Skip to comments.Cubans celebrate rare assembly
Posted on 05/21/2005 1:28:48 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
HAVANA With shouts of "Freedom" and the singing of the Cuban national anthem, more than 200 people opened a rare opposition assembly in Cuba yesterday, uninterrupted by authorities despite the expulsion of European lawmakers, journalists and others who planned to attend.
Martha Beatriz Roque, the meeting's lead organizer and a former political prisoner who attempted a similar gathering nine years ago, called it "a point of departure" for future work.
"There will be a before and after for May 20 in Cuba," Mrs. Roque said, contending it was the first such gathering in Fidel Castro's 46 years of Communist rule. "This is a triumph for all the opposition."
.......Seated in rows of plastic chairs bought with donations from exile groups, the delegates cheered as organizers played an audiotaped message from President Bush.
"I have a message to those assembling today to protest in Cuba: As you struggled for the freedom of your country, the American people stand with you," Mr. Bush said in his traditional May 20 speech recognizing Cuban Independence Day.
"Viva Bush" or "Long Live Bush," some delegates shouted in contrast with cries of "Abajo Fidel" or "Down With Fidel," heard earlier in the meeting.
Cuba on Thursday expelled two European lawmakers who had planned to attend the gathering and refused entry to two others earlier this week. Six Poles three journalists, a human rights worker and two students were being expelled yesterday, the Polish Foreign Ministry said in Warsaw.
Also barred from entering the country this week was a representative of the powerful Miami exile lobby, the Cuban American National Foundation.
"This is typical behavior of a totalitarian state," said Czech Sen. Karel Schwarzenberg, who was expelled Thursday.
(Excerpt) Read more at washtimes.com ...
Cuban students wave Cuban national flags during a speech given by President Fidel Castro at the Anti-Imperialist square in Havana on Friday, the same day Castro's communist government allowed an unprecedented opposition meeting to take place in the country. Castro expelled European legislators and reporters to prevent them from attending the dissident rally.
The beginning of the end for Fidel?
People like freedom don't they ?
Ol' Castro is happy enough as long as the opposition stays in its sandbox. They could not revise the government short of a ground-up revolution. Didja know, when Jimmuh Cahtuh visited a few years ago and told them naughty naughty they should become a democracy, Castro's puppet parliament responded to their Head Honcho by unanimously voting an amendment to their Commie constitution that it was hereafter non-amendable? Talk about cornered rat.
The Soviet Union, Poland, etc. started their reforms with a public outcry. It didnt immediately change things but it started the fall of Communism.
I would help if we were to drop the old Kennedy era trade embargo. Let the Cuban stores be flooded with consumer goods they cant afford to buy.
who'd sell them if buyers too poor?
More than 500 members of Cuba's unicameral National Assembly voted late Wednesday to declare that ``capitalism will never return again'' to the Caribbean island.
Deputies' names were called out in alphabetical order and each one stood up and shouted ``Si!'' into a microphone. Of Cuba's 578 deputies, 559 were present and all voted affirmatively.
Deputies grew emotional and almost giddy during the tally, eventually applauding loudly after each vote. When the final vote had been declared unanimous, the deputies first stood stoically at attention for the Cuban national anthem, then held hands and swayed back in forth as they sang the socialist anthem, ``Internationale.''
Castro presided over the session and afterward personally greeted many of the lawmakers in the assembly.
Castro, who came to power in the 1959 revolution, declared Cuba's government to be socialist two years later, on the eve of the aborted Bay of Pigs invasion by a U.S.-trained exile army.
``We need socialism more today than ever!'' Castro said before the vote. ``To guarantee the future, a strong ideological base is needed.''
The amendment was proposed because Cuba felt increased pressure at home and abroad to carry out democratic reforms. .....***
Cuban shopkeepers the State would stock the goods in an attempt to show that the workers paradise has everything the decadent capitalists have. It worked in Eastern Europe. The Fall of Communism can be credited to American retail corporations as well as to President Reagans policies.