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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 04:13 PM
Original message
Morales says Cuban doctors top U.S. medical aid

LA PAZ, Bolivia --President Evo Morales on Friday heeded the wishes of six visiting U.S. senators by acknowledging the positive effects of American aid in his country -- but added that Cuban doctors had had a greater impact on Bolivia than their U.S. counterparts.

A bipartisan delegation led by incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid met for over an hour with Morales on Thursday, and during what Reid described as a "long, intense conversation" the lawmakers asked the populist leader to better recognize U.S. aid for South America's poorest country.

But in a Friday interview with Bolivian radio network Fides, Morales said the assistance of Cuban leader Fidel Castro -- who has sent Bolivia some 1,700 doctors and paramedics this year alone, setting up free hospitals and eye clinics throughout Bolivia -- outshines the United States' own medical aid.

"Yesterday we were conversing with Democratic and Republican senators who visited the presidential palace from the United States," Morales said. "They told me that we should value their doctors. We do value the American doctors that are here in Bolivia. And they help us. But their impact is not as great as the opthamology centers" set up by Cuba.

The United States sent an estimated $145 million in total aid to Bolivia in 2006, with $17 million set aside for medical programs. Free clinics hosted by U.S. military doctors treated some 12,000 Bolivians this year, according to figures provided by the U.S. embassy in La Paz. /

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IndyOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 04:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. Reid should shut up. U.S. docs treat 12,000 vs. Cuban docs treat 2,000,000
Seriously. Harry Reid that the bipartisan group is begging for thanks from Bolivia for US docs having treated 12,000 patients while Cuban docs treating 2 million.

Besides - why is the U.S. sending military doctors? :wtf:

Harry: Hegemony OR Survival.

I pick survival.
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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #1
16. Hey, I'm all for a meds race -- rather than an arms race.
It's time for the U.S. to try to outcompete Cuba in the provision of medical resources. And just to keep the playing field level, the U.S. should lift its economic sanctions on Cuba for the duration of the competition -- which should last a couple of centuries or so. ;-)
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 04:51 PM
Response to Original message
2. Correction needed. Castro didn't send the Drs.
Edited on Fri Dec-29-06 04:51 PM by Mika
The Cuban Ministry of Health polls its membership (the medical Drs in Cuba) on any mission. That is how the Henry Reeves Brigade was formed. The Ministry of Health only (not Castro) offers to send volunteers to a country that requests assistance.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 08:05 PM
Response to Original message
3. The Bush Junta has given Colombia $1.5 billion in military aid (over several
years) to kill peasants and leftists. That's really all they care about. And they use that and any other kind of aid as bribes to obtain "free trade" (global corporate predation) deals for US multinationals. They punish countries that don't play their games. Oh, and they've spent multi-millions trying to overthrow the democratic government in Venezuela, and to prevent any real representatives of the people getting elected in Bolivia and Ecuador (they failed in all three cases), and in Peru (temporary success--interesting story*--but will be reversed, next election cycle--my prediction). Good for Evo Morales, speaking the truth!

It was Evo Morales who said: "The time of the people has come." And he was not kidding. Leftist (majorityist) governments have been elected in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, also in Nicaragua--with powerful new social movements in southern Mexico and Mexico City, and in Peru and Paraguay.

"The time of the people has come"--and our Democratic Senators had better know it. South America has had it with "free trade" and violent interference. These new leftist leaders are now engaged in talks on a South American "'Common Market" with its own currency (to get off the US dollar). That's what Bushite and past US policy has precipitated--a huge movement toward Latin American self-determination, and equity in trade. They've done the long hard work to establish TRANSPARENT elections and other democratic institution, by which to free themselves from US domination. And they are well on their way.

I shudder to think what our current crop of US Senators (with a few exceptions) might be up to in South America. It was Clinton, after all, who first inflicted them with NAFTA--and also World Bank/IMF policy. I don't trust our party leaders on this matter. But I have to say that it is gratifying to see some civility in US relations with these countries. And I love Evo Morales and his vice president for not wearing ties. (It's actually a concession that Morales wore any kind of jacket--he usually sticks to work shirts, cuz he says that's where he came from, the working class--why should he change and wear a ruling class suit?)


*(Leftist Ollanta Humala--a 100% indigenous, like Morales--came out of nowhere, this year, with no experience and no money, and won 30% of the vote in the preliminary race for president of Peru, knocking the rightwing candidate out of the race. The corporatists had to go with a corrupt sort of leftist (a corporatist), Alan Garcia. In the final election--after being endorsed by Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales)--Humala upped his vote by 15%, for a final vote of about 45%, but lost to Garcia. This was an amazing performance for a novice politician. Our corporate media played it as a loss to CHAVEZ (and a triumph for Bush)--due to Chavez's and Morales' "interference," but I believe that they completely misinterpreted the event. Chavez and Morales are revered by the indigenous population of the Andes, who have no particular care about colonial borders. They would view the Chavez/Morales endorsement as reason to get out the vote. That final 15% boost that Humala got was undoubtedly from them. In other words, Chavez/Morales' endorsement almost put Humala in office. And, of the two, it is likely that Morales' endorsement was the more important one--since he, too, is indigenous. (But our media of course played up the Chavez endorsement--in their obsession with dissing Chavez.) Alan Garcia immediately started making deals with the Bushites, which will no doubt impoverish many, and sell out Peru's economy to the multinationals, who will bring economic and social ruin, as they have done elsewhere in Latin America. Then the real leftists--Humala or someone else--will have to pick up the pieces and try to put Peru back together again. Luckily, they will have lots of help--from Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina and other countries, which are fast learning the benefits of economic and political cooperation.) (Note: And the trend in South America was recently confirmed by Rafael Correa's election in Ecuador, by a wide margin. Correa is a young leftist economist, and friends with Chavez and Morales. Peru is the outlier. Our corporate media entirely misunderstood--or deliberately twisted--these developments.)
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 08:07 PM
Response to Original message
4. Kicking, to be able to read again later!
:kick: :kick: :kick:
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Comadreja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 08:17 PM
Response to Original message
5. Why doesn't the US send the doctors here?
Americans could use some medical relief. We are among the least treated in the First and Second World.
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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Exactly what I thought when I read it... we have 46 million uninsured for keerist's sake n/t
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Or, why won't W allow Cuban doctors to serve poor areas here - for free?!?
In places where no doctors are willing to serve in any case now, so it wouldn't cut into anyone's profits.


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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. They offered more than once to send doctors after Katrina,,,
El Mono refused. He also refused help from Sweden and the Netherlands. What a POS.

Cuban President Fidel Castro addresses doctors who were standing by to leave for the U.S. to treat victims of Katrina
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 10:47 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Very true. Click the link in my prior post (#2), or here..
Edited on Fri Dec-29-06 10:49 PM by Mika
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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 11:24 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Heard a couple of good talk shows on: U.S. doctors are being trained in Cuba
this week. One was on KPFA's Bay Native Circle. I've always admired the fact that one of the poorest countries has given so much to their neighbors. Worth posting one of the articles here for those interested:


Many aspiring doctors are leaving the United States to receive free medical training in Cuba.

HAVANA - Lillian Holloway picked her way through the darkened streets of Havana, skirting a pile of discarded pork bones, an unfinished construction trench, and fresh dog dung, on her long journey back to Philadelphia.

Past faded colonial facades looming out of the night like so many old ghosts, she crossed to a building with a worn sign: Hospital Peditrico Docente del Cerro.

This children's hospital in a rundown section of Havana is Holloway's next step toward her own medical practice in Germantown or West Philadelphia. She is one of nearly 100 U.S. medical students enduring the hardships of life in communist-run Cuba for a free education and the hope of an eventual medical residency back home.

''This reminds me of North Philly. There's a lot going on,'' Holloway said, waving at bustling sidewalks illuminated by light spilling from once-grand buildings southeast of Old Havana, near the Latin American Baseball Stadium and the Plaza of the Revolution.
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Lipton64 Donating Member (140 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #11
18. Yeah, but let's not make a false image here.....
Edited on Sat Dec-30-06 10:39 PM by Lipton64
Many may go to Cuba for the free training but that's not something we should praise Castro for. More than likely it's a ploy to get more Westerners - including Americans to come and study on his island and thus bring in more tax revenue so the bastard can buy himself a new mansion while the other 99% of his people lumber and slave around all day living on a 3rd world salary.

I think these doctors probably acting more on their own vendetta than anything else to help those people in Bolivia. Castro doesn't give a fuck about poor Bolivians. If he did, he was free up several hundred million dollars worth of his estate and he would wire it down there to feed the poor coal miners and their families instead of just trying to make his commie ass look good.
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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-31-06 01:26 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. Can't you read?? The article says: CASTRO'S CREATION
Edited on Sun Dec-31-06 01:37 AM by Say_What


Fidel Castro created the Latin American School of Medical Sciences in 1999 to provide free medical training for Honduran, Nicaraguan, Haitian and Dominican Republic students after Hurricanes Mitch and George ravaged those countries.

Castro, who is widely believed to be terminally ill and who was too sick to attend his belated 80th birthday celebrations in Havana this month, made medical diplomacy a centerpiece of his regime. He dispatched Cuban doctors throughout the third world, and he soon expanded the free medical school offer to other Central American, South American, Caribbean and African countries. And in 2000, during a visit to Cuba by members of the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus, Castro offered free medical scholarships to U.S. students, too, if they agree to return to poor, underserved U.S. areas.

The first U.S. students arrived in the fall of 2001. They moved into the quarters of a former naval academy on the Cuban coast west of Havana, where there are 3,300 students from 29 countries.

They were expected to spend the next six years (compared to four in a U.S. medical school) enduring blackouts, water shortages, an endless diet of rice and beans, long lines for everything, little phone or Internet contact with the rest of the world, and long months between visits home. They had to know (or take a 12-week course to quickly learn) Spanish. For the first two years, they live in dormitories. They receive a monthly stipend of about $4.

BTW, wanna share with us some FACTS to back up your bullshit? The propaganda you're spewing is old--get creative for keerist's sake.

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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-31-06 01:46 AM
Response to Reply #18
23. An offer to train poor U.S. medical students
From Fidel Castro's speech to U.S. movement in 2000 in Harlem


...An offer to train poor U.S. medical students

At the moment there must be over 4,000 students from Latin America and the Caribbean studying medicine in Cuba, and that is a conservative estimate. Soon there will be 10,000. Our country has done this in spite of the blockade and at absolutely no cost to the students, who are provided with adequate food and living quarters, laboratory equipment, textbooks and clothing; and other costs are covered as well, such as transportation to and from the school. The invitation was opened to students from all over Latin America as a way to promote unity, brotherhood and cultural exchange.

I recently learned something that really amazed me. We were visited by some members of the Congressional Black Caucus and as I was telling a lawmaker from Mississippi about these programs he said: "Listen, there are a lot of places in my district where there isn't a single doctor." I said, "What! Ah, now I see: you are the Third World of the United States." And I said: "We are prepared to send you a few doctors free of charge, the same as we do for other countries of the Third World."

I suddenly realized the way things really are. You always hear about how wealthy the United States is, about its gross domestic product of over $8 trillion, and so on, and suddenly there I was talking to a respected member of the U.S. House of Representatives who said that there are not enough doctors in his district. That is why I said, "We can send doctors."

And remembering the schools I immediately added, "And there is something more: listen, we are prepared to grant a number of scholarships to poor youth in your district who cannot afford to pay the $200,000 it costs to get a university degree."

The member of the U.S. House of Representatives said to me that other minorities face the same situation and he told to me about the Chicanos, about the Indian reservations and about other parts of the country, and he meant not only to Latinos and immigrants but also to people born in the United States.

I can say here that we are prepared to accept 250 students a year from the United States' Third World. They will learn Spanish as well, and they will get to know young people from all over the hemisphere to whom they will teach all they know about America and its culture and the others will teach them about theirs. I already said a figure, 250 scholarships per year, but for the first pre-med course beginning in March we could offer 500 to include other minorities. We would not choose the candidates, they would be selected by the members of Congress who want to help poor young people in their districts to study medicine, and these young people would commit themselves to go back home after they graduate as doctors.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 08:21 AM
Response to Reply #8
13. That was really sad. Those people were ready to come to help.
They could have done so much good. Bush completely blew them off, and citizens in New Orleans continued to suffer.

It's downright evil playing political games when people are in deep distress who should be helped.

Roberto Leon / NBC News
Although it is unlikely they will be going anywhere,Havana
doctors Luis Sauchay and Delvis Marta Fernandez prepare
their knapsacks of emergency medical supplies for Katrina

Katrina aid from Cuba? No thanks, says U.S.
America welcomes foreign help, except from an old Cold War foe

By Mary Murray
NBC News
Updated: 7:38 a.m. CT Sept 14, 2005

Mary Murray

HAVANA Dr. Luis Sauchay is the kind of hands-on physician you want in an emergency.

Though relatively young at 34, Sauchay has chalked up more than a decade of practicing hardship medicine.

Right out of medical school, he spent two years on the high seas, the only doctor for hundreds of fishermen aboard an industrial vessel.

During two other years, he cared for the sick and forgotten in an understaffed African clinic, treating countless cases of tuberculosis and cholera.

For the last five years, he has been the local family doctor for 200 working-class families in Havanas Prraga neighborhood.
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roody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 11:24 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Bush would accept their help with a hanging.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 06:41 AM
Response to Original message
12. Castro urged ballots, not guns, for Bolivia's populist revolution, Morales says
Castro urged ballots, not guns, for Bolivia's populist revolution, Morales says
The Associated Press
Published: December 29, 2006

LA PAZ, Bolivia: President Evo Morales said Friday that his close ally Fidel Castro advised him to shun arms for his populist cause and to instead change Bolivia through a democratic revolution similar to that led by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

The Cuban president, who once tried to spread armed revolt throughout South America, "never told me that you have to take up arms, never," Morales said in an interview Friday with Bolivian radio network Fides.

"At the beginning of 2003, when I was invited to a big conference in Cuba, he said, 'Don't do what I did; don't have an armed uprising,'" Morales recalled. "'Lead a democratic revolution, like Chavez's, with a constitutional assembly.'"

Morales is trying to use an assembly to rewrite Bolivia's constitution, giving more power to its long-downtrodden Indian majority, following the example of Chavez, who presided over a 1999 redrafting of the constitution that lengthened presidential terms and allowed presidents a second consecutive term.
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David__77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Hopefully guns won't ultimately be required.
But if there is a coup, the people must be prepared to defend the new power they have. There must be no more Indonesia 1965 or Chile 1973's.
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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. Fidel's 1999 Speech at the Abssynian Baptist Church in Harlem
he spoke about change in the world and said:

...Now powerful mass movements are being created. They'll use different tactics, not Bolshivik tactics, or even our tactics, because the world has changed. The era when weapons solved problems is ending. A new period is beginning in which the people's political conscience, historical needs and ideas will change the world.

He is light years beyond anyone in this country.

Folks can listen/watch at this link. Move the slider to 19:05

Latin America has changed tremendously since he made this speech--powerful mass movements, people's political conscience, etc. All true today in LatAm as the article confirms.

Interesting that Fidel did not agree with Morales nationalizing petroleum, but his is the wisdom and perspective of his own experience in his own country.

So good to read that the GUSANO is not wanted by Cuba or the USSA. :7

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Lipton64 Donating Member (140 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 10:43 PM
Response to Reply #12
19. Right....
Maybe you should tell that to all the people he's ordered shot in his dungeons.
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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-31-06 01:29 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. Facts please, we've heard enough fantasy.
You listen to way too much Radio Mambi. :rofl:

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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-31-06 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. Facts? Ha. Fantasy is more replete with horrors.
Sometimes people don't want to be awoken from their dreams.

The truth doesn't comply with the fantasy.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-31-06 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #19
25. Shot in the dungeons, you say! I'll bet that's gotta hurt.
I think you may actually be thinking of the "Buro de Represion Actividades Comunistas," which conducted business in Cuba during BATISTA'S time!
In 1956 the Agency also helped in the establishment of Buro de Represion Actividades Comunistas (BRAC), the police force of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. BRAC became famous for its brutal methods of torture.

or this vignette, from former CIA agent, Phillip Agee:
Warren Hinkle and William Turner, in The Fish is Red, easily the best book on the CIA's war against Cuba during the first 20 years of the revolution, tell the story of the CIA's efforts to save the life of one of their Batista Cubans. It was March 1959, less than three months after the revolutionary movement triumphed. The Deputy Chief of the CIA's main Batista secret police force had been captured, tried and condemned to a firing squad. The Agency had set up the unit in 1956 and called it the Bureau for the Repression of Communist Activities or BRAC for its initials in Spanish. With CIA training, equipment and money it became arguably the worst of Batista's torture and murder organizations, spreading its terror across the whole of the political opposition, not just the communists.

The Deputy Chief of BRAC, one Jose Castano Quevedo, had been trained in the United States and was the BRAC liaison man with the CIA Station in the U.S. Embassy. On learning of his sentence, the Agency Chief of Station sent a journalist collaborator named Andrew St. George to Che Guevara, then in charge of the revolutionary tribunals, to plead for Castano's life. After hearing out St. George for much of a day, Che told him to tell the CIA chief that Castano was going to die, if not because he was an executioner of Batista, then because he was an agent of the CIA. St. George headed from Che's headquarters in the Cabana fortress to the seaside U.S. Embassy on the Malecon to deliver the message. On hearing Che's words the CIA Chief responded solemnly, "This is a declaration of war." Indeed, the CIA lost many more of its Cuban agents during those early days and in the unconventional war years that followed.

Today when I drive out 31st avenue on the way to the airport, just before turning left at the Marianao military hospital, I pass on the left a large, multi-story white police station that occupies an entire city block. The style looks like 1920's fake castle, resulting in a kind of giant White Castle hamburger joint. High walls surround the building on the side streets, and on top of the walls at the corners are guard posts, now unoccupied, like those overlooking workout yards in prisons. Next door, separated from the castle by 110th street, is a fairly large two-story green house with barred windows and other security protection. I don't know its use today, but before it was the dreaded BRAC Headquarters, one of the CIA's more infamous legacies in Cuba.

The same month as the BRAC Deputy was executed, President Eisenhower, on the 10th of March 1959, presided over a meeting of his National Security Council at which they discussed how to replace the government in Cuba. It was the beginning of a continuous policy of regime change that every administration since Eisenhower has continued.

As I read of the arrests of the 75 dissidents, 44 years to the month after the BRAC Deputy's execution, and saw the U.S. government's outrage over their trials and sentences, one phrase from Washington came to mind that united American reactions in 1959 with events in 2003: "Hey! Those are OUR GUYS the bastards are screwing!"
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-31-06 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #19
26. The dungeons in Cuba are run by the US - in Gitmo.
A.I. and H.R.W. have plenty to say about the US dungeons there.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-31-06 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Isn't that SICK? If we heard of other countries running prisons off their own shores
Edited on Sun Dec-31-06 03:35 PM by Judi Lynn
in order to escape legal responsibility for what they did to the prisoners, we would HAVE to despise them as bullies.

Republicans ALWAYS find a way to circumvent the law, don't they? Yet they are the only ones claiming to be the real "law and order" people. Jesus H. Christ. They would make a maggot gag.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-31-06 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. They use simple con-man tactics.
Look over there :eyes: .. anywhere.. but not at what we're doing. :yoiks:

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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 05:50 PM
Response to Original message
15. Throw the US military out along with any pols that advocate for it.
Accept & nurture civilian medical aid (eg. Cuban). Viva Morales! Viva Chavez!
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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-31-06 01:32 AM
Response to Original message
22. Ailing Castro salutes Cubans on revolution anniversary

Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro saluted Cubans on Saturday in a text released on the eve of the revolution's 48th anniversary, thanking them for their support during his illness and telling them he had not lost his battle to recover.

Castro traditionally sends a message broadcast by state television and radio to Cuban citizens every New Year's Eve to mark the anniversary of the Jan. 1, 1959, triumph of the revolution that brought him to power.

"I am grateful to you for your affection and support," read the message.

"Regarding my recovery, I have always warned that it could be a prolonged process but it is far from being a lost battle. I collaborate as a disciplined patient, attended by the consecrated team of our doctors.

"I have not stopped being in the loop on main events and information," he added.

"I have had exchanges with our closest comrades always when co-operation has been necessary on vitally important issues."

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