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Assembly - More Delegates Arrive, More Europeans Booted, and More Media Attention
Friday, May 20, 2005   By: Juan Paxety

Delegate count now 125

The Assembly for a Civil Society reports that it has received a large number of media requests for the location of its meeting.  It's at

AVENIDA 261 # 15222
ENTRE 180 Y 152

Also, the Assembly reports a number of delegates have arrived.


Support and Information Center, Miami, Florida, May 20, 2005, Press Advisory - 6 AM - Angel Polanco, spokesperson for the Executive Group of the Assembly to Promote Civil Society in Cuba, reports that more than 300 delegates representing 90% of the total delegates accredited to the Assembly are already in Havana for the historic General Meeting which starts today, May 20th at 10 AM, at the site adjacent to Felix Bonne Carcasses' home.

Angel Polanco adds that many delegates remained throughout the night at the site enthusiastically awaiting the opening of the plenary session of the Assembly. Internal sources reveal that there is a lot of activity surrounding the area where the meeting will take place and that state police agents have been spotted inspecting the premises.

Our Center will be in contact throughout the day with the numerous support centers operating around the world, to timely report on the activities that are being undertaken; among them, demonstrations in various Europeans capitals and cities, organized by the Transnational Radical Party of the European Parliament, in conjunction with other non governmental organizations, such as "Action Droits de l'Homme", whose President is former French Minister Francoise Hostalier; Amnesty International and others.

The Legal Advisor  to the Radical Deputies at the European Parliament, Malena Zingoni, stated that even though visas have not been granted to many members of the European parliament who applied for them to participate as "international observers" at the meeting of May 20th, some of the deputies are already in Cuba.

President Bush To Address Cubans

The New York Sun reports President Bush will address the Cuban people via Radio/TV Marti today.

 President Bush will reach out to the Cuban people over the airwaves of Radio and TV Marti Friday - the 103rd anniversary of the island nation's independence from Spain - to celebrate Cuban history and the nation's ongoing fight for freedom, a White House official said yesterday.

The article also contains information on the Assembly, and the arrest and detention of Luis Posada, who is held on immigration charges.  He is accused of blowing up a Cuban plane in Venezuela back in 1976.  fidel has organized protests across the island demanding the arrest and extradition of Posada.

Members of the American Congressional Cuban Democracy Caucus, however, urged yesterday that Mr. Castro's antics, and the developments surrounding Mr. Posada, not overshadow the unprecedented Assembly meeting. The dictator, they said, has a history of stirring up trouble, especially with America, to obscure domestic unrest - and ensuing crackdowns. According to a reporter who attended the Miami press conference held by Mr. Posada shortly before his arrest Tuesday, the exile himself expressed concern that his situation would interfere with Friday's gathering.

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a Cuban-American and Republican of Florida, said this week's diversions by Mr. Castro made it all the more important that the world remain focused on the Assembly. International attention, he said, was a deterrent to acts of violence by the dictator. If Mr. Castro thought no one was paying attention to the organizers of the Assembly, Mr. Diaz-Balart said, "They would be dead."

Cuba Expels More Europeans

The IOL reports that fidel has expelled Czech and German lawmakers just before they were to meet with Assembly delegates.

Czech senator Karel Schwarzenberg was among dozens of European legislators invited to the first general meeting of the Assembly to Promote Civil Society in Cuba, an umbrella organisation of small dissident groups led by economist Martha Beatriz Roque.

"The police fetched me at the hotel, brought me to the airport and put me on a plane," the senator said by cellphone before boarding a flight to Europe. "This is the behaviour of totalitarian states."

A German diplomat said Arnold Vaatz, deputy head of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag, had also been taken to the airport and put on a flight for Europe on Thursday night.

Yesterday, two Polish legislators were "frog-marched" onto a plane to Mexico immediately after arriving in Cuba.


Assembly Gets More Media Attention

The mainstream media has not given the Assembly much attention.  Today, however, The Miami Herald, CNN International, The Sun-Sentinel,  The Kansas City Star and others have stories.  The Guardian, of course, takes the negative side with a story headlined - Infighting May Derail Dissident Assembly.

Bitter infighting among dissidents, the communist government's detentions of some opponents and the refusal to let some international observers into the country have raised concerns about the success of a planned opposition gathering in Cuba on Friday.

The Christian Liberation Movement, led by dissident Oswaldo Paya, said in a harshly worded statement Thursday that it would not attend an event it considers to be "a big fraud against the opposition."

Of course, Paya and his group were not invited. Other Assembly members say he is a fidel appeaser.

And OMG, Instapundit has finally blogged on the Assembly. He picks up the Investors Daily News article Mora found yesterday. He ends with "I hope this will get more attention." Well, Glenn, several of us have begged you for months to post on the Assembly. We're glad you finally did.

Again, pray for these people.  They are putting their lives in danger.


(c)1968- today j.e. simmons or michael warren