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Viva Cuba Libre!


#1

Viva Cuba Libre!

Eric Margolis

Long ago in Havana, my mother and father would take me to the famed “Floridita” bar to join a burly, white-bearded man and drink daiquiris.

He gave me his book, “A Farewell to Arms,” autographed to “Eric, from his friend Ernest Hemingway. Havana, 1953”

Those were the old days in Cuba, even before Fidel Castro. That’s how far back I go on this lovely island on the Spanish Main.

I’ve twice been in battle in the west African state of Angola against Cuban troops that had been sent by Fidel Castro to fight white South African forces.


#2

Will Starbucks in Havana serve Cuban coffee?

Obama is doing this as a favor to the bankers so they can issue development loans to Cuba and thereby enslave the people and plunder the natural resources.


#3

Yes, the bankers quisling is absolutely not doing the thawing of Cuba relations for altruistic reasons Obama is only following his orders from the oligarchy! Lets hope the Cuban government does not acquiesce to the banksters nefarious plans for Cuba. But having said that, it looks like it could be a positive move as long as the Cuban government does not lose it's autonomy.


#4

Many of the words the author uses are of US domination. Obama deserves some credit but his words in the past on many issues hid another agenda, and do with Cuba as well. The embargo stands as well as US control of Cuban territory at Guantanamo, both must be ended.

Fidel "seized US property" should read: stolen assets were returned to the Cuban people.

Fidel Castro "seized power in 1959" should read: Fidel defeated the dictator Batista, mob-rule, and US imperialism in 1959.

"Exiled Cubans and US corporations want their property back. Havana says no" And rightly so!
Hopefully NO property repatriated to Cuba in the revolution will ever be "returned"! Cubanos have suffered enough - economic servitude will never be the price of the end to US imperialism or stolen property "returned" - it stays where it belongs, with the Cuban people! Viva Cuba!


#5

Let's hope younger brother won't heel to U.S. corporate interests and allow in the odious likes of U.S. pharmaceutical companies (to mess with Cuba's free-to-citizens excellent health care), or Monsanto (to pollute the island's indigenous plant species with genetic mutations), of Walmart (to erase local stores with character)... for starters!

I can't wait to take a ferry from Key West to Cuba!

I understand that Americans CAN fly directly to Cuba from Costa Rica now.


#7

Ironically, when Castro revolted against Washington, Cuba was the vanguard of Latin America. Today, half a century later, most of Latin America has become democratic and relatively prosperous while Cuba lingers in dire poverty and authoritarian rule. But at least it was a clean authoritarian rule that genuinely cared for its people, providing high grade medical care and education that in some ways put the US to shame. - Eric Margolis

I spend a lot of time in Latin America. There had been a move towards more progressive politics, but the 'pink revolution' has been violently opposed by the wealthy and powerful. Look at what has happened to the Chavez movement in Venezuela, Zelaya in Honduras, Morales in Bolivia, Fernandez in Argentina, Bacelett in Chile. Now Peru is set to see far right Keiko Fujimori take power.

Rather than "Democratic" and relativily proporous, much of Latin America if rife with plutocratic economics, barbaric levels of poverty, deep levels of racist practice against indigenous peoples and Blacks, and deep levels of sexism and sexist policy. Cuba's economy is in poor shape and people's wages are low, but they don't have the exploitative practices of the oligarchy, latifundistas, mineras common in many Latin American countries. Cuba has been criticized for dilapidated and poor quality housing, but they don't have the favelas and 'children of the street' common in most of Latin America. Cuba has not completely undone machismo and sexism, but it is much better than the structural sexism practiced in most of Latin America. Unlike Cuba, where women have full (and free) access to reproduce rights and abortion, in many Latin American countries it is illegal for women to get abortions even if they have been raped.


#8

Thanks for that Steve_Fernandez, They seem to have a healthy society, a major accomplishment actually given the US opposition.


#9

This article is oddly choppy, compared to most of Eric Margolis' writing. Perhaps the reason is his own discomfort with the idea of, as he puts it, "a clean, authoritarian" system. Whatever the advances in health and literacy under the Castros, the reality is that a pair of brothers has totally suppressed active participation in the political life of the nation for 57 years and have made zero provision for any succession beyond themselves.

I agree that they have not been given to paranoia nor murder unrelated to keeping power, but anyone who voices any opinion contrary to their rule ends up harassed and jailed. There can be no denying that Raul launched massive arrests, such as of "the women in white'" in preparation for Obama's visit. This how the Castros operate and will always operate until they finally die. And then whatever good they did will be totally undone in the chaos hat always follows the end of a repressive dictatorship.

I think it was reasonable for Obama to extend diplomatic relations to Cuba, and to try to ease the travel and economic restrictions, but there was no need for him to go to Havana and treat Raul as if he were deserving of respect. The man is and always a murderer and served as his brother's enforcer in the wave of firing squads that marked the betrayal,of the Cuban Revolution many decades go. Cuba is not yet libre, Mr. Margolis,, and thanks to the Castros, is unlikely to be even after they are gone.


#10

Just returned from two weeks in Cuba and the subject of Obama's visit was viewed by all the Cubans I spoke to with a "will see what happens" as the most enthusiastic comment to, "Cuba SI, Yankee No" being the most skeptical. US policy is a long way from "normal" with Cuba and until the embargo is ended and Guantanamo closed and returned to the Cubans don't expect a lot of cheering on that gem in the Caribbean!


#11

Viva la Revolucion! and don't count on Cuba returning to American tutelage anytime soon. Cubans are far better off than most of the citizens of countries south of our border. They have been benefiting not only from their system -- which is more democratic and less authoritarian that ours, but from regional solidarity, trade and global tourism as well.

We have much to learn from Cuba, not much vice-versa.


#12

Shantiananda, I think you know that I respect your commentary very much so I want you to think about some of my thoughts on the complexity of President Obama's role in Cuba and beyond, in South America. I think the Cubans, in Cuba, admire him in ways we are not yet aware of because our history is distorted and inaccurate. Understand I'm not letting the President off the hook, he has much to account for... But, going forward, the United States will have to answer for its criminal behavior in the Americas and beyond. He can be helpful. I'm being hopeful here, that possibly we'll get Bernie and turn this thing around soon. Thanks.


#13

Totally agree Emphyrio.


#14

Thank you for your excellent reply.

" Possibly we will get Bernie and turn this thing around."

It seems to me, that we need to work on the around 700 super delegates that have pledged to HRC, before we can turn this thing around because that is the 800# gorilla. I have no doubt that Bernie would trounce Trump in the general election.


#15

Yes you are completely correct. I stand in solidarity with you and your views.


#16

Oh, goodness.

Is Cuba then the only country in the blood-streaked world that does not need to fear the United States, just because Barack Obama stood and uttered something in the syntactic shape of a promise?

Here in the US we certainly have to fear the United States. Whyever should Cuba not?


#17

Amazingly but we on this website should not be surprised, Obama just gave kudos to the
new Rightwing bankster controlled President Macri of Argentina.
The first thing newly elected rightwing President Macri did was to payoff
vulture capitalist Paul Singer who has been trying extort billions from Argentina for
years. And Obama praised his policies...
This is why we need to dump such Corporate Democrats - the tools of the plutocrats just as much as crazed Republicans...
It is beyond belief that Obama for all his kowtowing would go this far:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-argentina-idUSKCN0WP0B3

"I can tell you President Macri is a man in hurry," Obama told a joint news conference after the two leaders held talks.

"I'm impressed because he has moved rapidly on so many of the reforms that he promised, to create more sustainable and inclusive economic growth, to reconnect Argentina with the global economy and the world community," he said.


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