Oct 20, 2010

Plot Thickens on Castro's Political Prisoner Release - Part II

Guillermo Fariñas is the latest Cuban dissident to weigh in on the release of Cuba´s political prisoners which Mr. Raul Castro promised to complete by November 7, just after U.S. mid term elections. Upon hearing of Mr. Castro´s March 28 promise to release all political prisoners, the Cuban dissident immediately suspended his 125 day hunger and water strike which had been aimed at obtaining the release of the most ill. But now he´s announced that he´s ready to resume it if Mr. Castro does not keep his promise.

The doubt however is not whether Castro will release them but whether he will allow them to remain in Cuba and respect their human rights.

For what would happen if the Castros do not allow them to remain in Cuba (outside of prison) but they refuse to leave their homeland? Will the Castros force them into a third country? That would seem to be a violation of international law and therefore unlikely.

What if they keep them in prison? That would make the Castros appear as liars in front of the world, not anything new, but it would also further diminish any chances they may have for the easing of U.S. tourist travel laws.

If the Castros allow them to remain but do not respect their rights a confrontation is bound to happen. That's where the Castros and their opponents are probably heading.

It doesn't seem that the Castros can see beyond, that is, to free them and respect their inalienable right to free speech, freedom of assembly, freedom to travel within and outside of Cuba, etc. Perhaps they can only see that by doing something like that they would risk the dissidents publicly calling for a constitutional assembly, elections, etc. In such a scenario, of course, both Castros could end up being charged and tried.

Or maybe the inevitably aging Castros will finally want to begin negotiating an exit for themselves and their families or some other viable end to this 51 year old conflict.

Mr. Fariñas is one of three finalists for the European Parliament´s Sájarov prize, awarded annually to a defender of human rights. Two other Cuban dissidents, Oswaldo Payá and the Ladies in White, were awarded the prize in 2002 and 2005, respectively. Mr. Fariñas has not given up on his hunger strike strategy despite the fact that several dissidents (and this blog´s author) have expressed their disapproval of his suicidal liberation method.

UPDATE October 21

Today, the European parliament awarded Mr. Fariñas the Sájarov Prize for his defense of human rights. There is no question that Mr. Fariñas had valiantly stood up for human rights prior to beginning his suicidal hunger and thirst strikes. Indeed, he was beaten up for it more than once. Only later did his protests take this suicidal turn. Hopefully this award will not encourage him and other Cubans or humans to commit suicide in order to protest human rights abuses anywhere.

Castro of course agrees with his opponents presumed ´right´ to commit suicide.


Plot Thickens on Castro's Political Prisoner Release

Castro's Cuban Media vs. Dying Hunger Striker

Castro Regime and Dissident Agree on 'Right' to Suicide
UPDATED: Bioethics À la Carte for the Castro Regime?

Political Opponent, Potential Suicidée or Common Criminal?

Oct 19, 2010

Plot Thickens on Castro's Political Prisoner Release

Cuban political prisoner Guido Sigler Amaya has accused Roman Catholic Cardinal Ortega of pressuring him, in collusion with the Castro regime, to accept release from prison and banishment to either Mexico or Czechoslovakia. Mr. Sigler bases his accusation on his allegation that the Cardinal has repeatedly called to ask him to accept the offer. But he has announced that he will not make any decisions until he finds himself free inside Cuba. His brother, Juan Francisco Sigler Amaya, reported the story.

At least 4 other political prisoners have refused to be released into exile: Diosdado González Marrero, Librado Linares, Oscar Elías Biscet and Angel Moya Acosta.

In addition, Mrs. Reina Luisa Tamayo, mother of the political prisoner who died in the regime's custody after an 86 day hunger strike, remains undecided about whether to accept the regime's offer of exile to the United States.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the Ladies in White, Laura Pollán, declared that the Castro regime is merely trying to eliminate all opposition on the island. She vowed to continue the Ladies´public protests until all political prisoners are released.

But what does that mean? Surely Messrs. Fidel Castro and Raul Castro are asking themselves the same question. According to Cardinal Ortega they promised that by November 7 they would release all political prisoners including 13 remaining of the 75 arrested in the "Black Spring" of 2003. Around 39 have been released through Cardinal Ortega's intercession but immediately transported out of Cuba, apparently with their consent, obtained while they were imprisoned.

By said date, Castro will have the results of U.S. elections and this will help him calculate his chances of getting the U.S. travel ban lifted, and if releasing political prisoners will help.

Also prior to US elections, the Obama Administration has been trying to win the release of American Alan Gross, accused of espionage, and in a Cuban prison. Washington maintains that he was only distributing computing and telecommunications equipment to members of Cuba's tiny Jewish community. Release of Mr. Gross, because he's an American citizen and innocent, is politically most important for the Obama administration. However, whatever policy is utilized by the Obama administration with respect to Mr. Gross will set a precedent if other American citizens, including those with dual U.S.-Cuban citizenship are arrested by the Castro regime in the future.

As for Cuba's political prisoners, they are only stuff for barter for Mr. Castro. President Obama should not bite the poisonous apple and offer anything for them, let alone finance the Castro regime with US tourist dollars in return for their release. They should be freed because they are innocent, and because Mr. Castro supposedly promised as much.


Castro Says Leave But Some Say No

What does Castro want from Obama...as he attacks US imperialism and shifts focus to Bay of Pigs and School of the Americas- Part III

Oct 17, 2010

UPDATED: Broken But Not Defeated

Two Cuban dissident wives of political prisoners, members of the Ladies in White have resurfaced marching just one week after having been beaten up, albeit one with a bandaged broken nose and the other with an arm in a cast. Men and German Shepherds from Castro's security apparatus reportedly approached them on October 10, attempted to strip them and then beat them. According to Miscelaneas de Cuba, Mrs. Sonia Garro Alfonso and Mrs. Mercedes Fresneda Castillo were able to prevent being raped by their screams and the intervention of people nearby. One allegedly had her bra forcefully removed.

Mrs. Sonia Garro Alfonso & Mrs. Mercedes Fresneda Castillo,
Broken nose and arm, but not defeated
Photo taken from Miscelaneas de Cuba

Tragically,the strategy of appealing to the regime is wrong given that it recognizes Castro as a legitimate authority and places the decision of Cuba´s and their husbands' destinies in his tyrannical hands.

Yet protesting in public, while lonely and painful, has been one of the most perfect gestures offered by Cuba to purge itself of its 51 year disease.

But what would happen if the Ladies in White (or others) began demanding a trial for the Castro brothers? More likely than not Castro would order a mob led by state security to go after them.

For neither Castro can ever be judged. They are both above any law. At least, that's what they think.


Declaration by Victims (in Spanish)

Ladies in White: "We´re Not Afraid of You"

Oct 16, 2010

Castro Says Leave But Some Say No

The mother of the Cuban dissident dead from a hunger strike while in the Castro regime's prison custody, has been offered permission to leave Cuba. Unlike the United States, Cubans aren't allowed to leave or reenter their homeland without applying for permission from the tyranny. Permission is routinely denied to political opponents. The dead hunger striker's mother is undecided but has requested the remains of her son, Orlando Zapata Tamayo, who has become a national icon of the growing Cuban resistance movement.

His mother, Mrs. Reina Luisa Tamayo, is now an event too. She is a member of the renowned Ladies in White and a highly vocal critic of the tyranny. In the photograph below she is on the floor struggling against Castro's state security while protesting her son's death.

Mrs. Reina Luisa Tamayo (on the ground) vs.
Castro's State Security After Hunger Striker Son's Death

In a related development, 4 other political prisoners have been offered banishment into exile, but they have refused. According to Marti Noticias, Diosdado González Marrero, Librado Linares, Oscar Elías Biscet and Angel Moya Acosta refuse to leave Cuba voluntarily. Mrs. Alejandrina García de la Riva, Mr. Gonzalez Marrero's wife, reported (audio) that her husband had been contacted by Cardinal Jaime Ortega who inquired whether they wanted to leave the country.

After responding that he didn't, Mr. Gonzalez Marrero asked the Cardinal why political prisoners were only being released into exile. The Cardinal allegedly responded that all those who have been exiled would soon be free in their own homeland.


The video below from October 1 reveals how some have been inspired to begin taking a public stand for freedom while others appear to absolutely ignore them. They were reported to have subsequently been surrounded by a mob led by state security in an 'act of repudiation'.


Ladies in White: "We´re Not Afraid of You"

Oct 12, 2010

Siege on Dissident Cubans Lifted But Pushed to Leave

Radio Marti has just reported that the siege on the Cuban family was lifted this morning. No explanation was provided as to what motivated the Castro regime to do so, or to have led a mob to besiege them in the first place. But Mrs. Rodriguez, the lady of the house, had this to say:
"...They don't tell us why. They only incite people to scream at us 'worms', mercenaries', go away, and all of the phrases that the whole world already knows. But they don't explain why."
But they don't need to, for as everyone knows, a tyranny does not consider itself accountable to anyone, let alone its subjects. Cuba's is backed by a well paid mob-o-cracy, and some day may possibly be even financed by United States tourists.

What happened to these people is similar to what happens to illegal Hispanic immigrants in the United States, except that they are not illegal or immigrants. They are natives, legitimately in their own country, and yet are being asked, in not very nice terms, to leave.

The Golden Rule dictates that Americans who don't ever want something like this happening to them in the United States should not support a tyranny that does it to Cubans.


The following photos seemingly taken after the siege have just been published. Note the reversed Cuban flag on the second photo.

9 year old dissident family´s son reportedly struck by Cuban State Security/Mob
Photo taken from Miscelaneas de Cuba

Besieged family and the members of the oriental branch of the
Partido Democrático 30 de Noviembre Frank País


Cuban Dissident Family Besieged by Mob ... Day 3

UPDATE - Mob Terrorizes Cuban Dissident Family

News Blackout on Cuban Family Under Siege

Google Hides Abuses in Cuba (Again)

Cuban Dissident Family Besieged by Mob ... Day 3

The mother of a Cuban family under siege confirmed today that their home in Guantanamo continues surrounded by a Castro regime led mob. Asked to describe what was presently happening, she responded : “...all you have to do is look out the window...can you hear them...even though it's drizzling they continue surrounding the complete house... from corner to corner.. one can see the police cars....everything is blocked...” The family of 3 has been under siege since 5 A.M. of October 10.

Mrs. Rosaina Ramirez is at their home in Guantanamo, Cuba, alone with her husband, Mr. Rogelio Tabio Lopez, a former political prisoner and their 9 year old son. The mob managed to break in yesterday but were forced to retreat by Mr. Tabio Lopez and his machete. The interview today was reportedly conducted by Antonio Diaz, who identified himself as a member of the Christian Liberation Movement. Mrs. Ramirez identified herself as a member of the 30 de Noviembre Social Democratic party. Not surprisingly, she volunteered her home address: Carlos Manuel 351, Esq. 6 Norte, Guantanamo, Cuba.

The family reported no visits or calls from international reporters.


UPDATE - Mob Terrorizes Cuban Dissident Family

News Blackout on Cuban Family Under Siege

Google Hides Abuses in Cuba (Again)

News Blackout on Cuban Family Under Siege

Except for the video below, there have been no further reports from Cuba on the Cuban family under siege since 5 AM, October 10 by a pro Castro mob. Presumably the siege continues. The video was published today by Directorio Cubano.


UPDATE - Mob Terrorizes Cuban Dissident Family

Google Hides Abuses in Cuba (Again)

Oct 11, 2010

Google Hides Abuses in Cuba (Again)

Google has pushed to near obscurity the unfolding story of a Cuban dissident family under siege by a mob of 500. While the story has been reported by several blogs, one can hardly find it in Google. Why so if not because Google's algorithms tip the scales to hide from view human rights abuses in Cuba? Those reporting life threatening abuses shouldn't have to word stories so that Google accepts them. That's censorship. Google is the one that needs to change its algorithms to prioritize reporting of abuses in Cuba. Would it ever have hidden a story like this about a family under siege by a mob in Silicon valley? Of course not. So what is motivating it to do so with Cuba?

The following are the stories I found in the first page of a Google news or blog search using “Cuba” as the search term, at 8PM on October 10, several hours after blogs started reporting the family under siege:

As of today, October 11 at 8PM:

Google's top 10 “Cuba” Blog stories
  1. Liz Neumark: A Taste of Cuba
  2. VA - Musica de Cuba [2CDs] » RSMatrix RapidShare - MegaUpload free
  3. Cuba looks ready to allow small loans for reforms | Antigua ...
  4. News flash: Cuba
  5. Free | free three prisoners in Cuba 52 operations, not to church
  6. Sparks recounts meeting with Castro for Cuba Week | The Crimson White
  7. Brazil beat Cuba to seal third straight world title - Stabroek ...
  8. Watch Cuba vs Brazil live stream free online streaming Oct 10
  9. Capitol Hill Cubans: Will Democrats Reject Chamber's Cuba Policy?
  10. International Political Economy Zone: Vile Capitalists Invade Cuba ...
Google's top 10 “Cuba” News stories
  1. Brazil Defeats Cuba, Regains World Championship Title
  2. Four injured following single vehicle crash near Cuba
  3. Experts examine how Cuba's offshore oil could be 'game changer'
  4. Cuba looks ready to allow small loans for reforms
  5. Pan Am Update: Unbeaten US Faces Cuba On Monday
  6. A Taste of Cuba
  7. Sparks kicks off UA's Cuba Week
  8. Cuba To Free 3 More Political Prisoners
  9. Ahmadinejad stresses employment of Iran-Cuba potentials to boost ties
  10. Horse and buggy struck by allegedly intoxicated woman


UPDATE - Mob Terrorizes Cuban Dissident Family

Google vs. Invisible Cuba

Google, the Mainstream News Media, Blogs and Cuba : What I thought was not so crazy after all

Are Reuters and AP Censuring Video of Attack on Cuban Dissident?

AP Doubts Cuban Dissidents' Rights Violated

Tyranny allows Cuban Dissident to Die of Hunger - What now?

UPDATED: Google, Cuba Journal and the Politics of Hate

UPDATE - Mob Terrorizes Cuban Dissident Family

A Cuban dissident family in Guantanamo, Cuba has been attacked and is under siege by a pro-Castro mob of around 500 people. In a near panic state the family's mother alleges that her 9 year old son was struck in the face and that another dissident has been kidnapped.

The last heard is that the mob, which had been rattling the iron barred gates protecting her house, finally broke in while shouting through loudspeakers and hurling eggs and rocks at the property. Although some are armed with iron bars and sticks, they were effectively forced to retreat by the family's father wielding a machete. The mob is allegedly led by Castro's State Security forces attempting to stop a meeting of regime opponents that had been scheduled to meet at the family's home.

The story was first reported by Oswaldo Paya, leader of the Christian Liberation Movement, who also noted that Cuba's Military 'Junta' had just designated October 6 as Anti State Terrorism Day. Through his website he is asking the international media to go to the scene of the siege located at:
Carlos manuel de Cespedes #351 and corner of 6 Norte
Guantanamo, Cuba
He is also asking for international solidarity to stop this “Act of Repudiation” on the family and appealing for help from heads of all nations which oppose terrorism, international human rights organizations and Pope Benedict XVI.

Having began on October 10 at 5:00 A.M. the act of repudiation is now past its 36th hour.

Also on Sunday, two of the renowned Ladies in White reported having been beaten by Cuban State Security forces after having protested in Havana. According to Diario de Cuba, Sonia Garro Alfonso and Mercedes Fresneda Castillo were holding up a blanket that read "Down with racism and up with human rights", when they were shoved into a police car. One suffered a broken wrist and the other a broken nasal bridge. The officers that struck them were reportedly men. When they eventually went to a hospital for treatment they were refused a copy of the medical report. Both ladies are black.

The Castro regime recently forced several political prisoners into exile and promised there are more to come. It has also reached out to Israel while chastising Iran's Ahmadinejad for his denial of the holocaust in an apparent attempt to soften U.S. public opinion and help enable passage of U.S. legislation that would bring an estimated 2 million U.S. tourists to Cuba and $2 billion to the bankrupt regime.


Dissident Vladimiro Roca has now also been detained and reported missing by Radio Martí, also as of this past Sunday. He is the son of the founder of the Cuban Communist Party.


According to Europapress, Vladimiro Roca has been released.


No further news is available on the family of 3 under siege by a regime backed mob. Thus is Cuba, oscillating silently and invisibly between tyranny and mob-ocracy. Google doesn't care. Neither does Bing. Jerry Brown thinks it's paradise or some kind of model to be revered or something like that. So do some US Congressmen but for other reasons ($$). It's just what the United States needs to be, other luminaries will claim, with straight, earnest faces. Good night.


Audio of Mother's report (details emerge after first 4 1/2 minutes)

Oswaldo Paya's Audio report

Still No Political Prisoner Releases in Cuba Several political prisoners have been released into exile; none have been allowed to live freely in Cuba. Therefore, none have been 'freed', as had been announced on behalf of (and apparently as a courtesy to) the regime, by the Catholic Church.