Pedro Riera Escalante, a former Cuban intelligence official, last week submitted a petition to the National Assembly in which he seeks a national referendum on a proposal to change Cuban law. His proposal includes, among other provisions, abolishing the exit permit so Cubans can travel abroad freely, eliminating barriers to Cubans returning to
AFP describes Riera Escalante’s proposal and his personal history here in English. El Nuevo Herald’s treatment is more detailed and links to a pdf of the proposal itself. The proposal, of course, comes amid rumors that the government has already decided to abolish the exit permit requirement.
It’s an interesting proposal for a radical change in Cuban policy, and it does not come from the opposition composed of dissident groups. Riera Escalante frames his proposal by favorably citing Raul Castro’s calls for strong debate and by applauding the government’s signing of the UN human rights conventions. He refers to