Read This Carefully

Saturday, October 23, 2010
All those "experts" and journalists that herald the Castro regime's latest economic announcements as "reforms," should read this quote very carefully:

"If all goes perfectly, the State will reclaim these private initiatives in the long-run."

-- Aleida Guevara, daughter of "Che" Guevara, on Cuba's recent economic announcements, Belgium's MetroTime, October 21, 2010.

It wouldn't be the first time -- same thing happened between 1994-2000.

Talk About Anxiety

In the Global Post, Nick Miroff writes ("Cuba's Creeping Anxiety") about the Cuban people's anxiety due to a bankrupt economy, government firings and uncertainty about self-employment.

He forgets stifling repression -- but it's still worth a read.

Two concerning issues stand out.

First, the Castro regime announced that it was going to dismiss 500,000 government workers.

Meanwhile, the regime announced that it will issue only 250,000 self-employment licenses "in the coming months." These licenses are limited to 178 fields, which include doll makers and birthday clowns.

But no licenses have been issued yet, nor is there a clear criteria of who will get one.

So what happens to the other 250,000? Not to mention the millions of other Cubans.

That goes to the most concerning issue, which Miroff closes with, but doesn't elaborate upon:

Some 23,000 Cuban security guards are being laid off, according to Reuters, but many are being offered new jobs in the prison system and as police officers.

Not very comforting.

Real Life Action Hero

Friday, October 22, 2010
From Take Part:

Real Life Action Hero: Guillermo "El Coco" Farinas

Guillermo "El Coco" Farinas is afraid of one thing.


It's not war; he fought one in Angola and was decorated for bravery.

It's not the Cuban government; Farinas made his name speaking out against the communists in power, with 11 years in prison to prove it.

It's not a slow, excruciating death, which he's encountered time and time again in no less than 23 hunger strikes.

The one thing that scares El Coco is defeat.

"The only fear I have is of failing the Cuban people and the campaign for democracy in Cuba," he says.

With his long record in the ring of political dissent, it's probably easier to list the battles that backed El Coco down than the wars he's waged.

At last count, that number remains zero.

From the trenches of Angola's civil war to the confines of Cuban jails to hospital wards where intravenous machines forced life into the career hunger striker, Farinas has been left frail, wounded and scarred. His gallbladder's gone, and anticoagulants keep his blood from clotting; chalk it up to a life in protest.

But at 48, El Coco's nothing if not determined. His last hunger strike, inspired by the death of fellow dissident Orlando Zapata, lasted 134 days and ended in the release of 52 political prisoners in Cuba.

Today, Farinas added Europe's 2010 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to his resume of humanitarian awards.

More than 6 billion people crowd the planet, all born to stay busy doing one thing or another until time runs out. Only a fraction make it their life's work to help those starved of food, water, and human rights. They, like Farinas, are true action heroes.

For the remaining percentage lucky enough to trade 40 hours a week for a little joie de vivre and a foothold in the middle class, fear not. It's easy to don a cape and become a Wonder Woman or Man of Steel in your own right.

Unfortunately, it's easier still to stay a supervillain: just do nothing.

P.S. Don't miss this breathtaking picture:

Calling Castro's Spinmeisters

Yesterday, the world's attention was focused on the courage and sacrifice of Cuban hunger striker, Guillermo Farinas, who was awarded the 2010 Sakharov Prize by the European Parliament.

Needless to say, this recognition was bad news for the Castro regime's public relations campaign to ease human rights scrutiny.

Therefore, it quickly called in its last remaining spinmeisters (now that Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos has been dismissed) -- the Catholic Church.

So they immediately sent out a press release (in order to compete or overshadow news of Farinas), and the AP reported:

The Roman Catholic Church on Thursday announced the names of five more Cuban inmates who have accepted exile in Spain in return for freedom, though none are among a group of 52 political prisoners jailed in a 2003 roundup of dissidents.

The Church identified the four men and one woman as Juana Maria Mena Nieves, Domingo Mederos Ozuna, Juan Francisco Gomez Marimon, Misael Mena Fernandez, and Jose Luis Navarro Ramn -- we wish them the absolute best.

Meanwhile, 13 of the 52 originally announced for release in July remain in prison because they refuse to be banished to Spain.

Once again, the Catholic Church has glazed right over them in order to focus on 5 others that will accept banishment.

As such, there has yet to be a single political prisoner release in Cuba.

Shakespeare, Banishment & the Cuban Church

Thursday, October 21, 2010
How tragically ironic that the Catholic Church, a historic victim of banishment policies, is now the Castro regime's henchman of the same.

A summary of Shakespeare's Drama of Exile by Jane Kinsley-Smith:

'Banishèd!': the word resounds throughout the Shakespearean canon from The Two Gentlemen of Verona to The Tempest, yet the theme of exile in Shakespeare's plays has been largely neglected. Regardless of Shakespeare's own status as an exile, banishment was a highly visible condition in Early Modern England, enforced by the law against Catholics, gypsies and beggars and threatened against both the theatres and acting companies for which Shakespeare wrote. It was also explicitly theatrical, inspiring the performance of some new identity through the adoption of disguise or a new name, and often shaped by famous literary exiles such as Seneca, Ovid and Petrarch. Indeed, exile was consistently rewritten throughout the Early Modern period as a tragic, even mortal, blow, as a heroic and religious vocation, and as a journey taken for pleasure and profit. Shakespeare dramatizes these transformations in plays such as Romeo and Juliet, Richard II, King Lear and Coriolanus. But perhaps his most obsessive concern, and the main focus of this book, is the possibility of language in exile and the victims' emotional and linguistic response to that word - 'Banishèd!'

Moonbeams Over Havana

From Rick Robinson's "Not Top Plays of the 2010 Silly [Political] Season" in The Daily Caller:

3. Moonbeams over Havana – Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown spent a couple hours in a limo touring Havana with Fidel Castro and California voters are concerned whether he booked the trip with a legit travel agent.

Really? Jerry Brown spent a leisurely day with Fidel Castro, a murdering Communist dictator, and Californians are concerned that Moonbeam didn't use the Expedia gnome to book his hotel room.

Jerry Brown should be required to move to Florida, put his name on the ballot for mayor of Miami and get his self-righteous ass kicked in Little Havana.

A Statement of Humility and Solidarity

In response to being awarded the 2010 Sakharov Prize by the European Parliament, Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas stated:

"I have to interpret this news with modesty, but also in a spirit of peaceful resistance. Modest because it's a prize that even if given to me personally I accept on behalf of all Cuba's exiles, political prisoners and dissidents. As I speak they are fighting for a free and democratic Cuba."

Fariñas Wins Sakharov

From The European Parliament:

Cuban dissident Guillermo Fariñas has been declared the winner of the 2010 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. The announcement was made on Thursday by European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek following a decision by the EP's political group leaders. Mr Fariñas will be invited to attend the award ceremony on 15 December in Strasbourg.

"Guillermo Fariñas was ready to sacrifice and risk his own health and life as a means of pressure to achieve change in Cuba," said Mr Buzek when announcing the winner today in plenary.

"I hope to hand over the award to him in person, here in Strasbourg, in December, which would be a tremendous moment for the European Parliament and for all Cuban prisoners of conscience. I sincerely hope that, together with Guillermo Fariñas, the Ladies in White (Damas de Blanco), another Cuban Sakharov laureate from 2005, will also be able to collect their Sakharov Prize in person." The president repeatedly calls, on behalf of the European Parliament, for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Cuba.

Guillermo Fariñas, aged 48, was nominated in the name of all those who fight in Cuba for freedom and human rights. He is a doctor of psychology, an independent journalist and a political dissident. He has conducted 23 hunger strikes over the years "not in his own favour but in order to defend his compatriots" said José Ignacio Salafranca (EPP, ES). Mr Fariñas ended his 135 day hunger strike on 8 July 2010 after the Havana government announced the release of 52 political prisoners following mediation by the Catholic Church.

A supporter of non-violence and someone who dared to denounce the Castro regime, "Guillermo Fariñas is a symbol in the struggle against the imprisonment of political opponents," according to the MEPs who nominated him. "Because he is defending dignity and democracy in his country, he is the ideal candidate for the Sakharov Prize," they argue.

Mr Fariñas was nominated by Joseph Daul, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Jaime Mayor Oreja, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Jarosław Leszek Wałęsa and Francisco José Millán Mon on behalf of the Group of the European People's Party (EPP), by the European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR) and by Edvard Kožušník and 91 other MEPs.

The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, named after Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, was established in December 1988 by the European Parliament as a means to honour individuals or organisations who dedicate their lives to the defence of human rights and freedoms, particularly the right to freedom of expression.

U.S. Rice Farmers Are "Blessed"

According to U.S. law, agricultural products can be sold to the Castro regime on a "cash in advance" basis.

This means that the Castro regime must either pay American farmers before the commodity leaves U.S. port (Bush interpretation) or upon delivery in Havana (Obama interpretation).

Some farm groups -- particularly rice farmers -- constantly argue that, regardless of the interpretation of "cash in advance," this requirement is making them lose Cuban market share to other rice exporters -- namely Vietnam.

Yet, ironically, an article in last week's Viet Nam News (on Castro's desire to lure Vietnamese investors) contained the following important fact:

Dang Xuan Cuong, from the Viet Nam Food Industries Company, said his company was looking into Cuba, which was a new market for his firm.

Last month, the Viet Nam Northern Food Corporation signed a contract to sell 200,000 tonnes of rice to Cuba.

Every year, Cuba imports about 400,000 tonnes of rice from Viet Nam.

Despite the latest trade incentives, exporters were still facing difficulties, such as late payment, Cuong said.

He said his firm often received payment 300-500 days after the goods were delivered.

Therefore, U.S. rice farmers should perhaps count their twisted "blessings":

They're profiting from repression and getting paid on time.

Quote of the Day

Wednesday, October 20, 2010
"We already initiated some significant changes around remittances and family travel. But before we take further steps, I think we want to see that in fact the Castro regime is serious about a different approach. And our guiding light in judging whether or not they're serious about that different approach is libertad; whether there's greater freedom inside of Cuba."

-- U.S. President Barack Obama, on the possibility of further easing sanctions through executive order, The Miami Herald, October 19, 2010.

Bye Bye Moratinos

According to Deutsche Press:

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero on Wednesday announced a broad cabinet reshuffle in a surprise move aimed at invigorating and refreshing his embattled government.

The reshuffle saw the exit of two long-term heavyweights in the Zapatero government, Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega and Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos.

The diplomatic skills of Moratinos - a former European envoy to the Middle East - were often more appreciated outside than inside Spain, where he was accused of being soft on Cuba and Venezuela, according to analysts.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Undoubtedly, Cuban dictator Raul Castro will miss Moratinos, who had become his greatest foreign apologist. However, Cuban pro-democracy advocates -- of all stripes -- are rejoicing today at news of his dismissal.

Furthermore, it's surely not a coincidence that Moratinos' replacement comes just days before the European Union rejects (next Monday) Spain's obsessive lobbying on behalf of normalizing the trading bloc's relations with the Castro regime.

Moratinos had spent most of 2010 trying to convince European nations (and the U.S.) that the Castro regime was undertaking genuine reforms.

Fortunately, no one bought his spin.

Please Sign Petition for Dr. Biscet

Please support this petition from Winnie Biscet, daughter of Cuban political prisoner Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, to President Obama.

Read below and sign here.

Dear President Obama:

I am writing to you on behalf of my father, Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, a political prisoner in Cuba for all but 36 days since November 1999. I'm requesting an opportunity to meet with you so I can speak with you about this great man and his struggle for a free Cuba.

I'm imploring you to lend your prestige and that of your office to a campaign calling for his unconditional release. As his daughter, I could provide you a litany of reasons why Dr. Biscet is deserving of your attention. Instead, I note how others have recognized him: Amnesty International has declared him a "prisoner of conscience. And your predecessor, President George W. Bush in 2007, awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, saying "his example is a rebuke to the tyrants and secret police of a regime whose day is passing."

Many have compared him to South Africa's Nelson Mandela or to your country's Martin Luther King Jr., comparisons I assure you my father is too humble to acknowledge but all well deserving. Like others in Cuba jailed because of their opposition to the Castro dictatorship and their faith in freedom, human rights and their fellow Cubans, my father has been unjustly imprisoned for most of the past 11 years.

My father has been a professed, impassioned opponent of the Castro dictatorship for almost 25 years, following principles of non-violence to challenge the regime's record on health care, its treatment of political prisoners and on other fronts. He has inspired many in Cuba and in exile to join him in his struggle.

In response, the regime in November 1999 arrested him and later sentenced him to 3 years in prison for the so-called crimes of "dishonoring national symbols" — that is, displaying the Cuban flag upside down — "public disorder," and "inciting delinquent behavior."

My father finished his sentence in late 2002, but only 36 days later he was arrested again while preparing to meet with a group of human rights activists. After several months in jail, he was formally charged with being a threat to state security and as part of the 2003 "black spring" crackdown on Cuban dissidents, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Recently, 39 other political prisoners that were jailed during the same crackdown, have been released and taken exile in Spain or Chile, under terms of an agreement struck by the Spanish government, the Catholic Church and the Castro regime. My father respects their decisions to leave Cuba in exchange for their release, but he remains in jail because he refuses to accept the terms of that deal.

In the Castro gulag, my father has suffered unspeakable horrors and tortures. His solace, his strength, his survival, have come from his faith in God and his unwavering commitment to his principles. Even in jail, he is one of Cuba's freest men.

Which is why the only condition that is acceptable to him before he agrees to leave prison is no condition at all. He will not accept any type of parole or probation that makes it possible for the regime to send him back to jail and he will never accept forced exile to Spain or anywhere else. He will not abandon the country he loves.

I miss my father terribly and fear for his health and safety. But I support his position, his continued resistance to tyranny and his steadfast commitment to freedom and human rights for all Cubans.

Please, Mr. President, join us in this struggle and address this publicly so the people of the world may know of this injustice.

Obama Weary of Castro's Charade

Tuesday, October 19, 2010
According to AFP:

Obama awaits 'full results' of Cuba's vow for change

President Barack Obama indicated Tuesday he was still in a wait-and-see mode in terms of US policy toward communist Cuba, saying Havana's pledges on economic change, so far, remained just that.

"I think that any release of political prisoners, any economic liberalization that takes place in Cuba is positive, positive for Cuban people, but we've not yet seen the full results of these promises," Obama told Hispanic media at the White House.

The Havana government agreed on July 7 to release the remaining 52 of 75 dissidents still behind bars after being arrested in a March 2003 crackdown.

The landmark deal securing their freedom was part of a arrangement brokered by the Madrid government and the Catholic Church, and came after Cuban dissident hunger striker Guillermo Farinas nearly starved to death.

If all 52 dissidents are freed, it will be the largest release of Cuban prisoners since 1998 when 300 dissidents were spared jail time following a visit by then-pope John Paul II.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The last sentence says it all. The 52 political prisoners recently negotiated for "release" (banishment to Spain) were all arrested post-1998.

Therefore, this is simply another ploy by the Castro regime to ease international pressure, then turn around and arrest a new batch of political prisoners to use as pawns.

Kudos to President Obama for keeping caution.

Get the F*** Out

For five decades, the Castro regime has made it absolutely clear -- through torture, imprisonment and executions -- that Cuba is its exclusive, totalitarian fiefdom.

No exceptions.

And if any Cuban doesn't like it -- nor any of the above options -- they can simply get the f*** out (pardon the vulgarity, but there's really no better way to capture such preponderance).

Thus, in effect, nothing has changed in Cuba.

Well -- almost nothing.

Sadly, what has changed is the role being played by the Cuban Catholic Church, led by Cardinal Jaime Ortega, which has regressed from being a historic victim of the Castro regime to becoming the current henchman of its "forced exile" policy.

This year (2010) began with the tragic death of Cuban political prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo and the heroic efforts of the Ladies in White. Through their tremendous sacrifice, the Castro regime was confronted with unprecedented international scrutiny and pressure. Yet, as the year closes, that pressure has waned thanks to the "forced exit" hatch held open by the Catholic Church.

Two recent news items sealed their shamelessness.

First, it was confirmed that 3 political prisoners who were not part of the 52 announced for release in July will be sent to Spain this week.

Meanwhile, 13 of the original 52 remain in prison. Why? Because they refuse to be banished to Spain.

Instead of insisting on the unconditional release of these innocent men in Cuba, the Catholic Church has instead focused on alternatives -- for their banishment -- such as sending them to Mexico, Chile or the U.S.

Since the 13 have continuously refused, the Church has moved on to three others that will accept banishment.

As if that wasn't enough, the Church has also been trying to force the mother of Orlando Zapata Tamayo to leave the island. Reina Luisa Tamayo has undoubtedly been a thorn in the side of the Castro regime, for the "crime" of demanding the freedom to visit her son's grave and keep his memory alive.

Therefore, in a one-two punch, the Castro regime has made Reina Luisa's life impossible -- her home under constant surveillance and her family harassed and assaulted.

Then, upon exhausting her with unbearable repression, the Catholic Church intercedes to provide her with an "exit strategy" -- to be exiled abroad.

The excitement of her potential exile was such that the Catholic Church got ahead of itself and hastily notified the media, which immediately published the news (unlike the weeks it takes them to publish news of her daily repression). But soon thereafter, she burst their bubble.

"...one cannot be happy in exile or in oblivion. One cannot always be a stranger. I want to return to my homeland, make all my loved ones happy. I see no further than this."

-- Albert Camus (1913–1960), French-Algerian novelist, dramatist, philosopher.

From The State Department

From today's Daily Press Briefing with Assistant Secretary of State, Philip J. Crowley:

QUESTION: Can I ask you a little further afield and a little bit back in time – and I don't know why this is just coming up now, but apparently during the UNGA, Assistant Secretary [for the Western Hemisphere, Arturo] Valenzuela met with the Cuban foreign minister.

MR. CROWLEY: He did.

QUESTION: Can you tell us what that meeting was about?

MR. CROWLEY: The meeting was to encourage the release of Alan Gross.

QUESTION: And anything?

MR. CROWLEY: Unfortunately, that has not yet happened.

QUESTION: Did they give you any reason to think that it might happen?

MR. CROWLEY: Again, the purpose of the meeting was simply to encourage his release.

QUESTION: But you can't say anything – nothing out of the meeting makes you think his release is any more or any less likely?

MR. CROWLEY: I mean, we would hope that it would happen today, but that's up to the Cuban Government.

QUESTION: So they gave you no indication that he was going to be released?

MR. CROWLEY: I'm not aware that they did.

The Price of Defection

Monday, October 18, 2010
The Anchorage Daily News ran an interview with Yeniel Bermudez, the former captain of Cuba's under-23 national soccer team who defected to the U.S. in 2008. It tell of his struggle to become a professional soccer player, which has now taken him to Alaska (of all places).

However, it's his description of the reality of Castro's Cuba and the price his family has paid for his defection that serves as a gripping reminder of that regime's cruelty.

Here's an excerpt:

I asked him to describe Cuba, and how it compared to the U.S. He told me he could talk about that for a week.

He grew up with rationed food and electricity. Cars, ancient relics from the '50s, were held together with makeshift parts. All the media is controlled by the government. People can be jailed for no reason.

As a kid, he told me, he learned not to talk to his playmates about what he ate for dinner. If it had been purchased on the black market, his parents could have been punished. As teenagers trying to impress girls, he said, he and a brother shared a rotation of three shirts. His mother, a doctor, made about $10 a month.

Since he defected, his family has become a target, he said. His stepfather and brother were detained and jailed almost a year ago. Police called them "traitors," Bermudez said. Only recently, they were told that they had been charged with smuggling, which carries a sentence of as much as 10 years. His mother has a lawyer and is trying to fight the charge. But there have been no hearings.

"They don't respect lawyers. I told you, Cuba is crazy," he said.

Castro Frets Over Lost U.S. Tourism

Over the weekend, the Castro regime's Ministry of Tourism fretted that it lost approximately $1.1 billion in 2009 as a result of the U.S. ban on tourism travel.

If it were not for this sanction, the Castro regime estimates that 1.6 million U.S. tourists would have contributed to the island's (military-controlled) tourism monopoly.

However, the regime's estimate is actually conservative, for the average spending of U.S. tourists in the Caribbean ranges from $2,000-$3,000 per capita.

Therefore, the lost income for the Castro regime from 1.6 million U.S. tourists could have been as high as $4.8 billion.

Let us restate - the U.S. tourism ban may have cost the repressive Castro regime up to $4.8 billion in lost income last year.

And that -- ladies and gentlemen -- is a good thing.

Yet, inexplicably, some in Congress want to unconditionally change that.

Quote of the Month

Sunday, October 17, 2010
"The Cardinal suffered another defeat in his frustrated attempt to convince by telephone the unwavering patriot Guido Sigler Amaya, who will not accept banishment to any country and who will only choose his destiny in freedom."
 
-- Miguel Sigler Amaya, brother of Cuban political prisoner Guido Sigler Amaya, whom Cardinal Jaime Ortega is trying to convince to accept forced exile to the U.S., Diario de Cuba, October 17, 2010.   

In Memory of Jiri Krizan

According to AP:

Czech screenwriter and dissident Jiri Krizan dies age 68

Jiri Krizan was expelled from high school and blocked from attending college, all because the Communists who once ran Czechoslovakia didn't like his father's politics.

The Czech screenwriter overcame those hurdles to help Vaclav Havel draft demands for basic human rights -- manifesto that helped bring down the communist regime in 1989 -- before becoming a trusted presidential adviser when Havel took power.

Krizan, 68, died of a heart attack Wednesday in the eastern village of Branky.

Born Oct. 26, 1941, Krizan's childhood was dominated by his family's persecution by the Communist regime. His father was executed following a political trial in 1951.

Despite being blacklisted from college for years, Krizan wrote screenplays to more than a dozen movies, including "Shadows of a Hot Summer," directed by Frantisek Vlacil and won the top award at the 1978 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival that features movies from eastern Europe.

In 1989, he helped Havel draft a petition known as "A Few Sentences" that called on communist authorities to release political prisoners and recognize basic human rights such as freedom of speech. The petition was signed by tens of thousands of ordinary Czechs and contributed to the fall of communism in November that year.


"A Few Sentences," which served as a base for the formation of opposition consciousness, listed seven specific recommendations:

The release of political prisoners, freedom of assembly, the legalization of independent initiatives, freedom of the press and public expression, recognition of the rights of churchgoing citizens, the immediate resolution of the catastrophic ecological situation and free discussions on the history of Czechoslovakia after 1948.

Click here to read the entire text of that historic petition.

Change Will Come to Cuba

From Radio Free Europe ("RFE"):

When Cuban dissident and independent journalist Jose Luis Garcia Paneque was released from prison in July he weighed only 48 kilograms. After being incarcerated for seven years, he was one of the 52 political prisoners the Cuban government agreed to release in early July through a deal brokered between Spain and the Roman Catholic Church. Now living in Spain, he continues to suffer from a chronic intestinal illness.

Paneque was in Prague earlier this week to speak at Forum 2000, an annual gathering of Nobel laureates, dissidents, and human rights activists. He spoke to RFE correspondents Courtney Rose Brooks and Golnaz Esfandiari about life as a dissident, Cuba's future, and the bewildering choice of rice in Spain.

Here's an excerpt:

RFE: You were in prison in Cuba for seven years, and were released in July, and since then have been living in exile in Spain. How does it feel to be free, and to be living in a country like Spain after spending your whole life in such a closed society?

Jose Luis Garcia Paneque: Look, mankind is born free, but not everyone is allowed to be free. In reality, for me to recover my freedom feels very good, but I can't tell you that I am happy, or that I have triumphed. No one who lacks freedom or the ability to vote in their country can feel content or happy, or feel pleasure, or say that "I have triumphed. I am free, I am free," no. In reality, although we are no longer under pressure, it is not welcome, and therefore we can't sing, triumph, or say that we have earned anything. We were simply deported to another country, we were sent to Spain, we were put here in this new year. There is work here to continue fighting for the liberation of my country, for democratic changes on the island.

RFE: What do you think Cuba will look like in 10 years?

Paneque: Look, you can't say when the changes are going to come, but they're coming whether or not the regime wants them to. They will come. Now we can't deny them. The changes are the responsibility of the Cuban people. I speak of Cuba to you and all of Cuban civil society, all those who are inside it as well as those who are outside, but, really, we still need [help] -- we ask the international community for help, to keep supporting us. I believe that Europe is doing this very well and I believe that North America, at this moment, is in a very constructive position.

Click here to read the interview in its entirety.