Well, here’s a serious, informed discussion “with Ted Henken, a professor in the Department of Black and Latino Studies at Baruch College at the City University of New York; and Alexis Romay, an author and member of the board of directors of the human rights organization, Cuba Archive.” On Tiempo.
Via Alexis Romay
All of us, whose countries have been stolen by a few authoritarian thugs, look to the events in Egypt in awe, solidarity and maybe even a little envy.
Next year it could be Pyongyang, or Bejing or, who knows, maybe the freedom-loving people of Teheran could finish what they started. Perhaps it could even be Havana…
Image via The Guardian, UK.
Letter from Birmingham Jail
16 April 1963
My Dear Fellow Clergymen:
While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities “unwise and untimely.” Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.
I think I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against “outsiders coming in.” I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. Frequently we share staff, educational and financial resources with our affiliates. Several months ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct action program if such were deemed necessary. We readily consented, and when the hour came we lived up to our promise. So I, along with several members of my staff, am here because I was invited here. I am here because I have organizational ties here.
But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Continue reading
From my friend Bryan Johnson:
via El Gringo Gigante
From #OZT: I Accuse the Cuban Government Campaign:
Dear Sir or Madam,
We write to you worried about the police and paramilitary harassment denounced from Banes ―a small town in the Cuban province of Holguín― by Reina Luisa Tamayo. She is the mother of Orlando Zapata Tamayo the prisoner of conscience who died on 23 February after a prolonged hunger strike that up to its tragic and fatal outcome had little coverage in the international press.
Every Sunday, we receive, mostly through phone interviews broadcast by the US-based Radio Martí, the same report from Reina Luisa describing how she is beaten, insulted and how [the government directed mob] prevents her from going to the town’s church to pray for her son and the health of all Cuban political prisoners still in jail. The repressive organs of the Cuban regime also impede her to visit her son’s tomb.
It is surprising to us that despite the wide coverage dedicated to Cuban topics, your organization has not reported on this. We know of the limitations to movement within Cuba, but we also understand that any foreign reporter has the means and resources to travel to the Eastern part of the island and give an eyewitness report of what happens there, in front of Reina Luisa Tamayo’s home.
We do not wish to tell the media what they should do, but to share with you our concern for the life of a woman who has lost her son in unjust circumstances and is clamoring for the world’s help to avoid more deaths.
We, the promoters of the #OZT: I accuse the Cuban government Campaign that demands the unconditional and immediate release of all peaceful political prisoners in Cuba and the respect of all Cubans’ human rights; write to you because we know that the international press in Cuba not only bears witness to what happens there, but can also help prevent and stop harassment incidents like those suffered by the Ladies in White in March of this year.
We would also like to know if there is any kind of legal hindrance or of any other sort that prevents your reporter in La Habana from traveling to other regions of Cuba.
We thank you in advance for your reply.
#OZT: I accuse the Cuban government Campaign
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“Of course, we expect that there should be more conciliatory measures taken by the Cuban authorities establishing the rule of law and respecting human rights. That is a fundamental principle of the United Nations charter. That is what I would encourage.”
—United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon discussing the freeing of Cuban political prisoners in Madrid with Spanish foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos.