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Fidel Castro dies at 90

montrealer58
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Joined: Jun 30 2014

!!!


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alan smithee
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Joined: Jan 7 2010

A great visionary. Forever to remembered for his courage to stand up to America and reject the vile disease of capitalism.


Unionist
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May his words and deeds, and his love affair with the people of Cuba and oppressed people everywhere, live forever.

Paladin1
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Joined: Jan 14 2013

Firing squads.

13 de Marzo massacre.

People trying to flee Cuba on rafts made out of garbage.

Political prisoners.

Interamerican Commission for Human Rights extimated up to 30'000 citizens interned in forced labour camps.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Cuba

 

 

Noble peace prize posthumously I'd say.


6079_Smith_W
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@ Paladin

I suppose that's par for the course considering the ongoing war on any kind of complex analysis.

And there are certainly some who agree with you partying down in Miami.

Ehttps://www.washingtonpost.com/world/in-wake-of-castros-death-cuban-exiles-cheer-in-miami-while-havana-stays-silent/2016/11/26/e77f0fd4-b3a5-11e6-bc2d-19b3d759cfe7_story.html

Given the circumstances he had to deal with, and what he managed to accomplish I rank him far above par, despite his many shortcomings.

For one thing, the fact that they aren't partying in Havana - and I seriously doubt that is because anyone has a gun to their head -  should tell you something.

 


alan smithee
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6079_Smith_W
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I'd say his most impressive legacy is that his nation survived both the fall of the Soviet union and the US embargo... Without going where some other nations have in those circumstances.

And this:

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/03/fidel-castro-anti-colon...

 


ikosmos
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Joined: May 8 2001

Many obits and articles will be written about Comandante Fidel. The few I've seen put at the top of the list his stunning and, let's say, unsurpassed anti-imperialist credentials. He was an inspiration for millions, even billions. He fought Yankee imperialism - which tried with might and main to kill him on over 600 different ocassions and failed - and whupped them. That is a very small club.

Fidel falls into the same category as Karl Marx,  Simon Bolivar, or, in his own beloved Cuba, Jose Marti and Ernesto "Che" Guevara.

His name will live through the ages.


lagatta
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Joined: Apr 17 2002

Paladin, I'm well aware of the negatives in Cuba, but I think you are deliberately darkening the picture. Cuba is not North Korea, or the Soviet Union in the years of the Great Purges. And they have corrected some bad things they did at one point, such as discrimination against LGBT people and people with AIDS. There is a lot of open criticism of the government and society there nowadays.

There would be far more refugees on unseaworthy vessels if Haitians were allowed to stay in the US if they arrived there without a visa or immigrant status.

I've only found gusano sources for the alleged 13 de marzo massacre. The Wikipedia article calls it the name given by Cuban Americans to the incident. The Cuban government has denied responsibility and said it was an accident. You said above boats made of garbage - this was a tugboat, but certainly not designed to carry a group of people who weren't mariners over open seas. We know that many, many people trying to leave their native lands for a variety of reasons have met their deaths at sea in recent years.

Perhaps you recall that the Cuban Revolution did not overthrow a democratic government, but the dictatorial and deeply corrupt Batista régime, when Cuba was the "brothel of the US". Trump is doubtless having wet dreams over the prospects.


swallow
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Joined: May 16 2002

No leader is perfect. Nor was Fidel Castro. But what strikes me the most about his time in office is 2 things. He could change bad policy - the homophobia of the early years gave way to better position for gay people than in much of the world. The Cuban revolution was not static, it reinvented and changed itself and coudl admit its mistakes and fix them. 

Cuba also did a huge amount to help other countries. It helped Angola defend itself from an invasion by apartheid South Africa. It stood up for unpopular anti-imperialist causes, often as great cost to itself. 

Most impressively, to me, Cuba has sent nearly 20,000 doctors and many more medical support staff to less developed countries, where they make a huge difference to millions of people, helping health care at a grassroots level. This is more than the G8 countries combined. And they train thousands of Third World people to become doctors in Cuba. Cuban medical internationalism

Fidel Castro did not do all this by himself. But he set the tone and the direction. All respect to him for that. 

Interesting that Justin Trudeau was just in Cuba on a visit. I wonder if he will be at the funeral, like Fidel Castro was at Pierre Trudeau's funeral. I hope that the USA will finally lift the destructive and vindictive embargo they put in place when they were unable to assassinte Castro. And I hope that as Cuba keeps changing in the years to come, the gains of the Cuban revolution will remain. 


Mr. Magoo
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Joined: Dec 13 2002

Quote:
I wonder if he will be at the funeral,

Seems he's already getting flak just for saying nice things.

Quote:
The Cuban revolution was not static, it reinvented and changed itself and coudl admit its mistakes and fix them.

I think that's worth noting, both as a tribute to Castro's leadership, and also as a "pro tip" for any other revolutions.


ikosmos
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Quote:
From the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity:

“On the occasion of the demise of the Commander in Chief of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba declares nine days of National Mourning, as from the 06:00 hrs. of November 26 th, until the 12:00 hrs. of December 4th, 2016. For as long as the National Mourning is in place, public activities and shows shall not be held, the national flag shall be flown at half-staff in public buildings and military facilities. The radio and television shall broadcast informative, patriotic and historic programs.”


Council of State of the Republic of Cuba 

Statement from the Council of State, etc.


josh
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Paladin1
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6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ Paladin

I suppose that's par for the course considering the ongoing war on any kind of complex analysis.

And there are certainly some who agree with you partying down in Miami.

Ehttps://www.washingtonpost.com/world/in-wake-of-castros-death-cuban-exiles-cheer-in-miami-while-havana-stays-silent/2016/11/26/e77f0fd4-b3a5-11e6-bc2d-19b3d759cfe7_story.html

Given the circumstances he had to deal with, and what he managed to accomplish I rank him far above par, despite his many shortcomings.

For one thing, the fact that they aren't partying in Havana - and I seriously doubt that is because anyone has a gun to their head -  should tell you something.

That's fair Smith.  I'm not above giving credit where it's due. I think it's awesome he quite successfully gave the finger to the US for half a century.  I'm just don't turn a blind eye to the shitty stuff people like this do too, like murder.

 

lagatta wrote:

Paladin, I'm well aware of the negatives in Cuba, but I think you are deliberately darkening the picture.

 

I think the human rights abuse and murders paint their own picture. I'm just offering a counter POV to some who may want to practically canonize him.

His resistance against the US does make for a great debate and example, no disagreement here.

 

My boats made of garbage comment was in the context of just people trying to escape paradise cuba.  I do remember the Batista being a puppy US government. Castro hardly holds a candle to the crimes committed by the US government. The US government had a plan to kill their own citizens in order to drum up support against Cuba.


currents
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Can someone please decode Tom Mulcair's twitter comment on Casto's death. To me it looks indistinguishable from Rona Ambrose's comment but I should admit a slight bias on my part. For a cogent review of Castro, people should read what Eduardo Galeano wrote (spanish only) in

Rebelión, 26-11-2016

http://www.rebelion.org/

 


Mr. Magoo
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Joined: Dec 13 2002

Quote:
Can someone please decode Tom Mulcair's twitter comment on Casto's death. To me it looks indistinguishable from Rona Ambrose's comment

Well, here's what I could find on CBC:

Quote:
"My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Cuba who continue to endure his long and oppressive regime, even after his death," she (Ambrose) wrote.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair shared a similar message on Twitter. "Upon the passing of Fidel Castro let us think of the lives impacted by his actions and be hopeful for the future of the Cuban people."

I don't think Ambrose's comment needs any unpacking.  Admittedly, Tom's (or at least the sentence above) is ambiguous.

So I suppose we could imagine him saying either of the following:

1. "Upon the passing of Fidel Castro let us think of the lives [negatively] impacted by his actions and be hopeful for the future of the Cuban people [after he screwed everything up for them]."

2. "Upon the passing of Fidel Castro let us think of the lives [positively] impacted by his actions and be hopeful for the future of the Cuban people [without his leadership]."

My guess, personally:  #2.

ed'd to add:  Here's Barack Obama:

Quote:

"At this time of Fidel Castro's passing, we extend a hand of friendship to the Cuban people," he said in a statement, noting his administration had "worked hard to put the past behind us."

As for Castro's legacy, he said "history will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him."

And that, my friends, is how you do "ambiguous".  That's ambiguous taken to the point of diplomatic.

And just to be fair, here's President-elect Donald Trump:

Quote:
Fidel Castro is dead!

Already a statesman.

 

 


jjuares
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Joined: Jan 21 2012
This is where the left gets itself in trouble. Socialism requires democracy and in that crucial respect Casto falls short.

alan smithee
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Fuck off Ambrose. We're still shaking off your party's oppression. Mulcair's response was not surprising. Very diplomatic. Trump? What a fuckin' buffoon.


Mr. Magoo
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Quote:
Socialism requires democracy and in that crucial respect Casto falls short.

Utopian Socialism surely requires democracy.  But historically, state socialism doesn't really seem to have had much interest in it.  From state socialism's point of view, giving people a genuine choice means taking the chance that they won't choose state socialism.

To be fair, Cuba does allow the people to choose which representative from the Communist Party they prefer.  But do you come to bury Castro, or to praise him?


jjuares
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Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Socialism requires democracy and in that crucial respect Casto falls short.

Utopian Socialism surely requires democracy.  But historically, state socialism doesn't really seem to have had much interest in it.  From state socialism's point of view, giving people a genuine choice means taking the chance that they won't choose state socialism.

To be fair, Cuba does allow the people to choose which representative from the Communist Party they prefer.  But do you come to bury Castro, or to praise him?

I do neither but I do express disappointment in the lack of democracy. That doesn't excuse the Americans either and their idiotic embargo.

ygtbk
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All of us who happened to live through the Cuban missile crisis will always remember Fidel.


jjuares
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ygtbk wrote:

All of us who happened to live through the Cuban missile crisis will always remember Fidel.

That was a reaction to the Bay of Pigs. The Cubans were trying to prevent another invasion.

kropotkin1951
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bagkitty
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I have always had qualified respect for Castro, and great concern over how the LGBT communities were treated in Cuba. I have nothing but contempt for the right-wing figures in the United States and Canada who are bringing this up today to condemn him (Castro). Especially in the aftermath of the most recent American election with not a single exception that comes to my mind, the Republicans seeking the nomination and the movers and shakers within the party establishment were falling over themselves to court and seek endorsement from the Christian religious fanatics who want to roll back such rights as do exist in the U.S. for the LGBT communities. Their hypocrisy is making me gag.

Castro, at least, evolved and ultimately held himself responsible for the injustices inflicted on the LGBT communities. I recall no such "on the Road to Damascus" revelations striking, say, Harper or Thatcher or Reagan or any other darlings of the Right.

Personally, I have no problem with Trudeau the lesser's expression of sorrow (on behalf of Canadians) at the death of Castro. When I compare it to the rantings of Kellie Leitch or Ben Harper my opinion of Trudeau actually improves a bit (a hard task).


kropotkin1951
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jjuares wrote:

This is where the left gets itself in trouble. Socialism requires democracy and in that crucial respect Casto falls short.

Its all in how you define democracy I guess. Trudeau won a great victory by telling people he would be all things to all people and now he gets to rule as a dictator because he has a majority in parliament. It means he cannot be stopped from implementing draconian security measures that are as bad as the last sycophant or stopped from okaying pipelines despite clearly campaigning in BC in opposition to them. He can make changes to gut defined benefit plans.  All this with absolutely no way of stopping him. 

In most ridings in Canada the only viable choices are the Liberal Tory same old story. That is not democracy that is a dog and pony show. 

Here is an article with a different take on the Cuban electoral system that you dismiss as inferior to our system that gives us Harper and then Trudeau. A change of the waterboy but no change in the controlling hand. 

Quote:

Cuban elections are an authentic way for people to participate in the life of the nation, far from the glorified advertising campaigns that pass for elections in many countries.

The Cuban electoral processes take place from the grassroots up in the selection of those who will represent the people at all the levels of government.

Local elections are organized to select the municipal delegates (city council members), and general elections take place to choose provincial assembly delegates and the members of the national Parliament.

According to Cuban law, these elections are called by the Council of State with no less than 120 days notice.

A successful electoral experience that took place thirty years ago in Matanzas province led to a green light for setting up what are called the People’s Power government institutions. These are considered the highest form of truly representative and genuinely democratic government and provide the people with real institutional participation.

An element that makes the Cuban electoral system unique is the way candidates are nominated, a process in which individuals nominate those who they think should be candidates.

The process is not done in the name of Communist Party of Cuba or of any other political, mass or social organization, and takes place at urban and rural community meetings where residents select the nominees by raising their hands.

During these meetings, participants propose candidates for the city councils based on their merits as citizens of the community, and their capacity to act as government representatives.

In each electoral district the maximum number of candidates is eight with a minimum of two. From these, people elect by secret ballot the city council representative from their neighborhood or community.

http://www.cubasupport.com/latest/?page_id=29

 


kropotkin1951
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bagkitty wrote:

Castro, at least, evolved and ultimately held himself responsible for the injustices inflicted on the LGBT communities. I recall no such "on the Road to Damascus" revelations striking, say, Harper or Thatcher or Reagan or any other darlings of the Right.

Personally, I have no problem with Trudeau the lesser's expression of sorrow (on behalf of Canadians) at the death of Castro. When I compare it to the rantings of Kellie Leitch or Ben Harper my opinion of Trudeau actually improves a bit (a hard task).

I actually liked his statement and it is the first time in a long time that anything coming out of his mouth didn't sound like it was written by a spindoctor. 


swallow
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bagkitty wrote:

I have always had qualified respect for Castro, and great concern over how the LGBT communities were treated in Cuba. I have nothing but contempt for the right-wing figures in the United States and Canada who are bringing this up today to condemn him (Castro). Especially in the aftermath of the most recent American election with not a single exception that comes to my mind, the Republicans seeking the nomination and the movers and shakers within the party establishment were falling over themselves to court and seek endorsement from the Christian religious fanatics who want to roll back such rights as do exist in the U.S. for the LGBT communities. Their hypocrisy is making me gag.

Castro, at least, evolved and ultimately held himself responsible for the injustices inflicted on the LGBT communities. I recall no such "on the Road to Damascus" revelations striking, say, Harper or Thatcher or Reagan or any other darlings of the Right.

Personally, I have no problem with Trudeau the lesser's expression of sorrow (on behalf of Canadians) at the death of Castro. When I compare it to the rantings of Kellie Leitch or Ben Harper my opinion of Trudeau actually improves a bit (a hard task).

Well said. 

The recollections and talk today make fascinating reading. Two of the pieces that I found most interesting: 

Quote:

Castro spoke with us about the Cuban Revolution, race, and many other issues.  Yes, he spoke a lot, but we were transfixed.  And, when we asked him questions, he would consider the matter and always offer a thoughtful response, rather than retreating into rhetoric.  It was particularly illuminating when he informed us that the Cuban Revolution had underestimated the power of racism.  As he said at the time, when the 26th of July Movement (the revolutionary organization that led the anti-Batista struggle) took power they thought that it was enough to render racist discrimination illegal and that should settle the matter.  The entrenched power of racism, even in a society that was attempting to root it out, was more substantial than they had anticipated.

Hearing this from Castro represented a special moment.  There has frequently been a defensiveness among Cuban officials about matters of race in Cuba, despite the tremendous advances that they have made, advances probably of greater significance than any other country in the Western Hemisphere.  Yet, manifestations of racism remain and, to our surprise, Castro was prepared to address them.... For many of us in Black America, Castro represented the audacity that we have desired and sought in the face of imperial and racial arrogance.

Black America and the passing of Fidel Castro

Quote:

rom the famous exploding cigars to poison pills hidden in a cold-cream jar, the CIA and Cuban exile groups spent nearly 50 years devising ways to kill Fidel Castro. None of the plots, of course, succeeded but one of his loyal security men calculated that a total of 634 attempts, some ludicrous, some deadly serious, had been made on the life of El Comandante.

On one occasion, aware that Castro was a keen scuba-diver, the CIA devised a cunning plan. Documents released under the Clinton administration confirm that the agency invested in a large volume of Caribbean molluscs with the intention of finding a shell big enough to contain a lethal quantity of explosives. The idea was that the molluscs would be painted in vivid colours to attract the attention of an underwater Castro.

Close but no cigar: how America failed to kill Fidel Castro


Mr. Magoo
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Quote:

In most ridings in Canada the only viable choices are the Liberal Tory same old story. That is not democracy that is a dog and pony show. 

Here is an article with a different take on the Cuban electoral system that you dismiss as inferior to our system that gives us Harper and then Trudeau. A change of the waterboy but no change in the controlling hand.

My understanding of the Cuban electoral system is that there is only one official party.  Is that correct?

If so, how is having two (actually, nearly twenty) parties to choose from LESS democratic than having only the one?


kropotkin1951
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Mr. Magoo wrote:

My understanding of the Cuban electoral system is that there is only one official party.  Is that correct?

If so, how is having two (actually, nearly twenty) parties to choose from LESS democratic than having only the one?

See post #24 above and many other sources that actually explain the system. Of course you could just read American reports condemning it instead. When ones mindset is stuck in their own worldview it's hard sometimes to understand that other people do things differently.

From talking to many people who have spent considerable time in Cuba outside of the resort hotels I believe that the government has the support of the majority of a well educated population. Personally I prefer to go with their judgement.


jjuares
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kropotkin1951 wrote:

Mr. Magoo wrote:

My understanding of the Cuban electoral system is that there is only one official party.  Is that correct?

If so, how is having two (actually, nearly twenty) parties to choose from LESS democratic than having only the one?

See post #24 above and many other sources that actually explain the system. Of course you could just read American reports condemning it instead. When ones mindset is stuck in their own worldview it's hard sometimes to understand that other people do things differently.

From talking to many people who have spent considerable time in Cuba outside of the resort hotels I believe that the government has the support of the majority of a well educated population. Personally I prefer to go with their judgement.

I have no doubt that the government in Cuba has mass support. However, to have two brothers run the country with no method to affirm them in their position. Also, restrictions on foreign traveland the press also are also something I disagree with. Canada has an all powerful PMO, false majorities, corporate control of the media so Canada has its flaws to say the least.

NDPP
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