Of Catholics and Communists: The Christmas Spirit In Cuba (Gives Freedom to 2900 Prisoners)

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Pope_cropped

Pope Benedict XVI fosters big change in little Cuba

Cuba is about to meet with God.

Or at least his representative, the Pope.

Pope Benedict XVI has declared he will visit Cuba shortly before Easter in early 2012.  Approximately eighty-five percent of the country is Roman Catholic so the papal visit is like Santa Claus coming to Christmas Party.  The country is putting its best foot forward for the visit while going to great lengths to cover-up any blemishes.  But like teenage acne, several sins mars country’s image.  Their jails hold dozens of political prisoners and massive economic inequalities burden the population.

Nonetheless, the Cuban government is taking near unprecedented actions to legitimize itself; in the spirit of Christmas they have released  2900 prisoners on Christmas Eve.

The Cuban government’s motivations for this greatest of gifts is tainted.  The released seem to be marginal political prisoners whose initial arrests are unjustified.  Important prisoners have not been released.  American Alan Gross, serving 15 years for subversive CIA-backed activities, has remain imprisoned alongside critical political prisoners.  Cuba still expects to be congratulated for its humanitarianism.

It is like when my sister stole all the Christmas cookies; she expected to be congratulated upon returning the platter, despite every tasty gingerbread man missing at least one limb.

I speculate that Cuba is changing, for the better.  Rather than maintaining the fantasy that Cuba is a socialist paradise its new leader, President Raul Castro, is moving to better Cuba pragmatically.  Freeing these prisoners, whom never should have been behind bars in the first place, is one definite step towards legitimizing Cuba in the eyes of the international community.

Being legitimate is important; both Israel and Palestine are effectively countries, but Israel is de jure while Palestine is not.  That is why Israel is a partner in international trade, operates in global alliances, and has a high standard of living while Palestine is not even on the map.

Already key political figures, such as Pope Benedict XVI, are acknowledging the increasing credibility of Cuba, with publicized visits.

It will take time, however I believe Cuba is now in the opening stages of positive trajectory that ends with it being an integrated member of the international community.  There is corroborative evidence the country is changing for the better. Earlier this month the national banks launched a micro loan program to give every citizen financing to better his home and investments.  There is even an emerging middle class.

It will take hard work and many years, but change is coming.  The Christmas Spirit, inspiring both peace on earth and goodwill to all men, is one key ingredient to ending hardship in Cuba.  Maybe Castro will give even better gifts next Christmas, or at least steal fewer cookies.

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Reforms, Annexations, and (Booming) Commerce of America: How Progressivism at Home and Imperialism Abroad Forged the United States Superpower

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Countries rely on both on strong private and public sectors to create a prosperous economy.  An unbalanced economy threatened the United States at the beginning of twentieth century.  Only after aggressive trust-busting and progressive reforms did the nation become hospitable to rapid development of new businesses and industries.  Imperial polices secured grand markets for American industry to exploit and proliferate.  Government regulation and global imperialism empowered the American economy to become the largest and most influential in the world.

Solving domestic issues laid the groundwork for an expanding economy.  During the late 1800’s political machines and trusts conspired together, forming indomitable alienated fair markets and new businesses.  The economy was stagnant.  Progressives across the nation’s state governments led initiatives the against conglomerates; they instated a fair tax structure, expanded public infrastructure, capped work hours, acquired government utilities, and passed the Seventeenth Amendment.  President Roosevelt capitalized on these gains, trust busting the largest oligopolies, arbitrating strikes, and placing federal regulations on railroads, foods, drugs, and false-advertising.  Later, President Wilson forged ahead against hostile business practices; the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914 was designed to fragment the remaining monopolies, his Federal Trade Commission eliminated unethical businesses practices, and a revolutionary federal income tax funded an expansive American government.  The waves of progressivism across the government allowed the nation’s leaders to break up bad trusts and allow a diverse American industry to prosper.  Aggressive imperial policies abroad only encouraged this crucial development.

Invasive foreign policy secured markets that would fund the American economy for decades.  Hawaii was annexed and made into a state to make agricultural trade viable.  Old Spanish colonies across the globe were taken by American troops during the Spanish-American War.  These captured markets bolstered the American economy; United States businesses were safe to proliferate behind a high tariff wall and favorable geopolitics in theses territories.  The Roosevelt Corollary staved off European intervention in the Americas by declaring that any foreign interference in Latin America would be policed by the United States.  These kept foreign competition from venturing too close to America, as business of the United States traded with their neighbors at excessive gains.  Industry boomed as the world came to rely on the superpower status of the American economy.

The American government put the United States’ economy in an advantageous position whose gains were compounded by fortuitous international events.  Strong economic policies domestically allowed numerous companies to spring up and become profitable in the isolated American markets.  Two world wars leveled the competition and made America the bread basket and industrial superpower of the world.  With these positions came unimaginable wealth.  By the close of World War Two America had escaped the global carnage and emerged largely unopposed for economic dominance.  America grew an indomitable economy based on strong regulations domestically and invasive imperial polices to exploit new markets.   The nation would only suffer an economic collapse only ensued after corporatist politicians approved legislation stripping back these domestic reforms, accomplishing everything from consolidating oligopolies on Wall Street and banning basic human rights like collective bargaining in Wisconsin.  In addition, modern America would become entrenched in endless and fruitless wars, fought on specters like drugs and terrorism, which alienated new markets and narrowed the possibility of new business opportunities. America is currently backtracking, and will continue to backtrack until the reforms of the last century are reinstated.

Ecured.cu: Cuba’s Wikipeida

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Wikipedia has been hailed as perhaps the single greatest depository of knowledge; Cuba wants a piece of the pie.  They created Wikipedia’s communist counterpart; Ecured.Cu.

What is Ecured.Cu?

It is a nearly 20,000 article database that was created, edited, and hosted by the government of Cuba.  Cuba is one of the few purely communist countries in the world; all resources of the population are pooled and then appropriated by the government.  The recognized the genius of the Wikipedia system, they also wanted an online database of their own.  Cuba opted to construct their own database, rather than simply using Wikipedia, because they do not want the bias of the international community to poison their articles against their communist ideology and leaders.

Why is their Bias against Cuba?

In 1956, midway through the Cold War, a demagogue named Fidel Castro began a revolution on Cuba, eventually overthrowing the tyrannical Cuban government in 1959.  The USSR backed Fidel Castro, who installed a communist regime in Cuba, until Soviet mid range nuclear missiles were discovered by the United States,  This led to The Cuban Missile Crisis; after a series of gambles and feints, with the world on the line, the USSR removed their nuclear missiles and cut all economic and political ties with Cuba.

Apparently they forgot to tell the Cubans; almost twenty years after the USSR fell Cuba still exists today as a communist state.

The United States, not being a fan of almost being wiped out by a country the size of Connecticut, imposed a trading embargo on Cuba.  They poisoned the international view of Cuba and it leader Fidel Castro, who they have attempted to assassinate as many as eight times.  Today many nations still have negative opinions regarding Cuba and have not opened up embassies or economic relations.

There is still much bias and anger targeted at Cuba; any attempts to build Ecured.Cu like how Wikipedia was built would have failed miserably.  So they wrote the articles themselves.

Is Ecured.Cu Biased?

There has been no information to indicate Ecured.Cu that facts have been fabricated.  Some critiques have pointed out major differences between Cuba’s online encyclopedia and other educational resources.  However, most of these differences are explained by differences of opinion.

While Cuba is communist the majority of the world is capitalist; this singular difference radically changes perspective and the facts are interpreted differently.  Capitalists favor the individual making economic decisions; the communists favor the government making economic decisions.  This difference of opinion was a major factor in precipitating the Cold War, so it is quite important.

Can I Access Ecured.Cu if I am not in Cuba?

Yes and no.

The servers of Ecured.Cu have either been overloaded or suffered a major failure; Latino Fox News announced nobody is accessing the site currently.  This will change soon, once the Cuban government figures out how to fix the problem.  It is unknown when the site will be up.

After Ecured. CU is back online anyone will be able to access it from anywhere in the world. Instead of the one sided capitalist stance on the issues there will now be a second communist perspective.  This second opinion will concern 20,000+ articles, giving knowledge a second dimension.

I am a support of Ecured. Cu; while I almost always disagree with communist stances I do support new perspectives.  Censorships is an epidemic throughout America; numerous expose sites such as Wikileaks have been blacklisted by the American government and are no longer available to the public.  This is a tragedy; America was founded on the idea of free speech.  How can censorship of this, or any, magnitude be supported?

 

 

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