Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Bad communists, nice communists

There was press coverage of remarks on Cuba last Saturday by Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, and I had hoped to read his speech and maybe write about it. Apparently he addressed the issue of change in Cuba and Raul Castro, saying that he doesn’t think Raul has “the skills, the talent, the brains” required to “keep it together” in Cuba.

Asked about the difference in policies toward Cuba, China, and Vietnam, he was quoted as saying, “The governments in China and Vietnam have shown a real willingness to establish better relations with the U.S., relations of mutual respect, of partnership, where we can have a win-win situation. I wouldn’t consider China or Vietnam an enemy.”

Gutierrez’ full remarks on Cuba are not on the Commerce Department website, and I’m informed that they won’t be posted.

While searching, I did run across his recent talk to students from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, where his message on human rights amounted to a single sentence: “We have a good human rights dialogue with Vietnam.” Here’s the full context:

“Some governments suppress the entrepreneurial spirit and flow of information to their citizens, even by suppression. We’ve seen it around the world and nearby in Burma. In those countries their people, their economies and their futures have suffered greatly.

“With them and others, we believe we – and all nations – have an obligation to raise the issues of human rights. We have a good human rights dialogue with Vietnam. We will continue to push for open markets and international engagement.”

21 comments:

leftside said...

Add this to the mountain of evidence that the US cares comparatively little of human rights or democracy. The real deal breaker is accepting capitalism and not outright opposition to US foreign policy objectives.

Anonymous said...

leftside, what is the reason for all your hate towards your own country? did you get beat up alot as a boy?

Juan Cuellar said...

The fact is that Phil trae siempre la brasa a su sarten al mismo tiempo que quiere quedar bien con Dios y con el diablo. Los mismos que planearon, buscaron y negociaron las relaciones de "engagement" con la China y Vietnam ahora critican porque no se ha hecho con Cuba. Y es que un mal no justifica otro y el hecho es que este pais dejo de tener un gobierno del pueblo, por el pueblo y para el pueblo para convertirlo en el gobierno de los intereses comerciales. Y esto no es politica partidista. Ambos partidos estan en ese maridaje. El caso cubano, a diferencia de esos paises es un exilio militante y capacitado en su funcion de ejercer su influencia. De ahi la animosidad y la maquinaria de difamacion en contra de esa comunidad que tanto mortifica a los instrumentos de esos intereses a favor de la negociacion con Castro. Mientras tanto Phil obvia el contudente hecho de las olas de represiones reciente en contra de los opositores por el reformista Raul Castro, el hermanisimo en jefe del maximo. Y aunque cantaron la victoria con la nueva mayoria democrata en las pasadas elecciones, el voto de esta comunidad vale aun mas que los intereses a los cuales Phil representa cuando participa en la "Cumbres economicas de Alamar, USEngage y demas organizaciones financiadas por los intereses comerciales y agricolas. That is a fact. Right Phil?

leftside said...

Anon, I love my country but want it to live up to its potential. I gew up just fine, but most of our children are not so lucky. And the lucky ones usually end up with truly detestable personalities.

But I most hate hypocrisy, which is so evident when comparing the US treatment of Vietnam, China, Pakistan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Colombia, Indonesia, etc. -- versus Cuba. All these countries (and many more) have worse human rights records than Cuba. Their only difference is their relation to capital.

I should probably stop responding to these attacks, which distract from the topic at hand...

But if you want to make the argument that the US really does put democracy and human rights over free markets, then go ahead and try to make the case. I think you'll have a hard time.

Anonymous said...

leftside has great points, which are inrefutable really. To think that we care about human rights/democracy above capital is naive at best, stupid at worst.

oh yea, we are a country filled with stupid hicks , so maybe its "at worst".

cheers,

Juan Cuellar said...

To compare those countries in Lefty's list as "worst human right record than Castroland" is as laughable as the movie "Baby day out" The evidence is undisputable. And like I said, the Cuban communitty is the difference. Their votes, lefty....their votes.
Ask Joe garcia and Sergio Bendixen.

leftside said...

Juan, what country in my list has a better human rights record than Cuba (over, say the last 30 years)? I'll also give you more US buddies to choose from: El Salvador, Guatemala, Israel, Egypt, UAE, Jordan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, India, S. Korea, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and most of the right-wing Govts. of Latin America from the 60s to 80s...

Juan Cuellar said...

Lefty, all of them combined in your first list (China, Pakistan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Colombia, Indonesia)The second list is a bigger laughable matter. You are a victim of your ignorance.

leftside said...

I can't argue them all at once. Pick one country and we'll compare their human rights record. If you think Cuba has the worst human rights record in the world you are the one who is laughable. Even more so if you start to think about social rights and human development...

Juan Cuellar said...

Social Rights? You pick. Go Lefty, pick. Choose Indonesia, a close ally of el perendeca en jefe de la Habana. Thanks for the "social rights" extension. Quickly, pick.

I need a few laughs after the arrest of the students in Cuba by the "reformer" Raul Castro. Phil must be dissapointed with the post.

leftside said...

Indonesia, come on, you could have done better than that. Haven't you heard of the half million pinkos the US identified and had our man Suharto kill in the 60s?? Not heard of East Timor, where 200,000 were murdered with US guns and a crucial blind eye throughout the 70s and 80s? As late as 1999 the US sat and watched state organized militais kill another 10,000 before and after an independence vote the military did not want to happen. Suharto was who's friend?? Certainly no friend of socialism or Cuba. He was a US-backed Cold Warrior.

Or you want today? Ok, this is from HRW's summary: "In the Central Highlands of remote Papua province, a region closed to outside observers, police appear to be routinely committing serious abuses, such as extrajudicial executions, torture and rape, with impunity..." The State Dept quotes a report that police have killed at least 740 just within 00 and 01. Not one security official has been held responsible for this, or the murder of 1400 people in 1999. In 2004 the country's #1 human rights defender was murdered by a pilot with connections to the intelligence forces. He was convicted but the Supreme Court threw out the conviction in 06. Nevermind that Indonesia has no freedom of expression, association or religion and discrimination against persons with disabilities, indigenous persons, and religious and ethnic minorities "also are widespread problems" - according to the US State Dept.

Omar said...

Juan, Leftside is completely right when he says that humans rights violation in Cuba are far less common and alarming than in many other countries that are treated friendly by US. You cannot be that lost Juan, something wrong is going on with your sense of balance. It just happen that you, Agustin and many others have been indoctrinated. When did you leave Cuba? Have you ever lived there? Have you ever read an Amnesty International report?
On the other hand, Leftside has it wrong when we judges the magnitude of the brain drain in Cuba. It will be hard for you Lefty to find statistics about that. I lived there, I worked in the University of Havana during 5 years until 2003 years ago when I decided to let me "steal". I was an insider. I can tell you that I have brilliant colleagues that have decided to live and work in Cuba. However, the extension in which Cuban professionals leave the country is alarming, and I doubt that the flux of replacement could match it.

leftside said...

Omar, thanks for your comments. Keep them coming...

I wasn't trying to minimize the brain drain issue in Cuba - I acknowledged it as a problem. But I was trying to put it into a global and historical context (most developing countries have it worse, Cuba has been through a much worse situation in the 60s and Cuba is uniquely prepared to produce more professionals...).

Anonymous said...

Neither Leftside nor Juan Cuellar are to my liking, they are both fanatical,they are both wrong...and right at once. And I could not care less about either one. ¡He dicho!

Juan Cuellar said...

Anonymous and Lefty. Both of you are clear examples of lack of common sense, to avoid saying something else. Do either of you know how many Cubans had been killed, imprison, torture, and stripped of their rights? Please, give me a break. The same arguments were used by the left regarding the Soviet Union, until the truth came out and even now some lefties still defend that genocide. And please, do not offend my intelligence by quoting the left organization of HRW. I already proved that with them in the Cuban case. Do you want or need evidence?

A mi ni me va ni me viene ninguno de ustedes tampoco...anonimo.

leftside said...

You are not even trying, so I'm not going to expend any more of my time. Cuba tortures no one, kills no one, and we can argue about 1-200 people in prison, but get real. Particularly on a day when the US got caught burning tapes showing torture, admitted killing 4 more Iraqis and reports came out showing Nevada prison medical staff told inmates they wanted to "see them suffer," rather than help them...

Juan Cuellar said...

Lefty, you tried and failed. Cuba imprison, torture, kill and everything else. I am a victim myself. And I was 13 years old when they tortured me. Read the Black book of communism. The fact is that the media - watermelon style- do not report those crimes. Look at Soviets history, China, Laos, Cambodia, Eastern Europe,Cuba and the list goes on, the greatest genocidal regimen in the world and we still baptize Hitler wit the title. !Please! The panacea of the left made them ciegos, sordos y mudos...... como tu.

leftside said...

yeah, yeah, yeah... and you can go read the black book of capitalism.

tranquilo said...

estimado Juan, remember what your mother told you growing up: never get into an argument with a lunatic...

Agustin Farinas said...

Juan,
follow Tranquilo's advice. Our hero Leftside who has been imprisoned and tortured in the police station in Chicago, has spoken.
Perhaps the psychological scars left by that torture at the hands of the barbarous facist police in Chicago has warped his mind.
Anyway what do you and I know Juan? After all as Omar said: we are indoctrinated against socialism and can't see the wonders of it.
So please Juan repeaat after me:
Communism is bad, capitalism is good.
Communism is bad, capitalism is good. Communism is bad, capitalism is good.
Thank you, Juan. Now we have done our ideoligical exercises for today just like our US capitalist instructor told us to.
There is not such thing as a good communist or a bad one. Actually yes, all the good communists are dead.

Juan Cuellar said...

Lefty, your sloganism wont get you nowhere. Here is something that you know but ignore. Phil should take note also. This video was send by Darsi Ferrer from Cuba.
http://porcubaparacuba.blogspot.com/2007/12/el-apartheid-en-cuba-video-enviado-por.html