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Old 05-15-2007, 07:26 PM   #1
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Let's Talk About CUBA Baby!!!!

SO what is the deal? Is Castro's demise going to bring about a reconciliation with CUBA?

Or .... Continuation of the same old shite?
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Old 05-15-2007, 07:34 PM   #2
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The rest of the world has totally normal relations with Cuba, I can't see why the US is incapable of doing so.

Although, that means that American tourists will invade in hordes. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted...

(All joking aside, I actually prefer American tourists to most Europeans.)
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Old 05-15-2007, 07:53 PM   #3
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Originally posted by anitram
The rest of the world has totally normal relations with Cuba, I can't see why the US is incapable of doing so.
Because the Cuban-American vote is crucial to every single politician in this stupid country. God forbid we should do anything to piss them off.
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Old 05-16-2007, 05:38 AM   #4
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Germany doesn't have normal relations with Cuba anymore. Cuba presented the GDR with a small island. Yet, they didn't want to give this island to Germany a few years later only because of a tiny change in politics. We are pissed off!




I'm afraid his brother will try to continue the old style.
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Old 05-16-2007, 06:19 AM   #5
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My impression about Cuba:

A lot of sugar!

Castro is a relatively quit handsome old man, and a respectable dreamchaser.

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Old 05-16-2007, 06:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
Although, that means that American tourists will invade in hordes. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted...
Being a frequent visitor to Canada, I find that this is always an easy joke to crack on my part.

I still don't think that I'd visit Cuba even if I could, though. I cannot, in good conscience, spend money in a country whose government I do not support. This would preclude me from currently visiting Mexico, as well.
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Old 05-16-2007, 06:34 AM   #7
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^ r u visiting a country for sightseeing or r u meeting the government officials?
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Old 05-16-2007, 07:19 AM   #8
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^ r u visiting a country for sightseeing or r u meeting the government officials?
When you spend money in a country, you indirectly support the government behind it. At the very least, the taxes generated from your purchases keep the government in business.
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Old 05-16-2007, 07:38 AM   #9
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When you spend money in a country, you indirectly support the government behind it. At the very least, the taxes generated from your purchases keep the government in business.
It sound to me like if there's no tourist, the government would went down or something...which, unfortunately, impossible.

Or simply, if you so concious about the taxes thing, go camping.
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Old 05-16-2007, 07:57 AM   #10
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It's merely a gesture of personal conscience. I will not be some arrogant American tourist vacationing in some sequestered "tourist zone" while the natives live in poverty and/or political oppression.
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Old 05-16-2007, 08:41 AM   #11
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It's okay Ormus, I think, for each country to have their own set of social structure. They really don't have to reach the American standard.

The world should be the way it is, and that's why, it's so colorful.

Ever consider to go to Africa?
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Old 05-16-2007, 09:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ormus


When you spend money in a country, you indirectly support the government behind it. At the very least, the taxes generated from your purchases keep the government in business.
But that means I'd never be able to go to your outlet malls again.
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Old 05-16-2007, 09:28 AM   #13
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But that means I'd never be able to go to your outlet malls again.


i was thinking something along these lines ...
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:14 AM   #14
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Oh boy...

Here's where you can ask the Cuban, I guess.

My parents were born in 1958 in Cuba, (one in Camaguey, a farm providence in the west, the other in Havana, the capital on the east) just one year before Castro took over. Castro had promised the people that it would not become a Communist state. Within years, my grandparents decided that they would flee their homeland, their families, their own personal belongings to come to the United States with no money and young kids to start a new life.
My mom has told me several times about leaving everything she owned behind. The only thing they were allowed to take on the flight to Miami was one suitcase of clothes each and one toy. My mom was nine when she left, my dad was ten.
As of today, I still have so much extended family in Cuba. My grandmother's sister broke her hip a few years ago. The hospital botched up her surgery and it became infected. Her leg is now six inches shorter than it should be. She depends on us to send her custom made shoes so she can walk.
My boss visited Cuba a few years ago as part of an orthopedic/prosthetic study on other countries. He said that the doctors had tools that had never been used. He said it felt like it was all staged for them. State of the art equipment, but the doctors there have no idea how to use it. And no, this guy is not a Cuban. He's a white boy from Wisconsin.

Over the years, my grandmother has sent her family money every month to help with food. Every person in Cuba receives a ration card where they are alloted a certain amount of everything. If the store runs out, your luck runs out and you go home empty.
Now I'm not even sure if she still does send money since Castro declared that American currency would no longer be accepted in Cuba.

I can see the appeal of visiting Cuba, after all, check out Varadero beach:

But you have to remember that this is Castro's tourist trap to feed his own pockets, and those of his subordinates. In movies like Miami Vice, they show Havana being the hit party spot. This is more what the real Cuba looks like:

Even though the following photos are from an extremely biased site, I can confirm that this is what Cuba looks like. My grandmother visited her family about 10 years ago, before all the new U.S. restrictions on visiting Cuba were put into place. This is really what it looks like.

One of our parks holds a memorial every year for all the political Cuban prisoners who have been killed under Castro's regime.

The crosses grow in number every year.

Again, I can see how people can ask to lift the restrictions, but if you do buy things from Cuba, you will only be supporting Castro's government. He does nothing to help his people. He's one of the richest men in the world (I think a total wealth of 900 million dollars) and yet his country is one of the poorest. Just a classic case of dictatorship, I suppose.
Here in Miami, we already have plans to celebrate Castro's death with a party at the Orange Bowl. When they announced he was sick, people took to the streets in celebration. So many people want to go back to their homes, to their remaining family. They fled because of necessity and they've accepted changing their lives around to join the American culture. Given the chance, many of them would love to be Cuban citizens again under a free Cuba.

I can answer any other questions about Cuba if you'd like, and if I can't I can always ask my mom.

And pretty much every Cuban I've ever met is a Republican. I'm not, but I also won't support anyone who can view Castro (or Che Guevara for that matter) in a favorable light.
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:20 AM   #15
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what do you think is going to happen in Cuba once Castro dies?



what do the Democrats need to do in order to start to win the Cuban-American vote (so critical in the swing state of Florida)?



what are the best things about Cuba? (and i mean the country, not the people)
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:36 AM   #16
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My sister visited Cuba a couple of years ago. She saw some really bad poverty. This is a result of the embargo against Cuba. If they'd lift it and have normal relations, then everythingi would be alright. They can't change it because of the Cuban-Americans. They need those votes to carry Florida. We saw how important Florida was in the 2000 election.
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:51 AM   #17
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Quote:
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what do you think is going to happen in Cuba once Castro dies?
Nothing. The majority of people who are living in Cuba are Communists and Castro has more than likely left a long line of succession. Any sort of change in Cuba will have to come from an outside country. And seeing how all other South America are quickly turning Communist too, I don't see any sort of coup happening.

Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
what do the Democrats need to do in order to start to win the Cuban-American vote (so critical in the swing state of Florida)?
Honestly, nothing. My family are such hellbent Republicans, they won't even consider anyone with a Democrat party alliance.
On the other hand, my mom has always been a Republican. In 2004, she got so fed up with the Iraq war. I took her to see Fahrenheit 9/11 and she got even more frustrated. She never liked Bush from the start, but she voted for him in 2000 because he was a Republican. In 2004, she voted for Kerry, but really only because of her distrust in Bush and the handling of the Iraq war. As of right now, she's in support of McCain.
When my grandmother takes in her absentee ballot, she asks us to fill down Republican for everything because her husband always told her to do so.
It's the same thing that's happening with other groups of people in the country, ya know? It's just so hard to change.

This just brought back my memory of a family party where my dad announced that I would be voting for Kerry. Everyone booed me and they kept talking in my ear about not being a real Cuban.

Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
what are the best things about Cuba? (and i mean the country, not the people)
The country itself is beautiful. My grandmother talks fondly of what it was like pre-Castro. It was still a poor country, but it was on the rise. My grandfather was a waiter in a hotel and used to serve the likes of Frank Sinatra and other big celebrities. Their tropical forests contain really beautiful birds and animals. Their beaches are also gorgeous.
Just think of being stuck in a time warp. 1950's cars, cattle drawn carts, old buildings from the 1800's, old forts. I'd imagine it's something like St. Augustine, but much more primitive.
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Old 05-16-2007, 12:04 PM   #18
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I've visited Cuba and it's true that it is poor. Nobody is disputing that - however, I didn't see a level of poverty there that exceeded that of other Caribbean nations like say, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico and so on. No matter where you go in the Caribbean, if you stay in a resort, your money is usually going to a European resort owner (most of them seem to be Spanish), and you do not experience the real country. It's important to get into the real cities and towns and I did so in Cuba. The people were lovely. But like I said, if you are against spending tourist dollars in Cuba, then you should equally be against doing so in the other comparable nations, because none of them are benefiting locally either and most have corrupt local and federal governments.
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Old 05-16-2007, 12:04 PM   #19
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If they'd lift it and have normal relations, then everything would be alright. They can't change it because of the Cuban-Americans. They need those votes to carry Florida. We saw how important Florida was in the 2000 election.
It's not the U.S. embargo's fault that there is such poverty. This poverty existed before there ever even was an embargo.
It's been made worse since Castro's brand of warped Communism has had this pirate-like mentality of taking from the poor to line his own pockets and build up the tourism industry...to line his own pockets up again.
You're not allowed to dissent in your own home, even. They pay people in your own neighborhood to spy on you and report back if you do. If you raise chickens, you have to surrender a large amount of your chickens to the country, with no retribution.
Communism is a dangerous idea because behind its utopian ideas exists a man in charge of it all. There are no elections in Cuba. There was never a chance to change the wrong that Castro was doing. He stole the government and made himself supreme ruler of the land. (Does this sound a bit 1933ish? Without the ethnic cleansing.) He doesn't even need to conquer the world. World domination isn't around anymore because why make enemies when you can make friends? Look no further than Venezuela, Mexico, the guerrilla-ridden country of Colombia. Each of these countries will topple over their neighbors into being Communist as a promise of change to their underprivileged low-class citizens. And these liars who claim to be working for them will only rob from them again. (1933 Germany? Anyone?)

It was the same situation in Africa with Live Aid. How much of that money got to the people? Barely nothing. The dictators who made the promise to help their people kept it for themselves.
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Old 05-16-2007, 12:07 PM   #20
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That's surprising about the health care. Michael Moore's upcoming movie visits Cuba to show the health care, and it'll be interesting to see how it's portrayed.
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