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Posted June 16, 2004 by publisher in Cuba Human Rights

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Associated Press

HAVANA - The U.S. government denied a visa to moderate Cuban dissident Dimas Castellanos, despite U.S. policies that encourage links between the United States and Cubans opposed to Fidel Castro’s communist government.

The opposition group Arco Progresista, to which Castellanos belongs, said Tuesday that the United States was targeting moderate dissidents who criticize U.S. policy as well as the Cuban government.

The U.S. Interests Section in Havana confirmed that Castellanos’ visa request was denied, but issued a statement saying that “support or nonsupport for U.S. policy is not a litmus test for receiving a U.S. visa.”

It declined say why the visa was denied, citing confidentiality rules.

“Our long-standing policy is to provide uncensored information to Cubans,” the statement continued. “We have provided informational materials to supporters of Arco Progresista, despite this organization’s well-known disagreement with U.S. policy.”

Castellanos, whom Arco Progresista described as a “prominent, social-democratic thinker,” was invited to participate in a conference at the Institute of Cuban Studies in Miami at the end of June.

“What’s puzzling about the denial is that it comes from a government that says it supports the promotion of human rights, the exercise of personal liberties ... and the democratization of Cuba,” Arco Progresista said in a statement.

Seventy-five Cuban dissidents accused of working with U.S. diplomats to undermine the island’s government were arrested and sentenced to long prison terms in a crackdown last year. Two have since been released for health reasons.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on June 16, 2004 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Note from the US Government to Cuban Dissidents: “We are from the Government and we are here to help”.

    Sad isn’t it? How’ the Embargo working?

    Castro has been there for 45 years and the Embargo been going on for 42 years…YEARS!

    Cuba consulting services

  2. Follow up post #2 added on June 18, 2004 by MJD

    There has to be something more to it than being blatantly hypocritical.At least I hope so…

  3. Follow up post #3 added on June 21, 2004 by Dana Garrett

    Perhaps if Dimas Castellanos blew up a plane filled with Cuban teenage female athletes, the USA would not only give him a visa but safe haven and a presidential pardon as well. 

    As well know, it has happened before. 

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