Cuban opposition leader criticizes Kofi Annan for not meeting with dissidents

.- The president of the Christian Liberation Movement, Oswaldo Paya, criticized UN Secretary General Kofi Annan for avoiding a meeting with Cuban dissidents during the Summit of Non-Aligned Countries held in Havana, last week.

On September 11, the CLM formally requested to meet with Annan during his visit to the island nation.  Sources close to the Secretary General declined the request, saying the secretary’s trip was for the purpose of attending the Summit and not for addressing Cuban issues.  Nevertheless, Annan did meet with Fidel Castro.

The dissident leader said the opposition in Cuba could easily provide a “detailed description based on the facts, many facts, of the hellish life to which both political and criminal prisoners in Cuba are subjected, as well as of the reality of the permanent violation of human rights.

“This is what the honorable Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the UN sought to avoid hearing, when during his recent visit to Cuba he did not want to meet with us, the representatives of organizations that defend human rights, or with the family members of political prisoners,” Paya said.  

Regarding the countries that make up the group of non-aligned nations, Paya said they “most certainly showed they are not aligned with the truth, freedom and justice,” but that they are “very aligned to make a pact that justifies, for many of the countries of movement, the power to smash their own peoples and cruelly repress those who raise their voices in defense of human rights.”

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