Members of the international community have called upon Cuban dissident Guillermo Fariñas to end his hunger strike. Several people have pleaded with Fariñas to end his hunger strike, a protest begun following government officers brutalizing him earlier in July, saying that he can do more alive than dead for promoting democratic reforms in Cuba. Read more at Jurist
Cuba’s arbitrary detentions went up 255 percent this year. The Cuban Observatory for Human Rights has condemned the regime for what is considered to be arbitrary detention of more than 1,200 dissidents alone in March this year. Almost 500 of them were arrested during U.S. President Obama’s visit to the island nation – the first visit of a U.S. President since 1928. The socialist Castro regime has ruled the country with an iron fist since 1959.
“The head of Cuba’s delegation to negotiate ‘normalization’ with the United States has vowed that Cuba will not “move one millimeter” on issues such as its rampant human rights violations in talks with American officials. This follows Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to the island for the opening of the American embassy in Havana.”
Read John Suarez’s reflections on the reestablishment of normal relations between the United States and Cuba, stating that “normalized relations with an abnormal regime are a contradiction.”
On July 20, full diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba will be restored, President Obama announced July 1.
One issue in the negotiations has been whether U.S. diplomats should be able to travel freely in the country to talk with ordinary Cubans. The regime in Havanna has now agreed to allow it, if their Foreign Ministry is informed 24 hours in advance.
Questions as the embargo, compensation for U.S. properties and migration policy are still to be dealt with.
June 25-28, a delegation of U.S. senators paid visit to Cuba with the aim to continue the normalization process between the two countries. The delegation was to meet with politicians and religious leaders, among others.
Cuba has one of the lowest connectivity rates in the world and most users are only able to connect to the restricted and government controlled version of the internet, offering a national email system, pro-government blogs, and educational sources.
“US President Barack Obama has agreed to take Cuba off a list of state sponsors of terrorism, the White House said Tuesday. Obama’s move comes just three days after the US President held a historic hour-long meeting with his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro. According to France24, this was the first face-to-face talk between the presidents of the two nations in half a century. (…) Talks continue on trying to re-establish diplomatic ties between the two nations and US Secretary of State John Kerry is about to make a historic trip to the Caribbean island to reopen the US embassy, but a date isn’t yet confirmed.”
Despite the new bilateral co-operation between the U.S. and Cuba and the abolition of sanctions aimed Cuban economy, the question still remains whether it will benefit the ordinary people or just Cuba’s government elites. Spyridon Mitsotakis writes an interesting article in Breitbart on what he calls Cuba’s “internal embargo”, which separates the ordinary people from the government elites with two different currencies to prevent Cuban people from participating in the economies of the elite and the outside world.
U.S. president Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raúl Castro had an historical face-to-face chat during the Panama summit, which was the first between U.S. and Cuban heads of state since 1956, WLRN reports. WLRN writes further that the new policy engagement with Cuba won’t turn Cuba into a democratic country with respect for human rights over a night, but that it gives the U.S. a better position to promote it after a half a century of isolating the island nation.