We set up the benches and lit a fire, had a few beers (Yuengling) and settled in for the hour-long smoke session. The general belief that Cuba produces better cigars is not a cliche – it’s the truth – and the conversation eventually developed into the politics behind the ban on the stogies.
I’m pretty sure you can figure out where I stand. As a travel writer, it’s insanely frustrating to be told you can’t go somewhere, to hear Canadians and Mexicans tell their stories of what is supposed to be a gorgeous island.
The reason it gets to me is that the laws are preventing us from bridging the gap. All reports from foreign travel friends are positive and uplifting, yet Americans are being deprived of such experiences – we are forced to swallow whatever image the media and government decide to paint for us.
True, there are ways for Americans to still travel to Cuba, some legal and some very much illegal. I’ve spoken to people who have successfully accomplished the latter, however it’s hard as a young writer to risk getting slapped with the hefty fine (one lady was fined $7,500 in 2001).
Think it over, read up on it. I promise I’ll get there some day – one way or another.