Activists present proposals for the next phase of US/Cuba relations /
Posted on January 17, 2015
14ymedio, 16 January 2014 – This Friday, almost 300 activists, artists,
journalists, academics and trade unionists representing diverse groups
within the Cuban opposition presented a roadmap of proposals for what
the civil society movement hopes to see beyond the reestablishment of
US/Cuba diplomatic relations.
The statement by the Forum for Rights and Freedoms was presented on
Thursday at the headquarters of Estado de SATS in Havana.
The principal objective of this initiative is to enable Cubans to be the
lead players in the changes that lie ahead for Cuba, and to ensure that
the new relationship with the US will bring real changes to benefit
civil society on the Island.
“We find ourselves facing two options,” the document states. “One is to
accept the mutation of the regime to one of authoritarian capitalism,
wherein Cubans will have to resign themselves to pittances, while the
heirs of the Castro regime dispose of our rights and assets. The other
choice is to demand concrete and measurable changes that will lead to
the formation of a true democracy.”
The proposals focus mainly on human rights and freedoms, and are based
on the principles expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights. They seek to establish a multi-party democracy in which citizens
will be able to directly and transparently elect their leaders.
The text outlines seven principal points. It seeks, first of all, the
immediate release and overturning of convictions of all political
prisoners; the elimination of the concept of “pre-criminal
dangerousness” from the Cuban penal code, as well as all other standards
that could contribute to justifying arbitrary detentions; and the
reestablishment of constitutional-level judicial guarantees that will
ensure the implementation of due process in judicial procedures.
In a similar vein, the statement calls for repealing all those articles
of the Constitution and laws that violate the International Covenants on
Human Rights, and restrict freedoms of expression, association, trade
union membership, assembly, movement and conscience.
In conclusion, the document promotes the creation of a series of greatly
important laws: a new Law of Association to include a multi-party system
and guarantee rights of assembly, as per the standards of the
International Labour Organization; a new Communication Media law that
guarantees the right of expression and flow of information; and,
finally, a new Election Law that emphases a multi-party system and
The Forum for Rights and Freedoms submits this document as a first step
towards transitioning to a true democracy, and hopes to have the support
of the international community.
Translated by Alicia Barraqué Ellison
Source: Activists present proposals for the next phase of US/Cuba
relations / 14ymedio | Translating Cuba –