http://havanajournal.com/cuban_americans/entry/self-congratulatory-cuban-exiles-claim-success-of-anti-castro-campaign/

HavanaJournal.com: Cuban Americans

Self congratulatory Cuban exiles claim success of anti-Castro campaign

Posted August 02, 2007 by publisher in Cuban Americans.
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Exiles say civil resistance in Cuba is a success

BY ANDRES AMERIKANER | Miami Herald

Chalk it up to Fidel Castro’s illness, to economic struggles or to spontaneous unrest, but Cuban exiles in Miami say their one-year campaign to encourage civil resistance on the island has been a success.

‘‘The campaign has taken off,’’ said Orlando Gutiérrez, national secretary of the 200-member Directorio Democrático Cubano, or Cuban Democracy Directory, in a news conference Wednesday. ``The struggle increasingly has public support.’‘

Last year, 10 Miami-based exile groups came together to start broadcasting television, radio and online ads featuring well-known Cuban exile artists to the island. Fliers and bumper stickers were distributed. Short ads starring artists such as Jon Secada and—most recently—singer Amaury Gutiérrez and TV personality Boncó Quiñongo were aired.

The objective: To get Cubans to stop cooperating with their government, Gutiérrez said.

‘‘The regime can’t handle the idle arms of 12 million Cubans,’’ he said. ``If we all unite in noncooperation, we’re going to achieve change.’‘

The groups provided dozens of examples, many from independent journalists inside Cuba, of civic resistance in the past year. For example, a sticker with the word ‘‘change’’ placed on a bust of José Martí in Santa Clara in September 2006; a labor unionist who was arrested for handing out the group’s pamphlets in December 2006; and signs reading ‘‘down with Fidel,’’ ‘‘change’’ and ‘‘I do not cooperate with the dictatorship’’ seen in San José de las Lajas in Havana province in June.

Another indicator of success, Gutiérrez said, is Raúl Castro’s speech on July 26, in which he chided ‘‘social indiscipline’’ stemming from wage protests.

The campaign does not call for violent resistance, said Angel De Fana, director of Plantados Hasta La Libertad Y La Democracia En Cuba, a group that represents former political prisoners. Although all forms of civil disobedience are welcome, he said, they are aware that Cubans live in fear.

‘‘If we asked them for violence, they’d probably reject it,’’ said De Fana, who spent 20 years in a Cuban prison and arrived in Miami in 1984.

Still, leaders of the exile groups said the time is ripe for change on the island, and support in Miami is peaking.

De Fana said his organization’s events in the streets of Miami attract more cheers, screams of support and honking than ever before.

Gutiérrez said his group has received a large influx of members in their 20s.

‘‘I think the absence of Fidel has shaken up the regime,’’ Gutiérrez said of Fidel Castro’s illness and transfer of power to Raúl. ``This is an environment that has never been seen before.’‘

The groups will gather this Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at Southwest Eighth Street and Southwest 27th Avenue to pass out fliers and stickers about the campaign.

Member Comments

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On August 02, 2007, publisher wrote:

Of course their cause is noble but this article raises the usual red flags whenever I read about Cuban Americans saying that they are helping Cuban citizens.

“Last year, 10 Miami-based exile groups came together to start broadcasting television, radio and online ads featuring well-known Cuban exile artists to the island.” THAT NO ONE IN CUBA SAW.

“Fliers and bumper stickers were distributed.” TO EACH OTHER IN MIAMI

THEY OFFER DOZENS OF EXAMPLES BUT TELL US “a sticker with the word ‘’change’’ placed on a bust of José Martí in Santa Clara in September 2006”.

“a labor unionist who was arrested for handing out the group’s pamphlets in December 2006;” AND THIS IS LISTED AS A SUCCESS?

“De Fana said his organization’s events in the streets of Miami attract more cheers, screams of support and honking than ever before.” YOU’RE GREAT. NO. YOU’RE GREAT. NO YOU.

BOTTOM LINE: Either these “groups” already got money from USAID and need to justify it or they need like $10million so they can get a few more “change” stickers posted in Santa Clara.

Sounds like “change” is really in the air. Great idea but I am suspect of ALL stories like this. To me I believe it is more about the funding of the groups than the freedom of the Cuban people.

I would love to hear from Cuban Americans on this one.

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On August 02, 2007, publisher wrote:

One more thing, these groups should be operating silently especially after the 2003 crackdown where many dissents were put in jail with the charge of being associated with US backing (not that that should be a crime of course).

I don’t believe claiming success and basically outing the movement in Cuba was a good move. That’s why I titled prefaced the title with “self congratulatory”.

I’ll go one step further and make the claim that these groups are using the plight of the Cuban citizens just to get local, state and/or federal funding thereby exploiting their own people just to get money from the government.

Okay, no you can tear me apart.

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On August 02, 2007, Anatasio wrote:

Publisher:

While I see the rationale behind some of your points - this sentence doesn’t quite make sense to me:

“Of course their cause is noble but this article raises the usual red flags whenever I read about Cuban Americans saying that they are helping Cuban citizens.”

Why on Earth wouldn’t Cuban Americans want to be helping Cuban citizens? We’re all Cubans locked in the same struggle. Am I missing something here?

Also, the fliers of which the writer is speaking were distributed in Cuba, not here.

-Anatasio

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On August 02, 2007, publisher wrote:

Thanks. I did not read it that way that the flyers were distributed in Cuba. That is a big difference and (unfortunately) reason for fines and/or imprisonment. Why don’t they give more details about the number of flyers and areas? You would think they would be give more details since they are declaring this little victory.

Few details always make me suspicious.

I’m not saying that Cuban American’s don’t want to help Cuban citizens but this article screams to me that the Cuban Americans need or want money for their efforts.

Who’s backing this? Again, no details.

Too many holes in this story for me not to question it.

Since you know that the flyers were distributed in Cuba and not just in Miami as I read it, maybe you have more details on these efforts?

Sorry to be so cynical but I see lots of lop sided propaganda and self interest come out of Miami especially from the Diaz Balarts and Ros Lehtinen.

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On August 02, 2007, Anatasio wrote:

Where in this article does it scream that we want money for our efforts? This song and dance (no offense) is getting really old. Just because we want to be reunited with our families and end the dictatorship that has oppressed us for so long, we’re a bunch of evil vampiric nut jobs? This makes absolutely no sense. We support our brothers’ fight against the dictatorship because we love our homeland and our fellow countrymen. Is that so difficult to understand? Why is it that so many people need to concoct crazy conspiracy theories and crackpot schemes concerning Cubans? I don’t get it.

Who’s backing it? Cubans - is that not self evident?

Were Diaz Balart or Ros Lehtinen mentioned in this article? For crying out loud, this is just a simple piece on the liberation movement. Why does everything that comes out about Cuba have to be turned against the Cuban people?

Respectfully,

-Anatasio

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On August 02, 2007, publisher wrote:

Sorry to sound so cynical but this is the way I see it from my seat in Massachusetts without any Cuban heritage. So, I might represent most Americans’ view of Cuban exiles. Usually when I speak of Cuban exiles, I mean older ones from Mariel era and earlier.

The Cuban American community gets LOTS of money and wields a disproportionate power in Congress (recently with ros lehtinen killing a bill to ease trade restrictions by forcing a voice vote).

I get tired of millions of dollars spent on TV marti and all kinds of studies and the appearance of aiding dissidents when the failed Plan A Embargo is never considered to be a failure.

When does the Cuban American community agree that the 45 year old restriction on Americans’ freedoms is a failure?

Again, the idea is noble but give me a few more details than having a sticker placed on a statue. And, tell me where the funds are coming from. Tell me how much was spent to get that sticker on the statue.

Lastly, it’s not the news out of Cuba being turned against the Cuban people, it’s this propaganda coming out of Miami that I am questioning.

Are these organizations funded with US taxpayer money?

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On August 02, 2007, Cuban American wrote:

“This song and dance (no offense) is getting really old. Just because we want to be reunited with our families and end the dictatorship that has oppressed us for so long, we’re a bunch of evil vampiric nut jobs? This makes absolutely no sense. We support our brothers’ fight against the dictatorship because we love our homeland and our fellow countrymen. Is that so difficult to understand?”

Anatasio I couldn’t have said it any better.

With all due respect Mr. Publisher it gets really old this same old rant about everything being focused around money.  It seems that everytime we get excited about our efforts on the island and our communications with the dissents on the island, and there continueing push for democracy… we get blamed off the bat for it being all about money.  Can we not be excited about a push for democracy? Can we not aid our own homeland from which we were seperated thanks to a ruthless dictator?  We just want to see a free Cuba, and we want to see it for a different reason.  Americans just want to travel there and spend a nice vacation on the beach.  To us this isn’t a tourist attraction, it is our land, our culture that has been locked up for 48 years.  So forgive us for wanting to liberate that land and be able to see our families again.

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On August 02, 2007, publisher wrote:

If you want to see your families again I would suggest that you talk with the leaders in your community who influence US Cuba policy and reduced visits down to once every three years.

When the Cuban American community is willing to even DISCUSS a Plan B for getting rid of Castro, then I’ll cut your community some slack.

Of course I want freedom in Cuba and not just so I can go there or invest there. I genuinely want to see the Cuban people rewarded for the patience by getting high paying jobs whether it be in tourism, their own entrepreneurial start ups, real estate development, consulting foreigners, services etc.

I just hate propaganda and this story is just so lacking in details that it really stinks.

How come no one is defending these organizations by using words like “long standing”, “respected”, “privately funded” or anything like that.

Tell me more about these organizations, their funding and past successes.

I don’t mean to bash the entire Cuban American community.

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On August 02, 2007, Anatasio wrote:

Publisher,

I do see your point. Allow me to elaborate a bit. I for one have never agreed with this prohibition of individuals with family in Cuba from being able to visit family.

Now, that said - I do agree with many other elements of the embargo and the reason is simple. As a Cuban, I know that every dollar spent on the island by a tourist, or a foreign company, is going directly into the government’s pocket, being used to further oppress the population. This is an especially big catch-22 with foreign companies who use Cuban labor. While on the one hand - these Cuban employees NEED the jobs and the under-the-table money they often get from their foreign employers, one must realize how the Cuban government works the situation.

Foreign firms pay a decent market wage in foreign currency (say Canadian dollars) to the Cuban government for each worker. The Cuban government then pockets the VAST majority, giving the worker a paltry sum and lining the pockets of the government fat-cats. Case in point - I’ve met numerous folks in the military in Cuba who drive nice new Volkswagens and wear fine spiffy duds. Why? The brothers Castro were smart enough (God I hate to use that term) back in the 90’s when they opened the doors to mass tourism - to put tourism dollars under the control of the military, thereby ensuring loyalty through . . . well, bribes and kickbacks basically. It was a brilliant ploy but incredibly immoral.

This is why so many exiles hate to see their dollars ending up in Cuban govt. coffers. Every single one is used to buy another gun, buy another patrol car, pay the wage of another morally bankrupt soldiers, etc. . .

Anyhow, that’s the rationale - do with it what you will. I understand folks who have misgivings about it - I really do - but folks shouldn’t be presenting Cubans in a bad light simply because they don’t want their dollars lining the pockets of the government that has done so much to absolutely destroy the island, her economy, her wonderful people and beautiful culture.

Fact is - with regards to the topic of this thread - to get us back on track - many in the exile community are - I feel - frustrated nowadays - they just don’t know what to do to topple Fidel. All the old CIA ties are long dead, and every time someone gets the balls to mount an attempt at something against the brothers (not that I am necessarily condoning this sort of action), the FBI comes to screw them over.

Regards,

-Anatasio

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On August 02, 2007, manfredz wrote:

maybe i’m naive but i just see it as another attempt by cubans from the safety of american waters to stir the pot in cuba to bring confrontation between differnet elements, making a peaceful transition harder.
If teh majority of the cuban people want big time change 9and I believe they do0, they dont need help from american-cubans.

sorry if i offend, and am wrong, but thats the way i see it.

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On August 02, 2007, publisher wrote:

Anatasio,

A good post. You say “they just don’t know what to do to topple Fidel.”

Well, don’t Cuban Americans send about $1Billion dollars a year to their family members in Cuba? Then, the Cuban citizens buy stuff from the dollar stores that line the pockets of the Government. Although I would not be in favor of such an idea but what if remittances were no longer allowed?

If the Cuban American community thinks it is wise to support the restriction to visit family members then wouldn’t it be wise to cut off all remittances to family members too?

While we’re at at, maybe the wet foot dry foot policy serves as a pressure release valve allowing Cubans to flee rather than fight.

See all the problems I have with the failed Plan A Embargo? It fails because it is hypocritical.

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On August 02, 2007, Mako wrote:

“The campaign has taken off” ! ? This man is delusional; either that. or he was hitting the cerveza before this comment

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On August 03, 2007, Anatasio wrote:

Hi publisher -

I fear you’re missing the point - we are ALL Cuban - whether we live on or off the island. The vast majority of exiles never WANTED to leave their beloved homeland - they often had no choice. This is obviously particularly true with the early wave of exiles but no less so with present day exiles who often simply cannot provide for their families under the present dictatorship and choose to pack them on rafts or win the visa lottery and move on until some day they can return. For whatever the reason, Cubans possess a deep seated love for that island - I kind of love I have rarely seen in other communities. Again, the fight of the exile and the fight of the “on-islander” is the same. We are one.

Best,

Anatasio

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On August 03, 2007, Anatasio wrote:

As far as problems leading to charges of hypocrisy - it’s true - it’s a very tough tightrope to walk. Those Cubans in exile certainly don’t want their family members to starve, yet they also don’t want to be financially enabling the government. You are correct - it’s a really difficult nut to crack!

-Anatasio

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On August 15, 2007, MiamiCuban wrote:

These Miami-based groups are struggling every way they can to make sure their funding doesn’t stop.  It’s over for them.  I was in Cuba last month and it was more apparent than ever that Cubans will defend their revolution and will continue forward with positive changes, peacefully, in their own way and their own time.

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On August 15, 2007, Anatasio wrote:

Huh? The only Cubans I know who will defend the revolution are the military - corrupted by tourism dollars that they control. As for the everyday population - well, in a word - the hate for Fidel felt by most is easily apparent - well, if they trust you enough to speak with you openly anyways.

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On August 15, 2007, publisher wrote:

Good point.

I just wrote this http://havanajournal.com/politics/entry/fidel-castro-is-dead-page-3-in-granma-prediction/ so maybe his death won’t even matter.

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On August 15, 2007, manfredz wrote:

mind you i’ve only been to cuba twice and most of my discussions with cubans have been quite surface talks,but with ones i got to know during the first visit we did get more beneath the surface I teh feeling I founf they had for fidel are anything but hate.  And think I did get some honest opinions because I can’t believe they’d be taking a chance with me talking about things they don’t like and tehn just tote the party line with reference to Fidel.
Mind you most people I talked to were in Varadero where the stores that sell to Cubans with Convertiible pesos are well stocked, and where many peope get rewarded hansomely in tips in CUC so this may not be representative of many others but still don’t think as polarized as anatasio states above ...
again , just one man’s opinion.

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On August 15, 2007, MiamiCuban wrote:

One thing to bear in mind is that the vast majority of Cubans who fled in recent years were those who left by raft in the 90’s——and this was Cuba’s worse period economically——meaning that they left mostly because of dire economic conditions.  Things have improved vastly since then, and this is something that pretty much everyone agreed on.  What they all want is to see the economy improve as far as transportation and the stocking of goods in the stores.  And believe me, they look upon the Miami Cuban politicians with much disdain and this only makes Castro more of a hero in their eyes.  This is just my opinion based on what I learned from talking to random people and also my family.

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On August 15, 2007, publisher wrote:

Interesting. I always wondered how new arrivals felt about the Miami Mafia and the Diaz Balarts of the world.

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On August 15, 2007, MiamiCuban wrote:

The dwindling support for the Balart brothers and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen speaks for itself….and it was only after much gerrymandering that they were able to get by with 59% of the vote in the last election.

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On August 15, 2007, manfredz wrote:

miamicuba ....
mind you i’m only a recent visitor to cuba, but from what i’ve found teh transportation in cuba has improved remendously (unfortunately that a relative term and not absolute)
from China, Cuba obtained 1000 Astro buses that are now being used in the interprovincial routes. 
Inner city transportation is supposed to be starting to improve as nwer urban buses are also being obtained.  As late as April this year thsi was not apparent yet - long lines of people hitchhiking and aiting for uses, buses still packed to the gills and of course the infamous camel buses still in use show thats either not moving yet or not far too little.
Rail travel is also supposed to be improving as supposedly newer locomotives and passenger cars are also supposd to be coming, but latest i’ve heard is that some long distance stretches are not being served by rail for now but by teh above mentioned astro buses.
Like everything else, do you want to measure how far its come or how far you still have to go.
Can’t comment on the food situation too much.  Did see a farmers market in Matanzas that had a lot to offer but the prices seemed to make buying there beyond the scope of many (if not most) Cubans.  And if when I was there was representative - most people seemed to be doing more looing than buying…..

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On August 15, 2007, publisher wrote:

I like this line…

Like everything else, do you want to measure how far its come or how far you still have to go.

Cuba has been falling behind so they have a lot of catching up to do. They have come along way since the early 1990’s but that was pretty much a completely bankrupt society. Now they are back to the 1960’s level of development.

Maybe someday the Cuban government will allow (perhaps even encourage) its people to join the 21st century and the global economy.

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On August 16, 2007, MiamiCuban wrote:

Manfredz:

I totally agree with your post.  That’s pretty much what I saw during my stay there.  Although transportation is not like what we have here (and the fact is that WE are wasteful when it comes to the use of energy and resources), Cubans do make the best of what they have and the bottom line is that they manage to get where they want to go.  What I found remarkable was how much they accomplish with so little.  For example, I also saw people standing under the bridges waiting for a ride; however, this, too is remedied because the state trucks are required to stop and pick up passengers.  I think we have much to learn from their society in terms of economizing and finding creative ways to cope with difficult situations, especially if the dangers of global warming and peak oil loom ahead.  As for food, Cubans may not have the variety we find in our supermarkets…..but they do eat and children don’t go to bed hungry.

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On August 16, 2007, publisher wrote:

MiamiCuban,

Don’t fall too much in love with the Cuban system especially if you are a believer in global warming. Cuba is a HUGE polluter and the fact the Cuban kids don’t go to bed hungry…that’s IN SPITE of the Cuban government.

Cuba has a lot to learn from us, not the other way around.

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On August 16, 2007, MiamiCuban wrote:

Publisher, can we say that BOTH countries can learn from each other?
As for Cuba being a “huge” polluter…..you’ll have to enlighten me on that one with a few facts and figures.  I traveled through three provinces and saw nothing but crystal clear rivers and beaches.  On one occasion I did see smoke at some plant or something, but it was nothing like what you would find in industrial cities like Detroit or Philadelphia.  Also, where we constantly throw away things and create huge mounds of trashm in Cuba they recycle and use and reuse the same thing in creative ways.  They also use natural pesticides, and this, too, helps to conserve the environment.  Perhaps your concern is about what is monetarily profitable, but other societies measure success in different ways.

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On August 16, 2007, publisher wrote:

We are way of topic here but I started it I guess so here’s an article about the pollution in Cuba

http://havanajournal.com/culture/entry/air-and-water-pollution-in-cuba/

You won’t get any real statistics obviously from the Cuban government. There is no pollution in Cuba just like there are no political prisoners. I suppose the government would call pollution sites “unregistered landfills” or something creative like that.

If you want the US to be a socialist country with “free” healthcare then sure, you can learn a lot from Cuba.

I’m guessing you are a Michael Moore and Al Gore fan, right?

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On August 16, 2007, manfredz wrote:

1. One thing that bothered me on the resorts is that they use small plastic glasses for the bars, and go through those by the millions it seems.  And tourists being inconsiderate and all would sometimes just throw them on the beaches ....  not the most environmentally friendly ...

2.  If you consider that teh cuba of today is where the rest fo the world was in 1960, I guess youd ahv to say for the vast majority of the Cuban people they were in the 1800s during the batista era.  I’m no fan of communism, but also no fan of Batista or Pinochet types either…..

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On August 16, 2007, MiamiCuban wrote:

Publisher,
I’m not a complete fan of anyone or anything, including political systems.  I see both good and bad in everything.  Michael Moore and Al Gore both have their good points and their not so solid ones.

Manfredz:  it’s too bad the plastic cups end up on the beaches, despite the fact that there are trash bins within sight.  I also went to an ice cream parlor where they handed out regular metal spoons, instead of the disposable plastic ones, and we were asked to give them back when we were done.  Something like that might not line the pockets of the plasticware manufacturers, but it’s certainly better for everyone in the long run.

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On August 16, 2007, publisher wrote:

Fair enough on Moore and Gore.

I would much rather have a plastic spoon, especially in Cuba. Who knows what kind of dishwashing and sanitary system they have at the ice cream parlor.

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On August 16, 2007, manfredz wrote:

thats unfortunately why they settle for plastic glasses at the bars altho not environmentally friendly and probably quite expensive, its often necessary because both outdoors bars at where i stay dont even have running water.  Ironically, the hotel i use in Varadero doesnt have its “private beach” so its the public beach there and has no waste containers on beach itself , and its quite clean; you go further up the peninsula where the package tour hotels have their “private” beaches with waste contaners, and they’re the ones that look a mess in the morning,  One way that some tourists help is to bring their own mugs (the plastic they supply are pretty small anyway ).  As a gag I’m gonna bring my 52 oz bubba mug next time - should give them a chuckle)

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On August 16, 2007, publisher wrote:

grin The Big Gulp mojito. I love it!

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On September 02, 2007, Everglades Hunter wrote:

So, it’s all about the money?  How much is your grandfather, grandmother, sister, uncle, etc. worth?  How much is the farm or business or financial base your family HAD worth?  How much is everything you left behind worth?  How much is starting a whole new life from NOTHING worth?  How much is knowing what your friends and relatives that couldn’t or wouldn’t leave, have had to live through for the last fifty years worth?  How much are the lives of those that were executed and tortured at the hands of the Fidelistas worth?  How much is doing, or saying, ANYTHING against Castro worth?  I could go on with this for a long, long, time but lastly, how much is your heart and soul worth?

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On September 03, 2007, publisher wrote:

Everglades,

Thanks for the post. There is some reason that the old Cuban exiles have forced the US government to keep the 45+ year old failed Plan A Embargo in place.

It hasn’t worked and obviously Castro uses it as an excuse for his failures.

So, you tell me. Why has the failed Plan A Embargo gone on so long if it NEVER EVER worked at all?

The Diaz Balarts and Ros Lehtinen’s of this world actually need Fidel alive and in power so they can stay in power. Maybe that is too cynical but that’s that way it looks from here in Massachusetts.

By the way, I am a Republican. Not some crazy Massachusetts liberal either.

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On September 03, 2007, Everglades Hunter wrote:

Publisher,  If you’re a Republican the I better start believing in the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny.  Why has the Embargo remained for 45 years?  Presumably because our government doesn’t like or trust Castro.  There may be more to it than that but then we enter the scene of convoluted conspiracies and a cloak and dagger world.  There are only four Communist governments left on the face of the planet.  China still is one, even though it may be a rather confused one.  North Korea is headed by a certifiable nut case.  Vietnam is practically a non-entity.  And then we have Cuba.  Right under our front doorstep and with part of it’s population living here and more than willintg to go back and help re-build what he and his cronies have destroyed.

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On September 04, 2007, publisher wrote:

Everglades,

I don’t understand your post. I am a Republican but I have never supported the Embargo. The Embargo has been a failure for 45 years yet Cuban Americans still think it’s going to work someday.

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On September 04, 2007, Everglades Hunter wrote:

You’ve missed the entire point.  It HAS been working for 45 years.  The U.S. was Cuba’s largest trading partner and will be again, someday but not under Castro or the rest of his communist cronies.

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On September 05, 2007, Mako wrote:

everglades…DUDE!!! something that has been in place for 45 years and has not accomplished its goal is by any reasonable analysis A FAILURE !!
DO you GET THE POINT ?

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On September 05, 2007, lee wrote:

everglades
check with the foreign affairs experts, it is a total failure.
and in fact has helped keep Fidel in power.
the only thing it accomplishes is it adds to the suffering of the Cuban people.
and keeps cuban/americans from going to births and funerals.
yep big success, George should be proud

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On September 13, 2007, Everglades wrote:

To Mako;  Just by using the word Dude, you’ve given away your age group which explains a lot of things about your level of understanding.  I got the point in the late 50’s and early 60’s.  The point is that you’ve got a communist dictator and a regime of evil sitting 90 miles from Key West.
Lee:  It all depends on whose foreign aid experts you’re checking with.  Ours or theirs.  As far as George being proud, he joins the ranks of Jack, Lindon, Richard, Gerald, Ronald, George Sr., and Billy-Bob.

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On September 13, 2007, Everglades wrote:

Whoops, left out Jimmy but he was sort of forgettable anyway.

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On September 14, 2007, lee wrote:

everglades
you really should open a book before your mouth, and do a little research.
first of all i said foreign affairs not aid.
secondly most republicans and democrats have spoken of it being a failed policy that needs a major overhaul. the reason for the recent vote is because of admitted politics.
the vast majority of foreign affairs experts in the USA, Europe and around the world say it’s a failure. open your eyes, he’s still there.
Not one, NOT ONE everglades, of our allies back us on this and never have.
the only person that benefits from the failed embargo is Fidel, so i guess we know where your loyalties stand. it’s his “go to” scapegoat
I’m curious how you would feel if you could see the devastation it lays on 11 million people, as most people on this forum have. my mother in law cannot get the medicine she needs, directly because of the embargo.
next time you and your comrade Fidel sit down for a chat, give him my regards.

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On September 14, 2007, Mako wrote:

Everglades, use of the term “dude” to address you was not a reflection of my age group but rather a reflection of my opinion your level of intellect aand reasoning. GET IT DUDE????
Most likely not .

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On September 14, 2007, Everglades wrote:

My, my, testy, aren’t we.  We didn’t use the term “Dude”, unless referring to a ranch forty years ago.  As far as intellect goes, you’ve shown yours by your response. 
    Well now.  I thought that Fidel’s Cuba was the center and example for socialized medicine in this hemisphere? Certainly any medication needed by anyone in Cuba is having it instantly provided for free.  Not one, NOT ONE of our allies has Fidel sitting in their back yards.  I don’t believe that France or Germany is offering Fidel much foreign aid.  By the way, your sentence structure is falling apart with your raising blood pressure.

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On September 14, 2007, lee wrote:

everglades,
again, my friend
your wrong, on every issue.
but i have no more time to educate the ignorant and dense.
by the way it’s rising blood pressure, not raising.
crack a book, Dude.

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On September 15, 2007, Floridian wrote:

I can see the point Everglades is making.
Everone is willing to say the Embargo is not working, but if it has failed, you must first ask youselves why.
First of all Stop sending and spending money in and to Cuba! It only helps a few people at any one time. Castro sees the full benifit of all moneys sent or spent in Cuba. Why? Because the people, the friends and family you wish to help, can’t send that money anywhere else but Cube. It all goes into Castos pocket in the end.
If the Embargo has indeed failed it is due to circumvention of the Embago’s intent.
If the U S has failed the Embargo… it is because the U S has failed to prosecute those that have violated the Embargo.

Now, That said, get over this childish-school-yard behavior and let us get back to the business at hand

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On September 15, 2007, publisher wrote:

The other point of failure is the “pressure release valve” that is the wet foot dry foot policy. It encourages the most ambitious people to leave Cuba rather than staying in Cuba and trying to change the system.

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On September 15, 2007, lee wrote:

as i started to write a frustrated response.
it suddenly occurred to me that we are not all focused on the same thing,
some of us see this as purely a humanitarian crises and others a need for regime change. i don’t know if it’s possible to reconcile the two. i guess it depends on which side of the Straights your family and friends reside. i just want the suffering to end and from my perspective it means ending the embargo, lets try diplomacy…just an idea.
actually, i take that back…Fidel is dead, Raul and Ricardo will soon flee. end of problem

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On September 15, 2007, Floridian wrote:

I think I can agree with this idea of a “pressure release valve”. I’m not altogether sure I know what that spacifically means.

The “wet foot dry foot” policy has not been experesed in the history of U S imagration with quite as much latidude as has been offored the imagrents from Cuba.

It’s not always the “most ambitous” Cubans we find on our door step either. Our buddy Castro has made efforts to dump his problem childern here too with this “wet foot dry foot” plolicy.

But I think I can say too, that within the histoy of imagration into the U S, no other group of imagrents has done quite so much to “try” to make over the U S into the image of their homeland as the Cubans have done.
What make the peoples of Cuban desent think this is okay?

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On September 15, 2007, Everglades wrote:

For “Dude” Lee;  Try a capital “E” on Everglades.  I’m very carefull about my “friends”.  your, should really be, you’re.  You should really not start sentences with,  “but”.  Capitalize your “I”.  At least put a capitol on, “by”.  ” Rising”, is as it goes up.  ” Raising”, is what causes it to go up.  Sorry your English did not progress past the fourth grade level.  I write books, I don’t just read them.

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On September 15, 2007, publisher wrote:

Everglades,

Please refrain from all the off topic banter. This is not a free for all forum. I ask that people stay on topic and keep the debate on a higher level.

Thank you.

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On September 15, 2007, Everglades wrote:

#47 Agreed.  A large number of the most educated and ambitious people have indeed left Cuba.  Especially in the past.  Most of them saw the handwriting on the wall.  Quite a few of the more educated and ambitious saw the inside of La Cabana. (sorry no tilde on this machine)  Some few more of the ambitious but not necessarily educated went to work in Castro’s regime.  Change the system from the inside out?  You’ve got to be kidding.  Outside of a full scale revolution, few dictatorships have fallen this way.
#48 Diplomacy?  With Castro?  It’s been tried on more than one occasion.  Even the most bumbling President we ever had, tried it and admitted that he could not believe that Castro would behave as he did with a poor, “Good ‘ol Boy From Georgia.”  Castro will die soon.  Whether his relatives and henchmen leave——-?

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On September 15, 2007, Everglades wrote:

#49 Most emigrant populations have built their own enclaves on our soil.  They gradually tend to disapate within a few generations.  The one thing about the Florida Cuban population that is unique, is that Miami and Tampa always had a resident Cuban population.  What I found interesting, is that the Miami Cuban population actually took over a part of the city that was dying and revitalized it.
#51 I’m hurt.  I’ve been singled out.  Again, agreement upon topic specificity.  Having watched all of this very closely over the last few decades, it still amazes me that the population of this country cannot see past today, now, this minute.  Anything that has taken place in the past is considered to be non-relevent history.

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On September 17, 2007, Floridian wrote:

One of our strengths as a Nation comes from the diversity of cultures that have blended into American society.
The Cuban cultural heritage is a valued and wounderful culture. It is, however, only one of many culturs that diserve the same consideration.
One is not required to give up their cultural heritage to visit the U S or to become an American citizen.

America is an English speaking Nation. Our Constitution is writen in English. Our laws are writen in English. Our schools require students to take English classes.
True, there maybe somthing lost in the traslation of English into some languages. It is for this reason learning English here in America just makes good since. Especialy when conducting ones self in everyday activities.

Why would a person of Italian cultural heritage need, or want, to learn Spanish here in America? Some may want to learn Spanish. That should be a choice as an individual can make on their own. It should not be forced on to then any more than the peoples of a Cuban cultural hertage should have to learn, say, German here in America?

I personlly have no problem with anyone singing the National Anthum in any laguage. As long as that translation remains true and acurate to the intent and meaning of the original English words. If it can’t due to translation… then learn it in English. It is not only means of showing repect, but it is the polite thing to do.

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On September 17, 2007, Everglades wrote:

The multi-cultural system is a product of Liberal standards.  “Lets not offend anyone.”  Visit Canada and you can get a super dose of this in just trying to find your way around any city.  Of course, there is the advantage that you can use signs to further your language abilities.  This falls apart when the translation is printed in an oriental language or Farsi.  I digress.  English is the accepted language of this country and should have been made so a long time ago.
      An example of this was made very clear to me by, of all people, a cab driver, in the Yucatan, in Mexico.  No matter how hard I tried to further my poor Spanish, the reply would always be in broken English.  Upon asking him why he was doing this, the reply was that it was necessary for him to learn better English.  Why?  So that he could GET A BETTER JOB!  Makes sense to me.

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On September 17, 2007, Floridian wrote:

Yes, we can attribute this to a “Liberal” standard.
I personally like to think of it as being, let me dare say, “accepting” of peoples of differing cultures?
Perhaps, these people of differing cultures should be as “accepting” of those that were already here before they try to inact changes on everyone else?

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On September 17, 2007, manfredz wrote:

As a Canadian, let me clarify something since Canada was mentioned above.
The Canadian constitution (as opposed to the US one) made Canada a bilingual country - French and English (no need to get into the whys etc here). Therefore you’ll see federal and some provincial and municipal signage in French and English.
How far a multi-cultured society goes is always open to dicussion, but when you compare the US and Canada in this respect, you have to consider the constitutional requirements.

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On September 18, 2007, Floridian wrote:

The U S never declares any language as the official “State” language. I supose that would make us “nonlingual”? Prehaps the wisdom of the founding fathers didn’t find it nessissary, concidering all its documents and Laws were and still are writen in English. Maybe they thought the English language would be one of those “self-evidint” truthes you can read about in those documents and Laws.
I supose translations in any language maybe requested, but if in the process of the translation the ture intent and meaning is altered…?

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On September 18, 2007, Everglades wrote:

To Manfredz:  I’ll buy that, EXCEPT, (there’s always got to be an except), the greatest difference between the two systems is that our Constitution was formed and written with a basic mistrust of government.  The Canadian one with a trust of the government.  That said, my oldest daughter lives in Toronto.  The last time I was downtown, street signs and directionals on posts were given in up to EIGHT languages.  Yellowknife, in the N.W.T., has it down to four and you can find street signs in St. Johns, Newfoundland with only three!  Guess they’re behind!  We all digress.  Back to Cuba.  Maybe we can solve all their problems right here.

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On September 19, 2007, manfredz wrote:

yes, Canada promoted multilingual cultures.  Tts the old mosaic vs melting pot concepts.  Mind you its not always been easy to promote multi-cultures.  Remember uproar seeral years when Sihks wantign to join the RCMP wanted to continue wearing their turbans - it really put the multi-culturalism to the test…..
Like every arguement there are two sides - but you’ll have to decide for yourselves which way to go.

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On September 19, 2007, Floridian wrote:

Okay. Lets use the RCMP as an example.
I’m sure the RCMP has rules and regulation (Laws if you will) governing the wearing of their adopted uniforms.
There is no argument, no two side to this. You what to join the RCMP - They deside for you which way to go. The only freedom of choice is the desison to join.
I ask again, what could possably give, in this case Sihks, the idea that this kind of behavior would be acceptable?

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On September 19, 2007, Everglades wrote:

And in addition, at exactly what date does this melting pot all mix together?  By the time I get through reading a roadsign in parts of Canada to find the English part, I can get rammed from behind.  Probably by someone in a red coat wearing a turban.  Will all this chaos disappear at some date?  The interesting part I find here in the states, is that most Pakistani and Indian children disappear into our culture within one generation.  Cuban kids usually take about two generations. (see, I finally got to slip this in)

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On September 19, 2007, Floridian wrote:

Everglades,
I think this too is a good point.
However, this site being sponcered by the Havana Journal, I think it is time we take this back to the Cuban issue at hand. I would very much like to hear from those of Cuban desent, and to those that are Americans of Cuban cultural heritage.
How say you on these “somewhat” vailed topics?

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On September 19, 2007, manfredz wrote:

sorry for having wandered.

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On September 20, 2007, Floridian wrote:

manfredz,

I guess I should be the one apologizing.
It would seem by the lack of input, there is no valid topic concerning the Cuban issues within our community.
You want to talk more about Canada and the U S A? It seems we have a lot of issues in common.

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On September 20, 2007, Everglades wrote:

Personally, I’d still like to go down there and get the S.O.B. before he dies of natural causes.  If he got the same treatment as Saddam, we could use them for matching bookends.  Hmmmmm.  They do sort of look alike, I wonder…..  Also, what happens when he finally croaks.  Do his brother and/or son really take over?  Or are they going to take the money and run like Batista?

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On September 20, 2007, manfredz wrote:

no i think the subject wandered way too far.  Think its fair, altho also somewhat off topic to discuss spanish/latin/cuban influence in the usa, but discussing the differences betwen Canada and the USA has way crossed teh line.  Was only trying to breifly explain why there is a constitutional basis for Canadian billinguality and then things kind of drifted.  Lets NOT discuss the whole world on this site.

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On September 20, 2007, publisher wrote:

Yes, we have strayed a bit on this thread.

Everglades, your questions are not easy to answer. Read some of the *sticky* articles from the main page and you’ll have a better idea of what people think.

If anyone feels passionate enough about their questions, opinions, thoughts etc, feel free to jump over to our Cuba Forum and post over there where things are a little looser.