The Indignation of a Cuban Who Will Not be Able to Vote on February 24

The only message permitted on billboards, television, radio, printed media, and in all public spaces, without exception, is Yes to the constitution. (14ymedio)

The author, who writes under a pseudonym, directs her letter to the opposition and to international bodies.

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Guamacaro Canada, February 13, 2019 — An open letter from a common Cuban citizen, to all the member groups of the opposition, inside and outside of Cuba, as well as all the international bodies that maintain diplomatic relations with Cuba.

The proposal of some members of the Cuban opposition to abstain from the referendum on February 24 has no sense without having received, previously, international support on the illegitimacy of the process.

At these moments, facing the indifference of international actors, the only course that could provide salvation to the Cuban people is a massive No vote in the referendum.

In the first place, I invite all the participants of Cuba’s opposition to declare themselves in front of all the pertinent international bodies on the antidemocratic character of the upcoming referendum and to make a formal petition for the constitutional process led by the Communist Party of Cuba to be declared illegitimate.

I ask those same international bodies to take a position, since they will be the voice that defends an oppressed people, which, unlike the Venezuelan people, does not go out to the streets en masse to protest against its government because, in the course of the last 60 years, it has lost all hope of having a better future.

Cubans show a silent resignation in face of their numerous problems, starting with food of a low nutritional quality subsidized by the government via a provision card that is an instrument to gag the people.

The healthcare system, free but very precarious, and education based on indoctrination from early childhood are other instruments that fulfill the same function, in addition to the miserable salaries, which are around $30 per month on average.

The referendum will not have the presence of impartial international observers because the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) does not permit them.

At this moment there is within the country a massive repression of the No campaign, according to statements from the Cuban Observatory of Human Rights, at the same time in which the PCC is carrying out a massive campaign for Yes. A countless number of banners promoting Yes, distributed by the PCC, invade the public space. The march of the torches, which was held at the end of January in the middle of a natural disaster in Havana, was dedicated to guaranteeing the vote for Yes, as is the televised campaign.

To this it’s necessary to add the immediate destruction of any banner alluding to No, the beatings of peaceful opposition figures who attempt to promote a campaign for No, as well as the constant censorship of telephone messages, of websites critical of the PCC, and of private mail that does not reach its destination if it contains any allusion to a position contrary to Yes.

A few days ago the PCC said that citizens who live or find themselves temporarily outside of Cuba will not have the right to vote. On the other hand, those who find themselves abroad fulfilling some mission for the government of Cuba will be able to vote. The excluded denounced this measure in protests in front of Cuban embassies in several countries.

The illegitimacy of the process of constitutional reform is reflected in Article 224 of the draft, which declares “the irrevocability of socialism and the political and social system established in Article 3.”

Rarely has the world seen a form of repression that guarantees the gagging of all the citizens of a country, against 11 million Cubans who maintain ties of blood and friendship with more than 3 million emigrants spread out all over the world, by denying them the right to enter and leave the country without restrictions.

This is the greatest emotional blackmail in modern history, when thousands of mothers see themselves deprived of seeing their children on or off the island because of having expressed their ideas. Because more than political prisoners inside jails, which unfortunately exist in the present in Cuba, those who are on the island live in reality in a psychological imprisonment, the same in which the 3 million relatives who live abroad find themselves.

What is happening in Cuba at this time is not a physical genocide, although many deaths are consequences of the policy of repression of the government, but rather a moral genocide, committed by a sole party against the people, snatching from them the right to mobility inside and outside of their country by means of blackmail, denying them the right to the free expression of their ideas.

This fact must be denounced in front of international authorities. A country in which the most minimal protest turns into a labor of titans needs to be defended in the face of the imposition of a shameful constitutional text on its citizens.

I ask for the same understanding toward Cuba that the international community now has toward Venezuela, where it has recognized the right of citizens to fight against communist doctrine to get out of famine and return to democracy.

Translated by: Sheilagh Carey


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