Monday, August 18, 2014

Four Cardinal Points

Four Cardinal Points / Reinaldo Escobar
Posted on August 17, 2014

They are difficult to count, not to mention uncountable, the projects
carried out in order to find alternative solutions to Cuba's problems.
When I say "alternatives" I'm obviously referring to a broad set of
programs, documents, statements not coming from governmental
institutions, but from that disjointed amalgamation of opposition
parties and civil society entities, both within and outside the Island.

Many of these platforms have tried to encourage an essential unity, few
have managed to do so. One of the reasons for the failure of this unity
of purpose is the inclusion of one or another point that has led to
disagreements. Another reason is the effect of what could be called
"strongman rule in reverse," which consists in opposition leaders
refusing to support a specific program because of the presence among its
signatories of others with whom they have differences.

In an effort to find the minimum consensus, without any specific
organization trying to open the umbrella of leadership, four cardinal
points have arisen in which, so far, the majority seem to agree. Best of
all is that they don't aspire to be the four cardinal points, simply
four points, lacking the definite article. Their principal merit is not
that everyone agrees with them, but that no one appears to be against them.

If we made the incalculable error of saying that these were the only
important points and there were no others, we could be sure that there
would be more detractors than defenders, particularly given our infinite
capacity to add new elements to the list of what needs to be done, of
what must be demanded of the government, or of what motivates citizen

This is the reason why other just demands, which enjoy undisputed
sympathy but no broad consensus, do not appear on the list. One could
mention, for example, the prohibition of abortion, the acceptance of
marriage between same-sex couples, the elimination of military service,
the return of confiscated properties, the opening of judicial processes
against violators of human rights and the ensuing investigation of
crimes committed, the immediate celebration of free elections, the
dissolution of Parliament, the annulment of the Communist Party, or the
rebate of taxes.

There are thousands of demands which, like mushrooms after the rain,
will arise at the instant that political dissent in Cuba is
decriminalized and when, happily, Cuba will be a difficult country to govern

The absence of particulars does not take away from the effectiveness of
these four points which, far from attempting a neutrality to facilitate
their assimilation, constitute a clear commitment to democracy and human
rights, the proof of which is in the enthusiasm that has awakened in our
civil society, and the obvious aversion this is caused among those who rule.

Although they have already been divulged I reproduce them here:

The unconditional release of all political prisoners including those on
The end of political repression, often violent, against the peaceful
human rights and pro-democracy movement
Respect for the international commitments already signed by the Cuban
government, and ratification—without reservations—of the International
Covenants on Human Rights and compliance with the covenants of the
International Labor Organization on labor and trade union rights.
Recognition of the legitimacy of independent Cuban civil society.
14 August 2014

Source: Four Cardinal Points / Reinaldo Escobar | Translating Cuba -

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