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Obama 'seeks a new beginning' with Cuban relations; also meets Chavez

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Cuba will become the new vegas again?

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“We would like to see Cuba open up its society, release political prisoners, open up to outside opinions and media, have the kind of society that we all know that would improve the opportunities for the Cuban people and for their nation,” she said."

She's lying. She could give a damn about us. She is basically a Jane Fonda. She really believes nothing bad has happened to anyone, as do many posters here.

Maybe, maybe, this will open up discussions for the people of Miami, New Jersey to start getting things that were robbed by Castro and maybe this will help bring him to trial.

All who are concerned, please visit and make a small donation: http://www.memorialcubano.org/

"Cuba Archive finds that some 5,600 Cubans have died in front of firing squads and another 1,200 in "extrajudicial assassinations." Che Guevara was a gleeful executioner at the infamous La Cabaña Fortress in 1959 where, under his orders, at least 151 Cubans were lined up and shot. Children have not been spared. Of the 94 minors whose deaths have been documented by Cuba"

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The Communist regime in Cuba is alive and strong. If we think they will just open up and let democracy take over, better to go smoke banana leaves! The communists have been in power, with the help of the old USSR,East Germany etc...all failed states now, but Cuba is still full of spies, Cuban spies, just as Miami is (although we think these are just some poor folk floating on crappy rubber rafts etc..) enough of these are actually spying for Castro and family. Just ask the Venezuelans now, where thanks to Castro and his security forces, Hugo Chavez has avoided being assasinated a number of times.

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Way to go to Cuban and American, new found relations.

Hope when things get better with Cuba, Intel ,IBM-Lenovo and others can help improve Cuba in IT/PC revolution like in China/Vietnam.

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Hey bud,

'The Communist regime in Cuba is alive and strong. If we think they will just open up and let democracy take over, better to go smoke banana leaves! The communists have been in power, with the help of the old USSR,East Germany etc...all failed states now, but Cuba is still full of spies, Cuban spies,'

You probably have heard the latest poll news that just only 53% of Americans believe Capitalism is a better system than Socialism. I guess that would have you wondering about how effective all they Russkie and Cuban spies must be infiltrating all over the place. Might be one under you bed right now. Better take a look.

What about that remaining 47% of Americans polled you wonder, hard to believe a full 27% couldn't even make up their minds! Probably too many 'banana leaves' filtering through US border control, all that smoke and all those addled brains.

Never mind the 20% of Americans that outright declared Socialism would be a better system than Capitalism. That must be a scary prospect for you.

Wonder if JT is going to do another thread on Socialism again. Don't think so but it would be interesting this time around, wouldn't it?

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You probably have heard the latest poll news that just only 53% of Americans believe Capitalism is a better system than Socialism." Yes, but not of those in favor of it even have the faintest idea on how to get the US going that way.... Its just usual cabin fever. What should be noted is that Cuba is not socialist, nor communist. Its a dictatorship. Anyone who believes otherwise is probably just some angry fool who can't get a better job or doesn't have the guts to make their own.

Believe me, my dad (RIP) once a hardcore socialist. Many of those in favor of Castro need to roll around in some "real" socialist sites.

This is just more of the anti-establishment crowd.

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Another tragic experiment with Marxism about to end.

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During the revolution my own family was split almost down the middle when it came to pro and anti Castro. I had 7 uncles and about 6 cousins that fought in the hills with Castro had about the same amount fight for Batista.

Of those that fought for Castro 5 of them left Cuba after it was discovered that he was Communist. It took many years for the family to forgive the ones that decided to stay with Castro. To this day many in my family still would not talk to those members.

Many Cuban families are like mine, there is still bad blood and it will be hard to forgive. But hopefully Cuba will open it's doors and the old Castro guard will slowly die out.

I just hope that the far right Cubans in Miami do not force that door closed. Many of the younger Cubans want to see Cuba and learn about it first hand. I hope that with President Obama in office we can visit our home land.

Funny how my family has slowly changed. As a child I remember spending many weekends at Tamiami park at Alpha 66 picnics with my family. Everyone talking about one day repaying old scores. But now most of those feeling have disappeared.

Many of the most far right members of my family have softened their stance on Cuba. Those old day of bringing the kids to political rallies have all but died out. The hard liners are slowly dying out.

One day Cuba will be free, but I do not believe that the Cubans in Miami will have what they want, control of Cuba. When Cuba does change for the better it will be done by all Cubans not just the ones that want power.

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it is good step between the two countries. Both countries need each other.

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I always thought Puerto Rico would be the 51st star...

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Skip,

'Many of those in favor of Castro need to roll around in some "real" socialist sites.'

Yes, there are those who call themselves socialists that think Stallinism and its derivative Castoism equal socialism. There are others who know better. Socialism just does not work at all as a system contained within a nation, it must be internationally embraced to work. I think though that a majority of people gleefully hold on to the confusion, that is the spin that holds that socialism is a vague utopia or malevolent dictatorship that can be relegated to the past.

Point of fact, when this financial crises beat its way into the homes of millions and made Wall Street cowl, history was bought back to life. The reasons the banks are going broke have been written about by socialists decades ago, it is a pure example of cause and effect. Anyone who thinks this is a result of bad bankers and sucker debters are ill informed on world history, and lets face it that is most of us anyway.

The truth is it is the capitalist system that has failed and in fact broke. Cuba is being bought back in to the folds of the world capitalist system, but as you suggest it actually had never really represented a more benign form of Stalinism, and Stalin needed the Capitalist West to maintain the facade that his rule actually stood for something, anything other than what it was a cruel and despotic rule of a tyrant.

Good for you Dad. Hopefully he never had to feel ashamed for standing up for what is truly a righteous, intelligent and most importantly a humanist cause.

From what I read the socialist movement was once especially strong in the US, something Roosevelt was keenly aware of when he set about placating the masses with the New Deal. A pity so many were taken in by the betrayal that was Stalinism. But the Internet is going to change a lot of things.

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Mangled my message above. That third to last para should read as follows.

'The truth is it is the capitalist system that has failed and in fact broke. Cuba is being bought back in to the folds of the world capitalist system, but as you suggest it actually had never really represented anything socialist other a benign form of Stalinism, and Stalin needed the Capitalist West to maintain the facade that his rule actually stood for something, anything other than what it was a cruel and despotic rule of a tyrant.

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the Cubans in Miami will have what they want, control of Cuba." No!

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I have been an advocate to restart relations between the US and Cuba for decades. Yes I understood the reason for the split in relations, but those actions and times are long past.

I look at who we have normal trade relations with; China, Vietnam and other communist or socialist countries. To keep the restrictions up between the US and and Cuba is assinine.

I'd be open for normal relations within a year or two. < :-)

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I remain skeptical about anything that comes out of the mouth of a Castro. Although, if this exchange is in earnest, maybe it could pave the way to tourism in Cuba and lay the groundwork for some real reform. It would be nice to got back, I miss my family.

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"Socialism just does not work at all as a system contained within a nation, it must be internationally embraced to work."

Yeah, right. So when nobody wants to work anymore as they're living off state benefits, but the state has no money because they're paying people to do nothing where do we go from there?

I live in a country where socialism has been tried and has failed. I'm not saying it isn't a good idea in principle, but it just becomes abused.

Whatever happens between Cuba and the US next looks like finally, after all these years, things are moving in the right direction.

Heh. Obama. What a disaster.

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It is about time there is some dialogue hopefully followed by an end to the embargo altogether. It hasn't worked and certainly didn't end the Castro regime.

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Taniwha, excellent post, despotic rule is not socialism. I come from Milwaukee and if any other Americans on here come from that area you would understand Milwaukee's socialist past. It meant building parks and recreation facilities for the common people. Providing healthcare and free hospital care back in the early 1900s. That was socialism, Castro and his ilk are merely tyrents that subvert socialism or communism for their own ends.

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Socialism contains to many variables that play to well into the shall we say 'lackings' of the human condition. Capitalism plays off of these lackings forcing the lazy to work and the powerful to compete or loose their dominance. A kind of controled socio/economic warfare if you will. There is no good system just as there is no bad system I simply prefer the one where I can have an option to live as either as a dirt farmer or a hedonistic lump at my own discression so long as I have the brains and funds to maintain said lifestyle.

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TheQuestion

I simply prefer the one where I can have an option to live as either as a dirt farmer or a hedonistic lump at my own discression so long as I have the brains and funds to maintain said lifestyle.

That's where I want to live, also. I don't harm you, you leave me alone.

But back to Cuba. I lived theough the whole Bay-of-Pigs thing. I understand the terror that ran through people, but times have changed.

If my children do something wrong, do I punish them for the rest of their life? That's where we are with Cuba. We thought they did something very wrong. We punished them, kept the punishment up. It's time to quit beating them and try to live in harmony. < :-)

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usaexpat

Thanks for reading. Yes, it is simply stunning how little people know about the history of their own countries, and how ready they are to parrot off the excited chatter from media mouthpieces that in reality are feeding them propaganda.

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TheQuestion

'Socialism contains to many variables that play to well into the shall we say 'lackings' of the human condition.'

Apparently you are happy to repeat inanities delivered from the mouths of people out to deceive you. Most people have no need to sort the wheat out from the chaff on the big issue of what kind of economic and political system should or could be better for the world. But if you choose to post your confusion you better be prepared for some education from others.

The idea that people are fundamentally bad, that individuals gone bad are the reasons we face this financial disaster at this point in time is not correct. You need to do some reading. When you read history remember to join the dots. Cause and effect follow each other. Your posts reads as though you think all lies in the hands of fate itself, and we should all allow ourselves, like some kind of seeds of weeds incapable of deciding our own fates, simply lie where we have been cast.

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The US policy towards Cuba may change, but until this old fart Fidel goes 6 feet under or is put in a nice air conditioned mosuleam like that super heroe Kim Jong Sung of North Korea, I do not think little brother Raul will have the cojones to really try to abandon the revolucion, as everybody who knows anything about Cuba, DEMOCRACY, is an EVIL word there. Cuba is full of spies, the Seguridad Cubana, to make sure Fidel and family are not assasinated by those his regime has made suffer the most, the common Cuban man and woman.

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everyone, get off the socialist crap. There is no reason why we can't have relations with a socialist country. That's not the point for me or as surprisingly Joe Biggs says of us. We are talking about having relations with someone who is responsible to a lot of harm, a lot more than Bush.

Would any of you hug up to Bush? No, of course not, yet you are all well and ready to start kissing Castro's feet. What JB doesn't want you to know is that people like many in my family, even if travel is eased, will be quickly put in jail and that can, as has happened, mean even someone never there can be put up on charges like a child/relative to pay the price as enemies of Castro.

If we are going to start having relations with Castro, we might as well hug up to OBL, Hitler, J Eger Hoover, Bush Jr, etc...

Castro conveniently used socialism to round up the masses while pocketing everything for himself.

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elbundamexicano: Thanks for having the guts to come out and say that here.

If you people have been scared of the CIA, believe me, you ain't seen nothing yet.

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I'm glad things finally seem to be thawing a bit, and hope that eventually they will normalize and lead to the old Castro guard radically changing and/or disappearing. Keeping up this embargo on Cuba while things have normalized with other 'communist' countries (Vietnam and China come to mind) seems just utterly stupid. I realize it's more face-saving than anything, and I'm glad that there's finally a US president in office to take things seriously.

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'everyone, get off the socialist crap.'

But aren't we talking about Cuba? Wasn't that supposed to be some kind of Socialist country. Wasn't the fact Cuba was Socialist the very reason the US chilled relations with it in the beginning? Isn't the thaw of those relations the subject of the article the thread is about?

Hey Skip, sounds to me like you the whole topic is wrong for you, and you ought to do yourself a favor and find a thread that focuses on subjects you would rather read and post on.

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No Taniwha, No, the US chilled relations because the US decided not to back Castro, which lead to the him running to the USSR for help, which they gladly gave him. It wasn't until after that that he proclaimed himself a communist - not a socialist.

The article is about thawing relations with Cuba, thus Castro. The article is not about Cuba being socialist and that being the reason the US has given Cuba the cold shoulder.

Seems to me that while I am on an opposing side to Joe Biggs, you need to read in-depth his posts. At least he and I have more than right to post about it. What do you have?

Now, you either agree with me or you don't, but I will say I couldn't care if Cuba was capitalist, it run by a guy who has been responsible for the deaths of many, including my family. Maybe you buy into left over propaganda about how great he and Che were, but that is your problem.

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Cuba has called itself socialist, a lot of Cubans have left because the American dream seemed a lot sweeter sounding than Castro's promises of a greater community of South American nations sometime in the future. The fact that his people have had to endure decades of doing without and being told how to do without is also the reason so many Cubans have sought to escape, that and having their loved ones arrested for crimes against the state of a political kind.

Cuban socialism has based itself on the Stalinist model of socialism within one nation. The fact it turned to Russia and Russia saw an advantage in literally feeding the Cuban nation is what really riled successive American administrations. When the Soviet empire collapsed so to did the Cuban economy's life support. Cuba always stood as an irritant thorn in the side of the American Dream. How could a small island economy that rejected capitalism maintain itself for so long, and dammit have a level of national literacy, and health care that put America too shame. After all, America claimed to set the standard for what Capitalism could achieve, the promise of capitalism fulfilled, You too can have a nation where less than 50% of the population have access to full health care, where the most recent figures on Child health are appalling reading, 1998 official national statistics show 13% of Americans living in poverty, 19% of the nation's children were designated to be living in poverty, 40% of the nation's poor were children. That was over 10 decades earlier, more recent statistics are far worse, but I'm saving those for other posts!

Meanwhile in Cuba, without a doubt since the 1990's there has emerged significant poverty in rural areas, people are largely healthy. Why? Because there is widespread access to vegetables and fruit, and a big one here, health care is for everybody and its free.

So arguably Cuba is a benign version of Stalinism, but it does remain a dictatorship, simply the outcome of cutting itself off from a capitalist world in a useless attempt to lead other nations into a socialist community.

Socialism must be international to work, and that is what the 4th International works toward achieving. Nationalism is never going to be a road to anywhere but war between nations. Capitalism is the highway nationalism takes to war.

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taniwha: Have you been to Cuba and verified all these great things for yourself? Or did you just go to the tourist destination?

Amazing that I meet so many, from there, who refute these very great things you claim are there.

Mind you, I am not saying the US has any right to compare, but by having relations the way it is desired is not the right way to go.

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Globalization will defeat the Castros of this world. There are 3 billion new capitalists out there.

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Apparently you are happy to repeat inanities delivered from the mouths of people out to deceive you. Most people have no need to sort the wheat out from the chaff on the big issue of what kind of economic and political system should or could be better for the world. But if you choose to post your confusion you better be prepared for some education from others.

I don't remember claiming to follow any enlighened massiah of capitalism nor do I recall having a quarell with those who believe socialism could work. I simply favor one system over another based on my own mentality and personal goals. I don't try to convert others to my way of thinking in return I am effectivly locked in mine. Because lets face facts, neither of us are going to write anything earthshatteringly profound enough to change the others mind, and if we could we probably wouldn't be wasting our message on this discussion board.

The idea that people are fundamentally bad, that individuals gone bad are the reasons we face this financial disaster at this point in time is not correct. You need to do some reading. When you read history remember to join the dots. Cause and effect follow each other. Your posts reads as though you think all lies in the hands of fate itself, and we should all allow ourselves, like some kind of seeds of weeds incapable of deciding our own fates, simply lie where we have been cast.

You have put words in my mouth. I didn't say people were fundamentaly bad nor do I believe that people are fundementaly good. I believe people live their lives according to set cultural norms and attempt to live up to those ethical/societal standards but are capable of error and ethical lapse. I also fail to see where you were able to make assumptions about my ideals on fate and how it affects everyday life. I simply stated my desire to to be left to my own devices with minimal political intervention while living inside the scope of legality.

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skipthesong I wouldn't go up and hug bush, but I'd hug an American. I wouldn't hug Castro but I would hug a cuban. You the correct persprctives.

it run by a guy who has been responsible for the deaths of many, including my family.

I'm sorry for any losses you and your family has had. Don't take this wrong, but this is bigger than the people who have passed on both sides. This is for the future of Cuba and US relations. < :-)

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This is for the future of Cuba and US relations"

I am down with that idea, but at the moment, who are we speaking to?

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Cuba has called itself socialist, a lot of Cubans have left because the American dream seemed a lot sweeter sounding than Castro's promises of a greater community of South American nations sometime in the future. The fact that his people have had to endure decades of doing without and being told how to do without is also the reason so many Cubans have sought to escape, that and having their loved ones arrested for crimes against the state of a political kind...Meanwhile in Cuba, without a doubt since the 1990's there has emerged significant poverty in rural areas, people are largely healthy. Why? Because there is widespread access to vegetables and fruit, and a big one here, health care is for everybody and its free.

If you ever lived there you would hold your tongue. You don't know the price, if you did you would be less inclined to question my embracing the free market and you wouldn't dare attepmt to justify Castro's tyranny.

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When black Cubans gather, the topic of racism readily emerges. But the government does not permit clubs, associations or movements based on race; there is no NAACP in Cuba, nor would one be allowed."

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This is for the future of Cuba and US relations" So, our future must include hanging with leaders who would jail you for disagreeing with them? Isn't it bad enough we are friendly to Arabia, China, Russia?

This is not about whether you agree with communism or not, this is, at least for me, is helping a man who is responsible for so many deaths, so much pain which could have been avoided but his vengeance/macho ism took control.

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Castro will be dead in a few years but Cuba will remain. It is time for America to look to the future and a new relationship with Cuba. This is not to ignore the painful past, but to reach toward a better future so that those who died can be openly remembered and mourned. Otherwise it will be more of the same until the end of time.

Castro is a mere mortal and will soon turn to dust. What happens then? Civil war? And then another generation of suffering and divided families?

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As long as there is more rum to drink and cigars to smoke I am all for it.

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“New beginning”? There is no beginning and no ending. The world is always changing since a very long time ago. This is a way of life. We all suffer every day.

We should not trust the mainstream main, puppets, bankers, central bankers, and elites. The world already has seen enough of the money-making parasites, such as global warming, bird disease, AIDS, bailouts, puppet installations, job outsourcing/dislocations, holocausts, wars, money laundering, off shoring banking, illegal drug smuggling, human smuggling, border opening without proper notification, imbalanced classes, overpriced products, expensive drugs, etc.

Flickr.com alone is more likely to unite countries than the combination of presidents, prime ministers, and dictators. Internet can do many useful things and change the global perception forever. Some governments, including the U.S. government, don't like it too much. They want some hatreds, controls, false-flag attacks, framings, and victimhood games to stay uninterrupted for profits and consumptions. Although some of politicians and bankers are supporting the one-world currency, that can't be done without ridding the problems in the Middle East, international bankers with particular goals, and global intelligence agents.

We need to stop paying attention at what the mainstream media say about the countries and parties. The 20th century political issues are already dead. We should be more concerned about Internet than political puppets, forms of governments, and political parties because it is making a bigger impact on the world society, propagandas, economies, cultures, and banking system.

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Punatives can only go so far. Obama made the big first step by opening up travel visas with Cuba. Be patient, the will and determination of the Cuban people is strong.

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taniwha, disagree that capitalism has failed and or broke. Recessions are suppose to happen in capitalism. Why is it that this recession means capitalism has failed but not the other recessions that have happend since the great depression? What evidence do you have that capitalism is permantely broke and that it has failed completely?

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Now that a whimpering socialist is in charge of the U.S., time to see how long it takes before one of Obama's new best friends attacks us.

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Most Americans do not understand how much Latin Americans hate them nor why they are so hated from Cuba all the way down to Argentina. Obama is not white so he may understand the frustrations of Cubans, etc..better than Bush. Chavez may seem like some crazy South American Banana Republic dictator, but he is doing what the US should have been doing ages ago in Latin America. He is using the profits from his country's oil revenues to build roads and hospitals all over Latin America. What do Latin Americans see the US do? Ransak their oil,coal,gold etc..and they see the US government only supporting the ruling white class in Bolivia etc..so now Evo Morales has kicked the American DEA out of his country, with a lot of support from Chavez etc.. Most Americans working as so called "volunteers" in Colombia etc..are all suspected to be members of the CIA. So white Americans should be very happy to have a black man as president who may actually begin to understand those folk who are not just white and english speakers. If freedom can ever come to Cuba, Chavez and Obama are most likely to help bring positive changes about. Americans and others should also not forget, Venezuela is 1 of the most important exporters of oil to the USA, and last year, Chavez donated heating oil to many cold poor families in the USA!! When will we ever hear of American oil producers donating oil for anything to anybody???

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This is good that President Obama has opened a discussion with Chavez. I understand that many in the far right camp still want to alienate Chavez and Cuba. But that camp forgets that under the Bush administration we lost allot of respect and allies in all of Latin America. If we get Chavez to warm up to us that will make it easier for us to step into Latin America.

I just hope we can keep this going and really make a dent in the image the last Administration left. We have to stop looking like the thugs and thieves of the world. We need to change minds and hearts back to our way.

We can no longer change regimes in Latin America like we used to. Now we have to change minds and the rest of the body will follow.

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Okay, lets talk about 'the new beginning for Cuba'. What would that entail? Oh forgot, number one Cuba becomes capitalist. Prez Obama went to Trinidad to talk a new face onto US imperialism. The US has always had strategic interests in Latin America, and there was a time when it exerted hegemony over the region. But not so to the same extent any longer.

Obama went there to repair the damage done by years of aggressive US unilateral policies particularly those that directly affected the region over two terms of the Bush administration. Prez Bush's regime asserted a series of bilateral trade agreements, or at least attempted to do so, while pursuing its War on Terror along with the War on Drugs, both as the means to militarily dominate Latin America. All the time the US maintained its embargo on trade with Cuba, and sought to destabilize Latin left leaning nationalist governments.

While Prez Obama 'listens' to Latin America there is little tangible evidence the policies of his administration will be little different to those of the previous administration. The tone he adopts is shall we say a little more inclusive but if you look for example at who has been placed in charge of Latin American policy you find it is the same guy, Secretary Thomas Shannon, worked for Bush now working for Obama, in exactly the same role, i.e. Chief State Department Official.

The summit held in Trinidad made a lot of declarations but like the recent G20 in London the draft declarations are essentially meaningless providing nothing more than a wish list; i.e. end poverty, unemployment, etc. along with declarations to strongly support capitalist free trade (a contradiction in itself) and investment, the very two things responsible for the conditions present in Latin America the Summit declares it aims to fix! What a joke, what a bad joke.

Promises and platitudes on display for all to see, if they will.

As for Prez Obama on the question of the US re-establishing ties with Cuba, the provisions he has offered will serve to make the gap between Cuban's that have dollars and those that don't far greater than it is now. And incredibly, posters on this thread, many of them apparently Cuban have failed to say a word about the fact that the Obama administration has made it clear the economic blockade will stay in place!

Well a lot is changing, even if the change isn't actually in the direction taken by Washington. The change lies within America itself. As economic conditions within America for a majority of Americans considerably worsens in quick time, and the social breakdown resulting becomes overwhelmingly visible, many have begun to question the sense of staying with a capitalist system that is clearly broke (broke a long time ago actually).

This is ironic. Here we have a US Prezident ostensibly extending a hand to its long surviving against all odds nemises Cuba in the hope it dashes its Stalinist model of socialism within a nation, and embrace American capitalism, while over 45% of Americans polled just days ago expressed strong doubt that a Capitalist system was better than a Socialist system. It kind of makes the JT poll a few weeks ago blush I would think.

As conditions in the US become more like those in Latin America the numbers of people turning against capitalism will only increase.

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Most of Latin America has a drug problem (violence, corruption etc..)thanks to Fidel Castro Cuba is still drug free. If Cuba "opens up" to America, I am very afraid it will also become another drug infested black hole like the USA is now, with it's so called "war on drugs." We should not forget that most of the drugs coming out of Colombia pass through Venezuela, then on to Mexico, the USA, etc..I wonder how long the so called "good relation" between FARC supporting Chavez and freedom loving Obama will last?

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Not good, Cuba is way too close to our shores for comfort. Much like N.Korea is way to close to Japan for comfort.

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