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"Castro is a murder." Tearful relatives of Cuban dissidents call for sanctions against Castro*** MIAMI (AFP) - Tearful relatives of jailed Cuban dissidents issued an emotional plea for tough sanctions against President Fidel Castro's communist government and said they were heading to Europe to press their case. Larry Klayman, the head of Judicial Watch, the conservative legal watchdog group organizing the trip, called outright for the US military to oust Castro, saying the Cuban leader was "more of a threat than Saddam Hussein." Klayman and the exiled Cubans spoke at a news conference in Miami to outline details of a nine-country tour next week aimed at pressing European countries to impose economic sanctions against Cuba.

"No dictatorship can exist without external support but no dictatorship can be brought down either without external support," said Alina Fernandez, an exiled daughter of Castro, who will lead the trip. "We are asking the world to help us with the situation in Cuba," said Blanca Gonzalez, whose journalist son, Normando Gonzalez, was recently sentenced to 25 years in a Cuban prison. Tears streaming down her cheeks another dissident's relative said she would tell European leaders that "Fidel Castro is a murderer." "Until now, they have been blind and deaf to the tragedy in Cuba," said Isabel Roque, her voice choked with emotion.

Klayman also called for the ouster of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. "Chavez is a terrorist, removing him in any particular way would probably be beneficial," he said. ***

565 posted on 06/20/2003 11:48:08 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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Castro's behavior baffles analysts ''.....common objective - Cuba's democratic transition,''*** The arrests and executions spurred a barrage of protests from around the world, including a European Union decision to limit bilateral high-level government visits and foster closer EU relations with dissidents on the island.

Castro responded with a ferocious outburst, calling the EU leadership ''fascists'' and ''bandits'' and saying that Europe's duty ''is to keep its mouth shut because the dumb cannot speak,'' according to the June 13 English edition of Granma, the Communist Party daily.

A senior State Department official said that while the department has reached no firm conclusions to explain Castro's behavior, the U.S. focus now is on how the global community should respond.

`COMMON OBJECTIVE'

''We already share a common objective -- Cuba's democratic transition,'' the official said. ''What we want to pursue now, is a compatibility'' of policies and tactics. Among the issues that American and European officials will examine at a ministerial-level summit this week, he added, are ways that respective Cuba policies can ``complement each other in a more direct way.

''We have been very encouraged by [the EU's] statements,'' said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. ``We would hope that there would be not just strong words, but action.''

Ramón Colás, a former political prisoner who lives in Miami, said Castro's verbal attacks on Europe were designed to create an atmosphere of crisis within the island that would rally Cubans to support his 44-year-old revolution. ''He creates a crisis when one doesn't exist because it is during conflict that Castro is at his strongest,'' Colás said in a telephone interview. ``All this is for internal consumption. He is depicting himself as a victim.''

But even if Castro's succeeds in portraying the EU as his enemy, he will still face the widespread discontent among Cubans fueled by a tumbling economy that is pushing already difficult lives to the brink of the unbearable. ***

566 posted on 06/24/2003 1:54:09 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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