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truthpusher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 11:56 PM
Original message
Intellectuals Back Cuba Over Rights Record
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2005/03/14/international/i200947S37.DTL


Intellectuals Back Cuba Over Rights Record
----------------------------------------------
By VANESSA ARRINGTON, Associated Press Writer
Monday, March 14, 2005
----------------------------------------------

(03-14) 20:09 PST HAVANA, Cuba (AP) -- About 200 intellectuals, activists and artists from Latin America and elsewhere issued a letter Monday urging the top United Nations human rights watchdog to side with Cuba in an expected battle over the communist country's rights record.

A U.S.-backed resolution to condemn the island's record is usually presented at every spring meeting in Geneva of the U.N. Human Rights Commission, which this year was to open Monday and run through April 22.

(snip)

"We urge the governments of the commission's member countries to not permit (the resolution) to be used to legitimize the anti-Cuban aggression of the administration of (President) Bush," the letter said.

(snip)

Nobel Peace Prize laureates including Adolfo Perez Esquivel of Argentina and Rigoberta Menchu of Guatemala signed the letter, as did South Africa's Nadine Gordimer and Portugal's Jose Saramago, both recipients of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Among American signatories were actor Danny Glover, author Alice Walker and historian and activist Howard Zinn. Other international figures included filmmaker Walter Salles of Brazil, the music group Manu Chau and France's former first lady, Danielle Mitterrand.


complete story: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2005/03/14/international/i200947S37.DTL
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skippythwndrdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 11:58 PM
Response to Original message
1. My ass.
Human rights in a communist dictatorship? yeah, right.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 06:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
58. The concentration camp at Guantanamo was built by the US
not by Fidel Castro. Cubans enjoy more freedom and democracy than Americans do under Bush. Not only that, Cuban women have an absolute right to an abortion, something that American women never enjoyed even under Roe v. Wade, and a right that has been seriously undermined under Bush.

I'll take Fidel's Cuba over Bush's America any day!
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skippythwndrdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 10:01 PM
Response to Reply #58
72. Go ahead, then, move there.
I'll stay right here. To inquire about relocation to the Cuban Worker's Paradise, you can contact the Cuban Embassy to the UN at
315 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Tel: 212-689-7215 * Fax: 212-689-9073

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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 10:47 PM
Response to Reply #72
73. I was there, last time when Big Dog was Prez
Edited on Tue Mar-15-05 10:48 PM by IndianaGreen
before our glorious free democratic country began to prosecute people for traveling to Cuba.

I want America to become a "workers' paradise" instead!
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #73
75. Don'tcha just love the RW-like Pavlovian response
Edited on Tue Mar-15-05 11:23 PM by Mika
The "why don't you move there" response to a post depicting the truth about Cuba is f-ing laughable. Actually.. pathetic.

I would move to Cuba in a New York minute, if I could. But, sadly, Cuba does not have an open immigration policy.

We need an 'American Adjustment Act' there. ;)



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skippythwndrdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 08:55 PM
Response to Reply #75
110. I apologize that I oppose Communist Dictatorships...
maybe my comments hit a little close to home?
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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #110
117. Cry us a river...
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #117
118. Beautiful! A lot more credible than the "Holy Bush" photos
we see so often!



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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #118
122. Bush is *holy* alright,
holy dispictable POS the likes of which we have never seen. I never thought the day would come when RayGun and Old Bush would look good compared to the wannabe King of the World Dubya.

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piece sine Donating Member (931 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #58
112. Cuba is so old hat
and a gay hell, too.
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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #1
120. Amnesty International USA Report along with the report for Cuba
Folks living in glass houses should never throw stones. You can continue to parrot the RW *communist dictatorship* bullshit, but when you compare human rights between the USSA and Cuba the truth is readily apparent to anyone with a rational mind. No doubt the 2005 report will laud the USSA for no longer killing juvenile offenders (the LAST country on the planet to ban that barbaric practice).

Amnesty International's reports for the USSA and Cuba--introductory paragraph--more at the website.

USA

More than 600 foreign nationals were detained indefinitely without charge or trial or access to family members or legal counsel in the US naval base in Guantnamo, Cuba, on grounds of possible links with al-Qaida; others were held in undisclosed locations. There were allegations of torture or ill-treatment of detainees held at a US base in Afghanistan and of detainees held by US forces in Iraq following the US-led invasion and occupation. Three people were held incommunicado without charge or trial in the USA as enemy combatants. Death sentences continued to be imposed and carried out under federal and state law. There were reports of police brutality, deaths in custody and ill-treatment of prisoners.

http://web.amnesty.org/report2004/usa-summary-eng


Cuba

2003 saw a severe deterioration in the human rights situation in Cuba. In mid-March the Cuban authorities carried out an unprecedented crack-down on the dissident movement. Seventy-five long-term activists were arrested, unfairly tried and sentenced to up to 28 years imprisonment; they were prisoners of conscience. In April, three men convicted of involvement in a hijacking were executed by firing squad, ending a three-year de facto moratorium.

Criticism from the international community, including countries and individuals previously supportive of the Cuban government, intensified. The Cuban authorities sought to justify these measures as a necessary response to the threat to national security posed by the USA. The US embargo and related measures continued to have a negative effect on the enjoyment of the full range of human rights in Cuba.

http://web.amnesty.org/report2004/cub-summary-eng



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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #120
125. Excellent post! Too bad you have to point it out to them, isn't it?
I'm sure anyone could figure it out, but it would get in the way of the propaganda. They hope people don't know the difference between what they say and the way it is.

I'm saving this thread for future reference.

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guajira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #1
131. When Someone Says - if you love Cuba so Much why don't you
move there?

Well, if you're getting Social Security of even plan to, be aware that the US will NOT give you your benefits while you are in Cuba. The SS payments will be held until you leave Cuba.

OTOH, if you move to Mexico (or many other countries), you can collect SS payments.
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saskatoon Donating Member (574 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #131
179. soc. sec---Cuba
I didn't know that. Brings up a lot of thinking and questions re the Cubans who have taken over Miami. I keep hoping they will be able to(and will)return to Cuba but if as you say they never will or they will lose out re the funds they have built up re SS ???
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Dirk39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 12:08 AM
Response to Original message
2. Since the Bush-Nazis have built the first concentration camp
in Cuba, Guantanamo Bay, it's still the same procedure every year...

What about the U.N. sending some troops to Guantanamo Bay, liberate the prisoners and putting the U.S. Nazis, who protect it into prisons and put them in front of an international court.

Shut your fucking mouth about human rights U.S.A.,'till the day, the whole Bush-Gang, the Pentagon, and the CIA is imprisoned and judged.

Hello from Germany,

Dirk

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Lone_Wolf_Moderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 12:12 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. U.S Nazis? Tell me, do you hang out with Ward Churchill?
Are you really going to compare our human rights record with despotic Cuba? I have nothing left to say.
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Dirk39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 12:18 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. There's no comparison...
The USA has started about 500 illegal wars and military actions since the end of WWII, the USA has financed and established fashist regimes all over the globe since then, it has send and educated tortures and death squads all over the globe, it has toppled elected governments and replaced them with fashist regimes. They have financed and armed terrorists all over Europe to destroy the left. Americans have killed millions of innocent people in Vietnam and everywhere else. I don't know how to compare this legend of crimes and human rights violations with Cuba.

Dirk
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Lone_Wolf_Moderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 03:30 AM
Response to Reply #6
16. Dude, you have got to stop drinking the kool-aid.
I can't even debate this with you. You're just out there on the fringe. You really are.
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:36 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. Unfortunatately for you...
Dirk has some facts on his side, while I dispute the "500 wars" comment specifically, overall it is an accurate picture of United States foriegn affairs before and after WWII.

Look at this site for more info:

http://home.att.net/~Resurgence/CIAtimeline.html

Also look at this site for info before WWII:

http://lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm

The point is this, our country is like any other, it only looks out for it's, or it's businesses interests. If our country has to kill millions of people to ensure that it's interests are met, it will do so, without hesitation. If it percieves a threat, political or otherwise, from another nation, it will try to do anything within its power to neutralize that threat, including using Nazis, the bonafide ones, to train death squads or SAVAK of Shah of Iran fame to terrorize civilians. Why persist in a myth of some type of moral superiority, we are a nation that is no more and no less violent than any other in history, to believe otherwise is to "drink the kool-aid".
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seg4527 Donating Member (851 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 05:32 AM
Response to Reply #19
22. read Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace by Gore Vidal
It lists every single war that we've faught since WWII. I'm not sure what exactly it is, but it's in the hundreds.
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ProgressiveConn Donating Member (820 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #16
70. Nah you just obviously have no clue of what you speak.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #16
105. Maybe you should try learning history, rather than believing fables.
The U.S. has tons of blood on its hands. This isn't "fringe" in any way.

But hey, it's your head. Try not to let the sand infect your eardrums.

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phasev Donating Member (187 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #16
140. someone doesn't know their history n/t
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VegasWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #6
71. I agree with you. The only difference is that we start wars which
invariably kill too many innocent civilians so that the war
mongering large corporations in the US can turn a tidy profit.
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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 12:30 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. BWAHAHAHAHAHA US vs Cuba?? US is FAR WORSE and the planet knows it
Only US sheeple who are too brainwashed by their own media don't know their country's own history. Most suffer from America's Amnesia.

<clips>

...In January this year, at least six weeks before the release of the State Department's latest annual human rights survey, Human Rights Watch, in criticising Washington's policies that undermine global human rights, said the USA "can no longer claim the moral high ground and lead by example".

Identifying gross human rights violations by US forces at detention centres in places like Human Rights Watch said: "Its (the US') embrace of coercive interrogation is part of a broader betrayal of human rights principles in the name of combating terrorism..."

Even now, as it demands the withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon, following the murder of a former Lebanese prime minister that remains a matter of United Nations investigation, President Bush is finding it quite uncomfortable to dismiss exposures of a US policy of "outsourcing torture".

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/html/20050312T190000-0500_76745_OBS_USA_BLIND_TO_ITS_OWN_SINS.asp

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Spinoza Donating Member (766 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #7
200. Damn right the US is worse!
Thats why we see boatloads of Americans constantly risking their lives to flee to Cuba. Good point!
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gorbal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #200
204. No there going to Canada
Edited on Fri Mar-18-05 06:49 PM by gorbal
Appareantly you haven't heard of the countless number of americans seeking Canadian citizenship after Bush was re...was crowned. Fortunately we don't have to risk life and limb to go there, just bring some form of ID.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #200
212. There's no Cuban counterpart to the US's Cuban Adjustment Act
The USA offers over 20,000 LEGAL immigration visas per year to Cubans (and Bush just announced that the number would increase despite the fact that not all 20,000 were applied for in the last few years). This number is more than any other single country in the world. Its the US interests section in Cuba that does the criminal background check on the applicants.

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

Cubans who leave for the US without a US visa are returned to Cuba (if caught at sea - mainly in smuggler's go-fast boats @ $5,000 per head) by a US/Cuban repatriation agreement. But IF they make it to US soil, no matter who they are or what their criminal backround might be, they get to stay in the US and enjoy perks offered ONLY TO CUBAN IMMIGRANTS (via the US's Cuban Adjustment Act and a variety of other 'Cubans only' perks). Perks like instant work visa, instant green card, instant access to sec 8 taxpayer assisted housing, instant social security, instant welfare, free health care, and more.

These perks are not offered to any other immigrant group, but yet, without the perks offered to Cubans, immigrants still pour into the US from all over the Caribbean and the Latin Americas - many taking greater risks than Cubans to get here.


Get it? There is no such thing as a Cuban illegal immigrant. Plus, they get perks that no other group is offered.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 01:54 AM
Response to Reply #4
12. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
ProgressiveConn Donating Member (820 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 02:06 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. Got any Native or African Skulls in your back yard? nt
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Dirk39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 02:07 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. Unfortunately, I'm not able to undo what my grandparents did...
Edited on Tue Mar-15-05 02:22 AM by Dirk39
but what the USA is doing, is happening NOW and it's happening for decades without any punishment. None of the genocides commited by the USA was ever stopped or punished. And what the USA has done since the end of WWII is a slap in the face of the victims of Ausschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. The USA is turning Nuremberg into a cynical joke, a ridiculous theatre.
The Nation that organized the trials of Nuremberg has slaughtered between 2 and 4 million people in Vietnam, just years later - we will never know how much - and the killers are still celebrated as "heroes", not a single U.S. soldier or general or politician was ever punished for their crimes against humanity. Till that very day, not a single dollar was paid for reperations. And as long as this is going on, just one war after the other will be justified. And soldiers will be seen as heroes in the USA and not as the scum of the earth. Idiots, stupid idiots, who kill and will be killed for their corrupt government, masquerading as "patriotism".

Germany did need a Dresden to halfway learn this - but it still wasn't enough. The USA has never ever experienced any kind of Dresden, not even that...


It's really ironic...too ironic for you to take.

Dirk
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Spinoza Donating Member (766 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #15
126. "The USA
has never ever experienced any kind of Dresden, not even that..."

Ever hear of the burning of Atlanta and Sherman's march thru Georgia? The South experienced military defeat, mass atrocities committed against civilians and military occupation. (I support the Union, not the Confederacy, but that doesn't change the facts of what the North unleashed upon the South.)
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Spinoza Donating Member (766 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #15
201. Great point
All those millions of immigrants who keep coming here are WRONG, WRONG WRONG.
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saigon68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 03:43 AM
Response to Reply #12
18. ADIOS AL
VAYA CON DIOS
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passy Donating Member (780 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 05:38 AM
Response to Reply #12
23. Whoa you couldn't do better for a first post!
Let's all blame Germans for ever for the actions of their forefathers.
How about the countless people the Americans have killed since 1776 without justification, let us see native Americans, African Slaves, each other, Koreans, Vietnamese, Laotians, Cambodians, Iraqis, Afghans, plus the countless people who have died and continue to die due to America's support of oppressive regimes including Israel.
Now are ready to take the blame for all these murdered souls.
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Vladimir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 06:20 AM
Response to Reply #4
29. Fallujah n/t
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #4
60. When the US-puppet Batista was in power, Jews were persecuted in Cuba
The socialist revolution swept away with the anti-Semitism that was so prevalent when Christianity was the official religion of Cuba.
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Spinoza Donating Member (766 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #60
127. What about Gays under Castro?
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #127
129. Why don't you explain what you're talking about?
Edited on Thu Mar-17-05 12:58 PM by Judi Lynn
Specific charges would be your best bet, if you're looking for a discussion.
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Spinoza Donating Member (766 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #129
134. There is literally tons
of information documenting the brutal mistreatment of Gays by Castro's Cuba. As one example check out the Independent Gay Forum here:
http://www.indegayforum.org/authors/carpenter/carpenter17.html

In an hour you could find hundreds more on google, if you are really interested. I would also recommend you read Cuban gay writer Reinaldo Arenas' auto-biography "Before Night Falls". (It is also a fine movie.)

Like you, I did not believe Castro persecuted, tortured and imprisoned Gays for no crime except their sexual identity. Then, a few years ago, I saw the movie "Before Night Falls". Then I read the book. Then I began to talk to Gay activists and check out some of the huge documentation available. It really opened my eyes to the almost unbelievable cruelty and hatred of Castro and his regime toward Gays. This can't just be brushed off. I once thought Castro was a genuine people's hero. I now know that he is monster.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #134
135. I've been looking at this article for the last few minutes.
It would lead you to believe the problems they experienced arose from the culture itself. You might want to think this over and see if any of it works:
Homosexuality Is Not Illegal In Cuba, But Like Elsewhere, Homophobia Persists
By Eva Bjorklund

Before 1959 there was no manifest difference between the situation of homosexuals in Cuba and the rest of Latin America, or in relation to Latin cultures in Europe, such as Spain and Portugal. As compared with Anglo-Saxon homophobia and oppression, there were some cultural differences, e.g., the more aggressive male cult of Latin American sexism, although relatively irrelevant as regards the effects of oppression. The Cuban Penal Code enacted in 1938, which in turn originated from Spanish laws, was in force until 1979. The 1938 Law penalised "habitual homosexual acts, homosexual molestation, scandalous, indecent behavior, ostentatious displays of homosexuality in public".

Maybe because the liberation struggle traditionally associated male bravery and revolutionary virtues, maybe due to influence from homophobic Soviet laws (a "decadent bourgeois phenomenon"), combined with Cuba's own Latin, Catholic and African homophobia, homosexual men, whose manners were mostly effeminate according to Cuban tradition, could be branded as anti-social in the mid-1960s. In 1965 the so-called UMAP camps (Military Units to Help Production) were created. In practice they were military labor camps for young men considered unfit for military service, e.g., homosexuals or objectors. They were intended for men who neither worked nor studied, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Seventh-Day Adventists, who refused to do military service, and the like. The camps were closed down after two years after vast internal criticism in Cuba, and the internees released. Among the Cubans interned, who are today famous and celebrated, you will find the singer, musician and poet Pablo Milanis, and the Baptist pastor and MP Ral Suarez. Most internees were heterosexual but the main subject of criticism was the internment of homosexuals and believers, which also persisted as an image of repression in Cuba. Since those days, however, a lot has happened, but for many reasons, particularly the anti- Cuban and counterrevolutionary propaganda that dominates Western mass media, the image of repression both against believers and homosexuals still prevails. The 1938 Law, still in force in the 1970s, was not enforced against "habitual homosexual acts", but in some cases, it was applied to "homosexual molestation, scandalous, indecent behavior, and ostentatious displays of homosexuality in public". During the second half of the 1970s, however, the attitude towards homosexuality was questioned in various ways. In 1977, the Centro Nacional de Educacin Sexual (CNES) was founded on the initiative of the Cuban Women's Federation (FMC), and their seminars and publications encouraged a more enlightened outlook on homosexuality and started to undermine traditional sexual prejudices and taboos. The work done by this center has contributed to changes in attitudes and laws, and the credit for the fact that the AIDS problem has not been handled with a homophobic outlook is largely attributed to this endeavour.

In 1979, homosexual acts were removed from the Penal Code as a criminal offense, and it became formally legal for consenting adults, as occurred in Spain at the same time. However, "ostentatious displays of homosexuality" were still against the law, as were "homosexual acts in public places". And male homosexual acts with minors were more severely penalised than heterosexual acts of the same kind.
(snip/...)
http://www.angelfire.com/pr/red/cuba/homosexuality_in_cuba.htm

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


Also, I found this, a little earlier:


Gay Cuba

Beating the Bully

The bully the U.S., of course, not Castro will eventually come to its senses and leave this little island and its vital citizens alone

BY GARY MORRIS

Americans' view of Cuba is based more on the right wing's mythmaking (a process they've become expert at) than on qualities inherent in Cuban society. In some areas literacy levels, for example Cuba has a better track record than we do. The situation for Cuban gays is also awash in misinformation, which Sonia de Vries' level-headed documentary goes far in countering. Gay Cuba combines interviews with gay and lesbian men, government officials, and average citizens, with musical performances and gay pride parades. Along the way, we get a quick, painless lesson in Cuban history.

From 1898 to 1902, the island (now 11 million people) was occupied by the United States. From 1902 until 1959, the U.S. supported dictators to protect our corporate interests a process that turned the island into a model of Third World corruption and exploitation. Even after the revolution, Cuba offered to compensate American companies that were nationalized, but, typically, the U.S. refused and thus began the destructive blockade that continues today beyond all reason, logic, and morality.

What effect did the revolution have on the acceptance of gay people in a country drenched in machismo? Unfortunately, the government adopted the familiar Stalinist line that homosexuality is "a byproduct of decadent capitalism." The Public Ostentation Law was enacted in the 1930s specifically to encourage harassment of gay people who refused to stay in the closet, and in spite of the revolutionary process of reexamining old attitudes, the government refused to repeal that law until 1988. Police, used to casual harassment and arrests of gays, were ordered to desist. Director de Vries interviews people who recall this time, but as one activist says, "Cuba right now is not a human rights issue."

Cuba was rightly condemned also during the 1980s for quarantining people with HIV, a practice that also collapsed under careful scrutiny. In 1993, the incarceration law was lifted, and HIV patients enjoy free medicines, housing, and full wages if they're able to work policies that again show the superiority of this little island nation over its bully to the north. The National Center for Sex Education leads workshops throughout the country to try to eradicate homophobic attitudes. One of the women who works for the center blames the Catholic Church for much of the anti-gay attitude that continues to exist: "The Catholic religion simply rejects pleasure; life; sexuality in general." Many Cuban gays have in turn rejected the Church, finding spiritual solace in their own growing sense of community, or in the more sensual and open-minded Santeria religion.
(snip/...)
http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/17/08a_gaycuba.html

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


And here's something you may not have read:
CUBAN REVIEW No.75, August 2001

The everyday scene

HOMOSEXUALS IN CUBA: "OKAY, BUT AT A DISTANCE..."

From a distance, it looked like a normal wedding. Young women in white
gowns and veils; young men in suits and red tie. A wedding cake, music,
guests and photos: a proper marriage.

Close up, the picture changed. Four homosexual young men were acting out
false nuptials (homosexual marriages are not legal in Cuba) in San Miguel
del Padron, one of Havana's poor outlying neighborhoods.

"I've lost a son, but I've gained a daughter," said the mother of one of the
boys. "What can I do?" she added.

Homosexuality has been gaining ground in Cuba in recent years, passing from
total rejection to a relative level of tolerance, in a far-from-easy transit
that has to contend with 500 years of time-honored machismo inherited from
Spain.

Young transvestites and homosexuals in general walk along 5th Avenue in
Miramar each night, stroll in the area of the popular Coppelia ice cream
palace, or occupy the corner of 51 and 100 streets in Marianao, among other
places in Havana. Some of them speak openly about "my spouse." Others make
up the bulk of the carriers of HIV and AIDS.

The level of tolerance existing on the island in the 42nd year of the
socialist revolution was not always thus. In the decade of the '60s,
homosexuals were seen as weak creatures, both physically and ideologically,
and some functionaries proposed hard labor as the best method of
rehabilitation.
(snip/...)
http://www.blythe.org/nytransfer-subs/2001-Sexual_Politics/Homosexuals_in_Cuba:__Okay,_but_at_a_distance..._

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #134
139. Here's more for, if not you, other DU'ers....
Excerpt:
Why did gays and lesbians in Cuba continue to face discrimination after the revolution? Some of the repression was the result of the deep roots of the Catholic Church in Latin America since colonisation.

The women's liberation movement of the 1970s, which challenged sexist and homophobic assumptions, and the hold of the church, had a weaker impact in Third World countries than in the imperialist countries where it arose. Because of the revolutionary transformation that took place in Cuba, however, the status of women was addressed much more there than in other Latin American countries and today abortion is freely available, divorce is easily obtainable and numerous child-care centers have been provided to facilitate women's full participation in the economy and society.

The Cuban government passed laws in the 1970s requiring men to take equal responsibility for all domestic tasks and to contribute equally to supporting their children. While these changes began to break down the basis of the sexual division of labour in the traditional family unit, the family unit remains stronger in Cuba than the revolutionary government would like. This is primarily because Cuba's poverty does not allow it to completely socialise domestic work and child-care.
(snip)

In 1993, Fresas y Chocolate (Strawberries and Chocolate), a film criticising Cubans' intolerance of homosexuality, was produced by the government-run Cuban film industry (which can only afford to produce three or four films a year). In 1995, Cuban drag queens led the annual May Day procession, joined by two queer delegations from the US, one from the New York Center for Cuban Studies and the other from the Bay Area Queers for Cuba.
(snip/...)
http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/43b/172.html
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Spinoza Donating Member (766 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #139
144. Sorry,
but all I see is that you are "explaining" (the 'culture') and "rationalizing" what is, in fact, outright persecution of gays. The persecution of Gays in Cuba may have improved since the late 70s, (if so, thank God!) but that doesn't change what Castro did to--and the fear he imposed upon-- thousands of Gays in Cuba. Back in the 60s I practically worshiped Castro. I now know him for the fucking homophobe he actually is.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #144
154. Maybe it would be worth your time to reset and think about the constant
Edited on Thu Mar-17-05 04:18 PM by Judi Lynn
anti-gay problem the Cuban "exiles" have created in Miami:
Armesto Watch


Last week excitable Take Back Miami-Dade spokesman Eladio Jos Armesto and his merry gang of anti-homosexualist pranksters used Spanish-language media to pummel their foes at SAVE Dade/Say No to Discrimination. Spanish-language radio commercial: Boy: "Mommy, mommy, they're discriminating against me because I'm a Boy Scout." Mother: "Don't worry. On September 10 we're going to vote Yes to revoke the sexual-orientation amendment." Male announcer: "Don't be confused. On Tuesday, September 10, vote Yes for our children and our families. Vote Yes to revoke the dangerous sexual-orientation amendment." Spanish-language flyer: "Don't let Janet Reno get away with her tricks! She deported the defenseless boy Elian. She persecuted the Boy Scouts. Now she wants to prevent us from revoking the dangerous 'sexual orientation' amendment that gives special privileges to homosexuals, bisexuals, and transsexuals.... Homosexualist extremists have used the amendment to: Deny funds to the Boy Scouts and youth organizations that help poor children in our community and that protect these children against declared homosexuals. Use your taxes to promote homosexuality among kindergarten children, WITHOUT parental consent. And this is just the beginning! Homosexualists want to get rid of all laws protecting children and adolescents from sexual abuse and exploitation."
(snip/)
http://www.miaminewtimes.com/issues/2002-08-15/news/sidebar.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Angels with Ice Picks
In one Little Havana church, there's no room for Love
BY JIM DEFEDE
[email protected]


Steve Satterwhite

Art Buonamia spent $1144 on new tires after his were slashed in a church parking lot


From the Week of Thursday, September 21, 2000
.....But Buonamia could not accept having the church's altar seized to make political speeches against the United States. The priest was hiding in the sanctuary at the time, he recalls. I asked him later why he would allow them to take over the altar like that. I said they shouldn't be allowed to do that. And he said, There isn't anything I can do about it.' Which is true. He is afraid of them.
(snip)

After continued prodding by Father Hopkins and other church members, Buonamia and his wife agreed in late August to come back to Saint Philomena. On Sunday, September 3, the couple, having spent the early morning campaigning for Love, drove to church in their recreational vehicle, which had several large Jay Love for Mayor signs affixed to it. Buonamia says he warned Father Hopkins that he would be driving the RV, and the priest said it would be fine. Buonamia parked in the rear of the church parking lot. I was trying to obscure it as much as possible, he says. We knew it wasn't Love territory, but it never dawned on me that people would get physical over this.

Soon after arriving, Marisa Buonamia was accosted inside the church by Eladio Armesto-Garcia, a former Republican state representative, who served in Tallahassee from 1992 until 1994. He told her to move the RV immediately. She refused. I told him: This is a democracy,' recalls Marisa, who hails from Panama. Next Armesto-Garcia confronted Buonamia.

He was very agitated, Buonamia remembers. He starts screaming at me in Spanish that Jay Love is a homosexual and that I'm supporting homosexuals and that I have to get my RV out of there. I told him it is not important to me what he thinks. I'm here to go to Mass, and I asked him to leave me alone. He then screamed at me in church that he was going to beat the shit out of me when Mass was over.

Armesto-Garcia is a member of the Christian Coalition and chairman of a group called Take Back Miami-Dade, whose goal is to repeal the so-called gay-rights ordinance passed by the county commission two years ago. The ordinance, which is designed to protect individuals from discrimination based on sexual orientation, was enacted through the efforts of the nonprofit SAVE Dade political-action committee.
(snip/...)
http://www.miaminewtimes.com/issues/2000-09-21/defede.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Miami-Dade County: Right-wing coalition tries to overturn gay rights law

Gay rights advocates and a coalition of Religious Right groups continued a bitter and contentious battle over the 1998 amendment to Miami-Dade Countys human rights ordinance that prohibits sexual orientation discrimination in housing, employment and banking. A coalition of religious and right-wing groups, including the Dade County Christian Coalition and the Tampa-based Florida Family Association, formed Take Back Miami-Dade to advocate a countywide referendum to overturn the 1998 ordinance. Take Back Miami-Dade claimed the law was fundamentally unsound public policy.

In December 2000, Take Back submitted approximately 51,000 signature petitions to the County supporting a ballot referendum to repeal the gay rights ordinance. Approximately 35,000 valid signature petitions from registered voters were needed to place the question on the ballot. The County Supervisor of Elections, David Leahy, then began the process of a random sample review of the signatures in order to determine whether a sufficient number of valid signatures had been submitted by Take Back to place the matter on the ballot.
(snip)

Eladio Jose Armesto of Take Back Miami-Dade responded to the filing of the lawsuit by claiming that that homosexualist extremists are abusing the judicial process in an incredibly outrageous attempt to violate the constitutional right of Miami-Dade citizens to vote in a referendum for the just repeal of the legally unnecessary, socially divisive and politically undemocratic sexual orientation amendment.
(snip)
http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=3994

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Spinoza Donating Member (766 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #154
165. What does anything in Miami
have to do with Castro's imprisonment, torture and persecution of Gays in Cuba? Do you even know a single gay man who has actually lived under Castro? How can you defend anyone who imprisons gays just for being gay? What is wrong with you?
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #165
172. Sorry, I['m not going to fall for that.
Who defended?

It would be helpful if you started contributing some actual references that indicate there were actually cases of people being TORTURED because they were gay.

I don't buy it. Never heard of it, not once. Looking forward to reading your links.
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Spinoza Donating Member (766 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #172
190. OKAY, YOU WANT LINKS?
http://uscis.gov/graphics/services/asylum/ric/documentation/CUB99001.htm
http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/43b/172.html
http://www.geocities.com/youth4sa/cubagays.html
http://www.amigospais-guaracabuya.org/oagaq003.php
http://www.petertatchell.net/international/cuba2.htm
http://www.galha.org/glh/213/cuba.html

If I wanted to spend the time, I could give dozens more. Please note, several of the sources referenced are actually SYMPATHETIC to Castro and the Cuban revolution. Nevertheless, they are honest enough to describe the incarceration of gays, just for being gay, and other atrocities.
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #165
187. References please
Of gays being imprisoned for being gay in Cuba.

What part of "Being gay IS NOT ILLEGAL but homophobia persists" don't you understand?

There's lots of homophobia in Brazil too (even more than in the USA) but nobody says Lula persecutes gays.
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Spinoza Donating Member (766 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #187
191. NO PROBLEM
http://uscis.gov/graphics/services/asylum/ric/documentation/CUB99001.htm
http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/43b/172.html
http://www.geocities.com/youth4sa/cubagays.html
http://www.amigospais-guaracabuya.org/oagaq003.php
http://www.petertatchell.net/international/cuba2.htm
http://www.galha.org/glh/213/cuba.html

If I wanted to spend the time, I could give dozens more. Please note, several of the sources referenced are actually SYMPATHETIC to Castro and the Cuban revolution. Nevertheless, they are honest enough to describe the incarceration of gays, just for being gay, and other atrocities.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #191
214. Almost all are from the same flawed source
Like Armstrong Williams, stories-for-profit lack credibility.

Of course the mistreatment of gays is not justifiable in any way, but homophobia existed everywhere. It would be interesting to do a comparative timeline with the USA on the discrimination/mistreatment of gays.

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tinanator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #4
62. LOFL
Edited on Tue Mar-15-05 06:18 PM by tinanator
its nice to hear youre out of words like those. But if you want a few to chew on heres some- Guatemala, Iraq, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chile, Panama, COINTELPRO, Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, voter suppression, privatizing Social Security, turning the surplus and peace dividends into Halliburton and Enron pig troughs. Yeah, thanks for the good words.
-Damn. I see by your further posts that your words no good.
shame.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #62
68. You've got THAT right.
Accurate post, and so enjoyable! Hey, high five!

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tinanator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #68
69. back atcha
great contributions. I think its much more fun to watch the right wing of DU stutter than it is to soil myself viewing the FReek show at FR. Although that is one heck of a train wreck to rubber neck at these days.
peace.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #2
104. Rock on, Dirk. Speak that truth!
NT!

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Lone_Wolf_Moderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 12:09 AM
Response to Original message
3. Meanwhile, in the REAL world, Cuba's commitment to despotic
fascism rises. Are these "intellectuals" on Castro's payroll?
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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 12:18 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Meanwhile, back in the USSA, the USSA's *commitment to facism* grows daily
and US sheeple are asleep at the switch concerning their own country and its abysmal human rights record. LOL

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burrowowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 12:45 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. Facism is Corporatism
Edited on Tue Mar-15-05 12:52 AM by burrowowl
dixit Mussolini.
Socialism or communism are on opposite ends.
Jesus and his disciples were a tad communistic. Judas, who keep the comual purse seemed to be a tad capitalistic.
This does not say that governments of any ilk aren't authoritarian, as Jesus said render unto Caesar what is caesar's and to god what is god's.
By the way god's name on money smacks of blasphemy to me.
Cuba hasn't killed 200,000 Guatemalean indians like Raygun did, et cetera!
LONG LIVE DOROTHY DAY! LIBERATION THEOLOGY! SOCIAL JUSTICE!

And how come Cuba has a much lower infant mortality rate the the U$? Because they hate babies or because social justice toll in the U$ is a bad word?
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Dirk39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 12:47 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. While...
Edited on Tue Mar-15-05 01:12 AM by Dirk39
human rights "exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually changed into something contradictory of what they used to be"

And the people, who contradict are on "someones payroll"? (jews? bolchevists? the jewish-bolshevist world conspiracy?)

Just like the people, who had the guts to contradict Stalin or Hitler.

And even Orwell has become fast-food, not merely changed into something different, but....

Torture, war and human right violatons are among the only gods that are still produced within the U.S.A., I pretty much understand that you defend your only remaining economy.

Wherever people, who represent the U.S. government or work for it, talk of human rights, people should simply turn away or spit into their faces and turn away. Be thankfull that there are still moderate intellectuals, who write petitions, instead of to simply say "Fuck off!"

Poor poor America,
Dirk
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ProgressiveConn Donating Member (820 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 01:25 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. Are you on a corporate payroll?
Cuba offers equal and free education and health care services.

The only concentration camp on the island is run by Bush.

If I had to speak to which country has a better human rights record I'd probably have to go with Cuba even though it sure as hell isn't democratic.
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Lone_Wolf_Moderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 03:36 AM
Response to Reply #10
17. Uh, no. Free health care? Is that really all you care about?
Are you telling me that the only requisite for a nation to be free is free health care!? They enslave you, but you get free health care. They strip away your basic human rights, but at least you get free health care. Sorry, that smells like a raw fascist deal to me.

Are you really..oh never mind.
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aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 05:06 AM
Response to Reply #17
20. No
Nothing is really free.

But such human rights as EQUAL opportunity to health care, EQUAL opportunity to education, EQUAL opportunity to housing, EQUAL opportunity to nourishment, EQUAL opportunity in pursuit of happiness, working together instead against each other, respecting and utilizing the needs and talents of each individual.

That's what we care about. And liberating the minds and souls of those who are in such a sorry state that they don't even realize their own slavery to corporate fascism but rather than face the truth forge their own shackles.
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passy Donating Member (780 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 05:56 AM
Response to Reply #20
26. Very well said!
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ConcernedCanuk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 09:45 AM
Response to Reply #20
34. A little reading from Canukistan . .
.
.
.

Given 2 choices, Cuba or the USA, I would choose Cuba.

I have visited and lived in the USA, I have never been to Cuba.

However, I have met numerous people that have visited Cuba, and they love it.

Never mind more of my personal experiences - read on
_________________________________________



Letter from Ed Asner



Dear Friend,

We have passed a very significant milestone. December 2004 marked the 10th anniversary of our first shipment of life-saving medicines to Cuba. Thanks to you, and thousands of other generous supporters, we're still going strong.

/snip/

In late October, the United Nations voted to condemn U.S. policy toward Cuba. It was the 13th year in a row in which the world body felt forced to take that step. The vote was 179 to 4. Only the U.S., Israel, Palau and the Marshall Islands voted "no." Micronesia abstained. Every one of our other close allies and trading partners, from Canada to Japan and every country in the European Union, voted against the U.S. embargo.

Meanwhile, as we seek the help of those allies in the global war against terror, we simultaneously expose the insanity of our Cuba policy for all to see. Sen. Max Baucus of Montana released a statement in September pointing out that the Bush administration has ordered the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to beef up the number of personnel working on enforcing the Cuban trade embargo.

Sen. Baucus points out that this is the same office charged with rooting out sources of terrorist funding. Yet, incredibly, OFAC has allocated 21 full-time positions to the enforcement of the Cuban trade embargo, but only 16 to search for Al Qaeda's financial backers. Only 15 positions are allocated for Iraq, 14 for Iran, and only one each for North Korea and Afghanistan. Can you imagine a better yardstick of the insanity of Bush's policy toward Cuba?



________________________________________________________

"Cuba's achievements in social development are impressive given the size of its gross domestic product per capita. As the human development index of the United Nations makes clear year after year, Cuba should be the envy of many other nations, ostensibly far richer. demonstrates how much nations can do with the resources they have if they focus on the right priorities - health, education, and literacy."
-- Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, April 11, 2000

/snip/

Cuban social policy is characterized by its emphasis on universal coverage and reach for all programs and for all educational, health, and social benefits. These are seen as part of a "social wage" that workers accrue in addition to their monetary wage.

/snip/

Education is also considered a right of every citizen and is provided free of charge at every level. The Cuban educational system includes pre-primary, primary (1 to 6), secondary (7 to 9), and pre-university or technical/professional education (10 to 12). University education is also available.



_______________________________________________________

The PROGRESS that Castro has made in Cuba since the beginning of the embargo is amazing when one thinks about it

meanwhile

90 miles away

the USSA deteriorates into a police state, feared and mistrusted around the world

IF the USSA was the only example of Democracy, I would deplore democracy in the name of whatever one wants to describe Castro's government as - Communist, Socialist, or whatever . .

What's in a name anyhoo -

The USSA is riding on the coattails of POWER, and is certainly no model of a Democracy that I would want to be part of

Take away the USSA's military, and the world would soon shun it like the plague

Just my Canuk Opinion tho . . . :eyes:
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #34
36. Focusing on Castro is a big mistake
Mr. Castro didn't make these achievements - the Cuban people do it every day!

Obsessing on Castro is the BushCrimenazi way to distract Americans from the fact that the vast majority of the Cuban people support their way of life/government. Demonizing and lionizing one man is pure distraction. Mr Castro was not/is not the '59 revolution, the Cuban people were/are. Mr Castro didn't create Cuba's world class health care and education system - cuban educators and doctors did. The Cuban people wanted these things and they made them happen.

Mr Castro did not do these fine things - the Cuban people did/do it.


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ConcernedCanuk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #36
37. Then . . focusing on BUSH is also a mistake - the VOTERS of the USA
.
.
.

are responsible for the actions of the USA

right? :shrug:

They had their choice (albeit not much of one) in 2004

They chose Bush

The PEOPLE of the US, should they ever develop a collective spine, could get themselves a more compassionate diktator, no?

Whether Castro let the progress happen, or made it happen - he still has the BoyKing outranked in my books

But I's jus a Canuk

whadda I know ??

:dunce:

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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #34
121. Thanks for sharing that letter.
"American Democracy"... riiiiiiiight.
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Lone_Wolf_Moderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #20
50. I guess your sig line explains it all, huh?
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aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #50
57. No
It doesn't explain anything, it's just a sigline. But I guess for you lot's of stuff is "inconceivable"... :)
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tinanator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 06:21 PM
Response to Reply #57
63. I just love the Princess Bride
if only for that one scene with the guy who keeps saying
"inconceivable!"
never get involved in a land war in Southeast Asia.
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tkmorris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 05:26 AM
Response to Reply #17
21. Of course not
Fortunately that is not all there is to Cuba. As an aside their health care not only is universal, it also manages to be superior to the US version.

Cuba also hammers the United States in areas like: access to education, worker's rights and benefits, equality of rights, and so on. Furthermore no one there is a "slave", as you called them. Castro and his regime fail in only one respect. They are unwilling to tolerate ANYONE attempting to overthrow their government and return Cuba to the hellhole it used to be. The man may be paranoid but since the US really IS out to get him perhaps a reasonable person might forgive that.

Oh and by the way. "Fascist". I don't think that word means what you think it means.

/Inigo Montoya
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Lone_Wolf_Moderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #21
49. Cuba has better health care than the U.S? Inconceivable!
eom
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #49
65. US has the best health care in the world... if you can afford it!
and if your insurance company will cover that "experimental" procedure to treat your cancer.

At least you have shown that you are well educated, as all of us were, by the capitalist propaganda we are fed since kindergarten.
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Spinoza Donating Member (766 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #49
202. Now I understand
why so many thousands of Americans are constantly risking their lives to flee on leaky, dangerous boats to asylum in Cuba. It's for the superior health care.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 05:38 AM
Response to Reply #17
24. Do a poll with citizens
yep - health care, education, housing and community are way more important. Free health care afterall facilitates the right to life. Is that not the most important right for all of us. Of what use is the right to vote when most elections are rigged anyway and in favour of corporate interests. Freedom of the press - where - MSM USA - plueeez.
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Spinoza Donating Member (766 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #24
203. But why
are so many Cubans continuously risking their on leaky, dangerous boats to come to the U.S.? Do they just not get it?
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #203
208. Why do hundreds of people die trying to cross the border
ANNUALLY from Mexico to the United States? Why do hundreds of people DIE ANNUALLY trying to reach the United States each year from Haiti?

Why is there Caribbean migration? Why do Dominicans get in "leaky boats" and travel to Puerto Rico?

Why do people throughout Latin America also travel up through Mexico and across the border into the United States, sometimes dying in the desert or drowning before they can make it?

You'll be better off if you try to learn and then to think, rather than posting without either learning or engaging your brain.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 08:06 PM
Response to Reply #208
210. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
ProgressiveConn Donating Member (820 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 06:08 AM
Response to Reply #17
28. Nope not all I care about.
I care about my government torturing people too. I care about wars of aggression my government starts. I care about the institutionalized repression that my government is attempting in regards to the homosexual community. I care about my tax dollars being spent on the promotion of specific religions. I care about my tax dollars being spent on weapons programs and propagandizing the public through fake media instead of feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, educating the ignorant, healing the sick, and achieving true equality amongst people.

I am not claiming that Cuba is without faults. That it is a model to be emulated. I am a strong critic of Cuba's policy on a number of areas including the lack of democracy and the high censorship levels.

But your notion that the US has such a position for moral authority as to you to attack the very comparison of it to Cuba makes you sound like an uneducated freeper. On this issue you've drank the Kool-Aid that is McCarthy-Reaganism.
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Lone_Wolf_Moderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #28
48. I am no Freeper, but I won't take the freeper remark personally.
I just think you're wrong. The U.S isn't perfect, but I don't think it's arrogance to look at our history, and say we've got a better track record than Cuba, and every other nation for that matter.
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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #48
52. We are giving $200,000 to people to go around bad mouthing Cuba
The cash assistance is being channeled through the U.S.-financed National Endowment for Democracy and pays more than two dozen freelance writers for a Miami-based Web site that posts articles critical of the Cuban government.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0502220325feb22,1,4481665.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed&ctrack=3&cset=true

Perhaps you should put in for your share. Spreading propaganda around DU against Cuba should be worth a buck or two for you.

Bush has to pay free-lancers to write propaganda, you shouldn't do it for free.
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aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #48
59. I don't care what you are
But saying so is mark of both arrogance and extreme ignorance.
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Niccolo_Macchiavelli Donating Member (641 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 05:47 AM
Response to Reply #48
77. your track record...
lemme see...

starting at slaughtering the natives

instigating war with canada

slavery as long that is only surpassed by russias serfdom in "western nations" counting russia out USA is the country last to abolish slavery.

well thats not a good start for the first hundred years.

but lets see what we got else

war with spain US started, the philippines-slaughterhouse ummm ummm

then the series of toppled governments in south america. but ok lets see how many democracies emerged from US interventions. Ow that are ...NONE!

World war I + II

well there we have something but o wait without the bush crime cartel family hitler wouldn't have had the funds to finance the war...which side was america on again?

bay of pigs, vietnam, panama, deathsquads in el salvador by courtesy of US...

how was that about a good track record? Lone_Wolf_Moderate setzen! sechs!

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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #48
106. You may not think so, but that is in fact the HEIGHT of arrogance.
Nationalism - such a silly, ignorant thing.

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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 08:12 AM
Response to Reply #17
31. Castro provides free health care? Nope. The Cuban people work hard for it
Edited on Tue Mar-15-05 08:24 AM by Mika
Castro doesn't provide universal health care - the Cuban people enacted it via their representational government (something we the people can't get done in the USA). It is doctors, nurses, researchers, educators - all Cubans - who are the people who make it happen, for all of the Cuban people. Castro didn't do it - the Cuban people do it!

Castro doesn't provide universal education - the Cuban people wanted it and enacted it using their representational government, in exactly the same way they did for their health care system.

Castro doesn't do it! The Cuban people do.

Can anyone seriously argue that these things are forced on any populace? Parents are forced to send their children to good schools? Forced to have high quality health care from pre birth to death? Their are TENS OF MILLIONS of Americans (several times the entire population of Cuba) who would give their left one to have access to these very things, yet they do not have enough of a political voice to make it happen (just how representational is that?). Instead the American rich get richer while the poor face debtors prisons and homelessness if a health care crisis hits their family, and higher ed for their children becomes an almost impossible dream.

It doesn't work this way in Cuba because the Cuban people enacted a different way. They enacted it using their political will and their democracy.



added on edit - BTW, I've been to Cuba many times (legally) including during the entire 1997-98 election season, where I saw open slate/candidate selections & open nominations, open campaigning, open elections, open ballot counting in public, open ratification referendums, more open ballot counting, and open announcement of the winning elected citizen to their parliament. It was the most open and representitive plebiscite I have ever seen.


__

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



____


Before the 1959 Cuban 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 Cuban revolution..

    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.




    The Cuban people did this, not Castro.


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    Lone_Wolf_Moderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:07 PM
    Response to Reply #31
    46. OK. The people fought for health care and good schools.
    Now all they need to do is kick their despotic leader out of power, and they'll really be free.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:16 PM
    Response to Reply #46
    51. Worrying if I didn't understand the meaning of "despot"
    I looked for an online definition for sanity's sake, after reading your post. I could only find the following:
    Main Entry: despot
    Pronunciation: 'des-p&t, -"pt
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle French despote, from Greek despotEs master, lord, autocrat, from des- (akin to domos house) + -potEs (akin to posis husband); akin to Sanskrit dampati lord of the house -- more at DOME, POTENT
    1 a : a Byzantine emperor or prince b : a bishop or patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church c : an Italian hereditary prince or military leader during the Renaissance
    2 a : a ruler with absolute power and authority b : a person exercising power tyrannically.
    http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=despot

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


    I don't get your meaning, actually. An American who has posted here has discussed the fact that Cuba's President has been overruled on important issues he favored in the Cuban National Assembly. Just because you don't know about things like this doesn't alter the reality.

    Americans have been kept totally in the dark about Cuba, but don't assume that what you don't know could ever take the place of actual events. You are pulling hard for a right-wing propaganda machine. That's not a good idea. It's all lies.

    As soon as the travel ban is lifted and CROWDS of Americans get the chance to find out more about Cuba, they'll look back at people like you and wonder what the heck you were thinking!
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    Lone_Wolf_Moderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:39 PM
    Response to Reply #51
    54. Alright, if you say so. I'm done with this issue.
    Edited on Tue Mar-15-05 04:40 PM by Lone_Wolf_Moderate
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    tinanator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 06:22 PM
    Response to Reply #54
    64. deja vu
    I dont spose you mean it this time?
    nah, spose not.
    at least you won them all over with your persuasiveness though!
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    Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 08:49 PM
    Response to Reply #54
    107. You should thank Mika and JudiLynn.
    Edited on Wed Mar-16-05 09:09 PM by Zhade
    They've taken time out of their day to show you some quality information. Learning is a wonderful thing.

    I'll also add my thanks for their information. They're terrific!

    EDITED: to not be such a dick about it

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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 09:10 PM
    Response to Reply #107
    111. Thanks Zhade, but there's no need to thank me..
    .. for it an honor to relect upon and defend the good people of Cuba.

    One of the funny things about the 'Cuba threads' is that I am (as well as others) are often called "Castro apologists" or "Castro lovers" etc, But if you notice my posts you'll see that I don't apologize or defend Mr Castro nor lionize him as the doer of all things in Cuba. I defend the Cuban people who do the hard lifting each and every day. Every government has some skeletons in their closet, Cuba included, but does that mean that it is justice that the Cuban people must face agression and terrorism from the world's major superpower? Of course not. I am biased though, because I love Cuba and I love many Cubans in Cuba (and some in Miami). I am terribly saddened that we cannot regularly meet and greet, face to face. We are only 90 or so miles apart. We are now restricted to email and telephone by the US government.
    :(


    I which I was there now.

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    0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 02:50 PM
    Response to Reply #46
    83. Fulgencio Batista was working with the U.S. and Cuba suffered. Go figure!
    Can these numbers be bad? Castro is a true countryman in the strictest sense of word.

    For the sake of time, I will outline just a few figures for Latin America as a whole as compared to Cuba. I hope you pay attention and learn something my fine feathered friend.

    - Illiteracy rate: Latin America, 11.7%; Cuba, 0.2%

    - Inhabitants per teacher: Latin America, 98.4; Cuba, 43, in other words, 2.3 times as many teachers per capita

    - Primary education enrollment ratio: Latin America, 92%; Cuba, 100%

    - Secondary education enrollment ratio: Latin America, 52%; Cuba, 99.7%

    - Primary school students reaching Fifth Grade: Latin America, 76%; Cuba, 100%

    - Infant mortality per thousand live births: Latin America, 32; Cuba, 6.2

    - Medical doctors per hundred thousand inhabitants: Latin America, 160; Cuba, 590

    - Dentists per hundred thousand inhabitants: Latin America, 63; Cuba, 89

    - Nurses per hundred thousand inhabitants: Latin America, 69; Cuba, 743

    - Hospital beds per 100 thousand inhabitants: Latin America, 220;
    Cuba, 631.6

    - Medically attended births: Latin America, 86.5%; Cuba, 100%

    - Life expectancy at birth: Latin America, 70 years; Cuba, 76 years

    - Population between 15 and 49 years of age infected with HIV/AIDS: Latin America, 0.5%; Cuba, 0.05%

    - Annual AIDS infection rate per million inhabitants, i.e. those who develop the disease: Latin America, 65.25; Cuba, 15.6

    - The first international study of the Latin American Laboratory of Evaluation of educational quality, carried out in 12 Latin American countries including Cuba, produced the following results. Although these data have been already mentioned, I would like to briefly refer to them in detail:

    - In Language, 3rd Grade: Cuba, 85.74 points; the remaining 11 countries, 59.11 points

    - In Language, 4th Grade: Cuba, 87.25; the rest, 63.75

    - In Mathematics, 3rd Grade: Cuba, 87.75; the rest, 58.31

    - In Mathematics, 4th Grade: Cuba, 88.25; the rest, 62.04

    What is or will be the future of those countries?

    According to these figures, of the seven Latin American countries that voted against Cuba, four --Costa Rica, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay-- that had boasted in the past of being the most advanced in the region, fall well behind Cuban figures. In some of these, they reach or scrape past the half way mark in comparison to Cuba, but in others they are very well below. This is the case of pre-school education for 0-5 year olds, for example, that only reaches 15.8% of the children in that age group in Chile as compared to Cuba's 99.2%.

    It requires a truly cynical person to join such a Mafia-style adventure, in which they have been involved at the urge of the imperial overlords.

    The response to the emergence of the Bolivian Revolution in which the people and the military joined together to unleash a revolutionary and democratic process that is also unprecedented, was a fascist coup d'etat.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:44 AM
    Response to Reply #31
    116. Thanks for recommending that book on Cuban elections, Mika
    I finally broke down and ordered it during the overnight hours from Amazon, as it looked as if I shouldn't go on without reading it, after all. Very interested in looking through it.


    Looking forward to finding out more about how the system works. Better to light a candle than curse the darkness, right?

    Found two odd items I wonder about, considering the oddness of the date: September 11th. The first is well known by Americans who are interested in our country's history with Latin America:
    11 September, 1973 - The Day Democracy Died in Chile

    Salvador Allende holds a unique place in history as he was the world's first democratically-elected Marxist leader of any nation. Sadly, President Allende of Chile's election sent a shiver down the spine of the West who were in the middle of a Cold War, whose egos were reeling from the failure to topple communism in Vietnam and who still felt the threat posed by the Cuban Missile Crisis1. Allende was elected to power with 36.2% of the vote in 1970 - his term was to be cut short less than three years later by General Augusto Pinochet. Both Allende and Pinochet were dogmatic men, each believing his cause was the right one and neither left room for compromise - when two men of this disposition clash, tragedy is the only outcome. This entry chronicles the events of the day that democracy died in Chile.

    From mid-August 1973 there had been rumblings of a coup brewing in Chile - the economy was suffering due to the withdrawal of foreign investment in the democratically-elected state. At 4am on 11 September, a date that is now synonymous with strikes against democracy, military units stationed throughout Chile reported for action to the leaders of the coup, led by Augusto Pinochet2. By 7am, these troops were being deployed, their aim to wrest the urban centres of Chile from local politicians. The most effective operation was carried out in Concepcin, the country's third largest city - the military had cut all the phone lines of governmental personnel and had rounded everyone up and placed them on an island to keep them from communicating what had happened to the rest of the world. Once these key players had been removed, the city slipped into military hands. The whole operation took less than 85 minutes to execute.

    Valparaso, Chile's major port, was taken in stages. The navy had seized the port by 7am but they were unsure at this time whether or not the Chilean army was on their side or not. However, it became clear that all the armed forces were in cahoots and the city and port fell in a matter of hours. While two of the country's largest cities fell, the nation slept, blissfully unaware of the turmoil about to erupt.

    The Day Unfolds

    At 6.20am, President Allende was alerted to the fact that the navy were trying to capture the port of Valparaso and on hearing the news, he immediately removed himself to La Moneda, the presidential palace in the heart of the nation's capital, Santiago - surely the next target on the military's list. Allende was given the opportunity to leave the country by plane in an offer made by a military aide-de-camp General von Schowen. Allende declined the offer saying:
    Tell General von Schowen that the President of Chile does not flee in a plane. As he knows how a soldier should act, I will know how to fulfill my duty as President of the Republic.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A716591

    The second, concerns an event many are familiar with, but the DATE suddenly looks so strange:USA v. Jose V. Lopez: 84-CR-0880
    Synopsis: This case is related to 83-CR-0821, 84-CR-0282, 85-CR-0830. Between 1974 and 1983, Omega 7, a Cuban terrorist group working within the United States, committed over fifty violent acts, which included bombings and assassinations targeting Cuban diplomats, businesses sympathetic to Communist Cuba, corporations trading with Cuba, and the United States Government.

    After Fidel Castro took control of Cuba in 1959, many Cubans fled the regime for the United States. Among them were Eduardo Arocena, Jose Lopez, Pedro Remon, Andres Garcia, and Eduardo Losada-Fernandez.

    Frustrated by unsuccessful attempts to overthrow the Cuban government from within and after failing to convince the United States that external support would result in a successful overthrow, Arocena took matters into his own hand, creating Omega 7, a violent terrorist network with cells in New Jersey and Miami. On September 11, 1980, Omega 7 gunned down Felix Garcia-Rodriguez, an attache to the Cuban Mission to the United Nations.
    (snip/...)http://www.tkb.org/CaseHome.jsp?caseid=298

    As you probably remember, it was Eduardo Arocena, who started the anti-Cuba terrorist group, Omega 7, who tesitifed in open court, during a murder trial for that murder of the Cuban attache, that he had PERSONALLY been involved in biochemical warfare in acts of terrorism against Cuba.

    I am really concerned about what September 11th actually means BEFORE it happened here during Bush's watch. If I seem to be missing after a long period of time, you may assume I found out what the connection is! Ha ha. Yikes!

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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 08:52 PM
    Response to Reply #116
    215. Its about time!!
    :hi:

    There's some great photos too, that I know you will really appreciate. Its a great read for the emerging domocratic revolutionary in all most of us.


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    Politicub Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 08:17 PM
    Response to Reply #17
    180. Your O'Reilly-brand centrist positions are fascinating
    Impressive. It takes a lot of energy to constantly rationalize that which is not logical.
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    passy Donating Member (780 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 05:54 AM
    Response to Reply #3
    25. You can call Cuba despotic and it surely is but,
    Castro is obviously a despot whose regime has unfairly killed and tortured countless dissidents.
    Now looking at the state of things in America I would like you to point out the differences on a human level.
    American citizens can be imprisoned for voicing dissent or even lending the wrong types of books from their library thanks to the Patriot Act.
    Foreigners visiting the country can be locked up without trial for an indefinite period and might end up on the Island of Cuba in legal limbo being tortured.
    In the mean time the majority of Americans live a life of economic servitude that will last until the day they die.
    In the event that they become ill they will only be treated if their bank account allows them to.
    A very small minority runs the country in a never ending quest for becoming richer. The millions of people that they exploit in the process, some of which will most likely die due to poverty are not really important to them as a human being's worth in America will always be measured in $.
    As for the intellectuals on Castro's payroll they are probably rabid communists who will use their status to infiltrate the US and destroy your way of life?
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    Itsthetruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 09:45 AM
    Response to Reply #25
    33. Cuba Tortures Dissidents? Nonsense!
    "Castro is obviously a despot whose regime has unfairly killed and tortured countless dissidents."

    That is utter right-wing nonsense. Name one.

    The nearly half century long anti-Cuba propaganda has been effective. Even some progressive minded people have been deceived.
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    passy Donating Member (780 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 03:06 PM
    Response to Reply #33
    43. Are you telling me no-one was ever imprisoned and tortured in Cuba ...
    ...under Castro?
    There has never been any secret police in Cuba either, and people are free to express their mind and call for Castro to resign?
    I heard they also have elections there and that everybody is free to come and go as they please.
    You don't really need to be affected by right-wing propaganda to realize that a totalitarian regime like Cuba's, although it might have its advantages, can only stay in place by crushing dissent and yes getting rid of the opposition in an often violent fashion?
    So don't make Cuba sound like a Utopian version of a Communist state because it isn't.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 03:54 PM
    Response to Reply #43
    45. It would be helpful if you located some written information
    about this brutality, and post it here, to inform us. You can understand why people can't just take someone's word for anything, don't you? That's how propaganda got such a chokehold on the American public, and we live in utter darkeness until we take the initiative to start educating ourselves.

    For a start, here's a look at the last budget for U.S. funding for U.S.-maintained "dissidents:"
    OVERT US GOVERNMENT FUNDING, for Cuban "dissidents" 2004

    (1) Center for a Free Cuba $5,049,709
    (2) Grupo de Apoyo a la Disidencia $4,650,000
    (3) Cuba On-Line $4,240,000
    (4) Int'l Republican Institute $2,773,825
    (5) Freedom House $2,100,000
    (6) U of Miami: Cuba Transition Project $2,045,000
    (7) CubaNet $1,333,000
    (8) FIU Journalism Program $1,164,000
    (9) Pan-American Dev. Foundation $1,520,700
    (10) Accin Democratica Cubana $1,020,000
    (11) Loyola Univ: NGO Development $ 424,771
    (12) Georgetown Univ. Scholarships $ 400,000
    (13) Plantados: Support for Prisoners $ 400,000
    (14) Mississippi Consortium Int'l Dev $ 399,952
    (15) Latin American Mission: Dry Milk $ 392,976
    (16) Carta de Cuba $ 289,600

    Completed projects 5,806,570
    TOTAL: $34,010,103

    Source: Ana Radelat, "USAID funding for anti-Castro groups tops $34 million, "
    CubaNews (Maryland),
    November 2004, p. 9
    (snip)
    http://www.walterlippmann.com/docs051.html

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


    From the C.I.A.'s description of how they would see Cuba's situation (as shared with the U.S. public):
    CIA: Most Cubans loyal to homeland
    Agency believes various ties to island bind the majority
    By Robert Windrem
    NBC NEWS PRODUCER

    NEW YORK, April 12 <2000> Cuban-American exile leaders and many Republicans in Congress believe that no Cuban, including Juan Miguel Gonzalez, could withstand the blandishments of a suburban American lifestyle, that he and all other Cubans would gladly trade their miserable lives in Cuba for the prosperity of the United States if only given the chance. Witness House Minority Leader Dick Armeys invitation to Gonzalez, offering him a tour of a local supermarket. But U.S. intelligence suggests otherwise.


    THE CIA has long believed that while 1 million to 3 million Cubans would leave the island if they had the opportunity, the rest of the nations 11 million people would stay behind.
    (snip)

    The CIA believes there are many reasons Cubans are content to remain in their homeland. Some dont want to be separated from home, family and friends. Some fear they would never be able to return, and still others just fear change in general. Officials also say there is a reservoir of loyalty to Fidel Castro and, as in the case of Juan Miguel Gonzalez, to the Communist Party.

    U.S. officials say they no longer regard Cuba as a totalitarian state with aggressive policies toward its people, but instead an authoritarian state, where the public can operate within certain bounds just not push the envelope.
    (snip)

    There is no indication, U.S. officials say, of any nascent rebellion about to spill into the streets, no great outpouring of support for human rights activists in prison. In fact, there are fewer than 100 activists on the island and a support group of perhaps 1,000 more, according to U.S. officials.
    (snip/...)
    http://members.allstream.net/~dchris/CubaFAQ019.html

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


    How do you explain the continual traffic between the U.S. and Cuba BY CUBAN EXILES until George W. Bush put a screeching halt to it, limiting their visits now (to their great resentment) to one visit every three years? Why did Elin Gonzalez's drunken old great-uncle, himself a Miami "exile" travel to Matanzas to Elin's home for a rip-roaring vacation, spending his days fishing, his nights in the local bars, and sleeping on Elin's dad's own bed, while Juan Miguel slept in his car, to accommodate him?

    It stunned the heck out of me, as up until I learned about this, I lived in utter, twitterpated ignorance myself, and actually believed no one could come or go.
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    aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 06:30 PM
    Response to Reply #43
    67. You tell me
    Cuba has jails and there have been imprisonments that Amnesty International has not been happy about.

    I've not yet seen reliable sources about torture.

    Cuba has death sentence, that was under moratorium, but that moratorium seems to have been lifted. Use of capital punishment should end everywhere.

    To my understanding there are limits to the freedom of expression (which I'm not happy about), but to my understanding calling for Castro to resign is not illegal and practical restrictions I don't know about.

    Cuba does have elections. Nobody nowhere is free to come and go as they please across national borders, I'm not aware of Cuban restrictions being out of line with other countries. There are legally and normally emigrated Cubans everywhere, the doctors that Cuba sends abroad go back after their work, Cuba has received lot's of refugees from Haiti, whore freedom of movement US restricts by gunboats, US citizens are not allowed to visit Cuba under US restrictions.

    Cuba is not utopia, it's not communist, it's socialist. With some authoritarian characteristics I don't like.

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    passy Donating Member (780 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 03:34 AM
    Response to Reply #67
    76. So Cuba is not a communist state,
    Fine lets just say that it is a socialist state, I can live with that as after all it is quite peaceful and lenient when compared with North Korea for example.
    "it's socialist. With some authoritarian characteristics I don't like."
    I guess the Soviet Union under Gorbachev was socialist too, but sadly they still had the KGB and they restricted travel outside of the Eastern Bloc, is it that kind of authoritarian characteristics you don't like?
    Now I'm not dissing Cuba or what has been achieved under Castro nor am I comparing it to the US, but as the saying goes you have to break the eggs to make the omelet and you can't deny that oppression of the opposition by violent means ever took place in Cuba.
    If you truly believe that any leader can stay in power this long without resorting to violence then all I can say is that Castro is a modern day saint whose goodness and fairness must be greatly appreciated by his people for everyday that passes.
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    aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 06:41 AM
    Response to Reply #76
    78. Yes
    There are no communist states, never have been, never will be (it's a contradictionary term). Communist state is short for socialist states with single party system (communist party), but even those countries call and called themselves socialist.

    It's in the nature of power to resort to violence especially when challenged, AFAIK Cuba's record in this aspect is generally not worse than that of western "liberal" representative democracies.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 08:18 AM
    Response to Reply #76
    79. Mr Castro isn't the "ruler" of Cuba
    Edited on Wed Mar-16-05 09:09 AM by Mika
    Mr Castro is as much the ruler of Cuba as the Queen of England is the ruler of England - so, I guess Elizabeth Windsor has been "resorting to violence" to remain ruler of England. :crazy:

    They are both Heads of their respective State.

    The power of the Cuban government resides in the parliament (the Cuban National Assembly).

    Ricardo Alarcon de Silva is the Prime minister of Cuba, as is Tony Blair of England.


    But you already knew that. Right?

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    passy Donating Member (780 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 01:52 PM
    Response to Reply #79
    80. So Presidents are only heads of state.
    You might try to tell Jacques Chirac that he is only a figure head with no policy making powers. In the case of England, yes the queen is the head of state, and all the political power is in the hands of the prime minister as in many constitutional monarchies around Europe like Sweden and Norway for example.
    In France the political power is firmly in the hands of the president even if the prime minister is from another party, they have to work together to form policy.
    So comparing Fidel Castro with the queen of England is really a funny comparison.
    If I had chosen to compare his role as president to that of Chirac then I could have said that he held great political power.

    I should have realized earlier, that all of Castro's ideology and principles have obviously been forgotten and Cuba is now a fully fledged democracy, with a multi-party system and presidential elections (wait I forgot that's not really that important since he would only be a figure head, kind of like in Ireland).

    You know I have nothing against Castro, the man did what he thought needed to be done and fought some tough battles to make Cuba what it is today and he may well be happy to retire or die simply being a symbol of his country's struggles and achievements, but somehow I doubt it.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 02:13 PM
    Response to Reply #80
    82. Why don't you start posting some links, to make some valid points?
    Opinions are worthless if they are based on utter drool.
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    passy Donating Member (780 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 03:00 PM
    Response to Reply #82
    85. You know what, links can say whatever you want them to say.
    Edited on Wed Mar-16-05 03:14 PM by passy
    By just googling "Fidel-Castro repression" I came up with this link http://www.cubafacts.com/Polsys/government_structure4.htm but that guy is surely a pawn of the US gov, and as for this one the Dutch are really a bunch of right-wing nuts too, http://www2.rnw.nl/rnw/en/currentaffairs/region/centralamerica/cub030408.html , this article here http://www.ruleoflawandcuba.fsu.edu/regime-7.cfm came up on a site made by the university of Florida and was written in a Canadian newspaper once again they must be right-wing propagandists.

    But you know what, don't pay attention to my salivating drivel.
    I should have posted links earlier or even scanned in history books while I was at it. I'm ever so sorry for engaging in a discussion armed only with personal knowledge and the individual interpretation of history which it helped to create.

    As for this "Opinions are worthless if they are based on utter drool.", it must be the most pathetic statement I have ever heard in a discussion. It totally denies the other person the right to share their opinion since they are obviously too stupid to even bother having a conversation with.

    So next time you see me post just remember that I am worthless and continue on your merry way, thank you very much.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 03:24 PM
    Response to Reply #85
    87. I need to do some research on your first link.
    Immediately I see it promotes some U.S.-financed (with U.S. taxpayer dollars granted through acts initiated by right-wing Cuban Representatives and their supporters like Tom Delay) "dissidents" as important sources.

    American Cuba watchers are very familiar with these names. From your first site:


    About Cubafacts.com

    Cubafacts.com is authored and maintained by Ramn Mir.

    Ramn is a Washington, DC area resident and a senior research analyst in Latin American affairs at the U.S. Library of Congress.*

    This site was launched in the spring of 2000 as an English-language general purpose resource on Cuba that, it was hoped, would help fill some of the information gaps about Cuba on the web.

    Cubafacts also seeks to portray the human dimension of the Cuban reality. One of its primary goals is to raise public awareness of the dramatic, nonviolent struggle for freedom by Cubas internal democracy movement. Cuban activists, such as Dr. Oscar Biscet, Martha Beatriz Roque, and Oswaldo Pay have forsaken violence and are following in the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in their civic efforts to create a future democratic Cuba.
    (snip/...)
    Oh, my God. Would you look at that? Mahatma Gandhi, now! It was only a couple or three years ago, Miami Cuban "exile" terrorist Jose Basulto was comparing HIMSELF to Gandhi.

    It's a new twist seeing them intone devotion to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., (whom I've heard in person TWICE) considering they are connected to the Miami right-wing Cubans, with whom they correspond, who are most definitely congenital racists from the Batista era and before.

    I'm short on time now, but I'm definitely going to plunge into this and look up this guy. By the way, Marta Beatrice Roque received substantial alottments of U.S. taxpayer-derived money over the years, as testified to in court by a Cuban informant who was her personal secretary for years and knows her business intimately.

    By the way, taking money from a foreign source and working against your own government is a CRIME in this country, even though it's done with people in leftist countries to help destabilize them.

    I'm going to find out more about your U.S.-based propagandist.
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    passy Donating Member (780 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 04:18 PM
    Response to Reply #87
    95. I f you had read the tittle of my post you might get my point.
    I would also like you to do some research on the history and background of the organization behind the second article I mentioned and while you're at it you might want to single out every individual at the FSU who were responsible for making that website relating to Cuba and see if they have any skeletons in their closet.



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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 04:27 PM
    Response to Reply #95
    97. I've read that F.S.U. has been granted horrendous amounts of
    money by the Bacardi company, which is founded and controlled by Cuban right-wing "exiles." I also understand the Cuban Congresscritters in Miami have managed to get Congress to endow vast sums to the place for a special project planning Cuba's future after they plan to steal it back from the Cubans.

    I will surely look into the second item when I get time. There are some DU posters here who know all about F.S.U., who might want to post a few remarks based on their personal knowledge of the hate industry churning away there for contemporary Cuba and its citizens' accomplishments.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 04:37 PM
    Response to Reply #95
    99. Just took a quick look at your 2nd link's "about us."
    Government funded, just like our own NPR. We all know what the hell happened to NPR once Reagan's administration started hacking the budget for it all to hell, and the following Republican-controlled Congresses squeezed its very life out. Now they are HEAVILY slanted toward the right in MANY of their comments. A lot of Democrats have simply stopped listening to it.

    Your Dutch source claims independence, just like NPR. NPR is dead as a balanced forum.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 07:09 PM
    Response to Reply #99
    100. I am waiting for the Armstrong Williams links
    It would be just as valid as the US gov bought-and-paid-for links provided by the poster.

    :hi:

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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 07:39 PM
    Response to Reply #100
    102. There IS a strong right-wing twist, isn't there? Geez.
    :silly: :crazy: :silly:


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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 03:46 PM
    Response to Reply #85
    89. Your first source, managed by Ramn Mir from Washington D.C.
    refers to the comical "independent libraries." I'm linking a letter written by an American librarian who's completely aware of that U.S.-supported system, and all the attendant propaganda. This is an excerpt:
    Law 88, often cited in the sentencing documents of the people in question, provides stiff prison terms for those guilty of supporting United States policy against Cuba through collaboration with the Helms Burton Act. It defines a number of activities committed in conjunction with, or for the benefit of, US policy against Cuba as criminal. Some of these might well raise a red flag for librarians, such as distribution or reproduction of subversive materials *from* the U.S. government that would facilitate U.S. economic aggression. But as American citizens (and sensible people) we need to acknowledge that if these laws were passed in *reaction* to U.S. policy policy and laws conducted in our names then our first responsibility is surely to address our own governments complicity in what happened this spring in Cuba. Amnesty International devotes quite a bit of ink to explaining the relationship of these Cuban laws to US policy. (http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/ENGAMR250172003) Amnesty has declined to take up the cause of condemning Cuban in the United Nations for its human rights record because it sees it as a politicized issue led by the United States (see their FAQ page on Cuba.)

    The Helms-Burton law appropriates millions of dollars of US taxpayers money for the overthrow of the Cuban government. They call it transition to democracy, with the stated purpose of what we now euphemistically describe as regime change. The law and its implementation through USAID and others include the funding of dissident groups in Cuba although the right-wing Cuban organizations in South Florida take home the lions share first. The Helms Burton Law is a multi-million dollar industry in South Florida-- read the USAID report. (http://www.USAID.gov/regions/lac/cu) It is also is the trough which feeds a U.S. funded and organized dissident movement in Cuba, some of whom are now in prison. These funds are increasing every year.

    Recently a U.S. tour group visited Cuban on a people-to-people license (travel now outlawed by the Bush administration, by the way) and they asked a member of Cubas Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the arrests of the dissidents. She put it in a nutshell when she answered: got money from a foreign government yours to overthrow our system. Your government wouldnt tolerate such a thing Neither would hers. (http://www.alternet.org/story.html?storyID=17371)

    And its true, the U.S. wouldnt and it doesnt. There are several US statutes which criminalize the injection of foreign intervention and foreign funding into our political process. Do you believe that foreign governments can freely pour money into our political parties, or that organizations here can receive money from enemy nations for the purpose of regime change here in the States? They cant. Have you ever heard of the Trading with the Enemy Statute of the United States? Why cant you see that Cuba has the same rights as a sovereign nation and that *their* enemy is the U.S? In the same article cited above, a Cuban man on the street had this response when asked his view about the human rights violations against the dissidents: Well be glad to talk to people from your country about our human rights record once you get your foot off our necks.
    (snip/...)
    http://www.pitt.edu/~ttwiss/irtf/cuba.letter4.html

    There are quite a few D.U.'ers here who also know what purpose the U.S.-sponsored "independent libraries" play.


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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 03:58 PM
    Response to Reply #85
    90. Propaganda is too stupid to bother with. It disrespects your fellow man
    or woman. Nothing could be simpler to grasp.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 04:04 PM
    Response to Reply #85
    92. Found a book your Washington D.C. source , Ramn Mir, co-edited
    Mexico, a Country Study. Tim L. Merrill and Ramn Mir, editors. 4th ed. Washington, D.C.: Dept. of the Army, 1997.

    http://www.ku.edu/~splat/laa700/politicsbib.html

    Am I getting closer in imagining he is working, in some capacity for either a Cuban "exile" organization, or a branch of the State Department, working hard, just like Cuban right-wing "exile" Otto Reich did for Ronald Reagan, in the Office of Public Diplomacy, from whence he terrorized American journalists trying to cover the Contra war in Nicaragua?
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 04:12 PM
    Response to Reply #85
    94. You never mentioned your first source is also a movie star!
    Edited on Wed Mar-16-05 04:12 PM by Judi Lynn
    This was absolutely startling:

    Covering Cuba 3: Elin
    Directed by Agustn Blazquez


    Genre Documentary

    Country USA

    Language English

    Subtitles None

    Year 2002

    Length 63 Minutes

    Summary

    This documentary tells the saga of Elin Gonzlez through the eyes of Cuban-Americans. The exile community, heavily slandered by the American press, responds graphically to the Clinton administration. The film is dedicated to the memory of Elisabet Brotn, Elin's mother, who died seeking freedom for her son en route to the United States.

    Screenplay

    Agustn Blazquez


    Cinematography

    Agustn Blazquez

    Cast

    Enrique A. Pollack
    Mercedes A. Viana
    Arthur Estopian
    Ramn Mir
    Cristina Portuondo
    Camila Ruiz
    Vctor A. Triay
    Joaqun E. Ferrao
    Ana Margarita Martnez
    Mario Morlote
    Rubn Porras
    Jorge Rodrguez

    http://www.hispanicfilm.com/en/past-festivals/2003film.asp?id=14
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 04:23 PM
    Response to Reply #85
    96. If there's anyone who can tell me what this Spanish text says, it could be
    interesting. Remarks also from Ramn Mir:
    Esconden a Elin tras una cerca en la nueva casa de Washington

    Pablo Alfonso. El Nuevo Herald

    La histrica residencia ubicada en un aristocrtico suburbio de Washington donde Elin Gonzlez aguarda la decisin de la Corte Federal de Atlanta tiene desde el pasado sbado una nueva imagen: Una cerca de madera que oculta lo que sucede dentro de la vieja casona al lente de los periodistas.

    ``Es algo sorprendente que en un edificio histrico como ste se construya una cerca que cambia totalmente su ambiente arquitectnico'', afirm Ramn Mir, quien vive a una cuadra de la casa que ocupa Elin.

    El pasado jueves Elin, su familia y el resto de las personas que lo acompaan se mudaron de su apartado retiro en Wye Plantation a la residencia de siete dormitorios, en el barrio de Cleveland Park, que aparece inscrita en el Registro Nacional de Lugares Histricos de Estados Unidos.

    ``Es impresionante la cantidad de permisos y licencias que se requieren para construir algo en estas viviendas, cambiar sus fachadas o remodelar cualquier cosa'', dijo Mir. ``Tiene que haber mucha influencia para poder construir esa cerca en tan poco tiempo''.
    (snip/...)
    http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.cubanet.org/CNews/y00/may00/31o1.htm&prev=/search%3Fq%3D%2522Ram%25C3%25B3n%2BMir%25C3%25B3%2522%2B%252B%2BMiami%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D

    (Approximately the 6th story down on the page....)

    Oh, yes, THIS source in which he is quoted also has a hard-right slant. It has been exposed as telling the Cuban community in Miami stories which have been altered, rearranged, and skewed for effect, leaving the only Spanish-speaking readers a little less informed than they understand. A good translator of this paper on a weekly basis is www.rprogreso.com. They have followed "El Nuevo's" creative editing for years.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 07:16 PM
    Response to Reply #80
    101. Huh?
    "I should have realized earlier, that all of Castro's ideology and principles have obviously been forgotten... "

    Not at all. Cuba has evolved using some of Mr Castro's ideologies and principles (which are shared by a great many peoples of this planet) and evolved using other ideas that are not Mr Castro's. Like it or not, Mr Castro is a much respected Cuban among Cubans in Cuba.



    ".. and Cuba is now a fully fledged democracy, with a multi-party system and presidential elections"

    Yes it is. As much a democracy as England and Canada and most other parliamentary systems of government. Check the links in post #31.


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    passy Donating Member (780 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 03:06 AM
    Response to Reply #101
    114. OK let me reply,
    I have given up on JL because she was being unreasonable, but lets see your post.

    The first line you quote was sarcastic, but hey that's not easy to spot. As for Castro being highly respected by Cubans in Cuba, well I don't doubt it, just as I can rightly say that he and what he stands for, is hated by some Cubans in Cuba. Oh sorry! I forgot only Cubans who live in the US hate Castro and that is why they have left Cuba. The other ones who risks their lives to come across are only in it for the money they will get for trashing Castro once they are here. At least it is what I have learned since I started reading this thread.

    As a response to your second statement I found a link for you.
    It seems that having links is the only way to conduct an argument here. But as the link analysis from my previous post shows (by the way, they were random picks on a google search) even that is pretty pointless.

    As my rebuttal link is from the BBC, a gov. funded, British broadcaster, that has no international respect for it's fair and unbiased reporting (sarcasm), I will no doubt be portrayed as a RW nut spewing RW propaganda.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/2673213.stm
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 03:42 AM
    Response to Reply #114
    115. We occassionally have visiting posters referring to Cubans
    Edited on Thu Mar-17-05 03:47 AM by Judi Lynn
    coming across illegally as people who are "risking their lives" to get here. How do you explain the people who actually die in the hundreds annually coming across the desert from Mexico, along the border from California to Texas? Are they, too, "risking their lives?" From whom are they "fleeing?"
    In 2000, according to the Mexican government, 491 Mexicans died while trying to cross the border. The death toll continues to climb, breaking into the news in particularly tragic incidents, such as the deaths of fourteen migrants from heat and dehydration in May of 2001.
    (snip)
    http://www.immigrationforum.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=188

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    According to the World Refugee Survey of 2003, the United States stopped over 1,500 Haitians at sea in 2002, and summarily sent all of them back to Haiti. Within the Caribbean, the political discussion regarding the Haitian refugee dilemma always returns to the basic fact that Cuban migrants more often than not are granted asylum as political refugees in the United States, whereas neighboring Haitian refugees are not afforded the same human rights courtesies. According to Church World Services, "the U.S. agrees to admit at least 20,000 Cubans each year either through refugee admissions, immigrant visas, parolees, or a special lottery." In comparison, the United States Committee for Refugees reports that an estimated 33,200 Haitians sought asylum in the United States in 2002. Only 1,600 of those applicants were granted asylum, while 29,200 Haitians were still pending a decision at the year's end (www.refugees.org).

    The U.S., however, is not the only destination for Haitians fleeing their country. In July of 2003 while visiting family in the Bahamas, I was offered the opportunity to visit a Haitian refugee camp in the hills of Nassau. Most Haitians on the island live in hiding due to fear of deportation from Bahamian immigration officials. Because many Haitians are often forced to squat in uninhabited areas of the island to maintain anonymity, I wanted to shed light on the untold horror stories of Haitian migration. The deaths and disappearances that occur during these voyages often go undocumented and are rarely given a place within American media outlets.
    (snip/...)
    http://www.alternet.org/wiretap/17481/

    It shouldn't be overlooked that during the US-supported coup of Haitian President Aristide, George W. Bush ordered American ships to surround Haiti and turn back ALL people trying desperately to escape from certain death at the hands of the former Duvalier death squads brought back to lay waste to Aristide's supporters. These people were most surely killed as soon as they were returned by the Americans.

    As someone mentioned in a post above, which you apparently chose to disregard, Haitians have also fled to Cuba, and are accepted. There is a Creole Haitian community living in Cuba.

    Haitians make a desperate effort to get here, travelling sometimes over 700 miles only to be held in prison then returned.

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


    The Cuban Adjustment Act works as a strong incentive to lure Cubans to this country, offering instant legal status: they are never chased around and deported as are other immigrants. They are offered instant work visas, Section 8 government (taxpayer subsidized) housing, food stamps, medical treatment, financial expenses for education, even low cost loans.

    It would be a madhouse fighting off the poor of other countries if even SOME of the benefits offered by this country through the Cuban Adjustment Act were available to them. We would be simply innundated, no damned doubt about it.
    Unlike many millions of Latin Americans, including Haitians and other Caribbeans, who emigrate legally and illegally to the United States and are called immigrants, Cubans, with no exception whatsoever, are called exiles.
    On the other hand, the absurd Cuban Adjustment Act has caused the loss of countless Cuban lives by rewarding and encouraging illegal emigration and giving Cubans extraordinary privileges that are not granted to citizens of any other country in the world.
    (snip)
    http://pw1.netcom.com/~hhenke/news27.htm
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 02:10 PM
    Response to Reply #79
    81. As long as people remain ignorant of the facts
    these propagandists are more than happy to revel in their yarns.

    An educated public is their wildest nightmare.
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    0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 02:57 PM
    Response to Reply #43
    84. Fulgencio Batista was ten times more ruthless than Castro
    ever pretended to be, and most Cubans are happier today with a richer way of life than with Batista and Meyer Lanksy fucking up their country.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:37 PM
    Response to Reply #33
    53. You may have fun learning the difference between Cuban "dissident's"
    Edited on Tue Mar-15-05 04:39 PM by Judi Lynn
    tale of his torment, and the real story. He has emigrated (not "escaped") and tried to make a career of imprisonment after attempting to bomb somone, and been lauded as a great hero by certain elements in our country for their own right-wing reasons.

    This excerpt describes an event at the U.N., during which a strong Reagan contingent tried its best to rally strong support for its position against Cuba.
    VALLADARES, ACTOR OF STAGE AND SCREEN

    The center-piece of the US delegation's theatrical performance was Armando Valladares, a former political prisoner, poet and paralytic, -- or policeman, terrorist and imposter (depending on whose version you believe). In any case, an apt protegee of the film-actor president who appointed him.

    Although ultimately of no consequence whatsoever to the final decision of the Commission, the question of Valladares --was he or wasn't he? (a policeman, a terrorist, a poet, paralyzed )-- dominated the debate between Cuba and the United States, and captured most of the media attention, for several weeks.

    The US attempted to parade Valladares and a number of other rabidly anti-Castro Cuban exiles --many of them former prisoners -- before the Commission last year, too. But, according to the equally anti-Castro Miami press, they were given too little hearing by professional diplomats and international media, despite President Reagan's speeded-up granting of citizenship to Valladares to make him an official member of the delegation.
    (snip)

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

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

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

    The only thing perhaps new and noteworthy in the US document was the admission that part of the reason that Valladares book "Against All Hope" became an instant "best-seller" around the world was that it was distributed massively by the US Information Agency. (Presumably it was their advertising and publicity campaign that reached so many gullible reporters who, almost without exception, repeated the publicist's blurb about Valladares being no more than a soft-spoken, religious clerical worker whose only crime was to speak out against communism.)
    (snip/...)
    http://www.canadiannetworkoncuba.ca/Documents/KWald-theatre.shtml

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


    When I have some time, I'd like to look for more on this guy. He's a real clown. He wrote to his contacts in Miami, telling them he was being held in prison because of his beliefs, his "Christianity" or god only knows what all, and he told them that he had been beaten so badly he was paralyzed. He told them the guards urinated on him. When he was released, and he was met at his friends the appointed destination, they expected to see him hauled out in a wheelchair, and were taken somewhat aback to watch a very sturdy man bound toward them for his embrace. "Theatrics" is right. Just like the whopper told about the babies being thrown from the incubators.

    Anything to to advance the right to agression in the eyes of the American public. ~~ swear words ~~



    He's on the left side of the photo.On the other side of
    the blowhard is Jorge Mas Canosa, the man who was the "godfather"
    of Miami, who actually believed the U.S. would grab Cuba back and
    he would be made the Cuban President. (He was present during the
    Bay of Pigs, but didn't get out of his boat.Returned to Miami, from
    whence he ruled like a little monster, and kept Cuban "exiles" afraid
    to cross him or his Cuban American National Foundation.)
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    anarchy1999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 01:26 AM
    Response to Original message
    11. If Howard Zinn signed, we will be pleased and honored to add our
    names to the list. Wouldn't it, couldn't it be grand.

    South American is leading the way. They'be dealt with oppression though for far longer than the US has.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 01:05 PM
    Response to Reply #11
    39. Your wish reatroactively is his command! He signed it. Huzzah.
    From the original post:
    Among American signatories were actor Danny Glover, author Alice Walker and historian and activist Howard Zinn. Other international figures included filmmaker Walter Salles of Brazil, the music group Manu Chau and France's former first lady, Danielle Mitterrand.
    :hi:
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    Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 08:53 PM
    Response to Reply #11
    108. Oh, but don't you know? Zinn is "a hack".
    Exact words from one highly uninformed (willfully?) DUer.

    Sad.

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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 02:04 AM
    Response to Original message
    13. A LTTE you may find very interesting, published 3-15-05
    Cuba's remarkable commitment to health care


    No world leader has been so consistently demonized for so long by so many successive U.S. administrations as Fidel Castro. It was therefore a surprise to read an article in the New England Journal of Medicine Dec. 23 issue entitled "Affirmative Action, Cuban Style."
    It appears that despite our mindless embargo which includes access to medications and medical technology, Mr. Castro has invested heavily in his country's health care. This has resulted in:


    • A doctor to patient ratio twice that in the U.S.

    • Lower rates of infant mortality and a comparable life expectancy to ours.

    • Since 1996, 7,100 Cuban physicians going to work in the world's poorest countries. (The proportional number from the U.S. would be 175,000 to match Cuba's humanitarian contribution.)

    • At the Latin America School of Medicine in Havana, students from 27 countries and 60 ethnic groups are enrolled. The same free scholarships are now being offered to and accepted by students from poor and underprivileged areas in the United States. The only condition attached is that they return to practice in the same poverty-stricken areas from which they came.
      As the editorialist at the New England Journal of Medicine remarks, "What an irony that poor Cuba is training doctors for rich America, engaging in affirmative action on our behalf and -- while blockaded by U.S. ships and sanctions -- spending its meager treasure to improve the health of U.S. citizens. Whether one considers this a cunning move by one of history's great chess players or an extraordinary gesture of civic generosity -- or a bit of both -- it should encourage us to re-examine our stalled efforts to achieve greater racial and ethnic parity in American medicine."

    DR. STEWART KIRKALDY
    Westport
    Editor's note: Dr. Kirkaldy is a physician.
    http://www.southcoasttoday.com/daily/03-05/03-15-05/a13op083.htm

    This story appeared on Page A13 of The Standard-Times on March 15, 2005.
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    leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 05:58 AM
    Response to Reply #13
    27. that is fascinating Judi Lynn
    thanks for posting. And here in AmeriKa half of those who file bankruptcy do so because of non-paid medical costs. Even that will change soon. We will be seeing more homeless on the streets in this country than ever before in its history. :(
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:09 PM
    Response to Reply #27
    47. If the Republicans will ever give up their crooked election controlling
    and we get a chance to have Democrats represented in the U.S. Government once again, there will be SO MUCH WORK to do, right? Holy moly.

    You've heard Cubans boast that there are millions and millions of homeless children in the world and not one of them is Cuban. Good one.

    Found this interesting info. written by an American who made her first trip to Cuba:
    It was surprising to be in a large city and to see no homeless people. In my own youth, I had never expected to see homeless families in the United States, but now they are commonplace. I was also surprised to see no military presence in Havanaeven the police I saw carried no apparent guns--and there seemed to be no restrictions on where I traveled in or outside the city. (I learned that travel restrictions to Cuba are imposed by the U.S. government, not CubaCuba being the only country in the world to which our own government restricts travel.) I felt safe in Cuba. When women colleagues and I went out at night, no men followed or accosted us, and I even walked several blocks back to the hotel alone a few times. I had been afraid to bring my camera in case I inadvertently took a forbidden picture and had it confiscated, so I traveled only with a disposable one. Yet no one seemed to care where I went or what I photographed. People were open and welcoming. They seemed to speak freely, some few indicating they did not like Castro, but most expressing pride in their country's accomplishments under his leadership despite the punishing trade embargo of nearly half a century imposed by the United States. Instead of the ban on outside news I had expected, U.S. news programs were readily available on televisions in tourist hotels and could be viewed at least by the staff. I was surprised to learn that the churches were never closed in Cuba, and although church members were once barred from high government office, even those restrictions no longer exist. Our taxi driver explained that people who owned houses before the revolution and who stayed were able to keep their houses and that these houses are inherited by family members. However, no one can build a new house without a clear need and permission from the government. Larger estates were broken up, and former mansions are now divided into apartments to house several families. Every family can rent a beach house from the government at a nominal fee for one week a year. Our taxi driver also spoke of having rights that we in the United States do not have, for example the right to have a job and the right not to be fired or laid off if they perform their work well because of the strength of labor unions.
    Indeed, several Cubans we met spoke of their liberty and the equality/equal rights of all people in Cuba, although I have read of persisting homophobia and saw evidence of economic inequities. Instead of viewing Castro as a dictator, they insisted he was their elected president and their liberator from a brutal dictatorship fifty years ago, who is now using the country's resources to meet basic human needsfood, housing, medical care, education. I learned from an article I read after returning home that, although Cuba has difficulty acquiring medicines (even aspirin was scarce in pharmacies), they have one of the best healthcare systems in the world, with care focusing on preventative medicine and provided free. Education, through medical school, is free to those with the interest and ability, and Cuba has opened its medical schools to aspiring doctors from numerous developing nations. Doctors, however, earn less than taxi drivers, because the economy now is heavily dependent on tourism and taxi drivers can earn tips in addition to their salaries. A college professor talked about the extensive system of democratically elected committees that he hopes will help keep the system together after Castro's death, if Cuba does not face a feared invasion from the United States. Cubans were well aware of the W.T.O. and N.A.F.T.A. and the dire results of economic globalization on their Latin American neighbors. While they would welcome expanded trade opportunities, they do not want them at the expense of their social system, which strives to meet the needs of the poor rather than exploit them and which they see as a better model for the global community.
    (snip/...)
    http://www.berea.edu/cltcr/zephyr/barbarawadeprose.htm
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    Vladimir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 06:27 AM
    Response to Reply #13
    30. The 7,100 doesn't include the 13,000 working in
    Venezuela I assume? Althoguh I suppose Venezuela is not one of the world's poorest countries.

    People need to get a grip on this issue Judi. If the US was under siege by a superpower for 40 years and subjected to continuous attempts at regime change by foreign agents, can you imagine what civil liberties you wouldn't have? One frigging terrorist act has resulted in the Patriot Act - what would 40 years of foreign sponsored terrorism result in? Yeah, we both know...
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 01:17 PM
    Response to Reply #30
    41. Yeah, that number SEEMED awfully low to me,Probably got it
    from an old article, I'd bet, or something got missed in the translation. Cuba has doctors all over the place. You remember they went to Haiti to try to help the wounded after Bush arranged for the Duvalier henchmen, with the backing of Haiti's oligarchy, to overwhelm the Haitians' own popular President Aristide.
    They've been working hard to repair people who were wildly injured but somehow didn't die, being shot up and hacked up seriously.

    There's not much to respect in over 40 years of continual terrorism of an island's population, with their knowledge they can NEVER hope for relief until the American population finally drop the travel ban and embargo, which will shift ALL the dynamics of this struggle to control Cuba for the benefit of the old brutal, corrupt, racist Cuban oligarchy and the insatiable appetite for control among our right-wing lapsed human beings.

    The Cuban people, I've heard, do NOT want that old vicious society back among them.
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    Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 01:15 PM
    Response to Reply #13
    40. Excellent article!!
    From the article:

    # A doctor to patient ratio twice that in the U.S.
    # Lower rates of infant mortality and a comparable life expectancy to ours.
    # Since 1996, 7,100 Cuban physicians going to work in the world's poorest countries. (The proportional number from the U.S. would be 175,000 to match Cuba's humanitarian contribution.)


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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 02:25 PM
    Response to Reply #40
    42. Hi! It was good of that doctor to take the time to try to enlighten
    Edited on Tue Mar-15-05 02:30 PM by Judi Lynn
    his paper's readers. There is a DEEP need for real information to find its way into American mainstream consciousness, so our Senators and Representatives get so MUCH support behind them they won't be simply pounding sand whenever they get majority votes in Congress to change US/Cuba policy, and Bush has his henchmen out to remove all Cuba references from bills in committee before they ever make it to the final versions.

    Just found a somewhat DRY account of a trip another American physician made to Cuba, however this one is ten years old. I'd really like to see more recent information. In this article he said they went without warning to Cuban sites for their investigations and interviews, and he gave a positive write-up:
    .... before they make their choices between generalist and special careers, all residents receive 3 years of training in family medicine. This training includes rotations in each primary care specialty (internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology), as well as a longitudinal continuity experience based in a local neighborhood and supervised by family physicians. During their residencies, and afterward if they choose to remain family physicians, physicians live in the communities they serve, usually in an apartment within the same building that contains their practice site (consultorio). In general, a family physician provides primary care and preventive services for 700 to 800 patients who live in the immediate vicinity of the practice.
    (snip)

    Each family physician is required to see every patient in his or her catchment area at least twice a year. The physician maintains a record of preventive services and conditions for all patients in the catchment area; this record is updated and reviewed at least monthly with a clinical supervisor, who is an academically based family physician. The monitored services and conditions include prenatal care, immunizations, cancer screening by Paparticolaou smears and mammography, risk factors such as smoking and hypertension, and follow-up for chronic conditions, as well as psychosocial problems and sources of stress in the family or at work. Under this surveillance system, it is expected that all patients in the catchment area receive preventive services appropriate for their age, sex, and risk factors. In our observations, we found that the family physician were knowledgeable and maintained surveillance records regarding all patients for whom they were responsible.

    Family physician are supported by a system of laboratories, referral centers, and consultation resources based in local polyclinics and municipal hospitals. When patients require admission, they enter a municipal, provincial, or national hospital as their conditions warrant. Unless a patient is transported to a provincial or national hospital outside the local area, the family physician travels personally to the referral hospital. There, he or she meets with specialists responsible for the patient's inpatient management, coordinates inpatient services to assure continuity after discharge, and maintain frequent contacts with the patient to enhance the long-term patient-physician relationship. For emergencies, especially in urban areas, patients can decide to bypass the local family physician and can receive services directly in the emergency departments of referral hospitals. In this situation the emergency department staff attempt to contact the patient's family physician for subsequent follow-up. Through this organizational structure, Cuban health policy favors local primary care services within an organized system of consultation and referral for more specialized care.
    (snip/...)
    http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0689/is_n3_v45/ai_19891681

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


    He points out some interesting angles and reveals more background to assist a search for the information we've been denied HERE by U.S. policy.



    Santiago de Cuba
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 03:41 PM
    Response to Reply #40
    44. More from another doctor, Aleida Guevara....
    .......What is it like being a doctor in Cuba today?

    Sometimes people joke that we are always giving away doctors. There are
    thousands of Cuban doctors in Venezuela. We've got 25,000 health
    specialists helping other people around the world. So the ones remaining
    in Cuba have to work more. We offer our help to whoever wants it. This
    is very important now. Fidel Castro has said to the developed world that
    we will bring the human element, but they have to bring the material
    things. So we have been taking part in very interesting projects in
    developing countries with the UK, France, Germany. They send money to
    buy medicines and materials and we provide all the professionals.

    How many doctors are there in Cuba per head of population?

    One doctor per 164 inhabitants.It used to be 1 per 168 but it has come
    down. We live as a poor nation but we die as a rich one.

    What kind of effect does the US blockade still have on Cuba?

    The US is isolating Cuba, and that is very costly for the country. For
    example, my hospital, the William Soler Children's Hospital in Havana,
    has 400 beds but it has only one X-ray machine, and that is more than 40
    years old.

    Are you short of medicines?

    Thanks to European solidarity, there's a project in Europe called
    MediCuba in which they buy raw materials and send it to Cuba. We
    manufacture the medicines, and they are sold at the price it costs to
    manufacture them. So that organisation skirts the blockade, and it also
    encourages Cuba to promote its own pharmaceutical industry. We don't get
    all the materials we need, but it has been an important help. We buy
    other raw materials with funds from tourism.

    Sometimes we have to use intermediaries because if the US detects who
    has been selling the raw materials to us, they sanction them. So it's
    very expensive for Cuba - and it's very difficult. Something that would
    normally cost $500, Cubans might have to pay $20,000 for it.
    (snip/....)
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    Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 11:05 PM
    Response to Reply #44
    74. Like father, like daughter... Alieda is a facsinating individual
    looks like her father as well.
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    Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 01:54 PM
    Response to Reply #13
    132. Shades of Barbara Ehrenreich's _Nickled and Dimed_
    As the editorialist at the New England Journal of Medicine remarks, "What an irony that poor Cuba is training doctors for rich America, engaging in affirmative action on our behalf and -- while blockaded by U.S. ships and sanctions -- spending its meager treasure to improve the health of U.S. citizens.


    But that's the US Capitalist way, as Ehrenreich documented: those of us who live well do so on the backs of the poor, who are preferably kept somewhere out of sight so we can pretend they're not there and we're not exploiting them.
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    bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 08:40 AM
    Response to Original message
    32. Man, you can hear skulls popping like hard boiled eggs in a microwave. nt
    Edited on Tue Mar-15-05 08:41 AM by bemildred
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 09:47 AM
    Response to Reply #32
    35. Any way it takes to open some minds is a good thing.
    ;)

    :hi:

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    0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 03:02 PM
    Response to Reply #32
    86. ....isn't that the truth? The silence is deafening after the popping.
    I can almost hear the word .... communist being throw in the air.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 03:28 PM
    Response to Reply #86
    88. Cuban Miami right-wing "exiles" are LARGE on trying to call people
    who think they are full of it "commies." As long as they can point fingers and screech "commie" at someone who knows how devious and violent they are, they fancy the attention is off them!





    Commies!
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    Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 04:05 PM
    Response to Reply #88
    93. LOL where do you get these pics?? ROFLMAO!! GREAT!! n/t
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 04:31 PM
    Response to Reply #93
    98. A DU'er (Damn, can't remember WHO did it) introduced the screamer
    from the pod people movie. I envied that image until I nearly had a seizure. I just LOVE that one. Found the other one looking in google images for "commie." There are some funny images there!
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    Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 02:04 PM
    Response to Reply #98
    133. Donald Sutherland was great in that movie, that scene was filmed near
    Edited on Thu Mar-17-05 02:06 PM by Say_What
    the San Francisco Civic Center.



    http://movies.yahoo.com/shop?d=hv&id=1800081419&cf=pg&photoid=547400&intl=us

    You hold the record for best images! Loved that "Commie" one. :D


    :bounce:
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 02:47 PM
    Response to Reply #133
    137. Wow! You found a FINE speciman of that scene! That's a keeper.
    Here's what you'll see in a search for "commie" in google.



    Not too sure what all these images add up to, but it looks as if some people could use some time rethinking their attitudes, right?
    (Guess they're "a-skeert of Michael Moore, too!)

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    Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 03:38 PM
    Response to Reply #137
    150. Here's some other good ones. I think I'll have to bookmark this..
    That "Kill a Commie for Christ" is a good one that fits today.







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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 04:20 PM
    Response to Reply #150
    155. Great W. photo! Help, commies! n/t
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    NuttyFluffers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 04:55 PM
    Response to Reply #88
    162. damn you and causing 'sudden wetness'!
    that 'Commies' label under that 'invasion of the body snatchers' shot is priceless.

    anymore and you guys are gonna force me to wear depends when i browse here.
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    Vogon_Glory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 12:33 PM
    Response to Original message
    38. That Gurgling Sound You Heard Was the US' Moral Authority
    That gurgling sound you heard a while back that sounded so much like an older-style flush-toilet was the US moral authority going down the drain.

    After the Boosh regime took power here in the US and started making friends with various thuggish regimes around the world like Kyrgyzstan, the Sudan, and other goon states, then invaded Iraq, the US lost most of the moral capital left over from Franklin Roosevelt, then added to by James Earl Carter and William Jefferson Clinton.

    The Rulin' Dubya Posse and its Banana Republican allies have not only declared class war from above here in the USA, but are turning the USA into a rogue state like such loathsome regimes as the thug-run Guatemala during the Reagan era, Papa Doc's Haiti, and Idi Amin's Uganda. Nobody except the brainwashed right seriously believes that the US still has the moral suasion that it had even as late as January 19th, 2001.

    I make no bones about my belief that Fidel Castro is indeed a dictator whose policies continue to hamstring the Cuban economy and prevent the Cuban people from enjoying a more prosperous future without the sort of US meddling that occurred from 1898 to 1959. But the US has lost its power of moral suasion in the Caribbean and elsewhere in the Americas by its actions elsewhere in the world.

    Nobody should be surprised by that letter. that's Generalissimo Gee Dubya's chickens coming home to roost.
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    durutti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 05:26 PM
    Response to Original message
    55. Sadly, many DUers are as delusional as the GOP on this issue.
    And so they'll be upset over this letter. "Love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal..."
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 05:42 PM
    Response to Reply #55
    56. For clarity, maybe you could explain what you wrote.
    Confessing ignorance, I don't make heads or tails of your " "Love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal..." ."

    If you have some real information to discuss, please go right ahead and post it. There are many posters who have shown up here from time to time to discuss US policy concerning Cuba who have been spewing right-wing propaganda. There have been a few "Democratic" politicians who have been staked to some fine campaign contributions by the C.A.N.F., and other Cuban "exile" political groups, and they freely and stubbornly support the Cuban "exile" reactionaries' position, which is awkward for a Democrat to do, but it has been done.

    Many Republican favor dropping both the travel to Cuba ban on American citizens, as well as the embargo. It's a clear majority with the American public.
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    durutti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 06:10 PM
    Response to Reply #56
    61. It's a Phil Ochs song.
    I cried when they shot Medgar Evers
    Tears ran down my spine
    I cried when they shot Mr. Kennedy
    As though I'd lost a father of mine
    But Malcolm X got what was coming
    He got what he asked for this time
    So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

    I go to civil rights rallies
    And I put down the old D.A.R.
    I love Harry and Sidney and Sammy
    I hope every colored boy becomes a star
    But don't talk about revolution
    That's going a little bit too far
    So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

    I cheered when Humphrey was chosen
    My faith in the system restored
    I'm glad the commies were thrown out
    Of the A.F.L. C.I.O. board
    I love Puerto Ricans and Negros
    As long as they don't move next door
    So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

    The people of old Mississippi
    Should all hang their heads in shame
    I can't understand how their minds work
    What's the matter don't they watch Les Crane?
    But if you ask me to bus my children
    I hope the cops take down your name
    So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

    I read New Republic and Nation
    I've learned to take every view
    You know, I've memorized Lerner and Golden
    I feel like I'm almost a Jew
    But when it comes to times like korea
    There's no one more red, white and blue
    So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

    I vote for the democtratic party
    They want the U.N. to be strong
    I go to all the Pete Seeger concerts
    He sure gets me singing those songs
    I'll send all the money you ask for
    But don't ask me to come on along
    So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

    Once I was young and impulsive
    I wore every conceivable pin
    Even went to the socialist meetings
    Learned all the old union hymns
    But I've grown older and wiser
    And that's why I'm turning you in
    So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal
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    tinanator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 06:27 PM
    Response to Reply #61
    66. thats awesome
    I need to get my hands on a copy. Thanks for posting those lyrics.
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    0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 04:00 PM
    Response to Reply #61
    91. kick
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    redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 12:23 PM
    Response to Reply #61
    123. Thank you!
    :thumbsup:
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    durutti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 02:41 PM
    Response to Reply #61
    136. Here's an updated version by Mojo Nixon and Jello Biafra...
    I cried when they shot John Lennon
    Tears ran down my spine
    And I cried when I saw "JFK"
    As if I'd lost a father of mine
    But Malcom-X and Ice-T had it coming
    They got what they asked for this time

    Chorus:
    So love me, love me, love me,
    I'm a liberal

    I go to pro-choice rallies
    Recycle my cans and jars
    I'll honk if you love the Dead
    Hope those funny Grunge bands become stars
    But don't talk about revolution
    That's going a little bit to far

    Chorus:
    So love me, love me, love me,
    I'm a liberal

    I cheered when Clinton was chosen
    My faith in the system reborn
    I'll do anything to save our schools
    If my taxes aint too much more
    And I love Blacks and Gays and Latinos
    As long as they don't move next door

    Chorus:
    So love me, love me, love me,
    I'm a liberal

    Rush Limbaugh and the L.A.P.D.
    Should all hang thier heads in shame
    I can't understand where they're at
    Arsenio should set them straight
    But if neighborhood watch doesn't know you
    I hope the cops take your name

    Chorus:
    So love me, love me, love me,
    I'm a liberal

    Yeah, I read the New Republican
    Rolling Stone and Mother Jones too
    If I vote it's a democrat
    With a sensible economy view
    But when it comes to terrorist Arabs
    There is no one more red, white, and blue

    Chorus:
    So love me, love me, love me,
    I'm a liberal

    Once I was young and had an attitude
    Stickers covered the car I drove in
    Even went on some direct actions
    When there weren't rent-a-cops to be seen
    Ah, but now I've grown older and wiser
    And that's why I'm turning you in

    Chorus:
    So love me, love me, love me,
    I'm a liberal
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    chlamor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 08:19 PM
    Response to Original message
    103. It's a Wrap Judi Lynn
    Your efforts in this thread have been heroic. Thanks for all the info.

    US foreign policy =Weapons
    Cuban foreign policy= Doctors and Teachers

    The american mind has just been pounded with "communist" claptrap and "dictator" drivel that there needs to be a massive deprogramming nationwide. Maybe you will be in the forefront of that De-education process.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 08:54 PM
    Response to Reply #103
    109. Yes indeed, chlamor
    Two thumbs up for Judi Lynn. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:


    If only the US government travel ban on American's to Cuba and the US's denial of visas to Cubans (who don't want to emigrate to the USA) were to end, THEN I really think the changes would happen.

    Almost all people seem to believe that this is so, including most of the hard core anti Castro-ites, except a select few US politicians (who happen to be in the rules or markup committees) who are on the take. There is a (US taxpayer $$) money loop from congress to certain professional Cuban "exile" organizations and foundations back to said politicians who insert the grants to said orgs and foundations.

    It is not democracy, it is corruption.



    :hi:


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    redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 12:25 PM
    Response to Reply #109
    124. More thanks for JudiLynn
    and all the other fine folks who helped to shed some light on this subject.

    :yourock:
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    peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 10:22 PM
    Response to Original message
    113. Place the Amnesty Intl record of the U.S. and Cuba side by side . Do it
    chronologically. Then ADD all the offenses you know we are guilty of that Amnesty Intl soft peddled. Then ADD all the banking and usury policies of the U.S. and other banking countries against all of Latin America.

    Notice the peak of the aggressions against the people of Cuba by their leader (s). Then notice the peak of agressions against the people of this country AND the world by the U.S. Notice how it's soaring, not peaking, but going off the charts.

    Those of you who cling to Cuba's past communism are stuck. Especially when you consider why they accepted communism after the rotten diplomatic decisions of the U.S. who were in cahoots with the CIA and Mafia - the two big entities that shared control of Cuba with their dictator.

    The U.S. had a chance to repair and agree to an authentic peaceful truce at the fall of the Berlin wall - instead the policies against Cuba ratcheted up. Old timer Cuban-Americans don't want peace and they dictate the policy in this country - their lobbyists write the legislation, just like the banks wrote the bankruptcy bills.

    The Pope asked us to do something about the situation and we haven't. Other countries bought are embargo crap for many years and then slowly and quietly turned their back on us.

    It is a sham to believe that communism exists there the way it did at their peak of ideology when they received life saving commodities from the USSR and before the USSR started abandoning Cuba after the missile crises.

    Knowing how awful our record is and has been, combined with the knowledge of the decades old agenda of certain people in the U.S. to take over the world...and the people dumped into graves and the ocean and their partners with crooked leaders - I KNOW that our record is worse than Cuba's.

    How many humans are being tortured on remote islands and in countries whose names we can hardly pronounce by the Cubans?

    Our present torture policy is kind of a piece-de-resistance in our history so far, followed by reckless, out-of-control killing fields and blatant political and scientific murders.

    I will never believe that Cuba today is worse than the U.S.
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    Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:55 AM
    Response to Reply #113
    119. AI's reports for Cuba and the USSA
    Cuba

    <clips>
    2003 saw a severe deterioration in the human rights situation in Cuba. In mid-March the Cuban authorities carried out an unprecedented crack-down on the dissident movement. Seventy-five long-term activists were arrested, unfairly tried and sentenced to up to 28 years imprisonment; they were prisoners of conscience. In April, three men convicted of involvement in a hijacking were executed by firing squad, ending a three-year de facto moratorium.

    Criticism from the international community, including countries and individuals previously supportive of the Cuban government, intensified. The Cuban authorities sought to justify these measures as a necessary response to the threat to national security posed by the USA. The US embargo and related measures continued to have a negative effect on the enjoyment of the full range of human rights in Cuba.


    http://web.amnesty.org/report2004/cub-summary-eng


    USA
    More than 600 foreign nationals were detained indefinitely without charge or trial or access to family members or legal counsel in the US naval base in Guantnamo, Cuba, on grounds of possible links with al-Qaida; others were held in undisclosed locations. There were allegations of torture or ill-treatment of detainees held at a US base in Afghanistan and of detainees held by US forces in Iraq following the US-led invasion and occupation. Three people were held incommunicado without charge or trial in the USA as enemy combatants. Death sentences continued to be imposed and carried out under federal and state law. There were reports of police brutality, deaths in custody and ill-treatment of prisoners.

    http://web.amnesty.org/report2004/usa-summary-eng


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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 12:49 PM
    Response to Original message
    128. Just for the record, Cubans have the right to be free of terrorism
    There are volumes which could be posted here concerning the continual acts of terrorism launched at Cuba from the U.S., via CIA directly, at one time, then it appears they stepped into the background and the heavy lifting was assumed by the Cuban "exile" extremists.

    Cubans have the right to be free of biochemical warfare! I just ran across reference to it, looking for information on the killers of the Cuban attache to the UN, Felix Garcia. During his trial, there was an admission made by one of the killers, Eduardo Arocena, mentioned in this material:
    Bio-terrorism

    One of the most callous forms of terrorism used against the Cubans has been bio-terrorism. In 1971, agents affiliated to Cuban American terrorist groups brought in the African swine fever virus. The resulting outbreak obliged the Cuban health authorities to slaughter some 500,000 pigs in order to prevent a nationwide epidemic. This was the first appearance of the disease in the western hemisphere.

    Bio-terrorism was not confined to the farming sector, but was used also directly against people.

    In May 1981, cases of infection by the Dengue-2 virus, common name Haemorrhagic Dengue, began to be reported; the viral strain was genetically dissimilar to that which was circulating in other Caribbean countries and was genetically related to laboratory strains that are developed exclusively in American facilities. Within a few weeks, a disease that had never been seen in Cuba had reached epidemic proportions, with 344,203 cases. Deaths from the disease totalled 158, including 101 children.

    Investigations involving in-depth studies showed that the epidemic was deliberately started in Cuba by terrorist agents working for the US government. According to statements by American expert Col. Phillip Russell at the XIV Congreso Internacional Del Ocano Pacfico (International Congress of the Pacific Ocean), only US specialists in biological warfare had obtained a variety of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is clearly associated with transmission of the Dengue-2 virus.

    At the 1984 trial in the United States of Eduardo Arocena, ringleader of the 'Omega 7' terrorist group, the defendant confessed to having introduced germs into Cuba and admitted that the Haemorrhagic Dengue virus had been brought to Cuba by groups based on US soil.

    Days before the outbreak in Cuba, the US Army vaccinated all its personnel at the Guantnamo Naval Base, with a vaccine that included protection against Dengue-2. The military enclave completely escaped an infection which reached all other parts of the country, without exception.
    (snip)
    http://www.cubaminrex.cu/English/libro%20blanco/paginas%20ingles/parte%201_cap%202%20ingl%E9s.htm

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


    How WOULD we fare, suffering with this continual, ongoing threat, as they have, in addition to a history of bombings, shootings, other forms of murder and devastation? IT WOULDN'T GO DOWN WELL.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 01:26 PM
    Response to Original message
    130. Here's something many may not know. I didn't.
    Just found it, looking for something else. This is surprising, concerning Cuba's prison system:
    Work/education. Cuban inmates are expected to
    complete the equivalent of a high school degree if
    they do not have one. If they do not have a trade,
    they are expected to learn one.
    Inmates not involved in an educational
    program are expected to work. Prisoners are paid
    the same wage for their work in prison that they
    would receive on the outside. They are expected
    to contribute one-third of this income to their
    upkeep in prison, the remainder is devoted to
    supporting any dependents, and for assorted
    purchases in prison.
    * Amenities/privileges. Cuban inmates receive
    medical care comparable to that outside the
    prison. Both male and female prisoners are
    permitted conjugal visits from formal or
    common-law spouses approximately every 2 months.
    The actual number of visits may be increased or
    decreased according to conduct.
    (snip/...)
    http://www.ageofconsent.com/cuba.htm

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


    That beats the socks off the U.S. system of expecting inmates to toil away for several cents a day in our burgeoning prison industry.

    It's not a biggie, but it's interesting.
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    rockedthevoteinMA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 03:12 PM
    Response to Reply #130
    142. Thank you Judi Lynn for this thread.
    :yourock: I was aware most of the crap I have learned about Cuba is propaganda, but I didn't realize how far it went.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 03:29 PM
    Response to Reply #142
    146. Hi, rockedthevoteinMA! There's SO MUCH you'll find out
    if Bush doesn't find a way to invade the island and flatten it to the ground like Fallujah first! It will be very hard to learn the truth if he finds a way to steal Cuba and its reality first!

    I didn't know a thing about Cuba before Elin Gonzalez was kept prisoner by that looney family in Miami. I started paying close attention to what was being written, or what evolved in interviews on tv with those psychopath spokespeople for the Cuban American National Association in Miami. You remember how extreme they all were. It seemed inhuman to contemplate stealing a child from his parent. The more you observed these people, the sicker they seemed. You remember they were intensely popular with our right-wing Congresscritters and a couple of diseased right-wing Senators, like Jesse Helms, and that bag of ####, Bob Smith of New Hampshire who flew the family immediately to the Air Force Base as soon as the child's father was reunited with him. It was hilarious seeing the Senator handed his hat when he tried to barge right into the base, and take control!



    Bob Smith
    What toupee?


    When I heard that the old bastard great-uncle, Lzaro had actually gone to Cuba for vacations, after having moved to Miami, I knew IMMEDIATELY I had been living with lies, or WHY did he go back?

    Once you start thinking about this, it will REALLY get you wild, and you will be determined to find out everything you can. It will help if you meet anyone who has gone to Cuba personally. Just keep your eyes and ears open. You're going to learn both history of U.S. policy toward Cuba, and you will find it does NOT differ from the method of subversion, destabilization, terrorism, etc. which has been launched at other Latin American and Caribbean countries. Cuba has had the strength to tell the U.S. to go stuff it.



    (First view of this photo came from Say_What.)
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    rockedthevoteinMA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 03:37 PM
    Response to Reply #146
    149. I know three people who have been to Cuba - and they have
    amazing stories to tell of the people, and the place. I wasn't paying much attention back during the Elin Gonzalez thing - unfortunately I was too busy being a teenager. x( But- threads like this fill in the gaps! :hi:
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    peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 10:59 AM
    Response to Reply #130
    188. This surpasses anything the U.S. has or had. Amazingly compassionate
    and rehabilitative. This is what Christ had in mind to put it in terms that some can relate to. I just think it's good for the soul for the long term of the soul and humanity.

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    Book Lover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 02:49 PM
    Response to Original message
    138. Even these intellectuals?
    http://villagevoice.com/news/0506,hentoff,60822,6.html

    A U.S. Library vs. Fidel

    Fidel Castro, I'm sure, never heard of the small town of Vermillion, South Dakota, until late last year, when the Vermillion Public Libraryfounded in 1902, on the eve of the Progressive era in American politicsbegan to gain international attention by becoming the first, and only, American library to call attention to Castro's imprisoning of 10 of Cuba's independent librarians to sentences of more than 20 years.

    Spurred by Mark Wetmore, vice president of the library's board of trustees, the Vermillion library voted on November 18 to sponsor and support the Dulce Maria Loynaz Library in Havana, Cuba.

    In March 2003, Castro's State Security police arrested 75 Cuban dissenters: journalists, human rights workers, and labor organizers, along with independent librarians who provided access to books excluded from Cuba's censored library system. These "subversive" independent public librarians were sent to Castro's foul prisons, along with the other dissenters.

    During the raids on these independent libraries, the offending books were confiscated, and many of them burned. The Dulce Maria Loynaz Library was one of the targets, but it remains under the directorship of Gisela Delgado, who was not imprisoned.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 03:05 PM
    Response to Reply #138
    141. Here's something from an intellectual which may shed light on the subject

    "Friends" versus supporters of Cuban libraries

    by John Pateman

    On 15 June 1999 an organisation calling itself the "Friends of Cuban Libraries" issued a press release on the Internet alleging that "independent librarians" were being arrested in Cuba and their "libraries" were being confiscated. The "Friends" claim to be an "independent, nonpartisan, non-profit organisation which supports intellectual freedom and Cuba's independent library movement". The founders of the organisation are Jorge Sanguinetty and Robert Kent.

    Jorge Sanguinetty resides in Miami. He was head of Cuba's Department of National Investment Planning before he left the country in 1967. He is also a newspaper columnist and a commentator on Radio Marti, a US government funded radio station which broadcasts anti-Cuban programmes. This station illegally invades Cuban air space and adds insult to injury by using the name of the Cuban national hero.

    Robert Kent is a librarian who lives in New York City. On four occasions he has taken books and pamphlets to Cuba for Freedom House and the Centre for a Free Cuba, both of which are funded by the US Agency for International Development. On three occasions his travel expenses were paid by Freedom House or the Centre for a Free Cuba.

    Freedom House is an anti-Castro organisation which has received $500,000 (from USAID and the US Information Agency) in US government funding. The Centre for a Free Cuba has received $400,000. These grants form part of the $3.1m in payment to organisations that are committed to the overthrow of the Cuban government. The funding springs from Track 2 of the Torricelli Act. Track 1 is dedicated to tightening the illegal 40 year US blockade of Cuba ; Track 2 provides for US government support to non-governmental organisations in Cuba, including "dissidents" and "independent librarians". But, as Ann Sparanese, a New Jersey public librarian, points out :

    "Not one of these so-called libraries is a library, and not one of the allegedly repressed librarians is, or ever was, a professional librarian. They are professional dissidents. There are many US visitors to Cuba who travel there mainly for the purposes of searching for "dissidents" and Mr Kent, who describes himself as "no friend" of the Cuban government is among these."
    (snip/...)
    http://www.libr.org/ISC/articles/10-Cuba.html
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 03:13 PM
    Response to Reply #138
    143. Here's something from an "intellectual" who knows what she's talking about
    2. What Are the "Independent Libraries"?

    The "independent libraries" are private book collections in peoples' homes. Mr. Kent and the right-wing Cuban-American propaganda outlets, call them "independent libraries" and even "public libraries." These "independent libraries" are one of a number of "projects" initiated and supported by a virtual entity calling itself "Cubanet"(www.cubanet.org) and an expatriate anti-Castro political entity calling itself the Directorio Revolucionario Democratico Cubano. The Cubanet website describes what the "independent libraries" are, how they got started and who funds and solicits for them. The index page says that the organization exists to "assist independent sector develop a civil society" This is the wording used in both the Torricelli and the Helms Burton Acts, both of which require that the US government finance efforts to subvert the Cuban society in the name of strengthening "civil society." You will see on the "Who We Are" page that Cubanet, located in Hialeah, Florida, is financially supported by the National Endowment for Democracy, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and "private" "anonymous" donors. The "exterior" representative of the "independent libraries" is the Directorio Revoucionario Democratico Cubano, also located in Hialeah.

    3. Who are the Independent Librarians?

    You will read on the pages of Cubanet about the individual "libraries" and their personnel. Not one of the people listed is actually a librarian. Not one has ever been a librarian. Most, however, are leaders or officers of various dissident political parties, such as the Partido Cubano de Renovacion Ortodoxa and the Partido Solidaridad Democratica. This is documented on Cubanet, although Mr. Kent never mentions these party affiliations in his FCL press releases. We know absolutely nothing about the principles, programs or activities of these parties, or why they have been allegedly targeted. We don't know whether their activities are lawful or unlawful under Cuban law. Kent maintains that their activities are solely related to their books - but in reality we have no idea whether this is true and in fact, one of these "librarians" told one of our ALA colleagues that this was not true! By using the terms "beleaguered," "librarians" and the buzzwords "freedom of expression" and "colleagues" Mr. Kent hopes to get the a priori support of librarians who might not look beneath this veneer. After all, isn't this the reason that the subcommittee will be considering their case in the first place? But I wonder if ALA is willing to establish the precedent that all politicians with private book collections who decide to call themselves "librarians," are therefore our "colleagues"?

    4. Who funds Cubanet, the Directorio, and the "independent libraries" - and why is this important?

    A recent book entitled Psy War Against Cuba by Jon Elliston (Ocean Press, 1999), reveals, using declassified US government documents, the history of a small piece of the 40-year-old propaganda war waged by our country against the government of Cuba. The US has spent hundreds of millions of taxpayers' dollars over these years to subvert and overthrow the current Cuban government - US activities have included complete economic embargo, assassinations and assassination attempts, sabotage, bombings, invasions, and "psyops." When even the fall of the Soviet Union and the devastation of the Cuban economy in the early 1990's did not produce the desired effect, the US embarked on additional, subtler, campaigns to overthrow the Cuban government from within. One element of this approach is the funneling of monetary support to dissident groups wherever they can be found, or created. This includes bringing cash into the country through couriers such as Mr. Kent, and increasing support to expatriate groups operating inside the US, such as the Directorio, Cubanet and especially, the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF)
    (snip/...)
    http://www.cubanlibrariessolidaritygroup.org.uk/articles/1_8_01.html

    Ann C. Sparanese,MLS
    Head of Adult & Young Adult Services
    Englewood Public Library
    Englewood, NJ 07631

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    Book Lover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 03:25 PM
    Response to Reply #143
    145. Thank you for the links
    I appreciate the complexity of the issue and will read them fully when I get out of work today.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 03:31 PM
    Response to Reply #145
    147. You won't be disappointed. There's a lot to read.
    Edited on Thu Mar-17-05 03:39 PM by Judi Lynn
    Here's more:
    Payment for Services Rendered":
    US-funded Dissent and the "Independent Libraries Project" in Cuba


    Presentation to the Pacific Coast Council on Latin American Studies
    Nov. 8-9, 2002; East Los Angeles College; Panel "Cuba Today."


    By Rhonda L. Neugebauer, Bibliographer, Latin American Studies
    University of California, Riverside


    In addition to researching Cuban libraries and librarianship on my trips, Larry Oberg (University Librarian, Willamette University) and I were the first U.S. librarians to visit the so-called "independent libraries" in Cuba in 2000. By interviewing the owners of these "libraries," we discovered that these "libraries" were carefully chosen drop-off and contact points for personnel from the U.S. Interests Section and others, who visited them on a regular basis, to deliver materials and money. We also discovered that by accepting anti-government materials and by developing "libraries" with these materials, the "librarians" qualified to be paid a monthly stipend--"for services rendered," as one of them put it.


    Our interviews with these "librarians" contradicted a good deal of the PR campaign that their U.S. financiers had undertaken, and established the fact that the communiques circulated in the U.S. about these "libraries" were intentionally misleading and politically motivated.
    Having first-hand testimony about their methods, activities and U.S. contacts, allowed Larry and me to interject new information about these "librarians" into the debate raging in library circles internationally and which, until our return, had been completely dominated by the public face of their U.S. handlers, a group called the "Friends of Cuban Libraries." Our research proved that what the "Friends of Cuban Libraries" campaign identified as a "force for intellectual freedom" was simply part and parcel of a U.S. foreign policy strategy that disingenuously advocated the "opening civil society" in Cuba through the funding of a variety of dissident groups. Over the last few years Washington has given millions of dollars to U.S. and Cuban groups to create a "civil society," that they hope leads to destabilization of the Cuban government and ultimately to a "regime change" in Havana.


    Whereas I began my trips in order to study Cuban libraries, Larry and I were immediately pulled into the ideological and political contest to declare these "independent librarians" as the sole bastions of intellectual freedom on the island. Because of this, we began to study these "libraries" and their supporters. Today, I will very briefly describe Cuban libraries and librarianship first, in order to provide information on the library profession in Cuba, examine the issues they confront on a daily basis, and furnish some context and background for the criticisms of the profession that those outside of Cuba lodge against the "state-librarians," as they are called by their detractors. After that, I will talk about the issue of the "independent libraries."


    While the proponents of "independent libraries" cast Cuban librarians simply as agents in a government conspiracy to deny Cubans vital information and analysis about their their government, their society, and the world, there is another side to this story, the struggle of Cuban librarians --working under conditions of underdevelopment and destabilization -- to create substantive repositories and conduits of intellectual and cultural heritage reflecting all Cubans and to be used by all Cubans. That is where I will start today.
    (snip/...)
    http://www.pitt.edu/~ttwiss/irtf/cuba.payment.html
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    Pettson Donating Member (22 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 03:34 PM
    Response to Reply #138
    148. You know...as someone who has actually BEEN to Cuba...
    ...there sure is alot of ignorance in this thread *looks at JL*

    For some reason you are spouting the Cuban party line, you hold it up as the truth. Why? Clearly you dont know what you are talking about. I am curious, what makes you so passionate to defend a dictator who opresses his people?

    Before you or anyone else start raving off on how the US is much worse than Cuba..save your breath. I am from Sweden. If you want to hold up Cuban statistics and compare them to ours, then go ahead...knock yourself out (or "make my day" as someone might put it).

    I was in Cuba in the summer of 2000, on vacation. I have seen the difference between the Cuba they want you to see (tourist paradise where everyone is happy, and the only cloud on the sky is because of the US embargo) and the real Cuba. You know, the Cuba you wont hear about from official Cuban sources, nor the Cuba you will see in nice travel-programs on the telly. The cuba where 13 yrold girls, 18 yr old girls, 20 yr old girls, 25 yrold girls...girls of whatever age will walk up to a tourist and try to sell herself for a few dollars. Where a girl might sit with her boyfriend in a cafe, and when you walk in, she will stand up, walk over to you and ask if you want to have sex with her for a handful of dollars, AND HER BOYFRIEND SITS SMILING AND NODDING IN THE BACKGROUND. How desperate do you think those girls are?

    I have seen the Cuba where it is prohibited to buy cigars anywhere else but via government controlled outlets...but where people will do *whatever they can* to persuade you to buy cigarrs from them instead. Where you can buy 100 cigars for the price a single package would cost you if you bought it from the authorized store.

    I have seen the Cuba where *everyone I met* would do almost anything for a few dollars.

    There are police in every streetcorner. And no, this is not a joke, in every damn streetcorner there is a policeofficer. The guides used to say that Cuba is the safest place on earth for tourists. But guess what, most normal cubans I saw threw more worried glances at those police officers rather than into the dark alleys.

    Cuba right now is a third world country. You can try to blame that on the US, but that is just as stupid as blaming North Koreas economic problems on the US. It shifts blame from where it really rests (Castro) to a convenient scapegoat (US).

    The Cuban people are wonderful. BUT, and make no misstake about this. They are not free. They are living in a dictatorship, and they have no freedom whatsoever (when compared to us). You come here with statistics on child mortality or litteracy. You have no idea. No idea.

    You make me sad. Because it is because of people like you that those people will continue to toil under the opression of dictatorship.
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    Book Lover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 03:48 PM
    Response to Reply #148
    151. I'm sorry,
    was this post directly for me, or the person I was conversing with? I will freely admit that I am ignorant of the complexity of the issue, but based on my own family experience with fascist Italy where my father was born, I hold very little sympathy prima facie with the Cuban government. However, if the ALA is being played, I want to know that. At the very least, I want to take the time to read what JL is offering me.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 03:56 PM
    Response to Reply #148
    152. Your focus on prostitutes sounds suspiciously like Miami & what we hear
    from the Miami "exile" extremists. They think because ordinary Americans are being banned from going to Cuba, anything that they can foist off on us will HAVE to be accepted as the absolute truth, as we have no way of proving them wrong. They are utter @$$holes, idiots, and fools.

    There are quite a few posters who post here regularly who HAVE been to Cuba and what they've had to say, over the years, here, and at the old CNN US/Cuba Relations message board has given me real food for thought, followed up by tons of reading, and an ongoing search for more and more. I also have called my Congressman and Senator, both in the U.S. Congressional Workgroup, one of each party, and I KNOW this is NOT over just because the right-wing thinks it's going to hijack all U.S. domestic and foreign policy.

    Speaking of prostitutes, I have heard from Cuba visitors that the situation with prostitutes is FAR more intense in Miami than it is in Cuba.

    Take a look at this site. These are articles prepared during the 1950's to attract Americans to tour Cuba, specifically for the nightlife offered by a place shared by both a filthy, brutal dictator, Fulgencio Batista, and the American Mafia he shared his country with, even using his citizens' taxes to co-sponsor the gambling casinos. All available for research.

    http://cuban-exile.com/menu1/%21entertain.html

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    Pettson Donating Member (22 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 04:07 PM
    Response to Reply #152
    153. Frankly...
    Lady, I dont care what my post sounds like. I could not care less whether my story sounds like "Miami exile extremists" whatever that means. I have been there. It would appear you havent. And no amount of letters to your congressman will change that fact.

    The girls I was talking about are not prostitutes. They were normal girls. Desperate enough to do pretty much whatever they could for a few dollars. In that they were no different from the Cuban men I encountered. There is a desperation in Cuba that is quite unlike anything I have seen really.

    My vacation consisted of a couple of nights in Havanna, a sail-boat tour during 10 days where we stopped at lost of semi-small coastal towns every night, and then a trip back to Havanna for another few days. The behavior was the same in a small coastal town as in Havanna, so you if you are trying to blame some sort of big-city mentality...no luck.

    I have looked at the link you posted. I cannot figure out the point you are trying to make with it though. Perhaps you could enlighten us?
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 04:26 PM
    Response to Reply #153
    156. US? The "US's" who examined it at the CNN board had a very clear
    Edited on Thu Mar-17-05 04:32 PM by Judi Lynn
    understanding of what was directly in front of our eyes.

    I don't think it would be worth anyone's time to get jerked around by someone with too much time on his hands. You can afford to treat conversations seriously, and respectfully, or you'll continue to get nowhere.

    The problem Cubans have with poverty may have something to do with the 44 or 45 or more year old EMBARGO. You may want to read about it in your spare time. Being from Sweden, you may not have heard about it.

    People who have been to other Latin American countries indicate that they see a big difference in what is going on in Cuba, and in many of the other countries which have been devastated and torn apart by continual destabilization, death squads, massacres, etc., etc.

    Take more time reading, trying to learn. No one can do it for you.

    On edit: Forgot to mention my Representative and my Senator who are on the Cuba Working Group committee have BOTH been to Cuba, lots of times, and they are pushing ahead, each for his own reasons, from different parties, to remove the travel ban and the embargo.

    When that's accomplished, we ALL will go to Cuba and see how horrible it is!
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    Pettson Donating Member (22 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 04:47 PM
    Response to Reply #156
    159. Take more time reading?
    Ive been there. I hate to break it to you, but experiencing something firsthand kinda tops reading about it in a book.

    I see that you agree that Cuba does have a problem with poverty. OK, we are making progress. But the problm runs a bit deeper than that. For example, ye average Cuban worker might earn the equivalent of 10 dollars a month. If his kid spends his days begging in the tourist-streaks, that kid might earn 10 dollars a day. If he steals some cigars from his workplace, and sells these to tourists, he might earn 20 dollars a day. A *huge* black market exists in Cuba. The girls selling themselves is but one aspect of this black market.

    You know, one of the waiters at the hotel actually had a degree in language from the university. He preferred to work as a waiter though, because the tips he was recieving every night was more than he'd earn per month working as a teacher. Are you beginning to see the problem here?

    Now, ask around among your friends. Preferably among those who has been to Cuba. Ask them how important this black market is for ye average Cuban. Ask them.

    Then ask yourself how you think Castros desicion to ban the use of Dollars affected these Cubans?

    A dictatorship is a dictatorship is a dictatorship, regardless of the color on the uniform of the police. Something to think about.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 04:59 PM
    Response to Reply #159
    163. I've seen all that from Miami "exiles" already years ago.
    Edited on Thu Mar-17-05 05:08 PM by Judi Lynn
    Completely misleading, and you're going to do it without my assistance. If you have more to add, have at it.

    I've heard it all. I've also heard that taxi drivers make more than doctors. Funny, Cuba still keeps producing doctors who are dedicated to their profession.

    The Miami "exiles" thought they'd seduce Juan Miguel Gonzalez when he came to America to retrieve the child they had stolen from him, when they offered him a lot of money to stay in the States. It was NOT worth while to him.

    You are repeating almost word for word the very same talking points I used to see in 1999 or whenever. I'm not going to try to debate items like currency, since the entire economy is so different. You are not going to "outwit" anyone with that silliness.

    Edited for spelling. Hint: your brain turns to mush if you post for hours on end!
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    Pettson Donating Member (22 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 05:27 PM
    Response to Reply #163
    173. Maybe
    You should focus less on where you heard something first, and more on what is said. For example, if I tell you that I first heard about the Cuban struggle against illiteracy through TASS (you do remember the old Soviet news agency, yes) ...would that in any way change the information?

    What I do not understand is why you say it is missleading when I try to educate you on what the life of a normal, average Cuban looks like.

    Nor do I understand why you bring Juan Miguel Gonzalez into this conversation. Nor do I believe in what you say about taxi drivers and doctors. Frankly that is not true. And you seem to know it is true, so I dont understand why you are dragging it into the conversation either.

    I can see that you are very defensive and very confrontational over this matter though, and that puzzles me. Personally I could not care less whether you love Cuba or hate Cuba. That is completely up to you. I do feel I have some sort of responsibility to set you straight when you say things that are wrong however. Perhaps that is why you feel hostility? I promise it is not personal. I am just trying to explain that your webpages doesnt seem to tell the truth as it can be seen on Cuba if you are there.
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    Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 05:11 PM
    Response to Reply #159
    169. LOL a sail tour 10 day vacation and your an expert ROFLMFAO
    "Cuba does have a problem with poverty"

    Who the f*ck denied that? But you said the poverty had nothing to do with the embargo, which is absolute fantasy. And that $10/month crap--tell us something we DON'T know. You forgot to mention that housing, medical, education, are PROVIDED by the Cuban government--that housing, food, healthcare, and education are part of their constitutional rights. Nobody denied there was a blackmarket either or that the change from dollars to euros wouldn't create problems, duh.

    Keeerist, a 10-day sail-tour vacationer turned Cuba expert who, like every other Gusano cries *it's Castro's fault*, *it's Castro's fault and the embargo has nothing to do with it*.

    A Gusano, is a Gusano, is a Gusano--regardless of the country where they reside.

    Meanwhile, here's some information for you about the US dictator the Cubans overthrew.

    <clips>

    ...Many of Batista's enemies faced the same fate as the ambitious Siegel. Nobody seemed to mention the many brutal human rights abuses that were a regular feature of Batista's private police force. Nobody, that is, except the many in Cuba who opposed the U.S.-friendly dictator.

    Batista was ousted by Castro and the Cuban Revolution and left the country on January 1 1959. He died in 1973.

    http://www.historyofcuba.com/history/funfacts/batist.htm




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    Pettson Donating Member (22 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 05:20 PM
    Response to Reply #169
    171. Why are you putting words in my mouth?
    I have never said the poverty had nothing to do with the embargo. What I have said is that it is not due to the embargo alone. And the best way to combat poverty is not to remove the few meager dollars that the average Cuban had managed to save...like Castro did with the law last november.

    And why are you laughing at me?
    I have been to Cuba. I think that should at least earn me the right to speak about what I saw there. What weight you or others give to my words is completely up to you though. I do think that me actually having been there at least puts me a notch above those of you who have never been there, but are filled with nice words and pictures that you have found on the internet or in books.

    And you dont have to educate me on the history of Cuba, friend. Like I said, I come from Sweden, our educational system is second to none :)

    Now I can see that there is much hostility in you against me for some reason. So I shall leave you alone now. If it makes you feel better to imagine that all Cubans are happy to live in a dictatorship, and that they all do not wish at all to live under another ruler, then I shall not yank you from that dream.
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    Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 05:42 PM
    Response to Reply #171
    176. "our educational system is second to none"
    They missed the boat on Cuba... ;-)

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    Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 06:11 PM
    Response to Reply #171
    177. Dollars to Euros...
    The dollar is heading south, Cuba isn't the only country changing from dollars to euros. FYI, that's been in the works for several years, since 2002 actually. This didn't happen overnight. About 1/2 the Cuban population gets help from family members abroad--not unusual for LatAm or Caribbean countries--and now those remittences will be sent in other forms of currency. Will the Cubans suffer? Some will for a time. It's another example of how screwed up the US policy to Cuba is and its effect on them.



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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 06:30 PM
    Response to Reply #177
    178. The whole world knows how perverse this policy is. Come next November
    Edited on Thu Mar-17-05 06:42 PM by Judi Lynn
    we'll see yet another vote in the General Assembly AGAINST U.S. policy toward Cuba, with one or two very small countries supporting Bush. (Like the Marshall Islands again...)

    One think to consider: I can't imagine why anyone who is NOT a Cuban "exile" or his offspring or a particularly overstimulated right winger, or a lackey in the Office of Public Diplomacy would EVER get hot under the collar about Cuba. I think it looks as if the actual pool of people who could get overwrought would be very small.

    Small, and damned ODD. Too much heat to be normal.





    (Trust no one)

    I've got to bail. Been here way too long. Great posts.
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    Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:41 PM
    Response to Reply #178
    181. Except for those living in the surreal world of Calle Ocho
    Edited on Thu Mar-17-05 11:41 PM by Say_What
    where *everything* is Castro's fault.

    :bounce:

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    aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 04:47 AM
    Response to Reply #171
    183. Uhm...
    >>I come from Sweden, our educational system is second to none :)<<

    Well, according to internationall comparison, it is at least second to Finland, which came first (I don't remember how Sweden and the other loosers did ...) ;)
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    Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 04:48 PM
    Response to Reply #153
    160. Yep. 40+ years of an embargo leaves people pretty desperate
    that's what embargos are designed to do.

    Here's an embargo timeline from a site of someone who was born and raised in Cuba--not just a visitor on a sail tour. Get yourself an education.

    <clips>

    The Economic Embargo - A Timeline

    1960--March 17. President Eisenhower approves a covert action plan against Cuba that includes the use of a "powerful propaganda campaign" designed to overthrow Castro. The plan includes: a) the termination of sugar purchases b) the end of oil deliveries c) continuation of the arms embargo in effect since mid-1958 d) the organization of a paramilitary force of Cuban exiles to invade the island.

    October 19. U.S. imposes a partial economic embargo on Cuba that excludes food and medicine.

    ...1992--February 5. U.S. Congressman Robert Torricelli introduces the Cuban Democracy Act, and says the bill is designed to "wreak havoc on the island."

    October 23. President Bush signs the Cuban Democracy Act into law. Congressman Torricelli says that it will bring down Castro "within weeks."

    ...2004--February 26. U.S. President Bush signs Presidential Proclamation 7757, which bans vessels from traveling to Cuban ports from U.S. ports.

    ...October 28. For the 13th consecutive year, the UN General Assembly votes overwhelmingly against the U.S. embargo against Cuba. The vote is 179 to 4, with 1 abstention. Voting with the U.S. for the embargo are Israel, Palau and the Marshall Islands. In the only speech loudly applauded on the assembly floor, Cuba's Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roughe states: "The U.S. government has unleashed a world wide genocidal economic war against Cuba. It is the government of a large and mighty empire, but it is afraid of the example of a small rebellious island."

    http://www.historyofcuba.com/history/funfacts/embargo.htm

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    0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 07:54 AM
    Response to Reply #153
    184. I believe she did very elegantly. Your isolated incidents with
    Edited on Fri Mar-18-05 07:55 AM by 0007
    girls approaching you for paid sex sound a bit suspicious to me! I have lived in Cuban during the Batista days and visited during the Castro days and trust me when I say there is no comparison. Those Batista days remind me of the attitude of those in Miami when Cuba was the international play ground until Castro cleaned it up.

    The certainly of your experience is highly suspect.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 10:16 AM
    Response to Reply #184
    186. If you want to see prostitution, go to Miami's Calle Ocho (8th street)
    Right in the heart of "Little Havana".

    There is NO comparison between the level of prostitution in Cuba and Miami. Miami's prostitution is rampant. Prostitution exists everywhere, but in Cuba the "johns" are busted too, not just the hookers.

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    0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 12:03 PM
    Response to Reply #186
    189. The only thing that has changed is that the corruption & prostitution
    has moved from the Meyer Lansky & Lucky Luciano days in Cuba to the U.S.
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    Pettson Donating Member (22 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 12:19 PM
    Response to Reply #189
    193. Well,
    Like I said to the lady, the girls I was talking about were not prostitutes. They were normal everyday girls.

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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 08:34 PM
    Response to Reply #193
    213. Same as Miami
    Pimps exist everywhere.
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    Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 04:28 PM
    Response to Reply #148
    157. Is that the best you can do? Gusanarrhea...
    Smells like Gusano bullshit to me...

    Anyone ignorant enough to think that 40+ years of the US embargo and other laws designed to starve the Cuban population into overthrowing its government doesn't know sh*t about Cuba. Over the years there has been report after report detailing how devastating this POS embargo has been to the island and its population.

    If you think that infant mortality and literacy stats don't mean anything, take a trip to those bastions of US-like-democracy such as El Salvador, Guatemala, or Haiti. You could even come here to the USSA and visit places like Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and Miami (the poorest big city in country) or any large city where people beg for food and money in the streets.

    You could also come to the USSA and get whatever sex you want anywhere you want to get it. You can also get illegal copies of anything. Get a life, pal.


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    Pettson Donating Member (22 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 04:54 PM
    Response to Reply #157
    161. Im not sure whether this one is directed at me.
    I got the impression it was, so I'll answer it.

    First, of cource the embargo is bad for the Cuban economy. I hardly thought that was in question though.

    Second, infant mortality and literacy stats say nothing about whether a nation is a dictatorship or a democracy. It says nothing about the individual freedoms every citizen has or has not. Your own examples highlight this perfectly, so I see little need to debate that either.

    Third, if you interpreted my post to mean something along the lines of "you can get sex on Cuba" or "you can buy stuff on the black market in Cuba" then it would seem you missunderstood why I brought up those examples. Perhaps my recent post cleared that up.

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    Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 05:38 PM
    Response to Reply #161
    175. Hmmmm,
    Your Post 148: Cuba right now is a third world country. You can try to blame that on the US, but that is just as stupid as blaming North Koreas economic problems on the US. It shifts blame from where it really rests (Castro) to a convenient scapegoat (US).

    THIS POST: of cource the embargo is bad for the Cuban economy.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    ME: Well, which is it? First you say that Castro is to blame for the economic problems on island. Now you say that the embargo is bad for the Cuban economy. Please provide some backup for your drivel.

    Anyone with a brain has to know how devastating the embargo is. Before returning home to Cuba in 2003, Oswaldo Paya made a case about ending the embargo when he met with Colin Powell in Washington after Paya was awarded the Andrei Sokorov Prize for Freedom. But then I suppose you'd have an answer for him as well.

    YOU: ...infant mortality and literacy stats say nothing about whether a nation is a dictatorship or a democracy.

    ME: Correct, but it does indicate HOW a country provides and cares for it's citizens. Dictatorships typically take everything and leave the citizenry poor, uneducated, without healthcare, tortured, disappeared, murdered,etc. This is what US-puppet dictator Batista did to the Cubans and they threw him the f*ck out.

    YOU: if you interpreted my post to mean something along the lines of "you can get sex on Cuba" or "you can buy stuff on the black market in Cuba"

    ME: What is it about "is that the best you can do" that you don't understand?

    Like I said, a 10-day Cuba-expert wonder... :freak:

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    aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 04:41 AM
    Response to Reply #148
    182. OK, let's do Sweden ;)
    Very shortly: Gothenburg police brutality and horribly inhumane and corrupted Swedish drug policy.
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    Pettson Donating Member (22 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 12:17 PM
    Response to Reply #182
    192. heh
    "Gothenburg police brutality"
    was no such thing.

    "inhumane and corrupted drug policy"
    it is prohibited to use drugs in Sweden. Apparently you think this inhumane and corrupt...well, I disagree.
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    aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 02:20 PM
    Response to Reply #192
    195. Denial
    is not just a river! LOL! You just blew any credibility you had left.

    >>>"Gothenburg police brutality"
    was no such thing.<<<

    http://www.statewatch.org/news/2003/mar/04goth.htm
    http://www.steunmaarten.org/guardian.htm
    http://de.indymedia.org/2001/06/3437.shtml
    http://www.vaikuttava.net/sections.php?op=viewarticle&artid=24 (lot's of videos etc.)

    Latest on the juridical situation:
    http://indymedia.se/feature/display/43178/index.php

    There's just tons of information.

    >>>it is prohibited to use drugs in Sweden. Apparently you think this inhumane and corrupt...well, I disagree.<<<

    Well, I do think drug prohibition is crime against humanity, but that is beside the point. The point is that Swedish drug policy, which is copied from US and in practice lead by the loonie fascists of Hassela, has similar effects as US policy, the worst in Europe which as a whole is moving towards Harm Reduction, which actually produces results instead of just making the situation worse.

    "Deaths due to drug abuse in Sweden are amongst the highest in Europe, having risen from 50 per year in 1970 to 250 per year today. In the age group 20-39, drugs account for 10 percent of all deaths, as many as die in traffic accidents. (Narkotikafrgan no. 4 1999)

    Law enforcement in Sweden is collapsing as a result of their drug war. For years Swedish law enforcement agencies have been warning of impending disaster as their drug war and the crime it generates escalates uncontrollably. Law and order in parts of Sweden is in danger of breaking down and whole areas of Stockholm have become war zones controlled by pushers and rival drug gangs. Life in them is becoming intolerable and the police are powerless to stem the rising drug crime. On the 14.12.99, the terrorised inhabitants of Ragsved, Hagstra and Bandhagen held a desperate protest action, widely reported in the Swedish press, and demanded immediate action from the authorities to win back their suburbs from the pushers and drug gangs. The authorities are worried that desperate citizens may resort to vigilante action, and a report by the National Crime Prevention Agency, the 'Brottsforebygganderad', 22.02.00, said
    that immediate action is imperative if citizens are to be prevented from taking matters into their own hands."
    http://www.drugtext.org/library/articles/crusade.htm

    In addition, it has been sometimes openly stated that exceptionally high mortality of addicts is actually the goal of Swedish drug policy, so that the dead "knarkare" would serve as warning example. Drug war is corrupting the Swedish police and judicial system and leading to increased use of para- and extralegal means. The most horrible example is the "Rave Commission", engaged in war against certain youth subcultures, wich has the authority to drag any person "under suspect of drug use" to the police department for testing.

    More:
    http://www.bobo.pp.fi/

    The case of Osmo Vallo is perfect example of the culture of impunity for Swedish police beating a suspected drug user to death.



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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 02:57 PM
    Response to Reply #195
    196. Thanks for the info. Wouldn't have ever known without your links! n/t
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    Pettson Donating Member (22 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 04:17 PM
    Response to Reply #195
    197. I believe
    Edited on Fri Mar-18-05 04:19 PM by Pettson
    It would seem we have different definitions of what police brutality is.

    If you want I can go over your links and point out the flaws or lies in each one.

    For example this quote:
    "It was the first time a person had been shot at a demonstration in Sweden since 1931, after which the police and the military were forbidden from cooperating when handling demonstrations, a ban that has now been lifted."

    Contains an outright lie (that the ban against military doing police business has been lifted).

    But that seems rather pointless. Perhaps we should just agree to disagree. Gothenburg was an extreme example where demonstrations turned into regular street battles. The police had no means to tackle that really, and that is why those shots were fired. We have no tear gas to use against demonstrations or water cannons in Sweden. Or I should say, we didnt have.

    As for the drugs. It says everything when you claim that doing drugs is a human right. It just shows what kind of person you are.
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    aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 06:31 PM
    Response to Reply #197
    199. Figures
    Tell a Swede his country ain't purrfect and you're "that kind of person"! How lame! :D

    Yes, doing drugs is a human right, if you read the UN Declaration of Human Rights, especially articles 12 and 18. UN drug treaties demanding criminalization of use of certain substances go directly against the spirit of the DoHR. As long as I don't harm others, what I do with my body is my private business (protected by article 12). Use of various banned psychotropic substances is a sacrament in certain religions, so the bann is alse very much against freedom of religion (article 18).

    As for the police brutality, your excuse is that Swedish police is so incompetent that they had no choise but to shoot some demonstrators in the back?!!! That's really really beyond lame.


    I see you are a full believer in the Swedish version of totalitarian authoritorianism. You fully accept that the state has the right to despotically violate the bodily integrity of a grown-up sane person who presents no danger or harm to others. And yet you demand exception to keep on selling snuff, you hypocritical slaves.
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    Pettson Donating Member (22 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 03:58 AM
    Response to Reply #199
    216. Well...
    That demonstrator was shot in the stomach while in the process of throwing rocks at the police. Bullet entered the stomach, exited through the back. How you get that to mean he was shot in the back is...well, its beyond me. Now, presumably you are swedish, so you know as well as I do how many times that incident has been examined. And the police was cleared of any wrongdoing. I guess there is a lesson to be learned in here somewhere..."dont throw rocks at the police" might be a good start.

    I find it rather amusing to see you claim that the protester was not only grown up and sane, but also that he presented no harm or danger to others...when one considers that he was taking part in a street-battle against the police, and he was shot moments after throwing a rock aimed at an injured police officer who was on the ground after being hit by a rock in the neck.

    As for the "doing drugs is a human right"-part. Lets just say that it doesnt work like that and leave it at that shall we? For example, you will note in article 3 that everyone has the right to life, liberty and personal safety...does that mean jail is prohibited? It doesnt does it, yet that is the type of interpretation you are offering when you claim that drugs are a human right.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 04:43 PM
    Response to Original message
    158. This looks like a good place for this info. not many have heard here
    concerning the early moments of the Cuban campaign to get the Cuban people literate, so many of them being completely unable to read:
    The country life
    Jonothan Kozol, U.S. Educationalist and author of Children of the Revolution, described terror attacks aimed at destabilizing the Literacy Campaign: The student volunteers were organized into a brigade named in honor of a Cuban youth, Conrado Bentez, killed earlier , three weeks prior to his eighteenth birthday, while he was working in a pilot literacy program in the hills. The young man, a black teenager who had recognized in Fidels revolution the first important chance for abolition of racism in the Caribbean, was seized by ex-supporters of Batista, tortured, suffocated by the gradual tightening of a rope around his neck, and later mutilated. He was only one of many volunteers who had been or would soon be martyred by the roving bands of anti-Castro forces. Another young man, Manuel Ascunce Domenech, viewed today as one of the greatest heroes of the Cuban revolution, had requested with a persistence that begins to seem endemic in the Cuban youth that he be sent to do his work in exactly the same region where Benitez had been killed. He was housed in the home of a poor man, Pedro Lantigua. When the counter-revolutionaries struck at Domenech, they also seized Lantigua and took both the young man and the older man away to die.
    (snip)
    http://www.oceanbooks.com.au/literacy/lit7.html

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    In 1961 Cuba's President Fidel Castro told the United Nations: "Cuba will be the first country in the Americas to be able to decide to eliminate illiteracy in just a few months." Eleven months later 707,212 people had learned to read and had written letters to President Castro to prove it and say thank you. All these letters are bound and collected at the Museum of Literacy in Havana. Alphabetizing (which means both teaching someone to read and learning to read), we will win, was the main slogan.

    The idea was that only with higher literacy and education levels would the revolution, now creating a new government and a new society, be able to solve Cuba's social problems. "No creer, leer!" was the message: don't just believe, read! More than 100,000 young people, mostly teens, some younger, formed the core of 268,000 literacy teachers. The youngest was 7, shown below in his uniform and in his literacy campaign ID card.

    These young people went to live with families in order to teach them to read. The families were mostly poor peasants; the teachers, urbanites. The teachers learned as much as the students. The entire country was organized around the literacy effort, from building roads to devising and publishing textbooks, from public health to international relations. For instance: there was a sudden need for eye exams, and then eyeglasses. China supplied a lantern for each teacher, since the teaching took place after the day's work.

    With the Bay of Pigs U.S. invasion that same year, several young teachers and their students were killed in acts of war and sabotage. There were many adjustments and additional people who joined in the campaign as it was not easy and the months were going by. But by December 1961 the campaign had succeeded, and a huge celebration was held in Revolution Square featuring many gigantic pencils waving in the air.
    (snip/...)

    http://www.communitytechnology.org/cuba/photos.html

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    Pettson Donating Member (22 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 04:59 PM
    Response to Reply #158
    164. Eh..
    why are you two posting embargo timelines and historical essays on how Cuban illiteracy was defeated? Is there *anyone* arguing that
    a) the embargo has not influenced the Cuban economy, or
    b) that Cuban literacy is not good
    ?

    We are talking about personal freedoms for Cuban people (at least I am trying to, you'll have to excuse my poor ramblings in a foreign language), and you are replying with history of the embargo and other interesting, albeit irrelevant sidetracks...why?
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 05:05 PM
    Response to Reply #164
    166. No, I am posting something I intend to share with DU'ers who are
    concerned with US/Cuba policy. It wasn't directed to you.

    I think I'll continue to post as I have since I joined DU, if that's O.K.

    "We" don't need a traffic cop for the threads, actually.
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    Pettson Donating Member (22 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 05:10 PM
    Response to Reply #166
    167. My apologies
    I thought the post was directed to me, since you posted it in the middle of our conversation, as a reply to me.
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    Iggytop Donating Member (115 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 05:57 PM
    Response to Reply #166
    198. For your information !!! For your Loving father Fidel.
    The Castro"s response to the AIDS crisis has been mandatory nation-wide testing with forced incarceration for anyone who tested positive for the HIV virus. In addition, Castro has had a long tradition of imprisoning homosexuals and transexuals as "undesirables." Imprisonment is often based on mere suspicion and rumor. Recently it was reported that young people in Cuba are purposely "shooting up" with HIV infected blood so that they can go to these camps to avoid forced labor.

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    Spinoza Donating Member (766 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 06:57 PM
    Response to Reply #198
    205. The lack of any concern expressed on this board for
    the horrible abuse of homosexuals by Castro is truly appalling. See my earlier posts. I gave 6 different links to support my contention of gay abuse in Cuba. It took me 20 minutes. Anyone can easily check this stuff out, but noone fucking cares.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 06:57 PM
    Response to Reply #198
    206. Forced labor? Name your source. You're halucinating.
    I'll check back later, have obligations for the evening. I located something which might be helpful to you, if you're able to sit and concentrate long enough to read it:

    The Sexual Politics of Reinaldo Arenas:
    Fact, Fiction and the Real Record of the Cuban Revolution

    http://www.blythe.org/arenas-e2.html

    and

    HEALTH-CUBA: Guaranteeing Treatment for HIV/AIDS Patients*
    Inter Press Service - June 22, 2001
    Dalia Acosta

    http://www.aegis.com/news/ips/2001/IP010635.html

    You'll feel a lot better, and be far more at peace if you truly start doing some hard reading on the subject, and dive right into the heart of it, and looking for answers YOURSELF. If you rely on word of mouth from people in your own community you may have to realize at some point there's a good chance they actuallly don't know what they are talking about and are inadvertantly repeating cynically contrived propaganda.

    First, take the initiative to educate yourself. Rumor doesn't qualify as reality.
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    Spinoza Donating Member (766 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 05:10 PM
    Response to Reply #164
    168. Keep up the good work.
    Great posts and welcome to DU!

    P.S.
    It's okay with me if you like being a traffic cop.
    P.P.S. Castro is a fucking homophobe.
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    Pettson Donating Member (22 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 05:13 PM
    Response to Reply #168
    170. Thank you
    I'll try to fit in :)

    I feel right at home though, this is a wonderful forum..so vibrant, so full of life.
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    zippy890 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 05:28 PM
    Response to Original message
    174. Its about time
    I am glad to see some pressure on the US government regarding its anti-Cuban policies


    :kick:
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    American Tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 09:31 AM
    Response to Original message
    185. Ah, Bush is a weak imitator. Cuba is an original Orwellian paradise.
    Edited on Fri Mar-18-05 09:49 AM by American Tragedy
    -Castro formed Committees for the Defense of the Revolution(CDR) which operate on almost every block in Cuba, spying on neighbors and reporting back to the regime. Negative reports can land one in jail. Talking to foreigners invites questioning into your loyalty to the regime. Large numbers of individuals are incarcerated in Castro's prisons for political crimes ranging from speaking against the regime to trying to leave the island.

    -Similarly, in June 1991 at a meeting between Fidel Castro and several members of various communist organizations, it was agreed to set up the Rapid Response Brigades. Their principle aim is to "defend the country, the Revolution and Socialism in all circumstances, by confronting and liquidating any sign of counter-revolution or crime."

    -The Castro regime's response to the AIDS crisis has been mandatory nation-wide testing with forced incarceration for anyone who tested positive for the HIV virus.

    -Castro has had a long tradition of imprisoning homosexuals and transexuals, or just those who are rumored or suspected to be, as "undesirables." Indeed, parents were once charged with the duty of preventing their children from engaging in homosexual activity, and reporting those who did. It's eased up some, but homosexuals are still deemed unfit to join the Communist party. Lesbian and gay newspapers and organizations are not permitted. The Cuban Association of Gays and Lesbians, formed in 1994, was suppressed in 1997 and its members arrested.

    -Of course, as requisite for any contemporary totalitarian state, the Internet is severely restricted in access and content. Good ole Fidel would never be so foolish as to allow a website like this one.

    I could go on for quite a while, but I don't have time to make a serious research project of the Cuba regime's numerous achievements.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 12:23 PM
    Response to Reply #185
    194. Would you provide your source for these claims?
    If you've taken the time to read here, you're aware all these subjects have been discussed exhaustively, over the years, with links, and the upshots in each case leading to far different conclusions.

    The point which interests Democratic D.U.'ers is that the U.S. should drop the travel ban, and drop the embargo.

    The U.S. has full contact with China, and Viet Nam. All the years of economic warfare and spiteful propaganda, and obnoxious rumors, and outright violence going back to the beginning of the l960's MUST END.

    Arguing that there are points, real or invented you don't like about Cuba shouldn't have much bearing on whether Americans can travel to Cuba, and whether or not Cuban hospitals should be able to buy hospital equipment it needs from companies in other countries which contain parts made in the United States which are unobtainable now because the U.S. demands any of those machines may NOT be sold to Cuba, even though the machines are made in Europe, etc.

    Cubans deserve the chance to resume buying food from individual states, rather than paying many times the actual price during shipment from great distances.

    Humanitarian issues are at stake, and should be addressed.
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    Spinoza Donating Member (766 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 07:00 PM
    Response to Reply #194
    207. You keep asking for sources.
    However, when I gave you SIX links to support my claim that Castro imprisoned gays for being gay, suddenly you are completely silent.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 08:06 PM
    Response to Reply #207
    211. This might help understand Cuba's methodologies Re AIDS & sanitoriums
    Edited on Fri Mar-18-05 08:12 PM by Mika
    Keep in mind that AIDS was an emerging disease and not understood. It could have devastated a small poor island nation like Cuba, but Cuba responded humanely and now has the lowest AIDS rate in the western hemisphere.

    During the 80's US prez Reagan refused to even mention AIDS.

    Almost all countries have laws regarding the reckless (or deliberate) transmission of HIV/AIDS that include incarceration (Cuba incarcerates such people in health clinics, not prisons).


    This is long, but worth the read.

    Cuba's AIDS patient #1 dies
    http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/43b/011.html
    <snip>
    How was the Health Ministry going to protect the rest of the population if they granted the PWAs request to go out on weekend passes? This was early 1986, just months after the first patients entered the sanitorium. They weren't even sure yet whether mosquitoes could spread the disease, but they did know that unprotected sex could. And exchange of other bodily fluids, like blood. What if one of the PWAs got into an accident? Cut himself? Had sex during her period?

    A stopgap measure was instituted: Yes, patients could go home on pass on Sundays. But they had to be accompanied by a staff person, medical student, paramedic, or some other chaperone who could both respond to any medical emergency, and oversee the situation to make sure the patient wasn't endangering anyone else. And patients had to start an intensive AIDS education program, along with psychological evaluations.

    Reynaldo's list of "achievements" or "victories" began to multiply. Once the education program was in place, patients deemed "responsible" were eventually allowed to go out on their own, in the care of their families. One-day passes became weekend passes, and PWAs soon found they could pretty much go out whenever they wanted-- sometimes for a week or more-- for a vacation at the beach with family, to take care of a sick parent, to visit relatives in a distant province.

    Patients whose work skills could be put to use within the sanitorium were offered jobs -- as office workers, doctors, nurses, lab technicians, accountants, mechanics, cooks, gardeners. And slowly, some began going back to jobs outside, or studying at the university.

    Patients sooned formed neighborhood political councils within the sanitorium, to resolve their own problems or discuss issues with the administration. The fact that the new director, Dr. Jorge Perez, "always has his door open to us" made this a lot easier.

    They also helped form GPSIDA, the patients' AIDS prevention group, to go out and speak to people in the community about how to protect themselves and others. Until then, most people were turning a deaf ear to the Health Ministry's attempts at AIDS education. Most people felt they could never get AIDS. It seemed too unreal to them: in Cuba -- people thought -- almost nobody gets AIDS, and if they do, they're put in a sanitorium. So why worry?

    But when "normal, everyday" people -- women and men, homosexual and heterosexual, old and young -- began identifying themselves as HIV positive at schools, dance clubs, other popular teenage hangouts, and on local and national tv programs, people started getting the message.

    Reynaldo and Maria Julia were among the first to let themselves be interviewed, videotaped and filmed to help get the word out. They were among the charter members of GPSIDA -- another first.

    By the time of Reynaldo's death, Cuba's program to prevent the spread of AIDS and care for those who are stricken -- arguably the most controversial and most successful AIDS program in the world -- had come a long way, with Reynaldo Morales and Maria Julia Fernandez advancing and helping it advance every step of the way.
    CUBA'S AIDS POLICY TODAY

    It's worthwhile looking at the progression that they were part of:

    At the new stage of the program, people testing HIV+ and those with AIDS may -- as before -- receive complete residential care in one of Cuba's 14 provincial AIDS sanitoriums or, after a brief period of evaluation and education, they may opt to receive outpatient care from their family doctor, while maintaining most (but not all) the benefits formerly provided them in the sanitoriums.

    This removes the one dark side of a program that otherwise was universally heralded for its effectiveness in slowing the spread of the AIDS virus.

    The internationally recognized positive aspects of Cuba's program included:

    * A well-functioning, national health-care delivery system with an emphasis on preventive care, and no cost to the patient.
    * Cuba achieved the world's lowest rate of HIV infection from blood transfusions by halting importation of blood products while testing the country's entire blood supply and all new blood donations.
    * Almost totally eliminating perinatal transmission by testing all pregnant women. (There have been only four cases of HIV positive pregnant women who chose to carry their babies to term, although this may increase slightly now that research has shown only 1/3 of such babies are born with the virus). Abortion is free, and generally recommended in the case of HIV+ mothers, but the choice is left to the woman.
    * An extensive research program aimed at finding a preventive vaccine or cure, carried out at the facilities already investigating the use of interferon and other natural and synthetic drugs.
    * Extensive (although not mandatory) testing of Cubans returning from long periods abroad, and routine testing for HIV when other blood tests are administered to the general population.
    * Development of facilities and training of specialized staff to care for people from the time they test positive, including doctors, nurses, paramedics, psychologists and social workers.

    The limitations of this program were primarily on the psychological and psycho-social level. The sanitoriums that were set up, while providing optimum overall care, were also highly paternalistic and imposed restrictions on patients' freedom of movement --less so over time, and for those who were deemed "responsible" -- but nevertheless galling to those who felt themselves capable of behaving in a mature and responsible way without someone supervising or judging them, and without being held accountable for the irreponsibility of others.

    On the plus side, people testing HIV+ have been provided with above-average housing in pleasant surroundings, a high-protein diet, daily access to specialized medical care, recreational facilities and counseling in an attempt to create a stress-free environment. Medicines (like AZT, gancyclovir, etc. were studied and imported from abroad).

    Patients are given regular blood tests and physical check-ups by medical staff who are on the alert for the first signs of any opportunistic infection which, if caught and treated early, can be controlled or eliminated.

    But despite increasing liberty of movement as the disease became better understood, the sanatorial system still placed more restrictions on the patients' mobility than was warranted by the nature of its transmission. Even after health authorities learned that AIDS cannot be spread by casual contact, it was still treated as a highly contagious disease due to the simple fact that unprotected sexual relations -- the norm in Cuba, as elsewhere -- was the predominant mode of transmission.

    An ethical dilemma plagued health authorities: How to protect the rest of the population from unnecessary risk (the responsibility of the Public Health Ministry) without imposing burdensome restrictions on those who carried the virus but were not yet ill?

    A solution was devised by Dr. Jorge Perez Avila, medical director of the Pedro Kouri Tropical Medicine Institute, when he was named director of the sanitorium in 1989, in consultation with PWAs, especially those who formed the Grupo Prevencion SIDA (GPSIDA, or Aids Prevention Group).

    The key factors in the new system, which safeguards public health but also permits ambulatory care for seropositive patients, is an education and evaluation program that enables the medical staff to demonstrate to health officials -- and to a general population nervous about the spread of the disease -- that most seropositives, once taught about the forms of transmission of their disease, and how to live with it (including their obligation to avoid placing anyone else at risk) can live normal lives outside the sanitoriums.

    This evaluation system had to be accompanied by a series of other measures -- some requiring economic investment not easy to come by in the current period -- before outpatient care could be put into effect, however.

    Among these were:

    * Sanitoriums had to be built in each province so the patients would have access to the state-of-the-art care provided in the Havana sanitorium; these also had to be staffed, supplied (food, medicine, laboratories, transportation, fuel, work and recreation facilities, individual housing, furniture, etc.);
    * Family doctors had to be trained in each community where seropositives would be living, so they could provide the day-to-day attention the patients had been receiving;
    * Social workers and sexual education teams had to educate the communities and workplaces to which seropositives would be returning to prevent discrimination against them;
    * A massive AIDS education program had to be developed throughout the country, so that responsibility for preventing the spread of the disease would not fall exclusively on those who already knew they were seropositive, but would be shared by the rest of the population. A second aspect of this program would be to complement the work being done in specific neighborhoods and workplaces, to teach the population as a whole to welcome and care for PWAs.

    This latter step would have been impossible without the development of the patient-initiated and run GPSIDA -- PWAs like Reyanldo and Maria Julia who went out into the community, onto campuses, on radio and television, to spread the word that AIDS is here, it can be avoided, you needn't be afraid of People With AIDS but you should be afraid of the disease itself.

    Seropositve members of GPSIDA, at least in Havana, are the ones who inform people of their positive test results, provide counseling, support and education.

    Under the current policy, most people testing positive will be given a period of testing and orientation in a sanitorium, although based on pre-evaluations and GPSIDA's education program, some may pass immediately to ambulatory care.

    Not surprisingly, given the economic conditions and both medical and psychological factors, only a small percentage of patients have so far opted for outpatient care. Like Reynaldo and Maria Julia, most find far more reasons to remain IN the sanitoriums than to live outside them given the economic uncertainty of the current period.

    But the fact that they CAN choose brings the Cuban program to a plateau that could easily be described as "the best of both worlds." When asked why this was referred to as a "plateau" rather than the final stage of the program's evolution, however, an AIDS activist explained, "We will only consider that we have reached the final stage when there is a way to both prevent and cure the disease."

    For Reynaldo Morales, the discovery of a cure will come too late. But as a pioneer in the movement to develop a comprehensive program to stop the spread of AIDS in Cuba, he contributed to a policy that has probably saved hundreds of thousands of lives. Not a small accomplishment.


    Much more.. http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/43b/011.html

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    American Tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 07:20 PM
    Response to Reply #194
    209. Of course they should drop the travel ban and embargo
    The United States should have relinquished it decades ago, both for humanitarian concerns and sheer rationality.

    The only reason for the embargo that I can possibly imagine is lingering historical rancor on the part of the American establishment. It's kind of intriguing. I don't know enough to form any specific theories, but I don't think it's a coincidence that commercial trade bans officially began in 1964. One would really think that forty years is long enough, though!

    Nevertheless, that doesn't make Fidel Castro's regime particularly worthy of praise, particularly to those of us for whom civil liberties are of absolute importance, and who aren't blinded by Castro's charisma.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 08:17 AM
    Response to Reply #209
    217. The majority of Americans do not support the embargo & travel ban
    Edited on Sat Mar-19-05 08:20 AM by Mika
    The majority of Americans (and Cuban-Americans) DO NOT support the travel ban.

    Poll: Americans don't support Cuban Sanctions
    http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=770
    -
    Poll: Cuban-Americans focus is local, not on Cuba or Castro
    http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/world/cuba/6269237.htm


    Just because the propaganda for profit networks in the US have Americans believing that the entire Cuban-American community is represented by the very vocal extremist minority doesn't mean that its true.

    Most of the Miamicuban community feels that the extremism and support for the embargo and sanctions is hindering the average Cuban in Cuba. They know this because, as pointed out earlier, they can go to Cuba (in an ever more limited fashion as dictated by W*).

    Understand that most of the Cuban immigrants that have come to the US have come here for the same reasons that immigrants from all over the Caribbean and Latin Americas come to the US.. jobs. Jobs that help them earn enough money to send some back to their family in their homeland. The majority of Cuban immigrants don't have an all consuming hatred of Fidel Castro, and the USA offers Cubans many avenues and a wealth of exclusive perks for immigrating here.. plus they can travel back to their homeland and take or send money.. just like almost all other immigrants do.

    The reasoning for maintaining the extremist positions against Castro is for political gain, at the expense of the ignorant taxpayers who are brainwashed into thinking that Cubans are "fleeing" Castro, instead of understanding the actual Cuban-American community's immigration experience - economics.

    Consider this.. If there were to be no Castro, then there would be no VERY profitable taxpayer funded anti Castro foundations and programs. If there were to be no Castro, who the F would Ileana Ros and the Diaz Balart brothers run against? They need Castro. Everything these so called "anti Castro" factions do, from taunts to threats of war to sanctions to embargoes, only unites the Cuban people behind their fearless and successful system of government. This is what the "anti Castro" politicians and "free Cuba" foundations need - in order to continue to profiteer on the backs of the US taxpayers.

    Regrettably, it is not one sided profiteering at the expense of both Americans and Cubans. Perpetuating the embargo has a profit motive for US politicians representing both sides of the issue. No Castro = no anti Castro lobby (read campaign $$). No embargo = no pro trade w/Cuba lobby (read campaign $$). Hence, the embargo stays enabling the millions of dollars of lobbying money to pour in to both sides.

    American "democracy"(?) at its worst.
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    American Tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 09:06 AM
    Response to Reply #194
    218. I hate authoritarianism. Perhaps others have different priorities.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 09:15 AM
    Response to Reply #218
    219. Same swill on US paid "journalists" like Armstrong Williams, only worse
    Edited on Sat Mar-19-05 09:19 AM by Mika
    .. in that they are bought and paid by the declared enemy of the Cuban government who's goal is to overthrow the government of Cuba

    I'm sure the US government would allow Al Queda paid "journalists" to function in the open here. NOT!


    _


    I enjoyed reading this on the CDR link you provided,
    With more than 8 million members (in a country of 11 million)


    Not very popular among Cubans I see. LOL


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