Thursday, September 18, 2008

Today's hearing

Testimony (pdf) submitted by yours truly.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

say hello to you friends from the Cuban Interests Section. surprised Delahunt didn't ask them to testify

Anonymous said...

Is it true Ninoska was there too?

Carlos said...

Thank you for speaking some sense into this rancorous debate. Reason must be our guide, even if it is not our opponent's - for the good of the Cuban people, as well as the American.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is always refreshing to listen to the voice of reason. I wish Congress would hear.

leftside said...

Very well said sir. How many Republicans were there to listen?

leftside said...

Has there been any post hurricane polling in South Florida on the issue, or the Cuban-American races? After reading Phil's eloquent argument against the hard-liner driven policy (above) I am inclined to hope and believe that Cuba's strategy here in denying the US' 2nd offer might be aimed at the November election as much as anything else. I think they smell, like I do, the rise of the Miami moderates and then, the end of the embargo. There needs to be a game changer though, still. The removal of the hard liners (the Balarts and Ros-Lehtien) in Washington would be a huge thing - perhaps even more important than Obama or McCain. If the embargo ended just a year sooner, it would mean more than a Billion for Cuba right away (paling the US offer). Dignity played a huge role - they are not going to change their principled position just because more money is waived in their face. But "playing politics" sometimes has to be done for the greater good.

Anonymous said...

when the U.S. does it, it's cheap and vulgar.
when Castro does it, it's for the "greater good."

Anonymous said...

the debate is very simple:

if you accept the permanence of the Castro regime, then you accommodate yourself to that fact -- trade, travel, etc.

if you don't accept the permanence of the regime then you oppose anything that legitimizes it.

leftside said...

Here's a great on the ground report of the way Cubans are working on the ground to help each other.

Anonymous said...

leftside, I'm having flashbacks to Lincoln Steffens.

Anonymous said...

when you accept the permanence of the regime? Well Duh, after 50 years it's rather permanent, don't ya think? It's the Cuban people who legitimize it, not outsiders. No other country in the world has had to endure the criminal policies of the world's most powerful nation.
Legitimacy is in the eye of the beholder, and the only ones that count are the Cubans in Cuba, but you're right, the gusanos will never accept legitimacy, and only support the continued policies of whatever harms the Cuban people is good for us.

Anonymous said...

Well, no, it is a 50 year dictatorship under which Cubans are told to obey or else...so convinced they can change nothing without risking their lives, many Cubans decide to escape any way they can. They also risk their lives doing that, but they probably think they have a better chance at success there than by rising up agaisnt the Castro Bros.

At the same time, there is a phony confrontation between the USA and Cuba. This plays into Castros' propaganda and helps his mythology. Is the USA legitimizing the Vietnamese regime? Why is allowing Cubans to travel to the island "legitimizing" Castro? Why? It was Castro who for years opposed any visits by Cubans. Even today, many hardliners in his govt. are still opposed to it. Castro asks for the embargo to be lifted, so that his govt. can buy on credit from the USA. Today there is plenty of trade between both countries, but it has to be cash. However, if the US. were to unilaterally lift the embargo and end all restrictions, I think it would take Castro by surprise, and I am not sure he will like that move. Of course, the US. will not do that either. But it has no real reason not to do it. I am for ending the embargo, or what's left of it, along with all travel restrictions.

Anonymous said...

thanks, anon 11:25, for reinforcing my point. You think the longevity of the regime confers legitimacy. Others think legitimacy is conferred through regular free and fair elections.

Anonymous said...

anon 11:25, I see you have a strong grasp of history. The Soviet Union existed for 70 years before it collapsed in a heap of illegitimacy. The same will happen to the Castro regime sooner or later; and sooner if all its apologists and defenders got out of the way.

Anonymous said...

Plenty of trade between the two countries? Its all one way trade, as Cuban is allowed to buy food etc from US with upfront cash. But Cuba has no access to American markets, or hadn't you noticed? That's not trade by any stretch of the imagination.
Legitimacy comes from the people, your perspective is that the people of Cuba are living in a prison and do not legitimize the govt. Wrong, and that's why the govt had survived for 50 years and will continue under whatever changes it faces. If not the people of Cuba would have supported a movement to rid themselves of the govt, as they have done in the past. But if don't want to believe a majority of the people still support the govt that's your opinion, not fact, and shows how little you know about the reality of Cuba. Those who didn't support the revolution left, those who oppose it internally do have a tough time expressing that, thanks to the American policies of aggression.

Anyone who compares the Soviet Union with Cuba has absolutely NO grasp of history.

And for the embargo, of course end it and lets see what happens in Cuba. What are the Americans so afraid of? Why have they punished Cuba for 50 years -- because they wanted to do everything in their power to make sure the regime was seen as illegitimate.
Free and fair elections? I guess the US regime hasn't been legal for the past eight years then. There's one of those buzzwords that have no meaning -- who sets up the elections, who controls them? the only thing US policy wants in Cuba is 'free and fair' elections that will result in supporting American interests and policies.
I know of all the problems in Cuba, all the complaints the Cubans have, but what's more important is for the Cubans to solve them themselves. But guess what, they aint stupid, they know the criminal policies of the US against their country have to be stopped before they can address so many of their shortcomings, that's the position I agree with -- end the embargo, end the restrictions, treat cuba as a sovereign nation and not a wayward son that needs to be punished, and then lets see how questions of legitimacy unfold. 'when a castle is beseiged all dissent is treason'

and can anyone explain to me how the embargo helps the cuban people, these same people those above seem to have such caring for. how hypocritical.

Anonymous said...

cuba fought a 30 year war to rid themselves of the spanish; cuba had a revolution in the 30s against a corrupt dictator; cuba had a revolution to rid themselves of batista and the worst elements of the american empire -- fidel is the first time they've had real sovereignty. so dont tell me that if the cuban people didn't think the current regime was illegitimate they couldn't get rid of it. and please, dont even think of going to the 'but fidel controls so much no cuban has a chance to revolt' crap, because it would just show your ignorance of reality. It just amazes when one can't understand the majority of cubans, mostly in the countryside, still consider the regime as legitimate and support it. the ignorance is astounding.

Anonymous said...

history -- if one had an understanding of the history between the United States and Cuba then you'd realize why Cuba reacted the way it did. And how immature and ridiculous the American policy towards cuba has been ever since. And then put in context all those who rail against Cuba and why; they just can't deal with the loss.

Anonymous said...

U.S. this, U.S. that...blah, blah, blah. Half of Cuba would move here if given the opportunity.

These last postings are by the same miserable, alienated micro-minority that attempts to find some vindication of their whack-job views in the actions of an equally isolated regime that no people in the world would elect to live under. You are from the same loser stock that apologized for the USSR and its satraps for decades. All you care about is to see the United States "challenged" and the hell with the misery of the Cuban people. "Yes, they live shitty lives but its all the United States fault," blah, blah, blah....oh, and don't forget, they have their "dignity"

Anonymous said...

well goof, that's the whole point, if the US would end their criminal policies against cuba then maybe the cuban people would be better off.

Half the world would move to US if they had the chance, what's your point?
I have never apologized for the USSR, it was a terrible system and has nothing to do with Cuba's situation.
And here's your type -- the US can invade a sovereign country; support regimes that kill hundreds of thousands, enforce policies that keep millions poor, but oh no, we can't criticize or point to the real responsibility the US has. It's not all US fault, but don't be such a fascist to ignore the history of US foreign policy and the impact it has had. I know you think the US owns the world, and that's where you get your worldview. Such a waste.

Anonymous said...

legitmacy; is the chinese govt legitimate; how about vietnam? the attitude of lets just wait till it ends is laughable. you want change, engage, influence through positive; not through criminal embargoes. all that does is make sure the regime does not change. how is this so hard to understand?

Anonymous said...

why is it that any scrutiny of the internal situation in Cuba immediately become a debate about the United States?

Anonymous said...

Some people are fanatical. More Cubans fought against Castro than against Batista or Machado. Castro had tens of thousands of political prisoners during the 1960s. In the US alone, there are 1.5 million Cubans, many others in other countries. No competitive elections or opposition ever allowed. Thousands executed. That is how Castro solidified his dictatorship. It has been fifty years. It is a de facto govt. Mostly military, the Communist Party is nothing. It was created by Fidel in the mid 1960s, after dissolving the traditional Cuban Communist Party. Castro simply got billions of dollars in aid from the former USSR and did not use it to develop the Cuban economy. After the USSR collapsed, Cuba was left with nothing. Ah,by the way, things were much better in any of the E.European communist countries than in Cuba. Castro is a totalitarian caudillo/dictator unlike any other in the history of Latin America. Which does not mean there were not some positive things in Cuba during all of these years, but it is not the idealized society some fanatics want us to think it is. And they know it.

Still, I am against the embargo, take away the excuse, and the restrictions on Cubans to travel. The Castro Brothers dictatorship should do the same and lift travel restrictions on Cubans at home and depolitizice the whole thing. Cubans are still waiting and waiting for some promised reforms and all they are told is to "have patience".

Anonymous said...

Cuba has economic trade with Canada, the EU, Japan etc. It exports to those countries, yet the situation in Cuba is terrible. It has defaulted on loans from Japan. If Cuba could export to the US, little will change in Cuba unless they took measures to have a productive economy. Things have improved in Vietnam, not because it trades with the USA, but because it has something to trade wiht. It has transformed its economy and brought prosperity. The Cuban govt. is refusing to implement similar measures. So I say lift the trade restrictions. You will see that, unless Cuba decides to change, nothing will change. And let us be realistic, Catro's Cuba is not a romantic revolutionary paradise. They use the rethoric, but reality betrays those words.

Anonymous said...

who is romanticizing cuba; i know the problems there better than anyone. the point is anything that happens in cuba has to be through the historical prism of what the americans are doing. No other country would react differently.
cuba has potential to trade on many levels with US, because it trades with other countries doesn't mean their economy wouldn't be better if it had access to US market.
I'm in favor of lifting the embargo for the same reason; remove the reason for Fidel blaming the Americans, lets see what they can do then. Let Cuba see if they can develop like vietman; after they kicked the americans out they were left alone; and then the US dealt with them as they would any sovereign country; why don't they do that with cuba. the Vietnamese had the opportunity to trade with their closest and most important partners, cuba doesn't have that chance.

The cubans want change and want to show the world what they can do without having to spend so much resources to confront American aggression. How would any other country react to the economic embargo and terrorist attacks and all else the US has thrown at them?
American policy is designed to keep Cuba economically disadvantaged as much as possible, then they have useful idiots say -- look, see how badly Cuba's economy is. Open your eyes to both sides, not just continue to spew the same old propaganda.
I am not in favor of so much of Cubas economic policies etc, but no small third world country would survive under the same criminal policies the US has enacted.

Anonymous said...

U.S. this, U.S. that...blah, blah, blah.

Does anyone really believe the Cuban people sit around all day thinking they're poor and impoverished not because the system doesn't work but because of what the yanquis are doing or not doing? How insulting.

Anonymous said...

The problem is so many fanatics, similar to religious fanatics, who identify the Cuban people with their oppressors. Just see the passion in those answers. I am not in favor or the embargo, nor am I a Republican nor a Bush supporter, but it does not lead me to defend something which can not be defended: Fifty years of a one man, now twe men, dictatorship. It is outrageous, incredible. What will these people say when the inevitable happens in Cuba? They are sick as well.

Anonymous said...

well, if you knew anything about the real cuban people, then you would understand they do sit around complaining about the system and its deficiencies, and that they are also intelligent enough to realize how damaging the US policies have been. It's rather insulting to simply toss off Americas role in this.

Anonymous said...

he he he

it's quite funny to see the useful idiots continue to spew the gusano lines, and see how easy it is to upset them all

here's a little formula they all must read from:

Fidel = Hitler & the devil
American policy = Easter Bunny & Santa Claus
American responsibility = Nada
Cuban people = pawns to harm as best we can and then claim sympathy for them
Hypocrisy = priceless

Anonymous said...

anon 455

There's been a lot of over the top comments lately, but i do want to ask a very serious question -- do you really thing that American policy has no affect on Cuban society and its economic situation? It's hard to believe anyone commenting on a Cuba board wouldn't take that into consideration. Whether you agree with American policy or not, I just wanted to understand if you discount it in its entirety.