Island with best historical/cultural sites

Nov 26th, 2003, 05:34 PM
  #1  
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Island with best historical/cultural sites

Hi, we're planning to go to the Caribbean for the first time. Besides the beautiful beaches and weather, we're also looking for historical and cultural sites to see. We have heard of Old San Juan and its Spanish colonial buildings. Besides PR, do you have recommendations for any other islands?
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Nov 26th, 2003, 07:36 PM
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For historical and cultural sights, nothing can beat Cuba. It is simply an astounding mixture of Spanish architecture and heritage. Habana Vieja (old Havana) and the city of Trinidad have been declared UNESCO world heritage sites and are being beautifully restored. If you want to see for yourself, check out my Cuban photo site with full descriptions of my travels.
Steve
http://photopilot.tripod.com
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Nov 27th, 2003, 08:02 AM
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How about the Carib. side of----------Mexico? Stay in the Mex. Riveria and go vist several Mayan ruins from there including Chitzen Itza, Coba and Tulum.
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Nov 27th, 2003, 10:42 AM
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St Kitt's has Brimstone Hill - fully restored fortress perched high on a hill. The fortress itself is in excellent condition and the views are spectacular. It is also a UNESCO World heritage site. The island itself is quite attractive with a large extinct volcano,Mt. Liamunga (sp ?) towering over it. Some very nice beaches and friendly people.
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Nov 27th, 2003, 01:11 PM
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St. Eustatius is loaded with history, especially being the first foreign nation to officially recognize US independence. It's not your typical touristy destination, but if you're a real history buff, then it might interest you.

Check out http://www.statiatourism.com/
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Nov 27th, 2003, 02:30 PM
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A remote out island in the Bahamas is San Salvador, "San Sal" as the Bahamians call her. When I was doing reef surveys there some years bac, there were several archeology projects being planned out at the Gerace Research Center, owned by the College of the Bahamas. The research station is in northern San Sal, on Grahams Harbor...you won't find as remote and pristine beaches anywhere. Before the land developers ruin this untouched Bahamian island, they plan to map and draw an old plantation created by English loyalists who fled the U.S. after the Revolutionary War. They took their slaves with them, and the place they want to preserve is called "Hard Bargain" plantation, where the loyalists tried to grow cotton. The plantation has never been mapped or studied, but a Ph.D. archeologist plans to accomplish this feat. In a pub at the Riding Rocks pub, I met a man who was studying the Lucayan Indian sites on San Sal, who literally owned the island, before Columbus "discovered America," which was San Sal, Bahamas. The sites are almost 1,000 years old and you could hook up with this project as well, to preserve these prehistoric peoples history. They will be surveying the sites, mapping and excavating them. A land developer plans to build over all these sites, so it is a quick-paced project to save as much of the Lucayan history as possible. Contact a Dr. Winter to find out the details; I DK his telephone number, but a call to the San Salvador government building will put you with someone familiar with the details. San Sal is pristine and has some of the greatest reefs anywhere. Robert
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Nov 27th, 2003, 07:04 PM
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Cuba, Definitivamente!
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Nov 28th, 2003, 07:52 PM
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Cuba can't really be considered for US citizens--there was a story on tonight's news that the governement will soon start enforcing the ban on US travel to Cuba with large fines on offenders. They may even make those retroactive and come after people who have been and come back. (This will probably include cultural groups and missionary groups as well, according to the story on ABC)
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Nov 28th, 2003, 10:07 PM
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Tell me MsPossum.....
What is there in the original post that in any way would lead you to believe that the poster was an American? There are many other people in the world who travel, and many of them choose Cuba as a fine vacation destination. The original post spoke of Spanish Colonial Buildings, Historical and Cultural Sites. Seems to me the suggestions pertaining to the UNESCO sites in Cuba readily fall into that category, Helms/Burton, O.F.A.C., Treasury Department, US Embargo..... not-withstanding.
The Canadians, Europeans, and other guests from the Americas (Central & South) readily travel to Cuba and enjoy not only it's sights, but its distinct non-Americanized culture, a nice Havana Club Anjeo Rum, all topped off with greatest enjoyment by a fine Cohiba Cuban cigar.
It's a shame the US government and some of it's citizens are still so parochial (
Steve.
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Nov 29th, 2003, 04:35 AM
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Well, lahz ah mercy, there, Steve, ya shor did set me straight! Sorry to ruffle yer tail feathers!
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Nov 29th, 2003, 06:50 AM
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Unfortunately, the U.S. Government has the capability to tap into every e-mail, sent, including ones to this board. So, if you plan to go to Cuba, don't talk about it via electronic mail. Robert
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Nov 30th, 2003, 06:44 AM
  #12  
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Thanks much everyone for your thoughtful responses. Cuba is on the top of our list now.
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Dec 2nd, 2003, 10:54 AM
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mm
 
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There are good reasons for the ban on travel to Cuba by US citizens. Castro has created a state in which it is the sole authority without any checks.

Political prisoners and murders are common, poverty is institutionalized by the government, and there is no such thing as civil liberties. Castro has supported terriorism and attempted to export his revolutionary ideals to other countries.

Even if the reactionary members of this board wishes to falsely attribute these actions to the US government (typically lame "what about you guys" argument)the critical difference is that Castro and his cadre were never elected and have no legitimate standing.

I'll be the first to visit Cuba as soon as the old pig dies and the people are free to live as they wish.

R,

MM
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Dec 2nd, 2003, 04:31 PM
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Hola MM:

Your viewpoints on Cuba are really quite emotional, but might I suggest you do a little reading and base them on fact.

You might check out some of the many fine articles at:
http://www.nlg.org/
I might especially point out the articles co-authored by Wayne S. Smith (former senior diplomat, US Special Interests Section, Havana, Cuba, November 2001) For a detailed and highly researched review of the question of terrorism as seen in the context of US/Cuba relations.

Another facinating article reports on U.S. Gen. Barry McCaffrey praises Cuba's opposition to drug trade & terrorism.
http://www.nlg.org/cuba/genmccaffrey.htm

If you Spanish is good enough, might I also recommend...
http://www.antiterroristas.cu/
is a constantly updated website by a consortium of Cuban journalists & academics with the "Antiterrorist Working Group, providing news and analysis relating to terrorism and acts of aggression against Cuba, as well as to the five Cubans unjustly incarcerated in the United States for defending their country against terrorism.

You will also be really enlightened by reading The Center for International Policy's report on the history of the Travel Ban to Cuba.
http://www.ciponline.org/cuba/ipr/TravelBan.htm

When 178 countries vote at the United Nations for the US to end the embargo of Cuba then it is high time the US listens to world opinion. For god sakes, even Britain, your staunchest supporter in the present Iraq situation voted to end the embargo. As the saying goes.... "wake up and smell the coffee".

You have the choice of spouting unfounded rhetoric or being an informed person. The choice is yours.

S.

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Dec 3rd, 2003, 10:01 AM
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mm
 
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Dear Canuck,

You did not enlighten or refute anything I wrote. What specifically did I incorrectly characterize? There are no political prisoners in Cuba? The Cubans did not act as Soviet surrogates in Angola and elsewhere? Did Castro get elected in free elections? Was I mistaken in that Castro did not empty his prisons and send the worst of the worst over to the US during the early 80's.

MM
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Dec 3rd, 2003, 06:27 PM
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Well MM, this really isn't the forum for political debate. People come to this forum to learn about travel destinations, including Cuba. But since you asked......

MM wrote...."There are no political prisoners in Cuba?"
Yes indeed there are political prisoners held in Cuba. Held without charge or trial, denied legal representation, indefinate sentences and held in cages totally in-comunicado, while their captors are held in contempt and disdain by the UN, World Court etc. Oh, I forgot, they are held at Guantanamo Bay at Camp X-Ray by the United States. Ooops, guess you didn't want to hear that.

On terrorism. You obviously didn't read the links I posted, so perhaps you don't mind if I quote Richard Helms, the former CIA Director, when testifying in 1975 before the Senate Committee investigating the CIA?s attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro. In admitting to "invasions of Cuba which we were constantly running under government aegis," he added:
"We had task forces that were striking at Cuba constantly. We were attempting to blow up power plants. We were attempting to ruin sugar mills. We were attempting to do all kinds of things in this period. This was a matter of American government policy."
Oooops again.... sounds like state sponsored terrorism to me.

Or perhaps you might read the article in April 2003 in which the Sun-Sentinel of Ft. Lauderdale reported, with accompanying photographs, exile guerrilla training outside Miami by the F-4 Commandos, one of several terrorist groups currently based there, along with remarks by the FBI spokeswoman that Cuban exile activities in Miami are not an FBI priority. Abundant details on exile terrorist activities can be found with a web search including their connections with the paramilitary arm of the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF).

And lastly, it might surprise you to know that elections are held in Cuba despite the fact that it is a single party system. Granted, not the style of democracy that Americans want, (or can control) and Castro came to power in 1959 through a popular uprising and revolution to oust the prior (Batista) government. Gee, didn't you guys do the same thing to the British government in 1776?

You wrote..."The Cubans did not act as Soviet surrogates in Angola and elsewhere?"
Granted, no argument there. But is is really any different than the Contras in Nicaragua supported and operating as surrogates of the American CIA. If my memory serves me correctly, I do believe that the Iran/Contra scandal was headline news in Washington and elsewhere. But of course, when it's the Americans doing it. And the list of American surrogates entities would fill this website.

And lastly, you state.....
"There are good reasons for the ban on travel to Cuba by US citizens. Castro has created a state in which it is the sole authority without any checks."

So by your definintion, travel to a sole authority state should be forbidden to all American Citizens.
Let's see, why not include; Saudia Arabia (Monarcy), Jordan (Monarchy), China (Communist), Vietnam (Communist),
Kuwait (Constitutional monarchy), Oman (Absolute monarchy) and even that den of gambling on the Mediteranian coast, Monaco, governed by a sole hereditary moncarchy. And the list goes on.

So really now, don't you feel enlightened? I don't pretend to say that there doesn't need to be serious change in Cuba. That this change will probably not happen until Castro is gone. But to continue the embargo and travel ban as presently enforced is simply two-faced. A do as I say, don't do as I do American mentality.
Might doesn't always make Right, as history will surely one day prove.

Of course you will sumarily dismiss these comments with your "(typically lame "what about you guys" argument)" as you noted in your original post. Guess when you stifle debate you feel superior.

Oh well, I enjoy Cuba anyway and will continue to visit my many great Cuban friends in Havana, and those in the ex-pat Cuban community here in Canada. Their culture has enriched me on a personal level.

End of debate.
Steve




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Dec 6th, 2003, 11:14 AM
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Another vote for travel to Cuba and enjoying the culture, architecture and gorgeous beaches.

Canuck- Thanks for the website and agree with your comments re the hypocrisy of the Cuban embargo and travel ban.
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Dec 6th, 2003, 06:25 PM
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It would be nice to travel to Cuba and interact with the people there. Even if things are controlled, a few drinks at the local pub or hotel bar with a local Cuban working there would be a cultural exchange. They would find out how Americans think about the world. Over the years, the personal exchanges would break through the political spin. However, as I stated in the 11-29-03 post above, if you're an Amcerican planning on traveling illegally to Cuba, remember the U.S. Govt. CAN monitor this site via ECHELON. Unfortunately, Big Brother is watching out for terrorists and hopefully wouldn't waste time on nailing Americans who desire to visit Cuba...but who knows? Robert
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Dec 6th, 2003, 08:50 PM
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Hola Robert:
It is with great interest that I note your posts in regards to ECHELON and the Big Brother Orwellian approach that the US government is taking towards its citizens.
For those Fodor's readers who might like a little further insight into what the American government is doing, might I suggest they read the following website.

http://fly.hiwaay.net/~pspoole/echelon.html

For even further reading on the subject of American surveilance of its citizens, the A.C.L.U. (American Civil Liberties Union) administers the following website.

http://www.echelonwatch.org/

While some (such as yourself) might choose to believe that the NSA is concerned with keeping tabs on all references to Cuba, or citizens talk of travel to Cuba, only by being an informed citizen can Fodor's readers make their own decision.

On a purely personal note however, it is so very sad that a country founded on stated principles of individual freedoms needs to stoop to such surveilance of its citizens because of the perception of "the bogeyman" in Havana. Seems rather silly to me.

Steve
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Dec 7th, 2003, 03:55 PM
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Hi, Steve; If you re-read my post I stated ECHELON is watching terrorists and hopefully not waste their time on Americans who desire to travel to Cuba. The fear about ECHELON is that it includes your country (Canada), along with England,Australia, and New Zealand. From the National Security Agency (NSA) in Fort Meade, Md. Let me bore every one who's interested with an Feature artilce I wrote about ECHELON. Here goes:


ECHELON: Do we really need Big Brother Watching?
Like thousands of other highly-trained and indoctrinated ECHELON signals intelligence analysts, she logged onto her computer terminal and entered a personal code.
Her assignment was to hunt down a terrorist, codenamed ?radical archer,? who purchased shoulder-firing missiles that were stolen from a British army unit outside of London. He reportedly has many friends in Tunisia, including black market arms dealers. If knowledge is power, Stacey was about to become the most powerful person in the world. She revved up a mighty program codenamed ?Dictionary? and tapped in 4-digit codes for the Tunis, Tunisia locale; people?s names and subject headings; and internet addresses, telex, cell phone, and fax numbers used by individuals, businesses, government offices and private organizations associated with ?radical archer.?

She pressed ENTER and connected to a synergistic, global interception and relay espionage system that pries into private and commercial communications. Stacey?s confidential Dictionary program stores the Dictionary lists of other ECHELON agencies from around the world. So, if she intercepts a keyword listed on Britain?s Dictionary, her computer would pick out and record the intercept, and send it to Britain?s spy headquarters (and vice versa). Ground stations in the USA, UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and in other nameless locations place their interception systems at each other?s disposal.

4:35am: Using a worldwide network of massive ground-based radio antennae, Stacey effortlessly infiltrated the group of Intel satellites encircling the earth, used by telephone companies in every country. Codes for the Inmarsat satellites were entered as well, enabling Stacey to pry into maritime communications off the Tunisian coast. Other keywords entered into ECHELON?s Dictionary sifted through millions of simultaneous phone calls, fax, and 90% of the world?s private e-mail addresses, filtering out information that could lead to the whereabouts of ?radical archer.? Stacey tapped in other ground station codes, gaining access to Russian, Indonesian, and Latin American satellites. Amazingly, she intercepts thousands of phone calls to and from Tunisia, transported by cables under the Mediterranean Sea. Somehow, special intercept devices were secretly installed on the cables 300 feet down?say, ?Navy Seals!?

Any one and anything that our intelligence services are concerned about will become an ECHELON target. There is no medium of transporting information that cannot be listened to by Stacey. She operates in a legislation-free environment, above the law, and can effortlessly invade family businesses and personal civilian privacy. She?s accountable to no one. Her name, position, and salary remain nameless. ECHELON?s funding resources are buried deep within the Pentagon?s procurement budget and hide in the stock market under a street name account held by the CIA.

5:50am: Suddenly, a red light glowed, signaling a ?hit? from the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia where ECHELON secretly installed sophisticated microwave receivers and processors. A phone call was intercepted from a hotel in La Goulette, a seaside town on the Mediterranean Sea outside Tunis. The complete, two-way phone conversation was printed out in English translation. Then, another hit! Stacey?s Dictionary keywords snatched information from an innocent-looking, red brick building at 8 Palmer Street in downtown London, England. Every telex passing in and out of London is intercepted by ECHELON computers operating within the walls of this charming, petite building with Daisy-filled window boxes.

6:00am: Stacey alerted her CIA station chiefs, who analyzed the intercepts, matching the voice prints and subject matter with a warehouse owner in New Jersey who the FBI deemed suspicious.

7:00am: A warehouse in New Jersey was raided by 185 local police and FBI agents?no missiles turned up.

7:15am: Cargo ships were searched by 180 NYPD officers in New York Harbor?no missiles found.

7:30am (Eastern U.S. time): A dozen armed paid informants and their American CIA ?handler? strolled into the lobby of an unknown hotel in La Goulette, Tunisia. They could recognize ?radical archer? by sight and would receive $10,000 for interrogating him, an additional $20,000 for finding out where the missiles were, and a $10,000 stipend for murdering him?but only in that order.

8:00am: U.S. TV and radio programs were interrupted by a special bulletin: ?Homeland Security elevated the terrorist threat level from guarded condition Blue to Orange, indicating a high risk of terrorist attacks. The move was taken due to increased worldwide chatter among terrorist suspects.?
Will ECHELON threaten our personal and civilian privacy? With the proliferation of WMD and the vulnerability of our wide open society, ECHELON may be Democracy?s only hope. We will see.
*************************************
OK, sorry I bored everyone. At any rate, the U.S. Government (and Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and British governments as well) can effortlessly find out what we're all doing. It's the synergistic, global reach that is a little frightening. Oh, hell... let's all go to Cuba anyhow. So what if Stacey finds out. OOPS! Five Ford Fairlane with dark-suited men pulled up my driveway. Their all wearing Foster Grant sunglasses. Bye!! Robert
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