Fidel Says No To Liberty In Cuba

The other day I wrote about President Obama's exhortation to Cuba to move towards democratic reforms. My conclusion was "[w]ill it happen? No. Will the embargo be lifted? No. I could be wrong of course." the first evidence is that, via Dylan Matthews, I am not wrong:

. . . Obama called on Cuba to release political prisoners and reduce taxes on remittances from the U.S. That appeared to enrage Fidel Castro, 82, who wrote in an essay published Wednesday that Obama "without a doubt misinterpreted Raul's declarations." The former president appeared to be throwing a dose of cold water on growing expectations for improved bilateral relations suggesting Obama had no right to dare suggest that Cuba make even small concessions. He also seemed to suggest too much was being made of Raul's comments about discussing "everything" with U.S. authorities.

Speaking for me only

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    Fidel (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 11:50:20 AM EST
    ain't gonna live forever.....

    We probably said something similar (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by magster on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:34:09 PM EST
    in 1962.

    True (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:53:54 PM EST
    But now he's in his 80s and in poor health. I think our odds are better than in '62.

    I guess Raul isn't really the main man (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 12:01:41 PM EST
    after all.

    Or Raul is (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by CoralGables on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 11:38:10 PM EST
    and Fidel is a little like Dick Cheney out of office

    Sure we're in fine shape to be (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by SOS on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 12:09:06 PM EST
    lecturing others just today in today's news we have people who are now hijacking refrigerator semi trucks here in the U.S. and stealing the food.

    Right out of (none / 0) (#5)
    by SOS on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 12:10:26 PM EST
    Mad Max

    and that has (none / 0) (#6)
    by cpinva on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 12:11:50 PM EST
    what to do with the difference between a dictatorship and a democracy, exactly?

    I was going to say (none / 0) (#7)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 12:20:11 PM EST
    I mean we have problems but making it seem like the US is on the same level as Cuba is a bit much- I mean Turkey, Brazil, Colombia, India- I can see the US having fallen to there on the political freedom scale, but Cuba- um, no- there's a reason Cuba imprisons people who try to leave while we (unfortunately) do the same to those trying to enter.

    You really think we live in a democracy? (none / 0) (#14)
    by Romberry on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:11:51 PM EST
    I think we now live in an illusion of a democratic republic. The laws of a republic apply to everyone equally. That doesn't seem to be the case here. And in a democratic republic, you'd expect that the needs and interests of the people would be first and foremost in the minds of lawmakers. You think that the people sleeping in tents in Sacramento, the squatters in foreclosed homes in Florida and the hungry kids across America get even 1 percent of the attention of our legislators? Really?

    As far as dictators, if and when the people of Cuba want a different government, they will have a different government.

    Castro may not be democratic, but Cuba, for all its problems (and there are many) imprisons a much smaller portion of their populace than we do right here in the land of the free. The people get education (Cuba's literacy rate dwarfs our own), access to health care (check their infant mortality vs. the US for an eye opener) and are in many ways far better off than some "free" countries not just in the Caribbean but around the world.

    Like I said, when the Cuban people are ready for a new government, they will have it. Right now, word gets back that more than a few of those who have come to the "Land of the Free" find that it isn't really so free.

    If we want to help the Cuban people and give them the best chance to choose their own future, we ought to end the silly embargo and lift travel restrictions entirely. Look at China. Communist country. Political prisoners. (Of course we have political prisoners ourselves, but I digress...) What else? Oh yeah...open travel and most favored nation trade status. No inconsistency there...


    Most people on here (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 06:30:41 PM EST
    are for some degree of normalization of trade relations with Cuba- but to equate the level of Democracy in the US with that "enjoyed" on the Island is ludicrous.

    Boy (none / 0) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:57:18 PM EST
    It seems impossible for some of you not to be apologists for a brutal dictator.



    Not an apologist. (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Romberry on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 03:42:19 PM EST
    I just know that Castro was able to rise to power with a ragtag band of revolutionaries who were heavily outgunned...because his revolution had popular support. And I'm pretty sure that the lives of the vast majority of Cubans got better after Batista was gone. (It isn't like Cuba was a democracy before Castro, and it isn't like Batista wasn't a cruel dictator impoverishing his people and ignoring their basic needs.) And I'm pretty sure that when the Cuban people are ready (en masse) for a new form of government, they will have it. And I'm also pretty sure that the best way to make the lives of Cubans better that is in the power of the US government right now at this moment is to do away with all trade and travel restrictions. Cuba is no threat to us.

    Look up "apologist" in the dictionary (none / 0) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 04:04:37 PM EST
    There is a picture of you.

    Not in my edition. (none / 0) (#42)
    by Romberry on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 04:10:02 PM EST
    Guess mine must be too old. :)

    Seriously BTD, we just come at this from different points of view.


    How about Castro (none / 0) (#46)
    by Wile ECoyote on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 05:11:05 PM EST
    letting Cubans have access to say the internet, how about letting them travel from Cuba to well, you name a country they can go to.  How about Castro letting them say and do and read and view what they would like.  

    Yon know (none / 0) (#48)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 06:24:09 PM EST
    Mao and Lenin both overcame incredibly long odds that doesn't mean they were in the right- The Czarists (not the mensheviks who most analysts believe would have been a far better option) and the Nationalists were extraordinarily brutal- again those actions don't excuse brutality on the part of the Communists. Heck, lets use our own example the British were cruel and tyrannical and in large part exploited not just the colonists but also the Native Americans- that doesn't make the Trail of Tears and Slavery suddenly morally acceptable parts of our history.  Seriously, overcoming extraordinarily long odds doesn't make a leader right by any means- not to go all Godwin but youknowwho and the Youknowwhats party didn

    Next up (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 07:14:30 PM EST
    a long discussion on all the brutality and political repression practiced by so many of our "good trading partners". Not.

    Actually yep (none / 0) (#59)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 07:38:30 PM EST
    You and others are the only apologists for dictators.

    I condemn them all - and yet also discard trade sanctions as a weapon.

    you see having a brain is necessary to discuss these issues.


    Yeah you're not an (none / 0) (#63)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 09:23:03 PM EST
    apologist, you just choose not to discuss any of the other ones.

    Cuz you're just so dang smart.

    Of course, Im sure you'll eventually getting around to discussing the others once The NYT and Newsweek do, oh font of recieved wisdom.


    Btw (none / 0) (#66)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 10:19:15 PM EST
    In case people missed it, the word of the day is: apologist.

    I see some merit in you posting (none / 0) (#27)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:58:50 PM EST
    re Cuba but disabling comments.  Most aggravating.  Next up:  Che as hero.

    Nah (none / 0) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 02:07:42 PM EST
    I like to see who will write these comments. Gives me a good perspective.

    Fidel may be a big jerk (none / 0) (#30)
    by Steve M on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 02:37:34 PM EST
    but at least he doesn't force his people to eat high fructose corn syrup!

    Lucky them! (none / 0) (#31)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 02:40:03 PM EST
    I am informed (none / 0) (#32)
    by Steve M on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 02:42:44 PM EST
    that every family gets a full allotment of two genuine sugar cubes per day.  Plus the weather is nice.

    White or brown sugar? (none / 0) (#33)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 02:46:35 PM EST
    Prove it. (none / 0) (#45)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 04:46:38 PM EST

    I'm sure long time poster Che's Lounge (none / 0) (#29)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 02:09:57 PM EST
    will step right up to the plate soon.

    I believe he's a neighbor, of sorts, of yours...


    Two points (none / 0) (#49)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 06:28:52 PM EST
    I would assume your an all purpose- "If and When" guy right? I mean if and when the people of Serbia wanted a different leader they would have chosen one- there was no reason for NATO to intervene in the region.  If and when the Sudanese want a different Leader they'll choose one. Heck if and when the South Africans want a different leader they'll choose one- I mean in your point of view Cheney (in Congress) and the Reagan Admin were right for opposing trade sanctions with South Africa-- but I digress, I don't think anyone here is pushing for continued total isolation of Cuba, just mentioning that perpetrating the fiction that Cuba is some sort of workers paradise is crap- hey, Free Blacks post-abolition sometimes had less to eat than they did during Slavery- do you think they had it good to?

    and a system that (none / 0) (#54)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 07:01:07 PM EST
    automatically marginalizes any political candidate who cant cough up a cool few million, has what to do with democracy exactly?

    If you have an (alleged) (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 07:22:01 PM EST
    democratic system and use it to elect the kind of pathetic joke of an administration that we've had for the last eight years, what good is the democracy?

    Something about motes and eyes occurs to me.


    Fidel also said no to poverty and gangsterism (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Jacob Freeze on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 12:41:54 PM EST
    Both major political parties in the United States constantly discuss the political structure of foreign governments, insofar as they discuss foreign governments at all, and "forget" the enormous economic inequalities in many "democratic" countries like Honduras, where wages are measured in pennies per hour and unemployment is currently 27%.

    But it isn't much consolation to residents of the shanty-towns around Tegucigalpa that the Partido Liberal de Honduras occasionally installs its candidate in the Presidential Palace.

    Meanwhile Cuba enjoys 100% literacy, universal health care at a higher standard than tens of millions of citizens of the United States, and the gangsters who ruled Havana with the full endorsement of the United States government only 50 years ago have migrated to more "democratic" countries like Mexico and Colombia.

    Look Fidel was a definite (none / 0) (#10)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 12:46:44 PM EST
    improvement over Batista, but to sit around and pretend that Cuba is some sort of paradise is ludicrous, its a nation that for most of Castro's reign only maintained its standard of living due to massive support for the USSR, and is a police state. Cuba is not Europe its not even say--Jamaica.

    I think you miss his point. (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by hairspray on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:04:01 PM EST
    Cuba keeps its population severely controlled, but by the same token it provides its citizens with some human dignity, i.e., health care, education, food,  etc. Other dictatorships severely control their populations but impoverish them unmercifully. Give him credit for that.  And had we not put our stupid embargo rules up to keep the Cuban exiles in the GOP camp that community would have changed over time to a more open and humane society.  We have little room to carp IMHO.

    I don't know - I read a book (none / 0) (#15)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:29:00 PM EST
    about Cuba by an expat who lived there and it really did not seem like it was an easy place to obtain the basics including food by her account.

    You also do not know (none / 0) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:49:11 PM EST
    what you are talking about.

    Is your response to me? (none / 0) (#75)
    by hairspray on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 01:56:51 PM EST
    This thread is dead, (none / 0) (#76)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 02:02:57 PM EST
    but your answer is "yes."

    Well hey (none / 0) (#51)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 06:33:27 PM EST
    under Stalin Russia saw incredible strides in modernity and development, the same is true for Iraq under Saddam, heck its arguable that the average quality of life in South Africa was higher under Apartheid- that doesn't mean any of those were right.

    Not to jump on you ... (none / 0) (#68)
    by FreakyBeaky on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 11:59:46 PM EST
    ... but this:

    Cuba keeps its population severely controlled, but by the same token it provides its citizens with some human dignity ...

    ... is an oxymoron.  

    It may be true that the Cuban government provides education and health care, but it cannot be true that it provides human dignity if it severely controls its population.  Period.


    Well human dignity comes in (none / 0) (#74)
    by hairspray on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 01:54:40 PM EST
    different forms. Being sick, not having food and health care seem very important to many, many people.  Being able to read and write and conduct personal business affecting one's life also seem to add to a quality of life for many people. American citizens who have not lived with severe privation have a hard time understanding that Maslow's hierarchy of needs comes first from having basic needs met. Having freedom to congregate, etc. are very far removed from people who cry for food for their babies and struggle with deformities and I could go on for hours about this topic.

    Standard of living? (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Jacob Freeze on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:09:51 PM EST
    What "standard of living" was that? Was it the choice of careers that the US puppet Batista offered to the children of Cuba, a choice between thugging for Batista or wh@ring for tourists?

    And yet there are so few flat screen TV's in Cuba!

    Dang that Castro!

    But 100% of the children of Cuba go to school today, while millions of children in "democratic" countries like India are sold into the silk industry or childhood pr@stitution, and none of them ever learn to read which tribal or jingo party now controls patronage in New Delhi.

    Stay-at-home Democrats in the United States are unlikely to encounter the swarms of pre-teen pr@stitutes who infest half the truck-stops in India, and consequently the endless inside-the-beltway chatter about the importance of "democracy" in third-world countries is already self-evident even before they hear it endlessly reinforced by the five or six media barons who control the news.  


    You do not know what (none / 0) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:48:34 PM EST
    you are talking about.

    Cuba is much poorer today (none / 0) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:47:57 PM EST
    than it was 50 years ago.

    Here's how I describe Cuba (none / 0) (#34)
    by bocajeff on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 03:14:19 PM EST
    How many people flee Cuba at great bodily risk? How many people would leave if they could? Now, how many people are going the other way (except to vacation)?

    Now, would you put your family on a makeshift raft, go across shark infested waters with little sustenance if things were good?

    What did Stalin say, "useful idiots".


    A classic argument (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Steve M on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 03:19:19 PM EST
    previously seen here:

    Walter P. Reuther (UAW): You exploit the workers of East Germany.

    Nikita Krushchev: Where did you dream that up?

    Reuther: If you don't exploit them, why should 3,000,000 of them cross the border into West Germany?

    K.: You are hopelessly sick with capitalist fever.


    Karl Feller (Brewery Workers): The Communist Party proclaims itself to be the liberator of the working class; yet we see mass exodus of workers in other countries following the Communist seizure of power. Can you tell us of a single instance where there has been a mass influx of workers from surrounding non-Communist countries into the Communist country?

    K.: Is that all? Think it over. Drink your beer. Perhaps that will help you to find the answer to your question.  

    Compare Cuban and Mexican Immigration (none / 0) (#37)
    by Jacob Freeze on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 04:01:01 PM EST
    Immigration into the US from Cuba is an infinitesimal trickle compared to the never-ending flood of farmers displaced from Latin America into minimum or less than minimum wage jobs in Houston and LA and Phoenix and San Diego and Seattle and Denver and Philadelphia and Boston and New York and all points in between.

    More than 12,000,000 Latino refugees from capitalism are all over the United States, and yet the Cuban revolution is supposed to be refuted by the presence of a relatively small and aging Cuban expatriate community in Miami.


    Scare the rubes with that communist bogeyman!

    Maybe then they'll never demand universal healthcare, or job security, or any of the rest of the social safety net that every other developed country enjoys.


    That's a good point (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Steve M on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 04:09:28 PM EST
    I'd also note that immigration to the U.S. from Russia is far more prevalent today than it was back in the Soviet era.  Obviously the current Russian government must be more oppressive.

    Sheesh (none / 0) (#38)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 04:03:31 PM EST
    Are you kidding? Mexico is not a police state keeping its people in.

    There is no ocean between Mexico and the US.

    Finally, there are 15 times as many people in Mexico than Cuba.

    Your comment is one for the ages.  


    Gangster capitalism (none / 0) (#43)
    by Jacob Freeze on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 04:42:20 PM EST
    You're absolutely right that Mexico isn't a police state.

    It's a narco-state instead, where the police are outgunned and bought off by gangsters, and aren't we also hurrying down that very same road in the United States, except that instead of narco-gangsters, we have the privilege of being owned by financial gangsters, who are even now busy adding to the $2.1 trillion in real money that gangsters with names like Paulson and Summers instead of Abrego and Escobar have already ripped off from the Treasury and Federal Reserve.

    So maybe instead of attacking Fidel because he isn't a capitalist, you should just cut to the chase and attack him because Fidel isn't a gangster, and Cuba isn't controlled by gangsters like Escobar and Abrego and Summers and Paulson, like Mexico and the United States.


    Wow (none / 0) (#47)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 05:19:06 PM EST
    This is just insane.

    No, no (none / 0) (#53)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 06:38:26 PM EST
    Fidel is a man of the people (this once was probably true) and lives among them. Hey Stalin had a simple country Dacha- he must have spoken with the true voice of the proletariat.

    You could walk across the border (none / 0) (#52)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 06:36:45 PM EST
    and reach the US in Mexico, you can return from the US if you leave Mexico, you don't have to worry about your familiy being punished by a police state if you leave Mexico.

    So what are you claiming (none / 0) (#57)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 07:25:51 PM EST
    that they were better off with Batista and Meyer Lansky?

    Not the point (1.00 / 0) (#58)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 07:36:42 PM EST
    the point is Castro is a totalitarian dictator who has been a disaster fot eh Cuban people.

    I know that is hard to for apologists for dictators to understand.


    You're just a tad (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 07:49:23 PM EST
    incomplete and ahistorical in your diagnoses what what led up to the "disaster." Right from the beginning the U.S was as totalitarian toward Cuba as Castro was toward the Cuban people, but you conveniently leave that part out as if it had nothing whatsoever to do with the future evoloution of the Cuban state.

    Translation: (none / 0) (#62)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 09:12:16 PM EST
    there were more rich people in Cuba 50 years ago (and we know how that trickles down to everyone eventually.)

    Translation (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 09:23:17 PM EST
    I don't care if people are thrown in prison for voicing dissenting opinions- they can read in between torture sessions now.

    It's terrible that that occurs (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 09:40:09 PM EST
    and its also a pity that no one here wants too acknowledge the role that fifty years of U.S sponsored terrorism, assassination and subversion played in nurturing the paranoid, garrison state mentality of people like Castro.

    Next up: (none / 0) (#71)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 01:49:58 PM EST
    Kim Jong-il is cool.  It is just the US keeping him down.

    Not "the U.S"; (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by jondee on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 07:38:20 PM EST
    cold war nutbars and expansionists who hi-jacked post WWII American foreign policy.

    I knew it was not (none / 0) (#78)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 02:55:36 PM EST
    his fault.  International socialism has no faults.

    How much citation can you (none / 0) (#77)
    by hairspray on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 02:27:30 PM EST
    offer?  I believe that revolutionaries are put in jail.  I am just not sure how many ordinary citizens who have dissenting opinions about policies and who say so to their neighbors are jailed. I once had a Cuban physician stay at our house (he was visiting health care facilities) and he talked about the contacts he had with American physicians and how his circle hoped the embargo would be lifted under Clinton. They desperately needed American help with their medical system, new disoveries, etc. They were hungry for medical knowledge and interaction in that area.  Interestingly, their best help was from Sweden.

    Our entire relationship with Cuba... (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Dadler on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 04:04:54 PM EST
    ...is absurd, and always has been.  Even more absurd today since we operate our gulag there.  The thought of that is too ridiculous and damning for words.  End the phucking embargo, all travel restrictions, everything.  Talk about how badly we phucked up.  Evidence a sense of self-critical ability, and ability to evolve, that obviously exceeds what the Cuban people know their own government's, um, limitations in this area.  Intellectually disarming the other side, to whatever degree possible, is always a good starting point.

    Concessions? (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by lentinel on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 04:45:26 PM EST
    Personally I couldn't care less if Cuba doesn't want to make "concessions" - whatever they might be.

    The policy the United States has been following for what seems like an eternity is cruel and stupid. To forbid American citizens to travel to Cuba is an abuse of governmental power. It makes no sense.

    And the embargo is cruel and dumb. It hurts the Cuban people. And does the United States sincerely believe that the Cuban people who are harmed by this embargo are going to blame Castro?

    We should also look at the history. We supported a brutal dictator in Cuba. We supported sleaze and criminality.

    We should be extending a hand of friendship instead of blustering about concessions.

    Raul vs Fidel (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Saul on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 08:10:18 PM EST
    I got the impression they are not on the same page.  I believe Raul wants to move on but Fidel is still the big dog.  I did not get the feeling that Obama and others misinterpreted Raul recent statements.  I feel that Fidel did not like what his brother said and meant by his statements so Fidel had to turn around and show his muscle and to also let his brother know not to do that again.  

    Maybe their is hope whenever Raul  gets to be top dog.

    Cuba (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by DancingOpossum on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 10:51:18 AM EST
    ...is also an ecological jewel, with some of the strongest land-conservation and environmental protection laws in Latin America. It's considered to have "wholly sustainable" agriculture practices by almost every major environmental group, in fact it may be, IIRC, the only country that is.

    This is partly, of course, because of Cuba's poverty--they really had little choice but to conserve--and partly because of the slower pace of tourism development in Cuba. But it's also because of concerted government effort.(As a contrast look Haiti, another poor Caribbean country with little tourism that's an ecological nightmare.)

    This may seem off topic, and if so I apologize -- I just think it's interesting. One of the concerns about future trade with Cuba is whether Cuba will be able to keep its strong (and strongly enforced) environmental policies in place.

    what pres. obama (none / 0) (#3)
    by cpinva on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 12:03:17 PM EST
    fails to understand is that the castros, fidel especially, think of cuba as their personal property, and all cubans as their employees.

    as the republicans are fond of saying, you don't tell someone else what they should do with their property.

    my spanish is very rusty (none / 0) (#8)
    by Turkana on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 12:34:35 PM EST
    but... el títere?

    ...taxes on remittances from the U.S... (none / 0) (#11)
    by desertswine on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:02:31 PM EST
    Cuba levies a 10 percent fee on every U.S. dollar sent to relatives on the island by Cuban-Americans.

    I can't imagine that Fidel will (none / 0) (#16)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:30:52 PM EST
    ever negotiate with the US.  He's too old and survived too long to open that can of worms at this point.

    Fidel Castro is just as fond of (none / 0) (#18)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:35:47 PM EST
    favorable publicity as any other pol.

    But we are not the center of his (none / 0) (#24)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:51:19 PM EST
    universe.  Plenty of other countries do business with him on his terms.  He knows that the US is a threat to his sovreignty.  He's not going to play with any administration.  He's been through too many to start playing now.

    It's hard to ever negotiate with him, too (none / 0) (#19)
    by magster on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:37:26 PM EST
    after reports of his encouraging Kruschev to initiate a pre-emptive nuclear strike during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  

    Use Bobby Kennedy's tactic (none / 0) (#20)
    by oldpro on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:47:24 PM EST
    with Kruschev:  go with the first message (Raul's) and ignore the second (Castro's).

    Pretend he never said it and move on.

    Reactionary responses are not usually useful in opening a dialogue or reaching understanding.

    Here's one article (none / 0) (#70)
    by DancingOpossum on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 10:56:24 AM EST