Commercial US Flights To Cuba Begin [VIDEO]

CNN reports:

When JetBlue Flight 387 touched down Wednesday in Cuba, it was the first direct commercial flight between the US and the island in over a half-century. The Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Santa Clara, Cuba, flight is the latest symbol of the thawing of relations between the former Cold War adversaries, who restored diplomatic ties in 2015.

Until now, Santa Clara was most famous for being the site of the tomb of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, the Argentine revolutionary who fought alongside Fidel Castro and was later killed with the help of the CIA while leading an insurrection in Bolivia.

Soon up to a maximum of 110 daily flights operated by such carriers as JetBlue, American Airlines, Delta, Frontier, Southwest and Silver Airways are due to begin flying to the communist-run island, according to the US Department of Transportation.

  • Gustav2

    “110 daily flights”

    Be careful what you wish for….

    • safari

      I’ve come across a number of pieces about tourists wanting to visit Cuba before it becomes “new” Cuba. I think they were right.

      • Michael White

        I want to go before it is trashed with american fast food restaurant and other chains go up.

      • barrixines

        It’s a really difficult one isn’t it. Part of the charm of Cuba was undeniably caused by the blockade. Havana’s rundown decaying charm looks good in photographs. All those old houses will be restored boutique hotels in a few years and the locals will all be living in shitty new builds out of town. But at least their lives won’t be so impoverished that they are forced to ask tourists for toilet rolls.

      • William

        There aren’t enough hotel rooms to handle a massive influx of American tourists. Many of the rooms available will not meet the standards and expectations of the more demanding obnoxious American. The idea of renting somebody’s spare room will be very foreign.

  • johncAtl

    Little Marco is very sad about this.

    • Gustav2

      Is he literally the only Cuban American his age who is anti this?

      • johncAtl

        I think so.

        • Octavio

          There are plenty of other Cuban/American Floridians who are pissed about this, but they mostly Republican.

          • johncAtl

            I think the key is “age.”

          • Gene

            there ARE others, and young ones, but most of the younger generation are positive about the change. but, yeah, there are still plenty of angry people concerning this

            I have a co worker who just got back (had to take a charter). Said it was interesting. these flights are great for families (and potential businesses looking to set up shop), but, from what I have heard from people who have been there in the last year, wait a couple of years before going. Everything is being washed/painted/upgraded/modernized to the extent possible with current resources, and as more investment is occurring, the island will be ready for tourists (and business) fairly soon…but…NOT now. “If I had known how primitive conditions are, I would not have gone” I have heard from each of the 4 people I know who went this year.

          • Bruno

            As long as one is prepared for “primitive” conditions I think it’d still be interesting and fun to go. There’s something to be said for seeing a place in its true colors, not whitewashed for the tourist industry.

          • RemusL

            1. Tourism has not stopped just because most Americans haven’t been allowed to visit Cuba.
            2. It’s still a country run by a communist dictatorship, so how many “true colors” not officially approved by the government do you think tourists will be allowed to see?

          • Bruno

            1. My mother visited Cuba years ago, so I know this.
            2. It’s not North Korea. Different communist dictators, different strokes.

          • Gene

            to each their own πŸ™‚ …personally, I like western hotels, and I like a little local color, as long as the underlying roads/restaurants/power grid/expectations for hotels, etc, are up to international expectations. a bit of whitewashing does not bother me..as long as things are not made lilly white, so to speak. there have been times when, in the developing world, where I had been made to feel welcomed and had a good time, I admit, after a few weeks, I would have been Thrilled to have an iced coffee at a starbucks, and the familiar had regained its charm!

          • Bruno

            Sure, I’m not saying there’s only one way to take a vaycay. But there are definitely people who are going to be jumping at the chance to visit Cuba before they paint everything. Not sure I’d be one of them if I had the money, but many others will.

          • barrixines

            I know everyone has different expectations of what they want from a holiday but dear lord you seem to be speaking about Cuba as if it’s a mountain village in Afghanistan. Believe it or not you can get an iced coffee in Havana.

          • barrixines

            Apologies that came across as being smart arsed when I was actually trying to say – go see the place now, it’s far from being what you might imagine a developing country to be. Don’t be put off by people saying it’s primitive. You won’t be going to the bathroom in a ditch. If you want a touch of luxury it’s already there if you want to pay for it. But part of the charm is going to stay in a casa particular where, ok the plumbing might not be as good as the US’s, but the ravishing, tumbledown beauty renders that inconvenience completely insignificant.

          • Gene

            appreciated, but no apology necessary
            1) I did not detect snark
            2) I am thick skinned, and I do not object if someone has a corrective point in any case. Its how we live and grow, don’t you agree? they hypersensitive tend to have a bad time of it on this site of wonderful…..sometimes trenchantly, viciously witty people who have seen enough of the world to have worth listening to opinions on it. (thats a good thing )
            πŸ™‚

          • barrixines

            Yes but I am not sure if it’s a corrective point or not. I just have to remind myself what I want from a holiday is not the same as what somebody else wants. I actually don’t like too much luxury – not because I believe staying somewhere rough makes my experience any more authentic, I just don’t feel comfortable and the charms are wasted on me. I was staying in a stunning riyadh in Morocco a few years which was incredibly luxurious but after two days of them scattering rose petals at my feet over breakfast I was dying just to be left alone for an instant coffee and a scratch.

          • That_Looks_Delicious

            Once they turn Cuba into Daytona Beach, then they’ll want to go there. Face palm. Why don’t they just go to Daytona Beach?

          • popebuck1

            Search me. Why does ANYONE go to Daytona Beach?

          • Acronym Jim

            NASCAR and Spring drunken shitfest Break?

          • Gene

            Auto racing maybe?.
            the place had never excited me much. there are so many places in FL that are nicer. Miami has its culture and night life..the keys are..well..the keys, always interestig. even the pan handle (rednecks) has the prettiest beaches in the US, and I would compare them to any I have seen anywhere in the world.

          • Corsair Tact

            I live in Daytona. I moved here after going everywhere in the US that I wanted. Take away the tourist parts and the tourists and it’s the best beach I’ve ever been to.

          • Ragnar Lothbrok

            I stepped on a sting ray at that beach

          • Corsair Tact

            Youch!

          • Corsair Tact

            One other thing… I’m sitting at the beach talking to clients and watching a pod of dolphins swim by as they play in the surf. It’s quite magical.

          • johncAtl

            Fewer drunk rednecks in Cuba.

          • Gene

            no..I disagree a bit…not entirely, but, if history is any indication….it will be like the Bahamas …or Turks and Caicos. Or Cabo or the Gulf resorts in Mexico. Cancun is the biggest destination for Americans in Mexico (not on the border) by far…and, it has 7 TGIF restaurants, untold McDonalds, burger kings, pizza huts, etc etc, American style shopping malls, etc. I have known a lot of people who go there and only eat at Subway. For the typical American tourist, different enough to be interesting, sunny in winter and NOT cold like Buffalo or Phily in Feb.. and familiar enough to be comfortable is all they want. Not my cup of tea, but, to most Americans, thats about what they want, and their travel habits show it.

            (I have personally always had the belief that the Bahamian Government dept of Tourism had been the biggest lobbyist for the Cuban embargo. once its gone..they become an afterthought..only their being an English speaking nation and familiar already will help them compete with all these flights to Cuba!)

          • That_Looks_Delicious

            Well, if ocean levels rise as some scientists have predicted, the Bahamas may not exist by the end of this century.

          • Gene

            or Miami

          • RemusL

            Canadians and Europeans have been visiting Cuba for decades and don’t seem to be too bothered by the “primitive” conditions. Truth be told, Canadians who regularly vacation in Cuba see the re-introduction of American travel to Cuba as something that will just cause everything to go up in price.

          • barrixines

            There’s undoubtedly economic hardship there but I would question the idea that there’s anything primitive about the country.

    • Keiffer

      I’d suggest we’d chip in and buy him a one-way ticket but he’d:
      a) Never show up as scheduled or
      b) Find a way back on a float of foam.

    • Jacob

      The Miami emigres do not want the country opened up because it will uncover the theft that occurred. Also, Star Bellied Sneetches.

  • safari

    Did we get anything out of the 50 years of hostilities?

    • ByronK

      Immigrants.

    • bkmn

      No, but plenty of people lost their lives trying to get to the US.

    • Gustav2

      Decent espresso in Miami.

    • BobSF_94117

      “Proof” that socialism doesn’t work…

  • bkmn

    After Hillary wins I hope we have majorities that will allow the embargo to be fully lifted. Then watch Cuba transform quickly.

    • Gene

      that would be the best way to do it…embargos just give the dictatorship an excuse for its myrian failures. but contact and trade and raised expectations, THAT will change things.

      • BobSF_94117

        Hopefully Cuba will institute an embargo on chain stores coming from the states (Pipe dream, I know).

  • JTC

    And the invasion of American tourists looking for cigars and the most authentic Cuba Libre has begun…

  • Gigi

    I’m Canadian and have been to Cuba six times, staying near the gay beach (Playa del Este) just outside of Havana. I’m so happy that my American friends will now be able to visit this beautiful country. It’s truly a magical place. (And the Cuban men are delicious!!)

    • William

      This means more competition.

  • Rex

    Checking for flights after November 8, just in case.

    • Gigi

      It’s a nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there.

      • Rex

        Me neither, but I’m keeping my options open. I also want to get a good look at those Cuban men.

        • Gigi

          They’re beautiful, both inside and out. If you do visit Cuba, go to Havana and take a walk down along the Malecon (boardwalk) at night. There are about 500+ Cubanos there looking to meet up. We’ve have some really amazing conversations with guys there. It helps that we speak a bit of Spanish. πŸ™‚

      • Ragnar Lothbrok

        You could say the same about the US

        • Gigi

          Some areas, yes. The same could be said about certain areas of my country, Canada.

    • Gene

      as bad as Trump would be, there ARE steps lower on the rung…this would be one of them (though I, and many of the Cubans here in Atlanta, which has a large Cuban American population, are hopeful for real change once the last of the Castros is in hell.

      (saw a bloated body in the keys before the coroner arrived…colored, without apology, my view of the dictatorship, and lets not forget thats what it is, a one party dictatorship worth risking your live to get the hell out of)

      but, the beauty of the island is amazing, friends tell me of places that will take the breath away, and I do hope to visit it someday. hopefully an influx of Americans, our money, and our ideas will help speed the change and the economic development

      • RemusL

        Americans could have been there decades ago to help “speed the change”. Instead, all the ground work has been set by visitors from other countries, e.g. from Europe and Canada. The main roadblock from the U.S. side to normalizing relations came from the Cubans who lost the war with the communists and fled the country leaving behind possessions and property. They didn’t want diplomatic ties to be resumed unless they got their abandoned property back.

        • Gene

          agreed…I know some of them well.
          and their hatred of the party and their sense of loss is as strong as it was the day they left.
          but, just as in China or Poland, etc..we should not have embargoed it. counter productive. a stupid thing

  • Butch

    Now Americans get to find out that Cubans are human beings.
    Seriously, I’m ready to book a flight. I’d love to go there.

    • Henry Auvil

      I went (via the Bahamas) twelve years ago, and it was an unforgettable trip. Everyone I met was welcoming, kind and thrilled to learn I was an American defying the embargo. The level of material deprivation and isolation was everywhere to be seen, but it hadn’t crushed anyone’s spirit or humor. Plus, it’s simply a gorgeous place. I definitely plan to return.

      • Butch

        Want to see the island and the culture; I doubt the infrastructure is there (at least yet) but I’m a diver and would love to see the offshore world, too.

  • Henry Auvil

    President Trump will put a stop to this on DAY ONE!!

    • johncAtl

      Until he has time to build Trump Hotel and Tower in Havana. It will be the best. People will be talking about how great it is.

      • Cherry

        Exactly. Trump hasn’t said anything about Cuba, has he? I bet he is planning Trump Havana.

      • William

        The Cuban government hasn’t started selling property. If and when they do, there will be lawsuits that go on for years, regarding property that was seized after the revolution. The Havana Hilton hardly had the “Sanitized For Your Protection” toilet signs removed before it was nationalized.

  • greenmanTN

    In my experience, to quote Madeline Kahn in Young Frankenstein, “It goes without saying he’d have an enormous schwanstucker.”

    It was a limited sample, but I’d be happy to enlarge the group to check the data.

  • KQCA

    Bring it on. Bags are packed. Anyone else game? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gT04xzKCDus

  • LackofFaithify

    Awwww. Poor Fidel. He lived long enough to see all he had done go to hell under the bulbous ass of a mid-westerner’s fanny pack bedazzled ass. HA-HA!

  • Ernest Endevor

    I blame Obama.

    • Gustav2

      As well you should!

      • Adam King

        One of those times when “Thanks, Obama!” is completely sincere.

  • TuuxKabin

    There goes the neighborhood.

    • barrixines

      So equivocal here. Some of the best things about it are the things that are going to disappear first. For instance, the near absence of advertising anywhere (beyond the endless advertising of Fidel and Che) is a real holiday. You don’t realise how much that visual noise gets to you until you are away from it. But I guess it’s their right to be up to their eyeballs in all the worst excesses of capitalism just like the rest of us.

      • Ernest Endevor

        You could try Iceland.

        • barrixines

          Yes but Bjork’s version of “Yo soy el punto cubano” isn’t a patch on Celina Gonzalez’s.

          • Ernest Endevor

            I don’t know, Reykjavik’s main drag’s a pretty happenin’ place.

          • barrixines

            Yes my other half was there for work recently and he absolutely loved the place. Living on the Med though it goes against all my instincts that travelling north constitutes a holiday.

          • William

            I live in Texas. My holidays involve going to places with cold weather and even some snow.

          • barrixines

            Where you born in Texas? Coming from London when the weather forecast is pretty much guaranteed three hundred plus days a year of grey, I am still in the honeymoon period of living in a warm sunny country. I do actually go north in the winters – often to Sweden. Proper winters with snow are fantastic. In London the drizzle just gets a bit colder.

          • William

            I grew up in Virginia, southern California and places in between. Enough years in Texas make me crave some cold weather. Texas cold is three days in the 30s, followed by 60s and 70s. It doesn’t count. I don’t mind drizzle in London, but most times there are only on my way to someplace else. I get to see a few things and then to bed and up early to take a train or plane to someplace else. It’s been ages since I’ve been there for even 24 hours.

            Stockholm can get insane cold. There is no warmth to the ground, it’s all built on granite.

            Snow is fun, I am required to go out and play.

  • bryan

    o/t More christian ‘family values’… / Indiana mother cites β€˜religious freedom’ law as defense for abusing her son.. / Fundamentalist religion = mental illness…

    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2016/08/indiana-mother-cites-religious-freedom-law-defense-abusing-son/

  • TuuxKabin
  • Sam_Handwich
    • bryan

      hot cousin…

      • Florencejsolberg1

        Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj56d:
        On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
        !mj56d:
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    • That_Looks_Delicious

      Mmmmm. Now you messed me up. I had been planning on pasta tonight.

    • TuuxKabin

      And not for nuttin’ HOnay, he’s just as tasty. Especially with a side of peppers picante!

    • Acronym Jim

      TamuΓ©l Storta o SamuΓ©l Xemparedado?

      Edit: apologies to Tuuxy and Octavio.

    • Ragnar Lothbrok

      I’d eat him

  • Adam King

    Sky Masterson and Sister Sarah Brown, pack your bags!

  • TrollopeReader

    oooh….a commemorative swag bag !!

  • Over half a century of waiting my long delayed Havana holiday might
    actually happen. That frozen-in-time feeling in Cuba fits perfectly with
    childhood memories of stories shared by my parents of their mid
    century Havana holidays. Once upon a time Cuba was the destination
    for winter weary Americans, and Cuba aggressively marketed for tourism
    business.Check out some vintage Cuban travel ads http://wp.me/p2qifI-2GX

  • 2patricius2

    A place I plan to go in the not too distant future.

  • GanymedeRenard

    Yes. I know this is Gloria Estefan, but I’ve been told this particular song does a very good job reviving the 1940’s Havana atmosphere: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWAWQmhqWGo

  • andrew

    Gee maybe this is too soon. Our boycott of Cuba has only been going on for about 60 years. Given a couple more years it may have worked.

  • Florencejsolberg1

    Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj56d:
    On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
    !mj56d:
    ➽➽
    ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash55DirectTeamGetPay$97Hour β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…::::::!mj56d:….,…..