The Meaning and Sense of Words

Elio Delgado Legon

Guatemalan newspaper from 1962.

HAVANA TIMES — Even though this heading shares the same name as a conference I used to teach when I was a university professor, I’m not going to talk about grammar or composition as this isn’t the place. I do, however, want to talk about the meaning and sense words have in political propaganda and the power these gain in the media, where we find words over and over again which communicate lies, half-truths and unfair and unmerited labels. Let’s take a look at a few examples.

In the past, after World War 2, during the so-called Cold War, US imperialist propaganda against the Soviet Union and other socialist countries in Eastern Europe coined a series of terms which had previously had a derogatory meaning.

For example, when referring to any of these countries, they didn’t say “socialist country” but “communist regime”, not without first spreading awareness about how bad a communist regime was, in spite of this kind of regime never having existed before then.

“Red” was another term they gave a negative meaning to, as in their eagerness to make everyone identify the Soviet Union as humanity’s biggest enemy, they called it the “red threat” and compared it with the red bear which devoured everything.

They also invented the fable of the “iron curtain” so nobody from the West would draw near to take a look at what was really happening in these socialist countries and therefore they could lie to people more easily.

A whole arsenal of terms and lies have been used against the Cuban Revolution which is nearly 60 years old and they continue to add to this vocabulary as time goes on and new figures appear in the US. “Communist regime” has already been used to death and doesn’t hold the same weight anymore. Now, they call it a “socialist dictatorship”. They don’t care that Cuba holds general elections every five years and partial or municipal elections every two and a half years; they continue to call it a “dictatorship” and they have now also added the term “corrupt”, without any grounds to do so.

They did the same thing with Venezuela, a country where the most elections have been held in the last 20 years, with every guarantee, no fraud and hundreds of international watchdogs; but the fact that the country’s natural resources are no longer being exploited by foreign multinationals to give these back to the people is enough for them to give it the “corrupt socialist dictatorship” sign, even though they have only given all of their citizens free healthcare and education, built millions of homes to improve the lives of people who were living in a precarious situation, as well as other social programs.

Imperialism’s politicians aren’t the only ones who have used this worn out and out-dated terminology against the Cuban Revolution; the counter-revolution both in and outside the island have too, having to fulfill the Cuban people’s public enemy no.1’s orders because that’s what they get paid to do, to repeat the worse terms for the revolutionary government like parrots, over and over again.

And while on the subject of the meaning and sense of words, all of these people continue to say that there is “repression” here in Cuba. This word has many meanings and gradients. If taking those who violate laws to trial and sending them to prison is repression, that is one of the meanings, but it is justified by the Law. However, everyone identifies repression with riot squads covered from head to toe, using shields like in medieval wars, hitting people left, right and center, shooting rubber or lead bullets, water cannons and tear gas.

However, these scenes, which are everyday occurrences in many countries, haven’t taken place here in Cuba ever since the Batista dictatorship was overthrown on January 1st 1959, in spite of Batista having the US government’s support, like every dictatorship in the Americas has. So, using the word “repression” with the intention of giving it the meaning I have just described, is a disgrace, to put it simply. That’s why, when we read something, where seemingly inoffensive words are used, we have to analyze them beyond their meaning and find out what sense they are being given.

Elio Delgado Legon

Elio Delgado-Legon: I am a Cuban who has lived for 80 years, therefore I know full well how life was before the revolution, having experienced it directly and indirectly. As a result, it hurts me to read so many aspersions cast upon a government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life. If it hasn’t fully been able to do so, this is because of the many obstacles that have been put in its way.

34 thoughts on “The Meaning and Sense of Words

  • May 12, 2018 at 2:05 pm
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    and why the Professor and the madman will never become a feature movie..

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  • May 12, 2018 at 3:17 pm
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    As Cuban force between exile or jail. I would love to see the end of the Castro’s and his puppet Canel retired and democracy back. We the 1940 constitution back like Fidel Castro promised and never did.

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  • May 12, 2018 at 6:17 pm
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    I have previously excused Elio for many of his misconceptions, because as a Cuban of some eighty years of age, he has been subjected to the propaganda of the Communist Party of Cuba during his entire adult life. In addition, Elio like his fellow Cubans was been denied access to information from the outside world if it ran contrary to the views of the Castro regime – Cuba during all those years was one of the ten most censored countries in the world.
    Elio repeats many of his misconceptions in his article, but one in particular is offensive to all those people in the Eastern European countries who were virtually imprisoned by the Communist USSR. Elio writes: “Everyone identifies repression with riot squads covered from head to toe, using shields like in medieval war

    “They also invented the fable of the “iron curtain” so nobody from the west would draw near to take a look at what was really happening in these socialist countries and therefore could lie to people more easily.”

    The Iron Curtain was a reality, not a fable. It stretched across Europe from the Baltic to the Black Sea. I know, because I saw it!
    15′ of coiled barbed wire, 200 metres of ploughed land containing personnel mines, then another 15′ of barbed wire. Every kilometre 50 metres inside the wire, was a wooden tower about 30′ in height. Each tower had a sentry with machine gun and at the foot of the tower were a couple of German Shepherd dogs.
    That was no fable Elio, especially for those thousands who died on the wire trying to escape from their own countries to achieve the freedom of the West. Their countries had communism which you disguise as ‘socialist’ IMPOSED upon them. When the well described “Evil Empire” imploded, those 13 countries were freed. Upon holding open genuine elections, NOT ONE CHOSE COMMUNISM!
    As for Cuban law Elio, you know that the Constitution is full of double-speak, for example:

    “Article 53:
    Citizens have freedom of speech and of the press in keeping with the objectives of a social society. Material conditions for the exercise of that right are provided by the fact that the press, radio, television, movies and other organs of the mass media are STATE OR SOCIAL PROPERTY and can never be private property.”
    The LAW REGULATES THE EXERCISE OF THESE FREEDOMS.”

    In short Elio, Cubans have freedom of speech and a free press controlled by the State as long as they comply with the restrictions placed upon them. A typical example of these restrictions is the “Code for Children, Youth and Family” of the Communist Party of Cuba’s Department of Revolutionary Orientation which states that a parent who teaches their own child ideas that are contrary to communism can be sentenced to jail for three years.

    The PCC Propaganda Department has been churning out propaganda and endeavoring to control the thinking of Cubans, for almost 59 years. You Elio have swallowed the lot, you even claim that:

    “Everyone identifies repression with riot squads covered from head to toe, using shields like in medieval war, hitting people left, right and center, shooting rubber or lead bullets, water cannons and tear gas.”

    Well Elio, that is exactly what Nicholas Maduro did in Venezuela, killing over 140 Venezuelans. But that was censored in Cuba, so Cubans like you, didn’t know. Instead your own dictator praised Maduro – and you may recall, on the 17th March, 2016 awarded Maduro with the Jose Marti Medal. Such action was without conscience, for it was Marti who wrote:

    “Liberty is the right of every man to be honest, to think and speak without hypocrisy.”

    As Barack Obama said on March 21, 2016 in Cuba:

    “I believe citizens should be free to speak their mind without fear, to organize and to criticize their government and to protest peacefully, and that the rule of law should not include arbitery detentions of people who exercise those rights.”

    Those Elio are rights which you as a Cuban are denied in Cuba. Maybe at 80 you will eventually realize that communism has made you a victim rather than a victor.

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    • May 13, 2018 at 3:46 pm
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      Mr MacD, you put up a very worthy and fulsome condemnation of that which you do not like.
      I don’t disagree with all of what you say. But as per usual, your comment is entirely one sided. And quite apart from that you really should try to get your facts straight.

      ‘When the well described “Evil Empire” imploded, those 13 countries were freed. Upon holding open genuine elections, NOT ONE CHOSE COMMUNISM!’

      This is either you wishing that this were true because it fits in nicely with your ‘good vs evil’ worldview, or it is you deliberately distorting history (I’m guessing the former).
      Given the opportunity to vote in what you would describe as ‘genuine elections’ several Eastern European electorates voted for either the Communist Party, the Communist Party under a different name or a political party headed up by former members of Communist parties. These are incontrovertible facts.

      In Russia itself the Communist Party was way, way, way ahead in the opinion polls but there was a concerted media smear campaign from the press owning capitalist oligarchs backed by foreign interests (including of course the USA). This included an almost total media blackout regarding the Communist Party’s electoral campaign.
      The oligarch backed bunch duly won what was widely regarded as a fixed election and the drunkard clown Yeltsin was named president. There ensued an era which many Russians regard as the most embarrassing in their history.
      The embarrassment and national shame of that era is one of the reasons why they now vote in their droves for a former Communist/KGB strongman. They seem to believe he restores some lost national pride.

      For the U.S. involvement in the asendancy of the national embarrassment (Yeltsin), Putin appears to have gained some degree of revenge by apparently helping to install the current Liar-in Chief in the White House.

      What you write is interesting as always.
      On this occasion it is particularly interesting to witness how you refuse to let the facts get in the way of a rollicking old ‘good vs. evil’ story.

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      • May 13, 2018 at 10:21 pm
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        Don’t bother scattering metal tape Nick, just name the countries that chose to elect a communist country. As for Russia electing a KGB Colonel as their President, then as their Prime Minister and then again and again as their President, they know naught of democracy having had authoritarian rule throughout their history. It is somewhat obvious Nick that criticism of Communism and dictatorship gets up your nose, Hard Luck!
        But YES! I regard communism as evil and dictatorship as evil. I would have hoped that your sentiments would be similar, but obviously – very obviously – they are not. You are only too happy to present excuses for the repression which Communism practices.
        My description of the Iron Curtain was factual and accurate. It’s purpose was evil. My description of Maduro’s actions and the deaths on the streets of Venezuela was accurate, but the Cuban regime censored that information. My statement that not one of those liberated countries elected a communist government was correct. The quotations I gave of Barack Obama were correct. All that fact obviously is what offends you and causes you to try to confuse others.
        It was Elio who in his article presented a one sided viewpoint, based upon the information he has been able to glean from the PCC (or maybe it was provided?). My corrections were in contradiction to what he wrote.
        There used to be an expression in the UK – Ernest Bevin used it – to describe those who although not publicly supporting communism, chose to promote it and to deny the reality of communist actions. They were called “fellow travellers.”

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        • May 14, 2018 at 1:33 pm
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          Your response is a bit scattergun…..
          I made no remark regarding your President Obama quotes. As I have said many times, I regard him as a fine President who seriously took on board the responsibility of being the leader of the most powerful country on earth.
          He was certainly a fine US President when placed in the context of the trash that immediately preceded and superceded him. And I know for a fact that he is extremely popular in Cuba.

          Your worldview seems to tie in with the following:
          ‘There were lands of milk and honey where the sun always shone and the people frolicked in joyful delight all day and every day. Then a Dark Lord took over these happy lands and subjected them to untold evils and night descended. Then one day a Handsome Prince slayed the Dark Lord Lord and brought peace and freedom to these besieged lands and everyone frolicked in the sun again and all lived happily ever after’.
          Nice try Mr MacD but not quite the reality is it ?
          Perhaps the synopsis for some third rate fairytale but that’s about as far as it goes.
          The rise of Communism and Socialism in Eastern Europe was borne from the Partizan movements which struggled against Fascism and Nazi rule.
          The countries in this zone went on to experience some huge previously unheard of reforms (Universal Healthcare, Universal Literacy etc etc). But of course there was the bad side.
          We are all aware of the bad side. Including me.
          But trying to present this relatively short period of history in some kind of Disneyland Fairytale does not reflect any historical acuracy.

          I respect your experience and your points of view. I am critical of authoritarian rule myself. And I am also critical of Communism. I also happen to be critical of the hardline and cut-throat neo-liberalism which is so prevalent these days. Including in certain Eastern European countries where far right politial parties are once again in their sickening ascendency.

          Regarding the ‘Eastern Bloc’ countries that, given the opportunity to vote in what you may describe as genuine elections, ‘several Eastern European electorates voted for either the Communist Party, the Communist Party under a different name or a political party headed up by former members of Communist parties’………..
          The following spring to mind:
          Albania; Belarus (their election processes are controversial); Bulgaria; Croatia; Georgia; Hungary; Romania; Serbia; Ukraine…..
          I have listed these in alphabetical order for ease of consulting Mr Google.
          Now the reality is that these good people did not choose to return to some repeat of hardline communism. But the reality is also far, far far away from the fantasy picture which you like to paint.
          Regardless of your own political perspectives the realities are actually very nuanced and the world is not a good vs evil kind of a place.

          As I have said Mr MacD, I don’t disagree with all that you say.
          I just reccommend that you get your facts in order prior to indulging in sweeping statements.

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    • May 13, 2018 at 8:31 pm
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      Very well said Carlyle.

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      • May 14, 2018 at 4:04 pm
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        Nick is only vainly endeavoring to put words in my mouth Moses. None of the countries imprisoned by the USSR having achieved freedom elected a communist government when freedom was restored. None of them have reverted to communism. Facts just get up the nose of those fellow travelers. You will note that he takes great care not to condemn communism or dictatorship despite having been challenged several times to do so. like so many of those supporters of the Castros who write here, he is loath to address reality – because the reality is very different from the imaginary picture that they try to paint. My facts were in order. You will note that Nick did not respond to Article 53, just as he did not respond to my comment about Article 36.
        Remember at the memorial held in Havana for Fidel Castro, the large hoarding which said:

        “The Cuban Communist Party is the only legitimate heir of the legacy and authority of the Commander in Chief of the Cuban Revolution comrade Fidel Castro.”

        in short it is the PCC which continues the repression of communist dictatorship. Some people admire it, but do not seek it for themselves , Ask Nick!

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        • May 15, 2018 at 12:46 am
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          Mr MacD…..
          Your sweeping generalisation regarding how millions of people have voted in elections in former eastern bloc countries presents an entirely false narrative.
          Your whole premise is based on an argument for free and fair elections.
          Then when people cast their votes, you attempt to deny that they voted the way that they did. This renders your argument entirely self defeating.

          I am afraid that you are, not for the first time, inventing non-facts which conveniently tie in with your one sided worldview.
          Rather than continuing with this line and obfuscating the way that you are doing, why don’t you simply admit that your remark regarding voters in Eastern Europe was entirely misleading ??

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          • May 15, 2018 at 10:33 am
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            Well Nick, why not provide the names of those countries that have chosen communism when able to vote for an alternative?
            That is the reason why Communism imposes a one party state, to deny any alternative. Cubans suffer the consequences.

  • May 13, 2018 at 9:23 am
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    “They also invented the fable of the “iron curtain” so nobody from the West would draw near to take a look at what was really happening in these socialist countries and therefore they could lie to people more easily.”

    In 1966 I first became active in politics in Vancouver, BC, where the Communist Party was quite strong. While the party did organize visits to the Soviet Union, these were mainly limited to party supporters. There was certainly no broad invitation to people in Vancouver to travel to the Soviet Union to see for themselves. This was realistic. The Communist Party of Canada knew that these trips would not universally lead to a more favourable view of the Soviet Union.
    Often the opinion that workers had of the Soviet Union was based on conversations with people who had come from there. One morning after a midnight shift I was reading a socialist paper in my car while it warmed up. A co-worker noticed this, but refused to look at the paper. Why? He had worked with a man from the Soviet Union who told him that he had been denied the opportunity to see his daughter for 38 years.
    A woman I knew had travelled to the Ukraine in the mid ’60s. She was talking to a group of young people and told them that back in Canada some radical young people had joined Maoist and Trotskyist groups. At that point the conversation simply stopped. She had touched on a forbidden topic.
    I heard secondhand of a longshoreman who travelled to the Soviet Union and at one point asked for the opportunity to sit down for a chat with a Soviet longshoreman. He ended seated at a table with a Soviet longshoreman and a whole group of officials. No chance for a one on one chat.

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  • May 15, 2018 at 4:55 pm
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    It would very much seem that Mr MacD likes to makes sweeping statements and then tries to twist the facts in order that they fit into his narrow ‘good vs evil’ fantasy.
    When challenged upon the veracity of his comments…..
    He comes up with nothing.
    In elections that followed the fall of the Berlin Wall the so called ‘Eastern Bloc’ electorates that subsequently voted for either the Communist Party, the Communist Party under a different name or a political party headed up by former members of Communist parties were of the following countries:
    Albania; Belarus (their election processes are controversial); Bulgaria; Croatia; Georgia; Hungary; Romania; Serbia; Ukraine…..
    Mr MacD likes to favour ‘free and fair elections’ and then when the votes don’t fit into his false narrative, he simply denies they even occurred.
    Will Mr MacD have the face to admit that he made an gross and misleading error in what he said ?

    I would very much doubt it.

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    • May 16, 2018 at 6:16 am
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      Not forgetting Lithuania and Poland who elected the communists back into power within two to three years. Like you say I think the picture was a lot less clear cut than Carlyle likes to portray. My take on it is that a lot of people were fed up with the stagnation and welcomed the chance to properly elect their own government and exercise self-determination. Nevertheless they didn’t relish the economic policies of Conservatives and as soon as they came up against that and the realization that the US wasn’t going to deliver the help they had promised, they started voting the other way.

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      • May 16, 2018 at 1:30 pm
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        Are you saying Dani that Lithuania and Poland elected Communist governments?

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        • May 16, 2018 at 4:31 pm
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          It would now seem apparent that Mr MacD has never heard of Aleksander Kwa?niewski (Minister for Sport in the communist Polish government in the 1980s who subsequently served a10 year term as elected President of Poland from 1995 to 2005).

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          • May 17, 2018 at 12:20 am
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            Don’t prevaricate Nick and Dani. Just name the country(s) that elected a communist government. The pair of you resemble male dogs, circulating around deciding where to urinate, just answer the simple question!

        • May 17, 2018 at 12:43 pm
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          You would need to define what “elected Communist governments” means. If you mean elected the rebranded former Communist parties well then yes, Lithuania and Poland did just that as did the other countries Nick mentioned. Rather than playing word games will you answer the following question. In your opinion why did the populations of these countries do that?

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          • May 18, 2018 at 2:04 pm
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            Even you Nick and your ally Dani, have to admit that you cannot name a single country from those under discussion that elected a communist government, for neither of you has been able so to do! So you throw confetti around in trying to mislead other readers.
            My comment about dogs was describing behavioral pattern. Neither of you can find which leg to stand on!
            You can continue to endeavor to demean or belittle, but it is in vain, for even the most ardent supporters of communism cannot deny fact!

          • May 18, 2018 at 2:17 pm
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            Even you Nick and your ally Dani, have to admit that you cannot name a single country from those under discussion that elected a communist government, for neither of you has been able so to do! So you throw confetti around in trying to mislead other readers.
            My comment about dogs was describing behavioral pattern. Neither of you can find which leg to stand on!
            You can continue to endeavor to demean or belittle, but it is in vain, for even the most ardent supporters of communism cannot deny fact!
            Dani enquires what “elected Communist governments” means.
            I meant exactly what I wrote Dani. The woolly headed denials are all from Nick and yourself, because folks like you hate to admit that by far the majority of people prefer freedom of expression and freedom of the individual. When able to reject communism, they do so. It is however notable that those who write here voicing support for communism, do not choose to live in countries that are subjected to it. The freedoms which the capitalist societies provide enable you to openly express yourselves, but you would deny others including my wife and family the same opportunity.

      • May 16, 2018 at 1:51 pm
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        Hi Dani,
        Appreciate your comment.
        Your take on it sounds absolutely fine with me.
        The bizarre suggestion that everyone, upon being given the opportunity, suddenly en masse voted against everything that had gone before is a total misrepresentation of history.
        Things simply did not roll out like that.
        Please excuse me for not mentioning Poland and Lithuania in my list.
        As we know Poland has now shifted to ultra right conservatism (trump’s go-to eastern bloc buddies). And with their ultra conservative remit they are now in the process of politicising the judiciary which is of course an affront to what Mr MacD would describe as democracy. Hungary is also on a similar track.
        As I am confident you will understand…..
        My point is not that the inhabitants of former eastern bloc countries all have some kind of innate love affair with ‘authoritarianism’, ‘communism’ or ‘socialism’…….
        My point is always that we live in a highly nuanced world with a whole variety of factors involved (these would relate to nationalist issues as well as political and geo-political issues).
        To attempt to portray such complications in a straightforward ‘good vs evil’ narrative is to do a gross disservice to many, many millions of people.

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      • May 25, 2018 at 6:57 am
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        This former communist country had a terrible social and economic situation immediately after the collapse of the soviet empire, maybe a lot of people voted for those known communist looking the least evils known, after 70 years of propaganda and governmental control freedom can be very scary.

        Other thing I have perceived is that people don´t like dissidents, dissidents are mirrors where we see own cowardly, so people try to find hidden interest and finally suspects of them.

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  • May 17, 2018 at 3:37 pm
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    Mr MacD gets caught out once again for being economical with the facts.
    He cannot find it within himself to admit that his comment re Eastern Europe was highly misleading.
    So what does he do?
    He describes the people who catch him out as resembling dogs !!!
    Wow. That’s a bit unpleasant. And a bit weird.

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    • May 18, 2018 at 12:32 am
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      So tell me Nick and Dani, which of the liberated countries of Eastern Europe elected a Communist Government? Quit prevaricating and admit that none of them did!
      As for being caught out Nick – you qualify!
      I do not compare good with evil, but I do condemn evil. In consequence I condemn communism and dictatorship. My preference is for freedom of expression and freedom of the individual both of which are denied in Cuba.
      As you Nick certainly know – but are loath to admit – and as Dani may understand when he has more knowledge of Cuba, the Castro communist regime rigidly demands conformity with their vision, no other is permitted. Consequently there are the following requirements for Cubans seeking to have a quiet life.

      Don’t challenge the system, accept it, stay mute and exist.

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  • May 18, 2018 at 6:51 am
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    How blatant do you wish to be Mr MacD?
    You either have a complete incomprehension of European History, or you are simply unable to admit that you were grossly misleading in your comment.
    My suspicion is that you know only too well that you have been caught out but you are trying to save face.
    Your laughably inaccurate comment has been shown for exactly what it is: Total bias & Total nonsense. And your refusal to admit this does not cast your many other biased comments in a very good light either.
    There’s definitely a ‘boy who cried wolf’ theme starting to appear.

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    • May 18, 2018 at 2:01 pm
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      Even you Nick and your ally Dani, have to admit that you cannot name a single country from those under discussion that elected a communist government, for neither of you has been able so to do! So you throw confetti around in trying to mislead other readers.
      My comment about dogs was describing behavioral pattern. Neither of you can find which leg to stand on!
      You can continue to endeavor to demean or belittle, but it is in vain, for even the most ardent supporters of communism cannot deny fact!

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      • May 18, 2018 at 8:15 pm
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        Your historically inaccurate comments are absurd.
        Your refusal to admit that you have been caught out is telling and puts all your other comments into a very doubtful perspective.
        Your ‘good vs evil’ viewpoints are out of tune with reality and are frankly, not part of any solution, but are part of the problem.

        Your comment regardings dogs is a disgrace.

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        • May 20, 2018 at 5:34 pm
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          Well Nick, Dani and you have had a fine old time prevaricating in somewhat tedious fashion in endeavoring to deny fact. That is what disturbs the pair of you. You cannot name a single one of the those liberated countries electing in open free elections a communist government. It’s just that simple. As for mentioning individuals who formerly had membership in a communist party – when they had no other choice, holding office in governments of a different political hue, that is similar to suggesting that Winston Churchill was a Liberal. (He actually crossed the floor of the House).
          But, one final opportunity!
          JUST NAME ONE (1) COMMUNIST GOVERNMENT ELECTED IN ANY OF THE COUNTRIES UNDER DISCUSSION FOLLOWING LIBERATION PROVIDING THE DATES AND NAME OF THE LEADER.

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      • May 20, 2018 at 3:25 pm
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        Carlyle. We have already answered you several times. The Polish United Workers Party generally known as Communists were ousted from government by the Solidarity movement. However they managed to be re-elected to power in 1995 under the leadership of Aleksander Kwasniewski who had formally been the the Sports minister in the previous regime ousting Lech Walensa and Solidarity. This information isn’t secret and you should have no problem finding it out if look.

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        • May 21, 2018 at 4:56 pm
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          Sojusz Lewicy Demokratycznej (SLD) was a social-democratic party formed in 1991 as an alliance of centre left parties, the Democratic Left Alliance and Labour Union.
          You may choose Dani in your enthusiasm, to suggest that the SLD was actually the Communist Party, but the record shows otherwise.
          Now tell me, in which country was the Communist Party elected?
          In Eastern Europe, the Communist Party was anathema and could not get elected.

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          • May 22, 2018 at 1:45 am
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            Socjaldemokracja Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej, SdRP was a successor party to the communists. Basically the same people (held the property of the former party) and the leader had been a lifelong activist and minister with the communists. However they had rebranded and ditched some of the ideology and had adapted quite well to the new circumstances. Later after they had already been in power they merged with other groups to form the Democratic Left Alliance. Whether you count them as being still communist by the time they were elected – it would depend how you define communist. eg Is the Chinese Communist party communist? Were the Italian and French Communist parties who held elected power over large parts of their respected countries? If you’d properly listened to what I said rather than barking one liners you would heard me say that the situation in these countries was complex and that the voters understood this. After all they could have voted dissidents back into power but they didn’t.

  • May 22, 2018 at 3:19 pm
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    This prolonged debate promoted by Nick and Dani, is a consequence of my writing in my contribution of May 13 (see above at the top) the following:
    “When the well described “Evil Empire” imploded, those 13 countries were freed. Upon holding genuine elections, NOT ONE CHOSE COMMUNISM.”
    That factual statement disturbed Nick and Dani, because they are loath to accept that given open elections, communism is rejected. So they endeavor to deny the reality by saying that in later elections, parties of the left which included some individuals who had served in communist regimes, were elected.
    However, they have been unable to name any of those countries electing the Communist Party.
    I humbly suggest that readers, re-read my contribution written in response to Elio’s article. Note that Nick and Dani carefully ignore my description of the Iron Curtain – said by Elio to be “a fable”, just as they ignore my quoting Article 53 of the Cuban Constitution.
    My final sentence addressed to Elio, was:
    “Those Elio are rights which you as a Cuban are denied in Cuba. Maybe at 80 you will eventually realize that communism has made you a victim rather than a victor.”
    One does not know whether Elio is able to gain access to the Internet to be able to read comments in Havana Times or whether the regime’s censorship prevents that.
    Nick and Dani are pursuing the concept that by the old old method of deny, deny, deny, they will persuade readers that my statement – and by association everything that I wrote, is false. Sorry Nick and Dani, it doesn’t work! But doubtless you will both continue to wallow in the trough of misinformation so beloved by the communist party and fellow travellers.
    My case now rests!

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    • May 23, 2018 at 2:54 pm
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      Nick specifically said that he agreed with most of what you said. The fact that we don’t comment on something doesn’t mean anything one way or the other. It might be because we agree or that it is so much a matter of opinion that it isn’t worth disputing or it may be that we don’t have anything worth saying about it. There is no implication that everything you said was false just that it is a bit over the top. It is pretty much only one statement that we disagree on and that is only a half-disagreement.

      You should realize that when you debate on things such as the history of communism or Cuba I have read quite a bit and do know what I am talking about. What is a pity is that this has been a pretty boring repetition about disputed facts and semantics. Whereas it would have been more interesting to hear your opinion on why many countries in Eastern Europe chose former communists rather than former dissidents when they had the choice or how to define a communist.

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  • May 23, 2018 at 1:48 pm
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    I am not pro- Communism.
    I I can’t really claim to be anti – Communism either.
    However, what I would say is that I am pro – referring to facts in one’s arguments.
    And I am anti – the bending of facts in order to pursue a narrow little agenda.
    Mr McD has unfortunately shown himself to be in the category of those who choose to bend facts.
    He bleats that no-one voted for Communists after the so called ‘freeing of 13 countries’ (He says this because he really and dearly wishes this were the historical truth).
    But when confronted with documented, historical facts which do not fit in with his bent version of history, what does he do ?
    He describes those pointing out the actual facts as dogs……..
    And he just keeps on and on bleating out absurd, anti-historical nonsense.
    All subsequent comments from Mr MacD should therefore be framed within this context.

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  • May 24, 2018 at 8:22 am
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    I actually don´t know the case of a communist party winning elections, fair ones, but I have a discrepancy with you Carlyle about the meaning of that. For me what is there to learn is that communism cannot be build top down, that communist system is an utopia right now because it demands a kind of new humans beings much better than what we are, and that some very very bad persons used this utopia to create state monsters to control population.

    Regrettably communism and lack of freedom comes together in people minds, but the communism is not that what those terrible persons did, for me communism is much close to anarchy and free commerce and movement, free from the intervention of a state with some illuminated and overvalued person saying to the people what to do.

    But I think that freedom is not possible yet, we people are mainly stupid, bad, or a mix of both, so we people still need a central government, but a government as small as possible just to warrant that the peaceful person don´t be fucked for those that aren´t, in my view that includes rent redistribution by means of social security, health and education public or at least subsidized.

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