In 2015, President Barack Obama lifted the American embargo against Cuba, which had been in place since the 1960’s, for over 54 years. White House Press Secretary Joshua Earnest explained how the new policy was going to change the relationship between the two countries, “These changes will immediately enable the American people to provide more resources to empower the Cuban population to become less dependent upon the state-driven economy, and help facilitate our growing relationship with the Cuban people. We firmly believe that allowing increased travel, commerce, and the flow of information to and from Cuba will allow the United States to better advance our interests and improve the lives of ordinary Cubans. The policy of the past has not worked for over 50 years, and we believe that the best way to support our interests and our values is through openness rather than isolation.”
Currently, there are no direct commercial flights from the US to Cuba, but many airlines including United, Jet Blue and Delta are making plans to get in the game. So, if you want to go to Cuba right now, you have to fly through another country.
Americans may only travel to Cuba for one of twelve specific reasons, including journalism, family visits, U.S. government business, professional research, religious and educational activities, as well as to “support the Cuban people,” but you don’t need to obtain a license beforehand, so really you are welcome to come and go as you please.While Cuba has been a popular tourist destination for many people for a long time, Americans may not be familiar with the country. While Cuba is behind America in many ways including telecommunications, it’s way ahead in other respects, such as medicine. Here are ten things you probably didn't know about the country.
10 5% Of Cubans Have Access To The Open Internet
9 Cuban Researchers Have Developed A Lung Cancer Vaccine
8 The Government Provides Free Penis Enlargement Surgery
7 It's Illegal To Sell Coca Cola In Cuba.
6 In 1959, Castro Banned Cubans From Buying New Cars.
5 Cubans Were Not Allowed To Own Cell Phones Until 2008.
4 Hours Before Signing The Embargo Against Cuba, JFK Imported 1,200 Cuban Cigars
3 In 2010, The U.S. Government Created A Twitter Clone For Cubans
2 2.You Can Visit Ernest Hemingway's House In San Francisco de Paula
1 The Government Provides Free Sexual Reassignment Surgeries
In 2008, the Cuban government began sponsoring free sex reassignment surgeries. Heterosexual sexologist, Mariela Castro, spearheaded this program. She is the daughter of Raúl Castro, who is President of the Council of State of Cuba and the President of the Council of Ministers of Cuba. Interestingly, Belgium has had a long-standing partnership with Cuba in this area of medicine and they assist with these surgeries, which are covered financially under Cuba’s healthcare system. Cuba actually has one of the best healthcare systems in the world, and the world’s second highest doctor to patient ratio.
Sources: mashable.com, popsci.com, askmen.com, nydailynews.com, nytimes.com
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