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Just got back from an SOSCubaNYC March. I had the bullhorn for a few minutes to tell my story and why I'm there to support. So many amazing Cubans marching as one. We walked from Times Square to Union

Message from Hamlet         

Yep it does - replace blockade with embargo and you get the drift ... 🙂 The Blockade does not prohibit fishermen in Cuba from fishing, the dictatorship does; 🇨🇺-The blockade does not confis

5 hours ago, Nino said:

Hate to admit it but I share your thought ...

Lots of anger but no rallying figure, no plan and no media support.

Point 3 followed by point 4 ...

Status quo is typically the norm for these types of events, and what I would bet on. It's not always the norm though, as history has shown governments and countries come and go (arguably at a 100% rate on a long enough time frame), it's just a matter of when.

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2 hours ago, ElJavi76 said:

I don't think anyone gives a $hit about free elections right now. 

Quite clearly! My point was that eventually things have to move in that direction, or little will change.

 

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1 hour ago, CaptainQuintero said:

I would assume fizzle and any shrewd political operators there will be using this to strengthen their position and weaken Canel's in anticipation of a 'Meet your new boss, same as the old boss' move

Sadly this seems quite possible.

The question is whether anyone within the regime has enough credibility to quell dissent by replacing him. It seems as though this anger is directed much more broadly than just the head honcho.  

One possibility - and others who are much more familiar with Cuba can comment on how plausible this is - is a rogue faction/leader within the military throws in with the demands for regime change. Is there some ambitious general who commands sufficient loyalty to pull this off? No clue.  

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31 minutes ago, MrBirdman said:

The question is whether anyone within the regime has enough credibility to quell dissent by replacing him. It seems as though this anger is directed much more broadly than just the head honcho.  

One possibility - and others who are much more familiar with Cuba can comment on how plausible this is - is a rogue faction/leader within the military throws in with the demands for regime change. Is there some ambitious general who commands sufficient loyalty to pull this off? No clue.  

Nope, I don't see it coming from there.

The young "Turks" were removed as a threat already by Fidel in 2009 ( Carlos Lage, Felipe Perez Roque etc ... )

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cuba-government-idUSTRE5215L820090305

And the old Comandantes have to endure being called assasins, killers, demands for freedom and less beatings like old Ramiro Valdes 3 days ago in Palma Soriano in Oriente ( and THAT is the most "revolutionary" province in Cuba ... )

Guess he had to change his diapers after this event ...

 

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I had a feeling after not seeing any overt military presence by day 3 this thing was going to fizzle. Doesn't seem like momentum is rising at this point. I had no doubt if they could avoid military involvement they would. That could risk enraging a larger segment of the population. Only if it's bubbling out of control would the military enter the picture. 

Now, the regime obviously can't make immediate changes as it would appear "responsive". Can't have the people thinking all they have to do is take to the streets every time they want some change. They'll give some lip service "committing' to helping the people and some minor pressure release reforms will begin in a few weeks or months. 

3 hours ago, Ryan said:

Things are bad now in Cuba, but I do think they were worse for the majority of the population, the rural poor, in the late 50s.

I can't find it now but a few years ago I looked at some scholarly analysis that concluded the standard of living for the average Cuban had not changed from immediately prior to the Rev until around 2000. And I would speculate it's purely western technology that accounted for any improvements. Microwaves and color TVs were cheap enough even for the Cubans to have by 2000. 

As corrupt as Batista was it still had enough freedom in it to be no worse for the average Cuban than Castro's regime.

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20 minutes ago, NSXCIGAR said:

I can't find it now but a few years ago I looked at some scholarly analysis that concluded the standard of living for the average Cuban had not changed from immediately prior to the Rev until around 2000. And I would speculate it's purely western technology that accounted for any improvements. Microwaves and color TVs were cheap enough even for the Cubans to have by 2000. 

As corrupt as Batista was it still had enough freedom in it to be no worse for the average Cuban than Castro's regime.

I'm not sure how "standard of living" was calculated in that study, but life expectancy and literacy levels, two of the most obvious indicators of a population getting out of poverty, increased dramatically between 1959 and 1990 in Cuba. In the early 90s the economy collapsed. Cubans in 1990 were far better off than they were in 2000, many were probably better off in 1990 then they are today.

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A Cuban friend just shared this Facebook video with me. It's public so should be visible to all.

https://www.facebook.com/alejandrochuy66/videos/839308503680796

I presume it's Havana but not 100% sure.

It is described as "plain clothes police officers with bats to repress and then tell the world that it was the people (i.e. civilian protestors) who did this."

There has been a lot of rumour coming out of Cuba in the last few days, it's hard to distinguish the reality. But this is fairly damning, they are getting out of state-owned buses with sticks and bats with a line of police cars at the top of the row of vehicles. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Ryan said:

A Cuban friend just shared this Facebook video with me. It's public so should be visible to all.

https://www.facebook.com/alejandrochuy66/videos/839308503680796

I presume it's Havana but not 100% sure.

It is described as "plain clothes police officers with bats to repress and then tell the world that it was the people (i.e. civilian protestors) who did this."

There has been a lot of rumour coming out of Cuba in the last few days, it's hard to distinguish the reality. But this is fairly damning, they are getting out of state-owned buses with sticks and bats with a line of police cars at the top of row of vehicles. 

 

I saw the same video and saw a similar "description" albeit a bit different.  This particular description mentioned the same however one of the commenters pointed out that the "officers" likely include men who are forced to partipate by their CDR or force public repudiations (repudios) and could also include younger men who have been (supposedly) rounded up in the last few days for military service, which is compulsory in Cuba for a period of 2 years (between 17 and 28 years old.   I say supposedly because even though there are videos of young men being taken out of their homes by force, we have no way of knowing when it was filmed, for what reason they were removed (for conscription or other reasons) or any number of other reasons that would need to be verified.  I'm sure there are people who would volunteer, and there are "revolutionary brigades" of all sorts that exist to do all sorts of different things around the country that I assume would be conscripted in a national crisis. 

But it does have we wondering...If there is such a need for reinforcements that volunteers and people who otherwise are not normally involved in police actions are required, I don't know how quick I'm gonna bet on fizzle out at the very least a quick end.  

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5 hours ago, Ryan said:

I'm not sure how "standard of living" was calculated in that study, but life expectancy and literacy levels, two of the most obvious indicators of a population getting out of poverty, increased dramatically between 1959 and 1990 in Cuba

Those metrics are indirect poverty indicators. Typically, when the standard of living rises, children don't have to work and can go to school. Not the case in Cuba.

And high life expectancy in Cuba has always been a result of cooked books and playing with metrics. You don't actually think Cuba has decent health care do you? 

https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/The-Cuban-Revolution-and-Infant-Mortality%3A-A-Geloso-Pavlik/4f7d47e20462f124d55f2b56b4a58b9796bfc6bb

Standard of living is and always has been a combination of per capita GDP and basket of goods and services consumed. In both cases Cuba has never done well. As far as the economy collapsing in 1991, everything evens out. Perhaps the Cubans got ahead in the 80s only to retreat in the 90s. Economic analyses have to be long term. 

I believe these are some of the papers I was referring to but I can't find entire articles:

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/revista-de-historia-economica-journal-of-iberian-and-latin-american-economic-history/article/absolution-of-history-cuban-living-standards-after-60-years-of-revolutionary-rule/67564BF51F269BD02F0555A45ED78C04

https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/The-Road-Not-Taken%3A-Pre-Revolutionary-Cuban-Living-Ward-Devereux/a14ea0a6a6cbab82f91f90ea55da0e6a2d20628e

https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/CUBAN-SOCIOECONOMIC-INDICATORS-BEFORE-THE-AN-Locay/6e0db1cee07294f8ea87f64d15c8946e756a635b

https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Measuring-the-Role-of-the-1959-Revolution-on-Cuba's-Jales-Kang/8ba99f688c7a14ad5ffdc33bb6a7c9379106ca4d

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Believe it or not, Cuba's Prime Minister just got off national televison talking about the energy crisis and explained how the blackout and the frustrations that they cause are very likely to continue.  Keep in mind that the blackouts the Prime Minister decided to talka about is one of the things that really lit the proverbial match in San Antonio de los Banos...the first town to see protests.  One resident in San Antonio de los Banos told a CNN reporter that they have been enduring blackouts for weeks at a time in excess of 12 hours a day.   

Diaz Canel is up next.  Maybe he'll talk about cutting salaries.  🙄

 

You can't make this stuff up.

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Cuban leadership just announced during their "Mesa Redonda" this evening that it will allow unlimited importation of food, hygiene products and medicine via passenger flights w/ no tariffs (import duties) through December 31st of this year. 

I should point out there was no mention of lifting the restrictions on the number of flights from countries they previously identified as being COVID risks.  🤔

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3 hours ago, Ryan said:

A Cuban friend just shared this Facebook video with me. It's public so should be visible to all.

https://www.facebook.com/alejandrochuy66/videos/839308503680796

I presume it's Havana but not 100% sure.

It is described as "plain clothes police officers with bats to repress and then tell the world that it was the people (i.e. civilian protestors) who did this."

There has been a lot of rumour coming out of Cuba in the last few days, it's hard to distinguish the reality. But this is fairly damning, they are getting out of state-owned buses with sticks and bats with a line of police cars at the top of the row of vehicles. 

 

That's the word i got as well Andy....

 

my dear friend we have lived unreal days since Sunday morning we are without internet. Cuba woke up and has taken to the streets to demand to live like the people, all caused by hunger, the extreme shortage of food and medicine, the people tired because all this the government began to remove electricity for more than four hours all the days..!!!
Anyway, sad that we have reached this situation but here we are 😢 I and my family are fine, thank God, I do not leave the house for fear, the police and the military are on the street and the worst without uniforms like normal people 😢 I I found a way to have internet because here they only transmit local news and it says that everything is fine 🤷🏻‍♂️ they have us blind ...
I know you must be worried but we are only afraid and we are locked up 🥺 Pray a lot for us and for those brave Cubans who took to the streets to demand a change .. !!!
 
 
 
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1 hour ago, chris12381 said:

it will allow unlimited importation of food, hygiene products and medicine via passenger flights w/ no tariffs (import duties) through December 31st of this year. 

I would love to hear how the tariffs on these items are the US's fault...:rolleyes:

I'm surprised the Cubans' first demand wasn't to end these tariffs. If the people can't see this regime is all about putting a few extra pennies in its pocket by making food and medicine unavailable than they'll never get it. 

By the way, excellent way to relieve the pressure without looking reflexive or responsive to the protests. This can be sold as "we were going to do this anyway" or "due to the emergency shortage", etc. 

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I also got a Whatsapp call from the island today so the noose on communications has been loosened a bit.

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6 hours ago, NSXCIGAR said:

I had a feeling after not seeing any overt military presence by day 3 this thing was going to fizzle. Doesn't seem like momentum is rising at this point. I had no doubt if they could avoid military involvement they would. That could risk enraging a larger segment of the population. Only if it's bubbling out of control would the military enter the picture. 

Now, the regime obviously can't make immediate changes as it would appear "responsive". Can't have the people thinking all they have to do is take to the streets every time they want some change. They'll give some lip service "committing' to helping the people and some minor pressure release reforms will begin in a few weeks or months. 

I can't find it now but a few years ago I looked at some scholarly analysis that concluded the standard of living for the average Cuban had not changed from immediately prior to the Rev until around 2000. And I would speculate it's purely western technology that accounted for any improvements. Microwaves and color TVs were cheap enough even for the Cubans to have by 2000. 

As corrupt as Batista was it still had enough freedom in it to be no worse for the average Cuban than Castro's regime.

Military doctrine for Unconventional or Guerilla warfare and the Cubans following of the Guerilla warfare doctrine would not immediately have the military from just showing up in uniform.  

U.S. Army Special Forces & Guerilla warfare manual 1961

U.S. Army Special Operations Forces unconventional Warefare 2008 

The basic doctrine is to gather intelligence and infiltrate before taking any action. As big of a surveillance state as Cuba is, You can bet money that there are Cuban Special Forces or similar police force in these crowds trying to blend in. I have no doubt they are looking for individuals, groups to infiltrate that may be organizing these protests. Were in the early stages of what the Cuban govt action it will take. I suspect when they identify the people starting these protests we won't hear much because these people will be scooped up in the dead of night. 

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5 hours ago, chris12381 said:

Cuban leadership just announced during their "Mesa Redonda" this evening that it will allow unlimited importation of food, hygiene products and medicine via passenger flights w/ no tariffs (import duties) through December 31st of this year. 

 

Read it too but I don't believe ( and do not hope ) Cubans will accept those crumbs after going into the streeet.

They didn't protest to get 2 suitcases more tax-free through customs I hope.

The move would only benefit mules and there are basically no flights to Cuba anyway.

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US Government said they will not allow any Cuban or Haitian to enter the country.  They will return anyone found at sea back to their respective country.  

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15 hours ago, NSXCIGAR said:

I would love to hear how the tariffs on these items are the US's fault...:rolleyes:

I'm surprised the Cubans' first demand wasn't to end these tariffs. If the people can't see this regime is all about putting a few extra pennies in its pocket by making food and medicine unavailable than they'll never get it. 

I don't know what blame one could assess on the US for import tariffs on food and medicine.  If it was somehow punitive, they would assess it only on those passengers entering from the US when in fact, everyone pays it regardless of country of departure.  It is, as you said, a profit making venture.  

10 hours ago, Nino said:

Read it too but I don't believe ( and do not hope ) Cubans will accept those crumbs after going into the streeet.

They didn't protest to get 2 suitcases more tax-free through customs I hope.

The move would only benefit mules and there are basically no flights to Cuba anyway.

Agreed.  It is the equivalent of pissing on a forest fire.     

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