Things That Matter

Countries Are Warning Their Citizens About Traveling To The US Because We Are A ‘Gun Society’

Just days after two mass shootings that left 31 people dead, multiple foreign countries are issuing warnings to their citizens about traveling to the United States. Venezuela, Uruguay and Japan have all released statements urging its citizens to postpone or reconsider trips to the U.S. after the “recent acts of violence.”

Here’s why some countries are calling on their citizens to reconsider making their way to the U.S anytime soon.

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The Venezuelan government has advised its citizens to “avoid visiting some cities that are among the 20 most dangerous in the world.” The list includes Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore, St. Louis, Oakland, Memphis, Birmingham, Atlanta, Stockton and Buffalo, “ which is all in reference to a Forbes 2019 article.

“These growing acts of violence have found echo and sustenance in the speeches and actions impregnated with racial discrimination and hatred against migrant populations, pronounced and executed from the supremacist elite who hold political power in Washington,” the country’s foreign ministry wrote in a statement. “This year alone, these actions have cost the lives of more than 250 people.”

“We warn Venezuelans, living in or aiming to travel to the U.S., to be extra careful or to postpone their travel, given the recent proliferation of violent acts and hate crimes,” Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro tweeted Monday.

The warning from Maduro came shortly before the White House announced that President Trump signed an executive order that expanded sanctions against the country. Back in April, the U.S. State Department also issued a warning to Venezuela when it came to travel. The U.S. gave Venezuela a Level 4: Do Not Travel, which is it’s most severe travel advisory due to crime, civil unrest and the arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens.

On the same day that Venezuela advised a travel warning, Uruguay followed suit. The country said those who visit the U.S. must take “extreme precautions” because local authorities are unable to stop mass shootings.

Credit: @washingtonpost / Twitter

The Uruguayan government has also issued a similar warning about the increasing dangers if they are making a trip to the U.S in the near future. In a statement, the foreign ministry told people to be extra cautious if traveling to the U.S. because of its “increasing indiscriminate violence” and “racism and discrimination that cost the lives of more than 250 people in the first seven months of this year.”

The Uruguayan government specifically said to take notice and urged citizens to avoid places that have a large concentration of people such as theme parks, malls, concerts, religious activities, food festivals, sports events, and large city protests. Just a few days ago, the U.S. State Department raised its travel advisory level for Uruguay “due to an increase in crime,” from a Level 1 warning (exercise normal precautions) to Level 2 (exercise increased caution).

Japan has also issued a warning citing the U.S as a “gun society” and it’s lack of control when it comes to shootings.

Credit: @dailysabah / Twitter

The Japanese Consul in Detroit also issued an alert quickly after news of a second shooting broke. The Consul said Japanese citizens “should be aware of the potential for gunfire” everywhere in the U.S., which they described as a “gun society,” according to the Los Angeles Times. But the Japanese government currently still lists travel to the U.S. as safe. 

This isn’t the first time that countries have gone forward to issue travel warnings because of gun violence in the country. France, New Zealand, and Germany have previously issued travel advisories to the U.S. shortly after mass shootings. 

Among the 22 people that were killed in El Paso, eight were Mexican nationals. Foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard has even suggested that Mexico may even seek to charge the El Paso shooter, Patrick Crusius, with committing terrorist acts against its citizens.

“It is not our disposition to involve ourselves in the internal affairs of any country, but this topic should be considered again because it affects many people, in this case, Americans, as well as Mexicans,” Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, said on Monday.

The deadly attacks over the weekend occurred at a shopping center in El Paso, Texas, and a popular housing complex in Dayton, Ohio. The El Paso and Dayton killings have added to what has already been an increasingly deadly year for mass killings in the U.S.

READ: After The Mass Shooting In El Paso, ‘Amor Eterno’ Becomes An Anthem Bringing Latinx Communities Together

Travel Restrictions Limit Americans To Only Flying Into Havana But Sube Let’s Americans Explore The Island

Things That Matter

Travel Restrictions Limit Americans To Only Flying Into Havana But Sube Let’s Americans Explore The Island

subecuba / Instagram

The progression of Cuba’s modern world has been a slow one, but it’s also been eager to thrive thanks to the younger generation. The integration of the internet didn’t arrive on the island until the late aughts. Back then, when U.S. relations with Cuba became friendlier under the Obama Administration, it looked as if Cuba was ready to get online. However, it wasn’t until 2007 that Cuba decided to team up with Venezuela in order for the country to help them venture into the digital age. Now, under the Trump Administration, who is putting the breaks on the Cuba/U.S. relationship, the Cuban people have something more to aspire to. 

A Cuban startup has launched a cab service that will help tourists get around the island now that the Trump Administration has blocked airline travel to all areas of Cuba except Havana.

Credit: subecuba / Instagram

The company is called Sube (which translations to “get on” or “hop on”), and it’s basically a ride-share service like Uber and Lyft, although their intention is to seek out tourists who wish to visit the areas outside of Havana. 

Late last year, the Trump Administration issued a travel ban throughout the island, which meant that American airlines could only fly into Havana. All other airports in Cuba were forbidden. The announcement didn’t automatically erase flights that were already booked. U.S. travelers can only arrive in Havana, so if they have plans outside of the capital, getting there is trickier and expensive. The solution is Sube. 

Sube wants tourists to know that their service is safe and that they can provide an exciting and fun way to get around the island.

Credit: subecuba / Instagram

“Sube is a ridesharing app founded in Cuba,” their About section states. “Our drivers will help you move around safely and fast while sharing their knowledge of our customs and culture.”

One of the most popular attractions in Cuba is their vintage cars. So how can these old cars keep up with this new motive of transportation? Sube owners say all cars, vintage ones as well, are in perfect condition and can drive long distances. All drivers have verified licenses as well. 

The app launched in 2018, and since then, the app has been downloaded at least 10,000 times and so far has 6,000 registered users.

Credit: subecuba / Instagram

“We knew the trouble people go through in Cuba to get to work every day, to get home, or if they just want to go out,” Claudia Cuevas Alarcón told NBC News. Aside from Cuevas Alarcón, a 27-year-old, Sube’s creators include 26-year-old Damián Martín, 26, and 27-year-old Darién González. 

What makes this company even more fascinating is that these young entrepreneurs have found a way to work the system to their benefit. For example, U.S. credit cards are prohibited on the island, which means travelers can only use cash. 

Sube creators registered their company in the U.S., so this makes it possible for travelers to download the app before they leave their home country, upload their credit card information. Once they arrive on the island, they have already reserved their car service, and the exchange of payment is not needed. 

It’s not just tourists who use the app, locals are using Sube to get around the island as well.

Credit: subecuba / Instagram

“If you are visiting Cuba this December, move with SUBE and pay from abroad,” one of their beautiful Instagram posts says. “We have 70 registered and available taxis, which will make your trips more enjoyable and safe. You can book them before your arrival at the airport, until departure. Do not hesitate.”

Other ways to use Sube is pretty straightforward. You can use Whatsapp or Facebook to reserve a cab. Travel experts also suggest that if you’re traveling to Cuba, you should also download apps that will help not only with travel information but translation, money exchange, and texting capabilities. Here are some useful apps that extremely useful: Maps.me, XE currency, Google Translate, Pocket, Havanatrans, Zapya, AlaMesa, CubaMessenger, and ProtonVPN. And, of course, Whatsapp and Airbnb. 

It’s very exciting to see young Cubans not allowing connectivity or travel regulations (or any sort of limitation) stop them from progressing into a new frontier of digital capabilities.

READ: The Trump Administration Took Another Swipe At Cuba By Banning Almost All Flights To The Island

Drones And Security Cameras Will Monitor Machu Picchu After Tourists Were Caught Pooping On Ancient Site

Culture

Drones And Security Cameras Will Monitor Machu Picchu After Tourists Were Caught Pooping On Ancient Site

The Peruvian government is stepping up its security at Machu Picchu after some tourists pooped on the ancient site. Six tourists were arrested after human feces were found in a sacred room in the ancient site. Now, Peru is turning to technology to make sure they can preserve the site form further defacement.

Security cameras and drones are going to keep a close eye on Machu Picchu after six tourists defecated in a sacred room.

Credit: @nypost / Twitter

Five tourists were deported to Bolivia after the feces was discovered in the Temple of the Sun. The temple was used by the Incans to perform ceremonies in the citadel. One tourist was fined $360 and an additional $1,500 owed to the cultural ministry after he knocked a panel from the wall that cracked the floor. The tourists are four men and two women from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and France.

The citadel in the Peruvian mountains is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world.

Credit: Giphy

Around 1.4 million people visited Machu Picchu in 2016 with an average of 5,000 people walking the paths of the citadel daily. The ancient site has seen a fast increase of tourists over the years with fewer than 200,000 people visiting in 1993.

Some people are really leaning into the comedy of the whole situation.

Credit: @LightsOut / Twitter

It is very important to make sure you treat ancient sites like Machu Picchu with respect. They are part of the larger story of human history on the planet. It is even more important to be a responsible visitor when you are traveling from a foreign country. However, the woman makes a point.

Some folks are offering up some suggestions to curb any future public defecation.

Credit: @ZombieSpaceWolf / Twitter

Portable toilets do seem like a good idea. People need to go to the bathroom and offering a place for them to do so could cut down on human waste on the landmark.

Some are being a little more strict with how they’d save the cultural site.

Credit: @redhsiao / Twitter

This seems too extreme. How do you expect to close Machu Picchu from the public entirely? Imagine the loss of revenue to Peru from closing Machu Picchu.

Basically, prepare to see something like this over the skies of Machu Picchu.

Credit: Giphy

Güau. How beautiful.

READ: These Tourists Thought It Would Be Funny To Poop Inside A Temple In Machu Picchu: They’re Facing Prison Time