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I wonder if the HOP Director had anyone proof her email to you Al.

"Thank you for your email. I understand your choice not to visit Cuba, and I honor your decision.

Escapees has offered cruises to 3rd world countries such as Vietnam, Guatemala, Columbia, Mexico, Japan, Russia, Chile, Argentina, since 2007, and an Escapees chapter takes a group of Escapees members ....cut"

I didn't know we considered, or anyone else considered Japan a 3rd world country!  I'm sure they would be happy to read that.  

I think she was probably correct when she said they had requests from some members to get a HOP going to Cuba.  Everyone has different levels of tolerance.  Heck, many Americans probably think it is great that Jane Fonda is in a new movie and on some talk shows recently.  I for one think she should be in prison for treason, but that is off the subject.

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1 hour ago, FL-JOE said:

I think she was probably correct when she said they had requests from some members to get a HOP going to Cuba.  Everyone has different levels of tolerance. 

 

But then some are not happy unless they can impose their beliefs on all. - (I don't want to go and I want to make sure you can't go!)

 

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I find it kind of funny that a new member, on their first post, can throw a cat into the dog pound and then sit back and watch the fun! To the members who think they have the right to question where i choose to vacation, how about the other members choose whether they should withdraw your membership in "our" club? But wait! This forum is not a democracy but a privilege and we can not make policy. You can "dictate" your values to those around you but not other members who can choose for themselves where they want to vacation.

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On 4/25/2018 at 9:14 PM, mikeeusa said:

EXTREMELY disappointed that Escapees is going to sponsor a HOP to include a visit to one of the worlds best known human rights abusers, Cuba.  If this is going to be the continued direction that this organization is willing to endorse then maybe I'm in the wrong Club.

I think maybe you are (in the wrong club). My wife would very much like us to go on that HOP. As a "Missionary Kid" and former missionary (Latin America and Spain), she is interested in the culture and the people - not the government. As a retired Army officer, I agree with her and would have no problem personally going on the HOP with her. It sounds like you have a very narrow-minded view of the world (a "one-song musician"). Have you ever tried seeing things from other peoples' points of view?

Rob

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Rob,

Well said. I think we may have to try that trip, if not with Escapees then on our own. We also have not visited the far East (China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, India especially) nor Australia and New Zealand, as well as a more extensive stay in The British Isles to explore Ireland and Scotland as well as Wales, and a quick trip over to visit friends in Germany we haven't seen in 20 years. We have been to Egypt to dive the Red Sea for nine days in 1996 for our open water certification off Egypt's coastal dive center, Hurghada. We spent the last day before flying in the temple of Luxor a couple hour ride, and then crossed the Nile in a boat and visited the temple of Queen Hatshesup, then the Valley of the Kings and King Tut who is there under plexiglass, (climate control) in the gold and Lapis Lazuli sarcophagus usually associates with his pics. All the walls are bare as the paintings were fresh so they chiseled the walls off intact, and they are either traveling or in the Cairo Museum. We waited until after dark when all the shops opened up as it is too hot during the day and we went shopping for gold made to order and bought some as well as meeting some really nice people. I have a complete Arab outfit including the headpiece, but I was a few sizes smaller back then! Now that is a third world country. We also want to visit Israel and Iceland. Thank goodness for the military assignments where we had exposure to other cultures and peoples.

 

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8 hours ago, DuffMan said:

But then some are not happy unless they can impose their beliefs on all. - (I don't want to go and I want to make sure you can't go!)

 

That's not my intention.  If you want to go, so be it.  Its your choice and I won't diss you for it.  I just don't think Escapees should endorse or sponsor such trips.

 

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Rob, I can see your point.  But, there are many, I'm sure, who feel differently, as do I.  I just don't think that Escapees should sponsor such a HOP when there's sure to be very many who would be against it.

Secondchance, your comment "narrow-minded view of the world " in my way of thinking is way out of line.  It sounds as though you are that way since you can't see another's views.

Personally, I choose not to visit any Communist country. That's the long and short of it.  But, others, like you, would.  WWII and Korea was because of Communism.  As a former Army officer, perhaps you didn't agree with the policies of the United States at that time, and shouldn't have been in the Army.  Just my opinion..  

The gist of the thread is not that we don't think anyone should go to these places, but that this club, with its diverse membership, should have somehow taken  poll, vote, etc.  

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It is because of the diverse membership that different types of outings are, and should be,  offered.    

 

 

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27 minutes ago, CapeMayAl said:

The gist of the thread is not that we don't think anyone should go to these places, but that this club, with its diverse membership, should have somehow taken  poll, vote, etc.  

I suspect that very few of the HOP's have total agreement and as one who has lead some clubs and also a community corporation, I assure you that it is impossible to please everyone in any group of significant size. As I see this, you are saying that because you feel as you do, no Escapees should visit Cuba? 

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20 minutes ago, CapeMayAl said:

Not completely,  but that was a big part of it.

Germany, Japan, and Italy were the aggressors.  Which of them was communist?

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Now, I'm sorry I participated in this thread since it has become very political and in the past everyone who participated in a political thread got a warning.

I, personally, think it might to time to shut down this thread.

Linda Sand

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3 hours ago, CapeMayAl said:

WWII and Korea was because of Communism. 

That would be "were." Go back and check your history... World War II was waged because of fascist aggression in Europe and imperial expansion by Japan. The main communist country in the conflict (the Soviet Union) which was, at the time, socialist - not communist - were our allies!

Rob

Edited by Second Chance

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19 minutes ago, sandsys said:

Now, I'm sorry I participated in this thread since it has become very political and in the past everyone who participated in a political thread got a warning.

I, personally, think it might to time to shut down this thread.

Linda Sand

I agree, Linda.

Rob

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10 hours ago, sandsys said:

Now, I'm sorry I participated in this thread since it has become very political and in the past everyone who participated in a political thread got a warning.

I, personally, think it might to time to shut down this thread.

Linda Sand

What do you mean "it has become"?  The first post was political.  ☺️

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21 hours ago, Second Chance said:

I think maybe you are (in the wrong club). My wife would very much like us to go on that HOP. As a "Missionary Kid" and former missionary (Latin America and Spain), she is interested in the culture and the people - not the government. As a retired Army officer, I agree with her and would have no problem personally going on the HOP with her. It sounds like you have a very narrow-minded view of the world (a "one-song musician"). Have you ever tried seeing things from other peoples' points of view?

Rob

Rob, our friends that are currently in Cuba as part of their cruise, had to get some type of visa or something prior to their trip saying that they were traveling there to observe several cultural sites or some such nonsense.  We haven't talked to them for a few days but it was their understanding that they just couldn't roam around spending money.  

I suppose if anyone really wants to visit Cuba they should wait until relations are more "normal" anyway.

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We did a 8 day dive trip in May 1996 to dive the Red Sea from Hurghada Egypt for a week and do the Temple of Karnak and the valley of the Kings visiting Tut in person. This against the advice of the state department and the pressure from local agents as four of our party were from SHAPE HQ active duty and the rest of us From Spangdahlem AB Germany. There were 11 of us counting the instructor. Wonderful trip, a once in a lifetime experience. We had armed guards around us at all times anyway. However at one of the places we went en route to the Valley of the Kings was the temple of Queen Hatsheput where the month before 80 tourists and their guards were killed by terrorists. We just keep a low profile, and when asked claim to be Canadians. ( they seem to love Canadians as much as they dislike Americans! grin) Our passports were in the hotel safe.

I don't know if folks here realize that Miami and Florida are looked at from a fear of being killed standpoint, along with a few other US areas from criminals targeting and mugging them with some seriously injured or missing, as they arrived at our airports.

If Cuba or any other country has tourism, they generally want to keep it, by keeping the tourists safe. We get killed here a lot more than civilian Americans abroad. Military engaged excluded.

We only live once. Remember how folks thought we were nuts to go RVing full time? I'd like to go to Mexico City, swim with the Rays in Belize, have some sun on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, maybe get to Australia and  . . .nawww. I'm 65 and maybe have another 20 years tops to travel if we are lucky after a life exposed to all kinds of carcinogens in the military and around bases and shooting ranges not to mention the solvents, smoking for decades and drinking more than my share of the world's beer supply during our 7 years in Germany/Europe.

My SH shares the sentiment that we only live once, and followed me through a lot of places she would not go herself according to her, and loved it. She is phobic about enclosed spaces and has a healthy fear of heights that she overcame to ski the Alps and dive the seas. We took lots of Hi8 videos and 8mm film before that. We rarely indulge and don't force them on our friends.

I am not trying to tell anyone to do what I do. I expect the same from others. I'm sure glad we didn't listen to the fearful about traveling all over the continent in a truck pulling our home for seven years.

I do tell folks what it is like if asked. But folks staying home is a good thing or the road less traveled would be traffic jammed! 🤣

 

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Derek, much has changed since 1996.  Heck there used to be numerous places we would cross into Mexico and do day shopping trips, including Juarez.  Not anymore.  There were many places in Chicago I wouldn't think twice about venturing into.  Not anymore.  The world and this country has changed.  I don't like going anywhere where I can't CC.  We travel and go where we want to go but have crossed off a few out-of-the-country trips from our bucket list.  

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Joe,

Did you really make that patronizing statement that: "Derek, much has changed since 1996."

What?? I never promoted going to Egypt today! Our feeling was we were glad we went before Egypt got less secure. Have you ever lived and/or traveled world wide outside of Mexican border towns?

Sorry Joe but things were bad in Egypt then, as bad, or worse, than today, as the year 1996 was dead in the middle of a 5 year terror campaign 1992-1997 of radical Muslims trying to overthrow Mubarak and form an Islamic state. They attacked in the South Most often, and Hurghada where we went was a target several times. While I am sure you believe that, you need to understand when I make a comment on international terror from my active duty days, I was part of Security Police secret briefings about covert responses back then I can't talk about. But I can talk about what is in the press. We lived in Germany Jan. 1990 - Jan. 1997 and traveled often to all the European countries by car. Even in the recently communist countries as the Berlin wall, and the Iron curtain, fell in November 1989, just a couple of months before we arrived. I don't carry 99% of the time unless there is an elevated THREATCON. We live and shop at Barksdale AFB and can call and get the THREATCON any time. We don't do churches, concerts, sports games, etc. where explosions might be planted. We both keep weapons in our vehicles except when going to the base, and that is a 10 minute drive directly, and we go straight home because of the frozen foods from our weekly commissary trip. I don't drink so Mardi Gras holds no appeal after the three times we went back when we were drinking. In our retirement we have plenty to do between our yard work sand hobbies. We fulltimed for seven years from mid 1997-mid 2003. 

This one was two weeks before we flew in from Brussels Belgium. We were all active duty from Spangdahlem AB Germany, and SHAPE HQ, Brussels.

Joe much is different outside our borders then and now. Many better with more open borders than before in the cold war. Today I wouldn't hesitate to visit Saudi, Jordan, UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain.

Off my list are all the countries between Iraq, and India. As well, Yemen, Somalia, Ethiopia, and the Sudan along with a few others. Egypt is off my list today too.  Back then we had the same US Government advisories as today for Egypt.

1996

  • Jan. 26 - An elderly Egyptian was killed when suspected Moslem militants opened fire on a passenger train that often carries tourists in southern Egypt.
  • April 18 -- Gunmen thought to be Moslem militants massacred 17 Greek tourists outside a hotel in Cairo near the Pyramids. One Egyptian man was killed & 15 people were wounded.

1997

  • Sept. 18 -- Gunmen suspected to be Moslem militants killed six German tourists & three other people outside the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square. Nine people were wounded.
  • November '97 -- Moslem terrorists armed with automatic weapons ambushed, shot & killed 62 tourists at Luxor. All of the gunmen were shot dead by military police or apprehended immediately. The Egyptian government denounced this act & quickly tightened security in & around major tourist centers, news reports indicated in the weeks that followed. Then there followed years of relative peace in Egypt, until ....

Here are all the attacks that made the news. 1992-1997. Attacks lapsed until 2004 as you will see in the following list of attacks on tourists compiled by the: Reuters Limited & U.S. Dive Travel Network.
Egypt Terror

Timeline II

Those gave us pause especially when the one two weeks before we left our USAF Intelligence agencies were advising our leave approvals be revoked. Back then we did not have Internet over there in Europe like today.

Cuba cannot afford any type of incident and I'd wager, like in Egypt back in 96, they will have guards accompanying the tourists everywhere they go, to protect them. In Egypt we had what looked like 17 year old military guards carrying loaded AK-47s with us in all vehicles and tourist trips. We were in Luxor where the following year between 60 and 70 tourists and their Egyptian guards were killed at the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. We were at that temple just before we went to the Valley Of The Kings. We were on tourist buses.

You can't carry anywhere over there. But did you know Miami has a violence and crime warnings from the governments outside the US? This topic is about going to Cuba, with folks trying peer pressure or other means more subtle to justify not traveling. In 1997 when we went full time everyone acted like we would be killed on the road. I didn't carry then at all, just had weapons in the RV in case. Had the shotgun rifle combo locked under the bed through Canada on the way to Alaska.

Just because I don't carry I have no feelings one way or the other about others carrying. Some are fearful beyond reason today Again the topic isn't Mexico travel or my travels but there is a direct comparison with travel in the middle east back when I was there. MY thoughts on carrying in an RV and in our country can be found here: Guns in RVs? I am not advocating you or anyone else travel outside our borders. But I have and will, and Cuba is a great idea for me. You don't have to defend not going any more than I don't have to defend our past travels either, sometimes risky travels. Why? We're here right? Guess we were safe. I believe in folks going where THEY will. I will face the terrors of the US unarmed in most cases.

 

 

Edited by RV_

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Statistically violent crime is down since 1980 isn't it?

"Instant Informationally" you would think danger from "those people" is everywhere... 

 

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