Ernesto Lecuona would say today: “Para Cuba no voy”

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Many years ago, Ernesto Lecuona wrote “Para Vigo me voy”, one of his many classic compositions.     It goes like this:

“Vamos a la Conga, ¡Ay, Dios!
Vamos que ya suena el Bongó
Las maracas suenas ya
Y ya repica el timbal
Mi negra vamos detrás
Porque ya la conga no vuelve más
Para Vigo me voy
Mi negra dime adiós
Anda bongosero toca ya
Que estoy medio loco por bailar
Para Vigo me voy, me voy, me voy
Mi negra dime adiós
Mira que la Conga ya se va
Para nunca más volver a sonar
Para Vigo me voy …
Mira que la Conga ya se va
Para nunca más volver a sonar
Para Vigo me voy……….”

Today, we can safely say that American tourists are singing “Para Cuba no voy” or the sad reality of travelling to a country without infrastructure or clean towels.

This is the last report on travelling to Cuba:

When the country was first opened to Americans, there was a huge boost in travel there, but Americans were less interested in travel to Cuba this year than they were in 2016, a survey from insurance provider Allianz Global Assistance found.

Some 76% of the 1,514 respondents said they were not likely to plan a trip to Cuba in 2017 compared to 70% in 2016. Only 2% of those surveyed planned to visit Cuba in the next six months or by the end of 2017, the same as 2016 despite a projected increase in travelers from the country’s ministry of tourism.

It also found that 60% of Americans said “would not like to travel to Cuba” compared to just 58% in 2016.

Although some of these shifts may be expected after the initial flurry of interest, flight trends also suggest demand is lower than initially expected, said Brian Sumers, an airline analyst at travel site Skift. “When the country opened up, just about every U.S. airline was obsessed with getting as many routes into Havana as it possibly could — they thought it was going to be a gravy train,” he said. “Now, as I understand it, a lot of the flights are empty.”

Indeed, the initial excitement about the formerly closed off country gave way to moral dilemmas over food shortages and other problems caused by tourism, as well as disappointment over limited working internet, lower hotel standards, and lack of running water there. The Allianz study found lack of travel infrastructure was a major cause of anxiety about traveling to Cuba for 13% of Americans.

A few days ago, I spoke with a Mexican lady who had just visited Cuba.   She said something that I’ve heard often from visitors to Cuba.   It goes something like this:  “beautiful country but I feel terrible for the Cuban people”.

So we are left with The Lecuona Cuban Boys from happier days: