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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    OPINIONS: World leaders should back peaceful protesters

    The following editorial appeared in the Miami Herald on Monday, March 22:

    ———

    In a democracy, people can disagree. They can march to protest their government, they can chastise their elected officials in public forums, they can walk down the street carrying placards voicing their opinions.

    They can do all those things and as long as they aren’t rioting, the police will respect their fundamental human rights.

    Not in Cuba. Never in Cuba.

    Once again, the Cuban regime has notched up its police state to break up peaceful protests by the Ladies in White — the wives, mothers, daughters, aunts, sisters and cousins of political prisoners. Leading the march was the mother ofOrlando Zapata Tamayo, whose son died last month in a hunger strike protesting Cuba’s ill treatment of political prisoners.

    The Ladies vow to continue their weeklong marches in commemoration of the 2003 “”Black Spring”” when Cuba’s communist dictatorship accused 75 human rights activists and independent journalists and librarians of being in cahoots with U.S. “”imperialists”” and sentenced most of them to more than 20 years in prison.

    On Wednesday, the Ladies were again punched, kicked and dragged to government vans from their walk down the streets of Havana by security agents and pro-regime mob squads yelling, “”The streets belong to Fidel. Down with the worms.””

    It is Cuba’s half-century paradox: a so-called socialist government where the power is supposed to reside with “”the people”” has so indoctrinated some folks that they would hand the “”people’s revolution”” to one caudillo who has not let go in 51 years —Fidel Castro.

    From Europe to Latin America, several prominent artists who have been sympathetic to the regime in the past have finally spoken up against these latest tactics coming on the heels of Mr. Zapata’s death. Their governments need to speak up, too.

    Already the European Union has turned down Spain’s push to have the EU open up to more trade with Cuba, reasoning that Cuba’s brutal response to dissent must not be rewarded. Latin American governments that for too long have ignored the Castros’ abuses are losing any credibililty they had with their own people in supporting such brutality.

    Only a concerted effort by democratic governments — from the left and the right — can showRaul and Fidel Castrothat their free ride of terror is coming to an end.

     

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