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George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5298

Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/26/2016 7:37:41 AM
Reported this morning that Raul Castro has announced the death of his brother at the age of 90.

[Read More]


Was he good for Cuba?

Was the reaction of the world and particularly the US to his ascendancy, a reasonable and fair one or was he misunderstood?


Cheers,


George

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 5952
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/26/2016 8:10:32 AM
Castro marveled that he had lived to turn 90.
"Soon I will turn 90 years old, never would such a thing have occurred to me, and it's not the outcome of any effort; it was fate's whim," Castro said, discussing his health, usually a taboo subject on the island. "Soon I will be like everyone else. To all of us comes our turn."

Castro had many admirers, who saw him as a stalwart with his ubiquitous military fatigues and fiery oratory. He clung to a socialist economic model and one-party Communist rule, even after the Soviet Union disintegrated and most of the rest of the world concluded that state socialism was a bankrupt idea whose time had come and gone.

The Cuban Communist Party mourned for "the commander of the Cuban Revolution" with the hashtag #UntilVictoryAlwaysFidel.

Regards


Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

morris crumley
Lawrenceville, GA, USA
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Posts: 1189

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/26/2016 8:34:26 AM
I recall with great fondness my longtime next-door neighbor, Ramon Plauta. Ramon had been a young radio show host in Cuba, and told me how he once interviewed Castro, before Fidel removed his mask and revealed himself for what he truly was. Ramon, and his future wife would wind up fleeing Cuba to the United States..forever torn away from those closest to them. For the rest of their lives, what little contact they had with their extended family left behind would be to hear of the deprivations of the glorious revolution.

Ramon moved away several years ago to be closer to his children. And he passed on a little after that, but he left behind his many fruit trees that I still enjoy from time to time.

When the US first announced that there would be limited travel for relatives to go back, I asked him if he had a desire to go home and visit. "I am home...if no one steals it away."

So, today I think about a great neighbor, and a good man...

And I think of what he once said of Castro; "El demonia se disfrazo' de serpiante."

Respects, Morris
---------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5298

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/26/2016 10:00:59 AM
And yet Morris, there are tears being shed in Cuba this morning.

How much of Castro's domestic policy was driven by the anachronistic embargo imposed by the US on this little country?

That embargo affected the ability of Cuba to trade, not just with the US of course but with other countries who had US companies doing business within their borders.

Kennedy imposed the embargo in 1962 demanding installation of democracy and respect for civil liberties before it would be lifted.

The embargo is still in place but the government of Cuba, while more open is essentially the same.

I don't recall a similar embargo being placed on China.


I note that my country incurred the wrath of the US because it refused to sever diplomatic relations with Cuba. PM Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Sr. visited Cuba and became friends with Fidel.

Trudeau wasn't a communist but he was willing to listen to Castro who explained why measures that we see as Draconian were necessary.


With the demise of the USSR, tourism from Canada and Europe has propped up this country.


Do I like a one party regime, a dictatorship? No I live in Canada, but I think we should examine the Cuban Revolution dispassionately to determine whether it was necessary and whether the Cuban people were better off than they were before the revolution.


Cheers,


George



dt509er
Santa Rosa, CA, USA
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class


Posts: 458

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/26/2016 1:30:49 PM
Good riddance!!
---------------
"American parachutists-devils in baggy pants..."

I take offense to your perception of being offended!

“If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” Lord Ernest Rutherford

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3307

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/26/2016 1:42:19 PM
I don't recall a similar embargo being placed on China.

 Wasn't necessary. U.N. troops, including Canadians, just shot them from 1950 until 1953. Unfortunately, Chinese peasants paid the price for the hidebound ideology of the CCP leaders in Peking.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5298

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/26/2016 1:43:48 PM

Quote:
Good riddance!!
--dt509er



Any reasons why dt509er?

I may be wrong but I think that Americans in particular may have a different view of this man than others who have looked at him.

Is there any chance that Americans have been conditioned over the decades to believe that Fidel was the devil incarnate?

I always ask whether the Cubans had good reason to rebel and to rid themselves of Fulgencio Batista and the international players who dominated their lives.

It's more complex than communism=evil, don't you think?


Cheers,


BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3307

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/26/2016 1:49:41 PM

Quote:

Quote:
Good riddance!!
--dt509er



Any reasons why dt509er?

I may be wrong but I think that Americans in particular may have a different view of this man than others who have looked at him.

Is there any chance that Americans have been conditioned over the decades to believe that Fidel was the devil incarnate?

I always ask whether the Cubans had good reason to rebel and to rid themselves of Fulgencio Batista and the international players who dominated their lives.

It's more complex than communism=evil, don't you think?


Cheers,


--George


George,

 Allow me to interject a thought here. You are correct; it is more complex than just a question of communism versus something else. It has, with time, become apparent the regime in Havana is more about keeping the Castro family in power and a position of privilege than anything else. A dynasty with Marxist trappings -- hooray? Sorry, not impressed. Batista was all about himself and took the USA as an international sponsor. In hindsight, Castro was all about himself and took the USSR as an international sponsor. He had to change gears when the Cold War ended, but still managed to take care of himself and his family very well.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5298

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/26/2016 3:33:38 PM
Thank you for your thoughts BW.

Castro was a dictator. His regime, for all that it has done for the people, is still repressive.

I also think that the Cuban people have been victimized for much of the history of the island, going back to the days of slavery that supported the sugar plantations.

The number of slave revolts on the Sugar Islands owned by the Spanish, French and British is indicative that all these people and the slaves on Cuba were abused.

When I look back on the violent history of this place, I think that the only time that the lives of the people improved was after the expulsion of Batista.

Did Cuba's relationship with the US and US business concerns, under Batista, improve the lives of the people? I don't think so.


We can create a ledger and on one side would be the excesses of the Castro regime including civil rights violations, none of which rights had every been part of the lives of the Cubans. It is an authoritarian regime and brooks no dissent. Political opposition is slapped down.

On the other side, the people have health care and the population is literate, well educated. They had none of this at any time before I don't believe.


If the reaction of the US to Castro's declaration that Cuba would be a socialist and one party country was not so extreme and protracted, is it possible that the economic reforms so necessary would have come earlier?

Pushed toward the USSR and dependent upon it, Castro even followed disastrous Soviet style economics. We all know how well that worked in communist Russia.


I wouldn't think that Raul is a man of enlightenment but he may want to leave his own legacy.

Perhaps if Trump stops and thinks about the situation for a while he may determine that a return to the old relationship before Mr. Obama's forward thinking foreign policy change, will not promote reform and prosperity on this island.


Cheers,

George

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2770

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/26/2016 4:23:21 PM
George,

Fidel was not your friend!
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1074

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/26/2016 4:41:18 PM
I was sort of supporting the underdog in a perverse way until I learned of the 'Special Period in Peacetime' where his political pigheadedness over Russian oil imports caused massive problems in Cuba. Now I know he is just a prick who happily sold his people into worse poverty than they needed to support his own regime and its bullshit politics.
---------------
Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

morris crumley
Lawrenceville, GA, USA
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Posts: 1189

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/26/2016 9:03:54 PM
Not to put too fine a point on it...but he was hardly "pushed" to the Soviet communists.

Seems to me the United States stopped selling arms to Cuba during Batista. It could be argued that the US arms embargo helped the rebels more than it did the dictator Batista. Then, having defeated Batista`s army, Castro declared himself a Marxist ...nationalized and seized US owned businesses and signed trade deals with the Soviets.

He wasn`t pushed to the Soviets. He was a Soviet.

Yes, the people of Cuba had healthcare, and the poor were educated....and all it cost them was their freedom. What a hefty bill to be paid. They were educated so they could better communicate and speak...and all it cost them was the ability to communicate and speak as free men. A Cuban who speaks his mind is is imprisoned..while the ordinary Cuban who silenced their descent got to listen to Fidel give three hour speeches that they could not escape from. Free speech in Cuba was reserved for Fidel.

They had healthcare so that they would live longer....and they could endure the depredations of empty store shelves....and "father `Fidel`s" council a lot longer. Years of prolonged quality of life so they could...what?...drive around in "58" Chevy sedans...if they could obtain one.

And how much did the Castro family loot from the people for their grand benevolence? Probably not as much as the Hugo Chavez family looted from that glorious socialist system...but it was a richer country than Cuba. Did the party members have their kids go to the best higher education...as was the case under the Soviet system?

I have no doubt there were tears shed for Castro today in Cuba. By people who never knew another leader. A 56 year old Cuban has known no leader that was not Castro by name. They have grown up and seen new generations arrive and never imagined another way of life under another system.... or known another way but the silence of a people not allowed the luxury of thinking for themselves without punishment, torture...or death. We don`t know how many became the "disappeared" of Fidel Castro...but we know the millions who died in a socialist system that Fidel embraced.

Respects, Morris
---------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5298

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/26/2016 9:19:17 PM

Quote:
George,

Fidel was not your friend!
--Michigan Dave



Nothing to do with friendship though Canada and Canadians had far less enmity toward the Cuban people than did Americans.

About a million Canadians a year took holidays in Cuba.


What I am interested in his a discussion of his place in the history of his country.

How does a country with no history of democratic government and leadership of the kind provided by Batista, just suddenly jump into full US style democracy?

And the elephant in the room is the level of US investment in Cuba just before the revolution. When Castro nationalized many of the industries that were profit makers for foreign nationals, it didn't go down well in the US.


Cheers,

George

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5298

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/26/2016 10:26:17 PM

Quote:
Seems to me the United States stopped selling arms to Cuba during Batista. It could be argued that the US arms embargo helped the rebels more than it did the dictator Batista. Then, having defeated Batista`s army, Castro declared himself a Marxist ...nationalized and seized US owned businesses and signed trade deals with the Soviets.


C'mon Morris. Batista was America's flunky in Cuba. He was anti-communist but a dictator of a different stripe.

He ran that country whether he was in office or not.

US businesses had the run of the place and Batista sold produce to the US at below market value. Organized crime based in the US had a foothold there.

Meyer Lansky ran his drug empire from Cuba didn't he?

He lived in luxury while the Cuban people lived in poverty.

He had been booted out but ran in an election in 1952. He lost but with US backing, he established a brutal and tyrannical dictatorship after a military coup.

When Fidel took over, he nationalized business including some that were owned by privileged US interests. He booted out the mob.

So who was worse, Batista or Castro?

Castro thumbed his nose at economic imperialism and that made him an enemy of the US.

And yeah, he educated the people and he gave them health care and with no thanks to the US and its embargo, the Cubans began to live as long as Americans.

Morris, they don't drive '50's era US cars because they want to. They do what they have to do to survive.


Fidel was a lousy economic manager but I think that he cared about his people. From what I can see, there are a lot of Cubans in Cuba who see him as a hero because he gave them some national pride that wasn't there for so many decades.

EDIT: I didn't like Fidel's treatment of people who protested his rule either but it is disingenuous to suggest that the Cuban revolution wasn't based on sound reasons. They had to get rid of the brutal dictator, Batista and indeed, they had to seize control of their country from foreign interests including the US.

Cheers,

George


BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3307

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/27/2016 1:40:41 AM
EDIT: I didn't like Fidel's treatment of people who protested his rule either but it is disingenuous to suggest that the Cuban revolution wasn't based on sound reasons. They had to get rid of the brutal dictator, Batista and indeed, they had to seize control of their country from foreign interests including the US.

 "had to" is a very strong assertion. Doubtful that it could be substantiated authoritatively. But even if Batista "had" to go, it didn't have to be a communist revolution. So, no kudos for Fidel from me. He was just another slick and brutal operator who used the woes of his people to advance himself and those in his circle. Cuba exchanged one strongman for another, as well as American dominance for Soviet dominance. And young Cubans got to die fighting wars in Africa so that Russians didn't have to. No, Castro was not any kind of a remedy for a troubled land. More like an egomaniac with delusions of grandeur.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Moderator


Posts: 1309

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/27/2016 2:40:43 AM
Riain, he also provided education for his people that was unheard of hitherto, and provided them with medical care which, if not up to first-world standards, became increasingly respected by many Latin American countries.

I think folks have forgotten the Batista dictatorship he overthrew, and the incredible control of much of the Cuban economy by US firms when Batista was in power. I think many have forgotten exactly how vicious the US embargo has been for the past 60 years, and (at least putatively) why that embargo was imposed. It wasn't all based on "commie" oppression, but had something to do with fair market values of properties US companies said they owned.

I think it funny, to be honest, that the US is a proponent of embargo against various nations that upset them, but is also prepared to blame the country's leaders for any negative impact such embargoes may have. Nicaragua in the 1980s comes to mind; Iran after 1979 kind of appears on my scope.

I know nobody can separate Fidel Castro from their own political biases. I think he was a saviour for Cuba, for his time and given his opposition Batista and the US corporations who owned him were, IMHO, a toxic cadre. I think, whatever else Castro did, he provided the poor with more than they had had before. Not money, perhaps, but then we do make a lot of noise about having money that is pretty silly. Education improved dramatically; medical availability and capability improved as much as possible under the embargo.

I'll not even attempt to argue that Fidel created a perfect environment, or that he was not harsh and repressive in many ways. He was. He may have had reasons for being so (does anybody remember the Bay of Pigs?). I'll not attempt to suggest that at least some of those Cubans who established "Little Havana" were those who would (perhaps deservedly) be imprisoned for what might have been acceptable under Batista but was rejected under the early Castro promulgations.

I'm not trying to support Fidel Castro's Cuba so much as trying to support the effort Fidel Castro made to improve the lives of Cubans. My guess is that he did a lot of ugly things in the course of six decades. My understanding is that some of those ugly things were forced upon him for a variety of reasons (which, yes, includes the blind US embargo).

Somewhere in this thread, somebody mentioned that this is not the life Fidel expected for himself. It was the life he was dealt.

I respect the efforts he made for his people. I'm not surprised by the genuine mourning at his death. I assume he will be trashed because he stood up for his people, and because he found more support from one side of the Cold War than another. But I think he was a great man who saved his people in more ways than one. The response in "Little Havana" is quite simply an indication of how different the values of Miama Cubans are from those who remained behind.

Cheers
Brian G



---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1074

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/27/2016 3:58:08 AM
Brian, I'm not someone who trembles at the very thought of communism and socialism and worships capitalism. I understand that back after WW2 communist regimes had a lot of attractions for people in corrupt, poverty-stricken, oligarchic/kleptocratic countries, education, land reform and health being among them.

But after 30 years in power cracking the shits with Russia because they could no longer honour the Soviet Union's promises for oil imports at 'friendship prices' (incidentally Cuba re-exported Soviet oil for a profit) and spitefully shutting down the economy and causing a famine are not the actions of a great man. In fact they're on par with North Korea's shenanigans.
---------------
Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3307

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/27/2016 4:37:54 AM
Brian,

 You argue eloquently, but I remain unconvinced. Oh, so Castro on occasion did things that were good for Cubans ? The problem with this contention is that it is only part of the picture. No doubt if one searched enough, evidence could be found that Hitler did things that were good for the German people. Point being, none of these people were unalloyed evil. If Castro improved medical services for Cubans, he also sent many of them to their deaths, whether in his prisons or in distant campaigns in Africa that served no purpose other than to ingratiate himself and his clique with the leadership of the Soviet Union. Personally, I would not equate Castro with Hitler ... but as a communist version of Mussolini ... there is something to that comparison. No one need mourn Castro. Cubans should instead be shouting, ¡Viva Cuba! The faster his family is out of power, the better it will be for Cuba. And perhaps, this time, they will have a shot at having a genuine Cuba Libre.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3307

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/27/2016 5:08:47 AM
 Worth reading IMO.

[Read More]

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5298

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/27/2016 8:06:18 AM

Quote:
 Worth reading IMO.

[Read More]

Cheers

BW
--BWilson


Yes excellent.

This article must have been sitting in the obituary department of the Miami Herald. It's a pretty extensive review of the man's life and not likely written in 24 hours.

I was a little concerned at the veiled suggestion that Castro may have been complicit in the assassinations of the Kennedy brothers. Perhaps I am just reading into it too much but the author only alluded to a comment made by Castro to a journalist that the Kennedy's needed to watch their backs as much as he did. The author failed to absolve or clearly implicate Castro.

May I ask, when Americans are taught about this part of their history shared with the Cubans in school, do they receive any background regarding the plight of the Cubans over the centuries and especially during the Batista decades?

The article indicates that the US and Eisenhower and Kennedy were determined to orchestrate Castro's demise from the get go. The enmity seemed to be rooted in something more personal than a general hatred for communism.

Castro spurned offers of aid from the US or so the article says. What sort of aid and what would the cost be to the Cubans? Cheap sugar? Restoration of US businesses in Cuba? Back to the old way of doing business including under market value for products like sugar?

The article doesn't say but are the details of proposed US aid discussed in American history classes?


Here's my point. The US was very vindictive after the Cuban revolution. Certainly they did not like to be snubbed or laughed at by a communist dictator.

The US spent years trying to assassinate the man.

Was there a better way? I think that Americans may have been fed decades of the narrative that there was an evil tyrant on the island of Cuba who had to be removed for the sake of US security and for the general welfare of the Cuban people.

I cannot help but note that the US posters are generally convinced that Castro's influence was all bad, ignoring that there were improvements from the regimes that governed Cuba before him.


Should US foreign policy toward Cuba have been much more positive instead of aggressive, even as Castro postured and made his speeches to excoriate the US and US economic imperialism?

Castro's critics point to the poverty of the Cuban people but was this not part of the US plan to destabilize the regime? My feeling is that the US must take some responsibility for the failure of the Castro regime to build a viable economy. Decades after the embargo became an embarrassment and an anachronism, Cuba was described as a failed state.

Where would Cuba be today if the embargo had been lifted and relations normalized? We may only speculate but was Cuba any threat to.the security of the US after the Cuban Missile Crisis?

I don't think so. The purpose of the embargo after that point has to be questioned.

As to his tyrannical suppression of his opponents in Cuba, I have no way to justify any of it. But I live in a free and open democracy and that frame of reference makes it difficult to be objective in light of the situation described in BW's article.

Thanks for the link BW. Very interesting.


Cheers,

George

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3307

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/27/2016 8:50:57 AM
May I ask, when Americans are taught about this part of their history shared with the Cubans in school, do they receive any background regarding the plight of the Cubans over the centuries and especially during the Batista decades?

 For my part, I can't answer. Our history teachers in school were usually so disorganized that our courses never made it to World War II, much less the early Cold War.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

morris crumley
Lawrenceville, GA, USA
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Posts: 1189

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/27/2016 9:25:24 AM
No George, in the US we are all just ignorant pips who know nothing about Batista...or the US business interests that supported his corrupt tenure as dictator.

And, I guess we`re just too uneducated to comprehend that we should help build a strong economy in a country that joins the socialist vow(at the time) "we will bury you" as Fidel turned Cuba into a lauch-platform for Soviet missiles practically on our doorstep. That we should embolden a communist dictatorship by helping him to succeed economically...for which Marxist socialism will get the full credit..at least in the ears of the people of Cuba who have only one source for news and information.

Batista is a POS. Hell, were he still around, I`d help beat the shit outa the guy. I`d hold him down while you stuffed dirt in his mouth and called his mother a two dollar whore. And, yes, the US did business with the man. We did business with an oppressive, dictator and thief.

I`m not weeping for a POS dictator who replaced another POS dictator. Castro was in a unique position to improve the lives of the people of Cuba, he said he was for free and fair elections..he could have set up a government free of the corruptions of the past and open for trade with the US and everyone else. But he was a liar, a thief, an oppressor himself and I don`t don`t buy the "he made the trains run on time" argument.

So, are we not supposed to get into bed with one dictator who oppresses his people...but are to be condemned for not getting into bed with another oppressive dictator and helping him succeed economically? (These rules are so confusing!)

I don`t think it was about not liking being snubbed or laughed at...it was more about a communist outpost ninety miles off our shore.

Respects, Morris
---------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3307

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/27/2016 12:00:03 PM
No George, in the US we are all just ignorant pips

 Thanks for confessing that, Morris. I thought was alone in that regard.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3307

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/27/2016 12:14:24 PM
 An aside: pauvre Justin!

[Read More]

 I had to laugh bitterly at some of the #TrudeauEulogies comments:


Quote:
With his innovative urban renewal program, Pol Pot bravely confronted the pressing challenge of overpopulation. #TrudeauEulogies

There were controversies, as with every full life, but above all Adolf Eichmann taught us the importance of planning. #TrudeauEulogies


 It is going to be somewhat amusing to watch Justin and Donald trade ideological bon mots.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5298

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/27/2016 1:11:49 PM

Quote:
No George, in the US we are all just ignorant pips who know nothing about Batista...or the US business interests that supported his corrupt tenure as dictator.


I didn't suggest ignorance but I do understand the business of education and how curricula are massaged to present a desired school of thought.



So we get something like this:


Quote:

I don`t think it was about not liking being snubbed or laughed at...it was more about a communist outpost ninety miles off our shore.


Beware the communist hordes. Report un-American activity. That sort of thing can be inculcated into the population.


And even if the USSR was guilty of placing missile platforms on Cuba and not withstanding the US missiles in parts of Europe, after the Missile Crisis, Cuba was no threat to the US.

And still the embargo was enforced.

I do not accept that the US felt that the situation in Cuba had to be rectified for the good of the Cuban people or for the security of the USA.

It is hypocritical to suggest so given the long list of tin pot dictators in central and south America who received US support. The US has been "in bed" as you say with far too many tyrants who abused their people to claim that the campaign against Cuba had anything to do with altruism.

If US security was at stake, someone needs to show me how.

After the Missile Crisis, USSR subs went home with tails between their legs and weren't seen anywhere near Cuba for about 5 years. The USN and dare I say, with the RCN in support in the north proved that the bilateral defence agreement between the two countries worked. Both navies tracked Soviet subs and the US forced a couple to surface.

The RCN cornered one off George's Banks near Newfoundland and had to deal with Soviet "fishing trawlers" that were running interference for the submerged sub.

It was proved that Soviet technology had not yet matched that of the US, despite rumours to the contrary

Currently the US and China trade is extensive and China too is a communist dictatorship with greater potential to do harm to the US than Cuba ever could.


No the embargo betrayed a vindictiveness toward Cuba. I don't think it had anything to do with reneging on a promise to hold elections.


Cheers,

George

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5298

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/27/2016 1:38:15 PM

Quote:
 An aside: pauvre Justin!

[Read More]

 I had to laugh bitterly at some of the #TrudeauEulogies comments:


Quote:
With his innovative urban renewal program, Pol Pot bravely confronted the pressing challenge of overpopulation. #TrudeauEulogies

There were controversies, as with every full life, but above all Adolf Eichmann taught us the importance of planning. #TrudeauEulogies


 It is going to be somewhat amusing to watch Justin and Donald trade ideological bon mots.

Cheers

BW
--BWilson


I heard his comments and they were quite balanced I thought.

Of course they didn't quite fit with the US narrative displayed so well on this thread.

Also Justin, sensitive to the pressure from US intellectuals like Marco Rubio also clarified his remarks today, commented that Castro was a dictator and a man guilty of human rights abuses.

Please remember that when the US initiated the embargo and cut off diplomatic relations, Canada did not.

Note as well that our embassy in Havana was passing information to the US as the Cuban Missile Crisis was coming to a head.

But Canada never ended diplomatic relations with Cuba. That was when we had some cojones and pursued a different path than the US when it fit with our own foreign policies.

PM Pierre Trudeau, Justin's father, disagreed with the embargo and Canada has maintained trading relations with Cuba. Canada has been the third most active exporter and importer to and from Cuba.

Trudeau Sr. nearly caused apoplectic seizures in Washington when he went to visit Castro in Cuba. A couple of his boys were with him. They became good friends but were philosophically at odds. But that didn't fit with the US policy that expected that the Canadian PM would support them in their dispute with Castro.

Trudeau was an academic and not likely to be fearful of a discussion with the man. From what I understand of the man, having read his biography, he tried to take an analytical approach to most situations and that demanded some research. I can see how he would be maddening to a US President.

When Trudeau died, Castro headed north to attend his funeral and was an honorary pall bearer.

So there is family history between the Trudeau's and the Castro's so I think that Justin chose his words rather carefully and diplomatically. Castro had shown himself to be a friend of the Trudeau's.

So while I would have tweaked the speech a little, I don't think that any words from a Trudeau to the family of Castro, given the relationship, should have ripped a strip from the man.


I fully expect that Justin and Donald Trump will bump heads. Trump is morally bankrupt and Justin for all his faults to date as PM, appears to be made of sounder stuff than Donald.

The tweets? To be expected.

Those people expect that everyone should castigate Castro for his excesses without equivocation. Kind of like Trump who doesn't seem to give a great deal of thought to anything he says or does.


Cheers,


George


BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3307

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/27/2016 1:59:50 PM
George,

 I must point out that Justin didn't give a lot of thought to his comments either. Consider: He could have made a calm, neutral comment that neither lauded nor denigrated Castro. Why? Because, -precisely-, he IS going to have deal with Trump in the near future. My take -- Justin is another one of those with ideological blinders firmly screwed on. It is simply that his ideology is different from Trump's. Again, sorry: nothing much to cheer there, IMO.

 On edit. Who are these Canadian politicians? They had some sharp opinions to share.


Quote:
But others in Canada were less generous in their description of the controversial leader.

Opposition leader Rona Ambrose said in a written statement that under Castro's rule, thousands of people were impoverished, imprisoned and executed.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Cuba who continue to endure his long and oppressive regime, even after his death," she wrote.



Quote:
(Maxime) Bernier also called Castro a "despicable dictator who killed and imprisoned thousands of innocents and drove away in exile more than a million."

"He persecuted gay people, he was against freedom of speech and repressed free expression. He was not a president. He's a dictator. So I'm not very comfortable with that press release," he told The Canadian Press.



Quote:
Texas Senator and former Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz also commented on Trudeau's statement on Twitter saying, "Disgraceful. Why do young socialists idolize totalitarian tyrants? Castro, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot — all evil, torturing murderers."

Cruz got a response from Canadian Senator Leo Housakos who said, "Sadly, our [PM] has no respect for our democratic way of life and basic human rights and freedom."


 Doesn't sound like all of Canada was particularly impressed with Justin's choice of words.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5298

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/27/2016 3:22:29 PM
I think that I can explain the commentary.

Ambrose and Bernier are running for the leadership of the federal Conservative Party of Canada. That party represents Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition.

EDIT: Rona Ambrose is the current interim leader of the Conservative Party and the leader of the opposition. I believe that she has declared that she will not enter the leadership selection process.

Leo Housakos was a Conservative appointment to the Senate, I believe by our last PM, Steven Harper.

He had been appointed the speaker of the Senate by PM Harper but lost that position when the Liberals took power.

As well, Trudeau promised to reform a senate that many Canadians wanted to see scrapped. His first move was to declare that Liberal senators, all appointed now, would no longer be members of the Liberal caucus. They will all sit as independents. He is trying to eliminate the partisan nature of the Senate and has opponents among his own caucus but also among the Conservatives.

Our Senate has long been a repository of party hacks and former elected members of the House and some appointments that are inexplicable, like old hockey players and an Olympic skier.

Our Parliamentary system is adversarial as you know, so I would not expect anything else from them.


Who knows? They may be sincere but I am a little jaded by politics right now. I blame the US Presidential election for that.

Ironically, it was the Conservative government under Harper that facilitated the discussions between the US and Cuba that resulted in the first baby steps toward normalization of the relationship.


BTW, I certainly do not represent all Canadians. There are many who are ideologically opposed to anything Liberal and many have a hate on, for Justin, because they hated his Dad.

But like I said, I read what he said and it isn't an affirmation of Castro as a great leader. He was in a difficult position because of the family relationship.


This is what PM Trudeau said.


Quote:

Antananarivo, Madagascar
November 26, 2016
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro:

“It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba’s longest serving President.

“Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.

“While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for “el Comandante”.

“I know my father was very proud to call him a friend and I had the opportunity to meet Fidel when my father passed away. It was also a real honour to meet his three sons and his brother President Raúl Castro during my recent visit to Cuba.

“On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and many, many supporters of Mr. Castro. We join the people of Cuba today in mourning the loss of this remarkable leader.”



About 6 hours ago, he was grilled by the press. He is in Madagascar at the Summit of the Francophonie.


Quote:
"There are people who have many memories and who experienced a great deal of difficulty because of what happened in Cuba, and I am not minimizing any of that," Trudeau said.

With Castro gone, Cubans wonder what the future holds
Asked by CBC News senior parliamentary reporter Catherine Cullen whether he believes Castro was a dictator, Trudeau replied: "Yes."


"The fact is Fidel Castro had a deep and lasting impact on the Cuban people. He certainly was a polarizing figure and there certainly were concerns around human rights. That's something that I'm open about and that I've highlighted," he added.

"But on the passing of his death I expressed a statement that highlighted the deep connection between the people of Canada and the people of Cuba."​



He's not wrong on the last statement. I think that I mentioned that over 1 million Canadians take their vacations on the island. Many often travel with clothing and scarce consumer items that they give to the people.

Some Canadians won't travel there on principle.


Cheers,

George

morris crumley
Lawrenceville, GA, USA
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Posts: 1189

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/27/2016 8:15:05 PM

Quote:
No George, in the US we are all just ignorant pips

 Thanks for confessing that, Morris. I thought was alone in that regard.

Cheers

BW
--BWilson


Hey BW....shhhh. That`s only on deep background.

Respects, Morris
---------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
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Moderator


Posts: 1309

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/27/2016 8:55:02 PM
Great set of quotes from you, Bill. You make your point: not all Canadians are particularly impressed with Mr Trudeau's choice of words. It is probably just coincidence that Canadians just thrown the party represented by the likes of Ambrose and Bernier and Housakos out of power in Canada.

I don't know what to make of Mr Cruz's tweet, but I've always had trouble understanding what to make of his comments, actions and beliefs. Is he conflating Mr Trudeau with all "young socialists", even though he is hardly to the left of centre and is just one year younger than Mr Cruz? Does he have copy of Mr Trudeau's praise of Stalin, Mao and/or Pol Pot?

I'm not wild about Mr Trudeau's comments, to be honest. And I certainly don't feel the need to defend him: for a "young socialist", he's a big enough boy to defend himself. I would have written something different; but I'm not speaking for a nation.

I will say, however, that his comments reflect a certain decency and tact that is lacking in the comments of ... might I say? ... Mr Trump. I'm all for calling a spade a spade, but even I recognize that diplomacy at the death of a world figure (and Mr Castro was that) is one mark of decency still acceptable by most civilized countries.

Most people I know have positive attitudes towards Cuba. Most have, at least in the past, either ignored Cuba's politics or placed Cuba's people in the spotlight. When pianos and clarinets and clapped-out Apple IIe's are seized because sending them to Cuba poses a threat, most Canadians I know don't laud those placing the embargo, but rather wish to support those who cannot receive items that might bring them joy. That's not political. It's human.

As to holidaying in Cuba, I have hosts of friends who have done so, over and over again. One couple I know are planning their third trip, both for ideological reasons and because they want to see a pre-US Cuba one more time. To be honest, I think that couple are a rare minority in Canada. Most Canadians, IMHO, "do" Cuba because it's inexpensive and acceptably comfortable without being posh. We go there because we can, and because for the most part we are treated well when we visit (particularly if we speak the language!). Tipping is not an issue, and the only complaint I hear concerns not the ideology but the food.

I'd rather visit Barbados. The food is better, and they speak an English I can understand at least 50% of the time. My Spanish is terrible!

Cheers
Brian G

PS: I don't want to make nasty comments about Leo Housakos, but I can't let his comment go without saying something. His party was tossed from power largely for many reasons, including "opaquing" the legislative process and denying press access to Crown ministers. No Government ministers were allowed to speak to the press under his party's rules, and all releases came from an unelected group of political supporters. His party was anti-immigrant, particularly if the immigrants were non-Christian. When somebody like Ted Cruz (sorry... "old" Ted Cruz, at 45) gets support from the likes of Mr Housakos, what he's really getting is an "Amen" from a fellow Christian right-winger.

Okay, I've made my own bigoted comment now, and feel I'm part of the MHO gang again!

B


---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

Steve Clements
Toronto, ON, Canada
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Moderator
Posts: 407

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/27/2016 10:58:55 PM
BW


Quote:
 I must point out that Justin didn't give a lot of thought to his comments either.


Oh, quite sadly, he almost certainly did give a lot of thought to his comments. Or, to be much more accurate, the comments (in all probabilities...) belonged to Gerald Butts, Mr. Trudeau's "senior policy advisor". And Butts, no doubt, gave the matter a great deal of thought... {for the record, senior policy advisor is the only polite thing that I could call Mr. Butts....).

Prior to helping screw Canadians on a national level, Mr. Butts was the "brains" (?) behind then premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty. Who should be in jail. Several times over.... So....after helping to totally screw up the Province of Ontario, Butts has moved onto bigger things. I am sure his mom is really proud of him...

However, to be fair, I am willing to bet that Mr. Trudeau's comments about how Castro and Trudeau's father (former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau) were good buddies, came from "Junior" himself.....Canada's own trust fund baby/snow board instructor, masquerading as a politician.


Quote:
Doesn't sound like all of Canada was particularly impressed with Justin's choice of words.


I would consider this to be an understatement of, shall we say, significant proportions.

s.c.


Steve Clements
Toronto, ON, Canada
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class
Moderator
Posts: 407

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/27/2016 11:17:23 PM
George,


Quote:
There are many who are ideologically opposed to anything Liberal and many have a hate on, for Justin, because they hated his Dad.


I really take issue with this statement.

I was quite prepared to vote Liberal in the last Federal election....if someone such as Bob Rae had been chosen to lead the party. I have no great fondness for Stephen Harper....

However, that Trudeau jr. became the leader of the Liberal party is perhaps the single most cynical political move that I have ever witnessed. And my negative feelings towards a substitute teacher/engineering school drop-out/snowboard instructor as P.M. have absolutely nothing to do with his father's politics. It has everything to do with his complete lack of qualifications.

Justin Trudeau brings nothing to the table, with the exception of his last name and his hair/youth/good looks. Sunny days and all that.... He has as much "right" to be Prime Minister as you and I think that Trump does to be President. Yeah, yeah, yeah...the people spoke. And we ended up with a Valley girl as prime minister. Or perhaps more accurately, we ended up with Gerald Butts, the real power behind the p.m., as Prime Minister. Which is many, many times more frightening. Don't think so? Check your most recent Hydro bill and tell me otherwise....

s.c.

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 1923

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/28/2016 12:08:44 AM

Quote:
No George, in the US we are all just ignorant pips

 Thanks for confessing that, Morris. I thought was alone in that regard.

Cheers

BW
--BWilson


Ha !!!!! So us effete european liberal green socialists have it black on white now

Trevor

Edit: Come, let's be honest, it's just that he was one of "their" horrible dictators instead of one of "our" horrible dictators. He was just cheeky enough to have his dictatorship on US turf.
---------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie

Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.

BWilson

top 5
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Posts: 3307

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/28/2016 2:07:31 AM
I will say, however, that his comments reflect a certain decency and tact that is lacking in the comments of ... might I say? ... Mr Trump. I'm all for calling a spade a spade, but even I recognize that diplomacy at the death of a world figure (and Mr Castro was that) is one mark of decency still acceptable by most civilized countries.

Brian,

 My question would be this. Were a right-wing dictator somewhere to die, will Trudeau give an equally passionate eulogy ? I think not, and therefore suspect that in part, Justin's comment was made as a declaration of political comradeship for a fallen leftist idol. Need the Canadian PM really do that ? Again, I think not, because I have no doubt that Castro's brother will probably erect some obscenely expensive memorial to glorify the memory of Castro's life.

 Family ties. Whatever. Makes me think that Trudeau senior had questionable taste in "friendship", but the older Trudeau enjoyed tweaking noses in any case. But what is problematic in this case is that Justin, speaking for Canada as the PM, did not have the political acumen to separate his personal ties from the duties of his office. Am I wrong to think he could have sent heartfelt condolences as a private communication to the Castro family while issuing a slightly more restrained formal statement in his role as PM ?

 Re: Cruz. Your assessment of two like-minded politicians supporting each other is likely correct.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3307

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/28/2016 2:19:22 AM
He was just cheeky enough to have his dictatorship on US turf.

Trevor,

 Check, he wasn't that a bad of a guy considering he hosted a U.S. naval station in his country.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

Lightning
Glasgow, UK
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class


Posts: 442

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/28/2016 6:19:07 AM
The reaction in much of the press (and beyond) that's simply a case of good riddance to another dynastic dictator is far too simplistic.

Cuba under Castro eliminated homelessness; brought literacy and numeracy up to previously unthinkable levels; booted out the mob and predatory business that was asset stripping Cuba; introduced universal free at the point of use healthcare; eliminated extreme poverty; and didn't pursue an agenda (by force of arms) of making every system of the Government the same throughout the world. I wonder how Cuban stacks up morally against the Western democracies who have instigated regime change wherever and whenever it suited their global realpolitik outlook? Let's also remember that Castro frequently allowed dissidents against his regime to leave Cuba (by way of voluntary/involuntary exile) - I'm sure it would have been simpler and safer for his regime to simply have them all eliminated.

A dictator he was, and I'm no fan of his political outlook (undemocratic socialism/communism), nor his flagrant and numerous human rights abuses but there is much the Governments of the Western liberal democracies can learn from Cuba (in strictly policy terms, I must clarify), particularly those countries where millions upon millions live in poverty, have no access to decent healthcare, poor levels of education and suffer from generational unemployment thanks to the capitalist offshore hedge fund tax haven asset-stripping globalisation agenda.

Cheers,

Colin
---------------
"There is no course open to us but to fight it out. Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end."

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5298

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/28/2016 7:13:33 AM

Quote:
George,


Quote:
There are many who are ideologically opposed to anything Liberal and many have a hate on, for Justin, because they hated his Dad.


I really take issue with this statement.

I was quite prepared to vote Liberal in the last Federal election....if someone such as Bob Rae had been chosen to lead the party. I have no great fondness for Stephen Harper....

However, that Trudeau jr. became the leader of the Liberal party is perhaps the single most cynical political move that I have ever witnessed. And my negative feelings towards a substitute teacher/engineering school drop-out/snowboard instructor as P.M. have absolutely nothing to do with his father's politics. It has everything to do with his complete lack of qualifications.

Justin Trudeau brings nothing to the table, with the exception of his last name and his hair/youth/good looks. Sunny days and all that.... He has as much "right" to be Prime Minister as you and I think that Trump does to be President. Yeah, yeah, yeah...the people spoke. And we ended up with a Valley girl as prime minister. Or perhaps more accurately, we ended up with Gerald Butts, the real power behind the p.m., as Prime Minister. Which is many, many times more frightening. Don't think so? Check your most recent Hydro bill and tell me otherwise....

s.c.
--Steve Clements


Steve, you do recall that Trudeau Sr. was reviled by some Canadians who were sure that he was a communist because he visited Castro.

That famous photo of the youthful Pierre tooling around on a motorcycle wearing a German helmet didn't help. He is a Quebecker and for some Anglo Canadians that is sufficient to dismiss him as their PM. You know that that is true.

I think that Justin carries some of that baggage and the social media comments, including those on CBC if allowed, say things like, "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree".

This guy has been dismissed from the get go as a light weight and the description of him as a drama teacher is used as ammunition to prove that he is unqualified. And that was before he was elected. You have fallen into the same trap.

I don't want to turn this into an argument between two old Ontario boys but BOB RAE. You must be kidding Steve. Rae Days, Rae Days. Every public employee.remembers that.

Of course I also remember, wage and price controls instituted by Trudeau Senior.


With respect to Justin's speech, I found it cautious and sensitive. BW may not agree but the family relationship did affect the text.

As well, Justin Trudeau has addressed a variety of human rights issues whenever he travels. He has done so with the Chinese and most recently with Raul Castro,

I don't know what he said or how forceful he was and we never will. But he has used his office to address human rights wherever he goes.

Give the man a chance.




Cheers,


George

So I think that you should

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5298

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/28/2016 7:28:08 AM
So why was the US justified in imposing a trade and economic assistance embargo on Cuba in the first place?

Why was the embargo continued and maintained by 10 or 11 Presidents of the US?

The conditions for removal of the embargo were simple. Castro had to introduce democratic reforms of some sort.

I suppose that those reforms would be assessed by the US to determine whether they met some standard of democratization.


The embargo was reinforced by Pres. Bush in 1912 with the passage of the Cuban Democracy Act.


Quote:
The CDA contains a statement of United States policy towards Cuba that announces, among others, policies "to seek a peaceful transition to democracy and a resumption of economic growth in Cuba through the careful application of sanctions directed at the Castro government and support for the Cuban people" and "to maintain sanctions on the Castro regime so long as it continues to refuse to move toward democratization and greater respect for human rights." Section 1703 of the CDA, 22 U.S.C. [[section]] 6002.



Does the US have similar acts specifically directed toward any other country? Is Cuba the only country so targeted?

Does the US have any general statutes declaring that all countries must pursue democratization?


Cheers,


George


BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3307

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/28/2016 8:44:10 AM
 Wow, Justin really stepped in it! [Read More]


Quote:
To be perfectly fair, Trudeau did allow that Castro was a “controversial figure,” and nothing in his remarks was as explicit as the minor classic in the genre of dictator-worship that his brother Alexandre composed for the Toronto Star 10 years ago. Alexandre described Castro as “something of a superman. . . an expert on genetics, on automobile combustion engines, on stock markets. On everything.” As for the Cuban people: “They do occasionally complain, often as an adolescent might complain about a too strict and demanding father.”

This kind of Disco Generation stupidity about Castro has been commonplace in establishment circles in Canada since Pierre’s time, and neither Alexandre’s gringo-splaining nor Justin’s aptitude for eulogy are sufficient to gloss over the many things Cubans have every right to complain about.



Quote:
For all our prime minister’s accolades about Cuba’s health care system, basic medicines are scarce to non-existent. For all the claims about high literacy rates, Cubans are allowed to read only what the Castro crime family allows.

Raul Castro’s son Alejandro is the regime’s intelligence chief. His son-in-law, Luis Alberto Rodríguez López-Callejas, runs the Cuban military’s business operations, which now account for 60 per cent of the Cuban economy. The Castro regime owns and control the Cuban news media, which is adept at keeping Cubans in the dark. It wasn’t until 1999, for instance, that Cubans were permitted to know the details of Fidel’s family life: five sons they’d never heard of, all in their 30s.

Independent publications are classified as “enemy propaganda.” Citizen journalists are harassed and persecuted as American spies. Reporters Without Borders ranks Cuba at 171 out of 180 countries in press freedom, worse than Iran, worse than Saudi Arabia, worse than Zimbabwe.



Quote:
For all the parochial Canadian susceptibility to the propaganda myth that pits a shabby-bearded rebel in olive fatigues against the imperialist American hegemon, by the time he died on Friday night Castro was one of the richest men in Latin America. Ten years ago, when he was handing the presidency to Raúl, Forbes magazine calculated that Fidel’s personal wealth was already nearly a billion dollars.

In his twilight years, Castro was enjoying himself at his gaudy 30-hectare Punto Cero estate in Havana’s suburban Jaimanitas district, or occasionally retreating to his private yacht, or to his beachside house in Cayo Piedra, or to his house at La Caleta del Rosario with its private marina, or to his duck-hunting chalet at La Deseada.


 Perhaps some can see the glimmerings of a folk hero in Castro's life. I can't. It is refreshing to see Canadian media calling Trudeau on his eulogy -- a better performance than the American media would have made if one of their liberal darlings had done the same.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

Steve Clements
Toronto, ON, Canada
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class
Moderator
Posts: 407

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 11/28/2016 9:53:31 AM
George,

Me thinks that you get up waaaay too early for a retired fellow....-:)


Quote:
I think that Justin carries some of that baggage and the social media comments, including those on CBC if allowed, say things like, "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree".


The problem is that it wasn't his father's tree that he fell from....it was his "hippy with a gold AMEX card" mother. Pierre did like to tweet noses....but he had backbone when it mattered. I may not have agreed with some of his policies....but Senior was a man of substance.

Of course, Junior does seem to share his father's lack of concern about running very large Federal deficits....given that we are now seven years into a "recovery", I find this extremely troubling. And highly inappropriate.


Quote:
This guy has been dismissed from the get go as a light weight and the description of him as a drama teacher is used as ammunition to prove that he is unqualified. And that was before he was elected. You have fallen into the same trap.


He is unqualified. He is a lightweight. If it wasn't for his last name, he would still be a snowboard instructor at Whistler.

All of this I can accept....what I cannot accept is that I seem to be living in a country run by Gerald Butts. And no one voted for him....

And with the "first past the post" reversal, and the now you see it now you don't fight jet purchase plan, he is getting pretty good at flip-flopping. But he just loves those Chinese political donations (learned that from the Ontario Liberals).

The only promise that he has kept is to increase my taxes, to help pay for all those defined benefit pension plans that the civil servants enjoy.

s.c.

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