Dateline 2027 — Free flights to Havana? United Delta joins USA-Cuba alliance to make it happen

The Cuba-U.S. Tourism and Exchange Program, or CUSTEP, known informally as the “Cuba Libre” plan, was the brainchild of Cuban Ambassador Jim McGovern and Cuban Tourism Minister Roberto Knowles. It’s been in the works since the election of President Frederico Torres and the normalization of U.S.- Cuba relations in 2021. Author BJ Hill takes us on a fantastic, fictional voyage into the possibilities of a not-too-distant tomorrow in the latest installment of What if … Worcester, the Sun’s serial glimpse into the future.

What if … Worcester: Dateline 2076 — City hosts Olympic games as new format spreads benefits, burdens around the globe

“The new initiative is made possible through recent developments in automation and sub-orbital flight, which have deeply slashed travel time and cost. ‘Transportation breakthroughs, host city expenses, and crowd security made us rethink why everyone has to be gathered in one place,” said Olympics 2076 Committee Chairman Peter Theroux. “That was 20th-century thinking. Now traveling from Worcester to Johannesburg is as easy, and almost as cheap as, taking a short car ride.’ ”

What if … Worcester: Dateline 2044 — Delivery drone crash tests school’s new safety dome

“Three men in unlabeled khaki jumpsuits took photos, meticulously collected every last bit of debris, and placed them into containers. Then the van drove in the direction of the General Electric Turnpike on-ramp. Later that evening, the Worcester Fire Department arrived to inspect for damage to the 61-meter-high dome. Six firefighters strapped into recently donated Martin Enterprises fan-powered jetpacks, which were developed in the firm’s new South Worcester Industrial Park headquarters.”

What if … Worcester: Dateline 2047 — 2Jane starts school at Gateway Elementary

“After the accident, the MacConnells worked with biotech startup CloLabs in Westborough. It was just the seventh successful (neonate living beyond 30 days) cloning procedure in the United States. The scientific and legal process was documented in the reality web series, ‘Jane and Jane Again’.”

What if … Worcester: Dateline 2076 — City hosts Olympic games as new format spreads benefits, burdens around the globe

“The new initiative is made possible through recent developments in automation and sub-orbital flight, which have deeply slashed travel time and cost. ‘Transportation breakthroughs, host city expenses, and crowd security made us rethink why everyone has to be gathered in one place,” said Olympics 2076 Committee Chairman Peter Theroux. “That was 20th-century thinking. Now traveling from Worcester to Johannesburg is as easy, and almost as cheap as, taking a short car ride.’ ”