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As U.S. policy softens, the island that time forgot prepares for change
The wait in the customs line at José Martí International Airport is mostly like the wait at any airport: tedium cut by an irrational but persistent worry that you’ve done something wrong and are about to be found out. It’s a normal apprehension that acquires a special edge in a country it was all but illegal for a U.S. citizen to enter for the past half-century.
But Cuba has suddenly cracked open, and so has the face of the man at the passport counter. He wears a uniform, rubber gloves and a smile—a wicked one, directed not at you but at the co-worker standing behind him, a woman who has placed her own gloved hand on his shoulder in a …