Viva la revolucion! Cuba's 50th anniversary (cont'd.)

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M. Spector M. Spector's picture
Viva la revolucion! Cuba's 50th anniversary (cont'd.)

Cuba reduced its infant mortality rate in 2008 to 4.7 deaths per every 1000 live births, which confirms the Caribbean nation as one of the world’s leading medical powers.

According to Deputy Health Minister Joaquin Garcia Salabarria, nine out of the country’s 14 provinces maintained their infant mortality rates under five in 2008.

Garcia Salabarria gave several reasons why Cuba is a leading medical power in the world.

He said that the Caribbean nation has similar and, in some cases, even better health indicators than First World countries and also because of the existence of a public health system with free and universal access for all the people.

The official also referred to the human capital created by this system and also the training of human resources for Cuba and for many countries around the world as well as Cuba’s assistance to several nations.

In addition, he stressed the implementation and development of advanced technologies in the field of public health and the creation and production of vaccines, medical equipment, biotechnological products and other medicines.

- [url=

Canada's rate is 4.8.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Speaking from beneath the same balcony where Fidel Castro declared victory over the Batista government, President [Raúl] Castro said the revolution would survive another 50 years.

But he also referred to a speech by his brother a few years ago, in which he warned that "this revolution can destroy itself," The Associated Press reported; if that occurred, Raúl Castro quoted his brother as saying, "it would be our own fault." Nearly all of the time since Fidel Castro seized control of the country has been spent under a United States economic embargo. Cuban officials said in December that the economy would grow 4.3 percent in 2008, about half the rate that had been expected.

Even though Cuba's economy has been stabilized in recent years by the provision of about 100,000 barrels a day of subsidized oil from Venezuela, it is dealing with a host of other problems.

Hurricanes wrought damage last year, while agricultural disarray heightened reliance on food imports. The younger Mr. Castro has introduced halting reforms like allowing Cubans to buy cellphones or stay at hotels set aside for foreign tourists, but average salaries of about $20 a month put such luxuries out of reach for most people.

Scattered flags and small banners with slogans appeared in recent days in the capital, Havana, but otherwise events surrounding the revolution's anniversary were in keeping with the somber economic mood....

The presidents of Brazil, China and Russia have all visited Havana in recent months, pledging greater economic cooperation. At Mexico's initiative in December, Cuba was admitted to the Rio Group, a diplomatic association of Latin American and Caribbean countries. And in October, the European Union formally renewed ties to Cuba.

"While the U.S. is dithering, virtually every other major actor in world affairs is becoming more engaged with Cuba," said Daniel Erikson, director of Caribbean programs at the Inter-American Dialogue, a policy research group in Washington.

Still, Cuba's enduring revolution, which has secured advances in education and health care, faces other challenges. It has one the hemisphere's lowest birthrates, 1.6 children per woman, and one of its highest life expectancy rates, 77.3 years. Emigration of thousands of young people each year also erodes its population of 11.4 million.

[url=]New York Times[/url]





You might suspect a story behind this respectability — and you are right. The regime is very keen on keeping infant mortality down, knowing that the world looks to this statistic as an indicator of the general health of a country. Cuban doctors are instructed to pay particular attention to prenatal and infant care. A woman’s pregnancy is closely monitored. (The regime manages to make the necessary equipment available.) And if there is any sign of abnormality, any reason for concern — the pregnancy is “interrupted.” That is the going euphemism for abortion. The abortion rate in Cuba is sky-high, perversely keeping the infant-mortality rate down.


Cuba’s low infant mortality rate is due to the high rate of abortions if there is indication there will be problems with the child. An infant dieing on their first day of life is counted as an abortion. Cuba has a high abortion rate.



Oh pooh-pooh! Could someone find a more apologetic news rag for the right wing?  There are only about 30 countries with lower infant mortality rates than in the USA, including Cuba, and they all have socialized medicine.  

Viva La Revolucion!


Hey, Kindrid, are you the same "Kindrid" who found the [u][url= Army report[/url][/u] finding no evidence of torture or inhumane treatment at Guantanamo?


Hmm, what is the myth about life expectancy? Lots of countries and entities doctor statistics in many ways, but even harsh critics of Cuba usually recognise the huge strides it has made in provision of health care to all.

Look at the source: not a journal of Latin American studies, but the right-wing "National Review". It is hilarious seeing such people, who certainly don't advocate socialised health care in the US, talking about Cuba's "two-tier" health care.

"Interruption" is a normal expression for voluntary abortions in all Latin languages - we have always demanded la liberté d'interrompre les grossesses.

I have never heard of forced abortion in Cuba, unlike China and some parts of India. So much the better if pregnancies are closely monitored and women can opt or abortions.



I have never heard of forced abortion in Cuba, unlike China and some parts of India. So much the better if pregnancies are closely monitored and women can opt or abortions.


Abortions are not forced but encouraged if there is a problem with the pregnancy. You also miss the point that an infant that dies on their first day of life in Cuba is counted as an abortion. In the US such a case would be counted in the infant mortality statistics.


Sorry, but a medical system plagued with simple drug shortages does not pass the smell test with its claims of offering great health care to its people.



What I see here are arguments of false choices. It does not have to be a police state or no health care. Costa Rica and Chile prove that. It is not a dictatorship or Haiti. Cuba was never at the same level as Haiti or any other nation in Central America until after the Revolution.

 What Cuba has done is driven its people to a level at near the threshold of absolute poverty. Yes they are fed but common Cuban must eat the same minimalist diet day after day.  Raul even admitted housing is now poorer than before the Revolution. Films from Cuba confirm this. The housing looks like it has been run down for decades with no improvements after decades of decay in the tropical humitity.

Humans are not zoo animals content with just being fed and housed. All humans strive for better. That is what Cuba denies its people.



Except for Guantanamo, right, Kindrid? The one ray of hope in Cuba today.


I'm not very familiar with Costa Rica, but although historically Chile among the more "advanced", developed and "European" countries in South America, part of the Southern Cone, where economic and social development goes back well over a century (I don't have time to confirm the statistic, but I've ovten read that Argentina had a higher standard of living than Canada at the turn of the 19th/20th century), there is great inequality in the provision of social services. The infinitely more brutal dictatorships throughout the Southern Cone did not just jail, torture and disappear, they stripped the popular classes of the gains the workers' movements had made over many decades. And lined the dictators' pockets in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.

I didn't miss your point on deaths of newborns; I don't particularly trust the source, but as I said, many countries and entities fudge statistics. So much the better if women are advised frankly about the prospects for the foetus they are carrying, as long as they are not coerced into aborting; I've seen far too many disastrous outcomes due to religious cant and guilt.

Cubans have very good access to education; I don't think they are just being fed and housed. I do hope the system opens up to more "socialism from below" and workers' self-organisation, but I doubt that is where you are headed with your criticism. I suspect you are ont he side of the Yanquis against Cuba and other countries in the Global South...

I'm not among those adverse to criticising Cuba or anywhere else, but criticisms must be grounded in reality, and as socialists, I think they must be motivated by a spirit of solidarity.



In Cuba there is a health program that concentrates on primary medical attention. Its protagonists, family doctors, are obligated to lie in many ways. Primarily at the time of filling out a death certificate.

A good article on one example of how Cuba fudges the health stats.


At least one Harvard School of Public Health official has said their own country's health statistics are probably not all that accurate, especially when considering data collected from native reserves and other ghettoized parts of America.

Cuba's proud accomplishment for 2008: 4.7 infant mortality

I am a Cuban-American who opposes the current US foreign policy of the Bush Administration toward Cuba. We need dialogue, reconciliation and the re-establishment of normal diplomatic relations with Cuba. We do not need US sponsored confrontation. It is my sincere hope that on January 20, 2009, our new president will start to reform our Cuba policies.  -- Jorge Gonzalez, Cuba Journal blogspot 


Cuba before the Revolution was on par with the Southern Cone in terms of economic development. Not those conditions were perfect but Cuba was positioned to become an economic success story.  The purpose of education in Cuba is indoctrination. The Cuban equivalent to the Secretary of Education stated this.  Files are kept on each student regarding political matters and children are encouraged to report statements made by their parents that are critical of the government. Books are banned and internet charges are so expensive that ordinary Cubans can’t afford access. Even if the Cuban acquires access to the net, the sites are monitored by the government.  While Chile does have a dark past, today it provides all of its people health care and education without resorting to a police state. So does Costa Rica and has no “dark past”.


So, police state is justified if it teaches reading and health care?  


Kindrid wrote:

So, police state is justified if it teaches reading and health care?  

 Not in U.S.-managed police states like Haiti and El Salvador, Colombia and Guatmala. They terrorize their own people while kids rummage around landfill sites for trinkets to sell to support their impoverished families instead of being in school where they are supposed to be.



Of course, in other nations people are free to make bad life choices that contribute to problems like infant mortality. Should the West implement a police state to eliminate crack cocaine?

BTW, I would have no qualms receiving medical care at a reservation or in a lower income neighborhood in the US. I would not want to get treated by Cuban doctors abroad or receive the same treatment that the common Cuban receives. You can find stories of medical malpractice performed by Cuban doctors working overseas including blindness after eye operations.


So, the solution to poverty in developing nations is a police state?


Kindrid wrote:
The purpose of education in Cuba is indoctrination.... 

 While Chile does have a dark past, today it provides all of its people health care and education without resorting to a police state. So does Costa Rica and has no “dark past”.

heh. What do you think people mean here when they talk about educating kids to be "good citizens" or "preparing them for employment" or to be "productive members of society". Have you seen those little American kids with their hands on their hearts, pledging allegiance to their flag? Have you ever been to a school remembrance day service? 

Chile has a private health care system. It does not provide all its people with health care, anymore than the United States does - in fact, less so. 

In any case, we are talking about more than social services. We're talking about democracy, about controlling your own society and your own life and work and your economy - that's something you don't get under capitalism even if - and this is very seldom the case - the health care is superb.  


Kindrid wrote:

So, the solution to poverty in developing nations is a police state?


That's called "begging the question".  


Kindrid wrote:

Of course, in other nations people are free to make bad life choices that contribute to problems like infant mortality. Should the West implement a police state to eliminate crack cocaine?

They did so years ago. It's called the phony war on drugs. The CIA are the world's biggest dope delivery service. They've used the proceeds from a covert drug trade to fund dirty wars in Latin America and beyond while arming Israel as well its staunchest enemies to the eye teeth in the Middle East. And Yanquis have wanted to transform Cuba and Haiti to their former roles as conduits for the import of illicit drugs into the USA. It's total hypocrisy as you are probably thinking.

BTW, I would have no qualms receiving medical care at a reservation or in a lower income neighborhood in the US. 

Here's your coat what's your hurry? You can always volunteer to drop off your provincial health card at the border and move to a right-to-work US state. You will be entirely free to pay your own medical bills and bargain for your self worth across the table from thousand dollar suits in any of several one industry towns. Luck to you.


The CIA was not involved in drug running during the conflicts in Central America. That is a political myth that has been discredited by legitimate sources and investigations.



Kindrid wrote:

The CIA was not involved in drug running during the conflicts in Central America. That is a political myth that has been discredited by legitimate sources and investigations.



Name one. 


What do you think people mean here when they talk about educating kids to be "good citizens" or "preparing them for employment" or to be "productive members of society"

In the West diversity of opinion is tolerated. That is not true in Cuba. The examples that you listed are uncontroversial generalities.


Chile has maintained a dual health care system under which its citizens can voluntarily opt for coverage by either the public National Health Insurance Fund or any of the country's private health insurance companies. Currently, 68% of the population is covered by the public fund and 18% by private companies. The remaining 14% is covered by other not-for-profit agencies or has no specific coverage


Sounds like everyone gets covered in Chile one way or another.


There is still a lot of poverty and homelessness in Chile. All is not well in Chile as their significantly poorer national health statistics show.  

A former student of Milton Friedman's talks about the free market reforms in Chile from 1973 to 1983 or so. And then the wheels fell off...        

Tinker Bell, Pinochet and The Fairy Tale Miracle of Chile


Name one

You can google CIA Inspector General Frederick Hitz.


There is still a lot of poverty and homelessness in Chile.

 In Cubal almost everyone is poor other than the elite. In Cuba you can’t be homeless if you even wanted to. You would be arrested.


Oh bla dee oh bla-bla! And they are free to be sick and illiterate and desperately poor in any shithole corner of Uncle Sam's "backyard" Hands off Cuba

Viva La Revolucion!


RosaL, I already mentioned that connection at 6:29 pm today in this thread - and M. Spector mentioned it a couple days ago. I think it would be good if babblers stopped engaging this scripted ultra-right (and possibly worse) propagandist.


EVerbody picks on the USSA. It's not fair. And we'd best be careful not to incur the wrath of the vicious empire. Because they could do some really nasty things otherwise. They're our friends now, but they dont need us all that much.


sorry. I'm trying to do two things at once - I thought someone might have mentioned it and I should have checked. I agree - I'll stop talking to him.


But I like fielding questions about favourite colour and quest from the small trolls. It's so much fun.


He's a very nasty piece of work. Read some of his posts on Political Stew. 


So he's a real Dr Evil knock off eh? The poor little bugger


Oh bla dee oh bla-bla! And they are free to be sick and illiterate and desperately poor in any shithole corner of Uncle Sam's "backyard" Hands off Cuba

 Again we get the arguments of false choice. It is either a totalitarian police state or Honduras.  Human beings generally don’t accept a third rate system because fourth rate systems exist in other places. 

Again Cuba before the Revolution was not akin to a nation like Honduras. Don’t believe me. Do research that uses UN statistics from non-biased sources.  Cuba had a large urban middle class. Cuba before the Revolution had a health care system ranked third in the Western Hemisphere. Cuban agricultural workers were paid higher wages than the counterparts in Western Europe at the time.


For most Hondurans life is better than for most Cubans. They live in housing that does not look like it has been decaying since 1959. They have variety in their diet. They can send their kids to school and get medical help if needed. Furthermore, they are not constantly harangued by the government and the people are not forced to hear the same monologue that has been spewing out for 50 years. They do not have neighbors that monitor their activities for the government. There shops are filled with goods and no long lines are needed to purchase consumer goods.


If you want real solutions to the problems in developing world you need solutions that produce economic growth and leads to greater freedoms. Spewing out anti-American rhetoric never created a single job, increased GDP, or created a single plate of food.

Read Jeffrey  Sachs's  "The End of Poverty”. It has real solutions unlike Granma. It would be a good start.  


This is a good site that lists the stats regarding Cuba. Cuba’s Revolutionary achievements are not very impressive. For example average calories per day have fallen since the days of Batista while the rest of Latin America has seen an increase. Greater increases in literacy have been achieved by other Latin American nations. the fact that Fidel’s Cuba was the ultimate parasite nation receiving billions in aid every year from the Soviet Union, the accomplishments of the Revolution are rather pathetic.

In fact, the free world owes Fidel a debt of gratitude by helping to bankrupt the former Soviet Union. When is Cuba going to pay back the 25 billion it owes Russia?



NED et. al.: The CIA’s Successors and Collaborators

US Overt and Covert Destabilisation

USAID is a front organization for the CIA. Everyone knows it.

World Bank heaps praise on Cuba  capitalist ideologues praise Cuba's successes in health and education despite genocidal sanctions, 2001  

The Social Welfare State, beyond Ideology Jeffrey Sachs says von Hayek was wrong, 2006

Economic shock therapist Jeffrey Sachs has nothing but praise for democratic socialism in the Nordic countries

Capitalism is a colossal failure. And the whole world knows that now, too.

Viva La Revolucion! 


This is from William Blum's latest [I]Anti-Empire Report[/I]. He makes a nice comparison between the loyalists and Cuban exiles.  

[B]On socialist Cuba's 50th anniversary, January 1, 2009: Notes on the beginning of its unforgivable revolution[/B].

The existence of a revolutionary socialist government with growing ties to the Soviet Union only 90 miles away, insisted the United States government, was a situation which no self-respecting superpower should tolerate, and in 1961 it undertook an invasion of Cuba.

But less than 50 miles from the Soviet Union sat Pakistan, a close ally of the United States, a member since 1955 of the South-East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO), the US-created anti-communist alliance. On the very border of the Soviet Union was Iran, an even closer ally of the United States, with its relentless electronic listening posts, aerial surveillance, and infiltration into Russian territory by American agents. And alongside Iran, also bordering the Soviet Union, was Turkey, a member of the Russians' mortal enemy, NATO, since 1951.

In 1962 during the "Cuban Missile Crisis", Washington, seemingly in a state of near-panic, informed the world that the Russians were installing "offensive" missiles in Cuba. The US promptly instituted a "quarantine" of the island -- a powerful show of naval and marine forces in the Caribbean would stop and search all vessels heading towards Cuba; any found to contain military cargo would be forced to turn back.

The United States, however, had missiles and bomber bases already in place in Turkey and other missiles in Western Europe pointed toward the Soviet Union. Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev later wrote:
"The Americans had surrounded our country with military bases and threatened us with nuclear weapons, and now they would learn just what it feels like to have enemy missiles pointing at you; we'd be doing nothing more than giving them a little of their own medicine. ... After all, the United States had no moral or legal quarrel with us. We hadn't given the Cubans anything more than the Americans were giving to their allies. We had the same rights and opportunities as the Americans. Our conduct in the international arena was governed by the same rules and limits as the Americans."[15]

Lest anyone misunderstand, as Khrushchev apparently did, the rules under which Washington was operating, Time magazine was quick to explain. "On the part of the Communists," the magazine declared, "this equating [referring to Khrushchev's offer to mutually remove missiles and bombers from Cuba and Turkey] had obvious tactical motives. On the part of neutralists and pacifists [who welcomed Khrushchev's offer] it betrayed intellectual and moral confusion." The confusion lay, it seems, in not seeing clearly who were the good guys and who were the bad guys, for "The purpose of the U.S. bases [in Turkey] was not to blackmail Russia but to strengthen the defense system of NATO, which had been created as a safeguard against Russian aggression. As a member of NATO, Turkey welcomed the bases as a contribution to her own defense." Cuba, which had been invaded only the year before, could have, it seems, no such concern. Time continued its sermon, which undoubtedly spoke for most Americans:

"Beyond these differences between the two cases, there is an enormous moral difference between U.S. and Russian objectives ... To equate U.S. and Russian bases is in effect to equate U.S. and Russian purposes ... The U.S. bases, such as those in Turkey, have helped keep the peace since World War II, while the Russian bases in Cuba threatened to upset the peace. The Russian bases were intended to further conquest and domination, while U.S. bases were erected to preserve freedom. The difference should have been obvious to all."[16]

Equally obvious was the right of the United States to maintain a military base on Cuban soil -- Guantanamo Naval Base by name, a vestige of colonialism staring down the throats of the Cuban people, which the US, to this day, refuses to vacate despite the vehement protest of the Castro government.

In the American lexicon, in addition to good and bad bases and missiles, there are good and bad revolutions. The American and French Revolutions were good. The Cuban Revolution is bad. It must be bad because so many people have left Cuba as a result of it.

But at least 100,000 people left the British colonies in America during and after the American Revolution. These Tories could not abide by the political and social changes, both actual and feared, particularly that change which attends all revolutions worthy of the name -- Those looked down upon as inferiors no longer know their place. (Or as the US Secretary of State put it after the Russian Revolution: The Bolsheviks sought "to make the ignorant and incapable mass of humanity dominant in the earth."[17])

The Tories fled to Nova Scotia and Britain carrying tales of the godless, dissolute, barbaric American revolutionaries. Those who remained and refused to take an oath of allegiance to the new state governments were denied virtually all civil liberties. Many were jailed, murdered, or forced into exile. After the American Civil War, thousands more fled to South America and other points, again disturbed by the social upheaval. How much more is such an exodus to be expected following the Cuban Revolution? -- a true social revolution, giving rise to changes much more profound than anything in the American experience. How many more would have left the United States if 90 miles away lay the world's wealthiest nation welcoming their residence and promising all manner of benefits and rewards?




RosaL wrote:

This is from William Blum's latest [I]Anti-Empire Report[/I]. He makes a nice comparison between the loyalists and Cuban exiles.  

This would be a particularly poignant comparison if it wasn't for the fact that we don't (and didn't) see a stream of individuals continue to flee the United States after the revolution.  Rather, there was a massive influx of immigration to the U.S. that sustained itself and increased in intensity over the period of 100 years.

On the other hand, we have Cuba, that has seen streams of Cuban risking their lives to flee the island on rickety and substandard sea craft.  

How many people risk their lives to flee to Cuba?

Western "capitalist" nations which are not capitalist at all, but are rather mixed-market economies, have seen and continue to see massive immigration.  

Cuba's position as a "world healthcare leader" does not seem to have translated into a wide-spread desire for immigration to Cuba, either.  I note than many of Cuba's affectioneers around the world (including those in this forum) fawn over the revolution from afar and seem to have little to no desire to go participate in Cuba's vastly superior socialist economy.

Cuba has, by the way, suffered through multiple famines as a result of supply disruptions that can not simply be explained by the US embargo(which I completely disagree with), since Cuba's farming capacity in hectares of land per person far exceeds it's requirements for food supply.  

I find it strange that people are resistant to accept the fact, that for all of capitalism's failures, it has only been in the world's four most notorious communist countries (USSR, PRC, DPRK, and Cuba) where we note periods of mass starvation and massive supply disruptions on levels never seen in market-driven economies.  

The fact that these events are often simply passed off as irrelevant, or the result of "imperialist influence" is quite upsetting.   

I also note that Communist Party would seem to somewhat agree with me, as they are in the beginning stages of experimenting with small-scale market liberalization, akin to what China started doing in the 1970's.



Another one!

Ok, friends, waste your time answering this kindrid spirit.

Welcome to the New Elbbab!


Yes, it's like trolls got their mitts on old Reader's Digest articles from the cold war era and revised them from the usual Ayn Bland slant to resemble something of a Joe Goebbels point of view on cold war history. Goodness griefus. The best propagandists will at least do some research in getting to know their target audience first before recycling the moldy baloney.


I did not get this from Reader’s Digest it comes from Yoani Sánchez’s blog from Generation Y. She is a Cuban living in Cuba. The blog has received widespread praise. This is a link to a Time Magazine story on her. Her blog is great source to understand life in Cuba:,28804,1733748_1733756_1735878,00.html 

Yoani’s blog in English: 

In Spanish: 

From her blog writing about her 13 year old son’s education:

The ideological slant of Cuban education has reached an alarming point, even for those of us who were taught under the same methods.  Simply looking at a textbook or reviewing the system for assessing students, one can see doctrine gaining ground at the expense of knowledge.  In my son’s classroom, six photos of “Olive Green Leader” adorn the walls, while the report cards include grades for participation in political and patriotic activities.

It calls to mind my time as a Little Pioneer, reading a communique or shouting slogans, and I can’t get past feeling myself abused.  But the feeling is much stronger when I see that[b] Teo—at thirteen—has learned which opinions should not be expressed at school to avoid problems.[/b]


There you have it. Cuba’s educational system consists of nothing but constant forced propaganda and indoctrination. A system where children learn they better not say anything that deviates from the official party line or they will get their family in trouble.   



A good site to view the housing conditions in Cuba. You can claim everyone has housing but housing can be horrible. It is like nothing has changed since 1959 other than rot and decay in the tropical sun for 50 years.

No, Cuba has not solved the poverty problem.




Batista offered neither health care nor education to his country's people.  The bulk of the people lived in great poverty while Batista and his friends lived a wealthy lifestyle.



The Lord's Prayer According to former U.S. puppet in Haiti Francois (Papa Doc) Duvalier

"Our Doc, who art in the National Palace for life, hallowed by Thy name by present and future generations. They will be done in Port-au-Prince as it is in the provinces. Give us this day our new Haiti and forgive not the trespasses of those anti-patriots who daily spit upon our country..."

Catechism which was taught in the schools included such items as:

Q. Who are Dessalines, Toussaint, Christophe, Petion and Estime?


A. Dessalines, Toussaint, Christophe, Petion, and Estime are five distinct Chiefs of State who are substantiated in and form only one and the same President in the person of Francois Duvalier.


The bombing list

 Korea and China 1950-53 (Korean War)

Guatemala 1954

Indonesia 1958

Cuba 1959-1961

Guatemala 1960

Congo 1964

Laos 1964-73

Vietnam 1961-73

Cambodia 1969-70

Guatemala 1967-69

Grenada 1983

Lebanon 1983, 1984 (both Lebanese and Syrian targets)

Libya 1986

El Salvador 1980s

Nicaragua 1980s

Iran 1987

Panama 1989

Iraq 1991 (Persian Gulf War)

Kuwait 1991

Somalia 1993

Bosnia 1994, 1995

Sudan 1998

Afghanistan 1998

Yugoslavia 1999

Yemen 2002

Iraq 1991-2003 (US/UK on regular basis)

Iraq 2003-05

Afghanistan 2001-05Plus Iran, April 2003 — hit by US missiles during bombing of Iraq, killing at least one persdon {2}

Pakistan, 2002-03 — bombed by US planes several times as part of combat against the Taliban and other opponents of the US occupation of Afghanistan {3}

China, 1999 — its heavily bombed embassy in Belgrade is legally Chinese territory, and it appears rather certain that the bombing was no accident (see chapter 25)

France, 1986 — After the French government refused the use of its air space to US warplanes headed for a bombing raid on Libya, the planes were forced to take another, longer route; when they reached Libya they bombed so close to the French embassy that the building was damaged and all communication links knocked out.{4}

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 13, 1985 — A bomb dropped by a police helicopter burned down an entire block, some 60 homes destroyed, 11 dead, including several small children. The police, the mayor’s office, and the FBI were all involved in this effort to evict a black organization called MOVE from the house they lived in.

Them other guys are really shocking “We should expect conflicts in which adversaries, because of cultural affinities different from our own, will resort to forms and levels of violence shocking to our sensibilities.” Department of Defense, 1999

The US military and its hired mercenaries have bombed, burned and destroyed schools and hospitals all over the world in the name of "freedom" And what wasnt destroyed by US bombs and missiles was laid waste to by neoliberal restructuring and Washington consensus forced on desperate countries.

</p> <p> <strong><a href="">Be a U.S.-backed patriot(in El Salvador) and kill a priest</a></strong> </p> <p> [quote wrote:
Though less spectacular, government harassment of other priests and nuns was equally unpleasant. After the 1972 earthquake leveled Managua, a number of religious orders moved to the slums instead of rebuilding their schools for the rich, but even the well-to-do Catholic schools that remained placed increasing emphasis on the sort of "liberating education" that searches out the whys and wherefores of injustice and poverty. Since this went against the Somoza preference for "uneducated oxen," the government, in addition to banning courses in philosophy, logic, psychology, and sociology, burdened these Catholic institutions with endless red tape, arbitrary orders to dismiss teachers, and threats of closure

U.S.-backed Contra terrorists bombed schools, hospitals, and community centres in Nicaragua

CIA mind control experiments in over 200 medical schools, hospitals, Canada, and Western Europe

bombing schools and hospitals in Iraq 

NATO bombers target and destroy hundreds of schools and hospitals in Yugoslavia

CIA-funded colleges for producing religious robots in Central Asia

The world's foremost school for torture and terror

Click here just for the fun of it

Exterminating public schools in America


Sven Sven's picture

Fidel, if a person from China, Kenya, India, Germany, France, Russia, or...well, pretty much anywhere...wanted to leave their country and had a choice of emigrating to (A) America or (2) Cuba, where do you think they'd end up 99.9% of the time?

People can site health statistics, etc.--and site counter statistics, etc.--until they are blue in the face.  What really matters is what [u]individuals freely choose to do with their own feet[/u].  That is the acid test...and it is the giant elephant in the room that those who laud centralized planning and control [u]desperately[/u] try to avoid discussing.

You can now return to shifting everyone's attention away from that elephant by talking about (1) capitalism's evils and (2) America's evils.

Please continue... 


[b]Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!![/b]


You're comparing apples and oranges, Sven. Where would you rather move to, anywhere mainland Canada or PEI, or even Newfoundland?

And I think it wouldnt matter to those emigres whether we have a colonial administrator at the helm in Ottawa and kow-towing to Crazy George or a real leader.

I think what else is missing from your good places to move to comparison is just how Washington consensus of the 1990's, IMF and WTO policies for globalization and deregulation have affected some of those thirdworld capitalist countries and their emigration patterns, US-led wars etc. Greenpeace estimates there will be 125 million climate refugees. Anti-globalization groups have said we can expect tens of millions of economic refugees to seek sanctuary in Australia and whichever countries will have them in the near future. 

You wont see many people emigrating to the US or Canada from countries like Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, UK, Japan or even Germany or very many countries with socialized medicine and policies for equality. CCPA and other reports say there is a relationship between low voter participation and lower levels of economic equality in general.

For many years a large part of US immigration consisted mainly of economic and political refugees fleeing Latin America to the U.S. Throughout the cold war, there were US and international citrus and coffee trading companies paying what amounted to slave wages to Latinos for the fruits of their back-breaking work under oppressive social and political conditions. Europe and Nordic countries, and Canada, too, have some fairly restrictive immigration policies compared to the USA.

According to US economist Dean Baker, corporate America and the rich prefer to flood the US labour market with lowly skilled to semi-skilled labour in creating competition and driving down wages. But there isnt that same spirit of Darwinian global competition in America across the higher paid professions, and Baker says its purely for political reasons. And the NDP has pointed to similar job protectionism disguised as expensive red tape and bungling bureaucrats here and insulating our professionals from free market forces similarly. A Ryerson study of a year or so ago said Canada has actually experienced an exodus of several hundred thousand well-educated Asian emigres back to Asia and citing a general lack of opportunities in Canada and for a host of reasons without exactly forcing readers to conclude the obvious. Political conservatives never really believed in their own free trade ideals, Sven.


You can’t have it both ways. State how great thing are in Cuba and then claim that emigration from the island is understandable because people emigrate from other developing nations. You claim that they have health care and education and that is all that matters. Why should Cubans leave then?

 There are also other differences. Crossing the Florida Straights in a makeshift raft is not the same thing as swimming across the Rio Grande. That shows the extreme desperation that Cubans are under to flee their nation. Estimate as high as 70,000 Cuban have drowned while fleeing. True, Haitians also try to but I thought the Revolution ensured that Cuba would not be like Haiti Unlike Mexicans and Central Americans, Cubans fleeing frequently are well educated and hold advanced degrees. They also had jobs in Cuba and decided to give up their employment. Immigrants into the West frequently immigrate to developed nations because they are unemployed in their own country.  Cubans that escape pretty much state the same thing over and over. They fled because of the lack of freedom and dreary living conditions. Life in Cuba had no purpose.  Life in Cuba:

  1. Dreary run down decaying housing
  2. Rationed monotonous diet
  3. Being constantly forced to listen to endless propaganda speeches that no one really believes in
  4. Constantly living in fear of saying the wrong thing.
  5. You face harassment, discrimination, and even imprisonment if you are viewed as suspect by the regime.
  6. No access to consumer goods that are taken for granted for most people in developing nations.
  7. Medical system that has chronic shortages of medicine.
  8. Constantly being monitored by CDRs in manner that rivals conditions that existed in the now extinct DDR.
  9. No freedom of the press and no legal access to media not approved by the government.
  10. Education that puts political indoctrination over real education.


Of course, this pathetic record was achieved after decades of Soviet aid valued at 5 billion US a year.

 Even the leftists Guardian did an honest job regarding Cuba. It paints a pretty bleak life: The Guardian article even states that so many teachers left their jobs do to low pay that the regime uses kids out of secondary school as teachers with the help of video tapes. So much for Cuba’ great educational accomplishments.


That is the acid test...and it is the giant elephant in the room that those who laud centralized planning and control desperately try to avoid discussing.

Well said.

You can now return to shifting everyone's attention away from that
elephant by talking about (1) capitalism's evils and (2) America's

I'm surprised that Fidel hasn't trotted out the old lie that Cuban Govt stooges like to parrot to naive tourists-'[i]People can't leave because they have to pay the Govt back for all the free education and medical care they've received[/i]'-in other words they can't leave because they owe Castro for being born.


The Walrus link has some moving images but none are as depressing as how people live in the countryside-animals on Canadian farms live better than many rural Cubans.


The image below is ironic-Colombia sells cement throughout the Caribbean and Central Americia cheap why doesn't Cuba do business with Colombia and save some money/help poor Cubans?


This is ironic considering that Colombia supplies  cement to all of the Caribbean and Central Amercvia-cheap-and makes good money doing so.

Cubans have apartheid-like beaches scattered along the coasts-not the cleanest or calmest but Castro knows best about where his people are allowed to enjoy themselves.




Sven wrote:

What really matters is what [u]individuals freely choose to do with their own feet[/u].  That is the acid test...and it is the giant elephant in the room that those who laud centralized planning and control [u]desperately[/u] try to avoid discussing.

I have no problem at all discussing this. They are moving to the richest country  in the world and the country that has the most effective propaganda in the world. It's hardly surprising.

I'm not sure some of you realize that most socialists (and note that I'm not talking about liberals but socialists), if they live in Canada or the United States, once believed very much as you do. We changed our minds. That means that at some point we ceased to find the arguments you present convincing. I know all your arguments. I know them intimately. I could function as your sock puppet if I wanted to. 

If you want to keep repeating this stuff - go ahead. Talk among yourselves. But I've heard it all before. I've answered it all before. I could do this in my sleep. And I'm not the only one. 


Kindrid wrote:

You can’t have it both ways.

But Cubans have what most all U.S. sponsored shitholes don't have, health care, education, something more than a corrugated tin shacks so typical of the poverty-stricken shitholes in Uncle Sam's backyard

The US Military and CIA have invaded Haiti about 25 times from last century to this decade in putting down peoples' revolts against intolerable and brutal US-backed dictatorships. And Ottawa helped out Uncle Sam's most recent CIA-military intervention in 2004. Washington described Haiti as the "freest trading nation in the Caribbean" But it's really just dehumanizing abject poverty in this particular U.S. client state.


Freedom American style for Haitians


Seaside slums near Port Au Prince


Hardly a dent in Guatemalan poverty  another U.S.-sponsored shithole

U.S.-backed rightwing death squads still murdering El Salvadorans after all these years



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