Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Castro dictatorship today answered the question #JailedforWhat?

"Censorship reflects society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime." ~Potter Stewart, United States v. Ginzburg, 1965

Cuban diplomats lead act of repudiation in failed attempt to silence speakers.
Cuban diplomats led an "act of repudiation" today at the United Nations to prevent a discussion on the plight of political prisoners in Cuba at a side event organized by the United States, and I was an eyewitness to this exercise in totalitarianism.

Ambassador Kelley E. Currie, the U.S. Representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Council presented the campaign for the release of Cuban political prisoners and was met by a disruption engineered by Castro regime diplomats. However, she did not stop or waiver but continued her presentation.

Cuban U.N. Ambassador Anayansi Rodríguez Camejo protested to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres ahead of the #JailedforWhat event, and described it as a “political comedy.” The Cuban Ambassador to the U.N. also claimed that “Cuba is proud of its human rights record, which denies any manipulation against it.”

If the event were so unimportant then why did the Ambassador and other diplomats spend over an hour shouting themselves hoarse, banging on tables, attempting to disrupt the event?

Sirley Avila Leon at the United Nations today.
The Castro regime may be proud of its dismal record but most Cubans are saddened and/or ashamed by it, as they also are by the spectacle carried out today at the United Nations by diplomats, claiming to represent the Cuban people, but in reality only represent a 59 year old dictatorship that has killed thousands of Cubans, imprisoned tens of thousands of Cubans for their political beliefs and led millions more into exile.

Ambassador Michael Kozak, who moderated the event responded to the screaming and banging on tables along with other frequent interruptions to shut down the gathering: “I want to thank the Cuban delegation for giving us such a graphic show of how alternative opinions are accepted in Cuba.”

Sirley Avila Leon following May 24, 2018 machete attack
Sirley Avila Leon, a former delegate of a local municipal assembly of peoples power in Cuba until she tried to keep a school open for children in her constituency turned the regime against her and ended in a May 2015 state security engineered machete attack, attended the event today at the United Nations. She made a number of observations over twitter following what transpired that I am translating to English.
Sirley Avila Leon: "The discriminatory intolerance of the Castro regime and its clique became evident in the UN today, the democratic and free governments of the hemisphere must not allow their discriminatory impositions in an international space based on mutual respect.

Sirley Avila Leon: "The Castros killed millions of people around the world: African continent, American, in Vietnam, etc, all the governments that support them become an accomplice of these crimes against humanity!!!"

Sirley Avila Leon: "People indoctrinated to discrimination by the Castro regime live from "battle of ideas" to rapid response brigades against human rights defenders in Cuba Nicaragua Venezuela etc. They should be excluded from international events were human rights are discussed." 
The Castro regime today answered the question #JailedforWhat? Based on what transpired today at the United Nations in Cuba you can be jailed for defending human rights.A new hashtag should be added to the campaign #ShoutedDownforWhat? The answer based on what occurred today is discussing human rights.

Carlos Quesada, of Race and Equality, discussed the number of political prisoners and said that “Cuba should respect the right to freedom of opinion and expression and release the 139 political prisoners.”  He also addressed the charges most frequently used against dissidents: "predilection to social dangerousness", and "disrespect."

Alejandro Raga, a Cuban prisoner of conscience of the group of the 75,  arrested in 2003, discussed the inhuman conditions in Castro's prisons in Cuba. He also highlighted the the case of Mario Chanes de Armas, a prisoner of conscience who spent over 30 years in Cuban prisons. Raga also raised the plight of women political prisoners and specifically the Ladies in White.

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro gave a talk where he stated that "the regime in Cuba is responsible for exporting practices, techniques and models of repression and torture in the region." The entire speech is available in Spanish below.

The best way to deal with this attempt at silencing discussions on human rights is to share these conversations as widely possible. The good news is that they failed, and the event was a success.

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