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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:54 AM
Original message
Why there are no protests in Cuba
<clips>

The myth created and fueled through propaganda campaigns by successive U.S. administrations that Cubans on the island dream of a society in the U.S. own image makes nave people think that once Fidel Castro ceded temporary power to the First Vice President of the Council of State and Council of Ministers, in the manner prescribed by the Cuban Constitution in case of death or temporary disability, would result in crowds marching on the streets in search of freedom from Communism.

The media help promote this belief quoting mysterious informants who never reveal their names for fear of reprisal and who claim to be affected by all kinds of horrors and misfortunes that no one witnesses, including the more than two million tourists who come to the country and move freely around from one end of the island to the other. Those same reporters who inform from Havana sometimes by remote control what is not taking place, turn a blind eye and a deaf ear in the face of what other visitors can perceive: that the majority of the population supports the government and feels that they are participants in the revolutionary project.

But as days go by and nothing happens, as everything remains calm, as life goes on regularly with no avalanches of demonstrators or massive protests in the streets calling for democracy and elections a la the free world, that same press does not take the time to analyze what is happening, but keeps grinding out the same old tunes and waits impatiently and uselessly for the explosion, like they did, with frustration, when Pope John Paul II visited Cuba.

Whats wrong with these Cubans? they wonder. Why dont they take advantage of the power vacuum now that Castro seems to be losing his grip?

In spite of Fidels prestige among Cubans, and the power he wields, what exists in the country is not simply the influence of a single man who commands his people with an iron fist, or a dictator in the manner of the U.S.-backed Latin American generals who came to power through CIA-assisted coups, but a leader, followed by the majority of the population that sees in him the incarnation of the freedoms which had been absent in the country until 1959. Without the peoples support:

http://www.progresoweekly.com/index.php?progreso=German...

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NewSpectrum Donating Member (101 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:59 AM
Response to Original message
1. The answer to why there are no protests in Cuba......

Human Rights Watch
CUBA'S REPRESSIVE MACHINERY

http://www.hrw.org/reports/1999/cuba /

"Over the past forty years, Cuba has developed a highly effective machinery of repression. The denial of basic civil and political rights is written into Cuban law. In the name of legality, armed security forces, aided by state-controlled mass organizations, silence dissent with heavy prison terms, threats of prosecution, harassment, or exile. Cuba uses these tools to restrict severely the exercise of fundamental human rights of expression, association, and assembly. The conditions in Cuba's prisons are inhuman, and political prisoners suffer additional degrading treatment and torture. In recent years, Cuba has added new repressive laws and continued prosecuting nonviolent dissidents while shrugging off international appeals for reform and placating visiting dignitaries with occasional releases of political prisoners.

This report documents Cuba's failures to respect the civil and political rights enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as well as the international human rights and labor rights treaties it has ratified. It shows that neither Cuban law nor practice guarantees the fundamental rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration. Cuba's obligation to respect the declaration arises from its incorporation into the United Nations Charter, rendering all member states, including Cuba, subject to its provisions. The UDHR is widely recognized as customary international law. It is a basic yardstick to measure any country's human rights performance. Unfortunately, Cuba does not measure up"


Codifying Repression

http://www.hrw.org/reports/1999/cuba/Cuba996-03.htm#P64 ...

"The Cuban Criminal Code lies at the core of Cuba's repressive machinery, unabashedly criminalizing nonviolent dissent. With the Criminal Code in hand, Cuban officials have broad authority to repress peaceful government opponents. Cuba's criminal laws are designed to crush domestic dissent and keep the current government in power by tightly restricting the freedoms of speech, association, assembly, press, and movement.

Cuban authorities go through strained circumlocutions to deny the existence of political prisoners in Cuba. Despite admitting that Cuban law bars vocal opposition to Castro and other officials, Cuban Justice Minister Roberto Daz Sotolongo claimed in an interview with Human Rights Watch that Cuba holds no political prisoners. He said that Cuban criminal laws only penalize conduct, not thought, and as an example, distinguished between the illegality of committing an overt act in the furtherance of a murder versus the legality of merely thinking about it.57 Yet numerous Cuban criminal provisions explicitly penalize the exercise of fundamental freedoms while others, which are so vaguely defined as to offer Cuban officials broad discretion in their interpretation, are often invoked to silence government critics.

Cuban authorities regularly refer to peaceful government opponents as "counterrevolutionaries." But Cuba's invocation of state security interests to control nonviolent dissentfor acts as innocuous as handing out "Down with Fidel" flyersrepresents a clear abuse of authority. Under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights restrictions of fundamental rights are only permissable:

for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.58

Cuba's efforts to silence critics fall well outside these limits.

An international team of legal scholars, diplomats, and U.N. rights specialists, meeting at a 1995 conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, drafted a set of principles that provide further guidance regarding permissable justifications for restricting rights. In particular, the Johannesburg Principles on National Security, Freedom of Expression and Access to Information distinguish between legitimateand illegitimate invocations of national security interests. Legitimate reasons to invoke national security interests are:

protecting a country's existence or its territorial integrity against the use or threat of force, or its capacity to respond to the threat or use of force, whether from an external source, such as a military threat, or an internal source, such as incitement to violent overthrow of the government.

In contrast, illegitimate justifications for invoking national security interests include:

protecting the government from embarrassment or exposure of wrongdoing, or to entrench a particular ideology, or to conceal information about the functioning of its public institutions, or to suppress industrial action.59

The Johannesburg Principles also specify that certain types of expression should always be protected, including criticizing or insulting the state and its symbols; advocating nonviolent change of government or government policies; and communicating human rights information.60 Cuba's state security laws violate these principles, illegitimately restricting fundamental rights both in the phrasing of the laws themselves and in their application against nonviolent dissidents.

The human cost of Cuba's repressive Criminal Code is high. Thousands of Cubans have faced wrongful prosecutions and imprisonment since the Castro government came into power in 1959. Despite growing international criticism of the Criminal Code, the Cuban government has roundly refused to reform its most offensive provisions and has continued arrests and prosecutions of government opponents, detailed below at Prosecutions Continue and Routine Repression.

In the past two years, Cuban prosecutors have relied heavily on the provisions against enemy propaganda and contempt for authority (desacato) to silence dissent. Prosecutors also have tried dissidents for defamation, resisting authority, association to commit criminal acts (asociacin para delinquir), dangerousness (elestado peligroso), and other acts against state security (otros actos contra la seguridad del estado) during this period. Cuba's prisons confine scores of citizens convicted for the exercise of their fundamental rights, or in some cases, convicted without ever having committed a criminal act, for dangerousness. Cuba also detains nonviolent political prisoners who were tried for crimes against state security, such as enemy propaganda, rebellion, sabotage, and revealing secrets concerning state security. Individuals convicted of state security crimes for having exercised their fundamental rights often are serving sentences of ten to twenty years. Prisoners also are wrongfully serving sentences for contempt for authority and illegal exit. The government's inhuman treatment of its detainees, which in some cases rises to the level of torture, is detailed below at General Prison Conditions, Treatment of Political Prisoners, and Labor Rights: Prison Labor."


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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:46 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Funny how HRW never mentions..
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 09:59 AM by Mika
.. that the so called "dissidents" (the 75) were on the patroll of the declared enemy of the sovereign government of Cuba. This type of foreign funded activity is as illegal here in the US as it is in Cuba. Millions of our tax dollars have been spent on such ops against the gov of Cuba. HRW just ignores this.

http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/2003/535/535p21.htm
At an April 8 press conference in Havana, Cuban foreign minister Felipe Perez Roque presented vouchers, bank receipts and photos demonstrating the truth behind the charges against 75 dissidents found guilty of conspiring with the US Interests Section (USIS) at the Swiss embassy in Havana.

Perez exhibited vouchers of monies received last year from the US by several illegal organisations in Cuba. The Centre for a Free Cuba received US$2.3 million. The Task Force for the Internal Dissidency received US$250,000. The Program for Transition in Cuba, headed by Frank Calzon, received $325,000. Support Group for the Dissidency received $1.2 million from the International Republican Institute. Cubanet, an internet magazine, received $98,000 and the American Centre for International Labor Solidarity, whose mission is to persuade foreign investors not to invest in Cuba, received $168,575.

At a series of trials of Cuban dissidents in early April it was revealed that James Cason, the current head of the USIS, had conspired with them to provide information that Washington can use in its economic, political and propaganda war against the Cuban workers' and peasants' government.

On March 18, Cuban police began charging those involved in the US-funded dissident network. They were charged under a number of different articles in the Cuban penal code and subsequently sentenced to between 15 and 27 years imprisonment.

Article 5.1 of the penal code, under which many of those arrested were charged, states that any Cuban citizen who seeks out information to be used in the application of the Helms-Burton Act, the blockade and the economic war against our people aimed at disrupting internal order, destabilising the country and liquidating the socialist state and the independence of Cuba, shall incur a sanction of deprivation of liberty.

Article 6.1 states that any Cuban citizen who gathers, reproduces, disseminates subversive material from the government of the United States of America, its agencies, representative bodies, officials or any foreign entity to support the objectives of the Helms-Burton Act, the blockade and the war, shall incur a sanction of deprivation of liberty.

Others were charged under Article 91 of the penal code that states that any Cuban citizen who executes an action in the interest of a foreign state with the purpose of harming the independence of the Cuban State or the integrity of its territory shall incur a sentence of 10 to 20 years of deprivation of liberty or death.

The arrests of the dissidents came after an increase in tension between Washington and Havana over intensified activity by those the US government calls independent journalists and human rights organisations within Cuba.

Since September, Cason has played the most interventionist role of any previous US diplomat in Cuba. On March 10, the Cuban government delivered a note to Cason asking him to cease his provocative statements and his role organising meetings of Cuban dissidents. Two days later, Cason organised another meeting of dissidents at his residence.

The USIS has also been involved in providing up to $60,000 to the magazine El Dissidente which is sent to the USIS in diplomatic pouches and then distributed by the USIS to Cuban dissidents. Another political magazine, la Revista de Cuba, is actually printed at the USIS.

The case against the arrested dissidents was based on evidence given by a number of Cuban security service agents who had infiltrated the dissident network organised by Cason, including Odilia Collazo Valdes, who headed the Pro-Democracy Party of Cuba, and had been a Cuban security services agent since 1961. These were the key witnesses who provided evidence at the trials about the subversive role of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).



--


Maybe some should start posting HRW reports on the US. I'm sure they have something to say about torture of suspects, rendering of suspects to foreign countries with horrendous records that are using boiling of limbs a a method of torture, waterboarding of suspects, mass round ups of suspects.

When the FTAA was in Miami there were mass arrests, police beating peaceful crowds bloody, rubber bullets shot at peaceful protesters, and tear gassing of passers by.


I've been to Cuba and have seen protests against government policy and I saw no such treatment there.


The US doesn't 'measure up' to HRW standards. Maybe Americans should focus on the rotting garbage stacked high in their own back yard before demanding other that other nations pick up some litter in theirs.

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NewSpectrum Donating Member (101 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. Still spewing Communist propaganda?
The bulk of those 75 dissidents were trying to exercise fundamental Human Rights available to citizens of most Democracies. Cuban authorities suppress their freedom of expression with bogus charges:


Amnesty International

http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGAMR250352003?op ...

"In mid-March 2003 Cuban authorities carried out an unprecedented clampdown on the dissident movement on the island. Over the space of a few days, security forces rounded up over 75 dissidents in targeted sweeps. With the exception of half a dozen well-known figures critical of the regime, most mid-level leaders of the dissident movement were detained. They were subjected to hasty and unfair trials, and, just weeks after their arrest, were given long prison terms of up to 28 years. Cuban authorities tried some of them under harsh, previously unused legislation. In spite of official claims that those arrested were "foreign agents" whose activities endangered Cuban independence and security, and having reviewed the trial verdicts and other documents of 71 of the 75 dissidents sentenced, Amnesty International believes that they are prisoners of conscience, imprisoned solely for the peaceful exercise of fundamental freedoms.

In early April 2003, the Cuban government ended a three-year de facto moratorium on executions, killing by firing squad three men who had been involved in a hijacking. They had been subjected to a summary trial and appeals process, and were executed less than a week after their trial began. Amnesty International's 3 June report, Cuba: "Essential measures"? Human rights crackdown in the name of security (AI Index: AMR 25/017/2003), provides information on the case of the executed men as well as on the background, legal framework and prosecution of the 75 newly-recognised prisoners of conscience.

The Cuban authorities have continued to claim that these measures were necessary to defend the country against threats posed to its national security by the United States. Based on its review of the available information, including the trial documents mentioned above, Amnesty International maintains that the activities for which the dissidents were prosecuted were not criminal in nature and did not jeopardise national security, falling rather within the parameters of the legitimate exercise of fundamental freedoms as guaranteed under international standards. At the same time that it deplores this escalation in grave violations by Cuban authorities, Amnesty International recognises the negative effect of the US embargo on the enjoyment of the full range of human rights in Cuba, and recommends in the June document that the US government revise its policy with a view to ending the harmful practice. However, neither the US embargo nor any other aspect of US foreign or economic policy can be used to justify grave violations of fundamental rights by the Cuban authorities.

Since the publication of the June report, Amnesty International has continued to follow events in Cuba closely. An update of the main concerns follows."


I have never in any of my posts denied that the U.S. under the present administration leaves much to be desired in many areas. It is still far better than Castro's overall history. Any wrong by the Bush administration is not an excuse for Cuban Communists to have a blank check in suppressing their own population.


If I post HRW documents on the U.S., I suppose that means you have finally accepted what HRW has to say about Cuba under Castro, despite many previous denials. You are finally acknowledging that Cubans live under a brutal, oppressive regime, correct?

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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. Right. Like you aren't spewing anti Cuba propaganda.
Why don't you look up some of HRW's condemnations of the hundreds of executions in Texas.

Since you are the one posting HRW links, then I guess that you must be acknowledging that Americans live under a brutal, oppressive regime. Correct?

Then, who the F is the US to be demanding anything of Cuba?

Now, I don't agree with the death penalty in Cuba or any country, but that is a matter left up to the citizens of any country to decide.

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NewSpectrum Donating Member (101 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #11
17. Nope, no propaganda on my end, just the facts........
.....from some very objective organizations


I don't mind turning a critical spotlight on my government, it's the American way. I have protested against Bush many times and never had a problem, while Cubans risk long term imprisonment or worse for opposing Castro. If one day, I decided to leave the U.S., I would be free to go, no one would stop me. I have free access to the internet, Cubans, do not. I can give many examples how life for the average American is a lot freer than the average Cuban. Your constant attempts to sweep everything wrong with Communist Cuba under the rug by comparing it with problems in the U.S. is coming across as a very desperate, delusional form of denial. Cubans wouldn't risk their lives on makeshift rafts if the opposite were true.
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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. Trotting out reports from *1999*??? Is that the best you can do?
Compared to the most recent report for the US, Cuba is mild...

<clips>

The United States government has been widely condemned for violating basic human rights in the fight against terrorism. Since 2001, the Bush administration has authorized interrogation techniques widely considered torture, including by its own Department of State in its annual human rights reports. It has held an unknown number of detainees as ghosts beyond the reach of all monitors, including the International Committee of the Red Cross. And it has become the only government in the world to seek legislative sanction to treat detainees inhumanely.

In addition to focusing on U.S. counterterrorism practices, Human Rights Watch in 2005 continued to work on other pressing human rights concerns in the United States, including abysmal prison conditions, continued use of the death penalty, racial disparities (brought to public consciousness in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath), and increasingly restrictive asylum and other immigration policies.


* Guantanamo Bay and Military Commissions

* Torture Policy

* Detainee Abuse

* Al-Marri and Padilla

* Material Witnesses

* Incarceration

* The Death Penalty and Other Cruel Sentences

* HIV/AIDS

* Katrina

* Immigration

* International Treaty Obligations


http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/01/18/usdom12292.htm

http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/01/18/cuba12207.htm

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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. There's NEVER been wrongful prosecutions in the US South..
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 10:24 AM by Mika
.. especially in Texas.


It took the US 188 years to become a democracy after its founding. Cuba's democratic system is evolving, becoming more complete and representative every cycle. Its been 47 years since Cuba's revolution. Everyone over 16 yrs NOW has the right to vote (except felons). The US. founded in 1776, didn't enshrine full voting rights for all until 1964.

The US doesn't have a leg to stand on in demanding anything of Cuba.


http://www.poptel.org.uk/cuba-solidarity/democracy.htm
This system in Cuba is based upon universal adult suffrage for all those aged 16 and over. Nobody is excluded from voting, except convicted criminals or those who have left the country. Voter turnouts have usually been in the region of 95% of those eligible .

There are direct elections to municipal, provincial and national assemblies, the latter represent Cuba's parliament.

Electoral candidates are not chosen by small committees of political parties. No political party, including the Communist Party, is permitted to nominate or campaign for any given candidates.
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NewSpectrum Donating Member (101 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #7
12. What a joke.......
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 10:24 AM by NewSpectrum
"The US. founded in 1776, didn't enshrine full voting rights for all until 1964."

It was still far ahead for its time (even if far from perfect), the late 1700's. Compared to Castro the U.S. was off to a far, far, far better start. When Castro came to power he was going to ban elections outright. Some Democracy there.



BBC - 1961: Victorious Castro bans elections

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/may/1 /...

"Cuba's prime minister, Dr Fidel Castro, has proclaimed Cuba a socialist nation and abolished elections.Hundreds of thousands of Cubans attending a May Day parade in the capital Havana roared with approval when their leader announced:

"The revolution has no time for elections. There is no more democratic government in Latin America than the revolutionary government."

Dr Castro, who came to power in January 1959 after the overthrow of dictator Fulgencio Batista y Zaldvar, criticised America's fear of a new socialist republic so near US territory.He said: "If Mr Kennedy does not like Socialism, we do not like imperialism. We do not like capitalism."

"We have as much right to complain about the existence of a capitalist imperialist regime 90 miles from our coast as he has to complain about a socialist regime 90 miles from his coast."

Dr Castro also announced that foreign Roman Catholic priests would be expelled and all Roman Catholic and private schools would be nationalised.

Cubans had reason to celebrate this May Day. Last month Castro's troops foiled an attempted invasion of the island by Cuban exiles supported by the USA. The invasion force of 1,300 men landed at Baha de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs) but was rapidly defeated.The days that followed saw thousands of anti-Castro rebels confined in makeshift prisons and at least 600 executed. The Cuban secret service, G2, is still interrogating possible "counter-revolutionaries".

According to BBC correspondent Erik de Mauny who arrived in Miami today by plane with Cuban refugees, Castro's revolution seems to be popular with the peasants if not with the wealthier classes who have seen their land and property confiscated.

Our correspondent says the failed invasion has strengthened Castro's hold on power and could inspire socialist rebels in other parts of the Americas. "The Castro regime has created a model to which many famished eyes throughout Latin America are inevitably drawn," he reports."

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NewSpectrum Donating Member (101 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. Of course since then he has decided on rigging elections instead
of banning them.

BBC - January 13, 1998
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/46399.stm

"The Cuban government is reporting a 98 turnout for the the country's elections - even athough there was no choice of candidates.
The President of the National Electoral Commission Manuel de Jesus Pirez told a news conference that 7.93 million people voted on Sunday out of a total of 8.06 million eligible voters. Some 5.01% of the votes were not valid because they were blank or annulled.
All 601 candidates proposed for the national assembly were elected unopposed.
Electors were also asked to endorse a list of 1,192 candidates for provincial assemblies. Again no alternative to the ruling Communist Party was on offer.
The massive voter turnout follows a pattern of very high participation in Cuba's single party elections. Voting is not mandatory in Cuba, but it is presented by authorities as a moral and patriotic duty.

One person, one vote, one candidate

There are no known opponents of Castro or the government among the newly-elected candidates, who were proposed by special candidacy commissions formed by members of pro-government organisations representing farmers, students and other social groups.
Despite the lack of choice, the Cuban government mounted a huge campaign urging people to vote.
With the Pope's visit only days away, Havana is already filled with US media, so the election was marketed as a means of demonstrating unity against the United States and its economic blockade of Cuba.
Cuban media reflected the view of President Castro that Cuban democracy is the most perfect in the world and a system other countries should emulate.
Reports often contrasted Cuban elections with the United States. Cuban television is even showing the US feature film "Candidates", starring Robert Redford, which depicts corruption in the US electoral system.

There has been considerable coverage of the financial crisis in the Far East, with predictions that capitalism has no future.
After casting his own vote President Castro hailed the high turnout. He said his country was not changing but was reaffirming its socialist identity in a predominantly capitalist world.
"It's the world that's changing, not Cuba," the 71-year-old Cuban leader told reporters.
A BBC correspondent in Havana said that despite the turnout, President Fidel Castro is coming under increasing pressure from other Latin American leaders to allow greater pluralism."

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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. All 601 candidates proposed for the national assembly were elected unoppos
All 601 candidates proposed for the national assembly were elected unopposed.

Electors were also asked to endorse a list of 1,192 candidates for provincial assemblies.



Typically, the BBC neglects to mention that those are the ratifications of the elected candidates.

In Cuba, after a candidate is elected from an open publicly nominated slate of opposing candidates (which cannot be selected by any party INCLUDING the communist party) they then are subjected to a ratification election where at least 50%+1 of the voters in said district must ratify the elected candidate. This is the step that the BBC falsely reports that are unnopposed. It is a ratification of the elected candidate. If the candidate is not ratified then a new election in the district is undertaken.

The BBC and most other anti Cuba propaganda sources deliberately mistake this process as the only step in Cuban elections. It is not so.

I've seen how the Cuban election prosess works - I saw the entire election season in Cuba in 1997-98.

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3dman Donating Member (90 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:19 AM
Response to Original message
2. If Cuba is such a Utopia,
why are you living here?

Why don't you ask some DUers in Cuba what they think?
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Where did the OP say that Cuba is Utopia?
What an asinine response to a perfectly reasonable question.

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3dman Donating Member (90 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. I don't see the question as reasonable,
given that those who would speak out in Cuba fear being killed for doing so. The whole premise of the question is silly, since Cuba is a military dictatorship, and there is no freedom to speak out against the government.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. On what experiences do you base your opinion?
Your premise that Cuba is a military dictatorship is ridiculous. Suggesting that Cubans who speak out against the government is even more than ridiculous.

You know nothing about Cuba NOW if you believe such nonsense.


Maybe get a little basic info before you spout complete nonsense about a place that you obviously know nothing about - do a google search of Oswaldo Paya or Elizardo Sanchez (two prominemt Cuban opponents of the Cuban government, just to name two). Are they dead?
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3dman Donating Member (90 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. If Cuba is not a military dictatorship,
is it better that it is just a dictatorship? When was Castro freely elected?

Is there really freedom of dissent in Cuba?

Can you direct me to any web sites where Cubans living in Cuba openly and freely speak out against there government?

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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. I already gave you suggested starting points.
Do your own research before posting nonsense.

www.google.com
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3dman Donating Member (90 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. I think it is YOU that needs to do some research.
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 10:32 AM by 3dman
http://www.luxner.com/cgi-bin/view_article.cgi?articleI...

"...Even so, says Snchez, I am always afraid. Fear is part of the Cuban reality, even for government officials. What distinguishes the dissidents from the rest of the population is that we do our work in spite of fear.....

"...As founder of the Cuban Committee for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN in Spanish), Snchez has spent one-sixth of his life in prison for chronicling Fidel Castros human-rights abuses."

"...I have lived in this house for 40 years, said Snchez, and the police have been tapping my phones for 35 years. I dont have access to e-mail or the Internet. For years, I havent slept well. If someone knocks on my door, I dont know if its the police or not....

Elizardo Snchez Santa Cruz

Sounds like loads of fun.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #15
18. He admits that he was on the US payroll
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 10:50 AM by Mika
You cherry-picked his 1980's admitted illegal activities from the article.

He was aiding and abetting the declared enemy of the Cuban government (the US gov) seeking to overthrow the system of government in Cuba. That is as illegal in the US as it is in Cuba. That is what got him into trouble.

As the article mentions, he no longer accepts US funding and he now decries US funding of dissident ops because it is illegal and undermines the legitimate domestic opposition parties in Cuba.

Same goes for Mr Paya.

They both continue to do their work and they haven't been arrested since they undertook legal means of dissent (meaning: not being on the payroll of the declared enemy of Cuba - the US gov). They create petitions that have been presented to the Cuban National Assembly, they organize protests, they meet with foreign solidarity groups, they have formed political parties. As long as they don't accept illegal contributions from declared enemies of Cuba they are free to organize their political parties - and they are doing just that.

Its in the article you posted.
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3dman Donating Member (90 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. The article was dated 2003.
And I guess you didn't read the last paragragh of the article:

"Even so, Snchez concluded, the fundamental cause of poverty and lack of liberty in Cuba isnt the embargo or Helms-Burton, but its totalitarian government, which is by definition a violator of human rights."

Whose cherry-picking?
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #18
21. You're right, Mika. That kind of crap is NOT allowed in the United States
It's illegal here. It just won't be allowed, not ever. Strictly prohibited.

Twisted moral outlook, you'd have to admit, bribing people in Cuba to do things they would not be allowed to do if they lived here!



Elizardo Sanchez
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #15
19. Your source is a right-wing exile source from Florida.
All images on this website are copyrighted by Larry Luxner, whose work regularly appears in leading newspapers and magazines such as Amricas, African Business, Middle East, Newsweek, Saudi Aramco World, Travel Agent, The Miami Herald, The New York Daily News, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Diplomat and The Washington Times.

Luxner, a Miami native who spent nine years in Puerto Rico, is fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Hebrew. He travels frequently and adds fresh material to this website every few months.

In addition, Luxner is a well-known journalist who has had more than 1,400 articles published in 50 newspapers and magazines since 1995, all of them viewable on this site as well. Since May 2002, Luxner has also been publishing CubaNews, a monthly 16-page business and political newsletter on Cuba.
(snip)

http://www.luxner.com/about_us.html

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


CubaNews:
http://www.cubanews.com/whoweare.html

The "about" page:
http://www.cubanews.com/about.html

It only costs $429.00 per year to read. Oh, this is rare.

Larry Luxner writes propaganda for the Cuban American National Foundation, which has sponsored acts of violence for DECADES against Cuba. Nice try!

Here's one of his pieces on the CANF's new offices:
Anti-Castro Exiles Establish Embassy for a Free Cuba
by Larry Luxner

The Washington Diplomat

A Cuban flag waves defiantly over the entrance to their four-story "embassy," blocks from Dupont Circle, while a portrait of their late president and founder, Jorge Mas Canosa, gazes down somberly at visitors waiting to see the man who runs this controversial little mission, Ambassador Dennis Hays.

Welcome to the newly inaugurated "Embassy for a Free Cuba"the latest salvo in a public-relations blitz by the Cuban American National Foundation to push its conservative agenda, which includes tightening the U.S. trade embargo against Fidel Castros Communist regime and lending moral and financial support to anti-Castro dissidents in Cuba.
(snip/...)
http://canf.org/News/archived/010801newsb.htm

Note: this "financial support," unfortunately, is taken from the American taxpayers without their knowledge and handed off to the paid "dissidents" in Cuba.
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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #10
24. "Cubans living in Cuba openly and freely speak out again the government"
Menoyo is the only exile with cojones enough to return to the island to try to effect change there. He also spent 22 years in prison in Cuba. He's been living in Havana since 2003. He speaks out regularly. More interviews/articles about him can be found at Francisco Aruca's Progreso Weekly type "menoyo" in the search box and press enter.

August 4, 2006, Havana

Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo: On the succession and the future

In the face of the official announcement concerning the seriousness
of Fidel Castro's health, I wish for his improvement and
recuperation. As is well known, Fidel and I are diametrically
separated by his concept of history and my vision of democracy, and
consequently, we find ourselves at opposite ends of the political
spectrum.

Despite that, enormously concerned about the situation in the
country, it falls upon me as a loyal adversary to sheathe for the
moment the saber of political struggle and rise above the wreckage,
the miscalculations, and the differences that have distanced us from
each other.

A civilized dialogue can bring solutions that are not achieved by the
mere disappearance of an adversary. I have said, and today I repeat,
that the participation of Fidel in the dialogue with the opposition
would be very positive. It has been some time since Cuba demanded
from all of us the exercise of reconciliation.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CubaNews/message/53201


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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #6
22. LOL The opposition in Cuba speaks out regularly w/o *being killed"
Dude, nobody buys that MiamiGusano propaganda anymore.



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PATRICK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:16 PM
Response to Original message
23. After trying to watch a Castro rally
on C-Span, even though he had some enrgetic interesting comments, it was mind-dumbing long. i think Castro co-opted, media event protest rallies by making his own so burned out boring. The prospect of taking to the streets and hearing more speeches much be wrenching. They probably can't even muster the excitement of possible violence and perhaps getting a word in edgewise over the event leaders.

The counter revolution would be more appealing if it was a general strike with the media turned off in the siesta comfort of one's home.
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