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Anyone just back from Cuba - how are they dealing with the...

Aurora, Ontario...
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Anyone just back from Cuba - how are they dealing with the...

I am very curious to know if that no tipping is really going to work. We tipped and they mostly expected it...especially the women outside the bathrooms at the airport...WHICH I did not tip...(the only ones I did not tip)

Montreal
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1. Re: Anyone just back from Cuba - how are they dealing with the...

Back on Monday from a week in Cuba and never heard of the new regulation. We tipped, no problem.

Aurora, Ontario...
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2. Re: Anyone just back from Cuba - how are they dealing with the...

hey grand yeah we just got back on the 18th of Feb and I guess is just came into effect that day... I don't think tipping will be banned seriously

salsa savant
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3. Re: Anyone just back from Cuba - how are they dealing with the...

FROM CNN.COM

HAVANA, Cuba (CNN) -- In a move intended to centralize and strengthen Communist Party control of Cuban society, the island's government has introduced regulations barring Cubans who work in the tourist industry "from having personal contact with foreigners."

Resolution 10, issued by the Tourism Ministry, forbids employees -- from waiters to high-level executives -- from accepting tips, gifts and invitations from foreigners and demands that Cubans' contact with non-Cubans be restricted "to that which is absolutely necessary."

The new law also requires a witness to be present during business negotiations with foreigners.

The segregation rules go far beyond norms applied in most of the rest of the world. For example, any non-professional contact with a foreigner, not just by an employee but also by any member of his or her family, must be reported to a superior within 72 hours.

Staff members are now required to report any foreigner whose behavior or comments are considered offensive to the Cuban government.

They are further instructed to "be vigilant at all times of any deed or attitude that could be harmful to the State." The norms also apply to Tourist Ministry employees who work abroad.

Personal friendships with foreigners are forbidden for the more than 100,000 Cubans who work in tourism, Cuba's largest industry.

Staff members are also instructed to refuse all personal invitations from diplomats, business associates and even colleagues, if they are foreigners.

The rules could have far-reaching effects: most Cuban hotels are managed by representatives of overseas hotel chains.

The segregation measures went into effect last month in most tourist resorts and are expected to go into effect shortly in the capital.

One foreign hotel manager likened the measures to the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

Cuban and overseas workers interviewed by CNN say the restrictions will be almost impossible to enforce, especially the prohibition on accepting tips and cultivating friendships.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the resulting cutoff of Soviet subsidies to Cuba, the Castro government introduced tourism "as a necessary evil," regarding it as a critical source of foreign exchange, but also a corrupting capitalist influence in Cuban society.

Winnipeg, Canada
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4. Re: Anyone just back from Cuba - how are they dealing with the...

I think that we all know what's been printed by the media but there is an interpretation that I think is overlooked. They are talking about anything that is not in a professional manner. There is alot of fraternizing with the guests at some resorts. The workers make "special" friends with the guests with rewards in mind. This goes beyond being social. I think that the government wants the people to have their pride and not turn into something of a "prositute" that you see in come other Caribbean islands. Does this make sense? Anyway, I am sending a gift through a friend to a hotel employee. I directly e-mailed the employee (office staff) and I was told that it is business as usual with the gifts and tips and not to beleive everything that we are hearing. This person could have gotten into trouble for this e-mail so I'm sure that things are ok.

cuba
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5. Re: Anyone just back from Cuba - how are they dealing with the...

AM sorry if I am offending you in any way travellingfool but you really are a fool (got others words for you but those words can't be posted here) . I am cuban and your comments did offended me. You are the one overlooking interpretations here, yeah some workers may start friendships with the tourists with rewards in mind, and you wanna know WHY!!!! you got no idea of what is getting to your house after work not having a decent plate of food for your kids, being afraid of saying the wrong words, not having dreams or hope that tomorrow may be a better a day if you work hard an try to make it better, and the list goes on. Never talk about something you don t know anything about. That s why I every night get on my knees and thank God for allowing me get to know how does it feels to live in freedom.

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6. Re: Anyone just back from Cuba - how are they dealing with the...

Hi...this question is for nelito19.......I am sending a package to Cuba to one of the families in a village I met in Chivirico, and I want to know if they will receive it?

Nova Scotia
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7. Re: Anyone just back from Cuba - how are they dealing with the...

Hola Samoyed:

Rememberwhen you send a package that their is a weight restriction, just forget what it is right now The post office can tell you. I sent three parcels in 2003 and they all came back, the third one came back almost after one year and they tried to charge me for shipping it back.

Québec, Canada
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8. Re: Anyone just back from Cuba - how are they dealing with the...

Buenos dias Nelito19.......nice reading you....I try to travel to Cuba 3 times per year and I have been doing this for many years.....and yes I have made very good friends....and I do mean friends....and we will be friends forever....I consider many cubans to be on my best friend list.....and I agree with you.....befriending tourists is a way to survive.....my friends have told me stories of survival in Cuba and it breaks my heart....If I was in the same situation...trying to feed my loved ones...I would do the same......

I have 2 very good friends and yes I do help their families a lot...and I believe in our friendship.....in return they have me in their homes and they do consider me to be part of their families......and that in itself is worth all the sacrifices I make to help them.......loulou

Cuba
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9. Re: Anyone just back from Cuba - how are they dealing with the...

Hiya everyone

I usually get into trouble when I spout off my opinion but ...

Travellinfool, I agree with nelito 19 to a certain extent. I'm a bit offended by this comment "make special friends with guests with rewards in mind". You are painting the Cuban people with a wide brush. I have gained many friends in Cuba over the years and have never felt that I was being used for this reason.

These people are very hard working (It might not seem like that sometimes but you might feel a bit sluggish if you had to work 12 hrs/day, 6days/week). My girlfriend feels very proud to bring me to her house (they have nothing) and take me to her friends houses. She feels embarrassed if I offer her money or bring gifts. Her friends and family welcomed me into their houses but at the same time were suspicious of me and were worried that I might hurt her. Each time I go they become more and more comfortable with me.

The last time I was there was in January, her and her family gave me a surprise birthday party, there were friends, family, kids, dogs, chickens everyone. I felt a bit embarrassed, but it was a wonderful gift. that night I went back to the casa and the Miss of the house did the same, she did not have to do this. Wonderful people.

I think the problem is the opposite. I've talked with many tourists and some (not all and from all countries) go there to exploit these people. They can do this very easily because they have stuff. That's why I have a problem with some of the comments in the forum saying thing like " so and so was rude or inattentive", whatever.

Here I am spouting off and I think I should ban myself from the forum for awhile.

Cheers and

Have fun

You can probably see that I a bit passionate about this.

Sorry for the rant.

I didn't mean to single you out.

Aurora, Ontario...
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10. Re: Anyone just back from Cuba - how are they dealing with the...

Wow I did not know such a simple question would turn into a soap box for some people.

I believe that all staff in all hotels in all countries will be nice to their customers in hopes of a bigger tip..."you catch more bees with honey then with vinegar".

I have been a waitress and I know and respect this way of life.

As I stated in my opening question the only persons I did not tip were those I did not feel deserved it. What did these women do standing outside the washrooms to deserve a tip? Nothing that I could see....they either stood or sat and were actually not even very friendly.

I am glad that it seems that tipping is still acceptable. I would hate to know the Cuban people were going to be robbed of more in life then they already do just living in a communist society.

Feel free to vent at me if I have offended anyone but as we are not a Communist country here I have the right of Free speech. God Bless Canada.

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