"Takk til de landene som ba om frihet for min pappa, takk til dem og min pappa". Strofen er hentet fra et dikt datteren til journalisten og sukkerarbeideren Normando Hernandez leste for meg da jeg besøkte dem på et asylsenter utenfor Madrid høsten 2010. Jeg kommer aldri til å glemme det øyeblikket. En spinkel og vakker jente, sterkt preget av at hennes far satt 7 år i fengsel, stemplet som en fiende av Cuba. Hernandez var en av 75 politiske fangene som ble løslatt, og sendt ut av landet som følge av internasjonalt press og påtrykk fra den katolske kirke etter at Orlando Zapata Tamayo sultestreiken seg til døde. I dag er det mange som tror at Cuba er på rett vei. Sannheten er en ganske annen.
Mellom januar og september 2011 ble det registrert 2.784 tilfeller av menneskerettsbrudd, dette er 710 flere tilfeller enn i hele 2010. I følge Amnesty International har cubanske myndigheter tatt i bruk nye metoder for å straffe folk som setter seg imot regimet:
"Journalister og aktivister blir holdt fengslet i alt fra fem timer til flere dager. I løpet av denne tiden blir de forhørt, skremt, truet og ved noen anledninger også banket.
Stortingets Cuba-gruppe skrev rett før påske et brev til Cubas ambassadør, Rogerio Santana, hvor vi ga uttrykk for vår bekymring over de mange bruddene på menneskerettighetene generelt, og mot journalister spesielt. Svaret fra ambassadøren kan leses i sin helhet under. Der kan man også lese at ambassadøren ikke vil svare meg:
“P.S.: Your Note to our Embassy is also signed by Conservative M.P. Mr. Jan Tore Sanner, well known for his positions against Cuba and his connections with the worst enemies of the Cuban Sovereignty in Miami, people linked to terrorist actions against the Cuban People. For that reason, expressed also in my Note of the 11/03/2010, I´m answering you, not him.”
Ambassadør Rogerio Santana har tidligere kalt meg både et insekt og en bananpolitiker, og anklaget meg for å stå i ledtog med terrorister. Det kan jeg leve med. Det er ikke ukjent at representanter for diktaturer sprer om seg med anklager og sjikane for å skremme folk til taushet. Man skal ikke overraskes over at klakører for regimer som krenker menneskerettighetene også er tøffe i ordbruken mot andre lands innbyggere.
Vår brevveksling med ambassadøren fører neppe til annet enn bortforklaringer og usakligheter, men et stort internasjonalt press for reformer og krav om respekt for menneskerettighetene kan gi resultater.
Vaclav Havel sa en gang:
Who else but us who live in freedom, should speak up for the rights of those who are not as fortunate?
Normando fortalte meg hva det betød for ham og hans familie å vite at mange i den frie verden jobbet for hans frihet. Internasjonal oppmerksomhet er politiske fanger sin livbøye. Stortingets Cuba gruppe har også bedt utenriksminister Støre om å følge opp, og protestere mot de mange bruddene på menneskerettighetene. Det er på tide med en internasjonal kampanje. Jeg er tilhenger av dialog, men det må kombineres med tydelige krav om respekt for menneskerettighetene.
Her følger brevet fra den cubanske ambassadøren I sin helhet:
Embassy of Cuba
Mrs. Dagrun Eriksen, Christian Democratic Party and to Mr. Haakon Haugli, Labour Party
Distinguished Members of the Norwegian Parliament:
Today we have received in our Embassy a Note signed by you, expressing concern about what you call “harassment and detention of political dissidents, human rights activists, journalist and bloggers…” in Cuba.
You would have to remember that the 11th of March 2010, I sent you a Note (see it below) answering similar accusations against my Country. The same elements I used then, more than two years ago, are also valid now. Taking into account your concern about violations of human rights, at that time I asked you to create Committees, “to protest strongly against the most terrible violations of human rights by the US Government in places like Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Guantanamo, and other centers of torture and death in different parts of the world, even in some European Countries; or to demand the US Government to give back to our people the illegally occupied Cuban territory in Guantanamo; or to stop killing innocent people in Afghanistan, Iraq or Palestine; or to put an end to the criminal US blockade against Cuba; or to free the 5 Cuban Heroes, political prisoners in US jails for more than eleven years, whose only crime was to fight US terrorists in Miami to defend their people’s right to live in peace; or to put in jail the real and well known Cuban-American terrorists that are free in USA. Those would be noble causes to work for”.
Since then, please let me know, have you created some of those Committees? Because, as you for sure are aware, those terrible violations of human rights mentioned by me in March 2010 are still happening and in many ways the situation is now worse. US continue using torture and terror as an essential part of its policy, in various parts of the world, not only in Guantanamo, in spite of the protests of decent people in many countries, even within the USA.
Recently the world has seen with anger, real harassment to human rights and peace activists in places like, for example, New York (Wall Street), Berkley (also USA), Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon, London, Athens, Rome, Brussels and many others. Haven´t you seen the fascist behaviour of the police in those cities against peaceful people protesting for the violations of their rights?
For sure, you will never see atrocities like that in Cuba; on the contrary, we enjoy one of the most peaceful and healthiest societies in the world, and our well educated people knows the importance to preserve it.
Some days ago, hundreds of thousands of Cubans, in activities organized by the Cuban Government and the Church, received the visit of His Holiness Benedict XVI, an event that was a great success in spite of all the efforts of the enemies of our Country, mainly those in US and in other parts of the world that support US policy of terror against Cuba. They used again their paid agents within our country, those that you call “political dissidents, human rights activists, journalist and bloggers”, to occupy churches and to put in practice some other actions considered “illegal and irresponsible” by Archbishopric of Havana that publicly denounced those acts as “a prepared, coordinated strategy…to triggering critical situations as Pope Benedict XVI´s visit to Cuba nears”. Maybe some of those “occupiers” are in jail now, not because of their ideas but for violating Cuban Law with actions considered even by the Church as “illegal and irresponsible”. You can be sure that we have the legal instruments to defend our society of justice; in Cuba law has to be respected.
Those attempts against the Cuban People and Government failed again and will continue failing. After more than 52 years resisting and defeating all the criminal policies of USA -the most powerful and aggressive empire in the history, 150 kms. from our shores-, that include thousands of terrorist attacks, the economic and financial blockade rejected by the international community, etc., the Cuban people has shown once again to the world that the immense majority of it supports our System and Government, which are now stronger than never before, internally and internationally.
Again, Mrs. Eriksen and Mr. Haugli, I ask you to create Committees to protest strongly against some of those terrible violations of human rights that I mentioned in my answer to you the 11th of March 2010 and to others that happened recently in USA, Europe, etc. The world needs your efforts in that sense and, for sure, you will have many followers, not only in Norway.
P.S.: Your Note to our Embassy is also signed by Conservative M.P. Mr. Jan Tore Sanner, well known for his positions against Cuba and his connections with the worst enemies of the Cuban Sovereignty in Miami, people linked to terrorist actions against the Cuban People. For that reason, expressed also in my Note of the 11/03/2010, I´m answering you, not him.
Embassy of Cuba
Distinguished Members of the Norwegian Parliament:
We received a new note signed by you, inviting me for a meeting the 18th of March to, I quote, “maintain a constructive discussion on the situation for political prisoners in Cuba, as well as human rights issues in general”, but you insist in the participation of Mr. Jan T. Sanner, in this meeting. I will try to explain again, now more at length, the reasons that make impossible for me to accept your proposal:
Mr. Sanner represents in Norway the Cuban-American groups based in Miami that for more than 50 years have caused so much harm to my people. More than 5,500 innocent Cubans have either lost their lives or have been left maimed through terrorist actions like the blowing up in mid-air of a Civil Cuban Airliner, the introduction in Cuba of a dengue epidemic through a bacteriological attack that caused the death of more than 100 Cuban children, the explosion of bombs in public places, the murder of Cuban diplomats and other Cuban citizens outside Cuba, and many other terrorist actions.
Maybe because of the changes that Mr. Obama promised to the US voters about different matters, one of them, the US–Cuba policy (it gave him the victory in the elections in Florida), the links of Mr. Sanner now are not so close with the US Government as they were before, but he continues attached to the criminal and failed Bush´s policy through the Miami bandits, from where he receives instructions. Please, read his note (attached), explaining what he is doing to spoil the relationship between Cuba and Norway, not sent to the Secretary of State or the US Congress, but to a Republican Senator, Melquiades “Mel” Martinez, a prominent member of the Cuban–American mafia who, by the way, had to resign recently, involved in another scandal for corruption, the typical way of living of some connections of Mr. Sanner in Miami, where corruption, mafia and terrorism against Cuba -and now also against all the progressive forces in Latin America-, go easily together. Miami is one of the most corrupted and violent cities in USA, though Cuba is one of the most peaceful places in the world. Why? Because our Revolution cleaned out the country from all kind of gangsters, criminals, torturers, etc., the essential part of the Cuban society during US-Batista´s times. Of course, all of them went to USA, mainly to Miami. Since then, that city became the garbage dump of Latin America and every time that there is a positive change in any Country in our region, all the rubbish from those societies goes there. For that reason Miami is becoming a very crowded and stinking place.
There is another reason not to meet Mr. Sanner: I will never forget that when Bush was still President of USA, putting in practice his policy of “preventive wars” (according to US former President, General D. Eisenhower, that is the same principle used by Hitler), Mr. Sanner referred to me as “Komiske Ali”, a disrespectful manner that, apart from showing his lack of imagination, revealed clearly his dreams of a future of destruction and death for my Country, like the one Bush, with his war based on lies and his policy of terror and torture, brought to Iraq.
Please, help Mr. Sanner to understand that Cuba is not Iraq and while his admired Bush is now a nightmare that honest people, even in USA, are trying to forget, the Cuban Revolution is stronger than ever. Cuban sovereignty is defended by the immense majority of our well educated people, with an in-depth knowledge of our history. It makes our participative Democracy very strong. No body, not even USA with all its weapons and criminal actions, including terrorism and the internationally rejected financial and economic blockade, will bring us back to US-Batista´s times, the real objective behind all those campaigns against Cuba.
Apart from that, as I explained in my letter to you dated the 12 of February, I would accept to participate in a meeting with you –not with Mr. Sanner- “to talk, not only about mercenaries (US agents) but also, and much more constructive, about the possibilities to improve the relationship between Cuba and Norway, for the benefit of our Countries…”, but you insist in having a “discussion on the situation for political prisoners in Cuba, as well as human rights issues in general”.
About the first matter, we don´t have what you call “political prisoners” in Cuba; Hernandez and some others in jail, are vulgar mercenaries (US agents) that, as it has been totally proved, participated in actions against the Cuban people, organized and paid by the US Government, the historical enemy of the Cuban Nation, during the very dangerous times when Bush was trying to find a justification to destroy Cuba; they are traitors of our Nation. There are many countries in this world where US agents or soldiers are untouchable, no matter the crimes they commit, but not in my Country. Cuba is a sovereign nation and no matter for whom those traitors work, we have the right to judge them, not because of their ideas but because of their anti Constitutional, anti National actions. Our duty is to defend our independence and we will continue to do it as we have done successfully during the last 51 years. That is why those US agents -not dissidents or prisoner of conscience- are in jail in Cuba. There are people in my Country that disagree with our system -because of that are very much promoted outside Cuba by the enemies of our independence-, some of them are really despicable like the so called “Ladies in White”, or Elizardo Sanchez, Marta Beatriz Roque, Oswaldo Paya, Vladimiro Roca, and others –for sure you have heard about them- but they are not in jail because, up to now, it was not proved that they are paid for their actions.
About the second, human rights; to understand my position about this matter, it will be enough for you to read the speech of the Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Bruno Rodriguez, at the 13th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva the 3rd of March (see attached the English version), a document where the biggest violations of human rights in this world, and the real responsible for those crimes, are clearly denounced.
To sum up, I don´t think we have to lose our precious time talking about those two matters. I am sure that you could use your efforts to fight against really terrible things happening now in different parts of the world, creating Committees, for example, to protest strongly against the most terrible violations of human rights by the US Government in places like Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Guantanamo, and other centers of torture and death in different parts of the world, even in some European Countries; or to demand the US Government to give back to our people the illegally occupied Cuban territory in Guantanamo; or to stop killing innocent people in Afganistan, Iraq or Palestine; or to put an end to the criminal US blockade against Cuba; or to free the 5 Cuban Heroes, political prisoners in US jails for more than eleven years, whose only crime was to fight US terrorists in Miami to defend their people’s right to live in peace; or to put in jail the real and well known Cuban-American terrorists that are free in USA. Those would be noble causes to work for.
Please let me know when you create those Committees.
Ambassador of Cuba