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I met Saki and Aki, two students from Japan’s Kyoto University, a few days into a two-week trip to Cuba. We were buying ice-cold coconuts to sip in Old Havana during the midday Carribean scorch of late August and after a brief exchange, decided we’d spend the day together.

Akiko’s heritage is half German, and Saki was mistaken for Chinese throughout the day by speculative Habaneros. However, them travelling so far from home at the tender age of 21 means that to define individuals by their country or culture is becoming less relevant.

Even if we are increasingly becoming citizens of the world, Communist-implemented travel restrictions mean Cubans are still limited in their exposure to the world beyond this fascinating island. The growing number of tourists like Saki and Aki, however, much like the rising amount of Cubans logging on to various websites in designated public wifi zones around any given town or city, are opening this proud nation’s collective consciousness to new and exciting possibilities.

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