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Thread: The evil of Cuba

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    The evil of Cuba

    Batista was a very corrupt dictator, with US support; the mob had a large presence in the country. The people were greatly dissatisfied with the government, and supported its overthrow.

    Castro led a remarkable revolution, that overthrew the government. Reportedly, he had approached the US, then with Nixon handling Cuban issues after Eisenhower's stroke, wanting to have a good relationship as a socialist country, and Nixon refused, leading Castro to ally with the USSR as a communist.

    Castro created a strong authoritarian government and communist system. It failed pretty badly, with things like low crop yields, dependent on Soviet subsidies. GDP per capita plummeted. He also did some good things - greatly increasing literacy and training doctors. As Wikipedia notes:

    "Before 1959 the literacy rate for Cuba was approximately 77%, as noted by UNESCO. This was the 4th highest rate in Latin America. The Cuban government of Fidel Castro at Che Guevara’s behest dubbed 1961 the "year of education" and sent "literacy brigades" out into the countryside to construct schools, train new educators, and teach the predominantly illiterate guajiros (peasants) to read and write. The campaign was "a remarkable success” although some participants recalled it as an indoctrination program to support the party. By its completion, 707,212 adults were taught to read and write, raising the national literacy rate to 96%."

    US politics at the time were the height of the cold war. Gallup polls showed the American people said Cuba was the #1 threat in the world. Politics demanded the government oppose Castro. Nixon tried and failed to launch a US invasion under cover of Cuban exiles before the 1960 election, and failed; JFK inherited plan expanded by the CIA that had been overthrowing so many government, which misled him into supporting it, despite his prohibition on US military involvement, and it became the disastrous Bay of Pigs, which led to end of Allen Dulles' career leading the CIA's plots, for what RFK called 'virtually treason' against JFK in the operation. JFK instead initiated a complete economic boycott in place to this day.

    Yet JFK did not plan a long boycott; he was interested in ending the conflict, either by the overthrow of Castro, or by negotiating an agreement with him. His private representative was secretly meeting with Castro to begin negotiations to end the conflict.

    Back to the evil of Cuba. The US does not want to copy the system of Cuba. It's poorer, and heavily state controlled, owning most industry and employing most Cubans. That doesn't mean the US shouldn't and doesn't want to have some more government-run systems; we already have such things as public water systems, public libraries, public education, public power in some areas such as the TVA, and many more.

    Popular areas for expansion include things like ending the very poor privatized prison industry, avoiding privately owned highways, not going too far in private education (there has been a high rate of problems with for-profit 'colleges'), and Medicare for All. Back to Cuba, Wikipedia:

    "The government of Cuba owns and operates most industries and most of the labor force is employed by the state. Following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the ruling Communist Party of Cuba encouraged the formation of worker co-operatives and self-employment. However, greater private property and free market rights were granted by the 2019 Cuba Constitution. It has also been acknowledged that foreign market investment in various Cuban economic sectors increased before 2019 as well.

    As of 2000, public-sector employment was 76% and private-sector employment (mainly composed of self-employment) was 23% - compared to the 1981 ratio of 91% to 8%. Investment is restricted and requires approval by the government. The government sets most prices and rations goods to citizens. In 2016 Cuba ranked 68th out of 182 countries, with a Human Development Index of 0.775, much higher than its GDP per capita rank (95th). As of 2012, the country's public debt comprised 35.3% of GDP, inflation (CDP) was 5.5%, and GDP growth was 3%.

    Housing and transportation costs are low. Cubans receive government-subsidized education, healthcare and food subsidies."

    About that 'Human Development Index'. It ranks Cuba 30th of 176 nations in life expectancy; second in literacy with 99.8%; sixth in primary school enrollment; 17th of 135 in the 'human poverty index' (lower is better).

    Cuba has essentially no homelessness; reportedly, homelessness is illegal; if a person is homeless, the government provides them housing (the US has an estimated 500,000 homeless).

    1/2
    Last edited by Craig234; 02-26-20 at 10:56 PM.

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    Re: The evil of Cuba

    The country has changed after Fidel. His brother, Raul, the new president after Fidel, said in 2010, "Either we change course or we sink." "In 2010, Fidel Castro, in agreement with Raśl Castro's reformist sentiment, admitted that the Cuban model based on the old Soviet model of centralized planning was no longer sustainable. They encouraged the creation of a co-operative variant of socialism where the state plays a less active role in the economy and the formation of worker-owned co-operatives and self-employment enterprises."

    "In 2011, "The new economic reforms were introduced, effectively creating a new economic system, referred by some as the "New Cuban Economy" Since then, over 400,000 Cubans have signed up to be entrepreneurs. As of 2012, the government lists 181 official jobs no longer under their control—such as taxi driver, construction worker and shopkeeper."

    "After reforms, more than 150,000 farmers could lease land from the government for surplus crop production."

    "On December 20, 2011 a new credit policy allowed Cuban banks to finance entrepreneurs and individuals wishing to make major purchases to do home improvements in addition to farmers. "Cuban banks have long provided loans to farm cooperatives, they have offered credit to new recipients of farmland in usufruct since 2008 and in 2011 they began making loans to individuals for business and other purposes"."

    "In February 2019, voters approved a new Constitution granting right to private property and greater access to free markets, while also maintaining Cuba's status as a socialist state."

    Taxes:

    "As of 2009, Cuba had $47.08 billion in revenues and $50.34 billion in expenditures with 34.6% of GDP in public debt, an account balance of $513 million and $4.647 billion in reserves of foreign exchange and gold. Government spending is around 67 percent of GDP and public debt is around 35 percent of the domestic economy. Despite reforms, the government continues to play a large role in the economy.[91]

    The top individual income tax rate is 50 percent. The top corporate tax rate is 30 percent (35 percent for wholly foreign-owned companies). Other taxes include a tax on property transfers and a sales tax. The overall tax burden is 24.4 percent of GDP."

    For comparison, the US taxes are low by global standards, but slightly higher than Cuba at 26% of GPD; Cuba's public debt of 34.6% of their low GDP contrasts with the US's public debt of over 105% of the largest GDP in the world.

    To repeat, the Cuban system is bad. The US does not want it. But, I don't see the justification for economic warfare, an economic embargo, that only hurts both countries. we cause great harm to Cuba's economy, and then say we should cause that harm because they have a bad economic system.

    It seems to me it is bad morals, bad politics, and bad economics to continue to attack Cuba with the economic warfare of the embargo, even as we condemn them for some things where it's deserved, and criticize them for others, and would suggest we try to help them with yet others, for at least their benefit, if not our mutual benefit.

    If we're critical of Cuba's system, we should be just as critical of China's, yet quite the opposite, we do massive trade with China and are largely dependent on their manufacturing for affordable goods (and they even loan us a lot for our national debt). This suggests an irrationality, a lack of justification, a hypocrisy, for the Cuban embargo (or the Venezuelan, for that matter).

    It suggest that we have right-wing political and corporate powers dictating our policy, who want to profit from and exploit the countries, who would rather hurt both countries and harm those countries than give up any power to exploit them - even if the sanctions have had no 'good' effect for 60 years in Cuba. It's way past time to end them, improve relations, and both of our economies.

    What is the justification for crippling their economy any longer? What has the justification been for decades?

    2/2

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    Re: The evil of Cuba

    It's rather pathetic, when you think about it, how we still base our relations with Cuba on, 'but what about what Castro did in 1961'. Imagine US negotiators going to discuss relations with a country, and being told, 'sorry, we just can't make a deal with you, because we disapprove of the 1954 Guatemalan coup and Reagan's actions in the Iran-Contra crimes'.

    I bet nearly 100% of Americans know the name "Fidel Castro" with Cuba; how many know the current leader? 1%? For that matter, can you name the current leader of Mexico? And you have strong opinions on why it's a good idea to be at economic war with Cuba? That's rational?

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    Re: The evil of Cuba

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig234 View Post
    Batista was a very corrupt dictator, with US support; the mob had a large presence in the country. The people were greatly dissatisfied with the government, and supported its overthrow.

    Castro led a remarkable revolution, that overthrew the government. Reportedly, he had approached the US, then with Nixon handling Cuban issues after Eisenhower's stroke, wanting to have a good relationship as a socialist country, and Nixon refused, leading Castro to ally with the USSR as a communist.


    economic boycott in place to this day.

    Yet JFK did not plan a long boycott; he was interested in ending the conflict, either by the overthrow of Castro, or by negotiating an agreement with him. His private representative was secretly meeting with Castro to begin negotiations to end the conflict.

    Back to the evil of Cuba. The US does not want to copy the system of Cuba. It's poorer, and heavily state controlled, owning most industry and employing most Cubans. That doesn't mean the US shouldn't and doesn't want to have some more government-run systems; we already have such things as public water systems, public libraries, public education, public power in some areas such as the TVA, and many more.

    Popular areas for expansion include things like ending the very poor privatized prison industry, avoiding privately owned highways, not going too far in private education (there has been a high rate of problems with for-profit 'colleges'), and Medicare for All. Back to Cuba, Wikipedia:

    "The government of Cuba owns and operates most industries and most of the labor force is employed by the state. Following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the ruling Communist Party of Cuba encouraged the formation of worker co-operatives and self-employment. However, greater private property and free market rights were granted by the 2019 Cuba Constitution. It has also been acknowledged that foreign market investment in various Cuban economic sectors increased before 2019 as well.

    As of 2000, public-sector employment was 76% and private-sector employment (mainly composed of self-employment) was 23% - compared to the 1981 ratio of 91% to 8%. Investment is restricted and requires approval by the government. The government sets most prices and rations goods to citizens. In 2016 Cuba ranked 68th out of 182 countries, with a Human Development Index of 0.775, much higher than its GDP per capita rank (95th). As of 2012, the country's public debt comprised 35.3% of GDP, inflation (CDP) was 5.5%, and GDP growth was 3%.

    Housing and transportation costs are low. Cubans receive government-subsidized education, healthcare and food subsidies."

    About that 'Human Development Index'. It ranks Cuba 30th of 176 nations in life expectancy; second in literacy with 99.8%; sixth in primary school enrollment; 17th of 135 in the 'human poverty index' (lower is better).

    Cuba has essentially no homelessness; reportedly, homelessness is illegal; if a person is homeless, the government provides them housing (the US has an estimated 500,000 homeless).

    1/2
    Cuba is a brutal dictatorship which has committed horrific human rights abuses against its own people on numerous occasions. They have been involved in multiple wars of aggression propping up other brutal regimes in Africa, most notably in Angola. JFK’s mistake vis a vis the Bay of Pigs was agreeing to it and not having the nerve to see it through; if he was going to allow the operation to go forwards at all he should have been willing to allow it to go all the way, instead of allowing the Cuban exiles to be slaughtered while he waffled.

    A big part of why the Soviets agreed to pull nukes out of Cuba was that they thought Castro was nuts and would press to use them.

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    Re: The evil of Cuba

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig234 View Post
    It's rather pathetic, when you think about it, how we still base our relations with Cuba on, 'but what about what Castro did in 1961'. Imagine US negotiators going to discuss relations with a country, and being told, 'sorry, we just can't make a deal with you, because we disapprove of the 1954 Guatemalan coup and Reagan's actions in the Iran-Contra crimes'.

    I bet nearly 100% of Americans know the name "Fidel Castro" with Cuba; how many know the current leader? 1%? For that matter, can you name the current leader of Mexico? And you have strong opinions on why it's a good idea to be at economic war with Cuba? That's rational?
    It’s pretty pathetic how those on the left will go to any extent to defend a brutal dictator for the sole reason of them being left leaning.

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    Re: The evil of Cuba

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig234 View Post
    It's rather pathetic, when you think about it, how we still base our relations with Cuba on, 'but what about what Castro did in 1961'. Imagine US negotiators going to discuss relations with a country, and being told, 'sorry, we just can't make a deal with you, because we disapprove of the 1954 Guatemalan coup and Reagan's actions in the Iran-Contra crimes'.

    I bet nearly 100% of Americans know the name "Fidel Castro" with Cuba; how many know the current leader? 1%? For that matter, can you name the current leader of Mexico? And you have strong opinions on why it's a good idea to be at economic war with Cuba? That's rational?
    It does seem nonsensical to me and, IMO, only exists because of Cuban voters in Miami. We trade with communist China, which is directly responsible for tens of thousands of Americans in Korea and Vietnam, and we trade with Russia, even while they were still the USSR, and now even though they are attacking our nation via cyber warfare. So what is this hard-on for Cuba?
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    Re: The evil of Cuba

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigerace117 View Post
    It’s pretty pathetic how those on the left will go to any extent to defend a brutal dictator for the sole reason of them being left leaning.
    Do you condemn those on the right who are defending the brutal dictator of Russia? Trading with the Chicoms?
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    Re: The evil of Cuba

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutch Uncle View Post
    Do you condemn those on the right who are defending the brutal dictator of Russia? Trading with the Chicoms?
    Yep, on numerous occasions. Just because Trump is an idiot doesn’t make romanticizing Cuba a good thing...especially since they are helping prop up Nicholas Maduro, who is starving the people of Venezuela into submission.

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    Re: The evil of Cuba

    In a sentence, it seems to me, the entire political and economic relations between the US and Cuba are being held hostage to our corporations who want to profit more than they otherwise would, on their terms; that's not primarily even about the politics of Cuban-Americans in Florida anymore, as I've seen polling their views have shifted to be about split.

    A 2019 poll shows 80% of Cuban-Americans in Miami-Dade County in Florida say the embargo hasn't worked; they're evenly split on ending it, which is down from nearly 2/3 supporting ending it under Obama. So what's left? The corporations.

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    Re: The evil of Cuba

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigerace117 View Post
    Yep, on numerous occasions. Just because Trump is an idiot doesn’t make romanticizing Cuba a good thing...especially since they are helping prop up Nicholas Maduro, who is starving the people of Venezuela into submission.
    Who's romanticizing Cuba? The logic of trading with the ChiComs and the Soviets was to change them toward democracy through trade. It has partially worked. So what is the reasoning not to do it with Cuba, a tiny nation of 11.5M? About the population of Ohio and only slightly more than the population of NYC?
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