From The Miami Herald's Editorial Board:
Speaking truth to Cuba’s despots
OUR OPINION: Beating of dissident Jorge Luis García Pérez “Antúnez” deserves world condemnation
Jorge Luis García Pérez and Sarah Marta Fonseca had to walk many miles, hiding behind trees and bushes to get to their destination: the U.S. Interests Section in Havana.
Their mission was to speak truth to Cuba’s despots and tell the world, by way of a live video conference during testimony to a Senate subcommittee hearing in Washington, about Cuba’s long assault on human rights. They were among four Cuban dissidents and opposition leaders who testified about being harassed, beaten and jailed for disagreeing with the communist government.
Cuba’s response was swift — and not unexpected for a regime that has for more than half a century oppressed its people. Mr. García Pérez, known as “Antúnez,” was arrested on Saturday, beaten in police lock up and held for several days.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, along with Cuban-American Sens. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Marco Rubio, R-Fl., chastised Raúl Castro’s government. “I want to be crystal clear that I strongly condemn any efforts to intimidate Mr. Perez or any other Cuban citizen into silence,” Sen. Kerry said. “I echo the calls of my Senate colleagues, demanding an end to repression in Cuba and urging international observers to conduct an investigation into his detention.”
If only that were possible. Attempts by the United Nations and the International Red Cross to check on the island’s human-rights violations and the conditions of Cuba’s prisons have gone nowhere for decades.
Meanwhile, Cuba continues to insist that it is a “free and democratic” one-party state that just want Americans to come on down and party. Yet it jails Americans like USAID subcontractor Alan Gross, whose “crime” was to bring computers, cell phones and other equipment to help Cuba’s small Jewish community connect with the outside world. He’s now serving a 15-year sentence.
Mr. García Pérez was released Wednesday but now faces phony charges of “spreading false information” and “resistance.” That’s life in Cuba for brave souls who won’t be knocked into submission.
- ► 2013 (477)
06/10 - 06/17
- Encourage Citizen Reporting in Cuba
- Obama Should Stand Against Cuban Repression
- Nearly Two Dozen Ladies in White Imprisoned
- Speaking Truth to Cuba’s Despots
- Iranian Drones and Russian Kalashnikovs
- Health of American Hostage Worsens
- The Testimony That Enraged Castro
- Menendez & Rubio Talk With Antunez Upon Release
- Castro Official At Senate Hearing Revealed
- Thank You, President Uribe
- WSJ: Antunez's Courage, Castro's Payback
- Nelson Letter on Antunez's Arrest
- Today on "From Washington al Mundo"
- Must Watch: CNN Report on Antunez's Arrest
- European NGO's Call for Antunez's Release
- ING to Pay $619 Million for Sanctions Violations
- Chairman Kerry Statement on Antunez's Arrest
- Must Watch: On the Senate Floor
- Menendez Calls For Visa Ban and Investigation of A...
- Rubio Calls for Antunez's Release
- Mack Calls for Antunez's Release
- Ros-Lehtinen Calls for Antunez's Release
- Rivera Calls for Antunez's Release
- Senate Witness Arrested and Brutally Beaten
- Jacobson's Defense of the Indefensible
- O'Grady: Castro Endorses Obama
- Hiding Behind "Daddy"
- Repression Steadily on the Rise
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