Dissident leader says Cubans alone can build a more just and free Cuba


The Christian Liberation Movement (CLM), lead by Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya, issued a statement this week calling on all Cubans to "participate in the national dialogue" because "change and the path towards the future can only be undertaken by us Cubans" without exclusions.

"Nobody except the Cuban people themselves can create a plan of transition for Cuba. Nobody can take the place of the Cuban people in bringing about changes and in taking the lead role in her history, and nobody can deny the Cuban people the path towards a better, more free and more just society that the people themselves want and need now," the statement declares.

After noting that "we Cubans are all brothers and sisters" and have "a right to have rights," the CLM underscored that it would continue down "the path of non-violence" in its struggle for respect for human rights and freedom and for the right of the Cuban people to express what the they think without fear of harassment.

"We shall demand all of our rights, including those spelled out the current Constitution, such as the right to propose changes to the laws, as the Varela Project proposes," the statement reads.

The statement acknowledges that "no man is so evil that he cannot be saved" and that those love must love their enemies as well. At the same time, the CLM called on Cubans "not to submit to the power of hatred and lies out of fear or personal gain" and thus jeopardize "the freedom and dignity that God gives us as His children."

The group also called in international organizations such as the UN, and on all nations and peoples "to heed the call of this people."

"Cuba, our homeland, is our promised land. Therefore this is not a call to a mass exodus to other nearby countries, but rather to take the step in solidarity towards liberation, towards the conquest of all justice and rights for all, towards freedom, reconciliation, and peace among all Cubans," the statement concludes.

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