Leaders of Cuba’s dissident movement react to Obama’s unilateral concessions to the apartheid Castro dictatorship

Via Capitol Hill Cubans:

Cuban Dissident Leaders React to Obama’s Announcement

Cuban dissident leaders react to President Obama’s announcement to normalize relations with Castro’s dictatorship:

Sadly, President Obama made the wrong decision. The freedom and democracy of the Cuban people will not be achieved through these benefits that he’s giving — not to the Cuban people — but to the Cuban government. The Cuban government will only take advantage to strengthen its repressive machinery, to repress civil society, its people and remain in power.

— Berta Soler, leader of The Ladies in White.

[Alan Gross] was not arrested for what he did, but for what could be gained from his arrest. He was simply bait and they were aware of it from the beginning… Castroism has won, though the positive result is that Alan Gross has left alive the prison that threatened to become his tomb.”

— Yoani Sanchez, Cuban blogger and independent journalist, 14ymedio.

The Cuban people are being ignored in this secret conversation, in this secret agreement that we learned today. The reality of my country is there is just one party with all the control and with the state security controlling the whole society. If this doesn’t change, there’s no real change in Cuba. Not even with access to Internet. Not even when Cuban people can travel more than two years ago. Not even that is a sign of the end of the totalitarianism in my country.”

–Rosa Maria Paya, daughter of murdered Christian Liberation Movement leader, Oswaldo Paya.

[Obama’s announcement] is horrible and disregarding the opinion of [Cuban] civil society sends a bad message. The acceptance of neo-Castroism in Cuba will mean greater support for authoritarianism in the region and, as a consequence, human rights will be relegated to a secondary role.”

— Antonio Rodiles, head of Estado de Sats.

Alan Gross was used as a tool by the Castro regime to coerce the United States. Obama was not considerate of Cuban citizens and of the civil society that is facing this tyrannical regime. In Miami, Obama promised that he would consult Cuba measures with civil society and the non-violent opposition. Obviously, this didn’t happen. That is a fact, a reality. He didn’t consider Cuba’s democrats. The betrayal of Cuba’s democrats has been consummated.”

— Guillermo Fariñas, former Sakharov Prize recipient.

The Obama Administration has ceded before Castro’s dictatorship. Nothing has changed. The jails remain filled, the government represents only one family, repression continues, civil society is not recognized and we have no right to assemble or protest… The measures that the government of the United States has implemented today, to ease the embargo and establish diplomatic relations with Cuba, will in no way benefit the Cuban people. The steps taken will strengthen the Castro regime’s repression against human rights activists and increase its resources, so the security forces can keep harassing and repressing civil society.

–Angel Moya, former political prisoner of the Black Spring (2003).

We are in total disagreement with what has transpired today. It’s a betrayal of those who within Cuba have opposed the regime in order to achieve definitive change for the good of all Cubans.

— Felix Navarro, former political prisoner and co-head of the Cuban Patriotic Union (UNPACU).

It’s discomforting that the accounts of the Castro regime can grow, as the first step will be more effective repression and a rise in the level of corruption.”

— Jose Daniel Ferrer, former political prisoner and co-head of the Cuban Patriotic Union (UNPACU)

This is a betrayal that leaves the democratic opposition defenseless. Obama has allied himself with the oppressors and murderers of our people.”

— Jorge Luis Garcia Perez “Antunez,” former political prisoner and head of the National Resistance Front.

I feel as though I have been abandoned on the battlefield.”

— Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, former Cuban political prisoner and U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient.

4 thoughts on “Leaders of Cuba’s dissident movement react to Obama’s unilateral concessions to the apartheid Castro dictatorship”

  1. So what does our press show? Happy Cubans dancing in the street to celebrate the hope they feel now that Obama has decided to offer the Cubans this deal.
    Even Sean Hannity – you know – “Fox News, Fair and Balanced” – show this video. Now Americans who think this is a great deal can say, “Even Sean Hannity showed Cubans are happy about it.

    Isn’t it funny? The regime does all in its power to limit access to Cubans of any news of the outside world,. Yet some Cubans suddenly were allowed to know about this deal so they could be seen euphorically dancing in the streets over it.

  2. Well, we can wail and gnash our teeth, to which we’re fully entitled, but as long as we keep counting on others (starting with the US government) to come through for Cuba, we’re wasting our time and energy. The only practical approach is to figure out what we ourselves can do and act accordingly, but unless enough Cubans get on the ball, I’m afraid we won’t get far. In any case, we need to learn from this latest betrayal that we are not only alone, as in indifference (not least that of too many Cubans themselves), but that there are many powerful forces deliberately working against us. In other words, it’s not just a lack of solidarity and support, which is bad enough, but enmity and malice. Seeing the picture in all its bleakness is essential, because underestimating what we’re up against will doom any chance of getting the requisite job done.

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