A Florida-based group that advocates for democracy in Cuba has written to St. Vincent and the Grenadines Opposition Leader, Arnhim Eustace, expressing solidarity with embattled Opposition Senator, Vynnette Frederick.
Eustace said on his New Democratic Party’s (NDP) radio programme on Tuesday that he had received a letter from John Suarez, international secretary of Directorio Democratico Cubano.
Directorio Democratico Cubano, Spanish for Cuban Democratic Directorate, was founded in 1990 and says it works for democracy in Cuba by way of a civic, nonviolent struggle.
In his letter to Eustace, Suarez said that members of his organisation have met and interacted with Frederick at international fora, “where she has always represented the interest of the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, demonstrating both her her courage and profound love of country.
“She has demonstrated her solidarity with people whose human rights have been systematically violated…” Eustace quoted the letter as saying.
“We have been following with great concern the reports emerging from St. Vincent about the anti-democratic tactics being used by the state to silence Senator Vynnette Frederick, a courageous opposition voice.
“We stand in solidarity with the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines who are engaged in the struggle against the erosion of our rights and freedoms,” the letter further said.
Frederick, a lawyer and candidate for the opposition in the 2010 general elections, was arrested on July 11 and nine charges relating to false declarations, swearing falsely, and fabricating evidence were brought against her.
The charges came hours after a magistrate dismissed six similar charges against her, stemming from a private complaint she made against Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves for statements he made during the campaign for the 2010 general elections.
“So the matter is taking on a life of its own because people are always concerned about rights. And when you stand up, people admire the fact that you stand up. And it is very, very important,” Eustace said in relation to Suarez’s letter.
A Jamaican radio programme that deal with matters of law and order also discussed the case last week.
The NDP has attempted to portray the senator as a victim of political persecution, while Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has portrayed her as a liar who has fallen victim to her own devices.