Thursday, July 2, 2009

Odds and ends

  • From a simpler time: A friend sent this article (pdf) from the New York Times, March 16, 1971, the day President Nixon unilaterally lifted restrictions on American travel to China. “It is the President’s policy to carefully examine further steps we may take for broader contact between Red Chinese and Americans,” said White House press secretary Ron Ziegler.

  • Reuters: Rising import costs, including a $252 million increase in spending on food imports from the United States alone, drives Cuba’s trade deficit up 65 percent.

  • Cuban pitcher Aroldis Chapman of Holguin, who reportedly has a 100-mph fastball, left the Cuban team in Rotterdam and wants to shoot for the major leagues.

  • Reuters’ Esteban Israel on reggaeton in Cuba and official concern about its “excessive popularity.”


leftside said...

And other odd and end, from EFE:

The Cuban government today announced an average increase of 93 to 166 pesos (4 to 7.2 U.S. dollars) from the monthly salaries for 545,000 teachers and employees of the education sector, together with the obligation to pay 5% of their income social security...

leftside said...

A whole article about Reggaeton in Cuba, and they don't mention that they'ce created their own genre called Cubaton. They mentioned that Cubaton lyrics are usually more advanced than what is typical but failed to note that the genre is also noted for being much more musically rich than normal reggaeton - often blending timba, salsa and other more traditional rhthyms.

Relatedly, my personal musical hero, UK DJ and tastemaker Gilles Peterson, was recently in Cuba recording an album mixing Cubaton and hip-hop artists with more traditionally trained musicians from Cuba, Brazil, Spain, etc. He called it "most definitely the most intense 10 days of my life." It follows another compilation of Cuban jazz that my other heroes Jazzanova released last year. The EGREM catalog has been opened and there are not many more interesting collections in the world...

leftside said...

C'mon White Sox, time to sign Chapman.

BTW, many Cuban players are having really great years this year - Kendry Morales, Yuniesky Betancourt, Yunel Escobar, Alexei Ramirez, etc. Jose Contreras is making an unbelievable comeback, after being sent down the minors for a horrible start, he has a 2.1 ERA in his last 6 games.

Anonymous said...

From Granma:
"Poco espacio y muchos frutos
Leticia Martínez y Lázaro de Jesús

"Los frutales en nuestro país prácticamente han desaparecido. Altamente codiciadas y motivo de orgullo local, las frutas forman parte indisoluble de nuestra identidad criolla y constituyen uno de nuestros principales atractivos naturales. Sin embargo, en los últimos años han escaseado en los mercados y puntos de venta de la red minorista nacional, encareciéndose cada vez más".

These miserable communists have even decimated the fruit trees with their mismanagement of the agriculture. Before anyone in the countryside would see millions of fruit trees where many tropical fruits were readily available at very cheap prices and sometimes even for free because there were too many of them. I saw this with my own eyes because I lived for 18years in the Cuban countryside and not in L.A.
How in the hell does someone screws up fruit trees and make the fruits disappear? Only communists can do that. That there are not more fruits available is a testament to the mismanagement of Cuba's agriculture by the communist regime.
Yes we know Leftside, now you will tell us that when you went to Cuba last you saw many fruits available and they were cheap, blah,blah,blah. But Granma disagress with you. And yes it is because of the blockade that there no more fruit trees because they were all imported from the USA.
The fact remains that even Granma admits there are no fruits in a tropical paradise place with balmy weather who in past yeras because of the communist disaster, produced a plethora of fruits available.
Another great triumph of Socialism!

Anonymous said...

Indeed, Cuba is a "developing" country today only because Castro UNDEVELOPED it with his hare-brained socialist policies. The only place where socialist command economies have ever worked is inside leftside's mind.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:37 AM
Everybody knows than even in the old defunct USSR agriculture was a total and abysmal failure. The collective system for agriculture has never worked in any country it has been tried. NEVER!
The USSR had to import wheat until the very day of its demise from the USA, Canada, Argentina or Australia for its domestic consumption because its collective farm system was not able or capable to supply enough wheat to satisfy the domestic demand.
The old Russia was a net exporter of wheat to Europe produced in the Ukraine before the revolution of 1917. After the arrival of the Bolsheviks in power it was an net importer of wheat.
Cuba was the biggest exporter of sugar in the world before Castro's arrival and now it imports sugar from Brazil to satisfy the needs of the domestic market. Last year's sugar harvest was smaller than the last harvest when slavery was still a part of the colonial rule in Cuba.
Today's communist managers are not even capable of producing more sugar with tractors, trucks and fertilizers than the slaves were able to produce by hand. This is so incredible it would be laughable if it was not so sad. The inefficiency of the communists when it comes to agriculture is legendary and has been well documented throught history. Cuba is just another example of what the communists system can do to destroy a nation that used to have bountiful fruits and vegetables and now they have disappeared along with its freedoms.
But all you hear from the parrots like Leftside is how it is all the fault of the US embargo as if fruit trees had been imported from the USA before the revolution.
It is Castro's harebrained plans like the ring of Havana to produce coffee, or the pigmy cows or the talapia fish, or the F1 cows and many other harebrained schemes that were the product of the Agricultor in Chief, the Geneticist in Chief, the expert in everything that thought that by reading a book in a week one can become an expert in such matters and once these plans are in his brain no one was able to contradict him.
It reminds one of the times of Stalin when he was touted by his flunkies as the best and ablest skier, the best mountaineer, the best writer, the best expert in cinema, the best marxist theorist etc,etc.

Anonymous said...

...and don't forget "former Major League baseball prospect" -- another total myth propagated by his toadies...

Anonymous said...

From the mouth of the biggest liar and bamboozler in Latin America's history.
Fidel Castro's own words in 1968"Además, se sembrarán también y se cultivarán las cañas necesarias para poner al tope de producción todos los centrales de la provincia. En los planes para 1970 la provincia de La Habana incluye una producción de 100 000 toneladas de azúcar más de las que había proyectadas para 1970. Y además, la provincia de La Habana producirá una parte considerable del arroz que va a consumir. De manera que se va a abastecer de toda la leche que necesite, del queso; se va a abastecer de casi toda la mantequilla —porque habrá, desde luego, otras áreas que producirán mucha más mantequilla que esta provincia—; producirá las frutas que necesite; producirá los vegetales que necesite, las viandas que necesite.

Nosotros llamamos vianda a la papa, a la malanga, a la yuca, al plátano; en fin, tienen un nombre diferente que las de Europa —y aquí hay que estar hablando para los europeos. Posiblemente los latinoamericanos que estén aquí entiendan mejor las medidas nuestras, el idioma nuestro, pero… Bueno, yo no sé si lo entenderán mucho porque no sé si los intelectuales están muy familiarizados con estos problemas de la agricultura (APLAUSOS). De todas formas, ustedes me perdonan si yo he hablado demasiado de este problema, no olvidándose que es la base material para todo el desarrollo cultural del país (APLAUSOS)



Everyone of his assertions and promises for producing food in Cuba were nothing but lies. The man does not know the meaning of the word truth because he has never told one. This past year all of Cuba's sugar harvest produced a little over 1 million tons of sugar.

Anonymous said...

Anon wrote: "How in the hell does someone screws up fruit trees and make the fruits disappear?"

Remember the Harvest of the Ten Millions? In an effort to corner the world's sugar market (an ironic goal for a Marxist, eh?), Castro organized the Che Guevara Brigades and equipped them with heavy construction equipment, to bulldoze the island from one end to the other in order to open up more cane lands for his megalomaniacal goal. In this way Castro destroyed many of Cuba's fruit orchards, which the people had used for hundreds of years to balance and enrich their basic diet of beans and rice. Once again, we can all say, with Lefty leading the chorus: "Gracias, Fidel!"

Anonymous said...

Leftside sez: "The Cuban government today announced an average increase of 93 to 166 pesos (4 to 7.2 U.S. dollars) from the monthly salaries for 545,000 teachers and employees of the education sector..."

After 50 years of Revolution, what a magnificent achievement, Leftside! As you look around at the expressions on the faces of your fellow marchers during Concentraciones of the Combatant People, Leftoide, it must make you proud to see the fervent enthusiasm with which the Cuban people greet such new triumphs!

Anonymous said...

It should be noted that today's Granma published that the annual cost of increasing the teacher's salaries will be 820 million pesos. This would be about an annual increase of 20% in the budget deficit although the impact during 2009 is reduced for only applying to the last 4 months in 2009. Cuba was scheduled to run a budget deficit in 2009 of about 10% of receipts. Adding 2% to the outlays will have an impact on peso inflation in the non-official markets.

Vecino de NF