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BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3305

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 12/2/2016 1:45:48 AM
Even communists can come up with good ideas once in a while.

 Yeah, I hear the Fascists built some nice multi-lane highways in their time. Even made the trains run on time!

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: 5294

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 12/2/2016 7:32:11 AM

Quote:
Even communists can come up with good ideas once in a while.

 Yeah, I hear the Fascists built some nice multi-lane highways in their time. Even made the trains run on time!

Cheers

BW
--BWilson


I have to confess that I am baffled by this response BW. I see the happy face.

But I do not equate Fidel's revolution with the situation in Italy at the time that Mussolini took over and made the trains run on time.

It seems that some Americans are incapable of tipping the cap toward Fidel for anything that he accomplished in Cuba.

He was a communist. He took land from American companies.

A total failure would have been seen as justification for the embargo that has contributed to poverty on the island.

That Castro and the Cubans, a proud people by the way, are still there must rankle in the halls of government.

My feeling is that Castro reclaimed the island which had become a playground and inexpensive place to do business for Americans and that has brought down an embargo and 50 years of hatred. How dare he have the temerity to reject colonialism and imperialism.

It is hypocritical don't you think, given the number of scumbags installed in positions of authority in other Central and South American countries by the CIA, to condemn Cuba to a half century of poverty? Despite what Steve has suggested, the embargo and the Helms-Burton Act has placed severe restrictions on what Cuba could do as a trading nation.

Compound that with foolish communist centralized command style economics and the people of Cuba have had a rough go. Long ago, that situation became unnecessary and could have been rectified but the quid pro quo was that the Cubans had to hold democratic elections and be willing to discuss reparations for Americans assets that were seized.

The US is complicit in creating those poverty conditions. That was the intent and I provided a quote from the state department indicating that the goal was to make the people of Cuba so miserable that they would rebel against Castro.

The US and the rest of us for that matter continue to do business with the champion of human rights violations, Communist China but nary a thought to a trade embargo there.

That seems to be sufficient to condemn him utterly without discussion.


Specifically I was concerned that the data describing some successes in the Cuban health care system were being dismissed because it is convenient to suggest that all that data had been falsified by a communist government.

But I found a scholarly piece that suggests otherwise but even a mild suggestion that some good things happened out of this revolution doesn't seem to be on the table.

Despite a very weak economy, the Cubans managed to eradicate several diseases and to provide community health care.

And they did educate their people. Hopefully, those two successes will give them a leg up, if given the chance to succeed.

May we not simply acknowledge that fact?

Cheers,

George



BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3305

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 12/2/2016 7:37:55 AM
 The lesson is that one may find bright spots in most any situation, but that hardly describes the entire legacy.

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: 5294

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 12/2/2016 7:51:45 AM

Quote:
 The lesson is that one may find bright spots in most any situation, but that hardly describes the entire legacy.

Cheers

BW
--BWilson


Agreed but it seems that any suggestion the revolution was important to the development of Cuba as a sovereign nation is dismissed.

The only thing that appears to be on the table is the description of Fidel as a tyrant and a murderer.


I think that there is more to his legacy than that, more bright spots than some are willing to grant.

For one thing, the islands was seized from the forces of colonialism and imperialism.

On balance, I think the Cubans were better off for it.

They are also better off without Fidel as he had become a roadblock to reform. Hopefully, Raul has some progressive ideas though I am sure that they will not include the democratic reform that the US says is non-negotiable if the embargo is to be removed.


I do have a question. Do Americans in particular assume that someone such as I, is a communist sympathizer or just naive with respect to Cuba and Castro?

I sense that and if so I do wonder whether decades of anti-communist rhetoric and a belief in the domino theory, long after the perceived threat had disappeared, causes some Americans to conflate a belief in social democracy (not democratic socialism) with communist tendencies.

Cheers,

George

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3305

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 12/2/2016 8:10:54 AM
 Not having met anyone in these forums in person, I make no assumptions about them. Even were one to do so based on what little information can be gleaned from comments on this site, assumptions could be wildly wrong because of the characteristics of internet discussion.

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: 5294

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 12/2/2016 8:13:39 AM

Quote:
 Not having met anyone in these forums in person, I make no assumptions about them. Even were one to do so based on what little information can be gleaned from comments on this site, assumptions could be wildly wrong because of the characteristics of internet discussion.

Cheers

BW
--BWilson



Very fair. Thanks.


Red George

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

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 12/2/2016 8:38:23 AM
George and Bill,

I'm frequently amazed at how I'm perceived ( not so much on MHO ). Sometimes I'm seen as devoted red commie and by others as a stuffy reactionary old sack.

Trevor
---------------
`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.

Larry Purtell
USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 483

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 12/2/2016 9:54:01 AM
Hi George. I was nine when the Cuban missile crisis happened and well remember the talk about Castro and what he was doing. Yet I never saw him as a demon or devil. Just a man who saw injustice in his country and wanted to stop it. I always felt his cause was just, it was his methods that were so objectionable.

Best regards, Larry
---------------
"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5294

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 12/2/2016 10:31:54 AM

Quote:
Hi George. I was nine when the Cuban missile crisis happened and well remember the talk about Castro and what he was doing. Yet I never saw him as a demon or devil. Just a man who saw injustice in his country and wanted to stop it. I always felt his cause was just, it was his methods that were so objectionable.

Best regards, Larry
--Larry Purtell


Larry, we must be nearly the same age.

The Cuban Missile Crisis was a defining moment in my life. Certainly it was scary.

I was in junior high school, grade 8 or 9. We were very much aware of what was going on in Cuba and fearful as the Kennedy/Khrushchev rhetoric ramped up.

I can't say that I was a political junkie at that point in my life but I was aware that our PM Diefenbaker was hesitant to support JFK. Part of that was personal, they didn't like each other.

Part of it was JFK's neglect in not discussing what to do about the situation with Canada. When he did call, Dief was hesitant to move to DEFCON 3 as JFK requested. Dief thought that that was unnecessary provocation of the Soviets.

My recollection is that it was a Friday and we were sent home from school just before noon. That would have been Oct. 26, 1962 and the conflict had been brewing for nearly 10 days.

The principal got on the PA and without any explanation announced that we should go to our lockers in an orderly manner and then head home, "to be with your parents".

Even today I get chills. The principal's voice sounded so ominous.

I recall that some kids were completely oblivious to the situation off the coast of Florida. Others were fairly knowledgable.

I knew what was going on and I also knew that the "duck and cover" exercises, weren't going to help any of us.


My opinion of the Cuban Revolution and of Castro was formed later and I tend to concur with your assessment.

He created conditions whereby the Cuban people could have prospered. By third world standards, they had a GDP that was quite good in the early days of the revolution despite having an economy based mostly on sugar.

His two major accomplishments were in education and the health care field.

I also think that he restored pride to the Cuban people as they did gain control of their country. They had expelled a tyrant and the foreign elements that were far too influential in their lives.

So Castro did not succeed completely and when he lost his benefactor, the USSR, he failed to find a way to build a diversified economy. He also did not find it within himself to allow dissent even within the one party system and so he became an oppressor too.


The embargo did not help and must be cited as a contributing factor to the impoverished lives of the Cuban people.


Cheers,






Larry Purtell
USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 483

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 12/2/2016 11:47:35 AM
The embargo was an act of revenge by the U.S supposed to have been against Castro but ended up hurting the Cuban people and making the U.S look like a spoiled mean spirited loser.


Larry
---------------
"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5294

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 12/2/2016 12:23:08 PM

Quote:
The embargo was an act of revenge by the U.S supposed to have been against Castro but ended up hurting the Cuban people and making the U.S look like a spoiled mean spirited loser.


Larry
--Larry Purtell



I don't disagree at all. The embargo needs to go but it remains to be seen whether your new President can see the benefits in that or whether he wants to posture and bluster.

Cheers,

George

Larry Purtell
USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 483

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 12/2/2016 12:46:21 PM
Had the U.S. had the foresight and never imposed the embargo and flooded Cuba with all types of consumer goods and allowed free travel to and from Cuba I believe Castro and his brand of communism would have both been pushed aside
quietly and quickly. Except for Miami I believe my views are pretty common.


Larry
---------------
"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5294

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 12/2/2016 1:28:50 PM
It can still happen Larry. If the embargo is dropped, the ball will be in Raul's court.

Then we'll see whether he wants to dicker. Will he encourage investment in agriculture and industry?

Will the US businesses be content to operate in an environment that is regulated by the state?

We may not see the demise of a one party regime but we may see a capitalist face to it.

Then the Cubans will indicate the direction in which they want to go.

I might add that Canadian businesses have been investing in Cuban enterprises as long as the embargo has been in place but ramping things up after the fall of the USSr. But it is a different environment for business.

So have Mexican and Spaniards and the Dutch invested.

But they have to be prepared to sign their deals with a slew of Cuban government regulatory agencies.

As well, it is my understanding that a business cannot achieve corporate standing in Cuba. Businesses may have to work with Cuban Co-operatives which do have legal standing.


You may be interested in this overview of countries who have ignored the US embargo and do invest in Cuba.

Canada has been active for a long time. Even one of our pizza companies, Pizza Nova, is there.

A lot of Canadian mining companies are there. Cuban nickel has been shipped to Canada for many years.

As well, York Medical, has been involved in the distribution of Cuban pharmaceuticals and have ensured that the drugs meet the US Food and Drug Administration standards.

[Read More]


The Cubans, given their past experiences with foreign business are naturally cautious so I think that the steps to open their country to US firms will be equally as cautious but it will happen. It depends upon Trump, right now.


Cheers,

George

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5294

Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 12/4/2016 7:05:03 AM

Quote:
But we should not assume that the grief we see and the respect offered to Castro is manufactured.

 You misunderstand. My comment is about what comes after the funeral. Will this become another version of an ever-preserved Lenin? Not an idle question. Fidel served the revolution as a symbol when he was alive. He is equally capable of doing so while dead even if he is not aware of doing so.

Cheers

BW
--BWilson


I am backtracking on on older post here.

I was reading an article today that explains that Fidel was opposed to the cult of personality.

As a result, Raul Castro has announced that the National Assembly will pass a law that prohibits the naming of streets and parks after his brother and also prohibits public monuments to be erected in his name.


Quote:
Castro told a crowd gathered to pay homage to his brother Fidel Castro in the eastern city of Santiago that the country's National Assembly would pass in its next session a law prohibiting the naming of "institutions, streets, parks or other public sites, or erecting busts statutes or other forms of tribute."


My cynical side asks whether this new law is likely to have the opposite effect and will arouse the patriotic passions of the Cubans so that they will clamour for a way to pay homage.

Or does Raul wish to ensure that he will be able to create his own legacy, free from the shadow of his brother's perceived greatness?

Or maybe it's just what it is. Eschew the cult of personality so that the ideals of the revolution become the focal point rather than the man himself.


Whatever, it appears that for the time being, we will not see images of Fidel in every town and square.


Cheers,

George

Éireann_Ascendant
Dublin, Ireland
New User
E-2 Private


Posts: 16
https://erinascendantwordpress.wordpress.com/
Re: Fidel has died
Posted on: 12/14/2016 1:42:33 PM
An man who examplified the unfortunate tendency, particularly prevalent in the 20th century, for well-meaning revolutions to become every bit as oppressive as the regimes they replaced.

For all his grandstanding, overly long rhetoric, and the adoration from left-wing types worldwide, Castro was just another tinpot dictator at the end of the day.

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