I love to travel - as most of us on this site (I assume). I am working in Saint Louis Missouri prsently although I have lived mostly in France and Canada. I hope to learn alot from all of you travelors and share my experiences as well.
One country that I have loved very much is Cuba. There is so much negative press about Cuba in the USA, it is sickening and often one-sided (or simply not true)...
Has anybody spent time in Russia? I'd love to hear more (especially Siberia)...
A warm welcome to TP!
You will have to share your Cuba stories, that is someplace I would love to visit!
Cuba is very different from the way it is represented by a lot of Cuban Ex-patriots in the USA. They feel they have been deeply hurt by Fidel and they are frankly correct in thinking so (cannot disagree with that). However, what Fidel has done is create a deal more social justice since the revolution (1959) for the majority of people. In fact, a lot of the influential Cuban ex-patriots in the USA are remnants of an elite that pretty much exploited the common man in Cuba. This ex-cuban elite has a lot of influence on US policy as well as the cuban community within USA.
Back to Cuba: education, medical care, general human development was vastly improved after the 1959 revolution (under Fidel). That does not mean Cuba is perfect by any means. There are some significant disadvantages to the lack of opportunity and political freedom - but even at its worse, Cuba under Fidel created relative equality (compared to before), safety (very limited crime/drugs) and allowed a beautiful culture of people that are intelligent and artistic while being both innocent and suprisingly well aware of the outside world (excluding USA). Cuba would have been nothing more than an over-exploited tourist destination with a broken spirit had it not been for the isolation from the captalist world (and I am definitely a captalist whether I like to admit it or not).
There is a lot of mis-information about the USA in Cuba (just like in the USA about Cuba); most of this incorrect information is spread by Cuban ex-patriots that give idealistic (and unreal) descriptions of life in the USA to their contacts within Cuba. That is main reason for the occasional escapee that comes typical with unrealistic expectations of life here (I have known quite a few that are quietly dissapointed).
I am deeply touched by this country and its culture - in other words my experience with the Cuban people has been inspiring and wonderful. I have been there nine times and have become fluent in Spanish without ever planning to learn the language. I have never stayed in a hotel nor have spent much time in tourist spots. Very hard to do justice to the culture of this people in a few words - but very little of the true reality of Cuba penetrates into the USA. Most Cubans freely complain about the difficulties of life there (like people in any other country), but nearly all of them have a great deal of love for their country and admiration for Fidel. Contrary to what most Americans think, most cubans do not want to leave Cuba. There is a reason why Elian Gonzales was sent back to join his father in Cuba by a US high court (when you look beyond the political BS, you will realize that Cuba under Fidel has many exemplary charateristics never highlited here in the USA). Fidel is a dictator, but that does not neccessarily imply that he does not want to do good for his people. You have to see for yourself... I have only expressed my impressions.
Thank you for your welcome, it was appreciated.
Thanks to you too for your warmth in welcoming me.
One of my very dear friends has family in Cuba..a grandmother, aunts, uncles, and cousins. She has been there every year for the past 20 years. Her sentiments mirror your own. I would like to go with her and get a first hand look...someday.. Thank you!
Welcome to TP, Mondial. Anything about Malaysia you may refer me.
You gave up France and Canada for St. Louis?
Hope to see you in the forums!
Hello Mondial and welcome! Sounds like we've spent some time in the same places - Canada, France, St. Louis and Cuba!
I haven't been to Russia, but like you would also love to go.