[Fri 22 Feb, 14:57]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
Would you believe this Miami Troll crap - (17 replies)

MIAMI -- Fidel Castro may have years of life left but the United States is taking no chances.

Bush administration officials joined forces with academics and members of Congress Thursday to launch a $1-million University of Miami project to study a future democratic transition in communist Cuba.

"This is a vital new endeavor that will bring hope to the Cuban people," said Adolfo Franco, Latin America administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development, which is funding the yearlong Cuba Transition Project.

U.S. officials said the project signaled a new and more energetic commitment by President Bush for political change in Cuba. Thursday's announcement was made at a press conference attended by several senior U.S. officials, including Ambassador Vicki Huddleston, head of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Havana.

Although the project was proposed more than two years ago, during the Clinton administration, funding was approved by Congress only last year.

The announcement is the latest in a series of U.S. moves regarding Cuba. A month ago the White House said it was reviewing U.S.-Cuba policy. Before that, three Cuban-Americans were named in quick succession to top posts in the Bush administration: Former diplomat Otto Reich became head of Latin America affairs for the State Department, Col. Emilio Gonzalez took over the Cuba desk at the National Security Council, and Franco, a veteran political operator on Capitol Hill, joined AID.

"Those are the action-line positions in regards to Cuba as far as making things move," said Dennis Hays, Washington director for the Cuban American National Foundation, the influential Miami-based Cuban exile lobby group.

"Good things are going to happen," Hays predicted, reeling off a shopping list of anti-Castro measures his group is hoping for, including support for dissidents in Cuba and more money for TV and Radio Marti.

"There are a lot of ideas that have been floating around that haven't jelled yet," said Hays. "But the president remains interested and had given an impetus to pulling things together."

Some Cuba analysts say the White House may have a tough job persuading Americans of the need for tougher measures. They point to a shift in U.S. public opinion toward softening the embargo against Cuba, as well as recent political overtures from Castro.

Pressure has also been building in Congress from businesses interested in trading with Cuba. But U.S. officials attending the transition launch dismissed Havana's calls for improved relations.

"It is all very well for Cuba to say it wants a warmer and better relationship. What there needs to be is fundamental change in Cuba," said Huddleston, who heads the U.S. Interests Section in Havana.

Project director Jaime Suchlicki has won praise for drawing on the expertise of a wide range of professionals, including some who are critical of U.S. policy.

But others ask whether a new project is really worthwhile barely nine years after Florida International University conducted its own government-funded study, titled "Transition in Cuba: New Challenges for U.S. Cuba Policy."

Suchlicki defended his project, arguing that much had changed in Cuba in the last decade, including the dollarization of its economy and the introduction of foreign investment.

"This is a much more policy-oriented project that will make specific recommendations," he said.

Phil Peters, a Cuba expert at the Virginia-based Lexington Institute, questioned whether the United States is concentrating on the post-Castro future at the expense of a changing present.

"The irony is that on the economic side the transition is already under way," he said. "The Cuban economy has been changing in significant ways, but we have chosen not to change our policy and seek to influence a transition that is taking place now."


[Fri 22 Feb, 15:39]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
1. Balanced diet

Troll that what you had for breakfast this


[Fri 22 Feb, 16:49]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
2. Sounds GrEAt to Me!

At last, the taxpayer's dollars are being spent on a worthwhile project. Cuba's democratic transition will be difficult, due to the soulcrushing weight of four decades of totalitarianism on the soul of the Cuban people. They will need assistance in making this difficult transition to a more open and proserous society.


[Fri 22 Feb, 20:47]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
3. Again

As I said this is BS Using our money to support
a few fools in Miami. How long will US Citizens support this crap?


[Fri 22 Feb, 20:59]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
4. Emergency Plans

In a disaster review it came out that Miami is braced with a scenario for Castro's death. Total closure of the port to prevent boats in either direction is anticipated. Since he will die at some point and a strong reaction is anticipated, all this sounds reasonable.


[Sat 23 Feb, 01:27]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
5. Future

Finaly the day will come, when the entire island can be setup as a sweat shop like all the other piss poor latin america countries!

Where a cuban can get about $1 a day in wages vs castros paltry .50 cents a day in wages.

And a 10 yr old child will finally have the freedom to work a 13 hour day for $1 to 2 dollars a day, instead of going to school! Then the child sweat shop worker will finally be able to live in a cardboard house without water or electricity, instead of those concrete houses, with thier soviet enginiered septic systems & low amperege electrical system.

The cardboard houses offer a great benifit, because as soon as it rains heavy, let alone a hurricane comes, the cardboard house simply washes away, then the sweatshop worker simply gets a box that the supplies come in that makes those "Air Jordans" or "Martha Stewarts", and builds a new cardboard house, and after a heavy rain, that nasty feces contaminated water they drink is refreshed!

Yes, the Cubans can't wait to live a sweatshop life!


[Sat 23 Feb, 04:59]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
6. Question to PP

Hey, dude, if conditions in the rest of South America are so terrible, then why are Cubans killing themselves to go "ABC" (Anywhere But Cuba?) A dollar a day sounds bad until you figure that earning that much would double the daily salary of the average Cuban.


[Sat 23 Feb, 08:10]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
7. NUMBER 6 ........

THE GUY THAT POSTED # 6 says it all,,but if the qubes got a buck a day that would be 4 times more then the 25 cents us that most are getting now..BRING ON THE SWEAT SHOPS......Mybe I could manage one....


[Sat 23 Feb, 09:20]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
8. #6

why are Mexicans trying to get out ? Why are Indonesians showing up on Australias coast in numbers that make the number of Cubans attempting to leave, pale in comparison ?

If Cubans were treated like any other immigrant, there would be no Cuban boat people, imo.

#5 has pretty much got it right, unfortunately, imo.


[Sat 23 Feb, 09:55]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
9. Nonsense, Greslogo

Nobody was dying while trying to escape from Cuba before Castro took over, and after World War II Cuba had a higher standard of living than Italy or Spain. In fact, in the first half of the 20th century immigrants from Spain were pouring into the country in search of a more prosperous life. In the 1920s this was a major political issue, and the Cuban parliament passed legislation limiting the number of foreigners who could be employed by Cuban businesses. Needless to say, there is no need of such legislation today!


[Sat 23 Feb, 10:10]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
10. #9

Thats crap, maybe the brothel owners or the casino owners had a good standard of living pre 1959, maybe the people running the big plantations had it good, but I doubt the thousands of people outside the cities were enjoying life only working a few months every year for an absent landlord. The people who could not read or write, had no electricity, no clean water, never eaten meat or dairy produce, not so great for them.


[Sat 23 Feb, 10:24]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
11. Poster #9

Are you really so stupid? Have you ever heard of the Cuban Adjustment Act? This is why Cubans are trying to leave now. Cuba was a hellhole before Castro for most of the population but there was no place for them to go. How can you be so ignorant?


[Sat 23 Feb, 11:05]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
12. just like Granada

After 60 days of travelling through Cuba I can tell you that many of the older people have photos of life before. Yes, there was poverty, but isn't there still. Go to Vieja, go to the oriente away from the cities and into the small towns. Life wasn't all bad pre 1959. After all, didn't Batista spare Fidel's life after the botched attack on the Moncado Barracks in Santiago while executing more than 40 of Fidel's rebel companions.

Castro should be looking at funding studies for transition rather than having the US do it. After all, wasn't it the US that drafted the first constitution of Cuba after the Spaniards were defeated. Isn't this how they got Guantanamo Base? Structural change is needed in Cuba and if things get violent after Fidel's death don't you think the U.S. will come in and put an end to it militarily? Like they did in Granada.


[Sat 23 Feb, 13:10]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
13. #9 is Right

During my trip to the island I spoke with some old folks told me that anybody who had a job in pre-Castro Cuba, no matter how low paying the job was, lived better then than people in Cuba do today.


[Sat 23 Feb, 13:50]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
14. Communism vs Capitalism

Ya, I can't wait to go to Cuba when it's finally changed into another Puerto Rico. Where I can get my McDonald's and Starbucks and lots of advertising and expensive hotels . . .


[Sat 23 Feb, 16:42]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
15. Stepping up to PR's Level

The great majority of Cubans would be delighted to rise to the level of Puerto Rico. Not only would there be more and better-paying jobs, but those without employment coud rely on welfare to survive at a relatively comfortable level. And in PR you have a CHOICE, which Cubans do not have. You can eat at McDonald's in PR, buy you can also feast, at a low price, on traditional Puerto Rican food. Above all, a PR-style system in Cuba would mean FREEDOM. In PR's FREE elections, which accompany their FREE PRESS and FREE MARKET economy, people have democratic rights. About 5% of the Puerto Rican people want independence, which says a lot.


[Mon 25 Feb, 17:07]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
16. The OP lost me

An article repost from an unmentioned source doesnt sound strange, the US govt has allocated $100 MILLION DOLLARS to undermine Cuba, whats strange is only how slowly the CANF gets to spend it.

The Internet and "independent libraries" are MAJOR COMPONENTS of the USAID's Cuba Project, but other phony "oh, we'll represent Cuba, heheheh" organizations are sidling up to the gusano welfare trough now. They must be founding a new org every night at the Cafe Versailles, and consuming the US taxpayer spoils with wicked glee.

What's so surprising about that???


[Mon 25 Feb, 18:12]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
17. Death Watch

Without being ghoulish, the day will come. Regular radio progams wil go off the air and be replaced by somber music. International flights will be cancelled, and military and security forces will be placed on alert. Rumors will fly and telephone service will be suspended to and from the island. The new chief of state will pledge to continue and expand the revolution. Then what?

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