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(Boston Globe)   The coolest street scenes of Havana you'll see all day   ( boston.com) divider line
    More: Cool, Havana, island nations, US President Barack Obama, REUTERS/Desmond Boylan, REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa, AFP/Getty Images, ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP/Getty Images, Che Guevara  
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30448 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Nov 2009 at 8:51 PM (7 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-11-11 11:56:43 PM  

RockIsDead: limboslam: Cool pictures. They left these out:

Still nicer than Detroit.


To be fair, Detroit was also ruined by socialism.
 
2009-11-11 11:58:04 PM  
Boston.com photo galleries always seem to deliver. Good on you, boston.com
 
2009-11-12 12:05:08 AM  
we went this past february and had we the money and not the student loans, we'd go back again and again. it was so nice and calm. we walked around sidestreets of havana in the starlight at 2 am - something that i'd not do in my native toronto.
 
2009-11-12 12:05:20 AM  

Pastor M: Wow. Bunch of reactionary farkers in this thread.


While no-one should overstate the threat from a tiny island such as Cuba, no-one should also understate the misery caused by Communism in that country and dozens of others around the world over the past century. If being opposed to the murderous, totalitarian ideology of Communism makes one a "reactionary", then that's a label that should be embraced with pride by anyone with a conscience.
 
2009-11-12 12:09:29 AM  

krupintupple: we went this past february and had we the money and not the student loans, we'd go back again and again. it was so nice and calm. we walked around sidestreets of havana in the starlight at 2 am - something that i'd not do in my native toronto.


I've walked around downtown Toronto in the middle of the night and never felt threatened. Perhaps you're just more adventurous when you're on holiday?

/no Canadian needs to travel abroad to experience "nice and calm" -- we have so much calm we ought to export it
 
2009-11-12 12:15:01 AM  
The courage of the Cuban people is immense. They are one of the kindest people in existence. The aid Cuba gives comparative to its meager GDP is incredible. Cuban doctors do so much for the developing world especially in training and assistance. Though deeply flawed as their government is but you can't argue that it doesn't work. They got hit this year by what 3 or 4 hurricanes and only lost three people.
 
2009-11-12 12:19:27 AM  

itazurakko: Nice pics. Interesting to see the normal modern city life, and the photographers that do these spreads in the Boston Globe always have great color and sharpness.

What's up with "government run food store called 'Bodega'" though? I thought "bodega" just means regular old corner market or grocery, a regular word?

I can just imagine blue line "SUPERMARKET" stores in LA or some such...


I was wondering about that as well. Also, what's up with all the typos? (e.g. "Cuba's former leader Fidel Castro wrote last week that the Dutch company Philips stop selling spare parts for medical equipments it sold to Cuba an Venezuela after the US fined it.") In any case, great pictures.

/ and oh yeah... Why is Che picking his nose in the mural shown in #20?
 
2009-11-12 12:24:43 AM  
MilitaryTigger:

Turbo Cojones: President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave the order for a CIA-staged invasion that toppled the elected Guatemalan government.

Wow... stating conspiracy theory as fact. (Word for word c/p from "Above Top Secret") That's rich.


The documents were unclassified in 1997. The project's code name was PBSUCCESS. You can read about it on the CIA's website here:

http://www.foia.cia.gov/guatemala.asp
 
2009-11-12 12:27:22 AM  
This weekly (twice-weekly) photo series on Boston.com is one of the best things on the internet.
 
2009-11-12 12:28:00 AM  
blogs.southflorida.com

Still wants to invade and conquer Cuba because they might be cooking up deadly microbes in their kitchen ovens with which to annihilate the U.S.

Neo-cons. You gotta love'em for the lulz
 
2009-11-12 12:30:57 AM  

Franco: The courage of the Cuban people is immense. [...] Though deeply flawed as their government is but you can't argue that it doesn't work.


It doesn't work. That's why they can't feed their own people properly. And no, it's not because of the wicked Yankees. They can trade with everyone else in the developed world if they need to.

They got hit this year by what 3 or 4 hurricanes and only lost three people.

Whoa! So they must have put up some kind of Super Socialism Shield around the entire island that... no, I'm only joking. It sounds from what you say that the Cubans were extraordinarily lucky; but whatever larger point you're trying to make with this meteorological observation is not exactly obvious.
 
2009-11-12 12:32:42 AM  

Franco: The courage of the Cuban people is immense.


Courage? It's courageous to be poor and lazy on a tropical island? Maybe if Castro wasn't hell bent on maintaining power and his lavish life Cubans could have joined the 1st world by now. The courageous ones were killed by Castro or left for America long ago.
 
2009-11-12 12:38:58 AM  
20 million people looking for new cars? Add a few million car collectors who have been drooling over Cub's vintage car collection for years.
 
2009-11-12 12:43:14 AM  
Hey, at least in good ole' democratic America we don't have anyone suffering from poverty or government oppresion. Right?
 
2009-11-12 12:52:40 AM  

Devil's Playground: Hey, at least in good ole' democratic America we don't have anyone suffering from poverty or government oppresion. Right?


There's no country in the whole world that is wholly free of poverty or of government oppression. That being granted, what exactly is your point? The fact remains that Cuba -- the country being discussed in this thread -- has levels of poverty and oppression far greater than those in the U.S., owing entirely to its unworkable political and economic system.
 
2009-11-12 12:59:00 AM  

MilitaryTigger: Turbo Cojones: President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave the order for a CIA-staged invasion that toppled the elected Guatemalan government.

Wow... stating conspiracy theory as fact. (Word for word c/p from "Above Top Secret") That's rich.


click here for CIA's declassified documents on the "theory"
 
2009-11-12 01:06:07 AM  

alltandubh: Devil's Playground: Hey, at least in good ole' democratic America we don't have anyone suffering from poverty or government oppresion. Right?

There's no country in the whole world that is wholly free of poverty or of government oppression. That being granted, what exactly is your point? The fact remains that Cuba -- the country being discussed in this thread -- has levels of poverty and oppression far greater than those in the U.S., owing entirely to its unworkable political and economic system.


At least that's what we've been told all these years, right? Look at the poverty levels in Detroit, or the deep south. I guess my point is that Cuba has been presented as the Boogey Man so that we can always say to our selves "Look how bad THEY have it" and not look inward.
 
2009-11-12 01:27:03 AM  

Devil's Playground: At least that's what we've been told all these years, right? Look at the poverty levels in Detroit, or the deep south.


Poor people in Detroit or the deep south are eligible for federal assistance and can, if they so choose, keep themselves far away from malnutrition and serious want. This is because the capitalist system that generally prevails in the US generates massive profits that can be taxed to help the less fortunate. Cuba has no comparable source of excess revenue, because it is ideologically opposed to the idea of profiting from capitalist enterprise in the first place. Hence the rationing and malnutrition in the workers' paradise.

I guess my point is that Cuba has been presented as the Boogey Man so that we can always say to our selves "Look how bad THEY have it" and not look inward.

But Cubans do have it badly: and much, much more so than the poor people in the US; this is merely an observable fact. Your particular problem seems to be that you are being invited to pay attention to this observable fact by people you don't like (presumably Republicans?) -- which leads you to try to downplay the significance of the observable fact, or even to deny that it is actually true. --Needless to say, reality does not have a political bias.
 
2009-11-12 02:04:42 AM  

guytoronto: Cuba is a cool country to visit. Went there last year.

Here's a panoramic of downtown Havana, taken from the steps of the Capital Building.

Click for full size


Most people do not know that the Cuban capital is a 3/4 scale replica of the US capital. Across the street and to the right is the El Floridita where the Daquri was born. It was also a favorite hangout of Hemmingways.

*The more you know......*
 
2009-11-12 02:32:45 AM  

saildude: Most people do not know that the Cuban capital is a 3/4 scale replica of the US capital. Across the street and to the right is the El Floridita where the Daquri was born. It was also a favorite hangout of Hemmingways.


I took this picture of the capital dome when I was in Havana last April:

www.majhost.com

Another typical street scene (including a typically hot Cuban girl walking in front of me. The people on the left are lined up for their weekly free government food rations--you can see the lady in front has her ration book in her hand:

www.majhost.com

The free food they get is basically enough to keep them from starving--additional food they have to buy (at very cheap prices) with their own money.
 
2009-11-12 02:37:09 AM  
oh fark you guys dissing on communism and che, as if you really give two farks about the people of cuba. You just want a dictator that will back the u.s. so you can forget that the shiathole country even exists. Sit back and watch while people get imprisoned and get their testicles electrified, but thank God it's at least not communism! (Chile, anyone?)

/cuban-america who's family left cuba and fled castro during the embargo so I have no love for castro or che but don't pretend this is about "helping people out of communism"
 
2009-11-12 02:45:58 AM  
Keep maintaining the embargo will make Cuba into a gigantic Chinese military base that could directly threat USA in the near future.

Other than that, cool pics.
 
2009-11-12 02:56:51 AM  

Cyberluddite: saildude: Most people do not know that the Cuban capital is a 3/4 scale replica of the US capital. Across the street and to the right is the El Floridita where the Daquri was born. It was also a favorite hangout of Hemmingways.

I took this picture of the capital dome when I was in Havana last April:

Another typical street scene (including a typically hot Cuban girl walking in front of me. The people on the left are lined up for their weekly free government food rations--you can see the lady in front has her ration book in her hand:

The free food they get is basically enough to keep them from starving--additional food they have to buy (at very cheap prices) with their own money.


The hot chick is great, the ration book, I don't know...proof of something, but holy moly the cars! Look at those things! Look at them!
 
2009-11-12 02:59:20 AM  
I don't watch movies, so maybe the cars were from a movie--but imagine having reused cars on that scale.
 
2009-11-12 03:24:37 AM  

SuperCatBarf: I don't watch movies, so maybe the cars were from a movie--but imagine having reused cars on that scale.


Nope, not a movie scene--the cars that where around when the embargo started are mostly still on the road. On the streets, it's a mixture of about 1/3 Detroit iron from the 1950s, 1/3 crappy POS Soviet-era Russian and Czech cars, and 1/3 more modern (mostly Japanese) cars (the modern cars are mostly government vehicles, rather than private cars).

I took probably a couple hundred pictures of cars and street traffic. Some of the old cars are in great shape, like this one:

www.majhost.com

Many of them are beat to shiat, but even the beat to shiat ones are pretty damn interesting, like these:

www.majhost.com

www.majhost.com

When the embargo is lifted, you can bet that Cuba's #1 export to the U.S. is going to be 1950s cars. I mean, can you imagine how much even that beat to shiat Buick convertible would be worth in the U.S., even in that condition? In Cuba, it's probably worth 1000 bucks, if that. A mint-condition, super-clean '57 Chevy is worth about $7000 in Cuba--probably about 20% of what it would be worth here.
 
2009-11-12 03:36:39 AM  

thespindrifter: Wow, just wow. Nothing quite like making a destitute hellhole look like paradise with some VERY selective photography.

I got your "Communist Paradise" right here.


Thanks for the link, it makes Michael Moore seem like the most unbiased person to ever exist!
 
2009-11-12 03:39:19 AM  

badaboom: Where the fark do they get all the parts for the cars when they break down?


There's a NAPA auto parts store 100 miles away.
 
2009-11-12 04:36:27 AM  
Cyberluddite:

I kinda knew that was the case, but I didn't realize that even today so many of those cars were still around. Last pictures I saw were from the 80's. What's kinda funny is that was close to the last era of cars that could be maintained like farm implements. Imagine if they'd been left cars of the mid-70's.
 
2009-11-12 05:15:08 AM  
Beautiful - it looks just like it did 60 years ago! La Revolucion has been great at preserving historical Cuba by not making anything new.

\snark
 
2009-11-12 05:21:56 AM  

portscanner: I was born and raised in Miami. I have a lot of friends (and their parents) that escaped Cuba either just before or just after Castro took power. Some of them who escaped got out of there with the clothes on their backs and (barely) their lives.

I love this quote from the comments: "Sure, Fidel was not perfect, but he actually cared about his people. There ARE problems with the government in Cuba post-revolution. But the US has a sh*t-ton of problems too! The entire world is very aware of that. Why don't we just let the Cubans obtain freedom, if that is indeed what they want."

The US has no control over the Cuban secret police.


Yeah, that was my dad. His family escaped in 1960 with their clothes and a few bucks. He actually had to live with relatives in Miami at first because his parents couldn't get out with him.

Seriously, Cuba is no paradise. This is how they treat people who disagree with their politics: Generacion Y (English) (new window)
 
2009-11-12 05:24:23 AM  
To complete the jondiced trifecta, the author of the blog whose link I posted is the lady in Pic #9. The caption doesn't say that by "detained" they mean "beat up."
 
2009-11-12 05:40:25 AM  
They can trade with everyone else in the developed world if they need to.


Is it possible for a foreing country/company to trade with Cuba without fear of US retaliation? I understand that the Helms-Burton act was meant to impose sanctions on pretty much anybody, from anywhere, who dare sell anything to Cubans. The Cuban regime makes great use of this in his propaganda - "It's not that we're too poor to buy anything, it's the evil yanquis who scare others from trading with us".

OTOH I hear that the act has never been signed into law, and is not currently being enforced - so there are actually no sanctions. Anybody cares to clear the point?
 
2009-11-12 07:18:13 AM  

MilitaryTigger: Turbo Cojones: President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave the order for a CIA-staged invasion that toppled the elected Guatemalan government.

Wow... stating conspiracy theory as fact. (Word for word c/p from "Above Top Secret") That's rich.

You are either a Tin-foil hat loon, a closet commie wannabe without the balls to leave the comforts of the evil America or a simple Troll.

Maybe all three.


Conspiracy theory? The information we have about it is revealed by the CIA itself.

http://www.foia.cia.gov/guatemala.asp

It's pretty sad that the vast majority of Americans have no idea about the enormous wrongs that their government committed and even admitted to.
 
2009-11-12 07:24:12 AM  
Can you imagine the economic impact if trade and travel restrictions were lifted with Cuba. I, for one would certainly be on my way down there, to visit. I would imagine a lot of car collectors would be going down there to scarf up all those old cars, for one thing.
 
2009-11-12 07:40:00 AM  
I have two friends who have very different views on Cuba. Both have visited and neither come from the U.S. (hence why they've been there).

The Norwegian is a huge fan of Cuba. He loves Castro (put up a poster on his door), thinks the system is great and fair, and that all of the Cuban people are happy. I think he's been their multiple times and has nothing but respect for Castro and the regime.

The Canadian is the opposite and a critic of the Norwegian's glamorized view. I think she's only been there once, twice max, but she still had a positive experience. What she realized, though, is similar to these photos vs. the real photos linked up in the thread: the side of Cuba that a foreign (white) Western guest experiences is indeed pleasant and admirable. The problem is that the majority of Cuba--the Cuba for Cubans--is deplorable and impoverished. It's the government's fault, and they keep the real Cubans separate from those in the hospitality-for-Westerners segment. Not that the public Cubans are all that much better off, but at least they have nice clean clothes and are kept from starving.

I hope Cuba opens up soon. The Norwegian can just trail off in his huge support for Cuba (because life will certainly improve, not get worse once the embargo is gone) and the Cubans can benefit immensely.
 
2009-11-12 08:06:47 AM  
You know, you almost had me. Right up to the point that I read the caption about the old man "rolling a cigar while waiting to receive state-rationed food staples." That gets the big fark off, ya commie bastard.
 
2009-11-12 08:28:41 AM  

Herunar: MilitaryTigger: Turbo Cojones: President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave the order for a CIA-staged invasion that toppled the elected Guatemalan government.

Wow... stating conspiracy theory as fact. (Word for word c/p from "Above Top Secret") That's rich.

You are either a Tin-foil hat loon, a closet commie wannabe without the balls to leave the comforts of the evil America or a simple Troll.

Maybe all three.

Conspiracy theory? The information we have about it is revealed by the CIA itself.

http://www.foia.cia.gov/guatemala.asp

It's pretty sad that the vast majority of Americans have no idea about the enormous wrongs that their government committed and even admitted to.


Because Ignorance is a comfortable place. This stuff is not "tin-foil" when our own Gov't admits to it (albeit 50 years after the fact)

Again, the Losers wrote the history of Cuba. With the embargo in place it was simple to re-invent the truth.
 
2009-11-12 08:39:13 AM  
Good grief:

Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez listens to a question during an interview with Reuters in her house in Havana November 9, 2009. A well-known blogger and government critic, Sanchez said she and two fellow bloggers were detained briefly on Friday by security agents and accused of being "counter-revolutionaries" as they walked to a demonstration against violence.

Detained ? She was beaten up by Cuban police. This is all over the news, including on the Boston.com website 11/09/09.

This Boston Globe/Reuters is Walter Durant of the NYT all over again.
 
2009-11-12 08:56:38 AM  

Dialectic: They got excellent car techs in Cuba...


the country is like a snapshot in time. everything is stagnant to what things were like 50 years ago. it is like there has been no progress or advances in 50 years.
 
2009-11-12 09:23:56 AM  
The American brainwashed hate for communism is hilarious.

Sure, when they were acting as a group and had significant military might and expansionist policies, they were a threat to be concerned about. But that is not because they chose communism as their political model ... it is because they were a real military threat.

Now, if people live in a communist country or a socialist country or whatever ... who gives a fark?? It is just the model that they use to provide the infrastructure for their country ... it has nothing to do with you!

The current embargo only hurts innocent people and it accomplishes absolutely nothing. It is just another black mark on the US's world record.
 
2009-11-12 09:32:47 AM  

SlothB77: Dialectic: They got excellent car techs in Cuba...

the country is like a snapshot in time. everything is stagnant to what things were like 50 years ago. it is like there has been no progress or advances American stuff in 50 years.


faxed.
 
2009-11-12 09:33:00 AM  
Farking Canuck: The American brainwashed hate for communism Nazism is hilarious.

Sure, when they were acting as a group and had significant military might and expansionist policies, they were a threat to be concerned about. But that is not because they chose communism Nazim as their political model ... it is because they were a real military threat.

Now, if people live in a communist Nazi country or a socialist country or whatever ... who gives a fark?? It is just the model that they use to provide the infrastructure for their country ... it has nothing to do with you!


Just so you see why.
 
2009-11-12 09:34:30 AM  

Earl of Chives: MilitaryTigger: Vodka Zombie: Threat? From Communists? In 2009?

I mean, maybe it's because I'm way up here in Wisconsin, but Cuba is hardly capable of being considered any sort of force potent enough to attack and occupy America. Or, are you afraid that they'll dump Commie juice in the water that will brainwash the entire Gulf Coast.

Here... I know pics work much better in these situations:

You noticed the date on that pic there right? Hell, I even heard the Berlin wall might fall soon. The world changes, it is beyond stupid to keep fighting the last war. Dead Horse, etc.


See, that the problem with putting up pic for some Farkers... They look at them and not the words around them. Go back and read what what written under the pic EoC.
 
2009-11-12 09:39:51 AM  

limboslam: Cool pictures. They left these out:

I know, I know...party. Pooping.


I don't see why they would include pictures of New York City in a series about Cuba.
 
2009-11-12 09:45:31 AM  

BarryJV: Just so you see why.


You are a moran if you are seriously equating communism with the Nazi regime. We won't even go into the fact that the evil commies played a pivotal role in bringing down the Nazis.

I won't argue this point ... if you are so stupid to actually believe it then you are beyond hope.
 
2009-11-12 09:51:07 AM  

limboslam: Cool pictures. They left these out:

I know, I know...party. Pooping.



Why are you showing pictures of life in Detroit ?
 
2009-11-12 09:51:43 AM  

Girion47: limboslam: Cool pictures. They left these out:

I know, I know...party. Pooping.

I don't see why they would include pictures of New York City in a series about Cuba.


that's it you. Out of my head.
 
2009-11-12 10:00:09 AM  

Farking Canuck: BarryJV: Just so you see why.

You are a moran if you are seriously equating communism with the Nazi regime. We won't even go into the fact that the evil commies played a pivotal role in bringing down the Nazis.

I won't argue this point ... if you are so stupid to actually believe it then you are beyond hope.


Violently suppressing political dissent, sending gay people (among others) to harsh labor camps, government-sponsored theft, and brainwashing are totally unique to Nazism, yeah, and not at all represtentative of that happened in every single communist country including Cuba.

Yes, the Communists helped fight the Nazis, but only because they hate them, not because they are virtuous. They are just tyrants at the other end of the political spectrum.
 
2009-11-12 10:07:58 AM  

mitEj: Girion47: limboslam: Cool pictures. They left these out:

I know, I know...party. Pooping.

I don't see why they would include pictures of New York City in a series about Cuba.

that's it you. Out of my head.


Gladly, don't want any of those weird cinnamon, chocolate, and spaghetti in chili thoughts getting into mine.

/blech.
/blech I say.
 
2009-11-12 10:19:10 AM  
There is probably an obvious answer to this that I can't think of, but why don't they part Amercian cars or parts or whatever through another country? Can't Mexico or whomever put together a shipment?

Seems like easy money.
 
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