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Is Cuba now an Absolute Monarchy State?

Discussion in 'world politics, current affairs and news' started by sonny61, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. Idris2002

    Idris2002 aww, man

    'If you don't like the Tsar and you don't like Napoleon, who do you think should be running the country?'
     
  2. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet ammonia snooker balls

    I just don't see the problem anyone would have in saying that Cuba has, relatively, an exceptional healthcare system, and one which stands up pretty well on a global scale. It doesn't mean that it can't also have an authoritarian dictatorial government.
     
  3. Azrael

    Azrael circling Airstrip One

    Kindly apologise for that needless abuse. I was asking a hypothetical question, not defending South Africa.
    But they're not parsed: one affects the other. That's the whole point.

    As for defining property and money as a tyranny, that's a whole other thread.
     
  4. Idris2002

    Idris2002 aww, man

    Go perform the reproductive imperative.
     
  5. Azrael

    Azrael circling Airstrip One

    If it was true I wouldn't have any problem with it. My point is mainly that we can't know for sure until Cuba is an open society, and in the meantime, what we do know -- zero patient rights, for one -- are not compatible with an "exceptional" healthcare system, relatively or otherwise.
     
  6. Azrael

    Azrael circling Airstrip One

    Take five minutes and cool off. :rolleyes:
     
  7. JimW

    JimW 支那暗杀团

    I'm sure it does, but not to the extent that the healthcare system isn't excellent, which you seem bizarrely keen to deny in the face of all accounts.

    How so? The Castro regime may have failed and sinned in many ways, but they never allowed the drug lords and corrupt business barons to reduce Cuba to the horror seen among its neighbours, because they did away with the property and money relations that elsewhere in the region see the visceral tyranny of the stillborn child, midnight death squad visits, machete mobs, shallow hillside graves and the rest.
     
  8. Jeff Robinson

    Jeff Robinson Well-Known Member

    Cuba is a single party dictatorship but it’s hardly a “tyranny” i.e. cruel and arbitrary regime. If you want tyranny look to the old Latin American military dictatorships that tortured street children to death, wiped out entire villages, strapped electrodes to prisoners’ genitals and lined up thousands of dissidents to be shot in football stadiums. Many of the hollow “democratic” regimes that replaced these Police States still allow millions of impoverished people to fester in overcrowded slums without adequate sanitation, shelter, nutrition or healthcare whilst a tiny clique of self selecting oligarchs live in obscene opulence – that’s as much tyranny as anything else.

    Cuba, by contrast, is relatively benign. There doesn’t appear to be much evidence of widespread torture, discrimination against minorities or outrages against human dignity and the meagre resources of the island are utilised to prevent the unnecessary suffering of the poor. There’s certainly a lot to be desired in the field of civil and political rights but those shortcomings can’t be divorced from the context of a 50 year campaign of military, political and economic terrorism by the world’s leading superpower. Britain suspended most civil liberties during WWII as well but it wasn’t exactly a tyranny was it?
     
  9. Bernie Gunther

    Bernie Gunther Fundamentalist Druid

    Azrael, are you actually claiming that stuff like the infant mortality statistics are deliberately faked and are really nowhere near the figures claimed by the UN (or even the CIA world factbook) ?
     
  10. Jeff Robinson

    Jeff Robinson Well-Known Member

    Cuba does have the death penalty though - which is absolutely disgusting and unjustified in all circumstances. Right Azrael? ;)
     
  11. Azrael

    Azrael circling Airstrip One

    It's "bizarre" to say a healthcare system isn't excellent if the patient has no rights? And as the two links I posted up show, it isn't "all accounts". In fact, I've yet to see anyone explain how the quality of healthcare can be properly measured in a dictatorship. There's just repeated claims that it's a consensus, which proves nothing.
    Those things are not an inevitable consequence of money and property, but of weak states, uncontrolled business and meddling from various other governments, doubtless including the USA.
     
  12. Bernie Gunther

    Bernie Gunther Fundamentalist Druid

    I think you're talking nonsense Azrael.

    Even the CIA accepts in their published documents that Cuba has a better infant mortality rate than the US.

    I strongly suspect that you're just using your dislike of their politics as a feeble excuse for questioning their very real achievements.
     
  13. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Sailing to Byzantium

    http://www.socialmedicine.org/2008/...social-medicine/the-cuban-health-care-system/
    http://archive.student.bmj.com/search/pdf/03/05/sbmj162.pdf
    http://www.amro.who.int/english/sha/prflcub.htm


    but i'd draw your attention to http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/86/5/08-030508/en/index.html
     
  14. JimW

    JimW 支那暗杀团

    Yes, it is. Demographic and burden of disease statistics, prevalence of epidemic and chronic conditions etc, nutritional levels - all measurable, all good. Perhaps some authoritative global body collates those? Hmm, I wonder...
    http://www.paho.org/English/DD/AIS/cp_192.htm
    I've not even checked the source for this paper you're quoting - where's that link again?
     
  15. Azrael

    Azrael circling Airstrip One

    Nothing so ambitious. I'm saying we can't rely on anything from the Cuban government, and asked people to give details of how independent statistics are gathered.
    Tell that to the refugees, the political prisoners (all of whom are charged with something else, Cuba not having any political prisoners according to Mr Castro) or dissidents sent to the locked ward. Again we have "there's worse". I agree entirely that democratic regimes that let people rot in foul conditions are wrong, although at least they don't shoot people who try to change it (and if they do, they're not democracies).

    I agree entirely that Cuba's death penalty is unjustified and disgusting, as it takes place without due process, jury trial and appeal. As you obviously know I support it in circumstances where those things are present.
     
  16. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet ammonia snooker balls

    Your argument that Cuba doesn't have a great healthcare system seems to rest on the idea that all of these independent studies, WHO statistics, CIA Factbook reports etc can't be trusted because Cuba has an authoritarian government, and that even if they're right it doesn't matter because it has an authoritarian government.

    If you are going to take that sort of... holistic approach to things then I suppose the weather in Cuba must be crap, because we can't trust any weather reports which might have been interefered with by the Cuban government, and also even if the weather was really good, having the secret police also enjoy it means that it is is clearly not compatible with "exceptional" weather.
     
  17. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Sailing to Byzantium

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloody_Sunday_(1972)
     
  18. JimW

    JimW 支那暗杀团

    Yes they do, it's been the salient feature of Latin American politics throughout the decades Cuba has been under castro - and that's the kind of "democracy" that was the serious alternative - you can't just wish it away. Which you would apparently have preferred. The Mothers of the Plaza De mayo, the trade unionist dragged out his house at night and shot in front of the kids.
     
  19. JimW

    JimW 支那暗杀团

    Azrael's vision for Free Cuba:
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Azrael

    Azrael circling Airstrip One

    Here you go. I'm claiming no great authority for it, having pulled it up off Google. Raises some interesting questions I've not seen anyone deny, however.
    If it somehow benefited the Cuban government to doctor weather reports, I'd be equally suspicious of them, although so far as I know, in this age of weather satelites and the like metrological reports don't rely on info from Havana. Would you argue that we should rely on stats from the Cuban government, if they do indeed come from them?

    Mostly I've argued that we can't know for sure about Cuba's healthcare system, although if it denies patients basic medical rights, I don't see how it can be called "great", "excellent", or any other phrase of that sort. This is a lot more modest than asserting that it's a worldbeater, based on statistics I've yet to see anyone explain the providence of.
    I'd suggest it's no less feeble to accept statistics presented by a dictatorship at face value, if that's what's occurring. If it isn't, I ask again how independent statistics are gathered in a dictatorship, and where they are.

    This must be the first time that the CIA has been cited as an authority on Urban. :D
     
  21. Azrael

    Azrael circling Airstrip One

    Ah, straw man time. I strongly suspect that it's a false choice between Marxist dictatorship and junta, but if that's the only choice available, I'm not arguing that the junta is better. Since Cuba's not tried a genuine democracy in recent decades, I don't see how you know for sure.
     
  22. JimW

    JimW 支那暗杀团

    Well the first thing I see in the intro is that this woman who's produced what will apparently be a hostile report spent nine months in country with full access to the health system - yet you think everyone else has faked it based on lies? Read your own sources much?
     
  23. Bernie Gunther

    Bernie Gunther Fundamentalist Druid

    Well, it's not so much that I'm citing the CIA as an authority, as using the fact that they publish statistics showing that Cuba has a better infant mortality rate than the US to illustrate the absurdity of your argument.

    Do you really believe that if there was the slightest suggestion that any of those figures were dodgy, they wouldn't have jumped all over it sometime over the last several decades as a propaganda talking point?
     
  24. JimW

    JimW 支那暗杀团

    Of course I don't know for sure and don't think it's the only choice - but you're criticising Cuba for not being a democracy in Latin America when these were what "democracies" in Latin America entailed. Doesn't excuse their crimes, puts them into perspective.
     
  25. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Sailing to Byzantium

    define your term "genuine democracy"
     
  26. Azrael

    Azrael circling Airstrip One

    Sure have:-

    "Conducting qualitative ethnographic research in Cuba is not easy. North American anthropologists have historically been viewed with suspicion by the Cuban government, and in some cases research permission has been revoked for individuals who took a critical perspective or inadvertently broached the issue of political dissent. In my own case, the overwhelmingly positive portrayal of Cuba in the medical anthropology and public health literature meant that I arrived on the island with very favorable expectations. I never anticipated my research would evolve into a critique."

    So the author obviously didn't tell Havana she intended to write a negative report, and presumably she was discrete while she was there. How does this invalidate questions about the reliability of statistics collected by the Cuban government?
     
  27. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Sailing to Byzantium

    i'm by no means sure you've gathered the difference between "qualitative" and "quantitative".
     
  28. JimW

    JimW 支那暗杀团

    So skimming on, she's found the system to be somewhat corrupt and under-resourced and intrusive and beholden to an ideology other than the "Western" values she prefers. She offers little in the way of the kind of statistical evidence you were after earlier - it's an ethnography with all the subjectivity that implies- but she's certainly identified a series of problems I can well believe exist. Authoritarian bureaucracies are miserable and anti-human. But this one does deliver excellent health care outcomes, albeit apparently often in a shitty way to be expected in such a regime. Doesn't affect the points made above.
     
  29. JHE

    JHE Horrified to have made 10,000 posts

    This is a good example of the sort of playing down of the illiberal features of Cuba that I mentioned earlier.

    No political pluralism, no freedom of expression, association, assembly. Party dictatorship, opponents of the government locked up (if they don't escape into exile). No freedom to travel abroad...

    Here we are enjoying the freedom to say whatever we like about politics (more or less) and I will do the same later in the pub without fear of arrest. Have you noticed you don't meet Cubans (except exiles) on message boards?

    You would be screaming blue murder if it were a capitalist country.

    And, no, "these shortcomings" are NOT just tied up with the US embargo of Cuba. They have been features of ALL Marxist-Leninist regimes.

    There are a few reasons why I believe the young in Cuba will get rid of the CP dictatorship once they get a chance, but lack of elementary freedoms is one of them.
     
  30. JimW

    JimW 支那暗杀团

    It should confirm to you that the kind of public health professionals I described having met above will indeed have enjoyed good access to the health system over which they cast their expert eye before writing their accounts, backed up by statistical data. But no doubt the WHO and liberal NGOs are infiltrated by crypto-communists.
     

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