Filmmaker Jordan Allott and writer Daniel Allott make the case against the Castro dictatorship and for Cuba's political prisoners, the island's "hidden heroes":
"If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass
December marks the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Crafted in the aftermath of World War II, the document (the world's most translated) represented the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled.
The Declaration's anniversary comes at a propitious time. January 1, 2009 marks the 50th anniversary of what Cubans call "La Revolución," which culminated in the overthrow of the regime of Fulgencio Batista by Marxist guerrillas led by Fidel Castro. The near concurrence of these historic anniversaries provides an opportunity to consider how far the Cuban government has to go in upholding the most basic rights of its citizens.
When discussing the island nation located just 90 miles from America's border, the Western news media almost invariably focus on the 200 to 300 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. Often overlooked, however, are the 200 to 300 Cuban prisoners scattered across the island, imprisoned not as terrorist suspects but as nonviolent political prisoners whose only "crime" is that of promoting human rights in a nation in which two generations have grown up without them. Arrested and given lengthy, often decades-long sentences for offenses like "dangerousness" and "pre-criminal activity," they are Cuba's prisoners of conscience.
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