[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: "In Cuba There Are Professionals Without Fear"

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

"In Cuba There Are Professionals Without Fear"

Without fear of unjust laws or human miseries"

Those words are from Elsa Morejón Hernandez, director of the Lawton Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba, and wife of Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, prisoner of conscience who is serving a 25-year sentence.

Mrs. Morejón wrote an editorial piece which was published in today's El Nuevo Herald, with full translation below. I'll let her words speak for themselves.
Havana -- On June 25th Granma published an article titled "Social Philosophers and Scientists Who Support Cuba". It made reference to the closing of the XVII Conference of Philosophers and Social Scientists of Cuba and the United States,which concluded on June 24th. The closing document from the U.S. delegation was read by Tim Sakelos, graduate student at the University of Chicago, that alleged: ' ' Our visit takes place within a framework of continuous aggressions on the part of the government of the U.S..'' Cliff Duran, general coordinator of the Association of Radical Philosophers, declared: ' ' The most important thing of the conference is that it allows academic interchange between professionals, as well as to be in contact with the Cuban reality". Journalists Iraida Calzadilla and Jose Carlos Velasquez, dean of the Faculty of Philosophy, History and Sociology of the University of Havana, praised the U.S. delegation for not fearing to disagree with the government of its country, and described them as being brave (emphasis mine).

A common citizen, Antonio, said to me: ``Did you see what came out in Granma? Professional Americans came, spoke bad of their government, returned to their country and nothing happens to them. Do they know that your husband, Dr. Biscet, a professional, is imprisoned and sentenced to 25 years for opposing capital punishment and abortion, and for wanting democracy? I believe not."

Many Cubans ignore the fact that Americans have a democratic constitution with a very clear message: We the people. They also ignore that in the U.S. there exists a basic right, which means that what those professionals did when they came to Cuba is not an act of bravery, but a right to free expression.

We have never been against the interchange of knowledge, but an interchange in conditions of equality. It is impossible that in five days a group can state the reality of a country and its people, but Mr. Velasquez continues saying to the Americans who attended the event: ' ' You could state our mood, how people think and act, how our academia can present a set of ideas and put them through debate'. Granma concludes: "An object of attention were subjects linked between human ethics and education, nations, political culture, public governability, public politics, and civil society. "

If speaking of human ethics, I would vote for the triumph of the human being and its dignity, and this is far from being reached in Cuba. Here exists the largest number of political prisoners in the world, for thinking differently from the prevailing system. Many Cubans ignore that these American visitors are owners of small and large businesses, regardless of whether they belong to the Communist Party, Republican or Democrat. That the development of its civil society places that nation among the richest in the world. That a citizen can feed his family and enjoy basic rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has never been published in Cuba, rather it is presented as a subversive document and for more than 46 years free and democratic elections have not been celebrated, nor is accepted the diversity of political parties.

We aspire to a political culture that extols the human personality. We shelter the hope that Cuba will not have prisoners for their ideas, because to think and to speak is a human right, not a privilege. The prisoners defy unjust laws in order to say to the world: ' ' We are people, we want human rights. Cuba needs and wants to live in freedom''. Yes, THIS IS bravery. It is a gesture of love towards humanity. It is a gesture in favor of life. The prisoners have chosen spiritual suffering, the separation from their families, the pain of prison for saving human dignity. Americans must know that in Cuba there are professionals who fear neither unjust laws nor human miseries, to save the most precious goods that man has: God, life, and freedom.


Blogger Henry "Conductor" Gomez said...

Excellent post. I hadn't seen the article. Thanks Robert.

12:52 AM, July 21, 2005  
Blogger Henry "Conductor" Gomez said...

I posted a link to this post on my latest at CAP.

12:54 PM, July 21, 2005  
Anonymous Val Prieto said...

As usual, Robert, exelente.

1:55 PM, July 21, 2005  
Anonymous h said...

Great Post.

6:41 PM, July 21, 2005  
Anonymous AG said...


6:42 PM, July 21, 2005  
Blogger Howarde said...

The most shameful part of their conduct, visiting Cuba and knowing that many men are imprisoned there for exercising FREE SPEECH is that not one of them has the cojones to stand up on that platform and call for fidelito to release the dissidents! to free them! to honor their right to dissent! Not one, not a single one, free and unfettered, takes up the call to free Dr. Biscet and the others.
They're either clueless or they're part and parcel of the communist plans to take over and impose slavery on everyone.

2:02 AM, August 08, 2005  

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