Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Cuban dissident Oscar Elías Biscet remembers China's Liu Xiaobo


By Dr. Oscar Elías Biscet 

Liu Xiaobo

The Chinese Communist government had no mercy or tolerance with the sick prisoner, the diagnosis of the disease was late and they only allowed him to leave the jail a few days before he died. 

After a long process of unjust incarceration for "subversion of state power," the Doctor of Literature at the Normal University of Beijing and human rights activist Liu Xiaobo, dies in a Chinese hospital, on July 13 of the current year of a fatal disease: liver cancer.

The Chinese Communist government had no mercy or tolerance with the sick prisoner, the diagnosis of the disease was late and only allowed him to leave the jail a few days before dying to avoid the international scandal of his death in prison.

A few days before the death of Liu, international solidarity became a reality when a medical team of German and American doctors was able to physically access the patient and invite him to receive specialized medical treatment at prestigious health institutions in their respective countries, the hospital of the German University of Heidelberg and the MD Anderson Clinic of the United States of America.
Despite the insistent requests of these friends and sympathizers for his release and proper medical care abroad, the Chinese authorities maintained their perverse negativity to Liu's trip and his abduction until the end of his days.Xiaobo was the chairman of the Chinese Poets, Essay and Novelist Club (PEN Club) and awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 when he found himself in prison, the first Chinese citizen to receive the Nobel Prize. His crime was to create a manifesto, Charter 08, which demands democratization, respect for human rights and freedom for the Chinese people.

Charter 08 was signed by more than 300 intellectuals and human rights activists; more than 8,000 supporters from all over the country were added to the hope of establishing the rule of law in China. It was published on 10 of December 2008, the International Day of Human Rights, on the sixtieth anniversary of its creation.Liu had an important track record of opposition work against the Chinese communist dictatorship. During the student protests in Tiananmen Square of 1989, he supported students with a three-day hunger strike to draw public attention and avoid serious government retaliation against the student body. Because of these circumstances he was detained for several months, being the most emblematic figure of the events of Tiananmen. 

In the world many critical voices were raised because of Liu Xiaobo's unfair treatment. However, the most compelling and adjusted to reality was that of Human Rights Watch (HRW), stating that Xiaobo's death "exposes the cruelty of the Chinese government with nonviolent defenders of human rights and democracy" .

Human Rights Watch reaffirms the hope that human beings are born to be free, stating that "although the Chinese government acted with arrogance, cruelty and callousness, the struggle of Liu for a democratic China where rights are respected will remain alive."

Similarly, other institutions such as Amnesty International, the Nobel Committee and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights demonstrated their discontent with the inhumane attitude of the Chinese government. In addition, the governments of the United States, the European Union and the Republic of China (Taiwan), among others, in their maximum representatives, Donald Trump, Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Tsai Ing Wen expressed their solidarity with Xiaobo and demanded the release of the widow Liu.
If, during the eight years of unjust imprisonment of the humanist activist Xiaobo, democratic and free governments, especially the West, had acted with the firmness in which they demonstrated when the Chinese Nobel died, I am sure that today we would not be going through these bitter circumstances .

Unfortunately, two Nobel laureates have died under state custody, Carl von Ossietzky, in national socialist Germany in 1938, and Liu Xiaobo, in socialist China, self-titled champion of globalization and free trade. Hitler's Germany had numerous and successful entrepreneurs; as does mainland China. In the latter there are more than 10 million people with great fortunes. However, in neither country, did these successful entrepreneurs raised their voices to condemn the deaths of those awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

They want to forcefully sell us Cubans an evolution of our country to the Chinese "socialist market system" Regardless of the despotism of China's system, in association with the lack of basic human rights and freedoms. That is why we feel the pain of the unjust and untimely death of Liu Xiaobo; because he did not see his dreams come true. The dreams of this icon of freedom are precious goods for those who want a free Cuba.
 Dr. Oscar Elías Biscet is President of the Lawton Foundation for Human Rights, President of the Emilia Project, Presidential Medal of Freedom

Follow Dr. Biscet at: https://twitter.com/oscarbiscet

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