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Posted December 10, 2009 by publisher in Cuba Human Rights

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By ANDREA RODRIGUEZ | The Associated Press

Hundreds of government supporters shouted insults and pro-Castro slogans at about 50 wives, mothers and other female relatives of Cuban political prisoners as they marched Wednesday through a crowded Havana neighborhood in the name of human rights.

There were no injuries among the “Women in White,” a political opposition group that holds small, silent marches along Fifth Avenue in a wealthier part of the Cuban capital each Sunday after attending Roman Catholic Mass. The women dress head-to-toe in white.

The demonstrations usually only go for a few blocks and rarely draw the ire of supporters of Fidel and Raul Castro, nor do they generate much support among the general population, who know little about the dissidents.

But this time, the group left from the central Havana apartment of Laura Pollan, one of the organization’s founders and the wife of Hector Maceda, who is serving a 20-year prison sentence for his political views. They also marched for more than an hour.

Supporters of Cuba’s communist government are especially edgy this week given that Thursday marks International Human Rights Day, which annually prompts the Women in White and other tiny dissident groups to stage marches.

On Wednesday, the women made their way through the streets carrying copies of the universal declaration of human rights and occasionally chanting “Liberty! Liberty! Liberty!”

A crowd followed behind yelling “Fidel! Fidel!” and “Down with worms!” - the latter a common slang for Cubans who head into exile in the United States.

After the women returned to Pollan’s home, which is filmed day and night by a government camera mounted nearby and also often watched by state agents in plainclothes stationed on nearby street corners, the government supporters continued to shout insults while the women cowered inside.

“For 50 years they’ve been violating our rights and those of our husbands,” Pollan said.

Pollan’s group was formed after what Cuban dissidents call the “Black Spring” in 2003.

With the world’s attention focused on the start of the U.S.-led war in Iraq, Cuba’s government rounded up 75 leading political opposition leaders, activists and independent journalists and sentenced them to lengthy prison terms for allegedly conspiring with Washington to undermine the island’s political system.

The Communist Party is the only political party allowed in Cuba and the government tolerates no organized opposition, imposing strict controls on freedom of speech, assembly, expression and the press. The island’s leading independent human rights group says more than 200 political prisoners are being held in Cuba.

Some of those arrested in the 2003 crackdown have been released on medical parole and others were freed into forced exile in Spain or after serving their sentences, but 53 remain behind bars.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on December 11, 2009 by Cubana with 282 total posts

    Even British diplomats are being targeted by these government organised mobs as this report from the BBC relates:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8407276.stm


  2. Follow up post #2 added on December 11, 2009 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    and this from Reuters

    Cuban dissidents mark rights day with protests

    About 30 female relatives of political prisoners walked silently through the ramshackle Havana streets carrying flowers and Cuban flags before being surrounded and jostled by some 250 people shouting “Traitors” and “The street belongs to Fidel.”

    and this from the AP

    Pro-government crowd pursues Cuban rights marchers

    The demonstrations usually only go for a few blocks and rarely draw the ire of supporters of Fidel and Raul Castro, nor do they generate much support among the general population, who know little about the dissidents.

    But this time, the group left from the central Havana apartment of Laura Pollan, one of the organization’s founders and the wife of Hector Maceda, who is serving a 20-year prison sentence for his political views. They also marched for more than an hour.

    Supporters of Cuba’s communist government are especially edgy this week given that Thursday marks International Human Rights Day, which annually prompts the Women in White and other tiny dissident groups to stage marches.

    and this from The Morning Call

    Cuban government supporters break up 2 human rights marches, chase away British diplomat

    Government supporters screaming insults and slogans broke up two tiny International Human Rights Day marches Thursday and chased away a British diplomat onlooker, pounding on his car as he drove away.

    Hundreds of enraged Cubans confronted a march led by Yusnaimi Jorge, wife of Darcy Ferrer, a black physician and veteran dissident who had headed demonstrations every Dec. 10 but has been behind bars since this summer for buying black market cement.

    “This street is Fidel’s,” the crowd yelled as a group of men in plainclothes, believed to be state security agents, ringed the demonstrators, eventually placing them in unmarked vehicles.

    The pro-government crowd also pursued observer Chris Stimpson, second secretary of the British Embassy, shouting at him until he fled to his car, then ringing the vehicle and banging on it. He returned to his office without further incident.

    END

    All these articles have photos. Everyone is yelling and screaming… those are the government supporters NOT the protesters.

    Well Fidel, what are you going to do about this? I would ask Raul but he’s not really in charge is he?

    The cat is out of the bag. Pandora’s box has been open. The dissidents are “attacking” from all sides and the international press and Internet are covering the peaceful uprising like never before.

    What will Fidel do about this? CAN he do anything about this?



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  3. Follow up post #3 added on December 11, 2009 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Also, CapitalHillCubans.com has a good summary of the Human Rights Day and Darsi Ferrer



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  4. Follow up post #4 added on December 11, 2009 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    Check this video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSNbNZtaOX0&feature=player_embedded#


  5. Follow up post #5 added on December 12, 2009 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    I was checking to see if the Havana Times would be covering the uprising since they claim to have “open minded writing from Cuba”.

    Nope. I guess the uprising was not important to the Editor in Exile Mr. Circles Robinson.

    They did “stuff” the site with lots of content the day after as, it would seem, to take peoples’ minds off any problems with the uprising. Reading the HavanaTimes.org is really no different than reading Granma. I wonder what the
    Editor in Exile thinks about his Communist Utopia now that the Cuban government has kicked him out of Cuba.

    All these articles were posted on December 11. MANY posts for one day for Havana Times.

    Cuba Hosts Mexican FM for Talks

    Cuba Changes Radio and TV Head

    Cuba’s GDP to Grow One Percent

    Pope Questions US Blockade on Cuba

    Charanga Habanera 45-Day USA Tour

    Swedish FM: Cuba Dialogue Includes HR

    People at Havana Film Festival

    New Cuban film: “El Premio Flaco”

    Honduras Pres.-Elect Seeks Recognition

    END

    So, as you can see, all is well in Cuba.



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  6. Follow up post #6 added on December 12, 2009 by paul

    pipefitter and marekonson will have perfectly good justifications for this


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