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Source: (consider it) Thread: Castro's legacy
lilBuddha
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What is a balanced look at what Castro actually did for Cuba?
This link gives an attempt, at least for as short as it is.
So, free healthcare but massive poverty; free education but little opportunity.
In the long run, are Cuban's better off then they would have been without the Revolution?

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

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Marvin the Martian

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The poorest of them certainly are. The rest aren't.

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
The poorest of them certainly are. The rest aren't.

The poorest of them probably accounted for a substantial majority of the population before the revolution. I'm not sure how much better off they are now, but I'll bet they are better off than they would have been had Batista and the United Fruit Company still been in charge.

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Martin60
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Yeah, they missed out on being run by the Mafia. Like Vegas but without CSI. A running sore of pure fifty bucks will get you ANYTHING hedonism.

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Love wins

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lilBuddha
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The poorest are if you project that Cuba would have stayed in stasis, certainly. And could well be if Cuba had followed a trajectory similar to other Caribbean countries such as Haiti. However, Cuba had much more potential.
My thinking is that had Castro adapted better, Cuba's economy would be in a much better place now than it is. Cuba had a strong, though unbalanced, economy and Castro stifled it. With help from a US embargo, of course.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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lilBuddha
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Cuba, pre-Revolution as not good, but not as bad as often portrayed.
Batista, and the corruption, needed to go. I question whether Castro was the answer, though. Had the island been in the hands of someone else, it could likely be in a better position now. Castro's edict that none of the commandante's take power was one he should have kept.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Cuba, pre-Revolution as not good, but not as bad as often portrayed.
Batista, and the corruption, needed to go. I question whether Castro was the answer, though. Had the island been in the hands of someone else, it could likely be in a better position now. Castro's edict that none of the commandante's take power was one he should have kept.

Not necessarily. This post from blogger Erik Loomis offers a few reasonable comparisons.

quote:
And this is the world context in which we have to evaluate Castro. In the end, which nation is better off today, Cuba or the Dominican Republic? Or any of its similar neighbors around the Caribbean basin. While many Americans demonize Castro as a monster, have the Cuban people been worse off than the U.S. client state in the Dominican Republic under the homicidal maniac Rafael Trujillo or his hack assistant Joaquin Balaguer, who came to power with the assistance of Lyndon Johnson’s 1965 invasion to eliminate the movement behind democratically elected but now overthrown Juan Bosch? I think that’s pretty unlikely. Cuba and the DR have similar histories, economies, racial makeup, and interactions with American imperialism. We can’t actually know the answer to this, but if you look at Mexico, at Nicaragua, at Honduras, at Guatemala, at Haiti, at Jamaica, and at the Dominican Republic, it’s really hard to see how their histories since 1958 have somehow been more free and prosperous than that of Castro’s Cuba. And while this is not the final statistic on these issues, of all the nations listed above, the UN Human Development Index ranks Communist Cuba 1st, and 5th in all of Latin America.
So the question isn't whether the island would have been better off in the hands of a generic "someone else", but rather with the specific type of client-state dictators installed to serve American interests, as we see in both Castro's predecessors and his neighbors.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Callan
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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
The poorest of them certainly are. The rest aren't.

The poorest of them probably accounted for a substantial majority of the population before the revolution. I'm not sure how much better off they are now, but I'll bet they are better off than they would have been had Batista and the United Fruit Company still been in charge.
It's basically Macaulay on Sir Robert Walpole. Macaulay observed that he was on the side of good government against Walpole and on the side of Walpole against the Whigs who overthrew him. Substitute Walpole for Castro and Castro's predecessor for Walpole's successor and you have something like the truth.

The two fairly major demerits of Castro's policies are first, that during the Cuban missile crisis he urged Khrushchev to launch a first strike against the US. If Khrushchev had followed his advice we would not be discussing this on the internet. The second is that if we were Cuban citizens today we could not discuss this on the internet and indeed, if we were to discuss it at all we would have to do so, sotto voce. Castro's admirers, with some justice, point to his healthcare and literacy programmes. This, at a stroke, illustrates my love-hate relationship with the political left. It is, I suppose, preferable to prefer a dictatorship that privileges health care over, say, making the trains run on time or facilitating the interests of US multinationals. But it is still an apologetic for a dictatorship, which has governed in a fairly deplorable way.

It will be interesting to see what happens next. My guess is that the opening up of the US to Cuba will continue during Trump's Presidency. I also guess that a Trump Casino will open up in Havana during the next four years. I also guess that when this happens we will be assured that the President had no knowledge of the matter because his business interests are in a blind trust, controlled by his children. I await the response of "The sun shines by day, but you Comrade Fidel also shines by night" people, to that development with eager anticipation.

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Kaplan Corday
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With 49 years in power, he certainly came first in the Dictatorship Longevity Stakes.

Franco and Salazar came closest with 36 years apiece, while Hitler and Mussolini, even Stalin and Mao, were well back in the field.

One of the common and more bizarre observations on Castro is that he outlasted so many American presidents.

So he did, but given that they have to stand for re-election every four years, and he declined to ever test the supposed devotion of Cubans to him at the polls (or even allow them to openly criticise and oppose his regime), this seems scarcely worthy of comment.

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Kaplan Corday
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Sorry, I forgot Kim Il Sung with 46 years.
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Dafyd
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I think I would sum up by saying, as dictators go, one of the better ones.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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Fidel Castro outlived American democracy.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
I think I would sum up by saying, as dictators go, one of the better ones.

I think I would sum up by saying, as dictators go, a lesser evil than some (such as Batista).
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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Fidel Castro outlived American democracy.

If you mean that Trump has said that he is going to abolish elections and remain in power indefinitely, then I hadn't caught up with that.

If you mean that Trump won office without a majority of the popular vote then, as I pointed out in another thread, Salvador Allende, revered as one of democracy's martyrs, was not legitimately elected president of Chile, either.

If you are merely venting out of a sense of frustration, then FWIW I agree with you that Trump is an arsehole.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
So the question isn't whether the island would have been better off in the hands of a generic "someone else", but rather with the specific type of client-state dictators installed to serve American interests, as we see in both Castro's predecessors and his neighbors.

No it is not. Revolution was fomenting in Cuba and was inevitable, Castro was not. There could have been a different leader, Castro could have honoured his pledge to not take power, he could have moved towards democracy, etc.
BTW, Cuba's economy was 5th in the hemisphere prior to the Revolution.
Castro did better for his people than the majority of dictators, but he could have left the country in a better position than he did. Like many who seek power, he could not get out of his own way.
Castro's Cuba was not free, and only to a degree more free than other dictators and the puppet rulers of much of Latin America. It was less dangerous and the poor were much better served.

Castro was neither the devil nor a saint. IMO, his legacy should be viewed as mixed.

quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
It is, I suppose, preferable to prefer a dictatorship that privileges health care over, say, making the trains run on time or facilitating the interests of US multinationals. But it is still an apologetic for a dictatorship, w

It is no small thing to focus on lifting the poor and is not so throw away a thing as your post seems to imply. Castro came closer to fulfilling the promise of Communism than any other. Just not close enough.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Anglican_Brat
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quote:
It is no small thing to focus on lifting the poor and is not so throw away a thing as your post seems to imply. Castro came closer to fulfilling the promise of Communism than any other. Just not close enough.
Castro's disregard for liberal human rights need to be understood in the context of Communist/Left political ideology. In terms of this ideology, any support of liberal human rights that did not come with an a priori ideological commitment to the interests of the working class would inevitably lead to the takeover of the political system by wealthy interests. Genuine democracy in this view, ironically can only occur with a dictatorship of the proletariat because that is the price you pay to keep the greedy capitalists from controlling and imposing their will on the people.

America never understood this because ideologically, their advancement of democracy is tied to their praise of capitalism, i.e. to a left wing view, American democracy is an ideological cover for rule by the wealthy.

Principled critique of Castro on human rights, needs to not be associated with praise of the capitalist system, which IMHO, is my suspicion with some of the right wing critics of Castro.

[ 27. November 2016, 02:57: Message edited by: Anglican_Brat ]

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Gee D
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Like so many other dictators, he declared war on his own people, savagely and ruthlessly. Not to the extent of the Kim dynasty of North Korea, Mao or Stalin, but war nonetheless.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
Genuine democracy in this view, ironically can only occur with a dictatorship of the proletariat because that is the price you pay to keep the greedy capitalists from controlling and imposing their will on the people..

Dictatorship of the proletariat is bullshit. Those who begin control will remain in control or be supplanted by another small group or person who will have control.
Any dictatorship will include the persecution of the people. At best it can manage some good, but abuse will happen. I do not agree that democracy must favour the wealthy. It does so in America because the wealthy founded the country and wealth is power. The people can have power as well, but it takes education and effort.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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Dictatorship or plutocracy. Which do you love least? Probably the one which harms you more. Thus give me Cuba before Guatemala or Nicaragua, the later before Reagan's illegal guns and overthrow.

(Yes Kaplan, we agree)

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Anglican_Brat
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Dictatorship or plutocracy. Which do you love least? Probably the one which harms you more. Thus give me Cuba before Guatemala or Nicaragua, the later before Reagan's illegal guns and overthrow.

(Yes Kaplan, we agree)

Not to mention that American conservatives only squawk about the evils of dictatorship when it comes to Castro's Cuba. They are surprisingly silent when it comes to America's cozy relationship with Saudi Arabia for example.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Dictatorship or plutocracy. Which do you love least? Probably the one which harms you more. Thus give me Cuba before Guatemala or Nicaragua, the later before Reagan's illegal guns and overthrow.

Sorry, don't give me either.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Anglican't
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
I think I would sum up by saying, as dictators go, one of the better ones.

I think I would sum up by saying, as dictators go, a lesser evil than some (such as Batista).
Although a dictator, he restored his country's sovereignty and made great improvements in public health and infrastructure. But anyway, enough about Hitler.

quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
Not to mention that American conservatives only squawk about the evils of dictatorship when it comes to Castro's Cuba.

This cuts both ways. A number of people on the left who bang on about how evil Pinochet was (which I don't doubt) are now mourning the death of Castro. I struggle to see the difference between the two, besides the fact one wore a smarter uniform.
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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
This cuts both ways. A number of people on the left who bang on about how evil Pinochet was (which I don't doubt) are now mourning the death of Castro. I struggle to see the difference between the two, besides the fact one wore a smarter uniform. [/QB]
Pinochet killed a lot more people, and did little to help the ordinary people of Chile. He also overthrew a democratic government rather than a corrupt dictatorship.
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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
I think I would sum up by saying, as dictators go, one of the better ones.

I think I would sum up by saying, as dictators go, a lesser evil than some (such as Batista).
Although a dictator, he restored his country's sovereignty and made great improvements in public health and infrastructure. But anyway, enough about Hitler.

quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
Not to mention that American conservatives only squawk about the evils of dictatorship when it comes to Castro's Cuba.

This cuts both ways. A number of people on the left who bang on about how evil Pinochet was (which I don't doubt) are now mourning the death of Castro. I struggle to see the difference between the two, besides the fact one wore a smarter uniform.

Dictators also have double standards when dealing with other dictators - hence Castro spent his career building a communist/socialist one-party state and then declared three days of national mourning in Cuba when Franco died...

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Schroedinger's cat

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I still think a benign dictator is a good model. Castro was not this, but maybe closer than many. Definitely closer than Saudi or Korea.

Of course, so much of the information we have about Cuba comes from western-controlled sources, so tend to be negative. I suspect - without any justification - that he was a lot better than he could have been for many. Whereas most of the west makes things better for the few at the expense of the many.

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Anglican't
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quote:
Originally posted by Schroedinger's cat:
Of course, so much of the information we have about Cuba comes from western-controlled sources

No doubt because Cubans themselves aren't able to tell us what they think.
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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
Pinochet killed a lot more people

Not true.

Estimates vary as to the numbers who died under Castro, but even when the thousands of those who drowned fleeing Cuba on makeshift flotation are left out, he still killed more than the more or less agreed upon 3,000 who died under Pinochet.

The only difference between them was that Pinochet was a murderous Latin American military dictator, and Castro was a murderous Latin American military dictator.

As dictators go, neither plumbed the depths of a Mao, Hitler or Stalin, but that is not saying a great deal.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
Pinochet killed a lot more people

Not true.

Estimates vary as to the numbers who died under Castro, but even when the thousands of those who drowned fleeing Cuba on makeshift flotation are left out, he still killed more than the more or less agreed upon 3,000 who died under Pinochet.

The only difference between them was that Pinochet was a murderous Latin American military dictator, and Castro was a murderous Latin American military dictator.

As dictators go, neither plumbed the depths of a Mao, Hitler or Stalin, but that is not saying a great deal.

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Anglican't
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
Pinochet killed a lot more people

Not true.

Estimates vary as to the numbers who died under Castro, but even when the thousands of those who drowned fleeing Cuba on makeshift flotation are left out, he still killed more than the more or less agreed upon 3,000 who died under Pinochet.

The only difference between them was that Pinochet was a murderous Latin American military dictator, and Castro was a murderous Latin American military dictator.

As dictators go, neither plumbed the depths of a Mao, Hitler or Stalin, but that is not saying a great deal.

The numbers game also seems pretty meaningless to me. On that basis Stalin was a far worse person than Pol Pot. Really?
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Enoch
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It's just been announced on our news that the Cuban state has decided there will be a FOUR DAY funeral procession. It sounds as though his corpse will be taken for a tour of the whole country concentrating especially on locations which have particular significance in the mythology of the Great Leader.

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Enoch
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Second post
quote:
Originally posted by Schroedinger's cat:
I still think a benign dictator is a good model. Castro was not this, but maybe closer than many. Definitely closer than Saudi or Korea. ...

One often hears people say this. Can you name any actual example?

I can't and I think that speaks for itself.

I lived for four years in one that is sometimes commended as one - but only by people who had never been there. It cured me of that particular delusion.

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Schroedinger's cat

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Second post
quote:
Originally posted by Schroedinger's cat:
I still think a benign dictator is a good model. Castro was not this, but maybe closer than many. Definitely closer than Saudi or Korea. ...

One often hears people say this. Can you name any actual example?

I can't and I think that speaks for itself.

I lived for four years in one that is sometimes commended as one - but only by people who had never been there. It cured me of that particular delusion.

No, because I don't think we have ever had one. It is a model, not something that has ever been actually put into practice.

The idea is that someone has power to do what they want, but they are always working for the good of all the people. I don't think any political leader would actually want to move to that situation, because it actually removes their power.

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quetzalcoatl
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I was amused to read Castro's old idea that homosexuality is a bourgeois decadent phenomenon. You can of course reverse this - Castro's tendency to punish gays is the bourgeois phenomenon, found in many states. I do accept that he eventually apologized for this.

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
quote:
It is no small thing to focus on lifting the poor and is not so throw away a thing as your post seems to imply. Castro came closer to fulfilling the promise of Communism than any other. Just not close enough.
Castro's disregard for liberal human rights need to be understood in the context of Communist/Left political ideology. In terms of this ideology, any support of liberal human rights that did not come with an a priori ideological commitment to the interests of the working class would inevitably lead to the takeover of the political system by wealthy interests. Genuine democracy in this view, ironically can only occur with a dictatorship of the proletariat because that is the price you pay to keep the greedy capitalists from controlling and imposing their will on the people.

America never understood this because ideologically, their advancement of democracy is tied to their praise of capitalism, i.e. to a left wing view, American democracy is an ideological cover for rule by the wealthy.

Principled critique of Castro on human rights, needs to not be associated with praise of the capitalist system, which IMHO, is my suspicion with some of the right wing critics of Castro.

It's axiomatic that Western democracy is an ideological cover for rule by the wealthy, not left wing. Was there more social justice in Cuba than in the US? Is there? Or are we saying the egalitarian level of Cuba is so low that the lack of social justice in Western democracies is still more beneficial to the masses? If so, that's nothing to do with the failure of Cuban socialism but Cuba being punished for overreacting to the existential threat of the CIA's Bay of Pigs counter-revolutionary invasion by bringing the world to the brink of nuclear holocaust. With Castro demanding a first strike from Khrushchev.

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Love wins

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Callan
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
quote:
It is no small thing to focus on lifting the poor and is not so throw away a thing as your post seems to imply. Castro came closer to fulfilling the promise of Communism than any other. Just not close enough.
Castro's disregard for liberal human rights need to be understood in the context of Communist/Left political ideology. In terms of this ideology, any support of liberal human rights that did not come with an a priori ideological commitment to the interests of the working class would inevitably lead to the takeover of the political system by wealthy interests. Genuine democracy in this view, ironically can only occur with a dictatorship of the proletariat because that is the price you pay to keep the greedy capitalists from controlling and imposing their will on the people.

America never understood this because ideologically, their advancement of democracy is tied to their praise of capitalism, i.e. to a left wing view, American democracy is an ideological cover for rule by the wealthy.

Principled critique of Castro on human rights, needs to not be associated with praise of the capitalist system, which IMHO, is my suspicion with some of the right wing critics of Castro.

It's axiomatic that Western democracy is an ideological cover for rule by the wealthy, not left wing. Was there more social justice in Cuba than in the US? Is there? Or are we saying the egalitarian level of Cuba is so low that the lack of social justice in Western democracies is still more beneficial to the masses? If so, that's nothing to do with the failure of Cuban socialism but Cuba being punished for overreacting to the existential threat of the CIA's Bay of Pigs counter-revolutionary invasion by bringing the world to the brink of nuclear holocaust. With Castro demanding a first strike from Khrushchev.
You make it sound as if communist states actually deliver social justice. In some instances they have delivered improvements in their citizens lives - if one overlooks the people they kill, torture or imprison along the way - but there is still a class which has what one might call preferential access to wealth. When the ministry of economics screws up and there are shortages it isn't the higher echelons of The Party who go without and the limited amount of luxury goods produced either find their way into the dachas of The Party elite or are sold to tourists in order to bring in foreign currency.

As a dissident in the old Soviet bloc memorably observed. Under capitalism man oppresses man. Under socialism, it is the opposite.

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Schroedinger's cat:
No, because I don't think we have ever had one. It is a model, not something that has ever been actually put into practice. ....

But that's the point. History has had many millennia in which somebody could have demonstrated that this is possible, but it hasn't been done.

Likewise, Marx's dream might have appeared attractive, but the places that have put it into practice, Soviet Russia, Mao's China, Hoxha's Albania, Pot's Cambodia and the Kim hereditary kleptocracy have all demonstrated that not only is this a delusion, but the more purist anyone attempts to implement it, the less attractive the result.

However potentially persuasive the theory, if the evidence all demonstrates that something doesn't work, don't do it and don't advocate it. The evidence shows that the theory has missed something crucial. As a traditional sort of Christian, I've no difficulty spotting what that might be.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
With 49 years in power, he certainly came first in the Dictatorship Longevity Stakes.

Only for the 20th/21st century. Louis XIV (as one example) had a longer rule, even if you don't count his regency period.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
With 49 years in power, he certainly came first in the Dictatorship Longevity Stakes.

Only for the 20th/21st century. Louis XIV (as one example) had a longer rule, even if you don't count his regency period.
Though the level of power can overlap, monarchs and dictators are not technically the same thing and are generally not compared.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Callan
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
With 49 years in power, he certainly came first in the Dictatorship Longevity Stakes.

Only for the 20th/21st century. Louis XIV (as one example) had a longer rule, even if you don't count his regency period.
Though the level of power can overlap, monarchs and dictators are not technically the same thing and are generally not compared.
Usually, a long reigning monarch inherits the throne when their predecessor dies and preparations have been made for the succession. A dictator has, usually, to first become the leading member of the revolutionary party or army, then lead a successful revolution and only then does the clock start ticking. Considered on purely Machiavellian terms a long standing dictator is vastly more successful because holding power in a society which accepts that it is legitimate to take it by force than one where the possession of rule is hallowed by Divine Right or Ma'at or whatever the legitimising authority is. Louis XIV did not have to worry about William III authorising an invasion by disgruntled Hugenots or sending him exploding cigars.

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Fidel Castro outlived American democracy.

If you mean that Trump has said that he is going to abolish elections and remain in power indefinitely, then I hadn't caught up with that.

If you mean that Trump won office without a majority of the popular vote then, as I pointed out in another thread, Salvador Allende, revered as one of democracy's martyrs, was not legitimately elected president of Chile, either.

If you are merely venting out of a sense of frustration, then FWIW I agree with you that Trump is an arsehole.

Elections or not, democracy is in peril in the supposed democratic West because business interests outweigh and overrule* the will of the people as expressed at the ballot box.

*I could say business interests "Trump" the will of the people, but the Donald can't be held responsible for that.

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lily pad
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
It's just been announced on our news that the Cuban state has decided there will be a FOUR DAY funeral procession. It sounds as though his corpse will be taken for a tour of the whole country concentrating especially on locations which have particular significance in the mythology of the Great Leader.

He's being cremated - it will be his ashes that get the tour, not his corpse.

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Sloppiness is not caring. Fussiness is caring about the wrong things. With thanks to Adeodatus!

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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Democracy in the western hemisphere, Latin America. Was it encouraged more by Cuba's support of governments or America's overthrow of governments. And which did more invasions and assassinations and training how to torture?

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Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Democracy in the western hemisphere, Latin America. Was it encouraged more by Cuba's support of governments or America's overthrow of governments. And which did more invasions and assassinations and training how to torture?

When a defence is predicated on lack of opportunity, it is not a justification of character.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
during the Cuban missile crisis he urged Khrushchev to launch a first strike against the US. If Khrushchev had followed his advice we would not be discussing this on the internet.

According to interviews with former Soviet officials after 1991 (specifically, staff officer General Danilevich, from a transcript held by George Washington University), Castro was still pressing for a first strike against the US during the early 1980s.

They had to explain to him the ecological consequences for Cuba, which suggests that his intelligence was on a par with his ethics.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Democracy in the western hemisphere, Latin America. Was it encouraged more by Cuba's support of governments or America's overthrow of governments. And which did more invasions and assassinations and training how to torture?

When a defence is predicated on lack of opportunity, it is not a justification of character.
When is predicated on avarice and economic gain of a nation, is character then justified?
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Callan
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
during the Cuban missile crisis he urged Khrushchev to launch a first strike against the US. If Khrushchev had followed his advice we would not be discussing this on the internet.

According to interviews with former Soviet officials after 1991 (specifically, staff officer General Danilevich, from a transcript held by George Washington University), Castro was still pressing for a first strike against the US during the early 1980s.

They had to explain to him the ecological consequences for Cuba, which suggests that his intelligence was on a par with his ethics.

Good grief!

Although it would have been equally bonkers in the 1960s, of course.

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
Elections or not, democracy is in peril in the supposed democratic West because business interests outweigh and overrule* the will of the people as expressed at the ballot box.

And the solution is to jettison elections and ballot box....?
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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
With 49 years in power, he certainly came first in the Dictatorship Longevity Stakes.

Only for the 20th/21st century. Louis XIV (as one example) had a longer rule, even if you don't count his regency period.
Though the level of power can overlap, monarchs and dictators are not technically the same thing and are generally not compared.
Whether one equates Louis XIV with the average dictator or not, assessed from the standpoint of finding oneself one of his subjects, he is no persuasive advertisement for the benefits of absolute rule.

--------------------
Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
With 49 years in power, he certainly came first in the Dictatorship Longevity Stakes.

Only for the 20th/21st century. Louis XIV (as one example) had a longer rule, even if you don't count his regency period.
And Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria reigned for 68 years (1848-1916).

None of us would like to live under Louis, Francis or Fidel, but the point is that from a historical perspective, the first two were roughly representative of their era, whereas Castro was a (possibly wannabe totalitarian, certainly harshly repressive) dictator in an era when liberal, pluralist democracy was a rapidly spreading and workable ideal.

In other words, he was a reactionary aberration.

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
With 49 years in power, he certainly came first in the Dictatorship Longevity Stakes.

Only for the 20th/21st century. Louis XIV (as one example) had a longer rule, even if you don't count his regency period.
Though the level of power can overlap, monarchs and dictators are not technically the same thing and are generally not compared.
Only because there are variations of monarchy. I'd argue that an absolute monarch, like Louis XIV, is just a dictator with a better tailor.

quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
Usually, a long reigning monarch inherits the throne when their predecessor dies and preparations have been made for the succession. A dictator has, usually, to first become the leading member of the revolutionary party or army, then lead a successful revolution and only then does the clock start ticking.

I reject any definition where Kim Il-sung is a "dictator" but Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un are "monarchs". Or that the powers exercised by Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud are "monarchical" (because he inherited his position) but Bashar al-Assad's powers are "dictatorial".

BTW, since he inherited the position due to family connections, does this mean Raúl Castro is a monarch?

quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
None of us would like to live under Louis, Francis or Fidel, but the point is that from a historical perspective, the first two were roughly representative of their era, whereas Castro was a (possibly wannabe totalitarian, certainly harshly repressive) dictator in an era when liberal, pluralist democracy was a rapidly spreading and workable ideal.

In other words, he was a reactionary aberration.

As I noted earlier, Castro does not seem like much of an aberration when compared to his neighbors. Feel free to make the case that the the people of the Dominican Republic (referenced earlier) were enjoying a liberal, pluralist democracy.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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