Cuban dissidents push for democracy

Cuban dissidents push for democracy
Agence France-Presse October 5, 2011 3:02 AM

Leading dissidents in Cuba on Tuesday launched a plan seeking a
transition to democracy after more than five decades of one-party rule.

Ratcheting up potential for a clash with the government – led by
President Raul Castro, 80, and still centrally planned more than two
decades after the end of the Cold War – they signed a document seeking a
"non-violent civic struggle" to try to force "change to a democratic

Among the signatories is Guillermo Farinas, a renowned activist awarded
the European Parliament's 2010 Sakharov human rights prize and
considered a candidate for this year's Nobel Peace Prize. Recently
released political prisoners also signed on including Oscar Biscet, Jose
Ferrer, Guido Sigler and Librado Linares.

"This is a document that is trying to be unifying and not come as an
imposition," said Farinas.

Cuban authorities arrested more political opponents in September than in
any other month in the past 30 years, a banned but tolerated dissidents
rights group said on Monday. "The high level of political repression
shows a complete lack of political will on the part of the regime to
improve the situation of civil, political, economic and cultural rights
of the vast majority of the population," the Cuban Commission for Human
Rights and National Reconciliation said.

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