Monday, July 25

Concern Mounts Over the Fate Of Jailed Cubans

I'm glad to read that the US is urging other countries to join in condemning these acts. Perhaps they should look into better enforcement of the embargo that keeps Castro in power.

For those who may claim the embargo is killing the Cuban people, get real. The only one that would benefit from a lifting of the embargo would be Castro himself. Nothing would change for the people. The added attention is good for the cause, and reveals Castro's true nature--a power-hungry, maniacal dictator living in his very own fantasy land at the expense of the people.

Let us all hope this is the beginning of the end.
Concern is mounting in America over the fate of 15 Cuban dissidents jailed during a crackdown this weekend on opposition leaders by the island's communist strongman, Fidel Castro. Among the detained are leaders of the historic May 20 pro-democracy gathering in Havana, and some Cuban-American leaders in Washington said yesterday that their imprisonment was evidence that tensions on the island nation are reaching a breaking point.

According to organizers at the Miami based support center for the Assembly to Promote Civil Society in Cuba - an association of 365 independent Cuban civic organizations that, on May 20, held an unprecedented meeting of the island's pro-democracy movement - 29 dissidents were arrested Friday as they prepared to demonstrate in front of the French Embassy in Havana. The detained included the three principal organizers of the May 20 gathering: Martha Beatriz Roque Cabello, Rene Gomez Manzano, and Felix Bonne Carcasses. All three have been political prisoners during Mr. Castro's regime.

As of yesterday evening, 14 of the 29 dissidents jailed on Friday, including Ms. Roque, had been released, Miami support coordinators said. According to reports from Mr. Gomez's brother, Jorge Gomez Manzano, both Messrs. Gomez and Bonne remained in Cuban facilities without any indication that they would be released. Ms. Roque, 59, was reported to be at home but suffering from low blood pressure and other ailments as a result of her detention.

On Saturday, the American government denounced the crackdown as an act of "deplorable repression," and, in a statement from a deputy spokesman for the State Department, Adam Ereli, urged the Cuban government to "immediately free all of those arrested."

"We urge other countries to join us in condemning these acts," the statement continued.

According to Cuban-American leaders in Congress, condemnation from other countries - particularly E.U. members - will be vital in the efforts to liberate the detainees and bring democracy to Cuba.