Cuba: A Culture Encapsulated
Havana is a time capsule, teleporting visitors back to the dreamy mystique of the 1950s. In 1961, the United States placed an embargo on Cuban exports, creating el bloqueo, "the blockade." This had large economic implications on Cuba as a whole and severely limited consumer choice. In many cases, stores sell only one or two types of a product, often leaving shelves empty. Even shampoo has become a luxury item. However, the city is full of color, spirit and culture. Stately buildings remind residents of Cuba’s Spanish colonial past. Artists sell vibrant paintings from small shops. Antique Chevrolets and Buicks rattle through the streets as if from a scene in an old film, a film with dynamic soundtrack. In parks, bars and street corners, musicians send tunes wafting through the air, drawing both spectators and dancers in a way that is uniquely Cuban.