We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

My Dream

by Gorbasm Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2003 at 3:55 PM

Is that the whole world will be a place of social justice. . . like China, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, North Korea and, of course, Cuba. Viva Comrade Fidel!

Testimony before the House International Relations Committee in Washington, D.C., given on April 16, 2003.

Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, you are to be commended for holding this hearing to spotlight the recent crackdown in Cuba. The committee's continuing interest in the situation in Cuba is particularly well timed and welcome, given the growing international concern over the efforts of the repressive regime to stifle independent voices and a growing demand for democracy.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today. I want to address two issues, first the worsening human rights situation in Cuba, and second the growing democratic movement in Cuba.

At the same time U.S. forces moved to liberate the people of Iraq from a brutal regime, the sole survivor of totalitarianism in this hemisphere -- the dinosaur dictatorship of Fidel Castro -- moved to brutally repress political dissent among its citizens. Beginning on March 18, the government of Cuba has sought to decapitate the democratic opposition and the strongest voices of independent expression on the island, arresting over 100 persons on spurious charges of subversion and treason and sentencing 75 to long prison terms in secretive and summary tribunals. Prominent targets included independent journalists such as Raul Rivero, independent economists like Maria Beatriz Roque, and a number of independent librarians and labor leaders. Twenty of those arrested had supported the Varela Project, a peaceful and constitutional call for a national referendum on political and economic reforms in Cuba that had obtained over 11,000 signatures and international praise and recognition.

Many of these prisoners of conscience faced charges of collaboration with diplomats at the United States Interest Section in Havana. They were called traitors for their courage in speaking to official Americans such as Jim Cason. Like his predecessors, as chief of the Interest Section, Jim does in fact talk to independent Cuban citizens: an activity hardly worthy of comment, much less alarm, in a free and democratic society but a direct threat to the iron control of information under a dictatorial regime. Like American and other diplomats around the world, Jim and his colleagues work to promote peaceful and democratic changes, provide information about our country, and encourage and strengthen fundamental -- and internationally acknowledged -- freedoms. Only Cuba, and a diminishing number of its totalitarian counterparts, could tremble at the "threat" of library books and free access to the Internet, and call them subversion. In Cuba, a reporter's office files, including envelopes of newspaper clippings, become evidence of treason.

It can be no surprise to any of us that much of the evidence in these so-called trials was provided by agents of the Cuban intelligence service who had successfully infiltrated the Cuban opposition. The fact that government agents successfully infiltrated the Cuban democratic movement is testimony to the regime's fear of this movement, and the resources it is willing to bring to bear in its efforts to intimidate its citizens, to control information, and to stifle freedom of thought and expression. The brave men and women confronted with these betrayals cannot have been surprised either, knowing the very real threat peaceful dissent and independent thought pose to an authoritarian regime. It is testimony to their true courage that this knowledge did not sway or intimidate them. Indeed, this action of the Cuba regime against its own citizens is a stark example of Castro's failure to silence dissent, to establish "revolutionary legitimacy" -- legitimacy of any kind, for that matter. It is further proof of a failed and empty regime.

This brutality, this repression, is nothing new. Systemic violations of fundamental freedoms have long been the hallmark of the Cuba regime, violations denounced by a wide range of independent international organizations including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Reporters Without Borders, and recognized in the State Department's annual Country Report on Human Rights Practices released on March 31.

Ironically, at the same time as the secretive trials and convictions of these political prisoners -- many facing prison terms of 20 years or more for the non-violent exercise of their right to freedom of expression and association -- Cuba sits on the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. A team of representatives of that regime attends the current session working to block condemnation of their own and other repressive regimes. This team is accepted despite what the NGO Human Rights Watch characterized as the flouting of fundamental human rights norms, despite their indifference to that same Commission's 2002 resolution and rejection of the High Commissioner's personal representative, and despite worldwide outrage at the latest brutal crackdown.

Secretary Powell was not alone when he called for an end to the repression in Cuba and insisted that Cubans who seek peaceful change -- and basic human rights and freedoms -- be permitted to do so. His call has been echoed by many others: the European Union, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Sergio de Mello, and prominent figures across the world, including more than 300 artists, intellectuals, and politicians -- Gunter Grass, Pedro Almodovar, and Mario Vargas Llosa among them -- who recently published a letter protesting the recent arrests. Even the French and Portuguese Communist Parties spoke out against the repression, while the Catholic Bishops in Cuba -- who must operate cautiously in the best of times -- issued a statement "profoundly lamenting" the arrests of Cuban citizens for "thinking and acting differently than the official ideology." Despite the bluster and threats of Cuban officials, tree Latin American countries (Costa Rica, Peru, and Uruguay) have drafted another resolution on the human rights situation in Cuba, and many other countries at the commission have voiced their support and their outrage at the recent wave of arrests and trials of political dissidents, and at the summary trials and executions of three ferry hijackers this past week.

This egregious act of political repression is an admission of failure by the regime, an expression of fear directed at the most basic and peaceful expressions of independent thought -- at journalists, librarians, even economists. The regime has sought to characterize members of this movement as the mercenaries of a foreign power, to call the natural demand for freedom "treason." It is the ordinary citizens of Cuba -- like the ordinary citizens of Iraq -- who are finding the individual strength to look past years of repression, to strive for a democratic future and voice their desire for a peaceful transition and a better life. We must continue to support that effort wherever and whenever we can, whether through our outreach to ordinary Cubans or in partnership with like-minded members of the international community. I would like to conclude by stressing that promotion of democracy is and will continue to be a central, defining element of our foreign policy. We will continue to use all available bilateral and multilateral tools at our disposal to combat threats to democracy and to institutionalize democratic reforms toward a stable Western Hemisphere.
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

test O06 10:01AM

test O06 9:59AM

test O06 9:59AM

100 Ways GOP Have Stolen Elections Since 1876 O06 12:03AM

Proximospective de l'univocité réifiée O05 6:27AM

“Kava-no!!!” O04 6:42PM

Trump & Palestine vs. Genesis, Rashi & The Land of Israel O03 6:29PM

The Criminality of the Elites O03 11:35AM

Business de l'inhumanitaire O03 7:51AM

Marriage Rape/Date Rape Highest Rapes O02 2:59PM

Women I Know Get Raped - Too Many Times To Count! O02 2:55PM

Women In USA Have Stockholm Syndrom O02 2:50PM

Shooting Drill's Are Political Actual Shootings O02 2:47PM

Dr. Ford's Father Works With CIA O02 2:44PM

Weaponizing Frequencies O02 2:41PM

Google Abuses: Worldwide Spying, Censorship, War Promotion, Spying On Children, Etc O02 11:08AM

Paraphysique de l'administration O02 8:34AM

Paraphysique O02 8:31AM

Affordable Rents? A State of Emergency Intensifies O01 11:36AM

A Few Of Many Impeachable Acts by Trump Sessions And Others O01 4:41AM

Désengrammation, l'éloge de la suite S30 7:01AM

someone Should Work In Hollywood - Good Acting! S28 2:55PM

Ford Gives Psych Drugs To Lower Class To Shut Them Up? S28 2:51PM

Hilllary Calls Ford Trailer Trash? S28 2:47PM

Most Rapes Are In Marriages S28 2:43PM

Nice Boys Dirty Deeds S28 2:41PM

Minnesota 2nd Largest Rape State S28 2:39PM

Paraphysique de la plus-value S28 7:18AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy