Condemning the Violence in Panama / Forum for Rights and Freedoms


We condemn the violent events

This April 8th groups associated with the Cuban regime tried to sabotage the programmed activities of the Seventh Summit of the Americas. They asserted that they could not share the space with other Cubans who, according to them, were terrorists and mercenaries. These old worn out arguments hide all the intolerance and contempt that totalitarianism has sown toward any Cuban who desires a free country. Then the usual shouts and insults appeared. A few hours later the news circulated that a group of opponents, from the island and the exile, were beating crowds of Castro supporters in a public park.

The Cuban regime has constructed a false civil society designed to control and repress, even with violence, the legitimate aspirations of the exercise of freedom of association. The fact that Mr. Abel Prieto, personal advisor to the dictator Raul Castro, was the chief of the delegation, of the supposed official groups of civil society, speaks for itself.

From the Forum for Rights and Freedoms we proudly recognize all Cuban artists, intellectuals, activists and politicians who have attended this great event to bring a message of freedom and rights. For the opponents who suffer verbal and physical and aggressions, we offer all our solidarity and support.

We appreciate the opportunity provided by the Panamanian government so that Cuban civil society can participate in this event and we hope that it establishes a precedent. The genuine civil society must play its rightful role in our nation.

The region is now facing a complex dilemma. We cannot accept the authoritarians as legitimate actors, the challenge is to firmly promote democracy and basic rights. In Cuba, we accept the challenge.

Coordinating Council