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  1. #1646

    Documentary on Cuba and its music

    Hey,

    For those of you who enjoy the sounds of Cuba and its music, this one if for you. It's done by a couple of NYT reporters that did a trip around the island, something a lot of us here wish for.

    Anyways, it's a long read and listen, so enjoy.

    Mondo.

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...?module=inline

  2. #1645

    Interesting

    Hey,

    Just read this article and thought it would be a good read for some of you guys.

    Mondo.

    Business.

    Cuba becomes the latest country to use bitcoin to subvert US sanctions.

    Decrypt Will Heasman, Decrypt 27 minutes ago.

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    Within the communist-led country of Cuba, citizens subjected to US sanctions now have a means of escape; and it's partly thanks to bitcoin.

    According to a report by US news, Cubans are taking advantage of innovative developments within the country. One change, in particular, is the emergence of mobile internet, which is opening up a myriad of options to Cuba's citizens. Sanctions inflicted by a US trade restriction stretching back to the 1960's, have permanently hindered the country's access to goods and services; including essential online payment systems. Now, with mobile internet firmly established, Cubans appear to be turning to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin to subvert the US trade embargo.

    One citizen highlighted within the report noted how cryptocurrency trading was "opening new doors," for the Cuban people. Relaying his own story, 35-year-old Jason Sanchez told how the non-sovereign power of bitcoin saved his cellphone repair business; enabling him to purchase spare parts online via crypto.

    Of course, along with a lack of access to financial services, comes a shortage of debit and credit cards; a crucial component of cryptocurrency trading. As such, citizens often resort to help from friends and relatives abroad. Alex Sobrino, the founder of CubaCripto, a de facto peer-to-peer crypto trading group on Telegram, suggested that around 10,000 Cubans we're utilizing cryptocurrencies already:

    "We are using cryptocurrencies to top up our cellphones, to make purchases online, and there are even people reserving hotel rooms. ".

    Sanctuary From Sanction.

    Fusyona, purportedly Cuba's first-ever cryptocurrency exchange, currently boasts a user base of 1,300 people. Alongside crypto trading, the bespoke platform, distinctively designed for Cuba's unique problems, also allows remittance payments.

    Speaking to US news, Adrian see. Leon, founder of Fusyona noted the growing importance of cryptocurrencies:

    "For foreigners, cryptocurrencies is just another option. But for Cubans, it is a necessity and can be a solution to their exclusion from the global financial community. ".

    However, fears remain that the government will impose its own restriction on cryptocurrency-related services.

    "We worry the government will restrict us, prohibit things, start to say this is illicit enrichment," explained Leon.

    It's not just Cubans who are undermining US sanctions, Venuzealuans have been using cryptocurrencies as a workaround for several years. Iranian's too have been hot on bitcoin trading and mining to avoid its own sanctions. In fact, this recently reached an extent to which the Iranian government seized a reported 1,000 miners; all in an effort to reduce the impact crypto mining was having on energy consumption.

    Regardless, international sanctions placed on misbehaving governments continue to be undermined by little old bitcoin.

  3. #1644

    Fabrica del Arte

    Hey,

    Just read an article about this place. I've posted before about it but in case you missed my posts here it goes again.

    Fabrica de Arte Cubano.

    Havana, Cuba.

    While many visitors to Cuba's capital might gravitate to the candy-colored buildings and classic cars of Old Havana, it's worth a trip to the city's Vedado neighborhood to see Fábrica de Arte Cubano. Created by Cuban rocker X Alfonso in 2014, the cooking-oil factory turned community project has quickly become the city's buzzy creative hub. Within the cavernous warehouse's refurbished walls, you'll find galleries, performance-art spaces and a dance floor that's home to the capital's most captivating movers and shakers. As Havana prepares to celebrate its 500th anniversary this year, look to Fábrica to see its cultural future. —Cady Lang.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails fabrica-de-arte-cubano-havana.jpg‎  

  4. #1643

    El Carnaval de La Habana

    Hey,

    Just a heads up. For the next 2 weekends it's carnival time in La Habana. Starting tomorrow Friday the 16th thru Sunday the 18th and next week from Friday the 23rd to the 25th.

    This takes place along the Malecon. For those lucky enough visiting at these times report back with your experiences both the good and the bad.

    Article info below in Español......

    Mondo

    El Carnaval de La Habana, que comenzará mañana 16 de agosto, a las 9 p.m., saludará el medio milenio de la ciudad, dijo Georgina Cortés, directora del Centro Provincial de estos festejos, que según expresó ganan cada vez más en el gusto del pueblo y reflejan la idiosincrasia y costumbres vinculadas al baile y la danza.

    Las fiestas carnavalescas proseguirán los días 17 y 18, y del 23 al 25, con escenario en el Malecón, desde la calle 19 hasta Marina, por donde desfilarán las esperadas comparsas y las carrozas.

    Efraín Sabás, director artístico del Carnaval de La Habana, manifestó en conferencia de prensa que esos festejos, con el eslogan Carnaval a lo grande, por La Habana 500, muestran una notable recuperación y el gran arraigo popular que poseen.

    Añadió que tomarán parte relevantes compañías como las del Cabaret Tropicana, el Ballet Revolution y por primera vez la Ópera de la Calle, populares agrupaciones y orquestas, entre estas las de Willy Campa, además de las célebres parrandas de Remedios y las de Bejucal, el proyecto Timbalaye, y una representación de Veracruz, México.

    Bailables populares se efectuarán en los municipios habaneros durante el Carnaval, antecedido el 12 de agosto por una fiesta infantil en el teatro Karl Marx, en la que participaron 600 niños, la cantante Liuba María Hevia y la agrupación La colmenita.

    En el encuentro con la prensa se anunció que el carnaval infantil se efectuará el 27 de agosto, a partir de las cinco de la tarde en el tramo comprendido entre las calles 19 y Marina, con la actuación de unas 20 comparsas y de La Colmenita.

    Un jurado presidido por Manolo Micler, director del Conjunto Folklórico Nacional y Premio Nacional de Danza 2017, premiará lo mejor de las comparsas tradicionales y contemporáneas y el apartado de los denominados alegóricos.

    Desde el lunes último están a la venta las entradas para el tradicional festejo habanero, que asimismo saludará el centenario del natalicio del cantante Benny Moré, los aniversarios 60 de los Guaracheros de Regla y el 30 del Centro Provincial del Carnaval de La Habana.

  5. #1642

    Mondo

    Yes I understood your post. I was pointing out what I paid for a Taxi to Santa Clara and Ciego de Avila, and that the new rail cars would be a great alternative to the outrageous taxi fares outside of Havana.

    BTW, I've been to Cuba many times and I'm well aware of the difference between CUP and CUC

    Thanks again Mondo.

    EDIT - I actually paid 150 CUC to go from Havana to Santa Clara by Taxi, so that's roughly $175 USD which is outrageous, but I couldn't be stopped, had to get that sweet pussy down in Santa Clara, same goes for Ciego de Avila.

  6. #1641

    Re: Fares

    Quote Originally Posted by TyDown  [View Original Post]
    Thanks Mondo, I hope Cuba gets their shit together with these new rail cars, I've heard nightmare stories about the old railcars.

    If they clean up their act, it would be a great alternative, (and a chance to see the Island from another perspective) to the outrageous taxis fees for travelling out of Havana.

    $150 USD one-way trip to Santa Clara. OUTRAGEOUS!

    $200 USD one-way trip to Ciego de Avila. OUTRAGEOUS!

    Anyway, I'll be back in Havana this fall, going to check it out, thanks again Mondo.
    Hey TD,

    Guess you didn't read my post thru or maybe you misunderstood it. The fares posted are in CUP not CUC, so taken your numbers the 150 fare you mentioned would be about 6 CUC and the one you posted about 200 would be about 8 CUC. Pretty cheap if you ask me.

    As I posted you need to have CUP to get these fares. Easy solution as I mentioned, exchange some CUC for CUP at a cadeca, bank and you're good to go as far as paying in CUP. I think most Cuba mongers here are up to speed to do this sort of thing either thru a chica or a friend.

    Prolly if you are a "tourist" fares will be higher, then again I'm no tourist.

    Mondo.

    ps Btw, there are 2 options on these fares. One with A/C and reclining seats and the other one without it. The one wih A/C costs more of course.

  7. #1640
    Quote Originally Posted by Mondo707  [View Original Post]
    Hey,

    Starting this weekend Cuba's rail system is offering new service throughout most of Eastern Cuba.

    So, for those of you who like venturing out into the countryside this seems like a good option.

    The article below mainly gives out the info along with prices. Those prices are in CUP (Cuban pesos) so not sure how it would work with CUC yet.

    I know if I was to go I'd have not problem getting by with CUP as I always exchange some CUC into CUP.

    BTW, the railroad system has always been a nightmare in Cuba, would not recommend to anyone, hope things improve with the new railroad cars.

    For those who are fluent in Espaol I included the original article, the rest of you do a Google transalation.

    Mondo.
    Thanks Mondo, I hope Cuba gets their shit together with these new rail cars, I've heard nightmare stories about the old railcars.

    If they clean up their act, it would be a great alternative, (and a chance to see the Island from another perspective) to the outrageous taxis fees for travelling out of Havana.

    $150 USD one-way trip to Santa Clara. OUTRAGEOUS!

    $200 USD one-way trip to Ciego de Avila. OUTRAGEOUS!

    Anyway, I'll be back in Havana this fall, going to check it out, thanks again Mondo.

  8. #1639

    New travel option in Cuba

    Hey,

    Starting this weekend Cuba's rail system is offering new service throughout most of Eastern Cuba.

    So, for those of you who like venturing out into the countryside this seems like a good option.

    The article below mainly gives out the info along with prices. Those prices are in CUP (Cuban pesos) so not sure how it would work with CUC yet.

    I know if I was to go I'd have not problem getting by with CUP as I always exchange some CUC into CUP.

    BTW, the railroad system has always been a nightmare in Cuba, would not recommend to anyone, hope things improve with the new railroad cars.

    For those who are fluent in Español I included the original article, the rest of you do a Google transalation.

    Mondo.

    8 julio 2019.

    2.

    A partir del prximo 13 de julio una noticia muy esperada por miles de cubanos se har realidad: Iniciar el servicio de transportaciand ferroviaria con LOS coches chinos adquiridos recientemente en el pas. Para conocer en detalles see youles serand LOS precios, LOS itinerarios why otros elementos imprescindible de cara al nuevo servicio, la Mesa Redonda dialog con el ministro del ramo why otros directivos de la Uniand de Ferrocarriles de Cuba.

    Un cambio radical para el ferrocarril cubano.

    En la ciudad de LOS parques, LOS nuevos coches de tren adquiridos por Cuba. Foto: Aroldo Garca Fombellida.

    Al valorar la transportaciand ferroviaria en Cuba, el Ministro del Transporte, Eduardo Rodrguez thevila, explic que tiene muchas potencialidades, pero que sufri un gran deterioro en LOS ltimos aos.

    "Hoy la calidad de LOS servicios ferroviarios no es buena. De hecho, en 2018 no logramos subir de 153 trenes, contando LOS coches motores. El mal estado de LOS vagones no ayuda. Adems, desde la thecada de 1970 Cuba no reciba trenes nuevos. Solo haban llegado al pas coches de segunda mano con varios aos de explotaciand", coment.

    Frente a esa realidad, el pas impulsa desde hace aos un programa de modernizaciand del ferrocarril en Cuba. En ese sentido, se ha ido avanzando en la transportaciand de carga, pero ahora estos nuevos coches de pasajeros resuelven una tarea pendiente.

    Aunque el Ministro del Transporte confirm que aun no llegan al pas las locomotoras para LOS vagones de LOS nuevos trenes, el servicio iniciar el prximo 13 de julio con la entrada en funcionamiento de LOS primeros 80 coches, cada uno de ellos valorado en ms de medio milland de thelares.

    A su vez, Rodrguez thevila aclar que en 2020 se prev el arribo de otros 80 equipos, why en 2021 una cantidad similar. "Todo este programa de inversiones incluye la recepciand de piezas de repuesto, el equipamiento especializado para las reparaciones why la asistencia tcnica en Cuba de representantes de LOS fabricantes".

    "LOS nuevos trenes son un gran reto, porque transforman completamente el servicio que prestamos a la poblaciand. Ahora se debe poner en alto la responsabilidad de LOS trabajadores ferroviarios por cuidarlos. Hay que prestar un servicio amable, seguro, donde se cumplan todas las normas de seguridad", agreg.

    En sentido, el Ministro llam a la poblaciand a participar con una vigilancia colectiva para evitar cualquier irregularidad en este servicio, solo una parte del amplio programa de recuperaciand del sector ferroviario en Cuba.

    Finalmente, anunci que LOS coches que actualmente brindan el servicio en las rutas nacionales beneficiadas, serand llevados a LOS talleres para darles un mantenimiento why emplearlos en otros lugares. A su vez, tambiand confirm las proyecciones para lanzar una aplicaciand mvil que permita a LOS usuarios reservar why pagar sus boletos a travs de LOS telfonos celulares.

    Rutas, horarios why servicios.

    En otro momento de la Mesa Redonda, Eduardo Hernndez, Director de la Uniand Nacional de Ferrocarriles de Cuba, explic que LOS nuevos servicios de trenes comenzarand a funcionar basados en un grupo de premisas, todas dirigidas a brindar un servicio de calidad why responder a las demandas de la poblaciand.

    Entre ellas, mencion el incremento de la frecuencia de viajes why la reapertura de rutas cerradas desde hace aos. En ese sentido, explic que el itinerario Habana-Santiago de Cuba tendr una salida cada dos theas, mientras LOS trenes con destino a Guantnamo, Bayamo why Manzanillo lo harand cada tres. Asimismo, se retoma la ruta Habana-Holguand, suspendida desde 2005.

    Respecto a la calidad de LOS coches, el directivo dijo record que cada dotaciand estar compuesta por cuatro coches con servicio de aire acondicionado why otros siete con ventanillas why ventiladores en el techo. A su vez, tambiand se trabaja para ofertar una merienda a cada pasajero durante el trayecto why reforzar la alimentaciand en las terminales del pas donde LOS nuevos trenes realizarand paradas.

    Por su parte, sobre el uso del equipaje, Eduardo Hernndez especific que cada pasajero tiene derecho a llevar una maleta de mano why otras dos acompaantes. Cada uno de esos maletines debe estar dentro de LOS lmites de 70 x50 x40 cm, o en no exceder LOS 160 cm en la sumatoria del largo, el ancho why la altura.

    Sobre la venta de LOS boletos, especific que LOS precios se ajustan a la calidad why el confort de LOS coches, why que las tarifas que se cobrarand hasta las estaciones intermedias a lo largo del pas serand publicados este martes. En todos LOS casos, el valor mnimo para LOS coches sin climatizaciand es de cinco pesos, mientras LOS que poseen aire acondicionado tienen un costo mnimo de diez pesos por persona.

    "Otra de nuestras premisas es que todos LOS boletos se comercialicen en las oficinas de la Empresa Viajeros, siempre con un plazo de antelaciand de hasta 30 theas. El prximo mircoles 10 de julio iniciaremos la venta en todos LOS locales habilitados", confirm.

    Finalmente, el directivo se refiri a la estrategia para minimizar el tiempo de circulaciand de estos trenes. Entre las decisiones ms importantes para cumplir ese propsito, mencion la reducciand de paradas. Para ello, dijo que se han evaluado las transportaciones intermodales en algunos territorios, con el propsito de llevar a las personas hasta LOS lugares donde el tren no realiza paradas.

    Como promedio, cada uno de LOS viajes tiene capacidad para mover alrededor de 766 pasajeros, lo que implica un desafo para LOS trabajadores ferroviarios, pero tambiand un compromiso de LOS usuarios para preservar el servicio de transporte masivo ms barato que tendr el pas.

    Para que todo marche por buen carril.

    Al intervenir en la Mesa Redonda, Luis Roberto Ross Hernndez, director de UEB de Trenes Nacionales de Pasajeros explic que, para asegurar la puesta en marcha del nuevo servicio, se repararon de 12 locomotoras why se establece un sistema de control de LOS coches a lo largo de todo el pas.

    A la par, se LE realizaron acciones de mantenimiento why embellecimiento de las terminales why patios ferroviarios por donde circularan LOS trenes. "Queremos lograr un sostenimiento del servicio. La partida de estos coches tiene que constituir un punto de inflexiand para LOS transportistas ferrocarrileros".

    Detall adems que, el pasaje adquirido por la poblaciand es vlido solamente para el thea why hora estipulado en el mismo. Este debe ser conservado durante todo el viaje. "La presentaciand en la terminal se realizar con dos horas previas al embarco why siempre debe rectificarse LOS boletines con el carn de identidad o pasaporte".

    Se prohbe la msica a bordo del tren con medios individuales que cause molestia al resto de LOS pasajeros.

    Se prohbe arrojar desechos a bordo del tren, as como en LOS andenes o estaciones durante el recorrido.

    No se permite consumir bebidas alcohlicas, ni personas en estado de embriaguez sobre LOS coches.

    No se permite fumar a bordo del tren.

    Queda prohibido usar objetos punzantes, armas blancas, sustancias qumicas e inflamables why animales vivos.

    El funcionario recomend adems no trasportar alimentos congelados para evitar escurrimientos e insisti que se prestar especial atenciand a la puntualidad de LOS recorridos.

    En otro momento del espacio radio-televisivo, Ross Hernndez, subray el amplio proceso de capacitaciand que se ha desarrollado con el personal que trabajar en las nuevas formaciones. En este sentido mencion LOS cursos de preparaciand recibidos en la Repblica Popular China why LOS aplicados en la Mayor de las Antillas con las ferromozas.

    Sobre este ltimo tema, Ftima Palacios Garrido, vicedirectora de la Uniand de Ferrocarriles de Cuba, dijo que este elemento es fundamental para lograr un servicio de calidad a la poblaciand. "La preparaciand del personal ha estado centrada en aquellos cargos que intervienen en la prestaciand del servicio. Para ello contamos con un centro de formaciand ferroviaria con escuelas filiales en todo el pas", acot.

    Mencion que entre LOS temas impartidos est la educaciand formal why las buenas prcticas, elemento fundamental para las exigencias actuales.

    Palacios Garrido anunci que pronto estar disponible una aplicaciand mvil (Movilweb), con informaciand sobre paradas, itinerarios, precios, entre otros elementos de relevancia para el viajero. "Esta prestaciand no necesita conexiand de datos mviles. As mismo, se podr consultar en tiempo real la posiciand del tren, para lo cual, si habr que habilitar el servicio de datos", puntualiz.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails image 1.jpg‎   image 2.jpg‎   image 3.jpg‎   image 4.jpg‎   image 5.jpg‎  

    image 6.png‎  

  9. #1638

    Bringing chicas to hotels, especially MarAzul / Tropicoco and Guanabo?

    Hey,

    I'll be visiting Cuba and will be staying along the Havana coast at the Playas del Este.

    I have been recommended an All Inclusive stay at the MarAzul (formerly Tropicoco) which is indeed a good deal.

    But the big question is: Do they allow chicas in that hotel? Can I even bring one there every day? Do I have to bribe the guard? I'd like to go for the girlfriend experience and not steal away to some cheap hourly casa nearby every time I want to do the deed.

    If All Inclusive at MarAzul does not allow chicas, do you know any that do?

    If not, can I easily bring chicas to the AirBnbs and CasasParticulares in the surrounding area, probably Guanabo?

    TLDR: How do I best bring girls to my hotel / casa in Playas del Este?

    Thanks!

  10. #1637
    Quote Originally Posted by Dccpa  [View Original Post]
    I was referring to the black market (street) rate.
    The black market street rate is. 93-. 96 for crisp 100 usd notes. Even though I've used the same guy about 20 times I still get nervous when he disappears into the back room for 10 minutes. Back in the day they would all be hanging around the bank near Inglaterra hotel. They would count out the money to you first.

    One time Growmman and I met a taxi guy that picked us up at the airport. He took us to this mansion and allegedly the guy was offering 1 cuc for 1 usd but we didn't get that good a deal when we arrived. The guy was rich and would give his wife USD to travel to Miami to shop. CUC is useless outside of Cuba.

  11. #1636
    Quote Originally Posted by Zeos1  [View Original Post]
    I think it is pegged to the US dollar, so you should pay approximately $1.12 or $1.13 per CUC. Which is $1 plus 10% penalty plus whatever exchange costs are. I've never used USD there. If you use Euros or Can $ you have to account for exchanging into that, and then whatever the exchange rate between that currency and USD will be the base for conversion. Gets complicated. But by doing that you don't get the 10% penalty. But in effect have 2 exchange transactions. Which may be 5% (2.5 x 2).
    I was referring to the black market (street) rate.

  12. #1635
    Quote Originally Posted by Free2  [View Original Post]
    Just got back from Varadero, and at the airport they gave me 0. 70 CUC for every Canadian dollar. Ouch.
    Again, for all of you that have a bank card that is NOT US originated, you'd better use the ATM. You'll get the best exchange rate, moreover if your bank doesn't charge foreign currency commission.

  13. #1634

    Exchange

    Just got back from Varadero, and at the airport they gave me 0. 70 CUC for every Canadian dollar. Ouch.

  14. #1633
    Quote Originally Posted by Dccpa  [View Original Post]
    Hadn't any reports lately and I have some friends going early January.
    I think it is pegged to the US dollar, so you should pay approximately $1.12 or $1.13 per CUC. Which is $1 plus 10% penalty plus whatever exchange costs are. I've never used USD there. If you use Euros or Can $ you have to account for exchanging into that, and then whatever the exchange rate between that currency and USD will be the base for conversion. Gets complicated. But by doing that you don't get the 10% penalty. But in effect have 2 exchange transactions. Which may be 5% (2.5 x 2).

  15. #1632

    USD rate?

    Hadn't any reports lately and I have some friends going early January.

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