News and Facts about Cuba

The opposition hopes that a dialogue will open between the Government and civil society

The opposition hopes that a dialogue will open between the Government
and civil society
14YMEDIO, Santiago de Cuba | Diciembre 18, 2014

The news of the reestablishment of relations between Cuba and the
United States has been embraced by opposition organizations in Cuba with
optimism and hope that this agreement may facilitate the establishment
of a dialogue between the Government and civil society on the island.

The Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), in a statement issued on
Thursday, stated that the Cuban government has lost its “great alibi” to
justify repression and the lack of in Cuba. “Any change,
and especially the loss of an excuse for repression, can create a space
for the people to reclaim their voice, lost for over half a century.”

The organization welcomes the commercial opening that can result from
negotiations with the and the United States, and states
as long as it is accompanied by a change with regards to the rights of
Cubans, it could be positive “for post-Castro democratization.”

“Although the increase in funds for a totalitarian State will make
repression more effective, UNPACU accepts the challenge of confronting
it, if, over the long term, the Cuban people benefit from an increase in
economic and material well-being,” the organization said.

The statement concludes by noting that repression has continued in
recent days on the island and that the Government has continued to
detain opponents, and it calls on all democrats to ensure that “current
reality is not subjugated to the latest news.”

The team of Cuba Posible also shares the same feelings of hope
manifested by cubans and thanks “those social and political actors, both
foreign and domestic, who have dedicated themselves to make this moment
of inflexion possible”. In a statement realease this Thursday, they
praise Obama and Castro for their “courage and political will” as well
as their decision to, “without foregoing their principals, challenge
history”.

Nevertheless, those who signed the statement know that this is the
beginning of a political process full of tension that will “awaken
polarization between different sectors, both inside and outside of
Cuba”. The triumph of this new path, according to them, will depend on
the ability to agree on some topics such as national sovereignty, human
rights, democracy and international politics.

The Pinar del Rio magazine Convivencia (Coexistence) founded by
Dagoberto Valdés, has also issued a statement through which it welcomes
the resumption of diplomatic relations between both countries, and hopes
that the climate of dialogue is extended to independent civil society
“based on respect for unity” and “the exercise of sovereignty”.

The release of the political prisoners gives joy to the magazine’s
Editorial Board, which reminds us that the Cuban Government should
ratify the United Nations covenants on Human Rights.

Convivencia places special emphasis on the intervention of Pope
Francisco as a mediator in the dialogue between the two countries and
hopes that the Church continues to intervene between the opposition and
the authorities.

In addition, the Editorial Board said that the agreement between Obama
and Castro will show that the fundamental conflict “is between the Cuban
government and its citizens, not between Cuba and the United States.”

” Convivencia hopes that this historic event and the lifting of all
blockades, especially the one the Cuban government sustains over the
initiative and entrepreneurship of its own citizens, allows the creation
of the conditions necessary for the Cuban people to be the protagonists
of their own history,” the statement concludes.

Karen Gálvez, a member of the Convivencia team, believes that Cuba has
taken a step forward in its transition towards democracy. “Personally,
it is difficult to understand that the reestablishment of relations
between the Cuban and American governments has occurred before the
raproachment that needs to happen between those who think differently
inside of Cuba”, she explains. Nonetheless, Gálvez recieves the news
with joy because “normalizing relations with the United States was an
essential change that needed to happen in Cuba”.

Gálvez believes that there is no turning back. “Now it is up to us to
pronunce our differences with the Cuban government, without the shadows
of a bigger power lurking behind us. We must demand the reestablishment
of relations with civil society and the respect of our rights and our
differences in opinon”.

Source: The opposition hopes that a dialogue will open between the
Government and civil society –
http://www.14ymedio.com/englishedition/The-opposition-dialogue-between-Government-civil-society_0_1690630929.html

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