Talk:Fidel Castro/Archive 12

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Archive 5 Archive 10 Archive 11 Archive 12 Archive 13 Archive 14 Archive 15


First paragraph

Transformation of Cuba

Hopefully we can work out some neutral wording for this sentence, and avoid an edit war: "He mandated the transformation of Cuba into a socialist republic controlled by the Communist Party of Cuba." BruceHallman 13:39, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Do you have a suggestion? CJK 19:38, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Just ditch it, you're never going to explain accurately in one sentence the complex relationship as you're talking about 47 years of change in a vastly contradictary framework. Keep it as it was - "He mandated the transformation of Cuba into a socialist republic". Which is true. There's enough complications in that first paragraph without adding ambiguities that could prompt more problems. I've already tried to clarify the "leader" - "ruler" - "premier" to halt one such ambiguity and edit war (not entirely to my own satisfaction I might add). There is no need for another.--Zleitzen 22:15, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

I even think that 'he mandated' is POV, because clearly he did not act alone. He acted as part of a coalition. BruceHallman 22:18, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
In Socialism it is put this way: "Lenin's regime brought all the means of production (except agricultural production) under state control, and implemented a system of government . . . "
So even Lenin didn't "mandate" anything. KarenAnn 22:36, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Fine. let's leave out "mandate". On the other hand, it would be almost criminal to leave out Communist party rule. Read it. It sounds like something someone would say about Hugo Chavez, not a dictator. CJK 22:41, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

My version is both true, short, and verifiable. CJK 22:47, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

  • socialist republic has been explained to you many, many times. See above for the encyclopedic standard for the description of Cuba. You have changed this consistently on both the Cuba and Castro pages mulitple times to suit your own wording - now you have changed it to "socialist state". This is not helpful.
  • Cuba is governed by the 1976 constitution and subsequent amendments in keeping with many other republics. Whether that reminds you of Hugo Chavez is neither here nor there. Your statement is simply inaccurate. The CCP were the smallest and least influential Communist party of the old Warsaw pact countries - often subsumed and subjugated by nationalists. Non-Communist Party affiliated bodies and citizens also play a major role in the governance of Cuba as I have also explained elsewhere. So we are presently drifting away from accuracy, which should be our goal, to vague assumptions which wouldn't wash amongst serious scholars of the subject. Feel free to write what you like, but be aware that inaccuracies compromise the page and wikipedia.
  • You have added a source from Freedom House the well known American government sponsored group that gave Cuban human rights a lower points total than China, against all evidence to the contrary. Can we please be serious about NPOV here?--Zleitzen 00:03, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
    • Socialist republic can be negotiated
    • I don't deny that non-Communists officials exist, it's just that they are under control of the Communist Party since it is the sole political party in the National Assembly and the National Assembly + Castro controls the country.
    • Freedom House was demonstrate Communist Party control of Cuba. If you actually disbelieve that, I will find another. CJK 00:39, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

No, (1) Socialist republic should not be negotiated. Editors should stick to the correct term as applied and checked by encyclopedic proof readers from all mainstream encyclopedic sources. There should be no need to contest this again and again and insist on a less accurate description, when I understand that people are working hard towards the opposite. (2) The Communist Party is not the sole political party in the National Assembly - the Communist Party do not even participate in the process, and at least 50% of the Assembly has nothing to do with the CCP. As observed by all serious scholars on the subject, echoing Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada when he was asked about Soviet communism - "Those countries had completely different models, and none of them had anything to do with ours." (3) Freedom House is not a reliable source on Cuba. You can find a thousand American sources that will tell you similar misinformation. The most reliable source on Cuban constitutional governance - is the document itself. Sure, some of it may be wishful thinking - but so are all constitutions. What you're doing is, in effect, going onto a US page and writing "The US is controlled by the Republican and Democrat parties" running roughshod over the tense relationships and historical ambiguities. This has nothing to do with POV or NPOV, it's to do with plain standards of accuracy. Besides, I'll get it in the ear from the Cuba boffins at the London Institute of Commonwealth and Latin American Studies if I don't point such misunderstandings out:( Keep working on it or just ditch it entirely.--Zleitzen 03:00, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

What other party is in the national assembly besides the Communists (or Communist-approved)? What other party is legal besides the Communists? If you answer that question with citation, this can be settled. CJK 19:32, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Why does the Cuban government=the truth while a US gov. funded organization is not? What other sources are acceptable to you? CJK 19:37, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
BTW, do most people in the U.K. have the same opinion on Cuba as you? CJK 20:09, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Why ask about political parties? The Cuban law does not allow mass media campaigning by any political party consequent to Article 53 of their constitution which limits free speech/press to state and social purposes. Cuba is a socialist republic and your question fails to accept that fact as a premise. It appears you are trying to measure a socialist republic with a liberal democracy measuring stick. BruceHallman 19:49, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
CJK asked "Why does the Cuban government=the truth...?". Per Wikipedia:policy, we should not accept, necessarily, that it does. Who said that it did? BruceHallman 19:55, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Zleitzin here says The Communist Party is not the sole political party in the National Assembly - the Communist Party do not even participate in the process, and at least 50% of the Assembly has nothing to do with the CCP. I want to know what the other parties are and whether or not they are pre-approved. CJK 19:59, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

CJK, Why do you ask about political parties in the context of a socialist republic? BruceHallman 21:48, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
You appear not to understand CJK. I respectfully ask you to do your homework on what is a complicated subject. The Communist Party is not the "sole political party" in the National Assembly. There are simply no "parties" in the National assembly. As for your question, I have no idea if most people in the UK have the same view about Cuba as me, but I imagine it would be pretty similar given that Cuba is popular tourist destination. My view is that Cuba is a unique, contradictory, fascinating country in the Caribbean - the rest of my involvement is academic. Also, a comparison between a US view on Cuba vs the Cuban Constitution is a false one. By that premise we could then use a Cuban views of the United States to inform all US political articles, we could claim in those articles that America is "an imperialist state" and other such baloney, rather than refer directly to accurate analysis or primary documents such as the US constitution. In other words - we could waste our time and reduce the credibility of the encyclopaedia. Please move on from this. --Zleitzen 21:57, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

The article National Assembly of People’s Power of Cuba disagrees with you. Also, it hardly matters considering they only meet a couple times a year, while the Communist-run Council of State of Cuba fills in the rest. CJK 22:06, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Indeed it does disagree with scholarly work on the subject. That's because it's wrong.

Plus, you can't get nominated if you oppose the Communist's policies. CJK 22:10, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Not true either, many of the members of the assembly have been critical of the government since the revolution including the recently elected Silvio Rodríguez. Besides, which "Communist policies" do you refer to?--Zleitzen 22:26, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Listen, I'm sick of this stuff. You aren't going to disprove that Cuba is run by the Communist Party any more than you can disprove it for Laos, Vietnam, China, and North Korea. I'm not aware of all the facades the Cuban Communists creates to fool the gullible, but the fact is that one party monopolizes the power. There is something wrong with you and these un-named scholars if you believe that any other institution runs the country. A citation would be nice for your above claim that nominations aren't curtailed. I want to ask for the last time: what source would be acceptable for you to show the Communists control Cuba? CJK 22:51, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

I haven't added anything to this article to require citations. There are no sources acceptable to show "the Communists control Cuba" because it's inaccurate. That's why it shouldn't be put in the article in the first place and you've opened up too many ambiguities with your edit - ditch it. It should be dealt with correctly and accurately in an encyclopaedic manner on the correct place, rather than your problematic brief sentence, which attempts to convey 47 years of contrasting policy and governance in a few words. --Zleitzen 23:06, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
So because you say it's inaccurate, that means no sources are good enough for you. Fine. I have no more to say on this. There are no meaningful free elections in Cuba. Period. No one except for the Cuban government, Hugo Chavez, you, and some misguided scholars believe that. Not the worldwide non-Communist media, not the human rights organizations, not the U.S. or EU government, not the vast majority of independent observers. CJK 00:49, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Well we'll leave at that, CJK. Me with my wish to apply encyclopedic standards and accuracy (see britannica entry on Cuban politics) and you with what ever point you want to make.--Zleitzen 01:07, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Will you accept the jist of this intro? CJK 01:26, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Touche, CJK! Good one. Though it contradicts this - and doesn't really make any sense. Mr Britannica deserves a stern ticking off from yours truely. Proceed as you see fit, though as KarenAnn asks - why you are so fixated on this issue? No need to respond.--Zleitzen 01:58, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

CJK, for the life of me I cannot understand why you are so fixated on this issue. The article which, theoretically we are all working on, is about a man, a human being, not a political party or a system of government. Granted, the man of whom we speak participates in the politics of his environment. probably manipulates them. But who can for one moment think that one individual, no matter how powerful, can control a whole country (a mere 90 miles from the U.S.) single-handedly for half a century? We are talking about human beings. This article, I thought, was about Castro as a human -- that is what is so fascinating -- a man with fantastic charisma, yet ruthless, cunning and instinctively politically astute. Evidence is that he is not so much an ideologue but a pragmatist. Lets get interested in him! Go argue politics on some Cuba or Socialism page. KarenAnn 00:02, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

I didn't say he controls the country single handedly--I said he and the Communist Party did. Hitler and Stalin didn't control their nations by themselves either. CJK 00:49, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Hi, did you reach a conclusion here? I can't find the decision. The text now says "Since his assumption of power, he has led the transformation of Cuba into a socialist republic, with a legally enshrined Communist Party.

My suggestion: "Since his assumption of power, he has led the transformation of Cuba into a socialist republic."

I left the last sentence off, because the notion of the legitimate and monotonic party system can be added elsewhere in the article, or in some other form after my suggestion. Do you agree?

Why is this discussed again? Perhaps because the last versions are buried into the inaccessible archives .) Teemu Ruskeepää 13:55, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree. As said earlier the complex situation in Cuba and Castro as a politician in particular cannot be grasped in one intro paragraph. Information on the political structures should be in this article, I think, as long as they deal with Castro. There are now some parts in the article (notably the Embargo bit) which don't even mention Castro and just describe the embargo in full. While the embargo should be mentioned I think the technical details which do not necessarily involve Castro should be in the Cuba embargo article. So basic information and possibly how the embargo affects Castro as a politician. menscht 14:16, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

I disagree, see previous comments above. CJK 18:32, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

You said a lot of things, CJK. Please tell your counter-suggestion. By the way, I modified the "decided things" for you. Teemu Ruskeepää 19:09, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

I want the added text that you want to delete. Castro's Communist affiliations are extremely important and should be in the intro, considering they have governed Cuba for the past 47 years. CJK 19:32, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Do you accept this: "He has led the Communist Party of Cuba since 1957". What has the transformation of Cuba got to do with Fidel Castro, anyway?

TJive just reverted the article with the comment: "this is the most appropriate reference to the communist party; the other paragraph is overkill for sentiments already discussed in the intro." Discussion of communism in Cuba belongs in the Cuba article, this article is about Fidel Castro, so it does not actually appear to be 'most appropriate'. Second part, the paragraph deleted in whole is not 'already discussed in the intro'. TJive, please explain these inconsistencies. BruceHallman 22:05, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

This is not an accurate representation of my remarks. There needs to be some reference to the Communist Party of Cuba in the context of his politics and his actions in Cuba. I was attempting a rather sterile compromise from CJK's previous insertions. Thus "most appropriate" of any proposed wordings so far. As for your paragraph, there is no need for it. The various views of this man are already discussed and there is no need for a colorful retread. --TJive 22:09, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
On another note, this talk page is bewildering. --TJive 22:09, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
The word "enshrined" is a rather odd choice of words in the very first paragraph. My dictionary says: "To charish as sacred." Is that what you mean? KarenAnn 22:20, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
The word has been ripped from its context. The phrase "legally enshrined" (as well, "enshrined into law") is commonly used to refer to the instance of making a part of, or codifying, a behavior, practice, group, or individual into the legal system. --TJive 22:33, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I've never heard it used that way and I am a forensic specialist in my field. It sounds rather religious to me, and someone was saying Castro wasn't at all religious. KarenAnn 23:03, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
It has nothing to do with religion and Castro is not religious. --TJive 23:05, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
"With a legally enshrined Communist Party" sounds a bit weird to me, as if Castro alone forms the party. I think "as leader of the legally enshrined Communist Party" sounds better, but I'm not sure if that's a correct statement.menscht 23:09, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Please read the upper branch with the same subject matter. Teemu Ruskeepää 05:54, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
TJive wrote that 'enshrined' ... 'has nothing to do with religion'. This obviously is a false statement. One definition of the word is "To cherish as sacred." which obviously is at least somewhat reminiscent of religion. In short the word 'enshrined' is too ambiguous and inappropriate for the opening paragraph. The word 'vanguard' is neutral, and taken directly from Article 1, Chapter 5 of the constitution, so it is extremely well sourced. BruceHallman 17:17, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Don't be retarded. "Enshrined into law" is a fixed phrase with no religious meaning, just as "in legal limbo" has nothing to do with unbaptized infants. I mean, for Christ's sake! (<- Not religious either) -- 05:46, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Bruce, if "enshrined" is an issue, would you accept my version which accurately describes the status of the Communist Party? CJK 19:56, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Your suggestion is an improvement thanks. The redirect to Communist State is a problem, and we probably do not agree that the Communist Party acts as a political party. I have suggested an alternative, which is ambiguous enough that it might satisfy both of us. BruceHallman 20:11, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Bruce, you and the participants of your discussion are not the only people, who have the power on this issue. Do not suggest that you are. Teemu Ruskeepää 13:46, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
First Paragraph

Trying to find a neutral compromise, I replaced with the Communist Party of Cuba functioning as the sole political party. with guided by the Communist Party of Cuba. A couple comments, the redirect of sole political party to Communist state was just wrong and POV. Also, the issue of 'political' doesn't make sense when viewing Cuba. Cuba cannot be fairly viewed and judged through Liberal democratic 'party system' glasses. BruceHallman 19:41, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

I have lost count of the TJive reverts, without coherent explanation or answering of questions, and feel it is prudent to add a POV tag until this changes. BruceHallman 21:15, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

I don't think either edit is worth getting into a conflict about - Tjive's version is largely correct, the Party are enshrined in the constitution, and the article carries links to both Socialist and Communist state pages. Whilst Bruce's version quotes directly from the constitution itself. Encarta get round this by saying "Castro transformed Cuba into a socialist nation" leaving it at that [1]. Why any of these additions is neccessary at all is more the question, as they open a load of problems & questions that cannot be resolved in a few words. ie. When did this happen? How are the Communist Party enshrined? Didn't the Communists and Castro dislike each other during the revolution? etc etc... The second paragraph of Bruce's, which I like as a piece of writing, could be perceived as being too journalistic in style, lacking the cold dissemination of information of an encyclopedia. --Zleitzen 01:09, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

I've altered that sentence to what I regard as a compromise position. It still emphasizes that Cuba is a one party state, whilst removing the phrase "legally enshrined" which implies illegitimacy. I think the new version is also plainer and easier to understand.
The change also has the added advantage of allowing the inclusion of a link to the "single-party state" page. Gatoclass 02:09, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
People objecting to the language of "enshrined" are either misunderstanding or are being deliberately obtuse; however, I have no particular attachment to that term. As for Gatoclass's edits, while "single-party state" is still correct, "communist state" is more specific and relevant here. As for "socialist state" versus "socialist republic", I have no strong opinion though I believe "socialist republic" is the preferred self-description, and the two make more linguistic sense together (saying both "socialist state" and "communist state" sounds awkward, though in the normative definitions they can and do coexist). --TJive 03:24, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure what the objection to that is either? A socialist republic with a legally (or alternatively - constitutionally) enshrined Communist party is about the most accurate brief description of Cuba you are likely to read. Plus it had links to the various pages for detail. Bruce, could you elaborate again, I missed your reasons in the discussion tree business.--Zleitzen 03:57, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure what the objection to that is either?

What, the objection to "legally enshrined"? Okay, let me explain my objection.

A shrine is a place of religious worship. The term "enshrined" therefore suggests something put upon a pedestal and worshipped. I think the subtext is quite obvious, whether consciously intended or otherwise, ergo - these guys think they have a God-given right to govern. That's why I say the word hints at illegitimacy - a throwback to an earlier age, of the Divine Right of Kings etc.

while "single-party state" is still correct, "communist state" is more specific and relevant here.

I agree, and that's why I included the reference to the Communist Party of Cuba. I don't think that anyone who reads that sentence can be in any doubt that Cuba is a communist country, or indeed that it is one party state.

saying both "socialist state" and "communist state" sounds awkward

I agree, but I didn't use both phrases. The sentence now reads he has led the transformation of Cuba into a one-party socialist state, governed by the Communist Party of Cuba. No repetition.

So basically the sentence says exactly the same as it did before, but without the term "legally enshrined". And it has the added advantage of allowing the inclusion of a link to the single-party state page, as well as the other links which were already there, so it seems to me to be an improvement all around, and hopefully not one that anyone will find too objectionable. Gatoclass 04:20, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Unfortunately it's less accurate Gatolass. Cuba isn't governed by the Communist party, it's governed by its consitution. This "shrine" business is a red herring, "Enshrined in constitution" is a well used expression which is perfectly acceptable (and accurate) here [2]. --Zleitzen 04:27, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
I was not simply inventing an argument; I was providing one for switching around the links you gave - from "socialist state" to "socialist republic" and "single party state" to "communist state". As for "enshrined", I do not understand the objection. It is not used in reference to religiosity and does not have any such connotation when speaking of law (except in any respect of law itself being sacred). This is a poor and overly defensive semantic quibble. I don't object to your wording, though I prefer mine, but I do object to your link choices. --TJive 04:27, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

I don't think I changed the links, did I? I'm pretty sure they are the same links that were there before. All I've done is add an additional one, the link to the single party state page. Gatoclass 04:32, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

No, wait, I did remove the link to the "communist state" page and, effectively, replaced it with one to the "single-party state" page.

I don't see what difference it makes though. Linking to "communist state" from the phrase "legally enshrined" wasn't exactly an obvious association to begin with, and was really quite confusing. And it's not as though it won't be obvious to the reader that what he's reading about is a communist state. And besides, there must surely be a link to the "communist state" page on all three links that are there now - the single-party state link, the socialist state link, and the Communist Party of Cuba link. Gatoclass 04:42, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

The link used should be the one which is most specific and informative to the reader. We also should not speculate as to a reader's general knowledge on subjects we are ostensibly informing him about. --TJive 04:52, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
TJ, I checked all three of the links and they all have links to the "communist states" page. How could anyone possibly miss the association? I think you're being a little overzealous here. Gatoclass 05:22, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Cuba isn't governed by the Communist party, it's governed by its constitution.

Now who's the one splitting hairs? And do you really believe the Communist Party is not the final arbiter of power in Cuba? Somehow I doubt it.

This "shrine" business is a red herring, "Enshrined in constitution" is a well used expression which is perfectly acceptable (and accurate) here

The point is not what the phrase means but what it can be read to mean. We are supposed to strive for NPOV language in Wiki. In reading back through this page, I see I am by no means the only person who has noted the implied tone of disapproval in this phrase.

Whatever else you may think of my edit, I think you would probably agree that it is transparently NPOV in that it states the essential facts with neither implied approval nor disapproval. That's what we should be striving to do in Wiki, and that IMO is the best way to ensure the avoidance of edit wars, either now or at some future date. Gatoclass 06:27, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

I don't know about splitting hairs, but Cuba is not governed by the Communist party. This is a misinterpretation, likewise, the US is not governed by the Republican party, it is governed by it's constitution. The PCC were enshrined in the constitution in 1976, which was reaffirmed after a referendum in 2002, much in the same way that specific guarantees regarding religion were enshrined in amendments to the US constitution. You ask - "do you really believe that the Communist Party is not the final arbiter of power in Cuba" - actually it isn't. The Council of State and the National Assembly of People’s Power are the final arbiters of power, of which only half are members of the Communist party. Sorry if this complicates things, but it's one of the reasons why this article should steer clear of such topics in an introductary paragraph. Cuba's just a strange place where everything is complicated. Tjive's edit was accurate enough for me, and Bruce was actually referring to the consititution itself. Neither were inaccurate or POV to my mind - but are either additions neccessary? It sat quite well before. I appreciate you efforts to find neutrality, by the way. --Zleitzen 07:57, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Link from "one-party" to "communist state" is cryptic. On the other hand, "socialist republic" should be the same as the underlying link of "socialist state" for clarity's sake. Again, this is a biographical article not a political article. -- 29 June 2006

The communist party does indeed control Cuba's government and all matters of national law. --Tuxley 01:20, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Second paragraph

Recently, TJive and CJK deleted this proposed second paragraph:

"Castro, in his long tenure as leader of Cuba has been variously described as a totalitarian despot and a charismatic liberator, both widely hated and widely popular, courageous and cowardly, a benevolent dictator, an astute politician and an autocratic totalitarian murderer, symbol of communist revolution in Latin America, a dedicated socialist ideologue and a pragmatic nationalistic power monger. Few leaders in history have received such a wide range of praise and criticism."

Could we discuss what is wrong with this paragraph rather than just delete the whole thing? BruceHallman 20:26, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

I do not intend to restate my convictions daily; I remarked on this yesterday and it has been shuffled off to the archives. All of the relevant issues - views on Castro, his effect on Cuba, nationalism, socialism, and so forth are already discussed in the introduction. There is no need for yet another paragraph in the introduction which treads over this again. --TJive 20:41, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
There are many items in the 'second paragraph' which are not addressed in the first paragraph. BruceHallman 23:35, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
TJive wrote: "I do not intend to restate my convictions daily; I remarked on this yesterday..." Here is a link to what you wrote[3] and your assertion "The various views of this man are already discussed..." is just not true. Please explain. BruceHallman 13:50, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Considering that TJive and CJK have not responded, I am re-inserting the second paragraph. Also, I continue to welcome discussion regarding this paragraph relative to whether it meets WP:Policy BruceHallman 16:36, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Maybe take the "cowardly/courageous" out, Bruce, to curb some of the journalistic impression of the paragraph.--Zleitzen 17:12, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
I made that change, but I am still curious to learn the real reason that CJK and TJive repeatedly delete that paragraph. I don't recall any CJK reason given, and the TJive reason is unexplained and does not appear to be based on a true premise. BruceHallman 19:55, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
Don't try the legalisms. I never suggested that your paragraph violates policy. I simply am saying that it is inappropriate, unencyclopedic, and unnecessary. The introduction, which is already at a sufficient length, does not need yet another separate paragraph to detail varying views on Castro and his tenure, e.g. "he has invoked both praise and condemnation (at home and internationally)" and "Some credit....Others see...." The role of socialism and nationalism is given. That a controversial political figure is described as "both widely hated and widely popular" is nearly self-evident. That "[f]ew leaders in history have received such a wide range of praise and criticism" is possibly tendentious and appears to be a personal observation. There is no real value in these assertions. The only potentially useful part is that he is a symbol of communist revolution, which is not a view per se as you are describing. --TJive 20:23, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

It is a WP:V fact that some people see Castro as charismatic, widely popular, benevolent, an astute politician. TJive wrote: "The introduction... does not need yet another separate paragraph to detail varying views on Castro" To achieve NPOV, the negative should be balanced with the positive. TJive, incidentally, advocates for removal of the paragraph that contains the 'positive'. TJive, please explain how this is NPOV? I am willing to negotiate and compromise most of this, but somewhere in the intro, that fact that some people find Castro to be charismatic and popular needs to be included, because it is an important WP:V fact (and to balance words like 'fiery'). Omitting that, in the last 40 years, Castro has enjoyed popularity in Cuba is an important thing to include in the article and is not presently included. BruceHallman 22:08, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

"Fiery" is not a bad or negative word and does not give imbalance to the article. As for popularity, were your characterizations correct, this would not be a matter of achieving NPOV, it would be a matter of giving information that is missing or better informs the reader. In this case, that Castro is "popular" is a contentious claim that is not easily verifiable as no free and independent press and polling data by Cubans exists and information which is published elsewhere on this topic is usually very obscure or given by politicized sources; as well, it is often heavily reliant on flawed anecdotes. In other words, it is a complicated and disputed issue that can not be summated by a small and general reference. The thrust of the existing statement about "praise and condemnation (at home and internationally)" suffices for this purpose. --TJive 21:39, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Actually, the fact that some consider that Castro has popularity (and/or has had popularity) in Cuba is easily verified. For instance, this Google search shows many articles that describe how the CIA has designed programs to undercut Castro's popularity. So, at least, the CIA considers that Castro has/had popularity. BruceHallman 23:09, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
That "some consider" is not a valuable assertion here and is already effectively addressed in the aforementioned passage. --TJive 23:14, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
The fact that Castro has popularity and has had popularity in Cuba is not communicated in the 'praise and condemnation' phrase. BruceHallman 23:22, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Also, the fact that Fidel Castro is a charismatic leader is not communicated well, and should be included in the second paragraph. BruceHallman 23:26, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

The fifth paragraph

It says "Domestically, Fidel Castro has overseen the implementation of various economic policies which saw the rapid centralization of Cuba's economy - land reform, collectivization of agriculture, and the nationalization of leading Cuban industries."

I'd like it to say "Domestically, Fidel Castro has overseen the implementation of various economic policies of centralization - land reform, collectivization of agriculture, and the nationalization of leading Cuban industries."

Reason: The tone is blaming. Teemu Ruskeepää 07:06, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

In reponse to the "Finnish guy" and all other discussers: Oh my God, what is wrong with you all??? Can't you see that yes, Castro is a real figure that should be documented with neutrality and respect, but that ALSO Castro DID commit acts of treachery across his rulership till now??? All that needs to be said is a factual account of ALL events that occured, not slandered OR sugarcoated. And also, organizers who criticize people who criticize Castro: PLEASE understand the fact that most of these people ARE actually from Cuba from that period, so: 1. Don't even THINK that they can't be right or are delusional, as you can only READ from people who don't agree with them what they went through, and 2. Don't DELETE every comment that bashes Castro and keep all the ones that praise him! Isn't the talk page for...I dunno...Discussion??? Seriously, just EVERYONE keep an open mind here. Thank you.

Prime Minister?!?!?!

I'm sorry, but Prime Minister, and President don't go together with Communist Party. Isnt that an oximoron?Defy You 03:54, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Cuba is a socialist republic. BruceHallman 14:16, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Republic my ass! This is about as totalitarian as you get!Cameron Nedland 20:53, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Introduction (again)

May I suggest this introduction, which is in line with vitually every official encyclopedic description of Castro - --Zleitzen 14:46, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz (born 13 August 1926) is the current President of Cuba. He held the title of Prime Minister from 1959, after commanding the revolution that overthrew Fulgencio Batista, until 1976 when he became president of the both the Council of State and the Council of Ministers. Castro became first secretary of the Cuban Communist Party in 1965, and led the transformation of Cuba into a one-party socialist republic.
I like it. I think it's certainly better than the "enshrined" version. menscht 14:53, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
It's factually correct. KarenAnn 15:09, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
I like it. Though, for Single-party state Wikipedia says: "...a single political party forms the government...", which I don't think is technically true in Cuba (so I question WP:V). Also, a certain POV believes this as truth, and another POV does not agree, so I also question WP:NPOV. Also, I generally think the article, especially the opening paragraph should focus on Fidel Castro and not overly focus on Cuba. Of course, this is hard to do, but we should try. For instance, can we describe him as a person, and not him for what Cuba has become? BruceHallman 15:42, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
True, that the "one party" state is the problematic phrase - but the problem stems from the Socialist state, one party and communist state pages. They are now misleading, Cuba for instance, is clearly misrepresented on the one party page as it implies that the Communist party fill all roles in government which is not the case. The communist state page, which to me is as useful as having a Muslim state page (when it should be Islamic republic) has been edited into misconceptions. Nevertheless, a "one party state" should really mean a state where the constitution explicitly affirms the role of a single party as the dominant force, ie. Cuba.
The most important facts that people first need to know about Castro are his official titles and roles, ie that he is President of Cuba - Council of state etc. Every encyclopaedia follows this path for good reason. To ignore it in the introduction is rather like having a page on Neil Armstrong and not immediately stating that he was an astronaut! --Zleitzen 16:12, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
I probably don't know my facts here, but didn't Cuba start out as a one party state in the Cuban Constitution of 1976, and the other parties were allowed to exist at a later time? KarenAnn 16:21, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
In 1992 there was an amendment which changed the wording of the constitution, meaning that other parties were technically allowed to exist, which they do. But as no party can organise and campaign in Cuba (including the Communist party) under the individual candidate system, this is pretty meaningless. Other parties usually have campaigners raising money and attending international meetings abroad, and are generally tolerated within Cuba - and they're not indulging in some kind of covert 1984 style resistance. --Zleitzen 16:31, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Objections to "enshrined" are overstated and based on misperceptions but I do not object to the alternate wording so long as the communist state link remains. It is a widely used academic term and has encyclopedic precedent, including from examples culled previously on this talk page (don't ask me to find them at this point though.) --TJive 02:34, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Change the one party link to the Communist state link if you prefer. The one party page stinks as far as I'm concerned. But "Communist state" isn't a serious term, it's a parochial shorthand term people use in error, rather like when people call a spider an insect. --Zleitzen 02:42, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't consider the great many academics who deal with political science and accept the legitimacy of the concept, nor Encyclopedia Britannica, to be merely "parochial". --TJive 02:56, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I couldn't believe that Britannica wording - it contradicted every other entry - and isn't in any of my hard back copies. Very shoddy indeed. But you do understand the multiple problems here - one of them being that it infers that Cuba slavishly followed a Soviet model which isn't true, as it changed constantly and is still changing now. The relationship between Castro and the Communist Party is complex and contradictory, nothing like the Soviet or Asian states. Anyway, we can move on I hope.--Zleitzen 03:05, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Embargo section

I think I raised this issue on the archived talk page. The current embargo section should be rewritten I think. It reads like a summary of dates and events and Castro is hardly even mentioned. I think that the section should be cleaned up and rewritten more towards Castro as a person and how it has affected his way of practising politics. Most of the information which is there at the moment is more suited for the main article on the embargo. I'm not very acquainted with the subject matter, so the only thing I would do is remove all the content which is not directly related to Castro and add a stub tag. But maybe somebody else has a better idea. menscht 23:10, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

I totally agree, and I wrote the Embargo section. In fact, I just wrote Zleitzen about my total frustration with the whole article. One of my problems in writing the Embargo section is that there is a lack of information about what Castro has done verus "Cuba". But the Pope and Steven Speilberg, for example, would never have gone to Cuba if not for Castro. The charisma factor has to be addressed. Also, Raul. KarenAnn 00:18, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
The key point about the embargo in relation to Castro is the theory that he has used it to his advantage by deflecting blame and also unifying the nationalist sentiment which he thrives upon.--Zleitzen 00:35, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes! I believe I pointed that out somewhere in the article. I wish we would get more into the astuteness of Castro's tactics than what the constition says. KarenAnn 01:00, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
The embargo section is largely off-topic, yes. That topic mostly relates to the implications of Cuban and US policy rather than Castro's biography, which is what this page is supposed to be about. There was a similar problem months ago when some users kept attempting to insert large swaths of information about US activities in Cuba that have a barely tangential relationship with the subject. --TJive 02:36, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

unsigned Encyclopedia Britannica, World Book, and Encarta articles written by staff

From Wikipedia:Reliable Sources:

There is a wealth of reliable information in tertiary sources such as the Encyclopædia Britannica. Note that unsigned Encyclopedia Britannica, World Book, and Encarta articles are written by staff, who may not be experts, and the articles may therefore not have the same level of credibility, but they are regarded as reliable sources for Wikipedia's purposes. When wikipedians have the ambition to write a better encyclopedia than those existing ones, it will not suffise to rely on the content of such tertiary sources. Therefore, in general, as also primary sources are to be treated with caution (see above), secondary sources are the stock material on which Wikipedia articles depend for their references. KarenAnn 12:29, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Standard of Living in Cuba

Shouldn't there be some mention in relation to the good public services and relatively high standard-of-living in Cuba, as far as I can see there is none. It would be only fair seeing as human rights violations are mentioned.--Salvador Allende 18:57, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Xe xe This is "Ok by me" for such a statement will only lead the descriminating reader to realize that much of what is presented here is nonsense, and much of the rest prevarication and whitewash. If you believe the Castro government's line that there are good public services....well perhaps you might place a standard of reference e.g. Ethiopia, Haiti... El Jigue 7-27-06
I was thinking perhaps comparison to the rest of latin america. It has, according to UN and World Bank sources; one of the most literate populations, one of the most well-fed populations, one of the highest life-expectancies, one of the lowest infant mortality rates, one of the best school-systems, one of the best university attendence rates and one of the safest water supplies in latin america, not to mention the best doctors in the world. Shouldn't that get a mention?
That totally depends on your sources. If they come straight from the Cuban Ministry of Information (if it even exists) I'm not sure if they're very reliable. However the relatively high Human Development Index gets mentioned in the first paragraph. menscht 11:41, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Forget about it, Castro's relationship with Cuba's public health system can be mentioned in one sentence. Which it is, quite well as it happens. There's no need to repeat info that is well dealt with elsewhere on wikipedia. Though I believe the health and education mentions should link directly to the Cuban pages themselves - I did it before but it seems to have been changed back. UPDATE, have changed the wikilinks --Zleitzen 12:01, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
I've already said that there are favourable statistics that come varyingly from the UNDP, UNICEF and, most intriguiingly, World Bank. My argument is that, seeing as it mentions human rights violations, there should also be mention of good standard of living.--Salvador Allende 15:06, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Ditto with the human rights section. A sentence and a link should suffice.--Zleitzen 15:36, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

TJive edit re puppet leader (in Human Rights section)

TJ I reverted your edit because you were substituting your POV for a description of views which are undeniably held by some supporters of the Cuban Revolution. That was being described in the statement you altered, not some overarching reality, but views held by some CR supporters. We could quibble about the percentage of supporters who would use the term 'puppet leader' as opposed to 'capitalist regime' or 'client government' but the justification for authoritarian/war-time measures is seen in those political terms. Your replacement of those reasons with the simple 'fall of the government' seems to me your way of saying "they may say that but they are wrong". That's an ideological argument, not a better description of the viewpoint of CR supporters. MichaelW 15:46, 29 June 2006 (UTC) (Hey Teemu, leave these words alone...)

It is not "undeniably" so when you are distinguishing between three separate terms, none of them cited or attributed to anyone in particular. My edit is neutral and more inclusively reflects the implications of what would happen. --TJive 15:55, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
What is being described in the original statement is not what would happen but the way supporters of the Cuban Revolution see things. Your edit is not neutral - it's you arguing with their viewpoint. This suggests you cannot tell the difference between an encyclopedic description and a political argument.MichaelW 16:09, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
You keep referencing "they" and "their", but there is no "they" there. There is an uncited passage which is improved by introducing neutral language which better informs the reader as to the wider justification of repressive measures. The "puppet leader" bit is not merely asinine but is unnecessarily obscure and is attributed to a phantom. --TJive 16:18, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Users shouldn't get too hung up in these minor edits at this stage. As the tag on the page suggests, there is some general work on the article that needs to be addressed once this talk page affair is resolved. --Zleitzen 16:18, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Oh come on Zed, let us have our fun. It is hardly a minor edit. TJ is asserting his ability to interpret the views of the "Many Castro supporters" who make up the "they" he denies exist. At least "their" views can be verified by trawling through the periodicals of the pro Cuban Revolution organisations. TJ's version amounts to a personal interpretation, so generalised as to destroy the meaning of the original statement. MichaelW 17:51, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Now, now, Michael! My point is that the section including the "many Castro supporters" is such an arse that it's not worth getting too worked up about. A lot of this material isn't really relevant to this page anyway, and will be dealt with in due course. When that time comes, you can hold the page and I'll wield the scissors. How's that for collaborative editing!--Zleitzen 18:00, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Can I fold it a few times before you cut? It's true the selection belongs elsewhere - I'm just giving my ideometer some exercise - work out not worked up. MichaelW 18:14, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
TJive, again, and twice today, deleted the second paragraph in whole, citing 'already discussed'. I will try to assume good faith, but TJive: The fact the Catro is considered charismatic and popular by many is not 'already discused'. The second paragraph meets WP:V, WP:NPOV and WP:NOR. TJive, would you please explain how your repeated revert of the 'second paragraph' meets Wikipedia policy? BruceHallman 17:25, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Regarding the importance of the 'second paragraph'. I feel that it is important in the introduction, to describe Fidel Castro, the person. The 'second paragraph' is an attempt to address the person, and this is better than describing Cuba in a Castro article. BruceHallman 17:29, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

And I have agreed with you in previous discussion of this issue. KarenAnn 17:51, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Bruce, my reference was to having "already discussed" this issue - repeatedly - in talk. But as far as that goes, attempting to note that Castro "is considered charismatic and popular" is here nearly self-evident and of little to no value to an already sufficient introduction. I do not know what you want me to come here and say differently every single day. I suggested you make additions instead to appropriate sections (Castro as a public figure, for instance). There is already enough "widely seen", "praise and criticism" prose and/or suggestiveness in the introduction.
I have not once accused your edits of violating policy; noting that "X sees Y as Z" can use sourcing but it so banal a point to make in some instances that it doesn't matter. That isn't the issue here. The issue is that I don't think the content is at all necessary for the introduction. The introduction could have solidly sourced information placed in it pertaining to Castro's dreams of becoming a baseball player, but the fact that it meets sourcing policy doesn't mean it should be there.
I also find your edits to the human rights selection highly tendentious. It is true that there is a lot of off-topic information that people have attempted to put into this article, and the "main article" link is not best placed here, but it is not appropriate to delete concise and sourced information on a subject that is very relevant to Castro's biography. That you replaced this with what amounts to a political argument in its stead I find very troubling. --TJive 09:39, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Could we first reach some kind of conclusion before removing and reverting the whole paragraph again? This is going on and on, without ever reaching any consensus. Stating that Castro is a charismatic figure, hate by many, loved by many needs to be said. Maybe it's self evident to us, but it still needs to be made clear - maybe not in these particular wordings. You can see the same approach in the article about Margaret Thatcher for example. menscht 10:36, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
I did not look in the body, but the assertion in the introduction is very similar to ones already existing in the introduction of this article. As well, the characterization appears to be disputed. The way it is phrased, that's not surprising. --TJive 10:52, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
It's a collection of non neutral comments which together do not express any clear opinion, but rather summarizing what Castro is or how he's perceived by others. The only problem is that none of the claims are sourced. What if we were to put this version into the article for the time being?
Castro, in his long tenure as leader of Cuba has been variously described as a totalitarian despot and a charismatic liberator, both widely hated and widely popular, a benevolent dictator, an astute politician and an autocratic totalitarian murderer, symbol of communist revolution in Latin America, a dedicated socialist ideologue and a pragmatic nationalistic power monger. [citation needed] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Maester mensch (talkcontribs)
I am never keen on leaving unattributed facts dangling to have references plugged in later (I sooner have my finger on the delete button). But verifiability is not the issue here, as I am attempting to stress. --TJive 11:06, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Why don't we write the article first? Then we can make sure that the introduction reflects properly cited material in the article. Worrying about the intro now seems backwards to me. KarenAnn 11:11, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Those are actually my sentiments as well, though I'm not sure if we're keen on what that means. --TJive 11:16, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree on that. But rewriting difficult parts of the article seems a better approach to me than starting a completely new version. There are a lot of good paragraphs in the article. menscht 11:32, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Oh yeah, I didn't mean to imply it needs scrapped. --TJive 12:12, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Get rid of human rights section

There are two options to make this article more balanced. The first is to include, aswell as a section on human rights, a section on the good standard of living and public services in Cuba, the other, as Zleitan has suggested, is to cut the human rights section down to a sentence and a link.--Salvador Allende 18:00, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Have replied above to Michael concerning that. The problem is that these sections are covered in other articles, and I'm not digging around for my UNESCO and WHO stats from the filing cabinet again. (see Public health in Cuba and Education in Cuba). Issues concerning "human rights" should be largely incorporated into the main body as history, these should be tangible incidents involving Castro himself - the persecution in the early 60's, statements of repression etc. The vaguaries of broader Cuban human rights are dealt with elsewhere. --Zleitzen 18:08, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
The human rights section is describing human rights in Cuba. This article is about Fidel Castro, not Cuba. I advocate the the entire section should be deleted for being off topic. BruceHallman
No, the topic is too large an issue with regard to Castro. Every biographical article in Wikipedia on every other dictator has a significant section on human rights abuses. If anything, the section needs to be expanded by a paragraph or two, not eliminated. Torturous Devastating Cudgel 18:15, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
I think not, TDC. There should be no "human rights" section here, your precedent failed at the first hurdle when I looked up the House of Saud, Fahd of Saudi Arabia and Pervez Musharraf. If users insist on such an extract, then they should also agree that the page carries verifiable sections on Cuban economic, foreign and home policies - (which also should be limited or scrapped by the way). If Castro was responsible for the former, he should also be held responsible for the latter. But to do so will mean that this page will lose it's focus. Castro does not commit human rights violations, the republic of Cuba commits human rights violations. --Zleitzen 18:39, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
The Republic of Cuba in which Castro is the undisputed head of that republic kinda goes hand in hand. Also, it more than meets the WP:V criteria. Torturous Devastating Cudgel 19:02, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
The Queen is the undisputed head of the Commonwealth and the United Kingdom. Should her article refer to Human rights abuses in Britain, Jamaica or Northern Ireland? Likewise the heads of state mentioned above. I think not. That Cuba and Castro are "hand-in-hand" does not meet WP:V criteria. One is a person, the other is an island nation. Refer to specific incidents and statements by Castro (which there are a number) within the main body of the article. The actions of the state are detailed (or should be) elsewhere.--Zleitzen 19:10, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Similarly, the embargo section has little to do with Fidel Castro, is covered elsewhere, and should be deleted. BruceHallman 20:39, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
The embargo is part of Castro's career as a politician. So it should be covered in some detail. The current version is just nood good enough. Too much a list of facts, which do not necessarily deal with Castro as a politician or anything. Have a look at the "Embargo section" topic I started earlier on this talk page. menscht 21:22, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

mensch wrote: "...the only thing I would do is remove all the content which is not directly related to Castro ...", I agree. Go for it. BruceHallman 22:54, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Done! I don't think the cleanup is sufficient, so somebody with more knowledge on the topic should do a complete rewrite or make a coherent section out of it, hence the rewrite notice. menscht 23:25, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
What I recommend is that within this article, wording and wiki-links send users to other specific pages rather than general pages. I've done this with the health and education references, by sending them to "Healthcare in Cuba" and so on, rather than the generic "free healthcare" page. Likewise comments about Castro's attitudes to homosexuality can be sent to "gay rights in Cuba" etc. None of these aspects can be easily described by a sentence as they each have detailed unfolding issues to address. They need to be briefly diverted to the pages where they are best explored. Also, on most of these sub-pages you'll find me with a magnifying glass trying to unravel the claims and counter claims - so users would be best to discuss any detailed problems there.--Zleitzen 10:08, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Second paragraph again

TJive reverted the second paragraph again. Though, I do appreciate the effort at discussion. In essence I see that TJive deletes the paragraph not due to WP:V, WP:NPOV or WP:NOR, but rather because of his/her personal editorial opinion. Also TJive continues to maintain that the information in the second paragragh is covered in elsewhere the article, but indeed TJive's assertion is just not true. BruceHallman 14:38, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Regarding questions of sourcing, when I initially wrote that paragraph (for each statement) I did verify the sourcing. But for a collection of range of representative opinions about Castro, footnotes would be silly. If you have doubt about sourcing just Google, etc.. BruceHallman 14:38, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

As I have argued from the beginning of this paragraph: The Elephant in the room is that fact that, among many people, Fidel Castro has been (and still is) widely popular and the article should say that clearly in the introduction. Castro is also deeply hated by many people, and that should also be said clearly. BruceHallman 14:38, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

That's not at all what I said [have been saying]. I said that the value of the observation given is little in general and nil for the introduction, and that the general themes are better to be expressed in the body of the article in relevant portions. --TJive 07:23, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
Certainly we disagree about the importance of this. Perhaps we can find a compromise of our disagreement? This might allow the restoration of neutrality to the article and the removal of the neutrality dispute tag. BruceHallman 16:53, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

New Section

The section on human rights in Cuba continues. Therefore a section public services in Cuba is necessary too. I will start on it soon unless there are any convincing objections, I'll try to focus on Castro and the role he himselft has played.--Salvador Allende 20:55, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

This article does not need to be turned into a further political argument. Please see WP:POINT. These facets of Cuban history are best managed elsewhere and should only be kept here to the extent of (limited) "domestic policy"-type material. --TJive 07:24, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
No need for 'further political argument', but there is a need for balance of point of view. A description of Castro in his role to bring public services to Cuba would be a good addition to the article. BruceHallman 16:56, 1 July 2006 (UTC)


Why does it cite BBC News for half of them? Try using a variety of sources for the news-related sources that can be found everywhere.

Quite simply, the BBC is the largest news gathering broadcaster in the world, is English speaking, is freely allowed into Cuba having a number of resident correspondents, and has explicit regulations concerning neutral points of view. (For those unconvinced, the BBC is the only news organisation I know of that will screen lengthy films citing the failures and potential bias of... the BBC [4]). US news sources are understandably less accurate or are often deliberately misleading concerning coverage of Cuba, as access is restricted. The CBC lacks the extensive detail of the BBC, Cuban sources should be used wisely in my opinion to avoid accusations of bias, and other Latin American sources are difficult to justify to non-Spanish readers.--Zleitzen 11:55, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
Agreed on the relevance of BBC, but as for the American media, the "problem" (if it is a problem) with them is that they are not patient with seemingly trivial, even weaselly nuance and tend to call a spade a spade. Saddam Hussein isn't the President of the Iraqi public for three decades, he's the Iraqi dictator. Hamas and Islamic Jihad aren't violent Palestinian militant groups, they're terrorists. So on. --TJive 12:56, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
Actually, that is a problem when it goes from calling a spade a spade to using propaganda terms like "homicide bomber" (Fox News). Anything that comes out of Fox (aka GOP TV) should be taken with the same grain of salt as information from within Cuba. But in any case, point taken.
Also, BBC news articles remain accessible over time, allowing readers to check the reference and read it for themselves. Many newspapers change the content of the link to something irrelevant to the citation at some point. (For example, links to The Miami Herald articles often lead to the current issue, not the cited page.) Also, many American newspapers leave the article up for a short period of time, and after that one must pay for the article. (For example, The New York Times charges something like $3 an article, so a link there is going to require money to read it. KarenAnn 13:23, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
The problem with "homicide bomber" isn't so much propagandistic effect as a linguistic nightmare. That being given, FOX has no apparent relevance to this topic and this is all a digression. --TJive 12:40, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Here and else where some seem to have the idea that the BBC is an "unbiased" source. That is a matter of quite some dispute (e.g. El Jigue 7-10-06

Real criticism

There is an enormous amount of well-documented critical information about Castro in this scholarly article. Not only about Castro's wealth but also many other aspects.

That'll be this Maria C. Werlau, the woman who wrote "Cuba: Safe Haven for Fugitives and Hotbed for Terrorists". Who states: "Castro's virulent hatred of the United States goes back far before he even came to power". Who ends with "The Bush Administration should exert maximum pressure on the Castro regime to guarantee U.S. and hemispheric security". OK, Ultramarine, your idea of scholarly research differs from mine.--Zleitzen 14:58, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
I fail to see this as being to her discredit. --TJive 15:52, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
So in that case, sources by authors from the other side of the spectrum, also qualify? Authors who call the actions of the Bush administration acts of terrorism, for example. or advise all communist nations to revolt against the horrific capitalist regime in the US. Those are generalisations similar to the one Werlau makes in her article. But I think "Fidel Castro, Inc.: A Global Conglomerate" is used as a source already in the Wealth section of the Castro article. menscht 22:53, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
This is not a matter of X vs. Y. Specificity is essential in establishing the notability and relevance of using given sources. There is nothing about her characterizations that is controversial (as opposed to non-universal). A stomach that can not handle properly contextual references to "terrorism" (which is legitimate but not a neutral characterization here) or "regime" (which is a valid concept for us and universally accepted in academia) is very weak. --TJive 02:22, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
No. The above three quotes are not signs of academic analysis. They are evidence of an agenda, sensationalism and clearly inflammatory delivery with a tendency towards misinformation. As an aside, Werlau appears at length in the infamous "Los Muertos de Castro" documentary. One of the most audacious pieces of propaganda and misinformation I have ever seen, on any subject. Take a look if you can find it. All material by Werlau should be treated with extreme scepticism, that Ultramarine describes her work as real criticism does not make it so.--Zleitzen 02:53, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
You might be shocked to find that "regime" has rather uncontroversial connotations in academia (and is suitable even in its worst effect for Cuba in any case) and that perspectives on "terrorism" vary widely but that the cited instances are rather non-controversial for many. So as for labeling Ultramarine's characterizations, the same to you. --TJive 12:42, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
It's "Hotbed for Terrorists" , "virulent hatred of the United States" and "guarantee U.S. and hemispheric security" that raises the eyebrows, not "regime". Other comments along similar lines indicate that Werlau is as reliable a source as Michael Moore. By the way, "regime" does have controversial connotations in academia - it's basic Orwell from "Politics and the English Language" and is covered in initial studies of the semiotics of politics in the media. --Zleitzen 13:29, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
A "regime" refers to a regulated system, especially means of social control and governance. The most frequent media use in regards to politics is with authoritarian states and various governmental outfits and systems of regulation (i.e. "inspections regimes"). Even in this usage the appellation is quite relevant and very pertinent. --TJive 14:11, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
The term "regime" is often used as a pejorative, and fails the WP:NPOV test for our purposes. BruceHallman 14:52, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
No it doesn't, and whether a term is used as a pejorative is not any discredit to the terminology itself. Furthermore, "our purposes" do not currently include any use of the term that I see. Were it so, however, it would likely be wholly appropriate. --TJive 14:56, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Our purpose is to write an encyclopedia. You appear to believe that an encyclopedia can appropriately be pejorative. I disagree. BruceHallman 15:42, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

See the talk page on regime for discussion on this very subject and the controversy. In the meantime, remind ourselves - as I discussed before with 172 about the use of the term "market reform" - that regional Political Scientists do not own words. Words have changing multiple meanings, connotations and often betray motivations. If I were to refer to the "Bill Clinton regime" for instance - you would be in little doubt as to my meaning and political affiliation. That's why we seek more neutral language here as per guidelines. Anyway, I'll reiterate my point that the work of the woman who wrote "The Bush Administration should exert maximum pressure on the Castro regime to guarantee U.S. and hemispheric security" should be judged in a certain light. Forget about semantics, it's the sentiment that discredits the work. One needn't be George Orwell to deduce that her sentiment mixed with her "critical academic study" results in a product as flawed a tool of research as "Los Muertos de Castro". --Zleitzen 15:53, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

"it's the sentiment that discredits the work." Please read about ad hominem and discuss the factual arguments.Ultramarine 16:20, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
But the factual arguments are tainted by the "messenger" (being Werlau), or might not be factual at all. The problem that an essay like "Fidel Castro, Inc.: A Global Conglomerate" is never objective, just because it's an essay. Werlau comes up with a lot of facts and derives a certain meaning from that, it doesn't necessarily have to be the only meaning one can derive from a body of facts. Considering the past publications of Werlau this particular essay might as well express a political viewpoint which doesn't do justice to the complex matter of Castro's financial empire or obstructs the author from objective research into the subject matter. menscht 16:40, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Stating that "the factual arguments are tainted by the "messenger"" is the very definition of ad hominem. If stating that a well-referenced view should be excluded because there may be other arguments or interpretations, without bothering to state any, then everything in Wikipedis should be deleted. Argue using facts, do not guess that there may be factual arguments.Ultramarine 17:04, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Does that imply that, to you, both Granma and Werlau have the same basis of presumptive credibility? BruceHallman 17:56, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
It most certainly does not to me; Granma is rather explicitly a product of state propaganda whereas Werlau merely uses strong (but acceptable) language to describe topics in realistic and relatable terms. This is a rather poor effort at discrediting a source, given that all that is really being challenged is her tone, which is rather moderate and uncontroversial. --TJive 19:35, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

This is basically what editors attempt to effect at articles such as these:

  • User 1: *Deletes unsourced criticism* Criticism needs to be sourced.
  • User 2: Here is documented criticism.
  • User 3: This criticism is worthless, look at her language!
  • User 4: I agree, she is too critical.
  • User 5: This is not valid criticism.
  • User 1: *Deletes criticism from article*
  • User 2: Why did you delete it?!
  • User 1: Criticism needs to be sourced.

A rather effective mob for Cuba topics, given that in this case it has preempted any actual such insertion into the article. But do not for a moment think that it goes unnoticed. --TJive 19:42, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

And then most of those same editors have the gall to put Cuban web sites and far left (mostly self-published) far left rags on the same level of (at least ostensible) academic research and journalistic integrity. Otherwise its "unbalanced" and "non-NPOV". Completely absurd and the only thing that remotely recalls Orwell. --TJive 19:45, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
I asked a yes or no question. Parsing, the above, I guess the answer is no. With the reason not exactly clear. But I guess, the reason is that in the opinion of TJive the distinction is obvious. This standard seems duplicitous. BruceHallman 19:52, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
You most certainly do not need to guess or to parse anything given that I explicitly answered in the negative; would that you make an effort to decipher my objections at most any point in time these talk conversations would be much more fruitful, but I can hardly be said to be "duplicitous" in the meantime, failing that. --TJive 20:18, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, what I was trying to say is that I don't see you bringing the same credibility test to an anti-Castro source as to a 'pro-Castro' source. Duplicitous might not be the correct word, but there appears to be a double standard. BruceHallman 14:08, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

I appreciate Tjive's attempts to express the problems in editing on Castro and Cuba, and the points made have some value. As far as I have experienced, the problems on articles such as these come from users who proudly announce their political philosophies via dramatic declarations on their user pages, roaming a wide range of political subjects on their watchlists. That have little knowledge or interest in the specific subject matter itself. Constantly pushing or reverting to ensure an ideological rather than historical premise.

Listen. There are thousands of sources and "facts" and "well referenced views" out there on Castro and Cuba from so called scholars and cranks alike. But, all editors need to do is this - take a look at some mainstream encyclopaedia entries, read a few reliable neutral academic accounts, rely on relatively neutral established news sources such as the BBC, and use your informed discretion wisely and fairly at odd moments - and bingo! You have your article. Argue the toss about an occasional wording issue, that's part of the process, fair enough. Introducing the work of people that you know (or should know) have an agenda and are clearly biased against the subject just ups the ante, result=tedious one-potato-two-potato game of unreliable sources, a big fat POV tag on the article and a group of editors pulling what's left of their hair out in frustration. It's not productive editing.

Thankfully, the Cuba page is beginning to resemble a typical encyclopaedic entry for the country after the embarrassment of making the international news for its shoddiness and tiresome polemics. Unfortunately, this page still hasn't reached that stage, and it won't do providing users continue to present material from a writer who speculates about Castro’s secret castles in Austria and pens articles like this. It’s just not credible, or serious. --Zleitzen 16:23, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Z that was not a nice remark about Maria Werlau. Aside from that Castro and company do have considerable holdings in Europe. El Jigue 7-10-06

Castro as a public figure

A quote and reference that follows a controversial statement is not "irrelevant" but required under WP:NPOV and WP:V. We have a quote from Castro responding to criticisms that he encourages a cult; we are going to have an example of the criticism that prompted the response as well. Gazpacho 05:42, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Demfourlife image

Demfourlife recently added this image:

Castro falls of the stage following speech

Before such an image should be added, demfourlife should explain the encyclopedic value. BruceHallman 15:13, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

I don't understand what the problem is with the picture? There is a picture of Castro walking down a red carpet showing him as the Castro of the "21st Century." This is simply a picture, relevant, becuase it is included within a paragraph which speaks of his "Health." This is probably the only time we have been allowed to see Fidel Castro showing any signs of his age. It is proper to show this picture of him in contrast to the young Castro shown in other pictures in the article. There is no reason, in my opinion, to censor it. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Demfourlife (talkcontribs) 21:11, 10 July 2006(UTC).

There appears to be copyright right problems with that image. BruceHallman 21:25, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

First you state I should explain myself, thwn when I do and bring up some good points, then you say there is a copyright problem. What would the problem be? These are still pictures of a TV image. I have seen hundreds of similar pictures on wikipedia. It should be included.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Demfourlife (talkcontribs) 21:28, 10 July 2006(UTC).

"This image is a screenshot of a copyrighted television program or station ID. As such, the copyright for it is most likely owned by the company or corporation that produced it. It is believed that the use of a limited number of web-resolution screenshots

for identification and critical commentary on the station ID or program and its contents on the English-language Wikipedia, hosted on servers in the United States by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, qualifies as fair use under United States copyright law. Any other uses of this image, on Wikipedia or elsewhere, may be copyright infringement. For more information, see Wikipedia:Fair use."—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Demfourlife (talkcontribs) 21:30, 10 July 2006(UTC).

Why don't you have a problem with the picture of the dictator on a red carpet. Where is proof that the owner of that picture has allowed the user to ad it to Wikipedia. Why does Castro need to be shown on a red carpet? What is the relevancy?

You are not responding.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Demfourlife (talkcontribs) 21:39, 10 July 2006(UTC).

Xe xe anything that makes Castro look bad bothers some, so these individuals seek excuses, not necessarily a reasons to ban it. Why don't we wait to see if there is a complaint about violation of copyright exceeding fair use? xe xe El Jigue 7-10-06

You are 100% correct. They all say it's a bout fairness, but we know the truth. It's incredible how people have this love affir with the tyrant. Her has murdered thousands, has made what was once called the pearl of the antilles look like hell, has amassed millions of dollars in stolen cash, has seperated thousands of families (mine included), etc. All this and they love the old man even more. It's unreal. It's like loving Adolf Hitler. Then again, I guess some do. Funny how this same "editor" does not have a problem with the Castro walking on a red carpet pic. It's unbelievable. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 22:51, 10 July 2006

He doesn't respond, but makes sure he adds this: "—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) . 22:51, 10 July 2006."Italic text —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 23:07, 10 July 2006(UTC).

I am reluctant to respond to your questions which are phrased as if we are in a battle. Please, we are co-editing an encyclopedia article. In theory, we are to collaborate and cooperate with each other. This should not be a battle. Your premise, that photos are to make Castro look good or look bad imply that this article is a battlefront in a war for or against Fidel Castro. Rather, because this is an encyclopedia, our premise should be to describe Fidel Castro neutrally, including the photos. BruceHallman 17:25, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
See, for instance, the photos in the Gerald Ford article. There, our encyclopedia show photos of a Head of State neutrally. Do we include photos of Gerald Ford tripping and falling, casting him in a frail or foolish light? Why not? Why should our encyclopedia treat Fidel Castro differently than Gerald Ford? BruceHallman 17:25, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
The answer to my question is obvious. Your agenda is to have the article make Fidel Castro look frail and/or foolish. I argue, that the factual matter of his frailty is obvious when we describe his advanced age and a candid embarassing photo adds nothing to that objective. Personal politics aside, your 'battlefront' agenda and your photo are inappropriate in an encyclopedia. BruceHallman 17:25, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
The analogy between Castro and Ford is an apples oranges argument. The incident of Castro taking a tumble was commented on the media because it raised a whole host of questions such as his general health, as he is 80 years old now, and who would succeed Castro if he were to die. No one questioned Fords health or the line of succession after his slips. The following passage from the George H W Bush article is a more appropriate parallel :
On January 8, 1992, Bush vomited on the lap of the Prime Minister of Japan, Kiichi Miyazawa, during a state dinner. He then fainted. The incident, which Bush claimed was nothing more than the flu, was caught on camera and raised questions about his health, in addition to being a major source of embarrassment. The Japanese named a verb for this incident: "bushu-suru", meaning "to commit an instance of embarrassing public vomiting", or literally "to do the Bush thing".[21] At a subsequent State Dinner for Japan in Washington DC, Bush quipped that "this time, dinner is on me".
Torturous Devastating Cudgel 19:24, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
There is a big difference between the two events. Yours directly involved two Heads of State and captured international attention and headlines. The Castro fall was at a minor local speech and had little implication or consequence. A better comparison might be when George W. Bush falls off a bicycle while exercising, probably not really worthy of inclusion in an encyclopedia. BruceHallman 21:50, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Regardless, my question as to why the article needs to be a battlefront in the conflict about Fidel Castro remains to be answered. A group of editors have demonstrated a history of this inappropriate agenda. BruceHallman 20:02, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

And what does this have to do with the response I posted about the picture? Torturous Devastating Cudgel 20:57, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
I grant you some validity to your apple:oranges criticism, though only some; because we should treat Fidel Castro with the same neutrality as we treat Gerald Ford. The main issue with this photo is that Demfourlife has the clear intention of casting Fidel Castro as frail/foolish, which appears to be a clear part of his/her anti-Castro 'battlefront'. Wikipedia should not be a battlefront. BruceHallman 21:13, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Your socialist views are demonstrated by your ignorance as to the difference between the leader of the FREE world and a communist tyrant who has killed thousands. Again, why did you not jump on the person who added a picture of Fidel walking on a red carpet as vigorously as you did mine? Who is the one trying to push his views?

That photo has been there as long as I can remember, and I hadn't really given it any previous thought. BruceHallman 21:45, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

While you may find many pictures of US presidents falling in official US archives (check for yourself), I challenge you to find one under "official Cuba archives." You know why? There are no official Cuba archives, for socialist/doctorial states do not have any pictures which cast their leader in a bad light. Is this the balance that you speak of? Since there is none, it is entirely appropriate to include a picture of an old Castro in ill heath falling, not only because of its newsworthiness, nut because it is a rare view at a man whose every move is staged and choreographed. Stop hiding under the "encyclopedic value" statements. -demfourlife 20:23, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

This is an encyclopedia and both you and I should agree that it deserves encyclopedia values. BruceHallman 21:45, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

By the way, remember this exchange with another editor? You wrote:

It is a WP:V fact that some people see Castro as charismatic, widely popular, benevolent, an astute politician. To achieve NPOV, the negative should be balanced with the positive. TJive, incidentally, advocates for removal of the paragraph that contains the 'positive'. TJive, please explain how this is NPOV? I am willing to negotiate and compromise most of this, but somewhere in the intro, that fact that some people find Castro to be charismatic and popular needs to be included, because it is an important WP:V fact (and to balance words like 'fiery'). Omitting that, in the last 40 years, Castro has enjoyed popularity in Cuba is an important thing to include in the article and is not presently included. BruceHallman 22:08, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

It's funny how you fought to make sure Fidel's good side was written about in the picture. I have read all the critisizims of you in this discussion page and all center about you fighting to make sure that he is spoken about in positive light. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Demfourlife (talkcontribs) 20:35, 11 July 2006(UTC).

Sorry, you misunderstand me. I am interested in making the article neutral, and unfortuately, there is a group of editors who seek to use the Fidel Castro article as a battlefront in their anti-Castro agenda. I am only asking for a neutral article. BruceHallman 21:45, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

You write: "I argue, that the factual matter of his frailty is obvious when we describe his advanced age and a candid embarassing photo adds nothing to that objective." It's a historical photograph that shows him falling. The picture needs to be included. I believe you have not made a sufficient arguement as to why the picture should not be shown. let the record state that you, so far, are the only one who has shown an objection. If you continue not to respond, then the picture will be reposted. You opened a discussion on the picture and so far no one has taken your side. Sorry dude, but this is not Cuba. The majority rules. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Demfourlife (talkcontribs) 20:35,11 July 2006(UTC).

Please re-read What the Wikipedia community is not. BruceHallman 20:54, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Please reread: Wikipedia is not an experiment in democracy—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 22:31, 11 July 2006(UTC).

Seroiusly, DUDE, "Sorry dude, but this is not Cuba. The majority rules." might be the most unintelligent thing posted on this thread. It isn't Cuba and it isn't America. It's the bloody internet, anyone can access it and edit it. Funny you mention the leader of the FREE world and a communist tyrant who has killed thousands considering that WE, the United States, have sanctioned the overthrow of no less than two governments that WE did not agree with. That is definitely not tyrannical. And our various leaders of the FREE world (read: United States, when used in your context) have definitely not contributed to the demise of thousands of innocent folk. One of those same leaders of the FREE world cost many Cuban-Americans their lives when an attempt to invade Cuba failed miserably. I realize that this does not contribute to the overall validity of the article, but it's a point to note that this bloke is clearly biased. Much moreso than Bruce, who is actually the most neutral person on this thread, despite being called a socialist. Just because he doesn't scathe someone in writing doesn't mean he's a socialist and/or agreeable to that person's political views. Posted by user ajj120.

I agree with your comment: "It's the bloody internet, anyone can access it and edit it." It's unreal how people like you hate the US so much and defent a tyrant so much. Just unreal! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Demfourlife (talkcontribs) 23:15, 11 July 2006(UTC).

I hate to interrupt, but can we get back to the argument? Near as I can tell, wikipedia is an text-based encyclopedia, which hosts images to back up or illustrate the text; how well they can do so is their "encyclopedic value". The "Health" section has a separate paragraph on Castro's tripping incident, therefore, it seems to me that a picture of the trip would serve the article well. If the picture is inappropriate, then so is the text. So perhaps the argument should be over whether or not text itself mentioning the fall has encyclopedic value or not. Korossyl 17:18, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Otherwise, I think we can all agree that we have biases. We can't ignore them, and we can't fullt repress them when we edit articles, so let's just all try to be as open-minded as possible to others and hope that all our collective biases more or less cancel each other out. Just because something portrays the subject in a negative light does not mean it's POV; just because something glorifies the topic does not mean it's POV. I say, both images in question have encyclopedic value, make the article more interesting, and don't really have major copyright problems, so should be included. Just my opinion... Korossyl 17:21, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

The trouble with your "..hope that all our collective biases more or less cancel each other out.." idea is that it is not consistent with WP:NPOV. It is akin to both sides shouting, and leads to overly long articles and does not foster neutrality. The article is already too long, and the slip and fall incident is a prime bit of text to be removed to make the article shorter to meet Wikipeida guidelines. BruceHallman 18:20, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
The average of black and white is grey, but black and white is not grey. Grey is grey and neutral is neutral. Demfourlife has made it abundantly clear that her objective is to push an anti-Castro POV. All objective editors should not support such a push of POV. BruceHallman 18:20, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
And for what it is worth, the issue of Castro's frailty is a huge matter in the POV debate. Witness the fact of several vandalism/hoax incidents in recent days regarding Castro's death. Clearly, Demfourlife's POV pushing has strong parallels to the repeating 'Castro just died' hoaxing. BruceHallman 18:26, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Well, point taken. The point I was trying to get at (which I guess I never actually articulated...) was that just because Demfourlife has an agena doesn't mean that her addition has no merit: if her only goal is to attack Castro, even unfairly, but her contribution has encyclopedic value, then it must be considered on its own merits, regardless of what's behind it. I guess my original point was that we should avoid ad hominem argumentation: I really don't care whether anyone has a bias or what it is, because I hold them to be unavoidable. Our only conern, as editors, is to improve the article, and if Person A's reason for adding something is to more clearly reflect her own view, if the addition has merit by itself, Person B shouldn't have a problem with it, regardless of what's been said on the talk page.
I think you're cutting right to the argument here: "the slip and fall incident is a prime bit of text to be removed." If the text should be removed, then so should the picture; and if the text stays, then so should the picture. The debate here seems to have stalled about the time that Demfourlife put forth the argument that the tripping incident "raised a whole host of questions such as his general health, as he is 80 years old now, and who would succeed Castro if he were to die." I'd say this is the point at which debate should resume. The fact is that Castro IS frail (although I'd hope to be as healthy when I'm 80...!) -- whether this has any greater ramifications or should be included is the point of debate here.
Korossyl 18:42, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Fair question. I am mentioning the clear anti-Castro intent of Demfourlife to add emphasis to my assertion that the 'Castro tripping and falling incident' does not warrant much (or any) coverage in this already too long and over crowded encyclopedia article. I am not mentioning Demfourlife's anti-Castro intent simply to create an ad hominem fallacy. BruceHallman 20:33, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

These are the facts dude, if I can call you dude. There was a picture of Fidel walking on a red carpet. Why do we need a pic of a dictator walking on a red carpet? What's the encyclopedic value of this picture? It bothered and offended me, you are right. My question is just like tou assume that my reason for putting up a picture of castro falling to accompany the story about his fall was "anti-Castro," why did you not think the same of the picture of castro walking on the red carpet? That offends me and countless others, but you have no problem with it. I take that picture as a pro-Castro picture. You obviously had no problem with the pro-Castro picture did you? You did not remove the picture and place it on the "discussion board."

You also stated that you removed my pic due to copyright problems and because I needed to explain why I thought the pic should be included. You obviously thought I would not respond. When I answered both your questions, then you said the pic had no "value" and that the only reason for it was obviously to embarrass Castro. WHAT??? Why would you think that? Obviously you were offended by the picture. Again, you did not think the picture of castro was to show him as some kind of movie star? You must have missed that one huh?

The "demfourlife wants to fight" routine is getting old. You are the one that started it by removing my picture eventhough there were no objections from anyone. Even after no one responded to your invitation to "fight," you continue to remove my picture. I will soon again put it up as you have not demonstrated to me why it should not be up. The fact that I am anti-Castro has no relevance to my request. I want balance. By the way, did you see how many references use BBC or the New York Times? As a Democrat, I certainly know how leftist these media agencies can be.

Shame on you!—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 03:06, 13 July 2006).

I am reluctant to respond to your questions which are phrased as if we are in a battle. BruceHallman 14:12, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Alright, how about we discuss ONLY what the EXACT reasons are for why or why not Castro's tripping incident should or should not be mentioned in this article? Does it actually have the merit and importane Dem says it does, or does it push an unfairly negative view of Castro, as Bruce says? I'm interested to see the reasons given on both sides. Korossyl 14:32, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

An incident, a stumble, resulting in an injury, (since healed) occuring after a minor speech given about an obsure topic in a minor city does not warrant inclusion in an encylopedia. A stumble? Everybody occasionally stumbles. BruceHallman 14:52, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
Is the issue that Castro is old and has the associated frailty? That fact is already obvious from his age and his age is covered in the article. Rather, let us spend our energy discussing what should be removed from this overly long article. BruceHallman 14:52, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Well, I wrote a lengthy comment here, and then I got a WikiMedia error page and lost it. Bleh. Basically, I was thinking about whether WikiNews would report on Castro's trip, if it were to happen today. I would say yes. The way I see it, Castro really does have a sort of mystique about his person now -- anyone who has been in power for 41 years (leaving aside issues of autocracy, etc.) is bound to. I would venture to say that most Cubans today can't really picture a Cuba without Castro. Gerald Ford and other US presidents are replaced every four (or eight) years -- Castro's been around for ten times that long. This is, I believe, what Dem was saying earlier -- everyone trips, yes, but not everyone has become so immortalized as Castro. I imagine that most Cubans will remember Castro's fall for some time to come, and I can further imagine that an encyclopedia article twenty years from now, writing about Castro's death, could say something akin to "his health was visibily worsening in the late 90s and early 00s, as was brought to the attention of the world when he tripped and fell after a speech and was immobilized for two months."
I thnk the problem might not be mentioning Castro's fall itself, but the picture. I hold that anything mentioned should be allowed to have a photo, but I can see how someone could say that that particular series of photos just give a pretty embarassing view of the man. But I was thinking: how about if we cropped the photo to just one frame, say, the last or second to last, and used that? I believe that that might give an accurate and useful representation of what happened, and be fairly less controversial than what we're currently discussing.
Any thoughts?
Korossyl 15:38, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

I think you are on the right track Kosossy. I would not have any problem with the pic as long as it showed him falling. If we crop it to the point where he is just standing then the picture loses its value. I am ok with cropping it to just one fram. -demfourlife

Although I believed that the picture of Castro taking a tumble is justified, becuase there is an entire paragraph devoted to the fall, to his getting better, and to his first appearance afterward, I obliged in keeping it off the entry, because the picture, which greatly offends me, of castro walking down the "red crpet" was also removed. However, I will insist that as long as the pic of Castro on the red carpret is posted, so too will the picture of hgim falling. We need balance.

I'm terribly sorry that the picture of a communist leader on a red carpet offends you. But there are a lot of people who are offended by photographs of George W. Bush doing his presidential duties, for example. Should we remove all pictures where Bush is seen dealing with other people or sitting in the Oval Office, just because it might offend people who don't think Bush ? Or should we balance the Bush article by inserting a picture of a pretzel and telling how the president almost choked on that?
The incident about the fall isn't that notable, but it's been broadcasted on international television. So a paragraph of text about it might be in order, but a picture illustrating the minor incident is not necessary. Also the current picture has licensing issues, only when those are resolved the image qualifies as material for Wikipedia. menscht 10:06, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
A heck of a lot has been written so I may have missed it, but I don't see that Demfourlife has actually explained the encyclopedic value of including this information. I ask that the reasoning be stated or restated concisely and clearly. (I am aware of Demfourlife's anti-Castro opinions, so those do not need to be restated.) In a sentence or two, please (re)state the reasoning for the encyclopedic value. BruceHallman 13:44, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

BruceHallman, I'm tired of your games. You ARE THE ONLT ONE WHO HAS TAKEN OFFENSE TO THE PICTURE! No one else. Although you may think so, you re not GOD! Although I am anti-castro and man enough to say so, it has nothing to do with why I want the picture included. I don't have time for you. Please re read my prior posts. Stop vandalizing by entries!

Bruce, I think what Dem's referring to is his earlier comment: "The incident of Castro taking a tumble was commented on the media because it raised a whole host of questions such as his general health, as he is 80 years old now, and who would succeed Castro if he were to die." This is kinda the argument I was rehashing in my last post. Korossyl 04:52, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure Bruce doesn't take offensive of that picture and neither do I. We and others just think it doesn't have enough encyclopedic value. The incident it self might have some minor value, as indeed the health of an 80 year-old can be quite fragile, but such an incident doesn't need an illustration. Furthermore, you're still in the minority of being offended by that red carpet image and yet still you proceed to delete it. Please stop this, discuss it on the talk page or leave the whole debate for what it is. It's not vandalism and by name-calling your fellow editors you might just be violating WP:CIVIL, WP:NPA and WP:FAITH. menscht 10:21, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
Please refrain from attacking me personally. BruceHallman 15:05, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
I did re-read the prior posts, and the rational for the encyclopedic value of that photo is not there. I asked for the rational to be restated concisely and the response provided was instead a personal attack on me. BruceHallman 15:05, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
The closest thing to a rational, that I see, is that the issue of "the health of an 80 year old can be quite fragile". And, obviously that is hypothetical, the opposite can be true too. 80 year olds can be remarkable healthy. [Castro is 79 years old.] Presently, the Health section dwells entirely on the negative regarding Castro's health. There is nothing about his remarkable longevity. I don't see how adding yet another paragraph (with photo) dwelling on the negative about his health improves the WP:NPOV of that section. To the contrary, a paragraph about his good health should be added for balance. BruceHallman 15:05, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
Hm, so you'd advocate removing the entire mention of the incident also? At this point, I'm thinking that maybe we should perhaps re-title and maybe tweak the "Health" section to a "Succession" section instead, as is being discussed elsewhere. If it does remain health, then I still think that we have to mention the fall, at least in passing. It has been the most famous incident that has a direct bearing on Castro's well-being and age issues.
...On the other hand, this entire discussion may have become moot when the Orphanbot deleted the picture... Korossyl 16:12, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
I am basically OK leaving it in, now with the opening sentence having the words "...rumor, speculation and hoaxing..." which provides context. Though, if we ever get around to negotiating what to deleted to make the article shorter, this 'trip and fall' paragraph is at the top of my list. BruceHallman 20:43, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
The picture won't be allowed on this page because of copywrit issues, the automated bot will simply remove it. Regardless, images of an elderly figure falling flat on his face and breaking an arm have a zero chance of staying on any page on wikipedia whether it's Castro or the Pope. The whole debate is moot. Users will have to get their kicks from footage like this "Zidane headbutts Castro".--Zleitzen 16:31, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Red Carpet image

Fidel Castro in the 21st century

This picture was deleted due to a possible copyright issue and until it is stated how this picture of castro walking on a red carpet is of encyclopedic value. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 23:11, 10 July 2006(UTC).

To my understanding the picture is still fair use and is usable as long as credit is given. It's encyclopedic in that it demonstrates Castro in the 21st century. The other picture of Castro in the 21st century's sources are unverified as well, and are used to portray Castro in a POV way and is then unencyclopedic. Going by the rationale for the removal of the first image, the second should be removed.--GinAndTonic 23:02, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Why is that partciular picture tagged and not this one? World leaders, whether they are communists, capitalists, socialists, etc. tend to walk on red carpets often (and get photographed while doing it). That doesn't express any particular point of view, but rather an aspect of etiquette... As for the licensing issues, the portrait of Castro on a grey background is from the same agency as the red carpet picture. The first one still qualifies as fair use, so this one should also (photographer's name is mentioned, etc.) I'll re-insert the picture and change the licence issue soon if there aren't any serious objections to it. menscht 17:14, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

The license issues of the picture seem to be resolved. I reinserted t he picture.

This picture is offensive to me. It's like inserting a picture of Hitler walking on a red carpet during midst of holocaust. Insert another picture if you really need to, but do not use this one! It's offensive to thousands of his victims and glamorizes him in a pro-castro way.menscht 13:11, 17 July 2006 (UTC) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Demfourlife (talkcontribs) 23:53, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

The preceding comment was not made by the person whose signature follows it. This either represents an attempt at abusive sockpuppetry, or a blatant attempt to defraud readers. Either way, such efforts will not be tolerated. (ESkog)(Talk) 00:04, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Comparing Castro to Hitler is highly offensive in itself so perhaps we should ignotre your preocupations if you just want to spew verbal abuise like that. Castro is not a rascists nor has he plunged the region into war. By comparing Castro to Hitler you minimize Hitler's crimes. Are we a serious encyclopedia or what? TV Genius 00:04, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

The damned image is not glamorizing. It makes him looks stupid. Look at it for Christ's sake! Jobjörn (Talk ° contribs) 00:21, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
I think it is a neutral photo and would thjerefore support its inclusion. Not for us to judge Castro or want to insert pics to promote our own agendas re Castro. TV Genius 00:25, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
It's a picture of Castro. What the heck are you saying when you say I am trying to act as if I were someone else? To me castro is a hitler. Hitler was one of the most evil men in this world. So is castro. Except Hitler didn't kill any of my relatives, Castro has. The picture is offensive to me. Find another picture of his ugly devilish mug or of him sitting under a palm tree. A picture of the "Hitler" like castro on a red carpet is offensive to me. Why do you fight to keep it on when it is offensive. I don't have a problem with the other pictures, I do have a serious problem with this one. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Demfourlife (talkcontribs)
Well this is an encyclopedia so what happened to you persoanlly is not relevant. I dont think Hitler was evil because he killed members of my family (as he did) but because of his past objectively seen. its a non-starter trying to compare Castro to that, Castro has some blood on his hands but so do most politicians, it comes with the job. castro is not rascist and is not creating a holocaust. And, hey, dont remove my comments because you dont like them. that isnt the way we do things here. TV Genius 01:20, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

"Castro to that, Castro has some blood on his hands but so do most politicians, it comes with the job." Wow, you really are a stupid moron aren't you? This is not your page. It's a community page. You are a mole for the castro goverment you castro jock sniffer. I will keep doing what is right. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Demfourlife (talkcontribs)

Well I think you werer describing yourself demifour. I am not even a supporter of Castro, I just think even less of those Gringo Cubans who live in the States and still call themselves Cubans and then go around hating. Insulting people in an idiotic way will merely make people think the Cuban traitors are exactly that, people without a moral stance. My moral stance is a united Latin America without it being ruled by the US and its traitorous lackeys, whom you appear to support and be one of (from the look of the ip based edit to your user pasge you are a San Francisco based American). IMO showing l;ack of respect to Castro is showing a lack of respect to Cuba, hence my use of the word traitorous to describe you and your ilk. TV Genius 22:21, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Wow. You're really WP:POV. Jobjörn (Talk ° contribs) 02:10, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
The same photo was uploaded twice, so I would not be surprised at that. However, I think the picture is NPOV. One, it shows Castro in his uniform, which is a staple of him, regardless of his location. Two; it's a red carpet. Bush walked on a bunch, so have a lot of world leaders. Three, since this was taken in Brazil, this could also show what Castro has been doing in Latin America all of the recent few years, such as supporting Evo Morales and Hugo Chavez. Plus, where else can we get freely licensed photos of the man? I say it is a keeper. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 02:15, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Baseball Legend

Anyone think there would be any value in mentioning just in passing somewhere (perhaps in the Early Life section) that Castro was never a baseball player, and never tried out for a US team? Obviously, it's pointless to make lists of things people are not, but this seems to be a particularly persistent urban legend and one that comes up frequently among non-experts when discussing pre-revolutionary Castro, so it might make sense to clear up here. Korossyl 18:45, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

How do you define "baseball player"? There are many photographs of Fidel Castro playing baseball, so obviously, he was a baseball player by some sort of definition. Though, perhaps, this link could be added to the external links section? BruceHallman 18:51, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
Aye, that makes sense. I'll do that. Korossyl 21:19, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
If anyone knows anything about this subject: Baseball in Cuba, then take a look at that page and add any info they have. I would have a go myself but I know next to nothing about baseball - the ball's too small and there's not enough spontaneous acts of violence for my tastes.--Zleitzen 14:07, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Oh, that's a low blow... But I wonder if anyone knows where to get a usable photo of Castro playing ball? That would definitely help the baseball article; might even be appropriate here, as it's apparently one of his hobbies. Google Images has plenty of 'em, but it doesn't seem to me that any have source info. Also, I don't speak Spanish, so about half the pages I can't read... Korossyl 22:39, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

I would not be in favor of including a picture of the dictator murderer playing baseball. What is the relevance? Baseball was not a huge part of this man's life. Most of us have played a sport in our young lives. Unless we were professional athletes, do you think it will be written about in our obit?

I see your point, but I was mostly thinking for the picture to go on the Baseball in Cuba page, where it would indeed have relevance. Other than that, everyone has hobbies, and it might spice up the article; for instance, though I don't know whether it's true, I've heard Hitler liked to re-enact battles with toy soldiers, and he and Mussolini spent many a-night on the battlegrounds of Waterloo... I'd definitely be in favor of adding a picture of Hitler with toys in his article. Furthermore, it's not just a thing of the past in Castro's life: there's a picture floating around of him in the past year or so in full baseball uniform. Korossyl 18:08, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

Miami Prank Call

I'm not sure if this is appropriate for this article, but anyone think there would be any value in mentioning the prank call [5] the two Miami DJs made to Castro a year or two back? Admittedly, it's wasn't one of Castro's more refined moments [6], but it was pretty big news at the time, and interestingly enough in terms of US-Cuban relations, the FCC took legal action against the DJs [7]. I'm just not sure what it would go under. If it's not right for this article, perhaps there should be a separate article for the incident that we could link to?
Korossyl 22:52, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Maybe worth a very brief mention, and if you're prepared to knock a page up detailing the incident a link to that article. --Zleitzen 17:19, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
I'll try to get on that, then, and I'll add the link whenever I end up finishing. Korossyl 18:10, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
Isn't this trival in the history of Fidel Castro, US relations with Fidel Castro and Cuba, and just about everything? Capit 11:41, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Health section

Take a look at the 'Health' section. It has five paragraphs, and all five describe health problems. Yet, it is a wide known and verified fact that Fidel Castro has been extraodinarily healthy. From the BBC: "He looks very healthy." How is the Health section of the article neutral without a mention of Castro's history of good health? Objectively, it appears to me that anti-Castro proponents are fixated on the issue of succession and are trying to inject the 'ill-health' issue into the article as a POV push. Indeed, I just checked at random ten Current national leaders and none had a section in their article about Health. For this reason, I propose that the Health section be deleted entirely from the Fidel Castro article. BruceHallman 13:51, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Castro's health is all part of the PR/Propoganda war that surrounds US Cuba relations. The BBC source quotes Assembly President (and essentially the unofficial Cuban President) Ricardo Alarcón stating that Castro is in good health - Alarcon is saying this because it is vital for the Cuban government to wrong foot any preparations towards "transition". Speculation from the outside and smokecreens from the inside are key to the present situation, which is growing daily as Raul takes centre stage. Therefore I think the health section needs to stay, Bruce. It's too important.--Zleitzen 16:49, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
An encyclopedia should not play part in a ' PR/Propaganda war ', as you put it. In its present form, the Private life (sic) / Health section plays a part in this war. I agree that the issue of presidential succession is a big deal and must be covered. Though, I argue, that it is better covered in Cuba, or in Politics of Cuba. This is an article about a person, not an article about a country, nor an article about domestic and international politics. Indeed, the US policy to foster 'transition' in Cuba deserves an article in itself. BruceHallman 17:54, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
Please explain why Castro is different than other current national leaders? I could not find a single other current national leader that has a section in their article about their health. BruceHallman 17:54, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
Alternately, I could imagine a rewrite of the Health section to include reference to the PR/propaganda war, including the issue of health and death hoaxes. But to just parrot the health questions which give weight to the health rumors and hoaxes in an encyclopedia is inappropriate. BruceHallman 17:54, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
The section needs work, I agree. But how many of these leaders are 80 years old? And how many of the leaders are in the same position as Castro. See Robert Mugabe for a comparison - and the Succession section which is the area we're talking about here.--Zleitzen 18:04, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Bruce here, I don't think any political leaders should have an entire section devoted to their personal health. Insofar as it is important for succession, or for performing his official duties it could be included in sections dealing with those matters, however. Jens Nielsen 18:39, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
Its rather naïve to think that Castro’s health is not relevant. He has been dictator of Cuba for 45 years and there is no well established order of succession, making his health extremely relevant. Torturous Devastating Cudgel 18:41, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
What we really need is a succession section a la Robert Mugabe, where these issues can play a part. This is big news at the moment with Raul being groomed for a leading role, Alarcon waiting in the wings and all manner of vultures hovering around the broken tree in the US. Reading between the lines it looks like Castro really is on the way out this time. I can't see how his own impending demise is not relevant to the man himself. --Zleitzen 18:50, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Zleitzen about the health section being transformed into a succession section. Touching upon the health situation of a 80 year old leader in such a succession section isn't that weird and doesn't necessarily express a POV when phrased carefully. menscht 18:56, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
I just added some wording that trys to give more emphasis to the succession aspect of the issue. BruceHallman 20:07, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
Castro's health as an issue seems completely obvious. Why else is the CIA preocuppied with whether he has a brain tumor or Parkinson's disease, or why it matters if he falls and is injured? For years the US has been making "transition" plans. There was an updated "transition" plan issued just in the last few weeks. Does this issue really warrant all this discussion? Capit 19:16, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Castro as a public figure.

The Castro as a public figure section includes the sentence: He features prominently in the propaganda distributed by the Cuban government, his own persona being intertwined with the Cuban flag, revolution, and national identity.

Is this actually true? It is my impression that it is not. You could say something like that for Che Guevara or for José Martí but I don't think it is true for Fidel Castro. BruceHallman 20:05, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

I looked at that as well, and didn't buy it. All political groups produce such imagary - such "propoganda", where it is found, is certainly not unique to Castro. Also, see Cult of personality where I've been working around some of the material placed on that rather spurious page. I believe that it should be incorporated here as well. Here is the section
Fidel Castro, the President of Cuba, often referred to as "Comandante," is a rare example of a leader who insists that he does not promote a cult of personality. When asked about the matter in 1985 Castro replied, "although we have been dogmatic, and we have never preached cult of personality. You will not see a statue of me anywhere, nor a school with my name, nor a street, nor a little town, nor any type of personality cult because we have not taught our people to believe, but to think, to reason out." Despite this, Castro has been accused of "bask[ing] in the adulation and servility of his subordinates" and "creating a regime built around the cult of the personality functions" encouraging "the illusion that only he and his select group of revolutionaries have earned the right to wield unlimited power over the people of Cuba." [3][2] Castro has also been described as an example of the rise of a distinct "charismatic leader" common to developing nations, and of encouraging the "Personalistic political regime". This theory contends that Castro has maintained power largely through highly visible, charismatic leadership and popular appeals to the Cuban people, though the administration is successful only as long as the leader's charisma lasts. [4]--Zleitzen 21:10, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

popular revolution

An editor recently asked "Why add a non neutral adjective in an otherwise neutral senctence? ..." in reference to the addition of the word "popular" as in "popular revolution". The answer is that the adjective popular certainly meets WP:V and WP:NOR. Indeed, I argue, it even meets WP:NPOV because, even the opposition to the revolution reluctantly recogonize it was (and to a real extent still is) popular. Just because there is some opposition who resent that it is popular doesn't mean 'popular' is not neutral. BruceHallman 15:28, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Indeed, a month ago, I asked about this; the elephant in the room is that Fidel Castro is largely popular in Cuba and the article should say this. I was pushed back with an edit war. That is when I added the POV box at the top of the article. I am unwilling to agree to remove the POV box at the top until the article include we acknowledge the 'elephant in the room' and describe that Fidel Castro is popular in Cuba, etc.. BruceHallman 15:28, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

I don't think there is a need in the first section to describe the revolution as "popular", although it was certainly so at the time, best to keep to the raw detail as much as possible. But you are correct that a section on this page should attempt to address the popularity/unpopularity of Castro both at home and abroad. However, that needs to be carefully considered and navigated. The climate in Cuba can not be judged by Western standards. After 40 or so years of Granma editorials with little to no counterpoint - what popularity that undoubtably exists is shrouded in misinformation and extreme manipulation. --Zleitzen 16:52, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
I don't see this is a POV issue; "popular" doesn't necessarily mean well-liked, in this context. There are popular revolutions, in which the people themselves rise up, and... other revolutions, in which only a small group or caste is involved (e.g., the Meiji Revolution, or some of the failed French revolutions). Otherwise, about Castro's actual popularity, I agree with Zleitzen's statement. Under the current set of circumstances, I do not believe Castro's popularity can be accurately read. Korossyl 04:54, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
To clarify. It's not so much that the Cuban media deify Castro per se (see cult of personality above), but the relentless barrage of pro-government/anti-opposition material has skewered this issue somewhat. For example, the daily stories detailing US "crimes" (real or imagined) feeds Castro's profile as "nationalist defender". And thus, his popularity - which is genuine when found, like all other nationalist leaders - is solidified by dubious means. So no mention of Castro's popularity should be seperated from references to the lack of critical media. --Zleitzen 10:59, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

That is why I propose this 'second paragraph':

"Castro, in his long tenure as leader of Cuba has been variously described as a totalitarian despot and a charismatic liberator, both widely hated and widely popular, a benevolent dictator, an astute politician and an autocratic totalitarian murderer, symbol of communist revolution in Latin America, a dedicated socialist ideologue and a pragmatic nationalistic power monger. Few leaders in history have received such a wide range of praise and criticism." BruceHallman 16:02, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

It might add weight to the paragraph if each description was sourced. Which shouldn't be too difficult to do. Then I see no issues with it's inclusion. But more detail within the main article would helpfully elabourate on these features. --Zleitzen 16:46, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Foreign relations and Soviet relations sections

I've moved much of the material to other Cuba pages now. So would anyone object if I just removed those sections as they are best represented under Cuban foreign policy titles.--Zleitzen 00:42, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Just read [8] El Jigue 7-27-06

Already read it El Jigue. For my Hilda Molina research! You've got to get up early to catch me out.--Zleitzen 16:00, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

castro is a butcher?

This first sentence seems to have some point of view problems I think 03:02, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Castro should have something long and jaged insterted into a certain unmentionable interstice. That's my unbiased upinion, lol. It's awesome he's gone... hope his brother's not as bad. If only oil were discovered in Cuba, then it would be liberated within a week.
Just like we "liberated" the Filipines?Cameron Nedland 20:58, 1 August 2006 (UTC)


Since when has a president been in power for 47 years, with no opposition and no possibility of such or free elections? Get real! Castro is a dictator clear and simple.

Cuba has Republic elections every four years where they elect people from different regions of Cuba to present needs and wants of these regions and Castro make these things happen. The system is just the same as in the acient times. (MP 2006)

A president is elected and shares power with a senate, congress, parliament or or otherwise. Castro is an absolute ruler. Do not dilute the meaning of a president or prime minister.

Wikipedia says: President is a title held by many leaders of organizations, companies, universities, and countries. Etymologically, a "president" is one who presides, who sits in leadership (from Latin prae- "before" + sedere "to sit"; just as Praeses). Originally, the term referred to the presiding officer of a ceremony or meeting (i.e. chairman); but today it most commonly refers to an official with executive powers.
Among other things, President today is a common title for the Head of state of most republics, whether popularly elected, chosen by the

legislature or a special electoral college. It is also often adopted by dictators.

Then maybe that definition needs to be changed. Regardless, the term "president" is overwhelmingly associated with the elected leader of a free system, and that implication/connotation is why I have a problem with the term being used here. I have no problem with more neutral terms like "political leader". --Tuxley 17:53, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

No, the definition shouldn't be changed since that's the standard definition in political science Gugganij 21:48, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

The correct title for Fidel Castro Ruz is: "Comandante en Jefe, Primer Secretario del Partido y Presidente de los Consejos de Estado y de Ministros de la República de Cuba" that's what he signed with in his latest communication It transtalets to "Commander in Chief, First Secretary of the Party and President of the State and Minister Councils of the Republic of Cuba"(i think). So he should be refered as President, Comandante or First Secretary i guess. ¡Hasta la Victoria Siempre! -- 19:17, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

He's a dictator for crying out loud!Cameron Nedland 21:00, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes, he is, but still he is also a president (like Saddam Hussein was, and Hu Jintao still is).Gugganij 21:48, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Fidel Castro is the President of Cuba. Just like Hu Jintao is the President of the People's Republic of China, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the President of Iran, Alexander Lukashenko is the President of Belarus, Vladimir Putin is the President of the Russian Federation and George W. Bush is the President of the United States. It's not about democracy, it's about titles. As thus, I'm going to revert all edits labelling him as a dictator (which he, undeniably, is), as the proper title is President. The last time someone called themselves Dictators was in the Roman empire. For more on this, you might want to see the discussions about Gustave de Molinari and Murray Rothbard being anarcho-capitalists. Jobjörn (Talk ° contribs) 22:30, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
He is a dictator, but there is a difference between how you run your country and what the title of you position is, (as said by Jobjörn above). The fact is he is internationally recognised as President Castro. UKWiki 08:54, 2 August 2006 (UTC), you make your communist patriots proud. The application of the term "President" to such a tyrant is insulting to the democratic connotation of the term. At least "political leader" is neutral. And "de facto President" would no longer carry a democratic connotation. --Tuxley 00:52, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

I used de facto because I dont really agree he is President since Monday and I think wikipedia is making a mistake claiming he is. Yet he clearly was President till Monday. Tuxley, this has nothing to do with democracy, Cuba is a soveriegn state and President absolutely does not have a democratic connotation nor should it. We need to retain NPOV and that means democracy is no better than non democracy. He was indeed internationally recognised as President of a sovereign nation till Monday. Democratic nations clearly dont get more rights in the UN, for instance. TV Genius 00:58, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

TV Genius, you speak respectfully. Thank you. I understand the issue with keeping an NPOV, however I have always understood the title of President or Prime Minister to imply election by the people through some kind of free process. Of course, these dictators like to call themselves "Presidents" and "Prime Ministers", but that doesn't mean they are.

According to my dictionary a "dictator" is:

"a ruler with total power over a country, typically one who has obtained power by force."

Even with a NPOV, does not Castro fit this definition? And if we really want a NPOV, wouldn't something like this be more fitting?:

"Fidel Castro (born 1926-08-13) is the current political leader of Cuba, holding the official state title of President."

Regardless, I would like to appeal to whatever process is available for determining the proper meaning and usage of the terms "President" and "Prime Minister". It just seems to me rather counter-productive to engage in edit wars instead. I will honor whatever decision is made as long a the process is fair and others abide by it as well. How would I go about that?

In any case, I think you're right in that he transfered all his state powers to his brother, so that would mean he no longer holds the official title. If the U.S. president transfers his powers to the vice-president, he is no longer the current official president or commander in chief. Of course, I personally think Castro is probably dead, but that's another matter.--Tuxley 08:23, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Castro is a president. When his brother takes over he will be president too. All this talk about the term "President" is simply US-centered political idealism to such a strange extent that simply the term "president" being associated with someone that does math George W Bush's ideology or to a lesser extent democracy in general, seems offensive. President is as NPOV as a term can get. Seriously, views need to broaden here.

In short: President=Sole executive head of state. (as in the US) Prime Minister= literally "first minister." In other words, the head of an elite governing few. Often dubbed, "first among equals". (as in Canada) Wikipedia is not a forum to restrict the meaning of words.

Lastly, Tuxley, wikipedia is not a place to put random quotes from misc. local news from some random exiles already partying because they want Castro to already be dead. The link is not a reputable source and should be deleted.Blue Leopard 05:37, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Blue Leopard, first off, check your attitude at the door. Secondly, because your definition of some terms are different than mine does not mean I need to broaden my views because of it. Perhaps it is you who needs to examine your views. In fact, you display enormous bias in your post.

This has nothing to do with George W. Bush or any other president. This has to do the term "President" being applied to officials elected by the people through some process. Now, perhaps you and some others don't support this definition. That's fine. But what I think should be clear in the article is that this man is not an elected official, but rather one that has maintained power through force. To that extent, I am happy with the current version of the article.

Oh, and what links do you speak of? I haven't introduced any new links into the article at all, nor have I expanded upon the transfer of powers. Maybe you should check your facts before you accuse others of things. --Tuxley 10:32, 5 August 2006 (UTC)


Shoulden't someone add yesterdays ordeal into this? --Elven6 12:54, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

--Elven6 16:46, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

2006 Cuban transfer of duties

You all have seen the news. Even if only on a provisional basis, Castro transferred power to his brother. Wouldn't that make Raul the new current president of Cuba? Coolguy1368 11:14, 1 August 2006

Let's not merge the Castro article with the Transfer of Power article. The Trasnfer of Power could be a huge event, it deserves it's own topic.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

No not really, think of it like this: If you are the manager of a store who is currently looking over it and recive a call to attend something woulden't you tell someone to look after the store while your gone? Would you just leave it out in the open so people could jack you up? Hopefully Castro wont be back and we won't have to do anything about a transfer of power. --Elven6 16:46, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

  • Do not merge As the event includes someone who is both the Head of State of a major country and notable in his own right, and as there has been no (to my knowledge) peaceful transition or transfer of power in Cuba since Castro took over, this event is notable enough for an Encyclopedia article. Obviously it doesn't include much information presently, but once more information is available, it appears likely to grow to a full-length article. --Tim4christ17 16:47, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Do not merge That page is a neccessary link from a number of pages including the Raul Castro page and the Politics of Cuba series. It means that we don't have to keep repeating ourselves again and again on the up to 50 Cuban politics related articles. --Zleitzen 16:21, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Merge Like someone said, this could be a huge event in Castros life and the history of Cuba. But until it affects the people of Cuba more than Castro is should be in the Castro article --Straws
  • Oppose merge, per above. The article is created. Should it turn out to be a minor event, then the article can be merged. Otherwise, let's not create and delete articles for no reason. Also, this way, a lot more information can be included, as opposed to being brief. -b 19:27, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Do not merge As stated above, the transer of power is a significant event that deals with multiple individuals; not just Fidel. There is enough information specific to this event that it vouches for its own article, and personally, I'm not sure where it would fit into the Fidel Castro article without either polluting this article with relatively insiginificant facts or stripping the Transfer article of valuable information. --Mokkan88 19:45, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Do not merge, at least for now. Consider again in a week or two if the other article is still a stub or near-stub.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  20:35, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Current event articles are usually created by a lot of folks, so I think we should not merge for now. Let's see how that article turns out, and also see how the events in Cuba plays out, since if the event of Fidel's death does take place, we can move it and modify that. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 02:05, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Do not merge As seems to be consensus here, I voted to not merge for basically the same reasons as everybody else. It affects more than just Castro, even though he is the main person. Also, I added the merge template, so more people can know what is going on with this article.--Chili14 04:12, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Do not merge. Eh, I think my arguments for that have already been stated. Also, could we remove the merging notice now? Jobjörn (Talk ° contribs) 11:47, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Elven6, I personally don't think Castro will be back, but of course, that's just speculation at this point. Regardless, if you leave a store and have someone look after it, but give that person all your "powers" as manager, in effect, he will become the manager for that time.

The analogy isn't perfect, because we can't talk the same way about the owner, because you can't "own" a nation (though Castro certainly seemed to think so), but regardless, if Raul is in power than he should be considered the current political leader (though I wouldn't call any dictator a president). --Tuxley 10:39, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

I've removed the template; considering the overwhelming amount of no-votes. It's a consensus to me! Jobjörn (Talk ° contribs) 11:49, 5 August 2006 (UTC)


So Raul is a backup president? Would that make Cuba's government a dictatorship of the Castro brothers, rather than just Fidel? — Rickyrab | Talk 20:07, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

He's the backup dictator "President". He has no power until dictator "President" Fidel gives up power, such as now.--Kevin W. 20:18, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Raul's position as first vice president is similar to the American position of vice president in that he temporarily takes over the authority of the president's office in case of severe illness or death. --Tim4christ17 22:41, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Ehm, you don't think a 79-year-old man is able to control an entire nation all by himself? Cuba's government is a dictatorship led by Fidel Castro, not of Fidel Castro. Jobjörn (Talk ° contribs) 23:00, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Castro not dead

"Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz August 13, 1926 - August 1, 2006 was the President of Cuba" but I chechked at various newspapers/TV and he seems to be still alive.

It seems especially likely that he's still alive since it's now August 3 and there's been no news about it. --Fenoxielo 04:08, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
If the US press stops talking about Mel Gibson, then we might know if he is alive or dead. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 04:15, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
His state of health is still a 'state secret', but he has not passed away as of yet. Bakanov 11:05, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
He's probably dead, but they claim he's alive to keep morale high.Cameron Nedland 15:35, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Requesting semi-protection.

This article is currently being plagued by vandalism. Starks 21:27, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I would tend to agree. In the past day I've seen the death date added and removed at least 5 times. Uncreative 22:21, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Its getting very chjaotic right now, took 3 or 4 people to fix one vandal because they are coming in so fast with different people trying to fix them. TV Genius 01:50, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

This is ridiculous, ive seen it go from "president" to "faggot" to "communist dictator" and back in the last few minutes! Smart Mark Greene 22:37, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

There are strong indications that Castro is indeed dead, and thus no longer in power, however this has not been officially verified, so I agree that a death date should not be added to the article until then. --Tuxley 00:55, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Very true, but untill then, you have to ask yourself, do you really think the government wants the people to know of his death? eventually we will know, but it will probably be quiet, and/OR when raul holds complete power and control...

I ran across the following, it appears his date of birth may be August 13, 1927 not 1926:

Fidel Castro Ruz was born on August 13, 1927, in Biran, Oriente province, about 40 miles form Batista's birthplace

Ramon L. Bonachea and Marta San Martin, The Cuban Insurrection: 1952-1959, (New Brunswick: Transaction Books, 1974), p. 10. A birth year for Fidel Castro of 1926 is the popularly accepted year used by most of Castro's biographers. However, Bonachea and San Martin cite convincing evidence, in the form of a certifying letter from Castro's mother, that attests to Fidel's birthyear as 1927.

Fair use image

To be a fair use image under law the magazine cover should only be yused when referring to said article, which we have failed to do, so I ahve removed it. Give us some info about the magazine article and it will be fine but it looks like we are using the cover as a pic of Castro and not to represent the article cover. TV Genius 01:35, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Fine by me. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 02:00, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

GA nomination

I've failed the article solely on basis of stability, which is required by the Good Article criteria. Wait until the situation cools down a bit, then feel free to renominate it. Titoxd(?!?) 06:26, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Dear pro-Castro "intellectuals"

Dear pro-Castro "intellectuals", the news coming from Cuba are not very good, as you can see your beloved DICTATOR seems to live his final moments. In a now traditional manner he gives the control of the socialist republic (what a joke) to his brother, so don't be too sad, the communism will be still destroying the life of the ordinary Cubans for another 10-15 years from now on. To Demfourlife and the few normal people on this forum, "I am watching these edit wars for months so let me give you an advice. It doesn't matter how many arguments you'll have you'll never win a battle against people like Zleitzen or BruceHallman, they are either naive, fanatics, complete morons or most likely paid to impose their pro-communist views on wikipedia. Nobody can afford to spend so much time on these pages yet they're writing every single day for at least 3 months now! Let them have this page, it doesn't matter anyway, we both know that communism is the most criminal society ever created by mankind. Truth doesn't need to be defended!. All the best (Ricardo 3:51, 5 August 2006)

Nice try and rather quaint, but if I was imposing my "pro-communist" views on wikipedia, why would I have created articles and written more on Cuban dissidents, oppositional groups, oppositional politicians and oppositional parties than any other editor on wikipedia? Take your partisan politics elsewhere please - it is possible to understand two sides to every story. If users such as yourself want political change in Cuba, why don't you assist and contribute to the pages detailed on the List of political parties in Cuba page, and expand information as I do, or expand information on this page: Hilda Molina which I created the other day - or any of the many pages on individual Cuban dissidents, a lot of which I created. Your allegations are amusing but hold no water. --Zleitzen 07:15, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Ricardo, thanks and you arecorrect. Some of these people fight like rabid dogs to make sure that nothing negative is said about Castro yet I've see many folks write things like pro-castro and you don't hear a peep from them. Don;t listen to this Zleitzen person who is, as you said, a shill for the Dictator. He has writen things like how great the Cuban health care system is and how they were the first country in the world to do anything about AIDS. Real humanists these people are huh Ricardo? Maybe we had it all wrong. Keep up the fight! We are on the right side.

Ricardo, it seems the picture of that Castro fuck was finally inserted after all! lol. Look at that pic of him slithering on the ground! Soon it will be similar, but six feet under where he will be eaten by worms! lol. Great job demfourlife!


Fidel Castro is the current President of Cuba - not the de facto or any other term. This is defined by the Cuban constitution and Raul's role is identical to John Prescott's duties during Blair's heart operation or George Bush snr's duties during Reagan's health problems and operations. --Zleitzen 01:16, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

If you want to get technical, Cuba's original democratic constitution was illegally modified, therefore, and it is no secret that the communist party has maintained power through force, not free election and democratic process, therefore this government is the de facto government, and the president of that government is the de facto president. --Tuxley 01:24, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Quite happy to get technical. Which constitution are you referring to? I'm referring to the 1976 constitution amended in 1992. Are you referring to the 1901 consitution modified by the US or the 1940 Ramon Grau inspired constitution dissolved by Batista in '52? --Zleitzen 01:26, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

this is what we are dealing with

Pay close attention to this man's words:

"Well I think you were describing yourself demifour. I am not even a supporter of Castro, I just think even less of those Gringo Cubans who live in the States and still call themselves Cubans and then go around hating. Insulting people in an idiotic way will merely make people think the Cuban traitors are exactly that, people without a moral stance. My moral stance is a united Latin America without it being ruled by the US and its traitorous lackeys, whom you appear to support and be one of (from the look of the ip based edit to your user pasge you are a San Francisco based American). IMO showing l;ack of respect to Castro is showing a lack of respect to Cuba, hence my use of the word traitorous to describe you and your ilk. TV Genius 22:21, 2 August 2006 (UTC)"

This is one of the "editors" who allows or does not allow what can be said on these borads. Look at his personal stance. He calls my family traitors, bcoase we left Cuba. castro is not the bad guy, we were for leaving our country. I guess he would consider the jews leaving Nazi Germany traitors also.

This is Wikipidea is a joke. It's a launching pad for the ideas of those who wish to push their anti-American and in this case, pro-Cuban stance. Let's not pretend it's anything other than what it is. --Demfourlife 02:47, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

TV Genius, do not try to out editor's locations, that can be considered harrasment. Now, I edit articles about Belarus, and I faced similar issues about Lukashenko since he is Castro-like. They are both President's in the sense of the term they used to describe their offices and the way they are addressed. Until something happens to Castro, such as resignation or death, Castro should be called "President Castro," despite what he has done to his people and Cuban exiles. I still call Lukashenko president since he is the President of the Republic, though his elections are alway clouded in mystery. Plus, Demfourlife, with the Castro article being on the front page, the article will get a lot of heavy traffic and of-course, POV and other issues will rise. Now, I want all parties to relax, figure out what the main issues now and work on them instead of getting into a senseless fight that will do nothing but cause more problems. Ok? User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 03:03, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

I apologize for revealing the ip location. I certainly dont apologize for having a pro Latin American anti US stance. Just look at the history of the region. If you read my user page, demifour, you will see that I am far from being a socialist, and as a businessman probably less socialist than yourself so your characterisation of me as pro Castro is a joke. But I believe therer are far more important issues at stake here than right or left and that is the ability of Latin America to free itself of US oppression and interference in the region as expressed in the Monroe Doctrine. TV Genius 03:30, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

This really isn't the arena to express an anti-US or an anti-Castro or a pro-Cuba stance etc. There are plenty of forums out there to argue the night away on such issues. Please keep to discussing the detail of the page. What is important is that this page now carries a wild claim of Castro having cancer that is apparently sourced to George Galloway! By the way, the only Jose Alvarez I know is a Cuban American economist - not a Cuban official as claimed on the page. --Zleitzen 03:59, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Demifour if you call people morons and other insults expect them to react. My only objection to you is your insults and your removal of my objecting to your comparing Castro to Hitler comment. Please dont remove my comments or insult me then we can get along fine I am sure. I have seen first hand how the US divides the Caribbean in particular and Latin America in general in order to rule it. TV Genius 04:10, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

TV Genuis writes:

"You ask what I would expect people like your family to do given the problems with Castro in Cuba. The answer is I would have expected you and the other Cubans to have gone anywhere in the world other than the US and to have bitterly opposed the trade embargo which has wrecked the Caribbean economy regardless of whether you are in the States or not."

This guy is unreal. This is a guy allowed to censor my writing by Wikipedia? Unreal. First of all, my parents went to the greatest country on earth, with the most freedoms. The US may not be perfect sir, but where would the world be today without her? Secondly, Fidel wants people like you to think the embargo is why the former Pearl of the Antilles is such a shit hole today. I'm sure it has nothing to do with his leadership. There are no Human rights on the island, people are not free to come and go as they please, they walk around with ration cards for their food (when their is food), children can get milk only until they turn 8 years old, his jails are full of folks who dared to have differing opinions and spoke of them, the walls of the prisons are splattered with the blood of those he murdered to keep shut, etc, yet it's America's fault. The problem with Cuba is America.

You are an idiot sir.

Also, check out every picture regarding Fidel Castro. He is either shown forcefully, handsome, with dignitaries, on a red carpet, yet when I try to insert a picture of him falling to accompany an entire section about his health INCLUDING THE FALL, I was told the picture was anticastro and my only reason to include it was to embarass him. WHAT? I could even get someone to color the red carpet a different color which I would have accepted. Countless times, I said I believe the picture of the tyrant walking on a red carpet was offensive. Countless times I removed it. Countless times it was put back. In fact, another picture of castro with Marcos was added. I guess we needed another picture of castro, you could never have to many.

I even agreed to limit the pic of him falling to one frame, but it was denied by the pro-castro folks with a myriad of excuses. I have been watching the news recently with great anticipation of his death, and what do I see every five minutes when talking about castro......the footage of him falling!!!! Yet, it could not be included here, becuase it would embarass him.

Also, I have attacked some folks on here on the Talk page and my attacks were REMOVED!!!! I added them again, removing any mention of anyone's name, and it was REMOVED AGAIN! That's why I removed your comments the first time. It seems when I have points to bring out, it's ok to delete my posts. --Demfourlife 05:17, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

There may be pro Castro people but I am not one of them. Others may have removed your comments but I have not. So why remove mine. Why call me an idiot? Perhaps because you chose to scapegoat me for all your personal frustrations and inadequacies. Your description of the US as the greatest country on earth certainly reveals your POV and it doesnt have the interests of either Cuba or the rest of Latin America at heart. By calling me an idiot you merely show your own ignorance. TV Genius 19:09, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Your ignorance and pro Cuba POV is shown by trying to infer that Cuba's ills are all caused by the US embargo against it. What about Canadian, Spanish, Mexican, Venezuelan,French, etc. aid nimrod? Venezuela alone contributes billions of dollars to Cuba's economy. How can you aregue that the USA is not the greatest country on earth and then say that Cuba's "misfortunes" are as a result of this countries refusal to play hopsotch with Castro. You write weel and use alot of big words, but so does Castro, so did Hitler. Just my POV ;) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

This isn't a forum. Furthermore, by writing down that last sentence, you indirectly portray TV Genius as being the equal of Adolf Hitler. That kind of behaviour might get you banned. So please stop the debate on this talk page. It doesn't benefit the quality of the Castro article and it offends other editors. menscht 20:08, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

I am indeed pro Cuba the country which doesnt make me pro Castro. How can I argue that the US is not the greatewst country in the world? Without much difficulty, and as I am not from the US to argue that it was would be anti-patriotic. Nor have I ever killed anyone so to compare me to Castro and Hitler is stupid at best and libellous of me at worst which is NOT a legal threat just pointing out you are reacting to something that isnt me). TV Genius 22:35, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

What this line of debate makes me feel is nervous of the future as many people have very strong feelings about Cuba and I would hate to see the region engulfed in war but with the Cuban Americans apparently believing they have special rights over Cuba and with a Latin America increasingly intolerant of US colonialism war is a real possibility. TV Genius 22:40, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

What this line of debate makes me feel is that you are disrupting the encyclopedia by turning this page into a battleground. Is it really of any interest to the editors of this article how nervous you feel about Cuban Americans and a US colonial war? --Zleitzen 00:58, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Its not me turning this page into a battleground. Why not actually read the above content then you will see where the aggression is coming from. TV Genius 01:40, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

TV Genius, showing disrespect to Castro is not showing disrespect to Cuba, just as showing disrespect to the President of the United States is not showing disrespect to the United States itself. Your posts show an extreme bias against the U.S. and Cuban-Americans, which I think is rather regrettable, however as has been pointed out, this really isn't the medium to debate political ideas, unless they specifically concern the article, so I think it's best we all drop the unrelated discussions. --Tuxley 10:57, 5 August 2006 (UTC)


I strongly support unprotection. What do others think. If we can get a consensus to unprotect it should be possible to do so and it really only should be semi-protected as having it protected at this time and while on the main page is a disgrace to wikipedia. TV Genius 04:10, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Hmm..the protection was quite strange, but what I can do is perhap make a subpage so anyone who wants to comment can do so at Talk:Fidel Castro/Temp. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 04:33, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Absolutely unprotect. We're working out the disputes, one at a time, and edit wars (aside from vandalism) are generally dying out. Korossyl 04:44, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
agree Mrdthree 04:47, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Editting is allowed now for annons, but I have still kept the page move lock on. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 04:49, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
There is also a lock war for the main article, not this talk page, so I am going to sort it out with them. But the talk page is free. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 04:51, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Unprotect and put a disputed and NPOV label on it

This is a whitewash. All someone here has to do is say hes a socialist and magically all his policies are socialist. Itemize these claims, Castro has been head of state for fifty years and has some serious accountability. There is no chronology of his major political acts. Where is the documentation of his economic and political policies? What are the outcomes of his policies? did he ever change a policy? find a policy didnt work? If so what did he do about it? Has he made any controversial decisions in fifty years? Any wrong decisions? any brutal decisions? and if there is an article that documents this where is the link?Mrdthree 04:47, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Land reform-- how and when was it carried out and for whom? How did he implement agricultural collectivization? When did he do it? Did Castro appoint anyone to manage the collective farms? What industries were nationalized and when. Who was appointed to manage the industries. Has anyone ever been fired? Has there ever been a strike? Has he ever closed a factory and when? What is allowed to be taught in school. What are the limitations on the number of people who can go to university each year. Where does he live? Why doesnt he address the right to travel issues? Has he ordered anyone arrested? when and why? Has he ever ordered the military to do anything? When and What? fifty years as leader means a lot of responsibility and makes a long article not a short one.Mrdthree 05:05, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Many of your questions are indeed linked to on the page - you are asking one page to carry the information of 50 pages. Please note - they relate to Cuba not one man. See this paragraph for example.

Domestically, Fidel Castro has overseen the implementation of various economic policies which saw the rapid centralization of Cuba's economy .... the nationalization of leading Cuban industries. The expansion of publicly funded health care and education has been a cornerstone of Castro's domestic social agenda.--Zleitzen 05:12, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Simply saying he has done too much to be documented misses the point of an encyclopedia. Since you say his decisions involve 50 pages of history it should probably be part of a new article, where his political policies are listed in a table by chronology with some discussion of the rationale, achievement and failings of each policy vis-a-vis the desired intent. He has been a chief executive for a long time and should be open to the same scrutiny as other leaders. Mrdthree 03:39, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
In the mean time I will gather links to begin to research his political acts. This sites lists translations of his speeches and edicts[9] List of links to various sites on history of cuba [10] Mrdthree 04:29, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
You don't seem to understand. All the information is contained in the 50 or so articles on Cuban politics and history. Please save yourself the time and familiarise yourself with wikipedia and Cuba. Much of the material on this page is being scaled down rather than expanded as it is well represented elsewhere. Castro is an individual. The Cuban government make policy. Take a look at this featured article of a controversial political leader in power for over a decade Margaret Thatcher. --Zleitzen 04:34, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Great we should work together to add to this information Analysis of Cuban and Castro Policy [11]. Some discussion of economic policy and nationalization [12] [13]; further at [14].Mrdthree 04:50, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Timeline [15] of Fidels life and policies [16] from NPR. HDI is 52[17] MSN encarta FIdel profile[18] Reporters sans fronteirs [19][20] Proceedings on economic policies[21]Mrdthree 05:02, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

picture of Castro falling

The question is not protect or un protect, the question is when are we going to disallow the hijacking of this page by pro-castro supporters. I attempted to place a picture of Castro falling next to an already written section chronicalling his health, INCLUDING THE FALL AND HOW HE OVERCAME IT, and I was not allowed too, even though there are what can be considered pro-castro pictures throughout. I then asked to remove a pic of castro walking on a red carpet, and was told NO!

This is unfair and why many consider the Wikipedia experiment a failure. It's obvious Zscout, that you are trying to do the right thing here, but there are many like TV Genius who are allowed to edit that are self appointed ANTI-AMERICANS who are allowed to say nay or yea to what I want included. That's a shame.--Demfourlife 05:28, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

As I mentioned before, I faced problems like this before, so I am trying to take the experiences I had from the Lukashenko article and trying to bring them here. And while I was one of the people who asked for the Castro photo, on the red carpet, to stay put, let me see the Castro photo you have and see if they can tied into the article somehow. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 06:42, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Uh...Demfourlife, the photo was deleted by others. What happened was while that you listed the images as fair use, showing the fall, the photos were combined from television frames, and the admins wanted to know where a source of the frames were. Since a source was not listed within 7 days, the photo was removed from articles by a automated process and deleted. I am not inclined to restore the photo, due to the copyright issues, but your free to find another photo showing the fall, from a source we could use it from, state the source and tie it in with the article. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 06:46, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Would not a small web-resolution photo from the news be fair use for this article? --Tuxley 08:39, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Even if the photo is fair use, you still need to cite the source of where you got it from. The fall is already mentioned in the article, so the only thing that needs to be done is just have a image + source (not just "TV," but as in what channel the video frames came from or where you found the frames online). User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 13:05, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Zscout, thanks for the advice and for working with me. I will remove my request to have the "red carpet" pic of Castro removed, so as long as the picture of Castro taking a tumble is included in the article. I think it's important that we balance all the "powerfull, strong jawed" pics of castro, with a cstro whose health is vulnerable as mentioned in the article. Thanks.

That several year old image has little to do with 'Succession issues', and in my opinion is unencylopedic. Further, it seems to be over the line towards the anti-Castro POV, and we should try to error on the neutral side, and not add even more extreme POV issues. This article is challenging to keep at a neutral POV, that image clearly hurts the goal of keeping the article neutral. BruceHallman 18:29, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
(See Talk:Fidel Castro#Image of Castro tripping Jobjörn (Talk ° contribs) 19:13, 6 August 2006 (UTC))

Communism and the hereditary principle

Is there a discussion anywhere on the above topic - Raul Castro, the North Korean example etc - and possibly Mao's wife in the Gang of Four? Jackiespeel 14:39, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Maybe Government of Cuba, but I am not sure. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 23:18, 3 August 2006 (UTC)


The article mentions two brothers and three sisters. However a recent CNN report about his sister's Juanita's opinion on his health said that he had four sisters. Who's missing? [22] SargeAbernathy 18:24, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Maybe a long-lost sister, previously unknown to the outside world, or one who just like to hide from the media attention. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 23:31, 3 August 2006 (UTC)


According to the imdb [23], Fidel Castro was an extra in two American movies in 1946. The article makes no mention of his being in the United States (the mini-bio at imdb claims he lived in New York in exile). Is the imdb wrong, or is this just missing? siafu 22:30, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

I believe imdb is wrong... they're not very good at fact-checking. Jobjörn (Talk ° contribs) 10:37, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
There could be more than one Fidel Castro, but I agree, it is highly unlikely that the Cuban leader was in the movies. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 13:50, 4 August 2006 (UTC)