Fidel Castro May be Dying

Update: It looks even worse.


The end may be near for Fidel Castro. A Spanish newspaper is reporting he has had three failed surgeries.

The newspaper El Pais cited two unnamed sources from the Gregorio Maranon hospital in the Spanish capital of Madrid. The facility employs surgeon Jose Luis Garcia Sabrido, who flew to Cuba in December to treat the 80-year-old Castro.

Here's a graphic description:

"In the summer, the Cuban leader bled abundantly in the intestine," El Pais reported. "This adversity led him to the operating table, according to the medical sources. His condition, moreover, was aggravated because the infection spread and caused peritonitis, the inflammation of the membrane that covers the digestive organs."

El Pais said that in December, when Garcia Sabrido visited, Castro had an abdominal wound that was leaking more than a pint of fluids a day, causing "'a severe loss of nutrients." The Cuban leader was being fed intravenously, the report said.

Cuba is not confirming the reports.

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    I wish (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by aw on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 07:49:57 AM EST
    he could hang on for another two years.  I doubt the Bushes will show any restraint and stay out of Cuba.  Jeb is out of a job now but maybe he could play viceroy and privatize their assets.  Offshore oil, to start?

    We can only hope (none / 0) (#2)
    by Slado on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 08:16:46 AM EST
    America moving in would be the best thing that could happen to the Cuban people who are forced to live in poverty and drive '55 buicks.  

    Unfortuantely Castro will hang on long enough or his death will be hidden long enough for his brother to assume power and keep the communist goverment afloat another few decades.


    Good thinking Slado. (4.66 / 3) (#3)
    by Edger on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 08:22:33 AM EST
    Maybe bush could deliver freedom and democracy to the Cuban people. Just like he did for the Iraqis?

    let the mob run it (4.66 / 3) (#4)
    by eric on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 08:58:52 AM EST
    America moving in would be the best thing that could happen to the Cuban people

    Yeah, maybe they will benefit just like they were before Castro...

    If we were genuinely concerned about the welfare of the Cuban people, we would lift the embargo.


    '55 Buicks? (none / 0) (#28)
    by Peaches on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 12:24:04 PM EST
    That was a vintage year.

    I can think of a worse fate than being forced to drive 55 Buicks. You know how much just one of them is worth. Forget about oil, Cuba has '55 Buicks!


    I drove a '55 Buick Special for years. Great car. (none / 0) (#29)
    by Bill Arnett on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 12:25:51 PM EST
    fixed Link (none / 0) (#31)
    by Peaches on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 12:29:08 PM EST
    Peaches (none / 0) (#33)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 12:36:31 PM EST
    ahhh the days of our yutes..

    Nice (none / 0) (#56)
    by peacrevol on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 04:29:20 PM EST
    Nice "My Cousin Vinny" reference Jim...

    I try, I try. (none / 0) (#68)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 05:10:42 PM EST
    Peaches (none / 0) (#69)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 05:12:27 PM EST
    I was one third owner of a '55 Roadmaster Convertible. Man, that was a studly machine.

    Perhaps (none / 0) (#39)
    by Al on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 02:13:12 PM EST
    you could address the relation between poverty and the US embargo?

    Tradepffs (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by jondee on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 10:38:24 AM EST
    Gabriel - Lets see how well you maintain your democratic values under 40+ years of relentless, ruthless, pressure (so respectful of "freedom" that), including terrorist attacks, sabotage, attempted assassination, stifling economic blockades etc under the auspices of the most powerful nation on the planet.

    I dont know whether to laugh or cry when I read your hypocritical b.s

    well hell, we're all dying................ (5.00 / 4) (#32)
    by cpinva on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 12:34:29 PM EST
    the real question is, how fast will he go?

    let's see now, we installed batista, an inept, completely corrupt tyrant, so the mafia and the sugar companies could have the run of the place.

    batista gets overthrown by castro & co., with the support of the cuban people (revolutions can't succeed, without the support of at least a fair chunk of the populace), and we immediately slap an embargo on the country.

    instead of causing the population to rebel against castro, it caused them to rally around him, and aim their ire towards, um, well, uh.................us! go figure, those ungrateful bastards!

    instead of dealing with castro (after all, he is only 90 miles away), we let the russians cozy up to him, nearly resulting in wwIII (cuban missile crisis, anyone?). ah, i remember it well, though i was but a young sprout.

    actually, i remember it well, because i was sitting on ground zero: cherry point mcas, nc, jump off point for the 1st marine division. good times, good times................

    of course, let's not forget the ill-fated, ill-conceived attempt, by the cia (can you say "bay of pigs" boys and girls? i knew that you could.), to overthrow castro, along with their multiple efforts to assasinate him. definitely going to win you friends there!

    as well, we opened the flood gates, for every scum bag castro could find in a jail cell (mariel boat lift, anyone?), because we had a policy of letting any cuban, no matter how much of a lowlife, in the country, if they could make it to shore. talk about your uncontrolled immigration!

    our continued embargo not only totally alienated the cuban population, it gave every other country in the world carte blanche to go in and avail themselves of the market: a canadian friend of mine is getting ready to spend two weeks on the beach in cuba, because she can.

    had we not insisted on continuing the embargo, castro and his ilk most likely would have died a quick death. instead, we gave the cuban people a reason to keep him in power: to thumb their collective noses at us.

    no, instead of doing the intelligent thing, and ending the embargo, our gov't has been held hostage, for 47 years, by a small group of very loud, former thugs, from cuba.

    yeah, that was real bright of us, wasn't it?

    darn, i nearly forgot, we have gotten one thing out of it: gitmo! infinite detention, without due process, for all!

    ok, maybe i shouldn't have mentioned that. :)

    cpinva (none / 0) (#67)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 05:09:22 PM EST
    There's a grain or two of truth in what you write, especially the missile crisis... I would have avoided it differently. I would have just sent in the Marines, and some air support at the BOP.

    You also didn't mention that in addition to the missile crisis, Kennedy's failure lead him to send in 800 or so advisors to a place South Vietnam, kill their President and... the rest is history..


    The embargo (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Che's Lounge on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 01:11:15 PM EST
    was a failure anyway. Enough of the Cuban people hated the US backed regime enough to put up with the embargo. Smart people. All it did was deprive innocent people of much needed commodities, and make us look bad and Castro look good.

    Fortunately, the rest of the americas can see through the BS.

    I thought it was the Land of Oz (5.00 / 2) (#103)
    by jondee on Wed Jan 17, 2007 at 10:49:36 AM EST
    More proof that Cuba would be a dictatorship whether the U.S had been trying to dystroy it for forty years or not: they dont have a cure for cancer.

    pp, the worst thing about you being f.o.s is that you're smart enough to know it, which make you not much better than a commissar. Comrade.

    Repression (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by jondee on Wed Jan 17, 2007 at 11:13:08 AM EST
    Anyone who wants to find out what it's like to be "repressed" (possibly permanently), should try debating the some of those swing state Cubans or their coke dealing, ex-Contra compadres.

    No Aaron (3.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Che's Lounge on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 01:04:12 PM EST
    You made a claim of political repression. Yet you refuse to source your data. Which history books? Give me a title. Just one. One source that backs up Castro:

     "systematically murdering every visionary and patriot in the country.  I'll spare you the list, for it is a long one filled with thinkers and doers, doctors and intellectuals, men and women of courage and compassion who loved their country".

    You have been brainwashed Aaron.

    Don't you in fact worked for the Cuban government?  Not much credibility there.  :)


    Do you work for the mafia? Because that's what you advocate.

    Still waitin' (3.00 / 2) (#43)
    by Che's Lounge on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 03:01:32 PM EST
    on those links Aaron.

    Mass graves and your relatives held in prison (none / 0) (#92)
    by Aaron on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 11:03:41 PM EST
    When Castro is gone, and freedom comes to Cuba, they'll begin unearthing the mass graves which the Cuban government have been systematically moving around the country in the hopes of preventing anyone from finding.  But someone will talk, they always do.

    I wonder what you will say when they start digging up those skeletons, by the hundreds and the thousands, and start doing DNA tests to find out who they were.  I wonder how you will be able to rationalize away your support for this murderous coward then.  Will you still be making excuses on that day, repeating the broken rhetoric of a broken revolution.  I bet you will.

    I see no need to try and convince you, I don't imagine anything short of digging up one of your own relatives will do that, and even then you'll still be kissing Fidel's feet and worshiping him like a god.

    I just hope and pray that you're not one of those people whose relatives are being held in prison right now, and you're only writing these things in order to keep your loved one alive.  If that is the case then I apologize, and completely understanding of your position.

    I have no doubt that when you are no longer under such terrible coercion, you will return here and tell us all what you really believe.  Until then, I'll go along if you will help save someone you care about.

    Fidel is my new god, I worship our benevolent leader, and promised to be one of his obedient children, and do my part to promote the only truly free society, fascists pseudo-communism, all hail our imperious leader, Viva la revolution! Viva Fidel!

    What's that I here?  I think it's Che Guevara turning over in his grave, and puking his guts out.


    No freedom for Cuba... (1.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Aaron on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 09:23:37 AM EST
    ... anytime soon, but the passing of this fascist dictator will mean only good things for the Cuban people.  Peritonitis is not a death I would wish on anyone, but everybody has to die from something, and given all the people that Castro murdered over the last 50 years, including the genuine revolutionaries who had a real vision for Cuba's future, I'd say it's long overdue and well-deserved.

    The assertions of some of the ultra leftists who visit this site are rather delusional, as if Castro was some kind of hero preventing capitalism from consuming Cuba.  As if he were a man of real strength and not the two bit murdering thug who stole the island out from under the people of Cuba by systematically murdering every visionary and patriot in the country.  I'll spare you the list, for it is a long one filled with thinkers and doers, doctors and intellectuals, men and women of courage and compassion who loved their country.

    There won't be any invasion of Cuba, even by the Bush administration, that's a fantasy, a fantasy out of the 1950s.  Please try joining us here in the 21st-century.  Now if Cuba had oil, it might be a different story, but that is not the case.  So please give the left-wing rhetoric a rest will you.

    It'll probably take another decade, but Cuba will finally make its way into the modern world, a world where the Cuban people will be free to speak, associate, travel, earn a living and lead their lives the way they see fit, and not be dictated to by some bullying punk tyrant who has maintained his authority at the end of the barrel of a gun.

    Goodbye Fidel, the end of you in your kind is long overdue.

    Google cuba offshore oil (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by aw on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 09:56:35 AM EST
    Now if Cuba had oil, it might be a different story, but that is not the case.

    Cuba does have oil.


    wrong again, eh?? (1.00 / 1) (#11)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 10:02:15 AM EST
    aw - So does Mexico, Venezula, Canada....

    Indeed (none / 0) (#40)
    by Al on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 02:15:05 PM EST
    and it is another major reason for Mexicans, Venezuelans, and Canadians to be very wary of the US.

    Al (1.00 / 1) (#57)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 04:33:06 PM EST
    Yes, we have such a histiry of siezing countries...

    What did Aaron say it?

    ...Join us here in the 21st century..


    Freedom and Democracy in Cuba (1.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Fredo on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 08:11:17 PM EST
    "Maybe bush could deliver freedom and democracy to the Cuban people. Just like he did for the Iraqis?"

    Maybe like JFK did at the Bay of Pigs.

    I don't see how this can be happening in that miracle healthcare system of the Worker's Paradise.

    Offshore oil would be nice.  Alternatively, we could see a continuing increase in the price of petroleum products, including gasoline.  OK by me; I'll just continue to fill my huge SUV with 89 octane and make the twelve-hour roundtrip drive to the ski condo several time each winter.  But I feel sorry for the middle class and the poor, who will be severely harmed as the shortage worsens.

    Sounds nice... (none / 0) (#84)
    by Edger on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 08:20:38 PM EST
    Pick me up in your huge SUV on the way to your condo. That is, if you happen to notice me hitchhiking, fredo. I don't own a car or a condo, so I won't take up much room in your SUV. I'll be carrying everything I own in a small bag, as usual. The computer is getting old so I'll leave it behind for the next tenant. Just look for the tall old guy with the mustache and the white temples.

    Thanks, fredo. Appreciate the lift. Ok if I bring the cat?


    Pick your poison.... (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 09:31:01 AM EST
    A govt. by, of, and for the communist party of Cuba; or a govt. by, of, and for US Sugar Corp.

    Pick your poison....at least one way you get free education and health care.

    Trade-offs (none / 0) (#7)
    by Gabriel Malor on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 09:43:36 AM EST
    They may have received free education and free health care, but they gave up free speech, free religion, and free movement. Oh, also the rights to privacy, life, vote, and due process.

    Besides, America becomes more Cuba-like... (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Bill Arnett on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 12:28:31 PM EST
    ...everyday as we solowly lose our rights to:

    "...the rights to privacy, life, vote, and due process.

    I said it was poison..... (none / 0) (#9)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 09:58:08 AM EST
    I will not defend tyranny in Cuba.

    I will not defend Batista's reign either.

    Like I said...pick your poison.


    kdog...really? (none / 0) (#45)
    by Slado on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 03:28:06 PM EST
    You threw in the bit about healthcare and schooling.

    The "free" health care is sub standard for everyone except the communist elite party members and the education system consists of brainwashing.

    The same can be said of North Korea.   The only reason it's worse is the country isn't in the Carribean and Europeans and Canadians don't travel there.

    You are correct that Batista was bad but that was 50 years ago.   If he'd stuck around don't you think that it'd look more like Mexico instead of the hell hole it is now?  With it's sugar crop, cigars and travel capitalism would have made that place better, instead Castro shut it off from what should have been it's biggest customer to  solidify his power.


    Your comments read like a flyer in south Miami (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by eric on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 03:48:23 PM EST
    Sounds like you've got all of the talking points down.  However, that's just what they are.

    Here's what I see, by way of brief example found via google.

    Despite the embargo by the U.S., which has been devestating, Cuba has the lowest infant mortality rate in the Americas.

    By almost any measure, Cuba meets or exceeds Western standards by providing care to all, for only $251 per person.

    Doesn't sound so sub-standard to me.  And even though it surely isn't paradise, this is what Cuba has been able to achieve despite the best efforts of the U.S.

    Remember, it isn't Castro that cut Cuba off, it was the U.S.


    Slado (none / 0) (#55)
    by Edger on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 04:10:19 PM EST
    The point is that we need to listen to not only what the US Government says about Cuba (or any other country for that matter), but to dig and look at other information sources as well. The US Government, like the Cuban Government and all governments, will emphasize only what is in it own interests to emphasize, and tell you that other sources are bunk. That is bunk itself, as it is when other governments do it.

    kdog (none / 0) (#70)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 05:18:24 PM EST
    Yeah, the health care is so good didn't they fly in doctors for Castro???

    A push?? (none / 0) (#58)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 04:35:50 PM EST
    kdog - You ignore the fact that the revolution was supported because it was supposed to be better than Baatista.

    Appears to me that one group of thugs was replaced by another. Although the second group was much loved by the Left.


    Maybe it is better.... (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 09:13:14 PM EST
    could be even better still without the embargo.  If we cared.  

    I guess I'm radical to think every country has to sort out their own governing.  And that my country should be an even-handed broker of peace and justice...which is simply, sadly, not the case.


    How great can it be... (none / 0) (#111)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 17, 2007 at 02:50:40 PM EST
    I guess common sense tells me if a country doesn't allow you to leave the boarders without state permission it isn't a place I want to live.

    A simple google search yeilds thousands of websites that describe in detail how horrible the Castro regime is.   And theses are not crackpot sites, Amnesty International etc...

    Here a fow "links" that talk about the repression in Cuba.  

    The Real Cuba

    Human rights Watch


    Amnesty International

    Human Rights First

    U.S. State Department


    Unfortunately for Aaron (none / 0) (#10)
    by Che's Lounge on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 09:59:33 AM EST
    Most of the people of the Americas see things somewhat differently these days. I for one would like to see your extensive list of visionaries that Castro supposedly executed, with sources. And we should expect to see PPJ's frayed Babaloo article, the I-knew-a-guy-who-talked-to-a-guy-who-had-an-uncle...

    Aren't you in Cuba right now? (1.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Aaron on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 11:10:11 AM EST
    Don't you in fact worked for the Cuban government?  Not much credibility there.  :)

    As to your question, try reading a history book, oh that's right, it's all capitalist propaganda right?

    Pitiful just pitiful.


    Che (1.00 / 1) (#59)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 04:37:48 PM EST
    Okay, since you brung it up.



    So...... (none / 0) (#12)
    by peacrevol on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 10:06:57 AM EST
    Who will be the next successor after Castro? Will the transition be smooth w/o interferance from other countries?

    His brother, Raul Castro (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Edger on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 10:21:32 AM EST
    MEXICO CITY, Dec. 21 -- Raul Castro has set a surprising new tone for Cuban politics, telling university students in Havana that they should debate "fearlessly" and bring their concerns directly to him.
    And there are quite a few misconceptions about Castro and Cuba under socialism:
    ...we are told that "those caught speaking out against the ailing dictator run the risk of death".
    The real Cuba, while far from a paradise, is light years away from the grim caricature painted by the capitalist media.

    If Cuba was such a prison, as US propaganda has it, with millions wishing to escape to the "free world"--why would Pres. Castro be so willing to send tens of thousands of teachers and doctors around the world with few preconditions? Why his offer to send 1500 physicians to Louisiana to help with the Katrina disaster? Isn't he afraid of defectors embarrassing the revolution?

    As always.... (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 10:38:51 AM EST
    the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

    It ain't as bad as Uncle Sam would have us believe.  It ain't as good as Fidel and Raul would have us believe.


    exactly... (none / 0) (#17)
    by Edger on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 10:59:38 AM EST
    Surely you jest. (1.00 / 1) (#60)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 04:40:03 PM EST
    and bring their concerns directly to him.

    Come into my parlor said the spider to the fly.

    I guess (none / 0) (#16)
    by HeadScratcher on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 10:55:59 AM EST
    It amazes how many "useful idiots" still exist.

    How many Cubans have died or risked death fleeing the island and trying to get a better life? For 40 years?

    And how many of those people are trying to get back?

    Jondee, it must have been the free elections that kept Castro in power all of these years. Or the free press. Or due process.

    Useful idiots...

    And then theres the useless idiots (none / 0) (#18)
    by jondee on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 11:05:14 AM EST

    Btw (none / 0) (#19)
    by jondee on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 11:06:42 AM EST
    Head, please to elaborate on what part of what I wrote was untrue.

    What good is democracy (none / 0) (#21)
    by jondee on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 11:12:10 AM EST
    when Clintons overactive libido is a reason to elect a faux sanctimonious, got-into-college-on-a-legacy, inarticulate twit?

    Jondee - That is sooooooo easy. (1.00 / 1) (#61)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 04:43:23 PM EST

    The person elected is gone in a maximum of eight years, not holding on 40 plus years later

    Jondee (none / 0) (#22)
    by HeadScratcher on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 11:23:58 AM EST
    It doesn't matter why people vote the way they do, it's the fact that (for the most part) they have the freedom to do so.

    So we embargo the island - what does that have to do with political prisoners? what does that have to do with not having a free election in 40 years with a vibrant opposition? freedom of travel? Or correspondence with those outside the island.

    You mentioned attempted assassinations as a reason for fascism: Since Castro has been in power Kennedy has been killed, Ford shot at twice, and Reagan shot. Yet we still have elections, free press, etc... They might not be perfect but you can't honestly compare the two systems with a straight face. Not to mention their economic support from the Soviet Union and now Venezuela.

    And another thing.. (none / 0) (#23)
    by jondee on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 11:25:23 AM EST
    A useful idiot (and moral cretin), is someone who thinks it's alright to conduct foreign policy like a John Gotti extortion racket as long as it dosnt effect them personally.

    Jondee (none / 0) (#24)
    by HeadScratcher on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 11:33:20 AM EST
    Just because Castro is a fascist dictator who supresses freedom in a manner we have no clue about, doesn't mean the other stuff is okay. Are you equating hatred of Castro with approval of our foreign policy? I don't.

    Fascism ist something else (none / 0) (#26)
    by unbill on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 11:44:49 AM EST
    I know that differentiating is not a strong suit in the USA right now, but I like to be very specific when it comes to terminology and defining things. Castro may be a dictator, he may be a communist dictator, but he is not a fascist dictator. Fascism is something else.

    This is the same criticism that I have when people start talking about Islamic fascism. Come on. We can assert our analytic capabilities better than that and use appropriate terms when it comes to defining people and movements. We don't have to label everything bad as "fascism".

    By the way, I cringe in the same way when people call the Bush Administration "fascist".


    Communism, Fascism, labels and practical reality (none / 0) (#36)
    by Aaron on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 01:20:59 PM EST
    Terminology is important especially when governments describe themselves.  In the 1930s, the Nazi party described itself as a socialist movement, but in fact it was nothing more than a dictatorship controlled by one man, or handful of men.  I submit that the Castro regime may describe itself as communist and socialist, but that is a façade no different than the façade created by Hitler or the façade created by Stalin.  Each of those governments were nothing more than dictatorships, fascist dictatorships.  Simply labeling yourself a communist and a socialist is not enough to make it a reality, unless of course you can control the media and the populace with terror, thereby forcing everyone to agree with your definition.  But this is a sham and a lie.

    The Castro regime is no different.  It is run by a handful of men, completely loyal to Fidel Castro, there is no opposition or dissent because just like the Nazis and Stalin, dissenters are taken out and shot, their families are taken out and shot, their friends are taken out and shot.  So there is no one left to dispute the government's definition of itself.

    While Castro and his ilk may not advocate authoritarian hierarchical government, their actions over the last four decades constitute just that.  They are not Communists, as Marx envisioned communism, and while the Cuban economy may be exemplary of a socialist economy, the Cuban government places the tenants of national Socialism secondary to the continuation of a dictatorship which can only be described as operating in a fascist manner.

    So I submit that my description is completely accurate, by any fair assessment made by fair-minded people.  If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, perhaps you can get people to call it an eagle if you're pointing a gun to their head, but ask anyone who isn't being coerced and they'll tell you it's a duck.

    Along this line, I would also submit that genuine communism and genuine socialism have hardly ever existed in the world, at least from a practical perspective.  Throughout 20th-century history,  governments which started out advocating socialist principles in the hopes of gaining the support of the people, quickly deteriorated into dictatorships once these movements reached the seat of power.  Castro is a perfect example of this.  All dictatorships are rooted in fascism and by definition are antithetical to communism, socialism and democracy.

    Perhaps Venezuela's president Hugo Chávez and his regime are one of the few modern examples of genuine socialist government and socialism, socialism which was created and is perpetuated with a mandate from the people.

    Perhaps George Bush and this White House cannot be accurately described as fascist, but they have surely put us on the road towards fascism when they decided to deceive the people in order to pursue their global aims. The Bush administration is filled with people who continually demonstrate fascist tendencies.  Democracies are not immune from these forces, as our founders often reminded us.  We must be ever vigilant, or we will find ourselves ruled by a tyrant one day.


    Fascism (none / 0) (#38)
    by eric on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 02:06:24 PM EST
    Again, you miss the point.  Fascist is not just another word for authoritarian.

    Calling Fidel a fascist is silly on its face.

    Seriously, look up fascism.  Wikipedia has a good entry.

    Many different characteristics are attributed to fascism by different scholars, but the following elements are usually seen as its integral parts: nationalism, authoritarianism, militarism, corporatism, collectivism[2], anti-liberalism, and anti-communism.

    Not really a fitting discription of Cuba or Fidel, is it?


    Aaron?? Bush is???? (none / 0) (#62)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 04:52:35 PM EST
    The Left's continuing display of "Bush evil," coupled with the fact Bush will be gone in two years, effectively in about 15 month, brings to mind that question so ardently asked by that great Southern Philsopher and good time charle, Brother Dave Gardner.

    "What will all the Preachers do when the Devil is saved?"

    You folks slickling up your resumes??


    I want to know what PPJ is slickling up (none / 0) (#71)
    by scarshapedstar on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 05:19:38 PM EST
    If Bush wishes to leave office 9 months before the next guy/gal is inaugurated, that's music to my ears, but I'd like to hear your source. I hope he forgets about the last-minute pardons for basically his entire administration.

    Anyway. I'm still trying to decipher that comment, but it seems you're saying that we ought to all shut up because Bush is almost gone. It's funny, I seem to remember hearing that we ought to get used to him because otherwise it would be a long eight/six/four/two years. Gee, I wonder what might have changed since this November?

    And for extra sh*ts and giggles, does anyone remember when the Republicans pretty much sat on their hands and shut up for the last two years of the Clinton administration? I can't think of any stunts they tried to pull between 1998 and 2000. They were entirely measured and the American people loved them for it. Presumably, they were busy focusing on the threat of terrorism, which paid off when they foiled the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

    That is, here in the alternate dimension populated by PPJ and a bong the size of a Volkswagen.


    scar (none / 0) (#78)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 06:25:18 PM EST
    You mean like Clinton's?List

    BTW - You do understand the meaning of the word, effectively, don't you?


    Yeah, basically (none / 0) (#85)
    by scarshapedstar on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 08:44:51 PM EST
    I don't recall declaring myself a Clinton worshiper at any point. However, Clinton didn't run for office as the anti-Clinton; Bush did. You're not calling Bush a liar, are you?

    scar (none / 0) (#91)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 10:35:54 PM EST
    I seem to remember Bush running against a guy called Gore.

    But I could be wrong.

    And no one is saying you shouldn't say whatever flics your bic.

    Just a suggestion that your enemy grows older, and after he is gone... then what??


    Is he really? (none / 0) (#94)
    by scarshapedstar on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 11:29:42 PM EST
    I've always been of the opinion that Bush is just a figurehead for a variety of very bad actors, most of whom don't even hold an office. And if you read around a bit, or even read TL more thoroughly, you'd discover that "The Left" has plenty to say about Republicans who will be with us for the foreseeable future. I'm sure you've noticed the attacks on John "Pander Bear" "McCain Doctrine" McCain...

    Fascism (none / 0) (#65)
    by scarshapedstar on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 05:03:35 PM EST
    Can only arise in a democracy. Hitler was elected. Fidel was not. You probably view this as an academic distinction, but that's a colossal mistake. Fascism takes root precisely because fascists manage to convince people that nothing has changed; indeed, they portray themselves as traditionalists.

    There is no storming of the president's manor; this would provoke a backlash. There is no formal disbanding of the legislature; this would provoke a backlash. And there is no overt declaration that the Constitution will no longer be followed. That all smacks of revolution, not democracy. And not everyone is willing to follow a revolutionary government.


    Head (none / 0) (#25)
    by jondee on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 11:42:33 AM EST
    I mentioned attempted assassinations, AND terrorist attacks, extensive sabotage, crop damage, embargo, and, I might add, an almost non-stop campaign of psychological terrorism involving disinformation, direct threats, etc. But most importantly, all conducted by a preeminent world power against a nation with the absolute bare minimum of means to defend itself. Until you have a dirct experience of what it means to live under that kind of threat, I dont think you're really in a position to compare what goes on in the U.S to what has occurred in Cuba.

    One attack here and we've already had one major media outlet and many of the posters here begin equating anyone opposed to the current administration with "our enemies".

    As well as a prez more Castro-like EVERYDAY. (none / 0) (#27)
    by Bill Arnett on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 11:56:00 AM EST
    jondee (none / 0) (#37)
    by HeadScratcher on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 01:26:50 PM EST
    Why do the Cuban sports teams and entertainers travel with people who make sure they don't defect? Why would that even be a concern?

    Arturo Sandoval, anyone?

    Viva (none / 0) (#41)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 02:37:48 PM EST
    Miguel Valdés Tamayo

    The repression also reaches to the relatives of the dissidents and independent journalists, to those who not only it is commited to them to leave his jobs, but also its training centers.

    28.08.2006 - Independent journalist Juan Carlos Herrera Acosta sowed up his mouth for the second time this year on 6 August in protest against inhumane treatment and the lack of medical attention in Kilo 8 prison in the eastern city of Camagüey, where he is serving a 20-year prison sentence, the Miami-based website Payolibre reported.

    Cuba's not the only one (none / 0) (#42)
    by aw on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 02:53:24 PM EST
    We put dissident, elderly nuns and Quakers in jail for protesting at the School of the Americas.

    aw (none / 0) (#77)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 06:20:22 PM EST
    If I remember correctly they also attacked some missile sites and other military installations.

    So they got due process and convicted.

    What do you think would have happened in Cuba?

    And how many nuns were jailed?

    Your attempt at moral equivalency is a standard defense of the Left. They used it for years when defending the Soviets.


    Two Nuns from Iowa were sent post cards (none / 0) (#90)
    by JSN on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 10:27:24 PM EST
    telling them when to report to prison. I think they were transferred to probation fairly quickly. What they were convicted of was refusing to leave the area in front of the gate at the military base. My recollection is that some of the persons protesting may have approached the gate of fence.

    I once drove past a military base in NY and saw a group of about twenty women underneath a large tie-dyed cloth approaching the gate. They looked like a giant amoeba. What I remember about the incident was that the officer and the guards were having a difficult time keeping straight faces.


    Maybe he'd be more comfortable in (none / 0) (#44)
    by Edger on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 03:04:45 PM EST
    a 'humane' prison run by a 'free' country?

    Maybe Abu Ghraib? Or how about Guantanamo Bay? I hear the 'medical attention' is state of the art in Gitmo.


    I don't understand (none / 0) (#48)
    by Slado on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 03:35:05 PM EST
    the need for the left to defend Cuba by equating it's crimes to those it percieves are commited by this country.

    It's as if they feel they cannot judge the obvious but instead must mire themselves in their percieved injustices being commited by their own country.

    All the things that this site consistantly complains could happen if the Bush administration continues it's assult on the constitution have been happening on a daily basis in Cuba for 50 years.

    But anyone who points out the obvious is told to be quiet because the real injustices might happen here.  

    Last time I checked the democrats control congress, bush is out in 23 months.    Long after bush is gone the Cuban people will continue to suffer but who cares.   Democrats/liberals would rather deal in the hypothetical.

    I don't understand.


    Show where anyone has told anyone to be quiet. (none / 0) (#49)
    by Edger on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 03:41:46 PM EST
    No one has "defend[ed] Cuba by equating it's crimes to" anything. What you perceive that way is illustration that Cuba under Castro is not the (relatively speaking) evil place it is painted as by US propaganda, and that life there is in many, if not most, cases no worse than life in the US.

    But as kdog mentioned (none / 0) (#51)
    by Edger on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 03:51:00 PM EST
    the truth lies somewhere in the middle
    Cubans Show Little Satisfaction with Opportunities and Individual Freedom

    Rare Independent Survey Finds Large Majorities Are Still Proud of Island's Health Care and Education

    Forty-eight years after Fidel Castro entered Havana at the head of a triumphal guerrilla army, Cubans in the island's largest cities are still proud of his revolutionary government's achievements in health care and education but they express little satisfaction when asked questions about their personal freedoms and daily life.

    About three-quarters are positive about their country's education and healthcare systems but only one quarter say they are happy with "their freedom to choose what to do with their life."

    Cubans are also divided about the communist state that has ruled the island nation for nearly five decades. A little less than half (47%) say they approve of their government and 40 percent say they disapprove. Approval is highest among those aged 55 to 59 (61%) and lowest among young adults aged 25 to 29 (38%).

    A little less than half (47%) say they approve of their government and 40 percent say they disapprove?

    Contrast that with approval/disapproval ratings for the current US Government.


    BTW - re the above poll (none / 0) (#53)
    by Edger on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 03:54:05 PM EST
    CID-Gallup president Carlos Denton said interviewers did not request government permission to carry out the poll and that Cuban officials did not interfere with their work. As a precaution, however, the survey teams sent out their results every night over the internet and burned the individual questionnaires.

    Edger (none / 0) (#64)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 05:00:48 PM EST
    Contrast that with approval/disapproval ratings for the current US Government.

    Are you familar with the expression:

    Complaining with your mouth full?

    Slado (none / 0) (#63)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 04:57:04 PM EST
    The Left will find a new American villian while ignoring the sins of those that will be happy to dispatch them to that great Blog in the Sky.

    you're right ppj (none / 0) (#112)
    by Slado on Thu Jan 18, 2007 at 11:21:13 AM EST
    They claim they don't equte them I guess they simply ignore them saying that we shouldn't judge dictatorships like Cuba when we are apparently living in such a horrible country.  

    Castro is so obviously horrible maybe they can't comprehend what a real dictator is like so they simply ignore it.


    SUO (none / 0) (#46)
    by Che's Lounge on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 03:29:08 PM EST
    You may want to peruse this article. some selected quotes:

    In a report by Nueva Prensa, Rivero's wife Blanca Reyes said her husband was accused of working on behalf of James Cason, who heads the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, which is similar to an embassy.

    Two government infiltrators who pretended to be journalists corroborated stories of Rivero's meetings with Cason.

    Well there's a novel idea. Government infiltrators posing as journalists. Did you read that?

    "These people are working for the American government, which maintains an economic embargo against Cuba with the only goal of hurting the 11 million people on the island," Hernandez said. "Obviously, they are mercenaries for the U.S. government."

    As for whether the United States funnels money to dissident groups on the island, Mike Anton, spokesman for the National Security Council, said it does as part of a "pro-democracy outreach in Cuba." Anton did not specify how much money has been donated to these groups, but Hernandez placed that number at around $20 million.

    Pro democracy outreach.

    Yeah, right.

    Pro democracy outreach? (none / 0) (#47)
    by Edger on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 03:34:34 PM EST
    Didn't Hyman Roth and Michael Corleone have the same idea? That was fiction too, I think...

    Che (none / 0) (#52)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 03:52:36 PM EST
    Interesting article, thanks.

    Che (none / 0) (#72)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 05:27:57 PM EST
    You ignore the fact that, even if these reports are true, they wouldn't exist without Castro's government.

    Jim (none / 0) (#73)
    by Che's Lounge on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 05:49:37 PM EST
    You ignore the fact that, even if these reports are true, they wouldn't exist without Castro's government.

    Do you actually believe that Cuba is the ONLY country in which this happens? LOL

    Google National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, etc. And that's just the ME.

    Che (none / 0) (#75)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 06:12:42 PM EST
    Che - I repeat. If Cuba was a liberal democracy, if the claims are eveb true, this wouldn't be happening.

    Castro's Cuba was and is a dictatorship. That's just a fact. All the other arguments are just irrelevant. They wouldn't be there without that single undeniable fact.


    SUO (none / 0) (#74)
    by Che's Lounge on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 06:03:22 PM EST
    I wish I was wrong. I don't relish pointing these things out. After 30+ years of pointing out the hypocrisy of the embargo, pre packaged false pontifications with NO FACTS seem to be the MO for most Castro haters. But mindless diatribes like Aaron's

     ( So I submit that my description is completely accurate, by any fair assessment made by fair-minded people.)

    with NO FACTS to back them lack any semblance of credibility.

    Che (none / 0) (#76)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 06:14:51 PM EST
    What you are doing, time after time, is supporting a dictatorship. Your reason appears to be that said dictatorship is in opposition to the US.

    I would think you would want a better reason.


    You've supported plenty of tyrants (none / 0) (#80)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 07:19:47 PM EST
    Claiming the urgent necessity of the times demanded it.  All that is left is who you supported and how they stack up.

    In short, the scales of dictator-loving are level; the scale of the dictators in question is not.


    All of us ARE dying (none / 0) (#79)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 07:15:40 PM EST
    Fidel's just a little closer to the toaster than he would be otherwise.

    To say the aftermath of his death will be interesting is to understate; to say we could completely f*ck it up FOR them is to understand.


    Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death (none / 0) (#81)
    by Aaron on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 07:53:17 PM EST
      As someone who grew up in South Florida and lived there for more than 35 years, and someone who has known Cubans who escaped from the island, there is one overriding theme you will hear from everyone who flees Cuba.  There is no freedom, no freedom whatsoever, no freedom of speech, no freedom of the press, no freedom of expression, in the arts, business or government.  Everything is dictated, dictated by the fascist dictator.  I've never met a Cuban, or even heard of one in the Miami-Dade and Broward County area who thought things were good and Cuba, or wanted to go back there and live under Castro.  Not one ever.

    I've always been a bit amused by Cubans who see their island country as a nation equivalent to nations like Russia and China.  In fact it is just an island, little different than the other large islands in the Caribbean, like Jamaica and Hispaniola.  It is the largest, but just an island nonetheless.  The reason that Cuba is still a fascist dictatorship under Castro, is that it simply just isn't that important, economically or politically.  The only people who really care about Cuba, for the most part, are Cubans.  

    The people and governments of South America and North America are little concerned with the problems of this island.  It's just not important enough to bother with, just is Haiti and the Dominican Republic are not important enough to bother with.  If Cuba did have a serious natural resource base, which they do not, the United States would have made a point of ousting Castro from power years ago.  In the 1960s the US could have invaded the island and destroyed the Cuban military within a matter of months, today the US military could overcome the Cuban Defense forces within a matter of weeks.  Unfortunately for the Cuban people there isn't anything there of value, beyond real estate, for the US or anyone else to be interested in.  This is why the Cuban people remain in bondage, and make no mistake everyone on that island is in bondage.  In a very real sense the whole island is one big prison.  The conditions there may be good for some, though if you look at pictures of people from Cuba, notice how emaciated their arms and legs are, this is from a lack of protein.  But even if everyone were eating well and had everything their hearts desired, without freedom, the freedom to do what you want, be what you want, go where you want, you're still in prison.

    It's hard to believe that any liberal or left-leaning person, which I am according to some, would for one moment entertain supporting a dictatorship which oppresses its people, kills its people, inprisons its people, without any of the basic protections those of us in democracies take for granted.

    I must conclude that those who support Castro, on this blog and out in the world, are either paid propagandists for the Castro regime, or people who are obviously tragically misinformed.  People who let their political views reshape what their eyes see, and there ears here, and there hearts feel.

    The people of Cuba are crying out for freedom, but no one is listening, no one is interested, at least beyond furthering their own political agenda.  The children who are growing up in Cuba, may have passable medical care, and just barely enough to eat, and they may get an education.  But when they reach adulthood, there is nothing for them, no place to go, nothing to do, no future.  The best they can hope for is an agricultural job, working in the fields, or working for the state, not making enough money to even have a place to live and buy food.  No matter what their position, other than being a confidant of Fidel, individuals in Cuba are not allowed to choose what they do with their life.  Something that is almost unimaginable even for people who live in some of the worst most depressed economic areas of the globe.

    Anyone here remember the Cuban revolution, I don't, because I hadn't been born yet.  But it's my understanding that this revolution, like almost every other popular revolution was intended to free the people from tyrannical control and ultimately improve their lives.  I submit that people want to take care of themselves and their own as best they can without interference from anyone.  Nobody wants to live their lives for the state, other than politicians and people who wish to go into service voluntarily.  

    It seems that some here would make the argument that it's OK to live your life being controlled and told what to do by a government.  Here in the free world, we called that institutionalized thinking, the kind of behavior that usually demonstrated by convicts, mental patients and the survivors of horrific trauma.  Here in the land of freedom, the state only inflicts its control over you either as punishment or for your own good if you can't take care of yourself.  Castro would have everyone believe that only he is capable of taking care of people, and he's doing it for their own good.  I hate dictators, I want to overthrow them wherever I find them, doesn't that make me a revolutionary?

    I can't even imagine what it would be like to have people from my local government directing my life, the very thought is terrifying.  Imagine people in a position to be able to use force on you, like the police, coming to your house and say you're going to be a dairy worker, who gets up in the morning at 2 a.m., and takes care of the cows until the afternoon, then you're going to work as an automotive mechanic until the early evening, then it's eat and off to bed, and tomorrow you get to wake up and do the same thing, endlessly.  But at least you have the satisfaction of knowing, your sacrifice has helped the state.  Please!

    Now I did something like that in my life once, but I have to say that those things didn't really appeal to me, so I moved on to other things, things that I thought would be more satisfying and lucrative, things that would allow me to expand my life, education was a part of this.  But when I got my education, I had a lot of people telling me what I should do what I should study and what would give me a career in the current economy.  Thankfully I didn't listen to any of them, and I figured out what I wanted to do with my life.  I can only imagine how unhappy and unsatisfied I would feel if I had been forced to go into a career, simply because it was what society needed, and I was convenient to fill that position.

    You know what screw that? The last time anyone told me what to do, that was my parents.  Once I became of age, no one ever told me what to do again, and that means that I am responsible for my life, and at least I can look on my life and say I did what I thought was right for myself, because it's my life and no one else's.  Even if my decisions lead to my doom, I'll take that any day over having someone else lead me like a child through my life until at the end I get to look back and think about what could have been, what should have been. People in that position live their life on their knees, that's the reason revolutions happen in the first place, to free people of that kind of control. So in the larger view, the Cuban revolution is not only a monumental failure, a monumental fascist failure :-), in its failure it in fact achieved the very antithesis, the opposite of what the people who mounted the revolution intended, and that was a better life for the people of the island.    

    Now I understand some of you prefer that kind of life, a life where you are constantly told what to do, a life for you are told what to think, and how to feel.  I recognize that people like this exist, but I really can't relate to you, and I feel deeply sorry for you. But hey I come from a country whose founders said "give me liberty or give me death."  And I entirely agree with that declaration.

    Have you spent time in Cuba Aaron? (none / 0) (#82)
    by Edger on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 08:05:45 PM EST
    Well Aaron - (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by Edger on Wed Jan 17, 2007 at 12:31:54 AM EST
    It's been 5 hours, and since you've posted elsewhere in this thread I'll assume you have no intention of answering, so I'll ask a few more.

    Why all the bother of typing all that? Why not just post a link to the handiest anti-Castro propaganda document? Or did you have fredo and ppj ghost write that for you for practice? It's quite obvious that "The last time anyone told [you] what to do..." was today , and yesterday, and the day before, and every day your entire life. And you've swallowed it all bud: hook, line, and sinker.

    You speak of having "known Cubans who escaped from the island, there is one overriding theme you will hear from everyone who flees Cuba."

    That's your strongest argument? From people who didn't like it there and left, never to return? What did you expect them to say to you? That they would leave, and then tell you they liked the place? Ask any expatriot concientious objector to the Viet Nam war who's lived in Canada or some other country for thirty five or forty years what his opinion of the US Government is, and you'll get the same answer. And you know what? He'd be partly right, and partly wrong. But he wouldn't admit that and he'd justify his opinion with the most negative claptrap he could repeat, to justify keeping his mind closed too. That's human nature.

    Go visit Cuba, Aaron. Then come back and speak from some balanced personal experience. You may come back with your opinions justified, or you may not. But until then you're just regurgitating hot air. Not even smoke. It's too transparent to be smoke...

    I'm not surprised you didn't, or couldn't bring yourself to, answer my one simple yes or no question.


    Simple question for you, but I'm on the lamb (1.00 / 1) (#108)
    by Aaron on Wed Jan 17, 2007 at 01:10:33 PM EST
    Hard to keep track of all the comments being posted here, but when I find a question worth responding to, I usually do.

    Perhaps I have been to Cuba, perhaps not.  I don't think it would be wise of me to start talking about such experiences since I don't use a pseudonym, or hide behind a fabricated identity like so many on the Internet (not that that will protect you).  I post comments under my own name, and at times there are repercussions.  I don't need any more visits from US government entities, they get on my nerves.  As I've said before, this site is watched, as are many others.  The Bush administration takes a special interest in those who might undermine their interests, by lets say doing things like calling George W. Bush a traitor to the Republic.  

    I suppose I can tell you guys, that I am currently on the run from the Bush administration's secret police here in America, having been forced to flee my home after I got word from a reliable source that they were setting me up to take a fall.  I know you lefty Castro lovers will enjoy hearing that, seeing as how it ties into your concept of Third World baby eating Americans, but I still believe in my country, even though I'm writing these comments on a stolen Blackberry from an underpass somewhere in the Midwest, I still believe, even though I'm freezing to death in this weather.  But that's another story.

    As the lawyers who visit this site will confirm, from a legal standpoint it's not wise to start talking about violations of federal law, like visiting Cuba, under such circumstances, I don't need any more charges piled on me.  I'll just say that I've spent some time in the Caribbean, and on the waters around Cuba, maintaining the 12 mile boundary of course.  At sea I've run into Cuban fisherman, the Cuban Coast Guard, and refugees from Cuba and other places like Haiti, perhaps I even helped some of them reach US shores, another violation of federal law, one that I would be proud to admit to, if I weren't afraid of the long prison sentences that go along with admitting something like that.  But after you see a few pregnant women washed up along the shore after they drowned trying to reach America, I suspect that some of you would do the same thing.  So maybe I have something of an inside view as to what was happened along the northern and eastern coasts of Cuba in the late 90s and the 80s as well.  Also, anyone with a boat who lives in South Florida, can go to Cuba, all you need is a non-US passport, and I have friends who are not Americans.

    So you can take my words as BS, or perhaps the words of someone who's had experiences that you can't read about on the Internet.

    Cuba is a very nice place, a beautiful island to be sure, but I wouldn't want to live there under the current circumstances, because I like to eat, and eat well.  In Cuba the people eat rice and beans, plantains bananas fruits and vegetables but they don't get much protein, like chicken and beef, not even much fish and shellfish even though this is an island with rich plentiful waters surrounding it,.  Many poor people in Cuba eat rats to supplement their diet.

     Visitors to Cuba eat filet mignon, lobster and Stone crab cheap, as I'm sure Castro does as well, they get all the best quality organically grown vegetables, and can get all the fresh milk thay want.  But often the children of Cuba are forced to rely upon powdered milk supposedly provided by Fidel but powdered milk that in fact comes from the World Health Organization and other international providers, milk that usually originates in United States, US taxpayers are the ones who really support the children of Cuba.  Also women are cheap in Cuba, prostitutes abound, and US dollars are like gold even though they're illegal.  According to Castro, women who become prostitutes enjoy sex too much, but I'd say that they enjoyed eating and not living like dogs too much.  

    Walking through the poorest parts of Havana, and surrounding areas, the places that are very hard for tourists to get into, the places that news cameras or anyone with cameras are not allowed to go, those places are little better than what you will find outside Port-au-Prince in Cité-Soleil Haiti (another place I haven't been to, at least as far you know).  The difference is that anyone can go to Haiti with their cameras and take pictures, though almost no one does, but in Cuba if you're caught documenting the slums and the poor people, you'll go to prison if you're a Cuban citizen, and Cuban prisons make the worst super max jails in America and the Guantánamo detention facility look like country clubs by comparison. The inmates there supplement their diet with cockroaches, yummy.

     If you are a visitor or a errant tourist and you get caught taking pictures, you'll probably just be detained, and have your recordings confiscated and destroyed, but if you see too much, a crackdown by the Cuban police lets say, maybe you'll just disappear, if you're not important enough to matter to anyone.  The Socialist Cuban paradise simply doesn't exist for most Cubans, and the island has all the problems of capitalist countries, the Cuban government just denies them.

    No doubt there is order in Cuba, very strict order that the people dare not challenge, but I would rather live in Haiti any day over Cuba, because even with all its disorder, crime poverty and death at least you can be your own person, an individual, with the chance of making something better for yourself.  I don't think anyone in Cuba really has that chance today.  That's the kind of world I hear being defended on this site, a surreal world out of a Kafka novel at its worst.  I think that if you guys had a chance to go there and live there and see what it's like, your minds would be changed very quickly. But I suspect that some of you who comment here are already there, and getting extra ration cards for posting some of drivel I've read. :-)

    Viva El Caballo, long live the fascist dictator who holds his people in bondage...

    ...until he dies from peritonitis that is, oh yeah!


    IOW (none / 0) (#109)
    by Edger on Wed Jan 17, 2007 at 01:16:02 PM EST
    "No". But I guess it's a bit hard to get out while peaking. You and fredo use the same dealer? ;-)

    I agree (none / 0) (#86)
    by aw on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 08:51:23 PM EST
    I'll take that any day over having someone else lead me like a child

    I also don't want to be herded or tracked like an animal.


    I knew it! (none / 0) (#105)
    by eric on Wed Jan 17, 2007 at 11:07:41 AM EST
    As someone who grew up in South Florida and lived there for more than 35 years,

    Ok, you have to give me credit... I suggested that your comments read like a anti-cuba flyer from south Florida in my comments above.  I was pretty close, wasn't I!


    LOL (none / 0) (#88)
    by Che's Lounge on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 09:23:04 PM EST
    You know what screw that? The last time anyone told me what to do, that was my parents.

    What a toughguy you are! I'm impressed. But just a few questions:

    Never been stopped by a cop?

    Never been told to wait in line?

    Ever been through airport security?

    Never been told to pull up to the next window?

    Idealistic claptrap. How old ARE you? 14?

    People are telling you what to do on an HOURLY basis in this land, despite your self-proclaimed independence.


    Good thing (none / 0) (#89)
    by Che's Lounge on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 09:34:45 PM EST
    Emergency surgery on 80 year olds NEVER goes wrong the the Clueless States of America. To be honest, considering the quality of care I've professionally worked with in the US, I'm surprised Castro lasted as long as he did. Did the GI docs in the update article go to the Bill Frist Scool of Medicine? No?

    Then they are just beating off with their opinions just like Frist.

    We all gotta go sometime. Castro is a hero to millions more people than he is not. Personally, I don't have heroes. But I do love an underdog. And despise stupid bullies. For a great example, go to Youtube and search for "Cityslicker-gun" I think I saw Aaron driving the truck! It's scary at first but quite satisfying at the end. Sorry I could not link it but I'm on an antique work computer.

    Using one of those surplus Soviet computers... (1.00 / 1) (#95)
    by Aaron on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 11:35:18 PM EST
    ... from the 1980s huh?  :)

    I'm very sorry, I did not mean to upset you so.  And I forgive you for your personal attacks upon me, now that I realize you're just trying to protect those you love who are imprisoned behind the sugarcane curtain there in Cuba.

    For their sake, I have reversed my position, I now embrace communism and the people's revolution, and throw myself at the feet of our benevolent father Fidel, my hero and savior.

    Viva la revolution!

    Viva El Jefe Maximo!

    Down with the decadent capitalist exploiters!

    Let me know if your relatives get their extra rations, and those Red Cross packages which are being withheld.  If not I will come here again and restate my declaration of loyalty for El Comandante.


    so jim, tell me where i was false. (none / 0) (#93)
    by cpinva on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 11:05:38 PM EST
    btw, eisenhower sent military advisors to vietnam, long before kennedy was elected.

    aaron, slado, jim, it seems you are being intentionally ignorant. surprised? nah, it's typical.

    the single worst thing the u.s. did, after castro tossed batista out like the trash he was, was place an embargo on cuba. stupid, beyond all comparison. possibly the worst foreign policy decision we ever made, in the americas.

    it instantly gave castro credibility, and a convenient target for the people's ire. they were already ticked off at us, for supporting batista, so we went and legitimized castro. yeah, real smart work there.

    castro was able to point to the embargo, when complaints were registered about the cuban's standard of living.

    most of the cubans who initially fled, in 1959, were batista cronies. sorry, i've got no sympathy for them or their families, they were just as much thugs as batista and castro.

    is cuba a democracy under castro? not that i'm aware of. of course, it wasn't under batista either, it was essentially fascist. you know, the corporate thing and all. in truth, dictatorships tend to start looking alike after a while, the only difference is who's benefiting.

    as far as the lack of freedom under castro, again, what difference does it make who's shooting you, you're still dead.

    oddly, for smart guys, marx & hegel neglected to take into account that most basic of human traits: greed.

    this probably explains why there's never been a successful, purely socialistic society. who knows, with the passing of fidel, and the discontent of the young, there might be some changes. of course, if we continue to refuse direct communication and trade with them, we'll miss that boat again.

    cpinva (4.00 / 0) (#101)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jan 17, 2007 at 08:36:18 AM EST
    Why the insult? Hard to have a civil discourse with you.

    Eisenhower also refused to support the French, although some say he wanted to but Congressional leaders, secretly refused.

    I said some "grains of truth." I agree that we should never have placed an embargo on Cuba. They typically don't work unless supported by the whole world.

    My solution would have been a military one. That the Soviets would have established a base in Cuba if we did not act was a foregone conclusion.

    As it was we had the worst of both worlds. Kennedy wouldn't follow through on Eisenhower's plans and let people die on the beaches. Worse, that action showed weakness to the Soviets and we almost wound up in WWIII. Like you, I remember it very well. I too was packed and ready to go. The media gave him a crown for his staring down the Soviets when actually he gave up some very important bases in Turkey.

    Even worse, it did encourage him to increase the number of advisors in South Vietnam, and kill their President.

    At that point the dye was cast. We went from a passive containment policy to an active one. From a global view I would say it was, in the long run, a good thing. You can argue either way.

    You run into trouble when you claim that ALL those who fled were Bastia's friends. That simply is not true. What also was lost was a huge portion of the professional middle class, and of course the thousands killed, tortured and imprisoned by Castro and Che. I note you do not mention them.


    That simply is not true. (none / 0) (#110)
    by Edger on Wed Jan 17, 2007 at 02:41:28 PM EST
    You run into trouble when you claim that ALL those who fled were Bastia's friends.

    You run into trouble when you attribute words to someone that they did not say, Jim.

    There is a word for doing that. It's no wonder you have trouble having "a civil discourse" with anyone.


    cpinva, good call (none / 0) (#99)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Wed Jan 17, 2007 at 12:59:57 AM EST
    The U.S. policy against Cuba is a perfect example of the way our "leaders" give property a higher priority than people's lives no matter how bad it makes us look to the rest of the world.

    The real kicker of course is that we are told of how bad the civil liberties situation is in Cuba and how repressive the Castro regime is, yet if we decided to go and see for ourselves we would be thrown in jail because it is has been made illegal for us to travel there!

    There is no limit to the hypocrisy of our very own goobers in government/media.


    DISARM Cuban Medical Project (none / 0) (#96)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Wed Jan 17, 2007 at 12:26:36 AM EST
    I'm not sure about the details in the article. Remember that the U.S. put out he was dying of terminal cancer a couple weeks ago.

    Anyone interested in helping ease the worst aspects of the embargo (shortages of medical supplies) are urged to go to this website:

    DISARM/Cuban Medical Project

    and make a generous contribution. I've been supporting them for over 10 years now and I know they are definitely making a difference.

    He probably didn't (none / 0) (#98)
    by Edger on Wed Jan 17, 2007 at 12:40:56 AM EST
    and doesn't, have cancer.

    Ernesto (none / 0) (#100)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jan 17, 2007 at 07:58:03 AM EST
    I thought they had the world's best medical system?

    No Jim (none / 0) (#102)
    by Che's Lounge on Wed Jan 17, 2007 at 08:40:44 AM EST
    You are once again twisting things. The medical care is very good, and infant mortality is lower than here. Please provide quotes to back your claim anyone said it was the BEST. Desperation does not become you, but we're used to it.

    Aaron, just as long as no one TOLD you to do it.

    Just keep passing on the propoganda... (none / 0) (#113)
    by Slado on Thu Jan 18, 2007 at 11:28:20 AM EST
    There is a two tier medical system in Cuba.  One for rich tourists paid in dollars and one for the "people".

    Did you add the state sponsored abortions into your mortality rate by the way?

    And why would you trust the statistics of a goverment controlled media and system?  I guess we wouldn't put it past the communists to lie would we.


    Cuban Healthcare


    ppj (none / 0) (#104)
    by jondee on Wed Jan 17, 2007 at 11:06:32 AM EST
    Lets see you refute Dadlers point.

    Sooo (none / 0) (#107)
    by jondee on Wed Jan 17, 2007 at 11:18:07 AM EST
    Soooo easy for some to get their comments put in the proper chronological order. Interesting.