Comité Nacional por la Libertad de los Cinco Cubanos

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International Workshop on Human Rights Ends in Havana

Dec. 11, 2008
Reprinted from ACN

HAVANA, Cuba, Dec 11 (acn) The President of the Cuban National Assembly (Parliament), Ricardo Alarcon, closed on Wednesday evening an International Workshop titled “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 60 Years Later,” that took place at Havana’s Convention Center with the participation of over one hundred foreign personalities and representatives of the Cuban civil society.

During his closing remarks, Alarcon said that Cuba advocates respect and observance of all human rights.

“This is an issue that can be analyzed from diverse perspectives but the most important element is that all the principles and objectives of the Declaration can be perceived as an integral unit without marginalizing any nation,” the Cuban official added.

Alarcon criticized Washington for its attempts to legitimize torture and demanded the immediate release of Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez and Antonio Guerrero, five Cuban antiterrorist fighters – internationally known as the Cuban Five - unjustly held for over 10 years in US prisons.

Meanwhile, also during the closing session of the event, American Saul Landau read a declaration signed by the US delegates to the meeting that include activist Cindy Sheehan and former US presidential candidate for the Green Party Cynthia McKinney, among others.

The document criticizes the use by rich nations of the issue of human rights as an instrument of their foreign policies to blackmail and pressure underdeveloped countries.

The text urges US President-elect Barack Obama to reject torture and terrorism and to shut down the detention center located on the US naval base in the illegally occupied Cuban territory of Guantanamo. It also urged Obama to return this territory to Cuba.

In addition, the declaration calls for the end of the US financial, trade and economic blockade of Cuba and for the immediate release of the Cuban Five.

Messages of support were received during the event from world personalities such as Nobel laureates Adolfo Perez Esquivel and Jose Saramago, among others.

The International Workshop “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 60 Years Later” was presided over by Cuban Culture Minister Abel Prieto.

Text of the Declaration

On the 60th Anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Human Rights.

We celebrate 60 years of failure. Human rights have been converted from a noble goal into an instrument of foreign policy used by rich and powerful nations against the poorest and weakest people of the world.

In 2008, almost 3 billion people throughout the world suffer the most basic privations.

After 60 years of empty human rights rhetoric, we demand that governments focus their attention on fulfilling the promises of 1948. We write this document on the parchment of the environment, which everyone shares, and has warned us all to drastically change the ways in which mass production and consumerism take place.

1. The United State is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.

2. Benefits accrue to those who cooperate with the global community and view other countries as potential partners for the upliftment of humankind.

3. Unfortunately, the leadership of the United States Government has consistently been a disappointment to those of us who value the tenets and possibilities for humankind embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

4. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms the rights of self-determination, the rights of women, the rights of the indigenous, and the rights of association and expression and resistance to protect and preserve these precious rights.

5. Poverty and severe income inequality on the one hand and greed and over consumption by a few on the other hand deny for far too many on the planet universal application of the Universal Declaration.

6. Climate change, unsustainable agriculture, unbridled militarism, terrorism with impunity nuclear proliferation represent threats to our planet and threats to humankind.

7. The current implosion of the engine of US Imperialism and global capitalism contains the seeds of a new global order in which the rights of humankind and the Universal Declaration can find universal application.

8. The incoming Barack Obama administration has a unique opportunity to make a clean break with the policies of the past, which include installation of dictatorships, campaigns of invasion, terror and slander, torture and occupation, and can build bridges of peace and justice with respect to African, Latin America, Asia and Europe.

9. Therefore, we call on the President-elect to put the United States on a clear course of global fraternity by invoking the Universal Declaration of human Rights, rejecting torture and demonstrating this by closing and vacating the Guantanamo Bay facility and ceding to Cuba its rightful patrimony, ending the US embargo of Cuba, releasing the Cuban 5 and other political prisoners, and extraditing Luis Posado Carriles to Venezuela for his act of terrorism against a Cuban airliner, which killed dozens of people.

10. While this list is not exhaustive, it represents a much needed down payment on hope and change.

11. This document will be disseminated through our respective networks.


Saul Landau, Film maker from Alameda, California, USA
Nelson Valdez, Retired professor from Albuquerque, N.M., USA
Cynthia McKinney, Green Party Presidential Candidate, Former U. S. Congresswoman from Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Cindy Sheehan, Peace and Human Rights Activist from San Francisco, California, USA
Dede Miller, Peace and Human Rights Activist from San Francisco, California, USA


Pacifistas estadounidenses exigen cierre de Base Naval de Guantánamo

11 de diciembre de 2008
Reimprimado de Prensa Latina

La Habana, 11 dic (PL) Un grupo de reconocidos pacifistas estadounidenses emplazó hoy al presidente electo Barack Obama a demostrar su compromiso con la Declaración Universal de los Derechos Humanos cerrando la ilegal base naval de Guantánamo.

En declaración emitida durante el taller que conmemoró aquí el 60 aniversario de dicha Declaración, los activistas pacifistas estadounidenses Cindy Sheehan, Saul Landau, Cynthia McKinney y Nelson Valdéz reclamaron el fin del doble rasero estadounidense sobre los derechos humanos.

"Obama tiene la oportunidad única de romper con las políticas del pasado, incluida la instalación de dictaduras, las campañas de invasión, terror y difamación, la tortura y la ocupación", señala el texto al que Prensa Latina tuvo acceso.

El documentalista Landau, la ex candidata presidencial McKinney, la pacifista Sheehan y el académico Valdés exhortaron a la futura administración a "tender puentes de paz y justicia con dignidad y respeto hacia el África, la América Latina y Europa".

Para ello comenzaron con un llamado a cerrar la base naval de Guantánamo, donde funciona una cárcel y centro de torturas denunciado internacionalmente en múltiples foros.

Exigieron además el fin del bloqueo económico con que desde hace medio siglo intenta Washington asfixiar al pueblo de Cuba.

Por último, la declaración firmada por Sheehan, Landau, McKinney y Valdéz reclama la liberación de cinco antiterroristas cubanos presos en Estados Unidos, así como la extradición a Venezuela del connotado criminal confeso Luis Posada Carriles.

Los activistas advirtieron sobre el peligro que corre el mundo debido al cambio climático, la agricultura insostenible, el militarismo desenfrenado y el terrorismo con impunidad.



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