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Cuban agent: 'Opposition is finished'

©Associated Press

April 23, 2003

HAVANA -- An undercover Cuban agent credited with giving some of the most damaging courtroom evidence against dissidents said the island's opposition movement has been shattered.

"The opposition is finished, it has ended, it will never lift its head again," Aleida de las Mercedes Godinez said. "The opposition will never flourish again -- never!"

Monday's interview with Godinez was the first in a series of government-organized interviews the agents are giving to the international media.

The families of some of the 75 dissidents who were quickly convicted and sentenced to jail this month acknowledged the severe damage caused by the undercover agents, particularly Godinez.

She was a key leader of a coalition called the Assembly for the Promotion of Civil Society and had allied with the dissidents since 1994, sometimes working as an independent journalist.

The dissidents were convicted on charges of being mercenaries working with U.S. diplomats to subvert Fidel Castro's government.

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