by Larry Oxenham, Publisher
When the former president opened up Cuba to American tourists we wondered what the attraction would be. We have been to much of the Caribbean, have followed the history of Cuba, and knew it was a hot climate with really bad government, political prisoners, antiquated systems, no reference point in the modern world, and a population that still seeks small boats for the journey to Miami and a life without the Castros.
Given Cuba’s hopelessly corrupt government – the Castros have siphoned the country’s wealth offshore because they know, down deep, their entire life’s work is a fraud – and lack of resources, we wondered why, other than curiosity, anyone would want to go there… other than Michael Moore and a few other Hollywood creatures. The Caribbean is loaded with more attractive alternatives so, other than perhaps curiosity, why suffer such a country?
Then, a few days ago, we read an article from traveler Sasha Day telling us –
15 Reasons Why Cuba is the Worst Piece of [BLEEP] Communist Dictatorship in the World
1) EVERYONE WILL TRY AND SCAM YOU twenty-four hours a day. Even if your Cuban friend is standing right next to you, telling them that you know the real price.
2) THE POLLUTION FROM THE OLD CARS IS HORRIBLE — you can NOT breathe. Even in your apartment. You wake up and you can’t breathe. (Our comment: since everyone except Castro and his Cadre have cars from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, you can imagine how bad this is.)
3) It’s the UGLIEST, most dilapidated COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. All of the buildings and roads are falling apart. No work is being done. The government steals so much money they don’t put ANYTHING back into the country or economy. There is no economy.
4) THERE’S NOTHING TO BUY. They run out of everything, all the time. Even if you have money, you can’t buy anything.
5) IT’S AN ISLAND BUT IT TAKES YOU AN HOUR TO GET TO THE BEACH. And they want $50 to take you there.
6) THE FOOD IS HORRIFIC. You will eat rice, beans and chicken every day. And we’re not talking about happy chickens, neither. You will be ripped off at tourist restaurants too and the food won’t be much better there.
7) THERE ARE NO CLEAN TOILETS (or toilet seats, toilet paper, or soap!).
8) THERE IS NO INTERNET, or $4 an hour for internet that barely works.
9) THERE IS NOTHING IN THE SUPERMARKETS — that is if you can even find one. THERE ARE BARELY ANY SHOPS OF ANY KIND.
10) LOCALS HAVE TO LINE UP to get a box of matches, some sugar, oil and a small piece of bread EVERY DAY from the government. And for many people that is all they get. They live off one piece of bread per day. And you guessed it — it’s [BLEEP] bread.
11) THEY HAVE CREATED A TOURIST CURRENCY TO MAKE IT EASIER TO RIP OFF TOURISTS.
12) HAVANNA IS THE WORST AIRPORT IN THE WORLD WITH NO WIFI OR PHONES THAT WORK, so say if you have a problem with a visa or a flight — you are absolutely 100% [BLEEP].
13) SERVICE IS SLOW AND HEARTLESS, and it’s clear nobody gives a [BLEEP] about anything.
14) THERE ARE ONLY 8 TV STATIONS, ALL BLASTING PROPAGANDA. Outside T.V Stations are BANNED — because they don’t wanna let any freedom or original thinking in — of any kind.
15) THE FREQUENCY OF FEAR IS SO INSTILLED in people’s minds and hearts, it literally destroyed us. We felt super weak and barely had energy to walk around for the whole week. So figured it must be the frequency. HORROR.
Okay, this is probably enough to make you cancel your thoughts about a trip but there are some positives: Some of the people are really nice and haircuts are super cheap!
OUR NOTE: Soon after reading this I saw that several US airlines have cancelled their Cuba service after only a few months because people just don’t seem to be all that interested in going to Cuba. Hmmmm………