On 27 May Cuban human rights activist Antonio Rodiles visited our office. Antonio is a political activist who has achieved international visibility for his work as the coordinator of Estado de SATS, a forum which was created in July 2010 to encourage debate on social, cultural and political issues in Cuba. Rodiles is also the main coordinator of the Citizen Demand for Another Cuba (Demanda Ciudadana Por Otra Cuba), an initiative calling for Cuba to ratify the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which the country signed in 2008.
Antonio told us that he founded the forum Estado de Sats in Havana with the aim of creating “a plural space for participation and debate between different sections of the Cuban society”. Videos of the debates have widely circulated via YouTube, and have also been seen inside Cuba, where people pass them to others using USB memory sticks.
On June 2012, the “Citizen Demand for Another Cuba” campaign, coordinated by Rodiles, handed in a petition to the National Assembly of People’s Power (Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular) – Cuba’s legislative body – calling on the government to ratify both International Covenant Human Rights. In November 2012, Antonio Rodiles was arrested and put in prison.
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