Friday, April 08, 2005

Vacation ?

Have some vacation time saved up? How about visiting the paradise that is Cuba? Home of 100% literacy and free healthcare ...

The Real Cuba

H/t: Babalu Blog

Update: This website has me transfixed ... this page shows Castro's health care system, with photos of "foreigner's hospitals" and those for cubans only. Un-fricken-believable.

Update II: the embargo myth

Update III: The site has a comments section - and there are a few very interesting discussions. This exchange has me riveted (sorry for such a long cut and paste:

I consider myself left-of-center in my politics, but to say that I defend Castro is quite a stretch.  What I cannot defend is a policy of an embargo that has provided Castro with the noose to choke his people.  I can say with determined certainty that if the embargo were to be lifted tomorrow, Castro's regime would begin to unravel.

(the site owner's response)Here I would have to disagree with you wholeheartedly. The reason Castro is choking his people is because he knows it is the best way to keep them under his totalitarian control. Castro knows that if you have to get up at 4 AM in the morning to start looking for food to feed your family, you’ll have no time to think about anything else, including finding ways to change the system. Castro has used the Ration Book (La Libreta) as one way of controlling the population.   Also, since the Cuban state is the only employer in the island, workers must obey Castro's orders or face the possibility of losing their jobs. That is why you see so many people participating in those marches in Havana and other Cuban cities. Workers and students are told where they need to be at a specific time, in order to be transported to wherever the demonstration is supposed to take place. Those who fail to do so and do not have a very good excuse, would be disciplined and they may even lose their jobs or their right to continue their education.
Are you so naive to think that Castro is going to allow the embargo to be lifted, unless it is lifted on his terms?   After all, he is the ‘máximo líder’ and he treats Cuba as his private farm and Cubans as his slaves. If the embargo is lifted, all those U.S. companies that are salivating at the prospect of having a well educated workforce of millions of slave workers that cannot ask for benefits, vacations, minimum wage, health insurance, right to strike, or anything else, and located only 90 miles from Florida, will go to Cuba and do business with Castro on his terms.  U.S. companies will pay Castro in dollars, he will pay his slaves in useless pesos and pocket the difference. This is exactly what he is doing now with all the European and Canadian companies that are doing business in Cuba. None of them are allowed to go to Cuba and place want ads looking for employees. They have to go to ‘Castro’s Employment Agency’ and sign a contract to hire the slaves through him.
Castro trades human beings, the same way other nations trade their national resources. If he needs to pay his Venezuelan partner, Hugo Chavez, for the oil that he is receiving, instead of cash Castro sends 2,000 doctors, 500 teachers, and 15,000 state security thugs to make sure that they do not defect.  When the USSR was subsidizing his regime, he was paying them by sending Black Cuban soldiers to die in the African ‘war of liberations’ where the Russians didn’t want to send their white children to die.  He even sent Cuban soldiers to protect American oil companies’ interests in South Africa and Angola, in exchange for $$$.
If the embargo is lifted, it would take only a few years for Castro to replace Bill Gates as the world’s richest person, but the Cuban people will not see any difference.  They will continue to be exploited, oppressed, without the most elemental human rights and their food will continue to be rationed.
Also, if the embargo is lifted, U.S. companies will be able to sell Castro on credit, instead of cash in advance as it is required now by law. And we all know that Castro doesn’t pay his bills.  All you need to do is ask the Canadians, the Spaniards, the Japanese, the Mexicans, the Venezuelans, etc. who have been dumb enough to sell to this crook on credit. So in the end, the American taxpayers will foot the bill for bailing out this corrupt and criminal dictator.
Is that what you want?