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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. Azrael

    Azrael circling Airstrip One

    But in what conceivable system wouldn't it carry extra-legal penalties? Even if police were banned from using cameras and attending demos, and every arrest required probable grounds and a warrant, they'd be abuses. No system can erase the evil in the human heart.

    This is why I suspect the whole "it's only a matter of degree" argument is a red herring, designed to excuse Cuba, not improve our own nation. What other purpose does it have?
  2. Azrael

    Azrael circling Airstrip One

    And even if it is only a matter of degree, if our system causes less suffering, and allows more freedom, it's surely superior to Cuba's in utilitarian terms?
  3. Lo Siento.

    Lo Siento. Second As Farce

    obviously, you'd rather be a citizen of the United Kingdom than Cuba. But I would imagine, for the people who are supportive to any degree toward the Castro regime, the question is more whether they'd rather live in a democratic capitalist Cuba or in Socialist Cuba. The development since the 1960s of similar countries would probably lead most people to prefer the second option. How about you?
  4. ymu

    ymu Niall Ferguson's deep-cover sock-puppet

    Fuck's sake Azrael. You think TSG and FIT and the wannabes would behave the way they do if there were any actual consequences for them of their wrongdoing? Most people were shocked by police behaviour at G20 but protesters were just shocked that the media were reporting it this time - that kind of behaviour is routine. And equally routine is the IPCC's failure to investigate these sorts of incidents (unless a media storm forces their hand). That's why it took 4 years for the women who were assaulted in the case quoted by Bernie above to get justice; the IPCC dismissed their claim. Just because you're not seeing it, does not mean it isn't happening.

    No, it's not as bad here - but it is only a matter of degree, and we're rapidly heading in the wrong direction.
    If Iraq had been a more credible war, they'd still be getting away with this (and pretty much still are) plus much much more. If the UK were under as much pressure from hostile forces as Cuba has been for 50 years, you think we'd be freer than Cubans are now? Honestly?

    There are parts of the UK, one of the richest countries in the world, that are considered by the UN to have "third world" levels of poverty. There is more than 20 years difference in life expectancy between the richest and poorest areas. 20% of children are living in poverty. Is that the price of political "freedom"? If so, when did we vote for extreme economic inequality? And when will we get a chance to vote against it?

    LLETSA We've all had enough. Banned Banned

    We're talking about Cuba as it is now, not Hungary or Czechoslovakia in 1948.

    Totalitarianism word so overused that it's useless. And never accurate in the first place

    LLETSA We've all had enough. Banned Banned

    I wasn't talking about Cuba in particular. What I was on about was the asininity of routine journalistic mentions of 'crumbling Stalinist towerblocks,' as if similar don't exist in the West. Even at the height of the Soviet collapse I visited apartment blocks that were in better shape than the flats where I lived in Manchester at the time.

    Having a stern concierge on the door helps, although they didn't have the same level of adolescent scumbaggery to deal with that we do.

    LLETSA We've all had enough. Banned Banned

    Not what I said. The only thing that matters under the circumstances we're talking about (a revolution going on) is that normal judicial procedures don't usually apply. That may be unfortunate, but it's a fact. Had the counter revolution got the upper-hand, normal justice (which previous Cuban regimes had never been that big on) would have been equally absent.

    LLETSA We've all had enough. Banned Banned

    Do you have any evidence of this, because it doiesn't seem to tally with many accounts of Cubans openly expressing their dissent to foreign journalists? Cuba is not Stalin-period USSR, and Castro isn't Stalin.
  9. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus one of Maxwell's demons

    First-hand experience. I lived there for a year. Castro isn't Stalin, but Cuba is not free.

    Edit: I lived there in 1996-97. A while ago now, but things haven't changed all that much (apart from having to wait for Castro to finish speaking before you can watch the baseball).
  10. LLETSA

    LLETSA We've all had enough. Banned Banned

    In every respect or just some?

    I haven't been to Cuba, but to my eyes and talking to people in the USSR and some of the other Communist-ruled countries, everyday life seemed pretty similar to life in the West in most respects.
  11. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus one of Maxwell's demons

    Yes, it is. Everyday life goes along and the normal petty concerns, gripes and pleasures are the same. It isn't free in the sense that there is not freedom of expression. The kind of freedom I'm talking about is one that many of those who live in relatively free countries rarely exercise and would miss little if it were taken away – miss little until they or their own are the victim of injustice, that is.
  12. Azrael

    Azrael circling Airstrip One

    I suspect this is a false choice, but even if it isn't, I'm not going to be pushed into supporting one evil by the possibility of another.
    Depends on the type of wrongdoing. I doubt very much that our police would get away with the sort of torture seen in police states on a routine basis. Bad as it might be, being held for a few days on trumped-up charges simply isn't in the same league. Take one look at the groaning code of mistrust that is PACE to see a real-world consequence of police malpractice. No police state would have anything of the kind.

    This "matter of degree" supposes that we have the same type of abuses as Cuba, but in a lesser form. I suggest being at the mercy of an all-powerful state and suffering abuses from a limited state are not the same thing at all.

    As for when we can vote about economic equality, you get the chance every time a socialist party stands at election and is defeated.
    People aren't scared of being informed on in Cuba? And what word would you prefer?
    Given Cuba's lawless courts in the decades after the revolution, I doubt exigent circumstances are to blame. And as I said before, Guevara was acting as he did because of an emergency, he wouldn't have casually attacked the concept of due process.
  13. LLETSA

    LLETSA We've all had enough. Banned Banned

    I didn't say Cubans weren't afraid of being informed on. I said-or at least implied-that there's a difference between the punishment of dissent in Cuba now and in eastern Europe in the period of high Stalinism, both in terms of scale and of severity.

    Apart from that, we have no way of knowing how many Cubans live in fear of being informed on. I doubt if it's even an issue for most of them, except, perhaps, in the abstract sense. As I said before, one way of assessing the level of discontent in Cuba is to compare it to countries where there is frequent violent upheaval despite far harsher repression.
  14. LLETSA

    LLETSA We've all had enough. Banned Banned

    What we've usually seen after socialist revolution (and other types of revolution) is the institutionalisation of the emergency measures taken to defend the revolution. I never tried to claim that this isn't a problem. However, it does not necessarily imply dastardly intent on the part of these implementing the emergency measures, particularly given the circumstances prevailing as revolutions fight to survive.
  15. JHE

    JHE .

    "most people" in Cuba?

    If most people in Cuba prefer a socialist Cuba then a democratic Cuba would be a (better) socialist Cuba!
  16. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus one of Maxwell's demons

    It is certainly right to keep a sense of perspective. The majority of Cubans do not live in fear of the state. They have immediate practical concerns to take care of and most of the time will not worry about anything else. Same as us, really.

    Discontent in Cuba was, when I lived there, set at a fairly constant simmer. There is enough good about the regime to make many people fear change at least as much as continuity. My feeling about many people, especially the older generation, was that they wanted to want the revolution, if only it were better. It's a little like people in Britain wanting to be able to believe in a Labour government. Castro isn't an evil man. Far from it - Tony Blair's much higher up the evil pole than him - but he's been there far too long, and nobody quite knows how to move on.

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