Thursday, July 22, 2004

Cuba: Mankind can't even go to the beach in peace!

HAVANA, July 20 (Moisés Leonardo Rodríguez, Grupo Decoro / www.cubanet.org) - Cubans are only allowed at Esmeralda beach in Holguín province, a popular tourist destination, under strictly regulated conditions and are closely watched while there, said local human rights activist Guillermo Llanes.

Until recently, Cubans were not allowed to approach the beach fronting the three hotels in the area at all, Llanes said, but a complaint by a foreign journalist evidently embarrassed authorities into relaxing the regulation, to some extent.

Now Cubans are allowed in after presenting identification and signing up in a registry, and only between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. All the time they are there, they are watched by security agents for the three tourist hotels that front the beach.

Llanes said several of the security personnel have acknowledged to him that they feel watching the Cubans is an additional burden to their workload.

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