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post #105 of Old 05-07-2012
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Re: Cuba in my sights

Originally Posted by canucksailorguy View Post
Some specific remarks - Cuba does NOT stamp your passport. Being Canadian, I had to ask them to stamp mine, which they did.
That is the opposite of my experience visiting Cuba. The default was to stamp my passport but gave me the option to decline.

Originally Posted by canucksailorguy View Post
It is VERY rare to have the bite put on you by Cuban gov't officials, although it is starting to happen in Hemingway.
This is also the opposite of my experience, albeit I've never been to Hemmingway, nor entered by boat.
The 'scam' at Cayo Coco was that they held a few suit cases in the back of the airport until the majority of our plane passengers departed. Those suit cases 'accidentally' held back were given an extra slow examination with us at a table. The customs officer asked us what each item in the suitcase was and when he found some Ferrero Roche chocolates, my wife offered him one. He took the whole box, folded up her suitcase and let us go while the other passengers took a LOT longer to be processed. My wife had sincerely just offered him one chocolate as a polite (naive?) Canadian and was shocked that he understood it as a bribe for the whole box... I laughed out loud as I looked on from a distance.

On the whole, I wouldn't expect that is the normal, but I don't think I would call it rare. We found that tips/gifts/bribes/currency were the norm in dealing with anyone in the tourist line of fire.

I'm sure our experiences vary so one broad statement won't cover everyone.
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