Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 13, 2016

Happy Birthday Fidel


No one can look back over 20th and 21st century history, without studying the work and ideas of this Cuban who wrote a small Caribbean island into the pages of “true global history,” as told by the people.

Posted by b on August 13, 2016 at 4:41 UTC | Permalink

next page »

@ b
No one can look back over 20th and 21st century history, without studying the work and ideas of this Cuban who wrote a small Caribbean island into the pages of “true global history,” as told by the people.

Yes, I, for one, couldn't agree more.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Aug 13 2016 5:23 utc | 1

Fidel Castro's life and leadership in Cuba is a stark contrast to the U.S. and its clown car parade of rulers: one gives to the world, doctors, education, and medically trained staff; and the other, death, destruction, never ending war and lies.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Aug 13 2016 5:39 utc | 2

Fidel Castro was not the first Jesuit educated Communist leader in Latin America. A thriving Jesuit commercial empire, known as the Jesuit Reductions, predated the Cuban Revolution and Karl Marx by many centuries.

The Jesuit Reductions were Communism 1.0.

Having visited Cuba several times in the 90's, not long after the cessation of Soviet subsidies amounting to 3 roughly 3 billion per year to Cuba, I could see Communism had not much evolved from the original materialist-commercial system created by Jesuits in the early 17th century.

The Jesuit Republic of South America

Idealistic I was until I realized Castro had turned 2/3rds of Cuban women into prostitutes. The biggest shock was discovering 18 year old girls could be bought by 75 year German men for less than 2000 USD. On one day I visited a marrying house where 9 of 10 weddings involved very old foreign men scooping up very young Cuban girls.

Posted by: alfa alfalfa | Aug 13 2016 5:46 utc | 3

that's called poverty. you could equally argue Tsipras turned greek woman into 5Euros prostitutes with that same "reasoning"...

Posted by: ratatat | Aug 13 2016 6:52 utc | 4

not to mention Cuba was already turned into a giant brothel long Before Castro, although an US-run one.

Posted by: ratatat | Aug 13 2016 6:55 utc | 5

Happy birthday, Fidel! And thank you too.

Posted by: Steve | Aug 13 2016 7:37 utc | 6

OT and the latest :
How Clintons created Gulen activities along with Graham Fullercia and Soros and Marc Grossman et al...and brings it up to present time re the Turkey failed coup and the next Wikileak releases.

Sibel Edmonds lays it out in this new interview:

Posted by: chu teh | Aug 13 2016 7:39 utc | 7

...includes Bill Clinton's speech to US Turk community glorifying Gulen and formation of Gladio B covert op..

Posted by: chu teh | Aug 13 2016 7:42 utc | 8


You could equally argue that the US and EU pension system is an historical aberration, and that 'prostitution' is the natural order of humanity, with seasonal field employment for migrating men and women kept in traditional role of house and child-keeper. The only folks who can afford NOT to embrace this natural human order were Royals, who continue to plague us even today with foolish drunkenness, murder, rape and porn of 'monogamy'.

Aside from any ancillary benefits that MIGHT have accrued to the US and EU pension system (before Mil.Gov Royals looted it after the 1998 Soft Coup and 9/11 Hard Coup), in so far as old women on pension being able to lead a 'dignified' life, really the onus of 'prostitution' as being 'bad' is entirely the Church's, to keep the prices high and the repentants flocking in the next day.

'Hail Mary, full of grace. Our Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us ... '

If all women safely and freely practiced sex, it would lead to much lower prices, much happier men, and another level of human commerce. Who knows, maybe men would melt their pistolas into dildos? Because that's what's coming, homey. No pensions left, and rat-porn freely available, a Society of One and a History of Now, with Militarized Police State ready to fine and jail any attempt at real human contact as 'prostitution'.

If you want a picture of the future, imagine all humans jerking off to VR FB — forever.

Posted by: Alison DeBeers | Aug 13 2016 7:50 utc | 9

"I believe that there is no country in the world including any and all the countries under colonial domination, where economic colonization, humiliation and exploitation were worse than in Cuba, in part owing to my country's policies during the Batista regime. I approved the proclamation which Fidel Castro made in the Sierra Maestra, when he justifiably called for justice and especially yearned to rid Cuba of corruption. I will even go further: to some extent it is as though Batista was the incarnation of a number of sins on the part of the United States. Now we shall have to pay for those sins. In the matter of the Batista regime, I am in agreement with the first Cuban revolutionaries. That is perfectly clear."

U.S. President John F. Kennedy
24 October 1963

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 13 2016 8:01 utc | 10

@10 pw

While JFK was saying that RFK was working for Fidel's assassination. JFK was assassinated less than a month later and RFK four and a half years later. Those who live by assassination die by assassination, I guess. Fidel outlived them both.

Hillary banked on Obama's assassination until the very end in 2008, now is outraged that Trump made a 'joke' of her assassination in 2016. Obama has made assassination an upfront, 'honorble', Nobel Peace Prize Laureated part of US 'diplomacy'.

Viva Fidel! Viva Cuba! May Fidel outlive them all!

Posted by: jfl | Aug 13 2016 8:59 utc | 11

jfl | Aug 13, 2016 4:59:20 AM | 11

May Fidel outlive them all!

As far as world history is concerned; that's already a given...
The tin-pot rulers in the west will be forgotten in a generation.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Aug 13 2016 9:23 utc | 12

From b's link to Granma, A global revolutionary

Cuba had already done what many thought impossible, it had carried out a socialist revolution only 90 miles from the United States. An affront for which Washington has continued to punish the island, using various methods for over half a century.

Fifty years of punishment, of holding a grudge against the winner, the winner who won despite the dirty tricks of its much larger, much more vicious opponent, seems unbelievable. Until you right next door to Cuba, at Haiti, where it has not been fifty but two-hundred twelve years that the the US has held a pusillanimous grudge against the poorest country in the hemisphere, making sure they stayed that way. Their crime was overthrowing their slave masters ancd achieving their freedom.

The Cuban Revolution and Fidel’s ideas have inspired all those searching for a different world; looking to overcome the contradictions which world powers try to present as inevitable.

Everything must change. Even the United States must and will change. Cuba is the place to study change. It's not far. Just 90 miles.

Posted by: jfl | Aug 13 2016 9:53 utc | 13

Still he dont push guantanamo base out. Why? Money?

Posted by: ripz | Aug 13 2016 10:37 utc | 14

ripz | Aug 13, 2016 6:37:03 AM | 14

Oh geez; I barely know how to respond to that brand of helplessness.
If, in the end, you can't figure out your own answer; you have my profound sympathy...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Aug 13 2016 11:01 utc | 15

Cuban people are very happy. That's why they make the Empire sad.

Posted by: Secret Agent | Aug 13 2016 12:42 utc | 16

Happy birthday Fidel.
The last living giant of the 20th century,when men were men and not estrogen addicts.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 13 2016 12:58 utc | 17

V. Arnold / 15

re:ripz - I am also intresting in why Cuba still have the Guantanamo facilities on their soil, please tell us why this is a stupid question.

Posted by: Mann | Aug 13 2016 13:00 utc | 18

Mann | Aug 13, 2016 9:00:02 AM | 18

Wow, really?
Because Castro is not an idiot; but rather an intelligent, strategic player, who understands the world and his own/countries limitations.
If you two (ripz & Mann), can't go beyond that; then I cannot possibly help further...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Aug 13 2016 13:41 utc | 19

There are many things I admire about Castro. However the countless amount of dead young men and women, many of who were romantic idealists and also the best of the best of their countries makes me feel divided about him. The true culprit of the deaths of those youthful beautifully intelligent revolutionaries is USA and it's stooge cadre of governments, yet I'm still divided about Fidel. I wish him and Cuba nothing but the best but I dunno...

Posted by: Fernando Arauxo | Aug 13 2016 14:06 utc | 20

V. Arnold, Thanks.

Why gitmo is still there? It's called a lease.

Posted by: jo6pac | Aug 13 2016 14:14 utc | 21

Feliz cumple comandante Fidel! Adelante para siempre.

Posted by: Pnyx | Aug 13 2016 15:49 utc | 22

thank you for this thread b, and for all your time and effort. the hospitality here is unequaled on the net (imho)

Found this at counterpunch:

Tribute to Fidel Castro on His 90th Birthday


On Saturday, August 13, the world will celebrate the 90th birthday of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro Ruz, the only individual ever to be acknowledged by the UN as a “World Hero of Solidarity.” It is very hard to think of a more important world leader than Fidel. The contribution he has made to the world socialist movement, to the Third World liberation struggle and to social justice has been monumental – especially when one considers that he has been the leader of a tiny country with roughly the same population as New York City.

At the current time, the Colombian government and leftist FARC guerillas are engaged in a peace process in Havana, and are very near to reaching a final peace accord, in large part due to Fidel’s efforts.

As Nelson Mandela himself has acknowledged, South Africa is free from apartheid in no small measure due to Fidel’s leadership in militarily aiding the liberation struggles in Southern Africa, especially in Angola and Namibia, against the South African military which was then being supported by the United States.

In addition, The Latin American Medical School (ELAM) in Cuba, which trains doctors from all around the world, but particularly from poor countries, was Fidel’s brainchild. Today, 70 countries from around the world benefit from Cuba’s medical internationalism, including Haiti where Cuban doctors have been, according to The New York Times, at the forefront of the fight against cholera.

more here:

Happy Birthday Fidel, may you have many more.

Posted by: crone | Aug 13 2016 16:24 utc | 23

abajo con el imperio maldito, comenzó la revolución!

Posted by: hejiminy cricket | Aug 13 2016 16:26 utc | 24

What the US did to Cuba is unspeakable, but honouring a communist dictator? Tad beyond the pale for this man. If you've ever visited Cuba, outside of Havana and the resort areas it's a hole. Literally, starving people, half feral animals running around and all the niceties involved with Marx's legacy of death and poverty by government dictate. Is the US responsible for some of their plight, absolutely, but communism is responsible for the rest.

Posted by: Dave S | Aug 13 2016 16:45 utc | 25

V. Arnold 19

Its one thing to defend Castro, but to love him and defend that he still approve the torture facilities on his land in Cuba, by the americans, that is just absurd position of you to take. Apparently you have no idea why Castro keep accepting this you just love him and get offended when people ask obvious questions.


Lease? Yeah. Thats the propaganda US use and have apparently fooled you. There is no lease, US have no legal tie whatsoever to that area of land today.

Posted by: Mann | Aug 13 2016 16:54 utc | 26

@25 Starving people? Cuba does have a whacky economic system, decaying infrastructure and a lousy public transportation but I never saw anybody starving.

Posted by: dh | Aug 13 2016 16:58 utc | 27

Thank you for honoring a great man. Along with Ho Chi Minh and Vo Nguyen Giap who came in first place in the Vietnam War Games (my father 775th SOG father had no answer for what is second place in a war), Fidel is another inspiration about not giving up your beliefs and dreams in life. He has outlived the American Dream. That says it all.

Posted by: bSirius | Aug 13 2016 17:12 utc | 28

Dave S,
Have you ever been to Honduras, Belize, Dominican Republic, Panama, El Salvador?
Those are not communist countries and from my experience are far from tropical paradises. Why would you assume communism is to blame for the austere conditions in Cuba?


Posted by: dan of steele | Aug 13 2016 17:12 utc | 29

b observed:

No one can look back over 20th and 21st century history, without studying the work and ideas of this Cuban who wrote a small Caribbean island into the pages of “true global history,” as told by the people.

@ Fernando Arauxo 20 did you know?
@ crone. Thanks for highlight the medical aspects

In medicine; considered a poverty-ridden country there have been medical breakthroughs, classified on par with exceptional world class standards.
Some 8 years ago, NPR (national propaganda radio) reported American medical students were being trained in Cuba, at significantly lower tuition fees, and that Cuban standards were on par with the U.S.

Why the thaw in U.S. Cuba relations?

There is a vaccine to treat people with Stage 2 and 3 lung cancer in Cuba, and the U.S. wants it. In fact, the world wants it …

Cuba Has A Lung Cancer Vaccine, And Now It Could Be Coming To The USA’s-lung-cancer-vaccine-states

"Cuba launched the world's first lung cancer vaccine, Cimavax, to the public back in 2011. Each shot costs about $1, but the Cuban government has made the vaccine available to the public for free. Now it's 2015, and other countries are starting to get curious and want to get their hands on it too.

The Center of Molecular Immunology, Cuba, has finalized agreements with the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, USA, to embark on a project that aims to develop a lung cancer vaccine that was first made in Cuba and begin to introduce it into the United States. This will involve gaining Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the vaccine and starting clinical trials.

This collaboration is exciting news. For 55 years, there has been a trade embargo led by the U.S. that's restricted Cuban travel and commerce. The Obama administration has been trying to normalize relations with Cuba, starting with lifting restrictions on research and medical equipment. Overcoming the embargo is the first step to creating forerunning medical collaborations such as this one.

“The chance to evaluate a vaccine like this is a very exciting prospect,” says Candace Johnson, CEO of Roswell Park. There's plenty to be excited about: Usually cancer vaccines are very expensive, but Cimavax is relatively cheap to produce and store. Patients who have cancer vaccines are also often plagued with side effects; the Cimavax, however, has shown little toxicity. Side effects to the vaccine so far have included nausea, chills, and fever. "

~ ~ ~ ~
You can bet the farm, our children and grand kids that Cimavax will be fast tracked by the FDA.

Take a vote on U.S. cost. Will Cimavax cost $1 or $100,000 per shot? Hmm, but Americans can now travel to Cuba.

Posted by: likklemore | Aug 13 2016 17:19 utc | 30

Cuba has on the US governments the same effect of the full moon on the werewolf

they've tried to kill him over 600 times.

feliz cumpleaños!

Posted by: john | Aug 13 2016 17:27 utc | 31

29 Have you ever been to Honduras, Belize, Dominican Republic, Panama, El Salvador?
Those are not communist countries and from my experience are far from tropical paradises. Why would you assume communism is to blame for the austere conditions in Cuba?

Perhaps the Cuban system would have worked better without the US embargo. These other countries have had the benefit of "open trade" (FWIW - see destructive NAFTA and CAFTA) with the USA.

More examples of neighboring, poverty-stricken, "democratic free-market capitalist" countries with much prostitution:

Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Aug 13 2016 17:45 utc | 32


Yes a lease.

Then again you go on believing what you want.

Posted by: jo6pac | Aug 13 2016 17:52 utc | 33


US propaganda right there, the agreement was signed way before Castro was in power and Cuba have multiple times said that they want the base out of there, but Fidel doesnt do ANYTHING about it - just like his brother,

Cuba demands return of Guantanamo Bay.

Apparently Fidel thinks it ok to get loads of money for this base..

Posted by: Mann | Aug 13 2016 17:58 utc | 34

@34 How does Cuba or Castro benefit financially from Guantanamo? The rent is $4000 a year and no Cubans work there.

Posted by: dh | Aug 13 2016 18:10 utc | 35


Sure, if that 4000 is the only thing cubans get, its even more weird that cuba accept this situation

Posted by: Mann | Aug 13 2016 18:16 utc | 36

@36 So you're saying more money gets paid to Castro for the base?

It's hard to get a grip on what most Cubans think about anything. My impression when I was there is ordinary Cubans are hungry for dollars and consumer goods. One Walmart and the system would collapse.

Posted by: dh | Aug 13 2016 18:21 utc | 37


I have no idea to be honest, I cant see another reason (than alot of dollars).

Posted by: Mann | Aug 13 2016 18:37 utc | 38

A bit off topic, but speaking on socialists

Sanders Buys Lakefront Home for Nearly $600,000

God that Sanders is a joke!

Posted by: Mann | Aug 13 2016 18:42 utc | 39

@38 Well perhaps you can suggest a way for the Cubans to get rid of the base. Do you think they should invade? Kind of reverse Bay of Pigs?

Posted by: dh | Aug 13 2016 18:46 utc | 40

There is no forever.

Gitmo will revert to Cuba as did Hong Kong to China. Hong Kong was returned to China after more than 156 years of British control. Hong Kong and Kowloon was under a 99-year lease.

HK return info.

OH, btw GTMO is a freebie - someone at U.S. Treasury did not read a Memo.
Reuters reported on the GTMO lease. Is it $4,000 per year or per month?

[Hahaha. The previous amount of $2,000, fixed in 1898, was payable in gold.]

Castro: Cuba not cashing US Guantanamo rent checks
Fri Aug 17, 2007

HAVANA, Aug 17 The United States pays Cuba $4,085 a month in rent for the controversial Guantanamo naval base, but Cuba has only once cashed a check in almost half a century and then only by mistake, Fidel Castro wrote in an essay published on Friday.[.]

The ailing Cuban leader, who has not appeared in public for more than a year, said he had refused to cash the checks to protest the "illegal" U.S. occupation of the land which he said was now used for "dirty work".[.]

Castro, who turned 81 on Monday out of public sight, said the U.S. checks are made out to the "Treasurer General of the Republic," a position that ceased to exist after Cuba's 1959 revolution.[.]

WAPO reported Cuba does not recognize the lease:

Why the U.S. base at Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay is probably doomed

[.]”The U.S. government still dutifully sends rent checks to the Cuban government, but the Castros don’t cash them. They don’t recognize the lease, and – like landlords in a rent-controlled Brooklyn apartment -- want their tenants to leave. Fidel Castro is said to keep the checks piled up in his desk drawer, using them as a kind of political prop. It’s hard to imagine a more ready-made symbol of U.S. imperialism than a military base whose history is so wrapped up in late 19th-century attempts at American empire.”[.]

Posted by: likklemore | Aug 13 2016 18:58 utc | 41


Sure, pressure, awareness, UN, courts, demands etcetera, they are simply not interested it seems.

Posted by: Mann | Aug 13 2016 18:58 utc | 42

The Guantanamo Bay Naval Station has about 10,000 military, dependents, contractors and torture victims. The teenage-terrorist facility for 13-15 year old prisoners is still open as far as anyone knows. Most of the personnel there are involved with the operation of the naval station, not the detention facilities. A few thousand (maybe less today) were dedicated to the series of separate detention camps located away from the main base facilities. The base is more like a small military reservation of 45 square miles surrounding the bay.

Regarding the lease, VICE News has this:

On April 26, 2006, Timothy Zuniga-Brown, a State Department diplomat, sent an email to Thomas Gerth, a senior adviser to the State Department's Office of Cuban Affairs, asking him to confirm information and questions he was sent "regarding the status of the lease over Guantanamo." Zuniga-Brown — the bolding in the email is his — was concerned "some of the wording here sound[ed] a little loose":
Cuba's constitution, which was adopted in 1901, included what is called the Platt Amendment, legislation that established conditions for American intervention in Cuba and gave the United States the right to maintain a military base on the island in perpetuity. The lease contains several critical provisions relevant to whether U.S. courts have jurisdiction over the base. First, the lease gives the United States "complete jurisdiction and control" of that territory, saying merely that it "recognizes the continuance of the ultimate sovereignty of the Republic of Cuba." Secondly, the lease can only be terminated on the mutual consent of both parties. Even though Cuba has wanted to terminate the lease since the revolution of 1959, it is unable to do so without the consent of the United States. The lease actually provides for a miniscule rent, some two thousand dollars in gold (equivalent to about $4,085 a year in current U.S dollars), although the Cuban government has refused to accept any payment since 1959. The United States is technically in default, and has been for many years, because the lease provides that the base is to be used only for a coaling station.

So while the U.S. argues that the 'mutual agreement' lets them stay there as long as they want, the specified use as a coaling station (back in steam-powered ship days) has been violated in dozens of ways. The two U.S. naval airfields and a torture camp are probably the most striking violations of the terms.

Anybody with an I.Q. over about say 40 would agree that no amount of legal weaselese permits the U.S. to violate the territorial sovereignty of Cuba based on a nearly hundred year old lease with a Cuban administration that no longer exists. Cuba does not want the U.S. base on it's soil, period. They consider it an illegal occupation. They are small enough that they can't physically kick the U.S. bully out, and the U.S. would simply strong-arm their way at the U.N. for justification to continue the occupation anyway.

The base is in a remote area of the island and mostly saltwater swamp. The Cubans already have access to and use of the bay itself. They don't want the base for something else, they just don't want the U.S. there at all.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 13 2016 19:05 utc | 43

kudos to fidel and the cuban people! happy birthday to him!

@26 mann.. idiot.. read up..
"Since the Cuban Revolution of 1959, the Cuban government has consistently protested against the U.S. presence on Cuban soil and called it illegal under international law, alleging that the base was imposed on Cuba by force. At the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2013, Cuba's Foreign Minister demanded the U.S. return the base and the "usurped territory", which the Cuban government considers to be occupied since the U.S. invasion of Cuba during the Spanish–American War in 1898.

Since 2002, the naval base has contained a military prison, the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, for unlawful combatants captured in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other places during the War on Terror.[8] Alleged cases of torture of prisoners,[9] and their alleged denial of protection under the Geneva Conventions, have been condemned internationally."

keep on giving a pass to the exceptional nation freak..

Posted by: james | Aug 13 2016 19:06 utc | 44

Link for VICE article above: Will Cuba Now Cash 55 Years' Worth of Guantanamo Rent Checks?

Google satellite imagery of the Gantanamo Bay Naval Station.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 13 2016 19:10 utc | 45

Dan of Steele
No, I have been to Mexico, which is also a poor country but even the poor parts of Mexico I saw were much nicer than any part of Cuba I saw outside of the tourist traps. Some cultures/people's just aren't as advanced as North America/Western Europe fair enough. But it never ceases to amaze me with the amount of wealth freedom has given the west that people still rail for "equality", socialism or worse. These three things will forever mire man in unproductive wasteful centrally planned ideas. There's a video called iPencil that I believe every socialist or social justice warrior (BTW social justice is just as rotten an idea) should watch. If you believe that a bunch of people that have never made a pencil, a car, a dishwasher a computer etc. Can honestly create wealth, you're deluding yourself, it's quite impossible.

Posted by: Dave S | Aug 13 2016 19:10 utc | 46

Why Obama won't be talking about Guantanamo during his Cuba visit

Cubans are just dumb accepting such premises.
Its not like they have to had talks with US to begin with they should have pushed full on on Guantanamo during these talks, apparently they did not even speak about it.

Posted by: Mann | Aug 13 2016 19:14 utc | 47

@42 Raoul has told Obama to his face to rescind the base agreement. Most recently they lodged a protest at the UN Human Rights Council. I don't see what else they can do.

Obviously Fidel is getting a back-hander and Raoul doesn't know about it right?

Thank you james @44

Posted by: dh | Aug 13 2016 19:14 utc | 48

@47 The US has been very clear.

“It’s normal for them to raise Guantanamo in just about every engagement we have with them,” Rhodes told reporters. “They believe that just our very presence in Guantanamo is a violation of their sovereignty, and that we should restore the facility to Cuban sovereignty.”

“We’ve made it very clear that’s not on the table,” Rhodes added.

The US obviously sees Cuba having more to gain from 'normalization' than the US. In terms of real-politick they are right.

Posted by: dh | Aug 13 2016 19:26 utc | 49


UNHCR have no mandatory encorcing mandate so that makes no sense if Cubans have protested there.

Posted by: Mann | Aug 13 2016 19:30 utc | 50

@50 You're right but it's a start. They may even get majority support at the UN. But you know it will be vetoed.

Posted by: dh | Aug 13 2016 19:43 utc | 51

@ 39

You did see that they paid for it with the proceeds of the sale of a family owned home in Maine? Owned since 1900? Or you just want to sling mud on Bernie?

Posted by: Tom in AZ | Aug 13 2016 20:35 utc | 52

For what happens in the last third or so of this, Fidel deserves a Happy Birthday wish

Posted by: basil | Aug 13 2016 21:44 utc | 53

Clearly TPTB wanted Fidel in power-- or at least wanted to end the then-existing govt & economy. At the time, the NYT wrote paeans of praise about an idealistic land-reformer named Fidel. When he stayed in NYC at the Waldorf and had live chickens walking about they loved it.

My neighbor recently deceased was Cuban and living there at the time of the Castro takeover. He related that any military who couldn't be guaranteed as Pro-Castro was considered to be a danger, so the firing squads continued "dia y noche, semana tras semana" (day & night, week after week). My neighbor's 30-years-younger wife married him to get out to safety.

Clearly there was much that was right about Cuba, too. The training of vast numbers of medical personnel comes to mind. Cuba has been in some ways an admired moral example to Latin America. But I know nothing about it-- except that it proved that war or revolution really are the fastest ways to change a country.

One rainy night as I drove through the mountains of Pennsylvania my car radio suddenly disgorged Fidel Castro's voice giving a speech. So marked and unique is his manner of speaking that I knew within a phrase that it was him. Strange and outlandish to hear his there.

When Che Guevara was betrayed and killed the NYT ran a front page photo of his waxen face as he lay in his coffin. I should like to have back those days of the illusion of capitalism vs communism. The world seemed so much cleaner then-- ah, well, 'twas only an illusion; musn't wish for a blindfold.

Posted by: Penelope | Aug 13 2016 22:19 utc | 54

I'm stunned at the number of people who have responded to ripz's and Mann's gibberish. While it is admirable to illuminate the darkness, those two (or that one) have just been trolling this set of comments and have completely derailed them from their original direction, the celebration of Fidel and the honor of Cuba libre. I suppose we have learned a bit about landlord/tenant law though.

Posted by: Macon Richardson | Aug 13 2016 22:21 utc | 55

Tom in az

From your own link you didnt source.
"technically, Bernie’s salary places him in the top 4 percent of income earners,"

Bernie's a joke, owns 3 houses in the million class and try to speak for poor!

Posted by: Mann | Aug 13 2016 22:30 utc | 56

@55 @55 You're new here right?

Posted by: dh | Aug 13 2016 22:39 utc | 57

@55 You're new here right?

Posted by: dh | Aug 13 2016 22:40 utc | 58

OK dh ...once is enough.

If you're referring to me Mr. Richardson I feel Mann's transparent efforts to slander Fidel Castro deserved a strong response. You will notice how he tempered his comments about Fidel getting 'loads of money' to taking action through the UN which he knows requires a vast amount of lobbying and will only drain Cuba's resources.

Posted by: dh | Aug 13 2016 22:48 utc | 59

Neocon magazine agree with many here

Cuba should simply accept that US will keep cuban land...forever.
Cuba cant do anything about it so it should just accept and shut up.

Posted by: Mann | Aug 13 2016 22:53 utc | 60

A long time ago I read a very funny book by Carlos Franqui, who had been in the Sierra Madre but later went to the USA. "Retrato de familia con Fidel" ( more or less Family Portrait with Fidel) captures much of the exuberance both of El Comandante himself and of the movement he and Raul led.
Poor Raul. Stigmatised forever as the smaller, useless, uglier younger brother in comparison with El Comandante. But almost hidden within the Franqui book are wisps, tantalising suggestions as to the fraternal relationship....

Posted by: Cortes | Aug 13 2016 23:41 utc | 61

@ Mann wrote "Cuba cant do anything about it so it should just accept and shut up."

Written by a true troll proud of their ignorance and empire entitlement delusions.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 13 2016 23:51 utc | 62

you know the creatures up from the sewer are here with the names get hi-jacked..

Posted by: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz | Aug 14 2016 0:10 utc | 63

FWIW: Sanders wife's family sold a vacation home in Maine, had been in the family since 1900, and The Sanders then used their share of that money to buy a vacation (lakefront) home in Vermont

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 14 2016 0:32 utc | 64

The man who despoiled the Cuban people into a powless penniless mass of dependents in order to fulfill his ideological fantasies. Perhaps it could not be avoided but respect and birthday greetings seem out of place. Would one celebrate Lenin's birthday today? Not if one has any perspective or decency.

Posted by: Northern Observer | Aug 14 2016 1:02 utc | 65

Hey b!

This posting is really drawing out the trolls. They are going to tell us all about perspective and decency.......GRIN

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 14 2016 1:17 utc | 66

@25, so why don't the Cuban people rise up and overthrow the brutal tyrant. It can't be too hard. I mean, Castro and the Comrades did it and they were horrible Communists!

Posted by: ruralito | Aug 14 2016 1:39 utc | 67

O/T guardian: Isis ranks dwindle to 15,000 amid 'retreat on all fronts', claims Pentagon
Top commander says Islamic State thought to have lost 45,000 combatants in Iraq and Syria, with many of those remaining ill prepared for battle
This article also says that "at its peak" ISIS fighters numbered 19-25,000 -- very much less than my memory of 40-50,000 (but who's counting right? but the past casualty counts and steady supply of foreign fighters makes that low number seem unlikely)

from Wiki: In June 2014, ISIL had at least 4,000 fighters in Iraq, and the CIA estimated in September 2014 that it had 20,000–31,500 fighters in Iraq and Syria. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates that the force numbers around 80,000–100,000 total (up to 50,000 in Syria and 30,000 in Iraq). Military activity of ISIL - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

definitely "believe it or don't" (and one shouldn't)... is it about to be time to declare "victory over ISIS" which would then leave Hillary's proposed "toughening" wrt Syria more clearly, more obviously blatant regime change ... without even ISIS to "kick around"

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 14 2016 1:41 utc | 68

"At the time, the NYT wrote paeans of praise about an idealistic land-reformer named Fidel. When he stayed in NYC at the Waldorf and had live chickens walking about they loved it."

There's never been a popular movement anywhere that the US Dept of State hasn't tried to subborn.

Posted by: ruralito | Aug 14 2016 1:43 utc | 69

@ penelope ^^

Posted by: ruralito | Aug 14 2016 1:44 utc | 70

@ NO 65

Suggest a catch-up read of Cuba's history may enlighten. Start at 1492. Re-read 1898; 1906-09; 1917 and 1921. Oops do not overlook U.S. military occupation especially the year 1901 - Platt amendment, named after Senator Orville Platt -stipulates the right of the United States to intervene in Cuba's internal affairs and to lease the naval base. The US-backed Batista years, 1933-44 and 1952-1959 unfolded a long period of indecency.

There is a pattern there - some historians see it as the beginning of U.S. hegemony.

Posted by: likklemore | Aug 14 2016 1:54 utc | 71

"Not if one has any perspective or decency." I guess that leave me out. When I saw the photos of Batista's agents and torturers in the gutter with their heads blown open. I jumped from my seat and cried "JUSTICE!!!" It was muy indecent.

Posted by: ruralito | Aug 14 2016 1:56 utc | 72

@71, that would have been US vs Florida, much earlier.

Posted by: ruralito | Aug 14 2016 2:07 utc | 73

The great Fidel Castro, Cuban patriot and lover of mankind who was prepared to sacrifice his country, prostitutes and millions of others, all in a nuclear holocaust during the Missile Crisis. Something the cowards JFK and Khruschev were unable to bring themselves to do in the end. A secular Jesus Christ in fact. Viva la Castro, Dr Strangelove would have been proud.

Posted by: Ivan | Aug 14 2016 2:11 utc | 74

What a great thread this is. I could have honored Fidel for those few things I knew about the results of his leadership - which are that under the ostracism of El Norte the Cubans have developed a superb permaculture system of great efficiency that produces the finest real food in the west, as well as medical breakthroughs and supremely competent soldiers.

Comes now the troll to challenge this on Guantanamo, and forces the cognoscenti to bring details to surface, so we now understand very clearly that particular blight upon paradise. This might not have happened without the goading of the troll.

As Tolkien made clear in his analogue to the Creation story (in The Silmarillion), the wilful, and thereby fallen, Angel would act in his own ambition, and yet would find, after all, that all he did would redound to the glory of his Creator. It's an amazing concept, and rings true like the finest bell.

And all this because yes indeed the fix is in, but it's the original fix, put in place in the fundamental system, and long before humans thought to cheat the natural order through lies. The fix is that the truth will out. And will take advantage of any opportunity to do so.

So Mann, if you're still reading this: behold the futility of evil. You have educated more people to the truth of things than distracted them from reality. You've more than failed. You've backfired.

Such is the way of evil. Such is the lot of the troll.

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 14 2016 2:45 utc | 75

@74, Commander Fidel's tempting of fate during the Missile Crisis was a mistake. But he was mostly right in other areas. That Cuba maintained its integrity and sovreignty despite everything else is a tribute to Communist leadership, obviously.

Posted by: ruralito | Aug 14 2016 2:50 utc | 76

@ 56

Still trying to make him something he is not. Your hijacked sentence forgets to mention that his Senate salary automatically places him that high on the income scale. His net worth over that last 8-10 years has grown from his obvious incremental savings over those years.

He was elected to Congress in 1990, so maybe after 26 years his townhouse is worth more than he paid.

You are a troll.

Posted by: Tom in AZ | Aug 14 2016 2:58 utc | 77

@ 62, @66 psycho-h

Thanks for beating me to it.

Posted by: Tom in AZ | Aug 14 2016 3:02 utc | 78

Forgive me if I missed this in the thread, but I haven't seen a link here to Raul Castro's recent deflection of Obama's back-slap.

If you're a body-language kind of person, you'll love this short video that shows Cuba's fundamental position with regard to the United States of America.

In March of this year, the US President goes to Cuba, and in front of a press conference attempts to clap Raul on the shoulder. But Cuba saw it coming from a thousand miles away, and was having none of it. None of it.

This YouTube clip will cost you 43 seconds:

No hugs for Obama: Awkward moment with Castro at Havana presser

It's even better than throwing shoes, and vastly more in command of the situation.

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 14 2016 3:12 utc | 79

@ Grieved

Thanks for that link. Been off tv for 30 years because there is very little good stuff on it, like your link.

I noticed that later in the video Obama tries again to put his arm around Raul who will again have none of it.

I have talked to family and friends who have been to Cuba and they complain about the lack of empire amenities like fast food joints and other inane "creature comforts" they have been brainwashed into believing are necessities in an "advanced" society.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 14 2016 4:17 utc | 80

Here is the link to a posting In China about Fidel

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 14 2016 4:55 utc | 81

@79 Greived
I rate that a big four and a half f*ck you's out of a possible five. Fantastic. Just fantastic. Surprising how weak, floppy and non-athletic Raul makes Barry O'Bombya look here. Some hapkido-like grappling skills evident I'd say hahaha.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what the future of diplomacy with the US looks like after 100 years of meddling.... 'hands off creep...!' I expect Australia to advance to this level of diplomacy by the year 2074.

Also... Necessity truly is the mother of invention... all the excesses of capitalism overcome by the beauty inside simplicity. $1 per shot for lung cancer vaccine...? Eat shit much money this gonna make ya...?

Posted by: MadMax2 | Aug 14 2016 5:12 utc | 82

Cuban people . High standartd of health care ,high standard of literacy. Complete sovereignty from neo-liberal/anglo-zionist influence. HASTA LA VITTORIA SIEMPRE. LA PATRIA HO LA MUERTE. Happy birthday Fidel.

Posted by: falcemartello | Aug 14 2016 5:39 utc | 83

@76 I understand that he stood up to the Americans, and that they have a long running embargo in place. But the US is not the only nation they can trade with. They have a niche in medicine, and Americans who can avail of the quality part of it, are no doubt grateful that they didn't have to sell the farm for a bypass. Nonetheless as an Indian I am totally unimpressed by this, we have hospitals that can do a triple bypass for $4000-$8000, with 3-star stay ins. If this is the best that Communism can do, they should not have bothered.

As others have indicated, after Castro comes the deluge.

Posted by: Ivan | Aug 14 2016 6:06 utc | 85


Yes thats what many here apparently wants - for Cuba to just sit still since they cannot do anything.

Tom in AZ

A guy who owns 3 house and are one of the 4% dont speak for the poor, its as simple as that, that was also his problem, no one believed him and then..he fall back big time by endorsing hillary.

Posted by: Mann | Aug 14 2016 6:51 utc | 86

Feliz Cumpleaños Don Fidel …

and many thanks for gracing the world's stage for so long. The world is richer for your example - There Is an Alternative - an Auntie TIA to the neocon TINA.

A question some historian needs ask before the information becomes inaccessible - IIRC just after your victory over Batista, you and your entourage embarked for Washington D.C. to meet with John Foster Dulles, his brother Allan and the foreign relations committees of Congress before meeting the president. The meeting was closed door and nothing was ever published in the papers of the time of what transpired. Shortly after, your delegation abruptly returned to Cuba leaving further planned meetings unfulfilled. Well within a month, you visited Moscow and the rest is history. The nature and character of the Dulles brothers has been revealed to the world since. My questions - Were you strong-armed at that meeting? Were you ordered to surrender your revolution to U.S. interests? Would history been different had support for your revolution been shown? Do documents exist with these issues addressed that shed light on those vital days for future historians to reference?
It would be a shame not to ask while an answer is possible from the only witness of those events still able to answer. Thanks again and wishes for a fully fulfilled life.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Aug 14 2016 7:07 utc | 87


You can bet the farm, that Cimavax will be found to "cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in double-blind studies" reviewed by the FDA, and that Americans will be banned from traveling to Cuba to seek 'nativist' medical care, just about 30 days after Merck's new Keytruda vaccine is approved for lung cancer treatment Medicare payments.

Jeez, you MoA folks are such mesmerists! No wonder Obama won in 2008 with his 'Hope and Chains' bit.

Posted by: Alison DeBeers | Aug 14 2016 8:24 utc | 88


Anyone can do a triple-bypass and charge whatever they can get, the question is what's the 1-year and 5-year survival rate? I'm willing to bet India is down with the Philippines in terms of survival, whereas Thailand and South Korea are the nations of choice by the elites when they need care, unless they can get in the USA.

A recent India-government study of 140,000 engineering graduates found 80% were irremediably unemployable, and the sooner their Bhramanist-supremacy myth is popped, the sooner we won't need software fixes every 3 months, with 95,000,000 Americans made unemployed and homeless by a Hindu H(1)B contagion infecting USA engineering.

Posted by: Alison DeBeers | Aug 14 2016 8:32 utc | 89


Add to Gitmo Guam, Kwajalein, Okinawa and Diego Garcia (technically under UK), and I'm sure there's more. On Kwajalein, the natives were herded onto a sandspit, where they built ghettoes out of construction scrap, and now live 10 to 12 to a room, sleeping in shifts between being barged like cattle to the US military base as servants and maids, their teenaged 'R&R' girls, then barged home again after they are allowed to fill their water bottles. The chief cause of death in this ghetto, more crowded than Gaza, is cholera and self-hanging.

The Few, the Proud, the Brave....

Posted by: Alison DeBeers | Aug 14 2016 8:42 utc | 90

A friend of the Cuban people - Canada's Pierre Trudeau. May his son continue his policy of openness / independence to the world beyond the greed of capitalism.

Another friend was the late Nelson Mandela, the freedom fighter labeled as a terrorist under the regime of Reagan / Cheney.

The harsh sanctions imposed by the Kennedies more or less forced Fidel to bow towards Moscow. A decision he regrets until this day, as it did not meet the humanitarian principles of the Revolution to oust Batista and lift the scourge of capitaism and the mob.

Posted by: Oui | Aug 14 2016 8:51 utc | 91

No matter unintended consequences which are inevitable plus illegal blockade Fidel have a colossal historic stature unpaired to any modern western ephemeral leader comparable, with due proportions and reserves, to De Gaulle

Posted by: Rihard | Aug 14 2016 9:44 utc | 92

I think he was a bastard, but he was a staunch anti-capitalist bastard. I refuse to call him great or admirable, but certainly never saw him as the monster he was made out to be by US propaganda for decades.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Aug 14 2016 11:10 utc | 93

Bernie Sanders' 'Palatial New House'

Posted by: okie farmer | Aug 14 2016 13:26 utc | 94

Kudos to the Castros and their minions. Who knows what Cuba could have become without the embargo. The Empire couldn't take the chance of letting any system, other than Corporate Capitalism, succeed.

Posted by: ben | Aug 14 2016 13:59 utc | 95

"Weekend At Bernie's New Mansion" psy-op:

... designed to squeeze out the last droplets of progressive juice.

They'll emit a last great collective sigh, ere they're loaded upon the huffing, puffing, smoking, belching, choking train to Hillaryschitz.

Posted by: fast freddy | Aug 14 2016 14:32 utc | 96

Felicidades Fidel!

Gracias por sus aportes a la Humanidad.
Que cumpla muchos mas!.

I spent two months in Cuba, not in resorts, and liked what I saw. Yet this was in the austerity years.

Now I believe the thawing in the relations will not work to Cuba´s advantage.
The US are way more dangerous as ¨friends¨than as an enemies.

Posted by: CarlD | Aug 14 2016 14:53 utc | 97

Best way to avoid Cuba's despicable standards of living, living conditions and bow to the false idol Castro? Avoid discussing his disgusting country, which it is, anyone that says Cuba has a high standard of living and is some socialist paradise is lying or deluded. Stop praising this parasite, did he stand up to the empire? Yup, should he be commended for his efforts in South Africa, probably, but I don't know the whole story. What I do know, is that his people are completely empoverished, I had maids at my 5 star resort begging for food. Go to Cardinas, or one of the other many 5th world towns there, do none of you understand what a man like this policies do? Say goodbye to your pc, your Xbox, cell, and eating properly. 3 meals a day? Perhaps gruel, I do not exaggerate when I say what you wish for is complete poverty.

Posted by: Dave S | Aug 14 2016 18:47 utc | 98

@98 dave s.. i blame much of cuba's problems on the usa, not castro... if the usa wasn't as paranoid as it is, or influenced by wealth, whether it be the cuban exiles in miami or what not - the usa could get on with being a good neighbour.. unfortunately the exceptional nation has never been inclined to much of anything except bullying and sanctioning anyone seen as a threat to it's dominance... that speaks to just how insecure and devoid of character the usa is at present.. the fact the usa has the 2 main candidates in 2016 is further proof of this.. you may not want to acknowledge any of this.. enjoy your 5 star resort, lol..

Posted by: james | Aug 14 2016 19:17 utc | 99 may like/hate him but he is smart man .He survived in sea of sharks -11 US presidents.I believe only true disciple of NICOLE MACHIAVELLI can survive that.

Posted by: sejmon | Aug 14 2016 22:19 utc | 100

next page »

The comments to this entry are closed.