People in Need  Human Rights  Latin American Programme

Latin American Programme

Latin American Programme

Cuban independent artist El Sexto spent almost one year in jail for organizing an happening that had never been realized.

Foto: CubaRaw

People in Need (PIN) has been active in Latin America since 1997 when it began its activities in Cuba sending travelers to the island to provide local activists with material support. In the first few years this consisted mainly of typewriters and transistor radios, in later years they brought computers and mobile phones. Equally important was moral support and information about activities in the rest of the world which was inaccessible to the local people due to the isolation of the island, ban on free travel and severe restrictions to press freedom. Since 1997 several hundred travelers have visited Cuba with PIN’s support, many well-known personalities among them.

At the beginning of 2003 during what became known as the Black Spring, the Cuban regime imprisoned 75 well-known dissidents and subsequently sentenced them to several years of imprisonment. In reaction to this PIN organised a series of protests and  participated in the creation of the International Commission for Democracy in Cuba (ICDC), members of which included various leading personalities from both Europe and the Americas. Thanks to the work of this commission, as well as others, the 75 prisoners were eventually all granted early release.

In 2009 PIN’s work expanded to supporting smaller projects. PIN provides local organisations and activists with grants every six months the aim of which is not only the completion of projects but also the development of independent groups functioning in various sectors of public life.

Since 2013 the Cuban government has allowed its citizens to leave the country without requesting a travel permit. PIN has consequently provided more than 150 activists with training in foreign countries and has helped them participate in a number of international forums.

Based on the experiences gained during more than 15 years of work in Cuba, in 2013 PIN expanded its human rights programs to Central America (Nicaragua) and South America (Venezuela). In these counties PIN supports local organisations and activists through small grants and assists them in their advocacy activities in Europe.

The Latin America Program has three fundamental pillars:

  • Direct support for politically persecuted activists and their families
  • Support of civil societies through small grants and training in their countries or abroad
  • Support of organisations and activists on an international level, especially in EU institutions

More information here.

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