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Author Topic: Castro at 80 (almost...)
Boom Boom
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posted 28 May 2006 06:15 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Fidel Castro — boring?

- snip -

The land of salsa and cigars has travelled nearly 50 times around the sun since Castro and Ernesto "Che" Guevara marched down from the Sierra Maestra and advanced westward toward Havana, seizing power on Jan. 1, 1959.

Much has changed since then.

By any standard, Castro is an old man now — he will turn 80 on Aug. 13 — and he is definitely showing his age.

He can still soldier through one of his trademark marathon speeches — such as the magnum opus delivered at this year's May 1 celebration of Cuba's workers and the proletarian state — but his voice is reedy and he reads much of the text in an uninflected drone. He frequently loses his train of thought and sometimes fumbles helplessly among his papers in a state of pitiable confusion.

"He used to be like a magician, but he has lost a lot of power in his speech," says the European diplomat. "The end cannot be very far away."

Some observers might question that prediction, but everyone agrees aging is an irreversible process — and Castro is old.

- snip -

Lately, Castro has found political allies in Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Evo Morales, the new president of Bolivia. But near the end of his life he remains what he has long seemed to be, an isolated figure at the helm of an anomalous state.

When he finally does go off to that great politburo in the sky, top party and military officials undoubtedly will have in hand a carefully rehearsed script.

First, they will likely try to keep Castro's death a secret for at least several days, giving them time to steady their nerves and practise their lines, but eventually they will have to step into the light, to face the people and the music, sans Fidel.

What happens after that, no one really knows, but diplomats and other observers believe that the possibilities include: (a) a U.S. military intervention, although this is said to be unlikely; (b) a continuation of the status quo under a new ruler; (c) an internal and possibly bloody political collapse, triggered by the sort of infighting that Castro has long managed to suppress.

Or (d) the regime might attempt to chart a course of gradual reform, perhaps along the trail blazed by Beijing — capitalist-style economic changes combined with the maintenance of centralized control.

Maybe that would work in Cuba. Maybe not.


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Ken Burch
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posted 28 May 2006 07:33 PM      Profile for Ken Burch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Or there is also the possibility that Cuba could, after the death of President Castro, evolve into a state that is, for the first time, genuinely democratic and genuinely socialist.

Just thought I'd mention it, since the Star seemed to have forgotten to put it in for some reason.


From: A seedy truckstop on the Information Superhighway | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
clersal
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posted 28 May 2006 08:20 PM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Or there is also the possibility that Cuba could, after the death of President Castro, evolve into a state that is, for the first time, genuinely democratic and genuinely socialist.

I hope so too but I wonder if it is going to happen. The US of A is waiting to make big bucks I suspect. This definitely will not help the Cuban people.


From: Canton Marchand, Québec | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 28 May 2006 08:23 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I don't see how the US will benefit in any way from Castro's eventual demise. The Cuban people probably have no desire to become US lackeys again, there may be some of them who remember the former dictator (Batista?). Probably their history books will emphasize how corrupt the former regime was, and how the US has been criminal in its actions against Cuba.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
clersal
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posted 28 May 2006 08:27 PM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I bet a lot of propaganda goes out via TV. The streets are paved with gold and the favourite word. FREEDOM. Freedom from who or what is always vague.
From: Canton Marchand, Québec | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 28 May 2006 08:29 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ah, I forgot aout Amerikan TV. Is that all they get in Cuba?
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 28 May 2006 08:41 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Forbes magazine recently printed some scurrilous bird droppings about how "rich" Fidel Castro Ruiz was. Castro challenged them to prove their claim; needless to say, the silence from Forbes was...deafening.

Another matter of note is that the Bush administration will soon be releasing a new report by the "Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba," which will outline "the transition to democracy". Maybe when they get a proper democracy in the USA then they can lecture other countries about their internal affairs. The USA is no more interested in democracy in Cuba than it is interested in democracy in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the zillion other countries that the USA has bombed, invaded or generally tried to destabilize.

What needs to happen is that the embargo needs to end. The economic warfare against Cuba, that has lasted for over 40 years, is a completely failed policy and does nothing for the Cuban people - those for whom the policy is supposed to be of assistance. Even many of the Cuban exiles in Miami and elsewhere recognize this.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
clersal
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posted 28 May 2006 08:42 PM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I bet there is lot of :This
From: Canton Marchand, Québec | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
siren
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posted 28 May 2006 09:00 PM      Profile for siren     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Speaking of Cuba, has anyone noticed that Canada is now in a diplomatic spat with Belarus? It just seems unrelated:

quote:
Belarus to ban Canadian, U.S. flights from its airspace
Last Updated Thu, 25 May 2006 11:22:59 EDT
CBC News

Weeks after Ottawa refused to let a plane from Belarus stop for refuelling, the former Soviet state plans to ban Canadian and U.S. flights over its territory.

On April 20, a plane carrying Belarusian Prime Minister Sergei Sidorsky was on its way to Cuba for an official visit when both Canada and the United States refused to let it land and refuel.

.....................

Ottawa refused to let the plane land on April 20 because of concerns about "the current regime's commitment to democratization and human rights," a foreign affairs spokeswoman, Pamela Greenwell, said at the time.


Two birds with one stone, perhaps. Smack pro-Putin President Alexander Lukashenko and try (for the umpteenth time) to isolate Castro.


From: Of course we could have world peace! But where would be the profit in that? | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
clersal
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posted 28 May 2006 09:05 PM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Not surprising. Gotta show that island who is boss.
From: Canton Marchand, Québec | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
a lonely worker
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posted 28 May 2006 10:31 PM      Profile for a lonely worker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This is the second article that The Star had on Cuba in two weeks running. The first one was even worse with three pages of tales of old grannies bilking tourists with phoney three peso bills, a student being forced to go to the US Special Interests Office to use the internet and a life of never ending misery and poverty (although even he's forced to admit that everyone looks healthy and happy).

Castro's cash problem

Of course the usual unnamed "European" diplomats and other unnamed sources are quoted as gospel. One wonders if these are the same diplomats from Eastern Europe who continuously parot Washington's lines.

I was so pissed at the Star that I wrote a letter objecting to the one sidedness of last week's article and wondered when they will do the non-Washington sponsored article (I even suggested a good topic would be an investigation into why Cuban infants have a better chance of reaching adulthood than their American counterparts or else an equally critical view of a "free" democracy like Guatamala or Honduras).

Instead this was the only letter they printed:

Castro converts dollars

written by a fan of the original article in Tulsa, Oklahoma (obviously they agree with the Star's "fair and balanced" views against Cuba).

Also in the past few weeks, the Star has treated us to a full front page photo and three page love-in of John Tory, two full 3 page articles crapping all over Chavez, a continual assassination of David Miller (granted he's not my kinda progressive but he beats the hell out of Pitfield or any other names they're pushing) and even their Editorials flow along the lines of "sure we're pissed the tories gutted Kyoto but let's wait to see what they will do before we judge them ..."

Can someone please tell me has the ownership or editorial board of the Star changed because I'm this close to cancelling my subscription.

"Red" Star indeed!


From: Anywhere that annoys neo-lib tools | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 29 May 2006 03:01 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Like most such articles, written by uninformed reporters seeking to validate preconceived ideas, this one tries to paint the Castro regime as an unwieldy, inflexible, creaking old machine that is ready to collapse the moment its leader is gone. That is certainly the scenario that is devoutly wished by the enemies of Cuba, and assumed by many who claim to be its friends.

The actual history of revolutionary Cuba, however, demonstrates quite the opposite: that Castro has always sought to deal in a flexible and realistic manner with the myriad challenges that have arisen in the course of events. And largely as a result of the crisis created by the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba has reinvented itself under a whole new cadre of leaders who are poised to carry on the tasks of the revolution even after Fidel's demise.

By 1992 Cuba was on the very brink of economic collapse. Oil deliveries contracted for with the Soviet Union had failed to materialize, and Cuban industrial production declined rapidly. Its foreign currency reserves were drained by having to purchase oil in US dollars on the world market. Russian food and machinery imports dried up, as did the export markets for Cuban sugar, nickel, and citrus fruits. Horse-drawn carriages and oxen were reintroduced to replace unusable motor vehicles and farm equipment. Malnutrition, unknown in Cuba for two generations, became widespread. The Cuban exile community in Miami was beside itself with glee.

Besides the obvious responses of austerity programs and rationing of goods, the Castro government took far-ranging steps to reverse the economic decline by making Cuba less reliant on foreign trade and more self-sufficient in many areas. Thousands of newly-unemployed urban workers were sent to the countryside to help grow food. Scarce funds were invested in bio-technology and the production of medical supplies. State expenses were reduced by cutting the government bureaucracy. Recycling was encouraged. The tourist industry was reorganized and expanded with funds from the government and foreign tourist agencies, some of them Canadian. Tourism became the principal source of foreign currency.

Cuba was able to secure increased trade with China in the early 1990s, which allowed it some breathing space until the advent of Venezuela's Bolivarian revolution, a decade later, and its subsequent trading alliance were able to put Cuba on a more secure trade footing.

The Cuban government also instituted far-reaching structural reforms to the economy in the early '90s. Foreign private capital was permitted a greater participation in the economy, under new foreign investment laws that permitted joint ventures and offered tax breaks. Monetary reforms were implemented; swallowing their revolutionary pride, the Cubans adopted the US dollar as their principal currency for foreign trade. Small-proprietor businesses were allowed to develop, and tradespeople could carry on business for their own profit; by the end of 1995 more than 5% of the labour force was self-employed. Large parts of the agricultural sector, formerly state-owned, were given over to autonomous agricultural co-operatives. Private farmers' markets were permitted to flourish in the cities and towns. The Cuban army's funding was reduced, and it was put to work running a number of enterprises in transportation, tourism, contruction, warehousing, and other sectors. In short, Castro was not afraid to implement practical reforms, belying the caricature of him as a hide-bound ideologue.

These changes, on top of the hardships imposed by the loss of trading partners and the continuing harsh economic blockade by the United States, caused a great deal of dislocation and turmoil in Cuban society in only a few short years. Nevertheless they succeeded in turning the economy around, while preserving the hard-won achievements of the revolution - like free education and medical care. The key to success was that the Cuban masses were involved in the decision-making process. Constitutional amendments in 1991 made the National Assembly more accountable and powerful. The economic changes were put up for discussion by millions of Cubans in 80,000 workplaces. Also important was that the Cubans supported the Castro government and trusted it to be mindful of their needs in whatever was to come. This consensus of trust, which had persisted throughout the decades of the revolution, as well as their sense of participation in their own fate, allowed the Cubans to come through their time of hardship and crisis without the kind of lawlessness, rioting, and open rebellion that typically characterizes periods of severe economic and social dislocation in other Caribbean countries, like Haiti or Jamaica.

In the course of effecting these changes, a new layer of leadership has been formed. The president of the National Assembly, Ricardo Alarcón, has emerged as a powerful spokesman for the Cuban government on the world stage. The economic restructuring owes much to the talents of a new generation of leaders like vice-president Carlos Lage, Economy and Planning Minister José Luis Rodríguez Garcia, and Francisco Soberón, Chairman of the central bank.

No, the Cubans will not go back to capitalism when Fidel dies. A new generation of leaders, who have lived all their lives in revolutionary Cuba, are poised to continue the struggle.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
ceti
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posted 29 May 2006 03:22 PM      Profile for ceti     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Compared to Haiti, Jamaica, and even Puerto Rico (where the government has just gone bankrupt), Cuba is doing well. Compared to Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala, Cuba is doing even better.

It also looks like Carlos Lage is taking more and more of the hands on, day to day work.


From: various musings before the revolution | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 29 May 2006 04:46 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Global Good Neighbor Initiative

quote:
Although U.S. law prohibits U.S. businesses from doing business with Cuba, the exceptions to the law reveal the hypocrisy of the embargo and uneven implementation. Agricultural lobbying led to creation of a loophole —the 2000 Trade Sanctions and Reform Export Enhancement Act—that allows U.S. companies to sell agricultural commodities to Cuba on a cash-only basis. Legal agricultural sales to Cuba totaled $400 million in 2005.

The 36-year-old embargo against Cuba violates international trade law, presents marked inconsistencies, and has failed to achieve the U.S. government's professed goal. It has also aggravated relations with other countries and placed the United States on the wrong side of international law. Votes in the United Nations have repeatedly condemned the U.S. embargo on Cuba.

The Global Good Neighbor Ethic of International Relations includes among its guiding principles for foreign policy “mutual respect,” support for sustainable development through equitable trade policy, “cooperation rather than confrontation,” and good governance, including respect for international law.

The vindictive trade embargo against Cuba and the selectively enforced Helms-Burton act violate all these basic principles of the Global Good Neighbor Ethic. The Mexican experience reveals that the Helms-Burton law is impossible to enforce in a non-discriminatory manner due to its attempted overreach and the disruption it would cause in normal trade and diplomatic relations.


quote:
Jesse Alexander Helms, Jr., (born October 18, 1921) is a former five-term Republican U.S. Senator from North Carolina and a former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He is widely considered one of the giants of the modern "Christian right." On April 2, 2006, Helms's wife of 63 years, Dorothy Jane "Dot" Coble Helms, announced that he is afflicted with dementia and had been moved to a convalescent facility near their Raleigh home.

The five-term white racist senator who brought a mean-spirited cold war embargo against an island nation has already lost his mojo and resting at Shady Pines. Hasta la vista Jesse.

Viva la revolucion!

[ 29 May 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
John K
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posted 29 May 2006 07:53 PM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post
So the single-term Cuban dictator who came to power in 1959 outlasted his five-term right wing nemesis first elected in 1972. Is that the point you're trying to make?

If so, sound of one hand clapping.


From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 29 May 2006 08:02 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
We've had conservative party rule for 42 consecutive years in Ontario as is evident by our third world conditions across the North.

And we've enjoyed 70 or so of the last 100 years with liberal autocrats at the helm in Ottawa.

So what is it you're really trying to tell us, John ?. Do you know ?.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
John K
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posted 29 May 2006 08:35 PM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post
Fidel, you're the one who drew the analogy between Jesse Helms and Fidel Castro, seemingly taking delight in making the point that the former U.S. Senator is now in a convalescent home suffering from dementia.

As the Wikipedia article you cited also points out Helms' views were considered extreme even by North Carolina standards, one of the reasons Helms never got more than 54% of the vote in any of the 5 Senate elections he managed to narrowly win.

I just found your bolding of 'five-term' Senator amusing when Castro has never run in anything approaching a free and fair election despite being in power for 17 years longer than the entire length of Helms' stint in the US Senate.


From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 29 May 2006 08:50 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
So you're implying that Stephen Harper, whose CPC party garnered less than 24 percent of the eligible vote in Canada, is a legitimate leader?. I say he's no more legit than Hamid Karzai, another illegit leader installed by his illegit friends in Washington who themselves lost an election in 2000 by popular vote count. HA!

Tell me, John from Alberta, what kind of a democracy tries to assassinate another country's leader, instigates and supports military coups in other Latin American countries, and trains terrorists to murder Cuban airline passengers ?.

quote:
More than 16,000 days have passed since President Eisenhower declared that “Castro’s days are numbered.” A whole generation of progressives has grown up with Cuba-bashing as a steady background. Antagonism to Cuba has been a constant of US policy through all the changes of administration. Despite any differences in style and strategy, they all aimed to destroy a revolutionary society that almost alone in the world has resisted domination by the corporate empire. It is clear that the Bush administration is escalating this war on Cuba. This is a continuation of more than 40 years of aggression, during which the US government has used military, terrorist, economic, diplomatic, and disinformation weapons to weaken and isolate Cuba in the hopes of overthrowing Cuban socialism. There have been guerrilla bands organized by the CIA in the 1960s and more than 50 attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro. A Cuban civilian airliner in flight from Venezuela was downed in 1976, and Cuban diplomats have been murdered.

Cuba has elections all the time.

I must say, John, I do not take delight in the fact that anyone has to suffer from dementia in old age. I don't appreciate your comment. And now that you make mention of the white racist American senator who has over-stayed his own welcome, I might think to myself that it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. (wink)

[ 29 May 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Ken Burch
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posted 30 May 2006 12:12 PM      Profile for Ken Burch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Of course, Helms was fairly demented to start with.

(I wouldn't joke about such things concerning anyone else, but ol Jesse pretty much has everything coming.

My own hope is that he thinks his doctors are Daniel Ortega and Martin Luther King.)


From: A seedy truckstop on the Information Superhighway | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
otter
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posted 30 May 2006 12:47 PM      Profile for otter        Edit/Delete Post
Unlike the leaders of Canada and the U.S. whose policies and agendas represent a minority of their constituents [namely the backroom deal makers], Fidel Castro actually does represent a decisive majority of the Cuban people.

And it is for this very reason that the Cuban people will continue to move towards a stronger and more functional society unlike Canada and the U.S. long after all these leaders are gone.


From: agent provocateur inc. | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 30 May 2006 02:09 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The illegal we do immediately.
The unconstitutional takes a little longer. - Henry Kissinger

From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
John K
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posted 30 May 2006 04:36 PM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post
If Castro has the support of a 'decisive majority of Cubans' as claimed by Otter, why does his government imprison those calling for democratic reforms?

From Amnesty International:

quote:
In March 2003, the Cuban government carried out the most severe crackdown on the dissident movement since the years following the 1959 revolution. Scores of dissidents were detained, seventy five of whom were subjected to summary trials and quickly sentenced to prison terms ranging from 26 months to 28 years. This crackdown came as a surprise to many observers who believed that Cuba might be moving towards a more open and tolerant approach towards opponents of the regime: the number of prisoners of conscience had declined and had been superseded by short term detentions, interrogations, summonses, threats, intimidation, eviction, loss of employment, restrictions on travel, house searches or physical or verbal acts of aggression. In addition, in April 2000 the Cuban Government began implementing a de facto moratorium on executions, which was broken in April 2003 with the execution of three men convicted of hijacking a tugboat to leave the island, in which no one was harmed.

The events of March/April 2003 signalled a step backwards for Cuba in terms of respect for human rights. The authorities tried to justify the crackdown by citing provocation and aggression from the United States. Amnesty International declared the 75 convicted dissidents to be prisoners of conscience(1) and called for their immediate and unconditional release, since the conduct for which dissidents were prosecuted was non-violent and fell within the parameters of the legitimate exercise of fundamental freedoms as guaranteed under international standards.

Moreover, Amnesty International believes the charges are politically motivated and disproportionate to the alleged offences.



http://tinyurl.com/rgk9e

From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 30 May 2006 07:47 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
US funded Cuban dissidents

Washington has made no credible attempt to refute detailed evidence made public by the Cuban government that at least many of those it tried and convicted were wholly sustained in their anti-government activities by US government funds.

The trials were not open to the press and the evidence released by the Cuban government did not cover all of the defendants. It may be that among the 75 who were tried there are political opponents of the Castro regime who were not on the US payroll or acting as its agents. However, the proofs submitted by the Cuban government make clear that the axis of the so-called dissident movement has been the US State Department, the CIA and the US Interests Section in Havana.

Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Pérez Roque presented a wealth of evidence to the foreign press at a conference held earlier this month in Havana. The breadth of this material was due in no small part to the fact that the Cuban government had heavily infiltrated the dissident groups.


http://tinyurl.com/rwhuc

John, the biggest threat to human rights on the island of Cuba are the American's with their gulags for torture at Guantanamo Bay. More than 600 men, women and children are held there without formal charges having been brought against them. There's "Camp x-Ray", and another so secret that you don't know the name of it.

quote:
The Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano has written about the School of the Americas, now renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. He writes that in the United States, "military nurseries (have] been growing specialists in the violations of human rights."[46] It seems that if the United States was really interested in shutting down terrorist training camps, it could start much closer to home in Fort Benning, Georgia.

Yes, we live in an age of irony. There was the Stone Age, and now there is the Age of Irony. The government says it is determined to close terrorist camps, yet here in the United States the School of the Americas has trained people who have engaged in terrorism, trained people who then became organizers of death squads in Central America.



From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
John K
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posted 30 May 2006 08:28 PM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post
Somewhat to my surprise Fidel, I found the article you posted mostly critical of Castro.

For instance:

quote:
What, then, was the urgency requiring the convening of one-day trials and shipping the lot of these dissidents off to prison for lengthy terms? If the idea was to fire a shot across Washington’s bow, warning it in advance of Cuba’s determination to resist military aggression, it would seem more appropriate to send the provocateur Cason packing. He, however, remains firmly ensconced in the US Interests Section in Havana.

As for the execution of the three hijackers, the use of capital punishment in this case is not only unjustifiable from the standpoint of the nature of the crime (none of the passengers were hurt), it is hardly likely to deter other poor and desperate people seeking to emigrate for what are generally economic rather than political reasons. Defenders of these executions have taken to calling the hijackers “terrorists” or even suggesting that they were US agents, in an attempt to justify the state killings.


Further on in the article you posted:

quote:
With the Cuban leader approaching his seventy-seventh birthday, there is growing speculation about how much longer he can run the government and what the shape of succession will look like. Under these conditions, there is the real possibility that a section of the ruling elite itself could push for the full restoration of a free-market economy and rapprochement with Washington.

Thus the trials and executions may well be intended as a warning to elements within the Castro regime itself.

It would not be the first time that the Cuban leader has used the firing squad as a means of asserting his monolithic control. In 1989, Gen. Arnaldo Ochoa and three others were executed after being convicted in a summary court martial on trumped-up drug trafficking charges.


Well worth a read. Thanks for drawing the article to my attention.


From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 30 May 2006 09:47 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It seems I've given you the upper hand in this mini commentary. I'm glad for your newfound interest in Cuba, John.

And so I've made comments on the 75 Cuban dissidents and who I believe is funding their efforts for political reasons. What would Washington say if Cuba was paying people in the States to carry out an anti-Bush/Republican Party campaign, John ?. Would those would-be leftists rate listing on Washington's terrorist list, a danger to America and the same exclusive list for which Taliban are consipicuously absent from ?.

But you made no comment on Washington's export of right wing death squads and terrorism throughout Latin America in the last century and this one, or the fact that the CIA is behind political dissidence in Cuba. Nary a word, John. There seems to be a whole section of our dialog you're completely ignoring. You're not contributing to the air of congeniality in this thread, John. hmmm

Here's some more chewing gum for your eyes, John:
Detroit says free the Cuban five

Nobel laureates and 100 British MP's call for release of the Cuban Five Political Prisoners


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
a lonely worker
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posted 30 May 2006 09:58 PM      Profile for a lonely worker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I always find it interesting that there is all of a sudden so much interest and outright hatered by the "west", the media and so-called progressives against Castro, Chavez and Morales. Where are these so called "progressives" on shitholes like this:

amnesty guatamala

The same day the Star ran the "we can't wait til Fidel is dead" dreampiece, they had a little three sentence blurb buried in the back pages about the deteriorating situation in Guatamala and the "excessive" human right violations occuring against the poor and landless.

Why the focus on Cuba and the other two? I suspect it's because the elites are starting to crap themselves that the revolution is succeeding and their neo-liberal fiefdoms are collapsing.

Too bad so many of our own "progressives" don't realise that there is no diference between neo-liberals and neo-conservatives; except that the "progressive" liberals wear red ties and the "regressive" cons wear blue ones.

Other countries are catching on to this con game and hopefully we will too.

Hasta la victoria siempre!


From: Anywhere that annoys neo-lib tools | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 30 May 2006 10:20 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes, right-wing interest in Latin America drops of a cliff with mention of democratic capitalist nations situated a few days drive from Texas, and very conspicuously. Darn, I think I spelled that word right this time.

Feminicide in Guatemala today is reminiscent of the death squad years under GENERAL EFRAIN RIOS MONTT, who still enjoys the fullest range freedom in that country.

Montt is a graduate of the infamous U.S.-based School of the Americas, an organization for the export of torture, murder, chaos and terrorism to Latin America and the world.

Edited: fixed link to friendly dictator who is now president of congress in Guatemala

[ 31 May 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
a lonely worker
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posted 30 May 2006 10:40 PM      Profile for a lonely worker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oh but Fidel, you can't mention these facts. Please don't burst any bubbles! Everyone knows that the "free" capitalists countries in Latin America have no problems at all and everyone loves their dear Uncle Sam. Besides the US would never do any wrong; look how nicely they treat us!

edited to add: I forgot to remark that this quote from John K says what the real issue with Cuba is:

quote:
the full restoration of a free-market economy and rapprochement with Washington

Too bad so many people still support a "free market" that simply gives corporations the right to freely plunder the people.

[ 30 May 2006: Message edited by: a lonely worker ]


From: Anywhere that annoys neo-lib tools | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
John K
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posted 31 May 2006 04:39 PM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post
Sheesh Fidel.

A thread is started critical of a couple of Oakland Ross articles reflecting on Castro at 80. I point out a different article you posted takes a similarly critical stance toward Castro. Then I get reprimanded for failing to address unrelated issues such as human rights violations in Guatemala or the democratic deficit in Canada.

Since your latest posting about the Cuban Five is more related to the thread topic, I would summarize my position this way. To mimic the words of Amnesty International concerning Cuban dissidents, the long prison terms given to the Cuban Five are politically motivated and disproportionate to the alleged offences.


From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 31 May 2006 04:56 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Very good, John. Thanks for acknowledging that.

And now on to this other related matter, the business about exporting despotism and right wing death squads throughout Latin America, even before the CIA reported Salvador Allende committed suicide with 22 bullet holes found in his back. You're saying multi-party elections are the answer for Cuba. And I'm saying that the CIA would then use that opportunity to turn Cuba into another banana republic complete with death squads, gambling, drug running and poverty. In fact, this is what most Cuban's believe would happen if the CIA were able to run political candidates for election as has happened in Nicaragua, and El Salvador where dead people have reportedly cast ballots for U.S.-sponsored politicos in the past.

What do you have to say about that, John?. I mean, these are real concerns among Cuban's themselves. They don't trust Uncle Sam, and I can't say as I blame them.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
John K
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posted 31 May 2006 08:10 PM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post
I don't particularly trust Uncle Sam, their interventions in Latin America have often been anti-democratic, and they need to be challenged and held to account. Yet, despite the obstacles, there have been progressive governments freely elected in Latin America, quite a few of them in the recent past as a matter of fact.

My position is that basic human rights including freedom of conscience, belief, speech, expression, association and assembly must be respected, subject only to those limits that can be demonstrably justified in a democratic society. This includes the right to organize and exercise one's political beliefs using non-violent means.


From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
chester the prairie shark
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posted 31 May 2006 08:29 PM      Profile for chester the prairie shark     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
i can't think of one intervention in latin america that *wasn't* anti-democratic.
From: Saskatoon | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 31 May 2006 08:35 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by John K:
Yet, despite the obstacles, there have been progressive governments freely elected in Latin America, quite a few of them in the recent past as a matter of fact.
And guess what? They are on friendly terms with Cuba!
quote:
My position is that basic human rights including freedom of conscience, belief, speech, expression, association and assembly must be respected, subject only to those limits that can be demonstrably justified in a democratic society. This includes the right to organize and exercise one's political beliefs using non-violent means.
The suppression of counter-revolution is a demonstrably justified limit, in my opinion.

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
John K
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posted 31 May 2006 08:36 PM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post
I can think of one. The 1994 U.S. led intervention in Haiti to restore democratically-elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power after he had been ousted in a military coup a couple of years before.

But I agree. It's a very short list.


From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 31 May 2006 08:38 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Cuba is being made war upon and this war has been going on since shortly after their revolution. It may not involve direct bombing, though that has been threatened, it may not involve invasion, though that has been tried, and one of the results of this unending economic, political, ideological, cultural and (for fuck's sake!) sporting warfare is that Cuban society has suffered for it. Letting US proxies into Cuba would simply give them a better opportunity to poison the water supply (which has been done many times already anyway).

I wish Fidel Castro Ruiz would live for another 80 years and keep spitting in Uncle Sam's face, beloved by the Cuban people and people the world over. Who the hell loves George W. Bush? His wife? Who loves Stephen Harper? His children that he shakes hands with?


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
John K
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posted 31 May 2006 08:49 PM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post
To clarify, my previous post was replying to Chester.

Fidel, the nub of our disagreement is encapsulated by the last sentence of your latest post.

By limits on basic freedoms I mean things like yelling 'fire' in a crowded theatre or banning hate speech containing incitement. While I passionately disagree with the views of the Fraser Institute, this does not give me the right to ban their publication or worse proscribe them as criminal.


From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
a lonely worker
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posted 31 May 2006 08:58 PM      Profile for a lonely worker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
John K;
quote:
By limits on basic freedoms I mean things like yelling 'fire' in a crowded theatre or banning hate speech containing incitement. While I passionately disagree with the views of the Fraser Institute, this does not give me the right to ban their publication or worse proscribe them as criminal.

Yes but to use your analogy what if the Fraser Institute was funded by a foreign government for the sole purpose of destabilising your state?


From: Anywhere that annoys neo-lib tools | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
John K
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posted 31 May 2006 10:35 PM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post
Destabilize my state? In Canada that would mean the Harper government? In that case, I think the Fraser Institute should lose its charitable status.
From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
a lonely worker
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posted 31 May 2006 10:53 PM      Profile for a lonely worker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think it's a little more serious than just removing charitable status. It's called sedition and is a criminal offense. In fact we ruined and imprisoned the lives of many decent people after the end of WW2 over this very issue (the "commie" scare). We have many of the same laws as the Cubans, we just happen to live in a country were we willingly let the yanquis buy everything up.

Maybe a more accurate example would be is could you imagine how our government would react if China paid for people in Canada to advocate for the overthrow of our government. How nicely do you think they would be dealt with?


From: Anywhere that annoys neo-lib tools | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
John K
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posted 01 June 2006 04:20 PM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post
I presume that would be a breach of Canada's election finance laws and dealt with accordingly.

I'm not trying to be cute here but apart from contributions to registered political parties, I'm not aware of any particular restrictions on any group accepting monies from sources outside the country.

In a democratic society the best safeguard is public opinion. I suspect any group that used Chinese government funds to try to influence the Canadian electoral process would be spectacularly unsucessful.


From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 01 June 2006 04:32 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
There's a big difference between Canada and Cuba.

Canada is not currently at war with the United States. Canada does not have the most powerful country on earth doing everything it can, short of full-scale military attack, to assassinate our government leaders, commit sabotage of our industrial operations, drive our economy into the ground, isolate us diplomatically in the world, and turn us into a third-world colony.

And so it's very easy for us "democratic socialists" to sit in our comfy arm chairs and demand that Cuba allow its sworn enemies to operate freely in their country in the name of some idealized notion of liberal democracy that doesn't even exist in Canada (if it ever did anywhere).


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 01 June 2006 05:24 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by John K:
I can think of one. The 1994 U.S. led intervention in Haiti to restore democratically-elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power after he had been ousted in a military coup a couple of years before.

But I agree. It's a very short list.


John, which U.S. agency do you think has supplied the funding for political opposition to Aristide and have been the source of political upheaval in that country ?. Aristide was returned to power in Haiti with pressure from the Clinton administration to give up on his social reform agenda and campaign for basic human rights in Haiti. Aristide played the game, but ultimately there were too many outside forces working against the democratically-elected leader. Aristide said he was abducted by U.S. military and ferreted out of the country against his will. And Paul Martin aided and abetted the CIA's overthrow of democracy in Haiti. Haiti's a shithole, but it's the freest trading nation in the Carribe according to Washington. The poorest people in the western hemisphere live in Port Au Prince and Dominican Republic.

John, what kind of democracy is it when some 80 percent of the people want to vote for a leader, but they can't because the CIA and rich people in Haiti won't allow him back in the country ?. Haiti is just 50 miles from Cuba, John, and the CIA isn't providing much of a showcase for democracy to the rest of the Caribbean or Latin America. Your saying that because Venezuela and Boliva and Chile(2000) were able to get rid of U.S.-backed puppets over the years that Cuba needs to let down its guard doesn't make sense to me. And it makes no sense to Cuban's who have witnessed U.S. aggression and terror campaign against their island nation over the years.

The CIA and successive U.S regimes have still done nothing toward creating an air of congeniality for democracy to take root anywhere within a few days drive from Texas, or a CIA plane flight to a Caribbean island. Doing nothing to shit stir does not add up to the U.S. fomenting democracy, imo. It's true that democratic elections have succeeded in bring popular leftists to power in this hemisphere, but that's because the U.S. is pre-occuppied with blood for oil in The Middle East and Asia. They are acting like the Nazis in search of oil and gasoline for their military machine at the end of WWII. Socialism or barbarism. Team Bush has chosen already.

[ 01 June 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
a lonely worker
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posted 01 June 2006 08:43 PM      Profile for a lonely worker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
John K:

quote:
I'm not trying to be cute here but apart from contributions to registered political parties, I'm not aware of any particular restrictions on any group accepting monies from sources outside the country.

Please take the time to read what happened here:

Fred Rose MP

Or the fact that the Communist Party was banned in Canada in 1941 and other repugnant acts when we imagined a "red" in every bed. As well as many countless lives being destroyed due to being blacklisted or expelled from the country. (foreign born union reps and socialists were always first on the boat bback).

Our actions prove how quick we are to deny rights to those we dislike in the name of "national security" on the flimsiest of charges.

As M. Spector pointed out the US has done everything including invasion, assassination attempts, economic terrorism, domestic bombing campaigns targeting tourists and residents, blowing up civilian airliners in midair full of passengers, covertly sabotaging factories and production, etc. (if you want links to any of this just ask).

The fact that there are only 73 "political prisoners" (many of whom freely acknowledged receiving funds from the US government) in a country that has been targeted so many times versus the hundreds of "detainees" in gitmo by a paranoid superpower that still thinks Iraq was behind 9-11 speaks volumes about ethics.

It's sad how so many "progressives" have been trained into being the right wing's favourite attack dogs against any country that refuses "free market" slavery.

[ 01 June 2006: Message edited by: a lonely worker ]


From: Anywhere that annoys neo-lib tools | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 01 June 2006 08:46 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ya John, we've already been cute with you. You just haven't noticed. There is a mountain of evidence for CIA overthrow of democratically elected leaders in Latin America, John. That doesn't favour CIA meddling in Cuba, or Haiti in case you were wondering about it.

Once again, John, you're trying to have us believe that the U.S. shadow government wants multi-party democracy in Cuba for benevolent reasons. I challenge you to show us where the U.S.-friendlies in Latin American history have not brutalized their nation's citizenry or absconded with the nation's wealth. Can you begin to realize what we see as a gaping hole in yours and the CIA's weak case for multi-party corporate-sponsored democracy in Cuba?. I mean, who else is going to shovel money into a put-up political job in Cuba ?. Not me or the majority of Canadian's, that's for sure. Cuba has a leader, and he's very popular with the people. They come from miles around to listen to the old man's open air, outdoor speeches, as in no armour-plated limo's or closed door $500 or $1000 dollar a plate dinners as is the case with Republican and CPC party pow wows.

And this Bush II government actually didn't win the election in 2000. That makes the current cosmetic government in Washington, as well as the unelected shadow government, illegitimate, as in not very credible advocates for democracy anywhere. What do you have to say for yourself, John. Are you trying to sell us illegitimate government for Ottawa, too ?. I mean, because the CPC garnered less than 24 percent of the popular vote in the last election, how can we possibly call Stephen Harper our leader when just a minority of Canadian's voted for him and his party ?. And now you're trying to tell us that Cuban's don't know what's been going on with the Libranos and sucessive plutocracies in Canada and the U.S.?. You should go to Cuba, John. You own the privilege to travel to Cuba, and you owe it to yourself because of your newfound interest in Castro and Cuba. Yes, I think you should book a trip soon, and then over to El Salvador or Haiti or Honduras for a direct comparison. Then we can trade stories about the coco taxis, beaches, women and the health care and education and social democracy in Cuba like real Canadian's do who've been there.


The Chile Precedent

quote:
Economic Sabotage: “Make the Economy Scream”
CIA Director Richard Helms had clear orders in Chile. Notes from a 1970 meeting with President Nixon read simply “Make the economy scream.” In an effort to cripple the Allende government, the US began to cut off investment in Chilean industry—no small matter considering that US corporations owned 70% of all foreign investment. The US used its substantial leverage among international lending institutions to cut off credit. The Nixon Administration also made use of intermediaries from the US labor movement to create a “large scale, middle class movement” against the government, by splitting the existing union structures and encouraging destructive strikes.

Similarly the Venezuelan economy let out a scream of international proportions in 2003 after coup leaders regrouped to shut down the nation’s oil sector. A two-month lockout of workers, organized by oil executives and tacitly supported by the United States, cut the country’s GDP and forced thousands out of work. Today the Venezuelan economy is only beginning to recover from the shutdown.


Viva la revolucion!

[ 01 June 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
John K
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posted 02 June 2006 10:07 AM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post
Previously posted:
quote:
It's sad how so many "progressives" have been trained into being the right wing's favourite attack dogs against any country that refuses "free market" slavery.

What I find sad is that some (thankfully not many) "progressives" are prepared to be selective when it comes to violations of basic human rights and denial of civil liberties, rationalizing them in the case of Cuba while harshly condemning them in most other countries.

I posted to this thread with some trepidation knowing that baseless accusations like the one above tend to get hurled at those of us who believe that human rights are indeed universal. No country (including my own) should be held to a lesser standard or get a free ride when basic human rights are violated.

This is what I believe, and if others do not, we'll just have to agree to disagree, hopefully without being disagreeable.


From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 02 June 2006 11:12 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by John K:
Previously posted:

What I find sad is that some (thankfully not many) "progressives" are prepared to be selective when it comes to violations of basic human rights and denial of civil liberties, rationalizing them in the case of Cuba while harshly condemning them in most other countries.


Cuban children go to school, John. And they have the basic human right to see a doctor on a regular basis.

Cuba has a lower infant mortality rate than its cold war nemesis the U.S.A., the greatest source of criticism of Fidel Castro over the years.

There are greater human rights abuses taking place every day in Guatemala, Chiapas, Honduras and El Salvador just a few days drive from Texas.

I think you're looking very hard for a speck in Castro's eye and overlooking the gross human rights abuses that the American shadow government is the root cause of for decades in Latin America. The CIA's operation condor was a lesson in terrorism and chaos. There was nothing democratic about it, John.

You can't talk about Latin America and not mention the CIA and Washington John. It wouldn't be scholarly or truthful. Everyone knows the name of the game for Latin America is dirty tricks and oppression and gross human rights violations.

And as long as people like you are willing to scour Cuba's rights record while gleaning over the rest of Latin America's with Washington's diirect influence, we can't take any of your concerns about human rights violations seriously.

quote:

"They [Chilean's] cannot be trusted with democracy."
-- Henry Kissinger

Viva la revolucion!

[ 02 June 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 02 June 2006 11:50 AM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Unlike the leaders of Canada and the U.S. whose policies and agendas represent a minority of their constituents [namely the backroom deal makers], Fidel Castro actually does represent a decisive majority of the Cuban people.

Given that Fearless Leader has never had the courage to actually face the people in an election, how can you possibly know this?


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 02 June 2006 12:02 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Cuban's believe in Castro and the revolution, Adam. Go to Cuba and find out for yourself instead of taking pot shots at a real leader from behind your sticky little keyboard.

Viva la revolucion!


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Khimia
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posted 02 June 2006 12:13 PM      Profile for Khimia     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I am most curious to to have a look at Andy Garcia's documentary on Havana"The Lost City", a labour of love 16 years in the making.
From: Burlington | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
a lonely worker
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posted 02 June 2006 12:43 PM      Profile for a lonely worker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Khimia, it seems the fascist exile community is "most anxious" to see the movie too. In fact they are loving it! Check out the comments to that link you provided. Some are priceless. My favourite was one whinging about how all the "non-Europeans" have taken over the place. A real "progessive" crowd clearly loving this piece of propoganda.

You do realise that this little piece of "the real Cuba" was filmed in the Domincan Republic by a bunch of Americans whose sole purpose is to overthrow the Revolution?

[ 02 June 2006: Message edited by: a lonely worker ]


From: Anywhere that annoys neo-lib tools | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 02 June 2006 05:25 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Dominican Republic ??? The poorest people in the western hemisphere live in tin shantys on the Ozama River running thru Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

That's the banana republic nation at the other end of the island from Haiti, another banana republic.

Haiti , a country whose democratically-elected leader our Libranos were party to his overthrow in recent times. Someone should remind them in Ottawa that it is illegal and immoral to aid and abet the American shadow government in their overthrow of democratically-elected leaders just 50 miles from Cuba.

50 miles from Cuba! And the banana Republican's want us to believe that Cuban's want to become Uncle Sam's own private banana republic for the enjoyment of rich people, high rolling gamblers, drug running from Colombia and the child sex trade. Cuban's have been there and done that already. It's time to get off Cuba's back and get on with democracy in our autocratic state, this frozen Puerto Rico of the north with unparalleled natural wealth being carted off to corporate America day and night, 24/7/365.

Hands off Cuba! All they have is sugar and a few socialists. Leave them alone.

Viva la revolucion!

[ 02 June 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Jingles
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posted 02 June 2006 05:56 PM      Profile for Jingles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm going to Cuba tomorrow!! Huzzah!

Cuba Cuba Cu-ba!
Cuba Cuba Cu-ba!

If I see (the real) Fidel, I'll give him a shout out for all the Babblers.


From: At the Delta of the Alpha and the Omega | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
EmmaG
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posted 02 June 2006 07:53 PM      Profile for EmmaG        Edit/Delete Post
I'm a little surprised by this thread, I don't not expect such a disregard for basic political rights and freedoms on this blog.

What if Harper decided to emulate Castro? No more elections, controlled media, and when he's 80 (in 2039), we're not allowed to have a mass public protest against him on parliament hill. Sounds great! But, every child in Canada will be getting Harper's propoganda about his wonderful state in school and how's there's no need to change anything. I'm so glad that what we're worrying about is who gets to pick the order of reporters asking Harper questions. Every paper in the country could put "Harper is an awful PM" on their front page and face no legal consequences. Ask yourself how it works in Cuba. Enough of this! We need our own Castro. Viva la revolocion!

Fidel, you keep jumping all over the place. I'm not excusing US abuses in Latin American, the middle east, or anywhere else. Why does criticizing Cuba's oppressive policies automatically convince you that a fellow rabblerouser is giving the US a free pass?

The US has been abusive and fascist towards other countries, but US citizens enjoy strong consitutional human rights and freedoms. If Fidel were a US citizen, he could start a communist magazine, hold Marxist rallies outside Bush's ranch and hold up signs mocking Bush all over the country. If fact, thousands of US citizens do just that. Why have we never heard of a Cuban Cindy Sheehan-type protesting Fidel Castro near his getaway? Because whoever she was, she was repressed.


From: nova scotia | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 02 June 2006 07:59 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I am Fidel.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Brett Mann
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posted 02 June 2006 08:04 PM      Profile for Brett Mann        Edit/Delete Post
Since I find myself in a position to speak on this, I think I should. Thank you, M. Spector for you valuable historical overview. Fidel, you've made the best case that anyone could make for Cuba, and you are to be commended. But I visited there a couple of times myself, and in Havana I was struck by the evasiveness of people on the street when I tried to sound them out about their feelings on Castro.

Plus I really didn't like the feeling, before I cleared Cuban airspace, that they might do anything they want with me and it would be far too late for anybody else to intfere. I'm an old hound dog, you know, I can can smell lies and tyranny a million miles off. And in Cuba, I smelt tyranny.

But you know what? I've also travelled through the so called free country of Honduras, and the poorest of the poor there would envy their poorest campesinos in Cuba. What the Cuban system under Castro has achieved is startling, world-changing - but it isn't free.


From: Prince Edward County ON | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 02 June 2006 08:20 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Brett Mann:
But I visited there a couple of times myself, and in Havana I was struck by the evasiveness of people on the street when I tried to sound them out about their feelings on Castro.
Imagine that. I wonder why they would be so reluctant to discuss politics with a gringo on the streets of Havana!
quote:
Plus I really didn't like the feeling, before I cleared Cuban airspace, that they might do anything they want with me and it would be far too late for anybody else to intfere.
Flown in the USA lately?

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 02 June 2006 08:33 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by EmmaG:
Every paper in the country could put "Harper is an awful PM" on their front page and face no legal consequences. Ask yourself how it works in Cuba. Enough of this! We need our own Castro. Viva la revolocion!

That would be a fascist dictatorship with Harper declaring himself perpetual leader. But he doesn't have to do that when newspapers across the country would never write anything as scathing about Harper on a front page. With one corporate-sponsored agenda posing as two political parties in North America, in effect, we have our very own dictatorship with plurality electoral system favouring money and power.


quote:
Fidel, you keep jumping all over the place. I'm not excusing US abuses in Latin American, the middle east, or anywhere else. Why does criticizing Cuba's oppressive policies automatically convince you that a fellow rabblerouser is giving the US a free pass?

Because Cuba's situation has everything to do with U.S. foreign policy in Latin America. The two realities are not separate or distinct but are directly related. As an example, I don't wonder why the U.S. has the largest gulag population in the world bar none, I KNOW why. And I understand why the U.S. military owns the largest gulag population on the island of Cuba at Guantanamo Bay. It's because the largest threat to basic human rights and democracy IS the American shadow government, Pentagon and military-oil industrial complex. With the most well-armed military imposing on the island of Cuba illegally, they are menacing the Cuban people. The U.S. military has tried to invade Cuba before, Emma, and they got their arses kicked due to their under-estimating Cuban's allegiance to Castro and the revolution. Cuba is not Canada, Emma.They don't have natural resources up the wazoo to handover to corporate America for a song. But Cuba's socialist revolution is a thorn in the side of the CIA and fascism everywhere.


Now, people like you want the CIA to be able to circulate paid political mouthpieces and operatives within the general population in Cuba. That's an act of aggression that would-not-be-tolerated by the CIA or FBI in their own country, Emma. If you want to know what happens to leftist mouthpieces, look at what happened to Bobby Kennedy, Malcom Little and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the decade of assassinations. It's very dangerous to speak on the left in the United States still, Emma. So why the double standard for Cuba ?. You have no answer, and I don't expect a plausible explanation from you either.

quote:
The US has been abusive and fascist towards other countries, but US citizens enjoy strong consitutional human rights and freedoms. If Fidel were a US citizen, he could start a communist magazine, hold Marxist rallies outside Bush's ranch and hold up signs mocking Bush all over the country.

That's very funny. The U.S. military is holding over 600 men, women and children at Camp X-Ray and another with no name at Guantanmo Bay and without formal charges or regard for their basic human rights. This is the largest torture gulag outside of the CIA's torture gulags in Eastern Europe and Abu Ghraib, Iraq.

And at least one disabled American person was thrown in jail in Texas for carrying a "Down with Bush" sign on a sidewalk a year or two before another American was allowed to sit at an internationally televised baseball game in Puerto Rico holding a "Down with Castro" sign in-line with the batter's box. Nobody protests Castro in the states of their own free will except paid lackeys of the shadow government and Miami-based ex-Cuban's.

The conservative Republican government has built the most bloated and secretive bureaucracy in the world for the purpose of spying on its own people. The Homeland Security Dept. now has the right to wiretap any and all points of access to public communications systems in the U.S., and our own government is falling in-line with invasive fascist laws in kind.

And there's the Kent State incident, and violent responses by the U.S. state to quite a few protests in American history. American's were beaten in front of the Pentagon and hauled away for protesting the Vietnam war. 2000 Korean students were shot to death in 1980 Seoul, S Korea for protesting American military occupation. Millions of American's are in jail, on probabtion or on parole for petty crimes, misdemeanors and minor drug possession and can not vote in American elections. Voting is consired a basic human right in over 80 nations that matter.

Right now, the U.S. imprisons black people at six times the rate of the most openly racist nation of the last century, South Africa. In Cuba, black people enjoy one of the highest literacy rates as well as lowest infant mortality rates in the world and are about half what they are in Minnesota, Mississippi and New Orleans.

Cuba is a dictatorship of the proletariat. They don't feign democracy as is done here, Emma.

Cops Defend Use of 'Spy' Tactics, Protesters Cry Foul in America 2003

quote:
Six people were arrested during an anti-war sit-in at U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard's office on April 14, but only five were charged.

The sixth protester, the one who wasn't arrested, was a man who called himself "Chris Taylor." He was in fact an undercover officer planted by the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office...

"If you're afraid to say how you feel, you've lost your free speech," said McCormick, who has been arrested several times at demonstrations in recent decades.

She also said the police didn't need monitors at a group committed to nonviolence.


[ 02 June 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
EmmaG
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posted 03 June 2006 06:16 AM      Profile for EmmaG        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
That would be a fascist dictatorship with Harper declaring himself perpetual leader. But he doesn't have to do that when newspapers across the country would never write anything as scathing about Harper on a front page. With one corporate-sponsored agenda posing as two political parties in North America, in effect, we have our very own dictatorship with plurality electoral system favouring money and power. Cuba is a dictatorship of the proletariat. They don't feign democracy as is done here, Emma.

So what is the differece between a fascist dictatorship and a dictatorship of the proletariat, Fidel? As Brett Mann indicates, tyranny exists in the latter.
My example of the front page was extreme, but it could happen. Not all media is corporate. Take rabble, take This magazine, etc. Would a "Stop Castro" campaign funded by trade unions be possible in a dictorship of proletariat?
I have one simple question for you Fidel, would you rather Harper begin emulating Castro? Or forget Harper, how about Layton or however the leader of CAnada's communist party is? Do you want this person still in power until 2039.

You also wrote "They don't have natural resources up the wazoo to handover to corporate America for a song. But Cuba's socialist revolution is a thorn in the side of the CIA and fascism everywhere."

Yes, Canada is a huge country that sells a lot to the states, but our rich people lay on Cuban beaches all winter funding Castro's dictatorship. Where would the protariat be without our rich people's tourism dollars? (don't they earn a lot of this money off of the US, btw)?

"People like me" do not want paid CIA operatives in Cuba. I share your criticisms of the US, but I will not turn a blind eye to dictatorship, lack of free speech and tyranny in Cuba. I have no double standard.

quote:
The conservative Republican government has built the most bloated and secretive bureaucracy in the world for the purpose of spying on its own people. The Homeland Security Dept. now has the right to wiretap any and all points of access to public communications systems in the U.S., and our own government is falling in-line with invasive fascist laws in kind.

But, you have a double standard. You attempt to excuse the lack of political freedoms in Cuba, because they were/are threatened by the US and because of their close proximity. The US is curtailing political freedoms, using the excuse of being threatened by terrorist activity, and you're against it.

I don't expect a plausible answer from you, either.


From: nova scotia | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 03 June 2006 07:13 AM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Cuba is a dictatorship of the proletariat. They don't feign democracy as is done here, Emma

Actually, Cuba is a dicatorship of one man: Fidel Castro.


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 03 June 2006 11:03 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by EmmaG:
But, you have a double standard. You attempt to excuse the lack of political freedoms in Cuba, because they were/are threatened by the US and because of their close proximity.

You seem a little unsure on whether Cuba was or continues to be threatened by the U.S. shadow government. Let me remind you of the CIA's and Miami-based Cuban's more than 600 attempts to assassinated Castro. What would Bush or Stephen Harper say if Castro were to send a Cuban hit squad North to off one of them?. It's not a democracy that tries to kill another country's leader, Emma. It is an act of aggression, and would probably be considered a reason to go to war if it were to happen in the reverse to any of our autocratic party leaders in North America.

And then there were various flyovers of Cuban air space, a mysterious dengue fever outbreak in Cuba where it never happened before, sugar cane blights, mysterious livestock epidemics, SOA-trained terrorists bombing Cuban airliners and killing all passengers, illegal blocking of humanitarian aid, crop fields set afire, Cuban diplomats murdered and so on and so on.


quote:
The US is curtailing political freedoms, using the excuse of being threatened by terrorist activity, and you're against it.

Ah, so now I get it. You're an apologist for the American shadow government and their friends in the military-oil industrial complex.

The U.S. shadow government has propped up no fewer than
36 right-wing dictators in the last century to now. Fidel Castro just doesn't play by banana Republican rules, I'm glad to say.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 03 June 2006 11:20 AM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Fidel Castro just doesn't play by banana Republican rules, I'm glad to say.

Yes, he makes his own Banana Republic rules. And makes sure they're implemented at the point of a bayonet too.


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 03 June 2006 11:46 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Click Here
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
$1000 Wedding
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posted 03 June 2006 12:42 PM      Profile for $1000 Wedding        Edit/Delete Post
Oh brother, the more I read of Fidel's love fest with Castro's Cuba I wonder how deluded some Canadians have gotten with this so called dictatorship of the proletariat. Anyone who's gone down to Cuba notes the poverty and all Fidel advocates is we all live poorer and eliminate the rich and any individual desire to aspire to prosperity so we can take one step closer to Marx's ideal.

Fidel's hypocrisy, which he will never deal with, is rooted in why Castro must repress critics while we in Canada and the US can openly protest the govt. Fidel just doesn't get it or see he is on the wrong side of history. Democracies are flawed, but one thing they can do that dictatorships can't is adapt to change without the need for violent revolution and social chaos.

Fidel, I wonder if you have ever tested and spouted your beliefs in mixed company, around middle class and even rich Canadians because most avg Canadians would laugh in disbelief about what you say.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Khimia
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posted 03 June 2006 01:43 PM      Profile for Khimia     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Careful $1000.00 Wedding or Fidel will launch into yet another endless diatribe on Cuban infant mortality rates.
From: Burlington | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 03 June 2006 02:45 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by $1000 Wedding:
Fidel, I wonder if you have ever tested and spouted your beliefs in mixed company, around middle class and even rich Canadians because most avg Canadians would laugh in disbelief about what you say.

Ya, but thank goodness you're not most Canadian's. The Canadian's I know who've been to Cuba are all very impressed with island and results of the revolution, because they've observed first-hand the 3rd world democratic capitalist shitholes that exist just a few days drive from Texas. Cuban chidlren aren't begging for handouts and food like they do in Guatemala or Honduras. You won't see children with kwashiorker in Havana as is the case with children just 50 miles away in Port Au Prince.

And there are Canadian's and American's with more money than you'll ever see in your lifetime doing business in Cuba right now, cheap wedding. Are you really that stupid, or is it an act ?.

quote:
Originally posted by Khimia:
Careful $1000.00 Wedding or Fidel will launch into yet another endless diatribe on Cuban infant mortality rates.

Yes, I think if you two want to kiss the fat asses of the super rich, then you should both extricate yourselves from Canada and go live in the states where they shovel the national income to a handful of the richest billionaires on earth while that country enjoys higher infant mortality than, yes, CUBA!. And make sure to move to one of the very prosperous, "have-not" right-to-work red states where educational achievement and incomes are below national average, and Republican Party support is a given.

In fact, the only countries besides Cuba with socialized medicine that have lower rates of infant mortality than the USA, with its most privatized and most expensive health care system in the world are:

1. Australia
2. Austria
3. Brunei,
4. Canada
5. Cyprus
6. Czech Republic
7. Denmark
8. Finland
9. France,
10. Germany
11. Greece
12. Iceland
13. Ireland
14. Israel
15. Italy
16. Japan
17. Luxembourg
18. Malta
19. Netherlands
20. New Zealand
21. Norway
22. Portugal
23. San Marino
24. Singapore
25. Slovenia
26. Spain
27. Sweden
28. Switzerland
29. UK. (UNICEF and World Health Organization 2002 statistics.

You see, it wasn't that long a list. And I love producing it for scholarly people such as yourselves who ant to discuss social democracy in Cuba versus those third world capitalist shitholes off Uncle Sam's back doorsteps.

Viva la revolucion!

[ 03 June 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 03 June 2006 03:28 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In fact, most Canadian's don't have to take my word for it on Cuba, Cheap Wedding. They can read what Harvard and Yale university officials have to say about the island as well as prominent Canadian's like David Suzuki.

Cuban Education: A Role Model for the U.S.? - Harvard University
http://tinyurl.com/s8jmf
===

"Cuba's achievements in oncology were reported in a joint paper published in the International Journal of Cancer in June 2002, co-authored with Canada's Dr Alicia Viloria-Pettit.

Cuba has also set its sights on breaking into the Western market and has been actively seeking joint venture partners. Last month, a Cuban anti-cancer therapy known as TheraCIM hr3 was contracted to a joint venture with the German pharmaceutical Oncoscience AG of Wedel. The German partner will be responsible for taking the Cuban product through further clinical trials and regulatory processes so that it can enter the European market." - Yale
http://tinyurl.com/lg6kt
===
Cuba's Infant Mortality Lower than U.S.

"People who know Cuba don’t find the Cuban achievement surprising. They attribute it to the high level of education of the Cuban population, the supportive social networks that are encouraged by the Cuban socialist government, the investment of Cuba in public health and health care, and the low AIDS and drug addiction rates in Cuba. These things are made possible by Cuban socialism."
http://www.pww.org/article/view/4801/1/203/
====

Cuban Cancer Vaccine to Compete with American IMClone's 'Erbatux' at Centre of Martha Stewart Controversy
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4583668.stm

===

Effective meningitis vaccine produced in Cuba(Marketed by Glaxo)
23 July 2004

"In what is being hailed as a major breakthrough in biotechnology, Cuban researchers report that their synthetic vaccine against the 'Hib' bacterium is ready for clinical testing. The Hib — or Haemophilus influenzae type B — bacterium causes meningitis and kills some 600,000 children a year in developing countries."
http://tinyurl.com/r8pez
===

Castro Offers Free Medical Training to Poor U.S. Students
http://tinyurl.com/s6pgh
===

Canada's David Suzuki approves of Cuban Environmentalism and Innovations in Agriculture
http://tinyurl.com/r6v8k
=

I've listed some fairly reputable sources on Cuba, Cheap Wedding. What do you have to offer us besides your unsubstantiated opinions and cold war era rhetoric on Cuba that we couldn't glean from any pool hall banter about the way it is in Cuba or anywhere else for that matter ?.

While Uncle Sam has been exporting terrorism, blood for oil policies and war-fiteering around the world for the last several decades, Cuba is busy exporting aid workers and physicians to the poorest and neediest countries on the planet in times of natural and free market-induced disasters. Cuba is often compared with first world nations because of the quality of public infrastructure and national health statistics, even though they are one of the most economically isolated islands in the world, no thanks to mean-spirited cold war trade policies out of Washington.

[ 03 June 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Khimia
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posted 03 June 2006 04:20 PM      Profile for Khimia     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oh no we did it infant mortality arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrghhhhhhhhh!!!
From: Burlington | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 03 June 2006 04:37 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Infant mortality rate (IMR) is the number of newborns dying under a year of age divided by the number of live births during the year. The infant mortality rate is also called the infant death rate. In past times, infant mortality claimed a considerable percentage of children born, but the rates have significantly declined in the West in modern times, mainly due to improvements in basic health care, though high technology medical advances have also helped. Infant mortality rate is commonly included as a part of standard of living evaluations in economics.

The infant mortality rate correlates very strongly with and is the best predictor of state failure.


So if the U.S.A. maintains a higher IMR than 30 nations with socialized medicine costing less than the most privatized health system in the world, are they really practicing planned and enforced infanticide in the U.S.A. when there are model examples for socialized medicine delivering better results around the world, even in economically isolated Cuba ?.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
a lonely worker
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posted 03 June 2006 07:26 PM      Profile for a lonely worker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Adam T:
quote:
Yes, he makes his own Banana Republic rules. And makes sure they're implemented at the point of a bayonet too.

Uh Adam, I hate to break it to you but Guantanamo Bay is controlled by the Americans not the Cubans.

For the life of me I can't understand why some neo-lib "progressives" have to show their "balance" to the neo-cons and always agree with the propoganda being spewed about Cuba.

Is Cuba perfect? No. But when one looks at human rights meaning the ability to have equal opportunities to education, healthcare, housing, assisting others in need (Cuba sent more doctors to the Pakistan earthquake than the rest of the world combined), freedom from corporate exploitation, adopting strictly organic farming methods, preserving the environment for the next generation and adopting a policy of strict pacificism than it cannot be denied that Cubans have a greater right to dignity and respect than any other peoples in Latin America.

I look at it this way: Yes I'm a believer in democracy (people power). Cubans are more empowered as a people than any of the other serf-like neighbours. Obviously I would like to see improvements along the lines of Venezuela and Bolivia. But at the same time I am a realist and realise that whenever socialist are democratically elected in this hemisphere they are immediately attacked by Uncle Sam. (Arbenz, Allende and Bishop to give 3 examples).

So for those who believe in the fairytale that the imperialists in Washington will respect the will of the people and tolerate a socialist government my only question is: what history books have you been reading?

For the moment both Chavez and Morales are surviving against incredible odds. We can only hope they will continue to be successful and spread their revolution. Cuba is at the centre of this revolution and I suspect that if they were left alone there would be changes in their voting procedures along the lines of their two partners.

BTW, I often talk about Cuba in non-socialist circles and many are amazed to hear about the great deeds (such as assisting over 30,000 people for free eye operations) of these amazing people.

People who claim to be "progressive" and talk the language of the neo-cons are the reason why this country has drifted so far to the right.

Here's an example of this kind of "progressive"
Medicare critic turns on charm, turns up rhetoric

quote:
I went off to hear Brian Day again this week. He's the British Columbia orthopedic surgeon who has emerged as Canada's most outspoken opponent of medicare. Barring a last-minute floor fight, he's also slated to become head of the Canadian Medical Association — which will give Canada's private medicine lobby a formidable pulpit.

Day usually makes reference to his left-wing roots — his childhood in a Liverpool Labour family, his many trips to Cuba to help out Fidel Castro. This is to confound those who would typecast him as a right-wing troglodyte — which then permits him to wheel around and utilize some old-fashioned Red-baiting: Canada's health-care system is like North Korea's; medicare is a failed Soviet-style experiment; its supporters espouse a "Marxist philosophy."

During Thursday's session in a downtown Toronto hotel, Day didn't — as he sometimes does — show slides of himself with Castro. But the point was made anyway: This guy is no ideologue; he goes to Cuba!


Nothing like being a patsy for the neo-cons!

[ 03 June 2006: Message edited by: a lonely worker ]


From: Anywhere that annoys neo-lib tools | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 03 June 2006 07:52 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
They're just trying to wind us up, Lonely Worker. Cheap Wedding and his straight man Khimea are likely about as interested in Latin America as they are in places like Kashechewan, ON or Buffalo Lake, AB, typical of third world Northern Canada where infant mortality and child poverty have been compared with Kazakhstan, and what is a legacy of poverty across Northern Canada after decades of autocratic liberal and conservative party rule.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
a lonely worker
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posted 03 June 2006 08:11 PM      Profile for a lonely worker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I can already hear them getting ready to reply that at least they have more "rights" than the Cubans beacuse they can vote for red tie bosses instead of blue tie bosses!

Hasta la victoria siempre!


From: Anywhere that annoys neo-lib tools | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 04 June 2006 01:50 AM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
[/QUOTE]For the life of me I can't understand why some neo-lib "progressives" have to show their "balance" to the neo-cons and always agree with the propoganda being spewed about Cuba. [/QUOTE]

Maybe because most of the propaganda is true. I'm sorry, but just because a bunch of neo-cons spout something does not automatically make it untrue (just 90% of the time), and the facts back up that Cuba is tightly controlled by a one person dictatorship.

From Wiki: U.S. State Department: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: “In 2003 there were national elections in which 609 candidates were approved to compete for the 609 seats in the National Assembly. The CP was the only political party allowed to participate in the elections. A small minority of candidates did not belong formally to the CP but were chosen through the same government-controlled selection process. The government saturated the media and used government ministries, CP entities, and mass organizations to urge voters to cast a “unified vote” where marking one box automatically selected all candidates on the ballot form."

Beyond this, as in all communist dictatorships, the national assembly, of course, has no real power, but merely exists to ratify the decisions made by the communist party central authority, which is, of course, headed up by Castro.

I gather there may be some democracy at the local level, in so far as, as long as you support the aims of the Cuban government, you are allowed to participate in governmental decisions at the municipal level. I can just imagine how posters here would ridicule that type of democracy if, instead, there was a right wing national dictatorship that allowed like minded people to participate in municipal governments.

There is no question that there are some positive achievements in Cuba. The issues I suppose are :
1.Would these be the things the Cuban people would have strived for if they had been free to make those decisions for themselves. I find it troubling that just because an authoritarian dictator imposes policies that you happen to agree with, you are willing to overlook his authoritarian methods. The ends never justify the means.

That's not to say that I don't agree that the necesseties of life shouldn't be considered a basic human right. It's just a question of how much should be a fundamental right vs. how much should be a question for the people to decide.

2.Any economic decisions involve trade offs. In order to achieve the admittedly fairly high level of social goods (health care, education), something has had to be given up (in economics this is referred to as the 'production possibility boundary'). From my readings, it's pretty clear that the Cuban people have had to give up nearly all consumer goods.

I will grant you that many of Cuba's neighbors have neither social goods or consumer goods, so, as I said earlier, clearly some positive things have been achieved.

.

quote:
Is Cuba perfect? No. But when one looks at human rights meaning the ability to have equal opportunities to education, healthcare, housing, assisting others in need (Cuba sent more doctors to the Pakistan earthquake than the rest of the world combined), freedom from corporate exploitation, adopting strictly organic farming methods, preserving the environment for the next generation and adopting a policy of strict pacificism than it cannot be denied that Cubans have a greater right to dignity and respect than any other peoples in Latin America.

Of course, it's easy to cherry pick the positives that have been achieved in Cuba, and trumpet them. However, let's go over at least a couple of these 'human rights'.

1."assisting others in need". That's very nice, but I'd hardly call it a 'human right'.

2."freedom from corporate exploitation"
"Foreign companies are required to contract workers only through state agencies, which receive hard currency payments for the workers' labor but in turn pay the workers a fraction of this (usually 5 percent) in local currency"

From: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/cuba/economy.htm

It sounds to me that the Cuban people, instead of being exploited by corporations, are exploited by their own government.

3."adopting a policy of strict pacificism" Again, I'm not sure how this is a 'human right'. Beyond that, what history have you been reading???? Cuba has a long history of involvement in foreign countries. Angola to name one.

[ 04 June 2006: Message edited by: Adam T ]

[ 04 June 2006: Message edited by: Adam T ]


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 04 June 2006 02:00 AM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
They're just trying to wind us up, Lonely Worker. Cheap Wedding and his straight man Khimea are likely about as interested in Latin America as they are in places like Kashechewan, ON or Buffalo Lake, AB, typical of third world Northern Canada where infant mortality and child poverty have been compared with Kazakhstan, and what is a legacy of poverty across Northern Canada

It's easy to cherry pick a handful of places in Northern Ontario (cherry pick seems to be my word for the night) and compare the to Cuba.
However
1.Those handful of places hardly reflect Northern Ontario as a whole. I realize I'm not taking into account purchasing power parity, but the average Northern Ontarian probably earns at least 50 times annually what the average Cuban earns.
2.I'm sure I could find areas of Cuba that also have grinding poverty. Although you haven't mentioned it, there is plenty of prostitution in your worker's paradise.


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 04 June 2006 02:01 AM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I can already hear them getting ready to reply that at least they have more "rights" than the Cubans beacuse they can vote for red tie bosses instead of blue tie bosses!

I think your cheap and cynical dismissal of democracy speaks volumes about you. Is democracy perfect? of course not. Would it still be nice if Fidel would give it a try? Yes, it sure would.


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
$1000 Wedding
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posted 04 June 2006 02:27 AM      Profile for $1000 Wedding        Edit/Delete Post
And let's not forget the thousands of Cubans living in Florida who desparately escaped Castro's paradise. And don't forget the large anti-Castro movement. But, then Fidel will just wave his hand and dismiss this a CIA sponsored smear campaign. Fidel commands an impressive, selective use of facts about Cuba.

It simply boils down to this. What are we willing to give up to have the trains run on time, eye operations for all, equal medical care? Just like Hitler and Mussolni, Castro made his people give up democracy for the rule of the proletariat. Or as someone above explained, efffectively one man rule. Yes, you may receive medical care and drive out the rich, but it doesn't take much for a benevolent dictatorship to turn into a despotic one. Which, some would say Castro has conducted.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Khimia
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posted 04 June 2006 08:17 AM      Profile for Khimia     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Dear Fidel & Lonely, how sad that you point to a totalitarian regime as a shining example of democracy. There is nothing free about Cuba, especially their state medical system- what could possibly be considered "Free" about being granted access to a medicare system that demands absolute submission to an oppressive regime?
From: Burlington | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
EmmaG
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posted 04 June 2006 09:36 AM      Profile for EmmaG        Edit/Delete Post
Fidel, you never answered any of my questions.

I'll ask you another question. On a different thread you stated that you were a supporter of proportional representation, as the proper voting method in democratic and free elections. I fully agree that we should make this change in Canada and I support the NDP's efforts to raise this issue.
Why don't you think Cuban citizens deserve this as well? Why don't they deserve the right to elect leaders democratically to discuss ways of improving democracy further?

I think that each human being on this planet has inherent rights to freedom and democracy. It is not governments who choose to grant these rights, but it is governments that choose not to respect and recognize these rights that every single human deserves. Cuba believes some of these rights and freedoms can be sacrificed to make sure their dictorship looks good, or to guard Fidel from any criticism and keep him in power.

I'll accept your position that the US shadow government is presently threatening Cuba and Fidel, if you accept the belief that terrorists are threatening Americans.

Here's my question: Why do you think it's okay to excuse the suspension of political freedoms in the latter case, but then turn around and say that it's atrocious in the former?

If you're going to criticize the loss of civil liberties in the States since 9/11, you can't then make excuses for the loss of civil liberties since Castro decided he was leading Cuba until he died.


Which do you prefer, Fidel? Democracy and freedom or dictatorship?


From: nova scotia | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
EmmaG
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posted 04 June 2006 09:39 AM      Profile for EmmaG        Edit/Delete Post
I'll add that I'm aware that Cubans were without many civil liberties and rights before Cuba as well.
From: nova scotia | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
$1000 Wedding
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posted 04 June 2006 10:02 AM      Profile for $1000 Wedding        Edit/Delete Post
Fidel is one of these woefully misguided Canadians filled with self-loathing for what Canada, the US and western society represent despite their shortcomings. He won't answer your questions because his arguement and blind loyalty for Cuba and the socialist dream are completely bankrupt of moral or intellectual foundation.

The essence of the socialist dream is to deny and extinguish individualism especially the system which rewards it capitalism. Then, replace it with a so called system where the government knows best. Ultimately, a dictatorship of bureaucrats.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 04 June 2006 10:16 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by $1000 Wedding:
And let's not forget the thousands of Cubans living in Florida who desparately escaped Castro's paradise.

And there were many Cuban's who were actually encouraged to leave the island. Fidel tipped off the FBI that Santos Trafficante and several of his mafia crime bosses would be landing in Florida after 1959. Fidel even told the FBI where the organized crime bosses would be meeting in the Appalachians. Of course, the FBI fumbled the ball because we all know that organized crime, and the mob and CIA tolerated one another and actually collaborated to try and assassinate Fidel Castro on several occasions.

In fact, you mention health care in Cuba again to my surprise. It was one of Santos Trafficante's associates who was involved with Jeb Bush among others in a $100 million dollar Florida state health care fraud scandal a decade or two ago. It seems that seniors in a Miami hospital were not receiving cancer and pain medications. This is the level of scum that was operating in Havana prior to the revolution, Cheap Wedding. Health care fraud represents a $30 billion dollar business in the United States every year. And like-minded jackals want our two old line parties in Ottawa and provinces to hack them off a piece of the common good and toss it to salivating hyenas waiting in the wings. Conservatives in Ontario once tried to ply us with "Pee 3's", but Ontarian's didn't go for it. Now, the McGuilty Liberals, who once railed against privatization of our health care system, are promoting AFPee's, the same thing only a different tune. I smell kick-back and graft coming our way in Canada, don't you, El Cheapo ?.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
John K
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posted 04 June 2006 10:20 AM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post
I couldn't disagree more $1000 wedding.

Equating socialism with dictatorship and capitalism with democracy is historically wrong. Either socialism or capitalism can and has been distorted into serving authoritarianism and dictatorship.

I challenged Fidel earlier in this thread because - as a democratic socialist - I cannot and will not defend a system of "socialism" like Cuba's that does not adhere to universal norms of respect for human rights, civil liberties and democratic values.


From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 04 June 2006 10:46 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The Cuban revolution has survived under extreme duress, John. Have a good look around the Caribbean and Latin America at the alternatives. Organized crime and the U.S. military have wanted Cuba, not just because it's a strategic locale for drug smuggling, prostitution and gambling, but because it represents an ideological challenge to the status quo.

Have a good look at Haiti and how democracy has been usurped by the CIA with Canada aiding and abetting the American shadow government in recent years, John. Haiti's a shithole, John. But Washington describes Haiti as the "freest trading nation in the Carribe."

If the U.S. shadow government and Canada could provide Cuban's with a half decent example for multi-party democracy in Haiti just 50 miles away, then don't you think Cuban's might question whether it was time to do something similar or not ?. Where are the real and direct rewards for Latin America's democratic capitalism today ?. Why are half of Salvadoran's living on less than a dollar a day and children rummaging through garbage and medical waste in order to help support their families instead of being in school like Cuban children ?.

There has to be a discernable benefit for change in Cuba, and right now there just aren't any good examples in Central America and Caribbean for the Cuban's to follow, John. Not with Juan Efrain Rios Montt still running around free as a bird in Guatemala. And what a shithole that country is, my [email protected]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 04 June 2006 11:35 AM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Fidel, since you post evidence that Cuba is in shining position compared to most of the other Latin American countries of the world today, isn't it in the best position to be the vanguard of democracy for the region?

Why does it need to wait to see other examples? It should serve as the example.


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 04 June 2006 11:52 AM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
In fact, you mention health care in Cuba again to my surprise. It was one of Santos Trafficante's associates who was involved with Jeb Bush among others in a $100 million dollar Florida state health care fraud scandal a decade or two ago. It seems that seniors in a Miami hospital were not receiving cancer and pain medications. This is the level of scum that was operating in Havana prior to the revolution, Cheap Wedding. Health care fraud represents a $30 billion dollar business in the United States every year. And like-minded jackals want our two old line parties in Ottawa and provinces to hack them off a piece of the common good and toss it to salivating hyenas waiting in the wings. Conservatives in Ontario once tried to ply us with "Pee 3's", but Ontarian's didn't go for it. Now, the McGuilty Liberals, who once railed against privatization of our health care system, are promoting AFPee's, the same thing only a different tune. I smell kick-back and graft coming our way in Canada, don't you, El Cheapo ?.

I don't know where Fidel gets his $30 billion figure from. Anyway, the most interesting thing about his post is this:

The reason Fidel knows about the health care scams in the U.S (North America) is because we have a free press that is allowed to report on these things.

Fidel can have no way of knowing if there is or isn't fraud in the Cuban system because any person who dared try to write about it in Cuba would get thrown in prison.

This non reporting of any abuses coupled with Castro's press releases of wonderment in the Cuban system allow Fidel to maintain his fantasy that the Cuban system in perfect.

It's easy to appear to have won an argument Fidel when you set it up so that you can parade the fiction of one system and compare that to the realities of the other system.

As I said, there appears to be some genuine achievements made in Cuba, but, we also know that there is prostitution. Obviously if the Cuban system were as perfect as Fidel pretends it is, there would be no need for prostitution. So, we know the reality can't possibly be as good as the press releases Castro puts out, even though we certainly are not allowed to find out the details of the flaws in the Cuban system.


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 04 June 2006 12:01 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by EmmaG:
Fidel, you never answered any of my questions. ...
Why don't you think Cuban citizens deserve this as well? Why don't they deserve the right to elect leaders democratically to discuss ways of improving democracy further?

I think that each human being on this planet has inherent rights to freedom and democracy...

Which do you prefer, Fidel? Democracy and freedom or dictatorship?


And I did reply to you in that thread. Canada is not Cuba, Emma. We should be doing a lot better than we are doing economically in Canada. Corporate America and our politicians have been rigging ownership of our natural wealth in favour of foreign-based multinationals and financial elite since at least FTA and NAFTA. Those trade agreements were meant to override and cancel any democratically-elected government's agenda for owning our own resources in Canada. Democracy was handcuffed, bound and gagged by the Mulroney conservatives in 1989(FTA) and again in 1994 with NAFTA.

Cuba has nowhere near the natural wealth Canada has being carted-off, piped away and trucked to the U.S. in propping up a false sense of wealth creation in Canada with our new trillion dollar economy. Elected politicians have forfeited the ability to control our own economic destiny by way of lopsided free trade deals with the U.S. Any attempts to renig on those agreements would likely be viewed as an act of aggression against corporate America and their special interests.

Cuba doesn't have to worry about weak politicians handing off natural resources to corporate America for a song and a wink. What they do have to worry about are a return of organized crime from the U.S., poverty, pollution, drug smuggling and rule by death squad government as per the rest of Central America and Caribbean. The U.S. shadow government has menaced Cuban's for decades with invasion and assassination of revolutionary leaders. Cuba needs strong leadership, not another despot as is evident with the rest of Central America and Carribe ie. point in any direction from Cuba in the Carribe and Central America, and take your pick of brutal right-wing government ruling with oppression and policies of abject poverty for the masses.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
John K
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posted 04 June 2006 06:19 PM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post
Posted by Fidel:
quote:
point in any direction from Cuba in the Carribe and Central America, and take your pick of brutal right-wing government ruling with oppression and policies of abject poverty for the masses.

Except you are wrong. There are countries in the region that don't have oppressive right-wing governments.

Barbados and Costa Rica rank ahead of Cuba in the UN's Human Development Index.
http://tinyurl.com/0

In terms of GDP per capita, Cuba ranks behind every Central American and Caribbean country except Haiti, Honduras, and Nicarauga.

In terms of life expectancy, Cuba ranks behind Costa Rica.

Cuba also spends less on health care per capita and as a percentage of GDP than a number of countries in the region.

Only in terms of infant mortality rates, does Cuba rank first in the region.
http://www.who.int/countries/cub/en/

Cuba is a leader when it comes to achieving very good outcomes in health care and education for its citizens.

But other countries in the region like Costa Rica have achieved comparable or better results without the same sacrifice of basic human rights or civil liberties.

[ 04 June 2006: Message edited by: John K ]


From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
EmmaG
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posted 04 June 2006 06:26 PM      Profile for EmmaG        Edit/Delete Post
Fidel, you still haven't answered my question.
Do you think the Cubans deserve free elections with a proportional represention system, as you think Canadians deserve?

Yes or no?


From: nova scotia | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 04 June 2006 06:30 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Read the famous Cuban Democracy thread.
From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 04 June 2006 06:32 PM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Cuba has nowhere near the natural wealth Canada has being carted-off, piped away and trucked to the U.S. in propping up a false sense of wealth creation in Canada with our new trillion dollar economy.

Actually, according to what I read, two of Cuba's handful of 'economic engines' after tourism are fishing and mining.

Sugarcane growth apparently was a major cash crop until 2003 when Castro got his 'organic farming' fettish and had most of the sugar cane fields converted to vegetable fields.


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
EmmaG
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posted 04 June 2006 06:35 PM      Profile for EmmaG        Edit/Delete Post
And I wonder how all that tourism money that Canadians and Europeans spend at resorts was earned? How many Cubans can afford to travel to resorts to fund other communist dictatorships?
From: nova scotia | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Khimia
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posted 04 June 2006 06:56 PM      Profile for Khimia     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Fidel what about this little item regarding Castro's "Doctor Diplomacy" seems to be something less than the ideal you paint it to be.
quote:
Cuba's health services have come under attention recently.(1,2) Since 1963, Fidel Castro has been exporting health care personnel including physicians to countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. It is estimated that approximately 5 percent of the Cuban physicians working for Castro's MINSAP (Cuban Public Health Service) are involved in service abroad.(3) The so-called "doctor diplomacy" may have begun in the manner of an assistance program for guerrilla movements, but it soon turned into big business for Havana.
. Castro's Doctor Diplomacy

From: Burlington | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 04 June 2006 07:04 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
If this debate is simply a matter of finding anti-Cuban websites and demanding a rebuttal from your opponents, then you purveyors of US State Department propaganda can declare a victory. Because there are far more anti-Cuban websites out there than pro-Cuban ones.

So I guess we can use "Google democracy" to settle these issues. No need to study the facts and make a reasoned decision, just let Google decide for us.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Khimia
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posted 04 June 2006 07:15 PM      Profile for Khimia     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
A reasoned decision? Hardly possible with anyone so blinkered to the harm Castro has caused Cubans to suffer. A presentation of facts seems the only recourse open here.
From: Burlington | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 04 June 2006 07:33 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by EmmaG:
And I wonder how all that tourism money that Canadians and Europeans spend at resorts was earned? How many Cubans can afford to travel to resorts to fund other communist dictatorships?

Better question: What percentage of Canadian's and American's can afford a Greyhound bus ticket to the next province or county, let alone another country ?. It's said that about 90 percent of American's don't own a passport.

Health care is big business in Cuba. Poor American students, who can't afford to access the handful of mainly white medical colleges in the U.S., can apply to go to Cuba and receive six years of free medical training!. That's right, while we continue commodifying post-secondary education in Canada and suffer from annual physician supply shortages of 500 per year, Cuba actually exports a surplus of doctors to where they are needed around the democratic capitalist third world!. Socialist Cuba is actually subsidizing first and third world capitalism because of its inability to provide an adequate supply of doctors and health care for its own people!.


quote:
BBC News Jan 2006 Successful clinical trials in several countries have already established Cuba as a world leader in cancer research and treatment.

Last year, Cuba's health budget was boosted by a doubling in biotech exports to $300m, and the country earns fees from foreign patients and from exporting other medicinal products and diagnostic equipment and machines.

Also in 2005, a joint venture biotechnology plant was opened in China, with Havana providing the transfer of cancer treatment technology, and this year Cuba is eyeing the West:

German biotech firm Oncoscience is holding clinical trials of anti-cancer drug TheraCIM h_R3, which it hopes to get registered, and Californian Cancervax is expected to test another Cuban cancer treatment after Washington agreed to make an exception to its trade embargo. ...

During the 1990s, Cuba became the first country to develop and market a vaccine for meningitis B, and this sent export earnings soaring. Then there was a surge in exports of its hepatitis B vaccine, which is currently being shipped to 30 countries, including China, India, Russia, Pakistan and Latin American countries.


The Cuban meningitis vaccine could save anywhere from 200 to 300 American children's lives every year. What price would senator Helms and his fellow hawks assign to that gift from Fidel Castro's Cuba ?.

Viva la revolucion!


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 04 June 2006 10:16 PM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Read the famous Cuban Democracy thread.

The municipal elections sound interesting. According to the site I looked at, every neighborhood of 500 people gets a neighborhood representative. That actually is the same idea as one proposed in the old Yes Prime Minister TV show.

I can see it working in small towns, but I'm not how a big city council made up of neighborhood councillors would work. And, all that said, it's difficult to find out how much power these councillors actually have, and what exactly they do.

The federal system sounds to me like the typical communist party elections. Show elections that allow a dictatorship to brand itself as Democratic or a 'People's Republic'.

Of course, the fedral council that is elected has no power anyway and merely ratifies the decisions made by the Communist Party and Fidel Castro. As in all Communist Dictatorships.

quote:
If this debate is simply a matter of finding anti-Cuban websites and demanding a rebuttal from your opponents, then you purveyors of US State Department propaganda can declare a victory. Because there are far more anti-Cuban websites out there than pro-Cuban ones.

You seem to be able to find plenty of Castro's Press Releases.

Of course, part of the reason why nearly all the information that exists about Cuba is either pro or anti propaganda, is, as I have said above, because non biased critique of the government, as would be found in a newspaper or magazine, is illegal in Cuba.

To think, this bastion of people's democracy, this worker's paradise, bans free expression and critisism of the government.

One interesting thing though. It seems as though practically every communist in Canada has found their way to the babble web site.

[ 04 June 2006: Message edited by: Adam T ]


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 04 June 2006 10:31 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Adam T:
The federal system sounds to me like the typical communist party elections. Show elections that allow a dictatorship to brand itself as Democratic or a 'People's Republic'.

Of course, the council that is elected has no power anyway and merely ratifies the decisions made by the Communist Party and Fidel Castro. As in all Communist Dictatorships.


So I assume you approved of the reforms during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, where Red Guard students ended the practice of having the Communist Party select the candidates for approval, and instead allowed students to nominate candidates from the floor, and not necessarily from the Communist Party at all, in their student organizations.

Right?


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 04 June 2006 10:39 PM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
So I assume you approved of the reforms during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, where Red Guard students ended the practice of having the Communist Party select the candidates for approval, and instead allowed students to nominate candidates from the floor, and not necessarily from the Communist Party at all, in their student organizations.

Right?


I was born in 1970. What are you getting at?


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
a lonely worker
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posted 04 June 2006 10:40 PM      Profile for a lonely worker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well Khimia, Adam, Emma, $1000 wedding and John you certainly have been busy since I last posted. Your sources are impecible! US State Department, the Miami Herald, "Global Security" and a movie about Cuba filmed in the Dominican Republic.

In an earlier post I said that Cuba isn't perfect. I gave my preferences for countries in our hemisphere that are achieving the aims of socialism in more democratic ways: Venezuela and increasingly Bolivia. I'm still waiting to hear what your "research" finds on these.

I stand firmly behind my red tie / blue tie comment. There is no diference as seen by how they handled "free trade" or any other issue that involves choosing between people and corporate power.

I have travelled extensively around the world and have seen the face of neglect and poverty. No country in the western hemisphere has done more to advance education and healthcare for its people than Cuba.

You say that if Castro wasn't around these things would have happened anyways. Well my question is why don't we in Canada have FREE education for our universities? Why do we still have homelessness? Why did we give away our very resources over to the hands of the corportaions? Did they invent the oil? How many thousands of people have we flown in for FREE operations? (and please stop quoting Miami Herald sourced crap articles against this).

I could go on but I won't. Life's too short and obviously you have bought into the lies of Washington, hook line and sinker. Keep googling away.

I'll even help you. Since today is Sunday, this means its time for the Toronto Star to run it's weekly Cuba is a shithole article.

Here's today's gem:

It's hard to be Hebrew in Havana


quote:
Cuba's Jewish community somehow manages to hold out against the ravages of communism and time, thanks mainly to a combination of newborn babies and freshly minted converts.

Yes, its seems another group is being persecuted and destroyed by that "evil" madman. Unfortunately as much as the reporter who files weekly quoting "unnamed European diplomats" and people attached to the US Office tries to turn this story into one of prosecution we find out that:

Cuba has permited the Canadian Jewish Congress to send kosher foods and religious support since 1961.

Every year Cuban jews are allowed to freely emigrate to Israel.

That "anti-semite" Castro has attended a religious service.

Rabbis are flown in from other Spanish speaking countries to assist the community.

Yet still they're oppressed and things are horrible. Or are they:

quote:
Dworin proudly shows off some photos of that episode, an event that ranks in her memory alongside the appearance of another bearded celebrity — Fidel Castro himself — who celebrated Hanukkah at the synagogue here in December 1998 amid a general defrosting of church-state relations in Cuba.

Spielberg and Castro. Not bad for a community that most people probably expected to disappear long ago.

"We are Cubans," says Dworin. "We were born in Cuba. We are proud to be Cuban. But we are also very proud to be Jews."


So I guess the news is things are pretty normal after all. Too bad the Star wastes a page a week on these articles.

More importantly too bad they don't interview the sugar workers in the Domincan republic who are kidnapped from their villages and forced to work til they die.

Here's something even better. If you really do care about the plight of our neighbours, there is an on-line petition being circulated around the world to stop the persecution of the Costa Rican labour movement. (I believe Costa Rica was a country you thought was better than Cuba).

Please read and assist:
Costa Rica: New Government Launches Assault On Trade Unions

Thanks for your help. You can now return to the Miami Herald to see what other plans those evil Cubans are up to!

Edited to add Adam to the gang!

[ 04 June 2006: Message edited by: a lonely worker ]


From: Anywhere that annoys neo-lib tools | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 04 June 2006 10:45 PM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I have travelled extensively around the world and have seen the face of neglect and poverty. No country in the western hemisphere has done more to advance education and healthcare for its people than Cuba.

Are you allowed to travel freely throughout Cuba?

quote:
Life's too short and obviously you have bought into the lies of Washington, hook line and sinker.

And obviously you have fallen for the lies of Castro hook, line and sinker.


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
a lonely worker
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posted 04 June 2006 10:50 PM      Profile for a lonely worker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Adam:

quote:
Are you allowed to travel freely throughout Cuba?

Yes, several times. Its a beautiful country with beautiful people. We've even veisited with Cubans here in Canada. And guess what? They even flew back! Imagine that!

quote:
And obviously you have fallen for the lies of Castro hook, line and sinker.

Obviously you didn't read this from my last post:

quote:
In an earlier post I said that Cuba isn't perfect. I gave my preferences for countries in our hemisphere that are achieving the aims of socialism in more democratic ways: Venezuela and increasingly Bolivia. I'm still waiting to hear what your "research" finds on these.

From: Anywhere that annoys neo-lib tools | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 04 June 2006 10:53 PM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
You say that if Castro wasn't around these things would have happened anyways. Well my question is why don't we in Canada have FREE education for our universities? Why do we still have homelessness? Why did we give away our very resources over to the hands of the corportaions? Did they invent the oil? How many thousands of people have we flown in for FREE operations? (and please stop quoting Miami Herald sourced crap articles against this).

I think to translate what you are saying, it breaks down to: because the people of Canada don't vote the way I want them to, we must not have a democracy in Canada.

I dislike the Conservative government as well, but the fact of the matter is that millions of Canadians freely voted for them.

If you argue, "they are brainwashed by the corporate media so it isn't really a democracy", then you sure as hell can't argue that Cuba has anything approaching a democracy, because their media is far more controlled by the government than ours is by corporations.

We have independent (often left leaning) community newspapers, we have access to the internet and message boards like this one. The Cuban people have nothing but government controlled media.


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
a lonely worker
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posted 04 June 2006 11:08 PM      Profile for a lonely worker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Adam:

quote:
I think to translate what you are saying, it breaks down to: because the people of Canada don't vote the way I want them to, we must not have a democracy in Canada.

I dislike the Conservative government as well, but the fact of the matter is that millions of Canadians freely voted for them.


Here's the translation: I, like milions of Canadians, am not rich so therefore I can't buy my own lobby group or my own personal "Volpe".

In poll after poll, canadians are far more left of their government, yet our voices are never heard.

I do not consider a true democracy to be the fact we get to vote once in a while and they are then given the right to do what they want. Only 24% of registered voters voted for the Tories. the Liberal numbers were equally pathetic when they had power.

For the fourth time, I'm going to mention Venezuela. Chavez has had 8 elections or referendums in his 8 years in power. This is far more democratic than voting for the black cats or white cats to look over us mice.

BTW, please sign the petition. They really need our help.

[ 04 June 2006: Message edited by: a lonely worker ]


From: Anywhere that annoys neo-lib tools | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 04 June 2006 11:12 PM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ok, A Lonely Worker I will take you at your word that you are a fair minded observer of Cuba. What do you think of this article:

http://tinyurl.com/nfdm5

It's written by a travel reporter (and in the travel section) not some 'corporate' controlled political reporter with an axe to grind.

I will acknowledge, I'm picking out most of the worst in the article, but, after all, I'm asking you to shoot it down.

"Neglected for more than four decades, Havana is rife with imperfections: Sewage runs in the streets; water pipes won't work; abandoned structures, some converted into slum housing, collapse overnight. Thomas Paul, a Tucson fireman/paramedic visiting with the Global Exchange group, said much of the city would be condemned if it were in the U.S."

"Cubans have little cash — incomes range from about $10 to $18 a month — and supplies are hard to come by. A ration system allows each person eight eggs, 6 pounds of rice, 3 pounds of beans and 2 pounds of sugar monthly"

(at least no meat)

" They're good-humored too, sharing jokes and stories about life in a Communist regime. "Havana has 2 million people," one man told me, "and 1 million police.""

"Others are sex travelers seeking a destination where prostitution is common."


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 04 June 2006 11:16 PM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What petition?
From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 04 June 2006 11:23 PM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Here's the translation: I, like milions of Canadians, am not rich so therefore I can't buy my own lobby group or my own personal "Volpe".

In poll after poll, canadians are far more left of their government, yet our voices are never heard.


1.Lobbying is a major problem with modern democracy. So is money in politics, though Canada has made major reforms in this area.

2.I'm not sure what polls you are looking at or on what issues.


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
a lonely worker
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posted 04 June 2006 11:27 PM      Profile for a lonely worker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Adam, first off its the LA Times, as in Los Angeles, California, USA. So straight away my back is up.

We just came back from Havana a couple of months ago. It isn't falling apart. Old Havana is beautiful and there is much rebuilding going on. After all Havana was hit by Hurricane Rita half a year ago (just before this article was written). In fact, the re-building is far better than New Orleans and they had no casualties too, since the government had everyone evacuated BEFORE it hit. Unlike New Orleans.

I hardly consider the LA TImes to not be controlled by big business and I think if they really want to see grinding poverty they should look at East LA which is far worse than anything I saw in Havana.

The embargo is stupid and is hurting people. The wages are higher than that and do not take into account many other things like free housing and hydro only costing pennies a month.

But every time I go to Cuba, I'm amazed at how rapidly the country is developing in environmentally sustainable ways. You should go and see for yourself.


From: Anywhere that annoys neo-lib tools | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
a lonely worker
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posted 04 June 2006 11:29 PM      Profile for a lonely worker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
What petition?

This one:

Costa Rica: New Government Launches Assault On Trade Unions


From: Anywhere that annoys neo-lib tools | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 04 June 2006 11:59 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Adam T:

I was born in 1970. What are you getting at?


I am just saying that all things are not a simple as they seem sometimes.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 05 June 2006 12:05 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sewage running in the streets sounds like Indianapolis, Adam. They have raw sewage smells wafting up through storm grates in the middle of the city, or at least they did when I was there a few years ago.

Cuban's can be glad they didn't have to endure two terms of uncommon nonsense revolution like we did in Ontario. People died at Walkerton, Ontario because conservatives wanted to look good on paper and left Ontario with dilapidated infrastructure. We have third world conditions across Canada as the two old line party's legacy has Northern Canada being compared with Kazakhstan wrt child poverty, lack of clean water(forget about sewage) and appalling rates of infant mortality in Nunavut.

Kashechewan, Ontario is a national disgrace as is Bufalo Lake, Alberta, declared a genocide in progress by Amnesty International.

quote:
[qb]
Are you allowed to travel freely throughout Cuba?

[/quote]

You really should travel to Cuba and see for yourself before attempting to describe it to people like me and Lonely Worker who have visited. You're not an American citizen, I see, so you own the personal freedom to travel to Cuba without being followed and written up by the USian tourist kgb and fined $7500 bucks, or worry about your name being put on a special FBI list for special people.

And then pick up a travel brochure for Haiti or Guatemala or El Salvador. Send us a post card.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 05 June 2006 12:07 AM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Cueball, I honestly have no idea what you are talking about.

Lonelyworker, Here is one example of polls showing most Canadians something you think has been forced on them unwillingly by a 'right wing corporate controlled government':

"Canadian opinion, reported in a June 2003 Ipsos Reid survey, found that a clear majority (70%) of Canadians supported NAFTA, while only 26% were opposed."


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 05 June 2006 12:13 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ya, but less than 24 percent of eligible voters cast ballots for the CPC party. Harper's an illegitimate leader. I think Fidel has more supporters in Canada.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 05 June 2006 12:16 AM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
You really should travel to Cuba and see for yourself before attempting to describe it to people like me and Lonely Worker who have visited. You're not an American citizen, I see, so you own the personal freedom to travel to Cuba without being followed and written up by the USian tourist kgb and fined $7500 bucks, or worry about your name being put on a special FBI list for special people.

1.How free are Cubans to travel abroad?

2.I wouldn't go because I don't like hot places. My brother and his wife have gone twice, though. I'm not sure if he left the resort area, but I will ask him. I would certainly trust him as a neutral observer far more than I would trust your views. I'm not saying you're lying to me, but I'm well aware that people have an ability to see things they want they want them to be, rather than the way they are.


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Cueball
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posted 05 June 2006 12:18 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Adam T:
Cueball, I honestly have no idea what you are talking about.


I know.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 05 June 2006 12:35 AM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes, Cueball. You really are a genius. So much smarter than me. You're a true vanguard of the proletariat.
From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 05 June 2006 01:05 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Adam T:

1.How free are Cubans to travel abroad?


Cuban's need a permit to travel abroad. In the late 1990's, Fidel passed a law forbidding doctors to travel outside Cuba. There were too many volunteering for disaster relief in Central America and left a shortage of physicians at home. It's actually easier for general labourers in Cuba to get a permit to travel.

quote:
I'm not saying you're lying to me, but I'm well aware that people have an ability to see things they want they want them to be, rather than the way they are.

No, I'm not lying to you. Cuba is not a utopia. There is poverty there by our standards. But then again, the U.S. and Canada own some of the ighest child poverty rates as far as developed nations go. We have no excuse for the poverty and homelessness that exist here with the natureal wealth being mismanaged the way it has been for decades by weak and corrupt leaders.

In fact, you're the one who has posted second-rate web sources on Cuba. Did you bother to read any of those links I posted by Harvard, Yale, UofToronto, BBC or David Suzuki?.

In fact, many famous musicians, film stars and regular people visit Cuba every year. It would be easier to hide and disguise poverty, homelessness and political corruption in Canada. Cuba is open for tourism and special guided tours of its health, agricultural and educational institutions. Jesse Ventura was there a few years ago with a group of Minnesota farmers to observe Cuban progress made toward organic farming techniques.

Just don't plan on a tour of Guantanamo Bay and Camp X-Ray. You'll need about six clearances above top secret to really get a feel for what goes on inside the very secretive facilities hidden from the world on that part of the island.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 05 June 2006 01:56 AM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
In fact, you're the one who has posted second-rate web sources on Cuba. Did you bother to read any of those links I posted by Harvard, Yale, UofToronto, BBC or David Suzuki?.

I believe I took a look at them.

This whole thread is getting to be like a broken record. You're repeating yourself over and over again, and I'll repeat myself again:

You are cherry picking a handful of genuine successes in Cuba and cherry picking a handful of genuine and terrible failures in Canada and comparing them and trying to suggest that proves the validity of the Cuban system.

As John posted earlier (again, everything is just repeating now), you don't even have to look beyond social goods (i.e, the tiny amount of consumer goods available in Cuba) to see that Cuba, on a broad array of social goods, doesn't compare that well to a number of their neighbors, yet alone to Canada.

I don't know how many natural resources Cuba has compared to Canada, but several web sites I've looked at suggest Cuba has a large amount of natural resources, so even there, Cuba doesn't have much excuse.

I notice in the posts that you cherry picked that you attempted to rebut, that you chose to ignore John's post:


"Barbados and Costa Rica rank ahead of Cuba in the UN's Human Development Index.
http://tinyurl.com/0

In terms of life expectancy, Cuba ranks behind Costa Rica.

Cuba also spends less on health care per capita and as a percentage of GDP than a number of countries in the region.

Only in terms of infant mortality rates, does Cuba rank first in the region.
http://www.who.int/countries/cub/en/

Cuba is a leader when it comes to achieving very good outcomes in health care and education for its citizens.

But other countries in the region like Costa Rica have achieved comparable or better results without the same sacrifice of basic human rights or civil liberties."


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 05 June 2006 02:05 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
No, I think you're the misinformed one on Cuba. We've been pointing you to first class sources on Cuba, and you've mentioned none of them. You seem irritated that I would point out Harvard and Yale opinions on Cuban education and health care.

And the reason Costa Rica is a mile above most of the third world capitalist shitholes off Uncle Sam's back doorstep is because they have socialized medicine In fact, I pointed that out to you in the list of 30 countries with socialized medicine with better infant mortality rates than the U.S.A, including Cuba.

You should pay us for this tutorial on Latin America, Adam. You're so much more informed on Cuba now for chatting with us.

cio chica!


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 05 June 2006 03:36 AM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, I'll leave it off at this:
From Richard Lipsey et al 6th edition of Economics (1988):

"No economic system seems to do everything better than any major competing system: indeed, each has its strengths and weaknesses. To talk of 'better' and 'worse' in this context may in itself be misleading.

"Differences of opnion about which system is best may simply reflect differences in emphasis on particular outcomes. Canadians and Americans may view their economies as being the reason for their high standard of living and see in their well-stocked stores proof of the superiority of free enterprise capitalism. Soviet citizens may look at their economy and see the absence of urban employment and the availability of comprehensive welfare services as proof of it's superiority"

I'll add to that just two things:
1.It would be nice if the people of Cuba had a say in which system they would prefer.

2.One of the main reasons the Soviet Union's communism collapsed was due to the increasing inability of the government to continue financing the system (of course, this was largely related to their attempted military buildup). The last figures I saw showed a budget deficit in Cuba of $1.5 Billion, or about 4% of GDP. Those aren't crisis numbers, but they aren't sustainable either.


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
John K
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posted 05 June 2006 09:16 AM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post
ALW, I am on the Labour Start email listserv so had already signed and sent the petition against the assault and death threats received by our trade union brothers and sisters in Costa Rica.

Indeed a worrisome development, as Costa Rica has largely been free of threats and intimidation against those peacefully advocating and organizing. Makes it all the more important that progressives speak out.

Couldn't help notice the absence of Cuba from the list of trade union federations belonging to the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions though.
http://www.icftu.org/addresslist.asp?Language=EN


From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 05 June 2006 11:41 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Adam T:
One of the main reasons the Soviet Union's communism collapsed was due to the increasing inability of the government to continue financing the system (of course, this was largely related to their attempted military buildup).

Rand Corporation always suggested to the imperialists in Washington that the Soviet Union was plowing as much as 40 and 50 percent of their GNP to the military. This was a ploy by Keynesian-militarists to convince American taxpayers that America should continue shovelling even more money to the military industrial complex. Of course, those American cold war economies are disappearing across North America as the urban USian towns and districts compete for lowly paid work with expanding prison industrial complex, one of the fastest growing sectors of the U.S. economy.

The breakup of the Soviet Union was really unnecessary. People like Gorbachev were convinced by western economists that Russia could become more productive and prosperous. It was all a matter of perception, really. Before glasnost, there were about two million Russian's living in poverty. Fifteen years post-glasnost, there were 60 million Russian's living in poverty, and average life expectancy dropped significantly. Of course, Russian GDP figures have soared as natural resource wealth was concentrated in the hands of a few and carted off to foreign bank accounts untaxed. The Russian's thought Princeton and Harvard economists were guiding them along the way to social democracy like Sweden's. Vlad Putin and other prominent people around the world have said that the breakup of the Soviet Union was the biggest mistake of the last century.

The Russian's have benefitted in certain ways since reforms, like the import of refrigeration of food technology for long distance hauling. With the level of educational achievement in Russia and satellite countries, people like Ross Perot have said Russia is poised for take off economically. There is a world of difference between countries that have had socialism and those that have had none. In fact, the Chinese are trying to convince N Korean dictator, Kim Il, to switch to a market-based economy. Kim Il is being told that socialism can exist with state control of a market-based economy. N Korean's are also poised for greatness with literacy rates that exceed those of the democratic capitalist third world. I think a unified Korea could be the next Asian tiger economy to catapult itself from third world obscurity to economic powerhouse in a short period of time and without Washington consensus as the guiding hand.

quote:
The last figures I saw showed a budget deficit in Cuba of $1.5 Billion, or about 4% of GDP. Those aren't crisis numbers, but they aren't sustainable either.

Adam, Fidel has had to borrow some money to invest in biotechnology and agricultural development. Biotech and health care exports have increased over these last few years. As Fidel has stated, human capital is worth more than financial capital. Stacks and stacks of money sitting idle in the bank accounts of the rich in free trading Haiti isn't doing that country much good.

I think what is unsustainable are the current U.S. trade, budget and accounts deficits. Fidel has said that resident Dubya is running the U.S. like a banana Republic.

ETA: East Timor is a free trading nation following IMF austerity measures and has relatively little national debt. But they aren't doing very well for a long time now.

[ 05 June 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 05 June 2006 01:14 PM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Vlad Putin and other prominent people around the world have said that the breakup of the Soviet Union was the biggest mistake of the last century.

Well, since this isn't about Cuba, I'll respond.

I thought you supported the right of people to self determination. I don't think the people of the republics/nations that were forced to be part of the Soviet Union feel the breakup of the Soviet Union was the biggest mistake of the last century.


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 05 June 2006 04:55 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Adam T:
I thought you supported the right of people to self determination. I don't think the people of the republics/nations that were forced to be part of the Soviet Union feel the breakup of the Soviet Union was the biggest mistake of the last century.

Oh but I think you have led as much as followed in this thread, Adam. And the tens of millions who have died prematurely in Russia since glasnost would probably have disagreed with you, Adam.

globalresearch.ca

quote:
Economic Performance: Growth, Employment and Poverty

Under communism the economic decisions and property were national and publicly owned. Over the past 15 years of the transition to capitalism almost all basic industries, energy, mining, communications, infrastructure and wholesale trade industries have been taken over by European and US multi-national corporations and by mafia billionaires or they have been shut down. This has led to massive unemployment and temporary employment, relative stagnation, vast out-migration and the de-capitalization of the economy via illegal transfers, money laundering and pillage of resources.

In Poland, the former Gdansk Shipyard, point of origin of the Solidarity Trade Union, is closed and now a museum piece. Over 20% of the labor force is officially unemployed (Financial Times, Feb. 21/22, 2004) and has been for the better part of the decade. Another 30% is "employed" in marginal, low paid jobs (prostitution, contraband, drugs, flea markets, street venders and the underground economy). In Bulgaria, Rumania, Latvia, and East Germany similar or worse conditions prevail: The average real per capita growth over the past 15 years is far below the preceding 15 years under communism (especially if we include the benefits of health care, education, subsidized housing and pensions). Moreover economic inequalities have grown geometrically with 1% of the top income bracket controlling 80% of private assets and more than 50% of income while poverty levels exceed 50% or even higher. In the former USSR, especially south-central Asian republics like Armenia, Georgia, and Uzbekistan, living standards have fallen by 80%, almost one fourth of the population has out-migrated or become destitute and industries, public treasuries and energy sources have been pillaged. The scientific, health and educational systems have been all but destroyed. In Armenia, the number of scientific researchers declined from 20,000 in 1990 to 5,000 in 1995, and continues on a downward slide (National Geographic, March 2004). From being a center of Soviet high technology, Armenia today is a country run by criminal gangs in which most people live without central heat and electricity.

In Russia the pillage was even worse and the economic decline was if anything more severe. By the mid 1990's, over 50% of the population (and even more outside of Moscow and St. Peterburg - formerly Leningrad) lived in poverty, homelessness increased and universal comprehensive health and education services collapsed. Never in peace-time modern history has a country fallen so quickly and profoundly as is the case of capitalist Russia. The economy was "privatized" - that is, it was taken over by Russian gangsters led by the eight billionaire oligarchs who shipped over $200 billion dollars out of the country, mainly to banks in New York, Tel Aviv, London and Switzerland. Murder and terror was the chosen weapon of "economic competitiveness" as every sector of the economy and science was decimated and most highly trained world class scientists were starved of resources, basic facilities and income. The principal beneficiaries were former Soviet bureaucrats, mafia bosses, US and Israeli banks, European land speculators, US empire-builders, militarists and multinational corporations. Presidents Bush (father) and Clinton provided the political and economic backing to the Gorbachov and Yeltsin regimes which oversaw the pillage of Russia, aided and abetted by the European Union and Israel. The result of massive pillage, unemployment and the subsequent poverty and desperation was a huge increase in suicide, psychological disorders, alcoholism, drug addiction and diseases rarely seen in Soviet times. Life expectancy among Russian males fell from 64 years in the last year of socialism to 58 years in 2003 ( Wall Street Journal, 2/4/2004), below the level of Bangladesh and 16 years below Cuba's 74 years (Cuban National Statistics 2002). The transition to capitalism in Russia alone led to over 15 million premature deaths (deaths which would not have occurred if life expectancy rates had remained at the levels under socialism). These socially induced deaths under emerging capitalism are comparable to the worst period of the purges of the 1930's. Demographic experts predict Russia's population will decline by 30% over the next decades (WSJ Feb 4, 2004).


And there is a bit about the successes of Cuban socialism compared to Russia's experience with capitalism near the end of this article.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 05 June 2006 05:40 PM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Oh but I think you have led as much as followed in this thread, Adam. And the tens of millions who have died prematurely in Russia since glasnost would probably have disagreed with you, Adam.

What does that have to do with whether the people of Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuana, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakstan, Kurjikistan, Belarus and all the other former republics (I used to be able to name more than 8 of them) of the Soviet Union have a right to self determination?

Since this is too much fun, let's revisit Cuba.

I'm sure you'll go on endlessly about how the wealth of the nation isn't distributed evenly unlike in the socialist paradise Cuba, and fair enough to a point, or you'll go on about exploitation of natural resources, but, GDP per capita is generally regarded as the most accurate indication of a nation's ability to generate income:

GDP per capita http://www.worldfactsandfigures.com/gdp_country_desc.php
86 Russia $ 8,900 2003 est
155 Cuba $ 2,800 2003 est

nations around Cuba
higer GDP than Cuba
4. Bermuda $ 36,000 2003 est.
44 Virgin Islands $ 19,000 2001 est
54 Bahamas, The $ 16,800 2003 est.
56 Barbados $ 16,200 2003 est
61 Martinique $ 14,400 2001 est.
74 Antigua and Barbuda $ 11,000 2002 est.
80 Trinidad and Tobago $ 9,600 2003 est.
81 Turks and Caicos Islands $ 9,600 2000 est.
82 Costa Rica $ 9,000 2003 est.
85 Mexico $ 9,000 2003 est.
88 Saint Kitts and Nevis $ 8,800 2002 est
108 Panama $ 6,300 2003 est.
111 Dominican Republic $ 6,000 2003 est
118 Dominica $ 5,400 2002 est.
119 Saint Lucia $ 5,400 2002 est.
125 Grenada $ 5,000 2002 est.
126 Belize $ 4,900 2002 est.
128 El Salvador $ 4,800 2003 est.
135 Guatemala $ 4,100 2003 est.
136 Guyana $ 4,000 2003 est
141 Jamaica $ 3,800 2003 est
154 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines $ 2,900 2002 est.

Nations below Cuba
157 Honduras $ 2,600 2003 est.
167 Nicaragua $ 2,200 2003 est.
185 Haiti $ 1,600 2003 est.

So, Cuba comes in 23 out of 26. You can argue that Cuba has more a more equitable distribution of income than many of these countries, but there is no way at all that you can argue that Cuba's communist system has developed an econonmy that produces as large a national income as nearly all of their neighbours, or Russia, yet alone Canada.

Re: "The transition to capitalism in Russia alone led to over 15 million premature deaths (deaths which would not have occurred if life expectancy rates had remained at the levels under socialism)."

The transition to capitalism in Russia has been one of the biggest disasters of the 20th century. Nobody would argue that.

In regards to that article
1.I'm curious why that article singled out "Israeli banks"

2.As I said above, with the exception of the handful of articles you posted above, getting independent articles of what is really going on in Cuba is pretty much impossible. The article sounds like the author's just cut and pasted the press releases put out by Castro on the wonderment that is his socialist economy.
If Castro really has such a wonderful story to tell, then why does he allow the Cuban press complete freedom to report on these things, or to report on the negative things?

3.As I said before, if the Soviet Union could have continued fundings its social programs that kept people out of poverty and continued funding economically ineffecient factories that kept people working, that would have been one thing. But, the fact is, the country was going bankrupt financing these things and it couldn't continue.

I don't disagree that the transition to capitalism was a disaster, but you are comparing the way things are in Russia now to a system that was simply unsustainable.

GDP per capita of several former Russian republics (only not all, cause I don't know all of them ) and satellite states:

higher GDP per capita than Cuba
59 Czech Republic $ 15,700 2003 est.
62 Hungary $ 13,900 2003 est.
64 Slovakia $ 13,300 2003 est.
68 Estonia $ 12,300 2003 est.
73 Lithuania $ 11,200 2003 est.
75 Poland $ 11,000 2003 est.
78 Latvia $ 10,100 2003 est.
96 Bulgaria $ 7,600 2003 est
100 Kazakhstan $ 7,000 2003 est.
101 Romania $ 6,900 2003 est.
110 Belarus $ 6,000 2003 est.
114 Turkmenistan $ 5,700 2003 est.
120 Ukraine $ 5,300 2003 est.
138 Armenia $ 3,900 2003 est.
146 Azerbaijan $ 3,400 2003 est.

Below Cuba
159 Georgia $ 2,500 2003 est.
178 Mongolia $ 1,800 2003 est.
182 Uzbekistan $ 1,700 2003 est.
189 Kyrgyzstan $ 1,600 2003 est.
208 Tajikistan $ 1,000 2003 est.

What am I missing?

So, on this list, Cuba comes in 16 out of 21. Again, a pretty poor result.

BTW, are you saying you approve of China? It's basically become the biggest right wing dictatorship on earth (I'll admit that is a bit of an oversimplification, but it's not too far off). It's exploiting its resources and damaging the environment in ways far worse than nearly every country on the planet.

Your defence of Cuba reminds me a great deal of the defence of the Soviet Union under Stalin: look at the huge expansion in heavy industry!

Leaving aside the obvious cost in lives that Stalin's 'industrial revolution' engendered, there was also an enormous decline in the production of consumer goods as Soviet factories were retooled to produce heavy industrial goods.

Cuba is much the same thing. You trumpet the handful of succesful industries that Castro has decided the Cuban people and economy will get into and you say "look at the success!", but you leave out that the Cuban people, left to their own decisions, would also have developed successful industries. And, the evidence suggests, based on the GDP numbers above, that the Cuban people, left to create their own industries would have developed industries that would have generated a HIGHER GDP per capita.

[ 05 June 2006: Message edited by: Adam T ]


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 05 June 2006 07:02 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
GDP doesn't reveal anything meaningful about the health and welfare of a nation, Adam. Chile shovelled an ever larger percentage of its national income to the richest Chilean's from 1973 to 1985 or so, and that experiment in laissez-faire capitalism conducted in a human rights vacuum fell apart as the economy took a grand swan dive.

You know, I took the time to describe the real effects of glasnost on Russia, Poland, Armenia and the rest, but again you're attempting to avoid the issue. That's not persuasive argument on your part.

The success of Cuban socialism and failure of capitalism to make real improvements in people's lives in those countries is duly noted by more than just me you know. I'm not telling you anything new that millions of other people don't already know.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 05 June 2006 07:08 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes, and half the populations of El Salvador and Nicaragua live on less than a dollar a day, Adam.

Children in El Salvador rummage through landfill sites and medical waste to help their families live. Meanwhile, Cuban children go to school every day. That's what your GDP figures neglect to tell you. And you may or may not figure that out with more advanced treatments of economics in school. "wink"


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 05 June 2006 07:25 PM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
You know, I took the time to describe the real effects of glasnost on Russia, Poland, Armenia and the rest, but again you're attempting to avoid the issue. That's not persuasive argument on your part.

1.I said the transition to capitalism in Russia was a disaster.
2.And there are MILLIONS or Poles who are much better off now than they were under communism.

Once again though, you are cherry picking. There are many millions of Hungarians, Czechs and Slovaks who are better off now than they were under communism. You can't show me the genuine hardships and failures in Poland or wherever and say you are presenting the full picture when you leave out the huge number of successes.

As I said above, you are comparing what is going on now with a system that was subsidized by massive deficits that were completely unsustainable (I.E with a system that could not continue). As long as the deficits could continue millions of 'employed' Soviets could continue at jobs where they 'pretended' to work.

As was the old joke in the Soviet Union "we pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us". Of course, all of those people were counted as employed, and people like you naively fell for the stats and said "look how low unemployment is in the Soviet Union!"

I said above that if you consider equality of income a worthwhile goal, then Cuba could be considered a success. But there is no question looking at the figures, that the Cuban economy generates only a fraction of the income compared to nearly all of its neighbours.

If you want to consider the fact that, while nobody in Cuba lives in abject poverty (not according to the Castro press releases anyway), but that virtually everybody lives in an equal near abject poverty, then that is your choice.

Given that it's a question of values, nobody is right or wrong. The only issues are:
1.how accurate are the facts being presented
2.How sustainable is the GDP that is being generated.


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 05 June 2006 09:59 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Adam T:

2.And there are MILLIONS or Poles who are much better off now than they were under communism.


quote:
The World Bank has just published its latest survey(2005) of central Europe and the former Soviet Union. The bank is hardly a leftwing propaganda outfit but its report, Growth, Poverty, and Inequality, shows how far the region still has to go to make up for the fall in living standards which came with the collapse of communism. In 1988 only 4% of the region's people were poor -- defined as having an income of less than £1.25 a day. Now poverty affects 12%.


This is better than five years ago, when poverty affected 20% of the region's people. Things have got better thanks largely to the rise in world oil prices, which has pulled up the economy of Russia and some of its immediate neighbours. Among the countries covered by the World Bank, the eight new EU members are much better off. But the report shows that Poland, alone among them, has seen a further increase in poverty over the last five years.


quote:

As I said above, you are comparing what is going on now with a system that was subsidized by massive deficits that were completely unsustainable (I.E with a system that could not continue).

Saudi Arabia and OPEC nations conspired to dump oil on world markets during that time. Certain nations refused to trade wheat for gold. The U.S. demanded that Canada not send our wheat to the USSR. And then the Yanks flip-flopped on their own cold war wheat policy to screw Canadian farmers. Multinationals like Sunkist and Cadburys refused to sell citrus and chocolate to the Soviets, and people began noticing a shortage of basics in markets. The war in Afghanistan against the CIA-Saudi-British-Pakistan-backed proxy militias and mercenaries left a pall over Russian's. There was even talk in certain places of a sudden disappearance of over 400 billion rubles care of the CIA. I don't believe that one though??? The grass was perceived by Soviet people to be greener under someone else's septic tank.

I think no nation has dinged up more national debt than the U.S. Republicans with runaway spending on Keynesian militarism. Canada and Brazil were probably next in line for humngous national debt growth under political consevatism. Our own political conservatives once tried to blame social spending on rising inflation in Canada and the reason we had to attack the deficit. Real economists pointed out that it wasn't social program spending that caused inflation in the 1970's. But they buried their own government reports identifying exactly what the causes of deficit spending were in Canada in the 1980's and early 1990's, and after the feds began hacking and slashing Canada's social programs. They were on a roll, and caution was thrown to the wind.

quote:
As long as the deficits could continue millions of 'employed' Soviets could continue at jobs where they 'pretended' to work.

So is it capitalist economic activity that's got those Russian GDP numbers up, or is it really just the export of raw materials from Russia as per usual?. Adam, why are India and China, two countries with relatively few natural resources, doing so much better than Russia and the rest of the former Soviet Republics and with China untethered to the IMF and Washington consensus ?. Why were China and India able to recover faster than other countries from the Asian economic disaster of the late 1990's?.

Again, what economy since 1929 hasn't had to take on some debt in order to prevent economic depressions ?. Were the Soviets an exception?. David Hume once wrang his hands in British parliament and lamenting the 50 million pound debt hanging over England at the time. He warned of calamity, and banks would foreclose on England!!! Of course, the British empire took off soaring, and the 50 million quid was paid off and forgotten all about. How would Russia, with all its unparalleled natural wealth, have conceivably hit the debt wall?. The truth is, Adam, decisions were made. People in the Soviet republics once believed western propaganda that everyone in the west were wealthy and wanting for little. They were lied to, Adam.

There is a joke making the rounds in Russia. A man wakes up one morning and goes downstairs to the kitchen. Out of curiosity he flips on the light switch, and the lights come on. Surprised by that, he tries the stove and the burner comes on. He yells to his wife, "Lalya, the communists are back!."

[ 05 June 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
a lonely worker
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posted 05 June 2006 10:00 PM      Profile for a lonely worker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Adam, for someone who accuses others of cherry picking, you are definitely using some pretty clever tricks yourself:

1 - strawman - NO ONE has ever mentioned Stalin. You did. There is no comparison.

2 - YOU cherry pick GNP. Well this is a human rights issue so let's do a head to head human rights comparison:

Here is Amnesty International's report for 2006 on Cuba:

Amnesty International: Cuba

quote:
- Nearly 70 prisoners of conscience remained in prison. Prisoners of conscience continued to be arrested and sentenced for their peacefully held views. Some were released for health reasons.

- Restrictions on freedom of expression, association and movement - Human rights activists, political dissidents and trade unionists were harassed and intimidated. Such attacks were frequently perpetrated by quasi-official groups, the rapid-response brigades, allegedly acting in collusion with members of the security forces.

Freedom of expression and association continued to be under attack. All legal media outlets were under government control and independent media remained banned. Independent journalists faced intimidation, harassment and imprisonment for publishing articles outside Cuba. Human rights defenders also faced intimidation and politically motivated and arbitrary arrests.

The laws used to arrest and imprison journalists, relating to defamation, national security and disturbing public order, did not comply with international standards. According to the international NGO Reporters Without Borders, 24 journalists were imprisoned at the end of 2005.


The grand total of "prisoners of conscience" : "nearly 70" plus 24 journalists. Total political prisoners: less than 100. Total killed : 0. Total tortured: 0.

The two subheadings on this report are:
Prisoners of conscience and Restrictions on freedom of expression, association and movement.
That's it.

Now let's do an apple to apple comparison compare this report with the Dominican Republic (both are Carribean islands with similar resources and histories). This should be a no brainer as according to your OWN arguments they have a higher GNP, are democratic and are a "free" country.

Here's Amnesty's 2006 Report for the Dominican Republic:

Amnesty International: Dominican Republic

quote:
- In May, more than 3,000 Haitians and black Dominicans were forcibly expelled in three days. They were reportedly rounded up in the early hours of the morning, forced onto buses and left at the Haitian border. Many were unable to collect their belongings and some were allegedly separated from family members.

- Haitians faced an increasing climate of xenophobic hostility, particularly after the murder in May of a Dominican shop owner in the north of the country, allegedly perpetrated by Haitian migrants. Incidents of lynching were reported, often after the murder or rape of a Dominican, and several Haitians were killed. The security forces failed to intervene to halt attacks.

- Killings by security forces - There was an increase in the number of people killed in shoot-outs (“intercambios de disparos”) with members of the security forces, apparently in the context of anti-crime operations. Between January and August, 348 people were killed in this way, according to official statistics, compared with 360 such deaths during the whole of 2004. Uncorroborated reports suggested that a number of these fatal shootings may have been extrajudicial killings. Fifty-five members of the security forces were reportedly killed in the same eight-month period.

- Torture and ill-treatment -In August, five inmates from the prison in the city of Mao were reportedly tortured by police personnel from the prison, leaving them with broken ribs, arms and legs. They had allegedly helped another inmate to escape. The escaped prisoner was eventually shot dead by prison guards

- Violence against women - Violence against women continued to be widespread, affecting women from all backgrounds. During the first six months of 2005, the Care Centre for Battered Women reported 386 cases of sexual violence in which 205 women were beaten.

- Human rights defenders - Father Pedro Ruquoy, a Belgian Catholic priest, received death threats in September apparently because of his work on behalf of Dominican peasants and Haitian migrants working in sugar cane plantations. As a result of the threats and other intimidation, Father Ruquoy was forced to leave the Dominican Republic in November after 30 years of missionary work in the country. According to reports, other human rights defenders working on behalf of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian origin also had to flee the country.


Over 3,000 Haitians and "black" Dominicans forcibly expelled in just a three day period. Police turning a blind eye to race motivated rape, beatings, killings and lynchings. 348 people killed in just a six month period as a result of the state's security forces, torture, violence against women and human rights activists forced to flee for their lives.

The sub headings on this report are:

Discrimination against Haitians, Killings by security forces, Torture and ill-treatment, Violence against women and Human rights defenders.

I wonder why this story has never appeared in the Miami Herald or the US State Department.

3 - You say that they are poor because of their system and repressive regime. Interestingly enough, here's Amnesty International's take on this very issue from the same report:

quote:
The US embargo continued to have a negative effect on the enjoyment of the full range of human rights in Cuba.

4 - Unfair parameters for debate - before you give the facts of your GNP argument you state:

quote:
I'm sure you'll go on endlessly about how the wealth of the nation isn't distributed evenly unlike in the socialist paradise Cuba, and fair enough to a point, or you'll go on about exploitation of natural resources, but, GDP per capita is generally regarded as the most accurate indication of a nation's ability to generate income:

Well Adam, the distribution of this wealth IS the point (just because you produce a milion and I have 0 does not mean we're both worth 500,000). I'm sure you knew this which is why you tried to take it ourt of the equation.

That's all for now. Awaiting your reply.


From: Anywhere that annoys neo-lib tools | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
a lonely worker
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posted 05 June 2006 10:04 PM      Profile for a lonely worker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Wow Fidel, we both posted at the same time. And look at the sources us "pinko commies" used: the World Bank and Amnesty International. How can the Miami Herald compete against that?
From: Anywhere that annoys neo-lib tools | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 05 June 2006 10:19 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Good post, LonelyWorker. A nice surprise.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 05 June 2006 10:31 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Interview with Jean Bricmont
quote:
The economists Jean Drèze and Amartya Sen estimate that, departing from a similar base, China and India have followed different development paths and that the difference between the social systems of these two countries results in about 3.9 million extra deaths in India every year. In Latin America 285,000 lives would be saved each year if Cuban health and food policies were applied.

I am not saying that social and economic performance can justify deficiencies in other fields of human rights. But no-one would maintain that the contrary is true: respect for individual and political rights does not justify flouting social and economic rights. Why do the defenders of human rights never say so?

Let us come back to Cuba. Can the lack of individual freedoms be justified by effective health care? That can be discussed. If, in Cuba, there was a pro-Western regime, it is certain that health care would not be so effective. This can be deduced from the state of people's health in the "pro-Western" countries of Latin America. Hence, in practical terms there is a choice between the different types of human rights: what are most important, the social and economic ones, or the political and individual ones?

It would of course be best to have both together. The Venezuelan president Chávez, for example, is trying to reconcile them. But the US interventionist policy makes this reconciliation difficult in the Third World. What I would like to emphasize is that it is not for us, in the West, who benefit from the two kinds of rights, to lay down what choice is to be made. We should rather put our energies into enabling the Third World countries to carry out their development independently, in the hope that this will eventually help these rights to emerge.



From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
a lonely worker
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posted 05 June 2006 10:36 PM      Profile for a lonely worker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
All of these posts make me wonder why our press never goes deeper into these issues, instead of the usual page of "Cuba is a commie dump" articles found every Sunday in the Star. Maybe our press isn't so "free" after all?
From: Anywhere that annoys neo-lib tools | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 05 June 2006 10:39 PM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The World Bank has just published its latest survey(2005) of central Europe and the former Soviet Union. The bank is hardly a leftwing propaganda outfit but its report, Growth, Poverty, and Inequality, shows how far the region still has to go to make up for the fall in living standards which came with the collapse of communism. In 1988 only 4% of the region's people were poor -- defined as having an income of less than £1.25 a day. Now poverty affects 12%.

Yes, but many of the remaining 88% are likely better off.

If not, though, you should at least admit that Poland is unique:

"But the report shows that Poland, alone among them, has seen a further increase in poverty over the last five years."

I credit you with at least quoting it.

quote:
I think no nation has dinged up more national debt than the U.S. Republicans with runaway spending on Keynesian militarism. Canada and Brazil were probably next in line for humngous national debt growth under political consevatism. Our

Nice bit of misdirection. I agree with you the United States is in economic trouble.

quote:
Adam, why are India and China, two countries with relatively few natural resources, doing so much better than Russia and the rest of the former Soviet Republics and with China untethered to the IMF and Washington consensus ?.

Yes, why indeed? Both of them started rapid growth after they adopted capitalism and gave up on socialism/communism. Obviously China learned from the Soviet Union in terms of how to make the transition. Of course, the thugs in power also learned how to make the transition while holding onto power.

quote:
Again, what economy since 1929 hasn't had to take on some debt in order to prevent economic depressions ?. Were the Soviets an exception?.

That's not the point. The point is that continual deficits at some point become unsustainable. You can look at all the bizarre conspiracy theories you like, but the Soviet leaders themselves certainly thought they'd hit the debt wall.

quote:
How would Russia, with all its unparalleled natural wealth, have conceivably hit the debt wall?.

Yes, good question. Of course, most people would probably say that it says something about the communist system that even with all those resources that the economy was still a basket case.

quote:
There is a joke making the rounds in Russia. A man wakes up one morning and goes downstairs to the kitchen. Out of curiosity he flips on the light switch, and the lights come on. Surprised by that, he tries the stove and the burner comes on. He yells to his wife, "Lalya, the communists are back!."

Interesting, but the communists have never managed to get back in power in Russia.


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$1000 Wedding
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posted 05 June 2006 10:46 PM      Profile for $1000 Wedding        Edit/Delete Post
What is the romantic spell that Communism cast on generations of intellectuals that lingers today? I can see how before WW2 and during the Cold War, Communism's sex appeal persisted in college campuses and union halls. But, today, years after the collapse of the Soviet Union and China's abandonment of Communism, and knowing that millons in Eastern Europe are far better off since Communism fell, there are still heart throbs like Fidel who want us to aspire to and respect Castro's Cuba.

At best, Cuba is an aberration, a vestige on the wrong side of history. Kind of like saying Singapore sets an example as benevolent fascism. Fidel's selective use of facts and a failure to understand the complexities of the very society he lives in almost puts him through the looking glass. The vast majority of Canadians are unwilling to pay such a high price and collapse in the standard of living and evaporation of freedom just to have equitable medical care. To be equally impoverished in order to eradicate poverty is not a solution.

Despite Fidel's impressive, but highly selective command of pro-Cuba facts I don't see a huge rush of immigration to Cuba. Ultimately, people vote with their feet.


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M. Spector
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posted 05 June 2006 10:48 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You haven't read anything in this thread, have you?
From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 05 June 2006 10:56 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And the communists are some of the people who have stolen Russian and other countries resources. Russia had no welfare system, and the first item on the agenda for foreign capitalists was to call for an expansive justice system and policing, which they never needed before because some eight million of the worst crooks and gangsters were stashed away in czarist era gulags by the communists. Now they are out and perpetrating some of the most complex and lucrative crimes that Russian's and FBI have ever had to investigate. Some analysts say Russia was really a capitalist nation all along with very few socialist policies. I'm tending to agree with them. But one of things we do know about the capitalist reforms is that GDP numbers in those countries are up, right Adam ?.

Vlad Putin is a former KGB chief. I think he has some sense of what Russia needs to do. China's state banks have loaned Putin the money to renationalise Yukos, a certain number of natural gas reserves, and now Vodka production. The Russian's have regained control over as much oil as Libya produces each year. It's a start. If only Canada's leaders would grow backbones, we might be able to afford freely accessable education as per our UN obligation to human rights as well as a few other perks for living in a country with so many natural advantages.

[ 05 June 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 05 June 2006 11:01 PM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
1 - strawman - NO ONE has ever mentioned Stalin. You did. There is no comparison.

I defined the paramaters of which I mentioned Stalin. It was solely to point at the way in which defenders of Communism back then used the growth of Soviet heavy industry to suggest that Communism was a succesful economic system comparable to that of western countries.

It's possible that, as the lawyers say, merely mentioning Stalin is 'prejudicial'.

quote:
2 - YOU cherry pick GNP. Well this is a human rights issue so let's do a head to head human rights comparison:

Do you honestly think that makes Cuba look good? It confirms that the country is a brutal dictatorship. Not as brutal as some past communist regimes, or some other governments, but that's hardly a recommendation.

If Cuba is such a wonderful country where nobody is in poverty, what is the need for all this abuse of human rights?

quote:
Well Adam, the distribution of this wealth IS the point

No, it's your point. As I said above, that's all of question of values and there is no right and wrong, as long as what I said above is met
(that the facts are correct about the distribution of wealth and the lack of poverty and that the system that distributes this wealth is sustainable).

Other people would say that generation of income is more important than how it's distributed. And not just the well off either. Many people would find a system that by official reports leaves practically every citizen as living just above abject poverty as pretty unaceptable.

It's hard to deny given the GDP figures, and the fact that Cuba is near the bottom of them, that at some point there is a trade off between generating income and redistributing it.

I mean, I personally find it amazing that countries in Central America that have considerably lower life expectancies still manage to have a higher GDP per capita than Cuba. I would have expected a greater coerlation between life expectancy and GDP, because, after all, if you don't have health, you don't have anything. Of course, the other possibility is that Cuba just makes up their life expectancy numbers.


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
a lonely worker
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posted 05 June 2006 11:02 PM      Profile for a lonely worker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The vast majority of Canadians are unwilling to pay such a high price and collapse in the standard of living and evaporation of freedom just to have equitable medical care.

You do realise we still have a form of "equitable" health care in this country as well and we haven't collapsed?

Amnesty clearly found another root cause:

" The US embargo continued to have a negative effect on the enjoyment of the full range of human rights in Cuba."

Or is Amnesty just another group of commie intellectuals?

The sadest part in this debate is that when facts get clearly spelled out, it always comes down to red baiting and not the facts as the final rebutal.

FYI, I am not a "commie intellectual" (I never enjoyed wearing tweed jackets!)


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Adam T
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posted 05 June 2006 11:16 PM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Some analysts say Russia was really a capitalist nation all along with very few socialist policies. I'm tending to agree with them

But, Fidel, until I challenged you on Russia, you were saying that it was at one time another great communist country with no poverty...


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Adam T
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posted 05 June 2006 11:20 PM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
" The US embargo continued to have a negative effect on the enjoyment of the full range of human rights in Cuba."

This seems to be suggesting that somehow Amnesty International thinks that the U.S embargo justifies Castro's repressive policies.

I can't believe A.I would say that. Would you please quote the full section that statement is in.


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Fidel
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posted 05 June 2006 11:23 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by $1000 Wedding:
But, today, years after the collapse of the Soviet Union and China's abandonment of Communism, and knowing that millons in Eastern Europe are far better off since Communism fell, there are still heart throbs like Fidel who want us to aspire to and respect Castro's Cuba.

If you were to read certain views on China by anyone other than first year economics students and newspaper columnists in Canada, you might realize that China's is still one of the most interventionist state-controlled economy in the world. The Chinese state has foregone and bypassed most of the WB and IMF's recommendations
for liberal democracy in their economic growth. The Chinese have invested heavily in education, health care and infrastructure - all of which are not included in the Washington consensus recipe for capitalism.

The Chinese state demands controlling interest, or a large minority share in all foreign corporations doing business in China. This is not unbridled capitalism. David Ricardo and Friedrich von Hayek would have dubbed this economic arrangement as socialism and doomed to failure as would the cold war critics of communism in the 1970's. The truth is that theories for market socialism were being proposed at the turn of the last century at a time when the 30 year-long experiment in laissez-faire capitalism was on its own path to failure and rejection around the western world leading up to 1929.

Yes, laissez-faire capitalism was resoundingly rejected by the west in the 1930's. It was tried only a few times after that and with similar results. Some of the most brilliant minds in right-wing economics tried to implement leave it to the market capitalism in Chile and Argentina. Freed of the dead hand of government bureaucracy in Chile from 1973 to 1985, unbridled capitalism keeled over and died, just as it did in 1929 America.

[ 05 June 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
a lonely worker
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posted 05 June 2006 11:29 PM      Profile for a lonely worker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Do you honestly think that makes Cuba look good? It confirms that the country is a brutal dictatorship.

So does this make the Dominican Republic a "brutal democracy" that ethnically cleansed its black residents less than a year ago?

quote:
If Cuba is such a wonderful country where nobody is in poverty, what is the need for all this abuse of human rights?

Did you even read the report? I'll quote the answer again:

quote:
The US embargo continued to have a negative effect on the enjoyment of the full range of human rights in Cuba.

Click on the links in the previous post to read it(its in red letters). You really should read these links!

You know the embargo. The US law that bans all trade and severely limits travel to Cuba. Maybe you've even heard of the Helms Burotn Act?

quote:
Of course, the other possibility is that Cuba just makes up their life expectancy numbers.

I see, dismiss any fact as fiction if it doesn't match your thesis.

Listen Adam, in post after post I have stated my preference for a democratic form of socialism. I even gave two current examples (I could add past ones like Tommy Douglas in Saskatchewan if you like).

I tried as fairly as possible to pick a neutral source to do an apple to apple comparison on the human rights question and found far worse issues in a neighbouring country.

But I guess because the DR is "one of the good guys" according to Uncle Sam, that's all we need to know.

I never said Cuba was perfect, but please recognise that there's far more to the story than meets the eye especially when one looks at the other options in Latin America (with far worse results).

Too bad no one notices this fact whenever this emotional issue is discussed.

[ 05 June 2006: Message edited by: a lonely worker ]


From: Anywhere that annoys neo-lib tools | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 05 June 2006 11:36 PM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Fidel, I actually agree with some of your last post. However

quote:
If you were to read certain views on China by anyone other than first year economics students and newspaper columnists in Canada, you might realize that China's is still one of the most interventionist state-controlled economy in the world. The Chinese state has foregone and bypassed most of the WB and IMF's recommendations
for liberal democracy in their economic growth. The Chinese have invested heavily in education, health care and infrastructure - all of which are not included in the Washington consensus recipe for capitalism.

China is also one of the biggest environmental cesspools in the world. The food that the Chinese people eat is practically pure poison.


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Fidel
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posted 05 June 2006 11:36 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Adam_T has posted some impressive GDP numbers out of Guatemala, El Salvador and Haiti, LonelyWorker. [/stern face]
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
a lonely worker
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posted 05 June 2006 11:43 PM      Profile for a lonely worker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
If it wasn't so late, I'd be at this all night!

So as I sign off I'll just close with three words:

Arbenz, Contras and Aristide!

Have at 'em!


From: Anywhere that annoys neo-lib tools | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 05 June 2006 11:54 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Adam T:
Fidel, I actually agree with some of your last post. However

China is also one of the biggest environmental cesspools in the world. The food that the Chinese people eat is practically pure poison.


Actually, you're right there. But this could also be a news story right from the good old USA. North American cancer rates are still the highest in the world, especially around industrialise centres like the Great Lakes areas, and a Mississippi Delta region dubbed "Cancer Alley."

Pig farmers in Calfornia and several states spew millions of gallons of raw pig and poultry manure over factory farm land, and communities are worried about it seeping into the water table and contaminating drinking water. The High Plains region of the U.S. has lost almost a quarter of its arable land to dated mechanized farming methods, and the Ogallala Aquifer, an important source of fresh water for several states, has lost a considerable amount of water table since just 1980.

In fact, Minnesota farmers havce travelled to Cuba, as has Canada's David Suzuki, to study Cuban innovations in organic farming techniques. The Cuban's are saving a bundle on imported fertilizers and pesticides by growing crops scientifically and naturally. Natural food from Cuba is contributing to their exports and increased incomes for local farmers. David Suzuki says the Cuban's are able to obtain the same per unit area production as the most modern, chemically-induced methods.

Japan has become an importer of organically grown fruits and vegetables from some of China's state-owned collectives. And they're willing to pay as are other nations that are beginning to demand organically grown food. The Chinese understand that existing pollution levels cannot go on forever in that country and are beginning to demand scrubbers on industrial smoke stacks and more.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 05 June 2006 11:59 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by a lonely worker:
If it wasn't so late, I'd be at this all night!

So as I sign off I'll just close with three words:

Arbenz, Contras and Aristide!

Have at 'em!


Uhhhh, I'll take U.S. Shadow Guvmint for a thousand, Alex. Buzzzzzz!

Who are two democratically-elected Latino leaders overthrown by the CIA, and what safe sex prop should you carry at all times ?.

[ 06 June 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 06 June 2006 12:00 AM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
So does this make the Dominican Republic a "brutal democracy" that ethnically cleansed its black residents less than a year ago?

From what I read, it sounded like there was essentially a civil war on the island between 2 different groups. I didn't get the impression that this was a governmental action. So, yes, basically the Dominican Republic does sound like a brutal democracy, if it even is a democracy.

I have two observations from that:
1.The Dominican Republic obviously is made up of a number of races who don't get along with each other. Cuba could be similar to Yugoslavia under Tito: a country governed by a strongman who keeps a lid on racial tensions. This leads to point two.

2.Some theorists have theorized that a poor country in the early stages of economic developemnt needs to be governed by a dictator who can keep the lid on tensions as the country's economy goes through transitions (I'm not saying I subscribe to that theory). So, it would be nice if Cuba had actually had much economic growth to go along with being ruled by a dictator.

quote:
But I guess because the DR is "one of the good guys" according to Uncle Sam, that's all we need to know.

I never said it was. But, you've only pointed out one country, though you could obviously also point to Haiti and several Latin American 'emerging democracies'. But, there were 26 countries on the GDP list and Cuba was 23rd. I'd guess most of those countries with a better GDP also have a better human rights record as defined by the lack of political prisoners, free speach... Even if Cuba has better health care and education for the poorest of its citizens, than most of the 23 do for theirs.

quote:
The US embargo continued to have a negative effect on the enjoyment of the full range of human rights in Cuba.

Yes, I read that. I have to plead ignorant on it. I honestly am not sure what the statement means. I don't deny that the U.S embargo has a negative impact on Cuba's economy.

quote:
Of course, the other possibility is that Cuba just makes up their life expectancy numbers.

I see, dismiss any fact as fiction if it doesn't match your thesis.


I'm not dismissing it, I'm just throwing out the possibilty as an alternate theory. If I'm not mistaken, all the numbers released by WHO, are based on data collected from the individual governments themselves. As Cuba doesn't allow a free press, and, as I seriously doubt WHO audits the numbers, it is perfectly reasonable to speculate on how accurate the figures are.

It becomes all the more reasonable to speculate given the disconnect between the GDP figures and the the life expectancy figures.


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 06 June 2006 12:06 AM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
QUOTE] Natural food from Cuba is contributing to their exports and increased incomes for local farmers. [/QUOTE]

Sounds to me like Cuba is learning the value of niche markets (the organic food market) and incentives (increased income leads farmers to grow more of those crops). Maybe Castro is finally learning a bit about how capitalism works and is trying to apply it.


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 06 June 2006 12:12 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Adam T:
Sounds to me like Cuba is learning the value of niche markets (the organic food market) and incentives (increased income leads farmers to grow more of those crops). Maybe Castro is finally learning a bit about how capitalism works and is trying to apply it.

Maybe Helms-Burton law is crumbling due to pressure from within the U.S. itself.

People have been selling and trading for millenia, Adam. There is no magic of capitalism. Keynes saved capitalism from itself using socialist ideas, and the world has never asked for laissez-faire capitalism since 1929, nor would we in the western world tolerate it.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 06 June 2006 12:25 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Adam T:

I'm not dismissing it, I'm just throwing out the possibilty as an alternate theory. If I'm not mistaken, all the numbers released by WHO, are based on data collected from the individual governments themselves. As Cuba doesn't allow a free press, and, as I seriously doubt WHO audits the numbers, it is perfectly reasonable to speculate on how accurate the figures are.


Oh bullshit. Now you've entered into arguing facts established by UNICEF, WHO officials, Harvard and Yale Schools for Public Health who have visited the island and made extensive notes on Cuban health care. And not to mention the fact that Cuba is exporting new medicines and vaccines for cancer, meningitis and tropical diseases to the world that have been, or are presently being clinically tested in North America, Europe and in the field across the democratic capitalist third world. Where are the medical and biotech innovations from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala or Belize, Adam ?.

Because with all the bananas and coffee beans people in those shitholes work their butts off to grow and pick at rock bottom prices in order that some $40 thousand dollar a year capitalist in Canada can afford to eat fruit and drink coffee, you'd think they might send their children to school and hope for a better future. But that's not happening with Salvadoran kids who work at garbage dumps picking through human shit and medical waste all day long to find something valuable to sell. Is that the kind of capitalism you want for Cuban children to learn and pull themselves up by the bootstraps instead of being in daycare or grade school?. Those places are just a few days drive from Texas, Adam.

In fact. America's Ivy league schools for Public Health have questioned the quality of health statistics from their own inner city ghettos, rural areas and native reserves across the U.S. and suggesting America's own infant mortality might be slightly higher than reported. In fact, there were suggestions that UN observers be installed across America to ensure democracy was carried out in the 2004 elections. And the controversy continues.

Now I understand the level of argument you willing to sink to. You're too little, Adam.

cio chica!

[ 06 June 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 06 June 2006 12:57 AM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
In fact. America's Ivy league schools for Public Health have questioned the quality of health statistics from their own inner city ghettos, rural areas and native reserves across the U.S. and suggesting America's own infant mortality might be slightly higher than reported.

So, we agree that the public health figures can be manipulated and shouldn't be automatically assumed to be correct.

As Sir Humphrey said on Yes Minister:
"Good, I always like to leave on an agreement"


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 06 June 2006 01:04 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Adam T:
I have two observations from that:
1.The Dominican Republic obviously is made up of a number of races who don't get along with each other. Cuba could be similar to Yugoslavia under Tito: a country governed by a strongman who keeps a lid on racial tensions. This leads to point two.

2.Some theorists have theorized that a poor country in the early stages of economic developemnt needs to be governed by a dictator who can keep the lid on tensions as the country's economy goes through transitions (I'm not saying I subscribe to that theory). So, it would be nice if Cuba had actually had much economic growth to go along with being ruled by a dictator.


Cuba is miles above Dominican Republic, Adam. Some of the poorest people in this hemisphere live on that island, and you're completely clueless as to why they are poor.

Racism and economic theory?. Adam, which country incarcerates black people at six times the rate of the most openly racist nation of the last century, South Africa ?.

Which country denies the right to vote to people who have been in prison, on probation or on parole?. Voting is considered a basic human right in over 80 nations, except the U.S.A. Every Cuban is allowed to vote for any Cuban they want to in a country where elections are happening all the time.

Adam, which capitalist nation owns the largest gulag population in the world right now ?. That's excluding the 600 plus prisoners being held without formal charges or basic human right to legal defence at Guantanamo Bay's torture gulags.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 06 June 2006 01:23 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Adam T:

So, we agree that the public health figures can be manipulated and shouldn't be automatically assumed to be correct.

As Sir Humphrey said on Yes Minister:
"Good, I always like to leave on an agreement"


My god, are you in university or grade school ?. Cuba has lower infant mortality than the U.S. along with 29 other countries with socialized medicine, Adam. The WHO, UNICEF and America's own Ivy league schools for public health have acknowledged that fact. Why don't you do your own in depth health studies if you don't believe world renowned experts in the field of medicine, Adam?.

The reason the U.S. has such shitty national health statistics is that they do not have socialized medicine. They are stuck in an Adam Smith time warp that says the market should provide all things necessary. The Yanks admit to over a million and a half homeless children, over a quarter million homeless veterans of various wars, and increases in the absolute number of poverty-stricken American's in each year of this illegitimate Republican regime's dictatorial rule. They've admitted to there being anywhere from 40 to 70 million uninsured American's during their jobless economic recovery over 42 months beginning in 2001. And they've admitted to millions more likely being under-insured. The Yanks have admitted to unpaid medical bills being the top reason for personal bankruptcies in the States. None of that is true in 29, wait now, 30 countries with socialized medicine, including Cuba.

And the hundreds of CEO's and CFO's of these bloated HMO's and health insurance companies all want executive salaries on the backs of the workers. Each of them is an inefficient duplication of health care bureaucracies, dozens and dozens of times over compared with one efficient, centralized national system and costing thousands of dollars less per capita in countries with socialized or universal health care systems distributing the cost among all citizens who desire to live in civilized societies. The telephone system itself in an example of socializing the cost that allows hundreds of millions of people to afford telephone service. That's the magic of socialism, Adam

Who might be fudging numbers, Adam? Is it Cuba and 29 other countries complying with UN and WHO report requirements?. Get real!

And get back to us after several fact finding missions to Cuba. Adam, I think there's your DisneyLand view of the world and economic theory, and then there's the way it is.

off!

[ 06 June 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
$1000 Wedding
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posted 06 June 2006 01:50 AM      Profile for $1000 Wedding        Edit/Delete Post
Really, Fidel, the lengths you go to distort facts for your own arguement make you blind to the lack of democracy and human rights in Cuba.

Guantanamo Bay, Camp X Ray a gulag? Certainly not. You speak of the torture of its 600 detainees? What about those in Cuba prisons who are political prisoners? Perhaps more than 600? Or the general population of Cuba who is repressed and disenfranchised. Is Camp X ray the same thing? The prisoners in Camp X ray were captured after fighting with US troops or arrested abroad. And even if you and I dispute the legal reasoning, surely we can agree that the news media is able to report abuses at US facilities in a way that's impossible in Cuba.

Like I said, Cuba's survival on the wrong side of history is merely an aberration. Even at its best, there's no lesson you can draw from Castro's administration that's applicable to our society.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 06 June 2006 02:00 AM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Fidel,

Given that you're getting increasingly insulting, I'm not sure I should even bother responding to you. However,

The only source that I could find in all the articles you posted that mentioned infant mortality was from a communist newspaper. I saw no articles from Harvard, Yale or any other university that discussed the state of the Cuban health care system. If I missed such an article, please show me. The one that I did see, though, basically confirmed what I said:

"In early January, the Cuban Ministry of Health announced an infant mortality rate of 6.3, more than a half-point lower than the U.S."

The figures come from the Cuban Ministry of Health, they don't come from an impartial source and they almost certainly aren't audited.

I have no idea how accurate the figures are, but Castro wouldn't lie now, would he?

On the matter of biotech in Cuba. Actually, I think that is a very good thing. If there is any sector of the economy where the profit motive is, in many ways, a bad thing, it is certainly biotech.

I'd like to see far more biotech/pharmaceutical research in Canada done by the government and less done by corporations, especially the big pharmaceuticals.

[ 06 June 2006: Message edited by: Adam T ]


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 06 June 2006 02:29 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Abu Ghraib Torture Gulags

Evidence of torture at Gitmo

CIA Torture Gulags in Eastern Europe

Gulag Nation

Prison Industrial Complex: Darwinian Economics Costs More than Social Democracy!

School of the Americas: Manual de Estudio Contra Intelligencia

Read up El Cheapo!

[ 06 June 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 06 June 2006 02:33 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Adam T:
Fidel,

The only source that I could find in all the articles you posted that mentioned infant mortality was from a communist newspaper. I saw no articles from Harvard, Yale or any other university that discussed the state of the Cuban health care system.


That's because you are either incapable of basic computer operation and simplest of google queries, or you can't read plain English. Poor Canada

[ 06 June 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 06 June 2006 03:01 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

Better readjust those tinfoil hats to size small, and call a militia meeting hackers, because it's a global socialist conspiracy!!!

[ 06 June 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 06 June 2006 02:45 PM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
As I've said Fidel, you blitheringly neive moron and patsy for everything your Fearless Leader Castro tells you, those numbers are compiled from numbers given from state authorities.

Unicef does not compile its own numbers, and it does not audit the numbers it receives.

Tin foil hat? A nation that doesn't allow a free press might fudge its numbers to make itself look good. Oh yeah, that's a real stretch of a conspiracy theory.

Fidel, I suggest you get a brain.


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 06 June 2006 03:36 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Adam T:
As I've said Fidel, you blitheringly neive

I'm not sure, but I think you were trying to insult me, Adam. http://www.dictionary.com


quote:
Unicef does not compile its own numbers, and it does not audit the numbers it receives.

Statistically speaking, their numbers are as accurate as can be, Adam. America is a big country, don't forget. And there is lots of hidden poverty besides tens of millions who can't afford to see a doctor on a regular basis. We can understand you concerns about quality and accuracy of reporting in America, especially when the right for big business to make profits on the backs of the sick and the dying is at stake. But they don't care, and neither do you, because right wing ideology and the right for big business to gouge and profiteer at the expense of millions matters more than the facts to people like you. You're not a very good shill for the corporate parasites, Adam. And I hope they are at least paying you, but I doubt it by all accounts of your non-sequitur arguments.

quote:
Methods of estimation

WHO and UNICEF rely on reports from countries, household surveys and other sources such as research studies. Both organizations have developed common review process and estimation methodologies. Draft estimates are made, reviewed by country and external experts and then finalized.


It's all a vast socialist conspiracy among United Nations, Ivy League public school of health officials, Fidel Castro and 29 other developed nations to make the U.S. shadow guvmint and you look bad, Adam. booglyoo! booglyoo!

<-- Adam

[ 06 June 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 06 June 2006 04:02 PM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Fidel, if you knew how to read, you might actually have noticed that that statement referred only to the immunization statistics they are reporting on.

And, if you were trying to be honest, you would also have added this:

Comments

"The principle challenges are to improve the quality (accuracy, validity, completeness and timeliness) of the data. Also, interpretation of available data needs to be improved by adjusting for possible biases for the most accurate estimate of immunization coverage possible."

So, it seems the U.N people compiling these stats are well aware that countries may attempt to fudge their figures, even if this possibility seems to have eluded your tiny brain.

[ 06 June 2006: Message edited by: Adam T ]


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
EmmaG
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posted 06 June 2006 04:26 PM      Profile for EmmaG        Edit/Delete Post
I enjoy and appreciate your resilience, Adam T, in attempting to reason with Fidel.

I hope nobody minds, but I'm reposting from another thread to get your reaction to this Fidel:

I was in Cuba last year and stayed at a resort with my family, which was full of Canadians and Europeans. I befriended a staff member at the resort, and as she told me in a worried voice that I wasn't allowed to tip her (Fidel's rule), I offered her a gift of some books (which may or may not be available in Cuba) as she had given excellent service to us tourists. She whispered that couldn't accept that either, but told me where she lived and to meet her there after her shift.
Her house was comfortable, but along the standard that the average Canadian low-income person would be living in. The difference was that my new friend had no electricity. I asked why, and she said that it was usually only on a few hours a day. When asked why, she shrugged her shoulders and said that's just the way it is.
During our conversation, she expressed regret that she couldn't accept any of the tips she was frequently offered at the resort. I commented that she might be able to keep the electricity on all day, she told me no, that's not possible in Cuba.

So, Fidel. I've listened to your excuses and blind support for Castro and Cuban communism on the other thread, using only general examples about the lack of democracy and human rights and freedoms in Cuba. Now, I'm using a story from personal experience that is fact. This person I spoke with didn't think life in Cuba is as great as you make it out to be. If fact, she would love to trade places with me or you.


From: nova scotia | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 06 June 2006 04:37 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Adam T:
Fidel, if you knew how to read, you might actually have noticed that that statement referred only to the immunization statistics they are reporting on.

If you understood the topic you've chosen to misinform us on, Adam, you would understand that infectious diseases like influenza, pneumonia, enteritis, diarrhoea, dengue fever and so on, accounted for about a third of all deaths of Cuban children under one year of age at one time, while by 1980 this was reduced to 13.7%. This is a direct effect of the innovations made with cooperation between the Cuban medical system and Cuban biotechnology programs developed in socialist Cuba. Cuba was the first country in Latin America to eradicated Polio. National vaccination programs in Cuba have been an important part of why Cuba's IMR is lower than 99 percent of Latin American counries that do not have socialized medicine, Adam. And Cuba has more doctors per capita than any western nation - another reason why Cuba's IMR is lower than in the U.S.A., Adam. How much of your homework do you con other people into doing for you, kid ?. Sheesh! Don't be lazy.

And if you knew anything about health care and how it works, you'd understand that one of the cornerstones of Canadian medicine is universal access, ie. regular chechups for all Canadians. It's why this country, 29 others with socialized medicine, and yes, Fidel Castro's Cuba, too, own lower infant mortality rates than the U.S.A. with its most privatized and most expensive health care system on earth. The USA is a poor example for free market health care, Adam. Adam, you should pay me for this tutorial on Cuba, politics and life in general.

Hey you're a laff riot, Adam. ha ha booglyoo booglyoo

<-- Adam "It's a global socialist conspiracy"_T

[ 06 June 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 06 June 2006 04:47 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
CLAP-CLAP! CLAP!

Buddy you’re a boy make a big noise
Playin’ in the street gonna be a big man some day
You got mud on yo’ face
You big disgrace
Kickin’ your can all over the place

I win!


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 06 June 2006 04:49 PM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Fidel, do you think you could debate even once with using misdirection?

I show, despite your attempt to hide it, that the U.N agencies acknowledge they cannot completely vouch for the accuracy of their figures due to likely fudging by the reporting countries, and you go off on another harangue about the U.S health care system.

Where did anybody on this thread say anything positive about the U.S health care system?

I further showed that the statement you showed to me from the U.N only referred to the data they've compiled on immunization figures, not on figures covering life expectancy or childhood deaths.


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Adam T
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posted 06 June 2006 04:50 PM      Profile for Adam T     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I win!

Fidel, the only thing you've won at is making a fool of yourself. You are a complete joke.


From: Richmond B.C | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 06 June 2006 04:51 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Babblers - 80 points

Adam T & trolls - nil

[ 06 June 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 06 June 2006 04:55 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Holy. How did this get so long?
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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