Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta Turismo. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta Turismo. Mostrar todas las entradas

martes, octubre 29, 2013

Why tourists don’t like Canada

Steven Threndyle/
(Photo: Robert Francis/Flickr)
Canadian Tourism Commission CEO Michele McKenzie announced last month she would be stepping down after a difficult decade at the helm of the national tourism marketing body. Statistics tell the tale: from 2000 to 2010, Canada’s share of global international arrivals decreased from 2.9% to 1.7%. Our share of revenues fell from 2.3% to 1.7%.
A sharp decline in U.S. visitors and flat traveller numbers from overseas have left tourism operators ever more dependent on the domestic market. Canadians themselves accounted for 80% of spending in 2012, up from 68% a decade earlier, a recent Scotiabank report found. The report blamed the Canadian dollar’s appreciation, which eroded price competitiveness, “as well as the rapid growth in emerging markets as a tourist destination.”
That has left Canada with a wide and growing tourism deficit. Though the sector accounts for only 2% of the economy, it employs almost 600,000 people. And in the eyes of critics, it is getting even less competitive. “The cost of the product we’re selling continues to rise. Our airports, for instance, are used as a cost centre rather than as an economic engine,” laments John Winter, CEO of the B.C. Chamber of Commerce.
Keep reading on Canadian Business >>

sábado, abril 27, 2013

Bahrain: Tourism, Investment, And The Arab Spring

By Nicolai Due-Gundersen
The Kingdom of Bahrain is a small island-nation in the Middle East, located in between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Bahrain. Bahrain’s closest neighbors include the dominant Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the smaller nation of Qatar. Bahrain’s main investment sectors are characterized by booming financial and banking services. Hence, despite earlier hydrocarbon discovery than most Gulf States, it has attempted to minimize hydrocarbon dependence. In addition to the aforementioned sectors, Bahrain is also seeking to further diversify its economy through tourism.
BahrainTo that end, Bahrain has focused on hosting and further developing the Formula One World Championship events. In 2002, agreements were signed between the Kingdom of Bahrain and Bernie Ecclestone, current manager of F1, to host the 2004 round of the F1 Championships. Shortly after the contract was signed, Bahrain invested 150 million USD in the construction of the Bahrain Racing Circuit. The F1 investment quickly paid off, allowing Bahrain to enjoy the second highest growth in tourism within the Middle East by 2006.
However, the events of the Arab Spring spilled over into Bahrain, leading to widespread protests that were met with harsh responses from the Bahrain government in 2011. While protests became more fragmented in early 2012, in part due to King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s agreement to consider democratic reforms, violence returned less than a month later, in February 2012.

Overview of Investment Sectors

Despite a desire to diversify its economy, the hydrocarbon sector continues to be a persisting revenue source. Bahrain’s proven reserves are estimated to be at 125 million barrels, as of January 2011, with a 46,000 barrel per day output. In addition, Bahrain shares an offshore field, Abu Safah, with Saudi Arabia. With production shares equally divided between the two states, Bahrain’s Abu Safah output stands at 150,000 barrels a day. A key aspect of Bahrain’s hydrocarbon sector is its refining capacity. Unlike most (pan) Arab states, which export crude oil to Western and Asian markets, Bahrain refines its petroleum products prior to exportation to main clients, which also includes the Asian region, especially India. Refining capacities are an important indication of well-developed infrastructure, lowering required investments from foreign (oil) companies and also illustrating a country’s extent of overall advanced (technological) development. Such development factors can serve as indications of a country’s economic stability and hence the potential security of long-term investments.
In addition to its hydrocarbon sector, Bahrain has encouraged further growth of its banking and financial institutions through increasing economic reforms, with the aim of creating ever more liberal markets and diversified private investments. The Bahraini government has targeted five industries for expansion for the purpose of achieving overall stability. These areas include business and financial services, tourism, information technology, telecommunications and healthcare.
Bahrain’s strategy is to maintain and increase its image not simply as another Gulf (oil) State but as the business hub of the Arab world, attracting both international and regional firms. Bahrain’s economic reforms, along with simplifying the process of investment and business establishment within the country for outside firms, has attracted regional financial institutions such as Arab Chartered Legal Accountants, a global (but Arab-focused) auditing firm. In addition, the Kuwaiti-based intellectual copyright law firm, Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization, chose Bahrain as its headquarters location in 2010.
The recent expansion of such Arab-based firms into Bahrain, along with Bahrain’s already existent state-run Central Bank of Bahrain, may indicate that the Bahraini government has placed more emphasis on forming closer regional business ties and thus wishes to sell its financial sector to proximate Arab states. However, the establishment of the Abu-Ghazaleh Organization was closely followed by the opening of the Abu Ghazaleh Institute for Chinese Language and Culture in 2010. Furthermore, Bahrain and India signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) as recently as early summer 2012. The agreement has the core goal of promoting economic and joint investment between the two states. The agreement will be further bolstered by the formation of the Bahraini-Indian Business Council, which will serve as a concrete structural platform for mutual, foreign direct investment.
India’s business rival, China has also been fostering closer relations with Bahrain. In 2011, China was the third largest non-Gulf export market for Bahraini trade, with China itself being the second largest importer of Bahraini goods. While some critics may argue that Sino-Bahraini trade is on the rise, it is important to consider how relations between China and Bahrain are structured and filtered. Unlike Bahraini-Indian relations, which are to be further developed through the platform of the Bahraini-Indian Business Council, Chinese business with Bahrain must go through the Gulf Cooperation Council, a regional organization that represents the collective economic and security interests of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Though there has been discussion on the creation of a Bahrain-China Business Council since 2009, this has yet to materialize. Indeed, Bahrain appears to view itself as China’s gateway into the larger Gulf market, rather than a central target market itself. Bahrain’s relations with India, on the other hand, have seen a recent mutual investment surge. Furthermore, Bahraini-Indian relations span a history of close to 300 years, with up to 350,000 Indians currently residing in Bahrain.
Although Bahrain is known as an international business hub of the Arab world, it is clear that its main economic focus has prioritized its Arab neighbors and the Asian region, with a greater business emphasis on India. This emphasis is further bolstered by the fact that India serves as the main export market in Asia for Bahraini oil. Despite its Asian focus, Bahrain has attempted to create further incentive for more international investment. Such attempts have included providing economic privileges to corporate and small-scale investors, including no income tax and, significantly, total ownership of businesses established in Bahrain by foreigners.
Such incentives have recently earned Bahrain the title of ‘Host of Three of the World’s Top Twenty Economic Zones.’ This title, earned in 2012, earmarks Bahrain as a top twenty location for internal investment, economic development and global business expansion. Bahrain’s economic status has, of course, been further assisted by its location within the Gulf, which allows access to other Arab states, including the world’s largest oil producer, Saudi Arabia. The King Fahd causeway serves as a physical connection between the two states, which has encouraged closer relations between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Access to Arab states has attracted certain Western firms to Bahrain, including American firms Citicorp and American Express. Despite Bahrain’s Asian focus, American ties remain strong, with the U.S. a close trading ally and military client; a significant portion of the US Navy’s Middle Eastern fleet has enjoyed Bahrain’s strategic location for around 50 years.

Formula One and Tourism

Bahrain’s winning bid to host the Formula One Championships came amid fierce competition from other Arab states, especially Egypt, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates. By 2004, there was significant interest in Bahrain’s Grand Prix, and it is likely safe to say that ‘F1 tourism’ started with the interest of tourists from surrounding Gulf States. The F1 races, which Bahrain attempts to host on an annual basis, have played a significantly increasing role in tourist revenue. They have become the definitive event of the tourist sector, earning the state up to 600 million USD in revenues. Interestingly enough, the majority of F1 tourists continue to come from the Arab world, with less than a quarter of fans from the West, mainly the U.K. The significance of the F1 Championships expands into various subsectors of tourism and hospitality, especially for hotels, which often see total occupancy and are subsequently able to charge up to double their normal rates. In addition, the race generates up to 600 jobs, both directly and indirectly linked to the event, and often earns an additional 7.7 million USD in T.V. rights, sponsorship, catering and commissions, along with facility rental.
However, the success of Bahrain’s F1 events, along with its other investment sectors, has not been immune from the effects of the Arab Spring. Unrest in Bahrain began on February 14th, 2011. Influenced by protests in Egypt and Tunisia, protestors took to the streets of Manama, Bahrain’s capital. From February to June 2011, tensions increased and it became clear that a main source of conflict was the power of the ruling Sunni minority in a country of Shia majority Muslims. Although there have been moments of respite, including the King’s pledge to consider democratic reforms and granting Parliament greater powers of scrutiny, protests and violence increased from February 2012 onward. Worryingly, April 18th 2012 saw F1 drivers exposed to a petrol bomb attack during a practice run, although there are signs that F1 teams were not intended targets.
Although the 2011 F1 Championships were hosted in Australia, Bahrain was keen to welcome back F1 for 2012. Bahrain’s eagerness was no doubt due to the significant revenue losses for the tourist sector due to its cancellation of the 2011 event. While protests in Bahrain have somewhat mellowed, tension continues to exist, with allegations of Bahraini police and soldiers using excessive force on protestors. The alleged arrest and jailing of an 11-year old boy for protest involvement also re-sparked international and domestic outrage.

Economic Stagnation?

In addition to the loss of F1 prestige and tourism, many critics have pointed out that Bahrain’s economic growth stood at only 1.3% in the final quarter of 2011. In addition, many construction projects, which no doubt could contribute to tourist attraction, have been abandoned or halted due to lack of continuing investment. Another worrying trend has been the effects of popular unrest on the financial sector, Bahrain’s pearl in the Gulf, especially the bankruptcy of a major Bahraini bank. Indeed, the conspicuous lack of expatriates serves as an appropriate symbol for what some claim is the decreasing involvement of international firms and investors. Furthermore, the events of the protests have directly cost Bahrain up to 2 billion USD, including up to 200 million USD worth of damages to small and medium-size businesses. Such effects of the Arab Spring will no doubt further make potential external investors wary of establishing businesses within Bahrain or investing in its institutions and portfolios.
Despite such recent downturns, however, there are certain positive (or at least mitigating) indications. Bahrain recently increased its crude oil production and government spending, leading speculators to estimate Bahrain’s 2012 economic growth to be at 4-5 %. Furthermore, some economists have argued that the slowing down of construction growth can be at least partially attributed to recent oversupply of business properties, rather than a sign that businesses are abandoning interest in Bahrain’s strategic location and investment opportunities. While such arguments may be taken as positive signs of (re)development, it must be remembered that Bahrain’s oil sector is distinguished for its exportation of refined rather than crude oil. Hence, Bahrain should resume refined exportation as soon as possible in order to convince potential investors that its infrastructural stability and capacity has returned to acceptable levels. In turn, such resumption may be taken as a sign by non-hydrocarbon investors that stability has begun to return to the overall outlook of Bahrain’s economic performance, encouraging further investment in non-hydrocarbon sectors such as tourism and banking.

Bahrain’s Unrest Versus Saudi Arabian Potential

Bahrain’s strategic location serves as a gateway to the Gulf region. At the same time, Saudi Arabia boasts the status of number one global petroleum producer and exporter. Hence, there is much interest in Saudi Arabia from international oil firms. However, Saudi Arabia’s conservative culture, with its strict Muslim codes, which some Westerners may struggle to embrace, may curb the number of Westerners willing to be active in the country. Hence, Bahrain, with its already established links to Saudi Arabia, has the potential to serve as a more Western-friendly ‘safe-house’ for Western investors, business individuals and company representatives seeking to broker deals in the Saudi Arabian hydrocarbon sector.
However, the business potential of Saudi Arabian-Bahraini unity may be threatened by political considerations. Bahrain’s officially announced desire to share unity with Saudi Arabia and surrounding Gulf states (an Arab equivalent of the European Union) has been interpreted by most Bahrainis and outside critics as having the sole aim of strengthening the Bahraini government’s crackdown of protestors by gaining closer access to Saudi security forces. This suspicion is heightened by Bahrain’s earlier use of Saudi troops to quell uprisings. In addition, demonstrations in Tehran supporting the Bahraini people’s denouncement of such a union have heightened tensions between the Bahraini and Iranian governments.
One possible alternative to formal (political and federal) unity would be the creation of a Bahrain-Saudi Arabia Business Council. Such a platform could strengthen business cooperation between the two states and serve as a framework for Bahrain becoming Saudi Arabia’s ‘business stopover’ for Westerners. In order to dispel suspicion and the prospect of increasing tension, both internally and with Iran, it would be best if such a council were to feature minimal government involvement and instead be a council composed of private businesses. However, as the state is deeply involved in the hydrocarbon sector on both sides (with said sector defining Saudi Arabian economics), such minimization may prove difficult. Thus, state involvement may still be balanced by the participation of international firms. Furthermore, such participation may act as an additional bolster of confidence for potential external investors to return to Bahrain if it allows greater access to Saudi Arabia than via the Gulf Cooperation Council, which certain external investors such as China have had to go through in the past, including for dialogue with Bahrain itself.


Bahrain stands out from its fellow Gulf States due to its heretofore successful attempts to diversify its economy and minimize the status of being an oil state. Its diversification efforts have earned it the status of being a financial business hub within the Arab region, and the more recent success of the Formula One events has created a most profitable tourist sector. These two elements have rounded out Bahrain’s strategic location as an access point to other Gulf States.
Although the Arab Spring has not had the same sweeping effect in Bahrain as in other Arab nations such as Libya and Egypt, its influence on Bahrain’s investment sectors should not be ignored. Notably, the unrest in Bahrain has been strong enough to have led to the cancellation of the 2011 Formula One event, affecting Bahrain’s image amid government resistance to protestors and taking from the Kingdom a total potential revenue of up to 600 million USD in that year. In addition, the cancellation has had strong repercussions on the hotel and catering sector due to the decrease of tourists. The financial sector too appears to have been hit by a slowdown of economic growth in late 2011 and the withdrawal of expatriate workers and investors from certain industries.
However, Bahrain’s economy still retains promise. In addition to being the host of three of the world’s top twenty economic free zones, economic growth for 2012 was projected to enjoy a modest rebound. Bahrain continues to be ranked as the top business and economic hub of the Arab world, and the government’s recent increase in spending and focus on encouraging internal entrepreneurism is testimony to its determination in growing as an investment hub.
The return of international investment flows into Bahrain will likely hinge on the government’s treatment of ongoing protests. While such protests have lacked the perpetual motion of other Arab Spring movements, the government’s suppressive response to most protests has been met with harsh criticism and pressure, including from business allies such as the United States. Such pressure, in addition to long-made promises from King Al Khalifa, must give way to open dialogue for the first seeds of stability to be sown. Such dialogue can be assisted by diffusing suspicions of Bahraini-Saudi Arabian unity through the creation of a Bahrain-Saudi Arabia Business Council. Such a council can be established in lieu of a formal union between the two countries, with minimal state involvement and the open participation of Bahraini, Saudi Arabian and international businesses. Through business councils, other trading partners such as China can have a more direct link with Bahrain, allowing Bahrain to both defuse political suspicions and increase its status as a gateway to the rest of the Arab world.
Nicolai Due-Gundersen is a contributor to and is associated with the Arab Institute for Security Studies (ACSIS).

jueves, abril 25, 2013

Fallen Italian nobles turn castles into Bed & Breakfasts

, NBC News contributor
Miari Fulcis Family
Courtesy Miari Fulcis Family
Italian princes and countesses, struggling under the European economic crisis, are converting their dream-like castles into bed and breakfasts and luxury vacation rentals. The wealth of the aristocracy has shrunk across centuries and heirs, unable to live-off what remains of family fortunes and assets, have become entrepreneurs.
While noble titles haven't held legal value since Italy's monarchy was abolished in 1946, a loophole in the Republic's 1947 constitution allowed them to be retained as part of a family name. The titles still carry cachet, however, when it comes to attracting tourists to rent out the spare tower.
Castel Venezze room
Courtesy Castel Venezze
“Americans who love to meet, talk and dine with a count or prince”, Countess Maria Giustiniani, landlord of Castel Venezze, a 1400’s rural domain near Venice she turned into a resort, told NBC News. Renovations cost several million dollars and required taking out a since-repaid mortgage. Monthly maintenance on the 80 acre property runs several thousand dollars per month. The countess declined to specify revenue, except to say she was satisfied with it.
Not everyone is happy with their numbers, though. "Our business is currently in deficit”, said Count Francesco Miari Fulcis. He manages the 740-acre Fattoria di Maiano for his mother, Countess Lucrezia Miari Fulcis of the Corsini Princes. European royalty, including Queen Victoria, used to stay over at the invitation of its former English owner, Sir John Temple Leader.
Castle Scipione
Courtesy Countess Stefania Von Holstein
The Castle of Scipione boasts two suites, one of which is in the watch tower, 
rented out for $170 a day.
“Revenues have dropped 25-30 percent compared to 2007, sustaining agriculture is expensive, while sky-high property taxes and hell-like bureaucracy are straining us. You can’t live on asset value anymore,” said the Count. Overall maintenance for both tourist and agriculture activities, including the costs of running the on-site olive oil farm and production facility, average to a million dollars per year, he said.
Prince Gabriele Alliata di Villafranca restyled his 1600’s country estate in Sicily, "Le Case del Principe," into a set of luxury villas which he rents out for tourists, business meetings, weddings, and other events.
"You don’t get a single penny from agricultural farms like mine in southern Italy, and if you hope to live on the production of oil, oranges and wine... campa cavallo che l'erba cresce," said the Prince [translation: while the grass grows, the steed starves].
But finding new uses for the historic villas keeps aloft more than just the balance sheet.
Remembering when as a boy he used to ride on his bicycle out to the estate that was his family summer's home, Prince Gabriele said, "I didn't want this place to become a ruin."
To keep the estate from crumbling into the ground, Countess Maria Giustiniani's father renovated the estate after it was abandoned for several decades after major floods hit in the 1950's. "I’ll never be able to recover all the capital I spent here, but my five sons will," she said. "The estate now works marvelously: it’s an oasis in the desert."
Countess Stefania Von Holstein runs with her husband the medieval Castle of Scipione of the Marquises Pallavicino, among Italy’s oldest families. The economic crisis has hit them too. Unlike the other estates, they only opened it up to tourism after the beginning of the downturn in 2008.
"A castle is a common good to be shared with others, as in the Middle Ages when travelers took refuge here," said the Countess.
Keep reading on NBCNews >>

viernes, diciembre 14, 2012

Reports: American tourist detained in North Korea

Photos of orphans may be the reason behind one man’s detention

SEOUL -- An American tourist who visited North Korea last month for what was to have been a five-day trip has been detained by police there, associates of his family and activists in Seoul said.
Kenneth Bae, 44, was in a group of five tourists who visited the northeast city of Rajin, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said, citing a report by the Kookmin Ilbo newspaper. Bae, who is Korean-American, entered North Korea on Nov. 3.
"What we know is that he is a person who wants to help poor children, kotjebis (homeless children), and he took pictures of them to support them later," said Do Hee-youn, a North Korean human rights activist and head of the Citizens' Coalition for Human Rights of Abductees and North Korean Refugees.
'Fluttering swallows'There are said to be thousands of homeless, starving children in the North after a famine in the 1990s. Kotjebis translates into English as "fluttering swallows."
It was impossible for NBC News to confirm Bae's arrest in one of the world's most secretive states and there has been no formal announcement on North Korean media. More on NBC >>
Read more at 

martes, enero 17, 2012

Looser visas coming up?

Obama’s heading to Disney World,
While specifics of his tourism plan were hazy, there is one topic at the top of the political wish list for Central Florida’s tourism industry: visa reform. The tourism industry has been pushing Congress and Obama to make travel easier for visitors from emerging nations such as Brazil, India and China.
“We understand that he [Obama] is going to trumpet the value of travel generally and improve facilitation for international travel, especially from China and Brazil,” said Blain Rethmeier, senior vice president of public affairs at the U.S. Travel Association.
Michelle Malkin reminds us,
In case anyone needs reminding, it was the relentless drive of the tourism industry and kowtowing State Department bureaucrats that led to the Bush-era Visa Express program — which relaxed visa policies, eliminated in-person consulate interviews, and opened the door to the 9/11 hijackers.

jueves, noviembre 17, 2011

1,000 Places To See Before You Die: What's Your Number One? - The perennial guide to iconic travel destinations, "1,000 Places To See Before You Die," is back with a brand-new edition. To celebrate the myriad of gorgeous, tasty and just plain amazing spot... More >

martes, mayo 03, 2011

Avanzan los proyectos para construir campos de golf en Cuba

La Habana, 3 may (EFE).- Los proyectos para construir campos de golf en Cuba y los desarrollos inmobiliarios turísticos correspondientes "están avanzando", según el Gobierno de la isla, que negocia con varias compañías extranjeras la constitución de las primeras empresas mixtas que gestionarán esos complejos.
"Se avanza en las negociaciones con varias compañías a fin de constituir las primeras empresas mixtas que tendrán a su cargo estos desarrollos", afirmó hoy el ministro de Turismo de Cuba, Manuel Marrero, durante la apertura de la Feria Internacional FITCUBA 2011 que se celebra en La Habana hasta el 8 de mayo.

Continuar leyendo  AQUI

martes, enero 25, 2011

NeoKaxtrizmo: Proyecto de hotel en Prado y Malecón

Todos los regimenes totalitarios, plasman su huella en la arquitectura. El Neokaxtrizmo hace lo suyo con este proyecto de un hotel de 200 habitaciones justo en la esquina oeste de Prado y Malecon, frente por frente a la entrada de la Bahia de la Habana.

No se conocen detalles del inversionista o de si hay alguna cadena extranjera involucrada en su construccion y explotacion, pero no me sorprenderia que fuera 100% "nacional". El lugar escogido, donde el m2 valdra sus buenos miles de dolares en un futuro no lejano, y como sabemos, en el negocio inmobiliario no es tanto lo que hay sino donde esta.

Eusebio pidió dejar la fachada antigua que esta junto a las Cariátides, por eso el edificio nuevo parte de ahí y se va transformando progresivamente de una arquitectura neoclásica a contemporánea y luego el edificio nuevo "abraza" con el gran alero a la vieja ruina.

La ola traslucida entra por Malecón y sale por Prado pues el vestíbulo que esta bajo ella tiene doble entrada. El concepto de la ola es recreando la típica imagen del malecón al romper las olas.

A una hora determinada miles de difusores colocados en la "ola" disparan diminutas gotas de agua que refrescan el ambiente y crean una nube de rocío en esa zona. Esa técnica ya se ha usado y actúa como torre de enfriamiento en edificios con clima cálido.

Ese camino que atraviesa el edificio por el Lobby es de vidrio y debajo de el hay rocas
iluminadas que recuerdan el camino a las canteras de San Lázaro.

Los elementos de madera de la torre mas alta son de mando eléctrico desde cada habitación y son para la protección tanto solar como del viento y los nortes, en estos últimos estaría toda la torre forrada de madera y cuando no hace falta quedaría solo la fachada de vidrio y los aleros muy parecido al Riviera que es un magnifico
ejemplo de hotel para este clima.

La piscina es de horizonte perdido y esta sobre el gran alero, quiere decir que estando en ella o sus áreas parece que se une con el mar, sin borde aparente.

La torre de vidrio ovalada son ascensores panorámicos. La altura total del edificio es igual al edificio de los sarcófagos del Malecón

martes, julio 27, 2010

Canadiense detenido en Cuba sin cargos por 3 meses

Cody LeCompte es un joven canadiense de 19 anos que viajo a Cuba con su madre y algunos amigos. Rento un auto mostrando su licencia de conduccion de la provincia de Ontario que mostraba claramente su edad, aunque la renta de autos en Cuba es permitida para personas con al menos 21 anos de edad.

Infortunadamente un camion de basura le bloqueo la senda y como resultado del impacto todos los pasajeros del coche y el propio Cody sufrieron ciertas lesiones, no reportandose lesiones por la parte cubana.

Como resultado de ello el joven Coby se encuentra retenido en Cuba por mas de 3 meses sin que pueda viajar de regreso a Canada y sin que le hayan formulado cargos legales aun. No obstante los "investigadores" del caso le han dicho que puede ser sancionado hasta 3 anos de privacion de libertad.

Actualmente se encuentra en un hotel financiado por su madre esperando una decision del caso. La madre de Cody ya debe mas de 30 mil dolares por estos conceptos. El vice lider del Partido Liberal [opositor] de Canada, Bob Rae, ha llevado el caso al parlamento federal canadiense, exigiendole al gobierno conservador del Primer Ministro Stephen Harper, que emprenda todas las acciones posibles para lograr el inmediato retorno del joven Cody LeCompte a Canada.

Siendo Canada el primer emisor de turistas a la isla con aproximadamente el 49% del mercado, el efecto negativo para Cuba que tendra el caso Cody sera de incalculables dimensiones.
Desde el Toronto Sun

Bring Cody home, critics tell Ottawa

Canadians from coast to coast have been voicing their outrage after learning of 19-year-old Cody LeCompte's plight in Cuba.

And they are even more dismayed to learn that after three months of detention in the Communist country, for a car accident that he claims wasn't his fault, our government has been content to wait for justice to run its course rather than take swift action to help the young man get back home.

"Today I wept with anger," one Sun reader wrote on a Facebook group dedicated to helping Cody after reading the story that appeared in Thursday's paper.

"I am appalled that out government is failing him," the reader added. "We must unite and take action in bringing Cody home, immediately!"

The Simcoe teen was on a two-week vacation within his mom that was supposed to be a reward for getting into college.

Instead his life has been turned upside down because of a bizarre law that forces tourists involved in a crash where a Cuban citizen is seriously hurt to prove his or her innocence before being allowed to leave the country.

Cody's mom, Danette, who is at her son's side because she's afraid to leave him alone in Santa Lucia, so far is $30,000 in debt after paying for lawyer's fees, a room at the resort and other expenses.

She is on the verge of financial ruin and Cody hasn't even been charged with anything.

Danette was in the rental car, so was her cousin and his Cuban fiance, and Cody was driving when they were allegedly "broadsided" by a truck April 29.

They were all hospitalized but have since recovered from their injuries, including the fiance who underwent surgery for her damaged liver. Apparently, the only one still hurting is Cody.

He and his mom were unavailable Thursday because they were meeting with their lawyer.

"I have never been to Cuba and never will go!" Sun reader Steven Leech wrote on, adding the feds should "put a travel ban on Cuba and cut off all foreign aid" to the impoverished country.

Similar sentiments were echoed by callers from across Canada to Roy Green, on AM 640. The talk radio show host has been at the forefront of efforts to bring the teen home.

But it appears the anger of Canadians has been heard.

martes, enero 05, 2010

URGENTE: Jose Chong Leyva esta desaparecido en Cuba

Por favor todo el que puede contribuir con informacion sobre esta infortunada desaparicion de un cubano que visitaba la isla, se ruega se ponga en contacto inmediatamente con nosostros. Gracias.

Me llamo Otiaky Chong Leyva, soy cubana y vivo en Italia (Roma).
Trabajo para una organisacion umanitaria de la Diocesi di Roma.
El 12 de Enero del 2007 a las seis de la tarde, mi hermano que estaba de camping con un grupo de amigos, en la Playa Yacabo Abajo (se encuentra en la costa sur de la region oriental de Cuba) Guantanamo, desapareciò poco despues de la crecida de un rio, arrastrandolo hacia al mar.
Hemos buscado por mas de quinte dias en toda la region costiera de San Antonio del Sur, Imias, Playa Yateritas y Playa Uvero, sin ningun resultado.
Pensamo que dada la cercania de este lugar a la Base Naval de Guantanamo (+/_50km), las caracteristicas del mar en esta zona y la coincidencia de un corredor maritimo, halla sido rescatado por una embarcacion o, de alguna manera, favorecido por la corrente, se encuentre en la Base Naval de Guantanamo o zonas aledanas.
Si teneis alguna informacion os ruego contactar a esta direcion de correo electronico (
Espero que esta notizia llegue a mayor cantidad de personas y autoridades posibles, “Todos los dias oramos y pedimos a Dios que se encuentre bien dondequiera que estè. »
Caracteristicas :
Statura 1.80 cm
Peso (+/_ 75 kg) delgado
Piel: Blanca
Ojos Vierdes (aceituna)
Cabellos largos hasta la nuca
Color castano claro – rubio
(read less)
Privacy Type:
Open: All content is public.

miércoles, diciembre 16, 2009

Hemingway y la reunion de los pinguinos

Mientras los miembros del parlamento pinguino de Cuba requieren mas tiempo para analizar detenidamente el desastre anunciado de la economia cubana en el presente ano y el desastre mayor planificado para el 2010, ademas de informarse con Victor Ramirez que siguen pendiente de reparar mas de 250 mil viviendas [42%] afectadas por los huracanes del 2008, entre otros importantes analisis.

Los que realmente estan en la concreta, como el comodoro del cubano Club Náutico Internacional Hemingway, José Miguel Díaz, le estan pidiendo a la administracion estadounidense que permita que todos los pescadores, personalidades, turistas y faranduleros norteamericanos que deseen participar en la 60 edición del evento a celebrarse en mayo del proximo ano sean autorizados.

De paso se conmemorara el 50to aniversario del único encuentro del líder cubano Fidel Castro y Hemingway, lo que sera ocasion para develar una tarja en honor a estas dos personalidades, segun reportan los organizadores.

Nada que la ocasion lo amerita, aunque posiblemente para mayo del proxino ano los ciudadanos norteamericanos no requeriran ningun tipo de licencia para viajar a la isla, no porque Cuba emprenda el camino del respeto a los derechos humanos, sino porque desde Obamaland ya habran levantado las restricciones.

jueves, mayo 14, 2009

"Autenticas" margaritas y daiquiris cubanos Made in Usa

Bajo la licencia del Departamento del Tesoro de los Estados Unidos que autoriza vender a Cuba productos alimenticios y humanitarios, algunos entusiastas emprendedores como Richard Waltzer que aprovecha y cuela sus mezclas para daiquiris y margaritas al Hotel Nacional de Cuba y quien sabe a donde mas.

Despite embargo, Cuba imports daiquiris from US

jueves, enero 15, 2009

Turismo 2008: Resultados y fraudes contables

Cuba celebro como un gran acontecimiento el arribo del turista 2 millones 300 mil, siendo el invitando especial un personaje que ha ido a la isla mas de 100 veces.

La Oficina Nacional de Estadisticas que dirige el cuadro Oscar Mederos ofrece un "panorama" de la actividad turistica hasta tanto las cifras oficiales sean aprobadas por la "Direccion" Turismo. Indicadores Seleccionados.

Segun esta fuente, los visitantes a la isla crecieron en un 9.3% [198 mil] y aunque no se ofrecen detalles sobre el origen de los mismos, el turismo ruso y un ligero incremento del canadiense son los factores claves en este incremento. La industria turistica cubana sigue dependiendo en mas del 45% de los canadienses de bajos ingresos que huyen de su gelido invierno en paquetes todo incluido y que no generan ingresos adicionales.

Se reporta un incremento en la tasa de ocupacion de un 3.1% para situarse en 48.3%. Seguimos sin saber si este calculo se corresponde con la capacidad instalada o con aquella fraccion que se considera disponible.

Como es costumbre de la One, no ofrecen datos sobre los costos, gastos, amortizacion e inversiones del sector. Los Ingresos brutos contabilizados en MMCUC superan los 2 mil millones 500 mil para un crecimiento del 13.5% [301.6 millones]. En uno de los tantos subterfugios del sistema contable cubano donde un Cuc = 1.08 usd y un peso moneda nacional = 1.00 Cuc y por tanto la contabilizacion del salario y otros elementos de costos adquiridos en moneda nacional se equiparan uno a uno con el Cuc, no permite un analisis de fondo de la estructura de costos y gastos del sector.

Sin embargo, si en el 2007 un visitante [visitante no es lo mismo que turista, pero no se ofrecen datos al respecto] gastaba como promedio al dia 99.73 Cuc segun nuestros calculos, para el 2008 siguiendo los datos ofrecidos esta en $2,959, lo cual es absolutamente absurdo. Volviendo a la fuente original del
Anuario Estadístico de Cuba 2007, el acceso al Capitulo 15: Turismo no esta disponible.

De acuerdo con Turismo en Cuba: Un proyecto insostenible. Analisis de los principales indicadores/ Laz los Ingresos Brutos del 2007 tomados del Anuario Estadistico de Cuba 2007 fueron de 1,502,5 MMCUC y ahora de manera festinada sin molestarse a agregar una simple nota explicativa se aparecen con que los mismos fueron de 2,236.4 MMCUC, una pequena diferencia de 733.9 millones de CUC, mas de un 48%.

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Retratos de fusilados por el Castrismo - Juan Abreu


"EN TIEMPOS DIFÍCILES" - Heberto Padilla

A aquel hombre le pidieron su tiempo

para que lo juntara al tiempo de la Historia.

Le pidieron las manos,

porque para una época difícil

nada hay mejor que un par de buenas manos.

Le pidieron los ojos

que alguna vez tuvieron lágrimas

para que contemplara el lado claro

(especialmente el lado claro de la vida)

porque para el horror basta un ojo de asombro.

Le pidieron sus labios

resecos y cuarteados para afirmar,

para erigir, con cada afirmación, un sueño


le pidieron las piernas

duras y nudosas

(sus viejas piernas andariegas),

porque en tiempos difíciles

¿algo hay mejor que un par de piernas

para la construcción o la trinchera?

Le pidieron el bosque que lo nutrió de niño,

con su árbol obediente.

Le pidieron el pecho, el corazón, los hombros.

Le dijeron

que eso era estrictamente necesario.

Le explicaron después

que toda esta donación resultaria inútil.

sin entregar la lengua,

porque en tiempos difíciles

nada es tan útil para atajar el odio o la mentira.

Y finalmente le rogaron

que, por favor, echase a andar,

porque en tiempos difíciles

esta es, sin duda, la prueba decisiva.


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La columna de Cubanalisis

NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]

NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]
¨Saturno jugando con sus hijos¨/ Pedro Pablo Oliva


Carta desde la carcel de Fidel Castro Ruz

“…después de todo, para mí la cárcel es un buen descanso, que sólo tiene de malo el que es obligatorio. Leo mucho y estudio mucho. Parece increíble, las horas pasan como si fuesen minutos y yo, que soy de temperamento intranquilo, me paso el día leyendo, apenas sin moverme para nada. La correspondencia llega normalmente…”

“…Como soy cocinero, de vez en cuando me entretengo preparando algún pisto. Hace poco me mandó mi hermana desde Oriente un pequeño jamón y preparé un bisté con jalea de guayaba. También preparo spaghettis de vez en cuando, de distintas formas, inventadas todas por mí; o bien tortilla de queso. ¡Ah! ¡Qué bien me quedan! por supuesto, que el repertorio no se queda ahí. Cuelo también café que me queda muy sabroso”.
“…En cuanto a fumar, en estos días pasados he estado rico: una caja de tabacos H. Upman del doctor Miró Cardona, dos cajas muy buenas de mi hermano Ramón….”.
“Me voy a cenar: spaghettis con calamares, bombones italianos de postre, café acabadito de colar y después un H. Upman #4. ¿No me envidias?”.
“…Me cuidan, me cuidan un poquito entre todos. No le hacen caso a uno, siempre estoy peleando para que no me manden nada. Cuando cojo el sol por la mañana en shorts y siento el aire de mar, me parece que estoy en una playa… ¡Me van a hacer creer que estoy de vacaciones! ¿Qué diría Carlos Marx de semejantes revolucionarios?”.


¨La patria es dicha de todos, y dolor de todos, y cielo para todos, y no feudo ni capellaní­a de nadie¨ - Marti

"No temas ni a la prision, ni a la pobreza, ni a la muerte. Teme al miedo"
Giacomo Leopardi

¨Por eso es muy importante, Vicky, hijo mío, que recuerdes siempre para qué sirve la cabeza: para atravesar paredes¨Halvar de Flake [El vikingo]

"Como no me he preocupado de nacer, no me preocupo de morir" - Lorca

"Al final, no os preguntarán qué habéis sabido, sino qué habéis hecho" - Jean de Gerson

"Si queremos que todo siga como está, es necesario que todo cambie" - Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

"Todo hombre paga su grandeza con muchas pequeñeces, su victoria con muchas derrotas, su riqueza con múltiples quiebras" - Giovanni Papini

"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans" - John Lennon

"Habla bajo, lleva siempre un gran palo y llegarás lejos" - Proverbio Africano

"No hay medicina para el miedo" - Proverbio escoces

"El supremo arte de la guerra es doblegar al enemigo sin luchar"
- Sun Tzu

"You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother" - Albert Einstein

"It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office" - H. L. Menken

"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented" - Elie Wiesel

"Stay hungry, stay foolish" -
Steve Jobs

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert , in five years ther'ed be a shortage of sand" - Milton Friedman

"The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less" - Vaclav Havel

"No se puede controlar el resultado, pero si lo que uno haga para alcanzarlo" -
Vitor Belfort [MMA Fighter]


A la puerta de la gloria está San Pedro sentado y ve llegar a su lado a un hombre de cierta historia. No consigue hacer memoria y le pregunta con celo: ¿Quién eras allá en el suelo? Era Liborio mi nombre. Has sufrido mucho, hombre, entra, te has ganado el cielo.

Para Raul Castro

Cuba ocupa el penultimo lugar en el mundo en libertad economica solo superada por Corea del Norte.

Cuba ocupa el lugar 147 entre 153 paises evaluados en "Democracia, Mercado y Transparencia 2007"

Cuando vinieron

Cuando vinieron a buscar a los comunistas, Callé: yo no soy comunista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los sindicalistas, Callé: yo no soy sindicalista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los judíos, Callé: yo no soy judío. Cuando vinieron a buscar a los católicos, Callé: yo no soy “tan católico”.
Cuando vinieron a buscarme a mí, Callé: no había quien me escuchara.

Reverendo Martin Niemöller

Martha Colmenares

Martha Colmenares
Un sitio donde los hechos y sus huellas nos conmueven o cautivan


Donde esta el Mundo, donde los Democratas, donde los Liberales? El pueblo de Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan los Green, los Socialdemocratas, los Ricos y los Pobres, los Con Voz y Sin Voz? Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan el Jet Set, los Reyes y Principes, Patricios y Plebeyos? Cuba desesperada clama por solidaridad.
Donde Bob Dylan, donde Martin Luther King, donde Hollywood y sus estrellas? Donde la Middle Class democrata y conservadora, o acaso tambien liberal a ratos? Y Gandhi? Y el Dios de Todos?
Donde los Santos y Virgenes; los Dioses de Cristianos, Protestantes, Musulmanes, Budistas, Testigos de Jehova y Adventistas del Septimo Dia. Donde estan Ochun y todas las deidades del Panteon Yoruba que no acuden a nuestro llanto? Donde Juan Pablo II que no exige mas que Cuba se abra al Mundo y que el Mundo se abra a Cuba?
Que hacen ahora mismo Alberto de Monaco y el Principe Felipe que no los escuchamos? Donde Madonna, donde Angelina Jolie y sus adoptados around de world; o nos hara falta un Brando erguido en un Oscar por Cuba? Donde Sean Penn?
Donde esta la Aristocracia Obrera y los Obreros menos Aristocraticos, donde los Working Class que no estan junto a un pueblo que lanquidece, sufre y llora por la ignominia?
Que hacen ahora mismo Zapatero y Rajoy que no los escuchamos, y Harper y Dion, e Hillary y Obama; donde McCain que no los escuchamos? Y los muertos? Y los que estan muriendo? Y los que van a morir? Y los que se lanzan desesperados al mar?
Donde estan el minero cantabrico o el pescador de percebes gijonese? Los Canarios donde estan? A los africanos no los oimos, y a los australianos con su acento de hombres duros tampoco. Y aquellos chinos milenarios de Canton que fundaron raices eternas en la Isla? Y que de la Queen Elizabeth y los Lords y Gentlemen? Que hace ahora mismo el combativo Principe Harry que no lo escuchamos?
Donde los Rockefellers? Donde los Duponts? Donde Kate Moss? Donde el Presidente de la ONU? Y Solana donde esta? Y los Generales y Doctores? Y los Lam y los Fabelo, y los Sivio y los Fito Paez?
Y que de Canseco y Miñoso? Y de los veteranos de Bahia de Cochinos y de los balseros y de los recien llegados? Y Carlos Otero y Susana Perez? Y el Bola, y Pancho Cespedes? Y YO y TU?
Y todos nosotros que estamos aqui y alla rumiando frustaciones y resquemores, envidias y sinsabores; autoelogios y nostalgias, en tanto Louis Michel comulga con Perez Roque mientras Biscet y una NACION lanquidecen?
Donde Maceo, donde Marti; donde aquel Villena con su carga para matar bribones?
Cuba llora y clama y el Mundo NO ESCUCHA!!!

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