News and Facts about Cuba

We Shall Fight to the End for the Liberty of Cuba

We Shall Fight to the End for the Liberty of Cuba / Cubanet, Ernesto
Garcia Diaz
Posted on December 19, 2014

Leaders of the opposition call Obama’s reconciliation with the Cuban
government a “betrayal” during a press conference in Havana
Cubanet, Ernesto García Díaz, Havana, 18 December 2014 — From the
headquarters of the Estado de SATS project in Miramar, on Wednesday
afternoon (12/17/14), Cuban opposition leaders held a press conference
for national and international media, to make known their positions
regarding the new political stance of the United States towards Cuba.

Guillermo Fariñas Hernández, winner of the European Parliament’s
Sakharov Prize for the of Thought and Coordinator General of the
United Antitotalitarian Front (FANTU), referring to the steps taken by
the governments of Cuba and the United States, stated the following:

“We can applaud the release of Alan , who really was used by the
Island’s government to blackmail the American administration. But Obama
has been inconsiderate with the civil society that is challenging Cuba’s
tyrannical government In Miami, back in November of 2013, Barack Obama
promised Bertha Soler and me that any action he would take with respect
to Cuba would be consulted with the civil society and nonviolent
opposition. Obviously this did not occur. These actions are now
accomplished facts, they are reality, and Cuban democrats were not taken
into account.

This amounts to a betrayal of Cuban democrats. We must now adapt
ourselves to the new scenarios, which means that we must ask the
American government to keep in mind the demands that these negotiations
should require, to avoid colluding with the communist dictatorship of
the Island. If the United States government listens to us, I believe
that we can hope that this is not one more maneuver of complicity and
help towards a regime drawing its last breath.”

The leader and opposition activist Antonio G. Rodiles, coordinator of
the Campaign for Another Cuba and of the Estado de SATS project, made
the following assertion:

“History has been made when, in 1994, the country [Cuba] was finding
itself in a profound crisis and the explosion of 5 August 1994 occurred.
The North American government’s response was to accept the exodus and
later to sign the migration accords which provide for an annual cap on
[US] visas issued annually [to Cuban nationals]. The result has been
that during more than 20 years, the country’s human capital has been
bleeding out and Cubans have opted to leave Cuba and not provoke change.
This truly has been a disaster and the United States government cast a
lifeline to the regime so that it may survive.

“The rancid Castro regime, as is common knowledge, in on the point of
ending from natural causes. Obviously what they are trying to do is to
cement the foundation for a mutation to Neo-Castroism, which is the
family and descendents, who are trying to continue to governing, which
is a grave danger for Cuba and for the entire region.”

“Today’s measures – without taking into account the opinion of Cuban
civil society, of the political actors in the Cuban opposition – is a
serious message, it is a bad message, and if the upcoming process of
negotiation does not include our participation, the results will not be
positive at all. We still have ahead of us the Summit of the Americas
[to be held in Panama City in April, 2015], but what happened today does
not make us feel optimistic.

Opposition member Ángel Moya Acosta, coordinator of the Democratic
Freedom Movement for Cuba, had the following to say:

“We rejoice at the liberation of Alan Gross. But the measures that the
United States government has implemented today, of relaxing the
and reestablishing diplomatic relations with Cuba, will in no way
benefit the people of the Island. The steps that have been taken will
reinforce the repression against activists by the
government of the Castro regime. The regime will augment the resources
and sinecures to its forces so that they will continue to harass and
repress civil society activists. An example was the military
reinforcements exhibited by the regime in advance of anti-demonstration
activities on 10 December, ‘International Human Rights Day.’ ”

Félix Navarro Rodríguez, Coordinator General of the Patriotic Union of
Cuba (UNPACU) and of the Pedro Luis Boitel Party for
Democracy, had this to say:

“The conditions that brought about the United States’ embargo against
Cuba in 1961 have not changed. It is well known that the government is
totalitarian, dynastic, that it does not recognize the rights to free
, free assembly and freedom of the press. As long as the
political opposition, the different strains of political thought and a
multi-party system are not recognized and general free elections are not
called, we cannot point to anything beneficial for the people.

“We are in total disagreement with what has been produced today, because
we consider it a betrayal of those of us who, from inside Cuba, are
opposing the regime to obtain a definitive change for the wellbeing of
all Cubans.”

Following the opposition leaders’ statements, the floor was opened to
questions.

Associated Press (AP): “We walked the streets extensively today, and
found the people to be happy, beyond the message. It is notable that all
of you hold a position so different from ordinary people. Does this mean
that you will alienate yourselves from the will of many people now
living in Cuba?”

Antonio Rodiles: “People are disoriented, surprised by what has
happened. On the street, in the taxis, people were not excited, others
said that the pie was cut, the [Castro] family and the governing elite
are strengthening their business positions. It isn’t the people, the
person in a small cafeteria who is being watched by inspectors, people
don’t know what is going to happen.”

Ángel Moya: “In the midst of the secret negotiations that were going on
between the two governments, on 10 December the Havana dictatorship was
repressing 75 Ladies in White and 35 human rights activists. In Cuba,
laws are in force that are designed to guarantee the impunity with which
the repressive forces act. What guarantee is there that the Cuban
government will recognize civil society?”

CubaNet: “Has the United States government or any of its officials,
following these declarations, contacted the leaders of the opposition,
in accordance with the commitments Obama made in 2013?”

Félix Navarro Rodríguez: “We have not been consulted. This has all
developed in strict secrecy between the two governments. There has been
no encounter with Cuban civil society nor with its leaders. Nor do we
know if they are willing to meet with us. As of today, they continue to
repress the Ladies in White and twelve of us prisoners from the [2003]
Black Spring; we remain on parole, deprived of our rights and liberties.

“The commitment by Obama to Berta Soler and Guillermo Fariñas was not
kept. In Cuba everything remains the same. Now, in the midst of this
avalanche, we will reorganize and will fight until the end, we will
press for the recognition of our civil rights and for democratic freedoms.”

At the end of the press conference, Guillermo Fariñas, by way of
concluding remarks, asserted this:

“We need to channel our demands. The government of the United States has
a moral obligation to all democracies in the world. It gave to the Cuban
government a possibility to start instituting some democratic reforms.
Now, it will depend on the actions we Cubans take.”

Attending, among various other officials of accredited diplomatic
missions on the Island, were diplomatic representatives of the European
Union, and of Sweden. Also present were human rights activists, among
them Gorki Águila Carrasco (artist in the group Porno Para Ricardo),
Hablemos Press, AP, and others.

Translated by: Alicia Barraqué Ellison

Source: We Shall Fight to the End for the Liberty of Cuba / Cubanet,
Ernesto Garcia Diaz | Translating Cuba –
http://translatingcuba.com/we-shall-fight-to-the-end-for-the-liberty-of-cuba-cubanet-ernesto-garcia-diaz/

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