.- The former president of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel, has sent a letter to the promoters of the Varela Project—which is collecting signatures for a referendum on political changes in Cuba—stating the dissident movement proves the Cuban government deceives its people.
The Varela Project “proves the Cuban regime lies” because “it has not responded to a demand for political change based on the current Constitution,” said Havel in his letter to Oswaldo Paya, leader of the movement. The letter, which was sent three months ago, was made public by the Mexican magazine “Letras Libres.”
In the letter, Havel reiterates his desire to continue supporting the actions of Paya.
According to the Cuban Constitution which is supposedly recognized by the Castro government, if citizens present a petition with 10,000 signatures calling for a referendum, it must be put to a vote. However, since 2002 the Varela Project has collected more than 25,000 signatures, but there has been no response from the government.
The Varela Project is calling for democratic changes in country’s laws through a referendum.
In addition to ignoring the grassroots movement, the government began a campaign of repression and arrests of its proponents.
In his letter, Havel explains that “more Cubans are learning that the only real threat is the very existence of a totalitarian regime.”
“It is not possible to see from outside the real movements of a society controlled by a totalitarian government, since those in power deceive not only their own citizens, but also themselves as well, and they hide the truth,” he added.
“Sooner or later the day will come when the opposition will become the focal point in the discussions about the future of Cuba. The manner in which the repressive regime ends its days will be very important for the development and the positioning of the opposition,” said Havel.