16 August 2014 ~ 7 Comentarios

Castro’s Cuba in Summit of the Americas? What has changed in Cuba?

by Manuel Castro Rodríguez

Raul Castro

Este domingo 10 de agosto de 2014 le envié este email al presidente de Panamá, con copia abierta a los senadores de Estados Unidos y los congresistas cubano-americanos.

Juan C. Varela
President of Panama

President Varela:

I’m writing to you because Panama will invite the Castro dictatorship to 2015 Summit of the Americas.

President Varela, why do you think that the dynastic dictatorship that is the greatest violator of human rights in West must be present at a meeting of democratically elected governments?

If it will succeed, you would be giving a boost to the brutality of the Castro’s regime –-it was declared guilty by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

President Varela, I invite you to watch the videos that show the killing of children by Cuban dictatorship.

President Varela, you know that Fidel Castro “severely damaged the Panamanian people. He supported Noriega knowing full well that he was a dictator Papa Doc Duvalier style: corrupt and cruel”.

President Varela, I invite you to read The process of political protest in Panama, 1968-1989by Brittmarie Janson Pérez, a Panamanian anthropologist.

This week, The Economist published ‘Rekindling old friendships’: “Cuba is once again resorting to geopolitics to support a failing economy”.

President Varela, Russia has always used the Castro’s regime to extend its influence in the region. The Guardian, a British leftist newspaper, said: “Russia to reopen spy base in Cuba as relations with US continue to sour”. Russia-US relations have plummeted over the Ukraine conflict and Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

President Varela, I remind to you that on July 28, 2014, the U.N. Security Council imposed sanctions on Ocean Maritime Management Company, Ltd., the operator of the North Korean ship known as the Chong Chon Gang that was interdicted by Panama on July 10, 2013, with illicit arms shipment from Cubathat violate the U.N. ban on the trading of arms with North Korea.

I take you back that on July 13, 2013, Panamanian diplomats met with Cuba’s vice foreign minister, Rogelio Sierra Díaz, who flew to Panama to appeal for the ship’s release. His appeal was rejected.

The Castro brothers’ regime initially described the intercepted cargo as nothing more than aid in the form of sugar. When weapons were discovered under the bags of sugar, the authorities in Havana then attempted to dismiss the cache as “obsolete” items that were en route to North Korea for repairs (the UN prohibits all arms transfers to North Korea).

But the inspection showed that the Government of Cuba lied. The vessel was carrying 25 shipping containers with military equipment inside. The cargo included two Mig-21 jet fighters. The jet fuel inside their tanks, along with maintenance logs, indicated that they had recently been flown. Ammunition and 15 apparently new MiG engines were also discovered.

Besides, the white bags of brown sugar that hid the armament were themselves unusual. Sugar of that sort is usually shipped in bulk, not bagged, because it is almost always refined after it arrives at its destination.

Shortly after the ship’s interception, General Kim Kyok Sik, the army chief who had met Raúl Castro in August, was dismissed. “North Korea announced on December 13, 2013, that it had executed the uncle of its leader Kim Jong”. In its unprecedented character assassination of Mr. Jang before his summary execution, North Korea said, among other things, that he “stretched his tentacles” into areas where he should not have been interfering. Whether the arms deal with Castro’s Cuba was an example of that may never be known.

In March 2014, the U.N.’s Panel of Experts published its official report on North Korea’s illegal trafficking of weapons, in conjunction with the Castro’s regime.

President Varela, this muggling of weapons could endanger the lives of the habitants of the cities of Colon and Panama.

President Varela, I invite to you to read Cuba missile crisis: When nuclear war seemed inevitable.

President Varela, Cuba Archive has documented 166 deaths and disappearances from 7/31/2006 to 12/15/2013, that is, since Raul Castro assumed power inherited from his brother.

Due to the ongoing nature of the work and the difficulty of obtaining and verifying data from Cuba, Cuba Archive is currently examining additional cases. Experience has shown that as additional outreach efforts are undertaken, many more cases are likely to be uncovered.

President Varela, I remind to you the systematic violations of human rights in Cuba. For example, in July 2012, the Social Christian leader Oswaldo Payá and fellow dissident Harold Cepero were died in a controversial car crash. Payá’s family maintains that the car was deliberately forced off the road.

A devout Christian, Oswaldo Payá was the founder of the Christian Liberation Movement, which campaigns for political change, civil rights and the release of political prisoners. Payá won the European parliament’s Sakharov Prize in 2002 for his efforts and was nominated twice for the Nobel peace prize by the former Czech president, Vaclev Havel.

The circumstances surrounding Payá’s death have many questioning if it was a targeted killing: “Oswaldo Payá crossed red lines with the Cuban government before his death.”

Cuban dissidents call for transparent investigation of Oswaldo Payá’s death: “The Christian Liberation Movement called on the Cuban military junta Monday to carry out a ‘transparent’ investigation of the deaths of its founder Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, a champion of civil society, and dissident Harold Cepero Escalante.”

Why the Government of Panama not call on the Castro’s regime to authorize an international investigation of the deaths of Payá and Cepero? President Varela, reflect on:

1- Opposition activist Juan Wilfredo Soto died in May 2011 after complaining of a severe police beating.

2- Laura Pollánthe former head of the Ladies in White, who died of a suspicious ailment on October 14, 2011.

Two prisoners of conscience who were adopted by Amnesty International died amid lengthy hunger strikes in the last four years: Orlando Zapata Tamayo died on February 23, 2010 and Wilman Villar Mendoza died in January 2012.

On September 11, 2013, Amnesty International declaredCuba must immediately release prisoner of conscience. “It is a sad reflection of the state of the rule of law in Cuba, when people are convicted to prison terms not for what they have done but for what they might do”, said Javier Zúñiga, Special Adviser at Amnesty International.

In 1950, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 10 December as Human Rights Day. Regrettably in Castro’s Cuba this is a day of intimidation, acts of harassment, beatings and arbitrary arrests. For example, on December 10, 2013, at the same time as in South Africa the President Obama shakes hands with the General Raúl Castro, in Havana members of the Ladies in White were arrested and the home of Antonio Rodiles –nephew of Major General Samuel Rodiles and leader of the independent group Estado de Sats-, was besieged by the police and plainclothes agents. High school students were taken outside Rodiles’ residence and remained them there throughout the day.

Raul Castro’s speech on January 1, 2014, confirmed that he will continue increasing repression against Cuban citizens peacefully expressing themselves. On January 10, 2014, the retired Cuban teacher Ariel Hidalgo published In a normal countrythat was a reply to Castro’s speech ofJanuary 1. In his paper this Cuban Marxist says:

What country has a law that prohibits bringing happiness to children? And if it does not have, what authority was the arrest and seizure of the gifts? In a normal country an ideological deviation would not be considered the right of children to have a decent toy”.

Elizardo Sánchez, dean of Cuba’s dissident movement and spokesman of the Cuban Commission of Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCHRNR), revealed in its monthly report that 963 Cubans were arrested for political reasons in June; this number is smaller than record-setting May, when 1,120 Cuban citizens were arrested for political reasons. The total number of arbitrary arrests in the first seven months of this year is6,556. These only included political arrests that have been thoroughly documented.

Arbitrary detention of critics of the regime has increased in recent years. The CCHRNR documented 6,424 in 2013, 6,602 in 2012, 4,123 in 2011 and 2,074 in 2010.

According to CCHRNR, the number of political prisoners in Cuba has climbed to 114. The CCDHRN includes on its list the twelve (12) dissidents sentenced in the Black Spring of 2003 and who are now out on parole, a condition that prevents them from traveling abroad.

Sonia Garro Alfonso -a member of the Ladies in White- and her husband, Ramón Alejandro Muñoz, have remained in prison for more than two years after their imprisonment and haven’t been tried. They were arrested during a crackdown preceding the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Cuba in March 2012.

State measures to control the press were especially harsh during the visit of Pope Benedict XVI. Dozens of independent journalists and bloggers were detained a week ahead of the visit.

The Castro’s regime violates the right of assembly established by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For example, the leftist historianManuel Cuesta Morúa organized an alternative forum to the II Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). On January 26, 2014, two days before the Summit, Cuesta Morúa was arrested. After four days of confinement in a police station, the Social Democratic leader was released with the charge of “spreading false news against international peace”, requiring Cuesta Morúa to report his presence each week at the same police station where he was under arrest.

President Varela, all this amply confirmed that the Castro dictatorship hasn’t interest in making changes that lead to a process of national reconciliation and a free society. I remind you The Leopard, written by Giuseppe Tomasi de Lampedusa: “Everything must change, so that everything can remain the same”.

Besides, the conditions in Cuba’s prisons are inhuman. The political prisoners suffer degrading treatment and torture. I invite to you to readMemory to Red Hot, by a Cuban Marxist teacher.

Cuba is the only Western country without any free elections in 66 years. It is also the only Western country where it has been illegal to be a member of the opposition since 1960, that is, for more than half century!

Moreover, in accordance with the article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

   (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.

    (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

However, the Cuban government prevents me entering my own country, because I denounce the violations of human rights. I am on the blacklist of the regime, but under what law is it issued?

Tens of thousands of Cubans are prevented from entering our own country; mothers who die without ever seeing their children, grandchildren who do not know their grandparents. I have not been able to meet with the eldest of my granddaughters. This is cruel and inhuman! 

As well, the need to obtain permission to leave Cuba has not disappeared completely; certain categories of Cubans continue to be subject to the same limitations in place before the migration reform was implemented by the Castro government in January 2013.

With this type of repression, the Castro’s regime has in mind to prevent the Cuban diaspora to denounce its crimes. The Castro government has developed a highly effective machinery of domination never before seen in West.

I hope that Panama’s President will recognize that Cubans who fought peacefully for the democratization of our country are victims of political persecution. Why the President of Panama did not has done a call to the Government of Cuba to lift all restrictions against free movement of Cubans?

I envy those who have a passport because in reprisal for my complaints the Castro dictatorship refuses to issue me a new passport, so I can not leave Panama.

Castro’s Cuba has the most restrictive laws on free speech and press freedom in West. The constitution prohibits private ownership of media outlets and allows speech and journalism only if they “conform to the aims of a socialist society.”

Cuba’s legal and institutional structures are firmly under the control of the Castro brothers.

Laws criminalizing “enemy propaganda” and the dissemination of “unauthorized news” are used to restrict freedom of speech under the guise of protecting state security. Insult laws carry penalties of three months to one year in prison, with sentences of up to three years if the president or members of the Council of State or National Assembly are the objects of criticism.

Four years agothe Chilean senator Isabel Allende, daughter of toppled president Salvador Allende, supported the statement of the deputies of his party, the Socialist Party, which calls on the Cuban authorities to release prisoners of conscience. The senator Allende declared:

The freedoms of opinion, association and assembly were freedoms that we fought in the Socialist Party and we will always fight. Would that actually be a reaction from the Cuban authorities and understand that the world today condemns societies that do not respect the right to freedom of opinion”.

President Varela, what has changed in Cuba?

You can ask me any question about Cuba and the university education, which are my two great passions. I will try to answer it .

Thanking you in advance for your attention,

Manuel Castro Rodríguez

Panama ID: E-8-91740

7 Responses to “Castro’s Cuba in Summit of the Americas? What has changed in Cuba?”

  1. MANUELCARBAJAL 23 August 2014 at 8:53 am Permalink

    Reason and values

    Rand held capitalism to be the only moral social system, that is, one consistent with an objective theory of value and ethical individualism. The creation of wealth, according to Rand, is a fusion of mind and matter, and she argued that reason is the most fundamental tool of survival for human beings. However, rational thought is rendered inoperative under conditions of compulsion, coercion or, as she puts it, the initiation of physical force. Whether it is the force of an armed robber or the force of a law, an actor’s own judgment is rendered irrelevant to his actions by a threat of force, compelling him to act on the judgment or will of another, thus neutralizing the source of wealth and survival itself. Only voluntary trade can ensure that human interaction is mutually beneficial, and an analysis of history shows that only economic and political freedom has worked to create significant growth and economic development, precisely by liberating the rational faculties of ever wider numbers of individuals, according to Rand.

    from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalism:_The_Unknown_Ideal

  2. MANUELCARBAJAL 23 August 2014 at 12:21 pm Permalink

    Video on current cuban economic reforms. Made in Havana.

    what I’m not sure if they are real people or robots following a script, trying to stress all the time the influence of the “Blockade”:


  3. MANUELCARBAJAL 23 August 2014 at 12:27 pm Permalink

    If the blockade has been so brutal for 52 years, why they wait to make reforms until now?

  4. Manuel Castro Rodríguez 10 April 2018 at 1:50 pm Permalink

    6.392 muertes y desapariciones documentadas a la dictadura cubana.
    Hasta el 30 de diciembre de 2017, al régimen encabezado por el dictador Raúl Castro se le han documentado 6.392 muertes y desapariciones.

  5. Manuel Castro Rodríguez 10 April 2018 at 1:51 pm Permalink

    6.392 muertes y desapariciones documentadas a la dictadura cubana.
    Hasta el 30 de diciembre de 2017, al régimen encabezado por el dictador Raúl Castro se le han documentado 6.392 muertes y desapariciones.

    • Manuel 12 April 2018 at 12:22 pm Permalink

      y eso sólo le importa al malo de trump, al resto de los presidentes le resbala

    • Manuel 12 April 2018 at 12:22 pm Permalink


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