[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Local Cuba News Roundup

Friday, July 15, 2005

Local Cuba News Roundup

- Today's El Nuevo Herald reports on an effort by Miami radio station WQBA to reach out to Cuba via its airwaves. It has set up a free phone number that Cubans can call to inform relatives in Miami on their condition, as well as any assistance that the relatives can provide. That number is (305) 441-2411.

WQBA has also set up a web site - univision.com, keyword WQBA - for the same purpose. I don't know how effective the web site will be since Cubans' access to the internet is limited at best.

- The Miami Herald's Nancy San Martin reports that at least 11 Havana residents were detained for participating in demonstrations commemorating the sinking of the 13 de marzo tugboat in 1994.

For those who think that the counter-protests (read: repression) by communist party goons was non-violent, consider this quote from the article:

(Elizardo) Sánchez said the repressive actions -- veiled as counter-protests -- were carried out in four separate incidents, three of them along the Malecón and a fourth near the Plaza de la Revolución that involved ''punching and kicking'' by rapid-response brigades.

''It is a great pity that the Cuban government's fear of its own people prompts it to attack people who were simply demanding their own human rights,'' Kevin Whitaker, the State Department's coordinator of Cuban affairs, said Thursday on Radio Martí."

- From the disappointing but not totally surprising news section, the Herald reports that a U.N. human rights group has concluded that the trial and detention of five Cubans accused of spying was flawed.


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