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Posted March 31, 2007 by publisher in Castro's Cuba

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(I made up this title. See comments for reason why)

Reuters

Cuba’s Fidel Castro published his first editorial since his July surgery on Thursday, signing his name to a scathing article on US biofuel plans for Thursday’s edition of the Communist Party newspaper Granma.

The article -e-mailed to the media in the early hours of Thursday and later posted on Granma’s web site -said nothing about Castro’s state of health, but signalled that the convalescing leader is following world affairs closely.

In Thursday’s article, Castro said more than 3 billion people in the world were condemned to die prematurely of hunger or thirst from plans by his ideological foe, the United States, to convert foodstuffs like corn into fuel for cars.

“This is not an exaggerated figure, it’s more likely cautious,” Castro wrote in the ruling Communist Party’s daily newspaper. “I’ve been meditating quite a bit since President Bush’s meeting with North American automobile makers.”

He was commenting on a proposal by the Bush administration to cut gasoline use by 20 percent by 2017, mostly by increasing the use of fuels such as ethanol, made from home-grown corn.

Bush’s plan, unveiled in his State of the Union speech in late January, also counts on advances in making ethanol from other sources such as wood chips and switchgrass.

Castro said nothing about whether he intends to participate more actively in the government, after handing over day-to-day power to Raul Castro eight months ago.

The editorial, dated March 28, was sub-headed “Reflections of the Comandante in Chief” -a possible indication that Castro could from now on put his musings on world affairs down on paper, rather than in the lengthy speeches which have been the trademark of his more than four decades in power.

On Wednesday, Castro’s elder brother Ramon Castro said the recovering leader was in good shape, but shed no light on whether he could soon make a live public appearance.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on March 31, 2007 by Cuban American

    Castro is getting more and more dillusional everyday.  I just think him and his buddy chavez are a little worried that if the US can pull off, there goes there only means of power.. oil.


  2. Follow up post #2 added on March 31, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    For many years I have tried very hard to keep an open mind about Fidel Castro and his style of leadership (notice I decided not to use the word dictatorship) but his actions since his surgery have forced me to take a more critical view.

    First, he did not address the Cuban people before he handed over power to Raul.

    Second, when he was able to be on video what does he do, get on video with Hugo Chavez. Any message to his loyal followers? No.

    Third, When he is well enough to be on the phone what does he do? He calls Hugo Chavez in Venezuela to talk to him. Again, Castro ignores his Cuban people.

    Fourth, now apparently he is well enough to be on video. He is well enough to speak and he is well enough to write a letter on world affairs but has he addressed, or even thanked the Cuban people for their support?

    The answer is a very big NO.

    What a shame. These are most likely Fidel Castro’s last days and he cannot appear on Mesa Redonda or phone in or even write a letter to Granma at least addressing his own people that have supported him for 47 years???

    Shame on you Fidel.

    I have given President Castro enough leeway on his oppressive communist policies and human rights violations but his actions over the past eight months have enlightened me to his selfishness and lack of respect for his own people.

    Each day that passes when Fidel Castro does not address his own people is another day that he is less meaningful to them and I think another day that the Cuban people will grow to dislike him.

    Can I be so bold to speak for the Cuban people and say “Screw you Fidel!”?

    I will no longer give former President Castro any more support and now await his passing so Raul can (hopefully) move ahead with a free market La Revolucion 2.0 along with a full release of political prisoners and free elections. Let’s hope that Raul will show the Cuban people the respect they deserve.

    I believe that Raul’s hands are tied from making major changes until the day that Fidel Castro is no longer alive.

    On March 31, 2007 I publicly state that I am now in favor of anticipating that day.



    Cuba consulting services

  3. Follow up post #3 added on March 31, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Good point. I didn’t think of it that way.

    It did seem odd to me that Fidel would come out against ethanol but that makes sense. He’s now a big supporter of oil with his buddy Chavez’s oil supply and now the huge jackpot that awaits in the northern waters off Cuba.



    Cuba consulting services

  4. Follow up post #4 added on March 31, 2007 by Curt

    Publisher, looks like you sold out to the demented extremists in Miami. He has addressed the people of Cuba several times since his illness.


  5. Follow up post #5 added on March 31, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Thanks for the comment but I wouldn’t say I’ve gone that far.

    I follow Cuba very closely but honestly I have not read one news story of Fidel addressing the Cuban people.

    PLEASE enlighten me.



    Cuba consulting services

  6. Follow up post #6 added on April 01, 2007 by Cuban American

    Curt,

    I am sorry that you feel that way about all the Cuban Americans that have suffered great hardships to regain freedom in this great county.  But i don’t blame you for feeling that way, because after all you have had these great freedoms your whole life so its easy for you to take it for granted.  Fidel Castro has not made a public appearence since before his illness and intestinal surgery.  All of the times he has been on video since his illness you seem him with Chavez or slapping his fists together trying to show the world he is still strong and he will be fine.  Half the letters he has written weren’t even signed by him they were forged, and this was discovered by writing experts from around the world, not just the US.  His days are numbered.


  7. Follow up post #7 added on April 01, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Brazil comments on Castro’s article. Well done by Brazil. Maybe they can broker and deal between Presidents Bush and Raul Castro?



    Cuba consulting services

  8. Follow up post #8 added on April 02, 2007 by MapleRum

    I think maybe we might not be understanding in full what Fidel was getting at. The fact that farmers throughout the world will be switching their crop type to fuel for automobiles rather than food for people is disturbing. When we look at the way we use our fertile lands in an inefficient way, the more hunger will occur in the world. Bush is taking the easy way out by endorsing ethanol rather than going fullout to the future of hydrogen. The silly thing is, North America could be self sufficient if it were not about the sheer ignorant greed of many. Stop buying Hummers and large gas guzzling SUVs, get off your fat asses, walk and ride your bikes. We can save the planet and end political tension by abstaining from obscene fuel wasting. Start thinking differently and very simple solutions are there, stop making things more complicated. Cubans seem to be very good at solving problems in a simple way and maybe North America should study some of these solutions. Car pooling is a way of life in Cuba, there is no option. Imposing the use of more efficient electrical appliances reduces the demand on the grid to generate more electricity. At the same time Fidel and Raul need to look at their vast abandoned sugar cane fields and start growing more food or at the very least more sugar cane for ethanol similar to Brazil. This will bring vitality to many Cuban communities that are desperate after the collapse of the local sugar industry.


  9. Follow up post #9 added on April 02, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Why is it okay for Cuba to grow sugar for ethanol but not for the US to grow corn for ethanol.

    Your bias against the US and capitalism are clear in your post.

    In my opinion, everything Fidel Castro says has an underlying agenda so I don’t usually take his words as though they are coming from an international expert on the subject.

    Fidel needs to clean up his own backyard and his people before he goes ranting about world issues that fall on deaf ears.

    Every day that passes without Fidel making a PUBLIC appearance is another day that Fidel fades away.



    Cuba consulting services

  10. Follow up post #10 added on April 02, 2007 by MapleRum

    Ultimatly, the Cuban people have the choice to kick the old coot in the but just as much as the people of the U.S. can kick Bush to the curb. The world is very strange but we don’t need to be in the business of dictating to other countries. All countries need to clean up their act. Hydrogen is the way to go as the by product is oxygen. We don’t need fertilizer plants and fuel to grow sugar or corn. The eco system should be about growing food. We can’t afford do destroy the eco system any more than we already have done. Maybe Al Gore would like to take a more sensible approach to Cuba and stop punishing innocent people. This world needs Al Gore as president of the United States. Extreme forms of capitolism and communism do not work. Both Cuba and the United States proove this and I am very thankful that I am CANADIAN!


  11. Follow up post #11 added on April 02, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    I’m thankful that you are Canadian as well!

    You make so many bad points in such a short paragraph that I am impressed.

    First, comparing the Cuban peoples’ ability to kick Castro out as being the same as kicking George Bush out is ridiculous and that tainted everything else you said.

    Obviously American vote for their President AND there is a two term limit. Cubans vote for Castro or they don’t vote and obviously there is no term limits in Cuba.

    As for Al Gore being President of the US? We would all be riding bicycles AND still be negotiating with the Taliban in Afganistan.

    If you want to keep posting here, you are going to have to be somewhat sensible and stop throwing “bombs”.



    Cuba consulting services

  12. Follow up post #12 added on April 02, 2007 by MapleRum

    The following is from granma.cu as by Fidel himself. It is more useful to debate what he was saying rather than debating and commenting on what others are saying about what Fidel said.

    REFLECTIONS OF PRESIDENT FIDEL CASTRO
    More than three billion people in the world condemned to premature death from hunger and thirst

    THAT is not an exaggerated figure, but rather a cautious one. I have meditated a lot on that in the wake of President Bush’s meeting with U.S. automobile manufacturers.

    The sinister idea of converting food into fuel was definitively established as an economic line in U.S. foreign policy last Monday, March 26.

    A cable from the AP, the U.S. news agency that reaches all corners of the world, states verbatim:

    “WASHINGTON, March 26 (AP). President Bush touted the benefits of ‘flexible fuel’ vehicles running on ethanol and biodiesel on Monday, meeting with automakers to boost support for his energy plans.

    “Bush said a commitment by the leaders of the domestic auto industry to double their production of flex-fuel vehicles could help motorists shift away from gasoline and reduce the nation’s reliance on imported oil.

    ‘“That’s a major technological breakthrough for the country,’ Bush said after inspecting three alternative vehicles. If the nation wants to reduce gasoline use, he said “the consumer has got to be in a position to make a rational choice.”

    “The president urged Congress to ‘move expeditiously’ on legislation the administration recently proposed to require the use of 35 billion gallons of alternative fuels by 2017 and seek higher fuel economy standards for automobiles.

    “Bush met with General Motors Corp. chairman and chief executive Rick Wagoner, Ford Motor Co. chief executive Alan Mulally and DaimlerChrysler AG’s Chrysler Group chief executive Tom LaSorda.

    “They discussed support for flex-fuel vehicles, attempts to develop ethanol from alternative sources like switchgrass and wood chips and the administration’s proposal to reduce gas consumption by 20 percent in 10 years.

    “The discussions came amid rising gasoline prices. The latest Lundberg Survey found the nationwide average for gasoline has risen 6 cents per gallon in the past two weeks to $2.61.”

    I believe that reducing and moreover recycling all motors that run on electricity and fuel is an elemental and urgent need for all humanity. The tragedy does not lie in reducing those energy costs but in the idea of converting food into fuel.

    It is known very precisely today that one ton of corn can only produce 413 liters of ethanol on average, according to densities. That is equivalent to 109 gallons.

    The average price of corn in U.S. ports has risen to $167 per ton. Thus, 320 million tons of corn would be required to produce 35 billion gallons of ethanol.

    According to FAO figures, the U.S. corn harvest rose to 280.2 million tons in the year 2005.

    Although the president is talking of producing fuel derived from grass or wood shavings, anyone can understand that these are phrases totally lacking in realism. Let’s be clear: 35 billion gallons translates into 35 followed by nine zeros!

    Afterwards will come beautiful examples of what experienced and well-organized U.S. farmers can achieve in terms of human productivity by hectare: corn converted into ethanol; the chaff from that corn converted into animal feed containing 26% protein; cattle dung used as raw material for gas production. Of course, this is after voluminous investments only within the reach of the most powerful enterprises, in which everything has to be moved on the basis of electricity and fuel consumption. Apply that recipe to the countries of the Third World and you will see that people among the hungry masses of the Earth will no longer eat corn. Or something worse: lend funding to poor countries to produce corn ethanol based on corn or any other food and not a single tree will be left to defend humanity from climate change.

    Other countries in the rich world are planning to use not only corn but also wheat, sunflower seeds, rapeseed and other foods for fuel production. For the Europeans, for example, it would become a business to import all of the world’s soybeans with the aim of reducing the fuel costs for their automobiles and feeding their animals with the chaff from that legume, particularly rich in all types of essential amino acids.

    In Cuba, alcohol used to be produced as a byproduct of the sugar industry after having made three extractions of sugar from cane juice. Climate change is already affecting our sugar production. Lengthy periods of drought alternating with record rainfall, that barely make it possible to produce sugar with an adequate yield during the 100 days of our very moderate winter; hence, there is less sugar per ton of cane or less cane per hectare due to prolonged drought in the months of planting and cultivation.

    I understand that in Venezuela they would be using alcohol not for export but to improve the environmental quality of their own fuel. For that reason, apart from the excellent Brazilian technology for producing alcohol, in Cuba the use of such a technology for the direct production of alcohol from sugar cane juice is no more than a dream or the whim of those carried away by that idea. In our country, land handed over to the direct production of alcohol could be much useful for food production for the people and for environmental protection.

    All the countries of the world, rich and poor, without any exception, could save millions and millions of dollars in investment and fuel simply by changing all the incandescent light bulbs for fluorescent ones, an exercise that Cuba has carried out in all homes throughout the country. That would provide a breathing space to resist climate change without killing the poor masses through hunger.

    As can be observed, I am not using adjectives to qualify the system and the lords of the earth. That task can be excellently undertaken by news experts and honest social, economic and political scientists abounding in the world who are constantly delving into to the present and future of our species. A computer and the growing number of Internet networks are sufficient for that.

    Today, we are seeing for the first time a really globalized economy and a dominant power in the economic, political and military terrain that in no way resembles that of Imperial Rome.

    Some people will be asking themselves why I am talking of hunger and thirst. My response to that: it is not about the other side of the coin, but about several sides of something else, like a die with six sides, or a polyhedron with many more sides.

    I refer in this case to an official news agency, founded in 1945 and generally well-informed about economic and social questions in the world: TELAM. It said, and I quote:

    “In just 18 years, close to 2 billion people will be living in countries and regions where water will be a distant memory. Two-thirds of the world’s population could be living in places where that scarcity produces social and economic tensions of such a magnitude that it could lead nations to wars for the precious ‘blue gold.’

    “Over the last 100 years, the use of water has increased at a rate twice as fast as that of population growth.

    “According to statistics from the World Water Council, it is estimated that by 2015, the number of inhabitants affected by this grave situation will rise by 3.5 billion people.

    “The United Nations celebrated World Water Day on March 23, and called to begin confronting, that very day, the international scarcity of water, under the coordination of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), with the goal of highlighting the increasing importance of water scarcity on a global scale, and the need for greater integration and cooperation that would make it possible to guarantee sustained and efficient management of water resources.

    “Many regions on the planet are suffering from severe water shortages, living with less than 500 cubic meters per person per year. The number of regions suffering from chronic scarcity of this vital element is increasingly growing.

    “The principal consequences of water scarcity are an insufficient amount of the precious liquid for producing food, the impossibility of industrial, urban and tourism development and health problems.”

    That was the TELEAM cable.

    In this case I will refrain from mentioning other important facts, like the melting ice in Greenland and the Antarctic, damage to the ozone layer and the growing volume of mercury in many species of fish for common consumption.

    There are other issues that could be addressed, but with these lines I am just trying to comment on President Bush’s meeting with the principal executives of U.S. automakers.

    March 28, 2007

    Fidel Castro.

    Translated by Granma International


  13. Follow up post #13 added on April 04, 2007 by Don

    I am sorry that you feel that way about all the Cuban Americans that have suffered great hardships to regain freedom in this great county.  But i don’t blame you for feeling that way, because after all you have had these great freedoms your whole life so its easy for you to take it for granted. 

    ^^^^^^^^^^

    At the time of the Cuban revolution, the landholders and others knew of the impending successes of Castro—it was inevitable. If it was not Castro it would have been some one else.  I fail to think that of the previous 60 years of rebellion of the Cuban people these large estate holders in Cuba were caught off guard. They knew their businesses and lands were in jeopardy, and now for the last 47 years, all I have heard is sour grapes from Cuban Americans. Most Cuban Americans make up every lie possible, every distortion, and every negative spin against Cuba that can be imagined.


    Too bad the rich, the mob,  and corrupted politicians lost their holdings in Cuba, but they knew at the time the Cuban country was in a state of armed rebellion, and they knew why as the common Cuban had no way to partake in the islands wealth due to corporate monopolies backed by a corrupted Cuban government.  The only way out was armed rebellion, as ballot boxes were being stuffed in massive government corruption, and an army to stop any protest and to ensure the prosperity of a very few, and the common Cuban be damned. 


    Did the USA make “restitutions” to England after 1776? Not that I have ever read, and then there is the war of 1812, the continued slaughter of the American Indians, the Mexican war, the war with Spain, the USA civil war and the lands the plantation owners lost; then there was Vietnam, and now Iraq, to say the very least armed aggression of the USA.


    I often wonder what would the Cuban Americans like to see happen in Cuba, a USA invasion shooting Cuban civilians on sight till the island is “depopulated”, maybe get a bulldozer and push the Cuban people into the ocean. The Cuban Americans, I wonder what they want, but it certainly is not freedom for Cuba in my book, but perhaps the freedom to continue their propaganda, and see how badly they can continue a failed embargo to punish common Cuban people they do not even know after 47 years.


    Many, not all, Cuban Americans have a capitalist mentality, and that is OK, but then they violate their own philosophy of free trade and seek only revenge using the USA’s Cuban embargo. The Cuban Americans lost a revolution honestly, by USA standards, and now it is sour grapes and even more sour grapes. The USA is a land filled with propaganda, political lies,  distortions of facts, insane religions, corporate corruptions, exploitations, neglect to its own people, and a long list of perpetual violations of humans rights, civil rights, common crimes, illegal drugs, massive government controls of business and lands, racisms of all kinds, re-writing of history; the exploitation of other countries, and being “negatively focused” the list would continue for the rest of my life in writing of all the offences to humanity.


    Yet there is much good in the USA, undeniable goods, shown good to one and all. But the USA certainly is not the greatest country to live in, as every day is a tuff challenge to make common living, to weed out facts from fantasy, and to stop governments, state and federal, from running rough shod over the common person, and to combat cooperate greed.


    The leaders of Cuba wanted to try something else other than a capitalist society were every lie made up is a good lie, and if told long enough becomes a fact. I would hate to see Cuba turn into an extension of the USA’s greed and war mongering and bumper sticker mentality. Yeah right, 9 out of 10 doctors recommend Bayer aspirin so Bayer is best; sure, as advertising never lies—right, and there is a difference between advertising and political propaganda? Not hardly.


    The war drums of the many Cuban Americans never stop beating. You know they are banging their war drums with both hands being bare chested by how loud they shout “freedom”.  Many of the Cuban Americans are no more interested in freedom than the man in the moon, but only using “freedom” to cover their intentions of exploitations being self justified. They do not want freedom for any one, all they want is their money back plus a hansom profit. Anyone of the methods, from killing to lying, is a good method; in my opinion based on the massive negative propaganda against Cuba.


    Cuba has faults, many of them, no more and no less than the USA and people do not stop being people because of a “label”.  Perhaps the USA should pay attention to what is happening in its own country, and leave Cuba alone, or at least put out a hand of friend ship; but the USA is “void” of common sense, where the dollar is king, any buck made is a good buck, regardless of the human misery in its wake.  There is a valid reason why the Cuban people rebelled; Castro certainly did not stand-alone. If the Cuban people like Castro, that is OK by me.  I like Thomas Jefferson as every country has its heroes and icons—so what.


    I am sorry about the Cuban Americans loss of land and holdings in Cuba, but it did not have to be that way. The Cuban Americans had choices at that time of the Cuban rebellion, and they chose wrong, such is life. It seems to me if Cuban Americans want restitution from Cuba for their losses; they need to find another way other than badmouthing a country to the extent they believe their own lies in massive propaganda—NO wonder the Cubans rebelled.  What many of the Cuban Americans do here in the USA, no doubt they did in Cuba i.e. lie their ass off. When I look at USA’s relations with Cuba, over the last 47 years to date, I see blunder, after blunder, after blunder by the USA government, and then the USA lies to cover its mistakes as high as Mt. Hood in self justification. Then the USA blames Castro as the single cause of bad relations—-how stupid—-stupidity to the point of being insane.

    Don


  14. Follow up post #14 added on April 04, 2007 by Don

    In addition, to continue my rant: I like to see people be successful, as I stand for people in all good things, and for human prosperity.  Needless to say I love children, they make me smile with pleasure, and NO country should even hurt one child, for any reason.


    I have read on other boards how crummy the Cubans are, how derelict, how lazy as Cubans let historical building rot away, houses need painting, infrastructure needs replacing and repairs,  new homes are not built so the Cubans huddle in dark corners in mass starvation, being driven to work at gun point by Castro. Then these “anti-Cubans” justify the USA’s embargo where concrete, steel, lumber, nails, and even common house paint is withheld for the hate of one man called “Castro”. As if Castro was assonated in cold blooded murder, the entire government of Cuba would fold, and the Cuban Americans could return to their plantations, drive the common Cuban off their land (as how else would it be done) at gun point and whips,  and then the world would be at peace and rest, and democracy could prevail.


    Then when an article is published how the Cuban government obtains millions of gallons of simple house paint, and Germany selling and wanting, with high prospects, to open a paint factory in Cuba the response is, “See I was right, the Cuban government is against human prosperity, as there would be NO reason to buy house paint if the houses were NOT decrepit!”


    How does one fight against this propaganda? The fact that USA uses millions of gallons of house every month, zoning by USA, state and federal government,  to control lands, decrees to urban renewal creating jobs, and USA infrastructure is in constant need of repair, because humans made it and it gets wore out, are these facts relevant?  NO, not to some Cuban Americans. They lie like hell, to cause as much confusion that can be had, then they run and hide when they are busted! Just like the KKK, that pull sheets over their face, as what they KNOW they are doing is wrong so they must hide.


    The Cuban Americans can not look to me, Don, for healing; they will have to do that on their own. Within my limited rights and power, I can only say to them, as to any other, you put your foot on USA soil, you put your foot or hand in Oregon juristction—I will see, I will fight like hell fire, that you are treated as fair as humanly possible. That is all I can do.


    A proper attitude to have to Cuba is, “HEY YALL, we have house paint and it seems you could use some, let us make a deal, let us talk on neutral ground and let us bargain, let us trade in good faith.”


    OH NO, not a chance of using even a fraction of capitalism that the USA was founded on. Just try to chop others off at the roots and bitch that the plant does not grow and respond after being burned.  Insanity—utter USA insanity.


    Cuba sits 90 miles off the Florida coast, and there lives on that island 11.2 million people that are well organized. (Oregon has only 3 million and 4 times the space) How heartless of a neighbor the USA has been in all recorded history to now against Cuba.


    I do not blame the Cuban government for being pissed off. When a people is pressed and stressed beyond measure, they will fight back, though they rather live in peace.  Do not mess around with the common people, as NO king, government, state, nor nation has ever, at any time, prevailed against the common folks. See world history and get educated,  the USA history included.


    I’m ashamed as a USA born American, I am ashamed of the way the USA has treated Cuba from history past to this very date. That USA States have to sneak around Federal sanction just to sell house paint, and a handful of nails, and if caught do prison time by USA courts. This is insanity, and it is going to end, it will end in my lifetime, I will live to see it, and so will Castro.


    The utter arrogance of the USA is vomitable. The USA that preaches human rights in free trade and travel, then denies the same to its OWN citizens, this USA government is going to change, will change either willingly by vote of the American people or by force of arms, as you can never keep a “good people” down, as the USA people are NOT a stranger to rebellion. We prefer, by lessons of our history, orderly change, but there is a braking point where a common person’s benevolence will go NO further, and the first to give way will be American politicians.


    Cubans did not ask to born where they are,  nor I born in America, and I can’t change the past, but the future is an open book to be written by those that dare to speak out. Castro is one of those rare people, though wrong in many ways (as Castro admitted in public the Cubans leaned way to heavy on Russia in the 90’s); but none the less,  Castro inspired a nation based on education, education, education,  and even more education. To me this sounds like a concrete foundation that two nations can agree on. So why the strife? I have no ideas. I know one thing, the USA’s strife against Cuba will end either willingly by vote of the USA people, by USA judicial decree (state or federal), or by slight of hand, or by open rebellion by the USA people, but the strife against Cuba will end.


    A USA person wants to sell simple house paint to another in Cuba, and there is 1,000 miles of rocky road to travel of governmental red tape, facing fines, prison, sanctions, injunctions, courts, presidential vote, an act of congress, years of debates, and the list is endless.


    If I want to trade a gallon of blue house paint for a Coconut, enjoy the act of encountering my own kind from the Caribbean, —that is my business and none other. If I am restricted, the biggest rebellion will happen in the USA, as democracy has a definition of constant rebellion, only with order, as none should be hurt with your freedoms,  that include ME.


    I see Cuba putting out a hand of friendship, as I in the same given situation; I would NOT. The Cubans have much to teach, and I as a student of life have much to learn. I would love the day when Cubans could travel freely in Oregon, let them see the wonders of this land,  AWH inspiring, shake hands as world travelers; buy, sell, learn from each other accordingly but never hate a person because of national origination, much less judge a person by its national leader(s).


    As Thomas Paine said (one of my heroes)—- never trust a government, as when they are bad, they are an abomination.


    Don


  15. Follow up post #15 added on April 04, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Don,

    We are way off topic now. I have given you enough inc to make your points.

    As the Publisher and moderator, I have always let people vent up to a point but then jump in to put the conversation back on topic.

    If you want to comment on Fidel Castro’s disrespect for his own people by not addressing them directly, then you are welcome to make comments.

    Otherwise, please hold your comments or post them in the appropriate article.



    Cuba consulting services

  16. Follow up post #16 added on April 06, 2007 by Don

    I received your message, and I understand, not a problem with me.


    Don


  17. Follow up post #17 added on April 06, 2007 by Pete Chavez

    Publisher,
    It sounds like someone working for the state of Oregon paint lobby is pissed off because the Cuban market is off limits to them. (lol) 
    As for Fidel that question unfortunately comes too little to late, our country has already been ruined no thanks to him.  Us Cubans asked ourselves if he had respect for us a very long time ago and at many different junctures.  We wondered this when in 1961 he decided there would be no elections.  We wondered this in 62’ when he dissolved the Cuban Constituion of 1940 (which I might add that given and because of it’s historical lateness, it is an even more enlightened document than it’s U.S. cousin.).  We asked ourselves if he respected us when he sold our sovereinty to the Soviets and pointed nuclear arms at our neighbor (U.S.) thus kickstarting the embargo as retailation.  We wondered if he respected us when in 1968 he nationalized all ma and pa businesses and basically changed our national character of can do/self help to wellfare dependance and helplessness.  Let’s not forget the mid seventies crackdown on homosexuals and the concentration camps that this particular repression required.  And these are just events in a split second off the top of my head that I can name that begged that particular question a very long time ago, as a matter of fact from the very beginning. 
    As a Cuban it is surrealistic for me when I read a question for debate posed by you at this stage in the game, over his unwillingness to address the people (and notice I write “the” people, they were never “his” people).  I guess better late that never that you are arriving to some conclusion over what this regime has really been about.
    As for Oregon, maybe the ground water is contaminated there?


  18. Follow up post #18 added on April 06, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Pete,

    Always good to read your comments. Thanks for the summary.

    I suppose it has taken a while for me to come around to the fact that Fidel does not care about his people. Since I am not Cuban and have no Cuban relatives, I was giving Fidel the benefit of the doubt.

    Not that I agreed with communism, centrally controlled economy or press or oppression of human rights but I at least thought that he loved and respected his own people.

    His actions, or should I say lack of actions, over the past eight months have allowed me to see the selfish, paranoid Fidel Castro who does not respect his people.

    Do the Cuban people actually like Fidel or is it just that they are brainwashed by all the propaganda?

    I know dissent is not allowed but you would think that somehow the people would have risen up by now in someway although I know that Raul controls the military so Fidel can say all kinds of crazy things while Raul keeps a lid on things.



    Cuba consulting services

  19. Follow up post #19 added on April 06, 2007 by Pete Chavez

    “Do the Cuban people actually like Fidel or is it just that they are brainwashed by all the propaganda?”

    Honestly it’s a complicated mixed bag.  The majority of people in Cuba are younger than the revolution or just a little older.  So they have nothing to compare their system too.  Yet they know they are missing out on many things that everyone else takes for granted (Osvaldo Paya is in his forties, right?).  Many of the people of this generatin that have had the oppurtunity to see the world and what’s out there come back resenting the Cuban system and feel they’ve been sold a great lie.  They usually wind up leaving for good whether it be Spain, France, Mexico, Canada or the U.S.  Aside from the obvious reasons of bare necessities for leaving, they also realize there’s just no going back after they’ve seen the possibilities of life outside totalitarian rule.  I have a friend that’s living in Spain and he says he just can’t fathom going back to minding what he says, being careful of who he is seen hanging around with and basically going back to being second class by virtue of being Cuban, etc. That is a very common and young complaint about living in Cuba.  So do they like Fidel?  Some respect him, others see him as a security blanket (although a false one of course), others despise him but you’ll never hear that out loud until your outside the island (ie CubanAmericans, yes they have good reasons for hating him, they happen to be Cuban too and they are not three robber baron families that left in 1959, they number about a million and have streamed in all through the last 40 years).

    “I know dissent is not allowed but you would think that somehow the people would have risen up by now in someway”

    Well Pubilsher, Clearly we know that North Korea has in the last ten years a certain type of “dark ages” with their mass famines and outrageously high mortality rates.  Yet we see televised images at least twice a year of North Korean national celebrations where there is an endless strong virile army marching in perfect synchronysity up the Boulevards of their capital followed by choruses of beautifully costumed children performing folk dances, singing national hyms and slogans and then there are the cheering crowds waving their national flags.  And then you wonder, how hell could they be having a famine?  Why are the crowds cheering instead of throwing rocks and rebelling?  Where the hell do all these healthy looking children and soldiers come from?  Two words could answer all of those questions, FEAR and PROPAGANDA.


  20. Follow up post #20 added on April 07, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Thank you for your insight.

    I and all who read your posts are better educated about “Cubanidad”.

    I suppose this “complicated mixed bag” is why I have given Fidel and the Cuban system some leeway. I have given myself room to understand Fidel out of respect for the soverign nation of Cuba and the Cuban people.

    Also, I didn’t want to be a victim of US “propaganda” and just buy into the “Cuba is bad” mantra.

    I am seeing things more clearly over the past eight months.



    Cuba consulting services

  21. Follow up post #21 added on April 07, 2007 by Ralph

    Who are saying that the castrism will survive after castro’s passing? Not me.
    The heir or the heiress of the castrism and his cronies will plunge shortly after
    taking the real power,when castro has gone, and this time around even with 75% of his evil faculties,Castro is the one who commands in Cuba,Raul and the others are performers,no decision making power,nothing.


  22. Follow up post #22 added on December 12, 2008 by lily

    I am cuban to the boot. Do you want to hear about disrespect? We are treated like children. Grown ups, 60 y/o are treated like children and humilliated. I have been here 5 years now. we are treated like dogs in our own country. We have very low self esteem and no sense whatsoever of what the word dignity means. I learned that here. I was walking the streets of NyC and whenever I saw a policeman I would get nervous, reach for my Id to make sure it was there because i was sure he was going to harass me. I was thrown in prision 3 times in cuba, for a day at a time and left with warnings, because i argued with the police a lot. They harassed me continuosly because:
    1- I did not want to vote because the elections were a joke and i told the military people not to wake me up for that joke. There was only one name in the ballot. I used to tell them"Oh no no,vote, vote for me officer, let me sleep, I don’t want to go downstairs. I dont have anything to eat for breakfast and I am trying to fool my stomach. ” See that was my way to release my anger at them. The thing is cubans love humor ,and I am sort of funny, so people took me as a passive aggressive antipropaganda yet harmless person. I don’t know exactly what it was.
    2- I was good looking. white, blonde hair, green eyes, nice shape, well educated ,and my best friend was black like almost dark blue. The policemen in havana were from the oriental part of the country. They were given the green light to harass people. They are brown skin ,hear me out, race is a factor here. They love blondes, crazy about them, and hate havaneros college students because they talk back and use words they don’t know. So they stopped me when i was alone walking in the streets to scare me and sexually harass me. So I told my gentile best friend of my life ever to walk with me everywhere because I was afraid. then they stopped us to search us under the claim that a negro and a blonde is no good mix and therefore we were up to no good.
    3- I always refused to go to the red square on may 1st to swing the banner” viva fidel.” I knew it was going to show on the CNN and other channels we did not have and people were going to say “you see ,the cubans love Fidel.” 99.9 of the people who goes there are cohersed to do so to keep their miserable job ,but hey! they worked in an aircondicioned place where lunch is good! I am not kidding fellas ,everything here is real. Others go to the plaza de la revolution to get the coca cola and the sandwich after the speech. The officers were in my building knocking hard hard on our doors to impose us to assist .I used to live behind the plaza. 
    4- I went to a birthday party and met the most intelligent ,hottest, superfree american young man ever. Aya yay I was signing my own sentence .They send you away for 15 years if you kill a cow(no joke) imagin if you get yourself an american ,and not any american ,but a texan. Well, I decided that it was time to make at least one choice in life. I took him with me to my apart. behind the plaza. The agents followe us e3very day until they got tired of going to the beach and see us puking the horrible beer we drank out of boredom.
    I am not proud of not having grown a backbone and yell at those bastards what they needed to hear, but then what? I would have to kill my grandma who put them there ,and my uncle who does not beleive in comunism but played the game and got a job in turism .Who is the enemy? well ,also my neighbouur who got a bycicle for snitching on me. Now she does not have to fight in the morning to get on the dangerous bus to go to work. Communism brings the most miserable, cynical part of the human soul. It’s ugly. And everytime I see movies about the jews in the concentration camps exchanging all principles and morality, and dignity to get something to eat it reminds me of cuba. Not in its severity ,but in the social dayly dynamic. People are too worried about the next meal to think about freedom.


  23. Follow up post #23 added on December 13, 2008 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Lily,

    Thank you for sharing that with us.

    Perhaps a new approach to the Embargo and new thinking in the White House will bring change to Cuba. Otherwise, what else can be done?



    Cuba consulting services

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