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  #31 (permalink)  
Old March 13th, 2009, 09:11 PM
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We need to change our policy towards Cuba. I hope it happens soon.

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  #32 (permalink)  
Old April 2nd, 2009, 10:00 AM
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This is the latest on travel to Cuba from Peter Greenbergs website (dated 3/31/09)

US Senate Voting On Cuban Travel Ban
A bill will be introduced into the U.S. Senate today that aims to remove travel restrictions for any American who wishes to travel to Cuba, not just those who have relatives there.

The primary proponents of the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act 2009 are Senators Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota), Christopher Dodd (D-Connecticut) and Richard Lugar (R-Indiana), who said that the 47-year-old travel ban should be lifted because it had failed to achieve its stated aim of bringing democracy to Cuba.

Earlier this month, as part of the omnibus spending bill, the Obama administration passed a law easing travel rules for Cuban-Americans wanting to visit family members on the island, a move some saw as a precursor to a further softening of travel policy.

Many Democratic legislators have been eager to lift the ban for years, but were hampered by their minority status in Congress. The bill was last introduced into Congress two years ago but died in committee. However, now that Democrats hold majorities in both houses, they feel the bill has a greater chance of passing with bipartisan support.

In a draft report issued in February by Lugar’s office, the Senator said that both the travel ban and economic sanctions against Cuba needed to be reconsidered. He noted that sanctions may be effective at pressuring some regimes to change their policies, as in South Africa during the apartheid era, but it was an “abject failure” in Cuba.

Furthermore, some supporters of lifting the ban note that U.S. citizens are able to travel to other Communist countries, including China, Vietnam and even North Korea.

That does not mean that the bill is without detractors. Cuban-American Senator Robert Menendez, (D-New Jersey) staunchly opposes lifting the ban and the embargo, because he believes that the Castro regime uses the resources it earns through free trade and tourism with other countries to become more oppressive.

He noted that people and governments from Europe to Canada to South America have spent billions of dollars visiting and investing in Cuba, but communism persists.

However, many feel that Menendez’s hardline ideological stance is outdated, especially considering that the handover of power to Fidel Castro’s younger brother Raul—who is seen as less doctrinaire and more pragmatic—presents more opportunities for dialogue and change.

The upcoming Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago, which the U.S. and 22 other nations will attend, could be a prime opportunity for America to further redefine its relationship with Cuba.

One question that remains is whether opening the doors to Cuba would actually cause the country to lose its appeal for American travelers, and whether it would change the “unspoiled” character of the country.

Cuba currently has a reputation as a juicy “forbidden fruit” destination because of the travel ban, which may dissipate once the floodgates open. And some fear that creeping commercialization will also make the country less interesting.

Currently there is only one McDonald’s on the island, at the Guantanamo Bay military base. But that is sure to change if cruise ships and resorts start bringing large numbers of Americans to the island—particularly if the trade embargo is also lifted.


By Karen Elowitt for PeterGreenberg.com.
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 01:01 PM
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For those who think Cuba isn't ready for tourism need to have their eyes opened.

Cuba welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors each year from Canada and Europe as well as other parts of the world.

There are is huge tourist infastructure in place. Thousands of hotel rooms. Swim with the dolphin type excursions etc etc. car rentals. In fact, I would say that the facilities for tourists easily rival Jamaica or Dominican Republic.

For a sample of what is offered to an average Canadian tourist, check out Sunquest Vacations, Nolitours, Conquest Vacations, Sunwing Vacations, Air Canada Vacations to only name a few companies who fly to Cuba DAILY. Lots of beautiful hotels, great beaches, no fear of walking around Havana (a very cool city!!), lots of historical sights.

I know this may sound awful - no flames please - but because American tourism is minimal (yes they do go, we have met many Americans there on holiday flying from Canada), there is a nicer feel, less in your face tipping and agressiveness that you get in American dominated tourist destinations.
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 10:24 PM
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When the travel ban for Americans is lifted (only a matter of time ) the cruise ships will pour into Cuba and I would be on one of the first there. I would love to go there and see the country.
Cuba is too large of a country and to near our doorstep to continue to try to ignore.
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Old April 3rd, 2009, 10:14 PM
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I do not agree it is the communist countries goal to destroy the US. That is Mcarthy era propogada!

Having dated a man from Russia we discussed many things good and bad about their governing systems vs ours, at least Communist countries have FREE health care, unlike here where the greedy drug companies, and insurance companies are ripping everyone off, and millions of Americans with no health care!

I agree with Micheal Moore who took sick Americans to Cuba to recive drugs and treatments, and welcomed helping American citizens who could not recieve health care or afford drugs here. See the movie Sicko.

Cuba rates much higher in health care then the U.S! The same drugs we pay hundreds of dollars for are only a few dollars there.

I would like to visit this island, a goverment offical told me the old policy is still in place as a tribute to President Kennedy, but this is outdated thinking. I also plan to visit Vietnam.

I say to each country it's own,I see no need for old thinking that everyone needs to have a Capitolist system.
Our "great" country buys most of it's things from China and 3rd world companies. US companies open in places that have cheap labor and sweat shops, deplorable work conditions. Is this right? No it's Greed plain and simple. Just look at the greed in this country that caused our current economic collapse. No flag waving here, the US could learn much from countries like Canada!

I look forward to visiting Cuba one day, they are our neighbor and we need to extend the Olive branch and stop punishing the Cuban people. Both sides would win.
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Old April 4th, 2009, 10:02 AM
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I heard on the news yesterday that as soon as President Obama gets back from Europe summits he is going to lift the ban on Cuba. Which means American citizens will be able to visit Cuba and we will once again begin to trade with Cuba.
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old April 4th, 2009, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by showcat
I do not agree it is the communist countries goal to destroy the US. That is Mcarthy era propogada!

Having dated a man from Russia we discussed many things good and bad about their governing systems vs ours, at least Communist countries have FREE health care, unlike here where the greedy drug companies, and insurance companies are ripping everyone off, and millions of Americans with no health care!


Health care might be free but the cost of going into the hospital is expensive . Unlike our system you had to bribe (pay) for clean sheets , towels etc . This info is what friends of my dad who lived in the USSR told us. The only people who everthing for free was the higher level members of different porganizations (Gov , KGB etc) . The general population didn't have time or the money to get sick . They spent many hours a day just to get their basics.


I agree with Micheal Moore who took sick Americans to Cuba to recive drugs and treatments, and welcomed helping American citizens who could not recieve health care or afford drugs here. See the movie Sicko.

Cuba rates much higher in health care then the U.S! The same drugs we pay hundreds of dollars for are only a few dollars there.

I would like to visit this island, a goverment offical told me the old policy is still in place as a tribute to President Kennedy, but this is outdated thinking. I also plan to visit Vietnam.

I say to each country it's own,I see no need for old thinking that everyone needs to have a Capitolist system.
Our "great" country buys most of it's things from China and 3rd world companies. US companies open in places that have cheap labor and sweat shops, deplorable work conditions. Is this right? No it's Greed plain and simple. Just look at the greed in this country that caused our current economic collapse. No flag waving here, the US could learn much from countries like Canada!

I look forward to visiting Cuba one day, they are our neighbor and we need to extend the Olive branch and stop punishing the Cuban people. Both sides would win.
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Old April 4th, 2009, 11:50 PM
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If I understood him correctly, he was talking about easing travel restrictions for families who have relatives in Cuba--not a general lifting and throwing the door open for all. He also wants to make it easier for Cuban-Americans to send money back to their families there.
I see no reason for us ( U.S. ) to continue to act as if Cuba didn't exist. If we don't change our attitude toward Cuba, it will definitely come back to bite us in the backside in the next few years. The only reason we have ignored Cuba all these years is the politicians are afraid to offend the Cuban-American voters and possibly cost themselves their fat seats and salaries in congress.

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Old April 8th, 2009, 05:16 AM
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Fidel Castro asks US lawmakers how to improve ties
By WILL WEISSERT, Associated Press Writer Will Weissert, Associated Press Writer
58 mins ago

HAVANA – A "very healthy, very energetic" Fidel Castro asked visiting Congressional Black Caucus members what Cuba could do to help President Barack Obama improve bilateral relations during his first meeting with U.S. officials since falling ill in 2006.

Caucus leader Rep. Barbara Lee, a Democrat from California, said the ailing former Cuban president talked for nearly two hours with her and two other delegation members on Tuesday in a meeting seen as signaling Cuba's willingness to discuss better relations with the United States.

"We believe it is time to open dialogue and discussion with Cuba," Lee told a news conference in Washington upon the caucus members' return. "Cubans do want dialogue. They do want talks. They do want normal relations."

Lee said the group would present its findings to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a fellow Democrat from California, and White House and State Department officials.

California Democratic Rep. Laura Richardson, who also met Fidel with Illinois Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush, said Castro "looked directly into our eyes" and asked how Cuba could help Obama in his efforts to change the course of U.S. foreign policy.

Richardson said she had the impression that 82-year-old Fidel wants to see changes in U.S.-Cuba relations in his lifetime.

Lee said she found Castro "very healthy, very energetic, very clear thinking."

The surprise encounter came a day after the full delegation of six representatives spent more than four hours talking privately with Cuban President Raul Castro, his first encounter with U.S. officials since formally replacing his brother as head of state nearly 14 months ago.

And it comes as Washington discusses whether to warm up long-chilly relations with Cuba. Obama has ordered an assessment of U.S. policy toward the communist nation and some members of Congress are pushing to lift a ban on Americans visiting the island.

Fidel Castro has not been seen in public since undergoing emergency intestinal surgery in July 2006 and it was his first meeting in several years with American officials. Although he gave up his presidential duties after becoming ill, he remains an influential force in Cuba.

In a column posted on a government Web site late Tuesday night, Castro wrote about his meeting with the three U.S. representatives, saying Cuban leaders "weren't aggressors, nor did we threaten the United States."

"Cuba did not have any alternative but to take the initiative," he said in explaining why he sought the lawmakers' advice on what his country could do to help Obama improve bilateral relations.

He did not spell out exactly what they recommended, but applauded "the interest and depth with which they expounded on their points of view and the quality of their simple and profound words."

"The three reflected transparency, pride in their work, their organization and the fight for their country," Castro wrote. "It's evident that they know Obama and have confidence and security in, and sympathy for him."

Among the last U.S. officials to see him face-to-face were state governors visiting the island separately on farm trade missions in 2005: Dave Heineman of Nebraska and Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana.

Lee's group was in Cuba five days on a trip meant to encourage dialogue between the United States and Cuba.

Jeffrey Davidow, the White House adviser for this month's Summit of the Americas, which Obama will attend, says the U.S. president has no plans to lift the 47-year-old trade embargo against Cuba. But he says Obama will soon ease travel and financial restrictions affecting the island as his administration reviews its Cuban policy.

Lee's delegation is sympathetic to Cuba, with most of its members openly praising the country's communist government while decrying U.S. policy.

Before the meeting with Fidel Castro was revealed, Lee said her group's talks with Raul Castro left lawmakers "convinced that President Castro sees normalization of relations and an end to the embargo as a benefit to both countries."

Bills in both houses of the U.S. Congress would effectively bar any president from prohibiting Americans from traveling to Cuba except in extreme cases such as war.

Lee predicted the measures will be approved, but said that will not spell the end of the embargo.

"This would be a wonderful step, allowing American citizens the right to travel to Cuba, but much would follow after that," she said in an interview.

The lawmakers' meeting with Raul Castro touched on few specific issues, especially thorny ones like Cuba's checkered human rights record.

"We did not come to negotiate, we came to associate and cultivate," said Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, another delegation member.

Asked about the lawmakers' trip, U.S. State Department spokesman Robert Wood said members of Congress are free to go where they want and to discuss issues with world leaders.

"And I'm sure that the members of that delegation will be raising some of the concerns that the U.S. government has with Cuba in terms of allowing Cubans to have the same rights and freedoms as (citizens of) other countries in the hemisphere," Wood said.

_______

Associated Press Writer Jim Abrams in Washington contributed to this report
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Old April 8th, 2009, 02:17 PM
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I hear the laws are changing, but probably not soon enough. But what are they going to do, keep you on the ship? has anybody with an american passport actually tried to exit in Cuba from a ship recently? I am curious to know what they do.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 03:10 PM
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I've heard Americans have been going for a long time though it's technically illegal. Cuba won't stamp your passport if you ask them not to. Speinding American money is the illegal part but if you bring Canadian dollars or other foreign currencys it's a way around that too. Most Americans enter via other countries, Mexico, Jamicia had boats to Cuba, and of course Canada. Of course I'd like to go legally.

Cuba needs trade/tourisium to open it, it would do a world of good for the people in Cuba who could really improve their standard of living. I'm holding my breath fingers crossed! Just think of this huge island to be explored so close!
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Old April 8th, 2009, 04:51 PM
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Default Re: Cuba

Quote:
Originally Posted by showcat
I've heard Americans have been going for a long time though it's technically illegal. Cuba won't stamp your passport if you ask them not to. Speinding American money is the illegal part but if you bring Canadian dollars or other foreign currencys it's a way around that too. Most Americans enter via other countries, Mexico, Jamicia had boats to Cuba, and of course Canada. Of course I'd like to go legally.

Cuba needs trade/tourisium to open it, it would do a world of good for the people in Cuba who could really improve their standard of living. I'm holding my breath fingers crossed! Just think of this huge island to be explored so close!
Unless it's changed , the preferred currency was the US Dollar.

I personally think that Cuba was wide open to the America's.

It would turn into a country very similar as any country in

the Caribbean. I'm not against America's but have observed

what America tourist have to other poor countries.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 05:47 PM
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Belive me I know exactly how America is. After visiting Jamicia I became curious about how Jamica got so poor, I did research watch a documentary etc, and found the answers very distrubing with our goverment setting up sweat shops and loaning the Jamican government money from the World Bank (google this) that they can never afford to pay the interest on! I am no flag waving moron here. I see that our country has far to go, that why I voted for Change. But Cuba is interested in this as well, it was Fidel Castro who asked what he can do to improve relations. I also don't like to frequent shops where the cruise lines get kick backs, I'd much rather buy from some local vender, and tour with a local like I did in Mazatlan. I want my dollar to help the little guy not line the pockets of some cruise line executive. For that reason I perfer to tip in person on the cruise with envelops I had the people directly. I don't really trust leaving it up to the ship.
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Old April 9th, 2009, 04:36 AM
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First of all, about Michael Moore, I would not put too much stock in him. Most of the time he is an idiot and generally shunned by other filmmakers(myself included) for his often erroneous controversial stances. As far as how it is likely to be approached by the American government in opening the door to Cuba, knowing how greedy politicians can be, it is most like a complete abolition of the embargo. The American economy cannot afford to reject trade with other countries, including so called threats. Many of the nations on this list, like the other poster stated, are due to McCarthy era thinking and the so called Red Scare. Others are from George W. Bush era thinking, and while somewhat relevant under the Obama administration, it is clear that some of the countries that "Dictator"(meant as a commentary on behavior patterns more than position) Bush had determined to be evil were largely in his own mind, while there are also some that present a clear and present danger to the United States. A wise leader works out things using diplomacy first, and warfare as a last resort. I honestly would like to see Cuba and Iraq both open for tourism, though Iraq is a ways off and I do wonder if there will be anything left of the sites of antiquity by the time things are done with over there. So sad that what little remains of great Mesopotamian civilizations like Babylon, Assyria, Akkad, Sumer, and Ur are being destroyed due to human conflict.
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Old April 9th, 2009, 01:52 PM
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To answer the question about if anyone had tried to get off a cruise ship in Cuba lately....uh, if the ships don't go there (and they don't), it's kind of hard to do!

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Old April 9th, 2009, 11:06 PM
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Maybe we could find a way to send Dave the Wave in first on his SS Minnow of the Seas to basically scout things out, especially the women and beer and get some feedback from him !!
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Old April 10th, 2009, 03:23 AM
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The women you don't need to worry about. Just look at Christina Milian and Eva Mendes. Both of these actresses(and in the case of Christina, singer as well) are of Cuban descent. As far as beer, you should be slapped. It's the Caribbean, you check out the rum first. Besides, the island specialty of Cuba is the mojito, where it is originally from. Don't ask how I know this. Never been to Cuba, but do know my drink history.
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Old April 10th, 2009, 04:31 AM
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I have just found out that ASTA(American Society of Travel Agents), one of the leading travel agent organizations, is already offering a specialist course to travel agents for Cuba. My way of interpreting this is that they are expecting the travel restrictions to Cuba to lift in the near future. Just thought you may be interested to know what is going on in the industry in relation to this subject.
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Old April 10th, 2009, 11:39 AM
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Slapped, over, mentioning Cuban beer??
I have drank most everything , from home brew to Ky. moonshine , rum , mojitos, mai tais, Singapore Slings, mint juleps, Gauvaberry Liquor, Rum Jumbies and about everything else they can concoct at home, in the Caribbean and over the rest of the world. I have a bottle of something sitting on a shelf in front of me which my son recently brought back from China-- I have sampled it but from the way it tasted, I'll probably be a year or so in finishing it off !!
If and when I do get to Cuba, I'll order a local beer but do it on the sly so as to not be slapped, punched, kicked, beaten ,lectured, showered by history lessons on drinks and thrown in one of Castro's jails for daring to order a local beer!
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Old April 10th, 2009, 02:55 PM
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First of all, I don't think they will mind. I am just someone who demands the best. Jamaican beer isn't bad though. I tend to lean more toward hard liquor and mixed drinks myself.
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Old April 10th, 2009, 10:35 PM
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When I was in Cuba ,I tried (a lot) locally brewed beer called Cristal. It was excellant. I believe the brewery is in Holguin and is run by a Canadian beer company. It was actually inported to Canada for a short time.
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Old April 10th, 2009, 10:36 PM
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Cristal, the beer for champagne lovers.....lol.
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Old April 13th, 2009, 06:05 PM
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Latest update from MSNBC:

U.S. to allow travel, money transfers to Cuba
Obama fulfilling campaign pledge to give relatives greater access
Video


Obama opens access to Cuba
April 13: White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announces the lifting of travel and other restrictions against Cuba.
MSNBC

President Barack Obama is allowing Americans to make unlimited trips and money transfers to family in Cuba and easing other restrictions Monday to usher in a new era of openness toward the island nation ruled by communists for 50 years.

Presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs made the formal announcement during his daily briefing with reporters.

Gibbs said Obama is helping bridge the gap among divided Cuban families and fulfilling his campaign promises with the changes.

Story continues below ↓
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It has been known for over a week that he would announce them ahead of his attendance this weekend at a Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago.

A special assistant to the president, Dan Restrepo, also made the announcement in Spanish.

With the changes, Obama aims to lessen Cubans' dependence on the Castro regime, hoping that will lead them to demand progress on political freedoms, the official said. About 1.5 million Americans have relatives on the island nation that turned to communist rule in 1959 when Fidel Castro seized control.

"There are no better ambassadors for freedom than Cuban Americans," Obama said last May in a campaign speech in Miami, the heart of the U.S. Cuban-American community. "It's time to let Cuban Americans see their mothers and fathers, their sisters and brothers. It's time to let Cuban American money make their families less dependent upon the Castro regime."

Other steps taken Monday include expanding the things allowed in gift parcels being sent to Cuba, such as clothes, personal hygiene items, seeds, fishing gear and other personal necessities.

Cell phones, TVs
The administration also will begin issuing licenses to allow telecommunications and other companies to provide cell and television services to people on the island, and to allow family members to pay for relatives on Cuba to get those services, the official said.

Last May, former President George W. Bush announced a new policy that people living in the United States could include cell phones in gift parcels sent to Cubans. At the time, Bush aides said that U.S. residents could pay for the cell service attached to phones they send.

However, though American cell phones with service contracts from the U.S. work on some parts of the island, service is not always reliable and depends on the phones' specifications.

Sending money to senior government officials and Communist Party members remains prohibited under Obama's new policy. Restrictions imposed by the Bush administration had limited Cuban travel by Americans to just two weeks every three years. Visits also were confined to immediate family members.

Francisco Hernandez, head of the exile group the Cuban American National Foundation, was once a staunch supporter of travel restrictions but supported Obama's announcement, saying he hopes it will inspire both sides to reconsider long-held positions.

It will help Cubans become more independent of the state, "not only in economic terms but in terms of information, and contacts with the outside world," said Hernandez, who was imprisoned by the Cuban government for nearly two years after participating in the 1961 failed Bay of Pigs invasion.

Pent-up travel demand
Miami travel agent Tesie Aral said her phone has been ringing nonstop in anticipation of the announcement, with a tenfold increase last Friday alone.

"People were already planning to travel more based on their ability to go every 12 months," said Aral, owner of ABC Charters. "Whether they can travel more frequently than that depends on the economy."

Also in that Miami speech nearly a year ago, Obama promised to depart from what he said had been the path of previous politicians on Cuba policy — "they come down to Miami, they talk tough, they go back to Washington, and nothing changes in Cuba."

"Never, in my lifetime, have the people of Cuba known freedom. Never, in the lives of two generations of Cubans, have the people of Cuba known democracy," he said then. "This is the terrible and tragic status quo that we have known for half a century — of elections that are anything but free or fair; of dissidents locked away in dark prison cells for the crime of speaking the truth. I won't stand for this injustice, you won't stand for this injustice, and together we will stand up for freedom in Cuba."

He also promised to engage in direct diplomacy with Cuba, "without preconditions" but with "careful preparation" and "a clear agenda."

Some lawmakers, backed by business and farm groups seeing new opportunities in Cuba, are advocating wider revisions in the trade and travel bans imposed after Castro came to power in Havana.

But the official said that Obama is keeping the decades-old U.S. trade embargo, arguing that that policy provides leverage to pressure the regime to free all political prisoners as one step toward normalized relations with the U.S.
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Old April 13th, 2009, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manuel
As of now, American citizens are not allowed to go to Cuba, but I hope that the law will change as soon as possible.
TM
Looks like today it has.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip
Carnival said they would be the first cruise line into Cuba,When this day comes....look out
Well it appears to have come. I wrote in Johns blog to see if he can get CCL to revisit the plan.

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Old April 13th, 2009, 09:13 PM
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Phil, Liz,

This is only the first step, as it applies to Cuban Americans and certain industries only. It is still a while before Cuba will be open for all Americans to travel to, though the day is coming. When that day comes, then the travel industry(in particular suppliers like Carnival) will respond full force.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brad813
Phil, Liz,

This is only the first step, as it applies to Cuban Americans and certain industries only. It is still a while before Cuba will be open for all Americans to travel to, though the day is coming. When that day comes, then the travel industry(in particular suppliers like Carnival) will respond full force.
It would seem that is was/is possible for "all americans" to travel already. The Issue was how they got there.

How do we know there aren't Cuban Americans involved in this thread, so it applies.

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Old April 14th, 2009, 11:51 PM
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I am well aware there probably are. I was just clarifying what this new policy allows. I do think between popular demand, the interest by the travel industry in it, the new policy, political support in congress(house and senate), and the state of the economy being what it is, open and free travel and trade to Cuba should happen no later than the end of 2011. The United States cannot restore it's economy without international trade, and the places companies will most quickly trade with are going to be ones with low import tariffs and the ones they have to spend the least money and time shipping between.

In short: Free Trade and Free Travel to and from Cuba Makes Absolute Sense.

If only the political powers in both countries would get off their ass and make it happen. After all, Cuba survives on Tourism, and the United States has more potential tourists than most European countries combined.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 08:28 AM
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Today's (April 15th) article on the Frommer's website:

New Cuba Travel Policy Doesn't Help Tourists


By Sascha Segan
April 14, 2009
Bad news for tourists: President Obama's new Cuba policy doesn't change anything for would-be American tourists to Cuba, unless you're ethnically Cuban-American.

"There's no change. It's for Cuban-Americans," State Department press spokesman Darby Holladay said.

Obama's new policy, announced today, makes it easier for Americans to send items to Cuba and visit family in Cuba. Cuban-Americans will be able to visit family members within three degrees, up to second cousins, as often as they like and as long as they like (as long as their relatives aren't senior government or party officials in Cuba.) They'll also be able to send their Cuban relatives money, and US communications firms will be allowed to set up cell-phone and satellite links with the island.

But unless you're Cuban-American, you're still mostly locked out of traveling to Cuba for now. Only a few groups licensed by the Department of the Treasury are allowed to travel to Cuba for educational or humanitarian reasons. Some Americans go without licenses, but if you're caught on your way home, you can be fined heavily. For a summary of restrictions on travel to Cuba, see our Cuba trip-planning page.

In a CNN poll released this week, 64% of Americans said the US government should allow citizens to travel to Cuba. But travel is still controversial in Congress, with opponents saying that loosening the restrictions should wait until the Cuban government changes a wide range of policies, including releasing political prisoners and holding free elections.

In his blog on our site, Arthur Frommers remarks that Americans violated the travel ban "with impunity" during the Clinton years; enforcement became much stricter during the Bush administration. The Obama administration hasn't made any statements about how vigorously they intend to enforce the ban.

There's a bill called the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act, sitting in the Senate's Committee on Foreign Relations, which would override Presidential restrictions on private travel to Cuba. It has a parallel House bill that's also sitting in committee.

The President could also loosen the restrictions himself, and that may happen in the future -- just not now.

"The Cuba policy is under review and continues to be under review," Holladay said.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
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Maybe we could find a way to send Dave the Wave in first on his SS Minnow of the Seas to basically scout things out, especially the women and beer and get some feedback from him !!
He can tell us if the tequila is dangerous, too!

Phil & Liz
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The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money. Margaret Thatcher

Never take an idiot travelling, you can always pick one up when you get there. Billy Connolly

I Didn't Come here and I ain't Leaving.
Willie Nelson

9/01/2013 Carnival Legend
2/16/2014 BC 7

Bill Murray
20 years ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs. Please don't let Kevin Bacon die.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 11:04 PM
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You realize the primary drink in Cuba is rum, right?
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