Search

 

Cablegate: International Woman of Courage: Marthe Beatriz

VZCZCXYZ0006
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHUB #0999 2921613
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 191613Z OCT 07
FM USINT HAVANA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 2398

UNCLAS HAVANA 000999

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KDEM PHUM
SUBJECT: INTERNATIONAL WOMAN OF COURAGE: MARTHE BEATRIZ
ROQUE

REF: STATE 126072

1. (SBU) Summary: In response in request in reftel, Post
wishes to re-nominate leading Cuban dissident Martha Beatriz
Roque for the International Woman of Courage Award. As we
noted in nominating Ms Roque for the inaugural award in
2007, while her work is not focused specifically on women's
issues Martha Beatriz has continued to show exceptional
courage and leadership in pressing for democratic change
and respect for human rights in Cuba. Facing possible
additional jail time and constant harassment by Cuban
authorities, she has not only continued to advance her agenda
and push for the release of all political pisoners, she has
increased those activities. By any definition, Martha Beatriz
Roque is a true woman of courage, End summary,

2. (SBU) Roque, an economist, was part of the establishment
until 1990, teaching statistics and mathematics at the University
of Havana. That year, after performing a critical audit of
the tourism industry, she decided to join the opposition.
In 1995, she formed the Cuban Institute of Independent Economists.
In 1997, she was among four key dissidents jailed for signing "The
Homeland Belongs to All," a statement in response to Communist-Party
glorification of the island's communist system.
In all, Roque spent more than three years behind bars for peacefully
expressing her democratic ideals. In the infamous "Black Spring"
crackdown of 2003, when the regime arrested, quickly tried and
sentenced 75 dissidents to lengthy terms, Roque was the only female
dissident rounded up. She was sentenced to 20 years for violating
Law 88 on "Protection of the National Independence and Economy of
Cuba."
In July 2004, the GOC released her on conditional probation,
presumably on health grounds. However, because the GOC could
return her to prison at any time, Roque still considers herself a
political prisoner.

3. (SBU) Roque has shown tremendous courage in standing up to the
Castro regime.For its part, the regime continues to show
persistence and creativity in trying to harrass Roque and
intimidate her into silence. It has dispatched State Security agents to
infiltrate her organization; had militants besiege her home,
preventing Roque from leaving; and carried out countless "acts of
repudiation" against her, using humiliating and degrading material.

4. (SBU) In a sense The Cuban government's preoccupation with Roque is
understandable;her commitment to promoting human rights and speaking
openly about the regime's abuses poses a very real threat to the
totalitarian state. On September 28, Roque organizedand carried out a
country-wide protest directed at delivering a petition to the Minister
of Justice asking for the release of political prisoners. The
response of the Cuban government was to detain Roque and many of her
followers.
The event helped expose the nature of the regime just as it was arguing
in favor of its anti-embargo resolution before the U.N. General
Assembly.

COMMENT
-------

5. (SBU) As we noted in our nomination for the inaugural award in 2007,
Martha BeatrizRoque may not fit the typical mold for the Secretary's
"Women of Courage" award as she has never focused on "women's rights"
per se. Nevertheless, we continue to believe that her 16-year crusade
in opposition to the totalitarian regime is aimed at empowering both
women and men with fundamental political and economic freedoms that
will enable themone day to build a democratic Cuba.

6. (SBU) While we beleive Martha Beatriz Roque is an excellent
candidate for the award,we do not believe she would be allowed to
leave the island to accept it. We do not think this should stand
in the way of her nomination, however. Roque's mail and
phone communications are monitored by the Cuban Government; her
telephone number is 53-7-406-821. Her address is Calle Luis
Esteban No. 352, Apto. 3, Santo Suarez, Havana.

Point of contact for this nomination is Human Rights Officer Thomas
Hamm; tel: 53-7-833-3555 ext. 2686.

WILLIAMS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Washington Riot And The Georgia Results
Hong Kong and Washington DC. On the same morning, the tyrants in power in Beijing and their counterpart in the White House have shown how they refuse to accept the legitimacy of any different points of view, and the prospect of losing power… More>>

WHO: Vaccination No Guarantee Of Virus Eradication

In the final World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 press conference of the year, on Monday, senior officials warned that the virus is 'not necessarily the big one', and that there is a real chance of another, more serious pandemic spreading ... More>>

Covid: Two Billion COVID Vaccine Doses Secured, WHO Says End Of Pandemic Is In Sight

The end of the pandemic is in sight but we must not let our guard down, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, as he welcomed the news that the global vaccine partnership COVAX has lined up almost two billion doses of existing ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>


UN Rights Office: Iran Execution Of Child Offender Breaks International Law

The execution of an Iranian man for a crime allegedly committed when he was 16 years old has been condemned by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and raised concerns over violations of his right to a fair trial. In a statement released on Thursday, ... More>>

UN News: Fighting Displaces Over 500,000 In Northern Mozambique, Reports UN Refuge Agency

Attacks by armed groups in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Zambezia and Niassa provinces have displaced more than 530,000 people, many of whom have been forced to move multiple times, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Friday. According to ... More>>