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(BBC-US)   The time is approaching when Cuban-Americans won't be holding our foreign policy and presidential elections hostage any more   (bbc.com ) divider line
    More: Unlikely, Cuban, Americans, reelection, Little Havana, embargo, architectural firm, Latin American  
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2174 clicks; posted to Politics » on 19 May 2014 at 6:24 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-05-19 04:21:26 PM  
Don't worry we still have a big population of ********************CARRIER LOST**************************
 
2014-05-19 05:07:50 PM  
Who?  What now?  That doesn't...I don't even...
 
2014-05-19 06:33:24 PM  
Because the embargo is used to justify why Cubans can't have anything, even though the USA is the only one in it. Drop the embargo and the regime loses their excuses.
 
2014-05-19 06:38:39 PM  
GODS ABOVE CAN WE JUST LIFT THE EMBARGO AND WORK WITH ONE OF OUR NATURAL BIGGEST TRADING PARTNERS AGAIN? JESU CHRISTI CUBA COULD HAVE BEEN A US STATE FOR CRYING OUTLOUD
 
2014-05-19 06:40:52 PM  
This embargo has been pretty stupid for the majority of my life. Amazing.
 
2014-05-19 06:41:06 PM  

Ambivalence: Who?  What now?  That doesn't...I don't even...


Short summary for you:

National politicians love to court Cuban-Americans, due to their block voting and residence in the huge swing state of Florida, and in effect, constantly pay lip service to the Cubans' main political interest: hating on Fidel Castro and maintaining the embargo.

It's kind of similar to how the Iowa caucuses basically forces politicians to pander to farmers and constantly sing the praises of BS ideas like corn ethanol.

As a former South Florida resident, I can attest to the stranglehold that the embargo has on local politics. Saying anything positive (or sometimes, even not sufficiently critical) of Castro is pretty much an automatic political death sentence. Glad to see that this overly simplified political litmus test is finally weakening in favor of more rational political dipolmacy.
 
2014-05-19 06:44:41 PM  

the_vegetarian_cannibal: National politicians love to court Cuban-Americans, due to their block voting and residence in the huge swing state of Florida, and in effect, constantly pay lip service to the Cubans' main political interest: hating on Fidel Castro and maintaining the embargo.


This is reason number 22786 for getting rid of the Electoral College.
 
2014-05-19 06:45:00 PM  
Wake me up when we aren't constantly saying "how high" when Israel says "jump!"
 
2014-05-19 06:47:39 PM  

Tarl3k: Wake me up when we aren't constantly saying "how high" when Israel says "jump!"


www.algemeiner.com
 
2014-05-19 06:48:52 PM  

the_vegetarian_cannibal: Ambivalence: Who?  What now?  That doesn't...I don't even...

Short summary for you:

National politicians love to court Cuban-Americans, due to their block voting and residence in the huge swing state of Florida, and in effect, constantly pay lip service to the Cubans' main political interest: hating on Fidel Castro and maintaining the embargo.

It's kind of similar to how the Iowa caucuses basically forces politicians to pander to farmers and constantly sing the praises of BS ideas like corn ethanol.

As a former South Florida resident, I can attest to the stranglehold that the embargo has on local politics. Saying anything positive (or sometimes, even not sufficiently critical) of Castro is pretty much an automatic political death sentence. Glad to see that this overly simplified political litmus test is finally weakening in favor of more rational political dipolmacy.


I can see that being true for Florida politics, but not national politics.
 
2014-05-19 06:49:54 PM  

wildcardjack: Because the embargo is used to justify why Cubans can't have anything, even though the USA is the only one in it. Drop the embargo and the regime loses their excuses.


Yep. It's ridiculous that the embargo has lasted this long.
 
2014-05-19 06:58:08 PM  
Why can't I just go there for a vacation before the farking new yorkers spoil it?
 
2014-05-19 07:00:39 PM  

Tarl3k: Wake me up when we aren't constantly saying "how high" when Israel says "jump!"


Came here to say this.

/The enemy of my enemy is a complete tool and money sink
 
2014-05-19 07:05:26 PM  

Ambivalence: the_vegetarian_cannibal: Ambivalence: Who?  What now?  That doesn't...I don't even...

Short summary for you:

National politicians love to court Cuban-Americans, due to their block voting and residence in the huge swing state of Florida, and in effect, constantly pay lip service to the Cubans' main political interest: hating on Fidel Castro and maintaining the embargo.

It's kind of similar to how the Iowa caucuses basically forces politicians to pander to farmers and constantly sing the praises of BS ideas like corn ethanol.

As a former South Florida resident, I can attest to the stranglehold that the embargo has on local politics. Saying anything positive (or sometimes, even not sufficiently critical) of Castro is pretty much an automatic political death sentence. Glad to see that this overly simplified political litmus test is finally weakening in favor of more rational political dipolmacy.

I can see that being true for Florida politics, but not national politics.


Except that as I said above, national Republicans love to try winning Florida and its 27 electoral votes. And given the penchant on Cubans voting Republican and the disproportionate size of Miami's population compared to the rest of the state, the GOP literally cannot win Florida without the Cuban vote. With the way the party has alienated Hispanics (including Cubans) with all of their anti-immigration rhetoric, their only shot at keeping the Cubans in their camp is to massively double down on the embargo issue and stress the "We hate commies more than the Democrats do!" line as much as possible.

Meanwhile, Democrats also love to court the Cuban vote because, for the same reasons as above, they see them as a traditionally GOP base group that is now fair-weather open to being flipped over to their side due to the Republicans' recent anti-Latino reputation. As a result, they try to play up their street cred to Cuban voters by stressing their support for the embargo as well.

It's not a coincidence that presidential candidates constantly go out of their way to stress their support of the Cuban embargo. Every election year.
 
2014-05-19 07:05:31 PM  
14 years, two wars, and thousands of American military lives too late.
 
2014-05-19 07:06:09 PM  

LordJiro: Yep. It's ridiculous that the embargo has lasted this long.


That's the case with at least half of our foreign policy. It's all built on inertia instead of stepping back and asking what would give the best results in the long run. We've accumulated quite to motley crew of "allies". Heck, if Saddam didn't get all froggy and jump into Kuwait, we'd probably still be sending him military supplies and talking him up as a great leader.

Cuba as a vassal state for the Soviet Union was a problem. But the Soviets are gone and Russia has zero pull on Cuba. It's pretty stupid we don't get over the 1960s.
 
2014-05-19 07:07:38 PM  
The Castros have done a much better job at running Cuba than the Mafia did before them, so the Miami Cubans can DIAF.
 
2014-05-19 07:08:24 PM  

the_vegetarian_cannibal: Ambivalence: the_vegetarian_cannibal: Ambivalence: Who?  What now?  That doesn't...I don't even...

Short summary for you:

National politicians love to court Cuban-Americans, due to their block voting and residence in the huge swing state of Florida, and in effect, constantly pay lip service to the Cubans' main political interest: hating on Fidel Castro and maintaining the embargo.

It's kind of similar to how the Iowa caucuses basically forces politicians to pander to farmers and constantly sing the praises of BS ideas like corn ethanol.

As a former South Florida resident, I can attest to the stranglehold that the embargo has on local politics. Saying anything positive (or sometimes, even not sufficiently critical) of Castro is pretty much an automatic political death sentence. Glad to see that this overly simplified political litmus test is finally weakening in favor of more rational political dipolmacy.

I can see that being true for Florida politics, but not national politics.

Except that as I said above, national Republicans love to try winning Florida and its 27 electoral votes. And given the penchant on Cubans voting Republican and the disproportionate size of Miami's population compared to the rest of the state, the GOP literally cannot win Florida without the Cuban vote. With the way the party has alienated Hispanics (including Cubans) with all of their anti-immigration rhetoric, their only shot at keeping the Cubans in their camp is to massively double down on the embargo issue and stress the "We hate commies more than the Democrats do!" line as much as possible.

Meanwhile, Democrats also love to court the Cuban vote because, for the same reasons as above, they see them as a traditionally GOP base group that is now fair-weather open to being flipped over to their side due to the Republicans' recent anti-Latino reputation. As a result, they try to play up their street cred to Cuban voters by stressing their support for the embargo as well.

It's not a c ...


My previous post ate one of the links:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/21/us/politics/21mccain.html
 
2014-05-19 07:11:05 PM  

scumshine: Why can't I just go there for a vacation before the farking new yorkers spoil it?


You can... if you've got another passport.
/dual citizenship FTW
 
2014-05-19 07:16:20 PM  

Im_Gumby: scumshine: Why can't I just go there for a vacation before the farking new yorkers spoil it?

You can... if you've got another passport.
/dual citizenship FTW


You can do it with an American passport if you just go from another country - I visited when I was living in Europe and took a flight from over there - they just gave you a card to stamp, much like the Israelis do if you dont want them to stamp your passport.

/fark the Miami Cubanos
 
2014-05-19 07:17:27 PM  

macdaddy357: The Castros have done a much better job at running Cuba than the Mafia did before them, so the Miami Cubans can DIAF.


I know this club...
 
2014-05-19 07:29:01 PM  

wildcardjack: Because the embargo is used to justify why Cubans can't have anything, even though the USA is the only one in it. Drop the embargo and the regime loses their excuses.


I love vacationing in Cuba. The people are very friendly, there is live music everywhere, the beaches are amazing, and I feel safer there than in Mexico or anywhere else in the Caribbean. Because there isn't the crushing poverty there like in other developing nations, you don't have desperate criminals mugging tourists.

When the embargo ends, and Cuba can sell their rum and cigars and sugar to the U.S., and when Americans can flood into the Cuban resorts for cheap holidays, the Cuban economy will be even better. If they manage to hold onto even part of their socialist policies for another generation, Cuba will be the jewel of the Caribbean.
 
2014-05-19 07:32:38 PM  

scumshine: Why can't I just go there for a vacation before the farking new yorkers spoil it?


1.  Get a second US passport.
2.  Fly to Cancun, Mexico.
3.  Fly on a second ticket from Cancun to Havana.
4.  Enjoy your vacation.

You really don't need the second US passport if you don't want, because Cuban Immigration knows enough to not stamp your passport as it might get you in trouble.
 
2014-05-19 07:45:40 PM  
Whatever happened to the Miami relatives?
 
2014-05-19 07:53:27 PM  
The embargo really is farking stupid.

Still I wonder what would have happened if the US had invaded Cuba after Castro kicked out Batista. That's what all the hardliners wanted, and yea, the mighty Cuban Missile Crisis was ended after the US agreed not to invade. Yeah, that's easily citable. Not going to Google it for you.

Still wondering. Would it be a stable corporatocracy with another dictator installed shortly thereafter, or what? A "democracy" like Haiti or the Dominican Republic?
 
2014-05-19 07:56:52 PM  

whidbey: Still wondering. Would it be a stable corporatocracy with another dictator installed shortly thereafter, or what? A "democracy" like Haiti or the Dominican Republic?


Well if the territory we currently run in the Caribbean is any indication, it would likely be a shiathole and half of its population would be in NYC instead of Miami.
 
2014-05-19 07:59:08 PM  

lilplatinum: whidbey: Still wondering. Would it be a stable corporatocracy with another dictator installed shortly thereafter, or what? A "democracy" like Haiti or the Dominican Republic?

Well if the territory we currently run in the Caribbean is any indication, it would likely be a shiathole and half of its population would be in NYC instead of Miami.


I know, rhetorical question, right?
 
2014-05-19 08:29:21 PM  

Brokenseas: When the embargo ends, and Cuba can sell their rum and cigars and sugar to the U.S., and when Americans can flood into the Cuban resorts for cheap holidays, the Cuban economy will be even better. If they manage to hold onto even part of their socialist policies for another generation, Cuba will be the jewel of the Caribbean.


When Bally's and Hilton build their resorts, they're going to want to be able to pay workers as little as possible. It won't matter if the local wage is equal to USD$0.50, they'll want to make it USD$0.10. So they'll wine and dine the government officials and outright bribe them if they have to in order to destroy working conditions. There's no way Cuba's working class won't be USAified once the money and the influence that comes with it starts flowing in from the north.
 
2014-05-19 08:47:16 PM  

EngineerAU: Brokenseas: When the embargo ends, and Cuba can sell their rum and cigars and sugar to the U.S., and when Americans can flood into the Cuban resorts for cheap holidays, the Cuban economy will be even better. If they manage to hold onto even part of their socialist policies for another generation, Cuba will be the jewel of the Caribbean.

When Bally's and Hilton build their resorts, they're going to want to be able to pay workers as little as possible. It won't matter if the local wage is equal to USD$0.50, they'll want to make it USD$0.10. So they'll wine and dine the government officials and outright bribe them if they have to in order to destroy working conditions. There's no way Cuba's working class won't be USAified once the money and the influence that comes with it starts flowing in from the north.


Yeah, that's why I said if they can hold onto their socialism for another couple of decades, maybe the Cuban people wouldn't put up with outright corporatism when the multinationals move in. Probably a vain hope, but maybe not.
 
2014-05-19 08:47:52 PM  
I say we offer to drop the embargo if they agree to take Ted Cruz back. The only condition is that if he somehow convinces them to make him President, the embargo is back on.
 
2014-05-19 09:05:59 PM  
Obama can't lift the embargo because everybody knows he's a goddamn Marxist and that would just remove all doubt and then we'd get to impeach him, but Hillary is in the pocket of fatcat lawyers and their big business cronies, so maybe she can get away with lifting it without causing too much of a ruckus. Fracas. Benghazi.
 
2014-05-19 09:13:14 PM  
 
2014-05-19 09:16:03 PM  

Brokenseas: EngineerAU: Brokenseas: When the embargo ends, and Cuba can sell their rum and cigars and sugar to the U.S., and when Americans can flood into the Cuban resorts for cheap holidays, the Cuban economy will be even better. If they manage to hold onto even part of their socialist policies for another generation, Cuba will be the jewel of the Caribbean.

When Bally's and Hilton build their resorts, they're going to want to be able to pay workers as little as possible. It won't matter if the local wage is equal to USD$0.50, they'll want to make it USD$0.10. So they'll wine and dine the government officials and outright bribe them if they have to in order to destroy working conditions. There's no way Cuba's working class won't be USAified once the money and the influence that comes with it starts flowing in from the north.

Yeah, that's why I said if they can hold onto their socialism for another couple of decades, maybe the Cuban people wouldn't put up with outright corporatism when the multinationals move in. Probably a vain hope, but maybe not.


It's always amusing to listen to  middle class brats from rich countries pretend like their bourgeois problems like "gentrification" are real concerns to people who are actually starving to death.
 
2014-05-19 09:21:12 PM  
(CSB) So my mom and my sister went on an educational trip to Cuba around 1999 and wanted some trinkets to give to the local schoolkids there. They wanted something educational. Fark that, I told them.

I went into my baseball card collection and pulled out all the Cuban players and especially the Cuban defectors - Rey Ordoñez, El Duque and Livan Hernandez, Alberto Castillo, plus Tony Perez, Luis Tiant, Tony Oliva and Bert Campaneris from back in the day, and a bunch of others. Told my mom and sister to hand them out to the kids.

Those kids may not get news outside the official Communist line, but damned if they don't find a way to follow their countrymen playing ball in the US. And when they each got their genuine capitalist-running-dog American baseball cards they went apeshiat with joy. (Yes, the teacher was delighted to keep this on the downlow.) (/csb)

Anyway, I want the embargo over because the last thing Fidel Castro needs to see before he dies is the failure of his communist utopia - maybe something in the form of Jose Canseco at a ceremonial ribbon-cutting at the new Walmart in Havana.
 
2014-05-19 09:21:33 PM  
I liked this part:

"We're beginning to realise not only the policy didn't work but it was just wrong and counterproductive," says Carlos Saladrigas,

BEGINNING?!? Fifty years, Castro is going to die in office (well, he resigned but was never ousted), the Cubans are as moderately happy as any 3d world country can be, all the embargo did was give Castro a reason never to change his policies--and you're only BEGINNING to realize maybe it wasn't a good idea?

So what, you want another 50 years to accept that it was stupid and wrongheaded from the git-go?
 
2014-05-19 10:11:51 PM  

Brokenseas: When the embargo ends, and Cuba can sell their rum and cigars and sugar to the U.S.,


farking A man. The Cuban rum. Took a shot when Obama was elected. Took another shot when bin Laden was killed. Took another shot when Obama was re-elected. And they don't even export the really good stuff. Anyone try the Cuban-recipe Barcardi when in another country? I haven't. Any good?
 
2014-05-19 10:15:34 PM  

InmanRoshi: Instead, the firm gives the compensation to the government, which then pays the workers-but only after pocketing most of the money. I asked several Cubans in my hotel if that arrangement is really true. All confirmed that it is. The workers don't get $8-$10 an hour; they get 67 cents a day-a child's allowance.


Well duh. Regardless of the political or economic structure, the people at the top will always leech off whoever is already beneath them.
 
2014-05-19 10:38:36 PM  

Somacandra: InmanRoshi: Instead, the firm gives the compensation to the government, which then pays the workers-but only after pocketing most of the money. I asked several Cubans in my hotel if that arrangement is really true. All confirmed that it is. The workers don't get $8-$10 an hour; they get 67 cents a day-a child's allowance.

Well duh. Regardless of the political or economic structure, the people at the top will always leech off whoever is already beneath them.


This is the same false equivalency retard logic that brings us "bof sidez r teh same".  No, your elected American official getting a golf vacation on Pfizer's dime is not the same as military checkpoints set up to make sure you're not carrying any cheese or meat in your belongings.

Yes, the embargo is stupid and pointless and the sooner it's repealed the better.     However, the sniveling bourgeois twatwaffles from rich countries who pretend like Cuba is some untarnished paradise and will have their glorious way of life  ruined by capitalism once the embargo ends are utter drooling farkwads.
 
2014-05-19 10:50:34 PM  
Cuba, an island paradise ruined by communists. A nation rich in wealth and ideally located to be massive trade hub but its people kept in subsistence living by a failed 19th century ideology that its supporters wish to see spread all over the world.

It is interesting to see people who cared so much about overthrowing US backed dictators gush about how wrong we are to try and overthrow a dictator who has killed upwards of 100,000 people and that instead we need to trade with him.
 
2014-05-19 10:53:09 PM  

make me some tea: This embargo has been pretty stupid for the majority of my life. Amazing.


Agreed. Our parents' generation is full of of petty, scaredy cat assholes
 
2014-05-19 11:17:40 PM  

Mrbogey: Cuba, an island paradise ruined by communists. A nation rich in wealth and ideally located to be massive trade hub but its people kept in subsistence living by a failed 19th century ideology that its supporters wish to see spread all over the world.

It is interesting to see people who cared so much about overthrowing US backed dictators gush about how wrong we are to try and overthrow a dictator who has killed upwards of 100,000 people and that instead we need to trade with him.


Castro only ever had power because the USA's support of the previous dictator backfired horribly. Which, funnily enough, is the same reason Iran is run by extremists.

And why don't you tell me how many people the Saudi royal family have killed? Or the Chinese government? Because we're on pretty good terms with both.
 
2014-05-19 11:29:19 PM  

LordJiro: Castro only ever had power because the USA's support of the previous dictator backfired horribly.


And all Castro had was the USSR supporting him. Their strongman beat our strongman.

LordJiro: nd why don't you tell me how many people the Saudi royal family have killed? Or the Chinese government? Because we're on pretty good terms with both.


Because our trade with both of those groups is so popular? Is that really the comparison you want to make?
 
2014-05-19 11:52:19 PM  

LordJiro: Castro only ever had power because the USA's support of the previous dictator backfired horribly. Which, funnily enough, is the same reason Iran is run by extremists.


In the diplomatic community, I think the proper terminology is "Same shiat, different pile".
 
2014-05-20 12:37:44 AM  

LordJiro: Mrbogey: Cuba, an island paradise ruined by communists. A nation rich in wealth and ideally located to be massive trade hub but its people kept in subsistence living by a failed 19th century ideology that its supporters wish to see spread all over the world.

It is interesting to see people who cared so much about overthrowing US backed dictators gush about how wrong we are to try and overthrow a dictator who has killed upwards of 100,000 people and that instead we need to trade with him.

Castro only ever had power because the USA's support of the previous dictator backfired horribly. Which, funnily enough, is the same reason Iran is run by extremists.

And why don't you tell me how many people the Saudi royal family have killed? Or the Chinese government? Because we're on pretty good terms with both.


He's a fool who thinks "foreign policy" is some kind of metal band. Just ignore him.
 
2014-05-20 12:57:10 AM  
InmanRoshi:

It's always amusing to listen to  middle class brats from rich countries pretend like their bourgeois problems like "gentrification" are real concerns to people who are actually starving to death.

How many times have you been to Cuba?  How many actual Cubans have you talked to one-to-one?  If Cubans are actually starving to death how is their life expectancy so high?  Why did every Cuban I've ever met seem healthy and well fed?  Ignorant troll.


Gulper Eel:

Those kids may not get news outside the official Communist line, but damned if they don't find a way to follow their countrymen playing ball in the US.

That is a cool story.  It is awesome to see how many baseball diamonds there are everywhere there.  My wife and I bought about a hundred baseballs before we went down there the last time and filled a duffel bag.  We handed them out to schoolkids.  They were ecstatic.

Anyhoo, when we were hanging out in Holguin, a city in the eastern part of Cuba, we went into a cafe for lunch.  They had a live band playing for the lunch-hour crowd, and they had CNN en espanyol on the TV.  Cubans are well educated, and they watch CNN.  It is not a Stalinist/Best Korea situation there at all.
 
2014-05-20 01:12:56 AM  
Putin should try to put missile batteries in Cuba. That would really highlight the stupidity of our lack of normalized relations with the island.
 
2014-05-20 01:44:36 AM  

Mrbogey: Cuba, an island paradise ruined by communists. A nation rich in wealth and ideally located to be massive trade hub but its people kept in subsistence living by a failed 19th century ideology that its supporters wish to see spread all over the world.

It is interesting to see people who cared so much about overthrowing US backed dictators gush about how wrong we are to try and overthrow a dictator who has killed upwards of 100,000 people and that instead we need to trade with him.


Compared to some of the Central American countries we backed heavily in the 80s, I think I'll take Cuba.
 
2014-05-20 02:24:29 AM  

DrBenway: Mrbogey: Cuba, an island paradise ruined by communists. A nation rich in wealth and ideally located to be massive trade hub but its people kept in subsistence living by a failed 19th century ideology that its supporters wish to see spread all over the world.

It is interesting to see people who cared so much about overthrowing US backed dictators gush about how wrong we are to try and overthrow a dictator who has killed upwards of 100,000 people and that instead we need to trade with him.

Compared to some of the Central American countries we backed heavily in the 80s, I think I'll take Cuba.


Pretty much everything Reagan touched turned into a clusterfark.
 
2014-05-20 05:53:18 AM  

LordJiro: wildcardjack: Because the embargo is used to justify why Cubans can't have anything, even though the USA is the only one in it. Drop the embargo and the regime loses their excuses.

Yep. It's ridiculous that the embargo has lasted this long.


It has obviously propped up the Castro regime - it creates an easy enemy and excuse to get people to rally behind the leader(s) whatever the flaws and problems they have created. If the embargo was working how come Cuba is basically the only remaining communist state, decades after Russia, China, etc., have all rolled back towards other economic/political ideologies?
 
2014-05-20 07:42:03 AM  

Brokenseas: How many times have you been to Cuba?  How many actual Cubans have you talked to one-to-one?  If Cubans are actually starving to death how is their life expectancy so high?  Why did every Cuban I've ever met seem healthy and well fed?  Ignorant troll.


Persoally, very few.   However, I've talked to many people who have gone on aid missions, and they say the people are living in deplorable conditions.    It's certainly a better judge of how people are truly living away from the facade of their resorts than snotnosed  twatwaffles from rich countries who report a tropical oasis who never left the carefully crafted veneer of the resort.

However, we can hear testimonials of people who live there, particularly after their sugar daddy USSR fell and stopped sending their support checks.

 Mark Frank writes vividly about this period in his book Cuban Revelations. "The lights were off more than they were on, and so too was the water. . . . Food was scarce and other consumer goods almost nonexistent. . . . Doctors set broken bones without anesthesia. . . . Worm dung was the only fertilizer." He quotes a nurse who tells him that Cubans "used to make hamburgers out of grapefruit rinds and banana peels; we cleaned with lime and bitter orange and used the black powder in batteries for hair dye and makeup." "It was a haunting time," Frank wrote, "that still sends shivers down Cubans' collective spines."

As for their life expectancy numbers, how are they obtaining this data?   I certainly hope not from the Cuban government, because that would likely be outright lies.  The Cuban government has to portray themselves as the healthiest planet in the world, because they export their doctors as their only viable export  currency all over the world in barter, particularly to Venezuela where they exchange doctors for oil.    However, the Cuban people rarely see the benefits.

As for the free health care, patients have to bring their own medicine, their own bedsheets, and even their own iodine to the hospital. Most of these items are available only on the illegal black market, moreover, and must be paid for in hard currency-and sometimes they're not available at all. Cuba has sent so many doctors abroad-especially to Venezuela, in exchange for oil-that the island is now facing a personnel shortage. "I don't want to say there are no doctors left," says an American man who married a Cuban woman and has been back dozens of times, "but the island is now almost empty. I saw a banner once, hanging from somebody's balcony, that said, DO I NEED TO GO TO VENEZUELA FOR MY HEADACHE?"

http://www.city-journal.org/2014/24_2_havana.html

Lastly, if the Cuban people are all living in their tropical Marxist paradise, why do they risk their lives traveling to America in crude makeshift rafts to asylum?   You think   Little Havanna is just filled with millions of Batista's former proteges and bourgeois landowners who just now decided to get on the raft 50 years later?    No, it's filled with common people who decided it was better to a quick death by drowning than an elongated death by starvation.
 
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