One thing that is driving experienced Cuba travelers a little crazy is the proliferation of articles about the country written by first-time visiting American “journalists.” I just read an article in the Wall Street Journal written by THREE journalists. I don’t know what their backgrounds are, or how many times they’ve been to Cuba, but it seems like the old idea of “fact-checking” is a thing of the past.
Following is my response to the article, followed by a link to the article itself:
How many mistakes can three authors make?! “…not force them to go on expensive package tours.” Not true. Americans could always go by themselves with a General License. I’ve been doing that since 1999. “The new rules issued in January also eliminated the need for many authorized travelers to obtain prior U.S. approval.” Not true. Individuals traveling on General Licenses never needed to obtain permission. “U.S. citizens still need a Cuban visa to enter the country.” Not true. Only a few special travelers like journalists need a visa. The so-called “visa” is actually a Tourist Card. There is no qualifying. You can buy one at the check-in counter of any airline flying to Cuba. “Still, traveling to Cuba for a cultural exchange—one of the 12 authorized purposes—requires going with a tour group.” Not true, and it hasn’t been true for the past decade. At least The Journal had fewer errors than most articles about Cuba I’ve read this past year. –James Lewis RN