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HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Politics

Havana Lights Dimmed With Trade Deceptions

Posted November 10, 2004 by YoungCuban in Cuba Politics.
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Trade Fair, Nothing But A Scam….

Lights in Havana didn’t seem as bright as my first visit,perhaps due to the energy crisis Cuba is facing,but that did not stop Havana from shining,streets gleemed with energy, from an energy source that can never be turned off,the Cuban soul.
Tourism seemed down, streets half empty, but that didn’t seem to effect those who sleep in Cuba on a daily basis, if anything Cuba and it’s people seemed more united than ever, friends and neighbors extending their lending hands,as usual giving the little they have to offer,with no expectation of getting something in return.
While in Cuba I met many Americans who attended the trade fair hosted in Havana, one man who represented a U.S. company recieved a $10 Million contract from Cuba to purchase his companies product, which is a good thing,a stepping stone to free trade, but what I did not appreciate nor enjoy was the fact this man tells me how his deal would finally make him a wealthy man,how his product could be sold to Cuba at a much lessor cost,in his words he said to me “They are so desperate,they’ll pay anything” “They bit my lure”
This angers me greatly,to me it seemed that this represenative of a U.S. company looks towards Cuba as nothing more then a way for him and the company he works for to prosper without caring about the Cuban people all the while admiting to chasing young Cuban women,I guess capatialism begins.
These are the very reasons why Cuba will continue to suffer,those who preach democracy continue to finanicially gain with or without an embargo,what embargo I ask?
U.S companies have been given millions of dollars worth of contracts for their produts?
I am all for anyone who is willing to help the Cuban people and Cuba,but what I cannot stomach are those who laugh all the way to the bank while searching for a one night stand as their wives wait for their return,they take advantage of the good spirits Cubans are well known for,to me they are lower than dirt and should be punished.
In all honesty if I was Cuba I would not spend one red cent on purchasing goods from an American company,I met many who told me basically the same thing,“We are making a killing selling to Cuba” one man said to me,another said “Cuba pays better than any other country we sell to”
Are these American companies infact good for Cuba?
Will their transactions help lift the embargo?
I think not,but we shall see…

Member Comments

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On November 10, 2004, Michael wrote:

Young Cuban , You have to ask yourself why are US Companies able to charge a premium for their products and receive favorable terms when we live in a world of the global competition. It’ because the Cuban Government ie Fidel Castro has has cultivated a notorious reputation for conducting business in bad faith and has burnt bridges with virtually every other Country other than the US.He is desperate and nobody else will sell to him anymore. By the way ” Trade ” is a two way street. All the money except for tourism dollars and remittances is leaving and what stays Castro charges a 10% commission.You have alot of misdirected anger. Don’t blame an American for coming down and doing something most every other businessman from other countries have been doing in Cuba for years..   

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On November 10, 2004, YoungCuban wrote:

Michael you obviously do not understand my post clearly.

I am all for any country negotiating with Cuba.

But quite frankly I get mad when ANYONE who claims to be trying to help Cuba and it’ situation laughs at the very Cuba who is making them wealthy.

The gentlemen I speak of in my post confessed to me that he took the oppurtunity to solicit prostitutes,how is that helping Cuba?

If people would not go to Cuba looking for cheap thrills,prostitution would not be around.

We all know prostitution is all over the world,but if this man was there to conduct business and searched for a good time while doing so,the first thing he will do when he gets back to the U.S. is tell his golfing buddies about how cheap prostitutes are in Cuba compared to the ones in the U.S.,further tainting Cuba’ reputation.

He will not speak about his deal with Cuba first,he will first say what a hot piece of ass he got for just $10.00,those are facts Michael,as he told me first about his sex encounter before he ever mentioned his work in Cuba.

I have all the right to be angry,I am angry our country continues to bogusly persue an embargo that has been proven a failure,I am angry that those who travel to Cuba claiming to be there trying to help Cuba and it’ people are doing nothing but harming Cuba and Cuba only.

I am also angry I was born in a country that preaches freedom but yet takes my freedom to travel to Cuba away from me,think about your God given born American rights the next time you pay your over priced taxes.

And please Michael,for the love of God DO NOT further attempt to post anymore on why the embargo must still be in place,you are an idiot who only thinks of himself,you live in the U.S. but married a Cuban lady from Cuba,you are all for the embargo and travel restrictions,yet you,yourself said you will be visiting Cuba soon,to me you are nothing but a hypocrit,prove me wrong by NOT going to Cuba to visit anyone,otherwise shut the hell up already!

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On November 11, 2004, Jesus Perez wrote:

Young Cuban, what you witnessed and heard in Cuba from that American businessman is no different than what went on in Cuba for 57 years before the revolution, they went down there to make a profit, gamble and get laid, the interest and well being of the Cuban people was never an issue.

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On November 11, 2004, Michael wrote:

Young Cuban , What a stupid little hothead you are ! And a hypocrite too. You travel to Cuba with an attitude and come come back with one as well. How come you din’t post your stupid little diatribe when you were IN CUBA ? Because the the WORLD WIDE WEB IS CLOSED IN CUBA.NO FREEDOM! NO LIBERTY! NO COMMUNICATION WITH THE FREE WORLD! Your too stupid and naive to understand the depth of this issue.

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On November 11, 2004, YoungCuban wrote:

Hothead? Perhaps I am,rather be a hothead than a queer as yourself.

For you information you moron, there was internet available,I kept in touch with my family by internet,you idiot.

The ONLY hypocrite on these forums is you,you went to Cuba,married some Cuban lady (probably a Jinetera) while supporting the embargo and restrictions,than admitting you’ll be in Cuba soon???

If you are going to support something,do it all the way,don’t continue to look like a bigger idio moron than you already are.

If you are truly behind the restrictions,than don’t go to Cuba,if not you only look like a hypocrite to all of us here.

Call me stupid and naive,rather be both than a faggot internet warrior as yourself,punk!

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On November 11, 2004, Michael wrote:

You are truly an asshole..

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On November 11, 2004, Dana Garrett wrote:

I believe that Cuba knowingly pays these higher prices for savvy political reasons.  It knows that the principal way that legal and policy change occurs in the USA is when big business advocates for it.  So by creating and extending its financial ties with the USA, it creates a vested interest on the part of USA big business to advocate dropping the trade sanctions and embargo.  Undoubtedly, that is also the reason why Cuba contractually requires USA companies to publicly support lifting the embargo. 

It is actually quite wise and probably worth the extra costs for Cuba in the long run. 

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On November 11, 2004, YoungCuban wrote:

Thank you,now tell me something I don’t know?

Michael you are just mad you have been exposed,exposed being a man who does not stand behind his convictions.

You post how people should not go to Cuba,spend money in Cuba etc… all the while doing the opposite that you preach.

Now please do not tell me that on your next visit to Cuba you are not taking a red cent,that would be an out right lie and you know it.

I in the other hand do take money to Cuba and give it away to Cubans I meet who are in dire straits for funds.

I am no saint, but I am not some bullshit story teller who likes to starve Cubans or the human race as you do.

This issue isnt about Castros regime,it has to do with HUMANS,plain and simple,so sit there getting fatter than you already are as you support things that only harm others.

 

 

 

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On November 11, 2004, YoungCuban wrote:

Jesus the past does not interest me,we must work towards the future of Cuba,but I understand what you mean clearly.

The future of Cuba MUST be for the good and interest of the people,bottom line.

The very reasons Jesus speaks of are the same reasons why the revolution has so much support,those who knew what would become of Cuba if allowed to be invaded by capatialism saw what the future of Cuba would of been.

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On November 12, 2004, Gregory wrote:

Hi People…
Quite a “dialogue” going on here. Michael, I personally met YoungCuban when he was recently here in Havana, and he is genuine and sincere in his concern and love for the country of his parents and I was impressed by his altruistic willingness to help Cubans and see through the spurrious arguments put forward by people like you. Maybe YoungCuban is a “hothead”, but he has every right to be indignant and enraged about the fact that people like you (armchair foreign policy experts)who smuggly preach in support of the embargo and travel ban, in clear contradiction to public opinion in Cuban and the rest of the world for that matter. Regarding Danna’ comments, I completely agree that the reason Cuba is paying a premium for US goods is based on an intelligent political calculus. It is not because nobody else wants to sell them things (I have worked for several joint ventures in Cuba as a lawyer and advisor and am familiar with the business environment, something that you with your rudimentary Spanish and mere six months in Cuba cannot claim). But alas, as we will always have armchair quarterbacks, so will we have armchair foreign policy experts like Michael. By the way Michael, when is the next time you are coming to Cuba?

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On November 12, 2004, YoungCuban wrote:

I would gladly die or be imprisoned for life fighting for a cause I strongly believe in, unlike others, how many men can truly say that and mean it?

I would never contradict myself, if I feel strong about something I stand behind it 100%,unlike Michael who married a Cuban lady from Cuba and visits Cuba from time to time all the while supporting the very things that may keep him and his Cuban wife from visiting her or his family.

As I said before,IF you are against people going to Cuba, then why don’t you set an example by not going yourself?

Please stand behind what you believe in, it’ okay you have the right to be for or against anything in this world,but, to contradict yourself in this case only shows the public reading these forums that you are nothing more than a confused hypocrite.

Greg, allow me to correct your statement, Cuba isnt my parents Cuba,it is MY Cuba, when I bleed, I bleed 100% Cuban blood, no paper (birth certificate) in the world can tell me otherwise and no man for that matter!

Of course this does not mean that I do not love my country,but I also do not allow myself to be painted a picture to follow by any country or man,I have my own mind,my own brain and my own soul,I make up MY own decisions on things going on in the world.

I was asked if I would take up arms against Cuba if need be? And my answer is NO,nobody can make me fire a weapon towards Cuba,I refuse to shoot at my family and Cuban people,I rather sit in jail.

Carlos Manuel De Cespedes once said.

“Todos Los Cubanos Son Mis Hijos” or in this case Mi Familia

Understand what you may think may be my madness now Michael?

 

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On November 15, 2004, Michael wrote:

Geez there’ a lot of passion here. I think if all of you met me you would be in agreement that I am a peaceful and reasonable person and above all I extend an unbiased respect for my fellow man. I have learned to respectfully disagree here. But, I don’t believe this dialogue has ever been truthfull about the nature of the totalitarian dictatorship in Cuba. I have personally been stopped multiple times by the police in Cuba simply because I was accompanied by a Cuban in one form or another. That bothered me enormously. I was confronted for the first time with the realities of freedom and, in a place such as Cuba, the lack thereof. So, I decided back in 98/99’ that I would refuse to financially contribute to the support of the dictator and his corrupt system who is the source of so much pain and misery to so many people. You can get up here on this stage and rail me and criticize me and call me a hypocrtite but I refuse to budge for resons of conviction. Do I think Cuba would be a better place if we dropped the Embargo and allowed free travel ? Truth is not really, becuase all we are doing is contributing to the preservation of a very corrupt, brutal, and inhumane form of Governance. Are there comprimises that go along with this stand ? Absolutely. Would I like to see my wife living with her family again? To watch her neices and nephews grow up ? It goes without sayng. Would I like to travel to Cuba more than once every 3 years ? How about live there full time. I love Cuba. But, there is something terribly wrong with the system , that only remittances from family members living abroad and tourist dollars that fortunately end up directly in the hands of the Cubans tend to mask in terms of the severity of the corruption and greed of the maximo leader himself.And I refuse to contribute. My conscience whether you like it or not is a clear reflection of what drives the Embargo and there are MILLIONS LIKE ME who stand united as to the reasons why this US policy stands and it won’t be lifted until there is a change in Cuban leadership.       

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On November 15, 2004, YoungCuban wrote:

Michael,you truly believe that once Fidel departs this earth that the government will change?

I think otherwise.

The system is in place for Fidel’ successor to continue with it’ ways.

I understand where you are coming from, but the true reasons to why the embargo is still placed on Cuba has yet to be truthfully revealed.

Answer me this Michael, and please understand where I am coming from.

Vietnam’ embargo has been lifted,the very people who killed, tortured our men and held captive many POW’ for years, the same people who sell their young daughters to grown men for prostitution,same people who use children as working slaves in sweat shops and so much more.

Now,with that said Michael,why was the embargo lifted on Vietnam?

You speak of Castro’ government charging $1000+ per Cuban employee all the while paying that employee only $15 a month,now Michael,in Vietnam children are paid an equivelant of 2-5 cents per hour for their work.

Don’t you think children should be in school getting an education,like the Cuban children are?

In Vietnam government health care isnt in place,unlike Cuba who’ health care system is free to it’ citizens.

When you can answer me truthfully and honestly with logical comments to why Vietnam no longer has an Embargo placed upon them, (the Vietnamese are truly breaking human rights laws),when you can answer me that,then that is the day I will shut up for good.

Oh,before I forget,guess who places these children at work?
The government does,they just keep it very hidden,I know this to be a fact as I know many Vietnam citizens personally who have told me about their problems in Vietnam,some worked the shops as children.

Think about this Michael,many of the very companies who’ products are being made by these children are U.S. products,that makes me say Hmmmmmm…

Let’ not even get into the Saudi’,China etc…

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On November 15, 2004, Michael wrote:

Vietnam ? I can’t find a correlation between Vietnam and Cuba. True Cuba is Socialist , with a extremely low paying work force. Perhaps the reasons for reconciliation with Vietnam came about through improved relations with China and encouragement and most imprtantly diplomacy coming from Vietnam itself. I don’t really see anything more than hostility coming from Castro. There is a Huge difference there. As to whether or not the true reasons for the Embargo being imposed on Cuba will ever be truthfully revealed ?President Kennedy has been dead for 43 years now and all we can go by is Fidel Castros behavior since then… 

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On November 15, 2004, Jesus Perez wrote:

Michael, You speak of Castro’ hostility towards the U.S., you seem to forget that we were the ones who with the support of the C.I.A. trained and sent exiles to overthrow the government, repeatedly attempted to assasinate Castro and have tried to estrangulate Cuba economically since 1961, so when you speak of hostility, your argument does not have to much credibility

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On November 15, 2004, YoungCuban wrote:

Michael,my point is that you constantly preach on huamn rights in Cuba, so I simply pointed out IF human rights had ANYTHING to do with embargo,then Vietnam would be the first country where the embargo should be in place.

Is China not declared a communist country?

Do they not have nuclear arms?

Think the pay in China is good compared to U.S. standards?

China is yet another country that enslaves their children and young women,from sweat shops to prostitution.

You cannot even have a child unless the government permits you to,you are limited to how many children a couple can I have,you can defend that by saying it’ due to their over populated country,but,to me that is not being FREE to live the way one choose,I rather than in Cuba with it’ way if I had to.

The reason is obvious why China does not have an embargo placed upon them.

#1 Their as well as our economy highly depends in their relationship with the U.S. and vise versa

Now take away the fact that the Chinese import and investments in the U.S. is enourmos to say the least,if I remember correctly because of China the U.S. made nearly $1 Trillion dollars within the last two years.

Or

Can it be the U.S. does not wan’t to piss off the one nation who is as armed as our own military force?

And,who also out number our military personnel 14 to 1?

Think about that Michael,whon in the world would wan’t to mess with China?

U.S. has 800,000 soldiers,China has nearly 12 million soldiers!

I’d hate to get into a gun battle with them folks.

Let’ face it,one of the reasons the U.S. would ever wan’t to see a change in Cuba is to finally control yet another caribbean island (as they do all others)and set up shop for military testing and housing.

It’ essier to polute the air and soil of another country with toxic chemicals.

Guantamano is a joke,they wan’t the whole damn island.

That’ just one reason,others would be the loss of revenues to Cuba through tourism,port and docking fees and many other ways Cuba can hurt the U.S. economy!

It’ all about the Bejamins my friend,a totally free (from control of another nation) Cuba would mean billions of dollars lost by the U.S.as well as millions of jobs.

Enough Said!

 

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On November 16, 2004, Michael wrote:

What will it take for the US to drop the Embargo against Cuba ??? You don’t think the Maximo Leader has ever labored over this question ??? A million times. And in his mind he has decided that the stakes are too high. For himself. He won’t do it. He won’t come to the table to negotiate in good faith. It’ that simple. It’ not that the US demands are ridiculously high. It’ that he has too much to lose…. Please enough already. 

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On November 16, 2004, YoungCuban wrote:

El Commandante has out lived 9 U.S. presidents,has been able to hit every curve ball the U.S. has thrown his way for over 45 years now.

Why won’t the sit at a table peacefully with the US?

Maybe because he knows the US won’t stand peacefully,ever think of that?

Here’ what would happen between a meeting of the US and Castro.

Our Government: We want you to place these laws WE the U.S
have made up for Cuba and then WE the U.S.will lift the embargo.

How dare any nation tell another nation on how to run their own country!

Since 59 the Castro has proven the U.S. to be nothing but a failure when it comes to Cuba,they are embarassed that they could not bully Cuba around like they have done to the rest of the world,that’ why the restrictions are getting tougher,that’ why the embargo won’t be lifted,that’ why things WILL not change once Fidel has passed away.

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On November 16, 2004, YoungCuban wrote:

CORRECTION: Thats why things SHOULD NOT change once Fidel has passed away.

Michael you tell me “Enough Already”?

You are the one who should stop with all your inhumane supporting as you have 0% Cuban blood in you.

You are the perfect example of an American who has alternative motives when preaching freedom for Cuba.

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On November 17, 2004, Michael wrote:

Young Cuban

No use responding to your comments anymore. You make absolutely no sense. Here is one last parting question : If you love Cuba so much and hate America why don’t you cut up your US passport and move to Cuba permenantly ? What’ wrong ??? Can’t give up that ticket to freedom ??

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On November 17, 2004, YoungCuban wrote:

I am glad you will no longer be responding to me!

YOU are the one who does not make sense,you visit Cuba,married a Cuban lady and continue to visit Cuba,but are against lifting the restrictions?

You’re a joke! A fool to say the least!

I have never once said I do not love my country,you moron.

But,I am also not blinded to the evils our country has proven to have behind it’ doors.

This isnt just about Cuba,it’ about every country the U.S. trys to take over cause they say so ro simply can,who gives any nation the right to tell other nations how to live?

Answer me this Michael,if it was the other way around,Cuba having an emabrgo on the U.S. while U.S. people starve,would you supoprt the embargo then?

You pompous ass,go to Cuba and visit your wifes family while supporting travel restrictions that WE as American citizens is our born given right,YOU make absoluetly no sense at all,each time you buy a ticket to Cuba,Cuba makes money from it,so don’t buy a ticket, you have stated many times that you go to Cuba but do not help finance the Cuban government,but you do support them nicely you idiot,and they thank you!

Each time your wife calls home,Cuba makes money,each time she sends money or goods,Cuba makes money,each time you buy a ticket,Cuba makes money,each time you leave the island you have to pay a $25 exit fee,guess who makes that money?

You have been disassembled!

Sorry I have to go now,I have nearly 1200 pounds of goods to send to Cuba to many needy Cuban families, dont worry the Cuban government will make their share so they can continue to feed Cubans on the island,even if it’ just a little.

I am glad I can help in different ways to help feed Cubans in Cuba.

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On November 17, 2004, Michael wrote:

Young Cuban ,

Why don’;t you give me your address down in Miami ? I ‘d like to pay you a visit. Let’ see if you talk so tough in person.

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On November 17, 2004, Dana Garrett wrote:

>>Young Cuban ,Why don’;t you give me your address down in Miami ? I ‘d like to pay you a visit. Let’ see if you talk so tough in person.<<

Geez, guys.  This is a discussion. That’ all.  Hasn’t there been enough bloodshed and harm that have resulted from the rift between the USA and Cuba already? 

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On November 17, 2004, YoungCuban wrote:

I would gladly give you my address,but since my children sleep where I live I wouldnt give it to you,there are many pendejos who would do anything like harm a child in order to get back at an adult.

But,if you REALLY want to confront me name the place and time bitch,and I will be there!

Now one rule is all I ask,no weapons,hand to hand combat,like REAL men fight, hell I’ll even let you bring 2 friends,just no weapons!

Also by law I have to tell you in advance that I have 4 deciplines in the martial arts,and I am also an ex-pro wrestler.

Last thing I need is yet another loud mouth chicken shit trying to sue me for kicking his ass,this time around I am covered as I let you know in advance, as I was told to do by a judge in TX when I got sued 2 years ago.

Plus sue all you want,I lost most of it the last time around…hahahaha.

Bring 2 friends and your wife,that way she can know what a real man is like.

PLEASE I urge you to follow through with your threat! Name it boy!

I’m free Saturday all day….

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On November 17, 2004, YoungCuban wrote:

Dana,the problem with Michael is that he has been exposed and he cannot stand it.

He goes to Cuba and doesnt want others to enjoy the same freedom of travel we as Americans were born with,thus this makes him a hypocrite and a man who DOES NOT stand behind his convictions.

I ask all of you,what gives him the right to go to Cuba but not others, he can go for the simple reason he married some poor desperate girl who saw him as a way out of Cuba?

Now he wants to act tough,which I doubt he is to begin with,my first instructor “Ed Parker” always said,“men who cannot debate without turning to violence, are not men”

He challenged me and I welcome the challenge with open arms,I did not ask to fight him,but if he likes he can be my 20 second sparring partner anytime he wishes!

Besides I need a warm up practice match before I head out to work for Pride Fights.

Michael I DARE you little man,to come through with your threat,I DO NOT bluff so I expect you to not be all talk,if not you will be exposed once again,but this time as a chicken shit all talk no action faggot!

Hahahahaha….I love this guy!

Here, I’ll make it simple for you, meet me at 4 P.M. at Harris Field in Homestead,that’ 312th and US-1,at the soccer field.

Now,I promise you that I WILL BE THERE,don’t disappoint are fight fans Mikey….

Oh by the way,I’ll be wearing a black shirt that says “Why be a pussy?” ” When you can eat one”

Til then….Chao

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On November 17, 2004, Dana Garrett wrote:

Young Cuban, although I agree w/ your position on visiting Cuba and agree that Michael’ view is incorrect, if you really felt secure about your position, then you would not need to take up his challenge to meet and fight.  You would laugh at his challenge.

I know what it is to feel passionately about a position, but a physical fight can lead to all kinds of terrible consequences, even some unintended ones.  Think about it…both of you: a blow by a fist can kill.  Is it worth possibly killing someone and going to jail over a webpage disagreement about travel to Cuba?  How will that advance either of your positions one way or another?  And what would it mean if one of you wins the fight and the other loses it?  Does winning a physical fight mean that the other person’ position has been proven wrong?  It would show nothing and the issue would remain unsolved.

Now I am going to ask a favor of both of you.  I ASK you both not to fight each other and say that you won’t here on this board.  I ask you both to promise me that you won’t.  You won’t be backing down by doing this.  You will honoring someone’ request who will be worried sick about it if you don’t. 

Will you do this for me?  I would very much appreciate it.  Thanks. 

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On November 18, 2004, publisher wrote:

Hey guys, Publisher here. We welcome all facts, positions, opinions, comments etc. Cuba is a passionate subject for many people on many levels.

We built the Havana Journal for anyone to air these passions.

So far the Havana Journal has not been moderated although we see every post and comment.

We ask that all content posted here remain on topic and NOT become personal.

People argue and disagree in many different ways. Help us stay true to our pursuit of intellectual discussion, discovery and understanding about all things Cuba.

As it says at the top of every page… Read. Discover. Understand.

Thanks.

Rob

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On November 18, 2004, YoungCuban wrote:

If I read it correctly,it was the he who called me out.

Dana, as a favor to you and to myself I will not allow this man to get to me,he is worthless in my life,I already allowed another man get in my head and it cost me dearly,not only financially but mentally,as I re-live the day I nearly killed this man with my hands,everyday of my life,I am not proud in any sense of the word from what I have done and will pay dearly for it mentally for the rest of my life.

But I must admit,it erks me dearly not to confront a man who challenges me,I know I am no less of a man by not accepting his challenge,but I will stand down for many reasons.

The main reason being I already went through this once and it was NOT a pleasant ride,I hurt a man to the point he needs to walk for the rest of his natural life using a walker because both his kness were beyond total repair,besides other things,and last but not least,I remember how much suffering my actions caused my family.

So,Michael,you win bro,I’m backing down,THIS TIME.

 

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On November 18, 2004, Dana Garrett wrote:

Thank you, Young Cuban.  You have demonstrated to me that you are a real man.  I really appreciate it. 

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On November 18, 2004, Michael wrote:

Young Cuban , We are not going to fight. And even with all your insults I know that I will not resort to violence unless physically provoked.If we meet personally your tough talk words would vanish. I’m 6’ 230 lbs and have known since I was a little kid how to drop men twice my size.I’ve been in more knock down fistfights than youve had months to live so all your tough talk about karate this and ex pro wrestler that doesn’t phase me. Obviously you have some major issues. If the Cuban community actually threatened you I know you have not learned a vital lesson in life : Learn to respectfully disagree with someone who has different views from your own.If you choose to live by the sword you will die by the sword. Now that I’ve heard your insane words I know that you will be the source of your own descruction and I didn’t have to land a single blow. You insulted my Cuban wife more than once ( she’ not a jinatera, and she didn’t want to leave her family ) and I am not a moron , an idiot and a hypocrite. I’ll pass on our 4pm appointment this Saturday because I know one day in the future I’ll read about a guy like you in the Miami Dade police blotter. I feel sorry for your kids.

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On November 18, 2004, Dana Garrett wrote:

Michael & YoungCuban, thank you both for agreeing not to fight.  You have relieved me of my concern whether that was your intention or not. 

I wonder if it is also possible if we all can agree (and for my part, I’m doing it now)that:

1. We will never suggest any kind of physical confrontations among ourselves on these boards.

2. We will vigorously debate issues, not personalities,

3. We won’t assume what someone’ motive is in a debate.  Instead, if we have a quetion about someone’ motive for a position, we will ask him or her what their motive is.

4. If we share personal information on these boards, we will treat that information as sacred and we won’t use it against a person in a debate. 

Could we all agree to that?  That should reduce a lot of unnecessary conflict, yet allow for rigorous & helpful debate on the issues.  Is it a deal?  Thanks for considering it. 

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On November 18, 2004, YoungCuban wrote:

6’ 230 lbs? would of been a good fight seeing we both are equal in stature, i’m 6’1 240.

You have no clue how many fights I have been in,whether in exhibition or on the streets.

I’ve made a very good living out of fighting,sir,it’ what I do.

Only time you’ll read about me in the papers is when I have yet gained another title in the martial arts world,I have 9(count them) to this date,and since I have retired from the martial arts scene,YOU WILL NEVER read about me in the papers, unless I am being praised for helping my fellow man.

You are right,I insulted your wife,and as a man I will apologize for that,but I will not apologize to you for calling you a hypocrite,because that is what you are,don’t you see that? Or are you to feeble minded to realize it?

I choose to die by the sword any day then die a hypocrite of humanity.

Do not feel sorry for my kids,they are very well off and highly intellegent,my 15 year old is graduating high school at the age of 16,as I did,my 6 year old is in the 3rd grade,two years ahead of other 6 year olds,my 2 year old can speak english and spanish fluently at such a young age,therefore they do not need for you to be sorry for them,perhaps they are sorry for you.

Perhaps I do have a bit of enclosed rage,perhaps my past haunts me because of it,but I can live with it knowing that whatever
I have done,I have done with reason,not out of rage.

You cannot kill a man who does not fear death,he’ already dead, and that person does not fear killing.

Enough said.

Now lets get back to why you support restrictions that do not allow us as American born citizens to travel to Cuba,all the while you visiting Cuba!

 

 

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On November 18, 2004, YoungCuban wrote:

Dana (if a woman) the only physical confrontation you’ll be getting from my part,is if you spend a night with me…; )

lol

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On November 18, 2004, Dana Garrett wrote:

>>Dana (if a woman) the only physical confrontation you’ll be getting from my part,is if you spend a night with me…; )lol<<

YoungCuban, I am afraid the only physical experience you would have would be nausea since I am a middle-aged bald man. 

But please donít feel embarrassed.  With a name like “Dana,” it happens a lot.  (My mother named me after the actor Dana Andrews.) 

The bright side is that w/ a name like Dana, I always get the Victoria Secret catalogues in the mail.  smile

 

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On November 18, 2004, YoungCuban wrote:

Not embarassed,thats why I said “If”...lol

I know another man named Dana.

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On November 18, 2004, Michael wrote:

I’m assuming myself and young Cuban have buried the hatchett. No more name calling. let’c keep this conversation to a low simmer. 

Here is my position on the Embargo and I and multiple millions of others are sticking to it :

It ( lifting the Embargo )  will never directly benefit the Cuban people in a Communist run Government controlled system.

When the indirect benefit will be at the sole descretion of the dictator himself and he has proven that he is completely insensitive to the plight of his own people time and again , why take the chance ?.

As I’ve said numerous times in this forum, you can’t charge foreign Investors $ 1150.00 per month per Cuban worker , only pay them a measley $ 18 month and call it a fair and equitable distribution of revenues. It’ called slave labor , nothing else. If the Embargo is lifted it will only be more of the same. What ? you think all of a sudden Fidel Castro will have a sudden flash of conscience ?

Fidel Castro has used the US for 47 years as this imaginary enemy of the Cuban people with the clear political objective of creating a buffer between himself and his failed economic policies. Policies, that can’t work and never will. But , he always has his trump card ” it’ the Americans fault.THEY did this to us ” Please.

Every conflict that has ever existed on this earth was started militarily and resolved diplomatically. Fidel knows this and as long as he keeps the tension going with the US he can remain in total control.

You can’t resolve your differences with a dictator who refuses to come to the table.

Don’t let the suddenly substantial one way trade activity between Cuba and US agricultural producers sway you. It is a currency drain that will one day soon turn against Fidel in a big way.

Communism doesn’t work in Cuba otherwise there would be no black market ,No corruption or pay offs , the need for remittances from Cubans living abroad fortunate enough to escape the no-win situation , barter deals between Cuba and Venesuela etc. etc. etc. 

Fidel Castro is sitting on Billions of dollars, has Real Estate investments around the world and practices Capitalism on a private level. To the benefit of Cuba ? I don’t think so.

He has got to go.

 

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On November 18, 2004, YoungCuban wrote:

Black market and corruption is also going on here in the U.S.,always has been.

Try this one for size Michael,is it not the U.S. who holds the embargo over Cuba’ head?

With that said,if I was the president I would make sure every Cuban in Cuba knows that I am ready to lift the embargo,but with a few rules placed.

#1. Cubans must get paid better for their labor (Agreed amount)

#2. Items sent to Cuba must be affordable enough for Cubans to buy.

Now,if Cuba does not want to play that game,then every Cuban in Cuba may be awakened by the denied offer.

I’m just saying, we have to start somewhere,not just leave it there as it’ been for over 40 years.

The U.S. also has to show good faith as does Cuba.

If the offer is declined then Cubans can clearly see it wasn’t the U.S.’ fault for not lifting the embargo,two simple rules (for starters) that benefit Cubans,perhaps a decline in the offer would stir up a call for change by Cubans themselves,but to date the U.S. has not made such an offer.

It is actually a strategic move if done so,because if Cuba declines the offer the Cubans will then see that not all the blame lies on the U.S.

Don’t you think?

Personally,I feel the embargo should be lifted,if can be lifted on Vietnam,China and other enemies of the U.S.,then why not Cuba?

As I have stated before,if Cubans felt that they were not free,then it is up to THEM to free themselves,why haven’t they retaliated against the Cuban government? Fear? I am not buying that!

I can understand your point about Cubans getting paid $1* while Cuba collects over $1000.00 for each worker,but then again,Cubans do not pay,rent,light,water,health care and are given rations etc.. so one can say that $18 a month can easily be enough to get by on…I have yet seen one Cuban starved to death,nor homeless,things I see in my city every day!

Also think about this,that $1000.00+ per worker Cuba collects goes back into paying for their rations (no matter how small)and maintenance cost,such as electricity and improvements etc..

I’m glad I am not responsible to find a way to pay for 11+ Million mouths a day while having an embargo placed upon me,glad I dont have to think about paying for,research,
medicine,fuel,equipment of all sorts and improvements (just to name a few)and much less for 46 years!

I couldnt do it!

 

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On November 19, 2004, Michael wrote:

I see we are coming around to the reality of the situation.

Cuba cannott be mentioned in the same breath as Vietnam or China for that matter. Why ? Because there are diplomatic relationships between the two countires and the US.Former enemies? Absolutely.A brutal war.Millions died.But both parties over time made the effort to bridge the gap.Diplomacy is something Fidel is happy to avoid. Afterall he needs to maintain a sense of hostility and seperation in order to exert his power over the Cuban people.He needs an enemy.

The Cuban people are easily ruled because they are poor,uneducated about the outside world, and distrustfull of each other because they know that if they speak their minds openly , the CDC will hear of it. And they’ll get a knock on their door at night. Trust me I’ve seen it.

The system as we know it in this country ” Free Enterprise ” is the only way to revitalize Cuba’ economy. Nobody in Cuba has the incentive to ” work harder” in a Government controlled enterprise, because they will never be granted the increase in earnings that they desperately need and deserve.

Black Market enterprise is the only thing in Cuba that will put some extra money in your pocket.And it’ barely enough to get by. You won’t see ” Circuit City ” or ” Home Depot ” in Havana any time soon.Of course not until the Embargo is lifted and most importantly
when ” Free Enterprise ” is re-established.As far as free housing and health care don’t you think there is a huge difference between the slums around Colon and Ave del Prado in Central Havana and for example Siboney west of Miramar ? The quality of your life in Cuba is direcly porportional to what you contribute to Fidel’ cause. Your a Communist Bio Chemist ? Your family lives well, your just another Cuban? You live with rats.

Back to Fidels plan to keep the people uneducated about the outside world. Wouldn’t you get tired of reading Granma every day ? Or watching Fidel on TV every day? No wonder all the tin foil satelitte dishes in Cuba only come out at night…

Let’ face it the Cuban people are in the unenviable position of being ignorant to what they are missing in just about every aspect of their lives..

It’ Fidels plan… And, of course, just blame it on the Americans. 

   

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On November 19, 2004, YoungCuban wrote:

Lift the embargo and all things the Cubans (as you say)are ignorant about will fill the island,it was when the embargo was lifted on Germany that communisism in Germany disappeared,was it not?

The Germans saw what was out there for them if they had a chance to earn a decent living to afford such items,they wanted vcr’,cell phones etc. and got it by finally standing up against the German regime!

I have always said there is good and bad,nobody nor any country is perfect,but to starve millions becaue of one man is an injustice,things can be done like apply new rules when lifting the embargo,but if we do nothing than we are nothing but a bunch of rats ourselves who want the cheese all to ourselves.

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On November 20, 2004, Jesus Perez wrote:

Michael, you speak of a “brutal war” between the U.S. and Vietnam in which millions died. Just for the record, 57000 Americans died, 3 million Vietnamese died. Those are the brutal real numbers.

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On November 22, 2004, Gregory wrote:

Folks, Michael is so fun to debate because, from his armchair in the U.S.A., his analysis of Cuba is so divorced from reality.
I am sorry Michael, but the whereas the Cuban people might be poor and have a difficult time making ends meet at the end of every month, you are very very mistaken when you say that they are ignorant about the outside world. The vast majority of Cubans either have family/friends/neighbors who live abroad or have travelled abroad. Moreover, they watch mainstream U.S. movies and TV shows on a regular basis on television which gives them a good idea of the basic standard of living in the United States and elsewhere. In fact, I would argue that Cubans have a better idea about the world beyond their borders than the general American population.
Your argument that if Cubans speak their mind they will receive a “knock on the door at night” comes from watching too many cold war movies. Is there censorship? Yes. Are Cubans allowed to organize public demonstrations against their political system? No. But this is a far cry from insinuating that they are too afraid to exress their opinions about their government on a personal basis. Any foreigner that comes to Cuba will observe that. Oh, I forgot, you don’t want to allow any U.S. citizen to come to Cuba. Wonder why….

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On November 22, 2004, Gregory wrote:

Michael,
This invidious comparison between the lives of biochemists in Siboney and the “regular Cubans” in el Barrio Colon is just another example of how mistaken your analysis of Cuba is. In fact, as a cruel irony, often the biochemist working for the State has a more difficult life than the hustler or blackmarketeer who lives in Colon. How do I know? Because I lived in Siboney and presently live in Barrio Colon, yes that’ right, the place where you say everyone lives like rats. I would like you to come here and tell Cubans this. They face many economic problems on a daily basis and indeed there are shortages of housing and almost everything else. But they maintain a dignity in their simple lives. To say they live like rats is insulting and arrogantly ignorant. Let me repeat, let’ lift the travel ban so that all U.S. citizens can make up their own minds, not rely on what I say or, God forbid, what Michael claims. Michael, don’t try to keep the American people in the dark. Moreover, don’t you think by lifting the travel ban, the Cuban people would get an even better idea of the outside world. You support of the travel ban keeps everyone in the dark.

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On November 22, 2004, YoungCuban wrote:

Liberty City,Overtown are juszt twon of the cities found in Miami where you can find people living (not like rats) but with rats!

And lets not forget the bad side of Coconut Grove which is considered one of the poorest cities in the US,drug dealers push their dope,prostitutes sell their bodies,and for why?

Because they feel like it and are to damn lazy to work hard to get ahead,or can it be jobs cannot be found?

So,when one sits here and talks about women selling themselves in Cuba,lets not forget the ones who sell themselves here in the US,most get monthly government aid and still sell their bodies,at least in Cuba they do it to survive,not to pay for a drug habit,which is the caes in the US.

The US is filled with slums for neighborhoods,go to Michigan,Louisiana,New York,California,Miami,Texas and so on, and see for your self how 25% of US citizens live,not as rats,but with rats!

The US way has made us all (but not me) hypocrites when speaking of other nations,because the very things we talk about other nations is happening in our own backyards,yet we do nothing about it,please get the hell out of other countries and start fixing our own!

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On November 22, 2004, Michael wrote:

The debate rumbles on ..... My perceptions of the situation in Cuba is shared by a great many people.Perhaps not in this forum but certainly with Cubans living and prospering in the US and elsewhere.My criticism of the situation in Cuba is objective and justified. I love Cuba, I think the Cuban people deserve so much more than the present government allows them. But somehow my comments here are taken as anti-Cuba.They are not. They are anti-Castro.You can tip toe around the issues all you want. It all boils down to who is running that Country, what measures he has taken to control and oppress his own people and what it will take short of violent overthrow to move Cuba to it’ next chapter in History. Lifting the Embargo and easing travel restrictions? Anything that strengthens Fidel Castro’ hold on power is counterproductive.   

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On November 22, 2004, YoungCuban wrote:

There you go again,hurting an entire nation because of the hate you have for ONE man.

This issue isnt soley about Castro,or dont you see that?

First off as an America I DO NOT want my God given rights taken
from me,like the freedom to travel and secondly what gives ANY man the right to tell me I cannot see my family but once every 3 years,the last time I looked that was called seperation of family!

You can continue to defend the US all you want as you do not have family in Cuba as your wife does,through her sorrows you cannot truly feel what it’ like to be seperated from your family,no matter how bad you feel for her when she cries out for them,your heart does not know the pain,just imagines it,which does not come close!

Everything is nothing but a smoke screen and mumble jumble,American corporations can go to Cuba,sell Cuba their items at an outrages price,now who do you think will be purchasing those items on the streets of Cuba at an even higher price? Cubans,not you nor I,thats how the embargo effects the everyday Cuban,high over priced merchandise and goods that only continue to tap into the ordinary Cuban’ already empty wallet.

It’ big business for the US to maintain Cuba the way it is, it’ big business that has kept the embargo in place, those are the real realities when it comes to Cuba.

Everyone knows that a country filled with restrictins becomes desperate enough to pay $1 for one egg,instead of paying $1 for a dozen eggs without an embargo,get it?

 

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On November 22, 2004, Dana Garrett wrote:

Michael,

If the Cuban people deserve more, then how can you justify giving them less by supporting the embargo?  If it hasnít worked in 40 years, why will it work anytime soon? 

Do you seriously think Castroís death will change anything?  He is just one man.  If Cubans hate him as much as you seem to think, how could he withstand the entire nation?  He obviously has considerable support from somewhere.

It seems to me that you havenít thought these things through.

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On November 22, 2004, Michael wrote:

Dana ,

I HAVE thought this through. Thoroughly. Fidel Castro is just one man. Correct. He is however in charge of everything in Cuba. The considerable support from somewhere you refer to comes from his systematic oppression and surveilance of his own people. Cuba is a police state in an island paradise. Have you ever noticed when you clear customs at the Airport in Havana and you are exiting ? There is a gate behind which dozens of Cubans are waiting there to see family members. There is also a man standing right in front of you holding a blank piece of cardboard. He calls your attention to it and holds it in a way that you look at the Cardboard but really what is happening is a picture is being taken of your face that gets recorded by the Police and the Ministry of the Interior. From that point forward , whether you are a tourist , a Cuban returning to visit family , a businessman, whatever,They are watching you and they will track you until you leave.That is not a free society. 

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On November 25, 2004, Gregory wrote:

Michael…
Anyone who has even a basic familiarity with Cuba has to laugh at your assertion that the Cuban authorities photograph and track all foreigners visiting Cuba until they leave the island. This is absurd because the Cuban State does not even have enough resources to do such a massive surveillance operation. We are talking about around two million visitors a year! Your claim is truly hilarious. You have been watching too many James Bond movies, my friend. In your response to Dana’ position that Fidel might still be in power because he has a significant percentage of the population that supports him, you claim that he is in power simply because of “oppression and surveillance”. Well, this is the same system that existed in the former Eastern Block countries, and their regimes were not able to survive. How do you explain this? Does an efficient, insidious and effective system of surveillance and control exist in Cuba? Yes. Can it explain Fidel Castro remaining in power for so many years? No. Whether you are willing or able to acknowledge it or not, the fact is that a significant number of Cubans support Fidel, even though they grumble and hope for some type of reform. Even mainstream journalists who have spent time in Cuba (CNN, Reuters, Financial Times, BBC, etc) and who I speak with on a regular basis will admit that there is a bed rock of support for Fidel.
Finally, you continue to cling to the failed notion of the embargo, claiming that lifting it would be counterproductive. What you have failed to do since I have seen you on this forum is explain to all of us is why you choose to ignore the Cuban dissident movement, the Cuban Catholic Church, and the rest of the international community who overwhelmingly state that the embargo is counter-productive and should be lifted. How do you know better, Micheal? Please come clean and give us your answer.