A human rights conference is scheduled to open Tuesday in Havana, the capital of a regime with one of the world's worst human rights records. A driving force behind the conference is Antonio Rodiles, a democracy activist trained in physics and mathematics who has been working for years to create more space in Cuba for open debate. That space usually has been in his house, which he has turned into a kind of think tank and creative performance center for intellectuals, artists and human rights activists.
Mr. Rodiles, who left Cuba in 1998 and returned in 2007, has been a critic of the regime and has suffered for it. He was arrested, beaten and held without charge for 19 days in November 2012. Last summer, he and others started a movement, Citizen Demand for Another Cuba, urging the government to ratify and implement two U.N. covenants on human rights.
Now Mr. Rodiles has organized a conference marking the 65th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But the regime of Fidel and Raul Castro does not lightly tolerate such challenges to its authority.