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Cuba: Dissidents and political organizations

Publisher United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services
Author Resource Information Center
Publication Date 15 December 1997
Citation / Document Symbol CUB98003.zmi
Cite as United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, Cuba: Dissidents and political organizations, 15 December 1997, CUB98003.zmi, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3df09bd94.html [accessed 25 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Query:

Could you provide a current list of legitimate human rights organizations and/or political groups in Cuba? How are the terms dissident and activist defined with regard to Cubans and is there a difference between risk to well-known dissidents and risk to activists?

Response:

Cuba considers opposition activists to be "counter-revolutionaries" supported largely by, and working in the interests of, the US government (Reuters 5 May 1997; DPA 15 Feb. 1997; The Christian Science Monitor 11 April 1996). As one Cuban official put it, dissidents are "people who are directly or indirectly on a payroll from the United States. They are part of a comprehensive hostile policy from the US" (The Ottawa Citizen, 9 Dec. 1996)….Many members of illegal opposition parties are trade unionists, lawyers, economists, engineers and independent journalists (AI, April 1996, 10). The government's targeting of the latter as dissidents has been well-documented (The Washington Post, 9 Mar 1997; AP, 9 May 1996; Reuters, 14 Apr 1996; IACHR, 14 March 1997, 684). (Immigration and Refugee Board, August 1997)

The attached lists of current and/or former illegal groups in Cuba were obtained from the internet by Douglas Payne, former director of Hemispheric Studies at Freedom House and current expert consultant for the RIC. The following text is excerpted from a draft paper on Cuba written for the RIC by Mr. Payne.

It should be emphasized that while these lists include the names of many dissident groups which are known, it is quite possible that there are groups or cells which operate clandestinely in order to avoid the persecution to which all groups known to the state are subject. As the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Cuba concluded in his most recent report, "To be a dissident in Cuba is as difficult today as it has been at any time in recent years" (UN Special Rapporteur, January 1997).

Anyone deemed by the regime to be in opposition to it is considered a "counterrevolutionary" and an "enemy," and is therefore at risk of persecution….It must be re-emphasized that any unaffiliated individual can be in jeopardy as well. Cubans know there is a line, not always easily discernible, which cannot be crossed without incurring some type of repressive reaction from the state. Whether or not they are identified with an "illegal" organization, individuals who harbor critical opinions about the nature of rule in Cuba risk persecution merely by expressing their views, either publicly or privately (Payne, draft paper, 1997).

In the assessment of Pax Christi Netherlands, State Security keeps a careful watch on activists, threatening them and their families: "We will fire your brother," "We'll send you to the other end of the country," "Something is going to happen to your family," "We are going to arrest you." To intimidate activists, they are telephoned every two hours during the night, members of their families are held for questioning, their homes are prey to vandalism and slogans are painted on their walls. (Pax Christi Netherlands, March 1996)

In another example, Julio Restano Suárez, the 75-year-old father of Yndamiro Restano, the founder of the independent Buró de Periodistas Independientes de Cuba (BPIC), the Bureau of Independent Journalists of Cuba, was interrogated for ten hours at the Villa Marista State Security headquarters in Havana on May 2, 1996. He was warned not to allow further BPIC meetings at his home, where the BPIC office was based (Amnesty International, July 1996).

References:

Amnesty International. Cuba: Dissidents Imprisoned or Forced into Exile (London: AMR 25/29/26, July 1996), p. 19.

Immigration and Refugee Board. Documentation, Information and Research Branch. Cuba: Political Dissidents (Ottawa: August 1997), p. 4.

Ofensiva Contra Activistas en provincia de Granma," CubaPress dispatch published in Diario Las Americas (Miami: 10 July 1997).

Pax Christi Netherlands. Cuba: The Reality Behind the Symbol (Utrecht, The Netherlands: March 1996), p. 13. Pax Christi Netherlands is a self-described "progressive" human rights group of the Roman Catholic Church with offices in 25 nations. The group is known in Latin America for its investigations and denunciations of human rights violations by right-wing and military governments in Latin America in the 1980s. The group publicly opposes the U.S. economic embargo of Cuba.

Payne, Douglas. Cuba: Systematic Persecution and Suppression of Dissent, Draft Paper (New York: November 1997), p. 57, 58.

UN Commission on Human Rights. Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Cuba by the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Carl-Johan Groth, in accordance with Commission resolution 1996/69 and Economic and Social Council decision 1996/275 (Geneva: E/CN.4/1997/53, 22 January 1997), p. 16.

Attachments:

Appendix I, Concilio Cubano Membership, November 1995

Appendix II, Concilio Cubano Structure, February 1996

Appendix III, Concilio Cubano Membership, August 1996

APPENDIX I
CONCILIO CUBANO MEMBERSHIP}
NOVEMBER 1995

At the end of November 1995, the Miami-based Grupo de Apoyo a Concilio Cubano (GACC), Concilio Cubano Support Group, issued the following list of 101 groups belonging to the Concilio Cubano, and the name of the principal representative of each group at that time. It should be emphasized that this is not a definitive membership list, as at least 30 more groups joined the Concilio Cubano between November 1995 and the crackdown by the Cuban government that began in February 1996. The next membership list did not appear until August 1996, after the crackdown had taken a significant toll on the organization (See Appendix III). The list as it appears here is alphabetized according to the name of each group. Originally, this list was alphabetized according to the name of each group's representative. The list as it first appeared can be found on the Free Cuba Foundation web site at:

http://www.fiu.edu/~fcf/conciliocubano.html.

When searching for a particular group, it should be remembered that some parts of a group's name may be dropped in common parlance or in media accounts. For example, the Movimiento Cubano de Jóvenes Por la Democracia, Cuban Movement of Youth for Democracy, is often referred to simply as Jóvenes Por la Democracia. Also, spellings of people's names are not necessarily exact, due in large part to the difficulties Cuban dissidents and independent journalists experience in transmitting information between themselves and with the world outside Cuba.

Alerta Verde Grupo Ecológico - Raúl Pimental.

Alianza Democrática Popular - Mercedes Paradas Antúnez.

Alianza Liberal Democrática Cubana - Pedro Brito Hernández.

Asociación Cívica Democrática - Aida Rosa Jiménez Rodríguez.

Asociación Cubana de Ingenieros - Orfilio García Quesada.

Asociación de Jóvenes Demócratas - Ernesto Ibar Alonso.

Asociación de Lucha Frente a la Injusticia Nacional - Reinaldo Alfaro García.

Asociación de Trabajadores Independientes de la Salud - Dianelis García González.

Asociación de Trabajadores Por Cuenta Propia - Ismael Salazar Aguero.

Asociación Humanitaria Seguidores de Cristo Rey - Isabel del Pino Sotolongo.

Asociación Martiana Libertad, Igualdad y Fraternidad - Alfonso Cabrera La Rosa.

Asociación Pro Arte Libre y Concertación Democrática Cubana - Gladys González Noy.

Asociación Pro Democracia Constitucional - Félix Fleyta Posada.

Atención a Presos Políticos - Roberto Hernández Morales.

Bloque Democrático José Martí - Eugenio Rodríguez Chaple.

Buró de Prensa Independiente de Cuba - Yndamiro Restano Díaz.>

Centro de Derechos Humanos de Santiago de Cuba - Nicolás M. Rosario Rosabal.

Centro No Gubernamental José de la Luz y Caballero Para los Derechos Humanos y la Cultura de Paz - Lorenzo Páez Núñez.

Coalición Democrática Cubana - Reinaldo E. Cosano Alén.

Colegio Médico Independiente - Hilda Molina Morejón.

Comisión Cubana de Derechos Humanos y Reconciliación Nacional - Elizardo Sánchez Santacruz.

Comisión de Derechos Humanos José Martí - Amador Hernández Blanco.

Comisión Humanitaria de Ayuda a Prisioneros Políticos - Agustín Jesús Acosta Moya.

Comité Cubano de Opositores Pacíficos Independientes - Victoria "Vicki" Ruíz Labrit.

Comité Cubano Pro Derechos Humanos - Gustavo Arcos Bergnes.

Comité de Ayuda Humanitaria a Presos Políticos de Santiago de Cuba - Jorge H. Alfonso Aguilar.

Comité Julio Sanguil Frente Unido Democrático Camagüey—Ciego de Avila - Reinaldo Rivero Milián.

Comité Martiano Por los Derechos del Hombre - Clara Ortíz González.

Comité Paz, Progreso y Libertad - Alberto Perera Martínez.

Confederación de Trabajadores Democráticos de Cuba - Juan G. Martínez Guillén.

Consejo Médico Cubano Independiente - Jesús Ramón Marante Pozo.

Consejo Nacional de Derechos Civiles - Jorge Omar Lorenzo Pimienta.

Consejo Unitario de Trabajadores Cubanos - Pedro Pablo Alvarez.

Coordinadora Camagüeyana - Francis Campanería Peña.

Corriente Agramontista - René Gómez Manzano.

Corriente Cívica Cubana - Félix A. Bonne Carcacés.

Corriente Liberal Cubana - Juan José López Díaz.

Corriente Socialista Democrática - Vladimiro Roca.

CubaPress - Raúl Rivero.

El Derecho Cubano - Belkis R. Hidalgo Hernández.

Foro Feminista - Deysi (or Daisy) Carcasés Valle.

Frente Cívico de Mujeres Martianas, Villa Clara - Mérida Pérez Fuente.

Frente de Unidad Nacional - José Antonio Fornaris Ramos.

Frente Democrático Calixto García - Pedro Hechevarría Alarcón.

Frente Democrático Oriental - María A. Escobedo Yaser.

Frente Femenino Humanitario - Gladys Linares Blanco.

Frente Pro Derechos Humanos Máximo Gómez - José Angel Chente Herrera.

Frente Sindicalista Oriental Independiente - Raúl Morel Castillo.

Fundación Cívica Cubana - Orlando Pérez Pineda.

Grupo Independiente Minas, Sierra de Cubitas - Manuel E. Valido Gutiérrez.

Grupo No. 5 Camagüey - Félix Santana Rodríguez.

Instituto Cubano de Economistas Independientes - Beatriz Marta Roque.

Instituto de la Opinión Pública - Jorge Bacallao Pérez.

Liga Cívica Martiana - Miguel Angel Aldana Ruíz.

Movimiento Agenda Nacionalista - Irene Almira Ramírez.

Movimiento Amor Cristiano - Félix Perera González.

Movimiento Armonía - Rogelio Fabio Hurtado.

Movimiento Cristiano Liberación - Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas.

Movimiento de Derechos Humanos de Camagüey - Jabib Jabib Jalil.

Movimiento de Jóvenes Por la Democracia - Néstor Rodríguez Lovaina.

Movimiento de Madres Cubanas Por la Solidaridad - Mercedes Parada Antuñez.

Movimiento Democracia y Paz Oriente - Jorge L. Rodríguez González.

Movimiento Democrático Científico - Juan Rafael Fernández.

Movimiento Democrático José Martí - A. Yonasky Hechevarría.

Movimiento Ecologista y Pacifista Naturpaz - Leonel Morejón Almagro.

Movimiento Ignacio Agramonte, Camagüey - José García Reyes.

Movimiento Liberal Democrático - Héctor Fernando Maceda Gutiérrez.

Movimiento Libertad y Democracia - Miguel Eumelio Sánchez Valiente.

Movimiento Maceísta Por la Dignidad - Isidro Herrera Castillo.

Movimiento Nacionalista Democrático Máximo Gómez - Cancio Chan Aguilé.

Movimiento Opositor Pacífico Panchito Gómez Toro - Secundino Costa Valdés.

Movimiento Pacifista 5 de Agosto - Orlando Morejón Bitón.

Movimiento Pacifista Por la Democracia - Nancy Gutiérrez Pérez.

Movimiento Pacifista Por la Liberación - Tony Azoy.

Movimiento Pacifista Solidaridad y Paz - Miguel A. Palenque Loveiro.

Movimiento Patria, Independencia y Libertad - Ramón Palma Rosell.

Movimiento Reflexión - Librado Linares García.

Movimiento Vicente García, Las Tunas - Roberto Socorro Salgado.

Oficina de Información de Derechos Humanos - Aida Valdés Santana.

Organización Juvenil Martiana - Luis Felipe Lorens Nodal.

Organización Opositora 20 de Mayo - Celso Ledesma Cordero.

Partido Cubano Pro Derechos Humanos - Ricardo Cruz González.

Partido Demócrata Cristiano - María Valdés Rosado.

Partido Demócrata Martiano - Juan Francisco Monzón Oviedo.

Partido Democrático 30 de Noviembre Frank País - Osmel Lugo Gutiérrez.

Partido Pro Derechos Humanos de Cuba - Odilia Collazo Valdés.

Partido Pro Derechos Humanos Independiente - Lázaro González Valdés.

Partido Renovación Democrática - Jorge Adrián Ayala Corzo.

Partido Social Cristiano, Camagüey - Aurelio Sánchez Salazar.

Partido Solidaridad Democrático - Héctor Palacio Ruíz.

Proyecto Cristiano Por los Derechos Humanos y Sindicales, Santa Clara - Juan Antonio Valdés Fundora.

Sociedad Ecologista Cuba Verde - José Antonio Ramos Guerra.

Sociedad Política de La Habana - Carlos M. Ríos.

Unión Cívica Nacional - Omar del Pozo Marrero.

Unión de Ex-Presos Políticos Ignacio Agramonte - Reiler Ramírez Muñíz.

Unión de Ex-Presos Políticos, Camagüey - Marcelino Soto Caballero.

Unión de Sindicatos de Trabajadores Cubanos - Ibrahín Carillo Fernández.

Unión Democrática Martiana - Ernesto Pablo Ramón Domínguez.

Unión Nacional Cubana - Carlos Prades.

Unión Patriótica Cristiana Independiente - Evaristo Pérez Rodríguez.

Unión Sindical Caballeros del Trabajo - Javier Troncoso Aguilar.

APPENDIX II
CONCILIO CUBANO STRUCTURE:
FEBRUARY 1996

Secretariado Nacional/National Secretariat:

Delegado Nacional/National Delegate: Leonel Morejón Almagro

Vice-Delegados/Deputy National Delegates:

Ginaldo Cosano Alén

Lázaro González Valdés

Héctor Palacio Ruiz

Mercedes Paradas Antuñuz

Miembros honorario/Honorary Members:

Gustavo Arcos Bergnes

Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas

Elizardo Sánchez Santa Cruz

Consejo Coordinador Nacional (CNN)/National Coordinating Council:

Made up of 26 members, two each elected by each of the 13 commissions established in different regions of the country.

Grupo de Apoyo/Support Group (also known as the Grupo de los Siete/Group of Seven):

Gustavo Arcos Bergnes

Félix Bonne Carcacés

René Gómez Manzano

Vladimiro Roca Antúnez

Marta Beatriz Roque

Elizardo Sánchez Santa Cruz

Jesús Yañez Pelletier

APPENDIX III
CONCILIO CUBANO MEMBERSHIP:
AUGUST 1996

In August 1996 the Concilio Cubano issued a second, somewhat reduced list of its member groups, following the crackdown by the Cuban government that began in February 1996. The list was distributed abroad by the Miami-based Grupo de Apoyo a Concilio Cubano (GACC), Concilio Cubano Support Group, and the groups were listed in no particular order. It has been alphabetized here according to the name of each member group. The list as it originally appeared can be found on the GACC web site at:

http://www.ccsi.com/~ams/concilio/org&repe.html.

When searching for a particular group, it should be remembered that some parts of a group's name may be dropped in common parlance or in media accounts. For example, the Movimiento Cubano de Jóvenes Por la Democracia, Cuban Movement of Youth for Democracy, is often referred to simply as Jóvenes Por la Democracia. Also, spellings of people's name are not necessarily exact, due in large part to the difficulties Cuban dissidents and independent journalists experience in transmitting information between themselves and with the world outside Cuba.

Agencia de Prensa Independiente de Cuba - Manuel David Orrio.

Alianza de Trabajadores Demócrata Cristianos de Cuba - María Elena Argote González.

Alianza Democrática Popular - Zoíris Aguilar Calleja.

Alianza Liberal Democrática - Pedro J. Brito Hernández.

Asociación Cívica "Félix Varela" - José M. Acosta Miyes.

Asociación Cívica Democrática - Antonio Durán Urgeyéz and Aida Rosa Jiménez Rodríguez.

Asociación de Jóvenes Demócratas - Ernesto Ival Alonso.

Asociación de Lucha Frente a la Injusticia Nacional - Reynaldo Faro García.

Asociación Defensora de los Derechos Políticos - Zoíris Aguilar Calleja.

Asociación Humanitaria de Seguidores de Cristo Rey - Isabel del Pino Sotolongo.

Asociación Independiente de Ayuda Humanitaria - Nancy de Varona Díaz.

Asociación Pro Arte Libre Independiente - Fernando Sánchez López.

Asociación Pro Democracia Constitucional - Ingeniero José Martínez Puí.

Bloque Democrático "José Martí" - Orlando Morejón Vitón.

Centro de Estudios Alternativos - Heriberto Leyva Rodríguez.

Centro Independiente de Derechos Humanos, Santiago de Cuba - Nicolás Rosario Rosabal.

Centro No Gubernamental de Derechos Humanos y Cultura de Paz "José de la Luz y Caballero" - Lorenzo Páez Nuñez.

Coalición Democrática Cubana - Reynaldo Cosano Alén.

Colegio de Ingenieros y Arquitectos de Cuba - Orfilio García Quesada.

Comisión de Derechos Humanos y Reconciliación Nacional - Elizardo Sánchez Santa Cruz.

Comisión Humanitaria de Ayuda al Preso Político - Agustín J. Arcos Amoya.

Comité Cubano de Opositores Pacíficos - Victoria "Vicky" Ruíz Labrit.

Comité de Apoyo a la Democracia "Abraham Lincoln" - Enrique Aponte Costa.

Comité Martiano por los Derechos del Hombre - Lara E. Ortíz González.

Comité Paz, Progreso y Libertad - Alberto Perera Martínez.

Consejo Nacional por los Derechos Civiles en Cuba - Jorge Omar Lázaro Pimienta.

Consejo Unitario de Trabajadores Cubanos (CUTC) - Pedro Pablo Alvarez Ramos.

Convención Martiana para la Unificación Nacional - Blanca Rosa Toledo Rodríguez.

Convención Martiana para la Unificación Nacional - Lázaro Santana Mezquía.

Coordinadora de Derechos Humanos - Antonio Durán Urgeyéz.

Coordinadora de Presos Políticos - Aida Valdés Santana.

Corriente Agramontista - Jorge Bacallao Pérez.

Corriente Liberal Cubana - Juan José López Díaz.

Corriente Socialista Democrática - Manuel Cuesta Morúa.

CubaPress - Raúl Rivero Castañeda.

Foro de Estudios Históricos - Manuel Fernández Rocha.

Frente de Unidad Nacional - José Antonio Fornaris.

Frente Femenino Humanitario - Gladys Linares Blanco.

Instituto de la Opinión Pública - Jorge Bacallao Pérez.

Liga Cívica Martiana - Miguel Angel Aldana Ruíz.

Movimiento "13 de Julio" - Arnaldo de Varona Díaz.

Movimiento "13 de Julio" Mártires del Remolcador - Magdalena Pérez.

Movimiento "8 de Septiembre" - Rolando Hernández Martínez.

Movimiento "Ignacio Agramontes" - José García Reyes.

Movimiento 24 de Febrero - Mario Remedios.

Movimiento Amor Cristiano - Félix Perera González.

Movimiento Armonía - Rómulo Michelena Pérez.

Movimiento Cristiano Amor y Pax - Sara Franco Leemook.

Movimiento Cubano de Jóvenes por la Democracia - Heriberto Leyva Rodríguez.

Movimiento Cubano Reflexión, Camajuaní - Librado Linares García.

Movimiento de Madres Cubanas por la Solidaridad - Aida Rosa Jiménez Rodríguez.

Movimiento Demócrata Científico - Juan Rafael Fernández Pellegrín. Movimiento Demócrata Cristiano - María Valdés Rosado.

Movimiento Humanitario "Mariana Grajales" - Gema Romero Yparraguirre.

Movimiento Independiente de Estudios Martianos - Roberto Larramendi Estrada.

Movimiento Liberal Democrático - Héctor S. Maceda Gutiérrez.

Movimiento Maceísta por la Dignidad Nacional - Isidro Herrera Carrillo and Pedro Alberto Rodríguez.

Movimiento Pacifista por la Democracia - Nancy Gutiérrez Pérez.

Movimiento Pacifista, Solidaridad y Paz - Miguel Andrés Palenque Lobeiro.

Oficina de Información de Derechos Humanos - Aida Valdés Santana.

Opositor Pacífico "Panchito Gómez Toro" - Secundino Costa Valdés.

Organización Juvenil Martiana - Luis Felipe Lorens Nodal.

Organización Opositora "20 de Mayo" - Celso Ledezma Cordero.

Partido Acción Nacionalista - Aguileo Cancio Chong.

Partido Demócrata Cristiano - María Valdés Rosado.

Partido Democrático "30 de Noviembre" Frank País - Maritza Lugo Fernández.

Partido Liberal Democrático - Rafael Santiago Montes.

Partido por la Libertad - Antonio R. Afoy Quintana.

Partido Pro Derechos Humanos de Cuba - Odilia Collazo Valdés.

Partido Renovación Democrática Cubana - Jorge Adrián Ayala Corzo.

Partido Social Cristiano, Camagüey - Aurelio Sánchez Salazar.

Partido Social Demócrata Cubana - Vladimiro Roca.

Sociedad de Ecologistas "Cuba Verde" - Armando Javier Alonso Romero.

Sociedad Política de La Habana "Cambio 2000" - Carlos M. Rivas.

Unión Cívica Nacional - Estévan Pérez Castillo.

Unión de Activistas del Comité Pro Derechos Humanos, Golfo de Guancanayabo - Mirtha Aleida López Chávez.

Unión de Jóvenes Democráticos de Cuba - Raúl Rojas Pérez.

Unión Nacional Cubana - Carlos Enrique Prades Herrera.

Unión Patriótica Democrática Sindicalista Independiente - Ibraín Carrillo Fernández.

Unión Sindical Independiente de Cuba - Lázaro Cuesta Collazo.

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