Monday, March 28, 2011

Cuba: Damas de Blanco leave again

Published: 03/27/1911 at 2:38 PM

HAVANA .- The Damas de Blanco made their march for the first time after their husbands were released and stated that arouses great expectations to visit Cuba former U.S. president James Carter.

"The life of the Damas de Blanco is not over because all dissident group of 75 are free. We will continue  our activities to be released all prisoners of awareness and to fight for human rights, "said Laura Pollan to  the press.

Most of the Ladies in White are married to dissidents were imprisoned in 2003 and since that time every Sunday attending a  Mass in a church in Havana and then with a hand gladiolus walk a few blocks.

In July 2010 President Raul Castro met with Cardinal Jaime Ortega and announced that 52 of the 75 convicted in 2003 still remained prisoners could leave prison and travel to Spain. Since then, 40 went to Spain and 12 remained in Cuba.

The dissidents were convicted in 2003 on charges of receiving money and  U.S. guidelines and to destroy anti-Castro groups  revolution. The last two were released from prison on Wednesday.

Pollan, a leader of the Ladies in White married to Hector Maceda, recently released, also expressed his hope  former President Carter will serve as a "mediator" in any Talks between Cuba and the United States.

Carter will arrive on Monday to the island on a private visit at the invitation of the Cuban government and is scheduled to meet Tuesday with President Raúl Castro.

"If you decide to meet with us we are available," said Pollan.


Carter begins three-day visit to Cuba

Published: 03/28/1911 at 1:08 PM
Jimmy Carter visita Cuba
HAVANA .- The former president United States Jimmy Carter arrived on Monday Cuba to meet with President Raul Castro and Jewish leaders few days after a court sentenced 15 years imprisonment to a  U.S. contractor.

Rosalynn Carter and his wife were welcomed at the capital airport  by Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez and the head of the Interests United States in Havana, Jonathan Farrar. He made no statements  the press.

His arrival comes weeks after a court Islander sentenced to 15 years in prison for U.S. contractor Alan Gros by performing "acts against the independence or territorial integrity the state. "

For Cuba is living proof that Washington does not give up, nor under the administration of President Barack Obama, in his intentions interfere in the internal affairs of the Caribbean nation.

According to an agenda provided by the Cuban authorities, the former president  will also meet with Catholic Cardinal Jaime Ortega and perform some cultural interest tours.

His visit raised expectations about possible arrangements for Gross, 61, imprisoned since December 2009.

"If he can help Alan in any way we can ... special (extra) grateful, "said the wife of Judy Gross contractor in a statement over the weekend.

Gross came to the island with telecommunications equipment on behalf of Development Associates International, a firm that serves Agency for International Development in the United States development of implementing programs to support democratization the island. For the Cuban authorities is a screen promote and finance government activities.

The contractor argued that the equipment was for associations Hebrew, but members of these groups said they had not requested material and in some cases denied knowledge of the contractor.

Although journalists were not allowed to attend the trial at Gross to Earlier this month - his wife and lawyer if they were U.S. present - a statement from the Cuban authorities indicated that "At the hearing of the trial the defendant admitted having been used and manipulated "by the DAI.

Carter visited the island earlier in May 2002.

(Carter (1977-1981) took some initiatives to Cuba during mandate as allowing travel, managed and sea border disputes also created the Interests Section.