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Everything posted by chris12381

  1. Article dated September 5th in Granma...the Official Body of the Central Committee of the Communist Party in Cuba! I gave it a rough translation into English, with the link to the original article below. Abrirán gradualmente las fronteras de Cuba a partir del 15 de noviembre Teniendo en cuenta el avance en el proceso de vacunación en Cuba, su efectividad demostrada y la perspectiva de que más del 90 % de toda la población concluirá los calendarios de vacunación en noviembre; se preparan las condiciones para abrir, gradualmente, las fronteras del país a partir del 15 de noviembre de 2021. Según nota del Ministerio de Turismo enviada a nuestra redacción, se flexibilizarán los protocolos higiénico-sanitarios a la llegada de los viajeros, los cuales estarán centrados en la vigilancia de pacientes sintomáticos y la toma de temperatura. Además, se realizarán pruebas diagnósticas de manera aleatoria, no se exigirá el PCR al arribo y se reconocerá el certificado de vacunación de los viajeros. También se iniciará la apertura del mercado interno turístico de manera gradual, en correspondencia con los indicadores epidemiológicos de cada territorio. Cuba to begin gradually opening its borders as of November 15th Taking into account the advance of the progress of the vaccination in Cuba, its demonstrated effectiveness and the fact that more than 90% of the entire population will conclude the vaccination schedules in November; Conditions are being prepared to gradually open the country's borders as of November 15, 2021. According to a note from the Ministry of Tourism sent to our newsroom, the hygienic-sanitary protocols will be adjusted for the arrival of travelers. They will now be focused on monitoring symptomatic patients and taking temperature. In addition, diagnostic tests will be carried out at random, PCR will not be required upon arrival and the travelers' vaccination certificate will be recognized. The opening of the domestic tourist market will also begin gradually, in correspondence with the epidemiological indicators of each territory. As of today, I don't see any significant flights available from the US to Havana. However if this change is implimented, especially before the Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays...there's gonna be an air bridge.
  2. It's pretty simple. They spend all their treasure on development of vaccine instead of food production or other basic necessities that we just take for granted. A tropical island with so much land that imports most of its food. WTF! But as far as the efficacy of the Cuban vaccine goes, I was on a Signal video call with a friend's mom a few days ago. She had just had her 3rd dose and had a low grade fever, aches, runny nose, pains and chills 24 hours after and was fine the following day. Similar symptoms I had after the 2nd dose of the Pfizer vaccine. The difference is she didn't have access to any NSAIDs, decongestants, etc. Even the pharmacies in the hotels were empty.
  3. Found this on Twitter via Project Inventario @invntario They've been compiling the dates and locations of all the protests and corrobrating them with video and photos. Here's a link to their Google Map. Manifestaciones en Cuba, domingo 11 de julio 2021 One of the issues they are dealing with is placing the photos and video with the correct dates since a lot of dropped well after the protest occured - when ETECSA turned data back on. So each mark on the map is only placed once they have actual evidene that it occured at a specific date and time. They have also been doing some pretty impressive OSINT to place some videos. As one example: Este video que circula desde ayer en #rrss como una manifestación ocurrida el 17 And asking for help...and getting it:
  4. I was traveling by train from Providence to Boston with friends for a birthday celebration. The conductor welcomed me and my friends aboard and when we pulled out of the station, announced to the whole train that there was a birthday celebration had joined the train. At some point, an older gentleman came up to me, asked if I was the "birthday boy", wished me good health and gave me a congratulatory birthday cigar. This was the first cigar I would ever smoke. When we got home, I asked my dad if it was OK for me to smoke it. He said it was fine, gave me matches and the same ashtray his father used when he smoked his cigars. I don't believe I lasted more than four puffs.
  5. As @Nino pointed out in earlier comments when he mentioned the Eastern Bloc countries, these guys are key to how these fights are won. With enough people protesting and in the street, it is not unlikely that a portion of those that have the power (the guns) start to realize that they too are hungry, they too have family who can't get medicine, they too go home to dark houses, etc. In other words, they are not any different from those they are fighting...and are fighting for something that isn't worth fighting for. They might not want to see the massive changes many envision: But they know they don't want more of the same. If that begins to acabó.
  6. From what I could find out, these videos were recorded yesterday. No idea on location. To me, these look like MIG-21 and the helicopter looks like a MIL Mi-17 or newer. Someone with better knowledge of Soviet era helicopters might know better as to what it is. Hopefully just a show of force.
  7. Thanks for pointing out his channel. Alain Lambert has done amazing work for years. He was one of the first people I ever saw live-streaming in Cuba (all the way back in 2016 and 2017). I've been a fan for some time. Anytime a celebriety came to Cuba, there he was following them and filming it and usually got a chance to ask them a question or two. He would travel outside of Havana to as far as Santiago to film the Carnival (where he got arrested during a live stream), Christmas in Remedios, etc. He was filming and livestreaming during hurricane Irma. He then started meeting average Cubans on the street and asking them to show his audience what their homes were like and how they lived. Some of what he he saw was incredibly emmotional and seemed to affect Alain quite a bit. I don't think this reporting and his commentary went over well with his government. If you go back into his videos about 8 to 6 months ago, you will see a video he streamed live inside an aircraft cabin on the ramp in Havana where he said he needed to quickly sell everything he had and leave Cuba for Panama. He's been there since then.
  8. You forgot Romania... 🤭 Their full written statement was a real treat to read. My "favorite" part comes before the quote you have there. It was probably ommitted because the Cubans found it insulting and everyone found it just so...well, read for yourself. "This cruel and inhumane policy, instituted with the explicit intention of destabilizing the country and undermining Cubans' right to choose their own government, is at the heart of Cuba's current crisis." Well that's a new one. I've always been told by certain Cubans that they DO get to choose their own government. They vote for their elected officials just like other countries do. The mere fact that it's a one party system (and all other parties are banned) has nothing at all to do with the embargo. That's how their system works. Por Dios...🤦🏼‍♂️
  9. I don't know what blame one could assess on the US for import tariffs on food and medicine. If it was somehow punitive, they would assess it only on those passengers entering from the US when in fact, everyone pays it regardless of country of departure. It is, as you said, a profit making venture. Agreed. It is the equivalent of pissing on a forest fire.
  10. Cuban leadership just announced during their "Mesa Redonda" this evening that it will allow unlimited importation of food, hygiene products and medicine via passenger flights w/ no tariffs (import duties) through December 31st of this year. I should point out there was no mention of lifting the restrictions on the number of flights from countries they previously identified as being COVID risks. 🤔
  11. Believe it or not, Cuba's Prime Minister just got off national televison talking about the energy crisis and explained how the blackout and the frustrations that they cause are very likely to continue. Keep in mind that the blackouts the Prime Minister decided to talka about is one of the things that really lit the proverbial match in San Antonio de los Banos...the first town to see protests. One resident in San Antonio de los Banos told a CNN reporter that they have been enduring blackouts for weeks at a time in excess of 12 hours a day. Diaz Canel is up next. Maybe he'll talk about cutting salaries. 🙄 You can't make this stuff up.
  12. I saw the same video and saw a similar "description" albeit a bit different. This particular description mentioned the same however one of the commenters pointed out that the "officers" likely include men who are forced to partipate by their CDR or force public repudiations (repudios) and could also include younger men who have been (supposedly) rounded up in the last few days for military service, which is compulsory in Cuba for a period of 2 years (between 17 and 28 years old. I say supposedly because even though there are videos of young men being taken out of their homes by force, we have no way of knowing when it was filmed, for what reason they were removed (for conscription or other reasons) or any number of other reasons that would need to be verified. I'm sure there are people who would volunteer, and there are "revolutionary brigades" of all sorts that exist to do all sorts of different things around the country that I assume would be conscripted in a national crisis. But it does have we wondering...If there is such a need for reinforcements that volunteers and people who otherwise are not normally involved in police actions are required, I don't know how quick I'm gonna bet on fizzle out at the very least a quick end.
  13. The Cuban government is without a doubt lying when they say there thave been no protests today. There certainly have been. However, it has been over one hour since the rumors started online (as of 3PM PDT) that the city of Camagüey was liberated and as of now, everything online seems to indicate otherwise. For now.
  14. Cuban police allowing protesters in Camagüey to continue
  15. I don't know that I would call that the "office stance" of the US government. Though I wouldn't disagree those channels you speak of do. Denying the role that COVID has played would be innacurate. In fact there have been shouts for vaccines in some videos I have seen...among other many grievances. But Libertad and Patria y Vida and some other colorful Cuban slang words for Mr Diaz Canel are the most common utterances to be heard. COVID has affected every country, just has it has Cuba and I would propose that COVID and the cascade it caused within Cuba's "system" has been the proverbial straw that broke their back. If you go back a week or two before the protests and look at videos that were being posted online for all Cuban society to see, they are all directly related to the misery caused by COVID. I'm talking about a woman posting a video of head dead brother's corpse sitting in her house because she was told there was no ambulance to take him to the hospital so she needed to continue to treat him at home and besides, they had no medication to treat him there anyways. She went on to talk about how their healthcare system was all lies. Videos of food lines (which are nothing new) that start at 5AM and go until the late evening and often result in those people waiting going home empty handed. All the while they are waiting in close quarters and risking infection. Videos inside hospitals of people and children dying in the hallways because there is no bedspace left. Hell, a video a dead man who threw himself out his 5th floor window but not before he killed a bunch of his neighbors with a machete and set his apartment on fire. I believe this was in Parque Vibora. I can't find it anymore. Don't really want to. So I would say that daily life, which has alway been difficult for Cubans was made all the more challenging by COVID when tourism was essentially eliminated for essentially 15 months (and the mules which bring goods, cash and medicine). Then you can add the Western Union and other remmitance blockade between the US and Cuba which went into effect in November of 2020. I remember a figure which estimated remittances accounted for 20% of the Cuban economy. No power for the majority of the time, no fuel, major food shortages, what many describe as a complete collapse of the healthcare system and COVID numbers that right now are 7 times higher per capita than the US...and that's based on the numbers they are reporting. In speaking with my friend today in Havana I asked, "Hermano...What took you so long?"
  16. I've been scraping compelling videos and photos I've encountered on Fb, Twitter, YT, IG, etc since this started. There are also videos I've been sent by friends on island. Also included are things prior to the protests that I were posted online in the days before that I believe "lit the match." I've found sometimes people will post and the video disappear after the people do. Unfortunately, I've been right in a few instances. I'm sharing the link so anyone interested can see themselves what is going on. I'll continue to add to it so long as there are people in the streets. AS I encounter more stuff, I'll add it. Consider it a living repository. PyV Chris
  17. For those considering transiting via the Florida Straits, I found the following information. The Spanish translation is not mine. Press Release The Hemingway International Nautical Club of Cuba once again greets all its members and those of the international nautical community and takes the opportunity to make updated information available today, January 27, with the International Sanitary Control Authority of Marina Hemingway, which updated us on the current epidemiological situation in our country and the outbreak of the pandemic that has caused an increase in the number of infected in recent days, as well as the indications related to the operation of tourist marinas in Cuba. At this time, the following marinas are open to the arrival of foreign vessels: Marina Marlin Cienfuegos Marina Marlin Cayo Largo del Sur Marina Marlin Santiago de Cuba On the north coast: Marina Hemingway Marina Gaviota Varadero EPIDEMIOLOGICAL PROTOCOL FOR FOREIGN VESSELS ARRIVING TO THE CUBAN MARINAS Before arriving a boat, coming from another country, to a Cuban international marina, the Dock Master asks,through VHF to the captain about the health of the crew, who must inform if there are any sick crew members or if they are all healthy. Once the vessel reaches a marina, the captain and crew are questioned. All crew members have their temperatures taken and tested for Covid-19 (PCR). The result of the PCR takes 24 to 72 hours. If any crew member has respiratory symptoms or the doctor suspects a possible Covid-19 infection, he or she is isolated. The boat and the rest of the crew are quarantined, in the dispatch area, until the results of the test are available. They can only be contacted by medical staff. In case of positive tests, the crew is transfer to a hospital. In case of negative results, they are allowed limited movement within the marina and the test is repeated on the fifth day of arrival at the marina. If the crew has been sailing for more than 5 days without touching any port, only the arrival PCR is done. Anyway, they wait up to 72 hours for the result. The cost of each test of the Covid-19 is 30 USD. All crew members must come with a document of PCR results from the country of origin.
  18. As everyone has probably noticed, it's almost impossible to find any seats on any flights to Havana from the US right now. All US airlines (and possibly others) were limited to one weekly arrival by the Cuban government from one city pair around March of this year. American Airlines reacted to the restriction by changing their equipment from their normal multiple daily 737 departures from Miami to a once a week 787 round trip flight on Monday. JetBlue and Southwest don't have the fleet to do this. When American was was forced to do this back in March, ticket prices for this 45 minute flight were $1600 round trip, though now there's definitely no availablility on any flights. From what I've heard from friends who work in the industry, almost everyone on these flights are government employees/embassy workers transiting via the US. There are a few charter operators who have been granted emergency authorization under OFAC rules but are only permitted to carry limited cargo or passengers meeting very limited restrictions (essentially US Embassy staff). Here's the current mix of weekly service from the US: American Airlines Monday 787 MIA-HAV JetBlue Airways Friday A321 FLL-HAV Southwest Airlines Saturday 737 TPA-HAV This is only 601 seats available to Cuba per week. As of right now, American Airlines has weekly service scheduled until Tuesday October 12, 2021 when they jump to 6 daily flights - however there's absolutely zero guarantee that anyone booking these flights will find themselves on their way to Havana as the Cuban government could certainly change their minds...again. Since January 10, 2021, you need to arrive with and present a negative PCR test that was administered within 72 hours of arriving in Havana. You will then be administered another PCR test at the port of entry (airport or marina) and your mandatory period of self-isolation will begin while you wait until the government receives the result of that PCR test. If that PCR test is negative, a second PCR test will be given on the fifth day of your isolation. If the second PCR test is negative, you get to leave the isolation period is over. You have the option of isolating in a government-run facility or in a hotel that particpates in the government's COVID isolation program (I believe it is the Melia Cohiba). When returning to the US, you need to have another PCR test within 72 hours of your flight back to the United States REGARDLESS of your vaccination status. I have friends practically BEGGING me to visit so I can help them out. The videos they send me of lines waiting for chicken from 5 AM until late into the evening only to walk away empty handed are infuriating to watch. But even IF I COULD get there, that quarantine requirements make travel to Cuba a NON-STARTER until there is some vaccination waiver or it is done away with. I can't find a flight on American MIA-HAV for any day other Monday until October 12th when they go to 6 flights a day. You certainly would have been able to back in March before the Cuban Government forced them to cancel almost 40 flights a week out of MIA...but I'd pin the blame on the Cuban Government for that. "Bigger money grab? Airlines or Cuban Government?" 😉
  19. When I was living in Barcelona in 2004, I remember smoking a TON of these. They were plentiful and I had no problem finding boxes from 1997. Friends and I used to grab some cheese, bread, wine and blankets and walk to the beach after class and I enjoyed quite a few of those there. Ah memories... 😊
  20. A Spanish citizen with an inheritance moves to Cuba to live the Communist dream. Sounds like it's panning out just as to be expected. ¡Patria o vuelo!
  21. Back in February the government published a list of activities where the private sector was not permitted to operate. It actually was quite impressive to do it that way rather than in the past where they had said where they COULD. What did catch my eye (but at the time I thought, surely they mean more as a package tour operator?) was: "Actividades de agencias de viajes y operadores turísticos." There's your tour guide prohibition. ?

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