Thursday, December 27, 2007


Cuba and the struggle for independence

It was interesting to see the white right racists on AC bashing Castro and Cuba for what is essentially an American-made problem. Naturally when I commented to this effect, those comments were discreetly ignored - nothing should upset the volk, you see, and it just blows their tiny minds that Communism might not be the devil's work.
They, like many others who were brainwashed, cannot accept or understand that all Communism has ever done is to support the downtrodden with the aim of giving them a better share of the economic and social pie. Of course exactly these sentiments sparked the French revolution but because the French didn't call themselves Communists, and the Americans modelled themselves on the French, this little factoid is often forgotten.
Now the results of the French and Russian revolutions were vastly different, of that there can be no doubt. However, how far would the French revolution have got if it had had to suffer the interference of the capitalist governments like America?
Cuba, that little island off the coast of America, is like catnip to the lynx that is the US. It just cannot leave it alone. Author William Blum sums it up very eloquently in his essays on the American empire (Freeing the World to Death). "Cubans often complain about the many hardships imposed upon their life by the US blockade. Defenders of the US policy reply that this is just an excuse for Cuba's own failings, that the hardships are the inevitable result of a socialist economic system. It makes me think of this analogy. Someone is constantly pounding your head with a hammer and you keep getting headaches. You complain to the wielder of the hammer and demand that he stop hitting you. The guy says to you: The headaches are due to the way you live; blaming me is just an excuse you make up to shirt your own responsibility. You then say to him: Well why don't you stop hitting me on the head with your hammer so we can see if the headaches go away?"
Fidel Castro came to power in early 1959 and by March that year the US National Security Council was talking about how to bring him down. It is a testament to the man's tenacity and spirit, and the spirit of those under him, that this has failed. What followed his rise to power has been almost 50 years of error attacks, bombings, full-scale military invasions, sanctions, embargoes, blockades, isolation and assassination.
In 1998 the US state department listed Cuba as being among the nations that "sponsors terrorism". A lovely little cliche that is often swallowed hook line and sinker by the sleepy public. Cuba is bad because it sponsors terrorists. This, according to the State Department is because they "harbour" terrorists. There is a subtle difference between "harbour" and "sponsor". But the US itself is guilty of harbouring Cuban terrorists who have committed hundreds of acts of terror both in the US and in Cuba. Now this is not me calling them terrorists, the United States FBI has labelled these people as such. The Cuban exiles are in fact one of the most prolific and long-running terrorist groups in the world. During 1997 they carried out a spate of hotel bombing in Havana, directed from Miami.
We're shocked by instances of terrorists hijacking vehicles. But when Cuban exiles hijack planes and boats as they have done, at gunpoint, knife point and with the use of physical violence - including at least one murder, the mighty US turns a blind eye.
And because this posting is focused on Cuba I will refrain from mentioning the other myriad terrorists the US harbours.
Now playing by America's own rules regarding the Presidential Decision Directive 39, signed by Bill Clinton in 1995 which gives America the right to take "appropriate measures" against states that harbour terrorists the US wants to punish, and allows them to return suspects by force, surely it is Cuba's right to bomb the US.
Isn't it ironic that the very things the American public were terrified China or the USSR would do to them, their very own agents were doing to the unsuspecting public of Communist countries? A CIA official, who helped direct worldwide sabotage efforts against Cuba, revealed that "there was lots of sugar being sent out from Cuba, and we were putting a lot of contaminants in it."
Then in 1962 a Canadian agricultural technician advising the Cuban government was paid US$5,000 by an American military agent to infect Cuban turkeys with Newcastle disease. Some 8,000 birds subsequently died.
In The Fish Is Red: The Story Behind The Secret War Against Castro, written by Warren Hinckle and William Turner, a participant in the project says that during 1969 and 1970 the US developed techniques that would interfere with the weather and used such techniques over Cuba to cause torrential rains over non-agricultural areas and leave the sugar crops dry. These downpours caused killer flash floods in some areas.
In 1971 the CIA gave Cuban exiles the virus which causes African swine fever. Six weeks later an outbreak of the disease caused the slaughter of half a million pigs to prevent an epidemic. This was the first ever outbreak in the Western hemisphere and termed the most alarming event of the year by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation.
In 1981 it was dengue hemorrhagic fever. This is transmitted by mosquitoes and infected over 300,000 Cubans. Appeals to the US for insecticides fell on deaf ears. This was the first ever outbreak of this disease in the Americas - it usually comes from Southeast Asia. It was reported from the United States that the US army had loosed swarms of specially-bred mosquitoes in Georgia to see if they could be used as weapons in biological warfare. It was also reported by Science magazine that dengue fever was being studied as a potential weapon. But the most damming evidence was the testimony of a Cuban exile in New York in 1984 that in 1980 a ship had travelled from Florida with a "mission to carry some germs to introduce them to Cuba to be used against the Soviets and against the Cuban economy".
As recently as 1996 a Cuban pilot observed an American plane releasing a mist of some substance about seven times. The Cuban asked the American if he was in trouble. He said no. A few months later the first signs of Thrips Palmi, a plant eating insect never before seen in Cuba, showed up. This insect is very resistant to insecticides and severely damages all crops. The Cubans questioned the US on the American pilot's behaviour. The US claimed the pilot had merely "released smoke" to let the Cuban pilot know where he was. This is not an FAA practice. Cuba took the case to the United Nations where it was dropped for technical reasons.


Oh me, oh my, do Cuba's enemies love to bring up the terrible "human rights" record of the island nation. It's interesting to note that during the time of the revolution in Cuba and the subsequent almost 50 years of its rule, there have been the most heinous crimes committed on the American mainland - torture, murder, kidnapping, government-supported death squads, people disappearing. The worst offenders have been Brazil, Argentina, Honduras, Haiti, Chile, Guatemala, Peru, Uruguay, Colombia and Mexico. Cuba has never been charged with any of these. Not even by her worst enemies. Yet on the on the other hand Cuba's education and health care - according to US President Bill Clinton - works better in Cuba than in most other countries in the world. All Cubans, without distinction as to gender, race, political beliefs or religion, have equal access to education, free of charge, at every level of education, including university.Perhaps it would be better if people were starving and dying through lack of care.


The economic, commercial and financial embargo has been in place since February 7, 1962.
It means that US companies and their foreign subsidiaries may not trade with Cuba.
As most medical corporations are owned by US companies, this means that people in Cuba die because they cannot get the right medicine or equipment to save them. Children with cancer die because they cannot get the drugs as US transnationals have bought the pharmaceutical laboratories that formerly had contracts with Cuba.
Even donations do not get through. the Disarm Education Fund, an NGO that was prohibited from sending a donation of medicine to Cuba until two antibiotics were removed from the shipment; the antibiotics in question, Cipro and Doxycyclin, are used, among other things, for treating patients infected with anthrax. The U.S. authorities alleged that the decision was based on reasons of national security.
One of the highest priority targets in the US government's economic war on Cuba has been the food sector. Generating the conditions that lead to hunger and despair qualifies, by virtue of international law, as a crime of genocide and a violation of the Cuban people's right to food.
The blockade measures affect imports of food products destined for the Cuban population, both for direct consumption in the home and social consumption in schools, old age homes, hospitals and day-care centers. They have a direct impact on the people's nutritional levels and consequently on their health.
The prohibitions imposed by the U.S. government on the export of food products to the United States led to 114 million dollars in losses for Cuba in the year 2002 alone.
It's interesting to note that in this issue was brought before the UN in 1992. The vote in favour of dropping the embargo was 59 - those opposed 2, Israel and the US. In 1993 88 were in favour, those opposed 4 - Israel, US, Albania (?) and Paraguay. In 1994, 101 were in favour, two against - Israel, US. In 1995 117 were in favour and 3 were against, US, Israel, Uzbekistan (?).
1996 138 in favour, the same three opposed. 1997 143 in favour the same three opposed. 1998 Uzbekistan changed its mind and joined the 157 in favour of dropping the embargo, only the US and Israel opposed. And people will tell you with a straight face that the US doesn't run the United Nations.

We will never know what Cuba was capable of. Because it was strangled at birth, just as Winston Churchill urged of all Communist nations. Critics of the Cuban government claim that it sees the CIA behind all of its problems. In truth the CIA is behind perhaps half of them. The problem is that the Cuban government can't tell which half.



Let me understand:

You say “ It means that US companies and their foreign subsidiaries may not trade with Cuba…As most (not all) medical corporations are owned by US companies, this means that people in Cuba die because they cannot get the right medicine or equipment to save them”

What about the non US companies…?? Sure there’s gotta be some European or even better some RUSSIAN companies that could have supplied the same to CUBA?????Or did the prohibitions apply to them as well?
BTW: I thought Cuba has the best healthcare in the world, huh?

Or am I missing out on something?

Or is it blame the Yanks for everything that goes wrong in the world??

Communists= No accountability…

PS: TzarVal please refrain to comment, your stupid remarks irritate the shit outta me...

Thanks inko
Shaun, I think you have to understand that on the healthcare front the US holds Cuba by the short and curlies, as it does on the trade front too.
I think you also have to understand that the USSR collapsed and could no longer afford Cuba as a client state.
(Between you and me, Castro wasn't too enamoured with the USSR in the firt place, but hey, when the US invaded Cuba he had no choice but to go to Moscow.
This can be seen in the dire decline on the medical front between 1989 and the present.
In 1989, the World Health Organization extolled Cuba's health care system as a "model for the world." Cuba, with its nutritional safety net, extensive system of family doctors and sophisticated tertiary care facilities, had achieved the highest quality of life indicators in Latin America, including an infant mortality rate 30 points below the average, on a par with the developed world.
Now of the 1,297 medications available in Cuba in 1991, physicians now have access to only 889, and many of these are available only intermittently. Because most major new drugs are developed by U.S. companies, Cuban physicians have access to less than 50 per cent of the new medicines available on the world market. Due to the direct or indirect effects of the embargo, the most routine medical supplies are in short supply or entirely absent from some Cuban clinics.
Because of where Cuba is situated most of its trade, imports and exports were going through the US. Even if you want to be a tourist in Cuba today you more or less have to fly via the US.
So even if Cuba ordered antibiotics from Europe they would still be shipped through the US.
This means that first of all Cuba would have to pay double the cost of acquiring those medicines and secondly a little pressure from Uncle Sam and the euro companies would not be too keen to sell to them either.
Although the embargo was lifted on medical information in practise little such information goes into Cuba or comes out of the island due to travel restrictions, currency regulations and shipping difficulties. Scientists and citizens of both countries suffer as a result. Paradoxically, the embargo harms some US citizens by denying them access to the latest advances in Cuban medical research, including such products as meningitis B vaccine, cheaply produced interferon and streptokinase.
The embargo effectively bans Cuba from purchasing nearly one half of the new world class drugs on the market.
Children die for the US ideal of democracy.
Despite all of this, Cuba has provided medical assistance to scores of developing countries throughout the world both on a long-term basis and for short-term emergencies. In the poorer Latin American countries, Cuban doctors have been serving the poor in areas in which no local doctor wouldwork, making house calls a routine part of their medical practice and by being available free of charge 24/7, thus changing the nature of doctor-patient relations.
By the close of 2005, Cuban medical personnel were collaborating in 68 countries across the globe. Consequently, Cuban medical aid has affected the lives of millions of people in developing countries each year. And to make this effort more sustainable, over the years, thousands of developing country medical personnel have received free education and training either in Cuba or by Cuban specialists engaged in on-the-job training courses and/or medical schools in their own countries. Today, over 10,000 developing country scholarship students are studying in Cuban medical schools.
Cuba has not missed a single opportunity to offer and supply disaster relief assistance irrespective of whether or not Cuba had good relations with that government. Yes, it even offered aid to the US after hurricane Katrina hit.
The whole point of this article was to show that Communism in Cuba (and elsewhere in the world) never had a chance. It's not the failure of the ideal, it's the subversion of the west that has seen it falter.
Cuba is the only country that I know of that has a major export in doctors - apart from South African whites fleeing the country, that is. But I think Cuba has a massive medical sector.
Tough shit, Shaun, I'm going to comment anyway.
Inspite of what the US has done to Cuba here are some facts for you to digest.
1. In Cuba the doctor/patient ratio is 1/300. In the UK it is 1/1.800.
2. Cuba's infant mortality rate is 7/1000, which is better than many US cities.
3. 10 per cent of annual state spending goes on health.
4. It's interesting to see that the UK takes doctors TO Cuba to see how it's done.
5. Cuba has one of the highest life-expectancy rates in the region. (76)
6. Cuba is one of the world's leading countries in cancer research and treatment.
7. Russia imports its hepatits B vaccine from Cuba.
8. Cuba has humanitarian missions in 68 of the world's poorest countries, with 25,000 doctors.
9. Cuba's Operation Miracle launched in September last year aims to restore the eyesight of around 6 million poor people in South America.
10. Cuba trades its medical resources for oil from Venezuela.

Perhaps it is not "The best in the the world" but it is "one of the best" in the world.
I think I'll be moving to Cuba!

And thanks for your enlightnment, TzarVal, maybe I have been too harsh on you...
Well Shaun, maybe you need to question the lies that you have been fed about how the world really works.
Yeah but at the end of the day, Gangsta, YOUR companies are not investing in Cuba, are they? Why is that, hmm? Why are you so heavily invested in China? What is it about Cuba that you don't like?
I think you can blame the yanks for a lot of what is going wrong in the world today.
I know that if they had not given the Mujahideen their stinger missiles in Afghanistan we would not be sitting with Al Qaeda today.
I know that in Somalia they are causing scores of people to be bombed and slaughtered every day by their Ethiopian proxy war lords.
I know that they keep North and South Korea apart.
I know that they arm Taiwan.
I know that they put up sanctions against the USSR and any other communist state. You have to ask yourself why they do this, as Noiks says. ALL THE TIME.
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