Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Thursday, July 17, 2003

A column by Oswaldo Paya the head of the Varela project in Cuba.

Cuba finds itself in a grave crisis. In the past few years, thousands of its citizens have participated in what's known as the Varela Project, overcoming a culture of fear and calling for a national referendum on civil rights, the peaceful evolution of freedom and reconciliation. But now a cloud of terror hangs over that quest for change.

Since March 18, Cuban state security has detained dozens of human-rights activists, independent journalists and opposition leaders. Nearly 80 people have been locked away after summary trials, accused of collusion with the U.S. government. Their families have been terrorized and their homes ransacked — without turning up the evidence of weapons or violent plots that the government claimed it would find.

The crackdown is an act against civil society, against fundamental rights and against the Varela Project. Among those detained are almost the entire executive leadership of the Christian Liberation Movement, which gave birth to the project. More than half of the detainees are project coordinators.

< email | 7/17/2003 02:32:00 PM | link

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