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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 12:06 PM
Original message
Castro absent from Cuban revolution parade (hand of friendship extended to US)
Castro absent from Cuban revolution parade

Ailing leader fails to come to birthday, fueling beliefs he may give up power

HAVANA - Fidel Castro failed to attend a military parade Saturday marking the 50th anniversary of the date he and his rebels launched their revolution, fueling speculation that the ailing Cuban leader may not return to power.

Acting President Raul Castro, who is Fidels younger brother and the islands defense minister, led the event instead, giving a speech in which he reached out to the U.S. government, which has a decades-old trade and travel embargo against the communist-run island. He did not explain the absence of his brother, who has not been see in public since July 26.

We take this opportunity to once again state that we are willing to resolve at the negotiating table the long-standing dispute between the United States and Cuba, Raul Castro said. But he said Cuba would insist upon equality, reciprocity, noninterference and mutual respect.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16002132/
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
1. Another good quote from Raul:
In the meantime, after almost half a century, we are willing to wait patiently until the moment when common sense prevails in Washington power circles, he said.
It's about time the country stirred itself and stopped letting the radical right-wing dictate infantile, self-centered policy for the whole country.

We can afford to mind our own business, and allow others to live in peace.

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flordehinojos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 12:50 PM
Response to Original message
2. i remember january 1, 1959 and early morning mass that day (7 AM) with two of my cousins at the
Edited on Sat Dec-02-06 12:51 PM by flordehinojos
church of La Sagrada Familia, when rumors started flying that Batista had fled the country. I remember how people in the pews were more focused on the rumors being brought to the church by the people coming in, and the men standing at the back of the church--back then the manly thing to do was to stand at the back of the church than they were at the mass being said.

i remember the giddyness of people as they hoped that the rumors were true and the jubilant celebration on the streets as the news was confirmed. i remember the church bells ringing celebratorily for each of the later masses that day and i remember fidel castro entering triumphantly later that day to the city of Santiago de Cuba.

i remember a few days later people pointing out to raul castro's homicidal tendencies. he was, "the killer", not fidel, people said--and it was fidel who contained his brother and kept him from shooting anyone he had had a difference with.

and as i remember, i wonder ... why is raul assuming the conciliatory role now, this late in the game.

i remember, i wonder, and i don't understand it ... but the one thing i do understand and believe is that cuba now belongs to those cubans who never left, who lived there all these years; not to the greedy hands of the diaz-balarts, ros-lehtinens, mas-canosas, or mas-canosas light.

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Hardrada Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. After enough time has passed, decades in this case, the
legitimacy of the ancien regime fades away. I think the old ruling familes of Cuba are made desperate by this knowledge. I know one of the Menocals by the way and he seemed like a pleasant chap and was more or less resigned to a life in the US (he married a woman I had dated on occasion).
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flordehinojos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #3
23. i am not sure if my memory serves mecorrectly or not, but if it does, i think the menocals were some
Edited on Sat Dec-02-06 09:49 PM by flordehinojos
of batista's biggest supporters--in fact, i think raul menocal may have been connected to batista's military or police force ... if my memory fails me and i am not recalling correctly, i apologize for my memory's fuzzy recollection.
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Hardrada Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-03-06 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #23
47. At least one Menocal was president of Cuba.
The one I know (who seems not very militant now) was captured in the Bay of Pigs fiasco and was exchanged for a tractor! Or so he said, perhaps facetiously. Anyway the whole family got out of Cuba when Fulgencio B. made his exit.
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flordehinojos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-03-06 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #47
50. when batista made his exit is exactly when all the batistiano thugs got out too.
A menocal, president of Cuba? ...
Going through the history of Cuba i know there was Don. Tomas Estrada Palma...then my memory skips, skips, and finds Gerardo Machado, then my memory skips, skips again and finds Grau San Martin preceding Carlos Prio Socarras, then there was Carlos Prio Socarras, then came the Batista coup d'etat and then the rest is the history we've been talking about...but then i did a google search and yes, there was a menocal who was president of cuba. (Batista had been legitimately elected to the presidency once, i think, then he was voted out. his bloody hands liked power to much he perpetrated a bloody coup d'etat against carlos prio socarras and installed himself as president until fidel castro and his revolution made him vamoosh.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Presidents_of_Cuba



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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. As you said, Cuba's future belongs to the Cubans in Cuba
The last thing Cuba needs is the American "freedom and democracy" that destroyed Iraq, and gave us the Pinochet dictatorship, or the Salvadoran death squads.
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flordehinojos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #4
22. unfortunately the diaz-balarts, ros-lehtinens, etc. are salivating about how they are going to
rule in cuba ... how sad indeed!

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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. January 1, 1959
















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flordehinojos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #11
21. this collection of pictures brings back to memory happenings of a long time ago.
do you have a link to the site where you found them?

There was a Hotel San Carlos in Santiago and i see the sign for it in the second picture...however, i don't recognize anything else in the picture... i was 18 years old when i left Cuba. I have lived here a lot longer than that and i've never returned. (so... i am wondering are these pictures taken in santiago on that day, or at any other place in the island in subsequent days as he made his way up to Havana?)

On January 1st 1959 as he came in to Santiago from the mountains I was at Victoriano Garzon Avenue where it meets with the Avenida Manduley.

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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 10:28 PM
Response to Reply #21
26. Most came from the Latin American Studies website...
and I think this is Havana, not Santiago de Cuba, my mistake on the date.


http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/entering-havana.htm


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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 11:18 PM
Response to Reply #21
32. Santiago de Cuba protest 1957...

http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/santiago-protest.htm


Santiago rebel women demonstrate during Ambassador Earl Smith's visit to the city. Sign says: "murder of children must stop".
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-03-06 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #32
35. Absolutely wonderful photos, Say_What. There's an account by U.S. Ambassador
Earl Smith somewhere, which I've read, about the mothers coming to him to beg for his help, and getting blown away with a fire hose on the orders of the Chief of Police or someone in Santiago de Cuba. I will look for it and see if I can find it. It would be a perfect companion to the photo you posted.

Here is some material you've probably read already, but it was written by Herbert Matthews, the New York Times correspondent:
New York Times
June 10, 1957.pp. 1, 10.

Populace in Revolt in Santiago de Cuba
By Herbert L. Matthews

Special to The New York Times

~snip~
Four Youths Slain
The worst act of terror, which the Santiagueros universally attribute to the police, occurred the night of May 27.The morning after, the bodies of four youths were found hanging from trees, two on one side of the city and two on an other.They had been tortured, stabbed and shot before they were strung up.
This caused such a sense of horror and revulsion that a large group of women of the city prepared last Sunday for a demonstration of protest, gathering first for a mass in the cathedral.A number of policemen, armed with submachine guns, were sent into the church to walk around and intimidate the women.The maneuver failed, but when the women tried to form a parade, it was roughly broken up, witnesses said.

Two mothers of the slain youths arranged to see this correspondent secretly late one night, along with some parents and relatives of other youths slain, as the relatives believe, by the police.At the last minute the relatives sent word that the police had threatened them with dire consequences if they talked too much.

However, many other persons have come forth, either openly or secretly, to tell of incidents.The risk was considerable for all such persons, for the police had been trying to keep the closest watch on this correspondent from the moment of his arrival three days ago.

Many Come Forth
Yet representatives of virtually every element of Santiago de Cubas societybusiness and professional groups, workers and trade union leaders, all the lay Catholic organizations, a delegation representing peasants and civic organizations from outside the city, students, the rector of the University of Oriente and his entire professional council and the Rotary, Lions and other civic organizationsdid make contact with this correspondent.
Many of the leading citizens came in person or sent invitations to their homes.Dozens of humble persons accosted me on the streets and elsewhere to shake hands, partly to thank The New York Times for what is considered its effort to present the truth about Cuba in its news and editorial columns, and partly as a gesture of defiance against the authorities.

For instance, a group of nine trade union leaders, representers of the province, came to see me at the hotel yesterday afternoon.

Reprisals Expected
If we escape only with arrest and questioning and are not beaten up, we will be lucky, for the police are watching us and will know our names, their chief spokesman said, with the concurrence of the others.But we gladly accept that probability.
None of us is political or partisan.We speak to you as Cubans.We represent and we are the people of Cuba and we are against Batista and his clique.You may be sure that all workers are good Cubans and feel the way we do, all except our top national leaders, who are chosen by Batista and are in his pay.

Everybody I saw was convinced that the police authorities had orders from Havana to refrain from any act of terrorism during the three days I was here.They were all certain that the authorities wanted to forestall the Times publishing any first-hand account of Government counter-terrorism.For this reason, The Times gets credit for having given Santiago de Cuba three days of peace, such as this tormented city has not known in many months.
(snip/...)
http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/cuban-rebels/NYT-6-10-57.htm
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-03-06 01:49 AM
Response to Reply #32
36. Here's a reference to Ambassador Earl Smith's trip to Santiago de Cuba
written by Lyman Kirkpatrick, who was in Cuba, and was appointed U.S. Inspector General of the C.I.A.:
~snip~
The airport in Havana showed few signs of the increasingly tense political situation in the country. There might have been a few more soldiers around than usual--it was hard to tell. The check of passports by Immigration and of the baggage by Customs seemed about the same as before. And the quickly produced complimentary frozen daiquiris were still there.

But we started to learn about the change in the situation on the drive in from the airport, and then listened for several hours through drinks and dinner after we arrived at the apartment. It was a story of the progressive deterioration of the strength of the Batista government and an increase in strength of the opposition crystallizing around the July 26 movement of Fidel Castro. It was now a vicious and deadly cycle. As the terrorism of the opposition increased, the brutality of the police and military intelligence people became more horrible. I was told that the Bohemia, then one of the most popular picture-news weeklies in Cuba and widely circulated in Latin America, had been trying secretly to keep a tally of those tortured to death or executed by the police, and now estimated that as many as ten a week were killed in Havana alone.

I was skeptical, as my friends had known I would be. They had brought pictures to prove it. These photographs had been taken by a doctor of a woman who had come to him for treatment. She was a schoolteacher and had been arrested with one of her male students on suspicion of plotting against the government. They were taken by the police to a prison where they had been tortured. She had been severely beaten and he had been pounded into unconsciousness. They had been released because the teacher's sister fortunately had friends in high enough positions in the government to open the prison doors. The doctor who treated the woman said he had never seen a human body more mistreated. He had taken the pictures, with her permission, because there were still some who did not believe or realize what was going on. The horrible wounds on the woman's body were convincing, as were the reports of case after case of the sons of prominent Cuban families who had joined either the students' organization or the July 26 movement and had been arrested and killed.

It was this type of atrocity that was costing Batista the last of his support among the people of Cuba. Originally the Castro movement had attracted only the rabble fringe, the extreme left, and those elements of students who were always revolutionary. It was known that there were some Communists with him in the Sierra Maestra Mountains. Vilma Espin, who had been known as a Communist when she attended graduate school in the United States, was there; she was later to marry Raoul Castro. Che Guevara, a known Argentine revolutionary, was there. And it was known that Fidel himself had participated in the Bogotazo, the riots in the capital of Colombia in 1948 that had disrupted the inter-American conference. It was hard to determine how many of Castro's hard-core guerrillas were Communists, or how powerful were the Communists in the July 26 movement. Castro had been known as a revolutionary since his student days at the University of Havana and had achieved notoriety for his unsuccessful attack on the Army barracks at Moncada on July 26, 1953, the date for which his movement was named. But we were not sure whether he was an avowed Communist.

By the fall of 1958 it was estimated that 80 percent of the people had turned against the Batista regime, and while probably nowhere near that percentage supported the July 26 movement, it was rapidly gaining greater support throughout Cuba. Only the army stood between Batista and disaster.
(snip)

Then came more disquieting news. There was a serious split in the United States embassy. With the change of administrations, Ambassador Gardner had been replaced by Earl E. T. Smith, a former stockbroker who was doing his best to maintain cordial relations with the Batista government but was beset with many problems, some in Washington and some in Havana. The major problem came over what the true situation in Cuba actually was. We had known in Washington of some of the problems, but not of the severity of the split.

Ambassador Smith had started his duty in Havana with what must obviously have been a disturbing and traumatic experience. His staff had urged him soon after his arrival to get out of Havana in order to get a better feel of the situation. The staff suggested a visit to Santiago as a good place to start--it being near Castro's hide-away in the Sierra Maestra Mountains, close to the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo, and increasingly the scene of political unrest. Smith agreed to go to Santiago. While there he was approached by a group of women clad in black protesting the government's repressive measures. The women had been rather roughly hustled away by the police, and Ambassador Smith, with the full backing and encouragement of his staff, had promptly denounced the police action. The government in Havana reacted promptly and denounced Ambassador Smith's actions as interfering in the internal affairs of Cuba, and let the word seep through unofficially that he might be declared persona non grata. Earl Smith, faced with what might be an early and ignominious end to his first diplomatic mission, had to beat a retreat, although the odds were overwhelming that Batista would never have gone so far as to throw out the American ambassador. After all, he had few other friends left at that point.
(snip/...)
http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/cuban-rebels/kirkpatrick.htm
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-03-06 02:05 AM
Response to Reply #32
37. One of the young men murdered by Batista's police in Santiago de Cuba
was Frank Pais, who's one of the more famous martyrs of the Revolution.

One of 3 young Americans who joined the Revolution (who had earlier been living on Guantanamo Naval Base (this story was carried on CBS tv as a special around 2000 or so, and was also covered by the Miami Herald) in telling his story to a writer, referred to seeing Ambassador Earl Smith in Santiago de Cuba:
Miami Herald - January 10, 1999

America's Yanqui Fidelistas

by paul Brinkley-Rogers

No one honors them.

~snip~
And then Frank Pais, an M-26 leader still mourned by the Cuban state,
was killed by Batista's police. He went to the funeral where fire
hoses were being used to disperse the mourners. "I got through the
lines and ran up to {American Ambassador Earl} Smith and started
yelling at him about Batista. Next day the Army told me to get out."
Isnip)
http://www.blythe.org/nytransfer-subs/Covert_Actions/America's_Yanqui_Fidelistas
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-03-06 02:12 AM
Response to Reply #32
38. Found a photo of that demonstration, and U.S. ambassador Earl Smith
Even with my completely nearly forgotten mediocre Spanish skills I can tell this sign means "end the assassination of our sons" (from the) Cuban Mothers....



Then they approached Ambassador Smith.



Then someone got a bright idea to go drag out the fire hoses.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-03-06 02:21 AM
Response to Reply #38
39. Ambassador Earl Smith actually got in trouble for criticizing the police brutality.
Much later he was questioned about it during a Senate hearing:
Mr. SMITH. I visited Santiago de Cuba in the latter part of July 1957.

Mr. SOURWINE. Did something occur there about which you protested?

Mr. SMITH Yes, it did.

Mr. SOURWINE. What was that?

Mr. SMITH. The rough handling of the women in the square of the city of Santiago, the women who were known as the Mothers of Santiago.

Mr. SOURWINE. That is, rough handling by the Batista forces?

Mr. SMITH. By the police.

Mr. SOURWINE. Did you protest this by issuing a statement to the press?

Mr. SMITH. When I came out of the city hall, having received the keys to the city, the police were then putting the firehoses and using the clubs on the women and the press asked me for a statement.

I made the following statement:

"I regret that the people of Santiago are using my presence in Santiago to protest against their Government."

Whereupon, the press said:

"In other words, are you going to condone these actions? Is this all you have to say?"

The press demanded to know if the appointment of a new Ambassador didn't mean a change in U.S. policies. Did the U.S. approve such violence or not? Diplomatic doubletalk would not suffice.

I said that I would have a press conference later in the afternoon. This was at approximately 12:00.

I went to a luncheon, had a meeting with the approximately six or seven members of the embassy staff who aecompanied me to Santiago, and I issued the following statement, to the best of my recollection:

I repeated what I had said above: that I was sorry that the people of Santiago were using my presence to protest against their Government.

And then I added the sentence:

"And I abhor police brutality."
(snip)
http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/us-cuba/gardner-smith.htm
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flordehinojos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-03-06 05:08 AM
Response to Reply #38
41. while the women marched through the streets of santiago to EL PARQUE CESPEDES to meet Smith on his
way to the AYUNTAMIENTO the men of SANTIAGO DE CUBa stood by, across the street, in front of EL CLUB SAN CARLOS watching the women being being hosed down. It was the chief of police of Santiago de Cuba who gave the order to hose them down.
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flordehinojos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-03-06 05:00 AM
Response to Reply #32
40. i remember that day well... (i wasn't there) They handed Smith a scroll
Edited on Sun Dec-03-06 05:01 AM by flordehinojos
containing their protest against batista and his bloody hands. they police tried to stop them by water hosing them. they were able to hand their protest scroll (letter?) to SMITH as he made his way to the AYUNTAMIENTO in front EL PARQUE CESPEDES. (two friends of mine--they most have been no older than 15 years of age--were part of that protest).

p.s. thank you for the link and these additional photos.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-03-06 05:27 AM
Response to Reply #40
44. You're so welcome! As soon as I saw you mentioned you had lived in that area,
Edited on Sun Dec-03-06 05:28 AM by Judi Lynn
I wondered how much you might know about this. It has stuck in my mind from the first time I read about it.

I have read other articles which mentioned the torture and murder of the young men. I could swear I have read somewhere that they actually had been torn apart before being hung in the trees.

This is information Americans just don't know about unless they are so curious they start doing their own research.

You lived through an era in which things really happened FAST, all things considered.

I can imagine the ONLY Cubans who missed Batista were the wealthy criminals.



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flordehinojos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-03-06 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #44
46. Judi Lynn, i think you are right. it was the wealthy criminals batista supporters who escaped his
Edited on Sun Dec-03-06 04:17 PM by flordehinojos
bloody reign. his dictatorship was bloodier than fidel castro's. young men would appear murdered, assassinated and some times mutilated on the streets and highways in santiago de cuba and throughout the island. and he killed and had people killed till the very end. on january 1st after batista fled, one of the families from santiago was awaiting the return of their eldest son from the university of havana. he had last been seen december 30th or 31st 1958 in havana--people thought he was enroute to santiago. his body was recovered january 2nd or 3rd in a highway leading to Pinar del Rio. I don't remember young men found hanging from a tree--but i do know that when the batista forces killed, they tortured and mutilated the young and then they killed them. it was a horrible time to live through ... and with all of that jeb bush installed batista's grandson as a justice in the florida supreme court(i know raul cantero-batista's grandson- had nothing to do with his grandfather's crimes since he hadn't even been born yet), however, the installation of raul cantero to the florida supreme court was a slap in the face to every cuban who ever fought against the batista regime and/or had any family member killed, tortured and mutilated by Fulgencio Batista Zaldivar and/or his forces of repression. (Bush is doing the same: killing, torturing and mutilating--except he is doing it in iraq. not here in the United States).
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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #21
34. More memories...
If you were 18 you probably remember this album... a friend who lived in Havana said they traded them like kids in the US traded baseball cards. I saw this album a number of years ago--someone picked it up in Cuba in the early 1990s and it was in a restaurant they owned. I found one typo in the album. They have Menoyo as dead at the Presidential Palace--mistaken for his brother who died in the attack.

Album de La Revolucin Cubana 1952-1959











http://www.dropby.com/AlbumDeLaRevolucionCubana/indexL1ES.html





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flordehinojos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-03-06 05:13 AM
Response to Reply #34
43. i left Cuba in March of 1961.
This album may not have been out then...(or it may have) though i don't think i'd seen it before.

(Eloy Gutierrez Menoya was eventually imprisoned by Fidel Castro and kept as a political prisoner for many years--like many others...though after many, many long years he was released--and i think he went to Spain but may have eventually come here to the U.S.A. i am not sure).
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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-03-06 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #43
49. Menoyo came to Miami to a hero's welcome from Spain about 1986
not many years later he renounced violence and formed his own organization "Cambio Cubano". In 1995 he went to Cuba and met with his old adversary, Fidel, to discuss setting up an office for Cambio Cubano in Havana. He is currently living in Havana--been back there about 3 or 4 years. Unlike the others, he never took money from the CIA--I think that's why Fidel has met with him and his daughter over the years. Here's an article from 1995 about his meeting with Castro (picture of the meeting). No link, sorry, it's from my hard drive.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

MIAMI EXILE HOPEFUL
AFTER 3-HOUR MEETING
WITH CASTRO IN CUBA

Tuesday, June 20, 1995

Section: FRONT

Edition: FINAL

Page: 7A

FABIOLA SANTIAGO And PABLO ALFONSO Herald Staff Writers


Memo: THE AMERICAS


Cuban President Fidel Castro and Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo, the Miami exile he put in jail for almost 22 years, met for more than three hours Monday in Havana.

Though he did not want to disclose specifics of their conversation, Gutierrez Menoyo said, "I'm feeling so good. I am seeing the fruits of our work here. This
represents a hope."

The meeting was the first between Castro and a leader of a major exile opposition group.

Gutierrez Menoyo heads the Miami-based Cambio Cubano, or Cuban Change, which advocates negotiated changes through the lifting of the U.S. embargo and talks among Cubans inside and outside the island.

"The road is still going to be super difficult but our mere presence here . . . the fact that I am here and that this has happened . . . is progress in itself," Gutierrez Menoyo said. "Now our work multiplies."

He said that the meeting, which was joined by Foreign Minister Roberto Robaina and Secretary Felipe Perez Roque, was covered by a Granma reporter and photographer. It took place at the Palacio de Convenciones in Havana.
Gutierrez Menoyo had flown in from Miami to speak at a conference on democracy held last weekend. He shook hands with Castro at a cocktail for conference participants on Sunday night.

He said the encounter does not signify approval of Castro.

"To shake hands is a gesture, an ancient symbol," he said. "When adversaries used to shake hands, it meant they came unarmed and ready to talk peacefully, in a civilized way."

The ground for Sunday's meeting had been well prepared.

Castro met a daughter of Gutierrez Menoyo, Patricia, at a conference with more than 200 exiles in April 1994. She gave Castro a message from her father.

Gutierrez Menoyo's wife visited Cuba in March and met several senior Cuban officials, although not Castro.

Gutierrez Menoyo said Monday that he has met with other government and Communist Party officials.

He said he has not met with any of the better-known Cuban dissidents because of "little time to move around," although he added that his movements have in no way been restricted.

Gutierrez Menoyo said that during his stay in Cienfuegos he was visited at his hotel by "many (government) opponents and dissidents who went to greet me" from Cienfuegos and other provincial cities.



All content 1995 THE MIAMI HERALD
and may not be republished without permission.




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flordehinojos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-03-06 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #49
51. thanks for this post . (i think many of the miami cuban/americans were unhappy with menoyo and his
CAMBIO CUBANO) ...

but as you see, all of that, revolucion, fidel, exilio, cubanismo ... etc., is a part of my history that i have grieved and let go of so that my memory of any of that is all very fuzzyy, except for certain parts of it. also, after the way most of the cuban/americans in miami behaved during the elian gonzalez saga, my husband and i have not set foot in miami--not once, with one exception. (since we live in south florida we used to go there every now and then to buy pastelitos, or visit my rabidly right wing cousin who lives there, or ... but since that elian gonzalez saga, the one and only time we went back to miami was when janet reno had an open to the public BBQ at her parental home in kendall when she was hoping to become our florida governor...and sadly for us, mcbride was in cahoots with jeb bush to run against reno...and their chicanery (trickery) won).

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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-04-06 12:02 AM
Response to Reply #51
53. Cuba was invisible until Elian, and then the US woke up...
including me. I'm old enough to remember Eisenhower's sugar embargo and when JFK enacted the economic embargo, Cuba became invisible. But to think that these RW bastards would use a small traumatized boy in the name of freedom and democracy in their sick vendetta against Fidel and island infuriated me. It backfired--they revealed themselves for who they really are.

During that time, Menoyo wrote a great letter to the Miami New Times supporting Elian's return to his father that really moved me. I wrote to him through his website and he responded. I've been very interested in him since. He is IMO a true patriot and the only one with enough cojones to return to Cuba to effect change there in a non-violent way. When Fidel got sick he published a statement that was published on Progreso Weekly and many other outlets. As always, his writing is superb. Here's a link.

<clips>

In the face of the official announcement concerning the seriousness of Fidel Castro's health, I wish for his improvement and recuperation. As is well known, Fidel and I are diametrically separated by his concept of history and my vision of democracy, and consequently, we find ourselves at opposite ends of the political spectrum.

Despite that, enormously concerned about the situation in the country, it falls upon me as a loyal adversary to sheathe for the moment the saber of political struggle and rise above the wreckage, the miscalculations, and the differences that have distanced us from each other.

A civilized dialogue can bring solutions that are not achieved by the mere disappearance of an adversary. I have said, and today I repeat, that the participation of Fidel in the dialogue with the opposition would be very positive. It has been some time since Cuba demanded from all of us the exercise of reconciliation.

A new opportunity

On Monday night, an orderly succession headed by Raul Castro was officially announced. I wish good luck to the team headed by Raul. These events coincide with my third year on the island, to which I came for the purpose of initiating an oppositionist activism that would not be destabilizing. Like a voice that cries out in the wilderness, I remind the successor government that I came here asking for fundamental rights, but up to now the government has disregarded my requests or has preferred to postpone granting them.

The new occasion ushered in by the announced succession - whether temporary or permanent - should not be seen as a continuation of the status quo - this long and tiring drama we Cubans are living - but rather as an opportune moment to begin a gradual but speedy process of profound and daring changes aimed at fomenting the creation and enlargement of legal spaces for divergent opinions and activities.

http://www.cubacentral.com/todaysnewsdetail.cfm?ID=1716


CIP senior fellow Wayne Smith and Eloy Guitierrez Menoyo, former political prisoner in Cuba and head of the Miami-based advocacy group "Cambio Cubano"
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-03-06 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #49
52. Gutierrez Menoyo now lives in Cuba. After his move back to Cuba, the US won't let him visit the US.
Edited on Sun Dec-03-06 08:34 PM by Mika
According to the new BushCrimeInc dictate Mr. Gutierrez Menoyo has violated the rules regarding his length of stay in Cuba. He has reclaimed his right to live in Cuba as he is a Cuban citizen who never sought asylum in the US. In doing so he now is refused a US visa to visit his family in Miami, or do any speaking engagements in the US.

He has formed a new political party, Cambio Cubano/Cuban Change, (contrary to the ignorant belief that Cuba has only one political party) that works within the current electoral system in Cuba. He has not been persecuted in any way in Cuba. He has been soundly vilified by the hard line exiles in Miami.

Some info on his return to Cuba here..
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3133649.stm

On edit, I found this article..

Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo threatened by US for living in Cuba
http://havanajournal.com/politics/entry/eloy_gutierrez_menoyo_threatened_by_us_for_living_in_cuba/
Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo, a Cuban exile who returned in 2003, has been warned by the U.S. Treasury Department that he could be fined $250,000 or sent to prison for 10 years for staying in Cuba in violation of sanctions intended to isolate the government of Fidel Castro.

They dont understand: I am not a tourist in Cuba, I am an activist working to establish a legal space for an independent opposition, Gutierrez Menoyo said on Tuesday in an interview.

It is illogical. Im here seeking freedom and the United States comes and tells me I face a 10-year prison sentence, he complained.

-

U.S. authorities did not take lightly to Gutierrez Menoyos return to Cuba, and froze the bank account of his Miami-based political group.

In November 2004, the U.S. Treasurys Office of Foreign Assets Control, which enforces sanctions on Cuba, warned him in a letter that he could face prosecution for violating restrictions on travel to Cuba.

Gutierrez Menoyo, who made the letter public this week in protest, believes the Bush administrations policy of tightened sanctions is not helping the cause of democracy in Cuba.

Anti-Castro exiles in Miami reject Gutierrez Menoyos willingness to talk with the Cuban governmenthe was received by Castro in 1995rather than confront its one-party system, and suspect he may be a pawn.



___

http://www.polarisimages.com/Portfolios/Photographers/Sven_Creutzmann/


Saturday August 9, 2003, Havana, Havana, Cuba

Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo in front of building where he was imprisoned

Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo in front of the Havana skyline at the La Cabana fortress where he was imprisoned in the 70's. Menoyo, a rebel leader and Commander in the revolution of Fidel Castro, broke with Castro in the early 60's and left Cuba to live in Miami, where he was a co-founder of Alpha 66. In 1964 he returned to Cuba in a failed armed attempt to overthrow the Castro regime. He spent 22 years in prison and was released to Miami, where he founded the Cambio Cubano movement. Since 1995 he has travelled to Cuba to visit family members. This year's trip, he decided to stay in Cuba and fight from the inside for a democratic change.
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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-04-06 12:10 AM
Response to Reply #52
54. Wayne Smith Comments on Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo
Yes, Mika. Menoyo is light years beyond the others. I admire him and what he stands for. He is a 'when they made him, they threw the mold away' kind of individual. I've watched him with much interest since Elian and Juan Miguel graced our shores.

<clips>

Just when you think U.S. policy and actions toward Cuba cannot possibly get any dumber, they do. The actions the Treasury Department is threatening to take against Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo are truly mind-boggling. Here he is, a man who fought against Castro, was captured arms in hand and spent 22 years in prison. Released in the late 1980s, he went to Miami and formed an opposition group called Cuban Change (Cambio Cubano), but said all along that he did not want to be an "exile leader;" rather, he wanted to return to Cuba and lead Cambio Cubano from within the island, but as a group that would work within the law and be recognized by the government. In effect, a loyal opposition. Feeling that time was passing him by, a year and a half ago, after a visit to Cuba with his wife and children, he announced that he was not returning to the United States; rather, he would remain in Cuba indefinitely. This was a rather dangerous thing to do, given that he did not have any authorization from the Cuban government, which made it clear that it was unhappy with his decision. But remain he did, and the Cuban government tolerated it. He has not opened a Cambio Cubano office, but, as he puts it, "there's still time."

No one would ever say that Eloy does not have guts. He has demonstrated again that he has plenty, and he has eked out a certain amount of "opposition" space for his efforts.

Now, on the one hand, the U.S.Government says it supports oppositionists in Cuba. But one the other, it is now threatening to impose a huge monetary fine against Eloy and to send him to prison for ten years BECAUSE HE OVERSTAYED AND DID NOT COME BACK IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE NEW REGULATIONS. But if anything, Eloy's case simply points up again how foolish and
counterproductive the new regulations are. "No, sorry, sir," they seem to be saying," you can't stay and try to expand the parameters for legitimate opposition. You must return by the limits set by the new regulations! That's what's really important."

http://www.ciponline.org/cuba/cubainthenews/newsarticles/WSScomments/Eloy.htm


Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo, and his daughter Patricia Gutierrez, (Adalberto Roque/AFP/Getty Images)

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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-04-06 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #54
59. Good post, Say_What. More proof that the US gov and Miamicubano hard liners..
.. want to do the controlling of any 'transition' that takes place in Cuba, and they will undermine the Cuban domestic political movements no matter how absurd and contradictory to their stated mission it is. The aforementioned US based interests REALLY don't want Americans to understand that Cuba has active domestic political parties that cover the spectrum from rightwingnuts to radical left wingers. The legitimate (meaning: non US/foreign funded) domestic political movements/parties are free to function, and their candidates are free to run for government offices in all three levels of Cuba's parliamentary system.

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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-03-06 05:12 AM
Response to Reply #21
42. My aunt left in '60, and my grandparents in '62..
I hope that common sense prevails and we establish a respectful relationship with Cuba. I was there as a young child for a visit, but my father was born there.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 01:43 PM
Response to Original message
5. I heard someone on the BBC yesterday, who seemed to know what he was
Edited on Sat Dec-02-06 01:51 PM by Peace Patriot
talking about--very sensible sounding guy, didn't catch his name--who said that there are going to be economic reforms first, under Raul, preliminary to later loosening up on political freedom. He said Raul is an excellent administrator and will keep the country on a steady course, in the transition after Fidel's rule. It sure appears that Fidel is dying. I doubt he would have missed this celebration otherwise--the culmination of his career as a revolutionary hero. Possibly it was just the wise thing to do--give Raul the stage--because death is surely coming. (He has stomach cancer, as I understand it.) But I tend toward the former--he is not long to be with us (and was not able to attend, because he is too ill).

What a transition! For all of us, not just for Cuba. I fancy myself a pretty good leftist, yet it took me years--decades--to really appreciate Fidel Castro, and also Che Guevara. By appreciate, I don't mean approval of everything they did. I mean the ability to see past the propaganda of our war profiteering corporate news monopolies, and the rightwing cabal in Florida, to evaluate them as human beings and inspiring and courageous leaders, by my own criteria, on my own terms, and on their own terms, and on the terms of the people who have been inspired by them. I didn't suffer under the Batista regime. I didn't have fascist death squads in my neighborhood. I am not dirt poor and hopeless. The oppression and brutality that Cubans and other Latin Americans have suffered, at the hands of US-backed dictators, is mind-boggling, and I simply cannot condemn those who used violence to revolt against it, nor the "police state" measures that Castro has taken, with a giant like the US a few miles away, plotting assassination and war against him and against the Cuban people, and against every Latin American country that has tried to set up a just government. We have not known this kind of suffering here in the modern era--except for our black citizens. All the more remarkable that our black citizens are famous for having sought their rights and ended legal segregation by peaceful means rooted in the ML King/Gandhian philosophy. They were certainly equally provoked, but at least it was visible to all of us, after a certain point, whereas the suffering and inequity in Latin America has largely been invisible to us. We all grew up with a notion of Latin America as the landscape of "Banana Republics," with perhaps of tinge of thought that Latin Americans are inherently unstable. Well, that's what our Corporate Rulers wanted us to think. The truth is searing. The "land of the free, the home of the brave" is almost solely responsible for the instability and poverty of Latin America. Latin Americans have tried time and again to set up decent governments, only to have our assassins and torturers ally with their rightwing thugs, to destroy all decency.

Anyway, just wanted to say this. Fidel, you did your best. That's what I see now. And, in a way, it is Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales who got me to see this, in a more complete way. Why should Fidel Castro, and Castro's Cuba, be ostracized? Castro and Castro's Cuba are no worse, and, in many respects, are far better than our own corrupt and ill-intentioned government, especially the current one. And we, too, were born of a violent revolution, that we now consider the best of us and our history. We revere those violent men and their crazy, leftist ideas. We bless those who died--and who killed--for our liberties. And it is to them that we return for inspiration when our democracy is threatened, from without or from within. They are our heroes--George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Tom Paine, Paul Revere, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin--who instigated a bloody war on behalf of the future. In our case, for political liberty. In Cuba's case, the revolutionaries fought for economic equity. We got our political liberty without economic equity. They got economic equity without political liberty. What is the difference, really? Both were struggles for the highest good of the majority. It's just that Cuba's is a bit more recent. Were relations between the U.S. and Great Britain smooth going forty years after the American Revolution? That's about the time of second war with England (the war of 1812). It took time for our revolution to be accepted, and for its ideas to catch on around the world. It has taken time for Cuba's revolution to be accepted, even in Latin America--although now the rest of the world has normalized relations with Cuba. We are the only holdout--because we so wanted to dominate that island, and because our capitalist overlords so wanted to prevent any successful example of economic equity. Chavez and Morales could see it--it's common sense, from any other perspective except that of US bankers and corporate fascists--that there is no reason not to trade with Cuba, and not to benefit from what Cuba has to teach about economic equity. (Free medical education for doctors, for instance--what a good idea!--and of immediate benefit to Venezuela in several ways--trading oil for doctors). US policy on Cuba is crazed. It is driven by greed and hatred. But this bigotry toward the relatively mild communist dictatorship of Cuba is hard to shake, when you're born into it, and have it slithered into your brain 24/7, in school and in all public discourse. Truly, I did not 100% discard it until quite recently.

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

Viva la revolucin!


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gorbal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Good point
One of the sad things about the US is that it has not lived up to the standards that it sets for other countries. We were once the inspiration for the world, (and we will be again if I can help it.)
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #6
25. At what time was that?
The chest thumping might make one feel good, but please point out at what time was the US "once the inspiration for the world"?

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gorbal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-04-06 06:37 AM
Response to Reply #25
56. The Declaration of Independence anyone?
That is still read in countries everywhere when they are trying to make a point about freedom and repression.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-04-06 09:33 AM
Response to Reply #56
60. There was no repression at American hands at that time?
Independence from women's rights.
Independence from aboriginal rights.
Independence from slave's rights.


That document should be called 'The Declaration of Hypocrisy".
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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #5
12. Why should Fidel Castro, and Castro's Cuba, be ostracized?
Because Tio Sam couldn't afford another Cuba anywhere on the planet, but especially in LatAm--as Allende and others found out. You're right, what the USSA has done through it's propped up military dictators in the name of US interests is absolutely dispicable.

No matter what people wanna believe about Castro and Cuba, he will be forever known for kicking Tio Sam's ass out of Cuba and then facing down 10 US presidents. When the Third World looks to a hero, they see Fidel.



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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-03-06 05:35 AM
Response to Reply #5
45. Chavez and Morales are 21st century leftists--
--Castro (due in large part to the unfortunate circumstances you discuss) remained stuck in the 20th century. You know--the one where socialism was supposed to have a "scientific" approach to running society featuring top-down micromanagement of everything. There is a broad spectrum of leftist leaders in Latin America now, but what they have in common is that not a single one of them thinks they have all the answers. Let's hope that the US Southern Command never gets a chance to drive any of them down the road to hard-line rigidity as they did with Castro.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 02:24 PM
Response to Original message
7. Why is Fidel's brother gonna take over?
I did not realize that Cuba was a monarchy.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. The Cuban National Assembly voted the line of succession, as our Congress has
Of course, you already knew that, didn't you?
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #8
14. And his brother is most qualified because?
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Raul will reform Cuba like Deng Xia Ping did China
Edited on Sat Dec-02-06 03:34 PM by IndianaGreen
while at the same time remaining faithful to the humanistic goals of the Cuban revolution.

His qualifications come first and foremost from the fact that he was elected as successor by the elected representatives of the Cuban people. Raul's extensive resume stands on its own merits.

Miami Cubans often refer to Raul as a "faggot" (maricon). It figures that the worst thing they can say about Raul is by calling him maricon, which should be a clue to you and others as to how homophobic anti-Castro Cubans really are. They are also the worst kind of fundies. It was no accident that the combat patch of the Bay of Pigs invadors featured a white Christian cross on the background.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. I am convnced that the miami cubans are bad people
I am not convinced that a hereditory monarchy in Cuba is a good thing.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. If Bush-Clinton-Bush-Hillary Clinton is not a monarchy
I don't know what is. Cubans voted for the line of succession, just as our Congress voted for it!

What do you want, chaos?
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Note that the poster doesn't seem to want an answer.
My 2 cents to AA's question..

Since when have democratic elections resulted in the MOST qualified being elected, as has Mr. Raul Castro?

There are almost always more qualified individuals for any position in question than the elected representatives, but Mr. Raul Castro embodies the spirit of the revolution that the Cuban people continue to embrace.

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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. The "Amish" part of the screen name should have been a clue
I would have believed an angry Mennonite, for they don't shun technology.
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gorbal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-04-06 06:42 AM
Response to Reply #18
57. I hope the lobbyist's getting thrown out will help?
I think the difference between Republicans and Dems is that most Dems like that idea. I think they want to be better than they are.

In the spirit of this thread, here is an edit of "THe Motorcycle Diaries" set to Abba's "Fernando" that I found on Youtube-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPaekIGHo_4

I didn't make it but I just love watching scenes of Che in South America set to an Abba song.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-04-06 06:55 AM
Response to Reply #57
58. Very moving, gorbal. Too bad there aren't more serious people.


People need something important in their lives. Being rich as a lord doesn't do it.
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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 10:51 PM
Response to Reply #17
29. Being convinced that the MiamiGUSANO terrorists are *bad people*
doesn't take a Harvard degree. All one has to do is look at their history or fear, intimidation, murder, and bombing in Miami and elsewhere against anyone who dared go against the party line and it's a no-brainer.

Figuring out that the US government has lied about Cuba and Castro to it's citizens is also a no-brainer. The joke is on Joe Sixpack. The rest of the planet can go there and US citizens can't. Gotta make anyone with half a brain wonder why. :sarcasm:

<clips>

...1975 Luciano Nieves murdered after advocating peaceful coexistence with Cuba.

1975 Another bomb damages Replica's office.

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

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

1977 Juan Jos Peruyero murdered in internecine exile power struggles.

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

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

1979 Bomb explodes at Padron Cigars.

1980 Another bomb explodes at Padron Cigars.

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

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

1981 Replica's office again damaged by a bomb.

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/issues/2000-04-20/mullin.html



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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 02:28 PM
Response to Original message
9. Common sense in Washington??
There's always been much more common sense in Cuba. The island has made numerous attempts over the decades to resolve the differences, but the US pols always kowtowed to the MiamiGUSANOS for votes. Gutless POS.

It will be interesting to see what the Dem-controlled congress will do re the island. Will they suck up to the MiamiGUSANOS and their anti-Cuba agenda, or will they have the cojones to do the will of the American people and resolve the long standing dispute. Time will tell.



People march holding a sign that reads 'Imperialism could never crush Cuba' during a military parade along the Revolution Square in Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Dec .2, 2006. The ailing Fidel Castro did not show up to a huge military parade Saturday marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of Cuba's Revolutionary Armed Forces, fueling speculation about the severity of his condition and the possibility he may not return to power.(AP Photo/ Javier Galeano)



Cuba's acting president, Raul Castro, left, brother of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, talks with Bolivian President Evo Morales, Haitian President Rene Preval, and Nicaraguan President-elect Daniel Ortega during a military parade along the Revolution Square in Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Dec. 2, 2006. The ailing Fidel Castro did not show up to a huge military parade Saturday marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of Cuba's Revolutionary Armed Forces, fueling speculation about the severity of his condition and the possibility he may not return to power. (AP Photo/Javier Galeano)


People march while carrying Cuban flags and a photograph of Cuba's President Fidel Castro during a military parade in Havana's Revolution Square December 2, 2006. Tanks rolled through the streets and jets roared overhead on Saturday in Havana's first military parade in a decade, but ailing leader Fidel Castro did not appear at what had been viewed as a test of his political future. The writing around the photograph reads 'Congratulations on your 80 years'. REUTERS/Claudia Daut (CUBA)

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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. They will suck up to CANF on Cuba, as they do AIPAC on the Middle East
We have the best government that money can buy!
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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. CANF no longer has that kinda clout... the MiamiGUSANOS
are weakened considerably--not because of the Dems in congress, but because they're a dying breed and they exposed themselves for the worms they are. Fidel's favorite nephew, Lincoln Diaz-Balart (a nutcase if there ever was one), aluded to that in a news article I read just the other day. Besides plenty of Repukes want to trade with the island so it may turn out to be a bipartisn effort.

..."Our job will be tougher now," said U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., a champion of sanctions against Cuba. "The Cuban dictator is going to have strong allies in positions of power in Congress. But I am absolutely convinced that the cause of freedom in Cuba is going to prevail no matter what the efforts are to prolong the dictatorship."

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=102&topic_id=2636836&mesg_id=2636836

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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 03:40 PM
Response to Original message
16. Raul Castro: Cuba for Dialog Without Conditions with US
Cuba for Dialog Without Conditions with US

Havana, Dec 2 (Prensa Latina) Cuba s first Vice President Raul Castro reiterated to the US government on Saturday the willingness to resolve via dialogue the longstanding bilateral dispute as long as it is based on equality, reciprocity, non-interference and mutual respect.

Delivering his speech in front of the military parade to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Granma Yacht s landing and the Armed Forces, Raul demanded that Washington accept the island as an independent nation.

"If not," he stressed, "Cuba is ready to wait patiently until the moment when common sense prevails in Washington s power circles." The official pointed out that regardless of the US position the island will continue to consolidate its military strength based on the strategic concept of the War of All the People, planned 25 years ago and repeatedly proven throughout modern history, simply invincible.

He added that the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR), which is also celebrating its 50th anniversary today, will keep on improving the preparation and combative cohesion of the regular troops and their reserves, the Territorial Militia, the Production and Defense Brigades and other elements of the territorial defense corps.

"We will continue to prepare military operations as well as develop communications and modernize combat resources to adapt them in the case of an attack." Finally, after extolling 138 years of fighting represented by the Different FAR structures, Raul assured that the freedom of the Cuban people and the independence and sovereignty of the Homeland will be preserved at all costs.

Prensa Latina
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Jcrowley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 10:00 PM
Response to Original message
24. Top notch
thread everyone.

K&R



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xxqqqzme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-04-06 02:11 AM
Response to Reply #24
55. Heartily agree....quite
Edited on Mon Dec-04-06 02:15 AM by xxqqqzme
an education here in these posts. My grandparents were going to take me to Cuba during spring break, the year Fidel prevailed (they both loved Cuba). I have always been sorry I missed the trip. I hope one day I can visit the island. Anticipation has lingered over the years.
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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 10:39 PM
Response to Original message
27. Text of Raul's speech...
Edited on Sat Dec-02-06 10:39 PM by Say_What
From BBC News:

<clips>

...We are experiencing an exceptional moment in history.

Many thought that the demise of the socialist block and the collapse of the Soviet Union would spell the end for the international revolutionary movement.

Some even suggested that we abandon the ideals to which entire generations of Cubans had dedicated their lives, while over the last few years the US government, in the opportunistic manner characteristic of them, have stepped up their hostility and aggressiveness against Cuba to an unprecedented high, in the hope of economically suffocating the country and overthrowing the revolution by intensifying their subversive acts.

In this regard, the surprise and frustration of our enemies was great, and the admiration of the oppressed masses even greater, when they witnessed the perseverance, equanimity, maturity and self-confidence that our people have shown over these last four months.

...Three years and seven months after President Bush euphorically and precipitately declared on board an aircraft carrier "mission accomplished" with regards to the war in Iraq, the bodies of young American soldiers killed in a war spurred by the desire to control the region's energy resources continue to be sent back to the United States.

Nobody dares anymore to predict when it will end.

The US government is at a dead-end: on the one hand, it realises that it cannot prolong occupation in Iraq, while on the other it admits that it doesn't have the minimum conditions needed to pull out without damaging their interests.

Meanwhile, the number of deaths and mutilations continues to mount among civilians subjected to an internecine war, the result of the anarchy and chaos created by the US invasion.

Some in the United States are now suggesting that they simply withdraw from the chaos that they themselves created.

...We hope that the US authorities will learn that war is not the solution to the growing problems afflicting the planet; that proclaiming their right to irresponsibly attack "60 or more dark corners" of the world, even when they are already stuck in two of them, makes their differences with other countries more complex and profound; that power based on intimidation and terror will never be anything more than a passing illusion and that the terrible consequences of this on the peoples of the world, including the American, are clear to see.

We feel certain that the way to resolve the pressing conflicts afflicting mankind is not through war, but rather political solutions.

We take this opportunity to once again state that we are willing to resolve at the negotiating table the longstanding dispute between the United States and Cuba, of course, provided they accept, as we have previously said, our condition as a country that will not tolerate any blemishes on its independence, and as long as said resolution is based on the principles of equality, reciprocity, non-interference and mutual respect.

In the meantime, after almost half a century, we are willing to wait patiently until the moment when common sense prevails in the Washington power circles.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6202898.stm



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GreatPirateRoberts Donating Member (14 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. I hope
We're on the way to having this common sense back in DC. It would be nice to work with Cuba & others & learn how to solve problems rather than use the flag for a diaper & rah rah for every military uniform!
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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. What most people are unaware of is the fact that the Cubans
have always been willing to settle the differences between the two countries. It has always been the US that has refused out of fear of losing those few votes from south Florida. This is nothing new. Just like the companies that were nationalized after the Revolution--Cuba made payments to all the countries who had companies nationalized. The US was the only country that didn't accept. If you look in gwu ns archives, you'll find Kennedy was on the road to ending the embargo just before his assassination.

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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 11:18 PM
Response to Reply #27
31. Raul's analysis of the mess Bush has put us into is quite correct
I am sure that the Bush regime will fail to take advantage of Raul's overture for negotiations.

How ironic that the torture and other human rights violations in Cuba are all confined to the US Naval base at Guantanamo.
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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 11:30 PM
Response to Original message
33. Cubans speak of Fidel Castro
<clips>

...How has Fidel Castro influenced your life and your thinking?

Roberto Fernndez Retamar (Havana, 1930)
Doctorate in Philosophy and Letters at the University of Havana and Ph. D at La Sorbonne and London. Considered one of the main poets of his generation (National Prize of Poetry, 1951); his essays on the work and thinking of Jos Mart, among other subjects, places him as one of the most lucid Cuban essayists. Founder, with Hayde Santamara, of Casa de las Amricas where he is currently president.

It is not feasible to separate Fidel from the magnificent Revolution he has dreamt, made possible, driven and led. Therefore, I will say that Fidel has influenced my life and my thoughts more than any other living person. On January, 1959, when the Revolution triumphs, I was twenty eight; now I am seventy-six, which means that I have lived in its midst the greater part of my existence. But in 1959, I already had written three books of poetry and a couple of study books, I was teaching at the University of Havana and had taught at Yale, in the United States, besides having studied in Paris and visited other countries, from Mexico to Greece. Nevertheless, it is tremendous how my life and my thinking has changed since 1959, since Fidel. I felt the pride of being Cuban -- and by extension, Latin American and Caribbean. I became a journalist, a member of the militia, a diplomat, and a cultural animator. I learned the manual work done by the poor of the earth, and what I called the other side of the moon, I mean, of the country. My essays, which up to that moment had been limited to literary issues, blossomed into history and politics. I rediscovered Mart, proclaimed by Fidel as the mastermind of the Revolution. Regarding my poetry, undoubtedly it was also shaken to its roots by the winds of revolution. From then on my life and my thoughts were the same and also different.

...Eliades Acosta (Santiago de Cuba, 1959)

Graduate in Philosophy at the former Soviet Union, he is passionately dedicated to history and to writing brilliant essays. At present, he is the director of the Jos Mart National Library.

Fidel is a permanent presence and inspiration for my generation, the one that was born with the Revolution. We have grown, like all the Cuban people, with his image, his verb and his example. Cuba is another and better place since his entrance on our national history. He embodies the yearnings of all; the ancestral longing for justice, dignity, patriotism and rebelliousness that sustained Cubans in their struggle against Spanish colonialism for more than thirty years, and more recently against U.S. imperialism. A follower of Marts ideals, he has taught Cubans to face all challenges, deal with all obstacles, defeat all enemies and support all just causes. Fidel is all of us, and his ideas will be the inspiration and the banner that our grandchildren will raise in future battles.

more...

http://www.progresoweekly.com/index.php?progreso=German_Piniella&otherweek=1165039200

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NeoConsSuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-03-06 05:03 PM
Response to Original message
48. Ignore America, Raul
Latin American economies are growing by leaps and bounds. America's economy is swirling around the toilet, and will continue to do so.

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