Who Did Cuba’s Ladies in White Speak For?

Yusimi Rodriguez

The Ladies in White during a protest march in Havana. Photo: alongthemalecon.com

HAVANA TIMES — On Friday, I read in the Havana Times that the Ladies in White had asked the government of the United States to continue dealing with Cuba with a firm hand.

I can’t say I felt disappointment because, for that, I would have had to harbor expectations about the Ladies in White. What I can say, however, is that I’ve been going over this piece of news in my mind ever since.

I saw the Ladies in White for the first time in 2010. They were rallying along the length of Obispo street in Havana, preceded by a group of representatives of our “determined and embattled nation” (all of them women), who hurled all manner of insults and provocative slogans at them, such as “The last one to jump is a Yankee spy.” And of course, when someone yells that, you have to jump.

It was a grotesque spectacle. The Ladies in White paraded behind the mob, their heads high, carrying their gladiolus flowers. More than sympathy towards them, I felt shame for those who insulted them.

Then, I had no more reason to think the Ladies in White were mercenaries on the United States’ payroll than I do to believe that those of us who write for the Havana Times, and anyone who assumes a critical posture towards the Cuban government, are such turncoats.

Nothing, beyond the word of the Cuban government and its supporters, had ever been offered me as proof of the veracity of this accusation. At the time, thus, I respected the Ladies in White, just as I respect anyone who assumes the risks of confronting any authority, as they did. I did not recognize anyone’s right to use violence against them.

I saw the Ladies in White for the first time in 2010. They were rallying along the length of Obispo street in Havana, preceded by a group of representatives of our “determined and embattled nation” (all of them women), who hurled all manner of insults and provocative slogans at them, such as “The last one to jump is a Yankee spy.”

In 2012, I saw Berta Soler for the first time, in a Spanish documentary titled “Trimming the Revolution?” (“Recortando la Revolución?”), directed by Jordi Evole and Ramon Lara. In it, an interviewer asks Soler if the Ladies in White would be willing to protest against the U.S. embargo on Cuba as vehemently as they protest against the Cuban government.

The spokeswoman’s reply was that the Ladies in White did not meddle in politics (though, I must say that all of the arguments they used before and after the interview struck me as fairly political).

I couldn’t help but find some inconsistencies in their arguments. If they were being unjustly accused of serving the government of the United States, why evade the question of the embargo which that government subjects our country to? Despite this, I felt that any violent action against them was a violation of their legitimate human and civil rights.

Now, after reading that the Ladies in White called for a tough stance on Cuba, something which can only bring greater hardships to the Cuban people, I still do not recognize anyone’s right to attack them physically in any way.

Nothing justifies any act of violence against them. I respect their right to express such a view, guaranteed by their freedom of expression. But I am left with a question: In whose name, on behalf of what percent of the population, what sector of the Cuban people, did the Ladies in White make these demands?

Did they stop and think about the consequences that increased economic pressure from the US government would have on those who do not receive remittances or support from Cubans living abroad, as the Ladies in White do, according to Soler’s statements in the documentary I mentioned above?

The argument against the US embargo I have often heard is that it has not yielded the hoped-for results. This is true, as I’ve said in the past. But I am always left with a question: would the successful overthrow of the Cuban government justify its existence?

Did they stop and think about the consequences that increased economic pressure from the US government would have on those who do not receive remittances or support from Cubans living abroad, as the Ladies in White do, according to Soler’s statements in the documentary I mentioned above?

I feel absolutely no hatred towards the U.S. government. But, if you asked me what right I thought that government has to plan the overthrow of the Cuban government, I would tell you it’s the same right used by our country to intervene in the internal affairs of Venezuela (even when oil supplies and our precarious economy are at stake): None.

Cuba’s future must be the concern of Cubans alone.

I was also curious about one of the slogans touted by the Ladies in White: “A Cuba without the Castros is a Free Cuba,” as if having no one with that last name in power sufficed to ensure freedom and democracy in the country.

I feel, however, that the most serious repercussion from the demand of the Ladies in White is their discredit in the eyes of many Cubans (those who have access to the Internet and email accounts, at least), a condition that dissidents, the opposition and anyone who demands freedom of the press, freedom of expression, freedom of association and free elections in Cuba is invariably dragged into.

Our government and those who support it love to paint everyone with the same brush, to discredit their opponents without giving them the opportunity to defend themselves.

Now, unfortunately, they have arguments to tell people the following: “All who claim to struggle for freedom actually want the United States to tighten the embargo to bring our country to its knees through starvation and privation. That is the true agenda of the empire’s lackeys.”

51 thoughts on “Who Did Cuba’s Ladies in White Speak For?

  • April 29, 2013 at 3:11 pm
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    USA/Cuba Embargo=Terrorism American Style

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  • April 29, 2013 at 3:39 pm
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    Berta Soler speaks for you. While you may not agree with the strategy of the Ladies in White, their goal for a free and democratic Cuba benefits all Cubans. Gone forever are the days when one voice spoke for all Cubans. Solidarity comes by common goals not common strategy. Yoani Sanchez advocated for lifting the embargo during her US visit. Ms. Soler wants it maintained. Both of these exceptionally brave women ultimately want a free Cuba.

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  • April 29, 2013 at 9:36 pm
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    Revolting and shameful, is the least that can be said about the despicable demands of Mrs. Berta Soler for greater pain, suffering, blood and deaths among innocent men, women and children in Cuba; at the hands of the architects of the Torricelli Bill, Helms-Burton Act and those decimating Afroamerican communities in Liberty City, Miami Gardens, Opa Locka and Overtown.
    Fortunately, world history is written by Guarina, Carlota, Fermina, Mariana Grajales, Maria Cabrales, Rosa Parks, Rosa la Bayamesa, Angela Davis or Nani, not by those guided by personal gains.
    Paula Valiente and Reina Luisa Tamayo, two black women who preceeded Mrs. Berta Soler in a similar body-for-hire political blitzkrieg in Miami, were disposed-of like drained Duracell batteries, forgotten by their handlers and tarnished for life.

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  • April 30, 2013 at 3:11 am
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    The real hardship comes from the dogmatic mismanagement of the Cuban economy by the regime.

    As far as sanctions go: Aung San Suu Kyi thanked the US congress and people for its stance and sanctions against the Myanmar regime.
    It is the Chavez – Maduro aid that stops change in Cuba. The regime will only change when forced as part of the survival strategy of the elite. Sanctions deny the elite access to more resources to stay in power.

    Support for sanctions is a rational act. The lifting of sanctions on food and medicines has improved the Cuban people’s lives. That is a great thing. The regime only has replied with more repression.

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  • April 30, 2013 at 6:35 am
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    “Greater pain, suffering, blood and deaths among innocent men, women and children in Cuba”? You are exaggerating Mr. Jones. As I have commented here on HT before, a close friend of mine is CEO of the American food-processing company that provides 80% of all the frozen chicken sold in Cuba. The US, embargo and all, was the fifth largest import partner to Cuba with the majority being raw food and medicine. Nearly a billion dollars of remittances flow from the US into Cuba every year. It is expected that half of a million US tourists will visit Cuba this year, more than 20% of the total. Embargo, what embargo? You know better than I do that MOST Cubn

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    • May 8, 2013 at 6:47 pm
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      To the low-life, no-life operatives that troll HT to repeat the worn-out rants of the racist-fascist exilio and ultra-right wing US politicians, pain, suffering and death among innocent Cubans on the island, as a result of the US blockade, amounts to nothing! References are made, in their twisted arguments, about such and such amount of food and medicine approved for sale to Cuba. Deliberately they fail to mention that the sales are for cash up front, and that Cuba is, of course, prohibited from grants from the US government or credit from US and other Western banks. In fact, for merely the handling of dollar transactions for Cuba by one of its subsidiaries, the Europen HSBC bank was punitively fined by the US, as have other foreign banks been. Such is the all-sweeping extra-territoriality of the blockade laws that there have even been instances where Cuban delegations seeking admission to US Hotel chains in Mexico City , Mexico, and Oslo, Norway were refused! From a purely capitalist viewpoint, it is almost impossible to carry out business without credit and with limited markets which are neither close nor satisfactory. Credit is the soul of commerce. We know all too well the role the lack of credit from the banks has played in the current financial crisis in the US. Imagine the effect of lack of credit systemmatically denied a country for decades! Yet the detractors of Cuba dishonestly throw about deceitful, irrational and immoral arguments to justify the blockade. The US Intelligence analysts who are entrusted with the designing of subversive economic plans and actions have never had any confusion or disingeneous arguments to explain their goal. They have honestly declared their goal to be causing “hungry Cubans to uprise against their government.”

      Dr Jones is eminently qualified – both as a first-hand observer and as a medical professional – to describe the suffering of his countryfolk, especially the Afro-Cuban segment, which has very little or no access to remittances from abroad. The white Cuban exilio, on the other hand, is known in UN studies, well before the dollarization of the Cuban economy, to have been smuggling huge amounts of dollars to their relatives in Cuba via third countries, even as they were shouting the loudest for the tightening of the air-tight blockade.

      The US actually has no moral basis for championing the blockade, as it ignored, argued against, violated and subverted all UN and OAU sanctions against the erstwhile Apartheid, settler-colonialist regimes of Southern Africa. The blockade against Cuba has nothing to do with “freedom” or “democracy” (as there is none against China, Vietnam etc) and everything to do with imperialist subversion and regime change politics, plus US Presidential electoral strategy in the state of Florida.

      Reply
  • April 30, 2013 at 6:46 am
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    You are exaggerating Mr. Jones. “Greater pain, suffering, blood and deaths among innocent men, women and children in Cuba;” is what you wrote. The reality is that the US remains the fifth largest importer to Cuba. The majority of US goods are food and medicine. As I have commented here on HT before, a close friend of mine is the CEO of a US food-processing company that sells to Cuba 80% of all the frozen chicken sold on the island. He is who first introduced me to Cuba. Americans send more than $1 billion dollars US to Cuba every year in family remittances and more than 500,00 tourists will visit Cuba from the US this year surpassing more than 20% of the total. You know better than I do that MOST Cubans believe the internal embargo that the Castros have imposed is the real ’embargo’.

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  • April 30, 2013 at 8:53 am
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    The US embargo is a vengeful attack on the Cuban people — on every man, woman and child on the island. As Amnesty International has reported:

    “The US government is acting CONTRARY to the Charter of the United Nations [i.e. it is acting illegally] by restricting the direct import of medicine and medical equipment and supplies, and by imposing those restrictions on companies operating in third countries.”

    “The RESTRICTIONS IMPOSED BY THE EMBARGO help to deprive Cuba of vital access to medicines, new scientific and medical technology, food, chemical water treatment and electricity.”

    “The US embargo against Cuba is IMMORAL and should be lifted. It’s preventing millions of Cubans from benefiting from vital medicines and medical equipment essential for their health.”

    “Amnesty International calls on the US Congress to take, WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY, the necessary steps towards lifting the economic, financial and trade embargo against Cuba.”

    “UN agencies working in Cuba, such as the WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA, continued [as of 2012] to report the negative effects of the US embargo on the health of the population, particularly members of marginalized groups. Access to specific commodities, equipment, medicines and laboratory materials remained scarce as a result of restrictions imposed on the importation of items manufactured by US companies and their subsidiaries or produced under US patents.”

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AMR25/002/2009/en/e7b1efe4-27f4-4b2c-9a39-23c88749e39e/amr250022009en.html

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/report/president-obama-should-take-lead-lifting-embargo-against-cuba-20090902

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AMR25/007/2009/en/51469f8b-73f8-47a2-a5bd-f839adf50488/amr250072009eng.pdf

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cuba/report-2012

    Under Article 2C of the UN Genocide Convention, the US embargo on Cuba can even be seen as a form of genocide.

    History will NOT absolve the sponsors and supporters of these cruel and inhumane sanctions.

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    • April 30, 2013 at 12:47 pm
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      Amnesty International also condemns the Cuban government for the abuse and torture in prisons and widespread systematic human right abuses against the Cuban people.

      History will not absolve, indeed.

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      • April 30, 2013 at 1:59 pm
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        I don’t think AI has reported any allegations of systematic torture in Cuba — not outside of the US Naval Base anyway. Alleged abuses by Cuba pale in comparison to those of the US.

        It is the height of hypocrisy for the US to be. inflicting these cruel and inhumane sanctions on the Cuban population for supposed human rights abuse!

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        • May 1, 2013 at 2:35 am
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          Amnesty International and lots of other human rights organizations have reported the abuses of the Castro regime, Dan Christensen.

          Cuba is known for systematic torture and won’t even allow the UN commissioner on torture in despite repeated promises to do so.

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          • May 1, 2013 at 8:16 am
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            Much to your chagrin, the only allegations of systematic torture that AI reports in Cuba was at the US Naval Base.

            BTW, we are STILL waiting for you to even acknowledge AI reports of systematic torture by your political masters in their vast network of clandestine torture chambers around the world. How about it, Paul?

          • May 1, 2013 at 11:49 am
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            The facts are there, Dan Christensen.

            Systematic orture in Cuba.

            Snipping the link won’t help you, you old Canadian Stalinist relic.

            The facts again:
            http://cubatortura.impela.net/
            Over 1,000 articles about torture in Cuba

          • May 1, 2013 at 3:19 pm
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            Please post the link to AI reports of systematic torture in Cuba outside of the US Naval base. We both know you can’t.

            Still no comment on systematic torture by the US regime, I see. When will you learn?

  • April 30, 2013 at 9:25 am
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    Yusimi,

    It is a sad truth of human nature that hostages begin to identify with their captors. The reasons the captors give for their obgoing abuse and imprisonment of their victims become the only reason the hostages can see.

    You are mistaken about the conditions for lifting the embargo. No violent overthrow of the Cuban government is stipulated or required. The US law requires Cuba to hold free and fair elections. If the Cuban people chose to freely re-elect a socialist government, that would be their choice. The lie comes from the Castro regime. They repeat it because they know if the Cuban people ever did have the chance for a free and fair election, it would spell the end of the ruling clique’s monopoly on power.

    The reason Berta Soler gives for maintaining the embargo is that lifting it would help the regime more than the Cuban people. Some Cuban citizens might have some more money, but the regime would have even more money which would cement their grip on power.

    One can debate whether that would happen or not. Some argue that the infusion of money in the hands of the people would empower them to demand political freedom. That might happen too. Let’s discuss the embargo and the reasons for or against it on the basis of facts and arguments presented by the various advocates, and not solely on propaganda from the Cuban regime.

    The shortages in Cuban shops and the crumbling infrastructure are the result of the inefficiency and criminal economic mismanagement by the Cuban government more than the embargo. In the aftermath of WWII, the US Marshall Plan helped to rebuild the economy of Western Europe. The Soviets subsidies to Cuba were equivalent of ten Marshal Plans all spent on one small island with a fraction of the population of Europe. And yet the revolution still failed to build a viable functioning economy! Over the past 12 years, the Venezuelan government of Hugo Chavez has replaced the Soviet subsidies, yet still the Cuban economy still suffers from waste, contradictions, corruption and inherent inefficiencies.

    The true embargo is the one imposed by the Cuban government against the Cuban people, keeping them in poverty and cut off from the outside world, banning free speech and freedom of association. Until the internal embargo is lifted, the Cuban people will continue to suffer under the inhuman system imposed on them by the Cuban rulers.

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    • April 30, 2013 at 11:09 am
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      You are wrong about the conditions for lifting the embargo. Under Section 206 of the Helms-Burton (the legislative underpinning of the US embargo), it won’t matter what kind of elections are held in Cuba. If the Cuban people choose to retain their socialist system that has given them the best health care and education systems in the region, the genocide will continue.

      Under HB, it is capitalism or death. Section 206 states as a requirement for lifting the embargo, a “market-oriented economic system based” based on private property, and the return to the private sector of land and infrastructure expropriated in 1959. The Cuban people are to have NO CHOICE in the matter.

      Again, contrary to Berta Soler’s demands, none other than Amnesty International has called the embargo “immoral.” Together with the UN, they have repeatedly called for its immediate and unconditional lifting. Not even your closest allies at the UN can support these cruel and inhumane sanctions of yours!. Like the US, Soler has now isolated herself in the international community as well. Everyone can now see who she really speaks for.

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      • May 1, 2013 at 2:26 am
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        Under the US law all governments are possible in Cuban including a social democracy or even a democratic socialist system, Dan Christensen. These are market-oriented. Note that even Raul Castro has had to bring in some “market-oriented” reforms. The only one that is excluded is the Castro Stalinist dictatorship that respect no freedoms. The law wants the Cuban people to have the choice the regime now denies it and would respect the outcome.

        Under HB lots of system are possible. Under Castro it is “Stalinism or death”.

        The US trade sanctions are far from “cruel and inhumane”. The US sells food and medicines to Cuba (30% of Cuba’s imports of food that are 80% of the food it consumes) and has relaxed restrictions time and time again.

        The regime is the reason why food and medicines aren’t making it to the Cuban people.

        See:
        “The U.S. says it approved $142 million in commercial and donated medical exports to the communist island in 2008. So why did less than 1 percent of it get there?”
        “It’s not the embargo,” said John Kavulich, a senior policy adviser at the New York-based U.S.-Cuba Economic Trade Council, which provides nonpartisan commercial and economic information about Cuba. “These are economic and political decisions not to buy.” Cuba often waits for allies to donate what it needs, Kavulich said. “They’d rather get things for free than pay for them.”

        “It’s unclear why U.S. medical exports aren’t reaching Cuba”, Dallas Morning News, 5 December 2009.
        Enlace alternativo: Cubaverdad Blog

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        • May 1, 2013 at 8:20 am
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          You are lying. As above, under Section 206 of HB, Cuba’s socialist system must be dismantled. The Cuban people are to have no choice in the matter.

          The rest of your self-serving lies and rationalizations here for what amounts to a form of genocide have already been exposed and debunked here.

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          • May 1, 2013 at 11:02 am
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            Dan, reread Section 206. It does not require dismantling socialism in Cuba. It WILL require a market-driven economy. The two are not mutually exclusive. What choice do the Cuban people have today? The embargo is simply a handy excuse for the Castros to justify their failed totalitarian policies. Cuba remains on the brink of economic extinction despite Venezuelan subsidies and the lip-service of supporters like yourself. If you lived in Cuba and suffered as Cubans suffer you would feel differently.

          • May 1, 2013 at 3:36 pm
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            The authors of the Helms-Burton Act certainly seem to think the current economic system (most people call it socialism) is not a “market-oriented economic system” based on private property. Until it is dismantled and all land and infrastructure expropriated in 1959 is returned to the private (read US corporate) sector, the genocide is to continue. Section 206 is really quite explicit on this point.

            But thanks for at least confirming that the Cuban people will not be allowed, under the terms of HB, to choose just any economic system. It really is capitalism or death if sponsors and supporters of HB have their way.

          • May 2, 2013 at 12:28 am
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            Cuba’s system isn’t what most people call “socialism”.
            It is what most people call “Stalinism”.

            Even communist do:
            http://archive.workersliberty.org/wlmags/wl54/cuba.htm

            As far as being “market oriented”: the Cuban regime is introducing small but ever more market-oriented reforms even within its basically Stalinist system.

            Socialist systems can market-oriented without any problem.

            The law clearly states the aim is for Cubans to be free to select both their government and their economical system. The Castro regime is the one that denies them that choice.

            As far as your mindlessly repeated lie about genocide goes: nobody but Castro propagandists like you refer to it as such. That you have proven by failing to provide any quotes from a respectable organization. The Castro regime is the one that is on Genocide Watch’s list (the international Watchdog on Genocide).

      • May 1, 2013 at 8:30 am
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        “Not even your closest allies at the UN can support these cruel and inhumane sanctions of yours!”

        The US embargo are not “my” sanctions. I’m Canadian and Canada trades freely with Cuba. Canadian tourists are by far the largest proportion of visitors to Cuba. The Canadian corporation Sherrit International operates the Moa nickel mine, a major source of revenue for Cuba. And yet, the Cuban government continues to oppress the people and deny basic human rights while the people struggle to “resolver” the constant shortages and deprivations.

        If the argument against the US embargo is that it hasn’t worked, then the same argument can be set against the countries that do trade with Cuba: trade hasn’t worked either!

        Perhaps then, as logic would inform, the problem isn’t the embargo. It’s the Cuban economic and political system that’s at fault.

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        • May 1, 2013 at 3:46 pm
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          The US embargo is a form of genocide. To say it hasn’t worked is a bit like saying the Holocaust “didn’t work.” The US embargo is a crime against humanity. Its sponsors should be arrested, tried at the International Criminal Court and jailed for life. Fortunately for them, the US has refused to be a signatory.

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          • May 2, 2013 at 12:52 am
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            To refer to the embargo, mere trade sanctions that in fact allow the sale of food and medicines, as “holocaust” is an insult to the millions of people that died at the hands of that other dictatorial regime Nazi Germany.
            You have no shame, Dan Christensen.
            The embargo can in no way be construed as genocide or a holocaust. Your reply just shows how low you will fall in your defense of the Castro regime.

          • May 2, 2013 at 8:42 am
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            Genocide is genocide — whether it’s hands-on extermination camps or genocide from a distance (see the UN Genocide Convention).

            Again please answer the question I posed to you above, re: hypothetical German trade sanctions on Belgium.

          • May 2, 2013 at 11:17 am
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            Other than the fanatics such as yourself, why doesn’t the world do more to halt this ‘genocide’ that you claim is being perpetrated against the Cuban people. A benign, once a year vote at the UN and then back to business as usual. The victims themselves line up for days in front of the US Interests Office to obtain visas to live in the land of the victimizer. Does that make sense to you? Were Jews trying to escape to Nazi Germany where true genocide against their people began? Inflaming the discussion with these outrageous labels serves no useful purpose, except to make you seem less intelligent.

          • May 2, 2013 at 8:55 pm
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            Deny it if you like, but they are both forms of genocide. The Convention is quite clear on this.

          • May 2, 2013 at 7:59 am
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            To call a limited economic embargo a form of genocide is to pervert language beyond all rational discourse and a moral inversion.

            Did you support the embargo against South Africa? Was that a “genocide” or a “crime against humanity”? What about the boycott against Israel championed by many Arab states and Western Leftists, is that “genocide” or a “crime against humanity”? How consistent are you in your accusations of genocide and crimes against humanity?

            People and their elected governments have a right to decide who they will do business with. That the US bans the purchase of Cuban products in the US may or may not be a wise or helpful policy, but it is not in anyway a crime or genocide.

          • May 2, 2013 at 11:45 am
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            Under international law based on Article 2c of the UN Genocide Convention of 1948, the US embargo is indeed a form of genocide.

            You do not need to prove the accused actually murdered members of a national or ethnic group to establish that he committed genocide. You don’t even need to prove that anyone actually died as direct result of his actions or policies.

            It would be next to impossible, for example, to prove that a sick child died as a direct result of the accused impeding that child’s access to imported medicines. That is why Article 2c states that the crime of genocide also includes:

            “Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.”

            I think most decent people would agree that, generally speaking, trade sanctions intended to deprive a target population of vital access to medicines, new scientific and medical technology, food, chemical water treatment and electricity are meant to kill. Don’t you agree?

          • May 2, 2013 at 8:22 pm
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            A political system which keeps people imprisoned within an island, deprived of human rights, forced to endure starvation rations, and enforced by police brutality is certainly a form of genocide. How many Cubans have died trying to escape Castro’s tyranny?

          • May 2, 2013 at 10:09 pm
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            The only genocide in Cuba is at the hands of the US government. Despite its best efforts, however, no one is starving in Cuba. On the contrary, Cubans are among the healthiest in the Americas. Thanks to inspired leadership, the indomitable fighting spirit of the Cuban people, and countless acts of international solidarity, the death count has been kept to a minimum.

          • May 3, 2013 at 7:01 am
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            You are lying, Dan Christensen. The Convention requires the INTENT to destroy a group of people in whole or in part. The US was by 2008 the largest food supplier of Cuba ensuring people didn’t die.

            It clearly did never intended to inflict on Cubans conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction.
            Mindlessly repeating the same lying propaganda won’t change the facts, Dan Christensen.

            See:

            In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
            (a) Killing members of the group;
            (b) Causing serious bodily or mental
            harm to members of the group;
            (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
            (d) Imposing measures intended to
            prevent births within the group;
            (e) Forcibly transferring children of
            the group to another group.

            http://www.hrweb.org/legal/genocide.html

      • May 1, 2013 at 11:08 am
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        Dan, this annual UN vote is a ‘toothless tiger’. There are no sanctions nor reperussions of any type associated with the vote. It is an exercise promoted by Cuban propogandists to further their anti-American agenda. Trade between US businesses and the ALBA countries, Cuba’s closest allies, INCREASED by 4% in 2012 over 2011 levels. So much for Cuban solidarity.

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        • May 1, 2013 at 3:51 pm
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          Spin it anyway you like Moses. The fact is, the rest of the world simply isn’t buying into your lies and rationalizations for these cruel and inhumane sanctions of yours — not even your closest allies.

          Yeah, I know, the rest of the world can go f— themselves. Isn’t that The NEW American Way?

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    • April 30, 2013 at 1:33 pm
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      The problem is, that she represents no one to begin with, second of all whom does she think she is, that she takes her right to make suffer people for god knows how long just for her own egoistic trip and the one of the Miami Mafia.. all she merits is getting imprisioned for alta traicion and nothing else. Yeah and Moses and Griffin, those true “friends” of Cuba, singing there same old song.Ypi should apply for a job in the CIA propaganda office, if you´re not already in there anyways.

      Reply
  • April 30, 2013 at 12:11 pm
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    According to Amnesty International, US restrictions on the sale of food, medicine, etc. are still in place, restrictions they say are illegal and immoral. They have repeatedly called for the immediate and unconditional lifting of these cruel and inhumane sanctions. So has the UN.

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    • May 1, 2013 at 2:20 am
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      The facts on sales of medicines:

      “The U.S. says it approved $142 million in commercial and donated medical
      exports to the communist island in 2008. So why did less than 1 percent of it
      get there?”

      “It’s not the embargo,” said John Kavulich, a senior policy adviser
      at the New York-based U.S.-Cuba Economic Trade Council, which provides
      nonpartisan commercial and economic information about Cuba. “These are
      economic and political decisions not to buy.” Cuba often waits for allies
      to donate what it needs, Kavulich said. “They’d rather get things for free
      than pay for them.”

      “It’s unclear why U.S. medical exports aren’t reaching Cuba”, Dallas
      Morning News, 5 December 2009.

      Trade sanctions have been lifted on sales of food and medicines. By 2008 the
      US was Cuba’s 5th trading partner and largest food supplier. Any reductions
      were due to lack of cash on the side of the Cuban regime. These sanctions are
      neither cruel nor inhuman. It is the regime that is crual and inhuman with its
      internal blockade against the Cuban people.

      No binding UN resolution was ever issued, Dan Christensen.

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      • May 1, 2013 at 8:10 am
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        Your often repeated, self-serving lies and rationalizations haven’t convinced anyone, Paul. Years later, Amnesty International reported that:

        “UN agencies working in Cuba, such as the WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA, continued [as of 2012] to report the negative effects of the US embargo on the health of the population, particularly members of marginalized groups. Access to specific commodities, equipment, medicines and laboratory materials remained scarce as a result of restrictions imposed on the importation of items manufactured by US companies and their subsidiaries or produced under US patents.”

        To you and your ilk, this may be a legitimate policy tool. To decent people, however, this is the worst form of human rights abuse (see UN Genocide Convention, Article 2C).

        Last year, for the 20th year in a row, the UN General Assembly voted almost unanimously to condemn these cruel and inhumane sanctions of yours. Not even your closest allies there are buying into your lies, Paul. Only Israel, who trades freely with Cuba anyway, and the tiny US island-colony of Palau (pop. 21,000) voted with you against the resolution. Must be frustrating as hell for you.

        Reply
        • May 1, 2013 at 11:55 pm
          Permalink

          The US supplies Cuba with all the food and medicines it wants to buy and with lots of other products.
          The US is also the source of most of the 5 billion dollars in remittances (goods and cash) that Cubans (over 60%) receive every year.

          Amnesty International nor any other respectable international organization has never called these sanctions “genocide”.
          The one denying the Cuban people access to food, medicines and freedom is the Castro regime.
          It is also the Castro regime, and it alone, that is on Genocide Watch’s list.
          You are wrong – as usual – on all counts: facts and names and are just repeating propaganda in good Stalinist fashion.

          Reply
          • May 2, 2013 at 8:14 am
            Permalink

            Still in denial, even after all these years? As for these cruel and inhumane sanctions of yours not being genocide, we are STILL waiting a straight answer from you on this one, my little lobbyist friend:

            Would it be genocide if, say, for over a half-century Germany had been inflicting sanctions on Belgium depriving you of vital access to medicines, new scientific and medical technology, food, chemical water treatment and electricity?

            Or would it be a legitimate tool of foreign policy that is no one else’s business?

            None of your usual lies and evasions now, Paul. Just answer the question. (Don’t hold your breath, folks!)

            As for GW’s outrageous claims, no one takes that silly little table at their website seriously. (The sum-total of their “work” on Cuba is an unattributed, unsourced one-liner in this silly little table at their website.) More mainstream groups like Amnesty International and the UN have never supported GW’s outrageous claims. What they WILL support, however, is the fact that, “The RESTRICTIONS IMPOSED BY THE EMBARGO help to deprive Cuba of vital access to medicines, new scientific and medical technology, food, chemical water treatment and electricity.” So, it seems the only genocide here is in fact your beloved embargo. Whatever it takes, right, Paul?

          • May 2, 2013 at 2:11 pm
            Permalink

            Dan Christensen. those that know you are STILL waiting for over 12 years for you to post ONE direct link to a site of a respected international organization that would EVER have referred to the embargo as genocide.
            FOR OVER YEARS now you have been unable to do so.
            That says what you are all about.
            Genocide Watch is a mainstream human rights organization, to paraphrase your innuendo that it wouldn’t be. It is made up of RESPECTED organizations from various countries.
            Be frustrated by reality all you want, Dan Christensen, your lies won’t change it.

  • May 1, 2013 at 8:11 pm
    Permalink

    Finally getting the grip on whose side those ‘New York Times dissidents’ are?

    Reply
  • May 2, 2013 at 8:04 am
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    Many people are unaware that it was the Castro who initiated the first steps of the embargo when he pulled Cuba out of the IMF. Ernesto Guevara declared that Cuba would not need to trade with the Yanqui imperialists and that within a few years under socialism, Cuba would have a higher standard of living than the USA.

    So how’s that working out for you, Che?

    Reply
    • May 2, 2013 at 11:24 am
      Permalink

      Hahaha! I never heard that one. These guys were obviously not as bright as most people think. Or maybe more arrogant than most people imagined. This comment by Che, like Fidel’s supercow, really say something about men in power who should have learned to “keep their own counsel” more often.

      Reply
  • May 3, 2013 at 7:13 am
    Permalink

    During the special period people died in Cuba. They died of lack of nutrition.
    The US at that time allowed the sale of food and medicines.
    People in Cuba, certainly the 40% that do not receive help from abroad, go hungry and face privation.
    Cuban economists themselves have admitted that a Cuban family can’t make ends meet on a Cuban salary and that without help they can not meet the basic needs of that family.
    http://cubafood.blogspot.se/p/food-in-cuba-today.html

    The “solidarity” that keeps the Cuban people alive are the close to 5 Billion dollars in goods and cash that it receives in remittances most of which come from the US.

    The bulk of both food and remittances come from the country you claim is inflicting genocide.
    It is clear that that is a propaganda lie. Despite being challenged over and over again to post any corroboration from the organizations whose name you abuse here (UN, Amnesty International, …) where those would have called the embargo genocide you have posted nothing.

    Reply
  • May 3, 2013 at 1:43 pm
    Permalink

    Great news!

    The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) today announced the recipients of the Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent. The 2013 laureates are: Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat, North Korean democracy activist Park Sang Hak, and Cuban civil society group the Ladies in White—represented by their leader Berta Soler. They will be honored at a ceremony during the 2013 Oslo Freedom Forum in Norway on May 15.

    Reply
    • May 3, 2013 at 11:35 pm
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      The “Ladies,” promoters of the genocide of their own people, are getting a nice award from the capitalists for their unquestioning support of the US regime. Great.

      Reply
    • May 21, 2013 at 9:20 am
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      Of course they need help from abroad, since they get so little at home. The current government’s predecessors were so vicious, homicidal, and utterly corrupt, and Cuban society so unequal and deprived, that the present situation is an enormous improvement; only foreigners imagine (through vanity, greed, malice and willful ignorance) that they could do better.

      Reply
  • May 8, 2013 at 7:53 pm
    Permalink

    One would have to say, with genuine admiration, that Yusimi
    Rodriguez would make a truly great politician, especially in the United States,
    because she has demonstrated a remarkable aptitude for speaking from both sides
    of her mouth, as the saying goes, or managing to make no point at all with her two
    articles! The CIA and other intelligence agency analysts, however, have never
    resorted to equivocation on the goal of the blockade and other economic warfare
    actions against Cuba. They are on record for stating that the goal of the
    blockade is to cause the overthrow of the Cuban government by a citizenry
    suffering from hunger and all kinds of deprivations.

    Jesse Jackson haslong questioned the immorality of using millions of taxpayer money for subversive acts to cause suffering among the Cuban populace instead of using it for good and actually helping the people. It is fundamentally immoral, and those at the
    very top who plan such things have pathological minds, no matter what degrees
    they acquired from prestigious universities.

    For whatever reason, known only to her, Yusimi can profess
    ignorance of the effects of the blockade and to what extent its privations on
    the populace. The ordinary Cuban without a family to send remittances and goods
    from Florida has no such confusion. In the nineties, at the height of the
    Special Period in Cuba, I tried to send thick volume books (bilingual
    dictionaries etc) to a Cuban student through the USPS only to be told, parcels above 4 pounds could not be accepted. Such was the insanity and cruelty of the blockade then! Offended but not discouraged, I quickly discovered the new “Underground Railroad” for sending forbidden “lethal” items to a student in Cuba, such as a
    dictionary, via other countries at greater cost nevertheless.

    I agree a million percent with Fidel that Cuba deserves the “Platinum
    Medal” for having survived the blockade for this long.

    Reply
  • May 11, 2013 at 2:35 pm
    Permalink

    “….. to ensure freedom and democracy in the country.”

    “Freedom” and “Democracy” are not synonymous and are, in most cases, antagonistic concepts. The United States is a fine example of democracy, where the majority choose to restrict governance for the benefit, and discipline, of all. Minorities of any kind lack the engrained inclusion of other, less “democratic” political systems, one of which is the Cuban political system.

    Reply
  • May 20, 2013 at 11:15 am
    Permalink

    Las Damas Blancas have very short memories. How convenient. I don’t doubt that they are financed and supported in other ways by the U.S., who is spending tens of millions of dollars in precisely this kind of thing. Nevertheless, you are correct in insisting that their freedom of speech should not be limited (nor, in fact, does it seem to be). The real context here, though is an historical one. For all of the shortcomings of the Revolutionary government (and its massive and unprecedented achievements), those who wish it replaced cannot avoid the accusation that they would have liked life better under Batista or Machado, and that is utterly disgraceful.

    Reply

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