About the Migratory “Reforms” / Jorge Luis Garcia Perez Antunez #Cuba

In February 2008, the United States government granted me a special humanitarian visa for my consequent admission into Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami in order to treat my severe cardiovascular infection which I still have. Because I put as a condition real guarantees of returning as soon as I finished the examinations, and not accepting the humiliating condition of permanent exit from the country, the political police denied me the famous exit permit.

Friend who follows me on Twitter, it still has not occurred to me to reactivate my passport, foreseeing the little Castro-communist game. But if I ask myself, in the case of seeking it, will the tyranny permit me to leave to go to the hospital and then return, knowing that I will neither shut up nor leave?

Camarioca, in the ’60’s. Mariel in the ’80’s. The rafter crisis in 1994. And now, the migratory reformers: the escape valves continue, the strategies continue, the bleeding of our nation by the Castro-communist tyranny continues.

Alert, compatriots. Alert, compatriots. This can be a little game of incalculable and dire consequences for our nation.

Translated by mlk

January 15 2013

Attack on Antunez in Placetas / Luis Felipe Rojas #Cuba


Jorge Luis Garcia Perez “Antunez” – Photo by Tracey Eaton

Democratic Cuban Directorate, Miami, December 3, 2012. In the city of Placetas Jorge Luis Garcia Perez “Antunez” reported that at noon he was traveling on his bicycle to his home, and at the intersection of South 5th Street at the corner of West 6th, a police car came behind him, toward the place where he was riding. On turning on his bike toward a street to the right, he followed his instinct for self-preservation, the cop car managed only to brush him from behind, and the police, visibly nervous, ask him for his identity card and detained him.

“Looking back I realize that had this attack of the cop car against me taken place next to the little bridge there that I would have fallen and broken my neck, it would have killed me. This worries me greatly considering the number of threats that I am receiving from the police; the threats I received in Camagey when I was arrested, they were going to kill me, they would not allow me to continue to promote activities in the streets. Death threats recently in the province of Holguín when I was arrested. That hatred and that viciousness that the military doesn’t hide when they confront me,” complained Antunez.

December 4 2012

Members of the internal Cuban Resistance reaffirm their pledge to keep up the fight for democratic change in the streets of Cuba / Jorge Luis García Pérez Antunez

Today is the 27th of November 2012 and after having sung the notes of the National Hymn a group of Cuban resistance members, militants from different organizations of the peaceful opposition, are here in the city of Placetas on the roof top of the home headquarters and we are and are going to give a reading in the voice of Sara Marta Fonseca Quevedo of a joint statement of various organizations about themes of the Cuban resistance.


Many opposition organizations gathered in the city of Placetas this November 27, 2012, in order to draft and make known this joint statement in which they express their commitment and collaboration, as well as their reciprocal loyalty in moments in which the regime through its political police becomes embroiled in a dirty and pre-meditated campaign to bleed the vital forces of the Cuban resistance, specifically those who have contributed most to that important breach and earnedareas of freedom.

The Cuban Party for Human Rights affiliated with the Andrei Sakharov Foundation, the Rosa Parks Women’s Movement for Civil Rights, the House of the Prisoner Ernesto Diaz Madruga, the Mario Manuel de la Pena Movement for Human Rights, the Cuban Association of Free Yorubas, the Pedro Luis Boitel National Civil Resistance Movement, want to let emerge in an open and responsible way our resolute decision to respond with unity, commitment and activism to the despicable effort to remove the internal resistance from the streets and public spaces in order to return them to their homes and enclosed places.

Those present here, all promoters of civil disobedience as a fighting strategy, want to make quite clear our unconditional support for any civilian project that may be put into practice, emphasizing our priorityof those initiatives thatfurther international repercussion and other media impacts that may promote change, from the citizen, from the actual phases and taking into account the potential factors for democratic change.


Damaris Moya Portieles, Central Opposition Coalition

Yaite Dianeyes Cruz Sosa, Rosa Parks Movement for Civil Rights and Central Opposition Coalition

Orestes Eusebio Hernandez Guevara, Cuban Free Yorubas Association and Central Opposition Coalition

Blas Augusto Fortin Martinez, Mario Manuel de la Pena Movement and Central Opposition Coalition

Yris Tamara Perez Aguilera, Rosa Parks Women’s Movement for Civil Rights and Central Opposition Coalition

Arturo Conde Zamora, Pedro Luis Boitel Civil National Resistance Movement and Central Opposition Coalition

Jorge Luis Garcia Perez Antunez, Orlando Zapata Civil Resistance and Disobedience Front

Also added to this statement:

Jorge Vazquez Chaviano, Cuban Party for Human Rights affiliated with the Andrei Sajarov Foundation and the Central Opposition Coalition

Segundo Rey Cabrera Gonzalez, Cuban Committee for Human Rights and the Central Opposition Coalition

From the Youth Movement for Democracy and the Juan Pablo II Movement for Human Rights:

Roberto Gonzalez Pelegrin

Rodai Matos Matos

Yunier Jimemez de la Cruz

Francisco Luis Manzanet Ortiz

Jorge Leiva Serrat

Jesus Pena Ramirez

Luis Noa Silva

Emilio Almaguer de la Cruz

Reinier Reina Salas

Randy Caballero Suarez

Rolando Rodriguez Lobaina, National Coordinator for the Eastern Democratic Alliance

Donaida Perez Paseiro, Rosa Parks Women’s Movement for Civl Rights and the Central Opposition Coalition

Loreto Hernandez Garcia, Cuban Free Yorubas Association and the Central Opposition Coalition

Luis Enrique Santos Caballero, Central Opposition Coalition

Jose Lino Ascencio Lopez Central Opposition Coalition

Barbara Moya Portieles Central Opposition Coalition

Juana Contreras Aguilar Central Opposition Coalition

Yanoisis Contreras Aguilar Central Opposition Coalition

Xiomara Martinez Jimenez, Rosa Parks Women’s Movement for Civil Rights and the Central Opposition Coalition

Sara Marta Fonseca Quevedo, Cuban Party for Human Rights affiliated with the Andrei Sakharov Foundation

Long live the internal resistance! Viva!

Long live the Cuban Party for Human Rights affiliated with the Andrei Sakharov Foundation! Viva!

Long live the Pedro Luis Boite National Civil Resistance Movement! Viva!

Long live the Rosa ParksWomen’s Movement for Civil Rights! Viva!

Long live the Front! Viva!

Long live free Cuba! Viva!

The streets are of the people!

We are all Resistance!

Attention, attention, we are informing you that before undertaking this activity military troops armed with bladed weapons have just entered thechildren’s circlelocated next to my home, the Golden Age, there is stupor, there is fear, there are several relatives that have approached this circle to take their children and we are blaming the communist Castro tyranny in the person of Raul Jazares, chief of the political police for the psychological damage that the sight of those firearms may cause to those little children.

Jorge Luis Garcia Perez Antunez, Orlando Zapata Civil Resistance and Disobedience Front

We want to highlight that we dedicatedtoday’s celebration to the honor of the eight medical students who one day like today werekilled by the cowardly bullets of the Spanish colonialists.

Jorge Luis Garcia Perez Antunez, Orlando Zapate Civil Resistance and Disobedience Front

Translated by mlk

November 27 2012

The Teacher of Teachers Left / Jorge Luis Garcia Perez Antunez

Luis Felipe Rojas arrives in exile. 25 October 2012

Yesterday the dissident Cuban writer Luis Felipe Rojas Rosabel, author of the blog “Crossing the Barbed Wire,” left the Holguin city of San German for the land of the free. Today, therefore, is a very sad day both for the opposition as well as for independent journalists and the Cuban blogosphere, because the teacher of teachers has left, a complete authority on discourse and recommendations for writers and bloggers, and above all a true specialist on sending multimedia via cellphones.

Rojas Rosabel was the first journalist to whom I granted an interview in April of 2007 after I got out of prison. We owe him a lot: expert in sending Twitters and multimedia, exemplary patriot, religious Cuban and sensible guajiro. Rojas Rosabel leaves a big hole in his party, extremely difficult to fill, but a pleasant memory and the most positive of impressions.

In his native San German, the repressive forces took the opportunity to try to fabricate a dissident intellectual from a left-leaning and extreme moderate to counteract Luis Felipe and his important work, a move that struck at the dignity and firmness of purpose of our brother whom we are sure that, from the land of the free, will continue as a leader, teacher, fighter and committed patriot and above all a source of pride for all of us who had the honor to meet his and share with him in the struggle.

One more Cuban who is forced to leave his homeland, to protect his existence and that of his family. One more friend who left and whom I don’t know if I will ever see again. One more reason to continue fighting, proud of the chosen path. When men like Luis Felipe Rojas Rosabel exist, despite the difficulties and geographic distance, we are convinced that the freedom of Cuba may be delayed, but it is certain, very certain.

October 26 2012

A Declaration from Virginia / Jorge Luis Garcia Perez Antunez

Points of the declaration from Virginia.

The signatories below, members of a countless number of organizations which make up the Central Opposition Coalition, an entity affiliated with the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Front of Civic Resistance, have gathered this Wednesday, 3rd of October 2012, in the already historic and war-hardened neighborhood of Virginia, in Santa Clara, where we will write down in a public declaration of principles the following aspects and commitments.

1- Today those who sign and seal this declaration support the initiative named “Civic Demand for Another Cuba”.

– At the same time, all and each of those present ratify the viable character of the program “Towards a National Stoppage” as a continuity and colophon to the campaign of No Cooperation in its first and second stages. As promoters of the same, we make clear that with the campaign “Towards a National Stoppage” we initially make a call to take consciousness on the side of the Cuban population of the necessity to create conditions that permit, with the participation of all Cubans, a gradual stoppage of economic, political and social structures and mainly the repressive ones of the Castro Communism.

3- Those making this declaration today in the Neighborhood of Virginia see with consent and patriotic prid ethe birth and positive development of Homes of the Prisoner in Cuba, genuine expression of the maturity of the unanimity of a nation that they try to divide based on absurd categorizations.

4- At times when the forces of domestic resistance suffer like never before from the repressive onslaught of the tyranny, we request solidarity from the international community. From our hard reality we pray so that the people of Venezuela rescue again the destiny of this brother nation and with it the futureand stability of our hemisphere.

5- The Central Opposition Coalitionand the National Front of Civic Resistance Orlando Zapata Tamayo, ratifies its executive structure in Cuba, as well as to ratify the Assembly of Cuban Resistance as our representative outside Cuba.


Rolando García Casa de Vals, Yanisbel Valido Pérez, Arturo Conde Zamora, Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera, Alcides Rivera Rodríguez, Carlos Michael Morales Rodríguez, Alexei Sotolongo Díaz, Rolando Ferrer Espinosa, Leticia Ramos Herrería who was arrested trying to get there, Alberto Reyes Morales, Miuchel Oliva López, Xiomara Martín Jiménez, Mayra Conyedo García, Onelia Alfonso Hernández, Idania Yanez Contreras, Aramilda Contreras Rodríguez, Damaris Moyas Portieles, Jorge Luis García Pérez Antunez, Santa González Pedroso, arrested trying to arrive, Julio Columbie Batista, arrested trying to arrive, Irael Pérez Díaz, arrested trying to arrive, our brothers Ricardo Pupo Sierra and his brave troop in Cienfuegos who are detained in their own houses and because of safety reasons a high number of brothers who in this moments are either arrested, are being arrested or simply detained in their own houses.

Among the present organizations are found Resistance Movement, Rosa Parks Women Movement, Nationalist Party of Cuba, The Home of the Prisoner, among others, all the organizations ratify their unconditional permanence, eternal and faithful to the Coalition of Central Opposition and we recognize our leader Idania Yánez Contreras as figure who most gathers us together with most important, serious, genuine leadership of the opposition in the center of the country.

Long Live the Coalition of Central Opposition.

Long Live Domestic Resistance.

Long Live Free Cuba.

Translated by: Anony GY

October 4 2012

Message to Cubans Within and Outside Cuba and to International Public Opinion / Jorge Luis Garcia Perez Antunez

Message to Cubans Within and Outside Cuba and to International Public Opinion from Jorge Luis Garcia Perez “Antunez” on the 15th of September

Read in the voice of Nonaida Paseiro Perez, the women’s right movement formed from the Rosa Parks Women’s Movement for Civil Rights.

After feeling my health worsen due to my hunger strike that lasted several days, and reacting to what appeared about the start and the demand of my protest in various media, I wanted to clarify the following.

First: I started the hunger strike on Friday September 7 at 6 pm, and not on Monday the 10th as did other opponents after giving a press conference.

Second: My demand is the release of political prisoner Jorge Vazquez Chaviano, or to give him a solution satisfying and acceptable to him. I am also protesting for the deplorable situation of the human rights in Cuba that occurs because of the systematic political accusation against me which is implied in the practice of house arrest.

For reasons of principle and not trusting in the existing health care system, controlled by another political policy, do not accept medical attention. From the previous statement it follows that only in an unconscious state if on their own initiative relatives or countrymen would take me to a health center due to their human feelings and sentiments.

Translated by Steven Guas, Michael Martinez, Austin Sprinkle, Richard Hidalgo, Matthew Marini

September 15 2012

Why I Stay (Part 2) / Jorge Luis Garcia Perez Antunez

I stay in Cuba and do not leave because otherwise I cannot imagine having to ask for a white card or exit permit in order to permanently choose the place where I want to spend the rest of my life. I stay in Cuba because I could not bear the humiliation of having to seek permissionfrom my country’s oppressors to return to my homeland at a time and for a period of their choosing. I prefer to stay because I fear that I will forget how to say “gracias” and “adiós,” and adapt to saying “thank you” and “bye.” Or will trade “está bien” for “O.K.”

I stay because in the hot afternoons of summer I prefer the breeze that comes down from the mountain to huddling in rooms where boxes with fake air called air-conditioning seem to chill you to your bones. I believe it is better to stay and thus avoid the tormented nostalgia of not being able to return to the plot of land where I was born, or the thought that my community, the Yuma, might say I am a foreigner and not a Cuban.

If you ask me why I stay, I would say because I believe in change and I want to be as close as possible when it comes. I stay because, if I left, my oppressors would no doubt say there is one less—one less anti-establishment voice, one less person protesting in the streets. I stay because, by doing so, I help to discredit those who say the ultimate objective of any dissident is to leave Cuba. I stay because every day I remember the torture and mistreatment I suffered for more than seventeen yearsin political prison, where they did not even let me attend my mother’s funeral.

I choose to stay each time I see the bite marks from the political police’s attack dogs. I stay because I have no feeling for Anglo-Saxon culture. Because my language is Spanish and my classics are those of Cervantes and not Shakespeare. Because since I was little I babbled the word “mamá” and not “mother.” And because no one can take away my second surname—my mother’s family name—as is common practice in countries of the north.

I stay because I cannot stand another way of life being imposed on me, living with strangers and being far away from where there is so much to do. I stay because my efforts at liberation are aimed at encouraging the thousands and thousands of my compatriots who have struggled for the return of a free Cuba, such as the brothers with long prison sentences, their family members, the victims and finally the a very significant segment of my people forced into exile.

I believe that my duty before leaving is to fight for the return and reunion of everyone in a free Cuba. Therefore I stay, especially when I imagine the sadness of our martyrs who died on foreign soil without seeing their fatherland free—martyrs likeJulio Machado, Mario Chanes de Armas, Eusebio Peñalver, Msgr. Agustín Román, Fr. Loreto and all the many anonymous heroes buried in faraway lands. For all of them and for those who died in Castro’s dungeons, firing squads or the Straits of Florida. Or those likeLaura Pollán, Osvaldo Payá and Harold Cepero, victims of the subtle brutality of Castro’s tyranny. For all of the above I stay.

September 14 2012

Rosa Parks Women Movement for Civil Rights Announces March in Honor of the Fallen Every Thursday / Jorge Luis García Pérez Antunez

The Rosa Parks Women’s Movement for Civil Rights announces that on Thursday it held its second weekly march in honor of the fallen despite the brutal arrests the members were subject to during the first march on 30 August; so we put out a wake-up call to national and international public opinion urging them to closely follow our march and that we fear for our lives.

These marches, which are called the weekly Rosa Parks Movement Marches to Honor the Fallen replace the earlier marches that were held by the women on the first of each month and will begin at the national headquarters of this movement which is located on Seventh Street South, No. 5, between Paseo Marti and Primera del Este in the municipality of Villa Clara, Placetas. The path of the march will be from Paseo to Primera del Norte, where it will turn left, returning to Park Cazayas to the Catholic church of St. Athanasius at this location.

These marches will be extended to the length and breadth of the island as above. The activists of the Movement chose Thursdays unanimously to hold the march, as the Day of the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Civic Resistance Front and Civil Disobedience to which we are affiliated, and our dress will remain our usual black clothes of mourning, as we reflect on those who fell defending the homeland, praying the Our Father for each arrest caused by the repressive forces.

St. Athanasius Catholic Church, where the women of the Rosa Parks attend Mass every Thursday, is located on West Second Street and the corner of North First Street in the municipality Placetas, Villa Clara province.

Submitted in Placetas on September 5, 2012.

September 5 2012

Campaign for a National General Strike / Jorge Luis García Pérez Antunez

The National General Strike is an important initiative sponsored by theOrlando Zapata TamayoNational Front for Civic Resistance and Disobedience. As its name indicates, this initiative seeks a partial paralysis of the entire national infrastructure through strong and systematic actions by the forces of internal resistance. In its first and second stages the General Strike is part of a continuing campaign of non-cooperation. This strike can be successful only after a real and resolute decision by a significant number of citizens to deny responsibility for, or to cooperate with, the oppressive regime.

It must be made clear that, although the National Front is calling for and sponsoring this crucial campaign, it can only be viable with the participation of each and every constituency for change, whether it be the National Front, political parties, movements, regional coalitions—in other words the energetic forces of Cuban resistance, which are the primary vehicle of democratic change.

The campaign for the National General Strike will use only peaceful means so that no constituencies which take part can in any way confuse the strike with economic sabotage, or the destruction of or attacks on state or private property.

It is the policy of the General Strike to be dissuasive and persuasive, acknowledging that, to succeed, we must work patiently, motivated by great faith and certainty. The only true potential for change comes from citizens who support us, as well as those who simply look upon us with indifference, fear or admiration for what we are doing. This includes those we see walking beside us, in line behind us, from a private office, and even those attacking us in so-called acts of repudiation. All can unite with us and contribute to the great day of the General Strike.

The campaign for a General Strike can, in a powerful way, also help to do away with the worrying fear of change that persists in many areas of society, especially among those who are ill-informed and those most compromised by the current regime.

The concept must be clearly understood, both by the promoters of the General Strike as well as by those who hear its message. The purpose of the strike is not to destroy, obstruct or cause damage to anyone or anything. Its intention is to peacefully boycott the means of production that confer profits on those who misgovern the millions of Cubans who are hungry, oppressed, and without liberty or the right to protest.

The Strike is a decision and commitment by everyone, or by a great and significant majority of Cubans, to say, “Enough!” The strategy of the General Strike is in accordance with basic, universally recognized rights and freedoms, which—together with the peaceful tactics it employs—gives it legitimacy and puts it in harmony with human dignity itself, something of primary importance.

Though a recent idea,one born that was born in Cuba, the strategy of the General Strike Campaign is based on innumerable precedents and inspired by similar actions around the globe. These have been successful in spite of a number of differing circumstances, such as culture and language.

The change which the General Strike seeks is viable under any circumstance in the struggle against the oppressive and totalitarian system.

The first phase of the campaign is outlined below:

To effect a total or partial strike before doing the necessary preparation or raising public awareness is so unlikely as to be almost impossible—even more so in a country like ours in which repression affects everyone and is everywhere, where a sinister and comprehensive system of repression controls, spies on, and penalizes the slightest and most moderate expression of discontent or dissent. It is unthinkable and impossible to bring the country to a total or partial standstill when little or next to nothing has been done domestically to systematically provide information to the average Cuban, who is misinformed and bombarded by the state media monopoly.

Therefore, theOrlando Zapata Tamayo Front forCivic Resistance proposes an introductory phase to develop an intense and on-going public awareness campaign. This program will present the citizenry with mottoes and slogans with social themes, which will initially identify us as being concerned with the needs of the people.

This will help convince Cubans of the nature of their situation, that they have rights, and that these right must be respected. This information blitz will be carried out through visible channels such as text messaging, Twitter accounts, CD’s, flash drives, printed material, as well as through pamphlets, placards and signs posted in visible, public spaces.

We can also solicit support, through broadcasts and other media, from friends who support the Cuban cause. This duration of this initial campaign, to be called “Cubans, Defend Your Rights,” will be open-ended if it is determined that it can—given its importance—be postponed,or rather extended,to other phases of the larger campaign.

This first phase is one of outreach, both internally and externally, to the public, which has the potential to play a leading role in the very necessary and essential change. It will be launched in light of the hard reality that most Cubans lack access to the internet, satellite television or cable.

Regrettably, outside of Cuba a not insignificant number of people are able to analyze Cuban reality from the viewpoint of an open society with a free flow of information, one of numerous advantages common in other countries. In Cuban society only the official version can be published, and only when and how the governing elite decide to publish it.

Luis García Pérez Antúnez

Secretary General of the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Front for Civic Resistance and Civil Disobedience, who will neither be silenced nor will leave Cuba, and who reiterates that his primary objective today is the “National General Strike.”

Placetas, Cuba

August 24 2012

Rio Verde Declaration / Jorge Luis García Pérez Antunez

Members and officers of the Orlando Zapata National Civic Resistance Front, meeting this Sunday, July 29, 2012, in Havana’s Rio Verde neighborhood, agreed by unanimous consensus to publish our full, open and unconditional support of two indisputable leaders of the Resistance, victims of a dirty and cunning maneuver of the Castro regime and its sinister political police in pursuit of political and moral disrepute.

Our coalition of coalitions raises its voice in support of Raúl Luís Risco Pérez and Eriberto Liranza Romero, president of the Pinar del Rio Democratic Alliance and the Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy, respectively, who in retaliation for their courageous and important pro-democracy activism, they are trying to demonize with all kinds of slander and even death threats.

Our Front, aware that the authorship of this strategy lies with the political police, not only reiterate our support for the brothers mentioned above but will hold the Castro dictatorship liable for what may happen.

United in thought and action, present at the meeting:

Jorge Luís García Pérez (Antúnez)
Sara Martha Fonseca Quevedo
Yanelys Cabrera Bouza
Julio Columbié Batista
Arturo Conde Zamora
Julio Ignacio León Pérez
Bartolo Márquez Alcebo

Also added:

Rolando Rodríguez Lobaina
Misael Valdez García
Martha Días Rondón
Rafael Leyva Leyva
Delmides Fidalgo López
Yoandris Montoya Avilés
Santos Fernández Sánchez
Yoan David González Milanés
Segundo Rey Cabrera González
Idania Yanes Contreras
Iris Tamara Pérez Aguilera
Damaris Moya Portielis
Ricardo Pupo Sierra
Leticia Ramos Herrería
Hermógenes Guerrero Gómez
José Díaz Silva

In a meeting held in the Rio Verde neighborhood, in the capital municipality of Boyeros, activists from different organizations of the internal opposition on various topics discussed Cuban issues, especially the struggle for democratic change in Cuba. They also discussed and analyzed the Front’s statues, program of struggle, and its rules; among them the most important agreements of the day on Sunday include:

Issue a public and timely statement of support for the opposition leaders and Eriberto Liranza Romero and Raúl Luis Risco Pérez, directors of our front and victims of a dirty, sneaky maneuver of a smear campaign by the regime and its sinister political police.

Continue with the restructuring of the structure and executive of the front, that is to adapt to the current and ever-changing and dynamic civic conditions. In this regard it was agreed by unanimous consensus to define the roles of regional coordinators in the west and east of the country taking into account the geopolitical and demographic characteristics of those regions.

In this regard the functions are as follows:

Western Regional coordinators:

In the provinces of Havana and Mayabeque:

Eriberto Liranza Romero, president of the Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy.

In the provinces of Pinar del Rio, Artemisa, Isla de Pino:

José Díaz Silva. President of the Opposition Movement for a New Republic

Eastern Regional Coordinators:

Provinces Las Tunas, Holguin and Granma:

Delmides Fidalgo Lopez

Provinces, Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo:

Misael Garcia Valdez

As a colophon to the activity, a peaceful protest was held, a kind of lightening march of less than 100 yards where we chanted slogans for human rights, freedom of political prisoners and advocated for the campaign Towards the National Strike as well as harrangued loudly in support of opposition leaders and Eriberto Liranza Romero and Raúl Luis Risco Pérez, highlighting them as the sole and undisputed leaders of the Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy and the Democratic Alliance of Pinar del Rio, respectively, both groups founding members of the Front.

Also attending the meeting and march that was held in the street between 275th and 160th, Rio Verde Neighborhood, Boyeros Municipality, Havana, this July 29, 2012 were:

Jorge Luís García Pérez (Antúnez)
Sara Martha Fonseca Quevedo
Yanelys Cabrera Bouza
Julio Columbié Batista
Arturo Conde Zamora
Julio Ignacio León Pérez
Bartolo Márquez Alsebo
Raúl Luis Risco Pérez
Eriberto Liranza Romero

July 31 2012

The Death of Oswaldo Payá and the Opposition in Cuba / Yoani Sánchez

In less than a year the Cuban opposition has lost two of its most important leaders. On October 14 of last year life of Laura Pollán, the principal coordinator of the Ladies in White and the key figure in the release of the Black Spring prisoners, was cut short. A week ago a car crash, yet to be fully explained, claimed the life of Oswaldo Payá, founder of the Christian Liberation Movement.

These activists had great national and international recognition and their physical absence comes at a time when the dissidence is seeking new horizons. Hence, the need to analyze the scenario in which these deaths have occurred, and their potential impact on the immediate future.

On thing about which there is no doubt, is that the Cuban opposition on the Island is characterized by its peaceful nature and its renunciation of armed violence.  It prefers to base its actions in political programs, documents demanding respect for Human Rights, street demonstrations, signs painted on facades, or simply open door meetings.

It behaves and manifests a much more democratic behavior than the government installed in the Plaza of the Revolution. Within the ranks of the dissidence there is a great variety of opinions with respect to possible paths and outcomes of the transition. Although some of these routes diverge, there are numerous points on which all converge. The urgent need for political, social and economic changes is the common thread that runs through civil society.

Calls to end the harassment of dissidents, arbitrary arrests and politically motivated prison sentences, form a part of this common agenda. In addition, everyone agrees that Raúl Castro’s government has exhausted its solutions to pressing national problems.

To talk or to overthrow

Although many schemes have been offered to classify the Cuban opposition, most of the studies have focused on the political leanings of the groups within it. Some analysts have established generational breaks, between the historical opposition and much younger actors. In practice, however, it is not political colors or age that differentiate most markedly the dissimilarities between dissident organizations. A key point is the legitimacy they assign to Raúl Castro’s government in their agendas and their proposals for change.

Some maintain that dialog with the authorities could possibly lead to a non-violent transition. Within this line of thinking are distinguished figures such as José Daniel Ferrer, president of the Patriotic Union of Cuba, who believes that “dialog is possible, but from a position of strength within civil society.”

Others dismiss any attempt to deal with the regime, basing their posture on the fact that it was not chosen by a vote of the people in free and direct elections. They see the Communist Party as a kidnapper of hostages with whom there should be no negotiations under any circumstances. To negotiate or to overthrow seem to be the two poles around which current opposition forces are defined.

The United States embargo also constitutes a parting of the ways that defines postures and platforms. Within the Island, many dissidents argue that economic restrictions must be maintained to strangle the government. They believe that allowing fluid trade with the United States or allowing Americans to travel to Cuba would be a source of fresh air that would strengthen the General-President. José Luis García (known as Antúnez), an opposition leader from the center of the Island is one of the main champions of this position.

The great challenge of the people

The Cuban dissidence is denied any opportunity to access the mass media. This significantly limits its ability to broadcast its proposals and political programs. Instead of allowing them even one minute in front of the microphone, Raúl Castro’s government uses television and the official press to accuse them of being “mercenaries in the pay of the Empire,” or “tiny groups of no importance.”

Human rights activist Elizardo Sánchez, opposition leader Martha Beatriz Roque, Catholic layperson Dagoberto Valdés, and the Ladies in White group have all been frequent targets of these media stonings. From different perspectives, these social actors could be key in the years to come, along with several socio-cultural projects such as Estado de Sats, directed by Antonio Rodiles, which even attracts people involved in State institutions. To support these activities with a constant dissemination of information becomes vital, hence the importance of independent journalists and alternative bloggers.

In the current scenario, Oswaldo Payá’s death raises the question of the future of the Christian Liberation Movement, which has many members throughout the Island. That this political force manages to survive the death of its founder will demonstrate the maturity of the entire Cuban opposition.

On the other hand, Raúl Castro has co-opted some of the points that made up the agenda of his political opponents. The aperture for small private businesses, the ability to buy and sell houses and cars, and the leasing of vacant land in usufruct, are all part of the measures implemented by the government in the last four years. Such a scenario obliges the opposition groups to chart new horizons and to redefine their proposals.

30 July 2012

Message from the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Civic Resistance Front on the Death of Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero / Jorge Luis García Pérez Antunez

ImagenExecutives and members of the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Civic Resistance Front, raise their voices to condemn the cowardly assassination of prominent opposition leaders Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, founder of the Varela Projects and founding president of the Christian Liberation Movement. This Coalition of Coalitions shares in the grief of this Christian family, at a time when we find ourselves besieged by mobs of political police in Batey Grúa Nueva in the province of Ciego de Ávila.

The Front, a promoter of civil disobedience in Cuba, promoter of protests across the country, just today, the eve of Resistance Day, condemned the death in suspicious circumstances of this dear brother of ours and in honor of his memory and his history of struggle we are committed to continue faithful along this road.

The Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Civic Resistance Front demands that the Castro regime allow a delegation of international experts to conduct a competent and impartial investigation of this terrible and lamentable event, and the Front opposes the Cuban government being given the opportunity to undertake investigations, because it is inconceivable to give them this opportunity or to ask the perpetrators of the crime to undertake the investigation and to show the traces and proofs of the crime they themselves committed.

It would legitimize the dictatorship, it would present the assassination of Oswaldo Payá Sardis as a coincidence, an accident, more the responsibility of those who crashed their truck into the car in which our brothers Harold Cepero and Payá were traveling, than those who ordered them to do it. And we hold two people primarily responsible, the Castro regime in the persons of the brothers Fidel and Raúl Castro, uniquely and the maximally responsible for the murders of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, Wilman Villar Mendoza, Laura Inés Pollán Toledo, Juan Wilfredo Soto García, and now this terrible blow against one of the most charismatic, important and serious leaders of the Cuban opposition.

Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, the Front sends its condolences to your family and may God give you peace.

From Grúa Nueva, Jorge Luis García Pérez Antúnez, Secretary General of the Front, who will not shut up and who will not leave Cuba, now with more reasons than ever, now for you, Oswaldo, we will continue the struggle.

We Are All Resistance, We Are All Payá.

July 23 2012