Sunday, January 22, 2006

West Fails to Sway Cuba on Rights

Neither the tough U.S. stance nor the friendly dialogue and gestures by Europe and Canada have led Castro to ease up on the island's dissidents.

By Carol J. Williams, Times Staff Writer

MIAMI — Canada and Spain invest in oil exploration and beachfront hotels. The United States imposes an economic embargo. Eastern European nations offer up their own success in throwing off communism. Latin America's leftist leaders, meanwhile, take a collective none-of-our-business posture.

Divergent as they may be, all of these strategies for improving human rights in Cuba have one thing in common: their failure to compel President Fidel Castro to relent on his repression of those who oppose his unraveling revolution.

In his annual assessment of the human rights situation issued this month, Oswaldo Paya, Cuba's most famous dissident and one of the few not in prison, laments that 2005 marked a return to "the darkest days of intolerance and restriction."

More than 70 Cubans pushing for democratic reforms remain jailed nearly three years after a crackdown on political dissent. Most Western nations united in protest over the harsh sentences meted out in April 2003, and the international community remains deeply fractured in its pursuit of freedom and democracy for Cubans. Go here for the rest of the story.

1 comment:

A. Perales said...

I am astonished at the naivete of Western governments who expect Castro to make changes and open up. He does as he damn well wants to and won't cave in to demands.