Former Presidents Opposed to the US Embargo are Asked to Make a Statement About Freedom in Cuba

Evo Morales (Bolivia), Rafael Correa (Ecuador) and Juan Manuel Santos (Colombia). (El Universo)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Madrid, November 8, 2022 — The Cuban platform, D Frente [D Front], has penned a letter to former Latin American leaders who, last week, asked the U.S. to end the embargo against Cuba, inviting them now to make statements about the situation of rights and freedoms on the Island. Furthermore, they requested the leaders contribute their knowledge to a democratic transition.

D Frente, formed in September by six opposition organizations on the Island and abroad, introduces itself in the letter as a “concentration of civic and political actors, diverse Cubans, individuals and institutions, that aim for a refounding of the Republic, under Marti’s maxim of “With everyone and for the good of everyone.”

The text is a response to the letter signed by about twenty former leaders, many of them close to or belonging to the movement known as 21st century socialism, with Dilma Rousseff (Brazil), Rafael Correa (Ecuador) and Evo Morales (Bolivia) playing major roles. Also in the group are the former Colombian president and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Juan Manuel Santos and his predecessor who held that charge until 1998, Ernesto Samper.

The petition to the U.S. was also signed by Uruguayan José Mujica, Panamanian Martín Torrijos, Dominicans Vinicio Cerezo and Leonel Fernández, as well as several former presidents of anglophone countries in the Caribbean.

In the response letter, D Frente stated it shares their concerns about the grave Cuban crisis and stated that “an urgent and integrated” action is necessary to solve it. “A solution that, in a complex world such as the one you have led, depends on respect for fundamental freedoms, the rule of law and human rights,” they stressed.

The platform petitions the signatories that, “their political experience, and the defense of freedom, democracy and respect for human dignity they demonstrated in their own governments,” may help to “civically and peacefully achieve a transition to democracy” like those that have developed in their respective countries.

“Excellencies, as Cuban citizens concerned about what our country is going through in this moment, we ask that you please make a statement, in a similar fashion, in favor of observing human rights and fundamental freedoms in Cuba. Your positions would be of much help, not only to Cuban society, but the state as well, at a peculiar moment in our history,” they claim.

The letter ends by appreciating the leaders for their concern for Cubans and the crisis that affects them.

In the letter shared a week ago by the American news agency, the Associated Press, the leaders posited that the difficulties Cubans experience “in supplying medication, the arrival of humanitarian assistance, the restrictions imposed on financial services, the arrival of tourists and investments by third parties” warrant the lifting of the sanctions imposed by Washington.

“We solicit, Mr. President, that you take into consideration the dramatic situation that thousands of Cubans are experiencing and do whatever is necessary to lift the restrictions that affect the most vulnerable,” they pressed Joe Biden in the letter where they also called for Cuba to be removed from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, taking into consideration its “support for the peace process in Colombia with the National Liberation Army (ELN)” and its commitment with “compliance of the protocols signed with the Colombian state.”

D Frente is represented by Luis Rodríguez Pérez, of the Association of Mothers and Relatives of Political Prisoners for Amnesty; Ileana de la Guardia, the Council for a Democratic Transition in Cuba, Enrique Guzmán Karell, the Center for the Study of Rule of Law and Public Policy Cuba Próxima; Yunior García of Archipiélago; Jorge Masetti of the French Association for Democracy in Cuba; and Yanelys Núñez of the San Isidro Movement.

Its foundational document states that they consider “democracy and the rule of law” as “the best path for achieving inclusion, political pluralism, citizen sovereignty, and civilized rules for coexistence.”

Translated by: Silvia Suárez


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.