Cuban Dissidents Launch Worldwide Web Site

By Jim Burns | July 7, 2008 | 8:10 PM EDT

( - A group that opposes the Castro government announced Friday the launch of a website designed to show the other side of the official government's take on life in the communist nation.

The Cuban Institute of Independent Economists said their website will be the first run by dissidents from within the communist nation.

"Our objective is to open a window on a part of civil society in Cuba," said Martha Beatriz Roque, the institute's director at a Havana press conference. She was released from jail last year after nearly three years there on charges of inciting sedition.

The website will contain news from over 100 dissident groups and monthly reports on the Cuban economy and opinions as well as photos that will show a "grimmer side" of Cuban society.

Internet access is limited in Cuba but the group is able to send information abroad by e-mail because the Cuban-run phone company "ETECSA" recently began selling Internet access cards at $15 for five hours.

The Castro government reacted saying the dissidents are "counter-revolutionaries" who are taking orders and money from anti-Castro Cuban-American groups in Miami.

The website - - was still "under construction" when checked Friday.

"This page is done entirely from Cuba, only using technical help abroad. We don't want to be behind a curtain. We want a space for people to see us," said Roque.

Meanwhile, a leading American defense and national security expert thinks Cuban leader Fidel Castro should continue to be watched and shown for what he is because he continues to play a role in worldwide terrorism, especially against the United States.

Castro is now 75 years old, but Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy, still thinks he is a "danger" to the world.

"It is tremendously important to appreciate that while clearly Castro personally is in his dotage, he's still a dangerous actor, and under his form of totalitarianism there is still stuff going on in Cuba and with his help in much of Latin America," said Gaffney in a speech at the Leadership Institute in Washington.

"That represents part and parcel of this global war on terrorism," he added.

"Fidel is actively involved and still trying to promote communist insurgencies in places like Colombia with the narco-terrorists. He's collaborating with this new authoritarian lunatic, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. He's aiding and abetting instability in Panama which Chinese would like to be able to run from now on," Gaffney said.

"This is in our backyard, ladies and gentlemen," he said. "And we absolutely have to be mindful of Fidel's continuing role in it, and his regime is one that should be high on the list of those that need to go and the liberation of people of Cuba should be a high priority for us for the next year as well."