Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Communist China's Shameful Record Cannot be Hidden Even by the Empire State Building

Communist China's Shameful Record Cannot be Hidden Even by the Empire State Building

It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.
~Mark Twain


The Empire State Building Company L.L.C. has honored that which is dishonorable and in the process dishonored itself. The People's Republic of China is responsible for over 65million deaths and counting over its 60 year rampage over China.
It is a testament to the insecurity of the Chinese communist dictatorship that it seeks to legitimize itself using national landmarks such as the Empire State Building or flying the Chinese communist flag over San Francisco's City Hall. I wonder how much Chinese officials had to pay to get the the Empire State Building lit up and how much to get the flag flying over San Francisco's city hall. Sad days for America.

In the interests of remembering the victims of this six decade and ongoing horror I am posting the following videos and links which I invite you to visit and reflect on as we observe this important anniversary:

Be sure to visit Frontline's website for The Tank Man and watch the full documentary there or here or here which is the most complete version online and offers an expose on how this regime impacts Chinese.

Tibet has been under occupation for fifty years and has suffered under a genocide committed by Chinese communists beginning with Mao Ze Dong.



This has been going on for a long time. The following images are from 1988:



Today Students for a Free Tibet demonstrated in front of the Empire State Building and explained why this 60th anniversary was a tragedy not something to be honored.



I look forward to the day that Chinese Communism joins Soviet Communism on the ash heap of history.

Gandhi's 140th Birthday and the International Day of Non-violence

Gandhi's 140th Birthday and the International Day of Non-violence

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born 140 years ago on October 2, 1869 in Porbandar, a coastal town in present-day Gujarat, India. Around the world in the birthplaces of western civilization both Italy and Greece.Gandhi's birth is being observed and the significance of his non-violent philosophy satyagraha is being analyzed. Around the world from Reykjavik and on the other side of the globe in the most peaceful country in the world New Zealand many nations will take part in observing the International Day of Nonviolence. This observance in New Zealand will begin a world march that will last 90 days from October 2, 2009 ending on January 2, 2010 in Argentina.

They will be observing Gandhi's impact on civilization and continuing his work to advocate for nonviolence and global disarmament. Furthermore Pax Christi International a catholic nongovernmental organization based on the gospel and inspired by faith dedicated to establishing peace, respect for human rights, and justice are observing Gandhi's birthday with prayer and looking deeply into Christian theology and the nonviolent example set by Jesus Christ.



Within Cuba's prisons there are individuals who follow Gandhi's teachings such as Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet and their courage and example terrify the dictatorship because even they recognize the power of nonviolence.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Peace Without Borders: An Assessment of the Concert

Peace Without Borders:
An Assessment of the Concert


"Only oppression should fear the full exercise of freedom."
Jose Marti y Perez

A little over a month ago I outlined my plan with regards to the Peace Without Borders concert in Havana and that was to watch or listen to the September 20th concert get feedback from people who attended the concert and from members of the democratic opposition then draw conclusions about the event.

I ended up at the University of Miami with members of Raices, UMCAUSA, and the Free Cuba Foundation watching a live feed of the concert projected onto a large screen with press in attendance.

The Concert
Let me begin by warning the reader: I'm a human rights activist not a culture or music critic. These are my personal impressions. The first two hours of the concert where by and large a drag. Victor Manuel, Danny Rivera and especially Cucu Diamantes, a Cuban exile from New York, did not distinguish themselves at all on stage. It was two hours into the concert when I was interviewed and asked about my feelings about the concert and I answered truthfully: bored.

Then Orishas came on and the concert finally took off with a rousing set of music.

They ended their set and introduced Juanes who began the most powerful set content wise of the concert. The words and images that impacted me the most were during "Nada Particular" a duet with the Spaniard Miguel Bose. During this song at the Concert in Havana a young Cuban with a flag is invited on stage by Juanes at 6:17 as they sang Libertad! in the video and 12 seconds later is taken away by what appears to be a plainclothes state security agent.



"Nada Particular" has lyrics that translate "Give me an island in the middle of the sea and call her Liberty. Sing strong brother. Tell me that the wind will not sink her. That my history will not bring pain that my hands will work for peace and that if I die it is love that kills me":


Dame una isla en

el medio del mar

Llámala Libertad

Canta fuerte hermano

Dime que el viento no

no la hundirá

Que mi historia no traiga dolor

que mis manos trabajen la paz

que si muero me mates de amor


The other song that Cubans on the island read a lot into was Sueños
which Juanes dedicated to those kidnapped in Colombia and "to all those denied their freedom wherever they are."



The lyrics here are equally applicable to the Cuban reality "I dream of liberty for those kidnapped in the middle of the jungle and I dream of peace for my people bled dry and an end to this unjust war":

Sueño libertad para todos los que estan
Secuestrados hoy en medio de la selva
Y sueño con la paz de mi pueblo desangrado
Y con el final de esta injusta guerra


Silvio Rodriguez who signed a petition justifying the regime’s imprisonment of 75 nonviolent dissidents and the execution of three young Afro-Cubans who tried to flee to the United States back in the spring of 2003 sang a stirring redition of "Ojala" a song that I understand he had not sung in 20-years. A great musician but an unrepentant apologist for a regime that has scores of prisoners of conscience.

I thought Carlos Varela also put on a good show in his appearance with Miguel Bose earlier in the show where they sang "Muro" and later on with "25 mil mentiras sobre la verdad" and "Colgado del Cielo
."



I know I'm leaving out a lot but these were the sounds and images that I thought were highlights and my impressions of the concert.

The Dictatorship's Propaganda Offensive

"Not every item of news should be published. Rather must those who control news policies endeavor to make every item of news serve a certain purpose." -Joseph Goebbels


Fidel Castro claims that the Peace Without Borders concert was a blow against the embargo . This despite the fact that Juanes obtained the Treasury licenses for an artistic exchange is within the bounds of the sanctions regime. That is just the tip of the iceberg in the regime's efforts to take advantage of the Peace Without Borders concert.




Now I am going to speculate - which is always dangerous to the speculator - that the dictatorship in their negotiations with Juanes pressured him successfully into not raising the issue of Cuba's prisoners of conscience - which despite what most may believe is not a political issue - a human rights issue.




Nevertheless the regime figured it could not manipulate the concert much beyond effective crowd control to ensure that nothing happened at the Plaza of the Revolution. Therefore it had to focus on impacting the context in which the concert was carried out. Selectively editing interviews from broadcasts on Miami's local television and most probably having one of their agents send a death threat to Juanes by Twitter and the scenario was set for their propaganda offensive with the Cuban populace and the international movement. Pioneered by Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein montage was perfected by Leni Riefenstahl and one can see it at work in this Cuban propaganda production.

The goal is simple present the Cuban government as reasonable and their adversaries in the worse light with editing that appeals to raw emotion to impact the viewer. This clip demonstrates this technique. The reality is that there has been a wide ranging debate with individuals and organizations pro and con as well as neutral on the subject. Carlos Alberto Montaner who is widely demonized by the regime came out and defended and supported the Peace Without Borders Concert. Basically, the normal state of affairs in a democracy including extremists that cross the line of good taste. Nobody ever said free expression was going to always be pretty. At the same time those who burned or crushed CDs and other materials were widely repudiated by the exile community. The day after the concert an article appeared in the Science section of the New York Times that Fidel Castro had called on the Soviets to attack the United States with a nuclear first strike in the early 1980s. No amount of spin can alter the factual and detestable legacy of the dictatorship.


The Bottom line


Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. -Martin Luther King, Jr.


Let us not overplay or underplay the importance of this concert as some have done. When Pope John Paul II went to Cuba he negotiated the return of Christmas to the Cuban people as a national holiday after a 28 year absence and handed Fidel Castro a list of political prisoners he wanted released. Oswaldo Paya and members of All United (Todos Unidos) gathered more than 25,000 signatures from Cuban nationals who provided their home address and identification number to a petition demanding human rights and reform of the current system which forced the Cuban government to change its constitution. Cuban musicians singing in Cuba have said a lot more in their music such as Frank Delgado, Porno para Ricardo, and Los Aldeanos, just to name a few, which is why they were vetoed from playing in the Peace Without Borders concert, and in the case of Gorki from Porno para Ricardo led to more than two years in prison for not renouncing his anti-government statements. Also calling out "Cuba Libre" doesn't mean much in the Cuban context when the dictatorship has launched an operation titled "Viva Cuba Libre." It may a mean a lot to people in Miami, but in Cuba it is a phrase the regime has used.


I never thought a pop music festival was going to bring down the regime, and I did believe that the dictatorship would try to manipulate the situation but I did hope that one of the artists explicitly calling for the freedom of Cuba's Amnesty International prisoners of conscience, as many relatives of the prisoners had requested might have improved their conditions and perhaps led to some being released. Something that the Ladies in White ask for weekly and that Berta Soler went to the Revolution Plaza at one point to demand that her husband Angel Moya be given proper medical care. who incidentally turned 45 on the day of the concert September 20, 2009 (Angel's sixth one behind bars). It would not have caused the government to fall nor cost lives but perhaps saved a few. The concert is over now. Cubans on and off the island got to forget their worries for a few hours and listen to music; some positive words on changing hate for love; freedom; and change but then back to the same grind. Yet despite the disappointments outlined above and the repression visited on many the concert was worth it. Why? Because it puts Cuba under an international spotlight and it is an opportunity to highlight the human rights challenges faced and to speak up for those prisoners of conscience suffering there. If not done by the musicians themselves then by human rights activists and the prisoner's families which can only help their plight.


However the statements made by Juanes that the concert had achieved its goal of helping to bring people together was incorrect. Also his statement that: "This event reaffirmed the necessity for all of us to unite... The government of the U.S. has to change and Cuba has to change too but this show of love and peace and affection is so important for both sides," is either a shallow or a simple misunderstanding of the Cuban situation. The US has changed since 2001, ironically during the Bush Administration, there has been more than $2.8 billion dollars in trade with the Cuban government. For years (including during George W. Bush's administration) and until the present date there have been joint military exercises with the US and Cuban military. The Cuban government's response: more repression and a massive crackdown in 2003 responding to the petition of tens of thousands of Cubans for change with the Varela Project.


There is no division between Cubans on the island and in exile that requires a mediator to bring them together is if this where Northern Ireland. There is a constant influx of tens of thousands of Cubans from the island thousands strong every year. The division is between the Cuban people and the dictatorship that has systematically denied Cubans their rights for 50 years and shows no signs of changing. The systematic denial of human rights in Cuba is structural violence against all Cubans by the totalitarian power structure on the island. When someone like Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, a Regis Iglesias, or Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia exercise the power of the powerless in and attempt to end this violence and bring a real peace they suffer beatings and imprisonment. This is the source of the conflict in Cuba not a misunderstanding between the United States and Cuba or between Cuban exiles and Cubans on the island. The conflict that needs to be resolved is between the totalitarian dictatorship and the violence it visits on all Cubans.







Sunday, September 20, 2009

Gorki Aguila plays El General in Miami

Gorki Aguila plays "El General" in Miami on September 19, 2009





PPR's got a new CD ready to go: the The (Faded) Red Album. Gorki Aguila is on a Freedom Tour to promote the new album. Checkout more about Porno Para Ricardo at their official website at http://www.pornopararicardo.org/

Porno Para Ricardo "El General" with photographs from a clandestine concert


Friday, September 18, 2009

Free Cuba Foundation Statement Regarding Juanes's Sept. 20 Concert in Cuba


Free Cuba Foundation Statement Regarding Juanes's Sept. 20 Concert in Cuba

“True peace is not merely the absence of tension, it is the presence of justice” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Colombian singer/songwriter Juanes is organizing a concert in Cuba as part of his Paz Sin Fronteras (Peace Without Borders) concert tour. He has repeatedly said he is performing for the Cuban people, not the government, bringing a message of hope, love, and peace. Yet, he has also said that he will not speak out about Cuba’s poor human rights record, nor meet with members of Cuba’s opposition movement, in order to keep the event from becoming “political.”

While the Free Cuba Foundation (FCF) recognizes that Juanes has the right to invite whomever he pleases to sing with him, having both Amaury Perez and Silvio Rodriguez sends a mixed message. Both are staunch supporters of the Cuban Communist government and signed a petition justifying the regime’s imprisonment of 75 nonviolent dissidents and the execution of three young Afro-Cubans who tried to flee to the United States back in the spring of 2003. Although no one denies their artistic talent, poet Ezra Pound and singer Paul Robeson had their reputation tainted for endorsing Hitler and Stalin respectively. Whatever the quality of their art, it is immoral for artists to support injustice.

FCF is not concerned that this concert will grant legitimacy to Cuba’s totalitarian regime, because no unelected dictatorship could ever gain it from a pop concert.

FCF calls for respect for freedom of expression everywhere, and denounces any violence that stifles that freedom. Censorship imposed through violence and intimidation is routine in places such as Cuba. However, it should never be tolerated here in Miami, where many of the victims of this regime reside. That is why we are denouncing the threats made against Juanes. We respect nonviolent protests, but the destruction of Juanes CDs, conjure up images of book burnings in communist and fascist dictatorships. These acts send a false message not only to the rest of the world, but more importantly to Cubans on the island. These acts serve to feed the Cuban government’s propaganda machinery which aims to smear the exile community with the aim of generating divisions between ordinary Cubans living here and on the island.

Our organization believes that all individuals, including Cubans, have the right to take part in the arts and in cultural events, as enshrined in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

If one is serious about peace then one should speak out against injustice and the absence of freedom. In Cuba, musicians who are independent or critical of the regime are censored, and there are many prisoners of conscience behind bars for exercising their human rights. These are not political issues. These are human rights issues and issues of human dignity. A concert like this could help foster freedom of expression in the arts the same way the late Pope John Paul II made gains in the area of freedom of religion, as he celebrated Mass before thousands of Cubans, and called upon them to not be afraid and to “do all that you can to build a future of ever greater dignity and freedom.”

Therefore FCF’s Message to Juanes is:

If you want to bring a message of peace, reconciliation, and impacting change to Cuba, then including artists that oppose the dictatorship is a logical necessity, and speaking up for human rights and the immediate release of all prisoners of conscience is essential. Only then will this concert truly live up to its name of “Peace Without Borders”, otherwise it risks being remembered as the “Censored Within Boundaries” concert. This is the concern raised by many Cuban artists both on the island and in exile, who insist the concert live up to its name.

FREE CUBA FOUNDATION E-BOARD

Denounce Death Threats Against Juanes
http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/denounce-death-threats-against-juanes.html

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Communist-Style Book Burning & Censorship in Cuba


Moneda Dura's video "mala leche" banned by the Cuban government

Books Known to Have Been Burned in Cuba in 2003

As verified in the sentencing documents posted by

the Rule of Law in Cuba web site at the

Florida State University Center for the Advancement of Human Rights,

at http://www.ruleoflawandcuba.fsu.edu/


Prepared By Steve Marquardt,PH.D.

Trial of Guido Sigler Amaya, in Matanzas, 5 April 2003 [Sentence number 9], official document available here

“… the handwritten, typed, printed, signed and recorder [sic] documents which are also detailed in prior paragraphs … will be immediately destroyed by incineration.”

From the original court record:
“. . . excepto los documentos manuscritos, mecanografiados, impresos y firmados y grabados los cuales también se detallan con antelación serán destruido mediante su incineración oportuna.”

These include the following:

“several copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” One hardcover edition of the UDHR is published by Applewood Books (November 1, 2000). 32 pages. ISBN: 1557094551. Source for bibliographic description: Amazon.com


El resurgimiento global de la democracia. Unknown Binding: 341 pages. Publisher: Insituto de Investigaciones Sociales, UNAM; 1. ed edition (1996) Language: Spanish. ISBN: 9683649904. Source for bibliographic description: Amazon.com


Vista del amanecer en el trópico, by Guillermo Cabrera Infante (Paperback) Publisher: Penguin Books (March 1, 1997).ISBN: 0140262865. Source for bibliographic description: Amazon.com
[English translation: View of Dawn in the Tropics, by G. Cabrera Infante. Translated from Spanish by Suzanne Jill Levine. (London: Faber, 1988) First U.K. Edition. Source for bibliographic description: Alibris.com]


Hacia la gran nación, by Orlando Gutiérrez Boronat (Miami, Fl : D'Fana Editions, 1995), 32 p. ; 21 cm. Source for bibliographic description: OCLC WorldCat


Letters from Burma, by George Orwell.

Trial of Julio Antonio Vales Guevara, in Santiago de Cuba, 5 April 2003. Case no. 5 of 2003. Available here.

“… books, magazines, brochures and the rest of the documents to proceed to destruction by means of incineration for lacking utility; …”


From the original court record:
Se dispone que sobre el negativo fotográfico, el cassete de audio, las medicinas, los libros, revistas, folletos y el resto de los documentos procédase a su destrucción mediante incineración por carecer de utilidad; . . .”

These include the following:

TIME (magazine)
El Disidente (magazine)
Fragura (“news serial … edited in the United States”)
Por Cuba (“news serial … edited in the United States”)
Palestra (“journal … edited in the United States”)
Hispano Cubana (magazine “published in Spain”)

José Martí: la invención de Cuba, by Rafael Rojas. (Paperback) Editorial Colibri (November 20, 2000), 145 pages. ISBN: 8492355069
Source for bibliographic description: Amazon.com

Cuba's Repressive Machinery: Human Rights Forty Years After the Revolution, by Human Rights Watch (Human Rights Watch, July 20, 1999). Paperback, 263 pages). ISBN: 1564322343. Source for bibliographic description: Amazon.com

Buscando un modelo económico en América Latina : mercado, socialista o mixta? : Chile, Cuba y Costa Rica, by Carmelo Mesa-Lago; Alberto Arenas; Malena Barro (Caracas, Venezuela : Nueva Sociedad ; [Miami?, Fla.] : Universidad Internacional de la Florida, 2002 1. ed. en castellano.
681 p. ; ISBN: 9803171836 23 cm. Source for bibliographic description: OCLC WorldCat

Trial of Blas Giraldo Reyes Rodriguez, in Sancti Spiritus (#1), 5 April 2003. Available here.

“Also the destruction is had [of] …”
sixteen books Encounter of the Culture Cuban [etc.]”
Book titles are machine translated from the Spanish as follows:
Encounter of Cuban Culture
Plowing in the Sea
Heating of the Planet
Uses and Abuses of Gasoline
World without Winter
Visual Atlas [of the] Ocean
Destruction of Nature and the Ecology
System of Environmental Average Management

Conquering Nature: The Environmental Legacy of Socialism in Cuba, by Sergio Diaz-Briquets and Jorge F. Perez-Lopez. (Pitt Latin American Series) University of Pittsburgh Press (April 1, 2000) (Paperback, 328 pages). ISBN: 0822957213
Source for bibliographic description: Amazon.com

“Classic texts of Carlos Franqui” "Textos clasicos sobre la revolucion y el socialismo".
(Dominican Republic, 1998). According to Senor Franqui, "This book is an anthology of classical European and American texts by several authors, and was anonymously edited by Carlos Franqui" (This information from a personal communication with the author)

The Power of the Powerless: Citizens Against the State in Central-Eastern Europe, by Vaclav Havel (M. E. Sharpe; Paperback Reprint edition, June 1, 1990). ISBN: 0873327616. Source for bibliographic description: Amazon.com

Reporters Without Borders, Mission report in Cuba. Probably this is the September 2000 report found at http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=3213.

Trial of Felix Navarro Rodriguez and Ivan Hernandez Carrillo, in Matanzas, 4 April 2003.
Sentence number 2 of 2003, available here.

“printed material and other that have films and recording will be immediately destroy [sic] by incineration, which it will also be done with the handwritten and typed documents …”
From the original court record:
“Los materiales impresos y otros que tienen filmaciones y grabaciones serán destruidos mediante su incineración oportuna.”

These include the following:

81 pamphlet(s) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

El Proyecto Varela by Alberto Muller [and] Oswaldo Payá (Miami, FL : Ediciones Universal, 2002 1st ed.). Spanish. Book 110 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
ISBN: 0897299981. Source for bibliographic description: OCLC WorldCat

Trial of Pedro Arguelles Moran and Pable Pacheco Avila, in Ciego de Avila, 4 April 2003, available here

“all the publications that include books, magazines and pamphlets, to give to the Department of the Interior for its destruction.”
From the original court record:
“El instrumental estomatológico, entregarse al Sectorial Provincial de Salud de Camagüey, así como los medicamentos; todas las publicaciones que incluyen libros, revistas y folletos, entregar al Ministerio del Interior para su destrucción. Todos los equipos y medios electrónicos, entregar al Ministerio del Interior, ya que su complejidad técnica no hace que sea prudente su empleo en ninguna otra actividad.”

These include the following, as listed in the sentencing document:
Jose Martí, The Invention of Cuba
book "Letters to Elpidio";
book Conquista of the Nature;
book Your Body is Yours;
book Contemporary Universal History;
history of the United States;
book the Cost of the Terrorism in Human Suffering;
book Foundations of the Media;
book Technical of Education of the Media;
book Journalism and Creativity;
two books of International Human rights;
book a More Effective and Less Expensive Government;
book History of the United States;
book titled Manual for the Journalists;
book Evidence that demands a Verdict;
titled book EI Viaje de Juan Pablo II;
two books of the Declaration of Independence of the United States
book the Constitution of the United States;
6 declarations of the Human rights;
two universal declarations of the Human rights;
a pamphlet of the Project Varela.


Trial of Pedro Pablo Alvarez Ramos and Carmelo Augustín Diaz Fernandez, in Havana, 5 April 2003, available here

“As far as documents, magazines, notes, books, agendas, photos, invitations, stickers, propagandas, procédase to their destruction.
From the original court record:
“En cuanto a los documentos, revistas, apuntes, libros, agendas, fotos, invitaciones, pegatinas, propagandas, procédase a su destrucción.”

These included the following:
“.
. . books, bulletins magazines, agendas, booksellers of notes, all of subversive content
abundant documents, books, correspondence, notes, pamphlets and magazines of content in opposition to the principles of the Cuban Revolution . . .

“With same aim of destruction of regime partner-political prevailing in Cuba, defendant created library "Emilio Maspero" which it contained subversive Literature and contrarrevolucionaria, that was provided by the government and competing groups of the Cuban Revolution, also they created a Web site for the publication of his contrarrevolucionarios postulates the one that could be visited by people of different parts from the world.”

From the original court record:
“Con el mismo fin de destrucción del régimen socio-político imperante en Cuba, los acusados crearon la biblioteca “Emilio Maspero” que contenía literatura subversiva y contrarrevolucionaria, que era suministrada por el gobierno y grupos opositores de la Revolución cubana, asimismo crearon un sitio web para la publicación de sus postulados contrarrevolucionarios el que podía ser visitado por personas de diferentes partes del mundo.”

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Che Guevara as seen through Irish Eyes



Che Guevara as seen through Irish Eyes
Back in August of 2009 I posted the following entry: Guevara's Lamentable Legacy which took a look at Guevara's philosophy and its impact in Latin America:Guevara’s call to action in a hemisphere with too many military juntas led to new military juntas in countries that had not known them before in their history: Brazil, Ecuador, Honduras, Panama, Uruguay, and Suriname all had their first military juntas after Guevara’s Message to the Tricontinental. Other countries such as Chile who had known a military junta between 1924 and 1931 in reaction to communist threats embraced Augusto Pinochet who remained in power for seventeen years. With the exception of Nicaragua Che Guevara’s prescription for revolution in Latin America led to a generation of military dictatorships and harsh repression. In Nicaragua it led to a Marxist dictatorship and civil war.


Now from Dublin, Ireland 
Eilis O'Hanlon takes a look at Che's legacy in Europe (I reproduce it in its entirety below):

Che's bloody legacy flows on in dissident and republican alike

When are we ever going to stop this adolescent idolization of fanatical gunmen?

Sunday September 13, 2009


THE 600lb bomb that was defused along the border last week was twice as large as the one which killed 29 people in Omagh 10 years ago. It was also the third significant attack thwarted by security forces this year alone. But then terrorists, as always, work on the principle that they only have to get lucky once. And get lucky they will.

Conor Murphy is the Sinn Fein MP for the area in which the bomb was found. His response was swift: "I challenge those who planted this bomb to explain why they have done so." It didn't, Murphy insisted, bring Irish unification one step closer.

Then again, nor did the Provisional IRA campaign, and Sinn Fein were not outraged by that. On the contrary, they're still making a packet by flogging souvenirs extolling the virtues of that particular band of murderers in their stores and on their websites. Dissidents could be forgiven for asking what's the big difference.

So some republicans no longer think killing people will bring about Irish unity, and some of them still think it's worth a shot. It's just quibbling over details really. Especially when Gerry Adams himself is appearing in a documentary film called Chevolution, made by one of his close friends and launched last week, which tracks the influence of that famous poster image of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara.

According to the Sinn Fein president, Che was one of the inspirations for the Northern Irish civil rights movement, adding: "I suppose people from my background were drawn to that image because of what Che Guevara represented."

Bearded man of violence inspires millions of devoted followers: now why on earth would Gerry find that such a pleasing thought?

The irony will be lost on Sinn Fein, because they don't generally do irony, but also it must have crossed their minds at some point that there is something more than a little contradictory about lecturing dissident republicans on the futility of violence whilst simultaneously lauding a man with such bloodied hands as Ernesto Guevara.

Che was a brilliant soldier and tactician, and a good writer, and an undoubtedly charismatic individual who inspired devotion amongst many who met him. But really, when are we ever going to stop this adolescent idolisation of fanatical gunmen? Che Guevara was also a ruthless killer, who had no qualms about dispensing what he called "revolutionary justice" to those who weren't as enthusiastic about his political ambitions as he was, and whose legacy to Latin America was rivers of blood spilled by his disciples.

By any psychiatric standards, Che Guevara was as mad as a box of frogs -- or maybe that should be a Bay of Pigs. During the Cuban missile crisis, Che was furious that the Russians withdrew their nuclear warheads from Cuban soil. He later told a reporter that he had been ready to fire them all at the United States. What are the deaths of hundreds of thousands to the man of principle, as long as it advances his revolutionary aims?

That some of those dead hordes would include the Cubans for whose liberation he claimed to have fought was obviously an irrelevance. You free them from the shackles of imperialism one day and then let them fry the next: it's the Marxist way.

Far from being a noble inspiration, Che Guevara's crazed dreams of nuclear obliteration find their closest parallel in the psychology of serial killer Peter Kuerten, the so-called Vampire of Dusseldorf, who raped and murdered men, women and children alike in a pathological frenzy which he insisted was his attempt to "strike back at oppressive society", whilst becoming sexually excited by car crashes and fantasising about destroying entire cities.

But intellectuals and movie stars and pop singers who would be horrified by Kuerten gladly worship at the altar of a man who made the Vampire of Dusseldorf look like an amateur in the business of slaughter. Jean Paul Sartre, who, like all French geniuses, made a habit of saying remarkably stupid things, even called him "the most complete human being of our age". It's the terrorist as Renaissance Man again. No wonder Gerry Adams jumps on the bandwagon so willingly. Middle class left-wingers get off on the iconography. Che, handsome brute that he is, is their political bit of rough. For the men, it all gets a bit homoerotic.

Che's legacy lives on in, amongst other places, Greece, where a group calling itself Revolutionary Struggle had claimed responsibility for the recent bombing of the Athens stock exchange, and issued
a statement threatening to extend the campaign of violence to all "big shareholders, golden boys and capitalists" -- and in Al Qaeda, three of whose members were found guilty last week of plotting to blow up transatlantic flights from Heathrow.

It also lives on in the Real IRA and Continuity IRA, and in Oglaigh na hEireann, the splinter group of a splinter group which is believed to have been behind the latest attempt at carnage. Che can't simply be claimed by those nice, respectable republicans whose past Guevara-tinged bursts of revolutionary justice are supposed to be all forgiven and forgotten now. Che Guevara certainly wouldn't disown the dissidents so hypocritically. The blood of the Irish rebels flowed in him, and his spirit flows in them. Hearing Gerry Adams joining the fan club surely only makes the dissidents more convinced that they were right all along.

http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/ches-bloody-legacy-flows-on-in-dissident-and-republican-alike-1885256.html

The Venice Film Festival: Totalitarians and Cinema

Their apologists then and now






When I saw the image of Oliver Stone and Hugo Chavez walking down the red carpet together at the Venice Film Festival for the world premiere of South of the Border a "documentary" i.e. propaganda puff piece on Mr. Chavez a week after the observance of the start of WWII it seemed in poor taste. It also reminded me of the origins of the film festival they were attending, and more importantly the role that cinema and modern communications have played in bolstering totalitarianism then and now.



At the top of the page we see two photographs of documentary filmmakers and democratically elected enemies of democracy at their side. Back in the 1930s it was Helene Bertha Amalie "Leni" Riefenstahl with Adolf Hitler whose political party had participated in four elections and began "reforming" the German Constitution transforming it into a totalitarian state. During this process Leni filmed Triumph of the Will at the 6th National Socialist German Worker's (NAZI) Party Conference along with their the annual rally following Hitler around and documenting his entrance at the rally and speeches.



There would be ten party conferences with an eleventh planned for 1939 cancelled due to the outbreak of WWII. It has been described as one of the greatest films in history, and has continued to influence movies, documentaries, and commercials to this day. Riefenstahl won the German Film Prize (Deutscher Filmpreis), a gold medal at the 1935 Venice Biennale, and the Grand Prix at the 1937 World Exhibition in Paris. When Oliver Stone ascribes Mr. Chavez's democratic credentials to winning elections while at the same time ignoring the undermining human rights standards in Venezuela and filming a propaganda film South of the Border without taking into account the opposition to Chavez he is following a path Leni Riefenstahl blazed in the 1930s.



The Venice Film Festival founded in 1932 by Count Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata as the "Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica" is the world's oldest film festival. The festival has taken place every year in late August or early September. There was no competition at the 1932 festival that would begin at the second festival in August 1934 in which nineteen countries took part with over 300 accredited journalists and the "Coppa Mussolini" was introduced for best foreign film and best Italian film and would continue to be awarded through 1942. The Venice film festival was founded in and flourished in Benito Mussolini's fascist dictatorship.

In 1936 Nazi Germany hosted the Olympics and emerged victorious from the XIth Olympiad and Goebbel's attempt to give the regime a more human face:"Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.' Overt Jew-baiting was toned down for the duration, visitors were treated well, and at Goebbels’s insistence the German news media covered the Games in a sporting spirit." Frederick Birchall's report in The New York Times that the Games put Germans “back in the fold of nations,” and even made them “more human again.” Some even found reason to hope that this peaceable interlude would endure.

Hitler's Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, was invited to and attended the 1938 edition of the Venice Film Festival where Leni Riefenstahl's Olympia, a documentary of the 1936 Nazi olympics was the winner. One years later the world would be plunged into World War II and in short order the Holocaust would claim 6 million Jewish lives.



Like Leni Riefenstahl, Oliver Stone won at the 1994 edition of the Venice Film Festival with his fictional work Natural Born Killers. Let us hope that his propaganda documentaries do not fare as well as Ms. Riefenstahl's.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cuban prison conditions

Excerpt from INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS - ANNUAL REPORT 2008

CHAPTER IV - HUMAN RIGHTS DEVELOPMENTS IN THE REGION

CUBA




3. Detention Conditions for Political Dissidents[258]


187. In 2008 the Commission continued to receive information about prison conditions for political dissidents in Cuba, in particular on degrading treatment by prison authorities of persons branded as political opponents.[259] In that connection, the former political prisoner Pedro Pablo Álvarez made the following statement to the IACHR on October 28, 2008:


There are hundreds of political inmates who are currently being held in inhumane Cuban jails designed by the dictatorship in Havana to silence the truth. These men and women are cruelly and systematically being deprived of their most basic rights of liberty and the ability to freely express their thoughts, without being shown any respect for their personal dignity whatsoever.[260]



188. On October 21, 2006 the Commission resolved to convey to the State and to the petitioners’ representatives,[261] to publish and to include in its Annual Report to the OAS General Assembly its Report on Merits No. 67/06 in Case 12.476 (Oscar Elías Biscet et al.) which deals with political dissidents who were arrested and tried in expedited summary proceedings during the so-called “Black Spring” operation in 2003, under Article 91[262] of the Cuban Criminal Code, and Law 88 on the Protection of Cuba’s National Independence and Economy, for actions related to the exercise of such basic freedoms as freedom of thought, conscience, belief and speech, and the right of peaceful assembly and free association. The sentences ranged from 6 months to 28 years in prison. At a public hearing held by the IACHR, the former political prisoner Pedro Pablo Álvarez referred to the reasons why the victims in Case 12.476 were arrested and the way in which the trials to which they were subjected were conducted:


Everyone knows about the horrific offensive unleashed by the authorities in Havana against seventy-four men and one woman in the so-called Black Spring of 2003 when we were arrested, absurdly charged with associating with a foreign power for the purpose of overthrowing the government and the Revolution.

I would like to clarify that there was not even one single case among the seventy-five of us who were arrested during that operation against whom any evidence was presented of having ties or concrete plans to violently overthrow the government in Cuba, with the complicity of any foreign force or power that might have intentions of invading the island. All of it was a fallacy of the Cuban government. They are perfectly aware of the civil and pacific nature of the Opposition Movement in our country.

We were tried in expedited summary proceedings without being afforded the due legal process that are guarantees in a Legal State, as provided in so many UN and OAS Declarations, Pacts and/or Conventions. We were barely allowed to speak with our defense attorneys. In my particular case, I was only allowed to talk for ten minutes just moments before the trial began. The sentence requested by the prosecution in my case was life imprisonment and, in the end, I was sentenced to imprisonment for a term of twenty-five years. [263]



189. It should be noted that in Report 67/06, the IACHR concluded that the State of Cuba violated several articles of the American Declaration, including Articles I, II, IV, VI, XX, XXI, XXII, XXV, and XXVI to the detriment of the victims in the case; that it violated Article V with respect to eight of the victims; Article X to the detriment of 14 victims, and Article XVIII with regard to 73 victims. The Commission further concluded that the State did not violate Articles IX, XI and XVII of the American Declaration to the detriment of the victims.[264]



190. The IACHR also recommended that the State of Cuba:

1. Order the immediate and unconditional release of the victims in this case, overturning their convictions inasmuch as they were based on laws that impose unlawful restrictions on their human rights.

2. Adopt any measures necessary to adapt its laws, procedures and practices to international human rights law. In particular, the Commission is recommending to the Cuban State that it repeal Law No. 88 and Article 91 of its Criminal Code, and that it initiate a process to amend its Constitution to ensure the independence of the judicial branch of government and the right to participate in government.

3. Redress the victims and their next of kin for the pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages suffered as a result of the violations of the American Declaration herein established.

4. Adopt the measures necessary to prevent a recurrence of similar acts, in keeping with the State’s duty to respect and ensure human rights .[265]



191. According to information received by the IACHR, by 2008, 20[266] victims in Case 12.476 have been released from prison under the Cuban “extrapenal licence” mechanism (parole)[267] on the grounds that they were seriously ill,[268] and Rafael Millet Leyva was released on December 19, 2006.



192. In February 2008, four victims in Case 12.476 received extrapenal licence: José Gabriel Ramón Castillo[269], Pedro Pablo Álvarez, Alejandro González Raga and Omar Pernet, subject to the condition they leave Cuba and go to Spain. The other victims are still in prison. The Commission considers that while the release was a positive step, the State has not complied in full with the recommendations contained in Report on Merits 67/06.



193. Under the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, all individuals have the right to humane treatment during the time they are in custody.[270] In several of its reports, the Commission has addressed the topic of detention conditions in Cuba.[271] The Commission is of the view that the State’s responsibility with regard to the human treatment of persons held in its custody is not confined to the negative obligation to refrain from practicing torture or mistreating such persons. Since prisons are places where the state has total control over the life of the prisoners, its obligations towards them include the control and security measures required to preserve the life and protect the integrity of persons deprived of liberty.


194. According to information received by the IACHR,[272] the prison authorities – either directly or with the assistance of other convicts -- continue to mistreat political prisoners: they are subjected to beatings and attacks, kept in isolation for long periods, and they are not provided with the medical assistance needed for the illnesses they suffer. In addition, they are held in prisons far away from their home towns in order to make visiting difficult; family visits are restricted or denied; foodstuffs or medicines sent by their relatives are restricted or denied; and they are kept from meeting with officials from international human rights bodies. This leads to a serious deterioration in the physical and/or mental health of imprisoned dissidents.[273] At a public hearing held by the IACHR on October 28, 2008, the former political prisoner Pedro Pablo Álvarez said the following about the prison conditions:


We are kept in isolation for thirty-six days, each of us having to share with three other prisoners our four-person cells that were so small that the four of us could not stand up at the same time, lights were on day and night, a minimum ration of food, and subjected to nearly constant interrogation with threats and insults. Later the vast majority of the seventy-five of us were moved to prisons that were far away from our home towns. In my case, I was sent with another seven brothers in the struggle to a prison in Canaleta in the province of Ciego de Avila, some five hundred kilometers from Havana. We were subjected to solitary confinement for one year. The cells were very small – approximately 1.3 meters wide by 2.4 meters long, the head or the provision for physiological needs and bathing were all in the cell. The routine was very strict. Visiting time was every three months and conjugal visits were allowed every five months. The food was terrible, there was hardly any protein. Survival was thanks to the relatives who came every three months at great sacrifice to themselves to bring loads of food. In these cases our families suffer greater punishment because in Cuba, with the scarcity of food and with ever more precarious transportation options, and with the scant financial resources, this task is heroic. On top of all this, the harassment the families of political prisoners are subjected to that, in many cases, includes losing jobs and the government does not allow them to exercise any independent work. In other words, they are refused work permits for self-employment.

Once this initial phase is over, the next one begins that is only worse: living in the outposts with all kinds of characters: murderers, rapists, unscrupulous thieves, crazy people and sex maniacs, etc., most of whom are manipulated by the prison authorities and, of course, the government security officers, too. They are sometimes used by security to punish or threaten an inmate.

For five years and seven months the torture and mistreatment – sometimes physical and at all times psychological – have been constant. It is not only visited upon the prisoners but also on the prisoners’ families. For example, our children suffer discrimination and insults in school just because they are related to a political prisoner. Our wives and mothers, our fathers, our sisters and brothers and other relatives who take care of us are rejected by members of the community or in their workplaces. Today, some of these men are still being unfairly held in jail hundreds of kilometers from their families, under conditions that endanger their lives and their health. Some of them have chronic illnesses and are not provided medical care, and without medicine and with inadequate nutrition they are unable to get well. This situation is made worse in most of the cases because the prisoners are old and should not be jailed under such subhuman conditions and it becomes more difficult for them to tolerate such a cruel and inhumane prison system.[274]



195. Several of the victims in Case 12.476 have health problems that have emerged or been aggravated during their detention, without the provision of adequate medical care.[275] The IACHR received information on the deterioration of the health in jail of six of the nine trade union members[276] convicted in 2003 for their participation in organizations of the independent Cuban workers movement: Horacio Julio Piña Borrego, Victor Rolando Arroyo Carmona, Adolfo Fernández Sainz, Alfredo Felipe Fuentes, Luis Milán Fernández and Blas Giraldo Reyes.[277]



196. With regard to the health of Blas Giraldo Reyes, according to the information received, he had several health problems, most notably arterial hypertension, hemorrhoids, diabetes, degenerative osteoarthritis with hardening of cartilage, chronic indigestion, kidney and liver problems.[278] The IACHR was informed that Blas Giraldo Reyes Rodríguez was checked into the provincial Camilo Cienfuegos hospital and was later transferred to the prison infirmary and is currently at the outpost.[279]



197. The Commission has previously expressed its concern regarding the large number of convicts who suffer from chronic visual, renal, cardiac and pulmonary ailments and are not given appropriate medical attention, including several prisoners of advanced years. Moreover, the IACHR is aware that the prison authorities prevent the relatives of imprisoned political dissidents from supplying them with medicines needed to treat their illnesses and that are not provided by the Government.



198. The Commission reiterates that the State has not observed the United Nations’ Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners[280] and the IACHR Principles and Best Practices on the Protection of Persons Deprived of Liberty in the Americas.[281]



199. In 2008 the Commission has continued to receive information on the grave conditions of arrest suffered by the victims in Case 12.476, especially in the case of Normando Hernández González, director of the Colegio de Periodistas Independientes in Camaguey and Jorge Luis García Paneque, director of the agency Libertad.



200. In the case of Normando Hernández González, according to information received in 2008, he was transferred to the “Carlos J. Finlay” Military Hospital in Havana where he received medical treatment due to the several health complications he had experienced while imprisoned in an isolation cell at prison Kilo 7.[282] With regard to Jorge Luís García Paneque, the Commission was informed that the prison authorities had continued to deny Mr. García Paneque access to the medicines he needed for his deteriorated health.



201. The Commission has also received reports that Iván Hernández Carrillo from the agency Patria is suffering from chronic illnesses that have worsened due to lack of adequate medical care. In July 2008, journalist Juan Carlos Herrera Acosta started a hunger strike to demand better jail conditions; he sewed his mouth shut in protest. According to information received, his health has also deteriorated since the time of his arrest.[283]



202. The Commission reiterates to the State of Cuba its recommendation that it immediately release the victims in Case 12.476.


Footnotes


[258] The Government of Cuba denies the term “dissidents” in reference to the victims of Case 12.476. In the report entitled “White Book 2007” published on the official web page of the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it says: “The campaign that persists even now, in which several governments that are customers of the empire have cynically, actively and complicitly joined, has utilized sophisticated methods of false information developed by the Nazi-fascist services, repeatedly referring falsely to the mercenaries who were justly punished as “dissidents”, “peaceful political opposition”, “Human Rights Defenders” or “independent journalists, librarians and unionists.” The intent is to make it look like the mercenaries had been punished “arbitrarily and unfairly” for the simple act of “peacefully exercising their rights of freedom of expression, opinion and association.” See “White Book 2007” as cited.

[259] Statement of Pedro Pablo Álvarez at the public hearing before the IACHR on the “Situation of imprisoned union members in Cuba,” held on October 28, 2008. Available at: http://www.cidh.org/audiencias/seleccionar.aspx.

[260] Statement of Pedro Pablo Álvarez at the public hearing before the IACHR on the “Situation of imprisoned union members in Cuba,” held on October 28, 2008. Available at: http://www.cidh.org/audiencias/seleccionar.aspx.

[261] The Cuban State and the petitioners’ representatives were notified of the Report on Merits No. 67/06 on November 1, 2006. See IACHR, Press Release No. 40/06, “IACHR announces two reports on Human Rights violations in Cuba” dated November 1, 2006.

[262] Section 91 of the Cuban Criminal Code: Any person who, in the interest of a foreign Government, commits an act for the purpose of diminishing Cuba’s governmental independence or territorial integrity, shall be subject to punishment of no less than ten to twenty years of imprisonment or death.

[263] Statement of Pedro Pablo Álvarez at the public hearing before the IACHR on the “Situation of imprisoned union members in Cuba,” held on October 28, 2008. Available at: http://www.cidh.org/audiencias/seleccionar.aspx.

[264] See complete report at http://www.cidh.org.

[265] See complete report at: http://www.cidh.org.

[266] In 2004, the following persons were granted extrapenal licence: Osvaldo Alfonso, Margarito Broche Espinosa, Carmelo Díaz Fernández, Oscar Espinosa Chepe, Orlando Fundadora Álvarez, Edel José García Díaz, Marcelo López Bañobre, Roberto de Miranda, Jorge Olivera Castillo, Raúl Rivero Castañeda, Martha Beatriz Roque Cabello, Julio Valdés Guevara, Miguel Valdés Tamayo (died January 10, 2007), Manuel Vásquez Portal. In 2005, Mario Enrique Mayo Hernández and Héctor Palacio Ruiz were granted extrapenal licence. In 2008, José Gabriel Ramón Castillo, Pedro Pablo Alvarez, Alejandro González Raga and Omar Pernet were granted extrapenal licence.

[267] The Criminal Code of Cuba provides: “Section 31.2: The sentencing court may grant persons sentenced to prison extra-penal license for the duration deemed necessary, when there is good reason and subject to the filing of an application. It may also be granted by the Ministry of the Interior, in extraordinary cases, provided notice is given to the President of the People’s Supreme Court.” “Section 31.4: The duration of extra-penal licenses and of furloughs from the detention facility shall be credited to the duration of the prison sentence provided that the recipient of the benefit, during the time the license or furlough is in force, displays good behavior. The reductions of sentence granted to the convict during his or her service of the sentence shall also be credited to its duration.”

[268] See: Video of public hearing on “Case 12.476 Oscar Elías Biscet et al., Cuba (follow-up of recommendations)” held on October 10, 2007, cited above. According to the State of Cuba, for “strictly humanitarian” reasons, 16 persons were granted extra-penal license. See: Chapter 5, “White Book 2007,” published on the official web page of the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, cited above.

[269] On November 7, 2006 the IACHR received a request for precautionary measures lodged on behalf of José Gabriel Ramón Castillo. According to the request, he was at imminent risk, he was not being given food or medical attention. The request also reported that he was being physically mistreated and he was not being allowed to receive medications that his family brought for him. On November 22, 2006 the IACHR asked the State to release him and to take any protective measures necessary until his release. IACHR, Annual Report 2006, Chapter IV, paragraph 67.

[270] American Declaration, Article XXV.

[271] IACHR, Annual Report 1995, Chapter V, paragraph 71; IACHR, Annual Report 1994, Chapter IV, page 168; IACHR, Annual Report 2004, Chapter IV, paragraphs 59-66; IACHR, Annual Report 2005, Chapter IV, paragraphs 76-81; IACHR, Annual Report 2006, Chapter IV, paragraphs 65-70.


[272] Latin American Commission for Human Rights and Freedoms for Workers and Peoples. Information presented to the IACHR during a public hearing on “The situation of union members deprived of liberty in Cuba” held on October 28, 2008; The New Herald, published on August 21, 2008.

[273] Latin American Commission for Human Rights and Freedoms for Workers and Peoples. Information presented to the IACHR in a public hearing on “The situation of union members deprived of liberty in Cuba” held on October 28, 2008; The New Herald, published on August 21, 2008.

[274] Statement of Pedro Pablo Álvarez at the public hearing before the IACHR on the “Situation of imprisoned union members in Cuba,” held on October 28, 2008. Available at: http://www.cidh.org/audiencias/seleccionar.aspx.

[275] Latin American Commission for Human Rights and Freedoms for Workers and Peoples. Information presented to the IACHR in a public hearing on “The situation of union members deprived of liberty in Cuba” held on October 28, 2008; The New Herald, published on August 21, 2008.

[276] The trade unionists tried and convicted in 2003 are: Pedro Pablo Álvarez Ramos, Horacio Julio Piña Borrego, Victor Rolando Arroyo Carmona, Adolfo Fernández Sainz, Alfredo Felipe Fuentes, Luis Milán Fernández, Blas Giraldo Reyes Rodríguez, Carmelo Díaz Fernández and Oscar Espinosa Chepe. Pedro Pablo Álvarez Ramos, Carmelo Díaz Fernández and Oscar Espinosa Chepe were the beneficiaries of medical parole. See the video of the public hearing on “The situation of union members deprived of liberty in Cuba” held on July 20, 2007, cited above.

[277] Latin American Commission for Human Rights and Freedoms for Workers and Peoples. Information presented to the IACHR in a public hearing on “The situation of union members deprived of liberty in Cuba” held on October 28, 2008; The New Herald, published on August 21, 2008.

[278] Latin American Commission for Human Rights and Freedoms for Workers and Peoples. Information presented to the IACHR in a public hearing on “The situation of union members deprived of liberty in Cuba” held on October 28, 2008. The New Herald, published on August 21, 2008.

[279] Latin American Commission for Human Rights and Freedoms for Workers and Peoples. Information presented to the IACHR in a public hearing on “The situation of union members deprived of liberty in Cuba” held on October 28, 2008.

[280] The Inter-American Commission has indicated on numerous occasions that the United Nations’ Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners can be understood to mean adequate references to minimum international standards for the humane treatment of inmates, including the basic standards of housing, hygiene, medical treatment and physical exercise. See IACHR, report No. 27/01, case 12.183, Jamaica, paragraph 133; report No. 47/01, case No. 12.028, Grenada, paragraph 127; report No. 48/01, case 12.067, Bahamas, paragraph 195; report No. 38/00, case No. 11.743, Grenada, paragraph 136.

[281] IACHR, Resolution 1/08, Principles and Best Practices on the Protection of Persons Deprived of Liberty in the Americas.

[282] Human Rights First. Human Rights Defenders Cases-Cuba. http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/defenders/ hrd_ cuba/hrd _cuba_gonzalez.htm.

[283] RWB. “On the Eve of the Legislative Session, Reporters Without Borders Recalls the Dramatic Fate of Incarcerated Journalists.” Published on January 17, 2008. Available at: http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=25094. PEN/IFEX. “Journalist Normando Hernández González Removed from Hospital, Returned to Prison, Held in Complete Isolation in Life-Threatening Conditions”. Published on May 20, 2008. E-mail received from the Office of the Special Rapporteur for freedom of Expression. CPJ. “The CPJ is Concerned for the Health of an Imprisoned Cuban Journalist on Hunger Strike.” Published on July 30, 2008. Available at: http://cpj.org/2008/07/cpj-concerned-about-health-of-imprisoned-cuban-jou.php. RWB. “Reporters Without Borders Concerned for the Health of a Journalist Who Has Been in Prison for Five Years.” Published on August 1, 2008. Available at: http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=28038.


Full report available here http://www.cidh.oas.org/annualrep/2008eng/Chap4.c.eng.htm