(Note: Received via email sent to HavanaJournal.com.)
Francisco De Armas | International Representative, Christian Liberation Movement | (787) 549-1805 | http://www.mclpaya.org
Declaration of the Christian Liberation Movement
Our Mission: To Spread Hope
Havana, March 13, 2007- On the morning of March 9, 2007, Cuban State Security detained Ernesto Martini Fonseca, a member of the Coordinating Council of the Christian Liberation Movement, after he dropped one of his daughters off at school.
The Security members drove him to a secret house, where he was subject to more than seven hours of pressure and threats from various officials to abandon his activities with our movement.
The threats against him and his family, and against Oswaldo Payá, were specifically directed towards paralyzing the proposed resolution entitled, “The Need for the Cuban Government to Liberate the Peaceful Political Prisoners,” which the Movement had drafted and sent to members of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
During the past few months, several members of the Christian Liberation Movement have been detained and besieged by repressive state officials. We have reported how this siege includes systematic persecution, disturbance and interference in all aspects of our lives, and the lives of our families, including our children. We have warned that the threats against us and our families are very grave.
Fortunately, we plan to make public all the details of Martini’s detention and of the threats against him and the Movement.
The prisoners of the “Cuban Spring” are now facing the fourth year of their unjust prison sentences and we will not stop calling upon all Cubans and the international community to demand the liberation of these Cubans, who are in prison for peacefully exercising and defending human rights.
While the Cuban people continue to suffer from many limitations and violation of their rights, as well as poverty and instability, they are denied the right to a better future and remain subject to uncertainty, more oppression and misinformation. Today, more than ever, the Cuban people need and desire a peaceful alternative that opens a new horizon of reconciliation, opportunities, peace and liberty for all. For that reason, the demand for the Varela Project Referendum is stronger than ever; it is the bridge that already thousands of Cubans have begun to construct. Only by referring to Cuban laws, and by guaranteeing the rights for everyone, as stated by the Varela Project, can Cubans achieve all the necessary changes for their society. To deny these changes would signify the continuation of the exclusion and the silencing of the majority of people in Cuba who live in poverty and the continuation of the privileges and power held by a small minority. This is the essence of the contradiction of the system and all Cubans know this.
The most closed repression and the greatest intolerance against our Movement is precisely in reaction to the Cuban-ness, transparency, justice, and citizen support for the spirit, demands and basic proposals of the Varela Project and the Program for All Cubans. Instead of persecuting us, they should be making these proposals public and give the people the opportunity to decide their own sovereign future.
Those around the world who adapt to the sentence of continuity in Cuba, of a regime that is closed to its people or who prepare to take advantage of the Cuban people’s disadvantage, only contribute to hopelessness and more suffering in Cuba. We are NOT asking nor do we want isolation, nor do we want anyone who is not Cuban to define or lead the changes of our country, because this is the responsibility of the Cuban people, but we call upon other nations to express moral support for the people of Cuba in their aspiration to have the right to their rights.
We do not hold any feelings of hatred, but the threats and repression are not going to paralyze us. I hope that arrogance does not prevail in the minds and hearts of those with power, as this would only drag the Cuban people towards greater sufferings.
We are victims, not only of repression, but also of slander, misinformation and the silence of many. But there is something we will not stop proclaiming: We are NOT asking for our own power or privileges, nor threatening the life or dignity of any Cuban, we are not assaulting anyone; what we are doing is quite clear, we are demanding that the right of all Cubans be respected and proposing changes towards a more free, just, and humane society in which no one is excluded. We will NOT abandon this mission, in the face of any repression, danger or adversity.
Uncertainty, fear, overwhelming propaganda, and the instability of daily life can paralyze the will and create despair for many people. IF we raise our heads with faith and determination, we see that we can peacefully accomplish the changes we need, where all Cubans win and no one loses. All the brothers of the Christian Liberation Movement, wherever we are, will continue planting the seed of hope, and will continue working and struggling peacefully for this better future for all, which is already upon us.
Oswaldo José Payá Sardinas
Ernesto Martini Fonseca
On Behalf of the Christian Liberation Movement