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Posted July 27, 2005 by I-taoist in Castro's Cuba

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Cuban President Fidel Castro, on the 52nd anniversary of the start of his revolution, sternly warned his opponents on the island to simmer down or else.

BY RENATO PEREZ AND NANCY SAN MARTIN

In the darkest, bluntest warning to Cuban dissidents yet, Fidel Castro said Tuesday that ‘‘acts of treason’’ would not be tolerated and warned that attempts to destabilize would be confronted by the population “whenever traitors and mercenaries go one millimeter beyond what the revolutionary people . . . are willing to permit.’‘

Castro’s strong words on the 52nd anniversary of the start of his revolution came on the heels of a new roundup of more than 50 dissidents who tried to participate in two separate protests this month.

Most of the would-be protesters were released after clashes with government supporters, but as many as 16 remain behind bars, including six charged with “public disorder.’‘

Castro, whose speech was broadcast on Cuban television and radio, specifically named the Assembly to Promote Civil Society. That group’s leader, Martha Beatriz Roque, who was released from custody over the weekend, has publicly stated that dissidents across the island were ready to take to the streets to bring international attention to their plight.

Castro again accused government opponents of being paid U.S. mercenaries playing a dangerous “game.’‘

‘‘The much-publicized dissidence, or alleged opposition in Cuba, exists only in the fevered minds of the Cuban-American mafia and the bureaucrats in the White House,’’ Castro said to resounding applause.

He added that foreign news reports have falsely portrayed “an image of crisis and chaos.’‘

‘‘You would think that the revolution only had a few hours left,’’ Castro sarcastically told an audience of government officials, military personnel and other loyal followers gathered at the Karl Marx Theater in Havana.

The audience, including hundreds of Americans who arrived this week with an aid shipment, gave Castro a standing ovation.

But even as Castro tried to minimize the relevance of dissidents, the 78-year-old ruler acknowledged that a lengthy drought, a crippling energy crunch and devastation from Hurricane Dennis has made life more difficult on the island, and he asked the Cubans to be patient.

The population has grown increasingly weary from blackouts that last for hours, spoiling already depleted food supplies. Small, sporadic antigovernment acts have been reported across the island.

Tuesday’s gathering was to commemorate the July 26, 1953, assault led by Castro in a failed attempt to seize the Cuban army’s Moncada Barracks in the eastern city of Santiago. The annual celebration has traditionally been a large public affair but was scaled back this year.


 

  1. Follow up post #1 added on July 27, 2005 by I-taoist with 213 total posts

    Once again we see how U.S. interference in Cuba’ internal affairs plays right into the hands of Castro and his henchmen.  With her U.S. collaboration, Roque completely undermines the genuine dissident movement on the island.  It allows Castro to portray himself and his regime as defenders of Cuban soverignity and independence, something average Cubans will always choose.  It represents the core folly of the Bush administration: Inadvertently strengthening the communists on the island by its own misguided and short sighted actions and policies. 


  2. Follow up post #2 added on July 27, 2005 by Brent with 6 total posts

    To think the actions of Martha Beatriz Roque and those who publicly stand up against the government give Castro a reason to portray himself and his regime as defenders of Cuban sovereignty and independence is not true. He would portray himself in those terms against any person or group that disagrees with him. He always has. We should praise anyone who speaks out on behalf of the rights of ordinary Cubans and points out problems. Donít get me wrong I’m completely against the US embargo and tactics but your statement would suggest that no one should speak out and therefore Castro would have no one to blame.

    Her actions also help bring notice to Americans of the Cuban situation. By starting a diologue in the US more average Americans see how ridiculous and hurtful their governmentís policies are. The sad truth is that few Americans truly understand the situation in Cuba or care about how their government’ policies effect the Cuban people on a daily basis. And sadder still is that when you speak with a Cuban in Havana they think Americans think as much about them they do about Americans.

    The American policies is not orchestrated by average Americans, they are orchestrated by the same families whose actions caused the revolution in the first place. The same families the revolution was fought against. The same families who fled in fear. And the same families who continue to lobby hard to further tighten the embargo. These are the same families who benefit by keeping average Americans in the dark over the real Cuban situation and keep Americans from seeing the beauty, strength and resolve of the Cuban people. There are many in Cuba who feel that the embargo is in place as much to punish them for the revolution as much as it is to topple Castro. Castro has been in power for fifty years. The fact that the embargo is not working in its stated goal to topple Castro is obvious.

    Certainly my hope is that “genuine” dissident movement on the island will gain strength and a foothold but until the time comes that they are strong enough to speak out I feel compelled to praise those who do speak out.


  3. Follow up post #3 added on July 27, 2005 by I-taoist with 213 total posts

    No doubt, it takes great courage to publicly challenge the Castro regime.  And I support the dissenters in Cuba.  My question is, what price are they paying in credibility by their association with the U.S. Interests Section and James Cason?

    Think about it.  If here in the U.S. an organization like the ACLU, for example, a commonly dissenting voice, were shown to have financial support and encouragement from the socialist government of France through their embassy here, all hell would break loose, and the ACLU would lose all credibility.  It is the same in Cuba for those dissenters who accept support from us.  Besides, it also opens them to the charge of sedition, if not frank treason, as it would here - for sure. 


  4. Follow up post #4 added on July 29, 2005 by PABLOPUEBLO with 86 total posts

    There is no way to be doubted about Castro is very fretted
    over the way the dissidence is going up and it is because
    could be a very close call decision to repress or not to
    repress,we are living in 2005,the nineties are up and Castro
    knows that and even more he knows if the play is going down
    his cronies,lay him down, in order to survive,So it is a
    difficult choice between Moratinos,The european commission,
    Candy Rice indications or the stalin’ style which he loves
    the first.It si true the opposition in Cuba is lack of
    preparedness,there is not a genuine leader at sight,but the
    point is that Cuba whereabouts doesn’t need a leader,and ever
    in the repressive situation in which the have to operated,no
    matter preparedness or whatsoever when the moment come people
    will go to the streets and that will be the very moment of
    Castro,But Castro,even now have a chance,and this is to solve
    the sadly nagging problems of my fellows,such as blackouts,
    lack of foods,etc,doing that a great part of the problems will
    solved,and this will be another scenario.


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