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-   -   Cuba (http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f52/cuba-74987.html)

imoldernu 12-17-2014 08:15 AM

Cuba
 
This will be an interesting point in history, and the source of much speculation.

We have a personal interest in the restoration of relations with Cuba, as some of our relatives opened a business there many years ago, at the time, in the belief that once again trade and tourism would be booming. It has taken a while, but reunion appears imminent.

We have followed this possibility with hope and trust that mutual interests would eventually bring physical neighbors together again. Our memories go back to the 40's and the 50's, and through our relatives, feel that little has changed since those days. Their lives, and the lives of most of the Cuban nationals that they live and work with, are apolitical, with all hoping for better relations and better days ahead. :)

MichaelB 12-17-2014 08:19 AM

Relocating to the Politics forum.

calmloki 12-17-2014 08:48 AM

As a kid we took the short hop from Key West over to Cuba in '59? '60? In any case, very shortly after Castro had taken power. I remember Moro castle and a scary tour, lots of posters of bearded uniform wearing gents, great weather, and very friendly people. Folks is folks, and it is a shame that politics gets in the way.

harley 12-17-2014 09:20 AM

Sadly, we can't seem to stop messing with them. U.S. co-opted Cuba's hip hop scene in failed youth uprising - NY Daily News

I agree, it's time to end this.

2B 12-17-2014 09:23 AM

Cuba jumped into the big time during Prohibition. My grandfather worked there as a musician for several years. Even after Prohibition it was a gambling and entertainment hot spot - a tropical Las Vegas before Las Vegas became big time. All of the US assets were seized without compensation which is the basis for our eliminating diplomatic relations. I somehow doubt any form of compensation will be in the deal so why bother.

I wonder if we're running out of countries to give aid to and need to support Cuba. They've been supported by the Soviets and then Venezuela since the 1960s. Venezuela probably won't be supporting them much longer.

timo2 12-17-2014 12:52 PM

I'm ready for a cruise ship to Cuba

Chuckanut 12-17-2014 01:53 PM

Yahoo!!! Back to the glory days of the Copacabana!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2dlXZo348w

FUEGO 12-17-2014 02:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timo2 (Post 1531466)
I'm ready for a cruise ship to Cuba

No kidding. Hopefully they will open up travel restrictions on tourism, too.

Senator 12-17-2014 02:26 PM

Cuba should have always been a destination location, unfortunately the political environment made it a wasteland. In the 50's it was the worlds playground, now it is in poverty. And it would be the same, with or without the Cuba embargo with the USA.

Cuba and the other communist countries that have failed are proof Communism is a complete failure. Once you lower the incentive to work, you get less workers.

Chuckanut 12-17-2014 02:56 PM

How long until they announce the first Starbucks in Cuba?

Throwdownmyaceinthehole 12-17-2014 02:58 PM

Cuba already has a viable tourism infrastructure and typical resorts, just not for Americans. Shouldn't be a biggie to open it up. You can already take a cruise from Jamaica to Cuba and could fly there in the past from Jamaica, they would give out a paper 'entry' form and not stamp your passport. I never did it, but many expats did.

samclem 12-17-2014 03:16 PM

Hoping for the best.
The Cuban regime needs capitalism to keep the people fed, I think they'll try to ride the same tiger the PRC has ridden (economic liberalization while retaining restrictions on political expression).
Maybe an economic opening will lead to more individual freedoms and more political freedom. That's the way it works most of the time: When Mr Everyman can earn a bit and keep it to use to earn more, he becomes less interested in collectivism and more interested in electing people who will just leave him alone and let him prosper.
The loss of the US Bogeyman will be a big blow to the Castro brothers. They'll continue to use that as the excuse for the economic backwardness of Cuba for a few more years, but the days are numbered and Cubans will see the system for what it is. The regime's reaction to that (more repression or a "Cuban Perestroika") will tell the tale.

audreyh1 12-17-2014 03:30 PM

It's not as if we haven't normalized relations with other communist nations a long time ago.....

It's about time, although I was starting to fear it wouldn't happen in my lifetime.

I'd love to go birding in Cuba!

MichaelB 12-17-2014 03:40 PM

Hopefully this is just the beginning of full fledged thaw. There is a lot to gain, and everyone can benefit.

Alan 12-17-2014 03:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Throwdownmyaceinthehole (Post 1531547)
Cuba already has a viable tourism infrastructure and typical resorts, just not for Americans. Shouldn't be a biggie to open it up. You can already take a cruise from Jamaica to Cuba and could fly there in the past from Jamaica, they would give out a paper 'entry' form and not stamp your passport. I never did it, but many expats did.

My wife's sister and BIL went on vacation to Cuba a couple of years ago and loved it. (They are British and the UK doesn't have travel restrictions)

M Paquette 12-17-2014 04:02 PM

Those whacky Cubans. If only they had recognized how well off they were under Fulgencio Batista and his caring administration, with the support of so many upstanding citizens.

Back in 1959, 40% of the sugar lands, almost all cattle ranches, 90% of the mines and mineral concessions, 80% of utilities, and most of the oil business in Cuba was American-owned. With the Cuban Revolution, those folks were mighty annoyed, and made it known to Washington DC. We are just now reaching the point where their descendents have lost enough influence to make normalizing relations possible. Compare with Viet Nam, where we started normalizing international relations in 1991, two decades after the war.

For the curious, there is already a Starbucks in Cuba, at Guantanamo Bay. :-)

Cuba has been moving away from a Soviet-style centrally planned economy (fueled initially by sugar subsidies from the old Soviet Union) towards a market-driven economy.

Capitalism in Cuba? It's closer than the U.S. may think | Making Sen$e | PBS NewsHour

This is a move that is long past due. I suspect it will only accelerate the move towards a market-based economy.

samclem 12-17-2014 04:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by M Paquette (Post 1531599)
Back in 1959, 40% of the sugar lands, almost all cattle ranches, 90% of the mines and mineral concessions, 80% of utilities, and most of the oil business in Cuba was American-owned.

The result of what we now call "Foreign Direct Investment." It's widely thought the present Cuban rulers wants more FDI to rescue their failing economy, which is why they've sought this rapprochement. Investors who rush in (again) to put down their money before authentic, durable rule of law is in place are taking a very big risk.
Raul Castro has urged our president to use his executive authority to unilaterally do away with the economic sanctions that legislation has put into place. Of course this will not happen. Obviously Raul has little understanding of our system and the fact that there are strict limits on the power of our chief executive. Respect for the Constitution and the limits it sets for each branch are one thing that set us apart from many other countries.

M Paquette 12-17-2014 04:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by samclem (Post 1531608)
The result of what we now call "Foreign Direct Investment." It's widely thought the present Cuban rulers wants more FDI to rescue their failing economy, which is why they've sought this rapprochement. Investors who rush in (again) to put down their money before authentic, durable rule of law is in place are taking a very big risk.

I view the normalization of relations with Cuba as providing an eventual vacation option, but definitely not as an investment opportunity. (And yes, the Cuban Investment scams are already running.)

timo2 12-17-2014 05:07 PM

I imagine that many of the Cuban-Americans howling negatively about this will be back over investing in Cuba when it opens up. Just my imagination.

Also I heard on some financial news on the radio that carnival cruise stock was up, presumably related to the Cuba event.

explanade 12-17-2014 05:55 PM

My notion of Cuba before Castro was that it was a playground for rich Americans but life for the natives was impoverished unless they had ties to the Bautista regime.

Would things improve with full normalized relations? They were saying Internet penetration was less than 5% of the population suggesting that once things opened up, the Castro regime would be overthrown.

But of course, we have the example of China, where political unrest is tamped down along with the flow of information.

They also mentioned that there is no tourism infrastructure. But once built up, would Cuba be different from Jamaica, Haiti or even Mexico? There would be resorts built for affluent foreign visitors but the rest of the country would be nothing like those resorts.


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