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Cuba, Island in the stream

Enchanted by the sea and the coasts of Cuba Columbus declared that he had never seen such a beautiful thing. Four hundred and fifty years later, Hemingway thought the same when he wrote The Old Man and the Sea.

Cuba fascinates. The towns are reminiscent of the colonial era, although many buildings could do with a lot of restauration work. Nowhere else in the world do the residents undergo the circumstances in which they live so cheerfully. Cuba has a literacy rate of 99.8%, an infant mortality rate lower than some developed countries and an average life expectancy of 78.3 years. Cuba thus has a higher life expectancy than the United States. In 2006, Cuba was the only country in the world which met the WWF definition of sustainable development.

The streets of the capital Havana have been dominated for decades by classic American cars from brands like Chevrolet, Dodge and Chrysler. The question is whether this will continue in the near future because the Cuban government has lifted the restrictions on the sale and purchase of cars by citizens.

Private trading is Increasingly admitted and certain professions may be exercised for their own account. There is also a new and lucrative trade in real estate, until recently forbidden. A new middle class develops and earns good money and they are happy to spend. The economic landscape is changing and the politics follow. There is a new Cuba in sight.

What effect that will have on the people will be very interesting to see.

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