Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cuba: Why didn't the CBC meet with him, too?

"An Afro-Cuban dissident on Wednesday urged members of the Congressional Black Caucus who recently met with Fidel Castro to pressure Cuban officials to stop harassing opposition leaders on the island. Berta Antunez delivered a letter in Washington on behalf of her brother, who spent 17 years in prison in Cuba. Since his release last year, Jorge Luis Garcia Perez Antunez remains under heavy surveillance on the island. He also recently spent a month on a hunger strike protesting treatment of political prisoners. His wife, Iris Perez Aguilera, who also is black, heads a group in Cuba called the Rosa Parks Feminist Movement for Civil Rights. "

The CBC's response to criticism that it met with the European descended Communist leadership, but not the Afro Cuban dissidents?

"U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush . . . said democratic freedoms are a concern of his but weren't the focus of last month's trip. He plans to offer a bill this week to lift trade restrictions against Cuba and to remove it from the U.S. list of nations that sponsor terror."

Rush, who formerly held a "leadership role in the Black Panthers", never responded directly to Perez' request for a meeting:

"[Perez] wrote, "While you were meeting with the Castro brothers, only 300 kilometers away from the capital, our home and the five protesters who remain within it were subject to a brutal siege" by police."

The Afro-Cuban majority in Cuba has been excluded from power under every leadership regime, whether monarchist, republican, capitalist or communist. It's a system of political exclusion akin to South African apartheid. You would think the CBC would care about that.

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