shall see.
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