Shortforbob

CUBA- I'm confused

Recommended Posts

I always thought that travel restrictions on Cuba were at the instigation of the Cubans..Like Castro wouldn't let you in.

How long has the US government prohibited US citizens  from traveling to Cuba?

And what happens to you if you go there via another country?

Tourism to Cuba plunges after Trump's tightening of travel ban: data

 

HAVANA (Reuters) - Tourist arrivals to Cuba plunged 23.6% on the year in July, official data showed on Wednesday, confirming the blow dealt to the sector by the Trump administration’s tightening of U.S. restrictions on travel to the Caribbean island.

Data from the Statistics Office had already shown a 20% drop in arrivals in June, after Washington that same month banned cruises to Cuba and made it harder for U.S. citizens to get an exemption from the ban on travel there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Going only on memory, I think it was some time in the 50s the US banned travel to Cuba.  It used to be a serious hot spot for the rich and famous, with a night club scene almost unrivaled.  I remember reading something about the mob running casinos there at that time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Cubans absolutely welcome US travelers.  And it is a wonderful place to visit but it is still an authoritarian state that shows up in many small way for the tourist.

If you go via Mexico the Cuban immigration officials will ask you if you want your passport stamped.  If you say no, they stamp a piece of paper and paperclip it into your passport.  Do not lose that piece of paper until you’re back in Mexico.  they also take a picture of you when you arrive and  match it up when you leave.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cuba welcomes Americans and their $$$. The restrictions are on our end :(

This is all driven by the political influence of Cuban exiles in Florida and has never made any sense whatsoever.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But but...Americans have always traveled to the old East germany and even the Soviet union. China?yep Is there anywhere else your Government prohibits you from visiting? I'm Shocked.

I was thinking of going to Cuba for a holiday sometime..via the USA and back through the USA..is this Verboten?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Shortforbob said:

But but...Americans have always traveled to the old East germany and even the Soviet union. China?yep Is there anywhere else your Government prohibits you from visiting? I'm Shocked.

Just Cuba. This is older than you or I, did you just find this out?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Jules said:

Going only on memory, I think it was some time in the 50s the US banned travel to Cuba.  It used to be a serious hot spot for the rich and famous, with a night club scene almost unrivaled.  I remember reading something about the mob running casinos there at that time.

A significant part of the Cuban revolution was reaction to the US mob running their casinos and promoting prostitution.  A deeply Catholic country did not appreciate their daughters being seduced by fast money and their government corrupted by gangsters.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Shortforbob said:

But but...Americans have always traveled to the old East germany and even the Soviet union. China?yep Is there anywhere else your Government prohibits you from visiting? I'm Shocked.

I was thinking of going to Cuba for a holiday sometime..via the USA and back through the USA..is this Verboten?

Mexico.

you can go via US if you are part of an educational group approved by the State Department but not as a private citizen unless you have Cuban relationships.  Obama lifted most of the sanctions but the Mango slapped them back on for Florida right wing Cuban campaign money and votes.  Huge hot button issue in Miami.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, kent_island_sailor said:

Just Cuba. This is older than you or I, did you just find this out?

Yep. I always knew you crippled Cuba with economic sanctions, trade etc, but I didn't know you were actually forbidden to go there..positively communist..Perhaps they are worried your young people might go there for cheap holidays..and like it.:rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Left Shift said:

Mexico.

what do you mean..Mexico? you mean I should go there via mexico or your forbidden Mexico? Well I know that's not true.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Shortforbob said:

what do you mean..Mexico? you mean I should go there via mexico or your forbidden Mexico? Well I know that's not true.

Travel through Cancun.  It’s a well beaten tourist path.  

(We just prohibit poor Mexicans from coming here.  No harm in that, except we’ve run out of carpenters and farm workers.)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Shortforbob said:

Yep. I always knew you crippled Cuba with economic sanctions, trade etc, but I didn't know you were actually forbidden to go there..positively communist..Perhaps they are worried your young people might go there for cheap holidays..and like it.:rolleyes:

Anytime it looked like the restrictions would be lifted, Castro would do something to piss off the USA and make sure they weren't. The sanctions were/are an integral part of the Cuban governments hold on power.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Left Shift said:

Travel through Cancun.  It’s a well beaten tourist path.  

sort of place I usually avoid :)  It wont be after 2020 anyway 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Anytime it looked like the restrictions would be lifted, Castro would do something to piss off the USA and make sure they weren't. The sanctions were/are an integral part of the Cuban governments hold on power.

Um..that makes no sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Anytime it looked like the restrictions would be lifted, Castro would do something to piss off the USA and make sure they weren't. The sanctions were/are an integral part of the Cuban governments hold on power.

Wrong.  

It started as anti-communist cold war fare.  The embargo continues as a suck up to Cuban emigre money.

castro cut economic deals with many major countries including Canada, Japan, Germany, Sweden, etc. for tourist development.  Very solid tourism infrastructure.  4star hotels.  Just no US $.  

Definitely worth a visit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are zillions of Canadians that vacation in Cuba every year.  

As they say: "go before the Americans show up and ruin the place".  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, bugger said:

There are zillions of Canadians that vacation in Cuba every year.  

As they say: "go before the Americans show up and ruin the place".  

Very true.  They are very worried about being overwhelmed by US $ again.  One reason why Obama was so slow in lifting sanctions.  They were working out the details of US investment limitations to avoid the onslaught of dollars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Bristol-Cruiser said:

Americans going. to Cuba travel through Mexico or Canada.

Hah..yeahlike I'm going to fly melbourne to LA to Toronto to Havanna. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are regular flights on Southwest from Ft. Lauderdale to Havana ($104 each way as if this morning) and while legal travel is constrained for US citizens, it has not been eliminated. I encourage everyone to go see it with your own eyes and don’t believe the decades of propaganda we’ve been fed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Shortforbob said:

Hah..yeahlike I'm going to fly melbourne to LA to Toronto to Havanna. :(

Sure.  Go to Canada for a quick trip to Cuba.  Stay in Canada because the runway is snowed under and the planes are frozen to the ground.  :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Shortforbob said:

Um..that makes no sense.

Sure it does. Every dictator needs an enemy. Problems in Cuba? Blame the USA! Very convenient excuse for why they have no oil/food/cars/phones/electricity/whatever that they are short of today.  Castro made a huge deal in about 10,000 speeches about standing up to the mighty aggressor to the north and a succession of US presidents got a reliable vote from Cuban exiles for standing up to the horrible communists to the south. WIN WIN :rolleyes: 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, bugger said:

Sure.  Go to Canada for a quick trip to Cuba.  Stay in Canada because the runway is snowed under and the planes are frozen to the ground.  :)

 

Why would I go to Canada, just the same as Oz but with more trees..Like Qld, beautiful one day, boring the next, 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Sure it does. Every dictator needs an enemy. Problems in Cuba? Blame the USA! Very convenient excuse for why they have no oil/food/cars/phones/electricity/whatever that they are short of today.  Castro made a huge deal in about 10,000 speeches about standing up to the mighty aggressor to the north and a succession of US presidents got a reliable vote from Cuban exiles for standing up to the horrible communists to the south. WIN WIN :rolleyes: 

Oh dear. I see even usually smart people have their blind spots. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Shortforbob said:

Oh dear. I see even usually smart people have their blind spots. 

And your theory is???????????

I went to school in Florida. Anti-Castro politics was HUGE there and still is a big factor. Look weak on Cuba and you can kiss Florida goodbye when running for office.

* this is kind of like me telling you all the details of local Melbourne (Australia) politics because I lived in Melbourne (Florida).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, kent_island_sailor said:

And your theory is???????????

I went to school in Florida. Anti-Castro politics was HUGE there and still is a big factor. Look weak on Cuba and you can kiss Florida goodbye when running for office.

* this is kind of like me telling you all the details of local Melbourne (Australia) politics because I lived in Melbourne (Florida).

 

I think you just answered your question. Children tent to either adopt their parents and peers politics or go to the other extreme.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It’s a money thing.    Rich families had their businesses confiscated by Cuba, so it was made illegal to patronize those businesses.   There was no significant US investment behind the iron curtain, so they were treated better, even in the height of the Cold War.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you were a Cuban born in Florida you were raised on tales of how rich you would be if the damn commies hadn't shot your grandparents and taken all your land. Some generations on this is starting to fade a bit.

* I am not trying to make light of their issues, they really did have all their land taken and many had a number of family members shot.

** The average Cubans, from all I have heard, have no animosity at all towards NorteAmericanos and are a warm and friendly people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Shortforbob said:

I think you just answered your question. Children tent to either adopt their parents and peers politics or go to the other extreme.

That isn't necessarily the case with Cuban Americans.  The younger generations show more propensity to better relations with Cuba, it is the old hardliners who drive the policy, though It is not a bright line rule in either case. The sugar barons do want their land back, and they definitely do not want competition or scrutiny of their price supports....  

Travel restrictions were eased somewhat under both Clinton and Obama, and tightened up when Dubya and Donald needed FL for reelection. Notice that Obama didn't ease travel restrictions until after he was reelected (without FL). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Left Shift said:

The Cubans absolutely welcome US travelers.  And it is a wonderful place to visit but it is still an authoritarian state that shows up in many small way for the tourist.

If you go via Mexico the Cuban immigration officials will ask you if you want your passport stamped.  If you say no, they stamp a piece of paper and paperclip it into your passport.  Do not lose that piece of paper until you’re back in Mexico.  they also take a picture of you when you arrive and  match it up when you leave.  

But big ways for the Cubans who don't have access to hard currency.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Among all the nations of the Americas, Cuba commits the unpardonable sin 

of food for all - pretty good medical care too, and very good education 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, AJ Oliver said:

Among all the nations of the Americas, Cuba commits the unpardonable sin 

of food for all - pretty good medical care too, and very good education 

Their people are literate and have health care, two necessities that they have not monetized for the benefit of their best citizens, as the US has. Food for all is pushing it at times, when the embargo really hits home. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, AJ Oliver said:

Among all the nations of the Americas, Cuba commits the unpardonable sin 

of food for all - pretty good medical care too, and very good education 

This. It's the Iran of the Caribbean. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Left Shift said:

Travel through Cancun.  It’s a well beaten tourist path.  

(We just prohibit poor Mexicans from coming here.  No harm in that, except we’ve run out of carpenters and farm workers.)

... and landscapers, and roofers, and on and on.  There are so many jobs Americans refuse to do, there's a shortage of workers in the construction trades, at least where the pay is low.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Saorsa said:

And yet, people are willing to risk their lives to leave the country.

 

Kind of like being a zoo animal. You get good food, security and medical care, but some will risk their lives to climb the fence and see the rest of the world. Plenty more risking their lives to escape other countries in Central America for the opposite reason, they DON'T get good food, security and medical care. So being on a big prison island can suck and also being free to starve and be killed by gangs can also suck.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Shortforbob said:

Why would I go to Canada, just the same as Oz but with more trees..Like Qld, beautiful one day, boring the next, 

Just like Qld...ya sure......

 

image.png.f43e46ffc577439e111ae9cfc760ce2e.png

image.png.67d8017a9bb3dbf3c0b452e97290b21a.png

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Kind of like being a zoo animal. You get good food, security and medical care, but some will risk their lives to climb the fence and see the rest of the world. Plenty more risking their lives to escape other countries in Central America for the opposite reason, they DON'T get good food, security and medical care. So being on a big prison island can suck and also being free to starve and be killed by gangs can also suck.

Here's one that the bullshit artists won't spread with their propaganda:

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/hamedaleaziz/cuban-asylum-ice-death-suicide-louisiana-detention

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

????

I thought Cubans got an express ticket to Miami and bypassed all that unpleasantness intended for Mexicans?

That was wet foot/dry foot, a policy to give Cubans who reached shore a pass, and Hatians who reached shore a trip back to Haiti. That ended when relations were reinstated with Cuba, and we agreed to treat people the same regardless of their voting propensities...skin color...nationality. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Sol Rosenberg said:

That was wet foot/dry foot, a policy to give Cubans who reached shore a pass, and Hatians who reached shore a trip back to Haiti. That ended when relations were reinstated with Cuba, and we agreed to treat people the same regardless of their voting propensities...skin color...nationality. 

I believe that wet foot/dry foot ended under Obama when normalization and diplomacy was being rebuilt.  It has turned toxic under the Mango.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had a fantastic couple of weeks there back in 2005. Direct flights from Liverpool, UK to Havana and the cost of the whole trip was less than our rent at the time. Highlights apart from the rum, cigars, music, food and diving with ginormous free swimming Morays in the Bay of Pigs was the distinct lack of US Americans. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

If you were a Cuban born in Florida you were raised on tales of how rich you would be if the damn commies hadn't shot your grandparents and taken all your land. Some generations on this is starting to fade a bit.

* I am not trying to make light of their issues, they really did have all their land taken and many had a number of family members shot.

** The average Cubans, from all I have heard, have no animosity at all towards NorteAmericanos and are a warm and friendly people.

I'd dispute * History has this nasty habit of exposing exaggeration when it comes to Commy countries.  

Some people were somewhat summarily  executed by the government for human rights abuses immediately post revolution, but  not that many.

If peasants took things into their own hands and murdered the erstwhile landowners..well ..shit happens in revolutions. T

The question that is never asked is. "Did they deserve it? "

But we digress, Why do Americans put up with this restriction of freedom to travel?

is there anywhere else you're not allowed to go to? :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Shortforbob said:

I'd dispute * History has this nasty habit of exposing exaggeration when it comes to Commy countries.  

Some people were somewhat summarily  executed by the government for human rights abuses immediately post revolution, but  not that many.

If peasants took things into their own hands and murdered the erstwhile landowners..well ..shit happens in revolutions. T

The question that is never asked is. "Did they deserve it? "

But we digress, Why do Americans put up with this restriction of freedom to travel?

is there anywhere else you're not allowed to go to? :rolleyes:

We’re allowed to go as long as we only spend money with private entities, or we go for amateur athletic events.  It’s quite easy if you just talk to people. Being a decent human being gets a lot of mileage there. 

We just can’t go by boat. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Keith said:

Just like Qld...ya sure......

 

image.png.f43e46ffc577439e111ae9cfc760ce2e.png

image.png.67d8017a9bb3dbf3c0b452e97290b21a.png

So it's a big boring cold desert instead of a big boring hot desert, big deal....

FKT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

So it's a big boring cold desert instead of a big boring hot desert, big deal....

FKT

Huge difference IMHO..  :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, shaggy said:

Huge difference IMHO..  :rolleyes:

Nah, you cant travel with a 10KG pack to Canada...too cold.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Shortforbob said:

Nah, you cant travel with a 10KG pack to Canada...too cold.

You don't have to come in the winter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

You don't have to come in the winter.

True, but escaping Melbourne winter (and Spring <_<)to go to somewhere, where summer and beaches are pretty much identical is kind of pointless.

Canadian Beach

Image result for canadian beaches  

Victorian (oz) beach. Portsea

Image result for melbourne beach sand dunes

 

I'll stick to Astypalia where beautiful accommodation and beautiful food is still available for $100 per day, the locals are super nice, and the sea is blue, calm, crystal clear and 23 deg from June to Oct.

Image result for astypalaia

Image result for astypalaia

The beach here is pristine, swim right three metrs from studio apartments..there's octupus and fish in the water and the tavernas

Image result for astypalaia beach

 And almost NO AMERICANS, few Poms and a smattering of Aussies ....Shameless plug for my friends :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Shortforbob said:

Hah..yeahlike I'm going to fly melbourne to LA to Toronto to Havanna. :(

I said Americans do it, not you should. Mexico or some other large Latin American city would work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Shortforbob said:

I'd dispute * History has this nasty habit of exposing exaggeration when it comes to Commy countries.  

Some people were somewhat summarily  executed by the government for human rights abuses immediately post revolution, but  not that many.

If peasants took things into their own hands and murdered the erstwhile landowners..well ..shit happens in revolutions. T

The question that is never asked is. "Did they deserve it? "

But we digress, Why do Americans put up with this restriction of freedom to travel?

is there anywhere else you're not allowed to go to? :rolleyes:

This took me 10 seconds to find:

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/cuba/article118282148.html

I assume that if it was your family being shot you might actually care a little. Maybe not.

 

The late and widely respected University of Hawaii historian R. J. Rummel, who made a career out of studying what he termed “democide,” the killing of people by their own government, reported in 1987 that credible estimates of the Castro regime’s death toll ran from 35,000 to 141,000, with a median of 73,000.

“I think that’s a good range,” says Smith. “It’s compatible with what we’re comfortable using, which is ‘tens of thousands.’”

Yet the Cuba Archive, the Coral Gables-based organization generally regarded as the most scrupulous in documenting human-rights abuses in Cuba, uses a much lower figure of 7,193 (which, incidentally, includes 21 Americans, several of whom worked with the CIA).

“Those are the ones we’ve documented, using either information released by the government or the testimony of eyewitnesses, not hearsay or guesswork,” says Maria Werlau, the group’s president. “We know the numbers are much, much higher, but this is what we can actually document so far.”

Part of the difficulty is figuring out what deaths to include. The 5,000 or so executed in the immediate aftermath of Castro’s 1959 takeover — sometimes after kangaroo-court trials, sometimes without even that — are included in nearly everybody’s figures. (Figurative talk about a balance sheet for the human costs of the revolution turns quite literal when the executions are discussed; for a time during the 1960s, the Cuban government extracted most of the blood from the victims before they were shot, then sold it to other communist countries for $50 a pint.)

( Now that is some cold shit right there. China is probably pissed they didn't think of it first, but they do sell the organs)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of my family are/were arseholes. Do they deserve shooting? Probably not. But to the best of my knowledge, my family never went around raping and starving their tenants/employees.

On the contrary. They were historically some of the first philanthropic  industrialists..so there is that in their defence.:rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

So you think all Cuban exiles were raping and starving their employees?

we're talking about those executed by the cuban government are we not?

Batista murdered tens of thousands.

 On October 6, 1960 Senator John F. Kennedy, in the midst of his campaign for the U.S. Presidency, decried Batista's relationship with the U.S. government and criticized the Eisenhower administration for supporting him:

Fulgencio Batista murdered 20,000 Cubans in seven years ... and he turned Democratic Cuba into a complete police state—destroying every individual liberty. Yet our aid to his regime, and the ineptness of our policies, enabled Batista to invoke the name of the United States in support of his reign of terror. Administration spokesmen publicly praised Batista—hailed him as a staunch ally and a good friend—at a time when Batista was murdering thousands, destroying the last vestiges of freedom, and stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from the Cuban people, and we failed to press for free elections.[49]

Castro?

Various estimates have been made in order to ascertain the number of political executions carried out on behalf of the Cuban government since the revolution. Within the first two months of the 1959, Castro's government executed more than 300 Batista officials,[21] with Latin American historian Thomas E. Skidmore says that there had been 550 executions in the first six months of 1959.[22] In an April 1961 UPI story, the agency stated that about "700 have died before Castro's firing squads" between 1959 and 1961.[23] The World Handbook of Political and Social Indicators ascertained that there had been 2,113 political executions between the years 1958–67,[22] while British historian Hugh Thomas, stated in his study Cuba or the pursuit of freedom[24] that "perhaps" 5,000 executions had taken place by 1970.[22] According to Amnesty International, the total number of death sentences issued from 1959–87 was 237, of which all but 21 were actually carried out.[25] The anti-Castro Archivo Cuba estimates that 4,000 people were executed in Cuba between 1959 and 2016. The Black Book of Communism estimated that between 15,000 and 17,000 people were executed by the state.[26]

 On October 6, 1960 Senator John F. Kennedy, in the midst of his campaign for the U.S. Presidency, decried Batista's relationship with the U.S. government and criticized the Eisenhower administration for supporting him:

Fulgencio Batista murdered 20,000 Cubans in seven years ... and he turned Democratic Cuba into a complete police state—destroying every individual liberty. Yet our aid to his regime, and the ineptness of our policies, enabled Batista to invoke the name of the United States in support of his reign of terror. Administration spokesmen publicly praised Batista—hailed him as a staunch ally and a good friend—at a time when Batista was murdering thousands, destroying the last vestiges of freedom, and stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from the Cuban people, and we failed to press for free elections.[49]

I'm going to work.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Meli..... You've got several things confused into one big ball of yarn.

 Despite the political differences, US citizens have always wanted to, and do go to Cuba. Cuba officially does not recognize US currency, but the people do, and it is more valuable than the Cuban Peso.

 Under Obama, Travel restrictions were relaxed. That was counteracted immediately by Trump.

 Pretty much anyone else in the wold can fly directly to Cuba. US citizens have to play hide and seek, not because of Cuba, but because of the US state department.

It's really very easy to get to Cuba. Go anywhere outside of the USA and fly, or you can even sail there from places like the DR, or even the Bahamas.

 It's pure and simple political pigheadedness that keep these two countries apart.

 I've often thought of taking off from Key West on a sailboat, and just misjudging my direction..... But the USCG frowns on that.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Batista was a right-wing rotten piece of work and Cuba was essentially a colony of US corporations.  Castro was a lawyer who led a leftist revolution and, like Ho Chi Minh and others, found no support from the US and was driven further leftward toward the Soviet Union.  Not his original intent for preferred his alliance.  The bloody part of the Cuban Revolution (and almost all revolutions are bloody) was driven by Che Guevara, who remains a hero but also known to be a nasty hard-line piece of work (both in Cuba and subsequently in S.A.).

The missile crisis, the connections to the US mob, the Stalinization of Cuba and then the collapse of the Soviet Union leading to the "Special Period" of near total economic collapse are all part of the Cuban story.  As is the US embargo which is astoundingly stupid.  

The current government is definitely loosing up some of Castro's edicts as the country inches toward a less controlled economy, particularly in the area of real estate, internet and small business.  The current method of transfer of real estate is about as Rube Goldberg as you could imagine, but it is done.  Great place to be an artist, doctor, performer, etc.  

If you want to have a great day, ride a bike down from the old cemetery on top of Havana down to the waterfront with a phalanx of Cuban flag-waving riders from the Havana Bicycle Club.  The loaner bike my friend arranged for me was a brand new Cannondale road bike.  The purpose of the ride was to de-stigmatize bicycles as they are generally thought of as desperate transportation during the petrol-less shortages of the Special Period.

As far as citations go - I know how this place loves citations - most of my background on Cuba comes from the Director of Urban Planning in Havana who visited me in Seattle and had great enjoyment to be the first person to reverse the family support payments from the US to Cuban family members and send a stipend to his daughter studying at Georgetown.  The comments about Che Guevara are not his.

As far as currency goes, Cuba has two currencies.  The peso and the dollar, which is pegged to the US dollar and worth about 8 pesos.  Most transactions are in pesos, but people accept Cuban and US dollars and have work-arounds.  You can (or could) change about $300/day US to Cuban dollars.  Other currencies have no limit as far as I know.

An interesting book about a US family living in Cuba at the tail end of the Batista era is the oddly named "Telex From Cuba".   

Last time I was there, AirBnB was quite the newest thing.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Gissie said:

Never thought I would see it.

An honest threat title from Bob. :D

Yeah, pretty much.

I just wondered how CUBA got in there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Saorsa said:

Yeah, pretty much.

I just wondered how CUBA got in there.

And why it required TOTAL capitalisation. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Gissie said:

Never thought I would see it.

An honest threat title from Bob. :D

That would be a "thread title". Your confusion is showing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

That would be a "thread title". Your confusion is showing.

Thanks teach. Do I still get marks for content?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Gissie said:

Thanks teach. Do I still get marks for content?

Half marks. Yes, she is frequently confused. Cuba is not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Shortforbob said:

True, but escaping Melbourne winter (and Spring <_<)to go to somewhere, where summer and beaches are pretty much identical is kind of pointless.

Canadian Beach

Image result for canadian beaches  

Victorian (oz) beach. Portsea

Image result for melbourne beach sand dunes

 

 

I think you might be looking at different kinds of water.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Ishmael said:

Half marks. Yes, she is frequently confused. Cuba is not.

at least i'm not pig headed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, austin1972 said:

I think you might be looking at different kinds of water.

Please refer to the thread title for an explanation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Shortforbob said:

True, but escaping Melbourne winter (and Spring <_<)to go to somewhere, where summer and beaches are pretty much identical is kind of pointless.

Canadian Beach

Image result for canadian beaches  

Victorian (oz) beach. Portsea

Image result for melbourne beach sand dunes

 

I'll stick to Astypalia where beautiful accommodation and beautiful food is still available for $100 per day, the locals are super nice, and the sea is blue, calm, crystal clear and 23 deg from June to Oct.

Image result for astypalaia

Image result for astypalaia

The beach here is pristine, swim right three metrs from studio apartments..there's octupus and fish in the water and the tavernas

Image result for astypalaia beach

 And almost NO AMERICANS, few Poms and a smattering of Aussies ....Shameless plug for my friends :D

God almighty - a place like that would be hell on earth for me.

Do they ever measure faecal coliform counts off of that beach?

Back from sailing today - lunch anchorage without another boat in it, couple of carpet sharks swimming under the boat, maybe 6 big cuttlefish and a pile of baitfish being hunted by something bigger.

And no other boats or people.

Of course it is a freezing place and the winds are nearly always either nonexistent or on the nose, but - no people.

FKT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/21/2019 at 7:44 PM, kent_island_sailor said:

Anytime it looked like the restrictions would be lifted, Castro would do something to piss off the USA and make sure they weren't. The sanctions were/are an integral part of the Cuban governments hold on power.

Bullshit.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Rat's ass said:
On 10/21/2019 at 8:44 AM, kent_island_sailor said:

Anytime it looked like the restrictions would be lifted, Castro would do something to piss off the USA and make sure they weren't. The sanctions were/are an integral part of the Cuban governments hold on power.

Bullshit.  

How so?   Kent's post comports with my observations of the past 30 years or so. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/21/2019 at 10:35 AM, Sol Rosenberg said:

. Food for all is pushing it at times, when the embargo really hits home. 

Fair point - during the "special period" the average Cuban adult lost 14 pounds, but while that was going on, 

every child in the country still got their half liter of milk per day. 

that would NEVER happen in the US 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The embargo shows up in odd ways:  The famous 1950's American road hogs held together by home-made car parts driving side by side with new Volvos and Mercedes, the lack of much in the way of spices even in the best restaurants - salt and pepper is about it, and a pane of window glass costing a month's wage.  Odd, irritating things like that.  

The embargo is petty, arbitrary and truly stupid.  Very much like our *resident, come to think of it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Left Shift said:

The embargo shows up in odd ways:  The famous 1950's American road hogs held together by home-made car parts driving side by side with new Volvos and Mercedes, the lack of much in the way of spices even in the best restaurants - salt and pepper is about it, and a pane of window glass costing a month's wage.  Odd, irritating things like that.  

The embargo is petty, arbitrary and truly stupid.  Very much like our *resident, come to think of it. 

You do realize that the embargo is only on goods from the US?

There is plenty of 'stuff' available in Cuba.  The Spanish are rebuilding a lot of old hotels.  Tourism is a multibillion dollar business and those working in it can keep hard currency.  They even have two separate but unequal currencies to keep the hard stuff away from the proles.  The Convertible Peso (CUC) and the Cuban Peso (CUP).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Saorsa said:

You do realize that the embargo is only on goods from the US?

There is plenty of 'stuff' available in Cuba.  The Spanish are rebuilding a lot of old hotels.  Tourism is a multibillion dollar business and those working in it can keep hard currency.  They even have two separate but unequal currencies to keep the hard stuff away from the proles.  The Convertible Peso (CUC) and the Cuban Peso (CUP).

If you had any reading comprehension you might have read that i have already stated exactly what you are posting.  You might have noticed I mentioned new Volvos and Mercedes, the new Cannondale I bike I was loaned,  4-star hotels, and further up references to the rebuilding of many of the Old Havana plazas with alliances with Swedish, Japanese German, Canadian economic development efforts. 

Typically the economic development partnership with a foreign entity to redevelop an Old Havana Plaza (there are about 5 of them) gives the right to create a new hotel in one of the major structures on that plaza together with the requirement to provide one cultural element (e.g. a museum, theater or a church restoration.) and rehabilitation of housing surrounding the plaza.  The streets/arcades connecting the plazas are also being rehabilitated, so that tourists can walk on continuously restored streets.  The infill areas are the final stage, which will take about another 20 years.  There are 15,000 structures in Old Havana and about 5,000 have been restored to some level.  The important ones have been restored beautifully.  Of the untouched 10,000, about 5-10 fall down every week.  But they are gaining on the problem.

The government runs a training school in Old Havana where high school students receive training in trades for 1/2 day (metal work, stucco, masonry, plumbing, electrical, etc.) and work on rehabilitation projects the other half.  It's a great school where I got to spend half a day with the carpentry students.  One class project was to build a gorgeous little Russian Orthodox church, to attract eastern European tourists. 


I also described the two currencies up thread and gave the exchange rate and the daily limits on currency exchange. The "proles" readily accept the CUC bills as well as US dollars.  I bought a number of paintings with CUCs when I got invited to a party at an artist's studio and several other artists brought their portfolio.  Paid for many dinners with CUCs and tipped with them. 

Do try to keep up.

And BTW:  Your continued stupidity shows in the use of "proles".  The one thing that Cuba does not have is "proles".  If any country in the world is being divided into "haves" and "proles" it is the USofA.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, AJ Oliver said:

Fair point - during the "special period" the average Cuban adult lost 14 pounds, but while that was going on, 

every child in the country still got their half liter of milk per day. 

that would NEVER happen in the US 

WTF are you talking about? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MakePHRFGreatAgain said:

WTF are you talking about? 

Economic and agricultural crisis primarily caused by the end of the Soviet Union.

 

It's actually quite fascinating.

snip.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Period

Famine[edit]

Cubans had to resort to eating anything they could find.[8] In the Havana zoo, "The peacocks, the buffalo and even the rhea" were reported to have disappeared.[9] Cuban domestic cats disappeared from streets to dinner tables.[9]

Cows in the island were eaten. Before 1959, Cuba boasted as many cattle as people. Today meat is so scarce that it is a crime to kill and eat a cow.[10] To combat illegal cow eating, the government established harsh penalties. A person can get more jail time for killing a cow (10 years in prison) than killing a human.[11] Those who sell beef without government permission can get three to eight years in prison.[11] Eaters of illegal beef can get three months to one year in prison.[11]

The Special Period's malnutrition created epidemics, but it had positive effects too. Manuel Franco describes the Special Period as "the first, and probably the only, natural experiment, born of unfortunate circumstances, where large effects on diabetes, cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality have been related to sustained population-wide weight loss as a result of increased physical activity and reduced caloric intake".[12]

A paper in the American Journal of Epidemiology, says that "during 1997-2002, there were declines in deaths attributed to diabetes (51%), coronary heart disease (35%), stroke (20%), and all causes (18%). An outbreak of neuropathy and a modest increase in the all-cause death rate among the elderly were also observed."[13] This was caused by how the population tried to reduce the energy store without reducing the nutritional value of the food.[13]

The early stages of the Special Period were defined by a general breakdown in transportation and agricultural sectors, fertilizer and pesticide stocks (both of those being manufactured primarily from petroleum derivatives), and widespread food shortages. Australian and other permaculturists arriving in Cuba at the time began to distribute aid and taught their techniques to locals, who soon implemented them in Cuban fields, raised beds, and urban rooftops across the nation. Organic agriculture was soon after mandated by the Cuban government, supplanting the old industrialized form of agriculture Cubans had grown accustomed to. Relocalization, permaculture, and innovative modes of mass transit had to be rapidly developed. For a time, waiting for a bus could take three hours, power outages could last up to sixteen hours, food consumption was cut back to one-fifth of its previous level and the average Cuban lost about nine kilograms (twenty pounds).[6] Although starvation was avoided, persistent hunger, something not seen since before the Cuban Revolution, suddenly became a daily experience, and initially, malnutrition in children under five was evident after just a few weeks of these food shortages.

At the time, United States law allowed humanitarian aid in the form of food and medicine by private groups. Then in March 1996, the Helms-Burton Act imposed further penalties on foreign companies doing business in Cuba, and allowed U.S. citizens to sue foreign investors who use American-owned property seized by the Cuban government.[7]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/21/2019 at 8:10 PM, Shortforbob said:

we're talking about those executed by the cuban government are we not?

Batista murdered tens of thousands.

 On October 6, 1960 Senator John F. Kennedy, in the midst of his campaign for the U.S. Presidency, decried Batista's relationship with the U.S. government and criticized the Eisenhower administration for supporting him:

Fulgencio Batista murdered 20,000 Cubans in seven years ... and he turned Democratic Cuba into a complete police state—destroying every individual liberty. Yet our aid to his regime, and the ineptness of our policies, enabled Batista to invoke the name of the United States in support of his reign of terror. Administration spokesmen publicly praised Batista—hailed him as a staunch ally and a good friend—at a time when Batista was murdering thousands, destroying the last vestiges of freedom, and stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from the Cuban people, and we failed to press for free elections.[49]

Castro?

Various estimates have been made in order to ascertain the number of political executions carried out on behalf of the Cuban government since the revolution. Within the first two months of the 1959, Castro's government executed more than 300 Batista officials,[21] with Latin American historian Thomas E. Skidmore says that there had been 550 executions in the first six months of 1959.[22] In an April 1961 UPI story, the agency stated that about "700 have died before Castro's firing squads" between 1959 and 1961.[23] The World Handbook of Political and Social Indicators ascertained that there had been 2,113 political executions between the years 1958–67,[22] while British historian Hugh Thomas, stated in his study Cuba or the pursuit of freedom[24] that "perhaps" 5,000 executions had taken place by 1970.[22] According to Amnesty International, the total number of death sentences issued from 1959–87 was 237, of which all but 21 were actually carried out.[25] The anti-Castro Archivo Cuba estimates that 4,000 people were executed in Cuba between 1959 and 2016. The Black Book of Communism estimated that between 15,000 and 17,000 people were executed by the state.[26]

 On October 6, 1960 Senator John F. Kennedy, in the midst of his campaign for the U.S. Presidency, decried Batista's relationship with the U.S. government and criticized the Eisenhower administration for supporting him:

Fulgencio Batista murdered 20,000 Cubans in seven years ... and he turned Democratic Cuba into a complete police state—destroying every individual liberty. Yet our aid to his regime, and the ineptness of our policies, enabled Batista to invoke the name of the United States in support of his reign of terror. Administration spokesmen publicly praised Batista—hailed him as a staunch ally and a good friend—at a time when Batista was murdering thousands, destroying the last vestiges of freedom, and stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from the Cuban people, and we failed to press for free elections.[49]

I'm going to work.

 

Batista was a nasty piece of shit but he didn't piss off the US government so we didn't care all that much what he and his mafia pals did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Left Shift said:

If you had any reading comprehension you might have read that i have already stated exactly what you are posting.  You might have noticed I mentioned new Volvos and Mercedes, the new Cannondale I bike I was loaned,  4-star hotels, and further up references to the rebuilding of many of the Old Havana plazas with alliances with Swedish, Japanese German, Canadian economic development efforts. 

Typically the economic development partnership with a foreign entity to redevelop an Old Havana Plaza (there are about 5 of them) gives the right to create a new hotel in one of the major structures on that plaza together with the requirement to provide one cultural element (e.g. a museum, theater or a church restoration.) and rehabilitation of housing surrounding the plaza.  The streets/arcades connecting the plazas are also being rehabilitated, so that tourists can walk on continuously restored streets.  The infill areas are the final stage, which will take about another 20 years.  There are 15,000 structures in Old Havana and about 5,000 have been restored to some level.  The important ones have been restored beautifully.  Of the untouched 10,000, about 5-10 fall down every week.  But they are gaining on the problem.

The government runs a training school in Old Havana where high school students receive training in trades for 1/2 day (metal work, stucco, masonry, plumbing, electrical, etc.) and work on rehabilitation projects the other half.  It's a great school where I got to spend half a day with the carpentry students.  One class project was to build a gorgeous little Russian Orthodox church, to attract eastern European tourists. 


I also described the two currencies up thread and gave the exchange rate and the daily limits on currency exchange. The "proles" readily accept the CUC bills as well as US dollars.  I bought a number of paintings with CUCs when I got invited to a party at an artist's studio and several other artists brought their portfolio.  Paid for many dinners with CUCs and tipped with them. 

Do try to keep up.

And BTW:  Your continued stupidity shows in the use of "proles".  The one thing that Cuba does not have is "proles".  If any country in the world is being divided into "haves" and "proles" it is the USofA.  

OH, you are right, it's a fucking workers paradise.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not a paradise, but not all bad either.

Legal Weekly Duration
8 hours per day and 44 hours per week.  I’m jealous.
Retirement Age
60 years for men and 55 years for women who have 25 years of service.    
55 years for men and 50 years for women if the last 12 years or 75% involved working in a physically taxing environment
 
Life expectancy 79:years, better then the US.   Ours is even going down.
child mortality lower then the US, and almost half of Mississippi or Alabama.    
Literacy better then the US
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cuba's most valuable export?  Highly trained physicians and nurses to South American and African countries.  

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Lark said:

Not a paradise, but not all bad either.

Legal Weekly Duration
8 hours per day and 44 hours per week.  I’m jealous.
Retirement Age
60 years for men and 55 years for women who have 25 years of service.    
55 years for men and 50 years for women if the last 12 years or 75% involved working in a physically taxing environment
 
Life expectancy 79:years, better then the US.   Ours is even going down.
child mortality lower then the US, and almost half of Mississippi or Alabama.    
Literacy better then the US
 

Not to mention legal prostitution.....Tom?

However, you are free.

Shame you're government forbids you visiting 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Left Shift said:

If you had any reading comprehension you might have read that i have already stated exactly what you are posting.  You might have noticed I mentioned new Volvos and Mercedes, the new Cannondale I bike I was loaned,  4-star hotels, and further up references to the rebuilding of many of the Old Havana plazas with alliances with Swedish, Japanese German, Canadian economic development efforts. 

Typically the economic development partnership with a foreign entity to redevelop an Old Havana Plaza (there are about 5 of them) gives the right to create a new hotel in one of the major structures on that plaza together with the requirement to provide one cultural element (e.g. a museum, theater or a church restoration.) and rehabilitation of housing surrounding the plaza.  The streets/arcades connecting the plazas are also being rehabilitated, so that tourists can walk on continuously restored streets.  The infill areas are the final stage, which will take about another 20 years.  There are 15,000 structures in Old Havana and about 5,000 have been restored to some level.  The important ones have been restored beautifully.  Of the untouched 10,000, about 5-10 fall down every week.  But they are gaining on the problem.

The government runs a training school in Old Havana where high school students receive training in trades for 1/2 day (metal work, stucco, masonry, plumbing, electrical, etc.) and work on rehabilitation projects the other half.  It's a great school where I got to spend half a day with the carpentry students.  One class project was to build a gorgeous little Russian Orthodox church, to attract eastern European tourists. 


I also described the two currencies up thread and gave the exchange rate and the daily limits on currency exchange. The "proles" readily accept the CUC bills as well as US dollars.  I bought a number of paintings with CUCs when I got invited to a party at an artist's studio and several other artists brought their portfolio.  Paid for many dinners with CUCs and tipped with them. 

Do try to keep up.

And BTW:  Your continued stupidity shows in the use of "proles".  The one thing that Cuba does not have is "proles".  If any country in the world is being divided into "haves" and "proles" it is the USofA.  

So, why is everyone bitching about 'the embargo'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites