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Ear to the Ground

Everyone’s a Critic, Including Fidel Castro

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Posted on Jan 25, 2012
Carol Crisosto Cadiz (CC-BY-SA)

“The selection of a Republican candidate for the presidency of this globalized and expansive empire is—and I mean this seriously—the greatest competition of idiocy and ignorance that has ever been,” writes Fidel Castro, who echoes the sentiments expressed by many columnists and commentators spanning the middle to left of our politics.

As The Associated Press points out, Castro may be harboring a grudge against these particular candidates: “Castro’s comments came in a long opinion piece carried by official media two days after Republican presidential hopefuls at a debate in Florida presented mostly hard-line stances on what to do about the Communist-run island, and even speculated as to what would happen to the 85-year-old revolutionary leader’s soul when he dies.”

Hat tip to Political Wire.

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By ardee, January 29, 2012 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic, January 29 at 11:23 am

...and you,yourself conducted such an unlikely research project? Resources please.

Report this

By heterochromatic, January 29, 2012 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

don’t sit then , sister. can you at least stop standing on your head with one eye
closed?

it’s just as wrong for Castro to kill Cubans as it is for the US to threaten to kill
‘em… and possibly it’s just as ethical to denounce human rights violations
happening in Havana or Haifa or Hanoi as it is to denounce those in Hartford or
Honolulu.

love ya, Ana and I think that you’re a stand-up type.

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, January 29, 2012 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment

I’m not going to sit here and discuss Castro’s faults while the U.Sl maintains a policy and routine practice of violent imperialism in Latin America.  And, no, the U.S. ruling class and its proxies don’t just talk.  They kill people.

Report this

By heterochromatic, January 29, 2012 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment

ardee—-if you’re not up for all written sources for them, I suggest that you find
some people who’ve come to the US from Cuba in the last 20 years.  Avoid talking
much to the men, but find the women,  middle-aged and older, and ask them
about how extensive the “informer” networks really are.

If you’re still around NYC, it won’t be all that difficult to find them.

The answers you get are gonna be disappointing and sadly human.

Report this

By heterochromatic, January 29, 2012 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

Ana,, good. glad to see that we’ve at least abandoned the insupportable charges
and are back to the reality of the US’s policy being one of great VERBAL hostility,
support for groups desiring the end of the Castro authoritarian regime and refusal
to trade with it.


Now I can merely bust your chops over why US hostility necessitates one-party rule
and why the jefe has to be named Castro.

Report this
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By Anarcissie, January 29, 2012 at 8:48 am Link to this comment

heterochromatic, January 28 at 5:23 pm:

‘... Ana—- we were talking about Cuba and attacks AGAINST
Cuba….not attacks elsewhere in which Cuba was
involved. ...’

It would be pretty silly for the Cubans not to assume that what was done to other small countries in their neighborhood would not be done to them.  In addition, there have been numerous acts of terrorism against Cuba itself, along with the embargo, which in effect attempts to blockade the island since in theory at least it tries to involve third parties.  The U.S. relation to Cuba is one of invasion, occupation and siege.  But, in a sense, this modus operandi of continuous imperialism has been applied to all of Latin America since the middle of the 19th century.  How to respond to it has been a major, ongoing problem for all Latin Americans.  Cuba presents the military model.  Maybe it’s not the best, or maybe it’s obsolete, but you certainly can’t say there isn’t a reason for it.

Report this

By ardee, January 29, 2012 at 4:40 am Link to this comment

I wanna understand how all the attacks made and still make it impossible for Cubans to have free political discussions and maybe even necessitate that Cubans have jefes-for-life and networks of political informers in every village and city neighborhood reporting to the secret police.

Speaking of understanding….I would like to see some authentication for such rabid accusations.

Report this

By heterochromatic, January 28, 2012 at 6:23 pm Link to this comment

Ana—- we were talking about Cuba and attacks AGAINST
Cuba….not attacks elsewhere in which Cuba was
involved.


I’m willing to grant that Cuba was deeply involved in
military violence in Africa and elsewhere in Latin
America and that the US is even more involved in
same….


but the topic is what US attacks against Cuba render
Castro’s dictatorial repression and denial of
political rights to the Cuban people necessary rather
than violative.

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By Anarcissie, January 28, 2012 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

The more prominent operations in Latin America since 1970, besides those against Cuba, include those overtly carried out against Panama and Nicaragua, and the support of rightist governments, parties, guerrilla forces, and terrorist operations in other countries, for example Chile and El Salvador.  And that’s just off the top of my head; I think a little research might yield quite a bit more.

I am surprised you never heard of these operations.  Anyway, do you want to know how that sort of thing affects the politics of Cuba, or can you guess?

Report this

By heterochromatic, January 28, 2012 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment

Ana——- I missed most of those constant attacks, got
caught up with that whole Viet-nam thing. 


could you refresh my memory of them and list the ones
since the start of the 70s?


I wanna understand how all the attacks made and still
make it impossible for Cubans to have free political
discussions and maybe even necessitate that Cubans
have jefes-for-life and networks of political
informers in every village and city neighborhood
reporting to the secret police.

Report this
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By Anarcissie, January 28, 2012 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic, January 28 at 9:18 am:

‘maybe a good start would be to let the Cuban people
have the freedom to openly discuss their
political/governmental options.

why would you want to imply that tired old line about
how the alternative to Castro’s statism and
repression is US domination and exploitation? ....’

Because I think it’s true.  If it were not true, the U.S. government would have negotiated a neutral or favorable relationship with Cuba a long time ago.

The people of a small country can hardly discuss their political options freely when the country is next door to and constantly being attacked or threatened by the most powerful and aggressive state on earth—a state which has shown no compunction about going into other countries which were doing it no harm whatever, wrecking them, and killing hundreds of thousands of their people.

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oddsox's avatar

By oddsox, January 28, 2012 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

diamond, you write:
“...the problem in Cuba is that it has been systematically sanctioned to death by America over many years and yet by any standard Cubans are healthier and better cared for than Americans.”

Now I understand, it’s OUR fault.

And so, if you or someone you love becomes seriously ill, we won’t be seeing you at Duke or the Mayo Clinic, then? 
But in Havana?

‘hasta, Baby.  Give Fidel my best.

Report this

By heterochromatic, January 28, 2012 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment

dia—- malpractice and other insurance costs are quite
high but you’re generally correct in that this is
entirely peripheral.

Report this

By diamond, January 28, 2012 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment

“We need tort reform to break the chain.”

What absolute nonsense. How many lawyers do you imagine can dance on a stethoscope? More than the number of angels that dance on the head of a pin? Or less? There are public health systems all over the world that function well and provide excellent health care at a far lower price than any treatment you’ll get in an American hospital. The biggest cause of bankruptcy in America is medical bankruptcy. It’s all a shameless exercise in servicing the rich at the expense of the unrich, like most things in American culture. If your child has leukemia I don’t imagine you want to sit around waiting for tort reform at some lawyer’s picnic. You want someone to treat your child at a price you can afford. 70% of Americans want a public health care system paid for out of taxes, even if it means introducing a special levy to do it. As things stand the doctors can charge what they like and like greedy, selfish idiots, they charge outrageously and also campaign viciously and relentlessly against anyone who wants to change things. 

In any case the problem in Cuba is that it has been systematically sanctioned to death by America over many years and yet by any standard Cubans are healthier and better cared for than Americans. They certainly don’t have the problem with obesity and related diseases that Americans have because America, ever so kindly, made sure they were poor.

Report this

By heterochromatic, January 28, 2012 at 10:18 am Link to this comment

maybe a good start would be to let the Cuban people
have the freedom to openly discuss their
political/governmental options.

why would you want to imply that tired old line about
how the alternative to Castro’s statism and
repression is US domination and exploitation?

for how long should the failure of the last few
decades be excused by the failure that was in place
50 years ago?

why not a little freedom for the Cubans to think and
act for themselves?

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, January 28, 2012 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

heterochromatic, January 27 at 1:04 pm:

the Cuban’s will be better off without the Castros just
as they were better off without Fulgenzio Batista, the
Cuban aristocracy and the Mafia grinding them down.

How is that happy state to be reached?  Certainly not through the good offices of the U.S. ruling class.

Report this
oddsox's avatar

By oddsox, January 28, 2012 at 7:01 am Link to this comment

ardee—
One criterion for the study you mention is “reducing health disparities.” 
That would distort the relative rankings.
In Cuba there is equality in misery—health care for all at a low common denominator.

Another criterion is “efficiency of investment.”  As my doctor friend told me, the Cubans do very well with what little they have. 
They beat us there, which is fine as long as you just need an aspirin. 

Most people with serious medical needs know better than to seek treatment in Havana. 

IMO, the problem with US health care is we have
1) Providers (doctors, hospitals, pharma)
2) Insurers (malpractice and major medical, public and private, Obamacare or not)
3) Attorneys (for plaintiff and defendant, suits worthy and frivolous)

Each is leapfrogging the others in order to make a buck while the public picks up the tab.

We need tort reform to break the chain.

Report this

By ardee, January 28, 2012 at 4:30 am Link to this comment

oddsox, January 27 at 2:32 pm

That Cuba ranks 39th in health care world wide is a fact. That the nations poverty is largely responsible is also fact. The USA ranks 37th in that survey, what ,I wonder, is our excuse.

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By oddsox, January 27, 2012 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment

diamond writes:
“...(Castro) has put their excellent health system…”

I’m not a doctor, but I remember talking with one who had just returned from Cuba. 
This was two springs ago.
He told me routine services in Cuba were great and practically free. 
But surgical equipment was in short supply and sterilization procedures were crude. 
If you needed surgery—anything beyond an appendectomy, he told me, the best they could do was make you comfortable while you waited to die.
That’s what he said.

timshel, if you’re still out there, you can see that here on TruthDig a certain viewpoint on Castro is dominant.
Now, read this for another point of view.
http://brookesnews.com/062310castro.html
and then do more research & you can make up your own mind.
Read widely, my friend.

Report this

By balkas, January 27, 2012 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

hetero,
oh, ok! mensheviks, meaning ones in minority. i would have to reread what happened at that
communist congress before making a judgment if they were communists or socialists.
they voted at that session against the coming oct revolution and bolsheviks [majority] voted to
do more than to behave like supplicants.
it is like the OWS. they, too, are discarding [or seems so] supplication, begging, plaints and
looking at bolsheviks [i hope] for inspiration.
in a way, they are now bolsheviks and nader, moore, jill stein, et al mensheviks.
the latter still believe they can change ‘godoldusa’ [of the only good indian is dead indian and a
black was worth less than a mule] by begging and the like. well, good luck to them! thanks

Report this

By balkas, January 27, 2012 at 2:39 pm Link to this comment

saying that cubans were better/worse off under battista than living in a socialist state is like saying that
[all]americans are better/worse off under obama than under bush.
the fact is that only some people were better off under obama than under bush. most were worse off
than under bush.
but even this habit of saying under battista, clinton, bush, castro is quite an illusion.
it is better to say that cuba, usa, say, in 1950 were better/worse countries to live in than in the same
countries in 2012.
and life in US in 2040 may be quite hellish for most americans and under whatever president.
in, say, 2022, cuba may be overun and its structure of society and governance destroyed and thus
goodby to anything good they have achieved.
the good example must be oblitirated for all times.
thus, there is no IF cuban society would be destroyed and cuba invaded—only when/how. thanks

Report this

By heterochromatic, January 27, 2012 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment

balkas——my grandfather told me that he had to
leave…

read about menshaviks.

Report this

By balkas, January 27, 2012 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

hetero,
i noticed i made a mistake after posting it. “tried to kill your grandad and his socialist friends”. you heard that from your dyed
or his son?
i am doubtfull that communists would also try to kill socialists in view of the fact that much of muslim pop, nearly all
peasants/christians, boyars, kulaks, neonobles had been their mortal enemies.
it is true, tho, that ussr and yugoslav communists have killed after ww2 lots of people and soldiers whom they considered
traitors.
tito’s partizani had slain after the war an estimated 50k to 200k [or was 50- to 200k?] asocialists, and collaborators of
germany and italy.
it should be noted that these crimes were mostly of retaliatory nature. some of these crimes were perpetrated by individuals
against other individuals who have or may have killed avengers’ family members; most were perpetrated by partizan army.
thus, retaliatory crimes should not been equated with crimes committed during german and italian occupations of yugoslavia
against civilians and partizani themselves.
and look how US ‘retaliated’ against pashtuns and iraqis! and not a single iraqi or pashtun had in any way hurt a single
american!
now, if that wasn’t mother of retaliations, then i don’t know what kind or retaliation would it have to be to top it! thanks

Report this

By heterochromatic, January 27, 2012 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

the Cuban’s will be better off without the Castros just
as they were better off without Fulgenzio Batista, the
Cuban aristocracy and the Mafia grinding them down.

Report this

By diamond, January 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

“As for Castro, you will likely conclude that the fine and uniquely resourceful Cuban people will soon be much better off without him.”

If they weren’t uniquely resourceful, America would have seen to it that they had all starved to death or died of treatable diseases from years of sanctions. If it wasn’t for Castro, Che Guevara and the ‘Cuban Spring’ they would still be working for the yankee dollar, American companies would reign supreme on the island and the brothels and gambling casinos would be making lots of money for the Mafia dons and lesser crooks who fled to Miami when Castro closed them down. Whether they will be better off without him now is moot but also irrelevant: he has put their excellent health system and education system in place and hopefully they will do a better job of keeping them than America did of keeping its republic. They were not better off under Batista’s corrupt rule and America’s jackboot and only a fool would claim they were. Cuba has been punished for decades for taking control of its destiny and giving America the finger and it seems, according to Newt Ginrich, that the punishment has simply not been enough.

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By oddsox, January 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

timshel, you write:
“I know almost nothing about Cuba, but a 5-10 minute glance over Cuba and Castro on wikipedia seem to show me that this is a pretty decent guy all things considered.”

This is why we can’t trust Wikipedia. 

You admit ignorance and naivete but, unlike stupidity, these things can be cured.

So keep reading, my friend. 
Widely.

Educate yourself, and, in the case of Cuba, I believe you’ll learn there is indeed much poverty there.
As for Castro, you will likely conclude that the fine and uniquely resourceful Cuban people will soon be much better off without him.

But remember: Read widely.

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By Robespierre115, January 27, 2012 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

Good new piece by Saul Landau on Cuba’s history and the present.Viva Cuba and fuck you ignorant slobs:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/01/27/cuba-looking-back-and-ahead/

Report this

By heterochromatic, January 27, 2012 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

A j Agostino```” Americans who comment on the human rights of other countries
have no right.”

——

a pretty silly statement, A J.


aare only stateless people to comment against torture and international rights
group to be abolished?

Report this

By AJ DAgostino, January 27, 2012 at 9:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.”
Americans who comment on the human rights of other countries have no right. As a country that now tortures and incarcerates innocent people to make a point about terrorism for the consumption of its bigoted citizenry, as a country that has killed millions of innocent civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Vietnam, Panama (should I go on?) and euphemistically call it “collateral damage,” and as a country that mentally tortures prisoners here in the U.S. (Bradley Manning) we have certainly lost the moral right to pontificate to others, and that goes for all the hypocrites making their stupid comments and those who refuse to look in the mirror to see the blood in their eyes and on their faces. Before you say anything else, put your own arrogant house in order. ‘Go ye as hypocrites.”

Report this

By heterochromatic, January 27, 2012 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

balkas____ I wrote “tried to kill”

Had they succeeded I would never have been in position
to wrote anything at all.

Report this

By balkas, January 27, 2012 at 4:36 am Link to this comment

hetero,
russian communists killed your grandad and his socialist friends? it seems he wasn’t a socialist; he merely associated or drunk
vodka with socialists?
but did you learn that ‘truth’ from you dead grandfather, i wonder? via some medium?
my godddevil, wouldn’t have 99% of americans rejoiced over communists killing socialists if that had been the case? and even
send them arms to make the killing easier?
——
i suggest we get a lot more simple-minded [or even quite moronic] and in order to note some events that highbrows and and
‘illuminati/glitterati/clerisy’ don’t see or pretend they don’t see: we must have so many doctors, lawyers, bankers, professors,
miners, fishers, tillers, repairpeople, etc.
even dreaded socialists and communists recognize this fact and ensure there is schooling for people who want to become
bankers, lawyers, etc.
so whats up?
why do asocialists demonize that fact? is it because socialists and/or communists limit personal freedoms [to do whatever one
can or wants to do] and personal supremacists, such as the ones in US, which enshrine in law that a person enjoys unlimited
personal freedoms?
so a moron sees that the battle between socialists and asocialists is about which personal freedoms should prevail: unlimited or
limited.
‘brillant’ minds like jefferson, obama, nixon, einstein, churchill, hitler, netanyahu, sarkozy, cameron, berlusconi, cannot see this?
thanks

Report this

By ardee, January 27, 2012 at 3:54 am Link to this comment

heterochromatic, January 26 at 1:33 pm

Thank you for making my point with such eloquence. The “ladies in white” protesting in Havana give the lie to US propaganda about Castro’s “despotic regime”.

I have noted already that there are certainly deficiencies in the Cuban system of Justice. But, on the whole, going to Cuba, meeting with its citizenry, seeing first hand the way Cuba strives and thrives despite US attempts to keep that nation bankrupt overturns all the bullshite.

Once again, thanks for the proof of my argument. Imagine what they could have accomplished with US economic help rather than what they get from us now!

Report this

By NZDoug, January 27, 2012 at 12:42 am Link to this comment

I always hoped that Cuba would join Canada.
Or vica versa…...
Too bad.

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By scotttpot, January 26, 2012 at 10:51 pm Link to this comment

To know anything about Cuba might require that someone has actually
spent time there. Cubans are wonderful people who give off a sense of security
and optimism that is increasingly hard to find among Americans
and Europeans.As Americans sleep restlessly in their bed of money Cubans take
care of one another.

Report this

By heterochromatic, January 26, 2012 at 8:59 pm Link to this comment

dia——the idea of bombing Cuba is just sooooo fucking crazy that I actually
asked someone to watch the Republican debate-like thing on TV tonight coming
out of Florida in case he might actually say it.

Last year I suggested that the US threaten to bomb one of the West Bank
settlements , but THAT isn’t even as crazy as bombing Cuba just when the Castros
are getting ready to give up the ghost.

Report this

By diamond, January 26, 2012 at 8:28 pm Link to this comment

“dia——Newt’s never going to get nominated so all his horseshit and pandering is but more wasted breath.”

I hope you’re right but remember that saying, ‘Only in America’. Only in America could a dangerous psychopath say he wants to bomb a tiny island that has never attacked America and has been persecuted by America for decades and still be a serious contender to become a presidential nominee. It shows how psychotic the Republican Party now is. The people they have put forward are (a) unhinged (b) tax cheats (c) religious nuts or (d) fruitcakes that want to abolish income tax and dismantle the Federal Reserve along with social security and pensions. They have put these people forward to appeal to their crazed religious and ideological base and to hell with the other 70% of people who want a rational leader who will do rational things. If they got power they would govern exactly the same way. Remember how George W. Bush said it was God’s will he ended up in the White House: I don’t find that reassuring, especially since it was actually the will of the Supreme Court that put him there, not the voters.

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By heterochromatic, January 26, 2012 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment

balkas—- my grandfather fought to overthrow the Tsar
and then the bolsheviks tried to kill him and his
socialist friends. spare us your apologies and other
happy crap about how tough it was to establish a
totalitarian government upon Russia so those poor
hapless creatures were just forced to push their
political opponents to the wall and to the famous
basements of the All-Russia Insurance Company.

Report this

By timshel, January 26, 2012 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I know almost nothing about Cuba, but a 5-10 minute glance over Cuba and Castro on wikipedia seem to show me that this is a pretty decent guy all things considered.  The standard idea of most people when you hear his name is some kind of terrorist dictator, but it seems as though the country of Cuba is doing pretty well.  Very low unemployment, low poverty, high education levels and universal healthcare…  Considering this guy and his country have been hunted and messed with for the past half century by the US, it appears hes providing a lot of things that the US does not provide its citizens.  From a spiritual and philosophical perspective, the things he writes are pretty damn good, another thing that is appallingly lacking from our political leaders.  The comment that is subject of the article only serves to reinforce my (admittedly naive) opinion of him.

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By balkas, January 26, 2012 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment

i could have been clearer about US ideology and its acceptance by americans.
US ideology has until very recently always been accepted by at least 99% of americans.
that was not the case in communist ussr. perhaps only 20 or 30% of people in tsarist russia/ussr
accepted communist or socialist ideology.
this made governing US much easier than governing usssr.
communists in russia and other parts of tsarist russia also faced mortal enemies. supremacists in US
have not ever even faced any opposition let alone been in mortal dangers.
because of this factor, communists could not allow free speech that called for death of communism,
communists, and socialists.
american ruling class, on the other hand, could allow free speech because there was never even a
political let alone a military threat from other lands to US or its ideology.
so, why wouldn’t US allow free speech as long as it did not allow education, healthcare, right to know,
equality? thanks

Report this

By balkas, January 26, 2012 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment

ardee,
what was not clear in my post?
was it me saying that communists persecuted their ideological and mortal enemies. i did not
say that communists were not justified in shutting up [solzhenitsin, scharanski and the like
criminal minds], jailing, persecuting enemies of mine and working class.
and if communists in cuba shipped off to siberia or jailed each one of their enemies i say good
for them! has castro also killed a dozen or so of them ? ok, good for him!
apparently mao did that to chinese owners or would-be owners of people and it looks now that
that was the best medicine for that disease.
now if we could get the onepercent on street and put them on food stamps…. what kind of
medicine would that be? thanks

Report this

By heterochromatic, January 26, 2012 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

dia——Newt’s never going to get nominated so all his horseshit and pandering is
but more wasted breath.

Report this
IMax's avatar

By IMax, January 26, 2012 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment

Here on TruthDig I’ve grown accustomed to seeing long and redundant conversations about the United States immediately following each and every world event - nearly no one here discusses any other topic. 

I recognize that it’s difficult to discuss Cuba or Fidel Castro without discussing the Soviet Union and the United States in tandem but, I ask, what is the actual agenda in dredging up Nicaragua?  Is this an attempt to highlight Castro’s Soviet-backed involvement in Nicaragua?  The tens of millions of dollars the Soviet government poured into Nicaragua?  Or perhaps the Soviet “military advisers” in Nicaragua at that time?  Or is this yet another attempt to discuss the same well-worn subject, the United States?

Does anyone here know how many people live on this planet and how many separate countries these people live in?

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By diamond, January 26, 2012 at 4:21 pm Link to this comment

But there’s no need to worry now! Newt has told the voters of Florida that if he becomes President, he will bomb Cuba. No more criticism, only smoking ruins and dead bodies. And that’s just how Newt likes it. Someone needs to increase poor old Gingrich’s dose of blood thinners: oxygen is simply not getting through to his brain.

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oddsox's avatar

By oddsox, January 26, 2012 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment

“...and even speculated as to what would happen to the 85-year-old revolutionary leader’s soul when he dies.”

Heard that was one of the debate questions, what happens when Fidel dies? 
Romney said he’d be glad when Castro goes to meet his maker. 
Gingrich said that wasn’t who he’d be meeting that far South.

HAHAHA

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, January 26, 2012 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment

If Cuba was going to stay out of direct control by the U.S., it would have to have some kind of military/garrison state going—that is, a dictatorship.  Observe what happened in Nicaragua: 50,000 dead in a proxy war carried out mostly by mercenaries funded by you-know-who.

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By heterochromatic, January 26, 2012 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

ardee____ The guy before Fidel was horrible but the butchering was more
widespread after he was gone and if you think that the opposition to Castro was
for real, I’m guessing you used to stay up late to find out the winner when
Saddam was running for re-election.


c’mon be for real…. there’s been zero political freedom in Cuba.

know about the Ladies in White

http://www.npr.org/2011/10/17/141430018/cubas-ladies-in-white-mourn-
leaders-death ?

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By ardee, January 26, 2012 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment

balkas, January 26 at 7:10 am

Huh???/

heterochromatic, January 26 at 11:32 am Link to this comment


Robes—-I would like to be an admirer of Fidel and very early on was one.  It’s
entirely laudable that he attempted some things to address the horrors of the way
things were in Cuba.

Bautista was a butcher and a stooge of the mafia, taking money to turn Cuba into a whorehouse and gambling den. So yes.

It’s also entirely appropriate to judge him by the way that he has entirely
eliminated any political freedom and to judge him by the standards of simple
decency that forbid torture and execution for non-violent opposition to
totalitarianism.

Untrue in part, Hetero, there is certainly political freedom and Castro himself never ran unopposed in any election. Yes his human rights record may not meet our standards, and his judicial system fails in some measure. But your exaggerations are only that. In fact, your comment re torture applies more to the USA than it does to Cuba.

See the link provided by brewwerstroupe to give the lie to your position.

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By IMax, January 26, 2012 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment

Robespierre115,

I had first thought your views of the Cuban government born of ignorance.  I now see your words are more vicious in intent.

Remember, Robespierre.  I’ve been to Cuba many times.  You may very well believe you can swindle others on this thread but, you also know it will not work with me.

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By heterochromatic, January 26, 2012 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

the scores are reason enough to dispense with the index.,, but there are many
others.

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By brewerstroupe, January 26, 2012 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment

The HPI is an innovative measure that shows
the ecological efficiency with which human well-being
is delivered around the world. It is the first ever
index to combine environmental impact with well-being
to measure the environmental efficiency with which
country by country, people live long and happy lives.
The second compilation of the global HPI, published
in July 2009, shows that we are still far from
achieving sustainable well-being and puts forward a
vision of what we need to do to get there.

The Index doesn’t reveal the ‘happiest’ country in
the world. It shows the relative efficiency with
which nations convert the planet’s natural resources
into long and happy lives for their citizens. The
nations that top the Index aren’t the happiest places
in the world, but the nations that score well show
that achieving, long, happy lives without over-
stretching the planet’s resources is possible.

http://www.happyplanetindex.org/

Cuba scores 7th in the World on the HPI. The U.S.
114.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Planet_Index

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By Robespierre115, January 26, 2012 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment

@IMAX, sorry but I’ve been to Cuba numerous times as well including within the last year, recent economic reforms have been welcomed by the population and again, all the major UN and world health studies show that Cubans are better off than your average Peruvian or Guatemalan peasant, that’s just reality. In fact, Cuba isn’t even ranked as one of the top human rights violators in the region, just check the facts, the top human rights violator annually is COLOMBIA, followed by other countries such as Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and even Brazil. Read Saul Landau’s valuable reporting on Cuba. Not to justify the errors of the Cuban system, but your overall Cuba bashing is pure bullshit.

I doubt you have ever grown up or lived anywhere in Latin America, and if you have it’s probably been behind the gated communities of the upper classes in the region who see themselves more as Europeans stuck in a barberous jungle.

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By heterochromatic, January 26, 2012 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

Robes—-I would like to be an admirer of Fidel and very early on was one.  It’s
entirely laudable that he attempted some things to address the horrors of the way
things were in Cuba.

It’s also entirely appropriate to judge him by the way that he has entirely
eliminated any political freedom and to judge him by the standards of simple
decency that forbid torture and execution for non-violent opposition to
totalitarianism.

I can’t enthuse over a shit sandwich because the bread is good.

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By IMax, January 26, 2012 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

Robespierre115,

I have been to Cuba nine times since the late 70’s.  My last visit only 3 years ago.

Realistically speaking, Cubans have lived under horrific oppression for an entire generation.  Liberal intellectuals (TruthDiggers) are jailed and tortured regularly.  If one is lucky enough to be released that person is usually surveilled for the rest of their days.  Even the slightest outward sign of unhappiness or criticism is met with brutality.

Education, health-care, food staples.  Nothing is free in Cuba. All things come at a cost. 

PLEASE. Please learn something of Cuba before you speak again on this subject.  You truly have no idea what you’re saying.

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By heterochromatic, January 26, 2012 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

for all those who would let Castro’s record of attempting highly desirable reforms
blind them to his record of horrific levels of torture and murder of all political
opposition to his totalitarian rule, I ask you to ask yourselves if you really want to
shrug the inhumanity off or blame it on the US.

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By SarcastiCanuck, January 26, 2012 at 11:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wow,for 85 years of age,Fidel is still pretty astute.He better be careful or the CIA may put a hit out on him…

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By Robespierre115, January 26, 2012 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

@heterochromatic, ever been to Cuba? It’s not paradise, and they do have problems, but Cubans are still healthier and more socially secure than say Guatemalans, Hondurans, Salvadorians. You don’t see children sleeping on piles of garbage in Havana or dying of parasites that could easily be treated in the US.

Cuba remains a big target because it’s independent. People who didn’t grow up in Latin America itself don’t understand the impact of the Cuban Revolution and these days, Venezuela, it’s ridiculous to judge Cuba by our US standards (which aren’t exactly that impressive either).

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By Albert DAgostino, January 26, 2012 at 10:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When I see these harsh criticisms of Fidel Castro, it always tells me that the US’ well-oiled propaganda machine has been highly effective - it doesn’t take much to fool the angry and un-informed.  Despite the 50 years of sanctions, the attempted invasions and assassinations, the world should be giving Castro high grades for throwing off the yoke of colonialism and Mafia corruption and the fact he was able to hang on to power and give dignity back to the Cuban people. Much of Castro’s stringent rule can be placed on the doorstep of the US for its constant and failed efforts to depose and destabilize this tiny island nation. There was no way the US could stomach the success of a socialist system - it would have given too many ideas to other small Latin American nations that they too could be free of US domination. A socialist success would also not be lost on many Americans. Anger at Cuba is due to the fact Castro was able to spit in America’s face, humble us and get away with it - he hurt our pride, and for #1, this is a no no.

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By IMax, January 26, 2012 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

The torturous, murderous, ego-maniacal dictator South of the U.S. criticizes politics in other countries?  What a surprise. 

And what a surprise to find that ardee-full-of-putrid-hatred is a stalwart fan of this murderer.

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By Roger Lafontaine, January 26, 2012 at 9:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We may never get a fair assessment of Castro, the man and the dictator, because of the powerful pressure and sabotage carried out by US over that tiny nation, but within the narrow confines he was forced to work with I think he probably did as well or better than most of our own presidents who have done so much to create and support police states all over the world under the guise/deception of ‘National Security’.

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By balkas, January 26, 2012 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

communists persecute and prosecute/jail enemies of fishers, miners, tradespeople, peasants in, say,
ussr or cuba for more than one reason.
when communists took over tsarist russia in oct ‘17, they were facing mortal enemies. probably 40% of
its pop wanted to destroy soviet govt, communism, and kill/imprison/torture/exile all communist or
even socialists.
cuban communists and/or other egalitarians still face mortal danger from cubans, 98% of american pop,
nearly all europe, and s.america; many asian lands.
americans and/or their antipodal THOUGHT to communist THOUGHT had never faced more than a few
[possibly amounting to 00001% of its pop] people who wanted to destroy their THOUGHT and/or kill/jail
ALL nonegalitarians.
is it any wonder that asocialists in US tout so much the right of free speech when thuout its history
99.9999% of its pop had been as fascist and parts of it often even more fascist [inegalitarian] than its
own ruling class?
even in ‘12 one can expect that 90% + of US voters would vote in the same-thinking people [but not
necessarily the same individuals] for which they have been voting for over two centuries.
===
lately, it seems, % of support for the US THOUGHT is in a steep decline and the ruling class, seems, is in
a bit of indignation that the unwashed dare question their god-given rights to be their etern masters.
so, some freedoms appear also dwindling. how far, how soon to dwindle to a sufficient degree to please
the onepercent? well, i am not a prophet and neither was issaiah, obadiah, jeremiah, o’bamiah, jefferson,
mao, stalin, genghis, jesus, ghandi, MLK, lenin.
how about castro? is he a prophet? seems so!! din’t he avoid death by assassination some, what?, 200
times.  he either foresaw each one of them or god is with that man. take your pick! thanks, a
nonprophetic and a very peasantic person!

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By ardee, January 26, 2012 at 5:48 am Link to this comment

One cannot help but wonder what Castro might have accomplished had Cuba not labored under a US embargo since that revolution overthrew one of the worst dictators in the hemisphere, and, as per usual, a staunch US ally.

Cuba has a higher literacy rate than do we here in fact. Its health care suffers as it is dirt poor yet it ranks 39th while we, the richest nation , hover at 37th. Further, it educates doctors for free, and not just Cubanos either. Anyone wishing to become a doctor can attend a Cuban medical school for free, only needing to agree to spend three years in ones own nation administering to the poorest there.

Certainly Castro and Cuba are open to criticisms in several areas, its judicial system chief among them. But I find it more than a bit ironic that Americans are so free to critique Cuba when our own country is a far worse offender on many fronts.

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By redracam, January 26, 2012 at 4:17 am Link to this comment

There is only one chance for the US citizens and the
rest of humanity. Elect Ron Paul !
This will effectively take US problems and the US
agenda back to the US where it belongs and stop it
being foisted on the the rest of the world.
No US military engaged = no war with Iran = no
possibility for Israel to drag the US into any of its
“private business”.
US citizens can then start taking care of their own
country and improving on the shortcomings of Ron Paul
who - whilst honest - is far from the ideal candidate
for the ordinary 99%.

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By heterochromatic, January 26, 2012 at 1:07 am Link to this comment

Robe—-they’re bad and Fidel sucks also. ...and a bit more.

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By Robespierre115, January 26, 2012 at 12:48 am Link to this comment

Viva Fidel!

Florida’s Cuban Republicans in Congress are pure trash who backed the Iraq War and now want war with Iran. They also hide terrorists like Luis Posada Carriles in Miami.

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By NZDoug, January 26, 2012 at 12:43 am Link to this comment

Hey not one more,
Wut about Ron Paul?
Is it just another O’bama?

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By Not One More!, January 26, 2012 at 12:34 am Link to this comment

It’s hard to argue with.

http://www.notonemore.us/peacequotes.htm

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By NZDoug, January 26, 2012 at 12:30 am Link to this comment

I’m sure he’s glad he’s old because we gotta buy humvee juice.

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By heterochromatic, January 25, 2012 at 9:58 pm Link to this comment

pwolf—-the site’s been having technical problems. ... I don’t think you should get
too discouraged or too paranoid .....try again to post what it was that you started
out to say, see if maybe the third time might work.

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By purplewolf, January 25, 2012 at 9:54 pm Link to this comment

the full typed page when I click submit claims this page does not exist wow. says sorry, page not found. we dug around and couldn’t find that page for you. but they found it for the censorship comment and maybe this one also

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By purplewolf, January 25, 2012 at 9:52 pm Link to this comment

censorship is alive and well in America

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By rumblingspire, January 25, 2012 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

how can anyone say otherwise?  i think anyone with an ounce of reasoning would notice.
there is a better chance of finding santa at the north pole than there is in finding a real debate among the candidates this year.

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By WR Curley, January 25, 2012 at 7:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Deeply furious that Fidel closed down the mafia
casinos and brothels and the sugar cane slave camps that constituted Baptista’s island paradise, the Yankee Imperium placed a permanent stranglehold on the Cuban economy in @1959.

But the place survived. A tiny, isolated island.
Astonishing. Universal healthcare, universal
education, universal literacy, exporting doctors to the impoverished of the hemisphere, Olympic boxing dominance, Afro-Latin beat gone global…Fidel! Unconquerable.

At any point in the past sixty-odd years he would
have won landslide victories in any honest elections. Everyone knows this.

Fidel! We couldn’t crush the Cubans. God knows we tried.

There’s your superpower. Blow Old Glory up your ass.

Elizabeth House Colorado

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By heterochromatic, January 25, 2012 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

Old Fidel ain’t far from the mark with that.

He’s been a disastrous dictator but he’s damn far from
stupid.

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