Democracy Rally In Cuba
Cuba libre! (Free Thoughts)
In a post yesterday about Venezuela, I wrote about the need for the US to keep the pressure on Cuba, in the interest of bring regime change there. As Castro ages his way towards death, the regime will almost certainly change soon, and we need to see that it change towards democracy.
It turns out that unprecedented things are happening in Cuba -- a demonstration of democracy advocates (shown above, one of a series available at the blog Free Thoughts) took place in a Havana outskirt today, Cuban Independence Day. Some 200 opponents of Castro demanded the release of Cuba's political prisioners. Cuba's Communist government expelled a Czech senator and a German legislator and detained an Italian and three Polish journalists sent to report the event. Cuba's actions have unleashed howls of protest across Europe -- except, of course, that continent's Communist papers.
Also, coming out of Cuba and available at Free Thoughts is a letter from these former political prisoners to President Bush. Here's its start, testimony to the fire Bush's speeches have been igniting in the hearts of oppressed peoples everywhere:
Dear Mr. President:And here is the President's letter to the Cuban people on the occasion of Cuban Independence Day:
As former Cuban political prisoners meet with you on May 20th, and this being the eve of the General Meeting of the Assembly to Promote Civil Society – a gathering that will unite over 360 independent groups from throughout the island to discuss all aspects of Cuba’s transition towards democracy, we wish to convey a heartfelt message of gratitude to the American people and to you, Mr. President, for the constant gestures of solidarity with the Cuban’s people aspiration to live in a free, independent and democratic Cuba.
We are gladdened and truly hopeful as we witness the wide spectrum of Cuba’s independent civil society coming together in a courageous step forward and the unwavering support by the Cuban exile community and its organizations. We are all greatly aware of the urgent need to be ready to move our country forward. We are also pleased with the increasing signs of support from the international community during the course of these months, which confirms to us that we are laying a solid foundation for a sturdy and vibrant independent civil society committed to the reconstruction of our country.
Tomorrow we will open the door to allow the rays of democracy and human dignity to shine through on the Cuban nation. We thank you, once again, for standing firm in demanding that Cuba be free!
Marta Beatriz Roque Cabello
Felix Bonne Carcasses
Rene Gomez Manzano
I send greetings to those celebrating the 103rd anniversary of Cuban Independence.What courageous people these dissidents are! Two hundred is not many, but Castro started his revolution with fewer. (h/t Instapundit)
Freedom is the birthright of all mankind. Leaders across the Americas understand that the hope for peace in our world depends on the unity of free nations. America's continued support of democratic institutions, constitutional processes, and basic liberties gives hope and strength to those struggling in our hemisphere to reclaim the rule of law and their God-given rights. As we observe Cuba's independence today, we look forward to the day when Cuba is free, and my Administration supports efforts to hasten that day's coming. The tide of freedom is spreading across the globe, and it will reach Cuban shores. No tyrant can stand forever against the power of liberty because the hope of freedom is found in every heart.
This milestone is an opportunity to celebrate the Cuban culture and the many contributions Cuban Americans have made to the United States. By sharing your proud history with all Americans, you enrich our society and contribute to the diversity that makes our Nation great.
May God bless the Cuban people.
GEORGE W. BUSH