Friday, December 15, 2006
A FRESH CIGAR COMMANDANTE ?
The Bay of Pigs, exploding cigars, exploding pens and much more, yet the big guy with the beard is still standing, or, perhaps lying in his sick bed but, gloriously, still with us and still defiant. America looks across at the audacious Cubans and their indomitable leader Fidel with hatred and not a little envy, what a contrast, the draft dodging coward Bush who arrived just recently in Vietnam 35 yrs. late and Castro who has fought with hand and heart for his people since 1959 when the American puppet Batista was deposed. Back then Cuba was the playground of the CIA and their bought politicians, mafia crooks also held sway and every perversion known to man was available against a backdrop of grinding poverty and oppression for ordinary Cubans. Now the richest country on the planet ( America ) lags behind it's tiny enemy Cuba in health care ( more doctors per head, and free ) better infant mortality and better education standards, so, what else has Castro ever done for us ? Compare him also with the reviled Pinochet who died a blood soaked crook and puppet of the CIA who murdered and tortured thousands, he stole millions from the people and lived the life of Reilly feted by the likes of the wretched Thatchers ( Britains shame ) Castro is accused of having millions, so if that's true he's left it late to live it up, 60 yrs of struggle 7/24/365 mostly wearing battle fatigues, while Pinochet strolled around London and New York, who do you believe ? Latin America is fighting back against the American gangsters thanks in no small measure to El Commandante Fidel, a great man.
Posted by Cllr Terry Kelly at Friday, December 15, 2006
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You are seriously whacked if you think Americans are envious of Cubans. Although Cuba has more doctors per head than the US, it has less per head in just about everything else, running from political speech to GDP per capita.
That you have effusive praise for Castro speaks a lot about your intentions for Scotland. Maybe Scots really only want an eighth of what they have now, but I doubt it.
What ois better? Puppet of the cia or kgb?
rightforscotland - is that it ? the right's problem is that the whole world knows that Bush Snr. & Jnr. Reagan, Ford, Nixon among others were never able to measure up to Castro and what the Cubans have achieved despite America's hostility and bullying. It's no contest.
wild pegasus - maybe the millions of Americans who don't have health care or education, the ones who live on the streets and trailer parks would indeed envy Cubans if they knew what was going on. You prefer Bush I prefer Castro, that you have effusive praise for America speaks volumes about your attitude to the truth. America is a cesspit run by corporate gangsters and led by a cretin. I can't do anything other than pity the millions of Americans who are paying the price of the 'American dream' enjoyed by others ' Willie Loman ' was accurate.
What do you think of the human rights abuses in Cuba? Please don't square it by coming back with Pinochet or Guantanomo - they are despicable as well. I'd like to know whether you think the human rights record of Cuba is adequate taking into account the findings of Human Righs Watch, Amnesty and Freedom House (none of which are particularly 'right-wing)?
If we care about human rights we should back care about them everywhere, not just in regimes that we find repugnant.
reactionary snob - I condemn human rights abuses everywhere but I direct you to what Cuba was like before Fidel and what it's like now. I've checked Human Rights Watch and read one of their pieces on Cuba, it was pretty awful and could have been describing almost anywhere, I don't share your view of them. Freedom House ? not right wing ? come on now, are you taking the P - - - Amnesty have quite rightly criticised Cuba but in the scale of what goes on in the world re. human rights the Cubans are amateurs, they could learn from the American experts at Guantanamo they really know their stuff. One innocent prisoner is one too many and one executed prisoner, innocent or guilty is also one too many, the Cubans are far better off now I'm in no doubt about that.
In what way is your praise of Castro different, Councillor, from the statements of right-wing apologists for Pinochet that "he may have roughed up a few dissidents but at least the trains ran on time"?
I'm right-wing but am quite happy to say that Pinochet was a thug and Chileans are better off - and more free - without him. Why can't you say the same of Castro?
Just because he's left wing and doesn't like America he's your pal? That's not a very sophisticated worldview, is it?
Any democracy is better than every dictatorship. Full stop. For a socialist to claim otherwise is, with all due respect, a disgrace.
Cuba and the US have different reporting standards on child mortality, largely as a result of the more advanced medical facilities in the US. This does not allow a credible comparison of US/Cuba infant mortality.
In the US, attempts are made to save extremely premature babies (born as early as 24 weeks). Many of these babies sadly die, and are included in infant mortality statistics.
In Cuba these babies are left to die. The deaths are not included in the infant mortality statistics.
Statistics (especially ones coming from dictatorships) should not be taken at face value.
anonymous - the information that I access leads me to disagree with you but I will bow to your superior knowledge of dictators.
Mr. Eugenides you say that anyone on the left who dislikes America is my pal, and then go on to describe me as unsophisticated, a brilliant, sophisticated, political analysis, well done. your love of democracy is touching if only you could find a decent one, I can't find any country in the world that can throw the first stone, Cuba is simply one of the best but not perfect.
Isn't President Castro a Cuban nationalist? Or is it only Scottish nationalists you oppose?
I have only recently found your blog, and enjoy reading it from time to time. It particularly highlights the benefits of a good education.
Can I draw your attention to the following site, which particularly highlights the benefits that (poor) Cubans gain from their health service.
snoozie, I'm delighted to print your comments and I hope people will access 'therealcuba' site.
anonymous bob - predictably and typicaly simple - anyway,
Q1-I'm confident that Castro would, like me, and many others see himself as an internationalist. It's a socialist thing, look it up.
Q2-I'm very wary of nationalism everywhere, it's a poisonous creed, too often driven by envy and hatred of others, in this case the English. My experience tells me that Scottish nationalism is a particularly dangerous and malignant version of this.
I see, so all this time Cuba has actually been struggling to join the United States? I'm sure the Cubans would find their interests much better dealt with by Washington.
I see, so all this time Cuba has actually been struggling to join the United States? I can imagine most Cubans think that their interests are better handled by Washington.
Councillor Kelly, have you ever considered that Stalin claimed to be a socialist?
Oops - did the html wrong.
Try again. It should be:
The Real Cuba
That was all I wrote that night because I was very drunk having rolled in a little before midnight from my work's Christmas lunch, my one bout of binge drinking of the year. Apart from touring.
Anyway, I like your concession to anonymous about your source but unfortunately the blogs are a little different from the cut'n'thrust of Renfrewshire politics. Can you perhaps cite your source so that the rest of us can reference it and be educated? If not then I suggest that you don't rely on it as you clearly don't have confidence in it.
Consider this post:
Castro commits human rights violations every day of the year, dissidents are banged up. And who can forget the pathetic sight of so many dead being washed ashore in Miami when he "allowed" people to leave his "workers paradise" but neglected to provide a safe means of transportation to do so.
It is interesting to note that the Spaniard who issued the warrant for Pinochet refused to issue one for Castro despite the evidence being just as strong but without the legal complication of sovereign immunity that Pinochet was sure to have hidden behind.
He is a thug and a coward and the very fact that he is feted by an elected politician in this country should be a warning to those who you represent.
Did you know that Hitler chose to dress in very plain uniforms while getting his henchmen to dress in elaborate Field Marshal outfits? It was to show him as a man of the people. He still looted and killed his way over the continent for 20 years.
Arnold Clarke dresses like a cheap insurance salesman. Does this mean he has no money?
Yasser Arafat dressed in combat attire all his life yet we know he was screwing the Palestinians and his offshore portfolio was very healthy.
To simply say that the way a man dresses indicates his integrity is very shallow and prone to an easy rebuttal.
So would you care to cite your sources?
Are you really saying that the regime in Cuba is better than, say, a flawed democracy like ours?
I can call Tony Blair all the names under the sun... and regularly do so. If Cuba is 'one of the best', do you agree with the locking up of dissidents?
Cuba represses nearly all forms of dissent. Is this favourable? If not, why not condemn it?
http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/01/18/cuba12207.htm - what do you think of this?
reactionary snob -
Q1- Yes Q2- No
Q3- I have condemned it, we, the capitalist west are much worse.
Q4- english/docs - looks similar to many other anti Cuba sites. I read your site and I believe you are clearly a bright guy so why are you wasting your time in a sterile exchange with me about Cuba, it's surely as clear to you as it is to me that neither of us is about to change our position. I can match anything that you put up on Cuba and I think you probably realize that so what's the point ? I honestly don't have time for this but I suppose now that I will get accused again of preventing democratic debate, please see sense.
rightforscotland - what concession ? I wasn't aware that you made the rules for blogs. My sources ? how about 40 yrs. of support for Cuba, constantly reading about it, studying it's history, friends and relatives who are regular visitors, fellow supporters who are MP's MSP's Euro MP's doctors who have visited, lawyers the same, priests ministers atheists scientists, I could go on but you get the picture,am I the politician referred to ? you really ought to get out more. Arafat was a millionaire before becoming involved and like Fidel if he had millions he certainly didn't enjoy them did he ? compare them for instance with your friend Pinochet, now there's an example of how to enjoy ill gotten gains. I regarded you as intelligent but wrong, I have to think again, the site you recommend is rissible to put this forward to support your arguments is silly or do you really want people to believe that you buy this c - - - are you really 28.
snoozie - what age are you ? do you write these things from your play pen ?
anonymous - I suspect that you 'imagine' lots of things but you can probably get tablets for it.
Bob are you also Mr. anonymous ? are you quite well ? I know you don't like me but as a good socialist I'm beginning to worry about you.
Oh dear, Cllr Terry. How old am I? What does that have to do with anything? But just to reassure you, I'm old enough to remember the Bay of Pigs. Indeed, I'm old enough to remember Muffin the Mule and the Coronation. More to the point, I'm old enough not to be taken in by the propaganda of a dictatorship that has an appalling human rights record; are you? It doesn't appear so.
Are you suggesting that the photographs in the web site I linked to are false? Perhaps they don't represent Cuban hospitals? Do you suppose the "great man" was treated in a hospital where there were cockroaches? Or the mattresses were bare, the floors full of excrement?
And the "great man" was responsible for the deaths of up to 50,000 people.
From Wikipedia (under Fidel Castro):
"[There were] thousands of executions, forty, fifty thousand political prisoners. The treatment of political prisoners, with what we today know about human rights and the international norms governing human rights ... it is legitimate to raise questions about possible crimes against humanity in Cuba."
You compare him unfavourably to Pinochet, who is credited with "only" 3,000 deaths and up to 30,000 tortured. Not a great deal between the two, but if you were to be awarding prizes for brutal regimes, Cuba and Castro beat Pinochet.
This man is your hero?
Oh dear, oh dear.
That's fair enough, Councillor. I would take the word of Human Rights watch relatively well but I see your point.
I was concerned to hear that you and your family have received anonymous and sinister letters. I use a pseudonym to protect my anonymity (and career) - to an extent, I hope, this is understandable. However, there is absolutely no excuse for the vitriol that you claim to have come under.
Merry Christmas, sir, and a peaceful, and prosperous, New Year.
I don't make the rules of blogging, I simply follow them. Saying "40 years of study" is like when a reporter says "sources say". There must be 1 website you can cite to back up your claims? Just one.
And my wife assures me that I am 28.
Indeed when I turn 30 I am climbing Kilimanjaro (at my own expense) and will be raising money for Erskine Hospital in the process, can I put you down for £100 to help the disadvantaged?
rightforscotland - what blogging rules are these? who wrote them? send me a copy. Try google, type Cuba and watch the deluge for and against, I appeal to you, come on!this is time wasted. OK I accept that you are 28 but it worries me. Send me proof that you are climbing for charity and I will send a contribution, as an arch capitalist who has Arthur Daly as a hero I fear you are more likely to abscond with my money.
reactionarysnob - thank you for those words - I reciprocate your seasons greetings - come 2007 we can get back to fighting.
snoozie - you can depend on it that I will publish your well balanced comments with relish. If you are as old as you say then you ought to know better, or perhaps I should just accept that if you say something it must be true. I could provide you with plenty of evidence to contradict your view of Cuba and Fidel but I suspect that you might call it propoganda, is any of this familiar? think hard now. I will continue to support Cuba along with my many friends and relatives who have visited and continue to visit the island, that's first hand information which I trust.
If you knew the first thing about capitalism you would know that charity is the preferred delivery method for looking after the lesser off in society. Where did you get "Arthur Daly" as a hero? At 28 I am too young to properly remember Minder!!!!
I will be visiting the Hospital (I hope next month) to tour and discuss with the head of fundraising how to exploit my activity. If you go to my blog and type in "one man and his bog" you will find posts where me and my mate climbed Nevis this year to raise money for his sister's replacement wheelchair. I am an experienced mountaineer. I have previous.
Please do not question my honesty. Ever.
Can you print off a copy of the British Constitution? No, in the same way that debate on the blogsphere is regulated by an unwritten convention that requires both citing of sources (for checking and rebutting). You are not doing this, if I were to type in Cuba to Google then by your own admission I would not know what sources you used which is why you should cite them. It allows for good debate.
At 58 yrs of age and 40 odd years in the Labour movement I think I know more about capitilism than you do having fought against it for all that time. The rich will dispense charity to the poor, I couldn't have put it better myself.
I wish you well on your fund raising you remind me of that other great man of charity, Andrew Carnegie who gave money away as quitely as a waiter falling down stairs with a full tray of drinks.
About honesty, grow up, why should I trust someone who has been writingt to me for months and still refuses to identify himself or where he comes from and what party he supports?
My answer on Cuba was a perfectly reasonable one and I think that if you had a bit more sense you would have realised by now that, that particulat debate is wasting everyone's time.
I have asked elsewhere on your blog but I repeat it here...
What difference would knowing my name make?
And how about charity? I would trust a charity to use my money better than Government. If all tax was scrapped and we were asked instead to contribute what we thought was fair to NGO charities then I would do so willingly, partly because I know that they would never pay £10 for a pack of 12 post-it notes.
If knowing your name makes no difference why not just 'out' yourself I'm sure you will feel better about yourself if you do.
Charity? scrap tax? get people to donate what they think is fair? what are you on? have you forgotten this is a capitalist country? most capitalists would poison their parents to get to the orphan's outing.
Funny how Cubans have risked their life to get to the USA.
Don't recall any Americans doing the reverse...
anon - Cubans are no different from people all over the world who have been conned into believing in 'the American Dream'
Even their own American people 'headed out of the old dust bowl, looking for a sugar bowl in California' only to find that they were no good without 'the doh rae me' ( Woody Guthrie )
'Give me your poor your huddled masses' welcome to slave labour, poverty wages and the trailer park. Welcome to the home of the brave and land of the free but, 'if you aint got the doh rae me boys, if you aint got the doh rae me'
Councillor Terry, I have found this a very interesting read. I fully support you opinions on Castro and Cuba - I find the number of other readers of this site who are sucked in by anti-Castro propaganda quite lamentable.
It is interesting that people so often cite Cuba's achievements to be 'propaganda', when failing to realise that these opinions are a result of the decades of extensive Anti-Castroism that we have been told. Sites such as 'the real Cuba' are so obviously slanted, with photos of 'cuban hospitals' that are as likely to be false as anything Castro's government come up with... but are made even more ridiculous by the assertion made on the very same page that Cuba does, indeed, a have first-rate health care facilities.
Satistics saying that castro is responsible for 50,000 executions are as valid as those that say 2,000 - these are just the high and low ends of the spectrum.
Ultimately, we must accept that most of the 'information' we have on Castro's Cuba will be biased against him, since the most powerful country in the world is determined to destroy any place that practices 'sucessful defiance'* of its dominance.
*(the official reason why the U.S of A opposes Cuba, as mentioned by Noam Chomsky)
All that we can trust is the opinions of those who have no personal or political reason to like or dislike Castro, but instead judge the man on his true intentions and actions.
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