Sunday, December 31, 2017

Top 12 Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter tweets for 2017

This year was one of change and remembrance. U.S. - Cuba policy changed and 2017 marked in November the 100 year observance of the communist take over in Russia and a century of terror and mass murder caused by communists around the world. The United States pulled out of UNESCO. North Korea was in the headlines because of its nuclear threat. Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter remembered some of the victims of communism in Cuba. Below are the highlights from 2017 according to Twitter Analytics.

January 2017
February 2017
March 2017
April 2017
May 2017
June 2017
July 2017
August 2017
September 2017
October 2017
November 2017
December 2017

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Cuban opposition leader returned to cell where he was beaten by several inmates.

Update on Christian Liberation Movement leader Eduardo Cardet Concepción who is jailed in Cuba.

Cuban prisoner of conscience Eduardo Cardet Concepción
Ominous news out of Cuba. Christian Liberation Movement leader Eduardo Cardet Concepción unjustly imprisoned since November 30, 2016, subjected to beatings by secret police, and prisoners, denied family visits, and phone calls is being sent back to the dungeon where he was beaten up just days ago. Below is today's update, by Yaimaris Vecino (Eduardo's wife), made public by the Christian Liberation Movement.
Update 12/30 Yaimaris Vecino reports that Eduardo Cardet has been transferred back to detachment 23 of the "Cuba Si" prison (where he was initially beaten). And he confirms that it is true that he was beaten by several inmates, denying a version [manufactured] by the tyranny that he was beaten by a demented prisoner.

Yaimaris Vecino, Eduardo Cardet and their two sons

Friday, December 29, 2017

Setting the record straight on healthcare in Cuba

Debunking the Castro regime's healthcare claims

Cholera patients in Cuba (CNN)
Cuba has a two tiered health care system one tier for the nomenklatura and foreign tourists with hard currency that offers care with modern equipment and fully stocked pharmacies, then there is a second tier which is for the rest  with broken down equipment, run down buildings and rooms, scarce supplies, a lack of hygiene, the denial of certain services and lengthy wait times. Healthcare professionals are poorly paid and lack food.

On December 28, 2017 the Spanish news service EFE reported that the Castro regime had dismantled a network of medical officials and workers who'd adulterated a medicine for children made at the laboratories of the state-owned drug company BioCubaFarma. They replaced the active substance methylphenidate with a placebo substance in the manufacture of the drug marketed as "Ritalin." The active substance was sold on the black market. Nevertheless, The Miami Herald had an article touting the importance of importing drugs from Cuba on December 14th.

The statistics and numbers that the international community has access to with relation to the Cuban healthcare system have been manipulated by the dictatorship. Katherine Hirschfeld, an anthropologist, in Health, Politics, and Revolution in Cuba Since 1898 describes how her idealistic preconceptions were dashed by 'discrepancies between rhetoric and reality,' she observed a repressive, bureaucratized and secretive system, long on 'militarization' and short on patients' rights.  

News accounts from time to time break through the fog of communist propaganda like the EFE article cited above.

In 1997 when a Dengue epidemic broke out in Cuba the dictatorship tried to cover it up. When a courageous doctor spoke out he was locked up on June 25, 1997 and later sentenced to 8 years in prison. Amnesty International recognized Dr. Desi Mendoza Rivero as a prisoner of conscience. He was released from prison under condition he go into exile in December of 1998. The regime eventually had to recognize that there had been a dengue epidemic

On January 15, 2010 The New York Times reported the confirmed deaths of at least 20 mental patients at the Psychiatric Hospital in Cuba, known as Mazorra, due to "criminal negligence by a government characterized by its general inefficiency," a day later the Cuban government confirmed that 26 patients had died due to “prolonged low temperatures that fell to 38 degrees.”

The 2012 cholera outbreak in Cuba offered an opportunity to see how the Cuban public health system operates. The well being of Cubans is not the first item on the regime's agenda. This was demonstrated in it's response. News of the outbreak in Manzanillo, in the east of the island, broke in El Nuevo Herald on June 29, 2012 thanks to the reporting of the outlawed independent press in the island. The state controlled media did not confirm the outbreak until days later on July 3, 2012. The BBC reported on July 7, 2012 that a patient had been diagnosed with Cholera in Havana. The dictatorship stated that it had it under control.

In July 2013 an Italian tourist returned from Cuba with severe renal failure due to Cholera. New York high school teacher Alfredo Gómez contracted cholera during a family visit to Havana during the summer of 2013 and was billed $4,700 from the government hospital. A total of 12 tourists have been identified who have contracted cholera in Cuba.

The dictatorship in Cuba has both an incredibly effective propaganda and state security apparatus however what it does not have is an effective healthcare system for Cubans. As masters of propaganda the Castro regime can produce statistics and spin a story of wonderful medical care. Officials claimed that "this is the first cholera outbreak since soon after the 1959 revolution." However, doing a search through The New York Times archives the last quarantine for Cholera it reported in a headline on Cuba was on September 16, 1916. The last cholera epidemic in Cuba ended in 1882.

 Sherri L. Porcelain is an adjunct professor who has taught Global Public Health in World Affairs at the University of Miami for more than 30 years. She wrote an important analysis titled U.S. & Cuba: A Question of Indifference? I could not find this article on the ICCAS web site, found it initially at Professor Suchlicki's Cuba Studies Institute, but it is no longer online. This is troubling and what Dr. Porcelain's analysis reveals is disturbing.
"Investment in the health of people includes protecting human rights. This means allowing the health community to speak out and not to be jailed for releasing information about a dengue epidemic considered a state secret, or not sharing timely data on a cholera outbreak until laboratory confirmation of travelers returning from Cuba arrive home with a surprising diagnosis. This causes me to reflect upon my personal interviews where the remaining vigor of public health actions in Cuba exists to fight vector and water borne diseases. Sadly, however, health professionals are directed to euphemistically use the vague terms of febrile illness in place of dengue and gastrointestinal upset for cholera, in contradiction to promoting public health transparency."
Let us hope that this myth of the Castro regime being a health care super power be debunked before any more foreign patients or tourists are negatively impacted or that policy makers in other countries seek to copy the disastrous system in the island.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

British diplomatic cable "Minimum estimate of civilian dead 10,000." in Beijing's 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre

The truth of Beijing's June 1989 massacre declassified

Tiananmen Square in June of 1989
Massacres under communist regimes are seldom accidental but methodically planned out. Two high profile examples from Cuba back up this assertion. First the "13 de Marzo" tugboat sinking on July 13, 1994 that claimed 37 lives had been prepared and deliberately planned out in advance. The Brothers to the Rescue shoot down on February 24, 1996 was planned out weeks in advance and practice runs were carried out by the Castro regime's MiGs. Two weeks prior to the Tiananmen Square massacre then Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping observed: “Two hundred dead could bring 20 years of peace to China.” A recently declassified British diplomatic cable reveals that "at least 10,000 people were killed in the Chinese army's crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in June 1989." This blog has remembered the events of those terrible days over the years and the continuing repression in China today.

Chinese military cracking down in June of 1989 in Beijing
Agence France Press reported some of the horrors contained in the diplomatic cable:
The document, made public more than 28 years after the event, describes injured girls being bayoneted, bodies being ground up by armoured vehicles and human remains being flushed into the sewers. "Minimum estimate of civilian dead 10,000," the then British ambassador Alan Donald said in the secret telegram to London seen by AFP at Britain's National Archives.
Crushed remains of a June 1989 victim

Quotes taken from the document itself:

"The 27 Army APCs [armoured personnel carriers] opened fire on the crowd before running over them. APCs ran over troops and civilians at 65kph [40 miles per hour].”

"Students understood they were given one hour to leave square, but after five minutes APCs attacked. Students linked arms but were mown down. APCs then ran over the bodies time and time again to make, quote ‘pie’ unquote, and remains collected by bulldozer. Remains incinerated and then hosed down drains."

"27 Army troops had used dum-dum bullets and snipers shot many civilians on balconies, street sweepers etc for target practice. "

"27 Army ordered to spare no one. Wounded girl students begged for their lives but were bayoneted.
A three-year-old girl was injured, but her mother was shot as she went to her aid, as were six others.”

"1,000 survivors were told they could escape but were then mown down by specially prepared MG [machine gun] positions."

"Army ambulances who attempted to give aid were shot up, as was a Sino-Japanese hospital ambulance. With medical crew dead, wounded driver attempted to ram attackers but was blown to pieces by anti-tank weapon."

"27 Army officer shot dead by own troops, apparently because he faltered. Troops explained they would be shot if they hadn’t shot the officer. "

"Minimum estimate of civilian dead 10,000."

Despite all of this the United Nations Human Rights office "dangerously handed over to China the names of four human rights activists slated to attend a Human Rights Council session" in 2017. Below are copies of the just declassified document.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Remembering some of the victims of Cuban communism: two Cubans executed for anti-Castro propaganda and sabotage

"Whoever destroys a single life is considered by Scripture to have destroyed the whole world, and whoever saves a single life is considered by Scripture to have saved the whole world." - Mishnah  (1135-1204) 

Some psychologists argue that as the number of victims increase into the hundreds, and thousands that compassion collapses out of the human fear of being overwhelmed. Soviet dictator Josef Stalin put it more succinctly: "When one man dies it's a tragedy. When thousands die it's statistics." In the case of Cuba the communist regime has killed tens of thousands, and many have become numb in the face of this horror. Therefore on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the first communist regime in Russia, that caused so much harm around the world, will focus on an infinitesimal sampling of some of the victims of Cuban communism.  

The twelfth entry remembers Armando Hernández González, who along with his brother-in-law Ramón Toledo Lugo were shot in La Cabaña on October 1, 1982. They had been arrested on August 23, 1980.

Previous entries in this series were about Cubans trying to change the system nonviolently, Cubans who tried to leave the island, a student shot to death for walking down the wrong sidewalk in Havana, a young Ethiopian woman murdered in a red terror in her homeland for unknown reasons in 1978, and the eleventh entry three young black men executed by firing squad in 2003 for having hijacked a ferry in an effort to reach the United States.

On page 130 of the Amnesty International Report 1983, that covered the period of January to December 1982 reported that a large number of Cuban prisoners were terminated. "On October 1, 1982, 29 Cubans accused of the attempted assassination of President Fidel Castro were reportedly executed. Among them were Ramon Toledo, 40, and Armando Hernández González, 29. It was reported that they were executed in La Cabaña prison."

On Sunday, January 1, 1984 columnist Jack Anderson wrote a column "Castro in power 25 years" in which he provided more details on what happened to Armando.
My sources tell me that 29 Cubans were executed last year for allegedly plotting Castro's death. One of them was 29-year-old Armando Hernandez Gonzalez - a toddler when Castro took power. In a scrawled note to his family, smuggled out of prison before his execution, Hernandez wrote: "When I die, I want the flag as my roof, the earth as my mother and for air - liberty." Hernandez and some relatives were charged with "conspiring against state authority." They had pasted up anti-Castro posters in their town and spread nails on the road to puncture tires of the trucks that came to pick them up for obligatory "volunteer" labor on Sundays. These "counterrevolutionary offenses" earned them the death sentence. 

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas, Liu Xiaobo, Oswaldo Payá and the power of small moral actions

"It's up to all of us to try, and those that say that individuals are not capable of changing anything are only looking for excuses." - Vaclav Havel, Interview with Amnesty International in 2011

Oswaldo Payá, Liu Xiaobo and the power of moral actions
Eight years ago on Christmas morning in Beijing the nonviolent dissident, scholar and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to 11 years in prison for the crime of speaking. He had already been jailed for more than a year for being one of the authors of Charter 08 that sought to gather signatures in a petition calling on the Chinese regime to gradually shift toward democracy.
The speech he delivered at his trial on December 23, 2009 is one that remains extremely relevant today and more so on Christmas. In a key passage of his final statement Liu Xiaobo said the following:

But I still want to say to this regime, which is depriving me of my freedom, that I stand by the convictions I expressed in my "June Second Hunger Strike Declaration" twenty years ago ‑ I have no enemies and no hatred. None of the police who monitored, arrested, and interrogated me, none of the prosecutors who indicted me, and none of the judges who judged me are my enemies. Although there is no way I can accept your monitoring, arrests, indictments, and verdicts, I respect your professions and your integrity, including those of the two prosecutors, Zhang Rongge and Pan Xueqing, who are now bringing charges against me on behalf of the prosecution. During interrogation on December 3, I could sense your respect and your good faith.
Hatred can rot away at a person's intelligence and conscience. Enemy mentality will poison the spirit of a nation, incite cruel mortal struggles, destroy a society's tolerance and humanity, and hinder a nation's progress toward freedom and democracy. That is why I hope to be able to transcend my personal experiences as I look upon our nation's development and social change, to counter the regime's hostility with utmost goodwill, and to dispel hatred with love.
This decision to bust up hatred with love combined with the firmness and courage at the same time to reject and defy the injustices committed is not only a core principle of nonviolence but also of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Jesus commands us to love our enemies, and pray for those who persecute us. When one says the Lord's prayer how many understand and internalize that "If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions." Liu Xiaobo in the statement above is doing just that.

In a Christmas Message delivered by the Christian Liberation Movement in 1990 and written by Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas although 19 years earlier and separated by great distance and different cultures the same message is found:
Let us not turn to violence and force, but we will not submit or allow ourselves to be intimidated by them. Yes, we want change, changes in all of society, because the heart of Cuba has already changed, and we have renovated it in hope, work, suffering and sorrow. We have renovated ourselves and do not want Cuba to sink and our children with her. That violence not explode, that repression not explode, that the truth break out, and let there be an outbreak of Peace and Freedom.
No one in Cuba wants to submit to a foreign power, or return to other forms of injustice. Let us not fool ourselves any more, Cubans know what we want: we want reconciliation among all, we want a reunion with our distant brothers in exile, we want to work for our Country and our families, with boundless generosity to our hard work and positive creativity, we want dialogue, we want to solve this juncture of our history together, with love, we want freedom. We know it is possible and we will achieve it, it will be everyone’s victory.
Oswaldo Payá was murdered by the Cuban regime's state security agents along with Harold Cepero on July 22, 2012 but he lived the above creed until the end, and the movement, he helped to found, continues to embrace these nonviolent principles.

On December 28, 2016  Liu Xiaobo observed his 61st birthday and his ninth behind bars in a Chinese prison. He was a prisoner of conscience imprisoned in 2008 for his participation in the drafting of Charter 08. His wife, Liu Xia, had been under house arrest since 2010 when her husband won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Norway was threatened by Communist China not to award the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo but courageously went ahead and did so. Relations between the two countries deteriorated. In addition the Chinese regime initiated its own "Peace Prize" in 2010 to counter Nobel's and Fidel Castro was the 2014 winner.   

On July 13, 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo died of "multiple organ failure" while still under the custody of the Chinese communists. Friends and family expressed concern that he was not receiving proper medical care. Cuban human rights defenders have observed this type of death induced by medical neglect against dissidents before. 

Four days later in Washington DC, Chinese dissident Yang Jianli mourned the passing of this human rights icon and briefly reviewed his decades long activism.
Liu Xiaobo was not only the best known freedom and democracy fighter of China, but, in life as well as in death, he represents the best of what China can ever be. In April 1989, when the Tiananmen democracy movement just broke out, he returned to Beijing from New York and became the most important intellectual leader of the movement. After the Tiananmen Massacre, he shouldered both moral and political responsibilities and continued to fight from inside China while many others left the country and even abandoned the movement. He was in and out prison and spent half of the past 28 years after the Tiananmen Massacre in incarceration. Never wavering in spirit, he shared the sufferings of his compatriots and gave his life for them. He is a martyr and saint.
Yes. Liu Xiaobo is a martyr and saint who possesses a moral authority that his persecutors can only envy. His legacy of love, justice, peace and sacrifice will surely far outlive the deeds of those who persecuted him.
The Communist regimes in China and Cuba fear those who speak truth to power but have also discovered that murdering those who freely express themselves does not silence their protests and new activists emerge.

In Cuba, the movement founded by Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas elected Eduardo Cardet Concepción the national coordinator of the Christian Liberation Movement. Eduardo has been arbitrarily detained since November 30, 2016 for offering a critical assessment of the legacy of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Amnesty International has recognized him a prisoner of conscience. Oswaldo's daughter, Rosa Maria Payá Acevedo, carries on her dad's work with an initiative called CubaDecide.

In China, despite her husband's death Liu Xia remains under house arrest. A French couple, Hu Jiamin and Marine Brossard, who last week in Shenzhen, "painted a mural showing an empty blue chair at an art exhibition" in a tribute to Liu Xiaobo were taken away by secret police. Friends and journalists are still unable to reach them.

Thirty years after the death of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., the former head of the NAACP, Benjamin Hooks on the holiday designated after the martyred civil rights leader in 1998 addressed an audience and explained: "You can kill the dreamer, but you can't kill the dream." This holds true today for Martin Luther King Jr., Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas and Liu Xiaobo. Their dreams and examples live on because they embraced love and not hate.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The dog that didn't bark: Obama, Trump and the Cuban Adjustment Act

The devil is in the details, and in the dictatorship in Cuba.

Mariel Boatlift crisis
Florida Keys News reported on December 22, 2017 that "[f]or the second time in three months, Cuban migrants made landfall in the Florida Keys this week." The news report then credits the reduction in the number of refugees to the Obama administration repealing "a decades-old policy treating those fleeing the communist nation as refugees." This blog also documented Cubans trying to reach the United States in May of 2017.

The credit is misplaced. Historically the number of Cubans making landfall in the United States decline under Republican administrations. The Obama Administration claimed to have opened a "new chapter" on Cuba, but in reality it was a reboot of the worst aspects of the Carter and Clinton Administration's Cuba policies that created humanitarian tragedies during both presidencies with Mariel (1980) and the Rafter Crisis (1994 - 1995).

Dictator Fidel Castro and President Jimmy Carter
First Time
The Carter Administration was the first to try normalize relations with the Cuban dictatorship, and both sides opened Interest Sections in their respective capitals between 1977 and 1981. Then from 1981 to 1982, the Castro regime executed approximately 80 prisoners, which was a marked escalation when compared to 1976. Furthermore, during the Carter presidency, Fidel Castro took steps that resulted in the violent deaths of US citizensDuring the Mariel crisis of 1980, when over 125,000 Cubans sought to flee the island, the Cuban dictator sought to save face by selectively releasing approximately 12,000 violent criminals or individuals who were mentally ill into the exodus. This first attempt at normalizing relations saw a worsening human rights situation and migration crisis.

President Bill Clinton with Dictator Raul Castro
Second Time
The Clinton Administration in 1994 initiated regular contacts between the U.S. and Cuban military that included joint military exercises at the Guantanamo Naval base. Despite this improvement of relations the 1990s saw some brutal massacres of Cubans that are rightly remembered such as the July 13, 1994 "13 de Marzo" tugboat massacre and the February 24, 1996 Brothers to the Rescue shoot down. The shoot down involved two planes blown to bits over international airspace by Cuban MiGs killing three American citizens and a Cuban resident who were engaged in the search and rescue of Cuban rafters 

The worsening human rights situation was a contributing factor in the August 1994 rafter crisis in which 35,000 Cubans fled the country. Experts have identified that this was a migration crisis engineered by the Castro regime. The Cuban dictatorship did this because it successfully reasoned that it could coerce the Clinton Administration to the negotiating table to obtain concessions which indeed it did and prolonged the life of the dictatorship for another twenty years.

Dictator Raul Castro with President Barack Obama
Third time 
The Obama Administration beginning in 2009 loosened sanctions on the Castro regime. By December 17, 2014 the Obama administration had freed all five members of the WASP spy network, including Gerardo Hernandez -- who had been serving two life sentences, one of them for conspiracy to murder four members of Brothers to the Rescue, murdered during the previous attempt at normalizing relations during the Clinton Administration. They de-linked the pursuit of full diplomatic relations from the rise in human rights violations in Cuba and in the region by Cuban state security.

The Obama administration doubled down on concessions ignoring the Castro regime's continued sponsorship of terrorism and smuggling of weapons to sanctioned countries in order to take Cuba off the list of state sponsors of terrorism. President Obama is following through on his pledge made at the State of the Union to work for the lifting of economic sanctions on the dictatorship. On his watch human rights worsened with an escalation in arbitrary detentions, violence against activists and prominent opposition leaders, such as Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, who would have been critical for a democratic transition killed in what appear to have been state security operations. 
The Obama administration gutted the Cuban Adjustment Act on January 12, 2017 but it was restricted before in 1994 by the Clinton Administration.  This did not reduce the number of Cubans arriving in the United States then but it did change their composition.

1994 Cuban rafter crisis
How the Clinton Administration undermined the Cuban Adjustment Act in 1994 
The first effort to gut the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act  was initiated by President Bill Clinton who on August 19, 1994 stopped bringing Cuban refugees picked up on the high seas to the United States and took them to improvised camps on the U.S. Guantanamo Naval Base. This was followed on May 2, 1995 with a further break in past practice when his Attorney General Janet Reno announced: "Effective immediately, Cuban migrants intercepted at sea, attempting to enter the United States or who enter Guantanamo illegally will be taken to Cuba." Never before had U.S. ships returned Cuban refugees to communist Cuba.  

This re-interpretation of the Cuban Adjustment Act in 1995 was done without consulting Congress, without changing the law and was the result of joint agreements between the United States and the Castro regime made public in a joint statement supposedly "to regularize further their migration relationship." This is how the highly irregular Wet Foot Dry Foot policy came into effect. With the Wet Foot Dry Foot the U.S. Coast Guard began to return fleeing Cubans to their captors. 

How the Lottery benefits the Castro regime
But that was not all. As they say the devil was in the details. The agreement with the Castro dictatorship opened up a lottery for Cuban nationals between 18 and 55 years of age in which according to a 2009 report authored by Ruth Ellen Wasem, a specialist in immigration policy at the Congressional Research Service titled "Cuban Migration to the United States: Policy and Trends" they must answer "yes" to "two of the following three questions. Have you completed secondary school or a higher level of education? Do you have at least three years of work experience? Do you have any relatives residing in the United States?" If they win the lottery they must have a medical examination and are "given parole status with a visa that is good for six months." According to the above mentioned report by the Congressional Research Service: "Over the years, there have been reports of barriers the potential Cuban parolees face, such as exorbitantly priced medical exams, exit visa fees, and repercussions for family members who remain in Cuba."

Not stated is that the Castro regime could turn this lottery into a reward mechanism for Cubans loyal to the dictatorship while blocking those who are politically persecuted by the regime. Up to 20,000 Cubans a year can be granted visas through this lottery that has been in place since 1995.

The dog that didn't bark
The Cuban Adjustment Act, in effect from 1966, to address a previous migration crisis did not generate a constant exodus of Cubans. Under the Nixon, Reagan and Bush 41 and Bush 43 presidencies there was not a single Cuban migration crisis. This leads to the question if it is not the Cuban Adjustment Act what other factor could explain the reason for these different migration waves? Under Carter, Clinton and Obama there were overarching efforts to normalize relations, even at the expense of US national interests. Two possibilities that are not mutually exclusive emerge: 1) Cubans believe that the free world will no longer be in solidarity with their desire to be free and in despair they flee. and 2) The Castro regime believes that it can use migration as a weapon to extract concessions from a White House that they perceive as weak and vulnerable. The Obama administration remained silent as U.S. diplomats in Havana suffered brain damage in what appear to have been attacks and continued making concessions.

President Trump meeting with the Cuban diaspora in Miami
This is apparently not the case with the current Administration that immediately complained about the harm being done to U.S. diplomats in February 2017. Furthermore the Trump administration did not seek to whitewash the Castro regime's terrible human rights record. Finally, President Trump's stance on controlling the border and restricting immigration sent a message to the Castro regime that this was not business as usual. This may have more to do with the drop in Cubans arriving on the U.S. shoreline than the Cuban Adjustment Act.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

State Security blocks family of Christian Liberation Movement leader from visiting him in prison after beating.

State Security prevents family visiting Eduardo Cardet, they do not know his real physical state

Yaimaris Vecino, Eduardo Cardet and their two sons

By Christian Liberation Movement

Testimony of Yaimaris Vecino, wife of Eduardo Cardet

According to the law, today Eduardo is entitled to a visit of at least 5 minutes due to his transfer to a new prison.

Today we, his mother, sister, a nephew and me, went to see him.

However, state security official Evelio Moreira Domínguez gave an order to prevent the visit. This is the [same] officer who detained Eduardo [on November 30, 2016] when I saw him hit [my husband] and put his fingers into his eyes the day of his arrest.

On the other hand, the director of the "Cuba Sí" prison told Eduardo's sister that he had a blow to the forehead from the assault of an inmate with a psychiatric disorder, a version that contradicts what my husband told me by telephone, that he had been assaulted by several prisoners.

We are very worried because we do not know his real physical state.

This ends the testimony of Yaimaris.

If Eduardo is unjustly convicted of a supposedly common crime, why does the state security agent who detained him continue to decide about his situation?

Friday, December 22, 2017

MCL holds Castro regime responsible for beating and unjust jailing of its leader Eduardo Cardet

Christian Liberation Movement holds the Cuban regime responsible  for the physical integrity of its leader Eduardo Cardet beaten in prison.
Eduardo Cardet Concepción beaten again and still imprisoned
By Christian Liberation Movement

On December 19th Dr. Eduardo Cardet Concepción, National Coordinator of the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) imprisoned unjustly since November 2016, for peacefully demanding changes to the Cuban electoral law, was transferred from the Provincial Prison of Holguín to the infamous prison "El Yaya 'known as "Cuba Si" and located in the detachment # 23 where he resides in a group of around 80 common inmates crammed into 3-story loungers in an area of ​​approximately 15 m long and 5 m wide.

Upon arrival, while accommodating his belongings Dr Cardet was attacked by surprise and from behind by several common criminals who he had never seen before without saying a word some began to beat him brutally with fists and feet to knock him to the ground. Immediately, the aggressors, showing an unusual influence, called the military to remove Eduardo from that detachment, being then assigned to detachment # 20 in the same prison wing of his assailants who are not punished and in same conditions of life as the previous detachment.

The Christian Liberation Movement denounces these serious events, which put in imminent danger the life and physical integrity of a man of peace, a doctor by profession and a nonviolent fighter for the rights of all Cubans, who by his ideas is locked up with criminals without scruples that the regime of Havana uses to frighten its political adversaries in these communist dungeons.

The MCL holds the military junta that governs Cuba responsible for the life and integrity of Dr Eduardo Cardet, a political prisoner declared prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, and warns each of the intellectual and material actors of these events that our Christian values ​​of loving thy neighbor and of reconciliation between Cubans should not be interpreted as a patent of impunity. 

We call on all institutions, governments and personalities of goodwill to denounce and condemn the cruel and degrading inhuman treatment that since November 2016 the National Coordinator of the Christian Liberation Movement has received and to demand, in a deserved act of justice, the immediate and unconditional release of Dr Cardet.

On behalf of M.C.L

Tony Díaz, Secretary General 

Regis Iglesias, Spokesman
Carlos Payá, Representative in Spain

MCL leadership: Regis Iglesias, Tony Díaz Sánchez, Eduardo Cardet


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Raul Castro will remain dictator of Cuba in 2018 whether he is called "president" or "party chief"

New boss will be the old boss.

General Raul Castro and his son Colonel Alejandro Castro of the secret police
Raul Castro is trending in the news because it has been announced that he will remain "president" of Cuba until April 2018. He was supposed to be departing office in February 2018, but regardless will be remaining has head of the Communist Party of Cuba. Cuba is a tyrannical dictatorship and titles matter little. Raul Castro will remain in control.

 The question raised by Newsweek is at best naive. Raul Castro has been grooming his son, Alejandro Castro, a colonel in the secret police as a successor. Cuba is a communist dictatorship where dynastic succession, within the Castro family, is reminiscent of another communist dynastic dictatorship, the Kim family in North Korea.

The only question within the context of the dictatorship will be if the Castro family continues to hold the title or place a puppet, for public relations purposes, and continue to run things in Cuba. Real change must come from outside of the regime responding to the miserable reality on the island.

Meanwhile as the international focuses on this non-story inside Cuba repression is ramping up against nonviolent dissidents and their is relatively little press coverage. Cuban artists Tania Bruguera, Luis M Alcantara, Adonis Milan, Yanelis Nuñez and Lia Villares were beaten up and arrested last night in Cuba by the regime's secret police as they attempted to attend the staging of the play Psychosis. As of today reports indicate that Lia Villares and Luis Manuel Otero remain detained with some questions about their whereabouts.

Cuba is a tropical island but the drab grey Stalinism, usually found in colder climates, that drains the life out of vibrant cultures is present within the Castro regime.