Wednesday, August 16, 2006

World Personalities Step up to Defend Cuba’s Sovereignty

A document demanding that the United States respect Cuba’s sovereignty has so far gathered 10,800 signatures from important individuals from around the world including nine Nobel Prize laureates, artists, writers, scholars, humanists and social activists.
The document, entitled The Sovereignty of Cuba Must Be Respected, was first circulated after an August 7 reading at Havana´s Casa de las Americas Cultural Center by Belgian theologian Francois Houtart and Cuban poet Roberto Fernandez Retamar.
The text denounces Washington’s recent threats against the island’s territorial integrity that came after a July 31 proclamation made by Cuban President Fidel Castro that temporarily delegated his powers to Vice President Raul Castro and other top officials.
The document reads that the Bush Administration has come out with statements that are "increasingly explicit about the immediate future of Cuba," such as that made by US Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez who said, "[…] the moment of a real transition to a real democracy has arrived."
The document has been signed by Nobel Prize for Literature winners Jose Saramago, Nadine Gordimer, Dario Fo and Wole Soyinka; Nobel Peace Prize laureates Desmond Tutu, Rigoberta Menchu and Adolfo Perez Esquivel; and Nobel Prize winner for Physics Zhores Alfiorov.
British playwright Harold Pinter was the ninth Nobel Prize laureate to sign the document, along with actors Benicio del Toro, Danny Glover and Jorge Perugorria; and writers Juan Gelman, Mario Benedetti, Frei Betto, Eduardo Galeano, and Ignacio Ramonet.
The document also condemns statements by White House spokesperson Tony Snow —later reiterated by Bush— that said the US government was "ready and eager to provide humanitarian, economic and other aid to the people of Cuba."
The US State Department has said that plans for Cuba include measures that will remain secret "for national security reasons" and to assure an "effective completion" —an admission that has led many to think about the possibility of a military aggression against the Caribbean nation.
Along with the growing menace against Cuba, the document warns that peace and security in Latin America and the world are also increasingly threatened, "We must, by all means, stop a new aggression."
Other individuals who have signed The Sovereignty of Cuba Must Be Respected are former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Tomas Borge, James Petras, Piero Gleijeses, Belen Gopegui, Miguel D'Escoto, Volodia Teitelboim, Oscar Niemeyer, Manu Chau and Chico Buarque.


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