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Old Posted May 14, 2018, 2:56 AM
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hkskyline's 2018 in Varadero, Cuba

Varadero was built to attract foreign tourists with a 20km-long stretch of beaches and all-inclusive resorts. Winters are warm and sunny but not too hot, which are perfect for Canadians and Europeans escaping from much worse climate.

While many tourists remain inside the confines of their all-inclusive resort, the city does have a few attractions worth looking. These sights are connected to the resorts by the tourist bus, which costs only 5 CUC for a day pass.



Mansion Xanadu was once the Dupont family's residence. Built in 1930, Dupont was an American millionaire who decided to retire in Cuba, but eventually fled after the revolution.















Plenty of restored old cars on the street to give you a gimpse of a long gone era. Cuba is a great place for antique car fans.







The waterfront is not so visible, tucked behind the bushes. Why come here when the resorts have their own exclusive beaches?









The Museo Municipal once was a lovely wooden beachhouse dating from the 1920s, but it has been abandoned and looks badly damaged.



















Locals are enterprising amidst the tide of foreign tourists. At the bus terminus, you can grab a pina colada and enjoy the hour-long ride to the other end.



Regardless of shortages reported elsewhere, there are plenty of cigars and booze for tourists to buy.





More photos on my website : http://www.globalphotos.org/varadero.htm
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  #2  
Old Posted May 14, 2018, 6:25 PM
mrnyc mrnyc is offline
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
[size=3]Varadero was built to attract foreign tourists with a 20km-long stretch of beaches and all-inclusive resorts. Winters are warm and sunny but not too hot, which are perfect for Canadians and Europeans escaping from much worse climate.

While many tourists remain inside the confines of their all-inclusive resort, the city does have a few attractions worth looking.
yeah perfect. right. remaining in the confines of resorts of a fascist regime, admiring stolen cars and giving money to habaguanex the cuban tourist agency, which notoriously goes straight into the castro clan's pockets.

not that i think people should not visit cuba, far from it, but better to go, speak a little espanol and try to stay at a pensione, at least then you are handing money directly to the people. it's not too hard to arrange.

nice pics tho.
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Old Posted May 14, 2018, 6:45 PM
pj3000 pj3000 is offline
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Nice pics. Last visited Varadero a few years ago. Thanks for the interior shots of the Dupot place... never went when I was there.
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Old Posted May 14, 2018, 6:45 PM
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yeah perfect. right. remaining in the confines of resorts of a fascist regime, admiring stolen cars and giving money to habaguanex the cuban tourist agency, which notoriously goes straight into the castro clan's pockets.

not that i think people should not visit cuba, far from it, but better to go, speak a little espanol and try to stay at a pensione, at least then you are handing money directly to the people. it's not too hard to arrange.

nice pics tho.
Yeah, I've stayed at both a resort and a casa particular (B&B type private residence)... and the stay at the casa particular was far more enjoyable, and with MUCH better food. Sure, it was nothing fancy, but it was clean and the hosts were gracious. And it obviously felt a lot better to be helping small family businesses, rather than throwing cash to an oppressive regime. Plus, the public beaches adjacent to the town in Varadero are superior to the resort beaches anyway... it's not even close.
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Old Posted May 15, 2018, 3:12 AM
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Nice pictures. I have looked into visiting Cuba from the US. It seems a little tough with a reason to go and all, but I think documenting historic buildings may be a nice way around that (and truthful too). But I definitely do not want to help the Communist regime, so I am interested in hearing what you and others have to say about travel in Cuba. How can I support private businesses and "the people"? Are there lists of places? How do you know if a place is government-owned? What is life in general like for people opposed to the government?

Also, thanks for the pictures of the DuPont mansion. Do you remember which DuPont member it was? Being from Delaware, I see all the DuPont mansions around me.
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Old Posted May 17, 2018, 9:56 AM
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Nice pictures. I have looked into visiting Cuba from the US. It seems a little tough with a reason to go and all, but I think documenting historic buildings may be a nice way around that (and truthful too). But I definitely do not want to help the Communist regime, so I am interested in hearing what you and others have to say about travel in Cuba. How can I support private businesses and "the people"? Are there lists of places? How do you know if a place is government-owned? What is life in general like for people opposed to the government?

Also, thanks for the pictures of the DuPont mansion. Do you remember which DuPont member it was? Being from Delaware, I see all the DuPont mansions around me.
They seemed quite a happy bunch of people. They don't have to worry about working a few jobs to pay for a roof over their heads, and the government provides services for them like health care. I don't see beggars on the streets - the government probably takes care of people enough so they won't exist anyway. The streets are very safe. People don't get that rich, but they are saved from being dirt poor, so everyone gets by at minimum.

You can book a casa / Air BnB with a homeowner directly instead of living in the resorts. I didn't see that many restaurants or shops outside the tourist areas. I'm not even sure private enterprise even exists beyond the stuff we frequent.

http://www.varaderogolfclub.com/en/xanadu.asp

The owner of this exclusive estate was French American millionaire Irenee Dupont de Nemours, born on 21 December 1876, who eventually had 8 children, 35 grandchildren and 5 great-grand children. Irenee was the Dupont of that generation who took the greatest interest in developing the company founded by his great grandfather Eleuthere Dupont in Delaware in 1802.
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Old Posted May 17, 2018, 10:30 AM
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Nice ones mate!
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Old Posted May 17, 2018, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by mrnyc View Post
yeah perfect. right. remaining in the confines of resorts of a fascist regime, admiring stolen cars and giving money to habaguanex the cuban tourist agency, which notoriously goes straight into the castro clan's pockets.

not that i think people should not visit cuba, far from it, but better to go, speak a little espanol and try to stay at a pensione, at least then you are handing money directly to the people. it's not too hard to arrange.

nice pics tho.
honestly it's sad how much people like you are brainwashed by US propaghanda. cuba has a higher life expectancy than the US, wonder how so many people can live so long under such awful conditions.
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Old Posted May 17, 2018, 11:24 PM
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"has more democratic elections than the US and a far healthier population"

sOmEoNe StOp ThIs BrUtAl ReGiMe
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Old Posted May 18, 2018, 11:13 AM
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^ honestly i dont know how you get by with such poor reading comprehension. kneejerk projecting what you want to hear i suppose. i didnt say anything about life expectancy or awful conditions.
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Old Posted May 18, 2018, 5:33 PM
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yeah perfect. right. remaining in the confines of resorts of a fascist regime, admiring stolen cars and giving money to habaguanex the cuban tourist agency, which notoriously goes straight into the castro clan's pockets.
I'm a tad confused how a communist could be a fascist. Please explain. Also, please site reputable proof that tourist dollars go to the Castro family.
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Old Posted May 18, 2018, 7:21 PM
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They seemed quite a happy bunch of people. They don't have to worry about working a few jobs to pay for a roof over their heads, and the government provides services for them like health care. I don't see beggars on the streets - the government probably takes care of people enough so they won't exist anyway. The streets are very safe. People don't get that rich, but they are saved from being dirt poor, so everyone gets by at minimum.
I have family in Cuba who I have visited 16 times between 1988 and 2016. They live in Havana and in Camaguey (Ciego de Avila). I've been to every part of the country.

Daily life for the Cuban people is not what you might perceive it to be as an American or European tourist.

Anyone who thinks that the Cuban people are a "happy bunch" is simply unaware of the oppression that has broken a society down over the past 60 years, and the collective pain that exists. Daily life is a constant struggle, with no real reward for that struggle.

It's true that no one will be without a roof over their head and no one is going to starve to death. The very basics for survival will be provided. But that doesn't mean...

... that the concrete apartment building that you're living in couldn't collapse at any moment because it has been structurally unsound since 1995.

... that doesn't mean that your electricity will be shut off for a month and a half without any indication or reason. Or your water will be shut off every day at certain intervals for hours for unexplained reasons.

... that doesn't mean that you haven't eaten fresh fruits or vegetables that aren't rotten in years because even though you live on a tropical island covered with state-run farms, produce is prioritized for the resorts, then to other Caribbean nations, and then to its own Cuban cities... so by the time the entire completely inefficient process delivers produce to the store where you can get your ration of fruits and vegetables, they're rotten to the point that Americans or Europeans would deem them inedible. That is if the ration store even has anything on its shelves. Do you realize that the Cuban people have to carry around something called "la libreta" (a rations booklet) to the state-run store to get the meager allotment of monthly supplies (in amounts that no one can actually live on)?

... that doesn't mean you'll get to eat meat if you want to. How about that? On a recent trip to Havana, my cousin was hoping to pick up some meat from the store on her way home from work to make for dinner. Not chicken or pork or by some miracle, beef... just hoping that the ration store might have some meat available. None of them did of course (they hadn't for weeks).

... that doesn't mean that the health care provided by the government will be available when needed or effective. The healthcare system in Cuba is terrible. For all that is touted about Cuba's healthcare system, the only thing good about it is that it is free. That's it. It is terrible. Having hospitals for the ruling class and tourists and separate hospitals for normal Cuban citizens should tell you all you need to know about the Cuban healthcare system. It is terrible.


There are no beggars on the streets because beggars are thrown in jail and not released. Crime is low because it is an authoritarian regime. You could very well disappear if you commit even a minor offense.

And almost everyone is "dirt poor". Everyone is far from "getting by" as you suggest. They are surviving... that's pretty much it.

It's one of the most fucked up places in so many ways. How would you like to live in a country where just about everything is broken and somehow never gets fixed correctly even though the government has people perpetually "working on it"? Where your capital city is literally crumbling to the ground in many places? How would you like to work hard to obtain a graduate degree and work for the equivalent of $24 US dollars per month, while you could make 20x that per month by painting nails, waiting tables, or dancing in the streets for tourists?

And one other little thing about the "deal" that the Cuban people get for that "free" room and board they receive... they can't leave!

And they can't even say anything publicly about it either.

Ever think about that? Cuba, for the Cuban people, is basically an island prison.

Last edited by pj3000; May 18, 2018 at 8:36 PM.
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Old Posted May 18, 2018, 7:58 PM
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Also, please site reputable proof that tourist dollars go to the Castro family.
Reputable proof? Seriously?

How about 60 years of ZERO economic prosperity for the Cuban people? Where do you think the tourism revenue is going? Infrastructure? Education? Economic development programs? Maybe do a little bit of your own research instead of asking someone to hand feed you the information.

Do you understand that ALL of the main hotels and resorts in Cuba are majority state owned? And that the Cuban military manages them through state-affiliated "companies"? And do you understand who controls the state and military? Connect the dots.
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Old Posted May 19, 2018, 1:25 AM
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What about that new Sheraton, or a couple of them, going up in Havana? Are those JV hotels with a majority local government partner?

Rather than turning this thread into politics, I do appreciate the friendly smiles the locals give to tourists despite the many difficulties they face in their daily lives. I could easily replace Cuba with a large American city in the blurb above. Those people face just as difficult lives. Just that they're not power blackouts or perpetual construction, but nevertheless difficult. Everyone faces their own set of issues. The sad part is, for the latter, voting doesn't often materialize in change.
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Old Posted May 19, 2018, 4:22 AM
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What about that new Sheraton, or a couple of them, going up in Havana? Are those JV hotels with a majority local government partner?

Rather than turning this thread into politics, I do appreciate the friendly smiles the locals give to tourists despite the many difficulties they face in their daily lives. I could easily replace Cuba with a large American city in the blurb above. Those people face just as difficult lives. Just that they're not power blackouts or perpetual construction, but nevertheless difficult. Everyone faces their own set of issues. The sad part is, for the latter, voting doesn't often materialize in change.
The difference is that you don't see any poor people from Miami setting sail in cars-turned-into-boats for a better life in Cuba. Here, and in most other countries around the world, you have the freedom to pursue better endeavors and move upward in society.

It's good that the Cuban government has cracked open the door ever so slightly to allow for private enterprise. I would love to see a lot more freedom for the Cuban people. They are a good group of people who have put up with a lot, and they deserve much more than they have. That is why I am interested in going down there, and helping them directly as much as possible.

I'm looking forward to more pictures in the meantime! And, if anyone can assist me with my original questions about how to support private enterprises in Cuba, should I get the chance to go down there, that would be great!
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Old Posted May 21, 2018, 3:49 PM
pj3000 pj3000 is offline
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What about that new Sheraton, or a couple of them, going up in Havana? Are those JV hotels with a majority local government partner?
I'm not sure of all the arrangements with those. Though I know a couple years ago that Starwood became the first US company to operate a hotel in Cuba since the embargo. Who knows what the details of that are though... especially with the restrictions that occurred since Trump took office.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Rather than turning this thread into politics, I do appreciate the friendly smiles the locals give to tourists despite the many difficulties they face in their daily lives. I could easily replace Cuba with a large American city in the blurb above. Those people face just as difficult lives. Just that they're not power blackouts or perpetual construction, but nevertheless difficult. Everyone faces their own set of issues. The sad part is, for the latter, voting doesn't often materialize in change.
FYI, you simply cannot talk about Cuba and not have it involve politics.

As far as being able to "easily replace Cuba with a large American city in the blurb above. Those people face just as difficult lives."...

That's total bullshit... and choosing to be completely ignorant of reality.
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Old Posted May 21, 2018, 5:22 PM
mrnyc mrnyc is offline
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I'm a tad confused how a communist could be a fascist. Please explain. Also, please site reputable proof that tourist dollars go to the Castro family.

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Originally Posted by Jaborandi View Post
I'm a tad confused how a communist could be a fascist. Please explain. Also, please site reputable proof that tourist dollars go to the Castro family.
yes you are certainly confused if you think communism is or was run by anything but dictatorships and that in cuba's case that someone who was in power for 50yrs and handed it to his brother was anything but a dictator. maybe look at it this way too, did you happen to notice canada and your uncle sam's states below have not had leaders in power that long? i think it's pretty self evident as to why, don't you?

and sorry guy, but you are certainly beyond confused, more like deluded, if you think everything is on the up and up when you naively and blithely visit cuba as a tourist:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKBN1962VK

now its my turn to ask you something, next time please do at least five minutes of research on your own before you choose to run off to nice weather and support something with your tourist dollars. at least be thoughtful instead of turning a blind eye and having no clue.
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