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Tue Jan 24, 2012, 11:25 AM

Two Cuban women's players missing at tournament

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Two players were missing from the Cuban women's soccer team for its final game at an Olympic qualifying tournament.

Forward Yezenia Gallardo, 20, and midfielder Yisel Rodriguez, 22, were listed as absent from the team for Cuba's game Monday night against Haiti at BC Place.

Jesus Pereira, the head of the Cuban soccer delegation at the tournament, declined to stop to answer questions from reporters after the game. Pereira, the coaches and players headed directly to the team bus, again declining questions through a CONCACAF spokesman.

Cuban soccer players have a history of defecting during tournaments on the North American mainland. Seven members of the men's Under-23 team defected during a CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament in Tampa, Fla., in 2008, and men's national team player Yosniel Mesa defected last year after a game in Charlotte, N.C., during the CONCACAF Gold Cup.


http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/soccer/news/20120123/cuba-womens-soccer/#ixzz1kOSNC59R

I have never understood why the Cuban government avoided these types of embarrassments by simply letting their citizens work where ever they wished.

148 replies, 13518 views

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Arrow 148 replies Author Time Post
Reply Two Cuban women's players missing at tournament (Original post)
hack89 Jan 2012 OP
Bacchus4.0 Jan 2012 #1
tridim Jan 2012 #2
Snake Alchemist Jan 2012 #3
hack89 Jan 2012 #4
former9thward Jan 2012 #5
ProgressiveProfessor Jan 2012 #6
christx30 Jan 2012 #7
TomClash Jan 2012 #10
Bacchus4.0 Jan 2012 #12
Snake Alchemist Jan 2012 #15
ProgressiveProfessor Jan 2012 #17
Snake Alchemist Jan 2012 #18
TomClash Jan 2012 #20
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2012 #26
Snake Alchemist Jan 2012 #28
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2012 #31
Snake Alchemist Jan 2012 #38
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2012 #40
Snake Alchemist Jan 2012 #41
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2012 #43
rayofreason Jan 2012 #134
dflprincess Jan 2012 #25
Judi Lynn Jan 2012 #29
former9thward Jan 2012 #46
nanabugg Jan 2012 #88
former9thward Jan 2012 #89
chrisa Jan 2012 #129
TomClash Jan 2012 #8
hack89 Jan 2012 #9
TomClash Jan 2012 #11
hack89 Jan 2012 #13
TomClash Jan 2012 #19
hack89 Jan 2012 #21
TomClash Jan 2012 #22
Snake Alchemist Jan 2012 #23
hack89 Jan 2012 #24
TomClash Jan 2012 #36
hack89 Jan 2012 #37
TomClash Jan 2012 #39
PavePusher Jan 2012 #62
TomClash Jan 2012 #63
PavePusher Jan 2012 #67
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2012 #75
PavePusher Jan 2012 #81
Bacchus4.0 Jan 2012 #14
Snake Alchemist Jan 2012 #16
Dreamer Tatum Jan 2012 #27
Judi Lynn Jan 2012 #30
Dreamer Tatum Jan 2012 #32
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2012 #35
Dreamer Tatum Jan 2012 #42
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2012 #44
Dreamer Tatum Jan 2012 #45
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2012 #64
Dreamer Tatum Jan 2012 #71
iverglas Jan 2012 #76
Bacchus4.0 Jan 2012 #49
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2012 #77
iverglas Jan 2012 #48
Bacchus4.0 Jan 2012 #50
iverglas Jan 2012 #53
Bacchus4.0 Jan 2012 #55
bitchkitty Jan 2012 #84
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2012 #130
bitchkitty Jan 2012 #138
Dreamer Tatum Jan 2012 #58
iverglas Jan 2012 #60
Dreamer Tatum Jan 2012 #72
iverglas Jan 2012 #74
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2012 #79
iverglas Jan 2012 #83
Dreamer Tatum Jan 2012 #87
iverglas Jan 2012 #93
Dreamer Tatum Jan 2012 #95
iverglas Jan 2012 #96
Matariki Jan 2012 #101
sufrommich Jan 2012 #131
joshcryer Jan 2012 #33
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2012 #34
iverglas Jan 2012 #47
hack89 Jan 2012 #51
iverglas Jan 2012 #52
hack89 Jan 2012 #54
iverglas Jan 2012 #56
hack89 Jan 2012 #57
iverglas Jan 2012 #59
hack89 Jan 2012 #61
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2012 #65
hack89 Jan 2012 #66
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2012 #68
hack89 Jan 2012 #69
Bacchus4.0 Jan 2012 #70
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2012 #73
dipsydoodle Jan 2012 #80
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2012 #82
Bacchus4.0 Jan 2012 #90
hack89 Jan 2012 #118
iverglas Jan 2012 #78
hack89 Jan 2012 #85
iverglas Jan 2012 #86
hack89 Jan 2012 #94
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2012 #91
hack89 Jan 2012 #92
iverglas Jan 2012 #98
hack89 Jan 2012 #103
LineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineReply .
iverglas Jan 2012 #106
hack89 Jan 2012 #116
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2012 #128
hack89 Jan 2012 #137
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2012 #139
hack89 Jan 2012 #141
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2012 #142
hack89 Jan 2012 #143
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2012 #146
hack89 Jan 2012 #147
hack89 Jan 2012 #144
hack89 Jan 2012 #105
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2012 #145
hack89 Jan 2012 #148
roody Jan 2012 #100
hack89 Jan 2012 #104
iverglas Jan 2012 #109
hack89 Jan 2012 #117
iverglas Jan 2012 #120
hack89 Jan 2012 #121
iverglas Jan 2012 #122
hack89 Jan 2012 #123
joshcryer Jan 2012 #97
Judi Lynn Jan 2012 #99
joshcryer Jan 2012 #102
dipsydoodle Jan 2012 #107
iverglas Jan 2012 #108
Bacchus4.0 Jan 2012 #111
iverglas Jan 2012 #112
Bacchus4.0 Jan 2012 #113
iverglas Jan 2012 #119
Bacchus4.0 Jan 2012 #124
iverglas Jan 2012 #125
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2012 #132
Bacchus4.0 Jan 2012 #133
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2012 #135
Bacchus4.0 Jan 2012 #136
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2012 #140
joshcryer Jan 2012 #114
Bacchus4.0 Jan 2012 #115
iverglas Jan 2012 #126
joshcryer Jan 2012 #127
Bacchus4.0 Jan 2012 #110

Response to hack89 (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 11:34 AM

1. they've defected. they use atheletes to promote the glory of the state

another recent story just too late for LBN

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 08:26 AM
Bacchus4.0 (112 posts) Profile Journal Send DU Mail Ignore


Amnesty: Cuba releases 3 prisoners of conscience
http://news.yahoo.com/amnesty-cuba-releases-3-prisoners-conscience-195700921.html




AP) — Amnesty International said Monday that three Cubans held without charge for 52 days following their arrest at a protest were released last week, hours after the human rights group named them as prisoners of conscience.

The release of the three also came a day after a hunger-striking dissident died, prompting condemnation from island dissidents, rights watchers, the United States and other nations. Amnesty had planned to designate Wilman Villar, 31, a prisoner of conscience but he died in custody before it could.

Ivonne Malleza Galano, Ignacio Martinez Montejo and Isabel Haydee Alvarez were set free Jan. 20 but threatened with "harsh sentences" if they do not stop their anti-government actions, the human rights monitor said in a statement Monday.

It said all three were detained at a Nov. 30 protest in Havana at which Malleza and Martinez held a banner that read "Stop hunger, misery and poverty in Cuba." Alvarez was arrested for objecting when security forces took the other two into custody.

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:12 PM

2. Don't worry, under Romney's plan they will go back to Cuba voluntarily.

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Response to hack89 (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:16 PM

3. They probably just got lost looking for some good poutine. nt

 

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:18 PM

4. "Good" is such a wonderfully flexible word! nt

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Response to hack89 (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:27 PM

5. If they let their citizens work where ever they wished they would have no more workers.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 03:09 PM

6. A major league clue...

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 04:07 PM

7. Just because people

use any means that they have to escape doesn't mean it's a bad place!

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Response to christx30 (Reply #7)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 04:25 PM

10. Actually it's not a bad place

Not at all. It could use some improvements in many areas, unlike America which is picture perfect in every way.

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Response to TomClash (Reply #10)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 04:35 PM

12. no country is picture perfect in everyway n/t

s

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Response to TomClash (Reply #10)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 04:43 PM

15. I tried to leave the US, but was threatened with arrest when I started packing. nt

 

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Reply #15)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 05:07 PM

17. By an LEO?

Seems a bit far fetched

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #17)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 05:19 PM

18. It is. nt

 

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Reply #15)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 07:35 PM

20. Clearly a mistake

I always assumed such measures would only be reserved for the . . . Well, never mind.

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Response to TomClash (Reply #10)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 10:20 PM

26. I was there in November

It has its good points (music, art, friendly people, scenery, social benefits) and its bad points (a dual economy that is rough on people without access to foreign currency, lack of political freedom).

It's no worse than China, and probably better in some ways.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #26)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 11:06 PM

28. Did you make any friends there?

 

You should invite them to come visit you. Better yet, invite them to join DU to give us some perspective.

Your comparison to China is probably apt.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Reply #28)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 12:20 AM

31. In a week?

I met a lot of people, but not any I would know well enough to become friends. I was in Havana the whole time except for a day trip to Matanzas, where the ecumenical Protestant seminary is located.

The other half of our group went and worked on a cooperative farm, though. They said that living conditions were far from luxurious, but that people were making the best of it and did not seem depressed or resentful.

This was the sixth trip sponsored by my church. In the past, the U.S. government has been the main obstacle to inviting Cubans to visit.

We hosted the Episcopal bishop of Cuba a couple of years ago. Cuba was willing to let him leave, but it took a lot of red tape for him to get permission to enter the U.S.

We have an invitation extended to the current bishop. We shall see whether the Obama administration is more liberal in this respect than the Bush administration was.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #31)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 09:57 AM

38. Sure.

 

I was just in Australia for 2 weeks and met a nice couple. We're supposed to be staying at their house in Melbourne next year. They were unbelievably nice.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Reply #38)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 10:26 AM

40. I was in a group based in Havana, which cut down on the number of up close

and personal encounters I had, but the people who went to the cooperative farm said that they developed some close ties, especially the younger group members who spoke Spanish.

Besides, Cuba and Australia are apples and oranges, a poor country and a rich country. The number of Cubans who can afford to travel vs. the number of Australians who can afford to travel.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #40)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 10:29 AM

41. They could at least log onto DU and share their experiences.

 

We could learn a lot if they would share their 1st person accounts.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Reply #41)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 10:56 AM

43. You're being snide, because surely you know

that Cuba has only dial-up Internet and not much of that. One of the members of our group tried to use the Internet in one of the tourist hotels (we stayed in a convent) and gave up because it was so pokey. No 3G phone service, either.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Reply #28)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 12:11 PM

134. Cubans....joining DU?????

They would have to have internet access first!

You can't just let anyone have access. Why, then they could get whatever information they want! And communicate it too! Let people post whatever they want to post, openly share their opinions? Very bad idea since it would allow unsanctioned opinions to be aired, embarrassing information to be shared. Can't have that!

If you are talking about allowing a few closely monitored government shills to sign up so they can spout the party line and disparage with "authentic" voices any discouraging words to the contrary, that is an idea that all believers in socialism can get behind.

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Response to christx30 (Reply #7)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 09:50 PM

25. People also fled Cuba when Batista was running it

That doesn't get mentioned much because he was in the pocket of too many American interests.

At least with Castro Cubans got health care and literacy.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 11:07 PM

29. The CIA reported years ago that most Cubans would choose to stay in Cuba.

MSNBC
April 13, 2000
CIA: Most Cubans loyal to homeland

Agency believes various ties to island bind the majority

By Robert Windrem
NBC NEWS PRODUCER

NEW YORK, April 12 — Cuban-American exile leaders — and many Republicans in Congress —
believe that no Cuban, including Juan Miguel Gonzalez, could withstand the blandishments of
a suburban American lifestyle, that he and all other Cubans would gladly trade their
“miserable” lives in Cuba for the prosperity of the United States — if only given the chance.
Witness House Minority Leader Dick Armey’s invitation to Gonzalez, offering him a tour of a
local supermarket. But U.S. intelligence suggests otherwise.

THE CIA has long believed that while 1 million to 3 million Cubans would leave the island if they had the
opportunity, the rest of the nation’s 11 million people would stay behind.
While an extraordinarily high number, there are still 8 million to 10 million Cubans happy to remain
on the island.


More:
http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/cuba/loyal.htm

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #29)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 11:05 AM

46. Where the CIA cooked up that number god knows.

Did they go down there and do a poll? Nevertheless, if accurate, it would not surprise me. There are millions of people in this country who continue to live in areas not good for them economically because of family, familiarity and just plain inertia.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 07:49 PM

88. Funny the entire team didn't defect. thousands of Cubans come here every year under

 

various programs...and they "self-deport."

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Response to nanabugg (Reply #88)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 07:56 PM

89. Cuban athletes that come here are guarded.

But I'm sure you know that.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 10:38 AM

129. Then they must be doing something wrong,

And should restructure to have a more open, free government.

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Response to hack89 (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 04:20 PM

8. Sure, why not let them go and . . .

. . . take a huge posting fee like the Japanese?

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Response to TomClash (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 04:23 PM

9. Freedom to choose is a good thing. nt

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Response to hack89 (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 04:30 PM

11. Cubans are free to choose a lot of things

Playing sports in the US is not one of them. Posting fees would bring in much needed cash.

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Response to TomClash (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 04:35 PM

13. With the exception of choosing their president. nt

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Response to hack89 (Reply #13)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 07:29 PM

19. Because the People in the US always choose their President

Not.

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Response to TomClash (Reply #19)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 07:38 PM

21. At least we are subtle enough to rotate them more often then every 50 years. nt

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Response to hack89 (Reply #21)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 08:32 PM

22. All Humming the same Hymn

Glory to the Empire and its Elite.

Cuba is a bit more complicated than the picture painted by the msm.

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Response to TomClash (Reply #22)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 08:40 PM

23. Where do Cubans go on holiday? nt

 

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Response to TomClash (Reply #22)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 09:50 PM

24. Only kings or dictators rule for 50 years.

There have been no exceptions.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #24)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 09:30 AM

36. Yes and titular heads make all the difference

Nothing else matters. Nothing.

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Response to TomClash (Reply #36)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 09:36 AM

37. You are trying a little too hard

just remember this - a site like DU could never and will never exist in Cuba. Free political discourse is anathema to dictatorships.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #37)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 10:23 AM

39. I'm not trying much at all

You might consider a bit more effort, if you can spare the time. Not everything is always so black and white. Sometimes nuance is important.

I acknowledge there are problems in Cuba, but I simply said it's not a bad place.

Your posts are monitored here in the US. Keep that in mind.

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Response to TomClash (Reply #39)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 02:53 PM

62. Totalitarian Dictatorship = Bad Place

 

It's rather axiomatic.

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #62)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 03:21 PM

63. More like "knee jerk"

or "idiomatic." But to each his own.

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Response to TomClash (Reply #63)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 03:56 PM

67. Feel free to cite a dictatorship that enjoys the same or greater levels of freedom and liberty...

 

as we do in the U.S., and I'll buy you a plane ticket. Show your work, I'm sure a great many people will want to migrate with you.

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #67)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 05:43 PM

75. Strawman alert!

Saying "Cuba isn't as bad as you think" isn't the same as saying that you want to live there.

That's a standard right-wing argumentation tactic, one that has no place on a Democratic board.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #75)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 06:34 PM

81. You are correct, my apology to all.

 

In my defense, I've actually lived in a dictatorship for a few years, and several countries that had recently thrown them off and were sorting through the after-effects. I fully admit to a reflexive rejection of any defense of totalitarianism. Also, please see my respondents other posts up-thread.

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Response to TomClash (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 04:38 PM

14. seems if they were allowed to play, they would send back some of their earnings

then again, not sure if they would want to send back earnings if the government would take it rather than family and friends.

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Response to TomClash (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 04:44 PM

16. Isn't this Canada? nt

 

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Response to hack89 (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 11:03 PM

27. Probbaly so homesick for that Cuban utopia, they rushed home.

I'm sure they're at home right now. No one would ever want to leave a paradise like Cuba.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #27)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 11:24 PM

30. It appears you don't know people come and go from Cuba continually. You should research sometime.

From a book written by Ann Louise Bardach, former NY Times journalist, and author, a woman who has researched Cuba in the States and in Cuba, concerning the Cubans who come and go from Cuba, or did, until George W. Bush completely slammed the door shut on their travel back and forth to their island. The book was published in 2002:

In Cuba, one used to be either a revolucionario or a contrarevolucionario, while those who decided to leave were gusanos (worms) or escoria (scum). In Miami, the rhetoric has also been harsh. Exiles who do not endorse a confrontational policy with Cuba, seeking instead a negotiated settlement, have often been excoriated as traidores (traitors) and sometimes espías (spies). Cubans, notably cultural stars, who visit Miami but choose to return to their homeland have been routinely denounced. One either defects or is repudiated.

But there has been a slow but steady shift in the last decade-a nod to the clear majority of Cubans en exilio and on the island who crave family reunification. Since 1978, more than one million airline tickets have been sold for flights from Miami to Havana. Faced with the brisk and continuous traffic between Miami and Havana, hard-liners on both sides have opted to deny the new reality. Anomalies such as the phenomenon of reverse balseros, Cubans who, unable to adapt to the pressures and bustle of entrepreneurial Miami, return to the island, or gusañeros, expatriots who send a portion of their earnings home in exchange for unfettered travel back and forth to Cuba (the term is a curious Cuban hybrid of gusano and compañero, or comrade), are unacknowledged by both sides, as are those who live in semi-exilio, returning home to Cuba for long holidays.


Confidential
Love and Vengeance
In Miami and Havana

Copyright© 2002 by
Ann Louise Bardach

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #30)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 12:28 AM

32. So they can just pack a boat, say goodbye, and leave?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Seriously, get a grip. When Cubans have the same freedom of movement that we do, get back to me.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #32)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 12:43 AM

35. No, but the U.S. and Cuba have worked out an agreement for orderly immigration,

which has cut way down on the number of boat people. Twenty thousand people per year can leave for the U.S.

In addition, anyone with a certain percentage of Spanish ancestry (Cuba used to be the place that Spaniards went to make their fortunes) can qualify for a Spanish passport and Spanish residency.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #35)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 10:36 AM

42. Why would a socialist paradise need to restrict the number of people who can leave?

I don't get it...I'd think a utopia would have restrictions on the IN door, not the OUT door.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #42)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 11:01 AM

44. It's the U.S. limiting the number who can come IN, not Cuba restricting the number who can leave

Besides, as I found out during the Bush administration, it's not enough just to want to emigrate. You have to find a country that will TAKE you as a permanent resident. I learned to my dismay that the countries I would most want to live in simply do not want anyone over the age of 40.

There appears to be no limit on the number of people who can get Spanish passports if they qualify.

Sure, I can leave the U.S. any time I want, but unless I want to be a perpetual vagabond or can find some nice foreign gentleman to marry or the countries of my ancestry move their requirements for ancestry visas down a generation, I can't stay anywhere more than a couple of months.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #44)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 11:03 AM

45. How many people emigrate to Cuba annually?

And why isn't it more?

Just asking. It's paradise.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #45)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 03:36 PM

64. You're arguing like a right-winger, setting up strawman arguments

Nobody, least of all me, said that Cuba was a "paradise."

All I'm saying is that it's not a uniquely horrible hellhole.

In fact, when I went there, I found that many things were better than I expected.

By the way, Haitians emigrate to Cuba. Speaking of uniquely horrible hellholes...

And I could mention an American Catholic priest we met who also served in the Dominican Republic but hopes that he is allowed to spend the rest of his career in Cuba.

But you've got your head (not your mind) made up, so I'm done.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #64)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 04:31 PM

71. If I was Haitian, I'd go anywhere but Haiti.


I didn't say it's a hellhole. I'm just wondering why people aren't flocking there, nor are they flocking out.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #71)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 05:57 PM

76. well, Haitians are free to do just that

 

Odd how many Haitians there are in Haiti still. I wonder how that could be?

First, of course, because Haitians actually aren't you, and many simply would not want to leave their home.

But second, because there is nowhere for them to go if they wanted to.

Ditto Somalis, just for instance, and all the millions and millions of people living in similarly awful situations around the world. Many of them would like to live somewhere better -- and what concern are we hearing about their inability to do that? Why is no one at DU week in, week out, complaining that all the Somalis who want to are not being allowed to go to the country of their choice? Do you imagine it matters to a Somali that it is not their government keeping them in, but other governments keeping them out?

The average Cuban does have a better life, in terms of human security -- food, shelter, education, employment, healthcare -- than growing numbers of USAmericans. I'll bet the reason those USAmericans -- the hungry, the homeless, the uninsured sick -- aren't emigrating from the US is that they have so much freedom where they are.



Migration is a complex phenomenon and managing it is a task that has daunted humanity for our entire history, particularly since its roots more often than not lie in imperialism and other forms of exploitation.

I find it interesting that several of the names I see in this thread decrying this one tiny and actually barely operative factor in the phenomenon today are familiar to me from the Guns forum. The agenda in its various outcroppings, eh?

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #44)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 12:36 PM

49. wrong, Cubans need a travel permit the "tarjeta blanca", not just for US

and yes the US does limit the amount of visas it gives. its a sovereign decision by the US to restrict foreign nationals entering. the US doesn't restrict movements of its own citizens with the exceptions of countries like Cuba, N. Korea. the US visa requirements procedures apply to the rest of latinamericans too with the possible exception of Uruguay.

Cuba just doesn't permit anyone to leave, anytime, anywhere. the movements of doctors and atheletes is particularly restrictive. Aside from the athelete defections we all periodically hear about, numerous Cuban doctors sent to Venezuela have defected.

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #49)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 06:04 PM

77. Americans used to be able to travel to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean w/o a passport

Not so since 2007, thanks to the "anti-terrorism" provisions.

So our travel is less free than it used to be.

I'm reminded of a "defection" of a male East German swimmer in the 1980s. He admitted on TV that he had no political issues with the East German government, but some U.S. university swim coach had promised him an athletic scholarship.

There was a female Chinese tennis player who "defected" around that same time. She wanted to play on the pro circuit. She didn't claim political problems, either.

But both were leaving Communist countries during the Reagan administration, so despite their privileged positions, they were granted refugee status.

As for doctors, yeah, doctors aren't making much money in Cuba these days, and they can make more money as restaurant waiters and cab drivers being paid in CUCs. That's a problem, the same problem China went through in the early 1990s.

And wait, I thought you're part of the crowd that thinks that Venezuela is a horrible dictatorship. It can't be that bad if the Cubans are "defecting" there.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #32)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 12:35 PM

48. "When Cubans have the same freedom of movement that we do"

 

Tried to emigrate lately?

Which countries are waiting for you with open arms?

Which countries, if you travelled there as a temporary visitor, would just let you stay permanently if you felt like it?

Ridiculous, just ridiculous.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #48)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 12:40 PM

50. the norm for most countries is a 90 day tourist stamp for US citizens

longer than that, you have to leave and come back, or get an official visa. the US has the same type of system, tourist visa, work visa, student, etcetera. its the country where you are traveling to that sets the rules, not the US.

but unlike the Cuban government treatment of Cubans, the US doesn't require an exit stamp to leave the US.

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #50)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 01:09 PM

53. not sure how this answered my post

 

Don't think it did.

I practised immigration law for a lot of years. I know how these things work.

its the country where you are traveling to that sets the rules, not the US.

That's right. So where, exactly, would all these Cubans be going?

Every country they might want to go to as "tourists" has criteria to determine whether intent is genuinely to stay temporarily. You won't get into Canada from the US if it looks like your intent is different, and I won't, vice versa.

http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/without/without_1990.html#countries

Currently, 36 countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program, as shown below:
Andorra Hungary New Zealand
Australia Iceland Norway
Austria Ireland Portugal
Belgium Italy San Marino
Brunei Japan Singapore
Czech Republic Latvia Slovakia
Denmark Liechtenstein Slovenia
Estonia Lithuania South Korea
Finland Luxembourg Spain
France Malta Sweden
Germany Monaco Switzerland
Greece the Netherlands United Kingdom

(also Canada, Mexico, Bermuda)

Cuba is not on the list, and I don't imagine it's going to get added to it if Cuba simply decides to let its citizens roam the globe at will.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #53)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 01:16 PM

55. Cubans would go whereever they could I suppose

they would have to meet the requirements of the countries they are traveling to of course.

now, I believe many other latin american countries do not have visa requirements for other latinamericans, so that would be a good start if they couldn't get a visa to say the US or Europe.

the issue is the Cuban government letting them leave.

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #50)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 06:53 PM

84. Has it changed?

When in Spain and Portugal, I only had to have my visa renewed every six months.

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Response to bitchkitty (Reply #84)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 10:42 AM

130. Since 1999, all the European Union countries except Britain and Ireland

have been signatories to the Schengen Treaty, which allows free border crossing among the member nations, not all of which are EU members.

For example, when I went to Scandinavia last summer, I went through customs and immigration ONCE, during the layover in Iceland, and not again, although I had to show my passport to board the onward flight to Norway. But despite visiting four countries, there's only one new stamp on my passport, the one I got in Iceland during a 90-minute layover. Traveling among Norway, Sweden, and Denmark and taking a 3-day stopover in Iceland on the way back was as hassle-free as traveling between states in the U.S. No border controls.

However, the Schengen Treaty also says that the length of a tourist visa is 3 months.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #130)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 05:40 PM

138. Sounds awesome!

This was back in the 80s, everyone else was 3 months but Americans were given 6 months in Spain, not sure about other countries. After six months we would cross the border into Portugal and spend the day, to get another stamp on the way back in.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #48)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 01:36 PM

58. Is the US preventing another country from accepting you?

Ridiculous, indeed.

You are free to leave the US at your convenience. When you can do that as a citizen of Cuba, get back to me.

(But then again, why would anyone WANT to leave Cuba?)

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #58)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 02:43 PM

60. um, is Cuba preventing any country from accepting Cubans?

 

Not so as I know.

The cry of freeeeedumb was heard throughout DU again on this day ...

I'm free to leave Canada, actually, although I suppose if I get into the US I'm free to leave there. (And I have an absolute right to re-enter Canada, of course.) Copy me with the letter you send to your government demanding that I be issued a visa to reside there, will ya?

By the way, I've represented genuine refugee defectors. An Iranian athlete and an Iranian fighter pilot come to mind. I would not have represented Cuban athletes making a refugee claim. They are economic migrants, not in need of asylum, and they would be well at the bottom of my list.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #60)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 04:34 PM

72. You missed the point utterly.

I can go anywhere I want without the permission of the government. The US prevents me from NOTHING. I can even go to Cuba or N. Korea if I have a reason, or I can go through a second country with no issues.

Not so with Cubans.

Period, paragraph, end of story, done.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #72)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 05:42 PM

74. no, you are making a point that isn't

 

I can go anywhere I want without the permission of the government.

No, you can't. You can't go anywhere you want. You need the permission of A government to go anywhere at all outside your own country.

If another country doesn't want to let you in -- because you have a criminal record or a health problem, or because you do not meet the criteria for assessing your likelihood of going home, or because it doesn't like the cut of your jib -- you can't go there.

Cubans are no different from you in that sense. They are NOT free to go anywhere they want, completely independently of anything their own government has to say about it.

I'm not surprised at all this noise, of course. To many in the US, the illusion of freedom is very clearly held more dear than things like actual life and security of the person.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #74)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 06:15 PM

79. I wonder, iverglass, how many of the people who slam Cuba, have actually been there

and note that I didn't go near Varadero ("beautiful beaches and so close to Cuba!" as one cynic noted) but was allowed to wander freely in Havana, talk to whomever I wanted in my rudimentary Spanish, and photograph whatever I wanted, even if it wasn't flattering to the country, which means that I was less restricted than I was in parts of China in 1990. (Wenzhou, China, was downright paranoid about our wandering around, talking to people, or photographing the "wrong" things.)

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #79)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 06:52 PM

83. I wandered afoul on one occasion ;)

 

All of my trips were independent, no tours. Fly in, find a hotel (the first time, my friend and I just asked someone on the street, and we found the Deauville even though they spelled it Dobil, and other times I just went straight to the same hotel or to friends'), do my own thing. I sometimes took my bike.

One day, on a 35-km bicycle ride to a beach east of Havana, I stopped to take a picture of the Havana horizon back in the distance. Somehow, I managed not to notice that the foreground was a military encampment, some kind of training thing I guess, with tents. I got taken to see the one-armed colonel with the eyepatch. Duh. I'd also forgotten that photographing Havana Harbour itself wasn't permitted (military vessels in the harbour). So we had a chat in my very rudimentary Spanish, I presented my letter of introduction from my local equivalent of the National Lawyers Guild, he wrote up a form and gave it to me to sign -- and when I saw that my occupation was down as abogada socialista I figured I was cool. And off I went.

Ran into a spot of bother on the way back when I couldn't face the huge detour around the harbour back to Nuevo Vedado where I was staying, and decided to walk through the tunnel. (Bicyling through it would have been suicide; the drivers were bad enough on the roads.) The catwalk got narrower and narrower, I got covered in grime from the wall, my bike lost little bits from colliding with the railing, I had visions of the flash floods that had killed people in the tunnel, and I finally came out the other side to find two cops wagging fingers at me. No bicycles allowed. Did I ride my bicycle through tunnels in Canada?? I was in no mood. In Canada, I huffed, tenemos ... and here I attempted to make up a Spanish word for "bridges" based on the French word ponts ... and made a very bad faux pas. But they didn't seem to notice, and again, off I went. I don't think the socialist lawyer thing impressed them that time.

Never went to Varadero, but did bus it across the island to Santiago de Cuba once. I gather it's kind of touristy now, but the old hotel on the square where I stayed barely had running water then, and only cold when it did. The musicians in the park opposite at dusk and dawn ... the lighting guy I met and sat in the lighting booth with during a rock concert one evening ... and when he neglected his duties and the spotlight strayed from the musicians, they struck up "Alejandro's got a girlfriend" to the tune of Alexander's Ragtime Band. And the schoolkids who gave the stern guided tour of the Moncada Barracks and seemed to think I understood everything they said.

Then on the bus back to Havana, late at night (it's a looong ride), the bus stopped and we were all told to get out, and there were torches, and a couple of guys in military uniforms, maybe even with guns, and people were questioned, but I was ignored (very likely somebody else told them I was a norteamericana, even though they would have meant something other than Canadian by that). Very exciting. Back on the bus, my seatmate asked whether I wanted to know what it was about. There had been an outbreak of a pig disease in one province and people were being told no pork products could be carried across, and we had had to walk through a footbath to get back on the bus. They take their pigs very seriously in Cuba, with very good reason.

In DC in May 2003 I was required to produce identification before my local friend could park her car in the Ronald Reagan building. We'd left ours at her place. Fortunately, she had her CIA ID with her and the army guy with the gun let us in. And then we got chased after by security when my partner was videotaping the lighting art in the atrium ...

Nobody notices little things like that at home, do they?

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Response to iverglas (Reply #74)


Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #87)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 08:16 PM

93. jeeezus christ

 

You are the one saying you can go anywhere you want, and the fact is: that is just flat false.

If you have some kind of argument to make, feel free to make it.

The fact, again, remains that very very few Cubans would be able to go anywhere else (assuming the US might revisit that open arm policy) regardless of what the domestic exit policy was.

Pretending that is not the fact in order to make a case, and asserting another fact that is not a fact, is what's "fatuous". Or "not very intelligent". I prefer not to guess, myself. It's always too tough a call.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #93)


Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #95)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 10:25 PM

96. I'll reply to this one while I still can

 

You said THIS:

I can go anywhere I want without the permission of the government.

No.

You can't.

You can't go anywhere you want.

Your choices of where to go are subject to whether "there" permits you to enter.

No one in this world can simply go anywhere they want. They may be able to go where they want, they may not be able to go where they want. They very certainly will be very restricted in where they can go AND STAY, which is the bleeding issue here.

May I quote you? --

JESUS. Reading comprehension: look into it.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #58)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 11:51 PM

101. The US can deny you a passport - ie prevent you from leaving the country.

Some of the reasons for being denied a passport include owing back taxes or child support.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #48)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 10:44 AM

131. So? What does that have to do with your

country of origin allowing you to leave?

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #30)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 12:32 AM

33. 10% of Cuba's population has left the island.

To say that they "come and go" implies that there is no net loss. It would be like 30 million United States Citizens immigrating to Canada and then saying that because there are a few of them who visit, they "come and go."

Meanwhile Cuba's restrictive travel restrictions are unparalleled in the rest of the world. Few other countries deny permission to leave their country, an act which is perfectly legal, and in the US is granted via "Shall Issue" permits (Passports). This is effectively a human right (denied only to felons or criminals).

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #30)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 12:39 AM

34. I grew up in contact with Latvian emigres--they were AFRAID to go back to Latvia

while it was under the Soviet Union.

In contrast, Cuban emigres go back and forth all the time. They are not arrested if they come back. In fact, they are considered a valuable source of hard currency and supplies that the embargo makes difficult to obtain.

Remember the indignation among Cuban emigres when the Bush administration limited them to one visit every three years?

One of the problems Cuba has is its dual economic system. People with relatives overseas and those who work in the tourist industry have access to CUCs (the convertible Cuban peso), which are worth 24 times the ordinary Cuban peso (moneda nacional), so they have never had it better. The discrepancy is so great that jobs that ordinarily would not be very prestigious, such as cab driver or restaurant waiter, are highly sought after. (I saw the same thing in China in 1990.)

The goods and services that are available for moneda nacional are neither as plentiful nor of as high quality as the goods available for CUCs, yet the produce and meat available in the covered outdoor market (for moneda nacional) appeared to be of good quality, although just laid out on tables.

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Response to hack89 (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 12:33 PM

47. "letting their citizens work where ever they wished"

 

This is the ridiculous part of the anti-Cuba ranting.

Wherever they wish? Or wherever another country will allow them?

Are the citizens of any country in the world free to just go and work wherever they wish?

No. I'm Canadian, and I'm not. I could work temporarily in the UK because my grandparents were born there. I could work temporarily in the US under NAFTA because of my particular occupation. That's it.

I haven't been to Cuba in quite a while, but made numerous trips there in the 70s and 80s, staying with Canadians (a doctor who trained there in the 60s and remained for many years, eventually in charge of a polyclinic; Canadian development agency workers running programs there) and travelling independently around the island by bicycle and local bus. I was treated at a Cuban hospital, free of charge and well, after a fall (x-rays, innoculation, medication). My brother worked there for a year in a job I had been offered when I was visiting, as a local hire (i.e. directly for a Cuban agency, not through a foreign government). Problems, yes. Worse problems than any other colonized nation in the Caribbean or Latin America? Don't make me laugh.

Lift the ugly embargo and see what happens.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #47)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 12:42 PM

51. So Cuba should not get in the way of those who get foreign work visas

is that an acceptable change?

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Response to hack89 (Reply #51)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 12:58 PM

52. so ..............................

 

I just love that construction.

So maybe those who get foreign work visas (what few there might be) -- whose skills have been acquired entirely at the expense of the Cuban people -- should repay that debt rather than draining Cuba's economy by taking their skills elsewhere for their own benefit.

Frankly, I feel the same way about Canadian doctors who emigrate to the US, since you'll probably ask.

I'm just constantly amazed at the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth about Cubans who are unable to leave Cuba, when there are millions and millions of people worldwide desperate to leave home countries where they are victims of real persecution, of civil wars, of natural disasters, of economies devastated by corrupt governments ... Open those immigration doors wider to them, I think, first.

Cubans who want to leave Cuba aren't looking to go and work in the less developed world. They're looking for better lives for themselves in places where they can sell their skills for a good price. They already have it better in Cuba than a very large proportion of the rest of the world, especially if they are the skilled workers who might get foreign work visas. (Perhaps you don't actually even know how difficult it is to get a temporary work visa in a country like yours or mine.) I'll reserve a large majority of my sympathy for people who really need it.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #52)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 01:14 PM

54. What's wrong with selling your talents for a better life?

especially if your own government has consistently failed to provide it?

Cubans can't choose their government - that being case what is wrong with coming down on the side of the individual? I could understand if individual Cubans consented to these restrictions through the ballot box but they didn't.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #54)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 01:30 PM

56. who said there was anything wrong with it?

 

I simply said I'm not going to spend my time and energy fretting about someone's inability to do it when they are not among the genuinely poor and desperate of the world -- and when that inability in the overwhelming majority of cases would not be the doing of the Cuban government in any event, it would be the doing of every other government in the world that simply does not say "come unto me, ye Cubans".

It's tiresome being talked at by someone who plainly just doesn't know anything about Cuba, or likely any other country. I met and got to know quite a large number of Cubans, ranging from casual encounters in public places to a family Christmas gathering, to dating a teacher, to meetings with members of a synagogue in Havana and a family court lawyer, just for example. With very very few exceptions (I am thinking of one young man whose interests were about what the interests of young men like him anywhere are), they were no more interested in taking themselves off to live in some foreign country than most people in the US are. Most people in the world want to live where they live, and Cubans are no exception.

Of course, the "younger generation" is often no more likely to appreciate what they have and how they got it than, say, a somewhat earlier generation in the UK was of what their parents and grandparents went through to end up with the healthcare and other aspects of the social safety net Brits enjoyed before Thatcher. They don't know what Cuba was under Battista, and would have been if it had gone the way of other former colonies in the western hemisphere.

There are problems in Cuba. No one says there aren't. The average person, however, lives the way ordinary people live anywhere, just without the grinding poverty and lack of health care and education that people in genuinely comparable situations live in elsewhere.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #56)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 01:34 PM

57. The only thing I need to know about Cuba is that it is a one party police state

I happen to think that is a pretty big "problem". But if people aren't starving in the streets who needs real freedoms?

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Response to hack89 (Reply #57)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 02:37 PM

59. I'd say the question is actually ...

 

... not if people aren't starving in the streets who needs real freedoms? but if you are starving in the street, if you have no means of survival but prostitution, how much of a shit do you give about being able to hop a plane to Miami?

You might, if you can spare a few minutes from trying to figure out where you're going to sleep and what you're going to eat, have a few thoughts about corrupt governments and imperialism. As Cubans did have, and still do.

But then, knowing you as I do from the Guns forum, I know that it isn't actually genuine concern for someone else that motivates your comments, and that the "rights" that you claim matter to you have little to do with the genuine interests of ordinary people.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=118&topic_id=461461&mesg_id=461799
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=118&topic_id=461461&mesg_id=461703

Uppermost among which is usually the interest in life, which you'll note comes before "liberty" in anybody's list. I even suspect that avoiding the alternative, the grinding poverty and disease and rampant crime observed in comparable countries in this hemisphere, would be something even your Ben Franklin would not have described as acquiring a little and temporary security, nor would he have described the ability to hop a plane out as an essential liberty. Security -- food, shelter, safety -- is what people in this world want first; without it, liberty is of no use to them.

Liberty and security: one is sacrificed for the other all the time. Sometimes the reasons aren't good ones, and the result is not what people really want. For example, you are not free to travel to Cuba, for enormously bad reasons. Why on earth are you not kicking up a huge stink about that, when if you were to do that, you would be able to contribute directly to the economic welfare of Cubans? That, economic security, being what is infinitely more likely to enable them to bring about the changes you want, if they want them, than you blathering on an internet board.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #59)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 02:47 PM

61. Nothing justifies political repression

especially since countries like Sweden etc show very clearly that capitalism, economic security AND political freedom in combination cannot only succeed but thrive .

Cubans do no need to sacrifice liberty for security - they can have both. If an truly elected Cuban government cannot convince a free people that such measures are necessary then perhaps the threat is not so grave. In any case, it is not the government's place to protect their citizens from the wrong choices. Don't you think the Cuban people are wise enough to make their own judgement?

Only kings or dictators rule for 50 years.


I agree with you about the embargo.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #61)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 03:43 PM

65. Cuba is not a good place to be rich, but a friend of mine who has visited and even

lived in several Latin American countries has told me that it's probably the best place to be poor. Castro did several things that benefited the poor: 1) Broke up the plantation system, which was, like sharecropping in the American South, "slavery by another name," and 2) Outlawed the racial laws that actually forbade people of African descent (2/3 of the population has some African ancestry) from entering certain parts of town unless they were working there as servants, 3) Made education free and compulsory for all, 4) Made health care available to everyone. There's a reason that Castro's revolution was successful. Happy people don't join revolutions, and by all accounts (and I'm talking about academic, non-political sources), the majority lived pretty miserably in Batista's Cuba, and even the middle class was initially in favor of the revolution.

As far as political repression is concerned, not even the most rabid right-wingers have accused the Cuban government of massacring entire villages, as our "allies" in Guatemala and El Salvador did or of having mysterious "right-wing death squads" that no one ever seemed to be able to control out killing 200 people a month.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #65)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 03:51 PM

66. Why can't they be a true social democracy like Sweden? Sweden is not massacring entire villages.

Sweden and the other European social democracies take care of their poor just as well as Cuba with a much better standard of living.

Why is it an either-situation? Why can't they have real freedom?

Only kings and dictators rule for 50 years.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #66)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 04:04 PM

68. Sweden and the other social democracies STARTED with a higher standard of living

and, as I learned when I was in Scandinavia last summer, they had slaves in the medieval period, but they didn't maintain slavery till the 1880s, as Cuba did, nor did they ever have the plantation system that Cuba did, nor were they colonies of a foreign power (Spain until the Spanish-American War) nor were their ruling classes ever in league with organized crime (till 1959, as the Batista government was). Instead, the majority of the population even in the Middle Ages was independent farmers (only about 5% of the population were Vikings). They were also into education from early days, unlike Cuba, where the majority of people were illiterate.

Apples and oranges, man. Apples and oranges. A country's history lays for the foundation for its next steps.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #68)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 04:15 PM

69. So Cuba must always be a one party police state? Really? nt

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #68)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 04:20 PM

70. so Cubans aren't ready for a Swedish type social democracy then??

and need a dictatorial repressive ruling system to guide them to utopia?

The US, the Caribbean, and I believe all of what is now Latin America had a slave system.

Some countries are fairing well, others not so much. Only Cuba had originally tried to eliminate private enterprise and property.

if the Castro boys had allowed some of their industrial infrastructure to remain in private hands perhaps they wouldn't be perpetually in a situation they are trying to dig out from.

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #70)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 05:42 PM

73. When the majority of Cubans want a change, there will be a change

Who knows how long the Castros would have lasted if the U.S. hadn't provided a safety valve by granting automatic refugee status with full refugee benefits to every Cuban who could reach its shores?

(A privilege granted to nationals of no other Western Hemisphere country, not Argentinians or Chileans during their dictatorship, not Haitians during the reign of the Duvaliers, not Mexicans fleeing the drug wars, not anyone except Cubans.)

I'll expect Cuba to become a Scandinavian-style social democracy about the time Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay, and Bolivia do.

Hell, when will the U.S. become a Scandinavian-style social democracy instead of heading full-blast into right-wing corporatocracy?

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #73)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 06:22 PM

80. Before I went there

my brother had told me I'd find the population were in general poor but contented. That was a fair assessessment. They really are lovely people : always smiling. As you mentioned elsewhere there's not even an undercurrent of racism - all live in harmony which is nice.

It was only on reflection that I realised that for the 3 weeks I was there I actually felt even safer than I do here inthe UK. Only another 10 weeks or so and I'll be back there.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #80)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 06:34 PM

82. Do you know what people in our group noticed?

How well we slept. Even those of us who have irregular sleep patterns fell asleep and stayed asleep easily.

I don't have an explanation, but we all noticed it.

And I agree with you about the people. I was impressed by their cheerful can-do attitude and the knowledge that they experienced much worse conditions than now in the early 1990s and had come out on the other side with their grace and humor intact. I didn't even mind the people hustling cheap jewelry or postcards in the tourist areas, because they were so charming about it, and my two or three CUCs (the equivalent of a couple dollars) could make a difference in their material well-being.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #73)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 08:08 PM

90. well, when and how will we know when the Cubans want change? Castro already annointed

the successor. another old guard buddy. the Castros actually said that the younger generation was not ready to assume leadership. We are talking about people in their 50s mind you. I see the same paternalistic attitude towards Cubans here that I see from the Castros. Cuba will be "ready" when the Castros say so.

I don't expect the US to become like a Sweden actually. but I believe the point with Sweden was that they enjoy the same or better social benefits than Cuba, high level education, while also having individual liberties that Cuba lacks.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #73)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 09:32 AM

118. Wouldn't regular free multi-party elections be the best way to gauge when they want a change?

why are you so confident the party will simply step aside? Can you show us some historic precedence for such a thing happening?

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Response to hack89 (Reply #66)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 06:13 PM

78. Why can't the US be a true social democracy like Sweden?

 

Sweden and the other European social democracies take care of their poor just as well as Cuba with a much better standard of living.

Sweden and the other European social democracies take care of "their poor" infinitely better than the US, and also have higher levels of freedom (by any index you can find on the net).

So what's wrong with the US that it fails on both counts too?

Why is it an either-situation? Why can't they have real freedom?

And why is it a neither-nor situation in the US? If you don't already know that you are less free than virtually any comparable country, at least by some measure in each case, you need to educate yourself. Hopefully, you already know that in terms of human security, the US comes last in that list.

But to answer your question ... one wonders whether it might have something to do with Cuba having been, and the European social democracies never having been, operated as a colony-cum-casino-cum-brothel for rich foreigners until barely a half-century ago, after a few centuries of being operated as a slave-based agricultural economy ... You do know that it takes an actual GDP to provide the standard of living you speak of, right?

Why isn't your question (to refer to what has already been said): Why can't the various other Latin American countries one might name, over the last half century, just stop allowing the wholesale murder of the people in their countries, like workers and peasants seeking only basic human security, and maybe even provide them with some of the security people in European social democracies enjoy? And hell, even some of the freedom at the same time?

Exactly where are your priorities? Star athletes who see the prospect of a lucrative career, or people being gunned down by death squads or having the land they subsistance farm taken away from them?

Rhetorical question.


edit - I keep wandering off and coming back to the thread and not noticing that LL has already said much of the obvious.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #78)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 07:28 PM

85. I agree - both America and Cuba should be more like Sweden.

You won' t get much disagreement from me.

So you agree with LL that the historic path that Cuba started on precludes social democracy? Should I really consider that an obvious observation?

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Response to hack89 (Reply #85)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 07:33 PM

86. so you're using the same tired old tactics here

 

as you and your friends use in the Guns forum? The ones that have already been pointed to in this thread as characteristic of the right wing?

So you agree with LL that the historic path that Cuba started on precludes social democracy?

That is a statement by you, onto which you have disingenuously tacked some pseudo-ass-covering punctuation. Even if we pretend it's an actual question, it is loaded with a false premise and therefore deserving of no response whatsoever.

LL did not say what you are asserting that, or asking whether, I agree with.

If you can't engage in civil discourse, why bother typing anything at all?

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Response to iverglas (Reply #86)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 08:21 PM

94. So if liberty must be sacrificed for security

does that imply that a police state is inherently better able to secure the social security of its populace? How does democracy inhibit security? Is it because dissent in any form is dangerous to societies such as Cuba?

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Response to hack89 (Reply #85)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 08:12 PM

91. I didn't say that it precluded social democracy, only that Scandinavia had advantages in this

And actually, I think that current conditions in the U.S. preclude social democracy far more than they do in Cuba, which already has the "social" part of it, as opposed to mass media that spout right-wing propaganda.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #91)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 08:16 PM

92. What precludes them from plain old democracy? nt

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Response to hack89 (Reply #92)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 10:47 PM

98. here's the real question

 

What makes your opinion of any importance?

You like what you have. Dandy. I don't want it, thank you. But surely I must, and you must complain loudly about Canada not being like the US, because surely the US way is the only way to do things, right?

What precludes many places from "plain old democracy", which must be read as "plain old US-style democracy" in context, is a lack of development. That's how it works.

Try renting yourself some Cuban flicks as a start on getting some clues about what you're talking about. I recommend Memorias del Subdesarrollo to begin.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memories_of_Underdevelopment

Read up somewhere about the whole process that led up to implementation of the new family law policies in Cuba c1975. It might teach you something about democracy. It sure tasted like democracy -- you know, that basic equality principle -- to Cuban women. Here's a beginning on that:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_law#Principle_of_equality

And let us know when you'll be asking the same questions about the places in Latin America (and elsewhere) where people not only don't have the basic material elements of human security that Cubans have, but also have no democracy and little meaningful liberty. What's wrong with those dictators anyway, eh?

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Response to iverglas (Reply #98)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 06:22 AM

103. So they have a one party "democracy" with a single leader for 50 years?

that is a pretty perverted definition of democracy.

On one hand you tell me of the wonderful advances of Cuban society and then tell me they are too underdeveloped to embrace a true multi-party democracy. It is a wonder to behold watching so call progressives tie themselves in knots defending police states.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #103)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 07:25 AM

106. .

 

On one hand you tell me of the wonderful advances of Cuban society and then tell me they are too underdeveloped to embrace a true multi-party democracy.

No, I said no such thing.

It is a wonder to behold watching so call progressives tie themselves in knots defending police states.

It is as boring as usual watching the usual suspects to their usual thing.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #106)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 09:24 AM

116. Do you deny they are a one party state?

can you show where the Cuba people have been given a legitimate opportunity to change that?

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Response to hack89 (Reply #103)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 10:34 AM

128. It is a wonder to see DUers all bent out of shape

over a country that is no more or no less dictatorial than many others that our official policy considers to be allies. (cf. Uzbekistan, which is actually MORE dictatorial than Cuba--"disappearing" opponents and killing them in gruesome ways--but they're OK, because they let the U.S. military use their country as a staging area.)

I'm sure that if Raul Castro let the fast food chains and sweatshops in, without changing a single thing about the one-party political system, he'd be hailed as a great reformer.

Why not? It worked for Deng Xiaoping.

We need to clean our own house of corruption and behind-the-scenes deal makers and political theater in the guise of elections before we start criticizing other countries.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #128)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 04:16 PM

137. I condemn all police states, "allies" or not. They are anathema to fundamental human rights.

I certainly condemn China.

By your standard what counties are morally fit to criticize Cuba?

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Response to hack89 (Reply #137)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 06:21 PM

139. Well, some counties might pass resolutions,

But at this point, we have enough problems of our own, and we should keep our red, white, and blue noses out of countries that aren't threatening the U.S.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #139)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 06:41 PM

141. But as private citizens we can condemn police states such as Cuba, right?

I don't care what the US government thinks - I don't support their policies for Cuba.

On edit: Is there any country in the world with the moral standing to condemn police states?

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Response to hack89 (Reply #141)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 06:45 PM

142. Why bother "condemning" it?

especially when it's pretty mild as police states go and getting milder.

What effect does your "condemnation" have?

Too often, campaigns in the press to "condemn" other countries are preludes to war.

If you choose not to travel there or buy CDs of son, that's your prerogative.

I chose to go there as part of the ongoing relationship between the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota and the Episcopal Church of Cuba.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #142)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 06:54 PM

143. How often does the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota visit political prisoners?

Do you think it is "mild" to all those political dissidents in jail? Or is fighting for individual liberty outside your brand of Christianity?


As for "why" - for the same reason I condemn racism in America. When good people ignore evil then people suffer. I refuse to become complacent to it like you.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #143)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 07:07 PM

146. How often do visitors to the U.S. visit political prisoners in the U.S. ?

and if you think we don't have them, you're naive.

Good bye.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #146)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 07:11 PM

147. I would think a church group would be actively supporting Christian values where ever they went

or does political repression fit into your ideology? I notice through out this thread you have failed to condemn it.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #142)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 07:01 PM

144. So political repression is OK as long as it is "mild"? What do you think OWS thinks about that idea?

nt

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Response to iverglas (Reply #98)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 06:42 AM

105. Do the Cuban people think they are not developed enough for true democracy?

what is the danger in letting them make the choice?

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Response to hack89 (Reply #105)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 07:05 PM

145. It's not up to me

or you. It's up to them.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #145)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 07:15 PM

148. How do they articulate their choice to be free? Through free elections? Oh wait ...

listen to yourself - you are saying the citizens of a single party police state can just "decide" to be free and it will happen. To you realize just how stupid that sounds?

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Response to hack89 (Reply #66)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 11:07 PM

100. Why can't the USA be a democracy? Many reasons.

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Response to roody (Reply #100)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 06:23 AM

104. Only kings and dictators rule for 50 years.

we are further along then Cuba

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Response to hack89 (Reply #104)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 08:31 AM

109. only hacks behave like this

 

Hack by name, hack by nature.

(Should anyone be scrutinizing this post: the poster in question, hack89, has just spouted "Only kings and dictators rule for 50 years" for about the 10th time in this thread, and contributed nothing further to the discourse once again.)

I look at the US, and I see the ruling class ruling for 250 years.

The question has been raised of why Cuba does not have a multi-party democracy. That one gave me a chuckle.

There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.

-- John Adams

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Response to iverglas (Reply #109)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 09:29 AM

117. So the Cuban ruling class is simply more honest?

they don't see the need for a charade of democracy - they boldly state that they are the only ones fit to rule?

Do you also think John Adams felt that America was best served by a single party that monopolized power through coercion and violence?

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Response to hack89 (Reply #117)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 09:36 AM

120. well, somebody is "more honest"

 

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Response to iverglas (Reply #120)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 09:45 AM

121. So is the Cuban ruling class any different from ours?

are they more enlightened or are they in it for the power and privileges?

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Response to hack89 (Reply #121)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 09:52 AM

122. I wasn't talking about the Cuban anything

 

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Response to iverglas (Reply #122)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 09:56 AM

123. I know - you always revert to personal attacks eventually. nt

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Response to iverglas (Reply #47)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 10:42 PM

97. Cuban's aren't even free to go anywhere they wish *within Cuba*.

They need a permit to go from one town to the next, to get a job in one town or the next.

In almost every country passports are "shall issue," not "shall issue after 7 years of service." As long as you have a good background (no criminal history), you get one.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #97)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 10:56 PM

99. Please post any link you have to information on your claim

Cubans need permits to go from one town to the next.

Have never heard this one before, after reading threads on Cuba on message boards for well over 10 years.

It would be helpful to any of the DU'ers who also didn't know about this.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #102)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 07:32 AM

107. HRW ?



Personally I can understand the need to prevent the absurdity of overcrowding in Havana which is to what that relates.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #102)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 08:25 AM

108. one would say "unbelievable", but ...

 

From your own link (a link to a more informative source about the decree itself would be good but a quick search doesn't find me one -- btw, "decree" is a translation of the word used for executive orders in many countries, such as France and Canada):

The government restricts the movement of citizens within Cuba by enforcing a 1997 law known as Decree 217. Designed to limit migration to Havana, the decree requires Cubans to obtain government permission before moving to the country's capital. It is often used to prevent dissidents traveling to Havana to attend meetings, and to harass dissidents from other parts of Cuba who live in the capital. For example, in January 2010 authorities repeatedly threatened to remove human rights defenders Juan Carlos González and Tania Maceda Guerra from Havana. Security officers visited their home, called them "counterrevolutionaries," and warned they would be forcibly returned to their native province under Decree 217 if they did not leave Havana voluntarily.


So what you said:

They need a permit to go from one town to the next, to get a job in one town or the next.

is actually, like, false, from what I can tell anyway. Maybe you can tell us more, since you made the claim.

Here's me, someone who actually knows stuff about things like the development process and the migration phenomenon, talking to people who pull tricks like that. Why would I bother?

I suppose because there are possibly people reading who would believe what you say otherwise.

The economic and social problems that result from large unemployed rural populations migrating to a metropolis in depressed economic circumstances are known worldwide. Perhaps you've read about the barrios in Rio? and the murders of homeless kids, and crime in general, that occur there. You may even recall similar phenomena in your own country. Ever heard of Mulberry Bend? Less developed economies cannot sustain those kinds of population shifts and concentrations. Cuba does not have the resources to cope with that phenomenon, and it also does not have the economic and social problems that it leads to. Havana is not Rio or Kingston or Port-au-Prince. Some people think that is a good thing.

Human security is a prerequisite for political development. Human security includes all of the four freedoms of your Mr. Roosevelt. You may not care about freedom from fear and freedom from want, but you might want to listen to people who do and to whom it is crucial, occasionally. Freedom of speech and religion are important. They are not all that is important. The US paradigm simply is not universally accepted. It's yours; enjoy it, if you do. Judge other people's choices by it if you like, but acknowledge that it is not your place to impose it.

As far as the use of the decree for repressive purposes, yup, there are problems in Cuba. There are problems everywhere. Utopia has not been achieved anywhere on earth. Development, and every other aspect of human life, is a process, and it has never been a straight line. The US itself has veered off course significantly -- in fact, both the US and Cuba headed in some wrong directions from their very beginnings. The problems in the two places are different, unsurprisingly since the two places were never comparable to start with. Is the US doing better at addressing its freedom from want problem than Cuba is doing at addressing its freedom of speech problem? Well, given that things are getting steadily worse in the US in that regard, not better, it doesn't seem so.

Cuba's problems don't include widespread homelessness, organized crime / street gangs / drug trafficking-associated social problems, any of the social problems seen in US cities, let alone in less-developed countries more comparable to Cuba, where you are actually more likely to see death squads, civil war, massive governmental financial corruption, and of course grinding poverty ...

Despite the vicious embargo, Cuba had started out on the path to development: economic, social, human, political development. Education and healthcare are basic prerequisites for all forms of development, for example, and they were priorities and hallmarks of the Cuban revolution. Women's equality is another priority and hallmark in development, as are all other forms of equality; the racial equality prioritized and observed in Cuba has been noted. Battista and his US puppetmasters did NOT bring, and would not have brought, those things to Cuba. Where was democracy in Cuba before the revolution? Where is your judgment of that Cuba and its puppetmasters?

The puppetmasters don't want "democracy" in places like Cuba. They assassinate the democratically elected Allende, they engineer coups against the democratically elected Arenz and Mosaddegh and they reinstitute their own genuinely repressive governments (who kill anyone in their way); they mine the harbours of the democratically-governed Nicaragua; they make nice with the despotic Duvaliers and all the other tyrants of the world and profit from their tyranny (at least until it becomes no longer feasible). If you think Cubans have not always known how fragile their gains are ...

Who knows what might have happened if the US government had engaged Cuba in 1960 instead of isolating it, acting at the behest of its own puppetmasters? What is "democratic", within the US itself, about the embargo? The embargo is a policy instituted in the interests of the people of the US, who were democratically consulted about it? Now there's a laugh for the day.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #108)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 08:41 AM

111. back to the OP, those two women apparently aren't impressed by Cuba's "progress"

and my understanding is until very recently, the Cuban government gave or assigned jobs to people in Cuba. so overcrowding in Havana from the rural population to look for a job wouldn't appear to be an issue.

regardless, in a free society you don't need government permission to move to another city.

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #111)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 08:52 AM

112. your "understanding" ...

 

my understanding is until very recently, the Cuban government gave or assigned jobs to people in Cuba

... isn't even a pretense at understanding, is it now?

You could start by investigating the concept of "informal economy", and also considering what people tend to do in big cities when they can't get work. Which was kind of what I was talking about, ffs.

Or you could just remain, or pretend to be, ignorant of everything.


regardless, in a free society you don't need government permission to move to another city.

And in a decent society, you don't find yourself living in a car with nothing to eat because your government let its corporate masters turn your home into a pawn in their ponzi schemes, and your job into a commodity to be exported.

Or grow up with no option but crime to feed yourself on the streets of the big city.

You do realize that the US hasn't been the envy of the world for quite a while now, right? I know how just about impossible it must be to believe that the rest of us just don't want what you've got, but you really can take my word for it.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #112)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 09:06 AM

113. first things first, so did the government assign people jobs or not???

I stick to my original statement, in a free society you don't need government permission to move.

you are referring to the black market which I understand thrives in Cuba. people trying to earn extra to have or buy things for themselves or family.

I don't think the US should strive to be the envy of the world. I don't believe its all that important to have other people envy us. However, I would note that many people from south of the border and the Caribbean, not to mention Asia, India, Africa, and Europe continue coming to the US even given existing economic problems. That speaks for itself.

and to reiterate, those two Cuban women apparently decided that Cuba wasn't really for them.

p.s. in reference to earlier discussion about how nice people are, this is an attribute of latinos in general and not specific to Cubans. GO to the DR, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and you will find warm and friend people. this is a cultural attribute, not a learned behavior from the government.

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #113)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 09:35 AM

119. "and to reiterate"

 

These two Cuban women quite obviously decided that money was to be made in the US. Don't imagine they plan to stay in Canada.

Oh look!

http://sports.nationalpost.com/2012/01/25/cuban-soccer-player-yisel-rodriguez-describes-defection-to-united-states/

“We waited for a distraction of the coaches,” Rodriguez told ESPN.com through an interpreter on Wednesday. “Then I talked to my roommate <Gallardo>, and we decided to go.” Once they made it to the street, “We hailed a cab and asked him to take us to the border.”


Reunited with family in Florida, they are. And no need to prove anything about why they wanted to leave Cuba. So we'll likely just never know.

Historically, defecting athletes in North America do not claim political reasons for their "defection"; they are economic migrants, purely and simply. Even the Iranian athlete I represented was really more of a jewel in the crown for the Iranian opposition in exile than a real case of well-founded fear of persecution.


p.s. in reference to earlier discussion about how nice people are, this is an attribute of latinos in general and not specific to Cubans.

Yeah, but it's kind of remarkable (and not just about Cubans) that they are so hospitable to the "norteamericanos" whose government has waged various kinds of war against them for so long ...


I stick to my original statement, in a free society you don't need government permission to move.

And you can repeat yourself til the cows come home, and I'll still say: in a decent society with the resources to prevent it, people aren't living on the street (just for starters on the social and human suffering experienced in some of those "free" societies).

You don't care about that, is all I'm gathering. However, most other people in the world, the ones who aren't the tiny minority with marketable skills they see as a ticket to a better life somewhere else anyway, would rather be living in a safe home with food to eat than be "free" to move from place to place and not have that, if a choice had to be made. Grant them their choice. Does a choice have to be made in Cuba? In that particular instance, I tend to say yes: averting the massive problems that would without question result from mass migration to Havana -- problems not just for the migrants but for their places of original residence and for society in Havana and Cuba as a whole -- yes, the choice was quite likely necessary. On the premise that Cubans did not want Havana to end up like Rio, whether you share that wish or not.

There are a very few countries that achieve both goals -- freedom and security -- to a significant extent, obviously only in the last few decades of human history (and I do not count the US among them, on either count in fact). Neither can be achieved without development in all its forms: again, both are both prerequisites for and evidence of development. It is a process.

Political development in Cuba HAS been rapid and significant; if you don't think the advances in the status of women alone (as in China) are both prerequisites for and evidence of development and democratic progress, well, you really just don't care as much as you claim to. And if you keep measuring Cuba by one yardstick, and refuse to measure your own country by the other and demand that your own country meet both as you demand Cuba do (particularly given that at this date, your country has had far longer and far more resources for doing that), well, you're just not a significant voice in the discussion.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #119)


Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #124)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 10:07 AM

125. yes, isn't capitalism wonderful?

 

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #113)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 10:53 AM

132. They aren't coming from Western Europe so much anymore

The biggest immigrant groups in the Twin Cities, for example, are Latino (mostly Mexican and Central American), Somalis, Ethiopians, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Hmong, along with some H1B Indians and some Eastern Europeans. But the Latinos and Somalis are by far the largest groups.

The only Western European immigrants I know are here because they came to take a specific job or because they married an American.

In other words, it's mostly people from very poor countries who are coming here these days.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #132)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 11:47 AM

133. there is no particular need for Western europeans

and the economic conditions of their countries of origin vary widely. they are not all like Haiti or Somalia.

the US still represents a chance at economic opportunity and mobility that their home countries don't, even that simply means returning home after a few years.

I don't hear about people flocking to Cuba because the government offers "security".

you seem resentful that the US has that status as a magnet.


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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #133)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 12:35 PM

135. I don't know where you're getting "resentful"

I was just saying that it's no longer THE world magnet.

For example, the Irish fleeing their country's economic destruction by the financial sector pirates are largely going to Canada or Australia, not to the U.S.

As for people "flocking" to Cuba, most people who are poorer than Cubans are too poor to leave their villages. But as I said above, Haitians emigrate to Cuba, and when I was in Havana, I met a Jamaican who had emigrated, so it's not unheard of for people who are within reasonable boating distance.

People from wealthier countries? The only people from wealthy countries who emigrate to poorer countries are the ones who can build gated communities and recreate the amenities of their home countries.

Besides, it's hard for poor countries to take in a lot of refugees. Kenya and Thailand are both unhappy about the large numbers of refugees that have come into their countries (from Somalia in the case of Kenya and from the hill tribes of Laos in the case of Thailand) and keep pestering wealthy countries to take them.

Furthermore, according to someone I met who worked with Central American refugees in Mexico in the 1980s, radio broadcasts from Cuba, telling about education, health care, and reconstruction projects after hurricanes, served as an inspiration to rebels in places like El Salvador and Guatemala. When he first arrived in the refugee camps, he tried to tell the refugees, "But there's no political freedom in Cuba."

And they just laughed at him. "Do you think we have political freedom?" They had horror stories about wholesale massacres of villages, of children being tortured in front of their parents to get the parents to give information, of relatives and friends disappearing after voicing a grievance.

But if one is in Guatemala, it's a lot easier to go overland to Mexico (and maybe onward to the U.S.) than to sail to Cuba.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #135)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 01:50 PM

136. people go to live in developing countries all the time. many expats in latin america

even for a middle class person the costs are substantially lower and your money will go much farther. just as immigrants come to the US and work and earn money, and many return to live in their own countries with the money they've earned.

I am certainly considering that with Peru, Ecuador, Colombia being at the top of the list. maybe Panama or the DR. I realize by that time Cuba may be the number one retirement destination for Americans but its certainly not now. and $20 a month doesn't cut it for me.

I believe most people have hire aspirations than what the government allows you to have.

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #136)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 06:25 PM

140. Yes, but when I was considering expatriating during the Bush administration

I started subscribing to some of the newsletters and magazines for retirees overseas, and it was all about libertarians escaping taxes and regulations and building gated communities and hiring servants for next to nothing and the magazines assuring you that you didn't even have to learn Spanish.

Bleccch.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #108)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 09:14 AM

114. Decree 217 is not just used to limit it to Havana. It's arbitrarily implemented.

Don't lecture me, please, walls of text do not change the fact that such laws are draconian at their roots. Decree 248 requires everyone to register in their new home if they reside their for more than 30 days. Anywhere, not "just in Havana." It also forces all citizens over 16 to have an ID and show it at any time when requested.

Ultimately Cuba is privatizing things and implementing their own type of perestroika. Of course, when EU or the west fires millions of workers, we call it austerity. When Cuba does it, we call it 'reforms.' Just shows the disconnect people have with regards to the future of Cuba and how the "revolution" most assuredly failed. And what really underscores it is the whole Emmanuel Goldstein of "imperialism" which must be announced every moment one dares criticize the failure of the Cuban system.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #114)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 09:19 AM

115. good post. one note, the ID card (cedula) is widespread throughout latin america

I am actually not aware of country that doesn't have that requirement.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #114)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 10:08 AM

126. yes, isn't capitalism wonderful?

 

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Response to iverglas (Reply #126)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 10:14 AM

127. Cuba has always been capitalist.

No fundamental difference between corporations owning and controlling everything and a state doing so. The state heads are your CEOs, and life is authoritarian.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #102)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 08:33 AM

110. No Occupy Havana I guess n/t

s

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