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Posted February 11, 2010 by publisher in Business In Cuba

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By PAUL HAVEN | The Associated Press

Cuba has slashed food and agriculture imports from the United States - its largest food supplier despite decades of sour relations - as the communist government tightens its belt in the face of a crippling economic malaise.

Imports fell 26 percent in 2009 to $528 million, after peaking at $710 million the year before, according to a report Wednesday by the New York-based U.S.-Cuba Economic Trade Council, which provides nonpartisan commercial and economic information about the island and claims to have no position on policy.

“The decrease has nothing to do with U.S. regulations, U.S. law or U.S. policy,” said John Kavulich, a senior policy analyst at the council. “It is a function of Cuba not having the resources.”

Kavulich said Cuba has increasingly turned to other countries like Vietnam that will sell it lower-quality food and not ask for payment for as long as two years.

Despite the half-century feud across the Straits of Florida, the United States is the largest seller of food to Cuba: Food and agriculture products have been exempted from the 48-year embargo since 2000.

Cuba waited more than a year after that to start importing U.S. food - angered by a provision requiring it to pay cash upfront before delivery.

But a hurricane in late 2001 hurt food production and gave it little choice. Today, Cubans getting food from monthly ration books eat chicken from Arkansas and wheat from Nebraska. Upscale markets stock everything from Kellogg’s cereal to Heinz ketchup to Oreo cookies - though the prices are exorbitant.

Imports from other major trading partners such as Venezuela, China and Spain are also down. Rodrigo Malmierca, the minister of foreign trade, said in November that trade during the first three quarters of 2009 was off 36 percent.

Cuba’s economy has recently been hit by a triple-whammy of bad news: Three major hurricanes did more than $10 billion in damage in 2008, the global economic crisis dampened tourism profits and a drop in commodities prices hurt nickel sales for much of 2009.

President Raul Castro has tried to offset falling imports by increasing domestic agriculture production, turning over tens of thousands of hectares (acres) of fallow land to small farmers.

He has warned repeatedly that the government can no longer afford to spend so much subsidizing life on the island, and that Cubans must work harder and take more responsibility for their economic well-being.

The government controls well over 90 percent of the economy and heavily subsidizes all aspects of life while paying an average salary of about $20 a month. Cubans get free health care and education, and usually pay next-to-nothing for housing and utilities.

Havana has taken baby-steps toward changing that system, eliminating some staples from the ration book, dropping free lunches for workers at some state enterprises and trimming health and education spending.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on February 11, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    I love this comment:

    “Vietnam that will sell it lower-quality food and not ask for payment for as long as two years.”

    Now those are some good payment terms. That’s financing… Cuban style.

    Then two years comes and they ask for an extension or to “renegotiate” the payment meaning “Thanks for the free rice”.

    Also, what this article says to me is something like Raul saying “Good luck everybody, you are on your own now but of course you cannot go out and start a business or legally make any money… but good luck and don’t worry about me”.

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  2. Follow up post #2 added on February 11, 2010 by MiamiCuban

    Let’s put things into perspective.  The only reason the entire U.S. economy hasn’t plumetted is because China hasn’t called in its debt, something that would probably leave us scrambling for imports from Haiti.  In the end, whether it’s us or Cuba or Vietnam, we’re all tied into a global network economy and it seems that all this stretching and pulling is a serious wake-up call that something has gone terribly wrong with our fancy theories about economics.  There was one important thing that was overlooked:  sustainability.  Let’s face it….we’re all overdrawn.  We can pick on Cuba all we want, but you know the old adage….“The higher they stand, the harder they fall.”  Maybe it’s time to play nice and make peace.

  3. Follow up post #3 added on February 11, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Thanks MiamiCuban,

    We can always count on you to deflect the blame.

    Fidel has done anything wrong. We know. You tell us all the time.

    Cuba consulting services

  4. Follow up post #4 added on February 11, 2010 by MiamiCuban

    Why are you so obsessed with Fidel?  This isn’t about Fidel at all.  Read my post.  It’s about all economic models failing us so far.  We have our own major hurdles to overcome, but since you and I don’t see entire families out on the street because they’ve lost their homes, we can delude ourselves into thinking that all is well in the land of good-and-plenty.  Well, it’s not.

    I suppose you want to pin it on Fidel that the Cuban economy hasn’t bounced back since the devastation of three major hurricanes.  Well, look at Haiti after one earthquake.  It doesn’t seem like they’ll ever recover from that, no matter how many millions we’re pouring into their country.

  5. Follow up post #5 added on February 11, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    You and other good Communists never blame Fidel for anything. When there is blame for Fidel (and there is PLENTY of it) you immediately start talking about the evil Empire or Embargo.

    We get it. Fidel is not responsible for any of Cuba’s problem and never was. I understand.

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  6. Follow up post #6 added on February 11, 2010 by MiamiCuban

    So I’m a Communist because I don’t blame Fidel for everything that has gone wrong in Cuba?  That’s that same mindset of people in Little Havana.  Can’t we please analyze things from different angles?  Shouldn’t topics of conversation on websites also grow and evolve and mature?

  7. Follow up post #7 added on February 11, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Okay. Tell me one way that Fidel or Raul is responsible for anything in this article. Can you bring yourself to admit that maybe their 50 year rule over Cuba MIGHT have something to do with Cuba’s current economy?


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  8. Follow up post #8 added on February 11, 2010 by pipefitter

    MiamiCuban, you can’t say anything positive about Cuba hear or you will get Pub all riled up and he may end up banning you. He doesn’t entertain positive info on Cuba.
    Maybee some of the reduction in purchases from the U.S. could be attributed to the fact that Cuba is increasing the production of foodstuffs on it’s own and also is turning away from a hostile government to more friendly humanitarian countries who don’t put so many restrictions on trade.

  9. Follow up post #9 added on February 11, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    The article is not about good news from Cuba, which by the way there are very few if any.
    The article is about the economy in Cuba for god’s sake, what nicety can be said about the Cuban economy? None, zero, nada.

    Plain and simple, the Cuban economy has been always a chaos since the Robolution. The cause: clearly, stupid policies and the worst mismanagement.
    Unforturnately I cannot see it changing anytime soon or at least until the Castros (both together with their families and cronies) leave office.

  10. Follow up post #10 added on February 11, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    “you can’t say anything positive about Cuba”

    You are welcome to say positive things about Cuba. I just ask that maybe ONCE… ONE TIME MiamiCuban or pipefitter say ONE negative thing about Fidel or Raul. ONE… just ONE negative thing. ONE?

    You can’t, I know. It’s either because your boss won’t let you or you are just so brainwashed that you literally see nothing wrong with a 50 year dictatorship.

    Regarding banning… the only people who get banned here are those who are intentionally disruptive and they get two warnings first.

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  11. Follow up post #11 added on February 11, 2010 by pipefitter

    I don’t realy have to say anything negative about Cuba or the Castros as you seem to have “cornered the market” so to speak on that subject. But I can list a few things I think are wrong but not because I hate the Castros, I think that Cuba can Be better. (not in any order of importance)

    !- They should let small buisiness establish itself in all sectors not just in agriculture as this would resolve most of the problems with supply and demand of consumer goods and services, but tax them like we do.
    2- Let people make and sell goods as they see fit the government doesn’t have to be involved in everything.
    3-Let people have open flea markets or garage sales internet markets etc.
    4-Gradualy combine the 2 currency system into one (looks like they may be doing this now)
    5-Gadually raise the wages to better reflect value for work done. (looks like they are slowly doing this also)
    6- Let people present their views or critisizms in State media (looks like they are starting to do this now also (see letters to the editor in Granma)
    7- Let workers have more control of their workplace by electing their board of administration etc.

    I could go on for awhile, but I guess this is enough to make Pub eat his words.

    You don’t have to destroy the Cuban Gov. to make life better for Cubans, you just need it to evolve into something better than it is now. All governments have faults including our own.

  12. Follow up post #12 added on February 11, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Pipe… I’m proud of you. I know that was difficult for you to make all those points.

    So, all good points. I know you couldn’t resist getting that last shot in though.

    Now if the Castro’s would just step aside and let those things happen, Cuba would be a great country… again.

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  13. Follow up post #13 added on February 11, 2010 by pipefitter

    Castro doesn’t have to step aside, as some of these are happening as we speak and more will evolve in the future.

  14. Follow up post #14 added on February 11, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts


    Nothing says change like Fidel and Raul Castro!

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  15. Follow up post #15 added on February 11, 2010 by pipefitter

    Yeyo, you are not keeping up with the times, I will give you an example of a young family that I know who send me “E"s from their work almost daily. 4 in the family, a grandma who is a professor- 600.00 pesos/ mo, a repair man in a hotel- 450.00 pesos + 10 CUC/ month or 690.00 pesos/mo, wife accountant 350.00 pesos/mo, so they make 1640.00 pesos/mo in the household. The toddler costs them 40.00 pesos/mo for day care including food for him. She says they spend about 400.00 pesos/mo on food +100.00 for electricity etc. Free medical dental, no rent. Yes shoes and clothes etc. are expensive but they are better off than most other third world countries now arn’t they?

  16. Follow up post #16 added on February 12, 2010 by MiamiCuban

    Publisher, I’m not as narrow-minded as you think.  Now….tit-for-tat….I’ll tell you what I think the Castros could have done better, and YOU tell me what you feel was done right.  Fair enough?

    The main thing I’m not in agreement with is with respect to small business….Cubans should have the right to set up businesses in their homes or in the marketplace.

    Tell me something good about Cuba.  It can’t be ALL bad.

  17. Follow up post #17 added on February 12, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Cuban doctors and the biotech industry.

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  18. Follow up post #18 added on February 12, 2010 by MiamiCuban

    Wow…I’m impressed you can admit something good.  This is the most progress I’ve seen on this journal. (And I’m not being facetious).

  19. Follow up post #19 added on February 12, 2010 by MiamiCuban

    Publisher, you also said this:  “Can you bring yourself to admit that maybe their 50 year rule over Cuba MIGHT have something to do with Cuba’s current economy?”

    I’ll admit that, yes, some of their decisions might have affected the economy in an adverse manner…..BUT ONLY if you also admit that perhaps the embargo might just also account for some of their problems.  Can we agree on this?

  20. Follow up post #20 added on February 12, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Of course there are plenty of good things in Cuba but when a 50 year old regime (with leaders who are selected and not elected) steal people’s freedom, there is not much good that can be said.

    But how about that free healthcare, education, housing, food and cars. All great, right?

    How about letting people work as they wish and own what they wish.

    The centrally controlled Cuban economy is and always has been a terrible mess.

    The Castro’s business model is to play the poor country due to the Embargo, take “loans” and free stuff from other countries and keep their country locked down so they never loose power.

    Lack of freedom in Cuba taints ANYTHING good that they allow.

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  21. Follow up post #21 added on February 12, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    “BUT ONLY if you also admit that perhaps the embargo might just also account for some of their problems”


    They have gotten free money and goods for decades.

    Of course you know Fidel LOVES the Embargo and uses it as an excuse to keep everyone equal… equally poor.

    So, I blame Fidel like 95% and the Embargo 5%.

    I know you want to blame the Embargo 95% and Fidel 5%.

    But even blaming Fidel for 5% might get you put in jail in Cuba.

    Good thing you can sit in your nice office or home in Miami and not have to worry about the CDR though.

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  22. Follow up post #22 added on February 12, 2010 by MiamiCuban

    I won’t even get into percentages because the real truth is that it is all too mudied.

    Let’s get clear on one point, though.  When you talk about the Castros being in control for 50 years, is that really all that different from what we have?  How long have the Bushes & Clintons been ping-ponging power back and forth between them?  That goes back a few decades.  Even Obama probably knew he had no choice but to put Hilary in his cabinet And behind the scenes, who’s really in power?  Don’t kid yourself, our votes don’t count for any real change.  There always was and always will be ONE power running the show, and that’s the corporate elite.  And now that corporations can fund elections, there is no real democracy here because government is no longer of, by and for the people.  I’ll leave you with Abraham Lincoln’s words, a brave soul who saw things coming:

    “I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”

    - President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864 in letter to Colonel William Elkins

  23. Follow up post #23 added on February 12, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Just because we barely agree on one minor point, you are still a nut.

    I know it’s baked in your DNA to be a Fidel lover and US hater so everything you think is distorted.

    You’d be much happier in Cuba.

    I’ll take free elections rather than coerced selections any day.

    Cuba consulting services

  24. Follow up post #24 added on February 12, 2010 by MiamiCuban

    It’s hopeless.  You live in a bubble where there are no shades of gray.

  25. Follow up post #25 added on February 12, 2010 by MiamiCuban

    Let me ask you one thing, Publisher:  What do you think the corporations will now expect from the government now that they can buy any politician they want?  Are you deluded enough to think that “the people” will vote into power someone to represent them?

  26. Follow up post #26 added on February 12, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    It’s funny, when I talk to Fidel lovers they tell me that I need to have an open mind.

    When I talk to Posada lovers they tell me that I have to have an open mind.

    That’s just means “listen to me so I can make you believe what I believe”.

    I don’t like extremists because they are the ones that need to have an open mind.

    I am very comfortable in the middle but I do get sick of fighting off all the nut jobs that can’t see the truth for whatever reason.

    Cuba consulting services

  27. Follow up post #27 added on February 12, 2010 by pipefitter

    Pub, is that all you can do is to call someone who has a different opinion a nut case, commy or tell him to go to Cuba when you get asked hard questions?

  28. Follow up post #28 added on February 12, 2010 by MiamiCuban

    Pipefitter, that’s exactly what happens when someone on this blog dares to stick out his/her neck to give a different opinion.  Ironically, these are the same people who flock to the defense of dissident voices in Cuba.

  29. Follow up post #29 added on February 13, 2010 by theportagekid with 35 total posts

    I don’t know where the publisher gets his/her data from on costs of foreign vegetables, but I can tell you that here in Canada, Vancouver, British Columbia, to be specific, these “exotic” veggies cost us twice as much or more than our own. They are sold in specialty food shops and only a few of the large chains carry these goods because of cost versus space on the shelf. Here in Canada, we try our best to not eat American food, especially that grown in the mid-west and west. It is all poisoned with pesticides, herbicides. Now many veggies are genetically modified so you can’t grow your own from their seed anymore. We have known this for years, and do our best to grow our own produce where we can. On another note, although relative to the discussion, is the costs of medical care here. Universal, yes, about $60ca a month if you are a single man, covering certain things. Drugs rehab etc. you have to pay for or have private insurance for about $100ca a month. Education costs about 60-70% of our annual property tax. School budgets are and have been slashed for years and now parents have to spend at least 60-100$ca a week to each child for lunches and “junk food” and entertainment. In America you have to add at least $1000US a month per family for safety and security, ie. drive by shootings, robberies etc. etc. which happen in the US every second of every day. And, of course, in America, they do not have any form of health care other than medicaid (when you are old) and medicare, for the same reason. If you didn’t pay into the system, you get nothing. Private health insurance in the US is sinfully expensive.
    In short, “Publisher”, try to get your statements about topics more accurately researched before you make them, so as to not unintentionally mislead your audience.
    Instead of criticizing your gov. for its attempts to maneuver economically amid this “global economic problem”, on top of the internationally recognized “Illegal” blockade of your Island for the last 50+ years, I would think one should be more motivated to set examples of leadership for coping with these and other economic issues. It is not all it has been painted here in Canada and certainly not in the “American Empire”, south of us, and north of you

  30. Follow up post #30 added on February 14, 2010 by paul

    I wouldn’t care if Cuba kept the same leaders if at least they would evolve out of their authoritarian military society. Look at Canada, our wimpy little passive aggressive brother/our hat, or most of Europe. Plenty of social welfare, without a military dictatorship.

    All of you who tag yourself as “progressive”, are pretty nationalistic in terms of defending the Cuban government’s repressive ways. No wonder that the world has such a skewed vision of Cuban society, when you guys spend your time praising and performing sycophancy for the Cuban military mafia.

  31. Follow up post #31 added on February 14, 2010 by theportagekid with 35 total posts

    Calling Canada “a .....brother” tells me you must be yanqui, and live in Amerika. If I guess Miami, would I be correct? I know there is a large contingent of a Cuban Mafia there. I also assume that you feel the declarations over the blockade by the “whole planet” except of course, Israel (for obvious reasons) and Amerika because of their inherent “Manifest Destiny” to control the Western Hemisphere, are irrelevant. I suggest that the “skewed” vision is from your eyes. Paul, and not the rest of the world. People like you need to see the world through clear eyes, without shades on. Try it, if you dare. As for the military in Cuba, what the hell would you do if you’re country was threatened by the world’s most powerful and war-mongering belligerent country in the history of mankind? Offer them a cigar?
    You probably would, and then turn in your neighbours. Sure glad you live down there and not here. Us wimpy little passive-aggressives would kick your ass.

  32. Follow up post #32 added on February 14, 2010 by paul

    Struck a nerve? haha.

    Little complaining brother.

    Keep apologizing for Communism little one. The more you demonize Cubans in “Amerika” the further you push yourself into the heap of irrelevancy. Thank heavens you have a christian democrat government, and all you irrelevant communists have is forums to troll with your sycophancy.

  33. Follow up post #33 added on February 14, 2010 by theportagekid with 35 total posts

    Paul; Now you have become irrelevant. With no arguments to debate, people of your ilk tend to wander off into a fulmination of nonsensical outbursts, again, ignoring the issues, because of your tenuous foundation. And Paul, try using other words; for example obsequiousness or servility when Pontificating. It get’s old, real quick.

  34. Follow up post #34 added on February 14, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    The problems in Cuba are not related to the embargo, they actually commenced before the embargo. The problems are mainly related to the fact that there is a totalitarian government in power for over 50 years. You may argue that the embargo made things maybe more difficult for the Cuban government, may be so, but the fact is that Cuba have access to everything they need from the US,  they buy it somewhere else and even directly from the states.
    Now days Cuba is buying aprox $ 500 Million a year from the US.

    There are problems in the US, Canada and pretty much everywhere around the world, however this forum is not about any other country but Cuba, we are discussing Cuban issues, and the fact and the matter is that there are so many problems in Cuba that comparing them to the US or Canada is simply silly.
    The use of Cuban Mafia, Miami Mafia and that kind of wording was trademarked by Fidel Castro from very early, anybody that disagrees with him is paid by the CIA or part of the Mafia, using that wording is not only irrelevant but also silly.

  35. Follow up post #35 added on February 14, 2010 by paul

    Exactly Yeyo.

    Cuba wasn’t doing well either when the USSR was keeping it afloat. Back when the USSR was bankrolling Cuba, Cuba could care less about it’s relationship with the United States, and found every way to antagonize and be the little puppet proxy for the Soviet Union.

    Now that they don’t have a blank check, they blame their problems on the CREDIT blockade. Cuba also trades deeply with Canada and Europe, which shows that capitalism does not equate to political democracy.

    The communists in Cuba, and the communists in Canada/Europe/World know this, that’s why they always push for the CREDIT blockade to be lifted. It will just be more money for the regime to keep afloat, and it will continue to be a repressive country…unless you’re a communist, because they are the status quo and they hold the cards.

    Cuba buys even more from the US each year. This is all about credit access, to further rob and default on American companies.

    So this is why these “progressive” trolls are irrelevant. Far from pacifist, always argumentative, and always ready to goose step and jump as high as the Cuban government tells them to. We know what you want, and you’ll never get it.

  36. Follow up post #36 added on February 14, 2010 by theportagekid with 35 total posts

    So, are you saying, Yeyo, that if Batista or similar dictator had remained in power and that Cuba had remained as a quasi-state with sovereignty controlled by America or France or Britain and their forms of “democracy”, Cuba economically would be better off? Do you mean the people, the farmers etc. the children? One has only to look at Haiti and know her history to realize who would benefit from this form of “arrangement”
    I can’t see why the Americans don’t treat Cuba like they do China. Same form of gov. although having been to both countries I have to say I found China to be very repressive. Hell, WalMart and all the rest are in China and making $$. And it was the American gov. that persuaded the WTO to let them in. It is also interesting to note that since China’s participation in the WTO and the “world community”, so to speak, her free market spirit has grown. China has become more economically engaged with the world as never before. So, why not Cuba. Perhaps by doing so, it would assist the government and Cuban people to engage more effectively with her neighbours. America should stop trying to change countries internal workings, and learn the adage: If you want to change the world, you have to start with yourself” If one can’t or won’t do that then usually they just resort to derision and loudness without any logic. This, naturally, doesn’t help

  37. Follow up post #37 added on February 14, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    In my opinion, looking at the big picture, very likely Cuba would be much better today if Castro had never existed. Most older Cubans agree with that statement including many that were present and participated in the Revolution with Castro.

    Batista was a dictator and murderer no doubt about it, but he was not the only choice, democracy was also a choice that Cubans unfortunately were promised by Castro but never got it.

    Comparing Cuba and Haiti is absurd; the only similarity is that both countries are in the Caribbean Sea.

    I cannot answer why the US do not treat Cuba like China, but again very different countries.
    ....”China has become more economically engaged with the world as never before. So, why not Cuba….”
    Good point: why not Cuba? I feel that because Castro does not want to, that is the most obvious reason.
    Doing business in China is extremely easy; now, doing business in Cuba is among the most difficult things on earth. Why? Simple, because Fidel Castro want to keep it that way. That is part of the game, to reduce liberties, so people would not ask why they cannot have toilette paper or food whenever they want.
    Karl Marx said something like….the people have to have the basics (food, cloth etc) before thinking in other things… and Fidel Castro confirmed that it certainly works that way.

    I do not care is the “Americans” as you call them want to change Cuba, I do want to change Cuba, and believe me most of the population in Cuba wants too. Nobody likes living without dignity, without dreams, without future, without human rights or freedom, and that, which have nothing to do with the embargo, you cannot have it in Cuba.

  38. Follow up post #38 added on February 15, 2010 by paul

    China chose a different path than the USSR in terms of a relationship with the US. The USSR antagonized and provoked a problem with the United States all the time. China kept their model of government within their boundaries, while the USSR was an aggressor who sought territory, and used proxy countries to battle with the United States.

    The Cuban government does not represent the people. They hijacked the idea of bringing true freedom to the country, deposed Batista the dictator, and replaced it with Castro the dictator. The only reason why he hasn’t been smeared like other dictators in history, is because he is left wing, and pinheads look to glorify and worship any leader waving the red flag.

    Authoritarianism is not the answer. If authoritarianism is the only way to keep that country together, then you know that there is a huge problem with that political model…same goes for ANY other fascist country like Cuba that forbids all dissent.

  39. Follow up post #39 added on February 15, 2010 by theportagekid with 35 total posts

    I’ve been to Cuba many times, Yayo, and I did not find that “most ” Cubans want to overthrow the gov. Actually most wish the Americans would come and visit and be friendly.As for choice, if you know you’re history, you should know that the Cubans with Castro would have had democracy in 59 except that the American gov. decided that Cuba might be too independent a country within her “Sphere of Influence” and not “controllable”, (Monroe Doctrine” & “Manifest Destiny”) Had they embraced the new freedom of the Cuban people as the third nation to win independence by revolution in this hemisphere, we would not be having this discussion. You go on about business in China being easy and being very difficult in Cuba because “Fidel wants to keep it that way”? The half a century embargo has nothing to do with it??? Do you hear how ridiculous that sounds? Do you not recognize the UN decisions on this illegal act? Or just ignore it.To say that Cuba would be better off today if Castro and the revolution had never happened, all I can answer to that opinion is you must have been or have family in the hotel business. Them and the agriculture barons and “the mob” were the only ones making money back in those days in Cuba; of course, after they gave the obligatory “token of gratitude” to Batista and the boys in America.. oh and lets not forget Meyer Lansky and his pals. Yes. I guess it safe to say that those Cuban people would be living the good life today, what? I’d only hope that almost all Cubans would by then be living with dignity and dreams, a future, and most of all freedom again, as they had before Castro and the revolution.
    In case you don’t know Yayo, the other two countries to win their independence by revolution in this hemisphere were America and Haiti. Not much alike you say. I would have to agree with you vis-a-vis Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas(2nd poorest n the Hemisphere) left to the hands of the corporations, and corrupt governments that have drained her of any economy, never mind dignity or dreams or a future etc etc as you say. Did you know that until just 1947 France was still getting indemnity for loss of income from the slave trade. You bet Cuba is very different from that history of misery and “freedom”. I wish you people would stop fixating on the man, instead of the issue

  40. Follow up post #40 added on February 15, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    That you have visited Cuba “many” times and did not find citizens trying to overthrow Castro make kind of sense, but nothing to do with the truth. Most Cubans are afraid of speaking openly of their true feelings and regularly they do not walk on the streets talking to strangers about getting rid of Castro. They do want to have good relationship with the US or the “Americans” as you call them (although we are all Americans) but they also want to get rid of Castro.

    I do know Cuban history, and certainly relations between Castro and US were not the best after 1959, it did not help the fact that Castro had openly vowed his anti-US feelings and clearly understood from very early that the path to total control passed above taking over all the US investments in Cuba, however the fact that Cuba have no democracy today or did not have it since 1959 is only related to the fact that Castro is a Dictator that want to stay in power at any cost.

    Your opinion that Cuba is the third nation to win independence by revolution is not only very arguable but also historically inaccurate, Cuba was independent prior to the revolution, not during Batista, Machado or other not democratic periods, however there were periods between 1902 and 1959 where Cuba was not only independent but also a democratic country.
    That is well covered by the Cuban history, which by the way I learned in grade 3rd to 6th after the revolution. 

    My family was not in the hotel or agriculture business, my family as many in Cuba had a small business and was middle class. There was a thriving and growing fast middle class in Cuba prior to 1959, actually among the largest per capita in the world at that time.

    I know a little bit about the history of the US and Haiti, studied it in grade 7th and learn a little bit about their revolutions, actually the city I was born in was founded by French emigrants that moved there from Haiti after the Haitian revolution.

    I wish you people wake up and realize that the problems in Cuba today have nothing to do with the US, France, Canada, UK, Venezuela, China, Rusia or any other country but rather start and finish in on name Fidel Castro.

  41. Follow up post #41 added on February 15, 2010 by MiamiCuban

    Yeyo’s statement:  “Most Cubans are afraid of speaking openly of their true feelings and regularly they do not walk on the streets talking to strangers about getting rid of Castro.”

    On my visits to Cuba, I found that Cubans were open and said what they felt.  Almost without exception, everyone pretty much said the same thing…..whether they were taxi drivers, musicians on the streets, hotel employees, doctors…..they want to see the economy improve, but they don’t want the Americans to take over.  They welcome new opportunities in an open market, but they don’t want to give up their healthcare and education or revert to pre-revolutionary Cuba.  And while they admit the government has made many mistakes over the years, they still have faith in their government to do what’s right for the people.  I think this means that, despite a few dissidents, we won’t be seeing the Cuban people overthrowing their government anytime soon.  They also never expressed anger or resentment towards the Cuban exiles; on the contrary, they want them to visit the island and see Cuba for themselves…the good and the bad. 

    Unfortunately, the Cuban exiles have done a good job of demonizing the revolutionary government and the propaganda continues to this day, undermining any attempts that Cuba makes towards progress.  They don’t want Cuba to succeed because it would send the wrong signal to Haiti and other “democratic” Latin American countries whose people live in utter misery.  As for the comment made earlier that Cuba would have been better off without the revolution, it’s hard to say what would have happened.  But most likely illiteracy and extreme poverty would have continued for the majority of the people.  All you have to do is look at Haiti and the Dominican Republic to see what happens when there is corporate infestation.

  42. Follow up post #42 added on February 15, 2010 by theportagekid with 35 total posts

    As I stated earlier, these writers cannot see the forest for the trees. Even though we tell of our experiences in Cuba and our meeting with many Cubans who love their country and idolize Fidel Castro, they will not see. The fixation is complete. As for you Yayo here is a little sample of Cuban history. Perhaps we were reading different history books eh?
    Wilkopedia states:
    Already before the US officially took over the government in 1899, it had cut tariffs on US goods entering Cuba without granting the same rights to Cuban goods going to the US. Government payments had to be made in US dollars. In spite of the Foraker Amendment, prohibiting the US occupation government from granting privileges and concessions to US investors, the Cuban economy, facilitated by the occupation government, was soon dominated by US capital. The growth of US sugar estates was so quick that in 1905 nearly 10% of Cuba’s total land area belonged to US citizens. By 1902 US companies controlled 80% of Cuba’s ore exports and owned most of the sugar and cigarette factories.
    In 1902, the United States handed over control to a Cuban government that as a condition of the transfer had included in its constitution provisions implementing the requirements of the Platt Amendment, which among other things gave the United States the right to intervene militarily in Cuba. Havana and Varadero became tourist resorts, adorned with casinos and strip-clubs. The Cuban population gradually enacted civil rights anti-discrimination legislation that ordered minimum employment quotas for Cubans.
    This is “democracy” or independence?? I beg to differ. These short periods of so-called independence was really just a lengthening or shortening of the American Leash. Until you wake up Yayo, your delusions will remain and you will continue to be an angry discontented person unwilling to go home where you belong. I feel sorry for you. But I shouldn’t. You have a pretty good life in Amerika, don’t you. Easy to criticize impossible to assist.

  43. Follow up post #43 added on February 15, 2010 by paul

    Quoting Wikipedia LOL.

    What’s next? Granma? Havana Times? International Socialist Review? LOL.

  44. Follow up post #44 added on February 15, 2010 by MiamiCuban

    Paul, just talk to older Cubans who remember the history..  The recollection of my own parents, and what was told to them by their parents, pretty much adds up to what theportagekid just said.  You have to study the history in order to understand and put into perspective the revolution and Cubans’ disdain for U.S. interference.  Whether we agree or not with the revolution, it wasn’t born overnight.

  45. Follow up post #45 added on February 15, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    This is an off topic Havana Journal announcement but thought it was appropriate to post under this article since there are many regular comment posters here.

    As of today, only HavanaJournal.com members can post comments on this site.

    This is not some evil plot to get your name and email address. We simply want to cut down on the comment spam. Registering as a member is easy and there is more information about the benefits of membership here in this sticky article.

    The Register as a Member link is always at the top of every page in the navigation bar should you choose to register at a later day.

    Now back to our regularly scheduled program…

    Cuba consulting services

  46. Follow up post #46 added on February 15, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    MiamiCuban, firstly are you Cuban? You appear not to be, if you are, you are completely wrong, if you are not I can understand you lack of knowledge and understanding of the Cuban reality. You can ask your parents and other real Cubans about it and all of them will tell you that in Cuba after the “robolution” we Cubans learned that you could easily land in jail for saying what you feel about Castro. Even living outside of the Cuba, we cannot openly criticize Castro because the Cuban government (which is Castro) would ban us from entering Cuba to visit our families. I learned that well, I was barred 5 years from entering Cuba, like thousands of Cubans that had been banned from their own country.
    Average Cubans living in Cuba can lightly criticize some issues of some government organizations, that is part of the government propaganda to show that everybody says what they want, however you can never ever criticize Fidel Castro, Raul Castro or if you work in a particular ministry, that minister.
    Obviously you live outside Cuba and has never lived in post “robolution” Cuba, if you were, you would know that very vividly as I do.
    The Cuban issues are difficult to understand and obviously somebody like you that do not want to see further cannot understand what is really going on. I have not traveled few times like you, I was born and lived many years in Cuba, I had certain success in my career until disillusioning completely with the system after discovering that everything was just a big lie.

    Theportagekid, firstly the only one that can not only see the palms but also cannot see the beaches in Cuba is you. Your assumption that anybody that disagrees with you is ignorant only shows your real education level.

    I did not travel there few times like you, I’m Cuban born and raised in Cuba, have most of my family there, travel regularly to Cuba and talk to my family in different parts of Cuba weekly.

    I learned Cuban history first hand, secondly from my family and thirdly on Cuban history books. Definitely you and I have read different books, I guess you call wilkipedia a book. I call a history book the one that was given to me when I attended Valdes Rodriguez, Saul Delgado schools and later University in Havana, in the 70’s and 80’s. 
    I know that there are many Cubans that still idolize Fidel Castro, however you should had see few years ago when most Cubans use to idolize him. I was one of them at some point, but fortunately I woke up, like thousands and thousands more. Even Carlos Lage and Felipe Perez woke up and were commencing to discuss that the country would be much better without him when they were kicked out of office. Check those names in wilkipedia.

    In my previous post I said that when you said that Cuba gained the independence with the Revolution, you were factually wrong and I keep it.
    Certainly there were periods of dictatorship and lack of democracy during the earlier years of the 20th Century, but there were also democratic periods with tremendous economic and social growth. I would said it again, Cuba had one of the largest middle class in the world, not any more. Not only that, Cuba had a high level of education even prior to 1959.
    I’m very happy of disagreeing with you in what independency and democracy is.
    If you consider that there is democracy in Cuba today, then you are delusional. I’m angry but because there is a bunch of losers trying to lecture me about Cuban History, something about what they have no idea.

    You said “Easy to criticize impossible to assist”. I wonder what assistance had you provided to make Cuba better? Talking niceties about Castro?? That only keeps spreading the lie further and in no way assist the Cubans to live better in Cuba. I tried my best and worked very hard for many years trying to give my token to make the Country better, before realizing that Castro is the one that wants to keep it that way so he can keep everybody on his fist.

    Finally, instead of wondering who belongs here or there, if Cuba is so good, why you do not move there?? Take miamiCuban with you.

  47. Follow up post #47 added on February 16, 2010 by theportagekid with 35 total posts

    Again Yeyo, wanderings of the mind. I have not talked niceties about Castro in any of my conversations regarding the “economic” issues in Cuba.  never said those that disagree are ignorant, and I find it difficult to follow you’re train of thoughts.You are proud that you oppose the regime. Fine. Where did I say Cuba was a democratic country. For goodness sake yeyo, try to stay focused on the issues. If the world had embraced the final independence of the Cuban nation in 1959, like they did with other nations who strove and succeeded in attaining independence and the right to decide their own futures WITHOUT outside interference, and offered assistance and support, we would not be having this discussion. Castro would have brought in elections and he would have been retired many, many years ago. But no, the Amerikan Empire as well as the British and French did not want any strong independent country in the Caribbean or anywhere south of the USA. Again, Manifest Destiny.  So they drove Castro to the Communist camp. Call it what you like, but I call it another one of Amerika’s biggest historical blunders. Because of their misguided and ill- conceived belief in their “divine right” to lead the Western Hemisphere on the path to Democracy(which does not exist in the US and hasn’t for years; rather they have what is known as a Duocracy. You know Bill the republican wins this time, and then Bob the democrat wins next time each one taking his/her turn and so on and so on..) They squandered an opportunity to turn Cuba into a garden of beauty and success and a shining example of what a free people can do. If the blockade ended tomorrow, the change in the country and government would be rapid. Finally, I visit Cuba quite a bit so have no need to spend my life there to understand the people. I have many friends, Cubans who open their homes. their hearts and minds to me and over the years have got to know me and my feelings on Canada and America and my misgivings about the road the world is travelling on. They have expressed many of their own fears and yes there are some that fear the government. Yayo, did you hear of the Patriot Act. Well I have many, many friends in Amerika who are terrified of losing their jobs and careers etc. because if they criticize the US gov., a co-worker, or neighbour or mailman might report them to “Homeland Security” It only happens in Cuba. eh? I am a native american (whites call us Indians) and we are targeted as potential terrorists because of the colour of our skin, and because we are still fighting with the governments in Canada and Amerika over our right to exist and live on our ancestral lands!!  Go to http://sutikalh.blogspot.com/ and read up on another peoples’ fight for freedom in the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave”.
    And then consider rethinking of ways to help Cuba rid itself of the Amerikan Blockade instead of whining about Fidel Castro. Thank Amerika for that.

  48. Follow up post #48 added on February 16, 2010 by robolucion with 33 total posts

    I like this exchange between portagekid and Yeyo. It’s the difference between an adult with life experience, and a Canadian socialist boy who keeps saying “Amerika”.

    You stretched out the homeland security thing, like a typical outsider and loyal leftist. Comparing that to Cuba is ridiculous, because even if you were doing something that was a real threat to national security, it wouldn’t bar you from regular work. Once you get blacklisted in Cuba for dissent, you’re pretty much a persona non grata. My family (we are Cuban) went through that.

    Like I’ve said before, Cuba is a shining beacon for the pinheads of the world. There is nowhere else that they can worship socialism, and they’ll defend fascist Cuba because it waves that red flag. You can go back and forth with guys like him and pipefitter, but they’ll just be typical communists and argue and argue and argue and argue. They’ll continue with the red herrings, take stabs at the United States or “Amerika” as portage so eloquently states, and spread disinformation in the process.

    “If the blockade ended tomorrow, the change in the country and government would be rapid. “

    This shows the leftist contradiction. These devout and obedient leftists defend Cuban fascism yet they say stuff like this. They say this, they know it’s a lie, because they wouldn’t advocate for anything that would destabilize the country. Capitalism does not bring democracy, Cuba already trades with Europe, Canada and the world over, and it’s still the same fascist country.

  49. Follow up post #49 added on February 16, 2010 by theportagekid with 35 total posts

    I’m 62 years of age, son, and have been around the block more often than your momma has spanked you. And I speak from experience, you silly little man. And you are wrong about your assumptions about working. You are guessing, I am telling you facts. And I do not consider myself to be a Canadian (KKKanada, as we call it)nor do I recognize that named country with my own. The white man(Shamaa) came here from Europe and promptly proceeded to slaughter our people, bugger our children, rape our women, and steal our lands.We have been here since time out of time (forever for the simple minded)and we never ceded our land to anybody, and rather than run away as some of you Cubans have done, I stay and choose to fight with the means at hand. Dialog Can you say that d i a l o g.
    “Even if one was doing something that was a threat to national security, it wouldn’t bar one from regular work.”???  Really?? Where do you get such insight?? Personal experience? Are you saying that you might be doing something that is a threat to national security, but it doesn’t prevent you from working? Is that how you know this? I’d be low-key about that if I were you!
    Please describe “regular”. And again, wrong, it definitely does!
    All you types can do is rant and rant about the nasties of Socialism, and offer no concrete ideas to help your country that you deserted. Probably got a good job now with all the trappings of a well disciplined little American loving wanna be with the picket fence and 2 car garage and that personification of Yanqui-land; the Stars and Bars flying higher than your neighbours’ one ( for fear of not being “patriotic ” enough) You live in a dream world. Also, I am not a communist and that is another example of your right-wing ravings. When in doubt, simply belittle the opposition, decry it, deny it and yell real loud. I tire of your incessant declamations and you have nothing to offer to help your “deserted” country. You and people of your bent always do and say the same thing day after day year after year. You offer nothing to the Cuban people except conflict, and derision. It is no wonder that you love “Amerika”
    With the help of the Cuban people, and supporters like me they will prevail. When Amerika drops the embargo, which is illegal by international standards (something I notice none of you haranguers ever discuss), Cuba will rise up and become a leader in the Caribbean. I tip my hat to Chavez for his help, knowing that saying this will set off an immediate diatribe from the peanut gallery. Rant on.robolution, rant on. The trouble with you people is your love of listening to yourselves. Try constructive criticism if you know what that means Oh, and facts would go a long way in furthering your point of view. Try it For example Communism comes from commune which means the people or community. Is that a dirty word? And socialism comes from…well..I think you know where it stems from. Another word synonymous with the other two is the word “Share” a word that has become dirty in Amerika and Kanada. “
    The “K” is obvious.


  50. Follow up post #50 added on February 16, 2010 by robolucion with 33 total posts

    You are beyond help old man. I’m pretty blown away that a 62 year old communist writes “KKKanada” and “Amerika”. That’s what 13 year old punk rockers scribble on walls with spray paint.

    Thanks for calling Cuban Americans “deserters” too. This again is why you are irrelevant, and stay irrelevant. That’s what you communists think of Cuban Americans, which is another reason why Cuban American leaders in government (who are relevant), will never give Cuba more than cash only commerce.

    Lastly, communism is not a “dirty word”, but monarchs in fatigues have dragged that word through more dirt than can ever be washed. Your Lord Castro ruined it, Ceausescu ruined it, the USSR ruined it, along with the other bacterias in the dustbin of history.

  51. Follow up post #51 added on February 16, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    Theportagekid, you have not talked niceties about Castro but want to keep him in power?? Remember when you said ..... “and supporters like me they will prevail”. Sound to me like you are talking nicely about the Castro government.
    I had never talked about socialism or communism because I’m convinced that there is nothing like that in Cuba. Cuba is a dictatorship with somebody running the country as his own backyard for the last 50 years.

    I’m against the embargo but not because what you feel but rather because I feel that is a failed policy. That is illegal, not so sure, however the fact is that it does not work and Castro use it all the time to convince people like you that if it rains to much is because the embargo and if it does not rain at all is also because of the embargo. I guess if the embargo is removed Castro would have to look for something else.

    I can see that you continuously make the issues personal and insult everybody that disagrees with you, which says a lot about your manners and education but also is something that we Cubans had seen being used by the government in Cuba trying to discredit their dissenters by calling them names.

    Nobody is a little man; you just became one when you called somebody that name. You are obviously very angry, probably because the several issues you and yours are involved with and which I have read a bit but cannot say that know as you say you know our issues after traveling few times and meeting few Cubans. I feel that you should concentrate in solving your problems and trying to be happier rather getting in shoes that are obviously bigger than your size.

    While your legends seemed very interesting, I would like to remind you that this forum is about Cuban issues, so please keep focus on it and whenever you go back to Cuba try to speak to the people without bias, talk to them and openly, ask them:
    Would you like change in Cuba?
    Would you like democracy in Cuba?
    Would you like free elections in Cuba?
    Do not interrupt them or guide their responses, you may be surprise by their answers, then you should come back and enlighten us all.

  52. Follow up post #52 added on February 17, 2010 by robolucion with 33 total posts

    Even if “Amerika” had a different policy towards Cuba, 62 year old communist momia would still call it “Amerika”. That deep hatred towards the US will never go away…and possibly towards “KKKanada” for that matter.

  53. Follow up post #53 added on February 17, 2010 by theportagekid with 35 total posts

    Again with the rantings. No concrete suggestions, just rantings at the messenger. I am still wondering about the price of food from Vietnam and how come it is so much more expensive here. I also have many friends who have small businesses in Cuba. You boneheads don’t want to debate issues, just tear them down. None so blind as those who will not see. As for the personal attacks on my person, it is to be expected from no-minds. I thought this was a blog about helping Cubans. Rather it is just another right-wing ranting station.
    I’m done with you. Keep writing to yourselves and patting each other on the back. It will be the only thanks you ever get. I’ll have to tell my friends in Cuba about this blog. They will get a kick out of it. “Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings, so hold on tight.

  54. Follow up post #54 added on February 17, 2010 by manfredz with 464 total posts

    unless things have changed, one of my Cuban buddies mentioned that havanajournal.com is blocked by Cuban authorities.  You might want to mention that to them too ...

  55. Follow up post #55 added on February 17, 2010 by theportagekid with 35 total posts

    manfredz: We are all well aware of that. I print the pages out for them to see when I visit, which will be happening again in a couple of weeks for a couple of months I would normally feel that censorship is a bad thing, but when you have an individual(s) who do nothing but yell at the moderator, and make no helpful ideas, other than “get rid of Fidel et al. and give us back our stuff attitude, then you have to escort them from the building so that those with intelligent ideas can be heard. And it is pretty obvious that one won’t get that sort of thing from here

  56. Follow up post #56 added on February 17, 2010 by robolucion with 33 total posts

    Wow will you look at this fascist. So because this website doesn’t droll and worship Castro, it’s ok to ban it? wow, we get to see a bite sized example of the modus operandi from the Cuban government.

    Thanks for demonizing us. I can see that communists are only tolerant and “open minded” when they are not in power, but typically authoritarian when they hold power.

    Here, you want advice for a better Cuban future?

    - Drop the militarism, it helps nobody.
    - Keep all of the social welfare, drop all of the authoritarianism.
    - Adopt a “Kanadian” or European type of government where social welfare is high priority.
    - Stop demonizing whoever dissents. Stop tagging dissenters as mercenaries.
    - Stop jailing political activists and putting them in Cuba’s decades old Guantanamos.

    Is that pretty neutral or should I build a Castro effigy and dance around in a trance?


    “Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings”.

    Sounds like the pathetic ball of military leadership which rules Cuba. Obsessing over the United States, always paranoid, forcing the population to march and be flag waving patriots.

    Sounds pretty patriotic to me (but a lot of it is force and staged).Contradictory that it’s ok for Cubans to be flag waving nationalists, but OH OH it’s not ok for “Amerikans” to do so.

  57. Follow up post #57 added on February 18, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    Portagekid, what kind of suggestions you have?? To facilitate Castro to stay for another 50 years??
    I have not seen any concrete suggestion or idea from your side that helps the Cuban people in Cuba.
    Other than defending the regime verbally you have done nothing. On the other hand, we the ones that had endure the regime for long and knows it inside and out, are trying to show the world that those rosy things are not so rosy they are actually grey but painted rosy by the Castro propaganda machine, by the way based completely on the Nazi propaganda machine.

    You are concerned because people are attacking you but you continue offending anybody that has a different opinion. I have to say that many times I had the desire to offend you as well but I would not do that, I would stay focused on the issues.

    That you print pages of Havana Journal for your Cuban friends to read, I’m not so sure of that, in fact I really doubt it. You sound very pro-authoritarian and pro-Castro to do something like that. Unless you are trying to prove people in Cuba that you were defending the regime.

  58. Follow up post #58 added on February 18, 2010 by manfredz with 464 total posts

    prtagekid, i find your cure worse than the sickness…..

  59. Follow up post #59 added on February 19, 2010 by theportagekid with 35 total posts

    Yayo; I’ll say it again, as I said in the first encounters. Drop the embargo. If the embargo was no longer in existence there would be no more excuses no more reason to continue with the militarism because there would no longer be a threat of invasion. With the embargo gone and dialogue beginning things would change rapidly in Cuba, and the government and people would inspire the change. In fact, I’ll wager that within two years or less.. from the day they drop all embargoes!! Cuba would be a different country, politically,.. from what America has driven her to today. I say that because Castro came to power in ‘59 and didn’t declare Cuba a communist state until 1961 after Amerika turned her back on her.    You said that Cuba was independent before Castro. Well, maybe in text books, but historically, Cuban leaders during their “independent periods” were beholding to American or British, French and Spanish Interests, as almost all Caribbean countries were /are; and had a treaty with the US (when they “allowed ” Cubans to declare a Republic in 1902).which gave the USA the right to intervene in “your” affairs and dictate Foreign Policy. (One reason why I call Amerika exactly that)Then in 1906 the Americans “took over” again And on and on it went, with the foreign owners and wealthy families who owned the sugar and other agri-businesses making the huge profits. So when I say independent I mean INDEPENDENT!  You know, calling your own shots!
    The embargo just prolongs the delay for change, and it promotes those who oppose any form of change in Cuba. To those who want it to be like it was in the “50’s, with all their trappings, and to those who can use the blockade as a tool for repression and control. In other words, both sides benefit with it in place..except the people, always the people pay for the political jockeying Now do you understand?  I still however disagree with the comment from the publisher at the beginning about Vietnamese vegetables being cheaper etc. I explained why, if you scroll back up.

  60. Follow up post #60 added on February 19, 2010 by robolucion with 33 total posts


    Cuba wasn’t independent when the USSR was bankrolling it. I bet you weren’t calling for Cuba’s “independence” at that point.

  61. Follow up post #61 added on February 19, 2010 by robolucion with 33 total posts

    The credit blockade will never be dropped. Cuba can buy goods from us with cash, and that’s where the river stops. They buy in the excess of 700 million from us yearly, tax remittances and Cuban Americans with family can visit and spend money there.

    That’s very generous, and accounts for a lot of money.

    Cuba hasn’t changed, and will not change. You really think that those military officers, nomenklatura and their comfortable families are going to relinquish what they have?? hahaha.

    It’s the perfection situation: Socialism for the population and Capitalist spoils for the ruling elite.

  62. Follow up post #62 added on February 19, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    So you feel that the only problem in Cuba is the embargo and after dropping the embargo everything would be ok. Well, let me tell you I favor the removal of the embargo as some other people in this forum, but not for the reasons that you mentioned, which are simplistic, baseless and lacking any knowledge of the Cuban reality. We want the embargo removed because is the alibi that Castro has been using for the last 40 something years for all the atrocities that he has done to Cuba and the Cubans.

    The embargo has nothing to do with the violation of human rights in Cuba but they are violated daily. The embargo has nothing to do with militarism or invasion.
    It has been clear for a while that US is not interested in invading Cuba, only the politically blind can believe that there is still a treat. If US were interested in invading Cuba they would do it with or without embargo.
    In my opinion the embargo is a failed policy because it has not achieved anything in so many years. At the same time Castro has been buying around USD 500 million a year of all kind of products directly in the US and everything trough Canada, Mexico and other countries.

    I do not understand what you call independent, because based on your “guidelines” then Cuba has never been independent, after the “robolution” it depended for almost 40 years on the Soviet Union and lately in Venezuela.

  63. Follow up post #63 added on February 19, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Right HavanaJournal.com is banned in Havana.

    Too much information for the Castros.
    Funny, we are “banned” in Miami too and that’s okay.

    This site is not for extremists.

    Cuba consulting services

  64. Follow up post #64 added on February 19, 2010 by robolucion with 33 total posts

    Are you calling pro credit blockade Cuban Americans “extremists”? don’t paint a caricature that anti-castro Cubans are all aristocrats. All types of Cubans, from the revolution to the Peter Pans to the Marielitos, have suffered various degrees of indignity, which they will never forgive the Castro monarchy for.

    It’s like the story of my relatives who fled Cuba. They had their minor pieces of jewelry confiscated by customs at the airport, saying that it “belonged to the revolution”. We weren’t landowners, but just common poor people.

  65. Follow up post #65 added on February 20, 2010 by theportagekid with 35 total posts

    Yeyo: America and Cuba and the rest of the Yankee allies support the blockade, including Canada although It trades with Cuba. Robolution says they buy $700 million a year from “us”? The Cuban economy generates about 30 billion GDP annually and it is increasing. It has imports of about 7.5 billion, so America’s “contribution” is about 09%! Wow! That is a lot of money!? Considering that the US trades billions of dollars a month with Canada, it is not saying much, is it? You say “It is clear that Amerika doesn’t want to invade Cuba.” I guess you feel that the reactivation of the 4th Fleet in the Caribbean is just for show. This fleet was dismantled after the war. The Bush, Cheney cabal re-commissioned the fleet again just last year. And what about the deal on using and enlarging some of the seven military bases in Columbia; the cocaine capital of the world, and good friends with the USA! Just for Venezuela? The Amerikan military admits that with the bases in Columbia they can strike anywhere in South America and the Caribbean. Who’s being naive now? I sympathize with you on your point about the gov. taking everything when you left. What would you have done if you were part of a new gov. who fought and won independence from a dictator, and was now watching some of your people leaving as quickly as they can? I know I would be disillusioned and angered by their departure, and you bet I wouldn’t let them leave with much. Why should I? And yes, during these times I am sure many honest Cubans were screwed by the new regime. That’s what happens when a people revolt against their oppressors. Some are more radical than others and react cruelly. That doesn’t lessen the historical event, nor exonerate those that participated in such acts.
    And when you talk about human rights, and I’m sure there are violations in Cuba. Have you ever heard of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of
    Indigenous Peoples. 143 nations signed it. Guess what four countries have not and will not sign it. USA Canada Australia, and New Zealand. You want to talk about human rights violations? It happens every day in America, to the native population, the black population, the mexican people, and now because of 9/11 (which is another story) the arab population, even though they mostly all are naturalized American citizens. In Canada, we are third class “citizens” and live on “reserves” We are called lazy bums and terrorized daily here in Canada, with confiscation of our lands happening regularly. Right now the Olympics are being held not too far from me. Between our “reserve” and the Olympic venues the Canadian gov. has stationed 15000 troops, in case we get out of hand. They have put dozens under arrest and many more under house arrest for the duration of the games, because we might protest the games on our lands, and that won’t look good on international tv. Helicopters fly over our heads by the hour, military helicopters. So, yes there are human rights violations everywhere on this planet, by every form of government. The Declaration was signed by Cuba. The nomeklatura went back to the soviet union in the eighties And Cuba was independent after the revolution, but Amerika passed on the chance to help the new independent country realize her dream, and hence drove her to the communist camp.
    To robolucion: I am not a communist (by your description) But as usual when right wing people are assailed with logical arguments that might forward the discussion, they jump up and call you a communist. It is easier.

  66. Follow up post #66 added on February 21, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    Portage kid, I do not understand your point. If US is exporting 9% of the Cuba’s imports yearly that is definitely significant, firstly because lot of people is talking and talking about the embargo, and it shows that there is no such embargo and secondly because is among the 10 largest commercial partners of Cuba, at some point was the third.

    I’m sure that the US is not interested in invading Cuba, for one simple reason, if they were, they probably would be there by now as they were in 1898. To say that the US is expanding the bases in Colombia to invade Cuba is dumb and kind of pure paranoia. Is much closer to attack Cuba from Florida than from Colombia, put aside of the logistics of the issue.

    You said: “.......watching some of your people leaving as quickly as they can? I know I would be disillusioned and angered by their departure, and you bet I wouldn’t let them leave with much. Why should I?”

    I guess If you are ok with the new government (Castro) taking everything from the Cubans, you should be ok with the US and Canadian governments taking the lands from the Indians, nothing wrong with that Indians were running away as quickly as they could. Why should the US and Canadian governments left them the lands if they run away?

    Obviously Cuba would sign anything in the UN, they actually signed the Human Rights declaration, and violate the human rights every single day, do you remember freedom of expression, freedom of movement, etc. Even to mention them is prohibited in Cuba, the words human rights are considered bad words in Cuba.

    You say that human rights are violated in US and Canada, I do not know about it, I would divert a little bit of the conversation about Cuba to say that I live in Canada and surely not everything is perfect but I have not seen any human rights violated here during the years that I have lived in Canada.
    I do not feel that you are Communist, again if you know a little bit there is no Comunism or Socialism in Cuba. Cuba is a military dictatorship, and if you favor Castro then you are Castrist.

  67. Follow up post #67 added on February 22, 2010 by theportagekid with 35 total posts

    We did not run away, you did! We are fighting on our home turf, you are not. They slaughtered us by the thousands and buggered our children in
    “Residential Schools” Open a book on the subject. If you think that Amerika is such a benevolent country then you are dangerously mis-guided. Canada does what Amerika tells us to do. If you haven’t seen any human rights violations here and you say you are living in Canada then you must be living in a basement, cut off from the real world. Check out some of the reserves (communities with gates and fences) The US tried to invade in 1963 Bay of Pigs, remember? And Cubans are not stealing Cuban lands. That is an impossibility. Again you wander off; the US bases in Columbia are being used to intimidate the Southern Hemisphere, and I wonder who the biggest “threat” to Yanqui power is in this region?  Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, and any other country that has “socialist” leanings. Why the hell do you think Zelaya was tossed out of Honduras? Did Amerika do anything to oppose this illegal usurping of an elected gov? And don’t forget Haiti; now here’s a real threat to Amerika. They got rid of Aristide twice! Wake up? And. finally, there is the Socialist Party of Canada , the New Democratic Party(NDP) quasi-socialist, the Canadian Communist Party, The Canadian Action Party, a quasi-socialist party and probably more I am not familiar with.
    Get out of the basement and go out into the streets of Canada or an “Indian” reserve, and tell me you don’t see racism. Freedom of expression and movement are fictitious cruel illusions for us in this country. Now you know about it

  68. Follow up post #68 added on February 22, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    Portagekid, get a History book, the US did not invade Cuba in 1963 (Bay of Pigs) were actually Cubans that prepared, pay and participated on that invasion. The fact that the US (President Kennedy) did not want to participate was why it failed. I told you if the US were interested in invading Cuba they would be there by now.

    I hate to respond with the same but I’m tire of your insults. Yes some of us run out of Cuba, like most of you also run when the US troops were taking your lands, that you are still fighting, unless verbally I’m not so sure of that. For the record, we are also fighting, I consider this my fighting, telling everybody that want to heard it the truth about Cuba, refuting the so many lies that you describe of a country that you obviously don’t know.

    I travel continuously across Canada, the US and around the world; I have visited lot of Canada. I actually was recently in Vancouver and the government reinforced the security to avoid any terrorist act but that’s about it.

    I do not feel that US or Canada are benevolent countries, they have been good to me and my family but I accept that there are many things that can be improved.

    I have been in some reserves and they have been in deplorable conditions, why? because they do not repair the houses and keep the places clean. Houses that were actually built by the government. I have see some subtle signs of racism in Canada, but the fact is that racism is illegal and people has been jailed for it. I also has seen that there are a bunch of programs to make the life of the aboriginals better, a lot of programs that are only made especially for aboriginals which the rest of Canadians cannot enjoy, for instance you get free medical drugs while the rest of Canadians don’t. But still you feel that is not sufficient. I have seen reserves where the majority of the people are in welfare because they do not want to work, out of them many are on drugs etc. Is that the fault of the Canadian government too? Reserves are independent; you should concentrate on your own business and do something and stop blaming others.

    Now Zelaya was tossed out of Honduras by the US?? come on you should know a little bit better. The US bases in Colombia (not Columbia) are to fight the drug traffickers. Thousands of tons of those drugs end up on Indian reserves. You should be happy that they are trying to get rid of the drugs. But people like you only complain, if there is no rain because there is no rain and if there is rain because there is to much rain, exactly like Castro, probably that’s why you like him so much.

  69. Follow up post #69 added on February 22, 2010 by theportagekid with 35 total posts

    You’re assumptions leave me with no other comments except that you are brain-dead, or washed. I will toss some tobacco on the ceremonial fire for you in the hopes you will see the truth one day.

  70. Follow up post #70 added on February 22, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    Yeah right!! That’s what people say when they do not have an answer.

  71. Follow up post #71 added on March 02, 2010 by GodBlessAmerica with 8 total posts

    The one thing MiamiCuban FAILS to point out is the reason the U.S.A. is in such financial woes is because we GIVE away BILLONS of dollars a year to piss hole countrie like Cuba. If The U.S. gave NO aide to ANY country and just helped our own the word deficit would not appear in the English language.

  72. Follow up post #72 added on March 02, 2010 by GodBlessAmerica with 8 total posts

    This is for pipefitter’s #11 comment.

    I agree with you totally. Cuba should change from Communisim to Capitalism.

  73. Follow up post #73 added on March 03, 2010 by MiamiCuban with 87 total posts

    GBA is totally clueless.  First of all, the U.S. doesn’t “give away” billions of dollars to anyone, and least of all to Cuba.  We lend money, and with many strings attached.  And if we’re now undergoing “financial woes” it’s because as a nation we’ve acquired a lifestyle that we were never going to be able to support over the long haul.  If it weren’t for credit keeping families and businesses afloat, we would have gone under already.  We need to stop pointing the finger at everyone else and just wize up to the fact that it’s time to tend to our own sinking ship.  Let everyone else figure out their own path.

  74. Follow up post #74 added on March 09, 2010 by GodBlessAmerica with 8 total posts

    Oh really, then explain to me how you “lend” food.

    The people that are floating their lifestyle with credit get exactly what they deserve. I live well below my means, which is something that the government has not learned to do.

    Where is the payback for all these “loans”?

  75. Follow up post #75 added on March 09, 2010 by PDM with 12 total posts

    Historically, Cuba does not payback loans/debt; they convert the debt on maturity to perpetual, subordinate, non-voting, non-cumulative equity/shares.

  76. Follow up post #76 added on March 09, 2010 by theportagekid with 35 total posts

    I agree with pipefitter’s #11 comment also, although I would not go the “capitalist” route, for the obvious pitfalls that we read about in the wall street journal everyday; ie, graft,corruption and pocket lining for the few in charge etc.
    A more socialist approach would work better and spread the wealth, something “capitalism” is totally devoid of, unless you are standing under the table and able to win the scuffle for some of the crumbs that spill off. GBA You don’t lend any money to Cuba, and as Miamicuban said, stop over-indulging at home while the world flounders.
    To say that if USA stopped “giving money away” the word deficit wouldn’t appear in the english language, is naive, to say the least. GBA: there is no payback for these “loans” That’s the “magic” of capitalism. Just push the costs over to the taxpayer

  77. Follow up post #77 added on March 10, 2010 by GodBlessAmerica with 8 total posts

    So you both PROVE my point which was the U.S. “gives” money to piss hole countries and the tax payers of this country have to foot the bill with nothing to show in return!

    The problem with socialism is that when you have more looters and moochers than producers you have no wealth to spread around. Everyone is equally POOR which does not help ANYONE.

  78. Follow up post #78 added on March 10, 2010 by pipefitter with 275 total posts

    Here is some interesting news originating from Reuters, about the Cuban economy made by the minister of the economy, Marino Murillo. http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/2660832/story.html

  79. Follow up post #79 added on March 10, 2010 by MiamiCuban with 87 total posts

    This article coincides with previous comments I’ve made on this journal that we just might see small business flourish in Cuba.  Folks, there’s a happy middle ground between Communism and Capitalism that could work best for the greatest number of people. 

    To GodBlessAmerica:  People aren’t born “looters and moochers” as you put it.  These are the marginalized from day ONE….those who fall through the cracks of economic models that prey on the weak and favor a select few.  The Hollywood-style “rags to riches” stories are not the norm.  And as for taxpayers footing the bill, true…..but where do you think the money ultimately goes?  It goes upward.  Yup, it flushes upward and “trickles down.”

  80. Follow up post #80 added on March 10, 2010 by jmw1 with 62 total posts

    Interesting article.
    Clearly, the upper levels of government are ready and willing to implement desparately needed change. With Fidel entering his ‘second childhood’ and Raul somewhat a ‘softee’, the snowball effect may become an avalanche of sweeping reform.
    Note;  Murillo told armed forces and Interior Ministry officials in January “the gigantic paternalistic state can no longer be, because there is no longer any way to maintain it,” according to a Communist party source

    Murillo is bravely speaking out against the government (Fidel)

  81. Follow up post #81 added on March 10, 2010 by jmw1 with 62 total posts

    Small business has been flourishing a long time in Cuba, it’s called the black market.

  82. Follow up post #82 added on March 10, 2010 by GodBlessAmerica with 8 total posts

    PLEASE show me where I said people were “born” looters and moochers? That is a learned behavior.

    The following is from the article that you posted!
    “Cuba’s economy minister is pushing for less state intervention in one of the world’s last Soviet-style economies, saying the government can no longer afford its all-encompassing control and paternalism, Communist party sources say”

    Which once again PROVES my point, You cannot keep taking from the producers and giving to the moochers. Moochers are this way because the looters take care of them in return for their vote. Moochers just hold out their hands and wait for the looters to put something in it. The only way to break this LEARNED behavior is to make EVERYONE work for what they get! I know that WORK is a four letter word to liberals but according to the article the YOU posted, liberals better get used to it!

  83. Follow up post #83 added on March 10, 2010 by pipefitter with 275 total posts

    Here is another item reported today on the Cuban economy- nickel production. http://reuters.com/article/idUSN1012306520100310?type=marketsNews

  84. Follow up post #84 added on March 10, 2010 by jmw1 with 62 total posts

    Mr GBA,
    There are two types of people in this world, which one are you?
    Producer or non-producer?

    My guess is non-producer, the producers of this world just get on with it.
    Non-producers just complain all the time…...

  85. Follow up post #85 added on March 10, 2010 by MiamiCuban with 87 total posts

    GBA, where in the world did you get the notion that liberals are opposed to the word “work?”  This is the kind of misguided thinking that keeps so many people ignorant with respect to Cuba.

  86. Follow up post #86 added on March 10, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    Murillo may have told the armed forces and Interior Ministry officials “the gigantic paternalistic state can no longer be, because there is no longer any way to maintain it,” but he said so because he was told to do so by either Fidel or Raul Castro. Every single word has been carefully studied, that is what the Castro propaganda machine is all about.
    Murillo is NOT speaking out against the government (Fidel). Keep in mind that in comparison with Lage, Murillo was nobody. The day Murillo say something against Fidel or Raul Castro is his last day on the job.
    You obviously have read about it but have no idea of the interiorities of the system in Cuba.
    By the way “producers of this world just get on with it” ? is that the idea you have about the producers. Hopefully the world would not follow you because otherwise we would be all slaves by now.
    Producers are innovative and continuously push for changes. All the great producers in history had fought hard against people like you that “just get on with the current”.

  87. Follow up post #87 added on March 10, 2010 by pipefitter with 275 total posts

    Yeyo, if you were keeping up with the evolution going on in Cuba instead of always being so pesaimistic about your own people all the time, you could see that there is pressure from various places trying to change Cuba for the better. There is no reason why Socialist Cuba can’t embrace change and Murillo obviously spoke out to fortify the pressure for change to improve the Socialist system not to install Capitalism again. I told you before you can see in Cartas A La Direccion in Granma and many other places there is a lot of pressure for change. Obviously Raul looks to be in favor of this change but want’s to do it in an experimental way to see how it goes. Murillo was in the armed forces and I would guess closely allied with Raul in his thinking. Small buisiness schould not be under state central control, they schould be particular, pay taxes etc. and others schould be co-ops run by the employees like in the Mondragon experiment in Spain. the state schould only be involved in large complex industry and services.

  88. Follow up post #88 added on March 10, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts


    you keep talking like a capitalist and you’ll be a “persona non grata” in Cuba.

    You know Fidel would never approve of such “radical” thinking.

    Cuba consulting services

  89. Follow up post #89 added on March 10, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    Pipefitter, you the pro-Castro crow are always very “optimistic” about every single word the Commander in chief let you have.
    Once again that shows that being in Cuba few times or even having pork with the family in oriente is no change for expending your life in Cuba and knowing the inside and outs of the system.
    I agree that small business should not belong to the goverment and the whole Mondragon experiment. But now not in 20 more years, because that is only lengthening the suffering and the misery of the average Cubans.
    That is what Fidel and Raul Castro are masters at, they drop a gossip in the streets and let the whole thing ballooning, so you can later realize that it was only that a gossip. Do you want to go back to your post prior Raul taking the President position? You would see how you and Marek and few more Castro loving anti human rights activist were all hoping that Raul Castro “would change everything and things would be better now”. Ok two years later Cuba is worst than before.
    I’m not pessimist, I’m realist, the fact is that they has been “democratically elected” consecutively for the last 50 years, do you feel that they would allow anybody to change that.
    There is a one big problem in Cuba, get rid of it and you would solve all the small problems at once.
    By the way, I do not know if you know that there is no Socialism in Cuba, read Karl Marx.

  90. Follow up post #90 added on March 10, 2010 by pipefitter with 275 total posts

    Pub, that is not Capitalism that is just making Socialism work. Even comunists and Socialists have dared to talk about these things in and outside of Cuba without persecution. You may think that there is nothing better than Capitalism but I am sure that there is, it just hasn’t been tried yet. So, lets see if Cuba has the Cohones to try it.
    You said before that Fidel is out of control of his faculties yet you still try to make out he is still in control.

  91. Follow up post #91 added on March 10, 2010 by theportagekid with 35 total posts

    GBA” Again, USA DOES NOT give any money to Cuba, period! And the problem is not with socialism, but moochers and scam artists that run rampant within every political system, especially a capitalist one. And, pub. thank goodness somebody has enough influence in some tiny part of this world to stop “capitalism” in it’s tracks. Take a look at this planet and wonder what good capitalism has done for mother earth. Absolutely nothing except speed her demise. All other species of life co-exist in a socialist society. All except humans, who, because we have the “gift of imagination” have created a new system of co-existence amongst ourselves. Capitalism, where the rich get richer and stay rich, the poor get poorer, including the middle class, now in the 21st century, the corporations pay little or no taxes and all costs are passed on to all the working people, suits and coveralls. Such a system over time will inevitably fail because it is not sustainable. You can’t keep taking out and not put back in without the eventual “empty cookie jar”  Do the math.
    As for Yeyo…well…let’s hope the tobacco smoke from the ceremonial fire wafts his way one day

  92. Follow up post #92 added on March 11, 2010 by jmw1 with 62 total posts

    Funny how the Cuban government deem it necessary to conduct ‘experiments’ to ‘see how it goes’ for a capitalist free market economy.
    Experiments in communism are clear for all the world to see, the end result is failure.
    The whole world knows capitalism works, it’s not perfect but it’s the best we have.
    Socialist governments are slowly destroying capitalism with the ever expanding welfare state and more ‘something for nothing’ dependants.
    Business creates jobs, not government.

  93. Follow up post #93 added on March 11, 2010 by MiamiCuban with 87 total posts

    If “the whole world knows that capitalism works” then why have we been seeing an increasing number of leftist leaders being elected to office?  It seems more like the world is waking up to the fact that the poor are getting poorer, the rich richer, and the middle class is disappearing.  Actually, what we have is no longer Capitalism, but Corporatism.  Corporations now own the government, so expect to see more and more legislation that will serve their own interests, not ours.  This is hardly what the founding fathers had in mind when government was supposed to be of, by and FOR the people.  Ever wonder what Washington and Lincoln and the others would think about all this?  Capitalism has given way to a merger between government and corporations, and that’s a dangerous thing.

  94. Follow up post #94 added on March 11, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    “Capitalism has given way to a merger between government and corporations, and that’s a dangerous thing.”

    Castro’s Communism has given way to a TAKEOVER by government of corporations. And that’s not dangerous.

    Sometimes MiamiCuban I think you just like to say stupid stuff that you really don’t believe.

    Cuba consulting services

  95. Follow up post #95 added on March 11, 2010 by MiamiCuban with 87 total posts

    Publisher, why are you always stuck in the past?  At least Cuba is moving in the right direction, away from previous mistakes and towards something that will help them.  We, on the other hand, are moving in an entirely wrong direction, one that takes us away from democratic principles.

  96. Follow up post #96 added on March 11, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Stuck in the past?

    Is that somehow your reply to my statement of fact that the Cuban government owns ALL corporations in Cuba?

    You say everything as though it is a fact when in fact your love of Communism and hatred for the US clouds your “facts”.

    You make ridiculous statements then deflect or change the subject when you are wrong.

    I honestly don’t understand how you function in day to day life.

    Cuba consulting services

  97. Follow up post #97 added on March 11, 2010 by MiamiCuban with 87 total posts

    Publisher, you’re very funny.  I have nothing else to add.

  98. Follow up post #98 added on March 11, 2010 by pipefitter with 275 total posts

    Pub, “owns all corporations in Cuba” now think about that Pub, I don’t think that is qute true is it? There are quite a few corporations working in Cuba that are jointly owned and run, not owned solely by the Cuban government.

  99. Follow up post #99 added on March 11, 2010 by manfredz with 464 total posts

    but if i understand correctly, teh Cuban govt will own at least 51%.

  100. Follow up post #100 added on March 11, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Oh, excuse me… Is this a more correct statement?

    the Cuban government owns (or has ownership interest in) ALL corporations in Cuba.

    How’s that? More factual for you?

    Cuba consulting services

  101. Follow up post #101 added on March 11, 2010 by pipefitter with 275 total posts

    No Pub, you still haven’t got it right. The foreign Corporations operating in Cuba are obviously not owned by the Cuban government. The joint venture or project, if you do some research, you will find that the percentages vary from project to project. In some Cuba owns more than 50%, some Cuba owns as little as 40% depending on the project. The new hotel going to be built in Havana (joint venture Cuba-China) for example, the Chinese will own 51%, Cuba 49%.

  102. Follow up post #102 added on March 11, 2010 by theportagekid with 35 total posts

    Pub: Take a look at China, and then eat your words vis-a-vis communism’s takeover of corporations and “toying” with capitalism.! Wake up, for your own sake if not the reading public

  103. Follow up post #103 added on March 12, 2010 by jmw1 with 62 total posts

    Note; a new Cuban website is up and running;


    http://www.revolico.com is back in full operation.

    Mercado negro now has two excellent portals

  104. Follow up post #104 added on March 15, 2010 by GodBlessAmerica with 8 total posts

    The government controls well over 90 percent of the economy and heavily subsidizes all aspects of life while paying an average salary of about $20 a month. Cubans get free health care and education, and usually pay next-to-nothing for housing and utilities.

    Now the above is a direct quote from the above article. Do I need to say anymore.

    I don’t know about you but my standard of living is just a tad above $20 a month.

    And by the way TPK if you “loan” someone something and they don’t pay it back it is a gift whether you like it or not. Socialism is an ENTIRE collective of moochers, that is why they are only making $20 a month. Nobody does any work. They just wait on the looters to mail them a check, this is why Socialism can’t work because sooner or later you run out of producers to take money from!

    MiamiC. The reason we see “leftist” leaders elected is because the moochers have figured out that if they elect enough looters they can sit on their front porch that is paid for by producers, eating their food that is provided by producers and wait on their money that is taken from producers by looters and given to them.

  105. Follow up post #105 added on March 15, 2010 by MiamiCuban with 87 total posts

    GBA, regarding your last comment, it reminds me of what I observed on my trips to Cuba and it was this:  Those who support the system tend to be very hard-working people who also happen to see their work as a positive and as a contribution to the society.  They seem to understand the symbiotic relationship between “give and take.”  In contrast, the “moochers” as you call them are basically lazy and try to do as little work as possible——these also happened to be the people who openly do NOT support the system. They throw trash on the street and destroy public property and think nothing of it but run to the doctor for their free medical care when they’re sick.  These are the people who are draining the system because they take and give nothing back.  I don’t think it constitutes the majority (someone please correct me if I’m wrong), but there are many from what I saw.

  106. Follow up post #106 added on March 15, 2010 by GodBlessAmerica with 8 total posts

    MC I couldn’t agree with you more! The people that get the most care the least!

  107. Follow up post #107 added on March 15, 2010 by MiamiCuban with 87 total posts

    But how do you account for the fact that many DO appreciate and value the free education and healthcare and other government programs?
    The problem isn’t that government-run programs turn people into moochers; some people are lazy no matter what, whether in Cuba or in the U.S.

  108. Follow up post #108 added on March 15, 2010 by pipefitter with 275 total posts

    GBA, you compare yourself with someone in Cuba making $440.00 pesos a month, I wasn’t aware that you were living in a third world country. How much do you pay for medical insurance, rent, morgage, dental, education, electricity, house insurance, water, property tax, gas, natural gas, income tax, etc. etc etc. You can’t compare the two countries, apples and oranges.

  109. Follow up post #109 added on March 16, 2010 by salud, paz y prosperidad with 1 total posts

    Yeyo, with all due respect. I´m Cuban and I think theportagekid is right.

  110. Follow up post #110 added on March 16, 2010 by theportagekid with 35 total posts

    “Capitalism has given way to a merger between government and corporations, and that’s a dangerous thing.” says publisher -post#94
    If you want to call what has happened to the co-operation between gov. and business just in the last 10 years as a “merger” then you are not following current events in the USA; ie. mega-billion $ give-away to the pharmaceutical “cabal” yesterday by extending copyright rules on drugs for 12 years, thereby preventing generic companies from producing cheaper costing drugs, again, for the American working family,just to pass a health care bill that does absolutely nothing for the average working and tax paying American, never mind the fact that the Health Insurance “Gang of Thieves” have already informed the public (American taxpayer) that their rates will be increased by at least 15% this year alone. It is, rather, a “TAKEOVER of Government by Corporations.” They spent over $700,000US a day fighting these bills through their lobbyists for a total of $200millionUS! Guess where most of the cash went”...Senators!
    GBA post #104
    [The reason we see “leftist” leaders elected is because the moochers have figured out that if they elect enough looters they can sit on their front porch that is paid for by producers, eating their food that is provided by producers and wait on their money that is taken from producers by looters and given to them.]
    So what you are saying is that most of the people of most South American
    nations are moochers, as the “leftist” leaders have been and are being elected with huge majorities.I have to question your logic on that one or perhaps your feelings on this reality. Now that the majority of the populations in these countries can now vote “democratically”, where in the recent past and beyond, the indigenous people and so-called “lower class” people were chased away from the polling stations(should they dare to venture near one), of course they are going to opt for a new form of government where they can participate and where there is a chance to improve one’s lot. The other ones did nothing for them. Now education is available to them, free; health. free
    housing a lot cheaper than the capitalist society. And, as pipefitter said (P#108) you cannot compare the two.

  111. Follow up post #111 added on March 17, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts


    “Capitalism has given way to a merger between government and corporations, and that’s a dangerous thing.” says publisher -post#94

    Just to be clear, I was quoting MiamiCuban in #93.

    Cuba consulting services

  112. Follow up post #112 added on March 17, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    Funny how people talk about free education and health care in Cuba. There is no such thing. Cubans are paying for it when they get their miserable salaries. Additionally one thing is to talk about it and another to know the matter.
    The “free education” was a beautiful idea in the 60’s but now days has suffered a metamorphosis into a system of dilapidated schools, smelly washrooms, with non well trained and underpaid teachers. Most schools have opted for giving classes by TV because of the lack of teachers, so you get a bunch of kids with a TV in front of them and many times they just slip. Overpopulated classrooms (up to 75 students in a classroom).
    Pretty much the same scenario with the “free health care” dilapidated and dirty hospitals with smelly washrooms that you cannot enter. In the ‘world’s health potency” there is lack of doctors. Some of the Doctors have chosen to work as waiters to make some money. There are Cuban doctors in Haiti, Bolivia,  Venezuela and in the most remote places around the world but not in Cuba. Cubans has to wait longer than the Venezuelans to see a Cuban doctor. Still Castro announced layoff on the health system because there are too much people on the Health system.

  113. Follow up post #113 added on March 17, 2010 by MiamiCuban with 87 total posts

    Yeyo, much of what you say above sounds similar to what you would find in a classroom in a run-down neighborhood in the U.S.  (i.e. dilapidated schools, smelly washrooms, underpaid teachers, etc…).  Perhaps you didn’t know that teachers in a Miami elementary school had to protest when the free lunch for students was under threat due to shortage of money.  The teachers claimed that many of their students counted on those lunches as their one solid meal in the day.  My point is not to criticize the U.S., but that we should stop picking on Cuba as if their problems are unique in the world.  As for your comments on healthcare, I went to a hospital in Pinar del Rio….pretty remote place…..and it wasn’t half as bad as you claim.  It’s the continuous spreading of lies and exaggerations that do the most damage to Cuba.  Let’s be fair, okay?  Paradise, it is not.  But neither is any other country for that matter.

  114. Follow up post #114 added on March 17, 2010 by pipefitter with 275 total posts

    Good comment Miamicuban, Yeyo, Pub, and Paul Balart all have a tendency to trash Cuba all the time by exageration.

  115. Follow up post #115 added on March 17, 2010 by MiamiCuban with 87 total posts

    Pipefitter, it’s up to the few of us to sprinkle a little truth around in order to offset the endless barage of lies and distortions.  Most people are “blue pill” takers.

  116. Follow up post #116 added on March 17, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    MiamiCuban says “Let’s be fair, okay?”


    May you don’t know this but people in Cuba are not free and they cannot elect their leaders.

    So, comparing the US and Cuba are apples and oranges but you know that.

    and “it’s up to the few of us to sprinkle a little truth around in order to offset the endless barage of lies and distortions.  Most people are “blue pill” takers.”?

    Again, you are just too funny. EVERYTHING you say is about yourself. I don’t understand how you don’t see that.

    Cuba consulting services

  117. Follow up post #117 added on March 17, 2010 by MiamiCuban with 87 total posts

    Publisher says, “...people in Cuba are not free and they cannot elect their leaders.”

    You’re always coming up with something new out of the blue.  But since you brought it up…...

    I don’t know the inner workings of Cuba’s system because I don’t live there.  But what I CAN say is that in the U.S. we supposedly “elect” our leaders, but what’s the point in that if they still have to do the bidding of the corporations?  The people of the United States want healthcare reform, but the pharmaceutical companies won’t allow it.  Face it….what we have is a facade…we’re all just being hoodwinked.

  118. Follow up post #118 added on March 17, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    MiamiCuban or should I say MiamiCastro, I just returned from Miami where I have lot of family and friends across all the political spectrum.
    Your Miami dilapidated schools are 5 star hotels compared to the school that I attended in Cuba. I attended Saul Delgado High School which is one of the most emblematic high schools in Cuba but still is completely dilapidated and the washroom smell can be perceived before entering the building. The rest of the schools are only worst.
    Free lunch for elementary schools in Miami?? Really? Well in Cuba some kids get some sort of “sancocho” (animal food) that nobody can eat, it has actually changed over the years as has changed everything in Cuba but for worst.
    The hospitals are not that bad. Really?? I guess from your point of view they can be even worse. Any comparison to the hospitals in the US or Canada? By the way I favor one single payer health care system like in Canada which in my opinion works pretty well.
    I’m not picking on Cuba!!! I’m simply criticizing what I feel is wrong in Cuba and fortunately I’m in a free country and can do it freely not like the white ladies that were harassed and abused today during a peaceful demonstration in Cuba. But I know that you are ok with that.

  119. Follow up post #119 added on March 17, 2010 by MiamiCuban with 87 total posts

    Yeyo, linking the words “animal food” in the same sentence that references what Cuban children eat is just another propagandist way of painting a distorted view of Cuba.  People can make the mistake of thinking that you are actually inferring that children are being fed animal food. 

    And “sancocho” by the way, for those of you who don’t know, is a stew of meat and vegetables (my mother still makes it to this day).  There is no negative connotation associated.

  120. Follow up post #120 added on March 17, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    MiamiCastro, you may be from Miami but you are not Cuban.
    Ask your mom (if she is from Cuba) what is Sancocho. If you call sancocho an stew of meat and vegetables neither you or your family are from Cuba. For those of you that don’t know in Cuba Sancocho is the animal food that is fed to the porks and obviously have a negative connotation.
    I know that in other Latin American countries Sanchocho is a dish but not in Cuba. Not knowing such a simple thing about Cuba shows that you have completely mixed up your opinions about Cuba and the Cubans.
    Enjoy your Cuban sancocho.

  121. Follow up post #121 added on March 17, 2010 by pipefitter with 275 total posts

    Sancocho is a sort of stew dish in a lot of South American countries but in Cuba it is used to describe leftovers. I guess Yeyo doesn’t eat leftovers in Canada.

  122. Follow up post #122 added on March 17, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    Sancocho is not simply leftovers but it is the kind of lefovers that is no longer consumed by humans and is given to the porks. Just to give you an idea in Cuba when something smell bad people refer to it as “...that smells like the sancocho truck…”.
    If you were refering to that no we do not eat sanchocho.

  123. Follow up post #123 added on March 18, 2010 by MiamiCuban with 87 total posts

    I grew up around Puerto Ricans, and for them sancocho is a stew, a delicious food that my Cuban mother learned to make and which I often associate with “ajiaco” (which is entirely Cuban).  Sorry if I got the words mixed up.

  124. Follow up post #124 added on March 18, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    Now I can understand why you can not see the violations of the human rights in Cuba.

  125. Follow up post #125 added on March 21, 2010 by GodBlessAmerica with 8 total posts

    This is to post #107. I agree with you completely but the problem is the more you give people the less they appreciate it, and that is the biggest problem any culture faces

    To post #108. I am not comparing myself. I am saying that I could not enjoy life on $20 a month if EVERYTHING I had was given to me. How about if you wanted to go out to eat, go mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing, skiing, does the government pay for all these things as well. You seem to be forgetting a small equation of life and that is the FUN part. How can you have fun on $20 a month. Who in their right mind wants to go to work for 8-10 hrs. a day and then go home and just sit???

    To post #110. You misunderstood my post. I was referring to leftist leaders in AMERICA. Most South American countries do not have free elections. They call them free but they are really well orchestrated shows to make people think they are having a vote. And as far as the pharmaceutical companies go, the government MAKES them spend millions on R & D plus the money they spend on advertising.  I don’t think that it is fair that one company spends all off this money then another company can come in and make the same drug with no R & D and make the same amount of money!

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