Cuban Politics

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CMOT Dibbler
Cuban Politics

Ok, I have now read Mckelvy's article in full, and am now prepared to respond. 

A couple of things:

1) Mckelvey has only been to Cuba four times since 1994.  How can he really get an accurate picture of life in Castro's Cuba, if he's spent so little time there?   The tourist's view of things will always be restricted, no matter what Country you are in.

2) The Cuban Communist party sounds like it is as austere as the Mormon Church. 

3) It strikes me that given the number of mass organizations that exist and elections that take place, That Cuba is just as beureaucratic as the U.S.

4) Mckelvey says that the Cuban Commmunist Party has enormous influence in Cuba, but its authority is moral, not legal.

What does that mean? 

    

Fidel

Is  this the article from 1998 you're referring to , thanks to me?

CMOT Dibbler wrote:

A couple of things:

1) Mckelvey has only been to Cuba four times since 1994.  How can he really get an accurate picture of life in Castro's Cuba, if he's spent so little time there?   The tourist's view of things will always be restricted, no matter what Country you are in.

Can you provide us with an example where travelers have been restricted from seeing the sights in Cuba, the USSA's Gitmo gulag for torture and gross human rights violations aside?

Aside from repressive travel restrictions imposed on American citizens against travel and spending money in Cuba, what other country in the world denies their citizens the personal freedom to travel to Cuba ?

old_bolshie

Quote:
Can you provide us with an example where travelers have been restricted from seeing the sights in Cuba.....

No but I can provide plenty of examples on how Cubans are denied access to 'the sights'.

 They have their own so-called 'approved locations' where they are allowed to frolic and act in a communist party approved stylee (remember this is still the Caribbean-mon).

 Of course if you'd ever been there yourself you'd know that.

Fidel

old_bolshie wrote:

Quote:
Can you provide us with an example where travelers have been restricted from seeing the sights in Cuba.....

No but I can provide plenty of examples on how Cubans are denied access to 'the sights'.

 They have their own so-called 'approved locations' where they are allowed to frolic and act in a communist party approved stylee (remember this is still the Caribbean-mon).

There are several million Canadians who can't afford to even fly what is now US majority-owned and controlled Air Canada to destinations within Canada let alone Cuba.

And the US government admits to about 37 million food insecure American citizens and prolly on the low side. That's repressive and a violation of basic human rights to food. It must be why the US government is one of the few repressive countries not to recognize a UN declaration stating that food on a daily basis is a basic human right.

So tens of millions are hungry in the USSA and told which Caribbean island they cant travel to without getting the business from shadow guvmint and homeland stupidity feds. How much more repressive can they be in the national security state and locking up blacks at six times the rate that was true of apartheid South Africa? My-my!

Quote:
 Of course if you'd ever been there yourself you'd know that.

Youve never been outside of Canada, or farther south than Orlando Florida with ma and pa on spring break. We know. No need to be ashamed, ol' Bullshi.

CMOT Dibbler

 

Can you provide us with an example where travelers have been restricted from seeing the sights in Cuba  

I just mean that you won't become an expert by taking a   two week tour of any country.

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

Takes more than combat gear to make a man Takes more than license for a gun Confront your enemies, avoid them when you can A gentleman will walk but never run -Sting, an englishman in new york

Hoodeet

I realize this isn't the main theme of this thread, but since someone opened the door, I'd like to add the reminder that the personal date of everyone, regardless of nationality, travelling between Canada and countries south, including Cuba, Mexico etc., if the route takes them over U.S. territory, will go into US Homeland Security information systems.  Whether DHS keep all the names on file or not, they will know at all times who is going between Canada and Cuba. Not that most of us give a damn.Just another quaint bit of counterterrorism folklore.

Hoodeet

correction

forgive earlier typo:  I meant "personal data"

Ghislaine

I just cringe when anyone asks Fidel a question, because you just know he is not going to answer what was asked, but go on a rant about the US.

 So, Fidel, how many Cuban can

a) afford to travel abroad or

b) are allowed to travel abroad?

 

ps I am not asking about government-approved medical missions, etc. I am talking about voluntary, sight-seeing travel.

Fidel

Ghislaine wrote:

I just cringe when anyone asks Fidel a question, because you just know he is not going to answer what was asked, but go on a rant about the US.

 So, Fidel, how many Cuban can

a) afford to travel abroad or

b) are allowed to travel abroad?

ps I am not asking about government-approved medical missions, etc. I am talking about voluntary, sight-seeing travel.

People in Cuba are poor and travel is expensive. But there are no laws in Cuba preventing people from emigrating or traveling anywhere in the world. The government tries very hard to allocate skilled labour,  and especially people with medical training where needed. It's actually easier for unskilled labourers to obtain a travel visa from the Cuban authorities than it is for doctors and engineers.

On the other hand, how many Canadians do you know of have actually  flown AC to St John's or Vancouver for a week's vacation or whatever in the last five years? I know of some who could have done just that, but I know many Canadians who have never actually been able to afford a travelling vacation, as in outside the country, in their entire lives. Not even the cheapy travel by old clunker method to, say, Orlando Fla or any of those nice beach resorts along the Eastern seaboard.

In addition, there was a Sunday CBC special featuring an interview with a famous Cuban dissident heading up the CIA and sponsored "Varela Project" Oswaldo Paya is a pawn of the CIA. He knew full well that carrying out US national agendas ie. helping the USSA to enforce Helms-Burton in Cuba is illegal and a seditious act. And so did US ambassador to Cuba James Cason realize he was betraying the so-called Cuban dissidents several years ago. The purpose of Varela was never to incite democratic change in Cuba. The CIA and dissidents understand that there is no momentum for counterrevolution in Cuba.

In the CBC doc you will hear about Paya's collecting signatures in support of a referendum to hold US-managed elections in Cuba, and that this is entirely the dissidents' doing. That is a lie, and I am ashamed of the CBC for broadcasting such a biased and shoddy piece of news journalism. Every Canadian should be ashamed of our national news corporation. It's obvious that the Ceeb is now a tool of American plutocracy.

We should also keep in mind that the US is currently censoring petitions to re-open the 9-11 investigation. Change.org is a farce, and US hypocrisy is safe from scrutiny and what are increasingly global demands for justice. There has to be a proper 9-11 investigation. The war on terror which involves the militaries of several countries hinges on an investigation that never took place.

old_bolshie

Quote:
So, Fidel....many Cuban can

a) afford to travel abroad or

b) are allowed to travel abroad?

Take it from someone who's actually been to Cuba (not Fidel who hasn't)-the answer is none, the Govt keeps them chained on their prison island unto death.

The way the system works they owe the communist govt for being born and the interest is so high it can never be paid.

Doug

A Cuban citizen who wants to travel abroad needs an official invitation from a person or institution outside Cuba. This letter of invitation is an official document delivered by a Cuban notary. The document mentions the identity of the person who invites the Cuban and the identity of the Cuban citizen who is invited. The “ inviter” declares that he /she will take full responsibility for the Cuban and agrees to pay the total costs of the invitation including travel costs, hotel or housing costs, medical insurance etc.

The letter of invitation is valid for one year starting from the issue date on the document. The cost of this document in Havana is 140 CUC, with special request form available at the Cuban embassies: costs about 200 US dollar – 200 euro.

Additional documents

Depending of the regulations of the country of the inviting person additional documents may be needed such as:

A medical examination certificate
A document stating that the inviting person earns sufficient income to support the invited Cuban.

In order to receive permission to leave the country, the Cuban citizen has to go to the Cuban Migration Services to apply for a travel permit (vigencia de viaje) and a Passport. Before departure the Cuban has to apply for a visa, which will be stuck in the Passport and has a validity period of 30 days. An extension of up to 90 days is possible.

http://www.havana-guide.com/havanajineteras.html

Kindrid

Fidel wrote: 

Quote:
People in Cuba are poor and travel is expensive. But there are no laws in Cuba preventing people from emigrating or traveling anywhere in the world.

Now here is the real story:

Quote:
The daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro says Cubans should be free to leave the country as they wish.

Mariela Castro made the comments in an interview published in a Spanish newspaper today.

The communist authorities in Havana prevented Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez from travelling to Madrid this week to receive a top journalism prize from Spain's El Pais daily.

"It is not necessary to deprive people of their right to leave. I think we should grant permission to all those who want to leave," Mariela Castro said in reply to a question about the desire for Cubans to be allowed to travel freely.

Cubans who want to travel abroad have to seek authorisation in advance.

"People can leave, but with a great amount of difficulty," admitted Mariela Castro, a sexologist who defends the rights of gay and lesbian minorities, but who says she does not seek a political role in her homeland.

[url]http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/cubans-should-be-free-to-travel-says-ca...

Kindrid

More of the real story:

Quote:

Taking up Raul Castro's invitation to speak their minds without fear of reprisal, more Cubans have begun publicly complaining and challenging government policies on everything from limits on Internet access to travel restrictions.

Quote:

They asked Alarcon why many basic goods -- including toiletries and clothes -- are sold in convertible currency meant for tourists and foreigners, making some necessities virtually inaccessible to state employees paid in Cuban pesos worth much less. They complained about laws prohibiting citizens from entering state-run hotels without official permission. They complained about limits on Internet access, and on rules that make getting a travel visa nearly impossible for most Cubans.

http://www.advocate.com/news_detail_ektid52100.asp

Kindrid

Yes, the old trick of technically they can leave but in reality it ain’t going to happen

Fidel

oops

Fidel

There is a Cuban woman and her young adult daughter living just down the street from me. And I'm in Northern Ontario. I think they had more bureaucratic red tape at the Canadian end of things than what they had to deal with in Cuba. Lots and lots of bureaucratic red tape in Canada. Indigenous people know all about red tape and decades of segregation on reserves across Canada for sure.

And Canada isnt all that hot a destination for many Asians apparently. A Ryerson study said that several hundred thousand 1st and 2nd generation Asian "sea turtles" have left Canada to return to China and India since the late 1990's due to a lack of opportunities in their professional fields, everyone from accountants and business people to economists and teachers. Canada is a strange country full of natural wealth and yet held back economically for various reasons.

Canada deports disabled U.K. man

Kindrid

Ah, what does Canada’s immigration policy have to do with Cuba’s emigration policy?

Fidel

Kindrid wrote:

Ah, what does Canada’s immigration policy have to do with Cuba’s emigration policy?

Contrast and compare is a normal part of any geopolitical analysis.

And in case we are questioned/interrogated as to why the USA and North America in general are brought into the discussion?  The only other country in the world, Cuba's historical and most geographically significant  trade partner has lowered genocidal trade sanctions against Cuba and fomented anti-Cuban terrorism since the 1960's as well as provided sanctuary for known anti-Cuban rightwing terrorist groups operating from inside the USSA. To declare the US or even our own country off limits when discussing Cuba would be a fairly limited one for reasons most experts on US and Latin American affairs wouldnt understand.

And besides, who made you generalissimo for the thread?

On the other hand, Obama promised during his campaign that immediately after taking office on Jan. 20, he would lift all restrictions on US citizens' travel and cash remittances to Cuba, and not just roll them back to previous repressive right-wing restrictions legislated and enforced by the criminal George Bush regime. So that's a positive sign for Americans gaining a few more rights by the new cosmetic government plutocracy under Obama.

Fidel

old_bolshie wrote:
Take it from someone who's actually been to Cuba (not Fidel who hasn't)-

Most people I know who've been to Cuba snap a few photos while there. Here are just a few of my own(babbler123) from the first trip in 95. It's really easy to share your vacation photos of Cuba, ol' Bullshie. Where are your vacation photos, ol' Bullshie?

Kindrid

You are trying to compare a nation that out of pragmatic reality has to limit the amount of immigration to a nation that refuses to let its people freedom to travel abroad.

BTW, the United States offered to end embargo in exchange for improved human rights in Cuba. That offer has been on the table for years.

 Castro’s Cuba has a long history of supporting terrorism including terrorism that resulted in the deaths of US citizens. The threat of Cuban exile groups has ceased for decades now.  

Fidel

Kindrid wrote:

You are trying to compare a nation that out of pragmatic reality has to limit the amount of immigration to a nation that refuses to let its people freedom to travel abroad.

Are you talking about Cuba or the USA's denying its own citizens the right to travel to Cuba and judge things for themselves? Is it the multibillion dollar health insurance bureaucracy that's afraid Americans will see things they dont want them to see in Cuba? Is freely accessible education a terrifying idea to upper classes in the US?

Quote:
BTW, the United States offered to end embargo in exchange for improved human rights in Cuba. That offer has been on the table for years.

And what will the US offer do in exchange? Will the US release the five Cuban anti-terrorists held in US gulags?

Will the USSA offer to stop incarcerating black Americans at a rate that is six times that of apartheid South Africa?

Will the USSA pledge to end the mass murder in Afghanistan and Iraq?

Iraq Death Toll Rivals Rwanda Genocide, Cambodian Killing Fields

Will the USA finally put an end to what are conveyer belts of death in Texas, Alabama, Florida and so on? Will the US stop executing mentally handicapped Americans?

Will the USSA ever shut down its 730 plus military bases and occupations around the world? There are fewer countries without US military bases or occupations than with.

The USSA's war on democracy continues despite the end of cold war.

The Afghan, El Salvador, and Iraq ElectionsU.S. managed elections, with the threat of violence,
are called "democratic"
by Edward S. Herman

 

Quote:
Castro’s Cuba has a long history of supporting terrorism including terrorism that resulted in the deaths of US citizens. The threat of Cuban exile groups has ceased for decades now.  

Philip Agee was a CIA specialist on Latin America  and a consciencious objector to his government's guilt in perpetrating terrorism all around Latin America including Cuba.

TERRORISM AND CIVIL SOCIETY: The Instruments of US Policy in Cuba by Philip Agee

More Cubans have died at the hands of US-Gusano Gladio terrorists than the reverse by a lot. As many Cubans have died at the hands of USSA-Gusano gladio terror as died on 9-11-01 in NYC. You're a terrible liar, kindrid.

“If You Harbor Terrorists, You Are a Terrorist" - Crazy Jorge de la Yayo to an American Legion audience

Kindrid

Many of the exile community that fought to overthrow Castro fought against Batista. They turned against Castro when Fidel refused to live up to his promise of free elections and turned the island into a dictatorship with mass executions and prison sentences exceeding 20 years.

 Numbers of Cuban deaths attributed to the Castro regime range as high as 100 thousand. I doubt anti-Castro groups come close to that body count. BTW, the Cuban five are sitting in jail because they chased a threat that only exists in the minds of Fidel Castro. Groups that use violence to overthrow the Communist regime ceased to be active decades ago.  The 730 US bases is an absurd number. You would have to count embassy guards and occasional visits by ships and cargo plane to get that number  

Fidel

Kindrid wrote:

Many of the exile community that fought to overthrow Castro fought against Batista. They turned against Castro when Fidel refused to live up to his promise of free elections and ... bla-bla

US-managed elections were off after the attempted US military invasion of Cuba with the aid of the worms.

The USSA was not concerned about free elections all the while a US-backed mafia regime was in control in Havana. In fact, the Gusanos gave the CIA bad information that Cubans would participate in counterrevolution. They were badly mistaken and suffered a resounding, humiliating defeat. The CIA and US military has not tried to overthrow the revolution similarly in all this time - because they know the Cuban people are proud of the revolution and will fight the Gusanos and genetic baggage of the Cuban mafia plotting and scheming in Miami.

What kind of democratic country tries to assassinate another country's leader over 600 times?

Quote:
 Numbers of Cuban deaths attributed to the Castro regime range as high as 100 thousand.

Oh that's baloney. And former US state dept official William Blum had this to say about his own government:

Quote:
"From 1945 to the end of the century, the United States attempted to overthrow more than 40 foreign governments, and to crush more than 30 populist-nationalist movements struggling against intolerable regimes. . . . In the process, the US caused the end of life for several million people, and condemned many millions more to a life of agony and despair.”

Quote:
I doubt anti-Castro groups come close to that body count.

Over 3,000 Cubans. One former Cuban in the hire of the CIA even admitted proudly to murdering dozens of Cuban citizens by blowing up a passenger plane. And the US has provided sanctuary to Luis Posada Carilles for many years. Although Luis wouldnt be the first terrorist in the hire of the CIA. They basically reconstructed Himmler's SS to run the spy ops out of West Germany during the cold war. The likes of American Nazis Henry Ford, Prescott Bushler etc would have approved, we can be sure.

Quote:
BTW, the Cuban five are sitting in jail because they chased a threat that only exists in the minds of Fidel Castro. Groups that use violence to overthrow the Communist regime ceased to be active decades ago.

Oh that's baloney. They've bombed Cubana airliners and set fire to Cuban sugar crops, set off bombs in Cuban hotels, murdered Cuban fishermen in Mexican ports, you name it the US-Gusano gladios have done it all. You should read that article by former CIA official who was stationed in Latin America, Philip Agee. What his government pulled on innocent civilians, election rigging, overthrowing democratically elected leaders etc made him turn on his own government. And there were a few more CIA whistleblowers over the years, too.

Quote:
The 730 US bases is an absurd number.

That I'll let you look up for yourself. I cant do all your homework for you. Youre lazy as well as a bad liar, kindrid. ciao gringa

Kindrid

Quote:
Over 3,000 Cubans

Seems like Castro beat that:

Quote:
    1. Cuba (1959 et seq.)
    2. Fidel Castro regime (1959- )
      • Skidmore: 550 executions in 1st six months of 1959
      • Gilbert: more than 2,000 executed.
      • WHPSI: 2,113 political executions 1958-67
      • Hugh Thomas, Cuba, or, the pursuit of freedom (1971, 1988): "perhaps" 5,000 executions by 1970.
        • In addition, Thomas cites (unfavorably: "... does not command confidence")
          • Cuban Information Service, 1963:
            • 2875 executed after trial
            • 4245 executed w/o trial
            • 2962 killed fighting Castro's regime.
          • Caldeville (1969)
            • 22,000 killed or died in jail.
            • 2,000 drowned fleeing
      • 27 Dec. 1998 AP (published in Minneapolis Star Tribune and Buffalo News, et al.):
        • cites Hugh Thomas: 5,000 might have beeen executed by 1970
        • "... in recent years, capital punishment has been rare."
      • Cuban American National Foundation (1997): 12,000 political executions (http://www.canfnet.org/english/faqfutur.htm)
      • 11 Dec. 1998 New Statesman: 18,000 killed or disappeared since 1959 (citing Cuban American Nat'l Foundation)
      • Mario Lazo, Dagger in the Heart : American Policy Failures in Cuba (1968):
        • 15,000 put to death by 1967.
        • 35,000 refugees drowned (based on a 75% mortality, which seems high. cf. Vietnamese and Haitian death rates.)
        • Total: 50,000
      • Rummel (1959-87):
        • Executions: 15,000
        • Boat people drowned: 51,000 (based on a 75% mortality. See above)
        • Died in prison: 7,000
        • TOTAL: 73,000
      • 22 Feb. 1999 Houston Chronicle (editorial by Agustin Blazquez): 97,000 deaths caused by Castro. This number seems to have originally come from an unpublished study by Armando Lago [http://www.nocastro.com/archives/gohome.htm], which now apparently estimates a death toll of 116,730-119,730, the bulk of whom (85,000) disappeared at sea. [http://www.cubanueva.com/cubahoy/politica/1211_COSTOHUMANO-REVOLUCION.htm] Like most sources that only appear in editorials and Internet, be careful.
      • ANALYSIS: The dividing line between those who have an ax to grind and those who don't falls in the 5,000-12,000 range.
    • Bay of Pigs (1961): 300 k (B&J; Hartman)

    http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat6.htm#Cuba59

    This is a list of sources. It is not from the US State Department. Figures can go as high a 100 thousand if you include the deaths from drowning at sea while escaping Cuba and deaths in Cuba’s Africa wars.

    Kindrid

    BTW, I checked your source for US bases in 700 nations.

    The map of your link to the claim of 700 plus US bases overseas is flawed. It lists China and Russia as having US military personnel in those two countries. Yes, there is US military at the embassies. There might be a few military members doing special work like monitoring Russia’s nuclear weapons programs to ensure safety. The map lists many nations in Africa as having a US military presence. However, there is no significant US military presence in most of those nations. The one nation in Africa that has a small presence is Djibouti but the map show there is no US military presence in that nation. US bases in Peru?  There might be some radar installations performing counter drug operation but to claim the US has bases in Peru is absurd. Canada is also occupied by an overwhelming US military presence according to the map. Norway has a massive US military base on consisting of around 300 personnel providing logistical assistance to Norway. Therefore, the map paints Norway red.  Bottom line -  the map is BS and misleading.

    Kindrid

     

    Quote:
    From 1945 to the end of the century, the United States attempted to overthrow more than 40 foreign governments, and to crush more than 30 populist-nationalist movements struggling against intolerable regimes. . . . In the process, the US caused the end of life for several million people, and condemned many millions more to a life of agony and despair

    If you really want to compare America’s Cold War conduct to the Soviet Union you can read “The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for The Third World”. The Soviet Union was far more aggressive in their involvement in developing nations. The KGB spent 50 billion a year compared to the CIA’s budget of 3 billion.  

    http://www.amazon.com/World-Was-Going-Our-Way/dp/B000MKYKEK/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1232457159&sr=8-1  

    M. Spector M. Spector's picture

    Is this fucking Nazi troll still here?

    It's Me D

    Heroic effort Fidel. Always sad to see a rehash of the arithmetic "crimes" of Communism... Kindred here's another amazing fact: about 5 million Cubans have died since the revolution 50 years ago! Castro sure has been busy!

    old_bolshie

    Quote:
    Most people I know who've been to Cuba snap a few photos while there. Here are just a few of my own(babbler123) from the first trip in 95. It's really easy to share your vacation photos of Cuba

    Link don't work O Great Luddite.

    Fidel

    old_bolshie wrote:

    Quote:
    Most people I know who've been to Cuba snap a few photos while there. Here are just a few of my own(babbler123) from the first trip in 95. It's really easy to share your vacation photos of Cuba

    Link don't work O Great Luddite.

    Works for me with password "babbler123" They're a bit grainy and faded since they were taken.

    So, where are your photos of Cuba, o' Bullshie? Come on, now. You must have at least one or two of you and your mama on the kiddie rides at Orlando? Canada's Wonderland?

    [Final Jeopardy tune plays on]

    Hoodeet

     

    The discussion mixes different problems that have to be addressed discretely (I don't mean discreetly).

    A.  Don't confuse emigration/immigration with temporary travel, although there are a few things in common.

    All the travel restrictions strike me as being mainly about money.

    The application and the exit visa cost an arm and a leg. Most Cubans chafe at it as a money-grabbing proposition.

    The medical certificate and the guarantee that the foreign host or sponsor will cover any and all costs plus health insurance/costs free the Cuban gov't of financial responsibility outside the country.

    Canada, on the other hand, charges handsomely for visa applications. Even for a visitor's visa the sum is around C$70.  Immigration fees we know are sky-high.   Canada reserves the right to refuse visitors as well as immigrants.Application fees are non-refundable.

    B.  Deaths.

    1. Deaths at sea.   I've discussed this with a number of Cubans, including researchers.  The real figures will probably never be known because there is no record of who is leaving on improvised rafts etc. and one would have to gather details from thousands of people,  mainly friends and relatives in Cuba and in the US, about departures and arrivals; many of those who left and made it alive have now died, or the relatives/friends of those who vanished have died, which makes an accurate survey almost impossible. One could get into official US records of asylum seekers picked up on the shore but then one can correlate them with .... what?   

    That's the opinion of some people, at least.  Estimates among Cubans range from 1,000 to 8,000 deaths a year.  No way of knowing.

    Many of the Cubans who died trying to cross to the US or Mexico were people who could not get a US visa, for whatever reason, or who were impulsive and couldn't wait the 2 or more years it took.  The tragedy is indescribable.  MOST "balseros" (raft people) LEAVE FOR ECONOMIC REASONS, because they want better opportunities or because they are exhausted from trying to survive in a strangled economy.

    Most would be people without relatives abroad to sponsor them or to send them remittances of money.  It is hard to contemplate the demoralization of Cubans (or other Latin Americans or Africans or Asians) whose neighbours receive the much-needed remittance from relatives and friends abroad, while they are stuck earning a pittance and surviving in an increasingly expensive economy.  No one who calls him/herself a friend of Cuba should EVER be dismissive of this problem. I don't care whether health care and education are free; the truth of the matter - and it's something the gov't has recognized very frankly - is that many people cannot make ends meet.  As a result, even if there no longer is the malnutrition of the "special period", some people aren't getting their needs looked after unless they have access to hard currency to buy imported, non-subsidized foods to supplement the meager ration-book diet.  Transportation problems have made it almost impossible for many seniors and disabled people to get to feeding centres (seniors' centres where  a rather unattractive but basically nourishing meal is provided).   The depression and dejection of old people left behind as the younger people leave the island in search of a better future is heartbreaking.   The middle aged people are looking after aging parents and relatives and often worrying about their children's future (either lack of work or emigration).  I could go on forever but I shouldn't.

    This is NOT SPECIFIC to Cuba in ANY way.  Most dependent countries have worse situations in many respects.  The trouble is that Cuba has held itself to some higher standards while being unable to meet them, realistically.

    The problem of deaths at sea is being repeated many times over in the Mediterranean and off the Canary Islands in the case of thousands of Africans and East Asians trying to reach Europe.  Central Americans and Mexicans are dying by the thousands trying to cross into the US.

    2. The death penalty.  The early years saw a high number of executions - remember it was the early 60's, when many countries still had the death penalty and there was little awareness world-wide of the need to ban it; in addition, the leadership (mainly young males) had come out of the guerrilla war and were more inured to killing (or accustomed to carrying out executions) and they were barely out of a period in Cuban history where torture and extra-judicial killings by police were commonplace, so trials and executions seemed reasonable by comparison.  Executions seem to have become less common, more selective (as in the 1990's case of General Ochoa, a popular military figure accused of drug trafficking but widely suspected of having been a fall guy or even a potential rival for the Castro brothers - the jury is out on that one).  Finally, the readier acceptance of the death penalty is connected with the siege mentality and the fear of the overwhelming power of the US, which was actively backing rebellion, sabotage, and assassinations aimed at destabilizing the revolution and reversing its gains.  In time, there will be more open discussion of the unjust death sentences that have been handed down over the years; who knows what redress there may be, if any. 

    3.  Deaths by counterrevolutionaries.  Apart from the Barbados air disaster, the explosion of the Belgian ship La Coubre,in Havana harbour the fire at the Encanto department store, the murder of literacy workers in the countryside by counterrevolutionary guerrillas,( mainly in the 1960's) ; the assassination on US soil, in the 1970's, of two Cuban-Americans working toward a dialogue withe the Cuban government; the  deadly attacks on Cuban diplomats in Canada and the US, and the death of a  foreign tourist in the hotel bombing in the 90's, I don't know of other major terrorist acts that cost many lives.   They are quantitatively less significant than the no. of people executed by the state. Plus there was the possible influence of the USSR, where the death penalty was unfortunately very commonly used.

     But the embargo along with acts of sabotage have  also cost lives indirectly, as public services were affected over the years and people became desperate enough to risk their lives crossing the sea.

    In any case, pitting statistics against statistics is a very crude way of justifying one's political stance.  To say "the counterrevolutionaries killed only x Cubans, the government killed y" is a little absurd.  Deaths are deaths , period. And, on the other hand, context is important, too.

    Dixi.

    Fidel

    Fidel wrote:
    old_bolshie wrote:

    Quote:
    Most people I know who've been to Cuba snap a few photos while there. Here are just a few of my own(babbler123) from the first trip in 95. It's really easy to share your vacation photos of Cuba

    Link don't work O Great Luddite.

    Works for me with password "babbler123" They're a bit grainy and faded since they were taken.

    So, where are your photos of Cuba, o' Bullshie? Come on, now. You must have at least one or two of you and your mama on the kiddie rides at Orlando? Canada's Wonderland?

    [Final Jeopardy tune plays on]

    Well I'm just going to put the block on my photo album again, because it appears ol' Bullshie has run away and chickened out a second time. I knew he was full of it.

    Hoodeet

    Postscript to my tract above: 
    I didn't mean to suggest that seniors and disabled people were leaving on rafts - just that younger people who see the sorry state  of their own future might be inclined to get more desperate and risk their lives.

    Re. restrictions on exit visas: many people tend to emigrate indirectly/illegally, while serving on foreign missions (medical, educational, sports, persons with access to sensitive state data), because they are considered essential personnel.  The state has invested heavily in their education and training and is very reluctant to let them go.  Sometimes I wish Canada could have some restrictions on doctors and nurses (and other professionals) who get a heavily subsidized education here then emigrate to the US for higher salaries.

    Fidel

    Canada has experienced the exodus of somewhere around 500,000 well-educated Asians, first and second generational emigres to Canada since the late 1990's. Very many returnees actually cited a lack of job opportunities in their fields in Canada. This was a Ryerson POlytechnique study/survey. What do you think about that, Hoodeet?

    And why are desperately poor rafters and swimmers from Haiti fleeing to Cuba and sometimes Miami often returned to the US-managed island nation by the US Coast Guard? Why arent those people talked about much in our newspapers and propagandists alike?

    Half a million Canadians vacation in Cuba every year. And unlike American citizens, Canadians are entirely free to travel to Cuba and judge things for themselves. And we are just as free to travel to poverty-stricken US-managed hellholes: Haiti, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Belize etc,  and see first-hand what US-managed thirdworld capitalist hellholes are really up close and personal, and then compare those experiences to Cuba. Yes, you are entirely free to see things as they are for yourselves.

    Fidel
    Kindrid

    So, you are saying Latinos are not capable of anything better than a totalitarian police state in order just to be slightly above  the threshold of absolute poverty?

     

    I noticed that you have not listed Costa Rica on your list of American run hell holes. What does American run mean anyhow? It is just meaningless rhetoric.

    Fidel

    Apparently you didnt read any of the homework assignments I nailed up for you above, kindred tsk-tsk So what are the odds that the US wouldnt interfere politically in Cuba given your example of one single Latin American country among dozens? What's in Costa Rica that the Yanquis would want? It's not so close to Miami, so it's not a good waypoint/conduit for the CIA and organized crime running drugs to the mainland. Havana is just 90 miles away though. And the US mililtary has already demonstrated interest in Cuba with the illegal occupation at Gitmo Bay. That's right, not Costa Rica but Cuba.

    They just never found Cuba to be all that strategic for waging dirty wars in CEntral America however. Costa Rica was used as a staging country for the Contra mercenaries marauding in over the borders to Nicaragua in the 1980s US sponsored dirty war waged on a tiny nation of a few million peasants. 

    El Salvador is a US-Managed capitalist country just a few day's drive from George Bush's Texas. And about half of them live in grinding poverty and despair. The children rummage through landfill sites strewn with medical waste and human excrement. They search for trinkets to sell to help support their families. Meanwhile, Cuban children are in school where they belong. El Salvador is your typical US-managed shithole.

    And Haiti is just 55 miles from Cuba.

    The US military and CIA have invadede Haiti about 25 times from last century to this one in putting down popular people's revolts against intolerable US-backed dictatorships.

    Haiti is a thirdworld capitalist shithole-deluxe, for sure. Did I mention the CIA invading that island nation just 55 miles from Cuba several times? Okay, I do remember now. YES! I did. And to be sure, Haiti is not far from that other island nation which Yanquis and their rightwing Cuban friends tried to invade militarily in 1961 and attempted assassinations and various terrorist attacks on Cuba and against Cubans ever since. It's as if the Gringos have waged war on several fronts against Cuba for several decades.

    And nobody spies on the lives of others quite like the NSA does. It's very scary when we consider that corporate America helps them spy on Americans for profit. State-corporate fascism is an insidious combination.

    old_bolshie

    Quote:
    Well I'm just going to put the block on my photo album again...

    Fine with me-since you can't even link any of your photos here they don't exist do they-just like legal Cuban emigrants.

    Fidel

    old_bolshie wrote:

    Quote:
    Well I'm just going to put the block on my photo album again...

    Fine with me-since you can't even link any of your photos here they don't exist do they-just like legal Cuban emigrants.

    The photos have been open to public viewing all the while. passwd: "babbler123"

    You must me a total idiot besides being full of crap.

    Kindrid

    “US managed” is an empty phrase. The nations you mention have free and fare elections. The leaders of these nations make their own decisions. El Salvador has a growing economy. The people of El Salvador had the chance to elect leaders that want to turn the country into another Cuba. They rejected the idea in numerous elections.

     

    Furthermore, it is meaningless to compare Cuba with nations like Haiti and El Salvador because Cuba before the Revolution was no were near that level. Cuba was once of the wealthiest nations in Latin America. Now it is ranked one of the poorest.

      

    Kindrid

    " the lives of others quite like the NSA does"

    If you are talking to a person that the NSA has intel of possible terrorist connections you might be monitored by the NSA. The chances of an ordinary person being monitored are slim to none. In Cuba you are constantly being monitored by CDRs. Records are kept on your political “reliability”. This starts at school where records are kept on every student. Children are taught by their parents on what not to say. Children are encouraged to rat out their parents. Cuba is identical to what existed in the DDR with the Stasi.

    Kindrid

    BTW, how is the American occupation of Canada going? Are US troops

    oppressing you yet?

    Fidel

    kindrid, if shoe were clues, you'd be barefoot

    Fidel

    US capitalism would be nothing without massive energy exports and raw materials exported from Canada by trade deals signed by our politicos on the take

     

    Kindrid wrote:

    “US managed” is an empty phrase. The nations you mention have free and fare elections. The leaders of these nations make their own decisions. El Salvador has a growing economy.

    El Salvador is a shithole run by about 14 or so coffee barons whose forebear family members were granted huge tracts of land in Spanish colonial times.

    Death Squads in El Salvador:A Pattern of U.S. Complicity El Salvador expected to shift left politically: polls 

     

    Quote:
    Furthermore, it is meaningless to compare Cuba with nations like Haiti and El Salvador because Cuba before the Revolution was no were near that level. Cuba was once of the wealthiest nations in Latin America. Now it is ranked one of the poorest.

      

    Cuba was a shithole under Batista and his US-backed mafia regime in Havana. The people were tired of the poverty and mafia running things,  BRAC secret polizia harassing them at every turn, the gouging on rents etc Batista and the mafia were living a fool's paradise. It just wasnt meant to last. And good riddance to them.

    Kindrid

    Quote:

    El Salvador is a shithole run by about 14 or so coffee barons whose forebear family members were granted huge tracts of land in Spanish colonial times.

    Death Squads in El Salvador:A Pattern of U.S. Complicity 

     

    Ah, the death squads no longer exists since the war ended.

    Fidel

    Oh and tell your mother she wants you,  ol' Bullshie. NOW I'm turning off access to the Cuba photos, since youre so full of shit an' all. An' tell your mama she should read to you from The Adventures of Pinocchio! Undecided

    Fidel

    Kindrid wrote:

    Quote:

    El Salvador is a shithole run by about 14 or so coffee barons whose forebear family members were granted huge tracts of land in Spanish colonial times.

    Death Squads in El Salvador:A Pattern of U.S. Complicity 

    Ah, the death squads no longer exists since the war ended.

    You're full of smelly bullshit as per usual

    Death Squads Still Operating in El Salvador  2007

    It seems you take one foot out just in time to put the other one in.

    Kindrid

    Quote:

    With almost 70% of votes counted, the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) had a nine-point lead over the governing conservative party Arena.

    So, it seems that El Salvador does have free elections that are competitive. If El Salvador is just a US managed state, how can this occur? What are the chances of a anti-Castro candidate winning anything in Cuba?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7838959.stm

    Kindrid

    Quote:

    Four other police officers were arrested Aug. 27 in the eastern department of San Miguel in connection with the group headed by Arriaza, and were charged with belonging to a death squad.

     

    So you are claiming that common criminals are the equivalent to government sponsored death squads?

    Kindrid

    Quote:

    Strategically and centrally located within Central America, tiny El Salvador has been a striking economic success in recent years. Rated by the Wall Street Journal as, after Chile, having the most open and free market in Latin America, and enjoying relative domestic calm for nearly 20 years, it nevertheless faces a relentlessly radical political opposition and is surrounded by unfriendly or failing nations.

    Multiple factors impact legislative elections next January, followed by presidential elections in March. The radical leftist revolutionary group turned political party, Farabundo Marti Liberation Movement (FMLN), is fighting to gain political power it never could achieve during 30 years of civil chaos. Despite solid economic growth (5 percent in 2007) and unemployment of just 5.5 percent,

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/jul/16/fixing-el-salvador/

    Sounds like El Salvador is making solid progress

    Fidel

    Kindrid wrote:

    Quote:

    Four other police officers were arrested Aug. 27 in the eastern department of San Miguel in connection with the group headed by Arriaza, and were charged with belonging to a death squad.

    So you are claiming that common criminals are the equivalent to government sponsored death squads?

    Can you read?

    Quote:
    Another indication of the existence of death squads was the distribution of flyers over the past two weeks in the town of Chalchuapa, 80 km from San Salvador, signed simply with the initials "E.L." The leaflets declare a "curfew" and urge local residents and the members of the PNC themselves to stay inside at night."For your own good, we advise you not to be on the streets after 10:00 PM, because we are carrying out a cleansing campaign," says the flyer.The town's murder rate has soared from four or five killings a month at the beginning of the year to 17 in August alone, according to the local PNC offices.

    I'm not saying youre a fucktard or anything, just that printed material warning of "cleansing campaigns" in a country known for its rightwing death squads and brutal U.S.-backed dictatorships of the recent past should be an indication that something's amiss. If the USSA and its shitholing backyard nations are such good places to be, then why dont you go see for yourself, you stupid bastard?

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