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Thursday, November 17, 2011

In Solidarity: Miami Dade College Students pay tribute to Laura Pollán

Miami Dade College students demonstrate their solidarity with the Ladies in White while honoring their founder Laura Pollán, who died on October 14, 2011. When will Florida International University and University of Miami students do the same?

Originally Published by Pedazos de la Isla:

Dressed in white and carrying signs and flowers, dozens of students from Miami Dade College paid a moving tribute to the fallen leader of the Ladies in White, Laura Pollán, this Wednesday November 16th.  The heart-felt notes of a tune by Amaury Guttierez dedicated to Pollan were heard as the participants congregated in a public plaza of  the College’s Kendall campus.  When the song concluded, various College professors and staff of diverse ethnic backgrounds shared words of admiration for all the work which Laura Pollán carried out and for the bravery which the Ladies in White still display as they march every Sunday in the island.

The demonstrators then carried out a silent march around the campus all the way to a monument erected in honor to ‘world peace’, where they deposited flowers in memory of Laura.

The activity was carried out by a student organization, founded at MDC,  by the name of “If Not Now, When?“. According to the counselor of the group, Teresita Pedrazo Moreno, who is also a professor of sociology and political science, the recently created group aspires to “promote human rights all around the world and has taken its name from an essay written by Primo Levi, a holocaust survivor who denounced to the world the horrors he and so many others faced during that time“.

Moreno adds that the group is completely “made up of students, and they were the ones who chose to pay tribute to Laura Pollán for our first ever public event“.

The activist also adds that “this is an honor and something we owe to the brave women, and it is very important that this message spreads to the younger generations“, which successfully occurred that night, seeing as the majority of the students present did not surpass the age of 25.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

How to Start a Successful Revolution: See this Documentary and Read Gene Sharp

A group of Free Cuba Foundation members went to see the documentary on the life of Gene Sharp, How to Start a Revolution, last night at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival at the Cinema Paradiso. The theater was packed for the South Florida premiere of this powerful documentary that takes a look at Gene Sharp and at the nonviolent resistance strategies and tactics he has documented. The film is divided into sections inspired by Sharp's strategy and writings while visiting different places (Burma, Serbia, Ukraine, Georgia, Egypt, Sudan, Syria, and Iran) at different times around the world that have been influenced by his strategic nonviolent vision.

Trailer for the Documentary 

If you want to learn how to carry out a successful revolution against a dictator then this is the film to introduce you to Gene Sharp and his work. At the same time many of his writings are available online at the Albert Einstein Institution.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Argentine journalist interrogated by State Security for friendship with a Cuban blogger

Finds her e-mail is being hacked into back home in Argentina.

Argentine reporter Carolina Barros (left) interrogated and harassed 
by Cuban State Security for friendship with Yoani Sanchez (right)

At 11:45pm and 11:48pm on November 2, 2011 Yoani Sanchez sent out two tweets that cried out with both outrage and anguish: "Come get me! And do not punish those who I love! Cowards! How it OUTRAGES me that they punish others for speaking to me, giving me friendship, loving me."

She then linked to an article in Spanish titled Message for The Third Eye of G2 by the Argentine journalist Carolina Barros that dealt mostly with Venezuela and her e-mail being hacked. G2 refers to the Cuban state security service and the last paragraph of the article offered a revealing insight into what awaits a traveler to Cuba seeking to learn about the real island and not the regime manufactured fiction:  
I was in Cuba in January of 2011 I was visited in the hotel where I stayed in Havana by two envoys of the Castro government (one in the uniform of a lieutenant colonel and within the Ministry of Interior, the other presented himself as political police) to question me about my friendship with Yoani Sanchez and to warn me that although Cuba was a free country, tourists should not get mixed up with dissidents. It should not surprise me that my mailbox is in the cross hairs of some quasi-editors, quasi devious journalists: Cuba's ambassador in Argentina is committed to giving notice to the CEO of Grupo Ambito, the newspaper group where I work, that my reports are biased and that those related to Cuba distort reality. He has also sent letters in which he said that Yoani Sanchez, my friend, is not known by anyone. So, be careful. As much as it seems to be, sometimes nothing is as it seems. Especially when the ominous year 13 heralds winds of change.

The regime in Cuba is accustomed to intimidating into silence those in the press that criticize it because the dictatorship has often been successful. They miscalculated in the case of Carolina Barros and they should have known better. Carolina Barros, among her other duties, is the editor of the Buenos Aires Herald.which was founded in 1876. During the military junta in Argentina approximately 30,000 were disappeared [extra-judicially executed and buried in mass graves] the only local newspaper that told the story of the forced disappearances. Despite death threats against the journalists and their families and some of them having to go into exile the paper maintained its critical stance. Incidentally, it is worth pointing out that the Castro regime had a close working relationship with the military junta and assisted efforts to block its condemnation at the United Nations Human Rights Council.