Leaving Cuba

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According the Melbourne Herald-Sun, Celia Guevara, Havana-based veterinarian and daughter of photogenic thug Che, was recently granted an Argentinian passport. Sources told the Buenos Aires daily Clarin that though Guevara "has no plans to leave Cuba," she wants her sons to be able to travel freely, a privilege still reserved for the revolutionary elite. For most Cubans, taking a holiday in South Florida is, of course, rather more difficult, as evidenced by Yaditza Lopez's recent efforts to go out on a date with her Internet boyfriend, Mr. Alex Menendez of Miami. The Miami Herald explains:

Menendez, who first saw Lopez's photo on a website called Friends, started chatting with her online and sent her a photo of himself in May 2006. At the time, Lopez was attending a computer programming college in Havana.

As the couple kept communicating, Menendez told Lopez it would be nice if she came to Miami. When he got a call from her about 7 a.m. Friday, he was pleasantly shocked. "I might marry her," he said.

The 22-year-old Lopez had arrived before dawn as part of a contingent of 52 Cuban migrants, including men, women and several young children. They were wet and sunburned but happy to be in South Florida. They said they had been at sea for three days and came from all over the island.

Oddly, the 52 defectors traveling with Lopez eschewed free health care (that's right, it's free in Cuba!) and Fidel Castro's 81st birthday party for an opulent cruise across the Florida Straits. Ungrateful, the lot of them. 

Incidentally, Guevara, should she decide to leave her Cuba, would hardly be the first offspring of the revolution to do so. Fidel Castro's sister Juanita lives in Miami, where, until last year, she operated the Mini-Price Pharmacy. After selling her business to CVS, the 74-year-old entrepreneur sold the vacant property for $2.2 million. Castro's only daughter, Alina Fernandez, hosts an opposition radio show in Miami.

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  1. I remember a while ago this Miami Spanish-speaking radio station stirred up shit when they prank called Hugo Chauves, playing sound clips of Castro saying random things.

  2. Wow, declaring life under communism to be bad.

    Way to stick your neck out on a major controversy. Next up: no one is going to stop me from declaring that puppies are nice.

  3. For most Cubans, taking a holiday in South Florida is, of course, rather more difficult

    As opposed to how easy it is for an American to take a holiday in Cuba?

  4. Cesar,
    The travel ban to Cuba is, of course, ridiculous and should be overturned (the embargo too). But you might want to consider that Cubans can’t travel anywhere, whereas Americans…well, you see what I mean. Not really the same thing.

    mm

  5. Michael-

    I’m aware of that, it was just a snarky comment, thats all. Of course the travel restrictions on Cubans are worse.

  6. Next up: no one is going to stop me from declaring that puppies are nice

    …with a little paprika and a lemon sauce, yes.

  7. joe-

    Go nice on Michael Moynihan. He told me on Friday that he’s an Irish guy from Massachusetts, just like you, and he grew up not too far from where the Original Thoreau lived.

    Or maybe the fact that he’s a local means you have to be twice as tough. Local rivalries being so vicious and all that.

    Anyway, just tossing it out for whatever it’s worth.

  8. No, no, no, everyone knows that a tender and flavorful meat like puppy should not be over-seasoned, it should be lightly grilled with salt, and the essence of the dish allowed to express itself. Reprobate, you philistine.

    I love the idea of a “revolutionary elite.” It makes a handy method of discovering the next aristocracy to rebel against.

    I have always wondered whether absolute power would corrupt me, and now that I have matured a bit I can honestly say that, yes, it would. One more reason to fear a government with the power of life and death over the citizenry. No matter how well intentioned a government is, it is still made of corruptible human actors.

  9. Wow, declaring life under communism to be bad.

    Way to stick your neck out on a major controversy. Next up: no one is going to stop me from declaring that puppies are nice.

    joe,

    When Cuba is held out as the epotime of successful socialism by very mainstream people like Micheal Moore, Oliver Stone, etc., and when very mainstream politicians like Hillary and Obama, and even Bush to lesser extent, want to emulate those policies… Then it puts things in perspective to say things in Cuba are bad.

    As opposed to how easy it is for an American to take a holiday in Cuba?

    It is super easy. Just fly out of Canada or Mexico, and ask the Cuban officials not to stamp your passport. Or take a private boat from Miami and do the same thing. Hundreds of thousands of American tourists go to Cuba every year.

    In fact, traveling to Cuba is a slight bit easier than traveling to Russia or China or India or someplace that you need to aquire a travel visa beforehand.

  10. The fact that Cuba is so close and so blatantly communist is a big, fat slosh of tobacco juice in our eye.

    But to say that Michael Moore, and therefore Hillary Clinton, wants to emulate Cuba is sort of a stretch. Of course, if there is a system that works in such an incredible dump, why souldn’t you want to take a look at it?

  11. Most excellent Hit & Run piece in a while.

  12. Michael. Great Story, enjoyed it very much.

    Gloria Estefan once shut Charlie Rose up when she noted that if you want clean sheets on your Cuban hospital bed you better bring them from home.

    Rex, thanks, excellent points.

  13. Didn’t Castro’s sister frequently denounce him?

    Phil Rizzuto died.

  14. Lamar,

    “Of course, if there is a system that works in such an incredible dump, why souldn’t you want to take a look at it?”

    Umm, I dunno, maybe because I respect individual rights? Maybe the issues with state healthcare aren’t merely pragmatic ones?

  15. Rex,

    When Cuba is held out as the epotime of successful socialism by very mainstream people like Micheal Moore, Oliver Stone, etc.,

    …you’ll let us know. Because noting that even the freaking Cubans do a better job of providing health care access than we do is not the equivalent of holding it out as the epitome of successful socialism.

    You make very broad-brush arguments, without nuance or complexity; that doesn’t mean everyone else does, too.

  16. “…Cubans do a better job of providing health care access”

    Imagine if that were true!

  17. “Umm, I dunno, maybe because I respect individual rights?”

    The world just got a little dumber.

  18. I rather doubt that Cuba’s healthcare is actually better than the U.S.’s.

    joe,

    With this newly discovered joe-Moynihan connection, I think we finally have found the Affleck-Damon reunion vehicle. Who should play you? ?

  19. Lamar,

    Cute. I’ll remember that next time I need a phrase to cover the fact that I have nothing substantial to say. Care to explain how I’m wrong? I won’t hold my breath.

  20. kohlrabi:

    It is

  21. humbler,

    Oh, OK. Thanks for clearing that up.

  22. I said, [I]f there is a system that works in such an incredible dump, why souldn’t you want to take a look at it?

    I don’t particular think healthcare in Cuba works, but if they can put together any kind of program that works in that god-forsaken land, human rights is not a reason to refuse to look at it.

    “Human rights” might be a reason to ultimately reject elements of the program, but it isn’t a reason to refuse to look at the program, whether it’s healthcare or education or whatever.

    Further, it is absurd to say that importing parts of Cuba’s f*cked up system would transfer Cuba’s human rights problems. It’s just absurd. Refusing extra information for some lame tagline like “human rights” is absurd. Seeing where other people fail is useful information. Refusing that information based on some vague and ill-defined “respect for human rights” is complete buffoonery.

  23. …you’ll let us know. Because noting that even the freaking Cubans do a better job of providing health care access than we do is not the equivalent of holding it out as the epitome of successful socialism.

    joe, you really believe that Cuba provides better healthcare than the United States? I live in first-world Canada, and their socialized system doesn’t provide better access to health care than the United States, yet I am supposed to accept that dirt poor Cuba has a better health care system? The same Cuba that charges foreigners who take unauthorized photos of Cuban hospitals with terrorism?

    Sorry joe, it is going to take a bit more than Micheal Moore photo ops to convince me Cuban style healthcare is the way to go!

  24. “joe, you really believe that Cuba provides better healthcare than the United States?”

    While I disagree with Joe, he actually said Cubans have better access to healthcare. It’s pandemonium here. Is anybody actually reading anybody else’s posts?

  25. Lamar,

    What is complete buffoonery is the claim that somehow forcing one individual to pay another’s health care doesn’t constitute a violation of rights.

    What is complete buffoonery is you pretending that this argument is about being open to extra information.

    What is beyond buffoonery is your idea that a system ‘working’ is independant of human rights issues, that human rights are an afterthought and that ‘working’ has any real value outside of a human rights context.

  26. “What is complete buffoonery is the claim that somehow forcing one individual to pay another’s health care doesn’t constitute a violation of rights.”

    Show me where I made that claim. You’re arguing with ghosts in your head, and it appears the ghosts are winning.

  27. “While I disagree with Joe, he actually said Cubans have better access to healthcare. It’s pandemonium here. Is anybody actually reading anybody else’s posts?”

    True. Furthermore, he didn’t specify how many Cubans or which ones had the better access, so you’re right. It’s technically correct.

  28. “It’s technically correct.”

    Yes, correct. I like the idea of “correct.” Don’t use it as a bad word.

  29. Lamar,

    You are just being dishonest and doing a poor job of hiding it behind your insults.

    Enlighten me. How then are Cubans paying for health care and not using force? Are Cubans forced to participate in the current system. Of course. Is health care free? Of course not. Is the cost of the health care distributed amoung the populous? Yes.

    Keep insulting me, though. It says more about you than me.

  30. …I think we finally have found the Affleck-Damon reunion vehicle.

    Affleck can only wish he could get a sweet, sweet gig like PBS’ Arthur like MATT DAMON DEMAND KURV.

  31. I thought Cubans have better access to health care because they produce more doctors per capita.The United States lets the AMA keep doctors scarce so that earnings are high for the average physician.

  32. “How then are Cubans paying for health care and not using force?”

    I haven’t addressed this issue, nor made any of the claims you tried to put in my mouth. I’m not a proponent of national healthcare, though you probably assumed as much.

    It appears that you are making a high-level argument about the problems with Cuba’s version of nationalized healthcare. You probably have a point, most everything sucks down there.

    But I have to ask again, where have I made any of the claims you ascribe to me or addressed the issues you’re trying to goad me into addressing right now? The issue I raised was about being open to more information despite disdain for the country in general. Anything else is just your imagination running wild.

  33. “Yes, correct. I like the idea of “correct.” Don’t use it as a bad word.”

    Oh, like how it’s so ambigious a comment, it could mean just about anything if you care to parse who constitutes the word “Cubans”. Six Cubans? Two Cubans? All Cubans? Employed Cubans? I suppose technically speaking, Cubans do have better access to the Cuban system than they would to the American system, living in Cuba, not being allowed to leave and all.

    I see, correct syntax is what’s important here.

  34. kohlrabi:

    I honestly don’t have a clue what the hell you’re talking about. And yes, syntax generally helps when you’re using language to communicate.

  35. kohlrabi,

    Easily done: it is true. Cubans have better access to health care, but worse health care services.

    Any Cuban can set up an appointement for a checkup with a doctor, regardless of employment or income.

    Rex Rhino,

    joe, you really believe that Cuba provides better healthcare than the United States? Nope, just better access. The quality of the service there is plainly inferior, owing to the lack of resources. You remember that point I made about your broad, simplistic arguments? Consider how that might apply to your conflation of “health care access” to health care in general.

    I live in first-world Canada, and their socialized system doesn’t provide better access to health care than the United States As a matter of fact, for millions of people, it does provide better access. The number of deaths associated with a lack of health care access – eg, the inability to go see the doctor – in the US is estimated at 15,000 per annum. That’s a lot of people not getting that thing checked out until they start pissing blood and end up in the emergency room.

  36. kohlrabi has convinced me: if we start building a Nazi-style highway system, we will end up putting people into death camps. Because that’s totally how it works.

    SIV,

    Their surplus of doctors in part of it, but the state paying for people to see the doctor is another part.

  37. The issue I raised was about being open to more information despite disdain for the country in general.

    Since when has there been a dearth of information about Cuban health care? People were singing its praises years before Moore slipped down for his completely sincere effort to obtain top notch medical care for the 9/11 workers.

    Sure their hospitals are vermin infested hellholes that would rival our worst snakepits of previous generations but everybody has access.

    As Michael Moore says, the important thing is that we all have equal access.

  38. Lamar,

    Your definition of a system working is independant of whether or not it violates rights as evidenced here:

    “but if they can put together any kind of program that works in that god-forsaken land, human rights is not a reason to refuse to look at it.”

    This is what I’m taking issue with.

  39. Joe,

    That is not what I meant at all. What I mean is that I believe it is a violation of human rights to force citizens to pay for the health care of other citizens. This is how the Cuban system works and this is what I’m opposed to. Why is that so hard to understand? The Cuban system is dependant on that fact. Unlike the Nazi highway system or whatever. Your snarky analogy is false.

  40. I don’t find the access statements compelling. Access to what? Our healthcare menu is much richer and much deeper than most countries’. If we socialize, then access to the good stuff will fade, and we’ll have the mediocre healthcare of the rest of the world. And we will not be there any more to support all of the technological advances, either, once the incentives of a sorta free market in healthcare are drastically reduced.

    Incidentally, Mexicans have better “access” to pharmaceuticals than Americans, because they don’t require prescriptions. Sounds peachy to me, but I suspect that sort of access isn’t what advocates of socialized healthcare have in mind.

  41. Incidentally, Mexicans have better “access” to pharmaceuticals than Americans, because they don’t require prescriptions. Sounds peachy to me, but I suspect that sort of access isn’t what advocates of socialized healthcare have in mind.

    Advocates of free market healthcare should support that kind of access. Doctors always whine they are powerless NOT to prescribe when patients demand an advertised drug; so cut out the middleman/gatekeeper.

  42. Works for me. I have to take Synthroid, and I was sorely tempted to buy a few thousand pills while I was down there.

  43. Their surplus of doctors in part of it, but the state paying for people to see the doctor is another part.

    Adopt the first part then. There is no cost to the State and its taxpayers. Let the market and individual ambition determine the number of physicians.

  44. Easily done: it is true. Cubans have better access to health care, but worse health care services.

    In which case, I propose a national witch doctor medical program. That way, even though the quality of the services might be poor (except for headshrinking), everyone will have free medical access.

    Stalin’s useful idiots live on, eh?

  45. I saw Sicko. While it’s true that Moore’s focus was on health care, he left the distinct impression of a beneficent society that treated people right and which liked us even as we hate them (borne out by the Cuban firemen nobly paying homage to 9/11 firefighter casualties). Whatever else one might say about Moore and/or our healthcare system, saying that Sicko said nothing about Cuba except for its healthcare system, joe, would not be a very, as you might say, nuanced analysis.

  46. As a matter of fact, for millions of people, it does provide better access. The number of deaths associated with a lack of health care access – eg, the inability to go see the doctor – in the US is estimated at 15,000 per annum. That’s a lot of people not getting that thing checked out until they start pissing blood and end up in the emergency room.

    You realize that in many places in Canada, there are waiting lists to get a doctor? People can wait YEARS before they get a doctor? That when they are sick, they have no choice but to go to the emergency room? I saw a news program just the other day where people were camping out for several days, not to get a doctor, but to sign up for the waiting list to get a doctor!

    So yes, in Canada a huge portion of the population won’t end up seeing a doctor until they are pissing blood in the emergency room, and many of them will die!

    The fact that the government promises to pay for health care, doesn’t change the fact that there isn’t enough health care to go around, and many many people will never recieve health care. And the fact that most doctors make less money than garbage men for a 40 hour week, does nothing to encourage the supply to increase.

    Cubans have better access to health care, but worse health care services.

    Great, they all have access to non-existant medical treatment! Why doesn’t the U.S. just pitch empty tents in public parks, call them “free clinics”, and claim universal “access” to medical care Cuba style!?

  47. “Their surplus of doctors in part of it, but the state paying for people to see the doctor is another part.”

    Their surplus of doctors is a human rights violation according to kohlrabi.

  48. I didn’t see Sicko because I stopped watching Michael Moore trash after Bowling for Columbine (there is something to be said for the truth). The kind of pandering by the firemen described sounds like the same old propoganda cheese (do you really think they acted independently? Do you really believe that the state did not control everything that Moore’s cameras captured?) that Castro has been spewing out and that the American left has been lapping up for almost 50 years.

    Castro and Moore must laugh themselves to sleep every night.

  49. Lamar,

    “Their surplus of doctors is a human rights violation according to kohlrabi.”

    If only the server didn’t delete the post where I said that, you could reference it.

    Believe it or not, Lamar, we could advocate more doctors here without looking to Cuba’s broken model. Don’t worry about that, though. Tell me again how I have disdain for Cuba or something like that.

  50. Way to stick your neck out on a major controversy. Next up: no one is going to stop me from declaring that puppies are nice.

    But joe, they have free healthcare.

    I guess you missed Moynihan’s joke. It’s a jab at people like Eleanor Clift who always throw out the “cuba has free healthcare” in response to any criticism of Cuber.

  51. As opposed to how easy it is for an American to take a holiday in Cuba?

    ceasar: Dirty little secret. It’s not that hard. It costs, but it’s not that tough.

  52. kohlrabi:

    Very simple: I said we should take a look at their system because it appears to have some parts that work. Their surplus of doctors appears to be a part of their system that works. You chastized my argument because, I dunno, you believe in human rights. Recall that?

    I know you don’t really believe that, but I had to highlight it because your arguments are about as subtle as a rhino dildo in a ice cream shop.

  53. But to say that Michael Moore, and therefore Hillary Clinton, wants to emulate Cuba is sort of a stretch.

    Mmmno, it’s not. Hillary Clinton? Maybe a stretch. *Mayyybee* But Michael Moore just did a little ditty on how great Cuber is for healthcare.

  54. Broad ideological arguments that chant slogans aren’t very apt when analyzing the pieces of a complex system. Just sayin’

  55. Paul: it was the “and therefore Hillary Clinton” part that was a stretch, not the Michael Moore part.

  56. Because noting that even the freaking Cubans do a better job of providing health care access than we do is not

    Joe, they don’t. They never have, nor will they ever. Not even close.

    If the Canadians can’t even provide better access to medical care than we can, you think Cuba can? You’re smoking crack.

  57. Consider how that might apply to your conflation of “health care access” to health care in general.

    *sigh*.

    We got it joe. We got “access” vs. quality. And you’re still Wrong(tm).

    And let’s just pretend for a new york second that they do provide better access. How hard is it to provide access to a wholly inadequate service? The Canadians provide universal access to NICU’s which don’t exist. Joe, I’ll give you 100% unfettered access to the MRI machine in my garage. Free. Just come on in. Oh, it’s an infinite waiting list– ’cause I haven’t installed it yet.

  58. Lamar,

    I plainly disagree with your definition of what ‘works’.

    That is why I chastised your argument. You may have recalled that had you not been so hell bend on devising clever ways to be rude.

    I don’t believe policy can be evaluated in purely pragmatic terms. Human rights concerns are integral. Singapore’s draconian vandalism policies ‘work’ by your definition but are atrocious. Perhaps this makes me an ideologue with arguments that lack subtlety. Fair enough. You however have been consistently boorish and insulting, behavior which has unfortunately done little to buttress your claim that the Cuban system may ‘work’ in any meaningful way.

  59. I don’t believe policy can be evaluated in purely pragmatic terms. Human rights concerns are integral.

    One point that some people seem to miss is that for a system like Cuba to function, it requires totalitarianism and an abuse of human rights. It is simply impossible otherwise.

    How else to you deny people the right to buy and sell as they like.

    How else to you deny people the advanced medical care they are willing to pay for?

    If you don’t understand this simple fact, you will never understand the way the real world operates.

  60. doctors make less money than garbage men for a 40 hour week

    Well they could have chosen to be garbage men or
    studied engineering instead of medicine.

    Complexity and responsibility of a job do not necessarily correspond to compensation. Look at non union airline pilots earnings for example.

  61. I’m making all fifty of my kids study engineering. I might let them do something else technical. Under no circumstances may they study law.

    Okay, they’re fewer than fifty, but they are rapidly approaching Brady-like numbers.

  62. “Wow, declaring life under communism to be bad.

    Way to stick your neck out on a major controversy”

    This coming from an idiot who has gone on and on about the greatness of the Cuban health care system, among other things. Instead of trying to pen sarcastic rejoinders(trying being the operative word), perhaps you should stick to defending Chavez and Castro

    I’ve got another truism: you are an idiot.

  63. “Because noting that even the freaking Cubans do a better job of providing health care access than we do is not

    Joe, they don’t. They never have, nor will they ever. Not even close.

    If the Canadians can’t even provide better access to medical care than we can, you think Cuba can? You’re smoking crack.”

    Don’t even try to argue with joe on this matter. What good would it do to try and change the “mind” of an individual who has so wholeheartedly swallowed the propaganda emanating from the hell-hole he expends so much energy defending. Gullible doesn’t even begin to describe the depths of his jackassery.

    He is one of the only people posting on a libertarian message board that can list “defending third-world thugs” as a hobby (see his previous posts on the Venezualan TV debacle and the Cuban healthcare system).

  64. “One point that some people seem to miss is that for a system like Cuba to function, it requires totalitarianism and an abuse of human rights. It is simply impossible otherwise.”

    While your assertion is up for debate, I would hope that people thinking about the Cuban system would take it as a very real possibility. The truth is that many democratic nations that aren’t considered human rights abusers routinely restrict commerce and medical care. Our Supreme Court recently did just that.

    kohlrabi, I appreciate your complement on my cleverness. I tend to think we can learn something from the failures of ideologues without staining ourself in the process. Of course, Haiti has all kinds of human rights abuses…but no health system.

  65. Cubans have better access to health care, but worse health care services.

    This is true only for certain values of “health care”, most of which would be deemed unacceptable to Americans.

    So joe really seems to be saying “Cubans have better access to unacceptably poor health care.”* I think we can all agree with that.

    *Always excepting the elite, of course. Like dictators and their cronies everywhere, they always get the best.

  66. Lamar,

    If only said ‘health system’ had some real value, but alas, as pointed out earlier it’s a system that provides access to virtually nothing at the cost of individual rights. Hardly what I would call ‘working’. Then again, it seems you’ve abandonded that concept as well, and are now talking about learning from Cuba’s failures. Quite a departure, but I believe I can agree with that.

    BTW, I consider government restriction on commerce and medical care an abuse of individual rights, hence my first comment.

  67. “Cubans have better access to unacceptably poor health care.”

    Please tell us all which caribbean country, or other country with Cuba’s GNP, has “acceptably poor” healthcare? Other than it being painfully and embarassingly obvious that you know nothing about the Cuban system, you don’t even seem to know much about America’s system outside of your line of sight.

    Like I said, Haiti has all kinds of human rights problems, but no health system…..Oh, wait a second, RC Dean just gave us some great news. Cuba’s system isn’t as good as ‘Merka’s.

    *waves tiny American flag*

  68. “Quite a departure”

    Quite a departure from whatever ghosts you were arguing with, not a departure from anything I said. The truth is that one can’t know whether a component of a system is worthy or not before looking at it.

    “I consider government restriction on commerce and medical care an abuse of individual rights”

    By your definition, there is no country in the world that doesn’t have large scale human rights abuses. Your views are just not realistic, and honestly, they tend to lump Cuba (with real human rights abuses) in with the rest of the world. Shame on you.

  69. I haven’t seen this many people talk past each other since the last abortion thread.

  70. I’m only arguing for an open and informed debate. Some of these other cranks are screaming about human rights, then it turns out that their definition of human rights puts every single country in the world together as a major abuser. I should have just sworn off the bait.

  71. Lamar,

    “The truth is that one can’t know whether a component of a system is worthy or not before looking at it.”

    Fair, but that isn’t what you said.

    “doesn’t have large scale human rights abuses. ”

    Speaking of fighting ghosts… That’s not remotely what I said. Go back and read what I wrote, you’ll find it’s entirely consistent.

    “Shame on you.”

    Spare me. Calling me a crank doesn’t change the fact that you’re all over the place. You start out by claiming that if a system works, it should be looked at. It’s been demonstrated that it doesn’t work. You went on to say that that’s why we should look at it. Of course that’s what the critics are doing which renders moot your original comment. Instead of addressing any of this, you call people names, misrepresent what they’ve said and change your story.

  72. “You start out by claiming that if a system works, it should be looked at.”

    And it most certainly should be. You claim it doesn’t work because of human rights problems, NOT because of its public health successes. Which part doesn’t work? The whole? Perhaps. The colleges? Triage? The embargo?

    I’ve read everything you’ve wrote very carefully, such as:

    ” I consider government restriction on commerce and medical care an abuse of individual rights,”

    Yes every country in the world does just that. Everybody abuses individuals rights. Cuba’s system doesn’t work because they abuse human rights. Haiti abuses human rights and has no health system, yet Cuba’s system is an abject failure.

    “maybe because I respect individual rights”

    I said, “I don’t particularly think healthcare in Cuba works, but if they can put together any kind of program that works in that god-forsaken land, human rights is not a reason to refuse to look at it.”

    Further, I should note that you never positively put forth any of your beliefs, only cheap shots at what you thought I was arguing.

    You: “What is beyond buffoonery is your idea that a system ‘working’ is independant of human rights issues, that human rights are an afterthought and that ‘working’ has any real value outside of a human rights context.”

    I still believe a system can work, independently of whether “human rights” violations occur. You claimed that “government restriction on commerce and medical care an abuse of individual rights.” Under your defintion, there can be no system without human rights violations. I’m not making this up, as I’ve put the quote in this post twice, just so you can’t miss it.

    More you, “we could advocate more doctors here without looking to Cuba’s broken model”

    But Cuba’s model has had success in that area, why would we refuse to look at it? Oh yeah, because they restrict commerce and abuse rights.

    More you, “it’s a system that provides access to virtually nothing at the cost of individual rights.”

    At the end of the thread, you finally show your true colors: You’ve already concluded that Cuba doesn’t work, not only the whole, but all of its parts, and isn’t worth looking into. Perhaps if you would have laid out some facts supporting this, I would have had an amicable chat. Instead, you came from out of the blue ranting about human rights. Quite frankly, you sound like a crazed Miami Cuban, impervious to any kind of reason.

    Your problem is that you start off with a narrow definition of “working” then assume everybody shares your limited view. Then you accuse me of changing my story when I point out that the world isn’t as narrow as you see it.

    Fine, you’ve convinced me: everything ever done in Cuba is a complete failure, and the only reason that the shithole still exists is because it is a complete failure.

    It’s public health successes are a testiment to its utter failure. It’s success relative to countries of the region is a testament to its failure. It’s respectable data in the face of limited medicine and financial resources are a testament to its utter failure.

  73. kohlrabi,

    What I mean is that I believe it is a violation of human rights to force citizens to pay for the health care of other citizens. This is how the Cuban system works and this is what I’m opposed to. Why is that so hard to understand?

    Because that is a ridiculous and hysterical idea, and I gave you the benefit of the doubt that you were at least talking about the actual human rights violations that take place in Cuba.

    My mistake. I won’t let it happen again. I’ll make sure to keep in mind that, when you’re talking about human rights violations in Cuba, you are refering to tax rates being higher than you like.

  74. Wow, lotta brain donors pretending that a description of an upside and a downside to a system is a call for its wholesale adoption. I’m not going to waste my time with any of you.

    Paul,

    We got it joe. We got “access” vs. quality. And you’re still Wrong(tm).

    Really? Michael Moore didn’t just find several firefighters who were being denied treatements in the US, and got them treated in Cuba? I could have sworn he did.

  75. Chavez is a thug,

    Making you look like an idiot is becoming my favorite hobby.

    Yeah, look at what I’ve written ” on the Venezualan TV debacle”

    joe | May 18, 2007, 5:57pm | #

    Hopefully, this will come back to haunt Chavez in the next election. This wasn’t some dreary news channel, but a popular station that carried shows with very high ratings. This is the type of thing that could motivate ordinary, non-political junkies, as it effects people’s daily lives.

    joe | May 18, 2007, 6:04pm | #

    Grotius,

    It looks like the voters are getting the chance to see the other side of such a system now. Hopefully, the outcome of this will be an electoral defeat, a term in power for the rightist opposition, followed by a challenge to them by a chastened, moderated leftist party.

    joe | May 28, 2007, 12:32pm | #

    Here’s hoping the opposition decides to turn this into a theme for the next election.

    joe | June 5, 2007, 4:08pm | #

    “The US government probably would have shut down RCTV within five minutes after a failed coup attempt – and thrown its owners in jail.”

    The U.S. government isn’t headed by a man who participated in a coup attempt!

    Tell you what, Hugo, let’s ban TV broadcasts by ANYONE who supported a coup. How’s that grab you?

    I couold go on and on (and on, and on, and on), but I think I’ve made my point.

    You make kohlrabie look like an intellectual heavyweight with a devout commitment to honesty.

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