Not even the Chinese model can save Castroism
FABIO RAFAEL FIALLO | Ginebra | 19 Abr 2016 – 7:02 pm.
Clinging to the most retrograde Soviet tradition, the Communist Party of
Cuba decided to hold its VII Congress without even… Continue reading
ABOUT WHY DON’T WE CHANGE OUR OPINION ON THE NEW OBAMA POLICY TOWARDS
José Daniel Ferrer, Executive Secretary of the Patriotic Union of Cuba
(UNPACU) analyzes in this Press Release UNPACU’s position regarding the
current OBAMA’s policy towards… Continue reading
Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez to meet lawmakers in Washington, D.C.
BY JUAN CARLOS CHAVEZ
NEW YORK CITY -- Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez will be received Tuesday in
Congress after completing a busy agenda of meetings and forums in New
York City about technology and social networking.
Recognized as one of the most important voices in the domestic
opposition in Cuba, Sánchez will arrive in Washington bearing a critical
message about the situation on the island and the urgent need to support
the work of independent journalists and human rights activists, among
"This will be one of the most important meetings of the tour," said
Sánchez, 37. "In general, the trip has been full of surprises. I have
received many hugs but have also heard many shouts."
In Washington, Sánchez will meet at 10:30 a.m. with Rep. Joe García,
D-Miami., one of the principal figures behind the blogger's visit to the
Capitol, and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, a fierce opponent of any
rapprochement with the Cuban government.
Later, at 11 a.m., Sánchez will take part in a political reception
attended by other lawmakers familiar with the Cuban issue, such as
Democrats Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston and Albio Sires of New
Jersey, and the Miami Republican Mario Díaz-Balart.
García stressed the importance of the opportunity to exchange ideas and
opinions about the Cuban reality with Sánchez.
"To me, it is a great honor to acknowledge a person as brave as Yoani
Sánchez," García told El Nuevo Herald. "Her efforts in favor of freedom
and human rights in Cuba have inspired millions of people around the
world, including me."
Sánchez's stopover in Washington also was a source of satisfaction for
Ros-Lehtinen. She said that Sánchez's meeting with her and her
colleagues in Congress will help them understand in greater detail the
living conditions on the island.
Sánchez's trip abroad coincides with a new monthly report on the
detentions against the opposition, issued by the Cuban Commission on
Human Rights and International Reconciliation, based in Havana.
The commission, headed by activist Elizardo Sánchez, reported in
February more than 500 "temporary detentions."
In that context, Ros-Lehtinen said that Sánchez's blog and her writings
have "focused" attention on the "awful" human rights conditions in Cuba.
The lack of guarantees has been a source of concern for broad-based
organizations such as Amnesty International. That group has concluded
that the Cuban government continues to uphold laws intended to prevent
dissidents and human rights advocates from exercising the freedoms of
expression, association and assembly.
"My colleagues in Congress are willing to listen to speakers who bring
first-hand accounts on how the regime represses freedom of expression
and disrespects human rights," Ros-Lehtinen said.
Recently, two other Cuban oppositionists and former political prisoners,
Luis Enrique Ferrer García and Normando Hernández, traveled to
Washington. Both described their experiences in two hearings before the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
No representative of the Cuban government attended those hearings. The
island's authorities do not acknowledge the commission's competence
because it is part of the Organization of American States, which Cuba
refuses to rejoin.
Sánchez's agenda in Washington includes discussions with analysts and
students at Georgetown University and the Cato Institute. In both
forums, Sánchez will have a new opportunity to explain the constant
harassment to individual freedoms, the monopoly on information and the
current political scenario.
Sánchez will take advantage of her visit to the capital to pick up the
State Department's 2011 International Award to Women of Courage. The
prize was granted to her in absentia during a ceremony presided over by
First Lady Michelle Obama.
Monday morning, Sánchez spoke with students and professors at the
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University in New York
City. As in the past two public sessions held by Sánchez, four people
tried to interrupt the blogger's presentation with shouts in favor of
the Cuban government. They were removed without violence, while most of
the attendees applauded Sánchez warmly.
At the session, Sánchez expressed her wish that the government of Raúl
Castro end soon. She said that the Castro brothers have steered the
country at their whim for more than five decades.
"The Cuban system has neither built nor prepared a generational
handover. It has behaved like a hungry Saturn who devours his children,"
Sánchez said, referring to the Greek mythological figure who feared he'd
be overthrown by his children. "All the young people who throughout 50
years gained some popularity were expelled and some were imprisoned."
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