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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Ahab Jr View Post
I've been to all of these countries

One was for a dirty long weekend, one for powerboat boat racing and one for my honeymoon, really enjoyed each trip.

Does supporting so many despots me a bad person?
It makes you someone with experiences and memories to last forever.
An adventurer.
Good for you.
Old 10-10-2018, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggythecat View Post
It makes you someone with experiences and memories to last forever.
An adventurer.
Good for you.
Don't consider myself to be an adventurer, we just like choosing places to visit before the crowds decide to go there.

Got a long list of places to see, only a few places I've been to make me want to go back over visiting a new place and Cuba is one of them.

I'd love to fly my 4x4 out and really explore the island, staying in local houses, eating local food and staying far away from anything all inclusive.
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:29 PM
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I’m guessing China for the honeymoon, Cuba for the boat races, and Russia for the weekend.
Old 10-10-2018, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by varmint View Post
Go to Cuba. Bring a suitcase full of books. Bibles, ayn rand, Solzhenitsyn, Hayek, von Mises, Thomas Sowell, etc.

Hand them out to all the friendly local people. Tell us how that works out for you.
What is it you think would happen if he did?
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggythecat View Post
I’m guessing China for the honeymoon, Cuba for the boat races, and Russia for the weekend.
1 out of 3 right just need to swap Cuba and Russia around

In favourite order,

Cuba way out in 1st
China in 2nd place
Russia a long distant 3rd
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gordner View Post
What is it you think would happen if he did?



In Cuba, books can lead to prison time - Opinion - Cuba Politics News - Havana Journal
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:19 PM
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Thank you for all your replies. I'm still on the fence after reading 4 pages of this thread.
My family and I have been very fortunate and has traveled to many islands, resorts, and places. A lot of islands are real eye openers once you get off the beach and a mile inland and see the true poverty. I was looking for some place different and not the overly commercialized make me want to puke destinations where all the shops are trinkets and jewelry. One big money grab. I thought about Cuba as it is supposedly not commercialized and the people are welcoming. I did not realize it is illegal under tourism. I figured with all the cruise ships going there it must have loosened up the restrictions.
Again, I was looking for a realatively affordable, sunny, warm trip that might be a learning and memorable vacation for all of us and not just "another cruise."
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Old 10-11-2018, 09:00 PM
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https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexandratalty/2018/04/23/yes-you-can-still-travel-to-cuba/#5cf21a1a378d
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:15 PM
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Yep. Let some two-bit journalist that writes about travel tell you how to cheat on your taxes too. If you are caught by the Treasury in an audit five years after you travel, you can show them the article and they will waive the law regarding tourism. With a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and $250K, I know that is what I will do.
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Old 10-12-2018, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fischer_76_911S View Post
Thank you for all your replies. I'm still on the fence after reading 4 pages of this thread.
My family and I have been very fortunate and has traveled to many islands, resorts, and places. A lot of islands are real eye openers once you get off the beach and a mile inland and see the true poverty. I was looking for some place different and not the overly commercialized make me want to puke destinations where all the shops are trinkets and jewelry. One big money grab. I thought about Cuba as it is supposedly not commercialized and the people are welcoming. I did not realize it is illegal under tourism. I figured with all the cruise ships going there it must have loosened up the restrictions.
Again, I was looking for a realatively affordable, sunny, warm trip that might be a learning and memorable vacation for all of us and not just "another cruise."
I am glad you are concerned with the illegality. I agree that it would be a great trip, but there is good reason it is against the law. The money you spend there contributes to other's misery. The world is changing...and brutal dictators are on notice. Give it a few years and you should be able to travel there legally. Those traveling there now (and in the past) are just selfishly propping up the regime and making that change take a bit longer.
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"The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money"
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Old 10-12-2018, 07:14 AM
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Remember this guy who thought it would be cool to visit North Korea?https://www.gq.com/story/otto-warmbier-north-korea-american-hostage-true-story

Or the ones that visited other countries against the best advice/consent of the U.S. government?
https://globalnews.ca/news/4375584/us-couple-killed-by-isis/
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"The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money"
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Old 10-12-2018, 07:22 AM
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Cuba has never been a threat to Americans.
You know that.
Old 10-12-2018, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggythecat View Post
Cuba has never been a threat to Americans.
You know that.



Why go on vacation when you live in such a pleasant fantasy land.

Castro inviting in soviet nuclear missiles must not have happened in your reality.
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Old 10-12-2018, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggythecat View Post
Cuba has never been a threat to Americans.
You know that.
Tell Alan Gross:
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Last edited by fintstone; 10-12-2018 at 06:33 PM..
Old 10-12-2018, 05:14 PM
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What's to worry? Drugs, sex, hotties, classic cars, rum.....repeat. Post pics. If yo're married rent a guy for the wife. do a video...post that as well. Ask Wayne for a dispensation or email me.
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Old 10-12-2018, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fintstone View Post
Tell Alan Gross:
Somebody should have told Alan Gross not to smuggle in contraban.

Not quite a tourist.

Last edited by Ziggythecat; 10-14-2018 at 09:05 AM..
Old 10-12-2018, 07:23 PM
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For the benefit of the people who go to Cuba to benefit the Cuban People. A suit case full of base balls, gloves and bats to hand out to the local kids and maybe you can partake of a little rum.
Old 10-17-2018, 06:02 PM
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My awesome trip to Cuba

Hey Bob!

This thread popped up a couple weeks after we planned our trip to Cuba and I waited to post until we got back so I could provide my first hand knowledge and experience.
Cuba, in a word, was awesome. It was a short trip so we stayed in Havana the whole time. I highly recommend it if you are seeking out something different with lots of culture and opportunity to learn new things. I went with my two brothers and 83 year old dad. We got there Friday morning the 26th and returned yesterday afternoon. Here are some of the highlights, PM me with your number if you want to talk live.

Getting there:

Getting there was straightforward and relatively inexpensive - $250 round trip per person (half of which was taxes and fees) on JetBlue from Ft. Lauderdale to Havana. When you buy the ticket, you sign an affidavit declaring your purpose for the visit from a list of accepted travel purposes. Our stated purpose was the “people to people” exchange. At the airport when you check in for your flight they sell you a travel visa for $50 per person to get into and out of Cuba. There is no way to mess this up, the ticket agent fills it out for you and you can’t get your boarding pass until you check in personally.

Getting around:

We had a private guide for most of the time that facilitated everything. She was awesome. We found her through a friend of a friend and she is just finishing her studies to get certified as a professional guide. I’ve never used a guide like that before but I have to say it worked out great. Instead of hours and hours of uncertain internet research, competing with a million other nasty tourists from all over Europe, and difficult communication (none of us speak Spanish) we had a local with only one agenda (for us to have a good time) who either knew the answers or could easily find out. She facilitated the transportation, checked attraction times, researched restaurants etc. etc. She is a former air traffic controller, spoke perfect English, and was happy to speak candidly about Cuban life.

Her Card:



How we were treated:

In two words: extremely well. Maybe even more so when people discovered we were from the US. It was explained to us that foreigners are sacrosanct in Cuba, regardless of nationality and messing with them carried steep penalties. Personally I think it was mostly because people wanted us to have a good time and enjoy their country. I never felt unsafe, not for a moment, even stumbling home at 2:30 am from the National hotel full of rum after giving up on game 3 of the World Series.
Even the most aggressive vendor or pan handler backed off when you pushed back, the interaction with them felt more like a game than a con.
Old 10-30-2018, 04:49 PM
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The food:

For the most part great. I read that the water was like Mexico so I avoided tap water and anything with ice. Cuban beer was good, Rum was excellent. Nobody got sick.

Where we stayed:

We stayed at a really nice 1930’s vintage converted home about 5 blocks from the harbor sea wall. It was a lot like a B&B with 5 nicely done private rooms (with private bathrooms). The owner Carlos and his dad bought the place about 3 or 4 years ago and brought it back from a bombed out shell to what it is today while trying to save as much of the old architecture as possible. They worked their asses off fixing up the place and it looks great. 15 foot ceilings, 30’s vintage chandeliers and floors but with central smoke alarms and split AC units that will take your room from roasting to meat locker in 20 minutes. Carlos Sr. lives there with his wife who spent the whole time trying to teach me Spanish.
Here are the contact details, I think you can actually book it on airBnB.



Fun things we did:

We went to the Partagas cigar factory – it was awesome. Learning the history and details of the process and watching them roll, sort, quality check and package the product all by hand was remarkable.

We went to the Havana Club rum museum. It was cool also – highlights include an enormous replica model of a molasses factory complete with a model train and of course a tasting at the end.

We visited the Morro-Cabaña Military Historic Park “El Morro” – a colonial era fortress with a ton of educational displays and an evening cannon fire ceremony on Sunday nights.

Just walking around in one of the historic districts we came across a small armory museum (Museo Armeria 9 de Abril) which was very interesting. If you like guns you would really enjoy it, lots of vintage specimens from around the world.

Just a few blocks from our B&B was a moving monument to the sailors of the USS Maine who died in a massive explosion in 1898 while dispatched to Havana to assist with American interests during the war of independence against Spain. The monument has an interesting history, with even more meaning I think through time than its original purpose.

We went to a really cool artisan market called the Almacenes San José Artisans' Market. Lots of hand crafted artwork and paintings. Pretty much something for everyone.

Car watching of course was a big source of entertainment. Calling out all the old American iron and observing how they were modified and maintained. Many were ratted out shells with diesel truck engines, some were stretched to add room, but some were incredibly well maintained. It was fun to pick out unusual cars. Things like old Russian sedans, straight from Kremlin motor pool, some high end modern cars (brand new Mercedes as well as an all aluminum Audi S8), and 1972 Chevy Nova, the only American car we saw made after 1959.

We watched the last three games of the World Series in a bar at the National Hotel. I didn’t see the rooms but the hotel lobby and grounds were as nice as any high end hotel anywhere. There were pictures of celebrities and dignitaries everywhere. The scene was surreal; a 20 foot portrait of Cesar Chavez overlooked the TV. Thanks to some American style tipping, the bartender became a fast friend. We were ultimate VIPs with super generous pours, as well as snacks and cigars on the house. He knew we were from the Boston area and stayed open until 2:30 AM during game 3 so we could watch. By the end of game 5 the place was howling. Clued in by a sympathetic Mets fan, he played on the bar sound system “sweet Caroline” during the 7th inning stretch and “we are the champions” half way through the 8th. There was a Yankee’s fan in the bar giving my brother some unprovoked lip and I thought the staff was going to drag her out by the hair!

There is a lot more to tell but the bottom line is that Cuba was awesome. You can focus on the negatives or really enjoy it for its rich history, traditions, and culture.
Old 10-30-2018, 04:53 PM
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I was thinking of this thread, I just read an article where we had to pull an American Agent out of China who now has brain damage due to the same attacks our Agents endured in Cuba.

China:
https://www.businessinsider.com/us-diplomats-in-china-brain-injuries-sonic-attack-2018-6

Cuba:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/01/science/sonic-attack-cuba-microwave.html

https://www.scmp.com/news/world/americas/article/2115170/listen-if-you-dare-here-recording-mysterious-sonic-attack-us
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Old 10-30-2018, 05:29 PM
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