“El periódico ha de estar siempre como los correos antiguos, con el caballo enjaezado, la fusta en la mano y la espuela en el tacón.  Debe desobedecer los apetitos del bien personal y atender imparcialmente al bien público”.
José Martí
 

Arriving in Cuba, Be Prepared to Wait

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Foto: Raquel Pérez Díaz

The tourist arriving in Cuba these days receives a warm welcome; the waiting area for luggage is without air conditioning. In any other airport you could say it is not such a big deal but Havana is a different story as we spent 90 minutes until the first bag appeared.

The chaos on Monday was much greater than in the past. It took 2 hours for the health inspectors to appear. People who brought food had to wait patiently because customs would not let them leave without their corresponding dried fruits passing inspection.

When we go through immigration, the only thing that seems to work at a normal speed, there was no information posted as which carousel our bags were to appear on.  After a while our flight number was put on above one of the bands and after waiting there 45 minutes we were changed to another carousel without notice.

In fact there weren’t that many passengers, just about 4 flights. Seeing the chaos I was wondering what will happen in the future when US tourism is no longer prohibited and booms? What will happen when they receive 10 aircraft at the same time? How long with the tourists have to wait?

Is the energy crisis so serious that they leave the airport without air conditioning when it is crowded with tourists? This is the face of Cuba, the first a tourist sees. Leaving them in a fish bowl, dripping with sweat and waiting three hours for their luggage does not seem the best incentive to return.

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Chaos at Havana’s main airport. Foto: Raquel Pérez Díaz

Translation: Havana Times

About Fernando Ravsberg

Nacido en Uruguay, corresponsal de Público en Cuba y profesor del post grado de “Información internacional y países del Sur” de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Fue periodista de BBC Mundo, Telemundo de EEUU, Radio Nacional de Suecia y TV Azteca de México. Autor de 3 libros, El Rompecabezas Cubano, Reportajes de Guerra y Retratos.

 
 

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