FORBIDDEN ISLE IN THE NEWS
|Cuba's old capitol building in Havana is undergoing repairs.|
Photography by Bruce Henderson, April 2015.
|Afternoon in Santa Clara, Cuba|
Photography by Bruce Henderson.
POPE TO VISIT CUBA.
Pope Francis, who is credited with bringing leaders of Cuba and the U.S. closer to resuming diplomatic relations, will visit the island in September en route to Washington DC. Earlier in the year, President Raul Castro visited the Pope to thank him for his efforts toward ending the U.S. and Cuban estrangement.
|Cuban President Raul Castro visiting Pope Francis|
at the Vatican, Spring 2015
"I am very happy. I have come here to thank him for what he has done to begin solving the problems of the United States and Cuba," said Castro who also added he was so impressed by a Vatican audience with Pope Francis that he might return to the faith.
Praising the Pope’s wisdom and leadership, Castro said "I will resume praying and turn to the Church again if the Pope continues in this vein."
The Catholic Church has maintained ties with Havana since the 1959 revolution.
Castro’s remarks will no doubt ensure an even larger and warmer welcome for the pontiff when he arrives in September.
HERE’S A HOW TO TRAVEL TO CUBA ARTICLE THAT’S MORE SPOT ON THAN MOST.
In case you haven’t noticed Cuba is a hot topic with the media (I’m being a smart ass), however, Smarter Travel, an Internet travel page, has just posted an update (June 27) that jives with our recent experience on the island (April, 2015). The Smarter Travel article recommends a few tour groups that travel to Cuba, but did not mention Gate 1 Travel by Discovery Tours. Our experience with Gate 1 was extremely professional. By adding Gate 1 to the mix then I feel the article is very complete and a good one to refer friends and colleagues who ask how was your trip to Cuba. Send them this article it is a good recap:
Also, I’m a bit bias but like you we’ve been reading a lot of articles about Cuba recently, but in this editor’s opinion the original photos that our group took while on our Cuban adventure and published in Pillar to Post are so much better. The photos at the top of this page by
Bruce Henderson are an example. Thank you all for contributing photos to our month long coverage of our April 23 Brigade tour.
|Ferry service to U.S. leaving the Port of Havana in the 1950s.|
Quick to act following the recent US/Cuba détente, have applied and been requested licenses to carry passengers from the mainland to Cuba, according to news reports. Ferry operators are quoted saying they’re ready to go once the grinding bureaucracy in Cuba blesses the new routes. Reportedly Baja Ferries and Havana Ferry Partners are primed to begin service.
What’s the hold up? Cuba wants to make sure its immigration facilities, tax collectors and fees collection departments are in place before opening the new ferry boat portals. A Sun Country charter (Minnesota based) charges about $350 to $400 round trip for the 30 minute flight to Cuba. A spokesman for Baja Ferries said last May that a round trip ticket between Havana/Miami would cost $250 to $300 each. Baja Ferries plans on 3 to 4 trips per week on vessels that can carry up to 1,000 passengers. Havana Ferry operates vessels that carry 300 passengers. A Baja Ferry ship would make the trip in ten hours each way Havana to Miami.