Secretary of State John Kerry scheduled to raise the American flag over the U.S. embassy in Havana for the first time since January 3, 1961, and I had to get there first. I wanted to feel the sticky nights before the corporate storm. I wanted to hear the live salsa, son cubano, and jazz before bars are taken over with new Beliebers and their new Bluetooth high-performance speakers. I wanted to taste the Cuban cuisine before the country is infiltrated with McDonalds, Burger King and Chipotle.
I deplaned in Jose Marti International Airport and was overwhelmed by the smell of stale Cuban cigars in the jetway, remnants of tourists’ last attempts to enjoy a freshly rolled cigar in the humid climate that preserves each tobacco leaf perfectly. The customs process was a breeze, and I was already bartering for the cheapest ride into … Read More