Cuban Dissidents Shout Betrayal

Presidents Obama and Castro at a brief encounter at the funeral of Nelson Mandela.

HAVANA TIMES (dpa) — A group of Cuban dissidents said Thursday at the US Congress that they felt betrayed by the agreement reached in December by Washington and Havana to restore diplomatic relations and urged Congress not to lift the embargo on the island.

Three Cuban dissidents, Jorge Luis Garcia Perez “Antunez”, Berta Soler Fernandez and Sara Marta Fonseca Quevedo testified before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Human Rights on the third day of hearings on Capitol Hill devoted to analyzing the new White House policy towards the island and its consequences.

“These agreements, considered by an important part of the Cuban resistance as a betrayal of the libertarian aspirations of a people, are unacceptable, because the principles and freedom of a country are not owned by any government no matter how powerful or influential,” said Antunez during the hearing in the House.

However, not all dissidents are against the rapprochement. Human rights activist Miriam Leiva and Manuel Cuesta Morua, the spokesman for Arco Progresista, support the thaw between Havana and Washington, as made clear Tuesday in another hearing in the Senate.

Antunez reported that “there is an international effort, expressed by the Obama-Castro agreements to promote an alleged evolution within the Castro regime.” He warned that it is “an illusion manipulated by the dictatorship, quite simply to remain in power.”

“The Castro dictatorship is a system beyond reform, based on the rejection of democratic society and all that it represents. It is a tyranny that seeks not only to control the Cuban people, but also export this repression to other countries, such as Venezuela,” added Antunez, who during the hearing showed the congress members photos of political prisoners still held in Cuba.

Soler, leader of the Ladies in White, said that the demands of the opposition to the Castro dictatorship are very specific: “freedom for all political prisoners, recognition of civil society, removing all legal provisions that criminalize freedom of expression and association, and the right of the people of Cuba to choose their future through free and multiparty elections.”

Sara Marta Fonseca, of the Cuban opposition in exile also participated. She urged Congress not to lift the embargo.

“Why deal with a dictatorship without regard to the people and their existence? What about all those years of suffering, the beatings by the political police of the opposition and people demanding freedom and democracy? Are we to forget the political prisoners, the murdered and the disappeared? What is giving Raúl Castro in return? “asked Fonseca Quevedo.

This segment of the opposition believes that before Congress lifts the economic and commercial embargo on the island certain conditions should be met.

“Only after the release of all political prisoners, only when all political parties and independent trade unions are legalized, only when multi-party democratic elections are held, only when human rights are respected, only then, should the embargo be lifted,” said Sara Fonseca.

Meanwhile, Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen congratulated the dissidents for their “courageous witness” in the lower house.

Ros-Lehtinen, a Cuban-American, opposes any concession to the Castro brothers. She called Berta Soler, Sara Fonseca and Antunez “champions of freedom for the island” and “the face of a future democratic Cuba.”

“It’s easy for the President (Obama) to change his policy sitting in his ivory towers, but these are the faces that suffer now under the Castro regime, revitalized by the policies and injections of money from President Obama,” said the congresswoman from Florida, where the majority of the Cuban exiles living in the United States reside.


30 thoughts on “Cuban Dissidents Shout Betrayal

  • February 20, 2015 at 7:05 pm
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    Listen to yourself, these mercernaries are in the United States promoting the overthrow of the Cuban Revolution but yet they will go back to CUba. It cant be so bad then!

  • February 20, 2015 at 7:02 pm
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    what polls. lol

  • February 14, 2015 at 6:13 am
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    Polls have shown that the majority of Cubans have lost faith in the Castro dictatorship. There is therefore a lot of sympathy for the points of view of the Cuban dissidents. They say out loud what most people in Cuba only dare to whisper. It is the repression that holds the Cuban people back, not its desire for change.

  • February 13, 2015 at 2:07 pm
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    As I said before: DC is blatantly misrepresenting the views of Oswaldo Paya, killed by the dictatorship he admires, in support of the same dictatorship Paya wanted an “immediate and unconditional” end to.
    It is comforting to see that Paya’s daughter continues her father’s struggle.
    May his dreams one day be reality and may his name no longer be abused for abject propaganda for the Castro dictatorship by immoral people.

  • February 13, 2015 at 2:04 pm
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    You wrote:

    “The United States of America, as a first urgent step, should lift the Embargo on Cuba, with respect to medicines and food, without conditions, and initiate a process to quickly eliminate the Embargo and the laws known as ‘Torricelli’ and ‘Helms Burton.'” (1999)

    That confirms in fact that:
    – the only thing Paya wanted to end “immediately and without conditions” was the sanctions disallowing the sale of food and medicines. Since 2000-2002 Cuba can buy what it wants. The US acceded at what Paya asked.
    – Paya saw the end of the remainder of the sanctions as the result of a “process”. That meats not unconditional and certainly not immediate.

    You are caught again falsifying the record.

  • February 13, 2015 at 6:00 am
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    Your longtime lies exposed by the daughter of Oswaldo Paya:

    “If you are extending a hand to Cuba you must demand that the hands of Cubans are no longer tied”.

    The daughter of Oswaldo Paya, using the same words as her father, clearly shows that the “shackles” are the one ones that the Castro regime has imposed on the Cuba people.

    Rosa María Payá: “Si se le tiende una mano a Cuba se le debe reclamar que las manos de los cubanos no sigan atadas”
    http://noticias.lainformacion.com/mundo/rosa-maria-paya-si-se-letiende-una-mano-a-cuba-se-le-debe-reclamar-que-las-manos-de-los-cubanos-no-sigan-atadas_RFTvmfdepD3ZTMg02ypIz6/

  • February 11, 2015 at 7:41 am
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    The text and the various quotes there show clearly that Paya referred to the Castro regime as the one imposing shackles on the Cuban people.

    Your blatant misquotes are intolerable.

    From the link you posted:
    TIENDE TU MANO A CUBA
    PERO EXIGE QUE SE DESATEN NUESTRAS
    MANOS ATADAS
    HÁBLANOS DE TI
    PERO EXIGE QUE NOS QUITEN LA MORDAZA
    PÁRATE A NUESTRO LADO
    PERO EXIGE QUE ESTEMOS DE PIE Y NO DE
    RODILLAS

    http://www.hispanocubana.org/archivos_pdfs/20120702_124718_revistas_id39_revista_hc_5.pdf

    Fort those that speak Spanish it is clear that Paya talks about the Castro regime that “shackles” the Cuban people, denies then free speech (muzzle) and tries to keep them on their knees with repression.

  • February 10, 2015 at 11:27 am
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    If you read the original text, the “shackles” Paya he refers is a clear reference to the US embargo itself. See:

    http://www.hispanocubana.org/archivos_pdfs/20120702_124718_revistas_id39_revista_hc_5.pdf

    At no time did Paya ever put conditions on lifting the embargo or express any kind of support for for these cruel and inhumane sanctions even as a temporary measure.

    From the above text, Paya wrote:

    “The United States of America, as a first urgent step, should lift the Embargo on Cuba, with respect to medicines and food, without conditions, and initiate a process to quickly eliminate the Embargo and the laws known as ‘Torricelli’ and ‘Helms Burton.'” (1999)

    In a January 2003 Reuters report, on the subject of the US embargo, Paya was quoted, “”We do not support any kind of foreign pressure from abroad as a factor for change in Cuba.”

    In a written statement in July 2007, he wrote: “As Cubans we do not accept that another country or group of countries impose its rules on the lives of our people, neither with unjust pressure nor economic isolation, be they embargos, sanctions or other types of measures.”

    In 2009, he was quoted, “[The US embargo] must be lifted without conditions because it is not the solution.”

    http://www.cubaencuentro.com/cuba/noticias/oswaldo-paya-pide-no-olvidarse-de-los-derechos-fundamentales-de-los-cubanos-170435

    This shows a consistent pattern over the years of Paya opposing these cruel and inhumane sanctions of yours.

    As your hero, Elizardo Sanchez, pointed out, “Most of the dissident groups and leaders in Cuba do not support the economic sanctions imposed unilaterally by the government of the United States over the government of Cuba.” Was he lying? If so, what other lies has he told?

    As for your beloved genocidal embargo, it seems you are STILL in denial even after all these years. The intent to kill was obvious in reports from Amnesty International (see above). Sadly, for all you embargo boosters, to this date, no one, not Amnesty International, not even your closest allies at the UN have bought into your lies and rationalizations for these cruel and inhumane sanctions. (See above.) Must be frustrating as hell for you.

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