Dissident leaders carry a united message to the Americas Summit in Panama

Dissident leaders carry a united message to the Americas Summit in
Panama / 14ymedio, EFE
Posted on April 4, 2015

14ymedio/EFE, Havana, 3 April 2015 –Several leaders of the Cuban
opposition and independent civil society made public Friday a document
title “A United Message to the Seventh Summit of the Americas” under the
slogan “Yo soy Cuba” (I am Cuba). In the text they point out that the “
the full insertion of the Cuban government in the inter-American system
is incompatible with the principles of the Inter-American Democratic

The document is signed by Felix Navarro, Pedro Luis Boitel Party for
Democracy; Manuel Cuesta Morua, Progressive Arc; Guillermo Fariñas,
United Antitotalitarian Front; Iván Hernández Carrillo, Trade Unionist;
José Daniel Ferrer, the Patriotic Union of Cuba; Carmelo Bermúdez
Rosabal, Progressive Arc; Juan Antonio Madrazo, Committee for Racial
Integration, and groups such as Citizens for Democracy, Municipalities
in Opposition, among others.

The signers enumerated at least seven points that demonstrate the
undemocratic nature of the Cuban government. Among them are the
repression, the existence and political prisoners and prisoners of
conscience, the harassment of entrepreneurs, the unwillingness to ratify
the United Nations Covenants on Civil, Political, Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights, the existence of a single-party regime that does not
allow the alternation of power, the inability of citizen to choose among
different political alternatives, and the prohibition of multi-party
representative democracy.

Their purpose is that the Summit of Americas, on April 10-11, is an
“opportunity” to recognize “the legitimacy of the independent Cuban
civil society within the island and in the diaspora as a valid
interlocutor of the Cuban people,” opponent Manuel Cuesta Morúa, leader
of the Cuban Progressive Arc Party said today.

Cuesta Morúa explained that the Ladies in White are not currently
included because the project promoters have not been able to talk to the
leader of the women’s group, Berta Soler, because she is outside the
country, although they have not ruled out that she will join with them
in Panama, during the summit.

In any case, there are more than dozen organizations behind this project
representing what they call “independent civil society” within Cuba and
in exile, groups that “cover the entire political spectrum,” said Cuesta

He will be one of those charged with carrying this united proposal to
the social forums of the Summit of the Americas, a meeting the Cuban
government will attend for the first time and that will be the site of
the expected meeting between the presidents of Cuba, Raul Castro, and of
the United States, Barack Obama, the first after their diplomatic thaw.

Besides Cuesta Morua and Fariñas, other dissidents who will attend in
Panama include Berta Soler, the leader of the Ladies in White; Elizardo
Sanchez of the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National
Reconciliation (CCDHRN); and representatives of UNPACU, although not its
leader José Daniel Ferrer.

Ferrer, who is not allowed to leave the island because he was one of the
political prisoners of the “Group of 75” released on parole in 2010, is
one of the charged with organizing a social forum parallel to the summit
in Panama within the island.

On April 10 two civil society forums will be held in Cuba, one in
Santiago de Cuba and another in Havana, to present the “united message”
within the island as well, and to gather people’s proposals with regards
to what to work on going forward.

“It will be about a coming together of those of us who feel ourselves to
be members of the democratic open space to share views about the need
for changes in human rights, freedoms and the election system, given
that Cuba is not the only country on the continent with a single party,”
Ferrer explained to EFE.

In the joint statement, these groups demand that Cuba’s participation in
the summit for the first time serve the ends of the final insertion of
the island into the inter-American system following the principles of
the Inter-American Democratic Charter.

In this sense, they denounce the repression of those exercising the
rights of expression, assembly and association in Cuba; the existence of
political prisoners; the prohibition of a representative and multiparty
democracy; the refusal to consult the people about their future; and the
unwillingness to ratify the UN Covenants on civil, political, economic,
social and cultural rights.

The social forums to be held in parallel with the summit in Panama, will
also be attended by more than one hundred representatives of Cuban civil
society and government organizations on the island.

The text prepared by these activists expresses different views and the
“rich diversity, in the Agreement for Democracy, in the Points of Cuban
Consensus, in the proposals of the Forum for Rights and Freedoms, and
the Open Space Four Points of Consensus.”

The document also reflects the willingness of “most of our alternatives”
to “working together, in order to return Cuba as a free and sovereign
nation to a hemispheric environment where democracy and institutional
respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms prevail.”

Source: Dissident leaders carry a united message to the Americas Summit
in Panama / 14ymedio, EFE | Translating Cuba –

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