Press Advisories

23. 3. 2016 12:15

Deputy Prime Minister Bělobrádek met Cuban dissidents living in the USA

The Czech Deputy Prime Minister for Science, Research and Innovation Pavel Bělobrádek commenced his official programme within the framework of his official visit to Florida on Sunday, 20 March 2016; his programme included a meeting with Cuban dissidents in Miami, which took place on the first day of the American President’s Barack Obama’s first official visit to Cuba after 88 years.

“Czech Republic, reflecting its traditions, honours its commitment to fight for human rights anywhere in the world. We will support you and all Cubans in their fight for freedom, democracy and human rights. We would like to get directly involved in developing the Cuban society, economy and culture,“ said the Czech Deputy Prime Minister at a meeting with selected members of the Cuban-American community in Miami. One of these member meeting the Czech Deputy Prime Minister was Rosa María Payá Acevedo, who serves as a Director of the Christian Liberation Movement of Cuba and Latin American Youth Network for Democracy, and who actively cooperates with a number of opposition forces in Cuba which struggle to bring back civic and political rights to the island. Miami is also the seat of the International Platform for Human Rights in Cuba, lead by the former Czech Ambassador to the USA Mr Martin Palouš.

The Deputy Prime Minister Bělobrádek also met with members of the American Czech-Slovak Cultural Club in Miami. “Czechs and Slovaks continue to maintain their excellent relationship and I am very glad that this partnership also works this well in the USA,” said the Deputy Prime Minister. Most of the Czechs who settled over time abroad live in the USA, and this figure may be as high as 1.7 million (representing about 85 % of all Czechs living abroad). In Florida there are about 42 000 people who cherish their Czech ancestry. It is primarily the young people, who came to the USA after 1989, who maintain the strongest ties to the Czech Republic and who are most interested in maintaining their ability to speak Czech. Support towards development of the Czech culture and teaching of Czech was granted to 58 project this year alone, with the Czech Republic contributing 3.8 million Czech korunas to these causes. The Deputy Prime Minister Bělobrádek also met with former American congressman Mr Joe Garcia on the first day of his official visit to Florida.

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