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Obama's speech in Cuba challenges the Castro's government to promote democracy and human rights

  • The president stressed that his goal was to end the decades-long US embargo on Cuban trade
  • He also took the opportunity to call out the Cuban government for human rights abuses, specifically the government’s forceful efforts to silence dissent; he stressed the idea that a country is stronger when it’s people are free to express themselves freely
  • “I can’t force you to agree. But I believe that every person should be equal under the law,” Obama said. “Citizens should be free to speak their mind without fear.” And he ended with the motto “si se puede”—yes, we can

Pres. Obama talking to the Cuban people<Texto en españolAQUÍ>

Havana, March 22 (─ President Obama spoke directly to the Cuban people and received repeated ovations from the audience in his speech in Havana, outlining a path forward for the U.S. and the island nation.

Here is a full transcript of his remarks:

«OBAMA: Thank you. Muchas gracias. Thank you very much. Please. Thank you very much.

To President Castro, the people of Cuba, thank you so much for the warm welcome that I have received, that my family have received and that our delegation has received. It is an extraordinary honor to be here today.

Before I begin, please indulge me. 


World Movement for Democracy VIII Assembly

The World Movement for Democracy (WMD) published on the last day of February its VIII Assembly Report available in PDF format HERE. This international meeting took place in Seoul, South Korea, on November 1 to 4, 2015. Our PDCI was invited to participate, but we had to decline just this time. The meetings gathered several working groups: "Defending Civil Society", "Digital Security", "Preparing for successful transitions" and "Strenghytening global democratic norms", totalling some 50 sessions throughout the Conference with the participation of more than 400 democracy activists, practitioners, scholars, and donors from more than 100 countries.

The Steering Committee issued a statement for "A Call for Democratic Renewal" ◄[click here]  tackling on the challenges facing democracy since the end of the Cold War. The statement pointed to the need of a program to reinvigorate democracy should have four core dimensions: The first is a renewed commitment by democratic governments and international organizations to the defense of civil society against resurgent authoritarianism.


U.S. Senate race: social studies teacher wants to take democracy back to its roots

US Senate candidate Ralph JaffeTimonium, Feb.12.─ In 1968, the country’s culture wars pitted a rebellious young generation against the values of their parents. The rift was fodder for Ralph Jaffe, a social studies teacher at Ridgely Middle School in Timonium, to take his ninth-grade students through an experiment in participatory democracy.

They would spend all of their time in class trying to pass a bill through Congress to help create a rapport between the embittered generations.

Students lobbied Maryland’s then-2nd District Rep. Clarence Long, who later introduced a bill. A word-of-mouth campaign began for students outside the class to write their representatives. Students called members of the House Appropriations Committee to make their case.


Paris under fire!

It's a full terrorists war
Over 150 dead and more than 200 wounded in six coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris  One of the terrorists targets

Paris, Nov.14 (BBC).─ France has declared a national state of emergency and tightened borders after at least 120 people were killed in a night of gun and bomb attacks in Paris.

Eighty people were reported killed in of the terrorists targets after gunmen burst into the Bataclan concert hall and took dozens hostage.


Obama’s Syrian Illusions

The U.S. says it has Putin and Assad right where it wants them   Assad (l) & Putin (r)

Nov.2.─ So the U.S. government that was surprised by Vladimir Putin’s takeover of Crimea, surprised by his invasion of eastern Ukraine, surprised by his plan to sell S-300 missiles to Iran, and surprised by his intervention in Syria now thinks the Russian strongman will sue for peace in Syria on U.S. terms and oust Bashar Assad.

“Russia’s intervention is a powerful example of the law of unintended consequences,” said Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a security conference in Bahrain this weekend. “It will have two primary effects. First, it will increase Russia’s leverage over Assad. But second, it will increase the conflict’s leverage over Russia. And that in turn creates a compelling incentive for Russia to work for, not against, a political transition.”