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Simon Black On Why Cuba, That Bastion Of Communism, May Just Be The Ideal Home For Future Expats

Tyler Durden's picture


Sovereign Man, Simon Black, writes in from Santiago Chile, shares his latest observations on gold and provides his two most recent recommendations for those who have decided to expatriate and are now just contemplating which country to call home. In summary: "I would recommend the country for pioneer expats who
don't mind putting up with squalor and the lack of amenities... but Cuba
makes up for it in other ways, like warm weather, gorgeous women, great
salsa culture, and zero crime against foreigners." It will be the most supremely ironic end of the US empire if those disgruntled with the regime end up defecting to the one country which currently best exemplifies Regan's "evil empire. "

Questions: Cuba, Gold, and why Chile is the answer, via

It's a long flight from Auckland to Santiago.  Hell, it's a long flight from Auckland to anywhere. You know, Australia is about 15 hours from anywhere, and New Zealand is 3 hours from Australia... so it's out there.

My primary mission over the last three weeks in New Zealand was to spend time all over the south island looking at agricultural property. I wanted as much information as possible to make a final decision on where to base our sustainable community, and ultimately it came down to a handful of choices.

I've recently ruled out Uruguay due to its relatively weak economy that is sensitive to what happens in Argentina. I've also ruled out Panama as I'd prefer a country with a less cozy relationship to the United States.

I've been leaning heavily towards Chile, though New Zealand was a viable candidate... as such, I wanted to spend a few weeks on the ground gathering intelligence so I could be absolutely certain of my decision.

New Zealand is definitely a wonderful country... though it's not the right place for our community: too far from anywhere, high taxes, and a bit socialist in its cultural mentality.

Most of all, I want the community to be in a strong, thriving economy that represents the future, not the western hierarchy of the past. Chile is the answer.

I'll have a lot more to say about that in future letters once I return. For now, I'm transiting on to Argentina where I'll spend the holidays with a few friends, sort out some personal business, and then hopefully drive across beautiful Patagonia back into Chile and up towards Santiago.

For now, I want to answer a few quick questions and wish you all the best for the holidays.

First, I wrote an article earlier this week about some indicators we'll see in the future once gold reaches a top-- I think that all those "we buy gold" signs will become "we sell gold" signs. In response, reader James asks:

"Simon, you mention that the 'we buy gold' shops capitalize on people's ignorance. The free market is comprised of nothing more than voluntary transactions between two or more parties. Do you feel that what they are doing is immoral?"

No, absolutely not... and I certainly didn't mean to imply that. Perhaps I should have expounded a bit more. I know there are multitudes of honest, upstanding gold dealers out there (my favorite being Van Simmons of David Hall Rare Coins).

Right now, the public is largely unaware about what's happening in the gold market. Some people find themselves short of cash, and they see a sign that says 'cash for gold'. Poof, problem solved.

This is nothing more than a lawful transaction between a willing buyer and a willing seller, and I'm all for it.

But let's be honest... if you scrap together an ounce of gold and someone offers you $400 for it, and you take it simply because you don't know the spot price is $1400, they've just made $1000 (less melting and assay costs) on your ignorance.

Again, there's nothing wrong with this. My only point is that these outfits are able to generate huge margins simply because of public ignorance... indicating that we are a long, long way from the top.

Eventually their margins will be squeezed because public ignorance has faded. The average person will know the price of gold because it's on the nightly news, billboards, weekend infomercials, and all over the Internet. When this happens, it will be a sign that we're near the top.

Next, Hans asks, "Hi Simon, I was wondering if you could address Cuba. I know it is quite communist but how do you see it as a place of refuge since it is so anti-American?  It has a lot of potential if only they would migrate to a more pro-business approach."

Cuba is a complete disaster, but it's hard to imagine the place getting much worse. There does seem to be a lot of potential, and the country could turn into a boomtown overnight given the right conditions.

Two things need to happen in order for Cuba to substantially improve-- first, the government needs to reduce its control over the economy and start allowing private employment, private ownership, and private businesses. This is already happening.

The second thing is that the ridiculous trade embargo needs to be lifted.  I'm convinced that Barack Obama is keeping this card as his ace in the hole, and he'll use it in 2012 if the Presidential race is tight. Lifting the embargo  would help him tremendously with the Latino vote and likely win over Florida.

In the meantime, I would recommend the country for pioneer expats who don't mind putting up with squalor and the lack of amenities... but Cuba makes up for it in other ways, like warm weather, gorgeous women, great salsa culture, and zero crime against foreigners.

Last, Stephen asks, "Simon, I've enjoyed the New Zealand guide that your friends Mark and Chris put together. I'm interested in moving there, what is your impression of the small business opportunities?"
As I've written before, New Zealand is an exceedingly beautiful country, though I think there's better opportunity here for retirees than investors and entrepreneurs. The tax situation is a bit cumbersome and the regulatory environment is bureaucratic.

But if you're looking for a place to lay low and enjoy some peace and quiet while still being in an English-speaking, civilized country, I highly recommend it.

That's all for now, I'm off to catch my plane. I hope you have an absolutely wonderful weekend, and we'll talk again soon.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Simon Black

Senior Editor,


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Fri, 12/24/2010 - 16:08 | 828359 MeTarzanUjane
MeTarzanUjane's picture

"putting up with squalor and the lack of amenities"

It's clear you've never been there...

There is a bigger plan in action that has been developing down there over the last 20 yrs. Fidel Sarcastro; in the spotlight.

There is something about a determined population that has been cut off from a giant recognizable ponzi for such a long time.

They tend to be the anti-ponzi. You may want to check it out in earnest.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 15:55 | 828363 gwar5
gwar5's picture

It's the women, gotta be the women. I've never been.

Would love to hear stories, tips, on getting there and & hanging there

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 16:25 | 828400 MeTarzanUjane
MeTarzanUjane's picture

COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Cuba is a totalitarian police state which relies on repressive methods to maintain control. These methods include intense physical and electronic surveillance of both Cuban citizens and foreign visitors. Americans visiting Cuba should be aware that any on-island activities could be subject to surveillance, and their contacts with Cuban citizens monitored closely. The United States does not have full diplomatic relations with Cuba, but Cuba welcomes American travelers and Americans are generally well received. The United States Government provides consular and other services through the U.S. Interests Section in Havana. The U.S. Interests Section operates under the legal protection of the Swiss government but is not co-located with the Swiss Embassy. Read the Department of State Background Notes on Cuba for additional information.

Does this sound familiar? Homeland security? Believe me, no Cuban involved in the "totalitarian police state" is going to be touching your junk? There is no Jewish(israeli) company monitoring security cameras on Cuban roadways and buildings.... Like in the US.

Why? Because Cubans will not allow Jews to take over their country. No AIPAC.

No Arab in this world will blow up a Cuban building, they RESPECT Cuba.

And with this there is security and happiness. No spinning dreidels and hanukkahs. No Woppi Goldbergs.

Sounds like heaven?

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 17:29 | 828536 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

Who knows maybe the current regime in Cuba will outlive the current regime in the USA, that would be irony !

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 23:48 | 829139 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

The Castro regime has already outlasted Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, and Bush2.

Sun, 12/26/2010 - 13:35 | 830507 DosZap
DosZap's picture

Yes, and its been a paramount of the ultimate in living stds when compared to every Admin you noted.

Thanks, but no thanks during the ones mentioned.

Now, is another is just going to get a hell of a lot worse.

But, trust me, as soon a Fideldo dies, and his bro makes nice w/the USA, then the same shit will happen there to expats.

And their too damn CLOSE TO THE US.

Chile sounds great, New Zealand, is more costly to live in than the US, and is farther than Toadsuck,Ok.

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 00:05 | 829174 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

fidel outlasted a lot of u.s. administrations.  when fidel is totally dead raul may try a deng x. move and, especially if the embargo lifted, it could change a lot.  

also the water is beautiful; better coral than the virgin islands and points south.  

Sun, 12/26/2010 - 04:11 | 830289 destraht
destraht's picture

I'm fairly sure that the recent oil volcano in the Gulf with the corexit has reached Cuba. I won't be eating those fish for five to ten years and the shelled creatures for the rest of my life.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 20:46 | 828904 lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

..... a truth-talker !   i like a person with the guts to tell the truth !   the truth is hard to hear, don't junk him.    i wish there was an "applause button" here on ZEROHEDGE ! 

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 23:42 | 829129 trav7777
trav7777's picture

Rack up those junks, son!!

I'm going to pile some for myself by saying the magic word:  JEW

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 11:23 | 829651 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

It's amazing and disturbing how any mention of AIPAC or Jewish control over an economy or anything for that matter attracts a bombardment of "junking"... I guess megaphone is out in force doing their thing.

Anyways..regarding Cuba...I was born there. I have lots of family still there. To say things are difficult there would be an understatement. However, I agree that a change is in the wind and when conditions towards business and private ownership change, it will be one hell of a place to live.

Culturally, the place is simply delicious. From the music to the food to the art...Cuba has much to offer and it is a place artists and anyone with an appreciation for art and culture will certainly love.

All in all, it's hard to imagine a place with more potential than Cuba. The key is for the country to remain independent. If it becomes another Puerto Rico, forget it. But if it remains sovereign nation, it's gonna be FANTASTIC. And I plan to be there...again.

As far as the women go. Yes and yes. I know. First hand.

Look me up when you folks get there. I'll make you a mojito, we'll throw on some Celia Cruz music and we can have a few laughs.

Sun, 12/26/2010 - 04:25 | 830296 destraht
destraht's picture

If you want to see a crazy amount of nasty under workings with respect to AIPAC and Jewish control then check Its the conspiracy sub-channel. There is a whole bunch of interesting stuff there on many topics, but wow if anybody even brings up the idea that modern day Jews are not weak and helpless then a torrent of shit comes out and groups like the ADL go on the attack. The surgical ability and response time of the unseen Jewish-defending-zealots is mighty. That is all that I really know for sure.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 21:02 | 828921 Blano
Blano's picture

I can only give you second hand info, but here goes.

I have an uncle that spent several years going to Cuba.  He's a US citizen.  He would take a roundabout way flying from Michigan to Chicago, then through Mexico City and then some other southeastern Mexican city which name I forget (Cancun?  Cozumel?  I don't know).  He said when you are at that last city before flying to Havana, they don't give a rat's ass whether you are allowed to go there or got a ticket, you go. 

He would spend a month or two there at a time....even had an apartment in Havana for a few years.  He would call the landlady a couple weeks before showing up so the place would be ready for him.  The embargo never seemed to stop or hinder him at all.  The only time he was sweating was coming back when he flew nonstop from Toronto to Havana and back to try that route, and he was smuggling some Cuban cigars back with him.  Apparently there were US agents at the airport in Toronto.  Other than that, seemed like a piece of cake.  He loved it there.

And yes, it was about the women.  He became friends with a number of Americans and Europeans there, and now they hang out in Thailand.

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 11:46 | 829670 velobabe
velobabe's picture

oh my Dad loved Cuba, for the woman i am sure. my parents went to Cuba all the time, until they couldn't. my daughter went about 5 years ago. she thought it was depressing. her then BF was a photographer and did get a lot of great film. she said there were really cool old american cars, but looked in and mostly destroyed interiors.

i would love to go, for the music of course.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 16:05 | 828384 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

Nothing beats Thailand. The perfect mix of 3rd world chaos with all the amenities.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 23:44 | 829132 trav7777
trav7777's picture

I'll throw my hat on S. America, particularly brassssilllll

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 18:20 | 829994 Popo
Popo's picture

You think Thailand is 3rd world???? Dude. Get out more.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 16:20 | 828417 b_thunder
b_thunder's picture

Cuba is...  an interesting (basket) case.

warm weather - check  (except during hurricane season)

gorgeous women - check

great salsa culture - check

zero crime against foreigners - well,....  true, as long as Cuba remains a police state where 1 in 10 is a government snitch/gov't agent, and if you don't count government expopriating all your property at will as a "crime."

Cuba will try to show it's "best face" to foreign investors, BUT you will always be at the mercy of their government policy and won't have protection from all sorts of bureaucrats demanding bribes.  If you're betting on a post-communism Cuba, take a look at Nicaragua.  First, people over there are basically unable to work/to hold a job.  Even a basic job as a house maid.  Most of the 80% unemployment rate may very well be due to the fact that during the Sandinista regime most of those 80% lost the ability to work, as in to come (even approximately) on time and to  actually perform work (rather than watch telenovellas on the tv.)  And the only way for a gringo to survive there is to become friends with the local police chief ($100-200 per month) who will make sure local "ladrones" know not to bother you, and become friends with a local judge ($300-500 annual investment) to get a license to carry a Glock in case some non-local "ladron" starts bothering you.



Fri, 12/24/2010 - 16:25 | 828430 Motorhead
Motorhead's picture

Yeah, aren't tourists more or less confined to compounds there in Cuba?

Anybody read Jeffrey Robinson's book The Sink?  Cuba is one heart attack away from it being the next off-shore banking haven.


Fri, 12/24/2010 - 17:51 | 828593 BobPaulson
BobPaulson's picture

No, I wandered around the streets and alleys of Havana in the middle of the night (with almost no street lights!) and never once was hassled. 

My main complaint about Cuba is that it's hard to interact with the locals. You have to have well placed local friends if you want them to be able to mix with you. Proletariat locals are not allowed to hang out with the tourists. Friends of mine who are professors can go where I go but it is not a "free" place where a guy off the street can sit down and have a drink with you. As for women, there are tonnes there working as part-time amateur hookers (as the opportunity presents itself) so it makes having a normal friend challenging if you're worried they might just be trying to get something from you.

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 11:52 | 829677 velobabe
velobabe's picture

l o n g, WOMAN

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 22:43 | 829042 bankonzhongguo
bankonzhongguo's picture

"one heart attack away"  yes sir.

Having been chased out of every Caribbean and Latin nation for protect your assets the only place will be Cuba.  You can't even trust the Swiss anymore.  Raul and Fidel have to go and within 6 months it will be a gold rush for land.  Start making your Miami real estate connections for your new hurricane-proof gunner compound.  Lets hope the IMF doesn't fuck things up.


Sat, 12/25/2010 - 15:57 | 829906 Saxxon
Saxxon's picture

KAH-CHING Motorhead.  Check out the CUBA fund.  There are certainly other ways to play that bastard's demise but CUBA comes to mind.  I am probably going to buy a few shares to set aside for the double (for starters) when Fidel bites his final cigar.

Sun, 12/26/2010 - 13:51 | 830519 DosZap
DosZap's picture

Cuba will turn into a US bitch, when the money gets right, and Fidel is dead.His Bro will make kissy ass w/the USSA,and sell out the people and especially the foreigners.

Off-Shore Banking has become a thing of the past.

When the Swiss caved, that was it.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 19:37 | 828789 honestann
honestann's picture

Let me see a show of hands.  How many of you in business in the USSA are NOT "at the mercy of government policy"?  Anyone?  Anyone?  No one.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 16:30 | 828439 goldsaver
goldsaver's picture

It goes much deeper than that. Cubans have been under absolute dependent rule for 50+ years. Think of Cuba as a slave plantation. If they let the slaves go free tomorrow, they would have no clue what to do with this freedom. Corruption and personal misery are now part of the culture. Its going to take at least a generation to reverse the damage done to Cuba.

And you are wrong about the Florida Cuban population wanting the removal of the embargo. They are the most vocal proponents of the embargo. The opponents are mainly North Easterners and members of academia / socialist elite.

Although I do agree with you. At this point the embargo is useless. Of course, one of the consequences of lifting the embargo would be US banks extending "credit" to the Castro brothers for purchase of US goods (grain, oil, etc). And since the "loans" would be backed by the .gov, the taxpayer gets stuck with them after "Surprise!" the Castros fail to pay.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 17:31 | 828543 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

The Cuban Embargo is unilateral by the USA any other country in the world can trade freely with Cuba

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 19:35 | 828786 honestann
honestann's picture

Those who run farmers markets know precisely what to do with their freedom.  And it might catch on.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 16:44 | 828461 tom
tom's picture

Cuba has great potential. How many times can you say that. I'm not convinced the US trade embargo is their main problem. They've got the entire rest of the world as an export market. Europe is a bigger market than the US anyway, is it so hard to ship across the Atlantic? Yet it's so poor most parents will gladly sell you their teenage daughters for whatever kink you're into. That's what draws most of the tourists fueling the bloody economy. The authorities make everything so bloody expensive for foreigners that becoming an expat there is almost impossible, unless you're really stinking rich and looking to become much less so, have business with the regime, are a diplomat, or perhaps a journalist for a major media outlet - although I'm not sure any of them bother to post correspondents in Cuba.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 16:43 | 828463 MountainMan
Fri, 12/24/2010 - 18:48 | 828713 Sad Sufi
Sad Sufi's picture

Very nice website.  Slick, and no squalor indicated.  Makes me curious for a visit. 

Met a christian missionary who went down there and said:

"They were the happiest people I ever met.  Very poor, but happy.  How do you explain that?"

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 19:33 | 828777 honestann
honestann's picture

Perhaps because they don't walk around all day every day with a 12-ton ball and chain of debt?

Cuba is not for me, but the "one up the Jones" kind of mentality certainly doesn't lead to happiness - it leads to psychosis and life-long debt slavery.

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 00:27 | 829201 Cursive
Cursive's picture

Cuba is not for me, but the "one up the Jones" kind of mentality certainly doesn't lead to happiness - it leads to psychosis and life-long debt slavery.


Sat, 12/25/2010 - 02:49 | 829352 Lord Koos
Lord Koos's picture

Maybe it's because they aren't constantly blaming their problems and their anger on everyone else.

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 03:33 | 829379 alex_g
alex_g's picture

i have a beach place in rural mexico, people are poor, happy as hell.  sun, easy living conditions, who the hell needs to make a ton of money.  surf all day, drink all night, got the life...

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 06:14 | 829449 johan404
johan404's picture

Word. Food, water, shelter, warm weather, poon. What else do you need??

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 20:59 | 828918 lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

O.M.G. ....... MountainMan ....... I went on that Cuban website....... it was like a gift.   thank you.    i've always dreamed of going to CUBA.   I've told my daughter that I only have two wishes before I die ..... 1.) to see CUBA  &  2.) to stand on the equator.    (I love tropical climates.)   If anyone has a pile of gold & silver & wants a companion to spend their remaining days on a tropical beach with just flip/flops, sunglasses & a beach hat......... call me !

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 21:11 | 828929 Blano
Blano's picture

Pics, please.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 16:55 | 828483 Cursive
Cursive's picture

It's the squalor I could do without...and I lived happily in NOLA back in the day....

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 17:04 | 828495 Nine Pies
Nine Pies's picture

The US embargo on Cuba will not be lifted until the Castro brothers die.  You cannot engage in trade with a dictator who was part of a conspiracy to kill your President (JFK).  William F. Buckley spelled it all out in "Marco Polo, If You Can."

Once the Castro brothers pass away, the embargo will be lifted.  It's that simple. 

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 17:31 | 828540 MeTarzanUjane
MeTarzanUjane's picture

Wrong, once the rulers of Cuba accept the Jew Mafia as their supreme leaders then the embargo will be lifted. Allow AIPAC in to restructure and everything will be normalized.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 17:48 | 828567 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

The Zionist Jewish Role In Causing World War II

The Jewish Role In History Re-evaluated

The Jewish Role in Destroying America


Sat, 12/25/2010 - 05:40 | 829440 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

So I see the Jewish Lobby finaly discovered ZH !!!

They come out in force to junk every1 speaking against TheZionists

gotta keep the Ponzi going No? Well eat shit modafukers you're gonna choke on it sooner or later

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 17:16 | 828518 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

I'm convinced that Barack Obama is keeping this card as his ace in the hole, and he'll use it in 2012 if the Presidential race is tight. Lifting the embargo  would help him tremendously with the Latino vote and likely win over Florida.

If the man had thought of this, it would be his only political 'coup degraic' motiff.

I was thinking Iceland would be cool, but maybe I want to find the Cuban heat?  We will see how stable the police state is post peak oil production, because I bet the regime crumbles.  Either way...

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 11:57 | 829683 velobabe
velobabe's picture

jimi, O/T does one's tummy hurt, when it is trying to digust animal meat? well, more specifically, if the stomach is not use to it.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 17:57 | 828527 Blindweb
Blindweb's picture

The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil

This is the real reason to move to Cuba.  Cuba is the world leader in post peak oil living.  They use 1/8th the energy percapita but have the same age expectancy as the U.S.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 19:04 | 828733 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

an amazing movie that is.   thought it was very interesting that the castro boys recently released restrictions on farmers' markets, which are not only the most 'free' market there is in Cuba (or elsewhere for that matter), but also a shining example of 'communism' (as far as the means of production are concerned) in its purest form.

why bash ideologies when you can remix themónicos

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 17:31 | 828545 Segestan
Segestan's picture

Complain about the US and then settle in a communist shit hole... ya that's got long expats.

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 07:01 | 829463 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

It's a test. How did everyone score on the Frustrated Wannabe Elitist scale?

Make sure you all take your gold and guns to Cuba. I'm sure they'll let you keep them.

I moved to Texas. I'll stand here.

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 16:52 | 829957 -Michelle-
-Michelle-'s picture

It does seem like a joke post.  Cuba?  Really?  That's supposed to be the bastion of libertarian ideals?

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 17:41 | 828568 linrom
linrom's picture

If you like Cuba, move to Hialeah, FL next to Miami proper. It's like Cuba in 1950s but with drug dealers and thieves on every corner. White people ran away back in 1960-70s. But you can always move to Miami, and get a flat on Calle Ocho, right in the center of Little Havana. If you want to be safe, get some skin bronzer and dye your hair jet-black. LOL. What a fool that Simon is.

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 00:17 | 829190 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

somehow that doesn't sound the same as actually living in cuba.  didn't like them did you?

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 17:56 | 828600 amazon1966
amazon1966's picture

New Zealand is doomed when the US security umbrella falls. 237 million Indonesians might want some more room to spread out and enjoy beautifully NZ  and good agricultural land. Google the NZ armed forces to understand how well NZ will be able to defend it self.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 22:56 | 829055 Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

Google Indonesian sealift capability.. When they show up on the kon-tiki the Kiwis will kick their ass.  Their is are reasons China has not taken Taiwan and it is not all the U.S.  Beach landings into hostile fire are HARD..

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 00:19 | 829192 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

and that's just the beginning.  seems unlikely.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 23:23 | 829103 malek
malek's picture

I have similar thoughts... but I'm thinking more of Chinese need of (agricultural) resources

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 17:31 | 829978 kiwidor
kiwidor's picture

Amazon1966, you are clearly a retard.  "Her Majesty's" killer maoris are not a match for the sheer bloody violence and twistedness of the 'normal' population of NZ.  Maoris who follow order are of no use to anyone except the english reptile queen.   And I still wouldn't trust them to do that if the manure hit hte windmill. The natives who don't follow orders are akin to the apache once they smell blood. 

Anyone else reading this, don't mistake the veneer of respectability in NZ for a defenseless mentality.  The darkness that resides in the heart of the average kiwi would make japanese torturers of WWII look like pussies.


Sun, 12/26/2010 - 19:40 | 830941 Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

He is not shitting.. I have a Kiwi lives in my neighborhood, he is fun, nice drinks with me and he is scary..  They have a light in their eyes that says sure fuck with me but be ready to kill me..  I am, but I won't like it..

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 18:00 | 828612 lincolnsteffens
lincolnsteffens's picture

Cuba? Not ready for prime time yet.

I've been to New Zealand and I have a relative who has citizenship there. It is beautiful with hundreds of micro climates. If you don't mind going back to the 1950's its great. I don't know about Auckland but just about all towns close down about 1PM on Saturday. There are a lot of hard drinkers. College students on break can make more than a working stiff because of student tax breaks. The largest percentage of the population is middle class (few SUVs on the roads). They have one way of doing everything which is their concept of how everything is done (DON'T try to rock the boat). If you want American or European products get ready to pay. Anything that resembles a plant grows faster and bigger than you can imagine. If you don't wear a hat when you go out you will end up with skin cancer. South Island has a widely scattered population. I recommend Nelson unless you like city life and there are mighty few cities. Climate from sub-tropical to Alpine.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 18:04 | 828623 JohnKing
JohnKing's picture

If you want a taste of Cuba, head on down to Hialeah, FL. BTW, there is replacement gov't on-call to manage the "fall" of Cuba whenever that happens, all dept. heads, petty bureaucrats and head honchos are waiting with baited breathe.


Good luck with that!

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 00:21 | 829196 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

that breath baited to attract the fall?

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 18:12 | 828635 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture


Cuba is an experiment by Rockefeller for what will be implemented on a global scale.

Rockefeller, the CIA and the Mexican PRI planned, funded, aided and pupeteered the "cuban revolution".

The only true revolutionary was Camilo Cienfuegos, who's plane was shot down in Cuba on Rockefeller's orders because he was a danger to the CIA/Castro experiment on population submission/control.  Che was also deemed expendable and taken care of years later in Bolivia.

Nowadays, the elite have their "secure" residential area in Cuba waiting for them WTSHTF.

BP owns Castro just as much as they own POTUS.

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 00:26 | 829198 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

interesting perspective.  which rockefeller is in charge now?  i like a guy who starts his argument: idiot....

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 18:13 | 828642 cxl9
cxl9's picture

Cuba? No. But consider Mexico. I moved out of America (after 42 years) to Mexico last year. I have portable job skills, which made the move practical. All things considered, my quality of life is far better in Mexico than it was in the United States. The cost of living is lower, the weather is better, the food is excellent, the señoritas are friendly and plentiful. The security problems are exaggerated by the media, and in any case only some simple precautions and common-sense are required to stay safe. (I've lived in far worse places. West Philadelphia comes immediately to mind). The minimally-functional government suits me just fine: the roads are more-or-less paved and I'm told that the police eventually show up if you call them. Other than that, I don't want anything from the state. The govenrment does not have enough money to be on your ass all the time with petty harassment. No inspectors going through my garbage to see if I put my recycling in the wrong bin. The whole pace of life is slower, easier, more enjoyable. Despite their poverty relative to the United States, Mexicans are a very happy people. And economically, things seem to be improving in Mexico even as they are declining in America.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 21:19 | 828938 Blano
Blano's picture

Enjoyed your comments.  Just curious.......are you Anglo??  Mexico/Central America has crossed my mind as well.

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 01:33 | 829278 cxl9
cxl9's picture

Yes, I am Anglo: six feet, blond hair, blue eyes. Down here they call me guero (a slang term for blond). I stand out, and I am obviously American, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 15:42 | 829888 Thanatos
Thanatos's picture

I take it you don't live within 100 miles of the US border.

Your security situation would be different and standing out would not be desirable if you were.

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 19:46 | 830031 cxl9
cxl9's picture

I live near Tijuana, a few miles from the United States border. Don't believe everything you read in the media. If you're not involved in the drugs trade (I am not) and you avoid obvious displays of wealth (expensive cars, clothes, jewelry, etc.) you will do just fine. Peace, happy holidays..


Thu, 01/06/2011 - 15:59 | 853613 Thanatos
Thanatos's picture

Agreed, but J-Town (where I am) is a far cry from T-Town.

Where I am, you don't go into Mexico casually if you want to come back in one piece.

I think T-Town is not quite the battlespace that exists in the interior northern border.

But you can still go in... Just not casually.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 18:18 | 828657 TexDenim
TexDenim's picture

Cuba is the New Golconda, the place where money will grow on trees. I would give anything to be able to invest in Cuba right now, before the flood of money that comes in. Fortunes will be made in Cuba in the next few years.

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 00:27 | 829202 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

for the patient ones, i think you're right.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 18:31 | 828684 litoralkey
litoralkey's picture


Any club that has a "leader" of a "new sustainable community" who suggests Cuba as a potential locale for aforementioned community is a club I wouldn't want to join.

Central and south Central Chile is the place to be you can raise crops, cattle and wine with ease, and trade that for fish easily, or if your family has Spaniard heritage and some local connections you can head further north of Antofagasto or way down south and raise sheep.

Downside to Chile is the small size of farmsteads, lots of near substinence farmers where ever you settle,

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 06:20 | 829451 johan404
johan404's picture

After the Soviet Union collapsed, Cuba's oil imports fell about 50-60% because Soviet oil was heavily subsidized to fellow commie states, same as in North Korea. The difference is, Cuba allowed people to grow food anywhere they could, almost nobody starved, while the North Korean regime held their iron grip on power and tens of thousands starved.

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 11:20 | 829644 boooyaaaah
boooyaaaah's picture

How bout returning America to it' birthright The Dec of ind And the constitution less the 17 th amendment 38

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 11:20 | 829645 boooyaaaah
boooyaaaah's picture

How bout returning America to it' birthright The Dec of ind And the constitution less the 17 th amendment 38

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 18:35 | 828688 AUD
AUD's picture

I've heard that music spontaneously erupts on the street in Cuba.

Simon Black could be right here.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 19:16 | 828751 robertocarlos
robertocarlos's picture

Zero crime? Oh sure.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 19:26 | 828765 honestann
honestann's picture

Hey Simon!  What "sustainable community"?  I've been trying to find liberty-oriented people to join me in such a project for years.  The only ones who were willing and physically able - were broken or in debt.  The only ones who had savings - were interested, but never willing to make the leap.

This has left me thinking I'll have to go it alone.  And actually, I am quite used to going it alone in my previous endeavors, but I only have $250K ~ $300K savings to invest.  By my reckoning, that's enough, but a much more robust and comfortable version would likely consume 3x to 12x this much.

I spent a few months just over 1 year ago checking out potential places to move and set up a self-sufficient home or pico-community (10 ~ 30 people).  Interestingly, Chile was my favorite too.  I like NZ a great deal too, but agree that we'd need to find ways to avoid the ball and chain of statism that infects that land... otherwise, go elsewhere.

So I was gratified to hear you choose Chile.  And since you're planning the same kind of endeavor I am, we should definitely compare notes.  Besides my savings, I have fairly extensive experience in self-sufficiency systems, having lived alone for 8 years at a remote mountiantop scientific facility that was totally self sufficient (solar/wind/batteries/DC-AC, water collection/purification, etc).  Plus, off and on I've looked around for alternative techniques.  In fact, I spent a fair bit of time figuring out how to make my absolute favorite spot on earth (in Chile) self-sufficient.

So where do I find out about your plans?  I'm a long-time scientist, engineer, inventor and product developer, so naturally I am inclined towards a somewhat high-tech (efficient and comfortable) version of self-sufficiency.  I have made plans to permanently leave the USSA in T minus 4 months and counting.  My most probably destinations are Chile, NZ, or some small empty island in the middle of nowhere in the south pacific.  I've even thought that perhaps the best way to create a community of sovereigns is to buy a huge barge with flat upper surface, and build a floating community that is not within any self-proclaimed jurisdiction.  I found a couple of these that cost about $250K, and are longer and wider than a football field!  Interesting platform... and eternally mobile (very slowly, by wind).  How to contact you?

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 19:40 | 828799 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

h.a., you might want to check out these folks:

might seem a little too hippy for some, but they do got their shit together.   and they know their permaculture for sure.  and they're sitting on an absolutely magical piece of land.   simply ideal climate zone, no matter what the earth decides to do.

you are able to go down there and check it out.   usually a month minimum, but if you tell them what you're interested in, you might be able to go down for less time.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 21:57 | 828982 honestann
honestann's picture

Thanks for the idea.  They seem to be doing pretty well for themselves.  The place is more wet and tropical than I prefer, as I most enjoy moutaintops, dry deserts and wide open spaces.  Of course, I also like being oceanfront or having an ocean view, which is not easy to find in combination with "dry".  However, I have found places like that.  In fact, the driest desert on earth borders and overlooks the pacific ocean.

One question about that place is whether they appreciate different (but complementary) people.  As I said, I'm very much a fan of self-sufficiency, but being a scientist, engineer and all-round techie, I tend towards advanced approaches/technologies and clean, simple, modern lifestyle.  So, though I totally respect people who grow natural foods (which I eagerly seek out and eat), farming is not the contribution that suits my skills, experience or personal inclinations.  I guess I'm sort of a super-high-tech hippie mutation (I'm more comfortable getting cut, greasy or burned in my machine shop or at my electronics bench than grubby farming in the dirt).  Thanks for the idea.

Since Simon seems as focused on Chile as me, I'm curious to see what his plans might be.  Hopefully he values diversity of skills.  I do.

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 06:43 | 829460 johan404
johan404's picture

I think high tech sustainability might be an oxymoron.

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 19:45 | 830030 honestann
honestann's picture

Really?  You think solar-panels and windmills contradict sustainability and self-sufficiency?  You think collecting, storing and purifying rainwater contradicts sustainability and self-sufficiency?  You think hydro-electric gizmos contradict sustainability and self-sufficiency?  You think building dwellings in clever ways so their temperatures stay relatively constant so they do not need heating and cooling contradicts sustainability and self-sufficiency?


Sun, 12/26/2010 - 13:23 | 830495 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

well, methinks your skillsets & interests would compliment theirs very well.   they're actually instituting a small-scale hydropower project this winter.   as to whether they would be open to such an arrangement, good question.    if it all resonates with you, wouldn't hurt to email them and feel it out.

but yes, it is very 'wet' there.   the ocean's not too far away, but definitely not oceanfront.

in general, you hit on an excellent point.   any successful community will definitely need diverse & complimentary talents, temperments, & interests, as well as having a mutual tolerance and respect for both the collective AND the sovereign individuals in that collective.   it's a delicate balance and it definitely requires that everyone is willing to step up their game and wipe away their conditioning on how a society should be operated.

wish you the best of fortune in discovering where and with whom this may exist for you.

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 06:31 | 829454 johan404
johan404's picture

Thanks for the link!

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 20:08 | 828836 Oracle of Kypseli
Oracle of Kypseli's picture

I love Chile, but the US influence there is more than you think. Check out the fact that genetically modified foods are allowed to be cultivated and they supply fruits and veggies to the US food cartels.

The cross breeding of these may go viral through natural pollination. If it is found that GM foods have long term negative effects, it may be irreversible. All and all, Chile is the country of choice if you do not have other links. Peru is another one and sports all climates ranging from Amazon tropical to desert. 

Both countries have a festive attitude and you can find both serenity and partying as  needed.

They are also commodity rich countries silver, gold, copper and their future looks good. 


Fri, 12/24/2010 - 22:36 | 829023 honestann
honestann's picture

Thanks for the heads up.  What you say is a good reason to bring our own natural seeds, and grow our own food.  Given that start and some reasonable care, I doubt natural unintended cross-breeding with GM genes will be significant over the next 10 or 20 years.

Yes, southern Peru looks great too.  I didn't get that far north when I was in northern Chile, but everything I read about the high-country in southern Peru sounds good.  I wouldn't get anywhere near Lima though... that's a pick-pocket paradise!

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 20:30 | 828877 Nine Pies
Nine Pies's picture

Check out Cafayate, Salta, Argentina.  Bunch of folks building a high-end community there complete with vineyard, golf course, and shooting range.  You can afford to buy a parcel.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 21:00 | 828917 QQQBall
QQQBall's picture

I think I will just tie some raw meat around my neck. Things change big guy, and I  suggest living somewhere BEFORE buying anything.  The guy (Paul Terhortz) that wrote "Cashing in on the American Dream, How to Retire at 35" advised against buying anything for the first 2 years of retirement. I think he and his wife finally settled in Argentina.  

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 21:30 | 828958 honestann
honestann's picture

I also think it is wise to live somewhere for at least 6 to 12 months before buying... unless you're buying something super inexpensive (like land in the extreme boonies).  Argentina is a good bet too, though personally I prefer oceanfront, moutaintop, or in the south pacific on a remote island or on a floating home-vessel.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 21:26 | 828948 honestann
honestann's picture

Yeah, I came within minutes of buying a parcel in that community about 1 year ago.  I had sent in my deposit for one of the N lots, and was ready to pay-in-full as soon as they sent me the last two documents to initial, which were the "building style regulations" and "community regulations".

After reading them, I was saddened and stunned.  After all, Casey has a reputation for being the ultimate anarchist/libertarian, and the place is being sold as a modern day "Galt's Gulch".  Those agreements prove exactly the opposite is true --- the community is, in fact, a blatant "nanny state".

On the "minor side" (stuff I could almost accept): they boast about the great views of the mountains to the west and east, but the building regulations are sooooo extreme, they only allow tiny windows that are deeply inset from the external surface.  Which means, you cannot have expansive views of the great views!

But the real killer was the "community regulations".  What a total freaking "nanny state"!  First of all, for the two or three months I was talking with them, they kept saying "the monthly fees are $250 per month, but will continuously drop as move vineyards are completed, and income from those vineyards increases".  The day I was supposed to send my payment, they raised those fees to something like $325 ~ $375 (I forget the exact amount).  This was not the first claim and promise that turned out to be false.  Then I looked further into the agreement to find that the "managers" of the association/community (whatever the folks were called who "make up and change the rules") cannot be replaced without a vote of more than 75% of the owners.  Well, first of all, these "managers" are professional wordsmiths who continually develop and promote their reputations by writing newsletters and such.  Obviously getting people to vote against "celebrities" is tough in any situation, but I can't even imagine 75% to vote at all, much less vote against this bunch of "celebrities".  Thus, these elitists have total control over everyone.  They can change the rules at any time, in any way, and nobody has feasible recourse.  They could raise the fees 25% every year... forever.  Needless to say, I'd have all my marbles rolled up into buying the parcel and building something on it, and could potentially have it all taken away for inability to pay increasingly egregious and arbitrary fees.  What I want is "self-sufficiency", not to become liable for arbitrary and potentially infinite fees (in the long run).  I want to escape the need to have monthly income forever, not dig myself into a never ending money sink.

It sure looks good... until and unless you check the details.

Thanks for the tip, though.  What I'm hoping is to do something smaller and totally liberty and individualist oriented, or find one already in progress.  I'm not interested in funding some celebrity elitist statists who collect endless fees from us forever so they can forever promote themselves as libertarian anarchists!

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 22:07 | 828989 Nine Pies
Nine Pies's picture

Years ago I was interested in the Limon Project.  The idea was to get a bunch of investors to go to the poorest region of Costa Rica.  In exchange for serious investment, the government would have to make Limon a freezone (like old Hong Kong).  Next thing I heard was that the Limon Project ended up being a cyberspace only deal.


Good luck!  For the most part, I think my homestead in the good old USA will be the best place to lie low if things go south. 

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 22:33 | 829018 honestann
honestann's picture

Thanks again for the idea, and I wish you good luck staying in the USSA.  I'm much too chicken to do that, being someone who is not automatically afraid of doing something different or unfamiliar.  Hell, I'm already forced to drive to Canada or Mexico to leave the USSA, because I am absolutely not willing to have a bunch of jack-booted TSA thugs molest me,  do whatever they wish with my body and property, and have no liability whatsoever.  I will not comply!  Perhaps I can find a cruise line to take me from the west coast to Chile... assuming the TSA hasn't invaded cruise lines by March 2011.

I hope you live somewhere very rural, and are very self-sufficient.  Otherwise, you might regret your choice to stay around and face the consequences.

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 12:06 | 829693 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

Thx for sharing your experience I had high hopes for Cafayete, I see I need to look elsewhere

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 00:45 | 829230 Cursive
Cursive's picture


I enjoyed reading that.  Are you Bruce Dern from "Silent Running"?

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 19:40 | 830026 honestann
honestann's picture

I haven't seen that pic in so many years!  But you know what?  I never realized it before, but probably I am a lot like the Bruce Dern character in that movie.  Only I am more techie and don't commune with plants.  But yeah, I am totally at home alone in pure nature --- as long as I have my techie tools and modern comforts.

Funny!  I never thought of that comparison.  Good one.

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 07:29 | 829471 johan404
johan404's picture

Hey honestann. I'm also looking to either join or build a sustainable community, preferably somewhere warm, I'm freezing my butt off here in the far North. Send me an email at "johan404(at)inbox(.)com" and we can compare notes.

Also, anyone else who is interested in sustainable communities, get in touch with me via the above email, and we can share information. Cheers!

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 19:31 | 828775 groucho_marxist
groucho_marxist's picture

" Lifting the embargo  would help him tremendously with the Latino vote and likely win over Florida."

Clearly this poster neither understands the Cubans in Florida, nor the dynamic of the embargo in the Latino community there. Anyone who believes dropping it will win votes is either ignorant or spreading disinformation. Go down to Calle Ocho in Miami and see if you can say that and get home without being caught up in violence. Not only misguided, this claim is misinformed. The embargo won't go anywhere without serious opposition until the Castros are out of power (and not just Fidel).

Just sayin' since I know the Cuban community in Florida (and elsewhere).

Mon, 12/27/2010 - 21:47 | 832590 Gromit
Gromit's picture

+ 25 Electoral College Votes

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 20:19 | 828856 billsykes
billsykes's picture


Cuba could be great but its got some flaws.

In Canada over 700k people fly there every year for vacation. I was there last yr, and I had a great time and will go back.

The vast potential there is huge, consider this;

-2nd largest deposits of nickel in the world
-onshore & offshore O&G
-they have roads
-potential for offshore banking
-its huge compared everywhere else in the Caribbean
-great scuba diving
-decent universities, especially their medical schools which are free to anyone in latin America
-not the USA’s bitch

Current downsides;

-Govt idiots control everything, don’t really hassle the tourists.
-2 tier money system, 1 for locals, 1 for tourists.
-typical communist place, cannot get anything done business wise.
-import over 60% of their produce, as everyone has degrees they feel it is below them.
-cannot buy anything, think a department store that is 10% full with everything under glass.
-no chocolate anywhere or gum. Only 2-3 kinds of chips.
-even if commies open up you need people to work, and they don’t know how to work hard, see eastern Europe for examples.
-infrastructure is f*cked, just a example accoss the street from the white house, (same guy did the USA’s) you have to watch not to fall into a pit 7-8 feet deep as the sidewalk gave way. Even the white house needs a paint job bad. You can imagine heavy electricity infrastructure is bad too.
-zero building codes.
-no commerce at all, people cast their own parts for their cars.
-snitches and rats all over

Other than that, I have never been to a country where I see so much potential.


Sat, 12/25/2010 - 10:36 | 829613 anony
anony's picture

Life is lots of chocolate.

It ain't got that, might as well let the jungle reclaim it or pave it over.

Cuba, out!


Fri, 12/24/2010 - 20:31 | 828880 qikbucks
qikbucks's picture

I am leaving the US for good in 3 months. I am moving to Spain, not paradise but much better place to live than LA. Thailand and Singapore were other options I was thinking about. I am taking a paycut but, the 6 weeks vacation/year makes up for it. I plan to buy more gold when I get there to hedge my savings. The nice thing is they don't track your gold purchases there. Nice to hear other people are also think of starting a new chapter somewhere else on this globe. Happy Holidays to all.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 20:42 | 828895 bad craziness
bad craziness's picture

Simon Black is not quite correct in his assessment of taxes in NZ. Top tax rate is 33% over 75k. Offshore investments in a NZ trust are beautifully taxed near nil. The other benefit of a NZ trust is that it protects assets from rapacious govts such as US. Any request for information by a foriegn tax jurisdiction of a NZ trust can be met squarely with a middle finger. Slightly socialist - depends on your current level of collective debt. I would put the US with impossible entitlements far further left on the commie continuum than NZ. Chile has not that long ago come off a dictatorship and sits right next door to Argentina who just nationalised private pensions. NZ citizenship and permanent residency also allows free entry to Australia. Six months in NZ over the summer and six months in Australia over the Southern hemisphere winter is about as ideal as ones life can get.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 20:58 | 828914 rodocostarica
rodocostarica's picture

Crazy idea to even think about living in Cuba. It will take years to change.


As pointed out Castro killed Camillo Cienfuegos becuase he was more popular than Fidel (thanks for that post!!) who was a great guy anti commy etc.

And if you even think about living there you will experience untold dissapointments.

Sure go there to enjoy the women and cigars etc but live there  you will waste a lot money and time and get totally fuxxed.




Fri, 12/24/2010 - 21:28 | 828955 lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

deleted / not appropriate

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 22:37 | 829026 antidisestablis...
antidisestablishmentarianismishness's picture

I say we should donate Michigan to the psychotically paranoid gold bugs and let them do whatever they want with it...except leave.  Once they're inside they're there for life, free to forage and hoard and collect ammo and do all other forms of kookiness to their heart's content.  Problem solved.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 22:58 | 829061 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

So, the revealed truth is, "It is good to be local standards."

What staggering wisdom. Who knew?

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 01:34 | 829279 Cursive
Cursive's picture


So, the revealed truth is, "It is good to be local standards."

What staggering wisdom. Who knew?

You just blew the lid off of all this search-for-utopia drivel.  Me, me, me, me.  Mosquito Coast, anyone?

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 22:59 | 829065 meandmy1911
meandmy1911's picture

 Never been to Cuba but the description sounds a lot like Rio. I married a Brazilian a while back and we make the trek down here about once a year. We visit the south part of Rio. It's a beautiful place, good food, and the people are friendly. There is a fair amount of people that understand a little English, but if you know Portuguese you're styling. It's a laid back lifestyle, people aren't really in a rush. It seams pretty chaotic at first but you  get used it to it. Just don't try to compare things to the states you'll drive yourself nuts.And just get used to driving like an asshole and you'll fit right in.  The poverty is pretty extreme. The size and conditions of the slums is hard to grasp. Although I have noticed things seam to be improving over the past few years. People are driving nicer cars and it seams like there is more disposable income. We've thought about moving down here. I'm just not sure what would happen here in a SHTF simuation or if the dollar tanks. Although I think it's in a semi permanent SHTF state for a good portion of the poulation already. It may not change that much.

Did I mention the beaches? The beaches are surreal. They're amazing, white sand, warm crystal clear water, cheap beer, and the hottest women you've ever laid eyes on. Gonna hit it up in the morning. Merry Christmas to all from Rio...

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 00:27 | 829200 trav7777
trav7777's picture

you can do way better in Brazil as far as poverty/HDIs go, try Curitiba or up in the NE.

Hellcife or Salvador are a little more mellow than RJ, and Salvador has the best climate imaginable.  The favelas are a little better-contained there and the crime rates nowhere as high right now.

My experience was that the quality of cars went vertical even over a 6 month period between trips.  Lots of money being made.  We'll see how the development for the WC and Olympics improves Rio; that could be a gold mine.

It's easy enough to remain fairly low-profile and anonymous in the 3rd or 2nd world if you know how to behave.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 23:50 | 829147 rapier
rapier's picture

Helms-Burton codified America's position that all pre revoloution land titles were still in effect.  So some large portion of all land and property in Cuba is owned by Cubans in the US since it was landowners who left and those titles are sitting in safe deposit boxes all over South Florida ready to come out come the day.

This is the unspoken subtext of everything between the US and Cuba. Since there is I believe no private land ownership in China to this day, no new system of land title ever established, whatever comes after the one party government falls will likely be ugly.

Imagine all current native Cubans being told that their cousins own all the land and most of the buildings.  Which side will a rich white American be on or more to the point, what side will the Cubans think they are on. Or maybe they are on their own side and think they might pick up a nice little tabacco farm on the cheap when the time comes.  

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 08:46 | 829512 Frankie Carbone
Frankie Carbone's picture

Ahh, hereditary title, just like the 15th century. And show shall be installed as lord and king?

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 02:04 | 829305 halvord
halvord's picture

Thought you Galteez were going to take over New Hampshire. What happened? Too cold? You didn't want to shiver a bit for your freedom?


Sat, 12/25/2010 - 08:54 | 829514 steve from virginia
steve from virginia's picture

Lessee  ... go to some other country and start a ... what? 'Freedom- oriented community?' What is that? A parking lot? A strip mine? A whorehouse? Be prepared to have a lot of new 'partners'.

Most places have experienced 'Yankees': none but the ugly Americans: Special Ops, 'contractors', oilfield geologists, miners, child- drug- and weapons smugglers, currency 'dealers', lumber 'dealers', escaped criminals, etc. The scum of the earth, in other words. Both peeps and governments in these countries hate Americans and would love to get their hands on some with a sanction of ANY sort.

Other places have directed a stream of emigrants to the US who have sent dollars back, allowing the natives to build big houses and buy large automobiles. People in these places like America and Americans in general. In other words, go to Mexico and stay out of Venezuela.

Why leave America to go to a place that is just like America, the part most people object to? Why not just move to Queens, NY?

Most places on Earth are corrupted with various American religious cults. Be prepared to be compared and contrasted.

The new emigre phenomenon is the agricultural exploiter. Be ready for civil war as these Chinese, Saudis, Russians, etc. become entrenched and begin the resource stripping. This phenomenon is emerging in many S. American countries and throughout Africa. If you are perceived as such be prepared to be killed. Kalashnikovs and RPGs are cheap enough for displaced small farmers to afford.

The final spasm of industrialization's resource grab will leave many (most) countries stripped out industrial sites: pollution, toxic waste, destroyed water resources, etc. Australia, Chile and Argentina are on this list.

Tourist in 'Brand X' country: they love you (your money). As an emigre, you become a competitor, a Gringo. If something goes wrong, you are dead. Yanquis go into the hopper first.

Better to go to Italy or some other Euro country with a declining population. Places in Europe are used to American ideologues and laff at their stupidity in a dialect you will never understand even as they turn their backs on them (you). They won't flay you first then burn your stripped body at the stake in front of your children, however.

Seven billions hungry people means no place to hide. Instead of running away why not try to fix, instead?




Sat, 12/25/2010 - 10:30 | 829604 anony
anony's picture

Fix?    Why not try to re-assemble the fragments and shards of the results of a collision between two or more asteroids?

At least emigration is possible and easily altered, reversed, or modified.

Fix?  Jeeesus.....


Sat, 12/25/2010 - 20:09 | 830038 honestann
honestann's picture

Talk about stereotypes!  Yup, just lump all other countries together and pretend they're the same.  Yeah, that'll work for you, but doesn't convince me.  You see, I've been there, and hung around.

Sure enough, some places are horrible.  Some places are okay, but have one or two major drawbacks.  Nowhere [on earth] is perfect.  But they are not "all the same".  That kind of idea is just as stupid as saying "everywhere in the USSA is the same".  Well, guess what?  That's pure BS.  The many years I lived in Maui and Hawaii did not seem much like what I saw when I passed through Queens, NY... nothing like it, in fact, except people vaguely spoke the same language... barely.

To be sure, lots of americans and western gringos located in other countries are jerks, and do make bad impressions.  However, my general impression from traveling in South America was... people you actually encounter take a lot more time to actually observe you and judge you from your actions than do people inside the USSA.  In other words, the idea they're just gonna identify you as gringo, then kidnap or kill you is pure, unadulterated rubbish!  Sure it can and does happen, rarely.  In the USSA as well as anywhere else.  I don't feel very safe in any city in the world, but I feel quite safe in rural areas of SouthAmerica that I got to know.

Oh, and part of your problem is... you assume every gringo thinks like the normal, trivial, banal, ugly american.  Well, I am nothing like that, and would rather fall over dead than become like that.  Which is part of the reason I and other benevolent people feel more at home with the simpler, more honest and genuine people we meet in the high Andes for example.  They have infinitely more in common with me than you do, for example!

I will not waste my time trying to "fix" jerks who are not looking for honest ways to improve themselves.  Trying to "fix" anything in the USSA is a total waste of time... the predators-that-be have almost total control over the braindead, brainwashed masses who inhabit their game-board.  So I choose to "fix" (meaning "improve") what I have a good chance to improve.  If you had any idea what I'm doing, you'd be blown away.  No, I retract that.  You'd denigrate anything good.  I know your type.

Sun, 12/26/2010 - 11:59 | 830446 Oracle of Kypseli
Oracle of Kypseli's picture

When the American youth defines holly water as: H2Oh!my god, and think that Botticelli and Modigliani are pizza toppings, it's time to get out of the US.

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 09:42 | 829572 Henry Hub
Henry Hub's picture

All Americans should stay well away from Cuba. Cuba is a bad Communist country, unlike China, which is a good Communist country. If you can't tell the difference, then Homeland Security is probably tapping your phone and reading your emails.
Sure there is beautiful weather, warm sunny beaches, beautiful women, great rum and cigars etc. and it is amazingly cheap! But that's only because it's a bad Communist county and Americans stay away. Please keep it that way!
As a Canadian, I've been vacationing there for years. If Americans get the idea it's OK to go there, the game is up. Prices will go through the roof. They will build a Disneyland on Varadaro beach and there will be fat people sitting around swilling Coca-cola.

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 10:48 | 829620 Landrew
Landrew's picture

Honestann, I will be working in the high mountain desert(telescope) in La Serena,Chile for three months starting March.

I am planning on looking at  property and building there. Hopefully this stay will lead to an offer to live there. What tips do you have for me? I have already hooked up with several women to date while I am there, is that a good idea as well?


Sat, 12/25/2010 - 19:52 | 830023 honestann
honestann's picture

Ah, another astonomy/telescope fan!  Me too.  I lived solo at a remote mountaintop observatory for 7 years; loved it.  After my travels just over 1 year ago, my favorite spot in Chile is closer to the big ESO facility up north than CerroTololo, but hey, any serious observatory is pure heaven to me.  All I can say is, if you haven't looked up at the MilkyWay from down there before, be warned - it will blow out your dark adaption!  :-)  Not even MaunaKea comes close.

On the way to CerroTololo were some very nice spots, including near that resevoir along the way if you like water views or waterfront.  Tip:  If you take the risk and move to Chile "permanently" (buy property, become permanent resident, which is easy after 12 months), you will find getting jobs much easier, especially at the observatories, who have to hire a certain percentage of Chileans as part of their contract, but can hardly ever find locals with astro/tele experience.

I have no idea whether hooking up is a good idea or bad idea from your perspective.  That largely depends on what you want, plus the specific individuals you meet.  But don't give gringos a bad name; be honest with everyone and treat everyone with respect.  Please, don't take advantage of anyone.  Yeah, I know, petty theft is fairly common, but that's no excuse to treat all the others badly.

Which telescope are you working at?  Which organization is sending you.  I'm quite the optics, telescope, equipment, automation wizard, and have been most of my life.

As some of my posts noted, I'm also leaving the USSA in late March or April 2011, and so far Chile is high on my list.  I'm trying to find out what kind of "sustainable community" Simon is creating, though  I'll probably end up establishing my own observatory/workshop/home.  Still, I am open to modest collaborations (only a few people).

Enjoy Chile!  Be kind and friendly with all.

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 12:15 | 829621 Landrew
Landrew's picture

Sorry, repeat

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 11:47 | 829671 Mercury
Mercury's picture

I've written pretty extensively on this before but I'm too lazy to dig it up just now.  Cuba is in a perfect position to beat the Yankee Capitalists at their own game right now.  Specifically, by developing, an off-shore, ex-ObamaCare medical services industry.  There are a lot of highly trained medical "professionals" in Cuba already as this has been a pet cause of Castro's since day one.  Just servicing the clientele in Florida alone is a potential blockbuster.

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 12:10 | 829699 JohnKing
JohnKing's picture

There are a lot of highly trained medical "professionals" in Cuba


hehe...yes, everyone is a "doctor", sit in a state run school for a given period, presto! You be a DOCTOR!

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 12:19 | 829713 Flubber
Flubber's picture

Any comments about Uruguay??  I know an older guy from the gym that is well-to-do and raves about Uruguay.  He also has a ranch down there.  Said in his area, almost everyone speaks English.  Much of the European influence is from Switzerland.  I would like to check it out myself someday.....

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 13:03 | 829767 Nostradumbass
Nostradumbass's picture



Waiting to buy for the first couple years or more after retirement seems to be a somewhat overlooked idea. My wife and I are planning to stay in several different places for at least a season before we even consider buying in. No hurry, renting/leasing is affordable and allows freedom.

South/Central America, BC, Canada, Hawaii are top on our list for potential permanent settling.

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 13:21 | 829788 Gordon_Gekko
Gordon_Gekko's picture

the one country which currently best exemplifies Regan's "evil empire. "

When, all along, the real "evil empire" was the United States itself... 

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 13:50 | 829806 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture


It takes awhile to get meat through the disgestive track.

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 18:01 | 829991 kiwidor
kiwidor's picture

Simon Black is the kind of globe-trotting twat we don't need in NZ; we have enough of them already.  The idea that this country is socialist shows that Black hasn't even  scratched the surface of the veneer of NZ.  This is a country built by speculators, for speculators.  NZ'rs are some of the meanest, nastiest people on the planet.  They are not socialist , because that implies some kind of society.  No, these are the people who will put their children in clothesdriers, and turn the dryer on, to punish the child.  A crying child is a nuisance, not somethign to be comforted.  They would not lend their family members a dime, and the more well off they are, the more that applies.  [anything granted will be governed by the complex rules of a trust]

These people will ignore the cries for help of their own neighbors.  They will bash you for a word out of place.  The alcohol problems here are well known, and ignored with systematised premeditation. typical boozer can down 8 litres of cider in a day. How about 5 or 6 litres of wine?  Not difficult to find 1/2 a dozen people like that - even 10 minutes walk from me.  Drinking usually starts at age 13 (used to be 13 to 16 for males)  but can be as young as 8 or 10. 

NZ'rs will not even share food with their kin.  Literally, it comes down to "it's MY piece of bread".

Huge swathes of Auckland area are Crystal Meth zones.  Christchurch is the heroin and methadone-treatment-program capital of NZ.  Historically, a lot of junk was injected in Invercargill and Dunedin, because the weather is crap there, and there's nothing to do.  But it's all under the surface, and no 3week jaunt is gonna come close to revealing it.

Much social policy was wrought by the 'Purple Mafia'; some of the ugliest and most resentful bulldykes in the galaxy.  While some see 'socialist' the reality is 'anti-male'.  Men in NZ have no rights unless they are policemen, and even then they risk having a short-haired deep-voiced female railing at them all day.

God help you if you come here, because no one else will.

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 21:11 | 830076 gwar5
gwar5's picture

Ha. Ha. Enjoyed that read! 

The Maoris were cannibals, maybe one of them mistook the dryer for a microwave. Could be NZs are so dysfunctional because of the socialism. First thing to do is stop the purple haired bullies from imposing genital apartheid.

I had a chance to stop in NZ on way back from Oz but went to Fiji instead. Still regret it.

Sat, 12/25/2010 - 21:13 | 830077 gwar5
gwar5's picture

I keep hearing Chile, Chile Chile.  I just need to F'ing go.

Sun, 12/26/2010 - 08:54 | 830371 celticgold
celticgold's picture

 hell all the Kiwi's with any with any ambition left for australia years ago ,they go back to buy property and rent it to the gormless. it is a beautiful place physically , but so was anna nicole smith .  they do have nice shootin irons tho.

Sun, 12/26/2010 - 08:59 | 830374 anony
anony's picture

There are probably some sub-species that considered Anna Nicole beautiful physically but I'd venture a guess that few were male human beans.

Sun, 12/26/2010 - 08:56 | 830372 anony
anony's picture

"No matter where you go, there YOU are."

Sun, 12/26/2010 - 10:31 | 830408 TumblingDice
TumblingDice's picture

I don't know about settling down, but if you are tired of America, or wherever it is you hail from and have not had the pleasure to eating fermented spicy cabbage Korea might just be the place for you. Don't know about these self sufficient communities but if you want to live it up just go to Korea.

Korea works hard and it parties hard. Everybody is friendly and receptive. I have travelled a fair amount in my life and Seoul and Busan are definitely very high on my list of places with lots of energy and a good vibe. Korea has gone the opposite way that America has in terms of its economy. American economy became centrally planned, Korea economy has become more market oriented. American economy has become stale while the Korean economy is growing. I wouldn't call it a developing country become technologically Korea is at least on the level if not better than America. Anyways it is a great option if you are a strapping young lad out of college facing a frozen job market back in the states like myself.

Sun, 12/26/2010 - 15:32 | 830652 theworldisnotenough
theworldisnotenough's picture

The second thing is that the ridiculous trade embargo needs to be lifted.  I'm convinced that Barack Obama is keeping this card as his ace in the hole, and he'll use it in 2012 if the Presidential race is tight. Lifting the embargo  would help him tremendously with the Latino vote and likely win over Florida


Cubans vote Republican and they do so because they see Republicans as against the Castro regime which is why they left in the first place. A removal of the trade embargo will allow the Castro regime to thrive and would surely lose Barack Obama the Cuban vote.

Mon, 12/27/2010 - 06:49 | 831389 Bahamas
Bahamas's picture

Nassau in the Bahamas is pretty much like an American colony, but the out islands are a very well kept secret. I am from Italy, but already got myself a house in south Eleuthera. Can't wait to retire to go live there, to grow my field and catch my fish.

Plenty of freedom, fish, land, excellent climate, friendly people which also happen to be very few, as most of the population moved to Nassau.

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