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Old 20-12-2014, 16:17   #76
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Re: US and Cuba to normalize relationship!

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Hopefully that will change.
Great! Another third-world country to visit (as if there aren't enough.)
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Old 20-12-2014, 16:26   #77
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Re: US and Cuba to normalize relationship!

dockhead
You are correct and I apologize for losing my cool, I should have walked away

Sorry to all that read my post
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Old 20-12-2014, 17:57   #78
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Re: US and Cuba to normalize relationship!

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Hi
So I've read all the posts of how bad the Cuban government and communism has been for the Cubans and I have some questions that I'm hoping can be answered.
1 How many of you have been to Cuba ?
2 How much of the hardship was caused by the American Embargo ?

...
I have. I had many great experiences in Cuba. One of which was with a private driver who spoke excellent English (I spoke less Spanish back then). A big advantage of that is that we could talk politics (when away from suspicious ears anyway). He was old enough that he was a kid during the Batista era. Things were really bad for the Cuban people under Batista. Like many Cubans, he did not like Castro, but begrudgingly admitted that the situation of most Cubans had actually improved under Castro...still not great, but better.

The driver was a former MIG pilot. His excellent English was a result of training in Moscow in preparation for invading the USA. One day, he showed me a cool cave which could only be accessed by swimming under a waterfall. When we surfaced in the cave he jokingly told me that was a special initiation ritual and that I was now a good Communist. ;-)

For those who may not know their history/politics, Batista was a dictator supported by Uncle Sam. He did not give a rats ass about the Cuban people. He stole all he could, walked out the back door of a party with his family, boarded a waiting aircraft, and left the country. Leaving his loyalists to be executed by Castro. Great guy. Unfortunately like so many we have installed and supported.

The Cuba political/economic/social system is far more complex than the official rhetoric (just as the USA is far more complex than the official Cuban rhetoric). It is not a monolithic system, it is multidimensional, with many different layers in the economic system.
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Old 20-12-2014, 18:14   #79
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Re: US and Cuba to normalize relationship!

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Originally Posted by rognvald View Post

So it's America's fault that the Cuban people are suffering? ...
That's the official line of the Cuban government. EVERYTHING is blamed the USA. Easing the embargo will take some wind out of that argument.

The official Cuban newspaper is "Granma", named after the old boat Fidel and his crew used to "invade" Cuba. Makes for very interesting and relevant reading...especially the commentaries by Fidel...he's astute and funny. Link to English version below:

http://en.granma.cu/
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Old 20-12-2014, 20:51   #80
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Re: US and Cuba to normalize relationship!

I am quoting this from memory so it may not be perfectly correct but the philosopher Pascal once said:

"Truth on this side of the mountain is falsehood on the other.
Given the infinite variety of all those who cry Lord, Lord.....the kingdom is bound to be divided.
But the suffering would be less and the casualties fewer if each believer first looked at the world from the other side of the mountain."

Maybe following these words could help us understand each other a little better and erase some of the fears that divide us.

Castro was no angel, there were obviously many wrongs that he committed but anyone who has taken the time to read about his early years would realize that one of his early driving forces was that of embarrassment that in his country, very few could read and write and there were so few teachers and doctors. Batista cared nothing for the common people of Cuba and they suffered immensely. Yet he was propped up by the US government for its other economic interest in such products as sugar. Havana was basically a playground for rich americans and the mob with their casinos and bars.
However unfortunately this was not an isolated political event for american politics with their support of people such as Papa and Baby Doc Duvalier of Haiti, Marcos in the Philippines, Anastasio Samoza in Nicaragua, Augusto Pinochet in Chile, or even the Shaw of Iran to name a few. Many many innocent people have died because of failed american policies. Last but not least is our little war in Vietnam to "fight communism". Well I really think all those people wanted was to grow enough rice to feed their families yet because of US foreign policy over 200,000 americans and their allies were killed, over 400,000 Vietnamese combat soldiers were killed, over 500,000 civilians were killed and please don't forget about the 80,000 children that were killed.........yes little children and all to stop the spread of communism? Today Vietnam is still a communist country yet we are building yachts there and they have a thriving tourist trade. So I ask for what? Would someone please explain what that was about?
So to me Cuba is finally being allowed to awaken and only through continued communication and interaction with its people will it grow and we can all understand each other a little better and it is "we the people" who will tell our politicians what we want and not the other way around. Isn't that what democracy is all about?
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Old 21-12-2014, 07:10   #81
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Re: US and Cuba to normalize relationship!

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Castro was no angel,
Of all still living (former) heads of state he has probably the most blood on his hands. Saying that "he was no angel" is an big understatement.

Quote:
there were obviously many wrongs that he committed but anyone who has taken the time to read about his early years would realize that one of his early driving forces was that of embarrassment that in his country, very few could read and write and there were so few teachers and doctors.
Actually, Cuba in the 50ies was a developed country. It had the highest literacy rate in Latin America. It had newspapers, radio and tv stations. All those (but a handfull) were closed down by Castro.
It also had a good medical system, and it must have been accessible for everyone, because Cuba also had the lowest infant mortality in Latin America, and a high life expectancy. Beter even them many European countries at that time.

Quote:
Batista cared nothing for the common people of Cuba and they suffered immensely. Yet he was propped up by the US government for its other economic interest in such products as sugar.
The US eventually got fed up with Batista, and imposed economic sanctions, which were lifted when Castro took power. Quite the irony. Batista was more a leftist popular, a bit like Chavez was. He had the support of the trade unions (and ironically the communist party, and Moscow).
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Old 21-12-2014, 07:14   #82
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Re: US and Cuba to normalize relationship!

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
The major reason for continuing the Cuban embargo is the human rights violations occurring on the island.
However, Freedom House’s annual rankings on Civil Liberties and Political Rights place Cuba ahead of North Korea, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Eritria, Equitorial Guinea, Somalia, and Sudan. *
From this list, only North Korea and Sudan are subject to any U.S. economic sanctions, with the other countries enjoying normalized trade and diplomatic relationships with the United States.
It's not a surprise once you understand why the sanctions against Cuba exist. The US was one of the first to recognise the new regime in Cuba after the fall of Castro, so a priori they had nothing against the new guy in charge.
It's the expropriation of US businesses which is why the US imposed sanctions. Which explains why the US isn't imposing sanctions on for example Turkmenistan...
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Old 21-12-2014, 13:28   #83
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Re: US and Cuba to normalize relationship!

Multi quoting on my tablet does not function at Cruisersforum, so I'm addressing the phrases enclosed by ".

This post is made because it seems patently unfair to me that some politically orientated comments deserving scrutiny remain while others may not.

Furthermore, insofar as most people who come to Cruisersforum would welcome an opportunity to sail to Cuba, the conversation is related to sailing. How though can posters avoid addressing something so politically charged without venturing into the political realm with statements addressing the politics, old and new related to the renewal of diplomatic relations?

Originally posted by rognovald

"You are technically correct in your first point about the presidential powers granted to a president. However, the reason that Obama's action angered many in the US and was considered as "overstepping" his powers is because, as with many of his programs( ie; Obamacare is the most egregious), he refuses to consider any opposing views/considerations and effectively negates almost half of the American electorate in doing so."


Not so. I mean how do you know whether or not the Obama administration considers other viewpoints? And, what objective information/data is available to support your declaration "...programs ...effectively negates almost half of the American electorate..." Whatever this is supposed to mean.


"This was not a frivolous matter and there should have been ,at least, a general consensus, parity and approval among both parties and their leaders. This is where the intent of Democracy and a democratic government is violated."

Consensus? Most of what the Obama Administration has tried to accomplish has been met with Republican stonewalling and threats to shut the government down absent their ability to get what they want or to successfully slam dunk everything else.

"In regards to the loss of personal property by Cubans who fled after Castro's revolution, the reason that many left(especially among the business/upper classes) is that their homes, businesses and properties were expropriated by the Communist government and redistributed to the government and the general population. Also, international businesses were confiscated and their owners/management thrown out of the country. The remaining Cubans who left, who were the majority, left because they could not live in a repressive, Marxist, Fascist, Big Brother government where personal freedom no longer exited.
This is in no way similar to your statement that "Most of the people who populated . . . the US left everything behind to flee some sort of oppression."

??? Well, lots of immigrants have come to America with expectations of a better life when compared to the life led where they came from. Does it really matter which aspect of their previous life experience was deficient?

"The pilgrims who first came to North America were fleeing religious prosecution and left with whatever possessions they owned. Their lands/homes were not confiscated by the English Monarchy and they were dispossessed of nothing other than religious freedom."

All of them?

"The Cubans did not choose to "leave their belongings behind." This is patently untrue and historically inaccurate. They were robbed of their life's hard work as well as their liberty. A friend of mine in the 70's was the son of the Cuban ambassador to France. Their family lived in Cuba for over 200 years.
They were a wealthy, successful and highly educated family."

And, the rest?

"In their family residence, they were given 24 hours to leave since a Cuban working class family of eight were better served in the size of a house they owned. They left with nothing other than the clothes they wore. All family furniture, personal belonging and mementoes remained behind. To trivialize this historic fact without any attempt at a fair solution or some form of reparations from this Communist regime is patently wrong."

"It has been done with the American Indians, American Blacks through affirmative action, the Jews of the Holocaust and even in East Germany where former landowners ,before the Berlin Wall, had the opportunity to recently reclaim their former family properties."

It? Affirmative action? How so?

"Should we resume relations with Cuba? Yes, I am in favor of doing so but not without any cost or concessions from the brutally repressive Communist government."

What costs or concessions do you expect of them?

"For those of us who have traveled to Cuba and think that everything is fine and the people are happy, my personal opinion is that you are very naïve and have been allowed to see exactly what the Cuban government wanted you to see. I still am fortunate to count as my friends Cubans who have first hand knowledge of what is really the reality in Cuba today. In can assure you, it is not the rosy picture painted by some on this forum."

I haven't seen any "rosy pictures painted by some" on this forum. There is near consensus the old policies toward Cuba have proved ineffective and why shouldn't the U.S. change tack with the hope a consequence will be improved standards of living ? There have already been some recent notable changes in Cuba toward fulfilling this end.
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Old 21-12-2014, 15:05   #84
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Re: US and Cuba to normalize relationship!

This is a very hard subject for me to deal with. I stand to gain financially if the embargo is lifted.

I have both Cuban/American employees and customers. The young ones who were born here don't oppose better relations with Cuba.

I have a hard time with it as I've seen empty rafts floating north past Miami. I'll never know if the people on them died or were rescued.

I've met and talked with Jose Basulto, the leader of Brothers to the Rescue, who's friends were shot down and killed in international air space by Cuban Migs.

I really hate it that Castro will now die knowing he won.
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Old 21-12-2014, 15:50   #85
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Re: US and Cuba to normalize relationship!

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This is a very hard subject for me to deal with. I stand to gain financially if the embargo is lifted.

I have both Cuban/American employees and customers. The young ones who were born here don't oppose better relations with Cuba.

I have a hard time with it as I've seen empty rafts floating north past Miami. I'll never know if the people on them died or were rescued.

I've met and talked with Jose Basulto, the leader of Brothers to the Rescue, who's friends were shot down and killed in international air space by Cuban Migs.

I really hate it that Castro will now die knowing he won.
What precisely in this drama constitutes winning? Winning, like any other word describing outcomes in contests between human beings has it's shades of grey. There are levels of winning as measured against standards set by any number of possible groups - academic, governmental, private, public, etc. - who may disagree entirely upon to what degree anything has been won. On a scale of 1 - 10, to what extent has Fidel won anything? What has been won? Viewed over the long term will developments in Cuba be thought of as positive for Fidel in the respect they enhance his style of governing and philosophy, or not? Isn't it entirely to early to declare he's won anything of real value beyond possible improved standards of living for Cubans? And, to whom will the credit be assigned?
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Old 21-12-2014, 16:42   #86
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Re: US and Cuba to normalize relationship!

Ok Ladies and Gentlemen.

This thread will run into difficulties if the political element continues. Please keep this sailing related. CF is not the place to air political viewpoints.

Thank you for understanding.
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Old 21-12-2014, 17:25   #87
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Re: US and Cuba to normalize relationship!

This has been a "long read". We all should appreciate our Moderator/'s allowing such a sensitive Thread to continue. What ever the outcome of "opening the door" to Cuba for those of us here in the US, I hope the true people of Cuba (not politicians) will benefit and not suffer if/when this occurs.

I am retired and my wife will be by September next year. She has been a Registered Nurse (Pediatrics) all her working years and wants to go to volunteer to help others.....Haiti or some time in the near future Cuba possibly. Kids should not have to continue to feel the pain.

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Old 21-12-2014, 18:28   #88
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Re: US and Cuba to normalize relationship!



An interesting thread... who's got the biggest mast; ho hum, when all that really matters is that there is a pic (above) of an item on my bucket list.
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Old 22-12-2014, 05:01   #89
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Re: US and Cuba to normalize relationship!

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, N5EDX.
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Old 22-12-2014, 05:52   #90
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Re: US and Cuba to normalize relationship!

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An interesting thread... who's got the biggest mast; ho hum, when all that really matters is that there is a pic (above) of an item on my bucket list.
Nail Varnish?
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