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Subject: Re: Fidel Castro
From: Olga Bourlin <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Olga Bourlin <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 27 Nov 2016 10:07:46 -0800
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Granted, Cuba has been and is (and one hopes will be less so in the future)
doctrinaire.

But let's keep things in perspective.  Let's get serious and keep in mind
that in "land of the free" USA (during the "Bay or Pigs" missile crisis, in
fact) prior to civil rights legislation in the mid-1960s parts of the US
actually subscribed to *de jure* segregation (and unrelenting de facto
segregation existed everywhere else), many states either still had or had
recently abolished "anti-miscegenation" laws, discrimination in housing and
at the workplace existed, sexism against each gender went unabated, etc.

I visited Cuba in 2012. The cab driver who picked us up at the airport in
Havana was a former physics professor who told us that - because teaching
didn't pay very well - he began earning tips working in a restaurant, then
was able to save enough to buy himself a car so that he could go into the
business of driving tourists around (tourism around that time was the #2
money-making business for Cuba, behind the #1 of importing biotech and
pharmaceuticals).  And I will never forget how our cab driver described
Cuba (and I can still recall his inflection): "pah'-rah-diyse."

Cuba grants its citizens a lot of "free stuff" (<-- that conservatives in
the US deemed was a bad thing since the network of social services provided
by the New Deal that used to benefit whites almost exclusively became
desegregated): free medical, free education, free child care, and free
"elder care" (<-- I visited a couple of the many centers throughout cities
that keep senior citizens occupied, fed, engaged).

Of course, Cubans have had to live frugally (the US embargo didn't help,
and when the USSR collapsed, so did their financial support of Cuba).  But
in terms of risk v. reward, there is no comparison - Cuba has benefited
under their albeit unfortunate resolute government.

In 2012 there was a burgeoning gay rights community in Cuba (I walked
through a gay pride celebration on my way to the ice cream store that was
featured in the 1993 Cuban movie "Love and Chocolate").

And, for such a poor country as Cuba, for all the advantages the US has
(and how high our medical costs have been), our longevity statistics and
Cuba's are  identical.

During my visit to Cuba I traveled to many cities and towns, finding an
abundant vibrancy and friendliness by Cubans towards Americans.


On Sun, Nov 27, 2016 at 7:20 AM, Michael Liebert <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> On Sat, 26 Nov 2016 21:24:32 -0800, Jason Victor Serinus
> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>
> >Not only does Cuba have free medical care and a superb educational system,
>
> People who want to know the truth about the free medical care can go to
> http://www.therealcuba.com/?page_id=77 and then hunt around for more
> info about this great system in Cuba.
>
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