Sunday, February 22, 2015

Killing the future in Cuba and Venezuela

Remembering Harold and Geraldine
Victims of Repression: Harold Cepero and Geraldine Moreno
The regimes in Cuba and Venezuela are so focused on preserving power and the repressive status quo that they are willing to kill future leaders that represent a nonviolent alternative to them. The untimely deaths of Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas and  Laura Inés Pollán Toledo in Cuba and the threats to the lives of  Leopoldo López Mendoza and Maria Corina Machado in Venezuela are ever present reminders of this harsh reality.

Sadly, these regimes are also targeting the next generation of democratic leaders as well.

In Venezuela, Geraldine Moreno Orozco, (age 23 year) was shot repeatedly in the face by members of the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB) on February 19, 2014 and died from these injuries three days later on February 22nd one year ago today. Today at 6pm in Geraldine Moreno Park in Venezuela United Friends Tazajal and Victims Against Repression will paying homage to Geraldine Moreno Orozco and Génesis Carmona.

Two years and seven months ago today Harold Cepero Escalante (age 32) and Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas were killed in Cuba. This was done so that with impunity the Castro regime would carry out the fraudulent change that both of them had denounced. Oswaldo was a founder and leader of the Christian Liberation Movement and Harold was its youth leader. The Christian Liberation Movement is circulating a petition calling for an international investigation into their untimely deaths.

Democracy and human rights are in decline in the Americas. Part of the reason is the coordination of resources and repression techniques between authoritarians and totalitarians throughout the region. If the fortunes of democracy and human rights are to be turned around for the better in this hemisphere then democrats need to join together and coordinate resources and best practices. Learning how to be more effective in denouncing the murder, unjust imprisonment and terrorizing of democrats, human rights defenders and journalists in the hemisphere and coordinating efforts to campaign against these practices is a necessary part of the puzzle for making things better.


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