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"In their own words ...".

"Cuba faces an economic war and incessant hostile propaganda from the United States, but our people must be alert and strengthen fraternity and solidarity among the population while tirelessly battling any sign of corruption. The destiny and existence of our nation are at stake in these battles."

--Ricardo Alarcon, president of Cuba's National Assembly, lecturing Nov. 10 to a Havana gathering whose name was almost as long as Alarcon's speech: Fourth International Meeting on Society and the Challenges Posed by Corruption.

"The U.S. government should lift harsh restrictions on travel and remittances to [Cuba] to encourage more people-to-people contacts and support for Cubans pushing for democracy. More family travel and cultural and academic exchanges would open a world of information and supportive contacts for Cubans on the island. More remittances would help sustain political prisoners as well as Cuban democrats stripped of jobs."

--The Miami Herald, in a Nov. 7 editorial titled "More remittances, travel for a free Cuba." Until now, the paper has been reluctant to criticize U.S. restrictions.

"He has a problem with bleeding in the digestive system that got complicated and slowed down his recovery, but I find him in very good shape."

--Rodrigo Alvarez, Cuba's top orthopedic surgeon, discussing Fidel Castro's health with Nicaragua's El Nuevo Diario. Alvarez denied reports that Fidel had cancer.

"I don't touch that issue. I can't get into that because I just can't. I stick to my job."

--Ramon Castro, Fidel Castro's older brother, asked by journalists to comment on Fidel's plans for the future.

"In some cases, the dissidents have enormous dislike and distrust for one another. When I hear people outside Cuba talking about dissidents or pro-democracy activists or agents of change, I don't see that as being the reality on the ground in Cuba."

--Cuba expert Frank Mora of Washington's National War College, quoted Nov. 4 in a South Florida Sun-Sentinel article about Cuba's dissident movement.

"Their unjustified detainment is exactly why Cuba needs change now. The Cuban people deserve an end to these tragedies."

--U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, co-chair of the White House Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba, following the Castro regime's brief detention of 70 youths wearing white rubber wristbands stenciled with the word "cambio" (change). Gutierrez himself wears the wristband to support democracy in Cuba.

"Standing with those that are oppressed is our highest moment and our best calling. It is unthinkable that a regime would be so weak to be so threatened by something as simple as these wristbands we are wearing."

--Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL), displaying his "cambio" wristband to fellow lawmakers next to Cuban-American colleague Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who also had one on.

"Once again, and at such a moment, they left Cuba, its people, its citizens to their own devices and wallowed in an imitation of democratic harmony that is now so full of falsehood that the fake harmony has become a dissonant noise."

--Oswaldo Paya, founder of the Varela Project and Cuba's leading dissident, in a Nov. 12 statement accusing the Ibero-American Summit held in Chile of ignoring the plight of Cuba's people and "losing the chance to vindicate itself before history."

"For obvious reasons ... I cannot provide information to those who have organized and executed more than 600 assassinations plots against him."

--Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque, asked by CNN in an Oct. 30 interview whether ailing Fidel Castro was recovering at home or in a hospital.

"The speech made by the president of El Salvador provoked nausea."

--Fidel Castro, criticizing Salvadoran President Tony Saca, who on Nov. 11 defended his country's free-trade agreement with the United States."
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Geographic Code:5CUBA
Date:Dec 1, 2007
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