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Castro Marks 75th Birthday, Firmly In Charge  
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40298 posts, RR: 73
Posted (14 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1181 times:

Castro marks 75th birthday, firmly in charge
August 13, 2001 Posted: 8:47 PM EDT (0047 GMT)


From Lucia Newman
CNN Havana Bureau

HAVANA, Cuba (CNN) -- When President Fidel Castro, on the eve of his 75th birthday, handed a Cuban flag to the head of the Communist youth organization, it was more than a ceremonial move.

Castro was metaphorically enacting what he calls his most powerful dream -- that Cuba's younger generations take over from him once he's gone to keep his revolution alive.

Castro marks his 75th birthday Monday. His voice is no longer as fiery as it once was, and his beard is not as thick as when he and his allies overthrew Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959. But he continues to show impressive stamina, still speaking for four or five hour’s non-stop and still getting by on only a few hours of sleep.

His regime has survived the collapse of his longtime Soviet patrons and four decades of official U.S. hostility, including an attempt by American-armed Cuban exiles to overthrow him in 1961 and an economic embargo that has persisted through nine U.S. administrations.
The fact the majority of Western governments regard him as a dictator clinging on to an outdated political model is simply proof, in Castro's eyes, that everyone else is wrong. Capitalism, he insists, is on its deathbed.

"It can't last much longer," he said recently. "The conditions are being created ... otherwise the human species cannot survive."

The future has become almost an obsession as mortality becomes less of a distant possibility for the world's longest-ruling head of state.

Castro's recent -- and unprecedented -- fainting spell at a public rally was a wake-up call for friends and foes alike, forcing them to reflect on a Cuba without the man who's ruled it for 42 years.

"I was alarmed, because Cuba is not prepared for a quick change," Cuban dissident Hector Palacios said. "A quick change could be very traumatic."

Many opponents of Castro's government argue that democratic change is inevitable -- and that it should be led by Castro himself to avoid a power vacuum and the kind of social turmoil that occurred in the former Soviet republics.

Castro and his designated successor, younger brother Raul Castro, laugh off the suggestion that communism in Cuba is destined to collapse.

"Fidel is a person that is completely committed with the revolutionary struggles since he was very, very young," National Assembly President Ricardo Alarcon said. "That may explain the energy, the vital energy that he's capable of developing."

Castro seems determined to use that energy to keep Cuba on its current course -- as long as he lives.


What are your thoughts? As you all may know I visited Cuba 2 months ago. Not necessarily to patronize Castro but to fly on the IL-62 and Yak 42D without spending an arm & a leg to get to Russia to fly on one. Also to see the old American cars. Not to mention, Cuba is a very exotic, controversial and cheap place to visit. It has Superfly written all over it! Big grin
This is mainly because Fidel Castro’s uncompromising integrity and refusal to be pushed around by larger more powerful nations US
One thing I want to point out and play with. If Castro allowed Nike, Gap, Levi's and other manufactures in his country to take advantage of cheap labor like China, would US policy toward Cuba be different?

Viva la revolucion!

*Let's all try to maintain our friendship with each others here in this forum un-like another international policy forum  Smile

Bring back the Concorde
12 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineB757300 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 4114 posts, RR: 20
Reply 1, posted (14 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1163 times:

"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
User currently offlineB777-200 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (14 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 1155 times:

Castro will never die! He's as healthy as an Ox! I don't see why the U.S. doesn't open economic relations with Cuba? It would help BOTH economies, and right now the U.S. economy could use a little stimulation.

User currently offline777YYC From Canada, joined May 2000, 744 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (14 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 1150 times:

I couldn't agree more, Superfly. I'll bet US-Cuba relations would be much less frosty if big business was allowed to get it's greasy little paws into Cuba!

 Big grin

User currently offlineKolobokman From Russia, joined Oct 2000, 1180 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (14 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 1145 times:

Let us celebrate!!

I can neither confirm, nor deny above post
User currently offlineJessman From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1506 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (14 years 9 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 1133 times:

Much of the economic pressure is used to appease the cuban-americans in especially the Miami area. They have very strong political committees and they vote, they vote loudly, so here we are.
I read somewhere that approx. 80% of US couldn't care less about cuba. I am one of them, but I would like to at least have the ability to visit Cuba without fear of being fined and/or imprissoned (sp).
Happy Birthday Fidel, may you live as long as the Queen Mother.

User currently offlineHairyass From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (14 years 9 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 1128 times:

We still need to keep the heat on him!

User currently offlineMcdougald From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (14 years 9 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 1119 times:

Best way to put the heat on Castro: Unilaterally scrap the embargo so that there's no one left but Castro to (rightfully) blame for Cuba's derelict economy.

User currently offlineJetService From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4798 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (14 years 9 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 1116 times:

I'm giving the sanctions 2 more weeks before he cracks.

Actually Castro may be a good case-study for military intervention vs. economic sanctions.

Imagine how wealthy the Cuban population could be sans Castro with Americans dumping tourism money there all these years after a successful military overthrow in the 60s. I'm not talking about financing bush-league rebels either.

"Shaddap you!"
User currently offlineLH423 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 6501 posts, RR: 52
Reply 9, posted (14 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1104 times:

The embargo is something that is long overdue to end. Castro is no longer a threat to national security. All his communist allies have reverted to capitalism for 10 years now. His economy is in shambles. He's an ageing has-been military leader who sees the world through red coloured sunglasses. He's more mentally unstable than he is a military threat.



« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
User currently offlineDg_pilot From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 856 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (14 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1101 times:

Did you see many light planes at all in Cuba? I imagine most of them were just transient aircraft right? Just wondering...

User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40298 posts, RR: 73
Reply 11, posted (14 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1100 times:

Do you mean props?
I did see some DC-3s, F-27s and AN-24s.
They do domestic flights within Cuba.
The big jets (IL-62, DC-10, Yak-42 and A320) do international flights.

Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineSccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 6065 posts, RR: 26
Reply 12, posted (14 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1090 times:

The embargo is failed policy, and has ironically provided what I regard as Castro's most effective tool for perpetuating such anti-US sentiment as exists (which, I am led to understand, is not too fervent among Cuban rank & file).

'Fly, I was going to challenge your assertion that Fidel has exhibited "integrity," but he has shown an apparent dedication to his people which is salutary. His problem, in my view, is that while he may love his people, he certainly does not trust them, and has thus diligently avoided any reasonable extension of personal freedoms to Cubanos.

We should ditch the embargo and compete for the respect and affection of the Cuban people; let the "market" decide- the market of free policy and public opinion. If the Peoples' Republic of China qualifies for MFN status, an embargo against Cuba is patently ludicrous.

...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
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