Fidel Castro Breaks Silence, Chides Obama

A recent photo of Fidel Castro at his home in Havana.
A recent photo of Fidel Castro at his home in Havana.

HAVANA TIMES — Former Cuban president Fidel Castro broke his silence today and came out swinging in his first public reaction, before or after, the visit last week to the island by US President Barack Obama, reported dpa news.

“We do not need any gifts from the empire,” Castro, 89, wrote in a “reflection” published on the front page of the official “Granma” newspaper. Fidel said it was his “duty to respond to the speech” pronounced in Havana by Obama to the Cuban people on March 22nd.

“Each of us ran the risk of a heart attack upon hearing the words of the president of the United States,” Castro said in reference to the call for reconciliation in Obama’s address to Cubans, after half a century of hostility between the two countries.

Fidel rejected the idea of reconciliation, “after a merciless blockade that has lasted almost 60 years.” He recalled “those who died in the mercenary attacks on ships and Cuban ports, an airliner full of passengers detonated in midair, mercenary invasions, and multiple acts of violence and force.”

“Besides, I warn that we are able to produce the food and material wealth we need with the effort and intelligence of our people,” said Castro in the article titled “Brother Obama” and in which he also described as “syrupy” the words with which the US president called on both countries to “forget the past.”

Obama visited Cuba from March 20-22 as part of the thaw in relations that both countries presidents publicly announced in December 2014, after decades of estrangement.

Fidel Castro, who ruled the destinies of Cuba and its people from 1959-2006, did not participate in the talks between the government of his brother Raul and the Obama administration. Although he had not rejected rapprochement with the old ideological enemy, Fidel Castro has shown skepticism during the negotiations.

In his top of the Cuban news article, Castro recalled the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961 and praised his government’s role in the struggles of African independence.  He accused Washington of having supported the racist apartheid regime in South Africa.

“I do not know what Obama has to say today about this history. I do not know what he did or did not know, although it is very doubtful that he knew absolutely nothing,” said Fidel.

“My modest suggestion is that he reflect and not try to develop theories about Cuban politics,” he said.

In his historic nationally televised address to Cuba last Tuesday,  Obama called for democracy and civil liberties on the island.

Upon leading the 1959 revolution, Fidel Castro erected a communist one-party system that has governed the island for over a half century. The words of the former president, 89, always generate expectations in Cuba, despite living removed from power since 2006.

Fidel Castro is not involved in day-to-day Cuban public life and in recent times rarely publishes his “Reflections”, which he began writing after recovering from the illness that led to his handing over the presidency to his brother Raul.



76 thoughts on “Fidel Castro Breaks Silence, Chides Obama

  • Fidel Casto’s petty rant against Obama is impotent & hypocritical. He criticizes the tourism industry in Cuba, which he ordered created in the 1990’s as a means of saving his regime. Without the tourist dollars the Castro regime would have collapsed.

    Fidel claims Cuba does not need gifts form the empire, while Obama has been handing the Castro regime one gift concession after another, and while his little brother Raul demands more, more more.

    He sounds like a petulant spoiled brat.

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  • The rantings of an incontinent and addled-minded old man. Yet despite the rambling construction of his ‘reflection’, at it’s essence it reflects his embittered reaction to his failed efforts as the despotic leader of Cuba. He authorized the tourism industry as a means to attract hard currency after the fall of the Soviet Union. His criticism of tourism in this reflection is wholly hypocritical. He likely soiled himself let alone a heart attack having to watch a brave and popular US President capture the attention of the Cuban people in a way he no longer can. He lived to witness a mediocre American baseball team with Cuban players hold batting practice against his nation’s best. He closed out the week hearing about the excitement on the streets because of a concert by the world’s most famous Rock ‘n Roll band. Last week sucked for near-dead dictator. Is it any wonder he would rush to publish such a bitter response. It’s a little sad that those in charge of his care and feeding allow him to soil his controversial reputation with such babble.

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    • Sorry to break it to you boys, but there’s not going to be an American style regime change in Cuba. Neither by the preferred violent method as per Libya , Iraq or Afghanistan or by the drip, drip, soft smiles and handshakes method as preferred by Obama. They must be salivating in Washington at the thought of gradually re-introducing Capitalism into Cuba. Not going to happen. The Cuban Government is well aware of what the Americans are up to. I’m glad Fidel is still around to remind everybody about a wolf in sheeps clothing.
      As Obama said,” If something hasn’t worked for 50 years , its time to try something else” The objective hasn’t changed, just the tactics.

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      • This senile monarc that is afraid to be the past, that always mention the people of Cuba when he is referring to his family dynasty. Can’t accept the idea of democracy. That is why they always are opossed to free elections.

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        • Explain to the world what is your description of free elections? Do you believe that that charade you all keep in America every four years, is democracy? Democracy, to you all, means capitalism and exploitation, cheap labour, degradation and discrimination of humankind. This is what you all call free and fair elections! You vote for a person for four years as your representative and you do not see him until the four years are up? He does not consult you about any thing for he is a magician, so he knows your needs and your wants and what is best for the country The intent of the American system of democracy is for the rich to spend huge sums of their money to get their rich brothers and sisters richer, while the poor gets poorer. There is no humanity in the American system of Democracy. Where, in America,is it demonstrated that Democracy is about the people, it is for the people, it is concerned about the welfare of the people? Where my friend, where?.

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      • Despite the hard-on your comment must give you, the introduction of capitalism in Cuba is a foregone conclusion. It has already begun. Socialism in Cuba can not exist without patronage. In case you weren’t paying attention, Cuba has run out of Sugar-daddies. It’s time for Cuba to stand by themselves. The only way they can do that. …capitalism.

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        • You wish. Not going to happen. You can see what Capitalism has done to the US. They’re looking to Trump to get them out of the hole. That’s not going to happen either The rest of the world supports a Socialist Cuba, including the three and a half million tourists from all over the world. And most of the Cuban people do as well. Dream on my friend.

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          • In reality Cuba is hard had work trying to emulate the Chinese capitalist model in which the ruling elite can maintain power. I also find it interesting that the three and a half million tourists you mention are able to travel to Cuba only because the made money through…..wait for it……. Capitalism!! Oh thd irony eh Ben?

          • How many of those beloved tourists came from countries that have suffered from an economic/trade embargo for the last 55 years enforced by the most powerful country in the world, located some 90 miles off its coast. And by various means have tried to disrupt its economy by destroying/damaging its harbors and productive infrastructure Have tried to assassinate its leaders. Have had saboteurs financed by the CIA plant bombs on Cuban Airlines as occurred in Oct.1976. And the land of the free and the brave wouldn’t even allow its citizens to travel to Cuba for half a century. And lets not forget the Bay of Pigs invasion which disaster President Kennedy took responsibility for. Also the American Government encourages Cubans to get on rafts and If you make it to Florida we’ll fast track you to citizenship. I’m probably leaving a few things out, but I’m sure you get the picture. The American people, by the millions, are currently looking to a Donald Trump to bail them out from—wait for it— the Capitalist System.

          • 3.5 million tourists? Cancun gets that over a couple of weeks of Spring Break. The rest of the world gives a crap about Cuba. If you did, the US embargo would have ended years ago based on international pressure.

          • Moses, Every year the world showed its disgust with the American imposed and illegal embargo by voting against it in the United Nations General Assembly, Only America and Israel defy the world and support the embargo; but the bully would not take heed as it is hell bent on introducing regime change.

          • The annual ‘toothless tiger’ vote taken at the UN has little, if any, effect on US/Cuba policy.

      • Ben,
        You’re dealing with bitter-enders here.
        These guys will go down with the ship and cling to the flotsam of their resistance to an inevitability: the survival and success of the Cuban Revolution.
        You can read the bitterness in their sad, trite scribblings.
        ,

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      • Ben, have you ever been to Cuba? Capitalism has already arrived, it’s trickling in everywhere. It’s becoming old news.
        Cuba desperately needs something to pay for the socialist handouts, they certainly can’t afford it on their own.

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  • The damage and death that Al Queda caused to the United States pales in comparison to what the Cubans have had to suffer all these years, even if the average American is unaware of that history. Can anyone imagine Bin Laden having a professed change of heart, and being permitted to address the public or do a comedy skit ? Would any of them state that the past has become irrelevant, blame should not be discussed, and only the future is important?

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    • Don’t be a dunce. OBAMA was just a baby when the US, responding to Cuban aggression, initially imposed the embargo. Bin Laden would not have been welcome but his Al Queda successor, 50+ years later would be. The blame for Cuban “suffering” should be born primarily by their Castro dictators.

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        • Which part exactly?

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        • That is why all the old Soviet’s “Socialist“block collapsed? Total Garbage is what the old man is saying. In 1958 the cuban economic was superior to Holland, Belgic, Spain and Japan, Europeans were competing with natives for job. (Get any Cuban newspaper Classified for that era and would see) after USA, Canada, and Brazil, Cuba was the most powerful economic in the Americas. And the fact that today Cubans Important Mangos from Domenican Republic, and toilet paper from Mexico. It’s explain where the garbage is coming from. The second country after USA to have TV, and on and on XGet the Facts and stop defending the longer dictatorship in the Americas.

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          • Now that’s quite a discovery regarding the Cuban economy Olga. You better notify the Dutch, Belgian and Japanese, so that they can correct their textbooks.

          • ? I’d like you to source that. Do you have those text books handy? Because her statement is backed up by the UN. Even Fidel Castro has said as much. …oh Dan, please don’t be willfully ignorant!

          • Get the records from UN. I love that you only mention the Ducth, Belgian and Japanese, and omitted the Spaniards and Spain is the 6th economic in Europe today. It’s say a lot of you dear Dan. Easy with those Mojitos sunnyboy

        • Did you run out of words? Defend your position or keep it to yourself.

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          • Moses, The Patriot is so correct!! Free Cuba? The most educated people in the world? Do you want people to be freer than this?

          • On what basis are you making the claim that Cubans are the most educated people? Because Fidel said so? Besides, even if it were true, so what? They can’t do much with that education. So yes, I want the to be freer than they are.

      • Moses, Moses, Moses, When are you going to cease your propaganda? Do you really listen to what you write? Hear what you said a while ago? “America was responding to Cuban aggression why they imposed the embargo. Have you ever read the United Nations Charter Moses? The embargo was intended to starve the Cuban people and cause them to rise up and overthrow their own Revolution. But Moses, the great America was born out of a Revolution! What makes the Cuban Revolution different from that of America? America wanted to govern themselves, the Cubans wanted to rid themselves from the Batista dictatorship which was supported by the same America which overthrew their British oppressor. The embargo is illegal, oppressive, against International Law and condemned by the whole world every year at the UN General Assembly. World opinion says that Cuba has a right to choose its own pathway to Socialist development, the same way America has the sovereign right to pursue its capitalist development. Cuba is just as sovereign as America! Come on Brother Moses. I keep harping on the fact that you long for the glory days of Batista and they are not coming back Moses! So, begin to accept the fact that Cuba will be Socialist. It does not have people sleeping on its streets in the dead of winter and it does not have those same people dying from want of medical attention, The Socialist system is more humane than the Capitalist system of America and elsewhere. Capitalism bred slavery and either free or cheap Labour..

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        • Read the history preceding the embargo. The US embargo had nothing to do with Castro’s decision to become a communist dictatorship. It was a response to the Castros’ taking US property. Your biggest problem is that you are poorly informed. You should trade half of your passion for the Cuban people for a couple hours of uninterrupted reading of of the facts. I long for a free Cuba as determined by the Cuban people, nothing more.

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  • Hello from California. My imput: 1. We did not suffer damage from “Al Queda”. Go online to Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. 2. We must give the whole area of Gitmo to your country yesterday. Shame on Obama who promised to do that twelve years ago. 3. Pres. Obama is charming and well spoken but he has also failed this planet miserably by allowing the corporate/globalist/regime change attacks, murders and manipulations on Iraq, Libya and Syria all supported and instigated by Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Peace to this planet. Cuba, do not be taken in by Obama. Do know that the heart of the American people stands for peaceful co-existence.
    God bless, Lynn Delaney

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    • The 1960’s called and wants their rhetoric back.

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    • I believe that Cuba should and must change at its own pace. The Cuban people are well educated and capable of slowly making reforms while maintaining control over their future. While their accomplishments in healthcare and education are well known throughout the world, they do need to and must slowly evolve into an economic relationship with the rest of the world. The isolation and dependence on others is broken. Obviously there needs to be changes and a class system is starting to evolve there whether one agrees with that or not. I have witnessed profound, basic changes that seem to be at a snails pace from the outside but within Cuba are huge and will continue in the coming years. Change is inevitable and while it comes with great risks, I believe that if the system slowly evolves, they can attempt to blend what is best from both their brand of socialism with what the international economic order has to offer. I am hopeful that such an effort could become a positive example internationally. You must all admit that Cuba has defied all odds for so long, lets give them the benefit of doubt that they can continue to do so and find some middle ground!

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      • The Castro regime has prevented the Cuban people from making any reforms for the past 57 years. Raul Castro has insisted there will be no political reforms ever. Therefore your statement that the Cuban people are capable of slowly making reforms is not true. That capability has been denied them by the Castro regime.

        If change does come in Cuba, it will be in spite of the Castro regime’s best efforts to prevent it.

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        • The question is, how do ‘the people’ make deep changes in a social system?

          The quick textbook answer is, they elect a set of leaders who are committed to these changes. A corollary of this is that without (real) elections, no change can happen.

          But the textbook answer is too simple: take the United States as an example. When I grew up there, attitudes towards equal rights for Blacks in the South, or towards women in ‘male’ professions, or towards sexual minorities, were ENORMOUSLY different from what they are now. A huge change has occurred.

          How did this happen? Not by a party committed to these changes winning an election, and effecting a ‘revolution’, but by a slow process of evolution, driven by protests, discussion, debate, and the slow changing of peoples’ minds — and also by the passing away of the older generations and the coming to maturity of newer generations.

          Too slow? Perhaps, but that’s how it happened, and the changes, not being, mainly, imposed from the top down, are durable.

          Of course, human consciousness, according to Leon Trotsky that most conservative of all historical factors, , didn’t change easily. There were also powerful vested interests who had a material stake in preserving the status quo. No es fácil!

          Nonetheless, in the words of a great scientist ‘… and yet it moves’.

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          • The kinds of protests, marches and demonstrations which propelled the American Civil Rights Movement are illegal in Cuba and violently repressed, as happens every Sunday when the Ladies in White and their #TodosMarchamos campaign.

            In the US, while some in power sent police and fire hoses against the marchers, others in power supported them. President Eisenhower sent the National Guard to Little Rock to enforce school desegregation, just one example. President Johnson met with Martin Luther King Jr and the two became allies in advancing civil rights (contrary to the plot of a recent movie on the topic).

            Can you imagine Raul Castro inviting Berta Soler to meet with him to help advance human rights and democracy in Cuba? Ain’t going to happen. The Castro regime has refused all possibility of political change to their system.

          • Are there not discrimnation taking place in America today? Look at the disrespect shown to President Obama whom the white residents believe should not have stained the white house with his Black Presence. Has anything in America changed for the Red Indians who are still housed on Reservations and have no access to universal education and health care. From whence has America been endowed with the task of Speaking about Civil Rights and Human Rights? Look at its incarcerated population? Look at its support for the PINOCHET’S of the world who are the worst of the worst dictators of the world? Look at the way it has held those prisoners at Guantanamo Bay for all these years without trial? And America has the gall to impose sanctions on North Korea and on Russia! Look at America? It uses rockets from Russia to launch it trips to the International Space Station and yet turn around and impose sanctions on Russia. It supported the overthrow of the lawfully elected Government of the Ukraine but imposed sanctions on Russia who supported those in Ukraine who opposed the overthrow of the lawfully elected Government?

      • Bravo!!!

        No one can jump over his own head. Most of the violent social upheavals of the past that aimed at totally changing the Old Order, and replacing its rulers with a new set, didn’t turn out very well.

        Let the Americans worry about their own problems — I think they have one or two — and stop lecturing the Cubans. Just trade with them, encourage dialogue between the two peoples, online and in person, and when enough people (in either country) finally think that deep changes need to be made, they will begin to happen.

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  • “… Besides, I warn that we are able to produce the food and material
    wealth we need with the effort and intelligence of our people…”

    I wonder when the Cuban people will be given the chance to do this?

    What an embarrassing, deluded old man…

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    • Eden Wong, that deluded man is far more intelligent than you would ever be. That deluded old man sacrificed his life of privilege and went down to liberate the oppressed and exploited Cubans. That deluded old man, commands more respect around the globe than you will ever muster in your whole life. that deluded old man assisted the South African Blacks to throw off the yoke of the Apartheid system so that South Africa could have a Black President. That deluded old man sent troops into Namibia to liberate its people from the Apartheid stranglehold the white Apartheid South African Government had on it. That deluded old man sent his troops to Africa and defeated the South African Army which was thought to be invincible. Do you possess any feelings of Love, Respect, Compassion, Concern for the Less Fortunates of the Planet? America supported the Apartheid system which kept Black people subjugated and treated as animals and non people in the land of their birth. Did you raise a voice then? Did you raise a voice when Mandela was imprisoned for 28 years for attempting to restore the dignity of the Black man in South Africa? The Black people, the oppressed and exploited peoples of the world supports the deluded old man who ensured that their sons and daughters became the professionals of their land due to the free education system which exists in a liberated Cuba!

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  • It is sad that a man of such courage, conviction, and noble ideas in the 1950’s and accomplished much in the early 1960’s became one who could not acknowledge in the 1970’s that his hard left turn needed major adjustment, Tragically his downward trend continued for decades and he ended as a nonsensical old man who some still listen to because of the accomplishments of his youth.

    I blame Raul for not having the inner strength to tell his older brother that he needs to rest on his laurels and no more.

    Some of us wonder what would have happened if in late 1959 Fidel would have said “Camilio, I have changed my mind. You look after things here in Havana and I will take that plane to Camaguey and back.”

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  • Fidel is the Asterix of Latin America! Well done! And what are the Americans still doing in Guantanamo? Is that the place that exemplifies their brand of “freedom and democracy” – the systematic and monstrous torture of endless human beings? The Nazis did the same to their prisoners.

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  • If Raul Castro has wanted to challenge Obama, he could have asked when we can expect to see an American president speaking about human rights when visiting Israel.

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  • It s quite evident that the policy of regime change is still the objective of the American Government whether it is a white President or a Black President. What Obama wants to see more than anything is that the Cuban Government change its mode of development from Socialism to Capitalism and that is going to be impossible. Obama should have shown more respect for the sovereignty of Cuba, which, under the U N Charter possesses the right to choose its own pathway to economic development. I keep repeating this message over and over, “If Fidel Castro really wanted to liberate his people, could he install the same system under which his people existed under Batista the dictator? Can you refer to a man who has introduced universal education and modern health care service to his people a dictator when these same services were non existent under Batista the dictator?” Come on Griffin, come on MOSES Patterson, wake up from your dreams of the life you enjoyed under Batista which kept your people in ignorance and disease. Cuba is now a top class Medical Provider and the most literate country in the world even on top of the great United States of America! If to educate your people and to allow them the best Medicare in the world is dictatorship, let me live under a dictatorship any day. I would prefer to live in Cuba where there are no homeless people searching the garbage pans for food and where there are no persons dying for want of medical attention on the streets than to live under capitalism where these things occur. In Cuba, the dignity of the human being is cherished. In America, the rich must live while the poor must die. A few people must exploit the vast majority of people, robbing them of their human worth in order to reap the fruits of the land and to accumulate astronomical wealth, while keeping those masses in abject poverty, without access to universal education and proper health care. Do you think that if there was nothing of substance in the Cuban Revolution that Five Brave Men known as the Cuban Five, would have sacrificed sixteen years of their lives in American prisons to protect it? This is a new pathway to development for under developed countries and Cuba is the Light House and that is why America wants to kill the Revolution. But the Cuban people are intent on protecting their Revolution. They have resisted the Americans for over fifty years and they will continue to do so.for another fifty. Obama needed to apologize to the Cuban people for attempting to destroy their Revolution with the imposition of that illegal and barbaric embargo that was introduced and which is against International Law and the Charter of the United Nations!

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    • Your ignorance of life in Cuba today and before and your mindless repetition of the Cuban dictatorship is juts appalling. Go and live in Cuba as a Cuban for a month and you will chneg your song.

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      • I have had the good fortune of visiting Cuba three times. I have also had the good fortune of meeting Cubans in my own country where they come to work as Doctors, engineers, Specialists and they are well loved by my people. I have seen students from my country return from Cuba where they were trained free of charge in the profession of their choice. I am a proud member of my island’s Cuba Friendship Association. I have been to America on several occasions and, to tell you the truth, I would not live there. I have met well trained Cuban Doctors, I have met Specialists in the Medical field who ended up driving a taxis in order to survive. I have seen Cubans who are frustrated in trying to make ends meet for America is not an easy place to live, The American dream is an elusive dream. If America is the land dripping with milk and honey, why is there so much discrimination? Look how they treat their first Black President and the most educated of them all? If America is the land of opportunity, why are there so many murders and robberies and rape and exploitation?

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        • I think that we should look beyond the rhetoric. Instead lets look at some facts. Cuban doctors are the ones risking their lives to come to the USA. You don’t see ANY American doctors fleeing to Cuba. I think that pretty much says it all. ….Don’t you?

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          • No Corade Informed, for I would like to inform you that there are Americans who go through Mexico and Canada to vist Cuba for Medical attention where it is better, where the Doctors are more humanely interested in the patient and not in the accumulation of wealth. Stop burying your head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich and learn the truth. America has been a Nation for how many years now? (1775-2016) The Cuban Revolution came into existence from 1959 (57) years. Its people are more and better educated than in America, its people can access free medical attention, there are no exploitation of its people , the crime rate is very low, the people have a say in the running of their country. The reason why American Doctors are not fleeing to Cuba is because they would not be allowed to fleece the Cuban patients and they would not be able to supply the kind of humane treatment supplied by the Cuban Doctors who see their patients as human beings and not as money machines to make them rich

          • You’re response is absurd.

          • There is a clinic in Havana set up to bilk gullible foreigners desperate for cheap medical care. In contrast to the majority of medical clinics & hospitals in Cuba, this clinic was first rate facilities and plentiful supplies. It is yet another example of the corrupt apartheid system the Castro regime runs on.

          • Brother Griffin, When are you going to face up to the truth eh? Cuba is a first rate Medical country which has developed medicines for many ailments! You are a very bitter man bother Griffin and, hatred is a cancer which does more harm to the person in whom it is stored than the person on whom it is poured. The 1959 Revolution has brought more benefits to the vast majority of the Cuban people than they enjoyed under the Batista dictatorship which was supported by the United States of America! Why are you so bitter against the Revolution and its leaders? Were you one of the oligarchs who was fleecing the ordinary oppressed and exploited Cuban people in order to attain wealth? Those days will never return. If you are liberated and are now seeing the light, would you return to the darkness of ignorance disease, illiteracy and hopelessness? Of Course Not!!

        • I was born in Cuba and lived there from 1953 till 2001. I traveled the whole island because of work, and I was lucky enough to be in touch with all levels of the Cuba society, from diplomats, foreign investors, tourist and US citizens fleeing US justice to the humblest fishermen, street hustlers, farmers, and people from the eastern provinces living illegally in Havana. I still have relatives and friends living there who I keep in touch with.

          Who do you think has a more complete knowledge of what Cuba is about?

          Isn’t curious that there is not immigration into Cuba? Being the paradise you think it is there should be lines of people trying to go to live there.

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    • I can’t speak for Griffin but I wasn’t born until after the Castro dictatorship began. I never “enjoyed” the Batista regime. If you would prefer to live in Cuba, don’t you move there? There are homeless people in Cuba. There are people searching garbage bins for food and people in Cuba have died due to inadequate medical attention. Your delusion of a Socialist paradise does not exist.

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      • Moses, you again? In my island, two women were cursing; one of them had an ulcered foot. The one with the ulcered foot began cursing the other lady, telling her that she has a big ulcered foot and why she does not go and look after it..

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    • Kennedy Earle Clark: assuming you accept this is 2016 and we cannot change history, some simply yes or no questions?
      1) Should President Obama have gone to Cuba? yes or no?
      2) Should President Obama have said what he did to move reconciliation between the two countries forward? yes or no?
      3) Should President Obama continue what he is doing to ease the trade embargo? yes or no?
      4) Did Fidel Castro offer any meaningful thoughts on reconciliation? Or, did he just rehash his interpretation of past problems? yes or no?

      Simple questions. Simple answers. Please respond yes or no.

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      • Brother Bob, I applaud Obama for going to Cuba and for breaking the thaw in the relationship between the two countries. Obama should have apologized to the Cuban people for the downing of the Airline in 1976. He should have apologized for the fact that the terrorist of this terror act is still walking the Streets of America a frre man. He should have apologized for not being able to return the Guantanamo to the Cuban people. How can you tell me that you want byegones to be byegones but you still have the embargo stifling and starving me? How do you want the relationship to improve when you still impose stiff penalties on companies who trade parts made in your country. You claim that you love me but all you come with is empty talk?

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        • Do you agree that the last 57 years have provided a long long litany of misdeeds by both sides? A generation or two could pass debating each of them. Instead most think it is time to focus on the future.

          Why did Obama not apologize for harboring Carriles who blew up Cubana 455? Same reason Cuba has not apologized for their Air Force shooting down the unarmed Brothers to the Rescue Cessnas in international waters.

          Why did Obama not apologize for the Guantanamo Naval Base? Same reason Cuba has never apologized for expropriating all the US assets following the Triumph of the Revolution and never making any attempt to negotiate any payments for them.

          If you believe the embargo is stifling and starving Cuban people, you have not spent much time in Cuba (I live there part time)

          It appears you have been drinking too much of the Cuban government KoolAid and ignoring the realities of history and actual life in Cuba. I live with a Communist in Cuba and she has a more rational grip on reality than you.

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          • Brother Bob, if Cuban Kool Aid is made in Cuba, then it has to be good and I will drink it any time. Next time you visit Cuba, see if you find any homeless people on the streets; see if you find anyone dying from want of medical attention or that they cannot access medical attention because they are not insured? Find out if anyone is unable to pursue the career of his/her choice because they do not possess sufficient funds to attend univerity. Point out anyone who has to work six and seven jobs in order for them to make ends meet. When you have discovered all these things I will engage you in discussion and I will renounce my Socialist beliefs and ideas through this media, Havana Times.

    • Kennedy, there is avast gulf between what you wrote and reality.

      I’m Canadian, not Cuban. I’m on record here as opposing Batista and supporting the Cuban people in their rebellion against that hated, corrupt dictator. So give up your cheap game of accusing all critics of Castro of being die-hard Batistianos.

      When Castro was in the hills of the Sierra Maestra, he promised to restore the Cuban constitution of 1940 and hold free & fair multiparty elections. But as soon as he seized power, Fidel broke that promise.

      The Castros strangled the Cuban Revolution. Cuban healthcare is a disaster. Cuban education is useless. The Cuban system is riddled with corruption. You say you would prefer to live in Cuba, yet you don’t.

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      • I do not care if you are Canadian or whoever. If Fidel promised to restore the 1940 Constitution and he and his comrades found it unfit to meet the aspirations of his people, he and they have a right to change it. Cuba has one of the best Democratic policies in the world. You keep referring to Fidel as if the Cuban people do not have a say? You vote for a representative in America for four years and you never see him/ her once in that four years. George Bush took America to war with Iraq against the advice of the United Nation and did not even consult with the American people just because he wanted to be elected for a second term. Stop criticizing Cuba in its efforts to bring a better life to its inhabitants. Criticize the system in America where you have rampant racism, high crime rates, homeless people, illiterate people and the klu klux klan!!

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        • Castro never had the slightest intention of honouring his promises or preserving the Cuban constitution. On February 13th 1959, Fidel Castro promulgated the Fundamental Law, making himself dictator. He did so without consulting the Cuban people at all. The Law was published and that was it.

          It doesn’t matter how much you hate the USA, where I assume you chose to live. Social problems in America do not undo the crimes of the Castros, nor do they make Cuba the paradise you pretend it is. The reality of life in Cuba is there fore you to see as it is.

          And for the record: Bush did go to the US people for authorization to invade Iraq. Congress passed the authorization by a huge margin and polls of US public opinion were highly supportive. The fact that he was elected to a 2nd term proves that the majority of US voters continued to support him even as the difficulties in Iraq increased.

          Have you noticed the irony that Obama was elected on a promise to “end the war in Iraq” and will now end his term as US troops are returning to battle in that country? The lesson for you & other progressives in that scenario is that you cannot rely on magical thinking to guide foreign policy. Obama didn’t end the war in Iraq just because he aid it was over. Similarly, Obama cannot make Cuba a better place simply by ignoring the countless human rights abuses of the Castro regime.

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  • Many Cubans still love their ex-leader, and it is a shame that there seems to be no filter to prevent this kind of demented outbursts.

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  • gracias Fidel Viva Fidel
    It’s good to know this lion still have what it takes , some of the American commentaries describe Cuba as slave economy , I wonder which definition they used to describe slavery ,
    what about American workers who are tied down to their jobs with no hope of moving forward crippled worrying about health insurance ability to pay mortgages and to provide for the children ,
    what about American senior citizens you have a choice between medicine or keeping the lights on ,
    don’t forget American doctors who demand thousands of dollars retainer before they operate on a seriously critically injured patient ,
    yes they’re going to say emergency rooms for free accept what they don’t tell you it’s the basics all what they do is make sure patience could walk out of the hospital on there own feet that’s all they care about ,
    United States of America is the ultimate slave economy except the slave master in the American system figured out how to have the slaves take care of themselves ,
    I realized all of this after I became injured on the job immediately I went from being a valuable employee becoming a parasite sucking blood living off the system the fact that I paid into my disability did not matter ,
    Iended up in the hands of merciless doctors who are nothing more than hit doctors for the insurance companies ,
    and my private capitalist disability income Compensation Insurance that I purchased for such an occasion told me that I have to file for disability with the government for the collector ,
    president Fidel is absolutely right we may have to do business with the Devil but we don’t have to surrender over to him ,
    keeping in line that whatever the devil gives will eventually take back 10 folds over ,
    I’m not referring to President Obama but definitely to the American system of government

    Reply
    • Who says Cuba is a slave economy Nidal? ….Cubans do. Like the popular Cuban saying goes “the Cuban government pretends to pay us, and we pretend to work”. I think that says it best, don’t you?

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      • That is actually an old Soviet saying .

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        • Really? I didn’t know that. I always thought it was a Cuban saying. ….I learn something new every day.

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          • No you are right. It is a Cuban saying

    • Bravo Brother Nidal. They want everybody to gobble up the American system as if it is the best system in the world. A lot of those Cubans are shocked at what they discovered when they landed in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Now that the travel restrictions have been lifted, you will see how many of them returni;g home to recieve real medical attention, House rent alone is killing them and they are exploited by their same Cubans for that that is the system, The system in Cuba is more just and humane. Everybody is given a fair chance to live and enjoy life. Viva Cuba! Viva Fidel! Viva the Cuban Revolution. Viva The Cuban Patriots who are the Defenders of the Revolution! Viva Comrade Raul!

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      • when I first moved to Los Angeles one of the things that surprised me is , I had to drive 60 minutes to see a friend or relative , when someone move to United States the social life that they know comes to an end , a new one begins , the one where you have to live behind the wheel always in a rush going from one place to another trying to get things done somehow not enough time and not enough money to get things done no matter how much money you have ,
        I traveled to South America to the city of La Calera in Chile I was impressed ,the quality of the social life they have is amazing , businesses shut down at 12 and lunch time last for 3 hours , that is a life worth living when you have time to live life and enjoy family and friends ,
        in the American society you have friends as long as you have business something to do with , the minute business comes to an end so does your friendship ,
        I came across a lady from France who lived a long time in United States until she had a chronic health conditions she chose to go back to France ,
        I agree with you United States of America is more at smoke screens and mirrors , America that used to exist does not exist anymore , this is the first generation in US history where the younger generation anticipate that they will have less living standards then the parents never mind being an immigrant from a different country

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  • A new leader of Cuba will come about in 2018. Anyone want to take a guess ?

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  • Utopian society does not exist , change is a constant factor of life , I myself wish the best for Cuban Society , the last thing I wish for them or anybody else is to copy the American system and live like Americans after all if everyone on this planet live like Americans we would need five planets to support them , if Cuban Society lay the foundation for the future On Solid Ground it will be there for generations to enjoy ,
    To open the floodgates and a law the Americans to dump toxic waste way of life would be an absolute disaster for the environment and the people that live in it , Cuban society today is one of the most educated Society on the planet , wealth and richness is not measured by money alone , there is more to life them to spend life collecting junk that you probably never use as Americans do .
    Down the street from my house one of my neighbors defaulted on his mortgage , after a process takes place mortgage holder hired thugs came over to his house broke the door down took all his furniture and everything else inside the house dump it on the sidewalk where normally they leave the trash , it was on the street for whoever wants to pick it up , there’s not enough space in this comment to say what I want to say , think hard before you change , American System it is not what it’s made out to be .

    Reply
  • “…Fidel, Castro erected a communist one-party system …..”
    No he did not.
    He erected a one party system that was not communist.
    It was/is led by the Cuban Communist Party.
    The party is title Communist but is in no way communist since communism is centered upon bottom-up democratic operation ( as in COMMUNes) and at any rate is only intended as a utopian future state.
    Cuba’s economic system is STATE capitalist . The difference ?
    In place of private individuals and boards state capitalism has state officials to determine (still from the top as in free enterprise) how the work will be done and how the profits are distributed.
    It cannot even be called socialist because it is not democratic .
    (see You Tube’s ” Chomsky On Socialism ” for a cogent explanation )
    I hate to have to harp on this constantly but it does no one any good to confuse communism with totalitarian systems or what Cuba is but just continues the disinformation of decades .
    IMO.

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    • Brother, There is a Communist Party in America which fields a candidate who runs for Presidential elections, but the Corporate media does not mention this; so much for freedom of the press and so much for free and fair elections. And, by the way, the people of Cuba go to the polls and elect their own candidates, If those candidates do not perform to their liking they turn them away and elect new candidates, I vote for my Congressman and I do not see him again for my imput until the four years are up and he comes to ask me to vote for him again. This is democrcy at its best!!

      Reply
  • The history books on Cuba as read and understood by the long-indoctrinated U.S. public are written by a crowd hostile to the Cuban( or any) Revolution.
    Fidel is deemed a brutal dictator and all the rest of the shit that the State Department/CIA/ government/ corporate media could find to pile on him.
    IMO , after the death of the Empire ( within 20 years) and the revelations of what the U.S. has been doing to the world for 100 years, Fidel will be written up as one of the greatest men of this or any time .
    I periodically review the books of his speeches I have kept all these years and his words never fail to reconfirm that belief .
    Viva Fidel

    Reply
  • Bay of the Pigs will always come up with Mr Fidel Castro; but he must remember
    to tell his country that he put all the Cuban people in Nuclear War!; and gamble with their lives. If it wouldn’t of been for Nikita Khrushchev who used wisdom to
    protect his Russian people and same time saved the American people there would not be Cuban island! I don’t excuse his comments to his age, but his idea of being King of the island. Please Mr. Fidel Castro grow up and be a man for the people, and remember the younger generation will make Cuba a better place to live. This not to say that Socialism is bad! if you work for all Cuban people and just for your elite
    friends and family.

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  • They don’t need US gifts if the Castro family would give back the money they have stolen from Cuba, hidden in Spanish and French banks. Why does all the money from Public taxis, tourism etc. go directly to the Castro family? Pay attention next time you rent a car (an expensive rental I might add), check where the money goes. Why do they have so much money in their family name in Europe and offshore?
    I know the US may have ulterior motives when it comes to giving money to the Government but the US and ALL of North America cares because some people are with little food and being deprived basic amenities. That is why they want to help, not to help YOU Raul or Fidel but YOUR PEOPLE. Lose the EGO or give your retirement money back!
    I would love to see Cuba remain auténtico as well.

    I realise this may make some of my Cuban friends uncomfortable and I apologize, this information is more for people living in North America who are trying to understand.

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    • Utter Nonsence ! Utter Rubbish! Utter Propaganda! Utter hogwash! Utter Deception! Hysterical Nonsence!Provide the facts and let the people be educated with the facts. Let the truth be told but let the facts be genuine facts!!.

      Reply

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