Candidates Call for Release of Political Prisoners in Cuba

Kudos to both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama (and even John McCain) for calling for Cuba to release all political prisoners in the wake of Castro's resignation.

Hillary: (from her statement)

The people of Cuba yearn for the opportunity to get out from under the weight of this authoritarian regime, which has held back 11 million talented and hardworking citizens of the Americas. The new government should take this opportunity to release political prisoners and to take serious steps towards democracy that give their people a real voice in their government.


"The prompt release of all prisoners of conscience wrongly jailed for standing up for the basic freedoms too long denied to the Cuban people would mark an important break with the past. It's time for these heroes to be released."


"We must press the Cuban regime to release all political prisoners unconditionally, to legalize all political parties, labor unions and free media, and to schedule internationally monitored elections," the Arizona senator said in a statement.

< Sexism From Howard Fineman | What The Polls Predict >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    What Hypocrisy (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by kenoshaMarge on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:05:06 PM EST
    From the country responsible for Guantanamo Bay.

    Exactly - not impressed (none / 0) (#6)
    by Prabhata on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:13:28 PM EST
    It would be more impressive if they stated what the candidates would do with Guantanamo, FISA and other abuses from the Bush regime

    I believe (none / 0) (#7)
    by Steve M on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:24:29 PM EST
    all three of these candidates want to close Guantanamo.

    All well and good, (none / 0) (#1)
    by scribe on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 11:50:19 AM EST
    but they might do as well by calling for the current administration to release its political prisoners - Seligman and Nacchio are two names where the discussion could start.

    Not that either - the call to release the US prisoners or the Cubans actually releasing prisoners - is likely to happen.

    Nacchio? (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 11:53:04 AM EST
    I attended and live-blogged the trial and you are very wrong there. While I would have acquitted him on the insider trading charge, the trial was not about politics or payback for his refusal to cave to NSA demands, it was about pressure from local Qwest retirees who were furious about the loss of their money. Totally a local case, even though in federal court.

    I don't dispute that, but (none / 0) (#9)
    by scribe on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 01:20:12 PM EST
    (1) I don't think the case goes criminal (instead, it stays civil) had he not balked on wiretapping.  And,
    (2) I don't think the fall of QWest stock is as severe as it was (and maybe even his projections come true), because the NSA/USG awards the secret contracts (which he wasn't allowed to discuss as a part of his defense, IIRC) to QWest if he didn't balk.

    All the telecoms took a severe beating in the same relevant time frame, but QWest was the only one that I recall which led to a criminal prosecution, and Nacchio the only executive so prosecuted.  And Nacchio was the only one who balked on breaking the law when Bushco "asked".  That makes him a political prisoner in my book.

    This is an instance of where to draw the line on the definition and, given the proclivities of this administration, I'm inclined to favor as broader definition - defining someone as a political prisoner more generously - than I ordinarily would.


    How come (none / 0) (#15)
    by Deconstructionist on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 03:05:52 PM EST
      some people get all juiced up with conspiracy theories and throw around terms like "political prisoners" or indictments that are an "outrage" and we have not seen a single word about Mr. Siljander and his indictment being an outrage or political payback?

      Now, I'm not in any way suggesting Siljander's indictment  is not based on good faith belief he committed an offense, but the selective nature of the coverage and commentary here is telling.


    Uh......MCI Worldcom (none / 0) (#19)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:29:12 PM EST
    comes immediately to mind.

    And yes Joe N was guilty of insider trading.


    And BTW (none / 0) (#20)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:31:16 PM EST
    Enron had two telecom divisons, one (Dynegy) hdqtred in Denver.

    Labor unions (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jgarza on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 11:54:39 AM EST
    "We must press the Cuban regime to release all political prisoners unconditionally, to legalize all political parties, labor unions and free media, and to schedule internationally monitored elections," the Arizona senator said in a statement.

    Hum Senator McCain suddenly has an affinity to labor unions.

    well...................yeah. (none / 0) (#4)
    by cpinva on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 11:59:56 AM EST
    Hum Senator McCain suddenly has an affinity to labor unions.

    as long as they have the decency to be in another country.

    are the Gitmo detainees (none / 0) (#8)
    by elim on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:29:51 PM EST
    political prisoners of some sort-I must have missed how we have them there for trying to open a library in Afghanistan or Pakistan.  Honestly, can't we simply celebrate the passing of an old school communist thug?  as to labor unions, I also missed how we are imprisoning them in this country.

    Any detention without the basic (none / 0) (#11)
    by Florida Resident on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 01:48:32 PM EST
    rights is wrong.  Wether you want to call them political prisoners or not calling someone an "enemy combatant" and denying them all the legal rights that everyone is entitled to is a crime.  What the whole world and all Democratic Candidates have done is ask that this wrong be redressed.  The fact that our government has continued to deny the rights of many makes it hypocritical to be screaming for another to do so.

    Grandstanding by pols. (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 01:30:20 PM EST
    Nothing will change in Cuba.  Raul has been in charge for awhile.  

    I guess all the horses.... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 02:05:43 PM EST
    are wearing blinkers in today's race.

    Are they aware there are political prisoners rotting in cages all over the world?  Why not call for all their releases, inclding those locked in U.S. cages?

    denying them the (none / 0) (#13)
    by elim on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 02:12:14 PM EST
    rights which everyone has?  does this mean that everyone captured in a field of battle does deserve the Miranda rights, a PD, a detention hearing, perhaps even bond?  please don't elevate people trying to kill our soldiers to the same level as a black cuban librarian trying to open a free library-they aren't comparable.

    They did not call for an end of US blockade (none / 0) (#14)
    by Andreas on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 02:15:26 PM EST
    They did not call for an immediate end of the criminal US blockade.

    [In the United Nations General Assembly in Octobner 2007] The Cuban foreign minister cited the origins of the blockade in 1960 in a White House meeting of President Dwight Eisenhower's National Security Council at which a document from the State Department was presented advocating a new policy towards Cuba. The document read:

    "There is no effective political opposition in Cuba...the only predictable measure we have today to alienate internal support for the Revolution is through disillusionment and desperation, based on dissatisfaction and economic duress. Every possible means should be undertaken promptly to weaken the economic life of Cuba. Money and supplies must be denied to Cuba in order to decrease real wages, bring about hunger, desperation and the overthrow of government."

    Near-unanimous vote at UN to repudiate US blockade of Cuba
    By Bill Van Auken, 1 November 2007

    not the same (none / 0) (#16)
    by txpublicdefender on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 03:42:23 PM EST
    Really.  People are locked up in Cuba because they have the temerity to criticize the government or try to form an opposition political party or write poetry that is viewed to be anti-communist.  I am a HUGE critic of the policies of this country when it comes to "enemy combatants" and military commissions, but these are not remotely equal circumstances.

    I am against the embargo, but I agree with Clinton, Obama, and McCain in calling for the political prisoners in Cuba to be released.  As much as Bush and the right-wing nutjobs like to call people who disagree with him "traitors" or perpetrators of "treason," they're not actually locking them up wholesale like they do in Cuba.

    Sanctions Work! (none / 0) (#17)
    by jonswift on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 03:55:47 PM EST
    Candidates need to remain vigilant. Castro's resignation shows that sanctions are working!

    Your sarcasm is appreciated (none / 0) (#21)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:32:48 PM EST
    In the Spirit of Crazy Horse (none / 0) (#18)
    by Dadler on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:05:38 PM EST
    Anyone remember Leonard Peltier?  He's still rotting in jail.  With the "evidence" used to convict him now completely discredited.

    Just made me think of the guy.  

    Yep (none / 0) (#22)
    by Wile ECoyote on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 07:43:56 AM EST
    that is worth ignoring the thousands of political prisoners in Cuba.

    You're the champion of missing the point (none / 0) (#23)
    by Dadler on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:19:38 AM EST
    Now, what do you call the HUNDREDS of thousands of AMERICANS in prison on non-violent drug offenses?  Do you think wretched and inhumane drug laws that imprison people here are less bad than the wretched and inhumane laws in Cuba that imprison fewer people on equally wrong grounds?

    The point, my friend, is that we are, as a nation moving closer to authoritarianism than moving away from it.

    And that we do have political prisoners.  Forgive me for bringing a famous one who is NOT a non-violent drug offender.  Or one of the dozens of folks we've heard about arressted at rallies for wearing shirts or holding signs with the "wrong" message on them.