Manuel Cuesta Commits to a “Common Strategy” for Change in Cuba / Manuel Cuesta

Manuel Cuesta Morúa

On Monday, Cuban dissident Manuel Cuesta Morúa, spokesman for Progressive Arc of Cuba, and a Cubanet journalist, committed to a “common strategy” of the opposition to bring about political change in the island, and he denounced the repression exercised by the Government over private initiative in the economy.

Cuesta Morúa, on a visit to Spain, said in a press conference that “Cuba is changing, it is a fact… but not as result of a citizen strategy to move towards democracy,” but as “a kind of social mutation.”

“The people,” said this social democratic leader, “have been seeking their own paths… to confront that difficult reality we’ve been living for more than fifty years.”

According the the Cuban opponent, the Government, “has no national project to resolve the serious accumulated problems and the reality of daily life for Cubans… it’s mission is to remain in power,” he concluded.

In this situation, the strategy of civil society is “to connect citizens with a new strategy of consensus, with the end of seeking a new constituent assembly.”

Failure of economic returns

He denounced the failure of economic reforms the Executive tried to make in 2008 and said that there is a “profound social fragmentation” on the island, along with signs of “racism, poverty, extreme poverty.”

He said that Raul Castro’s government exercises repression over private initiatives through “taxes, lack of incentives, or outright repression,” because “he is not interested in generation a middle class.”

However, he said that “the only coherence for a national project in Cuba is a political opening accompanied by an economic opening.”

As an example of the failure of the Cuban economy, he said that the remittances coming in the country from Cubans abroad reach $5.1 billion dollars, versus $4.1 billion from tourism, the sale of drugs and sugar.

“We rely more on the support of our families than on the production of Cuba, “ he said.

According to the opponent, the reforms announced by the Castro Government, such as the elimination of the dual currency, is due to pressure from potential foreign investors that require improvements to develop their projects on the island.

With regard to the travel and immigration reform that allows Cubans to leave the island, Costa Morúa affirmed that it is “collateral damage” that they had to accept on the request of some “partners” of Cuba who asked for “gestures” to support them in the international community.

He also said he is in favor of lifting the U.S. Embargo of Cub, which “doesn’t help society nor the democratization of the country,” and provides “the best alibi” for the Government, “nationalism.”

Asked about the possible assassination of the regime opponent Oswaldo Payá, he said that he, “doesn’t subscribe to that thesis… I don’t think there’s clear evidence that points to a State plan to assassinate Oswaldo Payá,” dead after a car accident last year on the island.

He said he believed that his death answers “to the inability, lack of professionalism of the Cuban intelligence services, which followed him and weren’t able to control the harassment to which he was subjected.”

From Cubanet, 4 November 2013