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Summit of the ICDC in Prague

2004-09-16 / Roisin Joyce

The first Summit of the International Committee for Democracy in Cuba (ICDC) took place in the Czech Senate from 17-19 September to support the struggle for democratic change in Cuba. It was attended by former heads of state, politicians, ambassadors, academics and representatives of international NGOs from all over the world. It was accompanied by the launch of Raul Rivero's latest book and the launch of the exhibition 'It is our problem too'.



The first Summit of the International Committee for Democracy in Cuba took place in the Czech Senate from 17-19 September to support the struggle for democratic change in Cuba. ICDC member speakers included Patricio Aylwin, José María Aznar, Kim Campbell, Philip Dimitrov, Václav Havel, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Mart Laar, Luis Alberto Lacalle, Cecilia Malmström and Luis Alberto Monge. The ICDC, alongside participating former Latin American and European heads of state, parliamentarians, intellectuals and activists, met in order to forge a common agreement of solidarity concerning human rights with the civic movement within the island. The Summit culminated in the production and presentation of the Prague Memorandum, which details said common agreement and outlines the future objectives and activities of the ICDC.

In conjunction with the Summit itself, the Czech translation of Raul Rivero's latest book, Pruebas de Contecto, was launched in Prague on September 16. Raul Rivero, a Cuban opposition journalist and writer, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2003 but was released in 2004. Speakers at the event included ICDC members Mr Marcos Aguinis, Mr Vaclav Havel, Mr Luis Alberto Lacalle and Mr Carlos Alberto Montaner.

The exhibition, It is our problem too, a photo-documentary created by Alexander Polo in cooperation with People in Need and the Center for a Free Cuba, was first exhibited in the Czech Senate during the ICDC Summit. The exhibition examines the lives of the women left behind after the arrest and sentencing of the 75 Cuban dissidents, activists writers and librarians in 2003.

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This project is supported by funds from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic through the Transition Promotion Program.