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It’s time to clear up some misconceptions about Miami Cubans.

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RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:19 PM
Original message
It’s time to clear up some misconceptions about Miami Cubans.
Yes, the ones that are so fondly referred to on DU as “Batistas” and “fascistas” and “racistas”.

The ones that many of you say deserve everything they got because they were fortunate not to have been living in poverty during the 1950s.

The ones that are referred to as ”Gusanos” because they chose to leave Cuba as soon as Castro declared an end to all elections in 1961.

Contrary to what is constantly being spewed on DU, most of the Cuban exiles that live in Miami were not avid Batista supporters. Many, in fact, supported Castro in toppling Batista. And most still regard Batista with disdain.

If it weren’t for the support Castro received from the Cuban bourgeois and from the elite, both who were sick of the Batista’s corruption and suppressive tactics, El Commandante would have gone down in history as a bearded footnote, a golden age GI Jose who would have either been executed or forced into exile.

If it weren’t for the fact that the majority of Cubans resented Batista for putting himself in office in a 1952 coup without an election, Castro might have never gained the support he needed from the general population.

If it weren’t for the fact that many in Batista’s regime began turning against him, especially after he ordered several teenagers hanged for trying to organize a general strike, Batista would have never been forced to flee to the Dominican Republican on the eve of the Cuban Revolution.

Not to say that some of Batista’s supporter didn’t end up in Miami. Considering that Castro started executing members of Batista’s regime in the immediate aftermath of the revolution, it’s not surprising that the first wave of Cubans who came to Miami in 1959 were from the political and military elite.

But these Cubans make up an extreme minority of the Cubans who ended up in Miami.

The second wave came in 1961 and was much larger in size. They were mostly professional and working class Cubans who did not want any part of Castro’s Marxism Revolution. And they felt betrayed with Castro’s abolishment of elections as well seizure of their private property. Especially considering how Castro vowed in 1959 that he was not a communist and that he would install a "representative and democratic government".

This second wave of Cuban immigrants were doctors, lawyers, accountants, plumbers, farmers, cab drivers, mechanics, bakers and waiters. They represented a very broad segment of Cuban society. And they continued coming to Miami throughout the 1960s, settling in what became known as the Little Havana neighborhood.

The third wave of Cubans came during the 1980 Mariel Boatlift; 125,000 Cubans in six months, 25,000 whom Castro had released from Cuban prisons and mental institutes.

The fourth wave of Cubans came in 1993 during the "special period" when Cuba was struggling in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

And the fifth and current wave has been occurring since 2000 when more than 130,000 Cubans have settled in Miami, most of them arriving after winning a visa lottery, some of them arriving on rafts and makeshift boats.

Now just because the majority of Miami Cubans never supported Batista doesn't mean they don't tend to vote republican. We all know they do.

The Kennedy Bay of Pigs fiasco was one of the major factors in turning them against the democratic party. But the other factor was that back in the 1960s and 1970s, when southern democrats ruled Florida and were not exactly warming up to the Cubans, the republican party allowed the Cubans to gain a political foothold in Miami, which they have not relinquished. Even if it means voting against their interests as most Cubans are working class.

So the majority of Miami Cubans may be politically ignorant, but they were not Batista supporters. Nor were they particularly responsible for keeping a large segment of Cuba’s black population socially and economically repressed; anymore than your family was responsible for keeping a large segment of America’s black population repressed before the 1960s Civil Rights Movement.

Saying that every Cuban exile was part of the Cuban elite that repressed poor Cubans is like saying that every white person in the South owned slaves prior to the Civil War. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I wonder how your (white) family would have reacted if JFK would had swooped in during his Civil Rights Agenda and forced them out of their homes, seizing all their land and assets they had accumulated through years of hard work and inheritances (the hand-me-downs that come with the privilege of being born white).

I wonder if you would say your family “deserved” what they got because they happened to be living comfortably in the United States while blacks were oppressed, segregated and mired in poverty.

I wonder if you would say they had it coming because they had turned a blind eye towards the inequality between the races, perhaps not necessarily out of contempt and maliciousness, but out of denial that these injustices even existed.

And I wonder what you would do if the right-wingers steal another election in 2006, essentially abolishing elections like Castro did in 1961 and Batista did in 1952.

Would you, as so many of you vow, move to Canada as a political exile?

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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:27 PM
Response to Original message
1. Just hope you understand, people respond to the fact that
the Batista supporters dominate the Cuban political community and they define what it is that politicians do on behalf of Cubans for 'the Cuban vote'. Just because you're not part of the Cuban elite doesn't mean you can't vote for it and support it against all opposition, etc.
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Fredda Weinberg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. No, I don't think you understand
Being against Castro does not automatically make one a Batista supporter. I spent a decade in South Florida and can't remember anyone nostalgic for the former dictator.
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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. So if people support people who support Batista instead, that's better?
Just wondering. I'm not really someone with a dog in the fight.
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RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Batista has been dead since 1973
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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #13
22. Wish his support died with him (nt)
nt
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RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Have you ever been to Miami?
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tsuki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:24 PM
Response to Reply #23
43. Yes, I have, and I will never return. nt
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RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:29 AM
Response to Reply #43
58. Couldn't handle it?
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 02:07 AM
Response to Reply #43
61. Deleted sub-thread
Sub-thread removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #22
26. I will repeat what another post has already told you
Just because you're anti-Castro doesn't make you pro-Batista.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 04:51 AM
Response to Reply #26
99. Then what are we to make of all of the Cuba B.C. crap in Miami?
Edited on Sat Aug-12-06 04:55 AM by Mika
Of course, I do understand that just because one might be anti-Castro doesn't make necessarily make one pro-Batista, but it does make one wonder about Gloria Estafan and Andy Garcia and their minions who wax romantic about Cuba before Castro. For them, that was the Batista era. The romanticized vision of Cuba they and their ilk have and project to the world is from the perspective of the batistano elite. This is not a small group - not a majority either - but theirs is a much romanticized view of Cuba during, and prior to, the Batista era. The older Batistanos inculcate this in their children, some of whom who also wax romantic about Cuba B.C.. I saw some of them being interviewed on Miami TV on the streets during the celbration of Castro's surgery spewing this Cuba BC swill. You see posters here now and then boasting about how many TVs and cars and the median income Cuba had before Castro.

For a reminder of what conditions are like before & after the "brutal dictatorship" of evildoer Castro..

Before the 1959 revolution

  • 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.
  • 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.

    ___



    After the 1959 revolution
    “It is in some sense almost an anti-model,” according to Eric Swanson, the programme manager for the Bank’s Development Data Group, which compiled the WDI, a tome of almost 400 pages covering scores of economic, social, and environmental indicators.

    Indeed, Cuba is living proof in many ways that the Bank’s dictum that economic growth is a pre-condition for improving the lives of the poor is over-stated, if not, downright wrong.

    -

    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 Bank’s 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;

    Chile’s 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 Cuba’s 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 Ritzen’s 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, Cuba’s 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 it’s not possible.”

    Similarly, Cuba devoted 9.1% of its gross domestic product (GDP) during the 1990s to health care, roughly equivalent to Canada’s rate. Its ratio of 5.3 doctors per 1,000 people was the highest in the world.

    The question that these statistics pose, of course, is whether the Cuban experience can be replicated. The answer given here is probably not.

    “What does it, is the incredible dedication,” according to Wayne Smith, who was head of the US Interests Section in Havana in the late 1970s and early 1980s and has travelled to the island many times since.

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    Shakespeare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:50 PM
    Response to Reply #1
    9. Well said. Also....
    ...many of us are rightly sickened by the preferential treatment Cuban emigrees receive (the wet foot/dry foot policy), especially given that Cuba's hardly the only Caribbean country that inspires the oppressed to flee for our shores. Double standards, and all that jazz.
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    RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:53 PM
    Response to Reply #9
    10. I hate that too
    But that policy comes from DC which is not Cuban-dominated.
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    peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 08:33 PM
    Response to Reply #10
    93. Wrong. I don't think you know the circle of payoffs that exist in Washing
    Edited on Fri Aug-11-06 08:34 PM by higher class
    ton. See my post 96. I don't go into the details of the payoffs, but they exist. Don't forget the role of NED - Congress - CANF and other C-A organizations.

    I think you're article is great, but it leaves out some of the story.
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    LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:18 PM
    Response to Reply #1
    34. That's how I look at it -- spot on n/t
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    pretzel4gore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:37 PM
    Response to Original message
    2. the fact is, they allied themselves with the oppressors
    didn't the usa invade the dom. republic back then? didn't they help overthrow the guy in Guatemala, and sponnsor death squad regimes in urugay, argentina, brazil, haiti, chile and bolivia, paraguay etc? didn't the usa overthrow the elected government of iran in the 50's? yet the cubans who fled cuba when castro restored the country to its people got the nerve to rewrite history, as if anyone gonna believe it?
    i mean jesus christ, had i been a cuban revolutionary in 1958, i'd have shot every rightwing repuke supporting asshole i got my hands on...how much of cuba's national wealth was stolen by the fleeing fascistas? what were the rightwingers doing in the first place supporting a system that robbed the rest of the people of their dignity, and fighting the revolution to boot? had castro failed, what do you think cuba would look like today? the dominican republic? el salvador? bolivia?
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    msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:39 PM
    Response to Original message
    4. they could all go back to cuba & DO SOMETHING instead of living
    in Florida could they not, if they really think Castro is so bad.

    but it is easier to sit and bitch and whine 100 miles away than put their own lives on the line for what they claim to believe.
    after all, the anti-castro revolution could start with just ONE person willing to lay it all on the line.

    kinda like dick cheney, ol' 5 deferments dick, who wants somebody else to die for his halliburton profits.


    Msongs
    www.msongs.com/political-shirts.htm





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    RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:22 PM
    Response to Reply #4
    14. Some of them have tried
    We call them terrorists. The Bush administration calls them heros. Does the name Luis Posada Carilles ring a bell?
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    Wiley50 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:04 PM
    Response to Reply #14
    38. Luis Posada Carilles?
    This guy blew up a civillian airliner.

    Today is not the day to call this guy a hero.

    My inlaws are Venezuelan

    He needs to be extradited
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    RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:14 PM
    Response to Reply #38
    39. I didn't call him a hero
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    calico1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:47 PM
    Response to Original message
    5. Thank you.
    I have a cousin who is very near and dear to me and she is married to a Cuban American (we are Puerto Rican). And I know a number of people who are Cuban. I KNOW that it isn't as simple a matter as some people like to think. You have explained it very well.
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    EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:47 PM
    Response to Original message
    6. Thanks. I didn't know most of this. I only remember
    my family listening to the radio, trying to figure out what was going on. I was 3 or so, but I remember.
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    melnjones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:47 PM
    Response to Original message
    7. kicked, recommended, and bookmarked.
    Hearing other perspectives is always a good thing.
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    RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:49 PM
    Response to Original message
    8. Thanks and honored to give you the 5th recommendation n/t
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    Raine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:17 PM
    Response to Original message
    12. THANKS
    very interesting. :thumbsup: I have a friend who is Cuban, lives in Miami and absolutely HATES the chimp MISadministration.
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    Synnical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:24 PM
    Response to Original message
    15. Bravo! Well Done.
    I work with many Cuban-Americans and none of them have any desire to "return" to Cuba, because they've never been there. Their parents, I think hold a nostalgic view of the country though.

    -Cindy in Fort Lauderdale
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    JackDragna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:24 PM
    Response to Original message
    16. Maybe if the Miami Cuban community..
    ..hadn't smuggled drugs for the CIA during Iran-Contra, hadn't hired themselves out as mercenaries to help wage war as a proxy army in South America and hadn't committed terrorist acts against people in the U.S. who showed degrees of sympathy to the Castro regime, maybe I'd feel better for them. Castro is a dictator, to be sure, but the behavior of Miami Cubans has been utterly reprehensible.
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    RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:30 PM
    Response to Reply #16
    18. Is there anyway you can learn not to speak in such broad generalizations?
    You say "the Miami Cuban community" smuggled drugs, hired themselves as mercenaries and committed terrorists acts.

    Are we to assume that every Irish is in the IRA? Every Muslim a suicide bomber? Every Southerner a racist?
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    RagAss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:08 PM
    Response to Reply #18
    52. or every Italian is in the mafia?? ...I don't like being left out...hahaha
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    OregonBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 07:44 PM
    Response to Reply #52
    90. Or all Czechs love fattening pastry. Actually I really enjoyed this
    pos and I must admit it made me stop and think about my own generalizations. Good thought provoking post!
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    TroubleMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:29 PM
    Response to Original message
    17. You should never paint a group of people with such a broad swathe....but
    The main problem that I have with the most of the Miami Cubans politically (I get along with them personally) is that for a good 90% of those I've known personally, if something has to do with Castro, they immediately condemn it. They won't take a look a the good things Castro has done like education, medicine, and hurricane evacuations. I say to them, sure Castro is a bad guy and done some bad things, but there are some things that we can learn from him. If Cuba can form a politically free government, get rid of the bad things, but keep the good things, then that would be the ideal situation. However, to most of the Miami Cubans I've known in my life (and that's a whole lot), no matter what it is Castro=bad. They'll refuse to acknowledge the good things that have been achieved. Chavez is bad simply because he's friendly with Castro. Nelson Mandela is bad because he's friendly with Castro. Jimmy Carter is bad because he visited Castro - ect, ect. I'm afraid that if they get their way, all of these great social programs will be trashed simply because they will be associated with Castro, and that would be a shame.

    Again it's wrong to paint a large group of people with such a broad swathe, but that's just my observation from living in South Florida. I think the main problem is that the extreme right-wing Cubans are in control of the Cuban media outlets, and constantly bombard Miami with that kind of thought.
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    RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:33 PM
    Response to Reply #17
    20. It's like the attitude you get from some Jewish people
    when it comes to Israel.

    I don't think they will get their way in post-Castro Cuba.
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    TroubleMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:50 PM
    Response to Reply #20
    24. If the majority of all Cubans have their way, then I agree,

    but what I'm scared of is that they'll come into Cuba with the full backing of the USA (with all the guns and money that the USA can provide), and try to force their viewpoint on others. Then we could see another violent struggle (as if Cuba hasn't had it's fair share).

    If you believe the right wing Cuban media, they make it seem like it's every Miami Cubans' dream to invade Cuba, guns-a-blazin', and establish a corporate oligarchy. I know that most of the Miami Cubans would not want to do that, but still it worries me.
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    RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:53 PM
    Response to Reply #24
    25. Cuba has a lot of foreign countries that are already investing in it
    China, Venezuela, Italy, Spain.

    The Americans are going to realize that they screwed themselves with this embargo by refusing to establish diplomatic relations with Cuba.
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    LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:22 PM
    Response to Reply #25
    36. I always say that -- Cuba could have so easily have been a good ally
    and a good business partner in the Caribbean. Castro only reached out to the USSR because of money. The US Government has been (and still is) snuggle buddies with regimes so much worse than Castro's that Castro looks like a Swedish Socialist hippie in comparison.

    My experience with "Miami Cubans" is far different from yours, but I respect you and your posts... and will just agree to disagree with you on some of the Castro stuff!
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    tsuki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:31 PM
    Response to Reply #36
    46. I remember Castro coming to the US in 1960s asking for a meeting
    with Eisenhower. Eisenhower would not meet with him because United Fruit blocked the meeting. It was more important to keep the peasants working for slave wages without sanitation, education or health care than it was to try to work out the differences. Castro linked with the USSR after that.
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    bananarepublican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:04 PM
    Response to Reply #46
    98. JFK put out feelers to Castro in order to de-escalate Cold War tensions...
    He inherited the Bay of Pigs fiasco from Richard Nixon. Also, contrary to popular belief it was McGeorge Bundy who canned the additional air-strikes in support of the Cuban brigade, not Kennedy. The CIA, however, helped the Cubans believe Kennedy was to blame.

    Kennedy's NSM#263 would have seen all American troops out of Vietnam by the end of '65. Because war is big business... Kennedy had to die. How convenient that a lone-nut gunman comes along....

    I have to admit I'm not keen on Floridian Cubans because they are rejoicing in Castro's ill health, as well as, my suspicion that many of them still celebrate Novemeber 22, 1963 in some nod and wink kind of way. Hopefully, my slight prejudice can be changed via the presentation of additional facts.

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    eomer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 06:40 AM
    Response to Reply #17
    69. Re: "all of these great social programs"
    Taking medicine as an example, a Cuban cannot expect to receive medicines as basic as aspirin during a hospital stay. In or out of the hospital, many have to resort to relatives in Miami sending them their medicines, both prescription and over the counter. When they don't get their medicines from relatives in Miami then they mostly get them on the black market, which is officially a criminal act.

    The idea of universal health care is something we should copy. I'm not sure, though, why we would say we're copying it from Cuba. There are countries other than Cuba that have universal health care and actually make it work whereas Cuba's health care system, like many other of their "successes", is a myth.

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    GirlinContempt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 07:11 PM
    Response to Reply #69
    87. WHY can't Cubans get aspirin?
    WHY is that? WHY is it they can't get Aspirin, but have some of the best doctors and a proven record of good health care?

    E-M-B-A-R-G-O
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    RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 07:16 PM
    Response to Reply #87
    88. So they don't sell aspirin in Canada or Mexico
    Or in China? Or anywhere else in Latin America or Europe?

    None of those countries have an embargo against Cuba.

    Since when has the U.S. cornered the world market on aspirin?
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    GirlinContempt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 07:28 PM
    Response to Reply #88
    89. Aspirin is an american brand name.
    Edited on Fri Aug-11-06 07:30 PM by GirlinContempt
    by Bayer. So, Canada for instance, can get Aspirin. A Canadian company can not send it to Cuba, under the laws of the embargo, as Bayer is an american company.

    The US has cornered the world market on Aspirin. Not on acetylsalicylic acid, however, but last I heard a lack of acetylsalicylic acid wasn't an issue. Every time this is brought up, the only references I ever see are to brand name medicines owned by American companies.

    http://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/show_cuba.html
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 08:24 PM
    Response to Reply #87
    91. There's also the incidental element of ferocious additional costs
    in shipping needed products from much greater distances:
    Nothing has drawn the Catholic Church and the Cuban government closer together than their mutual opposition to the U.S. blockade of medicine and food supplies to Cuba's people.

    "Even in warfare, you don't bomb hospitals and schools," says Patrick Sullivan, the pastor of a church in Santa Clara and the only American priest permanently stationed in the country.

    A Cuban official in charge of finding and paying for food from abroad recounted her frustration with the embargo. "To ship a thousand tons of powdered milk from New Zealand, I must pay $150,000, when bringing the same amount from Miami would only cost me $25,000," she says.

    While the U.S. government forces Cuba to pay six times more than necessary for children to drink milk and shuts off the supply for medical screening tests, it scurries to sell more Boeing planes to China, to open new Nike factories in Vietnam and even finds ways to ship food to North Korea. The last time anybody looked, these were socialist countries too, at least in name.

    After all his homilies criticizing the lack of individual freedom and the evils of communism, the 77-year-old pope, no less a dictator within his church than the 71 -year-old Castro is within his party, still managed in his parting words to condemn the U.S. embargo for striking "the population indiscriminately, making it ever more difficult for the weakest to enjoy the bare essentials of decent living."
    (snip)
    http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Human_Rights/Cuba_emb...

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

    Your comment on Asperin is correct. Here's another snip from a different article regarding the embargo's effect on health products:
    In the 1980s, the US extended its economic warfare, barring industrial products containing any Cuban nickel, a major Cuban export. Those not affected by political Alzheimer's might recall the US Treasury Department order of April 1988 barring import of Nicaraguan coffee processed in a third country if it is not "sufficiently transformed to lose its Nicaraguan identity" recalling the language of the Third Reich, a Boston Globe editor observed. The US prohibited a Swedish medical supply company from providing equipment to Cuba because one component is manufactured in the US. Aid to the former Soviet Union was conditioned on its suspension of aid to Cuba. Gorbachev's announcement that such aid would be canceled was greeted with banner headlines: "Baker Hails Move," "Soviets Remove Obstacle to U.S. Economic Aid," "The Cuban-Soviet Connection: 31-Year irritant to the U.S." At last, the grievous injury to us may be relieved.
    (snip)http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Chomsky/Persistent_Th...

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

    more:
    "Denial of Food and Medicine:
    The Impact Of The U.S. Embargo
    On The Health And Nutrition In Cuba"
    -An Executive Summary-
    American Association for World Health Report
    Summary of Findings
    March 1997
    After a year-long investigation, the American Association for World Health has determined that the U.S. embargo of Cuba has dramatically harmed the health and nutrition of large numbers of ordinary Cuban citizens. As documented by the attached report, it is our expert medical opinion that the U.S. embargo has caused a significant rise in suffering-and even deaths-in Cuba. For several decades the U.S. embargo has imposed significant financial burdens on the Cuban health care system. But since 1992 the number of unmet medical needs patients going without essential drugs or doctors performing medical procedures without adequate equipment-has sharply accelerated. This trend is directly linked to the fact that in 1992 the U.S. trade embargo-one of the most stringent embargoes of its kind, prohibiting the sale of food and sharply restricting the sale of medicines and medical equipment-was further tightened by the 1992 Cuban Democracy Act.

    A humanitarian catastrophe has been averted only because the Cuban government has maintained a high level of budgetary support for a health care system designed to deliver primary and preventive health care to all of its citizens. Cuba still has an infant mortality rate half that of the city of Washington, D.C.. Even so, the U.S. embargo of food and the de facto embargo on medical supplies has wreaked havoc with the island's model primary health care system. The crisis has been compounded by the country's generally weak economic resources and by the loss of trade with the Soviet bloc.

    Recently four factors have dangerously exacerbated the human effects of this 37-year-old trade embargo. All four factors stem from little-understood provisions of the U.S. Congress' 1992 Cuban Democracy Act (CDA):

    • A Ban on Subsidiary Trade: Beginning in 1992, the Cuban Democracy Act imposed a ban on subsidiary trade with Cuba. This ban has severely constrained Cuba's ability to import medicines and medical supplies from third country sources. Moreover, recent corporate buyouts and mergers between major U.S. and European pharmaceutical companies have further reduced the number of companies permitted to do business with Cuba.

    • Shipping Since 1992:The embargo has prohibited ships from loading or unloading cargo in U.S. ports for 180 days after delivering cargo to Cuba. This provision has strongly discouraged shippers from delivering medical equipment to Cuba. Consequently shipping costs have risen dramatically and further constricted the flow of food, medicines, medical supplies and even gasoline for ambulances. From 1993 to 1996, Cuban companies spent an additional $8.7 million on shipping medical imports from Asia, Europe and South America rather than from the neighboring United States.

    • Humanitarian Aid: Charity is an inadequate alternative to free trade in medicines, medical supplies and food. Donations from U.S. non-governmental organizations and international agencies do not begin to compensate for the hardships inflicted by the embargo on the Cuban public health system. In any case, delays in licensing and other restrictions have severely discouraged charitable contributions from the U.S.


    Taken together, these four factors have placed severe strains on the Cuban health system. The declining availability of food stuffs, medicines and such basic medical supplies as replacement parts for thirty-year-old X-ray machines is taking a tragic human toll. The embargo has closed so many windows that in some instances Cuban physicians have found it impossible to obtain life-saving medicines from any source, under any circumstances. Patients have died. In general, a relatively sophisticated and comprehensive public health system is being systematically stripped of essential resources. High-technology hospital wards devoted to cardiology and nephrology are particularly under siege. But so too are such basic aspects of the health system as water quality and food security. Specifically, the AAWH's team of nine medical experts identified the following health problems affected by the embargo:

    • Malnutrition: The outright ban on the sale of American foodstuffs has contributed to serious nutritional deficits, particularly among pregnant women, leading to an increase in low birth-weight babies. In addition, food shortages were linked to a devastating outbreak of neuropathy numbering in the tens of thousands. By one estimate, daily caloric intake dropped 33 percent between 1989 and 1993.

    • Water Quality: The embargo is severely restricting Cuba's access to water treatment chemicals and spare-parts for the island's water supply system. This has led to serious cutbacks in supplies of safe drinking water, which in turn has become a factor in the rising incidence of morbidity and mortality rates from water-borne diseases.

    • Medicines & Equipment: Of the 1,297 medications available in Cuba in 1991, physicians now have access to only 889 of these same medicines - and many of these are available only intermittently. Because most major new drugs are developed by U.S. pharmaceuticals, Cuban physicians have access to less than 50 percent of the new medicines available on the world market. Due to the direct or indirect effects of the embargo, the most routine medical supplies are in short supply or entirely absent from some Cuban clinics.

    • Medical Information: Though information materials have been exempt from the U.S. trade embargo since 1 988, the AAWH study concludes that in practice very little such information goes into Cuba or comes out of the island due to travel restrictions, currency regulations and shipping difficulties. Scientists and citizens of both countries suffer as a result. Paradoxically, the embargo harms some U.S. citizens by denying them access to the latest advances in Cuban medical research, including such products as Meningitis B vaccine, cheaply produced interferon and streptokinase, and an AIDS vaccine currently under-going clinical trials with human volunteers.
      (snip/...)
    http://www.cubasolidarity.net/aawh.html
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    cigsandcoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:31 PM
    Response to Original message
    19. Kudos on a great post. n/t
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    NewSpectrum Donating Member (101 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:38 PM
    Response to Original message
    21. Excellent post....
    Good points and distillation of research far above many of the other posts I typically see here. Recommended.
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    Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:56 PM
    Response to Original message
    27. Bravo!
    An excellent post and you cleared up a few misconceptions I had.

    :applause:
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    jonnyblitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:59 PM
    Response to Original message
    28. I always enjoy your Cuba threads.
    I am still blown away that you know Jessica Mitford's son and went to Cuba with him. :thumbsup:
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    RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:06 PM
    Response to Reply #28
    31. Thanks
    Here is Ben Treuhaft doing the twist. Quite a character, he was.

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    jonnyblitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:15 PM
    Response to Reply #31
    33. His mother was a character, Molly Ivins wrote a tribute column
    Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 08:16 PM by jonnyblitz
    to her when she died back in the '90's. I read her autobiography ( "A Fine Old Conflict") plus a biography of her whole family. 3 of her sisters were notorious in their own right. Jessica (aka Decca) wrote a book in the 60's exposing the funeral industry as a rip off (The American Way of Death) that caused quite a stir.

    Her husband , with the same last name as your friend, was a lawyer for the Black Panthers back in the 60's and I do believe a young lady named Hillary Rodham interned for him at one point.

    I could go on but don't want to hijack your thread. :D
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    RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:20 PM
    Response to Reply #33
    35. I don't mind if you hijack my thread on such a positive note
    I did so some research on the family and was equally intrigued. I knew about Ben's dad, but not about Hillary.
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    jonnyblitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:32 PM
    Response to Reply #35
    37. I believe I got the Hillary info from a right wing source that
    was trying to paint her as a radical. I know the Black Panther trial was in New Haven, CT and, if I remember correctly , Hillary was a student at Yale(?). Isn't that where she met Bill? I forget. :shrug:
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:00 PM
    Response to Original message
    29. No mention of the Cuban Adjustment Act nor wet foot/dry foot or..
    .. the US's sanctions and embargoes on Cuba intended to cripple the economy of Cuba.

    Most all of the various waves that you discuss were permitted entry into the US because of special immigration laws that were established for Cubans only and designed to create impetus/financial incentives and perks for their immigration to the US - for anti Cuba propanganda purposes.

    The US's Cuban Adjustment Act and the US's wet foot/dry foot policy.

    Cubans are granted special immigration perks that are offered to no other immigrant group seeking entry into the US.

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

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

    The USA currently offers (and has offered for the last couple of decades) over 20,000 LEGAL immigration visas per year to Cubans (and Bush has announced that the number would increase despite the fact that not all 20,000 were applied for in the last few years). This number is more than any other single country in the world. The US interests section in Cuba does the required criminal background check on the applicants.

    The US's 'wet foot/ dry foot' policy (that applies to Cubans only) permits all Cubans, including Cuban criminals and felons, who arrive on US shores by illegal means to remain in the US even those having failed to qualify (or even apply) for a legal US immigration application.

    Cubans who leave for the US without a US visa are returned to Cuba (if caught at sea - mainly in smuggler's go-fast boats @ $5,000 per head) by a US/Cuban repatriation agreement. But IF they make it to US soil, no matter who they are or what their criminal backround might be, they get to stay in the US and enjoy perks offered ONLY TO CUBAN IMMIGRANTS (via the US's Cuban Adjustment Act and a variety of other 'Cubans only' perks)

    For Cuban migrants ONLY - including the aforementioned illegal immigrants who are smuggled in as well as those who have failed a US background check for a legal visa who make it here by whatever means - the US's Cuban Adjustment Act instantly allows any and all Cuban migrants who touch US shore (no matter how) instant entry, instant work visa, instant green card status, instant social security, instant access to welfare, instant access to section 8 assisted housing (with a $41,000 income exemption for Cuban expats only), instant food stamps, plus more. IOW, extra special enhanced social programs designed to entice Cuban expatriation to Miami/USA.

    Despite these programs designed to offer a 'carrot on a stick' to Cubans only, the Cubaphobe rhetoric loop repeats the question "why do Cubans come to the US then?".

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

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

    Plus, Cuban immigrants can hop on a plane from Miami to Havana and travel right back to the Cuba that they "escaped" from for family trips and vacations - by the hundred of thousands annually (until Bush's recent one visit every 3 yrs restrictions on Cuban expats living in the US).

    Recognizing the immorality of forced starvation and forced economic deprivation is a good reason to drop the US embargo on Cuba, the US Cuban Adjustment Act, and the US travel sanctions placed on US citizens and residents. Then the Cuban tourism economy (its #1 sector) would be able to expand even faster, thereby increasing the average wage and quality of life in Cuba. It would make products, goods, and services even more accessible to both Cubans and Americans. It would reduce the economic based immigration flow from Cuba. And it would restore our own constitutional right to travel unfettered to see Cuba for ourselves.


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    RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:03 PM
    Response to Reply #29
    30. My post was meant to clear up misconceptions about Miami Cuban
    and their supposed love for Batista.

    It had nothing to do with unjust policies set by American lawmakers.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:57 PM
    Response to Reply #30
    40. Ok. My post was meant to clear a misconception you neglected ..
    .. and that is - most Cubans in America are "escaping" Cuba. In actuality most Cubans in America are economic migrants, like most all others from the Caribbean and Latin Americas.



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    RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:23 PM
    Response to Reply #40
    42. Right
    But I don't hear too many DUers arguing about their proper immigration status.

    Economics is caused by politics. Politics plays a big role in economics. So in reality, Mexicans and Haitians can be considered "political refugees" just like the Cubans can be called "economic migrants."

    But the earlier Cuban immigrants had private property seized from them, unlike the Haitians and the Mexicans who were highly unlikely to have owned property in the first place due to politically imposed class systems.

    Now you may believe that the Cubans deserved to have their property seized from them for the simple fact that there were a lot of poor people in Cuba at the time, but my argument was they were not any more responsible for the poor people's plight than you, as an owner of a house in Coral Gables, are for the plight of the poor people in Liberty City.

    I do believe in social programs to help the poor. And I don't mind paying higher taxes for these programs. But I don't agree with the seizing of private property.

    And you can argue about whether they are "escaping", "fleeing", "emigrating" or "departing" from Cuba, but it's really all semantics. Just like the argument on whether or not they are "political refugees" or "economic migrants".

    The bottom line, they believe they can have a better life in the United States.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:55 PM
    Response to Reply #42
    50. Compensation for nationalized property which had belonged to
    citizens of countries other than the U.S. was accomplished LONG ago. That information is freely accessible.

    Here's a quick link which discusses the subject of compensation:
    In July 1960, the Cuban government issued Law No. 851, which authorized the nationalization of U.S. properties. This law included a compensation mechanism in accordance with what was and still is international practice in the case of nationalization, which are "lump sum" agreements. The U.S. government assumed the responsibility to its citizens whose properties were nationalized, and on their behalf established a direct compensation mechanism with the Cuban government. The formula established in the law foresaw the creation of a fund out of which, in the course of several years, the compensations would be paid, and it was based on the existence of stable trade relations between the two countries, in particular the sale of sugar, which was Cuba's main export item and the one which best characterized the history of trade relations between the two countries.

    The U.S. government refused to accept that formula, and even to discuss with Cuba the terms for compensation, even though the Cuban government stated on several occasions its willingness to negotiate even the terms laid down in Law No. 851. That is the historical truth that the U.S. government is trying to cover up today. Its purpose was solely and exclusively to break all economic and commercial ties with Cuba, and every link between the two peoples, not to achieve suitable compensation for the former property owners, to whom it had that responsibility.

    THE U.S. SUPREME COURT RECOGNIZED THE LEGITIMACY OF CUBAN NATIONALIZATION
    What happened to the rest of the property owners from other countries who were subject to nationalization?

    Well, their respective governments looked for solutions. Each one sat down at some moment to negotiate mutually acceptable formulas with Cuba. In this way, for example, agreements were signed with Canada, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Spain and France. In every case, except one, full compensation has been paid.

    What antecedents exist in international law in other countries, including the United States itself, concerning nationalization within sovereign territory?

    There are various instruments on the international level which recognize the right of a sovereign state to nationalize goods and properties in the public interest. For instance, it is included in diverse United Nations resolutions and has also been the subject of abundant jurisprudence. In the case of the nationalization carried out by Mexico in 1938, prior to the creation of the United Nations, there was wide and well-documented recognition of the principle that a government has the right to nationalize, especially when the country is immersed in a process of political, economic and social transformation, such as the one experienced by Mexico and later by Cuba in the 1960s. In the United States itself, there was a Supreme Court decision which recognized the legitimacy of Cuban nationalization as a state action.

    Of course, the concept of creating a process to compensate the nationalized property owners has always been included, and there have been various pronouncements on this in United Nations resolutions. Anyone studying the case would see that the formula for compensation foreseen by Cuba in Law No. 851 was in conformity with what was usually done at that moment in history and was even more benign for the property owners than other formulas used subsequently on an international level and which the United States has accepted.
    (snip/...)
    http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/43b/107.html

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ~snip~
    The Cuban Revolution resulted in the overthrow of President Fulgencio Batista's government. On January 7, 1959, Fidel Castro assumed control of Cuba, with the U.S. government formally recognizing his government. However, relations rapidly deteriorated when the new Cuban government passed the first Agrarian Reform Law to begin the expropriation of large-scale (largely American-owned) land holdings on May 17, 1959. The compensation offered (based on 20-year bonds at 4.5% interest for the tax-declared value) was seen as inadequate, and was rejected by American interests.
    (snip)
    http://www.answers.com/topic/united-states-embargo-agai...

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

    Published September/October 1999

    JFK & Castro: The Secret Quest For Accommodation
    Recently Declassified U.S. government Documents Reveal That, at the Height of the Cold War, John F. Kennedy and Fidel Castro Were Exploring Ways To Normalize U.S.-Cuba Relations
    by Peter Kornbluh

    snip~
    Among the issues the Cuban premier addressed was the potential for better relations with Washington. He stated that a rapprochement was "possible the United States government wishes it. In that case we would be agreed to seek and find the basis" for normalizing relations. A few months later, in a cover story, "Castro's Overture," in the liberal journal War/Peace Report, Howard wrote that in eight hours of private conversations Castro had been "even more emphatic about his desire for negotiations with the United States":

    In our conversations he made it quite clear that he was ready to discuss: the Soviet personnel and military hardware on Cuban soil; compensation for expropriated American lands and investments; the question of Cuba as a base for Communist subversion throughout the Hemisphere.
    (snip/...)
    http://www.cigaraficionado.com/Cigar/CA_Archives/CA_Sho...

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


    It's mentioned in a meeting with John F. Kennedy's aide, Richard Goodwin, who met with Che Guevara, in a memo in this group of declassified documents:
    http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/bayofpigs /

    Here's a direct reference,"A memorandum from Kennedy aide Richard Goodwin recounting his August 22, 1961 conversation with Ernesto "Che" Guevara in which Guevara thanks Goodwin for the Bay of Pigs invasion - which he calls "a great political victory" - but also seeks to establish a "modus vivendi" with the U.S. government:"
    http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/bayofpigs/19610822.pdf
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    RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:39 PM
    Response to Reply #50
    55. I think you forgot one
    The problem was with the tax assessed values. Most of the large landholdings had been acquired in the 1920 period when world sugar prices were depressed, and the land could be bought at bargain-basement prices. In the intervening period, former Cuban governments friendly to these interests had kept these bargain prices as the basis for calculating property taxes, thus insuring that those taxes would be kept low. However, as Castro's control of the island's assets tightened and more nationalization campaigns took place, promises such as these were not honored.

    http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/History_of_Cuba
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 02:18 AM
    Response to Reply #55
    63. You forgot to post the larger context:
    Edited on Fri Aug-11-06 03:13 AM by Judi Lynn
    In compensation, the Cuban government offered to pay the landholders based on the tax assessment values for the land. Actual payment would be with twenty-year bonds paying 4.5% interest (instead of the then U.S. investment grade corporate bond rate of 3.8%). Landholders from most other countries settled on this basis. The problem was with the tax assessed values. Most of the large landholdings had been acquired in the 1920 period when world sugar prices were depressed, and the land could be bought at bargain-basement prices. In the intervening period, former Cuban governments friendly to these interests had kept these bargain prices as the basis for calculating property taxes, thus insuring that those taxes would be kept low. However, as Castro's control of the island's assets tightened and more nationalization campaigns took place, promises such as these were not honored.
    (snip)
    I think it's hilarious that they had worked out an arrangement to keep their property assessments delibertely low to avoid paying their fair share of taxes, and were offered compensation BASED ON THE SAME FIGURES THEY HAD BEEN USING TO CHEAT THE CUBAN PEOPLE by not paying their appropriate taxes. Greedy idiots.

    Now they sit there in Miami and commission flyover photos of Cuba from satellites so they can pour over them together and plan their return.




    "Old Havana"
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    pnorman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:50 PM
    Response to Reply #50
    57. I didn't know that about Law 851.
    That Hartford Web Publishing outfit, is one that I've always considered to be very close to the Communist Party USA. This isn't necessarily a condemnation of it, but it's something that needs to be borne in mind when evaluating it. But it appears to be clear and unambiguous. I'll Google it in detail later, but I suspect that it'll all check out as written.

    This thread, along with the knowledgable (and civil) discussion, is one of the best threads I've seen on DU in a while.

    pnorman
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 02:26 AM
    Response to Reply #57
    65. You'd be right in checking the material on that Law in other places.
    You'll find most well-balanced people, and this doesn't mean right-wingers, tend to look at things in the larger scope, knowing anything said can always be investigated. If you have questions you owe it to yourself to look for confirmation from sources you find you trust more.

    Right-wingers don't have to worry about that much, as most of their community can't be bothered to read much, or simply doesn't know! Ignorance, indifference, short attention spans.

    Ah, ha ha ha ha.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 07:10 AM
    Response to Reply #42
    72. Not all semantics to the INS/ICE. Big diff in political & economic status
    Edited on Fri Aug-11-06 07:15 AM by Mika
    For example, if Cubans are caught at sea by the USCG in a go-fast smugglers boat they are taken aboard a CG cutter and each person is given an interview by a US ICE officer to determine what kind of refugee/immigrant they are. If they are deemed a political refugee then they are permitted to set foot on US shores (then the US wet foot/dry foot policy kicks in). If they are deemed to have no political refugee claim (or have failed a US immigration application) they are classified as an economic migrant and returned to Cuba.

    Of course if a go-fast boat smuggles them successfully to US shores then they all are allowed to stay in the US and receive all of the aforementioned perks after being released onto the streets of Miami.. including those who have failed a criminal background investigation done by the US interests section in Cuba - murderers, child molesters, and all other criminals included.


    As far as legal migration is concerned there is a difference between "political refugees" or "economic migrants". Understanding of this aspect of legal migration is lost on many because the US's wet foot/dry foot policy negates the legal requirements of orderly migration from Cuba. This policy also encourages dangerous smuggling ops and dangerous raft/improvised craft crossings, by people who do not qualify for legal immigration visas to the US, that have resulted in the deaths of many.

    Typical of killing & death loving BushCrimeInc, this admin is about to modify the policy to encourage more Cubans (who have failed to qualify for a legal immigration visa) to take even greater risks at sea to take advantage of the US wet foot/dry foot policy by allowing any and all that are interdicted by the USCG to be brought to US shores (where wet foot/dry foot will kick in and allow them to stay in the US).

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    Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:18 PM
    Response to Reply #30
    41. I don't like the "worm" insults either
    Is there another group of refusees that left everything behind to flee a government which gets regularly insulted here on DU? I can't think of one.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:38 PM
    Response to Reply #41
    47. That's the Cuban term for them. Take it up with the Cubans. n/t
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    RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:43 PM
    Response to Reply #47
    48. Oh, so it's the Cubans who are repeating it on DU?
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    killbotfactory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 04:57 AM
    Response to Reply #41
    100. The Palestinians...
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    Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 06:30 PM
    Response to Reply #30
    85. And it was very interesting to get the inside track on the matter
    from you. Thank you.

    It seems you have Battista-worshipping terrorists in Miami, but most Miami Cubans are just ordinary folk with the kind of chip on their shoulder re Fidel most other people would, if they'd had their property, carefully garnered and passed on down the generations, confiscated by a revolutionary government.

    The kulaks in Russia could never wear that, either. It's human nature not to trust politicians to introduce a utopian kind of society with you contributing all your worldly possessions to the common weal. The fact that Fidel has done so much good in Cuba and indeed, to other oppressed countries elsewhere in the world is very anomalous, to say the least.

    It is almost a hard and fast rule, that left-wing politicians are simply opportunists, who will betray the cause they speak about with such stirring passion, once, they themselves, ascend a few rungs of the socio-economic ladder, ending up on the hard right. The list must be virtually endless. Tebbit, Reagan, Thatcher, Blair... so many... either ex trade-union leaders or descended from them. Fidel and Che Guevara came from privileged backgrounds and might have spared themselves the trouble had they been a little less magnanimous.

    Before I came to realise this, a fiancee of mine, of the toff persuasion, told me that the upper and upper middle classes ensured certain standards in society. Which I thought at the time was a pretty barmy thing to believe, but with the passage of time, my respect for at least the better ones among the old-money types has just kept growing. In fact, bizarre as it may seem 'prima facie', the public schools in the UK (what you more sensibly call "private" in the US) have proved to be one of the last and most significant bastions of Christianity and essentially Christian culture. And did people but realise it, Christianity is our main protection against the worst excesses of our worldly leaders, when it is shared by them. We don't have to search too far to recognise the godless vandals and their barbarous hordes at the apex of both our countries, however vocal their religious pretensions.

    What I meant to say was simply that the more complete the picture we can get of everything, the better it feels. Little truths, or big truths from a small context, enable us to make better sense of everything else, the wider context of our existence. It's like important things falling into place; key pieces in a jigsaw.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:29 PM
    Response to Reply #29
    45. Mika, this was a superb post. People should know what has been happening
    to attract Cubans here with opportunities which will NEVER be available to any other group.

    To know it's going on and to dismiss it indicates some peculiar character flaws. To pretend it's of little consequence is to be duplicitous.
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    readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:09 PM
    Response to Original message
    32. Thanks for the information.
    I'm pretty ignorant on the specifics of the issue and this was a good read.
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    hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:26 PM
    Response to Original message
    44. Interesting - like much in life, more complicated than it looks
    Thanks!
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    Generic Other Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:47 PM
    Response to Original message
    49. Most Americans are terrified of losing their private property
    They are perpetually petrified at the idea. If a revolution like Castro's came to America, they would run for the border as fast as their SUVs could carry them. And they would harbor lifelong hatred toward those they left behind.

    Thanks for sharing your perspective on the Miami Cuban community and its history. Very informative.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:57 PM
    Response to Reply #49
    51. They were offered compensation for their property. n/t
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    RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:33 PM
    Response to Reply #51
    54. Offered maybe, but not paid
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    Shakespeare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:16 AM
    Response to Reply #51
    59. Judi, do you have that timeline handy that shows CANF terrorism?
    I've been googling and can't find it. I think that, more than anything else, illustrates why so many of us have issues with that particular segment of the Miami Cuban community.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:42 AM
    Response to Reply #59
    60. Hi! Sorry I took so long. Was away for a while, didn't see your post,
    Edited on Fri Aug-11-06 01:54 AM by Judi Lynn
    Sure do, got it:
    Mullin
    The Burden of a Violent History
    By Jim Mullin
    Article Published Apr 20, 2000

    ~snip~
    Phrases like "mob rule" evoke frightening images of violence, which in turn sends Miami's damage-control specialists rushing to the microphones and insisting to the world that the Cuban-exile community is peace-loving, law-abiding, and (with emphasis now) nonviolent. Miami Mayor Joe Carollo in particular has been tireless in promoting that message. "Miami has been a peaceful, nonviolent community," he stressed to CNN last week. The historical record, however, clearly contradicts those assertions.

    Lawless violence and intimidation have been hallmarks of el exilio for more than 30 years. Given that fact, it's not only understandable many people would be deeply worried, it's prudent to be worried. Of course it goes without saying that the majority of Cuban Americans in Miami do not sanction violence, but its long tradition within the exile community cannot be ignored and cannot simply be wished away.

    The following list of violent incidents I compiled from a variety of databases and news sources (a few come from personal experience). It is incomplete, especially in Miami's trademark category of bomb threats. Nor does it include dozens of acts of violence and murder committed by Cuban exiles in other U.S. cities and at least sixteen foreign countries. But completeness isn't the point. The point is to face the truth, no matter how difficult that may be. If Miami's Cuban exiles confront this shameful past -- and resolutely disavow it -- they will go a long way toward easing their neighbors' anxiety about a peaceful future.

    1968 From MacArthur Causeway, pediatrician Orlando Bosch fires bazooka at a Polish freighter. (City of Miami later declares "Orlando Bosch Day." Federal agents will jail him in 1988.)

    1972 Julio Iglesias, performing at a local nightclub, says he wouldn't mind "singing in front of Cubans." Audience erupts in anger. Singer requires police escort. Most radio stations drop Iglesias from playlists. One that doesn't, Radio Alegre, receives bomb threats.

    1974 Exile leader José Elias de la Torriente murdered in his Coral Gables home after failing to carry out a planned invasion of Cuba.

    1974 Bomb blast guts the office of Spanish-language magazine Replica.

    1974 Several small Cuban businesses, citing threats, stop selling Replica.

    1974 Three bombs explode near a Spanish-language radio station.

    1974 Hector Diaz Limonta and Arturo Rodriguez Vives murdered in internecine exile power struggles.

    1975 Luciano Nieves murdered after advocating peaceful coexistence with Cuba.

    1975 Another bomb damages Replica's office.

    1976 Rolando Masferrer and Ramon Donestevez murdered in internecine exile power struggles.



    Emilio Milian


    1976 Car bomb blows off legs of WQBA-AM news director Emilio Milian after he publicly condemns exile violence.

    1977 Juan José Peruyero murdered in internecine exile power struggles.

    1979 Cuban film Memories of Underdevelopment interrupted by gunfire and physical violence instigated by two exile groups.

    1979 Bomb discovered at Padron Cigars, whose owner helped negotiate release of 3600 Cuban political prisoners.

    1979 Bomb explodes at Padron Cigars.

    1980 Another bomb explodes at Padron Cigars.

    1980 Powerful anti-personnel bomb discovered at American Airways Charter, which arranges flights to Cuba.

    1981 Bomb explodes at Mexican Consulate on Brickell Avenue in protest of relations with Cuba.

    1981 Replica's office again damaged by a bomb.

    1982 Two outlets of Hispania Interamericana, which ships medicine to Cuba, attacked by gunfire.

    1982 Bomb explodes at Venezuelan Consulate in downtown Miami in protest of relations with Cuba.

    1982 Bomb discovered at Nicaraguan Consulate.

    1982 Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre defends $10,000 grant to exile commando group Alpha 66 by noting that the organization "has never been accused of terrorist activities inside the United States."

    1983 Another bomb discovered at Replica.

    1983 Another bomb explodes at Padron Cigars.

    1983 Bomb explodes at Paradise International, which arranges travel to Cuba.

    1983 Bomb explodes at Little Havana office of Continental National Bank, one of whose executives, Bernardo Benes, helped negotiate release of 3600 Cuban political prisoners.

    1983 Miami City Commissioner Demetrio Perez seeks to honor exile terrorist Juan Felipe de la Cruz, accidentally killed while assembling a bomb. (Perez is now a member of the Miami-Dade County Public School Board and owner of the Lincoln-Martí private school where Elian Gonzalez is enrolled.)

    1983 Gunfire shatters windows of three Little Havana businesses linked to Cuba.

    1986 South Florida Peace Coalition members physically attacked in downtown Miami while demonstrating against Nicaraguan contra war.

    1987 Bomb explodes at Cuba Envios, which ships packages to Cuba.

    1987 Bomb explodes at Almacen El Español, which ships packages to Cuba.

    1987 Bomb explodes at Cubanacan, which ships packages to Cuba.

    1987 Car belonging to Bay of Pigs veteran is firebombed.

    1987 Bomb explodes at Machi Viajes a Cuba, which arranges travel to Cuba.

    1987 Bomb explodes outside Va Cuba, which ships packages to Cuba.

    1988 Bomb explodes at Miami Cuba, which ships medical supplies to Cuba.

    1988 Bomb threat against Iberia Airlines in protest of Spain's relations with Cuba.

    1988 Bomb explodes outside Cuban Museum of Art and Culture after auction of paintings by Cuban artists.

    1988 Bomb explodes outside home of Maria Cristina Herrera, organizer of a conference on U.S.-Cuba relations.

    1988 Bomb threat against WQBA-AM after commentator denounces Herrera bombing.

    1988 Bomb threat at local office of Immigration and Naturalization Service in protest of terrorist Orlando Bosch being jailed.

    1988 Bomb explodes near home of Griselda Hidalgo, advocate of unrestricted travel to Cuba.

    1988 Bomb damages Bele Cuba Express, which ships packages to Cuba.

    1989 Another bomb discovered at Almacen El Español, which ships packages to Cuba.

    1989 Two bombs explode at Marazul Charters, which arranges travel to Cuba.

    1990 Another, more powerful, bomb explodes outside the Cuban Museum of Art and Culture.

    1991 Using crowbars and hammers, exile crowd rips out and urinates on Calle Ocho "Walk of Fame" star of Mexican actress Veronica Castro, who had visited Cuba.

    1992 Union Radio employee beaten and station vandalized by exiles looking for Francisco Aruca, who advocates an end to U.S. embargo.

    1992 Cuban American National Foundation mounts campaign against the Miami Herald, whose executives then receive death threats and whose newsracks are defaced and smeared with feces.

    1992 Americas Watch releases report stating that hard-line Miami exiles have created an environment in which "moderation can be a dangerous position."

    1993 Inflamed by Radio Mambí commentator Armando Perez-Roura, Cuban exiles physically assault demonstrators lawfully protesting against U.S. embargo. Two police officers injured, sixteen arrests made. Miami City Commissioner Miriam Alonso then seeks to silence anti-embargo demonstrators: "We have to look at the legalities of whether the City of Miami can prevent them from expressing themselves."

    1994 Human Rights Watch/Americas Group issues report stating that Miami exiles do not tolerate dissident opinions, that Spanish-language radio promotes aggression, and that local government leaders refuse to denounce acts of intimidation.

    1994 Two firebombs explode at Replica magazine's office.

    1994 Bomb threat to law office of Magda Montiel Davis following her videotaped exchange with Fidel Castro.

    1996 Music promoter receives threatening calls, cancels local appearance of Cuba's La Orquesta Aragon.

    1996 Patrons attending concert by Cuban jazz pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba physically assaulted by 200 exile protesters. Transportation for exiles arranged by Dade County Commissioner Javier Souto.

    1996 Firebomb explodes at Little Havana's Centro Vasco restaurant preceding concert by Cuban singer Rosita Fornes.

    1996 Firebomb explodes at Marazul Charters, which arranges travel to Cuba.

    1996 Arson committed at Tu Familia Shipping, which ships packages to Cuba.

    1997 Bomb threats, death threats received by radio station WRTO-FM following its short-lived decision to include in its playlist songs by Cuban musicians.

    1998 Bomb threat empties concert hall at MIDEM music conference during performance by 91-year-old Cuban musician Compay Segundo.

    1998 Bomb threat received by Amnesia nightclub in Miami Beach preceding performance by Cuban musician Orlando "Maraca" Valle.

    1998 Firebomb explodes at Amnesia nightclub preceding performance by Cuban singer Manolín.

    1999 Violent protest at Miami Arena performance of Cuban band Los Van Van leaves one person injured, eleven arrested.

    1999 Bomb threat received by Seville Hotel in Miami Beach preceding performance by Cuban singer Rosita Fornes. Hotel cancels concert.

    January 26, 2000 Outside Miami Beach home of Sister Jeanne O'Laughlin, protester displays sign reading, "Stop the deaths at sea. Repeal the Cuban Adjustment Act," then is physically assaulted by nearby exile crowd before police come to rescue.

    April 11, 2000 Outside home of Elian Gonzalez's Miami relatives, radio talk show host Scot Piasant of Portland, Oregon, displays T-shirt reading, "Send the boy home" and "A father's rights," then is physically assaulted by nearby exile crowd before police come to rescue.
    (snip/)
    http://www.miaminewtimes.com/issues/2000-04-20/mullin.h...
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    RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 05:06 AM
    Response to Reply #59
    68. Considering Judi posts that timeline in practically every Cuban thread
    Edited on Fri Aug-11-06 05:09 AM by RagingInMiami
    You should have just used DU's search feature rather than google. Or just wait a few hours because she was bound to eventually post it. I'm surprised it took this long.

    Again, the point I'm trying to make -- which is always going to fall on deaf ears with the Castro worshippers -- is that this issue is not just black and white. Nobody is denying that there have been some extreme violence by some Cubans in Miami. But much of it was done against other Miami Cubans who were not so extreme.

    I just get sick of the constant broad generalizations against all Miami Cubans on DU. I would say I expect more from so-called "liberals", but after being on DU almost two years, I've come to expect the same ignorance and intolerance that I would find in Freeperville.

    I am very familiar with some of those actions on that timeline. Not only do I live blocks away from Red Road, which is also called "Emilio Milian Way", I grew up in the same neighborhood as the children of Luciano Nieves, who was killed in 1975.

    Randy was the oldest child. Lisa (or Elizabeth) was about two years older than me and Gina (or Georgina) was about my age. They all grew up in my neighborhood. We all went to the same school.

    Their dad was killed in what is now Miami Children's Hospital, but was called Variety Children's Hospital in 1975. Luciano had gone on the radio advocating opening dialogue with Cuba. He was at the hospital visiting Randy when he was gunned down.

    Nobody has paid more of a price for these right-wing terrorists than the moderate Miami Cubans. Nobody. But that is never acknowledged by these so-called DU "liberals" who lump all Miami Cubans into a single category.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:12 AM
    Response to Reply #68
    75. People tend to lump the right-wingers who have a choke hold on U.S.
    foreign policy toward Cuba, and conducted decades of murderous, filthy terrorism toward Cubans, all in the same category.

    To insist one should ignore the deadly, vile effect they have had on American politics and on Cuban history would not be prudent. They do NOT get a pass.

    DU'ers were made aware, if they had been unconscious of Florida politics, that a DU'er worked on Annie Bettancourt's campaign. Anyone who was interested started looking more deeply then, if they had been formerly unaware there are moderate Cubans in South Florida.

    Peoples' awareness of South Florida's history began long before you started posting at D.U.
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    RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 11:12 AM
    Response to Reply #75
    77. With you, it's always black or white
    Either the Cuban right-wingers get a "pass" or all Miami Cubans are "scum" or "gusanos" or "mafia" or whatever terms DUers have learned to repeat in an attempt to appear knowledgeable about the situation down here.

    These are essentially talking points, no different than the ones that right-wingers are fed by Rush Limbaugh and repeated during any course of discussion.

    It's the same when DUers talk about Colombia, most who don't even know how to spell the name of the fucking country. They have these huge generalizations that don't even begin to scratch the surface of what is really happening down there.

    I would hope on a site like DU where I'd like to think we are smarter than the average population (who is blindly ignorant about politics), we can learn to understand the complexities of certain situations and conflicts.

    The Israeli/Palestinian situation is a perfect example. Many DUers, myself included, were only aware of what the media had been telling us about that long-term conflict. But through discussion, debate and dispute on DU, some of us were able to gain a deeper comprehension of the situation.

    I remember when I lived in Dublin eleven years ago. I had been somewhat knowledgeable about "the Troubles" as they like to call the ongoing tensions between the Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. But I quickly realized -- and was called out on it -- that I was basically ignorant about the situation. Thankfully, I am no longer ignorant about the Irish situation as I spent almost two years reading and interviewing people about it.

    That is when I learned that it's never wise to fall into the generalization trap. Usually in these situations, there are "rights" and "wrongs" on both sides of the conflict. And both sides believe they are "right" while the other side is "wrong".

    And no matter what side you stand on, the best way to get to understand the other side is to first find out why they believe they are "right". And that usually means you must go beyond the customary talking points, beyond scratching the surface, beyond the dehumanizing insults, and confronting the possibility that your side may be "wrong" in that particular instance.





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    Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:13 PM
    Response to Original message
    53. Otra cosa...
    Not every Cuban in Miami is from Cuba. Some speakers of Spanish are from Colombia, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Panama, Chile, etc... ¡huey pucha! :eyes:

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    K8-EEE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 02:14 AM
    Response to Reply #53
    62. Claro Que Si!
    Y muchos argentinos y espanoles tambien!
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    rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:41 PM
    Response to Original message
    56. April 17, 1961: Bay of Pigs - May 1, 1961: Socialist Republic
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    K8-EEE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 02:22 AM
    Response to Original message
    64. My Best Friend Growing Up Came As A Baby In 1960
    They went thru FL and ended up in CA. Her mom never, ever did anything for herself before leaving there; they were very VERY wealthy in Cuba. I had many a fab time in her house dancing with the relatives - life seemed so much more ALIVE in their house. I love the music, the cuban crakers and guava paste, fish croquettes, and guys who actually LIKE to dance, not just in a hoping-to-get-laid way.

    The thing I don't like about the Miami Cubans is they are an ace in the hole for BushCo, so I resent them for that the same as any other kneejerk BushCo voter. And this business about the big street fests over Castro being sick etc. seems rather silly. I don't think they should be able to just move on in over there and take over when he dies, assuming the regime goes down. Cuba is for the Cubans who live there now. The exiles have made their choice.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 03:14 AM
    Response to Original message
    66. Kick.
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    Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 03:24 AM
    Response to Original message
    67. Thanks for the info,Raging. A little grounding in historical reality
    ...never hurts.

    Hekate

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    cgrindley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 06:57 AM
    Response to Original message
    70. Propaganda
    Yawn.
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    Cessna Invesco Palin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 07:06 AM
    Response to Reply #70
    71. I noice you don't actually refute anything in the OP.
    Yawn indeed.
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    HarukaTheTrophyWife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:06 AM
    Response to Reply #71
    74. Not surprising.
    Yawn.
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    HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:04 AM
    Response to Original message
    73. God, get over it, already
    Edited on Fri Aug-11-06 10:04 AM by HamdenRice
    You seem to think that Miami Cubans are criticized for who they were and what they had way, way back 40 years ago in Cuba. Maybe some do, but most progressives criticize Miami Cubans for what they are doing now and have done recently in this country -- namely supporting a right wing extremist political leadership in Miami; supporting a ridiculous counter-productive policy toward Cuba; supporting vicious, genocidal interventions in Central America; promoting racism today in Florida; and voting consistently for Republicans who are destroying the country.

    All this porque "Yo tuve eso y yo tuve esa en Cuba." God, get over it. The rest of us are sick of it already.

    I know dozens of South Africans who lost everything during apartheid including family members, but they are so focused on NOW, not on what happened back in 1960. Did you know that Puerto Ricans and Dominicans in New York used to call Cubans "tuve's" because that's all they ever talk about. Know how many Puerto Ricans and Dominicans lost land to American sugar companies?

    The problem with Miami Cubans' politics is on display on your OP, which is that they have incredibly backwards looking politics based on a toxic mix of nostalgia and vengeance. You even think that your community is being criticized because of what you had in Cuba.

    When the Cuban community in Miami wakes up from their sueno del pasado and starts living in the here and now and making political choices based on what is good for them and America NOW, I think the criticism will subside.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:45 AM
    Response to Reply #73
    76. That's one FLAWLESS post, HamdenRice.
    Thanks for shining some lght in this very dark room. Very, very helpful.
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    Shakespeare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 11:45 AM
    Response to Reply #73
    80. Exceedingly well said, HamdenRice.
    The only thing I'll add is that I have a very good friend/mentor who's a rather well-known Puerto Rican writer (in NYC); he's a belligerant, wonderful and outspoken man, whose lip curls in disgust whenever this subject arises, for many of the reasons you mention.
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    RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 06:58 PM
    Response to Reply #73
    86. Funny how you mention how Cubans are living in the past
    Because most of the posts on DU about Miami Cubans are also going by what they've seen or heard in the past. Things have changed down here since the Elian saga.

    In today's Los Angeles Times, in an article posted by ZombyWoof on this thread, it specifically states that today's Miami Cuban community is not as monolithic as your ignorance would lead you to believe.

    You're talking about how Cubans talk in the past sense as to what they had or what they "tuvo", but you're also talking in the past tense when you tell me what the PRs and DRs in NY "used to call Cubans".

    And I'm not sure what you mean by the following statement, but I don't have a drop of Cuban blood in me.

    "You even think that your community is being criticized because of what you had in Cuba. "

    But you're right. I do take it personal when Miami Cubans are attacked because they are part of my community. I have many close friends who are Cuban as opposed to many anonymous "peers" on DU.

    I may not agree with the right-wing Cubans about politics, but sometimes life goes beyond politics. And I never let their politics prevent me from stating my views.

    And I'm sure as hell not going to let your preconceived prejudices prevent me from stating my views on on DU. So fuck no, I'm not going to "get over it, already."

    -----------------------------------------

    In case you missed the article on this thread, check it out here:

    At the height of the Cuban-American exile rallies after President Fidel Castro ceded power July 31, there were never more than a few hundred participants in the streets. Their noisy celebrations of Castro's latest illness showed a bitter face to the rest of the world.

    But the embarrassed quiet that now prevails is perhaps a more accurate indicator of the mood among the city's largest ethnic minority.

    The community's once-monolithic political voice that dictated a hard-line U.S. policy on Cuba for four decades has fractured along generational lines and weakened as a national force.

    Militancy is out of fashion in this post-9/11 world, as evidenced not only by the recent sparsely attended demonstrations but by government cases against its last defiant practitioners.


    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/politics/la-na-...
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 03:15 PM
    Response to Reply #86
    101. The Miami Cubano community has never been monolithic.
    Edited on Sat Aug-12-06 03:26 PM by Mika
    Most people are unaware that it took until the Mariel boatlift (in which large numbers of Miami Cubans went to Cuba, picked up and smuggled 125,000+ into the US in 1980) for the number of Cuban expats who had entered the US post Castro to equal or outnumber the number of Cuban expats who had entered the US pre revolution (keep in mind that there was no Cuban Adjustment Act nor migration accords pre revolution).

    My point being that many pre revolution Cuban expats in Miami had fled the dictatorships prior to the revolution, and had/have no 'dog in the hunt' regarding Castro or the socialist revolution.

    The Miami Cubano community has never been monolithic.

    --
    From a 2003 poll taken in Miami
    Cuban-Americans focus is local, not on Cuba or Castro
    In February, a Miami Herald poll found more than half of the area's Cubans now support efforts at dialogue between exiles and Cuban government officials - a position endorsed by only one-in-five Cuban Americans a decade ago.

    Also a decade ago, support among Cubans for U.S. military action to topple Castro stood at 73 percent. But today, less than a majority of Cubans polled said they would agree to the use of military force now. In fact, 68 percent agree that the residents of Cuba should decide when and how the political system there should be changed.


    I have posted that poll many times since it was conducted.

    RagingInMiami, despite your mewlings to the contrary - accusing me of hatred for the entire Miamicubano community (a misconception/generalization about my position on these matters that you engage in) - I have always espoused here on DU the truth that not all Miami Cubans are rightwingnuts and Batistanos. Always.



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    RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 04:08 PM
    Response to Reply #101
    102. Fair enough
    I know you have posted polls that show Miami Cubans donate more to democrats than they donate to republicans. Do you still have that by the way?

    And at least you live here so have an idea what is really going on beyond what is being displayed on the news channels. But there have been too many posts on DU lately that attack the entire Cuban community in Miami from people who obviously have no idea what is really going on beneath the surface.

    And as I said, I am not Cuban, but I do take it personal.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 04:25 PM
    Response to Reply #102
    103. "And at least you live here.."
    Not only that..

    RagingInMiami, I was married to a Cuban-American. I took great umbrage at your accusation, since you knew this (because you replied to a prior post of mine describing my late wife being Cuban). That was personal and intentionally hurtful, imo.

    Plus, I have been to Cuba, not once on a quick trip to Havana for vacation, but MANY times - something that most all of DU's Cuba "experts" have not done.

    I have many friends and in-laws in Cuba that I can no longer visit because of the dictate of the GW Bush administration's new travel restrictions/abridgement of our rights. You are damn right that I take US/Cuba relations personally!
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    RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 04:34 PM
    Response to Reply #103
    104. I didn't know your wife was Cuban-American
    Until Judi Lynn pointed it out a few days ago.

    I know you told me you had lost your wife, but you never shared her ethnicity with me. I remembered we were in a serious debate about Cuba (what else is new), and that I offered you my condonlences about your wife because I found it sad.
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    DisgustedTX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:55 PM
    Response to Reply #73
    97. Bravo!
    :)
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 11:36 AM
    Response to Original message
    78. Take the control over Americans' travel to Cuba OUT of the wrong hands
    Every year the subject is brought forward again and again, with a win among American Congresspeople calling for an end to the travel to Cuba ban. It has been stripped out over and over in committee to prevent Bush from having to take an unpopular stand publicly by vetong it.

    Here's a good statement written in 2002. As soon as Congress is claimed by more conscientious people, this travel ban will be removed with a VETO PROOF MAJORITY VOTE.
    End Travel Controls to Cuba

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    February 8, 2002

    ON EVE OF SENATE HEARING 50 PROMINENT GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS CALL ON CONGRESS TO END TRAVEL CONTROLS TO CUBA

    We the undersigned urge the United States Congress to enact legislation to remove all controls on travel to Cuba. Under our democratic system, Americans have a constitutional right to travel where they wish. Not only is it their right, but it is also an article of faith that their travel helps to carry abroad American values and spread the message of our democracy. In the case of Cuba, however, the U.S. Government puts all that aside and opts instead for the kind of travel controls usually imposed by authoritarian governments. These controls ignore international standards of freedom of movement (exactly what we accuse the Cuban government of doing). They violate Article 12 of the United Nation's International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And even under U.S. law, the legal bases for the controls strain credulity.

    These controls are also entirely counterproductive in terms of legitimate U.S. foreign policy objectives toward Cuba. We wish to encourage Cuba to move toward a more open society, yes, but preventing American citizens from traveling there in no way advances that goal. On the contrary, as Elizardo Sanchez, Cuba's leading human rights activist, has often put it: "The more American citizens in the streets of Cuban cities, the better for the cause of a more open society. So why does the U.S. maintain travel controls?"

    The logic behind Sanchez's statement is unassailable. Travel controls are not only inconsistent with basic American values, they serve no legitimate purpose. Polls indicate that the overwhelming majority of American citizens understand that and wish to see these controls removed. Congress, in response to the will of the American people, should take action immediately to end them.

    George McGovern
    Former U.S. Senator from South Dakota

    Scotty Baesler
    Former U.S. Congressman from Kentucky

    Tom Cooper
    President
    Gulfstream International Airlines
    Dania, FL

    Hilda Diaz
    President
    Marazul Charters, Inc.

    Tessie Aral
    Vice President
    ABC Charters Inc.
    Miami, FL

    Xiomara Almaguer
    Executive Director
    XAEL Charter, Inc.

    The American Society of Travel Agents
    Alexandria, VA

    Alfredo Duran
    President
    Cuban Committee for Democracy
    Miami, FL

    Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo
    Cambio Cubano
    Miami, FL

    Silvia Wilhelm
    Puentes Cubanos, Inc.
    Miami, FL

    Elena Freyre
    Executive Director
    Cuban American Defense League
    Miami, FL

    Etc.
    http://www.pcusa.org/washington/issuenet/latin-020211.h...
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    bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 11:39 AM
    Response to Original message
    79. You make some good points
    I identify with the Miami Cubans. They have lived in a dictatorship, and living in George W. Bush's America, I know how they feel.
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    rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:05 PM
    Response to Original message
    81. Anti-Castro = Pro-Batista is Anti-War = Pro-terrorist
    Its bullshit.

    Thanks Raging.

    I think your posts on Cuba issues (especially your Cuba visit) have been handled with the utmost care and deliberation.
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    Zomby Woof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 02:13 PM
    Response to Original message
    82. Today's L.A. Times takes a look at the Miami Cubans
    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-cu...

    In Miami, Graying Anti-Castro Movement Is Losing Steam
    The once-monolithic voice of exiles that dictated a hard-line U.S. policy on the island nation has fractured along generational lines.

    By Carol J. Williams, Times Staff Writer
    August 11, 2006

    MIAMI — At the height of the Cuban-American exile rallies after President Fidel Castro ceded power July 31, there were never more than a few hundred participants in the streets. Their noisy celebrations of Castro's latest illness showed a bitter face to the rest of the world.

    But the embarrassed quiet that now prevails is perhaps a more accurate indicator of the mood among the city's largest ethnic minority.

    The community's once-monolithic political voice that dictated a hard-line U.S. policy on Cuba for four decades has fractured along generational lines and weakened as a national force.

    Militancy is out of fashion in this post-9/11 world, as evidenced not only by the recent sparsely attended demonstrations but by government cases against its last defiant practitioners.

    It would have been unthinkable just a few years ago for immigration authorities to detain Luis Posada Carriles, a Bay of Pigs veteran, CIA operative and suspected bomber of a Cuban airliner.


    More at the link above...
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    RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 03:10 PM
    Response to Reply #82
    84. That article hits at what I'm trying to explain
    Especially the second sentence.

    "But the embarrassed quiet that now prevails is perhaps a more accurate indicator of the mood among the city's largest ethnic minority."
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    tenshi816 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 02:32 PM
    Response to Original message
    83. I also enjoy your Cuba threads
    and am blown away by the fact that you knew Jessica Mitford's son. Did you ever meet her? She was so vastly different from her sisters.

    My dad went to Cuba when he was 17, back in the 1950s - pre-Castro - and fell in love with it. He has always regretted not going back.
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    peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 08:26 PM
    Response to Original message
    92. As one who rants against the politics of Cuban-Americans and loves
    them at the same time ... I applaud your article. It is factual and the way I remember most of it, i.e., quite accurate in most ways.

    However ...

    You left out some ugly things -

    > uncontrollable four-decade old hate for Castro that was childish and degrading
    > never ending bragging about what would be done to Castro if he ever came to Miami
    > support and applause for Cuban-American terrorists who relentlessly attempted and sometimes succeeded to bomb and kill.
    > using our tax money to put into the pockets of our leaders in Washington who provided Cuban-Americans with benefits and laws far exceeding any other immigrant group - the money flow from the taxpayers for some useless political programs and stuff that made many Cuban Americans financially well off.
    > joining together to vote for Republicans for four decades out of hate for Kennedy who (too late) saw through the deception of the CIA and Cuban terrorists who provided Chalabi-style misinformation.
    > insinuating and carrying out Cuban-American politics within the government of Miami-Dade and the Universities.
    > spreading outright lies and never giving up the propaganda movement against Castro even after Pres Reagan declared that the wall had fallen.
    > making us the laughing stock of the business world for our embargo against Cuba that other countries finally ignored while still laughing.
    > never acknowledging and admitting that Castro and Cuba have accomplished wonderful things, especially in the area of helping doctors and the medical care of their own.
    > throwing tantrums to halt cultural exchanges, including even multi-national events and associated hampering

    I could go on and on.

    Your article is quite accurate. It could probably be said that the mafia and the CIA and U.S. policy were effectual in causing the revolution and the turn to the USSR. There are many varieties of victims. But, forty years of stubborness and blindsiding?

    Your thread set many things straight. I'm glad you wrote it.

    I've always said that I came to hate the politics of Cuban-Americans, but loved the people.
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    Geek_Girl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 08:39 PM
    Response to Original message
    94. I grew up in Florida
    I lived most of my life in the central Florida area and spent my teen years in Miami where my father lives. Miami is far more liberal then central Florida. It's been my experience that the cuban americans living in Miami are more liberal then the white folks living in the rest of the state. Al Gore and Kerry both won Miami-Dade county.
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    Divine Discontent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:46 PM
    Response to Reply #94
    96. she's right
    I agree, they're far more liberal. as the only liberal majority in Otown is on the west side (for obv. reasons) but I'd never move back to Miami Beach, it was hell.
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    UTUSN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:44 PM
    Response to Original message
    95. DUDE!!!!!!!!1 n/t
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