Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. -

June 21, 1999. >


HAVANA - Cuban dissidents Drs. Elias Biscet and Leonel Morejon Almagro told Cuba Free Press that the behavior of Miami radio commentator Francisco Aruca left a great deal to desire in a professional journalist and Dr. Biscet labeled him as "a spokesman for the Communist government" because he uttered words of support for Castro's regime at the local hunger strike site.

Aruca, of Radio Progresso in Miami, visited the Havana site and caused somewhat of an uproar, leading the dissidents to believe Aruca intended to act in a provocative way. Some eyewitnesses told this reporter that Aruca showed clear signs of drunkenness.

Morejon Almagro said Aruca asked them pointed questions regarding the photo of Mas Canosa which, among others, is posted in the living room of the small house at 34 Tamarindo St. Almagro said he gave Aruca an explanation for the picture. It was placed in the house long before the strike. Almagro also explained the work of the late Miami leader, Mas, and his efforts to encourage democracy in Cuba.

Almargo told Aruca, "This picture doesn't represent the hunger strikers at 34 Tamarindo or suggest they have any kind of link with the Cuban-American National Foundation." He said, "We were alarmed by the manner in which Aruca asked questions and the possible manipulation that could take place."

Morejon Almagro said the protest has no particular political affiliation and is not done at the behest of any type of political leadership in exile. "It deals strictly with Cuba and it was born out of the necessity of freedom for the political prisoners and in search of democratization."

Dr. Almagro invited Aruca to take part in such democratization and was intrigued by the fact that a Miami radio commentator would come to Cuba to shout, "Down with Mas Canosa." Almagro said he asked himself, "Why isn't he shouting 'Down with Fidel?'"

He said Aruca may have gone to Tamarindo to create discord among the hunger strikers. Almagro said he's in favor of respecting the rights of all including those who shout, "Viva or down with Mas Canosa or President Fidel Castro."

"I'm fighting so people can shout in my country 'Down with Fidel' and not be incarcerated for doing so. The fact is that most of us are also not even allowed to say 'Viva Mas Canosa' because we would be jailed for that."

Dr. Biscet said he welcomed Aruca because "we are democrats and we respect anyone who comes here."

Biscet told Aruca that he "liked the fact that he was coming from a communist radio station in Miami." According to the dissident, Aruca became upset when Biscet tried to explain the reason for the photos of Mas Canosa and a photo of the drowning of children on the "13th of March" tugboat which the Cuban government sank as it left Miami. "Aruca became aggressive, stopped the interview and told me that he would tape what he felt like. He didn't want to listen to my views and behaved in an abrupt and despotic manner."

Biscet, one of the organizers of the Havana hunger strike, said he asked himself how is it that Aruca can come in and leave the country at will while others would like to but the political police ban them from doing so. In Sunday's incident, Aruca said he was in his own way "a dissident from Miami."

By Efrén Martínez Pulgarón, Cuba Free Press

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