When were the castro brothers ever elected?

A Cuban diplomat said the the World Trade Organization should “take a position on the legality of the embargo laws and measures” that the United States has maintained against the communist-ruled island for more than four decades.

I’ll go one better; maybe the WTO should take a postition on the legality of the 48 year rule of fidel and raul castro. How can they claim legitimacy, they were never elected, and how can a “revolution” last for 48 years?

The story is here.

27 thoughts on “When were the castro brothers ever elected?”

  1. Before he declared “elections, we don’t need elections,” Castro made an abortive run for the Cuban Congress. He solicited Batista’s support personally and was rebuffed. Batista, of course, knew of Castro’s “priors” — his murder of student rivals, his years as a gangster and his participation in an aborted Marxist revolution in Colombia. Still, in hindsight, one wishes that Batista had embraced him, for as LBJ said, it’s better to have an enemy pissing from your tent than into it. And, of course, Castro couldn’t have led an anti-Batista revolution if he had been shilling for him Congress.

  2. Oh Ziva,

    The WTO doesn’t concern itself with judging political governments. Rather, they concern themselves with binding treaties of trade between nations. And, all WTO members have signed an agreement that says that extraterritorial sanctions violate the principles of their treaties.

    That’s the legitimacy that WTO is concerned with.

  3. What I don’t understand is how come all the intellectual in Cuba still permit this type of government. How come there has not been a rupture among the factions that control cuba. The political machinery design of this government is worth of study. They can control the masses so well and maintain such stability, and the best part of all giving out so little.

  4. Joey Cuba is a repressive totalitarian state, like North Korea, like China, like the former Soviet Union. “Intellectuals” have no say in the government.

    Here’s a quick overview for you.

    Cuba is a totalitarian state controlled by President Fidel Castro, who is Chief of State, Head of Government, First Secretary of the Communist Party, and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. President Castro exercises control over all aspects of life through the Communist Party and its affiliated mass organizations, the government bureaucracy, and the state security apparatus. The Communist Party is the only legal political entity, and President Castro personally chooses the membership of the Politburo, the select group that heads the party. There are no contested elections for the 601-member National Assembly of People’s Power (ANPP), which meets twice a year for a few days to rubber stamp decisions and policies already decided by the Government. The Party controls all government positions, including judicial offices. The judiciary is completely subordinate to the Government and to the Communist Party.

    The Ministry of Interior is the principal organ of state security and totalitarian control. Officers of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR), which are led by President Castro’s brother, Raul, have been assigned to the majority of key positions in the Ministry of Interior in recent years. In addition to the routine law enforcement functions of regulating migration and controlling the Border Guard and the regular police forces, the Interior Ministry’s Department of State Security investigates and actively suppresses opposition and dissent. It maintains a pervasive system of vigilance through undercover agents, informers, the rapid response brigades, and the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR’s). The Government traditionally uses the CDR’s to mobilize citizens against dissenters, impose ideological conformity, and root out “counterrevolutionary” behavior. Other mass organizations also inject government and Communist Party control into citizens’ daily activities at home, work, and school. Members of the security forces committed serious human rights abuses.

    The Government continued to control all significant means of production and remained the predominant employer, despite permitting some carefully controlled foreign investment in joint ventures with it. Foreign companies are required to contract workers only through Cuban state agencies, which receive hard currency payments for the workers’ labor but in turn pay the workers a fraction of this (usually 5 percent) in local currency.

    Please read the Cuban Blogs on Babalu’s sidebar for more insight into the repressive regime and the horrible conditions inside Cuba.

  5. Ziva, I understand all of these points. (I am actually from Cuba, I came in the 90’s to the US). I traveled to cuba recently. And I do understand the totaliarism of the regime. But how come he can maintain himself in power. He does have the backing of the factions that run Cuba. And what do he gives them? A russian car, a badly build house with a few perks like a TV, or dvd etc. Thing that any hard worker inmigrant from Cuba can obtain in probably the firt 2 years in the USA. For example, if you look at Political Machineries in Urban areas in the USA. You will see that they are fueled by job offers, city contracts ( in other word government money coming and going) and many of these machineries stay in power for a fairly amount of time until they get more and more ambitious and they implode. However, in Cuba, the machinery created by the Comunist party is very strong. And they only sell ideology. An ideology that is a lie, but a lie repeated many time to the point that people believe on it. I was there and many people (the majority) show disklike for the government. However, they adapt very easy to any situation. And they follow the leadership. How can one man have so mucho control and be able to micromanage so many people’s life. That is my question? And Cuba cannot be compared to North Korea, I believe the level of education in NK is low, plus culturally the Koreans are submissive people. While we cubans historically have been rebels.

  6. Joey,

    Ziva could not have explained it any better! When a government rules by oppression and takes away all basic freedoms, its citizens are controlled by fear and threats. Do some research and you will find the price paid by those who have courageously opposed the tyrant. This is why castro’s oppresive “government machinery” has remained in power.

    I wish you well 🙂 Melek

    “A government that intended to protect the liberty of the people would not disarm them. A government planning the opposite most certainly and logically would disarm them. And so it has been in this century. Check out the history of Germany, the Soviet Union, Cuba, China and Cambodia.” ~ C. Reese

  7. “[T]he Koreans are submissive people. While we Cubans historically have been rebels.” — Joey

    You have just shown that you know nothing about Korean history but racist stereotypes.

    The Koreans in the North are our elder brothers in suffering. We should not demean them in order to exalt ourselves since we are in exactly the same situation.

  8. Joey – brainwashing, fear, and repression as I stated above, with the addition of a charismatic, very smart leader. A leader who is the master at manipulation. It seems he’s managed to hoodwink every useful wanna be idiot on the planet. He deports, murders or imprisons any serious opposition; that sends a powerful message to any potential rebel. As for Koreans, Manuel is correct. When we had the riots here in Los Angeles, the Koreans took to thier roof tops with rifles to protect their property– hardly a passive reaction to threat. North Koreans are in the same boat as the Cubans, with even less food.

  9. Mike’s comment removed by Ziva, I’ve had it up to here with anti-American assholes and if anyone has a problem with this, email me.

  10. And just how am I anti-America Ziva? I’d argue that I’m more of a patriot then you. What have you done to serve this country? The fact that you censor those who disagree with you and promote policies that directly contradict the freedoms what this country stands for shows that you are no better then the authoritarian government you denouce.

  11. Mike, first off, this is a blog, not a street corner and nothing that happens here in any way impedes your free speech. Second, I deleted your post, not because you disagreed with me, I have no problem with that. I deleted your post because you compared the U.S. freely elected government to the totalitarian hellhole that is Cuba. What have I done for my country? Plenty, what have you done?

  12. Also, exactly what policies do you think I promote that contradict the freedoms this country stands for. And I’ll say upfront, if you’re talking about the Cuban embargo and the travel restrictions, you can shove it up your ass.

  13. People like Mike always confuse the concept of freedom of speech.

    You have the right to speak your mind…but if you’re in my house, and I don’t want to listen to your drivel…I have the RIGHT to kick you out and call you an idiot while doing it!

    You can than go find someone else who will listen.

    Why is that so hard to comprehend?

  14. It’s hard to comprehend because on one hand you cry about a supposed lack of freedom of speech in Cuba whilst practising the toughest form of censorship on anybody who doesn’t agree with you!

    It’s tremendous hypocrisy – but you seem to find THAT very hard to comprehend.

  15. The speech here isn’t free, this blog costs money, and labor. Telling someone you have a right to free speech on their site is like walking into their house and demanding a meal.
    If the government censors you, it’s censorship. If you get moderated off on a private blog, it’s not. We are not required to give you a podium. This is our house and we can boot you out if we don’t like you. The Miami Herald doesn’t have to print your letter-to-the-editor does it? Now if we stopped you from starting your own blog; that would be censorship. It’s not a free speech issue and if you can’t tell the difference, that’s your problem.

  16. Maceo,

    You’re just showing your complete IGNORANCE. Freedom of Speech for you doesn’t cancel out MY FREEDOM to debate, debunk, or otherwise call you out when you talk shit. That’s what all you stupid commies don’t get. You have rights, but so do those who disagree. You’re either deliberately obtuse or a colossal FOOL!

    Go to Cuba, and disagree and see what happens. JERK!

  17. ohh, this went from an argument about the totaliralism of the cuban government to constitutional rights that’s interesting. However, getting back to the issue. By no means I meant to offend any Korean. I do know that Koreans are smart and hard worker. What I meant is that cubans have always been hard headed. Throughout our history we have never accepted corrupt government or opression. And now, one pair of brothers rule our island and we dont do anything. Of course if you ask a cuban here in the US, they will tell you, I dont care about cuba anymore I am on the other side already. And some that care are either raising money and pocketing it or part of an organizations that are sending chocolates to cuba. By no means I want to offend anyone, and I am been sarcastic for a reason. Of course I do not want to generalize either as I know there are a lot of cubans that truly want to see a free cuba. All I want to prove is the lack of organization and the monetary interest behind the cuban problem. Hence, why we have a totaliariam government in Cuba still. And dont compare Cuba to Russia or any of the country of the comunist block. Remember cubans have 2 senators, and 3 representative in congress and half of cuba in Miami. None of the countries from the comunist block had that type of pull.

  18. Joey, there are 12 million cubans in Cuba and there are 2 million in exile and not all of them live in Miami.

    Now compare 2 Cuban-American senators to a total of 100 Senators and you get about 2%, that is practically insignificant and even with just 2% these Cuban-American senators have still helped to stand up for the situation of Cuba in Washington.

    In the House of Representatives there are about 400 members and only 3 Cuban-American Representatives, so the proportion is even smaller.

    As for the so-called “intellectuals” in Cuba, they are only termed “intellectuals” when they favor Castro. Those who publicly oppose are called dissidents and they get sent to jail, or beaten by government-sent mobs, or harrassed continuously by the communist government.

    The Cubans in there have no guns to defend themselves and they have no food so on a daily basis they have to worry about that, not to mention that they are constantly being watched by the CDRs, who will snitch to the regime about anything that happens or that they see.

    Moreover, the fear and indoctrination in which people live are among the most powerful tools of the repressive regime.

    My history classes in Cuba were full of indoctrination and praise toward the communist regime. It was full of lies about the Cuban history. So many people don’t even know the truth about Cuba’s own history and how things really happened.

  19. qbanartemisa, I believe you are wrong when you said two senators is a minority. If you look at a tremendous power a senator has, then you will see that two senators is a lot of pull. Each state in the Union has two senator, which mean that cubans have the same pull as any of the state on the Union. Three congressman represent a lot of pull, specially when these congressman hold important position in both parties. For example, Democrat Congressman Sires, was just made part of three foreign affair sub-committees.

  20. Joey
    Two senators may seem like a lot but they have many hidden opposers such as Democrat Charles Rangel who went on trips to Cuba sponsored by the regime and lied about it. Hillary Clinton is said to have gone to Cuba in the Zafra, and Jimmy Carter just went to ridicule himself and the American public, not to mention that he has presided over every recent election where a leftist favoring Castro has gotten “elected” in Latin America. What really stinks is that none of the ones elected received a majority in popular vote, only a majority in votes.

    Despite this, I think the senators and representatives have had great influence in general because even Condoleeza Rice herself spoke about Cuba and offered the US help for a free Cuba.

    Moreover, retarded Kennedy signed a treaty with Kruschev not to invade Cuba, so the US has its hands tied on that matter.

    The only time we had supposedly full US suport was during the Bay of Pigs, and Kennedy decided to take out US support in the middle of it, leaving Cubans practically bare-handed.

    In my opinion the only reason the regime is still standing is because they have ample monetary support. If you cut their funding, the regime would fall by its own weight.

  21. “Mike, first off, this is a blog, not a street corner and nothing that happens here in any way impedes your free speech.”

    Putting words in my mouth again? First I was saying things that where “anti-American” even though I never said anything negative about our country and now I’m complaining about freedom of speech? I never brought up the first amendment. I said you censor those who disagree with you, which is true. If you don’t understand what the word censor means I suggest you look it up here: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/censor Also bemoaning the Cuban governments censorship of libraries and complaining that someone went though legal means to take down a post while doing the exact same thing yourself a couple of hours later shows the blatant hypocrisy that has become a way of life for many here.

    “Second, I deleted your post, not because you disagreed with me, I have no problem with that. I deleted your post because you compared the U.S. freely elected government to the totalitarian hellhole that is Cuba.”

    Where did I do that? Be sure to use direct quotes. You’re so full of shit it must be coming out of your ears my dear. I never compared America to Cuba. I said that:

    1.) The only job of the WTO is to facilitate trade in between nations and politics is outside of the organizations scope.

    2.) That one wrong (Cuba’s totalitarian system) doesn’t justify another (the current laws infringing upon individual citizens property rights and freedom of travel).

    “What have I done for my country? Plenty, what have you done?”

    Oh so you’ve done “plenty” huh? In other words nothing worth mentioning. What I done? I gave up four years of my life to serve in the military to protect ingrates like you who piss all over the constitution any time it suits their agenda. Just for the record while I was in I participated in direct combat and came under enemy fire. I don’t bring it up unless asked because according to Val if I do I’m using my time in the service as a “crutch”. So to be called “anti-American” by a partisan zealot like you who works to undermine our citizens’ freedoms to suit your personal agenda is ridiculous.

    “Oh, and MIke what was the point of your comment?”

    The point of my comment was that:

    1.) The WTO has no business doing anything else then facilitating trade.

    2.) That you’re a hypocrite.

    “Also, exactly what policies do you think I promote that contradict the freedoms this country stands for. And I’ll say upfront, if you’re talking about the Cuban embargo and the travel restrictions, you can shove it up your ass.”

    Oh I see you only promote individual liberty when it doesn’t interfere with your personal agenda. You would prefer to change the rules as you go. That kind of behavior reminds me of another (in)famous Cuban.

  22. Mike, personal agenda? You’e right about that. My purpose for blogging is a very personal agenda, and I really don’t give a rats ass what you and others like you think of me. Considering the comments you’ve left on posts here at Babalu why are you here? You think I’m a hypocrite? Didn’t like my post? Then don’t read them, your choice, just like its my choice to tell you to fuck off. End of conversation.

  23. End of conversation? Well I guess that means you are conceding the following points:

    1.) The only job of the WTO is to facilitate trade in between nations and politics is outside of the organizations scope.

    2.) That one wrong (Cuba’s totalitarian system) doesn’t justify another (the current laws infringing upon individual citizens property rights and freedom of travel).

    3.) It’s hypocritical of you to censor media while at the same time denouncing others for doing the exact same thing.

    4.) That you have no problem with advocating policies that violate the rights of citizens as long as said policies further your personal agenda. Which by the way is a long standing habit of the very government which you denounce.

    5.) That you like to attribute made up statements to those that you disagree with in order to try to further your argument.

  24. End of conversation? Well I guess that means you are conceding the following points:

    No, I’m not conceding anything, you are just not worthy of my time and effort.

    1.) The only job of the WTO is to facilitate trade in between nations and politics is outside of the organizations scope.

    I never said otherwise- you missed the point of my post which others discerned quite easily.

    2.) That one wrong (Cuba’s totalitarian system) doesn’t justify another (the current laws infringing upon individual citizens property rights and freedom of travel).

    Two wrongs never make a right, but the Cuba travel restrictions are not wrong. I’m not going to argue this with you; the topic has been debated at this blog by those much more knowledgeable than you. Read through the archives.

    3.) It’s hypocritical of you to censor media while at the same time denouncing others for doing the exact same thing.

    I, and other commenter’s already answered this one, and again, not wasting anymore time on you.

    4.) That you have no problem with advocating policies that violate the rights of citizens as long as said policies further your personal agenda. Which by the way is a long standing habit of the very government which you denounce.

    Again, read through the archives, you have contributed nothing to the argument.

    5.) That you like to attribute made up statements to those that you disagree with in order to try to further your argument.

    If I misinterpreted your statements, sorry, I don’t believe I did so. Again I ask why are you here? I don’t waste my time hanging out at blogs whose premise I disagree with, and where I’m not welcome.

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