Sunflower Uprising?: Cuban dissidents announce call for nonviolent protests in public parks across Cuba
There are times when we need to recognize signs, when things come together in unexpected patterns. The European Union has behaved terribly in its new policy towards Cuba legitimizing the oldest dictatorship in the Western Hemisphere. On September 8-9, 2019 the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini will be visiting Cuba. She is the same European leader who called the regime in Cuba a “one party democracy.”
But Europe is not of one voice on this matter.
The Swedish government on June 17, 2019 withdrew a proposal that would have ratified the EU-Cuba deal covering trade and political dialogue because two of Sweden’s political parties, the Liberals and Christian Democrats, said they would vote against it if it was taken to parliament because “they would not back the agreement until there are significant changes in the Cuban regime’s stance on human rights.”
There have not been significant changes, and prisoners of conscience continue to exist in Cuba. On August 26, 2019 Amnesty International identified five new prisoners of conscience in the island. According to the Spanish based NGO, Prisoners Defenders, they have identified 125 imprisoned opposition activists. Independent journalists in Cuba continue to be beaten up and jailed for practicing their profession and attempting to report on government abuses.
The One Free Press Coalition launched their seventh monthly “10 Most Urgent” list (ranked in order of urgency) on September 3, 2019, calling attention to the most pressing cases of journalists under attack for pursuing the truth in the world. Number one on the list is Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered by agents of Saudi Arabia. Sixth on the list is independent Cuban journalist Roberto Jesús Quiñones. He is presently at home waiting for the political police to take him to prison.
Yesterday in an interview published by Cubanet, the independent journalist explained, “I am waiting for them, at any moment they will come to confine me.” In that interview Roberto Jesús explained his pessimism with the upcoming visit of EU representative Federica Mogherini to Cuba next week. What was done to him by Cuban government agents as outlined in the One Free Press Coalition website deserves condemnation by the European Union not complicit silence…
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