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Obama Wants To Open Up New Era With Cuba  
User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2429 times:

It's taken 50 years, but the shift in U.S. policy towards Cuba has finally begun, and it's long overdue. Obama wants the U.S. and Cuba to start the process of reconciliation.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/04/17/obama.latinamerica/index.html

This won't happen overnight. Probably not before Obama's first term is up, but it's about time Cuba and the U.S ended this standoff, which should have ended long ago.

24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently onlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8958 posts, RR: 40
Reply 1, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2414 times:

About time indeed, but we'll see how committed he is to this. So far, we've seen little. We've seen a carrot, of the "carrot and stick" policy Cuba has complained about before.

We need bolder moves on the part of the US.



"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2403 times:



Quoting PPVRA (Reply 1):
So far, we've seen little.

Uh, he's been in office 3 months, and there are other pressing matters at hand, as well.  Yeah sure But this is more than the last 5 administrations have done towards rapproachment with Cuba combined.


User currently offlineArmitageShanks From UK - England, joined Dec 2003, 3621 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2372 times:

I'm not an Obama fan but I agree with this in some ways. Maintaining an archaic policy of hostility doesn't accomplish anything.

I'm a firm believer in the idea that once money flows and free enterprise makes its way into a country it can overcome almost anything. Once everyone gets a taste of democracy, wealth, and opportunity we will see a lot of change.


User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8003 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2353 times:

However, getting Cuba "up to speed" to accommodate the potential huge crush of American tourists is going to take some time, though. Besides upgrading Jose Marti Airport in Havana (HAV), they also have to build a LOT of new hotels and a ground transportation infrastructure for this purpose.

User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25149 posts, RR: 85
Reply 5, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2352 times:
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Quoting PPVRA (Reply 1):
About time indeed, but we'll see how committed he is to this. So far, we've seen little. We've seen a carrot, of the "carrot and stick" policy Cuba has complained about before.

As Chairman Mao said - the longest journey starts with a single step.

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineTugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5521 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2337 times:



Quoting Falcon84 (Thread starter):
This won't happen overnight. Probably not before Obama's first term is up, but it's about time Cuba and the U.S ended this standoff, which should have ended long ago.

I suspect that something major will occur in 2012.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 1):
We need bolder moves on the part of the US.

Uhh, this isn't a one way street. Even though many seem to think the USA is the big bad bully here , the relationship is based how wach country interacts with the other. This is a dance and so the first steps are good ones: the USA has done one thing (small) and Cuba has followed with positive (but small) statements welcoming the step and expressing openness to what may come. Right now the important thing is for neither side to say or do belligerent things that might force the other to react in a way that is not conducive to continuing this path, this dance.

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 4):
However, getting Cuba "up to speed" to accommodate the potential huge crush of American tourists is going to take some time, though.

I always cringe when I see this, the big change is not going to be increased tourists from the USA, the big change will be the free movement of cash into (and out of) Cuba from the rest of the "Western world". This cash has been choked off by the policies of the USA and so very little has entered the Cuban society. The big fear will be a "Russia Effect" of a bunch of money suddenly moving into a society and system that is not well prepared for it, throwing everything the Cuban's know and count on out of sync and leading to great problems for the country.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13080 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2290 times:

But why now? I suspect one reason as much as any - OIL - off their shores, that the USA wants to get it's companies into drilling for it (for their profits) and needing slightly less from the Middle East.

Clearly one of the most critical elements for change by Cuba would be the end of imprisonment of political protesters. Over the time since Raul Castro took power, the numbers of them have declined sharply. Cuba wants several persons that we have that spied in Cuba and I believe one who committed acts of terrorism involving an aircraft in violation of their laws. We could send back 100's of criminals that have entered the USA over the years (especially in the late 1970's 'Mariel Boatlift') and the USA get back a nuber of wanted fugutives. By the way, Cuba doesn't have the death penalty. Still the relationship between the USA and Cuba will be a troubled one as they were from 1899 - about 1925 a territory of the USA and we controled their economy and politics, supporting horrible dictators that led to the Fidel Castro led Communist revolution there.

We do business with far worse countries and leaders - like Saudi Arabia and the PRC as to human rights. It is about time we faced reality for both sides and end this stalemate. If we start to make changes in the relationship, it will give them the cover to change too. Hopefully both sides will win with the changes.


User currently offlinePhotopilot From Canada, joined Jul 2002, 2731 posts, RR: 18
Reply 8, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2273 times:



Quoting RayChuang (Reply 4):
However, getting Cuba "up to speed" to accommodate the potential huge crush of American tourists is going to take some time, though. Besides upgrading Jose Marti Airport in Havana (HAV), they also have to build a LOT of new hotels and a ground transportation infrastructure for this purpose.

I'm LMAO over this statement. Just for curiosity, why do you think Cuba needs to "come up to speed" just to satisfy Americans? Are you really saying that Cuba needs to be "Americanized" with KFC, McD's and other fast-food joints so Joe Plumber will feel at home? Millions of Canadians and Europeans etc., already enjoy the fact that Cuba is still relatively clean of American "cultural" (sic) influences. I'm much more at home enjoying a local Cuban cafe, bistro, restaurant or boutique hotel than a plasticized North American version.

And as to Havana's Jose Marti airport. Well LOL, maybe if the Americans start to play nice with Cuba, you'll be allowed to use the very modern and comfortable Terminal 3 facilities at HAV, and we'll let you out of the old T2 terminal reserved exclusively for American OFAC licensed flights.

Here's a couple of images that I've taken at T3 so you can see what you Americans have been missing, but that all other International travellers do enjoy....... the outside and one from the main departure floor inside. Doesn't look like it needs much "upgrading" to me. Oh, and us Canucks built T3 in co-operation with the Cubans in one of many joint ventures that Cuba shares with the rest of the world.



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Stephen Liard
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Stephen Liard



User currently offlineCwapilot From United States of America, joined May 2000, 1166 posts, RR: 17
Reply 9, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 2242 times:



Quoting Photopilot (Reply 8):
m LMAO over this statement. Just for curiosity, why do you think Cuba needs to "come up to speed" just to satisfy Americans? Are you really saying that Cuba needs to be "Americanized" with KFC, McD's and other fast-food joints so Joe Plumber will feel at home? Millions of Canadians and Europeans etc.,

Easy there, big guy! Who said anything about "Americanizing" Cuba and building KFC and McDonald's? And MILLIONS....really? The actual tourist numbers are closer to just under a couple million per year. By comparison, the State of Hawaii has more than three times that number on an annual basis.

Cuba has recognized since the late 80s and early 90s that tourism is going to be a major factor in getting much needed foreign capital and investment into the country...it has already brought in billions with the relatively tiny numbers of Europeans and Canadians coming through each year. If/when travel is opened up to Americans, there is the potential to blow current numbers right out of the water. So, rather than pleasing Americans by making McDonald's available, I believe the OP was suggesting that, for Cuba to realize its full tourism potential, capacity will have to be increased dramatically.

I understand...you don't "need" Americans. I have also picked up your theme of enjoying the absence of Americans as a draw to Cuba on various individual websites by Cubans promoting their own tourism businesses. A few even use the "avoid the Yankee hoardes" punchline. However, the fact is, Cuba can, at minimum, easily double their tourism traffic if/when tourism is reopened. Insulting a potential goldmine of customers (that's what these tourists will be) with a bunch of old cliche, bigotry and ignorance is not going to do you any favors. Why would you not want to bring the infrastructure up to speed with potential demand? And why wouldn't you want to aim to "please" or attract a huge market right at your doorstep? I LOL as you do at the whole concept...if these Europeans and Canadians really wanted to be free of this evil American influence, they could easily vote with their wallets and put all of these terrible companies out of business in their countries...the fact is, aside from a few nutjobs rioting and breaking some storefront windows, they don't. Aside from that, believe it or not, when planning to travel outside the country, Americans are seeking to experience something different, not a mini-Cleveland set up near a beach. Contrast this to a place like, again, Hawaii, in which Japanese tourists have an entire separate little world set up for themselves. What you are spewing is the same brand of ignorance and bigotry Americans are accused of out of hand.

Welcoming Americans (and Americans welcoming Cubans) is going to do much more to benefit Cuba as a whole and understanding and relations between people of the two nations than an attitude of "allowing" them out of an outdated terminal in order to teach them a lesson about how much better a world without them and their filthy culture is. What the OP is saying is, aside from attitudes like yours, millions of Americans would probably also enjoy the same local bistros and hotels that you do. They'd probably also enjoy meeting and interacting with the locals and visitors from other places. If Cuba would like to tap in to that market, there will have to be some upgrades in capacity, not culture or quality.



Southside Irish...our two teams are the White Sox and whoever plays the Cubs!
User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2214 times:



Quoting Cwapilot (Reply 9):
t a mini-Cleveland set up near a beach.

Hey! I take exception to that remark!


User currently offlinePhotopilot From Canada, joined Jul 2002, 2731 posts, RR: 18
Reply 11, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2204 times:

cwapilot, just so you know. I'm a born 'n bred Canadian with European ancestry from many, many generations ago. My attachment to Cuba is thru some very good friends, both present day Cubanos and also immigrated Cuban-Canadians plus living in Cuba for at least a month each year. And no, NOT at one of the ubiquitous All-Inclusive beach resorts. I actually live independently and within the Cuban community as an Independent traveller.

Sadly, I've many times experiences the American attitude of "we are the best, everything and everybody else is 2nd rate" and "nobody does it as good as America". I've experienced this in the USA, across South America and also in Europe. When I hear Americans in Cuba openly saying.... "When we come back, we'll whip this country into shape", well thanks, but no thanks. That's not what Cuba needs. You tried that once with the Monroe Doctrine and look what that led to.

If the future of Cuba is wall-to-wall gated condo communities along it's beaches, miles of environment destroying golf-courses, and private estate villas for the wealthy, well that IMHO is not what Cuba needs. Nor does Cuba need to go back to being America's playground with casinos and other mob run enterprises under a puppet Americanized gov't. That was tried under Batista and didn't turn out too well either.

Quoting Cwapilot (Reply 9):
Americans are seeking to experience something different, not a mini-Cleveland set up near a beach.

I guess you haven't seen the influence tourism has had on Cancun and places similar?

Quoting Cwapilot (Reply 9):
Contrast this to a place like, again, Hawaii, in which Japanese tourists have an entire separate little world set up for themselves.

So, at least you clearly see that damage that can be done by unrestrained capital influx into an environment. The local culture and way of life is secluded, controlled and dominated till it fades away. What Japan couldn't do in '41 they are now doing because Hawaii is for sale to the highest bidder. Give it another 100 years and they will outright own Hawaii then all that is left is the political transfer of gov't. I wouldn't want to see that happen to Cuba.

Quoting Cwapilot (Reply 9):
........millions of Americans would probably also enjoy the same local bistros and hotels that you do. They'd probably also enjoy meeting and interacting with the locals and visitors from other places.

Having spent over a dozen years in Cuba, including travelling with American scuba-diving groups (entering illegally thru Cancun), I can say if those that I have met are (generalized comment) a representative sampling of what Cuba can expect, then I dread the lifting of your travel ban. That's not hatred on my part, nor ignorance or bigotry towards Americans. It's from years of empirical experiences with American travellers both inside and outside Cuba. I will say that not all are that way, but there is a high enough percentage to make it a sad future for Cuba IMHO.

Luckily, no matter what the USA does, where and how many US visitors will be allowed into Cuba and economic development will remain a Cuban controlled amount. While there's no doubt that American tourism would/will be an economic gain to Cuba, it's the social cost that must also be weighed to see if the cost/benefit is worth it.


User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 2196 times:

What important for Cuba, photopilot? Raising the standard of living for all Cubans, or keeping your idea of "utopia" that you obviiously feel Cuba is. If you really want the best for Cuba, then, because of geography, both in terms of where it sits in the world-in a warm, tropical climate, and in terms of sitting 90 miles from the United States, it is only logical that, eventually, Cuba and the U.S. WILL become mutually attractive to each other. Again, geography dicates that future, once relations are normalized.

And while there are some Americans who act like you say, the majority are just like everyone else around the world-they work hard to support their families, want the best for their children, and, if they have the means, to enjoy a well-earned vacation when the time comes. And, whether you like it or not, or whether don't like Americans or not, the Americans WILL be coming to Cuba. Cuba knows this, even if you don't.

Again, location along says that when normalization has occured, then Americans WILL be heading to Cuba in droves, bringing their hard-earned dollars, to spend in Cuba, which, in the end, will only help Cuba become a more wealthy nation. I certainly will check Cuba out if I can get the chance. One of my best friends at work left Cuba in 1961, and he says it'll be worth the trip.

So let go of your loathing of us Yankee hoardes, and realize the future, for Cuba, means more prosperity because of it's location, both as a tropical island, and as a close geographical neighbor to the United States.

We ARE coming, in a matter of years. And it will be good for both Cubans and Americans. It's too bad you hold such a loathing for us. I feel bad for you.


User currently offlineCwapilot From United States of America, joined May 2000, 1166 posts, RR: 17
Reply 13, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 2191 times:

I could pull several quotes and go through one by one, but the only one really needing highlight is "IMHO". Your preference is for Cuba to stay isolated from the world economy and what it might bring. You generalize your distaste for certain people to all Americans, and base a large portion of your argument on that. It runs both ways...it's ignorance and bigotry whether an American does it or you do it. Nobody is looking to set up a puppet regime or to re-establish the mafia. Nobody is chomping at the bit to return and administer a good dose of Monroe Doctrine. Even your Hawaii references are dated...the Japanese had already owned Hawaii, and have been in the process of trying to sell it back for some time. Most of the Europeans and Canadians I have met on trips or at college in the US have taken every opportunity to lecture on how much better & wise their ways are than American ways...isn't that the same attitude you claim to despise, yet here you do it yourself?! I guess I should attribute that level of arrogance to all of you based on my "empirical evidence."

You are correct...it will be a Cuban decision, and not one for those foreigners such as yourself who wish to maintain a quaint little relic to visit 1 month out of the year. It doesn't have to become Cancun or Waikiki if they don't want it to. But, if they want it to, it's not your business. What is clear is that the new leadership would like to see economic improvement, and sees tourism with those rotten Americans involved being a key element. They want to open up, and are welcoming overtures to do just that with more enthusiasm than I thought possible.



Southside Irish...our two teams are the White Sox and whoever plays the Cubs!
User currently offlineInbound From Trinidad and Tobago, joined Sep 2001, 851 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 2173 times:

I haven't had a chance to read in detail all the posts above, but I think most people are not aware of the fact that better relations between Cuba and USA doesn't benefit those two parties only, but all of the region.

Cuba was banned from the Organization of American States (OAS), and even though little trade is done between Caribbean and Latin countries with Cuba, lifting the trade embargo will actually help us more in this region.

Free flow of money is needed. Trading with Cuba within the region will be a lot easier if dealings are passed thru the US.

Cuba can help the caribbean with agriculture, and even medical care.

I wish I had more details and time to explain what I really want to, but in a nutshell, lifting restrictions on Cuba will not just ease relations with the US, but all of us here in the Caribbean, South and Central America.



Maintain own separation with terrain!
User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 2103 times:

Rapproachment between the U.S. and Cuba will help the entire hemisphere. It will marginalize nutjobs like Chavez (and I think he knows that); it will lead to more money coming into Cuba, simply by opening up the richest consumer market in the world to it; it will allow U.S. tourists to discover that island, for the first time in a half century.

It's a win-win for both nations, and the entire hemisphere.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14003 posts, RR: 62
Reply 16, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2068 times:



Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 12):
Again, location along says that when normalization has occured, then Americans WILL be heading to Cuba in droves, bringing their hard-earned dollars, to spend in Cuba, which, in the end, will only help Cuba become a more wealthy nation. I certainly will check Cuba out if I can get the chance. One of my best friends at work left Cuba in 1961, and he says it'll be worth the trip.

So let go of your loathing of us Yankee hoardes, and realize the future, for Cuba, means more prosperity because of it's location, both as a tropical island, and as a close geographical neighbor to the United States.

Depends on which kind of tourists. Remember Eastern Europe's experiences with the hordes of binge drinking weekend or daytrip tourists from the UK, who only go e.g. to Prague because beer and hookers are cheap and who cause all kinds of trouble (puking and fighting in the streets, having sex in public etc.), while spending very little. The same can be said about the German crowd, which descends to the Spanish island of Mallorca every year. All they want is a huge, unlimited party at low prices, with sunlight overhead.
When they opened, the Eastern European countries hoped for educated, long time tourists,who would stay for several weeks and genuinely appreciate the country and culture and who are willing to spend a bit.

Jan


User currently offlineTsaord From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1976 times:

That is all well and good. But will the Castro live up to their end of the bargain. This, and I hope its not, can not be a one sided contract. Castro will have to change lots of things as well.

In any event I would like to be able to travel to Cuba in my life time from U.S soil without some special need.


User currently offlineMAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 32736 posts, RR: 72
Reply 18, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1972 times:



Quoting Photopilot (Reply 8):
Here's a couple of images that I've taken at T3 so you can see what you Americans have been missing,

Americans aren't missing anything. Thousands upon thousands of Americans fly to Cuba every week via Mexico, Canada and the Cayman Islands. It is extremely easy to do and rarely does anybody get caught.

Though it sure will be nice when it can be done legally.



a.
User currently offlineTugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5521 posts, RR: 8
Reply 19, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1965 times:



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 16):
All they want is a huge, unlimited party at low prices, with sunlight overhead.

That already exists as the annual rite of partyage during college called Spring Break! And oh yes, they will SWARM Cuba if and when it becomes available. I wonder how many used condoms are currently found on the beach in Cuba.....

Quoting Tsaord (Reply 17):
That is all well and good. But will the Castro live up to their end of the bargain. This, and I hope its not, can not be a one sided contract. Castro will have to change lots of things as well.

Well in truth, it is a one sided contract, the USA has an embargo against Cuba, not vice versa (for the most part. Yes Cuba has controls in place on its people for travel to the USA). We can drop it whenever we want with no adverse affect to us.

On whether Cuba will change, in the end I don't think there is any choice for Cuba. In many ways the embargo has protected and insulated Castro and Cuba. We will have to see what happens but ultimately they are a sovereign nation and will live as they see fit.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently onlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8958 posts, RR: 40
Reply 20, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 1945 times:

Quoting Tugger (Reply 6):
Uhh, this isn't a one way street. Even though many seem to think the USA is the big bad bully here , the relationship is based how wach country interacts with the other. This is a dance and so the first steps are good ones: the USA has done one thing (small) and Cuba has followed with positive (but small) statements welcoming the step and expressing openness to what may come. Right now the important thing is for neither side to say or do belligerent things that might force the other to react in a way that is not conducive to continuing this path, this dance.

Cuba already said it wants normalized relations. They have come the whole way, without asking anything in special except for the US to butt off of their internal affairs. Obama is continuing this tradition, and he made it clear on his speech.

[Edited 2009-04-20 21:45:04]


"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlineFXramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7263 posts, RR: 85
Reply 21, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 1939 times:
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Posted on last week.

http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...ums/non_aviation/read.main/2067987


User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8003 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1874 times:

I still take my stand that Cuba has to be opened up at a relatively slow pace until the infrastructure is in place to handle that potential gigantic crush of American tourists.

I should know, given the experience in China when they resumed large-scale diplomatic and trade relations from 1979 on (I visited China several times during the 1980's). There was a major flurry of airport building activity, and the airports in China were either substantially upgraded or were supplanted by even bigger, more modern airports (Shanghai and Guangzhou got new airports).

I wouldn't be surprised after normal diplomatic relations between the USA and Cuba resumes we start hearing plans for a much bigger airport to replace Jose Marti Airport (HAV).


User currently offlineTugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5521 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1872 times:

I wonder how this will affect the immigration issue. Certainly "wet feet/dry feet" will go the way of the Dodo bird. Will Cuban's be able to freely leave and vacation or visit family in the USA? What about asylum claims, I assume that as is with China this will not be an issue.

What are Cuba's current restrictions (or not) on emigration and immigration?

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16861 posts, RR: 51
Reply 24, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1863 times:

I hope President Obama does indeed open up ties between the US and Cuba, that will hopefully open up to extradition many fugitives hiding in the Island nation including Joanne Chesimard (aka Assata Shakur). Joanne Chesimard killed a New Jersey State Trooper on the Turnpike in 1973 and was convicted and sentenced to prison, however in 1977 she was sprung in a jailbreak by armed accomplices.

She's been living openly in Cuba ever since, hopefully we can get her back behind bars here in New Jersey.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/200...j_may_renew_effort_to_extradi.html



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