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Old 04-20-2013
canucksailorguy canucksailorguy is offline
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

No one is gaming the system, and no one is hanging from any rope - it's how the program works. You set up an itinerary that meets the requirements, seek approval for it, and then promote and sell it to those interested.
The way this is set up, just 'meeting' people is a part of the cultural exchange portion - and, if you think of it, it makes sense. Meeting fishermen out at anchorage, trading for lobster or fish with them, talking back and forth about what our lives are about - that's a cultural exchange. When 'Joe', in Cayo Levisa, spent an afternoon repairing my outboard, and I got to see the challenges they labour under to accomplish what was not a particularly complex job due to the difficulties Cuba faces from the embargo - that's a cultural exchange. And, fyi, it's neither realistic nor possible to 'schedule' a kid's baseball game or a local's wedding into a tour - for that, you have to meet the people and then wing it. Opportunities like that happen everywhere, including on docks.
You clearly have NO idea what life in Cuba is about, or how very different it is from life in the US, or from your notion of what life in Cuba actually is based on your earlier remarks.
One of the goals of the person to person program is to facilitate understanding of the culture - and culture, ipso facto, comprises every facet of life. For example, I learned a great deal about the difficulties Cuba and Cubans face just watching Joe repair my outboard. That includes the difficulties of repairing an American made item due to the embargo, to the fact that Cuban stores don't sell dog food - because that's how Joe wanted to be paid, in kibble from my pup's stores, for his wife's dog. He also asked if I could bring him a stroller (can't buy them in Cuba) for his soon to be first born child on my next trip (I arranged for a boat I knew going that way some months later to bring him one). I also learned that the things we cast away - half empty tubes of glue, old worn out alternators, elderly and worn tools - all have value in Cuba, and I learned why. All of it was fascinating, and yet it would have been impossible to put any of it on an itinerary, which is why the casual meetings with Cubans can sometimes be the most rewarding, in terms of understanding their culture and society.
I'm making a very strong effort to present this to you so you can see why and how this program is important, and how it can be beneficial to all, Cubans and Americans. Hopefully, I'm making it clear to you.
The sailing part of this charter is meant to attract a particular market, just as the motorcycle trip charter mentioned in another post attracts that crowd, or the museum sponsored charters attract that particular interest group. It's fascinating to indulge in your passion as a way and a means to discover another culture and it leads to discoveries and understandings that are relevant to what is important in your own life.
Because it's Cuba, it cannot possibly be 'just a simple charter', at least, not yet. And even if it were, sailors charter in new places in part to discover what those places are all about. At least I and others I know do - perhaps you're different?
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Cuba - Forbidden Paradise
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Last edited by canucksailorguy; 04-20-2013 at 06:31 PM. Reason: cuz
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