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Reaction to ‘A new Cuba in the making’, The New Cuba, NI 476.

Reforms or ’updates’ have a single purpose. To perpetuate Communism and the grip on power by the Castro clan following the Chinese model.
It's not going to happen. China big; Cuba small. China in Asia; Cuba in America. China militarily powerful; Cuba militarily weak. China economically and financially powerful. Cuba crumbling economically and financially bankrupt. Chinese people forged in a 5,000-year culture of obedience to power. Cuban people disobedient to power.

It goes on and on.

Frank Winter

Written letters

Store of value

Thank you for an excellent issue on the ills of gold (NI 475). However, the merits and demerits of gold standard currency deserve some more analysis.

The article by Philip Pilkington makes a point that those wishing to go back from fiat money to a gold standard are selling that idea as a panacea for all our economic ills, without addressing real root causes like inequity and the structures that perpetuate it. While it may be true that there are more fundamental causes to our economic challenges than the integrity of currencies, it is also true that fiat money is more susceptible than a gold standard to corruption and devaluation, which is almost always a regressive change because the rich have access to stores of value other than cash, and the poor often do not.

Assuming that we cannot wish away the need for an agreed store of value, isn’t it safer for all of us, that such a store of value is based on something that is hard to corrupt? Gold has performed that role for a reason – it is inert, and so doesn’t naturally degrade; and it is scarce, so a small quantity can serve to store a lot of value. We should turn our sights to ensuring sustainable mining of it (like we would with other minerals).

Niranjan Deodhar Beecroft, Australia

The whole problem

An unpleasant aspect of the so-called ‘new feminism wave’ (NI 474) is thinly disguised man-hating; negative and divisive, not to say immature. It is vital that there is equality between men and women and of course in some areas there is far to go. It is a mistake to trace the causes of inequality to sexual difference only. There is huge injustice in the way men are treated by men or women by women. Men dominating women is one deplorable aspect of the truth, not the whole problem, where equality is concerned.

The two major factors that create the horrors of our beautiful world are the evil desire to control others and sheer greed.

The article I always look forward to is Mark Engler’s – a man of insight, integrity and truth who writes with admirable clarity.

Mike Howell Ringmer, England

Allowed oppression

Brian Fitzpatrick and Michael Norby deserve thanks for their useful update on long-corrupted Haiti, detailing the hypocrisy of the UN and the major Anglophone wrong-winger states which overthrew Aristide a decade ago, allowing fascist thugs to continue oppressing the masses there. Where’s the Castro and band needed to liberate that long-suffering land? They’d stand no chance against the Imperium’s drones, and any survivor would find himself caged in Guantánamo indefinitely.

Rob MacLeod Sirdar, Canada

Many tongues

Re: Brian Quinn’s letter (NI 474) where he writes ‘get everyone to speak the same language to promote commonality and mutual understanding’ – this will always deliver nothing but animosity and conflict towards those people, always minorities, coerced and abused into negating their language in order to adopt what is always the majority-held language. The expression used, ‘get everyone’, insinuates a certain forcefulness in attempting to achieve a common language. Take for example, the colonization of Australia and the appropriation of the First Australians’ land and the outright rejection of their rights, including their languages.

Surely when you herd people onto reserves, appropriate their children for assimilation into white society and dismiss their identity as inferior for the sake of speaking English and White Australia, it does not promote ‘commonality and mutual understanding’. It sanctions prejudice and conflict from the majority population towards the minority because their difference, including their language, has been used as a tool of oppression. Embracing rather than merely tolerating those differences between us all is what promotes the reconciliatory path Australia is attempting to tread.

Joan Crabtree Goroke, Australia