Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Eyewitness accounts

In case there is anyone out there who shares the views of Sergio Ortiz regarding human rights in Fidel Castro’s island paradise, here are just a few paragraphs from reliable eyewitnesses to events in Havana over the past 24 hours.

And by reliable eyewitnesses, I don’t mean those ungrateful “mercenaries”, who insist on challenging the iron rule of the Communist Party. No, no, I mean those most unbiased of all observers: the foreign correspondents.

From the Associated Press:

“Cuba said Monday it would sign an international agreement on civil and political rights while a few blocks away government supporters shoved and shouted down activists calling for improved human rights on the communist-run island.”

“Dissidents ... were mobbed, insulted and forced into unmarked sedans.”

“They were shouted down and pushed by a pro-government group of more than 100 people, guided by men with walkie-talkies.”

“When government supporters started to get rough, several young men who appeared to be leading the counter-protest called them off, saying, ‘Easy, comrades, easy. Don't hit. Don't push. That's what they want.’”

From Ray Sanchez, of The Sun-Sentinnel:

“The marchers were quickly surrounded by dozens of government supporters and plainclothes security agents who pushed and shoved the protestors.”

“One demonstrator, an elderly man with a cane, was dragged away by security agents.”

“Another demonstrator, a young woman in her late teens or early 20s, was assaulted by a female government supporter who had to be pulled away by security agents.”

From Anthony Boadle of Reuters:

“Government supporters, apparently coordinated by state security agents, booed dissidents and shouted ‘Viva Fidel’ for ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who has not appeared in public in 16 months.”


Anonymous realpolitik said...

You know, of course, that there are no dissidents in Cuba, only mercenaries. Cuba's Foreign Minister, Felipe Perro Roque, said so in the presence of the Spanish Foreign Minister, one Moratinos, who apparently agreed, because he didn't say a word to the contrary. Who are we to question such highly official sources?

1:49 pm  

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