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Friday, January 31, 2014

Christian Liberation Movement Letter to the European Union: A Defining Moment

Honorable Foreign Ministers of the European Union:

We are writing to you with the certainty that our position is properly valued, as befits the responsibility of the position that you hold. We Cubans are going through a defining moment in our history. The economic crisis and the rise of the opposition movement are converging, despite the dangerous escalation of violence, arbitrary arrests, beatings and suspicious deaths in the last two years as numbers indicate especially against members of civil society. A government that has ever been elected by its citizens is now trying to convince the international community that it is making democratic changes. Reforms realized in Cuba to date, alleviate or do not the situation of a small percentage of the population. They do not guarantee recognition of human rights kidnapped for 55 years , but what they have done is increase social inequality and establish themselves with new mechanisms of control, because the government provides privileges and permissions but not rights . Reforms that serve to excuse those who on behalf of their economic interests seek to justify the totalitarian regime in Havana .

We do not understand the reasons which led to the lifting of obstacles to negotiate a treaty of cooperation with the Cuban government and the possible lifting of the common position. We put to you two questions without which a dialogue between democracies and those in power in our country could hinder the possibility of a democratic transition in Cuba. We hope that the sunset clause on human rights that is negotiated contribute to:

1.Put an end to the impunity of State Security of the Cuban Government , noting the willingness of the European Union to promote an independent investigation in an International Court or with the UN framework to clarify the circumstances in which Oswaldo Payá (Sakharov Prize of the European Parliament ) and Harold Cepero died. We hope that in ethics and consistency in ethics you will support the resolution of the European Parliament (Article 69) of December 11, 2013, (2013 /2152 ( INI ) ) to prevent similar incidents continuing to occur on the island. We consider that one should require the immediate stop to the violence against members of civil society , the release of political prisoners and the possibility of an independent investigation into the suspicious deaths of O. Payá and H. Cepero .

2. Enable the realization of a plebiscite that offers the option to citizens of expressing if they want to participate in a process of free and pluralistic elections with democratic guarantees. In this manner we ask you to support effective citizen participation, taking into account the recognition given by the European Union to the Varela Project. An initiative of legal change supported by more than 25,000 citizens, based on the current Constitution, proposed the realization of the plebiscite.

We are not opposed to the negotiation process that is a fact and we offer our participation as free agents of Cuban civil society, representing a political alternative, with over 25 years in the island and in exile. Respectfully we want to warn that there are still many reforms that the Cuban government can make, even internationally, without starting a real democratic transition. In the confidence of the fidelity that you profess to democratic values ​​we know that you understand that the absence of both above points that we proposed in the process of negotiations could signify a support for the maintenance in power of the oppressors. Cubans have been capable of designing a path for the transition, we have the hope that you will accompany them through it.

Coordinating Council of the Christian Liberation Movement.

ABC ......... However, opposition organizations like the Christian Liberation Movement have already made it known from inside Cuba that " we do not understand the reasons which led to the lifting of obstacles to negotiate a treaty of cooperation and the possible lifting of the common position common " considering the dangerous escalation of violence , especially against members of civil society as the numbers of arbitrary arrests , beatings and suspicious deaths in the last two years indicate. "

Original Spanish text and slightly different version by Rosa Maria Payá Acevedo published in El Mundo on January 30, 2014.

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