Author Topic: All Things Cuba (Castro, politics, etc.)  (Read 85570 times)

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Offline GirlFiredUp

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All Things Cuba (Castro, politics, etc.)
« on: May 04, 2004, 11:58:00 »
Castro Rails Against New U.S. Measures
Sat May 1,10:00 PM ET  

By JOHN RICE, Associated Press Writer

HAVANA - President Fidel Castro (news - web sites) said Saturday that the country would defend itself "to the last drop of blood," declaring Cuba unafraid of a U.S. measures to change the island‘s four-decade-old socialist system.

Speaking for nearly two hours before hundreds of thousands of people during the island‘s annual May Day celebration, Castro warned U.S. officials to be "calmer, more sensible, wiser and more intelligent" before the expected release of a report by the U.S. government‘s Commission for a Free Cuba.

The report is to recommend measures to hasten a democratic transition in Cuba and to provide assistance afterward. Cuban officials have speculated that the recommendations could include military action.

Alluding to the upcoming report, Castro said plans were under way to "affect the economy and destabilize the country" and talked about "the same old murderous ideas" â ” an apparent reference at earlier attempts to assassinate him.

Castro also defended a crackdown on Cuban dissidents recently criticized by the U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva. He referred to the dissidents as "mercenaries" in U.S. efforts to topple his government.

He said the United States should "not shout or complain if Cuba adopts the pertinent measures to punish the mercenaries. ... They should know that we have been generous."

He said Cuba "will be defended with laws and will be defended with arms when necessary â ” until the last drop of blood."

Earlier during the event, Cuba‘s top labor leader said the island‘s workers would resist efforts â ” even a military attack â ” to change the island‘s system.

"We don‘t know what they could invent after these 45 years, in which they after tried just about everything," said Pedro Ross Leal, head of the Cuban Workers Confederation.

The government estimated that 1 million people, most of them wearing bright red T-shirts, jammed into Havana‘s broad Plaza of the Revolution and adjacent streets for the morning celebration. Many people waved small red-white-and-blue Cuban flags.

Ross told the crowd that workers were ready "to resist and defeat even a pre-emptive war against Cuba, such as one the United States has perpetuated in Iraq for more than a year."

Since the United States launched its war on Iraq, Cuban officials have repeatedly expressed concerns that the island could be next. American authorities deny they are planning military action against Cuba.

In his speech, Castro also defended Cuba‘s human rights record, saying that the disappearances, torture and extrajudicial killings that plague other nations do not exist here.

Castro bitterly denounced the recent U.N. Human Rights Commission vote, accusing the United States of forcing other nations to support the resolution.

He said the prison camp for terror suspects at the Guantanamo U.S. Naval Base in the island‘s east is "one of the most grotesque cases of human rights violations." International rights groups have criticized the treatment of more than 600 suspected al-Qaida and Taliban supporters at the camp.

The U.N. resolution last month, adopted 22-21 with 10 abstentions, said Cuba "should refrain from adopting measures which could jeopardize the fundamental rights, the freedom of expression and the right to due process of its citizens."

It also said it "deplores the events which occurred last year in Cuba," a reference to the sentencing of 75 dissidents to prison terms ranging from six to 28 years on charges of working with U.S. diplomats to undermine Cuba‘s socialist system.
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jrhume

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Re: Is Cuba next?
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2004, 13:20:00 »
Anyone think there aren‘t several, detailed plans in existence for the invasion and capture of Cuba?

But the fact that the plans exist doesn‘t mean anyone has made the political decision to invade Castro‘s paradise.

Of course -- it doesn‘t mean such a decison isn‘t pending.   :)

Offline CheersShag

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Re: Is Cuba next?
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2004, 13:31:00 »
Does anyone think that realistically, they would go into Cuba?

Offline Colin P

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Re: Is Cuba next?
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2004, 13:57:00 »
Although I am sure there are plans which some junior major gets to update every year, I don't see any reason to invade. Castro has steadily pissed off everyone who has tried to help him and Cuba and it seems that everyone is just waiting for him to pass on. Both Canada and Mexico, which were long time friends have given up on him and the jailing, abuse of dissident's costs the economy more and more. Only Charez in Venezuela is helping him, mainly to piss off the US. Also he has ordered business people to give up their cars to the government and has stopped many combined business opportunities. He is cutting his own throat. Soon I expect the military and the party to see him as a liability, hopefully he will die soon and they will be able to bury him as a hero and rejoin the world.

The US will have to give up it's claims to lost property and businesses and help the new government join the world.

So in short:

The military does not have the equipment of money to threaten the US

There does not appear to be any attempts to harbour A-Q terrorist

Castro is on his last legs

No reason to invade, the US just kicks up their feet and puff away on illegal Cuban cigars while awaiting the funeral march

Offline Casing

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Re: Is Cuba next?
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2004, 13:57:00 »
I don‘t think they would, barring a major event causing necessity.  Castro is getting pretty old.  The US is likely just going to wait until he kicks off.

Offline CheersShag

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Re: Is Cuba next?
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2004, 14:25:00 »
Unfortunately, when he does die, that will leave his brother Raul in power.

If anyone is familiar with Raul they will know that he was probably the mastermind behind most of the repression and crackdowns that have taken place in Cuba (in recent history anyway)

On another note, he is still supported by billions of dollars worth of private business ventures from Spain and Europe.
That is one of the reasons I do not believe they will invade; There is alot of European money tied up in Cuba.

He is losing support in the region though that is correct.

Offline Danjanou

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Re: Is Cuba next?
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2004, 14:41:00 »
Che remember there is no guarantee that lil brother Raoul will take over. Fidel has in the last couple of "elections" (One man, one vote, one party, one choice, once) brought a few moderates into the inner circle and is most likely grooming one or more of them as possible successors.

If that is the case and Raoul has a problem with it, Castro is ruthless enough to have his  brother and comrade from the mountains dealt with correct?

Remember he, Raoul and your namesake Ernesto consolidated power in 1959 and all the other "leaders" of the revolution and field commanders died soon after.

I‘ll even argue that Castro had a hand in Che getting capped although from a distance. Sending him on missions to Africa and later South America practically ensured it. Better a dead martyr than a live rival.

There‘s also the case of Col. Ochos the Angola war hero shot for drug dealing after a secret trial. Another potential rival dealt with and  alittle embarrasment swept away.

Don‘t think the Yanks are not aware of this. The absolute worst things would to invade. That would get all of Cuba behind Castro, and unlike the Iraqui the Cuban Army can and would fight.

As for this latest little outburst. He was a about due for another one. He likes to hear the sound of his own voice, and has been out of the international limelight for a bit. Besides the speech was for the Companeros probably to remind them who‘s still boss. I wouldn‘t be surprised if we see some new round of crackdowns and/or shortages annnounced soon.
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Offline CheersShag

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Re: Is Cuba next?
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2004, 21:36:00 »
Despite Fidel being fairly Machiavellian in his power holdings, I don‘t know if he would have Raoul capped in order to get his choice for successor in power.

Castro certainly had a hand in getting El Che sent off, but really only by not stopping him. Che was wrong about Bolivia‘s readiness for revolution, and I would say all sources pointing to his death being mostly his own **** fault. For all of the things I admire about Che, the side effects of those was his hot headed arrogance.

With Camilo Cienfuegos I‘d say it is almost certain that the "mysterious" plane crash is much less than mysterious, in other words Fidel‘s doing, but to a much greater extent than he had in Che‘s death.

Where was I..OH yeah.
You are absolutely right; Were the Americans to invade Cuba it would reinforce everything Cubans have been taught to believe about the Americans through propaganda, schooling etc.
If anything this latest action by America is just to keep Fidel on his toes "We haven‘t forgotten about you" not a confirmation of the invasion.

If you want to see real crackdowns, wait until Grandpa passes on, like I said, I honestly believe that Raoul will make Fidel seem like a lamb.

Offline Danjanou

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Re: Is Cuba next?
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2004, 09:48:00 »
Nah all you have to do is keep the Havana Club and pretty jinteras flowing at the bar on the top floor of the Hotel Santiago in Santiago de Cuba, where lil brother hangs about in his pretty uniform and shiny medals entertaining foreign investors and he‘ll have no time for crackdowns.

We agree on Cienfuegos, but you forgot Castro did have Morgan the gringo commander in the Escambrays shot.  

I‘d also put part of the problem with Che is that he really was a poor tactical commander. He got lost in the Escambrays and had to be saved from a Batista ambush by Morgans column (that ain‘t in the official history) and Mike Hoare made him look like an idiot in the Congo.

Hmmm I wonder if DGI lurks on this thread. May want to rething my next trip down there. Ah well BKK has betty nightlife.
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Offline CheersShag

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Re: Is Cuba next?
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2004, 10:43:00 »
That‘s a good point about Raul, going the way of so many other LATAM Dictators, of course most of them were US backed.

I‘d have Morgan shot; Who trusts a Gringo anyhow?  :D  Honestly I‘d say anybody Castro had capped to get into power fits well within the ethics of politics, dead serious. That would be completely unethical in Western politics today, but in the jungles of Cuba where a man is planning to take Absolute power I‘d say that action is right on par.
Hey I never said they were really (/B)good(/B) men!

He was a poor tactition, but I think his definition of guerilla warfare had little room for tactics (Wierd eh) and due to his deep philosophic nature, he tended to focus on the people he was trying to win over rather then the people who were trying to kill him.
I suppose someone had to do it, of course it was probably his charisma and ability to win over people that made him a prime target on Fidel‘s List.

Offline brin11

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Re: Is Cuba next?
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2004, 11:45:00 »
How old is Fidel‘s brother?
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Offline CheersShag

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Re: Is Cuba next?
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2004, 12:09:00 »
Brin; Raul is 73 years old, roughly.
So it is entirely possible he‘ll kick before Fidel.
He‘s definetly a "Hawk" though.

There are many people in line behind the Castro‘s, So the government will not be going anywhere for a while (assuming the US won‘t invade) As Danjanou said they are most likely grooming more moderate upper level politicans for power as we speak.

If the US doesn‘t give up property claims, the Cubans will never give up and join the rest of the world. They will never relegate themselves to Banana republic citizens(Guatemala etc.) they‘re proud, proud people. They might not like Grandpa in charge, but my guess is they would like it even less if they were under the control of a business gringo from the US. That is with the exception of the Cuban Americans making a stink in Miami, and that is understandable, next to the Private American Businesses they lost the most land to the revolution.

Offline CheersShag

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Re: Is Cuba next?
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2004, 12:50:00 »
Not sure I follow what you‘re saying Maj

Offline Colin P

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Re: Is Cuba next?
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2004, 12:53:00 »
Not an expert, but I suspect that the land dealings that were done with the previous government and the US interest might not hold up to well under the spot light. Did the US have an anti-corruption law prior to Castro takeover? If so, the proof of paying bribes might make the land deals unlawfully.  What the US would gain from pushing this line is limited, they would get far more gain by bringing a new Cuba under the fold and helping their economy.

If the US did persist, the new Cuban government could give them the land back and then nail them with environmental cleanup costs or reduce their value by changing the zoning or just make it to much of a hassle. How many of the companies who held land are still around? Did the United Fruit Company hold land there? I sure the Mafia would like to get their casinos back!

Offline CheersShag

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Re: Is Cuba next?
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2004, 13:26:00 »
The united Fruit Company (Now Chiquita I believe) The Mafia owned alot of land under Batista (Alot more then Is generally thought) and Firestone tires, were some big ones. There were also minor sugar companies etc. That don‘t exist anymore, or merged into others.

I think perhaps the only land that could reasonably be expected to be returned to the pre-revolution owners, would be the land owned by the Cuban-American families now living in Miami.

Offline Danjanou

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Re: Is Cuba next?
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2004, 14:18:00 »
You know Sherwood you‘re right there is a moral right regarding appropriated land in Cuba. Especially that belonging to the elite and intelligentsia that fled to Miami in 1959-60.

As a Canadian who has done business in Cuba in the past and probably will do so again in the future, I would be happy to assist you with efforts in aiding those persons get some financial compensation.

One thing before we start on it you wouldn‘t mind helping me get finacial compensation for the land and property stolen from my family in eastern Pennsylvania when they were burned out and forced to flee as a result of being on the losing side in a popular uprising/revolution/civil war circa 1776-84 would you?

I mean after all the same principles apply right? And there‘s no statute of limitations on these matters is there.

  :D
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Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Is Cuba next?
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2004, 15:33:00 »
I would not assume that just because those lined up behind Castro are deemed "loyalists" that the transition of power upon the death or infirmity of Castro will be smooth.  It is entirely possible that several of the "loyalists" have very firm and mutually exclusive ideas about who should succeed Castro.

It would be silly for the US to not have a contingency plan to deal with instability or to seize an opportunity for a pro-US regime to be installed.
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Offline Colin P

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Re: Is Cuba next?
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2004, 15:49:00 »
In regards to confiscated property, there seem to be two issues

1.   Property seized by the state from large US based companies at the beginning of the revolution and made into national property
2.   Land seized by the state/party since the initial takeover from people who either opposed the government or fled into exile

I suspect that a new Cuban government would try to show that the large companies either left voluntarily (in a purely legal sense) or that they had obtained the properties unlawfully or a fraction of their value in the first place. They could also argue that the companies had exploited the workers and perhaps go after them in the US courts .

Regarding land seized by the state/party from people perceived to be â Å“enemiesâ ? of the current regime. The new government would likely have to set up a commission to hear appeals and decide on a case by case basis. If there was a major turn round in the ruling structure, then it is possible that the current recipients of the properties may find a need to go into exile themselves, which would hopefully allow some people to return to their land. But I suspect that a large majority will have to live with the fact that they have lost the land, unfair but likely.

Also the comparison between the Palestinian/Israeli issue and Cuba is not a very good one. The borders of Cuba have never been in question and Cuba existed as a nation prior to the revolution, so it is really an internal matter. Palestine has never existed as a nation and Israel was born out of a war between the Arabs and the Jews. The basic question there, is how do you deal with two different people , with two different agenda's who both want to live on the same land and by a set of rules unacceptable to the other.

Offline Danjanou

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Re: Is Cuba next?
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2004, 16:50:00 »
Brad,

You‘re probably right and there must be contigency plans. Hey Sherwood you‘re not the Major mentioned earlier in charge of updating them are you?  :D  

As to what's going to happen, I have no idea but it is something I do wonder about. Especially so when I'm actually on the ground down there and realise that if he goes and how he goes and happens then and there I may be in an interesting situation. (Might find out how rusty all my old infantry skills are after all.)

There is no guarantee that his passing will be peaceful. Castro started out as an idealistic lawyer (and pitcher)who overthrew General Batista in a bitter fight. Prior to that a young idealistic Army Sgt. named Batista overthrew a corrupt dictator with ties to Capone named Machado. A little over simplified but you get the picture.

A Cuban friend once told me a "joke" that basically said an election in Cuba was when the peons grabbed their rifles and went into the hills every few years and the winners came back out and formed the new Government, until the next round.

I was there in 1994 during the "coup" attempt against Gorby in Moscow and saw first hand Castro's over reaction to it (troops on the streets etc.) I was there for a couple of the more severe crackdowns in the 1990‘s including the one right after the Papal visit that saw several thousands of Companeros (including a couple of friends) tossed into jail and sentenced to a couple of years cutting sugar cane. I was there right after the incident that saw the Migs splash the two light planes flown by Brothers in Arms and again during the whole Elian incident. That last one was surreal, watching the protests on CNN in my hotel in Havana and then going out and seeing it for real.

Colin good point re Cuba and the middle east, there is no comparison.
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Re: Is Cuba next?
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2004, 19:07:00 »
To get back tot he original intent of this thread... I think there does exist a plan to invade Cuba upon Casto‘s death. The plan is not located in the Pentagon (although they have tried this before), but rather in Little Havana in Miami. This is where many Cuban-American‘s live who left after Baptista‘s regime fell, as well as those who escaped over the years.

These folks are hard-core conservatives who have supported the U.S. Republican party for years (these folks are why Bush campaigns so hard there, they also likely saved his bacon last election), with the main agenda being a hard-line on communism, especially against Cuba.

It has been strongly suspected and hinted that there is some grassroots movement in south Florida to "revisit" the island upon Castro‘s death. This will likely take the form of many ex-Cuban‘s and their decendants who are ready to take up an armed struggle to free their island. I have read several articles to this effect. I also lived in Florida for a time, and recall seeing mention of news stories about Cuban-Americans who regularly fly over the 90-mile gap between Key West and Cuba, in order to spot refugees who are trying escape from Cuba. Sometimes, these planes get too close and a MiG gets them.  :(  

Just the same, I think when the old man dies you‘ll see an expedition from the U.S., just not the official kind.  ;)

Offline 0tto Destruct

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Re: Is Cuba next?
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2004, 21:11:00 »
With all due respect, I think you grossly overestimate the Americans interest in the country. At the very least the next 4 years are a write off, as Bush is going to be pretty focussed on getting re-elected (mostly by not doing drastic like, for instance, invading Cuba). If he is reelected he‘ll probably be tied up with the Middle East. If the Democrats are elected...I REALLY doubt invasion of Cuba is on Kerry‘s ‘To Do‘ list.  

Additionally, I also doubt the American government would sit idly by and let a group of illegal immigrants take up arms and launch an armed insurrection from Miami. There are people on this site who are better versed on all things Cuban than I, but I find the whole thing far-fetched. Though I‘m having fun imagining a gaggle of illegal immigrants, armed with various small-arms (acquired through Cuban street gang contacts), paddling bathtubs the 90 miles to havana...

jrhume

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Re: Is Cuba next?
« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2004, 09:50:00 »
As mentioned above, interest in invading Cuba is low in the US, except in south Florida.

The subject of invasion plans has come up before.  All competent military staff organizations develop and maintain contingency plans based on relevant risks.  I‘ll bet all of us would be amazed to see the contingency plans lying around in CF headquarters and its various operational elements.

The US has to develop such plans for a wide variety of situations and that effort is carried out by professionals -- not all of whom are mere majors.    :)    

I‘ll bet a six-pack that Cuban invasion plans, in several forms, are extant in the Pentagon and at the headquarters of lower commands, especially those who might be called out on short notice for such an invasion.  Think about it.  Fort Bragg, Fort Benning, Tyndall AFB and others would be involved from the get-go.  The planners at those facilities probably maintain plans coordinated with an overall Pentagon-level plan.  I‘m reasonably sure they would also develop independent plans covering contingencies not mentioned in the larger plan.

This is the sort of thing military staffs do.

One possibility: How about if we have a surrogate invade Cuba?  
Mexico?
Canada?    :)

Offline Ex-Dragoon

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Re: Is Cuba next?
« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2004, 10:35:00 »
Well there is that old 1935 plan you guys can dust off JR lol.
I will leave your flesh on the mountains and fill the valleys with your carcasses. I will water the land with what flows from you, and the river beds shall be filled with your blood. When I snuff you out I will cover the heavens and all the stars will darken. Ezekiel 32:5-7
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Offline CheersShag

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Cuba Getting rid of the US Dollar/ Big UN vote Tommorow
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2004, 23:00:43 »
Well it seems the fall hasn't phased Fidel much and "removing" the US dollar from Cuba will go ahead as planned.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/cuba/story/0,11983,1336696,00.html

Also, big vote in the UN (if anyone cares anymore) on the trade embargo tommorow.
It seems there were only 3 countries against lifting the Embargo in the entire world.

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/NewsStory.aspx?section=NATIONAL&oid=62216

Danjanou, what do you think?

Thought I'd combine the two stories into one post

Offline Aden_Gatling

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Re: Cuba Getting rid of the US Dollar/ Big UN vote Tommorow
« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2004, 14:04:13 »
From the first article: "from November 8, these would have to be exchanged for pesos to be spent, and there would be a 10% commission."

Amazes me that Castro's still a hero to so many socialists ... [slow, barely perceptible shaking of the head]
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