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Old 12-17-2014, 05:18 PM   #21
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Well said BandB, however I do remember watching the television during the Cuban missile crisis and as a lad of about 10 I was scared to death. Thankfully my children have no memory of that and almost no knowledge of it. The Cuban people are the ones that have suffered and hopefully will now benefit from normalized relations.
I grew up in NC in the 70's so had very little awareness of Cuban issues. We did some remodeling before we moved into our house here and there was one person doing carpentry and woodwork who was an absolute master. Turns out he was one of the many boat people. He and two other guys left together. It was an amazing story to hear first hand rather than just read. We have tendencies to say, "I can imagine what that was like" when in reality we can't imagine it. I can't imagine sneaking away on a little skiff with a small outboard. My tenders are more seaworthy. And no charts or anything, just aim and go. There are a lot of families in South Florida now trying to get parents there. Father deceased, mother can no longer take care of herself, need to bring her here situations.
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Old 12-17-2014, 05:18 PM   #22
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Thank god this wasn't posted in OTDE, there would have been a very different discussion.

FWIW, I agree that the original reasons for the sanctions are now long gone and it is time to normalise relations.The US trades with, China , Vietnam and other communist governments, so why not Cuba, you never know it may facilitate change within the country.

It would be interesting to see how the large Cuban population in Florida responds to normalising relations.
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Old 12-17-2014, 06:54 PM   #23
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Curious if the human rights situation has improved in Cuba. Was under the impression that part of the reason we hadn't normalized relations was do to their horrible treatment of some of their citizens. Has that improved recently?

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Old 12-17-2014, 07:14 PM   #24
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It would be interesting to see how the large Cuban population in Florida responds to normalising relations.
The reaction is mixed as expected. The majority are in favor of normalizing but there is part of the exile community that remains very hard line. Republicans upset, Democrats happy. One moderate comment reflected on how difficult this had to be for the exile community but added that they imagined even more difficult for the Cuban government. In Cuba it's seen by some as the government giving in.

The majority see it as time to happen but then there are some for whom it is just a very personal topic.

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Curious if the human rights situation has improved in Cuba. Was under the impression that part of the reason we hadn't normalized relations was do to their horrible treatment of some of their citizens. Has that improved recently?

Ted
I think that relates to dissenters perhaps and while their tolerance is still low I'm not aware of widespread problems, at least when compared to other trading partners.
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Old 12-17-2014, 08:02 PM   #25
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I have mixed feelings about this subject. I stand to make some money if the embargo is lifted. On the other hand I've seen the rafts that the people of Cuba use to try to escape their island paradise. I don't want to visit a country where the citizens are literally dying to leave. I have too many Cuban friends for this to be an easy choice.
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Old 12-17-2014, 08:52 PM   #26
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You have to keep in mind many of the early refugees had lands and other possesions confiscated or family members brought to the "paredon" & firing squad for not being in favor of the castro regime.
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Old 12-17-2014, 08:58 PM   #27
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In time, but nothing announced today that would allow for tourist visits.

From USA Today:

According to the White House, authorized travelers can get general licenses if they are traveling for the following reasons: "(1) family visits; (2) official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations; (3) journalistic activity; (4) professional research and professional meetings; (5) educational activities; (6) religious activities; (7) public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions; (8) support for the Cuban people; (9) humanitarian projects; (10) activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes; (11) exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials; and (12) certain export transactions that may be considered for authorization under existing regulations and guidelines."

Note: It says nothing about Americans who want to take a beach vacation.
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Old 12-17-2014, 09:17 PM   #28
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I smoked a lot of Cuban cigars my brother brought back from either Spain or Venezuela and I only found one I liked. I prefer Dominican with a Connecticut wrapper. With a Scotch, single malt of course.

Dominican with Maduro wrapper. Dancing Stag single malt. Distilled 24 Aug 1994. 96 of 201 bottles. I'm very happy in my work. My Cuban friends are very much apposed to this proposal by Obama for obvious reasons.
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Old 12-17-2014, 09:50 PM   #29
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Greetings,
One has to remember that the embargo was started 50 years ago and as mentioned, time to move on. This will be an economic, political and emotional change in relations and as long as cool heads prevail it could well be a win/win situation. Several former "enemy" nations are now our trading partners and in some cases our allies. I suspect we DO live in interesting times.
Oops to slow in typing..."Beach vacations" could come under heading #8) Support for the Cuban people ($$ into the local economy). Somebody will figure a way around issues to do with vacationing American tourists. Heck I know several of my friends who have flown to Canada and from there to Cuba and had a great time. No problems what-so-ever.
Mr. Tonto. OK, I'm slow but why would your Cuban friends be opposed to better relations with the US?
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Old 12-17-2014, 11:23 PM   #30
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As I understand it, a few changes can be made by the executive branch, such as establishing an embassy, etc. But major changes in the embargo would require a change of law through the legislature. So probably no changes in our travel restrictions. Doubtful anything will move through Congress any time soon...
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Old 12-18-2014, 02:38 AM   #31
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What's funny is this news comes on a day when North Korea news is particularly Cold-War-ish. Imagine a day a few Kim-Jongs from now, when it will be said that Pyongyang just got tired of their own crapola and decided to join the human race. It's a tragedy that we are several million starved, tortured, and murdered corpses away from that day.

Pining for The Velvet Revolution news we heard on our TVs 25 years ago...
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Old 12-18-2014, 08:13 AM   #32
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You have to keep in mind many of the early refugees had lands and other possesions confiscated or family members brought to the "paredon" & firing squad for not being in favor of the castro regime.
Confiscation of land and property is going to be a big issue. Quite a bit of these lands were owned by American citizens or corporations. Many of the individual owners have died off but their families still harbor the claims. Other properties were owned by Cuban families that escaped the the US and they also are now US citizens. They also will want their claims resolved and compensation. Returning the lands to the previous owners is out of the question in most cases and the Cuban government does not have the financial resources to resolve the claims. If relations were normalized, these claims could be brought in the US courts or other international courts. There is also the thorny issue of valuing the properties involved as there has been quite a bit of inflation since the 1950s. IMHO, the US government can not waive the claims of American citizens for the purposes of normalizing relations without providing compensation.

It will be an interesting political and legal drama to see how these claims get resolved.
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Old 12-18-2014, 08:50 AM   #33
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Well I've gone there 3 times and can't wait for the the fourth trip. While the place has changed a lot over the years, it's still like stepping back in time in many ways. And the cruising will be fantastic if rustic at first.

Once you go you realise what a sham the embargo has been. And if you take the time to read up on the history of it, you soon see how it has been perpetuated by Castro, the hard line old school Miami Cubans and both parties of the U.S. government. With the only result of keeping the average Cuban in one or another level of what we would consider poverty.

Castro would have been gone soon after the embargo was lifted. And he knew that. So he did what ever necessary to keep it in place.

It's sad and pathetic that it's taken this long for even these small steps toward normalization to take place.
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Old 12-18-2014, 09:01 AM   #34
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Well I've gone there 3 times and can't wait for the the fourth trip. While the place has changed a lot over the years, it's still like stepping back in time in many ways. And the cruising will be fantastic if rustic at first.

Once you go you realise what a sham the embargo has been. And if you take the time to read up on the history of it, you soon see how it has been perpetuated by Castro, the hard line old school Miami Cubans and both parties of the U.S. government. With the only result of keeping the average Cuban in one or another level of what we would consider poverty.

Castro would have been gone soon after the embargo was lifted. And he knew that. So he did what ever necessary to keep it in place.

It's sad and pathetic that it's taken this long for even these small steps toward normalization to take place.
Almost to a T my thoughts growing up in st pete tampa bay in the 60s 70s this was a very touchy subject

Cuban friends wanted no negotiations wanted it in place and I felt and still feel

Oh never mind was about to get on a touchy political subject what waas I thinking

lets make another Cuba run
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Old 12-18-2014, 09:14 AM   #35
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Well I've gone there 3 times and can't wait for the the fourth trip. While the place has changed a lot over the years, it's still like stepping back in time in many ways. And the cruising will be fantastic if rustic at first.

How did you go? Special visa or documentation? Sail in/sail out? American?
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Old 12-18-2014, 09:33 AM   #36
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Capthead,

Care to share the brand of the: Dominican with a Connecticut wrapper?
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Old 12-18-2014, 09:42 AM   #37
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Here's a link for a "free" 534 page cruising guide for Cuba.

Also, if you Google "Waypoints Krogen in Cuba", you'll get a link for a KK48 and a CA couple who cruised Cuba recently.

Cuba Cruising Guide
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Old 12-18-2014, 10:11 AM   #38
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In practical terms, the lifting of the trade embargo will definitely benefit South Florida businesses.
Except that the trade embargo has not been lifted. Doing that will require an act of Congress, and they haven't exactly been giving Obama everything he wants these days.

At this point this is mostly just a symbolic gesture. We will have an embassy there and they will have one here. If you have close family in Cuba you will be able to send them a little more money each year. If you want to travel to Cuba you still have to fit into one of the approved categories, and you still have to document that fact, but you don't have to actually receive a license from the State Department before going. That's it. That's the sum total of the changes.

The economic embargo is still in place. You still cannot travel there as a tourist. It is still illegal to import Cuban goods. All just as it has been.

Still, as symbolic gestures go, I think this is a good one, and an important first step. Long over-due, but better late than never. As far as when we might expect to see some real, meaningful changes coming out of Congress... I'd be willing to bet the answer is, not before the 2016 elections.
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Old 12-18-2014, 10:30 AM   #39
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I thought I saw educational seminars on the allowed list of approved travel purposes. I'm going to start an educational seminar on teaching families, young or old, traditional or otherwise, how to travel appropriately to and from Cuba. Of course the setting will be a beach front cabana or moorage facility.
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Old 12-18-2014, 11:46 AM   #40
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let's hope the mafia is kept out of the country this time.
Along with McDonalds, Water parks, Disney, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Motel 6, Wendy's et al.
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