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Old 05-16-2007, 11:51 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally posted by martha


That doesn't matter; it's a moral point. Some people don't want any of thier money supporting governments with which they disagree.
r u a G.W.Bush supporter?
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:59 PM   #47
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^ I'm not the one making the point. I'm clarifying it for you, which you seem to need much of the time.
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Old 05-17-2007, 06:11 AM   #48
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If I was a tourist, I wouldn't visit the U.S.
I was thinking the same thing. Or the UK. Or probably any country.
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Old 05-17-2007, 08:02 AM   #49
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Here's the thing, though. It's one thing to have an issue with a democratic nation's leadership and another with a nation that is fundamentally flawed. Bush will not be president forever, and no matter how much most people dislike him, he will be gone by January 20, 2009. No exceptions.

It's another thing when you have countries that are so mired in corruption that there's a reasonable probability that your tourist dollars could be funneled to fund political oppression or major human or civil rights abuses. While some of us might disagree on what specific countries fall under this category, this is my overall criteria regarding which countries I will not visit.

As an example, Nicolas Sarkozy might be an unsavory president to many people, but I do not consider that a reason not to visit France, in my book. France, overall, is a stable democratic nation that respects the rights of others, more or less, and if I spent my tourist dollars there, I would not feel as though I'm funding corruption and oppression.
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Old 05-17-2007, 08:16 AM   #50
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Originally posted by butter7


Your point is correct, but would you like to check how much foreign tourists contributed to these countries GDP?
Economics isn't you major either, is it?

For those countries tourism is a necessity.

To argue the humiliation and oppression in those countries with a nice and colorful diversity makes me feel very uncomfortable.
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:37 AM   #51
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Originally posted by Ormus

It's another thing when you have countries that are so mired in corruption that there's a reasonable probability that your tourist dollars could be funneled to fund political oppression or major human or civil rights abuses. While some of us might disagree on what specific countries fall under this category, this is my overall criteria regarding which countries I will not visit.
You have to understand that if everyone followed your methodology a lot of us would never get to go "home" again....
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Old 05-17-2007, 10:57 AM   #52
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I was born in Cuba. I did grow up as a Republican (as all Cubans do), but became a Democrat during the time of Jimmy Carter.

I have an uncle and two first cousins still living in Cuba. My parents have been back twice since we came to this country in '61.

My uncle and his family didn't leave when they had the chance because his youngest son had leukemia and it was just too difficult to flee with such a sick child. After my cousin died, my uncle and his wife just lost their courage and then it became increasingly difficult to leave.

In '91 the oldest of my cousins joined a group of people that wanted to start a newspaper, let's say a newspaper that talked about alternative political systems. He's been in prison since that time. It was supposedly a 10 year sentence, but he's still not out. From what I've been told from my uncle the paper got out 2 issues, never really talked about overthrowing the current system, just discussed political systems of different countries throughout the world (not just democratic ones). No real trial, just basically a sentence handed down, no way to appeal. Basically, he'll get out when the government decides he gets out. He's now been in there about 5 years on top of his supposed sentence but there is no recourse.

Cuba is not about being poor or about economics, it's about oppression and not being to express anything except what the government wants you to express. If you're not agreement and someone finds about it, your life is in jeopardy.

I don't take for granted the freedom I have, because when I talk to my uncle and his other child I realize how good I have it.

For those of you who travel to Cuba, don't think that many of the "regular" people you speak to are expressing what they really feel. Being careful with what you say to who is a matter of survival and a regular way of life.

I think it's hard to understand that type of society because it's so unbelievable that a government would want to control your thoughts, but it exists.
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Old 05-17-2007, 01:23 PM   #53
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^

I didn't know you were Cuban!

My grandfather was getting ready to take his entire family to the U.S. when a man on the street asked him to drop a letter in the mailbox. He did so and was arrested some time later. It turned out that the letter contained something the government didn't want to get out and they threw him in jail a few days before the trip. They questioned him on everything, even though he kept stating that it was never his letter, he was just doing a stranger a favor.
I don't know how he got out of jail, but they managed to board the plane anyway and my grandmother never let him live it down that he almost cost them their freedom for being friendly.

I've also remembered a film that was shown to us about Reynaldo Arenas, the openly gay writer who wrote novels against the government. He was placed in jail with common rapists and murderers.
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Old 05-17-2007, 03:14 PM   #54
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I visited Cuba about a month ago. I thought it was a very interesting country and you can´t really opine about it with true certainty without having been there.

I think it´s a country so rich in culture where you can watch musicians play salsa in every other corner. You can speak to a cab driver who has a degree and can express himself really well.

That´s the good part.

The bad part is that they´re hungry. They want more of what they can´t get. We went to a Carnaval de Santa Marta (Carnival) and I had a bottle of rum that had been given to us at the Tropicana show but nobody drank. We all bought beers and every now and then pulled out the bottle for a shot. At one moment, a Cuban person grabbed the bottle in my hand and signaled if he could have a drink (he must´ve thought that I don´t speak spanish). I felt really bad about being in that state and I let him have it. The bad thing is, as soon as he held it in his hand several other cubans swarmed the bottle and all had a quick shot like they would never have another one in their lives.

Afterwards, in bars and clubs we soon realized that cuban girls - if there were any - show up to these places to get some income. They have no money so they flirt with you only if you´ll buy them things.

People try to give you directions and be extra helpful just to earn a much needed "Peso Convertible". It can get annoying.

Not one of them said a bad thing about Castro. They all said that he´s a hero and that the revolution is the best thing that could´ve happened to Cuba. Most Cubans really say that they thing their income will rise as the whole country rises together and they will have luxuries in the future all as one. But they all say they´re content with waiting for the common good. Maybe they were being trutful but I have my doubts that maybe they were just convering their backs.

The one truly admirable things is that there is hardly any crime at all. We walked through the darkest of places and never worried that we would be robbed or have anything happen to us.

Something that was really interesting was the Office of American Interests (I´m not sure if it translates that way but it´s the SINA office). This building has a black marquee with red letters in its facade and they decided to show subsersive messages like "Free Cuba" or Ghandi and Lincon quotes. The Cubans decided to place a big monument of black flags with white stars on it to cover the marquee. I thought that was pretty sweet.

There are no commercial billboards. All the signs and murals have political messages. I actually saw one comparing Bush to Hitler.

All in all, Cuba was a great trip in which I learned a lot. I think it is truly a beautiful country. I never felt like visiting it before because of all the bad rep it gets but actually being there is a truly different experience. I would´ve never gone without my parents paying for the whole thing but now I´m actually thinking of going back.

Hasta la victoria siempre.
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Old 05-17-2007, 06:58 PM   #55
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Thanks BrownEyedBoy, it's a great journey.

I think Cuba people will know by heart what is best for them. If Castro got on his position by a revolution, and everyone knew that, he's government would be pulled down very quickly if he isn't a relatively satisfactory leader.

I remebered watch a TV program, where Castro was the tour guide himself. He said something like many Cuban cab drivers have a degree, and even the prostitutes are university graduated. I wasn't know if he was sincere, or just some mad saying for his ego. But according to your experience, I felt it might closer to the fact than I thought?

About the monetary hunger, or simply objective hunger, it's very easy to understand. Just like some people expressed themself here, they don't want to go to the country because they don't like the political condition of the country, and they don't want that government to earn any money from them. Therefore, we could easily conclude that if they had a business, they would never do any trade with Cuba either. Plus the interesting diplomatic policy that US towards Cuba, I would say that I quite surprised that this country could survive for so long.
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Old 05-17-2007, 08:22 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally posted by butter7
If Castro got on his position by a revolution, and everyone knew that, he's government would be pulled down very quickly if he isn't a relatively satisfactory leader.
I'm sorry, but this makes no sense whatsoever. How do you expect a country of farmers to uprise against a revolutionist army with guns and guerrilla experience?
Not to mention that it's absolutely illegal to even speak badly about the government to begin with. How would you even go about constructing successful coups? Everyone you meet is potentially an enemy, ready to turn you in for sacks of rice and beans.

Quote:
Originally posted by butter7
He said something like many Cuban cab drivers have a degree, and even the prostitutes are university graduated.
That, if anything, tells you how worthless Cuban degrees are. I've spoken with a nurse who came from Cuba several years ago and she has met many Cuban doctors who have no business being doctors.

My own stepmother was a psychiatrist in Cuba for many many years, (and that was mostly because her father was a solider in the Cuban army, without supporting the regime) but when she came to the U.S. she had to study things she said had never studied before. And she never passed her MCATs either. That's not saying anything bad on her, because after much much studying, she passed a nursing exam and is just settling for that.
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Old 05-17-2007, 08:29 PM   #57
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Wait, are you suggesting that Cubans are human beings entitled to life, liberty and a shot at prosperity - that's crazy talk!
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:01 PM   #58
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Originally posted by PlaTheGreat


I'm sorry, but this makes no sense whatsoever. How do you expect a country of farmers to uprise against a revolutionist army with guns and guerrilla experience?
Not to mention that it's absolutely illegal to even speak badly about the government to begin with. How would you even go about constructing successful coups? Everyone you meet is potentially an enemy, ready to turn you in for sacks of rice and beans.
I didn't intent to work out the logic, though. How they gonna do it, isn't the point that I want to make here.

How Castro did it? If it has been done once, people just need to found their way to make it happen again.

On the other hand, like many people pointed out, the government need the taxes to finance. They might be able to get some people in prison, kill them. But the whole nation? Do you think it's even possible that Castro kill the whole nation and the next time, some one come to visit, he'll be the last Cuban live in Cuba?

Quote:
Originally posted by PlaTheGreat

That, if anything, tells you how worthless Cuban degrees are. I've spoken with a nurse who came from Cuba several years ago and she has met many Cuban doctors who have no business being doctors.

My own stepmother was a psychiatrist in Cuba for many many years, (and that was mostly because her father was a solider in the Cuban army, without supporting the regime) but when she came to the U.S. she had to study things she said had never studied before. And she never passed her MCATs either. That's not saying anything bad on her, because after much much studying, she passed a nursing exam and is just settling for that.
I don't have any experience with meeting any Cuban who has a degree done in Cuba, therefore I don't think I'm qualified to make any judgement the degree holder's skill level.

However, I'd look at it this way: they certainly did something, but didn't do it very well due to many limitations according to some other countries standard. But it is not fair to say that they did't even try, right?

The topic is about Castro, not the minister of Education in Cuba, I guess.

I'm sure everyone here wish things to go to a better direction for that country, but Cubans needs to work out the strategy plan and make it happen, not us.
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:21 PM   #59
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^

Again, you don't know what you're talking about, by your own admission, but you feel comfortable making judgements and providing solutions that have no basis in facts. Life is easy for you, isn't it?
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:22 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally posted by butter7
Thanks BrownEyedBoy, it's a great journey.

I think Cuba people will know by heart what is best for them. If Castro got on his position by a revolution, and everyone knew that, he's government would be pulled down very quickly if he isn't a relatively satisfactory leader.

I remebered watch a TV program, where Castro was the tour guide himself. He said something like many Cuban cab drivers have a degree, and even the prostitutes are university graduated. I wasn't know if he was sincere, or just some mad saying for his ego. But according to your experience, I felt it might closer to the fact than I thought?

About the monetary hunger, or simply objective hunger, it's very easy to understand. Just like some people expressed themself here, they don't want to go to the country because they don't like the political condition of the country, and they don't want that government to earn any money from them. Therefore, we could easily conclude that if they had a business, they would never do any trade with Cuba either. Plus the interesting diplomatic policy that US towards Cuba, I would say that I quite surprised that this country could survive for so long.
I can't follow your logic. I've been reading this thread and I just don't get your thinking.

The people have nothing because Americans don't visit. You conclude this how? You seem fairly certain they aren't being oppressed. That if we would lift sanctions the people would be thriving and running their own businesses?

If the people know by heart what is best for them. Isn't it telling that so many die each year trying to escape.
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