Cuba

Librarians Injured by Mob

I'm sure you can guess who sent this one in: "On October 10 the Assembly to Promote a Civil Society (APSC), a dissident organization in Cuba, began a series of meetings at independent libraries. The Friends of Cuban Libraries have received reports of a major campaign launched by the Cuban government to prevent the APSC library meetings from taking place. Actions to block the meetings have included acts of violence. Photographs of injuries inflicted on two people who attended one of the library meetings have been published on the Internet.

See the Recent News section of our website for suggestions on how librarians can take action to protest this cruelty.

Albright Supports Cuban Independents at ALA

Walter Skold writes "Madeleine Albright spoke of Communist and Nazi repression in her native Czechoslovakia and then, quoting Jose Marti, defended the right of Cubans to start and maintain libraries independent of State control. She reminded the ALA, which is considering the issue of Cuba in Council, that "Cuba is a country where basic freedoms are denied." The Times-Picayune covered the story in NOLA Here"

ACLU to Challenge Miami Schools 'Cuba Book Ban

MIAMI -- The American Civil Liberties Union asked a federal judge to stop the Miami-Dade County school district from removing a series of children's books from its libraries, including a volume about Cuba which depicts smiling kids in communist uniforms.

The ACLU and the Miami-Dade County Student Government Association argued in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Miami on Wednesday that the school board should add materials with alternate viewpoints rather than remove books that could be offensive.... The book, by Alta Schreier, targets students ages 5 to 7 and contains images of smiling children wearing uniforms of Cuba's communist youth group and a carnival celebrating the 1959 Cuban revolution. The district owns 49 copies of the book in Spanish and English.

Miami-Dade School Board Votes to Ban Cuba Book

The Reader's Shop writes "A report from Miami says the Miami-Dade School Board voted on Wednesday to remove the book, "Vamos a Cuba", as well as it's English translation, "A visit to Cuba", from Miami-Dade school libraries. Twenty-three other books in the series will also be removed although they were not contested. In a 6-3 vote the board overruled two review committees and the Superintendent. The American Civil Liberties Union is prepared to file a lawsuit challenging the decision.
CBS report
NBC report

Cuba Issue Heats Up at ALA Conference

Robert Kent writes "Walter Skold at the Freadmo blog has news on a members' petition just submitted to the ALA leadership. The petition asks the ALA to direct ALA delegates at the August conference of IFLA to vote in favor of a resolution condemning the Castro regime for persecuting members of the island's independent library movement."

Cuban journo on hunger strike for rights

mdoneil writes "A Cuban independent journalist is on the verge of death after a ten day hunger strike in an attempt to force the repressive Castro regime to allow a right to free expression and the right to Internet access.

Guillermo Farinas has been on a hunger strike since the end of January according to Reporters without Borders. He was rushed to the hospital upon losing consciousness. However after regaining his strength he ripped the IV from his arm.
Cuba as you will recall is one of the dictatorships that prevents independent librarians from distributing books. The ALA fails to grasp the importance of these independent librarians in their quest to bring freedom to the island nation. Michael Gorman who as head of the ALA holds Cuban librarians in such contempt by calling them 'not real librarians' must also hold Farinas in contempt as well for being an independent journals - would Gorman call him not a real journalist? Would he call him that on his deathbed?
One of the prohibited documents in Cuba is the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Article 19 of the UDHR requires that everyone - independent Cuban journalists and librarians - have the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
RSF knows that information can bring freedom, IFLA - the international body of which the ALA is the US representative knows it. They know that independent librarians and journalists must be free to share their views and opinions. When will the ALA get it?"

Library Bust Nabs Two Reporters

The Friends of Cuban Libraries writes "According to news agencies such as EFE and ANSA, on Dec. 2 two foreign reporters were arrested in Cuba while visiting an independent library in the town of Sancti Spiritus. The Polish and Swiss journalists have now been deported. The Committee to Protect Journalists quickly protested their arrest."

Extensive story on Castro and his imprisoned librarians

Steve Fesenmaier writes "Walter Skold, a librarian and journalist, profiles the long history of Castro and his imprisoned librarians at Front Page Mag.com."

Radio Interview: Official Defends Jailing Librarians

The Friends of Cuban Libraries writes "On the "Democracy Now!" radio program Amy Goodman interviewed a Cuban official about the repression of the island's independent library movement. Excerpt from the Democracy Now backgrounder: "Columnist Nat Hentoff among others has written extensively about this. Hentoff recently quoted author Ray Bradbury... [who] said he had a message for Cuba. He said "I plead with Castro and his government to immediately take their hands off the independent librarians and release all the librarians in prison....""

Ray Bradbury condemns Cuban book burning

GregS* writes "'Fahrenheit 451' author takes stance while U.S. librarians ignore counterparts by Walter Skold at WorldNetDaily"

Bradbury is quoted as saying, ""I stand against any library or any librarian anywhere in the world being imprisoned or punished in any way for the books they circulate. I plead with Castro and his government to immediately take their hands off the independent librarians and release all those librarians in prison, and to send them back into Cuban culture to inform the people."

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