Monday, January 28, 2013

Dictator for Democracy?

Raul Castro: First Secretary of the
Communist Party of Cuba, Dictator, and
now pro-democracy leader.

Today, a supposedly pro-democracy organization appointed the hemisphere's only dictator as its president.

If that makes no sense, it just might interpreted thru the lens of hemispheric politics.

The organization in question, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, or CELAC, was founded in 2010 almost solely to defy the United States (and Canada) and to replace the Organization of American States, which is often seen as a puppet of Washington.

The CELAC is certainly not purely Latin. It has a dozen English-speaking member nations, albeit mostly tiny ones, and one Dutch-speaker, and 18 Spanish-speaking ones. Culturally, ethnically, linguistically or economically, these 33 nations with five official languages, lots of religions and varied economies and histories, have little in common.

So, nothing in particular ties the CELAC's members together, except one thing: they aren't the United States.

The CELAC's reasons for being are to exclude Washington and promote Hugo Chavez's ideas about socialist revolution. It was not by chance that Chavez was a co-chair (along with Chilean Pres. Piñera) of the committee that drafted the CELAC's statutes, or that its first summit was held in Caracas and its third is scheduled for Cuba.

Sure hope Raul's not too busy jailing journalists and
arranging one-party elections to promote democracy?
At the CELAC's second summit, held today in Santiago, Chile,  Chilean Pres. Sebastian Pinera handed the organization's presidency to Cuban dictator Raul Castro.

The vice president of Venezuela also read a letter supposedly written by Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president who has held power for some 14 years and recently began yet another term even tho he's been out of sight for more than a month in a Havana hospital suffering from cancer. The letter called for unity among the organization's members and denounced the U.S. blockade of Cuba.

Are Venezuela and Cuba the CELAC's models for democracy?

It's healthy to have a counterbalance to Washington-driven policies. But nobody should deceive themselves that an organization evidently directed by Cuba, a dictatorship which permits no free press, and by increasingly authoritarian Venezuela, will promote democratic values like free speech and the right to vote.

Miami Herald columnist Andres Oppenheimer got it right in this quote in a Washington Post article: “it’s hard to take the CELAC seriously when in their foundational charter they put that they’re going to defend democracy and then they elect a military dictator as its president.

Oppenheimer observes that the CELAC has no headquarters. I couldn't even find a website for the organization. Perhaps the CELAC will do nothing more than organize meetings and issue statements, as leftist demagogues are so fond of doing.

On the other hand, the CELAC might do some good if it makes some think skulls in Washington D.C. realize the imbecility of the embargo against Cuba, which succeeds in giving Cuba a moral standing it didn't earn and generates responses like the CELAC.



By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

25 comments:

Stuart Oswald said...

Cuba should be imposing a self embargo upon themselves from capitalist goods and trade. After all, that's what Fidel and his murdering gang were all about, showing that their beloved marxism needs no capital.

On the subject of Cuba check out this documentary of what's happening there now. Nothing not even Fidel and Che can suppress the people. Makes a good watch (and it's made by the BBC, so as to not upset to many lefties): http://db.tt/YAsAQZuQ. Visit the link and click the download button on the top right.

mauricio forero l said...

It is very clear that Communism is a failure, but for the other hand capitalism has shown to be a great disappointment if not a failure to...So, which way is the OK way???
Embargos do not help at all, and Cuba is a very good example. It is indeed ridiculous to have a pro democracy organization that has as its president somebody like Raul Castro, but the idea of having a organization that can counteract the influence and interest of USA is a very good one.

M.F.

Carlito said...

As far as I understand, the Embargo is only between USA and Cuba, but they can (and have) trade with everybody else in the world. Communism always needs a saboteur on their scheme, but even without embargo, Cuba would be as poor as it is today. Venezuela is following, demonstrating that socialism is inherently wrong.

Miguel said...

Yes, Cuba can trade with all the rest of the world, which means that the U.S. embargo's impact is also pretty marginal. But, it gives the Cubans a great rationalization for their economic problems.
, ,
The embargo's only real purpose is to win the votes of Cuban-Americans in Florida.
, ,
As for capitalism. It certainly has caused huge damage and exploitation. However, communism was even worse in many ways. To paraphrase Churchill: 'Capitalism is the worst system, except for all of the alternatives.'
, ,
Mike

Stuart Oswald said...

lol,

Mike, I think you confused Capitalism with Democracy (although I do say that capitalism is a perfect democracy).

I am very familiar with Churchill and the quote you are referring to, it is in fact, "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." (from a House of Commons speech on Nov. 11, 1947).

The remark about democracy was made when he had lost power and had every reason to be bitter. Fortunately he kept his sense of humour even in the most trying circumstances.

A great leader of any age and a strong believer in capitalism. In contrast to his defeated Hitler whom was a strong believer in socialism.

mauricio forero l said...

How can anyone call capitalism a perfect democracy??? Capitalism is not a political system, it is a economic choice. Now when it comes to Churchill let's remember his position when it came to the old British Empire, and how he lamented the loss of India in particular. And the way they subjugated and exploited the Indian people for so long. I don't know how you can really call someone with these views a portrait of democracy.

Miguel said...

Thanks for the clarification. I wasn't sure about that Churchill quote, but I think that it applies equally to democracy or capitalism, both of them really messed-up, imperfect systems - just less messed up and imperfect than the alternatives which have been tried.
, ,
As for Churchill. Certainly, there are things to criticize about him, particularly his love of empire and cultural chauvinism. But, when Hitler was threatening to subjugate all of Europe, and when even many powerful Englishmen favored making peace treaty with the Nazis, Churchill stood up magnificently and played a huge part in saving Western civilization and democracy, it seems to me.
, ,
And, in terms of domestic civil rights, Churchill can be compared favorably against FDR, who packed the U.S. Supreme Court and detained Japanese Americans.
, ,
Mike

Miguel said...

And Hitler a socialist? I can't let that one pass. Despite the origin of the Nazi party's name (the National Socialists), the Nazi project was very capitalist. Just look at the Krupps, who made a fortune manufacturing weapons for the German army, not to mention the companies which even profited by building death camps. A great book about the amorality of business is 'IBM and the Holocaust', which details Big Blue's efforts to profit from the Nazi killing machine.
, ,
Mike

Stuart Oswald said...

You might have to let it pass or simply accept it.

"We are socialists, we are enemies of today's capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions." (Adolf Hitler Speech of May 1, 1927.)

With regards to your comments trying to link Capitalism with nazism. Hitler took a pragmatic position between the conservative and radical factions of the Nazi Party, in that he accepted private property and allowed capitalist private enterprises to exist as long as they adhered to the goals of the Nazi state (sounds much like Obama's US). However, if a capitalist private enterprise resisted Nazi goals, he sought to destroy it.

Mauricio, Capitalism is not a choice as it is human nature and lives within all humans (Socialist and Capitalist alike). Nor can it be a failure or a disappointment (lol).

Yes there were profits to be mentioned but that does not bear any relevance to the National Socialist German Workers Partys objectives.

I made it half way though "IBM and the Holocaust" book, although offering great research it brought nothing new or sensational to the subject. I can see it from a perspective of someone only seeking to backup their own perspectives. I guess rather than reading from the past we can take action now against (for example) google, being complicit in aiding China's communist government in holding free knowledge of Nazi style crimes against it's people from the people of China. I suppose one day we can read a book from all the corporations and people profiting from Obama and his ilk. That would make a far more enlightening read.

All this still does not make enough of a division from Hitler and socialism to make socialist of the world comfortable or sleep any better at night (unless contented with it).

By the way I think we should be knocking the Roman Empire before we even start on the British. And you might want to return the old world before you do. ;)

Stuart Oswald said...

With regards to democracy, it is an ideal way of governance.

The only problem is when the elected state starts to infringe upon the rights of the individual. Once rights become infringed that aspect of a once democracy turns into a tyranny. The latest example can be taken with Obama (surrounded by children (much like Hitler did)) to sign his executive orders denying the rights of people to protect themselves and their property from crime and tyranny. It can also be seen when the state takes itself to be more than a simple administration and begins to steel money/property from individuals (it singles out) and free organizations to fund "social policies" that in turn make people dependent upon the state and so the decline and enslavement envelops.

Two wolfs and one sheep voting on what's for dinner.

mauricio forero l said...

Your ignorance pups up again dear Oswald LOL, if you could have the chance of living here in the most capitalist of all countries, even you could find out how much of a big failure this system is, when even economist such as Alan Blinder and Heather Boushey have call the current economic system a big FAILURE. Oswald it is just a matter of taking some good texts and getting some good info...You really need it.

Stuart Oswald said...

Mauricio. Thanks for the advise. I think you are just trying to enforce your own prejudices and misconceptions. I think you have a long journey to take on this road. It's a journey that I am just going to let you travel.

mauricio forero l said...

LOL Oswald, you just can not get it, for some reason republicans or ultra conservatives like you always refuse to look beyond the bubble that surrounds them, their world is so small and narrow...But you know what, in the end it is kind of cool to find people like you that in such a particular way entertain and amuse us.

Stuart Oswald said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stuart Oswald said...

Likewise. (take a look at Raul's picture above)

mauricio forero l said...

I'm afraid Oswald that not even Raul is as funny and amusing as you...At least not that confused, LOL.

M.F.

Miguel said...

Hi Stuart,
, ,
First of all, comparing Obama to Hitler is a baseless absurdity.
, ,
Second, look at what Hitler did, not what he said. The Fuerer also insisted that he'd never wanted war, and that is was those evil French, Poles, Czecks and Dutch, etc, who forced him to invade their countries. The Third Reich was a very capitalist system, albeit with lots of government control, as befits a totalitarian state.
, ,
Third, the U.S. government is talking about regulating assault weapons, which are not appropriate for hunting or home defense (unless you want to kill the neighbors), and requiring universal background checks to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, gang-bangers, etc, which are policies I'd expect you to support.
, ,
Regards, Mike

Stuart Oswald said...

Mauricio.

You are right, there is nothing even vaguely funny or amusing about an evil murderer such as Raul. Raul and all his murdering gang (Che, Chavez, Fidel..) will need to be put on a Nuremberg style trial for all the crimes he and his gang have committed. But I guess you would side with them and their defense of simply being confused. ;)

Stuart Oswald said...

First, second and thirdly...

Obama is not Hitler of course. Although he is a sad excuse for a president who swore to protect and defend a constitution. America has stretched to a new low with the swearing in and idolizing of someone so prone to gaffs and who's intellectualism is so inferior. Makes me sick how he can cry for US children, whilst blowing 200 innocent children to smithereens in abroad (2012). Not one little tier for them. (A true Hitler in the making.) You know as well as I do that the 2nd amendment was and is not for duck hunting. ;) The anti gun lobby will fail as even Obama (himself) admits that mass murders (by criminals) are at their highest in the areas where guns are at their most heavily regulated.

I am sure you've read a book called Animal Farm (not the videos ;). Mauricio could do with reading this book on his journey to enlightenment if only he could drag himself away from Das Capital and Mein Kampf and Che's Diaries.

Miguel said...

Hi Stuart,

No, the 2nd Amendment is definitely not about duck hunting. It's about regulating government-run militias which served (poorly) under Washington's command during the Revolutionary War.
, ,
The 2nd Amendment IS NOT about citizens having a right to arm themselves against their own government.
, ,
The reason that gun homicides are higher in parts of the US with stricter gun laws, is that those states and urban areas with lots of gun violence tend to impose stricter laws. However, the gangs who commit the violence bring guns in from weak gun-law regions like Virginia and Mississippi.
, ,
That's why the U.S. needs national background checks and one-gun-a-month purchase limits.
, ,
Mike

Stuart Oswald said...

The argument is flimsy and you are not being honest with the true. It does not make for an honest debate.

One minute it's for duck hunting, then it's another. One minute it's just for semi automatics then it's for all guns. The anti gun lobby is open about what it is trying to achieve and cavalier with the country's founding constitution.

"The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let’s not have any native militia or native police." (“To conquer a nation, one must first disarm its citizens.”) Guess who that came from?

Miguel said...

I'm afraid to guess who said that, because it might be Winston Churchill.

Mike

Stuart Oswald said...

You'd be surprised just how much in agreement the present (so called) left have with the historic (so called) right. The two being almost indistinguishable. That school of thought leads you (falsely to) Churchill with such a warped answer. The lessons of Nazi Germany (and Marxism to a greater extent) have truly not been learnt by yourselves. And weirdly willing to sacrifice whole new generations of innocent people (in Latin America and elsewhere) through something that gives a false/limited sense of liberty but brings nothing but murder and enslavement to the masses. The likes of Fidel and Raul are secretly thankful that all they get is an embargo when they know full well that they should be in a Nuremberg. I can only wonder if it is this atheistic belief that makes man acceptable and culpable of such ideologies.

Miguel said...

Hi Stuart,

As much as I admire Churchill, he had lots of cultural prejudices and said lots of denigrating things, particularly about Gandhi (who, for his own part, said several nice things about Hitler).
, ,
So, I can imagine Churchill making statements about 'keeping subject peoples in control.' On the other hand, it's also true that, when he returned to the prime ministry, he oversaw the dismantling of the empire.
, ,
Mike

Stuart Oswald said...

Nelson Mandela referred to Che as: "An inspiration for every human being who loves freedom".

How sickening..