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Letter from Cuban Pro-Democracy Leaders to the U.S. Congress

Letter from Cuban Pro-Democracy Leaders to the U.S. Congress
at 8:58 PM Thursday, September 24, 2015

It is with profound concern that we implore the Congress of the United
States of America to read this letter directed against the strong
campaign being waged to unconditionally lift the economic sanctions that
weigh upon the Cuban dictatorship.

This campaign seeks to unconditionally lift sanctions with no
requirement or guarantee from the dictatorship that it first take a step
in the direction of respecting human rights and the promotion of democracy.

We are aware that this campaign is also currently being conducted within
the Congress of the United States of America.

We consider it of vital importance that members of Congress know that
since last December the repression on our island has escalated. Since
the Summit of the Americas held in April, the regime has deployed a
renewed campaign of repression, marked by violence and brutality, with
the objective of suffocating the opposition movement. This violence has
been directed especially towards groups demanding the exercise of basic
human rights and that a general amnesty law be decreed that would serve
as the initial step toward a process of real changes, such has been the
case with the national coalition known as the Forum for Rights and
Freedoms, which carries out the #TodosMarchamos campaign for a General
Amnesty.

The regime fully opposes these demands, refusing to implement any policy
which would have a positive impact on the Cuban people, including
economic liberalization. State controls, excessive taxation, corruption,
political loyalty, are all factors that are expressly designed to impede
the development of micro-enterprises. In contrast, the military elite
control the most profitable businesses and establish mixed enterprises
with foreign companies. The sole logic of the Castro family and their
close allies is to maintain full control of Cuba.

Raul Castro has been emphatic in his speeches and actions: “We will not
cede even a millimeter.” The Foreign Minister of the dictatorship
emphasized it clearly in Washington: “The changes already occurred in 1959.”

The United States as a nation has declared time and again its total
commitment to the defense of democracy and fundamental liberties. The
president affirms that his present policy is guided by the values of the
founding fathers and that reestablishing relations will help create a
greater responsibility for the regime in the topic of the respect for
human rights. However, the reality of the current situation contradicts
this idea and paints a completely different picture. This unconditional
rapprochement has only served to legitimize the longest lived and most
destructive dictatorship in the history of the hemisphere, and has
served to reinforce the violation of fundamental freedoms.

The lifting of the embargo, as proposed by the current administration,
will permit the old ruling elite to transfer their power to their
political heirs and families, giving little recourse to the Cuban people
in confronting this despotic power. Totalitarian communism will mutate
into a totalitarian state adopting minimal market reforms that will
serve only to accentuate the existing social inequality in the midst of
an increasingly uncertain future.

Within the Cuban Catholic Church some representatives have played a
fundamental role in these political developments. Cardinal Jaime Ortega
has been a key actor, who regrettably, has on multiple occasions
denigrated the work of the democratic opposition and denied the
existence of political prisoners on the island.

Pope Francis has demonstrated that he is in favor of this policy and has
played a key role in this process. His recent visit has demonstrated
that the regime will continue oppressing and perpetrating violent abuses
with no respect for the dignity of human beings. Silence before these
criminal acts is a detriment to the Cuban people. The dictatorship
continues gaining time and entitlements.

Accepting the primacy of this false pragmatism before a real commitment
with the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Cuban nation is a
troubling position. We address ourselves with all due respect to the
Congress of the United States, and implore you to support the cause of
democracy in Cuba and not a mistaken policy that can cause a profound
harm to our nation. If a coherent policy does not exist toward the
regime, we Cubans will pay a greater price on our path toward the
democratization of our nation.

Angel Moya
Former Amnesty International prisoner of conscience
Cuban Liberty and Democracy Movement

Raul Borges
Christian Democratic Unity Party

Hugo Damian Prieto
Civic Action Front

Jorge Luis Garcia Perez “Antunez”
Former Amnesty International prisoner of conscience
National Resistance Front

Jose Diaz Silva
Movement for a New Republic

Felix Navarro
Former Amnesty International prisoner of conscience
Democratic Party

Berta Soler
The Ladies in White

Antonio Rodiles
Estado de Sats

Egberto Escobedo
Political Prisoner Association of Cuba

Damaris Moya
Central Democratic Coalition

Guillermo Farinas Hernandez
Sakharov Prize recipient
United Anti-Totalitarian Front

Roberto Rodriguez Lobaina
Eastern Democracy Alliance

Angel Santiesteban Prats
Author

Gorki Aguila Carrasco

Source: Capitol Hill Cubans: Letter from Cuban Pro-Democracy Leaders to
the U.S. Congress –
http://www.capitolhillcubans.com/2015/09/must-read-letter-from-cuban-pro.html

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