And what an amazing country, but one you can’t normally visit if you’re American and if you do visit, you’re taken into a darkened room, have a light shone in your eyes*, asked what were you doing in Cuba and fined $5,000.
The Cubans who I met were wonderful people, (though there is a problem with begging) and there was no problem with wandering about and meeting people in either Havana or Varadero, the two places I visited. The Cubans are genuinely interested in you and where you are from, plus knowing some Spanish helps. In addition, two Cubans were more up-front and honest with me about their country than I would have expected them to be.
I expect that there are going to be major changes in Cuba over the coming years as the country opens up and relations with America are normalised and the new generations are more interested in ipads than revolution, so it is worth visiting now before the American hordes descend.
By the way the Cubans don’t stamp your passport in case you ever want to visit America, because the Americans discover that you have visited Cuba, they can put you on the first plane home. The other thing to note about the American embargo, is that before you go, you're told not to use any credit cards issued by American banks. This is not a problem introduced by the Cubans, (they don't care), but by the Americans. They won't pay up.
One other thing to mention, my wife took over a copy of my book, A Slight Mistake in the Code, to read, as she had not previously read it, but we decided not to take it home, so I gave it to one of the staff at the hotel. So if my book ever becomes the best-seller it obviously deserves to be and people are searching for the first ever printed copy, then one of them is in Cuba.
*: I made up the bit about the darkened room and having a light shone in your eyes but not the rest.