From Mexico City to Havana

Before I hopped on a plane destined for Cuba I did a lot of research about traveling there. I watched many YouTube videos by Americans who had visited the country post-Obama. President Obama made it possible for Americans to travel to Cuba without our government’s written approval. Unfortunately, the target audience of many of those videos I watched were Americans who wished to travel directly to Cuba on flights originating in America. In my case, I was traveling the old fashion way — to Cuba via Mexico.

At the time of writing this post, the current president, Trump, is initiating an effort to rollback the latitude Obama granted to Americans. Trump’s efforts have not taken full effect, which is positive news, because it seems that with Trump in office, the window of opportunity is closing on Americans who want to visit Cuba.

Even though entering Cuba from America was an option for me, I wanted to travel to Mexico City and Peru over my vacation. Therefore, it made some sense for me to choose to fly from Mexico rather than America. I spent four days in Mexico before I flew to Havana where I spent another four days. Thereafter I returned to Mexico and continued my journey to Peru. Here’s what happened to me:

  1. At the airport in Mexico, before my flight to Cuba, I paid $16USD for a Cuban visa. There is a booth near the gate that handles the visa transactions. It’s easy to miss so ask somebody if you can’t find it. You won’t be allowed to enter Cuba without a visa.
  2. Before boarding the flight to Cuba, I was asked if I am a Cuban citizen. I am not so I was asked to fill out a form. I provided my personal info and the reason for my travel — support for Cuban people.
  3. Upon arrival in Cuba, a Customs Official interviewed me for about twenty seconds. Then, she welcomed me to Cuba with a smile.
  4. My first impression of the country was provided by the Cuban airport security who were young Cuban women scantly clad in short skirts, caps, and fishnet stockings. They were authoritative and very sexy.

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