Declaration from the Christian Liberation Movement Regarding the European Union’s Common Position / Rosa Maria Paya Acevedo #Cuba #MCL

The reasons behind the position held by the European Union (EU) concerning human rights in Cuba have not changed in the last 16 years. The Cuban Government has not recognized the fundamental rights of Cubans. With the imminent and necessary revision of the current Common Position and the possibility of future pacts with the Cuban governments, the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) has a duty to remind the EU that the Cuban people will not have the opportunity to participate and freely interact with EU states until Cuban authorities decide to make real internal changes to promote an open society.

The cooperation of the European Union with the Cuban government, without signs of a democratization process in the island, encourages and helps sustain a system that denies freedom and opportunity to its own citizens. Oswaldo Payá denounced this nine years ago with the following words: “The denial of hope.”

Change in Cuba is unavoidable and urgent, but it has not taken place. The response of the Cuban democracy movement to the attempt of fraudulent change” that the regime seeks in order to stay in power and oppress the people can be found in “The People’s Path,” which has been signed by over 70 organizations and 1,200 leaders, activists and citizens inside and outside the island.

This document contains basic claims that members of the opposition articulate through various strategies and styles. The MCL draws attention once again to the danger that lurks, disguised as legal reforms carried out by the Government; none of the which are democratic because they do not guarantee human rights to the people.

To establish a dialogue with a single part of our society, those who silence and oppress the majority of Cubans, is to participate in the exclusions to which the Cuban oligarchy subjects the people. The MCL does not support the isolation of Cuba, nor an external embargo, but it is also important to denounce the isolation that the people are subjected to by the Regime. We understand that the interests of organizations, businesses and citizens of the European Community need to be defended, but we hope that we can fight in parallel for equal rights for Cubans.

Our civil society, which is part of the people, has flourished in a range of initiatives and trends whose primary objective is attaining respect for human rights. More than 25,000 Cubans have legally joined a plebiscite that demands fundamental rights for citizens. We continue demanding and awaiting the government’s response, in the same way that we expect the international community to demand that the Cuban authorities complies with their own laws.

More than 17,000 people inside and outside the island have expressed their concerns, proposals and dreams by joining a National Dialogue to which all were invited. The result of this fraternal dialogue is the Transitional Program, which is not set in stone, but which is a concrete platform to build on in an orderly and peaceful fashion to bring democracy to our country.

The lack of freedom of association, expression, choice and mobility blocks any real and effective participation of the people in the construction of their present and future.

Free elections should be conducted, they must include every political current in our nation. That is the message that Cubans expect the democracies of the world to send to those who are trying to perpetuate the Dictatorship in Cuba. We cannot speak of real change because we Cubans still cannot freely enter and leave the island, we cannot decide what kind of education to give our children, we do not have sovereignty of our private property, many of us are imprisoned for expressing our ideas or proposing our social and political projects; real change will come with our human rights.

The repression and aggressiveness with which the Cuban Government, through the organs of State Security, oppresses those who peacefully oppose, have intensified in recent times. This fact has been sadly demonstrated in the violent – and still unexplained – car crash, which took the life of our general coordinator Oswaldo Payá Sardinas, who was awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2002, and one of our younger leaders, Harold Cepero Escalante. There has been a complete lack of information about what occurred.

Other examples are the many and frequent death threats that were made to Oswaldo Payá by the political police, the current intimidation of his family and the abuses that members of our movement are subjected to, as well as the constant beatings and arbitrary arrests of many other members of the Cuban democracy movement.

Those who participate and work on the Path of the People and the legal democratic initiatives that we promote, suffer constant harassment. In addition, many independent journalists, bloggers, dissidents and democracy activists across the Island are also harassed and mistreated daily.

We urge the international community, the European Union and its High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, Catherine Ashton, to work in solidarity with us, to be consistent and coherent with the democratic traditions of their own nations, and to demand a respectful, honest and direct dialogue to promote the interests of all Cubans.

This is only possible if the law and practice guarantee fundamental freedoms, which are not respected today. We hope the European Union will join the Cuban democracy movement in support of the demands expressed in The Path of the People, in our demand for transparency for Cuba, and in the beginning of the real changes that our people want and need.


Christian Liberation Movement
Havana, November 20, 2012

There are no free elections without free people, free citizens, free men and free women / Oswaldo Paya

We are on the eve of new elections in Cuba. And I am reminded that the first law issued in Sierra Maestra during the anti-Batista insurrection before the elections scheduled in 1958, was a death penalty law. It was designed to punish with death those who took part in the elections. It also punished those who voted because the elections were corrupt. The Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) and the opposition do not kill people, nor sabotage, nor exclude, everyone knows it. Our motto is Freedom and Life. We do not want power for ourselves; we want peace and civil rights for all, because where there are no rights there is no justice.

We seek only power for the people, popular sovereignty, as did Martin Luther King, remember? Power to the people! …

We denounce institutionalized corruption. The one that has the power declares us enemies and does not compete with the opposition but the sentences, stigmatized and annihilates it.

In 1954 there was a campaign in Cuba that promoted amnesty, the promoters were those who claimed there is no such thing as free elections while there are political prisoners. The current regime does not recognize or respect the right of individuals, Cubans, and the opposition to defend political differences. The difference between government and opposition in Cuba is much different from any that exists in a democracy. The contradiction between the opposition and the government in Cuba is based precisely on the lack of democracy respect towards the political rights of citizens, it is more than a contradiction, it is an antagonism between the people and the totalitarian system. We do not antagonize the people that govern and those identify themselves for some reason with the government, we do not call other “worms” or treat anyone with hatred, but we do claim that neither they nor we, nor anyone in Cuba is free under this system.

Will they claim that the Communist Party and other areas of the government are not preparing the candidates and ensuring they only they are represented by the delegates in each district? Tell that to the protagonists of these pre-election conspiracies.

In 1992, when Aldana (before Robaina, Lage and Perez Roque) said that the opposition could compete in the elections, I said I would. What did they do? The police came to my house and took me to the local Committee for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR) in Zaragoza and Carmen on the neighborhood of Cerro, there was a circus prepared with a tribunal chaired by one of the Communist party local leaders, the same one who had assaulted and looted my house on July 11, 1991 and who died in the United States (he received his visa to meet with their children in the US, something that the Cuban government has denied my family for years, but that’s a different topic…). State Security participated in this circus. There were many uniformed officers, and a lady told me that if I was a Christian and did not want see blood run I should not to disturb the assemblies by submitting my application for candidacy. That was intimidation against citizens so that they would know what it meant to support me. The message reached everyone; nevertheless, the day of the assembly they placed agents in the neighborhood, many of whom were visibly armed, they said they were waiting for Paya to show up.

On July 6, 2006 they prepared a similar operation, during which they wrote on a wall a few feet from my house: “In a besieged plaza, dissenting is treason” Who did they want to intimidate, me? As a human being I have felt fear, but ir does no dominate me. I am still a dissident although I have never been part of the oppressive regime, but I identify myself with that term proudly because my family has always defended democracy. Dissent is a right and the Cuban government categorizes it as treason, as does Chavez back in Venezuela. This is a permanent violation of civil liberties. There are no free elections in such an environment, and with such laws.

If there is no legal recognition of the right to exist, participate in politics, dissent and work without persecution there are no elections, no pluralism. We denounce that the people cannot decide, we do not make laws like the ones they made before 1958. The people are not free and it does not make any sense for them to participate in elections that are only a contradiction to democracy. I think it’s a way to delay and divert the real change that Cuba wants and needs. The lack of freedom of association, expression and free elections are the barriers to political participation from the people. If Cubans do politics, they become victims of political exclusion and other injustices.

The peaceful, logical and fair solution that can lead to changes and genuine dialogue is to recognize those rights. Enough with reactionary justifications that say the people are not ready do not want change, do you think fifty-four years without freedom and rights are not enough? Others say that people do not want rights, what an insult! Others may say that many Cubans want this government. I don’t think so, but in any case no Cuban can decide what they want in this environment, with these laws and with this system Cubans cannot chose who they want to govern them, which system to have. We demand rights for all, without hatred or offense, with justice; everyone knows that not even the People’s National Assembly can decide freely, they also receive orders. This will change only when they are elected by the people, only then they will obey the people.

That is our demand, we keep calling all Cubans, no matter how they think or what background they come from, to be part of the solution and changes, this can only be done by the people. Why say no to our rights? Why the elitism? Philosophies and theologies? What oppresses us is fear, intolerance and the determination of a group to remain in absolute power. Abandon the simulation! Take the path of the people which is the path of democracy.

On behalf of the Christian Liberation Movement.

Oswaldo J. Paya Sardinas

July 20, 2012

Note: Only two days later, on July 22 the National Coordinator of our Movement, Oswaldo Paya, tragically died with our brother Harold Cepero in suspicious circumstances not yet clarified. We issue this message, due to its relevance to current events in Cuba and in memorium to them. Through this article we show that his example and legacy remain alive in each of us, and it continues to lead the Cuban people across the way of the people and the conquest of their rights, a people and path so greatly loved by Harold and Oswaldo.

Board of coordinators of the Christian Liberation Movement.

October 17, 2012

Ofelia Acevedo Maura                                                                               Narviel Hernández Moya

Juan Felipe Medina                                                                                     Eduardo Cardet Concepción

Ernesto Martini Fonseca                                                                         Andrés Adolis Chacón Aroche

Response to Fernando Ravsberg / Rosa Maria Paya Acevedo

Rosa Maria from her Facebook page

Fernando Ravsberg, correspondent for the BBC in Cuba, has published an extension of the misrepresentations, manipulations and deceits with which the Cuban official media have sought to confuse the Cuban people and the rest of the world for over half a century. He has published it in his own blog, perhaps because the daily four pages that the newspaper Granma— the Communist Party’s organ — publishes were already full.

This time, to the falsehoods copied from the Round Table (the government’s political talk show) and to the absurd accident theory that the government provides to explain the deaths of my father, Oswaldo Paya, and of Harold Cepero, Fernando adds some entanglements of his own invention. He claims that Angel Carromero, the young Spaniard who was driving the car, and Aron Modig, the young Swede also in the car, traveled to the island to proselytize and to distribute money.

Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero. Source:

My friend, Harold Cepero recently wrote that “those who have the courage and freedom to choose a path of peaceful political work know they are exposed to nothing short of absolute solitude, labor exclusion, persecution, imprisonment or death.” His life and death are sincere and radical confirmation of his thought.

Ravsberg chooses not to mention that most Cuban dissidents lose their jobs, that they and their families are treated as social pariahs and are condemned to misery, especially outside Havana, where the foreign press is not interested to go. Instead, Fernando highlights the hypocritical moral debate regarding whether or not the opposition should be provided material support, as if elsewhere and in other times, during the struggles in oppressed societies, with many examples in Cuba’s history, regime opponents had not been positively supported by sympathizers and exiled communities.

Fernando Ravsberg. From

I wonder how many countries of the world Ravsberg knows where dissidents cannot travel freely in their own country because their names are in all police stations and airports. In what other dark corners of the planet do political police stop opposition members from meeting through blackmail, threats, beatings, arrests or “accidents.” This is the reason why young supporters who came to meet my father sometimes facilitated transport for him. This fact is far from the version that this reporter from the BBC and the Cuban government are determined to sustain.

Fernando lies intentionally because he knew my father very well and is aware that no one could give him orders on how to organize the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL), a movement with 24 years of history with young members who have a clear vision and path. My father enjoyed freedoms that Fernando probably has never experienced despite coming from a democratic country: the freedom to live responsibly, to be consistent with one’s principles, thoughts and feelings, to be illuminated by his faith, these freedoms know no owners.

Mr. Ravsberg employs the most cynical colonialist tone to discuss the concerns of my people, simplifying us, saying that us, “the cubanitos”, will have enough if food appears in the markets and buses at the bus stops. Subtly he adds himself to an orgy of lies which aims to entertain the public, with a façade of poorly implemented economic reforms, which cover the fraudulent change my father often denounced.
Ravsberg, you enjoy the privileges that come with living in Cuba as a foreigner, you live above the disadvantages of all Cubans.

Your children can get in and out of the island, as they live their lives in Spain, but my brother has not been able to go meet his uncles in Madrid. I wonder if you have had to wait 5 years to visit your son, that’s the punishment doctors receive when they decide to live Cuba. You’re so used to ignoring these disadvantages that you dare to suggest Cubans do not care about human rights. How dare you despise people in such a racist way, the people you have lived off for so many years?

Thank God that today there are many initiatives in the cultural, political and social fields that manifest the dissatisfaction of the Cuban people and promote peaceful change. I would like to remind you that the Varela Project is supported by over 25,000 signatories, and it continues to exist because it intends to make changes in the law and not in the constitution, its purpose is to realize basic rights we still must conquer.

Thousands are signing the Heredia Project, which aims to give the people the right to leave and enter Cuba freely, to reside in any part of the country. It demands a stop to the humiliating internal deportations Cubans suffer and seeks to guarantee equal opportunities without exclusions due to ideology and to provide internet access to all at a price that the people can pay. These are independent and spontaneous initiatives that reflect the aspirations of many citizens.

Cubans, inside and outside the island, need our basic rights to design and build the Cuba we want. Our ingenuity, hard work and skills, which have been demonstrated even in times of crisis, are proof that we will be prosperous despite the destruction 50 years of communism will leave behind.

I assure you, Mr. Ravsberg, the food and the buses will come when we Cubans have our right to work for the right price and have real economic, social and political opportunities that allow us to participate in the process of building our own future. This is why we are fighting for our rights; this is the freedom we are demanding. We are getting closer to obtaining it because even those who persecute us, those whom you serve, are also our brothers, they are also Cubans and will benefit from democracy.

You have been in my house many times and now pretend not to remember how to spell my father’s name, a technique you have learned from the Roundtable. You have used my father’s name to supplant the truth, and have offended his memory, my family, the entire opposition and all Cubans. That is too low even for a correspondent for the Roundtable.

Translated by Cleonte

5 September 2012

Statement from the Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas Family / Ofelia Acevedo

Source: Heraldoes
It has been ten days since the event which took the life of my husband, Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, National Coordinator of the Christian Liberation Movement, and the life of the young man Harold Cepero Escalante, a member of the same movement.

The event has been covered by Cuba’s National Television, which is unusual since fatal traffic accidents occur daily in Cuba and never receive this level of media coverage.

I will not get into details regarding the technical analysis presented by the official version of the event; I am not an expert, although one does not need to be an expert to question their version. I want to clarify that I learned about how the event occurred through the television since only a brief verbal version was given to me by Major Sanchez when I received my husband’s body. I told him that I did not believe what he was saying and that I needed to talk to the surviving witnesses. I was not informed by the authorities about the death of my husband. Yesterday, July 31th at 8:45pm, 10 days after the death of Oswaldo and Harold, I was visited by two officers from the Center for Criminal Investigations and Operations carrying a subpoena that required my presence today at 11:00am, with the purpose to “clarify issues of civil liability and responsibility regarding the accident.”

As Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas’ wife and on behalf of my family living inside and outside Cuba I declare:

1.     We do not accept the explanation of the events as presented in national television because:It has been presented by the same governmental organization that under the Security of the State has sent agents threatening to kill Oswaldo multiple times over the years; they have discredited, defamed, spied, and insulted us through media campaigns inside and outside Cuba; the same individuals who have placed microphones on our bed, in our phones; the same individuals who, knowing that Oswaldo’s mother had cancer, proceeded to cowardly visit and intimidate her, who did not allow her children living outside Cuba to visit her; the same individuals who forbade my oldest son, a 24-year-old student, from visiting his aunt in Spain during his vacations last year, who do not allow any of our family members to leave or enter Cuba.

They are the same individuals who intimidate our neighbors, my husband’s co-workers, my brothers and sisters from the Christian community, and even people that we hire to make repairs in our house; they go to the institutions where my sons and daughter study or work and alert their peers to avoid relating to them; they are the same individuals who break into hospitals and intimidate doctors every time my children have any type of health problems; the same individuals who have attacked my house with mobs brought from other places and who have painted my house facade with offensive signs, who have stained my door with red paint simulating blood, who have filled the walls of the neighborhood with threatening signs and phrases packed with hate.

They are the same individuals who on several occasions have loosened the screws on the wheels of our car knowing that we were traveling with family and friends. Last June 2nd, Oswaldo and I were traveling in our car (a 1964 VW station wagon) towards my mother’s house in La Lisa. Driving through La Calzada del Cerro and having just driven across the intersection with Rancho Boyeros Avenue, we were hit by an old American car in the right rear wheel of our vehicle with such a force that it made our car rock. My husband could not control it and after sliding on the two left wheels, already on the opposite lane the car flipped, we were trapped inside and covered with broken windshield glass. Oswaldo was hurt in his left elbow and I was unhurt.

These are the same individuals who have threatened to kill members of the Movement and their families, who have imprisoned Yosvany Melchior, a young man, son of Rosa Maria Rodriguez, a member of the Movement. He is serving twelve years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Their goal is to make people abandon the Christian Liberation Movement.

…I do not believe the official version because:

2.     My husband, Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas was notable for his limitless sense of responsibility towards all people, especially those who associated with him. He would never have allowed the driver of the car to speed. His friends and those who know him know that I speak the truth when I say this. He knew his life was at risk every day in Cuba.

3.     Because I received the news of the alleged accident from Madrid at 3:18pm on Sunday July 22 and was told “four people were traveling but only three are in the hospital, there is no available information regarding the forth one. Two friends, one of them is unconscious. They were hit and pushed away from the road. Do you know who the other two were? One of them has disappeared.”

4.     Because I was not allowed to meet with the Swedish man and have not yet been allowed to visit the Spaniard, survivors of the event.

Because of these records and information that have reached us about what happened in the newspaper Granma, my family calls on international institutions for help demanding an independent investigation of the facts.

I’m very proud to have shared 26 years of my life with an extraordinary man, I am proud of the family we have founded. He had the sorrow of not being able to devote to his family all the time he wished, but his passion to serve always led him to work for the common good with all his intelligence and intellectual ability.

He constantly fought and searched for ways for the people to ascend to their rights, he said: “Neither the state nor the market can dominate society, or be above the people’s decisions, freedom and dignity.”

Now we must try to direct our life without the physical presence of Oswaldo, it will be very hard, but those of us who live by faith know that he will continue to protect us, and will always be in our midst.

Thank you for listening.

Havana, August 1, 2012

Translated by Cleonte

News Conference by Rosa María Payá Acevedo Regarding Her Father’s Death / Rosa María Payá Acevedo

Today, I do not intend to give another version of what happened, we are not accusing anyone at this time.

The facts I will communicate below were read by Captain Fulgencio Medina, a criminal investigator, in a room at Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Hospital in Bayamo, the evening of Sunday 22 July. I will not narrate how these reports have reached our hands because we do not want to expose to pressure from State Security the people who, in solidarity with our family, have sent us this information.

According to what they told us, Captain Fulgencio Medina read the statements spoken by the witnesses of the events that took the life of my father and Harold; he relayed the following to all those present in one of the rooms of the hospital. The captain said he was going to tell what happened, reading the witness statements, he said.

The witness on the bike and the witness in the tractor said there was a red Lada [a Russian make car] traveling parallel to the wrecked car. For a moment, the wrecked car got ahead of the rest, the bicycle, the tractor and the red Lada, then the pavement ended and the gravel covered terrain started. The cyclist said that all he saw was the dust when the car fell (and that seemed normal to him.) The driver of the tractor commented that it seemed as if something had happened.

The officer said another tractor was coming from the other direction but apparently the road was wide enough and the tractor was far enough away to avoid causing any reaction in Angel’s driving. There was no danger of collision between the two.

The individuals from the red Lada came to the rescue, according to the words of the witnesses on the bicycle and in the tractor. The officer said that the witnesses declared that when the individuals from the red Lada came to aid the Spanish man, he reacted by saying, “Who are you and why are you doing this to us?” First, they took the Spanish man out, and there was another man complaining inside the car (apparently, this was Harold), he had a very sore leg and was touching his own chest, as if it hurt a lot. They did not do anything with the other person because they said that they touched him and realized he was dead.

The individuals from the red Lada took the foreigners out and then they took out a cell phone that they had and said: “Send an ambulance over, there has been an accident.” At that time a blue van arrived and picked up some of the injured and drove them to the hospital.

They received a call from the girl and said they did not know who the phone belonged to because everything was a mess. First a traffic police officer responds and then the coroner speaks. Fulgencio Medina said he knew the daughter had called because the coroner that had been in the ambulance talked to her.

This ends the information we have received about what Captain Fulgencio Medina said that evening in that room where officers and other persons were present.

It seems very strange to us:

1. That a coroner was present in the ambulance.

2. That none of the official versions mention this red Lada or the people traveling in it.

3. If there was no red Lada, who would have called the ambulance? [Translators note: it is not common in Cuba to call an ambulance or have ‘ phone numbers, rather people offer rides to the medical centers.]

4. The reaction Ángel had when he was assisted, according to witnesses.

5. Who determined and how was it determined that my father was dead so early during the events.

We have received other information which narrates that the ambulance was ordered by a lieutenant colonel and that in one ambulance they took Harold to the hospital after making ??a stop at a children’s hospital. We also have information regarding the doctor who attended Harold (nicknamed “The Kid”, son of Dr. Pérez Profet) According to this information he was heard expressing disdain for Harold. He told the other doctors and nurses that these people were bringing drugs to Santiago and that they were planning to plant bombs.

I have questions regarding the care my friend received in the hospital.

We have been informed that Ángel arrived at the hospital accompanied by an officer who said he was an eyewitness to the accident, and that at that point Ángel said twice that the car had been hit from behind.

I wonder, if this officer was a witness:

1. What was he doing at the place of the events?

2. If it was he who called, why didn’t he take the injured men in his car?

3. How did he know the hospital’s phone number?

4. Was he one of the individuals from the red Lada?

I also have doubts regarding the technical condition of the car in which my father and Harold were traveling.

They did not allow our friends, the people who represented our family, to see my father’s body until after 8 pm. They told us that the corpse had a syringe placed at the top of the leg, a shirt, his jeans and shoes and that at that time they saw it, the body was still without any form of conservation treatment, or refrigeration.

Regarding the state of Harold, a physician told our friends that the boy was going to die because he had suffered brain death. This information does not match the official version regarding the cause of death of Harold Cepero. It is also very strange because witnesses claimed they saw a conscious Harold according to information we received about the words read by Captain Fulgencio Medina. Our friends did not have access to the survivors until after Ángel was sedated so they were never able to talk to him. With Aron they were barely able to communicate because they do not speak English.

Aron, Ángel and I met Friday afternoon and talked, as three young people with social concerns converse, without interventionist agendas or money involved.

My father faced the power of a state, a totalitarian state with 53 years of experience. And that state has been bringing all its force to bear against a family, my family, since many years ago. I fear deeply for the lives of my brothers, my mother and my family. I reiterate that I hold the government responsible for the physical integrity of the members of my family.

We count on the support of many within and outside Cuba, we thank you all deeply. On the other hand, we know that these events have become a matter of international affairs, we know that sometimes between governments agreements are reached and they remain silent, but while others will remain silent, we will not, neither will we stop seeking the truth even if it means we will end up alone. My father, the Christian Liberation Movement and my family have been alone before, we are not afraid of loneliness.

We know, because we seem to have been touching it in recent days, that only evil fears the truth.

Translated by Cleonte

August 1, 2012

No more deception, FREEDOM NOW / Oswaldo Payá

Oswaldo Payá

The government representing the military regime has denied Cubans the universal right to travel freely for more than half a century and still denies this right without any clear prospects towards change. With the greatest cruelty, it has torn millions of Cuban families apart and it still does. Government spokesmen have speculated for months about possible immigration changes and some, as President of the National Assembly Ricardo Alarcon, justify the state of imprisonment in which they keep Cuban, saying they cannot lose the “human capital”. This expression, characteristic of slave masters, reflects the views of those who hold power in Cuba and on Cubans, whom they consider their capital, their property and do not treat them as people with dignity and rights. For the regime the people of Cuba are not citizens but servants.

If it is true that the Government will make changes to immigration policies, why don’t they inform the people which changes will take place and when? They despise the people to the extent that they don’t even respect their right to know. Or is it that the proposed changes are not the rights that we demand in The Heredia Project?

The Heredia Project or National Reunification Law for the end of discrimination against Cubans in Cuba is a citizen proposal based on the Constitution that aims, through a legal, clear and transparent platform, to ensure:

  • The right for all Cubans, professionals and nonprofessionals, to freely enter and leave their country, without an entry or exit permit, for as long as the person decides, without taxes, or forfeitures, or offal of property, without paying the government for each month they live abroad, paying all procedures in national currency and eliminating forever the punishment that is the “final departure” status assigned by the regime, which means banishment and exile for those choose to live outside of Cuba. We propose an end to humiliating “letters of release” as a condition to travel to doctors and other professionals.
  • The restoration of full citizenship rights to the Cuban Diaspora and their children as they are full Cubans, no exclusions and all restrictions and requirements to obtain permits must end, so that Cubans living outside Cuba can enter their country whenever they want and for as long as they want and live at home if they choose.
  • We demand an end to the humiliation, internal deportations and mistreatment of Cubans that in our own country try to escape poverty and lack of opportunities, by moving among provinces.
  • We demand an end to all inequalities, access limitations, and exclusions for political and ideological reasons and removal of all privations and hardships such as the right to the Internet.

While talking of possible immigration reform, the regime pursues with its full repressive forces activists who collect signatures for The Heredia Project. Some make it easier for those in power when they make echo of this deception against the people. They play along their despotism through statements, publications, conferences and spreading doctrines which call for a vote of confidence in favor of the government of Raul Castro in place of a vote of trust in favor of the people and their rights.

The conference “A Dialogue between Cubans” that begins today in the Priests House of Havana, is organized and led by those in Cuba, who not only despise internal peaceful opposition, but also deny its existence, explicitly, in their publications; they advance more and more in the tunnel of alignment with the lies of the regime and the proposed continuation of totalitarianism, the doctrine that those in power are infatuated with and defend. They are encouraging the oligarchy to continue to deny Cubans their rights. Thus, those who are privileged to have a voice and enjoy of protected spaces to associate, conspire against the true reconciliation and peace that can only be achieved if it satisfies all the rights of all Cubans, their freedom of expression and association and the right to free elections. We would continue claiming these rights even if we were along facing these maneuvers and conspiracies against popular sovereignty.

These “organizers” speak the following words: “the prospects for a relationship between Cuban immigrants and their country of origin, referencing the process of economic reforms or upgrades that have began in Cuba.” We denounce these are the same terms used by the regime to deny the full status of Cubans to those who have left our country in search of the freedom that does not exist in Cuba and to those that the regime keeps treating as banished, exactly as it treats those who currently leave Cuba under the category of “final departure/”. This category of “final departure” is used even in the latest Housing Law, issued a few months ago. What is the outlook then?

The Christian Liberation Movement in a statement issued last March 30th states: The Diaspora is Diaspora because they are Cuban exiles to whom the regime has denied their rights as much as it denies them to all Cubans. The Diaspora must not participate in this oppressive view, which is part of a fraudulent change.

Only in the context of a culture of fear and repression which the government uses to silence the people they are able to implement the painful maneuver that includes some who take political positions from the church, others from their intellectuals windows, others with economic interests and even from the Diaspora, they contribute and participate in this fraudulent change that is the project that the government clearly describes in the phrase: “changes towards more socialism.” Totalitarianism has been constant for over fifty years, but it has not destroyed the hearts of the Cubans, a regime without freedom cannot fabricate people, nor can it fabricate a church or a Diaspora in the frame of their powers and doctrines. No more despotism, doctrines, exclusive and conditioned conferences, enough deceiving maneuvers to justify and consolidate a fraudulent change, which is change without rights, which leaves most of the poor getting poorer and leaves all Cubans without freedom. Cubans in the Diaspora and those of us who live in Cuba, are one people, victims of the same oppressive regime and we have the same hope and the same claim to freedom.


Christian Liberation Movement

Translated by Cleonte

19 April 2012