November 2nd, 2017 | Victims of Communism

Victims of Communism — Memorial Foundation

November 2nd, 2017


Belarusian Opposition Leader Sentenced To Ten Days In Jail
A court in Belarus has sent opposition leader Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu to jail for 10 days after ruling that he made calls for an illegal public gathering. The Lenin District Court in Minsk ruled on November 1 that Nyaklyaeu’s words in an interview with BelSAT television on October 16, when he said that “if there is a need to defend somebody’s rights, it is necessary to go out of the houses and defend them,” qualified as calls to hold a public event without permission from the authorities.



China Bans Major Prayer Festival at Larung Gar
Authorities in southwestern China’s Sichuan province have shut down preparations for a major prayer gathering at the Larung Gar Buddhist Academy, further tightening government control over the institution, sources said. The ban reverses an earlier decision to allow the festival, called Dechen Shedrub, to go forward. “Initially, the Chinese government granted permission to hold the annual prayer festival, which was set to begin on November 6th,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “But on October 29th, the government revoked that decision and made an announcement saying the festival would be banned.”

China Blinks On South Korea, Making Nice After A Year Of Hostilities
Jane Perlez and Choe Sang-hun, The New York Times
For more than a year, China has been railing against South Korea, recently encouraging boycotts of its products over a decision to let the United States deploy an antimissile system that Beijing fears threatens its own security. But on Tuesday, China abruptly changed course, essentially saying “never mind,” as the two countries agreed to end their dispute even though South Korea is keeping the system in place. Xi Jinping appears to have decided that he could afford to blink, calculating that his continued opposition to the United States’ deployment of the missile defense system was not succeeding in undermining Seoul’s alliance with Washington.



Cuba Blocks Religious Charities From Providing Aid to Hurricane Irma Victims, Pastor Says
Samuel Smith, Christian Post
A Cuban pastor who was arrested last year when former US President Barack Obama visited the nation is warning that the communist government has taken action against missionaries for trying to provide humanitarian support to those who have been victimized by Hurricane Irma. Pastor Mario Félix Lleonart Barroso, a Cuban missionary and human rights activist who’s been arrested numerous times for his opposition to the totalitarian government is warning that the Cuban regime has not responded adequately to devastation caused by Hurricane Irma even though countless Cubans lost their homes and properties in the first Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the island nation in over 80 years.

Trump Administration Defends Cuba Embargo at UN, Reversing Obama
Rick Gladstone, The New York Times
The United States on Wednesday revived its objection to an annual United Nations General Assembly resolution deploring the American trade embargo on Cuba, a year after having abstained from the vote for the first time. The reversal, which left the United States nearly isolated on the issue at the United Nations, reflected the toughened attitude toward Cuba by President Trump, who has distanced his administration from the historic thaw in relations begun by his predecessor, Barack Obama.



North Korean Defector To Congress: Invest More In Information Campaigns To Stop Pyongyang
Rebecca Kheel, The Hill
A high-ranking North Korean defector is recommending that US lawmakers greatly increase the dissemination of information inside the isolated country, saying funding for such efforts pales in comparison to US military spending but will ultimately be more effective. “We cannot change the policy of terror of the Kim Jong Un regime. But we can educate North Korean population to stand up by disseminating outside information,” Thae Yong-ho told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday. “The US is spending billions of dollars to cope with the military threat. And yet how much does the US spend each year on information activities involving North Korea in a year?”

Two Hundred Feared Dead After Tunnel Collapses At North Korean Nuclear Test Site
Katherine Lam, Fox News
About 200 people are feared dead in North Korea after underground tunnels at a nuclear test site that was feared to be unstable reportedly collapsed, crushing 100 people in the initial cave-in and 100 others when the tunnels again gave way on top of rescuers. The collapse at the Punggye-ri test site on Oct. 10 occurred while people were doing construction on the underground tunnel, Japan’s Asahi TV reported, citing a source in North Korea. The television station also said North Korea’s sixth nuclear test on Sept. 3 most likely caused the tunnel to crumble and created serious damage in the region.



Magnitsky Family Thanks Canada For Standing Up To Global Corruption
Levon Sevunts, RCI
The widow and son of a Russian whistleblower, whose death in a Moscow prison has come to symbolize the growing chasm between the West and the Kremlin, said they came to Canada to thank the country for pushing ahead with legislation targeting corrupt foreign officials worldwide. Last month, despite fierce opposition from Moscow, Canada became the fourth country to adopt human rights legislation inspired by Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian tax consultant who died in pre-trial detention eight years ago after helping to expose a giant tax-fraud scheme allegedly perpetrated by law enforcement officials in Russia.



Will US Downplay Human Rights As It Turns To Vietnam As An Ally Against China?
Democracy Digest
On the occasion of the trip to the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, human rights attorney Nguyen Thi Duong Ha has sent a letter on prisoners of conscience in Vietnam to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump. She cited the case of her husband, democracy advocate Dr. Cu Huy Ha Vu (right), formerly a Reagan-Fascell fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy, who was arrested in 2010 and sentenced to seven years in prison.



Venezuela Bond Holders Are In The Dark On PDVSA Payment Status
Katia Porzecanski, Ben Bartenstein, and Christine Jenkins, BloombergMarkets
While PDVSA said on the due date that the money had been sent, capping days of speculation about whether the oil producer would default, investors didn’t receive the money in their accounts. There’s been no communication on the part of company or government officials since they said last week that they made the payment “despite the illegal and illegitimate sanctions” imposed on the country by the US.



Vietnam To Try Activist On “Abusing Democratic Freedoms” Charge
A Vietnamese labor and environmental activist arrested in May after campaigning against Hanoi’s handling of a devastating toxic waste spill will be tried for “abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the state,” his lawyer told RFA’s Vietnamese service on Wednesday. Hoang Duc Binh, 34, was arrested central Vietnam’s Nghe An province on May 15, more than a year after organizing protests over the government’s response to the April 2016 waste spill by Taiwan-owned Formosa Plastics Group’s steel plant, which killed an estimated 115 tons of fish and left fishermen jobless in four coastal provinces.



November 2nd, 1917: The Petrograd Military Revolutionary Committee, an appendage of the Petrograd Soviet, convenes for the first time.

November 2nd, 1930: Coronation of Haile Selassie I as Emperor of Ethiopia. Selassie will later die in communist custody.

November 2nd, 1966: The Cuban Adjustment Act comes into force, drastically easing immigration restrictions on refugees from communist Cuba.