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A Cuba "fan" - U.S. tourists rush to Cuba as White House tightens travel -
Orlando Sentinel ^ | July 14, 2003 | Vanessa Bauzá

Posted on 07/14/2003 12:31:13 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

HAVANA -- Sure, she knew the tour was a bit skewed, perhaps too rah-rah. Nevertheless, Margo McAuliffe came away from her 10-day trip through Cuba "a fan."

"I'm the reason they want the travel ban kept," said the California retiree, referring to the Bush administration.

"I came here somewhat under the influence that Castro is a bad guy," said McAuliffe, sitting in a Havana hotel lobby. "I felt this was one place [about which] I wasn't hearing the truth. I feel our government has an ax to grind."

With a packed itinerary focused on sustainable development, McAuliffe's group, organized by San Francisco-based Global Exchange, learned about Cuba's organic gardens and herbal healing. They visited a rehabilitation center for disabled children and talked with a family physician. In total they logged more than 1,000 miles from Havana to the eastern port city of Santiago and back.

(Excerpt) Read more at orlandosentinel.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Cuba; Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: communism; tourism; turass
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With a packed itinerary focused on sustainable development, McAuliffe's group, organized by San Francisco-based Global Exchange, learned about Cuba's organic gardens and herbal healing. They visited a rehabilitation center for disabled children and talked with a family physician. In total they logged more than 1,000 miles from Havana to the eastern port city of Santiago and back.

Free societies have these things and free societies don't jail journalists and libraians.

Castro shuffles posts as Cuban economy sags***The government changes began in March with the dismissal of four of six deputy ministers at the Economy and Planning Ministry. Their replacements have not been made public. Last month, Castro also replaced the minister of finance and pricing. The changes come amid one of the harshest waves of repression since Castro rose to power in 1959. Beyond the recent arrests of 75 dissidents sentenced to as many as 28 years in jail and the executions of three hijackers who tried to commandeer a passenger ferry to Florida, the government also has cracked down on black marketeers and conducted raids allegedly in search of drugs, according to various independent reports out of Havana. ***

1 posted on 07/14/2003 12:31:14 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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2 posted on 07/14/2003 12:34:05 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Somehow, people named McAuliffe are just somehow instinctively supportive of totalitarian regimes, aren't they?
3 posted on 07/14/2003 12:38:24 AM PDT by Recovering_Democrat (I'm so glad to no longer be associated with the Party of Dependence on Government!)
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To: Recovering_Democrat
Bump!
4 posted on 07/14/2003 12:46:16 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Not to mention your magnum opus:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/665733/posts
Fidel Castro - Cuba
various LINKS to articles | April 14, 2002
5 posted on 07/14/2003 1:21:58 AM PDT by backhoe (Just an old keyboard cowboy, ridin' the trackball into the sunset...)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
http://www.masterpeaceconference.org/aboutus.htm

Gee, the treasurer for a San Fran based "world peace" organization sets off for Cuba.

"I came here somewhat under the influence that Castro is a bad guy," said McAuliffe, sitting in a Havana hotel lobby. "I felt this was one place [about which] I wasn't hearing the truth. I feel our government has an ax to grind."

Uh, sure she went to Cuba "somewhat under the influence that Castro was a bad guy". Yeah, and you are normally a staunch Republican when you call into Rush.

A simple Googling found that she is teaching pre-algebra at Menlo-Atherton HS, and that her husband passed in 1999. Another leftie filling kids with mush.
6 posted on 07/14/2003 1:38:42 AM PDT by texas booster (I'll be gone for a week at www.biblequiz.com - our team placed 5th!)
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To: backhoe
Thanks backhoe.
7 posted on 07/14/2003 1:43:56 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: texas booster
Thanks for the info!
8 posted on 07/14/2003 1:44:49 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife; All
U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT - Consular Information Sheet: "CUBA"
http://travel.state.gov/cuba.html
9 posted on 07/14/2003 2:35:02 AM PDT by Cindy
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To: Cindy
From your link.

MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical care does not meet U.S. standards. While medical professionals are generally competent, many health facilities face shortages of medical supplies and bed space. Many medications are unavailable so travelers to Cuba should bring with them any prescribed medicine in its original container and in amounts commensurate with personal use. A copy of the prescription and a letter from the prescribing physician explaining the need for prescription drugs facilitates their entry into the country.

10 posted on 07/14/2003 3:06:26 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
I was in Cuba earlier this year and ran into several people down there with Global Exchange. They are a mixture of devout Communists and naive old ladies with strong leftist leanings of their own. Basically, they were just a bunch of morons. Most of them had "No War!" buttons on to mark themselves as "good" Americans.
11 posted on 07/14/2003 4:38:15 AM PDT by Texas_Dawg ("...They came to hate their party and this president... They have finished by hating their country.")
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To: Texas_Dawg
Thank you for your comments. All this trip did for this dame was to reinforce her love for communism.

I found Cuba most interesting. It was quite a learning experience about a country under communism. Also, I can no longer be BSd by CCN, et al. because like them, I’ve been there too and can think for myself.

I take issue where the article states that most of their money was spent in state-owned stores. I wandered into one of these stores by mistake in the middle of one afternoon, and there was nothing to buy unless one was interested in detergent products. The meat area was empty of meat. This store was tiny, but I had not been in others with which to compare it. There is also practically nothing to buy in general in Cuba because Cuba has practically nothing to sell other than some handicrafts, paintings, and t-shirts. My entire purchase was one inexpensive t-shirt and a small paperback travel book.

12 posted on 07/14/2003 6:21:51 AM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
This woman is a useful idiot for the commies. The unvarnished truth is that Cuba is a police state. Step out of line and the man really does come and take you away.
13 posted on 07/14/2003 6:25:10 AM PDT by Former Proud Canadian
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
If McAuliffe traveled to the genocidical terrorist military dictatorship that calls itself the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, then he would sing gleefully the national anthem of that country, "Ten Million Human Bombs for Kim Il Sung." Kim Il Sung passed from this world nine years ago into Hell, and was reelected to an eternal term as president in 1998. Kim Jong Il, a brinksman and megalomaniac who McAuliffe would salute, chairs the reclusive, despotic, starving, genocidical country's national defense commission
14 posted on 07/14/2003 6:32:54 AM PDT by dufekin (Eliminate genocidical terrorist miltiary dictator Kim Jong Il now.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife; backhoe
"-- Sure, she knew the tour was a bit skewed, perhaps too rah-rah. Nevertheless, Margo McAuliffe came away from her 10-day trip through Cuba "a fan."

Wonder if she is the one posting all the pro-castro crap on FR this morning.

15 posted on 07/14/2003 6:37:52 AM PDT by Vigilantcitizen (game on in 10 seconds....)
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To: Texas_Dawg
Basically, they were just a bunch of morons. Most of them had "No War!" buttons on to mark themselves as "good" Americans.

Gulf widens between Cuba's haves and have-nots ***My travel companion's mugging in a desolate Havana neighborhood summed up Cuba's plight. A boy, perhaps 13, had tried to snatch her money belt. He failed, but she was badly bruised and scraped. At a hospital, she received immediate attention. The visit was free, of course. But it took stops at two pharmacies to fill prescriptions for an antibiotic and ibuprofen. Even with its own biotechnology industry, Cuba still suffers from shortfalls of basic drugs.

The next day, as we waited for a cab, a man idling on a corner befriended us and asked my friend about her injuries. His concern seemed genuine. But when we got into a cab, he hopped in, too. He insisted on staying with us to make sure there would be no more trouble. It wouldn't cost much, he said. When we declined his offer, he shrugged and exited the cab. It was worth a try. Such constant asking must take a toll on the collective soul of Cubans. As neighbors of the United States, they are also reminded ad nauseam of Americans' voracious consumption of the luxuries they are denied by the embargo.***

It's the communism!

16 posted on 07/14/2003 6:43:00 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Note: Cuba trades with Europe and Canada. But for some reason, their inability to trade with the US keeps them down.

Or perhaps it IS the communism

17 posted on 07/14/2003 6:45:36 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If You're Not A Part Of The Solution, There's Good Money To Be Made In Prolonging The Problem.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife; Luis Gonzalez
We won't be holding our breaths for the Global Exchange to say a word about wage-slavery in Cuba.
18 posted on 07/14/2003 6:46:51 AM PDT by Cultural Jihad
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To: Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
The Communist government in Cuba spends all the money it has on putting on a nice facade for tourists, especially in Havana. But when you get out into the Eastern part of Cuba, away from the towns, people live like this (via an article on DallasNews.com from yesterday's Dallas Morning News):

Most parts of Cuba I've seen make Mexico's worst parts look like Heaven. And I've seen a lot of both countries.

19 posted on 07/14/2003 6:53:45 AM PDT by Texas_Dawg ("...They came to hate their party and this president... They have finished by hating their country.")
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To: AppyPappy
Cuba gets around the U.S. embargo in the following way, and I’m only speaking from my part of the world: U.S. products are shipped into Panama and are taken to the Free Zone in Colon (Atlantic side). From there, the products are shipped to Cuba. I don’t know how payment is made. Anyway, when I was in one of Cuba’s state stores, I saw very few (one?) U.S. product (can goods). It was something like a can of peaches. The major part of their can goods (the little they had) was from Europe.

This made me think that Castro and his cronies must be keeping the U.S. products for themselves. They certainly aren’t getting on the shelves; and unless the Free Zone has a lot of sales to Cuba, it wouldn’t be doing business with them.
20 posted on 07/14/2003 7:01:45 AM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
bump
21 posted on 07/14/2003 7:11:30 AM PDT by foreverfree
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To: Texas_Dawg
I admit I only got to Havana. I can't tell much about the first photo, by the way, thank you for sharing, the second photo is very interesting. It looks like something that one will find in the interior of Panama. That thatched wooden house and the foliage and banana trees are out of Panama. I am totally guessing at the following: It wouldn't surprise me to learn they have lived that way since before Castro.
22 posted on 07/14/2003 7:16:42 AM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: Texas_Dawg
By the way, are you sure you didn't take that photo in Panama?
23 posted on 07/14/2003 7:18:19 AM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
The photos come from this article from DallasNews.com: http://www.dallasnews.com/world/cuba/stories/071203dnintcubaindians.9b013.html

These people probably did live this way even before Castro. But far more people live this way, 44 years later, than would had Castro not come along. Once Communism has fallen in Cuba, the economy and way of life will improve there, drastically, overnight.
24 posted on 07/14/2003 7:24:44 AM PDT by Texas_Dawg ("...They came to hate their party and this president... They have finished by hating their country.")
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To: Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
A large number of US citizens have been travelling to Cuba via Toronto and Vancouver - by-passing the US ban. By what I understand, the Cuban customs / immigration officials never marked the US passports at arrival / departure and the Canadian officials only cared about when they were leaving Canada or declaring asylum. This way, ban-passers don't get hassled when they cross the US Border.

One time I arrived at Toronto's Pearson airport one evening on a business trip. While waiting in the Canadian immigration line, a Air Canada flight arrived from Havanna and around 50% of that flight was American college students returning from a Leftist vacation / retreat. They were all joking about how they were slipping one past "the man" and this was right after 911. All of the Americans in front of me were re-admitted into Canada without a hitch to eventually return to America at some time in the future.

25 posted on 07/14/2003 7:39:42 AM PDT by jriemer (We are a Republic not a Democracy)
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To: Recovering_Democrat
I don't think you can get any dumber, except for the moron who wants his children to decide the most important decision in his life.
26 posted on 07/14/2003 7:45:12 AM PDT by freekitty
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
"Wherever there is a jackboot stomping on a human face there will be....

A well-heeled Western liberal to explain that the face does, after all, enjoy free health care and 100 % literacy"

J.Derbyshire...NRO

27 posted on 07/14/2003 7:50:58 AM PDT by hobbes1 ( Hobbes1TheOmniscient® "I know everything so you don't have to" ;)
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To: Texas_Dawg
I was only pulling your leg about the photo only because it looks like Panama...except the duck. Chickens are preferred here because they are pretty easy to maintain...except when a possum gets lose in the yard at night. With a few handfuls of rice tossed at them during the day, they spend the rest of the day running down bugs in the yard.

And yes, everybody is worse off with Castro no matter what their economic background was/is. That poor man still has to give a share of what ever he grows to the government. Certainly these people are worse off if that’s possible.
28 posted on 07/14/2003 7:56:37 AM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: jriemer
That’s true. Cuba stamps no passport of any kind coming and going.

They were all joking about how they were slipping one past "the man" and this was right after 911.

I find that truly disgusting. I went for the purpose of expanding my knowledge of the world and for nothing more. I just can’t find words to describe that type of mentality and behavior. It truly sickens me. They didn't go to learn but to slip one past and then bragging about it. What a bunch of slobs.

29 posted on 07/14/2003 8:08:00 AM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
Yep. For one example, if this man was at least in a free economy, he could get another duck and breed some ducks behind his shack to sell in the market. This would at least provide him with a little extra money and someone else in town with some duck meat. But Cubans aren't even allowed to breed the chickens, pigs, and ducks that wander in and out of their huts. (I know, because I recommended this once only to be met with a room full of laughter at my naivete.)
30 posted on 07/14/2003 8:11:25 AM PDT by Texas_Dawg ("...They came to hate their party and this president... They have finished by hating their country.")
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Hey Feepers, I've got to go run an errand for a couple of hours. Will catch up later.
31 posted on 07/14/2003 8:13:18 AM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: Texas_Dawg
They could also reap from the eggs they lay. What a shame. Hopefully Castro will pop off soon, but the bad always seem to stay forever. I do see great things for Cuba once this happens. Tourists will be going to Cuba rather than Florida. One can see that Havana was once a very beautiful, vibrant place.

I really do have to see about a plane ticket now...to Florida that is.

32 posted on 07/14/2003 8:23:13 AM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
They didn't go to learn but to slip one past and then bragging about it. What a bunch of slobs.

They were also the brightest examples of our higher-education because one of them brought a surf board along in their carry-on. [/sarcasm]

33 posted on 07/14/2003 8:26:31 AM PDT by jriemer (We are a Republic not a Democracy)
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To: Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer) says, "Can't... stop... FReeping..."

;-)
34 posted on 07/14/2003 8:27:10 AM PDT by Texas_Dawg ("...They came to hate their party and this president... They have finished by hating their country.")
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To: Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
They could also reap from the eggs they lay.

I mentioned this to my friends in Cuba as well, and once the laughter died down, one spoke up saying, "Even if we could raise chickens privately, we're so hungry that we'd just eat all the eggs (and profits)."

From 1991-1993, after the Soviet Union fell, these people ate bananas ("fungos") every single meal, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They only had these and a monthly ration of a 5-lb. bag of rice. They said it caused serious problems in their arms and nerve systems. A decade later they still have meat (chicken or pork) only once a month, if lucky, and beef never. And this is the average person in Eastern Cuba. They all tell the same stories.

35 posted on 07/14/2003 8:32:59 AM PDT by Texas_Dawg ("...They came to hate their party and this president... They have finished by hating their country.")
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To: Texas_Dawg
Did you take one of these taxis in Cuba?


36 posted on 07/14/2003 8:46:16 AM PDT by george wythe
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"La Maravilla" (wonderful marvel) after 45 years of blissful Workers' Paradise
[The Soviet era black/white TV set still spews communist propaganda, even after the whole 'hood looks like Beirut in the 1980s]

37 posted on 07/14/2003 8:51:54 AM PDT by george wythe
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To: george wythe
I didn't because I wasn't in Havana that long. But I saw them of course. The mode of transportation in eastern Cuba is ox-drawn cart. Motorized engines of any kind are very rare outside of Havana.
38 posted on 07/14/2003 9:17:43 AM PDT by Texas_Dawg ("...They came to hate their party and this president... They have finished by hating their country.")
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To: jriemer
They were also the brightest examples of our higher-education because one of them brought a surf board along in their carry-on.

Gads...Can you believe that? He went all the way to Cuba to surf? It's more obvious he didn't go to learn anything. What a fat head.

39 posted on 07/14/2003 10:50:20 AM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: Texas_Dawg
Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer) says, "Can't... stop... FReeping..."

Isn't that the truth? It's difficult to get away especially when the posts are so interesting. It's a good thing I got away because the plane was about full. Can you believe that my ticket cost over $800 just to get to Florida? And Miami is only 1050 miles from Panama. Sometimes it costs less. It's expensive since flying is the only way out of here, or they wouldn't charge so much.

40 posted on 07/14/2003 10:58:43 AM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: Texas_Dawg
And Forbes Magazine listed Castro as one of the riches people in the world. The Cubans are his underfed slaves. Come to think of it, I don't remember seeing any overweight Cubans.
41 posted on 07/14/2003 11:05:09 AM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: george wythe
Those taxis are great. They are called Coco Taxis. They were first put out on the street for use by the everyday citizen. They became so popular among the tourists, that now only tourists use them. They sit two in the back; and because it's so open, there is a continuous flow of a nice breeze. The view from inside those taxis is great as one can imagine. I hired one for $9.00 an hour. A regular taxi only charges $8.00 an hour. The Coco Taxi is the only way see Havana.
42 posted on 07/14/2003 11:16:49 AM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
Come to think of it, I don't remember seeing any overweight Cubans.

Funny you say that because it reminded me of a left-wing columnist in the U.S. who a few years ago wrote a column praising the Communist government there and "not as many overweight people as America" was one of her praises.

There are some, but it's usually not a "healthy" overweight when they are. It's more a bloated, carbohydrates-filled overweight. Not that being overweight is ever good, but being full of beef means you are at least living a more comfortable life than does being full of water and bananas.

43 posted on 07/14/2003 11:39:32 AM PDT by Texas_Dawg ("...They came to hate their party and this president... They have finished by hating their country.")
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To: george wythe
Yes, there are parts of Havana that look like living photos of Europe after WWII. A lot of Havana (I am pretending this is s photo of Havana without really knowing) will have to be bulldozed once Castro is gone. The TV in the photo is a nice touch. What a maravilla!!!!
44 posted on 07/14/2003 11:45:35 AM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I guess the tour didn't go by this square.

45 posted on 07/14/2003 11:59:15 AM PDT by oyez (Does Time-Warner suckorwhat?)
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To: oyez; Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer); Texas_Dawg


46 posted on 07/14/2003 12:21:20 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Hey CW,

Thank you for the photos. I was never able to get a photo of those “camellos” (camels) busses. In my mind’s eye, I thought the ones I saw were even larger (longer), the front part anyway. Heavens. I’m going to have to return to refresh my memory. Anyway, that one is certainly long enough. I had heard they can stuff 300 people into those death traps, but the one in the photo doesn’t look that it than hold that many. I suppose it’s the difference between a 747/777 and a 767. Notice the size of the cab that is pulling it.

As I said above but didn’t explain fully, the Coco taxis were suppose to be a cheap source of transportation for the Cubans until the tourists decided they liked them too.

There is a large mall in Panama that is using something similar to the Coco taxi to transport patrons from one section of the mall to the other. It is something a little new, an idea obviously taken from Cuba.

47 posted on 07/14/2003 1:18:25 PM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: oyez
I LOVE that photo. Its so...so CUBAN! I'm not being sarcastic. That IS Cuba.
48 posted on 07/14/2003 1:23:18 PM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: Texas_Dawg
Funny you say that because it reminded me of a left-wing columnist in the U.S. who a few years ago wrote a column praising the Communist government there and "not as many overweight people as America" was one of her praises.

This is why it’s good to travel. How many people that read her column took in her BS because they have not been there to see, learn, and compare?

49 posted on 07/14/2003 1:33:49 PM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)

How about this Cuban version of Wallgreens? Notice the "Long live our Socialist revolution." There must be a slogan on every wall(that's left standing) down there.


50 posted on 07/14/2003 3:13:03 PM PDT by oyez (Does Time-Warner suckorwhat?)
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