"Justice is not in quarantine." That was the title of the virtual forum organized by the Casla Institute to deal with violations of the human rights of the regimes of Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua. Violations that have been accentuated since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
The forum, in which Infobae participated, had two parts. In the first they participated Tamara Suju (Executive Director of the Casla Institute), Joe Piechowski (Assistant Assistant Secretary of State for the US Office of Western Hemisphere Affairs), Javier Larrondo (President of Cuban Prisoners Defenders), Denis Darce (Executive Director of the Permanent Commission of Human Rights of Nicaragua), and the journalist Idania Chirinos, who served as moderator.
The second part, meanwhile, included the participation of victims of abuse and persecution of dictatorships: José Daniel Ferrer (General Coordinator of UNPACU, Cuba), Luis Quiroz (Nicaraguan student leader of CUDJ), Ivonne Echenagucía (Venezuela), and the Spanish Beatriz Becerra (former deputy for the European Parliament).
All the participants agreed on one point: "The regimes of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua use the pandemic to repress their people."
"We need transparency to survive this pandemic, the free flow of information, correct data ... We need a free expression of knowledge. Instead of transparency, in places where dictatorships or authoritarian regimes rule, we have seen silence, lies, the spread of stories that are not correct. We have seen repression against those who try to tell us the truth, "said Piechowski, who considered that particularly" the case of Nicaragua is very worrying. "
While the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo reports only 25 cases of COVID-19 infected and fewer deaths, and calls for large concentrations against any recommendation by health authorities, human rights organizations and several countries in the region warn that the Management of the pandemic Sandinismo can cause catastrophic results. “In Nicaragua we have 27 prisoners with coronavirus. Imagine the size of the crime against humanity this man is committing; Cuba is reaching that extreme, "said Larrondo.
Darce commented that, in line with the repressive policies applied in countries such as Cuba, Venezuela and China, Ortega's regime "threatens doctors with layoffs, when they want to report what is happening." “They also intimidate their relatives, who are burying their dead. Many deaths from pneumonia were recorded, and family members are prohibited from opening the caskets. ”
"While maintaining the repression against the people, the government provides spaces, encourages people to congregate. So the government's strategy is not understood, there is secrecy; there is no consistency with the WHO recommendations; Those who are free do not have any confidence in going to medical establishments, ”added the Executive Director of the Nicaraguan Human Rights Commission.
Despite the fact that the regime maintains that the impact of the coronavirus in the country is almost nil, Darce commented that "some medical facilities are already collapsed" and the health system, by order of the authorities, "Prioritizes the attention of followers of the regime". Given this situation, he called for the release of political prisoners and "improve the conditions of people deprived of their liberty in the country's prisons."
"We are seeing a similarity in the conditions of political prisoners in the three countries: overcrowding, unhealthiness, hunger, abuse, extreme cruelty, risk of contracting the coronavirus. In fact, Venezuela and Cuba deny and hide the information on infected prisoners, ”added Ferrer, who in early April was released and sent to house arrest, after spending six months arbitrarily detained and subjected to abuse and torture by the Castro dictatorship.
With respect to the Cuban case, Larrondo repudiated the profit that the dome of the dictatorship derives from the medical missions. He argued that the authorities have a double game: “On the one hand, abroad it wants to present itself as a medical power, and in truth it is a great enslaving power, of good doctors who go abroad in deplorable conditions; they hide the infection figures, they hide that the coronavirus has already entered the prisons ”.
Along these lines, he indicated that these missions "are the largest income for Cuba" and "Occur in slavery". The regime “exports these doctors, keeps the information quiet, exposes its people to immense risk, and also restricts the self-employed, persecutes them, at the same time that it does not supply food to the people. The market for food and basic supplies is of such caliber that the queues in stores are terrible. ”
"In Cuba there are two pandemics: one is the ideological pandemic of the regime, and the other is that of the coronavirus," he stressed.
Piechowski announced that the United States will continue to increase the pressure against the Havana dictatorship and, referring to the countries that are receiving Cuban doctors to face the pandemic, commented: "The world has to know that the arrival of supposed doctors with gowns White is not a good thing for themselves. The only ones who take advantage are the leaders of the regime. ”
Activist Tamara Suju, for her part, said that "crimes against humanity have increased" in Venezuela, and considered that "the persecution as a consequence of the pandemic is going to deepen." “The pandemic has given the green light to the regime to assassinate; 30 more days of license to torture and murder ”he pointed out. In this sense, he reported that in recent years the extrajudicial executions "are more than nine thousand": "Now they have the Venezuelans confined, out of action to the opposition political leaders, and when they go out to talk about what is happening They go to their houses and put patrols to stop or intimidate them. "
"In Venezuela, the Madurovirus kills more than the coronavirus," he said. And he denounced that, in addition to not having transparent information on the true situation of COVID-19, "we will never have exact figures of the deaths in Venezuela due to the shortages" that the country suffers.
Suju also lashed out at the conditions in which political prisoners are being held: “Prisons are not enough for the number of prisoners; There is an increasing fear of denouncing what is happening to him with political prisoners. ”
Forum participants stressed the need to increase international pressure against dictatorships to stop human rights violations. Beatriz Becerra, former deputy for the European Parliament and a fierce critic of the regimes of Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, said: “The commitment of the international community, despite the difficulties, is. Despite the pandemic, we are still pending. ”
Ferrer, who has been suffering the abuses and abuses of the Castro regime for decades, concluded: "Maduroviruses, Ortegaviruses, and Castroviruses are worse than all coronaviruses combined."
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José Daniel Ferrer recounted the abuse and torture he suffered during the six months he was arbitrarily imprisoned by the Cuban regime