Status as a "dissident " is not the product of any coherent calculation. It does not refer to a particular affiliation or a specific creed. It does not even necessarily stem from a primeval hatred of what they call "Revolution."
It is everyday abuse, accumulated disappointment, insufferable humiliation, and, largely, chance, that turn a simple citizen into a dissident.
State control of Cuba’s economy is both pervasive and inefficient, hampering any meaningful development of a job-creating private sector. As the largest source of employment, the bloated government sector soaks up much of the labor force. After decades without effective economic reform, the government has eased the rules on private employment in an effort to reshape the economy and improve efficiency.
On February 2nd 2009, Cuba ratified the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED). The Convention defines enforced disappearances as “the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside the protection of the law.”
A brutal high-security prison was the last place Stephen Purvis expected to end up when he moved to Havana. Stephen Gibbs tells his story.
Stephen Purvis loved Cuba and his job as development director with one of several small foreign firms that were setting up as the country sought international partners following the collapse of the Soviet Union, The Guardian reports:
Purvis’s job was to look for joint venture opportunities with the Cuban government...
Score another kill for the Cuban military dictatorship: last month it eliminated Afro-Cuban dissident Hamell Santiago Mas Hernandez, an inmate of one of its most notoriously brutal prisons.
The remarkable thing was not the death of a critic. That’s routine in a police state that holds all the guns, bayonets, money and food. What’s noteworthy is that the world hardly blinked, which is to say that two years after US president Barack Obama’s detente with Raul Castro, the regime still dispatches adversaries with impunity. It also routinely blocks visitors to the island, even of the leftist stripe (more on this in a moment) to keep the population isolated. “Normalisation” to the contrary, Cuba is the same totalitarian hellhole that it has been for the past 58 years.
The MSU Exponent, February 23, 2017 in Bozeman, Montana
In an urgent letter sent to five congressmen and three senators, which is circulating on Capitol Hill this afternoon, the Center for a Free Cuba charges that “Obama bureaucrats are still running US Cuba policy,” despite President Donald Trump’s commitment on reciprocity as the basis for relations between Washington and Havana.
President Donald Trump said during a press conference Thursday that he shares Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio’s views on Cuba. “We had dinner with Senator Rubio and his wife, who was by the way, lovely, and we had a very good discussion about Cuba because we have very similar views on Cuba,” Trump told journalists. “Cuba has been very good to me, in the Florida elections, you know, the Cuban people, Americans,” he added in reference to the support of Cuban American voters.
Earlier this week it was reported that Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States would receive the Oswaldo Payá human rights award in Cuba. Four hours ago Rosa Maria Payá, daughter of the slain human rights leader Oswaldo Payá tweeted that she was about to enter customs at Havana's airport.