155224 5/23/2008 9:18 08BUCHAREST404 Embassy Bucharest UNCLASSIFIED 08STATE45792|08STATE51536 VZCZCXYZ0000 PP RUEHWEB DE RUEHBM #0404 1440918 ZNR UUUUU ZZH P 230918Z MAY 08 FM AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8293 INFO RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY UNCLAS BUCHAREST 000404
STATE FOR WHA/CCA, EUR/PD AND EUR/NCE
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: KDEM, PHUM, PREL, KPAO, SOCI, CU, RO SUBJECT: AFTER ACTION: DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE CUBAN PEOPLE
REF: A. STATE 45792 B. STATE 51536
1. (U) The prominent news daily "Romania Libera" (circulation 316,000) May 21 carried op-ed under the Ambassador's by-line expressing solidarity with the people of Cuba. The commentary recalled similar regimes in the former communist states of Eastern Europe that were now defunct, and highlighted the suffering of political detainees under the repressive Cuban regime.
2. (U) Mission is also pleased to report that the popular Carturesti Book and Tea Shop held a reception on May 21, commemorating of their photographic exhibition: "It is our problem, too -- the women of the prisoners of the Cuban Spring," which is running through June 5. The exhibit is run in association with the Human Rights Documentary Film Festival running in Bucharest, from May 16-June 1. The very moving "It is our problem, too" photo exhibition is sponsored by the People in Need Foundation and the Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung with support from the Hungarian Cultural Center and the Romanian Peasant Museum. The introductory narrative states:
"In mid-March 2003, while the world turned its attention to the start of the war in Iraq, Fidel Castro used the cover created by the war to arrest 75 human rights defenders, independent journalists, librarians and opposition members. In April, the arrested activists were subjected to hasty and unfair trials, and quickly sentenced to an average of 20 years in prison. the families of these prisoners of conscience are also suffering the consequences of the government crackdown. Prisoners' family members are often abused and threatened by authorities, and in some cases members of local communities have been turned against the families. The family members are also serving a sentence, a price they are paying at home." TAUBMAN