ANYONE BEEN TO CUBA ?

Jul 4th, 1997, 05:00 PM
  #1  
PAULA
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ANYONE BEEN TO CUBA ?


We are going to cuba this summer. I have made reservations at the Farallon del Caibre in Manzanillo. Has anyone stayed in that resort or anywhere in the area? Looking for travel tips for Cuba. Anything we should be wary of? What about shopping? Thanks.....
 
Jul 6th, 1997, 06:08 AM
  #2  
bill north
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cuba is a very poor country-most people survive on $7.00 u.s. per month
i have visited cayo largo 3x varadero ceinfuegos
playas del estes-havana and guardalavaca
shopping is mainly rum but you might find some local
crafts
quality of food has been improving but dont go for
a gastronomic experience
watch out for local kids begging-some adults as well
prostitution is prevalent in many areas of the country
if you stay in your resort you should have little
difficulty
besides there is very little of interest outside of
the hotel areas unless you want to see poverty
if you want to help out the poor locals bring down
extra clothes cosmetics toothpaste,brushes,band-aids
or american cash
i am sure that you will enjoy your vacation in cuba
the beggars are not as aggressive as those in montego bay and a polite sorry i have nothing usually is enough to discourage them
 
Jul 13th, 1997, 02:42 AM
  #3  
Jim Yeo
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Have been to Cuba numerous times: Varaderro, Santiago, Holguin. Love the country, especially the people. While it's true that poverty and unemployment are obvious, the people have a sense of pride and commitment to their country. Extremely well educated people. Friendly, especially towards Canadians. Prostitution is evident at Varaderro, in Havanna, or other tourist centres.

While it's true that Cuban food I've had won't make the 5 star guide, I've had much worse on my travels. Have heard many good things about Farallon ... in fact we may go there the end of this month. (we're in the travel business.) Recommend this country highly ... especially the Delta run hotels.

Have a great time!
 
Aug 7th, 1997, 03:32 AM
  #4  
G.Rodriguez
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Why would anyone want to go to Cuba? don't you read news? Luxurious hotels mostly run by spaniards charge in dollars, but cuban workers don't get paid in that currency. instead, comunist goverment pay them in cuban money,while getting the dollars from the hotel. locals are not allowed as guests, only as workers. I'd feel miserable eating a nice juice steak and thinking that my leftovers would be some small child dinner if my waiter gets to pass the front gate with it.
 
Aug 8th, 1997, 10:52 AM
  #5  
Peggy
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I know someone who has been to Cuba. The description of the people and their behavior puts me in mind of what I heard about Vietnam in the 60's. Poor desperate people who are willing to do ANYTHING to survive. It makes me sad to hear about such desperate conditions. If you do go, be sure to bring plunty of CASH. Torn money is USELESS. So are checks and credit cards. If you don't have enough money to leave, you'll be in trouble. Remember, it is illegal to be there, so don't expect to be able to go to an American Embassy in case you need help. There ISN'T one. GOOD LUCK!

Peggy
 
Aug 15th, 1997, 01:16 PM
  #6  
DENNIS AND COLEEN SANDERSON
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JUST RETURNED FROM CUBA (HAVANA AND VARADERO) ONE OF THE MOST ENJOYABLE HOLIDAYS EVER, THE PEOPLE ARE BOTH FRIENDLY AND WELCOMING, WE DID NOT COME ACROSS ANY RESENTMENT TOWARDS TOURISTS ONLY KINDNESS AND HELPFULLNESS. WHILST THERE IS POVERTY IN CUBA, AND A SMALL NUMBER OF BEGGARS WE DID NOT FIND THE ATMOSPHERE AS OPPRESIVE AS SOME OTHER THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES. I AM SURE YOU WILL HAVE AN ENJOYABLE HOLIDAY IN ANY PART OF CUBA, WHAT IS MISSING IN CULINARY DELIGHTS AND WESTERN FACILITIES IS MORE THAN MADE UP FOR BY THE FRIENDLINESS AND THE WARMTH OF THE CUBAN PEOPLE. HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY.
DENNIS AND COLEEN
 
Sep 21st, 1997, 09:12 AM
  #7  
B.
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To Peggy:
First, I'll assume your American by your comments.
How naive of you to think that ONLY Americans
would be reading and contributing to this area of
travel. It may be illegal for you but certainly
isn't for Canadians and others to visit Cuba.

If you haven't gone to Cuba then I suggest you keep an open mind. As stated by several people, the locals are friendly and well educated. Have you done any travelling at all? There are "slums" on
many of the islands (ie Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and YES even the US etc). I have travelled a fair bit. There isn't much difference; poverty is poverty. If you need to have it like home than STAY HOME! I travel to appreciate the diversity in others, to learn of THEIR culture and to experience THEIR country. Not to impose what I believe to be right or wrong on others. It will be a pleasure to return to the island in 1998. Perhaps you will be fortunate enough to have your government ALLOW you
to go in the future.



 
Sep 21st, 1997, 03:14 PM
  #8  
Ronald
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The US isn't trying to impose its view of what is right or wrong on the Cuban people. This has already been done by its own government which refuses to hold free elections or relinquish power should the people wish them to do so as in Canada. All you succeed in doing when you visit the island is leave some dollars in the hands of the government which is oppressing its people as they receive international prices and pay the poor Cubans local wage rates which amounts to legalized slavery doesn't it and you were a willing participant! I doubt if you would wish to work under these terms in Canada. That's why you had a nice time - some poor Cubans sacrificed their time to make it so for you. Don't lecture Americans about liberty please. We make and obey our laws which don't allow us to give financial support to enemies. I notice you didn't remain living there but returned to Canada - how convenient for you - too bad the Cubans can't do likewise. How many Cuban refugees has Canada offered to admit? Yes, there is poverty everywhere but when you also take away freedom of speech and movement then you have slavery and oppression piled on top so the two situations are not the same at all.
 
Sep 24th, 1997, 06:42 AM
  #9  
Perry
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Oh dear! Whenever anyone asks a reasonable question
about Cuba, Americans start bringing in the politics.
The truth is that Cuba is a beautiful island with the
most stunning beaches in the Caribbean, a fantastic
colonial capital city in Havana - untainted by burger
bars, souvenir shops, ugly advertising, etc - and the
friendliest people I have ever met. Yes, it is a communist
country and, as a result, has probably the best health
and education system in the Caribbean. Cubans have
a higher life expectancy and lower infant mortality
rate than many so-called first world Western countries.
The money you spend in hotels and shops and on tours
does go to the government, which is trying to get around
the embargo imposed by the US in order to invest in
tourism, industry and an admirable social welfare system. You
can, of course, elect to travel to Cuba other than with the state airline, Cubana,
to stay in a private house, eat in the increasing
number of private restaurants, shop in the private
markets and take a private taxi - so none of your money
goes to Castro! Don't miss Havana, Trinidad and the
Vinales valley.
 
Sep 25th, 1997, 11:45 AM
  #10  
Ronald
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Here's the Ugly American again! Its life expectancy and educational system are admirable no doubt but not a result of the Communist system but the result of years of subsidies by another Communist country which has ceased to exist as such. If you look closer you will see the rot which has begun to set in without such subsidies and it is only a matter of time before the viability of even these two positive aspects of the system begins to disappear. Communist systems are command economies and have always been good at channelling resources to specific show sectors or projects. This is the case in Cuba as well. But a successful economy is not the result of lopsided allocations of resources for political popularity. Recall the athletic programs of Eastern Europe and Soviet Union, Sputnik, large dams, big irrigation projects, nuclear reactors, etc. If you are a careful reader you will see these things were truly a Potemkin village and that's what you are seeing in Cuba. Also, weigh the price paid for such marvels and you must agree that greater advances have been made elsewhere without the repression, militarization, tyranny which characterizes these systems. One of the hallmarks of real underdevelopment is a pristine primitive economy without the burger bars, etc. you deplore. And it is nice to experience all this for a time but I can't help noticing that the flow of the people is from Cuba outward and not the reverse including yourself, of course. If you want to really experience life in Cuba as it is known by the Cubans I suggest you arrange a year in solitary confinement in one of your own prisons. Call me after you have enough experience without burger bars, etc.
 
Oct 4th, 1997, 11:51 AM
  #11  
Nils Johnsen
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CUBA IS A BEATIFUL ISLAND, BUT THEY ARE SUFFERING UNDER US EMBARGO, US BOMBS (CUBAN EXILES STOOD BEHIND SEVERAL BOMB ATTACKS IN HAVANA NOW IN SEPTEMBER - KILLING AT LEAST 1 TOURIST - AND GIVING RAOL CASTRO A REASON FOR SUPPRESSING THE CUBAN PEOPLE EVEN MORE. I HAVE RECENTLY BEEN IN CUBA. IT IS SAD TO SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING THERE NOW. THE US POLITICS IS ROTTEN. THEY ARE SUPPORTING MUCH WORSE REGIMES IN OTHER LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRIES, THEY ARE FIGHTING TERRORISM, BUT THEY SUPPORT TERRORIMS AGAINST CUBA! WHAT A HIPOCRACY! CUBA HAS STILL NO VIOLENCE AGAINST TOURISTS. BUT LOOK OUT FOR THIEVES! CUBA HAS AN EXCELLENT HEALTH SERVICE AND THE CUBANS ARE VERY WELL EDUCATED. I HOPE YOU HAD A FINE HOLIDAY IN CUBA. DOWN WITH HYPOCRACY!
 
Oct 4th, 1997, 11:52 AM
  #12  
Nils Johnsen
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CUBA IS A BEATIFUL ISLAND, BUT THEY ARE SUFFERING UNDER US EMBARGO, US BOMBS (CUBAN EXILES STOOD BEHIND SEVERAL BOMB ATTACKS IN HAVANA NOW IN SEPTEMBER - KILLING AT LEAST 1 TOURIST - AND GIVING RAOL CASTRO A REASON FOR SUPPRESSING THE CUBAN PEOPLE EVEN MORE. I HAVE RECENTLY BEEN IN CUBA. IT IS SAD TO SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING THERE NOW. THE US POLITICS IS ROTTEN. THEY ARE SUPPORTING MUCH WORSE REGIMES IN OTHER LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRIES, THEY ARE FIGHTING TERRORISM, BUT THEY SUPPORT TERRORIMS AGAINST CUBA! WHAT A HIPOCRACY! CUBA HAS STILL NO VIOLENCE AGAINST TOURISTS. BUT LOOK OUT FOR THIEVES! CUBA HAS AN EXCELLENT HEALTH SERVICE AND THE CUBANS ARE VERY WELL EDUCATED. I HOPE YOU HAD A FINE HOLIDAY IN CUBA. DOWN WITH HYPOCRACY!
 
Oct 5th, 1997, 12:06 AM
  #13  
Ronald
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Hi Nils: glad you enjoyed your trip. Raul Castro doesn't need an excuse to repress Cubans - that's the normal policy in case you hadn't noticed. By the way, how do you know who set the bombs? Are you a detective by profession?
 
Oct 6th, 1997, 06:47 AM
  #14  
Nils Johnsen
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to Ronald: There are many police states with much violence and crime. One example is Turkey. USA is not a police state, but the country has a relatively great number of policmen (and -women). The crime rate, not at least the violence, is still very high in the USA (although it is diminishing now, fortunately for you). I mean that you are simplifying these questions too much. Both crime and the political situation in Cuba are very complex issues, with no simple answers. The regime in Cuba deserves a lot of criticism. But it is hypocracy to ban Cuba and avoid travelling there and instead spend one's holiday in much worse countries - like Turkey, Indonesia, Colombia or Paraguay. Did you know that the regime that Fidel Castro overran had intimate relations with the US mafia, that is was slaughtering thousands of innocent people, that it was very corrupt etc? I talked with many Cubans in september this year. Most of them respect Fidel Castro for what he has done for the country. But they fear his brother Raoul who is the head of the Interior department and who probably will take over power when Fidel resigns (which may happen in the near future because he is said to be ill). We should support the constructive and democratic forces within Cuba. The exile-cubans are dominated by mafia-relations and they have a very destructive approach to the problems in Cuba. My source for who placed the bombs in Havana is the political conservative "The Economist" which consider the possibilities of Miami-based origin of the bombing as very probable. And so do most Cubans which I talked with. Bombing is not the way to solve Cubas problems. I hope you will agree that a constructive approach is the best for the (innocent and longing for freedom) Cubans in the long run.
 
Oct 6th, 1997, 08:16 AM
  #15  
Ronald
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I have never said the previous regime was a good one. Yes, it was corrupt and in league with mafia gambling interests. However, what replaced it was in many ways much worse. The fact that Cubans are worried that Raul would replace Fidel indicates that what they have there now is more like a hereditary monarchy instead of a democracy. I also do not advocate the ultra right wing groups in Miami who are probably as bad. There is much bad blood between these Cuban factions and I wouldn't be surprised to learn the Miami people were behind the bomb - but I also do not discount the possibility that the bomb came from internal dissidents. I don't think anyone knows and this was my point. The fact that American tourists visit a country does not mean we support its government or its policies. After all, we are not the world's big brother and do not intend to be. I only hope all this will be solved peacefully one day and it could easily be done if only the present Cuban government would hold honest free elections which it has consistently refused to do. I don't want to get into politics in this forum which is devoted to tourism. Yes hypocrisy may be perceived in the U.S. position but I don't think this is at the root of our policy. If you had this government 90 miles from your borders you might see things differently but this is hard to do I suppose. Anyhow, I was reading a website the other day regarding the Kveeni people in northern Norway. They say the Norwegian government is trying to suppress their language (Finnish) and denying adequate funds to their schools. Since my perception of Norway was quite positive this surprised me. It seems you have some troubles right in your own country! It would appear hypocrisy is not exclusive to Americans. Anyhow, cool down - the Cuban problem will be solved one way or another, sooner or later, and it's not necessarily the biggest issue facing mankind today.
 
Oct 6th, 1997, 08:43 AM
  #16  
Ronald
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Nils: one other point which is seldom mentioned in discussions about Cuba. There is a racial component to the problem as almost all of the "first wave" Miami exiles are white, European origin Cubans some of whom were from the upper class and many more from the middle class. The Cubans who remained behind contain a large component of African origin and they always felt like they were oppressed by the ruling circles who tended to be, but were not always, of white origin. A further complication to this political dilemma.
 
Oct 7th, 1997, 03:52 AM
  #17  
Tom
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Ronald/Nils,please....I go to Cuba twice/year,because i want to ,i enjoy the place, the people and have many friends there.i go to america three times /year,because i love to and have many friends there.please,the both of you,stick to tourism. ps. come it will and come it must and come it will for all that, that man to man the world over shall brothers be for all that...
 
Oct 7th, 1997, 10:57 AM
  #18  
Nils Johnsen
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To Ronald:
Thank you for your answer. I now see that you have well-reflected and serious opinions. I am sorry for "jumping to fast to conclusions in my earlier message. You even know more about minority problems in Norway than I do. It is quite right that Norway has not treated the minorities like our nation should do. Today the norwegian king opened the parliament of the finnish minority in Finnmark. There he said he was sorry because the majority in Norway had done wrong in their "norwegianization" of the minorities in the north - among other things compulsionary norwegian language for the finnish schoolchildren. But the situation is improving, and now the children learn their own language at school. Norwegians are not a good example for the rest of the world as regards attitudes against minorities. Immigrants and refugees from developing countries are being discriminated. We have a racist-like right-wing political party in Norway. This party got 15 %25 of the votes in the parliament elections in Norway this september. But after all 85 85 %25 voted against them, and the party is isolated in parliament. Norway is partly a sosialist country with high taxes and a high degree of social security. Everybody gets free university education, free hospital stays (unlimited; the doctors, not your wallet decides how long you can stay there, and the norwegian state is paying everything). We also have a state pension for everybode. The minimum pension pr. person is about 10.000 dollars a year. Not so much, but enough for all elderly people for covering their fundamental needs. Norway is a wealthy nation wiht small differences as regards income and status. The economic growth is strong, although the oil sector now is slowly declining. Maybe you could visit our beautiful country some day?
 
Oct 7th, 1997, 10:30 PM
  #19  
Ronald
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Nils: thanks for your kind words. What you say proves to me again that we are all human, Cubans, Norwegians, Americans, struggling against our baser instincts and aspiring to a better world as we understand it. Norway is a fine country as everyone knows and is entitled to make a few mistakes - Lord knows we have made our share here (with a few in progress). But liberty is at the basis for a contented and successful society and without it all else is meaningless. I only hope Cuba achieves this one day. Yes, I will visit Norway one day. You might be surprised to learn I was raised in a Brooklyn neighborhood largely populated by Scandanavians, had a beautiful Norwegian girlfriend, used to visit the Norwegian seaman's hotel once a week and dance the schodish (spelling has to be wrong I know), celebrated Midsummer's day and ate lingonberries with young Norwegians sailing their skolships around the world (I was quite impressed by this). I know very little about contemporary Norway and its problems but hope to remedy this one day on a cruise to your fjords.
 
Oct 18th, 1997, 12:39 PM
  #20  
John
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I thought this was supposed to be a travel site. Write your political opinions in the political sites, YOU GEEKS!
 

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