27/07 20:24 CET
Those hoping for announcements of change at Cuba's Revolution Day
ceremony in front of the Che Guevara monument on 26 July were disappointed.
President Raúl Castro did not even make a speech. For reaction to that
euronews spoke with recently freed Cuban dissident Julio César Gálvez in
The journalist was released from a 15 year prison term handed down in
2003, following his arrest as part of the so-called Black Spring crackdown.
So what does he make of Raúl Castro's silence at the Revolution Day
Gálvez told us: "Since 1959, when the Cuban Revolution succeeded, Fidel
Castro – during his presidency or his time in power – never failed to
make a speech on the 26th of July, and it was exactly the same for Raúl
In my humble opinion, this is a way for the Havana regime to try to
present a new message to the world, with different images, saying that
there are changes, that there are differences, that something new is
Sadly it's not so, this is just more of the same of what has been going
on in Cuba for more than 50 years. It doesn't matter who makes the
speech, the content is the same, therefore the hidden mandate is the same."
euronews then asked: "What immediate reforms should the Castro regime
carry out so that you, the dissidents, would accept the EU normalising
economic relations with Cuba?"
Gálvez replied: "The first thing the Cuban government must do is make
Nowhere in the world right now can you make economic or social changes
if there are no political changes, and Cuba urgently needs political change.
The Cuban situation is chaotic in every aspect: political, economic,
social. We hope that the regime is sufficiently capable to be able to
discern that what is needed is political change, as well as
understanding and a dialogue between Cubans.