Wednesday, April 30, 2008

No Space for Dissent in Cuba

Diario Las Americas
Publicado el 04-29-2008

No Space for Dissent in Cuba

It is necessary that the world be informed about the patriotic and
peaceful demonstrations of the group of Cuban women identified as
"Ladies in White". Their demonstrations are very important from a point
of view of political morality and civic efforts on behalf of the freedom
of fifty-five political prisoners, who are part of an original group of
seventy-five. A few days ago the "Ladies in White" went near the
building where President Raúl Castro has his office to try to deliver a
letter, but they were unable to do it because they were violently held
back and dragged to a bus. They were not taken to jail, but to their
homes. However, this should not be interpreted as kindness but as a
predetermined tactic. What was outrageous was the way in which they were
dragged and put on the bus. TV crews were able to film some of what
happened and thus it has been seen around the world.

Lately there has been speculation in favor of the tyranny in the sense
of "changes" that are being made supposedly on behalf of the democratic
ideals of the Cuban people. But this is not the case; these are only
cosmetic changes that have no significant political value or of any
other kind. Being able to buy cell phones, household appliances and
similar things, can not be compared in any way with what freedom for
political prisoners, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and, in
short, everything that means respect of human rights represent.

With respect to the opportunity to buy the mentioned products and to be
able to go to beaches and hotels that had been reserved for tourists, it
should be known that the Cuban people do not have the money to take
advantage of these offers, unless it be with money sent to them by their
relatives who live outside the island. The price of these items is
beyond reach of any Cuban worker whose average month salary is the
equivalent of US$17. That $17 are not enough to cover the basic needs of
an individual and even less to afford the luxury of buying what the
dictatorship is allowing now.

It must be pointed out that it is honoring for the "Ladies in White" the
way in which they have been peacefully protesting for many months now on
behalf of the prisoners whose freedom has been infringed upon in
violation of their human rights.

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