Cuban Coalition in Miami Announces Media Campaign Against Cruise Trips to the Island

The cruise ship ‘Adonia’ has already provoked protests in Miami by anti-Castro groups. (14ymedio)

14ymedio biggerEFE, via 14ymedio, Miami, 7 June 2018 — The Cuban Resistance Assembly kicked off in Miami a new media campaign, No Colabores [«Do Not Collaborate»] against cruise-ship trips to Cuba and insisted on no support of tourism to the Island because it «directly finances the repression» of the opposition.

Orlando Gutiérrez, director of the Assembly composed of organizations within and outside the Island, explained during a press conference that this activity additionally contributes to the «exploitation» of Cuban workers and makes use of confiscated properties, e.g. the piers where the ships dock.

«Cruise ships cannot function without the exploitation of the Cuban people, who, besides, have always been harmed by Cuba’s dual currency,» Gutiérrez asserted.

The campaign includes TV spots and two billboards installed near busy avenues and streets adjacent to the Miami neighborhood of Little Havana. It calls those who travel to Cuba by cruise ship «accomplices» to the stampedes that occur on the Island towards cruise-ship travelers.

During the press conference, Sylvia Iriondo, president of Mothers and Women Against Repression (MAR), claimed that there is a direct connection between the revenue that the Cuban government receives from tourism, and the ill-treatment to which opposition members such as the Ladies in White are subjected.

«Tourism increases the repression; it is one of the major sources of income for the military,» and it is difficult to separate it from the hostilities inflicted on dissidents, Iriondo said.

She assured besides that this money, estimated at $3-billion annually, never goes to the people of the Island. «It does not better the lives of Cubans–it increases the resources for the regime to carry out repression,» Iriondo added.

Javier Garcés, who spoke on behalf of Cubans whose properties were confiscated 60 years ago «in violation of national and international laws,» said that they cannot remain «silenced» while in Cuba «they use our properties.»

Meanwhile, the Mexican judge René Bolio, who presides over the Justicia Cuba (JC) commission, stated that the functionaries who manage tourism on the Island are «directly» linked to the human rights violators under investigation by this international group of activists, with the objective of bringing them to justice.

During the press conference, Bolio mentioned Alejandro Martínez, manager of the Hotel Nacional de La Habana, as an example of individuals being investigated by JC.

On the other hand, the director of the Assembly of the Cuban Resistance announced that next Saturday they will collect signatures supporting a request to US President Donald Trump for legislative changes that would permit JC to try those responsible for repression in Cuba.

Along those lines, Iriondo pointed out that the Cuban ex-president, Raúl Castro, should be tried for the deaths of four pilots with Hermanos al Rescate [Brothers to the Rescue] who were shot down by Cuban fighter-bombers in 1996.

Translated by: Alicia Barraqué Ellison 

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