The Revolution Betrayed? Is Cuba Going to Join the World Economic System?

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ygtbk

Fidel wrote:

Don't read Blum's article. You might learn something about the cold war lies and propaganda they spoon fed us for 50 years.

I will in fact read Blum's article. But I notice you didn't answer my question. I've been to Checkpoint Charlie.

George Victor

ygtbk wrote:

George Victor wrote:

ygtbk wrote:

At the risk of being obvious, there was a reason that the Berlin Wall was built. And it wasn't to keep West Berliners from moving to East Berlin. Given a chance, people vote with their feet.

 

And our kids are being left to live with our voting choices.     

It's called a screwed up values system... a social pathology might just be able to explain it.

Assuming that people can't figure out their own best interests would seem to be pretty close to declaring that democracy can't work. I assume that's not a conclusion that you're trying to reach.

 

Dear ygtbk, this is not a question of political best interests, this is a question of Homo sapiens'  capabilities, of comprehension and action, in overcoming the siren song of materialism.

The responses of Sven and yourself suggest that, yes, democracy can't work, because its function is too limiting.  The conservatives' winning appeal of ever-lower taxes shows just how quickly we are bottoming out .  Our attempts to raise the democratic sights are slimed up by opponents who know very well what the average taxpayer/consumer aspires to.

Fidel

ygtbk wrote:

Fidel wrote:

Don't read Blum's article. You might learn something about the cold war lies and propaganda they spoon fed us for 50 years.

I will in fact read Blum's article. But I notice you didn't answer my question. I've been to Checkpoint Charlie.

Good for you. And Blum used to be a rabid anti-communist who was to taught to live in fear of reds under his bed 24-7. He's done his homework since though.

ygtbk

George Victor wrote:

ygtbk wrote:

George Victor wrote:

ygtbk wrote:

At the risk of being obvious, there was a reason that the Berlin Wall was built. And it wasn't to keep West Berliners from moving to East Berlin. Given a chance, people vote with their feet.

 

And our kids are being left to live with our voting choices.     

It's called a screwed up values system... a social pathology might just be able to explain it.

Assuming that people can't figure out their own best interests would seem to be pretty close to declaring that democracy can't work. I assume that's not a conclusion that you're trying to reach.

 

Dear ygtbk, this is not a question of political best interests, this is a question of Homo sapiens'  capabilities, of comprehension and action, in overcoming the siren song of materialism.

The responses of Sven and yourself suggest that, yes, democracy can't work, because its function is too limiting.  The conservatives' winning appeal of ever-lower taxes shows just how quickly we are bottoming out .  Our attempts to raise the democratic sights are slimed up by opponents who know very well what the average taxpayer/consumer aspires to.

So is there a solution other than education? Just hoping that people get smarter and more foresighted doesn't seem likely to get us too far.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
 In essence, socialism is not dead; it's evolving as it has been since the revolution.  So, let's all chill, while the right gets it wrong - again.

Given that this thread is titled "The Revolution Betrayed?", I'm not sure it's only the right getting ahead of themselves.

But really, once they de-nationalized haircuts, wasn't the writing on the wall?

ygtbk

Fidel wrote:

ygtbk wrote:

Fidel wrote:

Don't read Blum's article. You might learn something about the cold war lies and propaganda they spoon fed us for 50 years.

I will in fact read Blum's article. But I notice you didn't answer my question. I've been to Checkpoint Charlie.

Good for you. And Blum used to be a rabid anti-communist who was to taught to live in fear of reds under his bed 24-7. He's done his homework since though.

Blum is interesting, but he definitely lacks context. In fact, he reads like an apologist for the GDR. Read:

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

starting at about "Emigration westward in the early 1950s" and continuing through "Erection of the inner German border" if you're looking for a factual account.

Fidel

Wikipedia is not a reliable source for everything, just so you know. Blum isn't the only person to ever reveal the truth about the cold war propaganda and lies published by both sides during that period. Three information sources - that's a required minimum for most short essays in colleges nowadays I believe.

ygtbk

Fidel wrote:

Wikipedia is not a reliable source for everything, just so you know. Blum isn't the only person to ever reveal the truth about the cold war propaganda and lies published by both sides during that period. Three information sources - that's a required minimum for most short essays in colleges nowadays I believe.

Counterpunch is more reliable than Wikipedia? Give me a break. If you want to deny that millions of people left East Germany when they were free to do so, and that emigration stopped when they started getting shot for attempting to do so, feel free.

To reiterate, given a choice, people vote with their feet. I especially like the following quotation for its candour:

 

Quote:

Soviet East German ambassador Mikhail Pervukhin observed that "the presence in Berlin of an open and essentially uncontrolled border between the socialist and capitalist worlds unwittingly prompts the population to make a comparison between both parts of the city, which unfortunately, does not always turn out in favor of the Democratic [East] Berlin."

Sven Sven's picture

Fidel wrote:

Another Cold War Myth 

[url=http://www.counterpunch.org/blum10022009.html]The Fall of the Berlin Wall[/url] By WILLIAM BLUM

Quote:
In 1999, USA Today reported: "When the Berlin Wall crumbled, East Germans imagined a life of freedom where consumer goods were abundant and hardships would fade. Ten years later, a remarkable 51% say they were happier with communism." (USA Today, October 11, 1999, p.1.)

Many East Berliners were happy commuting to work in the west. That was until the Gladio gang began with terrorist shananigans and employing what was left of Himmler's SS to spy on the Sovs.

Great...then why was it necessary for the Commies to build a wall?  To keep happy people (East Berliners) from going someplace where they'd be unhappy (West Berlin)?

How nice of the Commies to be so considerate of their subjects...

Sven Sven's picture

George Victor wrote:

The responses of Sven and yourself suggest that, yes, democracy can't work, because its function is too limiting.

Well, perhaps you feel it "can't work" because you don't like the results.  Fine.

And, if democracy "can't work" (according to your view), then what would YOU replace it with?

Fidel

Sven have you ever been to Cuba? And why would you expect that Cuba should be any better than all those s#itholes in Central America just a few days drive from Texas? Have you ever been to Honduras and seen up close how well off they are there as a reward for putting up with US-coached death squad governments for many years? Why aren't all kids in those countries in school where they should be, like children in Cuba have a basic right to education and to see a doctor on a regular basis? We can make this about a lot more than the focus of Uncle Sam's affection 90 miles away. We sure can!

Fidel

Sven wrote:

Fidel wrote:

Another Cold War Myth 

[url=http://www.counterpunch.org/blum10022009.html]The Fall of the Berlin Wall[/url] By WILLIAM BLUM

Quote:
In 1999, USA Today reported: "When the Berlin Wall crumbled, East Germans imagined a life of freedom where consumer goods were abundant and hardships would fade. Ten years later, a remarkable 51% say they were happier with communism." (USA Today, October 11, 1999, p.1.)

Many East Berliners were happy commuting to work in the west. That was until the Gladio gang began with terrorist shananigans and employing what was left of Himmler's SS to spy on the Sovs.

Great...then why was it necessary for the Commies to build a wall?  To keep happy people (East Berliners) from going someplace where they'd be unhappy (West Berlin)?

How nice of the Commies to be so considerate of their subjects...

Your governments aided and abetted a lot worse. While a few thousand Germans and war criminals were shot hopping over a wall, US-backed death squads were slaughtering hundreds of thousands of indigenous people throughout Central America.

You know Sven, Cuba is one of the few countries where they aren't burning US flags today. I wouldn't talk about Cuba if I was an American kept in the dark and fed sheep dip 24-7.

Sven Sven's picture

Fidel wrote:

And why would you expect that Cuba should be any better than all those s#itholes in Central America just a few days drive from Texas?

I'm not making a comparison between Cuba and, as you call them, "all those s#itholes in Central America".  I'm making a comparison between the utopian Cuban system versus the hated Canadian system.  It's insanely comical to see people tripping over themselves to laud the brilliance and justice of the Cuban system while, at the same time, trashing the Canadian system as evil incarnate.

Yet, how many nanoseconds would elapse between the time a leader of a major Canadian political party advocated the imposition of a Cuban system in Canada and the time Canadian voters blew that party out of existence?

I'm thinking about three nanoseconds -- although some experts think four.

Fidel

Sven, our colonial administrators in Ottawa have 22 percent of registered voter support under them since 2008. Harper's a tin pot, and he knows it. And so is Pinocchio in Toronto a tin pot.

And the Reds lost the popular vote count in 2000. That made Prescott Bush's genetic baggage an illegit tin pot, too. You have a one-party dictatorship down there, too. Don't ever fool yourselves.

Democracy is an illusion in North America. And now our corporate hirelings in Washington and Ottawa are trying to hack off a piece of Central Asia and toss it to salivating corporate jackals waiting in the wings. The world is run like the mafia, Sven. It's why things are falling apart the way they are.

George Victor

Sven wrote:

Fidel wrote:

And why would you expect that Cuba should be any better than all those s#itholes in Central America just a few days drive from Texas?

I'm not making a comparison between Cuba and, as you call them, "all those s#itholes in Central America".  I'm making a comparison between the utopian Cuban system versus the hated Canadian system.  It's insanely comical to see people tripping over themselves to laud the brilliance and justice of the Cuban system while, at the same time, trashing the Canadian system as evil incarnate.

Yet, how many nanoseconds would elapse between the time a leader of a major Canadian political party advocated the imposition of a Cuban system in Canada and the time Canadian voters blew that party out of existence?

I'm thinking about three nanoseconds -- although some experts think four.

 

I'll bet it would only be TWO nanoseconds. And I'll bet, Sven, given your materialist aspirations and refusal to see that as a problem for the continued existence of the species, you'd be the one pushing the detonator.

Great Gaia, the depth of the your reasoning....!

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
Yet, how many nanoseconds would elapse between the time a leader of a major Canadian political party advocated the imposition of a Cuban system in Canada and the time Canadian voters blew that party out of existence?

 

No need even to buy the whole package. Just propose one thing and see how it flies: state ownership of all barbershops and hairstyling salons.

 

Canadians know how effective and efficient government bureaucracy can be. They trust politicians and the government. Spending $78 to get on the waiting list for a bowlcut will definitely appeal to them on a collective level. ¡Viva la revolucion!

Cueball Cueball's picture

There isn't anything wrong with free enterprise. There is something wrong with faux "free enterprise" that is code language for monopoly capitalism. Sure Snert, Canadians know that their are a lot of lard assess in government. They know this because government is accountable to them. What flies under the radar on most days is how many lard assess populate the private sector.

One really only has to try and deal with accounts payable at Bell canada or Rogers cable to figure that out.

Large organizations and efficiency simply do not go together. It doesn't matter who owns it.

Snert Snert's picture

Certainly some organizations can move with the nimble agility of a thousand elephants tied together at the testicles.  But can you imagine, say, Apple computer as a state-owned industry?

Cueball Cueball's picture

I personally think Apple Redux is a great example of private business that has proves the rule of the rush to mediocrity inherent in the private business model. Indeed, today, they are selling a product that for all intents and purposes is precisely the same as their so called competition almost entirely on the fumes emitted from their marketing department, and a reputation for providing an "real" alternative that should have been put to bed when they went over to the Intel chip.

jacki-mo

Queball: "Large organizations and efficiency simply do not go together. It doesn't matter who owns it."

 

You are wrong. Walmart, McDonald's to name 2 very large corporations are extremely efficient.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Efficient at what? Producing crap? That is not efficiency. Effieciency is producing high quality goods that last a long time, not producing many shitty things.

remind remind's picture

Cueball wrote:
Efficient at what? Producing crap? That is not efficiency. Effieciency is producing high quality goods that last a long time, not producing many shitty things.

Excellent observation.

I would also add; they are very  efficient at exploiting their employees.

jacki-mo

Walmart does not produce anything. Anyway it a matter of economies of scale. You are just prejudiced and admit nothing about the benefits of Walmart: offering decent products which low and middle income people can afford. Employment there is voluntary so it is not exploitation.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Someone has to have a job somewhere, so at the end of the day someone "chooses" to be exploited because they have no other options. Eating at McDonalds causes brain farts, clearly.

Accusing people of being "prejudiced" does not amount to an argument, it is in fact ad hominem itself, unless you can demonstrate the prejudice. In fact, I said nothing prejudiced against free enterprise, in fact I am a big supporter of "free enterprise". I simply observed that there are as many lard assess in the corporate sector, especially in management, as there are in government owned institutions. I say this as someone with experience in corporate management.

Please demonstrate for me that buying a pair of blue jeans at wallmart that last for 2 years (at the very maximum) is somehow superior to buying a pair of jeans that will last 10 years, as was the case when "blue jeans" were first invented? You are such a fool. They don't even hide the fact that they intentionally apply production methods that create an inferior product, and you still buy their crap. Its called "built-in-obsolescence" and it has nothing to do with "efficiency".

One merely has to observe the difference in the time it takes for 6 people to decide where to have dinner and the amount of time it takes for 2 people to decide where to have dinner to observe the exponential effect of the size of the group has on a decision making process to see that larger organizations are less efficient that smaller ones.

The only difference is that you have absolutely no say in who is mismanaging McDonalds, whereas you do have some kind of say in who is mismanaging Toronto Hydro or the TTC.

Let me know the next time that McDonalds or Walmart decides to hold a series of Town Hall meetings so that the general public can air their grievances about costumer service, like the workers in the TTC union ATU 113 did at the begining of the year -- that is public accountability.

Fidel

jacki-mo wrote:

Walmart does not produce anything. Anyway it a matter of economies of scale. You are just prejudiced and admit nothing about the benefits of Walmart: offering decent products which low and middle income people can afford. Employment there is voluntary so it is not exploitation.

It depends on which country you are talking about. At a Wal-Mart factory in Shezhen, China, there is a sign on the wall that reads, [url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A22507-2004Feb7?language=printer]"If you don't work hard today, tomorrow you'll have to try hard to look for a job."[/url] There are very few social supports for laid off and unemployed workers in China. Meanwhile they practice what's known as "flexible labour market" ideology as an incentive for American workers to accept whatever jobs are available. And with unemployment running as high as it is in the US today, there is plenty of incentive to donate their lives to Wal-Mart's low wage philanthropy.

In both cases, there are few alternatives. Workers can not opt out of the capitalist system. They can not choose to squat on someone's property and live off the land as was possible to do before the age of exclusive private property laws. The poor can not realistically buy property in either country at over-inflated market prices - the wealthy have most of the best land scooped up for themselves and the state paying for the employment of guard labour to protect their private property at a ratio of one in four workers in America and said to be an expensive waste of manpower costing the economy many billions of dollars a year in terms of lost productivity. In China, there are still a few state-owned farms employing several hundred thousand people, but small farmers there are increasingly put off the land and forced to look for work in cities. So, no, I disagree that work in either China or the US is voluntary considering the alternative to work, which is to live a life of poverty. And for many low wage workers in both countries, they will live in relative or absolute poverty whether they choose to work or not. For tens of millions of Americans and Chinese, the choice to work or not work is not much of a choice.

 

George Victor

The goal of efficiency only has competitiveness and the bottom line in mind.  Efficiency somes from the application of technology and worker's time in ways which make an enterprise productive and competitive.  The value of the product is based on its saleability at a price that guarantees a profit.  That will not be so critical to the small businesses serving fellow Cubans.

The Cuban planners predict that many of the fledgling businesses will fail because laid-off workers lack the experience, skill and initiative to make it on their own.  But they are stressing development of co-operatives. As I recall from the two-part series on Cuban agriculture by David Suzuki, the agricultural co-operatives got it right when food growing and marketing were privatized...with lots of advice from home-grown biologists. Let's just see if they get it right in other sectors as well. I'll bet a million pent-up ideas will be worked on.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

I can link to Granma now but I'm still not finding any sources on this story other than the usual bourgeois suspects. Maybe I'm not looking hard enough.

RosaL
N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Much thanks, Rosa.

BTW, this thread seems to have been derailed into a discussion about the Berlin Wall. lol.

Jacob Richter

Cueball wrote:
There isn't anything wrong with free enterprise. There is something wrong with faux "free enterprise" that is code language for monopoly capitalism. Sure Snert, Canadians know that their are a lot of lard assess in government. They know this because government is accountable to them. What flies under the radar on most days is how many lard assess populate the private sector.

One really only has to try and deal with accounts payable at Bell canada or Rogers cable to figure that out.

Large organizations and efficiency simply do not go together. It doesn't matter who owns it.

Have your political views changed somewhat?  Large organizations can have economies of scale, and "free enterprise" almost always involves the hiring of labour for profit.

Cueball Cueball's picture

In practice, In this society, But as you say "almost". Almost implies that it does not always have to be so.

Fidel

I think it does matter who owns the enterprise. It's true that privatization is not nearly the problem that deregulation has been in the US and Canada and elsewhere. And Sir Tony Benn said that nationalised companies did give British governments problems during times of strikes. And it seemed that unions directing labour actions of those companies knew when they could strike and win  concessions, which was often when labour governments were in power. But Benn said that regardless of how much power public sector workers were able to bring the running of the country to a stop, they could be bargained with.

OTOH, corporations which are multinational in scope have the added bargaining chip to move jobs to branch plants around the world and often with the threat of moving jobs to low wage zones. This is puts governments and workers at a significant disadvantage.

Another disadvantage is allowing too much foreign control of key sectors of the economy. Canada, for instance, has allowed a great deal of foreign ownership and control of key economic sectors which other rich countries have just not allowed to happen in their own economies. Absentee corporate landlords have a tendency to avoid paying taxes in branch plant countries with schemes like transfer pricing. Also, head office and administrative jobs have been lost in Canada by the droves to the US and other countries. They sometimes even retain the 'Canadian' part of a former crown company's original name and then hold annual board meetings in the US etc and run the company from thousands of kilometres away in another country.

And when natural resources and once publicly owned are involved, like oil or potash and other mineral wealth, the marauding multinational will often be sitting on other mineral deposits, timber and natural gas wealth in other countries around the world. This tendency for large multinationals to monopolize surface rights to mineral and other natural wealth in various places gives them the advantage of manipulating global prices and even the option of laying off workers in countries like Canada where labour costs tend to be higher than in thirdworld capitalist countries they own similar mineral and other rights to resources. Globalization has created a number of corporations which have more economic and even political clout than the governments of very many countries. And when we say governments, we mean our democratically elected representatives as opposed to non-elected corporate CEOs and their shareholders, who may reside here or somewhere far removed from Canada and Canadian national interests.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture
a lonely worker

Geoff OB - that link to the Guardian doesn't work. I'm assuming its this excellent article:

 

Cuba: from communist to co-operative?

So what exactly did the old man say? To be specific: "The Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore," was his answer to being asked if he believed it was something still worth exporting. That is hardly an admission of total failure. He clearly thinks it worked once, and since he does not elaborate on the reasons why he thinks it doesn't work now, it is premature to assume that he is chucking in the towel.

Nor can the statement be interpreted as him saying that socialism per se has failed – merely that Cuba's current model of it no longer fits the times. He has consistently held the view that there are as many models of socialism as there are countries that try it out. As a Marxist he believes that the particular circumstances of each society and the peculiarities of their histories affect the character of whatever politics they might have – be they communist or capitalist.

The government has recently handed out more than 2.5m acres of land to individuals and co-operatives, in order that they produce more food, and has accordingly loosened controls that prohibit Cubans from selling fruit and vegetables. In an effort to build a modern tourism infrastructure it has eased property laws to give lease periods of up to 99 years for foreign investors.

However, at the same time the government has announced that workers will be encouraged to take over the ownership of the companies in which they work. In a move that the government has actually called a deepening of socialism, the Cubans are about to launch what could potentially become the biggest co-operative project the world has ever seen.

The government is saying that the old centrally planned Soviet-style of socialism has finally hit the buffers – a new form of socialism is required, in which the state ceases to be the administrator of economic activity but the regulator. That's a different model of socialism – it may not work either – but it is not capitalism.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/sep/10/fidel-cas...

 

So to recap this for the "progressive" capitalists who are unable to remove our corporate media filters:

- Parts of Cuba's economy are moving from the Marxist-Leninist model of centralised planning into community based (democratic socialist) models anchored around co-operatives, worker ownership of production and small businesses.

To give an example: hairdressers will no longer be state employees but members of worker co-operatives or small businesses with the state being a junior partner responsible for providing supplies, education and services.This is being referred to "21st Century Socialism" and is spreading throughout Latrin America.

This happened during Cuba's "special period" when the military was downsized by 90%. The affected soldiers were re-trained for urban agriculture, tourism and other needed skills within the economy. None were thrown on the street as happens in our "progressive" northlands.

This transition was an overwhelming success particularly in urban co-operatives which are now the backbone of Cuba's urban food supplies. It is now moving into other sectors and is no less "socialist" then the first transition.

Everyday we are bombarded with neo-con and neo-lib ignorance and cheers everytime a Canadian unionised worker is thrown on the street to pay for more CEO bonuses. At one time I had hopes that rabble was an island of sanity from this tea bagging nonsense, however some of these comments prove that ignorance is equally prevelent on those who call themselves "social democrats".

No matter how much they wish for Cuba's demise and believe the propaganda our corporate media feeds them about "evil" socialism; it won't be happening anytime soon.

But what is happening is that since "progressive" Obama took over as President, he's doubled Bush's anti-Cuba budget and is increasing the military presence in Latin America to levels not seen since the days of the Contras and military death squads of Operation Condor.

Example: Obama has just sent 7,000 US Marines, 40 warships and a military force capable of invading a Latin American country (Venezuela?) as well as built two new military bases thanks to the Junta in Honduras:

http://www.globalpost.com/webblog/costa-rica/7000-us-marines-landing-the...

Proof again that northern "liberals", "social democrats" and "progressives" are even worse imperialists than the repugnicans who at least don't pretend to be the friends of the world before they do their war shit.

 

Finally some laughable remarks have been made about the Berlin Wall. McCarthy and faux news would be proud of this tea bagging propaganda.

Its time they updated their 20th century talking points:

The Berlin Wall is being re-constructed right now:

The Germans who want the Wall back

But when Germany marks the 20th anniversary of its reunification next month, the wealthy denizens of Potsdam will be celebrating the event behind bits of a new and self-constructed "Berlin Wall" that runs along sections of the old divide to keep the common public away from their luxury homes.

Berlin's new "Wall" has not simply given rise to protest groups. It has sparked a furious row about property rights involving Chancellor Angela Merkel's government, and provoked an angry backlash from Potsdam residents who claim their hard earned freedom is being abused by rich toffs. "You arseholes just are gloating over your wealth," is how a pair of villa residents were recently greeted by a passing Potsdam cyclist as they stood in their immaculate gardens.

The dispute has since prompted protests from the government of the surrounding German state of Brandenburg which wants the Wall path opened to the public. However, Mrs Merkels' Finance Minister has since intervened and sided with the property owners. But with the Merkel government now effectively backing the villa residents, the only way Potsdam's public will regain access to the Greibnitzsee path along will be through the intervention of Germany's upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat.

For the Potsdam protesters who are opposed to the villa owners' new Wall the dilemma is rough justice: "Twenty years ago we fought to bring down a wall that kept the capitalists away from the East German proletariat," one told German television, "Now we have got a new wall that keeps the proles away from the capitalists."

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/the-germans-who-want-the-...

 

Welcome to 21st century "freedom" and capitalism.  The 1950's are over and people better start seeing where our model is taking us. At least Latin America is re-tooling and making whole-sale changes when needed. When will we abandon our own 1950's thinking and rhetoric?

 

Ken Burch

Also, despite Raul Castro's cynical quote, people in Cuba work as hard as people work anywhere else.

Ken Burch

Sven wrote:

[url=Cuba">http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/09/13/cuba.economy/index.html?hpt... announced on Monday[/url]:

Quote:

...it would lay off "at least" half a million state workers over the next six months and simultaneously allow more jobs to be created in the private sector as the socialist economy struggles to get back on its feet.  The plan announced in state media confirms that President Raul Castro is following through on his pledge to shed some one million state jobs, a full fifth of the official workforce -- but in a shorter timeframe than initially anticipated.  "Our state cannot and should not continue maintaining companies, productive entities and services with inflated payrolls and losses that damage our economy and result counterproductive, create bad habits and distort workers' conduct," the CTC, Cuba's official labor union, said in newspapers.

[SNIP]

The more they produce, the more they earn.

What a concept!!

Indeed...especially if those that earned the most actually produced ANYTHING...rather than doing what they really do, which is pump up the returns to their shareholders through asset-stripping(mass layoffs, price increases, reductions in the quality of goods and/or services and and the deliberate practics of treating customers like dookie).

NDPP

A Change of Course in Cuba and Venezuela?

http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20100920_change_course_cuba_and_venezuela

"Following Fidel's uncharacteristically pro-Jewish remarks, Chavez, who has echoed his Iranian ally's vituperative stance against Israel, held a meeting with leaders of Venezuela's Jewish community on Sept. 18 in which he reportedly discussed their concerns about anti Semitic remarks in the media and their request for Venezuela to re-establish diplomatic relations with Israel.."

The Forever Fidel Obsession - by Saul Landau

http://www.truthdig.com/report/the_forever_fidel_obsession_20100919/

"What became clear to me in recent visits to Cuba, which I make at least once a year, was that the economy had become dysfunctional. Centralized authority - the political companies of the state-controlled economy - had also become a cruel joke.."

Fidel

Sven wrote:
Quote:
The more they produce, the more they earn.

What a concept!!

No, Sven, under socialism they are not supposed to earn money, trade with other countries outside of COMECON, or use hair dryers. And it's just the way the reds prefer things to be, too.

Has anyone ever seen a commie drink a glass of water?

Ken Burch

or eat, for that matter?

I've heard that all commies photosynthesize!

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

NDPP - you want to watch out if you're quoting Stratfor. Don't get any on you. 'nuff said.

NDPP

Yeah I know - that's why I threw in Saul Landau with it...

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

[url=http://www.socialistvoice.ca/?p=1369]The Cuban Revolution: Challanges and Changes[/url]

Quote:
For more than 50 years tiny Cuba (its population is currently about 11.25 million) has punched well above its weight in world politics. That's because it carried out an authentic socialist revolution and has ceaselessly fought to defend and extend it in the teeth of remorseless pressure from its giant neighbour.

The Cuban Revolution has been marked by its tremendous internationalism, the high points of which have been its armed intervention in Angola in support of the struggle against the South African apartheid regime and its unstinting medical aid to the Third World.

The Cuban Revolution has shown that a Stalinist bureaucratic degeneration is not inevitable. There are bureaucrats in Cuba but the Fidelista leadership has largely managed to contain this danger by its constant vigilance, mass campaigns and appeals to the people.

Revolution faces biggest challenge

Today the Cuban Revolution arguably faces its biggest challenge. It is confronting severe economic problems. There appears to be a growing bureaucratic danger, an alarming growth of corruption, widespread popular recourse to the black economy in order to survive and a growing social differentiation among the population.

What makes all this even more challenging is that the historic generation which led the original revolutionary process is slowly passing from the scene. The imperialists (and more than a few people on the left) are convinced that the passing of Fidel and Raul will signal the collapse of the revolution.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

With a h/t to a Facebook friend for this: U.S. lawmakers fret as Cuban oil drill plans advance

Uncle John

How many political prisoners are there in Cuba again?

Ken Burch

U.S. regime opposition to the Cuban Revolution never had anything whatsoever to do with the number of political prisoners or any other measure of "human rights".  Fidel Castro could have made the place a democratic paradise and the U.S. would STILL have been obsessed with overthrowing him and putting the Batista types back in power.

(And I say that both as a Yank AND a person who wishes the Revolution there had used less repressive methods, btw).

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

According to Wiki  the current government of Cuba regards the U.S. presence in Guantánamo Bay as illegal and insists the Cuban-American Treaty was obtained by threat of force in violation of international law.

And the American prison at Guantánamo remains, open, no?  A promise made by Obama to close it remains broken, yes?

Uncle John

Political Promises from Liberals?

Izzat like when Jean the Strangler promised to scrap the GST?

Or when Premier Daddy said No New Taxes?

To actually believe that a politician would keep a promise, when the world is full of Unexpected Circumstances and those lying liars in the last government who lied about the finances, is just amazing!

Fortunately, I do not even believe in the concept of belief (as it applies to me anyway), so this does not trouble me. It's not what you say, but how you say it. If you can lull me into a false sense of security and send me on my way, you have got my vote. Unless you try to suppress it through lies, slander, innuendo, disagreement with facts, calling me stupid, etc.

If your party does not win, and you complain, you are a sore loser.

NOT ONLY IS OBAMA NOT GOING TO CLOSE GITMO, HE IS GOING TO EXECUTE THEM THERE WITH NO DUE PROCESS. Oh *ahem* Military Tribunals. As If.

The more I see Obama, the more I am tempted to breach Godwin's law regarding him. However I am afraid the unreconstructed Lyndon Larouche might just be right on this one. Or Obama might send a drone to my house.

Gaian

NDPP wrote:

The Revolution Betrayed? Is Cuba Going to Join the World Economic System?

http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2010/09/11/is-cuba-going-to-join-the...

"It now seems that with a string of former 'socialist' states, succumbing to the 'market economy' one of the last remnants of the socialist dream - Cuba - is to go the same way.."

My goodness, I wonder if THE PEOPLE will decide? It would be a shame, given the way that they have distinguished themselves from the rest of Latin Amierica's beholden states, but then, I don't live in Cuba and experience the hardships that came with the revolution.

NDPP

Longtime Foes US and Cuba Seek to Normalize Relations in Historic Shift

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/u-s-and-cuba-seek-to-normalize-relations-in...

"In a speech delivered at the White House on Wednesday, Obama outlined some steps his administration will be taking to normalize full diplomatic relations with Cuba, marking the most significant shift in US policy toward the communist island in decades..."

NDPP

The New Opening With the USA  -  by Raul Castro

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/12/17/the-new-opening-with-the-usa/

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