Saturday, March 10, 2007
Friday, March 09, 2007
Enjoy Your Trip Canadians!
You all from the Great White North and elsewhere are helping Raul starve his own people for this? At least you are getting what you deserve. Below is how one happy traveler rated things from 1 to 5. By the way 1 is NOT good.
Holguin: Hotel Playa Pesquero: "ONE OF THE WORST HOTELS WE HAVE EVER STAYED AT"
Lloyd-Phillips, Southampton Jan 28, 2007
My experience with this property took place in:
Would I recommend this hotel to my best friend? no way!
My ratings for this hotel are:
Check in / front desk 2.0
Business service 3.0
I recommend this hotel for:
I do not recommend this hotel for: Young singles, An amazing honeymoon, A romantic getaway, Girlfriend getaway, People with disabilities, Older travelers, Great pool scene, Pet owners, Families with young children, Families with teenagers, Tourists
I selected this hotel because ... Beach / Sun, Great food / Wine
My age: 35-49
Traveling group: Spouse / significant other
My visit was for: Romantic getaway
I am not sure if other people that have written great reviews for this hotel have stayed in cardboard boxes and eaten gruel when they have gone on holiday before but this hotel is terrible. The rooms are kept quite clean but we noticed that even if we left towels on the floor for changing, often they were just picked up, folded and put back up for use. The coffee area looks nice but the coffee is very cheap and bitter (I own a coffee shop so I should know).
The bar is manned by miserable bar attendants that make you feel that it is a chore for them to get you a drink and every time you order a cocktail it is made comepletely differently by each ember of staff. At the beach bar the barman (Amando) would not let me have a bottle of water to take on the beach (so I would not have to keep standing in a long queue) he said 'if I let you have one, everyone will want one' but he was quite happy to let you have one if you gave him a $ tip.
You would waste 15-20 minutes queing for a drink as they would have only 1 person serving but 3-4 staff would be staning around chatting.
The beach is infested by sand fleas (which bite all around your ankles) and me and my wife ended up with over a 100 bites each (we used anti-bug spray as well). The food is disgusting, the buffet is full of badly cooked, barely warm food which is the same every day (I ended up having to make a sandwich every day). There are flys, birds and cats everywhere in the restaurants with flys and birds sitting on the food put out to eat. The a la carte restaurants were rubbish again with tough meat or badly cooked seafood (the lobster is like rubber) and take a magnifying glass to view the tiny portions.
Everytime a member of staff done anything for you, they expected a tip and if you didn't, they would ignore you next time and serve people that did leave tips.
Going back to food in the buffet, breakfast was worst, (we had to laugh), laid out was chips, brussel sprouts, peas, carrots, chick peas, breaded fish and bacon that was as hard as a brick and looked like it had been re-heated 10 times.
They had toasters where you would feed your own bread through that would take 2-3 passes through to get the bread toasted and even then it would only toast one side.
People say 'but it's Cuba, what do you expect' but this is a complete excuse. This hotel was constantly full and must be making a fortune, they could easily buy new toasters, get fresh sea-food and fresh ingredients and have good cooks. They have chosen to save money in every possible way at the expense of the holiday maker. Regarding weddings, it was like a conveyor belt with 2-3 a day and it would be the same old arch way, the same poor old horse and cart, the same band (who sung 'my way - regrets, I've had a few' at every wedding, to me and my wifes amusement) and then they left the people on the beach not knwoing what to do after the 10 minute weddings. Every day you would see a bride with a fag in one hand and a glass of beer in the other hand 30 minutes after the wedding. Not very special in my opinion...
If you haven't booked yet, don't go...
This TripAdvisor Member:
There you have it travelers! Oh yes one more thing, The above traveller mentioned he was having a romantic get-away. In Cuba the sex acts could easily end up being video-taped by state security. It's okay I suppose if you've always fantisized about starring in your own porn video. Of course lets hope your dad doesn't see a copy at his next bachelor party.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Breakfast in Paradise
Talking with Cuban exiles can be a sad experience. Hearing all the tales of past abuse and pain can be very difficult. But talking to an actual Cuban living in
I spoke again to Fidel yesterday and I’ll most likely speak with him today before I go to work. No…not Castro. But if I were to give my friend’s real name we would have one more political prisoner being tortured in the gulag so I’ll call him Fidel. Fidel is young and educated. He has a professional job in
He never gets breakfast. There is none available. As he was telling me this I wondered what Virgin Atlantic’s CEO Richard Brandson had for breakfast that day. I wondered what Thomas Cook’s Manny Novoa ate. Did Sherritt International’s CEO Ian Delaney chow down on some Canadian bacon and eggs this morning? I knew if they didn’t it was out of choice but choice is not something that Fidel has on his menu. As I mentioned previously his father needs medicine but Raul’s miracle medical system cannot or will not provide it for him so he will die prematurely. I try to boost Fidel’s spirits and promise we are working to bring him a brighter future. Great but he tells me he needs food now - today. However Fidel tells me he is not a beggar and will work for money. That is the Cuban people – very proud. They are not a nation of people prone to beg but now they are desperate and hungry. So I’m trying to figure out how to send Fidel twenty bucks but he warns me that Raul will steal it if given a chance. He also tells me in
Fidel says his shoes are broken and he must walk 5 kilometers a day. He wanted to know why I wanted to help Cubans. I told him because he was not eating regularly and he and other Cubans needed our help. I tried to put a philosophical happy face on the prospects for the future but Fidel said without food he cannot think.
So we began a discussion of baseball. Fidel is a Yankee fan but in
We began discussing our families. Fidel was very curious about my family background and how I came to have two last names. I told him the story of how my great, great grandmother had been marched to her death by the Spanish during the war for independence and my great grandfather out of respect added her maiden name,
We compared our personal preference in music. Fidel likes country and jazz but was familiar with my favorite Jim Morrison and the Doors. I started reciting some of my favorite lyrics and he was impressed I could do so. I turned him onto some Internet things I knew about.
The news was on the TV so I began telling him what was happening which he seemed to enjoy. Timely, truthful news is hard to come by in
I kept worrying that our conversation would get him into trouble but he insisted he didn’t care anymore. I told him to stop talking foolishness. That he must take precautions and survive to see a better day. I reminded him that he is young and has his whole life ahead of him while Raul is old and ready to die. Cubans already assume Fidel Castro is dead despite what the government asserts. Cubans are not dumb.
To lighten the air a bit I told him Britney Spears shaved her head and along with Paris Hilton have taken to not wearing underwear and giving the media photographers a peek for their cameras. He got a good laugh out of that but said he didn’t care for Britney’s music. I said we were agreed on that fact. I told him gasoline had gone to $3 a gallon in
I told him my humiliating experience picking up the translation from a Japanese translator’s house years ago with a hole in my sox then having to remove my shoes exposing my big toe to politely enter the Japanese home. He got a good laugh at my humiliation which made me feel good. I reminded Fidel that I was home sick and asked if people usually got colds down there in the winter and he said, “No way.” Then he reminded me how nice the weather was there, which was a small measure of revenge for our living standard. But he said he would trade in a second. We talked football and I told him what a capitalist dog Danny Snider was giving away free salty chips on fan appreciation day then charging us $8 for a half pint of water. Again he laughed and I relived the days of Jack Kent Cook and the glory days of the Redskins.
We discuss many more topics and I’m hopeful we will have many more conversations. I will keep you informed my readers. But again I must warn you tourists and capitalists. Cubans do not like you there or here in the
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Week One Cuba Libre
In the first week of
The NUMBER ONE CONSIDERATION will be the poor Cuban people and meeting their immediate needs. Medical and critical dietary necessities will be initially filled by the exiles and relief agencies (NGO’s). The next most pressing need is housing. I have already proposed that Cubans be given title immediately to the property which they occupy for their residence. From the very beginning of this fresh start for
Next we should return seized business property to the former business owners who wish to return to restart their business operations in
Property that is owned solely by the Cuban government should be sold to private interests with the proceeds being poured into rebuilding roads and other vital public infrastructure. In addition, to raise more revenue the government should sell off all state owned industries to the highest bidder or turn them over to the former employees to operate for profit. Other rights should also be auctioned off such as broadcast frequencies for TV and radio, cable and satellite, telephone land lines and cell providers, oil drilling rights and mining complete with a resource depletion tax for whatever they extract and the list could go on for quite awhile but you get the idea. Millions will flow into the Cuban treasury overnight.
Former Cuban farmers and ranchers who wish to return to this life should be given their property back so production of food will meet the needs of the Cuban people without having to resort to any imports in the future.
What all of the above will also cause is an enormous building boom and that requires workers. Initially, Cubans will fill these jobs as well as providing the services for the corporations flooding into
In short, under this economic plan the rest of the world will not be able to compete with the Cuban model and will eventually be forced to adopt it or fall farther behind
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Cuba: Hunger and Despair
I know you tourists and capitalists want to believe that you are somehow helping
I asked Fidel: “What’s the mood in
Fidel said: “Sad…hopeless…”
Then Fidel told me how hungry he was just for something to eat. That it would be a good day if Fidel could just fill his stomach. Although he has a better than average job, meaning he earns $20 per month instead of the average $15, it was not adequate to buy enough food to stave off hunger. Most Cubans are not starving, though a few are out of sheer neglect, they are being denied adequate calories to lead a healthy life. They are consuming less than 1000 calories per day. They are not receiving adequate intake of protein, vitamins and minerals. Meat is rarely available unless you have hard currency. Their health is, as a nation, in a slow decline. Adding to Fidel’s woes, his father needs medicine but the marvelous Cuban health care system can’t provide it – at least not to regular Cubans. In his father’s case, this WILL lead to his premature death. But you will never hear it reported that way by the Cuban health authorities who even tried to cover up a dengue fever outbreak so as not to scare away you tourists.
So why is this all happening? Well it is sort of a hybrid between a southern slave plantation and the company store in
What’s the answer? It is so very simple. Cubans will survive the next six months if you stop supporting Raul’s plantation with your tourist dollars. But without these and the western built tourist infrastructure Raul surely would not. Raul has very adequate holdings in other countries to satisfy the needs of him and his family. He will not spend them to stay in power. As soon as he cannot make anymore money he will leave. Then we can get these lovely people a decent meal and show them how to fend for themselves.
Below is a list of some of the known Real Estate holdings of the Castro boys. I propose that the Cuban general who arrests Raul Castro (Fidel is probably too senile for prosecution, if he’s not dead already) be given his choice of one of these multi-million dollars properties as a reward for freeing the Cuban people.
1. Castle in Austria
2. Large ranch in Galicia, Spain
3. Large ranch in Monterrey, Mexico
4. Large ranch near New Delhi, India
5. There are reportedly properties in France, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Italy, Bahamas, Tanzania, and Egypt, and properties in Ecuador under the control of Raúl and his wife's family.
There you have it men…take your pick. All you have to do is arrest this traitor to the Cuban people so he may be justly prosecuted and punished. Besides being a hero to all Cubans you will have a nice family home for your patriotic effort. It’s long past due for Raul to do the “perp’ walk” before the Cuban people.
Monday, March 05, 2007
You Canadian, European and South American tourists as well as you corporate CEO’s have deluded yourself into believing that you are helping the Cuban people while you are turning a buck or sunning. You are not! You are helping Raul turn the screws on the Cuban people and they despise you for it. YOU don’t allow Cubans to use their OWN beaches. YOU block fishermen from fishing their own waters to help feed their family so tourists can trophy fish. Then YOU all expect to be happily invited back once Raul is gone. You really are deluded and El Café Cubano Forum (a site that is fast becoming one of my favorites) can prove it. Your choice is simple. Look at this short video to discover the reality of life on Raul’s plantation or continue your delusion. If you decide to watch let it load for a half an hour or more so it won’t start and stop. I dare you to watch then tell me I’m wrong.
Black Listed Companies
Below, Cubanos, is a starting list of the biggest offenders who have decided to extract a profit in league with Raul Castro, on the backs of the 50 cents per day Cuban slaves. These companies and their CEO’s admit that they are carpetbaggers but they use warped rationalizations to justify helping themselves to the cheap labor to make a quick buck. For example, Merritt International pays Raul $2,700 per month for each Cuban geologist on the payroll. Then Raul pays the geologists $19 each per month and pockets the difference.
These are the biggest Cuban slave traders. These companies, their CEO’s and any employees who have worked in
Sherritt International Corp. – CEO Ian Delaney - $650 million invested in
Miramar Mining which is run by CEO Berukoff owns, Con Gold Mining in the Northwest Territories.
Virgin Atlantic Airlines – CEO Richard Branson
New York Medical, Inc.
Wilton Properties Ltd.
Delta Hotels of
Holmer Gold Mines, Ltd
MacDonalds Mine Exploration, Ltd. – CEO Frank Smeenk
CaribGold Resources, Inc.
Saskatchewan Opportunities, Ltd.
Grupo Domos, Mexican telecommunications company
Western Mining of
Spain's Hotel Melia
However, Fracmaster Ltd. pulled out after 3 years after taking big losses which should be punishment enough. I say companies that learned their lesson and pulled out of Raul’s slave plantation be given a second chance. Everybody makes mistakes. They have done the right thing even if for the wrong reason so let’s concentrate on punishing those who continue to abuse the Cuban people.
Again, I call on these companies to leave
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Day One Cuba Libre
It is really important to describe what Day One Cuba Libre will be like. The first day should be about celebration and not retribution or revenge. Hopefully, once we make it impossible to earn any hard currency then Raul and all the top crooks will take their loot and escape removing the need for the Romanian Treatment. Cubans just wake up one morning to find that the rats have abandoned the sinking ship. Here is what I advocate for day one:
- About 600 foreign firms have opened offices in
. These will be the best appointed facilities to house the government in transition. Therefore, all foreign personnel currently manning these offices will be deported that day and these offices will be seized as partial compensation to the Cuban people for the use of the transitional government. The government in transition should be a collection of leading dissidents and key exiles that have expertise in economics, construction, law enforcement and other social policy. The make-up of this government in transition should be decided on immediately and I call on my fellow bloggers to compile this list. I believe time is of the essence. Havana
- Accept everyone’s resignation from employment with the government of
– EVERYBODY. The police should disarm, lock up the guns and turn over the keys to the transitional government and go on holiday like everyone else. Cuba
- As ton of goods begin to pour into
Cuba, along with tens of thousands of exiles bringing supplies and food and drink, the Cuban people will be able to take this break but also enjoy a fiesta of great food and drink and merriment before they have to get back to work rebuilding . However, during this celebration the transitional government will be doing the following: Cuba
- Securing all foreign property and cataloging it
- Deporting the foreign personnel
- Secure the broadcast facilities then broadcast every second that the government meets and what policy they are enacting
- Set a date (with-in 6 months) to hold local, provincial and national elections and the criteria to follow. Again bloggers this is something that must be worked out yesterday so get busy, especially you computer wiz kids who could create a computer PC based election system which we could have ready to import
- Officially convert all foreign operations into corporations with the stock in these ventures divided equally among the former Cuban employees
- Open an office to register complaints against former regime members for prosecution and nominate then elect judges to rule on these cases. Exile lawyers should already be drawing up this process. Time is of the essence.
- Deport all tourists immediately and officially open
for tourist not connected with the former criminal regime. Cuba
- Open a Title Office to legally give ownership to the poor residents for their living space.
- Open a Privatization and Compensation Office to sell off all state owned industries to anyone not connected with the former regime or as compensation for enterprises that were illegally seized by Castro.
- Declare a holiday for the foreseeable future and open the beaches and other tourist areas to all Cubans.
Sure there is still plenty more to do but in due time. This is just the first day.
Do I hate Canadians? It would be easy to hate Canadians for supplying Raul with the vital revenue necessary to pay for his police gang. After all, you Canadians, Europeans and other tourists are Raul’s last hope of staying in power. Without your money his terror apparatus would collapse in a matter of months. He and his brother have already mismanaged every other nook and cranny of the Cuban economy. After the
To answer my initial question – no, I do not hate any of you travelers. It is true that you all as a group are ignorant and too selfish to take the time to find out the truth about
Canadian Tourists Look Here
This link, sent to us from Cubanology explains to young people that Che is not a hero but a mass murderer. But you will also find a slide show at the end which shows how Castro has used your tourist dollars to spruce the place up. Gee, these Cubans who are not permitted to even get close to tourists, don't seem to be as happy as those who grovel before you Canadian tippers at the hotel. They look a bit desperate and angry. But you Canadians and Europeans think these poor people just love you tourists so much that they would never, ever put something nasty into your food or drink. "Boy...another Margarita! And make it snappy!"