Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Six years

Fifty-four of the 75 dissidents and independent journalists arrested in 2003 remain in jail today. Their wives and mothers, joined together as the Damas de Blanco, are marking the sixth anniversary of their arrests and calling for their release.

There’s debate in Cuba, and I have heard some of it in the United States too, about the 75 and their activities, and there are allegations that they were acting as agents of a foreign power. I’m no fan of the Bush policy, which I think was counterproductive in almost every respect – but I don’t buy it, and I certainly don’t buy that such a charge could be brought and satisfactorily proved in the very brief time it took to arrest, try, and sentence these people. They deserve release.

Reuters coverage is here, AP’s here.


leftside said...

In US Law, an "agent of a foreign power" is someone who works for a foreign government or "any component thereof."

No one can dispute that the vast majority of those arrested 6 years ago worked closely with the US Interest's Section - and received loads of material benefits from that relationship. We know the USIS set up a whole apparatus for these people to interact with other foreign powers and write articles for media outlets - many of which were direct or indirect entities of the US Government. It is very clear what Bush, Reich and Cason were up to. That a few dozen disgruntled people who dressed up as librarians or journalists were able to live (relatively) high on the hog because of their foreign enemy contacts simply could not tolerated - not at a time when the US Government was on the prowl against "terrorist" governments (like Cuba) and Bolton was talking about bio-weapons.

As for the speed of the trials Peters, have you read the legal sentencing documents? Cuba was gathering evidence against these people for years. The reports are not polished but they are thorough. I might actually disagree with a handful of the legal stretches employed to conform to Law 88 - but the vast majority were clearly guilty. Law 88 had to be in place to counter-act aggressive US efforts to bring down the government and strangle the economy.

Anonymous said...

right on cue, here comes leftside to apologize for the dictatorship. When you take a step back, it really is an amazing piece of prose -- right up there with all the historical apologies for Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc., etc. -- despite the millions of deaths that came in their wake.

leftside said...

Why not tell me why I am wrong rather than write nonsense like this?