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Thread: Castro's resignation and Cuba's future

  1. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by IdleRich View Post
    Well, my point is that Castro is wrong, should the US punish the Cubans? However bad Castro's economics may or may not be the US embargo makes the situation worse, that shouldn't be controversial should it?
    It definitely doesn't make the situation better, but the idea that the US embargo is the cause of Cuban poverty rather than corruption and economic failure is simply wrong. I agree that the US should lift the embargo, but Cuba will only have product to trade if the government allows people to capture the profit of their own labour. As long as kleptocrats are still making decisions then foreign trade is unlikely to make a great deal of difference.

    Except the US also punishes anyone who deals with Cuba.
    Got details? Be really interested to read a good economics paper on the effect of the embargo on Cuba and current levels of trade.

  2. #17
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    "Got details? Be really interested to read a good economics paper on the effect of the embargo on Cuba and current levels of trade."
    Well, I used to go out with a girl who worked for American Express, when she wanted to buy tickets to Cuba with her Amex card it wasn't allowed, that's the kind of thing I mean. I don't know what the effects of this are in total but I know that pressure is brought to bear on companies that deal in the US not to deal with Cuba.

    "It definitely doesn't make the situation better"
    OK, so that much we agree on. Why are the US so vindictive towards Cuba out of all the dictatorships in the world? I reckon it's because it is (nominally at least) a Communist dictatorship.

    "but the idea that the US embargo is the cause of Cuban poverty rather than corruption and economic failure is simply wrong"
    Maybe, but to turn round what you said before, if the US are so confident that the ideology is flawed they should let it fail on its own terms without giving them the excuse of a trade embargo.

  3. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by IdleRich View Post
    Well, I used to go out with a girl who worked for American Express, when she wanted to buy tickets to Cuba with her Amex card it wasn't allowed, that's the kind of thing I mean. I don't know what the effects of this are in total but I know that pressure is brought to bear on companies that deal in the US not to deal with Cuba.
    Gotcha

    OK, so that much we agree on. Why are the US so vindictive towards Cuba out of all the dictatorships in the world? I reckon it's because it is (nominally at least) a Communist dictatorship.
    Agreed, and also proximity, IMO.

    Maybe, but to turn round what you said before, if the US are so confident that the ideology is flawed they should let it fail on its own terms without giving them the excuse of a trade embargo.
    Absolutely, and there have been plenty of libertarian and even conservative types in the US saying so for years.

  4. #19
    droid Guest

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    An interesting fact about Cuba that is rarely mentioned is that is the worlds number one victim of international terrorism:

    US official documents that have been recently been declassified show that, between October 1960 and April 1961, the CIA smuggled in 75 tons of explosives into Cuba during 30 clandestine air operations, and infiltrated 45 tons of weapons and explosives during 31 sea incursions. Also during that short seven-month time span, the CIA carried out 110 attacks with dynamite, planted 200 bombs, derailed six trains and burned 150 factories and 800 plantations.

    Between 1959 and 1997, the United States carried out 5,780 terrorist actions against Cuba – 804 of them considered as terrorist attacks of significant magnitude, including 78 bombings against the civil population that caused thousands of victims.

    Terrorist attacks against Cuba have cost 3,478 lives and have left 2,099 people permanently disabled. Between 1959 and 2003, there were 61 hijackings of planes or boats. Between 1961 and 1996, there were 58 attacks from the sea against 67 economic targets and the population.

    The CIA has directed and supported over 4,000 individuals in 299 paramilitary groups. They are responsible for 549 murders and thousands of people wounded.


    In 1971, after a biological attack, half a million pigs had to be killed to prevent the spreading of swine fever. In 1981, the introduction of dengue fever caused 344,203 victims killing 158 of whom 101 were children. On July 6th, 1982, 11,400 cases were registered in one day alone.

    Most of these aggressions were prepared in Florida by the CIA-trained and financed extreme right wing of Cuban origin.

    http://www.voltairenet.org/article132624.html
    There have also been more attempts and plans to assassinate Castro than any other world leader:

    Fabian Escalante, who, for a time, had the job of keeping El Commandante alive, has calculated that there have been a total of 638 attempts on Castro's life. That may sound like a staggeringly high figure, but then the CIA were pretty keen on killing him. As Wayne Smith, former head of the US interests section in Havana, pointed out recently, Cuba had the effect on the US that a full moon has on a werewolf. It seems highly likely that if the CIA had had access to a werewolf, it would have tried smuggling it into the Sierra Maestra at some point over the past 40-odd years.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006...uncancampbell2
    As for the impact of the embargo on the health of Cubans - the American Association for World Health had this to say in 1997:

    After a year-long investigation, the American Association for World Health has determined that the U.S. embargo of Cuba has dramatically harmed the health and nutrition of large numbers of ordinary Cuban citizens. As documented by the attached report, it is our expert medical opinion that the U.S. embargo has caused a significant rise in suffering-and even deaths-in Cuba. For several decades the U.S. embargo has imposed significant financial burdens on the Cuban health care system. But since 1992 the number of unmet medical needs patients going without essential drugs or doctors performing medical procedures without adequate equipment-has sharply accelerated. This trend is directly linked to the fact that in 1992 the U.S. trade embargo-one of the most stringent embargoes of its kind, prohibiting the sale of food and sharply restricting the sale of medicines and medical equipment-was further tightened by the 1992 Cuban Democracy Act.

    A humanitarian catastrophe has been averted only because the Cuban government has maintained a high level of budgetary support for a health care system designed to deliver primary and preventive health care to all of its citizens. Cuba still has an infant mortality rate half that of the city of Washington, D.C.. Even so, the U.S. embargo of food and the de facto embargo on medical supplies has wreaked havoc with the island's model primary health care system. The crisis has been compounded by the country's generally weak economic resources and by the loss of trade with the Soviet bloc.

    http://www.cubasolidarity.net/aawh.html

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by vimothy View Post
    Agreed, and also proximity, IMO.
    And internal politics. Anti-Castro measures are worth vote$ in Florida. That's why clinton made the ambargo even tighter, despite logic (ie the collape of USSR) dictating it should've gone the other way.

    An interesting fact about Cuba that is rarely mentioned is that is the worlds number one victim of international terrorism:
    What's the name of the hijacker who the Americans won't extradite? What's their excuse?
    Last edited by crackerjack; 19-02-2008 at 07:43 PM.

  6. #21
    droid Guest

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    Luis Posada Carriles or Orlano Bosch? Miami is full of notorious terrorists living openly.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by droid View Post
    Luis Posada Carriles or Orlano Bosch? Miami is full of notorious terrorists living openly.
    Carriles is the one I was thinking of.

    Luis Clemente Faustino Posada Carriles (born February 15, 1928) is a Cuban-born Venezuelan anti-Castro terrorist. A former CIA operative, Posada has been convicted in absentia of involvement in various terrorist attacks and plots in the Western hemisphere, including involvement in the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed seventy-three people[1][2] and has admitted to his involvement in other terrorist plots including a string of bombings in 1997 targeting fashionable Cuban hotels and nightspots.
    In Venezuela, Posada became chief of operations of the Venezuelan intelligence, the DISIP.[17] The role involved countering various guerrilla movements supported by Cuba, but by 1974 he was dismissed after internal differences with Venezuelan authorities. Prior to his dismissal, the CIA had begun to believe that Posada was involved in cocaine trafficking, but did not break formal ties until February 13, 1976. The agency also believe that Posada was involved in a plot to assassinate Henry Kissinger, who at that time was advocating a more cooperative approach to Cuba-United States relations.[16] The Church Committee hearings of 1975, which had been triggered by fears that the CIA were running too many rogue operations, had a significant impact on the agency, and Posada's association was seen to be "not in good odour".
    In 1997, Posada was again implicated in a series of terrorist bombings in Cuba intended to deter the growing tourism trade on the island. An Italian, Fabio di Celmo, was killed and 11 people wounded as a result.

    In a taped interview with The New York Times, Posada said: "It is sad that someone is dead, but we can't stop."[24] Posada was reportedly disappointed with the reluctance of American news organisations to report the bombing attacks, saying "If there is no publicity, the job is useless.[15] Raúl Ernesto Cruz León, who Posada admitted was a mercenary under his employment, was sentenced to death by the Cuban authorities after admitting to the attacks.[15]
    On November 17, 2000, Posada was discovered with 200 pounds of explosives in Panama City and arrested for plotting the assassination of Fidel Castro, who was visiting the country for the first time since 1959. Three other Cuban exiles were also arrested alongside Posada : Gaspar Jiménez who worked at the Cuban American National Foundation in Miami, Pedro Remón Rodríguez and Carlos Muñiz Varela.[15]

    Castro himself announced the discovery of the plot on international television, describing Posada as "a cowardly man totally without scruples". Castro also blamed the CANF for orchestrating the plot. Shortly after, Justino di Celmo, the father of an Italian killed by a bomb in Havana, appeared on Cuban television to urge the Panamanian authorities to extradite Posada to Cuba. Posada was subsequently convicted and jailed in Panama for the assassination attempt.[15]

    In August 2004, Posada and the three other convicted plotters were pardoned by outgoing Panamanian president Mireya Moscoso. Moscoso, who had been close to the Bush administration in the U.S., denied that she had been pressured by U.S. officials to engineer a release of the men, though the U.S. government declined to condemn the actions of the plotters.[27] Moscoso's decision was heavily criticized by incoming president Martin Torrijos,[28] and speculation was rife that the pardon was politically motivated.
    Lovely fella.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by crackerjack View Post
    What's the name of the hijacker who the Americans won't extradite? What's their excuse?
    That should've read mass murderer, not hijacker.

  9. #24

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    i also think this is a sad day for cuba

    there is a meeting being held at the venezuelan embassy in london on thursday sponsored by the cuban government for the organisation cuban solidarity or something. the venezuelan embassy is just off tottenham ct rd on grafton st/way. something like 6 or 7pm - im sure life post-fidel will be being discussed.

  10. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockypoppy2 View Post
    i also think this is a sad day for cuba
    I cannot possibly imagine how this is a sad day. The man was in power for 49 years. He was the longest serving head of state in the world. He's had a good crack at it, and surely by now has done whatever it is he wanted, 49 years ago.

    Castro left office because he knows that terminally ill dictators do not last long. Their followers (the important ones, i.e. the ones who keep them in power) want to ensure that they have access to a steady stream of private goods, and so replace the old dying dear leader with a new, healthier one.

    What I want to know is, how can the transition to democracy be made incentive compatible for both the elite and for the people of Cuba? We know that life for dictators is more uncertain than for democrats in their first couple of years in office. Is there a possible way to use this to the advantage of Cuban democracy?

  11. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by droid View Post
    Miami is full of notorious terrorists living openly.
    Just like Londonistan!

  12. #27

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    This thread reminded me of an old article by John Derbyshire. I found the article and it's pretty germane:

    ...With the centenary of Lenin’s revolution looming on the far horizon, and after all the horrors of our age—mountains of corpses, oceans of lies—these fools are still with us. Wherever there is a jackboot stomping on a human face there will be a well-heeled Western liberal to explain that the face does, after all, enjoy free health care and 100 percent literacy. Won’t they ever learn? No, their stupidity is impenetrable. They will never learn.

  13. #28

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    And check this out, a CNN memo coaching their reporters to balance the fact that there has been criticism of Cuba's human rights record with the fact that Cuba has free health-care and education, as though "free health-care and education" (for whatever it is worth) is relevant or some kind of excuse for human rights abuses, and as though Castro's human rights record is an allegation whereas his magic touch with brilliant public policy and the provision of public goods is fact:

    From: Flexner, Allison
    Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2008 7:46 AM
    To: *CNN Superdesk (TBS)
    Cc: Neill, Morgan; Darlington, Shasta
    Subject: Castro guidance

    Some points on Castro – for adding to our anchor reads/reporting:

    * Please note Fidel did bring social reforms to Cuba – namely free education and universal health care, and racial integration. in addition to being criticized for oppressing human rights and freedom of speech.

  14. #29
    droid Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by vimothy View Post
    Just like Londonistan!
    Er - is that a joke?

    Are there hijackers, assassins and bombers living openly in London? If so, are they there with the full knowledge of the British government and do they have well established connections with British Security forces?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_66

  15. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by droid View Post
    Er - is that a joke?

    Are there hijackers, assassins and bombers living openly in London? If so, are they there with the full knowledge of the British government
    Of course there are. Britain is legendary for being a soft touch on mujahideen fleeing reprisals in their own countries. There have even been high profile jihadists calling on their fellows not to attack Britain because it is needed as a base for jihad. And we're not even just talking about not exporting them back to regimes with questionable human rights records (although that does play a part in it). The term "Londonistan" was created by French intelligence services because of the British government's unwillingness to extradite terrorists.

    But this is all ear-bleedingly obvious. Are you joking?

    do they have well established connections with British Security forces?
    No idea.

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