Talk:Varela Project

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Cuba (Rated B-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Cuba, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Cuba related articles on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Human rights (Rated C-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Human rights, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Human rights on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.


Hello and thank you for this article. Please keep in mind the United Nations has overwhelmingly voted 130 nations and more to 2 or 3 against the illegal blockade of Cuba by the United States. It has done so several times. The International Community does not support such acts of destabilization of sovereign nations by foreign interests. I find it ironic at best that the same persons who work against Cuba, such as this "project" and its sponsors, find the face to continue doing so in light of the Internationnal Community's resolutions at the United Nations. The illegal blockade of Cuba is inhumane and causes countless deaths and injuries to Cubans. The illegal blockade of Cuba is also a political tool of imperialism and has obviously little if anything to do with human rights. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:31, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, If Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas and Oswaldo Payá are the same person, then this sentence should be fixed. Oswaldo Payá, Regarding the name, both are used in newspaper and internet articles. Not sure how he refers to himself. Fred Bauder 13:31, Aug 14, 2004 (UTC)

From Family name#Spain and Hispanic areas: "nowadays in Spain and in some countries of Hispanic culture (former Spanish colonies, e.g. México, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela), most people have two surnames, although in some situations only the first is used." --Boivie 22:13, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

From everything I've read about him and by him, it's Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas. However in Spanish it's perfectly acceptable to refer to someone by just their first surname, in this case Oswaldo Payá. SantoDomingo71 23:26, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

POV presentation[edit]

I broke the article into three parts, a neutral opening paragraph, the Cuban POV and the external (largely US State Department) POV. I think this is a good idea as it makes it easier for the reader of the article to distinguish what is POV and what is neutral. BruceHallman 19:48, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

POV tag[edit]

The POV tag was recently added, with 'see talk' but no associated 'talk' was posted. BruceHallman 20:26, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

75 political prisoners[edit]

The State Department press release identifies 75 political prisoners. Are the names of these people made public anywhere? BruceHallman 20:26, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

If the State Department account of 75 political prisoners is a "verifiable account", then could you please provide a list of the names of these seventy-five people per WP:V. BruceHallman 21:13, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

It appears on the WWW that there are 77 prisoners of conscience, but that the number related to the Varela Project is much less. What is correct? BruceHallman 22:06, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Which is correct, the Varela Project mentions both 25 political prisoners and 75 political prisioners? BruceHallman 22:06, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Also, the opening section says "... convicted of "acts against the independence or the territorial integrity of the State." but later in the article it is mentioned " on a variety of charges"", which is correct? BruceHallman 22:06, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
This question still needs to be addressed. BruceHallman 23:21, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Another source -- FRCP11 22:14, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

That list has 81 people, and says nothing of them being Varela Project prisioners. Is it 81, 77, 75 or 25? And which people exactly are Varela Project prisoners? BruceHallman 23:21, 30 May 2006 (UTC) includes only the ones still in prison. The footnotes give the affiliation - the Christian Liberation Movement ones are "Varela project", it's just sloppy popular conflation of the terms ( You can also look at the dates and match them to what ever series of arrests you're counting. Sorry I don't have them to hand in translation, but I imagine you read spanish since this is an area of particular interest to you.

There have been these curiously precise numbers reported of prisoners of conscious held by the Cuban government ever since I can remember. The precision almost does make them seem made up, but apparently someone is actually keeping the lists up-to-date. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch seem to find them generally credible and frequently cite the statistics. (Although they count in slightly different sorts of people, so they're almost always 3-5 off from each other.)Lisamh

POV tag[edit]

The article has been sanitized -- verifiable accounts of what actually happened have been POV-forked into a subsection, and given equal weight with demonstrably false Cuban propaganda. Reports from human rights organizations such as IAHCR have been falsely characterized as coming from the US government. The State Department report is neutral, and not a single fact from it is disputed, and should be restored to the main text. -- FRCP11 20:48, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

The first POV forking occured here. BruceHallman 21:47, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
With due respect, the U.S. State Deparment is very much partisan and POV and should not be represented otherwise. BruceHallman 20:55, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
The only partisan here is you, Bruce. What you're doing is positively evil. -- FRCP11 20:58, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
I am editing in good faith, and calling me evil is hardly constructive. Regardless, if we stick to WP:V, WP:NPOV and WP:NOR we should be able to collaborate on the editing of this article. BruceHallman 21:10, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
I take it that per your editorial judgement that the U.S. State Department is not partisan. How does this comport with the US policy that "...U.S. can help hasten and ease a democratic transition in Cuba"? [1] It seems that having an official policy to 'hasten' a 'transition' is patently partisan. BruceHallman 21:10, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Cuba is undemocratic, yes. Do you dispute that? (Of course you do, because you buy Cuban propaganda lock stock and barrel, never mind the murders they commit. For shame.) You have yet to identify a single inaccurate statement quoted from the State Department report. -- FRCP11 21:14, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Once upon a time I assumed good faith with you, Bruce, but you persist in bad-faith edits that propagate propaganda and sanitize the truth. When I see you make a single edit that acknowledges that Cuba is lying about something, I'll believe that you're editing in good faith. Hasn't happened yet. -- FRCP11 21:15, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

I can't answer your question without knowing which defintion of 'undemocratic' you are using. Democracy (disambiguation) There are many types of democracy. BruceHallman 21:23, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
I did not say that the U.S. State Department does not meet WP:V. I am only saying that they base their opinions on one POV and are not neutral as required by WP:NPOV. The burden of proof is on you to justify your POV dispute tag, and you have not done so yet. BruceHallman 21:23, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't understand your point about 'bad-faith' and 'Cuba is lying', which involves a leap of logic. Again, if we stick to WP:V, WP:NPOV and WP:NOR we should be able to collaborate, do you agree? BruceHallman 21:23, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
There are many types of democracy, and Cuba has none of them. Bruce, you have yet to collaborate in good faith. I've previously made the mistake of trying to do so with you, and it was a complete waste of my time. The article is POV because you have taken neutral, factually-correct statements, and call any accurate representation of Cuba--including left-wing BBC reports--POV. I'm not going to play the game of finding dozens of additional sources to verify the already verified and patently obvious, just so you can play the No true Scotsman fallacy and move the bar and argue that the additional sources also aren't NPOV. You personify precisely what's wrong with Wikipedia--it rewards the persistent ideologue who has time to revert accurate articles into inaccurate ones. -- FRCP11 21:33, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Pardon me, it appears quite obvious that there are more than one POV's about this article, and it also is quite obvious that your belief that your POV is the factually-correct one, and the other POV's are the inaccurate ones is not a neutral type of editing. Please re-read Wikipedia is about verifiability, not truth. BruceHallman 21:47, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

rejected by the govenrment.[edit]

The logic of the phrase 'rejected by the government' is bad. Article #88(h) of the Cuban Constitution allows for legislative proposals backed by at least 10,000 citizens to be submitted directly to the National Assembly. The government, per Article #75(b) of the Constitution has every right to not accept any and all such proposals. BruceHallman 23:36, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Lacking Content[edit]

This article seems to focus on everything but what the Varela Project is; it focuses entirely on the controversy around the attempt to get signatures but never informs the reader what the proposal was for. For a NPOV, this might be a good start. Windupcanary

See the recent re-write which is a sincere attempt to provide 'content', meeting WP:V, WP:NPOV and WP:NOR. BruceHallman 17:19, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

More POV problems[edit]

Hallman has placed the Communist-propaganda line at the front of the article, with refutation of the blatantly untrue claims in there segregated into other sections, but feels the need to "balance" those other sections with additional Castro-propaganda lines. There's other slants in there: putting things like the UNHCR and IAHRC reports under "US State Department" to make it seem that these independent organizations have an anti-Cuba bias as opposed to an anti-totalitarian bias. This article needs dramatic cleanup because Hallman has made a complete hash of it in his efforts to sanitize criticism of his beloved dictator Castro. -- FRCP11 04:12, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Turning this into an attack on me is not helpful. My goal is editing the article per WP:V, WP:NOR and WP:NPOV and your attempts to restate it otherwise does not change that. BruceHallman 13:27, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
Your statement "...these independent organizations have an anti-Cuba bias as opposed to an anti-totalitarian bias..." unfortunately reveals that you view this article as a battlefront for the conflict, as opposed to an encyclopedia article. Any neutral content, away from your POV, appears to you as an attack from the enemy. BruceHallman 13:27, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
Sir, your accusations are projecting. It is you who has an agenda, as demonstrated by your most recent POV edit, where you, without excuse, deleted the verifiable true statement "summary trial." (First, you moved the discussion of the summary trials around so that it was in a different section away from the cited source; then, several edits later, you dishonestly call it original research.) You have yet to make a good-faith edit, and every single one of your edits has introduced more POV and less accuracy, and/or removing verifiable information that is both relevant and negative to a murderous regime that you, for some mysterious reason, feel the need to engage in an encyclopedia-wide campaign to disingenuously sanitize. -- FRCP11 14:02, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
For what it is worth, the assertion or implication that the "75 prisoners" are Varela Project related appears clearly false, which calls into question the credibility of that source. The "75 prisoners", (also called "77" and "81") are instead verifiable related to the March 2003 prosecutions known as tha "Cason affair"[2]. And although this occured at the same time, and probably overlapped somewhat with prosecutions of Varela Project participants, the total Varela Project participants was only 'a few dozen' per Amnesty International. To maintain that all 75 are related to the Varela Project seems like disinformation. BruceHallman 15:40, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
Please provide credible WP:V citation(s) of 'summary trial', and obviously the word 'summary' is a judgemental term. Accepting payments from foreign agents for political purposes is illegal in many countries, including the United States[3]. For some reason you appear outraged that this is a crime in Cuba? I think the fact that you are not similarly outraged that it is also a crime in the United States reveals much about your point of view bias. Prosecutions for that crime does not seem verifiably a 'summary trial', and there is documentation of evidence produced at trial of that crime in the public record. Because the US State Department was party to that crime, their credibility needs to be carefully scrutinized. BruceHallman 15:40, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
This article is not about a 'murderous regime' it is about the Varela Project. I object and deny your accusation that I am disingenuous and lack good faith. Your repeated accusations amount to personal attack and I ask that you stop doing this. BruceHallman 15:40, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

I am criticizing your bad-faith edits, not you. Your edits consistently violate WP:NPOV, and you hold material accurately criticizing Cuba to a standard you don't hold Cuban propaganda. A one-day trial where one is deprived an attorney or knowledge of the charges against them, where the judge answers to the prosecuting authority, is a summary trial by any definition. Hallman is asking me to repeat research I've already done. I refuse to do further research for this article until Hallman is banned from Wikipedia, because experience has taught me that Hallman will simply delete any research I do in a multi-step editing process of moving text around away from their cites and then deleting the moved text as supposed original research, as he has already done with this article.

Unfortunately, Wikipedia rewards persistence over good faith and accuracy, so I can't win this battle with Hallman and restore this article to NPOV and accuracy, and Wikipedia suffers as a result. -- FRCP11 15:52, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

FRCP11 wrote: "Hallman is asking me to repeat research I've already done." Rather, I asked you to provide citations per WP:V. As you should know, original research is not allowed on Wikipedia. BruceHallman 16:05, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
You falsely accuse me inconsistent standards. I hold the polarized pro-Cuban propaganda to the same standard as I hold the polarized anti-Castro propaganda. BruceHallman 16:05, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
Again, I provided verified material, and Hallman edited it out.
Hallman's claim of consistency is belied by (1) classifying neutral material from journalists and human rights organizations as "polarized anti-Castro propaganda" by virtue of the fact that they identify wrongs committed by Castro; and (2) moving all refutations of Castro propaganda out of the Castro propaganda section, while inserting Cuban responses to accurate assessments of Cuban actions that have been buried at the end of the article. One section gets prominence and an uninterrupted forum to spew lies, while the other section is buried, falsely characterized, and then repeatedly interrupted by more lies. Moreover, accurate verifiable assessments of Cuban actions are separated from their cites, and then improperly deleted by falsely characterizing them as original research.
Hallman gets the last word. I'm taking this article off of my watchlist, and hope an editor with more time than me does something about the inaccuracy Hallman is perpetrating here on behalf of a criminal regime. -- FRCP11 16:34, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Unverifiable information[edit]

Someone posted vague claims that both the BBC and the State Department's statements on the Varela Project crackdown are based on incomplete evidence and a lack of understanding of the issue. The claim that the State Department has not spent "any real" time in Cuba is demonstrably false, since they have maintained an official Interests Section in Havana. Also, that's a pretty strong accusation to make against the BBC, one of the most respected news sources in the world. In the interest of fairness, I'll give it a week for someone to include *legitimate* supporting evidence, otherwise I'll have to remove these suspect and unsubstantiated claims. Cheers, SantoDomingo71 18:10, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

The article contains this statement, "The Varela Project is part of a strategy of subversion against Cuba that has been conceived, financed, and directed from abroad with the active participation of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana." If true, this would be front page news, but I see no reliable source for this assertion. One can say, of course, that no user asserted this, only the government of Cuba, but it remains unverifiable information from an unreliable source. Fred Bauder 17:51, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

(I hope I can ask this question without being attacked for 'bad faith' again.) I am curious what criteria you suggest an editor should bring to evaluation of the credibility of sources in this difficult circumstance. The Cuban foreign minister is obviously representing the political point of view of one side, and the US State Department, which has an official declared policy to 'hasten' 'transisiton' of the incumbant government in Cuba, obviously represents an opposite political point of view. How should an editor evaluate the reliability of these two sources? BruceHallman 18:17, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
The factual essense of the foreign minister's statement you quote, the contacts between James Cason and the dissidents, is confirmed by the Amnesty International article here [4]. The 'strategy of subversion' is obviously a political evaluation, which is probably appropriate in a quote of a political statement made by a foreign minister. I trust that the readers can understand the weight and context of this official Cuban statement. Considering the overt official US policy of hastening a transition, (Helms Burton Act), calling the actions a 'subversion' and a 'strategy' is understandable from the Cuban perspective; which is required to be presented if the article has any hope of providing a balanced point of view. BruceHallman 18:17, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
After some checking, I think the Cuban foreign minister's statement is actually verified by this citation from Amnesty Interational. Quote: "In 2002 James Cason was named head of the US Interests Section but was accused of undiplomatic behaviour by the Cuban government after he made a high-profile visit to a meeting of dissidents and spoke with international journalists gathered there. Cason has met with opposition members around the island and in the week before the mass arrests allowed a group of dissident journalists to use his official residence for a meeting, leading to sharp criticism from Fidel Castro.". Also, the reporting of The Miami Herald on March 19, 2003; that James Cason made statements that he supported the dissidents, further serves to verify the quote from the Cuban foreign minister which you describe above as 'unverifiable information'. BruceHallman 19:25, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
The quote is further verified here; "According to the New York Times, an independent journalist group headed by Ricardo Gonzalez Sainz approached Cason for assistance in holding the workshop. The group had previously been blocked from holding reporting and editing classes by the Cuban government. " and "Former US Interests Section Chief Wayne Smith criticized "Cason's 'bull in a china shop' tactics as provoking the arrests," as reported by (the North American Congress on Latin America) NACLA". BruceHallman 20:01, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

You cite evidence of exploitation of anti-Castro and democratic activism by the United States. The quotation is "subversion against Cuba that has been conceived, financed, and directed from abroad". Fred Bauder 00:14, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

As to who to believe, the propaganda of neither nation is a reliable source. Fred Bauder 00:14, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

To examine and try to edit on Cuban related subjects (particularly something like the Valera project) is to enter a blizzard of propaganda. Problems usually arise when one group insists that their version is “the truth” and begins inserting them into articles. This causes a one-potato/two-potato game where each point of view is eventually represented. I’ve always advocated the option of solely relying on international sources on these matters (Amnesty International, UN and on occasion EU). But certain parties, insisting that the voice of the US State department is neutral and thus should be presented as such, usually trump this - the discussion then dissolves into absurd accusations.
For what it’s worth the real story of the Valera project - which we obviously can’t say on the page – is that the internal opposition (such as the Christian Democratic Party of Cuba, and groups with legitimate reasons to oppose the Communist party and Castro) were hijacked by the US administration’s need to shore up Floridian votes before the 2004 Presidential election. Add to that the involvement of Oswaldo Payá, who is no Mahatma Gandi, rather he was paid by the US via the “Christian Liberation Movement” and was fresh from supporting the failed 2002 coup in Venezuela. Castro knew all this, and struck out hard resulting in the worst crackdown in Cuba since the 1960’s. Yet some of the victims left to rot were as opposed to US intervention as they were to Castro. Meanwhile Bush regains the confidence of Cuban-Americans just enough to win Florida, Paya is courted by the international community and Castro tightens his grip after years of reforms. In other words, the usual story of Jeux sans frontieres.--Zleitzen 10:32, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

YINever Revert[edit]

I am concerned by the latest edit summary provided by YINever, accompanied by a straight revert. Would that user please address issues on this talk page before future action.--Zleitzen 23:55, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

I am referring to the summary revert of User:PatCheng, who likes to follow my edits to every article and does not participate in any real discussion or compromise. Even the opposing editor, Bruce Hallman, did not appear to take issue with my reorganization of the article and was working within it, and in fact was forced to make subsequent edits after that user's summary revert. YINever 23:58, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
  1. Please state which edits by user BruceHallman are related to your dispute with Pat Cheng?
  2. Please define what you mean by "opposing editor"?
  3. Please address each change made by your revert in turn, below. --Zleitzen 00:12, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
What the hell are you talking about? Look through the revert history. I reorganized the article, Bruce Hallman made some changes, PatCheng reverted to the version before mine, Bruce Hallman had to make changes again. I'm not going to go on about this at length. YINever 00:22, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
You removed a number of additional changes to the article without discussion, regardless of / and unrelated to your dispute with Pat Cheng. That is the issue here.--Zleitzen 00:28, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
If you have issues with those changes, please state them. YINever 00:40, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Please answer the above questions. Also, below is a list of issues I have with your unilateral and unexplained changes;

  • The addition of inaccurate material in the early section
  • The changes in wording
  • The removal of sentences
  • Changes in titles of sections
  • The removal of a number of sections
  • Change to a link description. --Zleitzen 01:01, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Please be specific. If you wish to dispute my edits, I am not going to find what is wrong with my changes for you. YINever 01:07, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Below is a specific list of changes you have made to the article. Please explain your reasons.

This specifically enumerates changes which would be effected by the iniative and thus informs the reader. YINever 01:28, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Change : enjoyed broad based support among…
I changed it to "strong", as I believe that "broad-based" can be a tendentious claim and "strong" support from two bodies, one concrete (US government), one amorphous (C-A community) is clear. YINever 01:28, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Removal : law; the dissidents deny the charges. However, some observers point out that many countries, including the United States, have similar laws prohibiting support by foreign agents in domestic politics. In March of 2003, the Cuban government enforced a crackdown on political dissent
This statement implies that the repression of the movement is due to the pretext that the government has given. Rather than reword it, I allowed the article to explain the issue in more detail below. YINever 01:28, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Removal of Cuban response to the Varela Project Section
  • Removal of Removal of Statement of the Foreign Minister
  • Removal of Statement regarding actions of James Cason
  • Removal of Statement of the Cuban Ministry of Justice
  • Removal of United States State Department statements
  • Change of section title
All of the above are meant to provide a much more cogent flow for the article. There is no need to separate out, or make POV forks for, very small sections and statements; nor should there be an overreliance on lengthy quotes. YINever 01:28, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
I changed it to the web site name and provided the exact same description! What is the problem? YINever 01:28, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
To clarify, I accept Bruce Hallman's addition to my earlier version (this is YINever). --TJive 02:36, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Whilst I have no opinions on your changes made (at this juncture), it is imperative that in future you also address / justify major changes to an article on the talk page, rather than inconclusively via an edit summary. This helps consensus and enables other users to comment. This is particularly pertinent for an article where the content is in dispute. Thank you. --Zleitzen 11:57, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Initiative text[edit]

Where is the text of the Varela Project initiative that people signed? Where is the text of Cuban government initiative that people signed? Int21h (talk) 05:19, 19 November 2011 (UTC)


BEFORE HATE: Apologies on removing the page; I was not aware this discussion function existed

This page is biased and uses sources that are not credible.

These sources are not credible because either:

(a) They are from a source that has a vested interest in seeing socialism fall, or

(b) They have information that can not be backed up. For example, the BBC news report states that the Cuban people felt pressured into voting for the amendment to the constitution. However, there is no verifiable source to back this up.

I recommend rewriting this article with a mix of credible sources, with some that respect the decision and others that condemn it.


Marcus Khaos — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:07, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

BBC News and others are considered reliable sources by Wikipedia policy, and don't need to give additional footnotes. Can you give examples of the sources you'd like to see included? Thanks for your contribution, -- Khazar2 (talk) 17:36, 17 December 2012 (UTC)