False Friends

I think not
#1
Fidel's newfound supporters are doing ordinary Cubans no favors.

March 20, 2006 issue - Political leaders in Latin America, intoxicated by a bad case of populism, are preparing a safe landing for Fidel Castro and his grim dictatorship. In a region that Castro bloodied with his mad policy of fomenting guerrilla wars, where a number of countries lost worthy citizens in misguided attempts to replicate his armed rebellion in the late 1950s, presidential palaces have been seized by the left through the same democratic means that those insurgents of yesteryear tried to destroy with bombs and bullets.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez provided the first and most important pillar of support to Castro. Now come gestures of solidarity from Evo Morales. The onetime leader of Bolivia's coca farmers views the Cuban president-for-life as a good man and a democrat, and never tires of telling interviewers so. In the backdrop of this dismal tableau, waving flags and full of smiles, are Brazil's Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Uruguay's Tabaré Vázquez and Argentina's erratic Nestor Kirchner. Bringing up the rear are the Peruvian presidential candidate Ollanta Humala and the front runner in Mexico's presidential campaign, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

This claque of politicians is guilty of the serious crime of flagrant opportunism. To appease their impatient left-wing constituents and maintain a semblance of calm at home, they shake the hands of Cuban officials who have installed a system they themselves reject as a matter of principle. They travel to the Cuban beach resort of Varadero, they express their support for Havana and receive in return Cuban doctors and cigars.

The problem lies not just with politicians. Associations of friends of Cuba have been created in certain sectors of Latin American civil society, and a select and erudite group of intellectuals sees in Cuba a rented version of their dream. Once a year they visit their illusion, and senior officials in Havana welcome them like chiefs of state, publishing their books with government funds and herding them into venues where they are applauded. But their dream is the living nightmare of the ordinary Cuban, the man in the street who is overlooked, forgotten and marginalized.

Indeed, all these figures are helping to perpetuate in a neighboring country what they would never accept in their own: the food-ration card that dates back to 1962, a totally controlled press, a legal gag order on free thought, and paramilitary brigades with clenched fists on the lookout for counterrevolutionary tendencies. For me, who like so many other Cubans wound up in jail for daring to speak out and report on the harsh realities in my country, the public, uncritical embrace that certain political leaders bestow on Fidel Castro only serves to prolong the suffering of my people. He milks those encounters for all the propaganda he can to feed to his apparatchiks.

There are many different Cubas within Cuba, and the poorest and most populous of these Cubas has been forsaken by all of Latin America. With the exception of Costa Rica, all the countries of the region, thanks to the attitudes of their elected leaders, are in effect treating their Cuban brethren with hatred and suspicion. But one way or another the Cuban people will emerge from their hell, and hopefully in the not too distant future a free Cuba will extend a hand of friendship to those same countries that have turned their backs on its citizens.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11786652/site/newsweek/
 
Finder
#2
I've been to Cuba, and not to one of those beeches either. I was there in 1999 for a world conferance of youth and students, though I do one day plan to go back to Cuba and chill on one of those beeches. Like of the poorer nations around the world they depend on tourism, they have very little to anything else to depend on since they do not sit on oil, gold or anything else of value. They do have surger and tobaco but even Tobaco has taken a hit in recent years.

The Cuban people themselves, at least in Havana, live a pretty good life. The poor made many gains from the revolution, such as better housing, education, jobs and healthcare. One of the worst things to come from the revolution isn't Castro, but the fact that the brain drain almost crippled the nation. Cuba after the revolution was left with only a couple hundred doctors. Also the American's totally messed things up by going back on trade deals which forced the government to trade and pander to the Soviet union and bolstered the communist side of the revolution and ultimatly converted Castro to Communism.

I stated in another post awhile back on the pro's and gones of Cuban life and government, so I'm not going to go as deep as I did before. Cuba does have a working democracy at some levels, though I am not a fan f that system they use as well, it's too FPTP like for my taste. Also I would like to see direct elections for president and I hope to see Castro step down sometime soon. I am not going into what I think is needed for this as well as I made a long ass post about this a few times in the past. But I see the latin amaerican elections of the centre left to the hard left as a stepping stone for a reform in Cuba. Before when you had extreme right wing dictatorships in latin america, you had Castro there defeanding the left in a sence. He appeared to be the one light in a see of darkness to many in that area. But now that he has been joined by other nations by democratic means it also means these nations will have a positive effect on Cuba and I hope the communist party of Cuba. I really hope we see the reform of the communist party of Cuba soon. I'm hoping they will allow a social democratic split in the party and I hope to see some democratic transitions in the near future. I really think with both China and Cuba could take a page from the Mongolian Communist Workers Party, and use there methode of reform, where they first totally dumped Marxism as the goal for the nation and the party and reformed on a social democratic platform allowed other parties to form and even allowed parts of the former communist party to form new parties. Until recently this has been a great success. Though the electoral process there is extremely FPTP which I do not like either. In there second democratic elections the socialists got about 72% of the vote but 90% some odd of the seats which is unfair in my eyes but those of you who live and die FPTP *shrugs*


Anyhow democratic governments using positive presure on Cuba is good. We have seen what negitive presure from the states has done with Cuba and other nations and I do not think going down that course would save any lives nor would make Cuba a better place to live.
 
Curiosity
#3
Finder

The "negative pressure" of which you speak is not from the "states" of which you speak....it is from the Cubans living in the USA who have escaped that dictatorship.

I wonder why you don't question that other Latino countries save Cuba?

I guess everyone is waiting for Castro to die and then the U.S. can go in with its money and invest and rebuild. Whatever happens, between the US and Cuba, it will be with the approval of the Cubanos living in the US now. They are a strong voting and very vocal block and no doubt they have huge plans for their homeland once Castro meets his maker in hell.

The natural resource Cubans have are their extremely bright and intellectual people and if they were free (as are those who have made it to Florida and other southern states), they would make Cuba into a wonderful, productive country.
 
I think not
#4
Finder

Socialist fascist dictators don't hold elections, they quell any opposition by sending them to "rehabilitation" camps. Castro is going to die in office.

And who is the positive influence in Latin America to Castro? Let me guess, Chavez?
 
#juan
No Party Affiliation
#5
Fidel Castro can't be a lot worse than the American gangsters who ran Batista and Cuba before Castro.

http://cubasocialista.com/batistaeng.htm
 
I think not
#6
Here we go again, reducing morality to a game of numbers and statistics.
 
#juan
No Party Affiliation
#7
ITN wrote:
Quote:

Here we go again, reducing morality to a game of numbers and statistics.

Nevermind the numbers. Are you telling us that Cubans had it better under Batista? Will the U.S. put the mob back in power? Maybe they'll pick a new Cuban leader from Miami.
 
Finder
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by I think not

Finder

Socialist fascist dictators don't hold elections, they quell any opposition by sending them to "rehabilitation" camps. Castro is going to die in office.

And who is the positive influence in Latin America to Castro? Let me guess, Chavez?

No I agree Cuba is not a democratic nation but it does have a parlimentiarn system in place. That was my point in the ability to use exsisting traditions in reform instead of just destorying everying.

I would be pressed into calling Castro a facsist since I know nothing of his policy which would deem him one. Yes he is a dictator, he does have socialist leanings, but to call him a national socialist which is far right is somewhat ignorant of Cuban policy.

As in any dictatorship political dissidents are jailed or "re-educated" as what happend in Vietnam, USSR and China. But to be facsist you must have the capitalist economey geared towards the military, also a ethnic nationalist mode to which other races are lower to your own, which just isn't in the case in Cuba. The one good thing an un-orthadox following of Marxism has brought to Cuba is a Humanism and equility which blends well with the Cathololic nature of Cuban society. When you also include the fact that Cuba is still largely a state run indestory with only a small free market it has no trapping of Facsism or "National Socialism".

Also As well as the repression of Stalinism or anti-western culture was not a factor when I went to Cuba. In deed nothing which I saw there showed repression of freedom of movement nor personally freedoms. Indeed the night culture there was nutty then Canada I would say. The people I talked to there were open about talking about the government but as anybody knows the main problem with Cuba is Political repression from the Communist party of Cuba which controls governmental orginizations. From my dealings with Cubans in 1999 most were generally supportive of the government, almost anybody I talked to thought the Revolution made many gains for most people in Cuba. Most wanted better relations with the USA. There was very little Anti Americanism in Cuba when I was there. There was however on the governmental side an Anti-Americanism towards the government of the USA, but not the people, nor in general even capitalism.

Also the people have generally embraced capitalism and socialism, from communists, socialists, humanists to liberals and conservative like minded people I talked to. If Canada, the USA and the rest of Latin American accepts Socialism in Cuba, I think the Cuban government would inch it's way to democratic reforms. But the USA has such an hard stance towards Cuba, I don't see Cuba changing while Bush is in power.

I really do think however when Castro dies, or perhaps sooner, Cuba will be a left leaning social dmeocracy, or liberal democracy.

The worst thing which could happen is a complete collasp of the government and social order in Cuba. The Cuban economy is weak if not frigile, and a collasp would spread extreme poverity everywhere. The only Cubans who would benifit from a collasp are the ones living in Florida.

Brand me "communist" or whatever, I am totally against Marxism, or extremist socialism, but when I was in Cuba, I met a lot of nice people and stayed with a Cuban family while I was there and I saw how they live and how frigile there economy is. They live pretty alright now and a soft move to democracy would benifit Cuban families the best.
 
darkbeaver
Republican
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by I think not

Here we go again, reducing morality to a game of numbers and statistics.

I am curious about this mysterious morality you keep refering to, could you elaborate.
 
Finder
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by darkbeaver

Quote: Originally Posted by I think not

Here we go again, reducing morality to a game of numbers and statistics.

I am curious about this mysterious morality you keep refering to, could you elaborate.


As fare as I know I didn't use any numbers in my beliefs on what I think would be best and I didn't use one statistic only my personal experience. I also think that I clearly stated that a more democratic system has to be achieved in Cuba, I just don't think the economic collasp or even a political collasp would help.
 
darkbeaver
Republican
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by Finder

Quote: Originally Posted by darkbeaver

Quote: Originally Posted by I think not

Here we go again, reducing morality to a game of numbers and statistics.

I am curious about this mysterious morality you keep refering to, could you elaborate.


As fare as I know I didn't use any numbers in my beliefs on what I think would be best and I didn't use one statistic only my personal experience. I also think that I clearly stated that a more democratic system has to be achieved in Cuba, I just don't think the economic collasp or even a political collasp would help.

Finder , ITN resorts to that line quite a bit ,usually when he,s in to much of a hurry for a proper response, I am almost certain it,s out of a movie but I can,t put my finger on it. yet
 
I think not
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by #juan

ITN wrote:

Quote:

Here we go again, reducing morality to a game of numbers and statistics.

Nevermind the numbers. Are you telling us that Cubans had it better under Batista? Will the U.S. put the mob back in power? Maybe they'll pick a new Cuban leader from Miami.

Since you're keen on numbers and comparisons, despite the fact he led a bloodless coup and was not elected into office, he is nowhere near Castro little repression of political opponents. Even the communist party supported Batistas efforts. He even had the stupidity of freeing Castro after a terrorist attack and having been convicted. You're going to compare Batista to Castro? I don't think so #juan, don't even go there.

Batista was by no stretch of the imagination fair and just, but comparing the two shows you only look at one side of the coin.
 
Finder
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by I think not

Quote: Originally Posted by #juan

ITN wrote:

Quote:

Here we go again, reducing morality to a game of numbers and statistics.

Nevermind the numbers. Are you telling us that Cubans had it better under Batista? Will the U.S. put the mob back in power? Maybe they'll pick a new Cuban leader from Miami.

Since you're keen on numbers and comparisons, despite the fact he led a bloodless coup and was not elected into office, he is nowhere near Castro little repression of political opponents. Even the communist party supported Batistas efforts. He even had the stupidity of freeing Castro after a terrorist attack and having been convicted. You're going to compare Batista to Castro? I don't think so #juan, don't even go there.

Batista was by no stretch of the imagination fair and just, but comparing the two shows you only look at one side of the coin.

Yes but at that time, Fidel was not a communist. I would argue that he was a Social Liberal Nationalistic leader at that point of time.
 
#juan
No Party Affiliation
#14
ITN wrote:
Quote:

Even the communist party supported Batistas efforts. He even had the stupidity of freeing Castro after a terrorist attack and having been convicted. You're going to compare Batista to Castro? I don't think so #juan, don't even go there.

I think you have a little comprehension problem. Batista and the American mob were the main reasons for Castro's revolution. I don't say Castro is a Ghandi by any stretch, but he is better for the Cuban people than Batista ever was. Batista was owned by the mob. Listen to Jimmy Carter, one of the most intelligent presidents you have ever had. Castro was not a communist when he started. All the Americans had to do is listen to him.
 
darkbeaver
Republican
#15
I still want to know about the morality thing.
 
I think not
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by #juan

I think you have a little comprehension problem. Batista and the American mob were the main reasons for Castro's revolution. I don't say Castro is a Ghandi by any stretch, but he is better for the Cuban people than Batista ever was. Batista was owned by the mob. Listen to Jimmy Carter, one of the most intelligent presidents you have ever had. Castro was not a communist when he started. All the Americans had to do is listen to him.

I have no reading comprehension problem, I comprehend quite well, my first grade teacher said so many many years ago.
Fidel Castro was and is a ruthless fascist dictator, Batista was a walk in the park compared to Castro. Batista was owned by the mob and it was part of the reason Castro revolted, that doesn't make him any better though. And Castro immediately after his successful revolution joined with other socialist parties to create the Cuban Socialist Revolution.

And by the way, do you know why Castro won? Because the US had a weapons embargo on Batista and he couldn't keep up with maintenance within his military. I have read a few books that claim Castros regime has killed around 20,000 opponents and hundreds of others tortured, not to mention at least a million fleeing to the US, but I have never read or seen online a single reference to Batista coming anywhere close to Castros "success".

I think you need to either read up or provide a link to backup your claims.
 
Doryman
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by #juan

ITN wrote:

Quote:

Here we go again, reducing morality to a game of numbers and statistics.

Nevermind the numbers. Are you telling us that Cubans had it better under Batista? Will the U.S. put the mob back in power? Maybe they'll pick a new Cuban leader from Miami.

I think that the Cubans have it better under Fidel than under Batista, yes. And I believe that they will have it better under a democratic government than their current one. Castro did a service to the Cuban people by ousting Batista and his thugs, but did a disservice by remaining in complete and utter control for this long. Martial law was fine and dandy when there were home-grown enemies to rout, but when the Mob became almost powerless in Cuba, that martial Law should have given way to Democracy, even if that Democracy was socialist in nature. It's time for Castro to let Cuba go.
 

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