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ThePeter
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http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/08/cuba-obama-administration

Quote :
"
Obama will use spring summit to bring Cuba in from the cold

US companies are queuing up as the president moves to ease restrictions on travel and trade, raising hopes of warmer relations and an end to the embargo

President Barack Obama is poised to offer an olive branch to Cuba in an effort to repair the US's tattered reputation in Latin America.

The White House has moved to ease some travel and trade restrictions as a cautious first step towards better ties with Havana, raising hopes of an eventual lifting of the four-decade-old economic embargo.Several Bush-era controls are expected to be relaxed in the run-up to next month's Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago to gild the president's regional debut and signal a new era of "Yankee" cooperation.

The administration has moved to ease draconian travel controls and lift limits on cash remittances that Cuban-Americans can send to the island, a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of families.

"The effect on ordinary Cubans will be fairly significant. It will improve things and be very welcome," said a western diplomat in Havana. The changes would reverse hardline Bush policies but not fundamentally alter relations between the superpower and the island, he added. "It just takes us back to the 1990s."

The provisions are contained in a $410bn (£290bn) spending bill due to be voted on this week. The legislation would allow Americans with immediate family in Cuba to visit annually, instead of once every three years, and broaden the definition of immediate family. It would also drop a requirement that Havana pay cash in advance for US food imports.

"There is a strong likelihood that Obama will announce policy changes prior to the summit," said Daniel Erikson, director of Caribbean programmes at the Inter-American Dialogue and author of The Cuba Wars. "Loosening travel restrictions would be the easy thing to do and defuse tensions at the summit."

Latin America, once considered Washington's "backyard", has become newly assertive and ended the Castro government's pariah status. The presidents of Brazil, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Guatemala have recently visited Havana to deepen economic and political ties. Brazil's president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, is expected to tell Obama on a White House visit this week that the region views the US embargo as anachronistic and vindictive. Easing it would help mend Washington's strained relations with the "pink tide" of leftist governments.

Obama's proposed Cuba measures would only partly thaw a policy frozen since John F Kennedy tried to isolate the communist state across the Florida Straits. "It would signal new pragmatism, but you would still have the embargo, which is the centrepiece of US policy," said Erikson.

Wayne Smith at the Centre for International Policy, Washington DC, said: "I think that the Obama administration will go ahead and lift restrictions on travel of Cuban Americans and remittance to their families. He may also lift restrictions on academic travel.

"There are some things that could be done very easily - for example it's about time we took Cuba off the terrorist list. It's the beginning of the end of the policies we have had towards Cuba for 50 years. It's achieved nothing, it's an embarrassment."

Wayne Smith, a former head of the US Interest Section in Havana, famously said Cuba had the same effect on American administrations as the full moon had on werewolves.

Cuban exiles in Florida, a crucial voting bloc in a swing state, sustained a hardline US policy towards Havana even as the cold war ended and the US traded with other undemocratic nations with much worse human rights records.

To Washington's chagrin, the economic stranglehold did not topple Fidel Castro. When Soviet Union subsidies evaporated, the "maximum leader" implemented savage austerity, opened the island to tourism and found a new sponsor in Venezuela's petrol-rich president, Hugo Chávez.

When Fidel fell ill in 2006, power transferred seamlessly to his brother Raúl. He cemented his authority last week with a cabinet reshuffle that replaced "Fidelistas" with "Raúlistas" from the military.

Recognising Castro continuity, and aghast at European and Asian competitors getting a free hand, US corporate interests are impatient to do business with Cuba. Oil companies want to drill offshore, farmers to export more rice, vegetables and meat, construction firms to build infrastructure projects.

Young Cuban exiles in Florida, less radical than their parents, have advocated ending the policy of isolation. As a senator, Obama opposed the embargo, but as a presidential candidate he supported it - and simultaneously promised engagement with Havana.

A handful of hardline anti-Castro Republican and Democrat members of Congress have threatened to derail the $410bn spending bill unless the Cuba provisions are removed, but most analysts think the legislation will survive.

Compared to intractable challenges in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East, the opportunity for quick progress on Cuba has been called the "low-hanging fruit" of US foreign policy.

That Obama has moved so cautiously has frustrated many reformers. But after decades of freeze, even a slight thaw is welcome, and there is speculation that more will follow.
Old enemies

President Kennedy imposed an economic and trade embargo on Cuba on 7 February 1962 after Fidel Castro's government expropriated US property on the island. Known by Cubans as el bloqueo, the blockade, elements have been toughened and relaxed under succeeding US presidents. Exceptions have been made for food and medicine exports. George Bush added restrictions on travel and remittances.

The sanctions regime

• No Cuban products or raw materials may enter the US

• US companies and foreign subsidiaries banned from trade with Cuba

• Cuba must pay cash up front when importing US food

• Ships which dock in Cuba may not dock in the US for six months

• US citizens banned from spending money or receiving gifts in Cuba without special permission, in effect a travel ban

• Americans with family on the island limited to one visit every three years.
"

3/9/2009 2:23:03 AM

Woodfoot
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lol

derail the spending bill

i don't even know which way is up anymore

3/9/2009 4:41:12 AM

Fail Boat
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Can we just stop reposting Drudge report shit?

3/9/2009 7:36:32 AM

HUR
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I think a renewed relationship with Cuba is 20 years overdue.

Oh no's extending our hand to the evil communist island who even with all its faults has a literacy rate higher than ours and manages to provide affordable (although inferior in quality) healthcare to its citizens.

3/9/2009 8:51:03 AM

jbtilley
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^Well yeah. I figured this move was so that we could start hitting them up for some cash.

3/9/2009 9:24:53 AM

Woodfoot
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i'll take accessible health care for the masses over cutting edge shit i could never afford anyday

3/9/2009 9:35:09 AM

LoneSnark
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As I understand it, we have the equivalent of a Cuban clinic in most Wal-Marts. Yes, $40 at a Wal-Mart health clinic is much more than free, but to Americans $40 is not much. And the assortment of generic drugs available at walmart for $4 far exceeds what a cuban doctor can prescribe.

That said, I want to know why die-hards want to keep the embargo? It has not worked and could not work. We have thousands of years of history to show a single country embargo does worse than nothing, since the target can now blame you for whatever problems were their own fault. Trust the economists when they say that lifting the embargo will not improve the life of the average cuban enough for them to notice.

[Edited on March 9, 2009 at 10:14 AM. Reason : .,.]

3/9/2009 10:10:31 AM

Smath74
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i'd like to get my hands on some legal cuban cigars.

3/9/2009 10:50:41 AM

mrfrog

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I hear that Cuba is a really good place to visit (not from Americans), and I entirely support thawing of relations with the country. I think that most people don't even appreciate the magnitude of the trade and exchange that is possible between the USA and Cuba.

Aside from the whole dictator thing, they have a high level of social order. I mean, they've got their house in order and have many benefits to offer our nation with more fluid flow between us. We should treat them like China.

Seriously.

3/9/2009 12:46:46 PM

marko
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I would like the MLB to get some expansion teams out there.

As a matter of fact, expand into all of those islands.


[Edited on March 9, 2009 at 1:02 PM. Reason : Let's take it up a notch]

3/9/2009 1:01:37 PM

HUR
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Quote :
"
Aside from the whole dictator thing, they have a high level of social order"


If we are so upset about and enjoy puttin our noses into the business of other countries over their "freedoms and democracies" than perhaps we should be in embargo against Saudi Arabia

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/03/09/saudi.arabia.lashes/index.html

Quote :
"Saudis order 40 lashes for elderly woman for mingling"


USA hypocrisy #1

3/9/2009 1:17:56 PM

Ytsejam
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Excellent argument! Because, we ignore evil in one place, it's okay to ignore it in another!

The Cuba literacy thing is huge joke. Cuba already had one of the highest literacy rates in Latin America before the revolution! America has a literacy rate of 99%, Cuba 99.8%. America has huge population that dwarfs Cuba's and has a massive influx of immigrants that effect literacy statics. Not to mention literacy rates are somewhat fudgy. I can't think of any large country with a literacy rate over 99%. Japan has a literacy rate of 99%, does that mean the Japanese education system is inferior to Cuba's? lol

I could care less about the embargo either way. But Cubans are far worse off then they would be if Castro had never come to power. Cuba would probably be the wealthiest Latin American country by far if not for him. Never mind that he tortured and murdered thousands of people, and forced into exile those that opposed him (if they were lucky and got away). When I say torture I mean the real shit, not the Guantanamo bay variety that I am sure some dumbass will come in and say the US tortures too.

3/9/2009 1:45:02 PM

mrfrog

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Quote :
"Excellent argument! Because, we ignore evil in one place, it's okay to ignore it in another! "


Ok, so we should not ignore evil in all places, which will simplify our foreign relations, since we'll only have to deal with 60% of the rest of the world.

Oh, and by the way, Japan is apparently worse off than before they installed their last PM, Taro Aso. We need an embargo there too.

3/9/2009 1:54:59 PM

Ytsejam
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Okay, cause that is what I said.

The point was, I can't believe I have to say this, is that you can't justify one action because of a bad action that was done before. You know, the cliche, two wrongs don't make a right? Yeah..

And did you seriously compare a democratically elected PM, to a bloody revolutionary who slaughtered tens of thousands of his own countrymen? lolz

3/9/2009 2:01:41 PM

eyedrb
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Quote :
"i'll take accessible health care for the masses over cutting edge shit i could never afford anyday"


gotta love this arguement.


I agree our businesses should be able to deal with any country they want, it is up to the consumers to choose if they want to buy that companies products... not the govt. imo There is no reason why you should not be able to buy a cuban cigar if you want it, just another example of govt(relatively small group) limiting freedoms.

3/9/2009 2:12:02 PM

LoneSnark
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Quote :
"I could care less about the embargo either way. But Cubans are far worse off then they would be if Castro had never come to power. Cuba would probably be the wealthiest Latin American country by far if not for him. Never mind that he tortured and murdered thousands of people, and forced into exile those that opposed him (if they were lucky and got away)."

Irrelevant. The proper response to these facts is to verbally condemn Castro as an evil dictator impoverishing his own people with government directives. The wrong response is to copy him and impose government directives of your own. Castro would have been removed from power a decade ago, if not sooner, if not for the embargo, a gift to Castro that just kept on giving.

And history shows this out; whenever a movement would get started to end the embargo (because it preserves Castro), Catro would get fearful and execute a few dissidents, maybe shoot down a civilian aircraft, and all talk of ending the embargo would vanish. Castro has been playing us for half a century; here's hoping that Raul isn't that clever.

3/9/2009 2:20:46 PM

Solinari
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I support ending the trade embargoes with Cuba and Iran. I think the best way to deal with them is to use our most powerful weapon - our banal culture. Flood their market with cheap pop songs and fast food. They'll be peaceful enough in no time.

3/9/2009 2:36:54 PM

Ytsejam
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Quote :
"Irrelevant. The proper response to these facts is to verbally condemn Castro as an evil dictator impoverishing his own people with government directives. The wrong response is to copy him and impose government directives of your own. Castro would have been removed from power a decade ago, if not sooner, if not for the embargo, a gift to Castro that just kept on giving.

And history shows this out; whenever a movement would get started to end the embargo (because it preserves Castro), Catro would get fearful and execute a few dissidents, maybe shoot down a civilian aircraft, and all talk of ending the embargo would vanish. Castro has been playing us for half a century; here's hoping that Raul isn't that clever."


Well, yes and no. The unknown variable in this is if Castro would have allowed trade with the US in the first place? I highly doubt it. Cuba probably would have been closed off for most US businesses regardless of our embargo our not. You are right though, our embargo gave Castro a political weapon to use against the USA with his own people, and to a lesser extent the rest of the world. If you look at how and why Castro came to power, I would guess it is an almost 99% certainty that Castro would have closed trade with the US and that probably would have continued until the fall of the Soviets.

But again, I don't really care either way about the embargo. I wasn't justifying the embargo by Castro's actions, but you can't ignore them either. Rather, I think the embargo was fueled more by dissidents who lost wealth, and American companies that lost all there investments in Cuba.

3/9/2009 2:46:39 PM

mrfrog

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Quote :
"Okay, cause that is what I said. "


Quote :
"But Cubans are far worse off then they would be if Castro had never come to power."


What was that statement supposed to be presenting evidence for? Your overall argument was supposed to be pro-embargo.

But I suppose my mistake was assuming that your evidence was connected to your argument. I apologize for expecting coherency from you.

3/9/2009 2:47:07 PM

Ytsejam
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I never said I was pro-embargo. In fact, I am pretty sure I was pretty neutral in regards to the embargo.

The entire point of that, was the HUR was making the argument that somehow Cuba got a raw deal because we treat the Saudi's better. I was making the point that, just because we treat one bad apple better doesn't mean we should treat every bad apple the same. We all know why we treat the Saudi's like we do, we need them right now. I think we will all be happy when that isn't the case.

Castro was bad for Cuba, and Cubans. The embargo was mostly symbolic since Castro wouldn't have traded with us anyway, till the 90's.

3/9/2009 2:53:48 PM

mrfrog

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well yes, i agreed with the rest of that paragraph. He did bad things. He's a bad dirty old man. Cuba isn't a decent country (if you agree that it is) because of Castro. Now we start asking ourselves what is the best course of action for the people of the USA first, then keeping in mind the welfare of the people of Cuba.

He'll be dead within a decade anyway and we need to be positioned with a good modern policy towards the country - which I don't think we are.

3/9/2009 3:18:09 PM

HUR
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Quote :
"Cubans are far worse off then they would be if Castro had never come to power. Cuba would probably be the wealthiest Latin American country by far if not for him. Never mind that he tortured and murdered thousands of people, and forced into exile those that opposed him"


As a WHOLE sure Cuba would be one of the wealthiest countries in Latin America had Castro not taken power.
How much of this is the result though of US trade policies that became de facto policies of many other Western bloc
countries during the cold war??

Removing the embargo factor though I disagree with it clearly being debateable about rather or not
the average Cuban would economically be better off before Castro. Castro is not known for his record in protecting human rights but the regime in place before him was not that much better. Unless of course you were part of the social elite or a US businessman otherwise the gov't at the time is just as guilty as castro with human rights violations and worst let their poor squalor in destitude. The only difference being the former gov't was more friendly to US business and an ally in the cold war; which is what we really care about more than
freedom and democracies. Labeling an evil dictator in the struggle against communism just makes the pill. easier for the US public to swallow. I honestly do not even disagree with this policy at the time. Nonetheless our policy towards cuba is about as out-dated as VHS tapes.
The cold war is over....


[Edited on March 9, 2009 at 6:03 PM. Reason : a]

3/9/2009 5:51:01 PM

EarthDogg
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Obama's aides tell us that the Messiah was too tired to meet properly with our closest ally Gordon Brown of GB.

Hopefully he'll be rested up enough to kiss Castro's ass.

3/9/2009 8:48:19 PM

eleusis
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Quote :
"i'll take accessible health care for the masses over cutting edge shit i could never afford anyday"


I'm glad to see you're a fan of medical apartheid being provided by a chronic human rights violator. It's a shame you can't afford such cutting edge technologies as an ambulance ride or an ER that doesn't experience prolonged power blackouts.

3/9/2009 10:01:52 PM

HUR
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Quote :
"It's a shame you can't afford such cutting edge technologies as an ambulance ride or an ER that doesn't experience prolonged power blackouts."


I assure you that Jose and Maria your average cubans were no better if not worse off before Castro....

though if it makes you sleep better tonight with the us v. them; USA #1 mentality than by all means go ahead. Our policies were justified at the time but try not to be ignorant of the complexities of world politics.

Quote :
"
The Cuban Revolution was a revolution that led to the overthrow of the dictatorial government of Cuban President General Fulgencio Batista on January 1, 1959 .....

The 1952 election was a three-way race. Roberto Agramonte of the Ortodoxos party led in all the polls, followed by Dr Aurelio Hevia of the Auténtico party, and running a distant third was Batista, seeking Batista feared that Barquin would oust him and his followers, and when it became apparent that Batista had little chance of winning, he staged a coup on March 10, 1952 and held power with the backing of a nationalist section of the army as a “provisional president” for the next two years
....
In 1954 Batista agreed to elections. The Partido Auténtico put forward ex-President Grau as their candidate, but he withdrew amid allegations that Batista was rigging the elections in advance
....
The regime resorted to often lethal repression to keep Cuba's cities under Batista's control until the end
..

Batista launched a campaign of repression against the opposition, which only served to increase support for the insurgency.

"


Rabel Rabel Rabel Castro ruined freedom loving democracy Cuba where the cuban people and US mobsters lived in a capitalistic paradise.

Quote :
"Batista forces was an arms embargo imposed on the Cuban government by the United States government on March 14, 1958"


Turns out we have only our selves to blame for letting Castro take power.

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

[Edited on March 9, 2009 at 10:24 PM. Reason : l]

3/9/2009 10:08:11 PM

LoneSnark
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Quote :
"I assure you that Jose and Maria your average cubans were no better if not worse off before Castro...."

That is a safe bet. However, it was friggin' 1959! Non-cubans are substantially better off today than they were in 1959. At that time a quarter of American citizens were living in grinding subsistance farming poverty.

No, before Castro, Cubans had a german style trade-union form of capitalism. They had free trade. That is why there are so many 1950's American cars in Cuba; Cuba's urban population was just adopting the automobile, a process which immediately came to a halt as Cuba never emerged from the depression that set in just before the revolution. And you cannot call Batista a totalitarian regime either; it was a pluralistic society with many autonomous centers of authority: business, unions, and universities. Well, the students that year didn't like that, so now there is only one voice of authority: the Council of State.

The most important feature of the revolution to me was the fact that is was led and idealized by 20 something college students. It was a purely philosophical revolution by idiots with guns, angry at their parents, and too young to know better. And then, in their naivety, they proceeded to turn a fairly prosperous dictatorship into an impoverished totalitarian state. And some idealize these people!

Quote :
"I honestly do not even disagree with this policy at the time. Nonetheless our policy towards cuba is about as out-dated as VHS tapes."

An embargo has never and will never achieve a substantial political change in another country (a blockade can, but this is not a blockade). A regime that wants to take an action might use an embargo as an excuse to do what they were going to do anyway (I had no choice, blame the foreigners!). But a regime that is against a given action will use the embargo as a rallying cry to silence the opposition (help me fight foreign interference!). Hell, even if the regime wanted to change policy, using the embargo to silence the opposition is often too good an oportunity to pass up. Given this, the embargo was doomed. Without the embargo the people of cuba, which had been promised that sacrifice and socialism would produce plenty, would have realized within a few years that the depression they were living was never going to end and the only person to blame was Castro.

And, luckily, we can demonstrate it. Let us wait a few years and see what happens to Chavez now that Venezuela's oil money has dried up.

3/9/2009 10:56:02 PM

eleusis
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Quote :
"I assure you that Jose and Maria your average cubans were no better if not worse off before Castro....

though if it makes you sleep better tonight with the us v. them; USA #1 mentality than by all means go ahead. Our policies were justified at the time but try not to be ignorant of the complexities of world politics.

"


what the fuck? I never mentioned anything about their dilapidated condition being a result of Castro, and honestly I don't care why they are in the condition they are in today. I was simply stating how fucked up the views of the original poster were if he honestly believes that Cuba has more readily accessible health care than what we have here in America.

3/9/2009 11:12:27 PM

HUR
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Quote :
"you cannot call Batista a totalitarian regime either; it was a pluralistic society with many autonomous centers of authority: business, unions, and universities."


I suppose Ngo Dinh Diem was a benevolent, friendly, humanitarian leader of the of South Vietnam whom we gladly took up arms in order to defend this beacon of south asian democracy against the evil tides of communist rule plaguing his land.

Quote :
"Diem's rule was authoritarian and nepotistic. His most trusted official was his brother, Ngô Ðình Nhu, leader of the primary pro-Diem Can Lao political party, who was an opium addict and admirer of Adolf Hitler. He modeled the Can Lao secret police's marching style and torture styles on Nazi designs.[18] Ngô Ðình C?n, his younger brother, was put in charge of the former Imperial City of Hu?. Although neither C?n or Nhu held any official role in the government, they ruled their regions of South Vietnam, commanding private armies and secret police."


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

back in topic though....

Quote :
"Batista violently suppressed a number of attempts to defeat his control. This included the quashing of an uprising in the ancient Atarés fort (Havana) by Blas Hernández, a rural guerrilla who had fought Machado. Many of those who surrendered were killed"


Quote :
"but saw Batista as a stabilizing force for American interests. It was in this time period that Batista formed a renowned friendship and business relationship with gangster Meyer Lansky that lasted over three decades."

Quote :
"Through Lansky, the Mafia knew they had a friend in Cuba. Gangster Lucky Luciano, after "


Excellent I am glad Batista made such good friends with outstanding respectable members of the US corporate community

Quote :
"Batista opened the way for large-scale gambling in Havana. He announced that his government would match, dollar for dollar, any hotel investment over $1 million, which would include a casino license. Havana became a playground of choice for many gamblers"


In his prime it seems Batista became a role model for capitalist policies to promote friendly business!

Quote :
"In 1956, in midst of the revolutionary upheaval, the 21-story, 440-room Hotel Riviera was built in Havana at a cost of $14 million. It was known as mobster Meyer Lansky's dream and crowning achievemen"


To hell with our starving revolting people! They are too ignorant to know that with this hotel we will improve business which will help trickle wealth down to the people!

Quote :
"Due to growing popular opposition and unrest, manifested by the Cuban people with increasing acts of civil disobedience, and in order to appease the growing concerns in Washington, DC"


why do these people hate democracy.

Quote :
"Students attempting to march from the University of Havana were stopped and beaten by the police, and student leader José A. Echeverría had to be hospitalized. Another popular student leader was killed on December 10,"


damn right better show those rowdy college kids respect for the law! Don't Tase me Bro!

Quote :
"Instead of loosening his grip, Batista suspended constitutional guarantees and established tighter censorship of the media."


In the name of national security of course




[Edited on March 9, 2009 at 11:27 PM. Reason : k]

3/9/2009 11:14:30 PM

wolfpackgrrr
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Legal Cuban cigars?

3/9/2009 11:17:22 PM

HUR
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Quote :
"I was simply stating how fucked up the views of the original poster were if he honestly believes that Cuba has more readily accessible health care than what we have here in America."


oh sure i agree to this. I just don't think you can affirmatively say that cuba, ignoring the embargo, would have been better off Castro or Non-Castro. Things could have turned out for the better with democracy and true non-corrupt capitalism returning to Cuba or the country could have be ruled today by a Kleptocracy resembling a Caribbean version of Zimbabwe.

3/9/2009 11:34:37 PM

LoneSnark
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Quote :
"oh sure i agree to this. I just don't think you can affirmatively say that cuba, ignoring the embargo, would have been better off Castro or Non-Castro. Things could have turned out for the better with democracy and true non-corrupt capitalism returning to Cuba or the country could have be ruled today by a Kleptocracy resembling a Caribbean version of Zimbabwe."

I suspect not. What happened in Cuba was a rare event, it was not inevitable. Cuba had an established middle class before Castro, that is why during a bloody civil war Havana never came to resemble Yugoslavia. At that point, whoever ruled Cuba through the traditional corrupt structure was more like South Korea than Zimbabwe. An eventual return to democracy was inevitable; that is, unless the children with more education and guns than sense decided to scrap social norms in an attempt to get back at their parents.

And if you want to make Batista appear evil, no need: thanks to his actions a young lawyer named Fidel Castro came to rule Cuba.

3/10/2009 12:04:10 AM

HUR
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Quote :
" Cuba had an established middle class before Castro, that is why during a bloody civil war Havana never came to resemble Yugoslavia. At that point, whoever ruled Cuba through the traditional corrupt structure was more like South Korea than Zimbabwe. An eventual return to democracy was inevitable"


Man, we should feel shamed. Had we not gotten involved in world war 2; a Nazi German return to democracy would have been inevitable! After all they had a major middle class! Thus we could have avoided much additional bloodshet from prolonging the war!

Seriously where the hell do you get all this bullshit from?

3/10/2009 8:54:19 AM

LoneSnark
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What does Nazi Germany, which came to power through the democratic process, have to do with Cuba, a dictatorship and eventual totalitarian state?

I guess you are trying to metaphore Batista as the Nazi's and Castro as the invading Russia army? Well, that metaphore might be somewhat descriptive. Castro really was alot like an invading foreign army.

3/10/2009 10:25:01 AM

Skack
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Like most Americans I'm against this unless I can profit from it; so let's get the ball rolling! Anyone know of any ocean front land in Cuba? Do they produce any goods that are worth exporting aside from cigars?

3/10/2009 10:28:14 AM

HUR
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Quote :
"What does Nazi Germany, which came to power through the democratic process, have to do with Cuba, a dictatorship and eventual totalitarian state?
"


No i am just pointing out that your argument is stupid to say that since Cuba had an established middle class than surely freedom and democracy would have phased back into the norm in place of the human rights abusing, corrupt, dictator that was ruling Cuba before Castro. With your idealist overly optimistic attitude i am surprised you are not a liberal.

3/10/2009 11:20:57 AM

LoneSnark
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I suspect I overstated my perspective a bit, it was not inevitable, just more likely than not, thanks to Cuba's strong American influence.

But what does being an optimist have to do with being a liberal? As I understand it, the American definition of liberal is one that believes things would go to shit if people were trusted to organize their own economic lives. And the American definition of conservative is one that believes things would go to shit if people were trusted to organize their own personal lives. Either view depends heavily on viewing the natural order of things as shit.

Unless you mean the 19th century definition of liberal, in which case you might be right.

3/10/2009 12:07:08 PM

HUR
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Quote :
"I suspect I overstated my perspective a bit, it was not inevitable, just more likely than not, thanks to Cuba's strong American influence."


fair enough

Quote :
"As I understand it, the American definition of liberal is one that believes things would go to shit if people were trusted to organize their own economic lives"


I guess it could be interpreted that way.

I always kind of got the vibe that liberals were optimistic humanitarians who thought all people are hard working individuals struggling to live under minimal compensation from evil corporations. Hence it is their duty to provide all these gov't services,
welfare checks for those who can't find work, and provide for all inequalities that may separate a person from attaining his goals
within the pursuit for liberty. Idealistic because they often over look the fact that many will abuse the system and eliminating the need to work for survival will take away incentive to achieve; thriving independent of gov't support. Liberals also easily dismiss personal responsibility to put the blame elsewhere; but lets not open this can of worms before Bridget gets upset.

3/10/2009 12:33:01 PM

timswar
All American
41050 Posts
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Best way to revitalize GM and Ford. You know that the Cuban people are just begging for a few cars made after 1970.

3/11/2009 7:31:09 AM

mrfrog

15145 Posts
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bttt?

His announcement today was pretty huge. The best thing I can remember Obama doing.

12/17/2014 2:55:47 PM

Shrike
All American
9594 Posts
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2016 Presidential candidates:

Marco Rubio

12/17/2014 3:09:01 PM

StingrayRush
All American
14627 Posts
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Quote :
"i'd like to get my hands on some legal cuban cigars."

12/17/2014 5:36:46 PM

aaronburro
Sup, B
52016 Posts
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It's about damned time

12/18/2014 12:40:37 AM

BanjoMan
All American
9587 Posts
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cuban cigars are easy to find in Germany. I have had several different varieties. Would I say that they are far superior to really good cigars that you can get in the states? No.

Are they really nice and long lasting? Yes.

[Edited on December 18, 2014 at 4:56 PM. Reason : double post]

12/18/2014 4:56:24 PM

Mr. Joshua
we want chilly willy
43776 Posts
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They're the same as Dominican cigars but the taste of freedom is a little more subdued.

12/18/2014 5:16:58 PM

d357r0y3r
Jimmies: Unrustled
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“I don’t care if the polls say that 99 percent of people believe we should normalize relations in Cuba, I still think that before we can normalize relations in Cuba, democracy has to come first, or at least significant steps toward democracy.”

I chuckled.

12/18/2014 7:22:08 PM

rjrumfel
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The embargo was put in place to derail Castro. It didn't work. I don't think this is a bad thing.

Kinda hypocritical of our leadership though. On one hand, we're talking about how evil we are because we waterboard. On the other hand, we're opening the door to American dollars supporting a regime that really does torture its political dissenters.

12/18/2014 9:57:58 PM

Bullet
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I haven't read much of anything about this... is this really about giving the Cuban regime money?

(and it's not like we don't give billions to regimes and monarchs around the world that don't treat their citizens very well)

12/19/2014 12:12:05 PM

moron
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^ it's not about money, it's about an emerging new foreign policy:
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Obamas-Cuba-lovefest-A-real-move-to-check-Russia-385092?fb_action_ids=10204168647869074&fb_action_types=og.shares&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B891719114179662%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.shares%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

Russia is bringing back the cold war, and being friendly with Cuba helps us.

12/19/2014 12:20:15 PM

Shrike
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Russia isn't bringing back shit. Their currency is in the toilet, their banks are collapsing, and their leader is too busy stroking his dick at his weaker/poorer neighbors to care. Putin's regime will fail before they manage to start anything approaching the Cold War.

12/19/2014 12:36:39 PM

moron
All American
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When they are destitute is when they're more dangerous.

They've been spinning up their military spending and people in Russia love putin:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/markadomanis/2014/10/06/vladimir-putins-approval-rate-is-still-near-an-all-time-high/

12/19/2014 1:02:42 PM

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