Castro is on his last few breaths, he's very ill. he'll pass his dictatorship on to that clown brother of his, and within months Cuba will become a democratic nation.

Another one bites the dust.
Original Post
Just out of curiosity, which country do you think has oppressed more people, Democratic United States or Communist Cuba?
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
Just out of curiosity, which country do you think has oppressed more people, Democratic United States or Communist Cuba?


US of course. And it's REPUBLIC of the United States, not "Democratic". Wink

"Communist" (they have a Leninist version of a "socialist" government, "communist government" is an oxymoron) Cuba is just authoritarian, it's not imperialist. NOTE: I'm not condoning their system, I'm just stating a fact.

But Cuba is not nearly as nightmarish as US anti-Communists make it out to be. Fidel Castro is a dictator, but he's less brutal and less authoritarian than the dictator who preceeded him (Fulgencio Batista). Cuba was actually quite wealthy during the Cold War because it enjoyed being subsidized by the wealthy Soviet Union (which had a GDP half the size of the US's). It declined during the 90's with the fall of the Soviet Union and the continuation of the US embargo, which badly damaged it's economy.

In the past 8 years, Cuba has actually been recovering quite well. With the US embargo continuing, Cuba has actually had to implement REAL socialism. Cuba has greatly decentralized it's economy and employee-owned firms have been sprouting like crazy. Especially since they've allied with Venezuela. Cuba is getting rid of it's bureaucratic farms and is transferring to community-owned farms instead which allow farmers to distrubute their produce quicker and more rationally than an absentee bureaucratic system trying to distribute from it's ivory tower. Cuba has some of the best farming in all of Latin America (even the world) and relatively low rural hunger. They've also broken up some of the power monopoly the Communist vanguard party held over the state and has democratized it's government. Most of it's centralized economics are things like health care, social security, welfare, heavy materials industry, etc. like in the US, Canada and Western Europe. It also had the best health care system in Latin America (better than Venezuela's and better than Brazil's) and 98% literacy.


Yes, Cuba is far from perfect, but it's no North Korea.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuba


Cuba needs more democracy and a weaker, decentralized government as well as more worker rights.
Last edited {1}
Top News
Monday, July 31, 2006
Ailing Castro Gives Power to Brother



HAVANA (AP) - Fidel Castro temporarily relinquished his presidential powers to his brother Raul on Monday night and told Cubans he underwent surgery.

The Cuban leader said he had suffered gastrointestinal bleeding, apparently due to stress from recent public appearances in Argentina and Cuba, according to the letter read live on television by his secretary, Carlos Valenciaga.

``The operation obligates me to undertake several weeks of rest,'' the letter read, adding that extreme stress ``had provoked in me a sharp intestinal crisis with sustained bleeding that obligated me to undergo a complicated surgical procedure.''

Castro said he was temporarily relinquishing the presidency to his younger brother and successor Raul, the defense minister, but said the move was of ``a provisional character.'' There was no immediate appearance or statement by Raul Castro.

The elder Castro asked that celebrations scheduled for his 80th birthday on Aug. 13 be postponed until Dec. 2, the 50th anniversary of Cuba's Revolutionary Armed Forces.

Castro said he would also temporarily relinquish his duties as first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba to Raul, who turned 75 in June and who has been taking on a more public profile in recent weeks.

In power since the triumph of the Cuban revolution on Jan. 1, 1959, Castro has been the world's longest-ruling head of government. Only Britain's Queen Elizabeth, crowned in 1952, has been head of state longer.

The ``maximum leader's'' ironclad rule has ensured Cuba remains among the world's five remaining communist countries. The others are all in Asia: China, Vietnam, Laos and North Korea.

Over nearly five decades, hundreds of thousands of Cubans have fled Castro's rule, many of them settling just across the Florida Straits in Miami.

Castro rose to power after an armed revolution he led drove out then-President Fulgencio Batista.

The United States was the first country to recognize Castro, but his radical economic reforms and rapid trials of Batista supporters quickly unsettled U.S. leaders.

Washington eventually slapped a trade embargo on the island and severed diplomatic ties. Castro seized American property and businesses and turned to the Soviet Union for military and economic assistance.

On April 16, 1961, Castro declared his revolution to be socialist. The following day, he humiliated the United States by capturing more than 1,100 exile soldiers in the Bay of Pigs invasion.

The world neared nuclear conflict on Oct. 22, 1962, when President John F. Kennedy announced there were Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba. After a tense week of diplomacy, Soviet leader Nikita Krushchev removed them.

Meanwhile, Cuban revolutionaries opened 10,000 new schools, erased illiteracy, and built a universal health care system. Castro backed revolutionary movements in Latin America and Africa.

But former liberties were whittled away as labor unions lost the right to strike, independent newspapers were shut down and religious institutions were harassed.

When social pressures increased, Castro provided a safety valve.

In 1980, people desperate to leave the island poured into foreign embassies and the Cuban leader let 125,000 countrymen flee to Florida by boat through Mariel port, west of Havana.

When economic crisis sparked rioting in Havana in 1994, Castro opened Cuba's borders again, and an estimated 30,000 people took to the sea in rafts.

With Cuba's economy in a tailspin after the loss of Soviet aid, Castro was forced to open up to foreign capitalists and allow limited private enterprise.

But when the economy began recovering in the late 1990s, Castro reasserted control and stifled private business.

Castro continually resisted U.S. demands for multiparty elections and an open economy despite American laws tightening the embargo in 1992 and 1996.

He characterized a U.S. plan for American aid in a post-Castro era as a thinly disguised attempt at regime change and insisted his socialist system would survive long after his death.

Fidel Castro Ruz was born in eastern Cuba, where his Spanish immigrant father ran a prosperous plantation. His official birthday is Aug. 13, 1926, although some say he was born a year later.

Talk of Castro's mortality was long taboo on the island, but that ended June 23, 2001, when he fainted during a speech in the sun. Although Castro quickly returned to the stage, many Cubans understood for the first time that their leader would one day die.

Castro shattered a kneecap and broke an arm when he fell after a speech on Oct. 20, 2004, but typically laughed off rumors about his health, most recently a 2005 report that he had Parkinson's disease.

``They have tried to kill me off so many times,'' Castro said in a November 2005 speech about the Parkinson's report, adding he felt ``better than ever.''

But the Cuban president also said he would not insist on remaining in power if he ever became too sick to lead: ``I'll call the (Communist) Party and tell them I don't feel I'm in condition ... that please, someone take over the command.''
quote:
But when the economy began recovering in the late 1990s, Castro reasserted control and stifled private business.


Some obvious Neoliberal bias is coming in here, as this isn't factually true. The economy began recovering in the 90's as labor unions were re-allowed, trade unions grew, companies became more employee-owned and the state began subsidizing them. Private business grew as well, it was hardly "stifled". In fact, employee-owned and private businesses comprise 30% of Cuba's economy today.
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:

US of course. And it's REPUBLIC of the United States, not "Democratic". Wink


off We're a Republican Democracy, no? A republic is the type of democratic government that we have. 15
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:

US of course. And it's REPUBLIC of the United States, not "Democratic". Wink


off We're a Republican Democracy, no? A republic is the type of democratic government that we have. 15


Mmmmmm....somewhat. Delegates, governors, and memebers of the House of Representatives are chosen in a democratic republican manner. Senators and Supreme Court Justices are chosen in an extreme republican manner. Lobbyists are chosen almost completely by corporate executives and major shareholders.

I'd say we're a Republican Semi-Democracy. The US was closer to a Democratic Republic under the Articles of Confederation. 3

Sorry, I'm nitpicky when it comes to the definition of "democracy". Razz
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
Just out of curiosity, which country do you think has oppressed more people, Democratic United States or Communist Cuba?


MBM

Yes or No question:

Did Castro imprison a whole nation of people under his dictatorship?

Moral equivalences are used to deflect criticism, in this case Castro who is a totalitarian dictator of which he regulated nearly every aspect of public and private life. Just because the US has done terrible wrongs does not mean that Castro's dictatorship is alright. These kinds of arguments are a claim that is no moral baseline to discern right and wrong.

Are you advocating that dictatorship is a good thing?
quote:
Originally posted by Momentum:
Yes or No question:

Did Castro imprison a whole nation of people under his dictatorship?


No. Cuban citizens are free to leave Cuba any time they wish. Cuba allows emigration on the terms that the emigrants have no outstanding debts to the state (such as deserting military serivices or credit debts). The ones who aren't allowed to leave are the ones with some sort of outstanding debt.

The US on the other hand allows no America to emigrate to Cuba under ANY circumstance.

quote:
Moral equivalences are used to deflect criticism, in this case Castro who is a totalitarian dictator of which he regulated nearly every aspect of public and private life.


Castro is a dictator, but he's an authoritarian dictator, not totalitarian. His predecessor, Batista, was much more brutal. Whom the US had no problem backing.

Castro is no more regulating Cubans' aspect of public and private life than our government (which has taken to spying, wire-tapping, allowing the police to enter without knocking, regularly violates International law and implants low-jack chips in cell phones).

quote:
Just because the US has done terrible wrongs does not mean that Castro's dictatorship is alright. These kinds of arguments are a claim that is no moral baseline to discern right and wrong.

Are you advocating that dictatorship is a good thing?


No one here is. We're just not pretending that Castro is the Devil incarnate while the US is a mere flawed mortal. Cuba is far less dangerous than the US, and Castro really isn't much more authoritarian than our own government.

Having an election every 4 years doesn't make you democratic. An election which is more symbolic than anything. The Electoral College and lobbyists on K Street decides Presidents, not the American citizens.
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
quote:
Originally posted by Momentum:
Yes or No question:

Did Castro imprison a whole nation of people under his dictatorship?


No. Cuban citizens are free to leave Cuba any time they wish. Cuba allows emigration on the terms that the emigrants have no outstanding debts to the state (such as deserting military serivices or credit debts). The ones who aren't allowed to leave are the ones with some sort of outstanding debt.

The US on the other hand allows no America to emigrate to Cuba under ANY circumstance.

quote:
Moral equivalences are used to deflect criticism, in this case Castro who is a totalitarian dictator of which he regulated nearly every aspect of public and private life.


Castro is a dictator, but he's an authoritarian dictator, not totalitarian. His predecessor, Batista, was much more brutal. Whom the US had no problem backing.

Castro is no more regulating Cubans' aspect of public and private life than our government (which has taken to spying, wire-tapping, allowing the police to enter without knocking, regularly violates International law and implants low-jack chips in cell phones).

quote:
Just because the US has done terrible wrongs does not mean that Castro's dictatorship is alright. These kinds of arguments are a claim that is no moral baseline to discern right and wrong.

Are you advocating that dictatorship is a good thing?


No one here is. We're just not pretending that Castro is the Devil incarnate while the US is a mere flawed mortal. Cuba is far less dangerous than the US, and Castro really isn't much more authoritarian than our own government.

Having an election every 4 years doesn't make you democratic. An election which is more symbolic than anything. The Electoral College and lobbyists on K Street decides Presidents, not the American citizens.

yeah
rock
E.P., you're on it. But it pains me that more americans in general, and Black [american] folk are so restricted in their worldview that they continue to view Cuba, through the eyes of McCarthy, disposed Cuba "refugees", and FoxNews. sad
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
quote:
Originally posted by Momentum:
Yes or No question:

Did Castro imprison a whole nation of people under his dictatorship?


No. Cuban citizens are free to leave Cuba any time they wish. Cuba allows emigration on the terms that the emigrants have no outstanding debts to the state (such as deserting military serivices or credit debts). The ones who aren't allowed to leave are the ones with some sort of outstanding debt.

The US on the other hand allows no America to emigrate to Cuba under ANY circumstance.

quote:
Moral equivalences are used to deflect criticism, in this case Castro who is a totalitarian dictator of which he regulated nearly every aspect of public and private life.


Castro is a dictator, but he's an authoritarian dictator, not totalitarian. His predecessor, Batista, was much more brutal. Whom the US had no problem backing.

Castro is no more regulating Cubans' aspect of public and private life than our government (which has taken to spying, wire-tapping, allowing the police to enter without knocking, regularly violates International law and implants low-jack chips in cell phones).

quote:
Just because the US has done terrible wrongs does not mean that Castro's dictatorship is alright. These kinds of arguments are a claim that is no moral baseline to discern right and wrong.

Are you advocating that dictatorship is a good thing?


No one here is. We're just not pretending that Castro is the Devil incarnate while the US is a mere flawed mortal. Cuba is far less dangerous than the US, and Castro really isn't much more authoritarian than our own government.

Having an election every 4 years doesn't make you democratic. An election which is more symbolic than anything. The Electoral College and lobbyists on K Street decides Presidents, not the American citizens.

yeah
rock


thanks tfro hat

Ranting about the problems of Cuba is a convenient way for Americans to not face our own problems and to pretend that we are so much better.
quote:
Originally posted by Kweli4Real:
E.P., you're on it. But it pains me that more americans in general, and Black [american] folk are so restricted in their worldview that they continue to view Cuba, through the eyes of McCarthy, disposed Cuba "refugees", and FoxNews. sad


Don't it make you wanna holla? bang And the Blacks folks talking about Cuba, I wonder if they know what the US did in Grenada, Haiti and the Dem. Rep. of Congo during the Cold War. Mad

I'm no fan of Castro, but I'm not a raving McCarthyite foaming at the mouth about how evil he is and how angelic we are. At least 88% of Cubans have free health care. Do you know how many Americans here would literally sever an arm or leg or even kill to have free health care?

And the media is very good about selectively picking what Cubans to talk to about Castro. The Cuban-Americans that the media talks to are people who either fled Cuba because they had some sort of outstanding debt, or are descendants of Cuban capitalists (capitalists in the sense of business owners) under Batista who fled when Castro deposed them. Of course capitalist business owners would hate Castro. That's like asking a Communist or Syndicalist labor union worker what they think of Ronald Reagan.

Leave Cuba to the Cubans. America has no business in Cuba's election system. We Americans should put as much energy into figuring out ways to get rid of our own Commander-In-Thief instead of wasting our time worrying over someone who doesn't affect us and we have no business trying to decide for the people of Cuba anyway.
While most Cubans would jump at a chance to come to the states you make moral equivalences to deflect from the reality of why Cubans would leave in droves, probably up to 70 percent of the people. You argue the States is no better than Cuba while you could leave at anytime you want if you are in debt or not. You can burn the flag, speak out against US government, call Bush names in public and not fear becoming a political prisoner like they do in Cuba.

You make an argument that the differences of Cuban freedom are marginal compared to ours in the States.

The differences are so brutally obvious it's not worth debating.
quote:
Originally posted by Momentum:
While most Cubans would jump at a chance to come to the states you make moral equivalences to deflect from the reality of why Cubans would leave in droves, probably up to 70 percent of the people.


Links? Stats?

How do you know what "most Cubans" would do? Are you "most Cubans"? Like I said, Cuba has an open-door policy and any Cuban who has no outstanding debt to the state is free to leave any time they wish. The fact that most aren't shows that obviously it must not be THAT bad over there. Cubans can leave Cuba for America, but an American can't leave America for Cuba. No matter what.

For all of Cuba's problems, I'd say, and you can quote me, the Cuba is better off than Mexico, or any post-'Communist' Central American country. Cuba is one of the wealthiest countries in Latin America. The majority of it's economic problems are caused by the US embargo and over-centralization.

quote:
You argue the States is no better than Cuba while you could leave at anytime you want if you are in debt or not. You can burn the flag, speak out against US government, call Bush names in public and not fear becoming a political prisoner like they do in Cuba.


The US is better than Cuba in some ways and Cuba is better than the US in some ways.

Actually, the GOP has made it so that burning the flag in public could warrant a trip to Leavensworth. Try it. I dare you.

And yes, you can call Bush names in public, but big fucking whoop. You can call Castro names in public in Cuba, and get away with it too. Doesn't mean that Castro isn't a dicator, and doesn't mean that George Bush isn't a potentate.

But try coordinating a plan to depose Bush, or much of the US government in general. Or try organizing an anti-war or anti-capitalist mass protest online. You might be getting a visit from the Feds or the COINTELLPRO. I've actually witnessed anti-Bush/anti-capitalist/anti-US foreign policy websites disappear off the Net permanently.

Don't forget that the CIA is keeping track of the websites that you visit, all cell phones created after 1998 have a lowjack built into them, and don't forget that we have mysterious "Guest" viewers at this website constantly watching us but never posting (possibly CONINTELL).

Oh yes, we're so much more free than Cuba. Roll Eyes

quote:
You make an argument that the differences of Cuban freedom are marginal compared to ours in the States.

The differences are so brutally obvious it's not worth debating.


Such as?

The US Electoral College is no better than the "Democratic Centralism" of the Leninist vanguard party of Cuba. Wall Street is no better than Cuba's Central Economic Committee.

I bet the COINTELLPRO just put this post I made in the permanent files on their computers.......
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
I bet the COINTELLPRO just put this post I made in the permanent files on their computers.......


EP, you've been had a file by now!

You know what also really erks me about the way we(as is Africans in Amerikkka) view Cuba in mass... We never deal with the racial/economic factors. Like how Castro actually payed government reparations to the MAJORITY Afro-Cuban population and attempted to redistribute the wealth by giving a double income salary to Afro-cubans for 25 years after the revolution(Castos mother was a mulatto, I think that had something to do with it). Notice how the majority of the Cuban expatriots in the U.S. are of European descent, that is no coincidence, they were the one's with the money and 'capitol' after slavery was abolished. Now Cuba is some 65% African.

We also never deal with all of the contributions to the African revolution and African development that Cuba has made. They backed with troops Guinea-Bissau's War of Independence. As well as Angola, Mozambique, the D.R.C.(Zaire) and the Anti Apartheid struggle. There have been so many doctors and teachers sent to Africa I have yet to run into a continental African who wasn't taught be a Cuban in school.

So once again, who's interests are we backing?

On a side note you can now legally travel to Cuba, you just can't spend money there. But there are communal places to stay where you can work off your room and board. I can't wait!
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
EP, you've been had a file by now!


GULP!

quote:
You know what also really erks me about the way we(as is Africans in Amerikkka) view Cuba in mass... We never deal with the racial/economic factors. Like how Castro actually payed government reparations to the MAJORITY Afro-Cuban population and attempted to redistribute the wealth by giving a double income salary to Afro-cubans for 25 years after the revolution(Castos mother was a mulatto, I think that had something to do with it). Notice how the majority of the Cuban expatriots in the U.S. are of European descent, that is no coincidence, they were the one's with the money and 'capitol' after slavery was abolished. Now Cuba is some 65% African.


Cuba is 65% Afro-Cuban? I didn't know that! Red Face I always heard that it was only like 30% Afro-Cuban and it was mostly Mestizo and European (Spaniard).

But that does make sense. That makes even more sense about why the light-skinned Cubans (I notice most of the Cuban immigrants are light-skinned) hate Castro so much.

quote:
We also never deal with all of the contributions to the African revolution and African development that Cuba has made. They backed with troops Guinea-Bissau's War of Independence. As well as Angola, Mozambique, the D.R.C.(Zaire) and the Anti Apartheid struggle. There have been so many doctors and teachers sent to Africa I have yet to run into a continental African who wasn't taught be a Cuban in school.

So once again, who's interests are we backing?


tfro Mao Zedong, for all of his flaws and authoritarian tendancies was a big supporter of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. Yet some of us are busy denouncing people without even stopping to read the real history first. Just going on whatever the media circus said.

quote:
On a side note you can now legally travel to Cuba, you just can't spend money there. But there are communal places to stay where you can work off your room and board. I can't wait!


Really? That's cool! It wonder what communal life is like Cuba, I heard it has some of the best farming in Latin America, and it's one of the few places in the world with large-scale community-owned farming (unfortunately, African farming is in the grip of the IMF for a large part Frown).
Cuban-Americans Wonder What Comes Next Tuesday, 01-Aug-2006 9:11AM Story from AP / ADRIAN SAINZ
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press (via ClariNet)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1-AUG-2006: Revelers clog the streets as they cruise Hialeah, Fla., in the early morning hours of Tuesday Aug. 1, 2006, after hearing the news about Fidel Castro's health. Cuban officials announced the head of Cuba had temporarily relinquished presidential power to his brother Raul due to an intestinal illness. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) [Photo copyright 2006 by AP]
Associated Press/AP Online
MIAMI - Celebration in the streets of Little Havana gave way Tuesday to speculation about the state of Fidel Castro's health and what would happen in Cuba if he were to die, while county officials activated a rumor control hot line.

Castro remained out of sight Tuesday after undergoing intestinal surgery and temporarily turning over power to his brother Raul. Some in Florida speculated that the leader who has defied the United States for nearly half a century already could be dead.

"When a man has been in power for so long, they don't tell people at first. I am afraid that when people begin to realize that he is dead, the real fight for power will begin," said Eric Hernandez, 33, a writer for Telemundo who said he had canceled plans to return to Cuba on Friday to visit his father for the first time in five years.

South Florida's Cuban-American community of about 800,000 is the largest segment of the state's fast-growing Hispanic community and its influence is felt across Florida. Cheering crowds waving Cuban flags celebrated the news of Castro's illness late Monday and into early Tuesday.

One group had dressed as migrants wearing life jackets, pretending to paddle a cardboard boat down Little Havana's Calle Ocho in Miami - recalling the desperate journey many exiles have taken across the Florida Straits.

"This is a celebration of people of hope returning to their home country, something that is 40-something years in the making," said Joe Martinez, chairman of Miami-Dade County commissioners, who was born in Cuba.

Officials said Tuesday there were no arrests but the Miami-Dade County Emergency Operation Center raised its operations to level 2 status, monitoring the situation and activating the rumor control hot line.

Coast Guard officials said they were on standby but reported no significant increase in activity in the Florida Straits during the night. U.S. officials have long had plans in place to head off any possible mass exodus from Cuba by sea in case that the government suddenly opened the island's borders as occurred in 1980 and 1995.

Gov. Jeb Bush, the president's brother, said under that plan the Coast Guard and other agencies would intercept people trying to go to or from Cuba.

"It's a plan to not allow for mass migration into the country at a time where the net result of that is that it creates tremendous hardship and risk for people that can lose their lives," Bush said Tuesday in Tallahassee.

A Coast Guard spokesman, Petty Officer Dana Warr, said no contigency plans had been activated and no personnel or assets had been moved as of Tuesday morning.

The Cuban population in Florida is hardly unified, with hard-line exiles urging a tough stance against Castro and a younger generation of Cubans who were born in the United States - or raised here most of their lives - more likely to support engagement with Cuba.

In Tampa's heavily Cuban-American Ybor City, Gladys Sequeira-Garcia said her family had been "in an uproar" since the news broke. They fled Cuba in 1960.

"My hope for Cuba would be for it to grow as the power it used to be," she said. "I want my parents to see Cuba back to the way it was when they left - the beautiful beaches, the growing economy and the happy people."

In Hialeah, Orlando Pino said he wants to return to Cuba when Castro dies.

"There's a lot of people in Cuba who are home crying," said Pino, 34, who arrived in the Miami area two years on a religious visa. "There's a lot of confusion over there because many people loved him."

Other said a transition to Castro's brother Raul would have little effect on the Cuban government's policies.

"Raul Castro will give the Cuban people nothing but business as usual," said David Sandoval, 28, lead singer of the Cuban-American funk band Delexilio and a New York City lawyer.

"It is only through nonviolent, democratic elections that a legitimate government and meaningful change can take hold in Cuba."

Miami-Dade College sociology professor Juan Clark, who specializes in Cuban affairs, said he was surprised that the announcement of Castro's illness was done so publicly.

Clark noted that when Castro had a well-publicized tumble in 2004, shattering a kneecap and breaking an arm, he did not delegate power to his brother.

"Either he is in very, very serious condition or he may have already passed away. They might well be preparing gradually for that succession that they want to take place," Clark said.
quote:
Originally posted by JanesT:
Castro is on his last few breaths, he's very ill. he'll pass his dictatorship on to that clown brother of his, and within months Cuba will become a democratic nation.

Another one bites the dust.

Too bad.

Castro is a great leader
Yeah! Looks like they got us by the short hairs! Oil and right next door to America, lets see how the Anti Castro forces in south florida keep American Big Oil from getting a piece of the pie.

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