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Radio Havana Cuba International News Apr 1

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    Radio Havana Cuba International News Apr 1 Amid Public Denunciation, Washington Decides to End Arbitrary Solitary Confinement of 5 Cuba Political Prisoners As
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 1, 2003
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      Radio Havana Cuba International News Apr 1



      Amid Public Denunciation, Washington Decides to End Arbitrary Solitary
      Confinement of 5 Cuba Political Prisoners

      As a result of public denunciation and numerous messages of protest,
      Washington has decided to put an end to the arbitrary solitary confinement
      of the 5 Cuban political prisoners. Gerardo Hernández, René González, Ramón
      Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando González, though placed in the
      general penal population, are nevertheless subjected to several completely
      discriminatory restrictions against them related to the use of the
      telephone, correspondence, consular access and family visits.

      Cuba's National Assembly issued a statement Tuesday asserting that it has
      been demonstrated that for a month, the Government of the United States
      violated the rights of the prisoners, of their lawyers and the norms of due
      process, seriously damaging the appeal process. Taking them now out of "the
      hole", the US Government is admitting that there was never a "national
      security" justification for their isolation.

      The Cuban National Assembly said international solidarity has at least
      partially triumphed despite the lack of information about this issue in the
      mainstream media, and that it's necessary to multiply and intensify this
      movement. Cuba's Parliament charged that the US government repeated the
      methods and techniques that it used to prevent a fair trial for the five,
      which is precisely the principal question that the Atlanta Appeal Court
      should consider when it takes up the issue on April 7.




      US Attack on Civilian Vehicle in Iraq, With 10 Mostly Women and Children
      Killed, Sparks Worldwide Consternation

      Al-Kuwait/Brussels/Washington/Baghdad, April 1 (RHC) - An attack by US
      forces on a civilian vehicle in Iraq has sparked worldwide consternation.
      Ten people were killed in the attack near the southern city of Nayaf,
      including 5 children under the age of 5, which according to the Washington
      Post occurred because the driver was not given sufficient warning. Post
      correspondent William Branigin reported that warning shots from US soldiers
      came too late, an account that differs from the version offered by American
      military sources.

      A New York Times editorial affirmed that the war wasn't supposed to go this
      way, that the Bush administration had imagined flooding the Arab world with
      images of American soldiers feeding the hungry and providing medical
      assistance to sick children - but instead hundreds of millions are hearing
      reports of gunned down children and women. Commenting on what it called the
      important guarantees given by US forces that the incident will be
      investigated and the rules of combat will be adjusted to avoid similar
      tragedies, the editorial affirmed that this will mean little if such scenes
      become routine for Arab countries.

      The International Red Cross called on the US military to adopt the necessary
      measures to clearly warn civilians who could be suspected of trying to carry
      out a suicide attack. The European Commission, calling the attack a
      "horrible tragedy", said that despite the use of modern weaponry there is no
      such thing as an intelligent war. Meanwhile, more reports of civilian
      casualties continued, with the director of a local hospital in the city of
      Hillah affirming that 33 Iraqis, including 9 children, were killed in the
      Anglo-American bombardments between Monday and Tuesday.

      The report was confirmed by the Arabic-language TV network Al Jazeera and by
      the International Red Cross. Al Jazeera asserted that dozens of civilians
      were killed in the city and showed footage of some of the victims' bodies
      being carried away on a trailer pulled by a truck. The International Red
      Cross said 4 of its members visited the hospital in Hillah and saw what it
      described as the "horror" of dozens of destroyed bodies and severed limbs.



      Veteran War Correspondent Peter Arnett Says Washington Doesn't Want Credible
      Reporting on Iraq War

      London, April 1 (RHC) - Veteran war correspondent Peter Arnett has asserted
      that Washington doesn't want credible reporting on the Iraq war because it
      would cause problems for the Anglo-American invasion. After being fired by
      NBC for granting an interview to Iraqi TV in which he says Washington's
      initial war plan is a failure, Arnett was hired by the British newspaper
      Daily Mirror, which Tuesday published his article entitled "This War Doesn't
      Work." The US journalist of New Zealand origin said he was criticized and
      fired for stating the obvious: that the US's war calendar is in a shambles
      due to unexpected Iraqi resistance.

      This affirmation, he said, is also being reported in US media outlets.
      Arnett said that after interviewing hundreds of Iraqi officials he felt that
      granting an interview to an Iraqi media outlet was simply a question of
      professional courtesy. Commenting with irony on having been fired by NBC,
      the Pulitzer Prize winner who achieved renown for his coverage of the 1991
      Gulf War, stated that he was still "shocked and awed" - the phrase coined by
      US military planners to describe what they expected to be the effect of the
      campaign against Iraq.

      Arnett's new employer, the Daily Mirror, has traditionally been close to
      British Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labor Party, but has been highly, and
      for Blair embarrassingly, critical of the Iraq war. The tabloid front-paged
      its Tuesday edition with the headline: "Fired by the United States for
      Telling the Truth. . .Hired by The Daily Mirror to Keep on Telling It." And
      Arnett said that's exactly what he intends to do, whether in Baghdad, in
      occupied Palestinian territories, or back in Washington.



      Dispute Over US Military Strategy in Iraq Arrives on Battlefield, According
      to the New York Times

      Washington, April 1 (RHC) - The dispute over the US's military strategy in
      Iraq has arrived on the battlefield, where, according to the New York Times,
      numerous American officers are criticizing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
      for not sending enough troops. A front-page article in the news daily
      asserted Tuesday that disgruntled officers are comparing Rumsfeld with
      former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, who they say was incapable of
      understanding the political and military realities in Vietnam.

      The Times asserted that the tensions that have been long brewing between
      Rumsfeld and US commanders in the field have erupted in a series of
      complaints, quoting one colonel who requested anonymity as saying that the
      defense secretary wanted a cheap, inexpensive war and that's what he got.
      Recalling that President Bush, Rumsfeld and other Pentagon spokespersons had
      predicted a quick war of "shock and awe" with Iraqi soldiers unwilling to
      fight and most of the Iraqi people receiving Anglo-American forces as
      liberators, the article recalled last week's affirmation by the US army's
      senior ground commander in Iraq that American military planners had
      underestimated the tenacity of Iraqi fighters and that supply lines have
      been stretched.

      Lieutenant General William Wallace said "the enemy we're fighting is
      different from the one we'd war-gamed against." The New York Times asserted
      that some critics are saying that Rumsfeld and other military and civilian
      planners had too much confidence in the US's air power and enormous
      technological advantage to the detriment of the traditional component in
      war: the troops engaging in battle and occupying the terrain. The article
      prompted the White House to issue a statement asserting that Bush has full
      confidence in his defense secretary. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer
      said there may be other opinions to the contrary, but Bush approves the
      current war strategy.


      Humanitarian Aid Still Unable to Reach Iraqi People

      Al Kuwait, April 1 (RHC) - Numerous aid workers in Kuwait with trucks full
      of food and drinking water are expressing alarm at not being able to reach
      the Iraqi people after 13 days of war due to the intensity of fighting.
      Antonia Paradela, of the World Food Program, told AFP that she and her
      colleagues never thought they would have to wait so long to bring in the 160
      tons of high-protein foodstuffs and 10 million loaves of bread capable of
      feeding 2 million people a day.

      Kuwait's Red Crescent had to pull back after trying to distribute food near
      the border last week in an operation marred by chaos, looting and
      anti-American and anti-British sentiments. The US Agency for International
      Development has 600,000 tons of food costing 300 million dollars sitting on
      the Kuwaiti side of the border, as the United Nations Children's Fund warns
      of the Iraqi people's growing need for water as temperatures begin to rise
      dramatically in southern Iraq.



      US Secretary of State Colin Powell Expected to be Received With Skepticism
      in Europe

      Brussels/Athens, April 1 (RHC)- A cool reception reportedly awaits US
      Secretary of State Colin Powell in Europe following his sudden announcement
      of talks with European Union officials - with whom he hasn't gathered since
      January. Nor has any high-ranking US official held a gathering with the EU
      since the war on Iraq began. Announcing Monday his travel plans, Powell said
      he wanted to discuss with the EU and NATO issues related to the war on Iraq.
      In response, the government of Greece, currently in the rotating EU
      presidency, said that though the Europeans are not opposed to this type of
      gathering, it would have been well for Powell to have taken this initiative
      before the US began bombarding Iraq.

      Powell announced Monday that among the issues he wants to discuss is the
      reconstruction of Iraq, but he is expected to come under pressure for a
      cease-fire. Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreu said that if the
      secretary of state's initiative is one in which Europe's voice will matter,
      that voice will be a message of peace. Pointing to Powell's sudden decision,
      Papandreu said Monday evening that he found out about the visit on the news.
      European Union officials are also expected to put particular emphasis in
      their demand that the United Nations play a central role in Iraq's
      reconstruction - which Washington has dismissed.



      Amid Public Denunciation, Washington Decides to End Arbitrary Solitary
      Confinement of 5 Cuba Political Prisoners

      As a result of public denunciation and numerous messages of protest,
      Washington has decided to put an end to the arbitrary solitary confinement
      of the 5 Cuban political prisoners. Gerardo Hernández, René González, Ramón
      Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando González, though placed in the
      general penal population, are nevertheless subjected to several completely
      discriminatory restrictions against them related to the use of the
      telephone, correspondence, consular access and family visits.

      Cuba's National Assembly issued a statement Tuesday asserting that it has
      been demonstrated that for a month, the Government of the United States
      violated the rights of the prisoners, of their lawyers and the norms of due
      process, seriously damaging the appeal process. Taking them now out of "the
      hole", the US Government is admitting that there was never a "national
      security" justification for their isolation.

      The Cuban National Assembly said international solidarity has at least
      partially triumphed despite the lack of information about this issue in the
      mainstream media, and that it's necessary to multiply and intensify this
      movement. Cuba's Parliament charged that the US government repeated the
      methods and techniques that it used to prevent a fair trial for the five,
      which is precisely the principal question that the Atlanta Appeal Court
      should consider when it takes up the issue on April 7.


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