1) Message to the Ibero-American Nations
THE GRAND OMISSION AT THE IBEROAMERICAN SUMMIT:
MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLE OF LATIN AMERICA, SPAIN AND PORTUGAL
It should be a scandal for the Ibero-American Summits that all of the Ibero-American peoples, except that of Cuba, can freely and democratically elect their leaders.
It should be a scandal for the Ibero-American Summits that in Cuba there are many citizens serving unjust, inhumane and cruel imprisonment only for defending human rights.
It should be a scandal that the governments that are present at these Summits are not demanded to respect the documents that they have signed, especially the declaration of Valparaiso, which constituted a commitment with democracy and respect for civil rights. We believe that already when the declaration of Valparaiso was signed, everyone knew that in Cuba it would not be fulfilled.
In Cuba the government has not complied with this obligation and we ask ourselves if any of those present at the Summit in Montevideo would denounce this violation of popular sovereignty and of the fundamental rights of the Cuban people on the part of the Cuban government.
There was never an agreement in favor of the rights of Cubans, although that knew and continue knowing that these are systematically violated, there was not even a call for dialogue between Cubans, nor any words of hope for our people. Never has the topic even been discussed as to the lack of liberty and democracy in Cuba, nor was it a topic in any agenda.
We never asked that the Cuban government be excluded from these Summits that we considered to be a place of dialogue and an occasion to offer support for the changes to which Cubans have a right. But we did not ask them to legitimize the oppression either. We later discovered that the one who is truly excluded from these Summits is the Cuban people.
The Cuban people are excluded from these Summits because at these there is no recognition of their right to have rights.
Since the last decade, the majority of the organizations of the democratic and peaceful Cuban opposition would, every year, send a message to the Ibero-American Summits. Now the majority of our brothers who would sign these messages remain in prison. We think that it does not make sense to send these messages or ask of anything where there is no desire to listen to us.
We want to clarify to the people of Latin America, Spain and Portugal that we have stopped sending these messages but we have not stopped wishing and valuing highly the friendship with these nations. We do not send messages to these Summits anymore, because at these, there is no place for the Cuban people to gather with other peoples since we have no voice there.
We do not doubt, but rather believe firmly, that very soon in Cuba, the Cuban people will open a new stage of freedom and rights for all, of justice, of reconciliation, of peace and of democracy, at which point Cubans will undoubtedly be able to sovereignly elect their leaders. What we do doubt is whether by that point the Cuban people will feel motivated to send its representatives to the Ibero-American Summits in which it never had voice.
If this future is changed in Montevideo, it will be better for all of us.
Oswaldo Jose Payá Sardiñas
Francisco de Armas
Julio A. Hernandez
Christian Liberation Movement
Havana, November 3, 2006
2) Launch of the Proposed Resolution
A RESOLUTION IN FAVOR OF THE RIGHTS OF ALL CUBANS
The Christian Liberation Movement has drafted a resolution proposal entitled “The Need for the Cuban Government to Liberate the Peaceful Political Prisoners.”
In this proposal that we make public, it asks the Cuban government to liberate all peaceful political prisoners since these individuals did not perpetrate any violence against any person or goods and their actions and words have consisted of defending, promoting and exercising the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of the United Nations, for which they are in prison or unjustly detained. For this reason it is a moral obligation of all the states represented at the United Nations and especially at its Human Rights Council, to promote and approve this resolution, since these Cubans are in prison for doing exactly what the aforementioned Council proposes to do: defend and promote human rights around the whole world.
These Cubans are serving prison unjustly in cruel and inhumane conditions and every day their health deteriorates further.
We call upon all Cubans inside and outside of Cuba to unite their will in support of this resolution for the liberation of those who are serving in prison precisely for defending the rights of all Cubans.
We call upon the NGO community, all civic and religious institutions, artists and intellectuals, all political parties, all parliamentarians and the citizens of all countries, throughout the world, to support this resolution and ask their governments to promote and support it at the UN and at its recently created Human Rights Council.
Those who justify and silence the reality of the violation of human rights that all of us in Cuba suffer, only reinforce the oppression and the tension inside our country and belittle the Cuban people by not recognizing their right to have rights.
The proposed text is based on acts that cannot be denied by any rhetoric and it also rests on the principles and rights recognized by all the members of the UN, including the Cuban state.
Those who support this proposal are supporting a resolution in favor of Cuba, in that it is in favor of the rights of all Cubans, in favor of justice in Cuba, in favor of the truth about Cuba and in favor of reconciliation among Cubans.
Oswaldo José Payá Sardiñas
Christian Liberation Movement
Havana, November 9, 2006
3) Message to ODCA
The Social Christian Option for the Americas
A greeting of solidarity from Cuba to the entire Christian Democratic family of the Americas and of the world that is with us at our Congress.
I do not know if he is present at this congress, but the brothers of the Christian Liberation Movement want to show our special affection, admiration and gratitude for that guide and teacher of the Christian Democracy worldwide, that is Ricardo Arias Calderón. He and his wife Teresa brought us personally, from very early on, the embrace of the Christian Democracy and the recognition of belonging to that big family. We do not forget them and here in Cuba, in our humble movement they have their place, a very special place.
Dear brothers and colleagues:
Our first word is to proclaim the heroism of our brothers of the movement, of our Christian Democratic brothers who today are in Cuban jails for following our social Christian ideology, for love of our fellow man, that is, the Cuban people. They, as well as all of the Cuban peaceful political prisoners, are in prison only for defending the rights of persons. That is why we have launched this call, from Cuba, for a campaign for the liberation of these prisoners. It is this Congress, and not out of coincidence, that is the first international forum at which we open this campaign that must grow and spread to all nations, until the liberation of all of these Cubans who are imprisoned for peacefully defending the dignity, rights and freedoms of people.
Our first proposal is for this congress to makes this campaign theirs and for this family to begin working in a coordinated way to obtain this most urgent objective. Cuba is already in an environment of change, but our people, upon arriving at the dawn of a new stage in their history, have confronted many barriers and a myth, a false conception that there are no paths. The regime closes the doors of the future and pronounces a sentencing for the continuity of oppression of eternal proportions and unleashes all the mechanisms, not only of repression, but also of crushing propaganda, directed at sowing despair. Those two components, repression and lies, are the essence of the culture of fear in which our people have been immersed for almost five decades and which enchains them compounded by uncertainty and distrust toward change. Distrust sowed by the propaganda that closes the doors to the future and also, it must be said, by certain experiences of transition or of supposed democratization that could not be the aspiration of any people. Something similar is occurring in large part throughout Latin America, in which the forces of neo-conservatism or neo-liberalism and of neo-communism or wild communism constitute a false, fatalistic dichotomy that deceives the people in order to trap them. Today, the growing panorama is of this trap which imposes upon the majority some rights at the cost of resigning others and in the end leaves them without any effective rights. We know this in Cuba, which is a country of rich and poor and of the most unequal equality that one could imagine.
Who said that these trends that entrap the people and that, paradoxically, prepare their way mutually toward a fatal succession, are the only alternatives?
We the Christian Democrats, by vocation, because of our own ideology of integral liberation and our commitment with the individual and the people, must be witnesses of hope and builders of this alternative of real democracy which means freedom, full guarantee of all rights and social justice. For our people, justice demands an urgency of poverty alleviation and the eradication of inequality.
But these principles are not new, they have always been here, in our base, from which we must defend our people from idols of totalitarian power or the totalizing market, in the end two forms of fundamentalism. But we do not need to situate ourselves in the intermediate point between two forms of injustice, nor incline towards or entrench ourselves in one or the other flank, but rather look further above, inour roots and base that point towards the justice that we believe possible. If something has the root of Christian Democratic thought or social Christian it is a proper light: let us recapture it radically! We, who are present at this Congress, who are inspired by the Gospel, who take the social Christian option as a path and goal of service to our fellow man are treading in the knowledge that yes there is way. It is a path that has been open 2,000 years ago and whose guiding lines are the continuation of the path of Emaús. If we forget that, we forget who we are and why we identify with this title and this sign of Christian Democracy. Let us not reject the mystique that is the force of our militancy lest we become plastic parties, without ties to our base and therefore without capacity for mobilization. We are sure that what Latin America needs including, most especially Cuba, is what is proposed and offered by the social Christian ideology, which we must personify, with the spirit of service. This spirit is at the center of the mystique that must not be absent and that inspired the founders of this large social and political movement around the world.
As I said Cuba is trapped, but not without exit. The Varela Project is today more than ever a demand for popular consultation, for a referendum that can open the process of transition- from the people and led by the people. The Program for all Cubans is the visualization that change in Cuba is possible, without violence, between Cubans, with the ascent of the people toward the exercise of sovereignty, with the institutionalization of rights. A process, in which everything positive that the people have constructed is maintained, improved and instituted as a right.
This Program for all Cubans confirms the determination and the desire of Cubans to attain all their rights and not of a manipulation or a neo-dictatorship. It confirms that no one will be evicted from their house, that there will not be retributions, that there will not be a launch from wild communism into wild capitalism. Yes, there would be economic and entrepreneurial freedom, but not unregulated privatization that would impoverish the poor further and leave wealth in the hands of a few. The regime and other forces, try to conceal and divert attention from this alternative because they know that if the people of Cuba know about it they would support it because satisfies their deepest desires. The most radical thing that it has is that it is radically peaceful and that the protagonists are the very citizens, not under the control of caudillos or of a single party but rather as free and responsible men and women.
The Varela Project and the Program for All Cubans are real options and are also the tools for a peaceful and liberating alternative.
Let us propose at this ODCA Congress, to deepen our ideology, to reinforce our spirituality and to offer our continent, in the middle of so many dangers and disorientations, a project and a commitment of integral liberation.
Let us renew hope. Thank you.
We send from Cuba our fraternal embrace.
Oswaldo J. Payá Sardiñas
Christian Liberation Movement
Havana, November 11, 2006