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About nino

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  • Birthday 02/16/1953

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  1. The prices for Cubans are prohibitive and I've had some friends tell me they will not repeat the experience of going online with that "offer", others use it shortly as a novelty but connection is quite poor.. I am happy to be disconnected most of the time and happy to go into the wifi every 3-4 days for an hour at Club Habana while smoking a cigar. That costs me 1 CUC and it is enough Internet for me while on vacation.
  2. nino

    Cuba fishing trip

    I did this many years ago, it was a highly interesting half day of fishing, we caught 4 big tunas. You need to arrange it first, we did it via : Cuba Real Tours : HAV mobile 5279 9840. You need to show up with your passport at Cuban Coast guard before leaving the Marina on the boat. Price was like 450€ for 6 hrs on a boat for 6 persons with drinks included.
  3. nino

    2018 Havana

    Thank you very much Rob, Ben and all FoH members for the great time and friendship shared in Havana last November ! Just back home and resting my bones and lungs - it was almost a monthlong trip for me. Here some of my pictures.
  4. I could not, and still not believe it was a P 2 .... must have been all the seafood that ruined my palate 🤣 Great lunch and party - Thank you for arranging it ( and the other events at Prado 309 and Espacios ! )
  5. Welcome to the best finger licking good hidden seafood shack on earth ... or at least in Havana
  6. Nice long RG Panatela that I guess will have some years on it - Geniesse sie in Ruhe und lass die Karavanne vorbeiziehen, es hat keinen Zweck sich aufzuregen, erhöht nur den Blutdruck 🙂
  7. There was talk 4 years ago of Russia re-opening Lourdes SIGINT station again - but nothing has been heard since : In July 2014, reports surfaced that Russia and Cuba agreed to reopen the facility for usage by Russian intelligence.[3] However, Russia Today later removed their original story and replaced it with one denying there was such an agreement.[4]
  8. You better get a VERY comfy chair waiting for the lifting of the US embargo as Russia is considering building a military base in Cuba right now .... A senior Russian official said Wednesday that his country was seriously considering establishing a military base in Cuba, just as the two Cold War–era allies were set to meet for high-level talks and the United States mulled quitting a nuclear missile deal. Colonel General Vladimir Shamanov, head of the Russian lower house of parliament's defense committee and a former airborne troops commander, became the latest Moscow figure to warn of the historic consequences of the U.S. leaving the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. The U.S. and Russia have accused one another of violating the agreement, but now President Donald Trump has announced his intention to end it, paving the way for new nuclear and conventional weapons systems at a time of heightened tensions. "In order to strengthen our military presence in Cuba, we need at least the consent of the Cuban government. After all, this question is more political than military, and today, it’s probably premature to talk about any specific measures in response to a possible U.S. withdrawal from INF," Shamanov told the Interfax news agency. "Now the active phase of assessing this scenario is underway and proposals will next be prepared with estimates," he added. Shamanov's remarks came as Russian President Vladimir Putin was set to receive Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel on the first stop Friday of his debut world tour. The Russian politician went on to say that he would "not exclude" the prospect of a Russian military base in the Caribbean country coming up during these talks, which would also reportedly include a $50 million Russian loan for Cuba to buy weapons. Díaz-Canel, selected by his country's National Assembly to replace 86-year-old Raúl Castro in April, will then go on to visit the world's four other communist countries—China, North Korea, Vietnam and Laos. Havana and Washington fell out after Fidel Castro ousted the island's U.S.-backed leader in 1959 and nationalized industries. In response, the U.S. enacted a near-total embargo on Cuba, compelling Castro to seek Soviet support. A CIA-sponsored attempt to overthrow the Cuban government in 1961 failed. In 1962, the U.S. discovered Soviet missile sites in Cuba and established a blockade to confront incoming Soviet forces in what came to be known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. The tense standoff was settled after Moscow agreed to withdraw the weapons in exchange for Washington agreeing to remove U.S. missiles from Turkey. The U.S. embargo on Cuba remained, however, and, despite a thawing of ties under President Barack Obama in 2014, the Trump administration has reversed course and has blamed mysterious symptoms affecting U.S. diplomats in Havana on alleged sonic attacks. Though Trump initially entered office expressing hope for a rapprochement between Washington and Moscow, he has also called for an expansion of military might. Last week, he announced that he sought to pull out of the INF treaty, a measure that banned the deployment of land-based nuclear and non-nuclear ballistic missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers (310 to 3,420 miles). The Kremlin has warned that such a move showed the U.S. was, in fact, working on weapons systems that would violate the INF. It added, "If these systems are being developed, then actions are necessary from other countries, in this case, Russia, to restore balance in this sphere." Other current and former Russian politicians have drawn comparisons with the Cuban Missile Crisis. Last week, Shamanov himself told the official RIA Novosti news outlet, "If we don’t stop now and don’t sit down to talk, then we could, in the long run, create conditions comparable to the Caribbean crisis." That same day, Russian Senator Alexei Pushkov told the state-run Tass Russian News Agency that "the danger is that the United States is pushing the world to another Cuban Missile Crisis." Former Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, who signed the INF treaty alongside President Ronald Reagan in 1987, has also cautioned of a new arms race erupting should the deal unravel. In April, he cited the Cuban Missile Crisis as he urged the U.S. and Russia to come together because military incidents between them "in today’s charged atmosphere can lead to big trouble."
  9. I know that well and you're right - will be meeting a lot of US friends next week in Havana and looking forward to that !
  10. My apologies for the extra work @JohnS it was not my intention to cause it - much less to "stir the political pot". I thought the news are interesting enough should there be a cut again in diplomatic relations but I rather believe this sablerattling rethoric is more for the domestic (Florida) audience. As for the embargo - there is currently the large Havana Trade Fair and more than 2500 companies from 150 countries are attending ( even some US companies ) - Cuba can buy from any country, it's just a question of paying ....
  11. Here we go again ... guess it's sablerattling for the Miami audience, but you never know ... John Bolton just gave an “Axis of Evil” speech about Latin America The US will now go after a so-called “Troika of Tyranny”: Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. By Alex Nov 1, 2018, 3:10pm EDT National Security Adviser John Bolton gave a speech changing America’s stance toward three Latin American countries — Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua — on November 1, 2018. Alex Wong/Getty Images National Security Adviser John Bolton just gave a modern-day “Axis of Evil” speech, this one focused on three countries in Latin America. In a 30-minute address at Miami Dade College’s Freedom Tower, Bolton said the Trump administration will take a hard line against Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua by sanctioning the countries and cutting off diplomatic relations with them until they meet US demands. “This Troika of Tyranny, this triangle of terror stretching from Havana to Caracas to Managua, is the cause of immense human suffering, the impetus of enormous regional instability, and the genesis of a sordid cradle of communism in the Western Hemisphere,” Bolton said. “Under President Trump, the United States is taking direct action against all three regimes to defend the rule of law, liberty, and basic human decency in our region.” Bolton’s speech seems intended to usher in a new era of US relations with Latin America. It portends a massive escalation in US foreign policy: one where America is trying to dictate how three sovereign countries should operate. The Obama administration famously said that it wouldn’t interfere much in the Western Hemisphere’s affairs. The Trump administration, however, just announced it will do the opposite. “This is not a time to back away. It’s a time to increase the pressure, not reduce it,” Bolton told the audience after the speech. The Trump administration’s new policies for Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua Cuba The Trump administration will minimize diplomatic ties with Cuba. Some reports indicate that Cuba — or at least some other country with Cuba’s permission — has attacked US personnel in Havana for the past two years. In response, the US will remove some of its diplomats from the embassy in Cuba. But that’s not all: Washington will also cut off any secret backchannels between the two countries. The US also won’t allow US cash to reach Cuba’s military, security, or intelligence services. Instead, it plans to impose financial penalties on Cuba until it frees political prisoners, allows for freedom of speech, embraces all political parties, and ensures fair elections. Venezuela Bolton said Caracas must release all of the country’s roughly 340 political prisoners. What’s more, it should allow for humanitarian aid to reach those in need, allow for free elections, and champion the rule of law and democratic institutions. President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order to place new sanctions on Venezuela, Bolton said, which “will target networks operating within corrupt Venezuelan economic sectors and deny them access to stolen wealth.” One of the biggest moves is to stop people around the world from engaging with Venezuelans involved with its gold sector, which Jason Marczak, a Latin America expert at the Atlantic Council think tank, told me is a lucrative illicit market for the country. Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela’s president, has been criticized for undermining democracy in his country since he assumed power in 2013. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Cuban President Raul Castro at a memorial service for former Cuban leader Fidel Castro on December 3, 2016. Joe Raedle/Getty Images Maduro ramped up the imprisonment of political opponents. He has cracked down on growing street protests with lethal force. He has repeatedly postponed regional government elections in order to stave off threats to his party’s power. And last year, he held a rigged election for a special legislative body that supplanted the country’s parliament — the one branch of government that was controlled by his political opposition. Trump has heavily criticized Maduro in the past, and at one point openly considered a military invasion to overthrow him. It’s no surprise, then, that Venezuela featured so heavily in Bolton’s address. Nicaragua Bolton also criticized Nicaraguan leader Daniel Ortega for his “regime’s violence and repression against its citizens and opposition members.” The US doesn’t want Ortega’s government to detain protesters or target civilians anymore, though that’s unlikely to change anytime soon, as more than 300 people died during protests against the government this year. Bolton said that the Trump administration wants fair and democratic elections soon, or “the Nicaraguan regime, like Venezuela and Cuba, will feel the full weight of America’s robust sanctions regime.” Put together, it’s a marked change for how the US deals with these countries specifically and the region writ large. “Bolton’s speech today signaled a ratcheting up of pressure on Venezuela and Cuba, but also a new level of administration focus on the crisis in Nicaragua,” Marczak said. “What will be critical is using this moment to strike up new ways in which the US can work jointly with regional and global governments to put even further pressure on Maduro and his cronies.” Bolton’s speech is troubling Though Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua do indeed have repressive governments, there are still major problems with the speech. The first is that it sounds like a renewal of America’s Cold War stance toward Latin America. The US spent decades opposing, and in some cases fighting, communist forces. From Nicaragua to Guatemala to Chile, the US used its power to squash many left-leaning movements in the region mostly because of its opposition to the Soviet Union. Sandinista fighters man barricades during fighting in the streets of Leon during the civil war. The war, fought between the Sandinista government and US-backed Counter-revolutionaries (Contras), lasted from 1981 to 1989. Alain Dejean/Sygma via Getty Images While Bolton didn’t offer Cold War-like policies, the speech definitely echoed many of that era’s sentiments. Second, Bolton just aligned the US with a repressive politician. He called Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right firebrand who won Brazil’s election on Sunday, a “likeminded leader.” That’s scary. Bolsonaro has expressed fondness for his country’s past military dictatorship and wants to bring back torture to his country as a way to stem rising crime rates. He may not be a dictator, but he could usher in an era of massive repression and imperil human rights in Latin America’s most populous country. To align the US with Bolsonaro implies the goal really isn’t about improving “freedom,” but about eradicating far-left leadership in Latin America. Some experts don’t find Bolton’s overture that odd, though. “It is not surprising that Bolton and the US government would see the president-elect of Brazil as an ally,” Jana Nelson, a Brazil desk officer at the State Department from 2010 to 2015, told me. “Jair Bolsonaro is an open admirer of Trump. He believes a closer relationship with the United States will be beneficial to Brazil and so do his followers,” she continued, and “it may the first time in over a decade that Brazil will be a reliable ally in the region.” And finally, Bolton made statements that don’t correlate much with the Trump administration’s policies. Take this passage aimed directly at members in the audience: You breathe the free air of this beautiful city. Your children have experienced the possibilities of liberty. And your grandchildren will never know the firsthand heartache of repression. Your descendants can be anything, and achieve anything. ... And as they grow and flourish in America, they will carry with them your history, your sacrifice, and the memories of your incredible triumph. Their success will be your enduring legacy. It’s a moving, uplifting message about how people around the world can escape tyranny and thrive in the United States. The problem is the Trump administration wants to deny that opportunity to thousands of people. About three hours after Bolton’s Thursday address, Trump will give a speech about how he plans to restrict those seeking asylum in the United States. That continues the president’s extremely hard line against immigrants coming to America, which has hit time and time again ahead of midterm elections next week. He’s even massively curtailed the number of refugees who can come to the US. From October 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018, the US admitted only 10,500 refugees. That’s down roughly 74 percent from the same period the year before during the Obama administration. Estimates show the US may only accept around 21,000 refugees in 2018, which would be the lowest total since 1980. The Trump administration may praise those who sought a better life in the US, then, but it has done little to help those seeking the same fortune.
  12. I agree on the cheap plastic seats ... I've broken a few already and had to use the official Granma newspaper as a replacement seat cover ... must have the pictures somewhere, guess that misuse of the paper would get me a lifelong travel ban to Cuba ... 🤣 As for a map : download the App MAPS.ME for Havana or Cuba and you can use it offline on your mobile, it is very good and gives you accurate positions.
  13. I guess I will have enough of seeing you all at Espacios the day before, but I might change my mind as I love the Octopus and Lamb shank there .... can I have a rain ticket ?
  14. Happy you !! 5C here and miserable - like to change places ? See ya in Havana - safe travels mate !

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