Subject: Re: Cuba!

Several 'Ziners have enjoyed visiting Cuba, including me! It's trickier for a Yank, but it can be done. To go officially, one needs an invitation from an organization in Cuba, a visa &passage on an approved air carrier. The exception is for arrival by sea, when a US citizen can dock in Havana for up to 72 hrs without a visa as long as she stays in the free zone in the harbor area. Boring, that! There is also a yacht basin on Isla de la Juventud &even tho I begged a berth on a yacht in harbor (no rooms to be had on the island!), I don't know that the basin is a free zone. Back door visits are possible from Mexico, Grand Cayman or Jamaica. I really don't know about Puerto Rico as a back door origin because of its relation to the US. Non US citizens, of course, can visit Cuba quite freely.

It was worth any hassle to visit Cuba & I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Memorable: the torchlight parade in celebration of Jose Marti's birthday, when Fidel passed no more than 20 feet from me; a simple dinner of black bean soup &bread in a candlelit backyard in the inky dark of a warm Havana night; sleeping on the yacht down at Isla de la Juventud &visiting the night away with her wily skipper &charming mate; sitting in the Havana cafe Hemingway used to frequent, sipping Cuban beer &enjoying a lively &poignant conversation with some university students; racketing around Havana in a gypsy cab whose intelligent, articulate driver opened all kinds of windows in my mind. What was not to like?

Gail In Eugene, for the moment anyway