Must-Read: Revelation by Cuban Democracy Leader Guillermo Fariñas

Friday, October 31, 2014
There's a fascinating interview today in El Nuevo Herald with renowned Cuban democracy leader and Sakharov Prize recipient, Guillermo Fariñas.

Below are some translated excerpts.

On current efforts -- led by The New York Times -- to normalize relations with the Castro regime, Fariñas states:

"I think that a normalization of relations between the governments of Cuba and the United States would be a betrayal to the Cuban people and to democracy. [Ladies in White leader] Berta Soler and I asked President Barack Obama during a meeting we had in November 2013, that in any negotiation, the Cuban government's counterpart should be present -- meaning, the opposition."

On the upcoming Summit of the Americas:

"It's Panama's prerogative whether to invite Cuba, but we believe Barack Obama and the U.S. authorities have a moral commitment to democracy. Therefore, we'd prefer for Obama not to attend the Summit. He can send someone in his place, but shouldn't attend as a means to protest that Cuba doesn't meet the series of requirements that had been agreed to for a country to be invited."

On travel restrictions:

"President Obama said that he has taken various steps towards the Cuban government and that it has not responded in kind. It would be a mistake to unilaterally lift the restrictions on U.S. travel to Cuba because that would mean an unexpected revenue stream for a government that is desperate to obtain hard currency to continue politically controlling the country -- particularly now that its life-preserver, Venezuela, is deflating."

Finally, Fariñas makes the following revelation:

"We were contacted in 2013 by various [very rich] people with interests aligned to the Cuban government, who wanted us to change our views, and tried to buy us with millions of dollars. We rejected it."

Asked who these multimillionaires were, he responds:

"Everyone knows who it is."