HAVANA – Cuba continues to have the worst human rights record in the Americas and has not changed since Gen. Raul Castro assumed the presidency, a leading dissident group said Monday.
“Those who hoped that promises of ‘changes in structures and concepts’ would be reflected positively in the realm of human rights have been greatly disappointed,” said the Cuban Commission on Human Rights and Reconciliation in a report.
The report criticizes the policy of “placating” Cuban’s “totalitarian dictatorship” that prevails in the European Union “due to the persistent influence of the Spanish government,” and asks for “a stronger position” on the part of the international community.
The commission said that in the first seven months of 2009 at least 532 dissidents have been confirmed as objects of what it calls “low-profile political repression,” though it is convinced that “the true number is much higher.”
The same tactic of repression, the report says, has been applied without change for six years and consists of “systematic arrests for several hours or a few days, threats and other types of harassment against opposition activists.”
The commission attaches a list of 208 political prisoners, three more than in the report at the end of 2008, and says that it is “a negative situation that contrasts with the dominant trend of the last two decades,” during which time there has been a sustained decline in sentences for political reasons.
Among those jailed this year, the report mentions the cases of opposition members Jose Diaz Silva, Ernesto Diaz Esquivel and Darsi Ferrer Ramirez, who “remain locked up in maximum security prisons.”
“The Cuban government continues to occupy the dishonorable first place in the world for the number (65) of prisoners of conscience recognized by Amnesty International,” the opposition commission says.
The report says that Cuba’s “existing criminal code, Stalinist in character, continues criminalizing the exercise of fundamental civil, political and economic rights.” EFE
Source: Latin American Herald Tribune
FumigationAugust 12, 2009 |
By Irina Echarry
The smoke billows out of the apartments as if there were a fire burning in every home, as if nothing were more important than attacking the enemy. ”The enemy” has been the driving force behind many things on the island. In this case the enemy is a mosquito: the Aedes egypti.
After the smoke there are no ashes; nonetheless, the floor remains covered with a viscous liquid which anyone could slip on, not to mention the sneezes and the gasping for air from the asthmatics and those who have allergies.
It’s true that this unhappy insect presents a problem for humans, especially when it finds water and garbage to survive in. The fumigation seeks to eliminate these mosquitoes that cause dengue fever. It forms part of the campaign against disease vectors that the country is carrying out with the goal of improving the hygiene and peoples’ health.
That could be a wonderful thing
At certain unspecified times you have to open the doors of your house to strangers who penetrate even into the most hidden corners, inspecting the recipients with standing water. Those people, for the most part, have had to leave their jobs for a few days to join the Campaign. For this reason, because they are doing something that they have no desire to do, they often don’t treat others in the best manner.
In addition, I don’t know why they come at such inopportune times. They arrive at any moment of the day: at 8 in the morning when everyone is ready to leave the house, or at 6 in the evening when the family has returned ready to eat, tend to the children or simply to rest. Then people question things like their right to privacy and to choose when they want to fumigate their own home.
Supposedly, this should be a service that one requests and then prepares for. There are those who have old people in their home, or children who sleep at certain hours, or who may be sick. There are also those who don’t want mosquitoes, but who would feel more comfortable if they were advised what day and at what time they were going to come and fumigate.
Many are reluctant to open their doors and submit to so many annoyances, because it’s no use fumigating the apartments if the streets are full of sewage runoff, something very attractive to the mosquitoes.
The other dilemma belongs to the fumigators themselves who have to face the disgruntled looks of the tenants in the fumigated housing or their delay in opening their doors. Without even taking into consideration something extremely important - that they don’t have any kind of respiratory protection at all against the mixture of vapor and insecticide that they leave in the air while they go upstairs and downstairs with the heavy spray pack on their back or carried on one arm, according to the model.
The sanitation authorities have clarified that the concentrations of insecticide used are designed only to eliminate the mosquitoes, although it’s possible that some other insects could be affected as well. But if a person is exposed to chemicals over a long period, this could do them some harm as well.
The subject of mosquitoes is complex. You’d have to think of something less socially involved, less massive. Each human being is different and it may be true that you can’t take each one into consideration when making plans or laws that may save them or affect them; but, yes, you should take into consideration their different opinions in order to improve an action that is supposedly being carried out for the good of everyone.
Juanes defendió concierto en Cuba
Bosé y Olga Tañón lo acompañarán
Juanes habló con 'Aquí y Ahora' de su polémico concierto en Cuba.
17 de Agosto de 2009
|"Es tiempo de cambiar las mentes"|
|En Cuba con Bosé y Tañón|
|Protestas del exilio|
Luego de la polémica que desató Juanes al anunciar que en septiembre realizará un concierto por la paz en La Habana, Cuba; voces a favor y en contra se pronunciaron al respecto, obligando al cantante colombiano a defender y explicar su decisión. En entrevista con Aquí y Ahora, Juanes argumentó que su única intención es llevar un mensaje de cambio a la humanidad y que no pretende ofender a los cubanos que viven fuera de la isla. Aquí y Ahora se transmite todos los martes a las 10 PM /9 Centro por Univision.
"Yo no conozco lo que es vivir en un país en paz. Ni en Colombia, ni incluso aquí en los EEUU, n,i en ningún país de Latinoamérica o de Europa donde yo he estado, de alguna forma siempre hay tipos de violencia. La violencia no solamente es la física, es la del disparo y es la de las bombas. La violencia es mental también", explicó el cantautor colombiano.
"La paz es un complemento de muchas cosas. Aquí me dicen bueno allá no tienen libertad, yo les digo ok, si no tiene libertad ¿cómo pueden tener la paz? Si no la tenemos nosotros ni siquiera, nosotros tenemos la libertad supuestamente pero a veces no sabemos ni que hacer con ella", contó.