For Immediate Release
CITIZEN COMMITTEE OF RECONCILIATION AND DIALOGUE “UNITED FOR THE RIGHTS OF CUBANS” DECLARATION
The immense majority of peaceful democratic activists signed the “Unity for Freedom” document, which is our declaration of unity and a message to the people of Cuba and the world proclaiming “the right of Cubans to their rights.”
A variety of initiatives and approaches have developed within the Cuban civic movement while still maintaining the unity of those principles and objectives in “Unity for Freedom,” which do constitute a dignified alternative for Cuba without excluding any Cuban.
The Cuban Forum is an ongoing citizen campaign that seeks to reach the goals of “Unity for Freedom,” defining clearly the steps for Cubans take to truly exercise their sovereignty and be able to achieve for themselves the changes that Cubans choose.
The goals of this Cuban Forum citizen campaign are:
*The liberation of all those who are jailed for defending, promoting and peacefully exercising universally recognized human rights.
*Changes in the laws so that freedom of speech and association are guaranteed and recognized.
*The freedom to travel within and outside of Cuba and to live wherever they see fit.
*The freedom of all Cubans to have private businesses and enterprises within our country.
* The right of all Cubans to elect and be elected to public office by means of a new electoral law.
*The end of all discrimination of Cubans in their own country.
The Cuban Forum is achieving the spaces for participation that will open these changes in the laws, convoking a national dialogue and a Constituent Assembly so Cubans can participate and decide democratically all aspects of their future life in an environment of peace, liberty, and reconciliation, without exclusions, and on the road to fraternity.
Cuban Forum converts these wishes into viable goals and sets out the steps to reach them. Hundreds of democratic activists have responded positively to the announcement of the Cuban Forum to create a civic forum between representatives of all associations to work together towards these proclaimed goals. These goals in turn would be the demands of the democratic opposition if the dialogue proposed to the government were accepted, following the release of the peaceful political prisoners.
But we cannot wait for the response of the government, and we are already working towards these goals with citizens as protagonists.
For this, we have created the Citizen Committee of Reconciliation and Dialogue, and by now more than 400 citizens, among them many from the democratic opposition, have agreed to participate.
Now, as many around the world accept the continuity of the order without rights that this Government is proposing as a sentence for Cuba , now when it seems that there is no alternative, now when they would like to kill all hope:
We continue to proclaim that there is an alternative, and that alternative is liberty.
We continue to proclaim the hope that is in God and in the determination of all Cubans to achieve all their rights.
We continue to call on all democratic activists and all citizens to participate in the Cuban Forum campaign to work and fight peacefully and united for the rights of Cubans.
In the name of the Citizen Committee of Reconciliation and Dialogue,
Oswaldo José Payá Sardiñas
Minervo Lázaro Chil Siret
Havana, March 4th, 2008
For more information or to obtain a copy of the press release, please contact:
Julio Hernández or Francisco De Armas, International Representatives, Christian Liberation Movement,