The EU policy toward Cuba should be determined not by the demands of an unelected dictatorship, but in response to the rights and the will of its citizens.
June 12, 2007.
Heads of States and of Governments of the member nations of the European Union.
Presidents of the Commission, the Council and the Parliament of the European Union.
Honorable elected officials and distinguished officers:
Almost half a century of totalitarian dictatorship has immersed the Cuban nation into a serious political, economic, and social crisis. The political opposition in and out of Cuba, which works actively to broaden and consolidate ways by which to enable a transition to democracy; is not ready to assume roles that will enable it to rapidly press for changes in the country.
The situation is compounded by the inability of the dictatorship to apply viable solutions. To complicate matters, there is the stubbornness of the regime in maintaining a political system based on intolerance and persecution towards pro-democracy activists and political opponents.
The civil and political organizations that work within the NEW NATION are conscious of this situation. We consider very important the work that international organizations, especially the European Union, does in the search for solutions that will bring the respect for human rights and independent legal system that the Cuban people seek.
Since 1996, the member countries of the European Union, approved a “Common Position towards Cuba”. Eleven years later, this continues to be the anvil that marks relations between the 27 member countries and the communist government. The main objective is to facilitate a transition towards democracy and respect for human rights, while maintaining a constructive political dialogue with all members of Cuban society.
The political situation in Cuba continues to be the same, and in some cases it has deteriorated. The repression against political activists has increased and government sponsored pogroms against opposition members occur daily. With this acts, the dictatorship sends a clear message to the Cuban people and to the democratic world that they will stop at nothing to maintain the present regime. In the social and economic realm, there has been no improvement to the standards of living of the Cuban people. In fact, there have been some reversals.
Even though there are various ways to establish policies towards Cuba that will bring about a real independent legal system and a “formal democracy”. We consider that the European Union, maintaining its “Common Position”, can activate parallel actions that will enable the start of a democratic transition and prevent critical situations that may cause a civilian conflict or a worsening of the repression towards defenders of human rights.
With the utmost respect and a deep feeling of gratitude for any assistance you might provide us in achieving our goal of a democratic Cuba, the undersigned expect from the European Union:
1- To request from the Cuban Government the acknowledgement of the existence of hundreds of political prisoners in its jails as a condition to participate in any international forum. We also ask that all dialogue be conditioned to the unconditional liberation of all political prisoners.
2- To oppose any attempt by the Cuban regime to take a leadership role in human rights organizations as is the case with the Human Rights Council of the United Nations.
3- To counter-act the media campaigns that the communist government carries out related to the so-called “achievements” of the Revolution in social and cultural rights while ignoring and suppressing internationally recognized political and civil rights.
4- To condemn the repressive acts of the political police and apply diplomatic pressure against Cuban officials that organize and/or order such acts. It is necessary for these officials to know that they need to distance themselves from such acts and that the direct or indirect perpetrators will be led to justice.
5- To support in broad terms the development of a civil society and make sure that it counts with the means to prepare the population for a transition towards democracy. There is a belief that a transition will be fast and easy. In reality, it will take far more time and effort to re-orient the economy to achieve a sustainable development.
6- To foster an environment where the numerous organizations of our civil society would be able to communicate with their European counterparts, as well as help our growing political parties to join international organizations of their own ideologies.
7- To instruct its diplomatic missions in Cuba to allow access to internet facilities to members of the opposition as well as to regular citizens wanting to broaden their knowledge of democracy and freedom. This will help break the blockade that the political police has over the use of the internet.
For those of us who work for a future of prosperity and happiness for the Cuban people, it is vital to be able to feel the support from the countries that make up the European Union. Facing a powerful and repressive machine, this support, even if symbolic, would tells us that we are not alone an that we can count on friends ready to walk with us the long road toward freedom and democracy.
For the New Nation Alliance:
Dr. Eduardo Vidal Franco
Asociación Cubanos por la Libertad
Luís A. Baralt
Asociación Pro-Democracia en Cuba
Lic. Carlos Ríos Otero
Centro de Información sobre Democracia
Carlos Miyares Falcón
Frente Democrático Independiente “ Elena Mederos”.
Rev. Ariel Arteaga Castellón*
Instituto Juvenil Cristiano de Estudios Sociales
Pedro Moisés Calderín
Movimiento de Derechos Humanos-Municipios de Cuba.
Alfredo M. Cepero
Partido Nacionalista Democrático de Cuba.
Rafael Ernesto Avila Pérez
Partido Popular Joven Cuba
Rev. Padre Ricardo Medina Salabarría
Partido Republicano de Cuba.
Carlos Ríos García
Sindicato Independiente Cambio
Yusniel Osorio Pérez
Calixto Campos Corona
Federación Sindical de Plantas Eléctricas