My friend had 2 weeks there last month and said it was a wonderful place to visit. He had his camera stolen 3 hours before he was due to catch the bus back to the airport to come home. It was returned to him by the police in time to catch the bus.
I have recently been to Cuba, but instead of flying to Havana i chose Holguin in the eastern part of the island, with the intention of getting down to Guantanamo -- the city that is, not the US prison camp. I had always wondered what the city must be like, and i wasn't disappointed.
Guantanamo is truly fascinating, a fairly large city, with a beautiful climate. Not a McDonald or a Starbucks in sight, but if you wanted a burger you could get one - Cuban style. And if you wanted a coffee what better than a Cuban coffee with tot of rum and all for the princely sum of 2p!
I was there to write about the place, to study its history, culture, food and also to bring in the fact that it was in Guantanamo that Ernest Hemingway was based during the Second World War when he and his 'cronies' were hunting German U-boats just off the coast.
Transport is a delight, vintage Buicks, Cadillacs, Chevrolets and Fords all relics of pre-Revolution times; trains that run every second or third day; pictures of Che still adorning the walls of schools and colleges, and taxis which still remain horse-drawn.
I got to Holguin via Milan and the airline Blue Panorama which stops for a short while in Havana.
Cuba, yes, go there as soon as you can. It is a fabulous country and the people, while poor by our standards, are rich in their family values, dance and culture.
It sounds fascinating. I just hope I get a chance to go before it's ruined by modern western influences. The way you describe it sounds much like how Malta and Gozo were twenty years ago. These days the old cars and buses are all but gone along with much of it's character.