Comités de represión

There are no free elections without free people, free citizens, free men and free women

There are no free elections without free people, free citizens, free men

and free women / Oswaldo Paya

Oswaldo Paya, Translator: Cleonte

We are on the eve of new elections in Cuba. And I am reminded that the

first law issued in Sierra Maestra during the anti-Batista insurrection

before the elections scheduled in 1958, was a death penalty law. It was

designed to punish with death those who took part in the elections. It

also punished those who voted because the elections were corrupt. The

Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) and the opposition do not kill

people, nor sabotage, nor exclude, everyone knows it. Our motto is

Freedom and Life. We do not want power for ourselves; we want peace and

civil rights for all, because where there are no rights there is no justice.

We seek only power for the people, popular sovereignty, as did Martin

Luther King, remember? Power to the people! …

We denounce institutionalized corruption. The one that has the power

declares us enemies and does not compete with the opposition but the

sentences, stigmatized and annihilates it.

In 1954 there was a campaign in Cuba that promoted amnesty, the

promoters were those who claimed there is no such thing as free

elections while there are political prisoners. The current regime does

not recognize or respect the right of individuals, Cubans, and the

opposition to defend political differences. The difference between

government and opposition in Cuba is much different from any that exists

in a democracy. The contradiction between the opposition and the

government in Cuba is based precisely on the lack of democracy respect

towards the political rights of citizens, it is more than a

contradiction, it is an antagonism between the people and the

totalitarian system. We do not antagonize the people that govern and

those identify themselves for some reason with the government, we do not

call other "worms" or treat anyone with hatred, but we do claim that

neither they nor we, nor anyone in Cuba is free under this system.

Will they claim that the Communist Party and other areas of the

government are not preparing the candidates and ensuring they only they

are represented by the delegates in each district? Tell that to the

protagonists of these pre-election conspiracies.

In 1992, when Aldana (before Robaina, Lage and Perez Roque) said that

the opposition could compete in the elections, I said I would. What did

they do? The police came to my house and took me to the local Committee

for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR) in Zaragoza and Carmen on the

neighborhood of Cerro, there was a circus prepared with a tribunal

chaired by one of the Communist party local leaders, the same one who

had assaulted and looted my house on July 11, 1991 and who died in the

United States (he received his visa to meet with their children in the

US, something that the Cuban government has denied my family for years,

but that's a different topic…). State Security participated in this

circus. There were many uniformed officers, and a lady told me that if I

was a Christian and did not want see blood run I should not to disturb

the assemblies by submitting my application for candidacy. That was

intimidation against citizens so that they would know what it meant to

support me. The message reached everyone; nevertheless, the day of the

assembly they placed agents in the neighborhood, many of whom were

visibly armed, they said they were waiting for Paya to show up.

On July 6, 2006 they prepared a similar operation, during which they

wrote on a wall a few feet from my house: "In a besieged plaza,

dissenting is treason" Who did they want to intimidate, me? As a human

being I have felt fear, but ir does no dominate me. I am still a

dissident although I have never been part of the oppressive regime, but

I identify myself with that term proudly because my family has always

defended democracy. Dissent is a right and the Cuban government

categorizes it as treason, as does Chavez back in Venezuela. This is a

permanent violation of civil liberties. There are no free elections in

such an environment, and with such laws.

If there is no legal recognition of the right to exist, participate in

politics, dissent and work without persecution there are no elections,

no pluralism. We denounce that the people cannot decide, we do not make

laws like the ones they made before 1958. The people are not free and it

does not make any sense for them to participate in elections that are

only a contradiction to democracy. I think it's a way to delay and

divert the real change that Cuba wants and needs. The lack of freedom of

association, expression and free elections are the barriers to political

participation from the people. If Cubans do politics, they become

victims of political exclusion and other injustices.

The peaceful, logical and fair solution that can lead to changes and

genuine dialogue is to recognize those rights. Enough with reactionary

justifications that say the people are not ready do not want change, do

you think fifty-four years without freedom and rights are not enough?

Others say that people do not want rights, what an insult! Others may

say that many Cubans want this government. I don't think so, but in any

case no Cuban can decide what they want in this environment, with these

laws and with this system Cubans cannot chose who they want to govern

them, which system to have. We demand rights for all, without hatred or

offense, with justice; everyone knows that not even the People's

National Assembly can decide freely, they also receive orders. This will

change only when they are elected by the people, only then they will

obey the people.

That is our demand, we keep calling all Cubans, no matter how they think

or what background they come from, to be part of the solution and

changes, this can only be done by the people. Why say no to our rights?

Why the elitism? Philosophies and theologies? What oppresses us is fear,

intolerance and the determination of a group to remain in absolute

power. Abandon the simulation! Take the path of the people which is the

path of democracy.

On behalf of the Christian Liberation Movement.

Oswaldo J. Paya Sardinas

July 20, 2012

Note: Only two days later, on July 22 the National Coordinator of our

Movement, Oswaldo Paya, tragically died with our brother Harold Cepero

in suspicious circumstances not yet clarified. We issue this message,

due to its relevance to current events in Cuba and in memorium to them.

Through this article we show that his example and legacy remain alive in

each of us, and it continues to lead the Cuban people across the way of

the people and the conquest of their rights, a people and path so

greatly loved by Harold and Oswaldo.

Board of coordinators of the Christian Liberation Movement.

October 17, 2012

Ofelia Acevedo Maura Narviel Hernández Moya

Juan Felipe Medina Eduardo Cardet Concepción

Ernesto Martini Fonseca Andrés Adolis Chacón Aroche

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