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FlandersFeelds Donating Member (44 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 10:09 PM
Original message
Cuba cracks down on private sector
State reasserts controls, reverses 1990's-style liberalizations

By Andrea Rodriguez, Associated Press

HAVANA -- If you want to build a better mousetrap in Cuba, you'll have to go to work for the government.

Officials are halting new licenses for some types of self-employment -- from magician to masseur to restaurateur to jeweler to mousetrap maker -- as the communist government steadily reasserts control over the economy.

Under a Labor Ministry decree scheduled to take effect Oct. 1, no new licenses will be issued for 40 categories of jobs that were legalized in 1993 during the severe economic crisis that followed the collapse of the Soviet bloc, which was Cuba's biggest source of aid and commerce.

http://www.oaklandtribune.com/Stories/0,1413,82~10834~2...

Why is this idiot still running Cuba? Are the elections riged to keep castro in power?
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Union Thug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 10:58 PM
Response to Original message
1. I wish america would..
crack down on the private sector... :-|
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FlandersFeelds Donating Member (44 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. That would really help my Bakery business
Remind me never to support anyone that would try to force my private and quite successful business into the long arms of Mother Government.

Please tell me whom you consider a supporter of such madness that is running for office so I can help make sure they fail.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 01:09 AM
Response to Reply #2
15. Before you react that way to the idea,
Edited on Fri May-07-04 01:10 AM by kgfnally
please realize that unless you're a ubersuccessful national or multinational corporation, those of us who feel such should be severely restricted would not even look your way.

The reason is that the kind of power you can wield over your town is not equal to the power WalMart could wield over your town. Yes, there really is such a thing as bad profit.

Perhaps I should say, badly used profit. You wouldn't behave as WalMart does, or Taco "Pick the 'maters 'n quit yer bitchin" Bell, or something sold by Nike made by a sweatshop in China, would you?

Those are the practices we want to stop- everything from a supersuccessful national corporation like WalMart that disposes of businesses like yours to companies making massive profits while paying their workers a pittance for what is all too often their blood and their very lives. I strongly doubt you employ such devices in your daily operations.

At least, I would hope so.
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0rganism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 03:34 AM
Response to Reply #2
20. Mother Government is what makes your bakery business possible
If I were you, I wouldn't be pissing in the well.
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Dirk39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:04 PM
Response to Original message
3. Why is this idiot still running Cuba?
Edited on Thu May-06-04 11:07 PM by Dirk39
"...as the communist government steadily reasserts control over the economy"

Maybe these dickheaded Cubans simply don't understand that freedom and democrazy means that Halliburton and Carlyle steadily reasserts control over their government?
It might start with a magician or masseur, but later it might be Cheney...

Hello from Germany,
Dirk

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FlandersFeelds Donating Member (44 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:07 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. That's quite a stretch dirk
Comparing castro's attack on small private business to monoliths like haliburton and carlyle is pushing the limits don't you think?
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Dirk39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:18 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. To be honest:
Edited on Thu May-06-04 11:24 PM by Dirk39
I wasn't too serious, but SOMEHOW serious about that.
So far, the decisions the Cuban government has made to improve or simply defend the economy under difficult circumstances did convince me.


From the article:
"Whether privately employed or state worker, Cubans don't pay rent, get free education and health care and are given a small food ration"

My suspicion so far is:
the reaction of Americans, when they hear "communist government is keeping their citizens in tutelage" is far more idiologic than the reasons for the government in Cuba to make a decision like this.
At least Castro was always pragmatic and so far he is not among those, who did damage to their citizens in order to follow ideologic principles, except for the first decades, when they simply were amateurs...

If someone would convince me that this decision will harm the people in Cuba, will do damage to the interests of the people in Cuba, do it!

As long as the message is: "Cuba cracks down on private sector" and not "thousands of Cubans are starving in the streets of Havanna" I see no reason to be concerned.
Or just get things right again: the populistic advocates of capitalism always talk about masseurs and magicans, when they promote decisions that only serve the Carlyles and Halliburtons....

Dirk
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FlandersFeelds Donating Member (44 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Maybe it won't do damage in a Hippocratic sense
But it will stifle those that desire to have more by working harder. When I see Cubans posting here with their super-fast Pentium 7s telling us how happy they are I might bite.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 08:35 AM
Response to Reply #7
30. That'll take ending the embargo
Edited on Fri May-07-04 08:46 AM by Mika
"When I see Cubans posting here with their super-fast Pentium 7s telling us how happy they are I might bite."



Ummm.. you don't know much about Cuba-US relations do you?


Intel is forbidden from selling chips to Cuba if it wants to sell chips in the USA. The Helms-Burton law prevents it.



To not know this is VERY revealing as to your limited level of knowledge on this subject.




For now Cuba uses what it can get third party,


Computer classes in Cuba



More computer classes in Cuba


Computer club in Guama, Cuba


Computer classes in Pinar Del Rio, Cuba
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Minstrel Boy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Well said, Dirk.
"the populistic advocates of capitalism always talk about masseurs and magicans, when they promote decisions that only serve the Carlyles and Halliburtons"

The forbidden truth about Cuba? It's a success story.

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DoNotRefill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 01:42 AM
Response to Reply #8
18. "The forbidden truth about Cuba? It's a success story."
Yuppers....that's why they have to ration frigging MILK.

Success story, my ass...
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #18
35. Milk is not rationed. Its free for all children under 8yrs old.
Children come first and foremost in Cuba.

Milk is a free subsidy for all Cuban children, even in the toughest of times.
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DoNotRefill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #35
42. Uh huh.
What about children over the age of 8? What about adults?

"It's not rationed. Its free for all children under 8yrs old." Everybody else does without. If that's not rationing, what the fuck IS?
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #42
44. There are a few people, but not many, unfortunately,
Edited on Fri May-07-04 03:27 PM by JudiLyn
who can draw the line between "embargo" and scarcity" in Cuba.
We must impose a harsh blockade so that hunger and its constant companion, disease, undermine the peaceful population and decimate the Cuban army.
J.C. Breckenridge, Undersecretary of War in 1897
http://www.historyofcuba.com/history/bmemo.htm

Feel free to contact your Congress people, and tell them how worried you are about Cuban childrens' lack of adequate milk. It's not absolutely necessary, as many people believe that this is the year our Congress will finally produce the veto-proof amendments needed to both drop the embargo and travel ban.

(Cuban kids are doing well, however, as their infant mortality level is the equivalent of our own, as well as their prospects for a long life. You really should do some research, get some information under your belt.)
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Vladimir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #18
36. For its region it is a huge success story
When you talk about Cuba, do yourself and your argument a favour and compare it with its neighbours. Cuba has been under a hugely restrictive embargo for 40+ years, and yet it still has a higher life expectancy, better healthcare, better education, better housing and a better research sector than maybe 75% of Latin America. These things come at a price, and it is no surprise whatever that in certain aspects Cuba has to remain disciplined in its approach. If your country faced the daily threat of invasion from the world's only superpower, then you too would be drinking rationed milk.

A far far better communist regime to use this argument on would have been the USSR some 20 odd years ago. Cuba, in its proper context, is not a success story. It is a bloody goddamn miracle.
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DoNotRefill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #36
43. Right. That's why Cubans try to escape....
on inner tubes and "junkyard wars" cars turned into boats, and die en masse in the process.

That's why HIV positive Cuban soldiers returning from overseas were put into gulags.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #43
45. Desperate Dominicans risk lives at sea
Edited on Fri May-07-04 03:46 PM by JudiLyn
Sunday, November 02, 2003 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.

Desperate Dominicans risk lives at sea

By Ian James
The Associated Press


ANDRES LEIGHTON / AP
Dominican military men patrol the coast at Miches, where many Dominicans each year board boats headed for Puerto Rico.

MICHES, Dominican Republic Ramonita de Jesus never made it to a better life. Nor did her husband, Manuel Reyes.
They drowned a year apart crossing the treacherous waters from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico just two among the many islanders who perish every year in the constant ebb and flow of illegal immigration across the Caribbean.

Yet the lure of prosperity beyond the horizon never dims. Over the past year, the number of boat people picked up in the Caribbean by the U.S. Coast Guard has doubled.

"There is nothing here," said Augustina Paulino, Manuel Reyes' mother, her eyes filling with tears. She said poverty and a lack of jobs drove the couple to risk the crossing her daughter-in-law in 2000, her son in 2001 leaving her to raise their three orphaned children in her wooden shack.

The dead can't be reliably counted, though they are in the hundreds over the past few years. Boat people picked up alive by the U.S. Coast Guard are at their most numerous since 1996 more than 5,300 in the 12 months ending Sept. 30, including about 2,000 Haitians, 1,700 Dominicans and 1,500 Cubans.
(snip/...)

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/20017...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Death toll for migrants crossing Arizona desert on track to break records


By Anabelle Garay
ASSOCIATED PRESS
6:07 a.m., July 24, 2003

PHOENIX Immigrants illegally crossing into America through the Arizona desert are dying at a faster rate this year, setting a pace to surpass last year's record death toll.

At least 123 illegal immigrants have died in Arizona since Oct. 1, the start of the federal fiscal year, according to U.S. Border Patrol figures. A total of 145 border crossers died in Arizona last fiscal year.

Most of the migrants succumbed to scorching temperatures in the harsh desert. Other deaths were attributed to accidents, drowning or unknown causes.
(snip/...)

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/nation/20030724-0607...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Documented Deaths during Border Crossings1993-1996
Location Number of Deaths
United States Side:
CaliforniaSan Diego193
Imperial27
Arizona69
New Mexico11
TexasEl Paso81
Hudspeth/Terrell4
Val Verde/Kinney3
Maverick64
Webb82
Zapata/Starr11
Hidalgo15
Cameron96
Mexican Side:Tijuana41
Cd. Jurez46
Cd. Acua27
Piedras Negras53
Nuevo Laredo90
Reynosa140
Matamoros132
TOTAL 1,185
Source: University of Houston Center for Migration Research. (New York Times, Aug 24 1997)

Note: Figures on migrant deaths in the border region vary significantly from one source to another. Thesource for the figures is the U.S. or Mexican governments, the U.S. or Mexican consulate or deathrecords collected from county records, medical examiner figures, or vital registration statistics. Also,some bodies are not recovered and are not reflected in the totals. In addition, it is difficult to determinehow many people may die at a later date from border crossing dangers, such as disease orenvironmental exposure.
(snip/...)

http://216.239.41.104/search?q=cache:rS8Jj5p3Qh8J:www.a...
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #45
47. You'd almost be tempted to think that certain right-wing Cuban "exiles"
Edited on Fri May-07-04 04:22 PM by JudiLyn
have never been anywhere, or haven't done any reading, to be so wildly unaware of the many, many people dying each year in Latin America and the Caribbean, trying to get to just one other place where they might be a little less impoverished.

The OTHER people trying to emigrate, however, DON'T have the CUBAN ADJUSTMENT ACT dangling before them, luring them to the U.S., where, if they can only get to dry land, they can get instant legal status, green card, work visa, social security, food stamps, Section 8 Housing, free medical treatment, etc., etc., ALL AT THE EXPENSE OF THE AMERICAN TAXPAYERS!

Hey! How many people do you think we'd be seeing coming across the borders and the water if we extended these opportunities to them, too?


He 'scaped, when 'scapin' wasn't cool!

Baba Loo


On edit:

Maybe someone can explain, as it comes up a lot, how it is that exiles make the trip BACK TO CUBA continually, to the point there are daily flights from Los Angeles, New York, and Miami hauling their asses, while ordinary Americans can only stand and wave "bye bye" at them, COMPLETELY locked out of Cuba.

Why do they go back on vacation, "do" the restaurants, nightclubs, visit relatives, go fishing, etc., if they are quaking in their boots about the possibility someone's going to fling them into the slammer? Maybe they're putting one over on the rest of us.

Everyone knows by now, they (hardline "exiles" and their contribution-grubbing creeps in Washington, like Dan Burton, and Tom Delay) are scared to death of what the American public is going to think when we get there and see what kind of scam they've been running on us all this time. They are probably terrified that we'll learn how we've been duped by our own rightwingers in government, who enforce the travel ban, and start throwing them out.
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DoNotRefill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-08-04 01:02 AM
Response to Reply #45
54. But wait....
""There is nothing here," said Augustina Paulino, Manuel Reyes' mother, her eyes filling with tears. She said poverty and a lack of jobs drove the couple to risk the crossing her daughter-in-law in 2000, her son in 2001 leaving her to raise their three orphaned children in her wooden shack."

OK, that explains why the Dominicans leave, because they can't live well where they are. But I thought Cuba was a paradise on earth, with great material prosperity for the region. Isn't it?

Or could it be that they try to flee because they don't like living under THEIR despotic tin-plated martinet, and would rather live under OUR despotic tin-plated martinet?

What other options are there?
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-08-04 08:06 AM
Response to Reply #54
55. you are ignoring the point
Cubans are granted special immigration perks that no other immigrant groups is offered.

Immigrants come to the US from all over the world - from democratic countries. They come here for opportunities to earn more money than they could back at home. They come to work so that they can send a little of their earnings back to their relatives. It has little to do with "despotic' regimes, it has more to do with earning power.

Cuba is a special case though, in that it is the US's Helms-Burton law (and a myriad of other sanctions) that are intended to cripple the Cuban economy. This is the stated goal of the US government, as evidenced by the Bush* admin's latest 'crackdown' on family remittances to Cuba.

For Cuban migrants - including illegal immigrants who are smuggled in or have failed a US background check for a legal visa - the US's Cuban Adjustment Act instantly allows any and all Cuban migrants who touch US shore (no matter how) instant entry, instant work visa, instant green card status, instant social security, instant access to welfare, instant access to section 8 assisted housing (with a $41,000 income exemption).

We force economic deprivation on Cubans, then open our doors to any and all Cubans illegal or not, and then offer them a plethora of immigration perks and housing perks not even available to native born Americans.

But yet more immigrants come from Mexico and the Latin Americas than do Cubans, and they have no such "Adjustment Act" like Cubans do. But they still pour in.

Plus, Cuban immigrants can hop on a plane from Miami to Havana and travel right back to the Cuba that they "escaped" from for family trips and vacations - by the hundred of thousands annually.

Recognizing the immorality of forced starvation and forced economic deprivation is a good reason to drop the US embargo on Cuba and the US travel sanctions placed on US citizens and residents. Then the Cuban economy would be able to expand even faster, thereby increasing the average wage in Cuba. It would make products, goods, and services even more accessible to both Cubans and Americans. It would reduce the economic based immigration flow from Cuba. And it would restore our own constitutional right to travel unfettered to see Cuba for ourselves.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #18
38. Here's something which might provide useful info. to you
It's a good look at Cuba's economy, as it changes continually, and as it had to take a serious dive after Russia withdrew as its pricipal trading partner. It touches on the fact our embargo ALSO interferes with the trade Cuba has needed with other countries, and information a lot of busy people don't want to take the time to read in order to know what they're talking about.

It starts:
MAKING sense of Cuba's economy is not easy. There's a joke I heard when I was in Havana recently: The CIA sends an agent down to live in Cuba and report back on the state of the economy. He returns six months later, babbling, and is carted off to an asylum. "I don't get it," he mutters over and over. "There's no gasoline, but the cars are still running. There's no food in the stores, but everyone cooks dinner every night. They have no money, they have nothing at all -- but they drink rum and go dancing."
(snip)
http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/97jan/cuba/cuba.htm
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ze_dscherman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-08-04 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #18
58. It is a success story
Just compare it to neighbouring countries that have a "free" market.

Do a comparison at literacy, health care, life span. All of this despite sanctions on trade and tourism. A system that survived despite decades of threat and sabotage and assasination attempts and invasions sponsored/committed by the friendly U.S. neighbour.

Get a grip on reality and look at the living conditions in third world countries. Don't whine about rationed milk in Cuba when a big part of the non-"communist" world does not even have clean drinking water.
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recidivist Donating Member (963 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #8
32. A success story? So THAT'S why Fidel machineguns refugees?
n/t
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #32
33. You should provide a link to a charge which has never been heard
against the Cuban government.

It would be interesting to see how you explain the daily flights to Cuba from Los Angeles, New York, and Miami on which Cuban Americans travel constantly.

How does that correspond to your claim they get "machine gunned?"
Cuban-Americans to feel travel limits
Bush curbs allowable visits, money to relatives on island
By Rafael Lorente, Tribune Newspapers. South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Vanessa Bauza contributed to this report
Published May 7, 2004

WASHINGTON -- Cuban-Americans will be allowed to visit relatives in Cuba just once every three years under new restrictions on travel to the island ordered by President Bush on Thursday.

The change from the current once-a-year limit is one of dozens of recommendations in the 423-page report by the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba, which was released by the White House on Thursday. The panel, appointed by the president in October, was established to provide suggestions to speed a transition to democracy in Cuba and to assist a future government.


Notably absent was a controversial proposal, debated for months, that would have temporarily frozen all remittances--the money Cuban-Americans are allowed to send to relatives on the island. But the report includes a series of recommendations, which the administration says will be quickly implemented, aimed at getting more independent news and information to the Cuban people, denying money to President Fidel Castro's government and assisting dissident groups.

Among the key elements:

- Restricting remittances from Cuban-Americans to immediate family members--spouses, parents, children, siblings, grandchildren and grandparents.

- Cutting the daily amount Cuban-Americans visiting the island can spend to $50 from $164. Officials said the limits would not apply to journalists, teachers and others within special categories.
(snip/...)
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0405...
(Free registration required)Cuban-Americans are the ONLY people, with the very narrow exception of certain Bush administration approved professional people like certain journalists, educators, American Congresspeople, etc.
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Vogon_Glory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:20 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Similarities Between Fidel's, Bush's Actions
Both Fidel Castro's and George Dubya Bush's actions have a common thread. Fidel Castro seeks to restrain the creative and commercial genius of the Cuban people by restricting the private sector while George UU Bush seeks to do the same by limiting the educational opportunities for less-privileged Americans. Both should be opposed.
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Dirk39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 12:05 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. Hmmm....
the creative and commercial genius of the Cuban people seek to restrain George W. Bush, while the less privileged Americans with limited educational opportunities believe the lies about Cuba, the not-restricted private sector in the USA along with George W. Bush seeks to tell them. Both should be supported.
Couldn't resist,

Dirk
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 12:13 AM
Response to Reply #6
12. You must be kidding
"Fidel Castro seeks to restrain the creative and commercial genius .. "

Like, the masses of Cubans would stand that crap?


Ever been to Cuba? There, you will see absolutely no lack of creative genius - Cuba is known worldwide for is art, dance, and music. Cubaia is celebrated everywhere. Just not in the USA.


Instead of commercializing their country and culture Cubans have chosen to express their genius at socialism not commercialism (as exemplified by their children's world class education, their peaceful & safe environment, their children's and grandparent's world class universal health care - pre natal to death).


When there are crippling extraterritorial embargoes placed on the US by the US's largest trading partner, only then we could we compare the US to Cuba because as it stands now, Cuba -under embargo by its former largest trading partner- surpasses the US in a wide range of statistics now.


Restrain? Nope. Masterful marshaling of scarce resources under duress for the betterment of all Cuban citizens, by all Cuban citizens. And they have excelled! Pure genius.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 01:22 AM
Response to Reply #12
17. But would that have happened
Edited on Fri May-07-04 01:29 AM by kgfnally
were Castro to have been removed from power, as we so often have tried- and failed, spectacularly- to do? Is it him or his policies that force the people into the roles they live?

I'm all for removing the embargo completely. I've never, ever understood it, even near the end of the Cold War when I was a child. I've never understood why democracy could not lead by example, could not open its borders and its trade to one single country, so close to us geographically and yet so far ideologically.

We lost a precious chance during the Cold War to show Moscow once and for all that not only could democracy and communism peacefully coexist on this planet, but that both systems could benefit from the existence of the other: democracy by allowing its citizens to see that they need not overconsume and quickly throw away, and communism by showing its citizens that they could indeed enjoy the fruits of their labors if they also relied upon their own ingenuity. In that, they would have eventually given something back to us, something called invention by necessity.

We could have done all this with Cuba as a test case, a way to show the world that the Cold War could be ended peacefully, with both systems stronger as a result. We should do this now, immediately. Right now we have a severe imbalance of power in the world, and as in any living system, that imbalance will eventually be equalized. All too often, that's a violent process; will we as a race encounter lightning and tornadoes, a short, violent storm.... or a hurricane of legendary proportions?

Time will tell.
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Vogon_Glory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 06:51 AM
Response to Reply #12
25. I Shatter Mika's Illusions
Sorry, Mika, but I'm not one of those people like that Dade County politico who criticizes Cuba yet who has never been there. I've been there twice, once in 2001, and again in 2003--howbeit with group tours, but ones that covered a lot of ground that neither the Canadians who go to soak sun on the beaches and the good little companeros who limit themselves to Havana never see.

While I didn't see the trash, hunger, and grimness that I'd seen in my trips to Guatemala, I couldn't help but observe the relative poverty of Cuba compared even to places like El Salvador .

I consider the freedom to buy and sell one's goods and services to be an essential liberty of a free society, and the private sector I saw in Cuba was a small-scale furtive, harassed private sector kept small by ideologues still trying to force a discredited Marxist system discredited and discarded around most of the rest of the planet.

The US is no longer the economic super-collossus it was back in 1959. The Europeans have fully recovered from World War II and their living standards are often even better than our own. Ditto the Japanese. A Cuba with a much larger, healthier private sector could find prosperity in spite of lost US markets, despite the ravings of CANF. The US embargo with Cuba is a threadbare excuse for the failures of Castro's Marxism as the means of production for a better society.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 08:21 AM
Response to Reply #25
29. Sorry. No illusions to shatter
VogonG, you see I've been to Cuba dozens of times since the latter 1970's. First as a young tourist, then as a student, then as a medical practitioner/instructor. I've seen Cuba go through good times and very bad times - especially after the US forced trade sanctions between Russia and Cuba (in return for US aid to Russia). I have no illusions of Cuba. I have served in El Salvador also (with an international cleft palate surgical charity), and I can tell you that Cuba has a better education system and a better health care system for all of the citizens there than Salvador, even during the roughest of times.

Consider how far along Europe would have come if it had not been for the numerous lend-lease programs, massive credit, and various types of 'Marshall Plans' offered by the global banking systems (mainly the US). What if Europe had been sanctioned and embargoed like Cuba? What if the entities against Europe stepped up their aggression in response to any of Europe's successes, like the USA has historically done to Cuba

Its simply not a fair comparison considering the the US enforces extraterritorial sanctions and embargoes on Cuba. Without the closest and largest trade partner to trade with Cuba's economic situation can in no way be compared to Europe. Ditto with Japan.


I agree with you 100 percent regarding dropping the US sanctions on Cuba and US travel/trade sanctions Americans. It should all be dropped forthwith.
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Vladimir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 10:10 AM
Response to Reply #6
37. Creative genius
Edited on Fri May-07-04 10:11 AM by Vladimir
I suggest you ask children troughout the third world about Cuba's creative genius. After all it is thanks to the Cuban-made meningitis vaccine, distributed for near-gratis by Cuba's government, that thousands of them are alive today.

PS maybe you should speak to the people of Haiti too. There were some doctors who stayed there throughout the coup and US invasion this winter/spring to help the civilians caught in the crossfires. Guess which country they were from?
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Vogon_Glory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #37
49. Private Economic Sector Also Aspect of Creativity
It is my firm belief that a private economic sector--as opposed to one hobbled hand and foot by centralizing power-hungry bureaucrats and ivory-tower ideologues--is also part of a nation's creative genius.

This is not to say that the "borned again" neo-social Darwinism of the Banana Republican Party is justified, any more than a return to the neo-colonial economic order of pre-Castro Cuba should be restored.

The trouble is that Castro's current economic setup is leaving Cubans a lot poorer and a lot worse off than they need to be. Moreover, the constant pressuring of what little private capital there is in Cuba today (And I'm talking about the little guys, not the EU or Canadian-based corporate partners of the current Cuban regime) risks returning Cuba to the status of a neo-colony. You have your own dough, you can dance to your own tune. An old rule, yet still very, very true.

I believe that Cuba and Cubans deserve a third choice for their own future other than the return to a US economic neo-colony of the sort pushed by Dubya, Reich, Noriega, and the CANF on the one hand and on the other the failed Marxist experiment that still hopes, MacCawber-like, that something will turn up, that is so naively endorsed by naive progressives.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-08-04 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #49
59. Black & white. With us or agin us.
Edited on Sat May-08-04 10:20 AM by Mika
"I believe that Cuba and Cubans deserve a third choice for their own future other than the return to a US economic neo-colony of the sort pushed by Dubya, Reich, Noriega, and the CANF on the one hand.."


This is exactly what Cuba has to defend itself from - it is the primary duty of their sovereign government to defend the nation from foreign aggressors. The more the US threatens the more Cubans line up to support the revolution that ended US imperialism there.





" ..and on the other the failed Marxist experiment that still hopes, MacCawber-like, that something will turn up, that is so naively endorsed by naive progressives."


Only naive 'progressives' think that Cuba is a Marxist experiment. Cuba has modified its economic structure many times - in unique Cubaia style, it has had to bend with the winds of fury blowing cold from the USA. The lead article suggests just that - as the economic conditions improve the government of Cuba can expand its range and level of services including from magician to masseur. As the economic conditions had worsened in the past, privatization of some government sectors expanded. Now, due to the improved economy, those sectors are back in fold of government services with full union representation and full benefits. The goal is full employment.

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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:53 PM
Response to Original message
9. Idiot? LOL
Under a Labor Ministry decree scheduled to take effect Oct. 1, no new licenses will be issued for 40 categories of jobs that were legalized in 1993 during the severe economic crisis that followed the collapse of the Soviet bloc, which was Cuba's biggest source of aid and commerce.



In other words, the economic crisis that necessitated freelancing is over. The Cuban economy is growing, as exemplified by the many cash purchases Cuba is making across the board from US agribusiness - in over 40 states. The government can now rehire and expand its service range. Most of the licensed freelance occupations are now being folded into covered and represented by the various union groups that represent government workers. They will now have government jobs with full government benefits.


Been there. Seen it.
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FlandersFeelds Donating Member (44 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 12:27 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. For those that need Mommy Dearest Government it's great
Some of us want to be an individual. I don't need Mother to break my balls.
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0rganism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 03:42 AM
Response to Reply #13
21. Yeah, you don't need any government at all, you individual you!
Edited on Fri May-07-04 04:07 AM by 0rganism
You're so rugged, you don't need roads to drive on or cops to arrest the guys who shoot at you. You're Humungus, Chief of the Wasteland Tribes!
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 03:50 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. Paved roads are for sissies.
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FlandersFeelds Donating Member (44 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 06:23 AM
Response to Reply #21
24. Straw man hyperbole
What I don't need is Mom castro telling me I can't bake and sell bread. I also don't need you to put any words in my palate.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 08:07 AM
Response to Reply #24
28. Dream on, pal
"What I don't need is Mom castro telling me I can't bake and sell bread."

Do you think that you can legally open up a bakery shop and sell to customers without a permit, without zoning, without the US Mom gov inspecting your shop, without filing for DPR and other occupational licenses? In the USA there are the state level, the county level, and then the city/township level of permits, tax number licenses, zoning regulations, impact and other fees.

Just try to open up a shop in the US without paying for all of these things - you won't get far. You'll have US gov jackboots bustin' yer ass in a big way.


If you don't need any of these things - just where would you be planning on opening up such a bakery?
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0rganism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #28
39. He doesn't need no steenkin' licenses! He's Humungus!
Edited on Fri May-07-04 01:37 PM by 0rganism
Forget about those food-handlers certificates, forget all that FDA approval of grains and additives, forget about health inspections, He's BEYOND all that, can't you see? Lord Humungus answers to No Man!

Don't force him to unleash his Dogs of War!

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. Us two-fisted hum-dingers know no master. Hey, we're 'Murkins. n/t
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nolabels Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #39
46. hehe
:D
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guajira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-08-04 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #24
60. Right on - And I don't Need to be told I can't travel to Cuba
When government denies its citizens the right to travel - that is oppression, and as a free American i refuse to be oppressed!

Especially in a case where the right to travel is denied for the purpose of buying votes for the Republican party!!

If you think you're not oppressed in this country, then try to book a trip to Cuba.
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 12:10 AM
Response to Original message
11. Don't know, don't care. I'm worried about America, not Cuba
Unless Bush decides to invade or bully them.
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FlandersFeelds Donating Member (44 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. Fair enough
I have a score to settle with he and his murdering staff. Think prisoner abuse and then marrying said prisoner.
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0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 06:56 AM
Response to Reply #14
26. I guess your talking about Lynndie England, 'eh?
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ConcernedCanuk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 01:17 AM
Response to Original message
16. The "idiot" provides some of the best health-care(free) in the world
.
.
.

" Cubas health system is financed out of the state budget. The population receives free preventive, curative, and rehabilitation services, which range from primary care, routine medical attention, and dentistry to hospital care requiring the use of highly sophisticated medical technologies. In addition, all necessary diagnostic testing and drugs are provided free of charge to pregnant women and to persons receiving outpatient care in the context of certain programs.

Out-of-pocket expenditures for families include drugs prescribed for outpatient treatment, hearing aids, dental and orthopedic apparatuses, wheelchairs, crutches and similar articles, and eyeglasses. The prices for all these items are low and are subsidized by the State."
___________________________________________________________

(They do this despite the unmeasurable damage done by the US's ridiculous embargo for over 40 years.)

" The situation in Cuba since 1989 has been characterized, above all, by a profound economic crisis that has affected virtually all spheres of national life. The severity of the crisis is evidenced by the fact that between 1989 and 1993 the countrys gross domestic product (GDP) fell 35% and exports declined by 75%. The two determining factors underlying the crisis are well known. One is the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the socialist bloc, and the other is the economic embargo the Government of the United States of America imposed on Cuba more than 30 years ago,."

http://www.paho.org/English/SHA/prflcub.htm
___________________________________________________________

And if capitalism creates a nation that is run by the likes of Geedubya, it raises some serious questions about the benefits of a capitalist society.

:eyes:

Oh, and for those that are all excited about the "restriction" of the new licensing proposal -

From the posted article:

The roughly 150,000 self-employed Cubans represent only 2.1 percent of Cuba's work force.

, and Iglesias said the state system had recovered sufficiently from the shock of the early 1990s to absorb more workers.
________________________________________________________

And they don't pay RENT

("Whether privately employed or state worker, Cubans don't pay rent, get free education and health care") - hmmmm

Rent is my single biggest budget item

hmmmmm :freak:
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robcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #16
50. Health care is Cuba's "the trains run on time"
Like another despot, Mussolini, Cuba touts its one achievement, while depriving its citizens of basic rights.

Mussolini made the trains run on time.

Castro offers free health care.

These are the distractions that both dictators use to hide their political repression and economic privation.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #50
51. When did Mussolini's trains cure children of cancer?
Robcon, I see that you are pulling out the ol' straw man.. again.



Actually, seriously, comparing Mussolini's trains to Cuba's proven 45+ year record of universal health care deployment is downright silly.

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keithyboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 02:28 AM
Response to Original message
19. Maybe he is just trying to prevent ENRONs in Cuba
I mean, afterall, they are Communisits. Why would this be so unusual? The state is supposed to control everything. And how do you know what that means? Is it any different than regulations and taxation?
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 03:49 AM
Response to Original message
22. Americans sure have a lot to teach Cuba!
In America, the person with the most popular votes does not win the election.

In America, we invade other countries in the name of freedom and democracy and then we proceed to murder and torture its citizens for the greater glory of Jesus!

In America, health care is a privilege of wealth, not a human right.

In America, freedom of the press is controlled by the corporations that own the press.

In America, free speech is fine as long as we agree with it!

In America, abortion is not an absolute right.

In America, women and people of color are not equal.
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0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 07:01 AM
Response to Original message
27. In some respects Castro is doing a better job than junior
For the sake of time, I will outline just a few figures for Latin America as a whole as compared to Cuba.

- Illiteracy rate: Latin America, 11.7%; Cuba, 0.2%

- Inhabitants per teacher: Latin America, 98.4; Cuba, 43, in other words, 2.3 times as many teachers per capita

- Primary education enrolment ratio: Latin America, 92%; Cuba, 100%

- Secondary education enrolment ratio: Latin America, 52%; Cuba, 99.7%

- Primary school students reaching Fifth Grade: Latin America, 76%; Cuba, 100%

- Infant mortality per thousand live births: Latin America, 32; Cuba, 6.2

- Medical doctors per hundred thousand inhabitants: Latin America, 160; Cuba, 590

- Dentists per hundred thousand inhabitants: Latin America, 63; Cuba, 89

- Nurses per hundred thousand inhabitants: Latin America, 69; Cuba, 743

- Hospital beds per 100 thousand inhabitants: Latin America, 220;
Cuba, 631.6

- Medically attended births: Latin America, 86.5%; Cuba, 100%

- Life expectancy at birth: Latin America, 70 years; Cuba, 76 years

- Population between 15 and 49 years of age infected with HIV/AIDS: Latin America, 0.5%; Cuba, 0.05%

- Annual AIDS infection rate per million inhabitants, i.e. those who develop the disease: Latin America, 65.25; Cuba, 15.6

- The first international study of the Latin American Laboratory of Evaluation of educational quality, carried out in 12 Latin American countries including Cuba, produced the following results. Although these data have been already mentioned, I would like to briefly refer to them in detail:

- In Language, 3rd Grade: Cuba, 85.74 points; the remaining 11 countries, 59.11 points

- In Language, 4th Grade: Cuba, 87.25; the rest, 63.75

- In Mathematics, 3rd Grade: Cuba, 87.75; the rest, 58.31

- In Mathematics, 4th Grade: Cuba, 88.25; the rest, 62.04

What is or will be the future of those countries?

According to these figures, of the seven Latin American countries that voted against Cuba, four --Costa Rica, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay-- that had boasted in the past of being the most advanced in the region, fall well behind Cuban figures. In some of these, they reach or scrape past the half way mark in comparison to Cuba, but in others they are very well below. This is the case of pre-school education for 0-5 year olds, for example, that only reaches 15.8% of the children in that age group in Chile as compared to Cuba's 99.2%.
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rebellious woman Donating Member (165 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #27
31. Castro will outlive em all, Miami Cubanos, Bushies, and whoever else
becomes el presidente....And he will make damn sure
brother is next...Let the Cubanos go fight for their
country, they have been harping on this for the last
thrirty years and still are. I wonder just how many
of them would "go back leaving their luxury life
behind".....Betcha the new generation wouldn't!
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0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #31
52. Hey, about 45 years
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #27
34. Found something a moment ago you might find thought-provoking
Just stumbled across it:
CUBA UNDERTAKES MASSIVE SCHOOL RENOVATION PROGRAM

(snip)
The condition of public education in Cuba is one of those
"compared-to what" issues. Despite the deterioration in schools, a
1998 study by the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO) found that Cuban third and fourth graders were
better educated in basic language and mathematics skills than
children in all other Latin American countries that took part in a
study. UNESCO tested students in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile,
Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Mexico,
Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela. Only 11 sets of tests were counted,
however, because the Costa Rican government sent in the scores too
late, and, in Peru, then President Alberto Fujimori took the
unprecedented step of refusing to release the scores.

The Cuban students scored 350 out of a possible 500 points on the
tests. Students in the other countries scored between 180 and 280
points.

Richard Wolf, co-director of the study, said in a National Public
Radio interview, "There was a--you know, just an astounding
difference. I'd never seen a difference of this size in an
international survey. It's not just that they came in
first in this study, but that they came in overwhelmingly in first
place."

The Cuban test scores were so high that UNESCO retested the Cuban
students but got the same results.

Cuban students performed better on the tests than even the
private-school students in Argentina and Chile. "These
students are doing very well. They must be doing something like the
level of North American students or maybe even beyond," Wolf said.
(snip/...)

~~~~ link ~~~~

(This story is a coupla years old, and follows a year in which their tourist business, their giant revenue source, was almost collapsed following 9/11. It seems to be bounding back briskly now.)
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0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #34
53. I found the link absolutely refreshing
Another thing I have noticed lately that you may find interesting is that all of Orlando Borsch sites has been taken down. 'Tis extremely hard to even google any information on this terrorist that daddy bush pardoned, and all of his atrocities.

If you find anything please let me know.
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 01:55 PM
Response to Original message
41. Interesting timing to release this article.
Sorry, Chimpster. Americans won't be so easily distracted by Cuba. It ain't going to work.

Pay no attention to what is happening in Iraq. Look over there! Cuba is acting up!
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 04:42 PM
Response to Original message
48. Bush to intensify squeeze on Cuba
Bush to intensify squeeze on Cuba

The Washington Post
Friday, May 7, 2004



WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration said Thursday it would tighten the 40-year-old U.S. financial squeeze on Cuba and work to prevent President Fidel Castro from passing power to Communist Party successors.

In a series of moves quickly denounced by Democrats as an election-year play for votes in Florida, the White House said it would sharply limit visits to the island by Cuban Americans and cut the amount they could spend there.
(snip)

Rep. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., accused Bush of "playing election-year politics with the lives of the Cuban people."

"The need and timing of a White House Cuba commission and its release of a report today is highly dubious and politically transparent," said Menendez, a Cuban American. "The Cuban American community will not be fooled by grandstanding and words that are too little, too late."

Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., is a leading proponent of efforts to lift ever-tighter restrictions on travel to Cuba. He said trying to use a C-130 to defeat Cuban jamming of U.S. government broadcasts isn't enough. "If we're really serious about letting Cubans hear a voice other than Castro's, why not let Americans travel there?" he asked.
(snip/...)

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/content/auto/epaper/e...


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ima_sinnic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-08-04 08:24 AM
Response to Original message
56. in case you missed it, from Nov 03: The Bush Plan for Cuba
President Bush's recently unveiled plan to bring down the Fidel Castro government in Cuba bears close resemblance to the one for Iraq and is designed with the 2004 Presidential election in focus.

by Sharmini Peries
Frontline, Nov 22-Dec 5, 2003



President George Bush being applauded by Secretary of State Colin Powell, as he speaks about his plan for Cuba in the Rose Garden of the White House on October 10.

Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices. - Voltaire, 1767.

FOREGROUNDING the 2004 United States election campaign, President George W. Bush announced on October 10 before a gathering of anti-Castro Cuban-American constituents at a ceremony in the White House's Rose Garden that the U.S. administration was planning to bring down President Fidel Castro's Cuban government. In the statement, Bush officially directed his Secretary of State Colin Powell and Cuban-born Housing Secretary Mel Martinez to chair a panel that would "plan for the happy days when Castro's regime is no more... The transition to democracy and freedom will present many challenges to the Cuban people and to America, and we will be prepared."

Bush's announcement, which came on the 135th anniversary of the beginning of the Cuban war of independence from Spain, was timed to raise the temperatures among anti-Castro Americans and urge them to join the Bush-Powell plan against Cuba. Speaking from Washington on behalf of the world's conscience, the U.S. President justified plans for corrective measures in Cuba as necessary, stating that Castro had acted in "defiance and contempt with a new round of brutal oppression that outraged world conscience".

In addition to this, Bush aired a 40-second-long radio message in Spanish targeted at the domestic population of Cuba. "On behalf of the people of the United States, I send greetings to the Cuban community. My hope is for the Cuban people to soon enjoy the same freedoms and rights as we do... . Dictatorships have no place in the Americas. May God bless the Cuban people who are struggling for freedom," he said. The taped radio message was aired on May 20 by Radio Marti, a U.S. government station, and beamed into Cuba via Guantanamo Bay satellites on the 101st anniversary of Cuban independence. . . .

continue here

oh, you lowlife stinking scum-sucking bag of shit! WHEN will you fucking slither back under your rock? and take your reptile legions with you!



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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-08-04 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #56
57. US has declared war! - Cuba has every right to defend itself
Edited on Sat May-08-04 09:31 AM by Mika
President George W. Bush announced on October 10 before a gathering of anti-Castro Cuban-American constituents at a ceremony in the White House's Rose Garden that the U.S. administration was planning to bring down President Fidel Castro's Cuban government.



Its a (re)declaration of war! Made every year by every president for the last 45 years.

Cuba has every right to defend itself from avowed enemies seeking to overthrow their government. Even if that includes arrests and convictions of any and all agents on the payroll of the enemy government who operate within Cuba.

If there's one thing that can bring people together, to unite with their leadership (especially if the leadership has a successful and heroic track record).. it is threat of attack and destabilization by the world's largest superpower. This type of statement by Bush* Crime Inc will only help consolidate the leadership of both Castros and the current government of Cuba.


This is what both major US parties want. There is no political campaign contribution gains to be made by actually ending the standoff between the US and Cuba (which Cuba has sought to end for 45+years) and normalizing relations.

By maintaining the status quo (US threats and continuation of sanctions - and in response Cubans support their revolution and sovereignty with greater vigor), US politicians on both sides of the issue profit from their respective contributors. This is big money and it plays into every election in Florida, many congressional elections, governorships, as well as every presidential election since 1959.


Its time to put an end in this political madness - its time to normalize relations with Cuba NOW.

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