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Old Nov 27th, 2016, 01:11 PM   #41
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I didn't think it was about keeping them ignorant. If I wanted to destroy people's minds, I would flood them with Facebook, and DVDs.

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Do you know why the ownership of computers and DVD players, among other things, took so long to become legal/available? It's not the "keeping Cubans ignorant" claim of critics. It had everything to do with the electrical grid.

So many Cubans were receiving gifts from friends and family abroad of new electrical equipment that the grid just couldn't take it, exacerbating blackouts and stresses on an aged infrastructure.

When people claim the US embargo had no real effects on Cuba ("they just couldn't trade with us - they could still trade with everyone else!"), they are showing their ignorance of how far-reaching that embargo stretched. Companies that dared to trade with Cuba were punished under U.S. law and were blocked from trading with the USA. Ships that landed in Cuba to offload cargo were banned for 6 months of landing at a US port, making shipping to Cuba an exorbitantly expensive proposition. It wasn't just a "can't trade with us" situation, it was ridiculously punitive beyond all reason. Cuba had to jump through a stupid amount of hoops to purchase simple raw materials and products... often via dedicated shipping that ran directly from Cuba to China, Vietnam, etc.

So the electrical grid (like the telephony network) was similarly affected. Power production has moved from high-sulfur diesel to other sources (more LNG and an impressive amount of solar and even hydro). But it's all slow going...
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Old Nov 27th, 2016, 02:31 PM   #42
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Do you know why the ownership of computers and DVD players, among other things, took so long to become legal/available? It's not the "keeping Cubans ignorant" claim of critics. It had everything to do with the electrical grid.

So many Cubans were receiving gifts from friends and family abroad of new electrical equipment that the grid just couldn't take it, exacerbating blackouts and stresses on an aged infrastructure.
but yet they kept building resorts after resorts with rooms with a/c, tvs - creature comforts lol
while the cubans live in the dark..

CubaMark - how long have your been brainwashed for?
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Old Nov 27th, 2016, 02:34 PM   #43
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I didn't think it was about keeping them ignorant.
A lot of people do think that's what was going on, and a lot of people in Miami tell them that is the case.

People don't even believe it when you tell them how easy it is to get in and out of Cuba. A substantially smoother process than Canada or the US. They're not searching you for contraband, they aren't even asking you if you have any (fill in the blank) with you. Friends, family, tourists, etc can and are bringing Cubans all manner of things, many of which cause serious problems with their limited infrastructure.

Related to the electrical grid, the other thing that gets traction over here as "keeping the Cubans ignorant" is their limited internet infrastructure. This one is two fold. The internet itself is expensive for them to deploy and maintain, and the more internet that is available, the even greater strain on the electrical grid by people accessing it.

This is also why while the tourist industry does help them out a lot, it's not as beneficial as it should be, because a lot of the improvements get channeled to the Jardines Del Rey area. In order to keep that tourist money coming, a substantial investment in the tourist infrastructure is required. Great roads, water systems, wifi, and electrical grids on a Cayo that no Cubans live on don't help the employees who live on the main island. And they most certainly see the discrepancy. What they don't see, is that the billions of dollars that tourism brings in is what pays for their healthcare and education.
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Old Nov 27th, 2016, 02:36 PM   #44
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It's counter-intuitive to most people, but Cuba to me is a shining example of conservative fiscal policy. They make hard choices in order to afford to do what needs to be done. Considering how heavily stacked the deck is against them, it's amazing how much they've been able to do.
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Old Nov 27th, 2016, 03:04 PM   #45
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but yet they kept building resorts after resorts with rooms with a/c, tvs - creature comforts lol
while the cubans live in the dark..
Ah, I see. This poor, blockaded, developing country should not bother to invest in the one major economic sector in which it has enormous growth potential... tourism.

Cubans should just sit around in the dark, waiting for... what? For America to deliver some "Freedom"?

Seriously, there are legitimate criticisms one can levy at how the Cuban government has developed its economy and society, but all you seem to be able to come up with are the softballs that anyone with a mojito and guidebook to Cuba could answer.

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CubaMark - how long have your been brainwashed for?
Well, I stopped allowing my folks to drag me to church when I was around 13... things became a helluva lot clearer after that....
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Old Nov 27th, 2016, 03:12 PM   #46
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but yet they kept building resorts after resorts with rooms with a/c, tvs - creature comforts lol
while the cubans live in the dark..
See the last paragraph in my post right after yours. Those resorts are a critical income source, investing in them is not an option.
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Old Nov 27th, 2016, 03:15 PM   #47
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This is also why while the tourist industry does help them out a lot, it's not as beneficial as it should be, because a lot of the improvements get channeled to the Jardines Del Rey area. In order to keep that tourist money coming, a substantial investment in the tourist infrastructure is required. Great roads, water systems, wifi, and electrical grids on a Cayo that no Cubans live on don't help the employees who live on the main island. And they most certainly see the discrepancy. What they don't see, is that the billions of dollars that tourism brings in is what pays for their healthcare and education.
Exactly.

A further note on Cuba's tourism sector development: unlike pretty much any other country of which I am aware, Cuba's development of hotels and resorts was done pretty much exclusively under a joint-venture contract, with the Cuban government retaining 51% ownership, and at the end of the 20-year contract with the foreign investor (Spain's Melia hotel chain was an early and significant partner), the infrastructure resorts to Cuban ownership, with management contracts an option for continued partnership with the original investor.

So - once the foreign investor has built the property and recouped its investment plus a reasonable profit, the facilities revert to full Cuban ownership after which all profits accrue to Cuba, minus any potential ongoing service deals (e.g., hotel management). The enormously successful (even at a small percentage of its total potential) initiative then continues to provide foreign exchange earnings for the Cuban government to fund, as heavyall notes, the system of social welfare, of infrastructure, of education, etc.

Given all of that, macintosh doctor, do you still think Cuba's development of tourism facilities is the wrong move? Enlighten us, please, with your long history of economic development planning. Wisdom should be shared!
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Old Nov 27th, 2016, 08:16 PM   #48
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See the last paragraph in my post right after yours. Those resorts are a critical income source, investing in them is not an option.
exactly - keeping his people in the dark by choice ..
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Old Nov 27th, 2016, 08:29 PM   #49
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exactly - keeping his people in the dark by choice ..
No, building a means of upgrading their infrastructure to bring the lights to all.

Very few are "in the dark" anyway. Even remote rural areas have power. Far, FAR more than they had under Batista, and far more than many other south/central american countries.
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Old Nov 28th, 2016, 02:27 PM   #50
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May he rot in hell forever...

'Little Havana' Celebrates Castro's Death

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On Calle Ocho, the main thoroughfare of Little Havana, people waved Cuban flags in the air, banged on pots with spoons, and fireworks exploded in the air. The joy of these revelers illustrated the disdain they had for the late communist leader.

'Cuba si! Castro no!' some chanted, while others screamed 'Cuba libre!'

The celebrations, which were still going strong at 3 a.m., prompted police to advise motorists to avoid the area.


...

Florida's Republican Gov. Rick Scott:

I join Cuban-Americans and Floridians across the country who are incredibly hopeful for the future of Cuba. After decades of oppression, the Cuban people deserve freedom, peace and democracy. I have met so many Cubans who have come to Florida to flee the tyranny, brutality, and communism of the Castro brothers’ oppressive regime and now is the time to look at policy changes that will demand democracy in Cuba. Today’s news should usher in an era of freedom, peace and human dignity for everyone in Cuba and the State of Florida stands ready to assist in that mission,” he said in a statement.

...

Mayor of Miami, Carlos Gimenez:

Early this morning, I learned of Fidel Castro's death. His passing closes a very painful chapter for Cubans on the island and Cuban-Americans throughout the world, including for thousands of Miami-Dade County residents who were personally affected by his cruel and brutal dictatorship. Despite this historic moment however, we know that Fidel's brother Raul continues to lead one of the world's most repressive governments. My hope is that a free and democratic Cuba with the same freedoms we treasure here in the United States will soon emerge. It is what the Cuban people deserve.
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