11
   

WHY GAY MARRIAGE, VISITING CUBA, AND POT MAY SOON BE LEGAL

 
 
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 01:46 pm
http://www.slate.com/id/2234017?wpisrc=newsletter
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 01:49 pm
about bloody time
Ceili
 
  2  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 02:09 pm
@djjd62,
I want to get to Cuba before the deluge. lol
Aside from that, I second dj.
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 02:14 pm
@Ceili,
It's beautiful, but Puerto Rico is easier.
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 02:26 pm
@engineer,
I loved Puerto Rico, would love to go back.
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 02:28 pm
@Ceili,
Plus, use your US dollars, no passport required, etc. Just too easy to get a rain forest, monster cave complex, bioluminesent bays, coral reefs, huge Spanish forts, etc.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 02:30 pm
Quote:
... and he [Obama] has moved to reopen dialogue with the Cuban government that predecessor George W. Bush shut down.

http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSN1614194320090916



It's completely understandable that Bush didn't want to have a dialogue with Cuba. He isn't competent enough to have a dialogue with anyone.

Quote:
CUBA SAYS EMBARGO COST IT $223 BILLION

Rodriguez put the blame for Cuba's ongoing economic woes squarely on the embargo, saying it was the "primary obstacle to development" and had cost the country $223 billion over the years.

[Ibid]



The US should only be allowed back into Cuba after they have paid their debt, in full, with interest, to Cuba and they have gotten their military out of Cuba, with all necessary steps taken to ensure that the military doesn't leave Guantanamo a toxic waste dump like they left Clark in the Philippines.
Sglass
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 02:34 pm
@Ceili,
I just question whether you would like it if you got there. Merry Andrew and I met a lovely Cuban lady who really changed some of my more liberal views and sympathies viz a viz Cuba. The people are still totally repressed by the communist regime. But then people visit China.

Cuba is a beautiful country and circumstances never remain the same. Change is inevitable.
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 02:43 pm
@JTT,
JTT wrote:

The US should only be allowed back into Cuba after they have paid their debt, in full, with interest, to Cuba and they have gotten their military out of Cuba, with all necessary steps taken to ensure that the military doesn't leave Guantanamo a toxic waste dump like they left Clark in the Philippines.

I'm all for restoring ties, but when you say "the US should only be allowed back", what do you mean? The Cubans don't ban the US now. The Cuban government loves us there in Gitmo. We pay them annual rent, they have a great excuse to rail against the US and they still have full access to the rest of the bay. It's a PR bonanza for them and brings in hard cash.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 03:35 pm
@engineer,
Quote:
HOW THE US STOLE GUANTANAMO BAY

...

Actions like those listed above show that the Guantanamo Naval base has been an expression of the United States’ unsatisfied geopolitical ambitions for Cuba. The cause of the dispute between the two states, has been the US authorities’ resistance to seeing Cuba become a free and sovereign nation, breaking away from plans for US control over the Cuban people that have spanned three centuries. Which is why the US has never even entered into any discussions over a possible eventual handover, despite repeated requests from the Cuban government.

Even during the Missile Crisis in 1962 the US administration was not prepared to talk about handing back Guantanamo, but was prepared to take the world to the brink of nuclear war. Yet, according to international law, the United States has no right to still be at the base. International law establishes consent as the basis for any legal obligation resulting from an agreement, where is the consent in any of the agreements concerning Guantanamo?


The lease was forced onto a government that had been installed as puppets of the American regime and remained there under threat of military intervention.

International law also consecrates the precept of basic change of circumstance, which should have led to a US departure as soon as they broke off diplomatic relations in 1961 and the base was no longer a show of “friendship” but a tool of US aggression.

And finally, quite simply it is absurd to think that the owner of anything that is leased cannot recover it at a given time, as any lease is per se, temporary.

http://www.cuba-solidarity.org.uk/cubasi_article.asp?ArticleID=27
Ceili
 
  2  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 03:47 pm
@Sglass,
I know plenty of Cubans. I know plenty of people that have been there. It's a Canadian haunt, if you will. I've read plenty of books and magazines and I think I'm pretty aware of the poverty (mostly due to the US embargo) and politics. Canada has long been a conduit of information and money for the Cubans. I think I know what to expect, and I think I'll probably like it.

PS. Canadian need a passport for Puerto Rico and the United States in general.

JTT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 04:21 pm
@Sglass,
Quote:
The people are still totally repressed by the communist regime.


You want to see repression, Sglass, look not at what Castro has done, look at what the USA has done since its inception.

Quote:
U.S. POLICY TOWARD CUBA: FROM NEOCOLONY TO STATE OF SIEGE

by Jane Franklin

In 1898, Cubans, waging their Second War of Independence, were
close to driving out the colonists from Spain. The U.S. government
decided the fruit was ripe. Congress declared war against Spain,
ostensibly to help free Cuba. In U.S. history, this is known as
the Spanish-American War; the United States emerged with four new
ports--the Philippines and Guam in the Pacific and Puerto Rico and
Cuba in the Atlantic.
But Cuban history calls it the U.S. Intervention in Cuba's War
of Independence. U.S. troops occupied Cuba for four years. In
exchange for removal of the occupation army, Cuba attached the
Platt Amendment, a U.S. law, to their Constitution, granting
control of Cuba to the U.S. government. Cuba converted from a
colony of Spain to a neocolony of the United States.
Among its dictates, the Platt Amendment provided that the
United States could intervene militarily at any time and could
maintain ports on the island. This amendment was abrogated in 1934
except for the U.S. naval station at Guant namo, which remains.
U.S.-approved elections led to U.S.-approved repression. U.S.
troops occupied Cuba again from 1906 until 1909 and periodically
sent troops to help quell rebellion. In 1940 the Cuban people
created a new Constitution, along with hopes for a peaceful
transition to democracy.
BATISTA DICTATORSHIP AND REVOLUTION
In 1952, a young lawyer was running for Congress when General
Fulgencio Batista returned from Florida to stage a coup financed
and supported by the U.S. government. Batista suspended the
Constitution and canceled elections. That young man, Fidel Castro,
was not allowed to win or lose an election. The Helms-Burton Act,
signed into law by President Clinton in 1996, specifies that
neither Fidel Castro nor Raul Castro will be allowed to run in a
"free election" that would be certified by Washington.

So it's easy to comprehend why U.S. talk of "free elections" sounds hollow
to Cuban ears. Besides, the United States does not have a record
of supporting elections won by somebody not stamped with approval
in Washington; note Guatemala in 1954 and Chile in 1973.
Under Batista, about 85 percent of Cuba's trade was with the
United States. Foreigners, mainly from the United States, owned 75
percent of arable land; 90 percent of services like water,
electricity, phones; and 40 percent of the sugar industry. Super
exploitation and Batista's dictatorship incited the revolution, led
by Fidel Castro, that finally triumphed on January 1, 1959.

http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~hbf/resist.htm


Why have you people allowed such completely "un-American" things to happen to people all over the world? Why, in your name, have you allowed your government to steal the riches of countries and peoples the world over?


Quote:
The US Attack on Cuba's Health

Anthony F Kirkpatrick
College of Medicine
University of South Florida
Tampa, FL

...

Conclusion

The American public deserve the facts from their government, not blatant propaganda based on cooked statistics. Honest government and informed decision making require the truthful presentation of relevant data. To do less not only further isolates the US in its Cuban policy,but also undermines the very foundations of democracy.The US State Department is promulgating informationabout the US embargo that is demonstrably false. But there is more at stake here than the truth. By blocking access to the basic necessities of life in the midst of a severe economic depression, the US government is contributing directly to a significant increase in suffering and premature death within a civilian population just 90 miles south of its border.

http://74.125.155.132/scholar?q=cache:y022AZEEcGQJ:scholar.google.com/&hl=en



spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 04:29 pm
@JTT,
Quote:
Why have you people allowed such completely "un-American" things to happen to people all over the world? Why, in your name, have you allowed your government to steal the riches of countries and peoples the world over?


Because you can do and complaining about it gets the benefit of self absolution and keeping the gains at the same time.
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  3  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 04:33 pm
@JTT,
That quote from the Cuban Ministry of Propaganda (or whatever the hell they call themslves) is a bit misleading. Granted that President McKinley was an asshole, one of the worst we've had. His administration doesn't come anywhere near to measuring up to the debacle represented by the two Bushes, pere et fils, but that's beside the point.

The Platt Amendment was introduced to assure that we kept the promise we had made to the Cuban people in 1898, that if we took Cuba from Spain we would grant it independence, not add it on as a US colony. Not everyone in Washington was happy with this, certainly not McKinley and his cohorts. Congress felt that if it did nothing, the McKinley administration would attempt to hold onto Cuba and the results could have been disastrous. Elquent patriots, such as poet Jose Marti, had fired up the Cubans for violent action against foreign domination, be it Spanish or American or anyone else non-Cuban.

But, of course, there were strings attached to this independence. One was the granting of a naval base at Guantanamo Bay to the USA. Another was that the Cubans would need to get our approval of their constitution and election procedures b efore we'd withdraw the Rough Riders and other ground troops from the island.

Let's be realistic here: we could have kept Cuba as an American dependency just as we kept Puerto Rico. There was no Platt Amendment to cover Puerto Rico and the Puerto Ricans of that time were not sufficiently identity-conscious or independence-minded to oppose American occupation. (The situation in the Philippines was somewhat analogous to the situation in Cuba, and, in fact, originally we had planned to keep the Philippines as an American possession. But that's another story.) Because of the Platt Amendment, we couldn't retain the administration of Cuba; we could, however, maintain that Naval base at Gitmo.

As someone -- Engineer?? -- has already said, there is no good reason for us to get out of Guantanamo. In fact, it gives patriotic, nationalistic Cubans a good excuse to continue hating the Americans and demonstrating against us even if we lift the embargo.

Finally, that the embargo is a major contributing reason for Cuba's current economic woes is undeniable. It is not, however, the only reason. The major reason is the collapse in 1991 of the Soviet Union. This led to the withdrawal of billions in Russian aid to the island which, under the inept and repressive leadership of the Castro brothers, had not been able to be economically self-sufficient at any time since 1957. I think Cubans living in Cuba today hate the Russians more than they hate Americans. They expected harsh treatment from the Americans; but the Russians let them down in a big way.
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 05:09 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Quote:
That quote from the Cuban Ministry of Propaganda (or whatever the hell they call themslves) is a bit misleading. Granted that President McKinley was an asshole, one of the worst we've had.


Quote:
UN Vote Condemns US Blockade 187-3
The U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday overwhelmingly condemned the 47-year U.S. trade embargo on Cuba, an annual ritual that serves to highlight global opposition to America's hard-line policy toward the communist island, but which has done little to change Washington's stance, ...


Why, at age 70, do you persist on repeating the childish things you were taught in your youth, Merry? Not only do you repeat this nonsense, you seem to feel it somehow becomes justified by repeating it.

Quote:
The Platt Amendment was introduced to assure that we kept the promise we had made to the Cuban people in 1898, that if we took Cuba from Spain we would grant it independence, not add it on as a US colony. Not everyone in Washington was happy with this, certainly not McKinley and his cohorts. Congress felt that if it did nothing, the McKinley administration would attempt to hold onto Cuba and the results could have been disastrous. Elquent patriots, such as poet Jose Marti, had fired up the Cubans for violent action against foreign domination, be it Spanish or American or anyone else non-Cuban.


Let me explain something to you about the American system. Presidents can do nothing wrt war without the consent of Congress. Don't try and pass this off as some great beneficence on the part of Congress. The facts and history tell clearly what was really in mind and benefiting the Cuban people, like all the other peoples of the Americas did not figure in the American mind.

You embarrass yourself with this delusional nonsense, trying to explain away the indefensible. "An American promise", why am I not impressed? why would anyone be impressed?

Quote:

But, of course, there were strings attached to this independence. One was the granting of a naval base at Guantanamo Bay to the USA. Another was that the Cubans would need to get our approval of their constitution and election procedures before we'd withdraw the Rough Riders and other ground troops from the island.


Eminently reasonable, Merry. What part of US territory has been given over to a foreign power?

Quote:
there is no good reason for us to get out of Guantanamo.


There is every good reason in the world, starting with, it ain't yours!

Again, hundreds of years of brutality against the people of Cuba and the theft of the riches of the Cuban people and all you can do is make up asinine excuses for such oppression. A graduate of the German school of propaganda perhaps.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 05:24 pm
I fail to see any reason to believe the US embargo has inflicted any economic harm on Cuba, perhaps apart from the income they might get from U.S. tourism. Even so, there are plenty of Canadians and others who would travel there if there was much worth seeing or doing there. That more don't do so is in major part a testimony to the lack of attraction in Cuba itself.

The unhappy fact is that the Cuban economy does not produce enough to take care of its people, either in terms of domestic production/consumption or in terms of exports and its ability to finance needed imports. They required subsidies from the Soviet Union in their "good old days" and perhaps they would like some from us to replace them now. Sadly for them they have only the largess of Hugo Chavez to compensate. Cuban exports of metals and sugar are entirely fungible in international commodity markets - they don't need us as buyers. They can readily get what imports they can pay for from other nations. It is their ability to pay and to produce goods that others want to buy, not the source of supply that limits them.

The reasons for this are both clear and obvious. Authoritarian socialist systems don't produce. They deprive their subject people of both freedom and the incentive to create the wealth they so sorely need. The relative poverty of the former Soviet satellites in Eastern Europe and the transformations they have undergone during the last 20 years are ample testimony to this fact.

The Castro regime is apparently the world's last surviving believer in the nonsense of socialist planned economies. It is time for a second Cuban revolution.

spendius
 
  2  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 05:29 pm
If I was Cuban I would want to be a state of the union and have a team in the NFL.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  -2  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 05:35 pm
@georgeob1,
Gob1, how he does expect to rate.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  -2  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 05:36 pm
Go figure, eh, Merry. Just part and parcel of that warm and grand beneficence the US extends to other countries.

Quote:
Renowned anti-Cuban terrorist freed in the US
26 October 2009

Renowned anti-Cuba terrorist Santiago Alvarez Fernandez-Magriña was released on Wednesday from an Immigration prison in the US state of Georgia, where he was serving a sentence for stockpiling weapons and obstruction of justice.

With a long terrorist record against Cuba, Alvarez Fernandez-Magriña is one of the closest collaborators of self-confessed criminal Luis Posada Carriles, and operates with total impunity in Miami under the façade of a businessman from a development company, underscored the Cubadebate web site.

Imprisoned since November 2005 along with an unpatriotic person, Osvaldo Mitat, Alvarez Fernandez-Magriña pleaded guilty of conspiracy to have illegal weaponry, and admitted his aggressive purposes against Cuba.

Even with this evidence, the US District Attorney’s Office didn’t press charges on terrorism, and the two criminals were sentenced to 4 years in jail, reduced to 11 months in exchange for the voluntary return of an arms cache that was hidden, the Notimex news agency recalls.

The sentence was reduced despite the fact that the authorities seized the largest arms cache in the history of south Florida, made up by 30 automatic rifles, a rocket launcher, several grenades, over 200 pounds of dynamite, and 14 pounds of C-4 explosives.

At the end of 2007, Alvarez and Mitat pleaded guilty of obstructing justice in an investigation linked to charges of migratory fraud against Posada Carriles and they refused to testify before a federal grand jury on the illegal entry of this terrorist to the United States, who is claimed by Venezuelan justice.

Counsel Jose Pertierra, Venezuela’s representative in the extradition case against Posada Carriles told Cubadebate from Washington that Alvarez Fernandez-Magriña “is not a US citizen.

He’s only a permanent resident and his criminal record works against his residency”.

Alvarez Fernandez-Magriña enlisted as a mercenary in the 2506 Brigade (which participated in the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba) and maintained close ties with Florida-based paramilitary organizations, like Alpha 66 and Comandos L, under the supervision of the Central Intelligence Agency (the CIA).

http://www.cuba-solidarity.org.uk/news.asp?ItemID=1724
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 06:21 pm
@JTT,
Not returning calls I see JT. Probably sensible.
 

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