14ymedio, Havana, 20 May 2019 — The promoters of the Cuba Posible (Possible Cuba) project announced Monday the dissolution of its board of directors, the cancellation of its association registration in Spain and the cessation of new publications on its digital site. “We will not be able to execute, at least for who knows how long, the work in the way it has been managed,” they said in a statement.
In statements to 14ymedio, the organization’s director, Roberto Veiga, said that “the nucleus of actors that make Cuba Posible insist on maintaining the project and will continue working in a way that is feasible in the midst of the current circumstances,” but recognizes that these are “too difficult.”
“Cuba Posible exists and will exist as long as one of those who authentically builds it every day remains, which is not just Lenier González and me,” he clarifies.
In the statement published this May 20, they denounce that “the Cuba Posible Ideas Laboratory is traveling through a very arid desert” and in the midst of “the greatest darkness of night,” adding, “A set of actors has used all the mechanisms and methods of powerful institutions to undo our work opportunities.”
In September of last year, Roberto Veiga and Lenier González, director and deputy director of the project, had detailed in an interview with 14ymedio the attempts by the authorities of the Island to strangle Cuba Posible, the misunderstandings of the Catholic Church, and the suspicions of the more radical sectors of the opposition. Some circumstances that, despite being adverse, had not caused them to cancel the project.
However, they now claim that the pressures have “dismantled and broken, in an acute manner, the most basic internal conditions necessary to develop the work, as well as the network of collaborators and the interlocutions within the Island.” A phenomenon that extends outside Cuba where “it has been impossible to access financing for a long time.”
This negative scenario has led the promoters of the project to cancel the registation of the Association in Spain, since maintaining it “would cost a financial figure impossible to own.” They have also dissolved the Assembly and the Board of Directors of Cuba Posible, while the website, with serious technical and programming implications, will remain as a “file of all the work done.”
The note clarifies that “Cuba Posible, even under such conditions, will not disappear, will not fail to support the country.” It will persist, at least, in the search for a “mini-confluence” between “diverse opinions” on “core issues” of the Cuban society. ” To maintain that presence, it will act as a “diverse community.”
Veiga and González became known as of 2005, when under the aegis of the Catholic Church they assumed the responsibility of the magazine Espacio Laical (Lay Space) which, more than a religious publication in print and digital version, worked for a decade as a “zone of tolerance for political debate.”
In 2014 they were both requested to resign from the magazine’s board, because the Catholic Church came to recommend that they should reduce their “excessive political profile,” Veiga later acknowledged. After leaving Laical Space they founded Cuba Posible, as a space of greater plurality and debate.
The new project was framed in the midst of the diplomatic thaw between Washington and Havana and the end of the European Common Position with respect to the island. Veiga and González became an obligatory reference for a reformist sector willing to dialogue with all parties and were harshly criticized by those who accused them of representing a “third way” — apart from the ruling party and the opposition — and of trying to become, surreptitiously, a political force.
Soon after, the first public attacks from digital sites managed by official spokespersons began. In numerous texts the two men and their project were linked to destabilizing projects orchestrated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the origin of their funding was questioned and they were accused of intentions to destabilize the country.
In the blog La Pupila Insomne (The Sleepless Pupil), a digital space focused on denigrating the critics of the Cuban process, Cuba Posible was accused of undertaking “evidently counterrevolutionary work” and of being “a project armed with US funding.”
This campaign to execute the project’s reputation resulted in many collaborators who worked in state academic institutions distancing themselves from the project. González denounced that the defamation campaigns against Cuba Posible, which came to be reflected in a meeting of the rector of the University of Havana with all the deans and faculty where the men were linked with the US administration and accused of intentions to overthrow the Cuban regime.
In recent months, most of the employees who refused to leave the project were expelled from their jobs and few of the group remain in the country. “Although they do not blame us for their situation, we feel that we have an enormous responsibility,” says González.
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