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Cuban dissident criticizes Castro’s regime at the UN Human Rights Council
By EFE -



Geneva, October 2nd, 2006 - Osvaldo Alfonso Valdés, a Cuban dissident, who gave a brief statement at the Human Rights Council (HRC) today in Geneva, accused the Cuban regime of “concealing information about their criminal acts,” as well as “distorting and falsifying the truth.”


Representing the Centrist Democrat International (CDI), he questioned Cuba’s participation in the institution skating, “a country that hides the truth and silences their crimes should not be part of this HRC.”


Valdés was one of the 75 dissidents imprisoned between March and April 2003 by the Cuban regime and condemned to harsh sentences, in some cases up to 28 years, in an episode or repression condemned by the international community.


Subsequently, 15 were released and three of them, including Valdes, were allowed to leave the island.


After his statements before the HRC, Valdés told EFE that by releasing those prisoners, the regime “attempted to give an image of flexibility.”


He also stated that “they intended for the European Union’s diplomatic sanctions to be lifted” which were imposed against Cuba but have been on hold.


Valdés, who has lived in Switzerland for the past year under political refugee status, denounced “the impunity of the death sentences given by the Cuban regime,” as well as the “total control over the media and the judiciary.”


He maintained that he has no hope that the situation of human rights and liberties will improve after Fidel Castro’s temporary delegation of power to his brother, Raul.


“Raul fulfills the subsidiary function of dictator. To achieve change in Cuba, there would have to be more international pressure and support for civil society,” assured the former president of the Cuban Liberal Democratic Party.


In Geneva, Valdés also participated in various forums sponsored by human rights organizations.


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