Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Bread, A Roof, and Liberty: Dispatches

Here is some of what is coming through from independent journalists in Cuba:

Oswaldo Yáñez writes that the Cuban people are not fooled. They know what they need: bread, a roof, and liberty. He writes that in their barred hotel, the political prisoners will not enjoy cell phones, rental cars, or microwaves. In other words, he points out the window dressing. He saves some very pointed comments for all those who are celebrating these meager reforms while decrying the dictaorships in Myanmar and Tibet. Perhaps their olive drab is different, he conjectures.

In the same article, he attaches a second topic: the recent meeting of all those who oppose the present system called by Dr. Darsi Ferrer. Attendance seems to have been about twenty, some representing groups. A series of principles were agreed upon:

1. Attention to and solidarity with the political prisoners.
2. A plan to meet the last Saturday of every month, hopefully with increasing attendance.
3. Each member pledges to work with his organization to raise the ethics, morality, and culture of participants.
4. To increase the work with the public thereby breaking the government block on information.
5. To work on the unity, transparency of action, to create a comfortable climate among organizations.
6. To publicize through all media available when the government fails to live up to the agreements they have signed.
7. To bring to the next meeting a problem with possible solutions to be discussed in the collective.

It is a big step for the stirrings of collective action. And as Yanez points out, the very idea that they were able to convene the publicized meeting was a step forward.

Article here.

And speaking of those human rights agreements the government of Cuba signed, they involve having observers come and visit prisons. So, what is the regime doing? According to this report by Álvaro Yero Felipe, they are moving massive numbers of prisoners out of Havana jails in fear of an observer's visit. Uh-huh.

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