I went to Cuba in '79 when for a short time Carter rescinded the restrictions on travel to Cuba, we flew MIA
in a DC-3!
I remember walking along the tarmac at Jose Marti next to Aeroflot and CSA IL
Lovely place, beautiful country. At the time at least, it was no poorer than other Latin American countries, and while I'm sure the people were on their guard, I saw no overt measures to stop people from talking to me. We were allowed to go anywhere in Havana we wanted even though we were from the US. Frankly most people really didn't seem to care too much, and remember this was '79. I do remember it was a hopping salsa party though.
I think the deal with the restrictions is technically, you *can* go to Cuba, you just cannot spend any money to do it. In fact you can't spend any money that will go to Cuba at all if you are "under US jurisdiction." That is interpreted to mean if I light up a Cuban cigar in Montreal, since I'm a US citizen, I'm violating the law. But if I had a Canadian friend who bought me a vacation in Cuba and spent only his money to take me there, and if I didn't even pay for a cab in Havana, theoretically, I can do it, although I wouldn't try it out in the current US climate.
One of these days, when sanity returns to my country.
I may be ugly. I may be an American. But don't call me an ugly American.