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What We’re Reading – December 4, 2013

December 4, 2013 by Brittney Bain

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. 


Author

Brittney Bain
Brittney Bain

Brittney Bain serves as the Director of Communications for the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

Prior to joining the Bush Center, she worked on Capitol Hill where she served most recently as deputy press secretary for the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary.  Bain interned in the White House Office of Communications during the George W. Bush Administration.

She received her bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and her master’s degree from The Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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