Cuban Politics

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Kindrid

The article mentions a few isolated incidents. The article also states that the government tries to arrest them. There is no indication of a link between the government and a few bad apples.

 

An annual growth of 5 percent in GDP and a low unemployment rates should indicate that something is being done right in a nation.

Fidel

Kindrid wrote:

The article mentions a few isolated incidents. The article also states that the government tries to arrest them. There is no indication of a link between the government and a few bad apples.

Well if El Salvador's murder rate wasnt the highest in Latin America in the 2000's, and if ES wasnt such a militarized country with armed soldiers running all over the god damned place, it might seem as though you had a clue about this particular US-sponsored shithole just a few day's drive from Texas. But you dont.

"In El Salvador the poor are eating only half as much food as they were a year ago." says The Economist last April

Quote:

In a recent study by the University of Central America in San Salvador, 42 percent of Salvadorans said they would leave their country to go to the United States if they had the chance. These people, who make $1-3 per day, are so desperate to feed their families that they are willing to risk a crossing. . .

The current right-wing ARENA government denies that the country has a poverty problem; it wants the country to look good after getting such bad press during the 1980’s war. It also makes a lot of promises to improve health and education but then fails to follow through. Consequently, funds that poured in from abroad during and since those terrible war years are drying up as needs elsewhere in the world take priority.

 

Quote:
An annual growth of 5 percent in GDP and a low unemployment rates should indicate that something is being done right in a nation.

Enemies during the war, Ciudad Romero and Nuevo Amanecer are now allies, and they represent the base of the FMLN.

Viva la Revolucion!

Kindrid

Quote:
Eventually, no doubt, farmers will respond to higher prices by growing more and a new equilibrium will be established. If all goes well, food will be affordable again without the subsidies, dumping and distortions of the earlier period

 

Your Economist article is talking about a global temporary spike in food prices.

Kindrid

Quote:
Editor's Note: While the Cuban government is trying to keep things quiet, Spanish and Mexican media are reporting on the famine that is wreaking havoc across the island after 30 percent of its crops were destroyed in the hurricanes.

http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=47362999f43d3c5caf805e8ea8fdc1dd&from=rss

 

It seems that Cuba is not imune from hunger

Fidel

Kindrid wrote:

Quote:
Eventually, no doubt, farmers will respond to higher prices by growing more and a new equilibrium will be established. If all goes well, food will be affordable again without the subsidies, dumping and distortions of the earlier period

Your Economist article is talking about a global temporary spike in food prices.

If food scarcity and poverty in El Salvador was temporary, then that might lead us to think that the neoliberal economic voodoo is actually working in at least one country among dozens where tried. But that's not the case.

Yes, and the poor in El Salvador are eating less as a result, it says. In this case, where nutrition is concerned, less is not good in a country where the neoliberal economic voodoo just hasnt worked and, in fact, made things worse than they were ever before.

Quote:
In Haiti Access to food is actually worse than it was in Governor General  Michaelle Jean's youth, as the country finds itself struggling with skyrocketing malnutrition.

A quarter century ago, there were half a billion hungry people around the capitalist thirdworld. Today, there are 923 million chronically hungry people, and 153 million of them are estimated to be children under five.

And not one of them is Cuban.

Capitalism is a colossal failure, and a monstrous ideology.

 

Kindrid

 

From A Christian Science Monitor article dated July of 2006:

Quote:
On my most recent trip to Havana, last month, there was a sharp spike from previous visits in stories of deprivation and hardship for average Cubans. A pound of pork costs 25 pesos - a tenth of the average monthly wage. A few weeks ago, there were shortages of cooking oil. An official of the Havana Catholic archdiocese told me of visiting people in rural Cuba; many are living on a subsistence basis, some eating no more than a couple bananas per day.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0706/p09s02-coop.html

So, it is not just the hurricanes that are causing the problem. While El Salvador is moving in the right direction coupled with freedom of press and legitimate elections, Cuba is stagnating. The Revolution is a rotting dead carcass.

Kindrid

Quote:
Dramatic Decline In Global Poverty, But Progress Uneven April  23, 2004 - Poverty has declined significantly in developing countries over the past twenty years, but progress has been uneven, according to World Development Indicators 2004 (WDI), the World Bank's annual statistical report.

The proportion of people living in extreme poverty on less than $1 a day dropped by almost half between 1981 and 2001, from 40 percent to 21 percent of the global population.  In absolute terms, this means that the number people living in poverty fell from 1.5 billion in 1981 to 1.1 billion in 2001.

Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in all developing countries rose by 30 percent during the same time period. 

 

http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTPOVERTY/0,,contentMDK:20195240~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:336992,00.html

Fidel

World Bankers have admitted that GDP is a rough measure, and they only have vague ideas as to how a dollar a day wage compares with three dollars in another piss poor capitalist country where costs of living are also different. IOW's, they have no proof whatsoever that increasing "capital flows", raping a country of its natural resource wealth, and creating a handful of rich people in a country translates to a better quality of life for the vast majority. In reality they do know that it leads to cash crop capitalism and poverty-stricken hellholes for hundreds of millions but dont dwell on those results for political reasons. 

Quote:
According to UNICEF, 26,500-30,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.”
 

That's anywhere from 9.6 million to nearly 11 million children alone sacrificed to a merciless economic ideology. It's planned and enforced genocide today as much as it was when pork and corn left 13 Irish sea ports in 1847 destined for "the market" while millions starved to fucking death. Capitalism is a monstrous ideology - one ongoing mass murder around the capitalist thirdworld. It's as much a colossal failure today as it was in Black '47 and for a long time before that, too.

From your first link before you edited:

Quote:
Bush aims weapons of malnutrition at Cuba 

Second, this plan hits the wrong target. Sanctions against a foreign government have never so directly hit American families. During the cold war, freedom to travel was recognized as an important human right. The US didn't try to stop Eastern European families from visiting their relations behind the Iron Curtain. It shouldn't stop families from taking care of their own in Cuba.

Finally, these sanctions violate a core tenet of US foreign policy. Ever since President Carter's discredited sanctions preventing grain sales to Russia, most US politicians have disavowed the use of hunger as a weapon

It's true that the USSA has waged economic warfare as well as terrorist campaigns against the people of Cuba. But in the end, it's Cuba that had a lower infant mortality rate than the USA then ...

...and continues to be even lower today!(UNICEF)

Chronically hungry children of America

Quote:
According to statistics from Bread for the World, 13 million children went to bed hungry in the United States in 2004. Hunger is one of the clearest expressions of poverty.

38, 000, 000 food insecure across America

That's more that three times the population of Cuba in America who cant afford to eat at least once a month and every other situation in between

Hunger leads to malnutrition and poor health. And lack of access to basic medical care is a barrier for lower infant mortality and better national health statistics in that country with the most expensive and most privatized health care system in the world.

Capitalism is a monumental failure.

Viva la Revolucion!

Kindrid

If you bothered to read my posts you would understand that Cubans are going hungry..

 

Under the US definition of hunger a family merely has to worry about not getting food, or has to make food substitutes, or seeks assistence .The bigger problem for the poor in the United States is obesity not lack of food. Under the US definition, almost all Cubans would be labeled food insecure.

 

Of course, Fidel Castro dines on expensive imported hams from Spain. That is something right out of Orwell’s Animal Farm

 

The US has social programs. The US has school lunch programs. Food banks are numerous. If a family goes hungry in the US they are doing something wrong.

 

Kindrid

Of course you drag out the infant mortality statistics. You neglect the mention the high maternal mortality number that even the Cuban government admits to. You neglect the high suicide rates in Cuba. You neglect that nobody believes the Cuban numbers and the nation performs forced abortion if the fetus indicates problems. Again, if the baby in the US dies on its first day of life it is included in the infant mortality numbers. In Cuba such a case is chalked up as an abortion. Considering Cuba’s lack of decent NICU care, a sick newborn is likely to die in Cuba on its first day of life.

Fidel

Bla bla bla Mortality rates speak for themselves. Cuba reports the same mortality statistics to WHO medical officials and the UN as the US and every other country. Cuba's health care system is wide open for any and all health care officials to observe and who have reported to the world the successes of socialism. Everyone from World Bank chiefs to Harvard and Yale and UofT medical students have been to Cuba and observed first-hand why Cuba's socialized medicine based on preventative medicine and regular health exams, and freely accessible to all Cubans,  performs so much better than the highly inefficient and expensive private for-profit system in the USA. 

Not only does Cuba have better infant mortality rates than the USA, so do about 30 other countries with socialized medicine have superior infant mortality rates than the USA as well as demonstrating better overall national health statistics.

And, Cuba recognizes the UN's declaration outlining the basic right to food whereas the USA does not. It's a well known fact that disease, mortality are greatly affected by diet. The Cubans know that proper nutrition and the right to access to prenatal care lowers infant mortality and contributes to longevity. And the whole world knows that tens of millions of Americans cant afford to see a doctor. It's not difficult at all to be able to read through the lines of rightwing propaganda emanating from the so-called think tanks on the right and "Liberal" news journalism.

Hoodeet

Your points are well-taken, Fidel. I am aware of the people leaving Canada and also of the thousands of qualified people who are practically skinned alive with payment of fees, only to have their degrees and qualifications rejected and end up in menial jobs.

 What you say about Haiti, the D.R. and other "vacation spots" does not  refute what I have said.  Cubans are infinitely better off on the whole than most 3rd world countries.  The problem for many Cubans is not that they could be like Haiti or Puerto Rico, even, something distinctly possible if the capitalists get a foothold again, but that there has been a generalized impoverishment, and that they feel overwhelmed by the scarcity, the constant struggle to rebuild after every natural and man-made disaster.

Not every Cuban I speak with sees things the same way. But in the almost 40 years I've been doing research and making friends there,  and fully sympathetic as I have been with the Revolution, I can assure you that I have noticed the exhaustion, the grimness in the outlook of many more people, because they came through that horrible decade after the fall of the eastern Bloc, but they came through exhausted and depleted, psychologically.

Hoodeet

Kindrid is correct in that Cuba, a branch-plant economy and jumping-off point for exports to Latin America, was economically far better off than most countries in the region before 1959.  The two problems were a large disenfranchised underclass, especially in the countryside, and a totally dependent economy, virtually prostituted to US interests.

 

It's Me D

Hoodeet wrote:
Kindrid is correct in that Cuba, a branch-plant economy and jumping-off point for exports to Latin America, was economically far better off than most countries in the region before 1959. The two problems were a large disenfranchised underclass, especially in the countryside, and a totally dependent economy, virtually prostituted to US interests.

Ah the distinction between better off for Cuba(s GDP) and better off for Cubans... Capitalists are so concerned about the former, but couldn't care less about the later.

old_bolshie

Fidel wrote:
....NOW I'm turning off access to the Cuba photos....

Admit it-there never were any photos-you've been inhaling again!

Fidel

old_bolshie wrote:

Fidel wrote:
....NOW I'm turning off access to the Cuba photos....

Admit it-there never were any photos-you've been inhaling again!

It was freely accessible until about midnight yesterday. And apparently you experienced great difficulty typing up the password I provided, "babbler123" So, where are your Cuba photos, ol' Bullshie? 

 

Quote:

Health Care? Ask Cuba

By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

Published: January 12, 2005

Here's a wrenching fact: If the U.S. had an infant mortality rate as good as Cuba's, we would save an additional 2,212 American babies a year.

Yes, Cuba's. Babies are less likely to survive in America, with a health care system that we think is the best in the world, than in impoverished and autocratic Cuba. According to the latest C.I.A. World Factbook, Cuba is one of 41 countries that have better infant mortality rates than the U.S. . . .

As readers know, I complain regularly about the Chinese government's brutality in imprisoning dissidents, Christians and, lately, Zhao Yan, a New York Times colleague in Beijing. Yet for all their ruthlessness, China's dictators have managed to drive down the infant mortality rate in Beijing to 4.6 per thousand; in contrast, New York City's rate is 6.5.

We should celebrate this freedom that we enjoy in America - by complaining about and working to address pockets of poverty and failures in our health care system. It's simply unacceptable that the average baby is less likely to survive in the U.S. than in Beijing or Havana.

old_bolshie

Quote:
It was freely accessible until about midnight yesterday.....

According to who?

Why can't you hotlink pics like this?

[img]http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/5984/freshwaterlagoonnuquicw3.jpg[/img]

Note this is near Playa Pijiba on the Pacific coast of Choco Colombia-another place you'll never go near.It's crawling with Birds, Fish and a few Crocodiles as well-not that you would care.

Fidel

old_bolshie wrote:

Quote:
It was freely accessible until about midnight yesterday.....

According to who?

Why can't you hotlink pics like this?

I'm not an avid photographer. It's cheap camera vacation photos for me.

And so it's only taken you two days to figure out how to link to a single photo. Impressive. Is that the only one? Why not nail up at least two or three and at least one of you yourself shown with some travel companions for added effect? Or are you camera shy, O'Bullshie?

Fidel

Hoodeet wrote:
   The problem for many Cubans is not that they could be like Haiti or Puerto Rico, even, something distinctly possible if the capitalists get a foothold again, but that there has been a generalized impoverishment, and that they feel overwhelmed by the scarcity, the constant struggle to rebuild after every natural and man-made disaster.

Imagine that Newfoundland, or PEI, or Puerto Rico were able to buy anything they wanted from the rest of the world, but at a premium? Now imagine those same islands are unable to export anything to the mainland due to genocidal trade sanctions. And there are range of important life-saving medical devices, veterinary supplies, insulin needles etc that are just not manufactured on those islands due to issues with resource allocation and manpower. The normal ability to trade freely is vitally important thing for people living on those islands.

Now imagine that there are leftwing politicos in power on the mainland. And they dont like Danny Williams or the politics of leaders on the other two islands whose political parties have been in place and winning phony majority governments for several decades in a row, and with the net effect, longer than Fidel has ruled Cuba. Leftwing governments then wage vicious sanctions to punish the people of Newfoundland, PEI and Puerto Rico, and wage terror campaigns against them. And this is all done to chip away at the overall quality of life for those people proud of Danny Williams and the other leaders. In effect the leftwing politicos are trying to influence how those people think of their leadership and overall way of life - and beam propaganda to those islands telling them how life could be better if they just get rid of their leaders. This would be interfering in the affairs of sovereign peoples as well as political and economic interference to extremes. In fact, the CIA and US military have been interfering in other countries' democracies and sovereign affairs for a long time. And most Cubans know that this is the case with US interference in Cuba's sovereign affairs. Democracy can never be imposed on any country by outside influences. Needless to say the USA and its rightwing ideologues are not very democratic in their thinking. DEmocracy is the right's most hated institution for a long time.

Fidel
Hoodeet

Fidel:

You're not saying anything I don't agree with.  Sanctions drive the cost of most imports very very high.  Gov't ministries and institutions often get ripped off by middlemen charging up to 30% for providing needed products made by US corporations. 

One alarming development, for me, has been the flood of Chinese imports to replace the more expensive ones and to satisfy consumer needs (and desires). I don't have the heart to mention the risk to most Cubans I know, who don't have alternatives.  Fairly knowledgeable individuals to whom I mentioned the melamine scandal had no idea about it.

 

 

Kindrid

Quote:
Imagine that Newfoundland, or PEI, or Puerto Rico were able to buy anything they wanted from the rest of the world, but at a premium?

Another bogus argument. You might have a point if Cuban had shortages in products that are only available in the US. But, Cuba faces shortages in even the most basic things like soap and aspirin. Tooth extractions are done without anesthesia. It would be foolish to buy those things from the United States. They could be purchased cheaper from other nations. Almost anything can be purchased from India, China, or South Korea at a cheaper price than the US. The cargo container makes distance almost insignificant in the costs of goods.

 

Plus, in Cuba you see the same patterns as you did in Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, under Communist rule; mass shortages of basic goods. The embargo is not the problem. The problem is socialism and a lack of free markets.

Kindrid

Quote:
ere's a wrenching fact: If the U.S. had an infant mortality rate as good as Cuba's, we would save an additional 2,212 American babies a year.

Oh God, there are not too many Americans that would give up their freedoms just to save 2,000 babies. If the cost of knocking down the infant mortality rate a few percentage points is living under totalitarian police state, the cost is too high.   In a free nation you can’t force people to seek prenatal care. In a free country it is difficult to eradicate the use of hard drugs. In a free country you can’t force people to always behave in a responsible manner.  

Fidel

Kindrid wrote:

NY Times wrote:
Here's a wrenching fact: If the U.S. had an infant mortality rate as good as Cuba's, we would save an additional 2,212 American babies a year.

Oh God, there are not too many Americans that would give up their freedoms just to save 2,000 babies. If the cost of knocking down the infant mortality rate a few percentage points is living under totalitarian police state, the cost is too high.   In a free nation you can’t force people to seek prenatal care.

 In fact, one out of every two doctors in the US recommends the US move to a universal health care model(ie. socialized medicine) as exists in dozens of developed countries with better national health statistics produced in the USA with its most privatized and expensive system in the world delivering some of the worst national health statistics among richest countries.

And a corrupt system that knowingly murders 2200 American infants every year is tantamount to planned and enforced infanticide, just as thirdworld capitalism condemns anywhere from 9 to 11 million children to malnutrition, starvation, and agonizing deaths each and every year like clockwork. Cash crop kapitalism is the kiss of death for millions on annual basis. It's planned and enforced genocide by relentless ideology.

fidel wrote:
kindrid wrote:

Quote:
Imagine that Newfoundland, or PEI, or Puerto Rico were able to buy anything they wanted from the rest of the world, but at a premium?

Another bogus argument. You might have a point if Cuban had shortages in products that are only available in the US. ... The cargo container makes distance almost insignificant in the costs of goods.

If you understood things in general you'd realize that Cuba's export economy with the USA - the same on that you and the other poster espoused as the best in Latin America under Batista - was stopped in the 1960's and screws tightened with the genocidal Helms-Burton law for waging economic warfare on Cuba. As a result, Cuba lost its most geographically advantageous export partner and costing Cuban governnment billions in revenue.  

kindrid wrote:
Plus, in Cuba you see the same patterns as you did in Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, under Communist rule; mass shortages of basic goods. The embargo is not the problem. The problem is socialism and a lack of free markets.

The Soviet COMECON block of nations were about a third of the world at the height of Soviet empire, which included Cuba. What they experienced were vicious trade sanctions by the west for decades during cold war. The Soviets would offer to pay for wheat shipments and food staples from other countries with payments in gold, barter, and what small international currency reserves on hand they did possess. US chastized Ottawa for sending wheat to Russia in exchange for gold, Russian cars and products etc. Then in the 1980s the US turned around and began shipping wheat to Russia, and in doing so, cut Canadian farmers out of the picture and created export business for US agribusiness. The US and its global partners were ruthless in their strangulation of Soviet economy and trade. The Soviets were often short of food items as basic as citrus and chocolate, and it was because Cadburys, Hersheys, and Sunkist etc had a monopoly on cocoa and and paying next to slave wages to Latinos and other sunbelt workers around the world for their produce. The west had all the advantages of cheap/slave labour and access to the most fertile and arable farming lands in the world. It was quite an accomplishment for the US to have 38 million food insecure Americans today, if we consider that they still enjoy Latin American and US produce subsidized by the US govt and cheap/slave labour wages- and the most lush and arable farmlands from PEI to Idaho, Canadian prairie wheatfields, Oakanagan Valley, Kansas, high plains region of the US(now 25% more desertified by mechanized farming methods from 1980 base year), California and Florida. And even more breathtaking was the fact that millions were hungry and out of work in the 1930's depression  era, despite all the geographical and trade advantages and ideal economic conditions in general for a laissez-faire capitalist system that would ultimately collapse after 30 years then in 1929. And now the old liberal capitalism made new again since Milton Friedman is crashing spectacularly a second time - third if we count the experiment in Chile that crashed after just sixteen years in the test lab.

George Victor

Hi Fidel

Just go to David Suzuki on Cuba and point out the ways in which  freed up, small business agriculture has made them self-sufficient. He showed an exciting, two-part series a year or so back. Ahead of us in terms of environmental correctness.(And  ignore the poor old coldwar warrior  hereabouts with his dated ideological cant).

Now if we could just turn off the bloody hurricanes caused by the rest of the world in its hell-bent drive for "the good life."

Kindrid

Quote:
The Soviet COMECON block of nations were about a third of the world at the height of Soviet empire

So why did the Communist block need trade with the West if Socialism is superior? Cutting off trade is a two way street. Why did the Communist block need to trade with capitalist nations it intended to destroy?

 

 

Kindrid

Quote:
Just go to David Suzuki on Cuba and point out the ways in which freed up, small business agriculture has made them self-sufficient.

 Self-sufficient? You got to be kidding. The big treat of the year in Cuba is getting a half of a pond of hamburger imported from Venezuela.

Kindrid

Quote:
Castro’s False Claims of Success  As for the other, oft-touted successes of the regime, these tend to deteriorate under inspection. Take education. Yes, the country made huge gains during the first two or three decades of communist rule. But it started from a relatively high Latin American standard, and has barely treaded water ever since, producing tens of thousands of graduates in "historical materialism" and "culturology." Lacking most modern tools such as computers, Web access and current textbooks and a connection with the real economy, Cuba's supposedly excellent education system would probably compare much less well to those of other Latin American countries in a survey that didn't depend on the government's own statistics. Cuba would probably turn out to suffer the same ills as the rest of the region: formal universal education up to junior high or high school, but terribly mediocre quality and a total disconnect from the country's needs.

Much the same is true of the country's famed health system. Its is undeniable that during the initial years of the revolution, Castro managed a colossal feat: he sent most of the country's best physicians (Cuba had perhaps the best doctors in the hemisphere in 1959, as well as the lowest infant-mortality rate) into exile, yet almost simultaneously delivered decent first-level health care to millions of peasants and urban poor. But standards plummeted with the end of Soviet subsidies in the early 1990s. With no money, no access to technology (other than a few highly praised but untested biotech institutes), very little foreign training and the mass export of doctors to Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Paraguay, it is very unlikely that the Cuban health system today is much better than the rest of the region's. Cuba's system may still be more egalitarian (no mean feat in Latin America), but it is hardly more competent, cost-effective or sustainable.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/177685

From honest non-biased reports from Newsweek, the BBC, the Guardian, and Le Monde we get the same bleak picture of Cuba. Cuba is a nation in rot. Cuba is nation were people scrape by on a rationed monotonous diet. The government statistics are a fraud. Cuba is a nation with long lines and shortages. Cuba is a nation where everyone must have a job but nobody works do to a lack of incentives. Cuba is a police state where everyone is spied on and their comments are recorded. There is no freedom of press. Cuba’s press freedom is ranked dead last with North Korea. Any serious opposition is labeled an American spy and imprisoned.  Zoo animals get free health care and food. A human is not a zoo animal. Is that what pro-Castro stooges whishes for humanity? That every person is reduced to the level of a zoo animal?  I will take my chances in a free market in a democracy. The risk is worth avoiding a slow death in a dreary nation without the joys in life that makes life worth living.   

Fidel

Kindrid wrote:

me wrote:
The Soviet COMECON block of nations were about a third of the world at the height of Soviet empire

So why did the Communist block need trade with the West if Socialism is superior? Cutting off trade is a two way street. Why did the Communist block need to trade with capitalist nations it intended to destroy?

To understand the recent past you have to realize where the two superpowers at the time started off from. The US and Europe were advanced industrialised states in the 1920's, whereas the Soviet Union was devastated by world war and a civil war which reduced manpower in Russia significantly after 25 international armies laid siege to post-revolutionary Russia. However, Stalin is credited by economists and historians the world over as having rapidly transformed Russia into an advanced industrialised state between the years 1928 and 1941. The Soviet economy actually outpaced US growth between 1928 and 1972, albeit the two economies started off from different stages of technological advancement and infrastructure, public works etc.

From about the 1950's onward(approximately post-Sputnik) and at various periods, however, the US taxpayers invested heavily in basic research and scientific endevours both public and private institutions - a little American style socialism with private enterprise reaping the rewards and fruits of public research and taxpayer funded academy. The US became the first western nation where the majority of people leaving high schools were diploma'd graduates by 1960. 

The US economy outpaced that of the Soviets' by the mid to late 70's, and then later turned back technological-economic challenges from Germany and Japan in the 1980s. More taxpayer-funded technology was handed off to a few dozen rich families and corporations otherwise known as "the market" and "private enterprise", everything from computer technology, lasers, fiber optics, metalurigical advancements, satellite tech, etc

Certain Soviet politicians decided not to invest in technological r&d past the mid-1970's, and that instead they should pursue state-capitalist economy ie. Gorbachev and Yeltsin, for example. The numbers living in poverty in 1987 Russia were about 2 million. During perestroika years for neoliberal restructuring, that number increased to about 60 million.   

But to suggest that the Soviet economy was superior to capitalism due to superior average growth rates 1929 to 1972, or that capitalism was superior because of one particular period marked by superior growth rates from the mid 1970s to 1990s is neither here nor there.

What your Reader's Digest summaries of the cold war wont reveal to you is that the west claimed superior economic ideology because communism collapsed "on its own" And that isnt true. They always leave that part of the cold war out about vicious trade sanctions waged against the USSR. The Soviets were willing to trade or barter with the west and even offered to sell oil and raw materials to western countries at lower prices than were retrieved from COMECON partner nations. In fact, the record shows that communism didnt collapse "all on its own" but was pushed over a proverbial cliff by a number of factors.

What you may or may not discover is that capitalism has actually collapsed "all on its own" under ideal conditions several times throughout history, including twice in the last century in two famous experiments last 30 years the first time and just sixteen years the second time. And now the "new" Liberal capitalism in the richest countries, and which begand as robust mixed market economies with large public sector economies(socialism again. Deja vu?), has lasted about 28 years from 1980 to Alan Greenspan's exit stage right.

Fidel

Kindrid wrote:
Quote:
Castro’s False Claims of Success  As for the other, oft-touted successes of the regime, these tend to deteriorate under inspection. Take education. Yes, the country made huge gains during the first two or three decades of communist rule. But it started from a relatively high Latin American standard, and has barely treaded water ever since, producing tens of thousands of graduates in "historical materialism" and "culturology."[b] Lacking most modern tools such as computers, Web access and yada yada

What bland, right-wing drivelous pap!

This "unbiased" news source conveniently neglects to mention that Cuba offered several US telcos to bid on contracts to link Cuba with US telecommunications backbone. Those corporations couldnt because of Helms-Burton baloney. As a result, Cuba has contracted out the services of a Venezuelan telco to run expensive undersea fiber optic cable to connect with fiber backbone access over 2000 km away in South America. That's not Cuba limiting internet access to Cubans because of Cuban policy - that is the vicious empire and its long-running economic and political war waged against a tiny Caribbean island nation.

Cuba, the Internet and Reporters without Borders

 

Quote:

A different reality

In Cuba close to 2 million children and adolescents have daily access to the Internet in their schools, all equipped with a computer classroom provided with the latest generation of materials. In Cuba, 146 schools exist in distant regions of the country at which only one student attends and all have a computer laboratory. There are also free community computer clubs in every municipality, used by thousands of people. One mere, ordinary question: if the Cuban government wishes “to control the circulation of information in its territory”, why would it spend several millions of dollars to universalize the access to computers and the Internet? [10].

RSF carefully minimizes the main constraint to development of the Internet in Cuba, which are the ruthless economic sanctions that the United States has imposed on the country’s population since 1960. Cuba couldn’t connect to the Internet until 1996 since before a clause from the economic blockade impeded having access to the international network controlled by the United States. But the Cuban access is conditional because of the Torricelli law, which stipulates that each megabit bought from a U.S. business, needs to have previous approval from the Department of the Treasury. All violators are subject to extremely harsh sanctions. Furthermore, it must be remembered that more than 80 percent of Internet traffic passes through U.S. servers [11].

On the other hand, the United States denies Cuba the use of its fiber optic submarine cable which surrounds the archipelago. Thus, the island is obliged to connect via satellite, which reduces the speed of communication and quadruples the price. For a small country from the Third World, isolated for close to half a century, the effects are not negligible. In the same way, Cuba is obliged to procure new technologies through third countries because of the economic sanctions, which substantially increases their price. Nor can it be forgotten that the United States produces close to 60% of the software of the world and that Microsoft controls the operating systems of 90% of the computers on the planet.  .  . 

kindrid wrote:
http://www.newsweek.com/id/177685

From honest non-biased reports from Newsweek, the BBC, the Guardian, and Le Monde we get the same bleak picture of Cuba.

But you quoted only Newsweek, a US news source. And pretty much all US newspapers, journalists in the hire of government and private enterprise,  and broadcast tv stations are owned by corporate America or billionaire oligarchs. Now how unbiased would news from those sources be? And if "NewsWeek" is that weak on the truth about internet access in Cuba, then it's a good bet that the rest of the article is just as worthless.

None of what youve posted here or linked to is new to babblers. Various babblers or another have dissected and exposed such rightwing propaganda concerning Cuba in dozens of filled to capacity and still active babble threads about Cuba. Some here will be disappointed that I've actually taken the time to reply to misguided posters such as yourself, but I think it's a courtesy to inform the misled about their propagandized views of Cuba. It's not your fault, kindrid. There are reams and reams of the kind of worthless propaganda out there such as youve referred us to. You seem to find it every time though, which makes me wonder if you are deliberately misinformed or just accidental. I suppose it could be a little of both, wouldnt you say? ciao muchacha 

Spying the lives of others: American Stasi's warrantless wiretapping targeted non-terrorists, including journalists

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