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Posted March 25, 2010 by publisher in Castro's Cuba

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By PAUL HAVEN | Associated Presss

It perhaps was not the endorsement President Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress were looking for.

Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro on Thursday declared passage of American health care reform “a miracle” and a major victory for Obama’s presidency, but couldn’t help chide the United States for taking so long to enact what communist Cuba achieved decades ago.

“We consider health reform to have been an important battle and a success of his (Obama’s) government,” Castro wrote in an essay published in state media, adding that it would strengthen the president’s hand against lobbyists and “mercenaries.”

But the Cuban leader also used the lengthy piece to criticize the American president for his lack of leadership on climate change and immigration reform, and for his decision to send more troops to Afghanistan, among many other things.

And he said it was remarkable that the most powerful country on earth took more than two centuries from its founding to approve something as basic as health benefits for all.

“It is really incredible that 234 years after the Declaration of Independence ... the government of that country has approved medical attention for the majority of its citizens, something that Cuba was able to do half a century ago,” Castro wrote.

The longtime Cuban leader — who ceded power to his brother Raul in 2008 — has continued to pronounce his thoughts on world issues though frequent essays, titled “Reflections,” which are published in state newspapers.

Cuba provides free health care and education to all its citizens, and heavily subsidizes food, housing, utilities and transportation, policies that have earned it global praise. The government has warned that some of those benefits are no longer sustainable given Cuba’s ever-struggling economy, though it has so far not made major changes.

In recent speeches, Raul Castro has singled out medicine as an area where the government needs to be spending less, but he has not elaborated.

While Fidel Castro was initially positive about Obama, his essays have become increasingly hostile in recent months as relations between Cuba and the United States have soured. Washington has been increasingly alarmed by Cuba’s treatment of political dissidents — one of whom died in February after a long hunger strike.

Cuba was irate over the island’s inclusion earlier this year on a list of countries Washington considers to be state sponsors of terrorism. Tensions have also risen following the arrest in December of a U.S. government contractor that Havana accuses of spying.

In Thursday’s essay, Castro called Obama a “fanatic believer in capitalist imperialism” but also praised him as “unquestionably intelligent.”

“I hope that the stupid things he sometimes says about Cuba don’t cloud over that intelligence,” he said.

—————————————- Havana Journal Comments—————————————-

I am a Republican from Massachusetts. I voted for Obama but I never voted for Ted Kennedy. I voted for Scott Brown. Obama is way too far to the left on healthcare and I think LOTS of Democrats are going to be voted out of office in November because they are WAY out of touch with the American public. My Congressman, William Delahunt is not running for re-election. I have voted for him because of his efforts to ease the trade and travel Embargo but I will no doubt I will be voting Republican this November.

Now, with Fidel Castro endorsing Obamacare, the Republicans are going to use Fidel’s endorsement against the Democrats whenever possible. Fine with me.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on March 26, 2010 by jmw1 with 62 total posts

    I agree.
    Any politician foolish enough to side with Fidel Castro on his endorsement of ‘Obamacare’ deserves to be outcast as a liberal socialist/communist.
    The blind and clumsy heavy hand of government is now fully engaged in healthcare, like it or not. I would like to know how the government proposes to collect a fine from the uninsured: if they had no money to pay insurance premiums, how are they to pay a fine?
    Perhaps they may follow Bill Clinton. He enacted a law which can imprison ‘deadbeat dads’ for not paying child support. Wonderful. The child support continues unpaid with the father in jail. When the father is released with a criminal record, how does he find emloyment to pay his child support?
    We wait to see if the government will jail you for not buying health insurance.

  2. Follow up post #2 added on March 26, 2010 by manfredz with 464 total posts

    I’m not saying the new US model is the best, nor the Canadian model (nor the German one from when I was living in Germany) but a country where millions have no or are unable to get health care insurance is a scary thought.

  3. Follow up post #3 added on March 26, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    I think that the new health care should be studied in detail. In my onion it is better than what the US had before as it would cover millions of people that were not covered before and would put limits on the insurance companies’ abuses.

    I particularly favor the public option, I live in Canada and while I know that the health system here is not perfect, it works very well.

  4. Follow up post #4 added on March 31, 2010 by cacf2@aol.com with 21 total posts

    What most of us fail to admit, is that those bitterly opposing Healthcare reform, are usually, who have never experienced personally, the horrors of needing medical care and having it denied.

    One need not to be a Democrat or Republican, Liberal or Conservative, Capitalist or Socialist to define what is Right from Wrong.  They, the selfish, uncaring, wicked, who have governed the world for centuries, have never expressed a minimum of basic feelings for the Have Nots.

    Ever wondered about the root cause of world strife?

  5. Follow up post #5 added on March 31, 2010 by jmw1 with 62 total posts

    The root cause of world strife is religion.

  6. Follow up post #6 added on March 31, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    I was going to say dictatorships but religion works too.

    Cuba consulting services

  7. Follow up post #7 added on March 31, 2010 by jmw1 with 62 total posts

    What is the difference?

  8. Follow up post #8 added on April 01, 2010 by robolucion with 33 total posts

    You are right jmw1, there is no difference between left wing fascist authoritarianism and fascist theocracies.

  9. Follow up post #9 added on April 04, 2010 by jmw1 with 62 total posts

    Fidel’s endorsement of ‘Obamacare’ is now more understandable. Fidel simply admires the ability of the US government (Obama’s) new powers to confiscate funds from the bank account of an individual who, under the new rules may be ‘uninsured’. And there are also many other draconian measures..
    I appreciate this has nothing to do with Cuba, and all the issues of which we are well aware; but the point I wish to make here is this: Fidel has done a 180 ‘reversal’ again. Now that he sees Obama is implementing such crippling socialist/communist policies which removes all choice from the individual and only transfers all power to the government. Disgusting.

  10. Follow up post #10 added on April 04, 2010 by cacf2@aol.com with 21 total posts

    It is near impossible for me, to understand this level of indifference, uncaring, disregard for others, as jmw1, robulution, the publisher and   others, incapable of understanding their is “onother” world, they fortunately have not seen or experienced.

    If they would only take a minute to ask the guy sleeping under a bridge, the subway station, waiting for hours in an ER or worse, as it happened to an 80 year old woman (don’t force me to give her personal information) was told recently, when she came down with a tyroid carcinoma requiring a 100,000 surgery…with no insurance.

    I believed that developing a cancer that most likely will take your life, should be sufficient suffering for anyone; instead, she was sent home without surgery, to spend months in excruciating pain until this monster takes her life.  No matter how rich and powerful anyone of us may be, we should never be so de-sensitized, inmune to the suffering of others, to be concerned only with the cost of providing healthcare, not so, for funding our sophisticated killing war machine, that have taken such an appalling toll on people who have done us no harm.

    What a personal joy for me, to feel the pain of dog being hit by a car.

  11. Follow up post #11 added on April 04, 2010 by jmw1 with 62 total posts

    Liberal socialist ideolological brainwashing has led the general population of this ‘modern’ world to believe that we all deserve to last forever, and it is therefore unacceptable and ‘politically incorrect’ for us to allow the fragile and terminally ill to die.
    Do you wonder why insurance costs are so high for such an un natural extention of human life? Simple mathmatics; high costs for a short repreive. r Just wait until the bulk of the ‘baby boomers’ around the world are in full blown retirement on various ‘social security’ and demanding all sorts of treatment….

  12. Follow up post #12 added on April 04, 2010 by miguel with 41 total posts

    Not even the most conservative politicians here in Europe would disagree with Fidel Castro’s remarks directly concerning Obama’s health care reform. Europe, like Cuba, has been far ahead of the US in public health legislation – nobody here would recognize the advantages of the US conditions up till now.

    No serious observer anywhere and of any observance would deny that the passing of the health care bill is “a success of Obama’s government”. Why should Castro?

  13. Follow up post #13 added on April 05, 2010 by robolucion with 33 total posts

    What is CACF2 talking about?

    You can have a great social net without authoritarian fascism. Cuba should keep all social aspects of what it “says” it does for society, and drop the garbage military fascism. Right wing Christian Democrats in Europe and Canada also push for a strong social safety net, so it’s not a “left wing/socialist/social democrat” invention.

  14. Follow up post #14 added on April 07, 2010 by Gringo Cubano with 42 total posts

    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address),
    Do you really think the 80 year old woman would get the $100,000 surgery if she lived in Cuba?  Do you think very many Cubans get that drastic of treatment?  NO!  The only way Cuba has kept universal healthcare available is to keep it affordable, and that means treating most things ‘on the cheap’.  NO expensive diagnostic machines, no fancy new medicines, just old fashioned, tried-and-true (and cheap) remedies, common sense and hope for the best.  I bet Cubans have all sorts of home remedies and blackmarket treatments they also use to stay alive.  Last I heard you brought your own bedsheets to the hospital (unless you’re Michael Moore and they put you up in the hospitals for elite government officials and foreigners)

  15. Follow up post #15 added on April 07, 2010 by Gringo Cubano with 42 total posts

    “But the Cuban leader also used the lengthy piece to criticize the American president for his lack of leadership on climate change and immigration reform…”

    Climate change:  Castro has old polluting power plant burning heavy sulfur crude oil, plus old 1950’s cars and newer cars/trucks/buses with 3rd world emission standards.  I guess the oxen and donkeys in Cuba don’t emit as much carbon as new, clean burning cars in the US?

    Immigration reform:  This coming from the guy who runs the Roach Motel of countries:  “They check in, but they won’t check out!”.  What exactly is Cuba’s policy on immigration and emigration (besides “For Cubans, it’s NOT ALLOWED!”)  It’s been a Net Outflow since 1960… while US population grows constantly by new people coming in (from places like Cuba).  Gotta ask yourself:  Why?

  16. Follow up post #16 added on April 07, 2010 by TonySlim with 3 total posts


    1) Are fathers jailed in Cuba for not paying child support?

    2) Are they forced to pay child support?

    Well here in the good ole USA fathers are Jailed for child support arrears and Forced to buy insurance!!! or thrown in Jail UNTIL YOU CAN PAY

    This health-care bill is nothing new.

  17. Follow up post #17 added on April 07, 2010 by Gringo Cubano with 42 total posts

    No idea how child support works in Cuba.  I guess the answer is, does Fidel think they should?  If so, then YES.  If not, then NO. 

    Understand and agree that the state controls too much of our lives in the USA, however I do think fathers have a moral obligation to support their children.  But I think we need to have more justice in family court system to treat both parents equally instead of punishing fathers only.  Also need stronger marriages and that’s a long-term morals, values & culture issue.  If people stuck together & were loyal to each other, we’d have less poverty, crime, domestic abuse, addictions, etc.  Lots of hurt out there and it creates lots of other social problems long-term. 

    I cannot fathom how a divorced dad in the USA can afford to pay child support, insurance and/or alimony and still take care of himself and possibly a new family.  Very tough economics…  I can barely take care of my own family (wife & 2 kids) and we all live under one roof!

  18. Follow up post #18 added on April 08, 2010 by MiamiCuban with 87 total posts

    To GringoCubano-Post#14:  My 86 year-old-aunt in Cuba who was going blind received eye surgery that restored her sight (very costly operation here in the U.S.—and out of the question for anyone without health insurance).  And she never even joined the Communist Party!

  19. Follow up post #19 added on April 08, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    Yes, but ask your 86 year old to say anything against Castro and she would be trown in jail, no matter how old she is.

  20. Follow up post #20 added on April 08, 2010 by MiamiCuban with 87 total posts

    Not true at all.  In fact, she’s very outspoken about her beliefs.  She’s lived in the same neighborhood for about 70 years, and everyone in the neighborhood is accustomed to her speaking her mind.

  21. Follow up post #21 added on April 08, 2010 by Gringo Cubano with 42 total posts

    I’d like to see her march to downtown Havana with the ladies in white, let’s see if they leave her alone just because she’s old.  If she speaks her mind but they leave her alone, the regime must not find her a ‘threat’, which means she is not organizing others in the neighborhood to speak their minds, she does not speak to foreign media about her beliefs, and she does not officially protest government decisions or actions.  The right to be outspoken about one’s beliefs does not really exist in Cuba because the government can decide (on a whim) that you have ‘crossed the line’ between just talking and being anti-revolutionary (i.e. you have upset a Fidelista).  They tolerate some amount of talking but do not allow any individuals or groups to make an impact (i.e. to influence change in policy or public opinion).  This is freedom?

    P.S.  to MiamiCuban:  I am wondering, if you defend the regime so vigorously, why do you live in Miami?  Isn’t life better in Havana than Miami?  Free health care, education, guaranteed job, free food package, free housing, and of course the freedom to speak your mind in your neighborhood for 70 years…. why did you come to the USA if you could have a much better life in Cuba???

  22. Follow up post #22 added on April 08, 2010 by Gringo Cubano with 42 total posts

    By the way, I am glad your aunt got the surgery she needed in Cuba.  It probably would have been very expensive in the US because our medical system has gone overboard due to legal liability (afraid to get sued for malpractice due to insane $$ awarded by juries) and due to technology (US doctors use machines, Cuban doctors use their brains).  So on a certain level I think the Cuban model is much more efficient & cost-effective and appropriate for the 3rd world.  However, IF I can afford it I would much rather get U.S. medical care.

    I also think it is wonderful that Fidel has placed an emphasis on eye surgery and sends his doctors all over Latin America for free (or paid for by Hugo Chavez).  While it’s a publilcity stunt for them, it does help people.  Same thing has been done by US and European missionaries for centuries (most major hospitals were started by the churches)... traditionally private charity aid by individuals far exceeds US government foreign aid giving.  But I’m skeptical that if your aunt had other ailments that required sophisticated and expensive treatment she would get help in Cuba. 

    I do think we need health care & insurance reform in the USA to keep costs in line, change abusive practices, and ensure all citizens have access to necessary care.  Somehow we’ve got to stop the mentality of throwing the kitchen sink at a stubbed toe (i.e. we even do thousands of dollars of surgery and drugs for cats and dogs, a symptom that we are willing to bankrupt ourselves to keep anything and anyone alive for at least a little while longer).  We also need more healthy lifestyles instead of prescribing drugs to ‘fix’ medical problems brought on by lour choices (overeating/bad diet, no exercise due to driving everywhere, etc.)

  23. Follow up post #23 added on April 08, 2010 by MiamiCuban with 87 total posts

    Gringo, I’m not defending anything.  I’m just offering some facts.  No, my aunt does not engage in activities to overthrow the government.  Yes, she speaks her mind to whomever.  I know nothing, personally, about the extent to which others may or may not engage in activities that conspire against the government.  And I am certainly not privy to the chain-reaction-effects which lead to imprisonment, etc.  I can only speak from my own experience or that of my family’s.
    I do agree with you that the US needs major healthcare reform.  It’s fine if doctors choose to open up private practices, but we could also benefit from Obama-like reform tremendously and extending the role of government.  And, yes, people do need to get educated about helathier lifestyles so they’re not a drain on the system—-this is definitely needed.  However, that means we’ll need to look at all the advertising that’s done for junk cereal, candy, and a myriad other crap foods that companies pay $millions for in order to entice people to buy products that are ultimately bad for their health.  Everything is connected.

  24. Follow up post #24 added on April 08, 2010 by Gringo Cubano with 42 total posts

    Glad we can agree on some reforms needed in the US regarding health care.  Even extreme opinions on opposite sides of some issues can agree on some things.

  25. Follow up post #25 added on April 08, 2010 by Gringo Cubano with 42 total posts

    Please help me understand your perspective.  Just a question about your comments that your aunt does not “engage in activities that conspire against the government.”  Can you please define what activities are considered a consipracy against the government?  I am not sure what that means in Cuba or to a MiamiCuban.

    For me, a native-born American, that description would mean conspiring to commit violence against any branch of the government.  In the USA, we do NOT include actions like organizing a political party, gathering signatures on a petition to the government, marches, protests, rallys, etc.  in a definition of conspiracy against the government (i.e. treason).  We have the freedom to change our government through legal means (for example, the election of Barack Obama & a Democrat congress)

    Look at the Tea Party Movement that has begun recently in the USA…. I think in Cuba it would be defined as “conspiring against the government” and would be shut down.  In the USA, even President Barack Obama tolerates these ‘extremists’ unless they start threatening violence.  Our consitution allows a threshold of behavior that is prohibited in Cuba becuase the Communist system cannot allow anything in opposition to become strong enough or else it is a ‘conspiracy against the government’.  Why is it so afraid of disagreement??

    In the USA the government is OF the people, BY the people, FOR the people…. (albeit NOT perfect!).  In Cuba the government is OF the Party, BY the Party, FOR the Party….  the glorious “Revolution” is more important than the people and the rights are collective, not individual. 

    It is a completely different paradigm that allows leftists to excuse behaviour in Cuba by the Communist government that if done by a right-wing government anywhere else in the world would be renounced and shouted down and you would encourage the left side (opposition) in that country to take actions against such injustice (such as marches, protests, journalistic writing, debate on TV & radio, etc. - same as what has gone on peacefully in USA for 235 years)...  yet these same actions if taken in Cuba, the Castro regime defines as “conspiracy against the govt”.

    Help me understand why diversity of opinion is OK in the USA but is a bad thing in Cuba?  Why is it a good thing for Cubans to not have free debate & thinking?

  26. Follow up post #26 added on April 08, 2010 by jmw1 with 62 total posts

    Well put, Gringo Cubano
    Miamimoron is now very busy struggling to find another way to defend the Castro madness….

  27. Follow up post #27 added on April 08, 2010 by Gringo Cubano with 42 total posts

    One thing I don’t understand.  MiamiCuban defends the Castro govt but has still not explained why he prefers to live in Miami instead of Havana. 

    WHY?  There are MANY Cubans who live in Miami right now, who would LOVE to go back to Havana, but only IF the Castro govt was gone…... (they want to live in Cuba wbut ith the same freedom & liberty they have right now in Miami).

    MiamiCuban, I have to ask:  If/when the Castro’s. are gone, will you return to Havana?  Why would you wait & join the mad rush of “Cuban-American mafia”?  Do you really love the American ideals, rights, liberties and freedoms more than the Cuban ideals, rights, liberties and freedoms?  Or is it just economics?

  28. Follow up post #28 added on April 08, 2010 by MiamiCuban with 87 total posts

    Hi Gringo, “free debate and thinking” would be the ideal state for all people everywhere.  I am 110% for this.  But one cannot compare what country “A” does with what country “B” or “C” does.  The political, social, cultural, and economic climate of a country are intertwined with the way a government is forced to deal with varying situations as they either surface on their own or are instigated.  I don’t know what the answers are for Cuba.  I don’t pretend to know which solutions would be best.  I do know that “freedoms” everywhere go through a revolving door, depending on the situation and circumstance.  For example, during the last presidential election, tensions in our office (in Miami) were running so high that we were not allowed to wear t-shirts , buttons, OR EVEN TALK about our preferred candidate.  Is this freedom?  No, of course not.  But I also understood that management wanted to avoid an escalation of tensions in the office that could ultimately culminate in someone getting hurt.  I didn’t like the situation, but I understood it.  We need to stop seeing things in black and white (especially with respect to Cuba), and start paying attention to the endless shades of gray.

    As for your question above, yes, it’s true that here in the U.S. we can sign petitions and attend rallies demanding better healthcare, etc.  That’s also easy to do in a country of 300 million people without really creating chaos.  (I do wonder what would happen if 30 million were to rally.  Would WE the people get what we want, or would those prisons that Halliburton is building suddenly fill up?)  I’m pretty sure that if you attended a rally that petitioned the release of Al-Queda prisoners, you could very well end up in Guantanamo—and without right to a lawyer.  My point is that everything is relative to time, place and circumstances—whether we deem it right or wrong—and it’s no different in Cuba.
    By the way, I was born here.

  29. Follow up post #29 added on April 08, 2010 by TonySlim with 3 total posts

    I don’t agree with this quote

    “In the USA the government is OF the people, BY the people, FOR the
    people…. (albeit NOT perfect!).”

    Special interest runs the USA!!! While Judges become KINGS…!!....We the people have lost our rights!

  30. Follow up post #30 added on April 08, 2010 by Gringo Cubano with 42 total posts

    In the points you make in this last post, I don’t disagree with you as much as you might think, I realize there are shades of gray in every country.  I just take offense at your defending a regime that treats people differently based on whether or not those people agree or disagree with the regime.  It’s that simple, and I would hope that you would not support a US government that singled out ‘the opposition’ whether Demo or Repub and treated citizens differently based on political, religious or other beliefs.  I agree that multinationals are a threat to our freedom even in the USA as lobbyists are embedded into our govt and corp’s have too much control.  We citizens need to defend our inalieable rights which are guaranteed by our constitution and defined as God-given (a much stronger foundation than those rights Cuba “gives” or “allows” its citizens). 

    Actually, there have been Americans who protested for release of the Guantanamo prisoners, and they have not “disappeared” despite your being ‘pretty sure’.  Did you never hear of Cindy Sheehan?  Here’s a link to another story about worldwide (including the US) protests:  http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Protests_mark_anniversary_of_Guantanamo_detention_center

    For an example of what ‘freedom’ could look like in a small country like Cuba, cosider these nations of generally similar size (110,000 sq. meters) and population (11.5M):  Greece, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Taiwan, Austria, Portugal, Cambodia, Ecuador, Burkina Faso, Hungary, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Panama, Cameroon, Netherlands, Madagascar, etc. 

    Freedom to assemble, petition the government, form political parties, and march in the streets does not create chaos in small countries any more than it does in your local city, county or state… or in a big country like the USA or in China or Russia.  Wait a minute -do you see the difference?  It’s not the SIZE of the country but the government’s tolerance for dissent and how the govt responds to political opponents - thru oppression or thru openness and fairness to all?

    Remember, “all politics is local” and our nation’s political system was founded on the small local govt bodies empowered and run by the local people, feeding into a state govt and then a federal govt, again, run by the people elected by their peers as representatives.  It’s not that complicated and it existed and functioned way back when the USA was a lot smaller than Cuba is today.  But our system was founded to eliminate the power of 1 man (King George) while Cuba’s system was founded on the congregation of power in 1 man (Fidel Castro).  Both intended that power to be used for the good of the people.  One system trusted the people with that power, the other system does not trust the people but tries to control them in the name of “liberating” the people (i.e. the Revolution).

  31. Follow up post #31 added on April 08, 2010 by Gringo Cubano with 42 total posts

    If the Ladies in White are only about 30 women on an island of 11.5 million (and in a city of 5 million, why is it that their protests cause such chaos that the regime cannot tolerate it?  Did the USA shut down protests thru violence, intimidation or other threats such as the MLK speach on the mall in Washington DC, or the Million Man March led by Farakhan (a muslim) or more recently the Tea Party gatherings?  Neither liberal nor conservative presidents have done so and we even had a republican president (Eisenhower) who sent troops to states to protect the minority from injustice by local authorities (Little Rock school desegregation in 1950’s).  I just don’t get how liberals justify lack of political freedom for others when you so enjoy exercising your own political rights safely here in the USA…. ?

  32. Follow up post #32 added on April 08, 2010 by Gringo Cubano with 42 total posts

    So you no longer have the right to vote, it was taken away by a Judge/King?

    You do not have the right to run for office, it was taken away by a Judge/King?

    You are denied the right to assemble, rally, petition the govt, go on the radio or TV with your political message, all because of a Judge/King?

    Exercise the rights you still have in this country.  It’s still one of the free-est in the world…. (name me the few where you have more liberty, please?)

  33. Follow up post #33 added on April 09, 2010 by MiamiCuban with 87 total posts

    Cindy Sheehan is a poor example—-she’s too popular and visible, and that makes her untouchable.  If anyone tried to silence her, it would create an uproar.  Look instead at people like Ray Lemme.  I’m sure you never heard of him.  He was killed in a Georgia hotel room after he started investigating a Bush link to embezzlement of funds in Florida’s turnpike system. 

    As for your comment:  “We citizens need to defend our inalieable rights which are guaranteed by our constitution and defined as God-given.”  What do you mean exactly by “defend our inalienable rights?”  Can we simply “vote” on getting rid of The Patriot Act?  Can we start growing our own oranges in Florida so we’re not forced to buy them from Publix at ridiculous prices?  Did you ever stop to consider that “freedom” is a relative word whose meaning can change from one day to the next?

  34. Follow up post #34 added on April 09, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Anyone notice that MiamiCuban always insists on debate and understanding yet she never gives into anyone’s arguments?

    Must be great to be right ALL the time.

    Cuba consulting services

  35. Follow up post #35 added on April 09, 2010 by MiamiCuban with 87 total posts

    On the contrary, Publisher.  If you notice, I’ve never said anyone is wrong about their opinions.  What I do is always offer alternative views.

    In the end, there really are no “sides.”  That concept exists only in our own minds.  Just as there are no real boundaries between countries, even though we’re good at drawing maps.  It’s all really land mass.  And our opinions are just that—opinions.  And we have a wide array of them, based on our own unique perspective on the world (founded, of course, on our own experiences).  So basically we have six billion perspectives on how the world works, or should work.  Who’s to say what would work best for the greater number?  The truth is that we DON’T know.  What we should do is just try to see things from someone else’s perspective now and then rather than adhere to our own as if it were engraved in stone.  I’ve said before in this journal that I don’t pretend to know what the answers are.  You, however, resort to name-calling and belittling bloggers whose opinion differ from yours.  That’s called immaturity and, frankly, I don’t understand why you bother to run this journal if all you want is for everyone to agree with you.  You might as well say it up front:  ONLY POST REMARKS IF YOU AGREE WITH PUBLISHER’S POINT OF VIEW.

  36. Follow up post #36 added on April 09, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    I don’t want to get off topic but when you act all rational and say things like “What I do is always offer alternative views.” yet you NEVER give agree with anyone.

    You just talk at people and blast out your brain washed propaganda day after day.

    You claim to want to have “debate” yet you never give in even when you are completely wrong.

    You are not balanced or open minded and I am offended when you claim to be the voice of reason around here.

    It just gets sickening after a while.

    We get it. You love Fidel and Communism and your goal in life is to convince everyone that Fidel and Communism is good yet you live in Miami and not Cuba.

    When you are challenged on your facts and opinions you blame the US time after time.

    I say all this for all brain washed people out there who live in their perceived reality.

    Okay, now back to the show.

    Cuba consulting services

  37. Follow up post #37 added on April 09, 2010 by MiamiCuban with 87 total posts

    Very funny, Publisher.  Since when is “offering alternative views” synonymous with “claiming to be the voice of reason?”  Check the dictionary for the meaning of “alternative”—-it doesn’t mean “supplant” over “override.”

  38. Follow up post #38 added on April 09, 2010 by Gringo Cubano with 42 total posts

    I understand your frustration that divergent opinions should be tolerated.  And yes, there are 6 billion unique people in the world, and it’s very unlikely any 2 see every angle of every issue the same way.  I think you and I agree that we should tolerate different opinions and ideas and respect each person equally.

    However, do we both feel & think this way because we were born & raised in the USA?  Is tolerance and respect for differing opinions a uniquely American value?  Or could it even be just a Western European value that was imported to the colonies in America? 

    OR, is tolerance and respect for diversity a “universal” value - what we could call part of our innate ‘natural law’ or conscience, or for the religious person, a ‘God-given right’ (to hold your own opinions, ideas & thoughts)?  Do you and I both VALUE the freedom of expressing these opinions, ideas & thoughts (here on the internet, verbally in person, on TV or radio, in a public rally) JUST BECAUSE we are both Americans?  Or do other cultures, peoples, and nationalities around the world also value these ideals (regardless of what their government policies may be)? 

    I think you are correct that it is too simplistic to say that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to government form (i.e. republican democracy ala USA) should be applied around the world.  Among “western” democracies we see quite a bit of variety in govt structure, legal system and ideas about ‘rights’.  But all western democracies value and protect the individual rights of citizens, the most valued and cherished being freedome to think and express our thoughts.

    Are you OK with the oppression of those freedoms and rights due to cultural, geographic, or other differences?  What about those individuals born into another culture or country who agree with our values (i.e. tolerance for differing opinions) but CANNOT freely exercise these ‘rights’ becuase in their country, the government does not recognize these things as rights?

    Let’s forget about Cuba for a moment.  Do you defend the actions (against their own citizens) in Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Sudan, Serbia/Kosovo, Russia, China, etc.?  What about the citizens of these countries who disagree with their government’s position.  Can’t each of these governments simply say “Look, your opinions don’t matter, you are one of 6 billion perspectives - Who’s to say what would work best for the greater number?”

    I do not understand a liberal who will not recognize universal human rights for all 6 billion people on this planet.  Maybe I need to lead a conservative takeover of Amnesty International… you don’t seem the type who would support them in condemning the actions of Castro in Cuba (although I bet you would agree with them in condemning Uribe in Colombia).  Are you motivated by Politics alone?

  39. Follow up post #39 added on April 09, 2010 by Gringo Cubano with 42 total posts

    If you back off a little on MiamiCuban, we can get him/her to express the motivation behind embracing Castro’s oppression.  I really want to understand the liberal values which embrace supporting the poor and weak, and protecting minorities, and how those values are in-line with the actions of the Castro government.  Of course along the way we will go on rabbit chases in the weeds where the obvious defense of Castro is to criticize Bush or the USA.  But let’s get an intelligent discussion going where we can open up MiamiCuban’s mind a little bit.  It seems like MiamiCuban is very closed-minded to any opinions which do not agree with his/hers… which is a contradiction of his/her embracing all 6 billion perspectives in the world.

    I also am curious how MiamiCuban thinks we should live in a world where more than a few of the 6 billion have evil motives such as no consideration for human life or suffering and are willing to trample on others to better themselves, whether running rampant on people’s freedoms & rights, or destroying them financially to get rich themselves.  Let’s have an honest, open discussion w/no name calling and see where it takes us. 

    I for one am convinced that thinking people will eventually see the wrongness of tolerance for those who have not tolerance of others…..  and I am hopelessly optimistic enough to believe that MiamiCuban really loves freedom, liberty and other so-called American values (which we in the USA think are just for us, not necessarily good for other countries, peoples, cultures, etc.)

  40. Follow up post #40 added on April 09, 2010 by cacf2@aol.com with 21 total posts

    It is truly regretful, that the opportunity allowed on this and other sites, for us to exchange intelligently, differing points of views, have become a resonance box for narrow, sometimes offensive expressions of entrenched views, especially by those, obsessed with Cuba, in which, all the proven wrongs, mistakes, abuses that are attributed to that government, are hyped, magnified and deemed unique by so many Cuba-haters, I have come to know.

    When caught in fraganti, their cap-out is to compare Fidel Castro with Pinochet, Uribe or any other right wing murderer.

    I am searching for and in case I can find some recent images out of Uribe’s Colombia Para-military in actions, I am asking if it would be appropriate to be posted here.  Warning, it maybe too gruesome for those faint at heart!  I await the publisher’s response.

  41. Follow up post #41 added on April 09, 2010 by MiamiCuban with 87 total posts

    Am I okay with oppression?  Of course not.  Do I believe in freedom, liberty, justice, equality for ALL the people of the earth?  Naturally.  You’re right—-these are not just American values—they’re human values.  Now, do I think these are relative terms (along with “tolerance,” “diversity,” and “universal value”)?  Yes—and they need to be taken within cultural, geographic, political, religious, and demographic, context.  If you asked 6 billion people what these words meant to them, you’d probably get just as many interpretations. Would we eat dog meat?  Of course not.  But it’s completely acceptable in other cultures.  We eat cows, but in India it’s another story.  And on and on. Bear in mind that all cultures, just like political systems, are constantly evolving.  Remember it was less than five decades ago blacks were lynched in America.  We EVOLVED beyond that, not because other nations forced us to change through embargoes or through direct (or indirect) interference, but because we as a people we struggled through the muck and mire and worked it out ourselves. I imagine that if France or England had interfered or financially funded different groups, it would have probably further divided our nation and only prolonged the resolution.  And that’s my point in all our discussions about Cuba.  Let them BE!  Stop flying over Havana and dropping leaflets.  Stop funding dissident groups.  Stop sabotaging their tourism industry.  Stop putting them under a magnifying glass. Isn’t it OBVIOUS, after 50+ years, that “we” won’t change anything except muddy things even further?  We are not the police of the world.  We’re a homegrown country and just as we grew through and out of our own troubles (and still doing so), we should give Cuba its own space to work things out for themselves.

  42. Follow up post #42 added on April 09, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    No. Stick to the topic.

    I am sick of you Fidel lovers always dodging the topic and deflecting arguments.

    It’s always somebody else’s fault and NEVER Fidel’s fault. We know. We know. He’s a great man but poor poor Fidel, yada yada

    Cuba consulting services

  43. Follow up post #43 added on April 09, 2010 by cacf2@aol.com with 21 total posts

    Are we not discussing healthcare, human rights, human behaviour, abuses etc.  Are we afraid of graphic abuses by friends?

  44. Follow up post #44 added on April 09, 2010 by MiamiCuban with 87 total posts

    I didn’t mean to ignore you—-I think my post above addresses your questions as well.
    By the way, I’m a “her”—and probably old enough to be your, and Publisher’s, mother or perhaps grandmother.

  45. Follow up post #45 added on April 09, 2010 by Gringo Cubano with 42 total posts

    Don’t think you’re that old, I’m a middle-aged “he” with a teenager heading for college soon. 

    I understand your point about foreign interference in the development of a nation.  However, our nation had significant interferance from England & France in our early (formative) years… same timeframe as Fidel’s 50 years.

    Also, regarding our EVOLUTION on human/civil rights…. I think that evolution was ONLY POSSIBLE because of the freedoms enshrined in our constitution which made it so obviously revolting AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL to deny rights to people on the basis of skin color or gender… 

    My point is that in a country where one man controls the constitution, the congress, the supreme court, (basically the entire political system) as well as the military, the economy, the education system, and even the practice of religion, well, I cannot see how that can be a good thing… FIDEL = KING in the truest sense of the word, one man’s word rules all.  A “benevolent” king perhaps, but a monarch nonetheless.  HOW in the world will Cuban society EVOLVE if the King will not allow any evolution (as Fidel has so clearly put stumbling blocks in place of any ‘change’ over all these years). 

    I agree, let’s kill the embargo, let Americans have freedom to travel to Cuba and share freely with the Cubans.  I don’t think the regime will be able to control the results and will become overwhelmed by the people themselves demanding change and being more empowered (yes, by Yankee tourist dollars!) to make change happen.  It would be more effective than continuing to fund an opposition who claim to be nothing but patriotic freedom-lovers but who are painted by the regime as treasonous puppets (I think the truth lies somewhere in between).

  46. Follow up post #46 added on April 09, 2010 by Gringo Cubano with 42 total posts

    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address):
    Hey, even if Uribe’s military has done some horrific things, they are no worse than those done by the FARC.  I will say that when I was in Bogota a couple years ago, I felt much safer than when I was in Mexico City or Buenos Aires, or Sao Paulo, Brazil, so I have a positive view of Uribe and the Colombian govt for having established stability and order and reduced the chaos of drug lords and mafia who controlled the security of the country for too long (violence fueled by US demand for cocaine, we were partly responsible).

    Even if he did bad things, Uribe is NOT a king or dictator, he governs (not rules) under a consitution, and Colombia has one of the most robust democracies in all of Latin America (and the longest functioning govt, since early 1800’s).  (ASK COLOMBIANS - they will overwhelmingly tell you they support him).  So the people in Colombia can vote - through their exercise of these rights/liberties they can decide to allow atrocities or to stop;  Colombians are free to EVOLVE as a culture & country, just as MiamiCuban pointed out that the USA was allowed to EVOLVE to embrace civil rights for minorities (again, ,becuase we have a constitutional democracy with guaranteed rights that are enforced by all branches of the govt that share power and have to respect the limits on their power).  But yes, our country’s culture had to evolve (through education, debate, rallys & marches, arguements, advertising, word of mouth, churches preaching against injustice, etc. etc. etc.) before we granted rights & freedoms as we should have all along. 

    By the way, I would agree with many liberals who are critical of Bush and other leaders who try to stretch and even abuse the power of the Executive branch.  However, we have to be fair and acknowledge that other presidents (FDR, JFK, Reagan, Bush 1) have tried to do the same - we need to be intolerant of the abuse of power no matter what party does it.

  47. Follow up post #47 added on April 09, 2010 by Gringo Cubano with 42 total posts

    You should rent the movie “AMAZING GRACE”... it tells the story of Willilam Wilberforce and his efforts to fight against the slave trade in England.  It portrays the cultural change in England to turn the government and the people against what was at one time argued to be a fundamental pillar of the economy and a foundation of worldwide power for the British Empire - SLAVERY.

    Interesteing to see how something we (almost) universally abhor today was (almost) universally defended just 200 years ago.

  48. Follow up post #48 added on April 09, 2010 by MiamiCuban with 87 total posts

    Yes…kids going to college….wonderful stage.

    I understand your points.  They’re logical and well thought out.  Where I (respectfully) disagree is on the issue of Fidel being King.  I have a hard time believing that one man rules everything in Cuba.  I don’t think that’s possible….at least not for five decades.  Logic tells me there might be more support than we realize.  Again, this is only an opinion.

  49. Follow up post #49 added on April 09, 2010 by Gringo Cubano with 42 total posts

    I once had an assignment to write a paper about a topic.  I was lucky enough to see Jesse Jackson give a speech when he was running for President, and I used his answer in my paper.  The question was whether the US, in seeking to extend freedom and democracy around the world, should sacrifice our ideals in order to achieve our goals in an imperfect world.  I can’t remember his exact answer, but the tenor and tone was clearly ‘NO!’.  Even though I stood on the opposite side of the aisle from Mr. Jackson politically, he and I were in complete agreement at that moment - we as Americans must NEVER sacrifice our ideals in order to accomplish our short-term goals.  We must act and behave in an ethical manner if we are to expect other nations to follow our leadership.  We cannot tell them to ‘do as I say, not as I do…’

    Too bad in our world this idealism is rarely exhibited by leaders in any country.  Glad we can have an honest discussion and as Americans, although we disagree about the politics, we are really both entirely in agreement about core values.

  50. Follow up post #50 added on April 09, 2010 by Gringo Cubano with 42 total posts

    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address):
    I forgot to include Clinton and Obama in the list as well as the most obvious-NIXON!  Sadly, it seems like presidents in the 20th century are evolving into Kings after our country so clearly rejected monarchy at our own Revolution.

  51. Follow up post #51 added on April 09, 2010 by Gringo Cubano with 42 total posts

    I agree that Fidel as “king” does not rule every aspect and make every decision in Cuba… but he is the ultimate authority.  NOT the Supreme Court, NOT the Congress, and certainly NOT the people in free elections.

    Kings in the “old world” did not control everything, but they controlled the government and they controlled the Lords & Counts & Dukes (nobility) who most certainly controlled the peasants.  How different is Fidel?  We hope that our presidents (Repub or Demo) do not display this mentality, that THEY are in control of the decisions of the country, but rather that THEY are in a position of power because the PEOPLE put them there (every 4 years!) with the trust that they will execute the “WILL OF THE PEOPLE”... not perfectly, but they will try.

    That’s all we can ask of, and I hope someday the people of Cuba (those who are still on the island) will ask that of their government, so they can enjoy the rights & liberties we take for granted, which for them would seem like special privileges.

    They can keep free healthcare and education and be a socialist democracy like many of our European allies.  Those “rights” are not opposed to freedom & liberty (i.e. our democratic & political “rights” which Cubans are denied).

  52. Follow up post #52 added on April 09, 2010 by MiamiCuban with 87 total posts

    We’re in complete agreement insofar as the “people” working things out with their own government.  That’s how it should be.

    I believe that to be true here, in Cuba or elsewhere.  That’s precisely why I’m always criticizing the constant interference with Cuba.

    I also think we’re guilty of that old adage about being concerned about “the speck in someone else’s eye” when we have such serious issues to resolve here in our own territory.  For starters, the special interest groups are getting a strong foothold on our government.  We could even be witnessing at present a silent coup d’etat of our democracy, and all while we bicker about how other countries are running their governments.  We pride ourselves in electing a new leader every 4 years…...yet we don’t stop to ponder that perhaps those candidates who make it to the final round are the ones “deemed acceptable” by the interest groups whose money is essential for an effective campaign.  We go back to shopping and making credit card payments and charging doctors’ office visits, then remortgage our house so we can pay off the cards and start all over again.  (These are, of course, just opinions).  Yes, Cuba has its share of problems.  I’m not denying that.  But if we look deeply enough at our own, we might be surprised with what we find.

  53. Follow up post #53 added on April 09, 2010 by Gringo Cubano with 42 total posts

    Mortgage the house to pay off the cards…. sounds like a HOUSE OF CARDS to me! 

    Too bad the 21st century American economy has been built on borrowing & spending instead of saving & investing.  This is one area where our democratic form of government has really let the citizens down.  We need to demand fiscal responsibility and sensible monetary policy from our government… we must support candidates who will not bankrupt the nation by spending more money on pork barrel projects just to buy more votes and keep their positions of power (too many are comfortable being bought & paid for by special interests)!

  54. Follow up post #54 added on April 09, 2010 by MiamiCuban with 87 total posts

    Yes well, things used to be sane here in America when families worked, saved money, and lived a simpler life (and within their means).  Advertising has done a good job of spawning an out-of-control consumer society that often has no choice but to whip out the credit card and “go shopping” as Bush would say.  Heck, credit is used even for basics like food and medicine.  We need to return to a simpler life.

  55. Follow up post #55 added on April 09, 2010 by TonySlim with 3 total posts

    Grinco Cuban

    It"s all a facade. Your rights in America can be taken away as simple as disagreeing with a Judge aka King. A Judge can simply say you are in contempt.  Read the Story of Richard I Fine.

    I know many fathers in the USA who’s rights are taken away if they disagree with the “CORRUPTED ”  child support system. I am not talking dead beats. Men who are willing to pay, however the corrupted system took away their rights! Fathers thrown in Jail for Debt. In America! Jailed for owing over $5000!  and FORCED to Buy insurance!!! (Not even in Cuba or China)

    Judges have taken away the right of many voters…Hello Florida 2000!

    America is not as free as we think!  Judges legislate from the bench and it become LAW!

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