[Ed. – Sheez, get over it already.]
“For the moment, Cuba is still Cuba, but in a few years the culture will be gone.” Frans Smans, a tourist from Holland, sat under the shade of a simple corrugated metal roof, taking in the view of the Sierra Maestra mountains in the east of the country.
Smans, a 63-year-old project manager, was part of a group of two dozen Dutch tourists who had trekked their way up through the tropical forest to visit Comandancia de la Plata, the command center from which Fidel Castro orchestrated the revolution that saw him sweep to power in 1959. The huts are spread out over a moderately steep hilltop. Beginning at the Medina Family house, where a quintet that entertained guerrilla fighters during the revolution lived, visitors trek up to the Press bungalow, onto Fidel’s thatch-roofed house and into Radio Rebelde, from where revolutionary fighters broadcast their news to the country.
The European’s lament is typical of many visitors to Cuba’s tourist spots these days. The recent softening of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba is expected to bring an avalanche of American visitors, and it has got some European tourists all worked up. “Larger numbers of people from other countries are now trying to get to Cuba before Miami Spring Breakers enter the country,” said Alana Tummino, policy director at the New York-based Americas Society-Council of the Americas.