Monday, August 20, 2007

Cuban Activists Gathering Signatures to Change Cuba Law on Hard Currency

A "dollar store" (that no longer takes dollars) in Havana.

The Associated Press
Friday, August 17, 200
HAVANA: A little-known group of rural Cuban woman said Friday it has gathered more than 6,000 signatures petitioning lawmakers to study the possibility of a law closing the gaps in a dual economy they say hurts the island's poorest people the most.

The petition asks the government to allow the use of standard Cuban pesos — the currency of state employee salaries — in upscale stores, restaurants and hotels that only accept the convertible Cuban peso, whose value is linked to the U.S. dollar.

Crowded into the tiny living room of a modest Havana apartment, a half-dozen members of the Latin American Federation of Rural Women told journalists that they launched their campaign, called "With the Same Money," a year ago and still need 4,000 more signatures to present them to the Cuban parliament, known as the National Assembly.

Sounds like a basis for an interesting discussion, though at first thought it perhaps seems to defeat the very purpose of having "hard currency" stores. But I wish them luck.

At least that was my sentiment until I clicked on the link and immediately saw mentions of a tribute to Brothers to the Resuce, releasing "political prisoners," an "independent library" and other Miami fingerprints. So I did of quick bit of googlng and found that FLAMUR was started by a Mrs. Magaedilia Hidalgo" - who is from Las Tunas but now lives in Miami. She was an "independent journalist" for the US Government funded Cuba Free Press association and also ran an independent library out of her home. The video of a FLAMUR meeting, begins with thanking Freedom House - another US Govt funded anti-Cuba org. There are other links to a Polish "Solidarity with Cuba" group, who just met with US "Transition Coordinatory" Caleb McCarry... alltogether not the best company for a group trying something like this. Why is it always the same story?

One might also wonder why a "rural" group would be concerned about shopping at hard currency stores since they are mostly in urban areas?



Blogger jsb said...

So you support the principle of what they're trying to achieve regardless of their personal politics, right?

10:57 AM  
Blogger Mambi_Watch said...

Just saw a local program about FLAMUR here in Miami (Aug. 25, 2007). Two former leaders (Magdelivia Hidalgo and Lizzet Fernandez) of FLAMUR were on this show, "Detras de la Noticia" (which regularly presents an anti-Castro perspective). It is a very difficult image to present to regular Cubans when the former leaders of FLAMUR now live comfortably in Miami, and talk about the help they have been receiving from Miami exiles.

Their links with the other groups mentioned by Leftside is also another obstacle in trying to present itself as an honest grassroots campaign.

Note that Oswaldo Paya's movement was organized with little to no help from outside parties. Today, he refuses financial contributions from the US.

8:12 AM  

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