Wednesday, February 27, 2008

One more cigar.

I listened to a live speech by Fidel Castro once (don't ask), and even though I didn't understand a word he was saying, I found myself cheering my ass off. The guy was that charismatic.

Now, after almost fifty years in power, Fidel has turned over the keys to his brother Raul. Yes folks, Fidel has outlived nine (count em) nine U.S. Presidents, countless assassination attempts, and a long standing U.S. trade embargo. Sadly, the last time I checked his little Communist outpost was still at our back door. It is still the only such government in the Western Hemisphere.

When the fake ass cowboy told the Russian leader to tear down "that wall" in East Berlin, he should have been focusing some of his commie fighting skills on that beautiful island to the South of us as well. But no such luck. Like other U.S. Presidents before him-- starting with JFK---and all the presidents who have come since, Cuba, for the sake of political expediency, became a political pariah, and the land that A-merry-ca's leaders forgot. Hey, gotta get that Florida vote. We have to pander to those Cuban Americans down there, forget the fact that we have lost sight of the bigger picture over and over again.

The irony is that we created this monster. For years, pre Fidel, our businesses controlled Cuba's economy, and we supported the corrupt and brutal Fulgencio Batista. Enter the man with the beard and great hand rolled cigars to stage a revolt and take power. Things have not been the same since. Fidel ruled with an iron fist, and democracy took a back seat.

Now I know that there are many Cuban A-merry-cans in South Florida who would kill Fidel themselves if they were given a chance. And their beef might be legitimate. Hell, if the Jamaican government were to take my families land I would be pissed off too. But sorry, this isn't about them. This is about a country of millions of people who would be so much better off if that silly ass trade embargo was lifted. Normalized relations with our Cuban brothers and sisters would be so nice.

Unfortunately, I just read where Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte said this: " I can't imagine that [improved relations with Cuba] happening anytime soon".

Oh well, looks like I will have to just keep paying a little more for those Cuban cigars.


Christopher Chambers said...

First off, leave Buckley alone. This m-f was a bona fide public intellectual: he had a decent, informative talk show back in the day and had amazing debates with prominent liberals. He was an accomplished author and analyst. My point: bad as he was, he is to the current crop of right wing bloggers, pundits, authors, talk show hosts as we humans are to capuchin monkeys. Yeah we're both primates, but...
So Field, I've studied the bastard, I miss the bastard.

As for Fidel, is it me or are these fools like the big businessmen in Miami and their wingnut allies crazy--they really think they can just turn back the clock to 1959. And what--bring back United Fruit Co. fronting Batista and backing "Michael Corleone" and "Hyman Roth" in the casinos, like in Godfather II? Bring back the skin color politics and Desi Arnez? Plunge 70% of the citizens back to illiteracy, zero health care? Come on.

The Embargo's done nada except make this dickheads happy and preserved a market for McGuyered '57 Chevies and Buicks in Havana. Yes, lift the Embargo (like every other dang nation has) and bring these folks in slowly. Otherwise when Raoul croaks, Cuba will be the ugly robber baron economy that the former Sovit Union and China became. Even McCain sees that.

One consequence of change in Cuba: Jamaica's fucked unless your Yardie homeboys & girls stop smoking dope, having 50 kids out of wedlock up in the country, stop killing each other with machetes and AKs and clean up their act, re-plant the damn island with trees, make the resorts safe. Otherwise Cuba's gain is Jamaica's loss.

--Bushaman Coolie aka Prof Christopher Chambers

A.F. said...

The embargo on Cuba is a supremely stupid and accomplishes nothing. I also have to remember that, post-Katrina, there was Castro, offering his well-trained doctors and his hurricane supplies, a couple hundred miles miles away? And Bush turned him down even though he couldn't get the job done himeself. One can call that a publicity stunt on Castro's part, but so what...more people may have lived.

kid said...

Hey Field its starrting to happen. Go to black agenda report and see the hate for Obama. I'm talking Karl Rove hate. If you hyperlikk to sugar and go to her site she has the gay Obama shit up. She also says that if Obama wins, she will vote for McPain. Sounds like a real democrat to you right. While at BAR they're doing the throw Farrakhan under the bus analogy. Who kept questioning him to repudiate Farrakhan,Hillary? Another point Hillarys' Ohio campaign director did do stuff withh the NOI. The republicans in Ohio also. During Bush's 2nd Ohio campaign National RNC officials reached out to the NOI because of "Family Value" issues;gay unions. Yes, the republicans reached out to Farrakhan.

Christopher said...

I'm glad to see Castro go and I hope his departure means change will take place on this island nation.

For nearly fifty years, Cuban gays, political dissenters and artists were persecuted by Castro.

Let's hope Raul is a better shake.

Anonymous said...

Segregation ended in Cuba before segregation ended in the U.S.

Castro's revolution was originally an Afro-Cuban revolution. This is the reason that the U.S. originally supported Castro.

The Black maroons of Oriente province initiated the Cuban War of Independence from Spain. The U.S. intervened and took Cuban from Spain.

Hmmm, if a Negroe and be President of the U.S., can a Negroe now be in charge in Cuba?

field negro said...

Thanks for the History lesson prof.Chambers AKA coolie mon :)
Sorry, I know Buckley was a sharp guy, but I can't get over some of his issues.

a.f., co-sign with you 100%.

kid, I am checking out that link to black agenda now.

nsangoma, I swear you just love to rile up folks. Although you are right about the origins of the Cuban revolution.

Christopher said...

Is Sen. John McCain of Arizona eligible to run for U.S. president?

McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee was born in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936 and therefore doesn’t meet the Constitutional requirement of “natural-born citizen” be elected to the highest office in the land.

The words, “natural-born citizen” were written in 1787. To date, no American to take the presidential oath has had an official birthplace outside the 50 states. McCain was born on a military installation in the Canal Zone, where his mother and father, a navy officer, were stationed. His campaign advisers say they are comfortable that McCain meets the requirement and note that the question was researched for his first presidential bid in 1999 and reviewed again this time around.

McCain’s campaign recently asked Theodore Olson, a former solicitor general now advising McCain, to prepare a detailed legal analysis. “I don’t have much doubt about it,” said Olson, who added, though, that he still needed to finish his research.

La♥audiobooks said...

Field, I always understood many black Cubans were once denied equal opportunities in Cuba due to severe racism and classism issues. Black Cubans were mostly the ones being servants, living in poverty and not owning hardly anything, especially around that very time.

One of Fidel’s palns were to take the land and resources to “spread among everyone”. So it’s interesting even back then you heard mostly “whiter” professional Cubans and white “outsiders” that complained about the "unfairness" and evil Fidel. That's just another angle to look at it from a black outsider's perspective.

Perhaps I’ve always stayed impartial towards Fidel knowing that little tidbit on Cuba’s also nasty racist history. There is many sides to a story I guess.

Anonymous said...


I think the documentary on Castro was good as it explored the complexiities of Fidel Castro. You are right Castro is a very charismatic person. The man would speak for hours and not repeat himself and that's a difficult feat within itself. However, aren't all people in the power egoists, some are just better than others?

I do believe that the people in Cuba are tired of having one person in power for so many years, and the embargos should be lifted. I also believe, that Castro is not completely out of the picture and still has some influence over his brother Raul. However, in any dictorship, it will be the people who will ulimately raise up and get rid the person. Look at what happened the Czech dictor, the people hanged him.

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

That embargo was silly and a 50 year old experiment that achieved nothing, but to place this country in a position to deny aid to Katrina victims when Cuba came calling to help out.

You know what's pissing off America? Five POTUS tried to off Castro and couldn't kill him; he's going out under his own power, and that makes this government sick to death.

And the gates of Hell just opened it's gates to welcome William Buckley. The best thing his spawn did was give us that movie, "Thank You for Smoking" which was actually a good movie.

Christopher Chambers said...

I thought the Juno dude directed Thank You for Smoking?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but Christopher Buckley wrote the book (according to IMDB).

rikyrah said...

They've found OIL in Cuba.

Erego, the next President of the United States WILL be lifting that embargo.

I always respected Fidel.

His country has a 99% literacy rate. The Black folk down there were treated worse than dirt before Castro. And, if you've ever been to Miami, you understand exactly what I mean.

rikyrah said...

Is Sen. John McCain of Arizona eligible to run for U.S. president?

McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee was born in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936 and therefore doesn’t meet the Constitutional requirement of “natural-born citizen” be elected to the highest office in the land.


I thought all you had to be is to be born to one American parent to be an American citizen, if you're outside of the country.

Young woman on a journey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Young woman on a journey said... are right. you only need one parent to be an Americna citizen. But being born in these here 50 states is a requisite for eligibility to be president.

About the being pissed at land being taken away, that's understandable. Waiting for the opportunity to re-institute sytems of oppression, repression, and disenfranchisement based on class and color...unacceptable. As you can tell, I care very very little for those Cubans in Miami.

Fidel can't be called good at any measure, not morally anyway. But it is easy to admire what he stood for: revolution, an alternative to a materialistic driven society, an unwillingness to sacrifice principle for poorly made goods, resistance to being a puppet, etc.

But on another note, our critism of him rests on the principle that democracy is at the top of a heirarchy of systems of governance,and...that we indeed reside in a true democracy.

Lola Gets said...

Castro, like other politicians (and people) has his good qualities and his bad qualities. Yes, the legacy of slavery disenfranchised darker skinned people in Cuba and Castros revolution remidied that (somewhat), and yes, Cuba has free education and health care (hell, they even allow American medical studets to attend their schools for free!), but hes not perfect. I would LOVE to see the US ease restrictions on Cuba and for Cuba to move...slowly...into the 21st century. I think they have a lot to offer the world.

I learned a lot about Cuba (and Haiti as well) by studying the life and work of Katherine Dunham. Id recommend anyone to check her out, Im sure youll find her facinating!


Anonymous said...

some people on this board have mentioned racism at the hands of white Cubans in Miami, and I also have no sympathy for the assholes. While on a trip to Orlando,Florida, I experience racism first hand in being ignored at restaurants. And I'll be dancing on Buckley's grave.

Anonymous said...


I finally had the opportunity to listen to News and Notes. An interesting conversation, but Erica needs to more editing in mind when speaking as she tends to repeat herself. Or perhaps, she did not know what else to say. Who knows.

Chris said...

OT: Enjoyed your words on News and Notes as well

Anonymous said...

I am from South Florida, the Cuban AmeriKKkans, cant wait for things to "Change"so they can they can return and show the people the real meaning of OPPRESSION, OPPS I mean Democracy.

Anonymous said...

White Supremicist do support Barack Obama!! :-O

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

They've found OIL in Cuba.

Whoops, There It Is; Whoop, There It is!!!

You know we weren't gon' be making goo goo eyes at Cuba or any other country unless they have some resource America wants.

Ask South Africa, Venezuela, the Middle East and anywhere else where there's natural resources that would make one filthy rich.

Not surprised at all. Only if Raul allows himself to be sweet-talked into cozying up with the U.S., I'm wondering if Fidel will come out of retirement and wax that SOB...

burpster said...

Viva Fidel. We canucks wanna keep Cuba as our holiday destination. America would only bring cheesy hotels and high prizes.

America doesn't need Cuban oil, they already have Canadian oil.

burpster said...

Make that prices. ooops!

field negro said...

Yes elle, South Florida can be a bitch for the brothers :) dragon horse, a closer look at the Cuban A-merry-cans please.

Thanks Chris. What time was that on in this area?

Oil in Cuba? No shit!

Anonymous said...

Cubans in Miami have not forgiven Kennedy and the Democrats for the fiasco of the Bay of Pigs. It is the very reason why they have become ardent Republicans.

Their dream now is to return to Cuba after Castro's death and turn it into a Switzerland. I feel sorry for them.Any invasion against Cuba will be met by Cubans on the island ready to defend their fatherland.

Patriotism and pride are serious issues there.Also, many Latin Americans support the people in Cuba. Latinos from across the region travel to Cuba for free and expert medical assistance.

I admire Fidel Castro and Che Guevara for their guts. They both represent real manhood in Latin America.Raul Castro will continue with the goals of the Revolution, perhaps with slight changes.

As for Fidel Castro, his famous line is: "La Historia me absolverá."(History will absolve me).I agree with him.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I just read where Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte said this: " I can't imagine that [improved relations with Cuba] happening anytime soon".

Negreponte is the same bastard who was Reagan's Ambassador to El Salvador... the same bastard who accused the nuns who were in El Salvador, (who were critical of the gov.) who were raped, murdered and left in a ditch, of running a check point and being arms dealers.... the same bastard who excused the assasination of Bishop Oscar Romero after he began speaking our against the gov of El Salvador.....

Oh yeah, this just reminds me we cant get these evil fuckers out of the white house fast enough!

Anonymous said...

You all think about it? How many Afro-Cubans have you heard bad talking Castro.

Anonymous said...

Hey field had to get in on this wish I had seen it earlier. As you know I am in South Florida and you are right it is tought on the poor brothers. We have some unique problems as well brought on by the failure of all of us blacks to see one another as brothers and sisters struggling against the same enemy. Field you know of what I speak, the Carribean and African American thing is killing us.

But I digress. The Cuban revolution is a thorn in the side of US imperialism. Just think a little poor island 90 miles away has managed to educate its population and provide at least basic health care and feed its folks and survive. It's made racism unpopular, though some of those attitudes still exist and black Cubans still suffer from the residue of deep seated caste and racial divisions.

But the revolution is still young. And for those who buy into the idea that Castro is running Cuba, the truth is that he is actually elected and the representatives of the communist party are actually elected on a local level in an amazingly democratic process.

Chris you are right they have made lots of mistakes but given what they had to work with and this does not excuse the deep seated homophobia that reigns, they have done a hell of a job.

The US gov't tries cynically to make its citizens believe Cubans are running from oppression when in reality they are coming to the US for the same reasons as Jamaicans, Bahamians and Mexicans and that is economic prosperity. And even the reason Cubans take to boats to come to the US is a lie. The US officially allows only a set amount of Cubans to officially emigrate every year and since that number is small some Cubans resort to illegal methods. These guys running this government are good aren't they.

Speaking of subterfuge, the Cubans are treated to what's called the wet foot dry foot policy which I call the "black foot, white foot policy in which a Cuban that touches American soil gets to stay while a Haitian running from genuine oppression is sent back.

Craig Russel said...

Definitely Castro posess that stature and confidence to rule a country whether it may democratically or as a dictator.As per my perception he is a very determined person and his never say die attitutde brought him to power and he did it successfully for almost 50 years.Even if he showed his supremacy over some major powers of the world.Trade embargo by US didin't deter him to leave his ideas.Definitely a lot of people is being affected by the embargo.But what to do Castro is Castro.Nobody can suggest him.I feel he really enjoys having some Cuban Cigars.

Spencer Lee said...

if someone has ruled over 50 years then you can say that he has some qualities or his subject are just fool. i think they are not such fool because i am great fan of cuban cigars. and if they are fool than the cigars might have vanished from the face of earth years ago..