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Deteriorating health of Cuban dissident on hunger strike worries international observers

Deteriorating health of Cuban dissident on hunger strike worries international observers By Elizabeth Llorente Published August 16, 2016Fox News Latino Cuban dissident Guillermo Fariñas is on the fourth week of a hunger strike, and his health continues to deteriorate, his mother told Fox News Latino in a telephone interview from Cuba. Fariñas started his hunger […] Continue reading

Chronology – Ten Years Without Fidel Castro

Chronology: Ten Years Without Fidel Castro / 14ymedio

14ymedio, Havana, 31 July 2016 – Since the proclamation in which Fidel
Castro temporarily delegated power on 31 July 2006, the former president
has met with two popes, has received visits several… Continue reading

Dissidents Call Meeting With Obama Positive And Give Him A List Of Political Prisoners

Dissidents Call Meeting With Obama Positive And Give Him A List Of Political Prisoners / EFE, 14ymedio Posted on March 23, 2016 EFE (14ymedio), Havana, 22 March 2016 – Several dissidents who met with President Barack Obama in Havana this Tuesday, assessed the meeting as “positive” and “frank,” and one of them delivered a list […] Continue reading

Cuban dissidents meet Obama to air grievances about Castro — and about new U.S. policy

Cuban dissidents meet Obama to air grievances about Castro — and about new U.S. policy The president sat down privately with 13 political activists All appreciated the recognition But some wanted more from him BY PATRICIA MAZZEI AND NORA GAMEZ TORRES pmazzei@miamiherald.com HAVANA President Barack Obama granted outspoken political dissidents of the Cuban government the […] Continue reading

In Cuba and U.S., Expectations Are Mixed on Obama’s Historic Trip

In Cuba and U.S., Expectations Are Mixed on Obama’s Historic Trip
by SANDRA LILLEY , JOHN BRECHER and CARMEN SESIN

The 90 miles separating the island of Cuba from the United States seem
just a little closer as Havana prepares… Continue reading

In Cuba and U.S., Expectations Are Mixed on Obama’s Historic Trip

In Cuba and U.S., Expectations Are Mixed on Obama’s Historic Trip by SANDRA LILLEY , JOHN BRECHER and CARMEN SESIN The 90 miles separating the island of Cuba from the United States seem just a little closer as Havana prepares to host an American president for the first time in almost ninety years. “No American […] Continue reading

Being in prison should not deprive one of his human rights

‘Being in prison should not deprive one of his human rights’
BORIS GONZÁLEZ ARENAS | La Habana | 10 Dic 2015 – 3:09 pm.

Rolando Ferrer Espinosa is the coordinator of the Frente Antitotalitario
Unido (FANTU), the organization of which… Continue reading

Letter from Cuban Pro-Democracy Leaders to the U.S. Congress

Letter from Cuban Pro-Democracy Leaders to the U.S. Congress
at 8:58 PM Thursday, September 24, 2015

It is with profound concern that we implore the Congress of the United
States of America to read this letter directed against the strong… Continue reading

On Cuban Political Prisoners

On Cuban Political Prisoners / 14ymedio, Martha Beatriz Roque Posted on July 14, 2015 14ymedio, Martha Beatriz Roque, Havana, 11 July 2015 — What classifies as a political prisoner is a cause for disagreement among the Cuban opposition. There are varying opinions about who has been jailed for political reasons or not, despite the criteria […] Continue reading

Activists gather around four points of consensus

Activists gather around four points of consensus / 14ymedio
Posted on October 9, 2014

14YMEDIO, Havana, September 25, 2014 – An important meeting of Cuban
civil society took place this Thursday in Havana, involving 16 activists
from across the country,… Continue reading

Opposition Group Slams Cuba’s 963 Political Arrests in June

Opposition Group Slams Cuba’s 963 Political Arrests in June

HAVANA – The dissident Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National
Reconciliation (CCDHRN) said on Tuesday that at least 963 arrests were
made for political reasons last month on the Communist-ruled… Continue reading

Cuba Studies ‘Putinismo’ for Survival Tips

Cuba Studies ‘Putinismo’ for Survival Tips
If Havana uses a Russian recipe for clinging to power, investors beware.
By MARY ANASTASIA O’GRADY –

Vladimir Putin’s op-ed in the New York Times wasn’t a big hit with
Americans. But the Russian… Continue reading

Ladies in White resign over alleged State Security infiltrator

Posted on Saturday, 07.06.13

Ladies in White resign over alleged State Security infiltrator
BY JUAN O. TAMAYO
JTAMAYO@ELNUEVOHERALD.COM

At least 18 members have quit Cuba’s dissident Ladies in White in the
eastern province of Santiago de Cuba. Top opposition leader… Continue reading

Will the Cuban government pay a price, or benefit, by finally letting Castro opponents travel?

Cuba's dissidents go abroad

Will the Cuban government pay a price, or benefit, by finally letting
Castro opponents travel?

HAVANA, Cuba — For most of the past 50 years, the Cuban government has
had a straightforward strategy for keeping opposition activists from
spreading their criticism abroad and linking up to international
sympathizers.

It wouldn't let them leave.

By blocking dissidents from traveling, the Castro government could
punish their activism and limit the unflattering things they might tell
foreign audiences about life under tropical socialism.

Over the decades, countless speaking invitations for Cuban dissidents
from universities and foreign parliaments went unfulfilled. Awards were
never picked up. Prize money went uncollected.

Now many of those activists are packing their bags. Following the broad
travel liberalization implemented last month by President Raul Castro,
some of Cuba's best-known opposition figures have been told they're free
to go — and return.

Most notably, dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez has embarked an 80-day
tour of Latin America, Europe and the United States, with stops in New
York City, Washington, DC, and Miami. The 37-year-old creator of the
blog Generation Y is also planning to visit the offices of Twitter,
Google and Facebook.

Sanchez says Cuban authorities have denied her permission to leave more
than 20 times over the past five years, but finally issued her a
passport at the end of January. She boarded a flight Sunday evening from
Havana to Brazil via Panama.

"The Cuban government shouldn't even dream that I won't come back!" she
told her more than 400,000 Twitter followers over the weekend. "My
grandchildren will be born on this island, they'll bury me at the base
of a tree so I can live on!"

Now the question is: Will the trips abroad by Sanchez and other Cuban
dissidents further damage Castro's image abroad? Or will the very fact
that government opponents like Sanchez are traveling send the message
that Cuba is softening, opening up, and becoming more tolerant?

"In some sense, the government is attempting to convert its harshest and
most eloquent critics into its best ambassadors for the reality of the
changes taking place on the island, especially as related to its
migration reforms," said Ted Henken, a professor at Baruch College who
is organizing events for Sanchez in New York City. "If they can travel,
things must be changing no matter what they say while abroad," he said.

But Henken said Sanchez will be able to gain new supporters around the
world as she travels, aiding her cause of "internal, civic and
non-violent struggle in Cuba," he said.

"This may be the unintended consequence and Achilles' heel of the
government's very positive, if calculated, decision to allow her to
travel," added Henken, who is also the president of the Association for
the Study of the Cuban Economy.

Sanchez's trip will take her to at least a dozen countries. There's been
no word yet if her two-day stop in Washington, DC will include a visit
to the White House.

Other prominent Castro critics have already left Cuba to begin trips of
their own. One young dissident whose departure carried added symbolism
is Eliecer Avila, who was featured in a viral 2008 YouTube video that
showed him publicly challenging a top Cuban government official about
why young people couldn't travel.

Also now traveling is Rosa Maria Paya, the daughter of late Cuban
dissident Oswaldo Paya, who has accused the Castro government of
orchestrating the horrific car crash that killed her father last summer.
She departed on a trip for Chile that had been held up because the
government wouldn't give her an "exit permit" under the old rules.

As of Jan.14, Cubans no longer need government-issued permits to come
and go, only a valid passport and a visa from their destination country.

Restrictions still remain on some government and military officials, as
well as star athletes and top scientists. But Cuban authorities have
told many of the island's most prominent opposition figures they can now
travel. They include Berta Soler, leader of the "Ladies in White" group
that holds weekly marches through Havana, and Guillermo Farinas, winner
of the European Union's 2010 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

At home in Cuba, those figures face frequent harassment and constant
surveillance by authorities, but once abroad, they will be able to raise
funds and network with other activists beyond reach of Cuban state
security agents.

Yet even as some Castro opponents launch their trips abroad, others have
been told they're not going anywhere. Cuba's new travel laws include
exceedingly broad, vague language that allows the government to deny a
passport to someone "for reasons of public interest," and several
dissidents say they've been turned down.

Some are unable to leave because they remain on probation, having been
freed from prison in the past few years through the intervention of the
Catholic Church. The new travel policy bars Cubans who have pending
criminal charges or who are on parole from receiving passports.

That has left dissident economist and former political prisoner Oscar
Espinosa Chepe, 72, in a bind. He's been hospitalized several times in
the past year as a result of failing health, and he's now wondering if
the government will let him go abroad to seek additional treatment. His
parole isn't up until 2023, he said, and he and his wife, fellow
activist Miriam Leiva, have yet to apply for new passports.

Still, Espinosa Chepe said he didn't think the government would be hurt
by additional public criticism from other dissidents traveling abroad.
"The government has made an intelligent move. It's trying to convey a
message of openness," he said. "It remains an authoritarian system, but
I think it's making positive steps with an eye on improving relations
with the US."

Asked whether his inability to leave Cuba has blunted his message over
the years, Espinosa Chepe said he didn't think so, noting that he
frequently conducts interviews by phone, and has even participated in
international academic conferences remotely. "I've said everything I've
wanted to say," he added.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/cuba/130217/cuban-dissidents-castro-opposition-travel Continue reading

Cuba cracks down on activists, journalists

Cuba cracks down on activists, journalists After a year away, Cuba returns to the list of countries imprisoning journalists. Alex Pearlman December 11, 2012 13:56 Human rights defenders, political dissidents and journalists have been threatened, be... Continue reading
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