Friday, March 27, 2015

Cuban dissidents will head to Summit of the Americas

Cuban dissidents will head to Summit of the Americas
03/26/2015 4:10 PM 03/26/2015 6:05 PM

Cuban opposition leaders and activists Manuel Cuesta Morúa, Guillermo
Fariñas, and Berta Soler will take part in civil-society events at the
Summit of the Americas in Panama, according to the Miami-based Cuban
Soul Foundation.

The foundation — which promotes independent Cuban artists and musicians
— is hosting, together with the Human Rights Foundation in Cuba and the
Panama campus of Florida State University, a conference titled The Road
Ahead in the Fight for Human Rights on April 8.

Independent journalist Myriam Celaya and philologist Yusmila Reyna
Ferrer, a member of Cuba's Patriotic Union, UNPACU, will also take part
with Soler and Saily Navarro, both representing the Ladies in White, in
a panel discussion on women's human-rights activism. Celaya, Reyna, and
Soler participated last week in a similar conference at Florida
International University.

Blogger Henry Constantin and UNPACU activist Amel Oliva will discuss
with Morúa, leader of Arco Progresista, and Fariñas, representative of
the United Anti-Totalitarian Forum, new strategies to promote human
rights in Cuba.

Yoani Sánchez, a blogger and editor of the digital newspaper 14ymedio,
announced last week that she expects to attend as a journalist.

Cuban rappers and young promoters of independent art in Cuba, some of
them members of the Pro-Free Art Association — among them David
Escalona, Michel Matos, and Soandres del Río — will present their
experience on a panel on freedom of expression, which will include
artist Tania Bruguera, if Cuban authorities allow her to travel.

"I will speak on behalf of those who want to be independent and wish to
remain in Cuba but do not find it possible due to obstacles by the Cuban
government," said Escalona, a musician and visual artist known as David

The Cuban government, which will participate in the summit for the first
time, has summoned 300 organizations to represent the civil society it
considers "real." The Cuban official delegation to the summit is
expected to be large.

The Cuban media are denouncing the participation of Cuban opposition
leaders and activists as "provocations" and "anti-Cuban plots."

"We're not going in a mood of confrontation," said rapper Raudel
Collazo. "We're going to say the same things we have said in other
occasions. How we see and how we feel our reality. The same discourse
our hip-hip has held for years."

(AP) — Cuba and the United States will debate human rights at a meeting
in Washington on Tuesday in another sign of the thaw between the
countries as they try to re-establish normal diplomatic relations after
a 50-year freeze.

The discussions seem unlikely to lead to short-term changes in the way
either country views rights issues. The U.S. is expected to press Cuba
to allow its citizens greater freedom of speech, assembly, and political
activity. Cuba likely will respond with its own critiques of poverty,
insufficient healthcare coverage, and excessive police force in the
United States.

But observers say even the start of a dialogue is an indication of
progress in the countries' broader move to normalize relations.

Source: Cuban dissidents will head to Summit of the Americas | Miami
Herald Miami Herald -

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