Re: Cuba

Alejandro Dubrovsky (
Tue, 17 Mar 1998 16:52:34 +1000 (GMT+1000)

On Mon, 16 Mar 1998, John K Clark wrote:

> On Tue, 17 Mar 1998 Alejandro Dubrovsky <> Wrote:
> >I don't think this [a quarter of the population leaving] is due to
> >just hating castro, but more to do with the fact that the (perceived,
> >at least) standard of living of the US is much better than Cuba's
> I live in Miami Florida and I've talked to Cubans every day of my life for
> years, not thousands but MILLIONS of Cubans live here. Out of all those
> millions there must be one that doesn't hate Castro, but I've yet to find him.
> Without a single exception in my experience, they hate Castro with an
> intensity I can't fully relate to. I've not had as difficult a life as these
> poor people and I don't hate anyone or anything as strongly as they hate
> Castro.
hmm...interesting. But it doesn't convince me that they wouldn't have
gone if Castro wasn't there. Why do the approximately 1 million
Mexicans/year that sneak into the US do so?

> By the way, what on Earth were you trying to get at when you said
> "perceived, at least"?
perceived by them, i meant. That is, standard of living is an extremely
subjective scale, and obviously there would be heaps of people that would
disagree with that "fact" above.

> >>Me:
> >>Castro did not inherit a poor country, in 1959 it had the third
> >>highest standard of living in the western hemisphere, only the USA
> >>and Canada were higher.
> >I would love to see some reference for that interesting bit of
> >information, or preferably ten.
> Then look up a encyclopedia or almanac from 1959, if you want 9 more then
> look up 9 more.

Really? It would have to be a pretty shitty encyclopedia which claims to
have an absolute on a "standard of living" scale. Did you mean that they
had the 3rd highest GDP/capita in America? I wouldn't disagree with that
(even though i doubt it, it would be easy enough to look up), but i would
have to see quite a bit more stats (eg lifespan, literacy, average
wealth, %top 20/ %bottom 20, work hours per week) to assert that
they had the 3rd highest "standard of living", and since you already seem
to have found it, it would save me a whole heap of trouble if you would
point me to the relevant sources.

> >>Me:
> >>The fact that for a few days in 1962 Castro brought the human race
> >>closer to the brink of extinction than anytime in the last ten
> >>thousand years does not increase my admiration of him.
> >I never really understood the problem in there.
> The problem was global extinction. The USSR withdrew its nuclear missiles
> from Cuba over the strong objection of Castro. Neither side can find much to
> brag about in their nuclear policy but the fact remains, if the USSR had done
> what Castro was urging them to do there would have been a nuclear war, and
> we wouldn't be having this pleasant conversation today, not just because
> there wouldn't be an Internet, but because there wouldn't be a you and there
> wouldn't be a me.
> During the crisis most of the president's advisers, including all the
> military ones, were urging the President not to wait and to take action
> immediately. For example, Chief of the U.S Air Force, General Curtis LeMay
> (a VERY scary man) and the head of the Strategic Air Command, Thomas Powers
> (even LeMay called him a sadist) told the president that if we didn't order
> the missile sites in Cuba bombed within the hour it would be a blot on the
> honor of the U.S.A. Kennedy asked LeMay what he thought the Soviets would do
> if he did that. LeMay said he understood how the soviets think and because
> such an attack would be bound to kill lots of Russians manning the site they
> couldn't let it pass, he said they would probably retaliate by bombing our
> medium range nuclear missiles in Turkey. Kennedy asked what we should do then,
> LeMay said such an attack would kill American solders and that would have to
> be avenged by bombing nuclear missile sites in the USSR itself. Kennedy asked
> what the Soviets would do then, LeMay said he hoped at that point cooler
> heads would prevail.
> Actually it was even worse than that. We now know from recently declassified
> USSR archives that the nuclear missiles in Cuba were fully operational in
> October 1962 and that the Russian field commanders were authorized to fire
> them on their own authority if it looked like the missiles were about to be
> destroyed or captured. The field commanders had the launch codes! Castro
> knew this, Kennedy did not.
> The USA thought incorrectly that the missiles were not yet operational and
> they never dreamed they could be fired without a direct order from Moscow.
> We also know that the USA was absolutely determined to get rid of the missiles
> one way or another, if they were not removed by diplomacy in a matter of days
> they would send an air strike to destroy them. As I said, the human race
> never came closer to extinction.
> I don't often say nice things about Communist dictators but I will now,
> Khrushchev had the intelligence to see the insanity in the situation and had
> the guts to back down. Castro was absolutely furious at Khrushchev's decision
> to remove the missiles and never forgave him for it. Khrushchev often made
> bloodthirsty speeches but he really didn't want to be a mass murderer on such
> a vast scale, but Castro would rather destroy the world than be embarrassed.
> If Castro was the dictator of the USSR and not Cuba, you and I and everyone
> we know would be dead.
Thank you for that account, now in the case that the US had nuclear
weapons targeted at Cuba, as i'm assuming they had (it's pretty funny
that we have details of the decisions and state of weaponry of "closed
dictatorships", but not about an "open democracy"), how is Castro any more
responsible about this escallation than Kennedy? Why is Kennedy praised
for being the hard man while Castro is satanised? From your above
account, the only guy who didn't seem to be a complete psycho was

> >Didn't (or doesn't) the US have nuclear weapons pointed at Cuba?
> I don't know, it's top secret, but I doubt it, there's nothing important in
> Cuba anymore, not militarily or economically or scientifically or
> artistically or...
what about then (1962)?

> >>Me:
> >>Anarcho-socialists, is that anything like jumbo shrimp?
> >Not a government but an entity which is designated by some method by
> >the voluntary members of the group or commune which the entity is
> >going to direct.
> I don't know what you mean by "entity" and I don't know how it's "designated"
> or who does it, but I think I do know what you mean by "voluntary", join us
> or take a bullet in the brain, you're free to choose.

I thought you were asking, and i was giving you a definition, but you
don't seem to like that. No, in the kind of anarcho-socialism i had in
mind, voluntary means more along the lines of "Do you care to join us?", i
think it would work better than the option you gave. Entity is just that,
an entity. It is purposefully left ambiguous to accomodate to the
group/commune. Same thing with designated.
> >Anarcho-capitalism is just a special case of this by setting group
> >is equal to each indivual.
> A government is an organization that claims a monopoly on the legal use of
> force and has the power to enforce its claim most of the time. In
> Anarcho-capitalism no group has rights an individual does not have. So what
> the hell are Anarcho-socialists?
The same as anarcho-capitalists, substituting the group/comune mentioned
above for the individual. That is inside the commune, the rules/laws are
up to the commune/group, outside, the commune's relations to other
commune's are simmilar to inter-individual relations in an
anarcho-capitalist society (or whatever you feel like calling it).

> >In the common case, the commune is a group of people that choose to
> >live together, and the entity that directs them are the people
> >themselves, and usually they don't do any enforcing since there is
> >nothing to enforce cos most private property is abolished.
> Fine, you have a perfect right to do that and I have not the slightest
> objection. I presume everyone on this list believes in the Scientific Method,
> so let's put it to the test, start your socialist commune today, I'll stick
> with business, and we'll see which one turns out to be freer and more
> prosperous. I have no desire to stop you, and anyway I have a pretty good
> idea which one of us will win the contest, but by all means, try to prove me
> wrong. If you do then you will have beaten me fair and square in the free
> market of ideas.
> I get the impression that our positions are not symmetric however, that you
> do have a strong desire to stop me. If I'm wrong about that then I apologize
> and we have no disagreement over morality, only over the technical points of
> economics, and there is no need to worry about that, nature will let us know
> which one of us is correct, no doubt about it.
I don't have any desire to stop you at all. In fact, i would say that
anarcho-capitalist and anarcho-socialist societies could live rather
peacefully alongside each other, but i'm no more able to setup an
anarchosocialist commune than you are of setting up an anarchocapitalist
one since any kind of current power structure wouldn't let either of them
exist. I also have a pretty good idea of which one would be freer.