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Castro Rejects EU Aid, Defends Revolution
yahoo.comnews ^ | July 27, 2003 | Anthony Boadle

Posted on 07/27/2003 12:29:48 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife


Former Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega (R), Cuban boy Elian Gonzales and Reverend Lucius Walker of the U.S. sit together during a political rally at the former Moncada military barracks in Santiago de Cuba, July 26, 2003. Today is the 50th anniversary of the assault on the military compound led by Fidel Castro that launched the revolution. REUTERS/Claudia Daut

SANTIAGO, Cuba (Reuters) - Cuban President Fidel Castro responded on Saturday to European Union criticism of human rights abuses in Cuba by rejecting EU aid and closing the door on political contacts.

"Cuba does not need the aid of the European Union to survive," Castro said in a speech to 10,000 supporters marking the 50th anniversary of the assault he led on the Santiago army garrison that launched his leftist revolution.

In June the EU limited high-level bilateral government visits and reduced the profile of member states' participation in cultural events in Cuba. The European Commission also froze Havana's request to join the aid accord known as the Cotonou Agreement due to a crackdown on dissent in March.

"The government of Cuba, out of a basic sense of dignity, relinquishes any aid or remnant of humanitarian aid that may be offered by the European Commission and the governments of the European Union," Castro said.

He said Cuba would only accept aid from regional or local governments, NGOs and solidarity movements in Europe "which do not impose political conditions on Cuba."

The EU annoyed Castro's government by deciding in June to start inviting Cuban dissidents to its national day embassy receptions, which Cuban officials stopped attending.

The diplomatic freeze followed the jailing of 75 dissidents and the execution in April of three Cubans who hijacked a ferry in an attempt to reach the United States.

Castro accused European nations of ganging up on Cuba with the United States, which has maintained sanctions against the Caribbean island for four decades.

Last month, Castro led huge marches to the Havana embassies of Spain and Italy and attacked Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, likening Aznar to Adolf Hitler and calling Berlusconi a "clown" and a "fascist."

CASTRO ATTACKS EUROPE

In his speech on Saturday, he attacked European countries for "plundering" their colonies and leaving billions of people in poverty and underdevelopment, and said they should compensate African countries for the "the damage wreaked throughout centuries by slavery and colonialism."

"Neither Europe nor the United States will have the last word on the future of humanity," he said to a crowd of supporters wearing red T-shirts and waving Cuban flags.

The EU is Cuba's largest trading and investment partner and the source of most of its tourism, the island's most important source of hard currency.

The rally commemorated the 1953 attack on the Moncada barracks in Santiago that gave birth to one of the most lasting socialist revolutions of the 20th century after his guerrilla movement overthrew the corrupt dictatorship of U.S-backed Fulgencio Batista in 1959.

Castro recalled the pitiful social conditions under Batista and said Cuba's socialist society had achieved educational and health standards higher than some developed nations.

Persistent social hardship in Cuba since the loss of Soviet support has brought discontent and the emergence last year of a nationwide dissident movement calling for democratic reforms to the island's one-party communist state.

Despite opening up to tourism and foreign investment, Cuba's economy never fully recovered from the collapse of Soviet communism. Most Cubans earn wages that average $10 to $15 a month and live in dilapidated housing.

For Castro's opponents, the anniversary of the Moncada assault was no occasion to celebrate.

"It's another year of frustrations. There is no future and the government offers none," said dissident Vladimiro Roca, the son of a founding father of the ruling Communist Party.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Cuba; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: communism

1 posted on 07/27/2003 12:29:49 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Ol' Fidel is getting senile.

The Euroweenies want to shower him with money while they kiss his keister. What tinpot dictator in his right mind would turn down such regime support???
2 posted on 07/27/2003 1:00:01 AM PDT by petuniasevan (Contentsoftaglinemaysettlesomewhatduringtransmission.)
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To: petuniasevan
His sick pathology is getting harder and harder to spin and sell.
3 posted on 07/27/2003 1:25:41 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: petuniasevan
It would just kill the eurowankers if Cuba became free and was no longer a thorn in our side. If they have to, they'll crawl on their bellies, begging him to take the money. And he knows it.
4 posted on 07/27/2003 1:28:20 AM PDT by Bonaparte
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To: Bonaparte
They like Castro's prostitutes too. They don't want to be shut out.
5 posted on 07/27/2003 1:53:20 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Bump!
6 posted on 07/27/2003 1:53:58 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Can't believe there isn't one sane person in Cuba willing to off this punk.
7 posted on 07/27/2003 1:59:51 AM PDT by Joe Boucher
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
"...Persistent social hardship...discontent and the emergence last year of a nationwide dissident movement... Cuba's economy never fully recovered from the collapse of Soviet communism...Most Cubans earn wages that average $10 to $15 a month and live in dilapidated housing..."

...Wonderful...This is the "Workers' Paradise" that those "useful idiots" in Hollywood (Jack Nicholson, Naomi Campbell, Chevy Chase, etc.) have been touting as a shining example of "high literacy", "workers' rights", "political freedom", etc...
8 posted on 07/27/2003 2:08:15 AM PDT by MayDay72 (...Socialism kills...Free Markets feed...)
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To: MayDay72
Yes. Once they've stayed in Castro's paradise, living like the average citizen does, they can offer an opinion on how wonderful it is.
9 posted on 07/27/2003 2:11:02 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
When is this Casshole gonna croak already? What is he, like 90 years old? He looks half dead already..Anyone know if he has a clone lined up or some other mutant beast to take his place? Ahh yes, and lest we forget Elian whose Mother died so he can live in freedom only for him to be kidnapped at gunpoint and sent back to Cuba so he can live with his father and have his life threatened as well if he opened his mouth against Casshole. At least he can look forward to making that big 15 bucks a month.
10 posted on 07/27/2003 2:11:29 AM PDT by metalboy (Liberals, what a dictator needs most.)
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To: metalboy
I think the only think holding him up is the Grecian Formula image looking back at him from the mirror.
11 posted on 07/27/2003 2:18:15 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Let's invade, shoot Fidel and his lieutentants, declare victory and go home. All on the same day.

Pigs like Castro (or Mugabe or Kim Jong Il, etc.) should not be allowed to live in the third millennium.
12 posted on 07/27/2003 5:53:12 AM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Cuba as plenty of oxen to run their farms.
13 posted on 07/27/2003 6:33:08 AM PDT by Semper Paratus
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
overthrew the corrupt dictatorship of U.S-backed Fulgencio Batista in 1959

The left has been repeating this lie for so long, that they have started to believe it. The US refused to back Battista. They treated Castro like a hero. Their reward was for him to come to NYC and announce to the world that he was and had always been a communist. Oops.

14 posted on 07/27/2003 7:13:25 AM PDT by stop_fascism
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
BTT



15 posted on 07/27/2003 9:05:10 AM PDT by Cacique
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
WHy can't this antique SOB just die?
16 posted on 07/27/2003 9:06:32 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
"They like Castro's prostitutes too."

And after enjoying them, they can go back to France and cluck their tongues about life under Batista and how it forced impoverished women into prostitution.

17 posted on 07/27/2003 11:14:25 AM PDT by Bonaparte
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To: Tijeras_Slim
"WHy can't this antique SOB just die?"

I don't want him to die, TS. I want him to live just long enough for us to liberate Cuba, capture him alive and parade him through Miami's "Little Havana" in a cage.

Then he can die.

18 posted on 07/27/2003 11:16:46 AM PDT by Bonaparte
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Oh no Elian won't be exploited by Castro, like he was by those "evil" relatives in Miami </sarcasm>
19 posted on 07/27/2003 11:19:29 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Bonaparte
parade him through Miami's "Little Havana" in a cage.

With Luis Gonzalez posting pictures of it here.

20 posted on 07/27/2003 2:33:25 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: Tijeras_Slim
I've got an idea for how to further celebrate his demise!

A pointed one. ;^)
21 posted on 07/27/2003 6:00:27 PM PDT by headsonpikes
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
TRADE WITH PLANTATION CUBA?





By David Landau*
Accuracy In Media
USA
La Nueva Cuba
August 31, 2003







The matter of Cuba's benighted revolution continues to grip the interest of Americans-or so one might conclude from the fact that a recent panel discussion on the U.S. embargo against Cuba drew a lunchtime crowd of some 400 persons to the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco.

The large audience had mostly come to show support for relaxing the current laws against commerce with Cuba. The embargo, its opponents aver, has not brought positive changes to Cuban society. An American economic presence in Cuba, they say, can only be more beneficial than its absence has been.

An abundant irony is that many people who make this argument are those who still sentimentalize Castro. At the San Francisco meeting, the loudest applause went to a speaker who restated the very litanies the regime has employed for nearly fifty years to justify itself. And in the face of conventional wisdom, one must clarify that the embargo law was never meant to cause reform in Cuba. Its purpose was to turn away from a regime that-under the guise of “socialization” -had just stolen about one billion dollars in U.S. properties.

The heart of the current anti-embargo stand is a plea for “constructive engagement.” Its advocates posit that when American citizens come face to face with Cuban citizens, mutual understanding will flower and democratic tendencies will spread. Actually, some of that did happen when Castro’s regime opened the door to family visits by Cuban exiles; but business-to-business relations are much more doubtful, because independent enterprise does not exist in Cuba. American companies would be dealing not with Cuban counterparts but directly-and whether they know it or not-with Castro’s security forces; a prospect that offers no hope of amelioration to ordinary Cubans.

Unlike U.S. companies, Cuba’s enterprises are completely dominated by government officials and informants. Any sign of disloyalty can bring the gravest consequence. Workers have no right to collective bargaining; any attempt to organize among workers is met with ostracism, demotion, dismissal, or with arrest and lengthy imprisonment. Foreign businesses that employ Cuban workers do not pay those workers directly. Payments are made to the state, which keeps nearly all the money and doles out a pittance to workers who receive, on average, about fifteen dollars a month. The fact that even so small an amount is paid in dollars makes the deal attractive to Cubans, who gladly accept jobs in foreign companies.

This setup is a potential boon to offshore investors who can acquire the services of skilled workers without labor troubles, and without concerns about how workers are treated. A further irony-given the extensive support Castro’s regime has enjoyed in the West-is that such arrangements, far from fostering a general welfare, have led to the kind of hyper-exploitation that once occurred in pre-capitalist, feudal societies.

Even if our Western countries have no current experience in this regard, we do have words for a condition in which people must do as they are told, say and think as they are told, work as they are told, consume as they are told, live where they are told-with one’s only chance for a self-determined life residing in escape. One of those words is serfdom; another is slavery.

The freeborn Cuban people are now in chains, while their leaders cry for commerce with the United States. Can we sensibly believe that dealing with Cuba's bosses will improve the lot of those who toil under them? At times, Western companies have made handsome profits in dealings with the Cuban government. At other times, especially with foreign banks, Cuban entities have defaulted so regularly that Castro's regime now has a credit rating among the world's worst. In neither case-foreign businesses gaining or losing-do Cuba's people benefit. The only winners, who get money and staying power, are the members of Castro's regime.

Not so long ago, when Castro imprisoned his political enemies and forced a famous poet to recant his ideas, Western intellectuals argued that if the regime was on the side of the average farmer and laborer, then repression of a few artists and activists would not be a cause for concern. That argument was Maoism on stilts. Decades of history have now shown the bitter fruits of Castro's rule. In all that time, the U.S. embargo has achieved exactly what it set out to do. It has simply stated, for everyone to hear, that Americans do not wish to have trade with Cuba's overlords and slave-masters.







*David Landau is publisher of Los Angeles-based Pureplay Press, which publishes books about Cuba. He can be reached at info@pureplaypress.com.



















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CTIVIS
22 posted on 08/31/2003 4:15:39 PM PDT by Dqban22
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
So glad Clinton and Reno stopped Elian being used as a life long political pawn.
23 posted on 08/31/2003 4:17:38 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
dilapidated housing Is this why the homes are supposedly "free" according to Castro apologists?
24 posted on 08/31/2003 4:28:10 PM PDT by David1
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
This reminds me of a joke. A communist Cuban tries to convince an American that Cuba is as free or even more so than the U.S. The American says, "Oh yeah, well we have the right to free speech and can criticize our president. To demonstrate, we can even stand in the street corner and yell that Bush should go to hell and nothing can be done to me." The communist Cuban responds by saying, "we can do the same thing here in Cuba in the middle of the Plaza of the Revolution." The American responds, "No you can't" The Cuban said yes he can and he promptly went to the middle of the Plaza of the Revolution and yelled, "Bush can go to hell." The Cuban then turned around to the American and said, "you see, we have the same freedom here as you have in the U.S.
25 posted on 08/31/2003 4:39:21 PM PDT by David1
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To: Dqban22
Excellent article!!! Thanks!!!
26 posted on 08/31/2003 4:49:47 PM PDT by David1
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