Cuba a wonderful, eye-opening experience

I read with interest Catherine Watson’s article on Cuba in the L.A. Times [“Looking in Again,” May 10]. We recently toured Cuba with a Road Scholar group, and it was a wonderful, eye-opening experience.

However, I beg to differ with Watson — Cuba is definitely a Third World country. Before it can handle an influx of American tourists, Cuba will have to rebuild its infrastructure.

Plumbing is ancient and primitive in many places, and there are not nearly enough hotel rooms to handle many more tourists. Many buildings are crumbling and need repair or replacement.

The people are friendly and upbeat and bear no grudge against the U.S., even though we’ve done everything possible to destroy their economy over the last 50 years.


Hopefully, all this will change for the better in the near future.

Michael Sulman

Rancho Palos Verdes



Thank you, Travel, for the series of fine articles on Cuba. How refreshing that six out of eight photos published include people engaged in activity.

Makes me want to pack my bags and visit Cuba tomorrow.

David Tulanian

Los Angeles


Another perk

Good article on extra credit card perks by Eric Rosen [“Give Your Card More Credit,” May 10].

Another thing that’s often offered is an extended warranty of up to one additional year on your purchases.

If a product purchased has a six-month guarantee, you will be given an additional six months. If your guarantee is for one year, your card will extend that to two years. For anything over one year to about three years, you’ll get an additional year.


I’ve used this guarantee on American Express for a high-end blender. Amex simply put a credit on my account and said we could dispose of the blender.

William Tell


Here’s the scoop


Your Weekend Escape [“A Grande Stay,” by Marc Stirdivant, May 10] on Arroyo Grande, Calif., did not mention Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab. We have been there, and it is delightful.

Andrea Goodwin

Palm Desert

Toxic reef fish


Like most of the Sunday Travel section readers, I look for interesting information to enhance my travel as well as make it safer. Most readers like myself had no idea that eating some reef fish found in tropical and semitropical waters might cause a debilitating food-borne illness called ciguatera, which is caused by a toxin that is odorless, tasteless and not destroyed by heat.

Unfortunately, my wife and I discovered it within hours of eating grouper in the Bahamas three weeks ago. There is no cure, the symptoms are many, and the toxin remains in your body for months and even years.

Barracuda, some snapper, moray eels, grouper, amberjack and other species are the most likely to be poisonous.

Bob Helper