RSF and Fundamedios welcome US asylum ruling in favor of Cuban journalist Serafin Moran Santiago October 12, 2018 Find out more CubaAmericas Organisation News One year after the arrest of 75 dissidents in Cuba, around a dozen activists from the Raúl Rivero support committee handed out books to French tourists leaving for Havana to raise their awareness of the lack of free expression on the island. Follow the news on Cuba CubaAmericas Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information RSF_en News News This morning around a dozen members of the support committee of journalist and poet Raúl Rivero handed out postcards and books, some of which are banned in Cuba, to French tourists leaving for Havana from Charles de Gaulle airport at Roissy, north of Paris.One year after a wave of repression in Cuba during which 75 dissidents were arrested, the Raúl Rivero support committee decided to try to make French tourists aware of human rights abuses on the island.Activists handed the books to the tourists so that they can give them to Cubans in the street or to the “independent libraries”. The campaign, launched by the human rights organisation Pax Christi-Hollande (www.networkforcuba.org), was due to be replicated simultaneously in several European countries. Around 800,000 Europeans, 120,000 of them French take their holidays in Cuba each year.Among the books handed out were Animal Farm by George Orwell, The Feast of the Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa, Justice by Francisco de Vitoria and Reflections on Truth and Reflections on non-violence by Gandhi.Post cards designed by Reporters Wihout Borders were also handed out to travellers. The cards picture a young woman on a beach wearing a T-shirt with the slogan “Cuba Si, Castro No” and with the following caption:”Are you tempted by Cuba for your holidays, by its dreamy beaches and itsfrenetic rhythms?Watch out! Except in picture postcards, the Cuban sundoesn’t shine for everyone. The Castro regime arrested some 80journalists, dissidents and human rights activists in March 2003 and gavethem long prison sentences. For daring to talk about democracy in theircountry, some of them are going to spend up to 28 years in prison…Wise up to where you’re going”The Raúl Rivero support committee was launched on 29 September 2003 by Reporters Without Borders and the organisation Sin Visa. It is chaired by writer Jorge Semprun and has more than 150 members including celebrities such as french actresses Catherine Deneuve and Sophie Marceau and spanish film director Pedro Almodovar.More than 300 political prisonersThe government of Fidel Castro on 18 March 2003 launched a roundup of dissidents throughout the country. Seventy-five dissidents, accused of subversive activities, were tried and sentenced to prison terms of up to 28 years. Among them were 27 independent journalists of whom the most prominent was journalist and poet Raúl Rivero. Their crime: to think differently to the government. In total there are more than 300 political prisoners in Cuba.One year on, Havana is showing no sign of softening its line. On the contrary, shortly after they were sentenced all the dissidents were transferred to remote prisons, often several hundred kilometres from their homes. Most of them have spoken out against particularly appalling prison conditions. Despite international protest, Raúl Rivero is still behind bars.In Cuba, the Constitution allows only the official press to operate. It also lays down that none of its citizens recognised freedoms “can be used contrary to the existence and the objectives of the socialist state, nor against the decision of the Cuban people to build socialism and communism.”Raúl Rivero: journalist and poetA former journalist with the official press, born in November 1945, Rivero broke with the regime in 1991. In 1995, he set up the independent press agency Cuba Press. He was arrested on 20 March 2003 at his home in Peñalver Street, Havana. Key figure of the independent press, he was tried on 4 April with his friend Ricardo González Alfonso, correspondent for Reporters Without Borders. The two men were sentenced to 20 years in prison for “actions against the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the state”. “I do not plot, I write,” the journalist said in his defence. Since 28 April 2003, he has been held in Canaleta, Prison near Ciego de Avila, more than 400 kilometres from his home. In a country where transport is expensive and time-consuming, the transfer seems like a second sentence to his wife, Blanca Reyes, who is fighting for his release. Rivero is also an internationally-known poet. October 15, 2020 Find out more to go further Cuba and its Decree Law 370: annihilating freedom of expression on the Internet News New press freedom predators elected to UN Human Rights Council May 6, 2020 Find out more March 27, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 The Raúl Rivero support committee hands out books to tourists leaving for Cuba
Steve Kean says he has been “forced to resign” as manager of Championship side Blackburn Rovers.The Scot, 44, has left Ewood Park with immediate effect because his position had become “untenable”, he said in a statement.Blackburn owners Venky’s held talks with Kean at the weekend following a 2-1 home defeat by Middlesbrough.Kean said earlier on Friday that he believed the talks had been “positive and constructive”.Rovers managing director Derek Shaw insisted he knew “nothing” about Kean’s departure immediately after the release of his statement, before Blackburn later confirmed the Scot’s resignation.Rovers were relegated from the Premier League in May but are third in the Championship table after taking 14 points from their first seven matches. Kean had been in charge of the Lancashire club since December 2010 when he replaced the sacked Sam Allardyce.The statement, which was issued through Kean’s lawyers on Friday, said: “For reasons that I cannot discuss on legal advice, it is with deep regret, given my hard work and service for the club for a number of years, that I have been forced to resign as manager of Blackburn Rovers Football Club with immediate effect, due to my position as team manager becoming untenable.“I wish to thank all the players and coaching staff for their great support and the majority of the fans, who now see their club heading towards an automatic promotion position back to the Premiership. I wish the club all the very best for the future.”A large number of Blackburn supporters have held protests against Kean for much of his 21-month reign, but he had continued to retain the backing of Indian owners Venky’s.There were more calls for his exit from a sizeable majority of the home crowd throughout Friday’s loss against Middlesbrough, which was Rovers’ first defeat of the Championship season. A fans’ boycott has led to attendances at Ewood Park falling significantly, with the 13,405 crowd against Middlesbrough more than 9,000 down on the average crowds they were attracting in the Premier League last season.Former Scotland striker Kevin Gallacher, who helped Blackburn win the Premier League title in 1995, says it is vital for the club to unite following Kean’s departure.“I know a lot of the fans will be out celebrating tonight,” he told BBC Radio Lancashire. “But there are two halves to a football club, and they haven’t joined together at Blackburn for the last 18 months.“They’ve got to get the boardroom right, they’ve got to get the management right and they have got to work together – and not just with each other, but for the people of Blackburn.”Following Kean’s appointment, Rovers only avoided relegation from the Premier League on the final day of the 2010-11 season with a 3-2 victory at Wolves. However, he was unable to save them from the drop last season, ending the club’s 11-year stay in the top flight.