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Blue_Chill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 07:01 PM
Original message
Cuba restricts the Internet. How can people say this nation is free?
HAVANA -- Cuba is tightening its control over the Internet, prohibiting Internet access over the low-cost government phone service most ordinary citizens have at home under a new law announced Friday.

The move could affect hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Cubans who access the Internet without authorization from their homes, using computers and Internet accounts that have been borrowed or purchased on the black market for as much as $50 for 80 hours per month.

Most Cubans do not have authorized access to the Wide World Web, although many can access international e-mail and a more limited government-controlled internet at government jobs and schools.


source: http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,61866,00.html...

I remember many of our socialist friendly members have argued that Cuba is free. How can they defend this latest action to stop the free flow of information?

Now before anybody jumps on me with the old "maybe we should liberate them then?" line - I do not support war for 'liberation'. I just bring it up because this article was front page at wired.com and I figure it's worth sharing.

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ret5hd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 07:08 PM
Response to Original message
1. It is also one of your favorite subjects for "discussion"...
So while I may agree that Cuba is not as free as say, France, Germany, or any number of western european countries, I also am aware enough of the situation to realize that the situation in cuba is a far far cry from the way it is depicted here in the U.S.

So maybe if the question were framed in more of a questioning tone rather than a challenging tone, I would feel up to a little debate, sharing of ideas, and learning on both our parts. But we know that is not what you want, right?
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Frederic Bastiat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. So you agree right?
That Cuba is far from the freedom loving nation some here wish to depict?
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ret5hd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #6
22. So you agree right?
That the gov't of Cuba is a far far cry from the maniacal murderous tyranny that some here wish to depict?

Also, on reading the other thread referenced farther down, and also later in this thread, it seems that what is being banned is black market access. Access is still available at public libraries and also if you purchase rather than pirate.
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Penible Donating Member (39 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. Armando Valledares
Have you read "Against All Hope?" I have. Progressives in America have zero hope (not to mention zero lack of credibilty) until they condemn the torture camps of Castro, and explicitly reject the repression necessary to maintaining absolute poltical control in Cuba.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 05:21 AM
Response to Reply #25
59. I suppose you imagined no one here knows about Vallarares' bogus claims
No one who KNOWS him, or about him could support these lies while keeping a straight face.

This "paralysis" problem he got from terrifying abuse in prison has been a joke for a long time. One of his "quotes" for the ages:

(snip)Speaking in Spanish, Valladares expounded: "I remember when they had me in a punishment cell, naked, my leg fractured in several places --fractures that were never treated and eventually fused into a mass of deformed bones," the Ambassador claimed. "Through the wire mesh that covered the cell, the guards would pour over me buckets of urine and excrement that they had collected earlier."
(snip)

(snip) Roa supplemented his remarks in the hall with a press conference repeating the charges that Valladares was a member of the pre- revolutionary Batista dictatorship's police force and a post- revolutionary terrorist band convicted for placing bombs in public centers.

He bolstered his arguments with an array of time-yellowed, worn documents and newspapers -- and a copy of a purloined US State Department letter from Secretary of State George Schultz to all US missions abroad, trying to "rehabilitate" the image of Armando Valladares.

This was more a diplomatic coup than anything else. The US was forced to admit that the document in Cuban hands was the real thing --embarrassing mostly because the Cubans had gotten hold of it, and because it showed a number of countries with whom the US maintains diplomatic relations the derogatory way in which the State Department refers to them in private.

Aside from this, the stolen US document probably did far less than the documents the Cuban government itself brought out to demonstrate that the current HRC ambassador had lied when he denied membership in the Batista police force and about his claimed paralysis while in jail. (Videos the Cubans played for the press at their Geneva Mission showed Valladares getting up and walking out of the room after being shown films taken secretly in his cell while he was doing exercises, at a time when he was still supposedly "paralyzed".) (snip/...)

http://www.walterlippmann.com/klw-theatre.html
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NV1962 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 03:44 AM
Response to Reply #22
57. Murderous, maybe; tyrannical, most certainly
Edited on Sat Jan-10-04 03:48 AM by NV1962
Consider this: of the 124 journalists that worldwide on January 1, 2004 were held imprisoned for the "crime" of governmental disapproval of their work no less than 30 sit in Cuban cells.*

Tyrannical by any standard.

Don't give me distracting nonsense about providing health care and education with universal access - at that price, that's not acceptable.

Fidel Castro was understandably a cult figure / "antihero" in the 60s - today he should be treated like the tyrannical thug that he is.

And that in turn has nothing to do with the criminal nature of the still persisting economic blockade.

Oh yeah, as to the "murderous" qualifier: if you're against death penalty (I am) both Cuba and the US qualify.

*Edited to add the relevant source
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 06:16 AM
Response to Reply #57
60. Where were you when it was revealed that Cuban undercover agents
who had been working within the "dissident" community for YEARS came forward and provided all necessary proof of certain dissidents, like Marta Beatriz Rocque, taking payment from American sources FOR YEARS, including money from a Cuban "exile" paramilitary organization in Miami. (One of these witnesses was the personal secretary to Marta Beatriz Rocque, and should know, having handled all the materials for ages.) This is the foundation of the prosecution which sent these guys to jail.

If the situation were reversed, and prominent critics and provocatuers in America were being financed by China, etc., they would not fare well here. There's actually a law which addresses this situation, which someone might provide in a link, if he/she reads this post.

Here's information from Cuban Presbyterian church leaders concerning the flap surrounding their dissidents:

(snip) On April 23, church leaders responded to the international furor with an open
letter to churches around the world. The Rev. Reinerio Arce-Valentmn, a
Presbyterian who serves as president of the Cuban Council of Churches, was
one of 23 signatories.

In the letter, the religious leaders expressed opposition to the death
penalty and disagreement with some of their government's actions. But they
also expressed grave concern for the "security" and "integrity" of their
nation in light of the U.S. threat. They also voiced fear that the war with
Iraq could be a prelude to U.S. aggression against Cuba.

"We believe that we find ourselves in a moment of serious threat for the
security and integrity of our nation," they wrote. "We also
believe that what is intended is to find pretexts to launch another war of
aggression."

They promised to honor their evangelical directive to provide spiritual
counseling to imprisoned dissidents and condemned the U.S. government for
financing, supporting and protecting opposition groups inside Cuba > activity
they claim has increased under the direction of James Cason, the top U.S.
diplomat in Cuba.
The U.S. government disputes the charge.

"Throughout 40-plus years this kind of thing has happened every once is a
while with people who have been used by the CIA , for example," Dopico said.
"So basically, people in my congregation saw it as just another example of
people  working with the U.S. and profiting from it."

Jiminez, who leads a Presbyterian Reformed congregation in central Cuba, said
his country must be wary of outside influences. "I think as Cubans we need to
defend our country," he said. "We don't want Americans or Europeans coming
here and saying what we need to do." (snip/...)
http://www.wfn.org/2003/12/msg00044.html

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NV1962 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 04:41 AM
Response to Reply #60
109. Looking elsewhere, I guess - thanks for that info, but...
I'm sure the Chinese have a wonderful case for their imprisoned journalists, too.

I can understand the rationale you explained -- just assuming facts you mentioned at face value here -- but tossing them in prison?

Why not feeding them to the frothing masses in Florida?

It's not as if 30 more would stand out in that crowd... Again, assuming the facts are as they are.

I love Cubans.

But I don't like Castro and his regime, and I sure as hell don't like his antipodean and fascistoid troublemakers in Florida, either. Wait, did I start the previous sentence with "but"? Make that "And that explains why" instead.

And the "business as usual" dark op practices, whether in Cuba, Venezuela or elsewhere don't get my appreciation either.

I lambasted almost every player in this pathetic situation now, but the good news is I haven't seen my own mug in the mirror yet. :argh:
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Blue_Chill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #1
26. yes it is
I am a hispanic american and I know many cuban americans. It is very much one of my favorite topics.
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0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-04 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #26
168. Were you born and raised in the United States?
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loudnclear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #1
158. Cuba is doing no more than the US is doing in Iraq. Ban the propaganda
by the enemy. They are taking lessons from the west.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #158
159. Cuba is occupying how many countries?
"They are taking lessons from the west."

Um.. Cuba is in the western hemisphere. :-)

Anyway, does this sound like "they" (I'm assuming by "they", that you mean Cubans) are taking - or receiving lessons from the West?


Speech given by the President of the Republic of Cuba, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, at the Law School of the University of Buenos Aires
.. you cannot calculate only the children who die, or the mothers who die, or the elderly people who die, or the young people and adults who die. There are times when the survivors are so mutilated and so devastated that you wonder, under those circumstances, if it would not be 100 times more preferable to die than to continue living that way, as a consequence of something that was undertaken for no real reason whatsoever, with no right or justification, something that violated international standards, the international laws that we believed governed this world. Although many of us already suspected that this was a world in which the law was little respected, and that the principle was being established whereby force was the sole justification to commit any crime, to subjugate our peoples, to conquer our natural resources, to impose what you spoke of, a worldwide Nazi-fascist dictatorship.

This is not an exaggeration or an overstatement, as we all heard it said one day that 60 or more countries could be the targets of preemptive attacks. Never before in history had anyone, any empire, made such a threat.

When there was talk of a readiness to strike against any dark corner of the world, I do not recall ever having heard such words before.

When it was said that any weapon of war could be used, whether nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, biological weapons, aside from the highly-sophisticated weapons that are no longer conventional by any standard, because they can cause all manner of destruction, we thought to ourselves, What right does anyone have to threaten the peoples of the world?

I wonder if here, too, at this gathering, since there is not much light, we might need to turn on a lot more lights, so that we are not a dark corner of the world to be attacked preemptively.




Cubans, including Castro, are asking us to turn on the lights by scrapping the US gov travel sanctions on Americans, so that we Americans can see and learn about Cuba for ourselves.

Cuba is bucking the "lessons" from Bushco. Too bad our Dem party isn't.

The Bush admin AND a majority of Dem presidential candidates DO NOT want Americans to be able to turn on the lights and see what is really going on in Cuba for themselves. They will continue the abrogation of our travel rights in order to more easily demonize Cubans, to continue to use Cuba as a campaign cash cow pandering to the extremist minority of Miamicuban "exiles", and/or even dupe Americans into justifying another military attack on Cuba.

-The Democratic Presidential Candidates on Cuba-
http://www.lawg.org/pages/new%20pages/Misc/prez-candida...



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Sterling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 07:13 PM
Response to Original message
2. "US restricts canibus"
How can people say this nation is free. Fight the war at home first I say.
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Frederic Bastiat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Restricted Internet access vs Canibus wow
Edited on Fri Jan-09-04 07:28 PM by exCav
How's that for moral absolutes? :eyes:
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DrWeird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. There are a lot of good americans in prison right now.
Who don't deserve to be there.

Moral absolute or not, those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
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Sterling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #5
14. There in lies the problem
Edited on Fri Jan-09-04 07:44 PM by Sterling
One mans freedom is another mans freedom fries.
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Blue_Chill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #2
27. So you compare freedom of information
which is crucial to any free nation, with the freedom to get stoned?

:eyes:
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drdigi420 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #27
33. how about the freedom to grow your own medicine?
some of us use marijuana to combat serious medical conditions

throwing pot smokers in jail to protect pharmacuetical profits is not the act of a free society

nice of you to dismiss it so ignorantly
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Blue_Chill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 01:45 AM
Response to Reply #33
49. I'm not saying the weed issue doesn't have it's place
but you can't compare it to restricting information like Castro is doing.
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drdigi420 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #49
83. yes, you can
we are having our information restricted by a controlled press that refuses to tell the truth about the life-saving herb

the suppression of hemp as a natural resource is keeping the dependance on fossil fuels up to the point that millions of people have died for the oil

countless ppl die every year because they are denied access to cannabis medicines

the drug war is the single largest civil rights issue in our country right now

anyone that doesnt see that isnt paying attention
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #2
154. There are far more compelling issues to deal with.
Patriot Act
Unjustified/Illegal War
Terrorism
Economy in the craphouse
Jobs
Corporate Crime
...
...
...
#7-#14,021
14,022. Legalizing marijuana.
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DUreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 07:14 PM
Response to Original message
3. duplicate
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RUexperienced Donating Member (506 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 07:23 PM
Response to Original message
4. Totalitarianism is allowed if you are a leftist...
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Sterling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #4
20. Is it? I tought it was allowed if you:
A. Had the guns
B. Were a convenient ally of the ruling elite in the western democracies?

I dont think it is a right left issue really, do you?
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Kellanved Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 07:29 PM
Response to Original message
7. your point?
Internet is restricted in China, several Arab nations etc.
So tell me: why is a bottle of Cuban rum a problem, but not my China made cellphone or the gas in my car?

That said: Cuba isn't free - was it ever?
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RUexperienced Donating Member (506 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. I don't want to speak for the poster, but
his point seems clear. Cuba is not free, no matter what Dan Rather thinks.
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Dr Fate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 07:38 PM
Response to Original message
10. I know I dont plan on moving there anytime soon...
...but I would not mind visiting, if it was legal. Hmmm, I guess we are not "free" to visit Cuba-why is that?
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Penible Donating Member (39 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #10
38. Flag skull with swastikas
A human skull, in the colors of the American flag, with swastikas for eyes?

Have you no shame?

And a lame moral equivocation implying that America is on a par with the repressive regime which has destroyed two or three generations of Cubans, grinding them under the ego of one brutal man?

There are so many observations which could be made.

But let us start with Castro's hatred of the Jews, and your disparagement of the suffering Jews underwent, and the blithe attitude you have toward determined, systematic slaughter of an entire people.

If you do not think that Hitler's fundamental belief was in the total destruction of Jews, and if you do not know who believes the same in the world today, you are so obtuse you deserve compassion but not much else.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 06:51 AM
Response to Reply #38
62. You need to spend more time reading
Edited on Sat Jan-10-04 07:10 AM by JudiLyn
A lot of Americans are starting to read up on Cuba, following our discovery we'd been missing a lot of information when we all became aware of the Cuban "exile" society in Miami.

For instance, we started wondering why "exiles" would go BACK to Cuba for vacations, like Elin's drunken uncle, Lzaro Gonzalez, when we learned he had gone there to whoop it up, had stayed in Juan Miguel Gonzalez's house, slept in his bed, while Juan Miguel slept in his own car, to accomodate him. That kind of thing got a lot of us very interested in finding out more.

Who are these women?



They are protesting the torture and murder of some of their sons by Batista's state police. Their sons were dismembered and hung in trees.

Here they are, going toward American Ambassador Earl Smith, hoping he can help. He has written about this experience, and his writing is available on the internet.


Here they are, when the State Police starts to turn the fire hoses on them.


This was in 1957.
http://www.rose-hulman.edu/~delacova/santiago-protest.h...

This photo was taken of a young man who climbed a lamppost, "El Quijote de la Farola," by Alberto Korda, to see what was happening at the end of the fighting in 1959:



The somewhat severe government attitude toward dissidents in Cuba during the 1950's:

(snip) The Havana Post, expressing the attitude of the U.S. business community after a survey of the four years of Batista's second reign, alluded to the disappearance of gangsterism and said: 'All in all, the Batista regime has much to commend it." Hugh Thomas disagrees with that commentary. "In a way," Thomas writes, "Batista's golpe formalized gangsterism: the machine gun in the big car became the symbol not only of settling scores but of an approaching change of government."

By late 1955 student riots and anti-Batista demonstration had become frequent. These were dealt with in the violent manner his military police had come to represent. Students attempting to march from the University of Havana were stopped and beaten by the police, and student leader Jos A. Echeverra had to be hospitalized. Another popular student leader was killed on December 10, leading to a funeral that became a gigantic political protest with a 5-minute nationwide work stoppage.

Instead of loosening his grip, Batista suspended constitutional guarantees and established tighter censorship of the media. His military police would patrol the streets and pick up anyone suspected of insurrection. By the end of 1955 they had grown more prone to violent acts of brutality and torture, with no fear of legal repercussions. (snip)


Fulgencio Batista

http://www.historyofcuba.com/history/batista.htm

If you take the time you'll read the history of torture, death squads, dismemberment, etc., etc. which were tools of the Batista regime. You just need to start reading outside propaganda sources, like "El Nuevo Herald" in Miami, or Newsmax. Try some history books, for a change.

Oh, yes. A few weeks ago, I uncovered a story discussing a Cuban pilot who had been used to drop bombs during Batista's war on the Cuban revolutionaries. This pilot flew his plane to Miami, and told authorities he simply wanted to have no more to do with dropping bombs on Cuban women and children. I posted it on a D.U. thread.

Take the time to read.

On edit:

Here's another reference to the day Earl Smith visited Santiago de Chile, and saw the protesters get the fire hose:

And then Frank Pais, an M-26 leader still mourned by the Cuban state,
was killed by Batista's police. He went to the funeral where fire
hoses were being used to disperse the mourners. "I got through the
lines and ran up to Smith and started
yelling at him about Batista. Next day the Army told me to get out."

~~~~ link ~~~~
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MrPrax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #62
78. Righteous and Thank YOU
While Cuba might not be perfect (and Progressives do understand the problems),it is ridiculous for some to argue about Cuba without either a context of Cuban history or a context of US involvement in Latin America.

Funny that the new buzzword is 'human rights'--very fashionable these days for individuals that just discovered atrocies against the Kurds--have little interest in discussing, say, Uribe and his recent speech targeting human rights workers for a virtual death sentence as 'enemies of the people' at the hands of US trained and aided para-militaries....

This 'lack of internet access' sounds like the old corporate canard about how human rights would be improved if countries had access to technologies and not 'sanctioned' for their abuses; the best cure to dictatorship is MORE trade, te story goes...

Yeah as if there were no telephones, faxes and satelitte phones in El Savadore at the time of El Mozote....





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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #78
80. We were carefully insulated at the time of El Mozote, weren't we?
Don't know if it's ever been otherwise, since Reagan!

(snip) Anyone who thinks that former President Ronald Reagan deserves to be put on a dime or have his face chiseled into Mt. Rushmore needs to read a book called Lost History by Robert Parry. Robert Parry was an AP and subsequent Newsweek reporter who caught a considerable amount of flak from his editors and Reagan officials like Oliver North and Elliott Abrams for his efforts to tell the truth about Reagan's policies in Central America.

Robert Parry was far from the only reporter to suffer this fate. Raymond Bonner of the New York Times and Alma Guillermoprieto of the Washington Post received enormous criticism for their coverage of the El Mozote massacre in El Salvador in 1982. They were accused of lying or at least greatly exaggerating the extent of the atrocities at El Mozote, where over 900 men, women and children were slaughtered by the US-trained Atlacatl battalion. Many years later, when US goals in defeating the insurgency in El Salvador had been accomplished, forensic scientists dug up the bones at El Mozote, noticing the skeletons of men, women and children and the bullet holes in the skulls and machete marks on the bones. Raymond Bonner and Alma Guillermoprieto had been right all along. Only this new information was buried on the back pages of newspapers and ignored by the television networks, so few people would notice.

A similar thing happened when Reagan first took office in 1981. Four American churchwomen had been raped and murdered by the military in El Salvador. Reagan's ambassador to the UN Jeane Kirkpatrick excused the murders by saying that the nuns had been political activists involved in leftist causes and insinuating that this justified their fate. Reagan's first Secretary of State Alexander Haig went even further, suggesting that the nuns had been carrying guns and may have run a roadblock, leading to an exchange of gunfire. Nuns packing heat-certainly not a very likely scenario.

Reagan knew on coming into office that his administration was going to wage an unrelenting war against leftists all over the planet. After all, he considered them to be part of the "Evil Empire." I guess those people who want to redistribute land to poor, starving peasants so they can grow food or want unions so people don't need to work 16 hours a day, 7 days a week for wages that wouldn't keep a bird alive are by definition evil devils that require elimination. The Reagan administration wanted to limit public knowledge of the more unsavory aspects of this war against leftists. They even had a euphemism for it - perception management. When the North Koreans did it, it was called brainwashing. Of course, when done by the United States, it is known as perception management. Just like napalming Vietnamese villages was called "pacification" and now the terminology for civilian casualties from US bombing is "collateral damage." The Nazis called their mass slaughter of the Polish intelligentsia "Extraordinary Pacification Action" or shooting people on the spot as being "summarily sentenced." It seems that fascists love euphemisms to disguise their atrocities.

Reagan created something called Project Truth run by a CIA agent named Walter Raymond. The purpose of Project Truth was to influence the large foundations, think tanks, political publications and human rights organizations to move in a rightward direction. The success of this particular operation can be seen in the fact that the New Republic magazine went from a liberal to a conservative publication. Ronald Reagan also created the Office of Public Diplomacy headed by Cuban exile Otto Reich. Otto Reich traveled all over the United States and browbeat editors and journalists of major newspapers if they made any remarks critical of US operations in Central America. Robert Parry maintains that this constant intimidation of journalists, criticism of dissenting viewpoints and massive government propaganda made the Watergate press corps of the 1970s into the Monica Lewinsky press corps of the 1990s. (snip/...)

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2004/01/283389.html

Really seems a paradox to run into occassional posters championing the Reagan line here, doesn't it?
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MrPrax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #80
81. Yeah...no kidding
Inspite of the Internet (or maybe because of it) there seems to be still a great deal of faith among the 'stay the course' crowd (not all of them are card-carrying Republicans either)

I get very very angry when dealing with some taking the 'saddam' line in this illegal war on Iraq (usually the same people that were so precise about the WMDs that Blix missed that they knew the page numbers--8 months later--they deny even having the conversations).

I especially get angry with the 'Hitchens crowd' that smear the an entire movement with some idea that we are apologist for genocidal maniacs.

Really? I distinctily remember listen to a forum in a church basement by a Kurd exile about the Saddam gas attacks and how we had to get the word out back in 1988...and we were sure that this explosive information would serve Kurdish aspiration for a homeland, not only in Iraq, but in Turkey and elsewhere.

Well I don't have to tell you that in 1989, the Bush Administration actually double military aid to the Butcher of Baghdad!

As far as Latin America, even at the time, if I remember it was reported that the US ambassador reported the news to Congress, but the massacre was covered up at the highest levels (like the rape and murder of churchworkers) because of funding ties to human rights.

Simply eliminate the reporting and you eliminate the NEED to tie aid to human rights abuses...

Believe me I have had many many debates over El Mozote where detrators point out that misinformation as simply 'left wing' propaganda and the 80,000+ that died in El Sal. are figments of America-hater's imagination or , of course the fashion at that time, FMLN/sandinista propaganda.

But I am not telling you anything...those were the daze. When freedom was defended by 'drug dealers' blowing up health collectives in Nicagrau...
The animals are still at it...


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Dr Fate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #38
156. Huh? I never said I hated America OR supported Castro!!!!
Edited on Sun Jan-11-04 04:41 PM by Dr Fate
But you twist & distort my point/post just like like media types or republicans do all the time- "have you no shame?"

In FACT- I said I would never live there- not exactly a ringing endorsement of Castro, eh?

And I was not talking about "America"- I was talking about CONSERVATIVES who support the ban on travel in Cuba.

I would like to visit Cuba, and in a free country, I should be "allowed" to see Cuba and make up my mind for myself.

As far as my sig-skull goes, it is the "Death Mask" that Bush, not me, placed over the old Republic. I will gladly remove it as soon as he is removed. Wha, they dont teach you guys about symbolism over there?
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Terwilliger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 07:39 PM
Response to Original message
11. You're right, how can anyone say the US is free?
I agree 100%.
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corporatewhore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 07:40 PM
Response to Original message
12. while i think castro and his regime are poisen
i dont think that we should impose any kind of embargos on them hurts the people more than those in power
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #12
155. You said it in a nutshell.
Edited on Sun Jan-11-04 04:26 PM by blondeatlast
Edit: For proof, see embargoes, Iraq.
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corporatewhore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 07:42 PM
Response to Original message
13. In one sense they are free
They have health care we dont We are free to die cause we dont have insurance Health care is a right!!!!
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DUreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 07:44 PM
Response to Original message
15. Debunked in LBN , Crackdown is on Black Market Access
They will still be able to access the Net by purchasing from the

phone company.

You conveniently left that out of your excerpts
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Sterling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. For some the agenda trumps truth.
Not surprised.
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Blue_Chill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #16
28. Truth? lol
Edited on Fri Jan-09-04 10:21 PM by Blue_Chill
I like how you see no evidence to counter mine greater then a unsupported post and you call it truth.

lol nice.
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KFC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Bullshit
Just an unsupported claim from one person who believes that Cuba is a Democracy. VERY reliable source.
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DUreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #17
69. Another Idiotic Comment From Someone Who Didn't Even Read The Link
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flaminbats Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #15
21. yes...Cuba is becoming more Americanized everyday!
let the economy be run by the select few, and only those wealthy enough to make the rules..shall have the right to compete in the "free market". :smoke:
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Blue_Chill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #15
30. source
Let's see the source that debunks mine. I bet it is no where near as credible.
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DUreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 07:42 AM
Response to Reply #30
64. It Is From Your Own Link!!! WTF You Didn't Even Read Your Own Link!
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 07:59 AM
Response to Reply #64
66. Whoops!


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DUreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 09:01 AM
Response to Reply #66
68. AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
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Blue_Chill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #68
90. Did YOU read it?
According to the new law, those Cubans authorized to use the Internet must now seek additional approval to use the service on the nation's regular phone service,

That's a little more then cracking down on black market access. It states the goverment is going to have to approve you to access the net in the privacy of your own home.

HAHAHAHAHA! Back at you.
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Ardee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 10:43 PM
Response to Reply #64
105. I am laughing my ass off
thank you DUreader for making my evening and for deflating that person (new rules forbid a better and more descriptive substitute).....
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 10:40 PM
Response to Reply #15
35. Debunked is Relative
Please, show me the websites put together by your Cuban friends who aren't in the medical or governing sectors, the sites whose domains end in .cu
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DUreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #35
70. Cute, try reading the LINK we're discussing in this thread
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #70
72. If You're Referring to the Wired Story
Y'all are great comic relief.
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DUreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #72
85. It's Not a Wired Story Its An AP Story DUH! Guess You Didn't Read It
""regulate dial-up access to Internet navigation service, adopting measures that help protect against the taking of
passwords, malicious acts, and the fraudulent and unauthorized use of this service."


Customers


"...can keep accessing the Internet with the ordinary phone service with special cards sold at Etecsa offices..."


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Blue_Chill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #85
91. You missed the entire part about
being authorized by a goverment agency to view the net in private. But I guess you think that's just to ensure no one steals it....... :eyes:

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Ms. Clio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #91
94. yeah and you must have missed the bit about the FBI and Carnivore
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Blue_Chill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 04:03 AM
Response to Reply #94
106. That has to do what with Cuba?
The US's mistakes are not a defense for castro. If you want to discuss the FBI we can do that as well, odds are I would agree with you.
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Ms. Clio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #106
138. I just meant that "privacy" is relative
Considering the activities of Carnivore, Echelon, and whatever else, no Net user anywhere has real "privacy."

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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 08:03 PM
Response to Original message
18. The USA restricts health care, education, housing, is it "free"?
Instead of comparing Cuba and the USA, try comparing it to other 3rd world countries. It's ridiculous to try and make a comparison between 3rd world and fully industrialized nations.

And, for a better perspective, try comparing the living conditions between "Socialist" Cuba, and "Capitalist" countries such as Guatamala, Honduras, Bolivia, Peru, that are under the thumbs of the corporations backed up by U.S. military "aid" that funds rightwing governments and death squads.

Is Cuba "free" by American or Western European standards. No. Is it much more "free" than most Latin American countries? Yes.

So, presumably, a Cuban could be arrested for unauthorized internet access. In Guatamala, Honduras, Haiti, etc, their citizens could be murdered for trying to organize a union, opposing the landowners, or working to save the environment. Or, they could quietly starve to death or be denied health care because they can't afford it.

Your case against Cuba is as weak as Bush's.

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Blue_Chill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #18
31. Restricting the net to control information is huge
I don't care where it happens.
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corporatewhore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 11:08 PM
Response to Reply #18
39. But castros not OUR dictator
Set up and propped up by the us so therefor cuba is evil and the other latin american countries are FreeTM and thats the point
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Penible Donating Member (39 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #18
42. Cuba v. Israel
Or try comparing Cuba to Israel. Is there a country more challenged in every single respect than Israel? And yet it is a free, prosperous, thriving country.

Cuba has every natural advantage except freedom. It is under the heel of a megalomaniac. It has no rational basis to be as grindingly poor as it is ... look at the Cubans in America, who are prosperous and advanced as any group gets.

But hard work is defeated by narrow political interests in Cuba, where people are lucky if all they get is imprisoned for expressing a free thought.

What is this romance with Castro? Why this deep seemingly sexual love for a murderous dictator? Why is it so hard to call a murderer a murderer? Because everyone has free aspirin but nothing else?
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Ms. Clio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 12:39 AM
Response to Reply #42
43. yeah challenged to the tune of $2 billion dollars a year
Give me a freakin break.

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corporatewhore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 12:43 AM
Response to Reply #42
45. uh exuse me...
I was trying (cant speak for bandera) to point out that Cuba and Castro are ctricized and denounced (as it should be) but not other latin american states were we put our own dictators and as for israel it aint that great of a democracy if you happen to be protesting against the security fence (just like the berlin fence only six times bigger) and get shot for expressing your so called right of free speech
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Ms. Clio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 12:46 AM
Response to Reply #45
46. never mind n/t
Edited on Sat Jan-10-04 12:48 AM by meluseth
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 08:10 AM
Response to Reply #42
111. You need to check your facts
Israel is propped up with TENS OF BILLIONS of our dollars for over 50 years.

Cuba has been embargoed by our dollars for 40 years, just like the Iraqis were for the ten years before the recent invasion-and-massacre.

Israel has the only atomic weapons in the Semitic Region.

Cuba has practically no armed forces at all. Lots of home-grown doctors, though.

Israel came into being by stripping the native people of their rights.

Cuba came into being by throwing out the gangsters and US-funded dictator.


Check your facts.
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Sterling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 08:06 PM
Response to Original message
19. "socialist friendly "
Cuba is communist, you do know that right? There is a difference.

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Kellanved Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 07:31 AM
Response to Reply #19
63. ticked my off as well
And the EU isn't too friendly with Castro either. However sometimes it looks like a (unnamed) nation is communist-phobic.



http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3099669.stm
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PsN2Wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
23. Notice the low-cost phone service
Checked your phone bill lately here in the unregulated" land of the free"?
So I take it you're nostalgic for the good old days of freedom under Batista. He was a bastard but he was OUR bastard.
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KFC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 08:37 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. They must have actually listened to that telemarketer
Can I talk to you about your phone service? We have a special deal...

Actually, Cubans would probably appreciate some toilet paper more than internet access after wiping their asses with their hands all these years.
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Indiana Democrat Donating Member (718 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 10:21 PM
Response to Original message
29. Don't tell me people here defend Castro's Cuba?
Please?
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Blue_Chill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 10:24 PM
Response to Reply #29
32. Yes they do actually
and that is why I posted this topic.
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Minstrel Boy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 12:02 AM
Response to Reply #29
41. Don't tell me people here defend Red baiting?
Yes they do, actually.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 01:47 AM
Response to Reply #41
50. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Osolomia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #50
79. "this thread is the product of Castro apologists not the other way around"

Nonsense. Anyone not wearing blinders notices how the "Castro apologists" rarely ever post a word without a link to back up their information, but the Bush apologists never have any link beyond US government sponsored propaganda!
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Blue_Chill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #79
89. Are you calling me a Bush apologist?
Where did I mention Bush at all? Back up your claim.
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Osolomia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #89
96. Naw, this thread isn't pointless flaming is it

that's why it remains open despite your stated reasons for starting it, especially in the message that was deleted, while the thread on LBN was locked:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Because it was mostly pointless flaming.

And the reason Cuba threads usually end up locked, is because they are usually pointless flaming.


- Skinner ADMIN (1000+ posts) Sat Jan-10-04 03:17 PM
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Go figure!
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Blue_Chill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 04:04 AM
Response to Reply #96
107. How about you answer the question?
after that we can discuss you latest post.

kthx
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Osolomia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 07:11 AM
Response to Reply #107
110. DU's double standard's forbid an honest answer to your question

as has been demonstrated time and time and time and time again. The fact that this thread remains open despite your stated intentions for posting it speaks volumes about this forum.

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Osolomia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #110
113. In fact, for those who want to know the truth of the matter

as to why this "pointless flaming" is allowed to continue while informative threads with credible links in LBN are locked and the posters of such links threatened with banning:

I will admit to a certain bias against threads which argue that Cuba is a bastion of freedom and democracy.

- Skinner ADMIN (1000+ posts) Sun Jan-11-04 01:05 PM

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Go figure!!!!!
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #113
124. A certain bias
So, I guess that even Skinner hasn't read the posted links or information if he thinks that there are threads that argue that " that Cuba is a bastion of freedom and democracy". I check all of the Cuba threads on DU, and I have never seen a thread arguing that Cuba is a BASTION of democracy. I guess not really reading the threads nor the info therein is how one would maintain a "certain bias" against them.

Where would one even find a bastion of democracy? Isn't that utopian?

Note: Cuba is democratic. Not a bastion.


The Cuban government was reorganized (approved by popular vote) into a variant parliamentary system in 1976.

You can read a short version of the Cuban system here,
http://members.attcanada.ca/~dchris/CubaFAQ.html#Democr...

Or a long and detailed version here,
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/096850840...


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Osolomia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #124
126. What the powers that be don't want you to see
The LBN thread was locked after these photos were posted and the pointless flamers with no links to their claims showed up as usual:

Major thrust in public computing: Three Palacios de Computacin plus 71 smaller sites nationwide. I visited the Havana palacio: ~60 computers in classrooms and open spaces, free public access, ongoing classes. In addition we found a tourist cybercafe, an artists and writers cybercafe, and computers in business centers in top hotels.


Three young people at the Havana Palacio Central de Computacin,
with the server/network administrator for the facility and for Tinored (the youth network that is part of Cuba's internet), in blue jacket. The young men were working on web design and teaching themselves software.

http://www.communitytechnology.org/cuba/ACTinitialrepor...

Few people outside of Cuba are aware of the fabulous Joven Club de Computacin y Electrnica (JCCE). The Joven Club is Cuba's committment to providing equitable community-level access to computer training, regardless of how remote the community is from the urban centres. As of the end of December, 1999, Cuba had 174 Joven Clubs across 169 municipalities, an incredible penetration rate unmatched by other community networking initiatives anywhere in the world.

http://www.nscuba.org/Joven.html






Evidently DU Admin prefers to shoot the messenger than allow any discussion of the links provided, hence the lock.



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Osolomia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-04 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #124
167. I'd ask Skinner for a link to back up his claim

since none of the "pointless flaming" posters can find any either
but I'd probably be banned for asking!
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Ms. Clio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #113
139. But where are those threads and those posts????!!!
I am still waiting to see just one, let alone the "many" the OP claimed had been posted.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #139
141. Locked, tombstoned, & deleted
That's why the complaints. Get it?

One group posts links, info, photos, and the other group posts allegations and innuendo. Including posts calling a group of people "Marxists" who happen an interest in Cuba or who have been there.

The resultant argument over this disparity gets many posts and threads tombstoned and/or locked into the bowels of the DU archives. So, much of the links and info within those posts gets canned. This is a common tactic used here. Follow the Cuba threads on DU (well, those that survive intact) and I think you'll see the pattern.


Here's an article that lends some perspective on US-Cuba relations.

The Cuba Embargo as a Rip Off
http://www.counterpunch.org/landau11012003.html
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Ms. Clio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #141
143. Sorry Mika that's not what I meant
I phrased my original query specifically to eliminate tombstoned stuff. The OP claimed that "many" posters here (I take that to mean current members) had claimed that Cuba is "a free nation." In my line of work, when you claim that so-and-so said such-and-such, you have to back it up with at least one cite.





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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #139
148. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #79
93. Good point.
I've noticed this on other boards, too.

Anti-embargo posters usually do a lot of reading (hence their positions on the embargo, etc.) and invariably provide links to creditable sources.

The pro-embargo people usually rely on what they've heard, amd almost NEVER bring links.

Yep, it's a highly visable difference, and a good one to point out.

We have information, while others believe their attitude is enough.
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Blue_Chill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 04:05 AM
Response to Reply #93
108. Am I anti or pro embargo?
guess.
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RowWellandLive Donating Member (531 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 12:54 AM
Response to Reply #29
48. They defend Cuba all the time
to an extent that is beyond belief. They have free health care and a high literacy rate don't you know? Lack of human rights doesn't matter a wit if you can read and see a doctor for free. You would not believe the level of support for Castro's Cuba there is here. Sit back and be amazed and disgusted.
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 09:36 AM
Response to Reply #48
74. Sad
The thing is there *are* arguments that can be made defending the access restriction. Problem is, that leaves your whole flank exposed in other areas.

c'est la vie.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #48
75. Yep. Some defend what is actually going on currently in Cuba
And, yes, some of us have actually been to Cuba.

The Cuba detractor "experts" here, have never been there.

Similiarly & unfortunately, our government is too busy pointing blood soaked fingers at Cuba's imperfections to see the festering decay here at home.

Although Cuba's government isn't insisting, it seems that the US could take a couple of pointers from Cuba.

http://www.twnside.org.sg/title/learn.htm
At the same time, however, its record of social achievement has not only been sustained; its been enhanced, according to the WDI.

It has reduced its infant mortality rate from 11 per 1,000 births in 1990 to seven in 1999, which places it firmly in the ranks of the western industrialised nations. It now stands at six, according to Jo Ritzen, the Banks Vice President for Development Policy, who visited Cuba privately several months ago to see for himself.

By comparison, the infant mortality rate for Argentina stood at 18 in 1999;

Chiles was down to ten; and Costa Rica, at 12. For the entire Latin American and Caribbean region as a whole, the average was 30 in 1999.

Similarly, the mortality rate for children under the age of five in Cuba has fallen from 13 to eight per thousand over the decade. That figure is 50% lower than the rate in Chile, the Latin American country closest to Cubas achievement. For the region as a whole, the average was 38 in 1999.

Six for every 1,000 in infant mortality - the same level as Spain - is just unbelievable, according to Ritzen, a former education minister in the Netherlands. You observe it, and so you see that Cuba has done exceedingly well in the human development area.

Indeed, in Ritzens own field, the figures tell much the same story. Net primary enrolment for both girls and boys reached 100% in 1997, up from 92% in 1990. That was as high as most developed nations - higher even than the US rate and well above 80-90% rates achieved by the most advanced Latin American countries.

Even in education performance, Cubas is very much in tune with the developed world, and much higher than schools in, say, Argentina, Brazil, or Chile.

It is no wonder, in some ways. Public spending on education in Cuba amounts to about 6.7% of gross national income, twice the proportion in other Latin American and Caribbean countries and even Singapore.

There were 12 primary school pupils for every Cuban teacher in 1997, a ratio that ranked with Sweden, rather than any other developing country. The Latin American and East Asian average was twice as high at 25 to one.

The average youth (age 15-24) illiteracy rate in Latin America and the Caribbean stands at 7%. In Cuba, the rate is zero. In Latin America, where the average is 7%, only Uruguay approaches that achievement, with one percent youth illiteracy.

Cuba managed to reduce illiteracy from 40% to zero within ten years, said Ritzen. If Cuba shows that it is possible, it shifts the burden of proof to those who say its not possible.

Similarly, Cuba devoted 9.1% of its gross domestic product (GDP) during the 1990s to health care, roughly equivalent to Canadas rate. Its ratio of 5.3 doctors per 1,000 people was the highest in the world.
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number6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 10:31 PM
Response to Original message
34. who said it was...?
.. n/t
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Ms. Clio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 12:42 AM
Response to Reply #34
44. nobody ever said it
If the poster has a single link to a single post to back up that allegation, specifically, that a real DUer, and not a tombstoned troll, ever said that "Cuba is a free country," I will be utterly and completely astounded.
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Blue_Chill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 01:48 AM
Response to Reply #44
51. Just wait
and it wouldn't hurt if you actually read the threads when they came up instead of ignoring them and pretending they never existed. Look at the replies I'm not the only one that has seen them.

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Ms. Clio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 02:42 AM
Response to Reply #51
55. I find those replies suspect quite frankly since they don't include links
I have been reading here for almost three years, and I have no idea what you are talking about? I am just asking for a link to that specific statement, please--didn't you say that "many" here had claimed SPECIFICALLY that Cuba was "a free nation?" You gave the distinct impression you were actually quoting multitudes of posts. Please just provide one link with that actual wording. Thanks.
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Ms. Clio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #51
92. still waiting
please provide the links to the many many posts by DUers claiming that "Cuba is a free nation."

Or admit that you were wrong.

Seems pretty simple to me.
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Ms. Clio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #51
97. kicking again for those promised links
I don't really have a dog in this fight, you know, although I think it's significant that I tend to agree with many of the so-called "Castro apologists" on other issues (must be my deeply repressed Marxist yearnings struggling to be free).

I'm just waiting for you to back up your original statement. I find it fascinating that you think you can just ignore me--you were the one who told me to "just wait" for the proof, after all.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #97
99. Hope you're in no hurry
Sometime these things just take time!



Don't give up, however. I'm sure a link or two will be forthcoming.
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Ms. Clio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #99
101. naw I got all the time in the world
Are those fellow travelers? I've always wondered what they look like.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #101
104. Ha! You guessed it.
The infamous, and terrifying World Travellers.
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Ms. Clio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-04 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #51
161. crickets
Despite an appeal for help in searching the old forum in ATA, no links to "many" posts by "our socialist friendly" members (isn't that quite inflammatory rhetoric for an OP???) claiming that "Cuba is a free nation" have been forthcoming.

Have all those posts been deleted and their writers tombstoned??? Then they sound like trolls to me. Clearly it's highly inaccurate to portray "many" DUers as "Castro apologists" and I do have to wonder why the OP post wasn't considered "pointless flaming," especially when the original link didn't even support the argument. Who needs freepers sneering at DUers as "commies" (or anti-American, or pro-Saddam, or whatever) when we have people right here to do it for us?
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-04 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #161
162. It's been a while
Probably because the parties concerned are scouring archives for allthe references to a glorious, exalted Garden of Eden in Cuba made by anti-embargo Du'ers.

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Ms. Clio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-04 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #162
163. Do you think such references exist?
Seriously?

I know someone who visited Cuba recently and I am looking forward to talking with her again this week.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-04 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #163
164. I've never seen one, yet
Edited on Mon Jan-12-04 02:13 PM by JudiLyn
nor one even approaching that sentiment from anti-embargo DU'ers, and I've seen a TON of US/Cuba relations threads.

On edit:

I'm always surprised these Democrats don't respect all the hard work many Democrats, like Senators Byron Dorgan, and Max Baucus, Patty Murray, etc., etc. have been doing hacking away at the travel ban and the embargo these long years, with recognition they are very close to getting a veto-proof majority in the House and Senate, maybe even THIS YEAR.

Time will prove the hard-working Democratic Senators and Representatives were right as soon as a year from now.

I've read a link to a South Florida source saying even the Cuban-American extremists' community admits it can't count on Bush being able to hold back the forces on this issue for more than a year or so.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-04 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #161
165. Still, crickets
Can't understand it.

Just crickets!

The perfect chance has come and gone.
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Osolomia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-04 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #161
166. This site's approved flamers never have links to back up their claims

but that doesn't stop DU from spewing their lies and bullshit as this thread proves.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-04 10:43 PM
Response to Reply #166
169. In all the years since Elin Gonzalez was held hostage in Miami
I have NEVER seen any creditable references offered by pro-embargo, pro-travel ban posters. (Pro-embargo-ism, and pro-travel-ban-ism are BOTH right wing creations.)
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FDRrocks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
36. "on the black market"
Wow you draw some random conclusion from that. We cannot pirate cable in america, you know. Or the internet.
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Snappy Donating Member (322 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 10:55 PM
Response to Original message
37. OK
I admit that I'm ignorant about this topic. I have a,hopefully, intelligent question. Why does the US trade with China & re-locate mfg. there and not Cuba?
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BackDoorMan Donating Member (412 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 11:58 PM
Response to Original message
40. Oh my, by all means, let's oppress for another fifty years...
Edited on Sat Jan-10-04 12:16 AM by BackDoorMan
That will show 'em...get real...that's their politics, not ours, should they have choice, NO, you say,let's make EVERYONE like us...Bush loves you! Aren't as Americans SUPPOSE to allow a different train of thought, aren't we. (no matter how unpopular, that's America)...free speech, and our way of life, not enough? As they keep telling us.

Are you so afraid???

Do you support and love UNIONS?
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Blue_Chill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 01:50 AM
Response to Reply #40
52. So you support this horror because
we should accept people being different? lol.
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fabius Donating Member (759 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 12:49 AM
Response to Original message
47. Cuba is not FREE, as we understand it,
but it does not have to be demonized as we have done. Especially when we're so cozy with the biggest Commie nation of all, China.

Sure, Castro tries to squelch dissent, and locks up some dissidents without trial, and tries to restrict free speech, but we don't ever do that in this country, right? ummmm..

The fact is, authoritarians and dictators and totally fine with the US gummint as long as we can make money off them or have the serve other foreigh policy goals. Castro's crime is to not play along in our game.

Same crime as Saddam's actually, and Noriega's. Nor playing along.

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Blue_Chill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 01:50 AM
Response to Reply #47
53. No one at all is claiming the US is Utopia
Nor are the US's faults a valid defense for Castro.
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corporatewhore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 02:01 AM
Response to Reply #53
54. nor are castros faults a valid defense for the us
and because castros a baddy doesnt give us an excuse to hurt the cuban people
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Kinkistyle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 03:25 AM
Response to Original message
56. China monitors and filters their Internet access too.
They are also known to throw dissidents into jail. Yet we deal with them and have regular relations with them. The point is China is changing, they are way farther along than they were in 1989, and part of that reason is because of America's relationship with it. Why can't we treat Cuba similarly?
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 04:03 AM
Response to Original message
58. Nice Spin
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REP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 06:25 AM
Response to Original message
61. US Restricts Internet - How Can People Say This Nation Is Free?
http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/news/edi...

Posted on Wed, Jan. 07, 2004
ACLU challenges 'misguided' Pennsylvania law on online porn

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania asked a judge to throw out a state law aimed at fighting Internet child pornography, arguing it also blocks access to thousands of legitimate Web sites.

The group, along with the Washington-based Center for Democracy & Technology, filed a federal lawsuit in September, and the case went to trial this week.

In his opening statement Tuesday, John B. Morris Jr., a lawyer for the groups, told U.S. District Judge Jan E. DuBois that the law is ``well-intentioned but technologically misguided.''

{...}

Laura Blain testified Tuesday that a Web site she put up as director of her township recreation department could not be viewed by several people in June and July.

{...}

According to a pretrial deposition filed by the plaintiffs, one shutdown order forced AOL to block 400,000 sites from its users because of one offending Web page.
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ima_sinnic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 07:50 AM
Response to Original message
65. "socialist-friendly members"? what does that have to do w/anything?
that's where you lost me--I suddenly see your hidden agenda, which is to berate DUers. Why aren't you condemning "socialist-friendly" BushCo for its continuing goodwill and "free trade" with China?
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #65
84. A lot of people have started to suspect
that if someone hauled off and bellowed "communist" at another poster, he/she might look very out of place, not to mention, out of time, as in 1950's!

They try to be more subtle, using the etherial "Marxist" or always appropriate (to them!) "socialist" charge. A few of them call out the occassional "Castro apologist" label we all hear now and then. So refined, wouldn't you say? Lovely.

Well-balanced people KNOW Democrats don't actually speak from a right-wing extremist perspective. These labels tend to identify the name callers very quickly.

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


That Bush perp walk photo will be still be hilarious 1,000 years from now.

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Foswia Donating Member (215 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #84
87. Marxist yearning Castro apologists
Ya. It seems ignorant Marxist yearning Castro apologists ignore the Truman democrats. Seems the Big Tent only works if you follow the ominous "party" line.

1984 from BushCo, and now 1984 from radical apologists who coopted the "liberal" label and try to exclude everyone else.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #87
100. Try to determine if the world has changed since Harry S. Truman
Don't know too many "Truman Democrats," frankly.

If Democrats are rabidly right-wing, they are actually Republicans, aren't they?
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LeahMira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 08:33 AM
Response to Original message
67. Many nations do this...
I remember many of our socialist friendly members have argued that Cuba is free. How can they defend this latest action to stop the free flow of information?

Well, we in the U.S. have this free flow of information via the internet, but how effectively do most of us use it? Let's think about this...

First of all, as of the late 1990s, about 80% of the world's population had never made a phone call. About 50% of the world's people live 100 miles or more away from the nearest telephone. So internet access is not nearly so widespread as a lot of Americans imagine it is. If they don't have phones in other nations, forget satellite dishes and broadband and so on.

Of those nations that do have internet access, some do restrict access because they want to resist cultural homogenization. In spite of what the Shrub and Ann Coulter would like everyone to believe, capitalism, democracy, and Christianity are not the answers a lot of nations want to embrace.

We in the U.S. are also a very materialistic bunch. Just think of all the pop-ups and banner ads you encounter in your daily web sessions. They aren't ads for news and views sites, are they? Some nations do not appreciate our "bread and circuses" attitudes... rightly so IMO. There are more important things in life than owning the latest gadget or getting in to some of the other, worse things out there (gambling, porn, etc.). Other countries really don't want their people getting distracted with this nonsense.

Even in the U.S. only about 60% of the people have internet access from home, if I remember correctly. I am sure, though, that education and income are the best predictors of internet use in the U.S. People who are better educated and those with incomes over $50,000. a year are most likely to be on the internet. Hispanics and Blacks are catching up, but overall their access to the internet is lagging behind the majority.

If you look at the ways that most Americans who are on the internet actually use it, you will find that other than work-related use, most people look for entertainment, health information, religious information, and so on. Sending and receiving e-mail is the biggie use for adults, although kids in school use it for educational purposes. Internet stock buying, and even just general shopping is fairly popular, but most folks are concerned about privacy and credit card information and the like and don't do those things.

A lot of people claim that they look for points of view that are different from the TV news, but the fact is that most folks click on to the news sites that are maintained by the major media news groups, including msnbc and fox news sites when they look for these "different" views. What they are getting is a more in-depth discussion of mainstream arguments, not alternative or opposing arguments. Some conclude that what people are really looking for when they look for "different" points of view is more reasons to support what they already think.

So, I wouldn't be too upset that the Cubans are limiting access. We in the U.S. aren't all that wired, and while the internet is spreading it certainly isn't on the top of the wish list in other countries. They are worried about more pressing things. Ourside of work or school, we don't even use it for much more than entertainment and communication between friends. And really, how much news from Cuba do most people in the U.S. actually read? Not a heck of a lot... now that Elian is long since back home.


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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 09:45 AM
Response to Reply #67
76. Finally!
A legitimate defense of the policy. One that the main apologists in this thread and the one in LBN don't want to use. It means admitting that some aspects of dictatorship might actually have some benefits, which simply doesn't jive with our style of government.

I believe it was in a Chomsky book I once read passage about how the higher a literacy rate is, the more effective propaganda can be.

That would easily apply to a well-constructed anti-Castro propaganda campaign on the web, as well.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #76
86. So illiteracy means freedom?
Edited on Sat Jan-10-04 12:30 PM by Mika


" the higher a literacy rate is, the more effective propaganda can be"

Wow, almost sounds like a Rove sound bite. Just like "the more troops we lose in Iraq the more successful we are".

Black is white
War is peace

What Castro Found

  • 75% of rural dwellings were huts made from palm trees.
  • More than 50% had no toilets of any kind.
  • 85% had no inside running water.
  • 91% had no electricity.
  • There was only 1 doctor per 2,000 people in rural areas.
  • More than one-third of the rural population had intestinal parasites.
  • Only 4% of Cuban peasants ate meat regularly; only 1% ate fish, less than 2% eggs, 3% bread, 11% milk; none ate green vegetables.
  • The average annual income among peasants was $91 (1956), less than 1/3 of the national income per person.
  • 45% of the rural population was illiterate; 44% had never attended a school.
    Even for most city dwellers, life was not all that rosy.
  • 25% of the labor force was chronically unemployed.
  • 1 million people were illiterate ( in a population of about 5.5 million).
  • 27% of urban children, not to speak of 61% of rural children, were not attending school.
  • Racial discrimination was widespread.
  • The public school system had deteriorated badly.
  • Corruption was endemic; anyone could be bought, from a Supreme Court judge to a cop.
  • Police brutality and torture were common.




  • I see, Cubans were forced by dictatorship to create world class health care and education systems for their children and families. They fell for this brutal dictatorship that forced H-C and ED and sovereignty on them right after they kicked Batista's ass outta there, right?


    Learn from Cuba
    http://www.twnside.org.sg/title/learn.htm


    One man didn't do this. The Cuban people did it, by working together.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 03:30 PM
    Response to Reply #86
    88. I've seen "exiles" posting at message boards
    claiming Cuba used to have a notable standard of living before the revolution.

    It WAS high for the Batistianos living at the great expense of the many, apparently. That's what triggered the revolution.
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    Osolomia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 09:19 AM
    Response to Original message
    71. What part of "black market" don't DUers understand?

    From the second sentence in this thread's article:

    The move could affect hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Cubans who access the Internet without authorization from their homes, using computers and Internet accounts that have been borrowed or purchased on the black market for as much as $50 for 80 hours per month.

    What a shame so many supposedly progressive Democrats choose to ignore the mountain of evidence at their fingertips and cling to their right wing Cold War fantasies instead. No wonder the party has painted itself into the wrong corner on this issue and keeps losing.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 09:28 AM
    Response to Reply #71
    73. It seems that Black Market = Open Market to many DUsers
    Edited on Sat Jan-10-04 09:34 AM by Mika
    From a different the article on the subject being "debated",

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/01/09/tech/main5924...
    E-net is the largest of a handful of Internet providers in Cuba ..
    -
    E-net customers who do not have the dollar phone service can keep accessing the Internet with the ordinary phone service with special cards sold at Etecsa offices, the letter says.


    More than one internet provider (there are a handful) in Cuba. Cubans can purchase internet service for home use, or get free internet access at all local libraries, just like the USA.

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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 10:21 AM
    Response to Reply #73
    77. Thanks for explaining it
    It would be a good idea if those who are in the dark about this article took the time to understand what they have been reading and misunderstanding.

    No time like the present, right?
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    Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 11:24 AM
    Response to Original message
    82. the official line is an exaggerated view of Cuba's "brutal dictatorship"
    I'm glad people challenge that here at DU, and people shouldn't be made foolish for doing it.

    Imo, the people that go around enforcing the official line are the fools. Whichever poster above called what you're doing "red baiting" was right.



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    bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 04:40 PM
    Response to Original message
    95. Cuba
    Cuba is a dictatorship under Fidel Castro. Let no one doubt that. Cubans and the world will be better off when he is no more. Still, the US embargo on that nation is a relic from the Cold War. Nor was it very effective policy: Castro has outlived 10 US presidents. How can we trade with such humanitarian states as China, Saudi Arabia, and Uzbekistan and yet piss and moan about the Castro regime?
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    Dirk39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 08:21 PM
    Response to Original message
    98. About what kind of people are you talking?
    "The move could affect hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Cubans who access the Internet without authorization from their homes, using computers and Internet accounts that have been borrowed or purchased on the black market for as much as $50 for 80 hours per month."

    A physican in Cuba earns about 20$ a month? A worker earns about 6 to 8$ a month.


    "Internet in Cuba

    Bjorn Blomberg blombergbjorn@hotmail.com

    Dear Editor: Having read Luis Zuleta's letter about freedom in Cuba and Venezuela, I have some further information to add regarding internet in Cuba. The best summary of the situation I have yet read is in Walter Lippman's excellent article "Two Months in Cuba" in which you find:

    "Almost no Cubans have internet access at home. Cubans have had e-mail access and computer training for two decades through computer youth clubs and schools. They had to wait for a connection to the internet, which became available in October, 1996. This opened up the graphical world and instant delivery. They have had internet e-mail, both domestic (for more people) and international (for fewer people), for many years prior to 1996."

    Only a few journalists, doctors and other scientists have e-mail at home. To check e-mail from elsewhere, foreigners have to use an internet caf, such as the one at the Capitolio, where access is both slow and expensive at $5.00 an hour. You must present your passport, which is logged in at the desk, and Cubans can't access the internet there. Students have net access at the University, but I wasn't able to see under what conditions or limits.

    Some Cubans have internet access at work. They are mostly people who work for foreign companies. Many Cubans have e-mail at their jobs, though without internet access. These limits are explained by the expense of the equipment (starting with computers), limited bandwidth and security considerations. The domestic Cuban intranet, however, has been built up over the last 20 years and is extensive. In a country where telephone service has been mostly unreliable, many businesses and universities use e-mail via the Cuban intranet to communicate.
    Comments | Read more...

    A campaign that began in the Washington Post in December, 2000 claims that Cuba deliberately limits internet access to its citizens. It is hypocritical for the US, which does whatever it can to prevent Cuban access to technology, equipment and much else, to complain about this. Cuba is still a relatively poor Third World country. Its hard currency resources are kept for the highest priorities: health, education and self-preservation. Internet access is growing, but not as quickly as one would like. It's far less widely available than in the US, where income rather than need is what decides.

    All governments fear uncontrolled information ... in the US, we are drowned with massive amounts of information. By this means, important information (like favorable materials about Cuba!) can be drowned out where not eliminated totally.

    Anyone seriously concerned about expanding access to the internet in Cuba should speak out to end the blockade. If Cuba didn't have to do so much to defend itself, and if Cuba were free to purchase computers and all the technology needed with it, internet access would be far more available there than it is at present. And Cubans might begin to purchase software that they currently cannot buy legally from US companies.

    More importantly, when the internet is "opened" and made more available in Cuba, I can't imagine it would EVER be like it is in the USA. There will NOT be 11 million people sitting alone at home at 11 million individual terminals. Remember, Cubans still share phone lines. That will continue, and so will sharing of internet resources ... this is as much a cultural phenomenon as a resource-related one.

    Cuba isn't interested in giving everybody individual internet access. The whole society is more communal and collective than that. It is much more likely that, with unlimited access and resources just handed to them, Cubans would work out a community-based kind of access. CDRs and schools and community centers and clinics will be used for internet access, not each individual home. One beginning effort they are making is to put public terminals at post offices.

    Living in the US where internet access is relatively inexpensive, I have a high-speed DSL connection, and I don't pay attention to how long my computer stays connected. In Cuba, where access was $5.00 an hour for a slow connection at the Capitolio internet cafe, I had to carefully assess the value of what I was reading. Much and sometimes most of what I get in e-mail is junk, so I found myself deleting most of what I received in Cuba without reading it.

    Cuba is willing to trade with anyone who will trade with it. I noticed that many of the computer monitors in the Capitolio, and elsewhere, were of Israeli manufacture. Cuba's vigorous support for the Palestinians doesn't keep it from having economic relations with Israel, which maintains a very low profile on the island."

    Regarding undeniable intolerant aspects of the Cuban revolution one has to consider a similar intolerance in the exile Cuban community in Miami. People there celebrate terrorists like Orlando Bosch who organized the blowing up of a civilian Cuban airliner and killed 73 people as some kind of heroes. A left-leaning radio station such as Radio Progreso Alternativa has had to suffer all kinds of sabotage. The hard-liners of this right-wing extremist community have for more than forty years struggled to convince the US government to invade Cuba (the failed Bay of Pigs invasion is one blatant example of this).

    So I think it is not surprising that Cuba sometimes takes harsh measures to defend its sovereignty. Regarding dissidents: There are many dissident organizations that are not financed by the US and that are tolerated by the Cuban government. Cuba ... even according to dissidents ... have rather few political prisoners. In fact many US supported regimes have many more. According to Wayne S. Smith, former head of the US interest section in Havana under Jimmy Carter, Cuba is gradually developing into a more open society. There is for example freedom of religion (unlike in Vietnam or China) and many Christian organizations have their own publications that are by no means being censored.

    And finally: If Cuba were such a tyranny, why do almost all of those thousands of doctors who spend two years working in Latin American countries, return to Cuba when they have finished their job. Why don't they escape to such wonderful free democratic countries such as Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua which have been dominated by the USA for decades and have had such a wonderful social and economic development?

    In Venezuela the Chavez government has done a lot to make internet available to everyone in public institutions, so I cannot see that Luis Zuleta could possibly have anything to complain about there."
    http://havanajournal.com/culture_comments/P625_0_3_0 /

    Hello from Germany,
    Dirk

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    Dirk39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 09:06 PM
    Response to Original message
    102.  hundreds, perhaps thousands...
    I guess this is what democrazy is about for you.

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    Osolomia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-04 09:09 PM
    Response to Original message
    103. US restricts travel. How can people say this nation is free?

    How can they defend the US government's latest action to stop the free flow of information?

    DU Admin forbids calling a "pointless flaming" hypocrite a hypocrite. Gee I wonder why!
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    slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 10:11 AM
    Response to Reply #103
    122. But the most important form of travel is not restricted in the US
    The freedom to leave the country permanently (emmigrate).

    Cubans can't leave.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 10:56 AM
    Response to Reply #122
    127. Cubans can't leave? WTF
    The US offers over 20,000 legal immigration visas to Cubans every year. You don't think that Miami is filled with rafters do you?

    As a matter of fact, it is the Bush admin that is making Cuban migration more difficult.

    Washington calls off Cuban migration talks
    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/cuba/sfl-acuba08...
    The accords were signed between the Clinton administration and the Cuban government..
    -
    They call for the United States to return most migrants and to issue a minimum of 20,000 visas annually to Cubans wanting to leave the island.
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    slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 11:35 AM
    Response to Reply #127
    133. Good information, but the core of my point is this
    "...Cuba refuses to issue exit permits to every Cuban given a visa by the United States under the accords....."

    (op cit)
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    Osolomia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 11:45 AM
    Response to Reply #133
    135. The USA's refuses to issue entry visas

    to every Cuban given an exit visa by Cuba. That's one reason why a steady stream of US House Reps and Senators and Governors and State Legislators and CEO's are having to travel to Cuba these days to sign their trade deals because Bush won't give the Cubans an entry visa into the US, wouldn't let the Latin Grammy award nominees and a long list of other Cubans in either.

    Can you say "hypocrisy"?



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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 12:01 PM
    Response to Reply #133
    137. You said Cubans can't leave
    Edited on Sun Jan-11-04 12:06 PM by Mika
    "The freedom to leave the country permanently (emmigrate).
    Cubans can't leave.



    That was your stated point. My point is that Cubans can leave and they do so using ample legal avenues.

    Your new point,now raising the bar (extracted from the info I posted for you which you seem unaware of), is that Cuba should grant exit visas for every Cuban who gets a US visa.

    Did you know that Cuban doctors (for example) who are trained in their specialty and get their degrees at taxpayers expense do so in exchange for service to their government for a set number of years (depending on their profession)? Canada and most other socialized systems do the same thing. Why should the Cuban taxpayers fund expensive training and education at great expense (for Cuba) to students and hence grads in critical positions in Cuba, only to have them leave for the US to profit from their training in Cuba before fulfilling their contractual obligations? The US's issuing visas preferentially to professionals, like doctors and their immediate family, is an attempt to create a false immigration issue. The real issue regarding their exit visa is their contractual obligations with their own government that paid for their training.
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    Good Fences Donating Member (30 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 08:48 AM
    Response to Original message
    112. Freedom from thought

    Stooge: someone who'd rather have a full belly than a free mind.

    Coward: willingly does (or would) exchange their potential to rise or fall for the alleged safety of a free shi**y government shack; prefers it to a system where they own property.


    None for me, thanks. Warts and all USAmerica isn't perfect but its way ahead of whatevers in second place.

    Oh yeah they're free alright:

    Cuba can't hide truth

    By Peter Smolen, www.rsf.org . Posted on Thu, Nov. 20, 2003 in The Miami Herald.

    Last April, Cuban journalist Adolfo Fernandez Sainz was sentenced to 15 years in Holquin Prison, Cuba, for doing his job of speaking freely and exercising his professional right to inform the public. He languishes along with hundreds like him in jails around the world, but they are not forgotten.

    Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based international organization for the defense of press freedom, is holding a ''Sponsorship Day'' today to draw attention to the plight of imprisoned journalists around the world

    link: http://www.cubanet.org/CNews/y03/nov03/21e5.htm
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 09:08 AM
    Response to Reply #112
    114. Your source, Cubanet is a U.S. Government funded program
    They fund "independent journalists" in Cuba, which means these journalists crank out the crappola our State Department wants them to write.

    http://www.usaid.gov/regions/lac/cu/upd-cub.htm

    Someone here, writing articles against the U.S. Government, being funded by Cuba would be in one big world of trouble. Period.

    Americans who have been keeping an eye on the Cuban "exiles" and their gnarly tricks know all about these games.

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    Good Fences Donating Member (30 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 09:22 AM
    Response to Reply #114
    115. The source is
    reporters w/o borders.

    And, respectfully, though there may be jailed reporters in the US, I am quite certain there are no reporters in jail in the US because WHAT THEY WROTE was anti-government.

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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 09:48 AM
    Response to Reply #115
    120. "Journalists" writing anti-government material here
    who are ALSO PAID BY FOREIGN COUNTRIES would not fare well.

    Castro's alleged oppression of dissidents is not what keeps him firmly in power. Instead, the Cuban people continue to circle the wagons around him in response to the ill-conceived efforts of a long succession of U.S. administrations to bring down his government.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/columnist/wickham/...

    There's actually nothing worse in this entire country than the history of vicious, malicious, childish, violent bombings and assassinations which have been unleashed by the South Florida Cuban "exile" extremists.

    I would advise anyone to start reading on the nest of vipers living in Miami, and try to get a sense of why it was the Cuban people wanted this assortment of trash removed from their highest positions in Cuban life, along with the American Mafia.

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    Good Fences Donating Member (30 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 10:02 AM
    Response to Reply #120
    121. Journalist working in the US and funded by
    foreign goves would be in no danger from US government retaliation no matter what they wrote. They would not be put in jail, rounded up, beaten etc. As for Miami- well yeah, I know about that through my family- my brother is close to that community and they are very partisan. Still, cite a situation here that is remotely comparable to the situation of Cuban Journalists.

    Betcha can't.

    link:http://www.cpj.org/enemies/worst_places_02/worst_places_02.html
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 01:53 PM
    Response to Reply #121
    146. Cubanet still has dozens of reporters reporting from Cuba every day
    Edited on Sun Jan-11-04 01:55 PM by Mika
    They're still "reporting".

    The US NED/CIA financed cubanet still has reporters sending anticastro stories to the Miami based website. They aren't rounded up. You can read their stories every day. Only the people (who happen to be so called "independent journalists" on the US payroll) who collaborate illegally with the terrorist elements of the avowed enemy of Cuba (that has attacked Cuba overtly and terrorized Cuba covertly as well as attempted assassination attempts on the Cuban Head of State -the US government) are arrested, charged, then face and refute the evidence against them in an open trial with the legal representation of their choice.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-04 10:51 PM
    Response to Reply #121
    170. Look what I stumbled across, while looking for something quite different
    This information might aid you in developing an appreciation of the actual elements of the situation you have attempted to discuss:

    (snip) In a recent television interview in Miami, Cason said the help he gave dissidents was "moral and spiritual" in nature. But, according to the testimony of several Cuban security agents who infiltrated the organizations that received U.S. support, the Interests Section became a general headquarters and office space for dissidents. Some of them, including Marta Beatriz Roque, had passes signed by Cason that allowed them free access to the Interests Section where they could use computers, telephones, and office machines.

    The State Department calls these activities "outreach." However, under the United States Code, similar "outreach" by a foreign diplomat in the United States could result in criminal prosecution and a 10-year prison sentence for anyone "who agrees to operate within the United States subject to the direction or control of a foreign government or official (Title 18, section 951 of the United States Code). (snip)

    (snip) The Cuban government has always maintained that dissidents are created and funded by the U.S. government. Under that rationale, Cuban law makes collaboration with U.S. policy, especially the 1996 Helms-Burton Act, a criminal offense punishable with lengthy prison terms. In 1997, the National Assembly passed the Reaffirmation of Cuban Dignity and Sovereignty Law as an "antidote" for Helms-Burton, and in 1999, the Protection of Cuban National Independence Law, which criminalized any act of cooperation with U.S. policy toward Cuba. These laws are similar to U.S. laws governing activities of unregistered agents of foreign governments. Evidence supporting the Cuban claim that dissidents are mercenaries of the United States is available on U.S. government Web sites. The Web site of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) lists recipients of U.S. funds to support dissidents, independent journalists, independent librarians, and human rights organizations in Cuba.

    For example, in 2000, USAID gave US$670,000 to three organizations to support "the publication abroad of the work of independent journalists from the island...and to distribute their writings within Cuba" (USAID report, Evaluation of the USAID Cuba Program, 2001).

    The State Department's 2003 review of the Cuba Program, set up to carry out the regime change directive in the Helms-Burton Act, notes that the Cuba Dissidence Task Group "was created to support the activities of dissident groups in Cuba," especially the Group of Four--the group led by Marta Beatriz Roque. The task group received a US$250,000 grant in 1999.

    US$280,000 went to the Cuba Free Press between 1998 and 2000, for "giving voice to independent journalists and writers inside Cuba."

    CubaNet, which operates out of Miami, posts the work of independent journalists on its Web site. Florida International University, another USAID grantee, works with CubaNet to translate articles written by dissident journalists into English, French, and German. CubaNet received US$343,000 up through 1997. (snip/...)
    (I believe yesterday or so, I mentioned your source, CUBANET, on your link is funded by the U.S. Government and funds "dissident journalists" in Cuba.)

    http://www.counterpunch.org/sandels04262003.html
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    Osolomia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 09:23 AM
    Response to Reply #112
    116. With so many Dems with blinders firmly glued to their faces

    and an Administrator who lets his own bias interfere with allowing links to credible information from being discussed, no wonder the Democratic party has a big problem. What a shame.

    What the hell do you think your hundreds of millions of taxpayers dollars in USAID and NED grants to Cuba's "dissidents" and "independent journalists" are for???!!!

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    Good Fences Donating Member (30 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 09:28 AM
    Response to Reply #116
    117. Sorry
    I read your post twice. Slowly. And I still don't get wtf you are trying to say. Could you clarify? Please.
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    NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 09:31 AM
    Response to Reply #112
    118. I Don't Think Owning Property Equates Bravery
    Edited on Sun Jan-11-04 09:33 AM by Crisco
    It merely means you might be apt to defend it, and you might have to display some bravery in the process. It's one way, not the only way. It also means you might become a major asshole, displaying unnecessary aggression in the face of a *perceived* threat.

    Otherwise, I'm pretty much in agreement.
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    Good Fences Donating Member (30 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 09:40 AM
    Response to Reply #118
    119. Responding to you unedited post

    By coward I guess I mean taking the path of least resistance. Owing property implies the owner must exercise responsibility, dominion and control over said property or it all goes to SH**.

    FYI:

    Freelance writer and book author Vanessa Leggett was released from federal custody in Houston on Jan. 4, after serving 168 days in jail for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury and turn over her research materials.

    link: http://www.rcfp.org/leggett.html
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    WhoCountsTheVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 10:16 AM
    Response to Original message
    123. Who is more free? A poor person in Cuba or in Dominican Republic?
    It seems the Cuba-haters and the Cuba-lovers have so clouded the facts with their unstoppable propaganda, I simply have no idea how free Cuba really is - aside from the denouncements by Amnesty International and the like.

    Who is more free? A poor person in Cuba or a poor person in Dominican Republic? Who has a better standard of living? That's what I want to know.

    The fact that rich people are not above the law in Cuba doesn't bother me in the slightest, but I'd never want to live under their authoritarian state.

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    MacCovern Donating Member (336 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 12:40 PM
    Response to Reply #123
    140. Dominican Rep. has much better standard of living!!!!
    This one is not even close. Using the 2001 World Almanac as my source, Cuba has a per capital GDP of $1,700 compared to Domican Rep. $5,400.

    Cuba, with a pop. of over 11,000,000 has 488,600 phone lines, compared to Dom. Rep., w/ pop. of 8,500,000+, with 820,900 phone lines.

    Cuba had $1.4 billion in exports in 1999, compared to Dom. Rep. $5.1 billion.

    The life expectancy in Cuba is higher, and so is the literacy rate.
    The Dominican Republic is also controlled by a leftist.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 01:37 PM
    Response to Reply #140
    144. Gee. Do you think that the US embargo has anything to do with that?
    The D.R. has no us trade and travel sanctions set upon it and its people.

    I've been to the D.R. and I have seen some of the most appalling homelessness and poverty there, more street children in Santo Domingo than you can shake a stick at, as well as serious drug addiction problems. No one who has been to Cuba has seen homeless street children huffing shoe glue, nor any homeless in Cuba period. I haven't either.

    ---
    One of the internationally recognized hallmarks of representative government..

    The D.R.

    http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/dr.ht...
    Infant mortality rate: 34.19 deaths/1,000 births


    Cuba

    http://www.twnside.org.sg/title/learn.htm
    Infant mortality rate: 6 deaths/1,000 births



    I guess if you don't survive early childhood they can't measure your quality of life.

    In Cuba, more survive to suffer this,

    Learn from Cuba
    It is no wonder, in some ways. Public spending on education in Cuba amounts to about 6.7% of gross national income, twice the proportion in other Latin American and Caribbean countries and even Singapore.

    There were 12 primary school pupils for every Cuban teacher in 1997, a ratio that ranked with Sweden, rather than any other developing country. The Latin American and East Asian average was twice as high at 25 to one.

    The average youth (age 15-24) illiteracy rate in Latin America and the Caribbean stands at 7%. In Cuba, the rate is zero. In Latin America, where the average is 7%, only Uruguay approaches that achievement, with one percent youth illiteracy.

    Cuba managed to reduce illiteracy from 40% to zero within ten years, said Ritzen. If Cuba shows that it is possible, it shifts the burden of proof to those who say its not possible.
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    WhoCountsTheVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 02:01 PM
    Response to Reply #140
    147. misses the point?
    "Cuba has a per capital GDP of $1,700 compared to Domican Rep. $5,400"

    What's the distribution of that wealth? That's my question.

    Phone lines? Same question.

    "The life expectancy in Cuba is higher, and so is the literacy rate"

    Okay.

    "Cuba had $1.4 billion in exports in 1999, compared to Dom. Rep. $5.1 billion"

    Who profited from those exports? How does the US embrgo influence this? (The US is probably DR's main trading partner).

    "The Dominican Republic is also controlled by a leftist"

    Eh? A leftist that won't educate the people and maintains a low life expectancy?

    If a Cuban started an anti-gvoernment newspaper, how likely is he to get arrested? If a Dominican started an anti-landlord newspaper, how likely is he to get shot?

    Unfortunately, the questions aren't so easy to answer. Regardless, anyone who thinks that Cuba is a socialist paradise is mistaken I'm afraid.

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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 02:35 PM
    Response to Reply #147
    151. Isn't easy to answer for Americans, we can't go there to see it easily
    Edited on Sun Jan-11-04 02:43 PM by Mika
    That and the fact that the mainstream US media just about blackout any accurate Cuba information.


    "If a Cuban started an anti-gvoernment newspaper, how likely is he to get arrested?"


    Do you mean an anarchist paper, or a paper that espouses a different form of government?

    Both are available in Cuba. Cuba's government is changing, thru dialog and elections and voter approved amendments to the constitution, etc.

    Have you ever heard of the Varella project (for example), headed by Nobel prize winning Oswaldo Paya the spokesperson and leader of the Cuban Christian Democratic Party? The petition that Jimmy Caster spoke of on Cuba national TV? Their political party and others publish newspapers in Cuba that espouse different forms of government. These papers are read all over the place. There are plenty of other types of newspapers and gossip rags there too - right, left, and center, including dissatisfaction with President Castro, Ricardo Alarcan, Carlos Large, and other elected officials.


    Of course, we Americans can't readily go to Cuba to see this because of the freedom denying travel sanctions brutally & undemocratically thrust upon us by Ashcroft's jackbooted OFAC/Dept of Treasury agents.


    Too bad that the majority of Dem presidential candidates support a continuation of this policy.

    -The Democratic Presidential Candidates on Cuba-
    http://www.lawg.org/pages/new%20pages/Misc/prez-candida...



    Sadly, only ONE candidate for
    US president openly states that he
    would end this unjust and insane
    policy against Cuba AND Americans.

    That candidate is Dennis Kucinich.



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    eablair3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 10:34 AM
    Response to Original message
    125. Do you just unquestionably believe everything that's printed??
    This was an Associated Press article. There was a long thread about in in LBN. You should check that one out.

    The AP just got done writing probably one of the stupidest and most propagandistic articles I have seen in a while about a week or so ago when some AP writer wrote about the U.S. accusing Castro and Chavez of supporting subversion of South and Central American governments and of supporting Islamic terrorists, as well as Columbian "rebels". The article was an absolute joke.

    Now, why would one automatically just believe what the AP publishes?

    The U.S. has been on a campaign, propganda as well as outright overthrow and assassination of Castro for years, not to mention being involved in the coup on Chavez. Why would you just beleieve anything that they tell the AP to print. The AP has proven it's part of the corporate media and will print most anything. Why do you automaticaly just believe it hook line and sinker????

    In response to the previous hit piece published by the AP, Cuba has posted this response:

    http://www.granma.cu/ingles/2004/enero/vier9/3mentira-i...

    Now, care to take any wagers that Cuba will have a similar response to this latest AP article claims? I just don't believe everything I read, esp in the American corporate media. I want verification and to read other sides of issues, don't you?
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    eablair3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 10:59 AM
    Response to Reply #125
    128. some previous LBN threads for people to check out
    Here's the previous AP hit piece that was posted in the Washington Post:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A56080-20...

    Here's the thread in LBN relating to that one:
    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

    Here's is a really good thread from LBN relating to the same issue as this thread -- some really good posts in there by "Mika" -- really informative (thanks Mika):
    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

    Thread about the propaganda campaign and other "cold war" actions of the US:
    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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    NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 11:10 AM
    Response to Reply #125
    129. Is It So Difficult
    To defend Cuba's policies and at the same time accept that not all of them are 100% perfect in regards to personal liberties?


    Must you pretend - and demand everyone else do the same - that Cuba's form of government is in every way ideal in order to believe and try to convince others that US policy towards the island is wrong-headed?
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    Osolomia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 11:23 AM
    Response to Reply #129
    130. Why is it so difficult for DUers to discuss the information

    in the links provided instead of shooting the messenger every time?

    Why do you insist on misrepresenting what others say?


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    Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 11:33 AM
    Response to Reply #129
    132. Deleted message
    Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
     
    NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 11:59 AM
    Response to Reply #132
    136. That's Just It
    Did you even read my post 125 that you replied to? Where in that post did I "defend Cuba's policies"?

    That's the point, you aren't defending them at all; you're insisting that every critique is invalid propaganda and avoiding the issue altogether.

    The issue, in case you've forgotten, is the claim that Cubans need government authorization to view major portions of the internet. And not one of Cuba's defenders in this thread or the others pointed to have been able to unequivocably debunk it, in spite of claiming otherwise.
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    eablair3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 06:34 PM
    Response to Reply #136
    160. What's apparent is ...
    Edited on Sun Jan-11-04 06:35 PM by eablair3
    That's the point, you aren't defending them at all; you're insisting that every critique is invalid propaganda and avoiding the issue altogether.

    You seem to be upset now that I haven't been defending Cuba? That's too bad, if that's the case. And, you've once again misrepresented what I posted. Where did I "... insist that every critique is invalid propaganda"?

    There seems to be a pattern developing.

    The issue is not what you claim it to be. I posted my comment about the original post and article, and you chose to respond and misrepresent what I said in several respects. Looks like Mika dealt with the other misrepresentation you originally made.

    Why do you insist on grossly misrepresenting what people post about wrt to Cuba? Your posts seem to be very anti-Cuba and anti-Castro, and it seems you can't bear to read posts where people don't fall in line like sheep to the Bush Administration's policy on Cuba.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 11:44 AM
    Response to Reply #129
    134. Please, show us the posts that claim Cuba is in every way ideal?
    "Must you pretend - and demand everyone else do the same - that Cuba's form of government is in every way ideal in order to believe and try to convince others that US policy towards the island is wrong-headed?"



    It seems that its you that is pretending that there are posts that claim that Cuba's form of government is "in every way ideal".

    I have seen none. :shrug:


    The US excells in some areas, and doesn't in others. America is evolving, and has been since the revolution - some 228 years ago.

    Cuba excells in some areas, and doesn't in others. Cuba is evolving, and has been since the revolution - only 45 years ago.
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    Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 01:14 PM
    Response to Reply #134
    142. Deleted message
    Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
     
    drdigi420 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 02:19 PM
    Response to Reply #142
    150. no threads should ever be locked
    there is no force requiring you to read threads that offend you
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 03:14 PM
    Response to Reply #150
    152. I agree
    That is what the -Ignore- function is for, I thought.

    I think that the insults and red baiting posts should stand, for all to see the old & tired cold war patterns of rhetoric still playing out.

    We need to move on though, to take a look at Cuba now, not Cuba of the 50's and 60's.

    But how can Americans do that if they are travel banned by their own government (and how can we consider travel/immigration fairness issues re; Cuba, while our own freedom is trampled on so). This is especially vexing considering the current state of the "librul" media here and the Cuba blackout (except Rove's minion's statements that are quickly taking us back to the cold war days and ways).

    We need current information.

    I participate in Cuba discussions here at DU to try to at least provide and post some alternative perspectives and news links to those of the US government and US media. Contrary to the 'big tent' of the Dem party line though, I have been repeatedly branded as a "Castro lover", a Marxist, a Communist, a Castro apologist, and on and friggin on for doing so, here on the Democratic Underground. But, IMO, I think all of those posts should stand and not be canned, so DUers can see for themselves, and participate in and hopefully modulate the threads to more "progressive" Cuba discussions here. Its kinda hard to follow some of the threads with many posts deleted.

    Just my 2 cents.

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    Osolomia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 04:06 PM
    Response to Reply #152
    153. With so many Republicans defying the Bush Doctrine on Cuba

    Youll often find a more progressive discussion of this issue on freerepublic.com, without the censorship!

    Hardly a day goes by without a news article about Cuba being posted on LBN, so current information is readily available to anyone who doesn't have blinders firmly glued to their face and bothers to educate themselves.

    There's no excuse for the ignorant bigotry of so many Dems in this internet day and bushwhacked age, none whatsoever.

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    Media_Lies_Daily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 11:27 AM
    Response to Original message
    131. What do you think is happening here?...
    It's called the Patriot Act, I & II.

    I think we should be more concerned with what's happening in OUR country than what's happening in a country that has absolutely NO impact on the U. S.
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    Bush loves Jiang Donating Member (505 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 01:38 PM
    Response to Original message
    145. I can only say one good thing about Castro...
    He's less evil than Batista was.
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    drdigi420 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 02:17 PM
    Response to Original message
    149. People are thrown in jail for possesing a plant
    in the US

    Lets worry about our lack of freedom here and then we can worry about Cuba
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 04:53 PM
    Response to Reply #149
    157. Why should "we"
    "Lets worry about our lack of freedom here and then we can worry about Cuba"

    You're right, in that we should be defending our own freedoms, but, why should "we" then be worrying about Cuban's freedoms? That implies that Cubans need US hegemony in order to achieve some US government conjured level of "freedom". The Cuban people are FULLY able to take care of themselves and steer their own ship of state. Every other country has normal relations with Cuba, and citizens from around the world go to Cuba for a full range of activities.. does the US gov or Americans posses some kind of magic midas touch that brings people freedom? We certainly can't show the Cuban people how to run a better national health care system, nor can we show Cubans how to run successful national education systems, nor can we show Cuba how to run an election nor a one man one vote system of direct representational democracy (the electoral college and all -especially after the 2000 5-4 decision).
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