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Tuesday 18 September 2018
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Cuban dissidents in TT: New president a Castro puppet

CUBA has ended decades of leadership by the Castro brothers with its new president Miguel Díaz-Canel, but a group of Cuban dissidents living here has described him as a puppet of the Castro regime.

Diaz-Canel was sworn in by the National Assembly to replace Raúl Castro who had been president for a decade after his brother Fidel Castro’s health had deteriorated. Fidel Castro was president of Cuba from 1976 to 2008 and died in 2016.

The dissidents, who had fled Cuba a year and a half ago and are seeking United Nations assistance with an asylum request outside of TT, said to Newsday that Diaz-Canel was a puppet set by Raúl Castro and his “clique.”

“Diaz-Canel was put in the presidency to say that in Cuba if there are elections, that it is not a dynasty and look good with international public opinion but everything is a (falsehood) of the Castro dictatorship because he will be under the shadow of the Castro dynasty. That is to say Raúl Castro is the one who will continue to lead, repressing the Cuban people and more than he continues as the general of the armed forces.”

The dissidents said there was no hope for the Cuban people will continue to be repressed by the Castro dictatorship.

“They will continue to violate human rights even with much more violence, they will continue to kill and imprison to the dissidents and even to the same population that suffers the most in all this, notice that in all this time they did not do a campaign, they never talked about whether they would see improvements for the population,” the group said.

The dissidents said that at the Summit of the Americas happening in Peru, the “true Cuban civil society” and spokesperson Rosa Maria Paya asked all presidents of Latin America, the Organisation of the American States and the US Vice President to not recognise Diaz-Canel because the Cuban people “deserve to elect a true President.”

They said Diaz-Canel, in his first speech as President, said Castro would be involved in important decisions.

“They do not intend, nor have they ever had intentions for the people of Cuba to prosper. Their intention is to enrich themselves and to maintain the dictatorship at whatever price. It means that for us Cubans that our Cuban people will continue under the same dictatorship, will continue the misery, the repressions, the violations of human rights.”

In December last year, the dissidents were camping outside the UN’s office in Port of Spain and eight of them were charged for obstructing the pavement. They were assisted by the Living Water Community and are now staying at a house in Petit Valley until their trial in August.

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