Castro is close to death.

Aug 1st, 2006, 01:33 PM
  #1  
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Castro is close to death.

Fidel Castro will not live much longer,how sad.Will this make it a place Americans will be interested in if they lift the travel restrictions ? Personally, I have seen pictures recently the poverty and the condition of the hotels would not be for me.Just wondering.
miaspapa is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 02:18 PM
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How sad? Not for the many people who live in Cuba (and those forced from the country) due to a near-dictatorship with not even the opportunity to vote in elections to select leadership.

I would definitely go if the travel sanctions are lifted.

One of the main reasons for visible poverty in Cuba is the fact that the oppressive political regimes makes it impossible for the average person to make a living.
Diana is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 02:20 PM
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P.S. Not all hotels are in bad shape. There are many beautiful resorts.
faithie is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 02:54 PM
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i think we've seen the castro deathwatch many times...i'll believe it when i see the cold, dead body
mah1980 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 03:10 PM
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It would seem that nothing will change, even if he does die. Certainly there will be NO change under the current American administration.


That IS sad.

Marion
MarionCK is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 03:16 PM
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There was an interesting article in the Times several months ago talking about how the tourism industry is gearing up for Cuba.

The major obstacle to opening up Cuba for Americans and easing the sanctions (which ultimately hurt the Cuban people) is the politically powerful Cuban American lobby in South Florida. If a politician in that region even suggests a different policy towards Cuba, then their obituary is written. However, I think the article talked about how the older hard liners are dying and the younger generation of Cuban Americans aren't really that concerned about it.

Marion- I agree with you. Nothing will happen under this administration. Cuban Americans are generally one of the most reliable ethnic Republican voting blocks.
mah1980 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 03:33 PM
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I for one would be very interested in visiting Cuba legally once the sanctions are lifted--the history, the architecture, the music, the cars, the beaches, the people--what's not to love? It's been fun reading Steve's trip reports here and I look forward to the time when I can write my own.
ejcrowe is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 06:42 PM
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I, personally, can't wait to touch those unspoiled beaches I see everytime I fly over the island. And those Cuban cigars....oohh yeah!
CaribbeanSoul is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 07:04 PM
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Well I'm sorry Miaspapa and Diana, but it seems that you know not of what you speak.

Yes there is poverty in Cuba, but being poor is not equal with starving either. Having been to other Latin and South American countries I can assure you that others are far worse off even though they purport to live in a "democracy". Just ask the democratically free people of Haiti!

You might be interested to know (US Coast Guard figures) that more Haitians flee Haiti than Cubans flee Cuba. And here's a very surprising fact I bet you didn't know. Many Haitians have fled Haiti TO Cuba because living conditions are much better in Cuba than Haiti. Now ain't that a surprise... eh?

As to the hotels, there are many absolutely stunning hotels in Cuba and also many nice beach resorts. I've been very happy there.

Now Diana.... statements such as this "One of the main reasons for visible poverty in Cuba is the fact that the oppressive political regimes makes it impossible for the average person to make a living." have very little basis in FACT. You might try the US led embargo as a contributing factor in Cuban poverty. Not entirely, let's be fair about it. But neither is the politics. Again, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Cuba is a dichotomy and an anachronism in today's world. It must progress, but neither do I want it to be spoiled by unbridled American style consumerism. I want to see Cuba progress for the benefits of Cubans, not off-shore multinationals. Cuba's destiny is hopefully for Cuba to decide WITHOUT outside influence, unless the Cubans ASK!

Steve
Canuck_at_Canada_eh is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 07:32 PM
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For those seriously interested in Cuban-U.S. relations, I recommend Louis A. Perez's "Cuba and the United States: Ties of Singular Intimacy."

The issues facing Cuba and the Cuban people are complicated and will probably take years to work out. A change in US policies will certainly make a difference but tourism is a small part of this--imported food and materials are what the country needs first.

Forget building a tourist hotel. The person with the Home Depot/Lowe's etc. franchise is the one that will make money.

The Cuban people are wonderful and I can't wait to go back someday and see friends in better living conditions than what they have now.

CW
cw is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 08:11 PM
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You see CW, you've outlined the problem very succinctly with your statement "Forget building a tourist hotel. The person with the Home Depot/Lowe's etc. franchise is the one that will make money." However you've got it 100% backwards IMHO.

The tourist hotel makes foreign exchange dollars for Cuba by making profit from people outside Cuba who visit Cuba.
The person making money with a "Home Depot" in Cuba would be making money from the Cubans and shipping the profits offshore.

To prosper, Cuba needs much of the former and very little of the latter.

Steve
Canuck_at_Canada_eh is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2006, 03:12 AM
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Steve,

I never held myself out to be an expert on Cuba, but I have traveled extensively throughout Mexico and the Caribbean, so I don't need a lecture, facts and figures on it, thank you very much.

I am well aware of the poverty/political situation that exists on Hispaniola, but we are talking about Cuba, and I do know that the political climate there IS a large reason (only ONE of the reasons, as I said) for the continued problems the citizens live with - from Cuba denying its people a chance to free elections, to relying too heavily on aid from other oppressive governments (like China) to keep the whole thing from collapsing like it almost did in the early 90's.

Steve, dispensing info and your opinion is fine. Being patronizing about it is not necessary.
Diana is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2006, 04:11 AM
  #13  
cw
 
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Steve,

I may not have explained that as well as I should have. I meant to say that the shortages that plague Cuba should be addressed. A place to buy building materials paint etc. would be one of those places.

I didn't mean to suggest that some foreign company go in and make money and take it offshore. (When possible, I try to patronize locally- owned stores.)

No amount of tourist dollars will solve the problems under the current government structure. And Cuba is too good to rely solely on tourist dollars.

I am just trying to address the romantic vision people have of Cuba, i.e., if the US lifts the embargo everything will be fine and dandy, and bingo, we all have a new beach destination.

It's just more complicated, and when Fidel's death comes, it's an end to an era, but will not necessarily result in any change.

Let's all hope for the best for our Cuban friends.

CW



cw is offline  
Aug 4th, 2006, 01:45 PM
  #14  
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CANUCK, not to rain on your parade,did you know that 14 year old girls go and sell themselves to the tourist for a few dollars,and in Cuba you get 3 pounds of rice and 3 pounds of beans once a month from Fidel ,water is only AVAILABLE ONE HOUR A DAY,its put in a container and off you go.This info was given to me by a lady who fled the country on a small raft with ten others hanging on for their life in shark infested waters,she also told me her mother and father was butchered in front of her by Fidels army,p.s when you are visiting you are being followed and monitered.The haitains go where ever the currents push them to.I am sure they are heading for the greatest country in the world!How about that eh?
miaspapa is offline  
Aug 4th, 2006, 02:36 PM
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miaspapa:

Your posts are disjointed and the last post was especially random.
mah1980 is offline  

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