http://havanajournal.com/politics/entry/canada-cuba-must-talk-publicly-says-minister/

HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Politics

Canada, Cuba must talk publicly, says minister

Posted May 20, 2009 by Cubana in Cuba Politics.
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By Mike Blanchfield, Canwest News Service

Canada’s cabinet minister for Latin America says he has no regrets about chiding Cuba on human rights, even though Havana abruptly canceled the trip he was to make there next week.

But Peter Kent, minister of state for foreign affairs for the Americas, says Canada has only good intentions in helping Cuba reform. That’s because it stands “at a crossroads in history” with positive overtures coming from U.S. President Barack Obama that could end the half-century-old U.S. embargo which the minister says has isolated Cuba.

In an interview with Canwest News Service and Global News, Kent said the quiet diplomacy or “constructive engagement” of past Liberal governments has not worked and that Canadians expect their government to conduct human rights discussions in the open, not behind closed doors.

“This government is much more open in its discussion of foreign policy in speaking up on human rights, not just in the Cuban situation, but in other countries around the world and I think that the Canadian public as well, as perhaps citizens of Cuba . . . deserve a chance to see the process,” said Kent.

“We are very understanding of the Cuban situation. They have been isolated through the years of the Cold War by the Helms Burton embargo, but Cuba stands today at a crossroads of history and Canada.”

Kent learned 10 days ago that his planned trip to Havana was no longer possible. The Cuban government gave no clear explanation other than it would not be able to accommodate him. It is unclear whether Kent’s tough language—as well as some frank talk from Prime Minister Stephen Harper about Cuba’s totalitarian state—rubbed the Cuban communist regime the wrong way.

Kent has previously said he wanted to use the trip to prod the Castro regime to release political prisoners, to show better respect for human rights and to open itself up to allowing meaningful political dissent.

Member Comments

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On May 21, 2009, bernie wrote:

I beleive people are beginning to realize that the use of human rights is a smoke screen, exactly what the real reasons for accusing Cuba of human rights issues when most countires have abusive human rights is a total contradiction.  The Canadians & US have a deporable record of the treatment
of the Native Indians and also other minorities.  The record speaks for it self.
such as the many people who have spent years in jail for crimes they never committed, also of the many shootings and tasering of citizens by the police

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On May 21, 2009, grant wrote:

Not perfect you say eh! Bernie?

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On May 21, 2009, paul wrote:

The USA and Canada have countless ethnic minorities in government, and with Cuba’s perpetual ranting about social rights, they barely have any black people in government.

Castro thanks you for defending Cuba against those pesky bourgeois rights like freedom of movement.

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On May 21, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

This Canadian Prime Minister, birthed via the anus of the Bush era will soon hopefully suffer his just fate and be replaced by someone capable of carrying out real diplomacy.

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On May 22, 2009, Cubana wrote:

There is only ONE reason why the Castro government cancelled his trip and that is made clear in the last paragraph. The Castro brothers dictatorship has no intention of allowing for the Cuban people free speech, freedom of movement and all the other human rights we take for granted. Naturally it did not take long for the Castro apologists like bernie and pipefitter to come out of the woodwork!

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On May 22, 2009, manfredz wrote:

come on bernie… lets put this in perspective…..
no governement is perfect incl Canada’s and yes there have been abuses, and in the past even systematic ones
but Cuba is a whole different league.

However I do not believe by publicly pressuring a governemtn has ever led it to change and Cuba will be no different.
Further I beleive that trying to pressure Cuba publicly while accepting China’s even more dismal human rights record is hypocritical at best.

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On May 22, 2009, HavanAndrew wrote:

Dear Bernie and Pipefitter or better known as Fidel and Raul;
Within a democracy, the citizens can organize and force change in policy without going to jail for their effort to force change. There are several different barometers that reflect problems in human freedom that I respect. Amnesty International has nothing to gain by inventing, creating nor misrepresenting facts. Both of you are either aware of or should be aware of Cuba’s violations regarding human rights and liberty. If the revolution of today correctly reflected what the people of Cuba fought for you would not have to severely restrict freedom of speach and the freedom to have differing viewpoints. Che and Camilo would be horrified of what Cuba has become. The Cuba of today is neither socialist nor communist, its a bunch of thugs working for a dictator. VIVA LA LIBERTAD, ADIOS FIDEL & RAUL.

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On May 22, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

You may thing you have a lot of freedom but just sit down and think of all the things that you are not permitted to do and the abuses that have gone on in the name of freedom.

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On May 22, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

I guess the proof of the incompetence and the insensitivity of the Canadian stance toward Cuba can be seen today, friday May22,  with a statement from Hillary that the U.S. is prepared to initiate high level talks with Cuba starting with the subject of legal imigration. I guess the Candian Gov. was supposed to go to Cuba first but pissed on the host’s shoes and the door got slammed shut screwing it all up so the U.S. had to pick up the ball.

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On May 23, 2009, Yeyo wrote:

Canada is an independent country with a DEMOCRATILLY elected government.
You may or may not like some of their government decisions and actions but you have no other choice than to respect that they are there solely because of the will of the Canadians.

Unfortunately we cannot say the same thing about Cuba.

Quote: “You may thing you have a lot of freedom but just sit down and think of all the things that you are not permitted to do and the abuses that have gone on in the name of freedom.”Unquote

You probably talking about Cuba because if you are talking about Canada you are either insane, joking or have no idea what is Canada.

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On May 23, 2009, paul wrote:

There is nothing liberal about many so called progressives.


Ball spiked, someone hit it.

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On May 23, 2009, HavanAndrew wrote:

LIBERTAD is when my Cuban friends can freely visit me in Canada.
LIBERTAD is putting up a poster without going to jail.
LIBERTAD is a choice of newspapers and television.
LIBERTAD is when the snitch on the street is silenced.
LIBERTAD is to vote in a government.
LIBERTAD is not being a communist to get a good job.
LIBERTAD is plenty of food for all Cubans.
LIBERTAD is the Castros living in Venezuela.

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On May 23, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

-Oh but your Cuban Friends can’t visit you unless you guarantee to the Canadian government that you will be responsible for their upkeep etc.
-you know you can’t put a poster up werever you want without being fined and it must be politically correct.
-You have a choice of papers radio and TV but their all owned by the same company.
-Lot’s of snitches here.
-The government is voted in most times by less that 50% of the voters. unlike Cuba at about 95%.
-You don’t have to be a capitalist you just have to know the right people.
(see bankrupcy- failed bankers and execs. bonus system)
-I get lots of pictures from Cuba and have’nt seen any skinny people.
-Venezuela has a surplus of 28 billion unlike the debt ridden U.S. and Canada

-A Canadian woman just got a $100.00 dollar fine and handcuffed for not holding onto the railing on an escalator by the Canadian gestapo, correction, police.
-A man was handcuffed and taken to the station for asking a question of a parking meter maid.
-A foriegner was tazered 5 times and died because people were too indiferent to get an interpreter to try to help him.
-This is Canada.

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On May 23, 2009, paul wrote:

Now I know where this guy fits those pipes….....

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On May 24, 2009, HavanAndrew wrote:

LIBERTAD is when pipefitter has cleared his mind of propaganda and discovers reality. As far as the photos he receives from Cuba, fat cat communists don’t count. Cuba now has a nutritional crisis that rivals the special period, this is not Miami propaganda, it is harsh reality from the streets of Cuba. On a parting note, if I want to read Castro propaganda I can go Granma International.

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On May 24, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

Non of my family in Cuba are in the communist party and they are all fairly well fed. They work at normal jobs or are retired.
As I said before some of you schould clear your heads of North American bull shit, listen to some real news from around the world and get up to date on what is realy happening outside of your little barrio of North America.

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On May 24, 2009, Yeyo wrote:

Hey pipefitter if everything is so good in Cuba why so many people have left and more than the 50% still living in Cuba are trying to leave.

Also, let’s cut the crap here:

1.  In Canada you may be fined if you do not have a permit for a political poster but in Cuba if the poster is not pro-government you are simply thrown in jail, you do know that for a fact, right?

2.  To say that all the   newspapers, radio and TV stations are owned by the same company when comparing Canada to Cuba is preposterous and simply a lie, certainly several channels and papers are own by the same company but not all, and in fact the major papers are all own by different companies and the major channels are also own by different companies. Now in Cuba you know for a fact that all newspapers, radio and TV channels are not only own but also run by the same guy.

3.  Lot’s of snitches in Canada? Are you joking or what? Have you forgotten the CDR, the chivatones, the people that would even snitch their own friends and family members for their own gain, that how the Party train them as a good “revolutionaries”, that as you and I well know is Cuba, has been for the last 50 years and it is still today.

4.  In Canada sometimes the government is voted with less than 50%, that is democracy, and it simply means that everybody votes freely for whoever they want. Yes in Cuba the government get 95%? Actually you are wrong, Fidel Castro has received over 99% of the votes, but pipefitter you sincerely do not see that this is a clear sign that there is no democracy in Cuba, you can not see that it is utterly impossible that everybody want Castro in power.

5.  That Venezuela has a 28 billion surplus? Shame on Chavez and the government of Venezuela. You obviously had never been in Venezuela because if you ever go you would see that a large portion of the population is still in extreme poverty, and even after so many years of Chavez in power promising equality and revolution, with all his billions of petrodollars going to financing revolutions elsewhere rather than attacking poverty at home, a very good Castro student.

6.  Police excesses are always reprehensible, and I got truly very angry after what happened to the Polish fellow in Vancouver, however again, to compare the Canadian police or “Gestapo” as you called it, with the Cuban Police and Seguridad del Estado is like comparing a Hilton in Toronto to “100 and Aldabo” jail. There is no comparison, no words to describe such absurdity.
It is very strange that none in your whole family is with the Communist Party, simply because there is no one single family in Cuba without at least someone on the Communist Party. You sound like if you are in the Party righ now and if not it is a great loss for the PCC, you should call the Embassy and they would gladly get you back, don’t worry you can live in Canada and still be a member, there are few around.

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On May 24, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

Yes let’s cut the crap as you say,
So many have left because they believed the B.S. coming from the north, that the streets are paved with gold and you just have to pick it up off the street. But when they come to the U.S., they find out that it is not so easy. They can’t speak english so they get a low level job working for a Cuban American for minimum wage. They work hard and later the Jefe, he keeps putting the payday off until one day he disapears and leaves the poor Cuban with nothing. Very few will ever make enough to own a place. Or the Cuban dentist who comes to Miami and ends up working for minimum wage for another dentist, doing his work for him and getting paid peanuts. Their kids that will never get a higher education because the family can’t afford it. Or one Cuban that has had enough of the B.S. and would like to go back. Stories about how difficult it is to make ends meet. Examples of some family that did come north.
One day I was in a restaraunt in West Palm beach. An American woman for no
reason chews out a young cuban waiter and he goes to an older Cuban waiter beside us and wants to know porque? The older waiter says “aqui, esto es asi” no need to explain it just take it and shut up.

If say 45% vote for a person in an election in Canada, it means that more than 55% didn’t want him in power what kind of screwed up democracy is that?

In the small towns that I worked in in Cuba there were very few people in the PCC, a town of 5000 maybee 3 dozen in the party. I was told it is not easy to get into the PCC. 
I can remember people getting a talking to by the police after being squeeled upon for something minor, but being arrested and put in jail no.
People jailed for stealing, drugs, fighting, yes
I got to witness a public trial once and I’m sure that after that pubic embarassment the guilty party would not be in any hurry to go through that again.

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On May 25, 2009, HavanAndrew wrote:

And pigs can fly in Castro’s Cuba.

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On May 25, 2009, paul wrote:

I don’t even know why this guy that fits pipes is even in Canada. His doctoring is Granma quality, and his BS is nomenklatura approved. He’d make a great bureaucrat in the tropical gulag.

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On May 25, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

No, with pigs you make a fire outside and you put the pig on a pole and roast it over the fire while consuming some rum. Ummmmmm good

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On May 25, 2009, Yeyo wrote:

Sorry Pipefitter but that’s not cutting the crap but maybe adding some to it.

I actually agree with you in regard that there is many people that emigrate from Cuba misinformed about the reality elsewhere. Now that’s nothing new, the Spanish emigrants that moved to Cuba during the 20 Century suffered the same, the Chinese, Japanese, Scottish, Irish, Ukrainians, Polish and so many of many other nationalities that emigrated to all the Americas suffered also the same, most of them have to dealt with a different language and a new culture. If you talk to emigrants from any country, you would find a common hard working in meagre jobs arrival and success only after hard work. That’s the real opportunity, that’s the real gold to be pick up, that you and your children have the same opportunity to work hard and be whatever you dream of being.

However you fail to mention that after the initial shock most Cubans have fought hard and eventually get well paid jobs, most buy houses and dentist and doctors also get American and Canadian licenses. I know many Cubans that had pushed their children to Universities, however that is actually their children choice, because while paid, there is probably no better place in the world to attend University than US and Canada, for starters, if you don’t have money many Universities accept you free, including Harvard, you can also ask for a loan and paid it back when you graduate, is all a matter of choice and determination.

I known it very well and learned on my own skin. While I knew there were no gold on the streets, in reality the emigration process was more difficult that what I thought, mainly because after I left, the Cuban Government kept my wife and kids and did not allowed them to leave the island for 5 years.
At the beginning I had to work hard (cleaning, gardening and construction) but eventually I gained my way back to my own profession. My wife is a Cuban graduated Medical Doctor and it is difficult to get a Medical License to practice in Canada or the states, however she also studied hard, eventually got her license and is presently very happy working in a Clinic and a Hospital.
Like my own there are hundreds of emigrant families with more or less success, more or less happiness, that is the common life of all emigrants, some people work harder than others, some people give up easier than others.

However no matter what, most Cubans that have left Cuba would not return, even when they have found that the emigration process is much harder than what they initially thought.

To say “45% vote for a person in an election in Canada, it means that more than 55% did not want him in power” is actually very simplistic. The reality is that in Democracies like where you are living right now and differently than in Cuba there are more than one person running for the high office and people vote for whoever they want, furthermore freely. So , some 45% would vote for this, another 35% vote for that one and the other 20% vote for the other fellow,  etc, that is the course of a normal democratic process, other than that, whenever you see somebody getting over 90% of all the votes, that is actually a dictatorship trying to dupe the world. Now while it seems fairly easy, some people do not see further than their nose to understand this.

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On May 25, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

Yeyo, that may be nothing new but that still does’t make it right. Cubans in Miami are treated like crap outside of their own comunity. The ones that have made it have worked hard and have made money to advance in real estate or in some side buisiness. There are lots that will always be renting a place and working in low level jobs. The kids that want to further their education get into debt for 30 to 40,000 a year. how long will it take to pay it off?
We have a shortage of doctors etc. and the doctors control the admittance of new doctors. They don’t want to let in too many because that will put downward pressure on their wages.
If 55% do not vote for a person in Canada, that means the govt. does’nt represent those people, a more democratic way of governing would be proportional representation as in Europe, were the government would consist of the 45%, 35% and 20% forming government and governing as a coalition and not as a party dictatorship. The partys don’t mean anything and have little control of government in some countries in Europe.
The Cubans have an opportunity to nominate and elect anyone to represent them on a local level and if they don’t do that, they must not be interested in change.
I’m sure that Harper would love to get 90% of the vote if he could.

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On May 25, 2009, paul wrote:

Elections in single party Socialism LOL.


TU TUM CHING.

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On May 26, 2009, Yeyo wrote:

Hey Pipefitter, I’m not trying to say that it is right, however that is life and it is actually 300 times better than in Cuba currently.

You say that the ones that have made it have worked hard in….? Of course they have to work hard, and that is the false illusion that the “revolutionary Cuban government” have created: that you can live without working hard. That is simply wrong, because it teach people to live like sh….. but with little or no effort. 

“There are lot of people that will always be renting a place and working low level jobs”. Firstly let me tell you that there is nothing wrong with doing what you call “low level jobs” and in every society there have to be people that would take care of those jobs. Secondly many people rent because they prefer renting, some other cannot afford to buy a house, and that is fine, if they want to have money and buy a house of course they have to work hard for it. The funny thing is that in the US and Canada everybody have the opportunity of working hard and get whatever they want.

So as I can understand from your post: Do you want everybody to have a nice live and a nice house without working hard?

Now going back to Cuba, what about renting or buying a house in Cuba, can you comment about it?

I’m really surprise that you insist in saying that Cubans have the opportunity to elect anyone they want, I hate taking this personal but it is obvious that you have no idea of what you are talking about.

Can you pls tell me, are you sure that 98.5% of the Cubans in the Island want Fidel Castro and Raul Castro to govern them?

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On May 26, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

Discrimination is not 300 times worse in Cuba. Lots of Cubans work hard in both Cuba and the U.S. but the difference is that in the U.S. they want you to think you can rise to the top but very few make it. In Cuba you know you won’t rise to the top but at least you get the necesities of life like shelter, medical, dental, food etc.
Very few people rent a house in Cuba. Most people own their house. Some are buying their house but the payments are limited to, I think it is 10% of their wages/month.
My wife can buy a house in Cuba now.
Cubans don’t elect Fidel or Raul they are elected to their post by the Poder Popular. Cubans can nomenate and elect the representatives from their own districts and they don’t have to be members of the PCC.

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On May 26, 2009, publisher wrote:

Sounds like a wonderful place to live.

No need to work hard or struggle for anything.

No need to think either, that is done for you by the government.

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On May 26, 2009, Yeyo wrote:

Discrimination is certainly 300 times worse in Cuba than in the US. In Cuba, Cubans are second class citizens, and cannot do many things that are exclusively authorized for foreigners or government executives in very high positions. The Constitution and current laws and regulations are adjusted to keep that apartheid in place. Examples: Internet, purchasing cars, purchasing houses, having access to Satelite TV, investing in Cuba.

In the US you can actually rise to the top, you only need to work hard and fight for what you want. Example: Barack Obama.  In Cuba no matter how hard you try there are no opportunities for nothing.

Now lets look at “you get necessities of life like shelter, medical, dental, food etc”. My friend you have been badly brainwashed. Shelter in a country where if you marry there is no place to rent, where three and up to four generations of the same family live together cramped in a two bedroom apartment, because there is simply no place to go. A country with one of highest divorce rates in America, mostly caused because the new families have no place to live. Do you call that shelter?

Food? People cannot live more than two days with what is distributed with the rationing card. You know that and surely your family in Cuba do not live only with that. Furthermore the quality of the food has degenerated for the last 50 years in Cuba due to the continuous crisis.

I cannot see how your wife in Cuba can buy a house because it is strictly prohibited by the law. Maybe you can enlighten us all.

I obviously know that Cubans do not elect Fidel or Raul Castro, I also know that in a direct election they would never be elected. Now, that was not my question, you make the point that the Elections in Cuba were better than in Canada because the president was elected with like 99% of the vote while in Canada the Prime Minister was elected with 45%.

My question is, if Castro was elected with 99% of the vote, then in your opinion, 99% of the Cubans want him to stay in power?

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On May 26, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

Divorce rates are high because Cubans like to fool around a lot. Any Cuban who has a PRE, can go and come as she pleases, can own or inherate property or retire in Cuba. I can’t buy a house in Cuba. Cubans are close families as you know and they like to have their elders around to help out and they usually get a place to live after a long wait. If the ration card food only lasted 2 days the graveyards would be full. Cubans are very resourcefull and go to the farmers to buy food etc.We sent money to our families in Cuba after the hurricanes for food, but were told after that they didn’t need it. Cuba has over 1400 people alive over 100 years old. Who could afford to buy a car in Cuba? The government has to buy bandwidth on the internet with dollars. Castro isn’t elected by the people as a whole, he is elected by the people in his municipio to represent them in the Asemblea del poder popular and then elected by the Asemblea del poder popular to head the government. Raul has been nominated and elected in a Municipio of Santiago since 1976, by what percentage of the vote I don’t know.

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On May 26, 2009, publisher wrote:

Okay pipefitter, enough with the bullshit please.

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On May 26, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

OK Warden, back from supper, Harper isn’t elected by us either he is elected by his party.

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On May 27, 2009, grant wrote:

Canada is not relevant wrt Cuba, we are a sub for the USA and once the USA gets over its political hardon with Cuba we are toast. The USA is Cuba’s natural market for its nickel, etc and the least costly supplier for all products.

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On May 27, 2009, grant wrote:

Pipefitter writes the truth BUT you can buy a new house or condo en Cuba through foreign development companies active in Varadero for example.If you have the cash up front.

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On May 27, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

OK, I just discovered that website last night but would like to know how it is done legaly and what you realy own.

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On May 27, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

Just found a site that says Raul got 99.4% of the vote in his district of santiago in the last election.

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On May 28, 2009, Yeyo wrote:

Cubans cannot buy a house in Cuba, plain and simple, is the law. Please find out before arguing about it.

Maybe there is a new thing going on to allow foreigners to buy houses, I don’t know about it and good luck with it whoever buy there. They are probably buying in somebody’s land that was expropriated by the Cuban Government after 1959.

Back to percentages, so what is the approval rate of Raul Castro and what percentage of the Cubans are in favour of the Castro “democracy”?

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On May 28, 2009, paul wrote:

Of course he gets high numbers, it’s one party rule with no competitors, and bloc CDR’s that force you to go vote for the same damn thing each time.

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On May 28, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

Not forced to vote and they could put in a blank ballot.

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On May 28, 2009, publisher wrote:

Right but if they don’t vote they will probably be reported and labeled as anti-Revolution and loose their job and home but otherwise, no, not forced to vote.

Cuba is a great country right pipefitter?

Perfect democracy, right?

That fact you Fidel supporters waste your life defending Cuba’s system always amazes me. Like the Cuban system is so great it is going to be replicated all over the world some day.

Yeah, right.

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On May 28, 2009, paul wrote:

If it wasn’t for us countering the BS from the guy that fits pipes and Walter Lippman, people would really think that Cuba is heaven on earth.

Must be cozy to earn Canuck bucks, then go play commie while on vacation in Cuba right pipefitter?

Please reply with more open minded writing br0.

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On May 28, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

If a person didn’t put anything on his ballot, in other words no X’s or check marks, he puts the empty ballot in the box it would show up as a spoiled ballot, or an objection to who is running. But then again, you would probably say they could lift his prints off of the ballot and summerily execute him for his dastardly deed. The number of spoiled ballots is actually very small.
How do you like the socialist U.S. now that the Gov. has nationalized the financial institutions and is about to do the same with the auto makers?

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On May 28, 2009, publisher wrote:

Here we go with the typical Communist argument…

When you are about to lose the argument or have run out of great things to say about Cuba, criticize the US.

Pipefitter.

Are you Walter Lippmann?

Yes or No?

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On May 28, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

Publisher, you have my mail address, you can see who I am and am not and you know I am not Walter Lippman.

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On May 28, 2009, Yeyo wrote:

Cubans are certainly forced to vote. I enjoyed myself on my own skin once, I was sick and decided not to go to vote and election representatives came to my house to take me to vote.

In addition to that blank votes are marked in favor of whoever they want or thrown away and not counted. The elections are all rigged and numbers “rounded” to make sure that the “proper” people is elected at the lower levels so that way they can ensure that Castro is elected at the end.  A friend of my was in charge of the elections in a Havana municipality, he mentioned that several times numbers for some particular candidates were lower than expected and he received phone calls “recommending” him to do the “right” thing about it.

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On May 29, 2009, paul wrote:

He may not be douche lippman, but they are definitely two peas in a pod.


And like the Publisher said, typical commie debate style is to throw red herrings and talk about the US.

How old is this pipefitter by the way? he can’t be over the age of 12.

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On May 29, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

Paul, personal attacks will get you no browny points.
Yeyo, you do yourself a diservice by introducing BS into the discusion. The CDR might have come to your house to remind you that it was election day, but I don’t believe that you were taken to vote at gunpoint. As for stuffing and changing ballots you know that the ballots are counted in public and results witnessed by whomever wants to. If you read the Cuban constitution it states that no person is obligated to vote for all or any candidate. To vote you only need to be over 16 yrs and a Cuban citizen. You don’t have to pre-register to vote. Anyone at the local level can be nominated and by process of secret ballots are eliminated until one has a simple majority of 50% +1 as long as this will take. The PCC has no active part in these elections. The state supplies money to all candidates to put up posters with pictures and biographies of the candidates. The amount of money one has has no part in the election. The person with 50%+1 then becomes the candidate.

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On May 29, 2009, manfredz wrote:

we an argue about how open and “fair” the election process in Cuba (or any other country for that matter is) but the bottom line, in my opinion,  is that nobody will be allowed to enter or work their way up the politiccal process who is totally against the ruling party. I think you have to be very naive to believe that there is no “real” political opposition to the ruling party because everybody is all in favor of them.

However one must also accept that there are differences within the party and elected officials on how to proceed in issues. 
JUst like I don’t accept that Cuba is a country with open and fair elections, I also totally rejec that its a one man dicttorship.

My 2 centavos worth.

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On May 29, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

If you were a candidate, I don’t think that it would be very smart to come out and say you oppose the Cuban system or PCC even though you may want changes made. Right now, the PCC rules by stealth, in other words you can start out at the local level with a very grass roots person who may have some good ideas but the ones that will get elected to the higher government bodies will be the ones with political,union, speaking, military or other experience etc. Cubans are more likely to say, O.K. he wants the job, let him have it.  This maybee leaves the ones with the best ideas out of the picture so to speak. The only way to improve the situation in Cuba is for the Cuban people to elect enough grass rooters to put upward pressure on the upper echalons of government to force some change. Politicians will yield to pressure when they see their position threatened.

Was that Canadian or U.S. centavos?

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On May 29, 2009, paul wrote:

You can’t change a country that has been built by force. Cuba is run like a military structure, where your suggestions are only welcome when the higher ups initiated the idea.

Everyone is afraid is stirring the pot, and just keep going with the motions.

Elections in Cuba just shuffle meaningless nomenklatura around the structure, and any real movement is enable by the Castros. It’s a totally rubber stamp system, since it’s the creation of the brothers.

Pipefitter knows this, but similar leftists make the claim that Cuba’s system is democratic because of this meaningless shuffling. It’s mostly PR for the outside world.

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On May 30, 2009, Yeyo wrote:

Pipefitter you accuse some of personal attacks and others of BS.
I’m actually tired of so much BS from your side. For the record, I consider myself leftist but one thing is to being leftist and progressive and other is to continue carrying with so much BS and lies.

The people that came to my house were CDR and election officials, but everybody that knows something about Cuba also knows that if you do not comply with their “kind” and strong request you can say bye bye to University, careers or good jobs.

The ballots are counted in public? Oh yea? Maybe the ones where the TV cameras are running but not the ones where they want this interior minister guy to be elected and his numbers are low, or that site where this kid, son of that proven comrade, and by the way a good Communist Youth leader that nobody knows is running.

I know the Cuban constitution very well, funny, but also the Cuban Constitution said that any constitutional amendment can be introduced with the signature of 10 000 voting citizens and as long as I remember the Varela Project initially collected over 10 000 signatures, present them to the National Assembly and nobody even acknowledge that, since them they have collected over 30 000 signatures and nothing yet. Since when the Cuban Goverment respect the Constitution? Why you do not mention that when talking about the Cuban Constitution?

To say that the PCC have no active participation on the elections is to much, so if that is the case it would not sound strange that over 90 % of the members of the national assembly are also members of the PCC.  In fact all the members of the Politburo and PCC secretariat are also members of the National Assembly, is not that a coincidence?

I initially thought that you had been brainwashed, but it doesn’t make sense so much BS together with the fact that you live in Canada, I’m starting to think that you are actually working for the Cuban Government. Otherwise if everything is so perfect in Cuba, what the hell are you doing here? Unless sombody is checking what you are writing.

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On May 30, 2009, HavanAndrew wrote:

Pipefitter works for the Cuban embassy in Ottawa.

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On May 30, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

Well Yeyo, maybee you schould look at the Cuban constitution again. The part of the Varela project that contained some 20 items asked for a referendum. The article under witch they filed the petition has no provision to call for a referendum. The rights are for legislative initiatives to present new laws to be reviewed by a commision with jurisdiction over the subject matter involved and consider if it schould be presented before the national assembly for their discussion consideration and vote. The other article that they tried to file it under doesn’t cover referendum either. The other article deals with citizens lodging complaints against government bodies and their timelyness in replying to the complaintant. Man, they must have some bad lawyer advisors in the CIA. Well ya, it was endorsed by GW Bush so I guess that makes sense.
I think your figures are out on the PCC, better check it out.
It was proven later that the Varela project was receiving money from the US interest section and being given advice by the CIA. I guess that explains it’s failure. How would the U.S. Government react if Cuba was behind an initiative such as that in the U.S. of A? I can hear the screaming about “interferance in our sovereignity” all the way up here in Canada.

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On May 31, 2009, Yeyo wrote:

I do not really know if the Varela project received assistance from the US or anybody else,however the project was an extremely good idea and they needed some support to carried it out.
How do you feel that Fidel Castro won in 1959, with his own money? However everybody see it very naturaly.
Nobody says anything about Cuba getting billions in Venezuelan Oil.
As long as I remember Fidel Castro acknoledge that they helped and financed revolutionary movements in every single Latinamerican Country except Mexico. Most notably Nicaragua. Or you forgot that?

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On May 31, 2009, paul wrote:

One thing is to be a leftist, who highly values society and welfare, and another is to be an authoritarian P.O.S that blindly defends a military regime.

Guess which one pipefitter is…but I can answer that if you want.

Watching Cuba and it’s zombie supporters is probably how it was when the Eastern Bloc existed and authoritarian westerners were swooning and using their positions of influence in the west to change public opinion.

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On May 31, 2009, publisher wrote:

pipefitter

“It was proven later that the Varela project was receiving money from the US interest section and being given advice by the CIA.”

This is a lie.

We support Oswaldo Paya because he is not tied to the US Interests Section and has not been endorsed by George Bush.

If you are going to have at least some respect around here, at least stick to the facts… and by that I mean the real facts not those published in Granma.

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On May 31, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

Publisher, that is not a lie. It is in an article by a U.S. journalist, Karen Wald of New York who has studdied Cuba for 20 years, Quote ” During the trials of the 75 government opponents in April 2003 it was revealed that Oswaldo Alfonso had received money from Carlos Montaner - known CIA operative-and instructions on how to further advance the Varela Project. In a letter to Alfonso, Montaner communicated:”
“Dear Osvaldo, a friend you know has been kind enough to get these 30,000 pesetas to you…. Very soon you will receive a call from some high level spanish friends to talk about the Varela project. I recommend 5 names to found this new idea: Paya Alfonso, Arcos, Rivero and Tania Quintero….”
Quote- “The petition was part of the Varela Project and was endorsed by GW Bush and Carter. It also continues to receive money from the U.S. interest section in Havana.”

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On May 31, 2009, paul wrote:

Pipefitter is such a bullshitter, sorry for the profanity. I wonder how many people he influences on a daily basis with this counterintel junk. Varela project is free of USAID money, and it’s sad that the little bit of dissent that actually means something in Cuba, people like him are ready to smear it and throw under the bus.

You can’t kill Paya’s character with your smears.

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On May 31, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

Yes Yeyo but the difference is that Cuba admits its involvement, the U.S. denies it all the time.
The Varela project may have had some good ones in the 20 points, but asking for the Cuban government to basically vote to disappear by referendum was quite il conceived and wasn’t even presented under an article that was legal.

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On May 31, 2009, paul wrote:

#51 - On Sat May 30, 2009, HavanAndrew wrote:

Pipefitter works for the Cuban embassy in Ottawa.


Confirm or deny? don’t be the Cuban gov’t, be honest.

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On May 31, 2009, publisher wrote:

pipefitter,

Let’s see the link to the article.

I must say your passion for getting out the Cuban government line is impressive. It’s almost like you really believe all the crap you write but I’m guessing your motivation is really just to do a good job as a Cuban government employee or agent.

There really is no way that you really believe everything you write.

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On May 31, 2009, paul wrote:

Dude is scrambling to find the article through the granma server.


He’ll probably reply to this and not to you.

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On May 31, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

Publisher, you can find the article by googling varela project + karen wald

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On May 31, 2009, publisher wrote:

Yep. You are right.

This article says that the Cuban government said that Paya was taking money.

http://www.cubainsideout.org/campaigns/varela/index.shtml

Funny that he wasn’t thrown in jail though.

A real credible source.

Really makes your argument stronger… NOT!

But, since you believe this to be true and since the Cuban government would never lie, I think Oswaldo Paya should be arrested, tried and put in jail for life.

Now I believe you.

Pretty sad.

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On May 31, 2009, paul wrote:

Karen Wald, Cuban government approved.

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On May 31, 2009, paul wrote:

Writing to break the information blockade by writing government approved/sanctioned opinions?

Yeah, very open minded writing from Cuba….................

http://www.cubainsideout.org/about.shtml
She returned to Cuba many times between 1968 and 1981, writing about her experiences in articles, journals and the book CHILDREN OF CHE (Ramparts Press, 1978). Finally, in 1982, she took her two California-born children and spent the next 20 years raising them in Cuba, and writing to break the information blockade. Her favorite title while in Cuba was “guerrillera electronica”, a reference to her pioneering efforts to get accurate information about Cuba out to the world via email and internet.

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On May 31, 2009, paul wrote:

Funny how this government sanctioned lackey doesn’t mention that Castro forced this mass mobilization in order to shoot down the efforts of the Varela project.

In response to the 11,000 signatures: in June 2002, more than 8 million Cubans mobilized around a petition organized by the mass organizations, to declare the socialist foundations of the Republic of Cuba “untouchable”. In a special sitting lasting three days, the National Assembly voted to declare the socialist system to be “irrevocable”.

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On May 31, 2009, publisher wrote:

See why the Havana Journal is banned in Cuba?

Too much information.

The propaganda can’t handle truth.

Anyway folks, let’s wind this down.

I think we’ve all had our fill so let’s move on to the next topic.

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On May 31, 2009, paul wrote:

#51 - On Sat May 30, 2009, HavanAndrew wrote:

Pipefitter works for the Cuban embassy in Ottawa.


Confirm or deny? don’t be the Cuban gov’t, be honest.

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On May 31, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

Your wrong Publisher, Karen Wald also said that the Varela project still receives money from the U.S. interest section. Paul you forgot to add that she lived in Cuba for 20 yrs. and since 2001 moved to live and teach and write in California.

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On May 31, 2009, Yeyo wrote:

I do not feel that they have received or are receiving any money, however even if he receives money from USAid or any other, what is the big deal?

Cuba is still running because the PEDEVESA hose is connected.

You said:  “....but the difference is that Cuba admits its involvement, the U.S. denies it all the time.”

You perfectly know that this is a lie, Cuba paid for and supported movements in Bolivia, Nicaragua Argentina and in several other Latin-American countries, Fidel Castro even paid for an invasion to Venezuela headed by Ulises Rosales (General, Ex FAR Vice Minister and Chief of Staff, now Minister of Agriculture), however only now couple of years ago was that Castro conceded that they had paid and supported with money, arms and personnel revolutionary movements in every single country of Latin-America except Mexico. Is that admitting it? When they had been doing it since 1959 and only conceded it now? Give me a break.

By the way do you really work for the Cuban Embassy in Ottawa? If that so, can you pls tell me it is true that they would drop the tarjetas blancas (Cubans exit permit) and the entry permit for the Cubans residing outside? That can be a good thing, any way we are probably the only country in the world where citizens needs a government permit to exit and to enter to their own country? Or not? Maybe North Korea also have the same system.

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On June 01, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

The U.S. hasn’t admitted to being involved in trying to overthrow lots of governments around the world and that is a well known fact.
Going back to Canadian Gov., Ive just seen were yesterday, no friday the Canadian forein minister said Canada would support Cuba’s re-entry into the OAS. and he is trying to re-schedule his trip to Cuba.
Yeyo, when did you leave Cuba, if you don’t mind me asking?

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On June 01, 2009, paul wrote:

Open minded writing from Ottawa and California.

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On June 01, 2009, publisher wrote:

Who is Karen Wald and what is her source?

Don’t you think Paya would be in jail by now if he was funded by the CIA?

How come he wasn’t rounded up in March 2003?

Tough questions, I know.

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On June 01, 2009, paul wrote:

Karen Wald lived TWENTY years in Cuba…voluntarily…lets you know right there that she had a special relationship with the gov’t. Pipefitter will deny it.


Oh and again,

#51 - On Sat May 30, 2009, HavanAndrew wrote:

Pipefitter works for the Cuban embassy in Ottawa.


Confirm or deny? don’t be the Cuban gov’t, be honest.

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On June 02, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

No I don’t work for the Cuban embassy, I’m in the G2.
I was in Cuba for four years, how come I did’t get to be in any special group?

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On June 02, 2009, paul wrote:

:-O

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On June 08, 2009, HavanAndrew wrote:

G2?

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On June 08, 2009, paul wrote:

Cuban Intel Service