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  • #91
    Located all of my Cuba holiday pictures.



    More later

    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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    • #92
      ^That was the Hotel Nacional de Cuba (more about it later): https://www.hotelnacionaldecuba.com/

      I think this is the hotel. Hotel Inglaterra

      I was told by our Cuban guide (maybe bias) the hotel we were staying at (Saratoga) was the second nicest hotel in Havana,………but the nicest was the Inglaterra and for our next visit we should stay there.: http://www.hotelinglaterra-cuba.com/


      Trip Advisor doesn't agree with her.

      Little information,....Why we/I had a guide. Our guide told me that she had to be with me at all times during our visit (outside the hotel), but the Thai girlfriend could travel without her. A policy/rule for Americans but not Thai visitors. We/I went out without her on many occasions while there. Rules


      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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      • #93
        Handful of pictures but this time inside and on the grounds of Hotel Nacional de Cuba where tourists are welcome. Nice place but away from the center of activity.








        (more) Later a story about the first picture I posted on the Hotel Nacional de Cuba.

        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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        • #94
          About the picture below.

          Originally posted by S Landreth View Post
          If I remember right it was taken from an apartment owned by a Cuban artist. I forget his name but I think he had a website where you could purchase his art. Some nice art work (sculptures also) but mostly related to the countryside. Not for me.

          While looking around in the apartment I noticed a sculpture that had some tracks of a small bulldozer imbedded in it. I called attention to it and he was so delighted. With the help of our guide he told me how the Russians had sent over some heavy equipment but most of that equipment (including farm equipment) had deteriorated and repair parts were almost impossible to get. Farm and heavy equipment lay dormant in the Cuban fields today.

          I have a feeling the artist is doing well with friends like our guide who would help promote his work.


          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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          • #95
            I’m not a smoker, but some friends are. Where we got them while in Cuba and how we got them back to the states.





            More later.

            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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            • #96
              Lets not hide behind the facts Landreth, you Scum

              Current USA Strategic nuclear warheads: 1750

              Who's first Landreth...Thailand?

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              • #97
                Originally posted by Mr Tinkles View Post
                ….nobody ever reads his posts


                Originally posted by Mr Tinkles View Post
                Landreth,
                Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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                • #98
                  What a f*cking Coward!

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Originally posted by Mr Tinkles View Post
                    ….nobody ever reads his posts


                    Originally posted by Mr Tinkles View Post
                    What
                    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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                    • Found all of whatshername’s Cuban pictures from her samsung

                      More later: https://havana-club.com/en-ww/

                      Last edited by S Landreth; 08-09-2020, 06:07 AM.
                      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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                      • Originally posted by S Landreth View Post
                        I’m not a smoker, but some friends are. Where we got them while in Cuba and how we got them back to the states.
                        Originally posted by S Landreth View Post

                        I forgot. It wasn’t any problem getting Cuban cigars back to the states from Cuba. I think at the time anyone traveling into the states could bring back as many Cuban cigars as they wanted for their use.

                        The problem I had was bringing Cuban cigars I purchased in Hong Kong back to the states. I would remove the bands and would place them in ziplock bags. Whatshername would bring the boxes and bands back in her luggage. Then I would distribute them to friends.

                        I told our guide that I want to purchase some cigars while in Cuba and she took me to a shop that only sold Cuban cigars and rum but I think they were only sold to Cubans. She told me to show her what I wanted and the amount I needed and she would get them for me. Later that evening she brought everything I wanted at a better price than what I would have had to pay at the shop if I was allowed to purchase them.

                        Originally posted by S Landreth View Post
                        Found all of whatshername’s Cuban pictures from her samsung


                        Back on track,………

                        Some of whatshernames pictures.

                        Our Cuban guide was great and knew how far she could push us. She was able to get us a table at El Cocinero (http://www.elcocinerocuba.com/en/) which is one of or was one of the most popular restaurants in Cuba. They refurbished an old cooking oil plant and modified it to a restaurant which was owned by a hand full of artists which the government held the majority of shares.

                        They did a great job refurbishing the building but even a better job with the food. Might be some of the best Cuban (prepared) food I had ever tasted and I grew up in Miami and was able to eat it often.

                        Little more about the food and OUR guests. It was nice. The food offered at this restaurant is something that the average Cuban cannot get. The Cuban government controls the fishing vessels but (some of) these fishing vessels will sell on the black market before they give their catch to the government.

                        Soooooo, the guide requested that she and the driver be allowed to sit with us for dinner. Of course we agreed. It was good company.

                        Some pictures of our meal are below. Besides the building itself the only picture I am sure of is the girlfriend’s mojito.






                        2nd set of pictures later.
                        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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                        • I should be able to post the 2nd set of pictures today.

                          Until then….

                          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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                          • Hope Biden is able to clean the mess IQ45 left behind……..
                            • Cuba opens up its economy to private businesses

                            Cuba has announced it will allow private businesses to operate in most sectors, in what is a major reform to its state-controlled economy.

                            Labour Minister Marta Elena Feito said the list of authorised activities had expanded from 127 to more than 2,000.

                            Only a minority of sectors would be reserved for the state, she said.

                            The communist country's economy has been hit hard by the pandemic and US sanctions introduced by the Trump administration.

                            Last year its economy shrank by 11% - its worst decline in almost three decades - and Cubans have been facing shortages of basic goods.

                            Ms Feito said just 124 economic activities would be exempt from private involvement although she did not mention which ones.

                            "That private work continues to develop, is the objective of this reform," Ms Feito was quoted by AFP as saying. She said the move would "help free the productive forces" of the private sector.

                            Experts on Cuba's tangled and complicated economy say the step essentially opens up almost all economic activity on the island to some form of private enterprise, the BBC's Will Grant in Havana says.

                            This will be a significant shot in the arm for those families and individuals who harbour hopes of moving beyond just the very small businesses into medium-sized ventures, he notes.

                            Apart from hundreds of thousands of small farms, Cuba's non-state sector is composed mainly of small private businesses run by artisans, taxi drivers and tradesmen. Around 600,000 people, around 13% of the workforce, joined the private sector when the opportunity arose.

                            However a large number of private businesses are involved in the island's tourist industry, which has been hard hit by the pandemic and sanctions.

                            Given how slowly reforms tend to move in Cuba, it may still be some time before the change is noticeable in daily economic life, our correspondent says.

                            Cuba placed back on US terrorism sponsor list

                            Some 60 years of hostility between the US and Cuba were eased in 2015 when then US President Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro agreed to normalise relations, allowing US citizens to visit the island and empowering local businesses.

                            But Obama's efforts were rolled back by his successor, President Donald Trump, with the support of hawkish Cuban-Americans who saw Mr Obama's historic opening as an appeasement of Castro's communist regime.

                            New US President Joe Biden - who was Barack Obama's vice-president - has previously signalled that he wants to improve US-Cuban relations but observers say it is not clear how high it might be on his priority list.: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-55967709


                            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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                            • Support Cuba's emerging market economy by ending the embargo

                              Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel recently announced the country’s most sweeping market liberalization in decades. The reforms are desperately needed: Cuba’s already stagnant economy has contracted 11 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. policy makers should encourage further reform by liberalizing America’s trade relations with Cuba.

                              Socialist economic systems are defined by state ownership and control of the major industries, businesses and resources. Cuban socialism is no exception. Until the recently announced reforms, private industry was restricted to only 127 types of businesses.

                              The reforms replace that list with a list of 124 activities prohibited to private enterprise. Not surprisingly, politically sensitive industries such as education and the news media remain prohibited, as do other major sectors like health care and construction-related professions, including engineering and architecture. However, according to the Cuban government, the reforms will allow self-employment and private enterprises in more than 2,000 professions.

                              Cuba has slowly allowed more private enterprise in tourist-related industries for years. Cubans were allowed to rent out rooms in their apartments to visitors starting in 1997. Initially, no more than two rooms could be rented out and entrepreneurs could employ no one outside of their family in the rental business. These restrictions were later eliminated.

                              Similarly, private restaurants were allowed in 1993, but initially were limited to 12 seats and prohibited from serving seafood and beef. In 2011 these restrictions were relaxed and the estimated number of private restaurants in Havana alone grew from 74 to more than 2,000 by 2015. Reforms over the last decade have led to an estimated tripling of private-sector employment, to about 600,000.

                              When I was conducting research for the book “Socialism Sucks: Two Economists Drink Their Way Through the Unfree World,” which I co authored, I slept and ate in both state-owned and privately run Cuban hotels, residences and restaurants. The incentive created by profits to improve quality and service and to invest in capital improvements for the future was evident in the private businesses. Meanwhile, state-run businesses, which do not depend on their customers for their continued existence, were run-down, had poor service and served awful food.

                              However, even though profits motivated restaurant owners to better serve their customers, owners were constrained by the limited supplies they could get from the state-dominated supply chain. As a result, a Cuban sandwich, which is delicious in Miami, is just bland ham and cheese in Havana.

                              The new reforms fall far short of the full liberalization that the Cuban economy needs. So bottlenecks and inefficiencies will limit their ability to achieve the full benefits of private enterprise, much as I experienced in Cuban restaurants. But as more sectors become private, overtime, these inefficiencies will diminish.

                              Cuba’s path to reform may end up like China’s reform path, which Deng Xiaoping began in 1978. China gradually allowed increasing amounts of free enterprise over more than a decade. First, town and village enterprises were allowed and farmers could sell a portion of their crops in markets. Then, according to Bradley M. Gardner’s book, “China’s Great Migration: How the Poor Built a Prosperous Nation,” self-employment and small businesses of up to seven people were allowed in urban areas. Gradually these restrictions were loosened and firms grew. Chinese private industry expanded around an inefficient state sector and eventually overtook it to produce the majority of China’s output. In the process, international trade with the United States and other developed countries grew substantially.

                              The U.S. government should encourage the growth of the private sector in Cuba by repealing its 60-year-old embargo and allowing U.S. businesses to trade with the newly freed Cuban entrepreneurs. That would help spur growth in Cuba’s private sector and might lead to additional reforms. Economists Peter Leeson and Russell Sobel looked at more than 100 countries from 1985 to 2000 and found that economic freedom spreads from free countries to their less-free but geographically close trading partners.

                              The decades old embargo never unseated the Castro regime. Instead, it only gave the Cuban government a scapegoat for the country’s largely homegrown economic troubles. It is time to change course and encourage Cuban economic freedom by ending the embargo and practicing free trade with the small but growing Cuban private sector.: https://thehill.com/opinion/internat...g-the-blockade


                              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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                              • Cuba replaces 2 high-ranking ministers ahead of Communist Party Congress

                                Cuba has replaced two high-ranking ministers in the days before the Communist Party Congress, in which Raúl Castro is expected to retire from politics.

                                Cuban state media reported Thursday that Leopoldo Cintra, 79, minister of the armed forces, would be replaced by Álvaro López, 77. Both men fought alongside Fidel Castro’s rebels during the revolution and later rose through the ranks of the military.

                                The sudden departure came two days after officials announced that Ydael Jesús Pérez, 48, would be replacing Gustavo Rodríguez, 57, as minister of agriculture. Authorities also announced several economic reforms, including one that would allow Cuban ranchers to sell beef after meeting state quotas, something that has not been permitted since the early years of the revolution.

                                The replacements come as Cuba’s ruling party prepares to convene, starting Friday, for a four-day event in which leaders will discuss the island’s economic model and reforms. Castro, 89, who is the party’s first secretary general, a position considered more powerful than president, has previously said he will retire, potentially paving the way for a younger generation of party leaders.

                                The event comes as Cuba is in the throes of its worst economic contraction since the collapse of the Soviet Union and frustration on the island is mounting. Long lines for increasingly scarce supplies of food have once again become commonplace. Some have resumed embarking on perilous journeys across the Florida Straits, hoping to reach the U.S.

                                State media reported that Cintra’s replacement came at the recommendation of Castro and Miguel Díaz-Canel, the island’s president, but released few other detail. López is considered one of Castro’s most devoted acolytes. Though considered part of the “historic” generation of rebel leaders, he is younger than many others in their late 80s and 90s.: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...ss/ar-BB1fH7DP


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