If you haven't yet been to Cuba ...

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If you haven't yet been to Cuba ...

Post by observer on Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:40 pm

... better hurry up. Things are likely to get more expensive - and lose their "quaintness" - as in the 1950's cars - fairly soon - if the US goes through with changing their attitude about continuing the Cuba boycott.
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Re: If you haven't yet been to Cuba ...

Post by observer on Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:43 pm

One of the hopes of the Cubans, apparently, is that their baseball players can join the US pro leagues without having to defect to do so.
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Re: If you haven't yet been to Cuba ...

Post by retired2 on Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:33 pm

they say all the good players are already out
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Re: If you haven't yet been to Cuba ...

Post by Ruby Tuesday on Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:16 pm

I Heard (just hearsay) that the prediction is that prices for Cuban vacations will go up 30%. Ugh!! We just strated going back there after going to Dominican for many years. We've been going 2X per year for the last 3 years. I enjoy it more and more as you get more comfortable going off the resort.
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Re: If you haven't yet been to Cuba ...

Post by retired2 on Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:02 am

We were never one for the beach/resort type of holiday. Maybe some day when we get older
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Re: If you haven't yet been to Cuba ...

Post by observer on Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:52 pm

At the moment, it would seem to become easier for people to go back to visit family - but not necessarily for other US citizens to tour. But - undoubtedly that too will come (unless Raul gets as radical as his brother, Fidel) - and THEN prices will go up!

Some Cubans in Miami - as seen on the news- don't seem to like the idea of "accepting" Cuba. They think it encourages the regime to keep the status quo. Others are quite elated to think they can have more contact with families left behind. Guess we'll see.
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Re: If you haven't yet been to Cuba ...

Post by retired2 on Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:22 pm

Just proves you can only please half the people half the time, the rest of the time your screwed regradless of what you do
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Re: If you haven't yet been to Cuba ...

Post by Ruby Tuesday on Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:55 pm

retired2 wrote:We were never one for the beach/resort type of  holiday. Maybe some day when we get older

Like, like like! Still need that button!

I have always loved the beach and can spend an entire week (or two, lol) on it. A good book and a hot looking beach waiter and voila, one week instantly gone!
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Re: If you haven't yet been to Cuba ...

Post by observer on Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:57 pm

Just my take on Cuba - in part, at least.

We went there for the first time in 1979 - when there were still citizens there who missed the old days - the Batista days; the free enterprise days.

In the many times we've been there since, I don't recall getting any sense from the people we met that they were too concerned about death and intimidation! There were doctors working as bartenders - because bartending at a resort meant they made money; whereas being a doctor might mean saving lives - but didn't put food on the table.

I've always felt that going to these impoverished islands was not a bad thing - even though there are some who don't like to see that "poverty" while they are on vacation. It unsettles their concept of a "perfect vacation". They might be caused to think of the fact that they have so much - and these people have so little. But - the truth is - without the tourist dollar they would have far less.

Ergo - I've never been particularly put off by the vendors - who might hit you up on the beach or the street - or wherever. It's again - put yourself in THEIR shoes - this is how they feed their families. You can just smile and say "No - not today gracias". And, SOMETIMES you buy something you don't need and don't want - but SO?

A few years ago - over a decade, I'm sure - Cuba began to allow some entrepreneurship. We have a fair number of precious (to us) items from this early emergence of "talent allowed".

But - one thing I never sensed - even as the years rolled by - was a great fear among the people of death and intimidation.

It was always odd that a country that promised - and gave - education to every child - had no way to employ that adult result - doctor, engineer etc - at a level to recompense their ability. So, many of them resorted to being available to the tourist community - at a menial job - so there could be real money available. Waste of ability, undeniably.
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Re: If you haven't yet been to Cuba ...

Post by Ruby Tuesday on Sat Dec 20, 2014 12:25 am

100% agree woth your commentary, Observer.
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Re: If you haven't yet been to Cuba ...

Post by tippycanoe on Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:53 am

They are living within their means, not an inflated economy or greedy stock trader's. It may not be perfect by a long shot but people aren't rushing to leave, I M H O

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Re: If you haven't yet been to Cuba ...

Post by observer on Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:29 am

Tippy - I DO think a great number would leave if it were easy to do so. It's not!

I also know that there are a great number of young women who do all that they can to make themselves available to non-Cuban men - with the hope that one of them will offer to take them somewhere else. It's illegal, generally speaking, for these women to frequent the places to fraternize with non-Cubans (and no - I'm not suggesting these are houses of prostitution - nor, on the other hand, am I suggesting that there's no sex involved! LOL) I've met a couple young women who married Canadians - and although they seemed to love their mates well enough - there was still a definite sense that they were sending money home to their families as well.

They are living within their means there - but their means are VERY limited! Given the choice - most would prefer to be able to buy toothpaste when they needed it - and not just when there was finally a supply - and ditto for every other commodity you can think of!
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Re: If you haven't yet been to Cuba ...

Post by observer on Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:13 am



This is a typical kitchen in a rural Cuban home.
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Re: If you haven't yet been to Cuba ...

Post by Ruby Tuesday on Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:50 pm

Makes thinking of cooking Christmas dinner a challenge.

During one of my more recent trips to Cuba a young lady was suggesting that she needed a host family to come to Canada and work for. Beautiful young lady. I hope she got what she was looking for.
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Re: If you haven't yet been to Cuba ...

Post by Ruby Tuesday on Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:52 pm

Oh yes, and prostitution is crazy, for sure. Both from the parents that sell their daughters b/c they need money. Or from the ladies that are looking for a better life.
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Re: If you haven't yet been to Cuba ...

Post by tippycanoe on Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:21 am

I had no idea that things were so bad, I've seen the old cars running around and what appears to be well dressed citizens casually frequenting the streets but those home scenes are terrible! Never been there, probably never will, have heard plenty of talk from friends who have vacationed there and enjoyed themselves, not all would return. There has to be a very good reason to lift an embargo and condone communism. From news stories and comments from Cuban citizens there just could be a fly in the ointment that could put the brakes on this idea. Only time will tell.

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Re: If you haven't yet been to Cuba ...

Post by observer on Tue Dec 23, 2014 11:56 pm

As with most situations, I think there's the government - and then there are the people! Certainly, I think it would be safe to say that a lot of us don't agree with everything that are government does - or decrees! And yet - we as a country are judged based on what our government decrees as our stance on issues. I'm pretty sure that the same - IN SPADES - can be said for Cuba; as well as a lot of other countries.

Things are "bad" in most Caribbean nations. All I can continue to say is that they would be even worse if we North Americans (and Europeans) decided we got upset at seeing the poverty - or got annoyed at the attempts by the locals to sell their wares - and refused to go back. Tourism is pretty much the backbone of their economies. No more sugar cane - or rum - or bananas - as a reliable source of tropical island income; it's now pretty much tourism or nothing!

And so - we continue to return - and enjoy their good weather - and hospitality - and contribute to their national wealth through our tourism dollars - and through the occasional donation of something useful to those we encounter during our holiday stay!
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