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Sun, sand and socialism

What the tourist industry reveals about Cuba

The revolutionary economy is neither efficient nor fun

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Larslarson in reply to Juan uslar

I doubt Obama had any hope the cuban dictature would change. At least, he did not press for any democraric change, nor released of political prisoners. His point was just self promotion, wich he achieved.

Juan uslar

For us Venezuelans this is unfortunately all too familiar...this is how real socialism looks like... The Brookings Institution has it wrong by supposing this (Cuba) regime capable of self-redress: when everything else (like living off Russians or Venezuelans) fails... a "special period" ensues...By the same token the Obama administration made a great mistake by granting them economic leeway (by turning unwittingly their nationals into the next financial supporters of the Castros), in the vane hope that an influx of money and tourists would promote political change... The Cuban regime has done what it has always done: fleece the people, be it Cuban or foreign.

Polar Resident

The Castros and their ilk cared not a fig for the Cuban people and the people need to rise up and throw off their poverty for the people regime, such as the Venezuelans are beginning too. If Castro Junior and the Party really cared about the people they would allow a free vote and opposition parties-then Cuba can really change and I bet 75 % of the non brainwashed people want that too.


Sun ,sea and sex (payed). Cuba is back to its old self, pre castro. Even the gangsers are there, just that they wear olive garb nowadays. A rather a good deal for not too regarding tourists.

Polar Resident in reply to Langosta

We Canadians go to Cuba because it is cheap ! Florida and the upscale Caribbean is the preferred spot, but is pricey in US dollars. Getting out of Winnipeg in a January of -30 C to Cuba means being ignorant of Castro , penny pinching and caring not a hoot about " ambiance".

Dear guest-ajnasoien, thanks for share your comments with us.

I insist in a draw.

Please note:

1- DR has Meregue, Bachata, Perico Ripiao. In Cuba there was Caito, Laito and Rogelio’s Sonora Matancera with his unforgettable singers: Bienvenido Granda, Celio Ganzález (the best for me), Celia Cruz, Daniel Santos (Boricua), Yayo el Indio (Boricua), Alberto Beltran (dominican), Nelson Pinedo (colombian), Leo Marini (argentinean), Toña La Negra (mexican), Víctor Piñero (venezuelan) and many more all very good ones; DR has the seconds best: Juan Luis Guerra meregue and bachata singer and Eduardo Brito a lyric singer (by the way: in Europe Mr. Brito presented himself as a cuban artist!)

2- Trujillo started his government in 1930 and was killed in 1961, then Joaquín Balaguer, Trujillo efficient supporter, continued as a little dictator in a very violence government until 1978, with a short period out of power between 1963 and 1965. Castros started in 1959 until today.

3- DR has his golden Olympic athletes: Feliz Sánchez (athletics), Lugelín Santos (athletics), Feliz Díaz (boxing), Pedro Nolasco (boxing) and Yulis Mercedes (taekwondo). DR has the best baseball player in the Caribean as: Juan Marichal (Coopers town Hall), Pedro Martínez (Coopers town hall), Alou brothers, Sammy Sosa, Albert Pujols, Robinson Canó, David Ortiz The Big Papi and so on.

4- DR has high level writers too, as Cuba has: Pedro Mir a poet and professor Juan Bosh a story teller and politician.

And finally: Las Aguilas bay beach in DR south is the most beautiful scenery that I have seen in my life, fortunately it is out of tourist industry now and it wins over any cuban beach.

less famous? well...of course...
Cuba has Son : Salsa's direct progenitor,
Mambo ie. Damaso Perez Prado's ''Mambo number 5!''
Chachachá ie. Nat King Cole's ''el Bodeguero'' ,
Guaracha: fusioned into Salsa, see Gran Combo de PR
Rumba, Guaguanco ie. Yoruba Andabo, Muñequitos Matanza (Grammy nominees and Latin Grammy winners)
Bolero: See Luis Miguel about it...
Trova: Silvio Rdguez, Pablo Milanés etc.
Castro is the XXth century (much to my dismay), Trujillo is not.
Only chess world champion of hispanic america: Jose Raul Capablanca
3 times Olympic heavyweight boxing champion: Teofilo Stevenson, 4 times Olympic heavyweight boxing champion Felix Savon
High jump record in place: Javier Sotomayor
Carlos Finlay, discoverer of the yellow fever transmitter
3 Cervantes Literature Prize winner... and Cuba's beaches are way better than those of DR...

Andino en el Caribe

"But Cuba still earns less than half as many tourist dollars as the Dominican Republic, a similar-sized but less famous tropical neighbour"
Less famous? I am not sure.
At least equally famous: Both have the same colony history in spaniard time; In cuba Fidel Castro, in DR Rafael Leonidas Trujillo; beauty beaches in Atlantic ocean and Caribean sea; only one party: Comunist in Cuba, PLD en DR; Cuba and DR had been invaded and taken many times in XX century by USA; the two countries pushed out the Gringos: Cuba 1959 and DR 1965; Cuba has Son, DR has Merengue and Bachata. And the most important for my experience there: cubans and dominicans live with big problems but happy.

Sydney57 in reply to Mike Hoy

Guys, you just cannot accept that Cuba is an independent state, not your province. From their point of view, one of the purposes of their revolution was to stop you from "thumbing" your noses at them. Cuban commies are also not happy that you maintain an expansionist and dominating capitalist state just 90 miles away from them.

The key is that Cuba and the US each is an independent state!

The embargo achieved nothing, except unnecessary suffering of Cubans. It is illegal, counter-productive, and immoral as a form of collective punishment.


Prayer seems the best hope for solving the problem. If you have more practical ideas, let's hear them!