Discussion:
Challenging the Blockade of Cuba
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The Razor's Edge
2013-10-12 12:24:23 UTC
Permalink
Challenging the Blockade of Cuba by W.T. WHITNEY Jr.

The publication of Arnold August’s book “Cuba and Its Neighbours: Democracy
in Motion” is an event. The author establishes that democracy is alive in
Cuba. He views Cuban democracy as a process moving ahead, but with course
corrections. Democracy, he suggests, is really democratization.

The process has relied upon political participation by all citizens,
progress toward unity and consensus, and exclusion of those bent on
accumulation.

August took on a big job. Not only does he detail workings of Cuba’s
national parliament and municipal assemblies and explain how elections work
– a signal contribution – but he also traces the origins and evolution of
democratic stirrings from colonial and slavery times to the present. He
summarizes varying approaches to building socialist democracies in Ecuador,
Bolivia, and Venezuela, plus points out limitations of U.S. – style
democracy. With its rush of themes playing out both simultaneously and over
many years, August’s narrative is slow-moving at times, yet remains
coherent, factual, and non-polemic in tone. He made effective use of
interviews with Cuban activists and analysts.

Discussions in the United States about democracy in Cuba often stumble on
the absence of elections following the victory of the revolution in 1959.
August explains that revolutionary leaders concurred with most Cubans then
that corrupt multi-party elections of the past had no place in the new Cuba.
Democratization materialized as the Federation of Cuban Women, Committees
for the Defense of the Revolution, and the 1961 literacy campaign. A new
Constitution in 1976 instituted elections for municipal assemblies,
provincial assemblies, and the National Assembly.

Soviet Bloc parliamentary and electioneering precedents were rejected.
Constitutional reforms in 1992 barred the Communist Party from designating
members of nomination commissions and provided for popular election of
deputies to the National Assembly. August’s book tells of nationwide
community meetings attended by almost all adults where national problems
were discussed and action possibilities debated.

Recommendations from these episodic meetings often ended up as government
decrees and legislation. Such meetings took place prior to the referendum
approving the 1976 Constitution and again while constitutional changes were
being considered in 1991. In 1994, they centered on the economic crash
following the fall of the Soviet Bloc; in 2007-08, on social security, low
food production, and low wages; and in 2010, on the Communist Party’s new
“Guidelines” for bringing about changes in the economy.

August sees participatory democracy playing out in municipal assemblies,
which are tools for achieving decentralization, a prime goal of ongoing
transformations. He indicates some local assemblies are unable to respond to
local needs. Specialists and local delegates are involved in attempts to
overcome these weaknesses. Entities known as “People’s Councils” are
governing in sub-municipal districts.

Arnold August highlights obstacles for democratization, chief among them
corruption and bureaucracy. And tension remains between discontent and
consensus, between traditions of centralized authority and notions of
popular sovereignty, the latter ironically enough having been endorsed by
the government. Uncertainties, suffering, and scarcities at the hands of
U.S. economic blockade receive scant attention, yet few would argue they are
good for democracy.

The book gets high marks for covering the democracy movement’s deep
historical roots. Independence wars in the 19 th century fought by poor,
racially-oppressed rebels took on social justice, particularly equal rights
for black people and equitable land distribution. The 1976 Constitution
incorporated words and concepts from constitutions of that era and from
ideas of José Martí, Cuba’s national hero. The author honors the mentoring
and ideological legacies of Martí, who fell as a martyr in the liberation
struggle. Cuba’s alliance with the former Soviet Union and the Communist
Party’s role in propelling political change are hardly reassuring to
northern neighbors susceptible to red- scare.

For Arnold August, Cuba’s Communist Party is a special case. Martí’s Cuban
Revolutionary Party served as its model, that of a single national party.
And in 1965, the present Communist Party was brand-new, formed of two
non-communist revolutionary organizations and the old Communist Party. The
Party runs no candidates in elections and operates in a spirit of
innovation.

August wanted “to provide readers with some tools for following the future
situation [in Cuba] independently, without the blinders of preconceived
notions.” He achieved that. His main point, that Cuban democracy is a moving
force and seems to be gaining strength, is convincing. It may be unique on
that account, and also for priority given to participation, unity, and
consensus as tools for building socialism. If true, that may help explain
why Cuban socialism survived the disappearance of the Soviet Union and how
Cuba has withstood siege from the neighboring superpower.

Imbued with an understanding of democratic realities in Cuba that this book
surely provides, readers in the United States and elsewhere – especially
those who are progressive but silent on Cuba – may now see fit to speak out
and act in solidarity with a people victimized for 50 years by every
stratagem short of open war.
Cubaverdad
2013-10-12 15:19:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Razor's Edge
Challenging the Blockade of Cuba by W.T. WHITNEY Jr.
There is no blocakade.
The Us is Cuba's 5th trading partner and one of its largest food suppliers
The Razor's Edge
2013-10-13 11:46:25 UTC
Permalink
Well that may be true but even with full access to the internet, there are
many sites that block downloads, including apple, adobe and even some sites
in Canada. The text in the Helms Burton Act uses the word strategic
importance and we are still on the black list as a terror harbouring nation
while the EE.UU is not, go figure.

The blockade is real and has been for 54 years. Can you travel to Cuba
without having to go to Canada or Mexico? NO Are medical supplies and
equipment and specifically cancer treatments available? NO Is the fiber
optic cable between Cuba and Miami functional? NO Does the EE.UU recognize
Cuban copyright specifically Bacardi's use of Havana Club? NO

No blockade?
Cubaverdad
2013-10-14 08:31:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Razor's Edge
Well that may be true but even with full access to the internet,
There is no "full access" to the internet in Cuba except for very few people
Post by The Razor's Edge
there are
many sites that block downloads, including apple, adobe and even some sites
in Canada.
an issue involving copyright and payment
Post by The Razor's Edge
The text in the Helms Burton Act uses the word strategic
importance and we are still on the black list as a terror harbouring nation
while the EE.UU is not, go figure.
The blockade is real and has been for 54 years.
There is no blockade except the internal blockade of the regime against
the Cuban people.
Post by The Razor's Edge
Can you travel to Cuba
without having to go to Canada or Mexico?
Yes.
P2P. Family travel. Scheduled flights from lots of US cities, not just
Florida.
Post by The Razor's Edge
NO Are medical supplies and
equipment and specifically cancer treatments available?
Not for the Cuban people. the tourist part of the medical apartheid
system has everything it needs to cater for the elite and the paying
tourists.
In one and the same hospital you can find a "Cuban" wing that is lacking
everything and a "tourist" wing that is fully equipped and well stocked
with all medicines. Are you claiming the "blockade" strikes
"selectively" only.
The blockade is one big lie.

""The U.S. says it approved $142 million in commercial and donated
medical exports to the communist island in 2008. So why did less than 1
percent of it get there?"
"It's not the embargo," said John Kavulich, a senior policy adviser at
the New York-based U.S.-Cuba Economic Trade Council, which provides
nonpartisan commercial and economic information about Cuba. "These are
economic and political decisions not to buy." Cuba often waits for
allies to donate what it needs, Kavulich said. "They'd rather get things
for free than pay for them."

"It's unclear why U.S. medical exports aren't reaching Cuba", Dallas
Morning News, 5 December 2009."

http://saludcuba.blogspot.de/p/bloqueo.html
Post by The Razor's Edge
NO Is the fiber
optic cable between Cuba and Miami functional?
That is because the Cuban regime refused access.

Historical data:

Cuba had access to internet at least 5 years earlier via a cable.
The Heinz Endowments, two foundations with combined assets of more than
$1 billion, have donated $8 million to the Tides Foundation and Center
since 1994, but the foundations insist the money went to projects in
Pennsylvania.

Critics say, however, that Tides money helped Castro's Cuba by donating
funds to the Institute for Global Communications, whose Canadian
affiliate in 1991 used an undersea cable link from Havana to Sprint in
the United States - connecting Cuba to the Internet.

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2004/8/11/222217.shtm

"The Tides Foundation contributed $13,000 to the Institute for Global
Communications between 1993 and 2002, Tides spokesman Christopher
Herrera said in a statement. Tides' Canadian affiliate in 1991 used an
undersea cable link from Havana to Sprint in the United States to
connect Cuba to the Internet."
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_207828.html

Construction of 40 Gbps Undersea Cable to Cuba Announced by Quest Net Corp.

MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 10, 1999--Quest Net Corp. (OTC BB:QNET),
announced today that it has filed with the Federal Communication Commission
for
the authority to begin the construction of a 40 Gbps undersea fiber optic
cable
with capacity of over 530,000 simultaneous connections.

The system consists of approximately 180 km of undersea cable and two
landing
points. "Projecto Unidad," as it is known, will open broadband applications
with security for educational, scientific and commercial users and greatly
enhance the availability and use by the Cuban residents.

In addition, the Internet will be more readily available to residential
users
facilitating communication between the average citizen and the world with a
primary link with the United States. With the change in the political
atmosphere and the emergence of a more open relationship between Cuba and
major
world powers, the demand for bandwidth and voice capacity is expected to
grow
sharply as the Cuban economy continues to develop and diversify.

It is estimated that the overall cost project will be approximately
$13,000,000,00 and will be completed within a year from the date of the
approval by the proper governmental agencies, of which no assurance can be
given. Currently fiber optic connectivity does not exist with Cuba the
outside
world. AT&T (NYSE:T - news) has one copper cable that was installed in the
late
40's, and has been in use since the United States and Cuba opened a direct
phone link in 1993.

The "Projecto Unidad" system is being designed primarily for data and will
only
carry Internet and data traffic. Quest Net Corp. therefore will not be
involved
in settlement of telephone tariffs, which is a point of contention between
the
USA and CUBA. After preliminary contact with OFAC (Office of Foreign Asset
Control), FCC (Federal Communications Commission), State and Commerce
Departments, the management of the Company is confident that there is no
violation of the Cuban Democratic Act in its proposal as Internet traffic is
already widely available between the United States and Cuba. The company
will not begin construction until such time as permission has been secured
and
the proper licenses have been obtained from both governments. Although no
assurances can be given, the company believes that it will be able to comply
with all requirements in order to complete this project.

A feasibility study has been completed by SETWAVE Communications, a New
Jersey
based firm that specializes in management and design of Fiber Optics
undersea
cables. SETWAVE has also been awarded the management contract for the
construction and installation of the cable.

The Company is presently negotiating with Tyco Submarine Systems (TSS)
(NYSE:
TYC - news) to build and install the cable. No agreement has been entered to
date. TSS is the largest supplier of submarine cable systems in the world,
having installed more than 155,000 miles of undersea cable. Tyco holds a ISO
9000 certification for design and manufacturing quality.

Based in Aventura and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Quest Net (OTC BB:QNET)
operates
its own OC-12 (622Mbps) Fiber optic self-healing SMARTRing backbone running
from Key West to Sebastian, Fla. It is a provider of secure, full-service
global Internet and Intranet broadband digital networking solutions for
businesses and individuals. Quest Net is one of the largest regional
Internet
Service Providers with Dial-up POP's (point-of-presence) in 228 cities and
over 2000 clients, mostly small businesses. It also offers dedicated
high-speed
Internet access, metropolitan and wide area network data transport services,
including virtual private networks, to several commercial clients and other
ISP's, and Wireless Internet Connection at a speed of up to three Mbps to a
distance of eight miles on a license free spectrum. Quest Net offers one of
the
fastest and cleanest routing system for the transfer and delivery of voice,
video and data streams at speeds ranging from 64 Kbps to 155 Mbps (OC-3), as
well as frame relay connections at speeds up to 45 Mbps.

This press release may contain forward-looking statements made pursuant to
the
"safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
1995. Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve
risk
and uncertainties, including, without limitation, continued acceptance of
the
company's products, subscriber growth, product demand, competition and other
risks and uncertainties.

CONTACT:

Quest Net, Aventura

Shepp Parr, 305/935-1080

***@xxxxxxxxxxx

http://www.ipquest.com
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_1999_March_10/ai_54061872/

A new cable will be drawn to Guantanamo to connect Cuba up.
"Pentagon wants Guantánamo fiber-optic cable to someday serve Cuba
Published September 21, 2013"
http://cubainternet.impela.net/2013/09/pentagon-wants-guantanamo-fiber-optic-cable-to-someday-serve-cuba/

See:
http://cubainternet.impela.net/history/
Post by The Razor's Edge
NO Does the EE.UU recognize
Cuban copyright specifically Bacardi's use of Havana Club? NO
The US did not recognize the expropriation without compensation of the
Havana Club brand.
Nor that of Hatuey (beer), Metusalem (Rum).
It is Cuba that violates copyright on a massive scale even having
"copying DVD's" and selling them as as and officially sanctioned and
licensed trade.
"Cuba: pirates with permits
Cuba's new economic reforms bring out the DVD bootleggers."
http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/cuba/101214/bootlegged-dvds-cds-piracy

"Despite embargo, Cuba a haven for pirated U.S. goods
Published September 2, 2010 |"
http://econocuba.impela.net/2010/09/despite-embargo-cuba-a-haven-for-pirated-u-s-goods/
Post by The Razor's Edge
No blockade?
Only the Castro blockade against the Cuban people.

"El bloqueo interno
Martes, 30 de Octubre de 2012"
http://www.primaveradigital.org/primavera/cuba-sociedad/la-consulta/5589-el-bloqueo-interno.html

"El bloqueo interno
Fernando Ravsberg | 2009-06-04, 12:27"
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/spanish/2009/06/el_bloqueo_interno.html
The Razor's Edge
2013-10-22 10:21:38 UTC
Permalink
Dear CubaVerdad

I am going to make some assumptions.

You or your family are disgruntled Cuban dissidents under the age of 60 and
did not have to withstand life under Batista or Imperialism. You are a
traitor to your homeland and teach your children that Cuba is a bastion of
human rights violations and brutality.

You unfortunately live in a country that has been the cause of more human
suffering than any country, civilization or culture in the history of
mankind and even Hitler pales in comparison to the likes of Bush and Obama.

Cuba is not at war with anyone and provides more humanitarian aid than most
developed countries. Cuba sends doctors, the EE.UU sends troops. We boast
being number 83 on the standard of living index, meaning there are 82
countries with a standard of living worse than Cuba. We also boast being in
the top 10 with a Human Development Index of 7.80. We are ranked at number
39 in the WHO health systems with the EE.UU running at a close number 37
meaning there are 150 countries with a worse health care system which is
free as is the school and university system but then you probably already
know that but choose to ignore it.

Granted, I have only lived here for 7 years and cannot comment on life under
a brutal EE.UU puppet dictator like Batista, but I can tell you that I feel
safe here and so does my family. My child can play in the street and I do
not have to fear him being kidnapped and sold. There are drugs here but I
have not seen 10 to 18 year old school children smoking marijuana unmolested
on the sidewalk outside the school with a policeman on the other side of the
street. I have yet to witness a violent crime although I know it exists.

Cuba under Fidel, took back the homeland being raped and pillaged by
multinationals as they continue to do in other countries under the guise of
promoting democracy and threats to national security all under the control
of EE.UU hegemonic foreign policy. The warmonger Obama, has continued in the
footsteps of his predecessors with the quest for petroleum products to
satify the unquenchable thirst of the biggest polluter and contributor to
global warming in the world and "if you don't give it to us we will take it
by force" being the cause of all wars since the second. Is it any wonder
Americans are the most hated nation on earth.

The Internet is a free, public utility and access to apple and adobe and
other sites are not restricted because of any copyright or payment issues.
They are restricted here based upon an IP address range, however as a
foreigner I have full access to the Internet. Sites as mentioned are blocked
because they contain encryption technology that is not approved for export
to third world countries and not just Cuba. The blockade isn't specific to
Cuba but to any country who may benefit from encryption technology above a
certain bit rate although 256 and 512 AES encryption technology can be
downloaded from sites not located in the EE.UU, for exampe Truecrypt which
offers among others AES and Blowfish algorithms both of which were developed
in the EE.UU.

China and the EE.UU are rated high sources of pirated material and there
will always be pirates. They have been around since Columbus road a stick
horse in the street. We can lump Canada and Russia in that group as well.
Software and digital format have been pirated since the first computer. I
can remember copying MSDOS version .86, 30 years ago from a computer at the
college to use on my computer at home. Have you never used peer to peer
software to download music and videos, the largest source of piracy. Cuba is
no different and the downloading and/or piracy of copyright digital material
is commonplace throughout the world, so targeting "La Revolucion" as the
cause is a blatant lie.

The undersea fibre optic cable between Venezuela and Cuba is operational but
to date financial constraints prohibit it's widespread use. However, a plan
is in place and being implemented to provide cable TV with Internet access.
Unfortunately it is being provided contiguous with La Habana and we in Las
Tunas are not expected to see it until 2021. Provinces on the route from
west to east are being installed and the backbone is already in place but
being utilized by the medical and business and university.

A Chinese subsidiary of French company Alcatel-Lucent is supplied the cable.
French vessel Ile de Batz laid the line which contained less than 10 percent
U.S. product, thereby meeting U.S. embargo specifications. However, under
the embargo the ship was not able to dock in the United States for six
months after putting up in Cuba.

No embargo or blockade you say. Balderdash.

I really dislike having to debate the reality of the blockade because it is
written into the constitution of the EE.UU in black and white for all to
read should one take the time to. Acts like Helms Burton (financed by
Bacardi lobbyists) and Tercelli Act and many others and the number of
companies worldwide whom have been the victims of punitive action in the
form of fines totally many hundreds of millions of dollars for trading with
Cuba are well documented. Contrary to popular belief by most dissident
traitors the blockade does exist in hundreds of forms and one cannot blame
Cuba or Socialism or Fidel. Hegemonic foreign policy is to blame and Cuba is
not alone facing UN/EE.UU sanctions because we don't want to cave into
imperialism. A few years ago, Venezuela purchased MRI machines from Phillips
Corp and when the final parts were to be delivered it was discovered that
one machine was destined for Cuba. An integral part was being manufactured
by a Phillips subsidiary in the EE.UU and was blocked from being shipped and
to date the machines sit incomplete and unworkable and the 75 million
dollars was not refunded.

Foreign tourist sections exist in most hospitals worldwide and is not
exclusive to Cuba. I have first hand knowledge of that while in Mexico many
years ago. However medical treatments patented and registered in the EE.UU
are not for export to Cuba and strictly controlled. On the other hand, Cuba
has made great strides in many aspects of disease control and freely share
the advances with the world, one in particular Vidatox.

Cuba has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world, certainly
far lower than the EE.UU or Canada and although the hospitals are in sad
shape, the level of care is not. A friend of mine in Canada has been waiting
for almost 3 years for a prostate operation and I had mine completed in less
than 6 weeks from initial consultation and my doctor / surgeon is the head
of urology. My sister has been waiting for 2 years and 3 months for an
operation on her stomach. An prostate operation in the EE.UU can cost
upwards of 75,000,00, mine cost me nothing. A package of aspirin in Canada
costs 11,00 and here ,04 cents.

The 142 million dollars was a propaganda stunt aimed at an other failed
attempt to discredit Cuba as not willing to accept aid. "Oh look what we are
doing and they are refusing to buy our overpriced assistance". Would you?
Why would Cuba buy drugs at an inflated cost when a lot of it is produced
here for pennies. One could debate the conflicting stories and I had read
the document you quote before and if you read between the lines it becomes
clear that although the propaganda machine - the EE.UU government controlled
media - blames Cuba for the issue, it really is the bureaucracy on both
sides but more importantly China sells cheaper. I know again, first hand
that companies in the EE.UU are blocked from selling catheters and that
nearly all come from China. The same catheter manufactured in China but
imported to the EE.UU and then resold costs upwards of 12.00. The same exact
catheter purchased directly costs less than 3.00.

I had the opportunity to talk to two gentlemen the other day at a watering
hole for tourists in Las Tunas, one was from Toronto and one from Buffalo.
The Yuma said that he came down here 4 years ago and when he returned he was
fined $5000.00 dollars. Now he goes to Toronto and flys down and thankfully
no passport stamps are issued her in Cuba. The hoops you need to jump
through for a family visit are many and it is possible it may be refused,
depending on your political affiliations. Travel to Cuba from the EE.UU is
not as easy as you say it is and history proves that.

I can imagine though that once you are on the horse for the race you need to
finish the race with that horse but it is never to late to quit the race and
say "I am quiting for the sake of my horse".

The EE.UU are here in Cuba illegally as they are in many countries illegally
and bombing and killing innocent women and children with no declaration of
war. They maintain torture centers like Guantanemo in various parts of the
world and are hell bent on global control at any cost in human lives and
suffering. I mean look at Afghanistan and Iraq. How can one sleep at night
knowing your elected government, the one YOU voted for are violating human
rights in over 100 countries. The EE.UU budget is set at 1.5 trillion
dollars and over half of that is consumed by the pentagon and the millitary
machine.

Think about what that money could do to fund Obamacare when you are paying
your health insurance premium.

And you sit there badmouthing Cuba, shame on you and all Americans.

Let it go. Cuba will never be in the hands of imperialism again.

Peace Brother Resident of Earth
PL
2013-10-22 11:25:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Razor's Edge
Dear CubaVerdad
I am going to make some assumptions.
You or your family are disgruntled Cuban dissidents under the age of 60
false
Post by The Razor's Edge
and
did not have to withstand life under Batista or Imperialism. You are a
traitor to your homeland
false
Post by The Razor's Edge
and teach your children that Cuba is a bastion of
human rights violations and brutality.
false. Anyone can see that for himself
Post by The Razor's Edge
You unfortunately live in a country that has been the cause of more human
suffering than any country, civilization or culture in the history of
mankind and even Hitler pales in comparison to the likes of Bush and Obama.
False again
Post by The Razor's Edge
Cuba is not at war with anyone
that isn't what the regime says. So: false statement by you again.
Cuba claims to be in a "war of ideas" with democracy and human rights
defenders both in the country and outside
Post by The Razor's Edge
and provides more humanitarian aid than most
developed countries.
False: the so called aid is trade netting Cuba between 24,000 and
130,000 per doctor with the possible exception of some - those not paid
for by NGO's - in Haiti
Post by The Razor's Edge
Cuba sends doctors,
False
Cuba rents doctors that South Africa, Qatar, Venezuela, Brazil, NGO's
.... pay.

(snip)
Post by The Razor's Edge
Granted, I have only lived here for 7 years
Where? Cuba? How come you have internet access?
Post by The Razor's Edge
and cannot comment on life under
a brutal EE.UU puppet dictator like Batista,
according to UN statistics it was the third developed nation of the
Americas in spite of Batista with the third place in standard of living.
Now it is a third world country. Cuba fell in all ranking under Castro.
It used to be above European countries.

(snip)
Post by The Razor's Edge
Cuba under Fidel, took back the homeland being raped and pillaged(snip)
False. Castro seized power with the help of the ex Batista allies the
communists from the revolution against Batista and he imposed a new
dictatorship.
"The Cuban Revolution."
http://www.cubaverdad.net/revolution.htm

Castro killed at least 10 times as many people as Batista:
"The Issue of Genocide and Cuba."
http://www.cubaverdad.net/genocide.htm
Post by The Razor's Edge
The Internet is a free, public utility
not in Cuba.
(snip)

Cuba limits most peop^le to an "intranet" and allows access to the
internet - supervised and limited - to the few
See:
http://cubainternet.impela.net/
Post by The Razor's Edge
Cuba is
no different and the downloading and/or piracy of copyright digital material
is commonplace throughout the world, so targeting "La Revolucion" as the
cause is a blatant lie.
False. It is a fact: it is the only place that licenses copyrright
violations as a trade.
Post by The Razor's Edge
The undersea fibre optic cable between Venezuela and Cuba is operational but
to date financial constraints prohibit it's widespread use.(snip)
False.
There is a fiber optic backbone from Santiago to Pinar that could be
easily access by ADSL empowered ETECSA central switches.
Now only the military and the elite can use it.
Allowing the use of sattelite dishes freely would allow Cubans to access
internet anywhere.
Post by The Razor's Edge
No embargo or blockade you say. Balderdash.
False.
I said the only blockade is internal.
Post by The Razor's Edge
I really dislike having to debate the reality of the blockade
(snip)
because you are lying
Post by The Razor's Edge
Foreign tourist sections exist in most hospitals worldwide(snip)
False.
Most countries have a unified and not an apartheid system.
In Europe tourists go to the same hospitals as the local people.
Post by The Razor's Edge
Cuba has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world,
(snip)

False.
international experts and Cuban doctors leaving Cuba have stated that
the data is manipulated for political reasons with false reporting and
late term abortions.

. A friend of mine in Canada has been waiting
Post by The Razor's Edge
for almost 3 years for a prostate operation(snip)
In Europe - with whom Cuba was at par before Castro - people don't wait.
They go to hospital and get treated.
In Cuba Cubans wait and tourists get all they want imlmediately
Post by The Razor's Edge
The 142 million dollars was a propaganda stunt(snip)
False.
It is a fact and clearly documented as the expert opinion, about its
causes shows.

(snip)
Post by The Razor's Edge
And you sit there badmouthing Cuba,
False.
I am stating the facts and you are lying and apologising for a dictatorship.
Shame on you
Post by The Razor's Edge
shame on you and all Americans.
Who said I was Cuban or American?
just more of your false lies an innuendo.
Post by The Razor's Edge
Let it go. Cuba will never be in the hands of imperialism again.
True: Cuba will be free of the Castro imperialist elite some day.
Cubaverdad
2013-10-19 08:25:28 UTC
Permalink
(snip)Can you travel to Cuba
without having to go to Canada or Mexico?
Casi cien mil estadounidenses viajaron a Cuba el año pasado
AGENCIAS | La Habana | 18 Oct 2013 - 6:49 pm.

Source: "Casi cien mil estadounidenses viajaron a Cuba el año pasado |
Diario de Cuba" - http://www.diariodecuba.com/cuba/1382114951_5557.html
Cubaverdad
2013-10-19 08:26:30 UTC
Permalink
On 10/13/2013 1:46 PM, The Razor's Edge wrote:

(snip)
Post by The Razor's Edge
No blockade?
Cuba: The Other Embargo / Ivan Garcia
Posted on October 17, 2013

Although you can fly coach from Miami to Havana in less than forty-five
minutes, the customs duties and price of an airline ticket are enough to
give you a heart attack.

For Cuban residents living in Florida, it is probably cheaper to travel
to Europe than to visit their relatives. The Castro regime has a secret
weapon against the embargo that the United States imposed on the island
in 1962.

The answer has been to milk Cuban exiles scattered across half the
world, particularly those living on the other shore. Without fanfare,
the Castro regime has created a formidable industry out of the sweat and
sacrifice of emigres.

At the end of the 1970s, the inefficient Cuban economy squandered
billions of rubles, fuel and material resources from the former USSR. A
good part of this flow of money was set aside for Fidel Castro’s
favorite project: destabilizing governments on the American continent
and Africa through subversion.

His hidden agenda was to create an alliance of third-world countries
that would stand up to “Yankee imperialism.” This strategy cost a lot of
money.

In the beginning, hard currency was obtained through raids on banks and
sequestration of million-dollar companies on the part of pro-Castro
groups in America. And it was kept in accounts managed by the Cuban
government.

Another form of getting Gringo dollars was turning to the world market
to sell part of the petroleum that the USSR had sent to Cuba. But it
wasn’t enough. Subversion is pricey.

It was then that leaders in Havana gave a sidelong glance to the north.
In southern Florida lay an opulent treasure. Hard-working Cubans had
triumphed thanks to democracy, economic freedom and personal creativity.

A new strategy was devised. The dollars of those formerly classified as
“worms” by the regime now were needed to open accounts in hard-currency
personally managed by the sole commander. Evoking “family reunification”
in 1978 they established flights so that the Cuban community in the
United States could visit their poor relatives on the island.

Castro didn’t care much about family. It was a matter of business. Years
before, writing a card to a parent or sibling residing in the “empire”
was almost a crime and more than a few lost their jobs. At the time, it
was also a crime to be Catholic, to listen to the Beatles or to wear jeans.

The ideological pirouette of the regime in cozying up to Cubans living
in Florida was not a strategy born out of good will or remorse. Not at
all. It was delicate handiwork to establish a channel for dollars to
flow into the island.

Fidel Castro always had a peculiar philosophy. He considered the United
States embargo illegal. Therefore, any way to make a mockery of it was a
good option.

When Cuban emigres visited their country in the early 1980s, dollars
were exchanged in the airport at one-to-one for pesos. A visitor had to
spend money to stay at least three nights in a hotel, even though his
family could put him up. A network of exclusive stores was created using
dollars and tourist attractions which sold clothes, personal hygiene
products and household appliances for the price of gold.

As an alternative, the government simultaneously opened up commercial
outlets which exchanged gold and silver jewelry, fine china and
paintings by renowned artists for stereo equipment, color televisions
and Russian automobiles. When Soviet communism said “adiós,” the
Caribbean autocrats strengthened their policies of bridge-building to
attract remittances from Cuban exiles.

By 1993 Cubans were allowed to hold dollars legally. At the same time
the dual-currency system began operating. There was the CUC or
convertible peso, which had considerable buying power, and the Cuban
peso, which was significantly devalued.

In the meantime a huge industry was set up in the midst of Florida’s
exile community. Agents of the Castro government swarmed through Miami
and Tampa picking up cheap merchandise, video games, electronics,
computers and cell phone rechargers to sell on the island.

Extortionate-rate commissions were charged. Certainly, Cuban immigrants
enjoyed a unique privilege: when they arrived on United States’ soil,
they were automatically granted legal residency.

But at the same time they are the only immigrants in the world who have
to pay outlandish fees to send money and packages home, to make
long-distance phone calls and to reunite with their families.

A Cuban pays on average at least $1,000 to hug his relatives at the
Havana airport. The Cuban Interest Section in Washington–the Cuban
government’s quasi-embassy in DC–charges $375 for a passport. To renew
it six years later costs another $375.

An airline ticket from Florida goes for a little over $440. When the
plane lands in Cuba, the visitor had better be ready to open his wallet.
The Cuban Customs Service has a long list of duties on a wide variety of
items — from $10 for a fan to $400 for a computer.

And he has to pay $5 for every pound of luggage over the proscribed
limit. In general this fee is collected by the airlines, not at the
airport. Cuban exiles are among the few peoples of the world who have to
have a passport to visit their own country. And in the event they are
vocal opponents of the regime, they lose their right to even enter the
country.

Much has been said about the US embargo. Every year UN delegates vote
overwhelmingly to abolish it.

Most of the population as well as a majority of dissidents are also
overwhelmingly in favor of lifting the economic and trade embargo. They
believe the Castro brothers use it as a pretext for maintaining the
political status quo.

The embargo, however, is riddled with holes. When the authorities or
their relatives so desire, they can obtain a Hummer, a bottle of Jack
Daniels or the latest generation of antibiotics from a third country or
even from the United States itself. In Cuban hard-currency stores you
can buy anything from a Coca Cola to an HP printer.

But our compatriots in exile must deal with an “embargo” that is not
discussed either at the United Nations or by the world’s press. They
often must pay too much for any service or any aid they send to their
relatives in Cuba. The only crime they committed was that one day they
decided to leave the Communist madhouse.

Iván García

15 October 2013

Source: "Cuba: The Other Embargo / Ivan Garcia | Translating Cuba" -
http://translatingcuba.com/cuba-the-other-embargo-ivan-garcia/
Cubaverdad
2013-10-19 08:46:56 UTC
Permalink
On 10/13/2013 1:46 PM, The Razor's Edge wrote:
(snip)
Post by The Razor's Edge
Can you travel to Cuba
without having to go to Canada or Mexico?
Americans traveling to Cuba in record numbers
By Marc Frank
HAVANA | Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:50am EDT

(Reuters) - Americans are visiting Cuba in record numbers despite strict
travel restrictions, joining the hundreds of thousands of Cuban
Americans who travel home each year, according to Cuban government
figures published on Friday.

Just over 98,000 U.S. citizens visited Cuba in 2012, up from 73,500 in
2011 and twice the number compared with five years ago, according to an
online report by the National Statistics Office (www.one.cu).

The numbers do not include more than 350,000 Cuban Americans estimated
by travel agents and U.S. diplomats to have visited the island last
year. Because Cuba considers them nationals, they are not listed in its
tourism statistics.

U.S. citizens are barred from traveling to Cuba without government
permission under a U.S. trade embargo imposed half a century ago that
can only be lifted by Congress.

The rise in U.S. visitors partly reflects a loosening of travel
restrictions by President Barack Obama's administration and allow
"people-to-people" contact aimed at speeding political change on the
communist-ruled island 90 miles from Florida.

As well as allowing Cuban Americans to travel to Cuba freely, Obama
authorized licenses for "purposeful" travel to more than 250 Cuba travel
agents and allowed more airports to provide charter service between the
two countries.

The program, which began in 2011 and requires annual renewal of
permission to bring groups to Cuba, allows for educational and cultural
travel. The regulations require detailed itineraries of each traveling
group.

Cuba hosted 2.8 million tourists in 2012, with arrivals down 2 percent
so far this year.

"Cuba has so much to offer in terms of culture, history and issues of
mutual concern - healthcare, education and the environment - and
students, professionals, people of faith are curious," said Collin
Laverty, head of travel provider Cuba Educational Travel.

In the years following Cuba's 1959 revolution when Fidel Castro took
power, the highest known number of U.S. visitors peaked at 70,000 under
President Bill Clinton, but dropped to an average of 30,000 in the last
term of President George W. Bush.

Travel to Cuba is seen as a key political issue by both embargo
supporters and opponents in Washington.

"This is not about promoting democracy and freedom in Cuba. This is
nothing more than tourism ... a source of millions of dollars in the
hands of the Castro government that they use to oppress the Cuban
people," Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida told a congressional
hearing soon after Obama instituted the policy.

Theodore Piccone, deputy director of foreign policy at the
Washington-based Brookings Institute that advocates engagement, said
Obama should do more to open travel to Cuba. He said it was ironic that
Cubans, due to reforms on the island, were now free to travel where they
pleased while U.S. citizens were not.

"American travel to Cuba will remain a small fraction of its potential
as long as President Obama avoids a further liberalization of travel,"
he said. "If the Cuban government can open travel of its citizens, which
it now has, why can't we?"

(Reporting by Marc Frank; editing by Christopher Wilson)

Source: "Americans traveling to Cuba in record numbers | Reuters" -
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/18/us-cuba-usa-tourism-idUSBRE99H0J320131018
The Razor's Edge
2013-10-23 12:36:54 UTC
Permalink
One can debate this issue until the cows come home but when the rubber hits
the road, Cubans are better off now than they were 54 years ago. We can
agree to disagree.

Twisting words to suit a purpose is a tactic used by the EE.UU propaganda
machine and has been used in every war, declared or not since Vietnam. The
truth about human rights violations and war crimes committed under the guise
of a hegemonic foreign policy is unprecedented in history. Never in the
history of mankind has one nation inflicted more human suffering than the
EE.UU. That is not a bald statement. That is a fact documented throughout
history and started with Monroe.
Cubaverdad
2013-10-23 13:20:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Razor's Edge
One can debate this issue until the cows come home but when the rubber hits
the road, Cubans are better off now than they were 54 years ago. We can
agree to disagree.
Cubans are a lot worse off then they would have been without Castro.
From third nation in the Americas to a third world nation.
Post by The Razor's Edge
Twisting words to suit a purpose
I don't twist words. I post referenced facts.
Post by The Razor's Edge
is a tactic used by the EE.UU propaganda
It is you that are posting propaganda along the set lines of the Castro
regime.

"The Cuban government is based on lies and cheap propaganda. That is
why it is afraid of words and the truth."
Raul Rivero, April 2006, University of Sevilla, Spain.
"El Gobierno cubano se basa en la mentira y en la propaganda barata. Por
eso le tiene miedo a la palabra, a la verdad"

You don't address any of the posted facts and mindlessly repeat the same
slogan type propaganda unable to refute anything and relying on
propaganda lies in your desperate attempt to make even the smallest dent
in the credibility of the sources.

... and you utterly fail at it.
The Razor's Edge
2013-10-27 11:13:38 UTC
Permalink
Dear Cubaverdad;

You are a hard nut to crack so I am not going to try.

I am a 67 year old Canadian citizen married to a Cubana and have a 4 year
old son born here in Las Tunas Cuba. In a past life, I was a computer
network engineer and started that career in 1979 specializing in network
security.

Although my connection to the internet here in Las Tunas is slow, I do have
full access to the internet and by virtue of the fact that I am talking to
you on alt.binaries.com shows that my connection is not restricted. I use an
SSL connection to alt.binaries and when I come across a site that is
blocked, like adobe, I use my TOR connection but for the most part I connect
in a normal fashion. My neighbor, a young man of 23 years works for Acinox
in the computer department and he too has access to the full internet at his
place of work. Granted sites which contain smut are blocked but that is a
good thing. In Canada while working, my client list was a who's who of large
corporations and one of my principle mandates was to block access to smut in
the workplace.

Now having said that, you obviously didn't grow up under the Batista regime
and therefore have not had to experience the brutality of it. Before Fidel,
Cuba was owned by the mafia and large corporations like Bacardi, United
Fruit, Shell, Texaco and a host of other EE.UU based companies that
plundered this country, taking advantage of cheap labor, polluting the land
and extracting it's natural resources for export on the backs of the Cuban
people. This is not propaganda, this is documented fact and if you can
honestly say this to be false then you fail to recognize history and are no
different than a horse with blinders.

The Helms Burton Act is a fact as is the Torcelli Act and a host of other
legislation aimed at trying to bring down this country. Socialism is not
perfect and as you well know, capitalism is not perfect either. Currently
the democratic process is working here in Cuba and although the driver
doesn't change, the navigator does and mistake will be made.

The devastation to countries like Mexico, one of the most polluted countries
in the world can only be blamed on EE.UU corporations seeking low wages and
nonexistant pollution control in order to maximize profits. The Vietnam war
was real and one cannot claim the toll on human life and dignity as false.
The war in Afghanistan is real and the human tragedy of that saga cannot be
denied or claimed as being false. The war in Iraq was and still is real and
that country was basically destroyed, not only it's infrastructure but it's
people and it's culture and is in a worse state today than it was before the
invasion. That cannot be denied or claimed to be false. One cannot deny the
use of bombs using depleted uranium that when exploded dusted the country
with radioactive material that will remain remain radioactive and harming
the future generations, not just one or two but hundreds of generation. This
is fact and cannot be construed as false.

A war of ideas does not kill people, it does not pollute the environment
causing birth defects for future generations, it does not put enormous
profits first and the people last, it does not invade other countries
leaving a trail of devastation, nor leave the countryside radioactive.

Raúl Rivero Castañeda is a Cuban poet, journalist, and dissident. Rivero was
born in 1945 in Morón, Camagüey, in central Cuba. In his youth, he was an
ardent follower of Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution, but he became a
traitor to "La Revolucion" and like all traitors, he paid the price and
naturally he has a hardon for Fidel.

The EE.UU has been the cause of more human suffering, human rights
violations than any nation known to have existed. This is fact and history
cannot be changed. Wake up smell the coffee and maybe a rose or two but wake
the fuck up.

You should visit www.counterpunch.org. Now the information you will find
there is the truth and not some government media friendly propaganda.

One only needs to follow the history of South American countries with their
litany of brutal puppet regimes and their corrupt EE.UU foreign ministers
and embassadors to recognize what lengths the CIA and the government will go
to in order to strip bare that countries natural resources with little
regard for the human element.

If you believe all the government controlled media propaganda and look only
for the bad you will surely find it but the good is missed and I will admit
there are many things bad here in Cuba but there are also many things more
that are good.

Capitalism is not going to fix the bad and all that is good will be soured
in the process. Dismantalling the blockade will give this country a fighting
chance.
Cubaverdad
2013-10-27 12:51:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Razor's Edge
Dear Cubaverdad;
You are a hard nut to crack so I am not going to try.
No crocodile tears, please.
Post by The Razor's Edge
I am a 67 year old Canadian citizen married to a Cubana and have a 4 year
old son born here in Las Tunas Cuba.
Daddy at 63. Way to go boy.
Robbing he cradle I would say.
But then lots of elderly Canadians go to Cuba for "company" of the
younger persuasion, no?
Post by The Razor's Edge
In a past life, I was a computer
network engineer and started that career in 1979 specializing in network
security.
You should have taken courses in internet access blocking and tracking
holes in the Castro Chinese firewall.
you would be well paid.
Post by The Razor's Edge
Although my connection to the internet here in Las Tunas is slow,
and very expensive.
Post by The Razor's Edge
I do have
full access to the internet and by virtue of the fact that I am talking to
you on alt.binaries.com shows that my connection is not restricted.
which only those that are subservient to the regime or pay good dollars get
Post by The Razor's Edge
I use an
SSL connection to alt.binaries and when I come across a site that is
blocked, like adobe, I use my TOR connection but for the most part I connect
in a normal fashion.
TOR is illegal in Cuba.
(snip)
Post by The Razor's Edge
Now having said that, you obviously didn't grow up under the Batista regime
and therefore have not had to experience the brutality of it.
Nor did you.
I do have a lot of friends that did.
They fought in the revolution against Batista alongside Frank Pais,
Huber Matos, ...
Some fought in the Escambray against Fidel
Fidel stole the revolution. He - using Raul's wife - betrayed Frank Pais.
http://cubaverdad.net/revolution.htm
Post by The Razor's Edge
Before Fidel,
Cuba was owned by the mafia and large corporations
(snip)

Now Cuba is owned by Raul Castro's military elite.
Raul's granddaughter is shopping in New York wearing Gucci and Rolex.
Fidel's son has a jet-set lifestyle in Havana and is Cuba's golf champion.
Post by The Razor's Edge
The Helms Burton Act is a fact as is the Torcelli Act and a host of other
legislation aimed at trying to bring down this country.
(snip)
They are aimed at restoring democracy in Cuba and to resolve outstanding
issues of expropriation without compensation.
Post by The Razor's Edge
A war of ideas does not kill people,
The Castro regime does.
http://cubaverdad.net/genocide.htm
Post by The Razor's Edge
it does not pollute the environment
the Castro regime does:

(snip)
http://medioambientecuba.blogspot.ca/
Post by The Razor's Edge
Raúl Rivero Castañeda is a Cuban poet, journalist, and dissident. Rivero was
born in 1945 in Morón, Camagüey, in central Cuba. In his youth, he was an
ardent follower of Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution, but he became a
traitor
(snip)

He became disgusted with the Castro regimes abuses.
He spoke out and suffered repression and abuse for it.
See:
http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/CubaVerdad/search/messages?query=%22RAul%20Rivero%22
The Razor's Edge
2013-10-31 09:30:05 UTC
Permalink
Dear Cubaverdad;

Well there are no tears but certainly a little sadness.

Yup a dad at 63. My wife although young by my age is not a young woman
although some may consider 45 as being young. I do and she is a very
beautiful 45. I can say that I was not ready to be a father again but I am
also against abortion so when she became pregnant we decided to go for it
and we were not disappointed nor is there any second thoughts about our son.
His brothers here are now 19 and 15 and they are just as much my boys as
they are hers. My other sons in Canada are all grown up with children of
there own as well and are pleased to have another brother.

I started in the computer industry when the first portable (luggable) Osborn
computer came to be and over the course of my 24 years in that business
spent the last 10 years of my career in network security dealing with
firewalls, antivirus, proxy servers, archive servers and a host of other
software and hardware devices to maintain a secure working environment for
my clients ensuring disaster recovery and intrusion protection. I could be a
valuable asset to the Revolucion but being a foreigner am not allowed to
work in that field and I don't want to work anymore anyway. I am content to
follow breaking news via the internet, care for my family and drink rum.

My internet connection is expensive by Cuban salary perspectives but it is
not expensive for me. It gives me what I need and at a price I am willing to
pay.

Well, TOR if illegal is not blocked and I have called the support center in
La Habana for a connection problem I discovered and was told how to get
around it. Nobody in the support center told me I couldn't use it not did
they tell me it was illegal.

Frank Pais died two years before the revolucion began. During the latter
part of July 1957 a wave of systematic police searches forced Frank País
into hiding in Santiago de Cuba. On July 30 he was in a safe house with Raúl
Pujol, despite warnings from other members of the Movement that it was not
secure . The Santiago police under Colonel José Salas Cañizares surrounded
the building. Frank and Raúl attempted to escape. However, an informant
betrayed them as they tried to walk to a waiting getaway car. The police
officers drove the two men to the Callejón del Muro (Rampart Lane) and shot
them in the back of the head. Do you believe the informant was in
collaboration with Fidel? Somehow I can't buy that.

Cuba is run by the Castro Family but positions right down to the presidents
of CDRs are handled in democratic elections and I vote like everyone else.

The elite of society, royal families, presidents, heads of state, senators
and the like are all swilling at the public trough and many a millionaire
has been made through election to a prestigious position. Look at the royal
families of Europe, Presidents of countries including present and past for
the EE.UU. All live priveleged lives at the public expense. Lavish dinners,
vacations in exotic locations, fancy cars and clothes, rock star status and
all at the public expense, why shouldn't the families of Fidel enjoy the
same. What makes them any different? Perspective is relative.

As for repression, when in Rome...! If you know something is going to get
you into a pile of shit keep your mouth shut. It is pretty simple and look
what is happening in the EE.UU with Snowden. He spoke out as did Manning and
a host of others and look what happened to them. What makes all the abuses
of the EE.UU okay and everyone else's a problem.

Weekend Edition May 24-26, 2013
A New Awakening or Political Theater?
The U.S. Press and Repression in the Obama Era
by AMAJU BARAKA
"Quote
We are supposed to take seriously the outrage coming from members of the
corporate press in response to the revelation that the Obama
administration’s ever expanding use of executive powers to intimidate and
crush dissent had turned its focus on the U.S. press.

But those of us who have consistently struggled to defend the human rights
of the victims of the repressive national security state over the last few
years have a few very simple questions for the press – where was the outrage
or even concern when the target of the State was the “usual suspects” of
Black, Brown and poor folks and their ‘radical” sympathizers? Why was there
so little concern expressed by the Press when Obama’s national security
apparatus conducted raids on oppositional organizations, expanded the
infiltration of lawful organizations and increased domestic electronic and
communication surveillance? And when this administration shamelessly claimed
the power to be the judge, jury and executioner of anyone that ended up on
one of its kill lists, including U.S. citizens, why didn’t this incredible
abuse of State power garner at least some serious concern from the press,
let alone outrage? Unquote"

One only needs to follow the current NSA exposure to realize that the so
called "land of the free and home of the brave" is nothing more than a pack
of lies. You are being spied upon by your own government and if you speak
out about some injustice you will be labelled a whistleblower and face
criminal charges under the patriot act. How much bravery does it take to
shoot a missile at a group of women and children from 8000 miles away. There
is something really sick about that and I know that war produces casualties
but war has not been declared.

Helms Burton and Torcelli have nothing do do with restoring democracy but
rather to put a financial embargo as was done with Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya,
Syria and any other country that happens to think or act in a manner that is
not to the liking of the current administration. That is akin to all
catholics telling all protestants that they cannot shop in the store near
their house and then organizing lynch mobs for anyone who breaks the
embargo.

What the media failed to report about expropriation and due compensation are
the facts around it. For example, a land owner with several hundred thousand
acres of land being used to produce sugarcane on the back of Cubans who
worked for little or nothing, claimed for tax purposes (two sets of books)
that his land was only worth 50 million dollars but for the bankers backing
him claimed it was worth 100 million. When his property was expropriated, he
was offered and paid what he declared it to be for tax purposes. Sure it was
undervalued but that is what he officially claimed it was worth and that is
what he paid taxes on and for how many years did he screw the Cuban people
out of taxes on the other 50 million. That is only one example and United
Sugar got what they deserved.

So when the rubber hits the road, albeit in really shitty condition the
revolucion trumbles on.

I can tell you though that the lineups to store your bag in the dollar
stores is a lot longer than the ones in the peso stores and I can also tell
you that the vast majority of shoppers, buying and paying for goods in CUC
are Cubans. All dressed in nice cloths, smiling and buying. Go figure!
Cubaverdad
2013-10-31 10:19:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Razor's Edge
Dear Cubaverdad;
Well there are no tears but certainly a little sadness.
In Cuba there are lots of tears and lots of sadness over broken-up
families, hardship, ...
Post by The Razor's Edge
Yup a dad at 63.
(snip)

Some advice: don't post private stuff in Usenet. SCC is a lot calmer
than before since some of the most aggressive people gave it up.
A friend of mine was harassed and slandered here and before I started
posting he gave me the same advice.
Post by The Razor's Edge
I started in the computer industry when the first portable (luggable) Osborn
computer came to be and over the course of my 24 years in that business
spent the last 10 years of my career in network security dealing with
firewalls, antivirus, proxy servers, archive servers and a host of other
software and hardware devices to maintain a secure working environment for
my clients ensuring disaster recovery and intrusion protection. I could be a
valuable asset to the Revolucion but being a foreigner am not allowed to
work in that field and I don't want to work anymore anyway.
I collect IT stuff. I have one of the first IBM portables, Sinclair,
Apple, ...
Note that in Cuba the need is for people to block people leaving a
system and intruding in other people's systems than protecting against
not allowed access. You could serve as the "opposite part" helping them
to test some stuff.
But then Cubans are very good at creating holes in systems to get access
to the web directly or via freedom servers. The new internet cafés of
the regime aren't where Cubans get on the web. For those that have the
connections even skyping is possible. But I better don't get you riled up.
Post by The Razor's Edge
I am content to
follow breaking news via the internet, care for my family and drink rum.
It is a nice thing to have a Canadian pension, no?
By the way: best rum: Santiago de Cuba. Three year old white and 8 year
old añejo.
A friend of mine introduced me to them.
Post by The Razor's Edge
My internet connection is expensive by Cuban salary perspectives but it is
not expensive for me.
Not very "social" of you to only care about yourself.
Post by The Razor's Edge
It gives me what I need and at a price I am willing to
pay.
and at a price most true citizens of the country can't pay.
Be a sport and share yours with some Cubans via Wifi.
Post by The Razor's Edge
Well, TOR if illegal is not blocked and I have called the support center in
La Habana for a connection problem I discovered and was told how to get
around it. Nobody in the support center told me I couldn't use it not did
they tell me it was illegal.
You are a foreigner.
Lots of Cubans use it though.
Post by The Razor's Edge
Frank Pais died two years before the revolucion began. During the latter
part of July 1957 a wave of systematic police searches forced Frank País
into hiding in Santiago de Cuba. On July 30 he was in a safe house with Raúl
Pujol, despite warnings from other members of the Movement that it was not
secure . The Santiago police under Colonel José Salas Cañizares surrounded
the building. Frank and Raúl attempted to escape. However, an informant
betrayed them as they tried to walk to a waiting getaway car.
(snip)

and it was Vilma Espin that betrayed Frank Pais to the police after
Frank Pais basically broke with Fidel over his failure to turn up with
the hundreds of men he didn't have but had promised for the rising in
Santiago of November 30 1956.
Frank Pais mother hated Fidel, Raul and Vilma Espin so much she never
stood on any podium with them. She refused to be near them.
Friends of Frank Pais tried to kill Raul Castro later - after the
Castros seized power from the revolution - on the road between Siboney
and Santiago. They failed and fled the country.

Also see:
http://cubaverdad.net/revolution.htm
Post by The Razor's Edge
Cuba is run by the Castro Family but positions right down to the presidents
of CDRs are handled in democratic elections and I vote like everyone else.
There is no freedom of speech in Cuba. Without that there can be no
democratic elections.

This is what the UN special rapporteur said on elections in Cuba:

"the electoral process is so tightly controlled that the final phase,
the voting itself, could be dispensed with without the final result
being substantially affected"

See: E/CN.4/1998/69
<http://www.unhchr.ch/Huridocda/Huridoca.nsf/TestFrame/e5cd0d891d0d6566c125661300495d69?Opendocument>


See:
For the local elections candidates are nominated in open meetings run by
the CDR (Committees to Defend the Revolution) [1] that are closely
linked to police and security forces. They report and sanction dissent.
Prison terms of 4 years threaten those that openly oppose the regime [2]
in that public meeting filled with informants. People not supporting can
be threatened with losing their home [3], job, ....
These "candidates" then are to be approved by "electoral committees"
stuffed with representatives of the
communists front organizations (see the Cuban electoral law) [4].
For national elections the local "elected candidates" at the local level
can "select" candidates from a restricted list drawn up by the communist
front organizations [5].

And then for the results result:
PCC 94.39%; seats - PCC 601
http://workmall.com/wfb2001/cuba/cuba_government.html

and even in 2005 for the local elections: 78% of "candidates" member of
the communist party:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CubaVerdad/message/14813

Just a "coincidence" I guess.

Source: "Elections in Cuba the facts behind the lies" -
http://cubaverdad.net/elections_in_cuba.htm


Also see:
http://cubaverdad.net/democracy.htm
http://www.impela.net
Post by The Razor's Edge
(snip)
As for repression, when in Rome...!
so when in Berlin, become a Nazi.
Strange philosophy.
Post by The Razor's Edge
If you know something is going to get
you into a pile of shit keep your mouth shut.
(snip)

Especially if you demand your human rights.
I get it: as long as you have what you want: screw the Cuban people.
Post by The Razor's Edge
Helms Burton and Torcelli have nothing do do with restoring democracy
False.

(snip)
Post by The Razor's Edge
That is akin to all
catholics telling all protestants that they cannot shop in the store near
their house and then organizing lynch mobs for anyone who breaks the
embargo.
The only mobs in Cuba are the CDR thugs (Rapid Response Brigades) that
take care of the "acts of repudiation":
http://actoderepudio.impela.net/
Post by The Razor's Edge
What the media failed to report about expropriation and due compensation are
the facts around it.
False.
Well reported.

(snip)
Post by The Razor's Edge
I can tell you though that the lineups to store your bag in the dollar
stores is a lot longer than the ones in the peso stores and I can also tell
you that the vast majority of shoppers, buying and paying for goods in CUC
are Cubans. All dressed in nice cloths, smiling and buying. Go figure!
of course they are smiling as they can afford it to buy in dollars
stores. They are well dressed as they live of the remittances that
"gusanos" send them. They can afford or get nice clothes and shoes as gifts.
Estimates show that up to 60% of Cubans get some form of remittances.
Their value (money + goods) is estimated a 5 billion dollars a year.
Without these remittances nearly no Cubans would be going to the dollar
stores. Even less people would be smiling and even more people would
ware shabby clothes. Open your eyes.
Cuban economists have calculated that a Cuban family of 4 needs the
equivalent of 7 average incomes to get a half way decent life.

Explain me how the grandfather of a friend of mine can live on 260 CUP a
month?
That is Cuban reality. Not your privileged selfish crap.

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