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Trouble In Paradise, Venezuelan bloggers and Cuban baseball
Friday, March 10, 2006 By: Juan Paxety
The WBC and the Anglo-Venezuelan conspiracy
There's trouble in paradise - at least the workers' paradise of fidel and hugo. fidel was shown up on international television, and hugo is now worried about an international Anglo-Venezuelan connection. fidel was called out by the U.S. State Department report on human rights abuses. Human Events reports:
The report said Fidel Castro government’s human rights record “remained poor” and accused the Castro government of continuing to “commit numerous serious abuses.”
“At least 333 Cuban political prisoners and detainees were held at year’s end,” the State Department said.
On its web site, the State Department goes further:
Cuba, with a population of 11 million, is a totalitarian state led by a president, Fidel Castro, whose regime controls all aspects of life through the Communist Party (CP) and its affiliated mass organizations, the government bureaucracy, and the state security apparatus. Although civilian authorities generally maintained effective control of the security forces, the Ministry of Interior is the principal instrument of state security and control, and officers of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, which are led by the president's brother, have occupied most key positions in the ministry during the past 15 years.
The government's human rights record remained poor, and the government continued to commit numerous, serious abuses. At least 333 Cuban political prisoners and detainees were held at year's end. The following human rights problems were reported:
- denial of citizens' rights to change their government
- beatings and abuse of detainees and prisoners, including human rights activists, carried out with impunity
- transfers of mentally healthy prisoners to psychiatric facilities for political reasons
- frequent harassment of political opponents by government-recruited mobs
- extremely harsh and life-threatening prison conditions, including denial of medical care
- arbitrary arrest and detention of human rights advocates and members of independent professional organizations
- denial of fair trial, particularly to political prisoners
- interference with privacy, including pervasive monitoring of private communications
- severe limitations on freedom of speech and press
- denial of peaceful assembly and association
- restrictions on freedom of movement, including selective denial of exit permits to thousands of citizens
- refusal to recognize domestic human rights groups or to permit them to function legally
- domestic violence, underage prostitution, and sex tourism
- discrimination against persons of African descent
- severe restrictions on worker rights, including the right to form independent unions
Then, last night at the World Baseball Classic, fidel's goons proved the State Department right - Cuba is run by a bunch of thugs.
Go to The Real Cuba and read the story of Enrique and his friends who protested during last night's game between Cuba and the Netherlands. Before the game, Enrique went down to the area of the stands closest to where the Cuban players warmed up, and held up a sign says "Baseball players YES, Tyrants NO." One of the people shown the sign was Tony Castro, son of fidel. Later in the game, which was broadcast in Cuba, Enrique and several friends were seated directly behind home plate when they held up the above sign "Abajo Fidel (Down with fidel)." Cuban security agents came into the stands and tried to stop the fans holding the signs. Puerto Rican police escorted at least one of the Cuban security agents out of the stadium. Click on the above link and read the whole thing and look at the additional photographs.
In the land of fidel's junior partner, the newspaper Ultimas Noticias ran a two page ad claiming several bloggers are part of an Anglo-Venezuelan conspiracy to bring down hugo's wanna be dictatorship. One of the conspirators is Alek Boyd at VCrisis.com, who writes about the ad:
The most comical thing of the communiqué is the ending, whereby they seek to exhort a number of things namely:
- That Hugo Chavez orders all security, intelligence bodies and banking regulatory entities of Venezuela to open an investigation about the grave accusations made by me, Gustavo, et al.
- That the directorate of the honourable (I kid not) Assembly of Venezuela orders the Interior Commission to open up an investigation.
- That the directorate of the Assembly designates a Especial Commission that shall draft libel/defamation/slander legislation.
- Given the urgency of the case, that Hugo Chavez grants them an audience so that they can explain personally the details herewith denounced.
I must confess, they had me rolling in laughter for a good while. And, as customary in such instances, there is just one thing left for me to say, loud and clear: since Makarem and Valbuena claim that Venezuelan and British justice will take me -a little gangster (sic), to account, I say pick the court in this country (Chavez's kangaroo courts don't qualify) and bring along über lawyer Eva Golinger- for it will be an absolute pleasure to meet them and see whether they pass the test of justice and meaningful scrutiny.
Daniel at Venezuela News and Views was also singled out. His response is here.