Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Human Rights Day

The surprising aspect of Human Rights Day in Cuba was that the government saw a need to speak out, apparently in reaction to a demonstration that took place in Havana.

The foreign ministry called a press conference shortly before the demonstration itself to announce that Cuba will sign – sometime before May 2008 – UN human rights conventions, including the one on civil and political rights. Many stories filed from Havana led with the news of this announcement, but coverage of the demonstration was extensive nonetheless.

The demonstration, led by dissident Darsi Ferrer and involving about a dozen people, proceeded quietly – at first – in a square in Vedado. According to multiple press reports, it was broken up by a mob, apparently directed by plainclothes officials, after the demonstrators marched a few blocks away from the square.

Ferrer was told the day before to appear at the local military headquarters on the morning of the demonstration. Reportedly, others who intended to join the demonstration were detained before they could go. A number of the demonstrators themselves were detained by police. (AP’s coverage here.)

Was this overkill because that is what they do automatically, or did the government expect that far more than a few dozen might have shown up for the demonstration?

33 comments:

leftside said...

Normally on Human Rights Day, Cuba finds reason to speak out about the Cuban 5, Gitmo or such. But yesterday was much more than that. This announcement of imminent signing of the 2 most important human rights accords, coupled with visits of UN Human Rights staff, represents a huge victory that rights activists have been rightly demanding for decades. Everyone who is truly concerned with human rights in Cuba should take stock and thank the defeat of the discriminatory UN Human Rights regime in favor of universal enforcement. Chalk a victory up for those willing to depart from the US demanded rights regime.

The fact that the announcement was sullied by the actions of State Security in El Vedado is regrettable. A part of me wants to believe that Security is just protecting these dozen protesters from the wrath of their own people (and there is some truth to that), and that the foriegn participation and Radio Mambi advertising invalidate any right to speech, but I can not say that in this instance I am convinced. I think the Government would have been better served to allow the paltry gathering speak for itself, and expose the foreign elements through other means (including the invitation of these same individuals to a gala at Parlmy's house that night).

As it is, I think the round ups are meant to send a signal to the hardcore opposition (maybe a couple hundred Cubans) that such events intended more for spectacle and global consumption than anything useful, are simply not going to be allowed during this critical juncture. Meanwhile, the increasingly USIS dependent las damas march unimpeded every week...

Henry Gomez said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

henry, leftside lives on a different planet. Hence, the inability of his alien mind to process and coherently understand that which he sees before him -- as we humans do.

Agustin Farinas said...

Leftside said:
"A part of me wants to believe that Security is just protecting these dozen protesters from the wrath of their own people (and there is some truth to that".

Your continuos attempts to apologize for the repression of this bloody govt are amazing.

Do you reaaly expect us to belive that the same govt that sank a tugboat full of women and children, is going to be concerned about the protection of its opponents from the mob of its supporters and members of State Security in civilian clothes?
Obviously you must think we are stupid or brain dead.
Why not tell us that the Brown Shirts were in the streets of Germany in 1938 to protect the Jews from the wrath of the German people?
What exactly is in the water in California that produces this type of moronic thinking?
We need to advise Arnold to have the Environmental Agency check the driking water in California.

leftside said...

Are you guys incapable of reading an entire post or what? I said I was NOT convinced by the Government's (and their supporter's) actions. I said the actions sullied the otherwise very important announcement. I said it was regrettable...

That said, it does clearly appear that some people who were leading the repudiation were indeed protecting the demonstrators... telling them to back off "comrade because that is what they want."

I have addressed the tugboat incident previously Farinas. But if you think the "Cuban regime" killed those people on purpose you are the one who needs to check your water. It was a tragic accident promted by a hijacking that would not have taken place but for US immigration policy.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Juan Cuellar said...

Not really anonymous. He (Lefty) is not sick or twisted. He is just a that happen to be a communist by genes and that, curiously, happen to work as a " Area Planner comissioner" in LA government.

Juan Cuellar said...

Forgot "puntos suspensivos" after "Is just a..." in my previous message.

leftside said...

I think assuming that a Government committed mass homocide on innocent people in the high seas is what is sick and twisted (not to mention certifiably paranoid).

So you must have some facts or rationale to prove an intentional massacre? Was it the fact that the port tugboat saved three or four lives, despite not knowing who were the kidnappers and having no equipment. Was it the fact that the Coast Guard arrived immediately and rescued 25 more from the waters? Was it the secret phone call from Fidel to the port authorities ordering to kill them all (there were no communications from the port for the first 2 hours - and then only to the Coast Guard)?

Please enlighten me as I would like to know if I am really a "sick, twisted, mutherfucker" as you so artfully and intelligently claimed. Phil, are you going to allow your blog to become a venue for personal attacks without any substance?? I can take it but things are going downhill fast.

Phil Peters said...

I have removed two comments; one because of obscenity and another because a writer asked that his anonymity be protected for a reason I found compelling.

I can probably count on one hand the times I have found reason to do this.

Here's the second comment as it appeared, minus the name:

Leftside, you should know full well that the state security agents were not there to protect the protesters, they were there to direct the act of repudiation. If they were there to protect them, they did the most terrible job of any security detail ever anywhere in the world. People simply walked up to the protesters and elbowed them and grabbed them and yelled at them. Look at the video of the guy raising the arm of Darsi's wife by force while he yells Viva Fidel.

You're grasping at straws to justify the unjustifiable. You would never accept someone doing to you what they do to these dissidents.

Just admit it, you're dishonest and you believe the ends justify the means no matter what those means entail.

December 12, 2007 1:00 AM

Juan Cuellar said...

And the testimony of the survival is a falsehood. Your assumptions knows better to contradicts the facts, as in your ideology. You remind me of those Jews that still justified Stalinism after the purges of Jews by the heroic leader Stalin and his Molotov pact with the Nazis. You are, Lefty, irreducibly complacently, definitely blind or strangely stupid.

Anonymous said...

this blog went downhill the moment you first posted here, leftside...

Anonymous said...

Juan Cuellar forgot that his family back in Cuba "is just as" communist as he claims Leftside to be. And remember folks "the apple never falls far from the tree" Need I say anything else?

Agustin Farinas said...

Leftside:
The only reason the sinking did not cause more deaths and they decided to stop it, was the apparition of a Greek merchant ship who was witnessing the actions taking place. The stories told by the survivors contradict everything you posted above. But you continue to excuse the inexcusable. Women and children were drowned intentionally and neither you or anyone else can deny that, no matter how much you want to excuse this murderous action.
You, just like every other left leaning socialist, can see no wrong doing by the Govt of Cuba. Someday when the archives of the DGI are opened, we will know the complete truth. In the meantime, I hope you can sleep well knowing you are defending a murderous regime that can see no difference between women and children civilians. Maybe you should read the account of the Chidren of the Enemy by Norberto Fuentes (is availbale in English) and get some education about this despicable cold blooded murder incident.
And yet, we have to read your postings about how the State Security was there to protect the dissidents. If it wasn't so painful your commentary would be laughable. As another commenter correctly said: you must be from another planet obviosuly.

Juan Cuellar said...

Anonimito, si de algo vivo orgullosisimo es que nadie, te repito, nadie en mi familia es comunista. Eso es ya en si una medalla que cargo con orgullo. Una familia pobre antes del engendro de Castro y ninguno se creyo el cuenta de la Buena Pipa de ese bola de churre. Ahora a cantar la bayamesa que llevas dentro a tus superiores en Cuba. Una cartica a la gorda o una llamadita al G2 y te diran lo mismo. Tira y escondete. !Jijiji!

leftside said...

I have read the stories of the survivors as well, and they say that the Port tugboat tried to first steer the hijacked boat to a pier first, then to the shore, but were outmanuevered. It wasn't until they were 7 miles out that the water cannons and eventual ramming started (both common if dangerous tactics of the US Coast Guard when all else fails). Sure, some of the anti-Government survivors suspect it was this Greek ship 1000 meters away that promted the rescue. But how they could see from that far what was going on during the pitch black night is an obvious question.

But if this was premeditated murder - and not an accident - how to explain that the boat was tried to be steered towards the pier and shore first??

Juan Cuellar said...

Please Lefty, stop that nonesense. Have a sense of dignity.

Fantomas said...

what dignity? he has none

llevatelo phil

PhD said...

No, please don't discourage him from posting here. I am a doctoral student in psychology and I am studying his writings for my thesis. I feel I am on the verge of a major breakthrough in diagnosing his psychosis. I am going to call it leftsidious imperviousnus -- an otherwise functioning individual who is utterly impervious to reality and the truth and lives in a carefully constructed fantasy world of his own creation. I will post a link here when I am done with my research.

Juan Cuellar said...

leftsidious imperviousnus? Hahahahah! Thanks phd, you made my day. Looking forward to your thesis link. Hahahaha!

Agustin Farinas said...

Juan,
A very good description of the illness. It also has infected other members of the Southern California tribe, such as Danny Glover, Belafonte, Sean Penn, Antonio Banderas, Steven "I spent the best hours of my life with Fidel" Spielberg, and others.
They simply refuse to admit what is obvious to everyone else. That Cuba is a totalitarian tyranny, (Belafonte went as far as to describe the USA as a tyranny!)
Lenin describe them very well many years ago: Useful idiots.
And Stalin used them during his tenure to the end. Intelectuals and writers from Europe and the reporter from the New York Times went so far as to describe the Soviet Union as the future of mankind!
Meantime, millions of Soviet citizens were dissapearing into the maw of the Gulag, or were rotting in the the prisons of the GPU.
But of course Leftside will probably say that Stalin was an aberration and that the Revolution was perverted by Stalin and that Communism is not that bad of a system if applied correctly. Of course no one knows yet what exactly "correctly means. Gee, Pol Pot in Cambodia comes to mind. Now, there socialism was applied correctly and approx 2 million of the citizens of Cambodia died. But who is concerned about a mere 2 million folks when the future of socialism is at stake. As you know it was all done with the best intentions in the name of saving mankind from the evils of capitalism.

leftside said...

Forget what I think about Russian Communism and Stalin. Find out what polling and voting in today's Russia says (the fall of Communism is the "biggest disaster in Russian history" and Stalin is viewed pretty ambiviantly, if not positiviely by many). Ask yourself how the pro-market liberal parties are doing today (shut out of Parliment). Did you know who came in second in the last election there (the Commies)? I happen to think Stalin was the biggest diaster in Russian history, but it is far more interesting to know what those who lived the history and know much more than I feel...

Although, we can not know exact figures for sure, it is likely that Nixon's secret bombing of Cambodia (the heaviest ever recorded) killed at least as many as Pol Pot. The Finnish Government (the only major study really done on this) claims US bombing killed 600,000 people. Then there likely were 750,000-1 million starvations as peasant's fields went unsowed, the country shattered and once massive US supported refugee camps went fallow. Of course, there was massive, incomprehensibly cruel executions by KR forces of anyone suspected of tacitly supporting the pro-US govt and therefore the American bombardment (best estimates are 150-250,000). The drive out of the city killed many more, but no one knows how many more would have starved with the inability to feed the capital. It is also worth remembering that the US supported Pol Pot's (resistance) organization for a good decade starting in 1978, through the late 80s.

leftside said...

Forget what I think about Russian Communism and Stalin. Find out what polling and voting in today's Russia says (the fall of Communism is the "biggest disaster in Russian history" and Stalin is viewed pretty ambiviantly, if not positiviely by many). Ask yourself how the pro-market liberal parties are doing today (shut out of Parliment). Did you know who came in second in the last election there (the Commies)? I happen to think Stalin was the biggest diaster in Russian history, but it is far more interesting to know what those who lived the history and know much more than I feel...

Although, we can not know exact figures for sure, it is likely that Nixon's secret bombing of Cambodia (the heaviest ever recorded) killed at least as many as Pol Pot. The Finnish Government (the only major study really done on this) claims US bombing killed 600,000 people. Then there likely were 750,000-1 million starvations as peasant's fields went unsowed, the country shattered and once massive US supported refugee camps went fallow. Of course, there was massive, incomprehensibly cruel executions by KR forces of anyone suspected of tacitly supporting the pro-US govt and therefore the American bombardment (best estimates are 150-250,000). The drive out of the city killed many more, but no one knows how many more would have starved with the inability to feed the capital. It is also worth remembering that the US supported Pol Pot's (resistance) organization for a good decade starting in 1978, through the late 80s.

Henry Gomez said...

I don't know why Leftside is so sensitive about his identity when he has blogged publicly using his real name for some time

Juan Cuellar said...

Agusting, taking that route, the same can be said about Nazism. Can anyone imagine how the world would respond if someone use the argument about the economic growth, the invention of the superhighways, the car of the people (Volkswagen), the child care in factories for the workers and the standard of living in Nazi Germany and blah, blah, blah to justify it? Armageddon! But we, those crazy, intolerant Cubans have to hear it and take it too. Please, give me a break!

Gomez, the funny thing about Lefty complaint about his identity, according to Phil, is that he never did it publicly in this forum. It was done behind close door. Let see if Phil has an answer for that base on your hard evidence, especially when he said he has not done it before. That is, to erase 2 messages.

leftside said...

That was 2.5 years ago when I posted that - on my own blog. That was before I was threatened and harassed by the Babalu crowd - before I was banned from commenting there and other sites. In fact I was threatened here on these pages just a few days ago (that I would not make it alive to a counter-revolutionary Cuba).

Why is it those who supposedly understand tyranny and suppression of speech most seem to engage in it the most here in America? I was naive at first - but actually my wife saw some of the threats I received and demanded I be more careful...

Juan Cuellar said...

Lefty your paragon of "tyranny and suppression of speech" doesn't really work. Phil erase one message because you complaint, privately (I reiterate) about it to be found later that your real identity was revealed by you in your own blog. The fact that Phil made an explanation that turn out to be false is another story, but after all this is his blog and he is entitle to say what he feels saying.
One can make the accusation that it was "censorship" but not even Henry Gomez made such statement. On the other hand, you are saying the same thing without any proof whatsoever, just throwing the same mud we are accustom to it to always festinate to justify Castro's regimen at the expense of his victims.
Tell your wife not to worry, nobody can or will harm you more that yourself. History will be the judge and the executioner. I would like to see that post here that you cited as "life threatening."

Fantomas said...

To me, Che is much more than an important symbol. He is a true model of what a human being can be. He never stopped trying to learn and relate political theory to the state of the world. He inspired and was inspired by the youth. He knew a better society was possible - one that shared, cared for each other and fought for justice. He criticised the Soviet Union and believed there was more to life than consumerism. He was a brave and inspired leader on the battlefield and as a Cuban Government Minister .

LEFT SIDE YOU REALLY SAID THAT?

Juan Cuellar said...

!Cono Fantoma! for a momment you got me worry and I thougt you were saying all that garbage about Che. Your question in the end was a relief.

Henry Gomez said...

Well Lefty, I don't believe you were threatened. I believe you are a liar. You have lied time and again. I have documented the lies that you told about Dominican migrants. You claimed that their trek to freedom was far longer and more dangerous than Cubans but I corrected you by pointing out that the coast guard reports that those migrants are smuggled into nearby Puerto Rico. Even after I showed you the truth, you continued to post those untruths. So you're credibility is shot in my opinion. If Max Lesnik and Fransisco Aruca can walk around Miami, you have nothing to worry about. And the fact that you changed your mind 2.5 years ago doesn't change the fact that your identity is still public information. If you wanted to really please your spouse and be anonymous you would take down all those posts.

Henry Gomez said...

Well Lefty, I don't believe you were threatened. I believe you are a liar. You have lied time and again. I have documented the lies that you told about Dominican migrants. You claimed that their trek to freedom was far longer and more dangerous than Cubans but I corrected you by pointing out that the coast guard reports that those migrants are smuggled into nearby Puerto Rico. Even after I showed you the truth, you continued to post those untruths. So you're credibility is shot in my opinion. If Max Lesnik and Fransisco Aruca can walk around Miami, you have nothing to worry about. And the fact that you changed your mind 2.5 years ago doesn't change the fact that your identity is still public information. If you wanted to really please your spouse and be anonymous you would take down all those posts.

leftside said...

I was threatened here on these pages. I think Phil deleted the post...

And I did take down that one post from 2.5 years ago. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

As for the migration debate we had a few years ago, I never lied. You brought up a fair point that I was not aware of I acknowledged it. That is not lying. It did not change the thrust of my argument on that point however...

leftside said...

I was threatened here on these pages. I think Phil deleted the post...

And I did take down that one post from 2.5 years ago. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

As for the migration debate we had a few years ago, I never lied. You brought up a fair point that I was not aware of I acknowledged it. That is not lying. It did not change the thrust of my argument on that point however...