14ymedio, Havana, 30 November 2016 — For many tourists who have experienced recent days in Cuba it has been especially difficult to enjoy a mojito, relax with a daiquiri, or sip a beer to deal with the heat. With the declaration of national mourning, the government has prohibited the sale of alcoholic beverages for nine days, and also cancelled all cultural activities and placed tight controls over music in public and private places.
However, at Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport, rum and beer are still for sale, but only in the area beyond the security controls and emigration booths. This Wednesday, the line at the café in Terminal 3 was longer than usual. Many wanted to once again feel “something cold that soothes the soul” on their tongues, said a Spanish traveler.
Only inside hotels and in the restricted areas of the airport terminals has the sale of these products been allowed. The restrictions include the emblematic Floridita Bar, which will be closed until after the mourning period, and the Bodeguita del Medio, which right now is empty and sad; both are famed for the “regulars” who drank there, including Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Ernest Hemingway, among others. “This is the only and last beer I’ve been able to drink in Cuba,” joked the Spaniard from Madrid, while enjoying a cold Cristal, tempting and unattainable for those on the outside.