EFE/14ymedio, Miami, 12 February 2021 — On Friday, Cuban exiles and opposition groups in Cuba urged United States president Joe Biden and the US Congress that the review of the policy towards Cuba should be based on democratic change without “unilateral concessions” to the government of President Miguel Díaz-Canel.
For several weeks, Cubans “committed to democracy” drew up a plan with 162 proposals that they sent this Friday to the White House, the State Department, and Congress, according to Rosa María Payá, from Cuba Decides, speaking to Efe.
The activist also rejected “aggressive” requests made by the Cuban government and other actors on the Island to the new US Administration of Democrat Biden.
Payá expressly rejected the removal of sanctions against the financial corporation Fincimex, linked to the Armed Forces
Among them the recent one by a group of Cubans and Americans, such as Alan Gross, who asked Biden to resume the rapprochement with Cuba promoted by President Barack Obama (2009-2017) and to withdraw the sanctions on Cuba toughened by his successor, Republican Donald Trump.
Gross was released in 2014 after five years in prison in Cuba for bringing telecommunications equipment into the country.
Payá expressly rejected the removal of sanctions against the financial corporation Fincimex, which is linked to Cuba’s Armed Forces and handles remittances received from the United States.
She added that they are in favor of “direct” remittances, without the intervention of the Cuban government.
Payá stressed that “it is only up to Cubans to define and decide the destiny of our nation.”
For Cubans who contributed ideas, among them the Ladies in White, the Cuban Republican Party and many other civil groups, the new policy towards Cuba “must be in support of democracy and free and plural elections, without making unilateral concessions, but conditional on irreversible steps towards the recognition of human rights.”
With Biden’s arrival at the White House, politicians and groups of Cuban exiles have asked him not to repeat the mistakes made by the last two administrations, including that of President Obama, which promoted rapprochement with Cuba and in whose administration Biden served as Vice-President.
With Biden’s arrival at the White House, politicians and groups of Cuban exiles have asked him not to repeat the mistakes made by the last two administrations
The proposals were published this Friday by the Pasos de Cambio [Steps of Change] platform, which include the impressions of Cuban opposition organizations and civil society, as well as citizens living on the Island and in the diaspora.
They all agree that “any eventual negotiation process involving the current Cuban regime must recognize the members of the opposition and civil society as interlocutors.”
They point out that, to this end, the regime must first comply with the unconditional release of all political prisoners in Cuba and end all violence and repression.
Similarly, organizations such as the National Human Rights Foundation and the Opposition Movement for a New Republic, urge respect for fundamental human rights, including freedom of expression, association and public demonstration.
To this end, they asked the Biden Administration to “publicly express the will to authorize and promote humanitarian aid from the American people to Cuban citizens and its civil society, preventing the intervention of or benefit to the regime.”
They asked the Biden Administration to “publicly express the will to authorize and promote humanitarian aid from the American people to Cuban citizens and its civil society
They also insisted on political, financial, diplomatic and judicial sanctions against collaborators and those responsible for repression and for policies of human rights violations.
They suggested considering the use of the Global Magnitsky Law on Human Rights Responsibility, aimed at imposing political and economic sanctions against agents involved in serious abuses.
The proposals include calling on the international community, including the countries in the Americas and multinational organizations (OAS, UN, European Union), to show their solidarity with the Cuban people and “their right to decide democratic change.”
On the other hand, State Department spokesman, Ned Price, said this Friday at a press conference that the US Government’s policy towards Cuba will be guided by respect for human rights and the empowerment of the Cuban people “so that they can determine their future.”
Price reiterated the Biden Administration position by emphasizing that “Americans, and especially Cuban-Americans are the best ambassadors of freedom and prosperity in Cuba.”
Translated by Norma Whiting
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