AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Byline: Howard Bryant
HAVANA _ The first thing to understand about traveling to Cuba is that the U.S. government doesn't want you there. There is little that is easy about preparing such a vacation; Cuba is a wondrous destination only for the strong of nerve and the indefatigably curious.
Americans are not prohibited from visiting Cuba but most cannot fly there from this country. They also face a 10-year prison sentence and $250,000 fine for spending money there, thanks to the Trading with the Enemy Act. The possession of Cuban products, regardless of where they were purchased, is forbidden in the United States.
These prohibitions, along with a general national sense of Cuba as a murky, inadmissible place, provide clear deterrents to a vacation there. From the first leg of the journey _ most Americans travel from Mexico or Canada _ a Cuba trip contains a sublime air of secrecy, as well as the constant threat of real problems.
So why go?
Because awaiting the resourceful and inquisitive is a breathtaking adventure of intriguing history, classic cars and stylish hotels, of delicious rum cocktails and …