Fidel Castro: My questions for Obama

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by BoyBach, May 29, 2008.

  1. BoyBach macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

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    #1
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/may/29/barackobama.cuba


    For me, he makes some legitimate points.
     
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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  3. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #3
    He won't say anything else for electoral purposes, but he bloody well should, if not now then after he is elected. The treatment of Cuba is simply the most egregious example of US bullying, disinformation and bad faith.
     
  4. Virgil-TB2 macrumors 65816

    Virgil-TB2

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    #4
    I agree, but I don't think Obama has to say much even after the election. Cuba is already moving and with Obama in charge this is a golden opportunity for the two sides to come together and basically forget all that idiotic rhetoric that has gone before them.

    Cuba is really not that bad a place and the worst outrages of the government there kind of pale next to what the USA is doing lately anyway. I just hope that they don't go totally capitalistic when the change starts to happen. US citizens have a kind of blind spot when it comes to anything from the left, and many of Cuba's "Socialist" institutions and structures not only work very well, they are superior to anything the so-called free market could replace them with.

    The Cuban people have suffered under the embargo for a long time. When they finally come to terms, it would be nice to *not* see the population and countryside raped and destroyed by US multi-nationals (as planned under the Bush administration), or turned into just another Mexico.

    .
     
  5. wyatt23 macrumors 6502a

    wyatt23

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    #5
    it is always very interesting to hear arguments from the other side. where can this be dugg.

    i wish obama didn't put in stone that the embargo would stand. God forbid he changes his mind, he'll be labeled a 'flip-flopper'.
     
  6. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Once all the rest of the world began trading with Cuba, I didn't see the point of our embargo. IOW, trade with the world at large isn't what's kept Cuba from having decent living standards in the western sense of "decent".

    However, Castro's ideas have kept Cuba from being anything other than a poor country. Lots of stuff is "free", except for the problem that they don't have much if any of the "free" stuff. Medicines, for instance. What good is free medical care if you don't have the materiel?

    An economy which can't generate enough wealth such that people could buy cars or have ample amounts of meat in the diet is a pretty sorry deal.

    The best income Castro ever could produce was by renting his mercenaries to Africa.

    Here's one Cuban's view of El Maximum Tyrant, with commentary on money and the Cuban economic system:

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/fontova/fontova57.html

    "When Forbes magazine named him among the world's richest heads of state in 2005 a furious Fidel Castro denounced it as "infamy!" "Do they think I'm some kind of Mobutu!" he raged. At the time Forbes estimated his fortune at $550 million

    This year Forbes raised his ranking to the world's 7th richest head of state, with an estimated fortune of $900 million. "Repugnant slander!" Castro thundered on Cuban television (all twelve of them) this week."

    'Rat
     
  7. elcid macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I would like to note on this thread that it is illegal to trade with Cuba. It is no mere executive order. It is illegal to trade with Cuba while Fidel or his son is in power. Therefore, like repealing the gas tax, if they aren't going to put it up while they are in the senate, they are not for it.

    Anything else and it is just political.
     
  8. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #8
    Isn't that a matter of opinion?

    This is a truly ridiculous article, as is the basis for Forbes' utterly slanted calculation of Castro's "wealth". To suggest that 10% of all Cuban state enterprises be counted as the personal fortune of a Socialist president shows a flagrant and shocking disregard for the truth. Is this scurrilous piece of trash the best you can produce, 'Rat? It is nothing but a childish, naïve and propagandist rant, and isn't worth the paper it is written on.
     
  9. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #9
    How many of the people? All the people? Some of the people? Some certain percentage of the people?

    I would remind you that the USDA notes that 12.5 million American children live in "food insecure" homes, and that at least 4% of US households have experienced a lack of food availability due to financial issues in the previous year.

    So be careful what you say about our economy. ;)

    I gotta say, the NABA argument gets tired after a while...
     
  10. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #10
    This should be the new republican party motto.
     
  11. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

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    #11
    The embargo has had a serious impact

    A lot of the shortages are due to embargos, but Cuban medical care is based on primary care in the community - get to people before the problems become severe. Aside from the medical area, education is free. Cuba has the highest rates of literacy in Latin America, and puts some areas of the "western world" to shame. It's also an incredibly resourceful country and puts most of the western world to shame when it comes to recycling and green agriculture.

    In large part brought on by the embargo

    IIRC that was Ernesto, not Fidel, and after they parted their ways.


    Raul is his brother, not his son, and in fact he was a Communist, while Fidel was a nationalist who turned to Soviet support because he was rebuffed by the US government, and believed the US was going to invade.
     
  12. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #12
    It practically has been, in almost exactly those terms.
     
  13. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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  14. Virgil-TB2 macrumors 65816

    Virgil-TB2

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    #14
    While we are on the topic also ...

    As a Canadian that grew up in a country that traded with the old Soviet Union as well as Cuba all through the 60's 70's and 80's, by what logic does the USA decide that trade with Cuba is "wrong" anyway? :confused:

    I mean the USA trades with kings, dictators and various socialist or communist or just plain nasty-ass regimes all around the world, but a socialist country that has quality of life, education and health care as the primary goals for it's people is too "evil" or something? WTF?

    Always sounded hypocritical and stupid to me.

    Not to mention the fact that most of the "let's liberate Cuba" folks in Florida are basically die-hard fascists and/or the offspring of the capitalist a-holes that were to blame for all the Cuban corruption in the old days. Why hook up with those guys?

    I'm thinking that this mostly has to do with USA pride and the fact that the Cuban revolution handed the US it's ass on a plate back in the day. There was a certain tinge of retribution in Bush's remarks about "liberating" (invading) Cuba when Castro got sick recently IMO. Like he wanted to complete the thing his grandad couldn't pull off with the whole Bay of Pigs fiasco.

    .
     
  15. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #15
    He makes good points, but he's done some wrong things too.

    The revolution started with the best of intentions, but its long been a failure.

    He kind of ignore the US's issue with Cuba, and brings us why the US is flawed. Yes, America has made some huge mistakes. But that isn't the issue here. I do hope that the changes Cuba go through soon, don't send it against socialism, because have the goal of helping you people, is indeed a great goal.
     
  16. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #16
    How, pray tell, has the US embargo hurt Cuba? Cuba trades with Canada and Europe, insofar as Cuba has the money with which to buy or has goods to sell. And, of course, the rest of the world. The U.S. isn't the only market or marketer, I've noticed...

    Now, we've hurt Cuba by our insane farm policy of subsidizing the Florida sugar cane folks--but not just Cuba. Be that as it may, nowhere is it written that the only marketable farm product of Cuba should be sugar.

    skunk, are you saying this "trash" is all lies?

    "A Cuban resident is most valuable to Castro when he wants to escape Cuba. This writer's family paid $15,000 to get a cousin out of Cuba in the early 60's. This was not an easy amount for destitute refugees to round up at the time, but the firing squads were working triple shifts and Cuba's prisons were filled to suffocation. You weren't only paying for a loved ones' freedom, you might also be paying for his (or her) life. Armando Valladares, who somehow escaped the firing squad but spent 22 torture-filled years in Cuba's Gulag, described his trial very succinctly: "not one witness to accuse me, not one to identify me, not one single piece of evidence against me." Valladares had been arrested in his office for the crime of refusing to display a pro-Castro sign on his desk.

    One day in early 1959 one of Che's Revolutionary Courts actually found a Cuban army captain named Pedro Morejon innocent of the charge of "war-criminal." This brought Che's fellow comandante, Camilo Cienfuegos to his feet. "If Morejon is not executed," He yelled. "I'll put a bullet through his head myself!" The court reassembled frantically and quickly arrived at a new verdict. Morejon crumpled in front of a firing squad the following day. As Castro's chief executioner, Che Guevara, explained it: "Judicial evidence is an archaic bourgeois detail." So you can see the sense of urgency of getting a relative out, especially if the authorities had set their sights on him as a counter-revolutionary. Elsewhere they call such a judiciary process at the hands of dictators, "death squads."

    I realize that Che was an incompetent twit insofar as being some sort of wondrous guerilla leader, but he certainly was vicious enough and very brave when he was around Maximum Tyrant. And I'm darned sure one who believes in the "archaic bourgeois detail".

    'Rat
     
  17. yojitani macrumors 68000

    yojitani

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    #17

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


    You're not wrong to point out the failings of the revolution, though they aren't really different in nature to previous revolutions - esp. French and Russian. I don't see why such brutality in Cuba can be seen as unacceptable by the US in light of the brutality the US funded in latin America and, even very recently in Haiti.

    Incidentally, Castro was also very incisive in his analysis of US ethanol production.
     
  18. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #18
    Exactly what I was thinking. We trade with far worse. Even call some of them friend. But that's the narrative. Just like how SA and Pakistan are our buddies even when screwing us, but Iran and Afghanistan aren't. Well, Iran used to be. Then, so did Iraq. Funny how that works. Guessing Cuba didn't want to play ball.

    This is one of those things I disagree with Obama on. I'm hoping it's just talk right now, then he can later say he was talking about Castro, but Raul has agreed to all sorts of changes, even if nothing has changed. Or we can keep doing this, and keep demonizing them, even though as said, we buddy up with far worse, and while I won't go as far as to say Cuba is great or anything, just don't think they're as bad as we try to make them. Based on what I've actually seen, they aren't.
     
  19. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #19
    No, I'm saying that any article the main premise of which is that 10% of all state enterprises should be counted as the personal wealth of the president is ludicrously unbalanced from the outset.
     
  20. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #20
    See, what you don't understand, here in America something can be true, even if it completely based on a fallacy. Especially if you feel it's correct. I believe it's called truthiness. Stephen Colbert tried to trademark it, but he's hardly the first to use it. It's obvious that the rest of that article is right because it did get some facts possibly kind of right, thereby proving the rest true.

    You brits and your "facts" and "logic", don't you understand that Cuba is bad. Bad. It just is, ok. :p Other countries we trade with that are just as bad, if not worse, are ok though. For some reason. Because we said so.
     
  21. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #21
    Bringing up the evils of other countries does not excuse the evils in Cuba. That's just the "So's your old man" evasion of honest discussion because of a preconceived notion.

    Today's news: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2008/05/28/do2806.xml

    "But commander-in-chief Raul, now 76, has surprised many of his people with the introduction of economic reforms that promise to boost agricultural output and bring an end to complaints over food shortages.

    Cuban farmers have now been given more scope to decide how to use their land, which crops to plant and which supplies to buy

    He has also eased restrictions on the purchase of "luxury" electrical goods - previously unobtainable computers, mobile phones, microwave ovens and DVD players.

    Cubans are even allowed to visit hotels that were once reserved for foreigners. This was a deeply unpopular restriction that created a apartheid between resentful locals and tourists who were hogging the island's best beaches. Meanwhile, rumours are busily circulating that restrictions on foreign travel could soon be lifted."

    Food shortages, because of past policies. That's 49 years of bad policies. El Maximo Tyrant really gave a dam about his people?

    Farmers can only now make a decision about what to plant? Duh?

    Is your computer a "luxury"? Are you some sort of evil rich person for having one?

    More:

    "If the attempts at agricultural liberalisation prove successful, then small business, self employment and co-operatives in the cities could follow. Already, in the commercial arena, changes are afoot: workers will soon be able to earn bonuses based on productivity and there will be no upper limit on salaries."

    Wow! Cubans will maybe--repeat, maybe--have the freedom to decide for themselves if they want to be self-employed! I don't know about any of you, but I don't like the idea of the government telling me I can only be a dutiful worker bee. That's serfdom, if not slavery.

    Any of y'all ever earn a bonus? Would you enjoy your life more if Bush signed an Executive Order, "No more bonuses"? Or said, "Minimum wage is all there is."?

    "However, this has worried some professionals. Doctors, who under the Cuban communist system earn the same amount as factory workers..."

    This merely says that a doctor is of no more value to society than a janitor. And, it says that there is no value to the extra several years of education and training needed for a doctor, as compared to a welder.

    Yeah, Fidel was a really competent leader of a country, for sure. But, he copied Mao, and we all know what's happened to China's economy once that nonsense went away.

    Then there's the issue of disagreement with Goobermint:

    "Dissidents in the country insist there has been no easing of the restrictions on freedom of speech. Earlier this month, a group of women demonstrating against the continued imprisonment of their husbands for speaking out against the regime were rounded up by police as they staged a peaceful protest."

    Tell me again about Cuba's freedoms? Quality of life, from an emotional, non-material standpoint? And think about what y'all freely say here, daily, about Bush? US policies? Anybody here gone to jail, yet?

    skunk, if you have the absolute power to control the use of something, might it not as well be yours in ownership as well as the use? What's the difference? Castro certainly has had the power...

    'Rat
     
  22. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #22
    Are you suggesting that George W. Bush's tax returns should show that he owns the US DoJ?
     
  23. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #23
    Only if he could manage to turn a profit.
     
  24. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #24
    He didn't manage to with any other business he ran. Why should the DoJ be an exception?
     
  25. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #25
    Has Castro turned a profit? I thought the original criticism was of his economy...
     

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