Talk:Cuba/Archive 4

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Peer Review

Are we ready for a 1st round peer review yet? --Scott Grayban 07:25, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Who are these "peers"? Some further comments:

  • I have now read the Human Rights section, and it is as bad as the History section was. I give notice that I will rewrite it when I have looked up some sources.
  • The culture and religion sections are still very bad.
  • I suspect the rest of the article also needs rewriting, though I am not an expert on health, education etc in Cuba. The whole article seems to have been originally written by semi-literate and very naive admirers of the Castro dictatorship, and probably it all now needs to be replaced. Adam 08:49, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
What problems do you have with the religion section, Adam? --Zleitzen 10:39, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
A Peer Review is when the article is reviewed by top wikipedian editors that read and comment on what still needs to be changed to avoid POV and other common mistakes like layout and presentation of the article. BTW what happen to the Coat of Arms area? --Scott Grayban 08:59, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
More info about Peer Reviews is at Wikipedia:Peer_review --Scott Grayban 09:11, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
I would welcome a peer review. BruceHallman 15:28, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

User Bletch

Bletch, you have reinserted the statement "Cuba is the only state in the western hemisphere which is not a democracy" in the first paragraph (again). This comes after a week of edit wars, blocks and bans over this issue. Please review talk page history and cite a source for this. For guidance I provided the encarta description of Cuban democracy, I'll repeat it here;

The revolution professed centralized democracy, meaning that popular participation occurs within designated mass organizations established and controlled by the state. The Communist leadership believes that traditional democracies in Latin America often become military dictatorships or become subject to government corruption, which renders their democratic institutions meaningless. In theory, the Cuban government avoids dictatorship and corruption by creating a strong, centralized political structure that makes every effort to incorporate the opinions of the people when making policy decisions. This, to their way of thinking, qualifies Cuba as a democracy and not a totalitarian government. However, Castro makes all major decisions, without popular referendums. Encarta MSN.[ 12:16, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Actually I have seen this sourced on military and government sites. When I run across it agin I'll post the link for it but I believe Bletch is correct in a sense. The source I read was "Its the only country in the North America that is a Communist State" --Scott Grayban 12:25, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Democracy is very broad term that is not limited to particular political systems. Encarta recognise this and write accordingly, keeping to encylopedic standards. The communsist state argument was hammered out at length above. And personally I believe there is a problem of bias in relying on US military and government sources on these matters. Rather like relying on Fidel Castro's opinions of the US to inform the United States article. --Zleitzen 12:39, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

One man's struggle is another man's war. The wording between Communist and Socialist will never be deceided here. For instance, in China they don't call themselves socialists, they clearly call themselves Communist with overtones of a People's Republic to make it sound better but in all there documentation they refer to communist. Fidel has a close relationship with China and more then once Fidel has aligned to communist ways. Socialist is also broad because it was used in Nazi Germany as well. So there must be a consensus that neither fit as well then. So what do we call Cuba? --Scott Grayban 12:55, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
And prior to the former USSR falling he aligned with them to. So either Cuba is a Communist State or not. Socialist is just another word to make it sound better. --Scott Grayban 12:59, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
How about we just say Cuba is a Socialist or Communist State depending on the person's view? Something like that is not a POV but a fact. --Scott Grayban 13:02, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

It's a tricky business, Scott. But terms such as democracy, communist state and socialist cannot be used in "short hand" in an encyclopedia. Each term has to be used in the proper form. This is why other encyclopedias use particular language and terminology (see encarta above or encyclopedia britannica entries on Cuba etc). Bletch's statement contradicts that method. Although I may believe in passing that "Cuba is the only state in the western hemisphere which is not a democracy", I am creating a short hand for the term that does not correspond with the true definition. Btw, I thought there was some consensus that the first paragraph wouldn't contain such political detail in any case? --Zleitzen 13:21, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Another conflict arises from providing alternative POV's on this. ie. Cuba is a Socialist or Communist State depending on the person's view. By that rationale an article on (say) Ireland could carry the (albeit unlikely) statement "Ireland is a democratic or theocratic depending on the person's view". That is a poor example, but do you see the problems here? Who has this different view? --Zleitzen 13:31, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Oh I see the problem.
  1. Is Cuba a Socialist or Comunist State
  2. If its either one above then then Bletch is correct when it comes to Political Geography of Cuba.

--Scott Grayban 13:37, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Cuba is a Socialist Republic (as in UK is a constitutional monarchy), in which the Communist Party of Cuba is the sole legal political party. That I believe is the correct entry and corresponds with the terminology of other encyclopedias etc. Although the Bletch edit I query here was "Cuba is the only state in the western hemisphere which is not a democracy". --Zleitzen 13:44, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Adam, Why don't you stop the reverting for a bit and talk here and lets hammer out the issue of "Cuba is the only state in the western hemisphere which is not a democracy." and be done with it now. Or does the need of another block in order before we can get this worked out in the talk? --Scott Grayban 13:46, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

"Cuba is a Socialist Republic , in which the Communist Party of Cuba is the sole legal political party." isn't correct either. The Communist Party of Cuba is not the sole political party. They do allow other's to participate. However The Communist Party of Cuba does hold the majority of the political seats which does make them the ruling party. --Scott Grayban 13:50, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Actually it is the sole legal political party. Some self-proclaimed political parties claim to operate, but they are not recognized by the constitution. Those who run for office, however, do not have to be a member of any political party. On another note, this statement "Cuba is the only state in the western hemisphere which is not a democracy.", is an obvious POV and not a fact so it should be permanently removed. The rest of the article is political enough. Comandante 13:55, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

You mean legal as in the only one allowed to get voted seats? That's incorrect. Source your claim for that. If you mean legal as in the only one that can vote and the other political parties are just there to amuse everyone that's true. Cuba only tollerates the other political parties because the International Community demands that. Now will Cuba ever allow these other political parties to gain any significant role in the government? Never. That would undermine there Comunist goals. --Scott Grayban 14:09, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

The communist party is the only legal political party in cuba, according to the Cuban constitution and all other sources including US Government. [1] --Zleitzen 14:16, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

And you cite a US Gov. article. You said that you wouldn't trust such information. Site another place. --Scott Grayban 14:19, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Encyclopedia Britannica [2] alongside the above mentioned legally binding Cuban Constitution --Zleitzen 14:30, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

You can play word games with the term "democracy", but in the end if you have a party with a monopoly on political activity and other parties or forms of opposition cannot play a serious role, then the country in question is not a democracy. --Bletch 14:45, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

It would be much easier if we could circumvent the issue, and accept your specific definition of democracy. Then your statement would stand without issue. However, as an encyclopaedia we need to acknowledge that the democracy has no such specific definitions. These are not word games, they are the inevitable part of the process of compiling an accurate encyclopaedia. I'm fairly confident that a peer review from experienced encyclopaedia writers would come to the same conclusions. (Judging from other encyclopaedias this would seem to be the case). It's a nuisance but theres not much we can do about it if we're serious here.--Zleitzen 15:04, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Can't use Encyclopedia Britannica as a source because the user is required to buy a subscription to see the entire article. That is biased. It's small section about it but you can't read the whole thing. I vote that we use the term "Cuba is a Socialist Republic , where other political parties are allowed to participate but the Communist Party of Cuba holds the majority of seat's and vote's." That certainly encompasses everyone's idea's into one sentence and its NOT POV. --Scott Grayban 14:57, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Thats a good start, but "holds" is too ambiguous; one might suspect that the "hold" is temporary, as in the United States. In that sense, the Republican Party "holds" majorities in the US House, Senate and Executive Branch. Any ideas for a better term? --Bletch 15:10, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
How about "Cuba is a Socialist Republic , where other political parties are allowed to participate but the Communist Party of Cuba has the majority of seat's and vote's." You can't get any better then this without going back to the revert war again. --Scott Grayban 16:14, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but that still has the same ambiguity problems; if anything substituting "holds" with "has" is more ambiguous. --Bletch 18:15, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Guess there will not be a compromise and the real fact of the political system will never be acommplished then. I'll just step out and go back to pratrolling this article for revert wars until there is no one left to work on it. "holds" or "has" is not ambiguous but since you seem to think it so be it. I'll enjoy the revert warring though. --Scott Grayban 18:24, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

I didn't realise you were asking for a source to go within the article itself. Why not use the Cuban Constitution and keep the earlier phrase?--Zleitzen 15:04, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Well since we seem to stuck on needing sources we might as well have something we can read without the need to spend money for it. And the article sourced should be in its entire and not a piece of it. --Scott Grayban 16:14, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

No problem, Scott. Regardless, the Cuban constitution is the best possible source for this legal matter, and it's linked within the article. (Or it was the last time I looked!)--Zleitzen 16:20, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

As much as I would like to we all know that there constitution is certainly biased and does not reflect what the Internation Community say's. If we used all the information about Cuba strickly from the Cuban Government we all know that this article will be whitewashed to no end and all our work to provide a great article becomes null. I would like a vote on my last revision to my suggestion above. It is the most accurrate statement we are going to get without a whitewas statement. --Scott Grayban 16:32, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Scott, I am curious about the source of the "Can't use Encyclopedia Britannica as a source because the user is required to buy a subscription to see the entire article." rule. Commonly that information is available for free in public libraries who share there subscription of the online Encyclopedia Britanica to the public for free. Indeed, many people can only afford to access Wikipedia from public libraries (because they cannot afford computers and cannot afford to pay for a dedicated personal internet connection). Or, when I cannot afford to pay the subscription fee for a print magazine (or buy a book), I go to the public library to read their copy for free. BruceHallman 15:43, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

The next revert will get this article protected

Ok now I am getting tired of this. The next revert done without talking on the talk page and getting this worked out will not only find themselves blocked for a long time. There will be no more reverts by anyone unless there is vandalism period. Everyone is violating the WP:3RR here. Comandante is looking for such a ban. --Scott Grayban 14:03, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

I just stated my reason for deleting that POV statement and now your threatening to ban me. That's typical. I wonder why you haven't threatened to ban Bletch who keeps on sneaking his bias into the article? Comandante 14:11, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Scott discussed a ban concerning Adam's revert above, Commandante. I see no bias here. --Zleitzen 14:15, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

I have told him to stop as well. I'll do it again too Bletch if you revert or change this article in any manner other then to remove vandalism I'll have you blocked from here. This WP:3RR blantant violation will stop one way or another. --Scott Grayban 14:17, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Bletch just reverted the article. Comandante 14:23, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

You need to accept that the days of communist rule over this article are over. Adam 14:25, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

You need to accept that Cuba is a sovereign, Socialist state, and that at the end of the day, there's absolutely nothing you can do about it. Comandante 14:29, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

There has never been any contraversy regarding Cuba being "sovereign" and "socialist"; the question was whether it is a democracy or not. --Bletch 14:39, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

So are you guys going to do anything about Bletch? Or are you going to sit around and hope that i revert him so you can block me as well? Comandante 14:31, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

So uncalled for Adam. It has nothing to do with anyone being a communist here. Its called compromise and if you, Bletch and Comandante can't act civil leave. I can't get simplier then that. --Scott Grayban 14:36, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Last 3RR warning

I just issued the last WP:3RR warning for Adam, Comandante, and Bletch. And i'll post it here as well so that everyone can see it and can't claim I'm being biased here.

Since you are an active participant in this

Please refrain from undoing other people's edits repeatedly. If you continue, you may be blocked from editing Wikipedia under the three-revert rule, which states that nobody may revert a single page more than three times in 24 hours. (Note: this also means editing the page to reinsert an old edit. If the effect of your actions is to revert back, it qualifies as a revert.) Thank you.

Bletch:"...the question was whether it is a democracy or not..."

In the section above Bletch wrote: "the question was whether it is a democracy or not." Yes indeed, and repeatedly I have been trying to engage you, Bletch, in a discussion of just this question, though I get a clear impression that you evade our efforts to engage in a discussion of this question. Re-read the message archives and you will see many questions directed to you about this issue which you did not answer. Restating a couple key questions: Please cite a reference that democracy is required to have parties, and if yes, how many parties? In other words, how correct is your assertion that a one party democracy not a democracy? You have not demonstrated that your assertion is not original research. Also, I grant that many people share your POV that democracy in Cuba is very disfunctional. Still, why is a bad democracy not a type of democracy? You *repeatedly* revert your POV sentence that Cuba is not a democracy, and your POV to be accurate perhaps should say that Cuba has a bad democracy. BruceHallman 15:39, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

There has never been a question of parties per se; its the question of tolerating political opposition. I believed that I made this clear many times in the archives. --Bletch 15:44, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
In other words, how correct is your assertion that a one party democracy not a democracy? BruceHallman, have you been paying much attention to the news since the fall of the Berlin Wall more than 15 years ago? No one who argues that single-party Communist regimes are "people's democracies" has to be taken seriously these days. While Western political scientists have always endlessly disputed the appropriate meaning and definition of democracy, all political scientists agree that contemporary democracies include, at a minimum, the following features: fully contested multiparty elections with full suffrage and the absence of major fraud, combined with some guarantees of political competition, including freedom of speech, assembly, and association. Cuba is not a democracy by any stretch of the imagination as the term is understood in the contemporary English-speaking world. 172 | Talk 15:55, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
In which case Encarta, Encyclopedia Britannica etc are incorrect in their understanding of the term "democracy" and you are correct.--Zleitzen 16:03, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Please avoid obscurantism. The discussion in an encyclopedia's entry on "democracy" is going to be extremely broad because the term has been understood in vastly different ways over time dating back to the ancient Greeks. When we are talking about whether or not a present-day country is a democracy, it is clear that we are applying the contemporary understanding of the term, not (say) Thucydides' or Pericles'. In the contemporary English-speaking world, when describing a country as a "democracy," it is clear that we mean liberal democracy. 172 | Talk 16:30, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
As stated above, we can't use Encyclopedia Britannica as a source since you need to buy a subscription in order to read articles so lets stop referencing them because its a biased statement. --Scott Grayban 16:18, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Scott, I can read Encyclopedia Britannica, including both the paper and the online version, for free in my local public library. BruceHallman 20:03, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Zleitzen's reference to Britannica is irrelvant, but for another reason. We are not limited to citing free online material. Books and websites that are not free access have always been cited on Wikipedia. If that bothers you, get in touch with the Wikimedia Foundation, as the Foundation has the authority to make major changes in the way things are done on Wikipedia, not us individual editors. 172 | Talk 16:30, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm using other encyclopaedias as examples of method within a talk page, not as sources for the article, Scott.--Zleitzen 16:23, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Its a comparison. Same thing. If everyone can not read the same thing its useless because your inviting a war over words because they can't read it. Let's just aviod any source or any other site that requires that to keep this within the scope of verifiable by anyone --Scott Grayban 16:26, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, I can't read the whole thing either. I'm just giving examples of how encyclopedic standards are applied. --Zleitzen 16:29, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Zleitzen and Sgrayban, you guys can drop the argument about Britannica. Zleitzen is free to cite it because Wikipedia editors have always been free to cite books and non-free access websites. At the same time, Zleitzen's citation of Britannica is irrelvant for reasons I stated above. 172 | Talk 16:33, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Ummm, 172 Right now I'm trying to get a vote on something different here and would like to get just one thing agreed on so we can move on. 3 disputes right now and all I'm looking for is one to get resolved and we are close to it. --Scott Grayban 16:38, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Poll or no poll, the discussion under this heading pertains to BruceHallman's claim that Cuba can be considered a democracy. This matter is settled: Cuba is not a democracy. All political scientists agree that contemporary democracies include, at a minimum, the following features: fully contested multiparty elections with full suffrage and the absence of major fraud, combined with some guarantees of political competition, including freedom of speech, assembly, and association. 172 | Talk 16:55, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
172, please, "...all political scientists agree..."? Could you provide a verifiable credible citation to substantiate that statement, it seems wildly incredible. And, the matter is not settled. Would you address my point that even a bad democracy is at least a type of democracy? BruceHallman 19:55, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Since you don't appear to know much about how contemporary Western social scientists understand democracy, I recommend reading David Collier and Steven Levitsky, "Democracy with Adjectives" [3], which offers a broad overview by two of the leading scholars on democracy that I often assign undergrads. Note Collier and Levitsky's discussion of a "procedural minimum" for democracy. 172 | Talk 07:45, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, that is an interesting paper. Regarding the quality of 'competitive elections' in their hypothesis: You cannot ignore local level elections. Are you arguing that Cuba has no 'competitive elections' anywhere anytime, even at the lower level elections, such as local unions, towns, precincts? Probably you are not. Once again, I see that framing this article as a pro-Castro versus anti-Castro debate skews our view. This article should be about Cuba. By the way, I do support including a NPOV section in the article the Cuban electoral system. I just am not convinced that 'cuba is not a democracy' is a credibly sourced statement, and the Collier/Levitsky paper did not convince me otherwise. BruceHallman 16:10, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
In the English-speaking world "democracy" is understood to mean liberal democracy. If you want to live in a society where a single-party communist regime is described as a democracy in written publications, go to Cuba. Or better yet go to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, another democracy like Cuba. I am done discussing this matter with you. I refer to Adam Carr's list. 172 | Talk 16:32, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Adam Carr's list appears to be original research. I take it that when you write "I am done discussing this matter..." considering that the matter that we are discussing is a request for citation, that you are abandoning your attempt to provide a citation. BruceHallman 17:07, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Adam's Human Rights section rewrite

Thanks for your editing efforts I can see that you spent a lot of time and thought which I appreciate. Though regretfully, what you wrote includes too much point of view and too little citation and too much original research. So, I must add a neutrality dispute box to the section. Perhaps it would make sense to move it to a sandbox to hash out the differences? I am not arguing that the previous Human Rights section is better or should be reverted as it had many problems too.

There is so much in your section that quickly listing all the specifics of my dispute is not possible. However, starting with the first sentence, you wrote "...the rights of the individual..." as if we all agree what the rights of the individual should be. In reality your concept is ethnocentric, similar to the systemic bias problem that pervades Wikipedia. In the second sentence you write of "the states political aims" as if there is no validity to the concept of ".socialist state of workers, organized with all and for the good of all... " Again, ethnocentric, you are bringing a Free Market capitalistic value belief system towards the forming the basis of your condemnation of a social system that deliberately eschews capitalism.

Can we at least agree that the context of their human rights falls within the context of a socialist society, and that applying capitalistic values on that system is a logical falacy? BruceHallman 16:12, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Works for me --Scott Grayban 16:34, 15 April 2006 (UTC) are bringing a Free Market capitalistic value belief system towards the forming the basis of your condemnation of a social system that deliberately eschews capitalism. BruceHallman, you're way off. Virtually the entire section can be referenced by citing the Cuban constitution itself. Cuba is a one-party state in which the state is constitutionally subordinate to the Communist Party, and the government restricts freedom of speech, association, assembly, press, and movement outside the control of the party. Adam Carr's section elaborates on this fact in a straightforward and factual manner. 172 | Talk 16:47, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

BruceHallman, I'm afraid that I do not comprehend your objections. I've read that section over several times and fail to recognize anything that can be remotely associated with "free market capitalism" or "capitalistic values". --Bletch 18:24, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

172, sorry, you are out of line to remove the neutrality dispute tag without first resolving the neutrality dispute. Your simple denials of my points of dispute does not solve the dispute. Your statement "Cuba is a one-party state" (so what?) "in which the state is constitutionally subordiante to the Communist Party" (not true, and even if true, so what?) the government restricts freedom of speech etc.... ( which, according to the opposing POV, are limited restrictions, sensible, legal and constitutional. The article doesn't respect or represent the opposing point of view in this regard. It only represents the anti-Castro and capitalisitic POV.) BruceHallman 19:51, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Bletch, I am not surprised that you cannot see the neutrality problems, no offense intended, but you show a pattern of not being able to see or respect opposing points of view. BruceHallman 19:51, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
BruceHallman, just so I can understand where you are coming from, are you arguing that limitations on freedom of speech, expression, assembly are "capitalistic values"? I'm only asking so I can further understand what exactly your POV is and to resolve my confusion; please correct me if I am wrong in this case. --Bletch 20:53, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps I can make my point about freedom of speech through a comparison: Both the USA and Cuba have constitutional rights to freedom of speech. In Cuba their Constitution requires that the socialist state of the people own the newspapers and the broadcast media, collectively, for the socialist purpose and the regulation is controlled by Communist Party values and interests. In the USA, the capitalist system effectively requires that only millionaire and billionaire corporations can own the newspapers and broadcast media, and the regulation is effectively controlled by corporate values and interests. From the perspective of the individual person, Joe Blow so to speak, both these states have 'freedom of speech' and relative to newspapers and broadcasting at least, neither of these states have 'freedom of speech' for Joe Blow. BruceHallman 00:46, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
In the USA, the capitalist system effectively requires that only millionaire and billionaire corporations can own the newspapers and broadcast media, and the regulation is effectively controlled by corporate values and interests. BruceHallman, if you continue to use this talk page as a soap box for your left-wing opinions without engaging in the serious content considerations of the article, I will start an RfC looking into your conduct. You have presented no valid reason for keeping up the neutrality dispute tag. I will remove it. 172 | Talk 07:37, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Bruce, I really appreciate that you've made this opinion of yours clear. Why is it that you did not say that from the very beginning? Your arguments would have been much more clear if you had. Look, say what you want about the USA (and I am no fan of George W. Bush, Fox News and billionaire CEOs), but the USA - for all of its faults - is way way ahead of Cuba with regards to freedom of speech. Every week, I regularly see people waving signs calling for Bush's impeachment, end to the war and the usual stuff. In Havana, do you see signs calling for Fidel's "resignation"? What would be the consequences if one engaged in this behavior? Trying to imply equivalence in this regard is like saying that the Sahara and the Sun are equivalently hot.
I cannot help but wonder if being clear was not your goal, and this is some elaborate rhetorical game for you. And you are doing your best to (with the exception of the Cuban constitution) avoid explicit concrete statements and instead are keeping your statements as vague and all encompassing as possible which you are using (along with accusations regarding policy compliance) as rhetorical weapons. --Bletch 14:00, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Bletch, Wikipedia policy compliance is critical if we ever hope to create an encyclopedia article. Also, my POV is not the subject here, creating a NPOV Cuba article is the subject. BruceHallman 17:29, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
User:172, I am not using this talk page as 'a soap box for my left wing opinions',. My paragraph, 00:46, 16 April 2006 (UTC), which you criticised was a direct response to Bletch's question that I explain myself. Answering (and not ignoring) direct questions is a form of repect. To the contrary, I generally avoid the grandstanding of my opinions just because this talk page is about the article, and not a soap box for our POV's. Regardless, the Human Rights section suffers from a cultural political bias. One way to solve that problem, perhaps would be to rewrite it to remove the overt and implied value judgements, to instead be based upon human rights reports of some neutral international organizations, such as perhaps Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. BruceHallman 17:29, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
I think one of the problems here is the tendency to view Cuban internal issues through a lens framed by particular cultural standards. Being from the UK, I may have a different perspective on the application of the media and freedom of speech. For example, if one was to apply such standards to the British broadcasting media then would that be worth mentioning in the UK article? Something along the lines of "The British government restricts freedom of speech" etc, citing the many cases concerning the relationship between the BBC and the British Government. Again, there is not one model of media freedom of speech as there is not one model of democracy. This is an international encyclopedia, there should be no parochial standards. --Zleitzen 14:38, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
To clarify, the British media does not comply with US models of constitutional freedom of speech. Likewise, British constitutional monarchy does not comply with many models of democracy. Yet it would be considered misleading to state that "the UK is not a democracy, and has restrictions on freedoms of speech" because they don't adhere to these models. --Zleitzen 15:48, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
"...the tendency to view Cuban internal issues through a lens framed by particular cultural standards." That sums up my criticism of the neutrality problem with the Human Rights section perfectly. BruceHallman 17:29, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Zleitzen, I do not think that anyone here has attempted to apply a strict application of US constitutional standards. For what it is worth, the person that rewrote the paragraph in question is Australian. --Bletch 00:41, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Vote requested

Ok, I would like a vote posted in this section and please only sign with a support or oppose. No need for anything else to be posted.

The vote is for the use of "Cuba is a Socialist Republic , where other political parties are allowed to participate but the Communist Party of Cuba has the majority of seat's and vote's." for the article.


Support --Scott Grayban 16:42, 15 April 2006 (UTC) Support BruceHallman 20:16, 15 April 2006 (UTC)


I am going to ignore this poll. I encourage other users to ignore it as well. Adam Carr has already expended enough energy settling this matter. This matter no longer needs to be discussed. 172 | Talk 16:49, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Sgrayban, do not remove my comment again, as you did here. Removal of talk page comments is considered vandalism. Talk page straw polls are nonbinding. Users have the prerogative to respond in any civil manner, including explaining why the vote may be irrelevant. 172 | Talk 17:00, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

mediation cabal

Hello all -- I am here as part of the medcabal to help us come to a solution to part of the article conflict.

I am somewhat familiar with the kind of dispute that is going on. However, the talk page here is huge, and before joining in I wanted to check to see if people wanted me here. Please let me know what the consensus is, i.e., do you want a third party to come in and help out, or are discussions moving along well without me? [4] If the former, what is the main locus of the dispute?

Sdedeo (tips) 20:15, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Hi Sdedeo, I think there is a small recent improvement in the dispute, though very small. My view of the main point of the dispute centers around the deeply entrenched emotions behind the anti-Castro and the pro-Cuba camps of the POV. I suggest that both parties accept the validity of the opposing POV and that we tolerate the inclusion of both of the POV's. Presently, there is a pattern of insisting on the inclusion of only one of the POV's, and the deletion of the opposing POV. We need to face the reality that the opposing POV is not going away or changing anyday soon and learn to tolerate and respect each other. BruceHallman 20:22, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks Sdedeo for answering the call. I support BruceHallman's statement above. --Zleitzen 22:26, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

OK, thanks. Is there a particular point in the article where people are battling? Can you maybe provide a diff? In the end we will need to include all POVs, of course, following WP:NPOV (which also means that superminority POVs are given less weight and prominence.) Perhaps putting in some sources and in general sourcing POVs (e.g., "According to Amnesty International..." "According to the US State Department..." "According to the Cuban government...") will help resolve things? Sdedeo (tips) 20:24, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

I am not able to speak for everyone. Like I tried to say, from my opinion, the other POV prefers to simply delete my POV rather than accomodating it. Unfortunately many of the items are binary, and both POV need to be accomodated with not too much chance of showing just a middle position. For instance one user persistently wants to write 'Cuba is not a democracy' even though they do have elections, though some believe they have bad elections. Or, another instance, I recently disputed the neutrality of the Human Rights section with a neutrality box, and one user simply denied that there was a neutrality problem and just instead deleted the neutrality box without an attempt to resolve my points of dispute. BruceHallman 20:47, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
In short, if people around here agreed to follow WP:NPOV, WP:NOR and WP:V I would not have asked for your help. But in truth, some people around here refuse to follow those Wikipedia policys. BruceHallman 20:51, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
In principle, I have zero problems with attributing assertions, whether they are held by 10%, 51% or 99% of the world at large. --Bletch 20:55, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
I appreciate your statement Bletch, can you also state publicly that you agree and commit to follow all the Wikipedia:policies, including WP:NPOV, WP:NOR and WP:V? I don't recall you ever publicly stating your commitment to comply with Wikipedia policies. BruceHallman 21:14, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm sure we can find sources to discuss what to call Cuba's political system. Can you provide sources that state that Cuba is a democracy? And sources that dispute that? Sdedeo (tips) 20:56, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Certainly, the Cuban Constitution [5]. Though it might not be proper for me to state the opposing point of view, but I see that they believe that because the Cuban elections are 'not fair' that therefore the Cuban electoral system is not a democracy. BruceHallman 21:14, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

OK, now we need some folks to weigh in with sources that declare Cuba is not a democracy. Sdedeo (tips) 21:47, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

  • Argentina has a president and congress chosen at elections in which voters have a choice of candidates.
  • Bolivia has a president and congress chosen at elections in which voters have a choice of candidates.
  • Brazil has a president and congress chosen at elections in which voters have a choice of candidates.
  • Chile has a president and congress chosen at elections in which voters have a choice of candidates.
  • Colombia has a president and congress chosen at elections in which voters have a choice of candidates.
  • Costa Rica has a president and congress chosen at elections in which voters have a choice of candidates.
  • Cuba has a president and congress chosen at elections in which voters do not have a choice of candidates.
  • Dominican Republic has a president and congress chosen at elections in which voters have a choice of candidates.
  • Ecuador has a president and congress chosen at elections in which voters have a choice of candidates.
  • El Salvador has a president and congress chosen at elections in which voters have a choice of candidates.
  • Guatemala has a president and congress chosen at elections in which voters have a choice of candidates.
  • Haiti, even poor Haiti, for all its woes, now has a president and congress chosen at elections in which voters have a choice of candidates.
  • Honduras has a president and congress chosen at elections in which voters have a choice of candidates.
  • Mexico has a president and congress chosen at elections in which voters have a choice of candidates.
  • Nicaragua has a president and congress chosen at elections in which voters have a choice of candidates.
  • Panama has a president and congress chosen at elections in which voters have a choice of candidates.
  • Paraguay has a president and congress chosen at elections in which voters have a choice of candidates.
  • Peru has a president and congress chosen at elections in which voters have a choice of candidates.
  • Uruguay has a president and congress chosen at elections in which voters have a choice of candidates.
  • Venezuela has a president and congres chosen at elections in which voters had a choice of candidates, although it may not get another such opportunity if Chavez gets his way.

Can anyone spot the out-country-out? Adam 01:24, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

I don't believe the above list answers the question posed, Adam. --Zleitzen 01:40, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, please answer the question Adam. BruceHallman 01:54, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Also, I notice you left the United States off the list, perhaps because the President is elected by the Electoral College, not by the people per se, nor do the people chose the candidate, but rather the political parties choose the candidate. And, more to the point, the two political parties write the rules of government so that *only* those two parties can have effective power. I am not saying the USA is not a democracy, but I am saying that the USA is a type of democracy, somewhat flawed, and Cuba is a type of democracy, somewhat flawed. BruceHallman 01:54, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
The mediator asked you to provide a citation, similarly, I have been asking the anti-Castro camp for a citation for more than a week. Your previous answers to my request are of interest. Adam Carr: "elementary facts do not require citations", User:172 "BruceHallman's dispute regarding this claim stated on talk is highly unsatisfactory", and other similar refusals to provide citation. BruceHallman 01:54, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
The above is a list of Latin American countries - the US and Canada, and the English-speaking Caribbean countries, are of course also democracies. I didn't say they are perfect democracies, and I agree that the US for one is far from a perfect democracy, as are several Latin American countries. But none of them are one-party states, none of them ban all opposition, nome of them have 100% state-controlled media. Adam 07:56, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Anyone realize this yet or not that there are only 3 words that is making this article POV ? Communist, Socialist, and Democracy. The same 3 words that comminusts and socialist use in there anti-american propaganda and the same 3 words used in American propaganda. Have we not learned anything at all? Adam is bent on labeling Cuba as a communist state just like the US. Government does. Cuba use the samething in order to provoke hate towards the US. See anything wrong at all ? No one will be happy until 1 is dead and the other wins. Samething for the opposite countries. --Scott Grayban 02:18, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

And I 100% oppose that Adam be allowed to edit on this article seeing that his post on my talk page[6] absolutely proves his willing to do anything to hurt the colabrative NPOV working on this article. --Scott Grayban 02:22, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Scott, I can appreciate your observation about the three 'fighting words', and your hypothesis that this is a two-way fight. Though, in my opinion at least, just the anti-Castro camp is likely to use the words 'Communist' and 'not democratic' disparagingly. Also, they are generally loath to deem validity to Cuba by using the word 'socialist' or 'republic'. The pro-Cuba camp would be more likely to use the words 'imperialist' and 'capitalist' to disparage the USA and you will notice that these words are generally missing from the argument. The reason I say this is to point out that the disparaging words and the POV fighting is not a equal 'two way street' in this case. For instance, although I have been wrongly charactorized a 'communist' by some around here, indeed I am not a 'communist' and that I am favoring that point of view in part out of sense of duty to advocate to move to a neutral POV. If the tables were turned, my instinct would be to argue just the opposite POV, as I do indeed believe that the Wiki-duty is to advocate for neutrality. I also disagree that 'no one will be happy until 1 is dead'. I think that if the extreme elements leave (or learn to tolerate a neutrality policy), that there are many people around here that will step up and edit this article for neutrality, verifiability and NOR. BruceHallman 03:53, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

mediation cabal try again

I am going to repeat this question: we need some folks to weigh in with sources that declare Cuba is not a democracy.

Just to be explicit, we need external sources: e.g., Amnesty International? Some other human rights group? Another government?

We can't proceed without this.

Sdedeo (tips) 05:05, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Above links found with Google search using the term Cuba is not a democracy --Scott Grayban 20:22, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Hee hee. Great. Some of these are not the best (e.g., the NIH one!) but this is an excellent place to start. Adam, since you are the strongest opponent of the use of the word "democracy", do you have any links to add?

I see the structure of the para going something like "The Cuban constitution establishes, at least in principle, a state that has the main features of a democracy. However, numerous sources dispute the idea that Cuba is a democracy in any real sense. Source X says. Source Y says. Source Z says."

Sdedeo (tips) 20:25, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Columbia University is one of the leaders of research of Governments and even in there research I find..

On October 19, 1998 voting by secret ballot yielded 515 municipal delegates. The national assembly is also fully democratic but nominations are carried out by mass organizations and citizens committees. 1.6 million people were consulted by the citizens committee and 60,000 were put forward on the first electoral list. Cuba uses computers to allow review of the candidates and their records, including Fidel Castro himself who received 98% of the vote in the last election. Another sign of the popularity of socialism, despite the hardships imposed by imperialism, is that no more than 10 percent of the ballots were spoiled, a protest that anti-Communist groups urged.

That clearly shows a "democracy" even if its weak. --Scott Grayban 20:31, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

OK! Let's wait for Adam to weigh in here with his sources. It looks like we'll have a range of opinions: "Democracy... weak democracy... really very weak democracy... not in any sense a democracy", which we can then source to various groups and governments. Sdedeo (tips) 20:33, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Add to your list of range of POV's that of Reverend Lucius Walker[7], President of Pasters for Peace who is quoted as saying[8] of Cuban elections as being "...the most democratic in the world.". I cannot say that I agree with his POV, but he is a well known and recognized community leader in the USA who is an authority on Cuba. BruceHallman 23:56, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
I've found this European Union report from the net [9] which I believe solves many of the wording issues on this article, and also carries a brief description of Cuba's electoral system, history and human rights etc. To my mind, the tone of this report should be the direction this article should be taking (alongside the other encyclopedia articles I have been quoting as examples on these pages). I recommend that all editors of this article examine it's contents. --Zleitzen 00:44, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Good article. Very first statement there "Cuba has a one-party political system where the Communist Party of Cuba holds the monopoly of political power." is exactly what I have said in the past. However, the article does seem to a bit overzealous on personal POV's and not a general consenses. Even though they label Fidel as head of everything they leave out the current political actions where in a study from Columbia clearly shows a "democracy" even if its a very weak one. You can't argue that just because Fidel is head of everything its not a "democracy" nore is a one party country as others want to suggest. If that was the case there would "zero" other candidates and certainly not "voting by secret ballot" because that would certainly undermine the statement of a sole one party socialist state. --Scott Grayban 01:11, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks very much both Bruce and Zleitzen -- I suggest we wait for Adam to weigh in now. Sdedeo (tips) 00:56, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

The EU document seems to me to be an accurate description of the Cuban political system. Adam 01:19, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks Adam and I agree. It also supports the statement in the opening paragraph of this article "Cuba is a socialist republic, in which the Communist Party of Cuba is the sole legal political party". So I hope everyones OK with that one? --Zleitzen 01:37, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

That statement is not in dispute. The statement in dispute is the statement that Cuba is the only country in the Western Hemisphere which is not a democracy. The EU document makes it clear on my reading that Cuba cannot be called a democracy, because it is a one-party state in which no serious opposition to the regime is permitted. Are BruceHallman and Scott Grayban going to accept that proposition? If yes, then the dispute is over. If not, then we have not progressed. Adam 01:49, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

No problem. As for the second wording issue "Cuba is the only country in the Western Hemisphere which is not a democracy", I think the article still requires a citation for progression. --Zleitzen 01:58, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
So we are going to discount the study by Columbia and this[10] document which shows that there is a weak democracy? How sad. Shows a very a narrow mind about other articles definition and clear proof that there is the beginnings of a democracy. I think some people are just in denial of this. It would ruin there one track thought that Cuba is a bad country and must discredited at all cost. --Scott Grayban 02:06, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

I am absolutely "in denial" that Cuba is a democracy of any description. The basic prerequisites for democracy are (a) freedom of political organisation and (b) freedom of expression. Cuba has neither of these, and the Castro regime is making no moves to allow them to exist. Cuba is a dictatorship, plain and simple. The fact that the usual gaggle of "Pasters for Peace" and similar gullible idiots choose to deny this does not alter the fact. I could quote you reams of similar rubbish uttered by similar people about Hitler, Stalin, Franco, Mao and even Pol Pot. Adam 02:14, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Quote me one article that clearly states "Cuba is the only country in the Western Hemisphere which is not a democracy" that is NOT Americian Government influenced and I'll concede. I just spent 2 hours on google trying to find anything other the Bush and the US. Government saying this. And if you can't then that is a clear POV based on American anti-Cuban hate propaganda. --Scott Grayban 02:19, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

[11] That took 20 seconds. I'll give you a google lesson some time. Adam 02:33, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Uhh maybe I'm just a iliterate American here but that article in no way states your claim. "Behind those figures lie not just human suffering but also an unfairness that is inimical to democracy" only states that the democracy is lacking. It does not support your claim. --Scott Grayban 02:45, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I also notice you seem to like calling me names under your breath that I'm a some kind of commie here. First off I served in the USAF for 20 years, retired as a Master Sargent, have over 14 ribbins and citations. I served in the first Iraq/Iran war and numerious other conflicts. So don't even think I am anything other then American here, I just happen to have a open mind and read more into what our government wants us to believe. --Scott Grayban 02:45, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
  • the Economist article says: "all but a wretched pair (Haiti and Nicaragua) of Latin American countries are officially classed as “middle-income” and all (except Cuba) are democracies. Which part of this don't you understand? You asked for a source and you got one, so don't now try to wriggle away.
  • Re your CV - most admirable: you ought to know better than to defend a tinpot despot like Castro. Adam 03:05, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks Adam. For the record (if other users can't access that article), Adam sourced an economist article Not always with us dated Sep 15th 2005 which states;

There is a reason for that oversight: all but a wretched pair (Haiti and Nicaragua) of Latin American countries are officially classed as “middle-income” and all (except Cuba) are democracies.--Zleitzen 02:53, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I didn't see that. But no matter. 3 other sources I qouted shows a clear start of a democracy even if its a weak one. So we will just discredit all those as blantant lies, even though one is done by a well respected University that even the US Gov. likes to quote from.Italic text --Scott Grayban 03:18, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

You said: "Quote me one article that clearly states "Cuba is the only country in the Western Hemisphere which is not a democracy" that is NOT Americian Government influenced and I'll concede." I quoted you a plain statement from a reputable and independent source, and now you are dodging and wriggling out of that commitment, as I knew you would. Why should I not conclude you are a common liar? Adam 03:28, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Damn straight I do. Just like you dodged all my links. Your nothing more then a pro-Bush hate Cuba type person. Your the type of person that would stomp and crush anyone who doesn't think your way. You have shown that on my talk page and even admitted to it. Instead of discounting my links that show a democracy is starting you want to disprove that. Your a sad person and closed minded. I showed proof that no matter what anyone says there is a democracy starting and I know its a weak one but it is there. If anyone is suppressing the facts it is you Adam. --Scott Grayban 03:37, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

I repeat: you said: "Quote me one article that clearly states "Cuba is the only country in the Western Hemisphere which is not a democracy" that is NOT Americian Government influenced and I'll concede." I quoted you a plain statement from a reputable and independent source. Why will you not now keep your word and concede? Adam 03:56, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Could I propose that these issues of Cuban democracy/lack-of be contained in the main body of the article? Rather than in the brief opening paragraph. Does everyone agree on this? --Zleitzen 03:26, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

No. Adam 03:28, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Zleitzen, give up, this article is being dominated and controlled by narrow-minded Bush activists. When I showed proof of a democracy starting its tossed to the side as a lie. That's fine and I expect that from people like Adam. That said I dispute the entire NPOV on this article. As for proof on that I submit my talk page as proof of Adam's goal about this article. The mediation cabal should take that into consideration as evidence that Adam will not comply with WikiPedia's policy on WP:NPOV. --Scott Grayban 03:45, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

I don't think there's too much to worry about. Adam provided a relevant source as requested. I guess he must be still grumpy about the cricket last year! ;-)--Zleitzen 04:25, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

For what it is worth, Adam Carr's quote from the Economist magazine was an 'opinion piece' [12] note the word 'opinion' in the URL and the "opinion" 'click through' link on the magazines website. I am not saying that 'opinion' doesn't count, but realisticly there is a very broad range of opinion about this question and Adam Carr's opinion (and that of magazine article) is not in the center, but rather on the far edge of the spectrum. BruceHallman 13:21, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Some opinions count for more than others. I'll take The Economist over you any day. Adam 13:26, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

As an aside, the economist article is of interest to me for another reason. "All but a wretched pair (Haiti and Nicaragua) are officially classed as “middle-income”" is very telling in understanding the historical relationships between the US and others in the region. But I don't want to get ahead of myself, here. I recommend we wait for the mediator before getting into further discussion about how they relate to the article. --Zleitzen 14:41, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

This discussion has gone off the rails. Adam, you need to be more polite when dealing with other contributors. Sdedeo (tips) 16:15, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

An honest opinion

Next comment restored from diff after being deleted by User:Adam_Carr without pointing a link to it as required I'm no Historian, Politician, Economist, Journalist, Academic, Wiki-scholar and giving my honest opinion the whole history of Cuba's communist politics on this page is grossly and undebatebly biased. Its style of language and tone is immaculetly vulgar and poorly constructed. I think the entire history of Cuba in the 20th central deserves a good clean up and dispute over its supposed neutrality. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Adam Carr deleted[13] out this talk page entry Revision as of 00:48, 16 April 2006 entitled 'An honest opinion' without giving any explanation as to his reason for the deletion. Although the comment which Adam deleted is blunt, it is not a personal attack and is rather a general criticism, so I am left to wonder about why Adam deleted the comment. Adam, please explain. BruceHallman 02:23, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

I think the answers for these questions concerning Adam Carr's edit pattern can be found on Scott Grayban's talk page. --Zleitzen 02:28, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Mr. Adam remove one more talk comment because it doesn't fit your answer and I'll have you removed from WikiPedia for blantant vandalism to talk pages and articles. I have issued this warnig multiple times. You are pushing the wrong person here. --Scott Grayban 02:51, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Please do not remove messages from your talk page. Talk pages exist as a record of communication, and in any case, comments are available through the page history. You're welcome to archive your talk page, but be sure to provide a link to any deleted comments. Thanks.

  • I'll remove anything from my Talk page I damn well please, as I am perfectly entitled to do.
  • I am thoroughly sick of BruceHallman's pious lectures about standards of behavior at this page, which are no more than a cover for his political agenda in maintaining this article as a farrago of lies and communist propaganda. Adam 07:48, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

If we are going to have a mediation here, we need to stay focused. Please everyone stop misbehaving; don't remove talk page posts for now (except to archive), and please leave the lecturing to me! I am sure we can resolve this problem very quickly; the next thing we need is some sources (see my post above.) Thanks, Sdedeo (tips) 17:56, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Communist Cuba

I could not find specific discussion on this part of the text so I removed it because it is a point of view and not a fact that providing health care and education for a population is impossible. "Cuba’s economic dependence on the Soviet Union was deepened by Castro’s determination to build his vision of a socialist society in Cuba. This entailed the provision of free health care and education for the entire population – an ambition which has proved unaffordable even in many developed countries, let alone in a small country with very limited resources and restricted trade. Through the 1970s and ‘80s the Soviets were prepared to subsidise all this in exchange for the rather dubious strategic asset of an ally under the noses of the United States and the undoubted propaganda value of Castro’s considerable prestige in the developing world."

I would also defend changing Communist Cuba. Communism is a form of society without state, Cuba has a state and therefore should not be called such. Socialist Cuba would be more apropriate. I will cite sources on this matter soon.

Also, this is the first edit I make in wikipedia, I would like to apologize in advance for any mistakes I may have made. Chico 12:39, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

You are welcome here. You happen to be dropping in to a place that sometimes encounters heated arguments, so be prepared to try to take it calmly. I really recommend reading the Wikipedia:Help pages and the Wikipedia:Policy as they provide useful, and even essential information. BruceHallman 13:24, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Democracy and communism

It will be useless for us contributors to argue about whether Cuba is "democratic" or not, because for one thing we contributors are never going to agree on a definition of "democracy". Having president freely elected by the people means one thing to a lot of Americans (yes, we elected Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton and Bush) and another thing to many other people (no, the electoral college elected him or Supreme Court appointed him). That argument will never settled.

What we MIGHT be able to agree on is what the differences have been over the last several decades between, say, the U.S. government and the Castro government. I think a table would be useful. We could list factors such as free press and free speech during the election period (US yes, Cuba no), must be a citizen of the country to run for office (US: yes, Cuba: er, when was the last election, 1959?); which leads to frequency of presidential elections (US every 4 years, Cuba: once per lifetime of president?).

These things are hard to see in a paragraph, because of word-wrapping. And there are many other differences and possibly some similarities in the form of government, both actual and "on paper".

The analysis above applies to whether Cuba is "Communist" or not; we will never be able to agree on a definition of "communism". Some emphasize its political aspects, others emphasize its economic aspects, still others speak of ideology.

It would be better to describe the politics, economy and culture of Cuba under Castro one aspect at a time. Take emigration, for example. Is it allowed, forbidden, or what? For those who choose to leave Cuba (even temporarily), may they travel as a family, or must some family members stay behind? If so, why? (as hostages to ensure return?) And if it's forbidden, is it a capital crime to leave the country without permission? Is the Navy authorized to sink boats with artillery fire on their way out of territorial waters?

After each aspect is listed and described as thoroughly, accurately and fairly as possible, I suggest we then turn our attention to commentary. Fans of Cuba will no doubt assert that the objectively listed factors prove (in their eyes) that Cuba is "democratic", "free", an excellent example of "socialism" (not "Communism"), etc. Opponents of the Castro regime will certainly use the same list to prove (in their eyes) that Cuba is "undemocratic", "totalitarian" and a typical example of "Communism".

But let's write the facts before the commentary, please. --Uncle Ed 14:07, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

I appreciate your ideas, and yes we will likely not agree to a definition of 'democracy'. The trouble is that we will also not agree to the defintion of 'free speech', et al, either. For instance you said regarding 'free speech' above "(US:yes, Cuba:no)", a valid opinion. But a contrary opinion is that the US version of 'free speech', where corporations have equal right of speech as real people and that corporate lobby money in government and political campaigns is a protected form of 'speech' so that billion dollar corporations have the protected right to shout louder than real people, can hardly be viewed as the USA having more 'free speech' for real people compared with Cuba. Not necessarily my POV, but I write that POV to show the range of POV's on the subject. Or, when was the last time a USA presidential candidate got elected without the relying upon the use of corporate money 'speech' in their campaign? Not in our lifetime. Are such corporate funded elections truely 'free'? How does the 'freedom' of Cuban electoral system measure up against the western concept of 'free' elections? My point is that in order for the article to be neutral, in many cases we will have to include the range of the POV's. BruceHallman 14:54, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Although I am an editor who is not a particular supporter of Castro, I still believe that this article should be incommensurable. Meaning that Cuban policies should not be overtly depicted in comparison to other models. To do this would set a precedent in wikipedia and open the article up to charges of systemic bias. Again I urge that editors read established, carefully worded, peer-reviewed encyclopedias to learn how to present Cuba in an encyclopedic fashion. --Zleitzen 14:59, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

It will be a challenge to find English language peer-reviewed encyclopedias that too are not victim of systemic bias that come from being a Western English speaking 'peer'. Should the pool of peers not also include those from non-English, former Soviet Union, from Angola, from Cuba, etc. or is the pool of peers you describe only those who grew up on one side of the Iron Curtain, (i.e. who see corporate money speech and corporate lobby money as a valid form of 'free speech') ? BruceHallman 15:10, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I understand exactly what you mean Bruce, the language and cultural barrier is one of the main obstacles here for NPOV. My comments address Ed Poor's table propostion above. --Zleitzen 15:18, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
or is the pool of peers you describe only those who grew up on one side of the Iron Curtain, (i.e. who see corporate money speech and corporate lobby money as a valid form of free speech. Uh, Bruce, there is an idea that we call "civil society" that we talk about here in the West. I suggest you put down Granma for once and start reading about it. I recommend starting with Habermas' work on the public sphere. 172 | Talk 18:03, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

This discussion is going off the rails again; Ed's original suggestion ("show, don't tell") is I think the key to resolving conflicts here. It's important to remember that "democracy" is a very fuzzy concept (Ancient Greece: a democracy? Pre-civil War US? etc.) All we can do is describe what is happening in Cuba, and describe how others view these things. Sdedeo (tips) 18:07, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

When describing whether or not a country today is a democracy, it is obvious that we are using the term as it understood in the contemporary English-speaking world: regular, contested, free and fair multiparty elections. No Western political scientist who studies democratization regards Cuba as a democracy. I already explained this matter to Bruce. End of discussion. 172 | Talk 19:27, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Sources there would be very helpful. Can you cite an academic article discussing this? Something like Foreign Affairs would be good, e.g.. While the views of Western political scientists are very important and should be given strong weight, they won't end up being the only sources. Sdedeo (tips) 20:23, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

neutrality dispute

User:Sgrayban just added the POV box. Would you please describe the nature and details of the dispute so that we may negotiate an agreement to resolve the dispute? BruceHallman 15:23, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

medcabal continuing to try

I'm sorry people, but you are all flipping out and arguing with each other, and it is making it hard for me to mediate here.

We have a set of sources: Some of them (e.g., the Cuban constitution itself, the pastors for peace, which seems to be a non-negligible group) say Cuba is a democracy, some say it has democratic features but is not a full democracy (e.g., the State department, Columbia), some say it isn't a democracy (EU, Economist), some say it shouldn't be called anything but a dictatorship (Free Cuba group).

We are going to have to state all, or most, of these positions in the article.

Does anybody object to the rough sketch paragraph that looks like this: "The Cuban constitution establishes, at least in principle, a state that has the main features of a democracy. However, numerous sources dispute the idea that Cuba is a democracy in any real sense. Source X says. Source Y says. Source Z says."

Sdedeo (tips) 16:12, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for continuing the mediation Sdedeo. I would support such a paragraph being developed in the article. And I'm keen to see this represented according to NPOV. --Zleitzen 16:52, 17 April 2006 (UTC) Btw the EU didn't say Cuba is not a democracy. It made no statement on the matter. --Zleitzen 16:55, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
So do I but Adam wont reply. Your NPOV and he isn't. Its useless to try anymore. Its only going to stay a revert war until the whole lot are blocked for good here. --Scott Grayban 16:58, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
As I said on my talk page, I'm hopeful that the mediation can finish quickly and successfully. What we most need is for people to be as brief as possible, and to avoid getting sucked into larger debates. It might be helpful if people responded only to me, and not to each other, to avoid arguments -- your call.
As for the EU article, it technically refers to the island as a "Socialist republic", whatever that means. We should save the EU criticisms for the Human Rights section, and I think we should probably have a reference to that section (i.e., "See Human Rights below") in the democracy para.
Again, since Adam seems to be the main opponent here, let's now wait for Adam to weigh in on whether he is OK with the rough sketch para above, or if he can suggest an alternative. Sdedeo (tips) 17:04, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Forget it. Looking at his contributions he is editing right now and is ignoring your comment Sdedeo - last edit was 06:38, April 17, 2006 which was just a few minutes ago. --Scott Grayban 17:43, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Just looking at the current version:

Cuba is a socialist republic, in which the Communist Party of Cuba is the sole legal political party [3]. There is a wide range of opinion about democracy and Cuba with opinions ranging from that Cuba is not a democracy [4] to that Cuba is the most democratic country in the world [5].

This actually seems rather OK to me, although we could use more of the sources that people have identified. Anyway, that's another possibility. Again, I'll just wait for Adam to weigh in on whether either of these versions are OK with him. (Actually, AFAICT, Adam isn't online and hasn't been editing for awhile.) Sdedeo (tips) 17:47, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

I too am willing to wait some more for Adam's response and to give Adam the benifit of the doubt. Though Adam wrote here that he doesn't want to fight about the 'democracy' issue so perhaps his silence is an indicator that he doesn't dispute the status quo, and that we can now move on? BruceHallman 17:55, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I think the "silence" of Dr. Carr (he is not an anonymous editor, so show some respect) has much more to do with his impression-- he can correct me if I'm wrong-- that you are not a legitimate editor but a communist propagandist. Frankly, I think his view of your behavior is evidenced above, in your complete misrepresentation of something he told on my user talk page. He definitely did not tell me "that he doesn't want to fight about the 'democracy' issue." Instead, he was telling me that he might not dispute my tentative suggestion that some might consider at least one additional country in Latin America, aside from Cuba, to be another non-democracy. I'm certain that Dr. Carr remains committed to fighting attempts by fidelistas to remove factual content that presents el comandante in a negative light. 172 | Talk 18:48, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Dr. Carr? Of what? Credentials please? As for the Personal Attacks that your comments clearly state is a blocking offense without a warning. I would keep your comments like that to yourself. You are argumentive, disruptive and a troll of talk pages looking at your contributions here. --Scott Grayban 19:00, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I apologize if I disrespected you or Dr. Carr. I certainly did not intend to do so. Though, I disagree with your evaluation that I am "not a legitimate editor". I look forward to cooperatively editing with you in the future. BruceHallman 18:58, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Please do not insult other editors, 172, and please try to assume good faith. Let's not derail things with an argument; can you let us know if you are OK with either of the two suggested paragraphs in this section. Sdedeo (tips) 18:50, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Again, we are getting derailed. Please everyone try to stay focused. Since Adam and now 172 both seem to be the main opponents here, let's wait to see whether or not they are OK with the two paragraphs in this section. Sdedeo (tips) 19:01, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a social club. The site founder, Jimbo Wales, has stated repeatedly that product comes before process. If the rules-- including civility rules-- interfere with the goal of writing a usable encyclopedia, they are to be ignored or modified. Dr. Carr and I are both professional historians and editors experienced as anyone around here. We know how to deal with the crackpots, cultists, and cranks who attempt to wreck articles. Trolls often manipulate naive third parties into thinking that they're acting in good faith; but admins and mediators should be bullshit detectors. If propagandists are sabotaging articles, the administration is supposed to help legitimate editors deal with trolling, not enable trolling. 172 | Talk 19:17, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I have noted and notified admin of User:172 trolling, WP:CIVIL and 4th revert which the later 2 are a blocking offense. Yes I am keeping tract until you are gone from here. --Scott Grayban 19:33, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Uh, I made three reverts today, which is allowed. Read WP:3RR. BTW, if I should be blocked for uncivility because I accused another editor of trolling, so should you. "Yes I am keeping tract until you are gone from here"-- that's not too nice either, is it? 172 | Talk 19:41, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

172, your incivility is interferring with us trying to come to a consensus here, please lay off. Can you please let us know if you are OK with either of the two paragraphs above, and will you please stop reverting, as I asked you to do below. If you and other editors cannot do this, I will request page protection. Sdedeo (tips) 20:05, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm okay with the version I'm revering back to. Cuba is not a democracy. It is inaccurate and misleading to suggest that that's a matter up for debate in the intro. Mediation and consensus are not higher priorities than a basic encyclopedic principle like accuracy. 172 | Talk 20:40, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

If you revert the page again, you will be in violation of WP:3RR, and judging from your block log you know what happens next. I have never advocated putting inaccurate information in the article. Sdedeo (tips) 20:42, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm not impressed by the condescension. Content editors do messier work than mediators, and we get into disputes and edit wars at times. But our work is more valuable. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia first. It is a community only insofar as the community serves the goal of writing an encyclopedia. 172 | Talk 20:51, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Please stop reverting; we need to let the article develop and evolve. Please let me know if you wish to participate in the mediation or not. Sdedeo (tips) 20:53, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Hi, look, I hesitate to say anything since I feel like I might be adding fuel to the fire, but per Freedom House[14], and this is a direct quote regarding politcal rights: "Cubans cannot change their government through democratic means. Fidel Castro dominates the political system, having transformed the country into a one-party state with the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) controlling all governmental entities from the national to the local level. Communist structures were institutionalized by the 1976 constitution installed at the first congress of the PCC. The constitution provides for a National Assembly, which designates the Council of State. It is that body which in turn appoints the Council of Ministers in consultation with its president, who serves as head of state and chief of government. However, Castro is responsible for every appointment and controls every lever of power in Cuba in his various roles as president of the Council of Ministers, chairman of the Council of State, commander in chief of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR), and first secretary of the PCC." That plainly states that semantics aside, Cuba is not a democracy. Freedom House is an independent NGO that has no ties the the U.S. Government that I am aware of, and I believe it is a credible source in this case. 23:48, 17 April 2006 (UTC)--

everyone stop reverting now please

Everyone stop reverting now: we must allow the article to develop in the usual wiki fashion. I have undone the series of reversions that just occured. There is no way we will reach consensus unless we allow the article to evolve in the usual fashion. If you have a problem with a particular passage, edit it, modify it, whatever, but do not simply revert. Sdedeo (tips) 18:53, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Only a wishful thinker

Would argue that Cuba is the most democratic country in the world. There are no free elections, no freedom of speech, and no other political parties. Unless anyone can prove that wrong, this will be the extent of my discussion. CJK 19:42, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Fair question. "Cuba is the most democratic country in the world" is a real point of view along a full range of points of view on this subject. I think the essence of the belief depends on the relative definition of 'free'. For instance are elections and government dominated by corporate money 'free', some say yes, some say no. In Cuba, the elections are not dominated by corporate money, and by that measurement, they are more free and the "most democratic". Similar argument for presidential elections won based on an election offical ruling of a party partisian in a state governed by the candidates brother with systematic disenfranshisment of African American voters[15]. By that measure, Cuba has more 'free' elections. I am not saying that I hold that POV, but just explaining logic of the POV to help you understand. BruceHallman 19:57, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

CJK, I think you just joined the discussion -- welcome. I am here as a mediator to make sure we can get an NPOV section on Cuba's political system and human rights record; our main goal right now is to accumulate sources which are sorely lacking. Please do not revert the page; the only way we will reach a conclusion here is if we allow the article to evolve from its present unsatisfactory state. Sdedeo (tips) 20:08, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Hi all, would it be helpful to incorporate 172's statement above into the article, alongside other opinions. Something along the lines of "Western political scientists assert that Cuba is not a democracy" with the economist citation or any other more detailed sources 172 could provide? --Zleitzen 20:12, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

This is a good idea -- thank you -- but first of all I'd like to establish if 172, Adam and (now) CJK are OK with the basic idea of sourcing claims and counterclaims about the nature of the Cuban political system. Sdedeo (tips) 20:14, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Adam Carr cited The Economist. That's sufficient. Let's avoid wordiness. 172 | Talk 20:31, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

We are going to have to cite more than one source in order to resolve this conflict. Are you OK with that? Are there any sources in particular you object to? In general, avoiding wordiness is good, but sometimes on the wiki it's not possible. Sdedeo (tips) 20:33, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Elementary facts do not require so many citations. The quality of the article is a higher priority than mediating the dispute. Thank you for the efforts, but mediation is not necessary. 172 | Talk 20:36, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

The problem is that people disagree on how to describe the Cuban political system, and it is one of wikipedia's jobs to report that, and to source those things. We really do need to cite other sources.

You and others are reverting each other and flaming each other on the talk page: mediation is certaintly necessary. Do not waste my time: if you no longer wish to participate in the mediation, let me know now.

Sdedeo (tips) 20:38, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

The fact that people disagree is neither here nor there. Encyclopedias are supposed to be accurate, even if some people want to believe inaccuracies. BTW, why are you asking me if I "no longer" wish to participate in mediation? I never asked to participate in mediation to begin with. 172 | Talk 20:45, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Do you wish to participate in the mediation or not? Please give me a firm answer. Sdedeo (tips) 20:47, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

So now you're offering? I'm open with the possibility, but not with you. Nothing personal-- I'd just rather deal with a mediator who has been on Wikipedia longer, and whom I've seen around the history and politics articles more often. 172 | Talk 21:04, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

OK, you are refusing to participate in the mediation. Thanks for letting me know sooner rather than later. I will leave some final thoughts on the talk page, and close the mediation at the medcabal. Please feel free to make a new request to the medcabal. Sdedeo (tips) 21:06, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

If some don't think the U.S. or any other western country is a democracy because the corporations throw around their money, then they should argue it out on that page. That arguement has no bearing on Cuba, and the blindingly obvious need not be sourced. If we need citation that Cuba is not a democracy, then maybe we need citation that Cuba is in Latin America and not Africa. CJK 20:49, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

The reason the argument about corporate money and 'free elections' is relevant is that the term 'free elections' must be defined on a relative scale. In other words, 'free' relative to what? Cuba, for instance, does not have an unresoved controversy about campaign finance reform. Are their elections more 'free' because they do not have the corrupting influences of big corporate money equating to 'free speech'? Or, a legal equality granted to corporate speech as opposed to free speech rights of real people. Again, this is not necessarily my POV, but I am describing is as an illustration of why that POV has bearing to Cuba and should be represented in the article. BruceHallman 21:23, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Stop with the "corporate money" cliche. It doesn't impress me and my own political orientation is left-of-center. I expect more depth out of teenage undergraduates, and much more from people with whom I'm supposed to be collaborating. Do you have any understanding of the development of civil society in the Western democracies? 172 | Talk 22:58, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
172, you know as well as anyone (or at least you should) that there is never consensus amongst political scientists on anything. Democracy is no different, despite your assertions. There are plenty of respected political scientists that would argue that no country on earth practices democracy (polyarchies anyone?). And most political philosophers would agree that term has been manipulated for political leverage. Political scientists would balk at the dogmatic line of argument you appear to be taking. And it's why respected encyclopedias tread carefully and avoid this line of reasoning. --Zleitzen 01:01, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
In his work on "polyarchy" Robert Dahl is using the term "democracy," along with "republicanism" and "liberalism," in its classical sense. When an encyclopedia is referring to whether or not a particular country today is a "democracy," it is clear that we are dealing with "democracy" in its contemporary sense. In its contemporary sense the term is associated with liberal democracy. 172 | Talk 09:28, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Dahl defines a "democracy" as an "ideal" system in the sense that there are no examples past or present. He writes about a spectrum of varying polyarchies. Respected encyclopaedias recognise these complex ambiguities and thus explicitly avoid judging whether or not a particular country such as Cuba is a "democracy,". It's not up to us to assume that readers associate the term with Western liberal democracy. This is an international encyclopaedia after all, read by people from Taiwan to Trinidad. --Zleitzen 10:22, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
I've read Dahl. You're not telling me anything new. We are not dealing with the ideal-type of democracy. We are dealing with how the term is commonly understood to apply to contemporary regimes in the English-speaking world. And actually, yes, it is up to us to assume that readers associate the term with Western liberal democracy. This is the English Wikipedia. Wikipedia:Naming conventions clearly states "article naming should give priority to what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity." That means "democracy" in the sense in which it is used in English-language publications like The Economist-- not Granma, not an academic ideal-type, not the ancient "democracy" of Greek thinkers like Thucydides and Pericles. 172 | Talk 11:28, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

medcabal finished

172 has refused to participate in the mediation; since medcabal is totally informal, there's not much I can do. 172, feel free to request a new mediation from the cabal if you like, but be aware that you don't get to pick who you want the mediator to be.

Some final thoughts. Re: the article itself: the "Human Rights" section is abysmal by current wiki standards. There are no sources (zero!) provided, the presentation is extremely confused, and minor and major things are all mixed up. This section needs a real rewrite. Re: the "democracy" debate: I've made it clear what I think the "canonical" wiki solution should be.

Re: user behavior. I am amazed that both 172 and Adam -- users who have a huge number of edits and have a record of constructive contributions elsewhere on the wiki -- have behaved so poorly during this process. Both 172 and Adam have been rude and uncivil to other editors. There is no excuse for that, and it has materially impeded getting on with improving the article. Sgrayban, CJK and 172 (again) have been involved in a revert war, which is ridiculous.

I urge everyone to stop the incivility and rudeness right now, and I urge people who encounter it not to rise to the bait and to simply ignore (i.e., not respond) to this sort of thing. The latter suggestion here is just as important as the former: don't allow yourself to get wound up. I wish everyone the best, and I hope people can get back to the real business of creating an encyclopedia sooner rather than later. Sdedeo (tips) 21:17, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Thank you Sdedeo for helping us. BruceHallman 21:24, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
172, feel free to request a new mediation from the cabal if you like, but be aware that you don't get to pick who you want the mediator to be. Sure we can. Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy, and mediation is voluntary. And one does not have to be a declared "medacom" member to mediate a dispute. Thanks for your intent to help. 172 | Talk 23:02, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Well, that's not the way the medcabal works in general -- it's hard enough getting any mediator, let alone one made to order. In the meantime, and I can say this now that I'm no longer involved, please don't thank me; you have wasted my time by participating in a mediation up until you didn't get the result you have been continually revert-warring back to.

I've seen behavior like yours before (you're the third one): first you participate in the mediation, although you dish out a good amount of rudeness and incivility all around. Then as we move towards a consensus, and you don't have much ground to stand on, you declare that the prose is inelegant. Finally, there's a coda where I go back and forth trying to get you to declare clearly whether or not you want to participate in the mediation -- that took a few rounds.

Sdedeo (tips) 23:13, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Uh, I never asked to participate in mediation nor was I ever participating in it. I was responding to some of your comments because you decided for one reason or another to get involved in the discussion. I don't know what brought you here. You just showed up. If you feel like you're wasting your time, I suggest changing your approach to mediation or dropping the gig and picking out some other work, like editing articles. 172 | Talk 23:24, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

I posted repeatedly that I was here as a mediator, titled sections with "medcabal", and explained in detail why I was here; you had ample time to declare that you resented or refused this. While you claim now that you were unaware that you were participating in a mediation, I find that rather hard to believe. I don't believe I wasted my time, I believe you wasted my time, and further that you are quite aware of it. That's the last I'll say on this matter; fortunately wikipedia is a large enough space that we don't have to encounter each other again. Sdedeo (tips) 00:09, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

People may not want mediation, but they may be reluctant to tell you to go away if you show up just to avoid coming across as rude. You know, for a mediator, you're pretty abrasive. 172 | Talk 09:12, 18 April 2006 (UTC)


I don't want to raise this to the next level in haste or unilaterally, but per the Dispute_resolution procedure, the next step would be to request arbitration. Are there other people in this group of editors who are willing to jointly request this matter be appealed to the Arbitration Committee? BruceHallman 21:31, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

I would suggest waiting. Just because I failed it doesn't mean that a compromise can't be reached. My suggestion at this point would be to take a few days off, and to come back later: things seem way too heated right now and it is possibly the case that the current stalemate will only be resolved when people leave and "new blood" comes in.
RfAs take a long time and are very unsatisfying: see here for one experience. Many times in my experience conflicts have died down of their own accord (we do have one user banned for 3RR, which might also help cool the flames.) Anyway, best of luck -- Sdedeo (tips) 21:35, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

I support the request to move this dispute to the next level of the Dispute_resolution procedure. --Zleitzen 22:11, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

This dispute is getting ridiculous. Its just between the vast majority who recognize that Cuba is undemocratic versus the tiny minority who say it might be. Due weight should be enforced and I'm sure the arbcom would agree (though given my past experience, I could very well be wrong). CJK 00:45, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

I see 3 maybe 4 people arguing one way vs those arguing for wikipedia and encyclopedic standards to be upheld, personally. --Zleitzen 01:07, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, but this the opposing side is generally over-represented on Wikipedia. CJK 23:27, 18 April 2006 (UTC)


The RFC didn't have a pointer to the discussion page, so I'm starting one. The text currently reads:

Cuba calls itself a socialist republic, in which the Communist Party of Cuba is the sole legal political party. Cuba is the only state in the western hemisphere which is not a pluralist democracy in addition to being the sole Communist state in the region.

This seems accurate and NPOV to me. If someone says otherwise, please respond to this comment. -- FRCP11 01:14, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

I think it would be more acurrate to say it is the "sole state governed by a communist party". However I still find it useful to link it to the Communist state page, I have no clue on how to do this, if any one does help me!

Chico 01:34, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Hi FRCP11, I requested the Rfc. But have added the "pluralist" since then to make it less subjective. I believe that

  • "Cuba calls itself" and then "being the sole Communist state" is contradictory, inaccurate and portrays systemic bias. Cuba is a socialist republic, in which the Communist Party of Cuba is the sole legal political party, according to the Cuban constitution. What other people call it should be mentioned somewhere later in the article. --Zleitzen 01:48, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Your statement is a conclusion, rather than an argument. "Socialist republic" doesn't seem to have any real semantic meaning, except in the Orwellian sense--many socialists would disagree with the characterization of Cuba as a socialist republic, and certainly most republicans would disagree with the oxymoron of a one-party republic; you call the phrasing contradictory without identifying a contradiction; you call the phrasing inaccurate without identifying the inaccuracy. I still don't understand why anyone would challenge the current phrasing on grounds other than style. -- FRCP11 02:26, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree that the "socialist republic" is a conclusion, FRCP11, but we've agreed on that by using many sources etc after a dense period of discussion. "Communist State" is also a conclusion. The difference is that the first conclusion relates to the Cuban constitution, the second is a label applied to Cuba from outside. "Communist State" is inaccurate because, as Chico has explained, technically there can be no such entity as a "communist state". Communism is to live in a stateless society. --Zleitzen 02:39, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
So? It's a label applied from outside. Wikipedia is descriptive, not prescriptive. That Communism defines itself to be stateless doesn't mean that there haven't been states understood to be Communist states: the Soviet Union; North Korea; Cuba. There are many words that have drifted from their etymology. There exist Arabs who are both Semites and "anti-Semites"; "corporate governance reform" can make corporate governance worse.
Would you prefer "Communist dictatorship"?
I said "contradictory, inaccurate, and portrays systemic bias" was conclusory: you hadn't justified those claims (and still haven't, except in a prescriptive sense). I did not say that about "socialist republic," which is simply glurge, and thus needs the "calls itself" qualifier to have any semantic meaning. -- FRCP11 03:10, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Apologies if I'm not making myself clear here, this debate tends to leave one weary! To clarify, we have two descriptions. I believe the second is a Western term that should be discussed in the main body of the article rather than the intro. --Zleitzen 03:08, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
That's what the debate is about? Again, you state the conclusion, rather than giving an argument for it. WP:NPOV would seem to require balancing the Cuban Orwellian self-description with the neutral objective observation that Cuba is not actually a republic, as well as noting its unique status in the Western Hemisphere as the only Communist state here. It's the one most notable thing about Cuba: it's a Communist dictatorship on the US's doorstep. Leaving out of the introduction would be an attempt to sanitize that violates NPOV. -- FRCP11 03:15, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

OK, we disagree. I don't believe that the one notable thing about Cuba is that it's a Communist dictatorship on the US's doorstep. I believe the European Union when they catagorise Cuba as a Socialist Republic (see source). I also believe that the term "Communist state" originated in Western society from the fact that the vast majority of such states are or were run by Communist parties who hold a monopoly on political power. Therefore the label "Communist state" this should be discussed in those terms. --Zleitzen 03:39, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

I would have to disagree. The fact that out of 47 sovreign states in the Western Hemisphere there is only one that is a Communist dictatorship is in fact, quite significant. However, I do agree that the term "Communist state" is a term of Western socio/political derivation that does not in fact apply to Cuba. If descriptive terms are to be used, they should be as accurate as possible - calling the United States a democracy is inaccurate, it is actually a democratic federal republic, calling Cuba a Communist state is wrong when the correct term would be Communist dictatorship. Just my .02, --rjg6755--modean 04:32, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
I’d rather not get too drawn into this debate (yet again), but the definitions of a state made by parties from other states should be treated with caution in an encyclopedia. Therefore we should rely on the Cuban constitution (with perhaps another notable source as back up) in the introduction, and discuss "communist state / dictator" etc international POV's in some detail later on. It is giving undue privilege to a particular view to do otherwise. Rather like having Cuban observations appearing in the opening of the article on the United States. This is the fashion of almost all the other nation articles on Wikipedia, so I don't see why Cuba should be an exception. --Zleitzen 05:27, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
I can agree with the sentiment re: definitions, however I don't necessarily agree that relying on the Cuban constitution is the best solution. The proof is, as they say, in the pudding. The description of the government/state that is provided by the Cuban constitution is not necessarily reflective of the actual form of government/state that Cuba possesses. For example, say the country of Larryland has adopted articles of confederation that define the state as a democracy, but subsequently restricts voting eligibility to 1% of the population, only by the most blinkered view could hold that Larryland is indeed a democracy. The same is true of Cuba. The Cuban constitution describes the governmental type as "a socialist state of workers...a united and democratic republic", but Freedom House says otherwise, noting that Cubans cannot change their government through democratic means. Fidel Castro dominates the political system, having transformed the country into a one-party state with the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) controlling all governmental entities from the national to the local level...All political organizing outside the PCC is illegal. Political dissent, spoken or written, is a punishable offense, and those so punished frequently receive years of imprisonment for seemingly minor infractions. This is obviously not a working democracy, by any reasonable standard - regional or international. So if we cannot agree on this, perhaps a compromise is in order. Could we agree to say something to the effect that, "While the Cuban Constitution professes a socialist democratic republic, the domination of all levels of government by the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) and the lack of political freedom means that Cuba is a de facto communist dictatorship." or something to that effect? It may need some work to be more NPOV, but it is more in line with what NGOs like Freedom House and Reporters Without Borders say. --rjg675524.107.121.69 06:39, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
I think the Freedom House link is a relevant link to the article, rjg6755, in that it shows that certain groups do not believe Cuba is a democracy as defined by those particular standards. I would favour a thorough discussion within the main body of the article on these matters rather than an inconclusive judgement in the intro that will just get reverted back and forth. Earlier in the talk pages I quote from an encyclopaedia which I felt was the best tone to take if you want to take a look. My motivation is to counter potential bias, particularly in relation to the US which is dominant here in what should be a global encyclopaedia. And it works both ways, if you see my comments to editors on the archived Iraq page you'll find that I'm advocating against exaggerated charges concerning US involvement in Iraq during the 1980's. --Zleitzen 08:10, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
I appreciate the need to maintain a NPOV in the Wiki environment, and I included the Freedom House link in a previous post where someone had asked for a non-U.S. aligned NPOV cite that Cuba was not a democracy, in that regard I think it has more weight than other cites from governmental sources in the U.S. or Cuba where there is going to be an inherent bias because of their political relationship. However I concur with your assessment and I can accept that a more appropriate placement for this would likely be within the main body and not necessarily in the lead paragraph. Given the controversy that surrounds the Cuban system of government within the Wiki community, and in the outside world where the Cuba's critics and allies clash even more vociferously, I believe that getting true NPOV wording may be nigh impossible, the best we might hope for is something that makes no one happy (then at least it's NPOV!).--Rjg6755modean 16:37, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

The current wording of that sentence is POV. It reflects a political attitude commonly heard in right wing circles of the USA which is not the appropriate neutral tone necessary in an encyclopedic article for a global audience. Don't misunderstand me, I am not arguing that your point of view is wrong, or that your point of view is not 'true' to you, just that it is not universally 'true', and that it is not neutral. BruceHallman 05:35, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

With minor revisions for style, I'm okay with the Hallman edit to include "widely criticized." I'm going to add a clause for human rights problems. -- FRCP11 15:03, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Hi User:FRCP11, before you consider work on adding to the opening paragraph, I recommend that you survey other nation pages for tone and content. Particularly nations which have gross recent human rights records such as Turkey and Pakistan. To uphold neutrality across Wikipedia, and to protect the encyclopaedia from charges of systemic bias we would have to consider such edits carefully. --Zleitzen 18:30, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Comment on mediation

One of the things both 172 and I have learned during our long experience at Wikipedia (partly through several long disputes with each other), is that when dealing with people who are determined to make an article conform to their ideological proconceptions, it is necessary to adopt robust tactics (within the law, but robust). Anyone who knows about the prolonged battle waged by me (and others) with the LaRouche cult at a series of articles will know (a) that these tactics are sometimes necessary, and (b) that they are effective - the LaRouchite "Herschelkrustofky" was eventually banned from Wikipedia.

I was asked to review this article, which I had not previously seen, because BruceHallman and Scott Greyban were running it as their own private Fidel Castro fan page. I think any impartial person reviewing the article as it was before my arrival and as it is now will see that it has been greatly improved, particularly the history and politics sections (other parts still need work). Bruce and Scott and their friends have resisted the reform of this article at every step, arguing for a straight-out pro-Castro position on the most elementary questions (such as whether Cuba is a democracy). I point out that they are doing the same thing at Human rights in Cuba and Elections in Cuba. I haven’t looked in detail at History of Cuba yet (it’s on my list), but I’ve no doubt the same is true there also.

I am naturally reluctant to accuse people I don't know of being Communists, but what other conclusion can I come to about such wilful denial of obvious facts? Of course I have my own POV - I am a social democrat who is opposed to oppressive regimes of all kinds, including Communists ones. The difference is that my POV requires me to tell the truth about Cuba, whereas theirs apparently requires them to defend blatant falsehoods. If they said “yes Cuba is a dictatorship of the proletariat and we support that,” I could at least respect the integrity of their view, even though rejecting it. But I cannot respect this dishonest insistence on promoting obvious falsehoods.

I am not opposed to any attempt at mediation of this matter, but I will not compromise on the essential question. Cuba is a communist dictatorship and must be described accurately, even if that precise phrase is not used. The statement that Cuba is the only state in the western hemisphere which is not a democracy is true, relevant and important, and should be in the opening paragraph. Adam 02:19, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Adam, I respectfully disagree, and dispute the neutrality of the present article. I am willing to discuss resolving this dispute, though as a start could you please refrain from insults? BruceHallman 05:13, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
If the four paragraphs above Adam's signature were all written by him then there is some reality warping going on round here. As far as I can see (and remember - ooops original research) neither Bruce nor Scott have been involved in the Cuba pages for more than a couple of weeks. Is there a tool for generating a list of edits ordered by contributors rather than date. Might kill off a few delusions. MichaelW 21:10, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm sorry you find the truth insulting. When I was a communist, I may have been young and stupid, but at least I didn't try to hide my beliefs behind this nauseating veneer of "neutrality." Adam 06:50, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Adam, please consider for a moment that you have never met me. You have never spoken with me. You don't know my life. You don't know my eduction. You don't know my family. You don't know my age. You don't know my politics. You know nothing of my history. You have only read, at most, a few hundred words of my writing. Indeed, from what you wrote back, you don't even take what I write at face value and rather choose to infer things into my writing which I did not even write. If you believe that from so little that you can know the "truth" about me, that is sad. Indeed, it appears obvious that you do not want to know the real truth about me. BruceHallman 14:42, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Please assume good faith. -- FRCP11 14:59, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Civility as an option

User:172 wrote (above):

The site founder, Jimbo Wales, has stated repeatedly that product comes before process. If the rules-- including civility rules-- interfere with the goal of writing a usable encyclopedia, they are to be ignored or modified.

This is incorrect. I can email Jimbo and check for you, if you require.

Actually, civility is one of Wikipedia's two non-negotiable rules. --Uncle Ed 16:42, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

FYI Jimbo Wales is one of the people to have signed the page Wikipedia:Ignore all rules, a page that Raul proposed, upon my suggestion, to rename Wikipedia:Product over process. Civility is important. We should all strive to be as civil as possible. Nevertheless, Jimbo Wales has made clear that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia first and foremost, and a community only insofar as it serves the goal of writing an encyclopedia. Wikipedia is not a system of law, and all users are not equal. As a case in point, in some of the arbom cases pitting professional scholars against crakpots, such as the Skyring and the LaRouche cases, the serious editors were left unscathed, while Skyring and the LaRouche activists were put under severe sanctions. 172 | Talk 00:07, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Communist states of the Western hemisphere

As an interesting side-note to my intro edit, it appears that the only other instance of a hard-line Communist state existing in the Western Hemisphere was Grenada for two weeks in 1983. Kaldari 04:14, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Cuba has communist values, but is it actually communist? I don't see evidence that Cuba is communist. I do see that 'Communist State' is a label often used by the right wing of USA politics to describe Cuba, but is that enough reason to use it in the article? BruceHallman 04:34, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
There are two definitions of a "communist state". The first would be the Marxist definition (ie the one put forward by Marx), which would be a society in which both private property and the state have been abolished (and would not therefore be a "communist state" at all). Such a society has of course never existed. The second is the "common English" definition, which is "a state run by a Communist Party with the intention of eventually establishing a communist society." Cuba meets this definition. Wikipedia is not a Marxist enncyclopaedia. Adam 05:40, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Of course Cuba isn't communist. It is however, a Communist state (however oxymoronic that term may be), in the same way that China is a Communist state. This doesn't seem especially controversial to me, unless you're trying to make some kind of argument about the semantics of the term "Communist", which is all fine and good, but completely irrelevent to Wikipedia editing. Remember, "the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth." If most of the world considers Cuba a Communist state, which I think is rather obvious, that is what we report. Whether that is accurate terminology is not for us to decide. If it were, we might have to rethink labelling the U.S. a democracy :) Kaldari 05:55, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Good point Kaldari, but if most of the world considers Belgians to be dull, is what we report there as fact ;) --Zleitzen 07:01, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Ah good point. The balance between reporting popular perception and maintaining NPOV is tricky, especially in cases where the subject's POV about itself conflicts with popular perception. In such cases it is important to present both sides, although in this case it seems one of the sides presented may be something of a straw man. Would most Cuban people object to Cuba being termed a "Communist state"? Probably not. They may object to some of the other wording though. An important question to ask, however, is why are we putting commentary about Cuba's politics in the intro paragraph? What is our motivation there? This seems to be a rather exceptional way to introduce a country's article. Kaldari 07:14, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
My sentiments entirely --Zleitzen 07:18, 19 April 2006 (UTC) btw you've sold your version to me, with a slight amendment--Zleitzen 07:54, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
The words 'widely criticised', is that accurate? I can see that it is widely criticised from the right wing of the USA politics, but is there any evidence of wide spread criticism globally. Is there any evidence of criticism from Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, North Africa, Africa, Polynesia, Australia, Central America or South America? Is there much criticism from Europe or Eastern Europe? Is there much criticism from the middle or left wing of the USA. Is there much criticism from North America beyond the USA, IE Mexico and Canada. To qualify as 'widely criticised' you cannot just measure the right wing if the USA, which is overrepresented in the editor pool of Wikipedia. BruceHallman 04:34, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Where did this "widely criticised" text come from? The issue is not what Cuba is "widely criticised" for, the issue is what Cuba is. Adam 05:40, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
What are you guys talking about? Oh wait, I found it. You guys are so 15 hours ago :) Kaldari 06:04, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
My point still applies: The 'Cuba is not a democracy' point of view is widely held among the right wing of USA politics (and to a lesser extent in segments of Great Britain, Isreal, Marshall Islands, Palau, and the E.U.), but I have been researching this and do not see that it is a commonly held point of view in Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Arab Middle East, North Africa, Africa, Polynesia, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Central America or South America. If we are going to solve a POV neutrality dispute we need to evalutate the true extent of the range of POV's on this issue. The right wing of the USA political belief is not the 'center of the universe' of points of view. BruceHallman 16:01, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm among "the right wing of USA politics?" That's a comment for Wikipedia:Bad jokes and other deleted nonsense. 172 | Talk 17:51, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Bruce, do you live in the U.S.? If not, you should note that almost EVERYONE from all perspectives here believe that Cuba is not a democracy (unless you live in Berkely...) CJK 18:28, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Opening section, episode 234

This statement: "Cuba is a socialist republic, in which the Communist Party of Cuba is the sole legal political party. Cuba is the only state in the western hemisphere that is not a democracy." Is accurate, brief, grammatical and to-the-point. It says what needs to be said, and no more. If people would only leave it alone we could all turn our attention to more important things. Adam 08:54, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Yep. 172 | Talk 17:49, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

"...Is accurate, brief, grammatical and to-the-point. ...", though also POV. Can we discuss and collaborate on wording to bring neutrality to those sentences? BruceHallman 17:54, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

How is that POV? It's a concise and accurate description. Encyclopædia Britannica says "Cuba is a unitary socialist republic. The government is totalitarian, exercising direct control or influence over most facets of Cuban life.", and that sounds harsher than this - I'd say that Adam's version is plenty NPOV. rjg6755-- 01:34, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Sorry Bruce but you have been outvoted. PMA 18:16, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Is WP:NPOV subject to vote? BruceHallman 18:24, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
the consensus is that Cuba is not a democracy - it is a one party state (or one party dictatorship if you prefer) and to not mention Cuba's lack of democracy _does_ violate WP:NPOV. PMA 18:34, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
I would like to use this moment to state that Wikipedia is not a democracy Discuss? --Zleitzen 18:39, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

PMA; Just because you claim a consensus, WP:CON, does not make a consensus. BruceHallman 18:41, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

I see your point but please learn to spell properly and not use redirects please. PMA 18:54, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
I propose that the above brief exchange started by PMA be considered for Wikipedia:Lamest edit wars. Does anyone want to vote on that? --Zleitzen 01:05, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

I looked at the definition of democracy linked in the passage about Cuba 'not' being a democracy, and I could not find anywhere in that language that would bar Cuba from being considered a representative democracy. It is a POV itself to speak of what is or isn't democracy, needless to say. The use of the term 'communist state' seems to find itself almost solely in the language of the U.S - not an encyclopedic view unless one views encyclodpedic information simply to have their own nation's chauvanist prejudices confirmed and reconfirmed. Bruce seems to make all of the relevant points about world consensus vs. american consensus. No countries called 'communist states' have called themselves such - this american label has more to do with mccarthyism than lucid political labels. Capone 10:31, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

I agree that the expression "Communist state" ought to be removed from the opening section, since the term has no clear definition. The statement that Cuba is "a one-party state ruled by the Communist Party of Cuba" is clear and unambiguous and should be used instead. The statement that Cuba is not a democracy is also clear and unambiguous, and true. A democracy is a state in which the people have the right and the ability to choose their own government. This necessarily requires (a) regular free elections at which rival parties can run candidates, and (b) a political culture which allows public opposition to the government, through a free press and a right of free assembly etc. Cuba has none of these things. Adam 10:56, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Another key point weighing against the idea of describing the country as a "Communist state" is the fact that the Communist Party was in may ways emasculated by Castro – subsumed within his government rather than being the real locus of power as was the case in Europe. It is an oversimplification to describe the Castro regime as Communist in the way that one might apply the term to Poland pre 1989. --Zleitzen 13:16, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Well, no, that's not really true. What happened was that the Soviets, on the recommendation of Guevara (a trusted lifelong Communist), decided to back Fidel and Raul, and told Blas Roca to subordinate himself and the old PCC cadres (a pretty rotten lot corrupted by years of backing Batista) to the Castros. In exchange the Castros agreed to toe the Soviet line and make Cuba an orthodox Soviet-style state, which it became and still is. Because Fidel has a beard and makes long speeches in Spanish he seems a bit more romantic than, say, Erich Honnecker, but there is really no difference. Adam 13:34, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Regardless, we are in agreement over the first part of the contentious paragraph so my interest on this matter is largely academic. But I would add that I disagree that Che Guevara, who ended up against Soviet wishes heading off to foment global revolution, can be accurately described as ‘a trusted lifelong communist’. Furthermore, Cuba made its biggest step towards what you might describe as ‘an orthodox Soviet-style state’ in the period between 1968 (when Castro supported the invasion of Czechoslovakia) and 1970 (after the failure of the push for a record sugar harvest) – that is, after Guevara’s death. There is much more to be said on the differences between the various Soviet aligned states (as well as on the paradigmatic issues raised by the obsession with Cuba that this debate represents, with the fact that the spotlight is directly so excessively on one country rendering the historical objectivity being sought increasingly chimeric – how much time has been spent on the Honduran entry?), but if you are prepared to reduce your own argument to the proposition that there is no difference between the imposed Soviet puppet Honecker and Castro then it is clear that your interest is ideological rather than historical, and thus no appeal based on either contradictory facts or more subtle narratives is likely to sway you. --Zleitzen 16:01, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Re: But I would add that I disagree that Che Guevara, who ended up against Soviet wishes heading off to foment global revolution, can be accurately described as a trusted lifelong communist. That observation is neither here nor there. Adam Carr was correct. In the period when the Soviets decided to back Fidel and Raul on Guevara's recommendation, Guevara was a trusted lifelong Communist in the eyes of the Soviets. It was later-- the period leading up to Guevara's disappearance from Cuba-- that Guevara started to lean more and more toward the Chinese model, and, as you put it, "ended up against Soviet wishes heading off to foment global revolution." 172 | Talk 19:28, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

In response to Zleitzen above: the reason so many people are preoccupied with Cuba is that it is a uniquely symbolic country to both left and right in the US (not being an American I can perhaps see this more clearly). The American left has been in love with Fidel since the 60s, as the quintessential bearded romantic revolutionary who has successfully defied the Yanquis all these years. As the vision of socialism as a social system has faded, the most powerful remaining emotional force behind the American left is anti-Americanism (or anti-US imperialism to use their own vocabulary). So long as Fidel stands (or these days is propped up) as a symbol of anti-Americanism, the left will go on loving him, happily ignoring or denying (as we see here) the squalid realities of his tinpot despotism and the empoverishment of 11 million people. The American right, of course, correspondingly hate Fidel with a deep and visceral hatred, which is why they have gone on with the futile and stupid economic blockade all these years, despite the obvious fact that it has done more than anything else to keep Castro in power. (If there is anything more stupid than an American leftist, it is an American rightist. Despite all, I remain pro-American, but it is a struggle sometimes.) Adam 02:32, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Knowing very little about the American "left", beyond a cursory glance at liberal media outlets, I'll bow to your greater knowledge. But all this has little to do with an accurate portrayal of Cuba, both historically and in the present. And little to do with the verifiability issues we should be concerned with here. --Zleitzen 02:56, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Adam, I don't recognize much reality in your stereotyping of Americans. Thinking Americans of all stripes have good reason to be upset at the injustice of decades of embargo 'in our name' and upset at the not-so-well hidden agenda hoping to overthrow yet another country 'in our name'. More than a few Americans actually notice and object when the USA has abusive foreign policy. BruceHallman 03:03, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Since you are prize example of what I am talking about, of course you can't accept what I am saying. You are typical of the American left in your inability to see this issue in anything other than these childish cliches. In the view of many "thinking Americans", getting rid of Castro would not be "overthrowing a country" - it would be liberating 11 million people from slavery. You of course disagree, but please don't insult our intelligence by pretending that all "thinking Americans" agree with you. There is a lot not to like about the Cuban-American lobby and the American right (I am, for the record, a social democrat), but they are correct on the essential point that Castro is an odious dictator who ought to be removed, one way or another, from power so that the Cuban people can choose their own government. It is also wrong to say they have a "hidden agenda" about overthrowing Castro - they are quite open about it, and so they should be. Adam 03:14, 21 April 2006 (UTC)


User:PMA recently wrote of an edit by User:Comandante "Sorry Mr Sockpuppet go somewhere else - no need for "soverign state" either". The editor Comandante is a well known editor in Cuba and name calling, "Mr. Sockpuppet", is a personal attack and should be avoided. Please be civil. BruceHallman 20:40, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

He was also pushing Marxist POV under the guise of NPOV in many articles - after many years of battle, I, like Adam and 172, have learned to be firm with such POV pushers - i have been called a German and/or Polish nationalist and a Greek and/or Turkish supporter in my efforts to battle the extremists of every colour. Like Adam and 172 i will not tolerate the pushing of POV wether it be right or left wing. PMA 20:55, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

That, even if true, is no reason for calling people names. You are the one who is being uncivil here. BruceHallman 01:54, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

How interesting to learn that Commandante lives in Cuba. If he has a computer and free access to the internet that makes him part of the privileged elite in Cuba - a country where after 47 years of the joys of socialism most people can barely feed themselves - and probably a Communist Party member. We can judge his edits accordingly. Adam 01:38, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

If Comandante indeed is found to be editing from Cuba or claims to be editing from Cuba, he should be immediately and indefinitely banned by an admin-- no arbcom ruling needed. There has been a big fuss (I think much to do about nothing) about staff members of elected members of the U.S. House editing articles, triggering some IP bans. If Congressional staffers are banned, certainly a propagandist for Castro deserves the same. 172 | Talk 05:12, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I would not favour that course of action. Adam 05:46, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
So, we simply assume that if the IP address is Cuban, that he must be a propagandist working for the Cuban government? While very possible and maybe even likely, it certainly cannot be proven. Why ban him for that when his his poor behavior gets him in enough trouble? Where does this information come that he is from Cuba? --Bletch 12:42, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Comrade Hallman said so above. Adam 13:02, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

After looking at what his Marxist cohorts have done to Vladimir Lenin i feel that a carcinoma must be resected from the 'pedia. PMA 15:35, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Bruce has been trying to ensure that the main views of Cuba are covered by the article. His reward has been to be continually attacked by some of those opposed to the Cuban Revolution. It does leave me wondering if Commandante is not the one with the right attitude, i.e. there is no way to avoid the Cuba pages being an ongoing battle between the two sides and the continual assertion of the anti Castroite POV is best opposed by its opposite rather than the evenhanded approach some of us have attempted. BTW Bruce was referring to the article not the island. MichaelW 17:40, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm also concerned by the standard of debate, and the level of invective here. My full statements on the matter will be heard in due course. --Zleitzen 17:47, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I just don't think that Marxists like Michael should be allowed to run wild on these sort of pages - Remember Ruy Lopez/Richardchilton etc etc. I'm just concerned is all. PMA 18:10, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Run wild, out on the edge of time, child
Carry your dreams away, love
No one can hold you now
For you are an island
Ah those Bee-Gees knew a thing or two about wild marxists running free, spreading their diseased viewpoints all over the internet. MichaelW 18:54, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Brilliant!! Who is this lunatic? I demand a regular column. Every week a different rant against a percieved injustice. Coming soon The Voices Made Me Do It and The Clocks Keep Looking At Me. PMA
Speak for yourself, darling. You are the one who dreams of marxists in bondage...MichaelW 19:58, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I hope that rhymes in Spanish. CJK 21:52, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Why? Is blank verse too POV for you?? MichaelW
I would reserve judgement if I were you, PMA. I believe it was you who tried to claim victory in an undemocratic vote to call Cuba undemocratic in an forum which explicitly describes itself as not a democracy ;)--Zleitzen 19:35, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I never tried to claim victory on anything - i merely used an incorrect metaphor to describe an apparent consensus about POV pushing. PMA 19:51, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Have been informed that PMA blocked Michael W for the above exchange citing "The reason given for MichaelW's block is: "POV edits, article degradation, POV pushing, abuse of other editors, lack of good faith".--Zleitzen 03:18, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

And yet here I am sneaking in the back door, threatening to bring more discomfort to PMA's oh so ordered worldview. No, seriously folks, I would like to know what the possible penalties are that I can visit on PMA for misuse of his admin privileges. I have no proof he was conspiring with my partner to get me to bed early, but partially refreshed by a fitful night - dreams of pursuit - me as Sylvester, Taz as Tweety Pie - I return, courtesy of a work computer,to protest my innocence of the charges brought against me and to enter counter charges of "...debating serious matters while low on humour...selfish use of privilege...insane accusations of lunacy..." I could go on (and on and on) but then like my accuser I would be taking a minnow for a whale. MichaelW

Was there a reason why you blanked most of the page, PMA. Or was it a genuine mistake?--Zleitzen 18:40, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Look at my talk page - the bug me and Redvers talk about. PMA 18:42, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
No problem.--Zleitzen 18:46, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Ugly white space

Why is there a huge ugly white space on the main page now? CJK 01:46, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Never mind, I fixed it. CJK 01:49, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Human Rights

Can we move on and discuss the section on human rights, I'm thinking in terms of 172's statements here [16] and so propose reducing the section in keeping with other pages concerning countries with particular recent human rights issues, such as Turkey and Pakistan. There is already a human rights page so there is no need to encourage charges of systemic bias by over elaborating here.--Zleitzen 23:09, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

What should go in an article, and at what length it should be treated, should be judged according to what think potential readers of the article are likely to be interested in reading. I agree that since there is already a Human rights in Cuba article (much improved of late, no thanks to the Communist Party of Wikipedia), the topic doesn't need to be extensively covered here. But this is not merely a feeder page to other articles, and some people won't read further than this page. Since one of the most important things about Cuba is that it is the only remaining dictatorship in the Anmericas, and one of the few remaining Communist Party-ruled states in the world, its human rights position must be discussed and at a reasonable length at the main Cuba article. Adam 03:36, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

I was thinking of a couple of paragraphs stating the main issues, with citable sources etc. Something along these lines
The Cuban Constitution and the Penal Code allow for severe sanctions against exercising freedom of expression if the activities of individuals are deemed to be "counter-revolutionary" or a "threat to national security". Restrictions on travel outside Cuba can be applied to dissidents etc
Cuba has consistently been condemened by Human Rights Watch, Oxfam International and Amnesty International for opposing U.N. Human Rights measures demanding internal reform etc In 2005 the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reported that 71 journalists and trade union activists were being held in “alarming conditions” having been sentenced to terms ranging from 6 to 28 years, following summary trials. Many Human Rights groups are denied permission to enter the country Cuba etc
Since the revolution Cuba has also been resistant to the increased social liberalism developed elsewhere in the region. As recently as 1997, the Cuban Penal Code sanctioned "Publicly Manifested Homosexuality" with up to one year in prison etc--Zleitzen 03:42, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Retentionist death penalty, haven't signed up to the International court --Zleitzen 03:47, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
The dictatorship, one party state talk is irrelevant. Authorities of all types commit gross human rights violations. See Australia until 1972, UK in Northern Ireland etc --Zleitzen 03:55, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
The prevailing understanding of human rights in the Western world centers around individual rights with respect to speech, movement, assembly, association, and the press. In this sense the discussion of human rights cannot be separated from the discussion of one-party rule. I will revert the removal of any content in the rewrite of the human rights section. 172 | Talk 04:05, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Which parts of my proposed paragraphs do you disagree with, in principle rather than style? Given that were pasted entirely from UN, EU, AI, Human Rights Watch reports.--Zleitzen 04:10, 21 April 2006 (UTC) --Zleitzen 04:24, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
I was stating disagreement with your comemnt The dictatorship, one party state talk is irrelevant. I was not commenting on proposed additions. Since Adam Carr is the author of the section, I'll defer to his judgment about what gets added. As far as I'm concerned, since he was the only one to take the time needed to rewrite the article, turning a crapy article into a relatively good one, he earned the right to be editor-in-chief around here. 172 | Talk 04:28, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Unfortunately, there is no "editor-in-chief around here", and no-one can earn such a right. This is Wikipedia. Btw "The prevailing understanding of human rights" would concur with statements from the UN, EU, AI, Human Rights Watch etc, would it not? --Zleitzen 04:48, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Do you have trouble understanding people? I was stating disagreement with your comment The dictatorship, one party state talk is irrelevant. While I think the section is in good shape as it is, I did not object to the addition of summaries of reports by the UN, EU, AI, Human Rights Watch etc. in the section. 172 | Talk 05:05, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
I would appear to be having trouble understand you, 172. And judging from the previous mediators failed attempts to reach consensus with you, I would not be alone in that assessment. It is hoped that in future disputes, mediation(s) and arbitatration(s) on these matters you could clarify yourself.--Zleitzen 07:58, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Chirst. Of course I think the UN, EU, AI, Human Rights Watch etc are important sources to cite. I didn't say that all along because I have no idea what you want to do here. Are you arguing that we add content? Or are you still arguing The dictatorship, one party state talk is irrelevant? 172 | Talk 17:02, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

For the record I'm not thinking in terms of reducing the content of the section. As Adam Carr effectively argues, Cuba's human rights position must be discussed and at a reasonable length. While standardization across articles is important, until the more extreme pro-Castro POV-pushers are out of the way, the question of whether or not a particular section should instead be a subsection is far from a high priority. Besides, the new section is very well written and helpful to readers. If a section is of sufficiently high quality, it's more reasonable to make an exception to the standardization. 172 | Talk 03:56, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

I would endorse the NPOV policies you advocate here, 172 [17] "Thus, it appeared that the inclusion of a section on human rights in this article was at best arbitrary or at worse politically determined without reference to the NPOV"--Zleitzen 04:56, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Quit quoting my ancient comments out of context. I already responded to that matter. I do not favor the removal or the reduction of the superior quality rewrite. 172 | Talk 05:05, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
On a similar theme, Could you explain why you removed a sentence here[18] and reinstated it here [19]. An explanation could help dispel any concerns that your motives were merely to participate in an edit war and not to seek consensus to improve the article. --Zleitzen 10:16, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Adam Carr made a convicing case for including the sentence on my talk page, putting to rest my concerns that a couple of other countries in Latin America might be considered non-democracies as well. I then had no reservations about including the sentence. Unlike some ideologues (like the kinds that insist that Cuba is a democracy), I try to "seek truth from facts," as Deng Xiaoping would put it. 172 | Talk 16:50, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

For the record, having put some more thought into the suject, I don't think standardization with other articles is at all of a concern with respect to the human rights section. Human rights sections have become more common over the past year. Last year, for example, I noted that the PRC did not have such a section. Now it does. 172 | Talk 05:12, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

I agree. (By the way, does Zlietzen seriously suggest that either Britain's actions in Northern Ireland, or whatever it is that he thinks happened in Australia before 1972, are equivalent to a regime from which more than 1 million have been forced to emigrate, and which has imposed 47 years of dictatorship? If so, he is living in a moral universe I don't recognise.) Adam 06:30, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

No, you're right, I wouldn't suggest equivalence here. I would suggest that what happened in Australia before 1972 was worse. [20]. --Zleitzen 07:58, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

I will be charitable and attribute that comment to utter and total ignorance about Australian history rather than to <personal attack removed>. Adam 08:10, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

"Gross human rights violations" (as the actions of the Australian authorites are described on that page) occur regardless of how many names appear on some ballot paper, Adam. And no amount of press freedoms etc in Turkey prevented the atrocities that unfolded during the 1990's. Again your statements appear to be motivated by ideological concerns rather than logical, and no serious examination of the evidence seems likely to enlighten you. But then you have been honest in your declarations in that respect from the start. --Zleitzen 08:45, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
What do World Book/Britannica say about Cuba and related matters? maybe we could use that as a start? PMA 08:55, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Feel free, I haven't read it yet. I'm only aware of Amnesty International, Oxfam International and Human Rights Watch reports relating to Cuba. --Zleitzen 09:12, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

If Zleitzen or anyone wants to contribute to Human rights in Australia, they are welcome to do so and we can debate these issues there. But on this page we will not be distracted by the well-known communist diversionary tactic of playing bogus moral equivalence games. Of course there have been human rights violations in Australia, the UK, the US and all other democratic countries. We know this because those violations have been exposed, documented and in most cases redressed through action by civil society, the media, the judiciary and/or the political opposition in those countries, as is possible in a democracy. The reason you know (something) about the Stolen Generation issue in Australia, for example, is that the issue was exposed by civil society action within Australia. The situation in a country like Cuba is qualitatively as well as quantitatively different: there are not only more human rights violations, and worse violations, but they exist as a matter of deliberate government policy. Indeed the survival of a regime like Castro's requires human rights violations such as the denial of free elections, the suppression of civil society and the persecution of dissidents. That is why this article requires a section on human rights in Cuba, which states the facts about the situation in Cuba. Adam 10:31, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for linking to the moral equivalence page, Adam. The wording 'there can be no moral or ethical hierarchy decided between two sides in a conflict, nor in the actions or tactics of the two sides' illustrates my position better than I ever could. I'm surprised to learn that it has become a "communist diversionary tactic". I would agree in part with of your statement above, and certainly on the suppression of civil society and the persecution of dissidents. The rest of your quantitative differences would have to be quantified. That is what we are asking here at Wikipedia. --Zleitzen 10:53, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Do you really take the view that "there can be no moral or ethical hierarchy between two sides in a conflict, nor in the actions or tactics of the two sides"? Do you apply that maxim to World War II? Do you argue that there no was "moral hierarchy" between the Nazis and the Allies? If so, no doubt you would have enjoyed living in a Nazi-ruled world (unless Zleitzen is a Jewish surname of course - one of the reason Jewish intellectuals generally reject moral equivalence is that they understand better than most the real-world consequences of moral choices in politics). By taking this position, you convict yourself of moral bankruptcy out of your own mouth. I believe in moral hierarchies. I believe that democracy is morally superior, not just preferable in a utilitarian sense, to dictatorship. Adam 11:18, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Speculating on whether my name is Jewish, in particular when attempting to invoke Godwin's Law, only adds to the litany of poor choices you have made since you decided to contest these issues. Is this another one of your "robust tactics" in order to assume editorial control of this article? --Zleitzen 11:37, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

I said "robust", not "cheap". I was making a serious point about moral choices in politics, to which you have not responded. Adam 11:51, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

I believe all your tactics to be cheap, and none of your points to be serious, Adam. A further response from me is unneccesary. --Zleitzen 12:02, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

I thought you might at least have the courage to follow the logic of your position to its conclusion (that was no moral difference between the Nazis and their enemies), but I over-estimated you. Adam 12:17, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

No effort on my part will encourage you to take any of your arguments seriously, Given that my attempts to bring a NPOV approach to this Cuban article are met with such teenage ahistorical arguments about the nazis (Which enemies do you have in mind? Stalin?) I feel there is no need to answer your question. One of the worst outcomes of this debacle is that I was in the process of encouraging colleagues, historians and archivists from the Institute of Latin American Studies in London, to contribute and proof read specific details and information to the page. The enthusiasm soon waned when individuals took a look at the outrageous behaviour that goes on here, largely instigated by you. And that’s a great loss to this encyclopaedia. --Zleitzen 13:37, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
I thought it became the Institute for the Study of the Americas a couple of years ago. 172 | Talk 16:58, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
It was subsumed, the political archives project [21] is certainly worth a look though (which is in itself co-opted with Commonwealth Studies) --Zleitzen 17:37, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

If it wasn't for me this article would still be the pack of lies it was before I was invited to come and look at it, a state of affairs you were evidently quite happy with. So spare me your pious crap. Adam 13:57, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

It seems our arrival at the page coincided. But our approaches have differed somewhat, I have applied Wikipedia guidelines and policies and seeked consensus at every turn, you have not. Given that you continue to reject wikipedias fundamental tenets, I suggest you find a different forum to espouse your notions of moral superiority, where personal attacks, speculations about users ethnicity and insults are tolerated. --Zleitzen 14:08, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

I fail to see why mention of Cuba being a dictatorship is POV in any way, shape or form. The human rights abuses are an explicit result of governmental policies; disregarding it would be like disregarding how the Rwandan Genocide was meticulously planned and instigated by a small group of people. Just because human rights abuses have had other causes does not make it irrelevant. --Bletch 14:44, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Cool down the heat please gentlemen. BruceHallman 17:07, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Zleitzen, speaking from the standpoint of someone who was similarly trapped in a relativistic rhetorical corner when arguing with Adam Carr, my suggestion is get out of that corner. Adam Carr is a skilled debater. A couple of years ago, he battled me when I was giving credence to the idea that Kim Jong-il might be interested in de-Stalinization because he had appeared in a few good photo-ops with Kim Dae-jung and Madeline Albright. Several years later, the position I was trapped into representing then looks even more ridiculously naive with hindsight. Now, do you have specific objections to you have to any of the content in the new human rights section? Do you have specific recommendations about adding any content to the section? Or is you criticism of Adam Carr's rewrite entirely political? 172 | Talk 17:49, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

My thoughts on the human rights section are, ironically given the above heated exchange, that there are not enough specific charges. I'd like to mention the “alarming conditions” that the 2003 dissidents were described as suffering etc, and less vagaries. The piece on this page should deal with contemporary human rights issues, the human rights page should deal with historical matters such as the church etc. As for the role of the "one party state" in this, I believe it should be presented as an opinion - Sourced to international groups (Miami and so on) and dealt with proportionately. As for Dr Carr, if he wants me to exalt the moral superiority of Stalin and the architects of the destruction of Hiroshima, then he's speaking to the wrong person. And don't even mention Winston Churchill! --Zleitzen 18:58, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
We should start with the general and work our way down to the specific in this section. The overview of the status of speech, assembly, association, the press, and movement within the framework of the one party state is essential. I think Adam Carr's rewrite does a good job with that overview. Now if you want to go into more detail on contemporary human rights issues, quit arguing that we go into more detail and start adding more detail yourself. I'm happy with the section as it is, but I have no objection to expanding the section. You can work that out with Adam Carr. 172 | Talk 19:54, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

If the task at hand is to write an article that meets WP:V and WP:NPOV my opinion is that debate skills can harm more than help. That is, unless, you are such a skilled debater that you can debate all of the POVs. I haven't seen yet that Adam has that skill. Though I suspect that he could debate the various POVs if he wanted to do so. BruceHallman 19:35, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

MichaelW block by PMA

I am just curious about the appearance of conflict of interest, where administrator PMA (who holds one POV) blocks editor MichaelW (who holds the opposite POV). I am willing to give the benifit of the doubt, but the appearance seems wrong. Could we discuss:

1) What exactly did MichaelW do wrong to justify the 7 day block.
2) What is the protocol regarding appearance of conflict of interest and administrative action.

Thanks in advance, I am looking forward to constructive and civil answers and discussion. BruceHallman 14:59, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

I actually have to side with Bruce on this one. The block of Comandante was warranted given his history of poor cooperation, but all that MichaelW did was make some insipid comments. Certainly unconstructive, yes, but hardly worthy of a seven day block. That is, unless there is more to what happened than what I see here. --Bletch 15:25, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Please look at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Richardchilton for why i have such a poor view of Marxist POV contributors to the 'pedia - i have given them many chances as my remark about the editor now known as Ruy Lopez on that page proves - also i have been here for many years and have been an admin for three - i am not some cluless newbie who petulantly blocks people. For what it's worth i unblocked MichaelW when told of my mistake by the Powers That Be. PMA 15:27, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks PMA. Though I would still like answers to my two questions above, would you answer them please? BruceHallman 15:50, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

His open advocation of pushing a Marxist POV on thispage - also see his own talk page for his use of phrases such as "capitalist fanboys" - as i said with my experience of people like Richardchilton and his sockpuppets and cohorts i am wary of lefist POV pushers - ditto for right wing POV pushers when it comes to the crimes and death squads of right wing governments of Africa, Asia and the Americas - i try to protect articles from both "The Communist Peoples Party" on one side and "The National Salvation Front" on the other as someone put it on here some years ago.

As for your second question - i do not know the answer i am afraid. PMA 16:07, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

For what its worth PMA didn't unblock me. .pkg performed the honours, several hours after PMA claimed to have done so, released me from my cage, spilling over with pent up fury at having my inalienable rights to free speech curtailed by an Australian editor who saw fit to call me a lunatic because I quote some Bee Gees lyrics. Fortunately for you all I have run out of ranting time. I'll have to answer PMA's misrepresentations and spurious charges another time. Until then have fun... MichaelW 23:30, 21 April 2006 (UTC) - that says just who unblocked you. PMA 00:10, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

If you keep accusing me of bad faith I'm going to start doubting my own reality. You may have thought you unblocked me, but you didn't. .pkg found two autoblocks still in place at 8.00 UT last night. Look to your competence not my honesty. MichaelW 06:52, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Article has become excessivly political. (that is bad)

I came to look at my favorite article today! Low and behold the politics/human rights has been bumped up before culture, economy, geography etc. And the intro states Cuba is not a democracy--in its own seperate line--. Cuba is not a -liberal- democracy. Really, people, please!

And then I checked out the human rights section! Out with the facts, in with the accusations. While the introducation is a little off-base, this section is insane!

" which the rights of the individual are subordinated to the interests of the state."

Looks like it was ripped right off a Miami dissadent site. Believe it or not America, some countries put society before the individual.

Young Poineers "coercing" people to join? Is this widespread, because I had no idea!

  • looks at above*

please register - anon comments indicate to many that you do not have the courage to stand behind your words. Also your words and phrasing indicate that you may be Commantante or a very close relation - in which case you have been banned and this will only reset the block. PMA 06:08, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

How pleasant this place now is! PMA, I noticed you reverted my edit on the grounds that I was not registered. I was under the impression that wikipedia promotes "anon" editing. -art 06:16, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Hi PMA, I don't think you can revert a post because the user is not registered. Debate the issues with the user first is best. Thanks --Zleitzen 06:21, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
I am confused, PMA reverted my edit again! How does one defend themselves from all these accusations at once!-art 06:39, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Phrases such as "ripped from a Miami dissident site" etc gave an impression that you have a firm pro-Fidel/communist POV. as i said on the talk page of Cuba i try to defend the 'pedia from both right and left wing ideologs. PMA 06:43, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Personally I think the "non-multiparty" is more accurate PMA. And thanks for changing that. --Zleitzen 06:48, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm a *communist*?!! (: I can understand why communists might not be allowed to edit here, but no, I am not a communist!

Perhaps we could discuss how the human rights comment in question (that I maybe a little sharply cricisised) might not be compleatly sound, as it only shows one (individual before the group) point of view! I don't have much time, but I would love to help improve the article, --It had actually motivated me to travel to Cuba, and I hate to see it go down hill! -art 06:54, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

The Succession

The most likely scenario is "after Castro, Castro"--i.e, Raul.

The sorts of coup-making generals that many in the US have in mind have probably been purged long ago. And while of course Raul does not have his brother's charisma, his availability as an obvious and "safe" successor will appeal to the party (and military) leaders as a way of avoiding "chaos" (i.e., anything that might threaten their power). After Raul though is another question. PMA 07:20, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Dear Administrator: May I go ahead and edit the crap out of the "human rights" section? Most of the stuff there is unquestionably from one distinct point of view (such as the individualist p.o.v.) or is unsourced allegations and innuendo! Perhaps I could look in the history to find a better incarnation? -art 07:26, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Sure - although do you have the cites (from neutral sources of course) to back up your changes? PMA 07:31, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
No, I don't think that would be possible, considering the outrageous nature of the statements in that section. It should be noted that the section is not sourced either. That is why I suggest reverting the entire section to a prior incarnation! -art 07:36, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Wow I had no idea this would be so time consuming! It just seems so obvious to me. It is biased to put human rights allegations BEFORE things such as the culture of Cuba! The U.S. article doesn't have its human rights issues in the second paragraph, I don't even have to check the article to know that! -art 07:50, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

LOOK! "the rights of the individual are subordinated to the interests of the state" --is this debatable? Of course? It is an individual rights VS group rights situation. Cubans have less individual rights, but they have more rights as a society! You wouldn't write "the rights of society(state?) are subordinated to the interests of the individual" in the USA article--but it is just as true! C'mmon! --and neither is a human rights argument!-- -art 07:47, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

You'd need to check the wording of the Cuban constitution for that, which I think is linked to the article. I would agree that the statement's inclusion is debateable in it's present context. And everything here should be verified and and given due weight. --Zleitzen 07:57, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Look! "Cuban infrastructure has suffered greatly after almost five decades of communism regime. Before 1959, sugar production averaged some 7.5 million tons of sugar per year, produced in roughly 150 sugar cane mills. In 2005, more than 80 of those sugar mills had been dismantled by the regime. The rest of industrial facilities have suffered a similar fate."

The infrastructure section was once a factual description of the infrastructure, NOT a pseudo-historical rambling about how things were supposedly better 50 years ago but changed because of "communism" "the rest of industrial facilities have suffered" That can't even theoretically be correct! Ferchristsakes!Neztielz 08:19, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

For the record: The user Neztielz has nothing to do with me! and I have no idea why they decided to use that name after putting messages on my talk page(!?)--Zleitzen 08:57, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
  • All edits will be judged on their merits, but if the anonymous editor tries to return the Human Rights section to the pack of lies it was before recent rewriting, he/she/it will be vigorously opposed.
  • Also he/she/it should become a registered user. It is true that anonymous editing is allowed, but it is not encouraged and many users (including me) have a low tolerance of anonymous edits.
  • User:Neztielz should note that user names which parody other users' names are not allowed and can result in banning. Adam 09:22, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks Adam, have advised the user to read policies and change his/her name before future contributions. See Wikipedia:Changing username. --Zleitzen 15:47, 22 April 2006 (UTC)


Has anybody else noticed that all the fighting is getting in the way of finding neutrality? BruceHallman 17:23, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Cuban Human Rights v. everyone else

This may be asking a lot, but can we avoid arguing 'facts' and 'truth'? Instead can we focus of identifying and defining the various Points of View and then choosing the neutral point? Can our arguments be about the credibility of citations and not about our personal opinions? BruceHallman 17:23, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes that is a great idea! Lets take this phrase I have brought up: " which the rights of the individual are subordinated to the interests of the state." Now this is just from the typical American p.o.v. which states that a states individual rights superceed the rights of society as a whole. You could just as easily write in the U.S. article human rights section, " which the interests of society is subordinated to the decision of the individual." Do you all see how this can be interpreted MANY different ways?

Furthermore, most of this stuff is blatant lies, especially in the human rights section. In the infrastructure section, it only adresses accomplishments PRIOR to the revolution, and mistakes AFTER it. I don't think I need to describe how that is biased! -art 18:25, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

For those of you who don't believe me, here is an article contradicting the statement that the cuban oil industry has collapsed.


I'm just curious so don't start flaming and throwing childish threats at me for this....

  • Who here has been to Cuba?
  • If you have been there why is nothing stated about the current human rights situation.
  • If this is suppose to be a NPOV talk and article why is there no mention of Cuba's direct offer's of assistance on the aftermath of Katrina to the U.S. that was turned down? NPOV thought here but that action even from a commie dictator surely should be noted on human rights someplace.

Just seems this section is very pro-american based on the reports after the bay of pigs and nothing else. I wonder if I'll get banned for this now. --Scott Grayban 03:13, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

And this part in the human rights section, Another clause in the 1976 Cuban constitution states that anyone suspected of being prone to commit a crime in the future, as a preventive measure, can be sent to jail indefinitely., another POV is the American law has such a thing as well. Its called Civil Commitment which states the exact same thing. Googling for American Civil Commitment there are humdred of articles on this including the ACLU(American Civil Liberties Union) opposing this as well. It directly allows the US Government to imprison anyone that has commited a prior crime, and in some States no crime but based only on actions and statements, to be sent to jail indef. --Scott Grayban 03:28, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

My point is, how can this be a human rights violation when my own Gov. does the same thing and gets away with it? --Scott Grayban 03:36, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Ummm very easily. Who seriously claims that the USA is the pinnacle of human rights? If you need help getting info on Civil Commitment into Human rights in the United States, just let me know and I'll help you out. --Bletch 12:35, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Anytime you want to work on it let me know on my talk page Bletch. --Scott Grayban 12:41, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
I've been to Cuba! Didn't get to meet Castro though.... ): I checked this website before I went, it used to be very nice. A lot of the stuff that is here is completely false, especially in the human rights and infrastructure sections. And you're hard pressed to find reference to any accomplishments made by Castro. Those that I did find had refutations by "the heratige foundation."
--We have done a bit of research, and the heratige foundation was founded explicitly to give advice to Ronald Reagan in combating socialism in Nicaragua, and stopping socialism has been one of its central goals ever since. Hardly a "npov" source!
And everywhere else there are editorial comments such as this "this crisis was not sufficient to persuade Cuban Communists that they should voluntarily give up power, nor was the economic crisis grave enough to bring about the fall of the government." I really do love Cuba, and hate to see all of this here. -art 04:49, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
I would like to hear Adam's comment on this seeing he is the supposed scholar on Cuba here. --Scott Grayban 05:00, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
If he hasn't noticed it by now, he either is not a Cuban scholar or he hasn't been keeping up to date with the article. I read a theory a while ago that big wikipedia articles tend to peak, and then go downhill from bad editing, and then get patched up, and then go downhill... Perhaps this is happening here? -art 05:06, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Well I want to see his comment first. Let's put it another way. If his POV and his SOURCES are based on American political views Adam is heading in the wrong way. In the US we are slowly losing our basic rights here. No more privacy by Bush, citizens can be locked up indef on suspicion and of course we now have the infamous Civil Commitment Law and now no American has a right to privacy because of the wire taping that Bush allows. I don't know but it looks pretty bad for us American's. We might have the right to free speech and other rights but the most important ones are pretty much gone now. --Scott Grayban 05:15, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Don't mean to start an argument that is completely off topic, but User Grayban, I believe you are misrepresenting the civil liberties situation in the U.S. The Civil Commitment Law that you speak of is used only in about 15 states, and is used only in extreme circumstances to protect kids from child sexual predators. Most jurisdictions require that the offender suffer from a mental abnormality or personality disorder that makes it likely the offender will commit future acts of sexual violence. It is not a law that allows for anyone who has committed a crime in the past to be arrested and detained indefinitely.~~Kane 24 4 2006~~
Actually your wrong. I live in Washington State and there was a person that lived in my neighbourhood that his only crime was being in a gang one time and he spent time in jail for murder. Since his release he made serveral contacts to the former gang and becuase of that he was civil commited granted the murder was a bit on the gross side but still the civil commitment law is purely biased. Sexual acts can be anything according to the law, flashing, rape of an adult, and so on. As far the wire tapping that is so far fetched. First off it totally violates our 4th Admendment[23] against this. Many law professors agree on that. The USA PATRIOT Act[24]. An NSL is a secret subpoena that is issued directly by the FBI without court oversight, accompanied by a gag order prohibiting the recipient from ever disclosing the letter’s existence. --Scott Grayban 05:59, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
And its not off topic, it directly relates to the human rights and basic freedoms that this article is claiming what is a communist state and what isn't. --Scott Grayban 06:01, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

I don't think the anecdotal example that you site is enough for you to claim that Americans who have committed crimes in the past can be arrested without charge and detained indefinitely(non-terrorism charges). That is simply not true, no matter how badly you want it to be.~~Kane 23 4 2006~~

I suggest you go and edit at Human rights in the United States. The fact that human rights are also violated in other countries is not an argument you can deploy in defence of Castro's violations of human rights. Of course human rights are violated in other countries (although few are as bad as Cuba), but that is irrelevant to this article. Adam 06:26, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Dude what is your bloody problem here? I am NOT defending Fidel at all'. Man your just not getting it at all. Your making statements and pulling stuff that is based mostly on American POV and politics. And I'm saying that isn't a good idea. You seem to have a personality issue and think everyone is some kind of Cuban communist lover here the minute they point out something that should be thought about and not vainly used as facts. If you knew one ounce of my background you wouldn't be constantly calling me a fidelist, read my blog or even my user page first. Growup and stop the name calling. --Scott Grayban 06:39, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

None of which has anything at all to do with what I just said. Adam 06:55, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Which answers everything I mentioned as well. You have problems. You like to fight and call users names. You enjoy pushing your edits here as the only true edits allowed. The minute someone disagree's its flame time for you. I make a point that Human Rights in Cuba compared to American Human Rights is a bad idea since your basing your edits on the pro-right-wing American politics and you totally ignore that and instead tell me I need to edit some other article here. Sorry your brain doesn't work on all levels of reasoning here but mine does. Simply put the Human Rights section here is incorrect and does not include all the information on its current status at all. Its content leans towards a pre-fidel state and doesn't reflect its current state. Sure it has flaws just like any other country has. But you leave out many items like its humanitarian actions sending out Doctor's to other countries. --Scott Grayban 07:06, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
And not to mention that you most likely have your own agenda here being part of the Australian Parlament as a former member and now an advisor so your edits/comments/claims are very biased because you're using your Governments claims and posistion in this article. --Scott Grayban 07:13, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Human rights in the US, good bad or indifferent, have nothing to do with this article.
  • Cuba sending doctors to other countries certainly should be mentioned somewhere, but has nothing to do with the human rights in Cuba section.
  • I am not a former member of Parliament, and the poliician I work for is a member of the centre-left opposition party (the Australian Labor Party), not the government.
  • None of the material I have used in this article comes from either the US or the Australian governments. I rely on reputable human rights groups such as Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, Doctors Without Borders, Journalists Without Borders, etc (all of which are highly critical of the US).

Adam 07:33, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

You still have issues with calling users here slanderous names when you have nothing to back them. I would stop that before someone here has taken enough it like me. You aren't so far out of reach of the law as you might think if you don't. Stick with your factual claims using all sources you claim to use above. --Scott Grayban 07:43, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Well I see you are selectively ignore this comment. So be warned then. Best cover yourself and read my background before you make another your a commie statement to me. --Scott Grayban 08:14, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

What is it in your background that I am supposed to be so scared of? That you're German? Ja, ist das sehr erschreckend, but I've argued with Germans before and lived to tell the tale. (by the way, please go and read apostrophe, so I don't have to read atrocities like "War is the sum of all evil's" and "humanitarian actions sending out Doctor's to other countries" any more. Danke) Adam 09:37, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

You are very ignorant and rude. And me being German has nothing to do with your repeated insults here to users or me. For your information I am retired from the USAF after serving over 20 years in it, not to mention all the ribbons and citations I have gotten and you sit here mocking my ethnic background? I'm more pro-democratic then you will ever be. You are a wannabee. You wish you had something to stand for like I do. I spent my time fighting the freedom you have to insult me and bash my ethnic background. You really do have mental issues don't you? --Scott Grayban 09:46, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

I take it none of your citations were for debating. Adam 09:57, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Scott, Adam was telling you to work on your grammar-- something that a couple of other users have already suggested, not commenting on your personal background. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. If you are unwilling to work on your writing skills, I suggest you find something else to do. 172 | Talk 18:39, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Do you have nothing better to do than think up not-so-cleaver insults and post them? Why don't you all funnel your time and effort into removing the BS from this article? -art 20:15, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Human Rights Watch

Reading this[25] article is very informative. I should read this along time ago. However negative Adam want's this article to remain can be disputed again because in the article Essential Background: Overview of human rights issues in Cuba (Human Rights Watch, 31-12-2005) I see some positive things that are not even mentioned here. For instance in the section on that website article, Freedom of Assembly, is says that...

  • Freedom of assembly is severely restricted in Cuba, and political dissidents are generally prohibited from meeting in large groups. In late May 2005, however, nearly two hundred dissidents attended a rare mass meeting in Havana. Its organizers deemed the meeting a success, even though some prominent dissidents refused to take part in it because of disagreements over strategy and positions. While barring some foreign observers from attending, police allowed the two-day event to take place without major hindrance. The participants passed a resolution calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners.

Yet this is not even mentioned at all here. Negativity does sell but we shouldn't we also state what is good in order to keep a NPOV article? Ladies in White (Damas de Blanco), a group of families of imprisoned dissidents, isn't even mentioned either. --Scott Grayban 08:12, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Hmm reading the Cuban Constitution is interesting. Lots of double talk in it like Article 54 of the Cuban Constitution and Article 62 conflict with each other. --Scott Grayban 09:03, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps a strategy to achieve consensus about neutrality of this section to be sure that all 'facts' have citations from neutral credible sources. Human Rights Watch as cited above seems neutral and credible. BruceHallman 16:18, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

In response to Scott above. No-one has asserted that Cuba is a country like North Korea, where it is impossible for opposition to exist. There is a visible group of dissidents in Cuba, who are subject to various kinds of harassment and discrimination, and who are arrested if they get too assertive, but are not simply taken away and shot. So the fact that meetings of dissidents can sometimes be held does not contradict the basic points made both in this article and at greater length in Human rights in Cuba. It does not alter the fact that there is no free press, ne free trade unions, no guaranteed freedom of speech or assembly, no right of political organisation and above all no right to contest elections in opposition to the Communist Party. Adam 23:52, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Thats good! Cuban trade unions are 5000x more influential than are their counterparts in the USA (where I assume you are from, sry if I'm mistaken)... Cuba has a DIFFERENT system, that doesn't mean wikipedia is obliged to paint it as a negative, or even compare it in every manner to the United States. Leftists can rattle off thousands of terrible things about the US system of governance, but that isn't what the USA article is based on... Why can't you just give out the facts without adding personal tilt to side or the other? -art 01:34, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Cuba has no free trade unions, only state-controlled ones that serve as conveyor-belts for the Communist Party - don't you people know anything about how communist regimes work? Don't you remember Poland? Solidarity? Lech Walesa?
  • I am not American.
  • For the 4th or 5th time, this is not an article about comparative human rights. Whatever terrible things happen in the US have nothing to do with this article.
  • Please become a registered user. Adam 07:44, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Clearly you must know (considering the PHD) that the difference between Cuba and Soviet Eastern Europe is immense. Cuba succeded in their version of perestroika and glasnost, where the Soviets failed. In Cuba, trade unions are DIRECTLY involved in the decision making process, and they are not organs of the Communist party. -art 19:25, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Threat of legal action

Scott has been good enough to send me the following email, which I think constitutes "threatening behaviour." Obviously none of Scott's citations were for legal studies either. Adam 01:03, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Yup its me. Just wanted to email you and let you know that no matter the out of the RfC I am in process of filing a lawsuit against you and make you my personal quest of reverting the injustice you have so carelessly thrown about.
Oh you say you live in Australian? Not a problem, I do love Perth. I'm even going to make a it my person task of making sure that you are served with the legal papers just to see the look on your face.
Slandering me and belittling is not a good choice of actions when you have taken this out on a Purple Heart and Metal of Honor recipient. I served in the US Military for 20 years.
I hope you have a good lawyer because with the evidence I have gathered I intend to make you a very very poor person.
Disagreeing is one thing when writing a article but you went way past that. A person with your background you claim can't be this ignorant of the law or respect. You are a disgrace.
I am coming for you and you can't stop me this time.
Scott Grayban, Ret. TSgt. USAF
Bcc & mailed to:
Atty. Richard E. Dullanty
W111 Emma Street
Rockford, WA USA

That's pretty weird. I think this should be taken to one of the arbitrators/clerks, or forwarded to a foundation member. Users get banned for making off-the-wall legal threats. 172 | Talk 01:25, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Well then, if this is legit, an indef block is in order. --Cyde Weys 02:03, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Definitely. I feel uncomfortable, and I wasn't even the recipient. I am coming for you and you can't stop me this time-- that's scarry stuff. Although I feel kind of gutless, at times like this I'm glad I've been editing anonymously. 172 | Talk 02:08, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
WP:V Unable to verify that "Scott Grayban" has the Congressional Medal of Honor. He's doesn't seem to be in the U.S. Army's official list of Medal of Honor recipients. --John Nagle 02:34, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Further note. There are only five living USAF Medal of Honor recipients. The list is here [26]. No Scott Grayban is listed. Nothing even close. --John Nagle 02:41, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, he did say Metal of Honor, not "Medal." 172 | Talk 02:48, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Does "Medal of Honor" necessarily mean "Congressional Medal of Honor"? Are there not other medals of honor? Adam 02:56, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

There is only one Medal of Honor in the United States, and very few living recipients. But there are many phony claimants. --John Nagle 03:08, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

How very interesting. Is there a register of Purple Heart recipients? Adam 03:31, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

FYI Scott has been banned indefinitely by James Forester for the threat. [27] Earlier I tried to get in touch with the arbcom clerks Snowspinner and Kelly Martin, but James beat them to it. 172 | Talk 03:35, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Scott's medals (from his blog) - ( 14 ribbons and 3 citations apparently). It's curious that the dates say 198?-199? Jooler 09:46, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Scott and defamation

Scott also has an entertaining blog, with flying saucers! At Scott's blog I find the following statement about me:

If this is what Wikipedia consists of then there articles are worthless, biased, unreliable and most certainly WP:POV because that statement clearly defines that when anyone who feel’s they “are right they MUST impose that thought on others at all cost”. These same people claimed they are some sort of Dr. in something that they wouldn’t tell and would not prove there credentials. Although I am sure they are lying because no scholar would conduct themselves in this manner. Even the UN Security Council behaves better when the member’s are criticized.

I would remind Scott that accusing me of lying about my qualifications is seriously defamatory, unlike anything I have said about him. Luckily for Scott, I do not believe in suing people. Incidentally, Scott has never actually asked me about my qualifications. If he's really interested, I have a PhD in history from the University of Melbourne. Here is a library reference to my doctoral thesis. Adam 01:53, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Adam 01:48, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

You have to admit, it would be frustrating to have to work with someone who supposedly has a PHD, who either does not notice, or is ignoring, the vast amount of BS that has been put into this article. Also, is this the place for personal issues? -art 02:12, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Let us focus on the article

This is the Cuba article talk page. All this back and forth about banning and unbanning is not on topic. Questioning whether another editor has a jewish surname is far, far off topic. All this discussion of "moral heirachy", "truth", "opinion of fact" is off topic.

It feels like a month since I have been asking for a discussion of the WP:NOPV and WP:V of the 'not a democracy' sentence.

I don't think that constructive, cooperative or collaborative discussion can begin until things cool down and we stop, or at least move, the fighting about opinions of truth elsewhere. BruceHallman 13:17, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

The opening paragraph is now concise, accurate and relevant, and has references for all contentious statements. If you don't want to have any more fights about this, all you need to do is accept that the paragraph represents the view of the majority of interested editors (especially now that Scott is taking a little wikibreak), and go and do something more constructive. Adam 13:49, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

I have no issues with the paragraph in it's present form, it's an uncontestable fact. Although would prefer it to be in the government section and placed in a wider context where opinions can be discussed and attributed. --Zleitzen 14:05, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
The last part of opening paragraph also says what Cuba is not. And, the version of 'not' described is the same version of belief held by the anti-Castro camp. The citation given is that of a scathing anti-Castro partisian. (And, which actually does not speak to the 'not a democracy' point.] Objectively, the opening is not neutral if it reads 'anti-Castro'. I am not asking for it to be 'pro-Castro' either, just neutral. Perhaps a more neutral description for the first paragraph could describe what Cuba is, as opposed to what Cuba is not. To be more neutral, perhaps the citation should be from a neutral credible source. BruceHallman 15:10, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure whether it is appropriate to weigh the sources and the article in literal terms of reading "Pro-Castro" or "anti-Castro". But I understand your concerns, I would like to propose that we find a nation page (hopefully a well-recommended article) and attempt to follow the format and pattern of that page.--Zleitzen 17:37, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Which parts of the government section do you disagree with?--Zleitzen 17:37, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
The Government section has an anti-Castro tone. Objectively, Fidel Castro has been elected per Constitutional procedure, but the word 'aegis' implies otherwise. The lead-in sentence gives emphasis the 'one party' point of view popular among anti-Castro proponents. Yet, that position is not balanced with the pro-Cuba point of view. Either a balance, or a neutrality must be possible. BruceHallman 18:19, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Mmm. I'll have a long think about that and will return with clearer answers. But for now;
  • The opening line of the government section should be the paragraph, "socialist state etc" from the top.
  • It's important to at least infer that Castro wasn't elected per Constitutional procedure (in 1959). --Zleitzen 18:43, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
But this is where we get into more complex issues of de facto etc.
Castro is best compared to Marcos - a constitional veneer over a one party (and one man) rule. PMA 20:17, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
That is not in any way true, Cubans elect representitives who vote to keep Fidel Castro as leader. Furthermore, Castro is not a strong-man ruler! Contrary to popular belief, Castro himself does not make most of the decisions. Mystork 20:27, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Also, I should point out, Even Fidel Castro has to get 50% of a secret ballot vote to represent his electorate.Mystork 20:31, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

PMA protection

PMA, I agree that the edit without discussion pattern on Cuba is a problem. Though, in the interest of fairness may I suggest that we move the disputed clause '...and is the only state in the western hemisphere that is not a multi-party democracy [4].' to a sandbox until after mediation? There is a POV dispute over that clause and it is schedule for mediation. To leave it in with a protected status seems unfair from the perspective of one POVs and not the other. BruceHallman 20:43, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Especially considering PMA was the one who started the edit war, with no explanation.Mystork 20:54, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Cuba Government Sandbox

Below is a sandbox for the Cuba Government section. All users can play in it and give it their best shot! --Zleitzen 21:45, 24 April 2006 (UTC) User:Zleitzen/Cuba Government Sandbox


In Cuba education is free and mandatory. The current statistic of 96% comes from a biased source, the frist line of this source is a quote: "the choice is between capitalism and chaos".

The current UN figure is 100% Grantplus 01:53, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Hi Grantplus, I would err on the side of caution with that 100% stat. Although it comes from a firm source it seems open to certain speculation, there is this source [28] which details youth literacy rates (99.8%). As the section is education it may be more appropriate. There is also this rsource here [29] saying that adult literacy rates are 96.9. Take your pick! --Zleitzen 02:37, 25 April 2006 (UTC)