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Thread: CUBA....now?

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    CUBA....now?

    For the past few years I have been itching to visit Cuba...before it opens for US travel and is over run with the Golden Arches. We I talk with various photojournalists ......CUBA is one of the most talked about destinations. I am doing some research but wondered if any forum member has visited recently ?

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    Senior Member Scargos2's Avatar
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    Re: CUBA....now?

    I am waiting to go, Our camera club has a pro that does trips and He is waiting for Cuba to open and I am on the list. Can not wait
    Sunny Florida Rick of Fla

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: CUBA....now?

    When this opens up i would like to do a workshop there myself.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Subscriber Member Georg Baumann's Avatar
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    Re: CUBA....now?

    I could not go there.... not a chance!

    ....I'd probably never leave again.

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    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: CUBA....now?

    Maybe sooner than later: http://www.airjourney.com/journey_de...w&idjourney=67

    Apparently the rules for general aviation are somewhat less strict. The company whose site is linked above has applied for permission to fly there, and if you have your own plane you may be able to go now, or as soon as you fuel up. (http://jamesfallows.theatlantic.com/...bout_those.php)

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    Oxide Blu
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    Re: CUBA....now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post

    When this opens up i would like to do a workshop there myself.

    One of the East coast photo workshops does (or used to do) regular stuff in Cuba. Americans are allowed to go to Cuba for educational reasons, but there is a limit on the amount of money you spend in a day (something like $100 -- far more than you would spend). The workshop folks asked that all participants bring 5 rolls of film to donate to local Cubans learning photography. Since 'digital' I have no idea if they are still doing the workshops in Cuba.

    Cuba is accessible from Jamaica. Jamaicas go there to go shopping for the day, then return to Jamaica in the evening. It is not legal for Americans to go so the Cuban authorities will NOT stamp your US passport, should an American go there for the day or whatever.

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    Senior Member viablex1's Avatar
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    Re: CUBA....now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    When this opens up i would like to do a workshop there myself.
    I am in for that been dying to go there we have to bring enough bribe money for abandoned spots!!!! I am dying to see those over there factories hospitals etc....

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    Re: CUBA....now?

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    For the past few years I have been itching to visit Cuba...before it opens for US travel and is over run with the Golden Arches. We I talk with various photojournalists ......CUBA is one of the most talked about destinations. I am doing some research but wondered if any forum member has visited recently ?
    Roger

    When you and Carolyn decide to go, Phyllis and I would love to join you. I was so tuned into the politics of Castro vs the USA, the Bay of Pigs etc, I would love to go to Cuba now to see what the country is truly all about. So please let us go with you and, like in Germany, we will have lots of fun experiences and who knows, we may come back much more educated about what goes on in these places we pigeonhole into (probably ridiculous) categories.

    However we will not likely have 911 whatevers to get us from place to place.

    God bless

    Woody and Phyllis

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: CUBA....now?

    woody

    That would be great fun. Hope they open it up for USA soon. I researched the trip in a lot of detail last winter and was scheduled to go with one of my PJ friends ..but had to scratch it do to a foot injury. A limping street shooter isn t a pretty siight. But I am back in action walking lots of miles in Paris this week.


    Roger

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    Senior Member Scargos2's Avatar
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    Re: CUBA....now?

    I just sent in a deposit for a OCT-Nov trip to Cuba. Can not wait to go, done through a church in Cuba and A pro photographer who does trips
    Sunny Florida Rick of Fla

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: CUBA....now?

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    woody

    That would be great fun. Hope they open it up for USA soon.
    Just to get things straight: Cuba is open to more or less anyone. It's the United States of America that have imposed restrictions on their citizens so that they cannot travel to Cuba. But as has been pointed out, you can actually go there, as long as you don't go from an American airport and as long as you don't tell the FBI or the CIA or the KGB.... ooops, sorry, that was somewhere else... that you've been there

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: CUBA....now?

    There is essentially no problem in getting in and out of Cuba for americans. You can not fly direct(as the gov blocked all flights from USA airports) but can connect thru Cancun,Nassau or Toronto. You can not book thru a US based travel agent. And in fact you aren t even prohibited from visiting.

    But...you can not spend money in Cuba (as this is considering aiding an enemy) .

    So whats the hang up...well none if you are in great health and can handle yourself should you have a problem. But lets say you have a health issue ..Cuba has great medical care ..but will not take USA based credit cards (because the gov will not let them pay). Its only 100 miles to Miami .....how did you plan to get there?

    Three of my friends ..had heart attacks last year ...one was in pakistan and had to be medivac to Delhi in India. Most other places ..its a matter of $$$$...but in Cuba you could be on your own.

    You can develop you own scenario...and I may still go after hurricane season this fall. If you are outside the US ...I would go as soon as possible...you have no restrictions.

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    Senior Member Robert Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: CUBA....now?

    Don't take anything with the word 'American' highly visible -- though we were OK with UBS [Swiss] travellers cheques, even though the ultimate issuer was American Express. Take €uros.
    Sláinte

    Robert.

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    Re: CUBA....now?

    Correction: there are charter flights between Miami, FL and Havana, Cuba. However, US citizens are only allowed if they are visiting direct relatives (up to grandparents). My wife still has her Cuban passport and was able to take our children (who were born in the USA) to visit their great-grandmother. I was born in the US as well but I have no living relatives in Cuba and thus am ineligible to travel there.

    While there, my wife took no pictures with a digital camera for fear that some government official would confiscate the camera (because he/she wanted it). She came back terribly depressed due to the 4th World conditions there.

    The country itself is very beautiful but it is being totally eroded by the government there.

    Do not be fooled by propaganda about the medical care over there. Only high government officials get that. Ordinary people live pretty much in squalor and local clinics are hard pressed for everyday supplies like bandages, syringes, stitching needles and thread, let alone alcohol, antiseptics, and antibiotics. When my family was visiting two years ago, my son gave himself a nasty cut that should have gotten stitches. We did not allow the clinic to stitch the wound because the needles were rusty. They used a butterfly bandage that was made circa 1972. It stuck on for about 5 minutes. My son has the scar next to his right eye to this day and it is preferable to the massive case of tetanus he would have gotten otherwise.

    We regularly send medicine to my wife's family because they cannot get it in Cuba. Her cousin is a medical doctor specializing in geriatrics but the government wants him to practice family medicine instead and thus does not allow him to "put up a shingle" as they say.
    Last edited by etrigan63; 29th June 2009 at 09:03.
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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    Re: CUBA....now?

    As a Canadian, we can freely travel to Cuba and it's a popular CDN vacation spot. Wonderful people, great scenery, NO hassles from anyone on anything. Only thing the gov't was particular about was ensuring, when you left, that any cigars you purchased (yum) were in gov't-approved packaging.

    There is a BIG business selling counterfeit cigars (if you could even call them that) and rum to idiotic tourists on various beaches looking to save that extra Nth buck. Always amazed me that people who would shudder at the idea of buying a bottle of booze from a stranger on their local corner would happily do it on a beach in XYZ to save a buck -- on something that is already dirt (by CDN standards) cheap. The gov't doesn't want two fo their most valuable export products (and tourism hurt.

    No illusions about the gov't and the economic effects of the US embargo + collapse of the USSR, but it is a great place to visit, a nice eye-opener for our "I need the latest iPod" society, and a nice way to help the locals who are hurt the most by the current situation re: the trickle-down effect from tourism on their economy.

    But, more importantly, by leaving behind some extra gear that are impossible/too costly for the resort/hotel staff to easily acquire, you can give some help DIRECTLY to the folks who will appreciate it the most.

    Since tipping is usually frowned upon, normal practice is to bring extra clean t/shirts, dresses, windbreakers, etc as well as sundries, basic over-the-counter (e.g. NOT in any way potentially harmful) medications/ointments (think topical antibiotics, Pepto, Maalox and alike), bandages, Tylenol/Ibuprofen, etc., and any unused/opened toiletries, etc and simply leave them neatly on your bed the day of your departure. Basically, come with a lot and depart with little. It is VERY well received.

    As an aside, if the average NA garage could do 1/2 the job with 2x the supplies that the average Cuban teenager does everyday keeping their amazing fleet of old cars/trucks running, there'd be a lot more happy drivers in NA.

    Hopefully the coming years will see a long-overdue change.
    Last edited by robmac; 30th June 2009 at 05:26.

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    Re: CUBA....now?

    TBH, I am in favor of repealing the Helms-Burton Act and doing to Cuba what we did to the USSR when communism failed there. The entire island would prosper as a tourist spot and that would help the people the most.
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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    Oxide Blu
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    Re: CUBA....now?

    Quote Originally Posted by etrigan63 View Post
    TBH, I am in favor of repealing the Helms-Burton Act and doing to Cuba what we did to the USSR when communism failed there. The entire island would prosper as a tourist spot and that would help the people the most.
    As a reminder, the US govt does not have a policy of repressing people. The embargo on Cuba is still in place for a reason, the US maintains Guantanamo for strategic reasons. The threat to the security of the US by the Cuban govt has not subsided.

    I believe when Americans are allowed to travel to Cuba it will very rapidly become the tourist destination of choice if only because it is so close to the US. If Cuba opened gaming casinos they'd have to build a bridge to handle all of the Americas heading over there.

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    Re: CUBA....now?

    I did say "when communism failed there". The current regime would have to be replaced with a democratically elected representative government before HBA is repealed. The real issue then becomes whether The Mob will allow Cuba to cut in on their Las Vegas revenue streams
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

  19. #19
    Oxide Blu
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    Re: CUBA....now?

    Prob what is keeping communism alive in Cuba -- the mob hasn't reached an agreement with the Cuban govt, yet.

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: CUBA....now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxide Blu View Post
    Prob what is keeping communism alive in Cuba -- the mob hasn't reached an agreement with the Cuban govt, yet.
    What keeps communism alive in Cuba is the American embargo and not least the Bacardi Law. If Americans had been able to travel to Cuba as tourists the last 50 years, no communist party would have been able to withstand the powers of American dollars and American capitalism.

    It has been proven repeatedly that embargoes contribute to conserve undemocratic rulers rather than throwing them over. Those in power can always, and very convincingly, blame outside powers for their own failures. If you need more examples, just look at Burma, North Korea and Iran.

  21. #21
    Oxide Blu
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    Re: CUBA....now?

    I don't doubt what you are saying, but Cuba enjoys tourism from Canada, South America, and Europe. I'm sure the US embargo hurts Cuba but I don't know by how much?!? I'm curious about Cuba if only because I can't go there. And there is something attractive about photographing repression.

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: CUBA....now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxide Blu View Post
    And there is something attractive about photographing repression.
    Photographing countries that develop in a different way from what we're used to is always interesting, and communist countries, although I'm not sure the "communist" label is relevant anymore for any country, surely develop differently from the surrounding world. Without the boycott, Cuba would surely have been a less interesting place from a photographic point of view, with the Golden Arches in the background of each and every photo , but then, there's always North Korea

    This is also one of the reason why Hanoi is so interesting photographically seen; it develops, but under communist rule, it develops much more slowly than other cities in the region. Then, on the other hand, the big Chinese cities develop much faster than the rest of the world, and they're supposed to be communist too, so maybe I'm all wrong. That wouldn't be the first time

  23. #23
    tokengirl
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    Re: CUBA....now?

    Sorry to resurrect a six-month-old thread, but my better half was born in Cuba and went to visit relatives earlier this year. I sent him off with a G10 set on green box mode and told him I would handle the post processing. He came back with hundreds of shots taken through a car window and you could see a reflection of his light green shirt in every single one of them.

    But when he got out of the car, he got some pretty good stuff:



    Here is the entire set:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/msmambo...7618353086505/

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    Re: CUBA....now?

    Cuba is a great place to visit. Lets leave the politics out of it, and concentrate on what is, a unique photographers opportunity in the world today...

    GH2 Pana 7-14mm




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    Member losta's Avatar
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    Re: CUBA....now?

    I went to a travel seminar a few months ago about traveling to Cuba. You can travel from the US to Cuba if it for a humanitarian purpose. There are many groups that travel there mostly church and medical currently.

    There is now a charter flight that leaves JFK once a week for Cuba cnt.com. There are several travel groups that travel there but the visit must be for a purpose. There is a Center for Cuban Studies in NYC that can help arrange travel. I would love to do a photo workshop there.

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