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How to achieve real political reform in Cuba. By Ray Walser.
  
18-05-2012

web/folder.asp?folderID=215

How to achieve real political reform in Cuba

BY RAY WALSER 

Miami Herald

May 18, 2012


 
What’s the best way to mark the fifth annual Cuba Solidarity Day? If we want to help the long-suffering people of Fidel Castro’s island “paradise,” the answer should be obvious: Shine a light on the repression and tyranny that makes daily life there such a grinding ordeal. Show unflinching support for dissidents and advocates of non-violent change on the island.

That’s what the George W. Bush administration did on the first Cuba Solidarity Day, May 20, 2008. Worldwide efforts focused on political prisoners and the demands for progress and democratic change. That first Solidarity Day attempted to look below the decks of the Cuban ship, boring down to the unrest and unhappiness on the galley-level.

But there’s another school of thought on how best to mark this day — one that encourages “engagement” and leans more on diplomacy than accountability.

Today, thanks to the Obama administration, as well as left-leaning think tanks in Washington and New York, an effort is underway to steer an opposite course — one that moves, incredibly enough, closer to cooperation with the Castro regime. Tossed overboard are demands for human rights, freedom and dignity for Cubans. In their place: the siren song of tourism partnerships and exchanges of academics and musicians.

A fresh wave of Cubans is disembarking on and around May 20 to participate in Cuba’s latest charm offensive. The capstone visit for this round features Mariela Castro Espín, daughter of Raul Castro and an activist for gay and lesbian rights, at the Latin American Studies Association in San Francisco. She will be received with acclaim as a voice of progressive tolerance on issues of individual sexual preference.

The objective of these latest Cuban visitors — salaried employees and privileged members of the regime — is to convince ordinary Americans that Cuba is already on a course to better days. We’re to believe that major economic change is underway, and that small portions of “democratic space,” as the Obama administration fondly refers to it, are being carved out.

The ultimate goal of spokespersons such as Mariela Castro is relatively simple: Win the coveted U.S. imprimatur of acceptance for Cuban-style, post-Castro socialism, and smooth the way for full diplomatic recognition. The eventual goal, of course, is to bring down the 1996 Helms-Burton Act and with it the trade embargo. That way, the fabled Castro Revolution may continue on a course of channeled change, with a succession of next-generation party apparatchiks, bureaucrats and military leaders fully in control in the wheelhouse.

Yet, as the Bush administration knew, and the Obama administration seems to forget, authentic change in Cuba requires far more than institutional tinkering and piecemeal economic reform or the creation of manufactured “democratic space.” It means taking these five fundamental steps toward authentic political reform:
• Recognition of the right to independent political parties to exist legally and operate freely.
• Free and fair elections.
• Genuine freedom of expression, including unfiltered access to the Internet.
• Freedom of association for civil society, private enterprise and organized labor.
• Genuine rule of law and human rights standards, which include the release of all remaining political prisoners.
Nothing more — and nothing less — will do.

The first step to real solidarity with the Cuban people is to correct an erroneous impression that the hired guns and apologists for the Castro regime who ride in first class cabins speak for all Cubans. Time for truth in advertising! They represent the Castro regime. They speak for the power elite in Havana. And they have clearly in view a succession scenario, or “soft landing,” for the post-Castro era.
On May 20, those interested in the future of U.S.-Cuba relations, and authentic liberty on the island, need to remember that the authentic voices of change are far more likely to be found below decks in Cuba’s permanent steerage class. Here you find the people barred from traveling. Here are the ones with limited access to the outside world. Here are the ones constantly harassed and threatened, left in jail and treated as enemies of the state.

It’s a difficult course to steer, but it’s the only one that will effect change. Solidarity with Cuba’s people begins below decks, not in luxury cabins with ocean views.

Ray Walser, a veteran Foreign Service officer, is a senior policy analyst specializing in Latin America at The Heritage Foundation.

___________

04-09-2015 Is the Joy of Venezuelas Maduro Temporary? By VenEconomy. LAHT.
03-09-2015Venezuela manufactures a dispute with neighboring Colombia. Washington Post editorial.
02-09-2015Cuba Trains "Thugs" in Venezuela. By Emilio J Cardenas.
01-09-2015Cuba: The Tyrannosaurus Rex Generation. By Martín Guevara. HT.
31-08-2015Cubans deported from the US. By Frank Correa. Cubalog.eu.
30-08-2015Colombia Border Conflict Backfiring on Venezuelas Maduro? By VenEconomy. LAHT.
27-08-2015Border Closure Decision by Venezuela's Maduro has Neither Form nor Substance. By VenEconomy. LAHT.
27-08-2015Demagoguery: A Cardinal Sign of the Cuban Revolution. By Jeovany Vega.  
21-08-2015Obama's New Cuban Partners, My Old Jailers. By Armando Valladares.
19-08-2015Is the Cuban Gov. Contradicting Its Own Attacks on Fracking? By Rogelio Manuel Diaz Moreno. HT.
18-08-2015Why the Cuban Adjustment Act needs to be fully restored. By Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter.
18-08-2015Did The Kerry Visit To Cuba Matter? By Elliott Abrams.
17-08-2015Beyond the Flag. By Fernando Dámaso.
15-08-2015'Prisoners of History'. Editorial of The New York Sun.
15-08-2015Marco Rubio: On Iran and Cuba, U.S. Must Lead Through Strength and Example.
13-08-2015More tourists won't change Cuba. By Ambassador James Cason.
12-08-2015Some new immigrants from Cuba need a second look. By Fabiola Santiago. (+videos)
12-08-2015The Goose No Longer Lays "Oil Eggs" in Venezuela. VenEconomy. LAHT.
09-08-2015Cuba and LGBT Rights. By Ernesto Antunez.
08-08-2015A Fruitless Complaint against Cuban State Security Agents. By Luis Rondón Paz. HT.
06-08-2015Time Has No Value in Cuba. By Kabir Vega Castellanos. HT.
04-08-2015Two Accursed Words. By Fernando Dámaso.
04-08-2015Is the Big Bad Wolf Finally Coming to Venezuela? By VenEconomy. LAHT.
04-08-2015Castro: Now Censoring Cubans in Washington DC’s Department of State. By Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo and translated by Alex Higson.
04-08-2015Obama Charm Drive Targets Venezuela After Iran, Cuba. By Nicole Gaouette.
04-08-2015Interview with Ángel Santiesteban after his conditional release – Cuba 2015: "Most of our people pretend".
03-08-2015BREAKING: State Department Manipulated Cuba Human Trafficking Report. Capitol Hill Cubans.
02-08-2015ALARMING: Cuban waters and reservoirs contaminated by lead and other heavy metals. By Ernesto Pérez Chang. Cubanet.
01-08-2015Examination of the Latest Ministry of Public Health Crusade. By Jeovany Jimenez Vega.
31-07-2015Here We Go Again: The Exiles Are Changing, the Exiles Are Changing! By Capitol Hill Cubans.
31-07-2015Eighty Percent of Las Tunas Province Is Facing Soil Erosion and AnotherTwentyeight Percent Is Facing Desertification. 14ymedio.
30-07-2015A few words from Mauricio Macri, head of government of Buenos Aires to Venezuelas Nicolas Maduro. By VenEconomy. LAHT.
30-07-2015A warning on doing business in Cuba. By Timothy Belevetz and Ronald Oleynik, Holland & Knight law firm.
29-07-2015Obama Leaves Dictators Free to Flourish. By Roger Boyes.
28-07-2015Lower profile but thorny dialogues with the Venezuelan government and FARC, who appear to regard the Obama administration as a potential source of easy favors. Washington Post Editorial.
26-07-2015As Odebrechts Corruption Probe Widens, So Should Some Politicians Shame. Capitol Hill Cubans.
26-07-2015Writing about the Cowards. By Reinaldo Escobar.
25-07-2015Fake change in Cuba: totalitarian regime maintains travel Controls. By Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter.
24-07-2015It's Time for Plowing in Venezuela. By VenEconomy. LAHT.
23-07-2015Slain Dissidents Daughter Demands Answers. By Travis LaCouter.
23-07-2015Payá Was An Example Of Dedication And Persistence. 14ymedio. 
21-07-2015U.S. diplomats in Cuba would do well to focus on human rights. Washington Post Editorial.
21-07-2015Exiles Fear Impact of U.S.-Cuba Normalization on Benefits for Cuban Migrants. U.S. Could Deport 35,000 Cubans to the Island. LAHT/EFE.
20-07-2015The high price of diplomatic relations with the Castro regime. By Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter.
20-07-2015Obama rewarding oppression in Cuba. By Marion Smith. Video CNN: US set to open embassy in Havana after 54 years.
19-07-2015Winds from the North. By VenEconomy. LAHT. 
18-07-2015Parliamentary Smugness in Cuba 2015. By Rogelio Manuel Diaz Moreno. HT.
18-07-2015Cuba Shuns Google, Exposes Anti-Sanctions Lobbyist's Lies. By Capitol Hill Cubans.
09-07-2015About the Wave of Violence in Venezuela. By VenEconomy. LAHT. 
08-07-2015Cubans pay the price for Obama's 'engagement' with the Castros. By Jeff Jacoby.





GUILLERMO MILAN REYES. EDITOR Y REDACTOR DE ESTA PÁGINA WEB: "CUBA DEMOCRACIA Y VIDA. ORG"

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Entrevistas realizadas a Guillermo Milán Reyes, editor y redactor de esta página Web "Cuba Democracia Y Vida, por varios periodistas de importantes periódicos en Maputo-Mozambique, a mediados del 2004.
RESUMEN EN ESPAÑOL DE LA ENTREVISTA HECHA A GUILLERMO MILÁN POR EL PERIÓDICO SUECO " TIDNINGEN ÅNGERMANLAND"
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