A few years back a friend of mine and his wife spent their honeymoon in Cuba…and I’ve been insanely jealous ever since. My problem is that I’m too much of a good boy to get there the way they did—illegally through Canada. And while I know there are ways to get to the island nation legally (international conference, press pass, science research), none of them are particularly tempting or feasible for this dilettante at the moment. But there is one group who’s been increasingly hitting the Communist country for fun in the sun legally. Russians.
Though Cuban-Russian relations soured after the fall of the iron curtain, the last five years have seen significant mending between the two countries. Cuba, in particular, has been using that rediscovered goodwill to court Russian tourists, particularly ones who have a nostalgic feeling for the good old days of Communism…but who also want a little sun with their Marxism.
According to Agence France-Presse, there was a 22% increase in Russian tourists to Cuba last year, and Cuban tourism officials expect to see as many as 45,000 Russians travel to the country this year. While that might not seem like a lot of folks just yet, it’s still more people than live in my hometown! And here’s hoping Americans like me can join them soon. Come on, Obama!