Taking advantage of newly relaxed travel restrictions, a handful of young Cuban-Americans decided to start a program, called Cuba One, modeled loosely on the birthright trips that pay for young Jews to travel to Israel.
They want to help bridge the divide between Cubans on and off the island. Unlike their parents and grandparents, they tend not to have clearly defined views of how the island’s political and economic systems should change — or how quickly. But they want to do more than watch from a distance as the era of rule by Fidel and Raúl Castro draws to a close. “When Cuban-Americans think about Cuba, it’s important that they have a tangible relationship with the island and its people,” said Giancarlo Sopo, one of the founders. “There is much more to that country than a pair of brothers; there are 11 million people with dreams and aspirations.”