Archive for the ‘tourism’ Category

Meanwhile, over in the country with the strictest gun control laws in our hemisphere,

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Thousands of armed vigilantes takeover Mexican town, arrest police and shoot at tourists after ‘commander’ is killed and dumped in the street. Tierra Colorada is in the southern state of Guerrero on the way from Mexico City to Acapulco

‘Community police’ arrest former director of security in Tierra Colorado [sic]
They allege he took part in killing of their leader, 28, for criminal cartel
State prosecutors agree to investigate official’s links to organised crime
Vigilantes have been stopping traffic at checkpoints and searching homes
Tourist injured after vigilantes opened fire because he failed to stop his car
Takeover comes amid growing ‘self defence’ movement against cartels

Fidel’s daughter favors “Dutch-style sex ed”

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

In a Communist country, with sex tourism, and where your children belong to the state, the dictator’s daughter talks about the latest plan (h/t Gates of Vienna),
Cuba embraces Dutch-style sex education
Cuba can learn a thing or two from Dutch-styled sex education. That’s the view of Mariele Castro Espín, daughter of Cuban President Raúl Castro, espoused in an interview with Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

Mariela Castro is director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education, a government-funded body, whose aim is the development of the development of a culture of sexuality that is “full, pleasurable and responsible, as well as to promote the full exercise of sexual rights.” She will travel to the Netherlands in the near future to for discussions with institutions and government bodies related to sex education.

Cuba is a top destination for sex tourism. Maybe Mariela will have the whorehouses display their goods on shop windows as they do in Amsterdam.


National Lampoon Caribbean Vacation: Venezuela edition

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Dan Miller reports on his recent Bolivarian vacation experience:

Going on Vacation to Venezuela? What Could Go Wrong?
You will discover new ways to conserve water and electricity, the supplies of which a thoughtful and ever compassionate government has wisely limited by allowing the infrastructure to deteriorate naturally.

It’s not the Canyon Ranch, but, hey, you may still lose the pounds,

For the many health conscious tourists, Venezuela can’t be beat; indeed, one could drop ten pounds or more due to the massive food shortages obviously caused by capitalist greed, food hoarding, incompetence of a few petty officials, speculation, and the bourgeois nature of some union members.

Go read the rest – you’ll want to book the earliest flight available. As they said in Burn After Reading, “Put him on a plane to Venezuela!”

(Dan also forwarded the link.)


Meow mix, anyone?

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

When traveling abroad, always carry a food dictionary. You’ll avoid unpleasant surprises:

“Better than chicken, rabbit or pigeon.”

Would you lilke some fries with that?

Fly standing, my a**, part 2

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Remember this?

I posted about this in April, 2006. The NYT article was titled Ready for takeoff? Even if it’s standing room? Back then the airlines involved vigorously denied that they were considering doing away with seats.

Well, three years later, the story is baaack:
Would You Stand on Short Flights if It Meant Cheaper Fares?

According to A spokesman for Ryanair, Stephen McNamara, said the airline is looking to replace traditional seats with “vertical ones,” which on a typical flight would allow between 50 and 60 additional passengers.

The vertical seats

Oxymoron – Dude, if vertical, it’s not a seat!

sound like something you might find in an amusement park:

I’m not amused

Mr. McNamara said the airline envisages having the passengers supported and restrained,

Why does that bring to mind horror movies involving insane asylums?

and not simply holding a rail,

The screaming, floating strap hangers wouldn’t look so good to the rest of the passengers?

so they could handle turbulence or an emergency landing safely, Steve Gelsi reports.

Or perhaps the airline wants you to be on the misericord,

Helmsley Misericord seats St Aelred's Chapel

so you pray for mercy on your soul during a rough flight?

Ryanair would need approval both from U.S. and European Union authorities, as well as Boeing, which makes its aircraft. Mr. McNamara said it could take three years before they could even pilot the program, and then additional time to launch it.

Give the sadists enough time, and they’ll push it through, possibly even with a governmental bailout.

The thing is, once an arline reduces travel room, it later becomes a trend to all the airlines. When air travel first started, passengers were treated well, which later became first class (which is disappearing, fast), and now we’re all sardines in coach.


Yes, it CAN get worse!

Another controversial idea -– charging for toilet use on flights –- is “still under consideration,” according to Mr. McNamara.

There you are, catapulted into the upper atmosphere in an aluminum tube and they’re charging you to use the toilet.

What other humiliation will they think of next? Dare I ask?

Speaking of billing, how about allowing passengers to bill airlines for every minute of delays, at the passengers’ hourly wage rate, chums?


I’ll be joining Jane and other friends at BlogHer09 later today. Blogging will take second place to socializing and fun.


No, we didn’t have to stand through a flight to get here, perish the thought.

Cuba: Fantasy island for Orbitz?

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

As I have mentioned before, I’m under the distinct impression that the Obama administration will water-down the Cuban embargo to the point where it becomes meaningless.

Orbitz, the travel people, are looking ahead to booking some vacations when that happens:

Cuba: Fantasy island for Orbitz?
Chicago-based travel site launches Web campaign seeking to overturn the U.S. government’s longtime travel restrictions to Cuba

Blending commerce with politics, Chicago’s Orbitz Worldwide is launching a campaign this week aimed at getting Congress to reverse a law that prohibits travel to Cuba for most U.S. citizens and green-card holders.

Starting Sunday through a Web site at, Orbitz visitors can petition the White House, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and members of Congress to eliminate the decades-old trade and travel restrictions.

They’re eager, alright,

Borrowing a page from the Obama presidential campaign, Orbitz is trying to build grass-roots support for opening travel to the island by appealing directly to the 14 million monthly visitors to its Web site.

“We want to organize our customers and other interested parties to reach out to Obama and other government officials,” said Barney Harford, 37, the energetic president and chief executive of Orbitz.

A British national, Harford became enamored with Cuban culture and music during a 1997 trip to Havana and surrounding areas. “This is a magical country,” he said.

Orbitz created its Cuba campaign in Internet speed. Energized by a White House visit with the president in March, Harford decided to rally his company behind a social cause and selected Cuba. His engineers built the Web site in just two weeks.

In its haste, Orbitz hasn’t solicited support from Cuban-American leaders, although Harford says that is next on its agenda.

It’s a bigger gamble than Orbitz probably suspects: first, the Cuban regime is going to continue to picture the US as the “enemy empire”. Additionally, it’s not in the regime’s interest to flood the country with Americans, particularly those who stand for freedom,

But even if the ban is abolished, Cuba is likely to constrict travel for the near term, experts said. Cuba’s leadership is likely to restrict travel visas in the hope of thwarting visitors who might foment discontent.

And then there’s the stark reality of Cuba itself.

But, as I said, the Obama administration is going to do what it’s going to do. Orbitz is just trying to fill a niche. Before you go, do drop by The Real Cuba and The Cuba Archive.

While we wait for the Cuban Communist party to enact The Freedom to Travel From Cuba Act…

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

…the Dems are proposing a The Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act:
Bill would drop travel restrictions to Cuba

While most of the nation focused on the stimulus bill winding through Congress, nine representatives introduced a bill calling for an end to the 46-year-old ban on travel to Cuba.

The Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Feb. 4 would allow American citizens unrestricted travel to Cuba for the first time since 1963. The bill by Rep. William Delahunt, D-Mass., and eight co-sponsors would also lift limits on travel by Cuban exiles living in the United States. The president would not be able to regulate travel to the island unless an armed conflict or armed danger arises.

Co-sponsors to the bill include representatives Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., Sam Farr, D-Calif., and Ron Paul, R- Texas.

So here’s the story:
By enacting this bill the US would be allowing a major shift in policy without demanding an equal, in-kind gesture from Cuba. Cubans (and foreign residents, as Roberto Ampuero found out to his dismay) residing in the island-prison are not allowed to travel without the direct permission of the Cuban government. Anyone else who leaves immediately loses everything they have, job and possessions.

A great deal of travel to Cuba is for sex tourism. Any other tourist activity is totally controlled by the Cuban government. Cubans, under this apartheid system, are not allowed into tourist-only areas unless they work there for a salary of $20/month.

Anyone traveling to Cuba for medical treatment also would continue to support the medical apartheid system, by which Cubans without foreign passports and dollars to pay with have to contend with a medical system so lacking that patients have to bring their own suture thread before a surgeon can operate on them.

Just so you know before you pack your bags.

More at Babalu


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The Brazilian diplomacy Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Welcome to the Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean. If you would like your posts included in the next Carnival, please email me, faustaw2 “at” gmail “dot” com.

This week’s big story: Brazil continues its ascendance as a diplomatic powerhouse for the hemisphere. Last week thirty-three countries met in Brazil for the first Latin American and Caribbean Summit on Integration and Development. Today president Lula hosts French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who’s visting the country to bring about bilateral cooperation in several areas, including the production of defense submarines. I’ll be discussing Sarko’s visit in today’s podcast at 11AM Eastern, which you can listen to here.

Via Pat, Latin America’s Deafening Silence by Jorge Castañeda.

Interesting post (in Spanish) on the UnoAmérica pro-democracy NGO meeting in Bogota; their website here.

Only in Argentina

Nestor Kirchner is unwell

Argentina and the drug trade

Confuso triple juego hispano-ruso-argentino

ATFA Condemns Ecuador’s Debt Default Decision Defaulting on Foreign Debt

Austroraptor cabazai: They Just Don’t Make Big Scary Dinosaurs Like They Once Did

Argentina Seizes Assets of Iranian Terrorist-Diplomat

Commentary: One Belizean’s perspective on agreement between Belize and Guatemala

Slide show: Brazilians in Ireland

Comments on Bloomberg News’ Brazil Defence Story

Brazil Fails to Earmark Budget Money for Sovereign Wealth Fund

The Ultimate Guide to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu- 101 Resources to Help Anyone Learn the Gentle Art

FruityRumPunch update

Pass FTA and amend Plan Colombia

Combined with a revamped Plan Colombia, the FTA can then promote both human rights and the overall quality of life in Colombia. One of the loudest proponents for the FTA is Asocolflores, Colombia’s flower exporters association. Dependent on the U.S. market, its companies employ 200,000 Colombians. This and other export industries create jobs and opportunities that provide poor Colombians alternatives to growing coca, the plant used to make cocaine.

Real change will not come from bulletproof armor, helicopters, and tanks, but will depend on Colombia’s institutional capabilities and the economic opportunities it can offer its citizens. The United States should focus Plan Colombia on improving justice and human rights, and pass the FTA to improve economic opportunities for both countries’ citizens. President-elect Obama’s campaign promised change; our regional partners could use some, too.

New World Post-pandemic Reforestation Helped Start Little Ice Age, Say Scientists

Russian warships bound for Cuba in new show of strength

Blogger and Castro kin clash on the Web

Journalist Guillermo Fariñas kidnapped by Castro’s goons

Will El Salvador Veer Left?

Iraq is safer than Mexico

Mexico – US – Italy cocaine connection

Now Nicaragua can’t just blame the Empire

The Dry Season Has Arrived

¿Quiere Lugo imitar a Salvador Allende? – ABC Color

Pharma-Bio acquires assets and operations in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico governor elect heads to New York to meet with credit agencies

Now that the price of fuel is down, airline carriers are returning to the region: Non-stop Delta service returns to Tobago

OPEC cuts production, Venezuela lies, oil drops yet again

The Chavez permanent show: 170 hours of cadena

HRW v Hugo Chavez et sycophants

Yet another Russia-Venezuela joint venture: Government to install gold refinery at Las Cristinas – Venezuela

Chavez After the Oil Boom

Chavez Latin America Allies Escalate Rhetoric on Debt

Venezuela’s foreign policy loses its gas

Fixing Border Security

Che Guevara was a murderer and your t-shirt is not cool

Special thanks to Ada, the Baron, Eneas, Larwyn, Maria, Maggie and SamK.

This week’s posts and podcasts
Iran using Venezuela ties to duck UN sanctions
Latin America: Summits and Crisis, at Real Clear World blog
Report: Drug cartels move beyond borders
From the Mexican war zone: Kidnapping Negotiator Is Now a Victim in Mexico
Latin American and Caribbean Summit on Integration and Development excludes Bush, as China, Russia loom

Listen to Faustas blog on internet talk radio


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Today’s 15 Minutes on Latin America: Free Trade

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

You can listen to the podcast here

Today at 10AM Eastern I’ll be talking about Mary Anastasia O’Grady’s article, Latin America Wants Free Trade

Chat’s open by 9:45AM, and the call-in number is 646 652-2639. Join us!

Listen to Faustas blog on internet talk radio


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The hurricane edition of the Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, September 8th, 2008

You can listen to today’s podcast here

Welcome to the Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean. If you would like your posts included, please email me: faustaw2 “at” gmail “dot” com.

This week’s big story: the hurricanes traveling through the Caribbean. Over 500 people died in Haiti.

‘Cold War II’ could involve Latin America

Star Resorts Development Inc. (SRDP.OB): Playing the Tourism Boom in Latin America

Mary Anastasia O’Grady talks about bringing stability to Latin America:

Más delicias “bolivarianas”

Al deterioro de las instituciones centrales de la democracia en Bolivia, Ecuador y Venezuela se les suman ahora los casos de Honduras y Nicaragua.

DPA: Iran, Bolivia, Venezuela can recognize independence of South Ossetia, Abkhazia

The war on drugs hits serious snags

The dangers of Hezbollah in Latin America

Satisfying the creditors: The President Pays Her Dues

ARUBA and Netherland Antilles
Antilleans outraged by ethnic database plan

Evo Morales huye en helicoptero hacia el Brasil – Venezolanos en linea

Despite U.S. Aid, Coca Cultivation On Rise in Andes

Two “revolutionary nations” agree to boost their relations
Iran and Bolivia are natural allies: Ahmadinejad

Spying on justice: The top spooks eavesdropped on the top court

(Audio starts when you click on link) Jeffrey Nyquist interviews Brazilian philosopher Olavo de Carvalho

Un nuevo PC de las FARC amenaza con un escándalo mayor que el de Reyes

El gobierno de Colombia aseguró hoy que la información contenida en los computadores y memorias USB del jefe guerrillero “John 40″, cuyo campamento fue atacado esta semana, es más grande que la encontrada a “Raúl Reyes”.

El ministro de Defensa, Juan Manuel Santos, confirmó, de acuerdo a lo reseñado por Radio Caracol, que en total fueron tres computadores y 40 memorias las encontradas en Puerto Cachimo, Guaviare, donde se desarrolló el operativo.

“Nos va a dar información igual o más importante de la que obtuvimos en el ataque a Raúl Reyes“, dijo el ministro Santos quien añadió que “la información se irá revelando paulatinamente con el fin de no prevenir a esta guerrilla.

De otro lado, Santos informó que Gener García Molina, alias”John 40″, resulto herido en el bombardeo y huye herido por las selvas del Guaviare.

En el ataque, llevado a cabo por unidades de la Fuerza Omega, fueron abatidos 9 guerrilleros y 4 más fueron capturados.

Las autoridades colombianas presumen que el jefe guerrillero está protegido, en su huída, por 4 guerrilleros del frente 43, que alcanzaron a huir con él, indicó Santos.

‘Rescue’ latest in series of setbacks for Colombia’s FARC

Bloggers at the RNC: Josh talks about Colombia

At least 7 newborns died in a Cuban hospital due to a bacterial infection

U.S. policy bad for Cubans in need

No country for old women

Free Gorki Aguila!

Under Siege: Freedom in Ecuador

The Economist’s Country Briefing predicts double-digit inflation.

Putting the rights of nature in Ecuador’s constitution

Freedom in Ecuador under siege

Venezuela e Irán envían urea a Ecuador

Haitian Hurricane Relief

Eyewitness: Haiti’s storm ordeals

Oh rose, thou art sick: The president faces a long goodbye

Nicaraguans continue to be disillusioned with their current situation

Repression in Nicaragua under Sandinistas

Caribbean lashed by Hurricane Ike

Chavez announces that he’ll take part in military maneuvers with the Russians and will “graze past Miami” Chávez anuncia que irá en un Sukhoi a Cuba y que pasará “rozando Miami” Considering the current weather in the Caribbean, that’s going to be a bumpy ride. Chavez invites Russia to maneuvers, as Venezuela to host Russia navy exercise in Caribbean (h/t Lady Logician).

Energy and arms dominate Russia-Venezuela talks

Chavez takes over fuel transport

A Little Insult Is All the Rage in Venezuela: ‘Pitiyanqui’

Unenlightened Venezuelans

Electric sector begins to show Chavez’ recipe for disaster

How the US Gov. made 20 millions today from Hugo’s Citgo

Upcoming event
‘Bolivia: Surviving and Thriving despite XXI Century Socialism’ September 9, 6-9PM

The birth of Freedom

Sarah America Will Take It To Petrotyrants

The Val Guide to Hurricane Preparedness

Special thanks to Eneas, GoV, Irish Spy, and Maggie.

The daily 15 Minutes on Latin America podcast has been moved up to 10AM Eastern.

Listen to Faustas blog on internet talk radio


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