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About nino

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  • Birthday 02/16/1953

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    This planet
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    Food, Books, Travel, Friends

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  1. Re-reading "The Cat From Hue" by John Laurence. A stunnign 844 page overview of the Vietnam War through the eyes of a journalist from 1965 to 1970.
  2. Zarges aluminum cases

    My friends and I have been using Zarges boxes for ages here to great results. Here is a link to my set-up and storing conditions for the Zarges boxes :
  3. Hahahaha, Oliver, you beat to me it ... yes, he was a hip sober vegetarian and loved dogs ... But he hated smoke ... Good thing he is ashes now
  4. Wages at the Kempinski

    A bit more in both cases, according to The Economist 2014, the Cuban doctor gets US$1245 and the Cuban gvt US$ 3030 ... still a very profitable deal for the Cuban gvt. The programme pays each participant a salary of around US$4,500 a month. However, the participation of Cuban doctors is organised through the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The Brazilian government disburses the payments to the PAHO, which then transfers the monies to the Cuban government after taking a 5% administrative commission. The Cuban government pays the medical professionals working in Brazil a monthly salary of US$1,245, and pockets the rest.
  5. Wages at the Kempinski

    Of course the wage levels are set by the Cuban gvt.- it is the Cuban gvt. that enriches itself from the wages paid by foreign companies. All foreign companies have to hire Cuban staff via a single state company, it's mandatory - and those foreign companies pay the state company very decent wages like 500 to 600 € for a cleaning staff, more for waiters, reception staff, bartenders, managers etc... But - the Cuban staff get paid by the state company who pockets 95% of the wages paid for them. Same thing ( on a more monstrous scale ) happens with all the Cuban doctors, nurses, workers "exported" ( or is it "exploited" ?? ) by the Cuban gvt. to work abroad. From 2015 : When you think of Cuban exports, you might think of sugar, or perhaps its famously sought-after cigars. But one of the nation’s most profitable exports is actually its own healthcare professionals. The Cuban government reportedly earns $8 billion a year in revenues from professional services carried out by its doctors and nurses, with some 37,000 Cuban nationals currently working in 77 countries. The socialist regime allows the government to collect a portion of the incomes earned by Cuban workers abroad. For example, in 2013 Cuba inked a deal with the Brazilian Health Ministry to send 4,000 Cuban doctors to underserved regions of Brazil by the end of the year – worth as much as $270 million a year to the Castro government. By the end of 2014, Brazil’s Mais Medicos program, meaning “More Doctors,” had brought in 14,462 health professionals – 11,429 of which came from Cuba. Kempinski ( or Melia, Iberostar, etc ) would be willing to increase wages ... provided it would go to the workers.......
  6. Along with a bunch of good friends from Canada and all over the world we have been supporting the Cuban-Chinese Lung Kong society for the elderly in Havana's Chinatown for many years. Both with contributions, donations, medicine, Chinese food and cooking utensils, you name it. It is located just a few walking minutes from the old Partagas factory and cigar lounge and serves the welfare of the last members of this disappearing community. I first learned about the plight of the last 100 or so Cuban-Chinese from a touching documentary from 2009 on the Cuban-Chinese immigrants in Havana by Canadian-Chinese historian Pok Chi Lau. From my first visit onwards, we, many Canadian, HK, S'pore, Belgian, German and other international friends have been helping the LK society every visit in Havana. It has given us great pleasure to do so, human warmth and a genuine feeling we can make a little difference - besides : the cigars always tasted better after each visit with the elderly. So reading this article yesterday really depressed me and many of my friends - the society is very near to our heart. Nino Click on the blue Vimeo button to see the documentary in English please.
  7. Rum and Cigars

    Had a bottle of Vigia 18 once and didn't enjoy it - it had a somehow metallic/chemical aftertaste to me that was off putting. Might give it a second chance ...
  8. Rum and Cigars

    My two preferred Cuban rums, Cubay 10 and Santiago 11 ( pictured here is the 12 y.o. which is sweeter ). In Cuba for everyday pairing with cigars I choose Santiago or Mulata Añejo,
  9. No, it has never been "easy" to get out of Cuba with a large cigar haul ... not at all. Sometimes not even with official facturas. Whoever portrayed it like it was easy conveniently forgot the Havana part of the equation. And that is a part that plays to no rules and is always sheer mistery, luck, arbitrary customs judgement or just like in this case : no luck.
  10. his idea not MINE

    Nope, you can't ...
  11. So sorry for you - you must have caught the "once-a-month " hard core customs shift ... like I did when having a marble Nacional asthtray in my carry on last month ( they didn't care about my cigars though ...) What I don't understand is the attitude of Habana Libre LCDH not to write you an official factura for the Lanceros along with the box, but it confirms my negative feelings about that particular LCDH.
  12. Interesting sources, but my understanding is that OK comes from military use meaning zero killed or OK. And I'd disagree on both the origin of "buckaroo" and "Corral" - both having a Spanish origin imho, Vaquero being Spanish for cowboy and Corral being Spanish for cattle pen.
  13. Hahahaha - being originally Spanish and a Castilian or "Oxford"-Spanish speaker I can tell you after some 15 years of visiting Cuba that them ex-subjects of the Spanish crown have succeeded in turning MY Castilian high Spanish into Cuban ... Whenever I visit Span now people look at me and wonder why I use Cuban words and have a funny accent while the Cubans admire my Spanish accent and can't believe I'm German ... LSD trip sounds about right and tell you what - I love it

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