March 2016

Cuba is on the move. Its government Cuba and the USA are talking about allowing direct flights from American soil, although, while the USA is gung-ho, the Cubans are more reticent.

And the first US-based cruise ships in more than 50 years have already docked, while swish air-conditioned buses whisk droves of mostly European visitors around the island.

But for the majority of Cubans, thanks to decades of trade embargoes and the end of Russian funding when the USSR collapsed, it’s a combination of ancient American limousines, clapped-out Russian Ladas and the occasional pre-loved Japanese car imported when it was already past its use-by date.

And then there are horse-drawn and motorbike-driven taxis.  Is there any other country in the world where signs on a six-lane highway warn you to watch out for horses and carts?

And of course there are the push-bike taxis.  Cute, for sure, but neither they nor the horse-drawn carts you see around country towns like Santa Clara are exclusively for tourist.  This is public transport, Cuban-style.

All pictures (c) Jimmy Thomson, 2016