Freedom House Attacked by Cuban Regime
In addition to the attack by the Cuban government, Freedom House was the target of a slander campaign which the organization claimed was sponsored by the Cuban regime. An anonymous leaflet was widely distributed to delegates at the Geneva conference accusing Freedom House of conducting industrial espionage in Havana and accusing a former Freedom House employee, Frank Calzon, of serving as a CIA agent.
According to Lisa Davis, a Freedom House representative at the Geneva event, Cuban government agents have been continually following her organization's delegation.
Freedom House President Adrian Karatnycky dismissed the allegations against his organization as "another pathetic attempt by the Cuban Communist regime to deflect attention from its dismal human rights record. For the record, Freedom House does not engage in espionage, although we have extended assistance to democratic dissidents in Cuba and elsewhere."
Karatnycky added that, in its latest survey of Freedom in the World, Freedom House had identified Cuba as one of the "worst of the worst," referring to a group of 13 countries which his organization listed as the world's most repressive. A report on the 13 most repressive countries was distributed by Freedom House at Geneva. "The truth hurts," he added, "and I suspect that the regime is acting out of rage and desperation at being grouped with Iraq, North Korea, and other brutal dictatorships."
Freedom House is focusing on religious persecution and freedom of expression at the Geneva conference. Its delegation at Geneva is headed by Otto Reich, former U.S. ambassador to Venezuela.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.