Hector Palacios, a Cuban dissident released from jail and allowed to travel abroad last fall for medical treatment, tells AP that he plans to return to Cuba next month along with his wife Gisela Delgado, leader of the independent libraries in Cuba.
Mr. Palacios was in
Here’s what he told AFP May 30 (my translation):
“Without dialogue, there is no peaceful change,” he opined, before pointing out “a series of points that have to disappear from the embargo,” in his opinion. “First, that Cubans [Cuban Americans] may travel to their country any time they wish, that they may send their family what they want to send, and also that
This comment comes on the heels of Martha Beatriz Roque’s direct appeal to President Bush, in a videoconference early last month, to end restrictions on family travel and remittances. Previously, Roque had been a steadfast supporter of President Bush’s policies.
Vladimiro Roca, another dissident leader, told EFE last week that Senator Obama’s position on
“…breaks the ... state of siege that it tries to maintain to justify repression and narrow-mindedness…On the other hand, McCain would help the hard line…to maintain the approach that they are beseiged by the greatest power in the world.”
Then there was this article from Oscar Espinosa Chepe who, like Palacios, was arrested in 2003 as part of the group of 75 and is provisionally out of jail for health reasons. The article appeared last month in
“Democratic countries that wish to help the Cuban people should recognize the existence of a new situation that calls for new thinking. The policy of isolating
It is not new for Chepe to oppose
And it’s not surprising to see these opinions being expressed out loud; President Bush’s term is nearing its end, and in my experience at least, Cubans on the street are not fans of American sanctions. They already have a government, after all, that builds barriers between them and the outside world – and they don’t like the idea that other governments would join in that effort.
Yesterday Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez spoke to dissidents by phone (to whom, his statement doesn’t specify).
The same question comes to mind as in the Bush videoconference: Our leaders talk to the dissidents, but do they listen?