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

timo2 12-17-2014 06:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by explanade (Post 1531661)
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.

I believe the plethora of Cuban-Americans in the USA would be the difference maker, once they start re-investing in their homeland.

Meadbh 12-17-2014 07:13 PM

Approximately 800,000 Canadians visit Cuba annually. It is the second favourite sun destination, after Mexico. A quick check reveals that Air Canada flies to six Cuban destinations

http://vacations.aircanada.com/en/va...9E5BC706.cls01

and Westjet to four.

http://www.westjet.com/vacations/en/...rcub&s_cid=wvi

There must be some tourism infrastructure there (including many resorts), though not sufficient to cater for a horde of USians. I have not visited Cuba, so I cannot speak from personal experience. Most Canadians who visit Cuba enjoy the experience, though many complain about the boring food - probably due to trade restrictions. I used to work with someone whose whole family went to Cuba every winter and did volunteer work with the residents of a village they had come to know and love.

It‚€™s about to get a lot more crowded and costly on Cuba‚€™s beaches

pb4uski 12-17-2014 07:13 PM

I welcomed the news that we were normalizing relations with Cuba, but after watching the national news tonight, I'm somewhat surprised that some Cuban-Americans seem so opposed to normalizing relations. I would have thought their reaction would be to welcome normalization and perhaps a chance to influence policy there.

I look forward to vacationing there some day.

KMyer 12-17-2014 08:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pb4uski (Post 1531670)
I welcomed the news that we were normalizing relations with Cuba, but after watching the national news tonight, I'm somewhat surprised that some Cuban-Americans seem so opposed to normalizing relations. I would have thought their reaction would be to welcome normalization and perhaps a chance to influence policy there.

I look forward to vacationing there some day.


I agree. The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing decade after decade after decade and expecting a different result. I also hope to travel to Cuba in the future.


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meierlde 12-17-2014 10:21 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.

I understand that in the past you could also go from the Cayman Islands, go their visit you money and go to Cuba. (Actually Cayman Airlines has overflown Cuba on its Miami run for a long time.) They originally thought of calling the airline Cayman Island Airlines, but decided having the CIA fly over Cuba might not be the best idea.

Asher Aion 12-17-2014 10:37 PM

Visited Cuba 3 times in the last decade. Most recent development is/has been geared to the tourism industry. Straying from this area is much like the DR or other countries in the area where life is more challenging.
Very safe country if you don't act like an ass,

AnIntentionalRoad 12-17-2014 11:05 PM

I'm looking forward to being able to sail my boat to Cuba without wondering if the US will confiscate it upon returning to the US.

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truenorth418 12-17-2014 11:08 PM

I am hopeful that this will lead to good things and I have always wanted to visit Cuba, but I use a human rights filter when planning international travel, so I will take a wait and see approach before booking my ticket.


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Sunset 12-18-2014 12:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Asher Aion (Post 1531706)
Visited Cuba 3 times in the last decade. Most recent development is/has been geared to the tourism industry. Straying from this area is much like the DR or other countries in the area where life is more challenging.
Very safe country if you don't act like an ass,

I visited it about 15 yrs ago, against the advice of family who had gone there 10 yrs earlier. They said I'd be in a resort with fences and not allowed out.

They were wrong !

I stayed at a resort near the South end, it was in a National Park, we walked miles along the road seeing the occasional local, to another resort that catered to the European folks.
It was all very safe, and I don't even speak Spanish.

I took a black market (unofficial) tour via one of the resort workers who was pretty critical of the gov't, so we toured past Mr Bacardi's home (now a preschool). We ate at some local "illegal" restaurant, very cheap for lobster lunch.
The weird part was the lack of traffic on the roads, as the roads have the capacity for much more traffic than exists. I'm talking about seeing in the city of Santiago downtown, and I could see in the multi-lane road 6-10 cars total.

They were inventive with transportation: 1950's cars, flatbed trucks as bus, donkey carts, bikes, all mixed especially near the farmers market.

People were poor, but nobody except 1 gov't guard worker begged for money, I said no to her.

I rarely saw army or police in the week I was there, in fact when I returned to the West I was amazed at how many police we had around.

Funny thing is while at the resort a local offered to take me to see Gitmo, as though seeing American's was novel or something.

I would return again, except for US restrictions not allowing Americans to visit there. The Cuban's welcomed all American tourists.

They had this weird communist thing at the airport, they had a lady hand you a strip off the roll of toilet paper as you went in. Everyone could/had to work even if it was basically useless work.

I often wondered what you would do if you needed a second strip :nonono:

Birdie Num Nums 12-18-2014 01:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pb4uski (Post 1531670)
I welcomed the news that we were normalizing relations with Cuba, but after watching the national news tonight, I'm somewhat surprised that some Cuban-Americans seem so opposed to normalizing relations. I would have thought their reaction would be to welcome normalization and perhaps a chance to influence policy there.

I look forward to vacationing there some day.

I read comments to other web articles about this, and a few by folks who seemed to know a bit about Cuban history said that most of the Cuban-Americans objecting are the older generation whose families owned property in Cuba that was seized without compensation. The younger generation of Cuban-Americans welcomes the news. And, from I saw so far on TV, the Cubans themselves are rejoicing. Your local congressman may disagree.

FLD3C 12-18-2014 01:40 AM

How long before Cuba joins Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama in the retirement destination business?

donheff 12-18-2014 07:36 AM

I envision a Mecca for high school reunions for the late sixty, early 70 set. We can compete in naming fifties vintage cars on the streets of Havana.

Seriously, Havana as a port of call for cruises out of south Florida would be hugely popular.

Buckeye 12-18-2014 07:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Birdie Num Nums (Post 1531732)
I read comments to other web articles about this, and a few by folks who seemed to know a bit about Cuban history said that most of the Cuban-Americans objecting are the older generation whose families owned property in Cuba that was seized without compensation. The younger generation of Cuban-Americans welcomes the news. And, from I saw so far on TV, the Cubans themselves are rejoicing. Your local congressman may disagree.

The folks I've seen on TV saying it's a bad idea all seem to be over 50 and they seem to be reciting the same comments nearly word for word. I guess that's because they've been sitting around together discussing the issue for 30-40 years.

I'm sure none of them own cell phones made in China since one of their arguments for not opening relations in Cuba is Cuba's lack of free elections. :)

kcowan 12-18-2014 08:17 AM

I would love to get into the car import/export business. Ship in a current Chev and take a 50s Chev as a trade-in. Barrett-Jackson here we come.

imoldernu 12-18-2014 09:49 AM

DW's sister and her husband moved to PEI Canada as landed immigrants in 1973 and in 1976 began a bicycle tour and repair business. In 1994, he expanded the business to Cuba, and today, their daughter Kristen and her husband Abel run the business, along with their other daughter Kelly and their son Danny who help in the busy season. The business has expanded to include island wide bicycle tours, motorcycle tours, auto rentals, sailboat charters, skin diving, fly fishing, and tours of Havana and other cities.

This by way of explaining that there is tourism in Cuba... and as several have pointed out here, travel from other countries is not restricted.

The bike tours extend all over the island which in all, is 760 miles long, tip to tip, including smaller islands, and 55 miles wide... about the size of Pennsylvania.

You may enjoy their YouTube video, which follows a bike tour, and gives some insight into what Cuba is like today.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiMKngSB0CU#t=234

There are several other YouTube videos including one for a 2014 motorcycle tour.

Meadbh 12-18-2014 12:51 PM

Very interesting video, imoldernu. I view this as informational, not an advertisement. The low volume of traffic on Cuban roads makes it ideal for "le cyclotourisme" as they call it in France. It's a great way to see how people really live. I suspect that when Americans are allowed to vacation in Cuba (which is not included in the current reforms), increasing bus traffic may detract from the pleasure of bike tours. I'm sure your Canadian niece will adapt her business accordingly.

Payin-the-Toll 12-18-2014 02:27 PM

I have a solution to fix all this 'krap'

Mexico---51st state

Cuba--52nd state

Puerto Rico--53rd state

I mean, come on---we made Alaska a state and it's up by the North Pole. We made Hawaii a state and it's half way to Japan. And Puerto Rico is already a territory of ours--why didn't we ever make it a state?

And if any other Caribbean countries want to jump on the bandwagon, why not?

donheff 12-18-2014 02:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Meadbh (Post 1531913)
Very interesting video, imoldernu. I view this as informational, not an advertisement. The low volume of traffic on Cuban roads makes it ideal for "le cyclotourisme" as they call it in France. It's a great way to see how people really live. I suspect that when Americans are allowed to vacation in Cuba (which is not included in the current reforms), increasing bus traffic may detract from the pleasure of bike tours. I'm sure your Canadian niece will adapt her business accordingly.

Yes, very interesting. DW and I do at least one bike tour every year, often two. We will be interested in Cuba when US tourism opens up.

MichaelB 12-18-2014 02:49 PM

Folks, this is a very interesting topic and easily relevant to us, so let's avoid side issues that are not on topic.

Letj 12-18-2014 04:16 PM

I see Cuba as a very strong contender for many many retirees from Canada and the U.S. It is cheap, stable, best medical system outside of developed economies, highly educated population, one of the safest countries in the world (even while being very poor), a stone's throw from the U.S., and many more advantages. It is definitely on my radar.


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