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Old 08-23-2008, 06:24 AM
 
Location: Jonquil City (aka Smyrna) Georgia- by Atlanta
16,248 posts, read 21,337,796 times
Reputation: 3587

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When Fidel Castro first came to power many decades ago, the first thing he did was reach out to the United States in an attempt to normalize relations. We basically told him to go to Hell. That turned out to be a bad move. For 4 decades we had to deal with a Soviet outpost in our backyard which once brought us to the brink of war.
Now we have the same chance again. New leadership in Cuba (yes I know it is Castro's brother) and it seems new ideas. It looks as if Raul Castro is again putting out hints to the US that he wants to reform Cuba's economy and that he might like to re establish a relationship. And so far Bush has told him to go to Hell. And it looks like he might be looking at casting his lot elsewhere:
Talk of Russia-Cuba ties seen as warning to U.S. - Yahoo! News (broken link)
I really do not think that it is either productive or a good idea to let this happen again. We need to be in Cuba right now helping them and being a friend to them. And don't come up with this crap about oppression and political freedom either. Not while we are over in China kissing arse while they kill people for much less and put elderly women in prison camps.
Hopefully this is one policy that President Obama will fix.
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Old 08-23-2008, 06:25 AM
 
Location: Houston Texas
2,898 posts, read 2,881,097 times
Reputation: 877
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevK View Post
When Fidel Castro first came to power many decades ago, the first thing he did was reach out to the United States in an attempt to normalize relations. We basically told him to go to Hell. That turned out to be a bad move. For 4 decades we had to deal with a Soviet outpost in our backyard which once brought us to the brink of war.
Now we have the same chance again. New leadership in Cuba (yes I know it is Castro's brother) and it seems new ideas. It looks as if Raul Castro is again putting out hints to the US that he wants to reform Cuba's economy and that he might like to re establish a relationship. And so far Bush has told him to go to Hell. And it looks like he might be looking at casting his lot elsewhere:
Talk of Russia-Cuba ties seen as warning to U.S. - Yahoo! News (broken link)
I really do not think that it is either productive or a good idea to let this happen again. We need to be in Cuba right now helping them and being a friend to them. And don't come up with this crap about oppression and political freedom either. Not while we are over in China kissing arse while they kill people for much less and put elderly women in prison camps.
Hopefully this is one policy that President Obama will fix.
Wow, I didn't realize Miami was in that bad a shape!
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Old 08-23-2008, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,325,418 times
Reputation: 36087
You are absolutely right, Kev. Al we would have had to do in '59 was say to Castro "Welcome to the Americas. We wish you well in your effort to improve the welfare of the Cuban people. If you have any trouble, let us know. We stand ready to help." If we had done that, the cold war would have been over ten or twenty years sooner, and the Cuban people would today be living in one of the most prosperous counteis in Latin America. Who are the real victims of US policy? The people of Cuba whose lives could only have been better if we had embraced them in our community of nations.

Why would Castro put Soviet missiles in a place where they could harm his cooperative American friends?
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Old 08-23-2008, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Southeast
4,296 posts, read 6,275,674 times
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American-Cuban relations had always been relatively good until Castro. I do appreciate the fact that Raul is much more "Progressive" than his predecessor. With some work, and a lot of mending broken fences, I think Cuba can regain respect at an international level. Of course, jumping in bed with Russia isn't the way to go with that.

They used to be one of our closest trading partners, even coming close to applying for statehood once upon a time. Economic relations became strained due to the Great Depression, most of Latin America depended on exports to the US to stay afloat. As a matter of fact, they only went Communist because of what was experienced in the 1930's, they soon realized they needed social reform and welfare programs.

We should maybe start opening relations with them, but not all at once. Cubans don't realize how lucky they are with all those pre-embargo classic American cars..They'd be rich if we decided to open trade again! (of course, since Cuba is still Communist they wouldn't get much of the sale money, unless everybody got it ).
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Old 08-23-2008, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Ohio
19,949 posts, read 14,256,616 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevK View Post
When Fidel Castro first came to power many decades ago, the first thing he did was reach out to the United States in an attempt to normalize relations.
That is a complete falsehood.

There was no need to normalize relations, since it was the US who overthrew Batista and installed Castro.

Castro was with a group that fire-bombed an army barracks and was arrested. The US State Department pressured Batista to grant clemency to the rebels and Castro and others were released from prison.

The US State Department then invited Castro to the US Embassy Mission Mexico City and recruited him to overthrow Batista.

CIA agent Frank Sturgis was assigned as Castro's personal bodyguard and intelligence advisor, and coordinated the air drops of US supplies for Castro's rebel forces.

It's all there in black and white in the congressional hearings held between 1976 and 1978.

After Castro was installed, the US immediately brought him to the states and toured him through major US cities touting him as the "new hope." That's well documented, with film footage not only from the US government, but from all three news networks as well (yes, there were only 3 back then).

At the time, US corporations had not paid taxes in Cuba. When Castro insisted that US corporations pay taxes and that National Sugar and United Fruit pay unskilled sugar cane workers the same wages they paid unskilled sugar cane workers in Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua, which was $0.90 per day (a day being 10 to 12 working hours with no overtime pay), they balked (they were already paying skilled workers at the sugar mills $4/per day just like they did in the other countries). Then Castro insisted they pay back-taxes, and when the US corporations refused, he expropriated their assets (ie he nationalized all US corporate holdings).

The reason Castro did that was because the Mexican government had sued US oil companies for back taxes and Mexican oil workers had sued US oil companies to be paid comparable wages. These were salaried workers with engineering degrees mostly from European universities (we're talking about the white Mexicans -- the ones of European descent). The Mexican Supreme Court ordered the US oil companies to pay back taxes and comparable wages. Seven years later, US oil companies had thumbed their noses at the Mexican government and still hadn't paid the back taxes, weren't paying current taxes, and weren't paying workers comparable wages. President Cardenas then issued an order that the US oil companies must pay the taxes within 90 days and show evidence of wage increases for the salaried employees. Five months later, they US oil companies still had not complied with the Mexican Supreme Court's orders, or President Cardenas' orders, so in March 1938, President Cardenas seized all US oil companies, their equipment and bank accounts, and kicked them out of Mexico.

The US planned to go to war with Mexico and overthrow the government, but FDR wisely deferred, since WW II was looming large and the US needed the oil and needed to use the troops elsewhere. A few years later (I think 1942), the Mexican government gave the US $24 Million for seizing US oil company assets (about 3 times the stated value the oil companies claimed in their books).

Castro figured he could pay the US for the assets seized, but he should have known better, since the US had previously murdered several heads of state or overthrown the government for nationalizing US corporate assets in Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Brazil, Venezuela and a few other countries.

To Cubans, Castro is a hero. One day you're working 10 to 12 hours a day for a whopping $0.30/day and the next you're getting $2.40/day and you're only working 8 hours. The communications workers at IT&T (International Telephone & Telegraph) also got pay raises, and so did the casino and hotel employees and most everyone else.

If Kennedy had half a brain, he would have accepted payment from Cuba and let it be, instead of trying to murder Castro.
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Old 08-23-2008, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Minnysoda
8,639 posts, read 8,540,795 times
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We should normalize rellations and turn the whole island into an sugarcane based ethonal factory.................
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Old 08-23-2008, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,325,418 times
Reputation: 36087
The most interesting thing that will take place with the "normalization" of Cuba will be agricultural. Every calorie of food produced in Cuba is absolutely 100% organic. It will be interesting to see if the US food giants who will soon carve up Cuba for themselves will retain it as an organic garden, or if they will immediately blanket the island with chemicals and designer hybrids.

It is not a simple question to resolve: When Cuba becomes what the USA wants it to be, who will get possession of all that land and productive capacity that is now the property of the state?
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Old 08-23-2008, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Jonquil City (aka Smyrna) Georgia- by Atlanta
16,248 posts, read 21,337,796 times
Reputation: 3587
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankie117 View Post
American-Cuban relations had always been relatively good until Castro. I do appreciate the fact that Raul is much more "Progressive" than his predecessor. With some work, and a lot of mending broken fences, I think Cuba can regain respect at an international level. Of course, jumping in bed with Russia isn't the way to go with that.

They used to be one of our closest trading partners, even coming close to applying for statehood once upon a time. Economic relations became strained due to the Great Depression, most of Latin America depended on exports to the US to stay afloat. As a matter of fact, they only went Communist because of what was experienced in the 1930's, they soon realized they needed social reform and welfare programs.

We should maybe start opening relations with them, but not all at once. Cubans don't realize how lucky they are with all those pre-embargo classic American cars..They'd be rich if we decided to open trade again! (of course, since Cuba is still Communist they wouldn't get much of the sale money, unless everybody got it ).
Here is what I would do:

1. End the "wet foot dry foot" crap. Make all Cubans apply for immigation just like people from every other nation have to do. Cuba is the only nation that has an "automatic" right to US citizenship if they set foot on dry land. Stupid policy.
2. Offer to train Cuban doctors and nurses here and to help them build a first class medical school in Havanna.
3. Offer to enter into a mutual pact with Cuba for hurricane emergencies. We would send supplies and medical people there to help them and they will do likewise to help us should a major hurricane hit.
4. Offer money and assistance to upgrade Cuba's telephone system so that it will be modern, provide universal service and internet access ONLY on condition that Cuba agrees that they will not censor or use the system to subvert people.
5. Encourage MLB to consider a franchise for a Havanna MLB team.
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Old 08-23-2008, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Dreaming of South Dakota!
251 posts, read 809,251 times
Reputation: 91
That was good rep point for you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetclimber View Post
Wow, I didn't realize Miami was in that bad a shape!
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Old 08-23-2008, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Washington DC
5,915 posts, read 7,261,056 times
Reputation: 948
What a silly thing to not have relations with Cuba. We have relations with Vietnam. Whom does it hurt besides the United States? What are we worried about? What bad things could happen if American tourists went to Cuba?
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