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Daily Archives: January 8, 2006

Rare unease in Cuba on survival of revolution

Posted on Sun, Jan. 08, 2006

CUBARare unease in Cuba on survival of revolutionCuban government officials appear suddenly aware of their own — and the socialist revolution’s — mortality, and they are talking about it openly.BY FRANCES ROBLES

First, used a loaded word seldom heard in Cuban government speeches: ”self-destruct.” Then Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Pérez Roque made a rare reference to a future without Castro: a “void nobody can fill.”And now experts are asking: Is the Cuban government for the first time undergoing an unprecedented introspection — one that perhaps acknowledges a fragile socialist grip on the island?In recent weeks, the Cuban government has made a series of rare public comments urging Cubans to embrace the revolution — or risk its future. Having just celebrated the revolution’s 47th anniversary, Cuban government officials are openly worrying that the generation of disaffected youth that grew up with scarcity and hard times since the early 1990s will be the very catalyst that destroys Castro’s legacy.And they’re scrambling to stop it.”This country can self-destruct,” Castro warned during a five-hour speech Nov. 17. “This revolution can destroy itself, but they can never destroy us; we can destroy ourselves, and it would be our fault.”Castro’s comments came as he announced a new push against corruption. He blasted thieves who live off stolen government goods, like gasoline, and said that since the crackdown, gas stations have begun to collect twice the normal revenue. His tirade against fraud came with the message that the looting of state coffers deepens class distinctions and jeopardizes the revolution.In the following weeks, he announced economic changes, including salary hikes and electricity rate increases aimed at the ”new rich” who damage socialism’s credibility.Castro, experts say, seems to be acknowledging his own system’s failures.Castro’s comments were followed by a Dec. 23 speech at a National Assembly session by Pérez Roque, a former Castro aide who represents the younger generation of Cuban officials. Referring several times to Castro’s Nov. 17 speech, he said that 1.5 million Cuban adults were about 10 years old in 1990, when Cuba began to feel in earnest the impact of the collapse of the Soviet Union and its massive subsidies.Those children are now grown-ups who take cheap and free medical care and for granted, Pérez Roque said, and never witnessed Cuba’s prerevolution poverty.”The fact that we have resisted all these years as we have resisted and battled, doesn’t in itself guarantee we will be victorious in the future,” Pérez Roque said, according to a transcript on the Foreign Ministry website. “I think we should pay all our attention to the call made by Fidel, that phrase never said publicly in the history of the revolution: This revolution can be reversible, and not by our enemies who have tried everything possible, but by our own mistakes.”Experts agree that Pérez Roque’s comments are important.”I am surprised this kind of stuff is spoken of this openly,” said Mark Falcoff, author of Cuba, The Day After. “It suggests two things: Castro’s may be as bad as the CIA says it is, and the [communist] party leadership recognizes they are going to have a rough time when he’s not there.”Two days before Castro’s November speech, The Miami Herald reported that the CIA was convinced that the Cuban leader has Parkinson’s disease and that the agency had briefed lawmakers on its findings.Falcoff said the recent comments are particularly important because they contradict the standard rhetoric in Cuban government circles that the revolution has been ”institutionalized.” The government, he said, is admitting it failed to capture its young.”Nothing that happens in Cuba is an , above all anything these people say and say publicly,” said María Dolores Espino, an expert on Cuba at St. Thomas . “They are positioning themselves for the aftermath. Castro wants the survival of the revolution to be his legacy, and they are preparing for that.”  

Venezuela’s oil exports to Cuba flat

’s oil exports to Cuba flat

APSunday, January 08, 2006

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – Venezuela plans to keep oil sales to Cuba steady at roughly 90,000 barrels a day this year because the island has discovered petroleum of its own, Venezuela’s oil minister said Friday.“We expect to keep that level of sales unchanged given that Cuba is discovering more oil and that’s a good thing,” Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said.Venezuela, the world’s fifth largest oil exporter, increased oil sales to communist-led Cuba to 90,000 barrels a day last year, up from roughly 53,000 barrels during previous years.Since taking office in 1999, Venezuelan Hugo has moved to strengthen ties with Cuba. Cuban President ’s government buys Venezuelan crude under preferential terms and, in exchange, sends thousands of doctors to treat the poor in this South American nation of 26 million.Chavez, Castro’s closest ally in the Americas, also has given Cuba an important role in organising sales of Venezuelan fuel to Caribbean nations through a regional initiative called Petrocaribe.Venezuela plans to store and possibly refine oil in Cuba for redistribution to other Caribbean countries under the initiative, which aims to cut energy costs in the region.  

Film: Cuban secret service organized JFK’s murder

Posted on Sat, Jan. 07, 2006

BERLINFilm: Cuban secret service organized JFK’s murderA Cuban secret service agent claims in a German film that his colleagues chose Lee Harvey Oswald to assassinate John F. Kennedy in 1963.BY HUGH WILLIAMSONFinancial Times

BERLIN – Hoping to scoop the world on one of America’s supreme historical puzzles, ’s leading television broadcaster has claimed in a documentary film that it was the Cuban secret service that organized the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.The 90-minute film, Rendezvous with Death, features an interview with Oscar Marino, a former agent of the Cuban G2 secret service, who says he knew before the assassination in November 1963 that Lee Harvey Oswald — Kennedy’s killer — had been picked by his colleagues to do the job.”He offered to kill Kennedy, and we used him to do this,” Marino says during the film, made by Wilfried Huismann, a prize-winning German director.Marino claims that Oswald, a Communist who lived in the Soviet Union for three years, was identified to Cuba by the Russian KGB secret service.In Havana, the official Granma newspaper Friday dismissed the documentary’s claim, saying it was the latest chapter in the long history of efforts “to annihilate the Cuban revolution.”A Cuban involvement is one of the dozens of conspiracy theories that have long surrounded the JFK assassination. The Warren Commission concluded that Oswald acted alone.Huismann, who worked on the project with Gus Russo, the Baltimore-based author of a book on , told the Financial Times his exclusive interview with Marino provided ”decisive new evidence” beyond the dozens of existing inquiries, books and films on the subject.He admitted many Americans were ”very skeptical” that he had solved the Kennedy assassination puzzle, but argued that his research focus on Mexico City — which Oswald visited two months before the assassination in Dallas — was his breakthrough. He interviewed Marino in the city, Huismann said, and gained exclusive access to parts of the country’s secret service archive.”I ask skeptical Kennedy assassination specialists – have you ever done research on the case in Mexico? Most, if not all, have not,” he said.Marino knew before the killing that Oswald had been recruited in Mexico City in September 1963 to do the killing, according to the filmmaker. In addition, in late 1962 the Cuban spy saw a list of about 100 foreign agents financed by the Cuban secret service. ”Oswald was on the list,” Huismann said. The G2 decided to have Kennedy killed because it believed the U.S. government planned to kill Castro, according to the film.Another key witness in the film is Lawrence Keenan, a retired FBI agent, who was sent to Mexico after the assassination to investigate Oswald’s activities and says he was withdrawn after only a short time.  

Cuban invite for Hemingway author

Cuban invite for Hemingway author

A Swansea lecturer is being given unrivalled access to research on Ernest Hemingway’s life in Cuba. Dr Philip Melling, who is researching his own book on the writer, will view 40 years’ worth of research carried out by academics on the island. Hemingway, regarded as one of the 20th Century’s greatest writers, o wrote The Old Man and the Sea in Cuba, where he was based for more than 30 years. Dr Melling said Cuba had a big influence on Hemingway and his writing. Dr Melling, reader in the department of American studies, said the extent of work carried out by Cuban writers and academics was unknown in the west and had never been publicised outside of Cuba. “Additionally, Hemingway was a big influence on the Cuban people, particularly on , and he is revered throughout the island,” he said. There could be some groundbreaking findings in the understanding of Hemingway’s life and work Dr Philip Melling

Hemingway’s former house on a hill east of Havana was left to Cuba after his suicide in 1961 and is now a museum, but with limited access. “The fact is that we don’t exactly know what is there,” added Dr Melling. “Much work has been done by Cuban academics but little is known about this outside of Cuba – primarily because there are limited opportunities to publish outside of the island.” Dr Melling was granted access to the archived research after the museum’s director, Professor Gladys Rodriguez, heard about the book he was planning on Hemingway’s interest in indigenous cultures. Racial minorities “Hemingway has always been known for his writings about war and Europe,” he added. “Little is known about his interest in racial minorities – he was particularly interested in Cuban-Africans – and he had a fascination with people he met on the streets. “The research that we could find in Cuba could have a massive impact on how we view Hemingway.” If all goes to plan, Dr Melling heads for Cuba in the spring. “Dealing with Cuba is sometimes very difficult. Things are never black and white. “There are regular communication problems and domestic priorities in Cuba can take precedence over you own work. “But as long as everything continues to move along there could be some groundbreaking findings in the understanding of Hemingway’s life and work.” Story from BBC NEWS: Published: 2006/01/07 09:21:40 GMT

$6,500 to kill a president: did Oswald sell his soul to Cuba?

The TimesJanuary 07, 2006

$6,500 to kill a : did Oswald sell his soul to Cuba?By Anthony SummersA German television documentary claims to have found a Castro link to the killing of Kennedy

TWO odd events this week, occurring thousands of miles apart, showed that ? four decades on ? the assassination of President John F. Kennedy remains a live issue.Four former Cuban intelligence agents, interviewed on German television, claimed that Kennedy?s assassin was allegedly a tool of ?s Security Department.

In Washington, meanwhile, a senior attorney who served on the official American investigation ? the Warren Commission ? reversed his position on the same subject.William Coleman, a former assistant counsel, had told me before Christmas of a mission that he carried out on the orders of the US Chief Justice, Earl Warren. He had flown to a secret location for a meeting with Señor Castro ? a rare event indeed for an American official, even more so given the nature of the discussion. What Mr Coleman learnt, he said, satisfied him ? and the Chief Justice when he reported back ? that ?Castro?s regime had nothing to do with the President?s murder?. Mr Coleman had spoken clearly, and in the presence of a third party. This week, however, I received a letter from him denying that the meeting with the Cuban leader had ever taken place. This is hard to explain, unless perhaps one notes that Mr Coleman ? himself a former Cabinet member ? is close to senior officials in the Bush Administration. Perhaps the Bush people, who take a hard line on Cuba, prefer that dark rumours about Señor Castro remain unrefuted. All the shots that killed Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963, the Warren commission concluded, were fired by Lee Harvey Oswald, a former defector to the Soviet Union and a Castro sympathiser, acting alone.A second investigation years later, by a congressional committee, reported that there had ?probably? been two snipers ? one of them Oswald ? and thus a conspiracy. As with the Warren commission, the committee said that it found no evidence to implicate Cuba.The German documentary, aired for the first time last night by Westdeutscher Rundfunk, claims to have found such evidence. Wilfried Huismann, an award-winning film-maker, presented a chilling scenario.On July 18, 1962, soon after Oswald?s return to America from the Soviet Union, Vladimir Kryuchkov, a future KGB chief, sent a telegram about Oswald to the head of Cuban intelligence, Comandante Ramiro Valdes. Though Oswald was ?unstable?, he said, the Cubans should take a look at him.Señor Valdes? staff did as their Soviet counterparts suggested, and had their first contact with Oswald in November, a few weeks after the Cuban missile crisis. More contacts followed ? directed, according to the documentary, by Rolando Cubela, then a trusted Castro associate. Oswald was supplied with modest sums of money, and acquired a file at Havana headquarters in a section assigned to ?Foreign Collaborators?.The pivotal encounter, the episode most incriminating to the Cubans, took place less than two months before the assassination. Fabián Escalante, a future chief of intelligence, and his nephew Aníbal, the son of a former president of the Cuban Communist Party, are named in the programme as having met Oswald.The young American said that he wanted to become a ?soldier of the Revolution?. To prove it he would kill Kennedy. He was supposedly twice observed in the Cuban Embassy?s garage ? a location chosen because the Cubans knew the offices and corridors of their diplomatic mission were riddled with CIA bugs and hopelessly insecure ? with another agent of State Security, a tall, thin, black man called César Morales Mesa. He allegedly paid Oswald the less than princely sum of $6,500.On November 22, 1963, after Kennedy was killed, the Cubans abandoned Oswald to his fate. He had been given certain assurances, presumably of a safe haven, but these were now forgotten. Oswald was by Dallas , but was shot dead by Jack Ruby, a local nightclub owner while being transferred to the county jail.Cuban State Security had initially cultivated Oswald, one former agent says, simply because he was ?available . . . You take what you can get . . . We believed in the revolution and were determined to export it.?. By late 1963, however, the agent continued, a ?desire? developed in Havana to do away with the man perceived as ?the counter-revolution personified?, Kennedy.Oswald ?volunteered?. ?Let?s just say, we used him,? the agent said, ?He adopted our plans as his own.?In an interview with The Times, Huismann, 55, expressed ?absolute? confidence that the story he has assembled reflects what really happened. He has worked on the case virtually non-stop since 2003, interviewing and scouring archives in the United States, Mexico and Cuba.Only one interviewee, Huismann said, was paid for his co-operation. This was ?Nikolai?, the serving Russian intelligence official who agreed to trawl KGB archives for previously withheld material on Oswald, and he received less than $1,000 (£560).Huismann is persuasive about Oscar Marino, the Cuban intelligence officer on whom he most relies. Another source is Antulio Ramírez, who in 1961 was the first person to hijack an aircraft to Cuba. That feat, he told Huismann, for a time won him the confidence of State Security agents, giving him opportunities to see documents, including a reference to the KGB?s 1962 message about Oswald.

Even before the English-language version of the documentary is completed ? the film has not yet been picked up by American or British broadcasters ? sceptical voices are being raised. Though hundreds of researchers and scholars believe that Kennedy was killed as the result of a conspiracy, most focus their suspicion not on Castro?s Cuba but on disaffected anti-Castro exiles and Mafia bosses targeted by Robert Kennedy?s Justice Department.But the ?Castro did it? theory was there from the start. ?Dozens of allegations of a conspiratorial contact between Oswald and agents of the Cuban Government have been investigated,? the Warren report noted. They included a charge that Oswald made a trip to Mexico City ?to receive money and orders for the assassination? and the original claim that Oswald had been seen ?receiving $6,500 to kill the President?.

That allegation first arose three days after the assassination. A young Nicaraguan named Gilberto Alvarado walked into the US Embassy in Mexico City and asked to see Thomas Mann, the ambassador. He then revealed how Oswald had been seen at the Cuban consulate in September.Señor Alvarado?s story was taken seriously for a while. The CIA had already told Kennedy?s successor, Lyndon Johnson, of evidence that Oswald had visited Soviet and Cuban missions in Mexico ? ostensibly to apply for visas.When Mr Mann began peppering Washington with messages about the supposed Cuban payment to Oswald, Johnson began talking of a possible nightmare scenario. The rumours circulating, he feared, could lead to nuclear war.According to the official record, the crisis evaporated when Señor Alvarado wavered in his story and a polygraph test showed that he might have been lying. Other information indicated that Johnson and his advisers determined, whatever the truth of the allegation, to squelch the story in the interests of world peace. Huismann said: ?I do not doubt that Oswald met with Cuban agents to discuss the assassination of John F. Kennedy.? To support the claim that the future State Security chief Señor Escalante was involved, Huismann presented a document provided by the late Marty Underwood, an aide who served both the murdered President and Johnson.?Early on the morning of November 22, 1963,? a key extract reads, ?a small Cuban airplane landed at the Mexico City . The single occupant transferred to another plane that was waiting at the far end of the . It immediately took off for Dallas, Texas.?Later that evening the plane returned from Dallas and the occupant transferred back to the Cuban airplane. After many months of checking we are confident that the occupant was Fabian Escalante.?Señor Escalante, who appears in the German documentary, dismissed the Underwood document as a fake. He also said that the purported KGB message to Cuban intelligence, alerting them to Oswald?s potential usefulness, is ?completely false, a forgery?. He was not in Dallas on the day of the assassination, Señor Escalante asserted, nor ? ever ? in Mexico City. Others interviewed, one of them a Cuban diplomat, claim that he had served there and did meet Oswald.Huismann, though, believes that he knows the answer. The key, he says, is ?the passionate rivalry that existed between the two protagonists. Not just between Castro and Kennedy but between their younger brothers, too. Raúl Castro was pressing for more aggressive action against the US ?imperialist? system, and Robert Kennedy wanted a showdown with Cuba.?Señor Castro?s public stance over the years has always been to say that the President?s assassination was ?una mala noticia? ? bad news that he deeply regretted. His talk of retaliation against US leaders, he insisted, had been intended more as a warning than a threat. Some clues, meanwhile, suggest a truth that would leave Señor Castro neither wholly guilty nor wholly innocent. While at the Cuban Embassy in Mexico, the Cuban leader reportedly twice told visitors, Oswald had indeed talked of shooting the President. In an impromptu conversation with a British reporter, Comer Clarke, the Cuban leader, is said to have made an astonishing admission: ?Yes, I heard of Lee Harvey Oswald?s plan to kill President Kennedy. It?s possible I could have saved him. I might have been able to ? but I didn?t. I never believed the plan would be put into effect.? Anthony Summers is the author of The Kennedy Conspiracy?, which won the Golden Dagger award for best non-fiction on crime in 1980.DEATH IN DALLASNovember 22, 1963 Kennedy killed by three shots in Dallas motorcade

November 24, 1963 Lee Harvey Oswald, accused of the killing, is shot dead in police station. His killer, Jack Ruby, said that he did it ?for Jacqueline Kennedy?September 28, 1964 A 300,000-word report by Chief Justice Earl Warren says that there was no conspiracy to kill Kennedy, although security officials had been at faultJanuary 2, 1979 Congress Select Committee on Assassinations concludes that Oswald probably did not act alone, as more than three shots could be heard on a recording of the killingMarch 2001 The Select Committee?s report is described as ?seriously flawed? by the US National Academy of Sciences in a Science and Justice article,,11069-1974173,00.html

The Orange Revolution`s Message: You Can Help Free a Cuban Prisoner of Conscience from a Windowless Underground Cell

The Orange Revolution`s Message: You Can Help Free a Cuban from a Windowless Underground Cell2006-01-07Village Voice (, December 30th, 2005

After the fraudulent November 2004 election in Ukraine, a mass democratic protest electrified the world and, in a second election, made Viktor Yushchenko-still recovering from being poisoned, allegedly after a secret dinner with the Ukrainian secret - of an independent Ukraine. Recently, Yushchenko said that the Orange Revolution-as it came to be called (see Andrew Wilson’s Ukraine’s Orange Revolution, Yale Press)-”proved that individual yearnings for are universal and that abuse of public trust can be overcome anywhere.”

From November 29 to December 3, 2005, Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart (Republican of Florida) visited Ukraine to-as he says-”begin the process through which our south Florida community will offer assistance to the victims of the nuclear tragedy of Chernobyl in 1986 and other effects of the ecological destruction caused by the communists during their decades in power.” Meeting with President Yushchenko, the congressman gave him a message from a Cuban physician, Oscar Elías Biscet (see my column “Castro’s Black ,” June 15-21, 2005). Diaz-Balart told Yushchenko:

“This Cuban physician was not able to give me his message personally because he is a political prisoner who at this moment suffers in solitary confinement in a cold, damp underground dungeon simply for believing in democracy and human rights. I received his message from his wife, Ms. Elsa Morejón. Dr. Biscet sends you and all of your colleagues of the Orange Revolution, for freedom and democracy in Ukraine, a message of friendship and solidarity.

He also expresses his deep gratitude, on behalf of all the political prisoners in Cuba, for your vote and your support at the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva for human rights in Cuba.”

As Diaz-Balart gave this message to Yushchenko, Sylvia Iriondo, head of the Cuban American human rights group Mothers and Women Against Repression, presented the president of Ukraine with a photograph of Biscet and three other Cuban political prisoners (René Gómez Manzano, Jorge Luis García Pérez, and Normando Hernández). “Thank you,” said the leader of the Orange Revolution. “I will never forget this message, this gesture of friendship. I will never forget the Cuban political prisoners.”Meanwhile, as Castro’s mounting crimes against Cubans’ yearnings for freedom are seldom reported in the American media-except for Meghan Clyne in The New York Sun and Mary Anastasia O’Grady in The Wall Street Journal-Human Rights First (formerly the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights) reported on December 7:

“Dr. Oscar Elías Biscet is seriously ill and suffering from chronic gastritis and hypertension. The conditions in which he is serving his 25-year term-imposed after an unfair trial in 2003 for his nonviolent advocacy of human rights-are deteriorating. Throughout much of his time in prison, Dr. Biscet has been held in substandard punishment cells, often in solitary confinement or with violent criminals. For long periods of time, he has been deprived of any outside communication, visits or vital medications sent by his family. He is currently being held in a windowless cell which lacks adequate water and from which he is infrequently taken outside.”   Dr. Biscet, a disciple of Martin Luther King Jr., has been especially tormented by -who knows who this prisoner is and where he is-because Biscet refuses to wear the usual prison uniform. He has also protested the vicious treatment of other prisoners.

Castro, while not sensitive to the sufferings of his prisoners of conscience (as Amnesty International designated them), is, however, sensitive to criticism of his brutality from abroad, especially from his supporters in the European Union. Accordingly, 15 severely ill prisoners have been released on medical parole after international protests on their behalf.

Therefore, Human Rights First-which calls for Castro “to unconditionally release all those imprisoned on the basis of the peaceful of their beliefs and for their nonviolent promotion of human rights and democracy”-urges you to send a message on behalf of Biscet to:

Dr. Fidel Castro Ruz                                                                           de los Consejos de Estados y de Ministros                                    La Habana, Cuba.

This is an excerpt from the sample letter (which you can get from Human Rights First, 333 Seventh Avenue, 13th floor, New York, NY 10001, Attention: Elena Steiger):

“The Cuban government is obligated by the 1998 UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders- a document that Cuba was active in drafting [emphasis added]-to protect the rights of all individuals to freely share information about human rights and advance fundamental freedoms. . . . I strongly urge the Cuban government to unconditionally release Dr. Oscar Elías Biscet. . . . Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.”

Meanwhile, as reported in the December 17 issue of The Economist, “this year, at the urging of Spain’s Socialist government, the European Union dropped the mild diplomatic sanctions it slapped on Cuba after the [2003] roundup of dissidents. “An Ibero-American summit in Spain condemned the American [on Cuba] but said nothing about Cuba’s lack of political freedom.” (Emphasis added.)

I too oppose the American embargo because it provides Castro a rationale for oppressing dissenters as he uses the U.S.’s hostility toward him. And I also oppose the cold and cruel Bush administration restrictions on Cubans here visiting their families in Cuba.

You can also say this, if you agree, in your letters to Castro while you remind him that you and many others around the world-socialists, libertarian conservatives, and plain believers in human decency-ask the presidente to act in the very name and spirit of human decency to release Biscet and the other nonviolent prisoners of conscience. Thereby we can all join Viktor Yushchenko in his message to Fidel Castro.

Elena SteigerHuman Rights Defenders ProgramTel: (212) 845-5298Fax: (212)  

Carta Abierta de Gisela Sanchez Verdecia, Esposa del Prisionero de Conciencia Antonio Ramon Diaz Sanchez

Carta Abierta de Gisela Sánchez Verdecia, Esposa del Prisionero de Conciencia  Antonio Ramón Díaz Sánchez2006-01-07

Octubre 2005

A: Organizaciones e Instituciones de InternacionalesA La Cruz Roja Internacional.Opinión Pública e Internacional.A todas las personas de Buena Voluntad.Mi nombre es Gisela Sánchez Verdecia, desde hace veinte años casada con Antonio Ramón Díaz Sánchez (Tony), que ahora está en una prisión a más de 700 kilómetros de nuestro hogar cumpliendo 20 años de prisión. Antes de proseguir tengo que explicar lo que inmediatamente todos se preguntarán ¿Qué hizo? ¿Por qué una condena tan alta?

Formaba parte de un movimiento cívico pacifico, de inspiración cristiana, no confesional; el Movimiento Cristiano Liberación, fundado en Cuba en 1988 para trabajar por la reconciliación entre los cubanos, el respeto a los Derechos Humanos y los cambios pacíficos hacia la democracia.Tony es muy consecuente con los valores de este movimiento que no acepta el falso principio de que ?el fin justifica los medios?. Por eso nunca alentaba al odio, a la venganza, a la , a mentir y la ofensa, ni siquiera contra los que nos persiguen. Tony sí es muy decidido en defender a los que sufren la injusticia y sobre todo al indefenso, siempre movido por el amor el prójimo. Su movimiento impulso una campaña ciudadana para pedir un Referendo para que el pueblo decida libremente si las leyes deben cambiar para que garanticen los derechos fundamentales.La Constitución pide el apoyo de 10000 ciudadanos para que la petición se convirtiera en proyecto de Ley. Aunque es una petición legal, en Cuba impera una cultura del miedo y era un desafío muy grande llegar a esta meta. Durante meses Tony con el Movimiento Cristiano Liberación y muchos activistas pacíficos colectaron firmas bajo una gran represión del Gobierno. Pero el 10 de Mayo del 2002 Tony, junto a dos dirigentes del Movimiento, Regis Iglesias (también condenado a 18 años de cárcel) entraban en las oficinas de la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular y presentaban el Proyecto Varela. Esta campaña, que aun continúa, abrió por primera vez la perspectiva para los cubanos en que los cambios pueden ser logrados pacíficamente, abrió la esperanza y por eso a esta etapa le llamamos LA PRIMAVERA DE CUBA.En Marzo de 2003 tropas de la Seguridad del Estado entraron bruscamente en nuestro hogar, aterrorizándome a mí y a mis hijas Yenysel y Massiel, que tenían entonces 15 y 4 años de edad. Saquearon mi casa, detuvieron a mi esposo y un mes después le realizaron un juicio sumarísimo, sin verdadera oportunidad de defensa y le condenaron a 20 años de prisión. No pudieron acusarlo de ningún acto de violencia ni de ninguna ofensa, ni de ningún acto de espionaje, sólo afirmaciones calumniosas, pero ni un solo hecho que lo vinculara a esas acusaciones fue probado. Es más, el fiscal no pudo referirse a un solo hecho que confirmara la acusación por el que arbitrariamente lo condenaron. Así ocurrió con Prisioneros de la Primavera de Cuba.Su entrega personal a su pueblo tan profunda, fue demostrada cuando hace algunos años tenía la oportunidad de emigrar legalmente para reunirse con su madre y hermano en y así librarse él y su familia de las muchas exclusiones y persecuciones que sufren, pero él decidió permanecer en Cuba aun para luchar pacíficamente por su pueblo, aun sabiendo que la podía costar la prisión que hoy padece.Hago un llamado por el agravante estado de en la que se encuentra mi esposo, poniendo en peligro su vida. Antonio Ramón Díaz Sánchez, miembro del Movimiento Cristiano Liberación y gestor del Proyecto Varela, tiene 43 años, es prisionero de Conciencia adoptado por Amnistía Internacional.Mi esposo en diciembre de 2004 fue sometido a un chequeo médico por parte del gobierno cubano, donde le diagnosticaron una Cardiopatía Isquémica y un ligero desplazamiento en la próstata, sin no le pusieron ningún tratamiento y fue trasladado nuevamente a la prisión ?Cuba Sí?, de Holguín donde se encuentra, a más de 700 km de su lugar de residencia. Desde enero de 2005 mi esposo presenta un ruido en los oídos que le llaman tinitos o tinos. Presenta además úlceras y fisuras en el recto. Mi propio esposo me comunicó que le habían llevado al de la provincia en forma inhumana y degradante (en una camioneta herméticamente cerrada y las manos esposadas) para realizarle una audiometría, luego de haber tenido tratamientos con antibióticos y de haberle aplicado un lavado de oídos, sin que mejoraran los ruidos que siente y que le causan una alteración y molestias permanentes, le comunicaron que tendría que acostumbrarse a vivir con ese ruido y no le han hecho ninguna otra investigación. Al diagnóstico de Cardiopatía que se le detectó en diciembre, nunca le han prestado la más mínima atención médica. A pesar de su estado de salud, sólo me permiten verlo unas dos horas cada tres meses. Siempre he insistido en los problemas de salud de Antonio porque no ha mejorado lo suficiente; nunca me han permitido entrevistarme con los médicos que lo han visto. Él sólo trata de acostumbrarse al insoportable ruido en los oídos.Antonio era un hombre sano y saludable antes de entrar a prisión. Le sometieron a seis meses sin luz eléctrica en una celda solitaria, por protestar por malos tratos de los guardias contra otros compañeros de causa y reclamando atención adecuada estuvo en más de tres huelgas de hambre. La mala alimentación, la falta de sol, las torturas sicológicas a las que ha estado sometido le han desatado estas dolencias que no poseía y han incrementado además una progresiva disminución de la visión que él tenía controlada y que en estos momentos es ya alarmante. Está confinado con prisioneros comunes de altísima como a un vulgar delincuente.Tony mantiene una fe admirable y aun sufriendo tantos abusos e injusticias no tiene ningún odio contra sus carceleros ni contra nadie y sigue apoyando la vía pacífica para lograr la y los derechos de todos los cubanos.Comprendan la situación por la que está pasando toda la familia, tenemos 20 años casados y dos hijas. En estos dos años y medio hemos sido víctimas de las represalias y odio del Gobierno. Mi esposo es un opositor pacífico, el cual sólo quiere que en su patria exista una vida mejor para todos los cubanos. Por eso hago este llamado a todas las Organizaciones e Instituciones Humanitarias, a La Comunidad Internacional, a las personas de Buena Voluntad, con el ruego de que intercedan ante las autoridades de la Isla para que mi esposo sea puesto en libertad. Y que sea traslado a la Habana, donde pueda recibir una atención especializada en un hospital donde le pongan un tratamiento efectivo antes que sea demasiado tarde.Agradeciendo de antemano su atención,Gisela Sánchez VerdeciaEsposa de Antonio R. Díaz SánchezCalle 122-A No. 2903 entre 29 y 31Marianao, La Habana, CubaE-mail:

Activada Brigada de Respuesta Rapida alrededor de la Casa de Martha Beatriz Roque

Activada Brigada de Respuesta Rápida alrededor de la Casa de Martha 2006-01-07

En comunicación telefónica a las 6 de la tarde del día de hoy, 6 de enero del 2006, Martha Beatriz Roque Cabello nos ha informado que un grupo de miembros de las Brigadas de Respuesta Rápida del régimen castrista se encuentra actualmente en la puerta del pasillo que da a su casa, en un nuevo intento de hostigamiento a la líder de la Asamblea para Promover la Sociedad Civil en Cuba.

De acuerdo a la activista, hubo una comunicación verbal por parte de la vecina, la cual es miembro de las Brigadas de Respuesta Rápida, quien le dijo a Martha Beatriz textualmente, ?prepárate para lo que te viene encima?, acompañado de palabras obscenas. Alertamos a los medios de prensa y a la comunidad internacional sobre este nuevo acto hostil por parte de las turbas organizadas por la policía política y hacemos responsables al régimen del por la integridad física y emocional de la activista.Por el Comité de Apoyo a la Asamblea para Promover la Sociedad Civil en Cuba:Ángel De Fana     Sylvia G. Iriondo     Mario Martínez  

En 2006 Venezuela mantendra ventas de petroleo a Cuba en 90.000 barriles diarios

En 2006 mantendrá ventas de petróleo a Cuba en 90.000 barriles diarios7 de enero de 2006.

El ministro de Energía y Petróleo de Venezuela, Rafael Ramírez, declaró el viernes que su país planea mantener las ventas de petróleo a Cuba en unos 90.000 barriles por día este año, ya que esa nación caribeña ha descubierto algo de crudo en su territorio.  Acotó Ramírez que en algunos meses del año pasado las ventas del crudo a Cuba incluisive alcanzaron hasta 92.000 barriles diarios. Desde diciembre de 2000 Venezuela inició la venta de crudo a Cuba, pero al principio con unos 53.000 barriles diarios que paulatinamente se han ido incrementando hasta alcanzar la actual cifra. Las condiciones de financiamiento de esta transacción son muy especiales ya que incluyen un plazo de pago de 15 años, dos años de gracia, una tasa de interés del 2% y un cálculo del barril entre 15 y 30 dólares.

Cuba: hijos de disidentes celebran fiesta de los Reyes Magos

Posted on Sat, Jan. 07, 2006

Cuba: hijos de disidentes celebran fiesta de los Reyes Magos


LA HABANA – Hijos de disidentes cubanos encarcelados se congregaron el sábado para una fiesta de celebración de la llegada de los Reyes Magos, a fin de recibir regalos pagados por un poderoso grupo de exiliados en Miami.Pero las esposas de activistas presos que organizaron la fiesta dijeron que se realiza en un momento en que los opositores al gobierno tienen poco que celebrar en la isla.“Estoy muy desesperada,” dijo Dolia Leal, cuyo esposo, Néstor Aguilar, cumple una sentencia de 13 años de cárcel. “Cada día hay más represión, y no veo señal alguna de que vayan a liberar a los presos”.La represión del gobierno contra disidentes, a comienzos del 2003, culminó en el arresto de 75 activistas políticos y de periodistas independientes. Quince han sido liberados por razones de , quedando 60 prisioneros que se quejan de problemas de y de condiciones insalubres en sus celdas.Familiares de presos y varios activistas cubanos han denunciado también un creciente hostigamiento por parte de simpatizantes del gobierno en meses recientes.Leal, que vive sola en un apartamento de la Habana, dijo que ha sufrido dos protestas agresivas por los partidarios del gobierno frente a las puertas de su hogar, en octubre y en noviembre, y que sus vecinos han dejado de hablarle.El gobierno cubano condenó a los activistas, tras acusarlos de ser mercenarios al servicio de y de intentar derrocar al gobierno del . Los disidentes y Washington han negado los cargos.Pero familiares de los disidentes admitieron que han recibido ayuda financiera de exiliados cubanos. Las esposas que organizaron la fiesta del sábado compraron a los hijos regalos adquiridos con dinero de la Fundación Nacional Cubano Americana, un grupo de presión con sede en Miami dedicado a socavar el régimen de Castro.Más de una docena de niños recibieron armas y automóviles de juguete, así como muñecas, en la casa de Laura Pollan, esposa del prisionero Héctor Maseda, para celebrar la fiesta de los Reyes Magos.Pollan dijo que los regalos fueron para 77 hijos e hijas de presos y fueron distribuidos en distintas partes de la isla.Lieni Moya, hija del Angel Moya Acosta, recibió de regalo un reloj.“Estoy feliz con el regalo”, dijo Moya, de 14 años. “Pero extraño a mi padre. No lo veo desde el 3 de octubre, y no sé cuando será la próxima visita. La parte más difícil es no poder hablar con él. El siempre me da buenos consejos”.  

Realiza PPDHC actividad de la vela pro libertad de los presos políticos cubanos.

Realiza PPDHC actividad de la vela pro de los presos políticos cubanos.

BC – Roberto Santana Rodríguez – El Partido pro de Cuba afiliado a la fundación Andréi Sajarov realizó la actividad de la vela en el domicilio de su secretario general en funciones Modesto Leopoldo Valdivia sita en calle Santa Isabel # 481 e/ Maceo y Aranguren, Arroyo Naranjo el pasado 4 de enero en horas de la noche. La demostración pacífica dio comienzo con una oración, se cantaron las notas del himno nacional cubano y un viva a los Derechos Humanos. Posteriormente Valdivia Varela refirió a los presentes noticias sobre la situación en la que se encuentran los presos políticos a lo largo y ancho de la Isla haciendo énfasis en la situación precaria en la que se encuentra el secretario general del Partido René Montes de Oca en el militar Carlos J Finlay, también se hablo de Camilo Cairo Falcón, también ingresado en el Finlay luego de la golpiza que recibiera el pasado 13 de julio a manos de los pro castristas integrantes de las brigadas de respuesta rápida. Participaron en la actividad contestataria Lazara Martí López, Albertina Fonseca, Rigoberto Martínez , Elba Hernández, Enrique Domínguez, Vladimir Alejo Miranda, Leosvan Alejo Montes de Oca, Alberto Barroso, Crispín Rodríguez, Xiomara Piedra y el mencionado Modesto Leopoldo Valdivia Varela.  

UCF tendra decano hispano

UCF tendrá decano hispanoEl docente que salió de Cuba se destaca en la casa de estudios.Víctor Manuel RamosOrlando SentinelJanuary 7, 2006

La especialidad del profesor José Fernández es el legado de los primeros hispanos que llegaron a la Florida y el sur de los .

Ahora él, que como académico de la de la Florida Central (UCF, en inglés) en los últimos 25 años, ha recopilado textos hispanos desde la época colonial, dejará su propia marca en la región como el primer hispano que asciende al puesto de decano en esa institución.

“Para mí es un honor y es un cargo que yo acepto con orgullo al igual que humildad”, dijo Fernández, de 57 años. “La misión quizás no será fácil, pero con la ayuda de todos podemos realizarla.”

Fernández, original del pueblo Sagua la Grande en Cuba, tomará a partir de agosto el timón de la facultad de artes y humanidades — un título que se creó de la reciente desmantelación de la Facultad de Artes y Ciencias a raíz de problemas presupuestarios.

El nuevo decano hispano asume el puesto tras una etapa de crisis, con el mandato de manejar la facultad de alrededor de 7,000 estudiantes y 275 profesores, con menos recursos. La universidad reorganizó en noviembre sus ofertas de artes y ciencias en dos facultades cuando salió a relucir un déficit que se proyectaba en $5 millones.

Terry Hickey, rector y vicepresidente de asuntos académicos para UCF, dijo que se escogió a Fernández debido a la capacidad que demostró como profesor y decano auxiliar, y que se espera que él facilite una “transición fácil” después de la renuncia de la ex decana Kathryn Seidel.

En el último semestre de otoño 5,544 de los 43,535 estudiantes de UCF que identificaron su origen étnico y racial eran hispanos. A eso se añade que la población hispana de la universidad creció en un 116 por ciento entre 1996 y el 2005.,0,3609146.story?coll=elsent-casa-highlights  

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