Friday, February 17, 2017

Open letter to President of Ireland Michael D Higgins on his visit to Cuba

February 17, 2017

President Michael D Higgins
Áras an Uachtaráin
Phoenix Park
Dublin 8

Dear President Higgins,

Mr. President I have followed your visit to Cuba with great interest upon learning that human rights would be part of the dialogue during your stay. Only to be disappointed by what appeared in the press and your past praise for Fidel Castro. Cuba has suffered under a totalitarian communist dictatorship for 58 years. The Castro regime has demonstrated over that time a complete disdain for human rights including conditioning both access to healthcare and education to loyalty for the dictatorship.

Amnesty Int'l designated Eduardo Cardet a prisoner of conscience on January 31, 2017

I would hope that in your continuing conversations with General Raul Castro that you request that physician, family man, Christian Democrat and Amnesty International designated prisoner of conscience Eduardo Cardet Concepción be freed. Even outside of political considerations both education and healthcare leave a lot to be desired in Cuba despite the government propaganda.

David Mauri Cardoso expelled from University of Cienfuegos for political reasons
I would also hope that you raise the plight of 24 year old David Mauri Cardoso, a student expelled from the University of Cienfuegos in Cuba a few days ago after he honestly answered politically loaded questions in what was supposed to be a Spanish literature exam.

Next week February 24th marks 21 years since the Brothers to the Rescue shoot down when two civilian planes were blown out of international airspace by Cuban MiGs on Fidel Castro's and General Raul Castro's orders in an act of state terrorism. Four men were killed and two of them were friends of mine and the day still resonates with me.

Extrajudicially executed on orders of the Castro brothers on February 24, 1996
There are thousands of other cases of extrajudicial executions carried out by the Cuban dictatorship. They still go on and within that context to claim that the Castro dictatorship has a "commitment" to human rights falsely legitimizes the regime while ignoring the victims.

President Michael D Higgins with General Raul Castro
Please speak up for David and Edward they can still be helped.


John Suarez

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