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What We’re Reading – December 4, 2013
Elsa Morejon, wife of Cuban dissident Dr. Oscar Elías Biscet, writes in The Washington Post on the continued repression of human rights in Cuba. Dr. Biscet was arrested in 2003, along with 74 other activists, for his nonviolent opposition to Cuba’s communist regime and his advocacy for freedom. In 2007, President Bush awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Dr. Biscet for his courage. Dr. Biscet was not released from prison until 2011, so his family accepted the medal in his absence. The medal is with the Bush Institute’s Freedom Collection while Dr. Biscet continues his fight for freedom in Cuba.
Morejon explains that while President Obama invited her and her husband to attend the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Presidential Medal of Freedom just a few weeks ago, the Cuban government would not approve Dr. Biscet’s passport. “Oscar was released in 2011, but in many ways he's still a prisoner because he can't leave the island,” she says. She sets the record straight on the continued repression and tragic conditions of the Cuban people under Raul Castro, the current Cuban president.
Sunday marked the 26th anniversary of World AIDS Day. ABC’s This Week talked with U2 lead singer Bono about the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), bipartisan support, and progress in the fight against the disease. Launched by President Bush in 2003, PEPFAR is the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease internationally.
“There does seem to be the political will. The American people have said that this fight against HIV/AIDS, this tiny, little virus that’s wreaked so much havoc in so many people’s lives…they got it in their sights. They want to see it done,” Bono said.
Chinese Prisoner’s Death Holds a Message for Americans and China
Liu Xiaobo, China’s most prominent dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner died this week. His death holds a message for Americans and for China.
Release of Chinese Political Prisoner a Timely Reminder to Support Freedom Advocates Abroad
More than half the world’s population still lives in countries where basic political rights and civil liberties are only partly respected, if at all.
Bringing Freedom to the Forefront of 21st Century Politics
Global challenges like authoritarian capitalism, violent extremism, demographic pressures, and displaced populations have placed global freedom in decline.