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Setting record straight on a program to help Cuba Read more here:
By Orlando Gutiérrez Boronat

The Miami Herald Posted on Wed, Feb. 08, 2012 http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/02/08/v-print/2631767/setting-record-straight-on-a-program.html#storylink=cpy

Totalitarian regimes and their apologists have turned the manipulation of facts and the distortion of reality into a science. Dictatorships believe that political power flows from moral power, therefore character assassination of their opponents is imperative. That’s why the Castro regime has launched diverse campaigns to taint those who stand up for the rights of the Cuban people. Regrettably, some in the pro-democracy movement echo these regime “lines,” focusing on the supposed ineffectiveness of federal aid to the Cuban resistance. Let’s set the facts straight: A nonviolent grassroots pro-democracy movement with the potential to transform the tragedy of Cuban politics has risen to challenge the most repressive, brutal and media-savvy tyranny in the history of Latin America. In this, the Cuban resistance is no different from other liberation movements, such as Washington’s Continental Army, De Gaulle’s Free French or Walesa’s Solidarity, all of which needed foreign assistance to confront dictatorships that far surpassed them in material power. The truth is that the Cuban people are up against a totalitarian state that cannot run an economy and improve the livelihood of the nation but is excruciatingly adept at holding on to power. American aid — from the world’s foremost democracy — has been indispensable in allowing the Cuban resistance to have a permanent support infrastructure. This support is indispensable in empowering the Cuban people to counter, even in a limited manner, the enormous resources channeled by the Castro-Chávez axis to perpetuate their oppression. The historical experience of freedom struggles has demonstrated that foreign assistance is essential in three key areas: providing captive populations with uncensored and objective information, enabling international solidarity that provides dissidents with a network of associations that elevate the political cost of repression, and channeling direct logistical aid to resistance activists. Because we disagreed with past policies of USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development) regarding direct assistance to activists living on the island, the Cuban Democratic Directorate ( Directorio), chose to concentrate its efforts under federal grant funds to transmit uncensored information and provide international solidarity to the Cuban freedom movement. Direct assistance has been raised privately and fundamentally within the Cuban-American community. Radio República, the Directorate’s 24-hour, seven-day-a-week shortwave radio station, has provided a voice to Cuba’s resistance from the smallest provincial towns to the largest Havana neighborhoods. Its format has been strategically designed to enhance the natural self-defense mechanism of nonviolent struggle generated by Cuban society. Costing between $1.5 million to $2 million a year, Radio República’s budget accounts for over 50 percent of the Directorate’s annual funds from federal grants. These costs are far below the annual budgets of both public and commercial shortwave radio stations. Likewise, it is undeniable that Directorio has made a vital contribution to the changing attitudes of the international community towards the Castro regime. The Cuban pro-democracy leadership has moved from international neglect to international recognition, winning prestigious awards like the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize and nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize in the process. Reality belies the propaganda efforts. Cuba’s resistance has gone from minuscule dissident groups to a broad popular effort that defies repression on the streets. The Castro regime attacks Directorio constantly in print and electronic media precisely for its effectiveness in contributing to the organic growth of Cuba’s resistance. The truth is that the testimony of hundreds of civic resistance leaders throughout the island shows that Radio República has become an essential tool for social organization. Independent financial audits by the GAO, IRS and other agencies have yielded positive assessments of the organization’s internal controls and the compliance of its programs with grant objectives. From dissidence to resistance, the Cuban people have gone through incremental stages in their drive toward freedom. They must not be alone. American aid is a necessity, not a luxury, just as it has been for almost every other liberation struggle in the world for the past two centuries. Orlando Gutierrez-Boronat is national secretary of the Cuban Democratic Directorate. Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/02/08/v-print/2631767/setting-record-straight-on-a-program.html#storylink=cpy

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About the author


Orlando Gutierrez Boronat Orlando Gutiérrez Boronat
Orlando Gutiérrez-Boronat nació en La Habana en 1965. Tiene un doctorado en estudios internacionales en la Universidad de Miami. Tiene licenciaturas en comunicaciones y ciencias políticas y una maestría en ciencias políticas. Imparte cursos de ciencias políticas en la Universidad Internacional de la Florida y la Universidad Barry. Es cofundador y Secretario Nacional del Directorio Democrático Cubano, una de las organizaciones más destacadas en el trabajo de recabar apoyo internacional y solidaridad para el movimiento democrático en la Isla. Es co-autor de los informes Pasos a la Libertad que publica el Directorio anualmente sobre el crecimiento del movimiento cívico en Cuba. También es autor del libro La República Invisible, una colección de ensayos sobre la identidad nacional cubana, la política del exilio y el movimiento cívico en Cuba.

 

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