2008 March 18th Activities
People in Need
As in past years, PIN will build a symbolic Cuban prison cell on the Square of the Republic in the centre of the Czech capital, on Tuesday, March 18, 2008,and distinguished Czech personalities, symbolically dressed in prisoner’s clothes, will ‘serve time‘ for each of the Cuban political prisoners. In the evening a march from the cell will take place similar to marches carried out by the Women in White in Havana. Together participants will move towards the nearby St Havel‘s church on Havel’s square (Havelském náměstí) where a mass will be served for the prisoners and their families.
PONTIS and People in Peril
On March 17, the Pontis Foundation and People in Peril are going to organize a public event at the 5th anniversary of the massive crackdown of Cuban civil society. Taking Damas de blanco who march trough the streets of Havana every Sunday as an example, a solidary march in the streets of
will be organized for the support of Ladies in white. It will lead from Namestie Slobody (the Freedom Square) to A4 zero space club, where a new movie about Damas de blanco by Ivana Milosevic will be screened. Several Slovak celebrities pledged their support to the event.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide
On March 1st, Christian Solidarity Worldwide initiated a campaign of prayer and protest focused on Cuba's political prisoners and the lack of religious freedom in Cuba's prisons in particular. The Cuban government systematically violates the religious rights of political prisoners, in contravention of the UN Standard Minimum Rules on the Treatment of Prisoners, by arbitrarily denying them access to clergy, confiscating bibles and other religious literature and materials (including rosaries), and prohibiting them from attending religious services. These policies appear to be aimed specifically at political prisoners who are openly Christian (both Catholic and Protestant). More information is available on CSWs website along with a downloadable version of the entire report.
International Society for Human Rights
International Society for Human Rights
On March 18, members of the ISHR demonstrated in Berlin in front of the Cuban Embassy. Among them were members of the Movement for the Liberation of Cuba, Cuba-Democratic Future, and ’s largest student organization, the Christian Democratic Student Group, which is aligned with the Christian Democratic Union Party.
These activists wanted the German public to become aware of the political prisoners in and the destiny that awaits them. Particularly important are the victims of March 18, 2003, who were arrested and imprisoned five years ago because of their human rights work.
Romania joins the chain of solidarity event in Europe
Pontis Foundation with the cooperation of the Center for International Studies based in Bucharest organizes a public event at the 5th anniversary of the massive crackdown of the civil society in Cuba. The event will take place in the Institute for Social Dialogue in the centre of Bucharest on Wednesday, March 19, at 5 pm. The goal of the event is to raise the awareness of Romanian public about the situation in Cuba in 2003 (massive repression) and in 2008, introduce the main opposition leaders and inform the participants about the situation of human rights on the island. Moreover, the experience of Slovakia (NGOs and government) will be shared.
At the event, the movie Cuba Libre: El Mayor Deseo will be screened, followed by a public discussion, and a small reception. This event is organized as a part of Pontis’ advocacy project in CEE countries.
KIC (Christian Democratic International Center) and SILC (Swedish International Liberal Centre)
KIC and SILC arranged a seminar in the Swedish Parlament, which was open to the public, to draw attention to the anniversary of the Black Spring in 2003. The programme included:
Minister of EU Affairs Cecilia Malmström (liberal) speaking about the importance of showing solidarity with the political prisoners of Cuba. Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson (liberal-conservative) discussing the current situation in Cuba. State Secretary Jakob Forssmed (Christian democrat) giving a presentation about the democracy movement in Cuba. Maeliz Orrego Rodriguez, from SILC, talked about some of the released prisoners that now live in Spain and shows taped interview. Eniel Bosch, vice president of the association Misceláneas de Cuba spoke about the information monopoly in Cuba. The event finished with a screening of the short film the Dissidents, which provides more background about the Black Spring.
2013-04-22 / The Miami Herald
U.S.: Short-term detentions in Cuba reach record levels
Cuba saw a record number of “politically motivated and at times violent short-term detentions” during 2012, according to the U.S. State Department’s “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices,” which was released Friday...more
2013-04-18 / The Washington Post
Cuba’s Ladies in White due in Brussels to receive 2005 Sakharov human rights award
Members of Cuba’s Ladies in White opposition group will finally pick up Europe’s top human rights prize from 2005 in person next week in Belgium, the European Union and the daughter of the group’s former leader said Wednesday...more
2013-04-16 / The Washington Post
Cuba avoids oil cutoff for now as Chavez ally narrowly wins Venezuela presidential election
Cubans were relieved Monday by the announcement that the late leader Hugo Chavez’s hand-picked successor had been elected Venezuela’s new president, apparently allowing their country to dodge a threatened cutoff of billions of dollars in subsidized oil...more