Cuba’s vibrant mix of cultures

We’ve already taken a quick look at Havana influences outside of Cuba; the famous ‘Little Havana’ neighbourhood of Miami, for example, and the mouthwatering Cuban sandwich, but how have other countries, and other cultures, influenced Cuba? What sort of influences will you see when you rent a villa in Cuba? For a nation that was essentially closed off for many years, it’s more diverse than you’d think!
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Opt for a Dominican Republic vacation rental and you’ll see very definite Spanish influences, from the language to the unit of currency: the Peso. Visit Tortola, and you’ll find rows and rows of British-style fish and chip shops. The Residents of St Thomas celebrate American Thanksgiving, while Dutch croquettes are on the menu in Curaçao. Things aren’t quite as straightforward with Cuba.

Although colonised by the Spanish in the 15th century, Cuba retained a heavily indigenous population, and was famous for its rather unusual foreign policy under Castro, which saw strong bonds form between Cuba and many African and South American countries. This history has helped Cuba become what it is today: a very diverse and colourful island that’s a true blend of customs, convention, and folklore.

There is a lot of multicultural influences in everything from the Cuban food (see if you can spot a few Chinese aspects!) to the music, but some influences are much more obvious than others. No holiday in Cuba would be complete without a photograph of the classic, brightly coloured American cars lining the roadsides, for example, while the Havana Cathedral is a prime example of Tuscan Baroque architecture.

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Once upon a time, the Spanish-styled Danzón would have been declared the national musical genre, but today many younger people would claim it’s the Caribbean Reggaeton. Similarly, the national sport is officially American baseball, and yet European soccer really seems to be taking over. There really is nowhere else in the world with such a unique blend, and you can enjoy it all from your Cuba villa.


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