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 Posted: Tue Apr 14th, 2009 02:12 pm
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CleburneFan
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Count me as one who does not accept the idea that Cuban Americans can now go vist family in Cuba, send money and so on. Why? Because I want to go to Cuba too. And, furthermore, I question, why I am a second class citizen when it comes to travel rights.

I don't remember any other case in modern history when, if travel was allowed to US citizens at all to a particular country, it wasn't allowed to EVERY US citizen. Why are we allowing only Cuban Americans there?  In essence, they are being granted greater travel freedom than the rest of us have.

I know some drag out the issue of human rights, but these people aren't looking very hard. Just one example: We always had full travel privileges to the Philippines, for example, under the repressive Marcos regime.

There are plenty of places Americans can travel right now that don't even come close to having the human rights we enjoy here. So why do we single out Cuba? Cuba is only ninety miles away from South Florida.

I, for one, feel that fifty years of failed foreign policy in Cuba is quite enough.    Keep doing something the same old way and you will keep on getting the same old result. I am really very upset that we are granting special travel status to Cuban Americans. All American citizens who care to travel to Cuba should be allowed to go forthwith. I really resent that in my own country, one set of people is being given special status that the rest of us cannot enjoy. I feel it is wrong and a bad precident to set.



 Posted: Tue Apr 14th, 2009 03:56 pm
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barrydancer
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Americans could go visit family in Cuba, and send money as well, before the new Obama policy, but there were tighter restrictions.    I'm hoping that the lifting of some of those restrictions represents the beeginning of a reevaluation of our policy towards Cuba.  I agree with you, 50 years of an ineffective embargo is quite enough. 



 Posted: Tue Apr 14th, 2009 06:16 pm
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19bama46
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I agree with you that one set of Americans should not be singled out for special treatment or refusal of equal treatment under the law....unfortunately it happens on a daily basis is virtually all aspects of our lives and I most certainly am NOT speaking of AA here...

I too want to go to Cuba and buy some cigars...even as nice would be to be able to legally buy a cuban cigar wihile visiting any other country... read the law... Americans cannot buy legal products in other countries if it is a Cuban Cigar... of course, EVERYONE I know strictly observes this horseapple...right!



 Posted: Tue Apr 14th, 2009 07:35 pm
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Albert Sailhorst
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I've had a few Cuban cigars......not any different than Hoduran, Dominican, etc....I wouldn't go out of my way for one (nor would I refuse a free one!)



 Posted: Tue Apr 14th, 2009 07:44 pm
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pamc153PA
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I have long said that I would love to go to Cuba BEFORE it becomes commercialized.

Once the myriad of fast food chains and other hallmarks of commercialism take over, it'll become a strip mall 90 miles off Florida. At that point, I'll feel sorry for the Cuban people. Yes, they could certainly use better living and working conditions, but IMHO I don't think McDonalds and Apple stores are the way to do it. It shouldn't stay locked in the '50s forever--but I'd like to see it before it totally changes.

Pam



 Posted: Tue Apr 14th, 2009 11:46 pm
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CleburneFan
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Pam, I agree with you. I want to see Cuba before the Holiday Inns and Sheratons take over the beaches and the fast food chains and Starbucks dot the coastlines and main streets of Cuba. It is so rare to see a place that is truly pristine today.

Did I forget to mention the ubiquitous Caribbean Margaritavilles, Carlos and Charlies and Senor Frog's beer and booze joints all along the coasts and cruise ship ports? They will be there soon enough. Just let willing tourists...not just Cuban Americans...see it before the entrepreneurs take over. 

Oh, by the way, today some influential legislator in Florida tried to get the legislature to slap a $250,000 bond on every travel agency that will now be doing business sending Cubans to Cuba. Cooler heads prevailed and said that was unconstitutional (in Florida) to do that, so he was over ruled.

But speaking of "unconstitutional", isn't it unconstitutional to extend Cuban-American rights to travel that no other American has?



 Posted: Tue Apr 14th, 2009 11:51 pm
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Henry
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Given the trade and military agreements reached between Russia, Cuba and Venezuela last September and November I am not in agreement that now is the time to proffer an Olive branch.



 Posted: Wed Apr 15th, 2009 12:17 am
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CleburneFan
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That might be precisely the BEST time to start opening trade talks. Money talks; so does commerce. and trade. People can't eat bullets. They can't wear tanks and missiles. Commerce and trade is where it is at.

Open communications with cell phones, TV, Internet. Let the Cuban people see for themselves what they have been missing.

Thawing relations with Cuba might be the very best counterbalance to Hugh Chavez there is. Frozen realtions have achieved nothing for the US in fifty years. In fact, I believe it is one of the factors has allowed Chavez to bulldoze his way into Cuba. He wouldn't have had a chance in Cuba if we had been trading openly and freely all these years.  



 Posted: Wed Apr 15th, 2009 12:44 am
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19bama46
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Albert Sailhorst wrote: I've had a few Cuban cigars......not any different than Hoduran, Dominican, etc....I wouldn't go out of my way for one (nor would I refuse a free one!)

There was a time when you were right...communism is not known for improving product offerings... but that has changed. They are producing some very good cigars today as well of course as some real junk...

The real problem is that cuban cigars are the most counterfitted product in the world after US dollars.... I have had a number of Cubans too....I think!!!! Unless you buy them in Havana, you can never be quite sure



 Posted: Wed Apr 15th, 2009 01:17 am
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pamc153PA
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Couldn't have said it better myself, Fan!

And I am disappointed that I, not being a Cuban-American, can't go at the moment. There are many Cuban-Americans who are dying to return to visit relatives, but there are also many of us non-Cuban Americans who would like to visit, too. Why do you think that provision is in there? For what purpose?

Pam



 Posted: Wed Apr 15th, 2009 01:45 am
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CleburneFan
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Pam, I believe the administration is acting very cautiously and I am sure they believe prudently. By allowing only Cuban-Americans to visit Cuba for now, they are taking baby steps toward a more liberalization later. Maybe that is wise. But, still, I don't care for the precedent it sets to give certain Americans travel rights that others don't possess. I see the humanitarian aspect of it to allow family visits and financial support.

In South Florida the Cuban-American voting block is very powerful. Some don't want ANY travel to Cuba by anyone from the US, regardless of national background. I have to confess that allowing just Cuban-Americas to go is a GIANT STEP forward over what has been.

It does show that younger and second-generation Cuban-Americans favor a thawing of relations even while the original Cubans to come here after Castro took over still cling to stricter ideas about US diplomatic and trade relations with Cuba.

That said, I am very impatient to get a chance to see Cuba too. Also, I feel going to Cuba on a cruise ship is an ideal way to visit for now because I undertsand the infrastructure for foreign tourism may not be adequate for the demand. That way you can spend the night on board, but tour during the day. ALso Key West also has a brand new ferry port perfect for running day trips to Cuba.

Last edited on Wed Apr 15th, 2009 01:47 am by CleburneFan



 Posted: Wed Apr 15th, 2009 01:00 pm
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Albert Sailhorst
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Bama,

You're right regarding the cigars!!

IF Cuban cigars are ever allowed in the U.S., I suppose I'd be first in line to try one. I like cigars anyway (have a humidor with close to 100, mainly for a lazy Sunday afternoon or to take to reenactments).



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