I just heard this on the radio today. Barak Obama has announced that
his administration will be normalizing relations with Cuba, thereby
ending trade sanctions against Cuba that have endured since 1959, or
over 50 years.
In his announcement, Obama cited that no OTHER country in the world had
partnered with the US in imposing trade sanctions against Cuba; the USA
was the only one imposing their own trade sanctions on Cuba. And that
the USA has had normal trade relations with China, another communist
government, for well over 30 years now.
Apparantly, secret talks between American and Cuban officials have been
going on for several months now, with many of those meetings taking
place in Canada.
People should be advised that this change represents a tremendous
potential windfall for Americans. Cuba can replace Mexico and China as
a source for cheap labour in the manufacture of goods for the US market.
Wages in Cuba are low, and they are located very much closer to the US
mainland, and so US companies would not have to pay the higher shipping
cost to ship finished products from China.
Also, in the 1940's and 1950's, Cuba was the American playground, just
like Las Vegas is now. The beautiful beaches and climate that drew
tourists to Cuba back then still exist today, and once hotels are built
to cater to tourists, there's no reason to believe Americans (and
Canadians and Europeans) won't be going back to Cuba as a vacation
destination. Cuba's money is cheap, which means you can vacation like a
king down there for less than the same vacation would cost you in Mexico
or worse, Hawaii.
20 years from now, I expect Cuba will be a highly industrialized country
whose factories produce inexpensive goods for the North American market,
just like China does now, and who's climate attracts tourists from all
over North America, just like Mexico does now.
Today might very well become an annual civic holiday in Cuba.
PS: Relations between US Presidents and Canadian Prime Ministers haven't
always been smooth. One of our Canadian Prime Ministers, Pierre Elliiot
Trudeau, got on Washington's "naughty list" when he personally
befriended Fidel Castro and invited him to visit Canada. I don't know
if Castro ever took Trudeau up on that offer or not, but Trudeau spoke
very highly of Castro saying that he was using Cuba's economy to help
the poor people of Cuba. And, in Cuba, pretty well everyone is poor,
which is why Cuba can replace China as a manufacturing center.
On Wednesday, December 17, 2014 4:17:12 PM UTC-5, nestork wrote:
That's because the vast majority of the property that the commies
stole was US owned. So, I wouldn't expect France to be as pissed,
would you? But I bet if the Germans nationalized property owned by
French citizens, stole all church property, executed anyone that stood
in their way, denied basic human freedoms, then maybe France would
do something too.
Apparantly, secret talks between American and Cuban officials have been
Why not? Castro sees that Obama is a weak dummy, desperate for anything
to try to glom onto in his last two years, to take focus off all his
other failures. Castro sees how Putin rolled him real good. He sees
how the Iranians are rolling him.
Good grief. China ia an economic powerhouse with the largest
economy in the world, a huge industrial and manufacturing base.
Cuba is driving around in 50's Chevys and eating donkey meat.
Cuba stole businesses that were there in 1960. The same assholes
are still running the place. They haven't allowed foreign investment
until very recently. I don't think China has anything to fear for a
very long time.
Who's going to build those hotels in a communist country run by
the brother's Castro, who stole all the hotels the last time?
I guess they could start by paying for what they took. Adjusted
for inflation, that should take a century or so.
there's no reason to believe Americans (and
Sure, it's going to become an industrial giant, just because Obama
is going to open an embassy. I'd be interested in seeing exactly
what Obama can legally do anyway. I'll bet the law that imposed
most of the economic blockade can't be undone without Congress
and good luck getting that changed now with the Republicans in
control. I think it's even doubtful he can convince the Democrats.
Plenty of them know what Cuba is all about.
Did they make a holiday back in the 70's when they screwed another
weak president, Jimmy Carter with the MAriel boatlift? Maybe they
did. Now they can have two holidays, Jimmy Day and Obama Day.
An extra ration of burro meat for all!
At least you Canadians didn't steal US assets, businesses, the property
of your own people, deny basic human rights and try to put Russian nukes in Canada. You think Obama is gonna get fugitive cop killer Joanne Chesimard
back as part of his sweet deal with the Castros?
They are not allowed to export them. They are a "cultural icon" or
something like that. Normalizing relations will not necessarily mean
all of a sudden Cubans will be able to buy cheap cars. Only recently
they are actually allowed to buy and sell vehicles -at a price of 20
years or more wages for the average Cuban worker for a used Chinese or
Russian taxi cab.
Did he actually say he was going to end trade restrictions? While he
has an absolute right under the constitution to normalize diplomatic
relations, the trade sanctions are all laws and (IIRC) very specific.
"Only Obama can go to Cuba?"
?Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive,
but what they conceal is vital.?
On Wednesday, December 17, 2014 5:40:53 PM UTC-5, Kurt Ullman wrote:
Of course not. Nestor seems to be having a problem today. Something
about a dial-up line so he only gets bits of the news, then makes up
Obama can take some limited steps on his own, which he said he would
do. IDK if even that is legal, you have to watch him like a hawk.
But he's going to allow more currency exchange, more liberal visiting
rules, etc. That's a long way from ending the embargo. And good luck
with that. Menendez, a fellow lib and head of the Senate FRC, already
pissed all over what Obama has already done. Doh!
Holy cow I thought for sure you were joking.
I swear that I was just talking about this with someone about two days
ago and said that since the US has normalized relations with China,
Russia , Vietnam....you name it...we might as well have them with Cuba
too. I honestly think it's a good thing. They will probably come off
very well selling all their vintage cars to US collectors.
Years ago, there were two books "How children
learn" and "how children fail". Author, I
think it was Bill Hull.
He quoted another elementary school teacher,
asking "what is your goal, and are you getting
there"? Fifty years of Cuba embargo. I'm not
sure what was the goal, or if we made any
progress. It's worth a look, I think.
Christopher A. Young
Learn about Jesus
Not a chance - and believe me, even the best of them would take a lot
of work to get them back to original, or even in many cases,
acceptable shape. I've seen many and ridden in several of them.
1959 ford custom with straight axle, like a gasser, and a russian
tractor diesel engine with a pretty good 10 foot paint job in every
day taxi service with over 4 million miles on the clock. A 55 chevy
with a Mercedes 200 diesel and the bodywork perforated like a sand
sifter. Mileage unknown. And a couple nice 1940's chevy fleetbacks in
Havana. Some other pretty nice looking cars, but the vast majority are
not what they look like.
Cuban law will not allow their export, and the prices they were
changing hands at in Cuba would buy a fully restored or nice
pro-touring modified stateside,
On 12/17/2014 11:08 PM, email@example.com wrote:
The Christian Science Monitor
June 12, 1995
HAVANA — LAURA FRAILE ROMERO holds open a tattered coin purse to reveal
a few small coins and a 10-peso bill.
"Do you think I can make it to the end of the month on that?" she asks.
"The truth is, I go to bed hungry at night."
The retired English teacher is waiting for the doors to open for lunch
at Comedor 75, a soup kitchen for retired workers in Old Havana. Today,
she will pay 50 centavos - about two pennies - for rice, beans, and
soup. It's a bargain, but on a state pension that equals a little over
$2 a month, every penny counts.
Recommended: Could you pass a US citizenship test?
Miss Fraile puts a face on a topic that remains controversial here: the
existence - or not - of hunger in Cuba.
That hunger exists in Latin America, or even in the wealthy United
States, is never questioned. But in Communist Cuba, hunger is the kind
of problem that was not supposed to happen.
Even if little else remained, the pride of Fidel Castro Ruz's revolution
was still that children went to school, health care was free - and no
one went hungry.
Now even Cuban officials say the country's economic collapse, steep
declines in food production, a free fall in food imports since the loss
of fat Soviet subsidies in 1992, and the US trade embargo have caused
continuing problems in meeting Cubans' food needs. While they hesitate
to speak of "hunger," they readily refer to "unmet needs."
"Yes, there are needs that these days are not always filled," says Jose
Gonzalez, director of Comedor 75. He makes no effort to counter the
claims of those, like Fraile, who complain of hunger. He only says,
"Maybe the hungry ones don't come here again for dinner, they have that
But other Cubans claim that hunger is in fact a growing problem. Even
Mr. Castro acknowledged that the "basic basket" of subsidized foods
guaranteed Cuban families does not meet basic needs - which is one
reason the farmers' markets were reintroduced last year.
One monthly ration of food is actually only enough to feed an individual
for 10 days, according to the National Association of Independent
Economists of Cuba, a group of dissident economists that support a rapid
transition to a market economy.
Milk is rationed and only available for children up to age 7. Families
with children between 7 and 13 can get two pounds of yoghurt a month.
The elderly are allowed some milk in powdered form. A family in Havana
is rationed seven eggs a month, a provincial family three. Rice,
cabbage, bananas, everything is carefully rationed.
"Children go to school hungry, and hungry children don't learn," says
Marta Beatriz Roque, an economist with the National Association of
Independent Economists of Cuba.
But with little open acknowledgment of the problem, Cubans are left to
anecdotal evidence that hunger exists.
A Mexican woman in Havana says she went to see her Cuban husband's
family on the eastern end of the island recently and found they had not
eaten for three days. "They had no food," she says.
A Cuban journalist whose work focuses on women says many people she
talks with report pinning skirt waists or cinching belts another notch
to keep their pants on. "A lot of people definitely aren't eating their
fill," she says.
Hunger here is starting to get some international attention. Oxfam
America, for example, sent its Caribbean program director to Cuba last
month and may be considering establishing an assistance program there
for the first time.
Still, a topic that strikes at the heart of the Cuban revolution remains
controversial here, even among ordinary Cubans. Back at Comedor 75,
Fraile no sooner speaks of her own experience with hunger than a man
beside her calls her a "liar."
"What she says is a false attack on the achievements of the revolution,"
says Porfirio Rodriguez, also waiting for lunch at Comedor 75. "There
may be needs, but in Cuba, there is no hunger."
I think the social experiment that was communism is officially dead.
People now understand that sharing your nothing with everyone simply
eliminates the incentive and desire we all have to get ahead of the rest
of the pack.
We evolved from apes. Apes are territorial. The food on their
territory is THEIR food and they'll kill you if you help yourself to it.
And, that's pretty much the way we are. We're greedy. No other word
cuts through to capture the true essence of evolution than "greed".
Perhaps if we evolved from ants or bees, we'd be different, but greed is
essential to motivate every individual in the population to take a
chance by striking out on their own in any venture they believe will pay
off; whether that means starting a business or robbing a bank, it all
arises from greed.
Communism stifles that incentive by making everyone equal. Only the
party leaders are more equal than everyone else, and therefore enjoy a
much better lifestyle than everyone else by using their position to
steal as much as they can for themselves.
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