Superfly
Topic Author
Posts: 37735
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

Castro Marks 75th Birthday, Firmly In Charge

Tue Aug 14, 2001 10:52 am

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

http://www.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/americas/08/13/birthday.castro/index.html

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The fact the majority of Western governments regard him as a dictator clinging on to an outdated political model is simply proof, in Castro's eyes, that everyone else is wrong.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
 
b757300
Posts: 3914
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 10:27 pm

RE: Castro Marks 75th Birthday, Firmly In Charge

Tue Aug 14, 2001 11:14 am

"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
 
Guest

RE: Castro Marks 75th Birthday, Firmly In Charge

Tue Aug 14, 2001 11:43 am

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.
 
777YYC
Posts: 702
Joined: Wed May 03, 2000 10:46 am

RE: Castro Marks 75th Birthday, Firmly In Charge

Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:05 pm

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
 
kolobokman
Posts: 1112
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2000 5:32 am

RE: Castro Marks 75th Birthday, Firmly In Charge

Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:11 pm

Let us celebrate!!
I can neither confirm, nor deny above post
 
jessman
Posts: 1457
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2001 1:11 pm

RE: Castro Marks 75th Birthday, Firmly In Charge

Wed Aug 15, 2001 12:21 am

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.
 
Guest

RE: Castro Marks 75th Birthday, Firmly In Charge

Wed Aug 15, 2001 2:49 am

We still need to keep the heat on him!
 
Guest

RE: Castro Marks 75th Birthday, Firmly In Charge

Wed Aug 15, 2001 3:49 am

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.

 
JetService
Posts: 4611
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 1:12 pm

RE: Castro Marks 75th Birthday, Firmly In Charge

Wed Aug 15, 2001 4:23 am

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!"
 
LH423
Posts: 5868
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 1999 6:27 am

RE: Castro Marks 75th Birthday, Firmly In Charge

Wed Aug 15, 2001 11:48 pm

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.

END THE CUBAN EMBARGO NOW!

LH423
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 
DG_pilot
Posts: 810
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 1999 10:21 am

RE: Castro Marks 75th Birthday, Firmly In Charge

Thu Aug 16, 2001 2:02 am

Did you see many light planes at all in Cuba? I imagine most of them were just transient aircraft right? Just wondering...
 
Superfly
Topic Author
Posts: 37735
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: Castro Marks 75th Birthday, Firmly In Charge

Thu Aug 16, 2001 2:09 am

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
 
sccutler
Posts: 5583
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 12:16 pm

RE: Castro Marks 75th Birthday, Firmly In Charge

Thu Aug 16, 2001 10:25 am

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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