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    What Americans Need To Know About Cuba

    As told by Cubans and Americans.

    Cuba has a repressive government, disastrous economic policies and was ruled by Fidel Castro — and now his brother Raul — for decades. But there's more to it than that. During a recent trip to Havana, we interviewed Cuban and U.S. citizens about their thoughts on Cuba, asking each person what else they wished Americans knew about the country.

    1. "Real Cuba is not on TV."

    2. "Cuba is not North Korea."

    3. "Amistad."

    4. "Of the 15 countries we've been to, Cuba has been the most welcoming."

    5. "Amigos para siempre."

    6. "They love Twilight here, too."

    7. "To experience the socialist lifestyle (it's actually really interesting)."

    8. "Don't be stupid."

    9. "Hermandad."

    10. "Try the cigars! They're as awesome as the people here!"

    11. "Humanity is our homeland! Our future needs peace."

    12. "To Cubans, we are more than our government. They want to get to know us as people."

    13. "USA loves Cuba. Cuba loves USA. End the nonsense."

    14. "The warmth isn't just the weather!!"

    15. "Aqui estamos."

    16. "We can't ask you to love us, 'cause that is not the kind of thing should not be asked, but I would like you to know that we love you."

    UPDATE: As noted by some readers, these are interviews with admirers of Cuba, none of whom discussed the country's much maligned human rights record, which you can read about more here and here.