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Generation Y

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I haven't heard anyone talk about Cuban independence around here much but it's a thing I'm deeply invested in from childhood. Does anyone here pay attention to what's going on right now down there? Do you guys realize that they repealed the ration cards the other week?

 

This means that Cubans now earn money based on merit. Hourly wages, pay according to skill level, merit based promotion... it's capitalism in it's infancy and it's happening RIGHT NOW!

 

Why aren't you talking about this?

 

Probably most of you don't even know about the 'peace concert' that happened a few weeks ago. When you see the picture I post below please realize that this is the place Fidel made all his famous speeches. On those days, for a large segment of the Cuban society, attendance is MANDATORY. The crowd in the picture is 50 times larger than ANY Fidel speech and entirely voluntary. Wreckanize the significance, Nos ayudan!

 

PLEASE, please, please go and check homegirl's blog on the daily, support the cause.

 

CUBA LIBRE POR ETERNIDAD!

GenerationY

HAVANA_CROP-1_N8920_616779a.JPG

 

Maybe the link wasn't obvious enough so I'm gonna repeat it.

 

Click this > GenerationY

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Wait...Cuban independence? Independence from what?

 

If it's the will of the people for things to change then it's a good thing. When it's the US government applying pressure to achieve its own ends, that's not so good.

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Your right. I dont know a lot of about the current political tidings, but I do agree with shai. Crazy photo.

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Wait...Cuban independence? Independence from what?

 

If it's the will of the people for things to change then it's a good thing. When it's the US government applying pressure to achieve its own ends, that's not so good.

 

WTF Shai? Why don't you click the link and read the blog. I never suggested you contact your senator, in fact I've never advocated ANY US involvement in Cuban domestic policy. I DO advocate a change of our own domestic policy but that has nothing to do with this. The only tenuous link I can find between my post and your response is that the sound reinforcement equipment for the peace concert was shipped from Miami. It wasn't an American sponsored, or supported event. You generally seem to get yourself informed before you run off at the mouth, why is this case so different?

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I know this is going to sound like a copout, but my connection is shoddy right now and certain sites don't load for me...and on sites that do work I occasionally have to reload pages a few times to get them to render correctly.

 

My comment was kind of in jest but more towards how the statement was framed...I'm trying to understand how independence figures into this besides food rations. After all, it would seem that ever since the USSR collapsed Cuba has been more or less on its own (save from some help from China and Vietnam) and therefore is a sovereign state.

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I meant independence for the people not the government. More to the point, independence for the people FROM the government.

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Wow looks like good things are coming for the Cubans, hopefully with this independence for the people they will be able to drag themselves up and live without constant interference from the government.

 

Will bookmark that blog and kep myself informed!!

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The US trade embargo isn't helping things, either.

 

That's changing also, pretty rapidly by government standards, but it's important to realize that while the US could/would be the Cuban's closest trading partner, the US is the ONLY country in the world with a trade embargo against Cuba. It doesn't hurt them nearly as much as it did back in the 80's. They've got a whole ton of foreign investment.

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Well, where's all this investment money going? The US may hold a lot of the cards but it's not the only game in town...if, say, Germany and China were plugging money into Cuba then they should be doing fine. My guess is that it's just bad management writ large.

 

I finally got that blog to load. I'm aware that they basically tell it like it is, but it seems a little overwrought.

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it goes into Fidel and Raul's pocket to a large extent but there's a huge refurbishment project in Havana. Lot's of rehabed buildings and fresh paint.

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The problem with Cuba I see is that the people are going to lose either way in the short term.

 

-If Cuba loosens some of its restrictions and joins the free market, they're going to be playing catchup for a while. There will be more money coming in, but with that comes material wealth and on the tails of that comes crime. Refer to Russia in the early 90s. Maybe they can corner the Che t-shirt market...

 

-If nothing changes, the people still suffer.

 

Fidel should have packed it in at the same time as the USSR...he hitched his wagon to the wrong mule, but whether out of stubbornness or ideological purity he stuck it out.

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Not to sound like I'm dismissing things,

 

 

Buuuut, my school was one of the few in the country that students were able to travel to Cuba regularly.

 

 

There is a fair amount of activism going on. Most the student's I know that went were in a spanish intensive training class and also focused on activism as a form of study.

 

 

Everyone of my friends who traveled there spoke of the vibrancy of the community and the beginnings of a new middle class.

 

I think Cuba is doing just fine.

 

Just as we are seeing the death of contemporary capitalism, so too do we see the death of it's adversaries. In this case there is a wonderful metaphor in the ailing health of Castro.

 

I think Cuba is in a fine position to see growth in the new world economy.

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Well, see... it does come off as pretty dismissive and a bit arrogant. I gather from your statements that not only did you NOT go to Cuba you also didn't read the blog. It's the same thing I was yelling at Shai about, at least he had an excuse.

 

Assuming you did click the link, did you miss the post about the swine flu? I'll post it here so you don't have to trouble yourself:

(the bold text is my doing)

 

"I search, without success, for a bottle of detergent to wash the glasses smeared with grease and fingerprints, which don’t yield to water and the dishcloth. Looking for the soapy liquid, I have walked part of Havana today, as the television announcers call on us to strengthen our hygiene before the advance of H1N1. The alert occasioned by the epidemic, however, has not caused the shops to lower the price of cleaning products, not even the cost of simple soap which is the equivalent of the wages for a full day’s work. Instead, the opposite has happened. The collapse in imports has been most notable in those that are used to bathe and disinfect.

 

The voice of the announcer calls on us to wash our hands often, use handkerchiefs when we sneeze and maintain good personal hygiene, but the reality forces us into filth. We lack face masks, running water in many houses, the simple possession of vitamin C to strengthen the organism, and cleanliness in public places. Thus, the so-called “swine flu” has fertile ground to reproduce. While it advances through our neighborhoods, the official media maintain their reserve and don’t mention the closed schools, the quarantined sites and the full hospitals.

 

This illusion of paradise is killing us. This wanting it to appear that we live better and that our statistics put us at the world average, cannot manage to hide the fragility of our society in the face of an epidemic that requires material resources in the hands of citizens. If soaping the body and having a bit of alcohol to sterilize the hands become luxuries, how can we stop the pandemic that is already upon us? If the September ration of soap never even reached the rationed market, how is it possible that on TV they call for hygiene without referring to the material resources to accomplish it. Is it that they haven’t noticed before that we are sinking into the dirt? They have to face the ravages of conjunctivitis, diarrhea, and the viruses to figure out that sanitation is not only a white coat and a stethoscope, but starts in the streets, with collecting the garbage, with showers in the houses and with a mother who cannot wash the plate her child will eat off."

 

peachy keen.

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The problem with Cuba I see is that the people are going to lose either way in the short term.

 

-If Cuba loosens some of its restrictions and joins the free market, they're going to be playing catchup for a while. There will be more money coming in, but with that comes material wealth and on the tails of that comes crime. Refer to Russia in the early 90s. Maybe they can corner the Che t-shirt market...

 

-If nothing changes, the people still suffer.

 

Fidel should have packed it in at the same time as the USSR...he hitched his wagon to the wrong mule, but whether out of stubbornness or ideological purity he stuck it out.

 

I think it's foolish for you to think there's no crime in Cuba, I mean, it's crime. There's both street crime and state crime all the time. I also think the Cubans have proven themselves remarkably ambitious and resiliant through the last half century of revolutionary rule. I'm imploring everyone to give them the chance to play catch up and undermine the status quo in every way you can.

 

This is the chance to force real humanitarian change in a place that isn't on the other side of the globe or on a different continent. Venezuelans haven't been risking their lives on rafts made of inflated raincoats for the last 50 years for a simple taste of freedom. Iraqis didn't want our help. It's like you gus are bragging to the homeless guy who sleeps in the gutter at the end of your block about how you're about to donate 5k to PETA so people can wake up and treat animals with more humanity.

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I'm all for Cuba being part of the world trading system, I have always thought it was just stupid that they had so many embargoes placed on them just because their ideals are different to some other countries.

 

Allowing Cuba to join the rest of the world gives the people of Cuba a level playing field to compete with the rest of the world and to improve their lives.

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I think it's foolish for you to think there's no crime in Cuba, I mean, it's crime. There's both street crime and state crime all the time. I also think the Cubans have proven themselves remarkably ambitious and resiliant through the last half century of revolutionary rule. I'm imploring everyone to give them the chance to play catch up and undermine the status quo in every way you can.

 

This is the chance to force real humanitarian change in a place that isn't on the other side of the globe or on a different continent. Venezuelans haven't been risking their lives on rafts made of inflated raincoats for the last 50 years for a simple taste of freedom. Iraqis didn't want our help. It's like you gus are bragging to the homeless guy who sleeps in the gutter at the end of your block about how you're about to donate 5k to PETA so people can wake up and treat animals with more humanity.

 

I never said there wasn't already crime there. What I meant was that as soon as the Communists really pull the plug (which seems inevitable at this point), most likely you're going to see conditons in Cuba that parallel those in Russia in the early-mid 90s. When socialist infrastructures collapse, people who have lived their entire lives having their basic needs provided to them by the state are going to get dropped into the harsh realities of capitalism.

 

So, let's see what happens.

 

Don't get me wrong, I don't like everything that goes on in Cuba nor do I think it's an idyllic socialist paradise...but I can very easily see the US military using this line of reasoning- "Well, we have interests there in Guatanamo, so we should put some more troops in Cuba JUST IN CASE."

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See, I don't think so and here's where I find you lacking. Unlike the everyday Russians who had a basically parallel situation with bread lines and ration cards that only covered 15 days a month, the Cuban society is much smaller and tightly knit. There is obviously the divide between the have/havenots but in Cuba there's not SO big of a difference. Nobody has ever heard of a Cuban oligarch. There just aren't that many people, it's not that big a place. The USSR was certainly bigger geographically than Austrailia in it's heyday but Cuba has always been the same size. The size of the game is infinately smaller. *Not actual numbers but..* Where the Russians had 10m privelged and 200m under the boot, Cuba only had 100k priv and 11m under. There are no global mafia banking schemes in Havana (well, not NONE, but), there is very little oil to exploit, except by the Isle de Pines (pronounced Isle de Penis)....

 

From the outside in the most prosperous and privileged Cubans are like hobos compared to the Columbian drug lords where the MANY Russian Oligarchs not only have comparable manpower but also a state of the art arsenal STOLEN directly from the old USSR. The Cubans have none of that, it's like you're comparing New Hampshire to the entire North American continent. Live Free of Die only goes so far when the entire population adds up to 12 million folks. In REAL nimbers Cuba's population today is 1/3 the size of California... and you're equivocating that to 233m in the USSR (in 1991).

 

Seriously, this isn't some American political hype stunt. There is no Glenn Beckness involved here. Read the blog.

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I did, for about three pages. At least you provide some numbers I can relate to, but most of the stories on there...it sounds treacly and overwrought and I can barely get into blogs as it is.

 

And there's a TON of oil off the north coast of Cuba.

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I agree that it's heavy on the sentimental side but she's a girl and I discount that. Just because she seems to whine a bit doesn't dilute the actual message.

 

For oil, the northern deposits are on the 'weather side' of the island, the cheapest and most protected stuff is off the west end and a bit south, not exctly penis island but thereabouts. To build a derrick on the north requires maybe 3 times the investment PLUS the weather interruptions. Personally, I feel that the wise invesment starts in the southwest though they are actively exploiting the northwest coast.. I don't neccessarily agree with the Cuban economic approaches, they razed the lowland sugar crops when coffee beans were at an all time high not realizing that the beans don't grow in humid lowlands and simultaneously acidifying the soil so the sugar cane won't grow there (abundantly) for another 50 years. If you're going to throw money at a problem (nationwide bankruptcy) you should probably try to pitch a strike, right?

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Fuckin spam, still let's all wish Yaoni a speedy recovery from her recent kidnapping/beating by Cuban state security forces and congratulations that she still got her email reply from Obama.

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