Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cuba: united opposition launches a new political platform

Still divided, the Cuban opposition presented to the press on Wednesday a new political platform called “The Way of the People”, presented by some as a project of “democratic transition” and by others as simply a “common position” .

More than fourty opposition leaders and former political prisoners of various currents and trends have endorsed this document proposes a “national dialogue”, “new laws”, a “referendum”, and remains open to new members.

Developed by Oswaldo Paya, leader of the Christian Liberation Movement and Sakharov Prize 2002 of the European Parliament, the document proposes to “establish a genuine national dialogue and to initiate an inclusive process of change.”

Among the signatories are the best-known opponents: Guillermo Fariñas, Sakharov Prize 2010 and led dozens of hunger strikes, Laura Pollan, leader of the Ladies in White, a group of wives and relatives of political prisoners-, liberal economist Martha Beatriz Roque, the Social Democrat Manuel Cuesta Morua or Elizardo Sanchez, the leader of the Cuban Commission of Human Rights, tolerated by the authorities.

Former political prisoners as Felix Navarro, Angel Moya, Guido Sigler and José Daniel Ferrer also among the signatories of the platform.

“The document was drafted by the signatories, and I am sure it is viable and necessary because the message is for all the people of Cuba,” he told AFP Oswaldo Paya.

In a “basic proposal”, the document calls for new legal provisions guaranteeing freedom of speech, press, association, worship, internal and external migration, and the right of citizens to run for public office.

Opponents also offer “a referendum for the people to decide sovereignly changes” constitutional and legal and paves the way for “citizen participation on this journey of change.”

Similarly, the signatories want the organization to “a national dialogue and free elections for all public office and for a Constituent Assembly.”

“More than a political project, I think it is mainly to express the will to establish a common position in specific circumstances,” he told AFP Manuel Cuesta Morua.

For Elizardo Sanchez, the document “provides a set of ideas that open a field for reflection, but it is not a proposal for a transition.” “This is a positive contribution to think the time of transition when it comes,” he added.

In half a century of communist rule in Cuba, opponents, considered by authorities as “mercenaries” in the pay of the United States have developed various projects and proposals for transition, all gone unheeded.

The best known, the “Varela Project”, named after a 19th century priest-independence, also developed and supported by Oswaldo Paya, was as a petition for a referendum on popular initiative. Presented to Parliament in 2002, the project has been buried by the assembly that wrote into the constitution the character “irrevocable” of socialism in Cuba.

The Cuban authorities, under the presidency of Raul Castro has launched in the spring a series of economic reforms designed to prevent the bankruptcy of a system modeled on the Soviet Union of the seventies, do not listen to proposals from dissidents and highlight the changes are also aimed at strengthening the system.

by Sandeep

Source: PISQA 

The whole document (in Spanish)

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