Monday, March 30, 2015

Oscar Arias meets with young Cubans and Venezuelans

Oscar Arias meets with young Cubans and Venezuelans / 14ymedio, Eliecer
Posted on March 29, 2015

14ymedio, Eliecer Avila, San Juan, Costa Rica, 29 March 2015 — To Costa
Rica, that Latin American country recognized for its outstanding
economic push, its democratic stability, and its role in the defense of
human rights, a group of young Cubans and Venezuelans has come as guests
of the National Liberation Party.

Undoubtedly among the Costa Rican politicians most prominent in recent
years, Dr. Oscar Arias Sanchez stands out. He held the presidency for
two terms, the first from 1986 to 1990, and the second started in 2006
and ended in 2010. Thus, a meeting with him was something not to be
missed on the visit's agenda.

The Arias administrations brought Costa Rica notable advances in
different sectors. So much so, that for the most part his compatriots
usually refer to him as the "best president" they ever had.

The successful mediation of several international conflicts, among them
that of Nicaragua in the 1980s, also turned him into a global paradigm
in defense of peace, for which he was honored with the prestigious Nobel
Peace Prize in 1987.

On Saturday, the long awaited meeting with Arias took place at his home
where he received a group of young Cubans and Venezuelans. The dialogue
lasted more than an hour, during which the former president listened
attentively to their plans later shared his vision of the political
landscape of the two nations. Also discussed was the current situation,
and the challenges facing those working for democracy in both countries.

Arias criticized governments for generally "remaining silent" about what
happens in Cuba and Venezuela "for fear of upsetting their respective

Addressing the Venezuelans, he asked them about the status of unity of
the democratic forces and the personalities engaged in the struggle.
José Javier Martínez, member of the Vente Venezuela movement, responded
that, "Although there are some differences between the main opposition
leaders, they disappear on the issue of respect for human rights."

"It is on this point, above all, and in its defense that we are firmly
united," Martinez reaffirmed. The young man also took advantage of the
occasion, to ask the former president for support for a motion that
several MPs from different parties are trying to push through the Costa
Rican legislature. The objective of the motion is to have the ambassador
of this nation propose to the Organization of American States (OAS) that
it discuss the situation of Venezuela in its main plenary session.

Arias also asked about the course of relations with the United States
and what might be expected in this respect. Kirenia Yalit, Coordinator
of the Roundtable of Cuban Youth, explained the different visions and
postures of Cuban civil society toward this process and pointed out
that, "We young people are not opposed to the opportunities that this
these changes could bring to the benefit the people, but we will
continue in our struggle to achieve the rights that we need to exercise,
whether or not there is trade with the United States."

Arias then speculated about the possibility of a Cuban Deng Xiaoping,
who would reform the Cuban system from within the Communist Party, as
happened in China.

To this Eliecer Avila, leader of Somos+ (We Are More) and a member of
the Roundtable, responded that, "There is always that possibility, but
we Cuban democrats do not see in China an applicable or desirable
framework for our country." The young man emphasized that, "We are able
to build a much better model, one that in addition to economic growth
also ensures the full exercise of civil and political freedoms, the only
guarantees for a national reconciliation and lasting stability."

The former President thanked the young people for the visit and
reiterated his commitment to the democratic cause of both
peoples. Which, he said, "Would always be addressed in my upcoming
conferences, because I say what I think and do not speak just to get
along with anyone."

Source: Oscar Arias meets with young Cubans and Venezuelans / 14ymedio,
Eliecer Avila | Translating Cuba -

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