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Will Bostonians switch from Aruba to Havana?

The Boston Business Journal reports JetBlue has filed for permission to start direct flights to Cuba this September.

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Maybe Christmas in Havana this year? Sweet!

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You do know what was happening in Cuba before the Brothers Castro et al came to power there? Tourism is a natural resource for the new Cuba. Maybe gambling will be part and parcel of the new venu. Maybe Bacadi will return and make their rum and other spirits there.And all those old cars , maybe Jr. Boch will load up some Crowley containers with some surplus slow movers on his lots and trade them, Velocity Chanel could do a series on car restoration. Gonna need Howard Hughes to come back with TWA..........

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The cars are just shells. The interiors and mechanicals are usually Trabants or Ladas.

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will hopefully get to havana before all of its charm is washed away by the marriott and westin hotels of the world.

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By charm you mean crippling poverty from a corrupt command economy?

Tourists never get to see the real Cuba outside of what the government lets them see. It isn't pretty.

They haven't had an embargo from any other country except the US the past half century and still are a run down basket case.

Until Cuba has a representative government and at least a mixed economy it will continue to be a poverty stricken prison for those which live there.

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They do a lot better than countries where the US "helped" them by sending in giant corporations to "put them all to work".

The collapse of the Soviet Union actually improved access to healthy food in the long run since they don't use their most valuable land to produce nothing but sugar and tobacco for export.

They also live fairly long, healthy lives because everyone gets health care. Che?

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Swirls you do remember the other guys sent in somethings giant that almost got them , and others , back to the caveman era , without any cavemens !

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Citation please!

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I thought you didn't like Cuba because of the way it treats women?

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I'm not sure the people who lived through and are still recovering from the "Special Period" would put as positive a spin on it...

ETA: This is in response to Swirly's comment about improved diets.

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"Tourists never get to see the real Cuba outside of what the government lets them see. It isn't pretty."

Absolute bullshit. You have 100% free movement are can stay at private homes. Maybe youre thinking North Korea?

And last I checked theyre doing much better than all their peer countries in the Caribbean. How are those lovely mixed economies in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica etc etc doing?

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Correct. I have friends who sneaked into Cuba through Mexico. They said it was awesome - cheap vacation, friendly people. There are a lot of Russians (and probably Canadians too) who vacation in Cuba too, so the tourism industry is well-developed, despite what Americans might think.

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I want to ruin Havanna before it gets ruined by tourists like me.

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Having a floating Golden Corral disgorge 1,500 cruisegoers on the docks long enough to buy a "I Got Smoked In Havana" T-shirt and then be whisked away to the all-inclusive, no-locals resort is another.

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Absolutely, long-term probably not. Aruba is a safe island which you can travel around freely, Cuba is a 3 world shithole run by a communist dictatorship.

However, the socialist from Mass might feel at home down there!

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You have any crime statistics from Cuba you're withholding?

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tell that to natalee holloway!

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That's your crime-ridden hellhole? Not to take away from the awfulness of that case, but, let's not get carried away here.

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i'm being a smart ass. that said, aruba is a boring desert island with nothing to do but go to the casinos or roast in the sun. you can do that in Vegas or AC for a lot less money and a shorter flight.

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I'v been to Cuba, which is typically safe because its people are scared to death of the government and it's corrupt police state which is well know for incarcerating people for little to no reason. That being said, Cuba is a 3rd world dump with minimal municipal services and shortages of most consumer goods. You know because its a Socialist/Communist totalitarian state!

But then again Jamaica is a 3rd world country, and one of the most violent countries in the world and its a huge vacation destination.

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[READ: backwardness] for the jaded tourists from the US that will be added to the jaded tourists from Canada and Europe, etc. One of Cuba's big draw for tourists over the past 50-odd years is the quaintness (backwardness) their one party, totalitarian communist government has created.

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Cuba has its charms, but it's not really someplace you'd go for a relaxing vacation. The water's not safe to drink and, while the island is theoretically tourist-friendly, it isn't really. Hotels are very run down (sketchy electricity, toilets that don't work) and shortages of everything are common. There's also the moral weight of witnessing people who are struggling partly because of American policies.

It's a beautiful island, and really interesting to see, but not the same kind of trip as a trip to Aruba would be.

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problems. The fault lies with president for life Castro,Inc., and Cuban military who keep them in power. Most Cubans live in abject poverty with no hope for their future, while their revolutionary leaders are multimillionaires and billionaires. How anyone could defend them is beyond belief.

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There's also the moral weight of witnessing people who are struggling partly because of American policies.

That doesn't fit the "communist shithole" narrative!

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Cuba had free trade with the entire world except the US during the embargo and still is and will continue to be a cesspool until the current regime of thieves is deposed.

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If you think that the US didn't find alternative means to limit their "free" trade. Or willfully ignorant.

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This is the description I have heard from those who have been there as well, with the addition that it is very difficult to navigate if you do not speak Spanish fluently. The island has been open to European and Canadian travelers for some time and, as I understand it, they mainly stick to large isolated resorts for foreigners just like in much of the rest of the Carribian. Ever heard of any one who visited the real Jamaica? If you are a true adventure traveler I can see the real lure of visiting Cuba in the same way that I can see the lure of visiting Laos or Nicaragua or, for that matter, the real Jamaica.

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People are different, right? One person's idea of vacation is another person's idea of hell or boring. Some people go to just kick back, some go for an adventure, some go to see something different, some go for a challenge, some go to help others - all sorts of reasons. Cuba would definitely be a different place to see as long as one's expectations are in line with reality. Electricity goes out - who cares?

I went to Aruba once, and after seeing all the chain shops and restaurants, I probably will not go back again. But that's just me.

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The BBJ article doesn't mention that the Boston-Havana route was ranked 10 out of 12 in terms of priority in JetBlue's application. Given that Havana is capped at 20 daily flights, there is no way JetBlue will be awarded half of the available frequencies and, consequently, very little chance of BOS-HAV happening. Perhaps in another round of liberalization talks it might happen, but it doesn't seem likely given how South Florida-centric demand to Cuba is.

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Won't the return flights be packed with asylum seekers? How will that work?

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Source of your conjecture?

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All those asylum seekers, they're flush with cash. They can very easily purchase plane tickets and pass through customs to get to their chosen country, hence why most asylum seekers arrive on foot or on rickety boats.

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Cubans pay thousands of dollars for a ride on those rickety boats. Same for people from other countries who come on foot. The difference is that anyone from Cuba who comes by plane becomes automatically eligible for asylum (with benefits) the moment the plane lands in the USA.

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GOP presidential candidates.

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