Thursday, September 16, 2010

LPP First Draft...

Barbarians at the Gate

Thursday, September 16, 2010
The dust has barely settled on the Castro regime's new self-employment charade, but those seeking to profit from Cuba's captive population -- no matter how unscrupulously -- are already forming a queue.
First, the L.A. Times runs an insensitive editorial entitled, "Capitalizing on Cuba," which bluntly demands:

"The U.S. embargo should be lifted, so American businesses can go to Cuba and get busy"

No mention whatsoever of any human, civil and political rights for the Cuban people (or genuine economic rights for that matter).

Then, Time Magazine chimes in:

"The Washington-based Cuba Study Group, a nonprofit headed by Cuban-American business leaders, has already proposed, along with Mexico's Banco Compartamos, a $10 million microloan program for Cuban entrepreneurs."

Doesn't that sound nice?

Of course, Time forgot to disclose that Banco Compartamos is a for-profit bank fueled by annual interest rates that exceed 100%.

Those are called predatory loans.

Needless to say, predatory loans are not the way to bring freedom to the Cuban people. To the contrary, they're the quickest way to create anger and disgust towards the U.S.

Predatory loans are rightfully frowned upon within the U.S. -- where people actually have rights and can freely express grievances -- so why try to impose them upon a repressed and victimized population abroad?
That's shameless and abusive.

Don't Change Tack on Cuba

Wednesday, September 15, 2010
From The Parliament:

Dissidents appeal to EU 'not to change tack' over Cuba
A group of recently released Cuban dissidents have urged the EU to make sure that its policy on Cuba 'does not change'.
The demand comes after the group, who are all currently exiled in Spain, met parliament's president Jerzy Buzek in Brussels on Tuesday.

Following the meeting with Antonio Díaz, Ricardo Gonzalez and Normando Herrnández the Polish deputy said: "There is no half freedom. Freedom cannot be handed out in small rations. Cuban people should enjoy their basic human rights, freedoms and solidarity in their own country, not in exile."
Buzek added, "I have the highest respect for these brave people here and their families. They stand as an example to all those who care about freedom, human rights and democracy.

"The release of the prisoners is a positive step. However, parliament calls again for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners in Cuba.
"The Cuban government must respect fundamental freedoms, especially the freedom of expression and political association. I wrote this summer to president Castro to allow the ladies in white (Damas de Blanco) to leave the island so that they can accept parliament's invitation to collect the 2005 Sakharov prize in person.

"We voice again our profound solidarity with the entire Cuban people and support them in their progress towards democracy and respect and promotion of fundamental rights."

Earlier, the dissidents attended a meeting of representatives of the 73 member-parties of the European people's party (EPP) and other MEPs where they described the harsh conditions of their imprisonment and pleaded to the EU not to change its common position until the Cuban government "fully respects" human rights on the island.

Hernández told the meeting that "as long as the Cuban government systematically and on a daily basis violates the rights of Cubans, it should be clear that they will not see a change in the common position."
Diaz also said that there is continued harassment by the Castro regime of anyone who criticises it.

He cited as an example the daily difficulties of the mother of Orlando Zapata, the dissident who died last February, after a prolonged hunger strike.

EPP secretary general Antonio Lopez-Isturiz reaffirmed "the continuing commitment of the EPP to achieve freedom and human rights for Cuban people."

"The EU is delaying the decision because there is no concrete evidence of a change of attitude by the regime. Therefore, until there is a real change on the island, including a peaceful transition to democracy, we must maintain the current EU policy on Cuba," Lopez-Isturiz added.

His comments were endorsed by Finnish MEP Heidi Hautala who said the dissidents had "gone through a very difficult time. Conditions of their imprisonment were very harsh."

She said that "releasing some of the prisoners and then sending them straight into exile is only partially a positive step. Another 115 political prisoners are still behind bars in Cuba."

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