Four Caballeros

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Brazil's Luiz In?cio Lula da Silva, Cuba's Fidel Castro, and Venezuela's Hugo Ch?vez get together Space Cowboys-style for the inauguration of Lucio Gutierrez as president of Ecuador. Gutierrez, in grand Latin style, is a colonel who took part in a coup attempt a while back, and his emergence as Latin America's latest left-wing leader has prompted Rep. Henry Hyde to accuse the group of forming a Latin "axis of evil." (Reports that Hyde is planning to join Jerry Nadler and Zoe Lofgren in an axis of fat could not be confirmed by press time.) Since only Castro and Ch?vez have so far proven themselves to be bad guys, the Bush administration seems to be taking a wiser approach in encouraging Lula's efforts to calm things down in Venezuela and keeping the inflammatory talk to a minimum. It's unsurprising and partially understandable that people in South and Central America should blame the region's economic mismanagement on "globablization" and the United States generally. Rather than take a kneejerk stance against the new populist champions, which can only push them further left, the U.S. ought to encourage moderation, and be around for a friendly "toldja so" when their economic reforms lead to further disaster. [Pointless registration required for nytimes.com link]

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  1. I guess I am stupid, then. Should I post this twice?

  2. Millions are risking their lives to free Cuba? Where do you get those figures?

  3. Not sure exact statistics — Perhaps not millions, but certainly a significant percentage of the total Cuban population:

    1959+ during the Castro Government (Batista, Prio, etc. supporters)
    1965 Camarioca — State Department Sealift
    1965 Two Freedom Flights weekly begin — began December 1965; terminated in 1973
    1972? 50,000 Cubans from Spain
    1979 3,600 Political Prisoners released. November-December 1978 Dialogue
    1980 Mariel 120,000-125,000 leave Cuba — April to September 1980
    —- CANF air lift from third countries
    1984 United States permits immigration of up to 20,000 Cubans annually.
    1994 Rafter Exodus
    1994 U.S. again allows a minimum of 20,000 from Cuba per year

    http://cuban-exile.com/menu1/%21refug.html

  4. Battista, Mariel–those are shining moments in US policy.

  5. Shining examples of the Eisenhower and Kennady governments, neither of which are in power.

    Neither too are the bureaucrats that created and enforced that policy.

    However, Castro and his Terror-Regime continue to oppress the Cuban people.

    But I suppose that relevation is beyond your reflexively Anti-American brain.

  6. http://www.freetrade.org/pubs/briefs/tbp-013es.html

    Yes, as a matter of fact; black helicopters with United Nations troops are fluoridating the water supply. Thanks for asking.

    Maybe I answered my own question.

    While US farmers would love to sell to Cuba, US sugar plantation owners would probably raise their own navy to sink any vessels headed to the US with Cuban sugar.

  7. Just like US automakers have nuked cargo ships from Korea carrying Kias….

    Keep your tinfoil hat on comrade!

  8. Actually, John…the water gets fluoridated at the water treatment plant by a low-wage technician running an automated system.

    The CIA uses mind control drugs sprayed from commercial aircraft at 30,000 feet. I thought everyone knew that.

  9. Yeah, but with the new digital technology; the probe the CIA planted in my brain can transmit right through tinfoil.

    Maybe I should ask them to put the analog transmitter back in.

    Sugar farmers have a lot more money than automakers……..

  10. How is Castro a bad guy? His human rights record is no worse than ours. Granted his form of government is not very successful, but I think his biggest “crime” has been staying in power, much to the dismay of 40 years of US administrations. The big question is why is it okay to do business with Vietnam, but not Cuba?

  11. Ummmm….Castro’s not a bad guy? His human rights record is no worse than our own? I’m pretty sure we don’t send political dissidents to prison and re-education camps. Pretty sure we allow our citizens to leave if they want.

    OTOH, the best way to deal with Castro is to trade with him. I agree with the whole Why Vietnam and not Cuba thing.

  12. Seeing as the farm lobby in the country has robbed us with schemes that Al Capone would be proud of like sugar quotas, peanut quotas and milk marketing orders; you have to wonder how the boycott against Cuba stands up to Archer Daniels Midland and Conagra.

    Couldn’t ADM & Conagra end the boycott in a minute by telling the congressmen they own that they want to start selling in Cuba?

    But on the other hand, once Cubans find out about McDonald’s, Domino’s Pizza, MTV, Pro Wrestling and The Bachelor; they will demand that Castro end all trade with the US.

  13. Does locking people up simply because they are gay or because they have HIV make someone “not a bad guy”? I guess only if you are a Leftist.

  14. Yes John, Congress is clearly under mind control from the Farm Lobby. It is oK to absolve Congress and the Feds of any responsiblity, other than that they don’t wear tin foil on their heads 24-7.

    Also, you are absoluty superior to anyone who eats Micky-Ds and watches pro rasslin. We all bow to your cultural superiority.

  15. Does locking people up simply because they are gay or because they have HIV make someone “not a bad guy”?

    Aren’t we locking up people without counsel or trial for indefinite periods because we don’t like their politics; evidence and due process by damned?

  16. BTW, I stand by my earlier statement that Castro’s human rights record is no worse than ours…Ruby Ridge, police shootings, internment camps, and of course all the killer’s we sponsored, such as Noriega, the Shah, Saddam(will fighting Iran) and probably bin Laden and the Taliban when they were fighting Russia.

  17. Scott? what people are you talking about specifically? Pretty sure they generally aren’t American Citizens and, therefore not provided protection under the Constitution.

    Regarding John’s post, American culture (or lack thereof) is exported all over the world, winning hearts and minds daily. The great unwashed masses love it. Why…I’ll even admit, before God & everyone that I, yes even I have been watching “Joe Millionaire”.

  18. At least there are systems in place to rectify injustices such as Ruby Ridge, the CIA, etc — free press, courts, civil society, democractic process, individual rights….

    Of course Cuba has none of these. But Leftist Terror-State apologists alays seem to leave that part out.

  19. How do you rectify killing someone? Also, I am far from a leftist; I am a rightist, as in right and wrong. My family lost everything when Castro took power. I am not his biggest fan, it’s just, in my opinion, the US history seems to be one of the pot calling the kettle black.

    Re the earlier post above–so human rights only apply to American citizens? My point is summarily locking people up without any recourse for that person is a violation of human rights, not just constitutional rights. What if you were locked up in, I don’t know, China, under these circumstances. I imagine the battle cry coming from you would have something to do with “human rights.” By the way, don’t we do a lot of business with China. I get it, if the country has a billion potential customers, then who cares what they do to their people.

    Go ahead, flame away.

  20. The US government has done a lot of despicable things…but morally comparing it to a Iron-fisted Slalinist Terror-Statist Tryant is simply stupid.

    It stinks like the Anti-American hogwash which currently being bahhhed by the Sheep at those ‘anti-war’ protests this weekend.

    If Cuba and the US are governed the exact same way, why are millions risking their lives to flee Cuba?

    If locking people up without cause is wrong, and Cuba does this injustice more FREQUENTLY how is the US Govt EQUAL OR WORSE?

  21. The US government has done a lot of despicable things…but morally comparing it to a Iron-fisted Slalinist Terror-Statist Tryant is simply stupid.

    It stinks like the Anti-American hogwash which currently being bahhhed by the Sheep at those ‘anti-war’ protests this weekend.

    If Cuba and the US are governed the exact same way, why are millions risking their lives to flee Cuba?

    If locking people up without cause is wrong, and Cuba does this injustice more FREQUENTLY how is the US Govt EQUAL OR WORSE?

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