Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. -

20 de Abril del 2000

CUBAN GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES ATTACK AGAINST DEFENDERS OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN CUBA. By Cuba Free Press, according to the version of Odilia Collazo Valdes of the Cuban Human Rights Party.

Havana.- Since the announcement in Geneva of the sanctioning of the Cuban government as a violator of human rights against its own people, Cuban television has been broadcasting interminable speeches and commentaries on the matter.

On April 19, the round table that is set up every day at 5 p.m.on the Elian case lasted until 9 p.m. In it a series of Cuban activists for human rights were criticized and defamed, including Raul Rivero, Marta Beatriz Roque Cabello (who is serving a prison sentence), Elizardo Sanchez Santa Cruz and Odilia Collazo Valdes of the Human Rights Party.

Mrs. Valdes reports she does not care that they try to offend her or insult her or launch attacks against her or her family since what she does is to fulfil the duty that her party has given her - to defend human rights in Cuba and to echo the violations that are committed daily.

Moreover, she said she believes that names of those she meets and visits with and where she goes is her business, not the government's. She said she does not find any sense in those matters being dealt with publicly like something bad or negative for anyone.

Mrs. Valdes said the government seems to believe that the defenders of human rights and the government's opponents in Cuba "are to blame for the Geneva sanction."

She noted that the Cuban Human Rights Party is affiliated with the Andrei Sakharov Foundation which has for weeks been denouncing the harassment to which its members are subjected across the entire island. She said the most lamentable thing is that the criticisms always have to do with the character of the persons, their private lives and with facts about them that have nothing to do with their work as defenders of human rights for all Cubans.

This is the same tactic used today against the Czech Republic for having sponsored the motion or against the family of Elian Gonzalez in Miami. Just as the Cuban people have heard slander against Lazaro Gonzalez or Marisleysis now they hear diatribes against the Czech leaders or the countries that signed the petition on Cuba and certainly against the activists who day by day concern themselves so that the common and everyday men and women will understand that they have the right to have all of their human rights respected.

After all, the Cuban government cannot present itself as a defender of the rights it violates, neither before the United Nations nor much less in the presence of its own people.

Cuba Free Press, according to the version of Odilia Collazo Valdes of the Cuba Human Rights Party.

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