Oswaldo Paya announced the formation of a new group with more than 300 members, the Citizen Committee for Reconciliation and Dialogue, which seeks a national dialogue to address a long series of grievances concerning the lack of political and economic liberties and poor social and economic conditions. The document that announced the initiative (in English and Spanish here, via Uncommon Sense) is vintage Paya: it contains no rancor, proclaims all Cubans to be brothers, rejects the communist definition of the Cuban nation, confides in the value of dialogue, explicitly includes Cubans living abroad and recognizes their place in the Cuban nation. It also rejects foreign interference with a passage that seems to push back against both
“It is up to Cubans and only Cubans to define and decide the future of
“This is why we do not accept foreign laws that pretend to decide on the present or design the future of
A women’s group called FLAMUR presented petitions to the Cuban National Assembly calling for the end of
And a student group held a press conference to claim that it has collected 5,000 signatures on a petition calling for the re-establishment of independent and Catholic universities (AP report in English here, Spanish here). If the goal of 10,000 signatures can be reached, this petition too can be presented to the National Assembly under a itizen initiative provision in the Cuban constitution that allows citizens to propose changes in statutes.
These initiatives have a common characteristic that brought lots of criticism to the Varela Project from hard-liners in
(Update: At Babalu, an examination of these initiatives, and readers chime in.)