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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Cuba 2014: Why this year is important

Despite heightened violence and repression Cubans are losing their fear

20 years ago on July 13, 1994 they were massacred by the Castro regime

The dictatorship in Cuba wants everyone to believe that 2014 is important because CELAC is being held in Havana but discerning people know better. 2014 will be important for a number of reasons. At the same time state security is engaged in a massive crackdown rounding up and threatening dissidents in an effort to maintain monopoly control. The Cuban government's body count continues to rise despite its apologists claims that it is reforming. This is nothing new.

Brothers to the Rescue martyrs murdered in act of state terrorism on February 24, 1996

 Less than a month from now, February 23rd will mark four years to the day that Cuban prisoner of conscience Orlando Zapata Tamayo died on hunger strike defending human rights and dignity. February 24th will mark the eighteen years since the Brothers to the Rescue shootdown where Carlos Costa, Pablo Morales, Mario De La Peña, and Armando Alejandre were blown out of the sky on orders of the Castro brothers while engaged in the search and rescue of Cuban rafters in international airspace in what was an act of state terrorism.

Died on hunger strike on February 23, 2010
2014 is also the 20th anniversary of the "13 de Marzo" tugboat masssacre off the coast of Havana where 37 men, women and children were murdered by agents of the Castro regime for wanting to flee the country on July 13, 1994.

Died under suspicious circumstances on July 22, 2012
 July 22 will mark two years since Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas and Harold Cepero Escalante were killed under suspicious circumstances. Relatives and friends continue to demand an international investigation to clear up the circumstances of their deaths.

 The Free Cuba Foundation has and will continue to call for nonviolent actions to demand justice and remember the dear departed.

This year is the 50th anniversary of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.'s December 11, 1964 Nobel Peace Prize Lecture that is required reading for advocates of nonviolence and resistance to injustice. Reverend King is a figure that inspired and continues to inspire Cuban dissidents to take action against injustice using nonviolent means.

Unfortunately, as the dictatorship engages in its distractions and those who should know better grant it a legitimacy that is not warranted, another man, Marcelino Abreu unjustly imprisoned, is dying on hunger strike. Let us pray that he survives this ordeal. Despite the media makeover to the contrary the human rights situation in Cuba remains dismal as revealed in Human Rights Watch's 2014 report on Cuba.

Despite the extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detentions, death threats, and physical assaults Cubans are losing their fear and demanding that their rights be respected. On January 21, 2014 in the morning hours hundreds of Cubans took to the street in Holguin which is located in Eastern Cuba to protest against the confiscation of their household goods by government officials.

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