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Osolomia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 11:42 AM
Original message
Montana strikes agreement with Cuba

Sunday, September 14, 2003
By COURTNEY LOWERY - Associated Press Writer - 09/14/03

HELENA Montana's congressmen say they are on the verge of signing the state's first trade agreement with Cuba, one that Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., described as stunning in its scope.''

... Baucus and Rehberg were in Cuba Saturday with seven Montana producers to meet with Pedro Alvarez, the gentleman who in fact has the money, who can purchase the products,'' Rehberg said.

... Baucus said Alvarez's proposal ranges all across the waterfront'' but specifically he was interested in wheat, malt barley, beef cattle, dairy cattle and beans. Whatever products the country chooses to buy, Baucus was confident the agreement will be a significant boost to Montana's economy.

... Baucus has introduced legislation to ease the United States' embargo and travel restrictions on Cuba. Those restrictions have been in place since 1962, some because of human rights issues Baucus said are no longer a concern.

The embargo makes absolutely no sense. The cold war is over,'' Baucus said. It makes sense to me that we are more likely to achieve our goal of fewer (human rights) infractions the more we engage the country, travel to the country, reach commercial contracts with the country.''


But judging from the stances of the favorite 2004 presidential candidates and their supporters even progressive democratic undergrounders still don't get it. Go figure!
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Osolomia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
1. Notice AP never uses "Communist" to describe Cuba

whenever there's a US delegation there signing multi-million dollar trade deals. Go figure!
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Max Baucus should stay away from small airplanes, also!
He dares to contradict the pResident on Bush's Miami-ordered Cuba policy.

Bush, unlike Max Baucus, doesn't recognize there are other people in his country who want to remove this ugly, destructive, loathesome vestige of the cold war.

(snip) Baucus said President Bush has said he will veto legislation to further ease restrictions to Cuba.

In 2000, the United States eased the embargo to allow Cuba to buy a certain amount of food and medicine. The country is already doing business with 38 states, Rehberg said, including Minnesota, Florida and Alabama. (snip/...)

Add Texas, Georgia, etc., etc. The Texas Legislature created a resolution the very year Bush left their state to end the embargo with Cuba.
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loudnclear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. Hooray for Montana!!!!
Yes, he should be very, very careful...and most certainly never travel to FL.
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Osolomia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:54 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. 38 states have signed trade deals with Cuba, including Florida!

and just a few days ago a bipartisan majority in the House voted to lift the travel ban despite Bush threatening to veto any easing of the embargo. So long as the Dem presidential candidates and their supporters prefer to pander to the Batistiano extremist right wing minority in Florida for poltical reasons too they're no different than Bush imho.

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Whoa_Nelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 12:29 PM
Response to Original message
3. It should all wait until Castro dies of old age.
Those restrictions have been in place since 1962, some because of human rights issues Baucus said are no longer a concern.

Castro's history shows horrific abuse of human rights, and there's also the issue of the US taking over part of Cuba in the 50s and never relinquishing that hold..the Great Cuban Standoff between the US and Cuba. When Castro passes on to the great beyond, then these issues will take on a new meaning. A lot will have to do with who takes over leadership of Cuba, and who is in the driver's seat in the US.

Montana is trying to set a precedent that, during this time in history, could have devastaing effects that could capitulate into furthering the current tug-of-war between US Foreign Policy, and the control and demise of the Cuban population.

Things have got to change here re: Foreign Policy and getting the asswipe and company out of office before addressing the embargo on Cuba. To have Montana making this move now would only serve to obfuscate the current idiotic and self-serving Foreign Policy decisions currently in use.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. It should wait?? What a cowardly policy - like the gusanos in Miami

" and there's also the issue of the US taking over part of Cuba in the 50s and never relinquishing that hold..

Maybe you should take just one or two moments researching before making claims.


"Montana is trying to set a precedent that, during this time in history, could have devastaing effects that could capitulate into furthering the current tug-of-war between US Foreign Policy, and the control and demise of the Cuban population."

Huh? Whatcha smokin'?

"To have Montana making this move now would only serve to obfuscate the current idiotic and self-serving Foreign Policy decisions currently in use."

As if there are many 'progressive' dems actually interested in changing the insane US policy towards Cuba.

Kudos to Montana for highlighting the ridiculous anti Cuba American policies, and defying them.
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LastDemInIdaho Donating Member (483 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. It should wait until Castro stops punishing political dissidents
Cuba should allow all political free speech as well as the US.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Former head of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana
Edited on Sun Sep-14-03 08:02 PM by JudiLyn
Wayne S. Smith says:

(snip) First of all, no one in his right mind (and whatever else he is, Castro is that) would have expected the arrest of over 80 dissidents, many of them well-known international figures, to go unremarked. The Cubans expected a firestorm, and they got it. Second, the timing could hardly be worse from Castros standpoint. The UN Human Rights Commission has just begun its annual deliberations to decide, among other things, whether to condemn Cuba for violations of human rights. Given the greater tolerance discussed above, there had seemed a good chance that Cuba would not be condemned this year. The crackdown, coming just now, makes that far less likely. Given all that, why the crackdown and why now? To answer those questions, we must first note that the greater leeway for dissent noted above came in response to the overtures of groups in the American Congress and the American public, not to any easing of the hard line on the part of the Bush Administration. Quite the contrary, its policies and rhetoric remained as hostile and as threatening as ever. It ignored all Cuban offers to begin a dialogue and instead held to an objective of regime change. As Mr. James Cason, the Chief of the U.S. Interests Section has stated publicly, one of his tasks was to promote transition to a participatory form of government. Now, we would all like to see a more open society in Cuba, but it is not up to the United States to promote it or bring it about. In fact, it is not up to the United States to decide what form of government Cuba should have. Cuba is, after all, a sovereign country. The Bush Administration was uncomfortable with signs of greater tolerance on Castros part, for that simply encouraged those who wanted to ease travel controls and begin dismantling the embargo. New initiatives along those lines were expected in the Congress this spring. What to do to head them off? What the Administration did is clear enough. It ordered the Chief of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana to begin a series of high-profile and provocative meetings with dissidents, even holding seminars in his own residence and passing out equipment of various kinds to them. He even held press conferences after some of the meetings. Such meetings might have been considered routine, had the purpose not been regime change. But given that it was, the Cubans came to see them as subversive in nature and as increasingly provocative. Those arrested were not, by and large, charged with expressing themselves against the state, but with plotting with American diplomats. It has been noted that Cuban diplomats regularly meet with American citizens. True, but to understand Cuban sensitivities in this case, let us imagine the reaction of the U.S. Government if those diplomats were meeting with members of the Puerto Rican Independence Party to promote Puerto Ricos transition from commonwealth to independence. Perhaps the Attorney General would not have everyone involved arrested, but I wouldnt take any bets on it.(snip/....)

Maybe you're not acquainted with our history of supporting dissidents in Cuba. For YEARS it has been given to them using "middlemen" to channel U.S. taxpayers' funds from various U.S. agencies like U.S.A.I.D., and N.E.D., before Jesse Helms got the bright idea, (he's hard-right, you know) of adding to his history of filthy work against the people of Cuba, by sponsoring a bill to make DIRECT PAYMENT TO DISSIDENTS from U.S. funds.

(snip) NY Times - May 16, 2001

Helms and Lieberman Seek to Aid Dissidents in Cuba


WASHINGTON, May 15 Seeking to shift the United States' policy toward Cuba, two influential senators, backed by the largest Cuban exile lobby, will introduce legislation on Wednesday to send $100 million in aid to government critics and independent workers in Cuba during the next four years, Congressional officials said.

The bill's sponsors, Senator Jesse Helms, the Republican chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut, say their goal is to provide government opponents in Cuba with the tools they need to subsist and continue their work.

The legislation would authorize the president to send cash, food, medicine, telephones, fax machines and other items to nongovernmental groups in Cuba, which would then distribute the aid. The plan would mark the first effort by the United States to provide direct support for Cuba's internal opposition, though advocates did not say how they would overcome obstacles that its government is certain to erect.

Cubans eligible for the assistance would include political prisoners and their families, dissidents or repatriated refugees, independent economists and journalists and members of religious groups. The bill would also seek to funnel resources to independent libraries or agricultural groups in Cuba and alter the American trade ban to allow some self- employed Cubans to market their products in the United States. (snip/...)

Written by a former C.I.A. agent,Philip Agee:


(snip) The NED is supposedly a private, non-government, non-profit foundation, but it receives a yearly appropriation from the US Congress. The money is channelled through four core foundations. These are the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (linked to the Democratic Party); the International Republican Institute (Republican Party); the American Center for International Labor Solidarity; and the Center for International Private Enterprise (US Chamber of Commerce).

According to its web site, the NED also gives money directly to groups abroad who are working for human rights, independent media, the rule of law, and a wide range of civil society initiatives.

The NED's NGO status provides the fiction that recipients of NED money are getting private rather than US government money. This is important because so many countries, including both the US and Cuba, have laws relating to their citizens being paid to carry out activities for foreign governments.

The US requires an individual or organisation subject to foreign control to register with the attorney general and to file detailed activities reports, including finances, every six months.

Cuba has its own laws criminalising actions intended to jeopardise its sovereignty or territorial integrity as well as actions supporting the goals of the anti-Cuba US Helms-Burton Act of 1996, such as collecting information to support the US embargo or to subvert the government, or for disseminating US government information to undermine the Cuban government.

Efforts to develop an opposition civil society in Cuba had already begun in 1985 with the early NED grants to CANF. These efforts received a significant boost with passage in 1992 of the Cuban Democracy Act, better known as the Torricelli Act, which promoted support, through US NGOs, of individuals and organisations committed to non-violent democratic change in Cuba.

A still greater intensification came with passage in 1996 of the Cuban Liberty and Solidarity Act, better known as the Helms-Burton Act.

(snip) These NGOs have a double purpose, one directed to their counterpart groups in Cuba and one directed to the world, mainly through web sites. Whereas, on the one hand, they channel funds and equipment into Cuba, on the other they disseminate to the world the activities of the groups in Cuba. Cubanet in Miami, for example, publishes the writings of the independent journalists of the Independent Press Association of Cuba, based in Havana, and channels money to the writers. (snip/...)

~~~~ link ~~~~

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stevedeshazer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. Shouldn't we also cut trade with China, then?
China punishes political dissidents. So does Mexico. So does Indonesia, Russia, Malaysia and a host of other large volume trading partners. We trade with them. Why is Cuba different? And the US- we should stop trading with ourselves?

What would they do with all those empty Wal-Marts?
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Osolomia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:34 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. "Why is Cuba different?"

Excellent question but I've yet to see an answer that holds water for a nanosecond.

Even the popular political myth that you have to get the extremist minority Cuban-American vote to win Florida by pandering to their pathological hostility against Cuba is absurd in the face of the bipartisan majority of states already doing business with Cuba including Florida, which didn't come about overnight.

And the travel ban is absurd in the face of the hundreds of thousands of Cuban-American "exiles" who supposedly fled for their lives but have been freely travelling back and forth across the Florida Straits and spending all the money they want in Cuba making them Cuba's largest single source of revenue for several years now while American-Americans still are not free to get on a plane and spend a nickel there or look the "enemy" in the eye without risking a $50,000.00 fine and 10 years in a US jail.

Problem is, the pretzel logic that so many Dem presidential candidates are spewing over the embargo is hardly cause for much faith in their foreign policy either.
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Osolomia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. What if US taxpayers stopped financing the "dissidents" first?

What if 2004 Democratic presidential candidates stopped campaigning for more money for Cuba's "dissidents", and Lieberman's bill for another $100 million was seen for what it really is for example?

If Al-Qaida was financing "dissidents" in the USA intent on overthrowing the US government what would you want done about it?

Is it a "human rights abuse" to arrest threats to the USA's national security? If not, then why do you consider it a human rights abuse for Cuba to do it? How does Castro's Cuba's justice and penal system in such cases compare to the USA's at Guantanamo?
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #8
20. Cuban Americans have only recently dared to speak up in Miami
against the "official" Republican "exile" attitude on US/Cuba relations.

This has happened only since the death of the little emperor Jorge Mas Canosa in Miami, and the Elian-as-hostage-in-Miami saga.

(snip) Silvia Wilhelm was among the organizers of a conference earlier this year that brought together more than 200 people, most of them Cuban-American, who favor dialogue with Cuba and an end to the embargo. Such a gathering would have been unthinkable just five years ago, said Wilhelm, whose group Puentes Cubanos promotes person-to-person exchanges with Cuba.

"The Cuban American community tended to speak with one voice and he tended to be that voice," Wilhelm said of Mas Canosa. "His death left a void and now what you're seeing is a community that is not a monolithic one and is able to convey that message to the rest of the nation. Now people feel freer to voice a difference of opinion which they did not feel free to voice when Mas Canosa was alive."

Prior to this tiny opening of dissident opinion in Miami which favors dropping the embargo and travel ban, there were relentless bombings and murders to keep the congregation in line.( Just search "exiles Miami terrorism" for lengthy Adventures in Reading.

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InkAddict Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:28 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. America Awaits Cuban Cigars!
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
4. Most states and a majority of the U.S. population would remove the embargo
and the travel ban.

The U.S. is censured annually by the U.N., massively. This will happen again in November when they vote to censure the embargo for humanitarian reasons.

Only Israel, and occassionally a stray country the U.S. can muscle into coughing up a supportive vote, like the Marshall Islands will vote for the U.S. embargo.

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

A Ban on Subsidiary Trade: Beginning in 1992, the Cuban Democracy Act imposed a ban on subsidiary trade with Cuba. This ban has severely constrained Cuba's ability to import medicines and medical supplies from third country sources. Moreover, recent corporate buyouts and mergers between major U.S. and European pharmaceutical companies have further reduced the number of companies permitted to do business with Cuba.
Licensing Under the Cuban Democracy Act: The U.S. Treasury and Commerce Departments are allowed in principle to license individual sales of medicines and medical supplies, ostensibly for humanitarian reasons to mitigate the embargo's impact on health care delivery. In practice, according to U.S. corporate executives, the licensing provisions are so arduous as to have had the opposite effect. As implemented, the licensing provisions actively discourage any medical commerce. The number of such licenses granted-or even applied for since 1992-is minuscule. Numerous licenses for medical equipment and medicines have been denied on the grounds that these exports "would be detrimental to U.S. foreign policy interests."
Shipping Since 1992:The embargo has prohibited ships from loading or unloading cargo in U.S. ports for 180 days after delivering cargo to Cuba. This provision has strongly discouraged shippers from delivering medical equipment to Cuba. Consequently shipping costs have risen dramatically and further constricted the flow of food, medicines, medical supplies and even gasoline for ambulances. From 1993 to 1996, Cuban companies spent an additional $8.7 million on shipping medical imports from Asia, Europe and South America rather than from the neighboring United States.
Humanitarian Aid: Charity is an inadequate alternative to free trade in medicines, medical supplies and food. Donations from U.S. non-governmental organizations and international agencies do not begin to compensate for the hardships inflicted by the embargo on the Cuban public health system. In any case, delays in licensing and other restrictions have severely discouraged charitable contributions from the U.S.
Taken together, these four factors have placed severe strains on the Cuban health system. The declining availability of food stuffs, medicines and such basic medical supplies as replacement parts for thirty-year-old X-ray machines is taking a tragic human toll. The embargo has closed so many windows that in some instances Cuban physicians have found it impossible to obtain life-saving medicines from any source, under any circumstances. Patients have died. In general, a relatively sophisticated and comprehensive public health system is being systematically stripped of essential resources. High-technology hospital wards devoted to cardiology and nephrology are particularly under siege. But so too are such basic aspects of the health system as water quality and food security. Specifically, the AAWH's team of nine medical experts identified the following health problems affected by the embargo: (snip)

(snip) Such an embargo appears to violate the most basic international charters and conventions governing human rights, including the United Nations charter, the charter of the Organization of American States, and the articles of the Geneva Convention governing the treatment of civilians during wartime.(snip)

(snip)Havana: Gilberto Duran Torres couldn't devote much attention to Pope John Paul lI's historic visit here in January. While Cuban journalists and thousands of foreign journalists recorded the pope's every move, Duran and the other doctors at Calixto Garcia Hospital, Cuba's largest and most prestigious medical center, spent another hair-raising week quietly concocting their own miracles-a string of patchwork procedures to keep their patients alive.
Duran is chief of the intermediate care unit. He has worked at the hospital for 25 years, but nowadays he watches helplessly as the country's awesome cradle-to-grave, free medical system slowly disintegrates. Duran's department, for instance, is making do with artificial respirators that are more than 20 years old. . . . "We should have at least 12 for my unit," he says. "We have far fewer, and they are always breaking down. When one goes, we don't have the parts to fix it, so we have to search around the city, find a hospital that's not using theirs, and transport it here." So much of the world's advanced medical equipment and drugs are manufactured by U.S. firms that the three-decade-old American embargo is now literally killing Cubans, according to a 1997 report issued by the American Association for World Health (AAWH) following a year-long investigation.
Back in Washington, the proponents of the embargo insist that needed medical supplies can still get to Cuba. But the 300 page AAWH report, "Denial of Food and Medicine: The Impact of the U.S. Embargo on Health and Nutrition in Cuba," provides startling documentation of dozens of cases in which Cuban hospitals could not secure the medicine and equipment they needed because of the sharp restrictions imposed by the 1992 Cuban Democracy Act.
Dr. Julian Ruiz, a surgeon at Calixto Garcia, recounts his 15-day search last September for a Z-Stent Introducer, a small contraption that he needed to operate on a man with colon cancer. Not one could be found in the country. The manufacturer of the Z-Stent, Wilson Cooke Medical Inc. of Winston-Salem, N.C., refused to sell it to the Cubans. Ruiz' staff, scouring the world, finally found a Z-Stent they could buy in Mexico. By that time, the man's cancer had spread.(snip)

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joeybee12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:53 PM
Response to Original message
5. I thought it was JOE Montana
Thought he had to be up to something since he doesn't broadcast any games like many former NFL players!
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disgruntella Donating Member (983 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 06:16 PM
Response to Original message
6. Hey - that's my state!
I am proud of the bipartisan effort here (although as a Democratic partisan, I love Max and loathe Denny).

Good news for farmers and ranchers in MT has been in short supply for so many years. This is nice to see. Thanks for posting it!
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LuminousX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Go Montana!
The state sure could use an economic boost.

Maybe MT could be the official distribution point for cuban cigars.
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. no cigars, please!
We have had enough smoke in the air this summer!
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 06:13 AM
Response to Original message
18. Democratic Senator Max Baucus is in Cuba even as we post!

Posted on Mon, Sep. 15, 2003

Visiting U.S. senator calls for an end to Cuba sanctions
Associated Press

HAVANA - Sen. Max Baucus, the highest ranking American official to visit Cuba since a crackdown on dissidents, said Sunday that eliminating U.S. sanctions could help nurture democracy on the island.

Baucus, a Democrat from Montana, said as an American he valued freedom of religion and association and ''I would like to help the Cuban people obtain these same rights.'' Eliminating restrictions on American travel to and trade with Cuba could help do that, he said.

Underscoring that idea, Baucus and Republican Rep. Dennis Rehberg, also of Montana, signed a memorandum of understanding to sell the Cuban government up to $10 million of products from the state, such as cattle, wheat, barley and dried beans.

Earlier in the day, the lawmakers met for an hour with Oswaldo Pay, Cuba's best-known democracy activist. (snip/...)

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Osolomia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. So Sen. Baucus met with Oswaldo Paya eh?

Hmmm, that's funny because according to US government propaganda and the positions of the 2004 Democratic presidential candidates and their brainwashed supporters Castro recently jailed such "dissidents", so why isn't Paya in jail if Dean and Lieberman etc. are to be believed?

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Oswaldo Paya opposes the embargo and travel ban strenuously
and doesn't keep it to himself when he speaks to American legislators, or anyone else. The Miami extremists can't take that kind of thinking, since they insist on keeping the strangle hold on Cuba, and Americans clueless and in the dark, hearing only what the propaganda machine cranks out about cuba.

It was something to consider that when Paya visited Miami the last time, they had police cars surrounding the place where he was speaking, in anticipation of possible violence from certain exiles against him! Creepy, isn't it?

So much for freedom of speech in Miami, so many bombs and gun shots later, after their arrival in the 1960's.

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Osolomia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #21

Paya has strenuously condemned US financing of the dissidents also but the 2004 Democratic presidential candidates and their supporters insist on ignoring what people like Oswaldo Paya and Elizardo Sanchez have been saying about US interference in Cubas internal affairs, and also insist on ignoring what they and the bipartisan majority across the USA have been saying about the economic embargo for several years and 4 US presidential campaigns now.

Such Democrats* certainly cannot be very progressive minded if Floridas Batistiano exiles are still able to keep them clueless and in the dark all these Internet years and still counting! Fact is, it was DU, not the "exiles", that wouldn't allow articles about the historic trade fair in Havana to be posted on LBN for example. Go figure!

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. The 55 members of our American Congressional Working Group
on Cuba would be very perplexed by this, I'm sure.

This movement has been picking up momentum since the latter part of the '90's in the House of Representatives, and in the Senate.

Apparently not that many people recognize it was the formidable Republican Senator John Warner who got the biparatisan ball rolling in 1998, with the creation of the US Cuba Commission:

Look at his supporters:

Current Members of Congress: Co-Sponsors/Supporters Proponents: Senator John W. Warner, R-VA, and Senator Christopher J. Dodd, D-CT
U.S. Senators:
John W. Warner (R-VA)
Rod Grams (R-MN)
Christoper "Kit" S. Bond (R-MO)
James M. Jeffords (R-VT)
Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
Richard G. Luger (R-IN)
Michael B. Enzi (R-WY)
John H. Chafee (R-RI)
Arien Specter (R-PA)
Gordon Smith (R-OR)
Craig Thomas (R-WY)
Barbara Boxer (D-CA)

House Members:
Jon Christensen (R-2nd/NE)
Charles B.Rangel (D-15th/NY)
J. Robert Kerrey (D-NE)
Dale Bumpers (D-AR)
Jack Reed (D-RI)
Rick Santorum (R-PA)
Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT)
Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY)
Dirk Kempthorne (R-ID)
Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT)
Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Pete V. Domenici (R-NM)
Patty Murray (D-WA)

Former Secretaries Of State:
Lawrence S. Eagleburger
Henry A. Kissinger
George P. Shultz

Former Under Secretaries Of State:
William D. Rogers

Former Assistant Secretaries Of State:
Harry W. Shalaudeman

Former Sectretaries of Defense:
Frank Carlucci

Former Secretaries of Agriculture:
John Block
Clayton Yeutter

Former Majority Leader, U.S. Senate:
Howard H. Baker, Jr.

Former Ambassadors:
J. William Middendorf
Timothy Towell

Former CIA Officials:
Max Hugel - Deputy Director of Operations

Former Members of Congress:
Malcolm Wallop (R-WY)
Tom Hagedorn (R-MN)

Former Military Leaders:
Lieutenant General Gordon Sumner, Jr.

Religious Organizations:
United States Catholic Conference

Cuban-American/Hispanic Groups:
Cuban American Alliance Education Fund, Inc.
Cuban Committee for Democracy
Hispanic American Center For Economic Research

Christian Voice
Media Research Center

Hardly a wild and wooly bunch of Trotskyites, nor a bearded, scruffy group of guerrilas.

In fact, Senator John Ashcroft, representing Missouri's interests, favored dropping the embargo, before Bush enlisted him for the Attorney General's office.

I guess the same people who get flipped out over the Cuba subject would have to convince a whole lot of "establishment" people, including American military officials who have toured Cuba intimately, at Fidel Castro's invitation, that the "Cuba" subject is just too explosive for discussion!
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Osolomia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. "Cuba subject is just too explosive for discussion" even on DU

otherwise surely the glaring contradictions between the opinion of the majority of Americans and the Rest of the World versus the extremist minority stance of the 2004 Dem presidential candidates would be addressed.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 03:58 PM
Response to Original message
25. AP story on North Dakota's business with Cuba
Cuba remains large trading partner with North Dakota
By the Associated Press

FARGO -- Much has happened in the year since Fidel Castro met with North Dakota farmers over wine and salmon at a food trade show in Havana.

The Cuban dictator's harsh crackdown on pro-democracy dissidents has chilled the already frosty relations between the United States and its communist neighbor.

But Castro's regime keeps filling its pantries with food from U.S. suppliers. The country spent $116.6 million in agricultural goods last year, ranking it as the 50th export market. (snip)

(snip)A year ago, delegations of farmers and agribusiness leaders from North Dakota and Minnesota were among the 750 who flocked to Havana for the first U.S. food trade show since Washington imposed an economic embargo against Cuba 42 years ago. (snip/...)

No wonder Bush threw a log under the wheels of US/Cuban tiny steps in commerce at the Cuban trade fairs. Can't have Americans knowing how wildly we've been conned by our propaganda machine. Heaven forbid we should see behind the American Wall to Cuba, and recognize who the hell has been lying all this time, and why.
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