At least stories of Cuba persecution are being told | Opinion
Don’t get me wrong. I am still strongly opposed to President Barack
Obama’s Cuba policy.
It is a one-way street where the United States gives and keeps on giving
while Raul Castro says thank you very much, but we are not going to make
any changes to our system.
The people in Cuba are constantly complaining that repression has
increased. Some international human rights organizations say the number
of people jailed, harassed or beaten has more than doubled since
President Obama unilaterally decided to make things easier for Cuba.
He has not lifted the embargo, but only because that is a law passed by
Congress and a Congressional vote is needed to overturn. Other than
that, Obama has done everything in his power. Some even say some of the
executive actions he has taken are perilously to being illegal.
But I do not know enough law to decide by myself whether what he has
done exceeds his executive power. I know he has named an ambassador to
Cuba, but he will not be able to go and present his credentials to the
Cuban Government as the legitimate ambassador to Cuba because there is
no way the nomination of Jeffrey DeLaurentis will be approved by the Senate.
DeLaurentis will continue as the top American diplomat in Cuba, but the
title of ambassador will no be his for months or years — depends on the
outcome of the November elections. Even if Democrats gain a majority
control of the Senate, Republicans have a legal way of impeding his
nomination by demanding a 60-vote majority to consider his case.
There is one thing the rapprochement with Cuba has helped. It has
allowed scores of dissidents to come to the United States to tell of the
persecution they are enduring and some even to get badly needed medical
For exiles opposed to the regime the presence of these dissidents is of
enormous importance. They now have direct information of what the Cuban
Government is doing to its growing internal opposition.
Every week a new group of dissidents shows up and meets with leaders of
the community. Some help them by paying for their cellphones or by
buying equipment for them that they can use to continue giving a first
hand impression of what happens to them in the island at the hand of the
regime’s security forces.
All these dissidents come and then instead of staying as exiles, they go
back. Their enthusiasm of the fight for Cuba’s freedom is contagious,
even if only for the time we talk to them.
Betha Soler, leader of the Ladies in While, Martha Beatriz Roque, and
many others have been here recently. Talking to them is a valuable
education for all — even for those of us who left Cuba more than 55
Guillermo I. Martinez lives in South Florida. Email is Guimar123@gmail.com
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