Thursday, December 20, 2007

Paya petitions National Assembly

Oswaldo Paya delivered petitions to the National Assembly calling for adoption of laws to give amnesty to political prisoners and to allow Cubans to travel abroad freely and to return home. Reportedly, he delivered the petitions with 25,000 signatures, more than the 10,000 required to put a bill initiated by citizens on the legislative agenda. (More detailed report in Spanish here.) But it’s pointed out that he may not have followed the somewhat onerous requirement of certifying that the signers are registered voters, which would allow the petitions to be dismissed on procedural grounds (see Los Miquis, here).

Regardless, he made his point.


Anonymous said...

My understanding from the various news articles (BBC from Tuesday in particular) is that the 25,000 signatures are the same signatures he collected in support of the Varela Project referendum, since the two new laws are basically related to the Varela Project stipulations. Therefore, some of the signatures may be out of date by now, but had been previously verified when he presented them the first time....

leftside said...

What provision of the exit visa system exactly does Paya want to get rid of?? The mandatory military service? The letter of invitation? The inability of some doctors to leave without paying back their education? The fees? All of it? Because many countries have various requirements and (relatively) high fees to get passports and to leave the country. How many people have really been denied the ability to leave for political reasons besides Paya?? A handful?

Phil Peters said...

I'll look for the text but I'm sure it includes things like the tarjeta blanca exit permit and the concept of salida definitiva.

Anonymous said...

Full text can be found on Oswaldo Paya website:

leftside said...

Thank you. The direct link to the December 18th text is here. There is quite a bit more in there than was advertised.

Very first thing in the draft law says is that "all Cuban exiles and emigrants, and their children" be given "full rights as Cuban citizens..." So Cuba is supposed to allow ANYONE (and their children) into the country and grant them the privledges of Cuban citienship? What country on earth would even consider seriously such a thing, besides Israel maybe?? Even worse when we are talking about thousands of people who have committed criminal acts against the country. The article makes clear that NO ONE can be excluded. As it is, there are procedures to regain one's lapsed citizenship.

The rest of the documents gets unweildy in its braod demands regarding "free" access to the internet, cellular phones and satellite television. So Cuba is to fund the destruction of its own (already jam packed) internet system and provide give TV Marti 13 million viewers free of charge??

The country is then stripped of its rights to plan for growth in its own cities and regions. See in California we just price out folks we don't want here. In Cuba, where land price is meaningless, it is critical to retain a sensible distribution of people and jobs and not overburden some "frozen" neighborhoods and urban areas.

When he finally gets to emigration statutes, yes, he proposes scrapping the salida definitiva process alltogether, as well as the letter of invitation. It also says the govt. can not stop (again) ANYONE from travelling abroad. Well, even if studied the issue more and agreed with scrapping the first 2 things, the latter (again) reaches too far. Any country must have the ability to restrict the travel of certain criminals out on parole or such (the US certainly does).

You guys might also want to read the final provision on property. Looks like he wants to enshrine in law the priciple that any
"social" property be returned to any "former owner or their decendants, or privitized..."

To me, this is (like Verala) not a serious proposal. It can be an interesting base of discussion, but it is much too broad to be able to be taken seriously by the Assembly.

leftside said...

misprint, should be: the priciple that any "social" property MAY NOT be returned to any "former owner or their decendants, or privitized..."