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Thu Dec 18, 2014, 02:52 PM

10 Parts Of Cuba We Cannot WAIT To See

Cuba is a place unlike any other -- there aren't many places where you'll find old plantations, lush valleys, rich history and literary relics, all with the backdrop of a stunning Caribbean island.

President Obama delivered comments on U.S.-Cuba relations this week, stating the need for diplomatic ties that would usher in a "new chapter" for the two countries.

And naturally, travelers everywhere erupted with wanderlust (Beyonce included, we're sure).

While we're not likely to see any U.S. cruise ships hitting Cuba soon -- tourist travel remains off-limits, though you can visit on a licensed trip -- we can't help but imagine that we'll be visiting Cuba with a whole new level of accessibility in the coming years.

Herewith, 10 places we're etching into our Cuban bucket list.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/article/10-parts-of-cuba-we-cannot-wait-to-see/ar-BBgXA7i

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Reply 10 Parts Of Cuba We Cannot WAIT To See (Original post)
liberal N proud Dec 2014 OP
pissedoffhippie Dec 2014 #1
closeupready Dec 2014 #3
meaculpa2011 Dec 2014 #4
moondust Dec 2014 #5
Warpy Dec 2014 #2
Grey Dec 2014 #6
Warpy Dec 2014 #7

Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Thu Dec 18, 2014, 03:00 PM

1. Cuba overrun by tourism

Do we really want to see Cuba overrun by tourists? Isn't this why there was a revolution in the first place? Next we'll see casinos and prostitution and endless massive hotels a la Miami and Cancun and American companies coming in to buy the land. They'll end up with all the crap that existed before the revolution. I hope the Cubans don't give up on socialism. Cuba needs an industrial base to keep it self sufficient. Depending on tourism is a mistake.

Cuba could invest in something similar to what the Basques in Spain built; the Montregon Industries. (Communally owned industry that puts out appliances.)

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Response to pissedoffhippie (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 18, 2014, 03:07 PM

3. +1000. That was my first thought - kiss Cuba's pristine ecology goodbye.

 

It will be overrun with development, tourism, pollution, and Palin-type cowboys.

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Response to pissedoffhippie (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 18, 2014, 03:14 PM

4. Fagor, the appliance division of Mondragon, is in bankruptcy...

and their banking and retail divisions are teetering on the brink.

Most of the newer employees are not "owners" and they have been accused of exploiting workers and fouling the environment in South America. While they may have been employee owned at one time, they were never employee managed. Being a cooperative enterprise internally has little effect if they are still forced to operate within the capitalist model of compete or die.

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Response to pissedoffhippie (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 18, 2014, 03:40 PM

5. There is a risk

of Cuba being overrun by aggressive, conniving corporatists leveraging it back to the (corrupt) "vacation paradise" it was 60+ years ago, pushing poor Cubans with less-than-perfect teeth out of the public eye and glossy photo shoots into oblivion. That would be a tragedy.

Maybe a good idea for them to stay close to Venezuela and other more egalitarian states in Central and South America.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Thu Dec 18, 2014, 03:05 PM

2. There's a bronze statue of John Lennon on a park bench

in a park in Havana. One of my prized pictures is of an online friend sharing the bench with him.

I know Cuba has been changing, there is a certain amount of private enterprise being allowed, shops opening up and that sort of thing, and that means a lot of repair work that was delayed for decades has been ongoing. Havana is becoming the jewel it once was, only this time the mob is being kept out and ordinary Cubans aren't starving in the shadows.

If travel happens before I kick the bucket, I want to meet some of the guys who kept those 1950s cars running, sand casting new parts for them when they crumped out. Anybody can screw new parts together. Old parts that have rusted solid in salt air and failed, with no replacements on any shelf, anywhere, are a much bigger challenge.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 18, 2014, 03:55 PM

6. Also check out their Capital building, and exact copy of the US congress.

You can walk the halls and visit the offices......
Walk down to the Havana Graveyard, it's beautiful. Office workers sitting and having lunch with great grandpa. The sculpture is amazing. The old fort is worth an afternoon stroll, there was an open air market on the parade grounds....

We are talking about going back for another visit before the island is opened to US tourists although we met a lot of americans while there. Some pretending to be Canadian. The agricultural collage is really interesting, they have greenhouses devoted to different climates. Desert, tropical, temperate, can't remember the last one. It's been 10 years since we were there. An orchid conservancy with hundreds of different orchids on show. All the houseplants we have in our homes - growing wild. Types of trees I have never seen before, An alligator farm, they almost went extinct for boots and purses. Turtle farms, they were being wiped out for dinner.
We went to a cigar factory and were offered samples, in the rum factory we got to sample all the different rums about 9 small tastes, we liked the 12 year old rum best. Rum was about $3 a 26 oz bottle. The show at the Tropacanna was spectacular. A tobacco farm where they farmed with oxen. Wish I could remember the name of the cave we visited. You go down a long flight of stairs and get into boats, you float down river to some amazing sights. Just before an enormous waterfall you dock and have a bar-b-que lunch and chew on raw sugar cane.

I wish I could remember more but we only had 2 weeks just packed with sightseeing, one thing they need badly is someone to start up a cooking school. They have all the ingredients but could use some help putting them together.
One fun thing to do is going into the markets and cafes and chatting with the locals,
One old fellow had a 'dremmel' like tool and did the most remarkable sculptures, we brought several of them home. This was before all the latest changes so I can't comment on them be we loved the island and the people.

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Response to Grey (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 18, 2014, 04:01 PM

7. Tourism will spoil the last unspoiled beaches

as ticky tacky timeshare monstrosities spring up practically overnight like they did in Florida, but I doubt it will have that much impact elsewhere.

As for cuisine, once the USSR fell and their sugar market collapsed, they had to make do with relatively little for a while. A whole generation grew up eating whatever they had, never mind learning how to put it together to make it taste its best. My guess is that once that situation improves with the lifting of the embargo, they'll relearn quickly, especially with the return of some of the Cubans in Florida who preserved the old culinary traditions and passed them on.

I never heard anyone complain about the food in Cuba in the 50s, that's for sure.

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