Dr. Darsi Ferrer Ramirez: another manipulated dissident?
Dr. Ferrer's wife and son
When the right wing web sites talk about brutality in Cuba, most Americans are unaware of the context -- violence of all kind is far less endemic in Cuba than the US. Murder and violent crimes are far fewer and extrajudicial killings by the police are unheard of. The same cannot be said of Miami or many American cities, where police officers kill Black people in the streets with astonishing regularity -- the event then typically fades into oblivion without any consequences for the officers involved.
People can get beaten in Cuba, but not even the fanatical right in Miami can point to instances of extrajudicial executions. One allegation reported in Babalu Blog, Dr. Darsi Ferrer grabbed by castro's goon, 9/1/2006, is that after arresting Ferrer, the police left his young child alone in his house with the gas turned on. Given the lack of American style street justice, this appears somewhat implausible. But then Miami thrives on these kinds of accusations.
Ferrer is the subject of a letter from a group of prominent African Americans, organized by Carlos Moore: Acting On Our Conscience - A Declaration of African American Support for the Civil Rights Struggle in Cuba, 12/09, which builds on do Nascimento's letter. Moore's on-line petition for Darsi Ferrer is at www.petitiononline.com/drferrer/petition.html
Nothing about Ferrer is published inside Cuba, in keeping with a policy that minimizes the impact of dissidents promoted by the US, so he is virtually unknown there. That may be why the Cuban press does not publish any letters of protest about him from abroad, nor is he referred to in the Message from Cuba to African American Intellectuals and Artists, which was published widely in response to the Carlos Moore campaign.
-- Claude Betancourt, 12/20/09
Note: those interested in researching Ferrer data prior to Carlos Moore's letter campaign and the resulting identification of Ferrer as a black leader may find this difficult given the large number of recent references flooding the Internet. You can use Google's Advanced Search: in the box marked "But don't show pages that have... any of these unwanted words:" put in something like "Carlos Moore" (with quotes). Multiple phrases can be useful there, just enclose each phrase in quotes, unless there is only one word, where you do not need quotes.
or Revolutionary: Cuba’s Identity is at Stake 12/18/2009 Defenders
Online: by Ron Walters - "In the meantime, the Cuban government’s
rejection of the concerns expressed by African Diaspora leaders who’ve long
supported their revolution only intensifies the sense that it’s not interested
in reforming racial practices there. Perhaps government officials believe the
push to normalize relations with the U.S. government trumps its longstanding
relationship with black Americans. This would waste a tremendous opportunity to
complete the goals of fundamental social change envisioned by those who made the
revolution, and those who supported it after its initial success."
Cuban opposition pleased by African American support 12/10/2009 Radio Marti
LÍDERES AFROAMERICANOS DENUNCIAN RACISMO EN CUBA 12/10/2009 Radio Marti: quotes AfroCubaWeb.
Importante líder afronorteamericana retira su firma de la carta que acusó a Cuba de racismo 12/8/2009 CubaDebate: "Makani Themba-Nixon, directora ejecutiva The Praxis Project que aparece entre los firmantes de una carta de intelectuales y líderes afronorteamericanos que habían acusado a Cuba de prácticas de racismo y acoso de los ciudadanos negros, ha divulgado este lunes una nota en la que pide que su nombre no aparezca en ese documento."
Makani Themba-Nixon, Praxis Project, withdraws support for the Acting on Our Conscience letter 12/7/2009 AfroCubaWeb: "Certainly, we should have thought this through more carefully when we signed on but my focus was to be of support to the groups involved -- and to aid an individual who was under attack. Unfortunately, this effort is being used by enemies of all of us to attempt to undermine a government whose efforts have proven critical to the uplift of Black people, despite its shortcomings. As a result, I am respectfully asking to withdraw Praxis' name from the letter. I'm not asking that you resend it or make any public statement to this effect. The letter is out and not much to be done about that. We will likely make a statement to friends expressing our love and solidarity for the signers but sharing our decision to pull back. Please feel free to share this note with anyone you deem appropriate."
Getting Wise to Racism in Cuba, or Better Late than Never 12/5/2009 Kelly sans culotte
Envían desde Cuba mensaje a los intelectuales y artistas afronorteamericanos 12/4/2009 CubaDebate
ACTIVISTAS AFROAMERICANOS PIDEN FIN DE RACISMO EN CUBA 12/4/2009 Radio Marti
Reclaman intelectuales de Jamaica a Cuba por encarcelamiento de Darsi Ferrer 12/4/2009 Radio Marti: "En una carta remitida a Raúl Castro, con fecha 26 de noviembre, los académicos Rex Nettleford, Barry Chevannes, Rupert Lewis y Mauren Warner-Lewis, unieron sus voces al pedido de su colega brasileño Abdias Nascimiento, a favor de la libertad de Ferrer, encarcelado desde el pasado julio en Cuba. En la carta, los académicos señalan que "lo que nos sorprende a todos es la mano fuerte del estado contra aquellos que se atreven a expresarse en contra del prejuicio racial continúo en la sociedad", cubana. Añaden que aunque la revolución cubana reclama haber liberado a cubanos blancos y negros de la explotación, lo cierto es que las actitudes, algunas abiertas y otras solapadas, que justificaron siglos de esclavitud de negros africanos, no han cedido con facilidad."
Nueva declaración de condena al racismo en Cuba, de personalidades caribeñas 12/4/2009 Cuba Puntos de Vista: from Jamaica's intellectual elite.
Mensaje desde Cuba a los intelectuales y artistas afronorteamericanos 12/4/2009 Jiribilla
Denuncian racismo en Cuba 12/1/2009 InfoBAE, Argentina
Commentary: Is black America's honeymoon with the Castros over? 12/1/2009 McClatchy: By Carlos Moore "In a landmark "Statement of Conscience by African-Americans," 60 prominent black American scholars, artists and professionals have condemned the Cuban regime's apparent crackdown on the country's budding civil rights movement. "Racism in Cuba, and anywhere else in the world, is unacceptable and must be confronted," said the document, which also called for the "immediate release" of Dr. Darsi Ferrer, a black civil rights leader imprisoned in July. The U.S. State Department estimates Afro-Cubans make up 62 percent of the Cuban population, with many informed observers saying the figure is closer to 70 percent."
Obama's ex-pastor doesn't like Cuba, either 12/1/2009 Uncommon Sense: by Marc Masferrer, the great nephew of that quintessential Cuban hoodlum, El Tigre Masferrer.
Prominent black Americans condemn Cuba on racism 12/1/2009 Miami Herald: "The statement was largely driven by Carlos Moore, a highly regarded Cuban author and black-rights activist living in Brazil who has long criticized racial discrimination in Cuba. Moore persuaded Abdias Nascimiento, a founder of Brazil's black movement and longtime Castro supporter, to send Raúl Castro a letter earlier this year denouncing racism in Cuba, then appealed to friends and contacts in the black community to add their support. "Without this historic figure, no one would have listened," said Patterson, who predicted that other high-profile black Americans will soon add their signatures to the statement."
ACTING ON OUR CONSCIENCE - A DECLARATION OF AFRICAN AMERICAN SUPPORT FOR THE CIVIL RIGHTS STRUGGLE IN CUBA 12/1/2009 Carlos Moore: A letter organized by Carlos Moore
Subject: Prominent black Americans condemn Cuba on racism 12/1/2009 James Early: [Early responds to the articles about Carlos Moore's letter campaign among African Americans.]
Líderes afroamericanos exigen a La Habana que ponga fin a su 'insensible desprecio' por los negros 12/1/2009 Cuba Encuentro: Cuba Encuentro receives high levels of NED funding.
Líderes negros condenan el racismo en Cuba 12/1/2009 El Nuevo Herald
HELP FREE CUBAN RIGHTS LEADER 11/2/2009 Trinidad & Tobago Review: a plea from Carlos Moore
Petition on behalf of Dr Darsi Ferrer, Afro-Cuban activist.. 10/30/2009 NaijaBLog: INTERNATIONAL PETITION ON BEHALF OF AFRO-CUBAN CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER, DR DARSI FERRER, organized by Carlos Moore
A message from Dr. Darsi Ferrer’s wife 10/22/2009 BabaluBlog: "My husband is an Afro-Cuban who today is languishing in a Cuban jail, trying to survive under infrahuman conditions and suffering cruel and degrading treatment, for dedicating his efforts to fight for the civil rights of our compatriots. Dr. Darsi Ferrer is a professional, not a criminal as he is described by the Cuban regime, he is a medical graduate, sensitive to the suffering of others and whose only crime has been that, inspired by the example of great men like Dr. Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi, he has employed non-violent methods of civil disobedience to wake up the conscience of the Cuban people and to demand the respect of the fundamental freedoms and rights for all citizens of Cuba."
Dr. Darsi Ferrer Ramirez, Cuban Political Prisoner of the Week, 10/18/09 10/18/2009 Uncommon Sense: Site in support of Dr. Darsi Ferrer, maintained by the great nephew of El Tigre Masferrer, Mark Masferrer. El Tigre was a Cuban paramilitary leader who went into exile and was jailed in a federal penitentiary for organizing the overthrow of the government of Haiti in order to use it as a base for attacks on Cuba.
Cuban Dissident Dr. Darsi Ferrer on HUNGER STRIKE 10/13/2009 Babalu: "Cuban dissident and human rights activist Dr. Darsi Ferrer - serving time in castro's gulag for having "construction materials" in his home - goes on hunger strike. The following is a letter from his wife Yusnaimy Jorge Soca via Marc Masferrer."
Interioridades de la Prisión Valle Grande 9/21/2009 Cuba Represion: Por: Dr. Darsi Ferrer Ramírez, preso de conciencia.
Cuba complains that EU diplomats met with wife of Darsi Ferrer 8/29/2009 Havana Journal
Cuba: Hágase disidente y viva cómodamente 8/18/2009 Blogs Periodista Cubano: "En la foto:Darsi Ferrer, licenciado en medicina que ha abierto un consultorio paralelo. Sin embargo, se niega a que le envíen medicinas para desarrollar su “altruista” labor, él exige que le manden… (¡como no!) dinero."
From Cuba: A Call to Action in Solidarity with Political Prisoners 8/13/2009 Directorio Democrático Cubano: Promotes campaign launched by Alfredo Domínguez Batista, José Daniel Ferrer García, Darsi Ferrer Ramírez, Mario Alberto Pérez Aguilera, Ernesto Mederos Arozarena, Juan Luis Rodríguez Desdín, Juan Carlos Herrera Acosta, Librado Linares García, Ariel Sigler Amaya, and Orlando Zapata Tamayo.
Dr. Darsi Ferrer Remains Imprisoned 7/26/2009 Capitol Hill Cubans
Update on Darsi Ferrer situation 7/24/2009 BabaluBlog
Kafkaesque Arrest of Dr. Darsi Ferrer 7/22/2009 Capitol Hill Cubans
Update on Dr. Darsi Ferrer and his family 7/12/2009 BabaluBlog
Release Dr. Darsi Ferrer 7/11/2009 Capitol Hill Cubans
"Brote de Intoxicación Alimentaria en Fiesta de Adolescente”./ “El racismo, amenaza subyacente”./ Por el Dr. Darsi Ferrer. Director del Centro de Salud y Derechos Humanos“ 8/2/2008 Cuba Democracia y Vida: scroll down for Dr. Darsi Ferrer's article on racism, which includes results of surveys - "A cien años de la fundación de la Agrupación Independiente de Color, que nació por la inconformidad de algunos veteranos de la guerra de Independencia ante la discriminación a la que estaban sometidos los negros y mestizos, el racismo sigue siendo un grave problema no resuelto, que tiene consecuencias lamentables para gran parte de la población. Los cubanos viven bajo un régimen de apartheid que excluye a todos por igual. Los nacionales no tienen derecho a la participación plena de la vida en el país. Tal es el caso de las regulaciones que les niegan el acceso a determinadas instalaciones y servicios disponibles solo para extranjeros, o las prohibiciones que impiden la creación de empresas privadas, las restricciones a las libertades de opinión, movimiento y asociación, entre otras."
Resumen de actividades dentro de Cuba en conmemoración del Día Internacional de los Derechos Humanos 12/10/2007 Directorio Democrático Cubano: "La Habana. 10 de diciembre de 2007. Un grupo de activistas de derechos humanos, encabezados por el Dr. Darsi Ferrer, efectuaron una marcha pacífica a las 11 a.m. en conmemoración del Día de los Derechos Humanos en el parque situado en Calzada, entre D y E, en el Vedado frente la oficina regional de la UNESCO para América Latina y el Caribe. (Fuente: Dr. Darsi Ferrer, Centro de Salud y Derechos Humanos."
BUCL.org Joins Dr. Darsi Ferrer to Protest Apartheid-Like Policies in Cuba. 12/7/2007 Business Wire: "Dr. Darsi Ferrer is the Director of the Juan Bruno Zayas Center for Health and Human Rights in Havana, Cuba, whose mission is to ensure the policies of international agencies that guarantee health-related rights of all persons are recognized and adhered to in Cuba. Bloggers United for Cuban Liberty is a confederation of blogs and websites that pool resources and ideas for use in campaigns to raise awareness of the Cuban reality."
Darsi Ferrer from Cuba y los Elefantes 12/7/2007 You Tube
BUCL.org Joins Dr. Darsi Ferrer to Protest Apartheid-Like Policies in Cuba. 12/7/2007 Business Wire: "In Cuba, apartheid is not racial, but political," says Henry Gomez of BUCL. "The political system keeps foreigners and Cubans separate. For instance, many public accommodations that are open to tourists and high-level Communist bureaucrats are off limits to everyday Cubans." ...Regarding Cuba's current system, Dr. Ferrer states, "The current constitution supposedly recognizes the rights and freedoms of the Cuban people. The penal code characterizes apartheid as a felony. In practice, both are systematically violated by the established public policy." Dr. Ferrer continued, "People around the world were horrified with the ghettos of South Africa. It is time to condemn the apartheid suffered by the Cuban people."
Darsi Ferrer, a Doctor, a Dissident, a Humanitarian Hero 12/2/2007 Free Thoughts
Doctor Darsi Ferrer habla sobre sistema de salud Cubano 10/15/2007 YouTube
DIA DE LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS EN CUBA: RESISTENCIA Y REPRESION 10/12/2007 Directorio Democrático Cubano: "También se ha confirmado una salvaje golpiza al activista y médico Darsi Ferrer, quien había convocado a una marcha en las calles de La Habana."
Dissident says Cubans "long for change" 9/14/2006 Uncommon Sense: "Twice during a 36-hour period on Sept. 1-2, the Cuban secret police arrested Ferrer and held him for questioning. On the second occasion, he was picked up near the U.S. Interests Section, where he regularly visits and where American diplomats allow him to use a computer to access the Internet and write and receive e-mails."
Cuba: The latest arrest of dissident Dr. Darsi Ferrer Ramírez 9/3/2006 Global Voices: "Marc Masferrer, who says he has been receiving Ferrer's e-mails since “earlier this summer”, offers his own theories as to why this latest incident may have taken place: — Ferrer has a considerable public profile, in part because of his use of e-mail access provided by the U.S. Interests Section to transmit the work of dissident journalists, and his own writings."
Dr. Darsi Ferrer grabbed by castro's goon 9/1/2006 Babalu: "With guns drawn, they loudly knocked on the door. He was immediately handcuffed and takes, without pants, shoes or a shirt, who knows where. They left our 5-year-old son alone in the house, because I was with my mother, who was feeling ill, at her house Darsi told them that our son was alone and asked that he be allowed to take him (son) with them. They paid no attention to him. But, before leaving, they turned on the gas and closed the door. Thanks to the help of some neighbors, who quickly went to find me, we were able to break a window, enter, and rescue the child still alive."
Carlos Moore's on-line petition on Darsi Ferrer 9/1/2006 Petition On Line
Cuban Doctor Pays A High Price for Truth, Wall Street Journal, 3/31/2006
Brazilian Blog supporting Darsi Ferrer:
racismo em cuba
For a great background article, see A Worldwide Battle of Life and Death. Part I, 12/25/09 Alberto Jones
Acting on Our Conscience Briefing Sheet: roadmap for Diaspora support of Miami-backed dissidents Claude Betancourt, 1/2/2010
The attempt to divide Cuba on racial lines, 7/9/01 Alberto Jones
Cuban Exiles Invoke US Civil Rights Struggle: Brothers to the Rescue, Florida's MLK Institute for Nonviolence, and manipulating Cuban dissidents, 5/30/09, AfroCubaWeb
Acting On Our Conscience - A Declaration of African American Support for the Civil Rights Struggle in Cuba, 12/09
Reflections on Cuba: History, Memory, Race, and Solidarity, by Lisa Brock, Souls Magazine, Spring 1999
Cuban Doctor Pays A High Price for Truth, Wall Street Journal, 3/31/2006
Cuban Doctor Pays A High Price for Truth.
By: Mary Anastasia O'Grady.
In the early morning hours of Nov. 29, uniformed Cuban police raided the Havana home of medical doctor Dariel "Darsi" Ferrer.
"In front of my sick wife and my four-year-old son, they confiscated a laptop, a printer, various bottles of medicine and all the papers they could find," Dr. Ferrer reported on the Web site Cartadecuba.com. Nearly four hours later the marauders marched off with the doctor's property, leaving him with a citation to appear at the police station the next day.
Dr. Ferrer had sinned against the Revolution: He is an Afro-Cuban medical professional who, noting the country's abysmal state of health care, established an independent health and human rights clinic. "We have dedicated ourselves to offering free medical attention to those in need and visiting extremely poor communities where scarcities strike marginalized Cubans daily, to offer health services, give medicine, clothing and toys and to share the suffering of those beings," Dr. Ferrer reported.
The 36-year-old doctor's selfless dedication to others would win praise from any government genuinely concerned about the welfare of citizens.
However, in Cuba, his work scandalizes the state. It has rewarded him by shutting him out of the official medical community and refusing to allow him any form of gainful employment. Along with his wife and son, he has been regularly harassed and terrorized by the government's infamous "repudiation squads," organized mob violence unleashed against non-conformers. The Nov. 29 visit was the first time the regime sent uniformed agents to his home to allege a crime.
Dr. Ferrer is a victim of what human rights observers say is the one of the most brutal crackdowns in the island's history, one that has received little notice in the U.S. "Why now?" one might ask. Perhaps it is in preparation for the day when, as Cubans like to say, a "biological solution" will end Castro's reign. Perhaps it is because Cubans have grown bolder in recent years, increasingly expressing dissent openly.
Certainly, there is more civil disobedience, ranging from silent, prayerful marches by women whose loved ones are political prisoners to public statements from medical professionals like Dr. Ferrer. Pilfering from the state has reportedly increased too.
French jurist Christine Chanet, the U.N. Human Rights Commission's "expert" on Cuba, acknowledged the wave of repression this month. Though Cuban officials have refused her access, she noted that her sources report, "in 2005 more people were arrested and given disproportionate sentences for expressing dissident political opinions." Since she is French and a UNHRC bureaucrat, however, Ms. Chanet blamed the brutality on the U.S. By supporting Cuban democrats, she explained, the U.S. "provide[s] the Cuban authorities with an opportunity to tighten repression against them."
That is the kind of international "help" that long-suffering Cubans have had to get used to, leaving them with the feeling that they are but pawns in the petty, jealous U.N. game of challenging U.S. hegemony. However, while the French bureaucrat is busy scoring points in the salons of Geneva, Dr. Ferrer is struggling to stay alive. His is a particularly brave struggle.
Like hundreds of Jose Six-Packs who have joined Cuban resistance movements, Dr. Ferrer's lack of celebrity is a real disadvantage.
International recognition can provide some protection to a dissident. But up to now, he has been a faceless soul behind the Tropical Iron Curtain, with a family to care for and living on practically nothing. Fidel already knows he has nothing to fear from the likes of Ms. Chanet, so the cost of crushing Dr. Ferrer is very low.
Dr. Ferrer's race also works against him. Independent thinking is heresy for any Cuban but Afro-Cubans are taught to be especially grateful for -- and obedient to -- the Revolution. They are supposed to signal to the world that though they may appear poor, malnourished and oppressed, they are actually living contentedly on Master Fidel's plantation. Dr. Ferrer has not been playing the game.
Another reason to silence the doctor is his honest, professional assessment of Cuba's deteriorating medical system. What Dr. Ferrer and the doctors working with him at the clinic have observed and publicly denounced is the polar opposite of the health-care paradise that Fidel's illusionists have worked years to promote. The collapse of this last "justification" for totalitarian government -- something that shamefully even former Secretary of State Colin Powell once praised Castro for -- makes Fidel's 50 years of failure impossible to deny.
This makes Dr. Ferrer's work exceedingly dangerous but despite the persecution, he works tirelessly for the sick, the poor and the imprisoned.
The clinic writes "respectful letters" to high-ranking government officials, raising concerns about public health issues and proposing solutions. In a July 2005 document called "Health Authorities and the Complicity of Silence," Dr. Ferrer complained of the deaths of dozens of children in recent months owing to increased cases of transmittable diseases. He expressed concern that meningitis, dengue fever, hepatitis and leprosy could become epidemics. Clinic workers pay special attention to HIV/AIDS patients, particularly shut-ins, and advocate for the medical needs of political prisoners and for victims of medical negligence.
With thousands of medical professionals on assignment overseas to advance Castro's do-gooder image with Ms. Chanet and her ilk, Cubans are hurting.
But so what? As former Brigadier Gen. Rafael Del Pino, who defected in 1987, observed in his 1990 book "Proa a La Libertad," ("Toward Freedom"), Fidel has another agenda. He "was of the idea that any person whose health is returned or who receives education will at least never be his enemy, even if that does not turn them into an ally," the general wrote, referring to the rationale behind sending doctors and teachers to Nicaragua in the 1980s. This strategy continues today. Only now, Dr. Ferrer has made it clear that Cubans themselves do not enjoy the same "good will." For that, he is being intolerably abused by the regime.
Published in: THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. Friday, March 31, 2006; Page A17
Dr. Ferrer is the Director of Center for Health and Human Rights "Juan Bruno Zayas" in Havana, Cuba.
Address: Calle San
Bernardino 265 entre Serrano y Durege, Reparto Santo Suarez, Municipio
Diez de Octubre, Ciudad de la Habana. Cuba. Codigo Postal -10500.
http://medicinacubana.blogspot.com/ Posted by Medicina Cubana to Medicina Cubana at 3/31/2006 04:48:00 PM
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