Human Rights in Cuba

Time To Change

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“The Regime Wants the US to Buy Cuba with the Dictatorship Included” /
Cubanet, José Luis León Pérez
Posted on April 10, 2015

“If the Cuban government aspires to be included among the democracies it
must accept and respect the opposition.” Interview with Guillermo ., Jose Luis Leon Perez, Santa Clara, 7 April 2015 — Before
leaving for Panama for the Civil Society Forum, Guillermo Farinas,
Coordinator of the United Anti-totalitarian Forum (), who holds a
critical view of the negotiations between Cuba and the United States,
agreed to an interview with Cubanet.

What is your opinion about the Seventh Summit of the Americas, about the
presidents of Cuba and the United States sitting for the first time at
the same table?

Dialog is better than war. Personally, I think that Barack Obama erred
by not taking into account Cuban civil society, the internal,
non-violent opposition, when he took that step. But we must not
concentrate on criticizing Obama, but the regime, his
character and that of the top leaders, our true adversaries.

When Raul Castro returns from the Summit, will there be more tolerance
toward the opponents?

The Cuban government wants the United States to buy Cuba with the
dictatorship included. So far, the US administration says that it will
invest in Cuba without dictatorship. I believe that depends on what
happens in . and his brother have shown themselves
to be opportunists. They are searching for another lifesaver, and they
see it in the United States. But President Castro needs to understand
that in order to be able to advance in this world he must comply with
the Universal Declaration of .

What do you hope for from the Summit for Cuba and Latin America?

That they engage in dialog and understand the different political trends
and be able to come to agreements and forget historical strife, to
strengthen Latin America as a zone of peace. With respect to Cuba, not
just the government is represented at this Summit. There the world will
be able to appreciate the presence of the opposition by Cuban civil
society. It will be shown that in Cuba there is not that unanimity that
the Cuban government has peddled for 56 years.

In your recent letter to Raul Castro, you sought to include in the new
Electoral Law the Transparent Ballot Box project. What is your objective?

The Cuban government aspires to insert itself into the world but without
fulfilling democracy, and with democracy there is no exceptionality:
either there is democracy or there is not. That’s why we must fight. It
is necessary, in order to avoid spilling blood, to take into account the
different opinions. I raised it in my letter to Raul, as president of
all Cubans, and not just the Cubans who follow his political ideals.

If the Cuban government aspires to join democracies, it must accept and
respect the opposition that exists in any democratic country.

How did the Transparent Ballot Box project come about?

We agreed on it at a meeting of the United Anti-totalitarian Forum. Now
we are raising awareness about other political projects in order to form
part of the Steering Committee.

“Transparent Ballot Box” proposes that all political trends that exist
in Cuba be represented and permitted to participate in the next general
elections that are going to take place in the year 2018. Also that all
public offices, including the President of the State Council and
Ministers, be by direct vote. And that all citizens born in Cuba,
although they may reside abroad, have the right to vote and to
participate in the elections

We also think that all candidates for eligible public offices must have
the material resources to be able to bring the messages of their
respective plans in equality of conditions. And it is important there be
international observers to supervise the election processes. These
points that we ask to be included in the new Electoral Law are based on
Article 88, subsection G of the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba.

Do the members of the Steering Committee represent all the opposition
political trends?

This committee is not finished. On return from the Summit we will
continue this labor. I can tell you about this committee that there are
people from all over the country. We have not been able to speak with
some but we are sure that they are going to accept this plan.

Do you plan to involve all citizens?

The most important thing is not that the opposition signs; we must add
all the citizens who are discontented, hopeless, angered by the
deceptions that they have suffered through for more than 56 years of
Revolution, so that in a civilized way they ask the government to
change. When ten thousand citizens or more present an initiative, their
opinions have to be taken into account.

Do you think the government will permit you to gather the necessary

I think they are going to try to discredit Transparent Ballot Box, they
will try to add false signatures, they will use blackmail in order to
prevent people joining the project, they will try to create unfavorable
states of mind, they will cultivate discouragement.

Against all that there are countermeasures. We must do something so that
they regard us as people, as the non-violent opposition, as civil
society independent of the government. We have to seek power in the
number of signatures, which is the most important thing. When that
happens, the governments of Cuba as well as the rest of the world cannot
be indifferent.

According to 14ymedio, opponents like Hildebrand Chaviano, of Plaza of
the Revolution and Yuniel Lopez O’Farrill of Orange Creek, could become
pioneers of a nascent opposition within the government. What is your

In 1996, in the Santiago de Las Vegas township, the residents voted for
an opponent who put himself forward, and the government committed him to
a psychiatric for three months. That they now permit several
opponents to be nominated is a step forward. But it is too little, too
late. They are doing it now because they want a democracy to appear
where there is none, because there exists no law of association and
parties, and without that, there will be no democracy.

Do you want to add anything for the readers of Cubanet?

I am sure that during the Summit, some members of independent civil
society and the opposition will be the subject of attacks on the part of
the intolerant followers of the government of Raul and Fidel Castro. We
are prepared to refute the provocations with non-violent methods. In
Panama it will be seen who the terrorists are, who imposes .

Source: “The Regime Wants the US to Buy Cuba with the Dictatorship
Included” / Cubanet, José Luis León Pérez | Translating Cuba –

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