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Cuba's Dissidents After the Crackdown

Recorded on June 4, 2003

Location:
The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

In April, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro took advantage of the conflict in Iraq to crackdown on peaceful dissidents in his own country. But instead of sweeping discontent under the carpet, he attracted unanticipated attention. Not only were his actions repudiated by international figures whom once supported him, but also the center of public interest shifted from Castro to the dissidents working to define a framework for future democracy and respect for human rights. Heidi Ewing's film, Dissident, documents this struggle and most particularly the work of dissident Oswaldo Payá and others involved in the Varela Project, an endeavor last year which collected 11,000 petition signatures for a referendum on Cuban socialism.

Join us for a look at this fascinating documentary, which replaced Oliver Stone's film, Comandante (about Fidel Castro), at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City earlier this month. Discussing the status of the dissidents will be Gerardo LeChavelier of the National Democratic Institute and Francisco de Armas, who represents the Varela Project.