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View Full Version : Cuba, here we come!



ducknwork
08-19-2010, 07:40 AM
Alarming comments in bold...mine in red


Cuba Libre? Hold Off Booking That Ticket For Now
August 19, 2010
View and comment on NPR.org
The Obama administration is considering easing travel restrictions to Cuba, raising the prospect of what lifting the half-century-old U.S. trade embargo against the Communist regime might mean for both countries.So now it's okay to be friendly with Commies? Whoulda thunkit...
Imagine American tourists bronzing on Cuban beaches and Cuban tomatoes glowing in the produce sections of U.S. supermarkets. Or Cuban baseball teams playing in American ballparks, while U.S. ballerinas twirl on a Havana stage.

Could it mean young Cuban-Americans returning to the island to invest or revisit the culture from which their families were exiled?

Critics of the embargo see great possibilities.

Cuba watcher Bruce M. Bagley says there could be many advantages for both countries. "There could be closer cooperation on [interdicting] drugs.Kinda like how Mexico works so well with us on fighting drugs? More academic contacts would be great. American agriculture wants to sell more to Cuba, and the Cubans need it," says Bagley, chairman of department of international studies at the University of Miami.

He says sanctions haven't worked and that it is time to try something else.

Opposition To Sweeping Changes

The administration apparently isn't considering sweeping changes. Any substantive lifting of the trade embargo would require congressional action in any case, especially the repeal of the 1996 Helms-Burton Act, which extended and strengthened the sanctions.

But the changes the administration are reportedly considering now would make it possible for more Americans to travel to Cuba, including sports, cultural and educational groups, and it could expand direct flights from the U.S. to Cuba.Ok, cool. So now we can support the tourism in another country rather than helping our own country and citizens out. Makes perfect sense.:rolleyes:

President Obama loosened some of the restrictions last year, when he made it easier for Cuban-Americans to visit the island and send money to their relatives there.

The administration reportedly plans to announce the next round as early as next week. The proposed changes were first reported in a story by The Miami Herald earlier this month. The White House and the State Department have declined to comment on the details.Transparency at it's finest.

If the administration goes ahead with the reported easing, it would basically restore contacts that were allowed under the Clinton administration, but prohibited under President George W. Bush.

But Ninoska Perez-Castellon, a director of the Miami-based Cuban Liberty Council, says now is "the worst time to lift any type of sanctions against Cuba's regime," because the Castro government has shown no real inclination to change.

Perez-Castellon says there is an economic incentive to ease some sanctions against the regime coming from foreign investors who put money into Cuba's tourist industry and were left holding the bag when the island's tourist business stagnated. Economic incentive for who? Unless I read that wrong, it sounds almost like a kickback, or a bribe for the US to ease sanctions.:confused:

Promoting Tourism In Cuba

"There are a lot of economic interests that would like to promote the tourism industry in Cuba, which has basically failed," Perez-Castellon says. Among them, she says, are Spanish companies that put a lot of money into hotels in Cuba, but got little return from their investments.

Tourism has been a major source of revenue for Cuba, a popular destination for visitors from Canada and Europe.

Charles Suddaby, vice president for hospitality consulting at the global real estate company Cushman & Wakefield, says Cuba attracted more than 2.4 million visitors last year and seems on track to do slightly better this year.

Suddaby says a lifting of travel restrictions for U.S. tourists could generate a huge wave of interest, but he says it would probably be better to have that process take place gradually.

"There's a lot of hotel capacity down there," he says, "But it's not all of a quality that U.S. tourists might expect."

Suddaby says much of Cuba's tourist market came from cheap, all-inclusive packages, but that the government is now looking at a broader market, including sports tourism and luxury resorts.

Food For Cash

Agriculture is another sector where Cuba and the U.S. could cooperate if sanctions were lifted. Cuba already buys food and agricultural products from the U.S., more than $690 million worth in 2008.

The sales were authorized by the Clinton administration in 2000, under a measure that specifies that trade can only be one-way, with Cuba buying from the U.S., and only in cash.

William Messina, an agricultural economist at the University of Florida, says Cuba's food purchases from the U.S. have dipped in the past two years, in part because countries such as China, Vietnam and Thailand have offered the Cuban government better credit terms.

But Messina says further easing of restrictions could potentially stir a lot of agricultural trade between the two countries. For instance, Cuba could become a supplier of winter vegetables, such as tomatoes and cucumbers, which are currently grown mainly in Florida.So the US would potentially lose more jobs and ship out another industry overseas? Sounds like an awesome idea.

Other potential crops could be citrus and sugar for ethanol fuel.

Messina says Cuba could be a stronger market for American agriculture products, including fertilizers, pesticides and farm equipment.

All of this would be far in the future, even if the Obama administration were to make far more sweeping changes than it is currently planning. The administration has repeatedly said that it will not lift the embargo unless and until there are political and economic reforms on the island.They haven't changed in 50 years, why would they now?

But Bagley says the proposed easing of sanctions is the best way "to ease the political transition in Cuba, which is inevitable, given the ages of the Castros." Bagley says that by engaging with Cuba, the U.S. could influence that transition in a positive way, rather than leaving the island with another generation of anti-American rulers. Copyright 2010 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

http://www.google.com/ig?hl=en#max8

david gibson
08-19-2010, 09:39 AM
i can understand you viewpoint, but i offer the following:

i actually applaud PART of this decision - the part about individual travel. it is clear that the current policies of isolation aren't working and never will, Cuba is not moving away from their current regime despite all the incredible hardships and shortages they endure. who knows how many people have died trying to cross the straits to america or got caught trying. perhaps when Fidel croaks it will begin to shift. while i do not agree with Cubas political direction, i find it ironic that my country, supposedly all about freedom, can tell me where i can and can not go. it should be my right to go to Cuba if i want to, govt stay out. i am free to travel to Iran if i want, and pretty much anywhere in the world to many places where our political differences are significant. if the govt. does not want to trade with them as an effort to try to push them toward a democracy, so be it - but dont tell ME i cant go there. i dont care for the politics of many countries, but i still want the right to travel where i want to travel. isnt that the definition of freedom?

Cuba has miles of pristine beaches with incredible fishing and even surf. the bass fishing inland is phenomenal. scuba diving as well. there is no reason we as individual citizens should not be able to go there.



to tell americans they cant go there is stupid.

dnf777
08-19-2010, 09:48 AM
So now it's okay to be friendly with Commies? Whoulda thunkit...


Duck, ever hear of China? Google it, you'll be amazed who we trade with! (hate to tell you, but all your happy-meal toys are from China!) ;)


Though its giving me cramps, I agree with Gibson again. My great aunt used to vacation in Cuba back in the day, and said it was the nicest resort and beaches she's been to.

Its a pain in the derriere to get cuban cigars right now, I wouldn't mind an easier route in that regards either. how bout it RK?

david gibson
08-19-2010, 09:51 AM
So now it's okay to be friendly with Commies? Whoulda thunkit...


Duck, ever hear of China? Google it, you'll be amazed who we trade with! (hate to tell you, but all your happy-meal toys are from China!) ;)


Though its giving me cramps, I agree with Gibson again. My great aunt used to vacation in Cuba back in the day, and said it was the nicest resort and beaches she's been to.

Its a pain in the derriere to get cuban cigars right now, I wouldn't mind an easier route in that regards either. how bout it RK?

and we have never been restricted to travel to china either.

a doctor who smokes. interesting.

Gerry Clinchy
08-19-2010, 10:07 AM
But Messina says further easing of restrictions could potentially stir a lot of agricultural trade between the two countries. For instance, Cuba could become a supplier of winter vegetables, such as tomatoes and cucumbers, which are currently grown mainly in Florida.So the US would potentially lose more jobs and ship out another industry overseas? Sounds like an awesome idea.

Look at the bright side ... some of our illegal aliens might decide to go there to work :-)

dnf777
08-19-2010, 10:36 AM
and we have never been restricted to travel to china either.

a doctor who smokes. interesting.

yeah, a pack a day of Cuban cigars! ;)

Try one every couple of months, if I'm lucky!

If a middle-aged professional smoking a cigar is interesting to you, you really need to get out more! If you're even in western Pa, look me up....I'll have a Havana and glass of bourbon ready for ya.

Roger Perry
08-19-2010, 12:38 PM
So now it's okay to be friendly with Commies? Whoulda thunkit...


Duck, ever hear of China? Google it, you'll be amazed who we trade with! (hate to tell you, but all your happy-meal toys are from China!) ;)


Though its giving me cramps, I agree with Gibson again. My great aunt used to vacation in Cuba back in the day, and said it was the nicest resort and beaches she's been to.

Its a pain in the derriere to get cuban cigars right now, I wouldn't mind an easier route in that regards either. how bout it RK?

We were also friendly with the Soviet Union. Aren't we sharing a space station with them now?

david gibson
08-19-2010, 01:02 PM
yeah, a pack a day of Cuban cigars! ;)

Try one every couple of months, if I'm lucky!

If a middle-aged professional smoking a cigar is interesting to you, you really need to get out more! If you're even in western Pa, look me up....I'll have a Havana and glass of bourbon ready for ya.

i'll pass.

100% tobacco virgin regards..... ;-)

dnf777
08-19-2010, 01:19 PM
i'll pass.

100% tobacco virgin regards..... ;-)


You and Monica.....oops, well, never mind. :shock: ;)

david gibson
08-19-2010, 02:55 PM
You and Monica.....oops, well, never mind. :shock: ;)

there you go again. monica was NOT a tobacco virgin - even in your twisted interpretation.

dnf777
08-19-2010, 09:08 PM
there you go again. monica was NOT a tobacco virgin - even in your twisted interpretation.




You and Monica.....oops, well, never mind.

Were you the kid that always had to have jokes explained to him after the punchline?

david gibson
08-19-2010, 11:18 PM
You and Monica.....oops, well, never mind.

Were you the kid that always had to have jokes explained to him after the punchline?

do you ever think? you likend me, a "tobacco virgin", to monica - the complete opposite - who literally is NOT a tobacco virgin because a president stuck a stogie in her pogie.

complete opposites, so yeah, you will have to explain that one to me.

dnf777
08-20-2010, 05:38 AM
do you ever think? you likend me, a "tobacco virgin", to monica - the complete opposite - who literally is NOT a tobacco virgin because a president stuck a stogie in her pogie.

complete opposites, so yeah, you will have to explain that one to me.


OMG, you are dense! Don't have time or bandwidth to explain all the things to you that you don't understand. This one is comical though.

I'm glad your spending time in the wilderness or whatever, but you should get a little more exposure to modern vernacular and culture.

That was EXACTLY the point of "oops...never mind". So far over your head ,it might as well have been a U2 spyplane!

I've never had to explain a punchline so many times! :(:(

BrianW
08-20-2010, 08:16 AM
Sounds like a good idea to me. That way we can save money and send Sasha to Cuba to learn Spanish instead of Spain! ;-)
Of couse we "could" support Puerto Rican tourism etc but I guess that would kind of like trying to help our own country. OOOPS never mind.:rolleyes:

david gibson
08-20-2010, 09:35 AM
OMG, you are dense! Don't have time or bandwidth to explain all the things to you that you don't understand. This one is comical though.

I'm glad your spending time in the wilderness or whatever, but you should get a little more exposure to modern vernacular and culture.

That was EXACTLY the point of "oops...never mind". So far over your head ,it might as well have been a U2 spyplane!

I've never had to explain a punchline so many times! :(:(

ohhhhhh "oops, never mind" wow. now i get it! i thought you really had a joke going there, i was expecting something far more intellectually humor inducing. i should have kept my expectations near the ground for you. i thought you just decided not to finish the joke.

excuse me for overestimating you. this was a joke that clearly went far under my head.

dnf777
08-20-2010, 09:50 AM
ohhhhhh "oops, never mind" wow. now i get it! i thought you really had a joke going there, i was expecting something far more intellectually humor inducing. i should have kept my expectations near the ground for you. i thought you just decided not to finish the joke.

excuse me for overestimating you. this was a joke that clearly went far under my head.

AH HA! ding ding ding ding!!!!

The light finally came on!

Glad I could help.

david gibson
08-20-2010, 11:06 AM
AH HA! ding ding ding ding!!!!

The light finally came on!

Glad I could help.

nope. it was burning too bright to see your dimwitted nonsense. sad to see your sense of humor is even less than your sense of reality. no surprise really

M&K's Retrievers
08-20-2010, 11:28 AM
I'll show you mine if you show me yours. The David and Dave show. You guys can argue over gets top billing.:rolleyes:

dnf777
08-20-2010, 11:42 AM
I'll show you mine if you show me yours. The David and Dave show. You guys can argue over gets top billing.:rolleyes:

Nah, I'm too dimwitted to argue with Einstien.


(someone please explain to gibson that was sarcasm....not an insult to his hair-do)

ducknwork
08-20-2010, 11:49 AM
Nah, I'm too dimwitted to argue with Einstien.


(someone please explain to gibson that was sarcasm....not an insult to his hair-do)

And also too dimwitted to spell Einstein right apparently.:D;)