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Cuba: Is it time to open the doors again?



 
 
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  #41  
Old June 5th, 2009, 2:54 am
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Re: Cuba: Is it time to open the doors again?

Personally, I think that if Cuba ever tried to actually attack us rather than just some saber-rattling, the United States could just crush them easily. And both sides know this.

Regarding the Russian bombers story you linked a page back Pensieve, the story is almost a year old. Was there any updates, or was that just a one-time speculation based on a response to the US putting a missile shield into Eastern Europe? I'm asking because I think that some of the blip in tension rapidly died back down. And, with Fidel's health waning, I think that open diplomacy and the like can ensure that the next leaders of Cuba have better relations with the United States. If Obama and other leaders of North America not named Hugo Chavez extend the olive branch, it gives the Cuban leader(s) an alternative to Chavez, and perhaps we can check one enemy off the "enemies checklist", thus giving us one less worry. If we continue to shun Cuba, then we're almost guaranteeing that Cuba will remain antagonistic to us. I'm willing to take the chance, since I know that our military is more than capable of smooshing Cuba's should the need arise.


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  #42  
Old June 5th, 2009, 2:55 am
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Re: Cuba: Is it time to open the doors again?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pensieve_master View Post
I lived in Miami for 30 years and have been close to the Cuban condition most of my life. Do I think the Cubans are gonna nuke us? No. But they are still a hostile nation. I remember when they emptied their prisons and sent their scum to us in the Mariel boatlift. I remember in 1996 when the Cubans shot down two US private planes, killing the pilots, in international air space. But people forget these things as time passes, and they come to view Castro as this misunderstood man, almost romanticizing him.

IMO, the Castros wouldn't hesistate to do us harm again if the situation presented itself. And, yes, I think that includes inviting the Russians to base their strategic bombers in Cuba.

You make good points but I just don't see this happening personally. Anything is possible but that doesn't mean it is probable.

Obviously if we did lift the embargo we would expect some conditions to be met. If anything hostile as in Russia sending in these bombers that you speak of we would immediately withdraw it and impose the sanctions once again. The sanctions have not worked in changing the structure of their government. Maybe it is time we made some baby steps in changing our stance and seeing if that makes a difference.

I may be looking at this in to much of a humanitarian way but I think if lifting the embargo helps even in a miniscule way at least it is something.


  #43  
Old June 5th, 2009, 3:04 am
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Re: Cuba: Is it time to open the doors again?

Cuba was just reinducted into the Organization of American States, without condition.


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  #44  
Old June 5th, 2009, 4:37 am
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Re: Cuba: Is it time to open the doors again?

Here's something to think about. If Cuba's doors were opened and we were allowed in, woudl you want to go?


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  #45  
Old June 5th, 2009, 5:47 am
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Re: Cuba: Is it time to open the doors again?

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Originally Posted by leah49 View Post
Here's something to think about. If Cuba's doors were opened and we were allowed in, woudl you want to go?
I think a better question would be to ask if Cuban Americans would want to go? Surely many would. Not to mention some still have relatives there that they would like to see.

For me personally yes. I would go if it were safe enough. I enjoy traveling and learning about different places.


  #46  
Old June 5th, 2009, 6:13 am
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Re: Cuba: Is it time to open the doors again?

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Originally Posted by leah49 View Post
Here's something to think about. If Cuba's doors were opened and we were allowed in, woudl you want to go?
Shouldn't we have the choice regardless? If the implication is that travel to Cuba might be risky or unpleasant...well...people already go to a lot of countries where that could be the case, despite the risk. And that's their right.

Would I personally go? It's not a place I'm particularly interested in, but I'd hardly write it off.


  #47  
Old June 5th, 2009, 6:13 am
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Re: Cuba: Is it time to open the doors again?

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Originally Posted by leah49 View Post
Here's something to think about. If Cuba's doors were opened and we were allowed in, woudl you want to go?
Well, I'm from Canada so I can go and plan to when I get the chance. I've heard a lot about Cuba, good and bad, from both the left and right, and I want to find out what's true. I expect it's considerably better than what the right say, and has problems the left are not acknowledging.

And it's far past time the US ended the embargo on Cuba. It's not as if they don't have relations with other nations that are dictatorships; the attitude towards Cuba is the product of the expat lobby, holding grudges, and an outdated Cold War mindset, and it simply makes no sense. All it does is make like harder for the people of Cuba.

The way I see it, nobody, left or right, should fear an end to the embargo. If you support communism, you should expect Cuba to do fine without it; if you oppose communism and believe that the Cuban people do as well, you should expect greater exposure to the world and the loss of the embargo as a scapegoat to cause a change in government.


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  #48  
Old June 5th, 2009, 11:52 am
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Re: Cuba: Is it time to open the doors again?

Quote:
Originally Posted by leah49 View Post
Here's something to think about. If Cuba's doors were opened and we were allowed in, woudl you want to go?
For me, no, mainly because Cuba is one country I have no interest in (most of my interests lie with countries in Europe and Asia, for the most part). Either way, like DancingMaenid said, regardless, we should have the choice to travel there if we want, danger or not, since no matter where one goes, he/she can face some type of danger or hostility, especially those who may enjoy traveling to places like the middle eastern countries.


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  #49  
Old June 5th, 2009, 12:46 pm
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Re: Cuba: Is it time to open the doors again?

Well, I havcen't been to Cuba, since my interest is mostly the Mediterranean and the Middle East. But I know plenty of people who have.

As far as I can tell, it's about the friendliest country you'd ever wish to travel to - although of course we cannot say what it would be like for US Americans.


Generally, restricting travel is ALWAYS a bad idea. Because traveling means that people have a chance to get to know each other and exchange ideas. In a country with (proportionally) so few people who have travelled abroad, it's perhaps easier to get consent for this sort of thing.

Guess why the Communists restricted travel to and especially from the eastern block? I remember those times, and I remember those borders, and the reports of the few people who did make it across now and then. Travel restrictions are a bad idea - they make life easier for totalitarian regimes.

It would probably do the Cubans a world of good to have many US American visitors (and I bet their government would have to worry a lot more). Isn't it odd that in the case of Cuba, it wasn't the COmmunists who had to restrict travel - the Americans did it all for them?

I find that pretty ironic.


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Last edited by Klio; June 5th, 2009 at 12:51 pm.
  #50  
Old June 5th, 2009, 1:50 pm
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Re: Cuba: Is it time to open the doors again?

Quote:
Originally Posted by leah49 View Post
Here's something to think about. If Cuba's doors were opened and we were allowed in, woudl you want to go?
This is a very interesting question. It is my personal belief that if travel to Cuba from the US was permitted that many people would go to visit, especially Cuban-Americans who still have family there. The big question is whether or not Cuban-Americans would return there to live.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chparadise View Post
Regarding the Russian bombers story you linked a page back Pensieve, the story is almost a year old. Was there any updates, or was that just a one-time speculation based on a response to the US putting a missile shield into Eastern Europe?
The idea of basing Russian bombers in Cuba was in response to the missile shield. The point I was making was in response to an earlier post suggesting that the Russians had no interest in establishing a "a toehold in range of the U.S.". Clearly, the Russians haven't taken the idea off the table.


Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
Cuba was just reinducted into the Organization of American States, without condition.
Yes, but the context of their "readmission", according to the story you posted, is that it: "doesn't mean Cuba will return to the 34-member body that helps coordinate policies and mediates disputes throughout the Americas. Cuban officials have repeatedly insisted they have no interest in returning to an organization they consider a tool of the United States. And if Cuba changes its mind, the agreement calls for "a process of dialogue" in line with OAS "practices, proposals and principles" _ a veiled allusion to agreements on human rights and democracy."


Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
I'm sorry, but this is so tiresome. My dad's generation (World War II) weren't afraid. He and my mom raised us in much the same way. Don't provoke, but fight back hard when wronged.
Me afraid? No. Just counseling a pragmatic view of the Castros.


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Last edited by pensieve_master; June 5th, 2009 at 2:00 pm.
  #51  
Old June 5th, 2009, 2:05 pm
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Re: Cuba: Is it time to open the doors again?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pensieve_master View Post
This is a very interesting question. It is my personal belief that if travel to Cuba from the US was permitted that many people would go to visit, especially Cuban-Americans who still have family there. The big question is whether or not Cuban-Americans would return there to live.


This is an interesting distinction. I think we have plenty of post-1989 precedents here in Europe.

Let's put it like this: the market and the legal framework decide whether people buy property in a country like that. If the prices are cheap, private property is guaranteed and the legal protection of contracts is reasonably reliable people wil come and buy property. The most unlikely places found themselves swamped by Brits happy to buy houses before the crisis hit - e.g. the mountains in the south of Bulgaria, close to the border between Bulgaria and Greece. (Don't get me wrong, Bulgaria is a gorgeous country, but not a likely choice for Brits, you'd think, not least because of the transport links and language problems for notoriously monolingual Brits. And Bulgaria is certainly a less obvious destination than a Caribbean island).

I would think (pure speculation, though) that in Cuba the cheap prices are currently a given, but I assume (though I don't know this) that the guarantee of private property and the protection of contracts might be a problem at the moment. But something like that can change very quickly, as we have seen all over Europe.

If the conditions are in place, the market will do the rest.


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  #52  
Old June 7th, 2009, 4:42 am
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Re: Cuba: Is it time to open the doors again?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pensieve_master View Post
Really?

Russian aid to Cuba suddenly balloons in size




I lived in Miami for 30 years and have been close to the Cuban condition most of my life. Do I think the Cubans are gonna nuke us? No. But they are still a hostile nation. I remember when they emptied their prisons and sent their scum to us in the Mariel boatlift. I remember in 1996 when the Cubans shot down two US private planes, killing the pilots, in international air space. But people forget these things as time passes, and they come to view Castro as this misunderstood man, almost romanticizing him.

IMO, the Castros wouldn't hesistate to do us harm again if the situation presented itself. And, yes, I think that includes inviting the Russians to base their strategic bombers in Cuba.
The Russians have seen our resolve on this issue, and though they don't trust us, they respect us. They know we would do the same thing that happened with the Cuban Missle Crisis if they decided to build up Cuba millitarily. These days the Russians just want to run their own country (or parts they feel they are entitled to, like Chechnya) and continue to do what is only in their own best interests. I think the Cubans know this, and won't seek that kind of trouble again.

As far as the shooting down of the aircraft, even to this date there is dispute about the exact positions of the two craft, and a third aircraft with them, which escaped. The year previous to the incident an aircraft from the USA, apparently from the same group, Brothers To The Rescue, landed a private plane on a Cuban highway, and returned. As a result Cuba issued a warning that any plane or boat violating their airspace or sea lanes would be shoot down or sunk. I wonder if we would be so lenient as to let foreign unauthorized aircraft to enter our airspace? Perhaps 10 years ago, but not these days.


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  #53  
Old June 11th, 2009, 12:07 am
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Re: Cuba: Is it time to open the doors again?

Cuba is rich in history, and I for one would like to study it, and experience it. Unlike other communist regimes Cuba has managed to keep some sense of identity for its people and culture. That should be experienced. 3/4 of the population of the USA isn't old enough to remember when Americans could visit, yet they haven't done anything any worse to us that any other country that we are allowed to visit without restrictions.


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  #54  
Old July 2nd, 2009, 4:20 pm
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Re: Cuba: Is it time to open the doors again?

While hunting down something else I came across this which has a memo from RFK calling for a relaxation of the travel ban in 1963.

He said freedom to travel "is more consistent with our views as a free society and would contrast with such things as the Berlin Wall and Communist controls on such travel."


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Old July 15th, 2009, 7:56 pm
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Re: Cuba: Is it time to open the doors again?

The problem with any politician calling for lifting the Cuban embargo is that there are still a lot of Cuban-Americans who want to screw Castro in any way possible. Add to that the fact that they live in key swing states, and it's a political incentive to not do anything, and take a hardline and pandering stance (the Republicans traditionally, though the Democrats were often just as guilty). OTOH it's not so bad anymore, but it's still a lingering feeling.

Is lifting the embargo the sane thing to do? From a foreign-policy standpoint, yes. But from a domestic political standpoint? Still an iffy question.


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Old September 3rd, 2009, 3:51 pm
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Re: Cuba: Is it time to open the doors again?

The embargo should be lifted. It didn't achieve it's goal of toppling or weakening Castro and it is a pointless relic of the Cold War. Open friendly relations are the way to improve the situation between the United States and Cuba.


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  #57  
Old September 15th, 2009, 4:26 am
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Re: Cuba: Is it time to open the doors again?

Well, it's not going to happen for at least another year.

Obama extends Cuba embargo

Yet another dazzling display of inaction by Obama.


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  #58  
Old September 15th, 2009, 4:52 am
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Re: Cuba: Is it time to open the doors again?

Generally speaking, individual states are lobbying to open the doors. Obama is a bit preoccupied with his Health Care Reform, and neglecting foreign policy, but perhaps if the governors get together, and call for a lift to the embargo, we can start getting cheap Cuban Cigars and darn good sugar cane!

Quote:
Originally Posted by aussieboy View Post
The problem with any politician calling for lifting the Cuban embargo is that there are still a lot of Cuban-Americans who want to screw Castro in any way possible. Add to that the fact that they live in key swing states, and it's a political incentive to not do anything, and take a hardline and pandering stance (the Republicans traditionally, though the Democrats were often just as guilty). OTOH it's not so bad anymore, but it's still a lingering feeling.

Is lifting the embargo the sane thing to do? From a foreign-policy standpoint, yes. But from a domestic political standpoint? Still an iffy question.
Screwing Castro is one thing. But, should we not look past the leader, and closer at the populous? Both countries can mutually benefit from embargo lifts. And, many of those Cuban exiles, who left behind families, might be able to enjoy reunions without repercussions. It would also invite a bit of tourism for both countries. I, for one, would love to see Cuba and the house that Ernest Hemmingway once called home.


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  #59  
Old September 15th, 2009, 7:02 am
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Re: Cuba: Is it time to open the doors again?

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Originally Posted by rigdoctorbri View Post
Generally speaking, individual states are lobbying to open the doors.
I didn't know that. Interesting.

I am curious how this will go - but I think you are right, he simply has a few other things on his hands at the moment, and, after all those years, and with so many things competing on Obama's 'to do list' I am assuming that CUba simply isn't a top priority at the moment....

But yes, I agree - it's time to change this....


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  #60  
Old September 15th, 2009, 9:11 am
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Re: Cuba: Is it time to open the doors again?

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Obama is a bit preoccupied with his Health Care Reform
That's why he has a State Department.


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