|Leticia Ramos and Augusto Monge attacked in Panama|
The Herald explained that the response of the Castro regime delegation on Wednesday, was to not attend the inauguration of the Civic Society Forum stating it: “will not share the same space as mercenaries and terrorists”. Today "activists Rosa Maria Paya, daughter of murdered opposition leader Oswaldo Paya, and Lillian Tintori, wife of imprisoned Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez were welcomed by screams and insults at the Civic Society Forum.
Over twitter at 11:43am today Rosa María Payá tweeted "Cuban delegation official still impedes initiation of the start of the panel" along with the above photograph. Two minutes later and another tweet: "Cuban officials begin violence and police at the door do not enter." In the next tweet she posted the photo below of Cuban GONGOs holding up a publication slandering dissidents and shouting "mercenaries must get out."
El Nuevo Herald in an exclusive interview with Abel Prieto, Cuba’s former minister of culture and adviser to Raúl Castro, learned that the Castro regime had turned down the opportunity to debate with critics. Prieto, who is the president of the official delegation of the Cuban dictatorship in the VII Summit of the Americas and was also present during the aforementioned acts slandered dissidents who were attending the forum when he stated:
"It’s not possible to ask Cuba to dialogue with puppets of these special services agencies in the U.S. We can’t legitimize that opposition which is absolutely fabricated; it doesn’t have any weight, it doesn’t have any real connection to our society. It’s just people who are seeking a way of life."In response to a question from El Nuevo Herald about the acts of repudiation carried out in Panama against dissident activists the former Minister of Culture once again sought to defame those who dissent from the regime line:
"This has nothing to do with acts of repudiation. I mean, I don’t know, for me it has nothing to do with that, and there’s no fanatics here. There’s people who are intelligent, a lot more intelligent…those mercenaries have to be born again to reach the most minimal level of decency and intelligence that is found within the Cuban delegation. They’re not fanatics, or people who yell often: they yell because they feel offended."Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela, in his address following the walk out of Castro regime representatives said that governments "must not fear the empowerment of civil society that is called to play a watchdog role on governance." However for a totalitarian dictatorship such as the one that has ruled in Cuba for 56 years all power is centralized in the Communist party and more specifically in the Castro family. This regime operates with complete impunity and with a monopoly control of the national media and all other political parties outlawed by the imposed communist constitution. It has also sought to crush an manifestations of independent civil society, refusing to legally recognize them and subjecting them to repression.
Beginning in the 1970s the Castro regime has sought to appropriate the word dialogue in what in practice is a regime monologue that is the opposite of what the word means. This has had a negative impact on public discourse. In July of 2004 the late Bishop Agustin Roman wrote about the necessity of rescuing, a word that he described as beautiful, but that had been twisted by the dictatorship in Cuba:
"It's good that to start this effort, the true meaning of the word dialogue be rescued. We have all witnessed the misrepresentation of this beautiful word, thanks to the manipulations of the dictatorship that has wanted to use it for its own purposes, and also thanks to some complying with the Castro lexicon, perhaps without noticing where the misrepresentation comes from, seem content to have them steal the dictionary, the same ones who previously stole our homeland."The word dialogue has a long history and to have arisen in the West with Plato and the Greeks over 2,400 years ago. The root meaning of the word dialogue is formed by two words dia and logos which literally means 'two way flow/exchange' of meaning.This is precisely what the dictatorship in Cuba fears most because in a two way dialogue where different ideas and opinions can be expressed the edifice of the totalitarian regime begins to dissolve into nothingness as society, long repressed begins to emerge from its long and forced hibernation.
This existential threat to totalitarianism terrifies the Castro clan and their regime agents who benefit from the current status quo. This is why what the regime calls dialogue in reality is the monologue of the closed fist and unfortunately over the past 56 years it has been used to beat down those who peacefully dissent.
Yesterday it was seen dramatically at Porra park in Panama City when a group of Cuban dissidents from the diaspora and the island sought to lay flowers before a bust of Jose Marti and were subjected to a violent act of repudiation by Castro regime state security. Carlos Alberto Montaner reported on twitter: They have identified the ringleader of the attacks on Cuban democrats in Panama. It is Col. Alexis Frutos Weeden, head of Cuban intelligence in Venezuela.
Sadly, the negation of both dialogue and civil society has now intruded into the Summit of the Americas for the first time since 1994 with the entrance of the Castro regime. This is just a small part of the price to be paid for inviting a totalitarian dictatorship into the fold of democratic states and does not bode well for the future.
Meanwhile at a parallel forum in Panama City bruised up Cuban activists from the island and exile gathered to discuss the Agreement for Democracy and issued a statement outlining a course of action following the events of the past two days.