no more Miami to Havana Race

Sol Rosenberg

Girthy Member
If you drink the tap water in Havana you are likely to get the shits. It is all part of a government plan to keep the masses weak and or otherwise occupied. Just like communists to do such things. 

If you impart a dastardly motive to something, chances are you will arrive at dastardly conclusions, especially if you ignore relevant parts of the story in doing so. 


Pertinacious Tom

Importunate Member
Punta Gorda FL
Maybe our government fears what would happen to its duopoly grip on power if its citizens had faster WIFI.
Perhaps, though we're notably lacking in the Cuban tradition of arresting dissidents.

During his nearly five decades of rule in Cuba, Fidel Castro built a repressive system that punished virtually all forms of dissent, a dark legacy that lives on even after his death.

During Castro’s rule, thousands of Cubans were incarcerated in abysmal prisons, thousands more were harassed and intimidated, and entire generations were denied basic political freedoms. Cuba made improvements in health and education, though many of these gains were undermined by extended periods of economic hardship and by repressive policies.

“As other countries in the region turned away from authoritarian rule, only Fidel Castro’s Cuba continued to repress virtually all civil and political rights,” said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch. “Castro’s draconian rule and the harsh punishments he meted out to dissidents kept his repressive system rooted firmly in place for decades.”

The repression was codified in law and enforced by security forces, groups of civilian sympathizers tied to the state, and a judiciary that lacked independence. Such abusive practices generated a pervasive climate of fear in Cuba, which hindered the exercise of fundamental rights, and pressured Cubans to show their allegiance to the state while discouraging criticism.
It's a common thread in communist regimes: no opposition allowed.

More on the Cuban govt cracking down on dissent this year

As Cuba prepares for an upcoming final vote on proposed changes to the Constitution, state security agents have cracked down on activists by carrying out multiple arrests and raiding the homes of those who have called for a NO vote on the referendum.

Security forces on Monday detained about 20 members of the Cuban Patriotic Union (UNPACU) opposition group, including its leader, José Daniel Ferrer. That is the latest chapter in the unequal battle between the government-supported YES vote on the referendum and those pushing for a NO vote.


Government propaganda in favor of the YES vote has dominated the official media for many weeks. Messages supporting the new Constitution have appeared on storefronts, buses, ATMs, T-shirts distributed by the government and within lyrics of songs broadcast on radio and television. On social media, the official accounts of the presidency, National Assembly, attorney general, Supreme Court and several ministries have been posting #YoVotoSi – #IVoteYes.

“Why does the Cuban government use public spaces, which belong to all citizens, to support just one of the options on the constitutional referendum ballot?” telecommunications engineer Norges Rodríguez wrote on his Twitter account. “Those of us who support the NO vote also own those spaces. We are also citizens of the Republic of Cuba.”


Since the government’s media monopoly has denied access to those calling for a NO vote, activists, dissidents, independent journalists and citizens have turned to social media to challenge the government’s campaign.


while the government has been somewhat tolerant of criticism on social media platforms, authorities have detained and harassed activists who have tried to organize efforts against the referendum in public spaces on the island.

UNPACU defied authorities, distributing materials calling for NO votes and posting videos of man-on-the-street interviews on social media. Ferrer said authorities raided the homes of several UNPACU members and seized telephones, computers and all the materials for the NO campaign, such as T-shirts and leaflets....
For all the deep concern about other tools, the main tool that repressive governments fear is free speech. And, of course, free $peech.
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Pertinacious Tom

Importunate Member
Punta Gorda FL
Starving Cubans Into Capitalism Did Not Work


Leo grew up in a Communist family, so there was no questioning the political system in their household. The state offered meager rations of food—drastically reduced from the quantities in the '70s and '80s, according to Oxfam—but at least it was something. His mother was employed by the Cuban military, which provided lunch to its workers. She would save it, bringing it home, so her kindergarten-age son could have at least one meal a day.

The special years took a toll. The average Cuban lost 12 pounds. Some estimates put the figure at 20.

Which, after all, was what America's policy toward Cuba had been aimed at all along. For decades, U.S. politicians have believed empty bellies are the best way to bring Cubans around to the virtues of a market economy and electoral democracy. "If they are hungry," President Dwight Eisenhower allegedly said, "they will throw Castro out." In 1962, President John F. Kennedy called for a total embargo on the country. In 1994, the conservative Heritage Foundation argued for maintaining the ban: "As the economy's collapse has accelerated, popular discontent has increased to levels that threaten the survival of the regime."

But the disaster of the special period had an unexpectedly trivial effect on the Cuban government's legitimacy. One-party rule continued. Fidel Castro remained.

The material conditions of the average Cuban have improved since that dark time, partly because of the country's close ties to oil-rich Venezuela, and partly because of moves by the Castros—reluctant at first, later with more confidence—to let a non-governmental sector begin to bloom.

Today, Leo works with an American tour company as a self-employed "travel curator," earning many times more than he did during his mandatory year of military service. At the end of our three-day stay this June, each member of my group chipped in $20 as a tip for him. Any one of those contributions was, by itself, nearly as much as a typical public-sector worker in the country earns in a month.

Their new wealth has affected Leo's family in ways the desperate poverty of the special years did not. "When we had nothing," he says of his mom, "she was a blind Communist. Only now that things are better, and you open the fridge and it's so full of food, so much food that you don't have to worry anymore," has she come around to the merits of capitalism.

But the progress on the island may be endangered. This summer, President Donald Trump moved to roll back a three-year-old rapprochement between Cuba and the United States. ...
Sending tourists was the best thing we've done to subvert communism. As tour guide Leo notes, "America isn't going to defeat communism by starvation," Leo says. "We're used to starving."


AJ Oliver

Super Anarchist
Sandusky Sailing Club
This is also the end (for now, at least) of the Key West to Havana race, 

won this year by a boat and crew from our Club. 

And before y'all get even more smug and self-righteous, I posted earlier that 

Cuba looks pretty good compared to much of Latin America, and even Athens County, Ohio, 

for that matter. Go see for yourself, and be sure to visit some schools, as the crew of

the good ship "Lunasea" did.