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Sunday, November 22, 2020

San Isidro Movement: Call for a peaceful Demonstration for the freedom of Denis Solís González today at 3pm in Cuba

Non-violent call to action

Today at 3:00pm the San Isidro Movement is calling on Cubans to go to public parks across the country to take part in a non-violent protest for the freedom of Denis Solís González, and in response to the attack on the San Isidro Movement's headquarters.

Last night Luis Manuel Alcantara, a visual artist and human rights activist, was attacked by an unidentified man who broke down the door of the San Isidro Movement's headquarters last night.

The secret police have blocked neighbors, friends, and family members from reaching them since November 18th, but did nothing to stop this individual from assaulting the building.

Artists, intellectuals, and activists have been gathered since Monday at the San Isidro Movement headquarters in Havana to demonstrate their support for their colleague Denis Solís González  who was arrested on November 9th, and subjected to a summary trial on  November 11th  and sentenced to eight months in prison for “contempt” (desacato), for speaking critically of a police officer searching his home. Denis is now imprisoned at Valle Grande, a maximum-security prison just  outside Havana.

On November 18th when it became clear that officials would not allow anyone to deliver them food, and in the early morning hours of that day had used a chemical agent to poison their water supply that nine of them decided to go on hunger strike, and four of them took the additional step to also start a thirst strike. This was done to conserve food and water for those among them in a more vulnerable situation.

The San Isidro Movement is a collective of artists created in Old Havana in 2018 in reaction to Decree 349 that obliged artists to formally affiliate with the Ministry of Culture, and to obtain government permission for any of their activities.

Denis Solís González
  

Protocol was made public today at 11:00am by San Isidro Movement over their Facebook page.

PROTOCOLS FOR DEPARTURE 11/22/2020

Objective: freedom for Denis.

Action: Peaceful demonstration.

Attitude: non-violent, calm.

Objects: poster, poetry book, mobile to make video or direct.

Legal protection: Article 56 of the constitution. Right of Manifestation. Action in social networks: place the avatar that we share below, use the hashtags:

#NOTOPOLICEVIOLENCE
#FREEDENIS
#WEARECONNECTED

SECURITY MEASURES.

In the face of any arrest or police intervention, do not offer resistance, remind the police and repressive bodies of state security that it is legal to demonstrate.

1- Remove all sensitive information on your mobile. Secure complex passwords of more than 8 characters with capital letters and numbers included. Make sure you have a charged battery.
2- Do not carry house keys. So as not to encourage them to copy them.
3- Wear comfortable clothes, two face masks. Clothing that allows you not to get hot, not get cold and not bitten by mosquitoes. 4- If you have any illness (high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.) take medications.
5- Hydrate well and bring a small bottle of water.
6- Bring candy or a cookie or something simple that allows you to hold on for some time without eating anything they give you or fainting.
7- Leave legal issues resolved. So that documents such as habeas corpus among others can be made: leave a note with Name and Surname, identity number, address, photo of how you leave the house that day. Details that may be important. Include family contact who to notify or who to count on if necessary, as well as the organization to which they belong.
8- Memorize telephone numbers (+ than 1) of contact points in case they manage to make a call from within with someone's mobile or something.
9- Do physical warm-up before going outside. When the body is idle, any push or squeeze or physical contention can cause damage if it is not prepared for action.
10- Share the location on the mobile. 

Spanish text: https://freecubafoundation.blogspot.com/2020/11/movimiento-san-isidro-llamado.html

Movimiento San Isidro: Llamado a Manifestación pacífica para la libertad de Denis Solís González hoy a las 3pm en Cuba


 
 
PROTOCOLOS PARA SALIDA 22/11/2020

Objetivo: libertad para Denis.
 
Acción: Manifestación pacífica.
 
Actitud: no violenta, tranquila.
 
Objetos: cartel, libro de poesía, móvil para hacer vídeo o directas.
Amparo legal: Artículo 56 de la constitución. Derecho de Manifestación.
Acción en redes sociales: colocar el avatar que a continuación compartimos, utilizar los hashtags:
  
 
MEDIDAS DE SEGURIDAD.
 
Ante cualquier arresto o intervención policial no ofrecer resistencia, recordar a policías y cuerpos represivos de la seguridad del estado que es legal manifestarse.
 
1- limpiar toda información sensible de tu móvil. Asegurar contraseñas complejas de más de 8 carácteres con mayúsculas y números incluidos. Asegurar que tiene la batería cargada.
2- No llevar llaves de la casa. Para no propiciar que las copien.
3- llevar ropa cómoda, dos nazobucos. Ropa que permita no pasar calor, no pasar frío y no picadas de mosquitos.
4- De tener cualquier padecimiento (presión alta, diabetes, etc) tomar los medicamentos.
5- Hidratarse bien y llevar pomito de agua.
6- llevar caramelo o una galleta o algo sencillo que permita sostenerse algún tiempo sin comer nada de lo que te dan ni tampoco desfallecer antes de tiempo.
7- dejar asuntos legales resueltos. Para que se puedan hacer documentos como habeas corpus entre otros: dejar nota con Nombre y Apellidos, número de identidad, dirección foto de cómo sale de la casa ese día. Detalles que puedan ser importantes. Incluir contacto de familiar a quien avisar o con quien contar en caso de ser necesario, así como organización a la que pertenecen.
8- memorizar números telefónicos (+ de 1) de puntos de contacto para por si logran hacer llamada desde adentro con el móvil de alguien o algo.
9- hacer calentamiento físico antes de salir a la calle. Cuando el cuerpo lleva en situación de inactividad cualquier empujón o apretón o contendencia física puede causar daños si no se está preparado para la acción.
10- Compartir la ubicación en el móvil.

Fuente: Movimiento San Isidro, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Mv.SanIsidro/posts/391068715640786

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Setting the record straight on the aftermath of the July 26th Moncada Barracks attack

The men of the July 26th betrayed by Castro
Bodies of insurgents who attacked the Moncada military barracks on July 26, 1953
Today In History | July 26, 1953 | #Cuba Fidel Castro sacrificed young lives to turn himself into a national figure in the attack on the Moncada Barracks
Bodies of insurgents who attacked the Moncada military barracks on July 26, 1953
Six years later Fidel Castro replaced dictator Batista with himself and his brother who have ruled Cuba for 61 years and counting. During  the Castro dictatorship, compatriots that had taken part in the Moncada Assault and became disillusioned with the new dictatorship were sentenced to prison.
One of Castro's longest serving political prisoners was Mario Chanes de Armas, a labor organizer, who had assaulted the Moncada barracks and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but was amnestied together with Fidel Castro in 1955. Upon his death on February 26, 2007 Sergio Bustos, writing in The Miami Herald gave the following summary of Mario's life:
"Considered one of the founders of the Revolution, Chanes de Armas survived the Moncada attack, trained in Mexico, came over on the yacht Gramma and lived to greet Castro in Havana on Jan. 9, 1959, when the conquering heroes arrived on top of a U.S. Sherman tank.

Instead of joining the revolutionary government, Chanes de Armas chose to his work in a brewery. Two years later, after watching Castro betray their movement, he spoke out against communists and was tried as a counterrevolutionary.'

On July 17, 1961, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison, longer than any other Cuban political prisoner. It included six years in solitary confinement.

'I watched men get shot, point blank, beaten with bayonets, arbitrarily pulled out and punished. But we were alone. The world didn't know,' he told the Miami Herald in a 1999 interview.
Thirty years to the date of his imprisonment, he was released and reunited with his four sisters in Miami."
Mario Chanes de Armas completed a 30 year sentence under Castro dictatorship.
Jaime  Costa  Chávez, an anti-communist, who participated in the Moncada Assault, but refused to recant when he revealed that high ranking communists had been paid by Batista to conspire against the July 26th Movement when they were in Mexico. He became disillusioned with the revolution as it turned openly to communism. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison, but was released and sent into exile after six years due to what Cuban doctors thought was a large brain tumor, but turned out to be a large cerebral clot.
 Jaime  Costa  Chávez
 Gustavo Arcos Bergnes attended the University of Havana and studied diplomatic law. However, his studies were abruptly interrupted by Fulgencio Batista's coup on March 10, 1952. This is where he met Fidel Castro and later joined him on the July 26, 1953 assault on the Moncada military barracks. Gustavo was shot in the back, touching his spine and damaging the sciatic nerve, and left partly paralyzed by the wound suffered in the assault. [ Anita Snow reported in the Associated Press on Wednesday, May. 18, 2005 that "His sciatic nerve was damaged and has deteriorated over the years, making walking difficult, especially up the one flight of stairs from the street."]

Gustavo Arcos wounded in the Moncada Barracks attack on July 26, 1953
Gustavo was sentenced to ten years in prison but was pardoned and released 22 months later in 1955 and went with the rest of the group to organize a rebel army in Mexico. He traveled through Latin America and the United States gathering money and munitions. His brother Luis Arcos Bergnes was killed when the Granma expedition landed in Cuba in 1956 and were met by Batista's forces.

Gustavo Arcos was appointed Cuba's ambassador to Belgium following Castro's arrival to power in 1959. Wounded in the Moncada assault with a martyred brother, he could have easily remained a privileged member of the revolutionary elite, but that was not why he had taken up arms against Fulgencio Batista. He had fought for an end to dictatorship and the restoration of a democratic Cuba. When he returned to Cuba in 1964 he saw not only that the government had turned communist but that Fidel Castro was another dictator.  At the time Raul Castro personally offered Gustavo a position in the regime leadership. Gustavo rejected the offer. He was already disenchanted and preferred to remain in the diplomatic corps, away from Havana.Gustavo expressed his dissent privately.

"They shot a lot of people," Mr. Arcos told the Associated Press in 2005 during the summary trials held after the revolutionaries took power. "They shot people who could have easily been imprisoned." 

 On March 15, 1966 he was detained and in 1967 he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. for alleged counterrevolutionary activity. He served three years in prison before being released after a long hunger strike in 1969, but was not allowed to leave the country. 
Joining the Cuban Committee for Human Rights
In 1982 at the Combinado de Este prison he and his younger brother, Sebastián Arcos Bergnes, joined the Cuban Committee for Human Rights, formed in 1976. The brothers had been imprisoned in 1981 for trying to leave the country illegally. Soon thereafter, the Committee began to send out proclamations denouncing the deplorable conditions in which political prisoners were kept. By 1986, due to international pressure, the Cuban government was forced to allow a few concessions such as visits by several international human rights organizations and the release of several prisoners, who then extended the work of the Committee to the streets of Havana. Shortly after his release from prison in 1988, Gustavo Arcos succeeded the committee’s executive director, Dr. Ricardo Bofill, who was forced into exile. 

In 1990, against the protests of many Cuban exiles, Gustavo Arcos issued a statement to Castro asking him to convene a "National Dialogue," which would include all segments of Cuban society, on the island and in exile. During his address to the Worker's Congress on January 28, 1990, Castro issued his response noting that "the Cuban people" will take care of those activists.

On March 5, 1990 government sponsored mobs attacked Sebastian Arcos's home. On March 8 another mob, led by future Foreign Minister Roberto Robaina, attacked Gustavo's home. From exile, many old friends asked Gustavo to dissolve the Committee to save the activists' lives. Gustavo replied: "The Cuban Committee for Human Rights will continue its work, even if it costs us our own lives...no terror, nor propaganda will be able to deter the development of humanistic ideas in our country."

On January 13, 1992 the executive board of the Cuban Committee for Human Rights again issued a statement reaffirming their commitment to nonviolence and calling for dialogue:   "Violence is not and cannot be the solution to our problems... We will not tire from insisting that the only possible solution is civilized discussion of our differences. This is an appeal to Cubans for wisdom and common sense... No act of violence is justified... Let us say no to violence and learn to live in peace."

Gustavo Arcos Bergnes, Sebastián Arcos Bergnes and Jesús Yanes Pelletier were arrested at their homes in Havana on the evening of 15 January 1992. Both Gustavo and Yanes Pelletier were released after approximately 24 hours. However, Sebastian Arcos Bergnes was charged with "enemy propaganda" and "inciting rebellion," he was sentenced to four years and eight months in jail. He was transferred to Ariza Prison in  Cienfuegos Province,  more than 130 miles from Havana, where Sebastian was imprisoned alongside dangerous criminals and was systematically denied medical attention. In 1993 the regime offered him a deal: Sebastian would be released immediately if he only agreed to leave the island for good. Sebastian rejected the deal, becoming the first documented case of a political prisoner choosing prison in Cuba over freedom in exile.
Brother Sebastian killed by medical neglect while arbitrarily imprisoned
After an international campaign that included his designation as an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience and a request by France Libertés, the organization founded by former French first lady Danielle Mitterrand, Sebastian Arcos was released in 1995. A few weeks after his release, Arcos was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in the rectum, for which he had previously been denied medical care in prison. After a Cuban doctor was fired from his post for treating Arcos, he traveled to Miami for further care.

In 1996, Sebastian Arcos Bergnes testified before the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva, Switzerland. Sebastian Arcos Bergnes died in Miami surrounded by relatives on December 22, 1997.

Due to his worsening health in his last years he lowered his profile and ceded much of the work to exiled members of the Cuban Committee for Human Rights. Nevertheless, he met with US Senators visiting Cuba in 2000, with former President Carter in 2002 and signed a letter in 2003 denouncing the unjust imprisonment of 75 Cuban dissidents imprisoned in the Black Cuban Spring.

Gustavo Arcos in later years.
In the 2005, Associated Press article, Anita Snow reported that he stayed in touch with other dissidents and spoke "frequently with Oswaldo Paya, a devout fellow Roman Catholic who led a signature-gathering effort called the Varela Project, which sought a referendum asking voters if they favored civil liberties such as freedom of speech and the right to business ownership." The article concluded with Gustavo's concern that he would not live to see the return of democracy saying : "I do hope I will see the end of this, but I'm not sure if I will.
He passed away a year later on August 8, 2006. 

They put their lives on the line for restoring democracy, but were betrayed by Fidel and Raul Castro. The Castros replaced an authoritarian dictatorship that had harmed Cuba for seven years, with a totalitarian one that has done far more damage and killed many more Cubans.

Thankfully, the forces of a democratic Cuba continue to resist the Castro tyranny.


Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Cubans and Cuban Americans hold vigil for July's martyrs at the Embassy of Cuba in Washington DC

 For truth and justice.

July 13, 2020 at the Embassy of Cuba in Washington, DC.
On July 13th at 12 noon we were in front of the Cuban embassy in a silent protest for 13 minutes for the 37 victims of the July 13, 1994 "13 de Marzo" tugboat massacre and said a prayer for these victims of communism, their loved ones, and for justice. We maintained social distance, and all participants wore masks through out the event. Activists inside the island held their own actions in remembrance of these victims.

 
Over the past 26 years Cubans have mourned the 37 men, women, and children who were extrajudicially executed by agents of the Cuban government on July 13, 1994 "13 de Marzo" tugboat was attacked and sunk.

Tragically, Chinese are mourning Chinese Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and human rights defender Liu Xiaobo who died three years ago on July 13, 2017 at the First Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China after being unjustly imprisoned from December 8, 2008 until his untimely death. It is likely that he died of a cancer made terminal by politically motivated neglect. July 13th will mark three years since his passing. 


July 13, 2020 at the Embassy of Cuba in Washington, DC.
Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, founding leader of the Christian Liberation Movement and a youth leader of the same movement, Harold Cepero Escalante were both extrajudicially executed eight years ago on July 22, 2012 in a crash engineered by the Cuban dictatorship's agents.

July 13, 2020 at the Embassy of Cuba in Washington, DC.
 The demand for justice remains unfulfilled in all these cases, but we must not despair.

We continue to bear witness embracing truth and memory in defiance of the attempt to whitewash and forget. Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel explained the importance of doing this in his 1986 Nobel Lecture on why it is important to remember: 


"To forget the victims means to kill them a second time. So I couldn't prevent the first death. I surely must be capable of saving them from a second death." ... "There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest."
There was media coverage in both Spanish and English and videos of the event. Please share them with others. 


July 13, 2020 at the Embassy of Cuba in Washington, DC.
We will continue to remember and demand truth and justice.  There names will not be forgotten.


July 13, 2017
Liu Xiaobo, Age: 61

July 22, 2012
Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, Age: 60
Harold Cepero Escalante, Age: 32

July 13, 1994
Hellen Martínez Enriquez. Age: 5 Months
Xicdy Rodríguez Fernández. Age: 2
Angel René Abreu Ruíz. Age: 3
José Carlos Niclas Anaya. Age: 3
Giselle Borges Alvarez. Age: 4
Caridad Leyva Tacoronte. Age: 5
Juan Mario Gutiérrez García. Age: 10
Yousell Eugenio Pérez Tacoronte. Age: 11
Yasser Perodín Almanza. Age: 11
Eliécer Suárez Plasencia. Age: 12
Mayulis Méndez Tacoronte. Age: 17
Miladys Sanabria Leal. Age: 19
Joel García Suárez. Age: 20
Odalys Muñoz García. Age: 21
Yalta Mila Anaya Carrasco. Age: 22
Luliana Enríquez Carrazana. Age: 22
Jorge Gregorio Balmaseda Castillo. Age: 24
Lissett María Alvarez Guerra. Age: 24
Ernesto Alfonso Loureiro. Age: 25
María Miralis Fernández Rodríguez. Age: 27
Leonardo Notario Góngora. Age: 28
Jorge Arquímedes Levrígido Flores. Age: 28
Pilar Almanza Romero. Age: 31
Rigoberto Feu González. Age: 31
Omar Rodríguez Suárez. Age: 33
Lázaro Enrique Borges Briel. Age: 34
Julia Caridad Ruíz Blanco. Age: 35
Martha Caridad Tacoronte Vega. Age: 35
Eduardo Suárez Esquivel. Age: 38
Martha Mirella Carrasco Sanabria. Age: 45
Augusto Guillermo Guerra Martínez. Age: 45
Rosa María Alcalde Puig. Age: 47
Estrella Suárez Esquivel. Age: 48
Reynaldo Joaquín Marrero Alamo. Age: 48
Amado González Raices. Age: 50
Fidencio Ramel Prieto Hernández. Age: 51
Manuel Cayol. Age: 56 

Monday, July 6, 2020

13 minute silent vigil to protest 26 years of justice denied for 37 Cuban victims of the "13 de Marzo" massacre

To forget would be not only dangerous but offensive; to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.” - Elie WieselNight


Over the past 26 years Cubans have mourned the 37 men, women, and children who were extrajudicially executed by agents of the Cuban government on July 13, 1994 "13 de Marzo" tugboat was attacked and sunk.

Tragically, Chinese are mourning Chinese Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and human rights defender Liu Xiaobo who died three years ago on July 13, 2017 at the First Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China after being unjustly imprisoned from December 8, 2008 until his untimely death. It is likely that he died of a cancer made terminal by politically motivated neglect. July 13th will mark three years since his passing. After eight years in "unofficial detention" his widow Liu Xia was finally allowed to leave China on July 10, 2018.

Liu Xiaobo  was one of the authors of Charter 08 and signed it along with more than three hundred Chinese citizens. The Charter is a manifesto that was released on December 10, 2008, the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It calls for more freedom of expression, human rights, more democratic elections, the privatization of state enterprises and economic liberalization and would collect over 10,000 signatures.



Charter 08 is reminiscent of the Varela Project that was initially signed by 11,020 Cubans in May of 2002 calling on the Cuban government to respect international human rights norms and engage in the same kind of reforms. Both were inspired by Vaclav Havel and Charter 77. 

Lamentably one of the authors of the Varela Project, Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, founding leader of the Christian Liberation Movement and a youth leader of the same movement, Harold Cepero Escalante were both extrajudicially executed eight years ago on July 22, 2012 in a crash engineered by the Cuban dictatorship's agents.

The demand for justice remains unfulfilled in all these cases, but we must not despair.

We must bear witness embracing truth and memory in defiance of the attempt to whitewash and forget. Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel explained the importance of doing this in his 1986 Nobel Lecture on why it is important to remember:  

"To forget the victims means to kill them a second time. So I couldn't prevent the first death. I surely must be capable of saving them from a second death." ... "There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest." 
On July 13th at 12 noon we will be in front of the Cuban embassy in a silent protest for 13 minutes for the 37 victims of the July 13, 1994 "13 de Marzo" tugboat massacre and will send this brief essay to the Liu Xiaobo website, light a candle and say a prayer for these victims of communism, their loved ones, and for justice. We will maintain social distance, and ask all participants to bring a mask and cover their mouth and nose through the event.

We will continue to remember.

July 13, 2017
Liu Xiaobo, Age: 61

July 22, 2012
Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, Age: 60
Harold Cepero Escalante, Age: 32

July 13, 1994
Hellen Martínez Enriquez. Age: 5 Months
Xicdy Rodríguez Fernández. Age: 2
Angel René Abreu Ruíz. Age: 3
José Carlos Niclas Anaya. Age: 3
Giselle Borges Alvarez. Age: 4
Caridad Leyva Tacoronte. Age: 5
Juan Mario Gutiérrez García. Age: 10
Yousell Eugenio Pérez Tacoronte. Age: 11
Yasser Perodín Almanza. Age: 11
Eliécer Suárez Plasencia. Age: 12
Mayulis Méndez Tacoronte. Age: 17
Miladys Sanabria Leal. Age: 19
Joel García Suárez. Age: 20
Odalys Muñoz García. Age: 21
Yalta Mila Anaya Carrasco. Age: 22
Luliana Enríquez Carrazana. Age: 22
Jorge Gregorio Balmaseda Castillo. Age: 24
Lissett María Alvarez Guerra. Age: 24
Ernesto Alfonso Loureiro. Age: 25
María Miralis Fernández Rodríguez. Age: 27
Leonardo Notario Góngora. Age: 28
Jorge Arquímedes Levrígido Flores. Age: 28
Pilar Almanza Romero. Age: 31
Rigoberto Feu González. Age: 31
Omar Rodríguez Suárez. Age: 33
Lázaro Enrique Borges Briel. Age: 34
Julia Caridad Ruíz Blanco. Age: 35
Martha Caridad Tacoronte Vega. Age: 35
Eduardo Suárez Esquivel. Age: 38
Martha Mirella Carrasco Sanabria. Age: 45
Augusto Guillermo Guerra Martínez. Age: 45
Rosa María Alcalde Puig. Age: 47
Estrella Suárez Esquivel. Age: 48
Reynaldo Joaquín Marrero Alamo. Age: 48
Amado González Raices. Age: 50
Fidencio Ramel Prieto Hernández. Age: 51
Manuel Cayol. Age: 56
 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Tragic consequences of believing communist propaganda

Don't buy into communist lies.

 
Over the past couple of months there has been a debate over Senator Bernie Sanders statements on "achievements" of the Castro regime in Cuba in education and healthcare. The Sanders campaign, and their apologists, responded to criticisms by pointing out that President Obama had repeated many of the same claims.

Both Senator Sanders and President Obama were repeating Cuban communist propaganda that does not accord with reality. Sanders also doubled down citing how China had lifted more people out of poverty than any other country. This is Chinese communist propaganda, and ignores the tens of millions killed and starved by the regime.

However, they are not the only ones who have fallen for communist propaganda. Adam Serwer, of The Atlantic wrote in the article, "China’s Coronavirus Disinformation Ensnared Its Chief Target" of how President Trump believed the Chinese communist propaganda and disinformation relayed by China’s President Xi Jingping, ignoring US intelligence's assessment that they were covering up the true scale of the outbreak.
Administration officials directly warned Trump of the danger posed by the virus, but “Trump’s insistence on the contrary seemed to rest in his relationship with China’s President Xi Jingping, whom Trump believed was providing him with reliable information about how the virus was spreading in China,” The Washington Post reported, “despite reports from intelligence agencies that Chinese officials were not being candid about the true scale of the crisis.”
Taiwan and South Korea, both who never fell for the Chinese communist lies, responded quickly in late December 2019 and were able to effectively contain the spread of the Wuhan virus, and avoided to have to lock down their societies. Europe and the United States restricted flights from China later than the two Asian countries, and now face both a humanitarian and economic disaster. Taiwan and South Korea performed more extensive screening and testing of persons arriving setting up an effective quarantine. The United States had not done that.

However, there is another area of great concern and that is travel from Cuba to the United States is not being screened. Cuba has repeatedly covered up epidemics (dengue, cholera, and zika) endangering many, but continues to get a free pass in the press as a "medical super power" with positive press. At the same time the media ignores that while the Wuhan Virus spread across Cuba, the Castro regime was claiming, as recently as last week, that the virus was killed by sun and tropical temperatures advertising in European social media in countries that were being impacted.

How many tourists took the Castro regime up on its tourism invitation? What does that mean for Cubans" What does it mean for the tourists who are sick in a country without enough soap and toiletries for Cuban nationals, much less respirators? (Another bit of communist propaganda is that the embargo is the reason for food and medicine shortages, but the US does not restrict agricultural or medical products). Below is a partial list of eligible items form the Treasury Department.
Eligible   items. For   all   destinations, eligible   items   are   food   (including   vitamins); medicines,    medical    supplies    and    devices (including  hospital  supplies  and  equipment  and equipment  for  the  handicapped);  receive-only radio equipment for reception of commercial/civil    AM/FM    and    short    wave publicly available frequency bands, and batteries for  such  equipment;  clothing;  personal  hygiene items;  seeds;  veterinary  medicines  and  supplies; fishing  equipment  and  supplies;  soap-making equipment;

What does it mean for the United States when flights are arriving from Cuba on a daily basis and their are still question about passengers being suitably screened?

Is this one of the reasons that South Florida is a coronavirus hot spot?

There are tragic consequences to believing communist propaganda, and we are suffering through them today with this pandemic.



Monday, February 24, 2020

Silent Vigils and Masses for Orlando Zapata Tamayo and Brothers to the Rescue Martyrs

On February 20, 2020 at 7:00pm at the Cuban Embassy protesters gathered for a silent vigil in remembrance of four Brothers to the Rescue martyrs, Armando Alejandre Jr., Carlos Alberto Costa, Mario Manuel de la Peña, and Pablo Morales, killed on February 24, 1996 and Orlando Zapata Tamayo who was martyred on February 23, 2010.

Father Fernando E. Hería at La Ermita de la Caridad during the 3:00pm homily today reflected on the nonviolent doctrine of the Church and the martyrdom of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, ten years ago on February 23, 2010 at the same time.


24th observance of the Brothers to the Rescue shoot down marked by silent vigils at Miami-Opa Locka airport in the morning with Jose Basulto, Silvia Oriondo, Florida International University in the afternoon, and Mass at St. Agatha Church. Prayers, remembrance, and continuing demand for justice.

On February 24, 2020 at 3:15pm friends and families of Armando Alejandre Jr., Carlos Alberto Costa, Mario Manuel de la Peña, and Pablo Morales gathered at Florida International University and joined hands in a silent vigil from 3:21pm to 3:27pm, the time the Brothers to the Rescue planes were shot down killing the four men.


 Later that evening at St. Agatha Catholic Church a Mass was celebrated by friends and families for Armando Alejandre Jr., Carlos Alberto Costa, Mario Manuel de la Peña, and Pablo Morales.


 Thank you all for joining in these acts of remembrance and continuing the call for justice.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Mass and Silent Vigils for Justice: Remembering and demanding justice for five Cubans murdered by Castro

"To forget the victims means to kill them a second time. So I couldn't prevent the first death. I surely must be capable of saving them from a second death." - Elie Wiesel

Mass and vigil for Orlando Zapata Tamayo

Mass for Orlando Zapata Tamayo at 3:00pm on Sunday, February 23, 2020 at La Ermita de la Caridad, 3609 South Miami Avenue, Miami, FL 33133. 

On Sunday, February 23 at 3:00pm, the time Orlando Zapata Tamayo was killed, there will be a vigil at the Bay of Pigs Monument (Torch) on Cuban Memorial Boulevard located at 806 SW 13th Ave, Miami, FL 33135.

Mass and vigil for Armando Alejandre Jr., Carlos Alberto Costa, Mario Manuel de la Peña, and Pablo Morales

On Monday, February 24, at 3:00pm friends and families of Armando Alejandre Jr., Carlos Alberto Costa, Mario Manuel de la Peña, and Pablo Morales, and members of the FIU community will gather and hold a vigil to remember them and silently demand justice 24 years after the Brothers to the Rescue shoot down. The vigil will take place at Florida International University ( University Park campus) located at 11200 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33199 at the main fountain next to the Main Library and Student Union.

 Mass for Armando Alejandre Jr., Carlos Alberto Costa, Mario Manuel de la Peña, and Pablo Morales at 7:00pm on February 24, 2020 at St. Agatha Catholic Church, 1111 SW 107th Ave, Miami, FL 33174.

 

 

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Silent Vigil for Justice: Remembering and demanding justice for five Cubans murdered by the Castro regime

"To forget the victims means to kill them a second time. So I couldn't prevent the first death. I surely must be capable of saving them from a second death." - Elie Wiesel

 On February 20, 2020 at 7:00pm at the Cuban Embassy in Washington DC we will gather and hold a silent vigil in memory of Orlando Zapata Tamayo killed by Castro on February 23, 2010 and Armando Alejandre Jr, Carlos Costa, Mario de la Peña and Pablo Morales the four murdered by Castro on February 24,1996 when two Brothers to the Rescue planes were shot down.

We invite people of good will to join us in this silent vigil for justice.

When: February 20, 2020 at 7:00pm 
Where: Cuban Embassy 2630 16th St NW, Washington D.C. 20009 
What: Silent vigil for justice for victims of Castroism



Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Fact Sheet on Orlando Zapata Tamayo

"Long live human rights, with my blood I wrote to you so that this be saved as evidence of the savagery we are subjected to that are victims of the Pedro Luis Boitel political prisoners [movement]" - Orlando Zapata Tamayo, letter smuggled out April of 2004*

                                  Cuban Prisoner of Conscience Orlando Zapata Tamayo
                                 Tortured and Murdered by Cuban Government Officials

Fact #1 Orlando Zapata Tamayo was murdered by Cuban government officials

Both Abel Lopez Perez and Reina Luisa Tamayo charge that Cuban prison officials denied Orlando Zapata Tamayo water in an effort to break his spirit. Reina Luisa Tamayo in an interview with Yoani Sanchez, hours after her son’s death denounced that officials had denied him water.[1] Abel Lopez corroborates the charge stating: “Before Zapata was checked into the hospital, he was regularly taking some vitamins. He was in a weak state of health. A military chief known as ‘Gordo’, who was the one responsible for ordering all of Zapata’s things to be taken out of the cell and to stop giving him water, also took his bottle of vitamins and poured all the pills down a drain. He told him, ‘Those who are in protest here don’t drink vitamins. I think those are pills sent to you by the Yankees so you can continue your hunger strike.’ Those were the exact words said to him, I verified them. His vitamins were taken away, as were any other medications. And they stopped giving him water for a while.”[2] This type of practice was also documented in the 1966 death of another Cuban hunger striker, Roberto López Chávez.[3], [4] Denying water to a man on water only hunger strike is cruel and inhuman treatment that contributed to his death.


Fact #2 Orlando Zapata Tamayo was an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience

Orlando Zapata Tamayo was recognized as an Amnesty International (AI) prisoner of conscience on January 29, 2004 a designation given only to nonviolent activists after careful examination.[5] On January 29, 2004 Amnesty International outlined Orlando Zapata Tamayo’s past arrests:

“He has been arrested several times in the past. For example he was temporarily detained on 3 July 2002 and 28 October 2002. In November 2002 after taking part in a workshop on human rights in the central Havana park, José Martí, he and eight other government opponents were reportedly arrested and later released. He was also arrested on 6 December 2002 along with Oscar Elías Biscet[6], but was released on 8 March 2003. Most recently, he was arrested on the morning of 20 March 2003 whilst taking part in a hunger strike at the Fundación Jesús Yánez Pelletier, Jesús Yánez Pelletier Foundation, in Havana, to demand the release of Oscar Biscet and other political prisoners.”[7]

Orlando Zapata Tamayo appeared photographed in the Cuban government’s own publication Los Disidentes, in photos prior to his 2003 arrest and was then recognized by Cuban officials as a dissident. The Spanish newspaper El Mundo carried a photo the day after the Cuban regime announced the death of Orlando Zapata Tamayo with prominent Cuban dissidents.[8]


Fact #3 Orlando Zapata Tamayo’s hunger strike was an act of non-violent self-defense

Orlando Zapata Tamayo had been beaten and tortured on more than one occasion by prison guards and state security along with other prisoners. His body was scarred and his health in decline. For example Amnesty International reported that, on "October 20, 2003 [Orlando Zapata] was dragged along the floor of Combinado del Este Prison by prison officials after requesting medical attention, leaving his back full of lacerations."[9] Cuban political prisoner Abel Lopez Perez transferred to the same prison in Camaguey as Orlando Zapata Tamayo on December 3, 2009 briefly saw him and heard from other prisoners “that a few days before being taken away, Zapata stood up and shouted, ‘People, don’t let yourselves be lied to. Don’t believe anything that they tell you. I’m not demanding a kitchen or any of the things they took away from me. I’m demanding an improvement of treatment for all prisoners, and so you all know, I am going to die for it.’”[10] The case of Ariel Sigler Amaya, another Cuban prisoner of conscience, is instructive. He had to threaten a hunger strike, although already emaciated and crippled, to obtain medical treatment to save his life.[11] The hunger strike was not an act of suicide but rather a tactic of self defense within the arsenal of nonviolent options.

Fact #4 Between 1966 and 2010 at least six Cuban political prisoners died while on hunger strike: Roberto López Chávez , Carmelo Cuadra Hernández , Pedro Luis Boitel, Olegario Charlot Pileta, Enrique García Cuevas and Orlando Zapata Tamayo.

Roberto López Chávez, 25 years old, died on December 11, 1966 in Isla de Pinos prison on hunger strike without medical assistance.[12] Armando Valladares, in his prison memoir, Against All Hope described the circumstances surrounding his death: “When Roberto López Chávez, went on a hunger strike to protest the abuses in the prison, the guards withheld water from him until he became delirious, twisting on the floor and begging for something to drink. The guards then urinated in his mouth. He died the next day.”[13], [14]

Carmelo Cuadra Hernández, died in La Cabaña prison in April of 1969 on hunger strike, after suffering mistreatment and torture over eight and a half months, without receiving medical care and was the third political prisoner that has died on a hunger strike.[15], [16]

Pedro Luis Boitel died on hunger strike on May 25, 1972.[17],[18]

Olegario Charlot Pileta, died in the famous "Escaleras" (staircase) of the Boniato prison, in of January 1973 during a hunger strike, without medical assistance and is described in documents as a “black youth.” [19],[20]

Enrique García Cuevas died on a hunger strike, without receiving medical care, in cell No. 4 of the new Provincial Jail of Santa Clara, on June 24, 1973.[21]

Two of the four outlined above died on hunger strikes after Pedro Luis Boitel and there are partial estimates that place the number identified to have died while on hunger strike at twelve including both Boitel and Zapata. Since the death of Pedro Luis Boitel there are partial lists identifying six political prisoners dead on hunger strikes between May 25, 1972 and February 23, 2010.[22]


Sources:

1. Sanchez, Yoani “Orlando Zapata Tamayo's Mother Speaks After Her Son's Death” The Huffington Post February 24, 2010 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yoani-sanchez/orlando-zapata-tamayos-mo_b_475006.html

2. Felipe Rojas, Luis “Abel Remembers the Last Days of Zapata in a Prison of Camaguey” Crossing the Barbed Wire November 24, 2010 http://cruzarlasalambradaseng.wordpress.com/2010/11/24/abel-remembers-the-last-days-of-zapata-in-a-prison-of-camaguey/

3. Valladares, Armando Against All Hope: The Prison Memoirs of Armando Valladares (1st edition Knopf April 12, 1986) quote taken from (1st Edition Encounter Books April 1, 2001) pg. 379

4. Glazov, Jamie United in Hate: The Left's Romance with Tyranny and Terror WND Books, 2009 Pg 48

5. Amnesty International “CUBA Newly declared prisoners of conscience” January 29, 2004  
    https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/AMR25/002/2004/en/

6. Quintero, Tania “CUBA | Llorando a un amigo ¡Así te voy a recordar, Orlando!” El Mundo February 24, 2010 http://www.elmundo.es/america/2010/02/24/cuba/1267020583.html

7. Amnesty International “CUBA Newly declared prisoners of conscience” January 29, 2004 https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/AMR25/002/2004/en/

8. Felipe Rojas, Luis “Abel Remembers the Last Days of Zapata in a Prison of Camaguey” Crossing the Barbed Wire November 24, 2010 http://cruzarlasalambradaseng.wordpress.com/2010/11/24/abel-remembers-the-last-days-of-zapata-in-a-prison-of-camaguey/

9. Rodriguez, Eliott “Paralyzed Former Cuban Prisoner Arrives In Miami” CBS4 July 28, 2010 http://cbs4.com/local/ariel.amaya.cuban.2.1829264.html

10. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights “Annual Report 1975: 1805 Cuba” http://www.cidh.org/annualrep/75eng/Cuba1805.htm

11. Valladares, Armando Against All Hope: The Prison Memoirs of Armando Valladares (1st edition Knopf April 12, 1986) quote taken from (1st Edition Encounter Books April 1, 2001) pg. 379

12. Glazov, Jamie United in Hate: The Left's Romance with Tyranny and Terror WND Books, 2009 Pg 48

13. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights SITUATION OF POLITICAL PRISONERS IN CUBA (1976) http://www.cidh.org/countryrep/cuba76eng/chap.1.htm

14. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights SEGUNDO INFORME SOBRE LA SITUACIÓN DE LOS PRESOS POLÍTICOS Y SUS FAMILIAS EN CUBA May 7, 1970 http://www.cidh.org/countryrep/Cuba70sp/cap.1b.htm

15. Amnesty International “CUBA Newly declared prisoners of conscience” January 29, 2004 https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/AMR25/002/2004/en/

16. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights “Annual Report 1975: 1805 Cubahttp://www.cidh.org/annualrep/75eng/Cuba1805.htm

17. Tamayo, Juan O. “Jailed Cuban activist Orlando Zapata Tamayo dies on hunger strike” The Miami Herald February 23, 2010 http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/02/23/1496572/cuban-activist-dies-on-hunger.html

18. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights 6TH REPORT ON THE SITUATION OF POLITICAL PRISONERS IN CUBA: CHAPTER III: AN ANALYSIS OF CERTAIN INDIVIDUAL CASES SUBMITTED TO THE IACHR 14 December 1979 http://www.cidh.org/countryrep/cuba79eng/chap.3.htm

19. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights CHAPTER I SITUATION OF POLITICAL PRISONERS IN CUBA (1976) http://www.cidh.org/countryrep/cuba76eng/chap.1.htm

20. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights “Annual Report 1975: 1805 Cuba” http://www.cidh.org/annualrep/75eng/Cuba1805.htm

21. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights CHAPTER I SITUATION OF POLITICAL PRISONERS IN CUBA (1976) http://www.cidh.org/countryrep/cuba76eng/chap.1.htm

22. Corzo, Pedro “El calvario de las prisiones cubanas” El Nuevo Herald March 13, 2010 http://www.elnuevoherald.com/2010/03/13/674331_p2/pedro-corzo-el-calvario-de-las.html

Brothers to the Rescue Shoot Down Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet on February 24, 1996 Brothers to the Rescue Shoot down 



February 24, 1996 shoot down was an act of state terrorism that blew two civilian aircraft out of the sky with air to air missiles while in international airspace after regime planned the act months beforehand with its espionage network in the United States.
 
 FACT 1: By definition: Terrorism is the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear)
http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=terrorism  

FACT 2: Cuba is responsible for violating the right to life (Article I of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man) to the detriment of Carlos Costa, Pablo Morales, Mario De La Peña, and Armando Alejandre, who died as a result of the direct actions of its agents on the afternoon of 24 February 1996 while flying through international airspace.
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights September 29, 1999 Report on the Merits http://www.cidh.org/annualrep/99eng/Merits/Cuba11.589.htm

FACT 3: Cuba is responsible for violating the right to a fair trial (Article XVIII of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man) to the detriment of the relatives of Carlos Costa, Pablo Morales, Mario De La Peña, and Armando Alejandre, in that to date the Cuban authorities have not conducted an exhaustive investigation with a view toward prosecuting and punishing the perpetrators and have not indemnified those same relatives for the damage they suffered as a result of those illicit acts.
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights September 29, 1999 Report on the Merits http://www.cidh.org/annualrep/99eng/Merits/Cuba11.589.htm
 
FACT 4: In Alejandre v. Republic of Cuba, 996 F.Supp. 1239 (S.D.Fla. 1997), a federal district court awarded the families of three of the four occupants of the “ Brothers to the Rescue” planes shot down by Cuba in 1996 a total of $187.7 million in damages against Cuba.
Lawsuits Against State Supporters of Terrorism: An Overview by Jennifer K. Elsea http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/crsreports/crsdocuments/RS22094_06232005.pdf
 
FACT 5: WASP spy network was involved. One of the “illegal officers” (Gerardo Hernandez) was convicted of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder based on his role in the February 24, 1996, shoot-down of two unarmed civilian aircraft in international airspace by Cuban Air Force jet fighters, which resulted in the deaths of four people, three of them U.S. citizens.
Department of Justice on Obama Commutations http://www.justice.gov/pardon/obama-commutations#dec152014
 
FACT 6: Brothers to the Rescue had spotted and saved thousands of rafters in the Florida Straits and was engaged in such a mission on that day. The one plane that skirted the boundary briefly was the only one to return. The other two were shotdown miles away from Cuba’s boundary having never entered or touched it on that day and the planes had been in contact with the Cuban tower throughout the flight.
ICAO Resolution on February 24 shootdown http://www.icao.int/icao/en/nr/1996/pio199606_e.pdf
 
FACT 7: On July 26, 1996 the United Nations Security Council: "Noting that the unlawful downing of two civil aircraft on 24 February by the Cuban Air Force violated the principle that States must refrain from using weapons against airborne civil aircraft, the Security Council this afternoon condemned such use as being incompatible with the rules of customary international law "
ICAO Resolution on February 24 shootdown  http://www.icao.int/icao/en/nr/1996/pio199606_e.pdf
 
FACT 8: Ana Belen Montes, the US intelligence community's top analyst on Cuban affairs had throughout a sixteen-year career at the Defense Intelligence Agency sent the Cuba intelligence service sensitive and secret information and helped to shape US opinion on Cuba. Investigation against her was triggered by her odd behavior before and after the Brothers to the Rescue shoot down. On September 21 2001 Ana Belen Montes was arrested and subsequently charged with Conspiracy to Commit Espionage for the government of Cuba. Montes eventually pleaded guilty to spying, and in October, 2002, she was sentenced to a 25-year prison term followed by 5 years of probation.
True Believer: Inside the Investigation and Capture of Ana Montes, Cuba's Master Spy http://www.amazon.com/True-Believer-Inside-Investigation-Capture/dp/1591141001
 
FACT 9: On December 27, 2010 and again in a January 19, 2011 clarification the defense of Cuban spy-master Gerardo Hernandez acknowledged that "there was overwhelming evidence that the 1996 shoot-down of two Brothers to the Rescue planes occurred in international airspace, not Cuban territory."
The Miami Herald: Cuban spymaster now claims Brothers to the Rescue shooting was outside Cuban airspace by Jay Weaver December 27, 2010 http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2010-12-27/news/fl-cuba-spy-20101227_1_cuban-government-gerardo-hernandez-jose-basulto
 
FACT 10: On December 17, 2014 President Barack Obama commuted Gerardo Hernandez’s two life sentences and returned him along with two other spies jailed for crimes in the United States to Cuba where they were received with a hero’s welcome in what is an immense propaganda victory for the Castro regime.
Department of Justice on Obama Commutations http://www.justice.gov/pardon/obama-commutations#dec152014