Cuba and lies, again

I have expressed my opinions in previous threads that the problems of Cuba are not caused by the American embargo, although it could be argued they are worsened by it. The problems of Cuba are caused solely by the awful political and economic system they have. No question about that.

Whether the embargo hurts the Cuban government more than it hurts the Cuban people is something that people can disagree on but it is obvious it has not achieved the purpose of causing the downfall of the Cuban government.

Now this:

The dog ate my papers! This is what gets me about this Administration: they just can’t stop lying. A million bad things can be said about the Cuban regime and they have to resort to lies. Prostitution in Cuba is not encouraged by the government. It is caused by poverty, the same as anywhere else in the world.

The USA has the right to restrict trade with Cuba, nobody can argue the contrary. Whether it serves any useful purpose is another matter. But lying is not acceptable in any case. And the extraterritorial provisions of the Helms-Burton act are also an unacceptable attempt by the USA to impose its laws on other nations.

Amen. Bush cares nothing about the Cuban people and only cares about gaining a few votes. I will get a big satisfaction when he is no longer president. Chances are Castro will still be president long after president Bush is gone. Castro only has to bid his time to see the political corpse go by.

One more point that just ocurred to me is that if Bush considers prostitution to be "a modern form of slavery"and is so bent on erradicating it, he would do better in imposing an embargo on the Netherlands and other European countries where it flourishes with more authorization from the local governments than in Cuba.

I am truly disgusted with the lies and with the gullibility of a public that will swallow anything and everything. At least prostitutes are paid well to swallow.

Well look at the bright side… Bush didn’t attempt to say they were harbouring Terrorists or WMD ! That is quite some progress… He is branching into new ways of gaining votes from small but decisive groups.

and of course there is no such thing as prostitution in the US

I don’t have any special love for the U.S. policy towards Cuba, and these new measures are as dumb as any other (except as regards the prostitution issue – see below). Clinton had it mostly right early in his term, and if the Cubans could have held their trigger fingers for just a little while, I suspect that Cuban-American relations would be much different today. But sailor is, at best, factually incorrect as regards the assertion in the OP.

While it does so less openly (and less generally) than it did just a few years ago, Castro’s government does encourage prostitution.

Yes, women (and men) generally go into prostitution because of poverty, as sailor said. It’s worth noting that poverty is legally mandated in Cuba for all but a tiny slice of party loyalists. A typical jinetera will be multi-lingual and employed by the state (as virtually all Cubans are) in a professional position. They’re in poverty because Castro mandates it.

But that’s not the main thing here.

In Havana, pretty much nothing occurs without the government knowing about it and approving it. Prostitution was successfully wiped out by Castro’s government after the revolution. But after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Castro needed hard currency more than he needed the purity of his “revolution.” So he opened up the capital to tourism. Part of the tourism drive was open cooperation with operators of “sex tours” in Europe and relaxing the prosecution of jineteras.

However, the prostitutes started making too much money for non-party members, so in 1999 Castro cracked down somewhat. He drove the prostitution out of plain sight and started charging them fees such as nightclub cover charges (in nightclubs where they would be banned if they were not prostitutes) and the like. But he still allows and encourages it so long as it’s relatively quiet.

It’s a Cuban citizen cannot go into a tourist hotel unless s/he works there. Or she’s a jinetera with a customer. Tour groups visiting Cuba are examined closely, yet sex tours (albeit without the overt governent sponsorship that existed prior to '99) get in.

In fairness, the Castro regime is better than it once was about child prostitution. While it once encouraged it (and allowed the arrangement to export people off the island for that purpose), it now simply fails to distinguish between those prostitutes who are adults and those who are children.

At the very least (and probably the most), the new restrictions (and renewed enforcement of existing restrictions) on Americans’ entry into Cuba will have the modest effect of reducing the number of people going there for the sex tours.

I see. And what do these jineteras charge (in U.S. currency)? I ask purely out of intellectual curiosity, of course.

I started a GD thread: “Will the U.S. be at war on election day 2004?” – http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=197963. My thesis is that no American president running for re-election has ever been turned out of office if there was a hot war in progress on election day. (That’s hot wars, not the kind of low-intensity conflict still going on in Iraq.) And I just hope that historical fact never occurs to GWB, as he is in a position and has the arrogance to get us into yet another war, and to time it so the fighting still rages come next November. But I was thinking of Iran, or Syria, or North Korea. Cuba, now . . . Cuba’s a lot closer, isn’t it? With a much larger exile community in the U.S. Much greater media impact, don’t you think?

What do you guys think? If the Democratic challenger has Bush running scared at any time next year, will Bush decide to invade Cuba?

If opinion is already against Bush, it will likely be in part because of war issues. Another war would only make things worse for him.

I hope. I’ve misjudged in the past how people’s higher brain functions shut down when they hear the drumbeats of war.

Grenada. Operation Urgent Fury The deadly and growing, if not precisely imminent, threat of crack Cuban bulldozer commandos building airfields that very well might possibly be used by Soviet nuclear bombers perhaps someday!

This whole megilla is so cynical, its stunning. GeeDubya is pandering to the Cuban-American bloc in Florida, whose voting record in support of the Pubbies is spotless. While flow the tears crockidilian over the plight of the poor downtrodden Cuban.

If a Cuban can but land on our shores, he is accepted for immigration status faster than you can say “shit”! How many hapless people have been tempted to thier doom by this heartlessly exploitative policy? Meanwhile, immigrants from Haiti, whose conditions are unspeakably worse than the plight of Cubans, are shipped home to rot.

Contemptible.

Manhattan

>> While it does so less openly (and less generally) than it did just a few years ago, Castro’s government does encourage prostitution.

That is a lie. Not true. In any case, define “encourage”. There are plenty of countries in the world where prostitution is not illegal. There are plenty of countries in the world which are more lenient than Cuba towards prostitution. Why is that a reason for the US government to impose sanctions? Why does it not do the same with the Netherlands?

>> In Havana, pretty much nothing occurs without the government knowing about it and approving it.

I see. So the black market is “government approved” too? The fact that something is not prosecuted means it is “approved”? The fact is that it is repressed in Cuba.

>> Part of the tourism drive was open cooperation with operators of “sex tours” in Europe

Big lie. december said the same thing in a past thread and he could offer NO support for his assertion. Please find me concrete evidence that “sex tours” were offered in Europe. Tell me the country and travel agency. Show me a brochure. december could not produce one single example. Not one. Let’s see you do it.

In any case. Suppose it was true. So what? Prostitution is legal in most of the world. The USA is using the excuse of its ridiculous morality to attack Cuba. Why doesn’t President Bush attack the rest of the countries of the world where prostitution is much more openly permitted?

>> and relaxing the prosecution of jineteras.

Well that’s wonderful. So relaxing the prosecution is the same as mandating something? I guess the US government mandates the use of drugs because they do not do enough to stop it.

>> However, the prostitutes started making too much money for non-party members, so in 1999 Castro cracked down somewhat. He drove the prostitution out of plain sight and started charging them fees such as nightclub cover charges (in nightclubs where they would be banned if they were not prostitutes) and the like. But he still allows and encourages it so long as it’s relatively quiet.

This is ridiculous. Where do you get your information? Please show me concrete evidence of what the Cuban government has done to encourage prostitution.

>> It’s a Cuban citizen cannot go into a tourist hotel unless s/he works there. Or she’s a jinetera with a customer.

Have you ever been to Cuba? I bet you haven’t. I have. I have friends in Cuba. I know what Cuba is like and it is not like you say. You are making up stuff. To get locals into a hotel you have to bribe the guards. Hardly goverment encouragement. In any case, the freedom to bring friends into your hotel room is something the USA wants to discourage? WTF? The USA is accusing Cuba of doing things which other countries do more.

>> Tour groups visiting Cuba are examined closely, yet sex tours (albeit without the overt governent sponsorship that existed prior to '99) get in.

Lie. Please present evidence of the “sex tours”. Please tell us where you get your information. There are plenty of Dopers all over Europe. Please tell us which country advertises for these “sex tours”. What are the activities? How are they organized? Who Organizes them? I want facts and details.

>> In fairness, the Castro regime is better than it once was about child prostitution. While it once encouraged it (and allowed the arrangement to export people off the island for that purpose), it now simply fails to distinguish between those prostitutes who are adults and those who are children.

Blatant lie. Where did you get this information? Please provide evidence. december said the same thing in a past thread and he could offer NO support for his assertion. Please provide concrete evidence. I bet you can’t.

President Bush has said Cuba’s prostitution is a “modern form of slavery”. How so? Prostitutes in Cuba work for themselves. How are they “slaves”? In fact, most other people who work for the Cuban state could be considered to be closer to slavery than prostitutes who are self-employed.

It is all hypocritical rhetoric based on American puritanical values and the fact that a lot of Americans will swallow whatever the leader says. First it was American manifest destiny to invade Iraq and now it is to rid Cuba of prostitutes.

The fact is that he is after a few votes. Plain and simple.

He might want to stimulate Cubans to emigrate and then vote for him too… so he is importing “votes”.

Damn, even december stopped that Cuban-government-prostitution stuff after enough patient debunking. Shoulda been reading here then, manhattan. Help us out, though - what RW blog is trumpeting that stuff to you guys?

Actually sailor, this is exactly right. Like manhattan said, nothing occurs in Cuba without the government knowing about it. It’s a fact of life there. You’re always being watched and reported on, the recent trials of dissident groups proved that. It turned out that a large part of the membership in these groups were actually either government agents or informants. The fact that prostitution continues to thrive is part of the Cuban government’s calculated decision that the tourist dollars brought in by those seeking prostitures are worth it.

Sailor, manhattan’s quote is again entirely correct. Every single hotel in Cuba has a staff of people whose only job is to keep Cubans from entering the hotel unless accompanied by a guest. Black tourists to Cuba often complain that they are continuously harassed in hotels by staff asking them for their room key, because being black they “look Cuban”.

Clubs will charge cover in dollars to those they determine to be jineteras or jineteros, the gay sex trade in Cuba is also significant. A cover charge of $10, where the average Cuban makes $10-$15 a month is an effective way of keeping clubs exclusively for tourists and those who cater to them.

It goes beyond clubs too. An aunt of mine went off on a policeman who asked her to leave the beach in Santa Maria because it was reserved for tourists. My aunt is in her 80’s so no one could confuse her with a jinetera, and for most of her life she was a devoted communist, castrist really. She started giving the policeman, twice her height and weight every cliche the Castro government ever put out about “the property of the people”, some bystanders ushered her away and quite possibly saved her from jail, a beating, or both.

Not to mention, of course, Nebraska.

Maybe so, but you have no one but yourself to blame for it. It’s called the The Cuban Adjustment Act . If you think it so contemptible you might want to start lobying your congressman to repeal it.

Those wild and crazy Midwesterners . . .

The Technocracy takes whatever means are necessary to destroy alternate social and economic systems, since the perception of their inviability is essential to the control of the dominant paradigm.

Oh, you’re talking about “reality”? The government is stupid and blind.

bayonet1976, have you been to Cuba? What are your sources?

In fact you are contradicting yourself. The Cuban government issues orders prohibiting Cubans (all Cubans, prostitutes or not) from entering the hotels. How does this “encourage” prostitution? You have to bribe the guards for them to let a Cuban national into the hotel (prostitute or not). Doesn’t this confirm the fact that the Cuban government wants to keep Cubans out?

What you are saying is like saying: The USA has plenty of laws against using and dealing drugs. If the police catch you the only way to get off is to bribe the police. Ergo, the USA government encourages the use of drugs.

Again, I know Cuba. I have been there. I know how things work. Not only are nationals not allowed in the hotels but foreigners are not allowed in private homes. I have done some sneaking around and some hiding from the night patrols in the Cuban night shadows with my heart racing. I know what it takes to bribe the guards. I have friends there. I (tangentially) participated in helping someone escape from Cuba and he is now living in Spain.

For many months I had a serious interest in a Cuban girl I met and I managed to communicate with her by email and ICQ. It is illegal and dangerous but it is possible. Ideals, love and money are stronger than the Cuban government. In Cuba everything is for sale and that includes the will of many government officials.

In any case, this thread is about the ridiculous assertion by President Bush that Cuban women are subjected to “slavery” which implies they are forced into prostitution against their will and the proceeds go to the state.

That is a blatant lie about Cuba but women are still forced into sexual slavery in Burma and other Asian and African countries. But prseident Bush is not interested in that as there are no votes to be gained by talking about that. He has no shame.

Wow. Just wow. I’ve seen a lot of lies, dirty tricks and other bad stuff thrown out to justify people’s blind hatred of President Bush. But sailor, I have to admit that defending child prostitution is a new one. Congratulations. You really, really, really hate him.

Interestingly, in other countries it is not illegal to make more than eight bucks a month. The poverty that often leads women to prostitution and to pimp their daughters is legally mandated in Cuba.

Piss off. I’m not going to cruise child prostitution web sites for your benefit. Instead you’ll have to check out these guys and their cites.

“There are no women forced to sell themselves to a man, to a foreigner, to a tourist. Those who do so do it on their own, voluntarily and without any need for it. We can say that they are highly educated jineteras and quite healthy, because we are in the country with the lowest number of AIDS cases… Therefore, there is truly no tourism healthier than Cuba’s.” Fidel Castro, 1992.

Uh, yeah. Bringing a friend into a Cuban hotel is the same as bringing in a prostitute. No it’s not. You can bring in a prostitute. You cannot bring in a friend. And my official guess is that you are not a doctor, human rights worker or journalist. Color me unsurprised that you violated our laws for your own enjoyment.

See above. You can use your own computer to cruise sex tour sites. Don’t post the results here.

You are a pro-child-prostitution liar. In addition to signing a National Security Presidential Directive increasing State Department involvement in fighting trafficers in humans, he signed the PROTECT act, criminalizing any travel by an American for the purpose of engaging a child prostitute. Of course, without a diplomatic presence in Cuba, it’s impossible to enforce there. Thus the tightened restriction on Americans entering Cuba without a specific lawful purpose. The President has a history as long as his administration of opposing sex slavery, sometimes to the point of angering civil libertarians (to avoid the hijack: not without cause).

Yes, the President wants votes. That’s kind of how being a politican works. But in this instance he told the truth to get them. Your defense of the tyrant Castro and of child prostitution to try to score a cheap point is disgusting. I don’t know how you sleep.

WAY out of line, especially in GD. And that’s just the most egregious violation of Board rules in this post, which is filled with similar name-calling. Reported to the mods.

sailor, I believe bayonet1976 was actually born in Cuba.