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Monday, April 16, 2018

Cuba and its show at Lima Summit


With shouts of "Abajo la gusanera" and "I am Fidel" the official Cuban delegation interrupted on Thursday the last day of the parallel meeting of the civil society prior to the 8th Summit of the Americas, in Lima, Peru. The protests forced the organizers to move the venue of the discussions to a closed room.

At the beginning of the session in which spokespersons of the different coalitions had to present the results of the debates before officials of different governments and members of the Organization of American States, Mirthia Brossard Oris, leader of the University Student Federation (FEU) of Cuba, took the microphone and denounced "the presence of people who represent organizations that are not real, that are not legitimate ... imperial agents paid by the Department of State". Present in the room was the Cuban activist Rosa María Payá, who chairs the Latin American Youth Network for Democracy and has campaigned to hold a plebiscite on the system of government on the island.

The declarations of the Cuban student leader gave rise to shouts and slogans such as "Abajo la gusanera", "Fuera los mercenarios", "I am Fidel", "Microphone for Cuba" and "Viva Venezuela", among others. The shouts, to which the Venezuelan official delegation joined, continued while the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, addressed those present. After suspending the session, the organizers decided to move the spokespersons of the coalitions and the government representatives to continue the debate, which was transmitted by video and television to the rest of the participants.

In the version of the official Cuban press, "before the overwhelming denunciation of Cuba, the representatives of the ‘gusanera’ left the room through the back door". "The protests were generated by the shock troops that the Cuban dictatorship brought and an ambassador who was very aggressive with the Secretary General," said Payá at the end of the session. "They demanded that I could not speak, that if I spoke they would not shut up, it's the same blackmail as always, it's the blackmail of dictatorships."

The ambassador of Cuba in Peru, Juan Antonio Fernandez, said in his speech that Cuba would not accept "the participation of the supposed network of young people who are mercenaries at the service of a foreign power disguised as civil society. "You in the OAS, presided over the socio-criminals and pseudo-dissidents, the mercenaries of the empire who stay in luxurious hotels and make opposition from the airports between cocktails of margaritas and pina coladas," he continued. "They are the ones who shamelessly exhibit themselves with terrorists and corrupt people, you chose the audience for the antics, we are not going to legitimize them, they cannot impose terror on us”.

This was just another chapter in which Cuban officialism and opposition fight to be heard. Although, for many, the group brought by Cuban officials embarrassed their fellow citizen all over the world.