Occupational Therapy

Some make figurines out of paper, others string colored beads on a necklace that never ends, or paste pieces of fabric onto an infinite quilt. Occupational therapy they call it; keeping the hands busy so the mind doesn’t lose control, is what I would call it. Occasionally one of these repetitive occupations manages to divorce me from reality, though I don’t do it with needles and glue, but with the help of screwdrivers and clippers. I get to disconnect circuits, rebuild cables, open up every kind of appliance to see if their working diagram is more logical than our absurd reality. I make and remake technology.

Perhaps one day I will manage to create some gadget that not only will relax tensions, but will serve, finally, to connect us to the Internet.

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18 thoughts on “Occupational Therapy

  1. Damir Cual lejos de la verdad tu estas ; Pero aun asi tenes tu derechos respetados , solo en suenos puedes esperar eso en nuestro pais “Cuba” palabra demasiado grande para tu voca. Cuantots cubanos Vivos y Muertos no levantaron su voz en contra del gran traidor ,QUE CON FALZAS PROMEZAS sedujo a la gran majoria. Damir Cual es el error Callar para continuar la mentira , o propagar la verdad al viento? o viendo a tras a Shakespear ….”To be or no To be?

  2. An idiot just made a comment on my posts. Typical.

    Ad to confirm that the usa is a nazist abomination, here is more on the people who ultimately finance this loser calling herself “Yoani”, and a “pragmatic democratic capitalist”:

    http://www.infowars.com/

    That, and only that is what for yoani is serving obediently her masters. And a hope they will elevate her into some higher level servant once they fuck up her homeland.

    For a fisful of dollars.

    There are prostitutes in Cuba giving themselves to foreigners.

    And there are those like Yoani who sell themselves and their own people.

    All for a fistfull of fast falling dollars.

    Unlike the retard, Gerard Clemente is a respected authority and what he says may just happen. He accurately predicted fall of Soviet Union, Oil crisis, internet bubble and this last financial crisis.

    Read more from someone who knows better than these retards here spitting their imbecile hatred for Cuba.

    http://www.trendsresearch.com/index.htm

    Not that local idiots have brains to understand te reality around them, so here’s what one of the most prominent trend researches in the usa, Gerard Clemente says: revolution in the usa. Around the 8th minute of he video:

    No iranian secret services here. Just Clemente.

  3. Damir (alias DAMIERDA) said,

    ““Yoani” team are prolific writers of crap about their own country. Little of that has any value, as demonstrated with those fake awards no one has ever heard of until “Yoani” team got them.”

    DAMIERDA! Dont go calling The BBC, The Washington Post, Reporters Withoug Borders and many of the left of center media “writers of crap”! You are shaming the DAMIERDA family name!!

  4. DAMIERDA! YOU FOUND A GREAT NEWS SOURCE TO SUPPORT YOUR RANTS!!

    Press TV is state-funded[9] and is a division of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB).

    The annual budget of Press TV is 250 billion Rials (more than 25 million US dollars).[10]

    Press TV broadcasts news reports and analyses which are close to the official position of the Iranian government, and its programmes are monitored and regulated by the Islamic Republic.[11][12] Although there have been attempts to establish private, independent media outlets in Iran, notably by former Iranian Presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi, the 1979 Constitution of the Islamic Republic mandates that “all broadcasting must exclusively be government-operated.”[13]

  5. Post 8, not true. “yoani” tweets from her mobile she always dreamed of having, every minute. Just look to the right of this page, all the tweets she sends and how frequently.

    So, get your false facts straight. “Yoani” team are prolific writers of crap about their own country. Little of that has any value, as demonstrated with those fake awards no one has ever heard of until “Yoani” team got them.

    The true fact is that the usa is falling apart under its own weight and there is nothing to stop that. What they are doing here is just barking into the wind. No one really thinks this web site is actually doing something right.

    Heavens, huffington Post, the synonimus with gossip and crap, is their sponsor!!! THAT alone should tell you all you need to know:

    All this is merely a light shit for Huffingto to attempt to break into the mainstream with somethingthat only appears to be “spectacular” “reality” journalism.

    There are three or four losers paid peanuts to post here 24 hours a day to create a perception of “real and constant” traffic in support of their own paranoid propaganda.

    Beyond Miami, there is no support for this nonsense. Even Cubans from San Francisco and Los Angeles have distanced themselves from this website. I had posted the infromation about it in some of the earlier threads.

    I’d be more worried about the fate of the usa, with Virginia and Hawaii looking towards the independence, Broden calling for a violent putch against obama, and obama’s own white house officials talking about the legal challenge and impeachment in the works against negrito.

    Have you sen how bad obama is looking lately? Drawn out, deep shadows under the eyes, loss of weight, worried.

    He knows he is already a history. Now is only the question how is he going to go. Peacefully or forcefully, according to the people from his closest inner circles, who are working against him.

    Read te links in my previous post here.

  6. Here’s the proof of the things to come soon, very soon, for all resident derechistas. Better known as cuban mafia from the slums of Miami:

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/texassouthwest/stories/DN-broden_22tex.ART0.State.Edition1.33278a9.html

    The real revolution is near. Can you feel the tremors already? It is Broden who is saying openly that the armed revolution is being considered among the republicans (derechistas putas de perros).

    More here, directly from within the White House:

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/147724.html

    Both news channels are a lot more serious than the Huffington Post that feeds this abomination called “Yoani”.

  7. Carly #8

    Yoani is unable to post directly to the desdecuba.com site as it is blocked in Cuba so she transcribes them and emails them surreptitiously or transmits them verbally by phone to friends that then upload them to the web site, but you know this and only spread your misinformation in an attempt to discredit her as well as all the dissenters because that is what the minions of Castro do.

  8. MIAMI HERALD: Dissident’s prize another Cuba thorn-Cuban activist Guillermo Fariñas, awarded a European human rights prize, said he will start a new hunger strike if he’s not allowed to leave the island to receive the honor.-BY JUAN O. TAMAYO

    A prestigious human rights prize awarded to dissident Guillermo Fariñas on Thursday was the fourth admonition to the Cuban government this week that its reforms are not enough, Cuba watchers said Thursday.

    Fariñas, 48, a psychologist and independent journalist whose 135-day hunger strike earlier this year put him near death, was awarded the Sakharov prize and more than $60,000 by the European Parliament.

    “This is a message that the democratic governments in the civilized world are sending to the Cuban government that freeing some political prisoners is not enough,” he told El Nuevo Herald by phone from his home in the central city of Santa Clara.

    “It’s not a prize for Guillermo Fariñas,” he added.

    “It’s a prize for the rebelliousness of this people against the dictatorship, the prisoners, the people on the streets receiving blows and threats,” he added.

    Fariñas added that he might stage another hunger strike if he’s not allowed to leave Cuba to receive the prize at a ceremony Dec. 15 in Strasbourg, France, home of the European parliament. Cuba regularly denies exit permits to dissidents awarded international prizes.

    The Raúl Castro government had no immediate comment on Fariñas’ prize, but Cuba watchers noted that it was the latest in a string of setbacks that Havana suffered just this week:

    • President Barack Obama declared that Cuba has not changed enough to merit U.S. gestures.

    • Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, often criticized as too friendly to Havana, was replaced.

    • The European Union was reported unlikely to end a policy that ties assistance to Cuba’s human rights record.

    “These are four messages to Cuba that it’s not doing enough, that it needs a more defined policy of change,” dissident Havana economist Oscar Espinosa Chepe told El Nuevo Herald.

    “Havana has been hit with four buckets of cold water,” added José Antonio Blanco, a formeranalyst for the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party nowliving in South Florida.

    Fariñas was reported close to death several times during his most recent hunger strike, launched to demand the release of all political prisoners one day after the Feb. 23 death of jailed dissident Orlando Zapata Tamayo — from a hunger strike.

    He suspended the strike 135 days later, many of them spent in a hospital where he received nutrition by intravenous tubes, after the Castro government promised on July 7 to free 52 political prisoners. Nearly 40 have already been freed,and sent into exile in Spain.

    Still painfully gaunt, Fariñas remains so weak that he had to take a midday nap Thursday even as supporters crowded his home and his telephones rang incessantly with well-wishers, said his 75-year-old mother, Alicia Hernandez.

    His latest hunger strike, and Castro’s concession after talks with the Roman Catholic Church and Moratinos, made Fariñas one of the best-known and most watched dissidents on the communist-run island.

    A former member of an Interior Ministry paramilitary unit who fought in Angola, he broke with the government after the 1989 execution of Gen. Arnaldo Ochoa on drug smuggling charges. He has been jailed three times and staged two dozen earlier hunger strikes to protest various government actions.

    The European parliament awarded the prize, named after the late Russian dissident Andrei Sakharov, to Cuban activist Oswaldo Payá in 2002 and in 2005 to the Ladies in White — female relatives of political prisoners.

    Castro critics on the island and abroad praised the award to Fariñas and said it amounted to a call to the Cuban government to stop repressing dissidents and move toward democracy.

    The prize “is a message to the government that we’re not alone, and that it has to undertake changes,” said Havana dissident Miriam Leiva, the wife of Espinosa Chepe.

    Fariñas “has resorted to hunger strikes to protest and defy the lack of freedom of expression in Cuba,” said the president of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek of Poland, in announcing the prize.

    “Fariñas’ hunger strike made it impossible for the world to ignore the dissidents imprisoned in Cuba,” said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch. His prize “highlights Cuba’s responsibility to free every last political prisoner and dismantle the laws that punish dissent.”

    Analysts were split, however, on whether the four setbacks suffered by the Cuban government this week would drive it to make concessions on human rights and democracy.

    “They may react in ways that are seen as softening positions on one issue or another, but not on the central nature of the political system,” said Peter Deshazo, a Latin America expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington research center.

    But Cuba’s leadership, argued Blanco, sometimes “does give way when they face a crisis, when they see that their survival is at stake.”

    They were hoping that Obama would lift all restrictions on U.S. travel to Cuba and that the European Union would lift its Common Policy — Europe’s stance on Cuba — — changes that would pump hundred of millions of dollars into the government’s coffers.

    Said Blanco: “In two days, their sand castle of cards fell apart.”

    This report was supplemented with material from El Nuevo Herald wire services

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/10/21/1885570/dissidents-prize-another-cuba.html

  9. Associated Press:Cuba gives details on new tax system-October 22, 2010 –

    HAVANA — Cuba has laid out details of a sweeping tax system for the newly self-employed — a crucial step in the socialist state’s plan to convert hundreds of thousands of state workers into self-employed businesspeople.

    The tax code described in a two-page spread in the Communist Party newspaper Granma will have many Cubans paying more than a third of their income to the state, while those who create businesses and hire their own employees will pay more.

    Cuba announced last month that it was laying off half a million state workers — nearly 10 percent of the island’s work force — while opening up more avenues for self employment.

    At times, the article reads like a children’s lesson for a population with little experience at entrepreneurship — and almost none with the concept of taxes. It also offers a detailed peek at a mix of levies that would be complicated even for an accountant.

    Throughout, there is an attempt to soften the blow by explaining that no government can provide services without revenue.

    “Perhaps because Cubans are used to receiving medical care without taking a penny out of our pocket, or studying for free at any educational center we want, few stop to ask where the money the state uses for this comes from,” the article reads.

    Those selling goods and services will pay a 10 percent income tax monthly, as well as another 25 percent into a social security account, from which they will eventually draw a pension.

    Those who hire employees also will also have to pay a 25 percent payroll tax. The article says taxes will rise for successful businesses with many employees, but does not give details.

    “The tax has a regulatory character in order to avoid a concentration of wealth or the indiscriminate use of the labor force,” the article says. “The more people hired, the higher the tax burden.”

    Anyone making more than 50,000 Cuban pesos ($2,400) a year will have to open a bank account and keep detailed books — perhaps creating a market for the private accountants who will be allowed under the economic reforms. Those who earn less need only maintain a list of income and costs. Most Cuban state workers make about $20 a month.

    The article says people in some forms of self-employment will be exempt from the 10 percent tax and instead will pay a fixed amount each month, regardless of what they make. It does not say which jobs will be eligible for this approach, however, nor say how much tax workers will pay. These workers will also be obligated to pay the social security tax.

    The reforms are an effort to breathe life into a dormant socialist economy that can no longer afford to provide free or nearly free health care, education and basic food to its population. They are the most significant adopted by the communist government since at least the early 1990s.

    The new system borrows many aspects of capitalism, while keeping in place Cuba’s state-dominated control of the economy. Citizens will be allowed to apply for licenses to work for themselves in just 178 areas, from car maintenance to rabbit farming, accounting to circus clown.

    http://www.bostonherald.com/news/international/americas/view/20101022cuba_gives_details_on_new_tax_system/srvc=home&position=recent

  10. “La China” & “The Mummy” BETTER RELEASE MORE LIKE “THE WHOLE CUBAN PEOPLE! F U A C A T A ! (I know is not kosher to do the fuacata at the end!)

    BBC NEWS: Cuba agrees to release five more dissidents-21 October 2010

    The Cuban government has authorised the release of five more dissidents who are not among a group of 52 set for freedom under an agreement reached in May, the Roman Catholic Church has said.

    The prisoners – four men and a woman – have accepted exile in Spain in return.

    Four of the five are on a list of inmates whose arrests are considered to have been politically motivated.

    Earlier, the European parliament gave its human rights award to the prominent Cuban dissident, Guillermo Farinas.

    Mr Farinas told the BBC that the honour would increase his commitment to peaceful change in Cuba, but warned that it might his campaign for greater political freedom more difficult.

    The Cuban government usually increased attacks on dissidents as they became more well-known, he explained.

    Mr Farinas was given the Sakharov prize in recognition of his repeated hunger strikes to demand the release of political prisoners.

    Exile rejected

    In a statement, the archbishopric of Havana announced that Juana Maria Nieves, Domingo Ozuna, Juan Francisco Marimon, Misael Mean and Jose Luis Ramil would be released by the Cuban authorities.

    They were serving jail terms ranging from 10 to 17 years for such crimes as hijacking and terrorism, according to the Associated Press.

    Under a deal brokered by the Church in May, the government promised to free – by 8 November – 52 political prisoners imprisoned in 2003 after a crackdown on opposition activists, government critics and commentators.

    So far, 39 have flown to Spain, along with members of their families. However, seven of the 13 dissidents still in prison have rejected the Church deal because they do not want to leave Cuba.

    Earlier this month, at least nine other inmates were added to those to be freed. Many of them were convicted of violent crimes, according to the independent Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation.

    Human rights groups say that between 40 and 100 people remain in jail for political reasons. Under Cuban law, dissidents can be arrested, tried and jailed for speaking and writing against the government under charges like enemy propaganda, clandestine printing and unlawful association

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11603548

  11. REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS: Cuban government urged to let Guillermo Fariñas collect Sakharov Prize in Strasbourg in December-Published on 21 October 2010

    The European Parliament today announced its decision to award this year’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to Guillermo Fariñas Hernández, a dissident journalist and blogger and tireless campaigner for civil liberties in Cuba.
    Coming 18 days after the Nobel Peace Prize went to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, the decision sends a clear signal that human rights are no longer optional. No country can escape the obligation to respect and ensure respect for fundamental freedoms, including freedom of movement and the freedom to impart and receive news and information without being censored.

    Like Liu, Fariñas is a defender of these freedoms. Reporters Without Borders awarded him its own Cyber-Freedom Prize in 2006 and offers him its warmest congratulations for today’s award.

    The European Parliament wants Fariñas to come to Strasbourg to collect the award in a ceremony on 15 December. The Cuban authorities must let him attend. It is also time that the Ladies in White, who were awarded the prize jointly with Reporters Without Borders in 2005, are finally given permission by the Cuban government to travel to Strasbourg.

    If Fariñas is allowed to leave Cuba, he must also be allowed to return. He is a Cuban citizen, like his fellow journalists who were jailed in the Black Spring crackdown of March 2003 and who were recently freed on condition that they go into exile without any right of return. They include the Reporters Without Borders Cuba correspondent, Ricardo González Alfonso, who is now living in Madrid.

    Aged 48 and a veteran of the Cuban military intervention in Angola, “El Coco” Fariñas lives in Santa Clara, a city to the east of Havana. He became a dissident in the 1990s and then turned to independent journalism, founding a small news agency called Cubanacán in Santa Clara in 2003.

    A campaigner for the right to freely report news and information and a defender of fellow independent reporters like himself, Fariñas has staged more than 20 hunger strikes. He staged a particular long hunger strike in 2006 to demand unrestricted access to the Internet for all Cubans. He staged another long hunger strike earlier this year following fellow dissident Orlando Zapata Tamayo’s death in prison, this time obtaining the release of all the political prisoners who were ill.

    Five journalists continue to be detained in Cuba. They are Iván Hernández Carrillo, Héctor Maseda Gutiérrez and Pedro Argüelles Morán, who have been held since the Black Spring, Raimundo Perdigón Brito, who was sentenced to four years in prison in 2006, and Albert Santiago Du Bouchet, sentenced to four years in prison in 2009.

    The Cuban government is supposed to release all of the remaining Black Spring detainees by 25 October. But the three journalists still held since the Black Spring have let it be known that they will not agree to the government’s demand that they go into exile. Reporters Without Borders reiterates its appeal to the authorities to let them stay in Cuba following their release.

    Reporters Without Borders again hails the Spanish government’s efforts on behalf of Cuba’s dissidents. We also call for the lifting of the US embargo on Cuba, which has been in place since 1962. It penalizes the entire population, obstructs the flow of information between Cuba and the exterior, and allows the regime to pose as a victim. However, we think that the European Union’s “common position” on Cuba should be maintained until Cuba ratifies the two UN conventions on civil and political rights that it signed in 2008.

    http://en.rsf.org/cuba-cuban-government-urged-to-let-21-10-2010,38636.html

  12. F U A C A T A !!FIDEL CASTRO (The Mummy)- “I WANNA THE NOBEL, I WANNA THE NOBEL”!!
    F U * * I N G POETIC JUSTICE! F U A C A T A !! (is at the end but no matter!)

  13. “Other Cuban dissidents were excited about the award, the third Sakharov Prize, for Cuban dissidents in 10 years. ”

    MONSTERS AND CRITICS: Cuban dissident wins Sakharov freedom of thought prize (2nd Roundup) -Oct 21, 2010,

    Strasbourg, France/Havana – Guillermo Farinas, a 48-year-old Cuban dissident, was Thursday named winner of the European Parliament’s 2010 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

    Farinas was described on the EU parliament’s website as ‘a doctor of psychology, independent journalist and political dissident’ who has held 23 hunger strikes over the years to protest the Castro regime.

    Farinas believes the award to be ‘a prize for all the peaceful opposition on the streets, all the prisoners in jails and all the exiles who have had to leave Cuba because they cannot survive with a regime like Cuba’s,’ he told the German Press Agency dpa over telephone from his home in the central Cuban city of Santa Clara.

    ‘For me, personally, it means a greater commitment to the cause I am fighting for, which I will keep up until I achieve the democratization of Cuba or lose my life in the effort,’ he emphasized.

    Other Cuban dissidents were excited about the award, the third Sakharov Prize, for Cuban dissidents in 10 years.

    ‘It is a wonderful thing for a man with the moral and patriotic qualities of Guillermo Farinas to get a prize,’ Laura Pollan, the leader of the dissident group Damas de Blanco, told dpa in Havana.

    ‘He is an example for the whole of Cuba of self-denial, the integrity of his principles, when he has been able to risk even his life for the freedom of our sickest relatives,’ she said.

    Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White) was awarded the Sakharov Prize in 2005. Three years earlier, the prize went to Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya.

    ‘The European Union is saying that people in Cuba are fighting hard for human rights, for civic liberties, for freedom in general, and that those efforts have to be acknowledged,’ Pollan said.

    ‘That way they make clear their full solidarity and support for our struggle,’ she added.

    Former political prisoner Oscar Espinosa also interpreted the prize as ‘a recognition of the dissident movement as a whole.’

    He told dpa: ‘President Raul Castro should understand this even as an alert over the need for change, for the transformation of Cuba, for our country’s reconstruction, for progress, even if gradual, towards democracy.’

    Farinas’ latest hunger strike ended on July 8, after 134 days, as Havana announced the release of 52 political prisoners following mediation by the Catholic Church.

    Farinas was chosen by the EU assembly’s political leaders, beating two other finalists: Ethiopian opposition leader Birtukan Mideksa and Breaking the Silence, an Israeli NGO that campaigns against the military occupation of the West Bank.

    The outcome was in line with expectations, as the winner had been supported by the European People’s Party (EPP), the EU assembly’s largest group, as well as by the smaller European Conservatives and Reformists group (ECR) and 91 other EU lawmakers.

    The result was announced by the parliament’s president, Jerzy Buzek.

    Farinas is due to receive 50,000 euros (70,000 dollars) at a ceremony on December 15 in Strasbourg, France. It remains to be seen, however, whether Cuban authorities will allow him to travel.

    The dissident said Thursday that he was considering a hunger strike in case Cuban authorities do not allow him to collect the prize.

    Buzek said he hoped that members of the Ladies in White would be allowed to join Farinas in December, to collect the award they were unable to get years ago.

    Separately, officials indicated that EU governments – who have no influence on the Sakharov Prize – would debate Monday the thawing of EU-Cuba relations, following the release of political prisoners that Farinas campaigned for.

    ‘I can confirm that (EU) foreign ministers will discuss Cuba’ at a meeting in Luxembourg, a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told reporters in Brussels.

    Spain, which took part in mediation for the prisoners’ release, has been pushing for months for a resumption of the EU-Cuba political dialogue, but has so far failed to make any headway.

    The EU assembly’s prize, named after Nobel Peace Prize laureate Andrei Sakharov, a nuclear physicist who turned to campaigning for democracy and nuclear non-proliferation in the Soviet Union, was instituted in 1988, a year before the scientist’s death.

    Previous winners include the leader of Czechoslovakia’s Spring of 1968 uprising and former president Alexander Dubcek (1989), Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi (1990), former UN secretary general Kofi Annan (2003) and Russian civil rights NGO Memorial (2009).

    http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/americas/news/article_1593204.php/Cuban-dissident-wins-Sakharov-freedom-of-thought-prize-2nd-Roundup

  14. F U A C A T A!!!!!! (Fuacata-The spanish language brother of the word Booya! Used whenever you need to exclaim how right you are or showcase superiority on anything at all. Unlike Booya, Fuacata is usually said in the beginning of the sentence.)

    Associated Press : EU Parliament awards its 2010 human rights prize to Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas

    STRASBOURG, France — The European Parliament awarded its annual human rights prize on Thursday to Guillermo Farinas, the Cuban dissident whose 134-day hunger strike helped draw attention to the plight of political dissidents jailed in a 2003 crackdown on dissent.

    Cuba began freeing the 52 political prisoners earlier this year after an agreement ironed out with the help of the Roman Catholic Church, prompting Farinas to end his protest.

    A 48-year-old psychologist and freelance journalist, he has spent more than 11 years in prison himself for a variety of offences, though he was not behind bars during the hunger strike. He decided to launch his protest after the death of a jailed political prisoner following a long hunger strike.

    Cuba’s government considers him a common criminal paid for by Cuba’s enemies in Washington, and notes that some of his legal troubles include an assault on a co-worker and other violent behaviour. Farinas says all the charges are linked to his activism.

    Reached by telephone at his humble home in the central Cuban city of Santa Clara, Farinas said the award sent a strong signal to the government in Havana.

    “The award is a very direct message to Cuba’s leaders, who have done so little” to respect human rights, he said.

    Farinas warned he will begin another hunger strike if the Cuban government does not fulfil its July 8 pledge to free all 52 political prisoners jailed in 2003 within four months. To date, 39 have accepted exile in Spain in return for their freedom. At least some of the remaining 13 appear to be holding out because they do not want to leave Cuba.

    The European Parliament said it will invite Farinas to come to Strasbourg on Dec. 15 to collect the assembly’s 2010 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. The prize carries a cash award of €50,000 ($69,205).

    The prize is bound to rile Havana’s communist leaders and complicate efforts to improve their relations with Europe that have been strained since the 2003 crackdown on dissent.

    Cuba’s leaders are already angry over the recent decision to award the Nobel Prize for literature to Mario Vargas Llosa, the Chilean author whose disdain for Fidel and Raul Castro is well-known, and the Peace Prize to a jailed pro-democracy activist in China, an important Cuban ally.

    Previous winners of the Sakharov Prize include Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese opposition leader, and former South African President Nelson Mandela.

    Europe’s top human-rights prize was awarded twice before to Cubans: in 2002 to pro-democracy activist Oswaldo Paya and in 2005 to a dissident group, Ladies in White.

    A former Cuban soldier, Farinas is a contributor to the independent press agency “Cubanacan Press,” which is maintained by anti-Castro Cuban-Americans.

    Since 2006 he has repeatedly chosen hunger strikes to protest what he says is the lack of freedom — notably the internet censorship — and shaky respect for human rights in his country.

    The Sakharov Award was announced four days before the EU foreign ministers are to assess the 27-nation bloc’s relations with Cuba. The EU’s view has long been that Cuba must improve its human rights record before relations can be upgraded.

    Spain spearheads a bid to improve relations, but the bloc’s former communist members in Eastern Europe oppose this.

    Farinas said he opposes any improvement in European relations with his country, and he brushed off the release of political prisoners as insufficient. “The release of prisoners is not enough to make Cuba a democratic country,” he added.

    Associated Press writer Andrea Rodriguez contributed to this story from Havana.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5izR_Rr9NDPI3KFXLLXeTCFSC4JsQ?docId=4898350

  15. I wish you come to Europe one day and speak to us. I will listen, you have a beatiful language and urgent concerns.

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