Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 21, 2016

How Do Weekly Demonstrations Indicate A Lack Of Free Speech?

This sentence, in a typical Guardian human rights sniveler piece about Cuba, has me confused:

“I’ve been detained and beaten countless times,” said Eralidis Frómeta Polanco, an activist who turned up in the all-white clothes of the demonstrators, who march silently along 5th Avenue each week in protest at the lack of freedom of expression. [emphasis added]

What actual "freedom of expression" do these people claim to lack? It is obviously not the freedom to publicly demonstrate each week. So what is it?

My hunch is that these are the typical rabble rousing agitators who accompany each and every U.S. "regime change" attempt. By promoting these the Guardian is propagandizing the weaponization of human rights. "Regime change", chaos and atrocities are allowed if done behind the veil of promoting a few selected human rights like some freedom of expression. Indeed, the U.S. government co-opted "human rights" (vid, start at ~10min) as pretext for nefarious deeds.

But what about the human right to work, the human right to equal pay, the human right to just and favorable remuneration, the human right of an adequate standard of living or the human right to free education? Cuba is a champion of promoting these rights while the U.S. is shunning all human rights whenever it fits its purpose. When was the last time Human Rights Watch, or the Guardian, has called out for economic and social human rights? Would they ever support "moderate rebels" who fight for those?

Posted by b on March 21, 2016 at 9:31 UTC | Permalink


Very likely the case. The Monroe Doctrine is still used as the excuse to overthrow governments and enslave the populations.
And then there is this headline;

The arrogant f*cks still think they own Cuba!
Raul, watch your back! Foul deeds afoot...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Mar 21 2016 9:59 utc | 1

I hope the Cubans are in touch with the Iranians and comparing notes. I think they are in great danger giving the US an opening. Look at what the US is doing in the rest of central and south america right now.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 21 2016 11:05 utc | 2

@ 1

At all times keep count of the silverware as well.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Mar 21 2016 11:07 utc | 3

An excellent video discussion of the recent rapprochement between Cuba and the U.S.

It is a very good Cuban centric pov.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Mar 21 2016 12:22 utc | 4

One would expect Cuba to be the last country on Earth to trust the fork-tongued Yankees. Having a fair idea of what the Great Satan's Cuba game plan is likely to be, I'm much more curious about Cuba's game plan than AmeriKKKa's. I suspect that the Cubans are all set to make fools of the Yankees for the umpteenth time, if stabbed in the back, or otherwise provoked.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 21 2016 12:31 utc | 5

@SeanMcElwee It is a tough decision to normalize relations with a country whose police force routinely murders civilians, but Cuba has made the right choice.

Posted by: Utpal | Mar 21 2016 12:36 utc | 6

A few years ago an American friend went to Cuba. She was surprised to find that the people were fat and happy. She realised she had been brainwashed by the MSM into believing something that was false.

I don't know why anyone bothers with the Guardian anymore. It's faux leftyness is a fraud. It's coverage is disgraceful. It's a complete waste of time.

Off Guardian can be good though.

Posted by: Secret Agent | Mar 21 2016 12:36 utc | 7

AmeriKKKa's core competencies have always been Cowardice & Dumbfuckery.
No-one has ever called Cubans cowards. And AmeriKKKa and Cuba are at opposite ends of the Richter Scale for Dumbfuckery (believing too much of their own bs).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 21 2016 12:42 utc | 8

b: "[emphasis added]"

You emphasized the wrong word. The operative word in that sentence is "silently." Walking silently is your idea of free speech? Well, I guess it can be, but the article makes it clear that in this case they are silent to avoid getting detained and beaten.

The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation reported more than 8,500 cases of arbitrary detention in 2015, and more than 2,500 in the first two months of 2016.

Maybe walking silently out of fear of reprisal is consistent with freedom of speech in post-Nazi Germany, but to me it smells more like Nazi Germany. Of course, then the people on the right side of the government were fat and happy, too.

Posted by: Denis | Mar 21 2016 12:46 utc | 9

@ Denis | Mar 21, 2016 8:46:40 AM | 9

Some how, you managed to completely miss/misunderstand, what b is speaking to.
I might add you also appear to not understand just what's going on in Cuba now; and for the last 50+ plus years, between the U.S. idealog's and the Cuban government.
You got a lot of catch up in front of you...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Mar 21 2016 13:02 utc | 10

B. along with the human right to work, to equal pay, to just and favorable remuneration, to an adequate standard of living, to free education, let's also add the right to medical care and equality and justice before the law.

The U.S. was once headed that way, but then it lost it's way.

Posted by: Ken Nari | Mar 21 2016 13:03 utc | 11

Did anyone else notice that 'Bathhouse Barry' was not greeted by the Cuban government upon arrival and instead went to the US Embassy? This whole Cuba rapprochement scenario appears to be a bit of theater designed to allow 'Bathhouse Barry' to add a chapter to his post Presidency novel.

I believe that Fidel threw out the Jews with their drugs, gambling, prostitution and economic robbery which resulted in total 'economic sanction/embargo' of the Cuban. As always these sanctions affect the little people. Look at the Middle East as a good example.

One other thingie. Alan Gross who appeared at the State of the Union as a victim of the Cuban Commies ...

"In 2009, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) paid Gross, through a third party, almost $600,000 to go to the island nation to install military-grade Internet equipment in Jewish synagogues that could not be detected by the government in Havana. Gross's company specialized in installing computer electronics in remote areas and had worked in developing countries in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

In Cuba, Gross was part of a USAID program that was funded by the 1996 Helms-Burton Act, which codified the Kennedy-era Cuban embargo into law and explicitly called for overthrow of the Castro regime. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the United States government has spent more than $200 million since 1996 on so-called "pro-democracy programs" meant to destabilize the Cuban government from the inside."

source -

Posted by: ALberto | Mar 21 2016 13:04 utc | 12

The majority of Americans - especially those who consider themselves to be politically aware and astute - believe that "color revolutions" were/are the result of grassroots efforts by the actual citizenry of the affected nations.

They are not aware of the google/state department nexus or the fact that NGO's and orgs like USAID are front groups for the CIA/Deep Gov.

Posted by: fast freddy | Mar 21 2016 13:13 utc | 13

fast freddy | Mar 21, 2016 9:13:51 AM | 13

Yes, yes indeed. Denis, above @ #9, is lacking that info. I didn't take the time to go through your cogent points because it also occured; he drank the kool aide, and it would have been a waste of time...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Mar 21 2016 13:36 utc | 14

Cui bono and caveat emptor also come to mind as very good advice for Raul Castro to keep in mind.
But then, that family has been at this game for a very long time. As one of little faith; I think I have faith in their "demonstrated" (very important) abilities to stay the course...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Mar 21 2016 14:03 utc | 15

As T-Bear above stated, " At all times keep count of the silverware as well."

The Cuban's should know by now, just who, and what they're dealing with.

Maybe They'll import "free speech zones" from the U$A.

Posted by: ben | Mar 21 2016 14:11 utc | 16

If one receives, believes and digests news, information and commentary from mainstream sources - television, magazines, newspapers, radio, then one is a misinformed victim of propaganda.

If one gets information from the internet and one is capable of careful discernment, one will get some accurate knowledge. He will also be maligned as a Conspiracy Theorist.

The Conspiracy Theorist can share only small insights with others in polite society, because the average person clings desperately to mainstream media sources as repositories of factual information.

Posted by: fast freddy | Mar 21 2016 14:13 utc | 17

Fidel Castro was a bulwark against the degradation and destruction wrought by Corporate Capitalist Thneed Manufacturers and warmongers.

His brother has not been quite as strong. It would be a shame for Cuba to be ruined.

Posted by: fast freddy | Mar 21 2016 14:30 utc | 18

ff @ 18 said: " It would be a shame for Cuba to be ruined."

Yes, it would,but, in the end, people are people. Over time, with exposure to the U$ system
of greed and avarice, I'm afraid they'll succumb.

Posted by: ben | Mar 21 2016 14:52 utc | 19

Ted Cruz is right. It is a sad day... For Cuba.

Cuba is one of the last unspoiled natural lands. It has everything - beaches, mountains, rain forests, fresh water.

Cuba has excellent doctors and medical care for its people. Cuba has made medical advances and treatments that are unknown and unavailable to the US.

Posted by: fast freddy | Mar 21 2016 15:20 utc | 20

Your Chase Madar link was great, b, and a member of Amnesty International was the sole comment below, refuting his claims.

This link to a diary on my home website it the only way I can show you a movie marquee-sized poster that was on display in Afghanistan, cheering on NATO's 'humanitarian efforts' for rights for women and girls there. We all remember when that was Reason #4 or so for 'staying in Afghanistan' was trotted out, and abetted by some of the usual 'leftish' pundits and elected officials in the US.

I'd seen a similar one in Libya back in the day, but I can't recall which compromised human rights NGO sponsored it. (I lost the photo when one of my laptops crashed and burned.)

Posted by: wendy davis | Mar 21 2016 16:22 utc | 21

fast freddy says:

It would be a shame for Cuba to be ruined

yes, it would. having been largely beyond the purview of the corporatocracy for so many years, having to run a frugal house, unable to import much in the way of foodstuff and unable to buy the thousands upon thousands of tons of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides necessary for industrial farming, Cuba has developed one of the most efficient organic agriculture systems in the world.

those 'green' capitalists in Florida must be shitting bricks

Posted by: john | Mar 21 2016 16:31 utc | 22

Also, let us not forget that the "democracy agenda" does include - inter alia - prostitution, drugs, casinos, massive beachfront development for 1%ers, special concessions for "job creators"...oh, yes, that does sound like the old Batista-era Cuba, no? Please, Cuban people, remember: Cuba Si, Yanquis No!

Posted by: barrisj | Mar 21 2016 16:41 utc | 23

Yeah, the calls for democracy, for free speech or press, for the banning of corruption, for the deposing of dictators, all from the color revolution play book, are looking more ’n more like worn-out tropes.

Thing is, these manipulations are easy and cheap to organise and deploy. (As compared to boots on the ground, etc.) Protestors cost near zero, leaders are promptly paid with mini stipends, the media is there and waiting to film, etc.

If little impact, no loss. One can just start over!

What public protestors should grasp is that what they believe in or do - within the present state of affairs - is of absolutely no account.

They are just TV reality actors in a show, instrumentalised. Note that simultaneously, ‘true’ dissidents (whatever they are when at home ..) are co-opted and become hostages, or are rejected as too ‘radical’, not up with the strategy etc.

Protest has become a low-paid part-time job in some places, driven by a hope for a better future, *competition,* i.e. being superior to equals in submission to the ‘outside’ PTB, more tech savvy and contacts -> more favored by the money givers, etc.

Not everywhere all the time, of course.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 21 2016 16:50 utc | 24

We have gone through the looking glass again volks ...

Cuban Foreign Minister meets 'Bath House Barry' at airport. Anyone who knows anything about diplomacy should recognize this act as a overt blatant insult. Check out this statement. "Obama's trip is a crowning moment in his and Cuban President Raul Castro's ambitious effort to restore normal relations between their countries." Talk about your complete detachment from reality. Raul didn't even show at the airport. Duuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!

source -

Posted by: ALberto | Mar 21 2016 17:40 utc | 25

I think Cuba has suffered enormously because of the Americans, before and after the embargo. I was somewhat surprised to learn that the Europeans also had an embargo on Cuba, although it shouldn't have been much of a surprise, given how the Europeans are the poodles of the Americans. I would never forgive such people for the suffering they have caused. The Vietnamese, for example, have forgiven the Americans somewhat, and I would never be able to find it in my heart to do the same. Evil is evil and never changes.

Posted by: mischi | Mar 21 2016 17:54 utc | 26

@fast freddy. I just read that Google helped with the American effort to start a civil war in Syria. It was part of the Wikileaks dump of Clinton emails today. I must be naive because I never imagined this could happen.

Posted by: mischi | Mar 21 2016 18:27 utc | 27

Translated into Serbian / Преведено на српски:

Moon of Alabama: Америка, Куба и "људска права" као оружје

Posted by: Aleksandar Jovanovic | Mar 21 2016 19:37 utc | 28

It's very important when combining the terms "human rights" with "united states" to recall the Outlaw US Empire has yet to ratify the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It cannot declare itself to be the champion of a doctrine it doesn't consider applicable to itself.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 21 2016 19:50 utc | 29

The original 'How to' book on colour revolutions appeared in 1967
( and since updated). Its an interesting read

There's a (possibly non legal) pdf of:

Coup d'Etat: A Practical Handbook
Edward N. Luttwak

Posted by: DavidKNZ | Mar 21 2016 20:44 utc | 30

What about freedom of the press RIGHT HERE IN AMERICA?! YouTube is YouTube is financially crippling my journalism, no ads on this video for example, one of MANY EXAMPLES: See petition:

My channel is now continually recriminated against and often videos that have nothing to do with the topics claimed too sensitive are still demonetized! (as I have gone into detail about in this YouTube forum: (this is above and beyond the still over 100 videos that stay demonetized on my channel.)

The evidence points to the policy change having been imposed to financially undermine those voicing political opinions that some don't want expressed.

I am surprised you haven't promoted the petition I told you about to try to get this dishonest and discriminatory policy change reversed. As I have pointed out in other videos. others are being allowed to monetized the supposedly "too sensitive for monetization" topics. The pattern is glaring. And examining the pattern points to an uncomfortable conclusion as far as why the policy was put into effect in the first place, there does appear to be a pattern that even with the channel CrashCourse or vlogbrothers, even though they are allowed to monetize videos on war and political conflicts, even they aren't allowed to monetize one specific "political conflict." (viewers can check this for themselves by searching "Israel" on the channel pages of CrashCourse or vlogbrothers and compare it to other topics regarding war and political conflicts on their channels)

Posted by: Tom Murphy | Mar 21 2016 21:00 utc | 31

There are a lot of knowledgeable people here, and I'm not sure where else to ask.
Does anyone else get the feeling that the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons are a gladio style false group?
The PKK says they have nothing to do with them. Their tactics don't fit pkk style.

It seems clear enough that these spectacle attacks only bring more egregious government massacres and repression, and the pkk style of war seems to work well enough.

Posted by: Cresty | Mar 21 2016 21:17 utc | 32

Cresty @31 As always when criminality is involved the question to ask is Cui bono?

Posted by: ALberto | Mar 21 2016 22:42 utc | 34

I'm baffled by the disappearance by the hysterical "Cuban gay rights activists" who were such a feature a few years ago ... suggesting that there were gulags filled with Cuban gays ... along with HIV leper colonies ... where did those folks disappear to since they showed up frothing at the mouth at any suggestion of normalization of relations much less an easing of sanctions ....

Hilarious that the Guardian's headline is that Fidel is demanding the return of Gitmo ... something unmentioned on the front of the NYT ... the BBC filled only about a third of their hour with the usual Cuban ex-pat outrage ... but the subtext was clear enough that Obama's visit was akin to the fall of the Berlin Wall ... and "just the beginning" of big changes ... feh ... oh, and Obama's not only a genius, he's brave brave brave ... eyerolls galore.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Mar 21 2016 22:53 utc | 35

lysias @32

The question is, of course, how sincere. Also, mixed bag of positions is harder to sort out. Anti-Muslim, anti-Iran, anti-NATO but pro military? Scattershot hits many targets, but what does it portend? Good at covering the real motives perhaps. But is that something we want? Tired of divining the hidden agendas, people numb out and isn't that another plan for disabling the opposition to the hegemon?

Posted by: kafkananda | Mar 21 2016 23:03 utc | 36

Tom Murphy,

I discovered your youtube channel link @30 above and watched one video. Initial exposure to your work leaves a favorable impression. Your earnest respect for veracity in exposing mendacious reporting practices requires this kind of dedication which, in the case of the one video I saw, seemed to be presented with cogent, meticulously researched content. Exposing the insidious, destructive nature of MSM distortion and obfuscation certainly merits support and wider dissemination. It is congruent with the general tenor and mission of MoA. As time allows, I hope to examine additional content on your channel and also hope to devote more time to following this valuable forum more consistently.

PS: A few highlights of the AIPAC dog and pony show on entertainment news channel CNN today reminded me why I stopped watching this farcical network. The candidates must have come wearing knee pads in preparation for groveling. The number of lies uttered could not be counted and it didn't take long before I found myself reaching for the bottle of Pepto Bismol to deal with the nausea brought on by the mindless sycophancy.

Posted by: metni | Mar 22 2016 1:06 utc | 37

lysias @ 32: Just like k @ 35, my response is: "The question is, of course, how sincere."

Always, the challenge is..Can actions match the rhetoric?

I think " the Donald" is acting. Time will tell.

Posted by: ben | Mar 22 2016 1:10 utc | 38

metni @ 36: "Dog and Pony show" indeed. Absolutely sickening.

Posted by: ben | Mar 22 2016 1:14 utc | 39

Cuban Activists Say Telecommunications Infrastructure Must Stay In Cuban Hands

From TRNN:

Posted by: ben | Mar 22 2016 1:18 utc | 40

Guess I wil NOT be voting in the 2016 Presidential selection ...

Quote from 'The Donald' AIPAC grovel

“I didn’t come here tonight to pander to you about Israel,” Trump said. “That’s what politicians do: all talk, no action. I came here to speak to you about where I stand on the future of American relations with our strategic ally, our unbreakable friendship, and our cultural brother, the only democracy in the Middle East, the State of Israel.

Trump devoted much of his speech to criticizing the Iranian government and the Palestinian Authority—red meat for the pro-Israel audience. He promised to “dismantle” the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, but minutes later said his goal was to “restructure” the agreement."

Posted by: ALberto | Mar 22 2016 1:19 utc | 41

V. Arnold | Mar 21, 2016 9:02:21 AM | 10
“I might add you also appear to not understand just what's going on in Cuba now; and for the last 50+ plus years, between the U.S. idealog's and the Cuban government. You got a lot of catch up in front of you...”

V. Arnold | Mar 21, 2016 9:36:20 AM | 14
“Yes, yes indeed. Denis, above @ #9, is lacking that info. I didn't take the time to go through your cogent points because it also occured; he drank the kool aide, and it would have been a waste of time...”

V., I can see you’ve really got a red hot woody for these Cuban dictators. Or maybe you just have a thing for dictatorships in general. Cuba sounds like the perfect place for someone like you. Can you keep a ‘56 Chevy running? But thanks for telling me how much I don’t know about Cuba over the past 50 years.

What I do know about Cuban history is that hundreds of thousands have fled the Castro dictatorship to the US. In 1962 over 10,000 children were sent from Cuba to the US during just one operation, Peter Pan. Thousands of Cubans have died trying to reach freedom in the US. Hmmm . . . wonder why.

So how many have died trying to go the other way? Where are the thousands of exiles fleeing the US hoping to get to wonderful Cuba? I have never heard of a single one since Papa Hemingway was falling down drunk in Havana long before Castro took over. It’s just a shame that the parents of Cruz and Rubio liked it so much in the US; but, after all, things worked out pretty well for them. Their sons have done almost as well as Dezi Arnaz. Hey, Ricky!!

The only piece of evidence I can think of suggesting that Cubans living under a dictatorship have it better than Americans living under a (warped) democracy is that Elian Gonzalez, whose mother drowned trying to reach the US and who was shipped backed to Cuba by Clinton in 1999, now he says he’d just like to visit the US – doesn’t want to live there; just visit. Of course, he has been a national hero in Cuba, is a member of the young Communists, and has had all sorts of privileges, so he would say that, wouldn’t he?

As I pointed out above, the fact that the demonstrators in white have to keep their mouths shut tells me everything I need to know about their lack of freedoms, whereas b seems to think that the fact that they are permitted to protest at all tells us what a wonderful bastion of human rights Cuba is. I beg to disagree.

Over the past 60 years the Castros have been no different than dictators any where or at any time – Hitler, Stalin, Tito, Mao, Erdogan, Gaddafi, Sadam. For those Cubans who keep their mouth shut and stay on the right side of power, maybe life isn’t too bad. But for those who speak out about human rights issues, they’re gonna’ end up in a hole in some prison, and that’s if they’re lucky. They could be added to the list of tens of thousands of political prisoners who have been executed since Castro took over.

OK, dude, let’s hear what’s so wonderful about living under a Cuban dictator. Maybe you can change my mind. Or maybe you don’t have a clue.

Posted by: Denis | Mar 22 2016 2:04 utc | 42

Off topic but relevant. Iran is complaining that the Yankees are exploiting loopholes in last year's "agreement" by threatening potential Western trade partners with sanctions and penalties for doing business with Iran. The latest excuse is testing of ballistic missiles.
As I opined at the time, it was a crappy document, and contained no redress or dispute resolution clauses. And for that reason (among other obvious and serious flaws) Iran should not have signed it. The Iranians appear not to understand that a written agreement must cover EVERY eventuality - which I find impossible to believe or comprehend.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 22 2016 2:13 utc | 43

Denis @ 41: This is for your perusal. So, you think the average Cuban is better off then, or now? I think if you run the numbers, you may be surprised.. infant mortality rate, literacy rate etc. etc.

Posted by: ben | Mar 22 2016 2:20 utc | 44

Denis | Mar 21, 2016 10:04:09 PM | 41

You are all over the map with right wing lunacy. You have offered nothing new or unique in terms of information. You present an entirely US-centric pov, which is rife with US propaganda.
It would thus be rather pointless trying to engage you beyond this brief reply. Like most U.S. citizens, you offer a very provincial line of talking points.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Mar 22 2016 2:24 utc | 45

Posted by: Denis | Mar 21, 2016 10:04:09 PM | 41

ROFLMAO. I must have had an epiphany!
I'm actually beginning to enjoy your Socialism = Eeevil Dictator drivel.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 22 2016 2:31 utc | 46

March 21, 2016 You cannot make this stuff up ...

Am I the only person who, after listening to 'Bathhouse Barry' accuse the Cuban Government of human rights violations while our own government is holding people incommunicado, sans habeas corpus, without charge, without legal representation and subjecting same to torture at illegally appropriated Guantanamo Bay at the least hilarious?

Posted by: ALberto | Mar 22 2016 4:09 utc | 47

Re: What actual "freedom of expression" do these people claim to lack?

They do not want a free press. They want a corporate free press. they have in Brazil.

Brazil Is Engulfed by Ruling Class Corruption — and a Dangerous Subversion of Democracy

To provide some perspective for how central the large corporate media has been in inciting these protests: Recall the key role Fox News played in promoting and encouraging attendance at the early Tea Party protests. Now imagine what those protests would have been if it had not been just Fox, but also ABC, NBC, CBS, Time magazine, the New York Times, and the Huffington Post also supporting and inciting the Tea Party rallies. That is what has been happening in Brazil: The largest outlets are owned and controlled by a tiny number of plutocratic families, virtually all of whom are vehement, class-based opponents of PT and whose media outlets have unified to fuel these protests.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 22 2016 4:51 utc | 48


What does Raul Castro mean when he says “61 instruments of human rights"? Politico does not seem to have any idea.

How Obama set a trap for Raul Castro | Politico

There are “61 instruments of human rights,” Castro said, quoting a number that he seems to have created on his own.

“What country complies with them all? Do you know how many? I know. None. None whatsoever. Some countries comply some rights, others comply with others,” Castro said, by way of defense. “Of these 61 instruments, Cuba has complied with 47 issues.

I guess Castro is speaking about International human rights instruments. The Wikipedia article list some 40 of them.

He could also be talking of the rights listed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I count some 50 rights listed in the 30 articles.

It is impossible for all the rights to be observed at the same time, except maybe for a select few in the most developed and richest countries. But who said that they were all meant to be enforced at the same time? Such a requirement presumes that the rights are mutually compatible - they are not!

The way the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was put together is by studying all the crimes of Nazi Germany and listing all the rights denied by Nazis. Many of these rights were labor rights.

HRW cherry picked all individual rights from UDHR and falsely claimed these were the "Human Rights". They then destroyed and deleted the rest of human rights by claiming collective rights and labor right do not exist. Their argument: collective rights, as listed in UDHR are incompatible with individual rights. They are authoritarian and totalitarian and cannot be human rights law. The Western public swallowed the hoax.


Mark Ames on labor rights:

Exclusive: The Quiet Extermination Of Labor Rights From Human Rights

Labor rights have been airbrushed out of the language of human rights. It wasn’t always this way: Economic rights and workplace rights were for decades at the very heart of the human rights movement. This was officially enshrined in 1948, when the United Nations adopted a 30-point “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” putting labor rights and economic equality rights alongside those we’re more familiar with today, like freedom of expression, due process, religion and so on. But somehow, labor rights and economic justice have been effectively amputated from the human rights agenda and forgotten about, in tandem with the American left’s abandonment of labor.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 22 2016 4:58 utc | 49

@ ALberto | Mar 22, 2016 12:09:18 AM | 46

No, fortunately/unfortunately I also caught that blatant BB bullshit/hypocrisy.
This attempted rapprochement with Cuba was, IMO, a total failure and Raul would have none of it.
Below is a link to an interview with Paul Pillar at This is Hell. It's excellent. Pillar eloquently lays out the reasons for American's general ignorance of the world outside its borders. He critiques U.S. foreign policy and why it fails also. I highly recommend it...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Mar 22 2016 5:18 utc | 50

#1 - -
ben | Mar 21, 2016 10:20:25 PM | 43
“So, you think the average Cuban is better off then, or now?”

ben, thanks for the link. I first read that whole Batistia history 40 years ago in college and had forgotten a lot of it. It seems that Cuba has been a perpetual cluster fuck since Columbus landed, mostly because of Americans screwing with it, like all of the rest of Latin America. But I don’t know that the then v. now comparison is relevant.

I think the only relevant comparison is Cubans’ current standard of living under a Communist dictatorship v. Americans’ standard of living under a warped, greed-based capitalistic, so-called democracy.

Smug-ass Obama and the American press corps tried to ambush Raul today, and they did a pretty good job of it. But Raul made the only real salient point: His people get health care, education, and wage equality, and so that is how his dictatorship defines “human rights.” On the other hand, there is no economic equality, or right to medical care or education in America . . . hold the phone, Kentucky has just passed legislation granting free community college tuition . . . WTF?? Kentucky??

OK, so 1 down and 49 to go on that. But to get back to Raul. The dictator’s view is that the Cuban people don’t really give a frilly fart about freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to choose their leaders, freedom of association, due process, &etc. As long as they get their perks they’ll keep their mouths shut and be happy with their lot.

But then again, as I said above, hundreds of thousands have fled Cuba to get the freedoms Americans have, and thousands of others have died trying. Which is more important: free medical care or the right to complain and petition the government because you don’t have it? If I was poor, and had cancer, and had to chose between US and Cuba, I’d suck it up, shut my mouth, and go to Cuba.

I don’t know why there has to be this trade-off, and I would love to see the Cuban communist experiment given a fair chance in the world economy to see if personal liberties increase with GDP or with greater access of average Cubans to the outside world. But my guess is that if the gates were thrown wide open and all Cubans were free to emigrate to America tomorrow, the place would empty out like a 4-holer out-house in a hurricane, except for the sick ones and the commies living high on the hog.

#2 - - -
V. Arnold | Mar 21, 2016 10:24:28 PM | 44
“It would thus be rather pointless trying to engage you beyond this brief reply. Like most U.S. citizens, you offer a very provincial line of talking points.”

And you have offered nothing except ad hominem BS -- not a single worthwhile point. And now we watch you recede into the distance like a frightened little girl with a spider down her panties. Stop crying and say something intelligent, dude.

Posted by: Denis | Mar 22 2016 6:22 utc | 51


Posted by: V. Arnold | Mar 22 2016 7:22 utc | 52
Raul Castro on political prisoners: Give me a list

Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 22 2016 8:35 utc | 53


The look at the end of the video says it all.

Posted by: Forest | Mar 22 2016 8:40 utc | 54

Things were so much better in Cuba under Batista, right? Cuba was a classic case of a revolution that replaced a US-supported dictator with a Soviet-supported dictator.

After the fall of the USSR, he was left to founder on his own.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Mar 22 2016 8:48 utc | 55

It might be of interest to note the exports of the U.S. and Cuba; one exports war, the other doctors. I'll leave it to the reader to sort out which does which; that shouldn't be too complicated, a fifty/fifty chance for error.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Mar 22 2016 9:08 utc | 56

Explosions hit Brussels airport, several killed
Explosions tore through the departure hall of Brussels airport on Tuesday morning killing up to 13 people and injuring 36 others and a second blast struck a metro station in the capital shortly afterwards, the Belgian public broadcaster RTBF said.

The Belga agency said shots were fired and there were shouts in Arabic shortly before the blasts at the airport. Pictures on social media showed smoke rising from the terminal building through shattered windows and passengers running away down a slipway, some still hauling their bags.

Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 22 2016 9:37 utc | 57

@50 Denis

I think the only relevant comparison is Cubans’ current standard of living under a Communist dictatorship v. Americans’ standard of living under a warped, greed-based capitalistic, so-called democracy.

What is missing from your relevant comparison is the minor detail that Cuba has subjected to a U.S. initiated trade embargo for the past 50+ years. This may have had a slight impact on Cuba’s standard of living, don’t you think.

Posted by: pantaraxia | Mar 22 2016 10:10 utc | 58

32;Yesterdays mixed bag from the Donald;Yes,that was good,but then he had to spoil it all by giving a big wet kiss to the Zionists who'll still hate him.Following the hell bitches saying his neutrality is bad,I guess he felt the need for a blow job.He called for better less toxic coverage of his campaign.We'll see.
Belgium;The seeds were planted in 48.But who cares.

Posted by: dahoit | Mar 22 2016 13:06 utc | 59

Sadly I think Cuba's going to radically change. More commerce will result in more agitation for improving status, and sellouts will basically turn on the aging regime. Then you'll have the typical mass demonstrations in Havana, govt buildings being ransacked, statues being toppled, murals being painted over or trashed.

"Then the rich eat you!"

Posted by: aaaa | Mar 22 2016 13:18 utc | 60

"The seeds were planted in 48. But who cares." Posted by: dahoit 58

Yep. But, I think it's VERY odd that Dash, ISIL, al qeada, ISIS have NEVER attacked Israel.

IMO, the Donald sees the writing on the wall. He had to kiss up.

Posted by: shadyl | Mar 22 2016 14:09 utc | 61

Always the shouting in Arabic. They never forget to shout in Arabic.

"I am the Sheik of Araby, your love belongs to me."

Posted by: fastfreddy | Mar 22 2016 14:18 utc | 62

Hmmmmm. Trump foreign policy team. Nary a dual-citizen zionista in the bunch. Oops.

Posted by: 4H | Mar 22 2016 14:42 utc | 63

pantaraxia | Mar 22, 2016 6:10:03 AM | 57

“What is missing from your relevant comparison is the minor detail that Cuba has subjected to a U.S. initiated trade embargo for the past 50+ years.”

You’re right, but out of context. The context here is b’s assertion that there is currently freedom of expression in Cuba, and his evidence is that people dressed in white are allowed to demonstrate silently. And my comparison is to freedom of speech in the US – at the present time, which is what the discussion is about.

You raise the issue of causes, which is something different, and I agree with you 100%. As I said, I would love to see how the Cuban communist experiment performs – both economically and in terms of personal freedoms – as a full participant in the world economy. I’m not being pro-Cuba or anti-US, I would just like to see the performance data for how well communism works or doesn’t work on a level playing field.

I agree with you 100% – the US has screwed over Cuba with the trade embargo. But recall that Castro started the embargo cluster-fuck in 1960 by nationalizing American-owned assets, including oil refineries, without compensation. Talk about pissin’ on a rattlesnake, that was probably one of the stupidest moves of the 20th century.

The problem for John Foster and Allen Dulles and their sicko crowd was that Cuban communism might actually have proved to be more successful than their own rapacious capitalism, and so they had to shut Cuba down, which they did. JFK bitch-slapped Allen Dulles after the Bay of Pigs and I think he would have been able to shut down the Dulles brothers, for much the same reasons he would have shut down Vietnam, another of their “projects.” These two did more damage to America than all of the communists combined. If those two pricks didn’t go to hell when they died, the rest of us should be OK.

Posted by: Denis | Mar 22 2016 15:31 utc | 64

Denis @50

Economic embargo is an overt act of war. Cuba has been under attack for nearly 60 years. Cuba has nothing even remotely similar to Rham Emanuel's Chiraq where black and brown people kill each other fighting over the table scraps of the drug trade and the police kill black and brown people while the tax payers pay $5,000,000 to silence a victim's family so that the Mayor can be re-elected.

To watch an alleged black/brown President of the United States pontificate moral values while being directly responsible for the murder of tens or hundreds of thousands of black/brown people, many women and children, is the apex of 'hubristic exceptionalism.' One would think that the President is 'instant jewish' ala Madeleine Notsobright.

Posted by: ALberto | Mar 22 2016 15:36 utc | 65

One of my good friends relocated from Jamaica many years ago, leaving rural life, for the promised land of honey and milk. In our conversations, he's frequently sorry about his choice, but if you ever leave a place, it's the same everywhere, there are countless reasons why you can't go home again, or it's prohibitively difficult. Unless the gods interfere.

When offered the opportunity for opulence, Jimmy Cliff's "pie in the sky," there aren't going to be many who choose a kind of self-imposed self-discipline and continue surviving day in day out on a subsistence level of rice and beans, when there are new automobiles, washers and dryers, computers, and steak to be had. Not that those are evils in and of themselves, it just that there's a fine line between necessity and gluttony.

Posted by: Geoff | Mar 22 2016 16:06 utc | 66

Today's Chiraq Tribune - Boy, 7, among 2 killed and 9 wounded in Chiraq shootings Sunday through Monday ...

Posted by: ALberto | Mar 22 2016 16:15 utc | 67

Tuesday March 22, 2016 Today's You can't make this stuff up ...

While former Chiraq 'community organizer' Barry Sotero lectures Raul Castro in his own country, on the importance of values we have ...

Year to date, Chiraq, ILLinois

118 Shot & killed
593 Shot & wounded
711 Total shot
136 Total homicides

source -

Posted by: ALberto | Mar 22 2016 16:32 utc | 68

Freedom of Speech/Expression has experienced numerous setbacks in the USA. The harrassment, shooting and killing of anti-war protestors, Occupy Protestors, the media blackout of same. Legalized Propagandizing to a brainwashed, warmongering general public.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Mar 22 2016 16:41 utc | 69


Touting her “deep, personal commitment” to the “Jewish state,” Clinton then said that “one of the first things I’ll do in office is invite Israeli Prime Minister [Benjamin Netanyahu] to visit the White House.”

The speech proved that, on matters of Israel, Clinton is “running to the right” of GOP front-runner Donald Trump, as noted by Mondoweiss‘ Philip Weiss, who wrote that the remarks were “filled with red meat for Israel supporters” and “contained scant reference to the peace process.”

Later, Clinton doubled down on her previous pledge to dismantle the growing international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, linking the campaign against Palestinian apartheid to anti-Semitism, saying “we must repudiate all efforts to malign, isolate and undermine Israel and the Jewish people.”

“I’ve been sounding the alarm for a while now,” Clinton continued. “As I wrote last year in a letter to the heads of major American Jewish organizations, we have to be united in fighting back against BDS.”

Posted by: shadyl | Mar 22 2016 17:07 utc | 70

@50 "commies living high on the hog" prove it. If the Castros had dollar accounts in off-shore banks they would be seized in a flash. If they had palatial estates drudgereport would have satellite photos of them. How does the Brutal Tyrant Who Hates Freedom maintain his fleet of Mercedes?

Cubans are "risking their lives" for what? The right to vote for this or that paper cutout? The right to stand before the White House gates and shake their fists? They want jobs, like Mexicans, Salvadorans, Nicaraquans etc which they can't find because their economy is being crushed under the current dispensation.

Posted by: ruralito | Mar 22 2016 17:55 utc | 71

I think it's VERY odd that Dash, ISIL, al qeada, ISIS have NEVER attacked Israel. shadyl at 60.

Terrorists used to kill Gvmt. officials, Princes, Despots, Powerful ppl, those connected to them, part of the PTB. Anarchists, communists, nationalists, splinter groups, rebels, freedom fighters, etc. murdered what they saw as their enemies. Specific ppl, chosen targets, maybe with some ‘collateral damage.’

Terrorists today (acting in the W) kill only innocents, bystanders, passers-by, children, mothers, anybody at all, they are not targetting an enemy. The terrorists are killing ordinary ppl, taking sides with the despots, the PTB, the controllers. (Kill the plebs and scare them to death.)

Note that no ‘terror’ attacks have been implemented agaisnt the US Gvmt, the French Gvmt, etc. Just like Israel.

Vox posts a history of ‘terrorism’ - with 33 maps - don’t agree with some of the framing, facts, but it can serve to jog memories concerning ‘terrorism’ in history.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 22 2016 18:15 utc | 72

@72 I think it means that they've done a great job of using the media to conflate their craven actions with the national character, 'western values,' etc. The right wing white terrorists who want to reach government officials, below the executive level, don't seem to have much trouble.

Posted by: Cresty | Mar 22 2016 20:52 utc | 73
How Chicago racked up a $662 million police misconduct bill

Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 22 2016 21:26 utc | 74

The Fun Fact Festival of Forgetfulness continues...
You’re right, but out of context. The context here is b’s assertion that there is currently freedom of expression in Cuba, and his evidence is that people dressed in white are allowed to demonstrate silently. And my comparison is to freedom of speech in the US – at the present time, which is what the discussion is about.
Posted by: Denis | Mar 22, 2016 11:31:14 AM | 64

#Occupy were allowed to demonstrate as noisily as they liked...
... after being pepper-sprayed into a chain-wire enclosure under a freeway overpass, conveniently located out of sight of the MSM and the Public.
Keep up the Good Work, Denis.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 23 2016 2:40 utc | 75

@64 Denis

You’re right, but out of context

Apologies for misunderstanding your contention. I wrongly assumed that when you stated the only relevant contention is the “current standard of living”, you were referring to the universally accepted definition of that term and not some subjective, abstruse interpretation. Again, my apologies..

Posted by: pantaraxia | Mar 23 2016 9:44 utc | 76

To conclude that Cuba has a freedom of expression just because people can show up on the street to be promptly arrested and beaten, although with a very short arrest and beating which is not overly severe is a drastic re-definition of "freedom".

It does not make the embargo any less nonsensical etc. Cuba is an oppressive country where the government does care about the citizens and in many aspects does a good job (but not in all aspects). A short list of question about freedom of expression: can you open your TV station, radio station, newspaper, on-line publication etc. would have a short answer: no, no, no, etc.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 23 2016 10:51 utc | 77

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