Today in DC, last night in Cuba
2009 DEMOCRACY AWARD WILL HONOR CUBAN DISSIDENTS ON JUNE 24
Five honorees represent a new and diverse generation of democratic activists
WASHINGTON, DC – The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) will honor the courage and determination of five Cuban democracy activists with the presentation of its annual Democracy Award at a Capitol Hill ceremony and reception on Wednesday, June 24, 2009.
“The five brave Cubans we honor this year represent the future of their country,” said NED Chairman Richard Gephardt. “All of them have endured significant personal hardhip for nothing more than standing up for basic rights and freedoms. With this award, we hope to express our solidarity with their struggle, and let them know that we share their dream of a free and democratic Cuba. “
More info, including short bios of the award recipients and more event details, right here.
Last night in Cuba:
Leading Activists Arrested on Eve of Major Award to Cuban Democratic Resistance
Placetas, Villa Clara. June 23, 2009. Cuban Democratic Directorate. Five Cuban pro-democracy activists were unjustly detained by totalitarian Cuba’s repressive apparatus this afternoon. The arrests came on the eve of the official ceremony for the National Endowment for Democracy’s prestigious Democracy Award, which will recognize five activists of Cuba’s democratic resistance. Two of the honorees are among the detained: Jorge Luis García Pérez Antúnez of the Pedro Luis Boitel Political Prisoners and Iris Tamara Pérez Aguilera of the Rosa Parks Women’s Movement for Civil Rights.
According to a telephone statement given to Directorio by Loreto Hernández García, a member of the Pedro Luis Boitel Political Prisoners and Antúnez’s brother, the other detained activists are Donaida Pérez Paseiro, Aramilda Contreras and Yaité Cruz Sosa, all three members of the Rosa Parks Women’s Movement for Civil Rights. The arrests occurred after the Rosa Parks Movement held a peaceful meeting at a public park in Placetas.
“State Security arrives at the house and takes away opposition activist Donaida Pérez, detained. Idel González, Agent in Charge of Confrontation, tells her she bothers him, that he was going to stick her in jail and that he was going to sentence her to two years imprisonment. They arrest the rest near the park. I go to the police unit and they tell me they will be detained for 48 or 72 hours for counterrevolutionary actions, and that they’re going to bring charges against Pérez Paseiro,” stated Hernández García.