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How sad -Cubans in Belize

Posted By: Pedro1

How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 01:27 AM

Unbelievable the Cubans that arrived on our island are presently in the local jail awaiting shipment to jail in Belize City for onward transportation to Cuba-does anyone here think that they are going to get a heroes gala reception when they arrive-no they will go to prison for a number of years.
What normally happens is that they are shipped by boat to Mexico(with the tacit approval of the government even though there is a treaty between Belize and Cuba expressly saying that all refugees must be sent back to Cuba) and then shipped to the USA through Cuban sympathisers-this is not possible as various people who should know better have made a big deal in the press and on the radio-what a shame
Posted By: Pedro1

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 01:27 AM

How long for this post to be taken off?
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 01:31 AM

I don't think this one will be removed as most people agree with you.

When was the last time that happened?
Posted By: Pedro1

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 01:36 AM

2 months ago
Posted By: seashell

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 01:42 AM

Sad is right. It was my very first thought that had nothing been said, these people could have been quietly escorted a bit further north. However, because it was announced, I had a good idea that things would not go well for them. frown
Posted By: armandogonzalez

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 05:31 AM

its elbert fault
Posted By: belizeonthebeach

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 06:02 AM

Jeeeeesus how I hate to have to agree with the resident psychopath/moron Pedro1 but I have no choice. The rocket scientist up the coast / "(various people who should know better)" really blew that one.
Posted By: Shopgirl

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 06:12 AM

From Elberts post in the photo forum it was a neighbor that called the police in on the situation. I do agree with P1 that unfortunately the law will do what they are destined to do. It is so sad to hear that they will be sent back to face only God knows what.
Posted By: JeanH

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 01:22 PM

Are they actually in jail in San Pedro? That is so sad. I'm so sorry to read that they will be sent back to Cuba.
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 02:06 PM

Latest News on the subject:

Cuban Boat People Will Get Send-off, Not Deportation
posted (March 4, 2008)
Email
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The 17 Cubans who arrived on Northern Ambergris Caye yesterday morning are tonight at the Price Barracks after being taken there this morning. CEO in the Prime Minister’s Office Audrey Wallace has confirmed to us that the plan is not to deport them. She says they have told Belizean authorities they were heading for Honduras, so their boat will be repaired, they will be given fuel and provisions, and hopefully, a compass, and sent on their way.

And while that may not conform to the letter of the standing deportation agreement with the government of Cuba, it is consistent with what has been the standard practice. A number of times in the past Cuban boats ended up on Belize’s outer islands such as Lighthouse Reef – and the BDF gave them gas and water, fixed their vessels if necessary and sent them off. And while that’s what’s planned this time, it might not be so simple. Seems their vessel which was adapted to run on a diesel car engine and we are told by our sources, is completely not sea worthy. If repairing it is not an option, they would likely have to be deported.
end of article.
**************************
My thoughts --- I doubt that most folks here want to send these people back to Cuba (although that is what our international legal agreements dictate), but the bigger the public fuss, the more likely that the event will fall under scutiny by the cubans and GOB will be forced to do something to please the cuban govt.
Posted By: Danny2

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 03:03 PM

I guess the old fable of " when in sh$% don't make a peep" is spot on.
Posted By: SimonB

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 03:18 PM

Amandala:

It was 5:30 on the morning of March 3, 2008, when Ambergris Caye residents Elbert and Kate Greer sighted the odd-looking craft coming toward their section of the beach. They were having their early morning coffee while getting ready for their morning jog in their north Ambergris Caye location, some 20 minutes from San Pedro Town, near Portofino Resort. Little did they know they were about to become embroiled in what promises to be an international incident. Then the passengers on the craft did a strange thing. They jumped into the water, with their clothes on, and began swimming to shore.

As they reached the beach, they began kissing the ground.

The Greers, astonished, met the group, and later posted at the Ambergris Caye dot com website that the group, comprised of men and women, were Cubans, who thought that they had reached the United States of America.

The Cubans became very disappointed when they were given the news that they were not in the USA, but in Belize.

The visitors were given clean, warm clothes, some money, and water. They were then pointed in the direction of the Cuban Medical Doctor in San Pedro Town, as one man appeared to have a serious wound and another, reportedly a woman, had fainted since coming ashore. They claim to have spent twenty days at sea in their efforts to get to Florida.

While initial reports had the figure of “refugees” at 13, it has since been confirmed that there were actually 17 Cubans aboard the vessel (12 men and 5 women). Belize has an agreement with Cuba whereby Cuban nationals illegally coming to our shores must be returned to Cuba. This is quite unlike the policy that is in place in the USA. Once the Cubans arrive on USA shores, they are granted preferential status.

It was on March 21, 2005 under the Musa Administration, when Belize police reported that seven Cubans, presumably fleeing their country, had landed on Belizean soil and were taken in custody.

The men were arrested on Turneffe Island. The “boat people” had told Belizean authorities that they left Cuba 19 days ago and were trying to get to Honduras. It seems they ran out of food and docked on Turneffe Island that Saturday night.

Authorities were alerted and the men were arrested as soon as the police could arrange the logistics. The men were transported to the Queen Street Police Station and the public was never fully briefed as to their fate. They had told police their ultimate destination was the United States, a country that welcomes Cuban boat people by granting them asylum, while refusing other “boat people” like Haitians.

Previously, on November 20, 2002, also under the PUP administration, seven Cuban men who had landed on southern Ambergris Caye near San Pedro Town were immediately arrested, charged and remanded to Hattieville Prison. While those seven men were seeking asylum, all were denied that solace, and were returned to their country of origin. The media was not alerted when and how the repatriation took place.

The new Government of Belize will be tested very early in their administration to see on which side they’ll lean in the tug-of-war that’s sure to follow. Politically, they are committed to returning the suffering seafarers to Cuba, but “humanitarianly speaking,” they cannot turn hungry, sick and weak men and women out to sea, in a long and probably fruitless journey to Florida, especially now that their escapade has reached the attention of the local media.

The international media will not miss this one, for sure, and the Cubans, without a shadow of a doubt, will find their way to the USA blocked.
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 03:36 PM

But since the media was alerted the matter couldn't be quietly dealt with and now the diplomatic route must be taken.
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 03:38 PM

See #1 article in today's San Pedro Daily
Posted By: Marty

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 03:42 PM

Cuban Boat People Will Get Send-off, Not Deportation

The 17 Cubans who arrived on Northern Ambergris Caye yesterday morning are tonight at the Price Barracks after being taken there this morning. CEO in the Prime Minister’s Office Audrey Wallace has confirmed to us that the plan is not to deport them. She says they have told Belizean authorities they were heading for Honduras, so their boat will be repaired, they will be given fuel and provisions, and hopefully, a compass, and sent on their way.

And while that may not conform to the letter of the standing deportation agreement with the government of Cuba, it is consistent with what has been the standard practice. A number of times in the past Cuban boats ended up on Belize’s outer islands such as Lighthouse Reef – and the BDF gave them gas and water, fixed their vessels if necessary and sent them off. And while that’s what’s planned this time, it might not be so simple. Seems their vessel which was adapted to run on a diesel car engine and we are told by our sources, is completely not sea worthy. If repairing it is not an option, they would likely have to be deported.
Posted By: Marty

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 03:44 PM

elbert did nothing wrong
Posted By: elbert

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 03:47 PM

I feel like i need to defend myself . I posted after the people where taken by the police. My game plan was to send them on their way quietly but another person went to bring the police to the scene.
We later we attempted to retrieve the Boat so they could continue on but he pulled it form the water onto his property with a tractor and is making some bizarre claim of ownership for it.
The publicity is all good at this point the more noise we make the more likely the attention will get this horrible policy and get it changed.
Posted By: elbert

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 04:00 PM

:-) can't say that little tank of a boat isn't sea worthy its had a great journey from Cuba and crossed over the top of the reef unscathed with a little bit of an overload.
Posted By: elbert

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 04:06 PM

This really isn't about individuals though its about the Belize Governments Policy and a grand opportunity for the new government to make things right.

This won't be the last Boat load of Cubans that come ashore here.
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 04:10 PM

How about a community effort to raise the necessary funds to "buy' the boat back for those folks...so they can continue their journey? Any idea how much he wants to release it?
Posted By: Barnacle

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 04:14 PM

maybe even some other more worthy boat? hondorus ain't that far,,
Posted By: scubawalk

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 04:19 PM

Why not take up a collection and give them a "taxi" ride to Mexico or Honduras? .
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 04:23 PM

As long as Belize is a friend of Cuba and receives financial assitance and free training and use of medical staff etc. etc. then the agreements made between the nations should be honoured.

It is a sad state of affairs, but it is a political issue that has many facets that often go beyond the issue of refugees.

Posted By: Barnacle

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 04:29 PM

i thought of that,, but you can't 'taxi' them as they need to check in and out of countrys imagration and they can't do that. so the 'taxi' driver would be in trouble then.
but if belize puts them in a boat and shoves them back to sea,,i hope it with as much help as as possible.
good luck folks!! i hope they make it.
Posted By: elbert

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 04:36 PM

Of course they do. why would Belize consider for an instant Betraying its heritage of welcoming the oppressed.
But on the other side , Tell Cuba to screw off and the Doctors will still get in little boats and come here.
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 04:44 PM

Did anyone inform them the Presidency of their homeland has changed while they were at sea?
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 04:55 PM

Find a cure for the problem, not just alleviate the symptoms.

Perhaps the economic sanctions imposed upon Cuba by the United States for decades needs to "screw off". If you think I'm wrong, well three other countries agree with you out of how many?

The economic sanctions imposed on the Cuban people are condemned by almost all countries in the international community and, for twelve years running, by their overwhelming majority. Nonetheless, not an ounce of change in U.S. foreign policy towards Cuba stands out on the horizon, driving international opinion to despair. Below is a table summing up the successive votes since 1992:

Number of countries opposing the blockade Number of countries against the end of the blockade
Countries voting against the end of the blockade

1992 59 3 United States, Israel, Romania
1993 88 4 United States, Israel, Albania, Paraguay
1994 101 2 United States, Israel
1995 117 3 United States, Israel, Uzbekistan
1996 137 2 United States, Israel
1997 147 3 United States, Israel, Uzbekistan
1998 157 3 United States, Israel, Marshall Islands
1999 155 2 United States, Israel
2000 167 3 United States, Israel, Marshall Islands
2001 167 3 United States, Israel, Marshall Islands
2002 173 3 United States, Israel, Marshall Islands
2003 179 3 United States, Israel, Marshall Islands

SIN
Posted By: Dita

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 05:07 PM

So, it is the United States' fault that these refugees had the threat of being returned to Cuba by Belize?

Guess I never made that connection here. While many of us agree that the sanctions need to be looked at, this thread has nothing to do with that.
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 05:23 PM

Yes and yes, but seems like things may finally change, hopefully, at least the US Congress is looking for change (not the Executive though).

Congress Re-Examines The Cuba Economic Embargo

Bush Says No Talk with Raul Castro

Until the root of the problem is fixed, these folks who abandoned their friends, family and homeland will continue to flee, risking their lives, washing up on the shores of Belize and other nations.

SIN



Congress Re-Examines The Cuba Economic Embargo
Posted By: Shopgirl

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 05:28 PM

Absolutely no bearing on the US in this situation. I do not know what the protocal is for this, but has the Cuban government been made aware of these people yet? And if so, how would that affect them being able to go to Honduras?
Posted By: suecate

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 06:08 PM

How high is the risk of more injury or death if you put them back in a boat out to sea? Better off just to forget to lock the doors of the cells they are in and let them wander off quietly if AC can support them financially. I don't agree with sending them back but a plan needs to be made to get them settled so it does not make for an economic issue for belize or for the refugees.
Posted By: Bill Mc Ghee

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 06:32 PM

Somehow I knew that this incident of the Cuban Boat people would wind up being the Fault of the U.S. I mean heck, aren't we the cause of everything wrong in the world?
It was inevitable that some one with their personal axe to grind would find some way to lay blame on the U.S. that these people landed on their shores. Whereas, if they had headed North instead of west and landed on U.S. soil this whole deportation issue would be a mute point. They would have been welcomed into the substantial Cuban Community in South Florida, and 1 year from now they would be shop owners and thriving instead of being " Shoved" back out to sea in a suspect seaworthy craft.

Yep, we crass bastards in the U.S. should be scorned for all the humanitarian things we do day in, day out , year in , year out.

It's our fault that a communist regime set its self up 90 miles form our shore , and we refuse to deal with the Dictator economically.However, still render humanitarian aid to the populace.

As Far as leaving Friends, Family, and country !!! Thats been going on since 1620 and the ironic part of it all is the people who did this were fleeing Persecution, and poverty. The Irish, The Italians, The Jews, the Poles , The swedes, etc. But then again that was probably our fault too.
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 06:33 PM

PRESS OFFICE
GOVERNMENT OF BELIZE
Ministry of Finance
Cabinet Meeting: 4th March, 2008
Belmopan - 05 March, 2008
Cabinet met in regular session on Tuesday, March 4th, 2008.
Ministers were briefed on the situation of 17 Cuban nationals who came ashore at Ambergris Caye. The Cubans informed Belizean authorities that they thought they had come ashore on the coast of the Republic of Honduras. Cabinet was informed that the occupants of the boat are detained at Price Barracks, Ladyville, while the BDF repairs the boat. When the repairs are completed the Cuban nationals will leave Belize.
Posted By: elbert

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 06:58 PM

I'm going to take some deep breaths then go take some photos of birds i saw earlier on the Beach.
Posted By: Barnacle

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 07:04 PM

while riding a destroyer in the south china sea in the early '70s, twice we steamed up on vietnamese boat people.
the first boat we picked up and took to Guam.
the second time, we were told to leave them and continue whatever we were doing.
we lowered down food, water, and medical supplies.
the look on these peoples faces when they realized we were leaving will stick with all of us on that ship.
i often wonder how they made out.
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 07:31 PM

How foolish when facts are ignored or forgotten. The Embargo was set up because Castro took property away from US Corporations whom obtained the land through the corrupt Bautista regime. Hmmm.... kinda sounds like the modern day "Quitar" in Belize (on a smaller scale). Cuba was forced to look for a USSR bail out. FYI: The blockade prevents others to trade with Cuba as well.

Stupidly, the US helped Castro all these years (pissing contest), with keeping the embargo in the strongest of health. Castro needs/needed the Embargo to stay alive!

Chris Dodd has a good viewpoint on it.

By CHRISTOPHER DODD
www.dodd.senate.gov

''If it were up to me, I would lift the embargo against Cuba the next day, and it would end your regime in three months,'' José María Aznar, the former Spanish prime minister, reported saying in a 1998 meeting with Fidel Castro.

Castro's response: ``I need the embargo, for this generation and the next.''

Telling words from a self-proclaimed hero of the people -- ''I need the embargo.'' The same embargo that was starving Cubans for decades was indispensable to their dictator. Castro was shrewd: He knew that isolation tightened his grip on Cuba and that America made an outstanding scapegoat for the failure of his revolution. In many ways, our misguided policies were responsible for his unnaturally long hold on power. In many ways, the embargo was Castro's best friend.

Last month, old age and illness did what our best efforts never could -- remove Castro from power. Today, we have an unprecedented opportunity, and a small window of time, to begin pushing Cuba toward democracy. But amazingly, the Bush administration is clinging to a 46-year-old policy of failure.

The reaction we have seen from the administration shows how deeply our foreign policy is trapped in rigid ideology. Any pragmatic case for continuing the embargo has been thoroughly undermined. It keeps families apart. It restricts the access of our farmers to Cuban markets.

And as Cuba strengthens its trade relationships, the economic impact of our embargo is progressively weakened. Even its moral symbolism verges on nonexistent: How can we swear off Cuba with a straight face, when we freely trade with countries that routinely violate human rights, such as Saudi Arabia and China?

We engage in trade with these nations not just to strengthen our economy, but because we have faith in the transformative power of American values and American culture carried by American trade. Of course, we don't expect that open markets will lead to open societies overnight, but some countries are riper for the transition than others. Cuba is one such country. Its rising generation of leaders, while still part of an authoritarian system, is markedly more comfortable on the world stage and less antagonistic to America than the declining generation represented by Castro.

The question is whether we will antagonize these new leaders -- or whether we will work with them to end political repression, protect civil society and establish free markets. If we choose the latter, wiser course, the last five decades will hold an unmistakable lesson: With Cuba, isolation doesn't work. We should now take several strong steps to secure our role in Cuba's transition -- or risk sitting on the sidelines for another 50 years.

We should:

• Act decisively to end trade sanctions. This means repealing the ill-conceived Helms-Burton and Cuba Democracy Acts, as well as amending the Trade Sanctions Reform Act. With the embargo lifted, our businesses will have access to Cuban markets, our struggling farmers will find more buyers for their crops, and Cuba will gain extensive exposure to American culture.

• Break down the artificial barriers keeping Cuban Americans apart from their families in Cuba. Lifting caps on remittances and travel restrictions will speed the influx of democratic values -- and reduce an unnecessary hardship on Americans who want merely to assist their families overseas. Currently, the mail doesn't even travel regularly between the United States and Cuba, let alone passengers. As we lift travel restrictions, we should also begin negotiating regularly scheduled flights.

• Open an American embassy in Havana. If we want any influence over Cuba during this crucial time, we must practice robust diplomacy. There's no better way to do that than having skilled diplomats pressing our interests in Havana, at all times and in person.

Ending sanctions, connecting families and strengthening diplomacy -- this new policy of Cuban engagement is the most constructive response to Castro's demise. Some in the Bush administration might call such a policy ''soft'' -- but that represents the same mind-set that thought we could bomb our way to democracy in the Middle East.

For far too long, American isolation has cemented a Cuban dictatorship. Today, that dictatorship may finally be starting to crack; how we seize this opportunity will determine whether it crumbles.

U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., is a senior member of the Foreign Relations Committee and chairman of the subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere.


While the other 9/10th's of the World are against such a thing, who seems crass?

SIN
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 07:44 PM

These folks don't seem like they are "shop owners" at all?


(AP) Relatives of 11 Cubans found at sea in a vintage car converted into a boat awaited word on their fate Thursday, as Cuban-American leaders urged the U.S. government not to send the group back to their homeland.

While the U.S. Coast Guard won't comment on interdictions, Cuban exile activists say the group found Tuesday on a seagoing 1950s-era Buick were still being held at sea until a decision was made on whether to send them home.

The group, discovered 10 miles from Marathon in the Florida Keys, faces a likely return to Cuba under U.S. immigration policy.

After the Cubans were found, the Coast Guard sank the vessel, said Alex Cruz, a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. The Republican congresswoman, a Cuban exile, requested on Wednesday that the vessel be saved as a piece of history.

The Coast Guard, which used machine gun fire to sink another vehicle-powered barge that tried to reach U.S. shores in July, refused Thursday to confirm the status of the tail-finned Buick.

******

(CNN) -- With the U.S. Coast Guard under fire for using water hoses and pepper spray to prevent half a dozen Cuban refugees aboard a 12-foot boat from reaching U.S. soil in South Florida.
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 07:51 PM

I hope we can agree that whoever made this boat should be free!

I want one of these:
[Linked Image]
Posted By: Rykat

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 07:58 PM

Oh
You forgot to mention Sen Chris Dodd is a flaming NE liberal who would sell his mother to undermine any Conservative based US policies.
Post some more of his nonsense, he's always "fun"!

Damn...........got to agree with you on that one laugh
Posted By: Betterbeer

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 08:25 PM

What a bunch of drivel. If 9/10ths of the world thinks the U.S. should eradicate its own armed forces, should it follow that majority opinion? How about if 9/10ths of the world thinks the US should give all of its resources to 9/10ths of the world and just fold up shop?
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 08:35 PM

Yes, extremes always aid ones argument (maybe in your house). If? If pigs could fly..., the reality is:

The United Nations General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly for an end to the United States' 40-year-old economic embargo against Cuba.

The vote marks the 12th consecutive year that the assembly has called for an end to the blockade.

Only three nations voted against the motion - the US, Israel and the Marshall Islands. Two others abstained.

The US embargo was imposed on Cuba after Fidel Castro defeated a 1961 CIA-backed assault at the Bay of Pigs.

"The blockade is a cruel and absurd policy that finds no support within or outside the United States," Cuban Foreign Minister Perez Roque said.

"The crime being committed against Cuba today could very well be committed against any other country tomorrow."

Yes, I can see, they want to take over the US. I don't think anyone would want the US in it's current state of affairs.

Chris
Posted By: krehfish

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 08:44 PM

The trouble I'm having with SINs stuff is making the link that a US embargo is the reason Belize has an apparent treaty with Cuba to return refugees. So, if there was no embargo?, no one would flee Cuba?, and BZE's treaty or MOA could be torn up? Those in Minnesota call "the mystery"
Posted By: Otteralum

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 08:48 PM

brilliant kreh --

Can we get back on point here. I am not at all in total disagreement with ya SIN, but Communist Cuba would be having considerable issues with its economy with or without US embargos

Because (drum-roll please) communism doesn't work -- shocker, I know.

back to the point at hand -- Cuba is wrong on this issue regardless of how you feel about US policy -- might I say, duh!
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 08:49 PM

The soon to be new democratic President of the US will fix things up with Cuba, I can't wait.
Posted By: pugwash

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 08:56 PM

What I have always found somewhat surprising is that with all of the diversity available in mutual funds, no one has a “vulture fund” set up with the express purpose of accumulating a war chest for investment in Cuban Real Estate after the Castro Regime finally crumbles?

What better place to live? Great climate, mojitos and the world’s most beautiful women: if only it weren’t for that damn communism thing, and complete lack of the freedom to bitch and whine that those of us on this board especially take so much for granted……
Posted By: Otteralum

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 08:56 PM

pug -- ever the capitalist -- very nice sir

If the embargo is lifted -- regardless of the president -- I would toast the occassion with ya SIN
Posted By: Ernie B

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 09:10 PM

I was thinking about "TOASTING" SIN, the next trip grin
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 09:52 PM

He may already be toasted!
Posted By: Danny2

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 10:17 PM


BIG picture in my humble opinion. The Cuban17 should get a free pass to go just for landing on the land of the free, especially in that boat. They did it. Anybody else want to try that?
Posted By: IGAmel

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 10:25 PM

Well said Ernie.
Posted By: Danny2

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 10:25 PM




BiIl, your rant is off base and a distraction to the real issue. I agree with Pugwash and refer both of you to this http://community.overstock.com/deepcaptureblog/
Posted By: travelqueen

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 10:26 PM

ha ha "toasted"... too funny and likely true!
Posted By: deadserious

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 10:56 PM

Bill's rant is off base and a distraction?????
Posted By: PalapaBob

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/05/08 11:47 PM

It's also a crime that Cuba is keeping quiet all the incidents of US boat people coming ashore there to escape our oppressive regime!
Posted By: Bill Mc Ghee

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/06/08 01:14 AM

Danny2:
I wouldn't call it a "Rant" it was posted tongue in cheek.
I did not take this thread off subject I responded to a post that insinuated that the plight of these Cuban people was the fault of the U.S.
If so many nations disagree with the U.S. boycott then why are they not sending aid ? why are they not helping the economic situation that now exists in Cuba? Why are people still fleeing Cuba whenever they get the opportunity? Could it be the fault of the nations leadership's oppression of it's citizens?

I find it hard to believe that This nation ( U.S.) has caused all the hardship in Cuba. They ( Cuba) are as capable as any other nation to seek out help and place programs in place to take care of their people.

Once again. I did not take this thread of subject! I responded to someone who did. For whatever reason they saw fit to do so.

It's the Belize Gov'ts problem now, and whatever they decide to do makes no difference to me. I do hope that they treat these people with kindness and care tho.

Posted By: Ernie B

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/06/08 01:24 AM

Good post's Bill.
Posted By: SimonB

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/06/08 01:34 AM

"They ( Cuba) are as capable as any other nation to seek out help and place programs in place to take care of their people."

Um Bill, remember Helms-Burton:

"International Sanctions against the Castro Government. Economic embargo, any non-US company that deals economically with Cuba can be subjected to legal action and that company's leadership can be barred from entry into the United States. Sanctions may be applied to non-U.S. companies trading with Cuba. This means that internationally operating companies have to choose between Cuba and the US, which is a much larger market."

I believe there was also a bill (possibly the same) that would also require the United States to reduce its contribution to the World Bank or other international financial institutions if they provide aid to Cuba.
Posted By: Danny2

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/06/08 02:16 AM

Just maybe they were coming to the U.S. for jobs or a better life and not to flee oppression. Maybe they were leaving Cuba for the same reasons Mexican people leave Mexico.
Posted By: Otteralum

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/06/08 02:30 AM

The two arguments are not mutually excusive.

Simon makes a good point and the U.S. has made the situation worse for Cuba. Trade with the Cuba over the years would have hastened the downfall of communism -- freedom begets more freedom. I believe in honest relationships with all nations and entangling alliances with none. Call me a rebel wink

However, it is equally ridiculous to blame the U.S. for Cuba's very poor choices. Ultimately, Cuba shaped its own destiny.
Posted By: KC Jayhawk

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/06/08 03:23 AM

Otter, as always, makes sense. The embargo was defensible when Cuba was a Soviet satellite 90 miles off our coast. Today, however, free and open trade would benefit both peoples. I'm not sure the Cuban regime wants that (regardless of their propaganda) . . the embargo benefits the regime by giving them a villain to blame their own failures on.
Posted By: Leah-Ann

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/06/08 03:33 AM

Of course the embargo has been and continues to be harmful to the people of Cuba. Moreover, I doubt it was ever defensible as it certainly never accomplished what the US government said it was intended to accomplish. There is no shortage of villains and irrespective of the lack of willingness to accept responsibility, the US does bear some responsibility for the plight of the people of Cuba, as well as many other countries. That doesn't negate the good the US has done, but the good doesn't negate the harm either.
Posted By: Bill Mc Ghee

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/06/08 03:42 AM

LOL Simon. Sharpe as usual.
Since this has now turned into a completly different subject as was intended.

"After the shootings of the Brothers to the Rescue planes in 1996, a bi-partisan coalition in the United States Congress approved the Helms-Burton Act. The Title III of this law also states that any non-U.S. company that "knowingly traffics in property in Cuba confiscated without compensation from a U.S. person" can be subjected to litigation and that company's leadership can be barred from entry into the United States. Sanctions may also be applied to non-U.S. companies trading with Cuba. This restriction also applies to maritime shipping, as ships docking at Cuban ports are not allowed to dock at U.S. ports for six months. It's important to note that this title includes waiver authority, so that the President might suspend its application. This waiver must be renewed every six months and it has traditionally been. It was renewed for the last time July 17, 2006,[7] therefore the suspension of this provision will remain effective for, at least, another six months following that date.

In response to pressure from some American farmers and agribusiness, the embargo was relaxed by the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act, which was passed by the Congress in October 2000 and signed by President Bill Clinton. The relaxation allowed the sale of agricultural goods and medicine to Cuba for humanitarian reasons. Although Cuba initially declined to engage in such trade having even refused US food aid in the past,[8] seeing it as a half-measure serving U.S. interests, Castro began to allow the purchase of food from the U.S. as a result of Hurricane Michelle in November 2001. These purchases have continued and grown since then. By now (2007) The US is the largest food supplier of Cuba[9]and its 6th trading partner.


The 1998 US State Department in the report Zenith and Eclipse: A Comparative Look at Socio-Economic Conditions in Pre-Castro and Present Day Cuba[13] stated that the U.S. embargo has added, at most, relatively small increases in transportation costs. It claims that the main problem is not the embargo but the lack of foreign currency due to the unwillingness to liberalize the economy, diversify the export base, and the need to pay off substantial debts owed to its Japanese, European, and Latin American trading partners acquired during the years of abundant Soviet aid.



Posted By: pugwash

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/06/08 05:33 AM

Why on earth are you letting facts get in the way of partisan talking points Bill?

I know that given a choice (which thank God I have) I'd choose to live in a country that has to try to fence people out rather than a country that has to fence them in!

I remember being in Berlin in the mid 70's: It was a wonderfully decadent city, as the (West) Berliners lived each day like it could be their last, and my strongest memory was of sitting in the rooftop bar of the Hilton looking out at all the bright lights, and then at the nothing beyond them, like any Caribbean island, except that the blackness out there wasn't the ocean, it was communism.

While many in academia will espouse the wonders of a theoretical utopia, communism has failed every time the social experiment has been tried, and very few people who have actually seen both alternatives will ever decide against capitalism and freedom of ideas.


Posted By: Otteralum

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/06/08 01:15 PM

hear hear!

And, to pugs point -- one needs to actually see both alternatives. Thus, the reason why free and open trade with Cuba must be allowed.
Posted By: elbert

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/06/08 03:40 PM

The boat at 6:30 this morning is even worse( someone stole the prop) and not being repaired.
http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa3/elbertgreer/DSC_0059.jpg
I think the PR release is to pacify the public and the Cuban Embasy pressure on Belize to deport them is working.
I have a philosophical difference with most of the posts on this Thread.
Hide behind lies, sneak not speak of the wrong is not IMHO the way to positive change. Right this wrong by shining light on it.
Posted By: Bill Mc Ghee

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/06/08 03:49 PM

"Why on earth are you letting facts get in the way of partisan talking points Bill?"


LOL!! one of the many Flaws in my caracture!

"Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story!"
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/06/08 04:07 PM

I lived in Berlin in the 70's. We lived in the West but visited the east on occassion.

A small glimpse of communism at its finest was all I needed to know I am priviledged to be free.
Posted By: pugwash

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/06/08 04:20 PM

Thanks Amanda,

It's somehow validating to have some one with a well deserved reputation for being reasonable share my opinions!

Wasn’t Berlin an amazing place back then? I've never been anywhere else like it.
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/06/08 05:19 PM

Purchasing food from the US helps US farmers, thank you Cuba!

In any case, Cuba's economy is not in immediate danger. Wages are stagnant and prices are high, but the country continues to get by with a little help from its friends.

Hugo Chávez's Venezuela now plays the role once held by the Soviets. Over the past two years, it has delivered more than $2 billion in aid and about 92,000 barrels of oil per day.

After Venezuela, China is now Cuba's largest commercial partner. Trade between China and Venezuela doubled in 2006 to $1.8 billion and pushed past $2.2 billion in 2007. Beijing has extended credits to help ease shortages across the island; Chinese-made trains, buses, appliances and other consumer products have become common across Cuba.

Others have helped as well. Spanish companies have invested in Cuba's tourism; Canadian firms are involved in Cuba's mining sector; Dubai Ports World, the state-owned Arab company that set off a firestorm in Washington two years ago with a bid to operate several U.S. ports, is reportedly considering a plan to invest $250 million in creating a modern container facility at Mariel.

Nor will we see a substantial near-term shift in U.S. policy toward Cuba. Washington is preoccupied at the moment with a presidential election, a slowing economy and the war in Iraq. The only part of Cuba that figures prominently in the American political debate these days is the U.S. base at Guantánamo Bay.

Though the Bush administration has tightened rules on cash flows between Cuban-Americans and family members on the island, remittances still add hundreds of millions of dollars to Cuba's economy each year. And thanks to loopholes in the embargo, U.S. farmers are already Cuba's leading food supplier. Agricultural shortages in Cuba may open the door a bit wider to U.S. exporters this year.

So a year from now Cuba is likely to still be a police state with a centrally planned economy, and the United States will still have an embargo. Only when Cuba has fully escaped from the Castros' long shadow will demand for change reach the boiling point. And only then might a consensus develop in Washington to reverse four decades of failed policy.

International Herald Tribune
Posted By: Rykat

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/06/08 08:23 PM

"....and the sheep march on right over the precipice, following one and the other like raindrops from a thundercloud"

Karl Marx-1858
Posted By: Danny2

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/06/08 09:28 PM

Viva the Cuban 17
Posted By: Leah-Ann

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/07/08 07:33 PM

Pug, I didn't know you were short on validation. wink
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/07/08 07:44 PM

I tol ju we needed directions!

[Linked Image]
Posted By: 2MILESNORTHOFCUT

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/07/08 09:08 PM

At least the "TruckBoat" seems to have running lights, More than I can say about a lot of boats passing our place at night here in belize this week.

I saw a couple of cruse ships going by San Pedro the other night, I sure would not want to be in any of those Cuban boats with that kind of traffic out there.
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/07/08 09:38 PM

The cruise ships are equipped with excellent radar so can see everything around them.
Posted By: 2MILESNORTHOFCUT

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/07/08 10:11 PM

A tiny boat like the one's that have landed here on the Island may not be picked up by a ship's radar in the open sea during a storm or very ruff seas,(seems like they experanced both). I also asume that the Cubans most likley did not have any VHF radio or any other way to comunicate with ocean going ships either. Not such a great position to be in for them, But they survived. Does anyone have an update on their situation? Did their boat get fixed yet?
Posted By: iluvbelize

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/08/08 12:17 AM

Their boat ain't gonna get fixed. I so hope those folks who accidentally washed upon the shores of north AC aren't incarcerated in the hell hole a/k/a Hattieville prison. I'm with Elbert, shine the light on this. These people were inadvertently, beyone their control, washed ashore to Belize territory, when their INTENT was to land on US shores in FLA. Is there anything in the maritime law that provides for intent as to landing a vessel accidentally upon Belize territory?
Posted By: Danny2

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/08/08 07:13 AM


Wanna talk about law? Who going to pay for the Cuban 17 to be represented? Who's going protect their interests and maintain confidentiality? Maybe they didn't intend to land on US shores.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/08/08 07:28 AM

I can understand how they might have headed for Mexico and hit Belize instead, but going south to Belize when they thought they were going north or north-west for the USA is some seriously flawed navigation.

I still think they're being treated unnecessarily harshly though. There seems little dispute that they're political refugees. Even if Belize does have an agreement with Cuba you would have thought this little issue, very major for the people involved, could have been swept under the carpet. Heaven knows, enough else here is given the "blind eye" treatment.
Posted By: Danny2

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/08/08 04:27 PM


P2, I think it's too late for that blind eye to see. Is there such a thing as a public defender in Belize? Do they have an advocate? Are they entitled to one?
This is turning out to be one of those stupid happenings where so much time is wasted for nothing.. What if Mr. Dogooder didn't get the law and the Cuban 17 just melted away into society. Raised their children, worked and made money and sent some home to help out. They are no different than Millions of others but they had the misfortune of running into "dogooder" or "wana be cop" who was only "doing the right thing" .
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/08/08 04:59 PM

They were heading to Honduras, I believe.
Posted By: cambriagal

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/08/08 10:59 PM

Nothing will change in Cuba, Raul is more radical and cruel than his brother Fidel, hence: people still fleeing.
Posted By: pugwash

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/09/08 02:53 AM

Originally Posted by Leah-Ann
Pug, I didn't know you were short on validation. wink



Just Good Judgment! I'll even talk to Liberal Attorneys.....
Posted By: JZB

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/09/08 04:50 PM

Is there any news on the 17? Have they been deported?
Is their boat still sitting up at Elberts unfixed?
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/11/08 10:50 PM

The only thing constant is change.
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/11/08 11:02 PM

http://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/
Posted By: Rykat

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/12/08 02:36 AM

gee, only 7 below Kazakhstan
but, 14 up from Iran
Oh well, probably constantly changing!
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/28/08 05:20 PM

Nothing will ever change in Cuba huh?

All residents of Cuba are now allowed to have and use cell phones. One small step for Cuba, one huge step for Cubans.

See you in Havana Rykat. (I think they just moved up a notch or two on the list)

SIN
Posted By: pamela604

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/28/08 05:32 PM

There are many people in Cuba using cell phones openly on the streets. A Cuban can not purchase a line. I personally bought 2 lines and gave them to friends at 120.00 per. Phone cards are sold at most stores
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/28/08 05:37 PM

International Herald Tribune
Posted By: colomojo

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/28/08 05:40 PM

What ever happened to the 17 that landed on AC?
Posted By: Don Greife

Re: How sad -Cubans in Belize - 03/29/08 01:22 AM

I'm just another UGLY American Tourist and all I'd like to know is when I can go to Cuba, find a flats guide comperable to those on San Pedro, and buy a good Cuban cigar at a supermarket.
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Cubans offered more freedoms - 03/31/08 10:14 PM

HAVANA: President Raúl Castro's government on Monday lifted a ban preventing Cubans from using resort hotels reserved for foreigners in a step to ease restrictions in the Communist state.

Since Raúl Castro succeeded his ailing brother, Fidel Castro, last month, the country has ended restrictions on Cubans buying computers, DVD players and cellphones.

"Cubans can now stay at our hotels," said the Cuban manager of a small state-run hotel in Old Havana. "Our doors are open to local tourism."

Managers at five-star hotels run by foreign hotel chains like Sol Meliá and Accor, Europe's largest hotel chain, confirmed that Cubans would be able to stay at their hotels if they could afford them.

Cubans can also rent cars and use facilities that used to be only for foreigners, including the best beaches in Varadero, Cuba's top resort.

The hotel ban was a major source of frustration for Cubans since the country opened up to tourism in the early 1990s and gave rise to criticism of Cuba for having an "economic apartheid" system.

Raúl Castro, 76, took over from his brother as Cuba's first new leader in almost half of a century on Feb. 24, promising to do away with "excessive restrictions" in society and in its state-run economy.

On Friday, the government announced an end to a ban on Cubans buying and using cellphones.

As of Tuesday, Cuban shops will be allowed to sell computers, DVD players and other appliances in a move to improve the standard of living in Cuba by opening access to consumer products.

Raúl Castro has also begun restructuring agriculture to reduce bureaucratic bottlenecks and lift food production.

Until now, only Cubans on honeymoons and workers selected for high productivity and revolutionary zeal were allowed to stay at hotels as a reward.

Cubans will have to pay the going rate in hard currency to stay at luxury hotels. Few can afford these prices in a country where the average wage is $17 a month.

"It took a long time, but its done now," said Martin Díaz, 34, a Havana worker. "I'm going to start saving right away to go to Varadero next summer."

Cubans who recalled the 1980s when they were allowed to stay at hotels and had the money to do so welcomed the end of the ban, but they wondered if they could afford a hotel now.

The restrictions were introduced after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union forced Cuba to open up to foreign tourism and investment and legalize hard currency in the midst of a severe economic crisis.

"I don't think I can afford to go to Varadero, but I'm glad to know I have the option to do so whenever I want," said Alfredo Hernández, 43, a self-employed resident of the eastern city of Santiago.

Cuba's tourism industry is a major source of foreign exchange, bringing in more than $2 billion a year, but the number of visitors has declined in the last two years. Foreign hotel managers said allowing Cubans to stay at tourist hotels would help business during the slow summer season.

A major public complaint that Raúl Castro's government will need to deal with is that wages in Cuban pesos are too low, while consumer goods have to be paid for in convertible pesos, or CUCs, worth 24 times more than pesos.

About 60 percent of Cubans have access to some hard currency from cash remittances sent by relatives living abroad, mainly in the United States, or through factory and farm bonuses and tips from foreign tourists.

A class of "new rich" has developed in Cuba over the last 15 years and will be the first to take advantage of seaside hotels, computers and cellphones that cost $120, or about six times the average monthly wage.

"The government is recognizing that around 15 percent of the population has 90 percent of the pesos in the banks," said a Cuban economist who asked not to be named.
Posted By: Bobber

Re: Cubans offered more freedoms - 03/31/08 10:21 PM

What are they doing with rich people? I thought this was socialism at it's finest.
Posted By: Bobber

Re: Cubans offered more freedoms - 03/31/08 10:22 PM

Oh, yeah. Some are more equal than others.
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: Cubans offered more freedoms - 04/01/08 02:11 PM

Osmosis from their neighbor to the North.
Posted By: shred

Re: Cubans offered more freedoms - 04/03/08 05:05 AM

Although these are small steps, it is a move in the right direction.It would be nice to see the average cuban be able to afford some small luxuries.It would also be nice to visit cuba as an american tourist.
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