Cuba Audio Analysis: Castro’s Death, the US, and Latin America

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PHOTO: Fidel Castro, August 1959


I have done a series of interviews with BBC TV, BBC radio, and Monocle 24 on Saturday to evaluate the news of Fidel Castro’s death.

After the initial “immediate response” interview with BBC Radio 5 Live, I have been trying to offer a line going beyond the old US v. Cuba framework. Both in symbolism and in social and political impact, the leadership of Castro and his inner circle since 1959 has had a lasting significance for Latin America — and, indeed, other parts of the world.

A couple of the interviews:

BBC Radio 5 Live: Listen to discussion

This was a combination of a new type of political and economic system and the symbolism that Cuba was defying the most powerful country in the world and, despite everything that this country threw at it — paramilitary invasion, economic sanctions, attempted assassination — Fidel Castro and his system survived.

Not just symbolic for the US and Cuba but for many others around the world.

The discussion also reviews how close the world came to nuclear war over the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

BBC Radio Wales: Listen to discussion

Now there is a bigger story. Not only whether the US and Cuba develop economic links and whether they can along, but a wider story for Latin America — does Cuba’s idea of socialism continue or do we see a move back to the US idea of free markets?

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7 COMMENTS

  1. You have to hand it to Castro. There have been few bigger hypocrites throughout history. While he preached the typical marxist BS and impoverished his people he had many mistresses and expensive yachts among other his several homes and massive land holdings. He WAS the bourgeoisie he always railed so passionately against.

    • This is generally true of Marxist leaders. The workers are kept poor, the Politburo lives in comfort, and the Big Man lives in luxury.
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      The Catholic Church has a similar approach. It is much easier to have power over the population if they are poor, and you can also claim that you are giving them various benefits, such as a health service or a pass into Heaven.
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      I think the legal maximum wage in Cuba is lower than the legal minimum wage in Britain. Is there any other country that has a legal maximum income ? (The law doesn’t apply to the leaders.)

      • Right. and in the rest of the world, the non-Marxist one, the leaders are poor while the people are rich.
        And yes, I’m 100% for maximum wealth. Why should a person have 1 billion? what for? Is it good for the rest of us?

        • The rest of world doesn’t preach what he preached or talk like he talked. There have been real socialists who lived an austere life and gave everything they had to the poor. He was not one of them. He was a playboy dictator who privately had many mistresses, fancy yachts, and huge amounts of land. He kept all that out of the public eye for a reason. By his own definition he would’ve been a member of the bourgeoisie that he obsessively railed against.

  2. Pope Francis, Miami Archbishop, US Pols React to Castro’s Passing
    http://www.americamagazine.org/content/dispatches/pope-francis-miami-archbishop-us-pols-react-castros-passing 11/26/2016

    The Pope drew attention to how the poverty is created by the imperialist and how the poor becomes the victim of their colonialist policies. He stressed that all the oppressed people must organise and struggle against these policies for a life in dignity.
    http://www.kurdishinstitute.be/kck-and-kurdish-womens-movement-meet-with-pope-francis/ 7/15/2015

    Pope meets refugee family before departure for Cuba, US
    http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2015/09/19/pope_meets_refugee_family_before_departure_for_cuba,_us/1172980 9/19/2015

    • “We look forward to working together with Tent Alliance partners and applaud Hamdi Ulukaya’s dedication to addressing the current refugee crisis,” said Armando Borja, Regional Director for Jesuit Refugee Service North America.
      http://jrsusa.org/news_detail.cfm?TN=NEWS-20160713102431 7/13/2016

      CGI Winter Meeting Participant Hamdi Ulukaya on Business’ Role in Tackling the Refugee Crisis Last week, President Clinton announced the 2016 Annual Meeting theme “Partnering for Global Prosperity” at the CGI Winter Meeting. After the one-on-one conversation with President Clinton, Mic interviewed Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder and CEO of Chobani and Founder of Tent Foundation, was interviewed by Mic. Hamdi discussed how the businesses community can work together to tackle the Syrian refugee crisis.
      https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/701 2/12/2016

      Regarding Syria, he [President-elect Trump’s foreign policy adviser, Dr. Walid Phares] noted that the current situation of the country is very complex and difficult. He highlighted two points.
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      First, he stated that the US will gather all its allies in Syria against IS, including Kurds who operate in the northern part of the country known as Rojava [Syrian Kurdistan].
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      Phares said that the US will support the Kurdish local civil society forces consisting of all Syrian groups including Kurds, Sunni, Shia and Christians.
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      In Phares’s view, this way, the US will create and support “a freedom area” in northern Syria.
      .
      As part of his second point, he mentioned that Trump has also noted that the freedom area will help the US to gather the internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees so that it will be easier for the European Union and the international community to provide humanitarian assistance in there rather than following refugees all around the world.
      http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/2faa5690-0cea-44cf-82c3-40aeb47cf871/-US-to-strengthen-friendship-with-Kurds-after-IS- 6/9/2016

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