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  #21  
Old 12-15-2010
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Minnewaska will become famous soon enough Minnewaska will become famous soon enough
I swear, if it wasn't forbidden, no American would want to go there any more than any other Caribbean island. What's the fascination?
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  #22  
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JonEisberg will become famous soon enough
Well, it’s one of the most beautiful, mystical places you’ll ever see, for starters… Even in its advanced state of decay, Havana is a wondrous place, a magnificent architectural and cultural example of one of the great colonial outposts of the New World. Even today, it’s easy to see how someone like Hemingway became enchanted with the place, and the sultriness and quality of the light to be found there is just the beginning of what is so special about Cuba…



Ever had the urge to travel back in time? A visit to Cuba is about as close as you’ll get in today’s world, it remains virtually unspoiled by the trappings of modernity you’ll find throughout the rest of the Caribbean… Much of that will change in a heartbeat, of course, once the place becomes open to Americans, and it will quickly be on the road to becoming just like anywhere else Americans currently travel en masse...







Probably just me, but I think it’s always healthy to be reminded how privileged we as Americans are, and what whiny bitches as a nation we have become… (grin) You won’t receive a warmer, more genuine and generous welcome anywhere than from the Cuban people, they fully appreciate the risk an American takes traveling there, and are deeply appreciative of that fact, and the effort we've made to travel there… Despite the grimness of their lives, they are just a wonderful people, very well informed politically, eager to discuss their future prospects with Americans… I found it extremely rare to be treated as just another tourist “mark” in Cuba, as has become so commonplace in the rest of the Caribbean…






Then there’s the colors, and the artwork… Very unique and distinctive, one of my most treasured paintings is from the artists flea market in Havana…



Of course, if you like cars, the whole damn place is a living museum… You'll be blown away by the ingenuity these people display, keeping their fleet running with the limited resources at their disposal...





Finally, there’s the cruising itself… Fairly challenging, and if you want to get away from the hordes of kroozers infesting most of the rest of the Caribbean, this is the place. You’ll likely be on your own in many places, I never saw another boat in the 5 days I spent in Baracoa, for example…



Make no mistake, cruising in Cuba can still be a frustrating experience in many respects, dealing with the bureaucracy gets VERY old, VERY quickly… But still, one of the most fascinating, rewarding, and educational cruising experiences I’ve ever had, I’m really glad I took the chance to go there when I did…
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  #23  
Old 12-15-2010
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Thank you again JON. You truly have a unique way of sharing. Gorgeous photos too! Some of the most beautiful I have ever seen. Part of my screen saver now. You are truly a lucky man JON.

CD, isn't it sad that you and many of us are so intimidated to this degree by our own government. As you say, they are waiting, like vultures to pounce on those attempting to exercise those things that a free society pretends to stand for and defend.

As sailors, those with a free spirit, we seem so easily to accept these affronts to freedom as matter of fact. No man is truly free while tethered by any government restrictions, especially as they relate to travel outside of war time.

We have no restrictions relating to China or Russia. We pick on only those that we can bully. A beautiful island with warm friendly people is certainly no threat to us.

LINK: bootkeyharbor.com - click on Cuba at the top of the page.

Last edited by Leocat66; 12-15-2010 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 12-15-2010
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I'm in south Florida and would like to visit Cuba but it isn't high on my list of places in the Caribbean. I suppose if your a bit salty and been everywhere from Venezuela to Bimini and every point in between then you'd want to go but if you really want to go then I'd say wait a couple years...recent Wiki-leaks posts show that many in the US State Dept. and other governments abroad feel Cuba is about to have a "Glasnost" moment..if you don't know what that is..look it up...

They are under a new ruler these days..as we know...Raul Castro...and he isn't that much younger than the old ruler...whom we all know too well...Wait awhiles more I says..go check out somewhere else cool..and be patient...I ain't been in the Caribbean much..just Florida for the better part of 25 years or so now but the Bahamas or Dominican and Puerto Rico alone would occupy me for years if I ever get to 'em in me boat...workin on it..

Good luck gettin' to old Cuba though..it might be worth it to wait a tad longer though..

.Afterall..we've waited 50 years for Cuba already in a lot of ways... Hell, New England waited almost a hundred for the Red Sox to win again...Go Rays!!

Last edited by souljour2000; 12-15-2010 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 12-16-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leocat66 View Post
Thank you again JON. You truly have a unique way of sharing. Gorgeous photos too! Some of the most beautiful I have ever seen. Part of my screen saver now. You are truly a lucky man JON.

CD, isn't it sad that you and many of us are so intimidated to this degree by our own government. As you say, they are waiting, like vultures to pounce on those attempting to exercise those things that a free society pretends to stand for and defend.

As sailors, those with a free spirit, we seem so easily to accept these affronts to freedom as matter of fact. No man is truly free while tethered by any government restrictions, especially as they relate to travel outside of war time.

We have no restrictions relating to China or Russia. We pick on only those that we can bully. A beautiful island with warm friendly people is certainly no threat to us.

LINK: bootkeyharbor.com - click on Cuba at the top of the page.
Thanks A lot for the link. I have bookmarked it.
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Old 12-16-2010
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Thank you for the pics Jon. They are amazing and only make me want to go there more. I was wondering about coming at the island from the south by way of the Florida straights. Was wondering about your thoughts on the best way to make land there.

Cruising Dad
I understand what your saying and I can respect your point of view here. But as Leocat said and myself being a strict constitutionalist. What right does our Government have telling me not to go anywhere. If you want to put out a tourist warning fine by all means do it.
You say the risk isn't worth it or the costs are to great to do it.
Remember that was what they told the Colonists that fought England for the freedom we supposedly have. I'm tired of the oppression from my Government. A passport to get back to my home country if I take a cruise? Really? We better start waking up in this country before all our rights and freedoms are legislated away because of 17 Saudis and 2 Arabs.

I know there's a fine line between brave and crazy and maybe I am a little nuts. But if I want to travel the world and see things most never see then that is my right and privilege under the constitution and I take full reponsibility for my actions and circumstances when I get there.
Embargo be dammed! It hasn't worked anyway.
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  #27  
Old 12-16-2010
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First,

Jon - Wonderful pictures. Wondreful writeup. Nothing political, just a outsiders view looking in. I really enjoyed the pics and thank you for sharing.

Leocat and W1651 (and any others),

Let me be clear about about my feelings: First, I never said I agreed with our governments decisions on that island. I can see why they did it 40 or 50 whatever years ago. I have watched and read documentary on it. The reality is that it did not and has not worked. Does not do any good to cast an embargo on the island if no one else does, especially your allies. That is true for any country, especially Cuba. But don't forget that the man that is REALLY still in charge there was going to put nuclear missles on that island and damn near started WWIII. In fact, it was probably the closest our world has ever come to a nuclear holocost. He is also nothing short of a tyrant. Being from South Florida and knowing many cubans, his very name brings disgust to most that I have spoken to. They have lost family members that have been imprisoned, pushed around and had all or most possessions taken on a whim, people dissaperaing in the middle of the night. The beauty of the landscape should not shrowd our eyes to the horrors of what has happened there (and still happens today). Let me show you one of my Cuban pictures:



This is only one of the boats that Cubans use and have used to escape the island. They load them up with men, women, and children and escape in the middle of the night hoping that fate plays their way and they make it past the gunboats and very rough waters that seperate our mainland. Many die on this trip. But ask yourself how, even today, a people would risk the lives of their very children/babies and everything they own on a risky chance of making landfall and touching US soil. There were three of these that they still had not dragged off of the Tortugas when I was there only a few months back. I snorkeled off of logerhead and found the pieces of another sunk just south of the lighthouse.

If anyone feels strongly about Cuba and the restrictions of our government, there are ways to deal with that. It involves reaching out to your local leaders and making a political stand to challenge its decisions. Write your congressman, show up on his doorstep, stage a demonstration, run for office. Work within the system to help orchestrate your beliefs. And while you do, remember that the very process by which you challenge your government here might get you shot or imprisoned in Cuba (if you could do it at all). That is the very feedom they lack and certianly one of the reasons they risk life and property and imprisonment to cross a very rough stretch of water and come to our country. And its funny, but I cannot remember the last time an American risked his life, his wife's, his childrens, and everything he owns to try and defect to Cuba. Our country ain't so bad.

My opinions.

Brian
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  #28  
Old 12-16-2010
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When the Feds take a person to court they usually attempt to apply pressure in order to make a deal and secure a plea from the accused. That is apparently what happened when the race organizers were charged relating to the race to Havana a few years ago. Apparently the organizers refused to take a plea and were therefore set to go to trial.

Whenever a case goes to trial there is a chance that the defendant might be found not guilty. That would be quite a negative for the prosecution especially in a case such as that, and would set a precedence, therefore making it nearly impossible to proceed against anyone from that day forward on a similar case. Imagine the consequences to a ruling such as that. They would have to appeal it all the way to the Supreme Court and could loose, allowing all here to travel to Cuba freely without consequence. The FEDS never want that to happen, and therefore dropped the charges, as I understand, leaving the law intact. We need a test case, but probably will never get one..

They intimidate those that they can through scare tactics. This way they can continue to bully us, as most of us cannot afford to hire high priced attorneys.

Remember CD that the only information that we have about Cuba and its threat to us comes from our government. Our government tells lies too. I think for myself and research as best I can to learn the real truth, which typically falls somewhere in the middle. Many a treaty has been made with the American Indian. The US Government has never kept one!

This is certainly quite political, but it does affect all cruisers from the US also.

Last edited by Leocat66; 12-16-2010 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 12-31-2010
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Well noted Brian. And I do understand where you are coming from. But as Leocat has stated it's our own allies not conforming to the embargo that makes it useless.
Not to mention all the cubans in Miami sending whirlpool washers and frigidaire freezers to their relatives via Mexico.
Gloria Esteffan even said when Castro dies she's moving back to Cuba. Ya ! Right!
Look the reason they come in those boats is it's only 90 miles away and all they have to do is touch ground here and they can stay. But that's another thread in another place.
Ya Cuba sucks to live in. I just want to visit and who the Heck is the US Gov to tell me I can't? It's bad enough I need a passport to come off a boat from a cruise.
You wanna talk Government totalitarianism we will have to change forums. The list in this country is long my friend.
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What does a Canadian Passport and American Express have in common ??
I never leave home without them !
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