Cuban dissidents and human rights defenders are not alone in their struggle to overcome the totalitarian legacies of the communist rule imposed on the Cuban society more than 55 years ago. These advocates for democracy have always had partners or sympathizers, both within the international society of states and various internal non-state actors. They have been ready to speak up on their behalf, providing the emerging Cuban civil society with many forms of support and assistance.
On December 4, 2014, the Václav Havel Initiative for Human Rights and Diplomacy hosted a panel discussion and town hall meeting called, “The Power of International Solidarity.” The discussion explored the main challenges of the Cuban government in the 21st Century, as well as what’s happening in the continuing dialogue between Cubans and other societies that are experiencing similar oppressions. The panelists examined what is at stake for the futures of both Cuba and Venezuela, as well as these countries’ struggle for democracy.
The panelists included Petr Janĉárek, Czech documentary director and co-founder and advisor for the non-profit organization People in Need; Omar Rodriguez Saludes, a Cuban exile and photojournalist residing in the U.S.; Rosa María Payá, Cuban activist and daughter of the late Cuban political reformer Oswaldo Payá; Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, blogger at Lunes de Post-Revolución and photo publisher at Boring Home Utopics; Alexis Jardines Chacon, professor of philosophy and the Eduardo Perez Bengochea Distinguished Scholar in Residence for the Havel Initiative; and Armando Armas, Venezuelan lawyer and former Draper Hills Fellow at Stanford University. The event was moderated and introduced by Martin Palous, director of the Vaclav Havel Initiative and former Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the U.S., as well as Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the UN. This event was made possible thanks to the generous contributions made by the Knight Foundation and Eduardo Perez Bengochea.
To view the video, click here
To view pictures of this event, click here.