Cuban exiles from Miami clashed with pro-Castro Cubans in Panama ahead of the important American summit. According to the dissidents, they were having a peaceful march to a park where there’s a Jose Marti monument when there was an outbreak of violence. South Florida politicians blamed the pro-Castro regime and U.S. Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart said “Today, the Castro regime once again demonstrated that it is the same violent, terrorist dictatorship that it has always been, as it continues to export its brand of thuggery and aggression anywhere that it finds dissent.”
According to the Miami Herald, who quotes U.S. assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs, there will be an interaction between the U.S. president Barack Obama and Raúl Castro at the Panama Summit. She says further that it will be an important handshake in the ongoing process of trying to renew U.S.-Cuban relations. Human rights advocates fear however that any recognition of Castro will lend the rough nation legitimacy internationally, undermining the struggle of political dissidents on the island.
After the fulfilling of the agreement between Cuba and the U.S. in December 2014, Cuba released 53 anti-communist prisoners as a part of the reconciliation between the two countries after more than 50 years without diplomatic ties. However, the White House revealed last week that there are additional detainees beyond that 53 that have already been let go that it wants to see freed. The White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said during the press conference that “we don’t want anybody to be left with the impression, and we certainly don’t want the Castro regime to be left with the impression, that these are the only 53 political prisoners that we care about.”
The estimated growth in Cuba’s capital stock fell to 7.8% of GDP last year, close to its level of 5.4% in 1993 when then Cuban economy was near a breakdown. Counter-measures make it harder for the regime to attract the aimed goal of an annual foreign investment of 2.5 billion USD, diplomatic sources say, and the regime must now rely on further investments from Russia and China, whose leaders recently visited the country.
“On Tuesday, Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro announced a new economic adviser for his cabinet, Orlando Borrego. (…) His past as Che Guevara’s battle companion during the Cuban revolution, along with high-level posts under the Castro’s regime, has fueled speculation of a eventual radicalization for Maduro’s socialist model.”
Read the full article from PanAm Post here
Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt has led a delegation on Cuba in order to promote censorship-free Internet access. The visit lasted two days with time spend meeting figures in the public sector and digital scene. Schmidt confirmed his visit in a Google+ post, saying that “approximately 3 – 4 percent of Cubans have access to the Internet in internet cafes and in certain universities. The Internet is heavily censored and the infrastructure, which we toured, is made out of Chinese components.”
June 12, Yris Tamara Pérez and Jorge Luis García Pérez, significant leaders of the Cuban resistance movement, are now together with other important leaders under arrest after a nightly raid led by Cuban authorities against dissidents, The Miami Herald’s Juan Tamayo reports. Mr and Mrs Pérez guested as late as in October a seminar hosted by the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation in Stockholm on Human Rights on Cuba.
Read a summary on the arrests here by John Suarez
From the Cuban Exile Quarter
February 10, 2014 at 8:00 am Jorge Luis García Pérez “Antúnez” initiated a hunger and thirst strike to protest the escalating State Security provocations. Following the start of the hunger and thirst strike, state security further escalated its repression raiding the home, arresting both Antúnez and Yris, and repeatedly ransacking the house on February 11, February 13 and February 15th. Read more
Yaite Diasnellis Cruz Sosa, activist at Rosa Parks Women’s Movement for Human Rights, shows the conditions under which Jorge Luís García Pérez “Antunez’s” apartment was left after the government’s brutal raid.