Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Victor's 1959 Cafe

A not very subtle backdoor, to a Cuba discussion.


I invite you to come to my little piece of Havana in Minneapolis. My father was a chef and he taught me everything he knew about good, simple, authentic Cuban cooking. It is my pleasure to share these foods with you in a relaxed, casual and festive environment.


Need an event catered Cuban style?

¡No problema! Whatever the occasion, we will work with you to customize a menu to best meet your needs. And, if you like, we will be happy to assist in the coordination of other details to help make your event muy especiál.


Breakfast and lunch, 6 days a week.
Tuesday thru Saturday 7:00am - 2:30pm
Sunday 8:00am - 2:00pm
Closed Monday

Breakfast and lunch, 6 days a week.
Tuesday thru Saturday 7:00am - 2:30pm
Sunday 8:00am - 2:00pm
Closed Monday

Dinner, Tuesday thru Saturday.
4:30pm - 9:00pm

3756 Grand Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN



Craig Bardo said...

Prefiero cocina criollo (puerto riqueno) pero me gusta mucho ropa vieja y arroz con frijoles negros. Tambien quiero cafe cubano con mucho azugar.

En la noche Cuba Libre!

(((Thought Criminal))) said...

Is this the for-tourists crap, or the exquisite Cuban garbage can dining you can do without a ration card?

Anonymous said...

Now I am hungry for some forbidden Cuban delicacies... Que tienes?

Larry Gambone said...

Beamish, I am no friend of Fidel (*), but you really think things would be better with the Mafia back in power? Whether it is PC or not, the truth is the average person in Russia was better off under post-Stalin Stalinism than under gangster capitalism. I suggest the same with Cuba.
(*) Fidel got rid of the Cuban anarchist movement and the Trotskyists, both of which played prominent roles in the Revolution.

Frank Partisan said...

Larry: If the other Cuban government in Miami took over, the country would be turned into Haiti. The medical system would be dismantled and made private, and schools would require tuition.

I don't know much about Cuban Trotskyists or anarchists. I only know Celia Hart.

beatroot said...

Look man, the beatroot is a mean cook - so what exactly is this Cuban cooking, and how is it ...socialist? Is there a 'left wing' cooking? How can I 'revolutionize' my kitchen? Maybe Martha STEWart can help?

Tula 49 said...

Interesting. I guess I will have to sniff things out the next time I am in Minneapolis.

Renegade Eye is also correct in that if capitalism were restored in Cuba, it would become another Haiti, witnessing a devastating collapse in culture, industry, living standards, etc.

Frank Partisan said...

Beatroot: Empanadas, rice and beans, and fried banana. What else is needed?

Mad Zionist said...

You should call your place "Che-burger, Che-burger".

Frank Partisan said...

MZ: I read Regis Debray gave Che a copy of Trotsky's military writings before he died. If he read it, he wouldn't have been killed in the middle of nowhere in Bolivia.

This thread is not about food.

troutsky said...

Both Che and Cuba are lightening rods for ridiculously sentimental or polemically ideological distortions, rather than discusssion, of late. It is a complex society with a proud history and culture and doesn't fit well in the compartmentalized little boxes of Cold War inanities. An island of resistance that can appreciate old Chevrolets! Thats poetry.

steven rix said...

Whatever the occasion, we will work with you to customize a menu to best meet your needs. I need a molotov cocktail.
On a more serious note, here is something interesting:

It had to happen, but it took so long-indeed, too long, for a courageous filmmaker to rise up and put the abysmal U.S. healthcare system under a microscope in order to reveal how utterly pathological it has become. On one level, Moore repeated a blatant flaw in his craft so obvious in "Bowling For Columbine" and "Fahrenheit 911" in that he almost always fails to fully connect the dots and take his work to the next level, and "Sicko" was no exception. Nevertheless, the film left me laughing, cheering, and crying and particularly gleeful regarding memos sent by management throughout the Blue Cross system warning employees of the possible side-effects of "Sicko" on their company's image.

In the light of Moore's impressive research and documentation, after listening to the film's horror stories of patients raped by the "disease-care" system, after witnessing the confessions of former players in that system who have come clean and can only live with themselves by spilling their guts regarding the devious methods they used to keep the system intact and bloat its profits, after hearing the Oval Office conversation between Richard Nixon and John Ehrlichman in which the two salivated over the spoils guaranteed to the industry as a result of creating a sprawling network of HMO's, after the poignant scenes near the movie's end of real people-9/11 rescue workers, actually getting extraordinarily humane and completely free healthcare in Cuba, there is little left to say about the American system because one can only hold one's nose and gasp for fresh air in face of the overpowering, nauseating stench of the most brutal medical industry on earth. I do not hesitate to label it unequivocally, pure evil.

Not only is the American disease-care industry the biggest rip-off of any healthcare system on earth, but it is being used to prop up an expiring economy because it creates jobs, and without those jobs, the U.S. unemployment rate, already fudged with bogus statistics, would immediately spike. Not only is U.S. healthcare devastating the lives of Americans who use it, but it is being manipulated to give the appearance of economic health in a code-blue economy now in collapse.

Moreover, unlike the healthcare systems of many developed countries, the American system gives much lip service to preventive medicine, but only about 1% of the American healthcare dollar goes to prevention programs and for one simple reason: Sickness is profitable, and prevention is not.

But once again, Moore does not ask the deeper questions such as: What is inherent in the American capitalist system that propagates and rewards such carnage? In fact, he fails to notice that profit over people is at the core of Western civilization and the culture of empire. Ten thousand years of civilization which include the raping and overpopulating of the earth, the depletion of the planet's resources, the dizzying pace of global warming, and the extinction of hundreds of species per day, have brought us to exactly this point. How could the inhabitants of the belly of the beast have access to anything better than a disease-purveying medical system that facilitates the elimination of the middle and working classes while guaranteeing that the ruling elite will wax healthier and more affluent? Fortunately, "Sicko" does not spend much time suggesting that somehow this system can be reformed, improved, or streamlined which would be the proverbial band-aid for cancer. But neither has Moore yet diagnosed the malignancy at the core not only of the American healthcare system but of civilization itself.

To his credit, perhaps the most important line in "Sicko" was the pivotal question: "What have we become that we have allowed this to happen?" And so I sit with the first four words of that question-what have we become? Until this question is explored, Moore and all other well-intentioned progressives will miss the point.

Civilization is in an inexorable, cataclysmic downward spiral of collapse. The American disease industry is only one of a plethora of institutions and systems in a process of abject crumbling-education, religion, economic systems, family, political systems, energy, transportation, infrastructure, food production-the list is virtually infinite. The tragic footage of the Minneapolis bridge collapse, now burned by corporate news media into the American mind, is a ghastly metaphor for the failed fiasco of civilization, as well as a ghoulish consequence of a rotting infrastructure that the corporatocracy refuses to attend to in its frantic obsession with global resource wars.

U.S. healthcare is a nightmare with few options. In order to receive efficient, free care, it is almost necessary to move to another country. Unfortunately, "Sicko" implies that moving to Canada is a viable option, but in reality, emigrating to any country is not easy and usually requires a long, mind-numbing process of bureaucratic red tape-especially for Americans whose investments and government checks are welcome in foreign banks, but whose quest for jobs is not. Furthermore, Canada will soon be inundated with immigrants as Americans move there in droves and as 4000 people per week leave the U.K. for destinations like Canada, South Africa, and Australia.

It behooves every American who takes collapse seriously and is consciously preparing for it, to learn healthcare skills. An individual can enroll in or audit almost any basic emergency lifesaving or first aid course at local community colleges or hospitals around the country. Health care professionals who are preparing for collapse can take their preparation to the next level by offering informal workshops on various aspects of healthcare for non-professionals. Moreover, a basic knowledge of herbal remedies and a generous inventory of them is essential, not only as access to traditional healthcare diminishes but as herbal remedies themselves become more difficult to acquire in terms of prices and the likelihood of government control or elimination of them.

In addition, the Hesperian Foundation offers a treasure-trove of books and DVD's for non-professionals such as "Where There Is No Doctor", "Where There Is No Dentist", "Where Women Have No Doctor", a "Handbook For Midwives", "Helping Health Workers Learn", and a variety of related topics. People with access to medical supplies may want to consider amassing a cache of them for times when they may not have access to healthcare at all, even if they have health insurance. Those who require specific medications for survival may want to work with their physician or experts in chemistry to stockpile medication or chemical ingredients necessary for the medicines they need. A series of articles by Dan Bednarz such as Peak Oil and Healthcare posted at the Energy Bulletin, offers detailed explanations of the impact of Peak Oil and collapse on the American healthcare system which is so energy and technology-dependent.

As I have written innumerable times, federal, state, and local governments are not going to be able to provide basic services in the throes of collapse-even if they want to. Katrina was nothing if not a glaring example of this reality.

I for one am not interested in making American systems better but instead, telling the truth about their irreversible demise. If I'm not honest about that, then I will do silly and meaningless things like vote in elections and believe that buying a Prius and converting to non-incandescent light bulbs or the development of magic-bullet technology will avert a catastrophic global energy crisis. In fact, if I don't tell the truth about civilization's collapse I will become seduced into the lie that we can keep the entire house of cards intact and worse, that doing so is a really good idea.

I want not only Michael Moore but the entire progressive movement to tell us the truth about what comes after the death of the American healthcare system. I want all of them to break the indelicate news that humanity is murdering the earth and all life forms on it-themselves and the rest of the planet. I want them to stop tenaciously, naively, delusionally hanging on to "hope" and other soporifics of consumerism and the American way of life, or more truthfully, the American way of death. I want them to stop calling me "dismal" because I say what is so and refuse to ignore the flatulent neon elephant in the very small room of planet earth which is growing smaller and more diseased by the moment. I want the so-called physicians of socio/political/ecological/and cultural well being to stop telling us terminal patients that there are solutions, elixirs and potions of political choice, actions to take, movements to marshal, candidates who will save us. I want them to tell the truth about their own and earth's prognosis and the sinking of the Titanic and focus instead on creating lifeboats and look at the really, really big picture beyond myopic, truly terminal optimism.

So thank you Michael Moore for your gutsy, funny, but very poignant expose of the U.S. disease-care empire. Yet as much as I loved "Sicko", I want a deeper diagnosis, one that will truly assess the vital signs of a crumbling culture and a civilization that the progressive community insists on keeping on life-support when the kindest and most scrupulous act any of us can perform is to simply, swiftly pull the plug and record time of death.

Graeme said...

that place would probably get burned down in Miami.

Craig Bardo said...


Where ya been?

steven rix said...

Ren, it's not really off topic, it gives a sense to Americans that their society is not perfect and open the door in the quest of a better society. It's hard to criticize a system from the inside without visiting other countries all over the world. How do they know that America is the greatest country in the world when most of us never put one foot on another continent? How is it possible to aspire to ideals this way? And how many Americans are able to achieve the american dream when we know that 33% of them will go through poverty in their life? What kind of bullshit is that? This is why there is always another path for a better society, and a society does not necessarly need to be materialistic. In fact the capitalist era is over, we are living in times that we have to steal other countries' wealth to avoid the collapse of our own bridges and the collapse of our economy.

Have you ever asked Cubans why they live in the US? Cubans did not have the same expectations, and it makes it harder for Cubans when there is an embargo.

(((Thought Criminal))) said...

Beamish, I am no friend of Fidel (*), but you really think things would be better with the Mafia back in power?


Isn't that a bit like asking Milovan Djilas if he'd rather the old class of kleptocrats come back and replace his new class of kleptocrats in Communist Yugoslavia?

jams o donnell said...

Ren, alternatively you could have sparked off a debate on good food. I took a look at the menu and it certainly looks tasty!

Craig Bardo said...


politques is not only off topic, he's full of bravo sierra.

beatroot said...

So a socialist menu would read:

Che-burger with Bay of Pig Sticky Ribbs
Molotov cocktail (shaken not stirred).

Anonymous said...

All I can say is congratulations, and your menu looks to die for. Bisteck Filette Ensebollado? How far is Minneapolis again?

Tina said...

Renegade said: "This thread is not about food."
And I came all ready to salivate over medianoches and Moros y Cristianos.
Damned politics.
Always gotta ruin somebody's day.

Frank Partisan said...

Troutsky: Cuba is subject to the logic of the cold war, even more than North Korea, an openly Stalinist society. In Cuba is a dual power situation, on one hand socialist institution and European capitalist on another. I think if the left doesn't discuss the contradictions it is facing, they'll be unprepared for the future.

Politiques: Your post is interesting but off topic. Using the vague word civilization, is one move away from simply saying capitalist society.

CB: Not easy to defend private healthcare, as infant mortality rate gets higher.

Sarah: By the way this thread is going, your blog will be popular. If you like politics and food visit Sarah.

Tina: I was expecting this post to have some substance to bite into.

Beatroot: I can't upstage your remarks.

Ned Swing said...

Too bad Trotsky hogged the ol' icepick. It should've been shared out, like - Lenin, Stalin, Castro, "Shoot 'Em Dead" Che, Mao, Hugo Chavez, etc. Damn greedy trots.

Best wishes,

- Ned Swing

Larry Gambone said...

Ren re-Trotskyists and anarchists in Cuba, the Cuban anarchist movement, the ALC, had about 2000 members and some of these fought in the mountains and other were involved in the labor movement and the Directorate. The ALC controlled a number of large unions and had a daily newspaper which was suppressed in 1961. (Camilo Cienfuegos was also an anarchist.) The Trotskyist party, the POR-T, which was Posadist (this was before Posada went loony) fought the Stalinization of the Cuban Revolution and was suppressed by 1965. See http://www.cubantrotskyism.net/

Bastar said...

I am not a Maoist but I feel that they are the closest who can bring justice to the poor and other struggling classes of India

Frank Partisan said...

Ned: Welcome. When I read your comment, my first reaction was you are a rightist troll. Interesting at your blog, you were close to endorsing Ron Paul. There are several anarchists who comment here, who are authentically on the left.

Larry: That thesis was interesting. I agree generally with the program of the Cuban Trotskyists, as multiple parties provided they oppose private property, independence for the trade union movement etc. If Che read Trotsky, he wouldn't have gone on those guerilla adventures, based in peasantry. The anarchist formations were large. The thesis said the anarchists were not traditional anarchist, whatever that means.

Bastar: The Maoist only want to be in office, to enrich themselves. Just look at Nepal.

Anonymous said...

I heard that Fidel started syndicating his memoires to the Cuban newspapers yesterday. He calls them, "The Empire and the Independent Island".

Who the 'h wants to read a book about Cuba and the old USSR, anyways?

Larry Gambone said...

Ned, as one anarchist to another, it may be fun to make jokes at the expense of Trotskyists, but it really does nothing to advance our tendency, much less the social movement. The fact is, it is very difficult for most people to come to terms with the contradictions and lacunae in their ideologies. Throwing it up in their face doesn't help, in my experience. Far better to concentrate upon what we have in common than search out the sore points and start picking at them. Furthermore, ideologies by their very nature are only partial descriptions of reality. We anarchists do not have all the answers. We too have our contradictions and lacunae, and while not as glaring as Krondstadt and Trotsky, nonetheless they do exist and thus we should be less arrogant in our treatment of other tendencies.

Frank Partisan said...

Larry: I would comment on Kronstadt, including anarchists who supported Trotsky, but not at this blog. I have the same atitude you have, it's silly to push into someone's face. Even supporting Trotsky's decision, it is nothing Trotsky or anyone else took any delight in.

Farmer: I thought a discussion on Cuba would stir up big controversy. At Sonia's blog as well, it was ho-hum.

Anonymous said...

It's a little hard to argue about Cuban food, music, poetry or women. It's all good.

It's just their political system that stinks.

steven rix said...

politques is not only off topic, he's full of bravo sierra.
How would you like that: espece de gros con.
Or better: Tu madre.

steven rix said...

Cuba is a medical paradise when you have chronic health problems compared to the US, so I was not off topic, I just don't play games here.

steven rix said...

I am not an unsensitive prick either.

(((Thought Criminal))) said...


I want to get back to a comment you made above - ...but you really think things would be better with the Mafia back in power...

How does an anarcho-syndicalist really mean anything negative or pejorative by the word "Mafia?"

Is it a class struggle against the dictionary?

Craig Bardo said...

beamish in '08!

Larry Gambone said...

"How does an anarcho-syndicalist really mean anything negative or pejorative by the word "Mafia?" "

What exactly is that supposed to mean? A slander of anarcho-syndicalsts as being pro-Mafia? Well, that is ridiculous and shows how little you know about labor history. We have always been in the vanguard against criminal elements within the trade unions and have always been the foremost victims of those same criminals. Think only of IWW leader Carlo Tresca murdered by the Mafia!

Mud slinging is no substitute for rational arguement...

(((Thought Criminal))) said...

I see. The Mafia never kills Mafia members. Gotcha.

Aaron A. said...

I'll definitely have to stop by.

Anonymous said...

Sarah: By the way this thread is going, your blog will be popular. If you like politics and food visit Sarah.

Muchas gracias, my foodie friend! :) May your restaurant and my blog thrive...

Larry Gambone said...

"I see. The Mafia never kills Mafia members. Gotcha."

Accusing anarcho-syndicalists of being Mafiosi has to be the most stupid poltical comment I have read. Not even Beak would stoop to such an idiocy. Such comments only reflect upon yourself.

If you cannot discuss things rationally, go away!

(((Thought Criminal))) said...

Give me anarcho-syndicalism in a nutshell.

Anarchy = absence of authority

Syndicalism = labor unions have authority

So nobody tells your gang what to do or the cement mixer's union makes ya swim with the fishes. Hooookay.

Rational enough for ya?

Frank Partisan said...

Marie's post after this one, is more in line with discussing syndicalism.

troutsky said...

Sorry if it sounded like I was pre-emptively dismissing the discussion, Ren. In my experience mentioning Cuba brings on the same low level, polarized discussion that follows any mention of Palestine.This was better. There is a good piece by Petras over at Axis of Logic that does a critical analysis of challenges to revolution.

CB, good to see you still in the mix, I was in a self- induced coma for a couple of months.Ill visit soon.

Max Roach, Jazz legend, RIP

Larry Gambone said...

"Anarchy = absence of authority

Syndicalism = labor unions have authority"

The logic is fine but there is more to rational thought than just logic. Rational argumentation also entails knowledge of the subject at hand, which by your assumptions of the meaning of both anarchism and syndicalism, you sorely lack. There is no excuse for your ignorance in the age of the Internet, there are 10's of thousands of pages of info. on these two subjects which make hash of your crude cartoon caricatures. Try the anarchist FAQ and Anarcho-syndicalism 101 for a start.

(((Thought Criminal))) said...

Is the anarchist FAQ authorative?

Is Anarcho-Syndicalism 101 taught by unionized educators? Can I vote who will be my teacher?

Juan García Llera said...

Good to know that Cuban food is served in Minneapolis.
Tanks for visiting my blog. You have an excellent blog too. Good posts about Cuba.
Keep the good work.
Good luck.
Saludos Desde Cuba

Juan García Llera said...

I added a link to your blog in Desde Cuba. Good Luck.
Greeting Desde Cuba

ortho said...

The next time I visit Minneapolis I will be sure to eat at Victor's 1959 Cafe. Thanks for posting about it.

Mark Prime (tpm/Confession Zero) said...

Sounds delicious!

Anonymous said...