Resisting Dictatorship in Latin America with Berta Valle, Hamlet Lavastida, Miguel Henrique Otero

A panel including the owner of Venezuela’s last remaining independent newspaper, Miguel Henrique Otero; the wife of imprisoned Nicaraguan presidential candidate, Berta Valle; and recently released Cuban political prisoner, Hamlet Lavastida; discuss the threat of dictatorship in Latin America with CNN’s Melissa Mahtani at the 14th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks.

Miguel Henrique Otero:

“Venezuela is a corporation of evil. Everything is illegal.”

“All the cocaine that comes to Europe comes from Venezuela. Not by the cartels. It’s the government.”

“I don’t know why the international community doesn’t take this as an important issue for the security of the rest of the world.”

Hamlet Lavastida:

“The Cuban government doesn’t care if the people are suffering or not.”

“I know from my time in prison that the military has a lot of resources, but the people do not. They have a nice life, but Cubans do not.”

Berta Valle:

“In the case of Nicaragua, we have tried to do our best to bring change.”

“We are fighting against a regime that controls the police, the military, and they also have a paramilitary. And we have civilians trying to fight with rocks or their voices, so it’s really impossible to fight against this level of repression.”

“7 of the 10 presidential candidates in the last election are in prison right now.”

“We couldn’t make this transition to democracy in a peaceful way, so right now we believe the international community is the only way to go to press the regime for change.”

Full Remarks

To Be Confirmed

Speakers and Participants

Hamlet Lavastida

Cuban artist, former political prisoner, founder of artist-led San Isidro Movement

Berta Valle

Nicaraguan journalist, wife of opposition leader and political prisoner Félix Maradiaga



After the Arab Spring with Fouzia Elbayed

Fouzia Elbayed, Moroccan women’s rights advocate and former Member of Parliament, addresses the 7th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. Quotes: To Be Confirmed Full Remarks To Be Confirmed


The Hong Kong Protests: An Eyewitness Account with Denise Ho

Denise Ho, award-winning Hong Kong-based singer, actress and pro-democracy and LGBTQ rights activist, addresses the 12th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy — see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On her own involvement in the Hong Kong protests: “I started to understand the negative impacts of