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Old 06-09-2011, 21:15   #1
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Current Shortages in Cuba ?

The last time we cruised thru Cuba, we stocked up on shampoo, soap and sunnies for trading and gifts. In 2000 and 2001 these were the items that were lacking in Cuba. Talking to a couple of other yachties who were there in 2009, it seems that these same items are still in demand, along with USB memory sticks.

If you have cruised there in the last year or two, what other items would you have liked to have taken along for trading and gifts? What items did you take that proved successful?

Cheers,
Jim.
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Old 14-09-2011, 14:05   #2
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Well, we just bought 500 small soaps and 120 small bottles of shampoo. Couldn't get the pen drives for a decent price yet, but at least some Cubans might feel fresher after a shower.

I am surprised that no one, who has cruised to Cuba recently, replied to this thread. This forum is mostly US but I know there are Europeans, Aussies, Kiwis, Canucks and poms sailing to Cuba. You didn't take anything for small gifts or trading?
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Old 14-09-2011, 14:23   #3
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pirate Re: Current Shortages in Cuba ?

Most places in the Islands/Third World will welcome quality products... compared to what they can buy in the local store...
shoulda thrown in conditioners as well...
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Old 14-09-2011, 14:37   #4
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Re: Current Shortages in Cuba ?

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Well, we just bought 500 small soaps and 120 small bottles of shampoo.
You didn't take anything for small gifts or trading?
Are you joking?
Most essentials they have in shops.. just the covertibles run short.. and cheap soap is what they get with pesos so don't bother to bring there anything else but the most famous trademarks..
What's more difficult to get there are most drugs and vitamins etc.
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Old 14-09-2011, 14:50   #5
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No joke, Teddy, because that was the shortage 11 years ago when we cruised there and was confirmed as continuing by some Danish sailors who were there in 2009. I refer to shortage in the normal economy not in the hard $ shops. In the villages, not the resorts.

Thanks for the tips on drugs and vitamins. Which ones?

When were you there cruising? Which areas? Thanks for any other comments you might have about this.
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Old 14-09-2011, 15:10   #6
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Re: Current Shortages in Cuba ?

Coming down the west coast of Mexico and central America, I found that I could trade Bud Lite for Carona
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Old 14-09-2011, 15:25   #7
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Re: Current Shortages in Cuba ?

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Are you joking?
Most essentials they have in shops.. just the covertibles run short.. and cheap soap is what they get with pesos so don't bother to bring there anything else but the most famous trademarks..
What's more difficult to get there are most drugs and vitamins etc.

That is kind of misleading and not the case. And it's not because they can't afford them, more because they are very scarce. If you had ever been there you would know that. These are the things you can't go wrong with, soaps,toilet paper, toothpaste, and brushes, deodorant, pens and paper pads for school, kids sunglasses, candy, shampoo, hair accessories for both adults and children, moisturizers, cleansing creams, aspirin, razors. You will really be a big hit if you bring a lot of different sizes of fish hooks. We put together a selection in small zip lock snack bags to hand out. For some reason the country always seems to be out of toilet paper. Chuck
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Old 14-09-2011, 16:38   #8
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Re: Current Shortages in Cuba ?

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what other items would you have liked to have taken along for trading and gifts? What items did you take that proved successful?
Load your boat with replacement parts for '56 Chevy and you'll be golden.
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Old 14-09-2011, 17:12   #9
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Re: Current Shortages in Cuba ?

Now that is a better reply. Gracias, Chuck!

When were you there? How old is this info? The Danes mentioned pen drives in 2009. Did people ask you for the same?
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Old 14-09-2011, 17:32   #10
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Re: Current Shortages in Cuba ?

In the past, items considered useful were:

"One pair of nylons, five condoms, one .45 caliber pistol with two magazines, $200 in gold coins, 2 packs of chewing gum, one miniature bible and a combination Russian phrase book."

Not sure if or how that may have changed.
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Old 14-09-2011, 18:17   #11
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Re: Current Shortages in Cuba ?

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Now that is a better reply. Gracias, Chuck!

When were you there? How old is this info? The Danes mentioned pen drives in 2009. Did people ask you for the same?

It has been a few years since we were there but we are in contact with other cruisers that visit on a regular basis and we are also in constant contact with a few folks that live there now. So the information is pretty current. We can't go back until the travel ban is lifted, or we get another writing assignment. Most of the publications have lost interest in Cuba. Chuck
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Old 14-09-2011, 18:30   #12
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Re: Current Shortages in Cuba ?

too bulky to be practical, but I would bet that disposable diapers are a hot commodity....

I'm watching for ideas for when we visit (finger crossed) in May!
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Old 14-09-2011, 18:44   #13
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Re: Current Shortages in Cuba ?

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In the past, items considered useful were:

"One pair of nylons, five condoms,

Is there a woman shortage????

Foggy
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Old 14-09-2011, 19:23   #14
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Re: Current Shortages in Cuba ?

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Coming down the west coast of Mexico and central America, I found that I could trade Bud Lite for Carona
Funny. We once discovered, some years back, that Baja pangeros would trade Bud for lobsters on a one-for-one basis, but wouldn't trade the time of day for a Mexican beer, regardless of brand.

We didn't have any Bud onboard, of course. Thought we were being so native sailing with a hold full of Modelo.
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Old 14-09-2011, 19:28   #15
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Anti Fungal Medicine?

What about anti fungal medicines. Its a warm humid country(?) so once someone gets infected they may have to stay that way.

I'm thinking Selsun Gold and tinea, fingernail fungus and ringworm treatments.

Most are cheap enough, though some of the good stuff is quite expensive.
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