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