The Exception

Thursday, January 30, 2014
Kudos to Chilean President Sebastian Pinera for being the only Latin American leader with any sort of moral compass.

From AFP:

Visiting Chile president meets Cuba dissident

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera met a leading dissident in Havana on Wednesday, in a move unlikely to please Cuba’s communist government.

Cuba, the only one-party communist country in the Americas, had just finished hosting Pinera at a summit of the CELAC bloc of 33 Latin American and Caribbean nations.

“I was able to speak with President Pinera, as well as other members of his delegation, for about 25 minutes,” Ladies in White opposition movement leader Berta Soler told AFP.

“It was a very cordial meeting,” Soler said, adding that Pinera “asked about ... detentions we are subjected to, and about how we are repressed nationwide ... how many political prisoners there are.”

She said the president was “great.”

Her group, comprised mainly of relatives of political prisoners, won the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize in 2005. They march in Havana every Sunday against the jailing of political dissidents.

There was no immediate reaction from the Cuban government, which says dissidents are paid by the United States.

Havana also argues it has a right to maintain a system that does not allow its citizens to exercise basic rights as recognised by the United Nations, to which it belongs.

On Tuesday, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said he pressed Cuba’s government on arbitrary detentions of dissidents, on the sidelines the summit.

Cuban dissidents had planned to hold a gathering on the fringes of the CELAC meeting in the Cuban capital.

But the parallel event’s host, Manuel Cuesta Morua, was detained — as were scores more in the run-up to the gathering.