posted by Muaddib
The question still stands . . Why is it that "donwhite" is trying to "show the good things of Communism" where there are none . . “ [Edited by
To respond to your first question, Muaddib, because I am neither an ideologue nor a sycophant. And I was born with a healthy supply of skepticism.
Unlike the savages that are rampant in Africa, all too often with aid or of the blessing of the American government - as in Darfur where we are
trading lives for stale information on OBL - many communist dictators of the second half of the 20th century tried to improve conditions in their
countries. Yugoslavia's Tito is the best example. Ho Chi Minh is another. As did also Mr. Castro. The United States is 95% responsible for the
deplorable conditions in Cuba.
“ . . and why is it that he is not addressing the fact that "socialist democratic" countries are having a lot more problems with poor immigrants
making violent demonstrations, and in the overall using violence to protest what they see as a system which is not working in Europe more so than in
countries like the U.S.?
First, Muaddib, because it is not directly relevant to a discussion of Cuba post 1959. Despite our weaknesses which are plentiful, the US has
assimilated immigrants from every country on the planet, over the years since it was first colonized. 1607 or 1583. We are struggling today with
Latinos from Mexico and Central America. We have earlier granted an amnesty, which we will do again. We have no choice. But we’ll do it. And in a
generation or two, those people will be incorporated into our culture, we gaining from them, they gaining from us. European countries in contrast, are
largely homogeneous whereas we are largely heterogenous. That fact along with the really large cultural differences are the root causes of the
problems faced in Europe. But I believe those too, will be overcome. We do, after all, live in one world.
Yet "donwhite" wants to downplay these facts and wants to claim that "Communism is good and people in Cuba love Castro" when this is not even
close to the truth and it is known that the Cuban regime is one of the most repressive governments in the world against it's own population?
Like it or not, Muaddib, the CIA World Factbook is the best source of information available to Americans. Despite my own complaints about the
activities of the CIA, I am willing to accept these numbers as being “rather accurate.”
The Cuban’s average age is 35.9 yrs. Contrast that with Malawi, of recent Madonna adoption notoriety, at 16.5 years. The US is 36.5 years. Spain is
even deeper into demographic problems at 39.9 years. (Iraq is 19.7.) The Cuban population is slow growing, too, its estimated rate being 0.31% per
year. Barely adding 35,000 people a year. Iraq is at 2.66% (adding 665,000 a year) and the US is at 0.91%, much higher than the UK, at 0.28%. What’s
it all mean? High growth rate means lots of cheap labor, low growth rate puts the emphasis on education, technology and capital.
I mentioned earlier the overall success of the Cuba’s socialized medicine by reciting the two accepted indicators, 1) infant mortality, Cuba 6.22,
US, 6.43 and 2) longevity or life expectancy, Cuba at 77.41, US at 77.85 years. And we spend more on health care in the US than the Cubans spend on
everything! Literacy is given at 97%. National GDP in 2005 per CIA, $39 billion. GDP per capita, $3,500, unemployment is 1.9% again, 2005 est by CIA,
but the US was given at 5.9%. Three times the rate of Cuba.
Cuba’s 4 largest trading partners are Holland, Canada, China and Spain in that order. Surprisingly the US is Cuba’s 4th largest source of
imports, at 8.5% of the total. The size or number of men and women in Cuba’s armed forces is not given, but it is given that the annual military
expenditure is $690 million or 1.8% of GDP. I estimate that would support an army of about 45,000 men and women. Made sizeable expense necessary by
the constant harassment of Cuba by the CIA, despite the US agreeing not to do this as part of the settlement with the USSR in the 1962 missile crisis.
And Cuba's vivid memory of the CIA’s 1961 Bay of Pigs fiasco. Stupid efforts at poisoned cigars and etc. to assassinate Fidel. The CIA is not a
good word in the Western Hemisphere south of the Rio Grande.
I will not do your work for you, Mr Muaddib, but if you care to compare Cuba to other impoverished countries around the world and especially the
Central American republics, you can do it at this link:
Finally, if you have time you may watch a number of good scholarly discussions of world affairs on CSpan2 this weekend. You can find the schedule at
booktv.org, and may I recommend the following to you:
4 PM, “How Bush43 Rules;” 6 PM, “Mt. Rushmore;” 8 PM, “Temptation of Power;” Sunday,
1 AM, “Unconventional
War;” 9 AM, “Bush43 Hubris & the Iraq War;” 10 AM, “America to Rule the World;” 11:30 AM, “Target Iran;” 1 PM, “War Powers in the War
on Terror;” and 7 PM, “Thomas Paine.” Try it, Muaddib, you’ll like it.
[edit on 10/26/2006 by donwhite]