Armando Valladares Cuban poet, author, and former political prisoner explores why the international community has supported the Castro regime for 51 years. He asks us to treat this regime in the same way that we treated the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet and to take the same measures against the Cuban government that we took against apartheid in South Africa. He wonders, why were those measures taken against those countries but not against Cuba? Are the Cuban people second class citizens? Do they not deserve the same support and solidarity once given to Chileans and South Africans?


Armando Valladares was 21 years old when the Cuban Revolution took place. Like many Cubans, he felt great admiration for Fidel Castro, who spoke of justice and human dignity. He believed in Castro. In this talk Valladares explains how he discovered that Castro did nothing more than replace one dictatorship with another. One day at his job in Cubas postal bank, he refused to put an "I'm with Fidel" sign on his desk. For this and this alone, Valladares was imprisoned, tortured, and deprived of his humanity for 22 years.