Skip to content

Great place, Cuba

Eighteen Cuban migrants missing after boat sinks during Hurricane Ian
Search and rescue effort under way after vessel sank in Stock Island, in the Florida Keys, hours before hurricane made landfall

Imagine how desperate you must be to leave if you set sail with a hurricane on the way…….

33 thoughts on “Great place, Cuba”

  1. Have never noticed the Guardian being so friendly to those migrants with white skins who swarmed into browner parts of the world in days of yore.

  2. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    Or just risk/reward calculation?

    With hurricane on the way presumably fewer communist coastguard vessels out, to return you at gunpoint to the worker’s paradise, where you can be rewarded for your attempt to leave with 10 years hard labour?

  3. Bloke in the Fourth Reich


    Cuba being one of the few countries on the planet from which almost everyone has a genuine claim for policital asylum.

    Rolls eyes.

  4. Sounds good for the record, BitFR.
    But. I know loads of Cubans. None of them fled Cuba’s repressive political system. It hardly affected them apart from the resultant poor economic performance. They’re all economic migrants. Political asylum seekers are those who’ve picked a fight with the political system. Most people don’t give a toss about the political system.

    I do know a Venezuelan journalist got herself tortured & raped by the Cuban police. Seen the cigarette burns. But she went to Cuba to stir up shit for the Cuban government.

    I’m very far from an apologist for the Cuban regime. But the majority of people just aren’t interested in the politics of their own country. Only its effects. Cuba is apparently a nice place to live. You’d probably find the German government & its agents more intrusive into your life than the Cuban. It just doesn’t produce a particularly good economic outcome. So people reluctantly leave to improve their quality of life.

  5. Cuba is apparently a nice place to live.

    Amazing, a place where the people with the guns and power don’t fuck over the plebs just because they can. It’s a human miracle.

  6. Here’s a question. Since both the UK & Germany have become thoroughly unpleasant places to live & are both determined to drive themselves to economic ruin, one can foresee a time when Brits & Krauts might want to go to somewhere better. With both countries seeing significant portions of their populations headed for the exit, especially the more productive ones leaving the less behind, how long do you think it would be before their governments started erecting barriers to leaving? The RN don’t seem to be able to do fuck all about third worlders crossing France>UK in rubber boats. But I’ll bet it’d be a whole other story if the traffic was in the other direction. And I can certainly see the Krauts erecting barbed wire & minefields.

  7. BiS,
    Looking at it from the other end, I’ve often wondered how bad it has to get in Europe before one can legitimately claim asylum elsewhere.

  8. You know, after I’d written the above I realised I’d got political asylum here. Because I certainly didn’t leave the UK for economic reasons. Most of it was the increasing intrusiveness of the Brit state into the lives of its people. The being hemmed in by more & more rules & regulations. It was only a matter of time before I got nicked for bucking the system. There was a day, a few years back, when I was in-country due to family reasons. Pissing with rain & I’m on the public pavement, sheltering under the overhang of a building, having a fag whilst waiting for someone. And had some security goon come out the shop & told me I couldn’t smoke there. So being the polite & friendly chap I am, I suggested he fucked off. Which he said was abuse & he intended calling the police. I think he meant it. I didn’t wait to find out. Dealing with your uniformed thugs is not an experience to relish. And you put up with this sort of thing, don’t you? I certainly wouldn’t of complied with being confined to my home for three months during the Covid fiasco. I certainly didn’t here. But I don’t have the sort of neighbours likely to bubble me to the authorities. We take a very relaxed view to laws & regulations.

  9. Bloke in the Fourth Reich


    Both countries, particularly the UK, did erect barriers to leaving under the guise of protecting granny.

    First an almost blanket ban on leaving (if imposed by “government by press conference” rather than the more traditional means of writing laws), and then imposing conditions on their own citizens returning to their own countries.

    So yes, and it’s already happened.

    That small garden in Argentina is calling. At least they are used to economic turmoil there.

  10. It’s like the “political refugees” you get in the UK. Bollocks. The only bit they didn’t like about where they came from is they weren’t the ones on the top. They get “safe havened” in the UK & immediately do their best to recreate where they came from.

  11. As for why your Cubans sailed off into a hurricane, doubt if it’s due to the desperation of their circumstances. They could have waited a fortnight. It’s because they’re Catholics. Fatalists. They asked Dio if it would be all right & He said it would. Maybe Dio lied or got his weather plans for autumn ’22 mixed up. Looked at October rather than September. Who knows with the ineffable. But that’s latinos. Very weak grasp of reality. Why almost the entire Hispanic world’s a fuck up. Spain’s hardly much better

  12. Hey BiS, what’s this bollocks about allowing peeps from third world nations into Espana without the hastle of proof of vax / negative LFT/PCR test /proof of infection and recovery, but not this fair land?
    Lebanon? No problem. Macau, Hong Kong North Macedonia, Rwanda, likewise. Fuck me, even the Septicss!!!!!!
    But me here in blighty? Unclean. I have to go through the punishment. Cos that’s what it is isn’t? Punishment. For Brexit…..

  13. Haven’t a clue Addolff. Madrid’s a refuge for the mentally ill. But it probably accounts for the mix of tourists we got this season. Half of fucking Morocco for a start. Who spend nowt. And why every golfer* I’m in contact with has booked for Portugal.

    * Yes. I know. It is indeed very sad. And possibly incurable. But they do have money & I have friends who would like to relieve them of the inconvenience of it.

  14. To be fair, pretty much everyone running away from Eritrea has a valid claim to political asylum on the grounds of how dictatorial the place is, while also being subject to what’s basically state slavery in the form of endless conscription. So unlike Cuba it’s not like they could have all just kept their heads down, carefully avoided appearing to criticise the government, and get away with living an unmolested but poverty-stricken life.

    I think most people (quite sanely) running from crap countries to live simply find it convenient if their government counts as sufficiently nasty that political asylum is routinely given, since very few are the kind of activists who were at substantial risk from regime clampdowns. Eritrea is a different case. I’d probably also give a free pass to women fleeing Afghanistan and Iran, though it does tend to be the blokes who run off instead.

  15. BiS, most other places have dropped ALL their restrictions but not Spain re: the UK. Like I said, free to fly into Alicante from Rwanda but not Stansted?????
    Hopefully I’ll be out there in November (if the ‘Fit to Fly’ Q tip comes back negative of course), but it just seems strange.

  16. You talking about the UK, Germany or Cuba there, PJF?

    My point is that any government will fuck the people around to a level they can get away with, just for kicks. As you rightly point out, that also applies here.

    Cuba is one party state, and that party is communist. If you think it’s a nice place to live you are naïve in the extreme. It may be that the pleasant climate makes the deprivation more tolerable than North Korea, and the culture is generally too idle to be as brutal as North Korea, but it’s still a nasty land of prison, beatings, torture and killing for those who step out of line.

    Maybe you’d be able to navigate the constant restrictions upon free enterprise (i.e. careful bribery). I suspect your freedom-loving personality and age related tendency to bitch and moan would quickly land you in hot water. But give it a try; maybe they still hand out free ciggies with the ration books for the 50s.

  17. @PJF
    I’m pretty up to speed on Cuba. Both of them. Or maybe all three of them. Firstly there’s the Cuba that British socialists get to see on their Guardian guided tours. The one with fully staffed modern clinics they get taken round. Any tourists will see that one. Then there’s the Cuba of the dissenters who provoke the Man. An the minions of the Man who get provoked. That’s the Cuba my Venezola journalist pal collided with. If you actually listened to her story & pick it apart, she asked for it. And the third one’s the sleepy latin third-world country where the new clinic was built for the cameras never had half its windows installed, any doctors or nurses or drugs. Difficult to see that because it’s difficult to get to. Taxis don’t go there & you can’t hire a car. There are infrequent buses but you’re unlikely to be able to get on one. Full even if they’re empty, if you see what I mean. That Cuba’s not much different from the poor countryside of any Latin American country. Heavy on goats & burros. Latins can be hard workers but they’re not entrepreneurial. The Dio thing. Unless you chase them they can’t see the point. None of them will interested in going down to Havana & overthrowing the government. Surprisingly though, the ones I’ve met seem to be quite well educated. So they must have good schools. Certainly better than the Spanish. High proportion of Spanish are functionally illiterate.
    Can’t see any reason I wouldn’t get on all right there. I’m not actually very English. I’m really from cosmopolitan Central London. So I don’t expect everywhere to be a facsimile of a SE England suburb like most of the Brits here do. I’m very good at blending in & adapting. I’d have no beef with the Cuban regime. Why would I?

  18. Emperor Joe Palp-a-teen tries to ship out the Cubans as fast as possible.

    It used to be that a Cuban who arrived in US territory* (including the waters) was granted residency with a view to citizenship. Clinton changed this to if they made it to dry land they could stay (water intercepts being returned to their fate in Cuba). Then Obama, cosying up to the commies, ditched that automatic element altogether.

    Cubans are probably better off going across to Mexico and chancing their way to Biden’s open border.

    *except by plane, I think, i.e. escapees, not general travellers

  19. I’d have no beef with the Cuban regime. Why would I?

    Considering you think the Venezuelan journalist deserved to be tortured and raped, can’t think of any reason. I urge you to go with all haste.

  20. @PJF
    I reckon going to Havana & trying to dig out fervent & possibly violent opponents of the regime isn’t exactly a smart move. What she expect to happen? But middle-class, European educated member of the Venezuelan diaspora. And this was the 80s.
    It’s not that I’m in favour of rape or torture. But I’m a realist.
    A while ago I bought a couple of tickets for Colombia. Self & the Colombiana I was knocking about with. Go see her family. Then I had second thoughts. She went on her own.
    See, she comes from a poor barrio in a small town out in the campo. They don’t even have cars. And I’m going to be going somewhere where everybody but everybody will know who I am. Compared to them, rich gringo from Europe. It’s just too much temptation. Her family & friends may be nice people. But not everybody is. Her brother got shot off a moto On the Cali-Armenia highway the following year. Two guys on another bike. I paid for his funeral. Drug related? Or was he just an asshole in a country’s not overly tolerant of assholes? On my own I can look after myself. I was pissing about in Algerian Sahara not long before that. Pretty well a war zone. Did some weapons familiarisation there. It was advised. But I can’t look after myself if I’m going to make myself a target.
    Same with the Venezola. She set herself up. She’s gone out for a story on how nasty the Cuban guardians of law & order can be. She thought she had a magic cloak or something?

  21. Bit late to this but re: travel to Spain from U.K.

    We went to Seville last weekend and didn’t notice the restrictions till Friday afternoon, before leaving Saturday morning. Mrs Buca and I are both vaxed (I know not popular around here but there you go) but didn’t have the COVID pass thingy. She went on the site and it came through straight away. I did the same but mine didn’t.

    She was panicking that we wouldn’t be able to go but I thought I would chance it anyway whilst hoping it would come through. I figured “they’re Spanish so probably won’t bother to check”. It didn’t arrive by the time we reached Stansted. I asked the Ryanair desk and the guy said you don’t need one. Mrs Buca didn’t believe me so she went to ask and was told the same. So we went through security and whilst sat having a pint my vax pass came through anyway. I saw no sign of checking when we landed though.

    Lovely place Seville

  22. Mrs Buca and I are both vaxed (I know not popular around here but there you go)

    I think the general feeling is “take it if you want it, but don’t try to force it on or coerce those that don’t”

  23. Sam, thanks for the info. Not vaxxed, reluctant to stick anything up my nose and probably wouldn’t have booked the flight if i’d known the Spanish government had maintained the restrictions for UK citizens. Will get a test before I go and see what happens.

  24. @samuelbuca
    In response to the question I had delve around, try & find out what the current situation is. Way I hear it, the requirements mentioned are still in place. However. Originally this was a national thing so the cost of harassing arrivals at the ports & airports over compliance was paid for at the national level. But Spain’s made up of regional autonomous communities. Cataluna, Valencia, Andalucia etc And Madrid’s now slung it down to the regional level & they’re expected to pay for it. Which some (all?) say they can’t afford. So they’re not doing it. So you get Snr Buca’s experience at Sevilla (Andalucia) Someone I spoke with flew into Malaga (Andalucia) got the same result. But this does not mean it’ll be the same at every Spanish airport. Or that the situation mightn’t change overnight & you could walk into a pack of officious dagos eager to check every dotted i & crossed t on your Covid documentation. And if you don’t have it they could well turn you around & tell you to vamos back where you came from.
    It’s much the same story as what I’ve written about Cuba above. Look mates, it’s foreign. And if you’re in foreign they do it foreign. Your Brit expectations don’t happen down here. And they are not the slightest interested in your opinions so you might as well STFU.

  25. FWIW, Someone I know who flew into Malaga two or three weeks ago was fully checked. So yes, they got the officious dagos that day. And/or they are slowly easing off it in practice?

    The USA’s still in wog mode; elsewhere, even Turdeau’s now abandoned it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *