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Brian_Expat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-04 10:05 PM
Original message
Castro loving is a problem
I wish all the crazy commie lefties who talk about how great Castro is would abandon their ideological march (which is just as blind as our right-wing opponents) and think for a minute.

Castro's government arrests gays and throws them in prison.

Castro's government has "secret police" who arrest dissidents.

Castro himself has never stood in a democratic election.

Stop whitewashing the bastard just because he's opposed to another bastard.

Jeebus.
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Spiffarino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-04 10:18 PM
Response to Original message
1. Wow. I must have missed some posts.
Who could love that guy? He's just another totalitarian. Stalin, Ceaucescu, the two Kims and Castro fit right in together IMHO. Communist dicators are no better than Fascist dictators. They're all megalomaniacs who crave power and care about the people only when it helps them maintain it.

Could I ever admire Castro? Maybe someday if he allows the Cuban expatriates to come back, releases all political prisoners, calls for national elections, and steps down. But his human rights record sucks. It'd be hard.

I see very little difference between him and Bush, except that Bush's fake election was a little more believable.
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imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-04 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Search DU under Castro
you'll find lots of them. I've had my say on this particular issue so I won't add more here. You'll find the archives interesting though.
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Melodybe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 01:19 AM
Response to Reply #3
146. Fuck Castro! He, the Russians, and the CIA all had a part in Che's death
Che was no saint but at least he truely did want power to the people. He never asked the poorest Cuban to do something he was not willing to do himself.

Castro on the other hand sold Che out, and can kiss my ass.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 08:01 PM
Response to Reply #1
131. Did you know that Elin Gonzalez's Miami drunken great-uncle, Lzaro
met Elin IN CUBA? This was common information in articles during the time people were interested in reading about that family of Miami psychopaths who stole the child from his father and held him hostage.

Lzaro went to Cuba on vacation and stayed at his nephew's house. Juan Miguel Gonzalez gladly gave his uncle the use of his bedroom and he, himself slept in his car. The uncle spent his days fishing, and his evenings at the hotel bars. To show his appreciation, he tried to steal his son.

I had never heard "exiles" go back and forth, myself, having NEVER lived in South Florida, but I've spoken with people who have, and it's simply common knowledge there. There are daily flights from Miami, Los Angeles, and New York all going to Cuba and back. This was before GEORGE W. BUSH decided to change the privileges, and has barred "exiles" from going to visit their relatives more than once every 3 years. It means that if their parent or sibling becomes desperately ill, if the Cuban immigrant in the states has been in Cuba in the last 3 years, he/she simply is out of luck, may NOT return to visit them. That's GEORGE W. BUSH'S decision, not Cuba's.

A former N. Y. Times journalist who received attention for her and another journalist's well-publicized interview with "exile" mass murderer/bomber/terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, wrote about this situation in a book published in 2002.

From her book, Cuba Confidential: Love and Vengeange in Miami and Havana:
But there has been a slow but steady shift in the last decade-a nod to the clear majority of Cubans en exilio and on the island who crave family reunification. Since 1978, more than one million airline tickets have been sold for flights from Miami to Havana. Faced with the brisk and continuous traffic between Miami and Havana, hard-liners on both sides have opted to deny the new reality. Anomalies such as the phenomenon of reverse balseros, Cubans who, unable to adapt to the pressures and bustle of entrepreneurial Miami, return to the island, or gusaeros, expatriates who send a portion of their earnings home in exchange for unfettered travel back and forth to Cuba (the term is a curious Cuban hybrid of gusano and compaero,or comrade) are unacknowledged by both sides, as are those who live in semi-exilio, returning home to Cuba for long holidays.
(snip)
Page xviii, Preface
Cuba Confidential
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
132. Here's an article from today which adds info. you apparently didn't have
on the freedom Cuban "exiles" USED TO HAVE in the States to visit Cuba, which has been almost destroyed not by Fidel Castro, but by GEORGE W. BUSH.
Posted on Mon, Dec. 20, 2004


Travel from U.S. to Cuba drops sharply

By RAFAEL LORENTE
South Florida Sun-Sentinel


WASHINGTON - The number of passengers flying to Cuba from the United States has plummeted since last year, according to figures compiled by the State Department. The trend suggests tougher travel restrictions put in place last summer by the Bush administration are having their intended effect.

Since July, when the new regulations took effect, 50,558 seats have been reserved on charter flights to Cuba, most originating in South Florida. During the same period last year, the number was more than twice as high: 118,938 seats.

President Bush's new travel restrictions allow Cuban-Americans to visit relatives in Cuba only once every three years. Until this year, such trips could be made every year.

The new regulations also limit visits to immediate family members, defined as spouses, parents, children, siblings, grandchildren and grandparents.
(snip/...)
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/politics/10462243.htm
(Free registration is required)
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jjtss Donating Member (123 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-04 10:19 PM
Response to Original message
2. Fidel Castro
I've been a Castro Fan since l956. He rescued his people from abject poverty, enforced prostitution, and various other crimes against humanity forced on them by Batista and his mafia friends. When every citizen has free medical care, and basic food provided then we can overlook his few deviations from democracy especially when all his efforts have been undermined by 50 years of sanctions and embargoes by the biggest military powers in the world. He cleaned up his country and kept it clean in spite of the High and Mighty. Under Batista, dissidents weren't imprisioned, they simply disappeared.}(
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DireStrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-04 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Again, dictators are dictators
And there are some who argue that imprisonment is worse than death.
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blurp Donating Member (769 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #2
49. Sometimes violence is necessary for a better society
Great point.

Also, consider tax evaders in the USA. They have a duty to pay their taxes to help society.

If they don't, what should we do? Ask nicely again?

No. We get police to toss them in jail.

Sometimes you have threaten violence against people to create a greater social good.

In way, what Castro does is nearly democratic, in the sense that he uses his power to insure the majority are helped even though a few individuals may be treated poorly.

Besides, if there were a vote, Castro would win anyway. So I don't see how his actions against a small minority are anti-democratic.

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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #2
144. Good! Then he should have no problem standing for election
If he did all these great things he should hold an election to prove to the world how beloved he is.
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RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 02:30 AM
Response to Reply #2
149. He let the power go to his head
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marc_the_dem Donating Member (222 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #2
176. News to me
Being a Cuban, I'm surprised to hear that's there a Castro loving movement.
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DireStrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-04 10:21 PM
Response to Original message
4. I hope nobody's said that sort of thing
I wonder if they in Cuba think Bush is a tyrant? Probably not...
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amber dog democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-04 10:55 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Still JJTSS has a point.
Edited on Sat Dec-18-04 10:56 PM by amber dog democrat
Batista was worse. While I am very unlikely to join in a chorus of Viva Fidel !, I have a grudging admiration for him and I don't have much feeling beyond contempt for the Batista regime. Also telling the US what it could do with its Carribbean Colonialism was a good thing. Maybe Fidel can out last the Chimp. I'd like that. He is certainly more intelligent. - but that is not saying much.
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DireStrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-04 11:06 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Yes, I too have a wary respect for Castro's ability
And I agree that Batista was worse.
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American Tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 12:04 AM
Response to Reply #6
17. But saying that Castro is better than Batista isn't saying much, is it?
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Spiffarino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #17
19. It's like saying Khomeini was better than the Shah
Screwed is screwed. I don't see why it's better to have a dictator with health care. Life still sucks.

I've been way down on Castro since the Mariel boatlift. Any country that is so bad people are willing to float 90 miles on two pieces of styrofoam rather than live there must have horrible leadership.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #19
122. Are you overlooking the hundreds and hundreds of people who die annually
trying to cross the border from Mexico into the States, through California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas? They both drown and die of exposure in the desert. Don't say you don't know about this. Whom are THEY fleeing? Fidel Castro?

Why have people from the Dominican Republic been trying to get to Puerto Rico, many of them dying in their small boats annually? Are they fleeing harsh political problems in that country?

What about Haiti? When Haitians who were desperately trying to flee the bloodbath triggered by the US-supported killers who previously served the vicious US-supported, wildly corrupt, murderous Duvaliers, Bush had U.S. ships moved into place around Haiti specifically to prevent anyone getting through and making it to the U.S. They turned ALL desperate people around and sent them right back into that tree shredder.

A lot of right-leaning people undoubtedly paid no attention whatsoever to this horrendous "human rights violation" as the people involved were not worth caring about, as supporters of Aristide. Funny how that works.

Haitians have always tried desperately to find haven in the U.S., and have met hideous rejection. They die in great numbers in the ocean each year, during their trip of over 700 miles.
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RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 02:33 AM
Response to Reply #122
150. Yes, it's a very hypocritical policy we have in the US
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 03:14 AM
Response to Reply #150
160. Speaking of hypocritical, many of us are aware of some very hard times
suffered by people trying to get to the States across the desert, where they are treated like dirt after arrival in the Southwest. Damned painful for them, just getting to the border, if they survive the trip:
Washington Update
July 2001


Desert Deaths Move Public Conscience
Will Public Policy Follow?
By Merrill Smith, LIRS Washington Representative

The grim news came out slowly. Around 10 a.m., Wednesday, May 23, the Border Patrol came across the first seven bodies in the Granite Mountain area of Arizona, near California. Decomposition had already begun. By afternoon, they found four more. One was found alive and taken to Yuma Regional Medical Center but pronounced dead on arrival. By Thursday morning, two more bodies had been found. Some had torn at their clothing in the delirium that typically precedes the call of death in the desert. A dozen more were hospitalized suffering from extreme dehydration and kidney damage, their skin shriveled, burnt brown and riddled with cactus spines. The doctors said they looked like mummiesthe survivors, that is.

A group of 25-30 Mexican workers had set out across the U.S. border Saturday, heading for Interstate 8, 50 miles away. They made it to within 10 miles before expiring. The temperature reported by the weather service was 115 degrees Fahrenheit but on the desert floor it was closer to 130. Humane Borders, a group that sets up water stations for desperate migrants, had earlier asked the federal Bureau of Land Management for permission to do so in the area where the deaths occurred. It was denied. By week's end, wails of grief arose in the tiny Mexican villages of Chamizal, Atzalan and Coatepec as they learned what had befallen their sons.

Of course, in a sense, it is not really news. At least 369 perished this way last year alone. Still, the death toll of 14 was the largest single such incident in more than 20 years and that got attention. Politicians issued the usual statements of shock, shock! Some called for the death penalty for the "smugglers"-guides who led the border crossing-but one was already among the dead and another was hospitalized from the ordeal. The government promised to put more agents on the border. "All eyewash," pronounced Douglas, Ariz., Mayor Ray Borane, a man well-placed to know.
(snip/...)
http://www.lirs.org/News/WashUpdate/Wash200107.htm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
DESERT DEATHS

October 9, 2002


Ted Robbins of KUAT-Phoenix reports on the effort to save lives along the U.S.-Mexico border.


ED ROBBINS: Grave markers in the Pima County Public Cemetery-- dusty reminders of a record year of death in the desert. 164 people perished crossing from Mexico into the United States during the federal fiscal year, which ended October 1, including this woman, known only as Jane Doe.

(Speaking Spanish) Norma Price is a retired physician, a member of the recently formed Samaritan Patrol. Once a week with a partner, she searches in places where border crossers are known to hide. She and her partners travel with water, food, and medical supplies. Sometimes they are too late.

NORMA PRICE, M.D.: You can see evidence of the people there. You can see where they have been. You can see where they have camped, and then you read in the paper that four people died, you know, either the day before you were there or the day you were there, and you weren't in the right place or they didn't come in the area where you were patrolling. So I think that in my mind, I'm thinking the whole time, you know, I hope we find someone.

TED ROBBINS: There is indeed plenty of evidence border crossers have been here. They were likely picked up by smugglers who took them in vehicles to cities like Tucson and Phoenix. The U.S. Border Patrol alone rescued nearly 500 people this year, including this group, which came more than 1,500 miles from the state of Guerrero in Southern Mexico. They said they were headed for work in Phoenix when they were found by members of the Border Patrol search, trauma, and rescue team, known as Bor-Star. They'd been walking in the desert for three days and three nights.
(snip/...)
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/latin_america/july-dec02/mexico_10-9.html

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


Three Hegemon's blog
Death on the Mexican border

Illegal Immigrant Death Rate Rises Sharply in Barren Areas
By EVELYN NIEVES


L CENTRO, Calif. The dying season began early here this year, with four bloated bodies found floating in the All-American Canal on March 14. The victims, young men ages 19 and 20, had made their way from Chiapas, in southernmost Mexico, before drowning in the canal's churning currents just 35 yards from United States land.

For the Imperial County Sheriff's Department, it was an ominous sign. The dead usually start showing up in multiples in high summer, when the desert becomes an inferno and the canal, roiling beneath a calm veneer, lures migrants looking for a quick way across and relief from the killing sun. If bodies were washing up in groups in March, what would the summer be like?

The answer, so far, is grim. Even though deaths along the Mexican border have declined over all as the slumping American economy has attracted fewer migrants, the toll is reaching record rates in the most remote and dangerous outposts. To avoid the stepped-up border patrols in populated areas, the most desperate migrants cross in the more unguarded and desolate deserts of Arizona and eastern California. June was the deadliest month ever for the southwest border, with 67 migrants dying, mostly in the unrelenting heat of the United States Border Patrol's Tucson sector, a barely habitable land that covers most of southern Arizona.

Here in the mountainous El Centro sector, which includes the vast Imperial Desert, 52 migrants have died since Oct. 1. The sheriff's department believes the deaths could outpace last year's record of 95.

"It seems quiet, but we're finding more multiples bodies in threes, fours and fives," said Gary Hayes, a deputy coroner in the department. "They're really trying to avoid detection, so they're going to more and more remote areas."
(snip/...)
http://threehegemons.tripod.com/threehegemonsblog/id152.html
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amber dog democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 08:28 AM
Response to Reply #17
30. Well I thnk he is better than Bush
If you look at the sum total of misery and destruction attributed to either man,
the Chimp has more to answer for. Castro has done more good and less harm.
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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #30
48. agree with you
nt
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RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 02:35 AM
Response to Reply #30
151. How the fuck can you say that?
Edited on Tue Dec-21-04 02:36 AM by RagingInMiami
The shrub has been in power for four years, Castro has been in power for more than forty years.
Before you "look at the sum total of misery", add up the sum of years that Castro has inflicted his misery on his people.
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Slickriddles Donating Member (157 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 01:02 AM
Response to Reply #17
112. No but saying that Cuba
Ranks highest among Latin American nations in things like literacy, doctors per capita, low infant mortality rates, no starvation and other social welfare measures is ssaying an awful lot. Remember Elian Gonzales? His father was offered the whole shebang and turned it down to go back. Castro is doing good things and he has been fought tooth and nail the whole way by the USA.
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RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 02:42 AM
Response to Reply #112
152. Elian's dad may have wanted to remain in Cuba
Edited on Tue Dec-21-04 02:44 AM by RagingInMiami
And they might be more literate and have more doctors per capita than other Latin American countries, but do you know how much the "professionals" bring home a month?

They're lucky to earn $10 a month.

I've was born and raised in Miami and dead Cubans have always floated ashore because they tried swimming to Florida from Cuba because of the hardships.

EDIT: And no, I don't have a drop of Cuban blood in me.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #152
165. Too bad you can't go there to see for yourself
If you could go there you would see that most of what you posted isn't true.

While "professionals" don't make a disproportionate amount of money in Cuba, you forgot to mention how much their costs are. Like home rent (no more than 10% of income), office rent (for doctors etc, free), insurance (zero), supplies (provided by the state).

Again, If you could go there you would see that most of what you posted isn't true.


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RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #165
174. So you're saying that the hundreds of refugees I've talked to about this
Are lying to me?
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ott Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-04 11:19 PM
Response to Original message
8. Ummmm....
Homosexuality is not illegal in Cuba.

I won't defend the second point... (But we have secret police that arrest dissidents too.)

Tony Blair and Paul Martin never stood in a democratic election either. It's called a parliamentary republic.

I can't help but see the good outweigh the bad. The arrested dissidents, including the 70+ rounded up recently, were funded by the US government to undermine the Cuban government. Guess what the US does to people, funded by other countries, that try to overthrow our government.

Health care in Cuba is comparable to that of United States. Cuba exports more doctors to needy people around the word than any other country on the planet. The biotech industry is exceptional, thank Castro for a meningitis B vaccine.

Cuba has the death penalty, with the exception of two executions last year they've maintained a 3 year moratorium of it.

What was your country doing in South Africa when Cubans were fighting for the abolition of apartheid?

No one goes without a roof over their heads, food in their belly, and quality health care. No children or elderly left in the street.

Cuba, perfect? Hell no. But, you do better with a third world country under a half centuries old blockade.
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imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-04 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Before Night Falls
Edited on Sat Dec-18-04 11:43 PM by imenja
You might want to have a look at Reinaldo Arenas' _Before Night Falls_ on the question of homosexuality in Cuba. Gutierrez-Alea's film, "Strawberry and Chocolate" is also informative.
Cuba's medical system has declined a good deal since the fall of the USSR and the end of it's subsidies to Cuba. Your presentation of the medical system may be out of date. My understanding is that Cuba doesn't produce the numbers and quality of doctors it once did, and foreigners who once traveled to Cuba for medical care look elsewhere now. The "Special Period" has been very difficult.
Of course, we live in a country with tremendous intolerance toward homosexuals and an obscenely expensive medical system to which far too few have access. Still, based on what I know about Cuba, I much prefer to live in the US.
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JanMichael Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-04 11:45 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. They're still sending doctors around the world, even now.
To Venezuela specifically and recently.

Yes the Soviet collapse has hurt but not as much as was expected, or at least that's the impression I have.
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Royal Observer Donating Member (168 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #14
60. Yeah but...
the regime stopped sending ballplayers and entertainers anywhere.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #60
62. Link please.


Its the US that denies visas to most Cuban performers. Cubans performers perform worldwide, except in the USA.

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Royal Observer Donating Member (168 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #62
63. I stand corrected
should read:Castro will send doctors, performers and ballplayers anywhere except the USA.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 10:10 AM
Response to Reply #11
42. Your understanding is wrong
Edited on Sun Dec-19-04 10:45 AM by Mika
Cuba is producing more doctors than ever. They have the highest Dr/patient ratio in the world. Cuban doctors graduate from medical school (and all grads from all studies, for that matter) with zero financial debt.

-

"Exiles" Reinaldo Arenas & Gutierrez-Alea are as trustworthy as Chalabi's fellow "exiles" - with the same motive.



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imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #42
52. Gutierrez isn't an exile. He's Castro's favored film maker.
and Arenas is dead. Read before you pass judgment.
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imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #42
53. Gutierrez-Alea deceased too, info on him and Arenas
Tomas Gutierrez-Alea is now deceased as well. Cuba and the world will miss his cinematic brilliance. Here is his website.

http://clubcultura.com/clubcine/clubcineastas/titon/


This is a piece from the Michigan Quarterly Review on Reinaldo Arenas published before his death in 1990. If you take time to read it, you will see he had a mixed history with Castro and the Cuban government--supported the revolution but later found himself imprisoned for "political subversion" and homosexuality. The author also discusses other explanations for Arenas' imprisonment.

http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=mqrarchive;cc=mqrarchive;sid=a0502ddcdc595c92edc986d35c260a77;rgn=full%20text;idno=ACT2080.0023.002;view=image;seq=00000084

To compare either of these men to Chalabi is obscene. Both were artists who loved their country passionately.
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imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #42
96. Memories of Underdevelopment
Tomas Gutierrez-Alea is the same film maker who directed the socialist classic "Memories of Underdevelopment." He also made the spectacular "La ultima cena"--in my view, the best film on slavery. his films were funded by the Cuban government. "Fresas and chocolate" is a wondeful film, funded by Castro yet critical of the governments treatment of homosexuals. Assessing the Castro government is not an easy task. The truth, I believe, doesn't lie in outright dismissal or eulogy.
Arenas became an exile, but reluctantly so. His work is much more critical of Castro than that of Gutierrez-Alea. He committed suicide in 1990. I believe it is very important to consider all voices, not just those whose point of view you want to hear.
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Minstrel Boy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-04 11:29 PM
Response to Original message
9. "all the crazy commie lefties"
oy...


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JanMichael Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-04 11:36 PM
Response to Original message
10. Comparing Cuba to the US is ludicris. Try Haiti perhaps.
"Castro's government arrests gays and throws them in prison."

Not sure how accurate that statement is. But, unless we've already forgotten this, the US has several states that have electorally denied Homosexuals of basic legal rights and benefits. Whoopie.

"Castro's government has "secret police" who arrest dissidents."

So do we.

"Castro himself has never stood in a democratic election."

That's patently false. Just because their system is different from our highly undemocratic system doesn't mean shit.

"Stop whitewashing the bastard just because he's opposed to another bastard."

Apples to oranges seem to dominate these assbackwards conversations.
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imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-04 11:38 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Cuba to Chile might be more appropriate
Edited on Sat Dec-18-04 11:41 PM by imenja
Haiti is the poorest nation in the hemisphere. Cuba, even under Batista, never had anything close to Haiti's level of poverty.

Cubans, however, have long compared themselves to Americans. They have done so ever since the nineteenth century, when the rest of Latin America looked to Britain and France as emblematic of "progress" and "civilization" (19th century terms).
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JanMichael Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-04 11:43 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. I was thinking islands but why not the Dominican Republic then?
And not a minerally rich large coastal nation.

IIRC it has had a similar history, lower literacy, and lower life expectancies.
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imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-04 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Both were export economies dominated by the US
Both Chile and Cuba are export societies dominated by the US until each had socialist revolutions of one kind or another (Chile's being electoral). Chile's economy is now more diverse than Cuba's, but I don't believe that was the case in 1959. An irony of Soviet domination in Cuba is that it further increased the island's reliance on sugar exports. Che's early dreams of promoting industry and creating a diversified economy were dashed by Soviet insistence that Cuba's role should be to provide sugar and serve as a beach-head in the Americas.
Cuba's standard of living before the revolution was actually among the highest in Latin America. The Dominican Republic is another country that is unusually poor, though not as bad as Haiti. Perhaps another agricultural nation would be appropriate, but an apt comparison doesn't come readily to mind.
The US has been enormously important in Cuba for a very long time. The revolution of 1959 was primarily anti-imperialist. Socialism emerged in subsequent years. The US continues to be a major factor in Cuba today because of exiles, the economic blockade, and Castro's own evocation of the US in his frequent and lengthy speeches.
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Disturbed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-04 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. Why the U.S. blockade on Cuba...
but not on any other country except the NK, which the U.S. also villifies?

The U.S. Govt. now and others have embraced many brutal dictators and propped up their regimes but have villified those leaders that are not kissing the Capitalist Ass.

Saddam was supported and coddled through his worst oppression of the Iraqi people by the U.S. When he got a bit too powerful the U.S pulled the plug.
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Slickriddles Donating Member (157 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 01:13 AM
Response to Reply #16
114. The blockade was US response to


The Castro government taking over sugar refineries, owned by US corporations, that wanted to gouge the government to refine its sugar. So for 40 years nothing from the US has been able to get to Cuba. The Blockade was an attempt to squash the Revolution. Didn't work.
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RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 02:48 AM
Response to Reply #12
153. here you go, chile compared to cuba
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Nadienne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #153
179. I dunno, sounds pretty biased,
and innacurate, or at the very least, misleading.

"The Marxist Allende had taken no time in instituting radical economic changes such as land reform and nationalizing business. These policies were initially popular with the poor but detested by the previous ruling elites and middle class. The policies also led to a nearly complete economic collapse, including a 60% inflation rate and plummeting production."

According to Noam Chomsky in Secrets, Lies and Democracy:

"A few days after victory, Nixon called in CIA Director Richard Helms, Kissinger and other for a meeting on Chile... As Helms reported in his notes, there were two points of view. The 'soft line' was, in Nixon's words, to 'make the economy scream.' The 'hard line' was simply to aim for a military coup. Our ambassador to Chile, Edward Korry,... was given the job of implementing the 'soft line.'"

In other words, Chile's economy didn't fail because of "Marxist Allende" but because of intervention from the US.

Why would the United States care about Chile?

From the same book:

" called for nationalization of major industries like coper mining, and for a policy of international independence - meaning that Chile wouldn't simply subordinate itself to the US but would take more of an independent path."
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #10
43. Cuba and AIDS
http://www.cbcfhealth.org/content/contentID/1537&relArticleDisplay=5
Cuba maintains the lowest HIV/AIDS prevalence in the Western Hemisphere -- 0.03% of the country's population is estimated to be HIV-positive, compared with 0.42% of the U.S. population



http://www.cbcfhealth.org/content/contentID/923
HIV/AIDS infection rates in the Caribbean are among the highest in the world second only to Sub-Saharan Africa.

As of December 1999, there were 360,000 adults and children living with HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean. By the end of the 2000, that number had grown to an estimated 390,000.

In the English-speaking Caribbean, HIV/AIDS is now the leading cause of death among men between the ages of 15 and 44 years.

In English-speaking Caribbean, 35% of HIV positive adults were women.

Approximately one out of every 300 people living in the US Virgin Islands is living with HIV/AIDS.
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 12:10 AM
Response to Original message
18. You have an odd definition of a problem.
Last time I checked, some people on a discussion board disagreeing with you about Fidel Castro doesnt qualify as a 'problem'. At least not a problem that anyone other than you cares about.
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Spiffarino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 12:28 AM
Response to Original message
20. I like this thread
Edited on Sun Dec-19-04 12:28 AM by Spiffarino
Look at us disagreeing...and we're all still here!

It's good to be on our side... :hug:
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 12:49 AM
Response to Original message
21. Would you rather live in Cuba today, or Haiti?
I would probably choose cuba between the two, just because i'd
likely be simply killed in american-assisted haiti.... at least
in a cuban prison, i could meditate.

Its a tough choice for a dissident sort of soul... what nation(s)
would be most tolerant and allow you to live?

In this regard, i too admire castro's perseverence in the face of
what the USA has done to destroy the other nations in central
america and turn them in to shit. His work is most admirable,
as far as authoritarians go.

That said, there is some way to go, but certainly not in working
with the filthy criminals of the US regime.
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American Tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 01:14 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. Once again, saying that Haiti is worse isn't saying much for Cuba.
Maybe it's just me, but I think I'd rather not be killed or imprisoned for political dissension.
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #22
41. The US has meddled with haiti, and not with castro's cuba
I only propose the two to contrast what the effects of US
democratization really are in populous carribean island republics.

I weigh myself which of the two, i would rather be in. I think i'd
be "suicided" in either place. That said, i'm no example of a typical
citizen of such places, and its unfair to consider that example, in
one sense, as i don't live in the US either for similar concerns.

The cannibal police state has gone too far, and is eating its
own babies. Bush's diet of dead soldier flesh is decidedly more
accelerated than castro's diet for imprisoning dissenters. If we
call every nonviolent drugs person imprisoned, as improsoned for
expressing their political right to free speech, the USA is far
more heinous than cuba in its per-capital prison rates.

Between the two, i hold the right to life most sacred, and that
castro is doing a better job of preserving his people's right to life,
suggests he's got something right in his approach.
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Grey Donating Member (933 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 02:57 AM
Response to Reply #21
27. Would you rather live in the usa or CUBA,
Edited on Sun Dec-19-04 03:44 AM by Grey
Trust me, I have lived in both and I will take Cuba first.
you just have no idea of the good Castro has done for his people.
If the usa had been given it's will, it would be another Haiti or Dominican Republic.

That was the plan,back when the Mob controled Havana. and I speak as a person that was born in the usa and moved to Canada at age 17, You could not pay me enough to move back to the usa, They have to drag me, kicking and screaming across the border just for weddings and funerals. My cousin Jane was unable to pay for her heart medicine and died in a safeway parking lot because of your 'wonderful health care'. In Cuba Health Care and University are FREE
Read the stats on doctors in Cuba, so many that they are able to loan out Doctors, Nurses and Teachers, referred to by the cia and fbi as cleverly disguised 'agent provocatures', to countries in South America.

You just have to wonder at these people, from Cuba, that have the time to sit on street corners and teach the Street Kids, that have to support their families, the art of adding and subtracting so they are not cheated by the north american tourist, out of a few pesos. And the class room is heart breaking, a few peices of chalk and a cement wall, or sidewalk.
Going into homes to teach pre-natel classes and child care to girls, to young to be parents,that know nothing else.
In Cuba no one goes homeless or starves, no one is fat,(well, almost on one) but they have a joy of living I wish I could convey to every one. The joy and sharing I experienced in Cuba was wonderful.
I just wish you could live there for a while and get to know the people, they are just so nice, not angels nor nearly perfect, but so nice. The music is pretty good too, and it's everywhere.

Ok, down off my soap box, thanks for listening.
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RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 02:53 AM
Response to Reply #27
154. An expatriate living in Cuba lives like a king
while the natives fight for scraps.
So speak for yourself, homeboy.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #154
166. You've never been there, so don't speak for Cubans
The "natives" don't fight for scraps. They share what little wealth they have. Fighting for scraps is what they had to do under Batista, and they grew tired of it. Cubans, post '59 revolution, formed a cooperative system that benifits all, equally. Their health care and education stats bear that out.



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RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #166
175. I don't live there but I've seen then brave shark-infested waters to come
to Miami, just to work minumum-wage jobs with no insurance.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #175
180. Apparently you are still unaware of all the people streaming to the U.S.
across deserts, rivers, canals, ocean water from OTHER COUNTRIES continually, around the clock every day, many, many of them dying in the process. Hundreds and hundreds a year.

There were links posted in this thread already pointing this out clearly. It's stupid to reiterate claims that only "fleeing" from Cuba involves any hardship and courage, when they ALL do it in trying to get here without being detected. ALL OF THEM.

From Tinoire's link in Late Breaking News, a story that Bush has initiated sending the U.S. Coast Guard to Ecuador to destroy the boats of people at sea preemptively killing their chances of reaching the U.S.:
Migrants worldwide increasingly risk travel on leaky, often-unsafe boats to reach the United States - frequently via Guatemala and Mexico.

Poverty and inequality compel them.
In Ecuador, the economy nearly collapsed in 1999. And as impoverished peasants demonstrated against worsening living conditions, the government adopted the U.S. dollar as Ecuador's currency in an effort to bring stability. The dollar helped banks. But prices shot up, hurting the poor majority. Jobs that pay livable wages were ever-more scarce.

The result: Tens of thousands of Ecuadorans left for Europe and the United States - many as illegal migrants. Ecuador's government estimates nearly a fourth of its 13 million people are gone.

Now Ecuador, like low-income countries worldwide, relies more and more on money sent home from migrant fathers, mothers, sons and daughters who work in faraway cities.
(snip/...)
They're trying to block people in boats from as far away as Ecuador from reaching the U.S.



http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36~11676~2606736,00.html

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=102&topic_id=1087715#1088963

You are either unaware or ignoring the fact the U.S. is turning back many, many Haitians who are desperate to get away from REAL THREATS TO THEIR LIVES in Haiti. They are being sent right back into hell.

You are either unaware or ignoring the fact that Dominican citizens get in their own rickety boats and try like hell to reach, through shark-infested waters, to reach Puerto Rico.

You are either unaware or ignoring the fact that the whole world doesn't revolve around the city at the south end of Florida, and it's rightwing "exiles" trying to make policy for the other Cuban-Americans, and trying to dictate foreign policy for the rest of us.
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Grey Donating Member (933 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 03:30 AM
Response to Reply #21
28. Would you rather live in the usa or Cuba?
Edited on Sun Dec-19-04 03:35 AM by Grey
Edited for lack of grammer.

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amber dog democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #28
31. I might choose Cuba
i prefer left wing totolitrian secular states to theocratic right wing dictatorships - if the more dire predictions on the political culture in the US proove true.
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Porcupine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 01:19 AM
Response to Original message
23. I've met torture victims from Central America...
Cubans are far better off. One guy from Guatamala had been hanged and cut down repeatedly. You could see the scarring on his neck had a rope pattern.

The U.S. has vilified Cuba while regimes with full U.S. backing starved, tortured, executed and dissapeared their citizens. For many of the residents of Mexico and Central America the Cuban standard of living would be a significant step up.

Castro may be an dictator and a tyrant but Cuba's people eat and sleep under roofs. They also do not have to fear being shot by their nations army flying U.S. built and financed helicopters.

Food, medical care and housing beats death squads, starvation and helicopter gunships any day. This isn't apology; it's reality.
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imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 02:03 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. Comparing torture
Many of the governments in Central American have been abhorrent. Since the peace accords, things are quieter but certainly not good enough. I've never liked the idea that since there exists a more repressive government somewhere on earth, that justifies restrictions and human rights violations elsewhere. Abu Graib, we were told, is not nearly as bad as Saddam's torture chambers. I'm grateful I don't have the kind of personal experience with any of these forms of torture or political repression that would allow me to make an absolute determination about which is worse. Ultimately, the Cuban people are the only ones who can rightfully decide whether they prefer Castro to another government. Unfortunately, they aren't allowed that choice.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 01:49 AM
Response to Original message
24. A problem for whom?
Does not being worried about Castro make me a "crazy commie lefty"?
Let the Cubans worry about Castro.

Do you think Joe Sixpack sits around and thinks about Castro while
he's downing a few Buds(tm). Does he vote for the guy he thinks
hates Castro the most?
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imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 02:49 AM
Response to Reply #24
26. Some do
Edited on Sun Dec-19-04 02:50 AM by imenja
A number of Cuban Americans vote based on who hates Castro most. Look at the vote totals for Miami-Dade county.
I imagine the poster is concerned about a moral double standard: opposing political repression and human rights violations by some regimes and not others. Everything isn't about votes.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #26
33. Most don't.
Having been Joe Sixpack myself and having hung out with them
all of my life, I can tell you that most of them don't give a
crap about it one way or another. And they are right, it's an
issue for Cubans in Cuba to deal with. When I see signs of
massive social unrest in Cuba or the rest of the World starts
ostracizing the Castro regiume I will take notice, but not
before.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 09:35 AM
Response to Reply #26
36. Poll: Cuban-American interests are local - not Castro

Poll: Cuban-Americans focus is local, not on Cuba or Castro
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/world/cuba/6269237.htm

--

Poll: Americans don't support Cuban Sanctions
http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=770


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imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #36
50. Castro is a factor in Fla Politics
That may be, but Cuban-Americans vote Republican and their principle reason for doing so is opposition to Castro. They still hold the Democrats responsible for JFK's failure in the Bay of Pigs. Dade county went Dem by a fairly slim margin of 100,000 out of 800,000 votes. Everything but the presence of Cuban Americans would suggest a strong electoral victory for Democrats--a dense urban area and a population that polls liberal on many issues.


Anti-Castro sentiment is a big political factor in Fla. Anyone living in South Florida or tries to get votes here will tell you that. Kerry even started talking about what a tyrant Castro was while he was campaigning here. Elian Gonzalez is the major reason Janet Reno could never get elected here. Because of it's importance in Fla politics and the large number of electoral votes at stake here, US Cuban relations becomes a national issue as well. Do you think it was an accident that a few months before the election Bush imposed new restrictions for travel and sending money to Cuba? The neo-cons make noise about getting rid of Castro, but I imagine it's just that--noise to curry favor with the conservative Cuban American vote.

I'm well aware that the majority of Americans oppose the embargo, myself included. It makes no sense given that the world is full of tyrants, many backed by the US. Moreover, it's been proved a failure in it's intended goal of getting rid of Fidel. The very reason we still have an embargo against Cuba is the Cuban-American vote. They
wield power in far greater excess than their numbers. They run the city of Miami. Of course, there are Cubans, especially the younger generation who feel differently on the subject. The anti-Castro forces, however, are the principle power block.

Wherever you stand on the issue, there is no disputing the fact that Fidel Castro is a factor in American politics.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #50
73. A stark minority controls policy against the will of the majority?
Edited on Sun Dec-19-04 07:53 PM by Mika


That a stark minority controls the policy against the will of the majority in the USA doesn't bode well in an argument of democratic representation, re US/Cuba policy.


In Cuba things run differently. Democratically.


Cubans wanted universal health care for all Cubans, and they have it. They pushed for government that represented their ideals, and organized and formed infrastructure that enabled Cubans to do so. Cubans wanted universal education for all Cubans, and they have it. They pushed for government that represented their ideals, organized and formed infrastructure that enabled Cubans to do so, and they have it. Cubans want to assist the world's poor with doctors and educators, instead of gun ship diplomacy.. and that is what they have done WITH their government, not at odds with their government.

No one can say with any credibility that universal education and universal health care is forced on Cubans


Cubans want normalization between the US and Cuba, and they have thrown their doors open to us, but, it is our US government that prevents what the majority of Americans want their government to do - normalize relations. Worse yet, the US government forbids and has criminalized travel to Cuba by Americans - something that Cuba hasn't done.


--

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

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

Electoral candidates are not chosen by small committees of political parties. No political party, including the Communist Party, is permitted to nominate or campaign for any given candidates.









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imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #73
82. I agree that the minority has an unhealthy hold on politics
I have no dispute with you there. It's an unfortunate reality of Florida politics. But the idea that Cuba is run democratically is wholly absurd. What definition of democracy to you use? Shouldn't political choice enter into it somewhere?
I can understand and share a number of points of admiration about the Cuban system: a more equal distribution of income (though the dual dollar economy has undermined that greatly); adequate medical care, good education, and support for culture and the arts. But democratic Cuba is not. Why is it necessary to distort the record rather than simply point to those aspects you respect? There are some positive aspects to the Cuban system, but it is not nirvana. Lack of freedom of political expression and democracy are two great concerns. Go to the websites of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Americas Watch, or the Inter-American Council on Human Rights to see evidence for yourself.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 09:11 PM
Response to Reply #82
84. Because I have seen it with my own eyes
Edited on Sun Dec-19-04 09:12 PM by Mika
I can understand and share a number of points of admiration about the Cuban system: a more equal distribution of income (though the dual dollar economy has undermined that greatly); adequate medical care, good education, and support for culture and the arts. But democratic Cuba is not. Why is it necessary to distort the record rather than simply point to those aspects you respect? There are some positive aspects to the Cuban system, but it is not nirvana.



Because I've seen Cuban election season with my own eyes. I've attended nomination meetings - open to all candidates, and open town hall-like. I've seen the elections, and the paper ballots counted - in public. You really need to rethink your position that Cubans formed a revolution against US tyranny w/no democracy, and then just sat back and allowed it to be taken away again afterwards. They didn't. Castro would be gone in a New York minute if the Cuban people wanted to oust him. Cubans are as activist a native population as i have seen in the Caribbean and the Latin Americas.

Please read the links I posted in post #35 http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=104&topic_id=2843382#2844417

Get the book -Democracy in Cuba - the 1997-97 elections-


There is a working parliamentary system in Cuba. Castro doesn't wield much real power. He's a loved and respected figurehead and spokesperson for Cuba and the revolution. Ricardo Alarcon is the person with the real power in Cuba. He's the president of the parliament (National Assembly). The various Cuban ministry heads are also popular (as well as elected).


Its just a darned shame that Americans don't use their freedom to access to alternative sources if info (as in - non US government) to learn a little more than the superficial and easy to find cold war/red baiting propaganda offers (like Fox news and Rev Moon propaganda sources).


Don't you wonder why the US gov doesn't want Americans to go to Cuba to see for themselves? If we could, we would learn that we have been shamefully lied to.


Listen. I used to believe most of the stuff I heard and read in the US media. until I went there myself. I've been there many times. I've never said that Cuba is some kind of nirvana. Cuba is poor, to be sure, and the government and civilians marshall their meager resources efficiently and fairly. BUT, Cubans are rich in their dedication to their sovereignty, each other, their Cubaia culture, their children's future, and their world. Castro is just a small piece to the Cuban puzzle.

:hi:



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imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #84
87. I haven't been to Cuba
but I've read much more than US media sources. I'm a historian and teach general survey courses on Latin American history. My own research is not on Cuba, though I wrote a masters thesis on labor in early 20th century Cuba. I've read a number of historical accounts of the Revolution. Jorge Dominguez writes about elections on the local and state level, but my understanding is that Castro himself does not face election. Is that a misconception? I also have a number of friends who have traveled to Cuba and done research there, all of whom think fairly favorably toward Castro but acknowledge problems with the regime. I thank you for the reference and I will read it.
In South Florida, I've spoken to a number of exiles, including a student who shared with me the memory of his father-in-law who committed suicide after wrapping himself in the Cuban flag. My own trajectory of thought on the Revolution has been the opposite of yours. As a socialist, I did and continue to admire much about the Revolutionary government. But over time, and after speaking to a number of dissidents in South Florida, I have modified my views and taken much more seriously the question of human rights. I am always open to new information and evidence, however, so I will read what you suggest. I also hope you look at the human rights sources available online.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #87
95. For your info
Edited on Sun Dec-19-04 10:23 PM by Mika


"my understanding is that Castro himself does not face election. Is that a misconception?"


Yes, it is a misconception/fabrication of anti Cuba propaganda. Mr Castro holds an elected seat in the Cuban National Assembly (the Parliament). He represents district #7 in the city of Santiago de Cuba (his long time family's home town). He is loved there. There were candidates who ran against him, knowing that they had less chance than Nader ;). From there parliamentary procedures take over (as in; no direct elections for head of state, like the UK and Canada and most other parliamentary systems of government). Castro, among others, is selected from the body of the Assembly to be Head of State. Who else could represent Cuba with more knowledge and proven dedication to Cuba than Mr Castro? Out of reverence, Mr Castro has been reelected to that position since 1976, but he does not wield any sort of dictatorial power - there would be another revolution if he did so without the agreement of the Cuban people.

http://members.allstream.net/~dchris/CubaFAQ008.html

--


Keep in mind that the Cuba Transition Project, run out of the University of Miami's Casa Bacardi, proscribes a complete privatization of all of Cuba's infrastructure - health care, education, manufacturing, sugar, agriculture, etc, etc, - just like "Bremmer's 100 constitutional laws" in Iraq. Cubans in Cuba know that this is the plan being formulated for them in offices inhabited by Batista era "exiles" and their progeny in Miami and Washington. Cubans in Cuba know that the plan for Iraq is similar to the plan for Cuba.

Do you think they want that?


US sponsored "dissidents" are as wanted in Cuba as a bad case of VD.


Castro would be long gone if the US hadn't attacked and terrorized the Cuban people so. In the face of US aggression and threats they will stick with winners as their head of state, the Castro brothers, as long as they need to and can.



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imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #95
98. Of course they don't want that
I know someone who takes part in the U of Miami project. I consider it absurd. I can't imagine that when Castro finally dies, Cuban nationals will accept a wholesale government and economic project imposed by exiles. I also agree that Castro would have been long gone if not for the opposition by the US. That he has managed to survive is certainly a credit to him.
One doesn't need to be a rabid capitalist to see flaws in the Cuban government. You have set up a false dichotomy. I appreciate the info on the elections. I hope you will read some of the sources and see some of the films that I have mentioned. You will particularly appreciate the artistic works.
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RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 02:56 AM
Response to Reply #36
155. I don't know where you live Mika, but I wouldn't believe those polls
It's all about Cuba for the Cuban-American voters in Miami.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #155
168. I live in Miami
"It's all about Cuba for the Cuban-American voters in Miami."

No it isn't. Maybe so for the older generation, but the offspring of the immigrants are primarily concerned with their own condition in the USA. The new generation of Cuban immigrants seek the normalization of relations between the US & Cuba, because they understand, first hand, that the US sanctions and threats do nothing for the good people of Cuba.... they are economic migrants like most migrants from the Caribbean and Latin Americas.



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RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #168
177. If you live in Miami, then surely you've seen on the Viva Bush stickers on
cars owned by Cubans.



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Tinoire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #177
182. Excellent point.

Hatred of Left wing governments is very right-wingish . Of course Castro-haters are shouting "Viva Bush". Right-wingers have a revulsion to the socialist goals of providing equitable healthcare, education, social aid to everyone regardless of social/financial "class".

I would find it an anomaly for Castro-haters not to support Bush since Bush is so similar to Batista.

Excellent point about Castro-haters supporting Bush :thumbsup: Excellent.
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 06:35 AM
Response to Original message
29. I will not be an apologist for Castro, or for the regime in China --
tyranny is wrong, whether left, right, or through any form of rule by fear and brutality over the powerless.
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Cuban_Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 08:35 AM
Response to Reply #29
32. Amen, DMM!
I'll not otherwise become involved in this thread, except to say 'Thank you!' for such brief eloquence!

:thumbsup::hug::yourock:
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 09:55 AM
Response to Reply #29
40. Apples and oranges
You forgot to mention the tyranny of America.

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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 09:29 AM
Response to Original message
34. that's some heavy-handed framing
"Castro loving" - is that pointing out something where Castro/Cuba is better then the US?

"crazy commie lefties" - is that anyone who points out something where Castro/Cuba is better then the US?

"ideological march" - is that pointing out something where Castro/Cuba is better then the US?

"whitewashing" - is that pointing out something where Castro/Cuba is better then the US?
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 09:30 AM
Response to Original message
35. Ignorance & anti Cuba propaganda is the problem

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

    Learn from Cuba
    http://www.twnside.org.sg/title/learn.htm
    It is in some sense almost an anti-model, according to Eric Swanson, the programme manager for the Banks 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 Banks 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 Banks Vice President for Development Policy, who visited Cuba privately several months ago to see for himself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    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.


    --

    Its a pity that in America (the "freeist" country in the world) ignorance is abound.

    Educate yourself, and wonder just why the US government criminalizes American travel to Cuba. What is there that the US gov doesn't want Americans to see? I'll tell you - Cuban sovereignty and the fact that it is all Cubans who run Cuba, not Castro, not the USA.



    Here are some of the major parties in Cuba. The union parties hold the majority of seats in the Assembly.

    http://www.gksoft.com/govt/en/cu.html
    * Partido Comunista de Cuba (PCC) {Communist Party of Cuba}
    * Partido Demcrata Cristiano de Cuba (PDC) {Christian Democratic Party of Cuba} - Oswaldo Paya's Catholic party
    * Partido Solidaridad Democrtica (PSD) {Democratic Solidarity Party}
    * Partido Social Revolucionario Democrtico Cubano {Cuban Social Revolutionary Democratic Party}
    * Coordinadora Social Demcrata de Cuba (CSDC) {Social Democratic Coordination of Cuba}
    * Unin Liberal Cubana {Cuban Liberal Union}



    Plenty of info on this long thread,
    http://www.democraticunderground.com/cgi-bin/duforum/duboard.cgi?az=show_thread&om=6300&forum=DCForumID70


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

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

    Electoral candidates are not chosen by small committees of political parties. No political party, including the Communist Party, is permitted to nominate or campaign for any given candidates.


    --

    Representative Fidel Castro was elected to the National Assembly as a representative of District #7 Santiago de Cuba.
    He is one of the elected 607 representatives in the Cuban National Assembly. It is from that body that the head of state is nominated and then elected. Raul Castro, Carlos Large, and Ricardo Alarcon and others were among the nominated last year. President Castro has been elected to that position since 1976.

    http://www.bartleby.com/65/do/Dorticos.html

    Dortics Torrado, Osvaldo
    191983, president of Cuba (195976). A prosperous lawyer, he participated in Fidel Castros revolutionary movement and was imprisoned (1958). He escaped and fled to Mexico, returning to Cuba after Castros triumph (1959). As minister of laws (1959) he helped to formulate Cuban policies. He was appointed president in 1959. Intelligent and competent, he wielded considerable influence. In 1976 the Cuban government was reorganized, and Castro assumed the title of president; Dortics was named a member of the council of state.


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

    You can read a short version of the Cuban system here,
    http://members.allstream.net/~dchris/CubaFAQDemocracy.html

    Or a long and detailed version here,
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0968508405/qid=1053879619/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2/102-8821757-1670550?v=glance&s=books




    Viva Cuba!



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    The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 11:31 AM
    Response to Reply #35
    45. It's the same for tibet too. They are better off now under chinese
    liberation of the people of tibet.

    This according to a study done by the chinese (of course) but it sounds similar to the above.

    See:

    http://www.china.org.cn/e-white/


    ---And NO I am not attacking (or defending) Castro, just pointing out how some things can look good to anyone depending on the frame of reference AND that 'facts' (if you will) can show any country as improving over time (In this case, it seemed that the tibetan people were really screwed over until the chinese saved em):

    http://www.china.org.cn/e-white/20011108/2.htm

    -- Backward social system and harsh economic exploitation.

    The society of old Tibet under feudal serfdom was even more dark and backward than in Europe in the Middle Ages. The three major estate-holders -- officials, nobles and upper-ranking monks in monasteries -- accounted for less than five percent of Tibet's total population but owned all the farmland, pastures, forests, mountains and rivers, and the majority of the livestock. The serfs and slaves, accounting for more than 95 percent of the population, owned no land or other means of production. They had no personal freedom, had to depend totally on the manors of estate-holders for livelihood or act as their family slaves from generation to generation. They were subjected to the three-fold exploitation of corvee labor, taxes and high-interest loans and their lives were no more than struggles for existence. According to incomplete statistics, there were over 200 kinds of taxes levied by the Kasha (the former local government of Tibet) alone. Slaves had to contribute more than 50 percent or even 70 to 80 percent of their labor free to the Kasha and estate-holders, and over 60 percent of the farmers and herdsmen were burdened with similar high-interest loans.


    --Rigid hierarchy and savage political oppression.

    The "13-Article Code" and "16-Article Code" of old Tibet divided the people into three classes and nine ranks, enshrining social and political inequality between the different ranks in law. These codes explicitly stated that the life of a person of the highest rank of the upper class was literally worth his weight in gold, while that of a person of the lowest rank of the lower class was worth only the price of a straw rope. Serfs could be sold, transferred, given away, mortgaged or exchanged by their owners, who had the power over their births, deaths and marriages. Male or female serfs belonging to different owners had to pay a "redemption fee" if they wished to marry, and their children were doomed to be serfs for life. Serf-owners could punish their serfs at will. The punishments included flogging, cutting off their hands or feet, gouging out their eyes, chopping off their ears or tongues, pulling out their tendons, drowning them and throwing them down from cliffs.

    A lot more at the link
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    Carl Brennan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 04:39 PM
    Response to Reply #35
    54. Fine work. Demonizing Castro
    is simply an attempt to destroy a good example of a country not dominated by predatory capitalism.
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    RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 03:04 AM
    Response to Reply #54
    156. Yes, but there is no freedom of anything there, so WTF?
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 09:01 AM
    Response to Reply #156
    169. Not true
    Right.

    Castro forces good education and health care on Cubans, forces doctors and educators to heal and teach, because everyone knows that nobody wants such things anywhere, especially in Cuba.

    <sarcasm off>

    :crazy:

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    RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 11:38 AM
    Response to Reply #169
    178. What good is education and health care is all you're eating is
    Edited on Tue Dec-21-04 11:39 AM by RagingInMiami
    rice and beans.
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    Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 05:02 PM
    Response to Reply #35
    59. Gracias Mika!
    Yo estaba esperando para Ud.

    :hi:
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    RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 03:10 AM
    Response to Reply #35
    158. Cuba was fucked before the revolution
    Cuba has been fucked since the revolution.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 09:02 AM
    Response to Reply #158
    170. Obviously you don't read linked articles and studies.
    Why bother, you know all there is to know about Cuba.. learning from Miami's "exiles" and all. :eyes:

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    NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 09:36 AM
    Response to Original message
    37. Did you forget it was the Republicans who convinced America to love...
    ...Saddam and Osama during the 1980's? Perhaps you are not old enough to remember or maybe you have just plum forgotten? Either way, you know now. Why not start some threads about that if you get a hankering to discuss who has supported the worst monsters in America?

    Don

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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 09:48 AM
    Response to Reply #37
    38. Good point. Also...
    Edited on Sun Dec-19-04 10:18 AM by Mika
    It is always easier to demonize one man as an evildoer than to recognize that it is the Cuban people, together, who fought for Cuba's sovereignty - not just Castro.


    It is the Cuban people, together, who built their world class universal education system - not just Castro.

    It is the Cuban people, together, who built their world class universal health care system - not just Castro.


    It is the dedication to their revolution by nearly all Cubans that has built what they have - in the face of US aggression and extraterritorial sanctions.


    Comparing Batista's regime to the current system is valid, because Cubans overwhelmingly overthrew the US gov supported (and US organized crime supported) blood soaked henchman Batista's brutal regime. Cubans have demonstrated that they are quite capable of overthrowing monstrous murderous regimes, and they would do so again if they felt the need to do so. Cubans have also demonstrated that they are quite capable of of defending their country against US aggression and invasion - and they have done so.


    If Cubans overwhelmingly objected to their system of government they would change it, as they have numerous times in the past - obviously, they don't now.
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    RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 03:06 AM
    Response to Reply #38
    157. Cause the ones who object are all in Miami and Union City and Tampa
    And Los Angeles And Chicago and New York, etc.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 09:05 AM
    Response to Reply #157
    171. And the ones who support the revolution stayed in Cuba
    That's about 13,000,000 Cubans in Cuba.

    A few hundred thousand Cubans in the USA (most are economic migrants).


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    Dangerman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 09:54 AM
    Response to Original message
    39. All dictators are evil.
    I am tired about some of you guys loving Castro and all that talk about everybody hated Saddam because he's not a human being.

    I tell you the truth, ALL dictators, US supported or otherwise, brutal or otherwise, are all evil. But the regime that is more worse than Saddam or Castro are the damn Saudi Royals!

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    rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 11:24 AM
    Response to Reply #39
    44. who "loves" Castro?
    what makes you think "some of us guys" love Castro?
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    indigobusiness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 11:32 AM
    Response to Original message
    46. And Cuban children graduate high school with an equivalent of 3yrs college
    Edited on Sun Dec-19-04 11:45 AM by indigobusiness
    in America.
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    Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 11:37 AM
    Response to Original message
    47. Gee, sounds almost identical to America these days...
    Except for the gay thing, but I expect that to change as well.

    No 'secret police' yet, but Green party officials had been barred from flights and protesters cordoned off to their own special area, miles away from the repuke events...

    Most leaders seem to be the bastards.
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    durutti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 03:40 PM
    Response to Original message
    51. Did you buy Powell's UN presentation? You seem like the type.
    Given the huge red, white, and blue monster living just 90 miles from Cuba's shores that has constantly tried to destroy the country over the past 46 years, it's remarkable how democratic and respectful of human rights Cuba is.

    I could write more, but I fear it would be wasted effort. My advice is to read widely on the topic, rather than just settling for the platitudes of U.S. propaganda outlets.
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    Bush was AWOL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 04:43 PM
    Response to Original message
    55. Plus, most Cubans that have lived under Castro
    don't like him.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 04:57 PM
    Response to Reply #55
    56. Link please!
    "most Cubans that have lived under Castro don't like him. <--Posted by Bush was AWOL





    Please provide a link that reports such, because in year 2000 90+% were loyal to President Castro and the Cuban revolution.


    CIA: Most Cubans loyal to homeland
    http://members.allstream.net/~dchris/CubaFAQ019.html
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    Bush was AWOL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 05:00 PM
    Response to Reply #56
    58. I should say most Cubans I've come across don't like him
    I've got family friends who are Cuban and they hate Castro. Most of their friends I've spoken to hate Castro...and they say that that is the feeling in Cuba, but many are afraid to be outspoken.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 05:29 PM
    Response to Reply #58
    61. So, no link.
    You're using anecdotes, and posting them as facts.


    I've been to Cuba many times. Most, but not all, Cubans revere Mr. Castro as the revolutionary war hero that he is. He put his life on the line doing so. Led the charges into battle. He led the movement in late 1950's that loosed the shackles of US imperialism on Cuba and led the army that repelled a US invasion a few years later, he put his life on the line once again & led the charges into battle. Cubans they treat him as so. A hero to Cubaia.


    Americans need to understand that as a reality.




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    K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 04:58 PM
    Response to Reply #55
    57. You mean most cubans who have left cuba dont like him.
    Not a particularly surprising statistic.
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    Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 06:55 PM
    Response to Original message
    64. Cuba is a Communist hell hole!
    Read what Amnesty International has to say about his "people's paradise":

    Cuba

    Covering events from January - December 2002

    REPUBLIC OF CUBA
    Head of state and government: Fidel Castro Ruz
    Death penalty: retentionist
    International Criminal Court: not signed

    A number of initiatives by unofficial organizations in Cuba called for greater openness and respect for human rights in the country. The authorities largely ignored these efforts, although there were some incidents of harassment of those involved. In February a busload of youths crashed a bus into the Mexican embassy, apparently in search of asylum. The incident sparked a number of apparently pre-emptive arrests of dissidents, with the result that at the end of 2002 there were more prisoners of conscience than at any point during the previous year. New death sentences were handed down although the unofficial moratorium on executions appeared to remain in place. The embargo by the USA against Cuba continued to contribute to a climate in which fundamental rights were denied.



    <snip>

    Prisoners of conscience

    Limitations on freedom of expression, association and assembly remained codified in Cuban law. However, a decline in numbers of prisoners of conscience over the last several years was taken by some observers as an indication that repression of dissidents was waning. Several prisoners of conscience were released during 2002, including Juan Jos Moreno Reyes, Vladimiro Roca Antnez and Oscar Elas Biscet, apparently supporting this view.

    However, there were more new detentions of prisoners of conscience in 2002, showing clearly the authorities continuing use of harsh measures to stifle potential internal dissent. In December Oscar Elas Biscet was redetained with a number of other activists as they took part in a discussion group on human rights.

    Crackdown after Mexican embassy incident
    On 27 February a busload of young men crashed into the grounds of the Mexican embassy in Havana. After several days, Havana police raided the embassy and took them into custody. Several of the younger participants were released, but at the end of 2002,
    15 of them reportedly remained in detention.

    The authorities reaction to the incident was harsh. Two Reuters journalists were reportedly beaten by police while trying to cover the events. A sweep of the neighbourhood during the disturbances resulted in several hundred arrests. Most of those detained were soon released, but there was a separate round-up of known dissidents, a significant number of whom were still in detention at the end of 2002. Ten of those detained were prisoners of conscience. Five more activists who had been detained in the days before the incident were also considered prisoners of conscience. None of the 15 had been officially charged or tried by the end of 2002.

    A number of these prisoners of conscience, along with other detainees, went on hunger strike in late August to protest against their continuing detention without trial. The health of prisoner of conscience Leonardo Miguel Bruzn Avila deteriorated sharply before he was transferred to a military hospital in early November.
    On 4 March, 12 dissidents were allegedly beaten and detained by state security officers and paramilitaries in a hospital in Ciego de Avila, where they were visiting a colleague who had been beaten during an earlier demonstration. They were still in detention without trial at the end of 2002. One of the detainees, Juan Carlos Gonzlez Leyva, is blind and was subjected to severe conditions which reportedly aggravated his high blood pressure and other medical problems....

    more: http://web.amnesty.org/report2003/cub-summary-eng

    :puke::grr:



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    bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 07:04 PM
    Response to Reply #64
    66. I guess the USA is a hellhole too then:
    UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
    Head of state and government: George W. Bush
    Death penalty: retentionist
    International Criminal Court: signed

    More than 600 foreign nationals most arrested during the military conflict in Afghanistan were detained without charge or trial or access to counsel or family members in the US naval base in Guantnamo Bay, Cuba. The USA refused to recognize them as prisoners of war or allow their status to be determined by a competent tribunal as required under the Geneva Conventions. There were concerns about the situation of others taken into US custody outside the USA, some of whom were held in undisclosed locations. Many of the 1,200 foreign nationals detained in the USA during investigations into the 11 September 2001 attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center were also deprived of safeguards under international law, as were two US nationals held incommunicado in military custody in the USA as enemy combatants. Death sentences continued to be imposed and carried out under state and federal law. There were reports of police brutality, deaths in custody and ill-treatment in prisons and jails.

    http://web.amnesty.org/report2003/Usa-summary-eng
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    Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 07:20 PM
    Response to Reply #66
    67. Not even going to attempt to refute such an absurd comparison.
    :eyes:
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    bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 07:30 PM
    Response to Reply #67
    68. Did you read it? Did you compare it with the one about Cuba?
    What's absurd is for the US to be ragging on Cuba about human rights.
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    Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 07:42 PM
    Response to Reply #68
    70. Yes, I read it.
    They don't even COMPARE in terms of gross, everday denial of human rights!

    :eyes:
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    amber dog democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 01:03 AM
    Response to Reply #70
    113. I fear we are turning into something far worse.
    I might trade Cuba for a proto fascist theocracy in the making.
    I wonder if they are not more honest about their pretensions.

    I am coming to see Fidel as some thing like Tito.

    Bottom line Fidel is better than the Chimp.
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    Djinn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 10:19 PM
    Response to Reply #70
    137. yeah I guess it's OK
    because the US worst human rights abuses are inflicted on non citizens - please explain the status of the Gitmo detainees - who been there for up to three years without charge.

    Amnesty Internationals views on the US are VERY similar to their viwes on Cuba.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 07:35 PM
    Response to Reply #64
    69. Support for violence?
    In February a busload of youths crashed a bus into the Mexican embassy



    I guess that we should support criminals who hijack vehicles and crash them thru our embassy gates too then. :eyes:

    The US offers over 26,000 LEGAL immigration visas per year. The US interests section does the required background search. Why didn't this group use the legal avenues to immigrate? Maybe they didn't qualify for legal immigration to any country, due to a violent criminal background. Hmmmmm.





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    Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 07:43 PM
    Response to Reply #69
    72. What the hell does that have to do with the price of tea in China???
    :wtf:
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 07:57 PM
    Response to Reply #72
    74. Its from your AI link
    Edited on Sun Dec-19-04 08:02 PM by Mika
    Statements like the one you posted from AI just undermines any credibility of AI, if they want us to support their position that violent hijackers who injure people while ramming the gates of an embassy represent "Castro's repression". BTW, it was the Mexican government that demanded the violent bus hijackers/gate crashers removal from their embassy in Cuba, because they had no legitimate claim of asylum - even before they hijacked a bus w/passengers and rammed the embassy gates, injuring Mexican personnel and Cuban bus passengers.


    Why didn't the US grant them visas if they had legitimate asylum claims?






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    Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 08:09 PM
    Response to Reply #74
    75. AI as more credibility in the tip of their little finger...
    ... than Fidel Castro and his authoritarian regime has in its collective body.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 08:16 PM
    Response to Reply #75
    77. So you support violent hijacking for people seeking illegal asylum?
    I support legal and peaceful means (for which there are many for Cubans) over illegal, violent and injurious means. AI supports the latter in this case, and, in doing so, they lose their credibility on this issue. Hypocrisy abounds regarding AI and Cuba.



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    Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 08:24 PM
    Response to Reply #77
    78. Did I say that?
    Edited on Sun Dec-19-04 08:24 PM by Padraig18
    I'll not play your straw man in this absurd line of 'argument'.

    :eyes:
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 08:32 PM
    Response to Reply #78
    79. I guess not. But, as to AI's credibility re Cuba..
    .. near zero.


    (Sorry about the strawman. :hi: )


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    Djinn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 10:25 PM
    Response to Reply #78
    138. it's not a straw man
    you used an incident (or AI did you posted it) in which people injured others while committing an illegal act in Cuba attempting to gain asylum with Mexico - Mexican officials said they weren't eligible (not Cuba) and asked for them to be removed - they were arrested because of their actions - illegal, dangerous and injurious actions - as you would be if you pulled the same stunt in the USA
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    Must_B_Free Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 07:03 PM
    Response to Original message
    65. ahem
    Edited on Sun Dec-19-04 07:06 PM by Must_B_Free




    http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2004/12/17/cuba-usmissions041217.html

    U.S., Cuba trade billboard barbs
    Last Updated Sat, 18 Dec 2004 10:55:29 EST

    HAVANA - Cuba put up a number of large billboards in front of the U.S. mission in Havana on Friday showing photos of abused Iraqi prisoners retaliation for a contentious Christmas display set up by the mission's American officials.

    The photos show bloodied and hooded prisoners at Abu Ghraib in Iraq, along with a swastika and the word "fascists" in red letters.
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    imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 07:42 PM
    Response to Reply #65
    71. How does injustice in one place excuse it in another?
    How many people have to face political imprisonment before it matters? How many lives must be lost before we care? How do injustice and human rights violations in one part of the world excuse it in another? Abu Graib, we are told, is not as bad as Saddam's torture prisons. Castro, some imply, is not as bad as the US government. Perhaps. I am very glad I don't have the kind of personal experience that would allow me to make that determination. One thing I know, however, is that appeals for human rights must be universal if they are to have meaning. The lives of Cuban dissidents are no less valuable than Iraqis. Murder, torture, political repession, and summary executions are acceptable no where--not in Abu Graib, Egypt, Central America, Chile, US prisons, or in Cuba.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 08:10 PM
    Response to Reply #71
    76. "The lives of Cuban dissidents are no less valuable than Iraqis"
    Edited on Sun Dec-19-04 08:11 PM by Mika
    "The lives of Cuban dissidents are no less valuable than Iraqis"


    I guess that you then equate Chalabi's Iraqi exile "dissidents" {who lied and bilked the US taxpayers with more propaganda than you can shake a stick at} with the US paid and propped-up Cuban "dissidents" {who also lie for profit} on both sides of the Gulfstream.

    What about the 100,000+ Iraqi civilian lives lost because of liars like Chalabi and US henchmen who used their propaganda-for-profit?

    WHAT ABOUT THEIR RIGHT TO LIVE?

    The Miamicuban "exiles' have the same goals for themselves and Cuba that Chalabi has/had for himself and his cadre and Iraq.


    Leave Cuba the fuck alone. It is up to Cubans IN CUBA to determine their future.






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    imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 08:33 PM
    Response to Reply #76
    80. You obviously didn't think about what I wrote
    I excuse murder no where. Why do you? How many deaths can a government take before it matters? If the police should pick you up and execute you tomorrow, perhaps we shouldn't care because you're only one person?

    Does the fact that the US funds dissidents in Cuba deligitimate all expression of opposition there? Do you actually imagine that Cubans aren't capable of formulating critiques of their government if the US doesn't tell them what to think? Is there a mental numbness that pervades that island that somehow escapes us? And even if your absurd notions were true, why should these unfortunate sheep be imprisoned or subject to summary execution?

    It's wrong for Bush to steal an election, but somehow it is okay if Castro never even stands for election? Is there something intrinsic to Cubans that means they don't deserve the same respect for political choice that we do?

    Atrocities in Iraq don't justify Castro's actions. I find such callous disregard for human life and dignity horrifying. Yours is precisely the sort of attitude that led people like Inhoff to justify the atrocities as Abu Graib. They should be so lucky, he claimed, to be in American control rather than be imprisoned by Saddam. I see no light between you and Inhoff on this matter. I speak very strongly here because to justify human rights violations is morally reprehensible and wholly inexcusable.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 08:47 PM
    Response to Reply #80
    83. I don't, nor did I say that I did
    Cuba's (non US) Abu Graib?

    Where's the pictures?


    The USA runs the gulags in Cuba, my friend.


    Every government has some skeletons in the closet.. people in glass houses...

    Its up to the Cuban people to formulate their own future. Yes, of course I think and know that Cubans formulate their own critiques of their government. It runs throughout their political system (but, how many Americans are willing to study Cuba's political culture?). That is why Elizardo Sanchez (one of the most prominant native Cuban political opposition voices along with Oswaldo Paya) says that the US should not be supporting/funding so called "dissident" organizations popular to the Miamicuban exiles and some US politicians. He says that the US's political activities IN Cuba taint the legitimate native borne political opposition that is alive and well (but unpopular in Miami and among certain US/Florida politicians). Elizardo Sanchez and Oswaldo Paya are not popular among the Miamicuban diaspora - Sanchez and Paya don't sing the ex Cuban/Bastino tune. They want internally motivated and created change. Cubaia.





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    imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 09:42 PM
    Response to Reply #83
    89. evidence
    I guess I don't understand the reference to Chalibi and Abu Graib then. For evidence, I again refer you to the many human rights organizations I cited previously. There is no question Castro doesn't approach the level of violations committed by many US backed governments--Pinochet, the Guatemalan military, Argentina during the dirty war--but evidence of executions and political imprisonment nonetheless exists. I leave it to Cubans to decide if it is tolerable. I, however, won't justify it, despite my admiration for the island's medical and educational systems.
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    malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 08:40 PM
    Response to Reply #76
    81. Wow
    Edited on Sun Dec-19-04 08:57 PM by malaise
    As somone who actually lives in the Caribbean region I can tell you that Castro is very, very popular. He is easily the most respected leader in this hemisphere. Why - he stands up to bullies; Further and more importantly, he has the best educated and healthiest population in the hemisphere. Additionally the Cuban population have the best teeth in the hemisphere. Now that may appear to be triva to people in developed countries but as your polital rights disappear, you may just understand the importance and value of social rights.

    You see most of us know that Western powers don't give a damn if a dictator is in charge or they would not overthrow so many democratically elected governments. All that ever mattered was making sure our leaders agreed to the wishes of foreign governments and corporations.

    Fidel has his flaws but in terms of developing his people, helping his neighbors with doctors, nurses, engineers, scholarships, and other technical assistance with a lot less strings attached than others who have exploited our hemisphere for centuries, he is a great man.

    Forget not that rather than celebrating the bicentential of the ultimate revolution (The Haitian Revolution), we watched the democratically elected government removed from that country. Perhaps you can tell us who benefitted for it sure isn't the poverty striken masses of Haiti. Ask the poor of Venezuela why they live so close to the big oil set up and don't even have piped water let alone electricity?
    Who has killed more Pinochet or Fidel? Who killed opponents rather than lock them up - Fidel or Pinochet and who put Batista, Pinochet or the rest of them in power.
    We know that whether it is the pretence of democracy or dictatorship, only one set of rights matter. Why don't you attack the IMF and World Bank and institutions set up to bleed us to death rather than attack the one person who put the interests of his people above those who value profit.

    If Fidel dies tomorrow, I'll be walking with the people of Cuba near Revolutionary Square in the middle of Havana and tears will flow. He is the only leader in my hemisphere in my lifetime who improved the living conditions of his population - and true he did not make them wealthy - but health, education and housing are way more important than money.

    We'd all love both political and social rights but I had to settle for one it would be social rights.

    And finally how can a government be democratic when it undermines democracy everywhere else in the name of profit. When you really understand life in this hemisphere outside of your democratic illusion, you'll know why Fidel is loved on this planet.
    Edit -sp & gr.

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    American Tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 09:30 PM
    Response to Reply #81
    85. All right. If he is so great, why has he imprisoned dissidents?
    Why does there appear to be no active political opposition to run against him? That doesn't sound like a regime that is secure with itself.

    And please don't respond with the usual tu quoque fallacious argument about how America has done bad stuff too and therefore other countries get a free pass on everything.

    You know, I am no apologist for America. I am actively and vocally critical of the United States; I publicly confronted the current Attorney General a short time ago, I protested the war, I fought to get the latest assholes out of office.

    But I must admit, though they don't exactly encourage it, I have yet to be imprisoned or injured by the establishment for my political activities. It's not all bad here.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 09:42 PM
    Response to Reply #85
    88. If you worked for Al Queda you would be arrested
    The so called "dissidents" who are on the US (and Miamicubans terrorist organizations) payroll are aiding and abeting the DECLARED enemy of Cuba - America's government which is openly seeking to overthrow the government of Cuba.


    If you worked for an enemy state (that has attacked previously) in seeking to overthrow the US government (by any means, including terror), then I hope you would be arrested.


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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 10:18 PM
    Response to Reply #88
    99. Hi, Mika. Don't know how they can avoid knowing about this.
    Edited on Sun Dec-19-04 10:35 PM by Judi Lynn
    It's easily perceived by anyone who does any reading at all.

    Found a small article I thought you might be interested in, since you're involved in medical matters, yourself:
    UN official applauds reproductive health advances in Cuba

    www.chinaview.cn 2004-12-19 12:51:44


    HAVANA, Dec. 18 (Xinhuanet) -- Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund, Thoraya Obaid, praised Cuba on Saturday for advances made in sexual and reproductive health.

    "What I have seen in the island nation in terms of sanitary conditions, reproductive and sexual health, as well as education is something I have not observed in any other country I visited inthe past," said Obaid, of Saudi Arabia, who is on a three-day visit to the island.

    She noted that nearly all Cuban children are in school, the health services have a universal character, and the dangerous pandemic of HIV/AIDS is kept at a low rate of incidence, thanks toa correct government strategy.

    "This has not happened in any other country, and I feel truly proud of what is being done by everyone in the country," said the UN official.

    Obaid said the Cuban authorities have paid special attention to all the aspects of sexual and reproductive health, which has made the island reach the 2015 world targets in this area.
    (snip/...)
    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-12/19/content_2353915.htm

    Interesting, isn't it?

    Sorry, can't stay, having just looked in to see what's happening at D.U. this evening. Will check back well after midnight, as I'm also having an evening with husband.

    Great posts, Mika. They should stimulate a little thought, if that's even a possibility among some of our visitors.....

    Since Freecancat's not posting now, "in memory," here's a look at the Parliament Building in Ottawa. It's really beautiful.



    On edit: If you take the URL from this photo, repost it in your own address line, and refresh it from time to time, you'll see they're having a colored light show. They have fantastic light shows on during the winter and summer. Also they are having their ice festival sometime around now, I believe.

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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 11:33 PM
    Response to Reply #99
    106. Nice links, Judi Lynn
    :hi:

    Good to see another example of what Castro forces on Cubans. ;)


    Cuban kids get proven, reality based sex & health ed.

    US kids get Bill Frist's lies on sex & health ed.


    -


    I love that Ottawa pic. :thumbsup:





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    RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 03:14 AM
    Response to Reply #106
    161. And they still get by on ten bucks a month
    It's a genius way of running a government, especially if you're a vegetarian, cause the only people who eat meat in Cuba are tourists.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 09:11 AM
    Response to Reply #161
    172. Complete bullshit
    "It's a genius way of running a government, especially if you're a vegetarian, cause the only people who eat meat in Cuba are tourists."


    Obviously you don't realize that there are farmers markets ALL OVER Cuba, where organic foods (including chicken, pork, fish) are readily available for very low prices to all.

    -


    Why keep shoveling shit about something that you know little about?

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    Tinoire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 09:34 PM
    Response to Reply #81
    86. Hi Malaise! Good post but you're wasting your time in this thread
    Edited on Sun Dec-19-04 09:41 PM by Tinoire
    Brian_Expat Sat Dec-18-04 08:55 PM - 4 responses
    Thank you Cuba for imprisoning and torturing political dissidents

    Brian_Expat Sat Dec-18-04 07:47 PM - 1 response
    Thank you Cuba for imprisoning and torturing political dissidents

    Then we got this thread Sun Dec-19-04 06:11 PM



    As one poster asked "Why the hard-on about Cuba tonight? Bored or something?"

    It's a constant theme with the same small jerk circle. They don't want to know because it doesn't serve their goals. Pay attention to the names, you'll start recognizing them in similar threads being just as stubborn and closed to reason. You're not the first person to make your points from first hand experience and you won't be the last. My good friend Mika has been valiantly tossing her pearls for years ;)

    Glad to welcome you here :toast: & good to have your voice of reason in this cacaphonic chorus of off-note hyenas.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 09:45 PM
    Response to Reply #86
    90. Hi Tinoire - Mika is a he. :-)
    :hi:

    Good to see ya here. And.. thank you. :toast:


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    Tinoire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 09:56 PM
    Response to Reply #90
    93. Oh lol! My apologies
    automatically assumed 'she' because I have a female cousin named Mika (for Mikaelle). Darker-skinned, Carribbean Castro-appreciating kind ;)

    Thanks for the correction and thanks for your... valiant persistence!

    :hi:
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 10:09 PM
    Response to Reply #86
    97. Good advice, Tinoire. Sometimes they work "tag team."
    Also it appears they bring in helpers. Asking them for sources never works. They expect you to do the research, then when you provide it, they completely ignore it and continue as if your post had never appeared.

    Sometimes posters simply don't have the time to do all the work and await their insipid responses.

    Found this interesting item to post which says a lot more than articles we're used to seeing:
    Posted on Sun, Dec. 19, 2004


    Devout thousands walk, even crawl, to honor saint

    BY GARY MARX

    Chicago Tribune


    EL RINCON, Cuba - (KRT) - Smoking a cigar and dragging a 100-pound stone chained to one leg, Tomas Poblar is lying on his back and pushing himself down a highway in an annual pilgrimage to honor St. Lazarus, patron saint of the sick and poor.

    A lonely figure moving at a snail's pace as trucks and cars rumble by, Poblar said his dayslong ordeal - completed for 52 consecutive years - is his way of honoring a saint he says healed a crippling injury.

    "I was on the seas and my ship capsized and I was hurt and couldn't walk," said Poblar, 74. "I prayed and was able to walk again. I made a promise to do this every year for the rest of my life."

    It was early afternoon and Poblar had covered about 13 miles in three days. He had about 4 miles to go to reach his destination: a simple white church in this village outside Havana.

    Each year on the night of Dec. 16, thousands of Cubans walk, crawl or literally drag themselves to the St. Lazarus shrine in the one of the most public outpourings of religious faith in this island nation.Poblar and many devout pilgrims are dressed in clothing fashioned out of burlap sacks, a sign of respect and act of penance for the humble saint who seems to have a special following among the poor.

    The pilgrimage is a raucous affair, blending elements of a street party with stunning displays of devotion in a communist nation that has become more tolerant of religion.Along the road to the shrine, teenagers drank rum and danced to hip-hop, rock and salsa music while couples pushed baby strollers and quietly held candles and flowers as offerings to St. Lazarus and his Afro-Cuban counterpart, Babalu Aye.Vendors hawking roast pork sandwiches, fried rice and other foods competed for attention with table after table of brightly colored religious statues and other religious items for sale.
    (snip/...)
    http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/world/10454439.htm

    (Free registration is required)

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


    Don't you find it worth contemplating that the man at the beginning of the article has been making his religious pilgrimage for 52 years, and the article does NOT say, "52 years, except for the years after the revolution in which we are forbidden to attend the churches of our choice?"

    Some of the slower ones have NEVER been ambitious enough to start reading a little, and simply settle for the crap churned out by propaganda mills, including the drivel sucked up in south Florida which is assigned to the Cubans working on the U.S. payroll as "idenpendent journalists."

    Your advice to do far more reading was more than adequate. Too bad some of these visitors are unwilling to invest their time, and unwilling to stop depending upon the right wing propaganda mills for their understanding of the world!





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    Tinoire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 10:43 PM
    Response to Reply #97
    102. Great article. Where was it when that tombstoned idiot
    from a couple of weeks ago was ranting about how Castro was persecuting people for the sole crime of being Catholic. Could not believe that ignorant statement. An island that is overwhelmingly Catholic and someone comes up with that charge... that he was locking them all up. Lol.

    Good to see you. Check your PMs in about 2 minutes, have something unrelated to this to send you.
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    imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 09:46 PM
    Response to Reply #81
    91. popularity
    My understanding based on reading and friends who have traveled to Cuba as academics is that while Castro was once very popular, he is far less so now. Ultimately, it's not possible to know how popular without his standing in a national election. I always defer to the citizens of a nation on such issues.
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    Tinoire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 10:37 PM
    Response to Reply #91
    100. Well Imenja
    No one would accuse you of being a circle jerker.

    I'm not sure about far less so now but Castro has certainly had to fight a lot. Imagine what Cuba would be like if we hadn't waged an economic war against it. That Castro was still able to do as much as he has for the poor is admirable.

    I'm sure there are people who are ready for a different leader as they gaze longingly at well-packaged Western goods and fall for the myth that under American capitalism everyone lives in Beverly Hills and shops at Nordstrom's. You never know how good you have it and it's human nature to think the grass is greener on the other side. Tell those same people, those who don't know I mean, what they would have to give up for that fantasy and they'll take their health-care, education, everytime IF you tell them. We of course will tell them no such thing preferring to lure them with Western goods.

    I saw this happen many times. Saw immigrants come to this country believing in the fantasy the US was trying to sell them and many of them leaving totally disgusted.

    There's a huge difference between the Carribbean moneyed elites, well represented in the US, and the descendants of the slaves who didn't need to flee to the US with their bags of gold and diamonds but I know you know that already. Can tell by your post.

    No ruler is ever 100% perfect and no ruler will ever make people 100% happy but people like Castro are up there in my opinion.
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    imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 10:52 PM
    Response to Reply #100
    103. circle jerker
    Edited on Sun Dec-19-04 10:56 PM by imenja
    Would that be your definition of someone who considers a wide variety of evidence and doesn't compartmentalize the world in simplistic terms between good and bad? Yes, that's me. I readily plead guilty.
    I don't see how any of what you have said relates to my concern about human rights. I suggest you read some of my other posts in this thread before you pass judgment on my ignorance.
    Any cursory look at Cuban immigration to the US will tell you that the first generation of exiles were members of the sugar aristocracy, but subsequent generations have not been wealthy, especially those who have come to the US during the 1990s.
    Cubans have compared themselves to the US since the nineteenth century (see Robert Pacquette, _Sugar is Made with Blood: The Conspiracy of La Escalera). That view of the US played an enormous role in the Revolution of 1959, which was in essence an anti-imperialist revolution (any number of histories of the revolution establish this, including Jorge Dominguez, Tom Patterson's book, _Contesting Castro_, and various works by Louis Perez). I would be very surprised if that comparison did not play a role in current political thought in Cuba today. Yet somehow you see that as negating Cuban views of their own government. Is your own preference for Kerry based on your own rapacious longing for the consumer goods wealthy Republicans posses?
    I don't make absolute judgments about Castro. I, in the various posts in this thread, have raised pros and cons. What I refuse to do is to justify human rights violations that have been well documented by Amnesty International and others. I'm saddened that you feel a need to do so.
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    Tinoire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 11:27 PM
    Response to Reply #103
    105. Uh Imenja. Reread that
    Edited on Sun Dec-19-04 11:30 PM by Tinoire
    I said no one would accuse you of being one. I meant that sincerely. In no way do I consider you an ignorant circle jerker. I thought I made that clear. My apologies for not making it clearer.

    Re-read my post to you.
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    imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 11:41 PM
    Response to Reply #105
    107. misunderstanding
    I apologize for misunderstanding. I took your comment sarcastically. Thank you for the clarification.
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    Tinoire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 12:31 AM
    Response to Reply #107
    109. Not to worry. I understood as much
    but truly it wasn't. I've always appreciated your posts and your spirit. We've all done it so it's kind of funny when it happens.
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    blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 09:09 AM
    Response to Reply #100
    118. Cubans pay attention
    Persons that I've spoken with cite the hardships and regression that have visited Eastern Europe and Russia with the adoption of the wonderous free market. They'll not buy a pig in the poke. Some of them anyway.

    One bus load of Cubans knows more about "family values" than the entire rethug leadership and a lot of Democrats too.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 10:42 PM
    Response to Reply #91
    101. Then, what about a majority of the world's democracies?
    If you don't trust Cuba's pariamentary system because it has no direct election of its head of state, then do you trust Canada's similar method of selection for head of state, or the UK, Israel, etc etc.?


    If there a popular movement to "oust" Castro then the citizens will select candidates for their parliamentary district who support such a position. Oswaldo Paya's Cuban Christian Democratic Party has members who has put themselves up for elections on such a position, but they don't get many votes. That's the way most all parliamentary democracies work.

    {Technically, the US doesnt have direct elections either, but, let's not go there. :( }



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    imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 10:55 PM
    Response to Reply #101
    104. As I have said three times now
    Edited on Sun Dec-19-04 10:56 PM by imenja
    I will gladly look at the readings you graciously suggested regarding Cuba's electoral system. I only hope you look at some of the sources I suggested, even if they do not affirm your pre-existing beliefs.
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    Djinn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 09:55 PM
    Response to Reply #101
    135. Australian's don't get to vote for our head of state at all
    directly or otherwise given it's that old bag the Queen - we don't even vote for her proxy the govenor general, perhaps the US should bung some trade ban on us too
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 10:11 PM
    Response to Reply #135
    136. So GLAD to see your post!
    It might show you how little some Americans know about the world they live in. They don't get out much, and aren't inclined to do much reading. Too much of a hassle, no doubt! (Dragging their fingers across the page, moving their lips to spell the words...)

    Tremendous info. Really throws some light in here, where we need it!

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    Djinn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 10:40 PM
    Response to Reply #136
    139. Thanks
    but to be honest you, Mika and Tinoire have provided a lot more light than myself here!

    I don't know all that much about Cuba - it's not the hot topic in my part of the world but a lot of the criticisms it gets a re clearly hypocritical, apparently they're supposed to allow people to plot violent overthrow of their country, if they arrest them they're suddenly holding political prisoners but if the same thing happens to the US (and bad as it was the attacks on 9/11 were NEVER going to topple the state) and it's OK to bomb an entire nation and then another completely unrelated country ??

    I'd really like to go to Cuba to see for myself, seems to be the only real way to be sure of your info these days.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 11:30 PM
    Response to Reply #139
    140. You're right, you can't take the word of propagandists!
    Americans have little choice unless they want to get off their duffs and start researching the subject.

    You could just get on a plane and go there! There are Canadian posters at D.U. who have gone to Cuba multiple times, as well as the other Caribbean islands. There are quite a few American DU'ers who have been to Cuba for various reasons, too. I LOVE to hear from people who've been there themselves.

    They have a far different attitude from the rightwingdings in this country who favor suppression of the poor in Cuba, and the buttheads put back in place who kept them so desperately poor and screwed until 1959. Crooked politicians and assorted other winners.

    Here's a collection of interesting photos I first saw several years ago when CNN had a US-Cuba relations message board.



    Are these the faces of little people who are trembling in their boots? Ha!

    http://www.danheller.com/cuba-top.html

    Enjoy seeing your posts here!

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    RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 03:17 AM
    Response to Reply #101
    162. Mika, you don't know what the fuck you're talking about
    with all due respect
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 09:24 AM
    Response to Reply #162
    173. Um.. I do know what I'm talking about.
    I've studied government for years. Particularly Cuba's government.

    With all "due respect", you only seem capable of posting wingnut anti Cuba propaganda that has no bearing on Cuba NOW.


    Look, I used to believe a lot of the "exile" stories too.. until I went to Cuba to study and investigate the place for myself (legally). Many times.

    I have great respect for Cubans in Cuba, for their hard work and dedication to their sovereignty and children. Cubans are not the lazy type who would sit back and allow their hard fought for freedoms to be taken from them, as so many in the US accuse them of being.



    Don't you wonder why the US government doesn't want Americans to be able to go to Cuba easily? What is there that you're not supposed to see? Could it be that Americans would learn that Castro doesn't rule Cuba with some sort of iron fist? Could it be that Americans would learn that Cubans run Cuba, and that there is a fully functioning democratic system that represents the will of the people?


    -

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    oblivious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 09:52 PM
    Response to Reply #81
    92. Nice rant, but don't go overboard.
    "He is the only leader in my hemisphere in my lifetime who improved the living conditions of his population"

    Do you really mean that?
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    Tinoire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 09:57 PM
    Response to Reply #92
    94. You're right, let's not forget Chavez and Aristide. n/t
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    Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 08:31 AM
    Response to Reply #94
    117. Lula's pretty cool...
    comparado ao filho da puta Ruben Cardoso. Though, PT is not happy with his results so far. My guess is Bush, the IMF, and the World Bank have threatened Lula a number of times.
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    Tinoire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-04 11:43 PM
    Response to Original message
    108. Don't forget about the Cuban Sex Trade!

    First, we are strengthening re-enforcement of those travel restrictions to Cuba that are already in place. (Applause.) U.S. law forbids Americans to travel to Cuba for pleasure. That law is on the books and it must be enforced. We allow travel for limited reasons, including visit to a family, to bring humanitarian aid, or to conduct research. Those exceptions are too often used as cover for illegal business travel and tourism, or to skirt the restrictions on carrying cash into Cuba. We're cracking down on this deception.

    I've instructed the Department of Homeland Security to increase inspections of travelers and shipments to and from Cuba. We will enforce the law. (Applause.) We will also target those who travel to Cuba illegally through third countries, and those who sail to Cuba on private vessels in violation of the embargo.

    You see, our country must understand the consequences of illegal travel. All Americans need to know that foreign-owned resorts in Cuba must pay wages -- must pay the wages of their Cuban workers to the government. A good soul in America who wants to be a tourist goes to a foreign-owned resort, pays the hotel bill -- that money goes to the government. The government, in turn, pays the workers a pittance in worthless pesos and keeps the hard currency to prop up the dictator and his cronies. Illegal tourism perpetuates the misery of the Cuban people. And that is why I've charged the Department of Homeland Security to stop that kind of illegal trafficking of money. (Applause.)

    By cracking down on the illegal travel, we will also serve another important goal. A rapidly growing part of Cuba's tourism industry is the illicit sex trade, a modern form of slavery which is encouraged by the Cuban government. This cruel exploitation of innocent women and children must be exposed and must be ended. (Applause.)


    (snip)

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/10/20031010-2.html


    If it comes from the White House, it must be true!
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    Spiffarino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 12:53 AM
    Response to Reply #108
    110. Not a big fan of Castro here
    ...but that sounds like complete bullshit. It sounds more like a way for BushCo to justify taking down another sovereign government. I have never heard anything that would remotely justify such a story.

    Get ready. Here it comes. First Castro, then Chavez, then...?
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    Tinoire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 12:58 AM
    Response to Reply #110
    111. Well it is. Just like all of Bush's other stories
    Edited on Mon Dec-20-04 01:02 AM by Tinoire
    But if only we could get him to care a hundredth as much about what's going on in this country during his watch.

    Plenty of illegal trafficking going on right here, right under the noses of the Christian Coalition yet not a peep.

    His brother in Thailand comes to mind. You think Bush would have cared about the poor little girls his brother used for a good time :shrug:

    Check out this thread: (thanks RubyCat!) http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=104&topic_id=392459

    The hypocrisy will make you ill.
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    malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 04:43 AM
    Response to Reply #111
    115. Others tried
    Aristide tried, Chavez is trying but Fidel actually succeeded. A few others tried for a decade or so.
    Medical experts in Denmark and England (sic)have been to Cuba to see how they set up such an efficient health system with so little. It could not work without the cooperation or dedication of the Cuban people.

    Thanks for your advice Tinoire.
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    Downtown Hound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 02:34 PM
    Response to Reply #108
    123. Well, a second reason to jail Rush Limbaugh
    I believe he smokes Havana cigars.
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    FreeStateDemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 08:09 AM
    Response to Original message
    116. I separate Castro from the Cuban people ......
    who are the real victims of our economic embargo against Cuba. How causing hardship for millions of innocent people benefits anyone is difficult for me to understand. The economic boycott will not remove Castro only his death will do that and in the meantime a Christian nation is helping to create hardship for a people who are being tormented by demagogues for political factors beyond their control. We trade with Vietnam who killed over 50,000 American service personnel but not Cuba who is not a threat to the vital interests or security of America. This is wrong and lacks a sense of basic human decency but supports the unconscionable ambitions of some very cruel and hard-hearted people. How about some Good will towards man, and the poor people of Cuba.
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    Ms. Clio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 01:20 PM
    Response to Original message
    119. Anyone else notice how the OP just lobbed a firebomb
    then never returned to respond to any of the "crazy commie lefties?"





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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 03:23 PM
    Response to Reply #119
    124. It's an empty exercise, isn't it, to deliberately throw in a subject
    which can be expected to attract ANY rightwing visitor, then to disappear without legitimizing the reason for even bringing up the subject?

    Definitely not DU-like! Very second-rate. An unworthy interruption in a great collaboration of Democrats.



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    Ms. Clio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 04:06 PM
    Response to Reply #124
    126. Pointless and puzzling
    Someone who never returns to respond to anyone after starting a thread like this appears to be far more interested in demagoguery than dialogue.




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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 04:11 PM
    Response to Reply #126
    128. You've got it! n/t
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    Spiffarino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 07:21 PM
    Response to Reply #119
    129. I've looked at a few of the OP's other threads
    ...and I think he may be down on the imprisonment of homosexuals. That seems to be a running theme.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 07:47 PM
    Response to Reply #129
    130. There has been a lot of baloney handed around disguised as information
    about Cuba's HIV and AIDS programs. It's possible to say almost anything about a country normal U.S. citizens are forbidden to visit, as we have no point of reference. It could go on forever like this, but it won't, as too many Americans are in favor of dropping the astonishingly stupid travel ban.

    Here's some info. on Cuba's treatment of HIV and AIDS patients:
    Monday, 17 February, 2003, 09:12 GMT
    Cuba leads the way in HIV fight


    HIV medication has been made widely available



    By Molly Bentley
    BBC News Online science writer in Denver


    Few stories about HIV/Aids infection bring hope. But in the Caribbean, where communism takes its last gasp, there is encouragement in the fight against Aids.
    "Cuba has a lid on the HIV/Aids problem," said Byron Barksdale, the director of the American Cuban Aids Project, a non-profit organisation that provides humanitarian aid to the island.

    There has been no dramatic increase in HIV transmission in Cuba since the beginning of the epidemic, said Dr Barksdale at the at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Denver.

    Cuba's 0.03% infection rate is one of the lowest in the world.
    (snip)

    Cuba established the National Commission on Aids in 1983 to provide education on the disease, a full two years before the first Cuban national contracted the virus, and at a time when the word "Aids" carried such stigma, US President Ronald Reagan refused to use it in public speeches.

    But in Cuba, said Dr Barksdale, people had lived under socialism long enough to have "an idea of classlessness," which made educating the public and providing medical attention fairly straightforward.

    Under Cuba's socialised health care system, all HIV/Aids patients receive medical care and drugs free of charge.

    But some requirements of the programme pinch personal liberties.

    In the late 1980s, Cuba implemented a classic public health measure and began quarantining patients.

    The quarantine system includes eight weeks of education and drug support, after which the patient is free to leave - although, many choose to stay, according to Dr Barksdale.
    (snip/...)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/sci_tech/2003/denver_2003/2770631.stm

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


    It's hardly the same as "imprisonment." A little ignorance fans the flames on subjects like this. A little research can help.

    Oh, yes. I forgot to mention Cuba is producing "cocktails" for patients which are very well respected now. From the article:
    Unable to afford the expensive anti-retroviral medicines produced in developed countries, Cuban chemists analysed the drugs' chemical components and set about recreating their own.

    Cuba now produces sufficient quantities of seven anti-viral medications for all its patients.
    (snip)
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    Ms. Clio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 09:12 PM
    Response to Reply #129
    133. I noticed that as well
    That's fine--everyone has their issues here--I certainly do, too.

    But it seems like especially bad netiquette to start a thread with such an inflammatory, over-the-top opening post and then just cut and run.

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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 09:34 PM
    Response to Reply #133
    134. If the right-wing ever gains control over Cuba, the "exiles" in Miami
    are going to lose their very reason for living, at least the ones connected to the Hate Industry there which has thrived on nothing more than "hating Cuba" all these years. Radio stations, the Cuban version of the Miami Herald, which mangles the facts for right-wing Cuban consumption, the Cuban "exile" controlled, U.S. taxpayer-funded "Radio Marti" and "TV Marti" (around $28,000,000 annually, or actually more) and the substantial benefits offered to ALL Cuban immigrants through the Cuban Adjustment Act, which freely gives them food stamps, Section 8 Housing, immediate legal status (no INS agents chasing them around, like Haitians, Mexicans, etc.), work visa, medical treatment, financial assistance for education, welfare, and even low cost loans.

    People who know about these opportunities also know that Cuban-Americans are the disproportionately wealthy Hispanics in our country, given opportunities not extended to any other group of immigrants.

    They are, as a group, older, wealthier, better educated. The financial benefits and opportunities are US taxpayer furnished.

    That's gonna go, unless they can devise a trick to allow them to keep these expensive gifts from the U.S. taxpayers, while also dominating Cuba again. At this point, I wouldn't say it's impossible.
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    Ms. Clio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 11:34 PM
    Response to Reply #134
    142. Yes, they are a coddled lot, unbelievably spoiled and arrogant
    That's an excellent point, and one I hadn't thought of--but I am just cynical enough to believe that if such a situation ever materializes, they will manage to dominate Cuba and keep all the goodies, too.

    You won't remember my previous posts under my former name (I doubt anyone would) but I always read your contributions in these threads with great interest. In the past few years I have learned a lot from you and others here, as well as someone I know who visited Cuba.



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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 01:13 AM
    Response to Reply #142
    145. Easy to remember your new name. Good one.
    Edited on Tue Dec-21-04 01:14 AM by Judi Lynn
    It's great hearing you know someone who visited Cuba, as well (who also lived to tell about it!). I'll bet his/her observations are far different from the crapfest you hear around some of our slowest learning citizens.

    These are the Cuban "exile" Representatives (Lincoln Diaz-Balart,Florida, Robert Menendez,New Jersey standing behind Burton, Mario Diaz-Balart, Florida, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida) circling arond Dan Burton, whom they've owned for years, courting him with nice fat campaign contributions and getting his undying "loyalty." He was one of the names on a nasty bit of anti-Cuba legislation, the Helms-Burton law.



    As you know, he's a real prize. Here's a good look at his brain-child:
    A Closer Look at the Helms-Burton Law


    This informational update gives a brief sketch of the Helms-Burton Law, outlines the arguments for its repeal and presents you with a number of ways to get involved in the struggle for a more rational and just U.S. policy toward Cuba.



    Introduction

    In early March 1996, President Clinton signed The Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act, tightening the 38-year-old embargo against Cuba. Helms-Burton, as the law is commonly known, is named after its primary sponsors, Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina and Representative Dan Burton of Indiana.


    The bill had been tabled in late 1995 after Senator Helms was unable to overcome several Democratic filibusters, but was reborn and moved swiftly through Congress in February 1996 shortly after two planes piloted by a Cuban exile group were shot down by Cuban fighter jets off the Cuban coast. Despite his previously expressed reservations, President Clinton lent his support to the bill to avoid offending Cuban-American voters in Florida and New Jersey, two states with large numbers of electoral college votes. By the time the dust of crisis had settled, prospects for improved relations between the U.S. and Cuba in the near-term were devastated.


    International condemnation of the law was swift and furious. The closest trading allies of the United States, including Canada and Mexico, expressed outrage at the law and immediately threatened varied forms of retaliation.


    For their part, the Cuban people reacted with disappointment and anger, recognizing that they would feel the brunt of the latest attempt to strangle Cuba's economy. As a street vendor in Havana said to a reporter days after the passage of Helms-Burton, "we are human beings here. I'm not talking about communism or capitalism. I'm here fighting to make a living like anyone else."
    (snip)

    To say Helms-Burton has been unpopular would be a substantial understatement. The European Union, Canada and Mexico have taken steps to challenge the law in the World Trade Organization and under NAFTA, seeking the nullification of the law on the grounds that it violates international trade law. Many nations have enacted antidote legislation that bars their nationals from complying with Helms-Burton, under the threat of fines.
    (snip/...)
    http://www.globalexchange.org/countries/cuba/uscuba/HelmsBurton.html
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    Ms. Clio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 11:18 PM
    Response to Reply #145
    185. I would love to go there myself
    Doesn't look like it will ever happen, though.

    My friend who went a couple of years ago is a grad student, a brilliant person who had some very astute comments about the people and the situation as he saw it.

    And he sure didn't see a "Communist hellhole" populated by frightened victims cowering before a dreadful despot.

    If the exiles really gave a damn about the people of Cuba, they wouldn't support such draconian measures as Helms-Burton.

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    RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 03:21 AM
    Response to Reply #134
    163. I can't wait
    Maybe they will finally assimilate.
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    Downtown Hound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 02:05 PM
    Response to Original message
    120. Castro is a mixed bag
    yes he has committed human rights abuses. Bad ones. But Cuba also has a first rate education and health system, and has to an extent been a successful experiment in socialism. If the United States was willing to take a more rational stance towards Cuba, who knows, maybe Castro wouldn't feel so threatened by everyone with a dissenting viewpoint and adopt a more tolerant stance.
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    w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 02:13 PM
    Response to Original message
    121. Why are you working so hard to "reform" Cuba instead of countries with
    Edited on Mon Dec-20-04 02:14 PM by w4rma
    malevolent dictators? Real nasty horrible dictators like Batista was. I distrust anyone who is obessed about Cuba's Castro but doesn't like to talk about any other dictator in the world.

    You work on the places that have the MOST problems *FIRST* and while Cuba isn't nearly as democratic as anyone would like it, Cuba is also NOT a problem within the world and, imho, like Britain they will eventually lose their "King" and move more and more to democracy, peacefully and without any pressure needed from the outside.

    Othere countries with manevolent dictators WILL need pressure from the outside to change, however.
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    Minstrel Boy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 03:31 PM
    Response to Original message
    125. Castro-hatred is America's problem.
    Think how this sick obsession has helped twist the United States into a parody of what most Americans think it should be.

    Pandering to radical expat Cubans, and hiring them on as killers and crooks for the National Security State, has harmed the US far more than Cuba over the past 40 years.

    From JFK's state execution, to Watergate, to Iran/Contra, who do you find in the employ of the darkest elements of the shadow government? Cubans.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 04:10 PM
    Response to Reply #125
    127. Did you know Miami was cited for violation of human rights?"Exile" problem
    Someone forgot to wave this around earlier in the thread:
    Free Expression in

    Miami's Cuban Exile Community

    Human Rights Watch continued to monitor free expression in Miami by documenting instances of harassment and intimidation against members of the Cuban exile community in Miami, Florida who express moderate political views on Castro or relations with Cuba. Since its original report, in 1992, which linked anti-communist forces in the exile community to acts of violence against their more moderate compatriots, Human Rights Watch has noted some improvements in free expression in Miami, particularly with regard to direct U.S. government involvement or complicity in repressive activities. Overall, however, the atmosphere for unpopular political speech remained marked by fear and danger. This danger became manifest in late April 1994, following a conference in Havana on "The Nation and Emigration." Miami residents who attended the conference returned home to find themselves besieged by death threats, bomb threats, verbal assaults, acts of violence, and economic retaliation.

    The hatred against those who favored dialogue with Cuba was fed by a few powerful local Spanish radio stations, in particular Radio Mambi, Radio CMQ, and La Cubanisima. Radio stations identified conference participants by name and referred to them derogatorily, sponsored listener-participation programs in which callers were permitted to defame conference participants, and invited listeners to vote as to which participants deserved to have an "act of repudiation" carried out against them.

    Conference participants who had been victims of attack were generally satisfied with the response of local and federal law enforcement agents, but no arrests were made in connection with any of the violent incidents or threats reported.

    While the lack of evidence of direct government involvement in suppressing certain viewpoints was a significant improvement since the 1992 report, Human Rights Watch stepped up its calls on state, local and federal officials to take affirmative action to protect those who exercised their First Amendment rights to freedom of opinion and expression.
    (snip/...)
    http://www.hrw.org/reports/1995/WR95/HRWGEN.htm

    You can be sure that pleas to Jeb Bush for help against the violence of rightwing extremists in Florida will get a lot of attention, considering he's deeply in bed with them!

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    noiretextatique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 11:34 PM
    Response to Original message
    141. bush-loving is a much more pressing problem
    for americans, and should be of greater concern than it is.
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    bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-04 11:45 PM
    Response to Original message
    143. Castro is a bad man, a tyrant and a dictator
    I think the embargo has outlived its usefulness, but I think Fidel Castro should be no hero to the American Left.

    Having said that, I should point out that he is no threat to the United States and it is the responsibility of the Cuban people to oust him. Not one drop of American blood should be shed to oust him.

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    Spiffarino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 01:59 AM
    Response to Reply #143
    147. He's a lot better than Saddam
    Even if he's no Prince Valiant.

    It's apparent that Bush is looking for a way to justify the violent overthrow of Cuba. He's using the same tactics as he did with Iraq.

    The bullshit he spreads is designed to get the sheeple used to the idea of perpetual war with anybody the Death Cult thinks is bad, and they think Castro is bad.
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    rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 04:40 AM
    Response to Reply #143
    164. also a lot better the Suharto
    The US/Western civilization is fine with Genocide when it is economically beneficial to the west. (in this case refering to East Timor)

    About the worst that Castro does is throw some people in jail for a few months when they promote overthrowing Castro. Imagine what the Bush regime would do if they'd find evidence of a plot to overthrow them.
    I have yet to see evidence of Castro imprisoning gays simply because they are gay.

    To many Cuban civilians a bar of soap may be a luxery, but none of them are dying in the gutter due to lack of healthcare, or food for that matter.

    Cuba is not paradise and Castro is no saint. But then again, which country is paradise and which leader is a saint?
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    noiretextatique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 04:57 PM
    Response to Reply #164
    184. which leader is a saint? none
    Edited on Tue Dec-21-04 04:58 PM by noiretblu
    which is why it's absurd for americans to demonize (and dehumanize) castro, while monsters like bush are deemed "man of the year" by our supine press.
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    Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 08:52 AM
    Response to Reply #143
    167. I agree 100% with everything you just said!
    We on the left can find true heroes readily enough--- Dr. King, Ghandi, Mandela, Walesa, RFK, HHH, Cesar Chavez, ad infinitum, without heaping praise on this brutal thug.
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    Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 02:06 AM
    Response to Original message
    148. I can't help it...that beard,the cigar
    I'm getting all moist just thinking about him.I love him so....
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    yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 03:12 AM
    Response to Original message
    159. take pieces that work from ANYBODY
    It's not about love or hate, it's looking for pieces that other countries get right and using them for models, and avoiding what they did that blew up in their face.

    I wouldn't want Cuban civil liberties, but I'd take a good hard look at their medical and education systems.

    Likewise, I wouldn't go to Britain for a good meal or dental work, but they seem to have a freer, more aggressive (and relevant) press than we do.

    It doesn't make you a nazi if you say Hitler was a snappy dresser, or a commie if you think Castro has done a couple of things right.
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    Kurashima Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 02:58 PM
    Response to Original message
    181. Whats That? A POPULAR Dictatorship? Shurely Shome Mishtake.
    I mean, the country has a strong willed leader, who puts in place controversial laws that allow the imprisonment of those who are considered "Enemies of the State" without trial, who promotes Male/Female coupling and is solidly against Gay couples , who took control of the country without being elected by the majority of the people, and he doesnt give a shit about World Opinion on whats hes doing.

    (anyone know which country im talking about here, the lines between them have become so blurred recently)
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    Ms. Clio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 11:29 PM
    Response to Reply #181
    186. Excellent point--it's frightening how blurred those lines really are!
    Welcome to DU, Kurashima!

    :hi:
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    daydreamer Donating Member (503 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 03:48 PM
    Response to Original message
    183. I have never been to Cuba,
    all the info I got about Cuba is from our media. I don't how much of what's reported in the media is true.
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    Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 11:50 PM
    Response to Reply #183
    187. A group from my church is going to do reconstruction work in
    Cuba in January. I wanted to go, but I was low on money during the sign-up period, and by the time I had the money, the trip was full. :-(

    They're going to be coordinating with church-related groups in Cuba.

    I can't wait to hear their stories when they come back.
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