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 Obama and his Homies - Cuba

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PostSubject: Re: Obama and his Homies - Cuba   Fri May 30, 2008 8:10 am

Are you the same 905 that started this thread. The topic is Cuba. Nobody said Cuba is free.
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PostSubject: Re: Obama and his Homies - Cuba   Fri May 30, 2008 9:59 am

I didn't know anything much about the history of Cuba, but is turns out to be very interesting.

Freedom was not something easily come by in Cuba. First - they were given by the Pope to Spain and colonised. Then the 'Indian' population was wiped out, then a lot of them were brought there as slaves from Africa from the 16th century, then the slaves revolted and their national independence movement was driving the Spanish out by the end of the 19th century and the US took them over (without a gap) in the early 21st century. Then a US patsy, Batista, was driven out by Castro and Guevara,s movement and Cuba for the first time in 500 years was independent. They aligned with the USSR and supported national liberation movements world wide. The US subjected them to trade embargo but the sugar purchases from the USSR kept their heads above water.
They provided a base to USSR missiles in the Cold War and the US tried to invade them with a CIA backed "Cuban" force but they were defeated.
The fall of the USSR meant an end to the big support from Russia and it was assumed Cuba would go under. Somehow they've hung on with very little oil. They have gone some way to allowing capitalis enterprise, but Bush has intensified the embargoes and won't allow family visits and Cuba clearly remains on the list for Regime Change.

You've got to give it to the Cubans.
I don't share your view that the US can do anything at all all of the time youngdan. It didn't do too well in Vietnam, Afghanistan or Iraq either.

Diego Colón (son of Cristóbal Colón) settles Cuba. Diego Velázquez is appointed governor of Cuba by Spain.

1512February 12. Hatuey is burned at the stake. Most of the indians (Ciboneys and Taíno Arawaks) that inhabit the island are eventually wiped out, and Cuba remains under Spanish rule for the next four centuries.

December 12. King Ferdinand of Spain thanks Diego Velásquez for the occupation of Cuba and for his "humane treatment of the natives."

1513The first record of slavery in Cuba. Landowner Amador de Lares gets permission to bring four African slaves from Hispaniola.

Quote :
The USA, hobbled by a law requiring its own government to respect Cuban self-determination, could not annex Cuba outright, as it did Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. Instead, they installed a governor, General John Brooke, and began a series of public works projects, building schools and improving public health, that further tied Cuba to the USA. US leaders did retain the legal right to intervene militarily in Cuba's domestic affairs: in 1903, the USA built a naval base at Guantánamo Bay that is still in operation - notoriously so - today.

By the 1920s US companies owned two-thirds of Cuba's farmland, imposing tariffs that crippled Cuba's own manufacturing industries. Discrimination against blacks was institutionalised. Tourism based on drinking, gambling and prostitution flourished. The hardships of the Great Depression led to civil unrest, which was violently quelled by President Gerado Machado y Morales. In 1933 Morales was overthrown in a coup, and army sergeant Fulgencio Batista seized power. Over the next 20 years Cuba crumbled, and its assets were increasingly placed into foreign hands. On January 1, 1959, Batista's dictatorship was overthrown after a three-year guerilla campaign led by young lawyer Fidel Castro, flanked by military leaders 'Che' Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos. Batista fled Cuba for the Dominican Republic, taking with him US$40 million of government funds.

This is a great little time line history of Cuba by a Cuban (goes forward and back in time from the linked page)

I never got the whole Cuba thing before until I read this.

Last edited by cactus flower on Fri May 30, 2008 5:36 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : add link)
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PostSubject: Re: Obama and his Homies - Cuba   Fri May 30, 2008 2:31 pm

youngdan wrote:
Are you the same 905 that started this thread. The topic is Cuba. Nobody said Cuba is free.
I started the thread but you started talking about freedom. I don't know why.
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PostSubject: Re: Obama and his Homies - Cuba   Fri May 30, 2008 2:51 pm

905 wrote:
Accrding to Al Jazeera, Obama is offering to Raul Castro the same deal he offered Ahmadinejad: talks without pre-condition.
Obama calls for Cuba diplomacy

This is somehow supposed to help his chances in Florida, which is inundated with Castro wellwishers don't you know. McCain has been criticising the deal, while Obama counters with his assertion that McCain's policy won't involve CHANGE, an unacceptable omission.

I can't see this helping him in Florida but it might help with the rest of the Latin vote. Cuba is suuopsed to be admired throughout much of Latin America, not so much for their politics but for sticking it to the Gringoes.

At any rate, this move reflects (and I think is rooted) in his wider poicy of engaging with old US enemies such as the Iranians. It will be a soft-power approach welcomed by Europe.

To get thoroughly back on topic, I see that the linked article said this:Both candidates are courting Florida's influential Cuban-American community in a state that will be key in November's general election.

Quote :
Obama said he would maintain the Cuban embargo but would offer to start normalising relations with the communist country if it released all political prisoners.

Quote :
But the McCain campaign accused him of changing his view on the issue.

"By changing his position in front of Cuban-Americans to support the embargo that he used to oppose, Barack Obama is engaging in the same political expediency that he railed against in his speech," Tucker Bounds, a McCain spokesman, said.

"This same tired type of political flexibility shows Barack Obama's weak leadership on an important issue."

In other words, far from making a new step to conciliate with Cuba, Obama has withdrawn from his previous no strings position of ending the embargo and has attached strings of prior release of all political prisoners before "starting normalising relations". Whilst there are definitely political prisoners in Cuba, the question of how Cuba could satisfy a US government that none of its prisoners were political is not answered.

McCain has been able to criticise him on this for lack of principle.

Having read the history of Cuba I feel they deserve a break and that the embargo should be ended forthwith. Perhaps Hugh Orde could give Obama a few tips.
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PostSubject: Re: Obama and his Homies - Cuba   Fri May 30, 2008 3:13 pm

Now hold on, did he ever propose talks without preconditions or is that just McCain throwing mud? I feel responsible for this, I certainly thought he meant talks without preconditions, but I'm wrong there.

Obama has been getting a lot of flak in the states precisely because he favours talks without preconditions with various people.
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PostSubject: Re: Obama and his Homies - Cuba   Fri May 30, 2008 3:17 pm

Good question 905, I shouldn't have assumed the article is fair. It certainly looks as though he has back tracked though.

Glad you started the thread as it made me read up Cuba.
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