BaraCubama -Obama to end sanctions on Cuba

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sardia
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Re: BaraCubama -Obama to end sanctions on Cuba

Postby sardia » Sun Dec 28, 2014 2:38 am UTC

iChef wrote:Do you think other Communist states will have as much influence on Cuba as they once did. It seems they are already fairly isolated from much of the world and I see the US opening relations with them as welcoming Cuba to our side even if it is only a little at first. Vietnam isn't a stellar example but the lives of the average people in Vietnam has improved since the US opened relations with them. They have opened a stock market, joined the WTO in 2007 and while the rural areas are still poor the urban middle class is growing. The first step in change in any country is letting the citizen know a better alternative is out there and the embargo only hindered that.

No, you misunderstand me, this isn't a capitalism vs communism concern of mine. It's a anticorruption & human rights vs crony capitalism and rights abuses. Autocratic leaders have shown that they can buy their way into and past any abuses of power. It's a concern that everyone should keep on their minds as they bring relations with any country. For example, I am unhappy with Egypt's abuses of power despite the benefits of normalizing relations with them. (Israel's security and maybe some benefits on the Suez canal). The US grudgingly accepts the authoritarian government there because the US prefers stability/reliability over the chaos that democracy usually brings.
That said, Cuba is a small country in almost every respect, so it shouldn't be a big deal. But don't expect the government to magically transform. A bunch of poor saps down there are gonna get reamed by the authorities protesting something, and it'll be a while before they give in inch by inch.

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Re: BaraCubama -Obama to end sanctions on Cuba

Postby iChef » Sun Dec 28, 2014 3:02 am UTC

I agree with you it will be a long slow turn around. Again my example of Vietnam. We have had normal relations for almost 15 years but they are still a one party system with some pretty bad human rights violations, but that is still an improvement over 3 decades of war an near famine. Ending the embargo won't make Cuba perfect but it is a better alternative to ignoring them.
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Re: BaraCubama -Obama to end sanctions on Cuba

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:43 pm UTC

iChef wrote:Yeah, I am aware of the fine product that comes from the other islands (still appreciate the tip). Rum drinking and fishing may be the way to bring the oppressive regime down. Much like we did during the Cold War instead of suppressing and bombing nations into obedience we need to blue jean and Micheal Jackson them into submission (Yoga Pants and Pharell Williams them?) Flush with tourist dollars and with ideas from all over the world the government will have to loosen up or face a revolt. Plus Castro would have never lived so long if we were stuffing him full of Big Macs.


Sometimes that works, sort of. But consider the case of North Korea, which is about as unambiguous a case of government repression as exists. Even where people are aware of how much better it is elsewhere(something that the isolation does limit), nobody can just suddenly start advocating democracy. Bad for your future to do so. Any benefits of contact with the outside world are mostly reaped by the government, for the benefit of the few at the top, while the masses mostly don't get to actually enjoy the rewards of trade.

Even if we start allowing trade, it doesn't mean that everyone will suddenly have pockets full of dollars and big macs. It might just mean a pile of wealth for those on top of the pile, depending on how efficiently they siphon off the rewards.

A lot of what brought down communism was pure inefficiency. Even by evil regime standards, communism has terrible efficiency, and the more dictatorial the regime in practice, the more stable it seems to generally be. Communism was sufficiently bad at things that capitalism tends to creep in around the edges, and be overlooked because of the necessity of it.

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Re: BaraCubama -Obama to end sanctions on Cuba

Postby Lucrece » Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:12 am UTC

iChef wrote:Do you think other Communist states will have as much influence on Cuba as they once did. It seems they are already fairly isolated from much of the world and I see the US opening relations with them as welcoming Cuba to our side even if it is only a little at first. Vietnam isn't a stellar example but the lives of the average people in Vietnam has improved since the US opened relations with them. They have opened a stock market, joined the WTO in 2007 and while the rural areas are still poor the urban middle class is growing. The first step in change in any country is letting the citizen know a better alternative is out there and the embargo only hindered that.



Cuba has owed Russia bigtime with little hints of ever intending to pay back.

Moreover, Cuba already has enjoyed tourism from all the countries besides the US and its people haven't gotten any richer or more free. You know, governments with a sole ruling party composed of a dynasty kinda tend to keep all the income for themselves and the army that enforces their will.

I mean, actually bother to take a look at the physical state of a released political prisoner from Guantanamo versus a freed American spy who's missing teeth and has lost sight on one eye during his stint in a Cuban prison. And that's because he was a valued foreign agent -- the everyday Cuban was simply tortured for a couple of days for info and then executed by firing squad.
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Re: BaraCubama -Obama to end sanctions on Cuba

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Jan 01, 2015 4:16 pm UTC

This is a bit off topic, but are you saying that our CIA secret prisons are morally superior to most communist countries because the victims are still alive and relatively healthy?

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Re: BaraCubama -Obama to end sanctions on Cuba

Postby addams » Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:12 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:This is a bit off topic, but are you saying that our CIA secret prisons are morally superior to most communist countries because the victims are still alive and relatively healthy?

That is both on and off Topic.
Do we have a Thread for what we Do know about Gimo?
Do we know anything about Gimo?

What do they do with The Dead?
Have the UN inspectors been in?

Rumor says the US holds humans in cages at Gimo and Cuba lets them.
That is a weird fucking relationship. No other part of it can be Weirder.

Why does Cuba let them do such a Weird thing?
Does that seem like a Normal thing, to you?
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Re: BaraCubama -Obama to end sanctions on Cuba

Postby Lucrece » Thu Jan 01, 2015 10:31 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:This is a bit off topic, but are you saying that our CIA secret prisons are morally superior to most communist countries because the victims are still alive and relatively healthy?


Hardly. Just giving some perspective whenever someone feels the need to state that Cuba is modernizing just in cue to Mariela Castro's propaganda.

Even someone of Amanpour's prestige gave a softball interview to her where millions of Americans got to walk away with the impression that the current regime is unwinding and is now similar to China( not even close).
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Re: BaraCubama -Obama to end sanctions on Cuba

Postby elasto » Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:27 am UTC

It's sort of counter-intuitive because, a-priori, physical torture (eg. being beaten to the point of broken bones) seems a much scarier prospect than non-physical (eg. sensory deprivation). But people who have suffered both say mental tortures are actually by far the worst.

I read one report of someone who had suffered various 'creative' tortures at the hands of a third-world dictatorship - including electrocution etc. And he said the nastiest was when he was forced to spend many weeks immobile in solitary confinement in an entirely white, padded (ie. noiseless) room with silent guards dressed in white, and only white food (eg. rice) served on white plates. Literally broke his brain. Permanently.

And that's the thing. Evolution has made us capable of withstanding physical pain and injury surprising easily; Endorphins will flood our brain at the time - and even if we lose a limb or whatever, 'making the best of it' and 'looking on the bright side' is actually more common longer term than just giving up. It's not going to be uncommon in the wild after all.

Evolution has never made us capable of surviving lack of stimulation or other forms of evil mental torture though; It simply never arises in a natural situation.

tldr; A broken body can mend or compensate; A broken mind not so easily. And our tortures were designed to break the mind.

And one of the very worst aspects of all this? We just handed a blueprint to every psychopathic regime on how to perform mental torture more effectively and efficiently. Imagine suffering sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation and electrocution for weeks or months on end?

No, the West has come out with very little 'moral superiority' at the end of all this...

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Re: BaraCubama -Obama to end sanctions on Cuba

Postby Lucrece » Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:01 am UTC

Oh, he suffered mental torture, you can be sure of that. Anyone accused of being a foreign agent by the Cuban regime is not just going to be beat up in prison. Don't rule out threats of rape and most definitely deprivation of sleep and nutrition was most certainly going on. Some testimonials where people were tortured by being made to sleep on chambers that were partly submerged with cold water so they had to sleep in damp cold settings with systematic beatings and the obvious threat to the family you belong to, since Cuba is not actually precluded from imprisoning and executing the family of dissidents.
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Re: BaraCubama -Obama to end sanctions on Cuba

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Jan 02, 2015 3:56 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:This is a bit off topic, but are you saying that our CIA secret prisons are morally superior to most communist countries because the victims are still alive and relatively healthy?


All things considered, if I'm gonna be tortured, I'll pick the one that doesn't inflict permanent damage as "better", thanks. Pretty sure neither will be happy fun time, but I'd rather be physically healthy than not afterward.

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Re: BaraCubama -Obama to end sanctions on Cuba

Postby sardia » Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:05 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:This is a bit off topic, but are you saying that our CIA secret prisons are morally superior to most communist countries because the victims are still alive and relatively healthy?


All things considered, if I'm gonna be tortured, I'll pick the one that doesn't inflict permanent damage as "better", thanks. Pretty sure neither will be happy fun time, but I'd rather be physically healthy than not afterward.

Are you saying water boarding is preferred to say beatings? Why do army guys prefer physical abuse over mental?

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Re: BaraCubama -Obama to end sanctions on Cuba

Postby morriswalters » Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:20 pm UTC

Is anyone seriously arguing that we should continue a policy that we tried for 50 or so years, and that hasn't worked? Given that we won't ever invade, what should we do? Keep punishing everyone on the island because the Castro's are dicks? We don't mind snuggling up with other dictators, what makes Castro different, except a large Cuban American block of voters?

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Re: BaraCubama -Obama to end sanctions on Cuba

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:22 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:This is a bit off topic, but are you saying that our CIA secret prisons are morally superior to most communist countries because the victims are still alive and relatively healthy?


All things considered, if I'm gonna be tortured, I'll pick the one that doesn't inflict permanent damage as "better", thanks. Pretty sure neither will be happy fun time, but I'd rather be physically healthy than not afterward.

Are you saying water boarding is preferred to say beatings? Why do army guys prefer physical abuse over mental?


I do not assume that Cuba will refrain from mental abuse. So, the choice is "mental AND physical abuse" or "mental abuse". The latter obviously looks less horrible.

Not exactly a high bar to clear, of course.

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Re: BaraCubama -Obama to end sanctions on Cuba

Postby Mutex » Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:28 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
sardia wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:This is a bit off topic, but are you saying that our CIA secret prisons are morally superior to most communist countries because the victims are still alive and relatively healthy?


All things considered, if I'm gonna be tortured, I'll pick the one that doesn't inflict permanent damage as "better", thanks. Pretty sure neither will be happy fun time, but I'd rather be physically healthy than not afterward.

Are you saying water boarding is preferred to say beatings? Why do army guys prefer physical abuse over mental?


I do not assume that Cuba will refrain from mental abuse. So, the choice is "mental AND physical abuse" or "mental abuse". The latter obviously looks less horrible.

Not exactly a high bar to clear, of course.


Well, there's only so many hours in the day to torture you, and according to an earlier post, mental torture is harder to deal with. So the choice is 100% the worse kind of torture to deal with, or < 100% the worse torture to deal with and > 0% of the easier kind.

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Re: BaraCubama -Obama to end sanctions on Cuba

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:40 pm UTC

Nonsense. Sleep deprivation can totally be combined with physical torture.

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Re: BaraCubama -Obama to end sanctions on Cuba

Postby Mutex » Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:50 pm UTC

True, isolation and sensory deprivation less so though. Seems that it would be harder to fit in as much mental torture if you're doing physical too.

Also the severity of the effects of different kinds of torture will obviously vary a lot. It's a bit simplistic to say that because one set of torture uses mental and physical, it's definitely worse than another set that is pure mental torture.

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Re: BaraCubama -Obama to end sanctions on Cuba

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:58 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:True, isolation and sensory deprivation less so though. Seems that it would be harder to fit in as much mental torture if you're doing physical too.

Also the severity of the effects of different kinds of torture will obviously vary a lot. It's a bit simplistic to say that because one set of torture uses mental and physical, it's definitely worse than another set that is pure mental torture.


Isolation, yes, sensory deprivation, not really.

But I'll take isolation and waterboarding over a cuba prison any day.

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Re: BaraCubama -Obama to end sanctions on Cuba

Postby sardia » Sat Jan 17, 2015 4:28 pm UTC

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/cub ... -tourists/
Spoiler:
Cuba’s strategic pivot toward the United States got specific on Thursday, as the White House announced new regulations easing travel and other restrictions for Americans wishing to go to the island. This same week, oil prices flirted with levels of $40 per barrel. Americans don’t usually think of these stories as being in any way related. But Venezuelans do.

When the historic thaw between Cuba and the U.S. was announced last month, one detail jumped out at Venezuelans. Secret negotiations had begun, we were told, a year and a half before. In Caracas, everyone could do the math: The talks started right after Hugo Chávez, the leader of Venezuela’s socialist revolution and Cuba’s staunchest ally, died.

Few could mistake the timing for a coincidence, or be confused about the message being sent: Havana had sized up Venezuela’s untested new leadership and hedged against the possibility the countries’ close relationship wouldn’t last much longer.

538 calls out a simple equation for why Cuba ran into America's arms, $50 oil + Dead Chavez = -3.6 billion dollars in lost oil revenue. The only way to make it up is to increase remittances and tourism via the US. That's why Cuba fought for and got relaxed rules on tourism and remittances. It is for this reason that Cuba is risking it's power over the island because that risk is far lower than the risk of deprivation from a collapsed Venezuela.

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Re: BaraCubama -Obama to end sanctions on Cuba

Postby addams » Sat Jan 17, 2015 5:11 pm UTC

Really?
I thought the decision was Uni-Lateral.

On a fucking Whim, Mr. Obama, the sitting US President, decided Cuba might be worth visiting with a StarBucks and a McDonalds.
The Cubans can't have a StarBucks or a McDonalds, because US companies are not allowed to operate in Cuba.

When the Law changes, and it will, because The Executive has First and Last say over Foreign Policy.
When the Law changes, ....The Prisoners at Gitmo will receive international attention?
No. That's not right.

When the Law changes, It will have very little to do with me.
Excuse me for butting in.

It still seems so Strange, to me.
The US owns as much or as little of Cuba as the US chooses to, on any given day.

The US is Big and Strong.
Cuba is a tiny little Island Nation, with a Big Famous Prison.

There must be more to Cuba than The Prison.
Those Islands get big for a man on foot.
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Re: BaraCubama -Obama to end sanctions on Cuba

Postby EMTP » Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:48 pm UTC

Lucrece wrote:Economic sanctions rarely work on dictatorships anyways.


True, but I'm not sure I can come up with any good examples suggesting they work on democracies either. For instance, the 1973 oil embargo didn't change US policy towards Israel, and the lack of southern cotton didn't significantly affect Britain's policy with regards to the confederate states, contrary to prewar expectations.

Maybe economic sanctions are just not that effective a tool, period.

538 calls out a simple equation for why Cuba ran into America's arms, $50 oil + Dead Chavez = -3.6 billion dollars in lost oil revenue. The only way to make it up is to increase remittances and tourism via the US. That's why Cuba fought for and got relaxed rules on tourism and remittances. It is for this reason that Cuba is risking it's power over the island because that risk is far lower than the risk of deprivation from a collapsed Venezuela.


Is that really something that requires a circumstantial explanation? Hasn't Cuba always been opposed to the sanctions? They pretty obviously damage the Cuban economy in many ways.
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Re: BaraCubama -Obama to end sanctions on Cuba

Postby Derek » Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:18 pm UTC

EMTP wrote:Is that really something that requires a circumstantial explanation? Hasn't Cuba always been opposed to the sanctions? They pretty obviously damage the Cuban economy in many ways.

But there's a difference between being passively opposed to the sanctions and actively working to remove them, including possibly offering something in exchange.

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Re: BaraCubama -Obama to end sanctions on Cuba

Postby sardia » Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:28 pm UTC

Derek wrote:
EMTP wrote:Is that really something that requires a circumstantial explanation? Hasn't Cuba always been opposed to the sanctions? They pretty obviously damage the Cuban economy in many ways.

But there's a difference between being passively opposed to the sanctions and actively working to remove them, including possibly offering something in exchange.

It's the difference between your parents cutting you off, and your rich uncle going broke + your parents cutting you off. Cuba can live with tourism or oil, it can't afford to be deprived of both.

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Re: BaraCubama -Obama to end sanctions on Cuba

Postby addams » Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:52 am UTC

sardia wrote:It's the difference between your parents cutting you off, and your rich uncle going broke + your parents cutting you off. Cuba can live with tourism or oil, it can't afford to be deprived of both.

I think many of us have an overly simplistic view of US Foreign Relations.
It brings to mind conversations I've read about Pick Up Artists.

Maybe, she's not looking at your bulge.
Maybe, with Trillions US dollars in debt your money bulge is not impressive.

Cuba has an environment that has not been spoiled with prosperity.
http://www.sciencefriday.com/segment/01 ... reefs.html
How we got here is a story everyone on the bus can and will tell their own way.

Where we are is with Cuba like an Island Park.
She has some of the World's most unspoiled nature.

She also has an American Torture Chamber down at one end.
If they do the paperwork will UN Inspectors go into Gitmo?

If they do the paperwork correctly will Cuba become Guilty of Gitmo crimes?
If they do that, do UN Inspectors go in? When do UN inspectors go in?
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: BaraCubama -Obama to end sanctions on Cuba

Postby sardia » Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:23 am UTC

addams wrote:
sardia wrote:It's the difference between your parents cutting you off, and your rich uncle going broke + your parents cutting you off. Cuba can live with tourism or oil, it can't afford to be deprived of both.

I think many of us have an overly simplistic view of US Foreign Relations.
It brings to mind conversations I've read about Pick Up Artists.

Maybe, she's not looking at your bulge.
Maybe, with Trillions US dollars in debt your money bulge is not impressive.

Cuba has an environment that has not been spoiled with prosperity.
http://www.sciencefriday.com/segment/01 ... reefs.html
How we got here is a story everyone on the bus can and will tell their own way.

Where we are is with Cuba like an Island Park.
She has some of the World's most unspoiled nature.

She also has an American Torture Chamber down at one end.
If they do the paperwork will UN Inspectors go into Gitmo?

If they do the paperwork correctly will Cuba become Guilty of Gitmo crimes?
If they do that, do UN Inspectors go in? When do UN inspectors go in?

You seem to have a mistaken impression on the state of the US vs the state of the government debt. Neither is as weak as you think it is. Now onto your remarks...
1. Cuba has made the gamble that US dollars will flow into Cuba, Cubans may be mistaken, but that is the gamble they bet on. That's why the Cuban government pushed so hard for remittances and travel relaxations.
2. Cuba doesn't have the most unspoiled nature, that distinction probably goes to the DMZ zone in Korea or possibly Chernobyl.
3. UN inspectors won't be allowed by the US into Guantanamo base. The US has power, the UN does not.
4. Cuba will not be on the hook for US torture, Cuba's own human rights abuses on the other hand...

PS I feel like I'm talking to a wall or a broken record sometimes, because I don't think you ever grok the forums responses to your navel gazing.

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Re: BaraCubama -Obama to end sanctions on Cuba

Postby addams » Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:59 am UTC

1. Cuba has made the gamble that US dollars will flow into Cuba, Cubans may be mistaken, but that is the gamble they bet on. That's why the Cuban government pushed so hard for remittances and travel relaxations.

I was not in any meetings where the US gave one half a shit what the Cubans wanted.
The Cubans have been requesting normalized relations with the US all my living memory.
All of a sudden, we can hear them? Good us. Our sensitive side is showing.

2. Cuba doesn't have the most unspoiled nature, that distinction probably goes to the DMZ zone in Korea or possibly Chernobyl.

My navel does not count those two examples as unspoiled.

3. UN inspectors won't be allowed by the US into Guantanamo base. The US has power, the UN does not.

You may be correct.
I don't have to like it.

I'll just call a Godwin on myself.
I lose.

4. Cuba will not be on the hook for US torture, Cuba's own human rights abuses on the other hand...

If you are an American, US crimes are your concern.
We can't have Torturers judging Torturers.

I'm glad I'm not allowed to have a say.
I'd tell the US to "Fuck Off".

Let the rest of the world invest in and Treasure Cuba.
I think the Cubans should tell the US to, "Get the fuck Off Our Rock."
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.


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