back to article Bush tests Castro with mobile phone gift barrage

Americans will soon be able to send cell phones to Cubans, President Bush announced today. Does this bother you? I'm not touching you. The move is apparently meant to be an experimental prod at Cuba's President Raul Castro, who has relaxed a number of restrictions on consumer electronics since replacing his brother Fidel in …

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IT Angle

Well I never!

It used to unsettle me too (materialism and object possessiveness that is) until I visited what was once referred to as "Eastern Europe" and guess what? There are other values over and above materialism and object-possession. And further guess what? Yep, life is just as sweet if not sweeter.

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toasters and other basic appliances

How can Cuba be so backward as to not have toasters?

Basic? The world's gone mad if a toaster is classed as basic.

Basic is an open fire and and a straightened-out wire coat-hanger.

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Dead Vulture

Reading between the lines...

"it's the height of hypocrisy to claim credit to allow Cubans to purchase appliances that virtually none of them can afford"

At least the US has its priorities straight, cheap phones and expensive healthcare; so it can afford to critisize Cuba for its expensive consumer electronics while the US offers citizens comprehensive health insurance that few of them can afford.

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Paris Hilton

Toasters

By the time the Cubans can buy toasters, many of us in the states won't be able to afford them either.

Paris coz she has warm buns.

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Flame

@ Richard Read

I hadn't even thought of that and bravo, what a good point.

As for living possession free..great for idealists but I would love to see some people from poorer countries turn down things that would make their lives easier/better like kettles, toasters, and the like!

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Flame

wtf

Basic commodities! Toasters to burn slices of bread! Alfred burnt cakes and he did it without your 'basic toaster' or even electricity but then he was a king.

Seriously though, the US embargo dates back to JFK because Cuba was going to allow Russia to have a military presence on Cuban soil. It would be interesting if the US maintained an embargo on China for being undemocratic communists.Where would the world get its cheap goods from then?

end of rant.

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Anonymous Coward

@Well I never!

Just don't be homosexual or against the regime or you could find yourself in chokey. Still, it's a great place for a holiday!

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Coat

@Ivan

Nope .... Basic is a piss poor language that thinks GOTO is a good thing. Toaters's are cool .....

Yep - that's mine over there with Nikluas Wirth's signature on the back

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Re: toasters and other basic appliances

They aren't allowed toasters because of the drain on the very inadequate power grid. Same goes for electric ovens, microwave ovens, and air conditioners.

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Anonymous Coward

If I was el pres

If I was Raoul Castro I'd accept them , have them modded so the Internationale was the only available ringtone and then mail them all back to George.

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IT Angle

Spare a thought?

China? From US perspective mainland China did not exist for some 30 years or so. Taiwan did, mainland didn't.

But it seems fitting to spare a thought for those individuals (ie real live people or recently real live people) of Burma and China who have had quite a lot to endure in recent times.

(ps - perhaps - count to ten before moving on as some modicum of respect?)

pps: the isms don't seem to be too important)

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@John Widger

And Walmart would be out of business.

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Coat

Freedom Toasters.

It allmost sounds as if someone's a bit upset that Cuba is managing to get oil to power their grid (with un-american venezuelan oil no less) despite a US embargo on pretty much anything :o)

What next? Patio-heaters?

Isn't it funny how a country who can't afford to give their people appliances for basic burning of bread can afford to pay for their citizens university educations and provide them with free healthcare?

Anon, because I work for a company that pumps black gold in Gods country.

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Stop

@John Widger

"Seriously though, the US embargo dates back to JFK because Cuba was going to allow Russia to have a military presence on Cuban soil."

...Cuba initially turned to the United States, but was knocked back by Eisenhower.

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Bush tests "Castro" with mobile phone ;)

If (neo) ---> (cuba) then (http://www.trustedbsd.org/trustyteenie.gif) else (http://www.lclark.edu/faculty/jsmiller/objects/idea_bulb.jpg) ++ (http://silvrique.com/blog/?p=352#comment-18)

Who said Bush was bad guy ?

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Coat

@Daffy the Duck

Are you talking about the US or Cuba?...

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Flame

@ @ Daffy the Duck

Cuba of course he clearly said "It's a great place for a holiday"

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Anonymous Coward

Bollocks

I've been to Cuba and I've seen toasters.

What bullshit.

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Flame

@John Widger

"burnt" is an adjective. You mean "burned" (past tense of "burn").

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Black Helicopters

I smell a rat...

"Here have these free american mobile phones on an american phone network, specially modified* for cubans"....

* hard wired into a pentagon listening facility to see when the time is right for the americans to take their next step....

maybe i am just cynical, but history would suggest otherwise.

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Paris Hilton

@ Daffy the Duck

'Just don't be homosexual or against the regime or you could find yourself in chokey. Still, it's a great place for a holiday!'

I didn't know homeland security had gone that far...

All together now,

Ohhh, say can you see, by the dawn's early light...

Paris, she's free and easy from what I've heard.

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Joke

not watching

"[...] and the administration will be watching to see if Cuba allows the cell phones to enter the country. ®"

Probably listening, rather than watching :-)

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Silver badge
Pirate

@Richard Read

""height of hypocrisy to claim credit to allow Cubans to purchase appliances that virtually none of them can afford."" Wasn't that one of the reasons that the US crooks were thrown out in the first place, that Cuba no longer belonged to Cubans?

Hypocrisy indeed, Mr President, you just want your modern-day mobsters in instead.

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Go

I've just returned from 2 weeks in Cuba...

...and they've had mobile phones there for a while now. They just couldn't have them registered in their own names (usually done via a foreign business or a tourist).

Anyhow, they seem to be a lot happier with their free electricity, their education system, their enviable healthcare, their status as most sustainable country (in terms of green non-planet-raping) etc etc than most of Gee Dubya's poor downtrodden masses. Plus you don't have to be treated like a criminal for 4 hours by their immigration on the way in!

(and how nice it was to have a yank-free vacation!)

'Go' icon cos I strongly advise you to visit the place - but please, not you septics ; you can carry on ruining everyone else's holiday locations with your loud arses. Plus a visit to Cuba might make you realise how crap things are back home......and then you'll just flood into Cuba en masse and ruin that as well.

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Coat

lol @ photo caption

Now he's hot and bothered.

/gets_out_more

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Anonymous Coward

Chinese toasters...

Are made in China and thus are under no embargo with Cuba.

The way to demonstrate the success of an inclusive democracy and a free market to those that don't have them isn't to cut them off culturally and commercially. An open policy to Cuba, even preferential trade and an aggressive TV & Radio stance would do more to achieve the US goals than an eternity of trade restrictions.

...if they compare well when they're seen together of course.

BTW Basic is a perfectly functional language, most implementations had functions and procedure calls and C has a "goto" as well, it's actually quite useful in the right places.

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The Economic Circle

So let me get this straight. Bush is having a dig at the Cubans for finally allowing citizens to own toasters. This will be toasters made in China (a beacon of democracy) in factories powered by oil from the Middle East (just watch those human rights protests being pictured all over the free "press"). Isn't it ironic that some of the worst cases of prisoners being kept in inhumane conditions with no charge in Cuba are actually in a US facility. George Bush, flying the flag of hypocrisy (that's American English for democracy BTW).

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Anonymous Coward

@Asitha

Not to justify Gitmo, but general prison conditions in Cuba aren't fab either:-

http://www.cubaverdad.net/cuba_prison_system.htm

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Joke

Say by 2010

Say by 2010 sounds about the right time for the new CUBAN Oil & Gas field in the Florida Strait to start initial phase one of production and bring in a huge fortune in stable Euro's to their shadow economy and allow every resident with a license to buy any unwanted unsold FORD or GM SUV on the US mainland for a cent in the dollar as the impoverished unemployed US owners will no longer have any cash to afford gasoline priced at US$50-00 per gallon to feed these monsters thirst and the vast majority of those still in employment will be down to riding on the four foot ex Kentucky Derby race track hay burners with automatic garden fertiliser dispenser inbuilt in the rear or bicycles in order to get to work ! Just think of all those Cuban tourist wandering around spending up big visiting the country that once bombed them and then tried an economic embargo that backfired big time !

I can just see all the LA Freeways down to one lane only for the few remaining cars , buses and trucks only , one for Hayburners and the rest reserved for old second hand imported Chinese made bicycle riding get fit hordes , and all those Wallymarts installing hitching rails and water troughs and "Horse Livery Stables replacing all those closed Gasoline Stations that dot the Nations roads , with a sign out the front "Horse Thieves are Lynched Daily Signed Judge Roy Bean" , sweet !

Say where did I hide that old stock in the horse buggy whip factory based in Detroit again !

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American freedom?

That's funny, Bush never allowed Americans the freedom to get free health care in Cuba...

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Re: American freedom?

To Stef. Freedom is not about possession of something, but about having choice. American have "freedom to get free health care", they just wisely choose not too get it, because there is no such thing like free health care - ultimately the taxpayer pays. And please, do not tell me crap, about high quality of Cuban health care - it may be "free" but like in every communist country, better to be avoided.

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@AC Cuban Holiday

Yeah, nothing like a little visit to a third world communist country to tell us how evil we all are (insert Dead Kennedys Theme Music "Holiday in Cambodia.") In all sincerity I have heard it is a very nice place actually, now that they have murdered or run all those political dissidents out, all that is left are a good number of people that are happy go lucky with their lot in life...that is that murdering bastard and coward Ché and the oddly revered commie Castro did not kill them or have them killed.

Ask any Cuban expat what they think of what Castro and Ché did to their amazingly beautiful country there sport. You will likely get a very different story than what the locals on soma were blithely regailing.

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Silver badge
Flame

Hee Hee

Nice to see the Americans having a nice balanced view of Cuba.

After all how many have first hand experience of the place?

Maybe you should find out why the revoloution succeeded so easily (they didn't even have a decent army!) was it the corrupt American puppet goverment in place I wonder?

Yes it's not a perfect place, is anywhere?

Oh ask Native American how wonderful the "US" people have been to them. Us Brits are no better, but at least we now admit we murdered and tortured people for no good reason other than power and land....You guys are still in denal.

Just rememebr 50 years ago, if you were black it was pretty acceptable to be thrown in jail for no other reason than sitting on the wrong part of the bus....

Now you just have to have a muslim...

Pot / Kettle?

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Thumb Down

@ heystoopid

Your hatred/wishful thinking against the US is duly noted.

Good to see that you are the type to judge people individually, instead of painting 200M people or so with a wide brush because of the actions of some. <- we need a sarcasm flag

And see? I still like all my UK/Europe/South American friends, even though I think you're a troll.

(AC - because I'd rather not have my very own stalker)

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Happy

si - it is very funny indeed

as it appears that more or less all of the technologies mentioned (not only toasters) are not made in the USA but made in China. Which as we know it is still a 'communist' country. Not all of them are subsidies to US companies. This would explain why there indeed have been toasters in Cuba and even computers as we know them... and colour TV, and Radio and so on... But then again very little of modern technology and gadgets are actually made in the USA... The thing with lack of mobile phones have more to do with Cuban state policy and wish for control (of citizens) than being a result of embargo.

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