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Bernie Sanders will get crushed. Hillary barely ran against him to preserve democrat unity and he still got shredded. 

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59 minutes ago, Patine said:

Oh, I'm sorry. So criticizing the failings and corruptions of major parties of nations that aren't one's own nation is wrong. I never would have known by the way many Americans speak of the CPSU, United Russia, the Chinese Communist Party, the Workers' Party of Korea, the ZANU-PF, the Communist Party of Cuba, etc., that so many Americans thought this practice was taboo or wrong or at least something to be avoided in conversation and rhetoric.

Too early to reply anymore. Just claim victory and move on to repeating the same thing over and over.

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I don't expect Bernie will do as well this time around.

In 2016, he was the only guy running with his message.  

This time, he'll be one of...what...six?...all running on the exact same platform, and the other five won't have the weight of being elderly white men who cling to the phrase "Democrat socialist" even though they're all running with the same platform.

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7 minutes ago, Actinguy said:

I don't expect Bernie will do as well this time around.

In 2016, he was the only guy running with his message.  

This time, he'll be one of...what...six?...all running on the exact same platform, and the other five won't have the weight of being elderly white men who cling to the phrase "Democrat socialist" even though they're all running with the same platform.

"Democrat socialist" is not the correct term. That is not the actual name of any ideology or political stance out there. Anymore than "Communist Fascist Islamists" (a term I saw used by Beck or Limbaugh once) actually exist.

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I voted for Bernie last time, mainly because he was the only progressive left in the race on the Democratic side.  I liked O'Malley too, but he gained zero traction.  As I have always lived in states not named "Iowa" or "New Hampshire", by the time I get a chance to vote, it's down to a two-person race.  I expect nothing to change in 2020.

This time there are many more potential progressive candidates, and I think the shine has worn off of Bernie in more ways than one - for me, anyway.  He's not consistently polling 10-15 points ahead of Trump like he was in 2016.  He never released his tax returns.  He's had to publicly apologize for the sexual harassment that took place during his campaigns.  He's a 77-year-old white guy from Vermont who frankly seems a bit tone deaf to the racism, neo-Nazi dog whistles and white supremacy happening right in front of our faces, usually chalking it up to "economic anxiety" - probably because he's a 77-year-old white guy from Vermont.  He routinely votes against Russia sanctions, his chief strategist Tad Devine has been questioned by Mueller, and Bernie is starting to raise eyebrows over why he's so soft on Vladimir Putin.  He's accomplished very little when it comes to passing substantial legislation.

The few polls that have come out recently suggest an uphill climb at best for Bernie.  I'm leaning towards Elizabeth Warren right now, although it's still way too early.  She's very much like Bernie to me, only with less baggage and more specifics.  I also like Sherrod Brown and Amy Klobuchar, should they decide to run.  I find it unlikely that Bernie wins my vote again in a primary, and as others have also pointed out in this thread, I think 2016 was his best chance.

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36 minutes ago, darkmoon72 said:

I voted for Bernie last time, mainly because he was the only progressive left in the race on the Democratic side.  I liked O'Malley too, but he gained zero traction.  As I have always lived in states not named "Iowa" or "New Hampshire", by the time I get a chance to vote, it's down to a two-person race.  I expect nothing to change in 2020.

This time there are many more potential progressive candidates, and I think the shine has worn off of Bernie in more ways than one - for me, anyway.  He's not consistently polling 10-15 points ahead of Trump like he was in 2016.  He never released his tax returns.  He's had to publicly apologize for the sexual harassment that took place during his campaigns.  He's a 77-year-old white guy from Vermont who frankly seems a bit tone deaf to the racism, neo-Nazi dog whistles and white supremacy happening right in front of our faces, usually chalking it up to "economic anxiety" - probably because he's a 77-year-old white guy from Vermont.  He routinely votes against Russia sanctions, his chief strategist Tad Devine has been questioned by Mueller, and Bernie is starting to raise eyebrows over why he's so soft on Vladimir Putin.  He's accomplished very little when it comes to passing substantial legislation.

The few polls that have come out recently suggest an uphill climb at best for Bernie.  I'm leaning towards Elizabeth Warren right now, although it's still way too early.  She's very much like Bernie to me, only with less baggage and more specifics.  I also like Sherrod Brown and Amy Klobuchar, should they decide to run.  I find it unlikely that Bernie wins my vote again in a primary, and as others have also pointed out in this thread, I think 2016 was his best chance.

From my understanding, the desire of many U.S. politicians to slap sanctions on Russia and believe they'll be effective or meaningful in any significant way I think is wistful thinking, self-deception, and even a "policy placebo." It doesn't seem the modern Russian economy is really that dependent on imports from the U.S. - or even the NATO bloc as a whole, not with China, North Korea, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Iran, at least, as willing trading partners. It seems economic and industrial self-sufficiency are fully contained within that bloc. Plus, Russia can cause the price of natural gas in a huge chunk of Eastern and Central Europe and the Balkans to skyrocket by turning a valve - a deterrent to many of the NATO members getting on board with this idea. Of course, declaring war on Russia would just be fulfilling the exposition to the plots of the "Mad Max" movies, the "Wasteland" and "Fallout" computer games, and the "Threads" and "Chrysalid" novels. I believe only a Cold War style summit in good faith with open minds to hammer out all these issues may be anywhere near the only viable solution here.

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3 minutes ago, Patine said:

From my understanding, the desire of many U.S. politicians to slap sanctions on Russia and believe they'll be effective or meaningful in any significant way I think is wistful thinking, self-deception, and even a "policy placebo." It doesn't seem the modern Russian economy is really that dependent on imports from the U.S. - or even the NATO bloc as a whole, not with China, North Korea, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Iran, at least, as willing trading partners. It seems economic and industrial self-sufficiency are fully contained within that bloc. Plus, Russia can cause the price of natural gas in a huge chunk of Eastern and Central Europe and the Balkans to skyrocket by turning valve - a deterrent to many of the NATO getting on board with this idea. Of course, declaring war on Russia would just be fulfilling the exposition to the plots of the "Mad Max" movies, the "Wasteland" and "Fallout" computer games, and the "Threads" and "Chrysalid" novels. I believe only a Cold War style summit in good faith with open minds to hammer out all these issues may be anywhere near the only viable solution here.

Perhaps.  I'm with you on the notion that an all-out war with Russia is in nobody's best interest and will devastate the entire world, leading to the post-apocalyptic nightmare seen in the works of fiction you mention. 

As a minor aside, the Mad Max universe only suggests nuclear war happened from the 3rd movie on - the first two movies merely talk about oil shortages, non-nuclear wars in the Middle East (Iran and Saudi Arabia are the implied belligerents), and a general collapse of society.  I'm not saying you suggested anything different, just that it's a common misconception that all of the movies are set post-nuclear war.

Where we seem to diverge is that I see clear evidence of Putin's aggression in his attempts to destabilize democracies, undermine the EU and NATO alliances, and "get the old band back together" - aka reunify the USSR under his personal rule.  He's already part of the way there, in that many CIS states are already dependent on Russia economically and militarily.  Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine was quite obviously a puppet of Putin's, hence why Russia invaded Crimea about 30 seconds after he stepped down and fled Ukraine - incidentally, Yanukovych fled to Russia, where he remains to this day.  Putin is also messing around with Estonia - a NATO country - seeing what he can get away with there before someone tries to stop him.  And don't get me started on Putin's meddling in the 2016 US election, Brexit, and the 2017 French election - it looks as though he's even trying to pour gasoline on the fire of these "yellow vest" protests going on in France.  And then there's the murder of Alexander Litvinenko and the attempted murder of Sergey Skripal, both of which happened in the UK.

Given the above, I think a US president willing to get tough with Putin's Russia is something of a necessity these days, and I am definitely skeptical of people who seem like they are "on the take" from Russia running for office in the US - Donald Trump is an obvious example, but there are plenty of lesser-known former and current politicians who like to sing Putin's praises - Rand Paul, Jill Stein, Dana Rohrabacher, Dennis Kucinich and Tulsi Gabbard all come to mind as people on the left and right that I seriously think are in Putin's pocket.

As to your point about the effectiveness of sanctions, I agree most of them are probably varying degrees of ineffectual, however the Magnitsky Act (which Bernie voted against) seems to be a singular exception, since Putin and his friends are trying to move heaven and earth to get rid of it.

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8 minutes ago, darkmoon72 said:

Perhaps.  I'm with you on the notion that an all-out war with Russia is in nobody's best interest and will devastate the entire world, leading to the post-apocalyptic nightmare seen in the works of fiction you mention. 

As a minor aside, the Mad Max universe only suggests nuclear war happened from the 3rd movie on - the first two movies merely talk about oil shortages, non-nuclear wars in the Middle East (Iran and Saudi Arabia are the implied belligerents), and a general collapse of society.  I'm not saying you suggested anything different, just that it's a common misconception that all of the movies are set post-nuclear war.

Where we seem to diverge is that I see clear evidence of Putin's aggression in his attempts to destabilize democracies, undermine the EU and NATO alliances, and "get the old band back together" - aka reunify the USSR under his personal rule.  He's already part of the way there, in that many CIS states are already dependent on Russia economically and militarily.  Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine was quite obviously a puppet of Putin's, hence why Russia invaded Crimea about 30 seconds after he stepped down and fled Ukraine - incidentally, Yanukovych fled to Russia, where he remains to this day.  Putin is also messing around with Estonia - a NATO country - seeing what he can get away with there before someone tries to stop him.  And don't get me started on Putin's meddling in the 2016 US election, Brexit, and the 2017 French election - it looks as though he's even trying to pour gasoline on the fire of these "yellow vest" protests going on in France.  And then there's the murder of Alexander Litvinenko and the attempted murder of Sergey Skripal, both of which happened in the UK.

Given the above, I think a US president willing to get tough with Putin's Russia is something of a necessity these days, and I am definitely skeptical of people who seem like they are "on the take" from Russia running for office in the US - Donald Trump is an obvious example, but there are plenty of lesser-known former and current politicians who like to sing Putin's praises - Rand Paul, Jill Stein, Dana Rohrabacher, Dennis Kucinich and Tulsi Gabbard all come to mind as people on the left and right that I seriously think are in Putin's pocket.

As to your point about the effectiveness of sanctions, I agree most of them are probably varying degrees of ineffectual, however the Magnitsky Act (which Bernie voted against) seems to be a singular exception, since Putin and his friends are trying to move heaven and earth to get rid of it.

To be fair, Crimea did hold a referendum on whether to join Russia or not to join Russia, in 2014, and they did vote for it. Also I highly doubt Putin wants to reform the Soviet Union,  seeing as how he's the protege of Boris Yetslin, one of the main leaders in the dissolution of the USSR, and promoter of "shock therapy" which wreaked havoc on former the former Soviet economies.

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Just now, WVProgressive said:

To be fair, Crimea did hold a referendum on whether to join Russia or not to join Russia, in 2014, and they did vote for it. Also I highly doubt Putin wants to reform the Soviet Union,  seeing as how he's the protege of Boris Yetslin, one of the main leaders in the dissolution of the USSR, and promoter of "shock therapy" which wreaked havoc on former the former Soviet economies.

Sure, they voted, with Russian "little green men" hanging out right there, fully armed.  Not exactly what I'd call a "free and fair" election - we'd call such tactics voter intimidation if they were tried here, and rightfully so.  Most of the EU, the US and Canada are all on board with considering it an illegitimate election.  The UN Security Council voted 13-1-1 that it wasn't a fair election, and the UN General Assembly voted 100-11-58 the same way.  The OSCE and UN election observers were not allowed to observe at all.  This was about as legitimate as a North Korean election.

To your second point, I never said Putin wishes to duplicate the centrally-planned economy of the USSR - he just wants to rule over the 15 countries that were once a part of it.

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3 minutes ago, darkmoon72 said:

Most of the EU, the US and Canada are all on board with considering it an illegitimate election.

There also on board with calling Guaido the Venezuelan president after he boycotted the election, and we all know Americas history when it comes to democracy, especially when it comes to South-East Asian, and Latin American countries electing leftists.

8 minutes ago, darkmoon72 said:

Sure, they voted, with Russian "little green men" hanging out right there, fully armed.  Not exactly what I'd call a "free and fair" election - we'd call such tactics voter intimidation if they were tried here, and rightfully so.  Most of the EU, the US and Canada are all on board with considering it an illegitimate election.  The UN Security Council voted 13-1-1 that it wasn't a fair election, and the UN General Assembly voted 100-11-58 the same way.  The OSCE and UN election observers were not allowed to observe at all. 

It's possible, I haven't looked much into it, I just knew that there was a referendum, I wouldn't put it past an autocrat like Putin to cheat in able to win, like Yetslin in '91.

10 minutes ago, darkmoon72 said:

To your second point, I never said Putin wishes to duplicate the centrally-planned economy of the USSR - he just wants to rule over the 15 countries that were once a part of it.

Alright.

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2 minutes ago, WVProgressive said:

There also on board with calling Guaido the Venezuelan president after he boycotted the election, and we all know Americas history when it comes to democracy, especially when it comes to South-East Asian, and Latin American countries electing leftists.

 

You'll get no argument from me on US history, I fully agree 100% about our nation's shameful record.  Though if you are going to use Venezuela as a counter-example, I'd like to point out that the legitimacy of Maduro's 2018 election is also very much in dispute, and the countries that recognize him as Venezuela's legitimate president are places like China, Cuba, Russia and Turkey - not exactly beacons of democracy and freedom.

As the saying goes, "a broken clock is right twice a day".  The US has committed atrocities, overthrown legitimate governments and backed some horrible people.  That doesn't necessarily mean every foreign policy decision made by the US is 100% wrong, leaving aside the Maduro/Guaidó issue for a moment.

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7 minutes ago, darkmoon72 said:

You'll get no argument from me on US history, I fully agree 100% about our nation's shameful record.  Though if you are going to use Venezuela as a counter-example, I'd like to point out that the legitimacy of Maduro's 2018 election is also very much in dispute, and the countries that recognize him as Venezuela's legitimate president are places like China, Cuba, Russia and Turkey - not exactly beacons of democracy and freedom

I don't really want to argue so I'll concede that Guaidó  certainly claims to be the legitimate president of Venezuela. Also Cuba is actually quite democratic, in many ways more democratic than the United States

https://cuba-solidarity.org.uk/resources/democracyfactsheet2015.pdf

https://www.globalresearch.ca/cuba-s-municipal-elections/19230

http://svensk-kubanska.se/val-i-kuba/

(You might need to translate the last one into english)

(I also have a number of book recommendations on the subject)

15 minutes ago, darkmoon72 said:

As the saying goes, "a broken clock is right twice a day".  The US has committed atrocities, overthrown legitimate governments and backed some horrible people.  That doesn't necessarily mean every foreign policy decision made by the US is 100% wrong, leaving aside the Maduro/Guaidó issue for a moment.

True.

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12 hours ago, WVProgressive said:

Also Cuba is actually quite democratic, in many ways more democratic than the United States

https://cuba-solidarity.org.uk/resources/democracyfactsheet2015.pdf

https://www.globalresearch.ca/cuba-s-municipal-elections/19230

http://svensk-kubanska.se/val-i-kuba/

(You might need to translate the last one into english)

(I also have a number of book recommendations on the subject)

And in many ways it's not.  Cuba is a de facto one-party state and has been since Castro took over.  The Democracy Index classifies it as an authoritarian regime.  The Press Freedom Index has said Cuba's extensive propaganda network rivals that of North Korea.  Reporters Without Borders classifies Cuba as an "Internet enemy" given how much they censor it.  Human Rights Watch has described Cuba as repressive, and Amnesty International has described the arbitrary detentions that occur in Cuba to this day.  Cuba is still not great when it comes to LGBT rights - while gay men are no longer put in forced labor camps, same-sex marriage is still illegal as of today, and homophobia is very much part of the country's culture.  And as much as people (including me) like to complain about how undemocratic the Electoral College is in the US, at least we get some method of voting for the President.  In Cuba, you don't.

I looked at your sources, and researched their credibility.  The Cuba Solidarity Campaign, by all outside accounts, is little more than a mouthpiece for the regime.  Media Bias/Fact Check lists your second source, Global Research, as "Conspiracy-Pseudoscience", saying it "publishes many unsubstantiated conspiracies".  https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/global-research/

A translation was unnecessary for your third source - one look at the pictures made it quite clear this was more pro-Castro propaganda.  Somehow I doubt you're going to convince me that Democracy Index, Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are all in on some giant conspiracy to lie about Cuba - Occam's Razor applies here.

I'll grant you that right-wing politicians and Batista supporters like to paint a picture of Cuba as being far more repressive than it is, and we could stand to learn a thing or two from Cuba on how to run a not-for-profit healthcare system.  But that doesn't make it a beacon of democracy and human rights, and all the organizations I listed say it isn't one.

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14 minutes ago, darkmoon72 said:

And in many ways it's not.  Cuba is a de facto one-party state and has been since Castro took over.  The Democracy Index classifies it as an authoritarian regime.  The Press Freedom Index has said Cuba's extensive propaganda network rivals that of North Korea.  Reporters Without Borders classifies Cuba as an "Internet enemy" given how much they censor it.  Human Rights Watch has described Cuba as repressive, and Amnesty International has described the arbitrary detentions that occur in Cuba to this day.  Cuba is still not great when it comes to LGBT rights - while gay men are no longer put in forced labor camps, same-sex marriage is still illegal as of today, and homophobia is very much part of the country's culture.  And as much as people (including me) like to complain about how undemocratic the Electoral College is in the US, at least we get some method of voting for the President.  In Cuba, you don't.

I looked at your sources, and researched their credibility.  The Cuba Solidarity Campaign, by all outside accounts, is little more than a mouthpiece for the regime.  Media Bias/Fact Check lists your second source, Global Research, as "Conspiracy-Pseudoscience", saying it "publishes many unsubstantiated conspiracies".  https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/global-research/

A translation was unnecessary for your third source - one look at the pictures made it quite clear this was more pro-Castro propaganda.  Somehow I doubt you're going to convince me that Democracy Index, Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are all in on some giant conspiracy to lie about Cuba - Occam's Razor applies here.

I'll grant you that right-wing politicians and Batista supporters like to paint a picture of Cuba as being far more repressive than it is, and we could stand to learn a thing or two from Cuba on how to run a not-for-profit healthcare system.  But that doesn't make it a beacon of democracy and human rights, and all the organizations I listed say it isn't one.

Actually, it was a de facto one party state and dictatorship since 1956 - when Batista took power. The de facto single party (and the country's alignment in the Cold War) just changed in 1959 when Castro took over. And Batista's horrible corruption, seizing land from peasant smallholders, by force, in many cases, to sell cheaply to Mafia-owned resorts and casinos, and conducting witch-hunts for alleged Communists which ignored all due process contributed greatly to Castro's initial popular support from a lot of the people.

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1 minute ago, Patine said:

Actually, it was a de facto one party state and dictatorship since 1956 - when Batista took power. The de facto single party (and the country's alignment in the Cold War) just changed in 1959 when Castro took over. And Batista's horrible corruption, seizing land from peasant smallholders, by force, in many cases, to sell cheaply to Mafia-owned resorts and casinos, and conducting witch-hunts for alleged Communists which ignored all due process contributed greatly to Castro's initial popular support from a lot of the people.

True, and thanks for pointing that out - I certainly don't mean to whitewash Batista's atrocities, or the support he received from the US government.  By all accounts, he was worse than Castro.  The priorities of the dictatorial regime have changed dramatically - just not the fact that it's a dictatorship.

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7 minutes ago, darkmoon72 said:

True, and thanks for pointing that out - I certainly don't mean to whitewash Batista's atrocities, or the support he received from the US government.  By all accounts, he was worse than Castro.  The priorities of the dictatorial regime have changed dramatically - just not the fact that it's a dictatorship.

As an interesting note, the Koine Greek word "Tyrant," and the Latin word "Dictator," (where the two words were first coined) did not necessarily make a judgement on the quality or morality of leadership of the one who held such power by Ancient Greeks and Romans respectively - thus, Draco and Scipio were a popular, effective, and beloved Tyrant and Dictator, respectively, while Critias and Tiberius Gracchus, respectively, were much more infamous, and much less well regarded, but they held the same respective titles. Only the Enlightenment thinkers of the 18th Century, which is very recently, relatively speaking, brought any sort of common negative baggage to the words as whole.

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45 minutes ago, Patine said:

As an interesting note, the Koine Greek word "Tyrant," and the Latin word "Dictator," (where the two words were first coined) did not necessarily make a judgement on the quality or morality of leadership of the one who held such power by Ancient Greeks and Romans respectively - thus, Draco and Scipio were a popular, effective, and beloved Tyrant and Dictator, respectively, while Critias and Tiberius Gracchus, respectively, were much more infamous, and much less well regarded, but they held the same respective titles. Only the Enlightenment thinkers of the 18th Century, which is very recently, relatively speaking, brought any sort of common negative baggage to the words as whole.

Yes, and I'm familiar with the Roman Republic system, where for a short time they would have a dictator deal with emergency situations - with their terms being limited to 6 months.  "Dictator for life" is, I believe, a phrase first applied to Julius Caesar, as he refused to step down and remained dictator until his assassination.  Nowadays it's implied that all dictators are for life.

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29 minutes ago, darkmoon72 said:

And in many ways it's not.  Cuba is a de facto one-party state and has been since Castro took over.

The Communist Party doesn't even field candidates, you don't need party membership to vote or to hold office, the party doesn't even participate in the elections at all. "No one here has gone to an election and been presented with a ballot paper and told these are the party members for whom you have to vote nor is anyone nominated for being a party member this element can perhaps be invoked as a reflection of leadership fitting conduct good performance or a vocation for public service but not because the condition of party member is established as a requirement to enter public office in our laws."- Dr. Jose Luis Toledo Santander. Individuals directly nominate those who they think should be candidates. 

30 minutes ago, darkmoon72 said:

The Democracy Index classifies it as an authoritarian regime. 

The Democracy Index is owned by The Economist. Why should I trust them anymore than the Cuban government and people? 

32 minutes ago, darkmoon72 said:

And as much as people (including me) like to complain about how undemocratic the Electoral College is in the US, at least we get some method of voting for the President.  In Cuba, you don't.

 Well Cuba is more of a semi-parliamentary government, and the office of the president is much diffrent in Cuba than in America, most of the power is held by The General Assembly.

1 hour ago, darkmoon72 said:

A translation was unnecessary for your third source - one look at the pictures made it quite clear this was more pro-Castro propaganda. 

Alright, it has testimony from Cubans born and raised in Cuba, but if one picture is enough for you to throw it out I won't stop you.

44 minutes ago, darkmoon72 said:

Cuba is still not great when it comes to LGBT rights - while gay men are no longer put in forced labor camps, same-sex marriage is still illegal as of today, and homophobia is very much part of the country's culture.

I don't know what that has to do with Cuba being a democracy, but America has forced labor camps, we just call it penal labor.

1 hour ago, darkmoon72 said:

I looked at your sources, and researched their credibility.  The Cuba Solidarity Campaign, by all outside accounts, is little more than a mouthpiece for the regime.  Media Bias/Fact Check lists your second source, Global Research, as "Conspiracy-Pseudoscience", saying it "publishes many unsubstantiated conspiracies".  https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/global-research/

That seems pretty subjective, not sure how much stock I'd put into them.

1 hour ago, darkmoon72 said:

Somehow I doubt you're going to convince me that Democracy Index, Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are all in on some giant conspiracy to lie about Cuba - Occam's Razor applies here.

Where are they getting their funding? If we should be distrustful of sites that have pictures of Castro on them, shouldn't we also be suspicious of these organizations?

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1 hour ago, WVProgressive said:

The Democracy Index is owned by The Economist. Why should I trust them anymore than the Cuban government and people?

 

Here I do have to agree. The U.S. and Japan, and, since the new 2010 Constitution, Hungary, consistently get higher Democracy Index ratings than they truly deserve, just because they're "Capitalist First World countries," and the former two nations have a lot of corporate entities who hold sway (not outright dictation, but definitely sway) over what the Economist prints.

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The Communist Party doesn't even field candidates, you don't need party membership to vote or to hold office, the party doesn't even participate in the elections at all. "No one here has gone to an election and been presented with a ballot paper and told these are the party members for whom you have to vote nor is anyone nominated for being a party member this element can perhaps be invoked as a reflection of leadership fitting conduct good performance or a vocation for public service but not because the condition of party member is established as a requirement to enter public office in our laws."- Dr. Jose Luis Toledo Santander. Individuals directly nominate those who they think should be candidates. 

I did say a de facto one-party state, in case that wasn't clear.  And this individual seems to be a government official, and I will view his quote with skepticism.
 

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The Democracy Index is owned by The Economist. Why should I trust them anymore than the Cuban government and people? 

The Economist is a news magazine with a generally high rate of factual reporting, by most objective measures.  I have much more reason to trust them than a government that suppresses dissent, censors the internet and prevents anti-government protests and groups that are critical of the regime.

 

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Well Cuba is more of a semi-parliamentary government, and the office of the president is much diffrent in Cuba than in America, most of the power is held by The General Assembly.

Given that the President is generally also the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba - the most powerful person in government - and that this individual cannot be chosen by the people, I think my point stands.

 

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Alright, it has testimony from Cubans born and raised in Cuba, but if one picture is enough for you to throw it out I won't stop you.

And there is plenty of testimony I could show you from Cubans who have fled or been imprisoned, tortured or put into forced labor camps by the government.  I'm not swayed by one anecdote vs. another.  This very conversation would likely cause trouble in Cuba.

 

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I don't know what that has to do with Cuba being a democracy, but America has forced labor camps, we just call it penal labor.

It's an excellent example of how Cuba is a poor example of a country with a strong human rights record, and despite the US's many, many flaws, I'm not convinced in the slightest that Cuba is a freer, less repressive place to live that tries more than the US does to treat everyone equally.  Your comparison of US penal labor to the forced labor camps Cuba has is a bit of a stretch.

 

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That seems pretty subjective, not sure how much stock I'd put into them.

Again, I think Occam's Razor applies.  I think the straightforward answer is more likely than a vast conspiracy of deception from various unrelated entities.

 

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Where are they getting their funding? If we should be distrustful of sites that have pictures of Castro on them, shouldn't we also be suspicious of these organizations?

"Sites that have pictures of Castro" is not exactly an accurate summation of that page - banners advertising 60 years since "the Revolution" and a guy holding a sign saying "Viva Fidel" are other examples that kind of give it away as a pro-government site.

As for their funding, I did a bit of research on these organizations and their funding sources, and I still find them to be more credible than Cuba's government and its propaganda network. 

 

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Here I do have to agree. The U.S. and Japan, and, since the new 2010 Constitution, Hungary, consistently get higher Democracy Index ratings than they truly deserve, just because they're "Capitalist First World countries," and the former two nations have a lot of corporate entities who hold sway (not outright dictation, but definitely sway) over what the Economist prints.

Sure, there are corporate entities holding sway over a large number of journalists and media outlets.  The not-for-profit days of early network news are sadly long gone, to cite one example.  And every news outlet is going to be flawed and make mistakes, the Economist being no exception - we're all human.  But in this nuanced, shades of grey world we live in, I find the Economist - and the other organizations I mentioned - to be a bit more credible than the Cuban regime.  The Economist definitely leans right more than I like, but its degree of accuracy is generally regarded as very high by outside sources.

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43 minutes ago, darkmoon72 said:

I did say a de facto one-party state, in case that wasn't clear.  And this individual seems to be a government official, and I will view his quote with skepticism.
 

The Economist is a news magazine with a generally high rate of factual reporting, by most objective measures.  I have much more reason to trust them than a government that suppresses dissent, censors the internet and prevents anti-government protests and groups that are critical of the regime.

 

Given that the President is generally also the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba - the most powerful person in government - and that this individual cannot be chosen by the people, I think my point stands.

 

And there is plenty of testimony I could show you from Cubans who have fled or been imprisoned, tortured or put into forced labor camps by the government.  I'm not swayed by one anecdote vs. another.  This very conversation would likely cause trouble in Cuba.

 

It's an excellent example of how Cuba is a poor example of a country with a strong human rights record, and despite the US's many, many flaws, I'm not convinced in the slightest that Cuba is a freer, less repressive place to live that tries more than the US does to treat everyone equally.  Your comparison of US penal labor to the forced labor camps Cuba has is a bit of a stretch.

 

Again, I think Occam's Razor applies.  I think the straightforward answer is more likely than a vast conspiracy of deception from various unrelated entities.

 

"Sites that have pictures of Castro" is not exactly an accurate summation of that page - banners advertising 60 years since "the Revolution" and a guy holding a sign saying "Viva Fidel" are other examples that kind of give it away as a pro-government site.

As for their funding, I did a bit of research on these organizations and their funding sources, and I still find them to be more credible than Cuba's government and its propaganda network. 

 

Sure, there are corporate entities holding sway over a large number of journalists and media outlets.  The not-for-profit days of early network news are sadly long gone, to cite one example.  And every news outlet is going to be flawed and make mistakes, the Economist being no exception - we're all human.  But in this nuanced, shades of grey world we live in, I find the Economist - and the other organizations I mentioned - to be a bit more credible than the Cuban regime.  The Economist definitely leans right more than I like, but its degree of accuracy is generally regarded as very high by outside sources.

Ok, I've shown you my sources and you've shown me yours. Agree to disagree since I don't see either of us changing the others mind? Also, I must say, I do respect The Economist, it's gone from a journal which speaks for British millionaires, to a journal which speaks for millionaires worldwide, Lenin was wrong about them.

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20 hours ago, NYrepublican said:

I'd like to see @WVProgressive's evidence.

Actually you're right, we should trust what media, owned by rich people, who have an interest in shaping the public's perception, have to say about socialist countries. Isn't it great that the media is in near total agreement that Venezuela is an impoverished dictatorship, that needs to be invaded by The United States, the fact that they have the largest amount of oil reserves and is an openly socialist government, is surely a coincidence right. It's like Noriega's tortilla powder cocaine, or The Gulf of Tonkin, if the CIA, and US government at large says it, and the media repeats it, it must be true!

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1 minute ago, WVProgressive said:

Actually you're right, we should trust what media, owned by rich people, who have an interest in shaping the public's perception, have to say about socialist countries. Isn't it great that the media is in near total agreement that Venezuela is an impoverished dictatorship, that needs to be invaded by The United States, the fact that they have the largest amount of oil reserves and is an openly socialist government, is surely a coincidence right. It's like Noriega's tortilla powder cocaine, or The Gulf of Tonkin, if the CIA, and US government at large says it, and the media repeats it, it must be true!

Noriega was a "cleanup job," by George H.W. Bush, former Director of the CIA, considering Noriega was, himself. a card-holding CIA Agent facilitating "anti-Communist" agitation in Central America who used the resources and free hand given him to make himself a local kingpin, instead, and jump his leash, and thus embarrassing his masters in Langley, and had to be reigned in through a contrived and manufactured set of charges - because his real crimes were all classified and would also incriminate senior CIA and U.S. Government members...

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24 minutes ago, WVProgressive said:

Actually you're right, we should trust what media, owned by rich people, who have an interest in shaping the public's perception, have to say about socialist countries. Isn't it great that the media is in near total agreement that Venezuela is an impoverished dictatorship, that needs to be invaded by The United States, the fact that they have the largest amount of oil reserves and is an openly socialist government, is surely a coincidence right. It's like Noriega's tortilla powder cocaine, or The Gulf of Tonkin, if the CIA, and US government at large says it, and the media repeats it, it must be true!

I understand what you're saying, but how are we supposed to believe you if you post without any evidence to back yourself up? If you question the validity of media based on conflicted interests, you have to acknowledge that the sources you provided are incredibly biased as well. 

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