Beekman Trip of a Lifetime: Cuba
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Discover Cuba on an adventure of a lifetimeDownload full PDF brochure here.
Dates are 3/8/17 - 3/14/17. Spaces still available.
If you desire more information before booking, please contact us at email@example.com.
The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
- Saint Augustine
We love to travel, and we try to make every single trip a "trip of a lifetime," during which we relax, learn, eat & discover like never before. Plus, we always make it a point to give something back to our host country as well.
Recently the United States lifted the restrictions that had prohibited American travel to Cuba for over 50 years. We think time is running out to see and experience the authentic Cuba before the influx of tourism turns it into an entirely different place. It’s a rare moment in history that we get to witness--and there are relatively few of those opportunities in life.
This "frozen in time allure" of Cuba also makes for difficult travel. So, since we also like to travel with as little stress as possible, we're working with a great partner to manage every single aspect of the trip. Ian Sergeant has been leading medical volunteer and missionary trips to the island for almost a decade. Working with him we planned out a trip that included everything that Beekman 1802 represents: learning from and appreciating other people and ways, finding good food starting from the ground up, giving back, and treating yourself like the good person you are.
As plans for the trip were being finalized, we realized what we came up with was a trip unlike anyone else would ever make to Cuba. Since we had done all this work, we decided to invite people along...namely, our Beekman neighbors!
Dates are 3/8/17 - 3/14/17.
PLEASE NOTE: Josh + Brent travel ONLY with the first iteration of each Trip of a Lifetime. They are not part of this experience. The next opportunity to travel with Brent + Josh is on the Trip of a Lifetime: India next March
All meals except one dinner are included. Museum/club entry fees, and other group costs are also included in the trip price. Optional nights out are paid by the traveler. Roundtrip airfare/ferry between US gateway city and Havana is not included in trip price, but we will provide full assistance in organizing your travel. We take care of as much as possible so that you can relax. Price is per person, double occupancy. For a single room, add $695. If you would like to share a room, it is your responsibility to find a travel partner. While we do our best to adhere to the itinerary listed here, traveling in Cuba requires flexibility, and changes to our scheduled activities may occur.
NOTE: due to infrastructure limitations in Cuba, elements of the itinerary may change slightly to adapt to unexpected circumstances
Once I reserve my Trip of a Lifetime, what happens next?
After your trip is reserved you will receive a participant information form and a detailed travel information booklet via e-mail. The booklet will contain everything you need to know, including details about how to contact our expert travel agent to book your flight, travel insurance, a packing list, Cuban currency, and much more. Final trip details will be sent to you a few weeks before departure.
What do I need to pack?
The travel information booklet you’ll receive will include a suggested packing list and other important details. Some people like to bring items to donate. Rest assured that a small percentage of the trip price already covers donations to community projects in Cuba that we will visit. Our travel organizers will arrange for the delivery of those donations. If you would like to bring more, we embrace your humanitarian ambitions, and you will find suggestions in the travel information booklet.
Who is eligible for travel?
We welcome anyone with a passion for travel, a curiosity about Cuba, and a love for all things Beekman. We encourage you to read through the itinerary to ensure that you will be able to participate in the activities scheduled, and we will gladly make reasonable accommodations for those with physical challenges.
Will I need a Cuban visa?
After you book your flight with our expert travel agent, we will have your visa mailed to the address you provided on the application.
Do I need to purchase trip insurance?
Having travel insurance goes a long way. Although unlikely to occur, emergency evacuations and repatriation can cost close to $100,000. For peace of mind, we request that you purchase travel insurance before the Trip of a Lifetime. In your travel information booklet, you will find a few agency contacts that have been recommended by past travelers. Please make sure that you are covered for medical, as Cuba now requires it. The best insurance is one that you don't use. We do our best, based on years of experience and research, to create a safe and fun experience for you in the beautiful island nation of Cuba.
What are the Terms & Conditions?
If participant cancels for any reason, he or she must notify us in writing. This can be done via email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail sent to 3519 NE 15th Ave #263 Portland, OR 97212. The cancellation will be effective upon our receipt of the written notification. Soltura Travel incurs substantial administrative and planning costs prior to the departure of PARTICIPANT. Therefore, regrettably, if PARTICIPANT cancels his or her participation in the Cuba Tour, funds paid by PARTICIPANT to Soltura Travel can be refunded only as set forth below: ● $250 of the amount paid per traveler is non-refundable. PARTICIPANT may apply this amount to another Soltura Travel Cuba Tour to be scheduled to depart within 365 days of the original scheduled start date, subject to space availability. ● If we receive your cancellation notice ninety-one (91) days or more from the Tour departure date, we will refund one hundred percent (100%) of the Tour price minus the $250 non-refundable processing fee, to the extent that you have made that payment. ● If we receive your cancellation notice ninety (90) to sixty-one (61) days prior to the departure date, we will retain thirty percent (30%) of the Tour price based on double occupancy, excluding optional payments. ● If we receive your cancellation notice sixty (60) to thirty-one (31) days prior to the departure date, we will retain fifty percent (50%) of the Tour price based on double occupancy. ● If we receive your cancellation notice thirty (30) days or fewer prior to the departure date, we will retain one hundred percent (100%) of the Tour price. All terms and conditions can be found at http://solturatravel.com/terms-and-conditions/
What does the trip cost include?
Accommodations, all group meals, museum/club entry fees, expert guides, ground transportation, bottled drinking water, and other group costs are covered. Additionally, gratuities for restaurant service, drivers, and general group activities is included (travelers may tip guides and musicians as you deem appropriate based on your satisfaction). We will connect you with our experienced travel agent to arrange transportation to/from Havana, Cuba. Upon registration, we will send you a pre-trip information packet to help inform you and prepare you for an amazing cross-cultural experience. We take care of as much as possible so that you can relax. Price is per person, double occupancy. For a single room, add $695. We prefer to keep group numbers small in order to ensure an authentic cultural experience. We cap the trip at 10 travelers (for comparison, most other Cuba tour companies cap groups at 20 or more people).
What is cellphone and internet access like in Cuba?
If you need to call the US while you are in Cuba, you will pay around $3 per minute, and if the need arises, we can help arrange this. Additionally, the owner of your bed and breakfast can assist you, or you can go to any hotel and ask the front desk to make the call for you. We will provide you with a list of phone contacts in Cuba to share with the folks back home just in case they need to reach you. Email is by far the better option for communicating between Cuba and the US. Internet is expanding, but currently it is available primarily in hotels. Upon request, we will provide you with a one-hour internet card, which can be broken up into different periods while you are in Cuba.
Where will we stay?
Bed and breakfasts, called “casa particulares” in Cuba, offer better accommodations than many hotels, and allow travelers a glimpse into Cuban life. We have carefully vetted all of the accommodations for quality and friendliness, and we have worked with most of these lovely people for years. You will have a private bathroom attached to your room, and you can look forward to a generous breakfast in your casa every morning before the group meets for the day. Our trip will also include a hotel stay at world-class hotel with high standards for quality.
Is Cuba safe?
Cuba has a robust and friendly internal security force, as well as cameras on many street corners. The penalty for committing crimes against tourists is very high. In other words, Cuba is quite safe. Like many places, do be aware of the potential for pickpockets in crowded areas.
Can I bring rum and cigars back from Cuba?
Yes! The recent changes in US policy now allow you to bring back up to $400 in goods for personal use. There is however a limit of $100 for alcohol and tobacco products, but with the relatively low prices for these goods in Cuba, most people will find that they have an ample amount of souvenirs to bring home with them.
Do I need to know Spanish?
Never a bad idea to be able to speak some words of the place you are visiting. However, please do not let it be a matter of worry, as we will offer Spanish-English interpreters and guides with us nearly the entire time we are in Cuba.
What if there is a medical emergency while I’m in Cuba?
You may have heard about Cuba’s fantastic health system. Due to their fame in public health access, tourists started inadvertently draining the system. Cuba now requires visitors to have travel health insurance, and they randomly ask for proof of insurance at the airport. If you do not have travel health insurance, you can purchase it from Asistur upon arrival at the airport in Havana for about $4.50/day. Know that even without insurance, an ambulance trip to urgent care, x-rays, a visit with a specialist, and a prescription in total will cost less than $200 for top notch Cuban healthcare.
So what’s up with the recent legal changes with regard to travel to Cuba?
Unfortunately, it will legally take an act of Congress to end the US embargo against Cuba. The US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) continues to tightly regulate legal travel to Cuba. Unless travelers are visiting Cuba under one of the 12 general OFAC licenses, they can still be fined very heavily. On the Beekman Trip of a Lifetime, we will travel to Cuba observing the General People-to-People license, and Soltura Cuba Travel will ensure that we are abiding by the Treasury’s regulations. For our security, Soltura Cuba Travel will maintain records of our itinerary for five years, just in case we need it.
By Purchasing a Ticket you have accepted the Terms and Conditions below.
Terms and Conditions These Terms and Conditions apply to all Soltura Educational People-to-People Travel Programs, henceforth known in this agreement as “Cuba Tours.” By registering and paying for one of our Cuba Tours, you are entering into this Participant Agreement with us. Please read these terms carefully before making a deposit or payment for a Cuba Tour. Pricing and Inclusions: Published Cuba Tour prices are per person, double occupancy except where indicated. Prices include professional services of our specialty travel agent, Cuba entry visa, and expenses while you are with the Cuba Tour group, which will include lodging, all meals, transportation, and entry fees into cultural institutions during scheduled group activities. Additionally, prices include programming, planning, handling and operational charges and are based on current rates of exchange, tariffs and taxes in effect at the time of publication. We reserve the right to increase Cuba Tour prices to cover increased costs, tariffs, and taxes received after prices are published and to reflect fluctuations in foreign exchange markets. We will not give a breakdown in the price of a Cuba Tour or its parts. Modification of Cuba Tour content size will not affect the published price. Exclusions: Published Cuba Tour prices exclude: required travel insurance; U.S. domestic airfare, international airfare, and other transportation that you may take to and from the starting location of your Cuba Tour (unless otherwise noted); costs associated with obtaining passports or replacement entry visas; excess baggage charges; gratuities to the Cuba Tour directors, drivers and guides; meals other than those specified in the Itinerary; sightseeing not included in the Itinerary; and personal expenses such as laundry, communication charges and optional activities (which are subject to availability). PARTICIPANT is responsible for transportation costs to the start location in Miami or other designated gateway city. The PARTICIPANT is also solely responsible for any airfare or other travel fees, charges, expenses or penalties that might result from any cancellation of or change in the PARTICIPANT’s Cuba Tour, whether the PARTICIPANT cancels the Cuba Tour or it is cancelled or altered by Soltura Travel.
Travel Insurance: PARTICIPANTS are required purchase travel insurance that will cover any medical expenses not covered by your personal medical insurance while in Cuba. Basic medical insurance may be purchased upon arrival in the Havana airport. Although Soltura Travel may provide a list of possible travel insurance providers, it is the sole responsibility of the PARTICIPANT, and not of Soltura Travel to research and responsibly choose an insurance provider. Most travel insurance providers will be able to cover general medical care in Cuba, as well as emergency trip cancellation. Any questions about what travel insurance does or does not cover should be addressed directly to the travel insurance company. If you decline insurance coverage, you will personally assume full responsibility for any financial loss associated with your travel arrangements, and you could lose your travel investment and/or have to pay more money to correct the situation.
Registration and Payments: By purchasing space on one of our Cuba Tours, the PARTICIPANT has agreed to pay the applicable PROGRAM fee in consideration of Soltura Travel providing the opportunity for the PARTICIPANT to participate in Soltura Travel’s Cuba Tour, inclusive of accommodations and other services for the PARTICIPANT as set forth below. Payment is due at the time of registration. If payment in full for the Cuba Trip is not received within three days of trip registration, the PARTICIPANT’s reservation on the Cuba Tour may be cancelled.
Single Travelers: Tour prices are based on double occupancy. Single travelers will be required to pay the single supplement fee.
Cancellation and Refund: Soltura Travel reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to reject an individual at any time prior to departure, or to cancel the Cuba Tour in which a PARTICIPANT is scheduled to participate. In the unlikely event of such a cancellation by Soltura Travel, or if a PARTICIPANT has been rejected, the total amount paid to Soltura Travel (less overhead costs) will be refunded, unless the cancellation is due to non-payment of the Cuba Tour by the due date or is due to governmental action beyond Soltura Travel’s control, in which case the amount refunded will be reduced to the extent Soltura Travel has incurred expenses in organizing the Cuba Tour. Other than such a refund, Soltura Travel will not be responsible to a PARTICIPANT for any other refund, costs, interest, liability or damages of any kind. No refunds will be made for unused portions of the PROGRAM for any reason. Flight package costs are non-transferable. Cancellation by You: If PARTICIPANT cancels for any reason, he or she must notify Soltura Travel in writing. The cancellation will be effective upon Soltura Travel’s receipt of the written notification at its office in Portland, Oregon, USA. Soltura Travel incurs substantial administrative and planning costs prior to the departure of PARTICIPANT. Therefore, regrettably, if PARTICIPANT cancels his or her participation in the Cuba Tour, funds paid by PARTICIPANT to Soltura Travel can be refunded only as set forth below. ● $250 of the amount paid per traveler is non-refundable. PARTICIPANT may apply this amount to another Soltura Travel Cuba Tour to be scheduled to depart within 365 days of the original scheduled start date, subject to space availability. ● If we receive your cancellation notice ninety-one (91) days or more from the Tour departure date, we will refund one hundred percent (100%) of the Tour price minus the $250 non-refundable processing fee, to the extent that you have made that payment. ● If we receive your cancellation notice ninety (90) to sixty-one (61) days prior to the departure date, we will retain thirty percent (30%) of the Tour price based on double occupancy, excluding optional payments. ● If we receive your cancellation notice sixty (60) to thirty-one (31) days prior to the departure date, we will retain fifty percent (50%) of the Tour price based on double occupancy. ● If we receive your cancellation notice thirty (30) days or fewer prior to the departure date, we will retain one hundred percent (100%) of the Tour price. ● Any penalty imposed by an airline, including for airline service between points on the Tour (“Internal Air”) or travel to or from the Tour, is your responsibility. Your decision not to participate on the Cuba Tour due to State Department warnings, fear of travel, illness or any other reason will be deemed a cancellation. If a flight or other delay for any reason prevents you from joining the Cuba Tour on the Tour departure date and time, you will be considered a no-show, and we cannot provide a full or partial refund or credit toward a future Tour, but you may join the Tour late if you wish.
Cancellation or Substitution by Us: We will make commercially reasonable efforts to keep the Itinerary as it has been published; however, the final Itinerary may vary due to availability and factors beyond our control. We may in our sole discretion substitute services such as hotels or goods of similar quality for any service or good stated in the Itinerary. You will not be refunded in whole or in part when this happens. We reserve the right to cancel any Cuba Tour because of inadequate enrollment that makes the trip economically infeasible to operate or because of our concerns with respect to the safety, health or welfare of our travelers or staff. If we cancel a Tour, our liability is limited to a full refund of your payments to us and we will not be liable for any other costs, damages or refunds of any kind for any loss, delay, inconvenience, disappointment or expense whatsoever in such circumstances. If a Tour in progress must be interrupted or canceled, our liability shall be strictly limited to refund of the recoverable cost of any unused portion of the Tour. It is very important that a PARTICIPANT understands the cancellation policy. If it is not clear, the PARTICIPANT should ask for clarification. Soltura Travel cannot make exceptions to this cancellation policy for any reason, including medical emergencies. Medical Evacuation insurance and Trip Cancellation insurance is not included in the Cuba Tour fee. As such, Soltura Travel STRONGLY URGES THE PARTICIPANT TO PURCHASE TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE.
Group Travel Arrangements to Havana: This information applies if explicitly stated on a specific Cuba Tour that we are including airfare from the U.S. to Cuba. Direct flights to Cuba from the U.S. are operated by an OFAC-authorized Carrier Service Provider (Charter Company) and are arranged by an OFAC- authorized Travel Service Provider (TSP). Charter flight times are authorized on a monthly basis by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Cuban Government, and the Office of Foreign Assets Control. Soltura Travel strongly encourages PARTICIPANTS to wait until flight times are communicated to make domestic flight arrangements. Soltura Travel is not responsible for any missed, delayed or cancelled flights.
Baggage: We assume no liability for loss or damage to baggage in transit to and from a Tour or while on a Tour. We recommend purchasing a supplemental travel insurance package.
Passports and U.S. and Cuban Visas: PARTICIPANTS are solely responsible for complying with passport and visa requirements. For U.S. travelers, international travel requires a passport valid six (6) months beyond your intended return travel date. It is recommended that you check with the U.S. Department of State website for the latest passport and visa requirements. PARTICIPANTS holding a passport from a foreign country; green card, U.S. visa, or special-use passport are solely responsible for understanding the limitations imposed on their passport, green card, U.S. visa, or special-use passport regarding re-entry back into the United States. Soltura Travel cannot be held liable for a PARTICIPANT who is refused service by the Carrier Service Provider or refused entry into Cuba because of a restricted U.S. visa or Passport or denial of a visa by the Cuban government. In the event the PARTICIPANT is refused entry to Cuba because of Visa or Passport issues or denial of a visa by the Cuban government, applicable cancellation penalties may apply. PARTICIPANT is responsible for having on his or her person proper documentation to enter Cuba as well as to re-enter the United States, and proper documentation to travel via a third country (if applicable) to Cuba. Soltura Travel will connect PARTICIPANT with a licensed TSP to apply for a Cuban visa from the Cuban government before departure, and Soltura Travel will include the price of the visa in the trip price. The Cuban Government retains the right to grant or deny visas.
Cuban-born Participants: PARTICIPANT acknowledges that the Cuban Government imposes different requirements for Cuban-born persons traveling to Cuba than others, and that such a person obtaining a Cuban visa, if needed, can take a minimum of 8 to 12 weeks. Soltura Travel suggests that all Cuban-born persons wishing to participate in our Cuba Tours contact an expert in applicable laws for more information. Soltura Travel is not responsible for any information it provides to participants in this regard, or for any delay or denial in the issuance of a Cuban visa, if required.
Changes to Programs: We endeavor to operate Cuba Tours as outlined herein. However, circumstances beyond our control may require an adjustment to the Cuba Tour or its inclusions. We strive to avoid such changes, but must reserve the right to make such modifications. If a PARTICIPANT cancels his or her participation in the Cuba Tour because of a change that Soltura Travel or a Supplier that we work with, normal cancellation penalties will apply. We must reserve the right to substitute hotels and places of interest in our planned itineraries if necessary.
Active Elements, Medical Conditions and Special Assistance: Some of our Tours incorporate active elements such as extensive walking and hiking in a sunny, tropical setting; PARTICIPANTS are responsible for becoming familiar with the level of activity that will be involved in your Tour. You must disclose in your Participant Information Form (or at such later time when you become aware of such a condition) any existing physical or mental illness, disability, pregnancy or any other condition which may create a health hazard for yourself or others during the Tour or for which you may require medical attention or special accommodation during the Tour. Soltura Travel will make reasonable efforts to accommodate your needs, but does not guarantee that these needs will be met, and is not responsible for any denial of services by airline charter companies, Cuban carriers, hotels, and other independent suppliers. You must notify us at the time of booking for a determination of what assistance we can reasonably provide. We regret that we cannot accommodate you if you have special needs for ordinary daily activities, such as walking and dining. In no instance will our Suppliers or we be responsible for physically lifting or assisting you onto or off any vehicles. If we cannot accommodate your special needs, you must be accompanied by a companion who will be responsible for independently providing the needed assistance. We reserve the right to decline acceptance of anyone we consider unsuitable due to fitness level. We also reserve the right to remove you from the Tour, at your own expense, if your condition is such that it could create a hazard to you or others, or otherwise impact the enjoyment of other passengers.
Age Policy: Due to the educational and cultural nature of our people-to-people exchanges, participants on Soltura Travel Cuba Tours should be at least 12 years-old. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis. We reserve the right to marginally exceed the published maximum group size on Cuba Tours to accommodate a family.
Suppliers Acts or Omissions: Soltura Travel acts only as an independent contractor to supply or arrange for the travel services named in your Itinerary or otherwise to procure services or goods from third parties such as airlines, hotels and other lodging providers, local hosts, guides, bus lines, car rental companies, driving services, restaurants and providers of entertainment (the “Suppliers”). Soltura Travel assumes no responsibility for any personal injury, property damage or other loss, accident, delay, inconvenience or irregularity which may be occasioned by reason of any act or omission of any of the Suppliers.
Participant Conduct During the Cuba Tour: You are responsible for respecting the authority and following the directions of the Tour guides and the laws of Cuba during a Cuba Tour. We may exclude you from participating in all or any part of the Tour if, in our sole discretion, your condition or behavior renders you unfit for the Tour or unfit for continuation once the Tour has begun. Unfitness may include, without limitation, any behavior that, regardless of its cause, is inappropriate or offensive or interferes with the delivery of Tour services or may constitute a hazard or embarrassment. In such case, our liability shall be strictly limited to refund of the recoverable cost of any unused portion of the Tour. Should you decide for any reason not to participate in certain parts of the Tour or use certain goods included in the Tour, no refunds will be made for those unused parts of the Tour or goods. You agree to indemnify and hold us harmless from and against any costs, damages, losses or liabilities arising out of the actions or omissions of any minors traveling with you.
Limitation of Liability and Damages: In no event will we be liable for any injury, loss, claim, damage or any special, punitive, exemplary, direct, indirect, incidental or consequential damages of any kind, whether based in contract, tort, strict liability or otherwise, that arise out of or are in any way connected with the Tour, even if advised of the possibility of such damages.
Travel Advisories and Warnings: It is your responsibility to become informed about the most current travel advisories and warnings by referring to the U.S. State Department’s travel website at travel.state.gov or by phone at 888 407 4747.
Force Majeure: We assume no responsibility for any personal injury, property damage or other loss, accident, delay, inconvenience or irregularity which may be occasioned by reason of any matter beyond our exclusive control including but not limited to a delay or cancellation that causes you to miss all or any portion of the Tour, acts of God, acts of government, war, terrorist acts, riots, disaster, weather extremes or strikes. We have no special knowledge regarding the financial condition of the Suppliers, unsafe conditions, health hazards, weather hazards or climate extremes at locations to which you may travel. You understand that health care standards, facilities and services abroad may be different or even inadequate for treating health conditions. For information concerning possible dangers at foreign destinations, we recommend contacting the Travel Warnings Section of the U.S. State Department at (202) 647-5225 or www.travel.state.gov , and click on “Travel Warnings.” For medical information, we recommend contacting the Centers for Disease Control at (877) FYI-TRIP or www.cdc.gov/travel .
Assumption of Risks and Release: If you participate in activities during your Tour, certain risks and dangers may arise, including, but not limited to, the risk of accidents in remote places without access to medical facilities, transportation or means of rapid evacuation and assistance; the hazards of traveling in unsafe or politically unstable areas or under unsafe conditions; the dangers of civil disturbances, war, extortion, kidnapping and terrorist activities; dangers and risks inherent in activities in underdeveloped countries; and dangers of local law enforcement activity. You hereby expressly assume all of these risks and dangers, and you hereby expressly agree to forever release, discharge and hold us and our agents, employees, officers and directors, harmless against any and all liability, actions, causes of actions, suits, claims and demands of any and every kind and nature whatsoever which you now have or which may hereafter arise out of or in connection with your Tour or participation in any activities in which you participate.
Arbitration and Waiver of Trial by Jury: You agree to present any claims against us within ninety (90) days after the Tour ends and to file any suit within one (1) year of the incident, and you acknowledge that this expressly limits the applicable statute of limitations to one (1) year. In lieu of litigation and jury trials, each of which is expressly waived, any dispute concerning, relating or referring to this Participation Agreement, the brochure, or any other literature concerning your trip or the Cuba Tour shall be resolved exclusively by binding arbitration in Portland, Oregon, according to the then existing commercial rules of the American Arbitration Association. Such proceeding will be governed by the substantive law of the State of Oregon. The arbitrator(s) and not any federal, state, or local court or agency shall have exclusive authority to resolve any dispute relating to the interpretation, applicability, enforceability, conscionability, or formation of this Participant Agreement, including but not limited to any claim that all or any part of this Participant Agreement is void or voidable.
General: You hereby consent to our use of pictures or video of you in our marketing materials without compensation. Facsimile or scanned transmission of any signed document shall be deemed delivery of an original. If there are any conflicts between this Participant Agreement and the Itinerary, this Participant Agreement shall apply. We reserve the right to decline to do business with anyone on a nondiscriminatory basis.