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National park tips: See the drama unfold at Ford's Theatre in D.C., where Lincoln was assassinated

Cuba's crumbling beauty is, oddly, part of its appeal

What makes Cuba so alluring? Partly its beauty, which lies just under the surface of devastation

Cuba confounds. The decay of the buildings belies their comeliness, suggesting an impoverished land with all its attendant problems, but not so Cuba.

"I don't know if I could ever get over it," Alice Short, an assistant managing editor for the Los Angeles Times, says of her first visit to the island nation. "There's so much beauty and so much destruction."

Short and veteran travel writer Catherine Watson, who recently returned from her fifth trip, discuss what they saw -- and why the island nation is the way it is -- in a series of videos plus articles that will appear online Saturday and in the print Travel section on Sunday. 

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