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$80m Toward Cuban Democracy
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Celaeno



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 9:58 pm    Post subject: $80m Toward Cuban Democracy Reply with quote

news.bbc.co.uk wrote:
US in $80m 'Cuba democracy' plan

US President George W Bush has approved an $80m (43m) fund towards boosting democracy in Cuba.

The president said the fund would help the Cuban people in their "transition from repressive control to freedom".

The fund is part of proposals put forward by the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba, which is considering a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.

A draft version of the proposals, released last week, drew strong criticism from Cuban officials.

In a statement, the president said: "I approved a Compact with the People of Cuba, which outlines how the United States will support the Cuban people as they transition from the repressive control of the Castro regime to freedom and a genuine democracy.

"The report demonstrates that we are actively working for change in Cuba, not simply waiting for change," the statement said.


Strained relations

The report also includes other measures such as enforcing sanctions already in place against the communist regime and 'providing uncensored information' for Cubans who want change.

The Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba includes US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez on its panel.

Ties between the US and Cuba have steadily become strained since Fidel Castro took power in 1959 and the two nations have not had diplomatic ties since then.

Do you think this is a measure the US should take? What do you think the likely outcomes will be?
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mouse



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, it's better than democratizing a la iraq. and definitely cheaper.

the question is, how would it actually work? are we going to try to buy off castro's successor?

i need to talk to my friend, the history professor, whose area of specialization is the return of democracy to spain after franco died. my recollection is, spain was tired of having a dictator, knew about democracy, and just went and did it. (ok, franco put the king back in power, but the king was cool with a democracy).

so i guess to me, the question is, can you make a country democratic if it doesn't want to be? can you stop it from returning to democracy if it wants to?
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Celaeno



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm wondering how they plan to use the money. The BBC says the fund is "to boost support for political opponents of the island's communist government." What exactly is meant by this?

Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places, but I can't find more information on this.
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thewaitersitsondown



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Do you think this is a measure the US should take?


Not to put too fine a point on it, but... Absolutely fucking not. Please tell me when in the last 100 years has US intervention in the political processes of another country ever been in that country's best interests? No offense to all you Americans, but the US, or at least its government, has been pissed at Cuba ever since Castro came into power and nationalised US businesses, and it's just been waiting for Castro to die so it can start taking advantage of the Cubans again. If a democracy is what Cuba wants, then it will happen naturally. There is no precedent anywhere to suggest that this policy of forcing political change will be at all benificial to Cuba or anyone else, except potentially the United States.
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Dusty



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think it would be a good idea to wait until after fidel dies. just to avoid you know, another missile crisis.
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John Mytton



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thewaitersitsondown wrote:
Quote:
Do you think this is a measure the US should take?


Not to put too fine a point on it, but... Absolutely fucking not. Please tell me when in the last 100 years has US intervention in the political processes of another country ever been in that country's best interests?

Panama- Theodore Roosevelt aided the Panamanians in splitting off from Colombia in order to build the Panama Canal, which IIRC Carter gave to the Panamanians, giving a Central American nation a good source of income.
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thewaitersitsondown



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Huh. Fair enough, if that's accurate. I figured honestly there was probably an example or two... but one must admit, there haven't been many cases of countries benifiting from US interference, compared to the number of cases in which it was damaging.

Quote:
i think it would be a good idea to wait until after fidel dies. just to avoid you know, another missile crisis.


Um. Wow. There's a lot of stupid in that comment. Do you know what the Cuban Missile Crisis was?
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John Mytton



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, with a future confrontation with China seeming almost inevitable (to me, at least), even if it is through a proxy war, it's important that the US solidify their links with the nations of the Americas as well as all nations so as to give ourselves a leg up in the future conflict. This of course requires diplomacy and making yourselves very popular, which the Bush administration has unfortunately had a very bad track record with.

Long story short is that if after Fidel dies we become friendly with Cuba it will be a good thing. Same thing for Venezuela, except moreso, especially considering their oil. Unfortunately, pending a coup or revolution, Chavez looks firm in his seat, and he's twenty-eight years younger than Castro.
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thewaitersitsondown



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But that's still only good from a US perspective. You haven't shown any possible benifits for Cuba or for the world in general.
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John Mytton



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Cuban people could benefit economically from the increased business from American trade and tourism that would presumably resume once a government friendly to the US took control of Cuba.

Also, the new government would probably be more sensitive to pressure by the United States to give the population more rights, though of course we've sullied a bit of our human rights record in the past few years.
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thewaitersitsondown



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose, but (and maybe I'm being a bit pessimistic here) it seems more likely to me that the US would be interested in exploiting Cuba rather than helping it. Human rights, in particular, get in the way of business and are thus not likely to be called for unless the government needs to look good in that particular area.
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Natashabi



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John Mytton wrote:
The Cuban people could benefit economically from the increased business from American trade and tourism that would presumably resume once a government friendly to the US took control of Cuba.

Also, the new government would probably be more sensitive to pressure by the United States to give the population more rights, though of course we've sullied a bit of our human rights record in the past few years.


Oooo, are you talking about Cuban Cigars, Prostitutes, and (if W. makes them illegal) Abortions?
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John Mytton



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thewaitersitsondown wrote:
I suppose, but (and maybe I'm being a bit pessimistic here) it seems more likely to me that the US would be interested in exploiting Cuba rather than helping it. Human rights, in particular, get in the way of business and are thus not likely to be called for unless the government needs to look good in that particular area.

The only thing is that one of the main industries I predict springing up would be tourism, and fortunately a lot of tourism companies work hard to protect where they're dumping pasty white folks off at so that they can continue making money far into the future, even if it is a slight setback to today's profits.

Also, with the growing interest in fair, organic foods it's not out of the question that there'd be a market for cigars rolled by workers that are paid a decent, living wage. And Cuba already has one of the highest abortion rates in the world (58.6 out of 100 pregnancies) mainly due to the fact that abortions are free on demand.
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Dinosaursareback!



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you really think that 80 million dollars was invested out of sheer generosity?

it's not the cigars, but the potential exploitation available.

cuba was a crime haven, back in the day.
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Dusty



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thewaitersitsondown wrote:
Huh. Fair enough, if that's accurate. I figured honestly there was probably an example or two... but one must admit, there haven't been many cases of countries benifiting from US interference, compared to the number of cases in which it was damaging.

Quote:
i think it would be a good idea to wait until after fidel dies. just to avoid you know, another missile crisis.


Um. Wow. There's a lot of stupid in that comment. Do you know what the Cuban Missile Crisis was?


er yes. when we spied on someone... cuba probably... and then they found out.
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