Military Review

Assorted dissidents

On the eve of the visit of Barack Obama to Cuba, the media reported on the planned meeting of the American president with island dissidents. The "list" of these dissidents, according to White House spokesman Josh Ernest, "identifies" Washington. Havana, however, gave Washington a surprise: on the day of the president’s arrival, the authorities arrested several dissidents. It's funny, but in the crowd of those arrested were also opponents of the United States. On the other hand, the decision of the authorities to “grab everyone” must be recognized as logical: Havana decided to move closer to Washington, and it does not need protests against either Castro or Obama.

Assorted dissidents

The United States does not discuss with Cuba the list of dissidents Mr. Obama will meet during his visit to the island, White House spokesman Josh Ernest told reporters on 18 in March. “The content of the list is not the subject of negotiations. The list of people is determined by the president and the White House ", - Ernest quotes RIA News".

“I would not be surprised if there are people on this list whose meetings the government of Cuba would not allow,” Ernest added wisely. “Although I don’t know if they raised this question, we’ll still do that.”

Obama's visit (he flew to the island aboard the Air Force 1) took place on March 21 and 22.

Liberty Island met the American president unfriendly. It was gloomy and cold weather, and even then it suddenly poured rain. Mr. Obama uttered words that the world media never tire of quoting: “In 1928, Calvin Coolidge spent three whole days to get to Cuba on a warship. It took me only three hours ... It historical visit and historic opportunity. ”

As for the last phrase, we must recognize it as correct. After decades of economic blockade of Cuba, the visit of the US President to the island really becomes historic.

Peter Kornbluch, senior analyst at the National Security Archive, said Voice of Americathat we are talking about the first visit of the US President to Havana after the Cuban revolution.

“For Cubans, this is to some extent a recognition of their revolution and the fact that the US is ready to live in peace with Cubans, and formally recognizes the local government,” he noted. “Countries have really begun to converge, and President Obama’s visit to Cuba is intended to speed up this process.”

Voice of America reminds us that in the last fifteen months of warming, much has changed in Cuba and the United States: there are embassies in both countries, formal diplomatic relations exist, the number of Americans traveling to Cuba is increasing, reforms have begun on the island, giving Cubans the opportunity to promote small businesses.

For the Cuban side, the main question is the complete lifting of the embargo. However, this is not what Obama decides, but the Congress. On the one hand, supporters of the “Cuban thaw” believe that the embargo has outlived itself. On the other hand, two potential US presidential candidates, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, have a negative attitude to this.

“We’ll see what happens with the Congress’s leadership in the November election of 2016: if control passes to the Democrats, I think that there will be a vote on this topic and the embargo will be lifted,” Kornblyuk told Voice of America. “Even many Republicans do not understand the meaning of this embargo: in fact, we isolate ourselves.”

By the way, in Cuba, the popularity of the current American leader is much higher than in the United States itself. 80% of Cubans, according to surveys, belong to B. H. Obama positively.

As we noted above, during the visit, Barack Obama has scheduled a meeting with Cuban dissidents. What kind of people are these? “Voice of America” for some reason did not bring their list. Russian Kommersant turned out to be much more agile.

The White House did not disclose the list of participants to the meeting, the newspaper notes. However, the newspaper still became aware of the names of most of those who received invitations. Details from Havana were given by Kommersant correspondent Pavel Tarasenko.

According to the correspondent, the invitations were sent to the following dissidents:

1. Dagoberto Valdez, writer and journalist, editor of the e-journal "Convivencias" ("Coexistence").

2. Manuel Cuesta Maurois, founder of the Progressive Party of Cuba, coordinator of the New Country platform, which unites part of the local opposition.

3. Miriam Leive, an independent journalist who publishes in a number of international media outlets, one of the founders of the human rights movement Women in White (the original goal is to release husbands, brothers and fathers of movement members arrested for subversive activities), A. Sakharov Prize laureate.

4. Antonio Rodilles, an activist who became known as the coordinator of SATS - a forum created in 2010 of the year and designed to intensify social, cultural and political debates in the country. In addition, Rodilles is the main coordinator of the “Civil Claim of Another Cuba” (the goal of this initiative is to achieve the ratification of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights by the country).

5. Yoani Sánchez, a journalist and blogger. She received several international awards for criticizing life in Cuba. The creator of a blog (“Generation Y”), available in 17 languages. This woman was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

6. Elizardo Sánchez, a former university professor and now a human rights activist, founder of the Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation.

7. Berte Soler, head of the Women in White movement, winner of the Sakharov Prize.

8. Guillermo Fariñas, an independent journalist and the main coordinator of the United Antitotalitarian Forum (FANTU), a psychologist, winner of the Sakharov Prize, awarded by the European Parliament. He spent at least 23 hunger strikes in protest against the actions of the Cuban government and at least 11 spent half a year in prisons.

9. José Daniel Ferrer, leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU). Previously, he was a member of the Christian Liberation Movement and participated in collecting signatures in support of the “Varela project” in order to force the Cuban leadership to give citizens of the country guarantees of freedom of speech and assembly. In 2003, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison; He was in prison until 2011.

"Moscow Komsomol" reports that on the morning of the arrival of B.H. Obama’s island several dissidents were arrested.

“As for the arrested dissidents,” writes well-known international journalist Melor Sturua, “among them were ardent opponents of the United States. The government through its media made it clear that it will not tolerate any demonstrations against the United States and itself. Among many Cubans, these measures raise doubts about US-Cuban detente. ”

Is it so? Is there any details?

Pavel Tarasenko reports (Kommersant):

"..." Women in white "and the men who joined them (only a few dozen people) walked along Fifth Avenue - the main street of this district of Havana. On the way, shouting “Revolution - yes, this people with you!” Were met by pro-government demonstrators. As a result, the march ended in the same way as usual - mass arrests. Moreover, Bertha Soler and Antonio Rodilez, another opposition member invited to meet with Barack Obama, got into the padrocks. ”

So, it is clear that the meeting with Obama, planned by the White House, will not all invited.

By the way, Tarasenko’s report contains opinions on the situation in Cuba and “the other side of the barricades”. Director of the Institute of History of Cuba Rene González Barrios and historian Felipe Perez Cruz assured the journalist that the Cuban opposition did not enjoy popular support and received money from Washington. Oppositionist Berta Soler responded to this in a conversation with a correspondent: “Farce. Not a single American knocked on my door. ”

В "New York Times" with irony tells about the preparation of the authorities for the visit of Obama.

As pointed out by correspondents Damien Cave and Julie Davis, already a few hours before the landing of "Air Force One" at the International Airport. José Martí, in Havana, the problems that are inherent in the processes of "normalizing relations with the communist police state." Dozens of people were arrested on the weekly march of Women in White, a well-known dissident organization.

Journalists call their Sunday protest a test of the tolerance of Cuban authorities for dissent during the visit of the American president. And what? The arrests confirmed that Cuba remains loyal to "its long history of repressive tactics."

Therefore, for Mr. Obama, who was just about to meet with Berta Soler (detained on Sunday), the main task of the visit is the topic of human rights and freedom.

For Obama's visit, authorities put “order” in Havana: they painted the baseball stadium with “fresh blue paint”, and covered most of the Obama route with fresh asphalt. Now she "smacks of tar." Locals ridicule their government and thank Obama for patching holes on the roads.

“Everyone wants to know what we, the Cubans, are thinking about Obama's trip,” said 36-year-old J. Suarez, standing at the renovated road in the center of Havana. - I, frankly, just happy that this huge bump has finally been repaired. And if I have the opportunity to thank Obama for this, then I say: thank you, Obama! ”

Elizardo Sanchez, who spent the day in custody, but still communicated with foreign journalists, believes that the changes on the island will depend not at all on Mr. Obama, but on Fidel Castro, the architect of the 1959 revolution of the year, on Raul Castro, his brother, and from their family members.

"What the government gives, it can instantly select," - said the opposition.

“What we need is reform,” he added. - We need laws. Let it be for real change. ”

As transmits TASS, at a press conference held after the talks of Obama and Raul Castro, questions were raised by journalists about the "political prisoners". Raul Castro simply rejected the accusations of human rights defenders that there were allegedly political prisoners on the island, and then stated that no country in the world fully complies with “international standards in the field of human rights”.

Obama replied that the United States and Cuba "remain deeply divided over democracy and the human rights situation."

Despite disagreements over human rights and the arrests of various oppositionists in Havana, the main topics of rapprochement between Washington and the Island of Freedom are not at all dissident. Cuba is interested in American investments, as well as in the real lifting of the economic blockade.

Raul Castro thanked Obama for his appeals to Congress regarding the lifting of the embargo policy, but he immediately called all these measures insufficient: the blockade continues. "The blockade is the most important obstacle to our economic development and the welfare of the Cuban people," - quotes the Cuban leader of TASS. Its cancellation, the Cuban leader said, “is vital for the normalization of bilateral relations.”

In addition, Castro demanded "the return of the territory illegally occupied by the naval base at Guantanamo."

In this case, Comrade. Castro expressed Cuba’s readiness to move towards normalization of relations with the United States.

In turn, the American president expressed confidence that the embargo "will be finished." True, he, Obama, "does not know when this will happen."

Thus, we’ll add in conclusion that the Cuban authorities are unlikely to stand on ceremony with dissidents, fearing suggestions from Washington about the violation of "human rights". The embargo has not been removed, and Obama cannot give any guarantees of its withdrawal, and the base in Guantanamo still exists. In such conditions, there is no reason to be led by the White House to Comrade Castro. Without a complete lifting of the embargo, the Cuban system will, perforce, exist in the old regime.

It turns out that the fate of so-called Cuban socialism is now in the hands of American congressmen. The lifting of the embargo will inevitably lead to the collapse of the political system supported by the Castro family. If Mr. Rubio, a potential US presidential candidate, he would have understood that more intelligently. Apparently, while supporting the embargo, he is guided solely by his personal feelings about the “regime” of Castro, about which he once spoke a lot to the American press.

However, the latter looks like a thoughtful lie. Not so long ago, it turned out that, contrary to Rubio’s statements about his parents ’flight from Cuba in the 1959 year, in fact they immigrated in the US in 1956 year, that is, three years before the Cuban revolution. They were not political refugees, but ordinary economic migrants. And now it is quite difficult for Mr. Rubio to put himself in the role of a descendant of the victims of "political repression". But the withdrawal seems to go with great difficulty.

Observed and commented on Oleg Chuvakin
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  1. svt_Tomsk
    svt_Tomsk 23 March 2016 06: 12
    That's how Castro meets Obama
    1. Andrey Yuryevich
      Andrey Yuryevich 23 March 2016 06: 16
      Raoul squeamishly removed the hand of Obama, who was about to familiarly pat him on the shoulder ...
      1. apro
        apro 23 March 2016 06: 21
        Raul man, calmly and firmly besieged the impoverished imperialist, Obamkin mixed up with hunchbacked Castro.
      2. ICT
        ICT 23 March 2016 06: 36
        Quote: Andrey Yurievich
        Raoul squeamishly removed the hand of Obama, who was about to familiarly pat him on the shoulder ...

        wink lol
        1. Voha_krim
          Voha_krim 23 March 2016 06: 51
          Liberty Island met the American president unfriendly. It was gloomy and cold weather, and even then it suddenly poured rain.
        2. ruAlex
          ruAlex 23 March 2016 15: 41
          Obama broke off and could only smile helplessly
      3. PKK
        PKK 23 March 2016 14: 00
        They mocked Obamych as they wanted: they displaced the dissidents before the meeting, Raul did not meet him from the plane, had to jump over some puddle, removed his hand. Obama still got off easily, could give a kick for Guantanamo and the embargo.
  2. smel
    smel 23 March 2016 06: 12
    It’s clear to the fool that the Americans need Cuba now to prevent Russia from completely and irrevocably finding an ally in her person.
    1. Andrey Yuryevich
      Andrey Yuryevich 23 March 2016 06: 19
      Quote: smel
      It’s clear to the fool that the Americans need Cuba now to prevent Russia from completely and irrevocably finding an ally in her person.

      it’s clear to the fool that Cuba is no longer the same ... and will not run towards anyone. Now, only pragmatism, they will see what can be squeezed out of the situation.
  3. Pvi1206
    Pvi1206 23 March 2016 06: 42
    Cuba does not allow the US to pat on the shoulder ...
    1. sgazeev
      sgazeev 23 March 2016 07: 13
      Quote: Pvi1206
      Cuba does not allow the US to pat on the shoulder ...

      This is not a queen with a horse physiognomy.
    2. x587x
      x587x 23 March 2016 10: 46
      Not yet allowed.
    3. The comment was deleted.
    4. Vadim42
      Vadim42 23 March 2016 15: 39
      And what's cool is a great slogan.
  4. rotmistr60
    rotmistr60 23 March 2016 07: 04
    80% of Cubans, according to polls, have a positive attitude towards B. Kh. Obama.

    Honestly surprised by such statistics. Probably the main factor is Obama's skin color; no other explanation comes to mind.
    A public evasion of Obama's arrogant familiarity perfectly showed who the boss in the house is. In Europe, many politicians dream of being patted by the American president and no matter where they go.
  5. parusnik
    parusnik 23 March 2016 07: 13
    In such circumstances, Comrade Castro has no reason to follow the White House's lead. ..That yes ... but Comrade Castro is mortal ... Who will replace him?
    1. PKK
      PKK 23 March 2016 14: 03
      A person close to Raul said that Cuba had been hurt by another 50 years enough. Then, of course, modern youth will ruin everything.
  6. Volga Cossack
    Volga Cossack 23 March 2016 07: 16
    Oh, not the Cubans now - the age of pragmatism - what would the late Che say to this ....... but on their side they need to be kept .....
  7. Mirrorfax
    Mirrorfax 23 March 2016 07: 39
    However, this Raul is an iron guy! Our person! What kind of self-control and what a powerful allusion to the inadmissibility of familiarity in relation to the Cuban state and its leader.
    Bravo, Raul!
    Raul, an encore!
    Americans are already screaming that Obama dishonored America!
    But is that not so? )
    What a powerful kick in the ass for the end of a career, from those who have been humiliated for so many decades.
    Ah yes Raul!
    Ah, kra-sa-va !!!
    1. GYGOLA
      GYGOLA 23 March 2016 19: 05
      Europe as an example. A tough nut with eggs. Raul, Cuba, solidarity!
  8. nivander
    nivander 23 March 2016 07: 48
    and here are our handshakes
    1. Mordvin 3
      Mordvin 3 23 March 2016 08: 09
      Quote: nivasander
      and here are our handshakes

      More precisely - shoulder.
    2. Ros 56
      Ros 56 23 March 2016 09: 09
      Interestingly, did these wretched ones see themselves in the mirror? From the side you look and are horrified, and this squalor has grown in us and is claiming for something. Yes, they cost three pennies on market day. And we have a box of matches worth 1,5 rubles, that's all their value. In their garbage or sewer.
    3. max702
      max702 23 March 2016 13: 36
      Quote: nivasander
      and here are our handshakes

      I have one feeling that the authorities are paying extra to these "comrades"? With such opposition, no Maidan and other attempts like "it's time to change power" threaten, I am sure that many of them have agent nicknames, and some have epaulets, not to mention the awards in closed lists .. I must say a brilliant move, cheap and cheerful filter out idiots and their sympathizers .. In general, in the field of public relations, the government has made a huge step forward, this applies to both internal and external consumers, very professional actions in almost everything .. The question arises, when will we see the same level of professionalism in economics and domestic politics in overall ..
  9. Belousov
    Belousov 23 March 2016 08: 49
    After all, but the Americans are returning to Cuba. And we? And again we are missing a strategic ally, as was already the case with Ukraine. Sadly ...
  10. atlantida04
    atlantida04 23 March 2016 10: 23
    Commentary on Castro and Obama:
    Castro came out with a monkey to the people, the monkey got scared when he saw a large number of Cubans, and wanted to climb on Raul, but he grabbed her hand and said: "Don't be afraid, wave your hand better to the people, like this, like this ...."
  11. Ros 56
    Ros 56 23 March 2016 11: 17
    I watched as Raul grabbed his hand, respect, let his wife slam on the ass. I also found a friend, slam the Europeans, they agree on everything.
  12. mr.grin19z
    mr.grin19z 23 March 2016 11: 30
    Yes, in CUBA Obama smyrnyu
  13. dvg1959
    dvg1959 23 March 2016 13: 05
    Well done Raul, he did not miss the opportunity to tell the Abama that it was not proper to dissolve his hands, after all, he was not his own brothers to clap on anything.
    And in general, feel at home but do not forget that at a party.
    In general, Obama arrived in Cuba, presumably, with plans for the distant future.
    If the United States build relationships, it means the state in opacity.
    I think that the Cubans speculate about the insidiousness of America.
  14. Stasweb
    Stasweb 23 March 2016 13: 51
    Quote: mordvin xnumx
    Quote: nivasander
    and here are our handshakes

    More precisely - shoulder.

    Or simply chain dogs.
  15. 123321
    123321 23 March 2016 15: 01
    Cuba retains independence: Raul Castro did not let Obama pat him on the shoulder
    The gesture of Barack Obama, which was conceived as “the good-natured condescension of Raul Castro and Obama’s master to the ward” (sovereign to sovereign territory), was not realized. The Cuban leader just spotted an attempt at this movement.

    The “incident” has been seen and appreciated by many. For example, Alexei Pushkov, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, compared the behavior of the head of Cuba, Raul Castro, and former Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

    “Unlike Yeltsin, who was crouching in front of Clinton, Raul Castro did not let Obama pat him on the shoulder. This is not a trifle. To the question of sovereignty ”,

    - wrote Pushkov on his Twitter page.

    Recall that the vast majority translates the word “sovereignty” as “independence” - which is categorically erroneous. Sovereign territory implies the existence of a sovereign - the owner or manager, whom Obama tried to appear in sign language
    1. ICT
      ICT 23 March 2016 17: 52
      Quote: 123321
      Unlike Yeltsin, who was crouching in front of Clinton, Raul Castro did not let Obama pat him on the shoulder. This is not a trifle. To the question of sovereignty ”,

      1. ICT
        ICT 23 March 2016 17: 57
  16. Alexdark
    Alexdark 23 March 2016 17: 53
    Caught by the hand, coffee criminal.
  17. salamandra2826
    salamandra2826 23 March 2016 22: 00
    It reminds me of a throw of shoes.
  18. Denis Skiff
    Denis Skiff 23 March 2016 22: 52
    Ruberoid on his shoulder decided to throw a stump. Travakura cooled laughing Raul Castro well done!
    So, in all countries, heads of state would meet FSA presidents intending to scatter stumps.
    Meme, show the FSA presidents where their rake should be good
    No, do not destroy this country. Do not need the Stalin Strait. It is necessary to isolate these cranks on the island.
  19. iouris
    iouris 23 March 2016 23: 06
    Obviously: Cuba is an independent state. This was especially evident at the level of the spinal reactions of the leader. Delighted!
  20. Gost171
    Gost171 24 March 2016 01: 21
    Historical film: Lamb in the Kuban. Well, Chairman Castrov, survived ...