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Cuba under the US Planned ´Peaceful Transition´ / Cuba bajo 'transición pacífica' prevista los EU January 05, 2006 12:22 PM

http://www.plenglish.com/article.asp?ID={1877F17F-C2E7-4120-87B8-EDFBE53DB32B}&language=EN

Cuba under the US Planned ´Peaceful Transition´

Carolina Cositore*

Havana, (Prensa Latina) George W. Bush, president of the United States, speaks of a "peaceful transition to democracy in Cuba," and uses this plan as justification for the draconian measures he takes to hasten such eventuality.

It therefore behooves both Cuban and US citizens to clearly understand just exactly what effects this plan would have on the Island nation; Cubans, obviously, because said plan would affect their quality of life, and US citizens because it will require another great outlay of money, materiel, and the lives of their sons and daughters, and -as will be clear in what follows- would be yet another ugly intervention causing murder and mayhem to enrich a few.

To understand the end result of this plan it is not necessary to extrapolate from the abhorrent history of US involvement in Cuba, Latin America, and the rest of the world. The plan and expected consequences are spelled-out clearly in the 423-page report prepared in May 2004 for Bush and signed by Colin Powell, then Secretary of State. It represents the official policy of the United States toward Cuba. http://www.state.gov/p/wha/rt/cuba/commission/2004/c12236.htm

What is remarkable in a public report that originates from this institution and government, expert at putting a "spin" on facts, is its clarity; this is a plan for Cuba from the point of view of capitalists who want to rape it. Equally notable is that it does not address whether or not there is now democracy in Cuba, but instead is unambiguous that the labeled transition to "democracy" means to "colonialist-style capitalism" in every instance where it uses the word "democracy".

Since the report is so crystal clear, let us pose some questions and allow it to speak for itself.

PEACEFUL TRANSITION?

To begin with the "peaceful" part of the peaceful transition, even leaving aside the germane point of the extent to which the Cuban people would defend their sovereignty, and assuming, as the report assumes, that most or many Cubans would want the "benefits" of capitalism, it would then follow that such transition should be substantially peaceful.

Why then does page 157 of the report say: "A peaceful transition to democracy [in Cuba] will require the presence of effective, professional Cuban security institutions. As an immediate priority, and assuming the new Cuban government desires it, the United States would be prepared to assist a free Cuba develop a truly professional civilian police force.

Reliable military forces could help transition authorities prevent massive sea borne migration. [bold inserted] And page 81: " [The United States must] be prepared to respond positively to a request from a transition government to assist with public security and law enforcement during the initial stages of the transition, to protect humanitarian assistance providers and the Cuban population.

We must ask ourselves why so much security and force be necessary in a peaceful transition. Cuba is indeed a developing country, not a rich one, yet since the Revolution, all of her people have become accustomed to the fulfillment of their basic needs and wants, said fulfillment unavailable to all people in other nations, including in the US.

FOOD

First, at the present time, no one in Cuba is hungry. Sufficient food intake, carefully nutritionally balanced, is guaranteed to everyone. In addition, supplementary fruit and vegetables and, to a lesser extent, meat and fish are for sale cheaply. What would happen to the food supply after the "transition to democracy"? Page 78 of the US report explains: "There are a number of different food security scenarios that could confront a transition government in Cuba.

The US Government and private organizations have determined that there may very well exist a severe case of malnutrition and lack of available supply and money to feed the Cuban people, or sectors of the Cuban people, to avoid massive sickness and disease."

And, of particular concern given Cubans love and care for their children; page 80: "Should the food security system in Cuba deteriorate and malnutrition rates rise, children under five will be at particular risk."

MEDICAL CARE

Second, at present all Cubans receive excellent, free medical care and their life expectancy equals or betters that of developed nations. There are more doctors per capita in Cuba than in any other country on the globe, Cuba sends medical teams to other countries, trains health personnel from other lands in Cuba, and receives the sick from many nations where they cannot afford to pay for their care.

Would this commendable situation exist after the US plan? No. page 144: "A Cuban transition government might consider, in cooperation with private pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies,and aid donors, instituting access to basic medical services and medicines on a discounted basis, as is now being done in Africa and other poverty-stricken countries."

At present, Cuba is a poor, but not poverty-stricken, nation.

The report makes no comment on the consequences lack of free medical care would have on the health and life expectancy of Cubans.

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article continued: January 05, 2006 12:24 PM

THE ELDERLY

Third, the Cuban government ensures that all third age people have their basic needs met, from retirement pensions and/or social security benefits. The report declares this would not be the case after transition; page 140: "The Cuban economy and government budget after transition may not be able to sustain the level of unearned benefits and the lax requirements for eligibility that the communist system permitted."

EDUCATION

Fourth, as with her medical system, Cuba"s education is world-renowned. Her entire population is literate and increasingly well-educated, both those educated since the Revolution and those taking advantage of the "university for all" programs, Cuban school attendance and graduation rates are exemplary; education in Cuba is free from preschool through graduate school.

As the report makes clear, free, quality education is not the US aim. The goal instead is a return to the quality private, substandard public education that is the norm in other countries; for public schools, page 81: "[The United States must] Prepare to respond positively to a request from transition authorities to help keep schools open, even if teachers are paid with food aid or volunteers have to be temporarily imported, in order to keep children and teenagers off the streets during this potentially unstable period."

The return to paid, private and religious education, pages 97 and 98: "The Offices of Non/Public Schools and Faith-Based Initiatives, US Department of Education, could serve as facilitating agencies in ensuring that the system recognizes private as well as public educational providers, and could: a) "Facilitate the development of private, including faith-based, education.

b) "Ascertain which of the religious groups that had schools in Cuba have plans to reopen their schools.

c) "Assist in consideration of changing laws and regulations to permit private providers to operate and offer a full range of services, from short courses to degree programs."

HOUSING

Fifth, in Cuba one owns [or rents] only the home in which you live. That is, since the Revolution, there is no longer the situation wherein one person owns three homes and two families go homeless. Most Cubans since the Revolution either own their home or apartment or pay minimal rent, with buying privileges, to the State.

Some Cuban-Americans, who left rather than share, want the situation to revert to when they owned considerable property to the detriment of others, and the US wants to help them; page 42: "Implementation of [the new] laws must address the legitimate desire of US citizens to seek redress for the confiscation of their property."

Pages 226-227: "The US Government, if requested by a transition Cuban government, could help establish a structure for addressing property expropriations."

"With regard to claims involving residential property, temporary tenant restrictions should be permitted to avoid undue hardship on current occupants. If the property is occupied as a home, then the claimant should be unable to evict the tenants and take possession of the property for a specified period of time. Additionally, the owner will be restricted as to how much rent to charge the tenants or in the amount of any increases in their rents."

[Note: In the US, the typical time for eviction is 30 days]

FARMS

Sixth, food is raised in Cuba either on State-run farms or by private farmers joined into agricultural cooperatives. After the transition, these cooperatives would return to the pre-Revolution condition, again extant in much of Latin America, with absentee landowners and uncultivated land; page 212: "Agricultural cooperatives could be sold to their members, which is a form of management-employee buyout. Other agricultural enterprises could target sales to strategic outside investors."

Clearly, if the farmers do not have the requisite dollars, the land would return to large landowners."

All of the above, the force required, serious lack of food and medical care, no money for the elderly, raises an important point.

The report declares that the "gross national export of Cuba, presently used to pay for the peoples" needs, is 1.6 billion dollars. We must then ask why there would be insufficient funds to continue to meet those needs.

REASON FOR INSUFFICIENT FUNDS

The US report gives two reasons. One that money, plus six percent interest, must be paid for industries, factories and other "expropriated" properties; page 228: "The US Government should encourage a free Cuba to indicate at an early stage in the transition, and in the strongest possible terms, Cuba"s intent to settle the expropriation issue as quickly as it can and in an open and fair manner."

RECLAIMING NATIONALIZED PROPERTY

That expropriation issue being, as pages 207 and 208 clarify: "The expropriation of US assets was one of the major initial causes of the deterioration of relations between Castro´s Cuba and the United States and of the imposition of the US trade embargo.

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article continued: January 05, 2006 12:25 PM

The US Foreign Claims Settlement Commission (F.C.S.C.) has certified 5,911 claims (totaling about $1.8 billion) by US nationals against the Castro regime for the taking of their property since January 1, 1959.The FCSC determined that simple interest at 6 percent should be included as part of the certified claims. Using this figure results in a value in excess of $7 billion, as of April 2004."

FOREIGN DEBT RE-INSTITUTED

And two, the foreign "debt" currently strangling the rest of the Third World would be reinstituted in Cuba and the back interest paid. Page 222: "A free Cuba will need to normalize relations with its external creditors. This would involve a number of actions by Cuba and the international community, including an effort to reschedule Cuba"s debt, including arrears, and establish conditions whereby Cuba might resume making the debt service payments."

All now becomes crystal clear. Obviously, if Cuba"s income is $1.6 billion, and it must pay $7 billion, plus on the foreign debt, the country would be destitute.

One final point: The report repeatedly refers to a "free Cuba". One must ask, aside from the US security forces that would be present to "secure" the transition, would Cuba be truly free or would a US bureaucracy control her? Page 121:

"If requested by a transition government, the US Government should. Establish in Havana an Office of Agricultural Affairs (O.A.A.) and an Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (A.P.H.I.S.) of the US Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.), which would enable the US Government to assist with development activities and to foster increased trade opportunities for both countries.."

And page 250: "In order to be prepared for a transition and to implement programs in the economic arena quickly, it would be prudent to establish a US Government Standing Committee for Economic Reconstruction (S.C.E.R.), to act in coordination with the Department of State Transition Coordinator specifically on economic issues addressed in this report.

The SCER would meet as necessary to review reconstruction plans, ensure that appropriate agencies are prepared to implement programs immediately and to update programs as needs change or as a situation might dictate.

This committee should be made up of representatives from Commerce, State, USAID, Justice, SBA, OPIC, EXIM, Agriculture, HUD, USTR, and Treasury. Other agencies can be included as required. This Committee should be chairs at the Deputy Assistant Secretary (D.A.S.) level with participation at the DAS or Office Director level, at participating agencies."

There should now be no doubt in anyone´s mind that the outcome of a US transition to capitalism for Cuba would mean hunger, sickness, death, homelessness, poverty and despair for a people now well-fed, healthy, long-lived, well-educated, and with no homeless.

What the choice for Cuban people will be is manifest. It is left to the people of the United States to determine if they would attempt to do this, at the price, the Cubans, and ultimately, they would pay.

* The writer is an American translator and reporter for Prensa Latina.

Ln

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 January 05, 2006 2:26 PM

no way..George Bush just want to use a tactica for to make Cuba again a one more "slave" country that US has here in America Latina.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 January 05, 2006 7:00 PM

Bush realizes that Cuba represents the potential strength of the latin american countries when they come together.  He fears that the latin america will no longer play his political games.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
FRom the CIA Factbook January 06, 2006 10:39 AM


Joachim has received 19 new, 262 total stars from Care2 members Joachim G.
From the CIA world factbook site 9:53 AM

Cuba infant mortality:

total: 6.33 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 7.11 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)

USA infant mortality

total: 6.5 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 7.17 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)

Cuba life expectancy at birth

total population: 77.23 years
male: 74.94 years
female: 79.65 years (2005 est.)

USA life expectancy at birth

total population: 77.71 years
male: 74.89 years
female: 80.67 years (2005 est.)

Cuba HIV/Aids adult prevalence rate

less than 0.1% (2003 est.)

USA HIV/Aids adult prevalence rate

0.6% (2003 est.)  for those who cannot calculate, that is 6 times as high as Cuba

Cuba literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97%
male: 97.2%
female: 96.9% (2003 est.)

USA literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97%
male: 97%
female: 97% (1999 est.)

Cuba unemployment rate

2.5% (2004 est.)

USA unemployment rate

5.5% (2004 est.)

Cuba illicit drugs

territorial waters and air space serve as transshipment zone primarily for marijuana bound for North America; established the death penalty for certain drug-related crimes in 1999

USA illicit drugs

consumer of cocaine shipped from Colombia through Mexico and the Caribbean; consumer of heroin, marijuana, and increasingly methamphetamine from Mexico; consumer of high-quality Southeast Asian heroin; illicit producer of cannabis, marijuana, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, and methamphetamine; money-laundering center

Which country needs a regime change?

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anonymous GREAT ARTICLE SIMON! January 07, 2006 9:20 AM

I cannot top this reply from Paola....


Paola has received 476 new, 2101 total stars from Care2 membersPaola has been awarded 55 butterflies for taking action at Care2 Paola Z.
 Thursday, 2:26 PM
no way..George Bush just want to use a tactica for to make Cuba again a one more "slave" country that US has here in America Latina.  [ send green star]

Dixie

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 January 07, 2006 12:42 PM

lol...

you are sweet Dixie!!

Hey SImon.. bebito lindo!!

Thank you Ted (about the post)and Franci (about your opinions)

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US Transition Plan Useless in Cuba / Rechaza Fidel Castro plan de EEUU para transición en Cuba July 27, 2006 8:27 AM

http://www.plenglish.com/article.asp?ID={BDA8A9BD-900C-4368-AC76-F9A3BD082976})&language=EN

US Transition Plan Useless in CubaUS Transition Plan Useless in Cuba

Bayamo, Cuba, Jul 26 (Prensa Latina) President Fidel Castro compared Cuba"s social and humane exploits to a Plan devised by President (G.W.) Bush for "a democratic transition" on the Island.

  • The World Must Change, Fidel Castro
  • Cuban Medical Studies are Universal, Fidel Castro

    "Granma province does not need a Yankee transition plan to educate, vaccinate and provide health care to the people," said Fidel on addressing National Rebel Day celebration.

    Fidel Castro also noted that Cubans enjoy today what over 40 million US counterparts cannot even dream about.

    "We should invite Mr. Bush and those talking of plans of transition to see in Granma the achievements of literacy, arts and culture," he said.

    The White House recently approved a so-called Report from the Commission for the Assistance to a Free Cuba that manipulates the truth on the Cuban Revolution with explicit means to topple its legitimate government.

    Fidel also noted local development in education, health, culture, sports, technology, social security, economic development, that helped win the national July 26th celebrations.

    On that date in 1953 a group of youth led by the young attorney Fidel Castro led two attacks on military barracks from dictator Fulgencio Batista.

    The actions became symbol of rebelliousness and catalyst of the 1959 triumph of the Revolution.

    hr/emw/ucl/mf

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    Rechaza Fidel Castro plan de EEUU para transición en Cuba / US Transition Plan Useless in Cuba July 27, 2006 8:30 AM

    http://www.prensalatina.com.mx/article.asp?ID={FEA0B0D8-4924-4413-B531-93B9B49DABD0}

    Rechaza Fidel Castro plan de EEUU para transición en Cuba

    Bayamo, Cuba, 26 jul (PL) El presidente Fidel Castro contrastó hoy los logros sociales y humanos de la revolución con los de Estados Unidos, y rechazó un plan del mandatario norteamericano, George W. Bush, para una supuesta transición democrática en Cuba.

    Granma (provincia cuya ciudad cabecera es Bayamo) no necesita ningún plan de transición yanqui para alfabetizar, vacunar y atender la salud de la población, destacó el líder cubano, al hablar en el acto por el Día de la Rebeldía Nacional.

    En su discurso pronunciado en la Plaza de la Patria de esta urbe, situada en el oriente del país, Fidel Castro señaló que los cubanos tienen hoy "lo que la población de Estados Unidos no tiene, lo que más de 40 millones de norteamericanos no tienen".

    Habría que decirle al señor Bush y a otros que hablan de planes de transición que vengan a Granma para que vean lo que es progreso en la alfabetización, del arte, de la cultura, pueden ir a cualquier lugar del país, pero los invitamos a Granma.

    La Casa Blanca anunció recientemente un denominado plan de asistencia para una Cuba Libre, en el que se manipula la verdad sobre el proceso revolucionario cubano y se anuncian medidas dirigidas, explícitamente, a derrocar un gobierno legítimo.

    El jefe de Estado expuso varios de los avances en materia de educación, salud, cultura, deportes, tecnología, seguridad social, desarrollo económico de esta demarcación, lo cual le valió para obtener la sede por los actos centrales del 26 de Julio.

    En esa fecha de 1953, jóvenes encabezados por el ahora presidente cubano protagonizaron dos acciones militares contra cuarteles de la tiranía de Fulgencio Batista, hechos devenidos símbolos de rebeldía y catalizadores para el triunfo revolucionario de 1959.

    Durante su alocución, el líder cubano recordó que en 2002, cuando visitó esta demarcación, se inauguraron cuatro programas de la revolución, entre ellos uno para la introducción de la computación en la enseñanza primaria.

    Tal proyecto, precisó, inició entonces en una escuelita con 18 alumnos y una computadora alimentada por un sistema fotovoltáico (paneles solares), y cuatro años después beneficia a 74 mil 374 alumnos de primaria con dos mil 21 ordenadores.

    Igualmente, mencionó un programa audiovisual para la enseñanza primaria y secundaria, que ahora cuenta con siete mil 460 televisores, tres mil 581 videocaseteras y cinco mil 54 computadoras.

    De las 485 escuelas granmenses electrificadas con celdas fotovoltaicas, 167 tienen una matrícula inferior a cinco niños y 24 con un solo menor y un maestro, siguiendo el principio de que no quede un solo niño sin escuela por apartada que esté su vivienda.

    Se refirió también a un curso para la superación integral de jóvenes en Manzanillo (un municipio de Granma) con 12 mil 124 estudiantes, mientras hoy la matrícula es de 17 mil 930 alumnos.

    De ellos, apuntó, han ingresado a universidades en ese período 17 mil 950 jóvenes, cifra con la que la provincia llega a los 47 mil 409 estudiantes de enseñanza superior, tres veces más que lo que tenía toda Cuba al triunfar la Revolución.

    Además de referirse a la enseñanza de la computación en los llamados Joven Club, la formación masiva de instructores de arte, la reducción de la tasa de desempleo al nivel de empleo pleno (1,6), Fidel Castro afirmó que esos son méritos difíciles de superar.

    "Interesa que conozcan y mediten sobre todo esto, será una historia difícil de superar, y no porque seamos mejores, sino porque hemos tenido el privilegio de luchar", subrayó.

    Según el estadista, el día que existan sociedades verdaderamente justas en el mundo se podrá hacer uso de todas las fuerzas de la educación para crear valores y especialmente trasmitir valores.

    Al respecto, deploró otros escenarios sociales en Latinoamérica donde no se toman en cuenta los fenómenos culturales, sociales y científicos que inducen al delito, para luchar contra ese flagelo e impedir que proliferen jóvenes delincuentes.

    lac/Ucl

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    anonymous US prepares peaceful tansition to ensure Cuban debt slavery August 02, 2006 3:56 PM

    Rob banks, that's where the money is:

    FOREIGN DEBT RE-INSTITUTED

    And two, the foreign "debt" currently strangling the rest of the Third World would be reinstituted in Cuba and the back interest paid. Page 222: "A free Cuba will need to normalize relations with its external creditors. This would involve a number of actions by Cuba and the international community, including an effort to reschedule Cuba"s debt, including arrears, and establish conditions whereby Cuba might resume making the debt service payments."

    All now becomes crystal clear. Obviously, if Cuba"s income is $1.6 billion, and it must pay $7 billion, plus on the foreign debt, the country would be destitute.

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    ... August 03, 2006 4:05 PM

    Lo que no me gusta de Cuba es que no permita la salida libre de sus ciudadanos, quizas porque a mí me gusta viajar y no me gustaría que me limitaran de esa forma pero por lo que he sabido de Cuba de conocidos y amigos míos que han viajado a ese país, pase lo que pase, lo mejor para todos es que la gente haga lo suyo y los otros gobiernos no se metan. Nadie tiene que decidir como viven los demás. Hay cosas de Cuba que pueden no ser perfectas, pero dudo mucho que intervención de los EUA vayan a mejorar nada, de hecho creo que lo empeorarían grandemente. Ejem. Rusia era una potencia, EUA les ayudó a hacer su "transición" y miren como los dejaron a los pobres, en la calle y batallando para sobrevivir. Parece que lo único que hizo EUA fue ayudar a introducir el consumismo americano (McDonalds) y se fueron...  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
     
     August 03, 2006 4:25 PM

    Today i was reading about Human Rights... reading about the organizations  for the orden and for to make to respect the human rights..the mayority american (USA) organizations, and i saw they put an example about "agaisnt violation of Human Rights in Cuba" ...i smiled...why?... cos i just can see the violation that USA was doing and is doing all the time with people in Oriente.

    How they can talk about Human rights?...why they want to put their noses in our countries for everything?..maybe cos they odnt want to lose the control that they hav ein our countries...this is something that Cuba do not permit...

    Some people who doesnt want to live more in Cuba its cos they want more (more work, more salary, more ocmpetence, and if they decide to go to USA then more discrimination), althoguht they have in their country (CUBA)food, education,house , health care etc. but they have that in Cuba.

     [ send green star]  [ accepted]
     
    The reality of Cuban immigration policy August 04, 2006 5:19 AM

    Hola Kenyatta and Aisha

    and Paolita

    It is great to see you all writing here! Please keep up the great work!

    Aisha, I am writing to correct/clarify what you have written. The Cuban immigration policy is not as restrictive as it seems in what you wrote. In a certain sense, it is quite free, as you can see in the following article:

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    The reality of Cuban immigration policy (article for clarification) August 04, 2006 5:25 AM

    http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/2003/536/536p15.htm

    CUBA: Intellectuals launch campaign against US provocations

    BY MARCE CAMERON

    On May 1, 160 foreign intellectuals and artists — including Nobel Prize winners Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Rigoberta Menchu, Aldolfo Perez Esquivel and Nadine Gordimer — launched an international declaration in defence of Cuba. The same day, US Secretary of State Colin Powell included Cuba, along with Iraq, Iran and North Korea, on Washington's ``hit list” of states allegedly sponsoring terrorism.

    US actors Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover are also among the personalities who have signed the two-paragraph declaration “To the Conscience of the World", which states: “A single power is inflicting grave damage to the norms of understanding, debate and mediation among countries... At this very moment, a strong campaign of destabilisation against a Latin American nation has been unleashed. The harassment against Cuba could serve as a pretext for an invasion.”

    The declaration comes in the wake of the arrest and imprisonment of 75 Cubans in early April on charges of collaboration with the US diplomatic mission in Havana in its campaign to enforce a trade embargo against Cuba and to overthrow its revolutionary government.

    Since the arrest on March 18 and the subsequent trial and imprisonment of the 75 Cubans, the Cuban government has provided detailed and compelling evidence that James Cason, the head of the US Interests Section in Havana, is at the centre of a conspiracy to recruit, fund and organise a network of counter-revolutionary political agents in Cuba (for details, see GLW #535).

    At an April 9 press conference in Havana, Cuban foreign minister Felipe Perez Roque dismissed claims by human rights organisation Amnesty International that, according to the organisation's web site, “those arrested may be prisoners of conscience, detained for non-violent exercise of their rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association”.

    Perez Roque said: “I categorically reject this notion. What have been judged here are actions and conducts typified as crimes by the law. We have not judged ideas. We know that subversion is fabricated from abroad, that [the Bush administration and Miami-based Cuban counter-revolutionaries] are attempting to create a Trojan Horse here. Thus, we are exercising our sovereign right to legally confront it, abiding by the law and ethics, never resorting to such thing as kidnapping and assassination, never creating death squads, never violating anyone's physical and moral integrity."

    In a televised address to the nation on April 25, Cuban President Fidel Castro explained why it was necessary for the Cuban government to act swiftly and decisively to discourage further attempts to hijack Cuban vessels or aircraft, following a series of hijackings over the last few months. In early April, three men were executed for hijacking a passenger ferry in Havana.

    “Spokespersons for the US government have expressed their concern over a massive exodus of illegal emigrants”, Castro said. “Such concern could not be more hypocritical when, deliberately and coldly and for vile purposes, the Miami terrorist mob and its most important allies in high power circles are encouraging the large-scale hijacking of Cuban planes and boats by ex-convicts and common criminals, who take passengers and other innocent people hostage in order to go to the United States. What they are really after is an inevitable mass exodus as happened on August 4, 1994, which would serve as a pretext for a military aggression against Cuba.”

    By sharply curtailing the number of Cubans granted visas to emigrate legally over the past six months and by allowing Cuban hijackers to walk the streets of Miami with impunity, the Bush administration has encouraged further hijackings.

    Were this to trigger a mass exodus, it could easily lead to a confrontation in the Florida Straits between the US and Cuban coast guards. The US coast guard would seek to prevent Cuban vessels from reaching Florida, while Cuban authorities would take action to ensure the safety of the rafters. This would be the “provocation" sought by Cuba's enemies in the Bush administration to push for military aggression.

    Immigration policy

    Ever since the 1959 revolution in Cuba, successive US governments have used immigration policy as a political weapon in their campaign to undermine the Cuban Revolution. US policy has had two key aims — to deprive Cuba of its skilled workers and professionals by encouraging them to emigrate to the US, and to encourage illegal immigration to create the propaganda spectacle of Cubans setting out in small boats and rafts “to flee the repressive communist dictatorship".

    In 1966 the US Congress approved the Cuban Adjustment Act, which encourages illegal immigration by providing virtually automatic asylum to any Cuban who lands in Florida, regardless of whatever crimes they may have committed to get there. While Cubans who emigrate illegally are welcomed with open arms, “boat people" from much poorer Caribbean countries are imprisoned or turned away at gunpoint by the US coast guard.

    The Cuban government has not sought to block Cubans from legally emigrating. Its policy — summed up in Castro's statement that “the building of socialism is a task for free men and women" — is that those who wish to leave may do so as long as they have the consent of the receiving country to visit or emigrate.

     [ send green star]
     
    article continued / artículo continuó / artigo continuado / article continué August 04, 2006 5:32 AM

    Most Cubans who wish to emigrate to the US do so for economic reasons, while others hope to join friends and family living there. Highly skilled professionals trained by the revolution can earn far higher salaries in the US than they can in Cuba.

    The magnetic attraction of “the American way of life" for some Cubans is enhanced by two other pillars of the US strategy to destabilise the revolution and create conditions for “regime change". These are Washington's brutal four decades-long economic embargo, its subversive attempts to create an “opposition movement" on the island, and its propaganda war via illegal radio and television broadcasts to encourage subversive and terrorist activities, including attempts to assassinate the revolution's leaders and blow up tourist hotels.

    Military superiority

    In his April 25 address, Castro reminded Cubans that the capacity of the Cuban people to inflict heavy casualties on an invading and occupying force, making the domestic political costs of such an adventure unacceptably high for the US ruling class, is the basic reason why Washington not yet tried to use its overwhelming military superiority to invade the island.

    “A country cannot be conquered with armoured divisions, thousands of tanks, helicopters, fighter planes and bombers, dozens of aircraft carriers and cruise missiles, tens of thousands of missiles. Once the cities and the whole country are occupied — and this must be considered a basic principle — millions of people in the cities and countryside have to be governed. If they think that the Miami mercenary groups will be of any use in Cuba, they will last about as long as a snowball in hell.

    “Once our top leaders are dead, none of whom would ever wave the white flag, tens of thousands of fighters will take the place of the leaders who die, and the people of Cuba will fight on, generation after generation, against the forces of occupation. That is, the war would not end with the occupation of the country, it would rather begin then.

    “Never in any era has any army anywhere in the world fought against the men and women of a people made up of hundreds of thousands of revolutionary professionals and millions of people with a high and thorough education, culture and consciousness, who know that there is no parallel in history for their work of justice and humanity created in decades of struggle under blockade, hostility and aggression by the most powerful country that could possibly exist."

    The capacity of the Cuban revolutionaries to inflict heavy casualties on a US invasion force depends, in turn, on the political unity, organisation and fighting spirit of the Cuban workers and farmers. Were Cuba not to take decisive action to suppress the activities of counter-revolutionaries on the payroll of US imperialism, this could demoralise the supporters of the revolution in Cuba, the overwhelming majority of the Cuban people.

    It would, in the words of former Communist Party of Cuba political bureau member Carlos Aldana, “legalise what the US hasn't been able to do with blood or fire; it [would] mean creating a party of capitalism representing US interests in Cuba”.

    Castro acknowledged that the decision of the Cuban Council of State to uphold the court's imposition of the death penalty for the three hijackers and the jailing of Washington's 75 political agents would come with a political price. “The revolutionary leaders in Cuba are fully aware of the political cost of the measures they felt obliged to take. Nobody should think that this was not thoroughly analysed, from every angle. We suffered beforehand as we realised that many of our friends would be hurt as well as a large number of people in the world whose religious, humanist or philosophical sensitivity over the death penalty we are very familiar with and in many ways we ourselves share. Thanks to all those friends of Cuba who have defended her in this glorious moment.”

    From Green Left Weekly, May 7, 2003.

    Traducción en Español:

    http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.greenleft.org.au%2Fback%2F2003%2F536%2F536p15.htm&langpair=en%7Ces&hl=es&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&prev=%2Flanguage_tools

    Tradução no Português:

    http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.greenleft.org.au%2Fback%2F2003%2F536%2F536p15.htm&langpair=en%7Cpt&hl=pt-BR&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&prev=%2Flanguage_tools

    Traduction dans Français:

    http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.greenleft.org.au%2Fback%2F2003%2F536%2F536p15.htm&langpair=en%7Cfr&hl=fr&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&prev=%2Flanguage_tools

     [ send green star]
     
    : ) August 04, 2006 5:36 AM

    This is the most relevant paragraph in the article:

    'The Cuban government has not sought to block Cubans from legally emigrating. Its policy — summed up in Castro's statement that “the building of socialism is a task for free men and women" — is that those who wish to leave may do so as long as they have the consent of the receiving country to visit or emigrate.'

    However, to understand the reasons for this policy, you would need to read the entire article. If you want any help in understanding the article, I welcome you to ask me

     [ send green star]
     
    US Dogma Still a Bust against Cuba August 05, 2006 8:29 AM

    http://www.plenglish.com/article.asp?ID={77E735FE-E4A9-4FD2-962C-CF72D09E9BC4})&language=EN

    US Dogma Still a Bust against Cuba

    Havana.- Aug 4 (Prensa Latina) The threats that the US government and Miami-based anti-Cuba groups have made against the Caribbean Island over the past few hours repeat the same old errors that have resulted in failure for decades.

  • Historic Merits of Raul Castro
  • International Repercussion

    According to the generally-mistaken analyses by US strategists, the current situation involving President Fidel Castro s illness is favorable to publicly renovate Washington s goal of destroying the Cuban revolutionary process.

    Once again, US President George W. Bush spoke about Washington s willingness to implement a plan with a secret annex that contains clandestine and violent projects.

    Unconcerned about accusations of interference, Bush defended a "Cuban transitional government" and ignored the validity of the measures, which were taken in compliance with the Cuban Constitution, for Fidel Castro to delegate his responsibilities temporarily.

    Raul Castro is the first vice president of the country, ratified by the Parliament, and in the political sphere, he has been the second secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba since its Central Committee was created in 1965.

    At the same time, the main spokesperson for Miami-based White House-sponsored organizations has spoken about long-yearned military and civil uprisings in Cuba and about an uncertain situation that not even foreign correspondents in Havana have seen.

    Bush s statements on television, after a meeting with those groups, can be described as a sort of carbon copy of those made for nearly 50 years by the same characters and their offspring.

    Like on previous occasions, their authors, resembling ostriches hiding their head in the ground, refuse to acknowledge the truth about the present situation in Cuba.

    The normal situation reported in Cuba, and the people s support for Fidel Castro s letter, in addition to their commitment to increasing production and developing social programs and the country s defense, are part of the current reality.

    In addition, the threatening adversaries seem to forget that similar attempts in the past, and even direct aggressions, not only resulted in failure, but in strengthening and radicalizing the Revolution.

    Since 1959, Cubans have successfully countered a large-scale terrorist offensive organized and sponsored by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and supported by successive US administrations.

    One after another, hundreds of plots to assassinate Fidel Castro and other leaders were frustrated by Cuba s intelligence agencies.

    The high level of organization and efficiency achieved by the Cuban armed forces and their strategic defense in which the entire people take part, is currently a warning to those who have ignored Cuban history over the past half a century.

    hr/jg/jrr/mf

    Traducción en Español:

    http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.plenglish.com%2Farticle.asp%3FID%3D%7B77E735FE-E4A9-4FD2-962C-CF72D09E9BC4%7D%29%26language%3DEN&langpair=en%7Ces&hl=es&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&prev=%2Flanguage_tools

    Tradução no Português:

    http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.plenglish.com%2Farticle.asp%3FID%3D%7B77E735FE-E4A9-4FD2-962C-CF72D09E9BC4%7D%29%26language%3DEN&langpair=en%7Cpt&hl=pt-BR&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&prev=%2Flanguage_tools

    Traduction dans Français:

    http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.plenglish.com%2Farticle.asp%3FID%3D%7B77E735FE-E4A9-4FD2-962C-CF72D09E9BC4%7D%29%26language%3DEN&langpair=en%7Cfr&hl=fr&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&prev=%2Flanguage_tools

  •  [ send green star]
     
    Amenazas a Cuba desde Estados Unidos repiten viejos errores / U.S. threats repeat old errors August 05, 2006 8:34 AM

    http://www.prensalatina.com.mx/article.asp?ID={EA8F9C3C-86D8-4179-8721-23B329C47BB2}&language=ES

    Amenazas a Cuba desde Estados Unidos repiten viejos errores

    Javier Rodriguez

    La Habana, 4 ago (PL) Las amenazas contra Cuba emitidas en las últimas horas por el gobierno de Estados Unidos y los grupos anticubanos radicados en Miami repiten hoy los viejos errores que siempre les condujeron al fracaso durante décadas.

    Los generalmente fallidos análisis de los estrategas norteamericanos consideraron ahora la coyuntura existente por la enfermedad del presidente Fidel Castro, como favorable para renovar en público su propósito de liquidar el proceso vigente en Cuba.

    Pronunciamientos del propio presidente estadounidense, George W. Bush, volvieron sobre la disposición de Washington a aplicar el plan con el anexo secreto para todos contentivo de proyectos clandestinos y violentos.

    Sin preocuparse por las acusaciones de injerencismo, Bush abogó por un "gobierno cubano de transición" y desconoció la validez de las medidas adoptadas de acuerdo con la Constitución nacional para la delegación temporal de funciones hecha por Fidel Castro.

    Debe recordarse que Raúl Castro es el primer vicepresidente del país, ratificado por el Parlamento y en el área política ocupa el cargo de Segundo Secretario del Partido Comunista de Cuba desde la creación de su Comité Central, en 1965.

    Paralelamente, los principales voceros de las organizaciones miamenses respaldadas por la Casa Blanca hablaron de anhelados alzamientos militares y civiles en Cuba y de una incertidumbre que ni siquiera han visto los periodistas extranjeros acreditados aquí.

    Los planteamientos hechos ante las cámaras de televisión tras una reunión de esos grupos con Bush pueden calificarse de una especie de copia exacta a los realizados a lo largo de casi medio siglo por los mismos personajes o sus descendientes.

    Al igual que en las anteriores oportunidades, sus autores, remedando al avestruz cuando esconde su cabeza bajo tierra, se niegan a reconocer la verdad del panorama presente ante sus ojos.

    La situación de normalidad registrada en Cuba, y el respaldo de la población a la proclama emitida por Fidel Castro, materializada en compromisos de incremento de la producción y avance en los programas sociales y en la defensa, constituyen la realidad actual.

    Además, los amenazantes adversarios parecen olvidar que similares intentos realizados en el pasado y hasta materializados en agresiones directas no sólo culminaron en un fracaso, sino en el fortalecimiento y radicalización de la revolución.

    Los cubanos enfrentaron exitosamente, casi desde el mismo 1959, una ofensiva terrorista de gran alcance con pérdida de vidas y bienes, organizada y auspiciada por la Agencia Central de Inteligencia (CIA) con apoyo de las administraciones norteamericanas.

    Las arenas de Playa Girón, en la occidental provincia de Matanzas, fueron escenario, en 1961, de los combates en los cuales los cubanos rechazaron la invasión de un ejército entrenado y armado por Estados Unidos y desembarcado con apoyo de sus fuerzas armadas regulares.

    Los miembros de las milicias populares liquidaron en las montañas del Escambray, en el centro de Cuba, a grupos preparados por la misma CIA para provocar la desestabilización y el terror entre el campesinado de la zona.

    Millones de cubanos desafiaron el peligro mortal de una guerra nuclear en Octubre de 1962 para defender, durante la Crisis de los Cohetes, su derecho a la autodeterminación y soberanía.

    Uno tras otro, centenares de complots para dar muerte a Fidel Castro y a otros dirigentes fueron frustrados por los órganos de seguridad del Estado, a pesar de que, en su preparación, participaron los especialistas más reputados de Estados Unidos en ese campo.

    El grado de organización y eficiencia alcanzado por las fuerzas armadas cubanas y por su estrategia de defensa con la participación de toda la población se enarbola ahora como advertencia para quienes pretendan ignorar capítulos de la historia del último medio siglo.

    Leg/jrr

    Translation into English:

    http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.prensalatina.com.mx%2Farticle.asp%3FID%3D%7BEA8F9C3C-86D8-4179-8721-23B329C47BB2%7D%26language%3DES&langpair=es%7Cen&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&prev=%2Flanguage_tools

     [ send green star]
     
    Related articles / Artículos relacionados / Artigos relacionados / Articles relatifs August 05, 2006 9:21 AM

    Translation into English:

    http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.prensalatina.com.mx%2FNewsSection.asp%3FSection%3Dfidel_salud&langpair=es%7Cen&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&prev=%2Flanguage_tools

    Translation into English:

    http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.prensalatina.com.mx%2Farticle.asp%3FID%3D%7B465602D5-9E5A-468D-A209-A6C201C410A1%7D%26language%3DES&langpair=es%7Cen&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&prev=%2Flanguage_tools

     [ send green star]
     
    anonymous Call for non interference August 05, 2006 11:33 AM

    Cuba Action Alert: The U.S. Should Pledge to Refrain from Interference in Cuba's Internal Affairs, and Allow U.S. Citizens to Engage Cooperatively with Cuba

    For the first time in 47 years, Cuba is undergoing a transfer of political power, as Fidel Castro has temporarily turned the reins of government over to his brother, Raul and other leaders of the Government. No one knows whether Fidel Castro will recuperate from his illness and return to office, or whether Raul Castro and his leadership team will continue in power.

    But we do know this: the future of Cuba should only be decided by the Cuban people themselves-those living in Cuba, without interference by the United States or others.

    The Bush Administration has set criteria for what an acceptable post-Fidel Castro government in Cuba should look like, and has committed funds to encourage a transition to such a government in Cuba. This is wrong. The United States should not interfere in any way in Cuban internal affairs. Not only is it improper for the United States to take actions that interfere with Cuba's sovereignty, but these actions are likely to be counter-productive.

    In the past, groups within the hard-line Cuban-American community have taken provocative and belligerent actions to destabilize the political situation in Cuba. U.S. authorities should take every appropriate step to prevent these groups from launching any hostile or provocative actions from U.S. soil.

    At a time when events are unfolding in Cuba, we are missing an incredible opportunity for Americans to engage directly with Cubans. Under current policy, U.S. citizens have very little contact with people and institutions on the island. Cuban Americans have nearly lost all access to their own family members on the island. Student study-abroad programs have been all but eliminated. Visits to the United States by Cuban cultural groups and academics have been sharply curtailed. And new restrictions have reduced contact between religious groups in Cuba and their counterparts in the United States. To understand and relate to developments in Cuba,
    the administration should permit U.S. citizens to engage with Cuba, through travel and trade, rather than continuing a failed policy of isolation.

    ACTION: Please Call the White House Comment Line TODAY (202.456.1111) with the following message:

    Our government shouldn't interfere in events in Cuba. Instead, we should let U.S. citizens travel, trade, and interact with the Cuban people. I urge the administration to make a public statement that the United States will not interfere in Cuba's internal political process. I urge the administration to allow U.S. citizens to exercise their right to travel to Cuba and trade with Cuba.

    ACTION: Please Write a Letter to the Editor of your Local Newspaper

    Here is a sample you may use for starters, but putting it in your own words based on your own experience is best.
    Remember, every letter counts. They don't have to be perfect. They just have to be written and mailed.

    Your name
    Your address (they will only print your city and state, but want your full address)
    Your telephone number

    Letters Editor
    Your local paper and address
    Date

    Dear Editor:

    At a time when events are unfolding in Cuba [refer to a current story your paper has written on this topic, if there has been one], it is especially unfortunate that U.S. citizens have so little contact with people and institutions on the island. Contact between Cuban Americans and their family members on the island has been sharply reduced. University study abroad programs have been all but eliminated. Visits to the United States by Cuban cultural groups and academics have been sharply curtailed. And new restrictions have reduced contact between religious groups in Cuba and their counterparts in the United States. To understand and relate to developments in Cuba,
    the Bush Administration should permit U.S. citizen to engage with Cuba, through travel and trade, rather than continuing a failed policy of isolation.

    As someone who has had the privilege of traveling to Cuba through XXXXX [OR, As someone interested in U.S.-Cuba relations
    ], I urge the Bush Administration to refrain from taking any measures that are intended to interfere in Cuban internal affairs.

    In the past, groups within the hard-line Cuban-American community have taken provocative actions designed to destabilize the political situation in Cuba. U.S.
    authorities should take every appropriate step to prevent these groups from launching any hostile or provocative actions from U.S. soil.

    The future of Cuba should be decided by the Cuban people themselves-those living in Cuba, without interference from the United States or others.

    Sincerely,

    Your Signature

    ACTION: Please Call-in to Radio Talk Shows to Bring up the Issue of Cuba

    Check your local listings for opportunities.


    Now is the time for all of us to work together to make our voices heard in Washington to ensure that the Bush Administration respects Cuba's sovereignty and international law, and promotes peace by refraining from interference in Cuba's internal political process.

    Sincerely,

    Mavis Anderson and Claire Rodriguez, Latin America Working Group (LAWG)
    Delvis Fernandez L  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]

     
    : ) August 05, 2006 11:43 AM

    Good on you for promoting this action alert, Kenyatta

    Please post it in America Latina Unida, too?

    Here is the link to make it easier, if you choose to post it there:

    http://www.care2.com/c2c/group/america_latina_unida

     [ send green star]
     
    anonymous I will agree! August 06, 2006 1:40 PM

    As a citizen of the United States,I must tell you all that in my opinion the words peaceful and George Bush,lol,are not compatible in the same sentence! Bush wants power over all and hears the voices of none! I would love to reach out in peace and love! So would most ordinary people,but he lives for war and hate.We must change our leaders before we can extend a peaceful hand!I cannot find it in my heart to trust Bush at all.He hides behind too many things! There's no need for forces in a transition of peace! We need to get this message out!  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
     
    anonymous  August 07, 2006 7:29 AM

    I have to say that I echo Sue's comment.  I find it difficult to understand (except for power & greed) why bush has to take it upon himself to try to enforce democracy and "his beliefs" on other countries.  I think that if other countries are happy and satisfied that they don't need others telling them what they need to do.  We have to learn that there are different cultures and beliefs in this world and a person (or group of people) do not need to be hassled because of their beliefs or culture.  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
     
     December 12, 2006 7:36 PM

    I am surprised that you are dosing us with government/corporate propaganda against Cuba.

    Here is a documentary highlighting the genocide/economic warfare of the blockade and embargo of Cuba by the United States in violation of International Law, which as a charter member of the U.N. it is pledged to uphold.

    http://www.freespeech.org/videodb/index.php?action=detail&video_id=9992&browse=0

    I for one would urge fresh wild plants including weeds from the jungle and surrounding areas, which blenderized or simply eaten raw can supply vitamins and minerals, rather than imported old food and dried beans.  Diabetics and heart patients would have to lose weight on a vegan diet with sufficient nutrition from nutrient dense foods and good protein sources like peanuts and sesame, other nuts, coconut milk, etc.  Antibiotics would be replaced with natural antibacterials from herbologists and naturopaths, like fresh onion juice, toothpaste made by herbological preparation, and use of soap externally.  Fuel would be supplied by ethanol from sugar cane and any fermented plant matter.

     [ send green star]  [ accepted]

     
     December 12, 2006 7:39 PM

    Clothing would be made the traditional way from linen crops like cotton and flax, including moccasins, or of the same material the Peruvians make their bridges of.

    Flax seed is a good source of protein, as is cocoa.

     [ send green star]  [ accepted]

     
     December 12, 2006 7:59 PM

    "I am surprised that you are dosing us with government/corporate propaganda against Cuba"

    Sorry, I just read the headlines and a few of the words about Peaceful Transition and I thought you were dosing me with U.S. propaganda.  The Cuban article is highly informative and critical of outrageous U.S. policy towards Cuba.  Good.

     [ send green star]  [ accepted]
     
     December 12, 2006 8:08 PM

    The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition.  2001-05. homelessness  the condition of not having a permanent place to live, widely perceived as a societal problem only beginning in the 1980s. Estimates of the number of homeless people in the United States are imprecise, but in the late 1990s ranged from 700,000 per night to 2 million per year. A survey made in 1994 found that 12 million Americans had experienced homelessness at some point in their lives; the vast majority of those who are homeless consists of single men and families with children. The problem exists in all major cities and many smaller communities. The causes range from large-scale deinstitutionalization of mentally ill people to disintegration of the social fabric in minority communities, drug and alcohol abuse, relatively stagnant wages at lower income levels, cutbacks in federal social-welfare programs, job loss, reductions in public housing, and rent increases and real-estate speculation. The McKinney Act (1987) established federal support for the building and maintenance of emergency homeless shelters; some 3,700 agencies and organizations now operate shelters.  The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Copyright © 2001-05 Columbia University Press.

    Cuba's homeless population statistic:  0 homeless

    I would say the U.S. has been, as they say in baseball, shut out, on this statistic.

     [ send green star]  [ accepted]

     
     December 14, 2006 4:34 AM

    Hola Douglas

    it is great to see you posting here. Good on you for realising and admitting that mistake.  That is admirable.

    And good on you for telling it like it is about homelessness in the U.S.A., and about U.S. imperialism, etc.. The more we (people) are aware of the problems of the world, the more we are able to solve them, eh, my friend?

    Peace and solidarity,

    from Simon

     [ send green star]
     
    U.S. Hands Off Cuba Campaign December 14, 2006 1:51 PM

    Follow this link to end the genocide against Cuba:

    http://www.iacenter.org/cubacampaign.shtml

     [ send green star]  [ accepted]
     
     December 14, 2006 1:57 PM

    Yes friend, we are all as gods and need merely ponder a social ill in order to devise a cure.

    Think of it, all of you can visit Cuba, and I can't.  You can buy Cuban sugar I can't.  U.S. government:  get with the program!

     [ send green star]  [ accepted]

     
     December 14, 2006 2:06 PM

    oh yes..im working .. in nextel, american company..and they put restrictions..yeah.. they doesnt permit to the customers call to the Cuba , or Afganistan,  this is discrimination..doesnt it=?..

    Im sorry for that..i feel but about it..i like my work..but i dont like the "restrictions" that Nextel put to the people..customers here

     [ send green star]  [ accepted]
     
     December 15, 2006 1:39 AM

    Hola again Douglas Yes, the U.S. embargo against Cuba.... I don't understand everything that you wrote, but it is great to see you writing here - and good on you for promoting the website in solidarity with the people of Cuba!

    Hola Paolita Wow! Thankyou for that information - I am surprised to learn that!

     [ send green star]
     
     December 15, 2006 9:44 AM

    For a genius(as we all are), it is a mere mental exercise in mathematics and logistics to devise a world in which everyone is a millionaire lacking in want for anything.  Yet the psychopaths in charge of U.S. policy will not implement such measures as thought up to effect utopia.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
     
     December 15, 2006 3:49 PM

    Gillette Castle Photo Album:
    Still Standing

    Picture of Gillette Castle

    When William Gillette died in 1937, his will insisted that the medieval castle he'd built not fall to "some blithering saphead who has no conception of where he is or with what surrounded." Though the castle was closed for four years from 1998 to 2002 due to its state of disrepair, visitors today can be grateful for the State of Connecticut's investment of time and money in restoring and preserving this unique landmark. William Gillette would be pleased.

    Local fieldstone was used in both the exterior and interior construction of Gillette Castle, which William Gillette intended for use as his retirement home. He embarked on four theatrical tours, though, after his semi-retirement in 1910. The castle's construction was completed in 1919.

    ©2006 About, Inc., A part of The New York Times Company. All rights reserved

    -----------------------

    How old is Taos Pueblo?
    Our people have a detailed oral history which is not divulged due to religious privacy. Archaeologists say that ancestors of the Taos Indians lived in this valley long before Columbus discovered America and hundreds of years before Europe emerged from the Dark Ages. Ancient ruins in the Taos Valley indicate our people lived here nearly 1000 years ago. The main part of the present buildings were most likely constructed between 1000 and 1450 A.D. The appeared much as they do today when the first Spanish explorers arrived in Northern New Mexico in 1540 and believed that the Pueblo was one of the fabled golden cities of Cibola. The two structures called Hlauuma (north house) and Hlaukwima (south house) are said to be of similar age. They are considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the USA.

    How were the buildings constructed?
    The Pueblo is made entirely of adobe -- earth mixed with water and straw, then either poured into forms or made into sun-dried bricks. The walls are frequently several feet thick. The roofs of each of the five stories are supported by large timbers -- vigas -- hauled down from the mountain forests. Smaller pieces of wood -- pine or aspen latillas -- are placed side-by-side on top of the vigas; the whole roof is covered with packed dirt. The outside surfaces of the Pueblo are continuously maintained by replastering with think layers of mud. Interior walls are carefully coated with thin washes of white earth to keep them clean and bright. The Pueblo is actually many individual homes, built side-by-side and in layers, with common walls but no connecting doorways. In earlier days there were no doors or windows and entry was gained only from the top.

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     December 15, 2006 3:56 PM

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    Cuban "low-energy lifestyle" after peak oil December 20, 2006 3:27 PM

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4663174070862353171&q=cuba&hl=en  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
     
    anonymous Cuba Thrives! December 20, 2006 7:57 PM

    Despite draconian, oppressive, aggressive, illegal, and inhumane actions by the U.S. over the past few decades, Cuba has not only defiantly survived but managed to thrive in ways that a capitalist mentality and culture cannot understand and will not understand because it bears witness to unsustainable, greedy, irresponsible, degrading, inequitable, inhumane, exploitive, faltering realities of our capitalist system and "Evil Empire."

    Against all odds the Cuban people and society have found equitable and sustainable methods to create a quality of life that, if widely known, would be the envy of most poor communities in the U.S. and many other places in the world.

    We must do all we can to prevent another unilateral act of aggression, occupation, and colonization against Cuba by the U.S. and its Capitalist, Corporatist, Ruling Elite sponsors.

    As a Libertarian/Socialist and Constructive Anarchist I know that Capitalism must ultimately fail and that something much more equitable, humane and sustainable will take its place if humanity is to survive. I am working to bring that about sooner rather than later as are many others around our world.

    I appreciate the great articles Simon and the telling statistics, Ted, and everyone's great comments and posts and calls to action.

    In true peace and solidarity,

    Thomas

    ""What should move us to action is human dignity: the inalienable dignity of the oppressed, but also the dignity of each of us. We lose dignity if we tolerate the intolerable."

    --- Dominique de Menil

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    Extra: Obama Renews Cuban Embargo September 30, 2009 1:27 PM

    Extra:  Obama Renews Embargo, Condemned nearly unanimously for past 17 years by UN as violation of International law.

    Here is History of U.S. Embargo against Cuba:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_embargo_against_Cuba

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     October 10, 2009 6:10 PM

    Thankyou for educating us about this, Adam

    It emphasises the fact that Obama is continuing standard U.S. capitalist imperialism against the people of the world.



    This post was modified from its original form on 10 Oct, 18:12  [ send green star]
     
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