PRESS STATEMENT FOR THE CUBAN FORUM CAMPAIGN
Havana, June 24, 2007- Cubans are and must be the protagonists of their own history. The definition and creation of a path toward the future and the projection of that future are a responsibility and sovereign right that belong only to the Cuban people. The teachings of our Apostle José Martí invite us to fulfill this mission “with all and for the good of all,” which means that no Cuban is excluded. Therefore, we must accomplish this in an environment of reconciliation and respect for the dignity of every Cuban, while building brotherhood and peace for Cuba and among all human beings.
The right of all Cubans to decide their future freely and democratically and to make decisions about their lives in a sovereign way can only be guaranteed by first recognizing and legally guaranteeing the exercise of the fundamental rights of all citizens. This is why the Christian Liberation Movement is presenting and proposing, to all of Cuban society, the Cuban Forum Campaign.
The Cuban Forum Campaign is not a political program nor a party program, but rather a call to all Cubans, without exclusion, to work together to achieve these changes in the laws to guarantee the freedoms of expression and association and the right of all citizens to elect and be elected in democratic elections. In this way, free, responsible and authentic citizen participation will be guaranteed in the drafting of a new Constitution and the betterment of our society. It can only be for the good of all Cubans if it is done with all Cubans. This is the moment in which Cubans must open for themselves the doors to their future through legal and peaceful means.
The Cuban Forum Campaign proposes two directions in these efforts:
1. A call to all citizens to appeal, through the use of their constitutional rights and by making the principle that “in the Republic of Cuba, sovereignty resides in the people” into a reality, for changes in the laws so that all of their rights are guaranteed, including the right to exercise their sovereignty through elections for a Constituent Assembly, and to support the release of all those who are imprisoned for peacefully defending, promoting and exercising universally recognized human rights.
2. A call to the peaceful democratic opposition, both inside Cuba and in exile, and to the Cuban government to create a National Reunification Cuban Forum. This forum would be a place of dialogue with the participation of the Civic Forum, representing the opposition, on one side and the Government Forum, appointed by the National Assembly of the People’s Power, on the other side.
The Cuban Forum Campaign is not a proposal of unity for the opposition into one block or into an alliance, but rather a proposal to facilitate the organic unity of our people, inspired by what we proclaimed in “Unity for Freedom”: “Cubans are entitled to their rights as all human beings.”
This unity can only happen in freedom and brotherhood. Therefore, we propose to the entire peaceful democratic opposition, to the Government and to all Cubans, inside and outside of Cuba, to work together on this effort. First we must take some time to study this proposal, decide and then work to implement it, inspired by our love for the Cuban people.
Oswaldo José Payá Sardiñas, Minervo Lázaro Chil Siret
In the name of the Coordinating Council of the Christian Liberation Movement