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China/Cuba What's Up?

Posted by on Aug. 12, 2009 at 9:07 AM
  • 6 Replies

Can someone please explain why the majority of US citizens vigourously support the economic embargo against Cuba and yet have no problem with the US dealing with China?

 

Chinese police detain, beat supporters of quake activist charged with state subversion

By Gillian Wong, The Associated Press

 BEIJING - A high-profile Chinese government critic said he and 11 others were detained by police in a hotel Wednesday to prevent them from attending the trial of an activist who investigated the deaths of thousands of schoolchildren in last year's earthquake.

 Avant-garde artist Ai Weiwei said police in the southwestern city of Chengdu also roughed up him and one of the other supporters who had travelled to the city to try to attend the trial of Tan Zuoren, an activist charged with subversion.

 The charges Tan faces appear to be linked to his quake investigation as well as essays he wrote about the 1989 student-led demonstrations in Tiananmen Square that ended in a deadly military crackdown. Beijing routinely uses the charge of subversion to imprison dissidents for years.

 Tan, 55, denied all charges during Wednesday's trial at the Chengdu Intermediate Court. The trial concluded at midday after about three hours with no immediate ruling, Tan's lawyer Pu Zhiqiang said.

 Following the 7.9-magnitude earthquake in Sichuan last year, Tan tried to investigate the collapse of school buildings in the quake and the number of schoolchildren killed, estimating at least 5,600 students were victims.

 Critics allege that shoddy construction, enabled by corruption, caused several schools to collapse while buildings nearby remained intact - a politically sensitive theory that the government has tried to quash.

 Tan's wife and one of his daughters were allowed into the courtroom, although his brother and other daughter were not, Pu said. Footage from Hong Kong Cable TV showed several police officers and vehicles stationed near the court in Chengdu.

 The broadcaster said dozens of relatives of the quake victims gathered outside the court and wanted to go in to support Tan but were stopped by police.

 Pu said that inside the courtroom, his requests to call on three witnesses, including the artist Ai, as well as to show video evidence were rejected.

 Ai said he decided to try to go to the court to support Tan, but four police officers carrying guns and batons barged into his hotel room at 3 a.m. Wednesday to take him away.

 One of them struck him on his right cheek when he questioned them, he said, while another supporter was also roughed up.

 "They said, 'If we need, we can beat you to death,"' Ai said in a phone interview from the hotel that police took him and the other supporters to. About 20 officers guarded them, but did not give a reason for their detention, Ai said.

"It's quite obvious that they just don't want us to go to Tan Zuoren's trial," he said. "They're showing less and less respect for the rights of citizens and for the rule of law."

 Ai later said police released seven of them in the early afternoon, but refused to tell him where the remaining five supporters were being held. Calls to the Chengdu public security bureau rang unanswered.

 Amnesty International urged the Chinese authorities to drop the cases against Tan and another earthquake activist, Huang Qi, who last week was tried for state secrets, saying the prosecutions were politically motivated.

A society which emphasizes uniformity is one which creates intolerance and hate.  - Pierre E. Trudeau

by on Aug. 12, 2009 at 9:07 AM
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Raintree
by Ruby Member on Aug. 12, 2009 at 9:14 AM

                 $

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. - Michael Pollan

And while you're at it, remember that when you purchase food, you're voting with your dollar. Local farms, diversity, sustainability- all these should be positively answered by your vote. 


margroc
by on Aug. 12, 2009 at 9:20 AM

I figured as much.  Hypocritical and actually very sad.  When I mention to some Americans that I've been to Cuba it's like I've been to visit the anti-christ.  Yet these same women shop at Wal-Mart where the majority of products are made in China so they, in essence, are supporting the Chinese government whose tyranny makes Cuba look like a kindergarten.

A society which emphasizes uniformity is one which creates intolerance and hate.  - Pierre E. Trudeau

Stefanie1085
by Silver Member on Aug. 12, 2009 at 9:24 AM


Quoting margroc:

I figured as much.  Hypocritical and actually very sad.  When I mention to some Americans that I've been to Cuba it's like I've been to visit the anti-christ.  Yet these same women shop at Wal-Mart where the majority of products are made in China so they, in essence, are supporting the Chinese government whose tyranny makes Cuba look like a kindergarten.

Yep, I am guilty of this, I hate to say. I have to buy cheap stuff. I guess I can just look at the label first. If I had money, I would be able to have a broader choice of what I buy. I'll get there slowly but surely. And I have never been to Cuba, but I am sure its pretty there.

Raintree
by Ruby Member on Aug. 12, 2009 at 9:27 AM

Wanna hear my favorite crazy walmart lady story? My cat had a suspected UTI, and I ran over to Walmart (because it's the closest store to my vet clinic) and bought a new cat pan so we could catch urine to have analyzed. While there, i remembered that I'd promised to bake something for the school program that night, and grabbed three or four hershey's bars in the checkout line. The checkout lady looks at my hershey's bars- sighs- and starts in on me. ''Have you gotten the email about Hershey closing down a plant here in the US and moving it to Mexico??'' she said. ''Nope'', I said. ''Well, you should ONLY buy Nestle, because they aren't moving any of their plants out of the United States.''

Here she was, a worker at Walmart, lecturing me about buying from an actually, fairly decent company because they moved ONE plant to Mexico- meanwhile- everything in her store is made OUTSIDE the US (except for MY HERSHEY bars, possibly) and she wants me to buy chocolate (that I don't personally like) from one of the most horrible corporations- in terms of their marketing and product movement to the third world. ....??

Anyway, sorry, that was really off topic, but I still get mad when I think about it.

Quoting margroc:

I figured as much.  Hypocritical and actually very sad.  When I mention to some Americans that I've been to Cuba it's like I've been to visit the anti-christ.  Yet these same women shop at Wal-Mart where the majority of products are made in China so they, in essence, are supporting the Chinese government whose tyranny makes Cuba look like a kindergarten.


Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. - Michael Pollan

And while you're at it, remember that when you purchase food, you're voting with your dollar. Local farms, diversity, sustainability- all these should be positively answered by your vote. 


margroc
by on Aug. 12, 2009 at 9:32 AM

It's a good story - kind of points out the oblivion that people live with.  Kind of like how people complain about the jobs going overseas and there is no work anymore but they continue to patronize the very companies that are taking the jobs away to save a few bucks.  You were absolutely correct before when you said it was all about $.  I refuse to shop at Wal-Mart for that very reason and my friends think I'm crazy because I will pay more money elsewhere to stand by my principles.

Quoting Raintree:

Wanna hear my favorite crazy walmart lady story? My cat had a suspected UTI, and I ran over to Walmart (because it's the closest store to my vet clinic) and bought a new cat pan so we could catch urine to have analyzed. While there, i remembered that I'd promised to bake something for the school program that night, and grabbed three or four hershey's bars in the checkout line. The checkout lady looks at my hershey's bars- sighs- and starts in on me. ''Have you gotten the email about Hershey closing down a plant here in the US and moving it to Mexico??'' she said. ''Nope'', I said. ''Well, you should ONLY buy Nestle, because they aren't moving any of their plants out of the United States.''

Here she was, a worker at Walmart, lecturing me about buying from an actually, fairly decent company because they moved ONE plant to Mexico- meanwhile- everything in her store is made OUTSIDE the US (except for MY HERSHEY bars, possibly) and she wants me to buy chocolate (that I don't personally like) from one of the most horrible corporations- in terms of their marketing and product movement to the third world. ....??

Anyway, sorry, that was really off topic, but I still get mad when I think about it.

Quoting margroc:

I figured as much.  Hypocritical and actually very sad.  When I mention to some Americans that I've been to Cuba it's like I've been to visit the anti-christ.  Yet these same women shop at Wal-Mart where the majority of products are made in China so they, in essence, are supporting the Chinese government whose tyranny makes Cuba look like a kindergarten.



A society which emphasizes uniformity is one which creates intolerance and hate.  - Pierre E. Trudeau

margroc
by on Aug. 12, 2009 at 9:38 AM

I've been to Cuba about a dozen times - it's a beautiful island filled with beautiful people.  My parents used to go every year as well and they would take suitcases full of books, crayons, pens, staplers, etc. and visit a school everytime they went.  They would ask at the hotel where the nearest school was and would take a cab.  They would meet the kids who were always thrilled with the supplies and usually the teacher or the cab driver would invite them to their house for dinner.  They've met some wonderful locals that way and have kept in touch with quite a few of them.

My friend became ill in Cuba once and we had to go to a clinic where she was treated wonderfully and they would accept no payment from her even though the supplies were in very short supply.  The next time we went we brought a suitcase filled with things like bandages, gauze, rubbing alcohol, etc. and took it to the clinic where they were thrilled. 

Honestly some of the nicest people I've met have been from Cuba. I've heard some of the praise Fidel and I've heard some of them curse him.  But, quite honestly, I've never seen anyone fear him.

Quoting Stefanie1085:


Quoting margroc:

I figured as much.  Hypocritical and actually very sad.  When I mention to some Americans that I've been to Cuba it's like I've been to visit the anti-christ.  Yet these same women shop at Wal-Mart where the majority of products are made in China so they, in essence, are supporting the Chinese government whose tyranny makes Cuba look like a kindergarten.

Yep, I am guilty of this, I hate to say. I have to buy cheap stuff. I guess I can just look at the label first. If I had money, I would be able to have a broader choice of what I buy. I'll get there slowly but surely. And I have never been to Cuba, but I am sure its pretty there.


A society which emphasizes uniformity is one which creates intolerance and hate.  - Pierre E. Trudeau

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