Published: Jan. 27, 2010 at 3:49 PM
WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Cuban authorities should end their alleged
harassment of blind human rights defender Juan Carlos Gonzalez Leiva,
Human Rights Watch said Wednesday.
In a release issued from Washington, HRW accused Cuba of repeatedly
threatening to force Gonzalez Leiva, his wife and fellow rights defender
Tania Maceda Guerra to leave Havana and move elsewhere on the island
under the provisions of a "draconian" law that restricts freedom of
"The harassment of Gonzalez Leiva offers further proof that the Raul
Castro government is willing to do everything within its power to
prevent human rights monitoring, including forcibly displacing the
monitors themselves," said Jose Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at
Human Rights Watch.
HRW said that because of his blindness, Gonzalez Leiva has been able to
live in Havana since 2007 under a law known as Decree 217, in which
Cubans from outside Havana must obtain government permission before
moving to the capital. But in November the government denied his
application to renew his temporary residence status.
Vivanco said the government has called Gonzalez Leiva, a leader of the
Council of Human Rights Rapporteurs, a "counterrevolutionary" and a
"traitor," and has warned he will be forcibly sent back to his native
HRW calls on Cuba to end harassment - UPI.com (27 January 2010)