Cuba is changing in the global era; official ideology is not

As the Aerocaribe DC 9 began to descend into Havana, 45 minutes after it took off fromCancun, Mexico, I read that Fidel was preparing to leave Cuba for Venezuela to attend the inauguration of President Hugo Chavez. Almost 39 years since my first visit to revolutionary Cuba, I felt almost dizzy when I encountered the new, European-looking airport, replete with decorative plastic bars criss-crossed under the ceiling, a newly tiled floor and vast spaces for people. Deja vu set in when the bored immigration official yawned at me, just as others had two, three, many years ago when I routinely visited. He slowly scanned the information on my passport and stamped the separate piece of paper containing my visa.