[Sun 19 May, 11:36]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
this branch - (12 replies)

is way too politicized. Every time I come here for Cuban travel info, half the posts are anti-communist or anti-Castro propaganda thinly disguised as travel related questions.

There is a branch for discussing politics, you know?


[Sun 19 May, 11:40]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
1. not just anti-Castro

to be fair, there is political propaganda coming from both sides. The point is that this is supposed to be a branch about travelling, not about politics.


[Sun 19 May, 13:20]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
2. Too bad you didnt see it last year!

This branch is NO LONGER "politicized" - it certainly WAS, before registration, with a full-fledged anticuban campaign on many hot topics. TT moderators saw the Cuba branch as especially problematic, and they did an excellent job fixing it!

Some of the mis-/disinformative posts involved 'phony issues' like these, usually alleging a conspiracy/coverup, by the Cuban Govt:

1) shark attacks on tourists
2) crimewave against tourists
3) "independent library" spam (US govt-funded project setting up illegal political fronts, for Miami anticuban groups)
4) disappearing or murdered tourists
5) sustained personal attacks - including impersonation - on regular posters here
6) other 'bad'/misleading/alarmist posts (i.e. "there's no internet in Cuba"), to potentially disrupt/ruin anyone's vacation

Some of these trolls were laughable, others were more manipulative and destructive. The goal, clearly, was to scare-monger ignorant travelers and attack Cuba's Tourist Industry. Many 'anti-Castro posts thinly disguised as travel related questions' were very cleverly written: someone either had an awful lot of free-time or they were funded by the US govt and Miami anticuban groups - hey, millions of US taxpayer dollars are spent each year to attack Cuba, online. No surprise if it popped up here!

The trolls/spam has almost entirely disappeared from TT: I guess you needed to see it then, to know it now. FYI, there never was any comparable pro-castro/communist campaign either, just a brief "viva la revolution!" outburst, here and there.

I dont suppose you are complaining about ANY political issues, relevant to travelers, raised on other branches too? Oh well, if you dont like it, dont read it. So many of the All-Inclusive questions (on Lonely Planet???!) bore me; I ignore them, but they may be useful to others.

The full-exclusion or self-censorship of politically-related matters WITHIN THE TRAVEL DOMAIN makes no sense, anyway. Carter travels to Cuba. Carter discusses the POLITICAL Travel Embargo. So do we. That's a travel issue too, btw.

The deeper, hidden history of the Embargo - the COVERT anticuban US effort - is only now coming to light, in recently declassified documents. Is exposing that murky history not informative? You have to know the BACKGROUND on CIA fronts, USAID, and quasi-terrorist groups to begin to understand the dangers of BLIND RECRUITMENT by manipulative elements on the Internet: what we saw with the Libraries Troll(s), for example. Strangely, the anticubans' campaigns in travel-related forums has almost entirely disappeared - or is it just 'on hold for now'?

I wonder: what's cooking now, Nancita? Will Otto Reich spell it out manyana? Next week the Bush Administration will begin anew its propaganda campaign against unlicensed US tourists.

Tune in tomorrow...

"El Torro"

[Sun 19 May, 13:36]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
3. politics

austingirl, if politics is irrelevant, how come there isn't a direct flight from Dallas to Havana? How come you have to go via Cancun and watch your step in doing so? Your government certainly mixes travel and politics.


[Sun 19 May, 17:08]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
4. Politics = Cuba

Let's face it, Cuba would not be much of a destination unless it was because of the politics. It's appeal is because it's forbidden fruit, at least to us Americanos. It's out last chance to see the other side before people's democracies vanish from the earth. Let's face it, it's overpriced for the regular hotel-type tourists , the people bother you all the time and the food sucks. I guess the sex must be great, because there's a lot of guys who go back several times year for it. I went to check out the political and economic situations with my own eyes. I believe that's the main reason people from the US go.

The truth is usually somewhere in between.

[Sun 19 May, 17:34]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
5. Politics = Cuba

Your probabley right. It's just that posts like "cuba is buying chicken from the U.S. that must mean they are starving" doesn't sound like relevant travel information.
In the south American branch no one ever posts "Brazil is a big supplier of U.S. beef so there must not be any rain forest left."


[Sun 19 May, 21:00]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
6. Denver_M has it right

Like all tellers of the truth Denver_M will doubtlessly be abused, but he is on target. Many folks want to see the last of the dinosaurs before they go extinct. When/if Cuba is transformed the only hard-line communist country will be North Korea, which even the most ardent Marxists will agree is not a place for a sun+surf+fun+rum+sex vacation. It also takes more than just a dog-leg through Canada or Mexico to get there.


[Mon 20 May, 08:06]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
7. overpriced ?

overpriced ? it's the cheapest travel destination there is. and it is not forbidden fruit to any country other than the united states - perhaps denver should reflect on that. maybe we go for a variety of reasons , but the most common thing i have ever heard is how nice the people are, and i am not talking about the jinatera's.
i am certainly no marxist, i think socialism while good in theory is totally useless in practice. but that will not deter me from going somewhere it exists. i have to think the dutch uncle has never set foot on cuban soil - sounds too much like sour grapes to me - methinks thou dost protest too much.


[Mon 20 May, 08:50]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
8. Cuba is not cheap

It is no longer the cheapest place to go.


[Mon 20 May, 12:03]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
9. $ 499 one week all-inclu.

one week all inclusive, toronto to guardalavaca, holguin that's pretty tough to beat and people from up this way ( north of toronto ) go there every year in a large group and love it


[Mon 20 May, 12:19]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
10. perhaps

all inclusives are cheap, but nothing else is.


[Mon 20 May, 14:06]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
11. thank you all...

for helping to explain the evolution of the information on this branch...


[Mon 20 May, 20:44]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
12. Travel is not always a day at the beach

Cuba is politics, and culture, and warm people, and beaches and economics, and politics. Americans who go are theoretically facing a 10 year felony. The people have little food. why? The American embargo or the command economy? People just rub their beards when talking about Fidel. Freedom to speak? The country is not saturated with McDonalds and Adidas. Backward or refreshing? Everyone has a good education (unusual in Latin America) and universal health care (although there are no bandages or aspirins). Every cab has Miama AM radio on the speaker and has generous relatives in Miami but yet fears their return. Your young Cuban friends are arrested for talking to you about your country. Think about the contradictions, underlying reasons, it's all politics. That's what makes Cuba so rich as a travel destination (at least from afar). Other countries have beaches and sun.

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