Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Friends in Warsaw

Sometimes, it seems as if no one out there gives a toss about human rights in Cuba.

Except for the Eastern Europeans.

On Saturday, a photographic exhibition opened in Warsaw designed to highlight the plight of political prisoners in Cuba.

Organised by the Human Rights Foundation and the Italian Committee for Human Rights, the exhibition comprised portraits of over 70 political prisoners.

Speaking at the opening of the exhibition, the deputy president of the Foundation, Danuta Przybora, recalled how the West had morally supported Polish dissidents in 1981 when the then Communist leader, General Wojciech Jaruzelski, imposed martial law in an effort to quash the Solidarity movement.

“That help we received back then obliges us to support our Cuban brothers and sisters in exactly the same way today,” Ms Przybora said, adding that Cubans are living under a repressive regime “that is even worse than the regime we experienced in Poland.”

Then on Monday, a seminar was held also in Warsaw to discuss human rights in Cuba.

Among those present was Lech Walesa, the former Solidarity trade unionist who is often credited as the man who helped start the historic process that eventually resulted in the demise of the Soviet Empire.

Walesa, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts, said that no one could impose a democratic solution to the Cuban situation but insisted that dissidents on the island should be supported by those outside.

“I hope that one day I will be able to visit Cuba without the fear of ending up behind bars,” he said.

The seminar also heard a video message from Vaclav Havel, the former president of the Czech Republic, who called on tourists to boycott Cuba while political prisoners remained in prison or under constant harassment.

Now, how good is that?


Blogger Albert Quiroga said...

The only real friends the Cuban people seem to have these days are the people of the former East Bloc countries; to paraphrase Marti, this is probably because they have lived in the belly of the beast, and have come to know it well.

12:22 am  

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