Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
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    We Shall Fight to the End for the Liberty of Cuba

    We Shall Fight to the End for the Liberty of Cuba / Cubanet, Ernesto
    Garcia Diaz
    Posted on December 19, 2014

    Leaders of the opposition call Obama’s reconciliation with the Cuban
    government a “betrayal” during a press conference in Havana
    Cubanet, Ernesto García Díaz, Havana, 18 December 2014 — From the
    headquarters of the Estado de SATS project in Miramar, on Wednesday
    afternoon (12/17/14), Cuban opposition leaders held a press conference
    for national and international media, to make known their positions
    regarding the new political stance of the United States towards Cuba.

    Guillermo Fariñas Hernández, winner of the European Parliament’s
    Sakharov Prize for the Freedom of Thought and Coordinator General of the
    United Antitotalitarian Front (FANTU), referring to the steps taken by
    the governments of Cuba and the United States, stated the following:

    “We can applaud the release of Alan Gross, who really was used by the
    Island’s government to blackmail the American administration. But Obama
    has been inconsiderate with the civil society that is challenging Cuba’s
    tyrannical government In Miami, back in November of 2013, Barack Obama
    promised Bertha Soler and me that any action he would take with respect
    to Cuba would be consulted with the civil society and nonviolent
    opposition. Obviously this did not occur. These actions are now
    accomplished facts, they are reality, and Cuban democrats were not taken
    into account.

    This amounts to a betrayal of Cuban democrats. We must now adapt
    ourselves to the new scenarios, which means that we must ask the
    American government to keep in mind the demands that these negotiations
    should require, to avoid colluding with the communist dictatorship of
    the Island. If the United States government listens to us, I believe
    that we can hope that this is not one more maneuver of complicity and
    help towards a regime drawing its last breath.”

    The leader and opposition activist Antonio G. Rodiles, coordinator of
    the Campaign for Another Cuba and of the Estado de SATS project, made
    the following assertion:

    “History has been made when, in 1994, the country [Cuba] was finding
    itself in a profound crisis and the explosion of 5 August 1994 occurred.
    The North American government’s response was to accept the exodus and
    later to sign the migration accords which provide for an annual cap on
    [US] visas issued annually [to Cuban nationals]. The result has been
    that during more than 20 years, the country’s human capital has been
    bleeding out and Cubans have opted to leave Cuba and not provoke change.
    This truly has been a disaster and the United States government cast a
    lifeline to the regime so that it may survive.

    “The rancid Castro regime, as is common knowledge, in on the point of
    ending from natural causes. Obviously what they are trying to do is to
    cement the foundation for a mutation to Neo-Castroism, which is the
    family and descendents, who are trying to continue to governing, which
    is a grave danger for Cuba and for the entire region.”

    “Today’s measures – without taking into account the opinion of Cuban
    civil society, of the political actors in the Cuban opposition – is a
    serious message, it is a bad message, and if the upcoming process of
    negotiation does not include our participation, the results will not be
    positive at all. We still have ahead of us the Summit of the Americas
    [to be held in Panama City in April, 2015], but what happened today does
    not make us feel optimistic.

    Opposition member Ángel Moya Acosta, coordinator of the Democratic
    Freedom Movement for Cuba, had the following to say:

    “We rejoice at the liberation of Alan Gross. But the measures that the
    United States government has implemented today, of relaxing the embargo
    and reestablishing diplomatic relations with Cuba, will in no way
    benefit the people of the Island. The steps that have been taken will
    reinforce the repression against human rights activists by the
    government of the Castro regime. The regime will augment the resources
    and sinecures to its forces so that they will continue to harass and
    repress civil society activists. An example was the military
    reinforcements exhibited by the regime in advance of anti-demonstration
    activities on 10 December, ‘International Human Rights Day.’ ”

    Félix Navarro Rodríguez, Coordinator General of the Patriotic Union of
    Cuba (UNPACU) and president of the Pedro Luis Boitel Party for
    Democracy, had this to say:

    “The conditions that brought about the United States’ embargo against
    Cuba in 1961 have not changed. It is well known that the government is
    totalitarian, dynastic, that it does not recognize the rights to free
    expression, free assembly and freedom of the press. As long as the
    political opposition, the different strains of political thought and a
    multi-party system are not recognized and general free elections are not
    called, we cannot point to anything beneficial for the people.

    “We are in total disagreement with what has been produced today, because
    we consider it a betrayal of those of us who, from inside Cuba, are
    opposing the regime to obtain a definitive change for the wellbeing of
    all Cubans.”

    Following the opposition leaders’ statements, the floor was opened to
    questions.

    Associated Press (AP): “We walked the streets extensively today, and
    found the people to be happy, beyond the message. It is notable that all
    of you hold a position so different from ordinary people. Does this mean
    that you will alienate yourselves from the will of many people now
    living in Cuba?”

    Antonio Rodiles: “People are disoriented, surprised by what has
    happened. On the street, in the taxis, people were not excited, others
    said that the pie was cut, the [Castro] family and the governing elite
    are strengthening their business positions. It isn’t the people, the
    person in a small cafeteria who is being watched by inspectors, people
    don’t know what is going to happen.”

    Ángel Moya: “In the midst of the secret negotiations that were going on
    between the two governments, on 10 December the Havana dictatorship was
    repressing 75 Ladies in White and 35 human rights activists. In Cuba,
    laws are in force that are designed to guarantee the impunity with which
    the repressive forces act. What guarantee is there that the Cuban
    government will recognize civil society?”

    CubaNet: “Has the United States government or any of its officials,
    following these declarations, contacted the leaders of the opposition,
    in accordance with the commitments Obama made in 2013?”

    Félix Navarro Rodríguez: “We have not been consulted. This has all
    developed in strict secrecy between the two governments. There has been
    no encounter with Cuban civil society nor with its leaders. Nor do we
    know if they are willing to meet with us. As of today, they continue to
    repress the Ladies in White and twelve of us prisoners from the [2003]
    Black Spring; we remain on parole, deprived of our rights and liberties.

    “The commitment by Obama to Berta Soler and Guillermo Fariñas was not
    kept. In Cuba everything remains the same. Now, in the midst of this
    avalanche, we will reorganize and will fight until the end, we will
    press for the recognition of our civil rights and for democratic freedoms.”

    At the end of the press conference, Guillermo Fariñas, by way of
    concluding remarks, asserted this:

    “We need to channel our demands. The government of the United States has
    a moral obligation to all democracies in the world. It gave to the Cuban
    government a possibility to start instituting some democratic reforms.
    Now, it will depend on the actions we Cubans take.”

    Attending, among various other officials of accredited diplomatic
    missions on the Island, were diplomatic representatives of the European
    Union, and of Sweden. Also present were human rights activists, among
    them Gorki Águila Carrasco (artist in the group Porno Para Ricardo),
    Hablemos Press, AP, and others.

    ernestogardiaz@gmail.com

    Translated by: Alicia Barraqué Ellison

    Source: We Shall Fight to the End for the Liberty of Cuba / Cubanet,
    Ernesto Garcia Diaz | Translating Cuba –
    http://translatingcuba.com/we-shall-fight-to-the-end-for-the-liberty-of-cuba-cubanet-ernesto-garcia-diaz/