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Cuba Update!

Cuba is on the verge of modernity--but not if GW can help it
In October, Bush announced that his administration was looking into "bringing democracy to Cuba." He also announced a tightening of restrictions for American travelers going to Cuba, to stop money, tourists, or business from going to Cuba. He claims that any money that goes to Cuba ends up in Castro's hands, but just as in the case of Iraq, the economic sanctions that have been in place in Cuba since Eisenhower was president have only starved and crippled the people of that country.

Yet, Cuba has survived.

A big part of that reason is that the entire world ignores Americas embargo, and trades freely with Cuba. The rest of the world, and now even senators and congressman, are seeing more clearly how the policy on Cuba is ridiculous and failed.

My interest in Cuba comes from reading Chomsky, but also I had a friend from Cuba. She had really mixed feelings about Cuba, and Castro. She was glad to be out of there, but she also couldn't understand America's intense focus on that country. I'm sure alot of Cuban-Americans feel the same way, but Bush and Colin Powell would have you believe that all Cubans are "freedom loving exiles who love America and hate Castro with a passion." It's just not true.

In Bush's October 10 speech, he not only announced a tighter stranglehold on Cuba, he not only called Castro names as every president since Eisenhower has, but he also said something which is purely propaganda designed to fool and trick the American public. It is unbelievable that he said it, but it is typical of him. He said to a crowd of Cubans that in Cuba there is an:

"illicit sex trade, a modern form of slavery which is encouraged by the Cuban government. This cruel exploitation of innocent women and children must be exposed and must be ended."

 http://whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/10/20031010-2.html

He accused Cubans of being women and child rapers, and Castro of encouraging that.

Firstly, the illicit sex trade is a worldwide phenomenon. Secondly, no government would or would even have any way to encourage it. "Illicit" means it's beyond any control or knowledge of government. If you know anything about Castro, or about dictatorships, they tend to crack down on things like that pretty harshly.

So, Bush can bait the American people with tales of child rapers, but the lies aren't going to work again.

People should encourage their congressmen to put pressure on Bush to reduce or cancel the trade embargo. It may have little effect, but it will have some.

Don't wait until Powell goes to the UN with his charts and graphs.

In Bush's closing remarks in his speech, he said:

"It's only the beginning of a more robust effort to BREAK THROUGH to the Cuban people." emphasis mine

 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3212821.stm

a Russian view of America's policy:
 http://english.pravda.ru/politics/2002/05/20/29000.html

Lonely Planet:
 http://lonelyplanet.com/destinations/caribbean/cuba/

A final note--

Cuba: 110,860 sq. km (slightly smaller than Pennsylvania)
Pop. 11 million

Chechnya: 19,300 sq. km
Pop. 1.3 million
here is what long-time Floridian's tell me about Bush's 01.Jan.2004 14:59

Cuba politics

I have retired friends, who are long generationed Floridian's--been there longer than any Bush--who've
told me just recently (as I too lived in Florida for a while...maintain friendships still) that the Bush Bros.
political machinery has lately started beating the anti-Castro/"free Cuba"/anti-commie-drum to up the
silly-rhetoric in shameless bid to play up to the exiled-Cuban anti-Castro crowd that's mainly situated
in Southern Florida, especially the Miami area, as well as the rest of the Hispanic voters. The reason
is because, if truth be really known, Bush's (both) popularity is on the decline with the other Floridans,
especially older retirees who feel screwed by Bush over Medicare reforms and Medicare Rx's bill...as
they see through the smokescreen and see it for what it is...a bitter pill! Also, given this malcontent--
that is growing--and the ablity of the elderly to marshall forces to "get out the vote"; the repeat of 2000
Election results are no longer well assured...in fact, if it's an HONEST election, as the last one should
have been, then Bush & Company will lose it! For Bush to be re-elected in 2004, it's dropdead certain
that he MUST win in Florida. This all, coupled with the fact that those minority communities alienated
in 2000's Election are spoiling for their participation's repudiation then to be now vindicated by their
increasing the voter turnout next time to show the world just WHAT they really feel about Bush, both
now and then! All this puts the Bush Mighty Wurtlizer to having to pipe some very loud sounds....

So, given this mix of passion in the Citrus Bowl, all this sudden increase in anti-Castro and let's go
in to FREE-Cuba talk-talk is political bullshit dreamed-up by Herr Rove as means to further dupe the
anti-Castro Cuban-exile crowd, and keep them still playing the "game". It's all talk-talk that is full of
furious sound, but once dragged out to the end, will be whimper of greatly reduced action!

These friends laughingly say that Bush & Company are so stupid enough to believe that they can
get this targeted crowd to believe that "if" we were to retake Cuba, restore "democracy", and open it's
resources up to McKorpAmerika exploitation...then, this crowd can merely fly back to Havana once it
is restored as McCapital, and take up their old positions where they'd been laid off when they'd fled
years back! While it's funny to contemplate that some would be this stupid, it's not realistic to think so
for ALL--not even the larger majority--are, nor are they going to play this "game" indefinately without at
least trying to wrangle some sort of short-term GAIN that they can use right there in Florida, where
they'll most likely stay regardless of what happens to Castro...they are planted in Miami now, are a
part of that community, and other than going back to visit relatives, seeing any potential scores to be
"settled"...they've no real intent to go back whether Cuba stays "socialist", "commie" or "democracy"!
The crowd that's got their bags packed and waiting to board 1st plane in when the Havana Wall falls,
is the McKorpAmerika crowd and their lackey media whore gang.

Plus, let's not forget that all this silliness plays well with the rightwing nutters, who feel now we're
free to drop millions of dollars in bombs anywhere in the world that suits our fancy to bring about a
"freedom-loving society" as they imagine---in rather bucolic-fashion at that---then doing so to Cuba
will be a powerful ego-enhancing exercise; and then let's not forget that the religiloonie crowd would
love to see Cuba's Catholicism--and it's acceptance of Popery alongside Communism--have some
mighty righteous dirt kicked in their face by the True Believers...in a kind of theological one-upsman-
ship to settle any preceived wrongs, slights, and failure of dogma from the past. And, this is indeed
quite understandable, inasmuch as they are mainly people looking to the past anyway, as they've re-
trogressed to their mean so much that looking to the future is hopeless exercise in futility for them!

So...after one takes ALL this into account, one is left with impression that Cuba is really safe for now
from any misguided attempts to bring "democracy" to them, Castro is safe in his position, merely
having to let this "machinery" here crank away till someone finally throws a Monkey's Wrench into it
...and, I' d not be in the least bit surprised if the Monkey really found throwing the shut-down wrench
was none other than the one in the White House. So, in summation, I think the thing to do is all of
us just sit back, grab our popcorn, and watch this threatre of the absurd and laugh as hard as we
can at all the funny antics that arise...which, we are well assured will be many! At least, that's what
my Merlin's crystal ball shows is in the future on this one!

PS: failed to mention that another group itching to return to Cuba is the old Mafia-organized crime
crowd...now morphed into new name...the Rethuglicans! These are the one's to watch, I think! As
they're the kind that'd soon kill you as look at you, drop a bomb on you just because, and then come
back to the American taxpayers like Pontius Pilate washing his hands and asking for yet more $$$
to replace what they blew up to do it the McWay (having it their way!...as the slogan: have it your way!
so artfully deceives the American sheepeople in first place...who's "way" now is really had?...the con-
sumer inticed to spend his $$ or the marketeer whose profits arise as result?) so as to go on down
their list of places to be "liberated" (from WHAT is the real question...and it's not "freedom" as we are
inclined to think, but "freedom to exploit" as history so aptly shows time and time again) Enuf! Shall
run on...not saying the old-fashioned "bye! bye", but the new Republican-styled "buy! buy!" instead!

Boys with Toys 01.Jan.2004 15:15

jlii

The last time there was an invasion of Cuba proposal it came within one word of nuclear war. Now known to the free world, but not generally in the US, is the fact that the US blockade of Cuba inn 1962 almost destroyed the world. At the time two Soviet nuclear armed submarines in International waters were being forced to the surface by US Naval forces. Believing he was under attack the commander prepared to launch one of the two missiles he was carrying, of the two other officers on board with launch authority one agreed, one refused launch. One word from him and a Soviet missile would have struck the East coast of the US. The reaction to this is without question. This was revealed during the fortieth anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis. It is amazing how this was not covered by the Corp. own US press. Well there was a time when it would have been amazing to not cover such a news item.

As to George Bush calling anyone else a child killer, what a joke. The greatest embarrassment to the American people should crawl back to Texas. If they don't destroy the planet, history will record the Bush family for the greedy, thieving, punk-ass killers they are, never in the history of the world, was so much taken, from so many, by so few.

RE Merlin 02.Jan.2004 09:06

Major W

I hope you're right, that it's all bluster and grandstanding. Bush will surely be in Miami several times before election day, and he'll probably point to Cuba and say "You are a disgusting tyrant, and I hope you die." That will make some Cubans happy, so maybe that's all that will happen.

I think with the number of college students in Florida, and the number of people who felt they were "raped" when their vote simply wasn't counted in the last election, Bush is not going to "win" the state a second time.

The Threat of a Good Example 02.Jan.2004 10:11

Gary Sudborough IconoclastGS@aol.com

As Noam Chomsky has maintained, the reason the United States continues its antagonism and belligerence towards Cuba is that Cuba poses the threat of a successful example of socialism that might then spread to other countries. After all, Cuba has free medical care and free education through college, something the richest capitalist nation on Earth doesn't possess, and it has been able to maintain these things despite the US embargo and the disappearance of aid from the former Soviet Union. Compare Cuba to the capitalist countries of Latin America. No Cuban children die of starvation, while tens of thousands of children die of starvation in the capitalist nations of Latin America. In Colombia and Guatemala homeless street children sniff glue to dull the pain of the cold and hunger. In addition, they are preyed upon by police death squads who murder them in so-called social cleansing operations. None of this happens in Cuba. Cuba has the lowest infant mortality rate in Latin America and one that is much better than that of the poor ghettoes in the United States. What the capitalist ruling class of the United States hates about Cuba is not any lack of political freedom (they have supported brutal dictators all over the world), but that Cuba is an example of a humane alternative to the miseries, deprivation and brutalities inherent in the capitalist system. This example they fervently desire to destroy.


check this out 02.Jan.2004 10:44

Dale McLubenhoffenspochenbockerMckowski-san-gonzalez

Cuban leader sees invasion risk as 'real'


By John Zarocostas
THE WASHINGTON TIMES



GENEVA — Cuban National Assembly President Ricardo Alarcon, dismissing U.S. charges that Cuba is developing weapons of mass destruction as the words of a "liar," says Bush administration policies have made the risk of U.S. invasion "a real, present danger for us."
Mr. Alarcon, a former foreign minister and one of the founders of the Cuban Revolution, took strong exception to remarks by Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton.
Mr. Bolton on Dec. 2 named Cuba along with Iran, North Korea, Syria and Libya as rogue states "whose pursuit of weapons of mass destruction makes them hostile to U.S. interests [and who] will learn that their covert programs will not escape either detection or consequences."
"He's a liar," Mr. Alarcon said of Mr. Bolton during a recent interview in Geneva.
Noting that the United States had cited Saddam Hussein's suspected weapons programs as justification for the invasion of Iraq, he said: "The risk of [Cuba] being attacked at this time — when preventive attacks have become a new American doctrine — is a real, present danger for us."
Successive U.S. administrations have pressured the communist regime in Cuba to abandon its one-party state model and allow the nation of 11 million to embrace democracy, private enterprise and human rights.
U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, have repeatedly said when asked about the possibility of using military force against Cuba that they were not considering it "at this moment."
But Mr. Alarcon noted that Mr. Powell "did not say Cuba is excluded."
"That is a very aggressive statement," he said.
Mr. Alarcon, 66, also said there have been other tough statements from the U.S. administration, including an Oct. 10 declaration from President Bush that "clearly the Castro regime will not change by its own choice, but Cuba must change."
Perhaps, Mr. Alarcon said, "Some people within this administration are interested in building up, creating an atmosphere that may be conducive to use military force against us."
The Cuban parliamentary leader said Mr. Bush's statement amounted to a call for "regime change imposed from outside."
"That is exactly what they have done in Iraq. It is finally recognized that those are the real motivations, and not this joke about WMDs and the various excuses they use sometimes. We have to prepare ourselves. We do not play games with that. It's very crucial for us."
However, Mr. Alarcon said, it does not appear for the time being "that the U.S. would be prepared to get involved in another military mess."
The national-assembly chief also accused Washington of refusing to cooperate with Havana in the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking.
He said that after the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington, the United States had responded to Cuban proposals for talks with a flat "no."
"They do not want to cooperate with us in the struggle against terrorists," he said, adding, "They do not act against the chief American terrorists that operate freely from Miami."
The latter was an apparent reference to Cuban exiles in the United States who have on occasion flown or sailed into Cuban airspace and territorial waters on rescue missions and to drop anti-Castro leaflets.
Mr. Alarcon said he was sure the Cuban Revolution would survive beyond the death of its chief architect, President Fidel Castro.
The average age of members of the National Assembly is just 43, he said, and the country has hundreds of thousands of technicians, scientists and university graduates.
"This is not Yugoslavia. Cuba will not break away. We are a unified country in cultural terms, in technical terms, in every sense."
Asked whether the Castro regime had any plans to ease the plight of nearly 80 dissidents who were arrested and jailed in 2003, Mr. Alarcon charged that their efforts had been "organized by the U.S. government, paid by the U.S. government" and that the dissidents would therefore be tried as agents of a foreign government.
On a rare positive note, Mr. Alarcon praised a migration agreement with the United States that guarantees U.S. visas to 20,000 Cubans every year.
"We see [it] as a positive thing ... because you have people who want to join their families or who want to have an opportunity in another country," he said

Another Cuban Threat - Successfull Large-Scale Organic Argiculture 02.Jan.2004 12:44

Adrian

Castro Topples Pesticide in Cuba

By Renee Kjartan, Washington Free Press

Organic farming -- often considered an insignificant part
of the food supply -- can feed an entire country concludes
a report by the Oakland, CA-based Institute for Food and
Development Policy/Food First < http://www.foodfirst.org>,
a group advocating sustainable farming.

In Cuba, many of the foods people eat every day
are grown without synthetic fertilizers and toxic
pesticides, the report, Cultivating Havana: Urban
Agriculture and Food Security in the Years of Crisis
 http://www.foodfirst.org/pubs/devreps/dr14.html, found.

Cuba's organic food movement developed in response to
a crisis. Before the revolution that threw out dictator
Fulgencio Batista in 1959, and to some extent during the
years of Soviet support for Cuba, the island followed a
typical pattern of colonial food production: It produced
luxury export crops while importing food for its own people.
In 1990 over 50% of Cuba's food came from imports. "In the
Caribbean, food insecurity is a direct result of centuries
of colonialism that prioritized the production of sugar
and other cash crops for export, neglecting food crops for
domestic consumption," the report says. In spite of efforts
by the revolutionary government to correct this situation,
Cuba continued in this mold until the breakup of the Soviet
Union in 1989.

The withdrawal of Soviet aid meant that 1,300,000 tons of
chemical fertilizers, 17,000 tons of herbicides, and 10,000
tons of pesticides, could no longer be imported, according
to the report.

One of Cuba's responses to the shock was to develop
"urban agriculture," intensifying the previously established
National Food Program, which aimed at taking thousands of
poorly utilized areas, mainly around Havana, and turning
them into intensive vegetable gardens. Planting in the city
instead of only in the countryside reduced the need for
transportation, refrigeration, and other scarce resources.

The plan succeeded beyond anyone's dreams. By 1998 there
were over 8000 urban farms and community gardens run by over
30,000 people in and around Havana.

Urban agriculture is now a "major element of the Havana
cityscape," the Food First report says, and the model is now
being copied throughout the country, with production growing
at 250-350% per year. Today, food from the urban farms is
grown almost entirely with active organic methods, the
report says. Havana has outlawed the use of chemical
pesticides in agriculture within city limits.

Martin Bourque, Food First's program director for sustainable
agriculture, said the goal of the National Urban Agriculture
program is to produce enough fresh fruits and vegetables for
everyone, and that some cities have surpassed this. He added
that farmers are some of the best-paid people in Cuba, and
"organic foods are for all Cubans, not just for the rich."

Autoconsumos, or self-provisioning gardens, are found at
schools and workplaces, with 376 in Havana today. The
produce usually goes to the lunchroom of the host
institution, and the rest goes to the workers at
low prices.

There are 451 organoponicos, raised container beds with a
high ratio of compost to soil and intensive planting, in
Havana, growing and selling vegetables, herbs, and spices
directly to the public.

The rest of the farming is done in huertos intensivos, or
intensive gardens, city plots planted for maximum yield
per area and incorporating organic matter directly into
the soil. There is almost no pest problem because of the
"incredible biodiversity" of the gardens. "We are reaching
biological equilibrium. The pest populations are now kept
under control by the constant presence of predators in the
ecosystem. I have little need for application of any control
substance," the president of one huerto intensivo said.

There are other programs aimed at increasing small-scale
urban and suburban production of everything from eggs to
rabbits to flowers to medicinal plants to honey, Bourque
said. Many rural homes now raise their own staples, such
as beans and viandas (traditional root and tuber crops),
and small-animal raising has also spread dramatically,
especially in the suburban and rural areas.

At first, Bourque said, sustainable agriculture was seen
as a way to "suffer through" the shock of the Soviet
withdrawal. "When they began this effort, most policy-
makers could not imagine any significant amount of rice
being grown in Cuba without the full green-revolution
technical package (e.g. high off-farm inputs). But by 1997
small-scale rice production had reached 140,000 tons, 65% of
national production. Today everyone agrees that sustainable
agriculture has played a major role in feeding the country
and is saving Cuba millions of dollars," that would other-
wise go "to the international pesticide cartel," Bourque said.

According to official figures, in 1999 organic urban
agriculture produced 65% of Cuba's rice, 46% of the fresh
vegetables, 38% of the non-citrus fruits, 13% of the roots,
tubers, and plantains, and 6% of the eggs, Bourque said.

He noted that food is "still very expensive in spite of
rationing programs designed to make sure everyone has access
to the basics, but Cuba has clearly grown itself out of the
food crisis of the mid-1990s."

In the last year Food First has taken dozens of farmers,
researchers, academics, and activists from around the world
to learn from Cuba's organic agricultural experience.


Contact FoodFirst at 398 60th St., Oakland, CA 94618; (510)
654-4400.

Copyright (c) 2000 Washington Free Press. All Rights Reserved.

Let's form up 02.Jan.2004 13:34

jlii

Gary and Adrian

Thanks for your posts. Let's see How about a Noam Chomsky Brigade to defend Cuba from outside interference. Counting myself I have one any takers? Shit let's make a web site. Just pledes now. Brigade strenth is about what 1500?

... 02.Jan.2004 15:18

this thing here

>One of Cuba's responses to the shock was to develop "urban agriculture," intensifying the previously established National Food Program, which aimed at taking thousands of poorly utilized areas, mainly around Havana, and turning them into intensive vegetable gardens. Planting in the city instead of only in the countryside reduced the need for transportation, refrigeration, and other scarce resources.<

this is smart and entirely logical. in the u.s., many new urban buildings and high rises are either being built with grass and gardens on the roof or having them installed. this is being done to reduce the amount of heat reflected off the roof tops, a problem in dense cities like chicago and new york. it would make perfect sense for vegetable gardens to be put on these roof tops. all the roof-top square footage in any city that is simply tar, bitumin, gravel or metal roofing could be turned into productive "self-provisioning" gardens, producing vegetables for the restaurants that are tenants in the building, or even the people who live there. among many other benefits, including less fuel consumption and refrigeration, this would lessen traffic in the city, as wholesale food supply trucks would have to make less rounds and block less streets.

but this idea would be rejected out of hand as being smart and logical. smart and logical ideas are usually not welcome in america, where we'd rather wastefully and carelessly use and abuse space, the earth, and the environment until it blows up in our face.

well, the inevitable (if we refuse to change) crisis and shock of the coming oil shortages, energy problems and resulting economic instability will most likely provide a similar motivation to be smart and logical as it did for the cubans. it just sad that it takes crisis to get humans off their asses and using their heads...

this Noam Chomsky Brigade...I'm in..count me as recruit 03.Jan.2004 01:09

Merlin

wait a minute! what am I doing saying "count me as recruit"..don't I know that this'll piss John Ashcroft
off and he'll have a shit-fit plus. well, let me smack myself into reality! oh! hell with it...I like it here in my
own little peaceful world too much to want to come back to the reality of today's crazy-America!

I noticed in reading above, some mention was made of Cuba's energy policies and some of their very
innovative energy projects. When I was fortunate to be able to go there in early 1980's from Barbados
on another passport other than my US tourist one for a few days to attend a conference, I was able to
investigate a little rural energy project that is truly unique...having never heard of such like it before at
the time, nor since really, I was very favorably impressed, and surely you will be too as I retell what I'm
able to remember:

At that time I was an engineer involved with "public works" type projects, and being a member then of
a few professional societies, and a sort of engineering geek who really enjoyed learning new stuff, I
found I'd come to the right place. Those of us attending were matched up to a local Cuban engineer
who worked for some Cuban government agency in public works as our individual tour-guide, driver
about while there, companion for meals, and professional peer/colleague to mutually share in inform-
ation transfer back 'n; forth...a really neat way to LEARN new things and teach some as well! At that
time my Spanish wasn't so good, but not to worry, as the young fellow was pretty good at it, and wanted
to converse in English so he could get practice.

After the few days of conference, had a couple of days to play "tourist" and he took me to his little town
some distance away from Havana (I'm taking precaution NOT to so liberally identify him, for I don't know
what his circumstances are now, as I've long lost contact with him...if he were to have come to USA to
Miami area, I'd hate for him to have nasty time of it by being identified by this means...for some of those
"super" patriots there can be nasty dudes for sure!) for a day's visit. Went to his little home, which was
compact, well appointed and very effectively arranged for optimum space utilization, met his young wife
who was a physician engaged in infant care (at that time, they had no children yet of their own), and I
was shown their exceptionally well cared for kitchin garden...hydroponics, natural fertilizers, bordered
with all sorts of flowers/shurbs that were natural insect repelliants...a real garden of bounty, from which
they had so much that they shared excess with a number of elderly neighbors. It was their hobby, but
more so, it was their passion in some ways, as obviously they conducted "research" and had thorough
records system to track everything...the idea being to add to the body of knowledge that would put more
higher quality food into the plates of lesser passioned folk's, and seek newer means to progress in
agriculture to optimize all available resources. Fantastic idea...exactly what one who was fan of the
New Ager mag then MOTHER EARTH NEWS would be interested in. Somehow they'd managed to be
able to get copies of this American magazine as they had all prior issues put the one then current...as
they awaiting it's eventual delivery. Naturally, at that time, they couldn't get such directly from USA due
to the embargo...but, as with scientific-minded people everywhere, they'd managed to short-circuit the
governments and work around them. Why NOT?

One of the most memorable things was their herb garden...it was situated in small space, but had all
the major herbs/spices for cooking, food artistry, and even had plenty of unique herbs for natural Rx's!
The smell was intoxicating, as I recall.

Also, I recall their little house was essentially a library, as all walls had bookcases in which a vast
assortment/number of books was found, one small room was set up as a laboratory that the wife
used for her work, and the hubby used for his hobby's and work too as engineer engaged in doing
pavement rehablitations, remedial reconstruction of existing buildings, and maintenance efforts for
infrastructure. A lot of the equipment was obviously belonging to the government, but it seemed it
not a problem with their respective superiors, as it wasn't going anywhere...not be pawned or some-
thing like...but USED in furtherance of betterment for ALL, and while it surely gave this couple hours of
enjoyment in their passions, hobbies, it was really smart "management" idea!

The matter that really grabbed my attention, and why I now write, was the little electrical system that
had been cobbled together by this small town of "socialists" or "commies" that would piss-off any
Houston Oil executive in mighty fashion. Had small generators...actually a bank of them...connected
to distribution system in which load demand could dictate shut-down and take off line any as needed
or required, and still keep essential power production running. Even though the machinery was very
old vintage, they had a rigid maintenance time-table that they adhered to faithfully, and this kept this
old system functioning just fine! Apparently, from what I gathered, copper wire was big problem for
them due to embargo...but, they were able to keep going as they merely re-cycled existing copper,
and if needed, any machinery that needed refounding, they somehow managed to do it, rather than
have to rely on purchasing same from abroad and deal with embargos, such forth.

One example he told of, that I recall because it was instructive of their innovative spirit was what they
did when a major piece of equipment was inadvertently shattered into thousands of pieces of little
metal shavings. They had no clue, at first, as to what to do...then, gradually they gathered their senses
and got out the old, old catalogs and old reference books, and from these, they were able to get very
reliable measurements @ scale of what it'd looked like new, and then refound this complicated piece
essentially one measurement at a time. Can you imagine such being done here in America as course
of regular business...it would be laughably unheard of, and people's eyes would roll at mention of such!
But, there...the mother of necessity "successfully" birthed the child of improvision, and to a scientist-type
this is what it's all about...enjoying the "problems of life" that are merely soon to be"solutions" awaiting discovery!

The fuel for this little system came from METHANE GAS that was harvested locally in what was one of
the most unusual and most unique manners I'd ever heard of. Since it was rural area, lots of vegative
matter that required clearing periodically, lot's of excess matter that required "recycling", then it was
produced from a bio-mass system that composted the vegatative matter in large pressure regulated,
vacuum regulated tanks, and then siphoned off to smaller tanks for easy refining for then use as fuel
to power the small generators, and have very little escape as air pollutants...almost nil!

The bulk of the bio-mass material came from excess production of breadfruit, mangoes, sugar cane
refuse, and any local vegatable market's refuse/spoilage. All the roadways in vicinity had been planted
with lot's of breadbread trees/mango trees in various stages of maturity, staged from the shoulders to
the drainage ditches and up/beyond to backslope to fencing for agricultural reserves...a lot of area to
be effectively put into production, and still have large canopy of shade to cover the roadway...keep it at
cooler temps to better enhance longevity of pavement, make traveling cooler/easier, less demand on
vehicles. The quantity of foodstuffs had was obviously excessive, and people had freedom to take as
they needed, and any excess was allowed to drop to the ground...to be soon used in the bio-mass
system to produce methane gas. Really neat idea, isn't it?

What really made this unique was the manner that this ground ladened fruit was harvested on sus-
tained regular basis....as with anywhere in the world, some citizen's will infract against the rules or
violate the laws/regulations, and so, here they'd come up with means to fine people--not their hard
earned cash, nor jail them for senseless reasons (as we do here in USA)--but by fining them hours
at "community service". So, in the evenings when it cooler, the daily "chain gang" (no, not really...I'm
just punning on that) assigned to that particular roadway, would go to work moving down the road,
with flashlights in hand (apparently the community was "sensitive" to personal stigma's associated
with being "petty criminal" or "infractor" and not wishing to bring undue embarassment to anyone, had
felt it best to do this at night) picking up this newly fallen fruit with either hand or shovel, pitching such
into small golfcart type wagon, and once their assigned section was picked clean, then the task was
finished for the evening and all had their ticket booklet punched regardless of how long it took...most
of time, it being done far quicker than time allotted as per fine. Many of the various worker functions
in this system was done via such "community service" labor, and a few full-time regular government
employees managed, coordinated, and supervised the combined effort. This is FANTASTIC idea!
It's certainly cheap, it builds community spirit, confers a sense of community, and tightens the bonds,
and fosters sense of responsiblity in very self-empowering ways. This is NOT prison labor, as is so
often harped about in American press as being what Castro's regime used...at least they used to do
so years ago when they'd get into Cuba-bashing...most all was exageration/embellishments,as far
as I could tell...then, and more so now!

Having retold this little story of such small matter concerning a small Cuban communities handling
of their energy needs at that time, will be most informative as to WHY America's oil oligarchy and the
whores o' politician's that have been bought 'n' paid for, along with their mainstream media lackeys,
would deliberately MISINFORM American's about Cuba...it's politics, it's lifestyle, it's ability to achieve
success as a different structure of society...a socialist society...for they would not want such advanced consumer society as is ours to get IDEAS...such as, there is means/ways to have energy had cheaply,
efficiently, less polluting, and less impactful upon society than the sustained growth of profit-dictated
oil and all it's geopolitics that are confusing, inconsistent, immoral, and wasteful.

So, when I hear some jackass politician bad-mouthing Cuba, I pay no attention, as I been there, done
that, got the T-shirt and know WHAT it is really like, or rather, was like....and, it ain't WHAT we've been
told here...not by a long shot! Well, that's enuf for now...if this little lengthy writing helps anyone get a
newer perspective on the reality of Cuba, then it will be counted as effort well spent by me, for truly I
found these people to be the finest hosts, the most gracious, the kindest, and the most enterprising
of peoples I've come across in my travels...it was a joy to go there and spend few days, and I've been
pissed off at my government ever since that I can't board a plane and go back for lengther visit on my
tourist passport and be suspected as being a "communist agent" for even wanting to go visit! Enuf of
this bullshit is my feelings on all this silliness and madness...for it's like Rodney King said after L.A.
broke out in such wanton rioting 10+ years ago..."...WHY CAN'T PEOPLE JUST GET ALONG?..."

ps: IT'S LATE ALREADY, AND I'M TOO TIRED TO EDIT THIS NOW...SO AM HITTING SUBMIT AND IF
ANY TYPOS, ERRORS, ETC...LIVE WITH 'EM...OK?
s

here's an updating on Bush's hot-air bellicostic posturings over... 04.Jan.2004 14:22

Cuba politics

just found this posted on www.drudgereport.com ...it's an AP filed report with Dateline...Tallahassee,
Fla...posted @ 3:47pm EST, captioned: FLORIDA WILL AGAIN BE PRESIDENTIAL BATTLEGROUND
and because AP doesn't give rights for reposting, if you want to read what is reported, you'll have to
click it on after going to Drudge's website. so...see what I mean?...those old Floridian friend's I said
told me what was reported in lead comment on this thread may well know WHAT they're talking about?

International Brigades 05.Jan.2004 09:25

Gary Sudborough IconoclastGS@aol.com

The problem with Americans organizing an international brigade to defend socialism anywhere in the world is that all the US government has to do is label that country or revolutionary group as "terrorist" and one automatically becomes an "enemy combatant" and will likely end up at Guantanamo Bay with a bag over one's head. This results in one becoming completely ineffective in the struggle for justice in the world. It is much better to educate your friends at work with the works of people like Chomsky, Parenti, Zinn, etc. or even go door to door with flyers advertising their books or videos. Only when we get enough Americans to realize they are being subjected to a very sophisticated propaganda effort and their future and that of their children are at stake will we begin to make real progress.


Dictatorship 12.Jan.2004 11:39

Robin

Whatever the arguments concerning Cuba being a successful example of socialism; there is no doubting that Castro runs the island like a prison.

Political dissidents are imprisoned, there is no freedom of speech/association/religion, and the political elite live in comparatively better standards of living.
Homosexuals are punished by the regime, secret police make law-abiding Cubans' lives a living hell.

There is no justification for this MUERDEROUS behaviour, and the US has certainly not forced Fidel Castro to run a prison island complex.
The ends does not justify the means; Saddam Hussein, Adolf Hitler, Fidel Castro, Joseeph Stalin - similarities exist.

"Minders"....call them what you want 12.Jan.2004 11:42

Robin

"Those of us attending were matched up to a local Cuban engineer
who worked for some Cuban government agency in public works as our individual tour-guide, driver
about while there, companion for meals, and professional peer/colleague to mutually share in inform-
ation transfer back 'n; forth...a really neat way to LEARN new things and teach some as well! At that
time my Spanish wasn't so good, but not to worry, as the young fellow was pretty good at it, and wanted
to converse in English so he could get practice."

Do you really think that this example is representative of Cuba? Naive at it's best.

Dictatorship 12.Jan.2004 12:34

Nibor

Whatever the arguments concerning the United States being a successful example of capitalism; there is no doubting that Bush runs the country like a prison.

Political dissidents are imprisoned, there is no freedom of speech/association/religion, and the political elite live in comparatively better standards of living.
Homosexuals are punished by the regime, (not so) secret police make law-abiding citizens lives a living hell.

There is no justification for this MURDEROUS behaviour, and Cuba has certainly not forced George Bush to run a prison island complex.
The ends does not justify the means; Julius Caesar, Adolf Hitler, George Bush, Joseph Stalin - similarities exist.

experience trumps rhetoric 12.Jan.2004 12:38

Nibor

"Do you really think that this example is representative of Cuba?"

Yes, but perhaps my naiveté has come from having gone there and discussions with people who have lived and traveled there.

Have you traveled to Cuba, Robin, or are you just regurgitating what others (those with a vested interest of course) have told you? There is no substitution for experience and the most naive thing one can do is believe someone who has something to gain from lying to you.

Sorry 13.Jan.2004 04:43

Robin

Sorry, I should have known better to have questioned Cuba on this message board.
The sad thing is that the majority of indymedia.org share my views and are in no doubt what horrors are perpetuated by Fidel Castro.

Go back to sleep.

To Robin 24.Jan.2004 23:08

Rago

I am a cuban who go to exile not because of political reasons but economic, like most of the cubans who has travelled outside our country though many will tell you another story. To tell the truth, I have never seen in Cuba those things that appears in the media, like the army killing people in the streets, etc, which were everyday happenings in the previous government of the killer Fulgencio Batista (and USA didn't say a word and helped him a lot). They don't put fotos now because there can't be but there are plenty of them from Batista's killings. Also in the media I once read that in Cuba you have to share your wife and they take your children from you. What a joke! Regarding the article by John Zarocostas, THE WASHINGTON TIMES : "The latter was an apparent reference to Cuban exiles in the United States who have on occasion flown or sailed into Cuban airspace and territorial waters on rescue missions and to drop anti-Castro leaflets." Those are the lesser terrorists who, ejem, terrorize Cuba. The best example: On October the 6th, 1976 a Cubana airlines plane explode in the air near the shore of Barbados due to a bomb. Two of the confessed authors live freely in USA. One is Orlando Bosh, known "hero" of the miami right wing cuban exiles. Another is Luis Posada Carriles, currently in prison in Panama accussed of plotting to put a bomb in a stadium where Fidel Castro will make an speech during his visity to the country some years ago. Miami mafia, as well described by cuban media, wants him to be freed and is doing everything to achieve this goal. These two guys are as terrorist as those lybians to put a bomb in that Lockerbie plane in England. We are still waiting USA, England, etc to make an embargo to USA and force USA government to bring these terrorist to justice and compensate the families of the 73 passengers (including the whole cuban olimpic sword team) of the, so called, Barbado's crime plane.