Fishing & Boating in Cuba (3 of 3)

IdlewildeIdlewilde Posts: 1,357 Officer
Once in the marina you can not just leave to go fishing, you have to go to the dock master's office and apply for a permit for the boat and those on it, to leave - and it is much easier if you do this the day prior to your wanting to go out (take everyone's passport and money as there is a small fee for the permit). And then when you do go out, you will need to stop at the seawall where you cleared in and let Immigration search your boat and check your paper work - don't even think about leaving without stopping at the Immigration seawall, or you will be chased by a speedboat loaded with guys carrying AK-47's. And then you have to stop at Immigration again on the way back in when you return to the marina. Same when you leave to go home - you need to apply for a permit to leave the day prior when you settle your bill at the dockmasters office, and you can not leave without this permit/paperwork as you have to stop at immigration to be searched again when leaving.

As anywhere in the world, once you are in the marina the dock guys are your friend who will bring you ice, tell you where to get this, that, or whatever you need. If you want to fish offshore Havana there are also a couple of roaving mates in the marina who know the fishing drill, so you may want to hire one - at least the first time you go out, and these guys are good - and like most Cubans, very friendly. There are two hotels in the marina, one is closer to the seawalls than the other, and there is a pool at both hotels. There is also a small grocery, and 3 restaurants within the marina.
Oh yes, almost forgot. If you are a serious bird hunter, or know someone who is, there is some pretty good snipe hunting in Cuba. In the winter duck hunting is just fair.

You will need to exchange your dollars for the Cuba equivalent, and you will pay an approximate 20% penalty. ie. for a US$100, you will get $82 Cuban dollars - a penalty caused by Castro's hate for the US, and you will encounter problems if you try to spend anything other than Castro's play money dollars in Cuba. Once you change your money, carry plenty of small bills as you will find situations where you can not give someone a 20 because they will not have change. No US credit cards are accepted in Cuba, no exceptions - it's cash only for Americans, so you'll need to take a wad of $100's with you. And don't cut yourself short on cash, because if you run out, you're in a heap of trouble because there is no place you can get cash - no place. Plan for the worst and hope for the best money wise, ie. what if you have a costly boat problem or get seriously injured and need to fly home and do not have enough cash to purchase a plane ticket? Answer = you're up the proverbial creek without a paddle.

Petty theft is rampant in Cuba, but major crimes are rare. Even though there is security in the Marina, lock everything on/in your boat that you do not want stolen. Some people think that even the security people may have sticky fingers. Same in your hotel room as in many cases, the entire hotel staff is in on relieving you of your "hidden" money - it gets split among the employees. Do not wear flashy jewelry anywhere in Cuba - leave it at home, as snatch and grab is rampant. If you carry a camera or purse on a strap, do so very carefully with the strap across your chest and the camera/purse against your stomach, or in Havana someone will snatch it off of your shoulder. Pickpocketing is also rampant - wear shorts/pants with velcro closures, as velcro secured pockets are your friend in Cuba. Or carry your money in your underware.

Two things you need to read before you go to Cuba. (1)Nigel Calder's book "Cuba, A Cruising Guide" (2nd/revised edition) - this is the Bible for going to Cuba by boat - Bluewater Books in Ft. Lauderdale has it, and (2)the Lonely Planet Guide to Cuba (for land stuff) - this is the Bible for land travel in Cuba - #2 would be the Moon Guide Book (both available at most book stores or on the LP website). The Lonely Planet website is good for general travel information on Cuba, but has no boating or fishing information http://www.lonelyplanet.com - go to the Cuba Forum.

Cuba is a fascinating country, the people are warm and very friendly, and regardless of their government, the people you will encounter love Americans and America - as everyone in Cuba has a friend or relative in the US. My advice to anyone who wants to go, is to go as soon as you are comfortable going - before it changes. Right now Cuba is still like stepping back in a time machine back to the 1950's, as not much has changed in Cuba since then. Oh, and forget about going there to buy one of the thousands of 1940 & 1950's era US cars. They are still there, but held together with Bondo and coat hangers, and many are now powered with a Russian farm tractor diesel engine! Know what a Lada car is? Ever see one? In Cuba you will learn what a $1000 Russian car looks like, as many are used as private taxi's!

This is the third and last of a series of 3 lengthy posts in this the Tropical Sportsman Forum, the total of which would not fit in one post due to website constraints.
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Replies

  • Tide Up 2Tide Up 2 Posts: 136 Deckhand
    Wow, great post with an amazing amount of information that you've obviously collected firsthand. Very interesting to see how quickly the fish population can be decimated when there's little or no concern for over harvesting, but understandable when you realize it's primarily subsistence fishing.

    I've always considered myself to be fairly adventurous when it comes to travel and outdoor pursuits but after reading this I think I'll stick with the Bahamas, Central America, and an occasional trip to Alaska!

    Thanks for a very interesting post.

    Dave
    GrandCayJuly2011084-2.jpg
    Previously "Sunliner" on the forum
  • yachteryachter Posts: 182 Deckhand
    Great post and very informative. It seems like one hell of a challenge to make sure and not screw up as far as checking in and out with immigration every time you want to do something. I have plans to go there within the next year but it will be by plane for the 1st time. I'm not even sure if going by boat is even worth it considering the lack of fish and provisions. I'm sure it's one hell of an experience. After your trip down there would you do it again or is that a trip that's crossed off the list? Again, thanks for the post.
  • Captain DaveCaptain Dave Posts: 3,392 Captain
    This was a great read and tutorial for anyone who's considering going. I was scheduled to fish the Hemmingway tournament in the late 90's with several other American sportfishing boats but the boat owner I worked for at the time freaked out at the last minute and changed his mind. My loss for sure, but someday I WILL get there. My friends who went said it was an incredible experience.

    I also heard that each night they have to hard-wire your 50 amp shore power cable to their system at Marina Hemmingway because the marina wasn't set up for 50 amp plugs. Hopefully that's been upgraded by now.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge. :beer
    72262-albums10528-picture94957.jpg

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  • RotorheadRotorhead Posts: 3 Greenhorn
    That was an awesome read. I have always wanted to go to Cuba. I had no idea the fishing was decimated like you describe. What a shame. My question though is how do you get there legally. I didnt think we, as American citizens, could go there without State Dept clearance. I know what our govt requires but is there another legal way?
  • snookyjsnookyj Posts: 1,687 Officer
    Awesome post and a great read!!! My grandaddy was lucky enough to fish one of the Hemmingway Marlin tournaments in 1985, i remember him having pictures of the event and a think a trophy of some sort, i'll ask my mom if she knows where they are and i'll post pics of them when i find them!
  • Blue ZoneBlue Zone Posts: 414 Officer
    Great report, thanks for putting that up.
    There is a lot less fishing pressure on the South coast, but it's a hike getting there by boat from the Keys. I fished out of Casa Batida on Cayo Largo by flying in from Havana and the place was swarming with bones and 'poons. They have modern FL flats boats and quite good guides. I don't know about offshore fishing there, but again very little pressure I'm sure. There is a decent marina there with a great manager (at the time) with whom I struck up a great friendship in spite of his being the "party chairman" for the island. A few US boats, but most were from Cayman.
  • circus actcircus act Posts: 230 Officer
    This was a great read and tutorial for anyone who's considering going. I was scheduled to fish the Hemmingway tournament in the late 90's with several other American sportfishing boats

    I also heard that each night they have to hard-wire your 50 amp shore power cable to their system at Marina Hemmingway because the marina wasn't set up for 50 amp plugs. Hopefully that's been upgraded by now.

    I fished the Hemmingway once and was lucky enough to fish another 5-6 trips, but not in a tournament....it was a great experience. Caught several small blue's and several sailfish; one boat hooked a blue they were guessing at 600, but it broke off.

    I'd like to check out the reef fishing, seemed like it was untapped.

    I went back/forth for a year or two via plane to visit friends I made....good times.
  • binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 8,797 Admiral
    real good report..but I think i'll wait to make the trip I have always wanted to make. Seems like your in danger,and jeopardy more then what it's worth.

    Here's to one day it opening up...
  • 2fastlx2fastlx Posts: 407 Deckhand
    Awesome post. Thanks for sharing.
  • alacrityalacrity Posts: 2,665 Captain
    this sounds like a place I would certainly want to go to, a place where the fishing is decimated, there is little to no support services for fishing, go-fast boats chase me, radars and government hired thugs stake out the coast, AK-47s are everywhere, soldiers and 7 agencies check my boat and watch everything I do, I cannot disembark for hours . . . a paradise FOR SURE.

    save your money and the hassle, go the Keys or to the Bahamas. And lastly, do not forget when travelling to Cuba that the Cuban govenment has tortured US prisoners in Vietnam, begged the Soviet Union to launch nuclear missiles against the US, allowed cocaine to be trafficked through Cuba to the US, deployed and currently maintains perhaps the largest spy operation in the US penetrating the Pentagon, the State Dept and and DIA and other agencies and branches of government, stole US communications to the field during the Gulf War and gave them to Hussein. I don't know about you, but I certainly would not want to give my money to a government that is trying to destroy my country. No thanks, I'll pass.


  • IdlewildeIdlewilde Posts: 1,357 Officer
    alacrity wrote: »
    this sounds like a place I would certainly want to go to, a place where the fishing is decimated, there is little to no support services for fishing, go-fast boats chase me, radars and government hired thugs stake out the coast, AK-47s are everywhere, soldiers and 7 agencies check my boat and watch everything I do, I cannot disembark for hours . . . a paradise FOR SURE.

    save your money and the hassle, go the Keys or to the Bahamas. And lastly, do not forget when travelling to Cuba that the Cuban govenment has tortured US prisoners in Vietnam, begged the Soviet Union to launch nuclear missiles against the US, allowed cocaine to be trafficked through Cuba to the US, deployed and currently maintains perhaps the largest spy operation in the US penetrating the Pentagon, the State Dept and and DIA and other agencies and branches of government, stole US communications to the field during the Gulf War and gave them to Hussein. I don't know about you, but I certainly would not want to give my money to a government that is trying to destroy my country. No thanks, I'll pass.

    Wow. Seems like every time the word Cuba comes up, you go into a rant. Best thing I can suggest is for you to seek anger management therapy. Here's one nearby: Miami Counseling and Resource Center, 11 Majorca Ave, Suite B, in the Gables near Alhambra & Le Jeune, 305-448-8325 http://www.miamicounseling.com/contact_staff.asp. They have several counselors who deal with phobias, stress, and anxiety management.
  • alacrityalacrity Posts: 2,665 Captain
    no anger mgmt needed, i am a pretty serene person. perhaps you are projecting, a common psychological occurrence.

    just communicating facts about Cuba, no different than you.

    By the way, did you write the entire narrative about Cuba, or did you obtain it from another source?


  • IdlewildeIdlewilde Posts: 1,357 Officer
    alacrity wrote: »
    By the way, did you write the entire narrative about Cuba, or did you obtain it from another source?

    No leading questions counselor. :wink

    But just for your and others' information, what I posted is factual - and you should know that. :)
  • alacrityalacrity Posts: 2,665 Captain
    Idlewilde wrote: »
    No leading questions counselor. :wink

    But just for your and others' information, what I posted is factual - and you should know that. :)

    you seem not to like it when people question you.

    Are you the author of the 3 pages of information? I am not trying to determine whether you went on trips to Cuba and formulated what you wrote. We already know you went to Cuba numerous times (i could care less whether you did or did not). Just curious.


  • quickreleasequickrelease Posts: 287 Officer
    alacrity wrote: »
    no anger mgmt needed, i am a pretty serene person. perhaps you are projecting, a common psychological occurrence.

    just communicating facts about Cuba, no different than you.

    By the way, did you write the entire narrative about Cuba, or did you obtain it from another source?

    Alacrity is as serene and calm as they come!
    Quickrelease_1298509_n.jpg
  • area52area52 Posts: 519 Officer
    Did they confiscate your camera?
  • IdlewildeIdlewilde Posts: 1,357 Officer
    alacrity wrote: »
    But if you only have love for your own race
    Then you only leave space to discriminate
    And to discriminate only generates hate
    And when you hate then you're bound to get irate

    It is obvious from your posts whenever the subject of Cuba comes up that "when you hate then you're bound to get irate."

    You can hate and get irate all you want, and while I have no problem with you following me and my posts around like a little puppy dog, personally I have no respect for people who hate and get irate, and thus will not answer your leading and insulting questions.
    area52 wrote:
    Did they confiscate your camera?
    What a strange question as I said nothing about photos.
  • Plane Fish nPlane Fish n Posts: 6,439 Admiral
    Idlewilde,

    What a wonderful read about a fascinating country.

    In the early 70's, I flew to Havana and Varadero as a "charter pilot" bringing a fellow back and forth to the island for unknown reasons who later was indicted by the US government for dealing with the Cuban government and actually deported . The flights were always legal as we would clear customs and immigration on the island and then did the same upon arrival at Miami International Airport. Interestingly enough, the company he started in Florida to fly Cuban American's back and forth to Cuba is still in business today being run by his daughter. He died in the late 90's in Havana.

    In the 80's and 90's, flying for the airlines, I flew daily service to Havana from Miami International Airport and just as you said.. American's may now fly to the island legally as long as they are going for a reason ie: to study medical, agriculture, arts, fishing, etc. It wasn't uncommon prior to this time to walk around Havana or Varadero and see lot's of americans who arrived either through the Bahamas, Canada or Mexico during this time when travel to Cuba was restricted and "illegal."

    It wasn't the Cuban government that was the problem.. it was the US government that wouldn't give authorization for the visa that is required. The Cubans were more than happy to take our revenue as evidenced by the stamping of a piece of paper placed in your passport only to be removed when you left the island to fly back to Canada, Bahamas or Mexico. The US government caught on to this eventually and had agents waiting in these destinations to catch the people as they came off the Havana flights.

    One thing I found differently flying to Cuba versus boating was that in Havana (we actually had a few times where we had to layover due to a mechanical issue versus flying down and back in the same day), I found that the dollar was accepted almost everywhere. As a matter of fact, in the Jose Marti Airport terminal where we arrived, the stores ONLY accept US dollars.

    Interesting factoid, back in 1984, I was aboard an aircraft hijacked to Cuba.

    Us dollars had to be collected by the passengers, given to the Swiss embassy (the US only has an Interest Section in Cuba versus an embassy) who converted them to cuban pesos to pay for the fuel and "steak dinner" that was provided by the hospitable people at the airport. The steak (Soviet meat) was disgusting... like shoe leather.

    Thanks again for a marvelous post!

    Cheers

    Eric
    PLANE FISH N
  • C Skip RC Skip R Posts: 129 Deckhand
    Idlewilde wrote: »
    Once in the marina you can not just leave to go fishing, you have to go to the dock master's office and apply for a permit for the boat and those on it, to leave - and it is much easier if you do this the day prior to your wanting to go out (take everyone's passport and money as there is a small fee for the permit). And then when you do go out, you will need to stop at the seawall where you cleared in and let Immigration search your boat and check your paper work - don't even think about leaving without stopping at the Immigration seawall, or you will be chased by a speedboat loaded with guys carrying AK-47's. And then you have to stop at Immigration again on the way back in when you return to the marina. Same when you leave to go home - you need to apply for a permit to leave the day prior when you settle your bill at the dockmasters office, and you can not leave without this permit/paperwork as you have to stop at immigration to be searched again when leaving.

    As anywhere in the world, once you are in the marina the dock guys are your friend who will bring you ice, tell you where to get this, that, or whatever you need. If you want to fish offshore Havana there are also a couple of roaving mates in the marina who know the fishing drill, so you may want to hire one - at least the first time you go out, and these guys are good - and like most Cubans, very friendly. There are two hotels in the marina, one is closer to the seawalls than the other, and there is a pool at both hotels. There is also a small grocery, and 3 restaurants within the marina.
    Oh yes, almost forgot. If you are a serious bird hunter, or know someone who is, there is some pretty good snipe hunting in Cuba. In the winter duck hunting is just fair.

    You will need to exchange your dollars for the Cuba equivalent, and you will pay an approximate 20% penalty. ie. for a US$100, you will get $82 Cuban dollars - a penalty caused by Castro's hate for the US, and you will encounter problems if you try to spend anything other than Castro's play money dollars in Cuba. Once you change your money, carry plenty of small bills as you will find situations where you can not give someone a 20 because they will not have change. No US credit cards are accepted in Cuba, no exceptions - it's cash only for Americans, so you'll need to take a wad of $100's with you. And don't cut yourself short on cash, because if you run out, you're in a heap of trouble because there is no place you can get cash - no place. Plan for the worst and hope for the best money wise, ie. what if you have a costly boat problem or get seriously injured and need to fly home and do not have enough cash to purchase a plane ticket? Answer = you're up the proverbial creek without a paddle.

    Petty theft is rampant in Cuba, but major crimes are rare. Even though there is security in the Marina, lock everything on/in your boat that you do not want stolen. Some people think that even the security people may have sticky fingers. Same in your hotel room as in many cases, the entire hotel staff is in on relieving you of your "hidden" money - it gets split among the employees. Do not wear flashy jewelry anywhere in Cuba - leave it at home, as snatch and grab is rampant. If you carry a camera or purse on a strap, do so very carefully with the strap across your chest and the camera/purse against your stomach, or in Havana someone will snatch it off of your shoulder. Pickpocketing is also rampant - wear shorts/pants with velcro closures, as velcro secured pockets are your friend in Cuba. Or carry your money in your underware.

    Two things you need to read before you go to Cuba. (1)Nigel Calder's book "Cuba, A Cruising Guide" (2nd/revised edition) - this is the Bible for going to Cuba by boat - Bluewater Books in Ft. Lauderdale has it, and (2)the Lonely Planet Guide to Cuba (for land stuff) - this is the Bible for land travel in Cuba - #2 would be the Moon Guide Book (both available at most book stores or on the LP website). The Lonely Planet website is good for general travel information on Cuba, but has no boating or fishing information http://www.lonelyplanet.com - go to the Cuba Forum.

    Cuba is a fascinating country, the people are warm and very friendly, and regardless of their government, the people you will encounter love Americans and America - as everyone in Cuba has a friend or relative in the US. My advice to anyone who wants to go, is to go as soon as you are comfortable going - before it changes. Right now Cuba is still like stepping back in a time machine back to the 1950's, as not much has changed in Cuba since then. Oh, and forget about going there to buy one of the thousands of 1940 & 1950's era US cars. They are still there, but held together with Bondo and coat hangers, and many are now powered with a Russian farm tractor diesel engine! Know what a Lada car is? Ever see one? In Cuba you will learn what a $1000 Russian car looks like, as many are used as private taxi's!

    This is the third and last of a series of 3 lengthy posts in this the Tropical Sportsman Forum, the total of which would not fit in one post due to website constraints.

    Since this is page 3 of 3 where are the other previous pages. I've enjoyed reading.
  • IdlewildeIdlewilde Posts: 1,357 Officer
    They are in the Tropical Sportsman Forum. I just "bumped" them up to the top.
  • alacrityalacrity Posts: 2,665 Captain
    Cuba's Defense Minister just died (one down, a few more to go) and the news reports cited the following:

    "Among Casas Regueiro's unexpected legacies: he helped turn Gaviota [owned by the Castros and Cuban generals] into Cuba's largest tourism conglomerate, with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, marinas and airlines."

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5g9znTdX6E5OABnfO1SljLaJKQOjg?docId=CNG.e829052752a5436e909ab280ad561af6.131

    Tourist money goes into the hands of the military to fund military and other operations.


  • sonicsonic Posts: 75 Greenhorn
    nice write up.

    I read these guys report on their trip via sail, real eye opener. give it a read when you get a chance, its pretty cool
    http://www.theslapdash.com/2008/03/march-2008-bahamas-to-cuba/
    http://www.theslapdash.com/2008/04/april-2008-cuba-to-jamaica/
  • FishHeadFishHead Posts: 132 Deckhand
    Great information
  • tilemantileman Posts: 1,119 Officer
    OMG! who in their right mind would want to go there
    Here's ta swimn' with bowllegged women!
  • alacrityalacrity Posts: 2,665 Captain
    tileman wrote: »
    OMG! who in their right mind would want to go there


    Agreed, especially when the Cuban government is spying in the United States to pass military secrets to Saddam Hussein in the middle of a war with Hussein. Why would you want to travel to a country to give money to a military that is trying to steal our military plans to hurt US soldiers in the battlefield. That doesnt make a lot of sense to me, not matter how good the fishing may be.

    Posted on Wed, Sep. 21, 2011
    Names of 7 expelled Cuban spies revealed

    By Juan O. Tamayo
    [email protected]

    The State Department’s letter to the Cuban diplomatic mission in Washington in 2003 complained that it was tired of the “numerous examples of Cuban espionage against the United States” and was expelling seven mission officials.
    What it didn’t say was that the U.S. intelligence community was irate that Havana’s spies had been stealing U.S. secrets on the preparations for the invasion of Iraq and passing them to Saddam Hussein’s government.

    The note gave the seven Cuban diplomats 10 days to leave the country. Another seven working at the Cuban mission to the United Nations also were ordered out. Together they represented the largest expulsion of Cuban diplomats in memory.

    The identities of the seven expelled from the U.N. mission were published at the time, but the names of those in Washington declared “persona non grata” were never made public.

    A State Department note dated May 13, 2003 contained those names. It was declassified Tuesday under a Freedom of Information Act request by Chris Simmons, a retired U.S. Department of Defense expert on Cuban spying.

    He played a key role in the case of Ana Belen Montes, a Cuban agent in the Pentagon who is now serving a 25-year prison sentence.

    “The Department of State reminds the Cuban Interests Section … that it has informed the Cuban government repeatedly that inappropriate and unacceptable activities against the United States … will not be tolerated,” the note says.

    The Cuban Interests Section in Washington and the U.S. Interests section in Havana are not embassies because the two countries do not have full diplomatic relations. The list identified two of the Cubans expelled as Raúl Rodriguez Averhoff, who had been expelled from Canada in 1995 for spying, and Fernando García Bielsa, who had contacts with Puerto Rican pro-independence terrorists before his arrival in Washington. Rodriguez Averhoff had served as a second secretary at the Cuban Interests Section and García was a first secretary.

    Also on the declassified list were: Deputy Chief of Mission Cosme Torres; First Secretary Jose Anselmo Lopez Perera; Second Secretary Juan Hernandez Acen, the press spokesman; Third Secretary Florentino Batista, and Third Secretary Jorge Ernesto Autie Gonzalez.

    Averhoff is now assigned to the Cuban embassy in Buenos Aires, according to Simmons. García-Bielsa was later assigned to the embassy in Chile.

    The note’s declassification also pointed to several little-known aspects of Cuban and U.S. intelligence operations, according to U.S. government and intelligence community experts on Cuba who asked for anonymity to speak openly about the issues.

    The 14 expulsions were ordered just eight weeks into Operation Iraqi Freedom to send a message to Havana that “it would pay a severe price” for giving Hussein and others U.S. secrets that could get American soldiers killed, according to one expert.


  • alacrityalacrity Posts: 2,665 Captain
    tileman wrote: »
    OMG! who in their right mind would want to go there


    Agreed, especially when the Cuban government is spying in the United States to pass military secrets to Saddam Hussein in the middle of a war with Hussein. Why would you want to travel to a country to give money to a military that is trying to steal our military plans to hurt US soldiers in the battlefield. That doesnt make a lot of sense to me, not matter how good the fishing may be.

    Posted on Wed, Sep. 21, 2011
    Names of 7 expelled Cuban spies revealed

    By Juan O. Tamayo
    [email protected]

    The State Department’s letter to the Cuban diplomatic mission in Washington in 2003 complained that it was tired of the “numerous examples of Cuban espionage against the United States” and was expelling seven mission officials.
    What it didn’t say was that the U.S. intelligence community was irate that Havana’s spies had been stealing U.S. secrets on the preparations for the invasion of Iraq and passing them to Saddam Hussein’s government.

    The note gave the seven Cuban diplomats 10 days to leave the country. Another seven working at the Cuban mission to the United Nations also were ordered out. Together they represented the largest expulsion of Cuban diplomats in memory.

    The identities of the seven expelled from the U.N. mission were published at the time, but the names of those in Washington declared “persona non grata” were never made public.

    A State Department note dated May 13, 2003 contained those names. It was declassified Tuesday under a Freedom of Information Act request by Chris Simmons, a retired U.S. Department of Defense expert on Cuban spying.

    He played a key role in the case of Ana Belen Montes, a Cuban agent in the Pentagon who is now serving a 25-year prison sentence.

    “The Department of State reminds the Cuban Interests Section … that it has informed the Cuban government repeatedly that inappropriate and unacceptable activities against the United States … will not be tolerated,” the note says.

    The Cuban Interests Section in Washington and the U.S. Interests section in Havana are not embassies because the two countries do not have full diplomatic relations. The list identified two of the Cubans expelled as Raúl Rodriguez Averhoff, who had been expelled from Canada in 1995 for spying, and Fernando García Bielsa, who had contacts with Puerto Rican pro-independence terrorists before his arrival in Washington. Rodriguez Averhoff had served as a second secretary at the Cuban Interests Section and García was a first secretary.

    Also on the declassified list were: Deputy Chief of Mission Cosme Torres; First Secretary Jose Anselmo Lopez Perera; Second Secretary Juan Hernandez Acen, the press spokesman; Third Secretary Florentino Batista, and Third Secretary Jorge Ernesto Autie Gonzalez.

    Averhoff is now assigned to the Cuban embassy in Buenos Aires, according to Simmons. García-Bielsa was later assigned to the embassy in Chile.

    The note’s declassification also pointed to several little-known aspects of Cuban and U.S. intelligence operations, according to U.S. government and intelligence community experts on Cuba who asked for anonymity to speak openly about the issues.

    The 14 expulsions were ordered just eight weeks into Operation Iraqi Freedom to send a message to Havana that “it would pay a severe price” for giving Hussein and others U.S. secrets that could get American soldiers killed, according to one expert.


  • Blue ZoneBlue Zone Posts: 414 Officer
    alacrity wrote: »
    this sounds like a place I would certainly want to go to, a place where the fishing is decimated, there is little to no support services for fishing, go-fast boats chase me, radars and government hired thugs stake out the coast, AK-47s are everywhere, soldiers and 7 agencies check my boat and watch everything I do, I cannot disembark for hours . . . a paradise FOR SURE.

    save your money and the hassle, go the Keys or to the Bahamas. And lastly, do not forget when travelling to Cuba that the Cuban govenment has tortured US prisoners in Vietnam, begged the Soviet Union to launch nuclear missiles against the US, allowed cocaine to be trafficked through Cuba to the US, deployed and currently maintains perhaps the largest spy operation in the US penetrating the Pentagon, the State Dept and and DIA and other agencies and branches of government, stole US communications to the field during the Gulf War and gave them to Hussein. I don't know about you, but I certainly would not want to give my money to a government that is trying to destroy my country. No thanks, I'll pass.
    Alacrity,
    You seem like a nice enough guy and I don't want to pick a fight with you, but enough with your political bias. I have as much a reason as anyone to be extremely bitter toward the Castro regime; I have gotten over it. It's odd you mention Vietnam, where we are free to travel, and also where we are supporting their economy through a tremendous amount of outsourcing. Have you forgotten about Vietnam; the 58,000 KIA, the 303,000 WIA?
    I remind you that this is not a forum for you to interject your personal political views and baseless "factoids" and bs at every opportunity. It's quite obvious you haven't been there since you left and have no basis for comment on the current situation.
    It might be a good moment for you to re-read your very own forum signature, particularly the last line:
    But if you only have love for your own race
    Then you only leave space to discriminate
    And to discriminate only generates hate
    And when you hate then you're bound to get irate


    Un abrazzo and tight lines,
    Blue Zone
  • IdlewildeIdlewilde Posts: 1,357 Officer
    Thanks for those comments, and as the OP of this series of three threads on Cuba I couldn't agree with you more. I have no problem with him spewing his hate towards the Cuban government or any government, but this is the Tropical Sportsman Fishing and Travel Forum - not the Political Forum which is where his hate and anger belongs.
  • Blue ZoneBlue Zone Posts: 414 Officer
    Kudos on the write up although you forgot to mention the women...
  • fish4funfish4fun Posts: 225 Officer
    Idlewilde thank you very much for your writing this. I enjoyed all of it and have copied all three posts to keep as reference. Just last month...funny, about the time you wrote this...I started looking into flying to Cuba from Bahamas or Toronto. I have done a lot of research on the matter and you're right when you say that much of your information is not available. Two things you emphasized that I've come to know as pure truth...the fishing has been decimated, and the Cubans are wonderful people despite their anti-US government.

    Excellent report. Thanks again.
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