Saturday, August 18, 2012

For Another Cuba: Press Release in Response to Arrest of Activists

For Another Cuba: Press Release in Response to Arrest of Activists / For
Another Cuba

Antonio Rodiles, For Another Cuba, Translator: Unstated, Wilfredo
Vallin Almeida

Our Position: Félix Navarro, José Daniel Ferrer, Librado Linares,
Antonio G. Rodiles, Wilfredo Vallín

Havana, August 16, 2012


Yesterday, August 15 of this year, while handing out the Citizen Demand
for Another Cuba in a central area of the Marianao neighborhood in
Havana, Cuba, three citizens were arrested and taken to the 6th Station
of the National Revolutionary Police (PNR).

On receiving news of this arrest, we the undersigned presented ourselves
at the Station to learn the details of the case and whether there were
any charges against those detained. After having spoken with the people
who appeared responsible, it seemed critical to us that we make the
following statement to establish, for the future, our position with
regards to this complex problem.

Our response is based on the Constitutional provision established in
Article 63:

"Every citizen has the right to direct complaints and petitions to the
authorities and to receive the appropriate attention or responses, in a
reasonable time, in accordance with the law."

Protected by this provision in the nation's Constitution, we went to the
National Assembly of People's Power and delivered this document in
order, first and foremost, to inform the government of the country about
it, so that it cannot, now, suggest that we are acting behind its back,
nor without its knowledge.

If what is said in Article 63 is, in fact, true and is honored in
today's Cuba, then we are acting in accordance with the Law, a right
that must be respected by the military authorities as well.

By arresting and beating citizens who call for the ratification of the
United Nations Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Covenant
on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, these authorities are not only
violating a right recognized by the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, and by the Constitutional Law governing its own citizens, but
also appear to be ignoring that the government itself signed these
documents on behalf of the people of Cuba, on February 28, 2008 in New
York City.

Signing Human Rights Covenants is a Sovereign Act, is the title that
headlined an article in the newspaper Juventud Rebelde (Rebel Youth) on
that date. But at the same time, Article 3 of our Constitution reads:

"In the Republic of Cuba sovereignty resides in the people, from who
originates all the power of the State. This power is exercised directly…"

Our real and only intention is to allow the people of Cuba to truly,
peacefully, and in a civilized manner, express their opinions about a
problem as vital as their present way of life, their hopelessness about
the future, and their ability to suggest real paths of change that would
improve their precarious existence.

In contrast, the position of the authorities has been to create a
climate of conflict with civil society, to provoke altercations in the
public order with its acts of repudiation, its beating of opponents, men
and women, including the Ladies in White, and ultimately its insinuation
that the intention of the dissidence is to "provoke situations that
encourage a military intervention in the country."

While buildings collapse on the bodies of our compatriots, to simply
dust them off a little with no visible prospects of a solution, and this
after decades of other equally difficult problems, to remain silent in
complicity after 54 years of setbacks, is a civic and moral cowardice
that many of us are no longer able to bear.

We Cubans who call on the rest of our compatriots will act responsibly,
without questioning or resisting the actions of the police or State
Security, at least in the public street, even when a disproportionate
operation using unjustified violence is exercised shortly after the
latest one, as documented during the funeral of the known opponent, Payá

If there are violations of the law they are not committed by us, but by
the repressors who think that they can resolve all the problems of Cuba,
without paying any attention to recent historic experience, with
contempt for the citizens expressed in arrogance and brute force. This
could lead ALL OF US down a path with no return.

In addition, we are informing our brothers within and outside of Cuba,
as well as the international community, about what is happening here in
order to establish responsibility for what might happen in the future.

The Cuban Nation, fortunately, has had its illustrious sons and great
patricians. One of them left us with this: "To beg for rights is the
domain of cowards incapable of exercising them." Another great among the
greats, closer in time, told us, "I do not seek danger, but neither do I
run from it. I simply try to do my duty."

Standing on these principles, we will reclaim our rights and we will do
our duty.

Félix Navarro, José Daniel Ferrer, Librado Linares, Antonio G. Rodiles,
Wilfredo Vallín

With copies to:
- All the activists of the Campaign
- The National Assembly of People's Power
- Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations

16 August 2012

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