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Old 01-01-2009, 12:26 PM   #1
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Happy 50th Anniversary, Cuba

50 years ago today, Cuba was liberated from American domination, a fact which the United States government still refuses to accept by punishing ordinary Cubans and making it much more difficult to simply live their lives.

I hope the party is bumping in the streets of Havana this morning.

Cuban Revolution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 01-01-2009, 03:30 PM   #2
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I'm pretty sure that this post is mostly about America, not about Cuba. After all, considering that the Cuban embargo is only U.S.-based, the rest of the world could easily trade or, barring that, send lots of cash to them. But, interestingly, they choose to do neither.

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At 50, Cuba's revolution showing its age

From Morgan Neill
CNN Havana Bureau Chief

HAVANA, Cuba (CNN) -- Thursday marks the 50th anniversary of the Cuban revolution, when Fidel Castro and a group of guerrillas toppled a longstanding U.S.-backed dictator.

But January 1, 1959, was a long time ago. In Cuba today, when people refer to "the revolution," they often mean the country's aging, established government.

After so many years, people's hopes for the revolution's future are hardly revolutionary.

"I hope that it continues to move forward, because this country needs development. We're really behind," said a student who did not give his name.

"More opportunities in the economy and in transportation," another man said.

But there was a time when the goals were much loftier.

In the first days of 1959, when Castro and his bearded rebels rolled into Havana on tanks and other captured vehicles, they talked of sweeping changes -- an end to corruption, justice for the poor and independence from foreign domination.

A half-century later, their achievements are a mixed bag.

The government often points to free health care as a measure of its success.

"Cuba is a global medical power," said Joaquín García Salabarría, the vice minister of public health. "Nobody can doubt that."

Also touted by the government: education. Literacy rates are among the world's highest, and access to higher education is widespread.

But students question why they can't travel freely, and why their access to the Internet is so limited.

Most Cubans can barely make ends meet, and while the government blames a U.S. trade embargo imposed in 1962, critics say it's just bad management. They say the gains of the revolution have come at too heavy a cost.


Dissident groups say Cuba holds more than 200 political prisoners, an accusation the government denies.

Television, radio and newspapers are all controlled by the state.

Cuba marks the 50th anniversary of the revolution with a new president, Raul Castro, who officially took the reins in February because of the prolonged illness of his brother, Fidel Castro.

But this year, Raul Castro faced three devastating hurricanes, rising prices for food imports and plummeting prices for nickel, one of Cuba's most important exports.

In a speech this week, the president warned Cubans -- who on average earn the equivalent of less than $20 a month -- to prepare for belt-tightening.

"The accounts don't square up," Raul Castro told the National Assembly. "You have to act with realism and adjust the dreams to the true possibilities."

That pragmatic approach is a far cry from the idealism in the early days of the revolution led by his brother.

"I think that celebrations of the 50th anniversary are also marked by a real sense that sustaining this experiment and institutionalizing it is going to require major, major lifting in a very short term by the people running the country today," said Julia Sweig of the Council on Foreign Relations.

That, in turn, could mean making changes to deal with a new environment. But, ironically, change is about the last thing people here expect from the revolution.
Yes, you've got to love any government that cannot accept opposition nor can only operate by imprisoning its population inside its borders by restricting travel. And the U.S. has no hand at all in the communist Cuban government's decision to do just that for the last 50 years.
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Old 01-01-2009, 04:29 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by DaveC View Post

I hope the party is bumping in the streets of Havana this morning.

Cuban Revolution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
If Cubans are so proud of the revolution, then why are so many Cubans coming to America by boat every year?

I doubt its America's fault.
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Old 01-01-2009, 04:41 PM   #4
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Did I ever claim that Cuba was paradise?

It sure is a hell of a lot better than it was between 1903 (the Platte Amendment) and 1959 (the end of the Batista regime), when it was an American puppet state/vacation spot for the Mafia. Even the most cursory knowledge of Cuban history should make that very obvious.
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Old 01-01-2009, 04:52 PM   #5
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After 50 years why does the average Cuban still make $5.00 a week?

You call that progress?

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Old 01-02-2009, 09:21 PM   #6
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hasta la victoria siempre
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Old 01-03-2009, 01:35 AM   #7
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How hilarious.

Anyone who thinks a Castro regime is better than anything needs to have their head checked. I just recently learned from my aunt that her uncle was shot dead in the streets by government men in the 1960's because he was vocal against the revolution.
That's just a dust speck in the universe of wrong that exists and has existed in Cuba's 50 years of torture.

Everyone celebrate indeed.
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Old 01-03-2009, 12:13 PM   #8
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After 50 years why does the average Cuban still make $5.00 a week?
After 50 years why does Cuba have a better health care and public education system than the United States?

The Castro regime has an inexcusable human rights record (particularly in the early stages of their rule), and for that they must be held accountable. I have Cuban friends (a couple who are here for school - they are freely permitted to leave the country for Canada and other nations, but not for the United States - they are hardly "imprisoned in their own country" by any means) they say that life is much, MUCH better now than it ever was under the Platt Amendment. Those that don't feel that way have either been out of the country for decades or had ancestors who profited highly from the general anarchy of the first sixty years of the twentieth century.
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Old 01-03-2009, 12:20 PM   #9
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After 50 years why does the average Cuban still make $5.00 a week?

You call that progress?

<>
They have a better healthcare and education system than the US. Now who is backwards ?
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Old 01-03-2009, 12:31 PM   #10
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CUBA!

A land of wonders. They've given us so many treasures. Cigars, a missile crisis, and this guy -



!Viva la revolucion! Donde esta la biblioteca?
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Old 01-03-2009, 12:38 PM   #11
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Old 01-03-2009, 12:42 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Tiger Edge View Post
How hilarious.

Anyone who thinks a Castro regime is better than anything needs to have their head checked. I just recently learned from my aunt that her uncle was shot dead in the streets by government men in the 1960's because he was vocal against the revolution.
That's just a dust speck in the universe of wrong that exists and has existed in Cuba's 50 years of torture.

Everyone celebrate indeed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveC View Post
After 50 years why does Cuba have a better health care and public education system than the United States?

The Castro regime has an inexcusable human rights record (particularly in the early stages of their rule), and for that they must be held accountable. I have Cuban friends (a couple who are here for school - they are freely permitted to leave the country for Canada and other nations, but not for the United States - they are hardly "imprisoned in their own country" by any means) they say that life is much, MUCH better now than it ever was under the Platt Amendment. Those that don't feel that way have either been out of the country for decades or had ancestors who profited highly from the general anarchy of the first sixty years of the twentieth century.
Just interesting to see these quotes back-to-back.
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Old 01-03-2009, 01:08 PM   #13
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Are they still using Castro's body like it's Weekend at Bernie's?

With Cuba, like with other places, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Castro is a fucking criminal, his regime is corrupt, etc. But the exiles in Miami don't seem able to accept the fact that not everyone feels the same way as they do, and they are still living like it's 50 years ago, without a very good idea of things on the ground right now.

It's a beautiful country. I loved it there, especially driving through the countryside. Lovely people.
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Old 01-03-2009, 01:12 PM   #14
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the truth is somewhere in the middle. Castro is a fucking criminal, his regime is corrupt, etc. But the exiles in Miami don't seem able to accept the fact that not everyone feels the same way as they do, and they are still living like it's 50 years ago, without a very good idea of things on the ground right now.
Well said
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Old 01-03-2009, 02:49 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by anitram View Post
With Cuba, like with other places, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Castro is a fucking criminal, his regime is corrupt, etc. But the exiles in Miami don't seem able to accept the fact that not everyone feels the same way as they do, and they are still living like it's 50 years ago, without a very good idea of things on the ground right now.
That's probably true, but, as I see it, we cannot surmise what the people of Cuba want, unless both opposition parties are permitted and free and fair elections are exercised. Until then, the Cuban exiles' opinions are as good a guess as anyone else's.
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