Cuba

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Caissa
Cuba

A day after Cuban media revealed that a Communist Party summit had approved sweeping economic changes and elected a new leadership -- without saying what the changes were or who is now in charge -- Cubans hoped to get details in a closing speech by President Raul Castro on Tuesday.

With Raul widely expected to take over from his brother Fidel as the party's first secretary, all eyes will be on the selection of his new No. 2, which could signal a possible favored successor.

Delegates approved about 300 economic proposals in an unanimous vote Monday - including a measure that apparently recommends the legalization the buying and selling of private property.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2011/04/19/cuba-communist-congress-ra...

1springgarden

Yeah, I've been listening to Radio Habana Cuba on 6000khz shortwave the last few evenings.  Special coverage of the Cuban Communist Party Congress.

Caissa

Raul Castro was named first secretary of Cuba's Communist Party on Tuesday, with his aging brother Fidel not included in the leadership for the first time since the party's creation 46 years ago.

Despite raising hopes during the gathering that a new generation of leaders was poised to take up important positions, the island's president announced that Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, an 80-year-old longtime confidante, would be his No. 2.

Ramiro Valdes, a 78-year-old vice president, was named to the No. 3 spot. Several younger politicians were added to the 15-member core leadership group, but in lesser positions.

Fidel Castro made a surprise appearance at the gathering, receiving thunderous applause from the 1,000 delegates assembled in a vast convention centre in the capital, Havana.

Many could be seen crying as the man who led the 1959 revolution to overthrow dictator Fulgencio Batista was helped to his place on stage by a young aide, then stood at attention next to his brother during the playing of Cuba's national anthem.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2011/04/19/cuba-communist-congress-ra...

RDP

How it was/is in Cuba.

( Link deleted by moderator )

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

The subtitle of that site should be the Jenghiz Khan fan club.

Then again, though illiterate, the great Khan did manage to promote learning in some ways. Apologies to Jenghiz Khan.

NDPP

Hey RDP, Congratulations, Jamie Glazov is perfect for the new Babble.

I rather like  'Inside every liberal is a totalitarian screaming to get out!' but probably not for the same reasons he does.

I also don't much agree with him that Rachel Corrie was 'a poster child for the leftist pursuit of martyrdom. Like her ISM colleagues she was knowingly abetting terrorism.'

But given the new receptivity hereabouts to rightist causes and imperial propaganda, perhaps Jamie G's Zio/Nazi views will be too..

RDP

How about the stat?  Roughly 20% of the population has wanted to and managed to escape.  Why?

NDPP

How about the stat? Think it's true? Have you checked? Do you not think a comprehensive, barbaric and punishing US siege/embargo of 50 years duration might have something to do with it? Think there might not be people inside that great shining prison on the hill Amerikkka whose conditions are as bad or worse?

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Front Page Mag, really? What next, articles linked to Stormfront?

NDPP

But I've probably also seen as bad or worse in the NY Times, the Globe or CBC...

lagatta

Frankly, people linking to fascist rags - unacceptable on progressive sites. Flagged.

Unionist

Why are you people engaging this troll? He's already shit over the Chavez memorial thread. I'm breaking my silence about him only to strongly suggest that you ignore his shit. Just flag his posts if you can't manage to just skip over them.

RDP

I've been there.  I know it is true.  Ask a Cuban in Cuba what they think of Castro and they will walk away.  They fear the consequences.  If a people will risk a 90 mile journey on the open sea that means they are not free to leave.  Why are they not free to leave?  If a mortal enemy allows the other to host a military base on their territory that means they need the money desparately.  Talk to Cubans in Miami who lived under Castro until they escaped.  All the stories sound the same.  Which way do the refugees flow?  It isn't in to Cuba.  Watch with way the refugees go.  That tells you all you need to know.

RDP

The embargo?  US does not trade with Cuba.  That leaves about 195 other countries Cuba can trade with; like Canada.  

lagatta

I have flagged it. In no way am I engaging the rightwing troll - I simply don't want serious discussions destroyed by wreckers. Now I hope we can continue to discuss Cuba: its achievements and its flaws, and what the ongoing changes mean for the lives of Cuban people.

KenS

The embargo hampered Cuba's ability to make deals with everybody in the world. The tourist industry flourished in part because the emabargo made little difference to its expansion in Cuba.

Babblers are not going to be overjoyed when they see the kind of deals the new Cuba cuts with global corporations. But there will now be more of them, and they will translate into more degrees of freedom for everyone in Cuba.

Not equally, or course. And not without even more of the socio-cultural decay that goes with that...

oldgoat

RDP wrote:

How it was/is in Cuba.

( Link deleted by moderator )

RDP we have a policy about linking to crap like that.

 

Sineed

I went to Cuba for Christmas and just returned yesterday. Cuba has an excellent medical system with health care available to everybody, but they have trouble getting pharmaceuticals. This was my first trip to Cuba, but in the past I have sent AIDS drugs and antibiotics with friends, who liased with the Canadian consulate there to arrange delivery, and my friends report that these medications were desperately needed and enthusiastically received. This trip was kind of last minute for me and I didn't have time to do much but I did take some children's Tylenol, ibuprofen, and vitamins.

According to Cubans, Cuba has trouble getting parts for aging machinery and all sorts of goods because of the both embargo and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Though one of the unintended consequences of the embargo is a lack of pesticides and fertilizers, so all their farming is organic. When we went off the resort and ate at a Cuban place, chickens running around underfoot, the food was simple but delicious, just grilled meats and fresh salads and the ubiquitous tostones, those fried plantain disks that they serve with everything. When the embargo ends, I'm sure we'll see the invasion of American fast food and all the attendant obesity, type II diabetes, etc.

The end of the embargo will be good for Cuba economically, but I wouldn't presume how much Cuba will let itself be overrun by American cultural and economic influences. Like us, they are a mouse next to an elephant, but the 90 km of ocean between them and the US may help keep some aspects of the American juggernaught at bay.

 

RDP

"Cuba has an excellent medical system"  I disagree strongly with this.  I would agree that they have many well trained doctors but part of an excellent medical system is equipment and supplies.  You need wealth to buy these things.  How many CAT scans, x-ray machines, ultrasound, MRI machines, etc. do they have.  I would bet the number is woefully low.  Their system is horrendously poor at generating wealth.  Wealth is an essential component to an excellent medical system.

But good on you for the charity.

Sineed

RDP wrote:
Wealth is an essential component to an excellent medical system.

I feel that prevention is key, such as a healthy diet to support continued good health. Cubans eat healthy organic foods. Like this:

Quote:
Cuban Black Beans and Rice recipe - Moros y Cristianos

Rice Ingredients:

 

1 cup long grain rice
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil

 

Beans Ingredients:

1 pound dried black beans
4 cups of water
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
¼ pound salt pork, chopped
1 pound smoked ham hocks, cut in 1 inch pieces
2 teaspoons paprika
3 teaspoons ground cumin
2 bay leaves
4 cups chicken stock
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Place black beans and water in large stock pot. Cover and boil two minutes. Turn off heat and let stand covered for 1 hour.

Remove the lid and add the rest of the ingredients, except for the vinegar, salt and pepper. There should be enough water to just cover the beans, so if necessary add a bit of water. Cover and simmer until the beans are tender, about 2 hours.

About 30 minutes before the beans are done, get started on your rice. Add the two cups of water, olive oil and salt to a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add the rice, stir, and cover the saucepan. Reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 20 minutes, without removing the lid.

As the rice is cooking, return to the pot with the beans. Take the ham hocks out of the beans, and remove the bones. Return the meat back to the pot. Add the tablespoon of vinegar, plus salt and pepper to taste. Let the beans continue to simmer.

When the rice has finished cooking for 20 minutes, remove the saucepan from heat, and fluff the rice with a fork. Serve the rice in a bowl or on a plate, and spoon the black bean mix over the rice.  It's perfectly fine if the beans have a "soupy" consistency. Serves 8.

http://www.tasteofcuba.com/morosycristianos.html

I'm thinking of making that tomorrow, but using a slow cooker.

Doug Woodard

RDP wrote:

"Cuba has an excellent medical system"  I disagree strongly with this.  I would agree that they have many well trained doctors but part of an excellent medical system is equipment and supplies.  You need wealth to buy these things.  How many CAT scans, x-ray machines, ultrasound, MRI machines, etc. do they have.  I would bet the number is woefully low.  Their system is horrendously poor at generating wealth.  Wealth is an essential component to an excellent medical system.

Wealth can be useful, but systems are best judged by their results.

The *health* result of Cuban health care plus the rest of Cuban society is relatively good.

Cuba has a slightly lower rate of infant mortality than the U.S. Its life expectancy is about half a year less than that of the U.S. This is accomplished with a percentage of GDP spent on health care, about half that of the U.S., with a GDP per capita a small fraction of that of the U.S. Canada is a little ahead of Cuba on health results but with an enormously greater expenditure on resources.

I despise the Communist Party of Cuba and the Cuban economic system, but it's hard to criticise Cuba on health. Maybe they have things we should copy.

 

lagatta

Yes, while technology is helpful (one thing I've learnt about was how medical imaging can sometimes replace painful and always somewhat risky biopsies of internal organs) it is rather fetishized in capitalist medicine, at least in North America and doubtless elsewhere. Here in Montréal we have the huge superhospitals boondoggle... One of the main factors in health, other than clean water and air, etc, is relative social equality. Yes, there is a post-Stalinist bureaucracy with material privileges, but it is nothing like the wealth differential in other societies (think of not only the US, but Brazil).

Being a socialist, I wouldn't quite say that I despise the Cuban economic system; it is more a question of democracy; political democracy and the ensuing economic democracy aka "socialism from below".

Another Cuban success is the educational system; there again, making it more open and interactive requires real Internet access. Remember that Cuba is not only close to the US, but also to many Spanish-speaking countries in North, Central and South America.

While poverty is no virtue (and it fuels bureaucracy) I think Cuba does deserve praise for the way it fought back and overcame the dire hardships of the so-called "special period"; the island now produces a much greater variety of food for its people, not just the monocultures of sugar and tobacco.

I hope that Cuba can move ahead in terms of democratization and in terms of cooperation and exchanges with its Latin-American neighbours above all.

Rikardo

Interesting opinions I, like RDP, have been to Cuba, six times starting in the 70s. I have friends in Havana, one of whose daughter and family moved to Canada 8 years ago. No rafting, just a lot of red tape and waiting. Sure 20% might want to leave, join families in Miami. That would be 40-50% in many Third World countries.

Maybe I don't entirely like their system but its THEIR system. They (not just Fidel-whom most French intellectuals particuly hate) built their system on their island with its own history (USA,Spain)
As Jose Marti said: Our wine is bitter but its our wine"

And I know Cubans who don't turn away if you talk about Fidel but are proud of their life and their country

Here in Quebec, le Devoir will publish anything bad it can find on Cuba (usually from Agence France Press where almost all their foreign news comes from (Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela)

quizzical

RDP wrote:
I've been there.  I know it is true.  Ask a Cuban in Cuba what they think of Castro and they will walk away.  They fear the consequences.  If a people will risk a 90 mile journey on the open sea that means they are not free to leave.  Why are they not free to leave?  If a mortal enemy allows the other to host a military base on their territory that means they need the money desparately.  Talk to Cubans in Miami who lived under Castro until they escaped.  All the stories sound the same.  Which way do the refugees flow?  It isn't in to Cuba.  Watch with way the refugees go.  That tells you all you need to know.

does the USA pay Cuba rental? i thought they remained in control of the southern half of Cuba because they won all of Cuba in the spanish american war but cubans refused to allow them control?

sherpa-finn

Does the US pay rent for Guantanamo? - Well, they issue cheques, but the Cuban Gov't has not been cashing them for 50+ years as they do not accept the terms of the 1903 Treaty. 

According to Wikipedia: "Guantanamo Bay Naval Base (also called GTMO and pronounced gitmo by the US Military personnel stationed there[1]) is located on 45 square miles (120 km2) of land and water at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, which the United States leased for use as a coaling and naval station in the Cuban–American Treaty of 1903 (for $2,000 until 1934, for $4,085 since 1938 until now). .... In 1903, Cuba signed a treaty that leased Guantanamo Bay to the United States for use as a Naval Station, with the understanding that this would reduce the military footprint of the U.S. on the island. One rent check was cashed after the Cuban Revolution, but the Government of Cuba has declined to negotiate or return all subsequent checks."

ETA: And the treaty that ended the Spanish American War guaranteed Cuban independence almost immediately, while only ceding control of other Spanish territories (Guam, Puerto Rico, Philippines) from Spain over to the US.

Bacchus

Correct, at that time th cubans actually wanted the US in control

Rikardo

I hope RDP will read my posting and refute it.

Unionist

Rikardo wrote:
I hope RDP will read my posting and refute it.

Why? Why can't we have a conversation among friends of Cuba as to which direction it's heading, what dangers it may face? Why would we want to turn this place into a forum where hardened right-wing enemies of socialism get to set the framework for discussion?

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Socialism Will Continue in Cuba

At the Closing Ceremony of the recently held National People's Power Assembly, Cuban President Raul Castro summed up things for the ending of 2014. The piece is from Canadian Dimension.

DaveW

frankly, this is old GrandDad saying why nothing will ever change for the family business... because uh, well, it won't

bookmark this thread:

the post-Castro(s) Cuba will likely feature younger, Internet-savvy nationalists, including perhaps Castro granddaughter who seems with-it to some degree;

but Soviet-era vocab like the above will be OUT

 

 

NDPP

Rapprochement Between the US and Cuba and Sanctions Against Venezuela

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/01/02/approchement-between-the-united-s...

"The Obama administration's move to normalize relations with Cuba while a welcome change of course,can be seen as a modification in tactics to advance the neoliberal agenda as far as possible in Havana while ending a policy that only serves to further erode US influence in the region.

Obama's grand executive gesture towards Cuba is immediately related to the context of Washington's continuing antagonism towards Chavismo..."

Rikardo

To Unionist. I could be called a "friend of Cuba" I talked a few days ago with someone from France, who lives now in Guadeloupe who said he would never visit Cuba as long as a "Castro" is in power. I told him how many times I'd been there and about my friends there, then he called the Castros "criminals" (to be taken to the Hagua ICC?)
For much of the Western "Left" the Hagua-ICC has become the "Final Judgement", or will be someday. Judicial black or white solutions for grey political problems.

Unionist

Rikardo wrote:
I talked a few days ago with someone from France, who lives now in Guadeloupe who said he would never visit Cuba as long as a "Castro" is in power.

He's much more principled than the rest of us. I take my hat off to him. And good luck finding a country where criminals are not in power. Meantime, this great principled individual has no difficulty sitting in a French colony. Perhaps he should check himself into an institution for the rehabilitation of those who don't understand what the word "criminal" means.

Quote:
For much of the Western "Left" the Hagua-ICC has become the "Final Judgement", or will be someday.

I think you are seriously mistaken. When the ICC issues arrest warrants for Obama, Harper, Tony Blair, Vladimir Putin and their ilk, I will stand up and take notice. Until then, it's a toothless opportunistic tool of the great powers. The fact that the U.S. and Israel refuse to join is simply a sign that they are such monstrous criminals that they can't afford oversight by anyone, even the most toothless.

Of course, if you have some source references from the Western "Left" praising the ICC as the Final Judgement, I'll review those and comment further.

ETA: I assume your contact in Guadeloupe speaks French? Maybe he doesn't know how the land where he is sitting was stolen by his lovely host country and how the inhabitants were slaughtered. Please tell him Unionist wanted him to read this:

Quote:

L'extermination du peuple Caraïbe :

 

De l’Olive, devenu seul gouverneur de l’île, commence alors une guerre d'extermination acharnée contre les indiens Caraïbes.

Le 26 janvier 1636 L'Olive déclare la guerre aux indiens, guerre qui durera jusqu’en 1639. 

Elle se soldera par l'éradication presque complète des indigènes, exterminés par les guerres, les épidémies, l'alcool.

De l'Olive s’installe à la place d’un village Caraïbe où il fait construire le Fort Royal (actuel Vieux Fort) pouvant ainsi surveiller une grande partie de la côte.

12 décembre 1637 : L'Olive est de nouveau confirmé comme gouverneur de la Guadeloupe par Richelieu .

En 1641, après plusieurs années de guerres et massacres perpétrés par les colons, grâce à l'action d'Aubert, gouverneur de la Guadeloupe, un traité de paix fut conclut entre les derniers indiens caraïbes survivants de la Guadeloupe et les Français. 

Par ce traité, les indiens acceptent de quitter définitivement l'île afin de rejoindre la Dominique.

 

Rikardo

I really appreciate your reply Unionist. I'm in a WiFi resto in Pointe-a-Pitre and you're right about the Amerindians here. Autre temps, autre moeurs. Maybe "The Endtimes of Human Rights" by S Hopgood has influenced me but also the rantings of Isaia (sp?) and this obsession of some Judeo-Christians with JUDGEMENT.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Fidel Castro Ruz wrote:
I do not trust the policy of the United States, nor have I exchanged one word with them, though this does not in any way signify a rejection of a peaceful solution to conflicts or threats of war. Defending peace is the duty of all. Any negotiated, peaceful solution to the problems between the United States and peoples, or any people of Latin America, which does not imply force or the use of force, must be addressed in accordance with international principles and norms.

Dear compañeros

Unionist

I thought this was an excellent op-ed, showing how Canada's policy towards Cuba is retreating from its historic (relative) opposition to that of the U.S. Pleasantly surprised to see it in the G&M.

Where is Canada’s backbone in standing up to the U.S. on Cuba?

 

NDPP

Yes, I read it and thought the same. Glad you posted it too as it saved me the trouble. 

Sean in Ottawa

Unionist wrote:

I thought this was an excellent op-ed, showing how Canada's policy towards Cuba is retreating from its historic (relative) opposition to that of the U.S. Pleasantly surprised to see it in the G&M.

Where is Canada’s backbone in standing up to the U.S. on Cuba?

 

Canada really is not prepared to show any backbone now. It is probably true that Canada realizes that it cannot stand up to Trump and will just hope he loses next year. I don't know what plan exists if he wins.

Of course Trump will likely get along with Scheer who wil offer to shine his shoes.

NDPP

Boneheads yes. Backbones no.

swallow swallow's picture

Since the Trudeau-Freeland foreign policy is to wave a "rules-based" flag and shout a lot about how Canada is "back," but in reality just carry out servility to US foreign policy, it is hardly shocking. Depressing, but not shocking. 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

swallow wrote:

Since the Trudeau-Freeland foreign policy is to wave a "rules-based" flag and shout a lot about how Canada is "back," but in reality just carry out servility to US foreign policy, it is hardly shocking. Depressing, but not shocking. 

The new millennium's Ready Aye Ready.

Trump is irrelevant. The Canadian government has not had an independent foreign policy since 911, priot to that we at least tried to pretend we could be a "middle power". Our political and business and military elites are all Quisling collaborators allowing the US moguls to determine our collective futures.

NDPP

Crushing US Sanctions Force Cuba To Ration Basic Foods

https://twitter.com/MaxBlumenthal/status/1127470626070040576

"Sanctions are not only politically ineffectual, they are a form of economic terrorism collectively punishing average people for living in nations that won't bow to the Washington consensus."

 

Engler: Canada's Next Target After Venezuela - Cuba?

https://yvesengler.com/2019/03/17/canadas-next-target-after-venezuela-cu...

"While much is made of Ottawa's seemingly cordial relations with Havana, the reality is more complicated than often presented, as I detail here. Most significantly, Canada has repeatedly aligned with US fear-mongering about the 'Cuban menace' in the region."

As Engler also documents in a later piece on Venezuela, Canada has taken the lead in pushing Cuba to stop its support for Maduro.  Both Trudeau and Freeland are actively engaged in arm-twisting Cuba on America's behalf according to Engler. These are issues which people should be raising with all political candidates.

Pondering

It's a cop out to suggest we can't "stand up to Trump" for fear of what he will do to us. True he could hit us hard on trade but that would also do significant damage to the US because we are their largest export market. We also have power to wield. We can refuse to honor US drug patents. We are much better off with positive relations with the US but if Trump has taught us anything it really doesn't matter if we are friends or not. The US will do whatever benefits it the most without any regard for Canada. The only Americans that care seriously enough to act are the ones whose businesses are negatively impacted. 

swallow swallow's picture

Cuba gay rights activists arrested at pride march in Havana

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-48242255

JKR

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Trump is irrelevant. The Canadian government has not had an independent foreign policy since 911, priot to that we at least tried to pretend we could be a "middle power". Our political and business and military elites are all Quisling collaborators allowing the US moguls to determine our collective futures.

I think the Obama Administration’s policies on Cuba were very beneficial to all concerned. I’m sure most Cubans are praying for the Democrats to win the 2020 US Elections.

Unionist

Cubans dismayed as Canada halts visa processing in Havana

This is the doing of the Nazi's granddaughter. She could well be the next Liberal candidate for Prime Minister. I had a dream last night in which I preferred Andrew Scheer. That's how bad things are getting. God (or whoever) please forgive me.

NDPP

Canada's Trudeau Government Puts Squeeze on Cuba

https://dissidentvoice.org/2019/06/canadas-trudeau-government-puts-squee...

"...Ottwa has followed along partly because it's committed to overthrowing Venezuela's government and an important talking point of the anti-Nicolas Maduro coalition is that Havana is propping him up. On May 3 Justin Trudeau called Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel to pressure him to join Ottawa's effort to oust President Maduro. Four days later Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland added to the diplomatic pressure on Havana. She told reporters, 'Cuba needs to not be part of the problem in Venezuela, but become part of the solution.'

On Tuesday, Freeland talked with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about Venezuela and Cuba. Afterwards the State Department tweeted, 'Secretary Pompeo spoke with Canada's Foreign Minister Freeland to discuss ongoing efforts to restore democracy in Venezuela. The Secretary and Foreign Minister agreed to continue working together to press the Cuban regime to provide for a democratic and prosperous future for the people of Cuba..."

Freeland's 'rules-based international order' aka US hegemony/imperialism in action.