Is the Sovereignty of the Cuban People Negotiable?

By Pedro Campos

The barber.

HAVANA TIMES — I want to revisit an issue I’ve dealt with in a number of my articles dealing with Cuban reality: popular sovereignty.

The island’s military regime adopts a reproachable stance that tramples on the sovereignty of the Cuban people by sitting at the negotiations table with the United States to debate human rights and democracy issues on the island. Such a debate should be freely and horizontally discussed by the people of Cuba and the results of this debate should be approved through a free, democratic and popular referendum.

However, those who wield power in the country, a country marked by glorious struggles for freedom, refuse to debate with the traditional opposition and the democratic Left. Debating these issues with the “enemy” is ok, doing so with the Cuban people isn’t – this appears to be the government’s slogan.

The attitude assumed by opposition groups in Cuba and abroad, who support maintaining the blockade-embargo and oppose Obama’s rapprochement with Cuba (because, according to them, the policy of blockade and pressure will make Cuba respect human rights and democracy, in the erroneous belief that the Castro government will be stifled by such measures), is equally reproachable and in violation of the sovereignty of Cubans.

This attitude recalls the philosophy behind the Reconcentration of Spanish general Valeriano Weyler, violent measures that were fiercely rejected by the people and Congress of the United States, to such an extent that some historians believe it was one of the main reasons behind the solidarity movement that led to the United States’ participation in the Spanish-Cuban war of 1898.

The Carlos III Havana shopping center.

What these two options at either end of Cuba’s political spectrum have in common is the fact they flagrantly encroach upon Cuba’s national sovereignty. The two make the rights of the Cuban people depend on the stances and actions of a foreign government, and one which has intervened in the affairs of the country more than once. They both want to negotiate with the sovereignty of the Cuban people.

Don’t they know that the sovereignty of the Cuban people is not negotiable?

Two wars of independence weren’t fought in the 19th century and two bloody revolutions were carried out in the 20th (the revolutions of 1930 and 1959) just so we could end up negotiating our sovereignty with the United States. I want to make clear that I am not among those who deny the contributions made to Cuba by the people of the United States, which, to be sure, have not been fairly treated in our prejudiced history, characterized by both anti-imperialism and anti-Americanism.

Ultimately, I don’t know which of the two positions is more dependent on the empire, which of the two is more deeply connected to the Platt Amendment.


If those in government aspire to discuss these issues with the United States and not with the Cuban people, they evidently seek to remain in power and bring about a romance between State monopoly capitalism, dressed up as socialism, and US capitalism. This would pretty much guarantee the virtual economic and geopolitical annexation of Cuba by the great northern neighbor, by the same people who dish out so much anti-imperialist rhetoric in their speeches.

If for certain historical reasons those who came to govern this country were those that, from the US Congress, want to entrust the empire with the task of changing the situation in Cuba and make human rights and democracy effective on the island, then what appears to be guaranteed is the real annexation of the country by the United States.

The Toke Toke private restaurant on Infanta and 25th Streets.

The irony would be that “irreconcilable enemies” who are always asking for each other’s heads, both within the Cuban government and US Congress, in their own style and manner and on the basis of their own particular interests, would be acting like two mules working in tandem to haul Cuba down the same annexationist path.

In short, we are surrounded, and not precisely by water.

That is why it is so important to break out of this situation, and it seems that the only way to do this is for the nation to make headway towards democratization, in a process that will allow citizens to decide for themselves, together, about the most important issues, such that neither the group of military officers that seeks all answers to our current problems in an alliance with US capitalism, nor the groups of Cuban-Americans and their allies on the island, who want to entrust Cuba’s future to the United States, can continue to hold our fate in their hands.

32 thoughts on “Is the Sovereignty of the Cuban People Negotiable?

  • Time for you to move to Cuba where you will be free from all the impositions that the USA imposes upon you.
    You asked me a question about where I get my information and I responded.
    You in response say that “You passion against Cuba is beyond someone who is committed to positive change.” How you could reach such a conclusion from my response is frankly beyond me.
    I love Cuba as a country and have a deep admiration for its people who for 56 years have displayed courage and fortitude under a despotic regime.
    Do not make the mistake of the innocent Nidal and confuse the Castro family regime operating with the Communist Party of Cuba as a tool with the people of Cuba.
    If and only if, you care for the people of Cuba, then support the concept of freedom for them. Support Cuba, not the regime for they are not synonymous.
    If on the other hand you seek dictatorship and “Socialismo” apply at the newly opened Cuban Embassy in the US for permanent residence status and then citizenship. Don’t waste any more of your life in a country which you despise and constantly denigrate – just accept that you made a mistake in moving there and that the US similarly made a mistake in accepting you.

  • I need to freshen up my history when it comes to this subject . Correct me if I’m wrong , I believe Russians where already in Iran , at least in the World War 2 . And they were asked to leave which they did .
    This argument american or the Russians is being played all over the place , the latest I hared is that the Americans use off the nuclear bomb in Hiroshima was to stop the Russians from moving in the north of Japan , and prevent Japan from been split between the communist and capitalist.
    If and maybe , happened to be something that no one can guess on , all what we can go by are examples of history between the Russians and the American .
    American history was all about profiteering ,rich natural resources is all what the US was looking for , strategically placed for there interest .
    Russians on the other hand, had an ideological point of view , they were trying to impose on everybody else ,
    In a strange way I would say it’s draw , humanity could have been better without either of them .
    What I have been studying and going over is the point of view that suggests the following , idea that communist and the capitalist where living by are more or less the creation of the same forces , after all both systems where influence by free missionaries.
    Which is a long complicated story for a different day ,
    Simple answer to your questions is No
    Meddling in other countries business always ended up disastrously .
    That’s better off if we leave others to solve their own problems , and help only if we were asked to do so .

  • Ah yes, …the Rothschilds run the world. Got it. I was wondering when the Jew hate was going to pop up.

    PS: Israel didn’t invade your country. There has never, in the long history of the world, been a country called Palestine. Your people never thought to make a country there until after the modern State of Israel was founded. Even then, you rejected the country offered to you by the UN in 1947.

  • Nidal, the Shah was a ruthless bastard, no argument about that. But how do you think Iran would have faired had the country fallen to the Russians instead of to the Americans? During Mosaddegh’s era, there were Soviet troops in northern Iran and KGB spies throughout the country. Iran was a pawn in the Cold War, fought over by two great powers. If not the CIA and the Shah, Iran would have gone the way of Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion of that country. Take your pick. And yet, as bad as the Shah was, life in Iran is far worse now under the Ayatollahs.

  • Walmart wants to have their cheap crap made in Cuba to sell in the US. The Castro regime is eager to sell the slave labour of the Cuban workers to the US & European corporations.

    That’s one heck of a way to run a Revolution, Raul.

  • You passion against Cuba is beyond someone who is committed to positive change ,
    Yes they do have low income , at the same time they have free medicines free education ,and a peace and security , you can’t have your pie and eat it I wish we have some of the stuff they have .
    United States is nothing more than a rat race , so you think you own your own house , don’t pay the tax and see what happen ? see how long before they put you in the street ?
    So what good is it if you make a whole lot of money in which most of it will go over to the banks , doctors and lawyers, and you end up in the same hole in the end of the year ,you may end up deeper every year .
    Human dignity and the quality of life with matters , if there providing that I don’t really care what kind of government rule over the country .

  • Your ramblings make response difficult, but it is self evident that you are getting your information from the Internet and YouTube.
    I get my information about Cuba in Cuba where I live for most of the year with my Cuban wife. I am related to well over 60 Cubans, I do the shopping conversing daily with Cubans having various occupations. My wife holds a responsible position in education. I have friends in various positions and professions including medicine, veterinary science, teaching and music.
    For long periods I am unable to contribute to these columns because I Cuba we are unable to access the Internet. Our home is in a city a considerable distance away from Havana and where there are no hotels or casa particulars, but a few paladars.
    You should understand Nidal that the average working Cuban receives considerably less than $1 per day. Many are unable to afford a bicycle. A 200 gm loaf of bread costs the equivalent of 20 cents (5 Pesos). The old age pension is $8 – per month.
    Having read this I hope you now understand the sources of my information and accept the veracity of it!

  • Huh???

  • Some of the information that you have provided I can not independently verify , therefore I don’t have answers, where do you get your information ? I have no idea , getting my information from the Internet and YouTube is good source off independent journalism , information that I could easily research and verify for myself, I must say it’s much better than any of the news we got from American media sources , at least I don’t have to put up with ” a government source that could not be identified “.
    Keep in mind that American media approval is 8 % if that , research has shown that Fox News viewers have the lowest educated of any other viewer .
    Ukraine , Belarus , Saudi Arabia , Thailand , Egypt under Hosni Mubarak
    In Ukraine you have a country controlled by Oligarchs empowered by the United States and Western countries , kept afloat with money from the Rothschild racket . American news outlets as a matter of fact and all off the outlets in Western society is controlled by a handful of people , for example the Rothschild racket , you talk about richness by some estimate the Rothschild racket is valued at over $500 trillion dollars , they have an extremely large stake in Reuters news outlet and the Associated Press ,
    As someone who is bilingual , I listen to Al Jazeera and other sources , just about all of them announces the same story , news release coming from Associated Press and Reuters ,a handful of people decide what the news is .
    When it comes to Syria you have hit the soft spot , after all it was one of the best countries in the Middle East specially for the Christians , that’s until American finance Jihad was allowed to take root in Syria ,
    keep in mind after 9/11 the US government did not mind sending suspect to Syria for the purpose of interrogation .
    In Saudi Arabia saying your opinion can get someone to vanish without a trace in the middle of the night , and no one will admit that he have ever existed , coming from the Middle East I know so
    Thailand they’re practically pushing the Rohingyas people into the sea .
    Information that I have said that Belarus is basically run of the USSR old ways .
    And the cream of the crop Israel in which foreign invaders and took over my country , converted it into a concentration camp , 1000 lb bombs being dropped on the heads of innocent civilians without a second thought or mercy .
    Egypt under the Mubarak , bombed a Christian Church in Alexandria and blamed it on the Muslims ,
    All of these countries have the backing of United States , billions of dollars get delivered without asking them about their human rights record ,
    In a certain way you are right there is no other country like Cuba , at more than one level, Cuba is much better than a whole lot of countries , after all highly educated humans is Cuban mean export
    If I have a chance to live in Cuba I would jump at it in a heartbeat .
    Headlines from the Guardian check it out for yourself I need not to tell you what it’s all about ,
    China and Russia: the world’s new superpower axis?
    You American Exceptionalism is cemented together with the blood of the innocent

  • What about bloodlines Nidal? Have you now decided that you do share yours with the rest of us – Presidents and Netanyahu included?

  • Name only three of the countries “out there” that are “no different” than Cuba. If you seek to live in a country other than the US, do so. Try Syria, Zimbabwe, Vietnam, China, Russia or Angola.
    When are you going to answer any of the questions I posed in response to your statement that the Cuban government is not a Castro family club.?
    For me, the purpose of these columns is discussion of Cuba. The insistence by Marxist Leninists and supporters of Socialismo to constantly drag in their views about the USA and its politics is tedious and boring in the extreme.

  • thank you for your advice I will definitely think about it
    keep in mind running a nation is nothing like you’re super rich neighbor down the street who could buy his way out of trouble

  • The idea that I’m trying to emphasize in my opinions as follows , Cuba is no different then a whole lot of countries out there , by the way US of A did not mind doing business with just about all of them , as a matter of fact in some cases they added , for example the ( SAVAK Shah of Iran secret police )
    Who they created after they removed a democratically elected government of Mohammad Mosaddegh , and use them to enslave the Iranian people for years and years , mercilessly suck the life blood .
    About a robust , strong , healthy defense ,a simple explanation ” Bay of Pigs ” .
    When you live in a rough neighborhood next to the worst bully on the planet , whom malice and mayhem is a way of life , you will take all the precautions that you can get your hands on .
    Can you seriously ignore the influence of the military-industrial complex on United States economy ? and how much money is involved ?and who is in charge, try and research the following ,
    Military-Industrial Complex Speech, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961
    Personally I’d rather live in a country in which I Know whom I’m dealing with, instead of living in a country controlled by shadows .
    Discrepancy and inequality is a worldwide phenomena , after all we are human being , definitely we are not angels .
    In my observations I see the majority in Cuba are much more satisfied then in US
    I am going through this article about income inequality I’m sure that I would have more answ ,
    Who Rules America: Wealth, Income, and Power –

  • Moses said nothing of the sort, in fact quite the contrary. He only wants the Cuban people to have the opportunity to decide for themselves for the first time in 55+ years. Your rather pitiful attempt to muddy the waters by throwing out the names of Batista. The mafia, the CIA, all boogiemen meant to scare the uninformed. But you are correct in that the Cuban people do deserve the opportunity to decide for themselves. When will that be?

  • So you say that the Cuban Government is not a Castro family club and that Cuba is a more or less stable society!
    I) Who is in charge of the military?
    2) The military controls over 80% of Cuba’s economy through owning GAESA and all its subsidiaries!
    3) Who is in charge of GAESA?
    4) What is the purpose of the Committee for the Defence of the Revolution (CDR) as defined by Fidel Castro Ruz?
    5) Who is in charge of the CDR? (stabilising society)
    6) Who is in charge of International Security (ie: Cuba’s spy service)
    7) A two island retreat with connecting bridge, swimming pool, guest house and personal house, plus five other houses is I think a fair definition of being Super-rich. So that meets the properties of Fidel Castro Ruz.
    8) Who paid $706 million for 27% of ETECSA?
    Some answers:
    1) Raul Castro Ruz
    3) Raul Castro Ruz’s son=in-law
    5) Raul Castro Ruz’s son
    6) Raul Castro Ruz’s son
    8) RAFIN SA (Raul & Fidel Castro Ruz)
    Time for you to get acquainted with the reality of Cuba!

  • Your contributions tend to ramble from a multitude of different matters and sources thus making it difficult to give logical responses. But let’s be clear about US education, the US has the top Universities in the world – that is recognized by all educationalists.
    At the moment the US as one of the 41 Pan-American nations is competing in the Pan-American games and their athletes appear to be at least as healthy as those of the other 40.
    Having a home in Cuba, I see hundreds of Cubans per day. Many are good looking and a few are beautiful. But that also applies to the Americans I have seen when visiting the US.
    You are so soaked in anti-capitalist thinking that you are unable to clear your mind of Marxist/Leninist/Socialismo type
    All American Presidents have been elected by the people of America, but in your view although representing different parties they are all evil. If you want a list of evil organizations, have a look at the Islamist terrorist groups, who are unsatisfied by fighting each other (Shia/Sunni) in their countries of origin, but seek to persecute and destroy those of other religious beliefs. Now there is the real threat to civilization! So spare us the hypocrisy!

  • Go back far enough and we all share the same bloodlines, all coming from the central rift valley of Africa. You for example share bloodlines with Netanyahu that does not mean that you necessarily share his views. You appear to suggest that those with similar bloodlines share similar views. What about Fidel Castro Ruz’s daughter, what about Stalin’s daughter and their respective fathers?
    Secondly, the “Cuban establishment” by which I assume you mean the Castro family regime is not answerable to Cuban society as it is an unelected dictatorship.
    As Barack Obama’s father was a native of Kenya, you must be suggesting that it is through his mother a who was white – you may have noticed that all other US Presidents were distinctly white.
    Finally, I fail to note any connection between what I wrote and your response!

  • I have no fear of CUBAN sovereignty. Indeed, I look forward to the day when CUBANS control their own destiny. A post-Castro Cuba will hopefully be free. To be clear, this does not mean a return to a Batista-era dictatorship. You continue to limit your comments to a Castro or Batista dictatorship. Are you unable to imagine a democratic Cuba? Do you care?

  • You really should stop getting your information on YouTube, where every hair-brain theory ends up.

    As for Cuban freedom….you don’t need chains to make you a prisoner.

  • When it comes to my opinions It is what it is .
    There’s something I should off mentioned earlier on , whose definition of freedom do you accept ?
    Do the Cuban people go on the daily activities with chains around there necks ?
    The idea that Cuban government is in some way a Castro family club is absurd , Coming out from the Middle East ,and seeing with family club mean , the Castro’s doesn’t even come close , in Saudi Arabia there is citizens of the first class and goes all the way up to the fifth class in Kuwait there is human beings without any status .
    What I see in Cuba is more or less a stable society , without having the super rich who happened to be above the law
    Iraq under Saddam Hussein was nothing more then a family farm , in the Middle East royalty inherit entire countries with people and livestock . 
    There is a saying in the Middle East ,( if a leader gets angry a thousand swords will get angry for him .)
    Cuba belongs to the Cuban people, it is their country , their issues to work through , and the last thing they need is foreigners interfere and meddling in their business telling them how to live the lives .
    We saw what happened all over the Middle East in the Arabian spring , they had good intentions , except they lacked the understanding off what freedom means . for example in Egypt after they got so called freedom , they didn’t know what to do with it ,like I said freedom is a culture , it simply deed not exist in Egypt at the time when they got something called freedom .
    What about freedom in Libya, to solve Libya’s problems , Europeans decided to help out with bombs .
    On the other hand we need to remember history in Eastern Europe when the public understood the meaning of freedom , freedom that society needed became a reality , this is not to say that the Cuban people are not free , If your house is made out of glass you don’t go throw stones at somebody else’s , before the US tries to solve everybody else’s problems we need to solve our own . Please take time and watch this video clip .
    Confessions of an economic hitman – YouTube

  • “Pedro’s fears are unfounded.” So are yours, Moses. You fear that the Cuban people on the island will be able to chart Cuba’s future, not right-wingers in the U. S. Congress and a handful of greedy Batista-Mafia descendants from the 1950s. To anyone with an ounce of respect for democracy and sovereignty, the Cubans on the island — many of whom I have met — have earned the right to determine the island’s future. Cubans on the island had nothing to do with the USS Maine getting blown up in Havana Harbor in 1898 to serve as the pretext for the Spanish-American War, and no Cuban was present or represented at the signing of the treaty that ended that war and reverted dominance of Cuba from Spain to the U. S. You have the gall to state in this forum that such things as the 1903 theft of Guantanamo Bay was a legitimate transaction. As a democracy lover and as an American, I resent the image from such historic and undeniable things as…the USS Maine, Guantanamo Bay, Batista, the Mafia, the Bay of Pigs, the embargo, Cubana Flight 455, the Torricelli Bill, the Helms-Burton Act, Dry Foot/Wet Foot, and the Washington-to-Miami pipeline that funnels billions of dollars to enrich Miami Cubans and to fund what respected investigative journalist Tracey Eaton recently listed as 32 obscene regime-change programs against Cuba. Peter Kornbluh, the Cuban expert at the U. S. National Security Archive in D. C., last month said such things make the U. S., in the eyes of the world, look like a “Banana Republic.” Do you care, Moses?

  • When it comes to my opinions It is what it is , the idea that the Cuban government is in some way a Castro family club is absurd ,
    Coming out of the Middle East seeing with family club mean the Castro’s doesn’t even come close , in Saudi Arabia there is citizens of the first class and goes all the way up to the fifth class , in Kuwait there is human beings that have no status .
    What I see in Cuba is more or less a stable society , without having super rich who happened to be above the law
    Iraq under Saddam Hussein was nothing more then a family farm , in the Middle East royalty inherit entire countries with people and livestock
    There is a saying in the Middle East that if one of the royal family gets angry a thousand swords will get angry with him , Cuba belongs to the Cuban people, it is their country , their issues to work through , and the last thing they need is foreigners interfere and meddling in their business telling them how to live the lives , we saw what happened all over the Middle East in the Arabian spring , they had good intentions , Europeans decided to help out with bombs to solve Libya’s problems .
    If your house is made out of glass you don’t go throw stones at somebody , else’s , before the US solve everybody else’s problems we need to solve our own .

  • Having experienced your “Cuban society” up close, I can’t say there is much to count.

    You’re meandering disjointed argument was rather hard to follow and did not seem to address my comment, which, by the way, stands. ….Cuba is a totalitarian government. As such the Castro family, and anointed minions, do not answer to the Cuban people. That is why Castros are still in charge these 55 years after the revolution….. Instead you try to justify the Cuban totalitarian system by comparing it to the USA, the Illuminate, or other strange conspiracy theories ….. Strange!

  • What you are insinuating that the Castro’s live on an isolated islands totally disconnected from society ,
    The idea that the Castro’s is all the etablishment in Cuba is bogus , all societies have their own way of communicating back and forth with their perspective leadership in one form or another .
    When I look at the Cuban people I see
    Highly educated , healthy and beautiful human beings , you can’t say the same off the Americans especially when it comes to education and health , Answerable to the people to me it means realizing the needs off society and providing them to the best of their ability , the Cuban government is no different from any other governments all around the planet , what you see in life is exactly what is meant to be, it cannot be any other way . Cuban society is probably one off the last society which is not owned by multinational companies , that says something about the President and his communication and understanding of society .
    President of the United States George Bush falsified evidence and started an illegal wars , killed almost 5000 American injured 80,000 from some of the finest young men and women that American society produced ,
    Destroyed foreign governments and countries , starve to death 500,000 children in Iraq , caused the death of over million Iraqis , took nuclear waste that he could not legally get rid off , tended it into a munition and polluted entire areas in Iraq and Afghanistan in which there will be polluted indefinitely,
    his father before him committed treason in the October Surprise , in which he asked their Iranians to hold on to the American hostages until President Carter lose the election , in exchange for spare parts to the Iranians military machine , and his President Ronald Reagan turned the US Army into cocaine smuggling operation , sold illegal weapons to Iran, took the proceeds and financed genocide in Central America , don’t forget Bill Clinton he also have a blood on his hands .
    Question that I asked you , did any of them answer to the establishment or society ? have any of them been prosecuted for war crimes ?
    Please spare me the hypocrisy .
    Cuba society need to count there blessings

  • There seems to be a lingering paranoia that the US has an “secret ” if not official policy to annex Cuba. While there is no doubt whatsoever that there was a time in our history that there were those high-ranking US government officials who did indeed have intentions to annex Cuba, these intentions were never widely held. America was too racist to ever truly desire a Caribbean island full of brown people who spoke Spanish. Today, there is zero (less than zero if that is possible) interest in annexing Cuba. Cuba has been destroyed and even at bargain basement prices will not yield the return on investment it would cost the US to bring just the infrastructure up to US standards. This is not to say that Cuba does not have value. On the contrary, for Cubans, Cuba is a priceless jewel that the Cuban people, once free, will pay any price to rebuild. Pedro’s fears are unfounded. Walmart does not want to “own” Cuba. They just want to sell a bunch of cheap crap made in China to the Cuban people.

  • Nidal, you are of course entitled to your opinions based on whatever spurious information you decide upon. But I will challenge you on one comment in your post. Since when has the Cuban establishment (the Castro family) been answerable to the Cuban people?

  • would you believe that President Obama share his bloodline when George Bush and five other presidents,
    the same bloodlines that ruled over Western society a thousand years ago is still doing it now ,
    This clip talks about the bloodline of US presidents , please try and listen to it ,
    Information in this clip can be easily checked .
    at least the Cuban establishment is answerable to Cuban society not to the multinational Corporation .
    I hope Havana time will post it , if not they have a right to do so .

  • This may come as a surprise to some of you , United State of America is not a democracy , it is a republic we vote for those who vote for a president . Abstract reasoning reinforce the idea that Freedom ,Civil Rights ,Human Rights , Democracy , are not as they are projected to humanity , there is a big gap between the idea and reality , in the United States Civil Rights is dependent on what a jury want them to be . You are free only as society wants you to be , Democracy today means deep pockets and lots of money , the ability to buy a president .
    If any of you think that democracy Human Rights , freedom , and Civil Rights will turn your city into a piece off heaven , you are wrong , all of them are extremely expensive and require constant management and service , none of them come in a can off the shelf .
    These concepts or more off a culture then ink on paper , either you have it or you don’t amplitudes and attitude ,
    Equilibrium in a society cannot be imposed from the outside , and if you want examples look at Iraq , and look at the mess that US left behind .
    Looking at the seam concepts from different directions, look at South and Central America , from the Rio Grande all the way down to the tip of South America Cape Horn , you might as well include all of Africa in this argument , just about all these countries have so called freedom , yet the definition of freedom varies from one country to another , democracy in some of these countries depends what the CIA think should be , from Salvador Allende to Banana Republics to Nicaragua , if they don’t like what they see they would go in with the gun and forced change.
    General Manuel Noriega is an example of a president they empowered , until they were done with him , look what happened to him , he’s locked up behind bars from one prison to another under one excuse after another .
    On the flip side of the coin look at Sweden , Ever since the Napoleonic Wars, Sweden had maintained its neutrality, and it attempted to do so from the onset of WW2. It was able to maintain its neutrality, but it was a difficult process.
    Yes it was difficult but they did it , to begin with they had the culture of freedom , respect for the law and the others .
    What comes to mind at this point something professor Eugen Weber talked about , It was the observation that so called third world countries had to absorb in 40 years concepts that took European countries 400 years to develop .
    Some of the countries that I mentioned or not dealing with economic embargoe , freedom of movement come and go as they please , yet they choose to kill each other .
    Again remember to be careful what you wish for might come true .
    After all South Africa got their freedom , they still living in ghettos , the promises of the revolution never materialized for a lot of them , inequality in society became worse , this is not say they should not have freedom , question is what do you do with freedom ?
    Mi amigos .
    I am not against any of these concepts, all what I’m saying if the price is too much maybe it’s not worth purchasing , what matters is human dignity and the quality of life , a bird in the hand is better than 10 on the tree ,
    Think of all the empty promises you going to get from the US . your best bet to get your desired changes is to work with what you have , you need to accept your reality and slowly but surely and peacefully if I might add changing will come .
    thank you very much

  • The Castro family regime has been in power for fifty six years. In consequence Cubans under the age of sixty have known no other form of government. The regime has done an efficient job of restricting access to information and the Propaganda Department of the Communist Party of Cuba has worked hard for all those years. The consequence is a deep level of indoctrination throughout society. The much lauded educational system starts at the age of two and adheres to the dictate of the regime. The first priority is to instill “respect”. That is respect for all levels of authority – and all levels are controlled by the regime. Hence it is not only illegal to criticize the regime, but regarded by many as improper – hence the ability to get people out into the streets to oppose the Ladies in White.
    The fact that their physical surroundings are now crumbling around them and that as a consequence of tourism from 1994/5 onwards has brought contact with the capitalist world to an ever increasing number of Cubans has brought realization that maybe a better life with better living conditions is possible. Relatively few of those tourists have been American although a substantial percentage of families – especially white – receive remittances from relatives who have emigrated to the free world, predominantly the US.
    If as explained in the conditions laid down by the US for removal of the embargo, there is to be the introduction of other political parties, then time is required for those forming such parties to be able to explain their policies and how multi-party (not two as in the US) systems operate. Without such a waiting period I think you may be optimistic in thinking that only 40% would vote for the status quo.

  • A socialist democracy is not in the cards short term. State capitalism, a small free market and some socialist safety nets, is what is emerging. Similar to China 20 years ago. The entrenched leaders will stay on a while.

  • Well, letting the people decide for themselves where they want to go would be a glorious step forward.
    My guess is that 30-40% will vote for the status quo.

  • This has been my greatest fear in the relationship between the US and Cuba. I hope that Cubans can have the kind of government that they want, that they elect, and not become a puppet of the US. I love both countries and both should be able to direct their own futures, while having a fair relationship.

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