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Posted July 19, 2006 by publisher in Castro's Cuba

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The death of Fidel Castro did not happen again this week. A posting on a National Review Online blog got the rumor mills burning on Tuesday, but nothing came of the report. The Huffington Post’s Eat the Press blog chided the sparking: “I don’t know why Jonah Goldberg felt compelled to post this unconfirmed rumor on the Corner and leave it dangling there unverified for four hours during the busy newsday….”

But blog spats aside, the Miami Herald reports this morning on an increasingly prominent role for Castro’s brother, Raúl, the designated successor and current defense minister in Cuba.

“A recent string of Cuban media reports highlighting Defense Minister Raúl Castro has U.S. analysts saying that Havana is preparing the way for life after Fidel and suggesting that his younger brother already has begun taking on more governance responsibilities. ... While a database search showed the number of media mentions of Raúl has remained constant, one expert Cuba-watcher said the scope and depth of the coverage has changed dramatically—from close-cropped photos of him at official functions, for example, to wide-angle ‘‘almost heroic’ shots of him reviewing troops in the field.”

The Herald story links to two samples of the coverage, one speech in English and a lengthy profile in Spanish. But an opinion piece in the paper this week summarizes what analysts see as Raúl Castro’s leadership drawbacks, worldview aside—“he’s 75 years old and a heavy drinker.”

As Reuters reports, the White House’s Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba has recently “recommended new steps to hasten the collapse of Castro’s one-party state.” You can read the full report on the commission’s State Department website.
Posted by Patrick Cooper at 08:22 AM/ET, July 14, 2006


Castro has destroyed the island of Cuba. While he was a puppet of the USSR Castro received 10 times more money from the Russians than all of Europe received druing the Marshal Plan. And for what? The entire island looks now like a disaster area as can be seen here:


It is the system folks that doesn’t work! It didn’t work in Easter Europe and it doesn’t work in Cuba.
Posted by: JBR | Jul 16, 2006 12:23:52 PM

Fidel Castro, along with Nelson Mandela have been the greatest leaders in my lifetime. American capitalism is an evil with a stench that is pervading the whole world.
Posted by: gally | Jul 16, 2006 3:52:38 AM

I think most of the comments about Cuba on this site are a result of misinformation. First of all, Cuba is not a nation with a dictator who rules by decree. Cuba is a nation with a constitution, laws and many organizations, as well as a national assembly which is elected directly by the Cuban people. The national assembly in turn elects the president, vice president, appoints ambassadors, foreign minister etc.. This is not a backward country as many in the US would have us believe. In fact, Cuba leads the world on many fronts; education, health care, sports, culture and increasinly so in science, particularly in the biogenetics field. Cuba has achieved all this even inspite the cruel US embargo, terroristic attacks from US soil and constant harrassment. This is not to say that Cuba is without problems but it is to demonstrate that the revolution was not in vain and the overwhelming majority of Cubans have benefitted tremendously. Many Americans believe that once the embargo is lifted and Americans flock to Cuba as tourists, that Cubans will automatically be impressed by the American way of life and change their system to be like the US. This is a fantasy. An ex CIA officer who resides in Cuba remarked had another opinion. He stated basically that “the Americans will not change the Cubans. the Cubans will change the Americans.”
I think this fact is why the US is so intent on isolating Cuba and keeping Americans from seeing for themselfs. This is essentially a battle of ideas and so far the US is losing. My email is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if anyone would like to debate or discuss in a civilized manner or if any one has any questions in particular.
Posted by: anonymous | Jul 15, 2006 2:28:16 PM

To repeat what “Rob” said:

“If the US is so bad….why do hundreds upon thousands each year risk their lives to get in??”

The Castro clan will soon be dead, and the Cuban people will finally get a a chance to move out of the 1950’s.
Posted by: real faker | Jul 15, 2006 11:19:26 AM

You left out babalublog.com that covered the rumor too.
Posted by: conductor | Jul 15, 2006 12:23:16 AM

Robert US Navy Vet:

You are living in fantasyland. We lost in Vietnam because no commitment to win was made and the politicians ran the war from Washington DC while incompetent commanders ( Abrams and Westmoreland) had their head up their asses.

Who are you to say I fought a war I did not understand. I was there, were you?

There is nothing today in that region that in anyway justifys the American losses for fighting a meaninless war.

As for how we were treated upon return, I will never forget that and always be angry and resentful because of the attitude of my fellow Americans.

I support our troops and will do so no matter where they are or for what insane reason politicians put our best fighting men and women in harms way but I will not support a policy that puts them in harms way solely for political purpose and gain.

Vietnam is historical proof of the accuracy of this statement. It is as if the Vietnam war never took place and unfortunately so is Korea

It is us Vietnam vets that got Korean vets covered under our GI Bill because of thoughtless and thankless politicians.

So do not lecture me about anything concerning Vietnam and do not patronize me that I was a naive uninformed draftee who didn’t understand the fight.

You assume to psychoanalyze me by claiming people like me had a grudge against our government. You couldn’t be more inaccurate but after being in combat the first time I was fighting for my life and not for a phoney ideology of bringing democracy to a people who had no idea what democracy is and could have cared less.

What I am trying to say is in a round about way is you are full of crap and don’t know what you are talking about. You are just another talking head parroting administration spin doctoring.
Posted by: Thor | Jul 14, 2006 7:41:26 PM

Some of the comments in this blog show total ignorance as to how Cuba was, is and will be one of the worst human rights violator in the world until the communist tyrany finally implodes. This is evil folks, no doubt about it, I know it, I was born there, I lived inside the beast. I would give North Korea #1 status followed by Cuba, a close second, in the most repressive country in the world. Fidel will stay in power until he dies, after that, all bets are off, hatred is taught to school children for everything american, which by the way, has totally the oposite effect, I would say the grand majority of the people love the good old USA more so than in any other latin american country.
I would also be willing to bet my life that Hollywood’s favorite tyrant, Fidel, was involved in the Kennedy assasination, seen that Oswald visited the cuban embassy in Mexico City just a week prior and he was a devoted communist and just loved the cuban revolution, the truth always comes out at the end, former president Johnson had this sealed for 100 years to prevent WWIII, as this would have surely caused it.
Posted by: justafreecuban | Jul 14, 2006 6:51:58 PM

Dear Thor

Vietnam became the lost war because people like you had a grudge against our own government. I can only guess you were angry at being pulled from the life you had and put into a situation that you could never fully understand. We lost in Vietnam, not because we should not have been there, but because we fought it in the papers and military decisions were based not on sound military tactics, but by political losses and gains. My mention of Ho Chi Minh was very relevant. How many brothers in arms did you lose to his army after they had been taken prisoner? I’m sorry you had to be there to fight a war you did not understand. I’m sorry some of our countrymen insulted you and dishonored your service. I’m sorry you had to fight at all, and I’m sorry we did not finish it, and 58,000 American lives were apparently lost vein. But I hope you realize that the reason we “lost” in Vietnam is because we fought more with ourselves than we did with the enemy. Had your countrymen stood behind you, I doubt you would feel the same way as you do now. I honor your service and pay homage to your deeds as soldier. I pray you have the wisdom to understand that unless the United States stands up to the enemies of freedom and basic human rights, that no one else will.
Posted by: Robert U.S. Navy Vet | Jul 14, 2006 4:37:43 PM

If the US is so bad….why do hundreds upon thousands each year risk their lives to get in??
Posted by: Rob | Jul 14, 2006 4:00:55 PM

Robert US Navy Vet:

I am a US Army Combat Veteran of Vietnam. I was drafted and fought because my country said so.

After serving I opposed the war and actively protested against it.

That does not mean I did not support our troops , I do to this day whether or not I believe we are in the right.

Your mention of Ho Chi Minh is a joke.

We were never threatened by Ho Chi Minh or North Vietnam.

We entered Vietnam by way of the SEATO Treaty and a trumped up ” Gulf of Tonkin Incident”.

We did not defeat the North. Republicans had us cut and run, remember that from Mr Nixon? April 1975

Democracy was never established. 58,000 Americans died , no Vietnamese are free and we are in a love affair with the same communist regime that it was imperative to defeat 40 years ago allowing them to become member of the WTO and soon to lead to Most Favored Nation status.

I consider myself a moderate and base my position on each issue independent of others.

You, like other righwingers see anyone not agreeing with you as liberals. Same tactic the republicans have been using for years against those that do not agree with them.

ie. Spiro Agnew and the ‘Silent Majority” one of the republicans finest hours along with his boss “Tricky Dick”

Take your arrogant rightwing BS and cram it where the sun doesn’t shine and stop spouting crap that isn’t true.
Posted by: Thor | Jul 14, 2006 3:41:41 PM

Dear Conservative Republican, Stop crying about illegals being here in this country. Let’s just say that they were all returned to their respected countries including the thousands of illegals who do pay taxes and thousands of illegal soldiers who are up on the front lines too. Gee! I wonder what would happened to the U.S? The trash would be left here to cry about the cost of a $8 apple and a crumbling economy. Payback’s a bitch hu…First your ancestors and mine, illegaly migrate to this land wiping out the thousands of native americans who were already here. Then you forcely bring slaves from Africa to work your land and make you a profit out of their working lives. Then you harass them and try to deny their hard earned civil rights. Now you want all these illegal people to leave this country just because you had the privilage to be born here. I want to thank you for letting me describe who the real trash is… I think your ancestors would probably slap you like a bitch and kick the ignorance out of you. Have a nice day….
Posted by: wiseguy | Jul 14, 2006 3:21:00 PM

All that needs to be said about Cuba is that it is like any other communist country in that the people are willing to risk their lives in order to get out.
Posted by: scott b | Jul 14, 2006 3:20:49 PM

Everybody read what Robert U.S. Navy Vet. wrote and then read it again so it will sink in. If we would have set back and done nothing all these years, and let tyrants run rampant, then we’d all be speaking german right now. We are the superpower,and maybe we do have to do some things that everybody is not going to agree with to stay that way. And PLEASE!!!! Stop blaming President Bush for everything.
Posted by: SCOTT | Jul 14, 2006 3:09:29 PM

To FA:

You don’t have to be rich to be a conservative. Conservatism is based on the premise that an “individual” wants to live their life without excess government involvement. I enjoy making my own choices, whether good or bad, instead of having the government make them for me. I also cherish the opportunity to be wealthy and successful. I may never get there, but I control my own destiny in the US.

I’m happy that you have found a content life in Europe. The US is not for everybody.
Posted by: Rob | Jul 14, 2006 3:08:47 PM

Cubans on the island call their traitorous and venal compatriots mafiosi, and with good reason. They are without a doubt the worst element in the US political spectrum. Ros- Ilehentin, Balart, CANF, Bacardi, all grown fat and wealthy on US taxpayer’s money by engaging in terrorism against their own people. Worst of it is that they also helped George Bush steal the elction.
Posted by: | Jul 14, 2006 3:01:41 PM

We should try to normalize relations with Cuba when the time is right. That may be in the near or distant future.

It is a beautiful country n a key location whose people deserve better than what they have. I do not want them to be the 51st state - No way, but we should be able to co-exist in ways that are beneficial to all. Besides I want some cheap Cuban Cigars!
Posted by: Glen | Jul 14, 2006 2:46:23 PM

Some of you wouldn’t have been able to control yourselves last century when the big, old USA was such a “bully” to Germany and Japan. You must be delighted that Fidel has outlasted FDR.
Posted by: Rashon | Jul 14, 2006 2:39:48 PM

Some of you people are complete idiots. “We’re the bad guys”...“We’re the world’s bully” ??? Look at history, for Christ’s sake! We are the only country in the world who typically comes to the aid of the oppressed! No one else does. And…we always leave without asking for, or expecting anything, even thanks! Witness Germany, witness Japan, witness S. Korea, witness Croatia/Serbia, witness Kuwait (took all their oil, didn’t we?...yeah, right!). We come to their aid in there hour of need, we assist with our blood and treasure, we leave when they ask us to and/or when they are able to stand on their own again. As the German leader recently said, “To cast the USA in the role of the world’s troublemaker is despicable. The USA helps everyone. No one else can claim so much”.
Posted by: David | Jul 14, 2006 2:35:35 PM

I 2nd the Cuban. I’m an gringo born and raised in Miami. Not enough room to respond to the uniformed but if you get a chance to ask Cubans 48 yrs or older about this you’ll get an insightful response. Get them to tell you about the fun they had in the bottom of the little boat covered by a blanket w/ their mother laying over the top of them while bullets flew overhead as they escaped their grand island…just ask…I’m begging you
Posted by: Born in Miami | Jul 14, 2006 2:27:13 PM

It never amazes me how harsh people can be in responding to each other on blogs like this. I’ll bet some of you have never met anyone on this thread, and yet you feel superior enough to call others ignorant, stupid, etc. That’s high minded debating at it’s best let me tell you! Just because someone disagrees, or God forbid has a different idea than you, does not mean they are stupid. It would be far more interesting, and perhaps even educational, if people could learn to just talk and debate, rather than throwing insults at each other.
Posted by: PTG | Jul 14, 2006 2:21:52 PM

So lets get this straight. Just because you walk down the streets in Cuba, get mugged that makes it a bad country. Is there any white man willing to walk down a predominatelty black heighborhood, without arms, in the middle of the night in our country. I hardly doubt it. Washington DC has the highest crime statistics in this country. Far exceeding any numbers in Cuba. And this is supposed to be the representative of the people of this country.
Stop the rhetoric and look at the facts. The US has a history of bullying countries and nationalities. Look at what our government did to the native indians. We forced them out of their lands, promised new territory and then took it away again. They’ve nearly killed off a race into extinction. Look at what we did to Africa by imposing rediculous interest and outrageous repayments on loans to them. Were starving them to death. Unfortuanely it took a rock star to bring this one into the public eye.
How about the fact that after we bombed Japan, they were no longer allowed to have a military, and now they are being threatened by North Korea. Even though Japan didn’t start the war. Who the hell said we are in charge of the world anyway? We are not. God rules the world and it’s about time we let him have control and stop defying his orders.
Posted by: fed up | Jul 14, 2006 2:20:03 PM

Never done blogs before, but the naïveténess of some of these statements are down right stunning. “Bullies”, “Picking on little countries”. I hope the people are just jerking other people chains because if not, their very, very incorrect view of the rest of the world, I’m not just talking Europe, is so far fetched from reality that I pray they stay in their pretend world for I want somebody who will act and not try to understand how we upset someone’s feeling thereby making them mad. History has always shown that peace is through power and evil can only be removed through action whether forced upon you or preemptive
Posted by: TC | Jul 14, 2006 2:18:14 PM

I can’t beleive that no one has mentioned the demagraphic that was “exiled” out of Cuba. Notice how they use the word “exile”. Bottom line there was that there were more poor people than there were rich people. Less than one percent of the people were reaping any benefit from all of the wealth that was being generated in Cuba.
I don’t care what your political beliefs are. When you have that many have nots in a country, it will be easy to make the change. The majority of the population wanted some kind of change. Again, this has nothing to do with poltics. Castro used the poverty of the day to his advantage. Whether of not his vision is the right one doesn’t matter. I read the whole page and not one person mentioned this??
Posted by: msspr | Jul 14, 2006 2:07:46 PM

illy ill,

What do you expect of a president who’s talking “tough” is based on having never faced combat, or even having his nose at risk on a public school playground. To him, violence is a theoretical concept.
Posted by: Fwes | Jul 14, 2006 2:05:15 PM

To Robert, retired US Navy Vet

Very good words my friend, as usual, it takes a veteran to remind these cry- baby liberals why this country does what it does in the world. And also why they speak English and not some other language and have the rights that most likely they take for granted or don’t have a clue how these rights came to be in this country. To the ones that complain and say this country is bad or sick, please leave us now, we don’t want you or need type here, you are borderline traitors.
Posted by: Jim | Jul 14, 2006 2:05:05 PM

A-Cuban “was BORN in Cuba and I couldn’t walk in areas without been mugged or murdered???” He must not have been murdered, otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to post his comment… I have been to Cuba many times and to claim that it is a more dangerous place that the US is an outrageous lie! Sure, there are some bad parts in Havana, just like there are in Chicago, New York, Detroit…but overall, I found it to be a very safe, friendly, and beautiful country.
Posted by: Hans | Jul 14, 2006 2:02:33 PM

You whiners that live here and complain have never contributed a thing to this country, I too would like to see relations with Cuba, But I am not a sell out like you losers!!
Posted by: Bobcat | Jul 14, 2006 2:02:20 PM

Dear Proud American
Please understand that I love America…But just like a family member that does something wrong…you should never cover it up….you should chasen them…America needs an intervention..slavery…..trail of tears….manifest destiny…..Jim Crow..KKK..Iraq…Intervention is what America needs….Maybe you do too!
Posted by: Kenneth J | Jul 14, 2006 1:56:11 PM

As I read several comments about how bad the U.S.A is toward Cuba and the fact that you can walk anywhere in Cuba without the worries of been murdered or mugged. Let me remind them that a similar comment in Cuba about Fidel Castro or his regime will be enough cause to be shot (murdered?) or jailed. Give thanks to God that we live in the good U.S.A. and not in Cuba. However if this people persist, let me remind them that the U.S.A. is a free county and they could go and live in Cuba any old time.

Irresponsible people like Castro almost caused us to go into a Third World War.

God save America—-all of it!
Posted by: An Old Cuban America | Jul 14, 2006 1:54:23 PM


I’d love to go to Cuba. But the government of the free country I live in won’t allow me to…
Posted by: sally | Jul 14, 2006 1:53:05 PM

Can anyone see that this is a beautiful country, greatest in the world, it’s just that we have poor leadership running this country. I can’t remember the last time a president had to deal with so many issues that they created themselves. The GOP is dead and needs to stay away.
We need someone with a strong foreign policy that can understand the world as it is and not try to change it to our benefit. Let’s help out our own people for a change instead of pouring in billions of dollars into Iraq and watching our soldiers coming back in body bags. This is insane and for all of you who voted for GW should be ashamed of yourselves that you couldn’t see this coming, but you bought the fear card about how the next 911 was about to happen and that he would be the only one to protect us. He is a cowboy that belongs on the ranch and not in the white house. Give me a break people, wake up and see what is happening around you. THis world will not be a better place until we stop our support for Israel and give the palestianians thier land back because they will never stop. It is their duty to fight for their land and every arab nation will always provide some type of support. Yet Bush holds hands with king Abdullah at the white house. What a joke!!!
Posted by: Come on now… | Jul 14, 2006 1:52:58 PM

illy lilly, you are sick. Where do you get your expertise in world news and why the USA does or doesn’t do anything. Go back to school
Posted by: | Jul 14, 2006 1:50:31 PM

To A-Cuban:

Thank you for your post. Some people in the US just don’t get it. They have freedoms to complain about the US (something they could never do in Cuba)but they have no idea what they are talking about because they have never lived in these countries.

I’m not saying that the US is always right in foreign policy, but most of the time we are.
Posted by: Rob | Jul 14, 2006 1:50:29 PM

America is such a great place! Look how great our society is! Show me the downtown’s of all our major cities and I will show you….loneliness, despair, crime, and injustice. Face it Capitalism alone doesn’t work and trying to make the rest of the world look just like America will not work. The world needs to find a balance. Capitalism is a machine that is eating all of us. Yes, yes, I know I’m supposed to want to be as rich as Paris Hilton or Bill Gates, but in all honestly I don’t. That is why I moved to Europe. Sure, we have BurgerKing, Mcdonalds, etc.
But what’s better over here is that those things are limited and small local communities embrace everyone. I know the names of my neigbors and I work 48 hrs a week. Life is good. America was once a great place, but its gone loco with all its policies. Why just speak English? We speak English, Spanish, French, German..etc. I know there are people who want the Rockwell America and good for them, you can have it, but remember it keeps aways other cultures good and bad. Its like I always told my professor’s in college; “I’d love to be a Republican, but I’m not white, not a Christian, and am not rich”. If America is so tough why not try to pick a fight with one of the big boys on the block like China or Russia? Why does America have to fight Korea (tie), Vietnam (loss), Grenada, Somalia, Iraq, etc. Seems like a bully to me. As for Cuba, its wonderful they have been able to stand up to America and do what they want. Although, it is sad that one day soon America will do what its been craving for decades…turn Cuba into Las Vegas…
Posted by: FA | Jul 14, 2006 1:49:31 PM

Buy that Dictator another drink! And send me a box of cigars! Cuba is and always has been responsible for the situation they are in. The USA had no choices but to deal with them the way we did. It would have been so easy for Castro to be more loving to his country and people. But he isn’t and doesn’t care. So the people of Cuba paid for it.
Posted by: | Jul 14, 2006 1:49:02 PM

I cant wait until castro dies and cuba becomes the next las vegas!! Wait until the american money poors in… and those cuban girls are hot ( when the find a razor)
Posted by: michael marine | Jul 14, 2006 1:47:53 PM

The USA was built on independence and self-suffiency, not hand-outs and “living off the government”. I can’t believe that it is so difficult to see that reliance on a government to provide for you financially does nothing more than make you reliant on that entity. The US is NOT the problem!

I choose to be responsible for myself through self-suffiency. Only I can provide for me. I do not expect it from anyone else or am I owed it from anyone, exspecially the government.

This life is a race and some of us have to run farther than others to get to our goals. I wasn’t born into privelige, so my running shoes had to be more durable than someone who did. But best believe, I ran a little more than the guy ahead of me each day and got where I wanted to be. I didn’t whine or complain about it…I just did it.
Could I do this in Cuba?? No!!

I don’t always agree with Republican policy, but compared with bleeding heart Liberal nonsense, I’ll take it any day.
Posted by: Rob | Jul 14, 2006 1:45:10 PM

In responce to Robert U.S. Navy Vet:

It is true that Castro wanted nuclear missiles in Cuba, but let’s remember that it was mostly Russia who wanted missiles in Cuba, mainly to respond to the nuclear missiles USA had in Italy, and Turkey, pointing in the direction of Russia. Russia wanted nuclear missiles close to the USA, as much as the USA wanted nuclear missiles close to Russia. Castro was just a pawn when you look at the bigger picture.

More details here:
Posted by: details | Jul 14, 2006 1:42:50 PM

Boo-hoo. I think I’m going to cry from all of this back and forth stuff from the Libturds & Neo-Cons. After reading these posts, I’m reminded that the President & Congress really isn’t that bad after all. Thank God you people aren’t running the country.
Posted by: Evan Browne, TX | Jul 14, 2006 1:42:18 PM


It’s really easy to span many American presidents when you are a dictator.

Everyone else,

You talk to any Cuban and they will give you the truth. Cubans come to America for freedom. Cuba is a beautiful place and most Cubans wouldn’t have left if they hadn’t seen a relative get murdered by their “president” or been striped of everything they owned. Castro is not someone to celebrate. The world will be a better place with Castro gone… and that will be supported by all Cubans.
Posted by: Miami Resident | Jul 14, 2006 1:38:48 PM

Yes, American is a great country it’s just that the people who are running this country aren’t great, or should I
say corrupt, Rumfeld, Cheney and Bush but only because he may be getting bad advice from the other 2 snakes. Stay out of other countries business and take care of our own. We’re always trying to look like we are helping some country, ie. Iraq, but I gurantedd you that it is all because of interest. YOu don’t try to preach democracy to country that is run on religious law. How would we feel if someone came in here and said we are no longer run on democratic law but communist. We would not stand for it. THis isn’t about Iraq but Israel and it’s fear of other potential countries that can do heavy damage to them as they have on the palestinians. Their day will come soon by way of Iran and potentially Pakistan as soon as they assasinate Musharef.
Posted by: Give me break!!! | Jul 14, 2006 1:36:09 PM

It’s a free country. I want to take a vacation in Cuba. OK?
Posted by: sally | Jul 14, 2006 1:30:17 PM

The difference between Cuba and China is that one is a powerful nation and the other small country with no ability to defend itself. We don’t dare mess with China but are the bullies of the world when we mess with
lesser powerful nations. Why don’t we go and mess with North Korea? Because we know they are no Iraq and will punch us back in the face. Enough said!!!
Posted by: illy ill | Jul 14, 2006 1:24:49 PM

It is incredible for me to read this blog. I wonder how many of you have ever “lived” in Cuba.
“You can walk anywhere in Cuba, in similar areas in the USA and other righteous nations you would be mugged or murdered”
I was BORN in Cuba and I couldn’t walk in areas without been mugged or murdered!!!!
I invite each one of you to go and live there for just one year. If you get to the end your will and your own believes will be gone!! Forever!
Posted by: A-Cuban | Jul 14, 2006 1:09:57 PM

Bullies are bad. We are the bad guys.
In the last couple of years, for the first time ever, I am ashamed of our country.
Posted by: wtf | Jul 14, 2006 1:08:44 PM

It is sad that the US has to pick on small countries, we should think a way out of understimating other people, the cuban people has the right to choose their own destiny, and the US has to respect that choice. Look back in history and see what the US did to Cuba (when it was taken from Spain), what kind of freedom that was? Do you think that the Cuban people want to return to that life…
And to all those that think that people who don’t agree with them should leave the country, please grow up.
Posted by: Just another ignorant | Jul 14, 2006 1:02:59 PM


You must be one of those extinct animals called a compassionate conservative.

What an oxymoron!!!!!
Posted by: Thor | Jul 14, 2006 12:41:36 PM

I like the fact President Castro has out lived more U.S. presidents than any other leader, I know he has found the fountain of youth, good cuban cigars, excellent cuban rum and young women, long live Castro, we could learn a lot about life just following his lead.
Posted by: Duaine Morphis | Jul 14, 2006 12:33:51 PM

I have been to Cuba. These are lovely honest people. You can walk anywhere in Cuba, in similar areas in the USA and other righteous nations you would be mugged or murdered. They invite you into there home and treat you with respect and kindness. They have poverty by our standards, but a safe equal society, but not wealthy and obsessed with possessions, so we consider them oppressed. They are hurt by the embargo, a double standard as the US deals with China and has dealt wtih less scrupulous dictators. Any leader or political system has been generally established by force of arms. The US is no different. Cuba minds its business and is much better off than when it was a giant gambling casino and brothel prior to Castro. I have been there and will go back, I am amazed at the ignorance of those who spout off about a place they only have an opinion, but no education about. The world is not about creating a giant US. Other people are truly happy and love their countries as much as anyone in the US. It is part of the US culture, education and ethnocentric attitude that cannot allow them to believe that everyone does not want to be them. By the way I enjoy the US also, have travelled extensively and love the people and the country. The world has some real enemies, Cuba and Castro are not them, why continue such a wasteful old Cold War grudge, it is not relevant today.
Posted by: Darren | Jul 14, 2006 12:30:31 PM

Its funny how you liberals, who claim to be patriotic Americans, always seem to see the U.S. as the Bully or Bad Guy. God do I wish and pray every day that we could be the America we were in the 80s under Reagan. All of us were proud of who we were and proud of our nation. We remembered what the likes of Hitler could do to the world if left unchecked. We knew that we were right in face of our enemies not because we were the strongest but because we were a free people who stood on strong moral values and a sense of family and freedom. As it is today we have been inflicted with a disease that eats at our country’s heart and Soul. This disease is dividing our country and will be its ultimate defeat if left unchecked. The disease I am talking about is liberalism. Read your history people and remember who the following leaders were and what they did. Adolph Hitler, Tojo Hideki, Joseph Stalin, Ho Chi Minh, Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden. We did nothing to provoke these people yet fought hard to defeat their evil doings. Millions of people are free today because as a nation we said we are not going to sit back and allow this. WE ARE NOT THE BAD GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: Robert U.S. Navy Vet | Jul 14, 2006 12:20:21 PM

How about we stop throwing stones and allow one another to hold a different opinion. Couple of points…Castro is a dictator and not the best proponent of free speech…however…on the other hand…immediately after and ever since Castro’s revolution the US has tried to undermine him. Upon taking over he came to the US as the new leader of Cuba and the US president (Eisenhower) snubbed him. He had to meet w/the VP…Nixon. Nixon told him to give back the pvt land and companies he nationalized. Castro said no, so the US tried to deep six the country by refusing to buy any of Cuba’s sugar. By the way, it was US companies that went to Cuba and turned it into a big sugar factory. So we refused to buy any of the nations major revenue crop(which would immediatly have crippled the Cuban economy). In came the Soviet Union who offered to buy the crop and save the day. We gave Cuba little choice. The US later tried to invade Cuba and failed (Bay of Pigs) and tried to assassinate Castro (obviously failed). So, Castro has little reason to trust or befriend the US and we have lttle reason to wonder why. The embargo makes no sense.
Posted by: ch | Jul 14, 2006 12:20:14 PM

To Thor - who said, “There appears to be no movements of any kind on the island or resistance organizations that exist in other communist countries.”

There is no apparent resistance - organized or otherwise because Castro’s version of “Big Brother”. Because of our policies, Castro has used them to his advantage. For example, who do you think actually left Cuba in the 1980 flotilla? In later years, we found out Castro had emptied all the prisons of savage criminals and dissidents, marched them to the shore and told them to leave. He used our foreign policy to rid the island of all rivals knowing that we’d welcome them with open arms. Later we found out many were criminals, thugs and just ended up in a soft, cushy American jail - paid for my American tax dollars, instead of a Cuban jail.
Posted by: Mark Stachowski | Jul 14, 2006 12:05:41 PM

In the big picture Cuba mean nothing. It makes news because of it’s location, not because of any impact it has on anything. It’s fair to say Castro hasn’t done a good job for his people. Just visit Florida and you will get the drift. One good thing that could come out of Castros death is, we can turn the entire country into a prison.
Posted by: JY | Jul 14, 2006 11:59:40 AM

All these comments are the reflex of the decadence of a great nation. Only take a look all them and you will give me the right…
Posted by: wf | Jul 14, 2006 11:57:12 AM

All this debate about Cuba is worthless drivel,they are small potatoes—a better discussion would be how we are less democratic than a true republic—maybe we should put all the important issues on a refurendum in coming elections.In a republic,we elect people to make decisions for us,seems like we should make some of these decisions ourselves instead of trusting someone else to.Maybe we should become just a little bit isolationistic and start taking care of business at home first…after all,charity begins at home.
Posted by: QUICK II | Jul 14, 2006 11:56:27 AM

Liberal Tommy says “Funny, Cuba is a small Caribeen Island with no economy but we are still afraid of them. . . ” Just his spelling of Caribbean alone shows his blatant ignorance; and proves the fact that he’s a typical whiney, ill-informed card-carrying liberal. He also claims, “we can’t take care of our own people here yet we think that we can change every country in world to think like we do.” Take care of our own people? Wow, spoken like a true follower of the great but still living Ted Kennedy. Thanks Tommy, but I would prefer to take care of myself, thank you. You and your fellow constituents are so accustomed to hand-outs you’ve become blind to the fact that the U.S. is a country where we have the freedom to >become< whatever we choose. Fortunately, I and many others don’t consider feeding from the public trough to be an option as you apparently do.
Posted by: Steve | Jul 14, 2006 11:52:10 AM

What is the difference between China and Cuba? Why are we doing so much business with China yet have huge embargos against Cuba. Both are run by what we call dictators both are Communist and both are said to have humanitarian issues. Someone explain this to me please.
Posted by: Hernan | Jul 14, 2006 11:51:35 AM

Keep your friends close. Keep your enemies closer.
Posted by: The Don | Jul 14, 2006 11:19:14 AM

The double standard of American Foreign Policy is perplexing.

We go to bed with countries like China & Vietnam… hell, even Russia (whose politics are not much different today than when it was the USSR) but we send harsh messages to N. Korea, Cuba, etc.

I love this country but I have to give Fidel some credit for standing firm against the giant bully that USA as become… we can’t take care of our own people here yet we think that we can change every country in world to think like we do. Funny, Cuba is a small Caribeen Island with no economy but we are still afraid of them and if we would go and “liberate” Cuba we would commit the same atrocities we committed when we took over Puerto Rico (killing thousands, mass sterilization against their will, contaminating their flora & fauna, etc), Iraq, Nicaragua, and list goes on.
Posted by: Tommy | Jul 14, 2006 11:18:29 AM

wake up america, there are some folks who just will not do good be good or act good.
kim jong il
any number of would be despots on the continent of africa.
the mullahs or the “president” of Iran.
ask the soldiers in iraq or afghanistan
of the atrocities they see daily.
the world will be better off without them.
Posted by: harry johnson | Jul 14, 2006 11:16:52 AM

Dear I’ve had enough!!!,

THEN LEAVE!!! Move to Cuba, or China, or even North Korea and try to say what you just stated on this blog. You wouldn’t last a day! While you are at it take Alec Baldwin and all of the other idiots in Hollywood with you who for some reason think that their ability to act somehow gives them the stage to bash this country! Many good men and women have given their lives so that you all can voice your opinion. Thank God that also allows me to voice my dissenting opinion without fear of imprisonment or even death! Wow, what a GREAT country America is!!!!
Posted by: Proud American!! | Jul 14, 2006 11:14:23 AM

“Anyone who blames the US for Cuba’s problems is sadly mistaken. How many leaders throughout history need to be overthrown, there people liberated, and their country thrive before you abandon that stupidity”

Noel why do you and other rightards continue to assert it is the USA’s responsibility to over throw these other leaders or liberate other people? This kind of supposed help is the same help the Roman Empire gave to all its subjected countries and also the same help Nazi Germany gave. I realize we can not be isolationalists; however, we should not be over throwing over governments because they do not see eye to eye with our beliefs.

It is up to these other countries citizens to overthrow their government not the USA. I can see giving aid to the citizens but never invading their country with our Americans that is way overboard.
Posted by: Confused American | Jul 14, 2006 11:07:35 AM

End the Embargo and Cuba will be a democracy in a matter of time.
Posted by: Bernie | Jul 14, 2006 11:06:21 AM

Castro is a very clever guy. He played to survive in power and won.
Is he a good guy? No.But he has no choice too.
American policies have been a disaster. Do not allow any hope and do not make any progress ever. Why? Because american policies are determined not by intelligent people but by grudge and greed of a handfull of cuban americans hoping to come to the past.
They have been powerful enough to impulse in whatever directon they think suits better their agendas , not the american or cuban people.
Better ways to go? Yes. Just get well prepared political people with no strings attached and put them at work.
Cut ties was and is just stupid. I visited Cuba and ca tell eveybody that Americans are adored there. Just do not alienate such a big support.
Asians , Europeans, Africans, South Americans are , generaly , very critical of America. No more the aura of the freedom people. Now americans are no longer good people. And that hurts America.
Go for right not for grudge or domination.
Bless all
Posted by: Phil Antrop | Jul 14, 2006 11:04:36 AM

Here is a little more history for you bleeding hearts. When JFK (Democrat) was in office the Russians wanted to put nukes 90 miles off our cost, which would have given them first strike capability. Now you ask why we won’t deal with Castro and flood his island with our cash. It’s so he can’t make the damn things or buy them on his own.

Speaking of JFK, he was the very last true Patriotic Democrat who knew that tax cuts and a strong military were a good thing. When he died so did the true democrats. What we got in his place were bleeding heart liberals that know nothing of Foreign policy or economics.
Posted by: Robert U.S. Navy Vet | Jul 14, 2006 10:54:28 AM

For those that think the US had nothing to do with the Cuban Revolution, just go back to the Cuba before Castro. Fulgencio Batista was selling the Cuban dream to the highest bitter (the US). When Castro took over all that ended since he did not continue to do business as usual with the US. The US ended up implementing the embargo forcing Castro to go the other way with the Russians. It has been more than 40 years since the embargo without any positive results. In the mean while the Cuban people who continue to suffer NOT CASTRO!!!! What guarantee is there that this is going to change when Castro die? Just quit pointing fingers and do the right thing and break this stupid chain.
Posted by: Carlos | Jul 14, 2006 10:50:33 AM

Keep it simple. No Castro, no problem.
Posted by: Guevara | Jul 14, 2006 10:50:07 AM

Fidel Castro squashes and supresses the Cuban people to his benefit and desires. I would want to leave Cuba the way he runs things too. To the person who stated Castro always got re-elected every 6 years, he probably used Saddam’s re-election policy and procedures. I guess since Saddam was “re-elected” every few years, he wasn’t a dictator and the people loved him too.
Posted by: Ted Cory | Jul 14, 2006 10:47:06 AM

In 2007 in the United States, I’ll be able to get an automobile made by the Chinese. But I can get a Cuban Cigar?!
Posted by: Eric | Jul 14, 2006 10:43:38 AM

Hey Nate!

Saddam held elections all the time as well and always got 100% of the vote. Oh yeah, did you know the penalty was death if you voted against him, nevermind the fact that nobody dared to run against him. You’re just as confused as Confused American.
Posted by: Robert U.S. Navy Vet | Jul 14, 2006 10:33:37 AM

Castro is no different than the dictator he replaced, Battista. Battista was our and the mob’s dictator. If there had not
been a Battista, perhaps there would not have been a need for a Castro.

At the time Castro took power, he promised the world to his people, who have suffered under Battista.

We supported Battista and as usual turned a blind eye to the suffering of the people. So yes we are kind of
responsible for Castro coming to power
indirectly and keeping him in power
with the embargo.
Posted by: Battista Gueyser | Jul 14, 2006 10:32:27 AM

Looks like there are too many bleeding heart liberals who have nothing to say as usual but still keep spouting their ignorance. All illegals need to be returned to their own country. Why is it the job of honest, taxpaying Americans to care for the rest of the trash that comes over here illegally. Close the borders and keep out the trash. Make our country safe again.
Posted by: Conservative Republican | Jul 14, 2006 10:30:00 AM

There is a huge anticastro Cuban community in South Florida and with all their and political clout they have made no progress in 45 years in establishing any kind of resistance or challenge to Castro’s power.

There appears to be no movements of any kind on the island or resistance organizations that exist in other communist countries.

I fail to see what all the fuss is about either way but if we are not going to have diplomatic relations with a communist regime lets be consistant.

Kiss ones behind and blast anothers and the only differenc is economics.

i.e. No relations with Cuba , North Korea. Relations with China and a blooming love affair with Vietnam. Same communists there that killed 58,000 Americans and was a country America needed to defeat to establish a democracy on the Southeast Asian Peninsula.

Gee, Does that sound familiar????
Posted by: Thor | Jul 14, 2006 10:26:02 AM

I have a comment for Nate. he wrote about the elections every 6 years. Nate do you think for onr second anyone will vote against Castro? if you do you’re a fool. A dictator is called that for a reason. He’s a evil old man who the world could do without. Let their people starve to death. Maybe next time they’ll not let nukes into their country to threaten us.
Posted by: Jon Brown | Jul 14, 2006 10:25:06 AM

- Here’s an inside tip for all of the foreign policy making wannabe’s… the US won’t approach Cuba until Castro is dead- internal bureaucratic elements made that pledge way back when. So sit back and relax, drink a Cuba Libre, and wait until our markets will one day flood them into capitalist nirvana.
Posted by: MojitoDrink2006 | Jul 14, 2006 10:19:07 AM

Given the current state of the Middle East (does anyone care about the all-out war brewing?), it is so ironic that Americans are once again sitting around talking about how to “free” another country from an “evil dictator.” Are we really that arrogant to think that democracy is all it will take? Sure, let’s invade Cuba with all of our spare troops and see how that goes.

Cuba is not a threat - except maybe to Bush’s immigration agenda.

Posted by: alphphi | Jul 14, 2006 10:19:02 AM

The more of this crap I read the more I want to move out of the US!!!!

Why the people of this country keep voting in idiots to represent our country is beyond any form of comprehension to human beings. This country is self destructing and taking other countries with them….including Cuba and Iraq. We are no longer a country about morals…all this country cares about is how much money we can generate, regardless of dies of hunger.
Posted by: I’ve had enough!!! | Jul 14, 2006 10:17:21 AM

It is time to end the embargo. Like Mark said, flood the country with American culture and the Cubans will dump Castro and his brother in a moment. That is what happened in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. The people wanted blue jeans, western music, food and technology. It will happen in Cuba too. Cuba is a beautiful island that Americans will flock to if given the opportunity.
Posted by: Chris | Jul 14, 2006 10:16:56 AM

I’m pretty liberal but I don’t like Fidel Castro. I have no problem with communism but Castro isn’t a good guy. He had Kennedy assassinated so screw Fidel Castro and screw Cuba.
Posted by: Rod M | Jul 14, 2006 10:09:23 AM

Whether he lives or dies it doesn’t matter. Even if he dies today and Cuba becomes a Democracy tomorrow none of the rufugees or illegals here will go home. It will just make it easier to bring more of their relatives here. I’m sure Bush would love another source or below minimum wage labor. Never mind that we end up paying more in free healthcare, education, and other services that it would have cost to hire an real American for the job.
Posted by: Ray | Jul 14, 2006 10:09:23 AM

Dear Confused American, you must be the most uneducated/short sighted person on this blog. Everthing for you is so black and white. I bet you would blame the Bush administration if you got a flat tire on your way to work.
Posted by: Robert U.S. Navy Vet | Jul 14, 2006 10:05:48 AM

Short live Castro! No matter the first name.
Posted by: Robert U.S. Navy Vet | Jul 14, 2006 9:58:50 AM

I agree with John. After 48 years of embargo it has been proved that the strategy did not work. Castro will be the president of Cuba until his last day of life. Therefore, the embargo is only a weapon that makes cuban people very poor and miserable. The only victims of the embargo have been the people they are supposedly trying to help.
Posted by: Pablo | Jul 14, 2006 9:57:21 AM

for the last 30 years when i have been in tampa or miami, all i have heard is castro will be gone at end of the week next month . tomorrow,6 months , next year.well he is still here!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: mr | Jul 14, 2006 9:52:50 AM

And I guess we had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the Bay Of Pigs either. After that incident is when the USA adopted it current course of policy. Maybe you should check your fact, sir.
Posted by: Hotkey | Jul 14, 2006 9:47:22 AM

Hey, John Hatfield,how can he be a “dictator” when every 6 years Cuba holds elections and he wins every year? The people keep voting him in because they want him in power. Cuba is not a threat in anyway to the US. And “dear John” you are the most simple minded person on this page, he doesn’t murder anyone, stop believing what the US government and press want you to beleive!
Posted by: Nate | Jul 14, 2006 9:46:18 AM

Well, after 40+ years, it’s quite obvious that our current foreign policy towards Cuba isn’t work. So, maybe it’s time to shift gears and start taking matters in a different direction.

Here’s a novel idea: Instead of handing them treats and silence, why not hand them “an olive branch”? What would happen if the USA decided to open relations once again with Cuba? Our President speaks volumes about “Nation Building” in Afghanistan and Iraq but, you would think that Cuba would be an easy win-win for all.

Not to mention we tout our way of life and our culture as the greatest, opening diplomatic relations would force Cuba to accept an exchange of cultures between the island nation and the USA. They would have to accept diplomats, foreign exchange students, tourism, American commercial industries would be able to move into, invest in, and create virtually untapped markets. Not to mention, the Cubans probably will have a better understanding of what technologies they have missed out on in the past 40 years.

Kill ‘em with kindness might be a better policy instead.
Posted by: Mark Stachowski | Jul 14, 2006 9:44:12 AM

United States foreign policy is very hypocrital. We have an embargo to Cuba for 40 years because its comunist ruling party, but we enjoy the biggest economical trade with another comunist country: China. The reason? We, somehow benefit from it.Whatever country we can get some economic benefits from, it doesn’t matter whether the country is communist or barbarian, we trade with it. If the country has nothing for the hungry American economic, we don’t deal with it.
Posted by: manuel | Jul 14, 2006 9:43:17 AM

Anyone who blames the US for Cuba’s problems is sadly mistaken. How many leaders throughout history need to be overthrown, there people liberated, and their country thrive before you abandon that stupidity. For goodness sake, read your history. You are the same people that will enable another attack on our soil with your “if we would just talk to them” mentality. History has shown that decisive action brings change, and capitulation brings defeat. Continue the embargo until he Castro is no more, his brother will not last and the people of Cuba taste freedom and thrive.
Posted by: Noel | Jul 14, 2006 9:42:07 AM

Why is it that American’s, primarily left wing liberals blame the U.S. for all the bad things that happen in other countries? Most liberals say that we made sadam the madman that he is, that it is our fault that terrorists kill innocent people in Iraq. Now, they say that its our fault that cubans are suffering because of U.S. economic sanctions. Is it our fault that Castro is a power monger who only cares about himself?
“Absolute power corrupts abosolutely.”
This man has lived long enough. His time will come when he will be judged for all that he’s done. I’m sure that they made a special place for him in hell…along with hitler, stalin, and sadam.
I’m sure that he will never find that peace because of the evil things that he has done.
Posted by: Stephen | Jul 14, 2006 9:41:44 AM

Hotkey sounds like a completely clueless moron. Typical of a liberal, he is in complete denial about the brutality and ruthlessness of Castro’s regime because in his mind he so much wants for Communism to succeed. Pathetic beyond belief!!
Posted by: eagle | Jul 14, 2006 9:34:07 AM

Castro did not “evict” 100,000s. Rather, he took their businesses and then they fled.
Posted by: Daniel | Jul 14, 2006 9:26:36 AM

John Hatfield,
Please learn your history before you place blame on the US government. Castro came to power and devestated the economics of the island. With the fall of the Soviet Union, Castro has no benefactor and is an unimportant player on the world stage. While I disagree with our current foreign policy regarding Cuba…the facts are: Castro was and is…a communist dictator who overthrew the existing governement of Cuba. The US didn’t have anything to do with this. Please go back to school and learn something of history before you make yourself look foolish.
Posted by: DC | Jul 14, 2006 9:23:37 AM

Now this country seems more of a threat to us than Iraq (it is right next door to us). Why don’t we invade it?
Posted by: Confused American | Jul 14, 2006 9:23:34 AM

Plain and simple John. USA is a sore loser. Aside from that, the Cuban lobby groups created by the people who fled Casto’s regime are very powerful organizations in DC. In the 90’s, there was some movement towards easing tensions in Cuba… HOWEVER, the Bush Administration - in it’s need to get EVERY LAST VOTE IT COULD IN FLORIDA, reversed all that.

It’s about politics, money, and who wants it.
Posted by: Hotkey | Jul 14, 2006 9:15:46 AM

I love this site, but sometimes wonder how someone who also claims to love this site could be so ignorant. What is going on in Cuba is more than “nothing” so please keep your small minded comments to yourself.
Posted by: cuban | Jul 14, 2006 9:14:13 AM

You are too stupid. I dare you to go to any Cuban-American hangout in Miami and say the same thing!

We are not responsible for the suffering in Cuba - Castro is. He has enslaved his people and continues to imprison or murder anyone who challenges him.

You are just another self-hating liberal American without a clue as to what is really going on in this world.
Posted by: Dear John | Jul 14, 2006 9:14:08 AM

The facts are castro embraced communism and evicted hundreds of thousands of families from cuba. The usa has nothing to do with this. Castro is responsible for the state of that island. Blaming the united states is both ignorant and shortsighted. In fact the embargo has probably kept him in power even longer than it would have with no embargo. Castro deserves a slow painful death.
Posted by: jim | Jul 14, 2006 9:12:08 AM

I really have never understood our Policy toward Cuba. It’s like this Giant runny from a mouse. The U.S. Government is responsible for so much suffering and misery for the Cuban people. We call the Saudi’s our friends and look what the Saudi’s do to us…and we treat Cuba like the biggest threat on the planet. It just has never made sense.
Posted by: John Hatfield | Jul 14, 2006 9:00:10 AM

  1. Follow up post #1 added on July 29, 2006 by Ralph

    Succession or transition? peaceful or violent? the succession with some
    changes “china’style” or just a closed and bureaucratic socialism? if transition,
    with heavy american influences or without? with Castro alive or Castro in
    his Beyond? with Raulín or without? with the younger in control or an intermediate segment of officials in Power?With the opposition in business
    or marginalized?with the same or more repression?Many are the questions
    without an assured answer in sight,however one thing is beyond question:
    the nomenklatura is going to fight so as they to keep the power and their
    privileges,they have weapons and a relative political and economical influences,But the outcome of their actions are in questions.How the different
    variables are mixing at the X-Hour is very controversial and hard to foresee,
    But the moment is near to have all the answers to those questions? Personally i think is a matter of two year,no more,to see and to do.Any prediction is just a prediction and somehow Politics and Social human history
    badly match with prediction.

  2. Follow up post #2 added on August 01, 2006 by Mike

    Revolutions don’t happen by mistake, they happen because the people want them, blame the people who repressed the people to force them to rebel.

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