Miami group expands its reach

FHRC says it was as effective as ever in 2013

The Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba is now working with more than 1,300 democracy activists throughout the island, the organization said in its 2013 annual report.
The Miami-based group said:

…2013 may have been the most impactful year of human rights activism in the two decades since FHRC’s founding in 1992. FHRC’s partners have demonstrated maturity, resilience, and strategic thinking on their way to building a durable democracy in Cuba with zero tolerance for human rights violations.

The report emphasizes the share of the organizations’ resources that reach Cuba, painting a more complete view of its work than what I described in a Feb. 1 post entitled: “Democracy aid: Two radically different approaches.”
The report said the FHRC spent 57 percent of its expenses on the island in 2013.
It stated:

FHRC’s partners grew dramatically in 2013 to as many as 60 civil society groups totally more than 1,300 activists working on all 16 Cuban provinces. These groups held at least 627 independent civic participation events and public protests which included thousands of participants in nongovernment sanctioned concerts and cultural events, human rights activities, and training workshops for more than 2,000 activists comprising a cross-section of Cuban civil society.

In 2013, the group said it:

  • Sent its partners more than 700 phones, laptops and other electronic equipment worth more than $80,000.
  • Spent $97,000 to recharge the mobile phones of more than 350 activists.
  • Gave $290,000 in direct humanitarian assistance to hundreds of families of human rights activists and political prisoners.
  • Made more than 7,000 phone calls to Cuba to assist human rights activists and offer moral support and mentoring.

Among other highlights cited in the report:

  • Las Damas de Blanco has grown from barely 100 members in two chapters to more than 300 members in nine chapters throughout Cuba.
  • The Patriotic Union of Cuba, or UNPACU, completed a “strategic merger” with Guillermo “Coco” Fariñas’ United Anti-Totalitarian Forum, or FANTU.
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