Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Cuban diplomat's conduct in EU Parliament offers unwitting testimony on human rights in Cuba

Regime officials show their true selves in the European parliament 

EU Parliament listening to human rights presentation today [photo: Dita Charanzová]
 Totalitarians have a specific playbook that doesn't vary that borders on the neurotic. Those who dissent from building the ideological project of the totalitarian regime are to be destroyed. Destruction can be verbal but all too often physical as were the cases of Orlando Zapata Tamayo and Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas.

Today, while presenting a human rights report on Cuba at the European Parliament, one of Raul Castro's diplomats sought to demonize and discredit me using the epithet of mercenary arguing that he had evidence that I was "paid to act against my homeland" and that he would distribute the evidence that I was receiving U.S. funds.

He did not address the substance of the  human rights report presented but sought to destroy the reputation and legitimacy of the author. The Cuban diplomat argued that "Cuba has presented on two occasions its country report to the United Nations Human Rights Council [during two Universal Periodic Reviews] working on implementing the recommendations approved by our country and added that "Cuba" does not recognize the European Parliament much less political groups neither the importance or competence to analyze the human rights situation of the members of the ALBA here present." Not mentioned was the process by which they circumvented the spirit of the UPR and corrupted the process.

Cuban author and intellectual, Carlos Alberto Montaner in 2012 at the Miami Book Fair analyzed this practice of totalitarian regimes and the why behind this practice of character assassination. The objective is to destroy the messenger and avoid the ideas and content being discussed. That is precisely what happened today. However the Castro regime goes further demonizing two million Cubans in Miami regardless of ideological and philosophical differences that are normal in a free society and lump them all together under this destructive stereotype that has had an impact internationally. Carlos Alberto Montaner concluded that "Cuba is one of those states that seeks to destroy the collective image of their emigrants and the particular image of those people that they have decided are their enemies."

Event today interrupted by Cuban diplomats
The Castro regime today objected to members of the European parliament freely gathering to analyze reports on the human rights situation in Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela. They disrupted the conversation were members could weigh the evidence presented and question the authors on matters of substance. They sought to threaten and intimidate participants in what amounted to persecution with the aim of supressing their work which would qualify as an attempt to censor. 

For the record, I was born in the United States and am a citizen of the United States. My family left Cuba in the 1950s prior to the Castro regime, in part, because they opposed the Batista dictatorship. They did not return to live in Cuba afterwards because of the then new and now ongoing dictatorship installed by the Castro brothers.  As a human rights activist I have never pretended to speak for the Cuban people, but will defend the content of my writings and human rights reporting.

Any reasonably objective person would conclude that the Cuban people have been subjected to a totalitarian and dynastic dictatorship run by the Castro family for the past 56 years. Taking this into account it is also reasonable that after more than 56 years under a totalitarian dictatorship that Cubans should have a say as to how they are governed and exercise their long denied sovereignty.

The statements made by the Cuban official today at the European parliament are evidence of the continuing hostility of the Castro regime towards human rights in general and the exercise of free expression in particular.

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