Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Cuba's UPR record is a shameful indictment: A regime that beats and imprisons doctors who dissent

"Facts are difficult things."  - John Adams

Prisoner of conscience Dr. Eduardo Cardet
Cuba will undergo its third Universal Periodic Review from 2:30pm to 6:00pm on May 16, 2018 Geneva time. The propaganda machine has already started up, but facts are difficult things.

The regime in Cuba calls itself a medical superpower and boasts of its medical doctors, but these health care professionals are not free, and not entitled to their opinion. Take a moment and review the case of Eduardo Cardet MD.

Medical doctor, beloved by his community, husband, and father of two. Today his life hangs in the balance in Cuba. On November 30, 2016 in front of his wife and kids he was beaten up by Castro's political police and taken away.  Amnesty International recognized him as a prisoner of conscience. He was sentenced to three years in prison on March 20, 2017 in a political show trial that violated international norms. He was badly beaten and stabbed twice by three prisoners on December 19, 2017 most likely on orders of regime agents. Family fears that he has a carcinoma on his nose that is not being treated. 

Eduardo Cardet continues to suffer this injustice in Cuba today. He is the national coordinator of the Christian Liberation Movement, a Cuban opposition movement that mobilized tens of thousands of Cubans to peacefully petition the Castro regime for democratic change. When members of his movement, on April 5, 2018, attempted to turn in a petition signed by 10,000 Cubans they were detained for 24 hours and the signatures seized by the political police. There are fears that those who signed will be persecuted.

This is the reality that the Castro regime is trying to hide behind an avalanche of propaganda. Dr. Eduardo Cardet should never have been jailed. He is a prisoner of conscience and should be free. 

He is not the first doctor imprisoned for what he thought. Decades earlier Dr. Armando Valladares would spend many years in prison for his dissenting opinion. Dr. Desi Mendoza imprisoned because he spoke out about a dengue epidemic. There have been others whose names we do not know.

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