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Anyone else sense the extraordinary arrogance of the US as it relates to post Castro Cuba? Who says that Cuba wants democracy?

Report: Get ready for post-Castro Cuba
'The U.S. government will need to be prepared well in advance'


From Elise Labott
CNN Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. should have assistance in Cuba within weeks of President Fidel Castro's death to support a transitional government and help move the country toward democracy, a government report recommends.

The report was prepared by the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba, an interagency group co-chaired by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, a Cuban-American.

President Bush created the commission in 2003 to "help hasten and ease Cuba's democratic transition," according to its Web site.

The report, obtained by CNN in advance of its scheduled release next week, is billed as a strategic plan to promote democracy on the island once Castro is no longer in power. (Watch how the U.S. has designs on Cuba after Castro -- 1:17)

"The U.S. government will need to be prepared well in advance to help in the event assistance is requested by the Cuban transition government," the report says.

Castro has been in power since 1959 and has shown no signs of stepping down despite being 80 and despite rumors of his deteriorating health. Castro's brother, Raul, is believed to be his successor.

The United States and Cuba, which have no formal diplomatic relations, are constantly at odds, but tensions between the two countries have increased in the past year.

Earlier this month, the Cuban government cut off electricity to the U.S. interests section in Havana, the capital. The State Department said requests to have the power restored went unanswered for several days.

Cuba was accused by the State Department of engaging in "bully tactics" to thwart pro-democracy efforts in the country.

The Bush administration already has tightened the four-decades-old U.S. embargo of the island, increased Radio Marti news broadcasts into Cuba, curtailed visits home by Cuban-Americans and limited the amount of money Cuban-Americans can send to relatives.

In September, Bush appointed Caleb McCarry, a former Republican staff member of the House International Relations Committee, as Cuba transition coordinator -- or point man on regime change in Cuba. The position was among the commission's earlier recommendations.

While noting that Castro has plans for a successor, the commission says the message that the U.S. would assist a democratic Cuba could bolster democratic forces in the country and create an environment where democracy and economic reforms could thrive.

Lending a hand with health care and clean water would be good starts, the report says.

The report also calls on the the U.S. "to put in place preparations that will ensure that the U.S. will be in a position to provide technical assistance in the first two weeks after a determination that a Cuban transition is under way."

That would include legal experts to help with elections. Training judges and police would be essential, according to the report.

The six months immediately following Castro's death or ouster would be key to determining U.S. success in the mission, the report says.

"This critical 180-day period could mean the difference between a successful transition period and the stumbles and missteps that have slowed other states in their transitions toward democracy," the report says.

It calls for an $80 million "democratic fund" for two years to strengthen civil society, boost opposition to Castro's regime and facilitate the free flow of information. It recommends at least $20 million a year for democracy programs "until the dictatorship ceases to exist."

The report recommends offering a substantial aid package to the transitional government if it met certain criteria under the 1996 Helms-Burton Act.

Those criteria would include freeing all political prisoners, legalizing all political activity, conducting democratic elections and establishing a free press.

The State Department had no comment on the report because it hasn't been officially released, but officials did say the report could change.

Cuba expert Philip Peters of the Lexington Institute, a Virginia-based think tank, said normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States could take time.

"Despite extensive planning for a full transition, it seems more likely that after Fidel Castro's departure, we will see a socialist successor government that will decide whether, where, and how fast to reform the policies it inherits," Peters wrote in a recent column.

"Washington will then have to decide how to use U.S. influence to promote positive change," said Peters, a former State Department appointee during the Reagan and first Bush administrations.

He noted that U.S. influence "will be limited by decades of policies that have blocked communication between our peoples and governments, and by the all-or-nothing posture that the Helms-Burton law imposes on U.S. diplomacy."

© MBM

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Hm, I'm curious, what exactly is the US expecting to happen after Fidel dies? (I think I already know what the answer is, but I'm just asking)

Is the US expecting Cuba to become another post-Leninist Neoliberal state? Are they expecting Cuba to sell it's soul to the IMF, WTO and World Bank like other post-'Red' states with a Neoliberal autocrat at the helm? Maybe even hoping that Cuba will join NAFTA?
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
Anyone else sense the extraordinary arrogance of the US as it relates to post Castro Cuba? Who says that Cuba wants democracy?

You know America...

We just spread "democracy". We never ask anyone if they want it. I mean, if we asked... they might actually say no. We can't have that, can we?

quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
Hm, I'm curious, what exactly is the US expecting to happen after Fidel dies? (I think I already know what the answer is, but I'm just asking)

I think that eventually Cuba will be the 52nd State. Puerto Rico being the 51st, of course...
quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:
You know America...

We just spread "democracy". We never ask anyone if they want it. I mean, if we asked... they might actually say no. We can't have that, can we?


lol Oh the irony of spreading Neoliberal Capitalism (what they mean by "democracy and freedom"). It must be SPREAD, it doesn't matter if the people it is forced on want it or not. It can't survive unless it spreads, like a virus.

I'll praise the day the US starts VOLUNTARILY spreading ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY, instead of corporate "economic freedumb".

quote:
I think that eventually Cuba will be the 52nd State. Puerto Rico being the 51st, of course...


Shouldn't we ask the people of Cuba first? Nah, we shouldn't. Remember, we're freeing them from an evil dictator and making them "free". If they don't want our assistance, we'll just help them anyway. We know what they need and they'll thank us later. lol Roll Eyes
Wow, Blackvoices commentors appear to be woofully mis/uninformed.

quote:
What implications are there for Hugo Chaxez who has been working with Cuba(undoubtedly to some nefarious gain)closely?


nefarious gain???? 17 How is a policy of controling national assets and re-investing the profits from those assets into social/education/medical programs a nefarious gain.

quote:
any country that has been in the grips of a dictator so long will take quite a while to even get some semblance of balance. look at what happened ... Iraq after the fall of a dictaorship ....


Straight from FoxNews' pressroom. And the US "intervention" has nothing to do with the discord, huh?
quote:
Originally posted by Kweli4Real:
Wow, Blackvoices commentors appear to be woofully mis/uninformed.

quote:
What implications are there for Hugo Chaxez who has been working with Cuba(undoubtedly to some nefarious gain)closely?


nefarious gain???? 17 How is a policy of controling national assets and re-investing the profits from those assets into social/education/medical programs a nefarious gain.


Didn't you know? Investing in the people and not in business owners, investors and shareholders is considered "nefarious" these days. Razz According to the Washington Consensus.
quote:
Originally posted by negrospiritual:
are Miami Cubans celebrating in the streets because they will be able to go back home soon?

or

Because "white" cubans will be flooding florida's shores soon?


They're flooding the streets because they think they'll be able to go back over to Cuba and start up their own little capitalist businesses and take Cubans out of bureaucratic workplaces and put them back in sweatshops.

They're salivating because they think Raul Castro will be another Deng Xiaopeng and allow capitalist business to come over to Cuba and profiteer off all the potential labor.

They probably think they'll run the Afro-Cubans up out out of there or get them out of the government and put them back in the fields.
The funny thing is that if anything happens to Fidel, Cuba will still be run by Castro. It will just be Raul instead of Fidel. I don't know much about Raul except that they are brothers. Same stuff, different day.


**************Edited to add ******************

Raúl was born on his father's plantation in Birán, in the northern portion of the province of Oriente, on June 3, 1931. He is the fifth of seven children of Angel Castro y Argiz and Line Ruz Gonsález de Castro.Raúl attended the Jesuit school Colegio Dolores in Santiago de Cuba and later also Jesuit school Colegio Belén in Havana. Later as a student at the University of Havana. Raúl's interests in politics became evident, He was a member of the Juventud Socialista (Socialist Youth), an affiliate of the Moscow-oriented Partido Socialista Popular, Cuba's Communist Party. In 1953, while still a student at the University of Havana, Raúl made his first trip behind the Iron Curtain. He has gone to participate in the World Youth Congress in Vienna, and visited the Soviet bloc capitals of Bucharest, Budapest, and Prague. Upon his return, Raúl began to get involved in his brother's struggle against Batista's government. The younger Castro, then, supposedly broke off from the communist organization to join his brother's fight, and did so with enthusiasm, saying that "the government has to be overthrown so that the revolution can begin." He agreed with Fidel's view that "reform in Cuba could not be accomplished by constitutional means" but by overthrowing the oppressive government. On July 26, 1953, Raúl accompanied his brother and 160 followers in an attack on the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba. The attack was a dismal failure; Raúl and Fidel were captured and many of their followers were executed. Both brothers were imprisoned and Raúl was given a 13-year old sentence but released in a general amnesty in May of 1955. Although a disaster, the Moncada raid gave birth to Fidel's 26th of July Movement. After his release from prison Raúl went to Mexico with Fidel to form and organize the movement. Late in 1956 Raúl, Fidel, and 80 revolutionaries left Mexico in a yacht named Granma and landed in Oriente province. Most of the rebels were killed but the Castro brothers managed to escape to the Sierra Maestra mountains along with 12 others.
In the mountains, the Castro brothers gained support and Raúl--on February 27, 1958--gained the rank of Major. He took some supporters and established a second front in the Sierra Cristal mountains in Northeastern Oriente. Named after underground leader Frank Pa's (who was murdered in July 1957), Raúl's "Frank Pa's Second Front" grew to a force of several hundred men. During his stay in the mountains, Raúl Castro gained a reputation for being "the most hot-headed, impetuous, and violently anti-American" of the rebels, and possessing a killer instinct. He reportedly matched the Cuban dictator "terror for terror". In the summer of 1958, he kidnapped 47 Americans and 3 Canadians, ranging from engineers employed at the Moa Nickel Company to American servicemen stationed at Guantánamo Base. It was reported that Fidel disapproved of the kidnappings and ordered Raúlto release the hostages. Raúl did not comply. He kept the captives to negotiate with the Americans, and also because he knew that Batista would not plan any attacks while there were American citizens present in his camp. When the U.S. agreed to Raúl's demands, he released the prisoners, on July 18, 1958. The kidnappings had made headlines all over the world and new accusations of communism were hurled at Raúl. On assaults, the rebels had won. Raúl Castro then decided to marry his fiancée, Vilma Espín, who had fought alongside him in the mountains (under the name of Deborah), and was reported to be his "political mentor." They were married on January 26, 1959. She was the daughter of an upper-class rum distiller, and held a chemical engineering degree from MIT.

In the wake of the revolution, ú began to punish Batista supporters. After he became head of the Armed Forces he directed the execution of nearly 100 officers and soldiers of the Batista Army and ordered them buried in a mass grave near Santiago de Cuba. In 1959 Raúl was named Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, giving him ministerial rank and complete control in reorganizing the armed forces. He build up the army into a highly professionalized modern military establishment closely modeled on the Soviet Armed Forces and equipped with the latest Soviet Equipment. The army's motto: "At your orders, commander-in-chief--for no matter what, no matter where, and under all circumstances." He also made military service for training in the Soviet Union. In 1969 he completed an advanced course in military studies taught by Soviet experts. In March of the same year he asked that soldiers be trained "to exhibit friendship with the sister armies of socialist countries; especially the Great Soviet Army, whose representatives work at the side of our officers and also harvest the fruits of our common efforts."

As commander of Cuba's two military intelligence organizations, Raúl directly thwarted numerous counter-revolutionary activities. It was he who led Cuban land forces against exile forces in the Bay of Pigs invasion of April 17, 1961. He cleaned the presence of the Guantánamo Naval Base in Cuba a "cancer" and a permanent focus of provocation. During the 1960's, it was Raúl who played a major role in transforming the framework of the Cuban government into a "Soviet-like single political party" structure. His power was consolidated with his positions as the 2nd Secretary of the Partido Comunista de Cuba (PCC) and Vice-Premier. It was Raúl who arranged for the deployment of Soviet long-range missiles in Cuba which resulted in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. In the 1970's and early 1980's he has visited the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and has been invited as observer to the Warsaw Pact Manuevers. In the early 1970's, when Raúl was promoted to First Vice-Premier, he was also given the new military rank of division commander, which is equivalent to that of General. He is also a member of the Secretariat and the Politburo of Cuba's Communist Party. He was on of the principal figures in the move toward a more Sovietized bureaucratic order and has long enjoyed Moscow's confidence as a politically reliable Cuban leader and as a competent administrator.
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
quote:
Who says that Cuba wants democracy?


Remember Florida and Ohio? What I want to ask is:

Who says that we have democracy?

and

Who are we to be forcing what we don't have on others?


yeah

The government needs to simply and with great swiftness, Get OFF OF CASTRO'S NUTS!!!!. He won, the U.S. lost, the earth still spins on it's axis. Talk about a case of obsession the America/Cuba situation is it.
U.S. Prepares for Showdown in Cuba Wednesday, 02-Aug-2006 3:10PM

Story from AP / LAURIE KELLMAN
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press (via ClariNet)

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

WASHINGTON - The White House and Congress, caught unaware by Fidel Castro's illness, prepared Wednesday for a possible showdown in Cuba as lawmakers drafted legislation that would give millions of dollars to dissidents who fight for democratic change.

"The message will be, `The United States stands with you,'" Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., one of the bill's authors, said in an interview. "Be ready to assert your independence."

There was no sign of upheaval in Cuba on Wednesday, two days after Castro stunned U.S. officials and many of his own countrymen with the news that he had temporarily ceded power to his brother, Raul, in order to undergo surgery.

The handover was a surprise to the White House and Congress, one senator said.

"The president's comment was that everybody was caught by surprise, and we'll have to wait and see" what U.S. action is necessary, said Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah, who discussed the developments with President Bush on Tuesday. "I think all of us can say we had no idea this was coming."

The remarks underscored the scanty reliable intelligence the U.S. has on an old Cold War foe that lies just 90 miles off the Florida shore.

"It's difficult for us to assess what the situation is," said White House spokesman Tony Snow. He cautioned Cubans against any mass exodus - and Cuban-American exiles against returning to claim property they lost in Cuba.

"Stay where you are. This is not a time for people to try to be getting in the water and going either way," Snow added. "We have talked about the importance, eventually, of finding an orderly and safe way for people to make transit between two places."

At the State Department, spokesman Sean McCormack said the United States had no independent information about Castro's health. "This is a pretty closed decision-making circle and it's very opaque as to what is actually going on," he said.

For now, Bush administration officials and members of Congress were focused on offering dissidents cash for fighting for democratic change.

Legislation sponsored by Nelson, fellow Floridian Mel Martinez, Majority Leader Bill Frist and others would authorize as much as $80 million over two years - and pay half of that almost immediately - to dissidents and nongovernmental organizations on the island.

Recommended by a presidential commission three weeks ago, the legislation says those eligible for the money would include political prisoners, workers' rights organizations, independent libraries, journalists, doctors and economists.

Meanwhile, the House's three Cuban-American members, Republican Reps. Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, discussed the issue early Wednesday with members of Bush's National Security Council and the Department of Homeland Security before boarding a flight to Miami.

Mario Diaz-Balart said afterward that the administration would not accept rule by Raul Castro as a changeover worthy of lifting sanctions.

"Raul Castro has been part of that regime for 47 years," Diaz-Balart said in a telephone interview. "Fidel was the mastermind for 47 years and Raul was the executioner."

Still, Fidel's step down from power presents "a window of opportunity that is so important for the United States, for the American people and the international community to help the Cuban people free themselves," said Ros-Lehtinen.

Federal law enforcement officials are keeping watch on the ocean between Florida and Cuba.

The Coast Guard, which routinely patrols the area, has seen "absolutely no indication" of an increase of refugees since Castro's announcement, said Cmdr. Jeff Carter. "Nor are we seeing any going the other direction, from Florida."

According to a defense official, Navy ships are not moving closer to Cuba. Tropical Storm Chris in the eastern Caribbean is expected to become the first hurricane of the Atlantic season over the weekend - a development that also may deter potential rafters.

The Navy does have a large number of ships, from destroyers to frigates, in the general area, at the Mayport Naval Station in Florida and the Norfolk Naval Station in Virginia. Those ships would be in range and ready to respond if the situation in Cuba changed, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Some U.S. officials fear that post-Castro instability in Cuba could lead to a large-scale migration by Cubans to South Florida, similar to those in 1980 and 1994.

The Coast Guard has long had a plan, called Operation Vigilant Sentry, to deal with mass migrations from Cuba and other destinations by sea. But the agency has not activated them in light of Castro's illness, Carter said. He said no additional ships, aircraft or personnel have been moved to the region since Castro stepped aside.
quote:
Originally posted by xxGAMBITxx:
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
quote:
Who says that Cuba wants democracy?


Remember Florida and Ohio? What I want to ask is:

Who says that we have democracy?

and

Who are we to be forcing what we don't have on others?


yeah

The government needs to simply and with great swiftness, Get OFF OF CASTRO'S NUTS!!!!. He won, the U.S. lost, the earth still spins on it's axis. Talk about a case of obsession the America/Cuba situation is it.


appl

Cuba won and the US lost. Like Frenchy once said, "Too bad, so sad. Life's tough. Get a helmet."

Instead of worrying about Cuba's politics and economics, we need to worry about our own damn state of affairs. Leave Cuba to the Cubans.
Everytime I think the U.S. has sunk to its new low ... there's always something that shows me how wrong I am.

They're already drafting legislation? Confused

And of course it was a "surprise" ... who could have known?? Confused

But the one that really gets me is:

quote:
Recommended by a presidential commission three weeks ago, the legislation says those eligible for the money would include political prisoners, workers' rights organizations, independent libraries, journalists, doctors and economists.


What was a commission making recommendations about if none of this had happened three weeks ago?? I mean, was it a "surprise" or wasn't it?? Confused

And lastly, anyone notice that the only three House Cuban-American members are Republicans? sck
http://www.suntimes.com/output/steinberg/cst-nws-stein02.html


Fidel Castro a living reminder to pick one's battles

August 2, 2006

BY NEIL STEINBERG SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST


We tend to evaluate only wars that were actually fought, where our hindsight is clouded by the soldiers lost. Thus the Vietnam War, for example, had to be necessary, because of the 50,000 American lives spent fighting it. To say it wasn't worthwhile is to question their sacrifice, or begin to.

The gift from Fidel Castro -- it is clear now that the tyrant, at long last, seems to be fading away -- is the war we never fought against him and his Soviet patron in 1962, the conflict that John F. Kennedy straight-armed, in his finest moment, overruling his generals and advisers who thirsted for battle.

Here there are no ghost legions -- besides the handful of volunteers lost at the Bay of Pigs -- to insist it was all for the best. There was no war, and it turned out no war was necessary -- at least from our perspective; I'm not speaking for those under Castro's heel for the past half century.

Cuba didn't become the opening wedge for Communist invasion of our hemisphere, but rather a curious artifact, like a 1957 Chevy Bel Air on a Havana street. Had we fought the Russians over it, we'd have never known that Cuba wasn't really a threat. Not one worth fighting over, anyway.

Thinking about it is enough to make you side with those who say that war is never necessary. We certainly don't miss the ones we manage to avoid.

Dueling vices



Dear Mel:

Apology received and accepted. Though to be honest, I wasn't offended or even surprised to learn of your "the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world" tirade after being arrested for DUI in Malibu last week. It didn't change my opinion of you, already set when you took the mild, official concerns of a few Jewish organizations about what "The Passion of the Christ" might contain and twisted them into a mob of howling Pharisees trying to shout down your divinely inspired message. I thought that was cynical -- a PR campaign based on playing off ancient hates -- and immoral.

But hey, it worked.

Myself, I didn't see "Passion" -- too bloody, and I already knew the ending -- but I'll still watch your movies. Why not? I've had people ask me how I can appreciate a particular writer or artist -- H. L. Mencken, wasn't he an anti-Semite? -- and I always answer the same way: if you limit your consumption of culture to the work of those who weren't anti-Semites, the list gets pretty short, and you're left reading Alan Dershowitz while listening to the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band.

Mel, I hear from haters every day, and am able to shrug them off -- mostly -- because I've realized something about them. It may sound simple, but here goes: Prejudice -- not just anti-Semitism, but bigotry against any group -- is wrong. I don't mean morally wrong -- though it's that, too. I mean wrong as in factually incorrect. Jews don't control the world. Blacks aren't lazy. Muslims aren't murderous. Not generally.

Anyone who vigorously subscribes to these prejudices is sort of an idiot. That gets lost, because the meanness of these particular mistaken notions give them a weight they don't deserve. Shorn of a kind of dark glamor, believing that Jews cause all war is like believing in fairies.

But hey, no skin off my nose. There's a whole lot of crazy in this world, and I'm not in charge of fixing it. I just keep track. I hope the rehab works. Worked for me, so far, though today isn't over yet. Honesty is the key, and your apology -- in going beyond the typical "I'm sorry if anyone misconstrued my words" claptrap -- has a bracing air of sincerity. You might find that recovery addresses both of your current problems: your drinking and your Jews-are-directing-radio-beams-at-my-head-controlling-my-thoughts worldview.

Recovery is truly egalitarian. You will discover that while you may be a big movie star worth $500 million in Malibu, in rehab you're just another drunk trying to stay sober. The guy in the chair next to you might even be Jewish, and you'll say, "I didn't think Jews were drunks" -- I got that a lot -- to the first dozen you meet. But then you'll realize that this is just another untrue prejudice, to be taken to the curb with the other parts of your life that you're finally ready to get rid of. Good luck with that; it works if you work it.

Your media pal,

Neil Steinberg

Today's chuckle



"Why can't the blond in a blond joke be a man?" my wife asked. "Why does it have to be a woman?"

I thought about it for a moment.

"Nope," I said. "Wouldn't be funny with a man."

"Then why a blond?" she said, grasping her own flowing, right-out-of-Botticelli strawberry-blond hair. "Why indulge in blondism as well as sexism?"

"'Blondism?'" I said, drawing back, aghast. "Blondism? You're one of them. And to think I'm sleeping with you!"

What sparked this exchange was a note from a reader after I wrote that blonds don't complain about jokes, or can't. Not so, writes Marilyn Siegel:

"I am a blonde who IS capable of complaining and can definitely get my letter to the paper. This joke was not funny and your comments were quite depreciating and worse than the joke. Too bad you do get to write for the paper. I have never before written to a newspaper, so consider yourself the source of my great irritation and dismay."

Wow. Pause a moment and consider the great issues that have crackled across the newspaper through the decades. Terror. War. Race. Class. Sex. Abortion. Global warming.

The source of debate, argument, discussion, analysis. All of which Marilyn Siegel regarded with equanimity, content to stay silent on the sidelines.

But a joke, based on the patently false notion that people of a certain hair color aren't as smart as others -- and really, doesn't that bias underlie half the suffering in the world today? -- sends her charging to the ramparts.

In her honor, I'm ignoring the dozen funny-but-potentially-offensive jokes I've received in the past week, and offering my own custom joke, just for you, Marilyn:

So these two people walk into a place, and the first one says, "You know what I like about carrots?"

"No," says the second person, "what do you like about carrots?"

"They're orange."

Ahahahahahaha. We'll return to real jokes on Friday.

Post-joke commentary



But Neil, you ask: how do you jibe your lofty words regarding bigotry and Mel Gibson with your blatant blondism? Answer: Easy.
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
And lastly, anyone notice that the only three House Cuban-American members are Republicans? sck


You'll come to find that immigrants and descendants of immigrants who were landowners or had some kind of status in their society who lost it in a transitional period and fled the country often times harbor great grudges toward their country of origin (in terms of the government).

The majrority of Cubans who fled were "White" Cubans who held some kind of Black servants who were freed in the socialist revolution, some kind of private landowners or business owners, or some kind of merchant with status who had it good under Batista.

Same with many Vietnamese who fled to America during and after the Vietnam War. Some of them can be worse than Neocons.

"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."
Wikipedia had this definition of a Cuban-American (which I looked up because I found it hard to believe that all Cubans who came here actually became "Americans" ... and to my surprise I've found out that that doesn't necessarily have to be the case to be called a "Cuban-American").

A Cuban-American is a resident of the United States or a United States citizen whose ancestry can be traced to Cuba. Many communities throughout the United States have significant Cuban-American populations. However, Miami, Florida stands out as the most prominent Cuban-American community, in part because of its proximity to Cuba. Other cities with a large Cuban presence include Tampa, Florida and Union City, New Jersey.

I also found this little bit of the history that I thought very interesting!

1960 - 1980

Political upheaval in Cuba created new waves of Cuban immigrants to the U.S. In 1959, when Fidel Castro established a communist state, a large Cuban exodus began. From 1960 to 1979, hundreds of thousands of Cuban refugees left Cuba and began a new life in America, often forming the backbone of the anti-Castro movement. Most Cuban Americans that arrived in the United States came from Cuba's educated, upper and middle classes. Like many immigrants, the Cuban-Americans often had little money, which was further exacerbated by Cuban government measures taken to prevent removal of wealth from Cuba.

In order to provide aid to recently arrived Cuban immigrants, the United States Congress passed the Cuban American Adjustment Act in 1966. The Cuban Refugee Program provided more than $1.2 billion of direct financial assistance. They also were eligible for public assistance, Medicare, free English courses, scholarships, and low interest college loans. Some banks even pioneered loans for exiles who did not have collateral or credit but received help in getting a business loan simply because they were of Cuban descent. These loans enabled many Cuban-Americans to secure funds and create their own businesses. At one point, 74% of all Cuban immigrants received governmental aid.[citation needed]

Miami, Florida and Union City, New Jersey became the main centers for Cuban-American culture. Because of its low cost of living and similar climate, geography, and architecture, many Cuban-Americans settled in Miami, Florida. With its Cuban-owned businesses, Miami and Union City were the preferred destination for many immigrants. Hialeah, Florida within the county of Miami-Dade, stands as the city most populated by Cubans and Cuban-Americans in the United States. Union City was attractive for the opportunities offered by the embroidery industry.
[edit]

1980s

Another large wave of Cuban immigration occurred in the early 1980s with the Mariel boatlifts. Many Cuban-Americans already living in the United States had a negative opinion of the "Marielitos" (the name given to refugees who entered the country during the Mariel boatlift), because they believed the Marielitos caused damage to the Cuban-American community's reputation. This belief was rooted in concerns regarding Fidel Castro opening the jails in order to allow convicted felons and committed mental patients to intermingle with the crowds of otherwise innocent emigrants. However, many of the "Marielitos" became prosperous with the assistance of earlier immigrants and government aid and were eventually accepted by the Cuban-American community.


That kind of mindset has Republican/Conservative written all over it. Eek
IMO
The American government can shake hands and forgive Russia but not Cuba. I guess Cuba falls into the same boat as Haiti. Haiti, the first free black country in the western hemisphere, but treated as an outcast economically since gaining their freedom.

Cuba, on the other hand, became a communist country and kicked out the wealthy Americans and their cohorts. And, kept their money. America will never forgive Cuba for not letting them turn their country into another tropical island for tourism and not allowing them to economically rape the resources and leave the people in proverty as "major powers" have done in the pass to other caribbean islands. I am soo tired of the slogan in the name of "Democracy" like its the "be all" and "end all" for every country out there.

If memory serves me correctly, Fidel, approach the US government in an effort to establish dialogue but was treated disrespectfully and soon after established an ongoing relationship with Russia.

THOSE ARROGANT AMERICANS!!

Democracy does not work everywhere!!! Look at IRAQ.
quote:
Originally posted by Diamond:
IMO
The American government can shake hands and forgive Russia but not Cuba. I guess Cuba falls into the same boat as Haiti. Haiti, the first free black country in the western hemisphere, but treated as an outcast economically since gaining their freedom.

Cuba, on the other hand, became a communist country and kicked out the wealthy Americans and their cohorts. And, kept their money. America will never forgive Cuba for not letting them turn their country into another tropical island for tourism and not allowing them to economically rape the resources and leave the people in proverty as "major powers" have done in the pass to other caribbean islands. I am soo tired of the slogan in the name of "Democracy" like its the "be all" and "end all" for every country out there.

If memory serves me correctly, Fidel, approach the US government in an effort to establish dialogue but was treated disrespectfully and soon after established an ongoing relationship with Russia.

THOSE ARROGANT AMERICANS!!

Democracy does not work everywhere!!! Look at IRAQ.


appl

Well, correction, it's not that "democracy" doesn't work. It's the type of "democracy" that the US is trying to spread. They're trying to spread US-style liberal republicanism (ie. neo-laissez faire [Neoliberal] corporate capitalist republicanism [representative democracy]). And the US is trying to spread it by military force and imperialism. That's what's not being accepted by several countries.
quote:
Originally posted by Ras:
Cuba is another aperthied South Africa. A white minority rulling a black majority.

If Cuba had a democracy, the country would be rulled by black people.

It is very sad to see you all supporting the white oppressors.. sad, very sad.


Do you care to elaborate! I don't know the internal discord of Cuba.
Politics
Monday, Aug. 7, 2006
Administration Shifting Cuba Policy



WASHINGTON (AP) - The Bush administration is preparing to help reunite some Cuban families with relatives already in the United States as part of a limited easing of immigration rules following Fidel Castro's handoff of power.

At the same time, draft documents obtained Monday describe proposals to discourage smugglers trying to sneak immigrants into the U.S. from Cuba, in hopes of impeding any mass migration. In addition, the plan would refuse entry to Cuban government officials who have engaged in human rights abuses but make it easier for some Cuban doctors to move to the U.S.

While stressing that any policy shift was not yet final, administration officials said the changes could be announced as early as this week.

``Taken together, they promote safe, legal and orderly migration, while they also support the Cuban people in their aspirations for a free and prosperous society,'' says a draft copy of Homeland Security Department talking points obtained by The Associated Press.

The new rules are being considered three months before elections in which Florida's governorship and at least one U.S. House seat in Florida are considered in play. Many Cuban immigrants live in the state.

The Homeland Security Department oversees U.S. immigration policy.

The administration has been tightlipped about any changes since Castro stunned the world by temporarily ceding power a week ago to his brother, Raul, to undergo surgery. U.S. officials say they fear that any signal of a relaxed immigration policy could trigger a mass migration from Cuba.

To discourage Cubans from setting off for the U.S. by boat or raft, the administration is considering plans to cancel or reject visa applications from those who are caught trying to sneak in. Currently, Cubans stopped at sea are returned home - or taken to the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay for asylum interviews if necessary - but do not face any penalties if they apply for visas in the future.

An estimated 125,000 Cubans fled the island in April 1980, followed by 40,000 more in August 1994. U.S. officials say fewer than 1,000 Cubans now reach American shores by sea annually.

Under the ``wet foot/dry foot'' policy, most Cubans who reach U.S. soil are allowed to remain, while those intercepted at sea are sent home. It is unknown how many attempt the risky voyage and don't make it.

The documents indicate that measures to help more Cubans flee Castro's government were under discussion before the longtime leader stepped aside. ``The administration has been considering possible changes for some time,'' noted a list of possible questions and answers included in the Homeland Security talking points.

President Bush said Monday, ``We would hope that - and we'll make this very clear - that as Cuba has the possibility of transforming itself from a tyrannical situation to a different type of society, the Cuban people ought to decide.''

Still, the Homeland Security documents reveal potential scenarios under discussion to help some Cubans flee their country. They include:

Reuniting families by allowing U.S. residents to apply for expedited parole - legal entry into the country - for close relatives in Cuba. This would speed the immigration process for an estimated 10,000 Cubans who are waiting for U.S. visas to join families in the United States. Fewer than 1,200 visas have been issued annually to Cubans over the past five years, the documents show.

The Cuban government, however, would have to agree to issue exit visas for people headed to the United States. The documents do not address what the U.S. would do if Cuban authorities denied the exit visas, except to note that the Cuban government can ensure ``the safety and welfare of its nationals by granting exit permission to people who are ready to travel.''

Discouraging human smuggling operations from picking up Cubans at sea by allowing U.S.-based relatives to get information on their whereabouts. Currently, federal authorities are not supposed to release specific information about migrants who are picked up at sea.

Under one scenario, according to a Homeland Security official, the new policy would allow U.S. relatives to obtain that information through their representative in Congress. The lawmaker would then get the information from Homeland Security and pass it back to the constituent.

Giving Cuban doctors who have gone to other nations - and their families - more access to immigrating to the U.S. after undergoing background security checks. According to the documents, the Cuban government sends medical professionals to developing nations ``as a foreign policy tool.'' The administration also is considering expanding this benefit to other professions.

Refusing U.S. entry to Cubans, or deporting those who are already in the country, who are found to have committed human rights abuses on behalf of the Castro government.

``They will be barred from entering our country by legal means whenever possible, and if they are discovered within our borders, we will take every measure to ensure that they suffer the consequences for their past behavior,'' the documents note.

Castro's power handoff prompted the Bush administration to meet with congressional lawmakers in Miami and south Florida about possible immigration changes to accommodate an influx of Cuban migrants. An aide to one of the lawmakers, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said efforts to reunite families were among plans being discussed.
quote:
Originally posted by Diamond:
IMO
The American government can shake hands and forgive Russia but not Cuba. I guess Cuba falls into the same boat as Haiti. Haiti, the first free black country in the western hemisphere, but treated as an outcast economically since gaining their freedom.

Cuba, on the other hand, became a communist country and kicked out the wealthy Americans and their cohorts. And, kept their money. America will never forgive Cuba for not letting them turn their country into another tropical island for tourism and not allowing them to economically rape the resources and leave the people in proverty as "major powers" have done in the pass to other caribbean islands. I am soo tired of the slogan in the name of "Democracy" like its the "be all" and "end all" for every country out there.

If memory serves me correctly, Fidel, approach the US government in an effort to establish dialogue but was treated disrespectfully and soon after established an ongoing relationship with Russia.

THOSE ARROGANT AMERICANS!!

Democracy does not work everywhere!!! Look at IRAQ.

appl I have to co-sign on that too.
And I would venture to say that blacks in Cuba have more rights and opportunities than we do too. Cuba has even offered FREE education to Africans from every continent to become doctors and practice in their homelands. I know someone that this was offered to personally. So basically they whites are foaming at the mouth to get their greedy little hands back into Cuba and turn it into the Las Vegas styled smut box it was before 1959. I guess it will be the same style of Democracy that it was back then....tsk tsk tsk
Yemaya ... hi there! Good to see you again! Smile

The last report was that Castro is up and about, moving around a little and eating and talking about business ... although he has not actually been seen by anybody!! This is all hearsay through the gov't newspaper ... reported by some of his "friends." I read today where Venezuala's Chavez is going to see him tomorrow, which will be his 80th birthday and "celebrate" with him!

Other than that, nothing's changed ... the Cuban people are still reportedly waiting for his comeback .... the U.S. is still slobbering all over themselves at the thought of taking Cuba over .... and the Florida Cuban exiles are still pissed (they want to take him down while he's ailing ... not even wait until the man dies! Eek

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