Cuba after 50+ years ....Hey Bernie....

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by DAKA, Jul 24, 2018.

  1. DAKA

    DAKA

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    Dedicated to all Bernie Sanders supporters that believe "Government Socialism" is so much better than "Capitalism."
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    We've been to Cuba twice in the lat year and agree with this...when you walk around Havana you think...This could have looked like Miami...instead it looks like parts of Detroit...
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    As a 77 yr. old guy who has gone to Europe, Canada, Mexico and now Cuba for bicycle road trips, I thought you might enjoy reading my report of my bike trip to Cuba:

    On February 1st , I flew to Atlanta, met some friends , and we flew to Cancun, Mexico. We spent 4 days there, mostly touring the Mayan ruins of Tulum and Chichen Itza and getting ready for the next part of the adventure. Seven more people flew in and we all boarded a Mexican airline, Interjet, and flew to Havana for a week of bicycle riding in Cuba.

    Cuba, where nothing works, including the people. Unemployment is 48% and of those who do work, 8 out of every 10 work for the government. Before heading to the western part of the island, we spent a night in Havana at the Riviera Classic, the finest hotel at one time. 20 stories with 3 elevators, but only one worked. Contrary to what I found in the rest of the country, my shower only had hot water. Turn the knobs all you want, but you only got hot, scalding water.

    The stories about the old cars is quite true, but many of those cars are used to take tourists on tours of the city. $30.00 gets you 2 hours in a 1952 Cadillac convertible and you can pile in as many people in as you want. Old Chevys seem to be the most popular and a few are quite nicely restored. They all fell in the 1941 to 1957 range. I saw nothing newer than a 57. By restored, I mean they look good on the outside, but as our Cuban tour guide said, there would not be a V8 under the hood. The original had failed decades ago and with no parts to fix it, other means had to be found. Generally that involved putting a 4 cylinder Russian made diesel in and making the necessary changes to get it to fit and mate up with an unknown transmission.

    T he country is still in the 19th century. Many people walk, but equally as many use horses, both to ride and pull carts. I saw wagons pulled by oxen on the highway. We traveled by motor coach, stayed in crude motels, and ate in restaurants; all owned by the government. Staying clean was a challenge. In the public restrooms washing your hands was interesting. You need three things to wash your hands; water, soap, towel to dry. Well the towel was your shirt or pants, because there never w ere any towels. In 1/3 of the toilets , there was no water and in one case, there was a lady standing beside the sink with a bottle of water to pour over your hands. In an equal number of places, there was no soap.

    If you thought not having soap and water in the rest room was a problem, imagine not having a toilet SEAT. Yep, no toilet seat and it wasn’t just confined to public facilities. One of the rooms we stayed in had no toilet seat, which was matched by the fact there was not toilet paper. In its place, somebody had carefully torn individual sheets of toilet paper from a roll and placed them on the back of the toilet.

    Free health care and education is one of the things Castro brought with his revolution. The health care is generally limited to the bigger cities. Our guide told us that a taxi driver in Havana earned more in tips each day than a medical doctor earned in salary in one month. Oh, and the doctor can be arrested and jailed if he attempts to treat people on the side for extra money. Education is free, but the reality is that most people cannot afford to stay in school. Our tour guide was the exception. He completed college and got a Master’s degree in computer technology, but can’t find a job in that field, so he conducts tours.

    We visited a tobacco farm, where we had the opportunity to purchase genuine Cuba cigars for $3.25. The farm had been in this man’s family for 3 generations, but only recently had actual title been put back in his name. The government claimed it after the revolution. After harvest, the government takes 90% of the tobacco, leaving the farmer with just 10% for his “own personal use”. He chose to demonstrate how to hand roll a cigar, then sell it to tourists. I asked our guide if all farmers lost 90% of their crop to the government. His reply, “Oh no, vegetable farmers only give up 60% of their crop”.

    The roads looked like they had been carpet bombed with huge pot holes everywhere. Add that to the very steep hills we encountered and it made for slow biking. While I am no speed demon, one day I averaged just 4.5 MPH as I attempted to find bits of pavement between the holes in the road. In many cases, there was no road, just dirt and when the trucks went past, we were engulfed in a storm of dust and exhaust fumes. A few of the trucks were left over Russian military vehicles. Personal transportation in the rural area was provided by stake bodied trucks. People would stand by the side of the road and climb aboard when such a truck came by. The fare was around 8 cents and you stood packed in the bed of the truck with several dozen other people.

    Those on we lf are receive $25 a month, plus a ration of beans, rice, and cooking oil. The money came from the Cuban government, but the Russians provided the food. Each month a supply cargo ship docks with beans, rice, and cooking oil sent by the Russians. Speaking of them, the Cuban version of the Missile Crisis is quite different from what we heard in the US.

    Glad I went, but have no desire to return. Cuba makes our inner cities look like paradise , and the poverty is staggering. After two weeks abroad, we flew home and I spent the night in a Hampton Inn at the Atlanta airport, before catching an early morning flight back to Seattle. Took the longest hot water shower ever after having a cheeseburger, fries and two gin & tonics for dinner. I was really glad to be back !
     
  2. Biggsly

    Biggsly Good looking deplorable

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    Free food!!
    $25 bucks a month free!!!!!
    Makes me want to vote democrat.



    Glad you enjoyed your trip. Sounds like a fun time.
     

  3. gwalchmai

    gwalchmai Lucky Member

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    Well, I'm sure it wouldn't be that way under Bernie... Or at least Bernie wouldn't have to live like that.
     
  4. czsmithGT

    czsmithGT

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    Who wrote this story? How much is true and how much is BS (the unemployment rate is not 48%, not even close, but doctors are certainly underpaid) is hard to say. Cuba is definitely not a place I would want to live but spending 4 days there hardly makes someone an expert.
     
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  5. nam02G

    nam02G First throwing ax bullseye.

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    I'd love to hear what their version of the missile crisis is.
     
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  6. Detectorist

    Detectorist

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    What is the unemployment rate?
     
  7. Big Bird

    Big Bird NRA Life Member

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    How many times have you been there?
     
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  8. gwalchmai

    gwalchmai Lucky Member

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    What's the source, DAKA?
     
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  9. PBCounty

    PBCounty

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    As it's becoming a rather common travel destination among South Florida residents, the feedback I'm getting is generally pretty positive. Even long time Cuban expats who live here have been spending more time in Cuba and report things are worlds better. I personally know probably seven South Florida natives who have visited Cuba in the past year, all report pleasant interactions, comfortable accommodations (A/C, proper plumbing, etc.), and a desire to go back.

    I'm not lauding communism, I'm just saying things are changing over there for the tourism experience.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
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  10. Stendec

    Stendec Banned

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    So the implication is that you could compare what happens in a tiny Third World country to a massive superpower?

    Riiiiiigggghhht
     
  11. RenoF250

    RenoF250

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    We had a fit for having missiles right next to us while we had missiles in Germany right next to USSR. With subs it does not really matter anyway. Whole thing seems silly.
     
  12. RenoF250

    RenoF250

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    I remember reading an article in Time or the like about a female doctor in Cuba. She lived in a little craphole and would go one dates and have sex to get diner. She claimed to love communism. Cab drivers were some of the highest paid people. As crappy as Cuba was, it would have been worse if not for Russia supporting them.
     
  13. Lt. Donn

    Lt. Donn PSO Survivor. currently in NW Georgia

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    If Cuba is so good...why do we continue to intercept leaky boats filled with people risking their lives to get to the US...the bad ole US where we are rascists, homophobes and zealots??
     
  14. ItnStln

    ItnStln

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    Indeed
     
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  15. greg vanstralen

    greg vanstralen

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    "Juan of the Dead" (a Cuban produced & filmed zombie movie) is on one of the premium channels in the next few days. Not too bad!
     
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  16. sigmanx

    sigmanx

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    Don’t we just love socialism/communism!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  17. Hicksville Kid

    Hicksville Kid

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    It’s worse in Venezuela and the zoos are empty. Dieting is a sport in Venezuela. Venezuela got there quicker but Cuba has had many more years to refine abject poverty to an art form.

    Anybody here want to run the socialist experiment here in the US to see if we can beat Cuba and Venezuela to the bottom?
     
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  18. czsmithGT

    czsmithGT

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    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
  19. czsmithGT

    czsmithGT

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    Never. Did I say I wanted to? Did I say Cuba was not a third world country?

    Jesus you can’t even question the accuracy of everything some anonymous person who supposedly spent 4 days there writes without some dumbass piping up with an irrelevant comment.
     
  20. DAKA

    DAKA

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    This "essay" was sent to me by a friend, I don't want to give his name ...he is retired military