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UPDATED: International Human Rights Activists Unite for a Free Cuba 20 Years after Freedom’s Arrival in Czechoslovakia
By Cuban Democratic Directorate

Miami. November 17, 2009. Cuban Democratic Directorate. On the eve of the 20th Anniversary of Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution, an international coalition of human rights activists led by Belarusian opposition leader and 2006 Sakharov Prize winner Aliaksandr Milinkevich joined together with former Cuban prisoner of conscience José Gabriel Ramón Castillo and Iranian human rights activist Nazanin Afshin-Jam to denounce the systematic pattern of harassment that in some instances has led to the deaths of activists in Cuba. The activists urged greater solidarity for the nonviolent democracy movement there, and signed on to the call for the release of 305 Cuban political prisoners identified in what is known as the “Prague List.”


In a statement released on November 16, 2009, the Eternal Vigilance Coalition denounced systematic harassment in Cuba, such as the recent beatings of bloggers Yoani Sánchez and Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, and urged the European Union to maintain its 1996 Common Position on Cuba as part of a systematic multilateral effort to improve the critical human rights situation there. The coalition of signers includes representatives from Belarus, Burma, Czech Republic, Cuba, Iran, Tibet, and Venezuela.


“It is fitting that Eternal Vigilance take a stand about the human rights situation in Cuba with relation to the blatant violation of those rights committed by the Castro regime,” said former prisoner of conscience José Gabriel Ramón Castillo adding that: “We want to thank all those brothers and sisters that have joined in solidarity with the Cuban people to denounce the situation under which they are suffering. Especially when taking into account our friends in Belarus, Iran, Tibet, and Venezuela who are suffering difficult moments under their own respective dictatorial regimes.  We are also in solidarity with them.”


Members of the Eternal Vigilance coalition are joining the international call for the release of 305 Cuban political prisoners first raised at the Forum 2000 Conference on “Democracy and Freedom in a Multipolar World” held in Prague, Czech Republic this past October. Former presidents Vaclav Havel, of the Czech Republic and Jorge Quiroga Ramírez of Bolivia, along with a global roster of international figures such as Irish musician Sir Bob Geldof, French Philosopher Andre Glucksmann, Prince Norodom Sirivudh of the Kingdom of Cambodia, German member of the European Parliament Eva Quistorp, former Ms. Czech Republic and founder Sunflower Children Foundation Helena Houdova, former Czech Finance Minister Ivan Pilip, and former Vice President of the Czech Senate Jan Ruml called for “the full and unconditional release of all Cuban political prisoners, at a minimum all the individuals identified on this [The Prague] list,” adding in the statement that this “would demonstrate a first step to a commitment to improve things in Cuba.”


Since the announcement of the Prague List in mid-October two political prisoners have been released Nelson Alberto Aguiar Ramirez and Omelio Lazaro Angulo Borrero, bringing the number of political prisoners currently identified to 305.


The Eternal Vigilance Coalition was founded by human rights defenders from Belarus, Burma, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Sudan, Zimbabwe, and Venezuela, on April 19, 2009 during the Geneva Summit for Human Rights, Tolerance and Democracy to address critical rights situations around the world with a focus on political prisoners. On October 13, 2009 at the Forum 2000 Conference in Prague, the Coalition laid out its structure and reaffirmed its aims of identifying political prisoners around the world, supporting human rights defenders while holding rights-violating regimes (and democratic states that empower them) accountable. The Cuban Democratic Directorate is a member of the Eternal Vigilance Coalition.


Attached are statements by the Eternal Vigilance Coalition on the abduction and beating of Cuban bloggers Yoani Sanchez and Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, the immediate release of all  Cuban political prisoners, at a minimum all identified on the “Prague List”, and the formation of the Coalition of “Eternal Vigilance”.





The Prague List with original signatures:



The Prague List with signatures:



Prague List: List of Cuban Political Prisoners November 2009:



Formation of the Coalition of Eternal Vigilance:



International Human Rights Activists Denounces Abduction and

Beating of Bloggers:



Video: Former Cuban Political Prisoner José Gabriel Ramón Castillo gives Prague List to former President Václav Havel



Video: Václav Havel receives and signs The Prague List:






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Directorio Democrático Cubano Cuban Democratic Directorate


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