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Author Topic: Cuba  (Read 2913 times)
KD8MJR
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Posts: 2175




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« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2013, 11:54:11 AM »

I certainly would not even consider the Radio since the paper work and effort would be a major pain in the butt.

For those who's comments sound like something from the 1980's I would suggest you rethink Cuba and understand that much has changed.  Cubans now travel all around the Caribbean freely, they buy a ton of stuff in the other islands and bring it back to Cuba and make money selling it.  Information etc is not locked down in Cuba like it once was, there are a Ton of satellite dishes in Cuba picking up Directv and Dishnetwork so it's obvious the Government does not care one way or the other, not to mention the fact that you can pick up a phone and just call anyone who owns a phone in Cuba.

In regards to Ham Radio laws, they are just like any other country in the sense that if you operate an illegal station you will be punished.  The only difference is that they take it seriously and years in jail may be the punishment.

If it sounds like I admire them I do admire the people but not the Government.  If you go there and see what they do with little they have it's amazing.   Watching a guy make an engine part from a hunk of raw metal is very impressive, they are friendly people who live life without moaning and groaning about every obstacle life throws at them.
 
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N2RJ
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« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2013, 12:16:50 PM »

Quite a few people from my old country go to Cuba. There's still the air of the place being stuck in time but China is cooperating with them quite a lot now as are their Caribbean neighbors.

I predict that the USA will be on board soon. I wouldn't mind visiting but I will leave the radios at home along with my winter clothing. Smiley
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KD8MJR
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« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2013, 01:11:22 PM »

Quite a few people from my old country go to Cuba. There's still the air of the place being stuck in time but China is cooperating with them quite a lot now as are their Caribbean neighbors.

I predict that the USA will be on board soon. I wouldn't mind visiting but I will leave the radios at home along with my winter clothing. Smiley

A lot of Americans would be really frightened if they knew what China was up to!
They are in almost every Latin America and Caribbean country using their money (thanks USA consumer) to buy influence and power.  Right now most of the countries that surround the United States are getting very very friendly with China.  I can tell you from personal experience that in most countries they would rather deal with the USA but since the USA has been MIA since 2001 they have now see China as their new partner.


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N2RJ
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« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2013, 01:24:30 PM »

A lot of Americans would be really frightened if they knew what China was up to!
They are in almost every Latin America and Caribbean country using their money (thanks USA consumer) to buy influence and power. 

And oil and natural gas too.
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AF3Y
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Posts: 3726




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« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2013, 03:08:05 PM »

Quite a few people from my old country go to Cuba. There's still the air of the place being stuck in time but China is cooperating with them quite a lot now as are their Caribbean neighbors.

I predict that the USA will be on board soon. I wouldn't mind visiting but I will leave the radios at home along with my winter clothing. Smiley

I have always wanted to travel to Cuba.  If for no other reason, to see all the 1950s and 1960s cars they have somehow kept running!

My father was a civil engineer during WWII and was given a draft exemption and assigned to building military airfields in Guatemala and Brazil. He once told me that the most beautiful women he had ever seen were in Havana. He said they could get a plane over to Cuba quite often, and the R & R trips were enjoyable after nothing but the jungles, coconut wine and the locals for entertainment.

Yep, I would like to make that little trip. Just a hop from Florida..... Undecided

I had a post military travel restriction, but that expired a LONG time ago Grin.
73, Gene AF3Y
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NU4B
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Posts: 2204




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« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2013, 03:18:49 PM »

Quite a few people from my old country go to Cuba. There's still the air of the place being stuck in time but China is cooperating with them quite a lot now as are their Caribbean neighbors.

I predict that the USA will be on board soon. I wouldn't mind visiting but I will leave the radios at home along with my winter clothing. Smiley

I have always wanted to travel to Cuba.  If for no other reason, to see all the 1950s and 1960s cars they have somehow kept running!

My father was a civil engineer during WWII and was given a draft exemption and assigned to building military airfields in Guatemala and Brazil. He once told me that the most beautiful women he had ever seen were in Havana. He said they could get a plane over to Cuba quite often, and the R & R trips were enjoyable after nothing but the jungles, coconut wine and the locals for entertainment.

Yep, I would like to make that little trip. Just a hop from Florida..... Undecided

I had a post military travel restriction, but that expired a LONG time ago Grin.
73, Gene AF3Y

Maybe if we would end our highly successful (not) 50 year old Cuba embargo...
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NU1O
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« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2013, 07:27:19 AM »

I certainly would not even consider the Radio since the paper work and effort would be a major pain in the butt.

For those who's comments sound like something from the 1980's I would suggest you rethink Cuba and understand that much has changed.  Cubans now travel all around the Caribbean freely, they buy a ton of stuff in the other islands and bring it back to Cuba and make money selling it.  Information etc is not locked down in Cuba like it once was, there are a Ton of satellite dishes in Cuba picking up Directv and Dishnetwork so it's obvious the Government does not care one way or the other, not to mention the fact that you can pick up a phone and just call anyone who owns a phone in Cuba.

You make it sound as if they had a revolution like those in the former Communist countries of Eastern Europe after the fall of the Soviet Empire. Cuba is still a Communist regime with all the restrictions on freedom that entails.

I don't know how Cubans are able to buy a "ton" of stuff around the Caribbean when the CIA Factbook says:

"The average Cuban's standard of living remains at a lower level than before the downturn of the 1990s" Also, only a small percetage of Cubans are working in what we would classify as private sector jobs. Many educated Cubans are taking jobs as taxi drivers amd waiters, etc., so they can earn hard currency from tourists. That's just a waste of an education as far as I'm concerned.


In regards to Ham Radio laws, they are just like any other country in the sense that if you operate an illegal station you will be punished.  The only difference is that they take it seriously and years in jail may be the punishment.

I assume you mean monetary punishment but I suspect if one opened a "Pirate" radio station in Cuba they would find themselves in a jail as you claim. The typical Cuban does NOT have access to the internet as we know it. Those that have internet access have access to a kind of intranet run by the Cuban government and for most users it's at dialup speed.  

In many countries those that operate a radio illegally are not punished at all unless they are interferring with an important service such as police, fire, or aeronautical services. It is a low priority offense and there aren't enough enforcement agents. Take a listen between 27.410 up to 27.999 when 10 meters is open worldwide and you will hear stations from all over the world.

I talk to many European amateurs who started out on 11 meters and many are proud to say they were once "Pirates."  I've only heard of one who told me government officials came to his house and that was last week during a QSO with a station from Holland. He was visited a second time and fined about 1,000 Euros but he said he was causing a lot of TVI. The authorities finally convinced him to get an amateur license but it sounded like he enjoyed his "Pirate" days better. I still hear of Pirate stations (and read their reception reports) operating near the 40 meter ham band and Pirate FM stations in US cities are getting to be really popular with certain groups.

The difference with regards to punishment is one country is trying to control as much information as it can while most of the other countries realize it's a harmless violation unless it effects important radio transmissions.

If it sounds like I admire them I do admire the people but not the Government.  If you go there and see what they do with little they have it's amazing.   Watching a guy make an engine part from a hunk of raw metal is very impressive, they are friendly people who live life without moaning and groaning about every obstacle life throws at them.

I don't find anything admirable about making do with little. It just illustartes to me how much better the Cubans could be doing with a market based economy. Our citizens here in the US and in most of the world did the same thing during the Great Depression.

As for little moaning and groanng, it's due to the fact that they have learned after 50 plus years of Communist Party rule it doesn't help make things better since the moans and groans are ignored by the Communist Party, but it most certainly does not mean the average Cuban is content with their current way of life.

73,

Chris/NU1O
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 07:46:32 AM by NU1O » Logged
NU1O
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Posts: 2645




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« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2013, 09:26:40 AM »

By pure coincidence, I just read this article about Cuba's long awaited fiber optic link for telephone and the internet:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/22/us-cuba-internet-idUSBRE90L13020130122

73,

Chris/NU1O

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N2RJ
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Posts: 1178




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« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2013, 09:43:02 AM »


You make it sound as if they had a revolution like those in the former Communist countries of Eastern Europe after the fall of the Soviet Empire. Cuba is still a Communist regime with all the restrictions on freedom that entails.

Not really. The travel restrictions have been loosened significantly. It used to be that you had to pay an exit fee to leave the country and get a letter of invitation. That isn't true anymore. The requirements are the same as for US citizens traveling abroad - passport and entry visa from the country you are visiting.

It doesn't mean that Cubans are now jetting all over the world. They are still mostly poor. And getting a passport is still a challenge. But it is in many places.

But it does mean that the Government doesn't place as many legal barriers to travel.

Cubans are also now allowed to own cell phones and stay in hotels.

I don't think the USA will grant an entry visa to Cubans because they are presumed to have immigrant intent, and besides there's no US embassy in Cuba to even grant a visa in the first place. The closest one is in Kingston, Jamaica.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 09:49:08 AM by N2RJ » Logged
NU1O
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Posts: 2645




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« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2013, 03:52:27 PM »


You make it sound as if they had a revolution like those in the former Communist countries of Eastern Europe after the fall of the Soviet Empire. Cuba is still a Communist regime with all the restrictions on freedom that entails.

Not really. The travel restrictions have been loosened significantly. It used to be that you had to pay an exit fee to leave the country and get a letter of invitation. That isn't true anymore. The requirements are the same as for US citizens traveling abroad - passport and entry visa from the country you are visiting.

It doesn't mean that Cubans are now jetting all over the world. They are still mostly poor. And getting a passport is still a challenge. But it is in many places.

But it does mean that the Government doesn't place as many legal barriers to travel.

Cubans are also now allowed to own cell phones and stay in hotels.

I don't think the USA will grant an entry visa to Cubans because they are presumed to have immigrant intent, and besides there's no US embassy in Cuba to even grant a visa in the first place. The closest one is in Kingston, Jamaica.


I found your sentence which concluded travel rules in the US and Cuba to be similar to be both untrue and very naive.  According to the Wikipedia article on Human Rights, Cuban Citizens cannot leave or return to Cuba without first obtaining official permission.

Also since a Cuban doctor makes less than $1,000 a year, what good is a right to travel if only a select few can afford to do so?  The same applies to the ability to stay at a hotel or own a cell phone. Those "rights" may look good on paper to foreigners but they are of no practical value to average Cubans.

When I think of a telephone the first thing that comes to mind is my right as a US citizen to free speech.  Cubans have no right to free speech.  A telephone would not nearly be so important to me if I had to be on guard about anything I might say in case my government found it offensive and I wound up in prison or a labor camp.

Another thing I found of interest in the Wikipedia Human Rights section on Cuba were the laws with respect to both computer usage and the Internet.  These are likely the reasons so few Cubans use LoTW.

As a result of ownership restrictions, computer ownership rates are among the world's lowest. The right to use the Internet is granted only to selected locations and they may be monitored. Connecting to the Internet illegally can lead to a five-year prison sentence.

When you were making your US/Cuba comparison why did you leave the above out? The PC and Internet rules pertaining to Cubans are more relevant to this forum than travel rules which are mostly meaningless for most Cubans.

73,

Chris/NU1O



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NU1O
Member

Posts: 2645




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« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2013, 04:40:15 PM »


In that case, I guess that I should assume all of the Cuban hams I have had QSOs with are probably
loyal members of the party? I doubt if they could obtain a license otherwise...... Huh

BTW, I believe it is OK, legal to go to Cuba, (I could be wrong on that, tho.) but IS against the law to spend US dollars in Cuba. Go figure..... Undecided (convert your funds prior to leaving... hi)

73, Gene AF3Y

I worked a Cuban on CW today and at the end of our short QSO he tapped out God Bless. I would think a true believer would be an atheist so I kind of doubt all are Party members.  Obviously, not all Party members are true believers. Some join because they think it will mean a better job, or more perks, but I would think they would be the one's most apt to leave out God Bless since they are really living a lie.

Gene, were you in the Army Intel Agency when you were a ham and did they put any restrictions on you?

73,

Chris/NU1O
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AF3Y
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Posts: 3726




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« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2013, 04:55:32 PM »


Gene, were you in the Army Intel Agency when you were a ham and did they put any restrictions on you?

73,
Chris/NU1O

Chris.... I was in the Army Security Agency for 6 years. I was not a ham at that time. Prior to discharge, as part of a "de-briefing", I had to sign a form that I would not "Visit, Travel Through, or FLY OVER any Communist controled country" for a period of ___?____ years. (My memory is not what it used to be, but that was basically what I signed. I always remembered the FLY OVER part!)  I do Not remember how long it was for, but it is certainly no longer a problem, since I was discharged in 1964!  Shocked hi

We, along with the Naval Security Group and Air Force Security Service were the "cheap labor force" for the NSA at the time. hi hi

73, Gene AF3Y
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 05:07:44 PM by AF3Y » Logged
K1DA
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Posts: 482




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« Reply #27 on: January 24, 2013, 11:25:41 AM »

A number of us who DX a little remember the first signs of change in the old USSR, when home based ham operators  with up to date Japanese gear began to appear alongside the radio "klubs" "near Moscow" where it was "wx cold" using "15 tube radios" (and no doubt a "kommizar" sitting behind the guest op of the moment)  They used SSB and spoke such good english we suspected they might be KGB.
There was a time when the only  address for ANY Russian ham  station was "Box 88,  Moscow".  Things seem to be changing in the "worker's paradise" that is the Spanish minority dominated Cuba of today,   no doubt in part because so many more people are needed in the "technical arts".  I have heard the government "functionaries" now have access to lots of new Korean cars.
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N2RJ
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Posts: 1178




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« Reply #28 on: January 24, 2013, 11:52:43 AM »


I found your sentence which concluded travel rules in the US and Cuba to be similar to be both untrue and very naive.  According to the Wikipedia article on Human Rights, Cuban Citizens cannot leave or return to Cuba without first obtaining official permission.

Wow, do you always have to be that obnoxious when you reply?

FWIW the laws were changed. They had to get an exit visa in order to travel. Now they do not. This was part of Raul Castro's reforms. They just need a passport and entry visa to the other country. The migration law is still in place but that is slated to be changed as well.

And as a US citizen, you try leaving the country without a passport. Won't happen unless you swim! So US citizens also technically need permission to leave the country.

Here's where they end the exit visa requirement:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/17/world/americas/cuba-lifts-much-reviled-rule-the-exit-visa.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0


Quote
Also since a Cuban doctor makes less than $1,000 a year, what good is a right to travel if only a select few can afford to do so?  The same applies to the ability to stay at a hotel or own a cell phone. Those "rights" may look good on paper to foreigners but they are of no practical value to average Cubans.

I already addressed that.

Quote
When I think of a telephone the first thing that comes to mind is my right as a US citizen to free speech.  Cubans have no right to free speech.  A telephone would not nearly be so important to me if I had to be on guard about anything I might say in case my government found it offensive and I wound up in prison or a labor camp.

Another thing I found of interest in the Wikipedia Human Rights section on Cuba were the laws with respect to both computer usage and the Internet.  These are likely the reasons so few Cubans use LoTW.

As a result of ownership restrictions, computer ownership rates are among the world's lowest. The right to use the Internet is granted only to selected locations and they may be monitored. Connecting to the Internet illegally can lead to a five-year prison sentence.

When you were making your US/Cuba comparison why did you leave the above out? The PC and Internet rules pertaining to Cubans are more relevant to this forum than travel rules which are mostly meaningless for most Cubans.

73,

Chris/NU1O

I wasn't going to write a novel on Cuba. I was only addressing the travel issue.

And Cubans can use LoTW very easily - with a QSL manager. Many of them already use QSL managers anyway.
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NU1O
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Posts: 2645




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« Reply #29 on: January 24, 2013, 03:45:14 PM »


I found your sentence which concluded travel rules in the US and Cuba to be similar to be both untrue and very naive.  According to the Wikipedia article on Human Rights, Cuban Citizens cannot leave or return to Cuba without first obtaining official permission.

Wow, do you always have to be that obnoxious when you reply?


When somebody tries to equate human rights in Cuba with human rights in the USA, which is what you are doing, I find it extremely hard to take the other person seriously.  At least KD8MJR wrote he admires the people but NOT the government. You have not made that distinction.

I read the NY Times article from October very carefully. One woman interviewed by the NY Times would not give her last name for fear of government reprisals. Another woman who is eligible for a Spanish passport because her grandparents were from Spain, said, “Sure, I can go, but where am I going to get the money?”  Which was my point all along. There is also a clause that would make it extremely hard for Cuban professionals to leave the country. Cuba is not going to let their doctors come to the USA since they have 30,000 working in Venezuela to pay their oil bill.

Just what is your point, do you think Raul Castro is going to turn Cuba into a Western-style democracy?

You seem to be enamored with Cuba. Move there if you think it's such a wonderful country. I'm sure they would welcome you with open arms. Actually you did have a chance to move there since you were not born here in the USA but you passed on Cuba. Why is it the people who brag about Cuba usually do so from the comfort and safety of the US?

73,

Chris/NU1O
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 04:03:57 PM by NU1O » Logged
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