The coordinator of the Christian Liberation Movement, Oswaldo Paya Sardinas has sent a letter to an annual conference in Prague urging respect for the human rights of Cubans.
“We Cubans want reconciliation and a peaceful transition to democracy, and to be in charge of our own present and future situations within our country,” Paya said in a letter read by Vaclav Havel, at the conference, the 14th annual international Forum 2000.
Havel is credited with leading the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia.
In his letter, Paya criticized the Castro government for not recognizing the right of Cubans to move about freely in the country and travel abroad. For this reason, he said, dissidents are promoting a new law that would recognize this right “in order to eliminate all the discrimination that exists against Cubans in our own country.”
“They talk about changes, but the government does not carry out true change, which would be to recognize in law and in practice the rights of Cubans as human beings, as citizens.”
“Let us say, then, peace on earth, and let us build this peace. But this will not be possible if we all do not strive to achieve not only peaceful coexistence between nations and among nations, but also authentic reconciliation, cooperation and friendship. That will be peace on Earth,” Paya said.
“The vocation of mankind to peace comes from creation itself, because God created us free and as brothers and sisters, and for this reason we must live in peace. The source of peace is love of neighbor, respect for his dignity, the promotion of rights, solidarity and also working together for the common good, which is the source of unity in diversity,” Paya said.
He then called on the Prague forum to support reconciliation among nations and the recognition of human rights. “Rights lead to trust, order and justice. They are essential, but they are not enough by themselves if there is no love.”
This year's Forum 2000 was held Oct. 10-12 under the theme, “The World We Want to Live In.”