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Fearing a collapse of their economy, Cubans overwhelmingly would vote for Chavez

Thursday, October 4th 2012 - 07:18 UTC
Full article 18 comments

Many Cubans are anxious about the results of Venezuela’ presidential election next Sunday and are praying for an Hugo Chavez victory since they are fearful of another collapse of the island’s economy if the winner is opposition candidate Henrique Capriles. Read full article


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  • mastershakejb

    LOL! funny when your country gets this bad off that its only source of income, only hope, is a handout from another country.
    This is what happens to nations that hate and piss off the West. This is what's happening to Argentina, left a crumbling mess dependent on Venezuela handouts, rofl.

    Oct 04th, 2012 - 04:03 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • GeoffWard2

    If there is a change of government in VE, there should be a gentle and orderly withdrawal of commitment to Cuba.

    It is not right to cut of all aid precipitately; this would cause starvation of the masses. The Unasur nations might have to support ... 'each according to its means', but this would take time to organise.

    It is probable that Russia and China might wish to dominate the Cuban survival programme, but the USA would see this as invasion of their 'backyard' - like in the Cuban missile crisis.

    We thought that the little islands off Taiwan might be the critical focus of great power conflict ..... it may be closer to home - unless Unasur or the OAS assumes responsibility for any vacuum left by Venezuela.

    Oct 04th, 2012 - 05:08 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • mastershakejb

    It's only a matter of time before Cuba comes cap in hand to USA, and not much time at that. No point seeking another communist regime far, far away that will fall again like Soviet did, they aren't that stupid, they know they have to Westernize.

    Oct 04th, 2012 - 05:25 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    @3 No they will not. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba was stranded as the economy relied on growing cash crops for the USSR in return for vital supplies. At that time the US chose to increase sanctions and Cubans were living on less than 1,000 calories per day. Did they yield to the US bullying? No. They set about becoming self-sufficient by growing their own food. It also galvanised the resolve of the Cuban people against the 'evil US'.

    It was a stupid and cruel move by the US. It was a perfect time to hold out a hand of friendship to Cuba that might have changed the course of history. If they had helped rather than punished the Cubans, they would have been far more successful in forging a new relationship.

    Cuba has been slowly changing- the old guard know it has to before they all die. If you talk to young Cubans, as I have, they do want change but they view the US as hostile. As one said to me, “They think they will be saving us but we don't want to be saved by them”. Another young man I spoke with had a Jamaican father. I asked him if he was ever able to see his father and he did, regularly. I asked him if he could live in Jamaica and he answered, “Yes, but why would I live there when I can live in Cuba. We have good education and healthcare, the crime rate is low. In Jamaica it is the opposite”. I have visited both islands and can confirm that life in Jamaica is tough in comparison.

    Sure, young Cubans want more - all young people want more and this leads to change - but don't assume they want to be a state of the US. They most certainly do not.

    Cuba and Venezuela trade oil for healthcare but I doubt they will starve if Chavez goes (he will go anyway due to ill-health) they have been through much worse and survived.

    That kind of bullying talk is no different to Argentina's attitude to the Falkland Islanders.

    Oct 05th, 2012 - 08:33 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • mastershakejb

    lol, sorry, but I have to disagree, I've been to Cuba, they're tired and beaten down, they're tired of fighting. They want to be part of the US again. Even Raul talks about westernizing and opening the economy. The country is totally falling apart, bit by bit, more every day.
    They have no other choice, and they know it.

    Oct 05th, 2012 - 04:34 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Also Add

    tell me, Elaine, what other choice do you believe they have? They've exhausted all the old communist country hand outs, and they're still floundering. Their economy's continuing to deteriorate. No one there has hope anymore. They're all tired. No investors or other nations in the world believe in Cuba anymore, or of it achieving anything. They literally have NO other choice than to come cap in hand to USA...or continue falling apart, but that can only continue so long.

    Oct 05th, 2012 - 04:37 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • mastershakejb

    Cubans still fashion together rafts made of plastic bottles or wood, and try to float to Florida all the time, trying to escape the dying world, to a better one. Many die trying, they feel better to die quickly trying, than a slow death in Cuba.

    Oct 05th, 2012 - 04:40 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Also Add

    Oct 05th, 2012 - 05:40 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    They want to be Cuban. They don't want to be another US state.

    I have no doubt whatsoever that Cuba will go through some major changes over the next decade. True Raul has been an instigator of changes we probably would not have imagined a decade ago. But they will evolve as an independent country once the old guard is gone.

    I could tell you a long and complicated true story involving one young Cuban boy, some well-meaning South-African men, a fake passport and an 'escape to freedom' in Miami. After three months the Cuban wanted to go home.

    I am not defending the communist ideals of Castro. Communism does not work, it is just state capitalism. But I object to the idea that Cuba would be better as another US state. Cubans are proud people and proud to be Cuban.

    I have been there too.

    Oct 05th, 2012 - 09:06 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • mastershakejb

    But you're talking about idealism and emotions, Elaine. I'm talking about economics. Tell me what options you believe them to have. They produce very, very little, and there's little capacity on that island to produce much more, of anything. They're handouts from communist countries are running dry. Their economy is still deteriorating quickly. They're trying little experiments, but its getting them worse than nowhere, they're still deteriorating. They have a hard time obtaining things as simple as soap, as I'm sure you saw. They're in dire straits with no options.

    Oct 05th, 2012 - 10:03 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    There are smaller economies than Cuba and they survive without being a US state.

    I am not arguing with your reasoning but it is a little blind to believe every country wants to be part of the US. They absolutely do not.

    Cuba has oil and grew cash crops before. They can do that again once the economy has opened to free trade. It will happen in time.

    Oct 06th, 2012 - 02:17 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • mastershakejb

    Haha, well I disagree, it won't happen in time. But we can agree to disagree. Cuba was dependent on US tourism pre-sanctions, and ever since post sanctions its been dependent on handouts from Soviet Union, and then Venezuela.

    Oct 06th, 2012 - 03:34 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Also Add

    And Cubans are NOT happy with their current regime. They're not free either. They'd be less oppressed with USA than their current regime.

    Oct 06th, 2012 - 05:06 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    Why can't they be less repressed and an independent country? Why do they have to be colonised by the US?

    Cuba did have a lot of US and European tourists 50 years ago. In the last 10 years it has redeveloped tourism with pretty much any country but the US, and it is doing well. The Spanish are involved, owning 50% shares with the Cuban government. When I was there a lot of very wealthy Russians were spending money there.

    I remember when I was there a local Cuban got on the local bus and noticing the foreigners said, “Are there any Americans here?” We were a mixed bunch of Europeans and Canadians so answered, no. The Cuban said “Good!!”.

    There is no reason why Cuba can't enjoy the benefits of tourism from the US. It is inevitable that Cuba will reach the point of a more free society. The Castro's are not going to last forever and change will be quicker then.

    I guess I just don't see why you would want Cuba to 'come cap in hand' to the US. Trade benefits both parties. Why not help them develop a democratic society when the time is right?

    Oct 06th, 2012 - 08:34 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • mastershakejb

    Again, no offense, but you're again talking about emotions and idealism. Talk about economics. What is that tiny island nation going to produce enough of, and become efficient enough in, to compete globally, when so isolated?
    Cuba had it GOOD, they bit the hand that fed it. Hawaii is a paradise, Cuba could have eventually become like Hawaii. Whatever, they're the ones suffering, not Americans. They're gonna have to come up with a HELL of a whopper of an idea to make them able to be efficient enough, and produce a large enough quantity of something valuable, to compete globally. I don't see it happening, nor do any investors.

    Oct 06th, 2012 - 08:40 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Also Add

    BTW, I'm not saying Cuba has to be UNDER the USA's control/rule/domination, I'm just saying they need to face reality: they need US tourism dollars, badly, so they should start behaving, stop being anti-USA and antagonistic, westernize, open their economy.

    Oct 06th, 2012 - 09:00 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    Ah, see, we agree, they should not be under US control. But a lot of North Americans think Cuba should be part of the US. That is the confusion between us.

    It is not emotional and idealistic to want to be an independent country. Cuba has continued to trade with nations other than the US and trading with them would add income. But the idea that Cubans were better off under Batista 50 years ago is a nonsense. I have spoken with many older Cubans that remember the pre-Castro era when they were nothing more than slaves to rich Americans and Europeans. They think Castro saved them. The younger generation want freedom and more, but also remember how the US tried to starve them when the USSR collapsed. It will be some time before they forgive that.

    I wouldn't want to live under such a repressive regime and communism is a failed experiment. However, I respect that the Cubans have the right to self-determination.

    Oct 08th, 2012 - 11:35 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • GeoffWard2

    Glad we got that cleared up, Elaine; because the Cuban who asked “Are there any Americans on the bus?” should have got a “Yes” from all the Cubans and the Canadians.
    It is so arrogant that the USA people think they are the only Americans .... and the rest of the world carry on letting them think that! Crazy!


    Puerto Rico, the “Associated Free State of Puerto Rico”, is an unincorporated territory of the United States. It does not have to be a 'State', like Hawaii or Alaska; but it does derive benefit from being so associated.

    There are linkages possible, but the Cubans are proud and have suffered the slings and arrows of being used as a pawn in big power politics. Though the future is in Cuba's own hands, in our lifetime the only choice would likely be ... anything BUT the USA!

    Oct 08th, 2012 - 07:18 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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