Monday, March 7, 2011

Czech MEP meets dissidents in Cuba

Last week, twenty members of the Ladies in White were heckled for several hours by government supporters, who kept them encircled in the area. Surrounding streets were blocked off, and two ambulances and several police cars were stationed nearby.
The atmosphere in Cuba is like a pressure cooker that can explode at any time, Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas told Czech MEP Edvard Kozusnik, who met him briefly after his release from prison last week, Kozusnik said in a report he sent to CTK last Sunday.

Last year, Kozusnik successfully nominated Farinas for the Sakharov Human Rights Prize.

The public opinion in Cuba is changing as the public increasingly connects economic problems with the existing regime, Farinas said.

Nowadays people speak about it publicly, which was absolutely unthinkable three years ago, he added.

Kozusnik came to Cuba to support the local opposition in its effort to change the Communist regime.

Earlier this week, Farinas was imprisoned for 36 hours, Cuban dissidents have said.

Another Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya has warned that repressive forces are ready to take any steps in order to keep current Cuban Communist leaders in power.

Paya said Cuban opposition was preparing projects for the transformation of society in the direction of democratic free elections.

Kozusnik said Paya and others had collected the signatures of 40,000 Cubans for the support of the planned changes.

Kozusnik said the campaign was similar to the Czechoslovak Several Sentences petition, launched a few months before the Communist regime's fall in 1989.

Kozusnik gave the dissidents a symbolical chain of keys as a recollection of those that calmly rang the end of the Communist rule.

"I believe that Cubans will soon ring the end of the rule of arrogant despots, dysfunctional economy, demagoguery and hateful propaganda," Kozusnik said.

From the Czech experience:

Seeking Freedom Is a Learning Process

video

He has a degree in history, which he got only after the revolution of course.

In communist times he was only allowed to undertake a mechanical apprenticeship.

In literature he found a way to pass on principles of humanity and criticize injustice.

He belonged to the crowd of the youngest generation of Czech dissidents.

We are talking about Czech writer Petr Placák, alias Petr Zmrzlík.

[Jáchym Topol, Writer and Journalist]:

"Before 1989 Petr belonged to the active ones, to the activists, to those who fought. I think, that what he was doing or what we were doing, was built on Charter 77."

Placák issued two samizdat books.

As one of the closely watched dissidents, he was forced to write books under the pseudonym Petr Zmrzlík.

He became an inconvenience for the regime not only as a writer, but as an instigator of many activities against the totalitarian regime as well.

In 1988 he founded an organization "České děti" which issued leaflets and articles directed against the totalitarian regime.

[Jáchym Topol, Writer and Journalist]:

“I was one of the first members of the organization 'České děti.' And I can say that the thoughts and ideas coming from Petr’s head fell on fertile ground.”

As an editor-in-chief of the magazine “Babylon," Petr Placák is now guiding today’s young authors to learn the real values in society.

[Stanislav Skoda, Editor, Babylon Magazine]:

"We try to publish texts we write ourselves, they are about violations of freedom in the world, in Cuba, for example. I specialize mainly in Latin America as well as in China, in Burma and we’re just trying to find and point to the iniquities that are happening in a small town in the north of Czech Republic as well as in Beijing."

Placák first experienced the limiting of freedom in his childhood.

He was four years old when his native city Prague was occupied by the Red Army troops.

[Petr Placak, Writer]:

"Through the adults I understood that what was happening was horrible. And then it was increasing continuously. I mean the distance against the regime was more and more clear. And it still is actually getting clearer because when you read about it, you get more information. So it is a process that is still developing."

Petr Placák believes that people develop their opinions all their lives.

[Petr Placák, Writer]:

"When one is growing up, he is growing up in a way that he defines himself from his environment. Then of course, he is processing it further on but I think this is the fundamental of it when he is growing up."

Sources:  NTD News and Prague Dialy Monitor


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