Monday, November 9, 2009

November 9, 1989 The Berlin Wall Falls: A great day for freedom

Twenty years ago a scar that divided a people for decades finally began to heal as the Berlin Wall came tumbling down and the German people were finally reunited. Today they celebrated and the world with them. Here is why and how.



Somber documentary explains why the world is celebrating the end of the Berlin Wall



U2 and Jay-Z perform Sunday Bloody Sunday at the Brandenburg Gate to celebrate the end of the Berlin Wall.



U2 plays One and Magnificent at the Brandenburg Gate to celebrate the end of the Berlin Wall.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Free Cuba Foundation Statement Regarding Paz Sin Fronteras Concert in Cuba


Free Cuba Foundation Statement Regarding Paz Sin Fronteras Cuba Concert

“True peace is not merely the absence of tension, it is the presence of justice” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Colombian singer/songwriter Juanes is organizing a concert in Cuba as part of his Paz Sin Fronteras (Peace Without Borders) concert tour. He has repeatedly said he is performing for the Cuban people, not the government, bringing a message of hope, love, and peace. Yet, he has also said that he will not speak out about Cuba’s poor human rights record, nor meet with members of Cuba’s opposition movement, in order to keep the event from becoming “political.”

While the Free Cuba Foundation (FCF) recognizes that Juanes has the right to invite whomever he pleases to sing with him, having both Amaury Perez and Silvio Rodriguez sends a mixed message. Both are staunch supporters of the Cuban Communist government and signed a petition justifying the regime’s imprisonment of 75 nonviolent dissidents and the execution of three young Afro-Cubans who tried to flee to the United States back in the spring of 2003. Although no one denies their artistic talent, poet Ezra Pound and singer Paul Robeson
had their reputation tainted for endorsing Hitler and Stalin respectively. Whatever the quality of their art, it is immoral for artists to support injustice.

FCF is not concerned that this concert will grant legitimacy to Cuba’s totalitarian regime, because no unelected dictatorship could ever gain it from a pop concert.

FCF calls for respect for freedom of expression everywhere, and denounces any violence that stifles that freedom. Censorship imposed through violence and intimidation is routine in places such as Cuba. However, it should never be tolerated here in Miami, where many of the victims of this regime reside. That is why we are denouncing the threats made against Juanes. We respect nonviolent protests, but the destruction of Juanes CDs, conjure up images of book burnings in communist and fascist dictatorships. These acts send a false message not only to the rest of the world, but more importantly to Cubans on the island. These acts serve to feed the Cuban government’s propaganda machinery which aims to smear the exile community with the aim of generating divisions between ordinary Cubans living here and on the island.

Our organization believes that all individuals, including Cubans, have the right to take part in the arts and in cultural events, as enshrined in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

If one is serious about peace then one should speak out against injustice and the absence of freedom. In Cuba, musicians who are independent or critical of the regime are censored, and there are many prisoners of conscience behind bars for exercising their human rights. These are not political issues. These are human rights issues and issues of human dignity. A concert like this could help foster freedom of expression in the arts the same way the late Pope John Paul II made gains in the area of freedom of religion, as he celebrated Mass before thousands of Cubans, and called upon them to not be afraid and to “do all that you can to build a future of ever greater dignity and freedom.”

Therefore FCF’s Message to Juanes is:

If you want to bring a message of peace, reconciliation, and impacting change to Cuba, then including artists that oppose the dictatorship is a logical necessity, and speaking up for human rights and the immediate release of all prisoners of conscienceis essential. Only then will this concert truly live up to its name of “Peace Without Borders”, otherwise it risks being remembered as the “Censored Within Boundaries” concert. This is the concern raised by many Cuban artists both on the island and in exile, who insist the concert live up to its name.

FREE CUBA FOUNDATION EXECUTIVE BOARD 


Denounce Death Threats Against Juanes
http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/denounce-death-threats-against-juanes.html

Statement has been reproduced in part on the following sites:


http://www.telegrafo.com.ec/cultura/noticia/archive/cultura/2009/09/19/Exiliados-condenan-a-_1C20_Paz-sin-fronteras_1D20_.aspx

http://noticias.terra.com/articulos/act1951597/Concierto_Juanes_deberia_incluir_voces_contra_dictadura_segun_organizacion/


http://www.terra.com/ocio/articulo/html/oci702894.htm

http://los40.com.co/nota.aspx?id=881021

http://www2.esmas.com/ritmoson/noticias/098146/recomiendan-juanes-incluya-voces-oposicion-concierto


http://www.primerahora.com/diario/noticia/musica/espectaculosasi/concierto_juanes_deberia_incluir_voces_contra_dictadura,_segun_organizacion/331908

http://www.eltelegrafo.com.ec/cultura/noticia/archive/cultura/2009/09/19/Concierto-_1C20_Paz-sin-fronteras_1D20_-se-afina-.aspx

http://www.mercurioantofagasta.cl/prontus4_noticias/site/artic/20090918/pags/20090918170748.html

Grupos del exilio cubano conmemoran hundimiento del remolcador "13 de marzo"





Grupos del exilio cubano conmemoran hundimiento del remolcador "13 de marzo"
13 de julio de 2009



Miami (EE.UU.), 13 jul (EFE).- Varios grupos del exilio cubano denunciaron hoy que se mantiene la impunidad quince años después en el caso del hundimiento del remolcador "13 de marzo", en el que fallecieron 37 personas intentando dejar la isla caribeña rumbo a Estados Unidos.

La diáspora cubana calificó el hecho de "masacre" y acusó al régimen castrista de autorizar a la tripulación de algunos de sus barcos a perpetrar el hecho en el que murieron niños.

Las autoridades cubanas sostienen que se trató de un accidente.

La tragedia ocurrió el 13 de julio de 1994 cuando el remolcador, de propiedad estatal, sustraído por 68 personas que querían huir de Cuba, fue embestido y hundido por cuatro barcos del Gobierno cubano, en la bahía de La Habana, según testimonios de los sobrevivientes.

"Queremos decirle al mundo que esto fue un crimen contra personas que solo querían salir de Cuba para tener libertad. Consideramos que este delito no debe quedar impune", dijo a Efe Julio Menache, co-presidente de la Fundación Cuba Libre (FCF) de la Universidad Internacional de Florida (UFI).

La FCF conmemora el hecho con una vigilia y la proyección de un documental sobre los testimonios de las personas que perdieron a sus familiares en el hundimiento del remolcar.

En el evento estará presente Jorge García quien perdió a 14 miembros de su familia, entre ellos a su hijo Joel de 20 años de edad, y a su nieto Juan Mario, de 10 años.

La hija de García, María Victoria García Suárez, sobreviviente y madre de Juan Mario, fue la primera en denunciar "la masacre del remolcador" dos días después del suceso.




El Directorio Democrático Cubano, Madres y Mujeres Anti-Represión por CUBA (M.A.R) y Plantados, que integran la Asamblea de la Resistencia, dijeron en un comunicado que se unían "al dolor de los familiares, sobrevivientes y de todos los cubanos por las víctimas del Remolcador 13 de Marzo".

"Hasta el día de hoy este crimen del régimen de La Habana contra los indefensos pasajeros del Remolcador 13 de Marzo continúa impune", denunciaron.

Los tres grupos efectuarán una reunión en la noche de hoy para recordar a las víctimas.

En Canadá, varios cubanos planeaban construir una balsa frente al parlamento federal de Otawa en conmemoración del 15 aniversario de la "masacre" del remolcador "13 de Marzo", por los miles de balseros "muertos y desaparecidos, por el desgarramiento de la familia cubana y también por las fraternales relaciones comerciales que mantiene Canadá con el régimen de La Habana".

También se exigirá que el Gobierno y el Parlamento canadiense habiliten una sesión especial para presentar testimonios del drama cubano, informó Cuba Independiente en su sitio de Internet.
 

En una resolución de la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA), emitida en 1996, se exigió al Gobierno cubano extraer del fondo del mar los restos de la embarcación para recobrar los cadáveres que podrían estar atrapados en el cuarto de máquinas de la embarcación.

También se pidió a las autoridades de La Habana conducir una pesquisa y castigar a los culpables. EFE

Free Cuba Foundation Statement Remembers Maleconazo 15 Years Later


Official Statement regarding today's events commemorating 'El Maleconazo" 
 

 
On August 5, 1994, thousands of Cubans took to the streets of Old Havana to deliver a message to Fidel Castro. This message had long been bottled up inside the individual consciousness of the Cuban people for almost 40 years.

Nonviolent theorists write of a "paradox of repression" where the "use of violent repression can contribute to the instability of the regime that sponsors it." On July 13, 1994 the Cuban dictatorship carried out a massacre in which 37 men, women, and children were extrajudicially executed. But unlike on other occasions this time there were survivors, who spoke out and denounced the atrocity. This violent repression was a powerful contributing factor to the instability that led to a social explosion.

The powder-keg that was set off resulted in what we today call, ‘El Maleconazo”. Thousands of Cubans marched down the streets, demanding their "libertad" - freedom. Yet 15 years later, the Cuban people still long for freedom, as hundreds languish in Cuban prisons for merely speaking their mind and protesting a dictatorship that has continually denied the Cuban people their basic human rights.

The Free Cuba Foundation supports the brave efforts of these men, women, and children, who risked their lives to denounce years of Communist repression, as well as the non-violent activists who continue to fight for freedom. We hope that the protests of August 5, 1994 will not die in vain, and that the Cuban people can one day rightfully reclaim their "libertad".