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Women On Trial In Cuba
Tuesday, April 18, 2006   By: Juan Paxety

Charged with endangering children during escape attempt

Seven Cuban women will be placed on trial - charged with endangering their children's lives. What did they do? They tried to escape from fidel's island workers' paradise. The Associated Press (via The Bradenton Herald) reports the women were part of a group of 25 adults who were to be ferried out of the country on a forty foot boat two weeks ago.

The boat was caught by the Cuban Coast Guard and machine gunned. The AP says the charges are not specific and no trial date has been set - it appears the wire service got its information from Granma.

The Communist Party daily Granma said the seven children, ages 1 to 14, had to walk through swampy terrain plagued with mosquitoes and were without water or food for two days before April 5, when they were to be picked up by migrant smugglers in the western province of Pinar del Rio.

"Once again it has been exposed how irresponsible and unscrupulous people put the lives of their children in twice as much danger: to drown during their voyage or get sick because of the bad environment chosen by the smugglers," Granma said.

Ramon Saul Sanchez, whom the wire service identifies as a "Cuban migrant advocate" - whatever that is - says he thinks the mothers are being treated unfairly.

"It is a very hard decision for a mother to leave her country, endangering the life of her child," said Sanchez.

"I think the government should be put on trial for causing people to leave the land they were born to seek freedom somewhere else," he added.

He also adds that he is opposed to what the article calls migrant smuggling. What a shameful use of words. First, Cubans are not migrants. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition, gives two definitions of migrant

  1. One that moves from one region to another by chance, instinct, or plan.
  2. An itinerant worker who travels from one area to another in search of work.

Cubans are not simply moving around looking for work. The are fleeing repression of the worst kind. The are, in fact, refugees - again the definition from the American Heritage Dictionary.

One who flees in search of refuge, as in times of war, political oppression, or religious persecution.

The shameful destruction of the English language continues. From the article, we can't tell if Mr. Sanchez used the word migrant, or whether the reporter or, perhaps, an editor put it in his mouth.

The shameful destruction of the lives of ordinary Cubans continues, too - but blame for that is clear - it falls on fidel castro.

Update - Val has more at Babalublog - it's a more personal view and well worth reading.


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