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Posted October 09, 2004 by publisher in US Tourism to Cuba

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Press Release from National Summit on Cuba

“Any candidate who wants to win a statewide election in Florida should be for lifting the embargo on Cuba. The new voter registration trends in the Hispanic community demonstrate that,” said Alfredo Duran, Esq., former chair of the Florida Democratic Party.

“Decision-makers should exercise caution in taking advice from any exile community. Distorted advice contributed to intelligence failures in Iraq,” said Retired General John Sheehan, former Supreme Allied Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) who was in charge of Guantanamo Bay during the last refugee crisis.

“The U.S. government is denying Americans access to life-saving drugs from Cuba,” said Peter Bourne, M.D., chairman, Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba (MEDICC). “Three thousand lives could have been saved over the last 10 years if the U.S. approved a meningitis B vaccine from Cuba. Through use of the Cuban vaccine, the disease has been wiped out in Cuba and Europe for years.”

“It’s time for a different course,” said Congressman Jeff Flake (R-AZ). “We should allow Americans the freedom to travel. We can take away Castro’s microphone. I see travel as a punishment to Castro. Sanctions have not done much to stop Castro from jailing people.”

“We will pass a measure lifting the travel ban on Cuba in 2005 and it will be put on the president’s desk,” said Senator Larry Craig (R-ID)

“Our mission is to bring to the American public a better understanding of our policy towards Cuba,” said former Congressman Sam Gibbons (D-Tampa). “We haven’t had a really good policy on Cuba and for the Cuban people for all of my life. Engagement is a better policy in dealing with people than hostility. It’s that simple. It’s much better to sit down and talk with each other and listen to each other. If there is any policy that needs that attention it’s the American policy towards Cuba.”

“What we have done for the last forty years has not accomplished anything,” said Wayne Smith, Ph.D., Center for International Policy and former Chief of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana during the Carter and Regan administrations. “Even the leading dissidents in Cuba are opposed to our policy. Every major religious group in Cuba condemns our policy.”

“When one steps back and looks at American foreign policy we open ourselves to hypocrisy,” said William Delahunt (D-MA). “Restricting Cuban- Americans from travel and visiting their families is only about politics. The only ones being hurt are families in Florida and Cuba.”

The National Summit on Cuba is cosponsored by the Alliance for Responsible Cuba Policy Foundation, Americans for Humanitarian Trade with Cuba, the Florida-Cuba Business Council and the World Policy Institute at New School University. Additional cosponsors included Tampa-based A.R. Savage & Company and the Port of Corpus Christi. Approximately 240 attendees from across the nation representing the private sector, and local, state, and federal governments attended the summit.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on October 09, 2004 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    The Havana Journal has said before that 2005 will be the end of the travel ban and perhaps even all of the sanctions on Cuba.

    If President Bush is re-elected, he will be a lame duck and there will be an overwhelming and veto-proof majority in the House and Senate to, at least, ease the sanctions. It may come as an amendment to a bill that he would have to sign. He would do a lot of political positioning and give lip service to the older Cuban Americans and then sign the bill. Many mid-west states and Florida are doing business with Cuba and that situation will further pressure him to ease/lift the trade embargo.

    If Kerry is elected he will be more open minded and have different advisors that will not be aligned with the old school Cuban American mentality. Also, Massachusetts has academic ties to Cuba and a potentially a very lucrative biotechnology connection. Congressman William Delahunt, Democrat, (representing the district of the Havana Journal) in Massachusetts is a leading proponet of easing the trade and travel restrictions.

    2005 will be a VERY interesting year for US-Cuba politics, US-Cuba relations and US-Cuba trade.

    We welcome all comments.

    Cuba consulting services

  2. Follow up post #2 added on October 09, 2004 by Jesus Perez

    It certainly seems surreal that anyone younger than 50 years of age, does not know any other relation between the U.S. and Cuba than one of hostility. As former congressman Gibbons aptly puts it, “engagement is a better policy than hostility”
    I sincerely hope that more reasonable and less rigid individuals would take over to direct our foreign policy in a Kerry administration. A second Bush term frightens me.

  3. Follow up post #3 added on October 10, 2004 by jorge


  4. Follow up post #4 added on October 11, 2004 by YUCA

    Money cant be sent? Medicine cant be sent? Families cant visit family in Cuba?

    Who the hell gave ONE man the power to play with the emotions of a nation?!?

    Bush has made the U.S look like a Socialist country more and more each day!

    He speaks of family and yet he does not allow us Cubans to visit our own!

    Mr.Bush why dont you go back to Camp LaLaLand,find a nice rehab for your daughter and niece and stop hurting Cubans!

    It’ easy to be Bush,it isnt his family whos suffering!

    Thats why I and over 17,000 nationwide American born Cubans,YUCA’ a.k.a Young Urban Cuban Americans are voting against Bush,thats it,no more listening to the mindless babble of our parents and right wing Cuban organizations and certainly not Mr. Bush!

    We want the right to visit our family in Cuba,our aunts and uncles who we only know through a voice on the phone and out dated pictures,we are ther NEW Cuban World Order and Bush WILL feel it come election day!

    Enough is enough already,cold war is over and so should be Bush!

  5. Follow up post #5 added on October 11, 2004 by Michael

    Cuba is a nation held hostage over money.No other reason. The Embargo hasn’t affected Castro’ grip on power like it was intended. President Bush won’t lift the Embargo because of the power of the CCC. Who is the CCC ?? The Certified Claims Committee based in Washington DC. Committee members are Corporations, Wealthy Landowners and other Individuals who have over 40 Billion in Claims against the Cuban Government for property confiscasted during the revolution. The rest is heartache , pain and human suffering. Who cares about the human factor when you are talking about tens of billions of dollars ??. Castro has refused to pay for over 40 years and won’t pay becuase if he does and the Embargo gets lifted , he won’t have control over his people. It’ so much easier to control the people when they are afraid , poor and hungry. A sad legacy. But don’t forget about the 40 Billion.That will have to be settled one day.

  6. Follow up post #6 added on October 11, 2004 by YUCA

    Try telling a Cuban who has lived under Castros regime to move out of the house they live in that once belonged to a Cuban exile,a civil war between Cubans in Cuba and exiled Cubans could easily happen.

    I personally feel those who now live in the house my mother left behind should be allowed to keep it,my mother abadoned her country and house so to me she has NO right to claim a damn thing!

    I say the Cubans who have taken over exiled Cuban homes should be considered the owner of the estate, they are the ones who have lived through out their lives putting up with all the crap thats gone on in Cuba for 46 years now while the exiled Cubans ran like hell!

  7. Follow up post #7 added on October 11, 2004 by Gregory Biniowsky

    Living here in Cuba, I am following the US elections very closely, as are many Cubans. The Cuban economy is entering a very difficult time (high price of oil, global recession, post 9-11 tourist downturn, hurricanes, etc.), which inevitably precipitates greater social tension and instability. Moreover, the beligerant attitude of the Bush Administration, especially the rabid and blinkered anti-Castro hawks like Otto Reich and Roger Noriega, only increase the tendency in the Cuban government to adopt a fortress mentality.
    Engagement is the key to Cuba’ future, whether you are someone (like Rep. Jeff Flake -R.Arizona) who expects the Cuban government to collapse under its own weight or you are someone (like myself) who believes that lifting the embargo will give the Cuban Revolution the breathing space to rethink some of its structures and find a more efficient and democratic form of socialism. In my mind, lifting the embargo will allow the Cuban Revolution to flourish and strengthen its status as an inspiration for humanists around the world.

  8. Follow up post #8 added on October 12, 2004 by Michael

    An American living in Cuba ? Must be because you have no political concscience ? , have money in your pocket, feel like a big fish in a small pond ? Get a grip. Cuba is a virtual prison. As a Cuban you can’t make a decent living to provide for your family at an acceptable standard. The police are everywhere watching your every move . The only reason you are left alone as an Americanis because you are spending hard currency. Your landlord has to make a payoff or she’ll be reported. And you have the nerve to be critical of a Democracy that has the power to vote it’ own leaders into and out of office. Take a wild guess if your Cuban neighbors would love the chance to do the same.   

  9. Follow up post #9 added on October 12, 2004 by YUCA

    While Cubans are held down by the government while trying to make a buck,I do know of many who have gotten into the antiques/collectible business who have more cash then us here in the states.

    Before you ask,yes the government gets a cut of the cash they make from sales of what they sell,12% to be exact,which is alot less then paying 28% of our wages for taxes etc.

    In fact I know a few top dealers who make well over $250,000 US per year,in Cuba!


  10. Follow up post #10 added on October 13, 2004 by Michael

    Yuca , What’ your point ? You really think that 12% is the only cut the government takes ? If selling off antiquities and valuables is an indication that Cuba operates a fair and balanced system of enterprise, you are naive. It’ called cashing in the family jewels. What happens when there is nothing left to sell ? 

  11. Follow up post #11 added on October 13, 2004 by Dana Garrett

    I certainly hope that the USA ends it travel restrictions and trade embargo sometime soon.  I consider the travel restrictions inhumane and the extra-territorial aspects of the trade embargo criminal. 

    If Kerry wins the election, he probably will relax the travel restrictions a bit, but I doubt that a first-term president would lift the trade embargo as well.  My understanding is that while many in the Cuban exile community oppose the travel restrictions, they support the embargo.  It would take a lot of political courage for a president to lift it, Republican or Democrat.

    If Bush wins reelection, I doubt that he will relax either the travel restrictions or trade embargo even though it will be his last term.  After all, there is Jebís political future to consider. 

    Beyond that it should be evident by now that Bush is basically a president for big corporations and individuals involved in high finance.  Bush probably believes that his Cuba strategy will serve the long-term interests of USA big-moneyed interests better in two ways:

    1.  The travel restrictions will reduce available cash flow on the island hastening the governmentís decline (a silly fantasy that we should know by now will never work).

    2.  The trade embargo contributes to Cubaís disintegrating infrastructure, thereby making those properties and resources available for inexpensive purchase should the Cuban government ever collapse.

    I acknowledge that is a cynical view.  I hope I am wrong, that the embargo and travel restrictions will end soon.  Certainly, this madness has gone on long enough already. 

  12. Follow up post #12 added on October 13, 2004 by Gregory Biniowsky

    First of all, I am not American, I am Canadian (Why do you presume that all English speakers are American?) Second, I have lived in Cuba on the Cuban ration system, without access to Cuban dollars, so I know something about the positive and negative points of the Cuban system. Third, I am in Cuban because I work in the area of humanitarian aid, human development, and the environment…not because I am spending hard currency in Cuba. Fouth, I do not have a landlord, I live with my Cuban wife. And before, when I did rent an apartment, my landlord had simply to pay officially established taxes, not “pay-offs” like you suggest. Where you got that idea I am not sure. Fifth, and most importantly, WHAT is your point Michael? You obviously have not paid attention to the question at hand and the thrust of my comments, which were that engagement with Cuba will facilitate an atmosphere for greater opening, democracy and pluralism in Cuba. Sixth, have YOU ever been in Cuba for an extended period of time? From what I see in your comments, I do not think so.

  13. Follow up post #13 added on October 13, 2004 by Gregory Biniowsky

    It is good to see that there are Cuban-Americans in the US who see things clearly like you do. If more of the exile community was realistic and flexible like you, Cuba’ future will be more positive. I congratulate you for you straight thinking, in contrast to the bizarre logic and convoluted arguments of Michael.

  14. Follow up post #14 added on October 13, 2004 by YUCA

    Michael,obviously you do not know much about what’ going on in Cuba today.

    Cashing in the family jewels? Laughable at best!

    I am speaking of a huge group of Cubans who purchase and resell antiques,numismatic items etc… as collectors do in the U.S

    In fact it has gotten so huge that they host a Numismatic club every Saturday.

    Yes the government ONLY takes 12% and not a dime more,I know many of these people as I deal with them on personally.

    “Paladares” are family owned restaurants that the government gives a permit for,so are the “Casa Particulares” which are rooms for rent thorugh out many Cuban apartments and houses,the owners of such places of course have to pay the government,the Casa Particulares pay anywhere from $100-$200 a month to the government depending on how many rooms you have for rent.

    Todays Cuba is slowly allowing it’ citizens to venture into an open business mided way,as long as you don’try to set up shop offering rooms or selling meals without the government knowning about it,you are okay.

    Same applies for the U.S.

    Try opening a restaurant with no permits,licenses etc.. in the U.S and see what happens to you!

    Try going to Cuba one,day you’ll love it!

    I’ll be going real soon!

    I would love to meet you in person Gregory,I will be in the Vedado area,email me if you can.

  15. Follow up post #15 added on October 14, 2004 by Familia Si, Bush NO!

    YUCA is right my family in Cuba have a better life these days because they run a paladar en Matnza.

    Some oppurtunities have opened up for Cubans, but like anywhere else the people have to take advantage of it,my family did not have the funds to open the paladar,the funds came from us in the states and now they are much better off.

    Come November let’ stop the BuSHit!

  16. Follow up post #16 added on October 14, 2004 by Gregory Biniowsky

    Do you have a response to any of us? Or are you one of those people who make specious arguments and then, because you can’t defend them, disappear? We await your reply, especially regarding the question of whether you have really spent any time in Cuba or do you simply base your opinions by what you read in the Right wing press and what the Bush Administration says.

  17. Follow up post #17 added on October 14, 2004 by Michael

    Gregory, and Yuca , I lived in Cuba for 6 months in 98’99 Been back to visit family in 02’. I know Cuba well enough to make the type of comments you read earlier. Cuba is a wonderful country and I have nothing but the best intentions for it’ future and it’ people but it will never improve until their society is free from the control of communism.It’ a harsh reality when you face it head on. The people are denied the freedom to choose their own form of Government,( Castro’ referendum back in 02’was a sham) to own property, to insure and protect their possesions, to borrow money via the commercial banking system, to follow your own personal career path with a choice level of compensation. It’ a repressed society.If you voice opposition to socialismo you’ll be thrown in jail for 25 years!  OK Greg as a Canadian do you think your own people would tolerate living in that kind of society ? You would have a revolt in Canada and you know it. There’ huge difference between living in freedom and living in a one-party police state and you of all people should face this reality. And all my friends from Cuba now living and prospering in the US wouldn’t trade it for the world.They LOVE this country.The reasons are obvious when youv’e experienced both. Like I have.

  18. Follow up post #18 added on October 14, 2004 by YUCA

    Michael your friends may have come here and love it,but lets talk about those who also have come and left do to how hard it is to establish a life in this country.

    Those who come to this country and dont have anyone like a family member,close friend to help them are better off staying in Cuba.

    Many have come and gone back because coming here means a totally different lifestyle.

    Yes we are a free country,but the law also sates you cannot speak bad of OUR president as well,you can actually go to jail in this country if you speak bad of OUR president,so what’ the difference?

    It’ real simple..here a Cuban comes,finds a job paying $6 an hour,works 40 hours a week,makes $240 a week before taxes,after the 28% tax fee he has $168 a week to live on.

    He has $672 a month leftover after taxes.

    He pays $400 a month for a studio apartment in a worse neighborhood then he lived in Cuba.


    Lets include food,busfare (cause with $272 left he aint got no car)etc…

    That has been the case with many Cubans who have come to this country,work,work,work and more work and have ended up the same way or worse then they had it in Cuba!

    It’ the same story wherever you go in this world,those who have money are fine and those who dont have to struggle.

    I have had 4 friends go back to Cuba,in Cuba they would make $100 US a month,with isnt much in the states but in Cuba it’ a small fortune!

    Cuba and the US is the same damn thing,those who have $ are better off then those who dont!

    Todays Cuba is a lot different,Cubans are starting to make a buck one way or the other and are getting by better then they ever have.

  19. Follow up post #19 added on October 14, 2004 by Gregory Biniowsky

    First, I find it difficult to believe that you lived in Cuba for six months because, as an American tourist, the Cuban government would not allow you to be here for more than three months. Are you lying to us, or were you in Cuba for some special reason that allowed you to stay six months. I know this because I have been living here for ten years, which is a lot more than six months.
    Second, your argument that Cuba is a repressive society is missing the point. Why don’t you re-read the article on which this debate is based - THE LIFTING OF THE TRAVEL BAN. My argument, which you have failed to respond to, is that engagement with Cuba, in the form of allowing Americans to visit Cuba and the eventual lifting of the embargo, is the best way to facilitate a more open, relaxed society in Cuba. The United States is doing it with Vietnam, China, even Khadafy’ Libya….why not with Cuba? That is my argument Michael…so do us a favor and respond to it.

  20. Follow up post #20 added on October 14, 2004 by Michael


    To be fair, your right. It can be a struggle trying to get by on $ 7 hour anywhere in a America. But it’ the land of opportunity you CAN find a better job , you CAN raise your quality of life.No matter who you are or where you come from.I would rather take my chances here than to hope for , or even expect the same level of opportunity in Cuba. As far as Cubans returning home it is unfortunate but, for every 1 that returns there are 5 more who stick it out and prosper. I love Cuba. I want the best for Cuba.Cubans should be thinking about their future after Castro. Castro won’t control Cuba for much longer.Cuba needs to rebuild and it won’t be as successful as it could be without cooperation and financial support from the USA. Cuba needs to trade with the USA and establish itself as a manufactuter of products for global export. What Cuba really needs is JOBS that pay fairly. You’d be surprised how quickly things will turn around once a relationship is re- established. And it won’t be with Castro. And yes you CAN say anything you want here about the president. Freedom of speech is sacred and protected in this Country. Just go to [url=http://www.jibjab.com]http://www.jibjab.com[/url]

  21. Follow up post #21 added on October 14, 2004 by Michael


    I’d be happy to respond. I lived in Cuba off and on in 98 for a total of 6 months.I loved it there.I always will. But, I was able to recognize over time that there was something drastically wrong with the political economic system and it won’t change until Castro is gone and Communism is replaced with a multi-party system..My experiences in Cuba have given me a much greater respect for the freedoms enjoyed here in America.I love cuba and I wish I could come and go freely. But I can’t and there are sound reasons why. It’ too easy to blame the US for the economic situation in Cuba.Relaxing the embargo and allowing US Trade and Travel does not and will not make Cuba a free society. If anything it will heighten the awareness of Americans and Cubans alike about just how close they are socially and how far apart they are economically. The Cubans will ask themselves why not us ? Where is our freedom ?  Why can’t I decide where I can work and where I can live, and what about my freedom to travel ? Castro likes the Embargo although he rails the US publicly, privately it enables him to keep his own people , afraid and hungry. Easier to control that way.If the Embargo were to be lifted the first issue is to discuss and take action on the finacial impact on all the Cubans, Americans, the Corporations etc. for having their properties confiscated 44 years ago. Castro has stonewalled this issue and his own country has suffered because of it.He offered some kind of Bonds issuance decades ago and then turned around and pulled it off the table. No one wants to see the Cuba / US issue resolved more than I. It’ the main player himself who has the power to choose the right course of action for the sake of his own people and so far, Castro has taken the Dictator for life approach. You can’t have constructive dialogue with someone who wants it both ways. So we wait….   

  22. Follow up post #22 added on October 14, 2004 by Gregory Biniowsky

    First, going to Cuba on and off is not the same is living in Cuba. I strikes me as odd that you are not in favor of lifting the travel ban and embargo, whereas all the dissidents in Cuba along with the Catholic Church have stated that they are in favor of lifting the embargo. Who knows more about what is best for Cuba, you or those people in Cuba? I think the answer is obvious Michael.

  23. Follow up post #23 added on October 14, 2004 by Gregory Biniowsky

    Second regarding the issue of confiscated property, I am a lawyer and I can tell you a little about this issue. First, Canada, Spain, France and many other capitalist countries had property in Cuba which was confiscated. In 1959 hey were willing and able to sit down at the negotiating table with the Cuban government and come to a mutually agreed upon solution. The United States did not do this because they refused to negotiate with what they say were the up-start Cubans. So they lost their property by default. In fact, for your information, nationalization of both locally and foreign owned property is permitted by international law. So the confiscated property issue is not what you say it is.
    Third, you say you are against lifting the embargo because it will not bring freedom to Cuba. So what exactly are you proposing instead? Waiting another 45 years? And how can you justify the hypocrisy of the United States policy towards Cuba in comparison to China, Vietnam, Libya, etc.? Remember Michael, the issue we are debating is to lift the embargo or not. Regular Cuban’ (both those against and in favor of the government) want the embargo lifted, so who are you to know better? (Especially after only spending six months on the island?!?) Or is your view just another example of American arrogance in world affairs?

  24. Follow up post #24 added on October 14, 2004 by YUCA

    Real simple while the US would never want a free Cuba
    it comes down to $$$$$!

    Loss to the economy to the US would come in different manners if Cuba was free today.

    Tourism would die in Florida.
    Vegas or Cuba to gamble? Thats an easy one!
    Cuba is the IDEAL location for any shipping company to port from.

    Today large companies have moved out of the US and set up shop in Asian countries etc…which basically means cheaper labor=bigger profits.

    Now,if Cuba was free where do you think the same manufactures would set up shop? Bet they rather be that much more closer to home!

    Ask any Cuban in Cuba if they would work for $10 US in a 8 hour day,see what they say!

    The US has a lot to lose if Cuba was free,and they know it,Florida has no state tax because Florida makes huge money from it’ tourism,Florida would be the first state to feel a free Cuba’ impact,then followed by Vegas,Atlantic City etc.. Where would you rather go to gamble? A dessert or a country with white sandy beaches,palm trees etc? Think we know the answer to that already!

    A free Cuba means a major loss to the US economy.

    Here’ something I bet you didnt know,General Motors was in talks with Cuba to move their car plant to Cuba and close down their plant in the US,lucky for the US Castro took power,if not you would have witnessed one of America’ major employers move out and leave thousands jobless!

    It’ all about the Benjamins my friend,and I dont blame them,we must protect our own,but we MUST NOT continue to head into a socialist state by telling our citizens what we can and cannot do when OUR CONSTITUTION says we can!

    There is no more freedom,our privacy laws is a joke,Homeland Security can enter your home anytime they feel like it,we can travel to China but not Cuba,all the while China is the biggest commie country in the world with nuclear power????

    The travel restrictions are nothing but a huge move in the game of politics,but that move may just backfire on BuSHit!

    Cubans have to stop talking so much mierda and start liberating themselves,Cuban exiles as they did in Cuba continue to follow the political pipe pipers like the Balarts and Martinez’ of this country,just as Cuba put Castro in power by being followers and not leaders!

  25. Follow up post #25 added on October 18, 2004 by Michael


    The issue of lifting travel and trade restrictions can be bantered about ad nauseum. For/Against etc.etc.etc. Bottom line is Fidel Castro has ruled that Country through fear and intimidation for 44 years. The Cuban people are poor,afraid, and distrustfull of each other and Fidel Castro likes it that way. The US does not want to deal with him and for that matter anyone else.He is a liar and a killer and a thief.Period.You mentioned Canada, France, Spain , theyv’e all been burned by him recently aa well. You tend to see the world through rose colored glasses. Obviuosly through your comments you are very much Anti-American and I regret that. And you dodged my question as well. Would your fellow citizens in Canada tolerate living in a Communist Police State such as Cuba ? Not for one moment and you know that.The Hypocrisy is carrying a passport of a free Country like Canada and living in another that is anything but free.   

  26. Follow up post #26 added on October 18, 2004 by Gregory


  27. Follow up post #27 added on October 19, 2004 by Mario

    That’ so F___king right. I lives in Cuba for 17 years and I went though hell. when my family got the news that we were living. back in those days People would go to your houses and through eggs at you,at your house, write on the walls of your house slogan ” you sold for JEANS” call you “Fag” and Many others Things that i would not like to remember.My father’ car that revolution took when we left got the four tires slash. 

  28. Follow up post #28 added on October 19, 2004 by Michael

    Gregory , Don’t you know it’ extremely unpolite to respond with all upper case ? Don’t you understand that the issue of freedom in Cuba is the essential point in all this ? I remember when I was in Cuba in 02 ’ when Fidel Castro pushed for a referendum of Socialismo for life ie I will be your Dictator for life, how all 3 TV stations played Fidel propoganda non-stop.Fidel this , Fidel that, Oh what a great leader he is.  How the voting centers were set up in every neighboorhood from Havana to Santiago.Where were the OTHER candidates ???  How my friends in Cuba told me in private “I have to vote If I don’t I lose my job, my kids can’t go to school “etc etc. That’ Political intimidation.Vote for him or we will ruin you.I watched in horror. The sense of hope for the future was lost that day.My heart was broken for every Cuban. That’ what I’m talking about. The Embargo hasn’t successfully removed Fidel from power after 46 years . Lifting the Embargo will mean keeping him and that corrupt system in power longer. Neither the American tourists or US Companies who bankroll him or the Cubans themselves will ever really benefit.Back in o2’during the referendum I remember watching the demonstrations in Florida ( Cuba ) they started up at 6AM loudspeakers blaring ” arriba con Fidel !! abajo con los Imperialistas Yanquis !” over and over School kids dressed in the their uniforms made to parade all morning,then it was over and everybody dispersed. You know something ?? Later that afternoon, those same kids were walking around town with t shirts that said ” USA” and ” I love NY ”  What’ that tell you ?? Everything you need to know my friend. Have a pleasant day


  29. Follow up post #29 added on October 19, 2004 by waldo Parravicini


    The White House dictate against Cuba more than five month ago among many other darkness include the cruelty of further dividing and separating families by restricting visit to relatives in Cuba to once every three years; but would that still be so?

    There suppose to be new forms necessary to apply for the 1 in 3 visit, however said forms are yet not available and can not be found. Travel agencies in Florida and California for example are diligently looking everywhere, but none exists and there is no way of knowing if they would ever be found. Furthermore, once the forms are whenever submitted there is no telling how long it would take or if the Bush Dictaministration would ever approve them. Many-many who have already not visited Cuba for more than three years are in limbo, piss and wondering what is going on? Many-many more are realizing that all this would be nothing more than typical White House deception.

    Iraqís WMD where diligently looked for everywhere, but none existed, none have been found and it all concludes as Total Deception. Moreover, the direct connection between Saddam and Ossama was also diligently looked for, but none has been fount or proven yielding to another Total Deception. Furthermore, according to the Bush Deceptadministration the war in Iraq successfully concluded over a year ago; really?

    Would the 1 in 3 visit forms ever exist, be found or approved or, would it also conclude as Total Deception?

    By: a horror-struck Cuban-American family.

  30. Follow up post #30 added on October 19, 2004 by waldo Parravicini

    My sister, our mother and I traveled to Cuba almost every year and we had
    plans to visit again in June 2004. Our mother Haydee just turned 93 years
    old, and her blueness and sadness are evident every day since the White
    House implemented the added vindictiveness. With the inhuman 1 visit in 3
    years, how many more times would our mother be able to see her daughter,
    grand children and great grandkids, and vice-versa?

  31. Follow up post #31 added on October 20, 2004 by Gregory

    Please read the title of the article with respect to which these commentaries are made—Lifting the Travel Ban. If you want to share your personal opinions of Cuba (folks, Michael is an expert on Cuba because he was there “on and off” for six months back in 2002), it would be better placed with an article focussing on the positive and negative points of the regime. We are talking about the best way to engage the Cuban government. In fact, many people who are against the political orientation of the Cuban regime (dissidents in Cuba, Republican congressmen, former head of the US Intrests Section in Cuba Wayne Smith) share my stance that the embargo should be lifted. The rest of the world has recognize this. Even countries in Latin America have engaged Cuba. The policy you support has failed for the past 46 years. Can’t you see this? Michael, in every commentary you make, all you do is go on and on about how undemocratic Cuba is under Castro. Fine! But we are not talking about this. We are talking about the efficacy of the embargo…is it too hard for you to understand this? Wake up and smell the coffee man.

  32. Follow up post #32 added on October 20, 2004 by Gregory

    Another question for you: would you support an embargo on China and Vietnam (both undemocratic countries in respect to your paradigm)? Please answer yes or no, because it would shed light on your bizarre stance on Cuba. Should the United States place embargos on all dictatorships around the world? Enlighten us Michael. I have presented this question to you several times, but you ignore it. I guess you simply do not have an answer.

  33. Follow up post #33 added on October 20, 2004 by Gregory

    Help us understand your reasoning behind your support the the embargo on Cuba. Would you support the United States placing an embargo on China, Vietnam, or Libya? These countries fit into your paradigm of dictatorships. Your answer would help all of us to understand your rather obstinate insistence on the embargo. In other words, should the U.S. place embargos on all undemocratic countries? Or just Cuba? If so, why? Please answer this question, which I have posed to you in previous commentaries. You have refused to answer….is this because you have no answer? And in your support of the travel ban, WHO ARE YOU to tell all the US citizens that they cannot go to Cuba to make up their own mind?

  34. Follow up post #34 added on October 20, 2004 by mario

    I will support embargo to all this countries including the embargo of South Africa back in the apartheid days.

  35. Follow up post #35 added on October 20, 2004 by Michael


    Yes, it does appear hypcritical for the US to have open trade and diplomatic relations with both China and Vietnam.These are Socialist countries. Yes BUT !!the enourmous difference is the declaration of peacefull diplomatic relations towards each other AFTER a period of hostility. Heal the wounds then live to support each other and work towards a prosperous future.You will NEVER hear that from Fidel Castro. He has spent his entire career bellowing out hatred and distrust of America for 46 years!! You can’t reason with the man.He uses the USA to distract his people away from all of his domestic failures. And nothing will change if the Embargo is lifted. I’m sure you know that for each Cuban employee assigned to a Foreign Company located in the ” Free Trade Zone ” Fidel Castro charges $ 1175.00 USD a month ? How much does that Cuban worker receive ?? $ 200 Cuban pesos !!! That is Slavery.If the Emabargo is lifted will justice prevail ??  Ohhh that’ right Ive only lived in Cuba for six months and what do I know ??? I know injustice when I see it that’ what. Cuba will never be free to design it’ own future until it’ free of the tyrant who rules it.. Yes. I’m lucky I’m blessed. I can VOTE for whomever I want to rule America.MY VOTE COUNTS! I HAVE A VOICE Can you say that ? Ohhh that’ right!! Your a Canadian living in Cuba…...   

  36. Follow up post #36 added on October 20, 2004 by Michael

    One more thing , I suffer this situation just as much as the next Cuban living in America separated from her family. My Cuban wife. Strong, proud, beautiful, devoted to her family prays every night. ” Please protect my family until this is all over”...... 

  37. Follow up post #37 added on October 20, 2004 by Gregory

    If you know anything about international politics and U.S./Cuban relations, you would know that Cuba is more than willing to engage the United States EXACTLTY the way that China and Vietnam did. Moreover, read the articles of Wayne Smith, who was the Head of the US Interests Section in Cuba during the late 70s and early 80s, who claims that only a lifting of the embargo would create peaceful relations. It is the United States that has to lift the embargo since it is a US law. This is the first step, just as it was with Nixon and China or Clinton and Vietnam. Michael, you should know your own U.S. history better than a Canadian like myself. Obviously you do not. And, just in case you did not know, fifty thousand Americans died in Vietnam, whereas none died in Cuba. But the United States is willing to engage the socialist regime of Vietnam. When you say “hostility”, what kind of meaningful hostility does Cuba display towards the United States government? You might claim that the rhetoric of Castro against the Bush Administration is hostility, but this is ridiculous. The levels of hostility and rhetoric between China/Vietnam and the United States where much higher when rapprochement began. You claim that one cannot reason with Castro. Well, Canada, Latin America and Europe does a pretty good job, thank you. We have our ups and downs, but we are so stupid as to apply an embargo. One last thing, oh great defender of the embargo: how can you explain that the dissidents are against it? Do YOU know better than them? And I assume your wife is Catholic. Do you know that the Catholic Church of Cuba is also against the embargo? So is the Pope by the way. Michael, people like you who arrogantly support the embargo, against the wishes of Cubans on the island are either oblivious to the situation or have an ideological axe to grind. Moreover, some consider people like you as fools who donít even know how to achieve their objectives….because maybe lifting the embargo would be the biggest political challenge for the Cuban government. Michael, keep praying…because that is the most effective thing you could do. As for the rest of us, anything is better than failure.

  38. Follow up post #38 added on October 21, 2004 by Michael


    Let’ keep this going shall we ? There are stipulations that must be dealt with in order to lift the Embargo and Castro has effectively stonewalled both of them. First, All US Citizens , Cuban Refugees, and Corporations whose properties were confiscated during and after the revolution must be recompensated. Second, and this is pivotal,Cuba must make some progress in the area of basic human rights.The freedom to express ones views without fear of persecution, the rights to own property, the right to assemble, the right to vote for the government of your choice, the right to choose ones own standard of living through enterprise. All of these basic rights are denied the Cuban people. They are not permitted to own anything,they can not express their views in public,own their own business (please don’t mention restaurants and casa particulares).It is not a free society.The contstitution of the Cuban government is totalitarian and dictatorial and it’ enforcement is via brute force and intimidation .It is not for the people or by the people. It is for Castro to decide everything. And to compound the problem he spends more time and energy running off at the mouth about his hatred and disdain for the USA that he shows at least publically no intent to communicate diplomatically. Yes, everyone would like to see the Embargo and travel restrictions lifted so that Cuba and America can embrace each other as neighbors,friends and trading partners.But,it is a give and take issue.And sadly,Castro prefers to hold onto his power at the expense of the Cuban people rather than create an atmosphere of cooperation and diplomacy that undoubtedly would lead to a brighter future.I and 3 million other reasonable people ( Cubans living in freedom ) who have seen both sides of the fence understand EXACTLY why the Embargo is in place but people like you who like to gloss over the essential issues look ridiculous when posing your arguement. I don’t understand you Greg , here you are a Canadian , probably making good money, living like a king in Cuba, and your ignoring the reasons why so many good people have left the Island.         

  39. Follow up post #39 added on October 21, 2004 by waldo Parravicini

    Michael; US properties were not the only ones nationalized by Fidel’ Revolution, there was British properties(EX:railroad), French, Spanish, Italian and what not. All countries without exception had sat down with Havana and resolved their differences and compensations. The only country that has refused and continues to refuse to sit down and talk about compensation is; could you guess? And Havana had many times during the past many years offered to talk and settle. This alone, to me as well as my Cuban-American family, is a clear indicator of the intransigence, ill intentions, obscure plans and arrogance emanating from our government in Washington. Furthermore, the US continues to refuse to talk and/or cooperate with Cuba in many other important issues such as drug interception, terrorism fighting, trade, intelligence sharing, joint ventures, etc. etc. All unilateral ugliness, restrictions and cruelty from Washington are focused on communist Cuba while US hand and mouth are always open to China, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, etc. Why?

  40. Follow up post #40 added on October 21, 2004 by Gregory



  41. Follow up post #41 added on October 21, 2004 by YoungCuban with 409 total posts

    I for one do not agree with handing back Cuban exiles their properties in Cuba, as I have said in the past,the exiles turned their back on their countrymen and ran like hell,what gives them the right to be sitting pretty in America for 46 years then to go back to a free Cuba and claim a damn thing???

    Let’ see if any exiled Cuban can go there and tell an entire family who has had to live Castro’ way for 46 years to hand you back the key to THEIR homes! NOT GOING TO HAPPEN WITHOUT BLOODSHED!

    Most exiles like my parents came to the US running with a suitcase full of money and while here all these years all they do is continue to punish their own countrymen by supporting restrictions.

    All exiled Cubans who support such gustapo type measures should be ashamed of themselves,as I have said before,must be nice having your entire family here living a comfortable and free life,in fact it is nice, seeing as none have ever had to live under Castro’ way!

    I get sick to my stomach everytime I hear Cubans in Miami talk their mierda about how they would “do this or that” to Castro if given an oppurtunity,GET REAL all they WILL DO is ask Castro if they should spit or swallow while blowing him,because none have ever done a damn thing about the situation while living in freedom,all they continue to do is starve their country!

    Embargo has not worked,and will NEVER work,a free trade may open the eyes of millions who DO in fact follow Castro’ every word,they would long to get a piece of the pie and uprise while doing so!

    Now,they must shut up and follow the pipe piper if not many things can happen to them,just tell a Cuban their rations will be taken from them and watch how they stay shut,but,if they see a method of obtaining survival needs they may just finally stand up to the regime,if given another choice they will have the option to not stand down any longer to Castro’ government,but they have no other choice!

    I hav said it before,ONLY the Cubans can free Cuba!


  42. Follow up post #42 added on October 21, 2004 by waldo Parravicini

    All rights mentioned by Michael are not denied to the Cuban people; they vote, critizise, assemnbly, complain, worship, move around freely, trade, love, party, travel(except to the US because the US negates the great majority of the solicited entry visas). What Michael needs is the freedom to visit Cuba(but beware for Bush shall say No to your application)and to freely move around like I have and to talk and ask the friendly, honest and well educated Cuban people about anything. You will found out that there are many complains about shortages, transportation and difficulty in daily living; however you may also learn that they certainly want a Sovereign Cuba and a Cuban Culture run by Cubans and not by any other foreign power or governments like it was during the prior times of Spanish Imperialism, Estrada Palma, Machado, Prio and Batista. And most important Michael, you may be convinced that the overwhelming majority of the Cubans believe that there is no one better qualified or fit to run their country, under the constant bashing and attacks from the greatest power ever, than Fidel. You may also be convinced that Fidel still is loved as the Maximun Leader of the Cubans. And that is the reason why the mighty US after 45 years of unilateral embargo(violates the basic human rights of all seniors and children in Cuba), cruelty(separates Cuban and Cuban-American families), useless propaganda, attacks, invasions, sabotage, adjustment acts and what not, continues to just plain FAIL.

  43. Follow up post #43 added on October 21, 2004 by Dana Garrett

    Micahel, you wrote the following:

    >>There are stipulations that must be dealt with in order to lift the Embargo and Castro has effectively stonewalled both of them. First, All US Citizens , Cuban Refugees, and Corporations whose properties were confiscated during and after the revolution must be recompensated. Second, and this is pivotal,Cuba must make some progress in the area of basic human rights.The freedom to express ones views without fear of persecution, the rights to own property, the right to assemble, the right to vote for the government of your choice, the right to choose ones own standard of living through enterprise. All of these basic rights are denied the Cuban people. They are not permitted to own anything,they can not express their views in public,own their own business (please don’t mention restaurants and casa particulares).It is not a free society.<<

    As has already been mentioned, Cuba offered compensation and many nations accepted it except the USA.  Therefore, I think it can be reasonably argued that after 46 years the USA has moved into a “You snooze you lose situation.” 

    Besides, what about repatriations owed to Cuba from the USA for the Bay of Pigs, the extra-territorial aspects of the embargo, various terrorist activities carried on in Cuba and elsewhere either by the USA government or through some of its radical proxies in the exile community, its continued use of Gitmo against the expressed wishes of the Cuban government, etc.?  Should the USA be required to pay that?

    Also, you mention other requirements that Cuba already meets (as has been mentioned) and you list others that basically require Cuba to become a capitalist based economy.  How can you believe in freedom and REQUIRE a nation to do that? 

    What if Cuba doesnít want that kind of economy?  What if it prefers socialism?  I donít know that it does, but what if it does?  Are you saying that Cuba should only be free to become just like the USA?  Isnít that tyranny by a different name?

  44. Follow up post #44 added on October 21, 2004 by waldo Parravicini

    Right On Dana, I can tell you-all that the Cubans in Cuba want to be what they want to be and not ‘Import’ or ‘copy’ any one opther specific system. Most of all they will not accept imposition from anywhere, and after 45 years of bloqueo and ugliness they are very knowlegable, skeptic and distrusfull of Washington’ Capilalism(WC). The Cubans know and keep track of the violence, drugs, traffic jams, chapter 11s, homeless, wastefulness, gangs, grafitti, discrimination, favoritism, pollution, exploitation, privatization of health care, education and welfare, and great economic and social inequalities intrinsic in WC. That is why they were and are very happy that the Spanish, the Yankees and the Soviet went home.

  45. Follow up post #45 added on October 21, 2004 by Michael


    I don’t want to sit here and think or even have you believe, that I am some kind of expert in foreign policy , or International law, or for that matter US / Cuban relations. But I do know how I feel about the situation and what has been experienced and also shared and expressed to me by others.Cubans and foreigners having visited Cuba alike. There is an enormous difference in the general atmosphere of living in Cuba and living as a Cuban in America. Cubans are simply not free to choose their own destiny and I believe they want to desperately. Cuba should really stop blaming the US and the Embargo entirely for it’ problems. The expropriation of properties has never been negotiated in good faith and stop bringing up the fact that other countries like Canada and Spain and France etc were reimbursed. Their overall stake back in 1960 was a pittance compared to the claims filed from Cuban refugees, Americans and US based Foreign Companies. We are talking about 1.8 Billion Dollars back in 1960. Do you realize the significance of this amount in today’ currency values? It was much easier for Castro to settle the other countries claims and resist the claims coming from the US and the exiled community.Afterall they were bitter Cold War Enemies and he still had the Soviets on his side. Let the Americans stew in their own juice. Nothing but animosity and distrust came from Castro’ decided policies towards his neighbor to the north.And Vice Versa. So now what ? Now that the soup has been on boil for 44 years how are we going to turn down the heat so that we can eat without scalding our tongues ??? Hey ! Don’t focus on me ! Focus on the reality of a situation. None of us today really had control of the situation as it developed. We are left with the mess. We have to figure out a way to fix it. We,the people who care about Cuba and care about the future of US/Cuba relations have to address the situation factually prior to moving forward.     

  46. Follow up post #46 added on October 22, 2004 by Gregory

    I am tired of picking apart your arguments and also pleading time and time again that you please explain why you don’t want to listen to the Cuban dissidents and Catholic Church who demand the embargo be lifted. You said it yourself: “We are left with the mess. We have to figure out a way to fix it. We,the people who care about Cuba and care about the future of US/Cuba relations have to address the situation factually prior to moving forward.” Fixing the mess obviously does not mean following a policy that has failed for 46 years, which is what you are arguing for with your support of the embargo. Fixing the situation, Michael, means rethinking U.S. policy towards Cuba and getting rid of the embargo. Adressing the situation factually means accepting the following facts: 1. the embargo has not worked in 46 years, 2. the embargo shows no sign of working in the future, 3. the majority of the Cuban opposition is strongly against the embargo, 4. the Catholic Church is against the embargo, 5. the entire world community is against the embargo, including all of Latin America, and 6. the U.S. has opened up to other countries that are similar to Cuba and thus has a double standard with Cuba. These facts lead any reasonable person to conclude that the embargo against Cuba should be lifted immediately. “Fixing the mess” is not sticking with the same policy that has failed for 46 years! Come on Michael, smell the coffee brewing.
    p.s. One more thing on the confiscation of properties: 1.This was done before Cuba created an alliance with the Soviets and 2. The United States simply refused to sit at the negotiating table with Cuba. What evidence do you have that he resisted the U.S. claims? Read your history.
    p.p.s. We are not focussing on you, just your vacuous claims and historically erroneous assertions.

  47. Follow up post #47 added on October 22, 2004 by Mario

    I want to know all of you why are you going to Cuba. To get jineteras. I sure that’ the only reason.

  48. Follow up post #48 added on October 22, 2004 by YoungCuban with 409 total posts

    Wow Mario,please sit silently as you are disgracing all US citizens by posting such a feeble minded message,please do not embarass yourself or us any further.

    My reasons for going to is simple,to visit my family.

    Not to mention Cuba is where I like to spend my vacation time at,to see it’ natural beauty,enjoy it’ rich culture and history amongst other things,but not to venture in an illegal relationship as you suggest.

    Each time someone says or writes such a thing as Mario has,it turns my stomach to see how one track minded we as Americans have become,it’ embarassing to say the least.

    But people like Mario have become puppets to the propoganda machines our government wheels over the US,so I cannot blame him for being narrow minded and blinded by the pipe pipers of our country.

  49. Follow up post #49 added on October 22, 2004 by waldo Parravicini

    Mario, very sorry and dissapointed to read what you say about going to Cuba. Jineteras is not the reason, all of the Cuban-Americans I know, including many members of my family, go there to visit and help our families and to enjoy the beauty, culture and free minded spirit of its people. You don’t have to go thru all the trouble of almost begging our treasury department for a visa. ect to get prostitutes, you can get plenty of them, cheap and of all kinds and age over here, some even free. Please try to restrain your political short temper and try to errase some of the anger and hate in your heart. Remember we are all children of God, are not we?

  50. Follow up post #50 added on October 22, 2004 by Dana Garrett

    I confess Iíve never understood how people from the USA can talk about prostitution in Cuba as if it only existed there.  The last time I visited South Beach, I walked the length of one block from my hotel room to a bar and back and was solicited by three prostitutes.  When I drive home from work, prostitutes stand on the side of a main road trying to wave down passersby. 

    Really, it takes a lot of cheek for USA citizens to condemn another nation for prostitution.

  51. Follow up post #51 added on October 22, 2004 by Michael


    That’ it.I know what you are.You are a Communist rat.You are a hypocrite. You sit there in Cuba as a Canadian citizen, with your high paying job, living like a king, spouting all kinds of one sided socialist anti-american rhetoric to keep your Cuban Communist party members happy so that you can keep your cozy life in Cuba.Why don’t you give up your Canadian passport ? You don’t have the cojones. Because you are a coward with no conscience.Because you would be reduced to a desperate Cuban who has very little choice in life.Because you would become a pathetic miserable socio-economic prisoner to Fidel Castro. You and your close minded little argument about the Catholic Church and the Cuban dissidents and everyone else on the planet wanting the Embargo lifted. You idiot don’t you realise it’ because they want more Americans to see the plight of the Cuban people? You never once answered the fact that 99 % of all Cubans would jump at the opportunity to have a better life yet their own Goverment won’t let them. You never once answered why Fidel Castro collects $ 1175.00 /month for each slave Cuban worker he leases out to the foreign Co’ doing business in Cuba and pays them only $ 15 measly bucks. Castro’ ship is sinking and when it does all the rats will be jumping ship. Communist finko hypocrite rats like you.       

  52. Follow up post #52 added on October 22, 2004 by YoungCuban with 409 total posts

    Michael do you really think once Castro is dead Cuba will be free?

    I am an American,not Cuban,I have lived in America all my life,served in it’ military etc..

    You have lots to learn Michael,the US would NEVER want a free Cuba,if they did Castro would NOT be in power today,Castro IS Americas allie,not in the way you may see it though.

    A free Cuba would cost the US billions of dollars and the US does not want that.

    Floridas tourism would die along with it’ shipping ports,gambling in Cuba would kill Vegas etc.. {the biggest tax payers they have},billions is what the US stands to lose if there was truly a free Cuba,Cuba proved it once before how strong a Cuban dollar can be,and can prove it again if truly free,but that would cost the US billions of dollars,so they do not want a free Cuba,it’ all a smokescreen my friend,an act in a play.

    Not to mention with a free Cuba,some of the biggest US companies can easily set shop up in Cuba with much cheaper labor(as they do now in asia),all the while leaving thousands jobless in the US.

    Think about that closely,there is always two sides to a story.

  53. Follow up post #53 added on October 22, 2004 by Mario

    All of you are full of crap. You could not live in Cuba for one
    year if you did not had the might dollars. If you are a regular CUBAN. no electricy for 6 hours a days, 3 eggs for a months, no milk for kids after 6years old. COME!!!!!!please

  54. Follow up post #54 added on October 22, 2004 by Gregory

    Wow, you really figured it all out: I am a hipocritical,communist, pinko rat. It’ embarassing that your argument has reverted to name calling. However, from the evolution of our debate, I didn’t expect much more from you.
    Michael, I really think people can make up their OWN MINDS on Cuba but you don’t want them to. The best way for someone to make their own mind up is to visit Cuba. The United States government should allow any U.S. citizen to travel to Cuba. That is what most clear thinking people in and outside of Cuba want….but for some reason you don’t want to allow Americans to make up their own mind on Cuba…you want them to accept your weakly argued opinion. What do you want to hide from Americans? I say give United States citizens the right to travel to Cuba!

  55. Follow up post #55 added on October 22, 2004 by YoungCuban with 409 total posts

    Amen to that Greg!

    We as Americans are told in OUR CONSTITUTION that we are FREE to travel it does NOT state we are free to travel except….

    To me that is being somewhat of a socialist as well,when our government tells us we cant do this or that,how is that different Michael?

    This a debate on travel rights,not the embargo,but if you want to go there Michael answer me this.

    Live in America now?

    Eat well?

    Live well?

    I bet you will answer yes to all of the above.

    How can you say you are Cuban and are trying to do what you think is best for Cuba by supporting restrictions and embargos?

    You my friend supposivly have felt what it’ like to live in Cuba,I bet when you were in Cuba you were against the embargo,but once you set foot in the US you changed your mind,now you support the embargo and restrictions thinking it will bring a fall to Castro.

    You are a traitor to your countrymen!

    You agree to starve your own people,that makes you even worse than Castro who does what he can with the little he has to offer his people.

    And that goes for you as well Mario.

    Look at it this way,if the embargo was lifted Cubans would have more eggs,more meat and more everything…but when you have to go through other ways to feed your people the cost only rises for those 3 eggs,having the US so close to Cuba would change all that,shipments of supplies can reach Cuba and it’ people at a much lessor cost!

    You try feeding 11 Million people a day for over 40 years,try feeding them more when the cost of a dozen eggs cost the government ten folds than it should.

    Remember,Cuba has to buy those eggs from a farmer who sells them to a distributor who than sells them to Cuba,and than add on the cost of the middle man,shipping,labor,port fees etc.. those 3 eggs now cost Cuba $1 each when it’ all said and done!



  56. Follow up post #56 added on October 22, 2004 by Gregory

    You would think that Michael, by the way he talks, is either a Cuban, a Cuban-American, or at least a foreigner who has lived in Cuba for several years (like myself, who has been living in Cuba for 10 years). Well, believe it or not, he is an American citizen who, in his own words, has been in Cuba “on and off for six months back in 2002”. I guess the question we should ask him is what gave him the right to visit Cuba when he wants to deny that same right to other American citizens.

  57. Follow up post #57 added on October 22, 2004 by YoungCuban with 409 total posts

    My parents are Cuban,I was born in the US.

    But,my views on things are not those that my parents tried without success to teach me.

    I do not fall nor bow down to propoganda of any government.

    I see things for what they are and not for what I am told.

    The embargo IS not helping Cubans,it’ only hurting them.

    Travel restrictions are a direct violation of our constitutional rights as Americans.

    I have been to Cuba once (2003) to visit my mothers family and will be back very soon.

    If the US wants to arrest,imprison me or fine me for visiting my family in Cuba,so be it,I am no sheep like others are.

    I will NOT allow my family nor myself to suffer the seperation of family the US has placed upon us all.

    Greg drop me a line/email,would like to meet you in person while I am in Cuba.

  58. Follow up post #58 added on October 23, 2004 by waldo Parravicini

    Not nice to label anyone communist, pinto rat, smelly bufalo, exploitive gringo, selfish capitalist, pinche gusano or any of that, please be more prudent. The fact is that Americans are not free to travel to Cuba, but yes to China and Vietnam; while the Cubans are free to travel to all those places. What people are the freest?

  59. Follow up post #59 added on October 23, 2004 by Gregory

    It would be a pleasure to meet a Cuban-American like yourself, who has been able to resist the counter-Revolutionary diatribe of Miami and keep an independent and balanced view of the country of your parents. Hopefully, if there were more clear minded people like you, the United States would change its policy and the two nations could find their long sought after peace. You would be more than welcome to have a coffee at my home in Havana the next time you are in Cuba. My email is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

  60. Follow up post #60 added on October 23, 2004 by Gregory

    Michael, I can’t resist repeating the question to you: you have stated inequivocably in this debate that you are in favor of the travel ban to Cuba. At the same time, you yourself admit that you travelled to Cuba on several occasions. How is it that you have the right to go to Cuba but others do not?

  61. Follow up post #61 added on October 23, 2004 by Gregory

    Oye Mario… Just so that you know, I have had the experience of living in Cuba with only la libreta (the Cuban ration card) y una bicicleta china… even during the worst years of the special period (1992-1993). I did this so that I could better understand Cuban reality. Pues no hay nadie que me haga cuentos. Moreover, your comment on jineteras is rude and uncalled for. I am married to a wonderful Cuban women who works very hard as a young lawyer and has absolutely no interest to leave Cuba. In fact, even though there a many things she criticizes about her government, there are also many things that she supports. In her mind, the Revolution has made many mistakes, but has also done a great deal of positive things for her people. Things in Cuba are not black & white. Only a balanced view of Cuba on both sides of the Florida Straits will lead to a better future.

  62. Follow up post #62 added on October 23, 2004 by YoungCuban with 409 total posts

    To me the travel restrcitons has NOTHING to do with politics from the US or Cuba,it has to do with OUR basic human rights!

    Those who support a man who keeps you from visiting YOUR family or takes the freedom to travel away from every American citizen are nothing but puppets being played around with by government clowns!

    Cubans in the US need to finally realize that they have become nothing more but puppets on a string!

    Don’t you find it odd that these new travel restrictions came to play just months before the new elections?

    Open your eyes people,YOU have been played yet again,you continue to follow the pipe pipers of our country,you are showing our government just how weak minded we really are!

    Either most of you do not have any more family in Cuba and that’ why you support these barbaric restrictions or you are all just cold hearted indiviuals who do not care for their own family!

    It’ one or the other!

  63. Follow up post #63 added on October 24, 2004 by Yleana Parravicini

    Se necesita mas nobleza en esta vida, todos somos humanos, con sentimientos y necesidades. Demasiado odio. Todos somos cubanos, algunos se olvidan de sus raices, debemos ayudarnos uno al otro, no importa si uno esta en Estados Unidos y el otro en Cuba, somos hermanos. Abajo con el cruel embargo. Visitas cada 3 anos? Dios esta mirando nuestras acciones y algun dia alguien va a pagar muy caro por esto. Mi pobre madre tiene 93 anos, creen Uds. que ella pueda esperar 3 anos para ver a su otra hija en Cuba? Ojala Dios se apiade de aquellos que no tienen compasion por otros.

  64. Follow up post #64 added on October 24, 2004 by Gregory

    Do you want me to translate what Yleana Parravicini said? I am not sure if you speak Spanish (maybe you learned it in your six months in Cuba…) What Yleana said very moving and people like you who support the travel ban should listen to her words.

  65. Follow up post #65 added on October 25, 2004 by Mario

    The embargo is here to stay until Castro SAID I’M not longer in POWER. See how this guy is so ego manic He can easily said I’m stepping down. And the embargo would be lifted. BUT no he wants to be there until he dies. We condemn ALL dictators except this guy. Freedom first. Like WALLACE Said “FREEDOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

  66. Follow up post #66 added on October 25, 2004 by Gregory

    It is sad to see yet another Cuban who, living outside the island (and from the level of your English, I assume recently arrived) who believes that the embargo should remain in place. Can’t you see that embargo only makes the general population suffer and does not acheive your goal of overthrowing the Cuban government. Moreover, being a Cuban, you should know that even your heroes in Cuba, the dissidents and the Catholic Church, are also are declaring “Lift the embargo!!!!!” You are singing the wrong song Mario.

  67. Follow up post #67 added on October 25, 2004 by Mario


    Tell me the names of the dissidents.since you think you know it all.

  68. Follow up post #68 added on October 25, 2004 by Michael-

    I traveled to Cuba back in 98 - ILLEGALLY - At the time I didn’t care or didn’t understand the reasons behind the Embargo. I was in love. My cuban wife and my life there. I started to understand however the incredible difference between having a passport from another Country with the freedom to come and go and the bondage of living on an Island under Communist Totalitarian control.With no freedom only hopes and prayers that life will be different -one day-. So I decided to bring my wife to this country. The Cuban Government allowed her to vist another Country and from that point it was a matter of dealing with the INS and the NVC but, after 12 months she was here in the States. I told her from the beginning ” your not coming to my country on a raft , your coming here on a plane with dignity and honor because after what youv’e been through in Cuba you deserve it.”  For or against the Embargo it doesn’t really matter. What matters is the reality that very little will change if the Embargo is lifted. Fidel Castro will still dictate how you can live your life and to what degree of comfort, dependent of course on your political affiliation. Collecting $ 1175.00 / month for every Cuban worker and paying them a paltry $ 15 is not what I call socio- economic justice.
    OK so we lift the Embargo today. Will Fidel increase the the pay from $ 15 to 25 and call it ” progress ” ?? You have got to be kidding me .... 

  69. Follow up post #69 added on October 25, 2004 by Gregory

    Osvaldo Paya (head of Proyecto Varela) is the best example of a Cuban dissident against the embargo. Moreover, the Pope of Rome and the Archbishop of Cuba, Jaime Ortega, have publically declared that the embargo is wrong. Estas satisfecho, o sabes mejor que ellos?

  70. Follow up post #70 added on October 25, 2004 by Mario


    You only mention Osvaldo Paya the only one who is not in jail a wonder why?, Please go and ask the 75 dissidents who are jail in Cuba. OH! I forgot you can not go and visit them in jail.

  71. Follow up post #71 added on October 25, 2004 by Gregory

    1. So you justify your right to visit Cuba because of LOVE? But now you support the travel ban! What about the Cuban familiy members that LOVE each other and cannot see them? What about other people that happen to be in love and cannot go to Cuba? If is very convenient and selfish for you to now support the travel ban since your wife is in the United States. If she were still in Cuba, I wonder if you would still support the travel ban. Think of the Cuban families that are now suffering because they cannot see their 94 year old grandmother in Cuba. Shame on you Michael.
    2. By the way, why didn’t your wife simply apply for a visa to go to the United States, instead of going through a third country? I personally know many Cubans who have gone to the United States legally, with a visa from the U.S. Interests Section. Maybe it is because your own government would not have given her a visa. Ironic, eh? Regarding the Cubans that legitimately go to the U.S. with a visa from the U.S. Interests Section, most of them actually come back to Cuba. I know this fact because an American official of the U.S. Interests Section confirmed this to me, along with Cuban immigration officials.
    3. Your argument against the embargo continues to be feeble. How do you know things will not change after the lifting of the embargo? Do you have psychic powers to see the future? The embargo is a failure for the past 46 years. Only a paucity of intelligence can explain the fact that you choose failure over a new policy approach. By the way, remember Michael, take those communist products from China and Vietnam out of your house! We all know you are using them. I guess you can live with Chinese communism but not Cuban communism?

  72. Follow up post #72 added on October 25, 2004 by Gregory

    Casi el liderazgo entero de la oposicion en Cuba pide que se elimine el bloqueo. Por ejemplo: Gustavo Arcos Bergnes, Felix Antonio Bonne Carcasses, Rene Gomez Manzano, Vladimiro Roca Antunez; Elizardo Sanchez Santa Cruz; Marta Beatriz Roque; Oscar Elias Biscet, etc. Y esto no incluye los miles de seguidores de ellos. Ya estas satisfecho? QuÈ te da a ti, viviendo en EEUU, el derecho de saber lo que conviene a los cubanos en la isla?
    Quiero estar claro: yo personalmente simpatizo con Fidel y su gobierno. Es mi punto de vista. Lo que t obviamente no entiendes es que tambien la oposicion que aun esta en la isla, como estos disidentes, esta en contra del embargo.

  73. Follow up post #73 added on October 26, 2004 by Mario


    Si simpatizas con Fidel me lo dijistes todo. Y lo que me da a mi es que mi dinero de EEUU no lo va usar Fidel para seguir explotando al pueblo Cubano. El pueblo no se puede comformar con la medigada que Fidel les da. Mientras tanto el y su camarilla viven sabrozones. El cubano no puede ir a ningun lugar en su propia Isla. Ni a los Hotels. es un tercer ciudadano
    esto no es por que Cuba no tiene los recursos. Es porque Fidel se los quitas cada vez que da un discursito. Esto a estado pasando no ahora sino desde que la gran REVOLUCION DEL 1959 empezo. El puede comprar con su peso mierdero y que te page a ti y a todos los que hacen negocios con el. Como te gustaria a ti si alguien te pone un revolver en la cabeza y te dice di que el embargo es bueno. Quizas asi entiendas tu mi punto. Nosotros somos las voz del cubano que no puede hablar en Cuba. Por que los patean, los votan del trabajo si hablan tu no sabes nada de mi pais. VIVI EN EL MOSTRO Y LES CONOZCO SUS ENTRANAS.(JM)

  74. Follow up post #74 added on October 26, 2004 by Michael


    Unless you are a communist in denial you can’t possibly justify why Fidel Castro collects $ 1175.00 / month and pays the Cuban worker only $ 15. You can’t possibly be serious about applying for a visa thru the US Interests section in Havana. Please whenever they annouce a visa lottery the 3 mile line of desperate Cubans starts forming around the building within 5 minutes. Iv’e seen it first hand and it’ awful.What’ wrong with deciding to help someone in a no - win situation because you love them ? For such a worldy guy you sure have tunnel vision or you must be suffering from a pathetic state of denial about the failed social condition you so strongly defend. Your argument is getting old.   

  75. Follow up post #75 added on October 26, 2004 by Gregory

    Applying for a visa lottery is not the same is applying for a spousal visa. You had every right to apply for it since you were married. In six months you did not learn that? I commend you for helping someone you love (your wife)....It’ sad that, by supporting the travel ban, you want to take that right away from anyone else who happens to love someone on the island. You got your women out, so not the door can be closed, right? Regarding the salary issue, the Cuban government collects a certain amount in hard currency from foreign employees (it is sometimes more than the amount you mention, sometimes less…please get your facts correct). Subsequently, the Cuban worker receives the same salary that every other Cuban that does not work for a foreign firm. This surplus is then diverted into the national treasury to support the country’ social programs. But Michael, please remember, we are discussing the TRAVEL BAN (not everything can be discussed in the same debate). When an article comes up regarding the pay differencial, I would be more than happy to engage you on this issue. But it is YOU who have not responded to the specific questions regarding YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE BAN AGAINST AMERICAN CITIZENS WHO WANT TO TRAVEL TO CUBA, JUST LIKE YOU DID. You have been to Cuba (Illegaly, as you admit), have seen it, took your wife out, and now you don’t want to let anyone one else to see the island and make up their own minds like you did. I am sure that all U.S. citizens following this debate would conclude that you are supremely selfish. I say let them come and see Cuba with their own eyes, not depend on your wise conclusions from six months of being here. By the way, you have not responded the the moving message from Yleana. Pay her some respect and respond to her.

  76. Follow up post #76 added on October 26, 2004 by Gregory

    Correction of a typo mistake re salaries in Cuba: The Cuban government collects hard currency amounts from foreign EMPLOYERS.

  77. Follow up post #77 added on October 26, 2004 by Gregory

    Oye Mayito,
    No dijiste nada sobre los disidentes y el hecho que ellos en su gran mayoria estan en contra del embargo. Te vuelvo a preguntar, TU SABES MAS QUE ELLOS? Acuerdate, aqui no estamos hablando de nuestras opiniones sobre Fidel y la Revolucion, sino sobre la prohibicion de viajes a la isla y el embargo mas ampliamente. Sobre esto, queda muy claro: 1.) Tu estas en favor del bloqueo y la prohibicion de viajes a Cuba, y 2.) yo, la iglesia catolica, la comunidad internacional, la mayoria de los disidentes cubanos, y la gran mayoria de los cubanos en la isla estamos en favor de dejar que los estadounidenses visiten a Cuba (y saquen sus propias conclusiones)y que levanten el embargo. Para la gente que lean este debate, apoyan a Mario o a los los cubanos en la isla, la iglesia catolica, y la comunidad internacional. La seleccion es obvia. Mario, creo que te quedaras muy solito….quizas con Michael a tu lado.

  78. Follow up post #78 added on October 26, 2004 by Mario

    Bueno ya que vez que Fidel cambio de opinion y como vez no quiere dolares ahora si que el embargo es mas necesario que nunca.
    MSNBC news
    “Moving to wean itself from the U.S. currency, Fidel Castro’ government says as of Nov. 8, the greenback will no longer be accepted at island businesses and stores.
    Cubans and others on the island can still hold dollars in unlimited quantities and can change them into local currency known as convertible Cuban pesos before the new policy takes effect. But they will have to pay a 10 percent charge to exchange dollars afterward. There will be no such charge on changing other foreign currencies, such as Euros, into convertible pesos.
    In his message, Castro asked Cubans to tell relatives living abroad to send them money in other foreign currencies, such as euros, British sterling or Swiss francs.

    The government said the measure was necessary to protect its economy in the wake of stepped up measures by the U.S. government to punish banks that ship American dollars to Cuba.

    The move announced Monday was likely to hurt mostly those Cubans who receive American dollars from relatives living in the United States.”

  79. Follow up post #79 added on October 26, 2004 by Michael


    You just won’t go away will you ? If the Travel ban were to be lifted today. Do you think for a moment that most Americans would simply overlook the same oppression, poverty, injustice, corruption, and desperation that I saw in Cuba. As tourists they would be repulsed. It wouldn’t take long for the bad news to spread that although Cuba is beautiful the Government is corrupt and totalitarian. Police on every corner watching the Cubans every move, young girls prostituting themselves to make a couple of bucks to feed their desperate families.A bunch of foreign jackal businessmen catering to Fidel Castro’ shopping list helping to keep the guy afloat.It wouldn’t take long until Cuba would become a no-go zome for families on vacation.What makes you think that Fidel and Cubanacan would allow American tourist dollars to end up in the hands of the local Cubans before them ? .All tourist enterprise is entirely government controlled. How will the money benefit the people directly ?? It’ ludicrous to think otherwise.As far as the family visits are concerned I suffer the same thing that Yleana mentioned earlier. All I can say is Lo siento por tu abuela mi espousa sufres mucho tombien. Sin Embargo necessitamos creer en el futuro.Quando Fidel es abajo la tierra solo entonces puedemos hacer Cuba un paise mejor. Quando las ninos y las ninas de hoy puedes viver sin mielo,sin hambre, sin pobres, con arugulo.La futura es serca muy serca.And Gregory cut the crap about Fidel collecting $ 1175.00 / month from foreign companies , paying the worker $ 15 and using the rest for ” Goverment Programs” That’ slave labor and if you had a conscience you wouldn’t even try to defend it.. The other thing. Fidel once again shows his character. Not accepting US dollars anymore ? Or accepting US dollars but charging a 10% exchange fee. He just gave himself a 10 % discount on all the US goods he is currently importing from US exporters. Always pulling something. He just can’t help himself. 

  80. Follow up post #80 added on October 26, 2004 by Gregory

    Estas medidas no van a tumber el gobierno de Cuba, sino crear mas sufrimiento en Cuba para los cubanos, algo que parece no te interesa tanto, ya que estas en la yuma. Oye, y quÈ me dices de los disidentes y la iglesia catolica? Mario, t huyes de este punto porque no tienes respuesta. Es claro que no sabes que decir sobre esto.

  81. Follow up post #81 added on October 27, 2004 by Gregory

    No Michael, I will not go away as long as there are ignorant people who spout off support for the embargo and travel ban. Moreover, from the internal logic of your own argument (“It wouldn’t take long for the bad news to spread that although Cuba is beautiful the Government is corrupt and totalitarian”) you completely contradict yourself. You of all people should be pushing for the travel ban to be lifted in order to reveal the “ugly truth” about Cuba. It is sad that your neurons just can’t make the connection. In fact, a good friend of mine who happens to be an ardent opponent of the Cuban government, has been reading your comments and groans at the inane and obdurate stubborness of your argument. He says that thanks to people as foolish and blind as you, Fidel will be around for another 50 years.  Now I don’t share my friends politics, but I do agree with him regarding the incoherency of your argument. Regarding the influx of tourist dollars, everyone in Cuba knows that an increase in tourism will improve the Cuban economy in many ways and thus ease the opposition to the government. To avoid this happening is exactly the rational behind the embargo, you fool. And regarding your simpathic words to Yleana, your hipocrasy is astounding. You are the one who says that the prohibition to travel to Cuba is a good thing! You tell the Cubans who miss their relatives how you understand their suffering while you support the door being slammed in their face. I would like to see if you had the courage to actually tell a Cuban who is grieving because they cannot see their family that it is better this way, and that they should simply wait till Fidel dies. They would slap you in the face with indignation, and you would deserve it.

    To summarize: 1.) your own recognition that travel would reveal the ugly truth about Cuba to U.S. tourists actually supports the lifting of the travel ban (thank you very much); and 2.) your words of comfort to Ileana ring hollow and are cruel, since your support for the travel ban prevents her and people like her from seeing their loved ones in Cuba (while you cozy up to your wife in the U.S.). How sweet of you.

  82. Follow up post #82 added on October 27, 2004 by waldo Parravicini

    US citizens are still not free to travel to Cuba, even though all US politicians still carry a mouth full of ‘the land of freedom or the land of the free’ Ja,Ja,Ja!

  83. Follow up post #83 added on October 27, 2004 by waldo Parravicini

    Washington still with a mouth full of hypocricy and double standarts, no travel to or trade with communist Cuba; but all is fine with communist China, Vietnam, etc.

  84. Follow up post #84 added on October 27, 2004 by Gregory

    1. Although you have not mentioned any particulars of your life, it would be reasonable to assume that you do not live in a slum nor ever have. If you do have intimate knowledge of the perspective of Latin America’ poor, please do share it with us.
    2. I have travelled throughout Latin America, my undergraduate and graduate studies being poverty and social development in Latin America, and my professional occupation being a consultant for Third World human and social development and human rights issues. This has given me a just a little bit of insight into the perspective from the Slum dwellers of our hemisphere.  Moreover, there is a plethora of excellent journalism and cultural and social writing on the plight of the poor to give anyone with an interest in Latin America’ poor a poignant view of how they see the world. Only a modicum of intelligence and empathy will allow someone to see how Che’ rebelliousness, rage, and, yes, violence, is appealing the the downtrodden masses of the Third World.

  85. Follow up post #85 added on October 27, 2004 by Mario

    Te contesto otra vez ya que la primera vez no la cojiste. los disidentes y la iglesia catolica.
    Los disidentes estan en la carcel como tu llegas a la conclusion que ellos no quieren el embargo. Has tu hablado personalment con ellos ahora que se encuentran en las carceles.Mira lo que dice esta mujer de uno de ellos. I am Dolia Leal Francisco, wife of Cuban prisoner of conscience Nelson Aguiar Ramirez, who is sentenced to 13 years in prison, and is at this moment in the Provincial Prison of Guantanamo. Nelson was taken away from Havana, where we both reside, since the very moment he was condemned through arbitrary, bogus judicial proceedings.They do not want me to go to the Church of Saint Rita, because everyone knows that I am one of ladies in white who has, for the last 16 months, each and every Sunday, gone to church, be it under rain or cold weather. I am ill with both high and low blood pressure(s). They want to take me out of circulation and keep me from attending the Church of Saint Rita. It is my right and obligation to go every Sunday to the Church of Saint Rita, to pray for the release of all political prisoners that are innocent. I will not refrain from going. Nelson said: “Dolia, go to church,” and before hanging up the phone he also said: “Run to church. This is merely another maneuver by the government and we are not going to allow them to keep you away from church.“State Security has been visiting the wives, now that they do not want us to go to the Church of Saint Rita.

  86. Follow up post #86 added on October 27, 2004 by Mario

    gregory ,
    continua leyendo para que veas como es la cosa.

    I am desperate. For example, the prison authorities are denying Nelson medical assistance. His health is very frail, and he has asked to be taken to a hospital to see an orthopedic doctor. He can hardly walk from all the pain, and the prison authorities do not take him to the hospital in Guantanamo, nor let him meet with the prison doctor.

    What do they want to do with Nelson? He is also hypoglycemic, but he told me he would undertake a hunger strike. I told him: “Nelson, you are religious, but you will die, because being hypoglycemic requires that you eat every 3 hours.” 

    On multiple occasions, he has lost consciousness when he has failed to eat. Nelson has told me: “Dolia, we will see each other in heaven. I cannot allow this much abuse, not even in my prison cell do they leave me alone.”

    Nelson has been in isolated confinement for more than 15 months, but even there he is sought and abused in his place of punishment. This is a grave injustice taken against Nelson, only because his position is firm and he defends his rights. Here on the streets, I denounce the injustice, send letters to the ministries, letters to Fidel, letters to everyone, but no one listens. No one replies. I will continue with these efforts because it is my right and obligation to denounce to the world the relentless abuse inflicted on us.

  87. Follow up post #87 added on October 27, 2004 by Michael


    Is it the sarcastic tone in your writing or are you just obnoxious , argumentative and irrational ? Blockhead , have you ever done the math ? 1 Billion US that’ $ 1,000,000,000 is sent to Cuba every year by sympathetic relatives living and prospering freely in the US. You know why ?? Because they can..That equates to approxiamtely $ 835.00 per year for every Cuban.That is the bread and butter of the Cuban economy.  That’ 10 times what the average person makes in some pathetic job from the Cuban Government. And Fidel Castro now wants a 10 % commission that’ $ 100 million US for him and his phony corrupt system that you are so proud of.My wife and I will be traveling to Cuba this year to visit family.We have not been back since 02’Too busy working & saving up enough to send a few hundred everymonth.That works out to one trip in about 3 years REGARDLESS of the latest and temporary Travel restrictions.  Travel restrictions like this won’t last so why get worked up over it ?? I’m still looking for any rationality in your one sided argument so don’t give me the crap about contradictions in mine. I love Cuba. Cuba is a beautiful country. Cuban People deserve better from their Government. The Cuban Government is totalitarian and dictatorial and relies on fear and intimidation to keep it’ citizens ( prisoners ) under control. The Embargo is in place for solid reasons and until Fidel Castro is phased out of power and a more reasonable,diplomatic , constructive Cuban Government is in place it will stay that way.Where’ the contradiction ?? Sorry , go back to Canada, dig a hole in the ice and stick your head in the water.You need to cool off. Maybe if we are lucky you’ll get some common sense.     

  88. Follow up post #88 added on October 27, 2004 by YoungCuban with 409 total posts

    Michael you are 100% correct,that’ $100 Million dollars the Cuban government needs to feed 11.5 Million Cubans in Cuba on a daily basis.

    But of course you are one of those who rather see it’ people totally starve than rather help the situation in Cuba.

    It’ a double edged sword Michael,pros and cons exist in every government in the world,we tithgten things to make it harder on Cuba and they countered with the new money exchange situation.

    The US made Cuba lose millions,they somehow need to make it up don’t you think?

    Or do you prefer the rations to get smaller and smaller for Cubans cause the government has no choice but to give them less do to the embargo and restrictions?

    Please do not say the new money exchange is only hurting the Cubans in Cuba,it isnt,how can it hurt them?

    If Tia Maria needs exactly $100 for something,Cubans in the US would now just send Tia Maria an extra $10,get it?

    It is a clever move on Castro’ part,why not just admit that the embargo has done nothing to Castro,he is still there,and everytime you THINK you have the man beat,he only comes back and makes a bigger move that you quickly argue will hurt the Cubans in Cuba,but that is NOT the case.

    YOU and the embargo supporters are the ones who are hurting Cuba,so do me the damn favor and shut your propoganda flooded mind up already or be a man and while in Cuba try to protest against the government,but of course you wont as you are one of those pendejos who rather talk shit from the US then to actually do something about it while in Cuba,start your own revolution while you visit Cuba enjoying it’ beautiful surroundings.

    Since you claim all Cubans in Cuba are sick of Castro and his ways it should be easy for you to gather up support by the millions…jajajaja




  89. Follow up post #89 added on October 28, 2004 by Gregory

    Michael is soon coming to Cuba but doesn’t not want to allow his fellow U.S. citizens the same right. Nothing more needs to be said.

  90. Follow up post #90 added on October 28, 2004 by Michael


    That’ right, nothing more needs to be said.Except one thing.. Cuba needs to be free and the change needs to come from within…Stop blaming America… 

  91. Follow up post #91 added on October 28, 2004 by waldo Parravicini

    YES, blame America and their rich vindictive and intransigent friends in Miami, because it is all the attacks, nonsence-propaganda, Embargo and Travel Ban that has kept Cuba from been totaly free. All this cruelty and nastiness comming from America continues to completely backfire, uniting the people in Cuba as well as good spirited Americans. The day that America keeps its greedy-punishing hands off Cuba, then and only then there will be total freedom for Cuba.

  92. Follow up post #92 added on October 28, 2004 by Michael

    Yes that’ right. Just pretend that America doesn’e exist. Go about your daily lives according to what Fidel Castro tells you and everything will be alright.. No TV , No Internet, No US Dollars, No freedom to choose, No ” outside opinions ” , Np voice…. Just do what the Commondante tells you to do and Cuba will be better off.. Yea Sure .... 

  93. Follow up post #93 added on October 28, 2004 by YoungCuban with 409 total posts

    Homeland Security= CDR,hmmmm…that is not fiction,it’ a fact,HS can enter your home and take you away from your family without ANYONE questioning them.

    What good is our constitution if we as Americans CANNOT practice our FREEDOMS given to us?

    As I see it we are being told what to do by our own Government,our rights are being slowly taken away from us everyday,Bush is El Commandante of America!
    Our government wants to tell the rest of the world how to live and what to do with their OWN country,doesnt that seem a bit familiar to you? Napolean,Hitler etc…

    Michael when are you going to Cuba?

    I’m going next week and would love to meet you in person,I would challenge you in a public place in Cuba to say all the things you say on here being the big bad Internet Warrior that you are,eres nada mas que un habla mierda y pendejo es todo lo que eres!

    IF you felt so strong about Cuba and it’ government,you wouldnt sit here nice and safe spewing your feeble comments,if you want Castro out of Cuba so bad,then while there try to organize an uprising,isnt your life worth freeing Cuba e wapo?

  94. Follow up post #94 added on October 28, 2004 by mario

    To YoungCuban, gregory,waldo Parravicini:

    Some lawmakers, including a number of Republicans, have argued in recent weeks that if Congress believes trade will promote democratic change in China, then why not adopt the same policy for Cuba? Here is why: Cuba is not China.
    The argument that American investment will democratize China has itself been wildly oversold. Beijing is doing everything in its power to dampen the impact of private investment: placing stringent control on the Internet (all users must register with the Public Security Bureau), and most recently declaring that it will insert “party cells” into every private business that operates in China.
    But regardless of how one feels about permanent normalized trade with China, there is simply no case to be made that investment would democratize Cuba.
    Cuba has undertaken none of the market reforms that China has in recent years; there is no private property, and there are no entrepreneurs with whom to do business. The Fidel Castro regime maintains power by controlling every single aspect of Cuban life: access to food, access to education, access to health care, access to work.
    Here is a real-life example: Sherritt International of Canada, the largest foreign investor in Cuba, operates a nickel mine in Moa Bay (a mine, incidentally, which Cuba stole from an American company). Roughly 1,500 Cubans work there as virtual slave laborers. Sherritt pays Castro approximately $10,000 a year for each of these Cuban workers. Castro gives the workers about $18 a month in pesos, then pockets the difference.

    The net result is a subsidy of nearly $15 million in hard currency each year that Castro then uses to pay for the security apparatus that keeps the Cubans enslaved


  95. Follow up post #95 added on October 28, 2004 by waldo Parravicini

    United Nations, Oct 28, 2004 (Prensa Latina) The UN General Assembly approved Thursday a resolution that demands the end of the US blockade against Cuba by 179 votes in favor, four against and one abstention. Before the crushing victory, Cuban Foreign Affairs Minister Felipe Perez Roque said that countries from all continents had conveyed their full and unconditional support to Havana.

    In his speech before the UN forum, Perez Roque asserted that Washington was afraid of lifting the embargo because it was scared of the example the Caribbean island represented for the world.

    He dismantled the White House arguments to avoid the assemblys approval of the document to lift the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba. It is more than an embargo; it is a genocidal economic war at the international level, the high ranking official contended.

    “Cuba is not allowed to export to the US; US tourists are not allowed to travel to Cuba; We are deprived of gaining access to technologies made in that country; Cuba is not allowed to import products, equipment or raw material from the US,” Perez Roque explained.

    He mentioned the case of a Canadian subsidiary firm that could not sell X-rays devices, and that of a French company that could not complete the sale of cash dispensers because it was bought by a North American enterprise. He also recalled that the import of a quadruple vaccine from a Dutch entity was suspended as Washington told the company that it could not sell it because it contained 10 percent of a US antigen.
    “Why does the Torricelli Act prohibit world ships from entering Cuban ports under the threat of putting them in a “black list” and denying their access to US ports during six months?,” he added.

    The Cuban Foreign minister referred to the Helms-Burton Act, effective since 1996, to punish entrepreneurs who want to negotiate with Havana. “Is it true or not, Mr. US representative, that your government put a 100 million USD fine on the Swiss UBS bank for receiving dollar transfers from Cuba?,” he asked again.

    “If the US administration fully believes the Island is using the blockade issue as a pretext, why doesnt it lift the blockade and leave us without a pretext?,” he noted. Cuba is right, and time is on its side. The condemnation of the blockade, whose damage has amounted to nearly 80 billion dollars, is multiplying worldwide, the minister concluded.

  96. Follow up post #96 added on October 29, 2004 by Mario

    To all,

    what Perez zeboruco forgot, since he has short turn memory is that in geneva Cuba has been voted 3 times for not having humans rights.

  97. Follow up post #97 added on October 29, 2004 by Nichael

    Young Cuban , You have to ask yourself and be honest . Would you rather live in The USA or Cuba ? Right now you have a choice. You can choose. But if you choose Cuba you will give up your freedoms. All of them. Quenes hablando mierda a hora ??? And what a stupid argument. Go down to Cuba and have a political discussion like this in a public place. Don’t you know everyone listening and gathering would be arrested ?? Freedom of speech in Cuba is ILLEGAL. Que idiota tu eres…. If you can’t APPRECIATE the freedoms you enjoy in America, leave… 

  98. Follow up post #98 added on October 29, 2004 by YoungCuban with 409 total posts

    Michael you are missing my point,what I’m trying to tell you is.

    If you hate Castro and Cubans in Cuba so much why dont you try to do something about it instead of supporting things that only hurt our people?

    Panamanians,Colombians etc.. all fought with their lives for freedom,it wasnt the military who freed these people,it was the citizens of those country.

    Get it now?

    As far as freedom here in the US is concerned,yes we have our freedom,but at the same time I have been threatened by many Cuban organizations in Miami, I have the freedom here to say what I want,but at the same time I get my life threatened for voicing my beleifs????

    Think You’re Free? Think Again!

    An eye for an eye my friend,continue to block Cuba’ finances and they shall continue to survive no matter what the US does to them,and personally,I am glad Cuba has been able to survive without the capitalism hands trying to rape Cuba as they have done to other nations,that should actually make you be proud of being Cuban,proud that your people WILL NOT let another tell them what to do with their country or let them take control of Cuba!

    Patria O Muerte!

  99. Follow up post #99 added on October 29, 2004 by Michael

    Young Cuban,

    I don’t understand what you are trying to do or say here. I have absolutely nothing against the Cuban people.They are prisoners of Fidel Castro NOT the American Government.Fidel Castro is the first and only reason the people in Miami and the US Government are in support of the Embargo. Your patriotic feelings toward Cuba is admirable but you express it in a very misguided way. Perhaps you have heard this before but you need to set your priorities straight. You want to free the Cuban people? Remove Fidel castro from power. Then you can be the next Jose Marti. 

  100. Follow up post #100 added on October 29, 2004 by waldo Parravicini

    Geneva does not count as much as the united nations. Anyway geneva 3 and united nations 12, so still 4 to 1 in favor of Cuba and against USA.

  101. Follow up post #101 added on October 29, 2004 by YoungCuban with 409 total posts

    Free the Cuban people? They are free!

    Free from captialist pigs,free from those who would rape it’ resources,Cuba is free!

    Theres a difference between you and I Michael,YOU support the effort to starve your own people,I dont,YOU talk behind the internet like a tough guy but while in Cuba you act as if you love it,I dont,I have challeneged my own government(US),my life has been threatened by right winged Cuban organizations etc…

    See the difference Michael?

    I dont sing it,I bring it,unlike you, Net Warrior.

    IF I had a problem with the Cuban government two things would of happend by now.

    1.I would be dead


    2.I would go down in the histroy books

    I dont have a problem with the Cuban government,you apparently do,so again Michael,are you going to bring it or just sing it while you’re in Cuba?

    We know the answer,no need for you to humiliate yourself with your answer.

    Sit down in your comfy couch and continue to say to yourself that you are right and that we are wrong,continue to starve your people while left overs are being thrown away after dinner,make sure the A/C is nice and cold as you sip beer and watch football and inhale the dope you smoke.

  102. Follow up post #102 added on October 29, 2004 by waldo Parravicini

    A contrapelo de la criminal estrategia norteamericana para rendir a Cuba por hambre y falta de medicinas, el pas caribeo incrementa su ayuda solidaria con otras naciones, y particularmente con las del mundo subdesarrollado. Esa colaboraciûn internacionalista cubana se inicû en fecha muy temprana, con el envo a Argelia de una brigada mÈdica.

    Y as, mientras la nueva Cuba se abra paso en las citadas circunstancias, agravadas por el bloqueo econûmico, comercial y financiero implantado oficialmente tres aos despuÈs del triunfo revolucionario, se consolidaba esa poltica altruista que hoy abarca ms de 160 pases.

    De todos los proyectos resaltan los de la salud y en la actualidad unos 15 mil cubanos brindan servicios en naciones de AmÈrica Latina y el Caribe, Africa y Asia.

    Unos ejemplos: en la Escuela LatinoamÈrica de Ciencias MÈdicas, al Este de La Habana, estudian ms de siete mil jûvenes becados del subcontinente.

    Cuba ha formado como profesionales y tÈcnicos a unos 40 mil jûvenes de ms de 100 pases, fundamentalmente de Africa. Solo la Repblica del Congo ha graduado en la nsula ms de millar y medio de profesionales y tÈcnicos. En ese territorio devastado por la guerra, 461 cubanos colaboran en la esfera de la salud, agricultura, construcciûn, educaciûn y deportes.

    El olvido en que grandes potencias sumieron al continente negro, contrasta con la prioridad que le concede la mayor de las Antillas, que mantiene relaciones de colaboraciûn con ms de 50 pases de la regiûn.

    Del Programa de Cooperaciûn con la Repblica Bolivariana de Venezuela vale destacar la atenciûn gratuita a miles de pacientes, en instituciones mÈdicas cubanas, y del destinado a Brasil, la asesora tÈcnica en agricultura, educaciûn, medio ambiente, finanzas y salud pblica.

    Con MÈxico se cumplen 53 proyectos en los sectores de ciencia y tecnologa, salud, transporte, estadsticas, pesca, energa, y protecciûn del entorno natural.

    Adems del proyecto de rehabilitaciûn del hospital de Granada, personal cubano es el responsable de la aplicaciûn de un sistema radial para alfabetizar a 100 mil habitantes de la porciûn ms occidental de Hait. Un contingente de mÈdicos cubanos dispone en su haber muchas vidas salvadas a raz de los devastadores huracanes que azotaron a ese vecino pas caribeo.

  103. Follow up post #103 added on October 30, 2004 by gregory

    Hi! I see you are debating the erudite Michael. I have been amusing myself talking with him for that past couple weeks. The bottom line is that he is an U.S. citizen who thinks he is an expert on Cuba because he was there on and off for six months and is married to a Cuban woman. Moreover, after he travelled to Cuban on several occasions and finally got his wife out, now he does not think any other American should be allowed to go to Cuba (conveniente, eh?) and also supports the embargo (at the same time as he enjoys Chinese and Vietnames products every day…also very convenient). He goes on and on about how Cuba is a dictatorship (which it might well be) be refuses to respond to any questions about the utility of the embargo or the fact that the vast majority of Cubans, including the Cuban dissident movement, want the embargo lifted…because he does not have an answer to that question. However, I have met brighter defenders of the embargo, since he basically has only a dim and simplistic notion of Cuba, although I think he is sincere in his beliefs. Of course YoungCuban, you will be able to make your mind up on Cuba when you are here, something he does not think you or any other U.S. citizen to do should be allowed to do. I look forward to seeing you in Havana next week.

  104. Follow up post #104 added on October 30, 2004 by YoungCuban with 409 total posts

    I have been to Cuba in the past and have already made up my mind,the embargo and restrictions are the TRUE killers of that wonderful country!

  105. Follow up post #105 added on October 30, 2004 by waldo Parravicini

    RIGHT ON GREGORY AND YOUNG CUBAN! The UNILATERTAL bloqueo is cruel, counterproductive and obsolete. It violates the human rights of 11 million Cubans in Cuba and millions of Americans by forcing to deprive all, including children and seniors of basic human rights such as food, fuel, medicines, medical supplies, travel and family reunions. It is the archaic Ugly American Policy that continues turning people around the world against the USA. It also goes, for the past consecutive 13 years, against the will and vote of the overwhelming mayority of all countries in the world. But all that means nothing to the intransigent Washington that full of Arrogance continues to act as master and police force of the world; and in God they trust?

  106. Follow up post #106 added on November 01, 2004 by Michael

    Young Cuban and Gregory,

    Young Cuban I think you are a little bit crazy to say these goofy things. I think you are the one sitting in your comfy couch smoking too much dope. The Cuban people are not free. They have no choice but to go along with the constriants and oppression that their Government imposes upon them. Believe me when I say this, of the thousands of Cubans I have spoken with about the political situation between the US Government and the Cuban Dictator NONE have taken the side of Fidel Castro. ZERO, NADA. Well , of course then there is the benevolent, all knowing Canadian Lawyer living in Cuba supporting the regime that claims he knows EVERYTHING ABOUT. Of course ! why not? He’ making good money living like a king in Havana.Just turn a blind eye and bash the Americans. Blame THEM for the situation becuase FIDEL CASTRO is innocent. Right Gregory ? And then you have the unmitigated gall to mention the POLITICAL DISSIDENTS rotting in Cuban jails because they dared to speak out against the system. They are in favor of lifting the Embargo because they know it would possibly break the suffocating hold Castro has on his own people. When Cuba is free and trade resumes with the US you’ll be the last to capitalise on the prosperity to follow. Your’e like the fungus growing under Fidel Castro toenails. When the Dictator is gone you’ll go right along with him.       

  107. Follow up post #107 added on November 01, 2004 by Gregory

    Hey Michael…
    Thanx for admitting that you were wrong regarding the issue of the embargo. This was the basic issue of the debate, and by acknowledging the Cuban dissidents’ support for the elimination of the embargo, you revealed the error in your ways. At least you got that out of your system.
    Regarding how I live in Cuba, I do not make a foreign level wage. In fact, I lived in Cuba for two and a half years on the libreta system, eating only rice and beans and getting around on a bicycle. Even now, with a extremely modest hard currency income which is exhausted by the end of every month, I do not own a car or any other vehicle.
    Finally, I am amazed that in your brief time in Cuba, and with your very limited use of Spanish (I could tell from what you wrote in Spanish), you were able to speak with thousands of Cubans and actually think you came up with a realistic sampling of opinion on Cuban society.
    Even though I live in the heart of Centro Habana and 90% of my friends are Cubans from work or the neighborhood, you seem to think that my knowledge cannot compare to your profound understanding of this nuanced and complex island. Either you or I are the fool.

  108. Follow up post #108 added on November 01, 2004 by Gregory

    But the bottom line is that you finally agree that Americans should be able to come to Cuba and decide for themselves.

  109. Follow up post #109 added on November 01, 2004 by Mario

    To all,

    Let see because it is going to take a least 3 years for the embargo to work ,or 3 years for the embargo to go away. The way it is now. Hopefully, The people of Cuba will be free before the three years. Castro will be 81 years old and sure. that’ a good age for retirement.

  110. Follow up post #110 added on November 01, 2004 by Michael

    This issue sure is getting alot of play isn’t it ? I see you have confused my answer regarding the Political Dissidents desire to end the Embargo with it’ meaning. Lifting the Embargo will not end the Cuban situation.The dissidents believe it is way that the Cuban voice could be heard so that political change could be realized. The problem is that your fearless leader Fidel Castro will figure out a way to keep the Cuban people oppressed and in the dark about their true potential regardless of the Embargo. Lifting the Embargo will just become another challenge for him. He has to keep the Cuban people economically poor,distrustful of each other and out of touch with the rest of the world in order to exert his control over them.And he WILL figure out a way. Don’t you get it ? It’ all about the freedom to choose, of which the Cuban people have NONE.You think I am an extremist right wing capitalist jerk but I’m not.I feel a great injustice has been done to the Cuban people and the Embargo is just an excuse. The Cuban Government has done nothing for Cuba.Stop blaming the Americans. It’ YOUR system of Government you need to change. If it’ not working change it . Tommorrow is a big day in America,tommorrow I vote for Kerry. You know why ? Because I can..We have the RIGHT to DECIDE who leads this great country.Can you say that in Cuba ??  Bush had his 4 years and he has caused more harm than good. And I’m not talking about his policies towards Cuba alone. Fidel Castro has had his 45 and that is just 45 years too many. Do something about it. For the future of Cuba…..     

  111. Follow up post #111 added on November 01, 2004 by Gregory

    We are all very clear about the fact that you want freedom for Cuba. You have been very adamant about that and I commend you. What is not clear is whether you believe that the travel ban should be lifted. I thought that finally you had seen the light, but from your recent response, we are back in the Dark Ages. You have been to Cuba and you have your opinion about the government of Castro. I presently live in Cuba and I have my opinion about the government of Fidel. That’ fine and there is no doubt on where we stand. The difference is that I think that U.S. citizens should have the right to go to Cuba AND MAKE THEIR OWN OPINIONS! The opposition in Cuba which is against Castro also believes the same thing regarding lifting the travel ban. For some reason you think you know better and want to stop Americans from seeing Cuba for themselves. Why do you insist on this? You have been to Cuba, you have seen it. Michael, why do you think that other Americans don’t have the same right?

  112. Follow up post #112 added on November 01, 2004 by Gregory

    You say it is going to take three years for the embargo to work? Why will it work now if it has not worked for the past 44 years? Do you really think that the new measures will make a difference? Even the Catholic Church in Cuba recently said that the measures will not work. The only thing they will do is create greater suffering for Cubans on the island and off the island. ?Tu no crees?

  113. Follow up post #113 added on November 02, 2004 by Mario

    I’m sorry to said this ,but the Catholic Church has been played by the regimen since 1959, and unfortunely;it was the church who saved Castro when he was captured in the assault to the Moncada. and then, the regime prohibit people to go to church and the people of Cuba became atheist. So now because the church support of “no to the embargo” you got Castro and his people saying this crap about the church when in reality He is the biggest atheist. You know what Castro used to do do. Here “ask god for a thing”. “See nothing happen” now ask me for thing. here it is. they did this to kids and this is why youngcubans do not have morals nowdays. Some day Cuba will be free from this Dictador. who has ruin this contry. He has used all the money in the world to start wars in others country even when he received help from Soviet he asked the people of Cuba to sacrify some more by cutting the raciones of food, but he keep on buying guns, tanks, airplanes, so he can supply his revels in Nicaragua, Bolivia, and in Colombia. Tell me how much is a MIG 29 ? Gregory. maybe and just maybe he can get his money back from the Russians and give it to the right people. THE CUBANS IN THE ISLAND. 

  114. Follow up post #114 added on November 02, 2004 by Michael


    Let me clarify one more time why I think the Embargo and US travel restrictions should NOT be lifted.Because Fidel Castro will capitalize on the influx of revenues BEFORE one Cuban sees a dollar.You see Gregory, this is the fundamental point. Castro CONTROLS EVERYTHING in CUBA. What you eat,What you can read,  what you watch on TV, Where you can work, Where you can live,How much money you can make,He controls everything but the color of your underwear. To lift the Emabrgo would just be Counterproductive. Fidel must and will be removed from power. Either by force, or the laws of nature.Only then will Cuba have a chance to breathe again. And deservedly so,becuase Cuba is a wonderful Country.   

  115. Follow up post #115 added on November 02, 2004 by Gregory

    Let me clarify one more time why I think the embargo and travel ban SHOULD BE LIFTED: because the vast majority of Cubans on the island (both those who support Castro and those who are against him) have expressed their desire that these policies be lifted. They obviously know better that YOU do in regards to how best acheive positive change in Cuba, THEIR COUNTRY. They live there, you don’t! Most people reading this debate would be struck by the arrogance of claiming to know what is better for the Cubans. If, as you say, lifting the embargo would do nothing positive, then the majority of Cubans would not support lifting it. Michael, it is that simple. The Cuban people know better, and if they want the embargo lifted, then it should be lifted!

  116. Follow up post #116 added on November 03, 2004 by Michael


    You know , If I felt that Cubans had control over the situation pre or post Embargo I would believe you. But,they don’t have control. Fidel Castro is still your leader ( dictator ) and as long as he is in control there is no hope for peace with the US and prosperity for the Cuban people.I’m sorry

  117. Follow up post #117 added on November 03, 2004 by Gregory

    I am sorry that you do not trust the judgment of the Cuban people to know what is best for them, rather than the judgement of a foreigner like you or I. I, personally, trust the judgement of the Cuban people more than my own personal opinion of what is better for Cuba. It is sad you cannot say the same.

  118. Follow up post #118 added on November 09, 2004 by YoungCuban with 409 total posts

    I just got back from yet another wonderful trip to Cuba.
    I was able to meet Gregory in person and I must say he lives and breathes Cuba as most Cubans do.

    I applaud Gregory on his work in Cuba,it is good to see others from another country willing to lend a hand for the better,but,I must say that I am ashamed that our own country,our so called “best country” in the world does not lend Cuba the much needed hand it needs.

    The last thing the Cuban people need is another country telling them what is good for them,Cubans know very well (more then we do) what it is they need,we living in the US cannot and should not make those decisions for them,allow the Cubans themselves to vote for or against the lifting of the embargo,sanctions and travel rights,we preach the importance of democracy yet impose what we feel is right for Cuba without the Cubans involvement.

    The hypocrisy that Cubans in the states continue to spew against their own people is disgusting to say the least,I damn them all to hell as they have damned their own!


  119. Follow up post #119 added on November 09, 2004 by waldo Parravicini

    Young Cuban and Gregory you both are Right On. Enjoy! Waldo

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