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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-05 09:51 PM
Original message
Fidel Castro More Than Doubles Minimum Wage for Cuban Workers
http://ap.tbo.com/ap/breaking/MGBS7WFST7E.html

HAVANA (AP) - President Fidel Castro announced an increase in the island's minimum wage Thursday, more than doubling salaries of nearly 1.7 million Cuban workers.


Farmhands, plumbers and other low-wage workers currently making about $4.20 a month will earn $9.40 starting May 1, he said.

Castro made the announcement in a televised address - his eighth speech in 11 days. snip


The average Cuban government worker earns the equivalent of about $12 a month. But salary figures can be misleading in Cuba. Most citizens here pay no rent and education and health care are free. In addition, the government offers heavily subsidized basic services such as utilities and transportation.

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bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-05 09:53 PM
Response to Original message
1. damn commies
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The Doctor. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-05 09:55 PM
Response to Original message
2. The end is near...
sounds like he may be setting up his 'final' legacy.
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Moderate Dem Donating Member (321 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-05 09:55 PM
Response to Original message
3. So this means he's a good guy now?
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jdj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-05 10:19 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. like Bush and any other degenerate
he can't do anything without his legion of bitches.

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ragin_acadian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-05 10:59 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. he's better than bush.
he liberated cubans from their corporate baptista opressors, changed the lifespan of the average cuban peasant from 37 to mid 70, and brought free education and health care to all cubans. he does imprison dissidents though. cuba just happens to be an 'outpost of tyranny' that the united states leases a corner to indefinately hold and torture citizens from other countries, without the benefit of due process, or international law.

it is interesting to note that all anti-castro cubans in this country that agitate for the removal of castro are former baptistas and their descendents, or criminals and lunatics leftover from the mariel boatlift.

castro isn't a good guy, but unlike bush, he doesn't start wars at the behest of his corporate sponsors, and he has done something to improve the lives of the people he rules.

last i looked, bush hasn't done much to improve our lives, he poses for photo ops, trots out osama when his poll numbers drop, and signs anti-american citizen bankruptcy laws and labour laws.

but the media tells me castro is bad, and bush is good.

so i guess i have my mind made up.



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aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 04:35 AM
Response to Reply #7
15. Imprisoning dissidents
is not all black and white. I don't know the details, but the threat of US is very real, there are dissidents and "dissidents", and taking money from the enemy and spreading enemy propaganda is not exactly kosher either. Nevertheless IMHO it was overreaction that did more to harm Cuban interests than help. And AFAIK most of them have been allready been pardoned and released.
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ragin_acadian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #15
111. good point.
as a side note, i think i heard that bush is trying to introduce an 18 million dollar budget increase to radio marti, the station that even republicans think is a waste of time because castro jams the signal.

you're right, imprisoning 17 dissidents did more to hurt than help, i just really don't see how most of america thinks that is really different from imprisoning 500 people indefinately and not even bothering to charge them with anything - i guess americans just see the world through rose colored tv screens.
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #7
64. You've got a point here...
castro isn't a good guy, but unlike bush, he doesn't start wars at the behest of his corporate sponsors

Now that you've mentioned it, I don't recall ever hearing or reading about Castro bombing the Hell out of another country; blowing its children to bits and pieces, based on lies and deceit...

That revelation alone would put Castro well ahead of Bush on the "nice guy" list...

Also, we mustn't forget that Castro has survived:
Eisenhower
Kennedy
Johnson
Nixon
Ford
Carter
Reagan
Bush I
Clinton
Bush II

so he must be doing something right!
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Massacure Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #64
94. No one after Kennedy ever attacked cuba.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 03:28 AM
Response to Reply #94
102. George W. Bush has been hot to devastate Cuba from the first.
You must remember the John Bolton flap has Cuba at the center, as Bolton was hell-bent to make an unchallenged claim that Cuba produces dual-use biological products as a prelude to invading them, and providing a little Bush regime change for Cubans.

They have been working on targeting Cuba from the very first, launching rounds of repeating charges annually.

Bolton made his speech claiming Cuba is dangerous on a Friday night only two days before former President Jimmy Carter was expecting to arrive in Havana at Fidel Castro's invitation, to make his historic live TV/radio speech to Cubans.

Carter told the Cubans that he had asked people in the State Department if there was anything to the rumor State had been floating about dual-use weapons, and he was given a big "NOPE."

Fidel Castro responded by inviting Carter to bring whomever, and how ever many specialists he would prefer to go over their laboratories with a fine-toothed comb.

Bush will, when the public has rejected their dual-use charges again, go to the next one: claiming Cuba is involved in child-prostitution, a heavy sex trade, white slavery, etc., etc.

When that one goes nowhere he turns to the matter of the U.S. Government supported "dissidents." (For any information you lack, you can check google to see annual allotments of large chunks of change being designated by our own Republican Congressmen to be used to support dissent within Cuba. They're not shy, it's all in black and white. Someone in our country being supported by another government is at odds with our federal laws. It's strictly illegal here.)

It's not as if the U.S. Government has been benign concerning Cuba. Besides the 40+ years of terrorism launched at Cuba, many of the acts perpetrated by Cuban American former CIA employees, including bombing the Cubana airliner mid-flight and murdering the 73 people on board, there's the small problem with the crushing embargo, with additional legislation in the form of the Helms-Burton Act, the Torricelli Amendment, and the Cuban Adjustment Act, and the not-so-covert low level warfare the last two Interests Section Heads have conducted in Havana, doing things there NO OTHER COUNTRY would allow, including this one.
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ragin_acadian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #64
113. hah! you're right! let's hope he can
survive three more years, then maybe we can elect someone reasonable that will lift the sanctions that are harming the cuban people more than castro ever could.

my question for castro haters -

1. how many times have we invaded cuba, sponsored terrorist acts on their soil, or contemplated staging an event that would lead to an invasion?

2. how many times has castro retaliated?
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Poppyseedman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 07:11 AM
Response to Reply #7
108. I used to live in Miami and know many Cubans.
You have forgetton to mention one small detail.

The Cubans people are not free.
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ragin_acadian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #108
112. well, that's my point. cubans in miami: either wealthy baptista's,
or criminals and lunatics left over from mariel. they are giving their particular spin on the situation because they probably don't remember the days of the pre-castro government when the lifespan of the average cuban peasant was less than 40, or their lofty pre-castro position in society insulated them against such things. maybe cubans aren't free.....maybe they are. hell, maybe they are just happy with their current situation, could you honestly say that bush could walk around this country with no fear of assassination? castro strolls around havana with a couple of guards, people greet him in the street, talk to him, etc. so don't believe everything you hear from an exile.

hey, i talk to canadian snow birds that come down to my part of florida - they tell me that canada is a socialist state - and they justify this because they are rich, and canada taxes them appropriately, therefore canada is socialist. i'm canadian, and i know that canada isn't socialist, they just have programs that benefit their citizens.
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DoNotRefill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #112
132. that's the advantage of effective gun control....
"castro strolls around havana with a couple of guards,"

It's kind of hard for a lone assassin to kill Castro with his bare hands, considering that his "few guards" have machineguns...

"Armas? Por Que?"
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #132
138. Not true
Edited on Sat Apr-23-05 05:09 PM by Mika
Cuba has a nationwide civil militia. There was a DU thread a few months ago about the Cuban civil militia doing exercises, that included the citizens getting their guns (AK's) inspected and target practice.

Its not like Miami though, there are not gunshops on every block.


Like it or not, Cubans overwhelmingly respect Mr Castro for the living revolutionary hero that he is. He's no coke-snortin-frat-brat who was too cowardly to serve for his country. In fact Mr Castro led many of the charges against the bloodsoaked Batista dictatorship army (that had full US support). And he led Cuba's defense against US and exile invasion (Playa Giron/Bay of Pigs).

Cubans flock to greet him on the street when he goes for exercise or when he stops his old jeep to buy fruit and veggies at a farmers market.

But there are NO statues nor billboards of him in Cuba, nor cities or buildings or ships named after him either.







www.stopbolton.org


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DoNotRefill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #138
140. And where are their guns stored?
in their homes, or in government armories that are opened only when the government wants them to have them?
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #140
142. Both
Edited on Sat Apr-23-05 05:16 PM by Mika
What good is a civillian defence against another yankee/exile attack if they don't have weapons?

The heavy artillery is not kept at home, obviously.






www.stopbolton.org

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ragin_acadian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-05 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #132
163. good point.
but i'm sure if the cuban people were as unhappy as our tee-vees and pundits tell us they are, they would have figured out some way to get him by now. hell, someone could just built a pipe bomb, or something like that. no one has.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #108
114. Not everyone in Miami has been free, we're quite sure.
Many Americans made it a point to start finding out about Miami Cuban extremists during the Elin Gonzalez debacle, after having heard about the unbelievable corruption in Miami for years. We wanted to know more about what the hell had happened to that town.

Here are a few looks at the stranglehold the Batista-loving Cuban "exiles" had on the town, and on Miami Cubans who had different views. There are TONS of articles written on the subject. the first is worth considering for American citizens, as it concerns the Miami "exile" political "godfather" who imagined he would be the next President of Cuba:
7/31/94 The Miami Herald reprints an interview with Jorge Mas Canosa from the Spanish newspaper El Pais. Mas Canosa was asked by El Pais whether he believed Americans would take over Cuba if Fidel Castro fell. The Herald quoted Mas Canosa as saying, in part, "They haven't even been able to take over Miami! If we have kicked them out of here, how could they possibly take over our own country?" (MH, 7/28/94; WP, 7/28/94)
(snip/)
http://cuban-exile.com/doc_126-150/doc0146b.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Terrorism in Miami
Some of the same hard-line migrs who now accuse Cuba of involvement in terrorism supported -and in some cases still support- Cuban migr terrorism in the U.S. and against Cuba.
Militant hard-line migr activities caused the FBI to designate Miami the "terror capital" of the United States. One of the most infamous attacks, in 1976, was that on Emilio Milian, who, on a Miami radio station, denounced terror tactics and intimidation by extremist migrs. Milian survived, but lost both his legs in the car bomb attack.
(snip/)
http://www.spectrezine.org/global/cubaandterrorism.html
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TRYING TO SET
THE AGENDA IN MIAMI
Bashing the Herald is only part of Jose Mas Canosa's strategy
by Anne-Marie O'Connor
O'Connor, who is based in Miami, is Latin America and Caribbean correspondent for Cox Newspapers.

......The revelation that The Miami Herald and its Spanish-language counterpart, El Nuevo Herald, were in bed with Cuban leader Fidel Castro must have confounded the editors of the Cuban Communist party organ, Granma, since the Havana daily has repeatedly portrayed them as right-wing tools of the eternal CIA campaign against the thirty-three-year-old revolution.
Anywhere else, Mas Canosa's remarks might have been ignored. In the darker recesses of Miami's exile community, however, his words were clearly a call to arms. Within days Herald publisher David Lawrence, Jr., and two top editors received death threats. Anonymous callers phoned in bomb threats and Herald vending machines were jammed with gum and smeared with feces. Mas Canosa's Cuban American National Foundation quickly denied responsibility and condemned the hijinks, but Mas's words were highly inflammatory in a city where public red-baiting has served as a prelude to bombings and, in past years, murder.
(snip)
Attempts by Mas Canosa to set the agenda of the non-Cuban media are a novelty, but liberal Miami exile radio reporters have complained for years that bullying by conservative exile groups like the foundation has intimidated moderate exiles into silence and projected a distorted image of their community as a rightist mirror of one-party rule in Cuba.
One such critic is broadcast journalist Ricardo Bofill, an emigre journalist with solid anti-Castro credentials. Bofill came to Miami in 1988 after spending fourteen years as a political prisoner. But he was fired from his job as daily commentator on Miami station WQBA in June 1990, a week after he aired his support for Gustavo Arcos, a besieged dissident who proposed the dialogue. His one-hour weekly program on a cable channel was suspended two weeks later. He still gets bomb threats. Radio Marti suspended his volunteer presence on a round-table talk show in January; Bofill was invited to appear again, he says, after he wrote a protest letter to President Bush.
Bofill says that the foundation and other conservative exile groups "believe that Gustavo Arcos is a traitor and that we who support him are also traitors. They completely blacklisted me."
Herald columnist Liz Balmaseda reported that radio commentator Emilio Milian recently got a foundation letter accusing him of using his station, Radio Fe, to sully "the honesty, character, integrity" of Mas Canosa and other foundation members. Milian has a history of refusing to be silenced by intimidation -- in 1976, he lost both legs when a bomb planted under his car exploded, just after he aired editorials against political violence in Miami.
(snip/)
http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:UQiB716-0NkJ:archi...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Last October, Miamis exile community did their best to stop a concert by the Cuban group Los Van Van that Bill helped organize.
It was like a scene from an abortion clinic. The militants showed up half a day early and waited for the glorious moment when they could throw bottles, cans, rocks and baggies full of excrement at the crowd attending the concert.
If Miamis Cubans wanted attention, they got it. Though they didnt shut down the show, they managed to create a mini-riot scene and, most importantly, get tons of press. Police in riot gear escorted concert-goers past a screaming crowd, and there were a few arrests. One reporter was injured when a rock hit him in the head.
(snip/)
http://www.elandar.com/back/summer00/stories/story_miam...


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rooboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-05 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. No, but if I got sick, I'd rather be in Cuba than America. n/t
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Obviousman Donating Member (927 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-05 09:56 PM
Response to Original message
4. wow
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robcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-05 10:22 PM
Response to Original message
6. Classic inflation/rationing move
If wages go up 100%, but production does not go up, prices have to double, or more stringent rationing has to take place. More pesos chasing after the same output means inflation or rationing - there is no escaping that.
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aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 04:29 AM
Response to Reply #6
14. In capitalism, yes
But Cuba is not capitalist, it's socialist.

With domestic pesos people can buy their basic needs, with fixed prices (very affordable for locals and ultra-cheap for tourists). Foreign currency is needed for imported luxury stuff, and AFAIK market forces apply to those.

And production has been going up since the special period (Cuba had to create self-sufficient organic agriculture), and now that Venezueala is providing oil for transport and industrial needs.
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robcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #14
76. nonsense
If, originally, each person earns $10, and now earns $20, but no change has taken place in output, there is nowhere for the extra $10 to go, except in inflation (or increased black market prices) or extra rationing. It's simple math.
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NuttyFluffers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #76
82. just highlighting the obvious.
"If, originally... but ***no change has taken place in output***, there is nowhere for the extra... to go, except in inflation (or increased black market prices) or extra rationing. It's simple math."

"And ***production has been going up since the special period*** (Cuba had to create self-sufficient organic agriculture), ***and now that Venezueala is providing oil for transport and industrial needs.***"

that would indeed be change in production output and change in market import/export supplies. there's somewhere for the money to go now.

your welcome :D
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phasev Donating Member (187 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 06:16 AM
Response to Reply #76
107. You're not getting it.
You are thinking about this from a capitalism standpoint and do not from the socialist view of currency. Also, while your argument regarding production/output is true you did not take into consideration that Cuba's production has actually increased due to the growth of organic agriculture.

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mbperrin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #76
162. Who said there's no increase in production?
Big if there.

Your classic low wages are good for the economy argument is really nonsense. Where would you rather locate a new business, for instance, all other things equal - Ann Arbor Michigan or Biloxi Mississippi? I'd suggest the place where people have money to spend would be the better choice.

Otherwise, we should all work for nothing, in order to maximize productivity. Right?
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gtar100 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 03:32 AM
Response to Reply #6
103. Not exactly - The price of production isn't all wages
You have to consider the cost of materials and manufacturing processes. Labor is only part of the equation. And then there's the added benefit of creating more powerful consumers - more customers.
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FtWayneBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-05 11:18 PM
Response to Original message
8. well, that shames the US. How long has it been
since the minimum wage went up here?
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #8
65. Nearly nine years ago. 1996.
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nonconformist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-05 11:25 PM
Response to Original message
9. That's great... it's so hard for me to fathom living on that though
I can't wrap my brain around it, even with free housing, healtcare, etc. Most of us spend more than that a day just on stupid shit.

Is that a real "living wage"?

In any event, that is really great news.
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HeeBGBz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #9
119. I make $2.55 plus tips
I do okay, but when you consider that half your income is dependant on the kindness of assholes... The other half comes from people whom I serve who actually see me as a human being and not a food bringing android.
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DoNotRefill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #119
133. You make $2.55 plus tips a month?
you must get some MASSIVE tips to survive on that...

The minimum wage is being raised to $9.40 a MONTH, NOT an hour.
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HeeBGBz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #133
153. I saw that after
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-05 11:39 PM
Response to Original message
11. Wish they'd do that here!
NT!

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flordehinojos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 12:21 AM
Response to Original message
12. wow! an increase of about $5.00 a month?! now, that is impressive!
:sarcasm:
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 02:38 AM
Response to Original message
13. Some Americans who don't travel much don't recognize the differences
in what the equivalent of an American dollar would buy in other places, as in purchasing power. It's somewhat important to know more about it.

This is a bit of writing put together by a Cuban some DU'ers have known for years as a man who has traveled in the States and participated in message boards and made many American friends, some of whom have also been to Cuba. He has watched people trying to grasp what the difference is during on-line conversations and wrote this to try to help them out.

Cuba: Cost of Living

Written by Julin Gutirrez

http://members.aol.com/merengue123/cubaeng2.html
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Athame Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 05:09 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. That was really interesting, Judi Lynn
thanks. I learn so much on DU. What a resource this place is!

About Cuba, we need to understand that the US lifestyle is not the only way there is. I know that this is site is not the whole story and there are other aspects that must be considered, crime and the underground economy, for example. I wonder if the socialist philosophy is satisfying to the people and how much dissent there really is. But if everyone has the same food, housing, education, health care, recreation and cultural opportunities, does it change the outlook on poverty?

If peak oil or other catastrophes hit, we will wish we had paid more attention to Cuba's solutions.
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aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 05:47 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. Good questions
How much dissent there really is? I'm sure there's lots of complaining and badmouthing, as everywhere, but real dissent, if we take voting blank/spider as an indicator, is about 5%.

As for "search of happiness", which has a special meaning to US citizens, it's worthwhile to take a look at Maslow's hierarchy of needs:

http://web.utk.edu/~gwynne/maslow.HTM

After the basic physical and material needs have been met, they no longer produce happiness - but unhappiness from unsatisfied higher needs is certainly compensated by compulsive material consumerism.

Socialist society like Cuba, with strong social family and other cultural traditions, that puts cooperation and equality before individualistic competing, offers better chanses of fulfilling the needs of belonging (love needs), and thus creates more happiness.

In Maslow's hierarchy individual needs of esteem and self-actualization come ofter social needs, implying that they create real happiness only if the social needs of belonging are first fulfilled.

I think the poverty we are suffering from in US and other americanized individualistic consumerist societies is the lack of satisfied needs of security and social belonging, leading to compulsory consumerism and/or interpreting the individual levels also in mass-consumerist terms (individualism is something that can be bought, at least so the advertisments promise ;)).
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DoNotRefill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #17
134. Heh.
"How much dissent there really is? I'm sure there's lots of complaining and badmouthing, as everywhere, but real dissent, if we take voting blank/spider as an indicator, is about 5%."

If you were in Cuba, complaining about Castro like we complain about Bush, you'd either be in prison or dead.

Remember the East German Stasi? They had what, something like 50% of the population informing to them?
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #134
143. Complete hogwash
Edited on Sat Apr-23-05 05:15 PM by Mika
"If you were in Cuba, complaining about Castro like we complain about Bush, you'd either be in prison or dead."


Never been to Cuba I see.

Cubans in Cuba can and do speak their minds. They just don't hate Castro the way you suppose.










www.stopbolton.org


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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #13
110. I got a "Sorry, we can't find that page" when I clicked on yr link nt
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #110
115. I just tried it again, using my link, and it worked for me.
Here's the link from that attempt:

http://members.aol.com/merengue123/cubaeng2.html

Hope it works this time for you.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 09:58 AM
Response to Original message
18. Kick!
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BadNews Donating Member (244 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
Response to Original message
19. Reuters: Castro More than Doubles Minimum Wage to $10/Month
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ugarte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. Damn, that's more than I make
nt
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Journeyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. You make LESS THAN $10 A MONTH? . . .
I think you've got to read the article. . . the headline is quite deceptive.

The minimum HOURLY rate in Cuba will be about 58 cents. Up from its present 29 cents an hour.
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pnorman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #22
26. "The minimum HOURLY rate in Cuba will be about 58 cents"
That sounds a lot closer to reality. However, I don't read that in the article. But here's an extract: "Rent and public services are heavily subsidized in Cuba, but essential consumer goods are more expensive than in the United States". So whatever the true hourly wage is, the above probably DOUBLES it, in regards to making a living.

As for "democracy & liberty", that's something that probably most here on DU attach high importance to. But why should we expect MORE of that in Cuba, than we do in our own "Client States"? ... several of them come to mind.

pnorman
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Sannum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #20
24. actually you are right.
Under the oh so successful * administration, people have been unemployed for so long, their benefits run out and they have no income at all.

Not defending Castro, just sayin'.....
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NoodleBoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. So fidel, how's that democracy coming along?
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radwriter0555 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #21
40. Castro's communism in Cuba beats bush's phony democracy in Iraq
and the USA.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #40
49. Castro doesn't do it. The Cuban people do.
Edited on Fri Apr-22-05 09:02 AM by Mika
Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that Castro did this Castro did that
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:puke:



To suggest that the Cuban people are not capable of determining their own future, and/or that one man has ruled Cuba with an iron fist for 40+ years against their will, is outright ignorant & blatantly bigoted.

The Cuban people have proven, historically, their ability to quite readily overthrow any government of Cuba, including the brutal, fully US government and US organized crime backed Batista. To think that Cubans have just sat back after the revolution and allowed themselves to be dictated to is absurd. And an insult.

Does Castro force one of the best education systems with the highest literacy rate on Cuba's children? Does Castro force one of the best universal health care systems on the Cuban people, resulting in the lowest infant mortality rate and the highest longevity rate in the West? Does Castro force the Cuban people to submit to a representative parliamentary democratic system?

If you believe that Castro forces this on the Cuban people, then I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell ya.

You see, it is the Cuban people who take action in Cuba, by/with their representational government, and by doing the heavy lifting for their future, their children, and their sovereignty.


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

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

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SmileyBoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #19
23. And... That will buy a family how much food???
Edited on Fri Apr-22-05 02:17 AM by SmileyBoy
I don't care what anyone says, Castro is a disgrace. Even people in starving Sub-Saharan African countries make an average of $30 a month. What does that say about Cuba??
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mrbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #23
27. that will buy a lot of food in cuba....
People in "starving Sub-Saharan Africa" might make $30 bucks a month, but the profiteering warlords charge a lot more for basic stuff, maybe that's why they are starving.

People in Cuba are not starving and have excellent health care.

Viva Fidel.

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piece sine Donating Member (931 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #27
33. Ten bucks a month!
I paid more for my appetizer in Georgetown last night. The entree was 2 and half times that! Hard to believe one portion of the wild halibut in saffron sauce cost TWO AND HALF MONTHS PAY in Cuba! And I was at a fairly normal sidewalk cafe, not some fancy place like Cafe Milano where Hillary and Jane Fonda hang out.

It would take an average Cuban 16.6 YEARS to pay the low-interest mortgage payment I have to pay every month. What has Fidel done to that beautiful island?
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #33
34. So--evil Democrats hang out at the FANCY Georgetown cafe....
Thanks for making your orientation clear!


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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #34
35. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #35
41. Oh--the people eating at the fancy cafe's just happen to be...
Democrats? Are there no Republicans dining there? Meanwhile, you are among the humble folk at the less fancy Georgetown cafes. Living the life of the common people, oh yeah!

It's stupid to judge Cuba by Inside the Beltway standards. The Cuban people aren't dealing with a real estate bubble. And they are still doing better than many in health care & education.







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piece sine Donating Member (931 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #41
43. I suppose I could pretend I was somewhere else....
instead of where I live, and of course, I should have mentioned the garishly expensive GOP haunt, The Capitol Grill, instead of the trendy --albeit Democrat-populated - Cafe Milano, but the fact remains that Cubans ESCAPE from Cuba for a reason. Sorruy if that reality upsets your worldview, such as it is.
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #43
46. People escape from all sorts of countries.
Cuban "exiles" get a cushy deal from the US, so why shouldn't they try? Cuba can afford to lose a few malcontents--it's not as though recent immigrants have been the intelligencia.

Quite a few Cubans choose to stay. Or, among the artists I knew--back when cultural travel to & from the US was easier--some work elsewhere for a while. Then they return to Cuba. It is not "isolated" from the world--only from the USA.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #43
47. Cubans "escape" Cuba /same reasons that Mexicans do. Jobs & money.
Edited on Fri Apr-22-05 08:44 AM by Mika
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 in the US. Plus, they get perks that no other group is offered.

Escaped? My ass.


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 US taxpayers who are brainwashed into thinking that Cubans are "fleeing" Castro, instead of understanding the actual Cuban-American community's immigration experience.

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 leader. 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. 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 so the lobbying money pours in to both sides.





www.stopbolton.org


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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #47
117. As a group, Cuban imigrants are wealthier, older, more educated,
with smaller families than other Spanish-speaking ethnic groups in the U.S. and they have been given unique benefits which have allowed them to live in a far different way from the others.
Quite clearly, this characterization does not apply to the entire Latin-origin population. Cuban refugees, possessing higher levels of human capital and having been favorably received by the U.S. government, created a vibrant entrepreneurial enclave in Miami, propelling themselves and their children into positions of economic advantage. A quarter of a century after their arrival, they had taken over the city politically, controlling a large number of electoral and appointed positions (Portes and Stepick 1993; Perez 1992).
(snip)

Cuban-Americans attending private school in Miami are mostly the children of early middle-class exiles who arrived prior to the Mariel exodus of 1980 (Perez 2001; Portes and Stepick 1993). Eighty-five percent of these youths aspired to an advanced university degree in late adolescence and three-fourths were confident of attaining it. The proportions expecting such a degree then drop significantly to about 50 percent, among public school Cubans (mostly the offspring of Mariel and post-Mariel arrivals), Nicaraguans, Colombians, and other Latin Americans. It then drops further, to just 25 percent among children of Mexican immigrants.
(snip)

The worst profile is that of Mexican-Americans among whom almost two-fifths (38%) failed to go beyond high school and whose average educational attainment is the lowest in the sample. The pattern repeats itself with other indicators of socio-economic status, such as unemployment, occupational prestige, and family income. On the latter variable, Cuban-Americans who attended private school in Miami are the only group to exceed $100,000 in average family income. The figure drops to about $60,000 among public school Cubans, Colombians, and Nicaraguans and just under $40,000 for Mexican-Americans.
(snip)

The dictum that the rich get richer and the poor get children is well supported by our results as shown in the next column of the table. Only 3 percent of middle-class Cuban-Americans had children by early adulthood. The figure rises to 15 to 20 percent among other Cubans,Colombians, and Nicaraguans, and other second generation Latins. Among Mexican-Americans, it reaches a remarkable 41 percent. Thus, the Hispanic minority with the lowest average education, the poorest jobs, and the highest rate of unemployment in early adulthood is the same most burdened by premature parenthood.
(snip)

Compared with a crime index of 7.6 percent for the general population of the Miami metropolitan area in 2000, only 3 percent of Cuban-Americans who attended private schools were ever incarcerated. The number climbs steadily to 4.4 percent among Nicaraguans, 6 percent among Colombians and other Latins and 11 percent among Mexican-Americans. The latter figure doubles the sample average.
(snip)

http://cmd.princeton.edu/papers/wp0402.pdf

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Laughing Mirror Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #43
56. A lot of people escape DC too
Hundreds of thousands in the past couple of decades, if you look up the census charts. I know, I am one of them.

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CWebster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #33
37. You should learn your history
and know what the US did to that beautiful island--using it as a slave colony to pander to Americans using it as a depraved playground.
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piece sine Donating Member (931 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #37
54. "a depraved playground"
you mean like South Beach! Please note progressives have a high tolerance for hedonism. We invented it! I smell a Baptist or a Mormon fretting over someone ELSE enjoying themselves, for that, I flip the bird.
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CWebster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #54
58. As opposed to say:
"There was barely a community or city without one or more brothels. In the provincial capitals, and especially in Havana, so- called tolerance zones were sprawling. Like the prostitutes, the whorehouses came in all categories from the cheap joints located in business districts to the famous Marinas Place, with top of the line merchandise reserved for the upper class and weekend tourists from the United States.

However, among the women who sold their bodies there was one common denominator: they were all from poor families, illiterate and often came from the interior of the country. Each of those girls had their sad story of disappointment and need, abandoned by the government to their fate of misery and ignorance.

The hookers were the public face of networks involving matrons and pimps, government and high ranking police officials, all vying for the biggest piece of the take."




http://www.ain.cu/english/02cmingles.htm
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Psephos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #54
91. Hilarious response
I also note that your detractor is quoting a Cuban government propaganda site as an authoritative reference.

I'm with you, piece sine - progressivism and hedonism seem to make great bedfellows!

Peace.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #37
93. Anyone who doesn't recognize what you've written either won't learn
or has a reason to lie about it.

Don't have time to do any searching right now, but can surely come back late tonight and look around for more on this.

Havana was called the "Whore of the Caribbean" decades and decades ago. The U.S. Navy used to go there for leave for the sailors.

Here's the first thing I saw, and it appears to have been written by a student, so I can grab something later, to add to the conversation, or anyone else can, too. It's no mystery, is it? Lotsa material on the internet, and it all didn't get written after the Revolution in Cuba, either, as some later poster attempted to insinuate.

Here's the small look I found. I'll check back in. There's a LOT on this subject, seeing the U.S. Mafia and Fulgencio Batista shared the proceeds from the activities going on there which didn't occur in the U.S.:
Tourism was Cuba's second largest industry -- before tourism had become common for the average U.S. citizen. People with money went to Cuba to enjoy its fine beaches -- for their exclusive use -- for the casino gambling, lewd shows and open prostitution of all kinds. A percentage of the money won from the tourist industries went straight to Batista, and Batista paid his go-betweens well.

The best casino was run by a U.S. gangster, Meyer Lansky, a casino that for a while had the only honest gaming. The Cuban government had Lansky instruct and transform Cuban-owned casinos into honest establishments similar to his.

Among Latin American nations, Cuba was third in per capita income. (Venezuela was first at around 38 percent of the average income of U.S. citizens, and Argentina was second at 24 percent.) The average Cuban made 19 percent of what the average U.S. citizen earned, and in Cuba a large gap existed between better off families and the common Cuban worker. Forty-three percent of the population was still rural. Sugar cane harvesting occurred only a couple months of the year, leaving cane cutters unemployed the rest of the year. Telephones were still for the middle and upper class in the major cities -- one person in 38 having a telephone.
(snip/...)
http://www.fsmitha.com/h2/ch24t63.html

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


Here's a site with articles written in the 1950's, BEFORE the Cuban revolution. It concerns the nightlife of the tourist industry in Havana:

http://cuban-exile.com/menu1/!entertain.html
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DoNotRefill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #93
137. Next you're going to be calling JFK nasty names....
because of his stance on Cuba...
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #137
139. Probably not.
Kennedy Sought Dialogue with Cuba

INITIATIVE WITH CASTRO ABORTED BY ASSASSINATION,
DECLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS SHOW


Oval Office Tape Reveals Strategy to hold clandestine Meeting in Havana; Documents record role of ABC News correspondent Lisa Howard as secret intermediary in Rapprochement effort

Posted - November 24, 2003
Washington D.C. - On the 40th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the eve of the broadcast of a new documentary film on Kennedy and Castro, the National Security Archive today posted an audio tape of the President and his national security advisor, McGeorge Bundy, discussing the possibility of a secret meeting in Havana with Castro. The tape, dated only seventeen days before Kennedy was shot in Dallas, records a briefing from Bundy on Castro's invitation to a U.S. official at the United Nations, William Attwood, to come to Havana for secret talks on improving relations with Washington. The tape captures President Kennedy's approval if official U.S. involvement could be plausibly denied.

The possibility of a meeting in Havana evolved from a shift in the President's thinking on the possibility of what declassified White House records called "an accommodation with Castro" in the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Proposals from Bundy's office in the spring of 1963 called for pursuing "the sweet approachenticing Castro over to us," as a potentially more successful policy than CIA covert efforts to overthrow his regime. Top Secret White House memos record Kennedy's position that "we should start thinking along more flexible lines" and that "the president, himself, is very interested in ." Castro, too, appeared interested. In a May 1963 ABC News special on Cuba, Castro told correspondent Lisa Howard that he considered a rapprochement with Washington "possible if the United States government wishes it. In that case," he said, "we would be agreed to seek and find a basis" for improved relations.
(snip)

Among the key documents relevant to this history:

  • Oval Office audio tape, November 5, 1963. The tape records a conversation between the President and McGeorge Bundy regarding Castro's invitation to William Attwood, a deputy to UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson, to come to Cuba for secret talks. The President responds that Attwood should be taken off the U.S. payroll prior to such a meeting so that the White House can plausibly deny that any official talks have taken place if the meeting leaks to the press.
  • White House memorandum, Top Secret, "Mr. Donovan's Trip to Cuba," March 4, 1963. This document records President Kennedy's interest in negotiations with Castro and his instructions to his staff to "start thinking along more flexible lines" on conditions for a dialogue with Cuba.
  • White House memorandum, Top Secret, "Cuba -- Policy," April 11, 1963. A detailed options paper from Gordon Chase, the Latin America specialist on the National Security Council, to McGeorge Bundy recommending "looking seriously at the other side of the coin-quietly enticing Castro over to us."
  • CIA briefing paper, Secret, "Interview of U.S. Newswoman with Fidel Castro Indicating Possible Interest in Rapprochement with the United States," May 1, 1963. A debriefing of Lisa Howard by CIA deputy director Richard Helms, regarding her ABC news interview with Castro and her opinion that he is "ready to discuss rapprochement." The document contains a notation, "Psaw," meaning President Kennedy read the report on Howard and Castro.
  • U.S. UN Mission memorandum, Secret, Chronology of events leading up Castro invitation to receive a U.S. official for talks in Cuba, November 8, 22, 1963. This chronology was written by William Attwood and records the evolution of the initiative set in motion by Lisa Howard for a dialogue with Cuba. The document describes the party at Howard's Manhattan apartment on September 23, 1963, where Attwood met with Cuban UN Ambassador Carlos Lechuga to discuss the potential for formal talks to improve relations. In an addendum, Attwood adds information on communications, using the Howard home as a base, leading up to the day the President was shot in Dallas.
  • White House memorandum, Secret, November 12, 1963. McGeorge Bundy reports to William Attwood on Kennedy's opinion of the viability of a secret meeting with Havana. The president prefers that the meeting take place in New York at the UN where it will be less likely to be leaked to the press.
  • White House memorandum, Top Secret, "Approach to Castro," November 19, 1963. A memo from Gordon Chase to McGeorge Bundy updating him on the status of arrangements for a secret meeting with the Cubans.
  • White House memorandum, Top Secret, "Cuba -- Item of Presidential Interest," November 25, 1963. A strategy memo from Gordon Chase to McGeorge Bundy assessing the problems and potential for pursuing the secret talks with Castro in the aftermath of Kennedy's assassination.
  • Message from Fidel Castro to Lyndon Johnson, "Verbal Message given to Miss Lisa Howard of ABC News on February 12, 1964, in Havana, Cuba." A private message carried by Howard to the White House in which Castro states that he would like the talks started with Kennedy to continue: "I seriously hope (and I cannot stress this too strongly) that Cuba and the United States can eventually sit down in an atmosphere of good will and of mutual respect and negotiate our differences."
  • United Nations memorandum, Top Secret, from Adlai Stevenson to President Johnson, June 16, 1964. Stevenson sends the "verbal message" given to Lisa Howard to Johnson with a cover memo briefing him on the dialogue started under Kennedy and suggesting consideration of resumption of talks "on a low enough level to avoid any possible embarrassment."
  • White House memorandum, Top Secret, "Adlai Stevenson and Lisa Howard," July 7, 1964. Gordon Chase reports to Bundy on his concerns that Howard's role as an intermediary has now escalated through her contact with Stevenson at the United Nations and the fact that a message has been sent back through her to Castro from the White House. Chase recommends trying "to remove Lisa from direct participation in the business of passing messages," and using Cuban Ambassador to the UN, Carlos Lechuga, instead.
    (snip/...)
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB103 /




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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #137
144. Well, JFK did fuck up w/the Bay of Pigs fiasco.
He was all go on the mission to give Cuba back to the Batistano oligarchy, until he realized that he had been mislead about the level of internal Cuban dissidence (zero).






www.stopbolton.org


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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 05:32 PM
Response to Reply #144
145. What could have moved him to be so stupid?
I just read yesterday that the beginning of the Bay of Pigs, as in drilling men, and getting plans formed actually started during Eisenhower's administration, in Guatemala, or some place. Wish I had taken time to really give it a hard squint, now!

The info. is around, of course, to be located later. It would lead people to start suspecting Kennedy actually didn't concoct the whole horrific thing himself.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #145
148. Wow! Got an answer in a jiffy!
Thanks to google:
Bay of Pigs Invasion, 1961, an unsuccessful invasion of Cuba by Cuban exiles, supported by the U.S. government. On Apr. 17, 1961, an armed force of about 1,500 Cuban exiles landed in the Baha de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs) on the south coast of Cuba. Trained since May, 1960, in Guatemala by members of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) with the approval of the Eisenhower administration, and supplied with arms by the U.S. government, the rebels intended to foment an insurrection in Cuba and overthrow the Communist regime of Fidel Castro. The Cuban army easily defeated the rebels and by Apr. 20, most were either killed or captured. The invasion provoked anti-U.S. demonstrations in Latin America and Europe and further embittered U.S.-Cuban relations. Poorly planned and executed, the invasion subjected President Kennedy to severe criticism at home.
(snip)
http://www.answers.com/topic/bay-of-pigs-invasion

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"...Those of us who were with President Kennedy during the sad night in the White House when he heard the news of the defeat and capture of the Cuban rebels at the Bay of Pigs remember it as one of his most courageous moments. Any other President of the United States, especially one who had been in office for only three months, might have tried to save himself from such a humiliation by sending Marines and Navy jet fighters to beat back Fidel Castro's defending forces and to rescue the outnumbered invaders. Kennedy had made up his mind not to involve any American combat troops or planes in this fight between two Cuban political factions even though the rebels had his approval and the support and direction of his government's Central Intelligence Agency. When the reports of failure came from the beachhead, he refused to give in to his military advisers, who had accepted his earlier order against any American participation in the invasion, but now argured that we had to change the plan and send in American reinforcements to beat Castro and save the prestige of the United States. Kennedy firmly disagreed. As sorry as he felt for the stranded rebels on the beaches, he preferred the embarrassment of defeat to the use of American military force against a small and independent nation."

"'I'll take the defeat,' he said that night to the generals and admirals, 'and I'll take all of the blame for it.'"

"The Bay of Pigs operation, during its planning stages, was the most closely held secret of the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations, and most of us who usually shared the President's confidential problems were not included in the Bay of Pigs discussion meetings. The planning had been done over the previous year by CIA people under the direction of Allen W. Dulles, the highly respected head of that agency, and his deputy, Richard Bissell, with the knowledge and approval of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The President agreed, for security reasons, that the fewer new faces in the government brought into the discussions, the better kept the secret would be. He did not mention the project to me until he had given it his final approval, only a few days before the air strike and the landings."

"The President said then that the plan was so advanced when he came into office in January that it seemed almost impossible to cancel it. The brigade of fourteen hundred anti-Castro Cubans had been in training under CIA officers on a plantation in Guatamala for several months; they were fully armed and eager and ready to go into action. 'If we decided now to call the whole thing off,' the President said, 'I don't know if we could go down there and take the guns away from them.' The President was also under pressure not to postpone the takeoff date of the invasion force any longer. The government of Guatemala was worried about the presence of one thousand four hundred armed foreigners in its country. The President of Guatemala had asked President Kennedy to get the Cubans out of his republic before the end of April, which was then less than two weeks away. Intelligence reports said that Castro was about to receive MIG jets from the Soviet Union, along with Cuban pilots trained in Czechoslovakia to fly those fighter planes. The rebels had to stage their attack before the Russian planes were available for duty in Cuba. The President said he had finally agreed with some reluctance to approve the plan and the date of the landings, Monday, April 17, after the CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff accepted his strict stipulation that no American forces could take part in the invasion. He mentioned that Dean Rusk had showed a lack of enthusiasm for the project but was willing to go along with it, provided that the President's insistence on no American military participation was scrupulously observed."
(snip/...)
http://www.orwelltoday.com/jfkcubabaypigs.shtml
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #148
154. Great research, Judi L
Edited on Sat Apr-23-05 07:36 PM by Mika
Nice finds.


:toast:





That is not a Cuban church in the background in Camaguay. I repeat NOT a church. LOL

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #154
158. Thanks, Mika. I taught myself something I didn't know just finding them.
Not seeing any cinema in either of your photos, nor even a church, reminded me that before Bush was selected, U.S. actors went to Cuba to open their movies there. That Kevin guy opened his Cuban Missile Movie in Havana personally.

Strange how much has changed for the wildly worse in so little time.

Off 'til later. This has been a great thread.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 02:28 AM
Response to Reply #37
100. Here are a few references to Cuba's depraved past
under the U.S. brutal stooge, Fulgencio Batista:

Cubas past as the Whorehouse of the Caribbean by a probably impeccable source:
Special Report
Three Cubas: 1959, 1977, 2004
-James Armstrong


1959
My first visit was in January 1959. On January 1, Fulgencio Batista, the notorious and corrupt president of Cuba, fled his country. Two days later Che Guevara entered Havana and Fidel Castro entered Santiago de Cuba as the revolutionary barbudos came down out of the Sierra Maestra mountains to seize the reins of government.
Three weeks later I flew to Havana to visit United Methodist missionaries and dedicate an educational building our Indianapolis congregation had built. The island was reverberating with the sounds of joy and hope. The tyrant Batista was gone. No longer would a Mafia-controlled Havana and a country underwritten by U.S. banks and commercial interests be considered the whorehouse of the Caribbean. Today prostitution, gambling, drugs and violent crime are virtually non-existent in Havana.
(snip/)
1959,+1977,+2004%E2%80%9D+%2B+James+Armstrong&hl=en" target="_blank">http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:EGXWmGEkL-cJ:www.z...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A LTTE in which a Canadian writer mentions the Batista Whorehouse of the Caribbean:
As a long-time listener and a "Cubaphile", I listened with interest to yesterday's program on the Elian Gonzalez affair. It seems obvious to those who are not obsessed with a hatred of Fidel Castro and Cuba, that the United States government is obliged to return the child to his rightful father and to put political interest aside and crack down on the Miami Mafia, the sons, daughters, nieces and nephews of the murderous Batista regime which ran Cuba as the "whorehouse of the Caribbean" for so many years, many of whom have never set foot in Cuba but have grown rich in the United States.
My wife and I have visited Cuba six times. Our second last visit took place two weeks before the visit by the Pope. We do not go there to bask on the beach at Varadero, although we have done that. We have stayed several times in the City of Havana, on one occasion as a result of my wife's having been invited to a congress of English teachers. We have been able to roam the city freely, taking as many pictures as we wanted, have visited people in their homes, have talked to people from all walks of life (except the military) and have learned of the complex society which is Cuba.
(snip/)
http://www.cbc.ca/checkup/archive/letters000416.html
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The world-wide media attention began when Castro took the reins of government, and while appearing friendly to the United States at first, suddenly turned to communism and the expropriation of US companies. Prior to that, the US media wrote and spoke breezily of Fulgencio Batista's dictatorship, that it presented no security or economic problems for the United States, and that it was a good place where many could hop over from Miami to have a good time. Those were the good old days when Cuba was regarded as "the whorehouse of the Caribbean".
(snip/)
http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/print?id=432433...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"The foundation of every state is the education of its youth." -- Diogenes (412 - 323 BC)

While no one knows what tomorrow will bring, the hopes of the voracious markets of materialist consumerism fuel the dreams that Cuba will soon return to the tender mercies of the pre-Revolutionary past, when the island was the whorehouse of the Caribbean, and a ripe reservoir of cheap, exploitable labour.
For over 35 years, the relatively small island has persevered in the struggle of going its own way, defying the colossus to the North, the US. For daring to exercise the right of self-determination, the US has tried for over a quarter of a century to strangle Cuba.
In Castro's remarkable state welcome address marking the Pope's visit, the 71 year old revolutionary condemned the blockade as a form of "slow genocide." He spoke powerfully and movingly of his youth in Jesuit schools where he was taught hatred and antagonism of non-Catholics, like Hindus, Buddhists, and Muslims. He remembered going to colleges (which only the wealthy and well-to- do could afford) wondering, "where are the black people?"
The church of his youth did not change that outrageous reality, but the revolution did. Today, even in the face of the most repressive, and longest- lasting blockade in US history, education is free for all Cubans. Indeed, the literacy rate in Cuba (96%) is among the highest in the world.
(snip/)
http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:xAgjczQDPYkJ:www.g...
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 03:07 AM
Response to Reply #100
101. Here's another, from the Guardian
Bacardi marketing propaganda falsely depicts the Cuba of the '40s and '50s
as a place of glamour and sophistication "where all things blended together
to create the perfect atmosphere, where elegance and good taste reigned...
Havana was an attraction for tourists and dignitaries the world over."

In reality, pre-revolutionary Havana was a brothel and casino for US
playboys, the Mafia and a rich Cuban elite.


While Bacardi amassed assets worth US$67 million (1960 prices), the
majority of Cuba's largely rural population including Bacardi's own
sugar workers lived in shacks without running water or electricity, a
third were unemployed or semi-employed and 43 percent were illiterate.

(snip/...)
http://www.cpa.org.au/garchve1/982bac.html
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aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #33
45. Housing
Cubans live in Cuba, not where you live, and the nominal values of the currencies are not the least comparable in regards to their purchasing power.

Housing is a social right in Cuba, not a market commodity, home-ownership is about 80-90% (much higher than US BTW) and having a home is practically free compared to market based approaches, the costs of having a roof over ones head not surpassing 10% of the income. I don't know what Fidel has done, but Cuban Revolution has done wonders.
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piece sine Donating Member (931 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #45
67. no it hasn't!
they make ten bucks a month. Don't pee on my back and tell me its rain.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #67
70. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
NuttyFluffers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #67
83. economies of scale must be hard for you to understand.
just came back from japan. most 16oz drinks cost $1.30~$1.50. one play in an arcade game is $1 minimum, often $2~$3. gas is roughly $1.10 a liter.

gee, we must be in dire straights in america, we must be so poor -- oh wait, japan is still just the #2 economy compared to us in the USA. hmm, how baffling, yet how do american's survive? i mean, especially in places like oklahoma and utah? i mean, in the SF bay area the median home price is above $500,000, must be like that everywhere, how does the rest of the USA survive, and especially in comparison to japan!?!? our system must be a complete failure! we must abandon everything!

oh wait, that'd be lack of perspective.

yeah, for a country surviving a 60 year embargo cuba is doing quite well. and considering the latest changes of fortune in the past few years, yeah, expanding their economic wages might be overdue.
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BornLeft Donating Member (202 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #33
62. Well what he tried to do
is rescue it from fat cat,name dropping Americans who came and raped it while having dinner at some fancy sidewalk cafe. Then he got corrupted as many leaders tend to do.
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piece sine Donating Member (931 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #62
69. tell me about it....
for one thing, DC fat-cats don't eat in the sidewalk cafes -- way too public!

Since no one here at DU has actually renounced their US citizenship and re-located to Cuba, one can presume they feel they have it BETTER here. Otherwise, they would vote with their feet and move to a better place.

Life is too short to live anywhere undera bondafide, military-uniformed dictator in a world democracy -- as espoused by us DEMOCRATS -- is florishing.

Por, desperate Cuba is an arachaic throw-back to less enlightened times when Communist dictatorships still thrived. That's all old-hat now....CASTRO MUST GO. That's my ten-bucks-a-month worth!




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BornLeft Donating Member (202 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #69
72. I rather enjoyed my
time in Cuba during the mid 90's. Didn't find it a terrible place at all. I can honestly say I have been in at least 10 coutries were it was more oppressed/depressing.
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SOS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #72
121. A European friend
who travels extensively went to both Cuba and Saudi Arabia in the late 1990s.
He said that Saudi Arabia was much more oppresive than Cuba. He said Saudi Arabia was actually terrifying. He saw a woman being whipped, among other awful sights. In his words "I couldn't wait to get out of that hellhole". Cuba was poor, but beautiful, safe and friendly.
Now which one is the staunch ally of the US?
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #121
136. I've been to Cuba too. Many times (legally)..
.. and I can say that the poorest of Cubans are a lot better off than the poorest in much of Latin America and the Caribbean. I've been to many L.A. and Caribbean countries, so I feel that I can fairly compare. Cuba has no slums. NO homeless. No addicted glue sniffing kids panhandling or stealing to support a drug addiction.







www.stopbolton.org
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #136
141. Fantastic photo, Mika! Catchy slogan.
Edited on Sat Apr-23-05 05:09 PM by Judi Lynn
"No hay agresion que Cuba no resista." Hope they won't have to, again. They've been through that, already.



On edit: There are so many kinds of aggression which have been launched at those guys.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #141
146. People forget that Cuba has been attacked & under threat for 4 decades.
A forty year terrorism defensive posture. Amazing! And during that time Cuba has made leaps and bounds in progress. Amazing!

Before the 1959 revolution

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

    ___



    After the 1959 revolution


    It is in some sense almost an anti-model, according to Eric Swanson, the programme manager for the 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.





    And then look at what Bush has done to America in just 5 years of fabricated terrorism defense posturing.








    www.stopbolton.org


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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 05:59 PM
    Response to Reply #146
    150. You're right. Most people aren't aware they've been misled.They can change
    that by starting to do some research.

    They shouldn't trust what their politicians tell them automatically. Nothing rakes it in like promising to get tough on Cuba to a shifty politician who can't take the time to raise money the right way.

    Thanks for those stats. Really impressive. The World Bank officers must have been grinding their teeth at the thought Cuba was somehow getting along this well without their help....

    Their Cuba commentary deserves some study. It's a big surprize when it's seen for the first time. (Guess this will change now that they have a new President.)

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    meganmonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 11:27 AM
    Response to Reply #69
    74. If you care to educate yourself a little, and balance your perspective
    please read this link, and Judi Lynn's post #13. If not, so be it.

    http://members.aol.com/merengue123/cubaeng2.html

    Peace.

    mm
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    Greyskye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:44 AM
    Response to Reply #33
    68. not a valid comparison
    It would take an average Cuban 16.6 YEARS to pay the low-interest mortgage payment I have to pay every month. What has Fidel done to that beautiful island?


    Luckily the average Cuban doesn't have to pay your mortgage! Their housing is subsidized, here is an explanation that was up-thread: http://members.aol.com/merengue123/housing2.html
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    Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 04:38 PM
    Response to Reply #33
    79. Whoa, major slip there buddy!
    "Hillary and Jane Fonda." Oooops. Tsk tsk.
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    minkyboodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 12:19 AM
    Response to Reply #33
    96. thats a ridiculous comparison
    and you know it.
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    MollyStark Donating Member (816 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 03:58 PM
    Response to Reply #27
    122. They have lots of doctors
    That is not the same as excellent healthcare.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 04:28 PM
    Response to Reply #122
    126. It can be grasped that if a country has indicators
    like the lowest infant mortality rate in Latin America, as well as the best longevity rate in Latin America, that their medicine is probably adequate. It's fairly easy to understand.
    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/a13...

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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 04:42 PM
    Response to Reply #122
    131. Cubas h-c system puts great weight on preventative and alternative
    There are medical clinic offices on just about every other block in Cuba. Long consultations, family visits and long term relationships are also an important factor in Cubas high level h-c system.

    Don't forget that health care education is a two way street, and Cuba has great relations with peoples of many cultures and medicinal methodologies all over the world (except the US gov that prevents a lot of this activity between Cuba & the US). Continuing education and international exchanges and seminars are de rigeur between Cuban doctors and doctors from foreign nations.




    www.stopbolton.org



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    aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 06:32 PM
    Response to Reply #131
    151. Yup
    Health care is not technological, materialistic industry of treating symptoms and acute problems.

    It's holistic, body and mind, social grass roots activity. Reading some Hippocrates would do good to the modern techno gizmo enthusiast doctors. In the end it's all about human touch.
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    aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
    Response to Reply #23
    28. What is disgrace
    Is prejudiced ignorance. Here's some cure for that, in the case that contrary to what you say, you still "care":
    http://members.aol.com/merengue123/food.html

    Even during the horrible energy crisis and the "special period", nobody starved in Cuba.
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    FLPolitico Donating Member (34 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
    Response to Reply #23
    31. You make fun of Cuba now....................
    but let's meet on this board in about 5 years if Frist pushes through Bush's seven most controversial appellate judicial nominees and you'll think that $10/month is a lot.
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    AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
    Response to Reply #23
    39. One measure of human development has Cuba ranked 5th in world:
    Hhe HDI measures the average progress of a country in human development. Human Development Report 1997 introduced the human poverty index (HPI), which focuses on the proportion of people below a threshold level in basic dimensions of human development - living a long and healthy life, having access to education, and a decent standard of living, much as the poverty headcount measures the proportion of people below a certain income level. The HPI-1 measures human poverty in developing countries.

    The HPI-1 value for Cuba, 5.0%, ranks 5th among 95 developing countries for which the index has been calculated.

    http://hdr.undp.org/statistics/data/country_fact_sheets...
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    pie Donating Member (782 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
    Response to Reply #39
    48. That is very interesting. Thank you.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
    Response to Reply #39
    50. 'Cuba is in some sense almost an anti-model'
    Learn from Cuba
    http://www.twnside.org.sg/title/learn.htm
    It is in some sense almost an anti-model, according to Eric Swanson, the programme manager for the Banks Development Data Group, which compiled the WDI, a tome of almost 400 pages covering scores of economic, social, and environmental indicators.

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

    -

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




    www.stopbolton.org

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    gtar100 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 03:48 AM
    Response to Reply #39
    104. Which goes to show that all numbers are relative...
    especially monetary values and cost of living. So much depends on circumstances.

    We could learn from this - especially if the dollar bottoms out. We are going back to the basics or die resisting if the fascists succeed.
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    imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
    Response to Reply #19
    25. How does that compare to Haiti?
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    tkmorris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
    Response to Reply #25
    29. You do NOT want to compare Cuba to Haiti
    You really really don't. Haiti is a hellhole compared to Cuba. In fact, Haiti is just plain a hellhole. It doesn't need to be, but it is nonetheless.
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    imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
    Response to Reply #29
    30. I must say I was shocked to learn the minimum wage is $10 a month
    and that is doubled. It really is quite startling. It sounds like it must be on par with Cuba in terms of income level, though Cuba of course has rationing.

    Brazil's minimum salary is about $100. Quite a difference.
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    AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
    Response to Reply #30
    38. Important measures of poverty: Gini coefficient (income inequality) and
    capital inequality.

    Brazil, Venezuela and South Africa have a great deal of income inequality and capital inequality.

    Cuba, I assume, has much lower levels of capital and income inequality, and, more importantly, Cuba probably has low incomes because the state provides so much to the citizens (free education, health care, subsidized energy, food etc.).

    When you factor in the value of that stuff in, Cubans probably have even lower levels of inequality and lower levels of poverty.

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    imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 03:52 PM
    Response to Reply #38
    77. I understand that
    though inequality isn't the only measure of standard of living. The US Gini coefficient is 40.8 while Ethiopia's is also 40. The standard of living is far from comparable in the two countries.

    http://www.bartleby.com/151/fields/68.html

    I would have assumed that Cuba had lower levels of equality, but looking at that $10 a month figure makes me wonder. The particular list I site above does not list Cuba. One thing to keep in mind is that Cuba, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, has a two tiered economy, between those who have dollars and those who don't.
    The Bush administration's restrictions on Cuban American families sending funds to Cuba reduced their access to dollars, and hence their standard of living.
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    aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 05:59 PM
    Response to Reply #77
    84. That ten bucks
    Is meaningless number. Like someone said, that is more probably 260 dollars. And even that is meaningless, even though less so.

    GNP in HDI Purchasing Power Parity dollars per capita gives Cubans 5000 dollars, number 90 in the world (in 2001).

    And even though that is not very meaningfull, because of free healthcare, education and practically free housing. Food is the main cost, as most Cubans need and want something extra in market prices above the heavily subsidized practically free rations.


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    imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 06:05 PM
    Response to Reply #84
    85. I would not say meaningless
    But you are certainly correct that subsidized health care, educating, and rationing make that kind of salary one that people can subsist on, though quite meagerly. The fact is, however, that the Cuban standard of living has decline dramatically since the collapse of the Soviet Union. By all accounts, life is far more difficult there than it once did.
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    aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 06:19 PM
    Response to Reply #85
    87. Yes
    The Special Period. Quite a miracle, a country loosing all its major export markets and all energy imports it was dependant on practically in moment, without warning, but managing to survive as well it did. The worse has been over for a while, and economy is getting better, regardless of the criminal embargo.

    One important change has been adopting self-sufficient organic agriculture, which means a very healthy diet (mainly vegetables, some grains, little meat), leading to less health problems, slim and beatifull and happy population. Transport is problem, not as bad as it was during the special period, but with solidarity, comraderie and very creative solutions they managed, each hitch-hiking trip became a very social event. So there are two sides on every coin... and the grass is allways greener on the other side... :)
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    AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 09:02 PM
    Response to Reply #87
    89. I also read somewhere that Cuba has community gardens now...
    ...that have dramatically reduced the energy required to produce and ship and store food.

    Rather than produce everything far from the cities, they've started farms right in the cities.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 09:23 PM
    Response to Reply #89
    90. Surely! Glad you mentioned it.
    Edited on Fri Apr-22-05 09:29 PM by Judi Lynn
    I started hearing about this through people who had been to Cuba. The first bunch of stories I heard concerned a new kind of agriculture they're doing out in the country. I'll have to look around for material on that late tonight when I have some time.

    They are working wonders. I believe Israel may have been involved in teaching them that particular form of agriculture in the beginning. I'll have to go check and will post it after I get back to the computer late.

    The ones to which you referred resemble an explosion in the cities. Going like a wildfire, too. Very, very popular.

    Here's what I grabbed on my first google dive:
    This project began in March 1998, inspired by a course given by the Dr Antonio Nuez Jimnez Foundation for Nature and Man in June 1997, along with several months of practical training.

    The project is attempting to educate the population about the importance and the benefits of utilising permaculture techniques, encouraging environmental awareness in the community. It aims to create ecological zones in the city, to improve quality of life, link organisations and institutions to the community to help promote and care for the gardens and green areas. Occupational therapy for senior citizens from the Nursing Home of the Salvador Allende Hospital also forms part of its activities.

    The project beneficiaries are many. First are the 32 families directly involved. Besides this, a family medical practice that serves 120 families, a "crculo infantil" (similar to a pre-school), two elementary schools, and a group of workers and elderly patients from the Salvador Allende Hospital (Covodonga) have been incorporated into the project, along with their respective gardens. This makes for a total of 36 gardens and plots, with approximately 940 people of all ages benefiting from what is produced in these gardens. This group is made up of housewives, senior citizens, retired persons, doctors, professionals, community leaders, and children and youth from the community. The participation of women in the project is key.

    The project has been extended to other zones of the city, such as the San Isidro neighborhood in Old Havana, Carmelo in the Plaza of the Revolution, and Corea in San Miguel del Padrn.

    Benefits
    Besides the production of food, and other plants, and the provision of an environmental education, another benefit of this project is that it promotes the recycling and reuse of solid wastes. Significant amounts of organic solid waste generated in the home, such as food wastes, can be reused for vermiculture, composting, animal feed, etc. In addition, these activities provide a means of increasing and improving human relations between the people participating in the project by means of seed exchanges, the experiences that take place in their gardens, and helping people with physical disabilities start gardens. The project also has economic benefits for low-income community members.
    (snip/...)
    http://www.ruaf.org/no6/22.htm

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


    On edit: here's a good look at one of these gardens, taken by someone on a tour from the U.S., I surmise, having just glanced at the article. Found it in another quick google run:



    From the article:
    • Water pollution and the development of organic urban gardens in and around Havana
    • Recent developments of environmental planning, policy and regulation
    • Shifts from energy/chemical intensive agriculture to low energy/labor intensive agriculture utilizing organic fertilizers and integrated pest management
    • The natural history of the mogotes landscapes in the Valle de Viales and a sustainable development community in the Sierra del Rosario, Pinar del Rio Province
    • Ecosystems and endangered species in the Zapata swamps, southern Matanzas Province and coastal dry forests and impacts of tourism on the Varadero peninsula in northern Matanzas Province
    • Natural history, reforestation and rural energy projects in the Sierra Maestra, Santiago de Cuba Province
    • The richness of Cuban culture everywhere.
      (snip/...)
    http://www.denison.edu/geology/frolking/cuba.html
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 02:01 AM
    Response to Reply #89
    98. Here's a quick, but informative look at Cuban gardens, etc.
    Sugar cane was introduced to Cuba on Columbus' second voyage. By the early 19th century sugar production had established a dominant position in the island's economy. Large tracts of fertile land were put down to sugar cane, divided into great estates, and the whole process fueled by a slave economy. The pre European population had long been decimated, along with their traditional systems of agriculture. Although slavery was abolished in the 1880's the estates survived, and in the 1950's, prior to the Revolution, only 1% of landowners held over 47% of all arable and grazing land. Agrarian reform after the Revolution nationalised the larger estates into state farms which accounted for 75% of farmland. The remaining land was privately owned by campesinos and other small farmers.
    (snip)

    Large tracts of land were switched from export-oriented cash crops to food crops. Government incentives encouraged people in large urban centres to move back to work on the land. Oxen were reared in large numbers to replace tractors for ploughing and transporting crops. Organic methods such as integrated pest management, crop rotation, composting and soil conservation were implemented. Research institutes were set up to develop more sophisticated techniques such as worm composting, soil inoculants and biopesticides. Over 200 biopesticides production centres were set up, run by university graduates, children of the local farmers.
    (snip)

    For the vast majority of urban Cubans since the Revolution, food came from a grocery store or supermarket. Growing food was generally considered a part of campesino (peasant) life, left behind on the move to the city. To encourage small scale food production in urban areas, the government gave unused land to anyone who wanted to cultivate it. Havana, with a fifth of the island's population, was a priority area for urban food production. The provincial Ministry of Agriculture (MinAgri) set up an urban agriculture department to give support to the new gardeners, which was delivered through the activity of the MinAgri outreach workers (extensionists) based in each of the city's municipalities, and through direct support given to community efforts. The department was also responsible for the shops which supplied seeds, tools and sundries to the growers. The three types of garden supported were known as huertos, organoponicos and autoconsumos.

    This all created, almost overnight, a new urban gardening culture. By the mid 1990's there were over 28,000 huertos in Havana city province, run by 50-100,000 individuals. Some of this new army of gardeners could remember farming with their parents 35 years ago, before they moved to Havana. For many it was an entirely new occupation.

    Huerto is Spanish for 'kitchen garden' and these are the equivalent of allotments or smallholdings in Britain. They may be individual, family or collective and some are attached to institutions such as day care centres and schools. They range in size from postage stamp to two or more hectares. Garden clubs are comparable to allotment societies and may be a gathering of gardeners in a particular locality or may be the overseers of a large patch, a parcela, divided into a number of huertos. There are more than 19,000 individuals organised into more than 800 clubs throughout Havana.
    (snip/...)
    http://www.cosg.org.uk/greencuba.htm


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    AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 09:00 PM
    Response to Reply #77
    88. There's a professor at the U of Washington who says inequality is every-
    thing.

    He says that poverty/absoulte wealth isn't everything and that the societies with the least inequality are the healthiest.
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    aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 06:59 PM
    Response to Reply #88
    152. Thats one smart professor
    Inequality is not evyrything, only close.

    But the fact that societies with least inequality is something that most human scienses, sociologogy, psychology, anthropology, history etc. agree. Only "science" disagreeing is market fundamentalist economics, which, not by pure chance, happens to be the official dogma of global corporatocracy.

    But mainstream "economics" is not science, it's pure dogma in an intellectual pubble.
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    AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 08:08 PM
    Response to Reply #152
    159. Stephen Bezruchka, MD


    For most of us in the developed world, death is so remote we don't even concern ourselves with it. Later in life, it becomes a distant, inevitable reality, but still nothing for immediate concern. Then, as Rudyard Kipling wrote, "Man dies too soon, beside his works half-planned." Health and longevity are based upon factors we can all acknowledge: genetics, lifestyle and luck among them. They are also largely taken for granted. But as Stephen Bezruchka explains, social class has a far more profound effect in the US than we realize, in ways we wouldn't guess, even for the many of us who consider ourselves middle class.


    Stephen Bezruchka is a senior lecturer at the University of Washington and works as an emergency room physician in Seattle. His particular areas of research are population health and societal hierarchy and its application to health. He is author of numerous articles and essays. His most recent contribution is to Sickness and Wealth, a collection of essays on the effects of global corporatization on health.

    http://www.alternativeradio.org/programs/BEZS001.shtml

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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    aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
    Response to Reply #29
    32. Haiti
    With the help of Cuba, Cuban doctors and know-how in solving social problems, it wouldn't take long stop Haiti being a plain hellhole.

    That's what Aristide and Lavalas would have wanted, but US - Clinton included - want to keep Haiti a hellhole under iron IMF rule. In no case can it be allowed that the near miraculous Cuban success story would be repeated.

    So Cuba would be willing and able to really help Haiti, but is unable because US won't allow that, and to keep Cuba from helping Haiti, oppresses and murders Haitians in genocidal manner.
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    CWebster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
    Response to Reply #19
    36. Well, at least they get something for their money. nt
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    Durant Donating Member (25 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
    Response to Reply #36
    42. Must be nice to be a Cuban..
    and wake up each morning knowing you live in Paradise :eyes:
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    CWebster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
    Response to Reply #42
    51. Funny thing
    I saw photos of old restored US cars in Cuba with USA stickers and flags on the windshield. Betcha you couldn't have Cuban stickers flags and stickers on your windshields here without getting some grief. So much for the land of the free. :eyes:
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
    Response to Reply #51
    52. I guess you haven't been to Miami. Cuban flags/stickers everywhere
    Come on down to Miami and dispel your false notions.

    ____________________________________________________________________


    charts from opensecrets.org




    _____


    www.stopbolton.org

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    CWebster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:13 AM
    Response to Reply #52
    59. They ain't supporting the revolution, Ill wager. nt
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:13 AM
    Response to Reply #59
    60. Nope. Not that interested in Cuba.
    Poll: Cuban-Americans focus is local, not on Cuba or Castro
    http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/world/cuba/62...
    The majority of Cuban Americans living in Miami-Dade County are more concerned with improving their lives in the United States than with issues in Cuba, according to a recent poll commissioned by a national Hispanic voter-registration group.

    -

    The results echo those of two recent polls commissioned by The Herald and an organization of moderate Cuban-American business people. Those polls showed that a majority of Cuban Americans in South Florida have shifted away from a hard-line stance. Sixty-five percent in the new poll said they wished local politicians would focus more on local issues than international ones.





    www.stopbolton.org


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    Freddie Stubbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:13 AM
    Response to Reply #51
    55. Have you ever been to South Florida?
    Edited on Fri Apr-22-05 09:28 AM by Freddie Stubbs
    There are Cuban flags all over the place. Go take a drive down Calle Ocho in Miami.



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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
    Response to Reply #42
    53. Must be nice to be a Cuban..
    and know that you won't have to lose everything and/or be stuck in debtor's prison if someone in your family gets sick.




    www.stopbolton.org


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    earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 02:57 PM
    Response to Reply #53
    118. I was thinking along the same lines....
    Edited on Sat Apr-23-05 02:58 PM by TheGoldenRule
    but was hesitant to post it.

    In a way, I envy the Cuban way of life and that they aren't swept up in the all encompassing consumerism we live with here in the U.S. Because how we live in this country is exhausting, stressful and meaningless! Oh sure, I've got a few treasures around the house that I don't ever want to part with...except you can't take it with you right?! And while I'm no fashionista, I do love my flea market/garage sale antiques, my books and art/craft supplies....which, seriously, I'd be happy to give up in order to live a more simple existence as the Cubans do with no worries and no fears.

    On edit-I would at least have to keep some of my books and art/craft supplies...I'd need something to do to keep busy once I've stopped wasting so much time worrying about survival! :)
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 05:46 PM
    Response to Reply #118
    149. Nice post, TheGoldenRule.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:12 AM
    Response to Reply #19
    44. At what conversion rate is this calculated?
    Edited on Fri Apr-22-05 08:34 AM by Mika
    For tourists the US dollar exchanges at 1:1 on the Cuban peso.

    For Cubans in Cuba the exchange is about 1:26.

    That means that the real minimum wage is now about 260 pesos.

    If one were to use the 1:1 ratio that would mean 260 dollars, or using the domestic exchange it would be 10 dollars.

    The exchange rate used by the MSM usually is done using the rate that most demonizes Cuba.

    BTW, Castro didn't raise the min wage, the Cuban National Assembly (the elected representatives) made the move.

    Also, all housing in Cuba is rent controlled/subsidized - capped at 10 percent of income. Income is guaranteed. As is world class universal health care. As is all education, higher ed included.

    _____

    Cuba: Cost of Living
    http://members.aol.com/merengue123/cubaeng2.html




    www.stopbolton.org


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    tyedyeto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:13 AM
    Response to Reply #19
    57. $10/month! Makes one wonder why ......
    they (and others from economically depressed countries) would want to come to the US. :shrug:
    :sarcasm:
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    David__77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:13 AM
    Response to Reply #19
    61. You cannot compare Cuban wages to US wages.
    Cuba is a "low-money wage" socialist economy. That's partly because it's the policy of the state to give most "salaries" not in the form of cash, but in benefits like health care, education, housing, free vacations, child care, even sometimes food (at the workplace and school) and so on. These things would have to be ADDED to the low wages to get something comparable to US wages. "Wages" means something entirely differently there and in most socialist economies.

    China, for instance, is moving away from that "low wage" system, is increasing money wages and slashing benefits, and people are protesting this. They want to security of the "iron rice bowl" system.
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    cire4 Donating Member (580 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:19 AM
    Response to Reply #61
    63. Thank you...I'm glad someone said this....
    Its funny how many people fall into the trap of applying American economic standards to Cuba when the two countries' economies couldn't be any more different.

    "TEN dollars a month!!??....Wow, they must be dirt poor because in the USA, ten dollars can't buy you anything!!"

    :eyes:
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    redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 10:38 AM
    Response to Reply #63
    66. No, it's not funny. It's $#&*@(%# disgusting.
    People love to make snap judgments... hate to THINK or LEARN, apparently.

    Shameful... shameful and disgusting.
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    Rainscents Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 11:00 AM
    Response to Original message
    71. Ok... Lets do the math.
    Wage was .29 an hour and went to .58 an hour, .58*40 hours= 23.20 per week * 4 weeks = 92.80 per month. Before raise they were making $46.40 per month. It looks like to me, they got a $ 46.40 raise per month.
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    DocSavage Donating Member (594 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 11:16 AM
    Response to Reply #71
    73. .
    Good thing that health care is free and there is no gas to buy. Makes that 90 bucks last so much longer. A true workers paridise.
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    aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 11:43 AM
    Response to Original message
    75. HDI
    According to Humand Development Index Cuban GDP/capita in PPP (purchasing power parity) dollars is about 5000 (US 34 000; Luxembourg 50 000).

    In GDP/capita rank (90th, not bad considering the embargo and the special period) minus HDI rank (52nd), indicating how efficiently economy is serving HD goals, Cuba is in it's own class, 38: the most efficient country in the world putting economic activity and resources in service of human development goals.

    http://hdr.undp.org/reports/global/2003/pdf/hdr03_compl...
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    Chicago Democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 04:34 PM
    Response to Original message
    78. VIVA FIDEL!
    Patria O Muerte!
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    ott Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 04:50 PM
    Response to Original message
    80. Why not compare Cuba to the US?
    After all, there's no way an impoverished third world country ruled by a democratic parliamentary republic, ::cough:: I mean vicious power hungry dictator could ever compete with the richest, most powerful, country on the planet.



    Indicator Notes:

    I-1 Probability of dying between birth and exactly five years of age expressed per 1,000 live births.

    I-2 Source: UNICEF, United Nations Population Division and United Nations Statistics Division.

    I-3 Probability of dying between birth and exactly one year of age expressed per 1,000 live births.

    I-4 The number of years newborn children would live if subject to the mortality risks prevailing for the cross-section of population at the time of their birth.

    I-5 Source: United Nations Population Division.

    I-6 Derived from net primary school enrolment rates as reported by UNESCO/UIS (UNESCO Institute of Statistics) and from national household survey reports of attendance at primary school.

    I-7 Source: UIS and UNESCO, including the Education for All 2000 Assessment, Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) and Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS).

    Courtesy of UNICEF

    The dumb bastards don't even charge for health care or college education, and they subsidize all sorts of housing, food, medicine, and other quality of life things. How the hell are they ever going to make any progress that way?
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    Egalitariat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 09:35 PM
    Response to Reply #80
    160. How do they compare in "number of people who drown
    trying to leave one for the other"?
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 09:39 PM
    Response to Reply #160
    161. Only 1 nation offers an "adjustment act". The US. To Cubans
    Edited on Sat Apr-23-05 09:48 PM by Mika
    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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    lumpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 04:59 PM
    Response to Original message
    81. If US economy goes belly-up
    we'll all be finding out how it is to live frugally/hand to mouth. Many people are are there already. Just talk to people who lived during the 1930s depression. There have been many times in US history when people in this country worried about how to put food on the table and were living in true poverty.
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    aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 06:05 PM
    Response to Reply #81
    86. I remember reading
    That even now child malnutrition among the poorest social strata is a huge problem in US. And homelessness. But not problems that the corporate media or either wing of the two-party system would show any interest.

    And these are still the extremely good times for US. What then, if and when the economic house of cards collapses...?
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 11:29 PM
    Response to Reply #86
    95. Not to mention..
    .. that the US has about four times the entire population of Cuba without access to health care!

    The 'house of cards' for Cuba did collapse (the collapse of the USSR and the "special period" in Cuba) but still Cubans marshaled their resources and fairly prioritized and maintained the infrastructures that were most important to all. All Cubans had access to water, nourishment, housing, health care and education at all times. That was about ten years ago and Cuba has come a long way since. With nothing but interference and threats and terrorism from the US.


    Now back to the 40,000,000+ Americans without access to health care..




    www.stopbolton.org



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    lovuian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 09:45 PM
    Response to Original message
    92. No wonder these people Love him!!!
    Its one to keep the masses appeased!!!
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    Placebo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 12:24 AM
    Response to Original message
    97. Does this make Castro a good man? Absolutely not.
    Hopefully this man will die soon and there will finally be hope for Cuba.
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    NIGHT TRIPPER Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 02:11 AM
    Response to Reply #97
    99. makes him a better man than Chimp, the corporate easter pig
    Chimp and his bunny suit on the aircraft carrier (mission accomplished banner)---

    Our country has so many problems with it's own leadership that very few of us have room to worry about "other"countries and how we can improve them.

    We need to clean up our own mess first.
    Our people are dying, and for what?
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    gtar100 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 04:17 AM
    Response to Reply #97
    105. As long as they don't privatize everything.
    They may not be living in the lap of luxury but from what I've read in this thread, they've got a decent foundation built - food, housing, health care, education. Hopefully they'll keep building on it and not make the mistake of rushing toward capitalism.

    Should be interesting to see what comes of it if they keep looking out for the interests of their people and country as a whole (and the US corporate interests ...or more rightly, anti-US corporate interests... don't stick their fat asses in there to f**k it up after Castro dies).

    Can you imagine how far *our* money would stretch if we (ie, our government) made decisions based on the greatest benefit to We The People. For a long time most legislation has been based solely on the greatest benefit to selective economic interests which is leading us down the road to ruin. So sad.

    We've gotta get over our blind reaction to the words "communism", "socialism", and "capitalism". Balance is a good thing. Patience too.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 07:37 AM
    Response to Reply #105
    109. The US goal is to privatize everything - just like Iraq
    Edited on Sat Apr-23-05 07:39 AM by Mika
    Look at the Cuba Transition Project (featuring human garbage Andrew S. Natsios of USAID)..

    http://ctp.iccas.miami.edu/Textmain.asp

    .. and you'll see that there is a plan to put in place something similar to "Bremers's 100 Orders" in Iraq. A complete selloff and privatization of all of Cuba's infrastructure, and an installation of the corrupt Batistano Miamicuban exiles as their government. Of course, it is all dressed up with flowery language (Cubans greeting the US and self exiled ex Cubans with flowers and candy) like the Iraq transition was.

    Can you imagine the chutzpah of a terror state like the US making a "transition plan" and expecting Cubans to accept it?

    Cubans in Cuba aren't so uninformed as to not know this. They know all about US hegemonic goals. They threw the corrupt imperialists out in 1959 and are prepared to do so again, if need be.



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    gtar100 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 04:15 PM
    Response to Reply #109
    124. I think Cuba is correct in strengthening its ties to SA countries
    My god! It takes a lot of gall to make plans for other countries! I'm stunned yet it sure seems par for the course. It's just sick the way this minority in power thinks. And they're pulling everyone else in the US into their hell hole. I've got kids here and hate to see anything bad happen in the US, but it seems like its high time for the rest of the world to stop dealing with the US until it gets over its self-rightousness and starts acting like part of the human race.

    It's like it gets under their skins when anything socialistic succeeds and they just can't wait to rape and destroy it.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 04:51 PM
    Response to Reply #124
    135. Bravo. You're right on target.
    Welcome to D.U. :hi: :hi: :hi:
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    aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 07:14 PM
    Response to Reply #124
    155. Not "like", but "really"
    It's the classic Marxist observation of the inherent imperialist nature of capitalism, that goes by the name of Historical Materialism.

    Capitalism expands, violently if necessary, to utilize all existing resources, until it meets the natural limits (Earth and it's limits) and then it collapses, because growth becomes impossible. Cancer is perfect analogy to capitalism, and I guess there could also be mystical component between capitalist societies with cancer their number one (or two) cause of death.

    It's Karma, baby. But we have the freedom of choice to see some causal tendensies and act upon them. :)
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    aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 04:22 AM
    Response to Reply #97
    106. What kind of hope?
    The hope of getting ruled, raped and pillaged by US corporate puppets and whores?

    Cuba is not about Castro, it's about Cuban people, and sooner than you think, the best and only hope for US is to learn from experiences in Cuba and Venezuela.

    BTW, how would you feel if I said hopefully the corporate whore Hillary will die soon? Not good I guess, it's not nice to wish death on anybody.

    Long life to you! :)
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    cire4 Donating Member (580 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 11:22 AM
    Response to Reply #106
    116. Well said.....n/t
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    Placebo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 05:40 PM
    Response to Reply #106
    147. Hillary and Castro aren't even on the same level.
    Edited on Sat Apr-23-05 05:45 PM by Placebo
    How rude.

    Is it really never nice to with death on anybody? Need I compile a list of historical figures who deserved to be taken out? Hitler? Stalin?

    Long life to you! And Hillary.

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    aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 07:27 PM
    Response to Reply #147
    156. Long life to Hillary
    And you are right, they are not on the same level. Hillary is a stupid corporate whore who has allready proven she can't be a usefull leader in the interest of people (blew it with medicare). And she is DLC imperialist to the core.

    Castro, who certainly is not a perfect human being, but a politician, at least has something to show, actually quite a lot to show, but certainly he's been just one of the gang in actual politics, Leader only on symbolical level, which is of course very important too.

    So Hillary is a mosquito fart in Sahara compared to Castro.


    No, you need not compile a list of historical figures, but a contemporary list, and take care of the "taking out" personally, if you try to claim that your line has any moral validity. See the problems you get into?
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    lumpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-05 07:49 PM
    Response to Reply #97
    165. The only hope for Cuba
    is for the US to leave Cuba alone to determine it's own destiny.
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    MollyStark Donating Member (816 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 03:53 PM
    Response to Original message
    120. People in Cuba live in extreme poverty
    heavily subsidized or not.
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    NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 04:08 PM
    Response to Reply #120
    123. The US minimum wage is $5.15 per hour
    How well could you live making $206.00 dollars per week? Or $10,712.00 dollars per year? Would you consider that living in "extreme poverty"? Or not?

    Don

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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 04:17 PM
    Response to Reply #120
    125. The U.S. has known since 1897, according to John C. Breckenridge
    Edited on Sat Apr-23-05 04:19 PM by Judi Lynn
    things could get hairy for a nation if you imposed an embargo upon it.

    Here's something from his odd Memorandum, written on December 24, 1897:
    On 24 December 1897, US Under-Secretary of War J.C. Breckenridge wrote in a memorandum 'This population is made up of whites, blacks, Asians and people who are mixture of these races. The inhabitants are generally indolent and apathetic Since they only possess a vague notion of what is right and wrong, the people tend to seek pleasure not through work, but through violence It is obvious that the immediate annexation of these disturbing elements into our own federation in such large numbers would be madness, so before we do that we must clean up the country We must destroy everything within our cannons' range of fire. We must impose a harsh blockade so that hunger and its constant companion, disease, undermine the peaceful population and decimate the army. The allied army must be constantly engaged in reconaissance and vanguard actions so that the Cuban army is irreparably caught between two fronts.'
    He went on to explain the plan for the military occupation of Cuba and the temporary maintenance by force of the new independent government of a minority of the autonomists and Spaniards who remained, until it was strong enough to maintain itself against the separatists. He continues: 'When this moment arrives, we must create conflicts for the independent government. That goverment will be faced with these difficulties These difficulties must coincide with the unrest and violence among the aforementioned elements, to whom we must give our backing To sum up, our policy must always be to support the weaker against the stronger, until we have obtained the extermination of them both, in order to annex the Pearl of the Antilles.'
    (snip/...)
    http://www.rcgfrfi.easynet.co.uk/ratb/cuba/history3.htm

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


    Cuba has had a hard row to hoe since a long time ago, long before the second Cuban Revolution, due to the desire to control Cuba by some of this country's sickest politicians, and the inordinate wish on the part of some crooked Cuban politicians to sell their country out to them and be repaid with wealth and power.

    Cuba is NOT a missing American state. It CANNOT now, and never could be compared to the standards which evolved along a totally different line than those followed by a small slave colony controlled by Spain for a very long time before a succession of U.S. puppets got into the driver's seat.

    On edit: I forgot to include, at no cost to you, this fine likeness of that prominent Southern official, John C. Breckenridge:

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    tkmorris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 04:33 PM
    Response to Reply #120
    129. That depends
    That really kind of depends on how you define "poverty" doesn't it?

    I will tell you this. Being poor in the United States is far, far worse than it would be in Cuba. Being poor in the US is a death sentence.
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    lumpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-05 08:00 PM
    Response to Reply #120
    167. Too many in the US are
    suffering from poverty of the spirit. Which would you rather have, 8 pieces of silver or an unblemished soul?
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    Conservativesux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 04:31 PM
    Response to Original message
    127. Cuba plans to double minimum wage
    Cuba plans to double minimum wage

    April 22, 2005

    President Castro says the rises will benefit low-wage workers
    President Fidel Castro of Cuba has announced plans to more than double the country's minimum wage.

    Labourers earning about 100 Cuban pesos ($4.10; 2.13) a month will see their wages rise to 225 pesos from 1 May.

    The move will benefit 1.6 million workers, including farmhands, plumbers and undertakers, who survive on the lowest wages in communist Cuba.

    <snip>

    The average Cuban government worker earns about 300 pesos a month, although most citizens pay no rent, while education and health care provision are also free.

    More at:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4472357.stm





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    Egalitariat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 04:31 PM
    Response to Reply #127
    128. What a guy!****
    nm
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    DoNotRefill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 04:41 PM
    Response to Original message
    130. Hmmmm.... $9.40 a month....
    I wish y'all hadn't posted this, it'll give Bush ideas.
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    aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 07:31 PM
    Response to Reply #130
    157. LOL
    But you know, the devil is in the details, that's by Bush avoids them... ;)
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-05 03:17 PM
    Response to Original message
    164. BBC's version of the story.
    Last Updated: Friday, 22 April, 2005, 10:49 GMT 11:49 UK

    Cuba plans to double minimum wage

    President Castro says the rises will benefit low-wage workers
    President Fidel Castro of Cuba has announced plans to more than double the country's minimum wage.
    Labourers earning about 100 Cuban pesos ($4.10; 2.13) a month will see their wages rise to 225 pesos from 1 May.

    The move will benefit 1.6 million workers, including farmhands, plumbers and undertakers, who survive on the lowest wages in communist Cuba.

    President Castro's confidence in the economy has been buoyed by closer trade relations with Venezuela and China.

    Oil deposits have also recently been discovered off Cuba's coast.
    (snip/...)

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4472357.stm

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    sphincter Donating Member (153 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-05 07:54 PM
    Response to Original message
    166. Fidel's got balls
    And he is, along with Che Guevara, one of my heroes.
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