Forum Thread

Cuba...Human Rights???

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  • Liberal
    Other Party
    Llos Angeles, CA
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    After hearing from the new female Ambassador currently in Cuba, she mentioned looking into "human rights" violations. Cuban kids get a better education, there's no homeless and the infant mortality rate is far better than ours. Also, theres no street gangs, no dope houses, no drug overdose epidemic.
    Is she talking about open elections? I hope not because that's not going to happen.
    It is my opinion that Congress is going to attempt to derail this new approach. They're doing it now with the the Israeli Prime Minister.
    She also menioned the "boat people" leaving Cuba. What is Cuba suppossed to do ...let them leave? It's suicide in many cases. The US won't even allow them entry unless they reach the shore.....so most of them risk drowning only to be picked up by the Coast Guard and sent back.
    Where's the human rights violations?? Why start this if they're just going to screw it up?
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    L.A. absolutely correct; the crazy thing here is they get a heartattack here if they hear the word; "socialism or communism"; they fought plenty of wars including Cuba to wipe that out; results known. My guess is that the "one percent" is behind it, because they do not want to share their wealth with the "lower" class.
    The strange thing is "socialism" works in Europe very well; at least there is more done so everyone has food and a roof above their heads. Also the tax structure is progressive; in France on the top "rich" up to 75%. In this country they even get a huge fight over the minimum wages and we have slums and bankrupt cities. But yeah here the "rich" rather fight loosing wars in Vietnam or Iraq instead of giving that money to infrastructure or social programs for the poor. Just to "fight" "socialism" or "communism" they'll willing to spent billions; if they don't, then they have to sell their huge mansions and their lavish lifestyles will end.
    They are so scared of it they are willing to kill for it.
  • Liberal
    Other Party
    Llos Angeles, CA
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    Dutch,

    But what model of socialism is he practicing? He was a communist when he was young, but his form of socialism has morphed into something else. Why doesn't Cuba defend their position? Why don't they allow cameras in their schools, hospitals and definitely to their people?
    The Cuban Ambassador was clearly educated, well spoken and pleasant in her interview with Andrea Mitchell..

    The US press and Congress would have a harder time convincing our idiots of human rights violations if they just allowed cameras to just hang-out and observe daily life. They always just show us the same photo-op...(4 people playing dominoes).
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    Unfortunately by supporting the mafia controlled Cuban government instead of Castro we end up in the losing side again, remember our now good friends over in Viet Nam?

    We had the opportunity to make Cuba a free and friendly society for both the Cubans and the USA but we chose to support the crooks and Batista and for the last 50 years both countries have suffered as a result. We drove Castro into creating a so called Communist utopia in Cuba. It could have gone the other way and become a Capitalist utopia but would the Cuban people be better off either way? I would say not really. The rich would still oppress the poor, as they do in the USA. Instead of living in Florida they would be living in majestic splendor in Cuba oppressing the other 99%.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    We throw around those terms socialism, communism, fascism, capitalism and a few others fairly freely without really understanding how the various facets of these socioeconomic systems are integrated into a society. The fact is that a purely capitalist system where the free market decides everything cannot survive without some tenets of socialism to protect the less fortunate. Otherwise the power of the super wealthy capitalists rulers would eventually be overthrown by the masses in a revolution. Likewise in those so called communist systems, there needs to be some elements of a capitalist reward system to stimulate creativity and growth or else they too will be destined to stagnation and eventual overthrow. Just look at North Korea.

    In all these systems, power corrupts and the temptation to advance ones own interests at the expense of others is too much. That applies to just about any country and religion on this planet, including Cuba. Our image of Fidel Castro wearing his army fatigues and the champion of the poor is largely scripted by the media and politicians that want to convey a populist president. In this article in Canal, that myth is shattered.

    Canal,May 28, 2014: I Want to Live Like Fidel! The Hidden Life of Cuba’s Multimillionaire Dictator

    Fidel Castro during his presidency has become "one of the ten richest political leaders in the world. As of last year, the Cuban dictator’s assets had reached US$900 million (Forbes estimate)." According to Juan Reinaldo Sánchez, a former member of Castro’s personal security for 17 years, "luxury yachts, exclusive islands, mansions with sports fields and bowling alleys, and Mercedes-Benz cars were some of his pleasures."

    The same could be said for Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Power corrupts.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt; absolutely correct; "power" corrupts. I agree on all these "political" forms, nothing is the "right" thing. I support a "balanced approach" like they have in the Netherlands; since you have at least 10/11 parties even the "communistic" one; then when you vote the end result is more "balanced" as well in parlement.
    Like you have the party for the workers ( Pv/dA) and the party for the middle rich (VVD) as well also a bunch of church related parties etc. Also in the voting system does not allow donations/influence of any industry or organization. Every candidate can spent only a very limited amount. Of course this system has also setbacks; often no decissions can be made due to gridlock etc. Sometimes crazy solutions are done to make them all happy.

    About the "multi" millionair dictator; I'm wondering what is the difference; we have the Koch brothers or Romney(ha,ha) who make take over this country; or already have?
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    I've just returned from three weeks in Cuba, and would like to share some information with everyone.

    First: things are changing there. In fact, they have already changed a great deal in the economic sphere, because everyone knows that a totally top-down state-controlled, centralized planned economy, just does not work. If the number of bars of soap in Santiago depends on some planner in Havana getting it right ... there will not be soap in Santiago. Raul Castro is much more pragmatic than his older brother, and began relaxing state controls in the economy several years ago, allowing a limited amount of private enterprise, turning state firms into co operatives, etc. Hopefully, this will continue.

    That does NOT mean that Cuba is going to become another Latin American crony-capitalist country. No one really knows what will happen.

    The best thing that the US can do is to end the embargo, which is only still in place because of the official political corruption that plays such a role in US politics, namely, campaign donations, in this case from the mad dogs of the Cuban American National Foundation. The real cause of Cuban poverty is the state's control of the economy, but in second place has been the wicked, stupid embargo, which the regime uses as an excuse -- but it's a 'true excuse'. Once it's gone, the impossibility of running a thriving economy based on state planning will be even more obvious, especially as the Venezuelan subsidy is going to end.

    Second, it's wrong to think that every Cuban is either a mindless supporter of Fidel and the current government, or a frothing counter-revolutionary. I would call the mood of the people I talked to as I traveled around the island (admittedly a tiny and selective sample), 'exasperated' and 'resigned' rather than 'hostile', with some of them 'hopeful' about the economic consequences of the end of American overt hostility to the regime.

    People tend to take for granted when they have grown up with, and focus on what they don't have. So I believe Cubans take their excellent health care and education systems , and their low violent crime rate, for granted. But that doesn't mean that they are not aware of them, or want to give them up in return for shopping malls. Why not the best of both worlds?

    In fact, there is now discussion going on in Cuba about the best way forward. You can get some glimpse of this by having a look at the remarkable publication called The Havana Times. (Click on the link.) (Cuba probably has less internet censorship than Singapore, partly, perhaps, because it's so difficult at the moment to get onto the Internet -- there are only a few hotspots around the island, no home connections, and getting on for an hour costs a week's wages. But this is going to change for the better.)

    Thirdly -- you should go to Cuba! (Now that Cuba has taken the US off its list of state sponsors of terror, you probably are safe from bombs in hotels! And you are finally graciously allowed by your government to spend your money there.)

    If you stay in peoples' homes (the 'casas particulares'), eat from the 'cafeterias' and other food outlets (rather than fancy tourist-oriented restaurants), and travel by bus, you can keep expenses to well under $75 a day. Go during winter if possible.

    If you PM me I can give you a lot of useful travel tips (or if there is demand, I can devote a post to this), including how you can support Cuban democrats (and I don't mean the "dissidents" whom you might see on the news, whose overt pro-Americanism is their own worst enemy).

    Note that there are Cuban socialists, even Marxists, who are not regime apologists; there are places, public, legal, you can go to talk to people about politics even if you don't speak Spanish. They're fascinated by American politics, and you should be fascinated by Cuban politics. And it would be great way to get away from constant depressing news about the primary elections. What are you waiting for?