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Now that Castro's gone....

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Veovis, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. Veovis

    Veovis
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    Being a norther hat to most of the members here going to Cuba has always been an option, and though not the same as Mexico trips I have enjoyed them in the past, and looking forward to a week at the end of March.

    However I hear more and more people talk about how the sanctions are about to lift and that we should travel there now before it all gets "americanized" etc. Even though I am already going, is this really a likelihood? Are there companies just chomping at the bit to get into Cuba?

    I'm curious for those that have been, would you go again and would you like to if it became a more accessible option?
     
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  2. Juice

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    People that are saying that any sanctions against Cuba in 2015 are anachronistic and pointless, don't really have any idea what they're talking about. Being a typical communist shit-hole, Cuba has a pretty long history of human rights abuses and oppression of its people. As far geopolitics go, the US and NATO have little to really gain from lifting the sanctions, and Cuba has everything to gain. Doing so grants legitimacy to those abuses. I know Castro isnt in power now and his elderly brother is nearing his end also, but whats to gain from doing this? I guess its trendy to want to visit Cuba, but in reality the country is much closer to North Korea than Little Havana in Miami. Plus they let Russia point nukes at us, so fuck them.
     
  3. The Village Idiot

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    I'm going to respectfully disagree. The US does have a lot to gain from lifting sanctions, namely, the fact that, like it or not, they are a bordering nation. Our policy over the last 50 years hasn't worked, as Cuba is still communist. As far as the human rights abuse thing, we've long supported/interacted with regimes that have horrible human rights' records, off the top of my head: Egypt, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Qatar, Iraq, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Panama, El Salvador, just to name a few.

    As far as the Cuban Missile Crises, the Cubans were a bit upset that we invaded them. I know, so touchy. So they asked Russia (their patron) for help. Given the fact that the Russians were pissed that we had nuclear weapons in Turkey, right across their border, they thought perhaps a bit of tit for tat would be a good policy. In the end, it was. They got the US to agree to remove the missiles in Turkey. I know here in the West, we view ourselves as the good guys all the time, but there was plenty of blame to go around in that particular instance - starting with us invading Cuba.

    Dialogue is always a good thing. You may disagree, but most misunderstandings politically and diplomatically occur when the two parties won't communicate directly. I think this is a good thing, and by doing so, no I'm not absolving Cuba of their horrible human rights record. Sometimes (and I know this is a foreign concept in this age of American Bullying (TM)) leading by example is better than leading by pointed guns.
     
  4. Juice

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    Absolutely, Im not placing 100% of the CMC blame squarely on them, but their proximity to the US as a pseudo-bordering nation is not in and of itself a benefit. They're an interesting geo-political experiment. 50 years of US containment didnt loosen the communist dictatorship in their country, but neither did the fact that almost every other nation engages in commerce with them. And in support of that point, increase commerce and dialogue didnt move the needle an inch politically in China or Vietnam since the Cold War. Russia might as well be stuck in 1989 perpetually, despite massively increased commerce and trade with the rest of the world. In Cuba all finances first go through the government first and foremost who takes a huge chunk before letting it trickle to the masses. Its still a police state with absolute control, which it exercises with impunity. Leading by example hasnt worked.

    Although never a true embargo like Cuba, relaxing trade with China was similar with little results with their structure, but the difference is the additional payoff was massively in our favor. It triggered one of the biggest international realignments in history after the Cold War. Russia was left in the dust with its chief communist ally going neutral. Yes, we have some relations with other nations with similar records, but the ones you listed have such varying reasons behind it, it becomes impossible to classify them in the same group. We dont have a choice with Russia, China, and in some ways Brazil. They are too big and too powerful. The Middle Eastern nations have oil, like it or not, that's the reality. Cuba doesnt have any of those strategic benefits, we are giving something for nothing.
     
  5. The Village Idiot

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    Your position is completely justifiable, and I suspect pretty popular. But for me, having dialogue with a neighbor, no matter how poorly run, is a good thing. I'd rather sit at the table and talk then fume in solitude. Cuba sucks. It's a poorly run country, no argument here. But ultimately, I come out of the (naive) side that talking is better than not talking, so I'm willing to hope that this goes somewhere better than it was before.
     
  6. Juice

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    Totally agree, I dont think that view is naive at all. Communication is always beneficial, even if its not particularly fruitful.
     
  7. Crown Royal

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    Cuba is fucking awesome, I went there for my honeymoon and we've been twice since. Part of the reason is it isn't filled with obnoxious tourists. Sure, there's a lot of Euros and their men wear speedos still for some unknown, closeted reason but I love the lack of fat, loud louts shouting at the locals so they understand English better. And in Cuba, it seems just about everybody speaks English.

    It has unsurpassed cigars and rum, gorgeous beaches and the cars are just amazing. It looks like a 1950's paradise still and we never felt threatened or unsafe.

    Love Cuba. Don't ever change it.
     
  8. AFHokie

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    Well technically, exiled Cubans invaded, but they didn't get there without US support. The fucked up thing is that while Castro leaned toward communism, he was not a staunch communist (nor a patron of Russia) while a revolutionary working to overthrow Batista. In 1959 he was a popular with the US media and came to the US as a guest speaker to a few different media society organizations. Castro professed a lot of anti-American rhetoric as well as nationalized US business in Cuba, etc. During the trip he met with then Vice-President Nixon because Eisenhower intentionally avoided him by going to play golf. Instead of engaging with Castro since we supported Batista (a corrupt abusive government itself) we ignored and pushed him to the Soviets simply because they offered him support. When he spoke at the UN General Assembly in 1960 where he gave a four hour speech railing against U.S. policy toward Cuba and other nations in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. shortly after his UN speech, the US severed ties with Cuba.

    Dialogue is immensely important and I wonder how the past fifty years would've turned out if we had engaged diplomatically with Castro.

    They may both be communist countries, but I wouldn't call China a chief ally of Russia. They fought a border conflict against each other in 1969 and the ideological and political split between the two in the sixties created the opportunity for Nixon to open US-Chinese relations. We didn't do anything to trigger the realignment; we just seized the opportunity.
     
  9. Juice

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    In the context of the Cold War I would. But youre right, the border conflict in the 60s led to Nixon's visit to Beijing in the early 70s, which is often cited as the catalyst for normalizing relations with them.
     
  10. AFHokie

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    I still wouldn't in the context of the Cold War. At least not after 1960. Ironically, the split between Russia and China was greatly influenced by Mao's antagonistic attitude toward capitalist countries whereas the Soviets began to accept peaceful coexistence. He rejected the idea and called Khrushchev a revisionist traitor, but later warmed relations with the US. Of course a war with a border neighbor will influence how friendly you want to get with the neighbor down the street who also doesn't like your border neighbor. The Chinese even supported the mujahedin with weapons and training during Soviet-Afghan war...not something a chief ally would do.

    China doesn't seem to get along with other commie countries, or countries they share a border with. China also went to war with India in 1962 and Vietnam in 1979 over border disputes.
     
  11. The Village Idiot

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    China doesn't get along with anyone, because it is run by a bunch of psychopaths. I'm not a big fan of 'commies suck' - but damn, what those countries do to their environment and infrastructure is amazing in its sheer horror. Cuba is equally bad as far as infrastructure, though they haven't destroyed their environment to the same degree, mostly because they don't have much industry, or the means to create such.