Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Bye Bye Castro

They tried everything for the past 49 years to topple Fidel Castro and the man who is loved and hated in equal measure, survived everything the USA threw at him to dictate his own time and place of leaving. The man has class even if he hasn't got a beard trimmer. Classic moment when George Bush urged the release of political prisoners being unfairly held in Cuba. What can i say? Not the sharpest knife in the drawer is he.
It is no mean feat that in the face of the USA's crippling embargo, to achieve an enviable national health system, one of the highest rates of literacy in the Western World and one of the lowest infant mortality rates is definitely a superb legacy.
On the opposite side of the coin, the long dictatorship bought a bankrupt country, an impoverished population, a terrible oppression system, a lack of civil rights and one political party led by one man which is not such a hot legacy.
The argument about whether he was a good or bad influence will obviously split down left right lines but already the western leaders are leaping in to nudge the country towards Democracy which gives me a great plan.
We need doctors and Cuba is swarming with them. They need politicians and we are falling over them here. Let’s do a swap!
Send us a few hundred medical staff to run the NHS and we will send you the Labour Party to guide you in how to run a Democracy.
Yes i was joking so you can stop laughing now.

32 comments:

ruth said...

And the financial markets loved this news:

The Herzfeld Caribbean Basin Fund, which aims to profit from the resumption of U.S. trade with Cuba, surged the most in its 13-year history after Fidel Castro resigned as the country's president and commander-in-chief.

I didn't know Cuba was swarming in doctors - we could do with a few here in NZ too.

annie said...

i never bought into what this country was selling, about the evil fidel or the country he led for so long. evil...? compared to what, says me.

The Fez Monkey said...

Damn. And I had a ton riding on ole Fidel hanging on til the 50th anniv of his revolution before stepping down.

But that's me ... a sentimentalist at heart.

Hasta la victoria siempre!

Ook ook

Jefe said...

Fidel ran a corrupt government in which those most loyal to him swam in seas of riches and lived well beyond the reach of the law, while any who dared to publicly (or privately to the wrong people) speak out against him could find themselves on the wrong side of the law quickly and painfully. Fidel had class? You mean he fostered a class-based society in which the haves had everything and the have-nots had nothing. Fidel was an intriguing figure, mo doubt, his mystique made all the more intriguing by the US' portrayal of him. But to hold him up on some sort of pedistal while vilifying GWB makes no sense at all. Reality is, those two have a he'll of a lot in common (except IQ, which Castro wins hands-down). I doubt you have many detectors from Cuba in GB, but we have many not only in the US, but in my state of Colorado. There's a reason they came here, and his name is Fidel. Matter of fact, many of them are watching developments very closely, because Fidel's stepping down means they may just be able to go back home. And I'd also means I may just be able to get a Cuban cigar right here in the States.

Jefe said...

All those misspellings and incorrect usages are because my iPhone's auto correct corrected incorrectly.

Cheezy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cheezy said...

I agree with much of what Jefe says about Castro... but still, old Fidel ran a much better government than that murdering, torturing piece of human garbage known as General Batista - who the USA got along with very nicely. Funny, that.

Castro wasn't perfect, but still... I'm definitely going to smoke a nice cohiba in his honour. Anyone who's survived that many assassination attempts must have something going for him!

Cheezy said...

"I didn't know Cuba was swarming in doctors"

The movie 'Sicko' highlights the very impressive state of the Cuban health service, as Michael Moore takes 9-11 relief workers (whose medicial insurers have let them down) to Havana to get treatment.

annie said...

that's a great scene, cheezy. corrupt, with excellent medical care. sounds like an improvement to me.

Jodie K said...

For Castro shits and giggles (yeah, you heard me) check out this awesomely-not-intended-to-be-but-funny-but-oh-it-is feature posted on cnn.com this morning.

My fave is the "Nair to the beard" attack.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/americas/02/19/castro.top10/index.html

Noah "Nog" M. said...

1) There's a saying going around (at least around where I'm from in Texas): "Why don't we just give the Iraqis our constitution? We aren't using it anymore."

We Americans could donate our unused constitution to the Cubans.


2) Horrible doctors and a bit of freedom is a better option than great doctors and lots of oppression. If I die at 50 because of the flaws in non-Cuban medical care I think I'll have lived better with plasma TVs, modern art (well maybe not modern art), indie rock, and McDonald's (maybe not McDonald's either) than any Cuban making it to 125 in miserable poverty.

Lucy said...

The last paragraph was supposed to be a biting social commentary on Castro's style of Government versus our version of Democracy and how we want to replace him with a leader in the style of what we have. Cuba has better schools and better health care than us and achieved it during a crippling embargo. We are rich and are not even in his league in these things.
Of course i went for the humourous last line and it sort of lost its message.

Cody Bones said...

Cheezy, Leaving aside for a moment the argument about whether the Cuban health system is superior or inferior to the U.S or NHS system (BTW, I think inferior, big shock, I know), I don't think quoting Michael Moore as a serious unbiased source works all that well in my world. But, than again, I do realize that I reside in a strange and colorful world with ponies and rainbows, and eternal optimism about the Chicago Cubs

David G said...

Castro watched nearly 10 American Presidents come and go but his major joy must've been the creation of the Guantanamo Bay Torture Centre.

Surely, despite all the criticism he received from the U.S., to have them build such a place on Cuban soil must rank as one of the world's greatest ironies and a huge monument to American hypocrisy!

annie said...

i found the following in a post by brad at "sadly,no" today. it sort of sums up what i think about the concept of nasty dictator. thanks for indulging me, lucy.

"Why is support for one nasty dictator considered the Worst Sin Ever and a Sure Sign of Super-Duper Mega Unseriousness, while praise for another nasty dictator gets you speaking gigs on the wingnut welfare college lecture circuit?"

Cheezy said...

"I don't think quoting Michael Moore as a serious unbiased source works all that well in my world."

Now, I never said for an instant that Michael Moore was 'unbiased' now, did I? All I did was refer Ruth to a recent movie that shows the reason why Cuba is 'swarming with doctors'. Whatever you think of MM or his movies, these scenes show that.

And nor did I make any qualitative comparison between the health systems of Cuba or the US or the UK. I didn't mention a thing about any of them.

This issue is a complex one, and would demand a much more comprehensive answer than (a) I have time to give, or (b) Rudi Guiliani is capable of giving without telling lies... :)

All I said was that the Cuban health service was 'impressive', which, when you consider the relative impoverishment of this nation, it is. To me anyway. Not many countries of Cuba's ilk are able to offer free, comprehensive health care to all its citizens, or are able to export health care services around the world, sending doctors to countries throughout Latin America and Africa, provide medical support after the 2005 earthquake in Kashmir, or are able to offer assistance to the US after Hurricane Katrina (which was obviously turned down, but it was offered anyway)...etc, etc.

Right, I'll put my Zippo away now :)

Anyway, this is funniest thing I've read about Castro's departure so far:

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/mark-steel/mark-steel-so-farewell-fidel-ndash-but-please-dont-give-a-speech-784363.html

Anonymous said...

Michael Moore makes money off of people that feel oppressed by telling them it is not their fault - he is an ass.

Castro is a bigger ass. He threw out ALL law (he didn't just interpret it creatively or manipulate it) and a lot of bodies and used force to impose his way of life on the people that he led. He provided them with "just enough" to keep them from doing what he did - coup.

Also, using an undercurrent of the logic prevailing here, we could say:

- we learned a lot about the human anatomy from Hitler thanks to all of the experiments he had conducted on the Jews so he wasn't all bad - his dog liked him too

- we learned a lot about economics from the oppression imposed by Stalin et al so they weren't all bad - their dogs liked them too

- we learned a lot about how to run an autocratic goverment at Tiananman Square so Xiaoping wasn't all bad - his persian cat like him too

Q

Cheezy said...

Funny, I was just thinking that what this thread really needed, and was conspicuously missing up until now, was a gratuitous Hitler reference!

Lucy said...

Not just Hitler but Stalin and Xiaping also.
Tyrants are like buses, you wait ages for one and then three come along at once.

Anonymous said...

Four. Castro was a tyrant too.

Q

Cheezy said...

"Michael Moore.... etc, etc... he is an ass. Castro is a bigger ass."

Well, Fidel is usually facing the camera so it's hard to tell for certain, but I'd put money on Michael Moore having a much bigger ass.

Jefe said...

Moore's ass is so big, he couldn't even hide it in Castro's beard.

Anonymous said...

Lucy,

Tell the truth... you didn't know Xiaoping's name did you? You had to look it up right?

Q

Lucy said...

Xiaoping will be forever linked in my mind with that young student stood infront of the Chinese tank at Tiannaman Square.
So yes, i would imagine most people know who he was although i did wonder why you didnt go with the more obvious choice of Mao instead.

Anonymous said...

Lucy,

I was trying to impress you and your readers... guess I wasted that.

I'm impressed by your database in this case. What were you at the time... 8 or 9 years old?

Q

Cheezy said...

Who thinks this 'Anonymous' person is trying to be a wanker? And who thinks it's just coming naturally? Show of hands?

Yeah, um, 'Q'... Y'see, it's quite possible to know about stuff that happened when you were young, or even - get this - before you were born. Some of this stuff has been written down, y'know, in books and stuff. Serious.

Run along now.

Cody Bones said...

Um, I'm more worried about Daniel's new identity, it does seem a little creepy.

Lucy said...

Q - Tiannaman Square was in 1989 and i was born in 1969. I was wearing lace up shoes and everything by then.

Anonymous said...

Cheezy,

How would you know? Did someone tell you?

Q

Cheezy said...

biff! kapow! boff! eee-yow! ooooff! zowie! thunk!

Keep Life Simple said...

Cheezy,

Ok. I apologize. My note was mean spirited. I like your use of humor. You win.

For the record... In the colonies we often joke with women by implying that they are much younger (and frequently, much lighter) than they really appear.

I was just joking (at least trying to) with her when I asked if she was 8 or 9 at the time of Tiannaman square. I wasn't trying to say that a person has to be present or alive for an event to know about it or understand it.

Frankly, she is the only person that I know of that knows the name Xiaoping - including me. I wikied it!!!

Q

PS - Texans say "never take a knife to a gun fight." Bang. You didn't get to finish the Biff!

Keep Life Simple said...

Cheezy,

PSS - there are some disadvantages to learning things by reading about them. I have never known of or heard of a person that learned how to ride a bike by reading. They all had to get on the bike - many times...

Q