Friday, February 10, 2012

Cuban embargo at 50: US cars with Soviet parts

The US trade embargo with Cuba is 50 years old and Washington shows no sign of ending it. In Havana, the BBC's Sarah Rainsford asks how Cubans have learnt to adapt.

The classic American cars that crowd the streets of Cuba are a huge draw for foreign tourists. But for their owners, they're mostly a huge headache.

"It's not so much whether I like it," explains Jesus Campos, emerging from beneath the bonnet of a dusky-orange 1950s Chevrolet that has seen better days. "It's all I've got."

Keeping such cars running is testament to the Cubans' forced ingenuity.

"There's a lot of Soviet parts in there," Mr Campos says, pointing out the pistons, water tank and much more - designed for a somewhat less stylish Lada or Volga. Read More